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Unleavened Bread Ministries with David Eells

Willful Disobedience Death Penalty

Malcolm Clark - 01/11/2011

This is regarding Father, How Would You Have Me Pray? where Rob Stanley started with, "I was seeking the Lord as to how to pray for those who are persecuting and slandering UBM. The Lord answered my prayers and led me to Jeremiah 11:14-23". (Jer.11:14) Therefore pray not thou for this people, neither lift up cry nor prayer for them; for I will not hear them in the time that they cry unto me because of their trouble. Ouch!

Note from David: There is a sin for which the Lord did not pay the penalty, even if a person is forgiven. {Heb.10:26} For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more a sacrifice for sins, {27} but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and a fierceness of fire which shall devour the adversaries. {28} A man that hath set at nought Moses law dieth without compassion on [the word of] two or three witnesses: {29} of how much sorer punishment, think ye, shall he be judged worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant wherewith he was sanctified an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? Notice that there is a penalty of death on this sin. It may be physical or spiritual. I have seen both happen to these people. The ultimate end of walking this way is they become "Twice dead and plucked up by the roots". The reason Paul turned the willfully disobedient over to Satan was for the destruction of the flesh so that they might be saved from this ultimate eternal end (1 Corinthians 5:5; 1 Timothy 1:20).

{1Jn.5:16} If any man see his brother sinning a sin not unto death, he shall ask, and [God] will give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: not concerning this do I say that he should make request. {17} All unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not unto death. When people are willfully walking in death, they don't need the blessings of life but chastening and the curse to bring them to repentance. Those who mistreat their brethren through hatred abide in death. {3:12} not as Cain was of the evil one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his works were evil, and his brother's righteous. {13} Marvel not, brethren, if the world hateth you. {14} We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not abideth in death.

As I'm sure you're aware, there are many precedents for God refusing to hear prayers for those who have gone too far. Here's one from Charles Finney's autobiography. You can read the full text here at the last part of the chapter:

Soon after I was converted, the man with whom I had been boarding for some time, who was a magistrate, and one of the principal men in the place, was deeply convicted of sin. He had been elected a member of the legislature of the state. I was praying daily for him, and urging him to give his heart to God. His conviction became very deep; but still, from day to day, he deferred submission, and did not obtain a hope. My solicitude for him increased.

One afternoon several of his political friends had a protracted interview with him. On the evening of the same day I attempted again to carry his case to God; as the urgency in my mind for his conversion had become very great. In my prayer I had drawn very near to God. I do not remember ever to have been in more intimate communion with the Lord Jesus Christ than I was at that time. Indeed His presence was so real that I was bathed in tears of joy, and gratitude, and love; and in this state of mind I attempted to pray for this friend. But the moment I did so, my mouth was shut. I found it impossible to pray a word for him. The Lord seemed to say to me, "No; I will not hear". An anguish seized upon me; I thought at first it was a temptation. But the door was shut in my face. It seemed as if the Lord said to me, "Speak no more to me of that matter". It pained me beyond expression. I did not know what to make of it.

The next morning I saw him; and as soon as I brought up the question of submission to God, he said to me, "Mr. Finney, I shall have nothing more to do with it until I return from the legislature. I stand committed to my political friends to carry out certain measures in the legislature, that are incompatible with my first becoming a Christian; and I have promised that I will not attend to the subject until after I have returned from Albany".

From the moment of that exercise the evening before, I had no spirit of prayer for him at all. As soon as he told me what he had done, I understood it. I could see that his convictions were all gone, and that the Spirit of God had left him. From that time he grew more careless and hardened than ever.

When the time arrived he went to the legislature; and in the Spring he returned an almost insane Universalist. I say almost insane, because, instead of having formed his opinions from any evidence or course of argument, he told me this: He said, "I have come to that conclusion, not because I have found it taught in the Bible, but because such a doctrine is so opposed to the carnal mind. It is a doctrine so generally rejected and spoken against, as to prove that it is distasteful to the carnal, or unconverted mind". This was astonishing to me. But everything else that I could get out of him was as wild and absurd as this. He remained in his sins, finally fell into decay, and died at last, as I have been told, a dilapidated man, and in the full faith of his Universalism.

On a more general note, to my knowledge the way the elders in UBM have dealt with this situation and others before it is refreshing, howbeit painful. Too often the average church either doesn't deal with "sin in the camp", or kicks people out for reasons that cannot be justified by scripture. What a contrast between the way the typical church operates and UBM, which is a small subset of the body of Christ! Praise God! Hallelujah! BTW, I'm not trying to glorify UBM; it's just great to see God demonstrating the way He operates through His people.

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