The Awfulness of Spiritual Mutilation
By: Robert E. Henson
The book of Judges is a book filled with violence and mayhem. As you read, you find that is filled with mutiny and mutilation. The anarchy and rebellion and wickedness excesses sprang from a common root cause often noted in the book…”There was no king in Israel, every man did that which was right in his own eyes.”
The absence of leadership and spiritual authority produced a permissiveness in the people that led to radical departures from that which is sane, sensible and from that which is spiritual! Even though many people dislike being told what to do, we all have a need in our lives for leadership and spiritual authority. A God-called and a God-sent minister and pastor must serve as a voice of conscience to the people. He must remind us of what God accepts and what He does not accept. The minister/pastor exist not only to get people saved, but to assist them in staying saved. He must look out for us and warn us against… “The Awfulness of Spiritual Mutilation”.
In Judges 1: 1-7, we read of the story of Adoni-bezek, the king over one of the Canannite strongholds in the Promised Land. Adoni-bezek reigned for many years, and the Bible tells us that he outlived Joshua. Even though Joshua led God’s people in the conquest of Canaan, and much territory was conquered, when Joshua died, Adoni-bezek was still in his place and was still doing his thing. Despite Joshua’s greatness and wonderful victories, at his death, some battles had not been fought and some kings had not been Adoni-bezek is recorded as an ambitious and aggressive king. He had conquered no less than seventy other kings and taken control of their kingdoms. He was not content just to capture his enemies; he wanted to humiliate them also. Each time he captured a king, he would cut off their thumbs and big toes. This mutilation rendered them unable to perform military duties and handicapped them from resisting his domination of them. He added insult to injury by forcing them to grovel under his table. He treated them like dogs by throwing their food on the floor, when they ate. Adoni-bezek also displayed them to his friends for sport. He was sadistic!
Adoni-bezek is a type of the Devil. John 10:1Oa states, “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy:”. The Devil not only wants to capture saints of God, he desires to mutilate them. He then would humiliate them by having them grovel under his table and wallow in their own shame. Satan would like to parade their disfigured and mutilated lives before the world as further embarrassment to the fallen children of God. This message warns us all of “The Awfulness of Spiritual Mutilation”.
When Adoni-bezek cut off the big toes of captured kings, two important items were drastically affected. Their balance and mobility drastically decreased. With the removal of the big toe, the “ball” of the foot was also removed. Thus, it became difficult to keep one’s balance and remain on one’s feet. As a result, it became easier to fall down and was much more of a challenge to walk; a person’s pace was definitely slowed in this and many other activities. Thus, the removal of the big toes seriously affected each person’s balance and mobility.
We as believers in Jesus Christ have two spiritual “big toes”, doctrine and holiness. The Devil would like to do to us what Adoni-bezek did to his enemies, to cut off our spiritual “big toes”. He knows if he can separate us from truth and or holiness, we will have trouble keeping our personal, spiritual balance. He also knows it affects our mobility in carrying the Gospel to others.
We must remain an APOSTOLIC church. Individually we need to be unshakable in the Apostles’ Doctrine. Eph. 4:5 says, “One Lord, one faith, one baptism…… There is only one true church, only one door, way, plan and Name. No substitute plan exists for Acts 2:38. 1 hope we will never get to the place that we can yawn while somebody is preaching Acts 2:38. Once you discover this, you should never become anything else! Someone once asked N. J. Bibbs, “If you were not Apostolic Pentecostal, what would you be?” He replied, “I’d be ASHAMED!” We must never allow the Devil to cut off our “big toe” of DOCTRINE in our church! It helps us stay on our feet in a storm! Sometimes when the waves crash against our souls, the anchor that will hold you in place is knowing there is a truth, there is a plan of salvation, and it is unmovable!
We must remain a HOLINESS church. In our personal lives we misunderstand the importance of purity, integrity and separation from the world. The Bible still declares of holiness in Heb. 12:14…….and holiness without which no man shall see the Lord”. The same verse also declares that we are to, “Follow peace with all men”. We must embrace and live holiness without becoming judgmental toward everybody else. We may reach out to others who have lesser standards and we will seek to win those who are not separated, but just because we are friendly does not mean we are going to abandon godliness. We are too close to the Lord’s coming to drop our standards and let the world come pouring into our lives, homes and church. We must not let the Devil cut off this “big toe” of Holiness.
Holiness involves separation from worldliness. First of all, this involves modesty. Our flesh is to be covered up with clothes. Dresses and sleeves need to be long enough. Necklines need to be high enough so that a person is adequately covered. Ladies’ clothing should be loose fitting and undergarments are a must.
Second, a Bible standard exists for hair. Men ought to have short hair, and even nature tells us this. Women are not supposed to cut their hair. It won’t work to backslide long enough to cut your hair, and then pray back through. Anything done to shorten your hair is the same as cutting it.
Third, jewelry does not belong on a child of God. Make-up is not needed in this church. The latest fad… fake nails are not needed here. We don’t want to go in the direction of worldliness.
Fourth, men ought to dress like men. They ought to walk like a man and act like a man. Women should dress like ladies, conduct themselves like a lady, walk like a lady and talk like a lady.
Finally, if we want to keep our “big toe” from being cut off, a good way to do that is to not allow television in our homes. We are not going to run people away from this church just because they have a TV in their home. We will not allow them to be used on the platform or to have a position in ministry if they have a TV. Ministry calls for some additional commitment.
Did you ever notice when a cuts off the “big toe” of holiness in Pentecostal’s life, they usually lose their balance? When this happens to them, they go overboard. Many times before it is over, they end up in immorality and oft times in the depths of sin. We must not allow the Devil to cut off the “big toe” of holiness in our church and personal lives.
The matter of cutting off the thumbs of Adoni-bezek’s enemies drastically affected them in two important ways: their ability to feed themselves and their grip. Adoni-bezek mutilated his enemies. We as followers of Jesus Christ have two spiritual thumbs. They help us to feed ourselves and have spiritual grip. The first of these thumbs involves personal devotion; the second is the matter of faithful church attendance. Satan would very much like to cut off these two “thumbs”. He knows if he can separate us from our devotions, we will have trouble feeding ourselves spiritually. He also knows if he can pull us away from the House of God, it will affect our spiritual grip on eternal life . If ever a day existed to commit ourselves to personal devotions, it is now! Daily prayer, daily Bible reading, personal worship and times of fasting are a must if we are going to keep our spiritual balance. Quit praying everyday and you will have trouble feeding yourself. More than at any time in history, we need to be FAITHFUL to God’s house. When the Devil starts cutting here, it gets easier and easier to miss church. We must not let the Devil cut off our spiritual “thumbs” of personal devotions and faithful church attendance. Heb. 10:25 states, “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is… and so much the more as you see the day approaching”. The closer we get to the rapture, the more faithful we ought to be to the house of God.
At the end of the story in Judges chapter one, judgment and justice caught up with Adoni-bezek; they did to him as he had done to seventy others. They cut off his great toes and great thumbs. He reaped in hi- own life the same mutilation he had inflicted on others. The Devil has tried to drag us down. One day a strong angel will grab him and cast him into the bottomless pit. Satan who has been trying to take us to hell will someday be cast into the lake of fire. The Devil will receive back what he has been trying to push off on everybody else.
As for me, I must be saved! I want to keep my spiritual balance. I want to stay mobile doing the Lord’s work. I want to be able to feed myself spiritual food. And, I want to keep my grip on Heaven. I don’t want to suffer “The Awfulness of Spiritual Mutilation”.
The more I learn about the grace of God, the more I stand in awe of the grace of the God who is able to reach down and deliver us. Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world. So, get some Holy Ghost steel toed boots, some workmans’ gloves, and don’t allow the Devil to cut off your “big toes” or your “thumbs”. Keep you grip on eternal life.
The Above Material Was Published In South Flint Scroll, Spring 1996, By Robert E. Henson. This Material May Be Used For Study And Research Purposes Only.