Words of Wisdom
[A Study of Proverbs]
Proverbs were originally written to young men who are no more than 30 years old. Every proverb can be referred to as a Gnome or a quotation and falls in the category of a figure of speech. This means that Proverbs are quotations or sayings made to make a young man wise. We must review the fact that this is in the Old Testament and the Old Testament is for our learning. However we can learn from the Old Testament and that is what we are going to do in this series of teachings. I have selected certain Scriptures to study and you will be amazed at how much wisdom is in only seven verses in the book of Proverbs. We are going to cover various subjects in the Word of God, so we will be moving from principle to principle rather quickly. Let us begin.
Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth. -- Proverbs 27: 1
God also backs this up in the New Testament in the epistle of James and in the gospel of Matthew.
Go to now [come now], ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that. But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil. – James 4: 13 – 16
Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. – Matthew 6: 34
Isn't this something? It is stated clearly again in the book of James and in the gospel of Matthew above. It falls in the category of making an oath or a promise especially for the future. God does not want you to worry about the future. Live one day at a time. The above Scripture is where that principle has originated. God does not want us to boast or brag about what we are going to do tomorrow simply because, as the Scripture says, we have no idea what the next day will bring forth. This is simple, but it is a principle that is very important and often overlooked. When we ignore this principle, we can bring calamity to ourselves. Why? Because we are transgressing (not obeying) the Word of God. So it is simply a great idea not to think about tomorrow but to think only about today and the present moment and we will get blessed. It is that simple and very important.
Let's move on to a new subject as I told you we would be doing. The subject matter in this Scripture can escalate to a very dangerous level, so you must be sharp and be aware of the characteristics of these emotions.
Wrath is cruel, and anger is outrageous; but who is able to stand before envy? -- Proverbs 27: 4
God is warning us about natural man and the wrath of that man. He simply says that it is cruel. We should know that cruel means that it is unjust and a natural man expressing wrath is usually a liar. But the next part of the verse escalates where God talks about anger and He says that anger is outrageous. This obviously means that it is worse than wrath because wrath is cruel, but anger is outrageous. An angry man can and will do things that he normally would not do. There are a number of Scriptures that tell us that we should not be angry. The way the following Scripture was taught to me, I never forgot it: “QUIT BEING ANGRY!!”
Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil. – Psalm 37: 8
As the verse in Proverbs escalates even more so, we are going to talk about an emotion that is extremely dangerous. People do not seem to realize that envy is the reason for the first murder that was ever committed. Cain was envious of his brother Abel and so he killed him. We may not think that envy is such a strong emotion, but it is one of the worst and most dangerous emotions that a man or woman can have. God says wrath is cruel, anger is outrageous, but who can stand or put up or deal with the emotion of envy? As I stated in the beginning, these Proverbs are designed to make a man wise. We cannot close our eyes to what goes on in this world – there must be a balance. To be wise, we must be knowledgeable of God's Word and He will give us all of the knowledge that we will ever need to live the more than abundant life and to counter the adversary. If you look in the center reference of your King James Bible you will see that the word jealousy is also used along with envy. These are what I call combination devil spirits. They worked in conjunction with one another. A spirit of envy is very similar to a spirit of jealousy. Many people today are tricked into idolatry by being jealous and envious of their neighbors. This is no way to live and those people will never have the peace of God or any peace at all in their lives. When you renew your mind to God's Word, we will not be jealous -- we will not be envious -- we will very seldom get angry -- and we will wish wrath upon no one even though it will happen when God allows it.
I beseech [beggingly implore] you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable [rational/logical] service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed [transfigured] by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. – Romans 12: 1, 2
One of greatest renewed mind principles you will ever learn to apply is that we are not supposed to seek vengeance. It is God's job and we are not to interfere. Every dog gets their day. You can escape man's justice, but you can never, never escape God's justice. So we learn a very good lesson from verse four of Proverbs Chapter 27. God categorizes three different emotions as to how dangerous they are. Without God's help, can we ever say that we would know this?
Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. -- Romans 12: 19
Literal meaning according to usage: Dearly beloved (decided preference), avenge not yourselves (do not seek revenge), but rather give place unto wrath -- leave a place for divine retribution: for it is written, vengeance (right justice) is mine; I will repay (give back, recompense), saith the Lord.
Let us move on to a new subject and one that is severely abused in this present world because most of us, especially those who do not have a knowledge of God's Word, do not have the courage to listen to God and to follow the following advice.
Open rebuke is better than secret love. – Proverbs 27: 5
This is such a simple statement, isn't it? Many times, when a person loves somebody, they are willing but not able, to share with that person any type of reproof or correction. Let us pick some simple examples.
Let's say a husband or wife is unknowingly doing something that really agitates the other person. But neither person is afraid to speak up. What will and can happen in the long run? Well, it's obvious that the divorce rate is now well over 50% in this country. That is because people are afraid to speak up to one another, being afraid that they will hurt the other person's feelings. So the agitation continues to build to a breaking point and that's exactly what happens to most married couples. It’s rather ironic. God is telling you that it is better to correct or rebuke a person than to have secret love, meaning to be afraid to speak up, and tell that person that they're doing something wrong.
Miscommunication among people is the reason for very high turnover rates in companies, problems in families, marriages, and the list can go on and on. Do not be a “yes” person. When you are afraid to speak up and to rebuke somebody when they are wrong, then evil will prevail. Believe it or not, I am not well liked among the unbelievers because I speak up and I tell it like it is. I do not smile and agree just to make friends, because in the long run, that person is really not your friend. If you have a friend that you can speak to openly about problems that you are having with them and they accept this correction, then you truly have a friend. You see, if I am doing something wrong, I surely want to know it. So if you tell me, I can correct that wrong action and be a better person. In a nutshell, that's what that verse is saying. You should remember this principle and learn to apply it. You just might save someone's life. Remember, you are to stand approved before God and not before people. This is a difficult principle to apply since all of our life we were taught to make an effort to be liked by everyone. This is never going to happen even if people act as if they like you. If you are a strong believer, and you see someone doing something that you would never do, that does not mean that it is wrong all the time. Because someone is different than you does not make them wrong. So you should also remember that you should not judge people. That's God's job. I had better clarify this even more so. If your good friend buys a red car and you can’t stand the color red, then you should keep your mouth shut. What your friend has done is not sin. However, if your friend buys some cocaine to go with their red car, then you should speak up. I believe the lesson is more than clear, so let's move on.
The next Scripture speaks of a principle that, at the present time, is precious to me. I have always had a very friendly nature and I, many times, have treated people as if they were believers. I wore my heart out on my sleeve and countless times, I was hurt. You never get hurt unless you allow yourself to be hurt. This Scripture that I'm about to go over gives you words of wisdom on how to deal with situations like this which are all very similar. You cannot feel sorry for the Devil and you cannot make friends with the Devil's people. Once you learn this and apply the principle in this next proverb, you will then surely be on your way to learning a most important principle that will take you to the more than abundant life.
A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself; but the simple pass on, and are punished. – Proverbs 27: 12
Believe it or not, after all these years that I have spent studying and applying the Word of God, I have only recently learned to apply this principle. It has to do with the basic nature of a person's old man. I was always referred to as a ‘nice guy’ and ‘naïve’. These qualities had to be fine tuned and the latter one had to be eliminated completely.
The Scripture says that a wise man sees evil coming. How does he do this? By Word of Knowledge -- God tells him in his heart. This man gets away and avoids and counters the enemy's moves before the enemy can attack him. This is why the manifestations of the spirit are so important. They are the eyes and the ears of the church.
Now notice that the verse says that he hides himself, but not out of fear. This is much like a figure of speech meaning that he makes himself scarce -- he gets away from this source of evil that he knows is coming. I learned that if there is evil outside my door, then I do my very best to avoid and to keep away and to not even let this evil source see me. That is what it means when the verse says he ‘hides himself’. But what does it say about the people who are simple? These are the people that have evil curiosity and run towards evil situations. You know the type -- they are referred to as busybodies. The Word says the simple pass on, they don't get away and hide themselves and avoid and ignore this evil. But they get right in the midst of it and then they wonder why they are punished. You see, it is never God's Will that you be near situations, places, people, or things that are crawling with devil spirits. God's Will is that you get away and you make yourself scarce because there is a particular reason that devil spirits are hanging around. That is because they want only one thing and that is ATTENTION. Remember, that a devil spirit is a parasite and he needs a host to live off. If you hang around places that are devilish, devil spirits and their thoughts will enter into your mind. This will truly make you feel sick in one way or another. That is what God means when he says ‘the simple pass on, and are punished’.
I cannot begin to even tell you the great benefits there are of avoiding your personal adversary. After being warned about this by another believer for many years, I finally applied this principle. I live in a neighborhood that seriously comes from Hell itself. One neighbor is a chronic alcoholic -- his wife is involved in the occult -- my other neighbor is an animal abuser -- my other neighbor makes more noise than you could possibly imagine by having motorcycles and RTVs riding around his yard. Another neighbor calls a contractor about 40% of the time because they cannot change a light bulb and she likes to flaunt her money. My life has been threatened twice, the police did nothing. What is the end result of all this? When I completely avoided these people to the point where they don't even see me and they don't even hear my voice, I avoided trouble and serious tribulation. A principle can be so simple, we can miss it for many years. And all I had to do was to close my curtains and change my lifestyle for the better. I found out, once again, that a believer who is close to God likes to be by himself. We stand approved before God and that's all that matters. If you try to make friends with the Devil or his people, he will melt your face and make your life so miserable, you wish you weren't even around. When I say ‘stand approved before God’ I don't want you to take my word for it. Here is what the Word says:
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. -- II Timothy 2: 15
This is what we are doing right now. We are studying to show ourselves approved unto God.
If you dare to learn about the spiritual influence of alcoholism, then see my teaching The Spirit That Dwells In An Alcoholic. There has been quite a controversy over this teaching that seems to upset some people. I lived with an alcoholic for over 20 years so don't tell me about alcoholics. That is the trickiest spirit you are ever going to deal with and I suggest again that you keep away from an alcoholic unless they seriously want to be delivered from this form of possession. Believe me, I didn't, and I paid the price so I am trying to help you. The only way you can help an alcoholic is if they seriously want to stop drinking and many times, just for the attention, they will act like they do. A person who is an alcoholic is not really themselves. When a person stops drinking, their personality completely changes because the devil spirit that possesses them to drink constantly is now gone. So what do I do when I see an alcoholic who couldn't care less if they quit or not? I hide myself -- I get away -- I don't let them see me -- I don't let them hear my voice. I also worked in a state mental hospital and I worked closely with a person who was an alcoholic. This guy was one of the nicest persons you could ever meet and we had a lot in common. Of course, he couldn't drink while he was in the hospital. He led everybody to believe that he was cured of his drinking habit and he was extremely convincing. One night the charge nurse decided to let him out on a pass. He got back to the ward rather late and as soon as he got in the door, he fell flat on his face -- he was drunk out of his mind. Do you see how tricky this spiritual influence can be? If you confront, and get on the bad side of an alcoholic, that spirit will do anything and everything to provoke, agitate, and aggravate you. This will happen even to the point where the person will imitate the things that you do. They will sit by their window and watch everything that you do. They will just wait for you to leave with your car so that they can leave with their car. Crazy? You bet it is. That's why I exhort people to keep away from alcoholics. An alcoholic will act so nice, it will fool even the very elect and that means people who know the Bible.
And be not drunk with wine [out of control and being used], wherein is excess; but be filled with the [by] Spirit; -- Ephesians 5: 18
When you are drunk, you are out of control and being used. Being used by what?! Being used by Satan and his devil spirits. Does that say that this person is really themselves? Of course not. They become something evil and deadly in many ways. I know from personal experience what these devil spirits are capable of. For some reason, it is referred to in the Bible as a spirit of Leviathan. In my own life, I have developed a hierarchy of devil spirits according to their strength. I rate this spirit as number two in strength and deception. Number one is a spirit of without natural affection such as you see in homosexuals and lesbians. By the way, if you wonder why these people are getting more and more rights, it is because they are Satan's five-star generals and he is rising up his army because he knows Jesus Christ is coming back soon. He wants to take as many people with him as he can.
Who changed the truth of God into a [the] lie, and worshipped and served the creature [created thing] more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. -- Romans 1: 25
For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: -- Romans 1: 26
And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence [paid back in full] of their error [weakness] which was meet. -- Romans 1: 27
That’s for the people that say the Bible doesn’t denounce homosexuality and lesbianism. Can you read?
So what do I do according to the main principle of our teaching when I see an alcoholic, a lesbian, or homosexual? I get away as soon as possible and I do not call any attention to myself. Remember, that's what devil spirits live off -- they want and live off of attention. When you don't give a devil spirit any attention, you shut off its air and it chokes and it must go elsewhere and that's your goal. We, as believers, need to stand up for God and to do that we must be at peace. That's why God says the following Scripture. It took me forever to learn this principle.
Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath [God’s wrath]: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. – Romans 12: 19
It is not our place to seek vengeance -- that is God's job. If you hang around with the unbelievers, they will agitate you to the point that you will want to seek revenge. But if you keep away, you will not feel this desire because you will not be around evil influences. When God says in the above verse to give place unto wrath, He means to get out of the way because He has a job to do. Don't stand in God's way by trying to teach someone a lesson if that lesson falls in the category of vengeance. A wise man once said to me pertaining to conflicts and violence: “The smart man walks away, but it's a hard pill to swallow.” How do we learn so much wisdom in our lifetime? Most often it is through our own personal experiences and the person who taught me this principle was one, who at one time, got into many violent fights with other people. He almost lost his job that he had for 27 years which means he would have lost everything he ever worked for. He was warned and learned from this experience and he shared it with me and I carry it with me every day of my life. Did you ever meet some people who seem to be peaceful and at ease mostly all the time? It is because they stumbled on the following principles. They avoid -- they ignore -- they don't react -- they mind their own business -- and that's what allows them to stay happy and well-adjusted. Possibly, their parents taught them such qualities. I had no real parents, they fought every day and were separated countless times and divorced twice. The only wisdom I ever obtained was from the Word of God.
That could be why I became a sold out believer because my only true Father who taught me 98% of what I know is the true God Almighty of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. We have gone over only FOUR OF THE SCRIPTURES from the book of Proverbs chapter 27, concluding with THREE MORE SCRIPTURES from chapter 3, and came up with about 6 pages of teaching! It is really amazing how much wisdom there is to learn from Proverbs. To keep the teaching a reasonable length, we are going to conclude Part One. If you’ve had a hard time applying some of these principles, remember that the renewed mind is a continuous process until Jesus Christ returns and I too admit it is not the easiest process to accomplish. But remember, every day gets better especially when the Word shows us answers to questions that have perplexed us and defeated us for a long time. Now, with our continued renewed mind efforts, we become more than conquerors and we stay that way as we, by our own free will, continue to stand.
I Beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. --Romans 12: 1, 2
Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear [respect] the Lord, and depart from evil. – Proverbs 3: 5, 6, 7
[END OF PART ONE]