Expression is a vital element in the life of human beings. For every act performed and every word spoken there is an expression accompanied. In part, all people communicate with expressions. Some expressions cause joy, while others reveal sorrow, fear or guilt. Every time a person expresses he or she does it with a certain expression. This expression is visible in their faces. If one speaks harshly, the expression in his face bears witness for his harshness. If one speaks gently, her gentleness is understood in the expression of her face. Usually, a person’s severe condition can be understood by the expression on his face; and expressions go along with word and tongue. Again, one may not express his hatred or love toward another with his tongue, but the expression of his face gives them away. If a man commits a transgression and is questioned concerning it, it will be impossible for him to escape, since his wrongdoing is revealed from the expression of his face. A truthful man’s expression is always bold and confident, since his doing is righteousness. If this is the advantage for a man over another, the advantage for God, who created man, is immeasurable over him.
Israel did not understand the advantage that God had over them. When they sinned, they were not concerned. They boldly sinned, in broad day light, and were able to continue, since their number which gave them power to sin was great. They defended their iniquities with this power and overcame any, whether a prophet or a priest that came across them. Yet, they never triumphed over the mighty God with it. To God their sin, even the secret one, was as visible as light. Human beings generally accumulate certain witness through their conscience from the right and the wrong they do, since their conscience immediately produces it. This certain witness always produces an expression that cannot escape God’s notice, though sometimes it escapes men. This is because man is God’s workmanship. Again, when wicked men commit wickedness, they are fearless and speak of it boldly among themselves, since they assume the power to defend it. They do not consider the difference between sin and righteousness, and this too is known by the expression of their faces. This was the nature of Israel of those days. Concerning this Israel God said, “The expression of their faces bears witness against them, and they display their sin like Sodom; they do not even conceal it. Woe to them! For they have brought evil on themselves” (Isa. 3:9).
It is generally the nature of the ungodly to bear witness against themselves by the expression of their faces. God’s children ought to be quite the opposite. The expression of our faces must bear witness for us. This witness is only possible when God lives inside us. Whether it was the Israel of those days or Christians in these days God always desired and desires that all be righteous. The righteousness of God in us is what gives the kind of expression that speaks for us before God. It is candidly known among Christians the sin of Sodom. The sin they committed was doubly atrocious and hence, was unbearable to God. The name of the city, Sodom, did not come after the sin it committed, but is now always associated with the sin its people committed. Hence, even the world when it speaks of such sin (homosexuality) refers back to Sodom and the act as sodomy. Their sin was doubly atrocious because they openly committed it i.e. they were unbending to conceal it. In the latter days when Israel sinned against God, were also unbending toward concealing their sin. In other words, they were apathetic of the fact that their God was watching them. What was the result? They brought evil upon themselves. What was the evil? It was their enemies that besieged, killed and plundered them. This came about when God, who happened to be their hedge round about, left them.
Christians ought not to be this way. They are the called out people through Christ to inherit blessings and not be bereaved of God’s protection. Yet, it is sad to notice many of them bereaved of God, their hedge, and to see some more taking the sinful path of Israel. These are publicly displaying their sin. Whether it is regarding their marriage, belief in God or the habits and acquaintances they make in life, they are not afraid to go against God. Is lack of knowledge the reason for this? Perhaps, one might presume. But, was it the lack of the Law that Israel sinned against God? No, it was the lack of regard for the Law. So also is the case with these Christians. The word of God is always present before them, but they are not regarding it for producing righteousness. What they believe is not what they have to believe, but is what they want to believe. How they live or speak is not by what they have to, but by what they want to. Hence, they continuously sin. Now, they are and will always be associated by the sin they commit, though they were first called Christians. “He said to me, ‘Son of man, these are the men who devise iniquity and give evil advice in this city’” (Ezek. 11:2).
Yes, these are the ones who destroy the souls of others. They lurk into people’s lives with their sin and when welcomed will misguide them with their evil advice. O, how sin builds itself up from one transgression to another and increases as that which is unbearable! Immorality, covetousness, filthiness, silly talk, coarse jesting and empty words have become the order of the day for many Christians including their leaders and preachers. Christians speaking foul language and evil are unwilling to let the Spirit of God produce righteousness in them. Their thoughts are evil; their great number gives them the power to defend their sin among men. Yet, the expression of their faces and their public display of sin like Sodom speak against them, before God and before those with God. Therefore, if evil falls upon them, it is because they have brought it upon themselves. They will be handed over to Satan, the enemy. “Thus He showed me, and behold, the Lord was standing by a vertical wall with a plumb line in His hand” (Amos 7:7).
When your sin has become unbearable to God, you have fallen beyond His plumb (measuring) line. God will remove Himself from being a hedge around you. It has thus happened, since you did not have regard for His word. The result of which produced in you false beliefs concerning God. False beliefs lead to thoughts and works that lack the seal of God. When each one of us come to God by believing His word just as it ought to be believed and receive the things spoken for our benefit, we have regarded His word. This word is He. Nevertheless, we ought to surrender to Him as one without strength. Then, Christians shall capture every command, guidance and teaching that comes from the word. This Word is everything, since “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1). This emphasizes the power and significance of the word toward us. When God worked in the past, it was indeed the word that worked. When God works, it is the word that works. If we are saved by God, then it is by the word. If the word speaks to us, then it is God speaking to us. For this reason, though we do not see Him face to face, we have seen Him, because we have the word. If one can speak volumes concerning God and His ability to perform works beyond imagination, he has actually spoken concerning the word. This word is full of grace and truth. God is moved by us only when we believe in the One we see i.e. the word. Hence, it is believed that God speaks and works through His word.
This is the truth about God’s word. Do not be deceived; for many are in this world with false beliefs concerning His word. This is due to lack of regard for God. They have fallen beyond the plumb line of God, but are working with the power they gathered from people like them existing in great numbers. “A little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough” (Gal. 5:9). If you have a little regard for their teachings and works, it will eventually fill you up and destroys your soul. It is for this reason that Israel displayed their sin like Sodom. They allowed the nations to settle among them when they were few. But, their evil works overcame Israel when their number which gave them power became great. The whole of Israel was corrupted to such extent that they brought evil upon themselves. The church too is in grave danger. If the teachings that are not of the word enter our hearts, evil will also come upon us, since the expression of our faces bears witness against us. Examine yourself to see if you are the leaven or if there is a leaven among you. For which is more important to you – to keep the leaven or the free gift of God?
To choose to be with God is having regard for His word. Since you were called “according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure” (1 Pet. 1:2). This is the word that placed you on a solid ground. If you have been living in this word, you have chosen the free gift of God over the leaven by the sanctifying work of the Spirit. The Spirit of God has produced in you the heart to forsake false beliefs and its leaven. You have come to Jesus and accepted His call to repent and be baptized for the forgiveness of your sins. You have received grace and peace in the fullest measure. Now, the expression of your face is no longer like that of the ungodly, and it bears witness for you before God. O, how wonderful it is to be filled with the complete grace and peace of God! All that you are is because of them. All that you need is through them. All that you accept, reject and escape is because of them. You have received them from God the Father, who is the word. Therefore, if one says that the word of God does not permit such and such or work in such and such manner, because of what they have not seen, know that they are not from God.
Men may not understand your turning to God. Leaders and preachers may not see the need for you to forsake their way in order to enter into the Way. Hence, they will be enraged at you and deny you. However, God will eventually provide them with the necessary knowledge; they will receive an explanation. The expression of their faces will bear a witness. The word that works in you will produce such glory to God that they will understand. “And he summoned one of the servants and began inquiring what these things could be” (Luke 15:26).