Fred R. Coulter—August 27, 2005

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As I mentioned in the first sermon, I was amazed that when we get into studying about the 'spirit of man' and man's reaction and how it interacts with his mind, his heart and his emotions, and how important that is with God. I think we need to realize that as God created us in His image, He personally made us with His own hands. Then, as we read in the book of Job where Elihu said that 'the Spirit of God formed me,' and how human beings are created and so forth. It just really brought to mind that God has made us special, to have a relationship with Him. That's why He's given us the 'spirit of man'—so that we can communicate with God, God can communicate with us and that we can receive the Spirit of God, and eventually develop the character of God.

Someone gave me a very interesting thing, which I thought was fairly profound and I'm convinced it's probably really true. It went like this: A woman read in the Bible that God refines like sliver is refined. In the refining that God is watching while the refining is going on. She went to a silversmith and said, 'I would like to see how you refine silver.' He said, 'Okay, I'll show you.' So he got the silver, and he said the first thing you need to do is put it in the 'hottest part of the flame.' So then it melted and she could see some of the things burning off and some of the slime going to the side. She asked him, 'How do you know when it's purified.' He said you have be careful with it because if you don't watch it all the time you could burn it up and destroy it. But you watch it 'until you can see your image in it'—which is pretty profound.

So, if we are being refined like silver, God is watching us. What is He waiting for? He is waiting for His character in us to be reflected back to Him. We are made physically in the 'image of God'; we have been given a spiritual character and quality that none of the animals have, while they have been given a spirit of whatever animal they are to give them the instinct to function and have a wee bit of intelligence. We're the only creation of God made in His image that can have a relationship with Him.

It all begins with the 'spirit of man.' Let's review 'the seven spirits of God.' This is how God deals with the whole world. All men and all women have the 'spirit of man.' Let's go back to Revelation, the first chapter, and Christ is the One Who directs the 'seven spirits of God.' And, as we will see, these are called the 'eyes of God.' I know we've covered this, but I think it's important that we review it so we understand. Not all spirit is Holy Spirit. God has made things composed of spirit. Just like everything that we see on the earth is composed of the dust of the earth. But not everything that's on the earth equals human beings. So likewise, God has created certain things out of spirit in the spirit realm. He's created angels and they are called 'ministering spirits,' but we know that they have form and shape. Some of them have form and shape as human beings. Some of them have form and shape as we would call 'animal.' And they all have different functions. We also have the spirit that God uses to do things other than make beings. This is where the seven spirits come into play.

The seven spirits, as we're going to see, are active in the world and also in the Church. Revelation 1:4: "John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace and peace be to you from Him Who is, and Who was, and Who is to come; and from the seven spirits that are before His throne." Since Jesus has all authority, He uses the seven spirits to keep in constant touch and communication with what's going on, on the earth.

Revelation 3:1: "And to the angel of the church in Sardis, write: These things says He Who has the seven spirits of God…" Notice these are not Holy spirits. The Holy Spirit comes from God the Father and Jesus Christ.

Revelation 5:6—here we find that the seven spirits are called the 'seven eyes of God': "Then I saw, and behold, before the throne and the four living creatures, and before the elders… [and the angels—thousands and thousands of angels] …was standing a Lamb ashaving been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes,which are the seven spirits of God that are sent into all the earth."

As I mentioned before, we can understand this because we know about satellites spy systems and drone planes and so forth—they can fly along and they can pick up anything; they can read license plates from hundreds of miles above the earth. So, if men can do that with the physical things, think what God does with a machine, as it were, called 'the seven eyes of God' that goes through the whole earth seeing what's going on. There are seven continents, I wonder if there's an eye for each continent—we don't know! This is talking about a spiritual realm.

But when God took two angels with Him and was going to go destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, He said, 'We have come down to see if the cry that has reached us from Sodom and Gomorrah is as bad as it is.' Of course, Abraham probably figured, yes, it is as bad or worse. 'So, Lord, what if there are fifty, will you spare it?' Then he got all the way down to ten, He said, yes, he'd spare it for ten. And as it turned out there were only three that were willing enough to obey God and leave.

Let's come here to 2-Chronicles 16:9—let's see what these eyes of God do and what they are for. "For the eyes of the LORD… [these are the seven spirits which are called 'the eyes' of the Lord.] …run to and fro throughout the whole earth… [God knows what's going on at all times on the earth.] …to show Himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward Him…."

2-Chronicles 15:2, and let's see what happened here. Azariah was one of the prophets of God: "And he went out to meet Asa, and said unto him, 'Hear you me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin; the LORD is with you, while you be with Him…"—key important principle. If you are not with God and doing what God says, you cannot expect Him to be with you. And He knows!] …and if you seek Him, He will be found of you… [we find the same thing in the New Testament—don't we. 'Seek and you shall find; knock and it shall be opened; ask and you shall receive.' With the seven spirits, which are the seven eyes, God is communication with the whole world. He does deal with people that He does not call for salvation at this particular time. With that, He knows those who are truly seeking Him (we'll see the operation of that a little later on—how He deals with people that He calls.) But nevertheless, a person who would be in real difficult trouble and pray to God and ask God to help him or her. That prayer God can answer. It's not a matter of salvation, but it's a matter that in that particular time, they cry out to God, they're trusting Him—even if it's momentarily—God will hear them and answer the prayer. Now, if they go on their merry way and forget about it later on, well then, obviously, then they're going to find themselves in difficult circumstances later on.

We're going to look at some new Scriptures here: In Zechariah 4. Again, the whole point that I want to make in this is very important, which is this: God is in constant communication with the things going on, on the earth—all the time, everywhere. And God knows! We'll talk about free moral agency here in just a minute.

Here we have an angel. Here's a messenger of God—Zechariah 4:1 "And the angel that talked with me came again, and waked me… [We'll see how God deals with people in their sleep many, many times; and even with world leaders.] …as a man that is wakened out of his sleep, and said unto me, 'What see you?' And I said, 'I have looked, and behold a candlestick all of gold, with a bowl upon the top of it, and his seven lamps thereon, and seven pipes to the seven lamps, which are upon the top thereof. And two olive trees by it, one upon the right side of the bowl…" (vs 1-3).

Verse 14—this will tell us what these two olive trees are. This is prophecy going back to Rev. 11 about the two witnesses. "Then said he, 'These are the two anointed ones, that stand by the Lord of the whole earth.'" That is referring to the two witnesses. It says, 'These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands' (Rev. 11). Special mission for God!

Verse 4: "So I answered and spoke to the angel that talked with me, saying, 'What are these, my lord?' Then the angel that talked with me answered and said unto me, 'Know you not what these be?' And I said, 'No, my lord.' Then he answered and spoke unto me, saying, 'This is the Word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, 'Not by might, nor by power, but by My spirit,' says the LORD of hosts" (vs 4-6). What we're finding here is several aspects of the operation of the Spirit of God: an angel and also the Spirit of God to do things.

Can the Spirit of God stir people up to do things even though they are not converted? Yes! Let me just mention something here: How many have listened to the whole works of The Messiah by Handel—fantastic music! We don't know if he was converted or not—do we? But we can tell by the music and the inspiration of the music that God had to inspire it. So let's assume that the man was not converted, but seeking to do something for God. And God said, 'All right, I'm going to send My Spirit to be with him to inspire him to do it.'

Exodus 35:21—after Moses gave the message that they were going to build the tabernacle and he wanted to take up an offering from all of those who were willing-hearted. "And they came, every one whose heart stirred him up… [that's an important thing. We're going to see the heart.] …and every one whom his spirit made willing… [We have the heart and the 'spirit of man' working together, and God will use that to do what He wants.] …and they brought the LORD'S offering to the work…"

Verse 29: "The children of Israel brought a willing offering unto the LORD, every man and woman, whose heart made them willing to bring for all manner of work, which the LORD had commanded to be made by the hand of Moses."

Exodus 36:1: "Then wrought Bezaleel and Aholiab, and every wise-hearted man, in whom the LORD put wisdom and understanding… [Here God is imparting a special gift to them. That's not necessarily by the Holy Spirit, but by the spirit to do that. The Holy Spirit is reserved for the begettal from God the Father.] …to know how to work all manner of work for the service of the sanctuary, according to all that the LORD had commanded. And Moses called Bezaleel and Aholiab, and every wise hearted man, in whose heart the LORD had put wisdom,even everyone whose heart stirred him up to come unto the work to do it" (vs 1-2). So, yes, God can use people who are not converted to do His will.

Back to Exodus 35:31: "And He [God] has filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship." That doesn't necessarily mean that it is the Holy Spirit of begettal. There's a difference. This is God giving part of His Spirit. which is more than just the Holy Spirit, to do the things that needed to be done. So, yes, there we have it right there.

A couple comments were made about Pharaoh and hardening the heart and so forth. This shows you how God and work and deal with people, not necessarily in a way of converting them, but using them to do what He wants. After all, if you are going to make all the implements for the tabernacle and everything that is there, according to the plans that God gave Moses, then you have to have people skilled to do it—right? And it has to be done the way that God wanted it done. And after the account of Aaron and the making of the 'golden calf' you wanted to get men to do what God wanted rather than make a golden calf.

All right, let's see how the 'eyes of God' work. Back to Zechariah 4:6 and let's see what it says of those seven. We just saw an example: "…'Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit,' says the LORD of hosts…. [So God can stir up the spirit of men. He can give them of His Spirit, though not a begettal for salvation, to do and accomplish His will. So when some people do something that is absolutely fantastic and inspiring and they say, 'I had God's help'—probably did!] (In building the things of the temple and so forth): …the headstone thereof with shouting, crying, 'Grace, grace unto it.'"

Verse 9: "'The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house…' [v 10]: …For who has despised the day of small things?…. [God rejoices in small things, even the least who accomplish what He wants] …for they shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel… [that is to build the temple] …withthose seven; they are the eyes of the LORD, which run to and fro through the whole earth." What I want us to understand is God is in communication with the whole earth—isn't He? Communication with people on the earth—whether for good or whether for evil—to carry out His will; to accomplish what He wants done. And as in a case that was brought up in a comment: As in the case of Judas Iscariot, to accomplish His will and also to use Satan the devil, how Satan also interferes with the 'spirit in man' to also accomplish his will.

Let's come to Psalm 33:12: "Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom He has chosen for His own inheritance. The LORD looks from heaven; He beholds all the sons of men" (vs 12-13). How does He do it? With the seven eyes! If He wants to get personally involved, He will, as in the case of martyrdom of Stephen, when the heavens opened and he looked and said, 'I see the Son of man standing at the right hand of God.' Normally He's seated, but in this event He was standing and looking—like it is here:

Verse 14: "From the place of Hs habitation He looks upon all the inhabitants of the earth. He fashions their hearts alike; He considers all their works. There is no king saved by the multitude of an host. A mighty man is not delivered by much strength…. [look at Goliath] …A horse is a vain thing for safety… [Look at Joash, he thought he would go out on a chariot when the Lord said 'don't go fight.' Joash said, 'I'm going to go fight and disguise myself.' He went out and what happened? BANG! An arrow got him.] …neither shall he deliver any by his great strength. Behold, the eye of the LORD is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy; to deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine" (vs 14-19). So, God knows! He is there! You think about some of these miraculous things that have happened.

One just happened in this recent storm—Katrina. There was a whole family that was stuck on a boat out there in this storm and no one could get to them and no one knew where they were. One little boat out there in the thrashing of the storm in the sea. They all survived, and I just imagine that they all prayed and God heard and answered that prayer. Not for the sake of conversion, but because they prayed and trusted in Him for deliverance. So He did! God knows!

This would help an awful lot with the instruction of children if they understood this. There's a little book which used to be read and taught in all the grade-schools back in the 19th century. It was a primer all about God, commandments of God, and everything just absolutely marvelous! It was in the 19th century, but it went back 125 years before that to 1776 and taught in all the schools in America. Amazing thing! Of course, you go back before that when the pilgrims came; they came with a Bible—didn't they? It was the Geneva Bible and so forth. That's how people educated themselves—by reading the Bible.

Here we have how God is contact and in communication with people. Let's come over here to Psalm 34:14: "Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it…. [Why?] …The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry…. [When God looks down and sees evil, what happens?] …The face of the LORD is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth…. [and He does—doesn't He? Without a doubt!] …The righteous cry, and the LORD hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles. The LORD is near unto them that are of a broken heart; and saves such as be of a contrite spirit" (vs 14-18). So this is all done because God is watching the earth.

Let's look at some more concerning the 'eyes of the Lord.' Let's go to Job 34:21. In our world today, because we are enamored with the accomplishments of men, and so busy in kicking God out of everything, people know very little about God; know very little about what we're reading here; what God is doing, because they are so almighty and so important and know everything that there is. You can see that in the debate that's raging even in the news now between evolution and Intelligent Design.

Job 34:21: "For His eyes are upon the ways of man, and He sees all his goings. There is no darkness, nor shadow of death, where the workers of iniquity may hide themselves" (vs 21-22). What did Jesus say? We're going to have to come before the throne of God and give account for every idol word that has been spoken. So here's part of it. God knows!

Job 36:1—and Elihu, as we pointed out before: 'the Spirit of God in me' and so forth: "Elihu also proceeded, and said, 'Suffer [allow] me a little and I will show you that I have yet to speak on God's behalf. I will fetch my knowledge from afar, and will ascribe righteousness to my Maker. For truly my words shall not be false. He that is perfect in knowledge is with you…. [he's not taking any credit for himself] …Behold, God is mighty, and despises not any, He is mighty in strength and wisdom. He preserves not the life of the wicked, but gives right to the poor. He withdraws not His eyes from the righteous…" (vs 1-7). So, God is watching all over us. And how many times have things been done, or you have done what you would call 'mundane, physical' things that you know could only come from God? That can happen in many different ways. You can avoid an accident. You can be out looking for something, shopping, and all of a sudden a fantastic bargain that no one else in the whole store has discovered—you come upon it! Yes!

Now, along with that, let's understand this: If God knows the number of hairs that you have on your head; and if God is concerned with even the smallest thing—and is He not concerned with the smallest thing, with the cells and things that make up our bodies and compose everything that there is? And His eyes are on us all the time. And if we do the things that please Him—that doesn't mean we're without troubles and problems, and that doesn't mean we don't have sins we need to overcome; that doesn't mean our attitude is perfect and righteous all the time. You may be even mad and ticked-off about something, because of the difficulty you're going through. But that doesn't mean God has given up on you. It just means He knows what you're going through.

"He withdraws not his eyes from the righteous, but with kings are they on the throne; yea, He does establish them forever, and they are exalted. And if they be bound in fetters, and be holden in cords of affliction" (vs 7-8)—because of their sins. Remember what Manasseh did? Fifty-five years of abomination! Sent off into captivity, bound in fetters by the king of Assyria into Babylon and he was put into prison. Lo and behold he repented! Not like the jailers today. If they throw you in jail, they want to forget you. So God, inspired, answered his repentance; caused him to be brought out of the dungeon, sent back to Jerusalem as the vassal king under the Babylonian-Syrian Empire at that time. What did he do? He destroyed all the idols and abominations that he set up in the house of the Lord.

Very interesting! "Then He shows them their work, and their transgressions that they have exceeded. He opens also their ear to discipline… [This is a perfect example of]: …and commands that they return from iniquity. If they obey and serve Him, they shall spend their days in prosperity, and their years in pleasures…. [You can take this and you can apply it to kings, prime ministers, presidents, and so forth, and see—because God deals with all the leaders of the world—that this is the thing that He does.] …But if they obey not, they shall perish by the sword, and they shall die without knowledge" (vs 9-12). So God is active and intervening—isn't He? Just put in your notes: 1-Peter 3:12, because Peter says, 'The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous.'

Let's go the book of Jeremiah. I tell you, the 'eyes of the Lord' and the different uses and the different forms of 'spirit' that are in the Bible, it's just really kind of overwhelming. Here we can say:

  • How long have we been in the church?
  • How long have we studied the Bible?
  • How long have we known this and that and the other thing?

—and never really got into this. Amazing! But, that's the way life goes.

Jeremiah 32:17: "Ah Lord GOD! behold, You have made the heaven and the earth by Your great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for You. You show lovingkindness unto thousands, and recompense the iniquity of the fathers into the bosom of their children after them. The great, the mighty God, the LORD of hosts is His name. Great in counsel and mighty in work; for Your eyes are open upon all the ways of the sons of men, to give everyone according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings" (vs 17-19).

Verse 27: "Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for Me?" So God knows! He keeps up on His creation—doesn't He? He knows exactly what's going on.

A lot of people are saying the way that the earth is heating up, it's got to be all of the carbon-dioxide and everything we're putting into the air. NO! It's coming from within the earth. You can't heat the oceans from exhaust hovering over it; and raise the temperature five to seven degrees. It has to come from the heat from inside the earth.

Let's look at something else which goes with the 'spirit of man.' We've talked about the heart, the mind and the spirit. There's another aspect of men that is a little difficult to comprehend, but this is kind of something that God can use, and that man also uses. Let's come to Psalm 139—I know we covered that quite in depth previously, but I just want to pick it up here, because it's something that God created in us. Something that is there that defines it in a way that we don't know. But it tells us this; the best thing I can figure is this: It is how God can direct us or test us or find out how we are doing at any time. It is called 'reins.'

Psalm 139:13: "For You have possessed my reins…." I'm still not clear on this and how it works, but it has do something with the 'spirit of man' the mind and the heart. You might see in your center margin 'kidneys.' God is not interested in your kidneys—trust me!—only except as they function to help the body eliminate. This is describing part of the mind that is called 'reins' that men know nothing about. So the best they can come up with to interpret it, since the Hebrew word is close to what 'kidneys' are, they say this is 'kidneys.' No! it's something beyond that. This undoubtedly has to do with how God guides us, but also, we're going to see that every man does have control over his 'reins' to a certain extent.

This is likened to reins with a horse. When you first break a horse—and I saw a wonderful documentary on how to break horses without getting on them and getting yourself all kicked out. It's understanding horses, understanding 'horse language' in their looks and their emotions and what they are. This one man was so fantastic. First of all he made friends with it. Then he had no trouble training it to put the bit in its mouth and put the saddle on it's back and work with him gradually—walk around with it—and finally he was able to get on and no bucking and kicking and everything. He could use the reins to direct the horse wherever he would go.

Now, when a horse is trained good, you don't even need the reins. The rider and the horse know each other so much that the rider just has to lean to the left, the horse will go to the left; lean to the right, go to the right. Built on trust and respect and love. This man who trains the horses this way, people come to him to help break bad habits that their horses have gotten into because they didn't know how to handle them, and the horse didn't know how to respond.

Let's go to Psalm 32—here's what we are not to be. We do have the reins, but then we are admonished. Here's what God tells us to be careful of. All of this has to do with the

  • spirit of man
  • the reins of man
  • the eyes of the Lord
  • the Spirit of God

—all together. Those of us who have the Spirit of God because we've repented and have been baptized and received the begettal of the Holy Spirit all of these things apply to us! Not all of them apply to the whole world and everybody in the world. Everyone has the 'spirit of man'; everyone has the 'reins.' We're going to see a little later here that choices have a lot to do with it, as brought out right here:

Psalm 32:8: "I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which you shall go. I will guide you with Mine eye…. [there again God is watching over us—right?] …Be you not as the horse, or as the mule, that have no understanding; whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near unto you" (vs 8-9). That is a horse that isn't controlled. So, we're not to be like that.

Let's look at some of the things concerning the reins right here in the book of Psalms. Let's come to Psalms 7:8: The LORD shall judge the people. Judge me, O LORD, according to my righteousness, and according to mine integrity thatis in me…. [That has to come from God!] …Oh, let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end; but establish the just; for the righteous God tries the hearts and reins" (vs 8-9). So the 'reins' are connected to the heart. The heart is connected to the mind and emotion; and the mind and emotions and heart and reins are all connected to the 'spirit of man,' which then needs the Spirit of God.

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After God says, 'God possesses the 'reins'—in other words, through the 'reins' God is able somehow to communicate to man without necessarily verbalizing it, through the reins—'the LORD has given me counsel. My reins also instruct me in the night seasons.' I know this: Many times I have come across things just by lying in bed thinking, or lying in bed praying. I know that God has given me the understanding and He must have done it through what is called the 'reins.' Because God controls the reins, He has given you the spirit, and He has given you the mind, and if the spirit of man is not working in you, your mind is not working. Then the mind and the heart are connected. So we have:

  • the reins
  • the mind
  • the heart
  • the spirit

all together—and we can add in there that's what produces:

  • emotion
  • intelligence
  • thinking

and all of these things. What all of that is, is a spiritual operation in a physical body.

Today they're able to make robots—aren't they? And they're even trying to get them more human. But, they will only work in what they have been programmed to do. That's why human beings are different. They function entirely different.

Psalm 26—I found this really, really very interesting concerning the 'reins.' The question was: Does this mean you're awake or asleep? It could be both. How is that you're thinking on a problem, you can't solve it, you go to bed thinking about it, you wake up in the morning and you have the solution? What has happened? Your mind, your spirit, reins all working together to come to a solution. This also helps answer some questions: How are you able to come up with things after you've thought on them; maybe you've forgotten something and it comes back to you, and so forth.

Here we're going to see how God dealt with David, which is differently than He deals with people in the world. The thing we though of in the past is this: 'God doesn't deal with anybody in the world; He only deals with us.' Not so! God created all human beings. But He does deal with those whom He's called and given the Holy Spirit to in a special way.

Psalm 26:1: "Judge me, O LORD; for I have walked in mine integrity. I have trusted also in the LORD; therefore, I shall not slide. Examine me, O LORD, and prove me; try my reins and my heart" (vs 1-2). So here we have the reins and the heart. God is testing. God is proving. God developing character in us—isn't He? How?

  • through the reins
  • through the heart
  • through His Spirit

Verse 3: "For Your lovingkindness is before mine eyes, and I have walked in Your Truth." Very interesting, the marginal reference to 'reins' at this point is 'the mind' rather than kidneys. It just came upon me: When you look at both parts or both hemispheres of the brain, they do look like large kidneys—don't they?

Psalm 73 is a very good example of how God works with you and how you come to a solution when you go to God—especially when you're up against something you cannot understand. That's what happened here in Psalm 73. This is a Psalm of Asaph. Asaph was one of the priests there at the special sanctuary where David had the Ark of the Covenant in his house. And he couldn't understand how the wicked were prospering, and why those who were righteous were having difficulties. It seemed as though that those in the world, who prosper in the world and increase in riches, look like they have every blessing and benefit that you could ever want. He's perplexed in this.

So he says here: Psalm 73:13: "Verily I have cleansed my heart in vain… [trying to overcome human nature and lust and things like this—and yet,
'I'm not rewarded in the way that it seems that the wicked are rewarded, and the wicked have everything that they want and reject God. So this was a terrible predicament that he couldn't figure out.] …and washed my hands in innocency. For all the day long have I been plagued, and chastened every morning…. [Just like it gets back to the silver that I mentioned earlier. You put it in the hottest part of the flame and you hold it there, but you have to watch it until it comes to the point of purification. So it kind of reminds me of that in reading this.] …If I say, 'I will speak thus'… [give my opinion] …behold, I should offend against the generation of thy children. When I thought to know this, it was too painful for me" (vs 13-16).

Have you ever had a headache trying to figure something out and you just can't figure it out, and it just 'knocks you for loop'; or the problem is so great that your mind just kind of tilts. Have you ever played a pinball machine? You hit it and hit it and hit it and finally it goes tilt! Sometimes mentally we do that? Tilt! So there he is. 'It's too painful for me to know.'

Verse 17 is the key. Watch as we read this: "Until I went into the sanctuary of God… [he was able to do that because he was the one in charge of the sanctuary where the Ark of the Covenant was in the house of David. Now, today, through prayer and crying out to God, we can enter into the sanctuary of God in heaven above—correct? Yes!] (So let's see the parallel here): …then understood Itheir end." In other words, prosperity in the world is not the sum total of goodness in life.

"Surely You didst set them in slippery places. You cast them down into destruction. How are they brought into desolation, as in a moment! They are utterly consumed with terrors…. [When these things come upon them, they totally fall apart! Why? They trusted in their wealth; they trusted in the physical things instead of God!] …As a dream when one awakes; so, O Lord, when You awaken, You shall despise their image. Thus my heart was grieved… [This verse is really profound] …and I was pricked in my reins" (vs 18-21). Here it has to do with:

  • heart
  • emotion
  • understanding

—and being pricked in the reins means this: You come to the right conclusion! So, when he went to God and asked for help to understand this—and repented, and saw that the wicked are not that prosperous and all that sort of thing—then his 'reins' were pricked!

"So foolishwas I, and ignorant. I was as a beast before You…. [So, WOW! I tell you! Have you ever gone through anything like that? Yes! Like this ad for Vonage phones—don't do stupid things.] (this is something we need to learn and know): …Nevertheless I am continually with You…. [We need to learn this: In spite of everything that goes on, never give up on God, because He's never given up on you!] …You have upheld me by my right hand. You shall guide me with Your counsel, and afterward [not during] receive me to glory. Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is none upon earth that I desire beside You. My flesh and my heart fails, but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion forever. For, lo, they that are far from You shall perish. You have destroyed all them that go a whoring from You. But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord GOD, that I may declare all Your works" (vs 22-28).

Here is a perfect example of how God works with us through trials and difficulties to lead us to understanding how God deals with us through trials and difficulties—and He'll see us through.

Jeremiah 11:18: "And the LORD has given me knowledge of it, and I know it; then You showed me their doings. But I was like a lamb or an ox that is brought to the slaughter; and I knew not that they had devised devices against me, saying, 'Let us destroy the tree with the fruit thereof, and let us cut him off from the land of the living, that his name may be no more remembered. But, O LORD of hosts, that judges righteously, that tries the reins and the heart… [Now, somehow in the midst of all the trials and difficulties we are going through God is there trying the reins, the heart, the spirit and so forth] …let me see Your vengeance on them, for unto You have I revealed my cause" (vs 18-20).

Jeremiah 17:9—we've gone over this verse many, many times—haven't we? "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked. Who can know it? I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins…" (vs 9-10). God is keeping, or can keep at any time He wants, a spiritual temperature on all of us. He tries the reins; He tries the heart; and He does it to those who are in the Church as well.

Revelation 2:23—this is talking about the church in Thyatira and all the problems and difficulties that they were going through. "And I will kill her children with death… [those who get involved with Jezebel, the world and fornication, spiritual fornication and all of that] …and all the churches shall know that I am He Who searches the reins and hearts… [all of it together] …and I will give to each of you according to your works."

We have:

  • The eyes of the Lord
  • The seven spirits which are the seven eyes
  • The reins and the heart

Now, let's look at the spirit that is in man. We've seen how that

  • the 'spirit in man' has been formed by God within us.
  • He's given it to us.
  • The Spirit of God forms us.

Now, let's see something else what the 'spirit of man' does.

Let's go to 1-Corinthians, the second chapter. The 'spirit of man' (as we're going to see) can be affected in many different ways. We'll see what the 'spirit of man' is for here. Then we'll see what the 'spirit of man' is for God. This all ties in with what we've covered with the heart and the reins and so forth.

1-Corinthians 2:11: "For who among men understands the things of man except by the spirit of man which is in him?…." This gives us intellect. This gives us thought. And also, as it says in James 2, for 'without the spirit the body is dead.' So it

  • has to do with life
  • has to do with thought
  • has to do with intellect
  • has to do with choice

God has given us choices. He says, 'I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing, therefore, choose life that you and your seed may live, and love God.' all of these choices involve the 'spirit of man,' and the heart and the mind, and God tries the reins. "…In the same way also, the things of God no one understands except by the Spirit of God."

We'll get back to the rest of that. We want to focus in on the 'spirit of man' and how that works and how God works with the 'spirit of man.' Let's come back to Proverbs 20. I find this really quite a fantastic thing. It helps open up our understanding to realize that God is more involved in the world and people—whether converted or not converted—than we have ever thought of. Because He's given us the 'spirit of man,' He has given us a mind and heart and reins, He is able to intervene and help us in many different ways.

Proverbs 2:27: "The spirit of man is the candle of the LORD… [in other words, through this, through the reins, God knows everything about everyone. But, He chooses not to exercise this in a 'policeman' fashion. Isn't that amazing? Just think how men would use this power to rule and control and make automatons out of everyone. God doesn't do that. He gives choice. He gives righteousness or sin. Good and evil. Life and death.] …searching all the inward parts of the belly." In other words, your whole life is completely open before God! That's why—remember the incident when Nathaniel started coming up to Jesus (John 1) [transcriber's correction] and He said, 'Behold, an Israelite in whom there is no guile.' And it says, 'I saw you under the tree before Peter called you.' And what was Nathaniel's response. 'My Lord, my God!' because he understood directly that only God could have the power to do that. That's why it says in another place, 'no thought can be withholden from God.' Why? Because He made and created us!

Let's look at some other things concerning the 'spirit of man' and what it does and so forth. Let's come to Job. And I'm amazed how much there is in the book of Job. Let's understand something concerning the book of Job. Did you realize that the book of Job was written long before the time of Moses, and is one of the oldest books in the Bible. And how much they understood about the spiritual things is how God worked and how God deals with people in the earth was really amazing.

Job 20:1: "Then answered Zophar the Naamathite, and said, 'Therefore, do my thoughts cause me to answer… [here he is, his mind is whirling around. Just like you when you're sitting listening to a conversation. You're hearing, just like we're going through the Scriptures here and I'm teaching and so forth, your mind is working and therefore, when you have a good comment raise your hand, that's a good time to put it in, because you're thinking right along with it—just like it is here] …my thoughts cause me to answer and for this I make haste…. [In other words, 'I want to tell you something, Job, before I forget.'] …I have heard the check of my reproach, and the spirit of my understanding causes me to answer" (vs 1-3). So there again, the 'spirit of man' is making things work—with the mind, the heart, the emotions, with the reins.

Now, let's come to Proverbs 16:1 and we'll spend a little time here. Proverbs 16 has quite a bit about the 'spirit of man' and how it functions. "The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue is from the LORD…. [God gave all the ability] …All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes… [everyone thinks he's right] …but the LORD weighs the spirits" (vs 1-2).

We find another essential thing that is important, especially for us today in the age that we are living in. Here's the key; the way you bring your mind and spirit and emotions into control is this way, v 3: "Commit your works unto the LORD, and your thoughts shall be established."

  • you have got to go to God
  • you've got to repent to God
  • you've got to ask God to help you

—on a continuous and daily basis. And sometimes even a minute-by-minute basis, just depending on what the circumstances are and where you are and what's happening and what you're doing.

Here's how you overcome sin—begins within—v 6: "By mercy and truth iniquity is purged… [You tie that together with v 3. Where does sin originate? In the mind. Jesus said, 'Out of the heart of men proceed evil thoughts and so forth (Mark 7). So, if you commit all your ways to the Lord, your thoughts shall be established! That's what's important. And by mercy and truth, by having the Truth of God in you, God's mercy in you and extended to you, inequity then is purged] …and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil." Quite a fantastic thing—isn't it? Yes!

Now, let's notice v 18: "Pride… [which is part of human nature and part of the evil expression of the 'spirit of man' through the mind] …goes before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall…. [I've got in my margin here: Pharaoh! A prime example! Another one: Job! Nebuchadnezzar!] …Better it is to be of an humble spirit…" (vs 18-19)—rather than a haughty spirit; which shows this: with your mind, your emotion, with God's Word and obviously then, those of us converted with God's Spirit in us and with the humility then we will gain the spiritual growth and understanding we need. 'Better is it to be of a humble spirit.' We have control over our spirit—don't we? A haughty spirit by choice and practice, or a humble spirit by choice and practice. That is reflected by what is called in the world today attitude! And even people in the world understand that—don't they? Have you ever been in a really good attitude? Yes! You're feeling what? Good! On top of it! Everything's fine! Then all of sudden something comes along and BAM! and all of a sudden you're in a bad attitude!Yes!, we all go through that—don't we? Yes!

The solution is v 3: "Commit Your works unto the LORD, and your thoughts shall be established." Because it does effect your spirit and you are in charge and control of your spirit. God has given that to you to have the power to think, the power to choose. But you have to choose what is right.

Verse 19: "Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud." You can tie that in with what we read back there in Psa. 73.

Come over here to v 32, and this tells it all: "He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that rules his spirit than he that takes a city." This is very important, which shows what? We have to control our spirit! God has given the spirit to do so, which means that with God's Spirit,

  • by choice
  • by committing our works to the Lord
  • by having mercy and truth

purge inequity from within, our thoughts will be established and therefore, we are responsible for the choices which we make—whether they be for good, or whether they be for evil. God expects us to rule our own spirit. And that, let me say, by the way is a life-long project that you have to keep working on all the time! It's not something that you can come up and say one day, 'I have conquered myself.' No way! Life is growing and overcoming.

Proverbs 15:1—this also talks about the 'eyes of the Lord' and the 'spirit' and so forth. "A soft answer turns away wrath… [that is a lifetime project for me!] …but grievous words stir up anger…. [that's how arguments come about. You get mad! You're not controlling your spirit! You become filled with pride and selfishness, so you have to make your stand for yourself against others—rather than standing for Truth and righteousness! Quite a difference!] …The tongue of the wise uses knowledge aright: but the mouth of fools pours out foolishness…. [Keep in mind both of those verses] …The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good" (vs 1-3). How does He do that? Through the seven spirits, which are the seven eyes, which go through the whole earth to know what's going on!

Verse 4: "A wholesome tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit." Now, what does that mean? That means that you can train your spirit to be so perverse that it's a breach of the use of the spirit that God has given to man! That's why some people are dedicated to evil and can't change!

Comment was made: Isn't that because they don't have the fear of God? Yes! Because they do not have the primer that was given to the American children in public schools for over 125 years. Oh yes, we are so smart we've got to get rid of God! First step to great trouble! and a downfall! It gets down to the choices. See how all of this comes together. So what we are talking about is a whole package—the parts of a whole package. And a whole person, with all of those things going, is still deficient because every one of us needs the Spirit of God to complete it. And without the Spirit of God—which requires repentance and baptism and yielding to God and to study God's Word, to know what it is so we can change our very minds and hearts—there is never any solution to controlling the mind, controlling the spirit, controlling the emotions.

Today they try and do it with drugs. In the schools they have more Prozac, and it's because silly women—most of them who are teachers cannot handle strong-minded boys and girls, so they put them on Prozac and Ritalin. They need strong male teachers with discipline, with absolute definitions of right and wrong so to train the mind and the heart and the spirit and emotion of those young children, so they will be equipped to make choices. Today, what they have in school are cognitive dissidents. Little minds of children cannot handle adult choices. When they give cognitive dissidents to children to give an outcome based solution, they are not telling them why their wrong, good and evil. Children's minds are made for the absolutes of this is right and this is wrong; do this, don't do that; and that's all a part of teaching them to grow up.

Now, when they grow up and they haven't internalized those things in their minds as children growing up, then when they grow they can still go off and make the wrong choices. That's why you read in the Old Testament about these good kings and what happens? Their kids turn out to be 'crappy'! and sinful! And their parents didn't teach them that. Then on the other hand, you have an evil and wicked king—like Manasseh and Amon—and out of that you have one of the most righteous kings: Josiah! It's an amazing thing when you read through there about the ways of the kings and so forth; it's amazing how that followed.

I think part of it is that the children are so close to those things that they're being taught that are right and they listen but they don't practice, because in their own minds, they want to do differently. It's natural for kids to want to do the opposite of what their parents teach them. I think a lot of it comes out that way. Now, not all children are that way. Some are not that way, but some are.

Verse 13—this does affect the heart and mind: "A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken." I think that's what's the matter with a lot of people out in the world today—their spirits are broken. And I think that's what you call depression! It can be healed by going to God for His help, through His Spirit. Can be healed by making the choice to not let the sorrows get you down. Sometimes that's very hard. It can be said, 'Well, that's easy to say.' Yes, it is easy to say, but it is hard to do! But nevertheless, is the solution.

There are many ways you can see this happen. When you are depressed and down, what do you tend to do? If you have a television you want to get something that is light, that is uplifting, that has some good, clean comedy. If you like to have music that uplifts you, that helps healing the spirit. Also, the modern music today is made to destroy and pervert the spirit. So this shows the difference. If you get down and depressed, you want to hear good things. You want to hear cheerful things. You want to hear good music. You want to be around people that will uplift you. That's important. That will help heal the 'broken spirit.'

Proverbs 17:22: "A merry heart does good like a medicine… [and they also know this—don't they? What do they try and do with people who are in depression? They even have such a thing now that is called 'laughter therapy.'] …but a broken spirit… [so it can be broken, it can be perverse] …dries the bones." It affects your health. That's why people with prolonged mental problems and depressions become sick. Why does it say 'bones'? Because from the marrow of your bones blood is produced and the life is in the blood! So what it's saying here: that a 'broken spirit' brings about a shriveling of the body or premature aging. It affects the very core of your life. As we have seen, if there's a breach in the spirit—there's a broken spirit—it can be healed. But you have to work at it.

Now, let's look at one more—Proverbs 18:14: "The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity…" There are people who use the spirit that they have to go through any difficulty in life and have a positive outlook and not worry about the difficulties that they find themselves in.

Just the other day I came out to the parking lot here, and as I was going out to get in my car, here came this hand-cranked bicycle with the big wheels on the back and a little wheel in front and the handles to turn it, and there was a man with no legs. He was out having a ball cranking his little tricycle and he had an antenna on the back with a flag on it, so wherever he went someone could see this flag wagging. He was going wherever he wanted. And I bet he was going 15 mph just going through the parking lot. I thought: Here's a man who has a choice. He could sit home and lie in bed and say, 'Oh, what an awful thing. I lost my legs.' (I don't know how he lost them.) 'I have no hope in life. I don't want to live any longer. I don't want to do anything anymore. This is terrible! My life has been taken away from me!'

That's the next one: "…but a wounded spirit who can bear?" (v 14). This man said, 'All right, I've a life to live.' I'm just guessing what he thought, because he was not lying in bed. 'I have life to live. I can still do things. So, I'm missing my legs. Can I still be as whole a person as I can?' Yes! Why? Because he chose to do what was right. "The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity; but a wounded spirit who can bear?"

Proverbs 25:28: "He that has no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls." Now, think of that in relationship to opening up to demon possession and influence. Ruling over your own spirit means you must rule over it how? By making right choices based upon the Word of God. That's how you rule over it. God gave the spirit; He expects us to rule over it rather than let it be depressed or broken or bitter.

Proverbs 29:22: "An angry man stirs up strife, and a furious man abounds in transgression. A man's pride shall bring him low, but honor shall uphold the humble in spirit" (vs 22-23). Quite a contrast—isn't it?

And of course, all the things that we talked about we all go through one way or the other—don't we? Yes!

Old Testament Scriptures from the King James Version
New Testament Scriptures from The Bible in Its Original Order by Fred R. Coulter

Scriptural References:

  1. Revelation 1:4
  2. Revelation 3:1
  3. Revelation 5:6
  4. 2 Chronicles 16:9
  5. 2 Chronicles 15:2
  6. Zechariah 4:1-3, 14, 4
  7. Exodus 35:21, 29
  8. Exodus 36:1-2
  9. Exodus 35:31
  10. Zechariah 4:6-7, 9-10
  11. Psalm 33:12-19
  12. Psalm 34:14-18
  13. Job 34:21-22
  14. Job 36:1-12
  15. Jeremiah 32:17-19, 27
  16. Psalm 139:13
  17. Psalm 32:8-9
  18. Psalm 7:8-9
  19. Psalm 26:1-3
  20. Psalm 73:13:28
  21. Jeremiah 11:18-20
  22. Jeremiah 17:9-10
  23. Revelation 2:23
  24. 1 Corinthians 2:11
  25. Proverbs 2:27
  26. Proverbs 20:1-3
  27. Proverbs 16:1-3, 6, 18-19, 3, 19, 32
  28. Proverbs 15:1-4, 13
  29. Proverbs 17:22
  30. Proverbs 18:14
  31. Proverbs 25:28
  32. Proverbs 29:22-23

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Revelation 11
  • 1 Peter 3:12
  • James 2
  • John 1
  • Mark 7

Transcribed: 1-3-10