In Christ Joyce, the most effective person is he that has been crucified with Christ. He that has died and risen to newness through Christ Jesus. Yes, many are they who confess this newness but their lives say something entirely different. From the pulpit to the door there is corruption in the House called the Lord’s but in appearance can be compared to the watering holes and social dens of the sinners. Sound doctrine is rare in the Church because quantity and gain are more of the focus than the very heart and soul of the Lord and a perishing people. To Christ from the church, souls should be added daily; souls to Christ and not bench warmers to a building, not a few more dollars in the treasury and a number to the church’s membership record. Catchy sermons are of more importance simply for the accolades of people and not for the converting of souls. In our seeking Joyce to save those who are lost, that seeking isn’t geared to the world alone but is also geared to the lost in the church.

Observation of William the corpse shows him to be in a better condition in the physical realm than John the vagabond who is very much alive in the physical realm. William the corpse has exited the realm that lead to his demise. Now what was coursing through his mind while he drank himself into the impaired state that he was in when he left the bar; the writer of the episode does not say. He could have very well made peace with his creator and only God knows. Yet, William has left the misery he had endured while he was yet alive. Death was the solution to his issues. Spiritually if he had not made peace with God then, he has greater misery than the misery he endured while he yet lived. {Luke 16:19-31}

John the vagabond has now entered into a new life. He has been removed from the gutter, the filth, the stench, the lack and the poverty and has stepped into plenty and luxury. He thinks that his misery is gone. He doesn’t know how he found the penthouse that is now his abode but he’s found it and oh how glad he is. He has not made the connection to the shoes on his feet.  Whenever John looks into the mirror he never sees the face of the corpse, he only sees himself and takes great delight in his appearance; his clean shaven face, his hair in place, and the glow that radiates him because of his new found life. He is unable to see that he has taken on the identity of the corpse in the alley.

All too soon people who knew William the corpse when he was alive, started dropping by his home. The friends of William were rich, rowdy, and revelers. They were party people, drunkards, gamblers, and loose.  They would look at the vagabond and see William; they could not see John. John didn’t exist. John was even addressed as William by William’s associates. Knowing that he wasn’t William; John decided to let what he thought was a mistake on the part of his new found friends, fly. He decided that he would be whomever the people wanted him to be as long as he could have access to his new found way of life. 

Day in and day out for some time the life style of John increased. His friends rarely slept, barely ate. From the rising of the sun to the setting of the same the supposed good life kept moving. After a while the life style began to get old. It began to be tedious, it began to steal John’s joy, his peace. John became tired; there was hardly any physical rest, no mental rest and of course little to no spiritual rest. John found himself having little to no control of his own life. Seeking his own way to gain some normalcy to life; John decided that he would tell the new found associates who he really was. John thought that by him doing so; the associates would then leave him alone and he could enjoy his life and riches in a more normal way. Well….John did just that. He told the associates who he really was. The people laughed John to scorn. They thought he was losing his mind. “Wow…William is trippin'”. the associates thought. Never the less they just kept coming and coming and doing all that they normally did when they came; the drinking, the excessive laughter, the loud music. They created smoked filled rooms, played endless games of pool and some of the associates would get into heated arguments and scuffles.  John couldn’t understand why his associates could not see that he wasn’t William.  John didn’t know that William the corpse was who he looked like, acted like, sounded like, and walked like. Every time he ran to the mirror to look at himself to see if he saw who the people say he was, he could only see himself; John, the once was vagabond.

No one believed him when he continuously proclaimed that he was someone else. John was alone in his inward identity with no one on the face of the planet to confirm and or validate his claim. John didn’t exist anymore. Both William the corpse and John the vagabond died on the same day yet one left the earthly realm to be held somewhere else and the other was left in the earthly realm to suffer the agonies of life; a life that was shapen through iniquity and sin. John could have made a different choice than the one he made when he came upon William the corpse. He could have removed the wallet, identified the corpse and sought authorities.  John reminds us of Achan from  Old Testament History. Let ‘s take a look at it and see the comparison. Please keep in mind what was written to the Corinthian Church in reference to the recordings of Old testament History.

1 Corinthians 10:11-13 The Message (MSG)

These are all warning markers—DANGER!—in our history books, written down so that we don’t repeat their mistakes. Our positions in the story are parallel—they at the beginning, we at the end—and we are just as capable of messing it up as they were. Don’t be so naive and self-confident. You’re not exempt. You could fall flat on your face as easily as anyone else. Forget about self-confidence; it’s useless. Cultivate God-confidence. No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; he’ll always be there to help you come through it.

Israel Is Defeated at Ai

But the sons of Israel acted unfaithfully and violated their obligation in regard to the things [off limits] under the ban [those things belonging to the Lord], for Achan, the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, from the tribe of Judah, took some of the things under the ban [for personal gain]. Therefore the anger of the Lord burned against the Israelites. Now Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which is near Beth-aven, east of Bethel, and said to them, “Go up and spy out the land.” So the men went up and spied out Ai. Then they returned to Joshua and said to him, “Do not make all the people go up [to fight]; have only about two thousand or three thousand men go up and attack Ai; do not make the entire army go up there, for they [of Ai] are few.” So about three thousand men from the sons of Israel went up there, but they fled [in retreat] from the men of Ai. The men of Ai killed about thirty-six of Israel’s men, and chased them from the gate as far as [the bluffs of] Shebarim and struck them down as they descended [the steep pass], so the hearts of the people melted [in despair and began to doubt God’s promise] and became like water (disheartened).

Then Joshua tore his clothes and fell face downward on the ground before the ark of the Lord until evening, he and the elders of Israel; and [with great sorrow] they put dust on their heads. Joshua said, “Alas, O Lord God, why have You brought this people across the Jordan at all, only to hand us over to the Amorites, to destroy us? If only we had been willing to live beyond the Jordan! O Lord, what can I say now that [the army of] Israel has turned back [in retreat and fled] before their enemies? For the Canaanites and all the inhabitants of the land will hear about it, and will surround us and cut off our name from the earth. And what will You do for Your great name [to keep it from dishonor]?”

10 So the Lord said to Joshua, “Get up! Why is it that you have fallen on your face? 11 Israel has sinned; they have also transgressed My covenant which I commanded them [to keep]. They have even taken some of the things under the ban, and they have both stolen and denied [the theft]. Moreover, they have also put the stolen objects among their own things. 12 That is why the soldiers of Israel could not stand [and defend themselves] before their enemies; they turned their backs [and ran] before them, because they have become accursed. I will not be with you anymore unless you destroy the things under the ban from among you. 13 Rise up! Consecrate the people and say, ‘Consecrate yourselves for tomorrow, for thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: “There are things under the ban among you, O Israel. You cannot stand [victorious] before your enemies until you remove the things under the ban from among you.” 14 In the morning you shall come forward by your tribes. And it shall be that the tribe which the Lord chooses by lot shall come forward by families, and the family which the Lord chooses shall come forward by [separate] households, and the household which the Lord chooses shall come forward man by man. 15 It shall be that the one who is chosen with the things under the ban shall be [killed and his body] burned with fire, he and all that belongs to him, because he has transgressed the covenant of the Lord, and because he has done a disgraceful and disobedient thing in Israel.’”

The Sin of Achan

1So Joshua got up early in the morning and had Israel come forward by tribes, and the tribe of Judah was chosen [by lot]. 17 He had the families of Judah come forward, and the family of the Zerahites was chosen; and he had the family of the Zerahites come forward man by man, and Zabdi was chosen. 18 He brought his household forward man by man; and Achan the son of Carmi, son of Zabdi, son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, was chosen. 19 Then Joshua said to Achan, “My son, I implore you, give glory to the Lord, the God of Israel, and give praise to Him [in recognition of His righteous judgments]; and tell me now what you have done. Do not hide it from me.” 20 So Achan answered Joshua and said, “In truth, I have sinned against the Lord, the God of Israel, and this is what I have done: 21 when I saw among the spoils [in Jericho] a beautiful robe from Shinar (southern Babylon) and two hundred shekels of silver and a bar of gold weighing fifty shekels, I wanted them and took them. Behold, they are hidden in the ground inside my tent, with the silver underneath.”

22 So Joshua sent messengers, and they ran to the tent; and they saw the stolen objects hidden in his tent, with the silver underneath. 23 And they took them from the tent and brought them to Joshua and to all the sons of Israel, and spread them out before the Lord. 24 Then Joshua and all Israel with him, took Achan the son of Zerah, the silver, the [royal] robe, the bar of gold, his sons, his daughters, his oxen, his donkeys, his sheep, his tent, and everything that he had; and they brought them up to the Valley of Achor (Disaster). 25 Joshua said, “Why have you brought disaster on us? The Lord will bring you disaster this day.” Then all Israel stoned them [to death] with stones; afterward they burned their bodies in the fire. 26 Then they piled up over him a great heap of stones that remains to this day. Then the Lord turned from the fierceness of His anger. Therefore the name of that place has been called the Valley of Achor (Disaster) to this day.

What bothered John more than anything was the misery that presented itself in his new life. How can having everything you want in life hold such misery; he’d ask himself and ponder. Yet, John didn’t want to let go. Freedom from his misery would have simply been to let go of every thing that he had taken from the corpse and walk away; leaving even the shoes he had taken.  Like Achan in Old testament history John, saw, coveted or wanted, took and then hid. Bible history does not record the inner turmoil that Achan experienced simply because he thought that his sin was hidden and he dared not discuss it with anyone. His sin was hidden from the eyes of man but not from the all seeing eye and all knowing God. One of the dangers of hidden sin is, it gives ones the illusion of power. Hidden sin creates an evil confidence, and evil delight or joy. I just brought to your mind Joyce the lyrics from a song a song writer sang many years ago in reference to adultery. Please record the lyrics.

Okay Holy Spirit. The song writer sang “Love is so good when you’re stealing it.” I see your point Holy Spirit.

Thank you Joyce.  A man or woman takes great delight in deceiving a best friend by indulging in a relationship with his or her friend’s mate. They take delight and experience a surge of power in the sneaking, the lying, the deception. They display inner characteristic that the father of sin possesses meaning, Satan himself. Did the wicked one make them commit the sins. Of course not. The wicked one simply fueled the flames of sin that was already in the ones committing the sin. “

You shall not covet your neighbor’s house . . . your neighbor’s wife . . . nor anything that is your neighbor’s” (Exodus 20:17). The 10th Commandment looks at our motivations.

Instead of giving up all and walking away, John began to literally drown himself in top shelved bourbon. John was alone and miserable. John had the answer to his misery yet, the answer is not what John wanted to adhere to. John wanted his cake and wanted to eat it as well. It wasn’t the riches that brought John’s misery, it was what was in his heart. The lust, the greed, the pride, and the misguided expectancy. Imagine John reasoning and rationalizing: ” I was homeless, poor, hungry, destitute. I scraped, and scrambled; I just got by…I deserve what I have now.”  {Proverbs 17:1 – “Better is a dry morsel with quiet than a house full of feasting with strife.”} [Gaining wealth through dishonesty is no gain at all. But honesty brings you a lasting happiness. Proverbs 10:2 {The Passion Translation} Proverbs 16:2  All a man’s ways seem innocent to him, but motives are weighed by the Lord. (New International Version)

Let’s examine John a little closer. Though being a vagabond, John possessed the ability to move around. He had the activity of his faculties. John shows that his mental status is intact. There is a great probability that his homelessness was by choice and not by force. With this assessment, could John not have sought better means of providing for himself. Could not his lack of life’s necessities been of his own doings?

Let’s look closer at Achan. He wanted to obtain possession that he wanted outside of the will of God. He sought after what the world depicts as riches of the good life. Achan already had the riches of a good life. He had what other nations around him did not have. Achan had the God of Creation. He had God’s provisions, and His protection. Achan had God’s presence which is more valuable and awarding than any material possession. Achan’s desire for the accursed things shows that his heart was mixed. He wasn’t fully sold out in his commitment to the Lord. Achan was trying to love two.  Matthew 6:24-26 Amplified Bible (AMP)No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon [money, possessions, fame, status, or whatever is valued more than the Lord].

Had Achan stayed true to God he maybe would have had more in life that the few things that he coveted and took. Like John; Achan probably reasoned and rationalized with himself.A little compromise won’t hurt anything. The little that I have taken will have little value among the abundance that is left”.  It is the small foxes that destroys the vine.


Please follow us to the Mixed Heart Conclusion III …………