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Self-deceived Perfectionists-Persecution for Righteousness' sake.

509. Would God afflict his people, had they attained permanent moral perfection?

Job 36: 8 If they be bound in fetters, and be holden in cords of affliction; 9 Then he sheweth them their work, and their transgressions that they have exceeded.

Is. 27: 7 Hath he smitten him, as he smote those that smote him? or is he slain according to the slaughter of them that are slain by him? 9 By this therefore shall the iniquity of Jacob be purged; and this is all the fruit to take away his sin.

Lam. 3: 32 Though he cause grief, yet will he have compassion according to the multitude of his mercies. 33 For he doth not afflict willingly, nor grieve the children of men.

Heb. 12: 10 They verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure: but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.

510. Self-deceived perfectionists.

Pr. 30: 12 There is a generation that are pure in their own eyes, and yet is not washed from their filthiness.

Mat. 19: 20 The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet? 21 Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. 22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions. [See 696, 703-4.]

PERSECUTION.

511. The righteous reproached and persecuted.

Neh. 4: 4 Hear, O our God; for we are despised.

Job 16: 10 They have gaped upon me with their mouth; they have smitten me upon the cheek reproachfully; they have gathered themselves together against me.

Ps. 14: 4 Have all the workers of iniquity no knowledge? who eat up my people as they eat bread, and call not upon the LORD. 22: 6 I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people. 7 All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying, 8 He trusted on the LORD that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him. 31: 11 I was a reproach among all mine enemies, but especially among my neighbors, and a fear to mine acquaintance: they that did see me without fled from me. 13 For I have heard the slander of many: fear was on every side: while

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For Righteousness' sake.

they took counsel together against me, they devised to take away my life. - 42: 10 As with a sword in my bones, mine enemies reproach me; while they say daily unto me, Where is thy God?— 44: 22 Yea, for thy sake are we killed all the day long; we are counted as sheep for the slaughter. - -64: 2 Hide me from the secret counsel of the wicked; from the insurrection of the workers of iniquity: 3 Who whet their tongue like a sword, and bend their bows to shoot their arrows, even bitter words: 4 That they may shoot in secret at the perfect suddenly do they shoot at him, and fear not. 69: 4 They that hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of mine head: they that would destroy me, being mine enemies wrongfully, are mighty: then I restored that which I took not away. 7 Because for thy sake I have borne reproach: shame hath covered my face. 8 I am become a stranger unto my brethren, and an alien unto my mother's children. 9 For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up; and the reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me. 10 When I wept, and chastened my soul with fasting, that was to my reproach. 19 Thou hast known my reproach, and my shame, and my dishonor: mine adversaries are all before thee. 20 Reproach hath broken my heart; and I am full of heaviness: and I looked for some to take pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found none. 79: 4 We are become a reproach to our neighbors, a scorn and derision to them that are round about us. - 89: 50 Remember, Lord, the reproach of thy servants; how I do bear in my bosom the reproach of all the mighty people; 51 Wherewith thine enemies have reproached, O LORD; wherewith they have reproached the footsteps of thine anointed. 102: 8 Mine enemies reproach me all the day; and they that are mad against me are sworn against me.

Dan. 7: 25 He shall speak great words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.

Jn. 10: 20 And many of them said, He [Christ] hath a devil, and is mad; why hear ye him?

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Heb. 11: 36 Others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: 37 They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheep-skins, and goat-skins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; 38 (Of whom the world was not worthy :) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.

Ultimate Triumph of the Persecuted - Persecutors abased.

Rev. 7: 14 I said unto him, Sir, Thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. [See 68, 86, 467, 740.]

512. Ultimate triumph of those persecuted for righteousness' sake.

Ps. 64: 10 The righteous shall be glad in the LORD, and shall trust in him; and all the upright in heart shall glory.68: 13 Though ye have lien among the pots, yet shall ye be as the wings of a dove covered with silver, and her feathers with yellow gold.

Mat. 5: 10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 Blessed are ye when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. 12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

Rom. 8: 17 If children, then heirs: heirs of God, and jointheirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. 18 For I reckon, that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

2 Tim. 2: 12 If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us.

1 Pet. 4: 12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: 13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. 14 If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the Spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you. On their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.

Rev. 15: 3 They sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb. [See 4, 337.]

513. God will abase persecutors.

Ps. 37: 12 The wicked plotteth against the just, and gnasheth upon him with his teeth. 13 The LORD shall laugh at him for he seeth that his day is coming. 14 The wicked have drawn out the sword, and have bent their bow, to cast down the poor and needy, and to slay such as be of upright conversation. 15 Their sword shall enter into their own heart, and their bows shall be broken.-47: 3 He shall subdue the people under us, and the nations under our feet.

Persecutors abased.

Is. 41: 11 Behold, all they that were incensed against thee shall be ashamed and confounded: they shall be as nothing; and they that strive with thee shall perish. [12]-51: 7 Hearken unto me, ye that know righteousness, the people in whose heart is my law; fear ye not the reproach of men, neither be ye afraid of their revilings. 8 For the moth shall eat them up like a garment, and the worm shall eat them like wool.-54: 17 No weapon that is formed against thee shallprosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD. 60: 14 The sons also of them that afflicted thee shall come bending unto thee: and all they that despised thee shall bow themselves down at the soles of thy feet. 66: 5 Hear the word of the LORD, ye that tremble at his word; Your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for my name's sake, said, Let the LORD be glorified: but he shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed.

Jer. 20: 11 The LORD is with me as a mighty terrible one: therefore my persecutors shall stumble, and they shall not prevail; they shall be greatly ashamed; for they shall not prosper: their everlasting confusion shall never be forgotten.

Mic. 7: 9 I will bear the indignation of the LORD, because I have sinned against him, until he plead my cause, and execute judgment for me: he will bring me forth to the light, and I shall behold his righteousness. 10 Then she that is mine enemy shall see it, and shame shall cover her, which said unto me, Where is the LORD thy God? mine eyes shall behold her: now shall she be trodden down as the mire of the streets.

Mal. 4: 2 Unto you that fear my name, shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall. 3 And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the LORD of hosts.

Rom. 16: 20 The God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly.

2 Th. 1: 4 We ourselves glory in you in the churches of God, for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure: 5 Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer: 6 Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you; 7 And to you, who are troubled, rest with

Indispensable.

us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, 8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Rev. 3: 9 Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee. - 18: 20 Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her.-19: 3 And again they said, Alleluia. And her smoke rose up for ever and ever. [See 87, 525, 550, 573,(7.)]

PERSEVERANCE.

514. Perseverance in holiness indispensable.

Mat. 10: 22 Ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved. [Mat. 24: 13.]

Jn. 15: 6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.

Rom. 2: 6 Who will render to every man according to his deeds: 7 To them who by patient continuance in well-doing, seek for glory, and honor, and immortality; eternal life.

1 Cor. 9: 27 I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means when I have preached to others, I myself should be a cast-away.—10: 12 Let him that thinketh he standeth, take heed lest he fall.

Col. 1: 23 If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled. and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister.

Heb. 3: 6 Christ as a Son over his own house: whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence, and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end. 12 Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. 13 But exhort one another daily, while it is called Today; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. 14 For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end. 4: 1 Let us therefore fear, lest a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. 11 Let us labor therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.

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