August 29, 2008
THE DEATH OF THE SIMPLE
An Eschatological Warning
By: Pastor Bill Randles
“For at the window of my house I looked through my lattice. And saw among the simple, I perceived among the youths, a young man void of understanding. Passing along the street near her corner; And he took the path to her house, in the twilight, in the evening, in the black and dark night.” (Proverbs 7:6-9)
The book of Proverbs like all scripture, is multifaceted, it goes beyond being God’s psychology, as I noted in the previous post, although it is indeed that. It is also more than a collection of divine maxims, the teaching of morality, people skills, and practical insights for daily life. It is all that and more, it is in fact prophetic, it is an eschatological revelation.
Consider the similarity in the structure of Proverbs and the book of Revelation. Both of them have the theme of choosing between two rival women. The book of Revelation features the vision of the woman in labor, beset by the beast, sheltered by the Lord, carried away to safety on eagle’s wings. It culminates in the vision of the Bride, pure and holy, made ready for her heavenly husband, the Lamb.
She has a counterpart in Proverbs, the virtuous woman who fears the Lord. She cries out in the streets to admonish the simple, she prepares a feast of bread and wine to those who heed her call, and the Proverbs ends with a celebration of her virtues - gladness that it was she who was chosen and not the other.
But the theme of Revelation features a second woman from beginning to end, the Harlot. She is called “That woman Jezebel who calls herself a prophetess and teaches my servants to commit fornication…”(Rev 2:20). She is also seen sitting upon a beast, drunk on the blood of saints and having a brazen headpiece with blasphemous names written on it. For a little time she is given great power and influence, but ultimately judgment comes upon her at the end.
She has a counterpart in the book of Proverbs as well, the strange woman. We are told that the words of Proverbs are given:
“To deliver you from the strange woman, even from the stranger which flattereth with her words; which forsaketh the guide of her youth, and forgetteth the covenant of her God. For her house inclineth to death and her paths unto the dead. None that goeth unto her return again, neither take they hold of the path of life.” (Proverbs 2:16-19)
The virtuous woman has a teaching for the simple, but the ‘strange’ woman has an alternative teaching, each offer the key to understanding. In chapter nine of Proverbs, lady Wisdom teaches us that to “fear the Lord is wisdom, and by the knowledge of the Holy comes understanding”. The strange woman counters with a teaching that the enjoyment of sin is satisfying, and that illicit experience is the key to understanding.
“Whoso is simple, let him turn in here, and as for him that wanteth understanding, she saith to him, stolen waters are sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant.” (Proverbs 9:16-17)
It should be obvious by now what these two women represent. They are the Biblical way of describing the true and the false church, the Bride and the Harlot! They either propagate the wisdom of this fallen age, or the wisdom of God. Human history culminates in both the “Wedding Supper of the Lamb”, or the “Judgment of the Great Whore”. There is a direct spiritual parallel between idolatry and adultery. Salvation is a marriage, the church is a Bride, Israel is God’s wife. There is a true Bride of Christ and there is a parody, a harlot church.
With that backdrop in mind, look with me at the eschatological understanding of Proverbs one.
The naive young man wandering, “void of understanding”- as explained in the previous post, this means he has no sense of the Holy (Proverbs 9:9), no concept of the awful, transcendent majesty of God. He is drawn in his boredom and emptiness to the harlot church.
It is at first “twilight”, but darkness comes fast, soon it is evening, ere long it is “the black and dark night”. The night is a metaphor for the Tribulation. Before the dawning of the long awaited millennial Sabbath Day, the night grows black and dark, Evil is allowed to reach its zenith, the rebellion against the Holy God comes to a head. (I believe we are well into the “twilight”).
“There met him a woman with the attire of a harlot and subtle of heart.” (Proverbs 7:10)
She looks like a harlot, she is gaudy and overdone. She has subtlety in her heart - concealed motives. Look at TBN, or the tattoo covered and pierced Todd Bentley that thousands around the world considered to be a prophet of God. I know you can’t judge a book by its cover, and that only God knows the heart, but appearances do account for something. What does she want?
“She caught him and kissed him and with an impudent face said unto him, I have peace offerings with me, this day have I payed my vows. Therefore have I come forth to thee, diligently to seek thy face, and I have found thee.’’ (Proverbs 7:13-15)
Hers is a mixture of flattery and antinomian salvation. “I have come to seek you”. It’s all about Y-O-U! (seeker sensitive church?) – But she professes a salvation that makes no moral demands, “ I have peace offerings” - (I have been saved by sacrifice, I am at peace with God!), but she then proceeds to describe the bed of her adulteries in sensual terms! What kind of salvation is that? It is the new all grace and no law salvation of the harlot church!
“Come let us take our fill of love until the morning; let us solace ourselves with loves .For the Goodman is not at home, he is gone on a long journey; he has taken a bag of money with him, and will come home at the day appointed.” (Proverbs 7:18-20)
Her message is all love - there are no calls to repentance or obedience to the Lord. There are no moral demands made in the name of the holy God. It is an experienced based religion, light on doctrine, “dogma”, but heavy on sensual experience.
The only other theme is the denial of the immanent return of Jesus, “the Goodman”. Of course there is the obligatory acknowledgment that He “will come home at the day appointed”, but the harlot church doesn’t regard the coming of Jesus as an immanent, urgent, practical reality.
“With her much fair speech she caused him to yield, with the flattering of her lips she forced him. He goeth after her straitly, as an ox goeth to slaughter, or as a fool to the correction of the stocks." (Proverbs 7:21-22)
So many pastors I know have been flattered, seduced, caused to yield to unbiblical deceptions such as Toronto Blessing, Purpose Driven Life, the Pensacola delusion. What is it that they have been “caused to yield”? They have given up their critical faculties, the ability to discern. They have in the name of church growth yielded up their calling to protect God’s flock from the wolves who ravage them. They have yielded to the unbiblical fads, and even to destructive heresies so that they would not appear to be ‘Pharisees’, faultfinders and heresy hunters. Therefore they have yielded to the seduction time and again, and their flocks have been utterly ravaged.
These apostate pastors “go after her straitly” every time. No matter how wrong these false prophets prove to be, or how utterly undiscerning these ‘apostles’ constantly are, they will follow them. How does it feel to be one of those ‘leaders’ who publically endorsed Bentley, in many cases knowing his marriage was a disaster. False prophets Paul Cain and Bob Jones both were exposed as sexual deviants, and even temporarily removed, but they had a ready constituency upon their re-entry into ministry.
This is a matter of eternal life and eternal death for many. It becomes a matter of the relevance of the church, God’s witness, the “pillar and ground of the truth” as Paul calls it. The consequences of consorting with the strange woman are extreme.
“Hearken unto me now therefore O ye children, and attend to the words of my mouth, Let not your heart decline unto her ways, go not astray in her paths .For she has cast down many wounded; yea many strong men have been slain by her. Her house is the way to Hell, going down to the chambers of death.” (Proverbs 7:24-27)