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Vengeance Is Mine, I Will Repay Sayeth The Lord (Romans 12:19, KJV)
Conflict in the lives of believers between our human (fleshly) nature and that of the Holy Spirit residing within is often intense. We are naturally inclined to do wrong and it is His will that we do right. So the often painful reality of being born again and receiving the Lord into our lives is that it causes problems! And if anyone professes to have received Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior—but do not experience such conflict—their claim of faith is not genuine.
“For the desires of the flesh are opposed to the [Holy] Spirit, and the [desires of the] Spirit are opposed to the flesh (godless human nature); for these are antagonistic to each other [continually withstanding and in conflict with each other], so that you are not free but are prevented from doing what you desire to do” Gal. 5:17 (Amplified Bible).
So if a believer goes ahead and does wrong in spite of the Holy Spirit’s restraining influence, we will wind up paying for it!
“Those whom I [dearly and tenderly] love, I tell their faults and convict and convince and reprove and chasten [I discipline and instruct them]. So be enthusiastic and in earnest and burning with zeal and repent [changing your mind and attitude]” Rev. 3:19 (Amplified Bible).
Daily contact with other humans—100% of whom possess a sinful nature just like us—absolutely guarantees friction and the potential for “fur flying.” We were born selfish, having a strong inclination to look out for number one, and thus head butting is inevitable. No matter how gentle one’s personality may be, sooner or later someone is going to say or do something to bruise our ego and make us angry. The word “childishness” was obviously derived from the observation of young children as they fuss and fight with each other trying to have their own way. And to truly mature into a responsible adult, we must learn to ignore a lot of things that go against our basic instinct of “me, my, and mine.”
But maturing as a Christian is a much harder task than that of a child growing up into an adult. To mature spiritually involves a daily effort to go far beyond just the avoidance of overt conflict that typifies the norms of civilized society. The average person considers it a good day when they can get through it without having a confrontation with someone else—even though unresolved hostility often remains simmering just beneath the surface. And hostility always carries with it the desire to retaliate if the opportunity ever presents itself. So go ahead and admit it—all of us are “cut off the same bolt of cloth” where such things are concerned.
That is why the principles of the Kingdom outlined by the Lord in His Sermon On The Mount (Chapters 4 through 7of the Gospel of Matthew) strike us as being utterly impossible to perform. Such things as His exhortation to “turn the other cheek” (Matt. 5:39) when we are slandered, insulted, and mistreated by others instantly prompts a response of “you gotta be kidding me!” Right? That is because we loathe the very idea of letting someone get away with such an affront to our dignity. Everything within our fleshly nature screams that SELF is to be valued and protected above all else.
But in order to please God and grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ (2 Pet. 3:18), believers must come to the realization that SELF has to be destroyed.
“For if you live
according to [the dictates of] the flesh, you will surely die. But if through
the power of the [Holy] Spirit you are [habitually] putting to death (making
extinct, deadening) the [evil] deeds prompted by the body, you shall [really and
genuinely] live forever”
To the degree that we are successful in this process of sanctification—putting aside SELF and growing in Christ—the Holy Spirit fills the void where SELF once lived. Then to that same degree His supernatural power is demonstrated through our lives as He wields His influence upon others. And we must never be deceived into thinking that this influence is limited to just the salvation of souls. Many believers (and especially evangelical preachers) seem to think that converts are the sole fruit of lives yielded to Christ, but they are overlooking another aspect altogether. The world-wide restraint of sin through the lives of God’s people is also a vitally important ministry of the Holy Spirit.
“For the mystery of lawlessness (that hidden principle of rebellion against constituted authority) is already at work in the world, [but it is] restrained only until he who restrains is taken out of the way” 2 Thess. 2:7 (Amplified Bible).
And I am convinced that the ongoing evangelical preoccupation with numbers is masking another fact: God’s people as a whole are not “letting their lights shine before men” because apostasy is rampant. And once again, this principle is defined in the Sermon on the Mount:
“Let your light so shine before men that they may see your moral excellence and your praiseworthy, noble, and good deeds and recognize and honor and praise and glorify your Father Who is in heaven” Matt. 5:16 (Amplified Bible).
That SELF is winning the battle and God’s hand of restraint is slowly being withdrawn should be obvious to all concerned, but apparently this is not the case.
Talk is cheap, but genuine actions are precious—especially when they shine through the ups and downs of the rat race in which we find ourselves living today. So please be aware that enthusiastic and aggressive witnessing to others is actually detrimental to the cause of Christ if they cannot see your “light.”
Of course we need to tell people about the salvation that can be received through Jesus Christ, but make sure you “use the product yourself” before recommending it to others!
According to God’s Word, SELF (the flesh,
“Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest
in the sight of all men.  If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live
peaceably with all men.  Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but
rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is
mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.  Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed
him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so
doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his
head.  Be not overcome of evil,
but overcome evil with good”
Many years ago (during my wayward youth) I heard a profane comedian make the statement, “Love your enemies and drive ‘em nuts!” He said it to be funny, but if we stop to think about it, the principle is scriptural. “Do good to them that hate you and pray for those which despitefully use you” (Matt. 5:44, Sermon On The Mount)—so swallow our sinful pride, follow this admonition and the offending party will be repaid far more than if we got in the flesh by seeking revenge. Because if in this life they never receive Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, “coals of fire”—additional degrees of punishment—will be their lot throughout eternity as a direct result of what they did to us. VENGEANCE IS MINE; I WILL REPAY SAYETH THE LORD. And no amount of payback on our part could ever be as complete.
Also there is a “here and now” aspect of God’s pay back for injustice done to His children. And I believe we see this principle demonstrated in the life of the Apostle Paul. Because as Saul of Tarsus (before he took the name of Paul), he savagely persecuted the Church:
“For I am the least [worthy] of the apostles, who am not fit
or deserving to be called an apostle, because I once wronged
and pursued and molested the
“You have heard of my earlier
career and former manner of life in the Jewish religion (Judaism), how
I persecuted and abused the
Then when the Lord met him on the road to
“But Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard many people tell about this man, especially how much evil and what great suffering he has brought on Your saints at Jerusalem; 14 Now he is here and has authority from the high priests to put in chains all who call upon Your name. 15 But the Lord said to him, Go, for this man is a chosen instrument of Mine to bear My name before the Gentiles and kings and the descendants of Israel; 16 For I will make clear to him how much he will be afflicted and must endure and suffer for My name’s sake” Acts 9:13-16 (Amplified Bible, emphasis mine).
So bear in mind that we must not retaliate against anyone—especially brothers and sisters in Christ—no matter how much we think they “deserve it,” because our heavenly Father chastens those whom He loves.
If you have been born again and received Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, but have been very lukewarm in your spiritual walk with Him, you need to immediately ask Him for forgiveness and for renewal. He will instantly forgive you, and fill your heart with the joy of the Holy Spirit. Then, you need to begin a daily walk of prayer and personal Bible Study.
If you have never placed your trust in Jesus Christ as your Savior, but have come to sense His reality and the approaching End of the Age, and want to receive His FREE Gift of Eternal Life, you can do so now, in the privacy of your home. Once you truly believe in Him as Lord and Savior, you are spiritually Born Again, and are as assured of Heaven as if you were already there. Then, you can rest assured that the Kingdom of Antichrist will not touch you spiritually. If you would like to become Born Again, turn to our Salvation Page now.
We hope you have been blessed by this ministry, which seeks to educate and warn people, so that they can see the coming New World Order—Kingdom of Antichrist—in their daily news.
Finally, we would love to hear from you. You can write us at:
Cutting Edge Ministries, C/O Pastor Ron Riffe
P.O. Box 26
Gordo, AL 35466
You can also E-Mail Pastor Ronald Riffe regarding questions or comments about this article.
God bless you.