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The Prosecutor Within

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey
The Truth Network Radio
August 9, 2021 12:00 am

The Prosecutor Within

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey

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August 9, 2021 12:00 am

To what extent do unbelievers have conscience? Do people without Christ feel badly when they break the law? In this message Stephen reveals to us why our "prosecutor within" is one of the greatest apologetics for Christianity. You can deny a book . . . you can't deny your conscience.

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Interesting to win the battle against the wall and admit guilt because I committed done.

Simeon doesn't say this because I massacred those helpless men years ago, but doesn't say God is done this to me because I have slept with my father's wife know the thing in their minds that brought tremendous guilt.

They all agreed God is doing this because of what we did to our choice. That's what your conscience. Have you ever tried to ignore your conscience when your conscience bothers you. It may not feel like it at the time but it's God's grace in your life because he's prodding you to deal with your set to what extent do unbelievers have a conscience to people without Christ feel badly when they break God's law in this message. Stephen reveals to us why our prosecutor within is so important here. Stephen Davey with today's Bible message. One lady whose husband died realized he had cheated on his income tax. The year before and she sent a check for $500 and the government back in 1811 created what they call the federal conscience fund and it now totals more than $3 million of people's money who have made restitution. What is it that sometimes points a finger at us. What is it that sometimes robs us of sleep at night George Washington called it the sparkle of Celestia fire Lord Byron referred to this inner struggle as the Oracle of God where referring to it as the prosecutor within. I want to give you three things before we dive in the chapter 42, three things about the gifts that God has given us. That is our conscience. A threefold function. There are probably more but let me give you three.

First of all, the conscience this gift from God.

This inner Oracle distinguishes between right and wrong. Now it's not always accurate. In fact, if you train it. It's like a circus dog if you can train it to rollover you can train it to come.

When you whistle you can train it to play dead. It's not completely accurate because it is dependent upon how we condition it. But God has given us the gift of conscience to distinguish between right and wrong so that a little four-year-old boy born in America or in Africa or in Australia knows that when he lies to mommy and daddy he's done something wrong.

We don't have to teach them how to lie, we have to discipline the liar out of them. Why is that because God has given them and us.

This distinguishing ability between what is right and what is wrong. That is why it is so important. Ladies and gentlemen that we condition our conscience by this book we allow it to tell us what is right and what is wrong and so our consciences are not to to our culture's values change. It is tuned to the Scriptures with average. Secondly, let me give you another factor or facet function of the conscience.

It encourages doing what is right and it discourages doing what is wrong. That's why you can be in class young people in its midterm examination and you're in Spanish class you're like me you barely made it, and you are in there taking that midterm examination and for some reason you happen this next to the guy is the smartest guy in the class. He's as good as bilingual. You know that every answer he gives is going to be right and you're facing. All of a sudden this battle called conscience. The third function is that the conscience produces guilt when wrong is done. That is why it is so important that we allow our consciences to be transformed by the renewing of our minds through the word now. The third factor of conscience is going to be seen in Genesis chapter 42. So when you take your Bibles if you have already interned in Genesis chapter 42 where we will see the awakening conscience of Joseph's 10 brothers PC for 25 years.

His brothers had battled their consciences.

His brothers have battled and fought to silence and to suppress the kill that they knew they had because of what they had done to Joseph for 25 years they had ignored what their consciences were shouting. They had not said anything to their father, Jacob. They had perhaps never breathe that again to each other they were living at Mendez severe guilt. That prophecy tells us that these brothers will come to Egypt and they will establish a great nation, so that in the land or the valley of Goshen. This little bitty nomadic tribe will turn into a fantastically huge nation the nation of Israel that I cannot be done in Canaan. They need Goshen to support that kind of existence and God's plan that they do that in Egypt but for the 10 brothers and father, Jacob, the 11 and all including budget for them to come to Egypt there must be a reconciliation with Joseph for reconciliation to take place.

These brothers must admit guilt and for them to admit guilt their sleeping consciences must be awake. Some people it suggested that Joseph was incredibly hard on his brothers, but I think I'll be able to show you how he is doing nothing more than wisely awakening their suppressed guilty consciences, and there are some factors that will do this the first or we could call them principles is the principle of association and explain what I mean by reading with you the first five verses now Jacob chapter 42 saw that there was grain in Egypt, and Jacob said there was sons why are you staring at one another and he said, behold, I have heard that there was grain in Egypt go down there and buy some for us. From that place so that we may live and not die. This is very interesting because it proves that there is been guilt by association there starving. There's a famine in the land and where is their bread.

Everyone knows any Egypt. There's an old proverb that says never speak of rope and a hangman's house. You never want to speak about Egypt to the 10 brothers. In fact, Egypt was something they never wanted to be confronted with. I imagine over the 25 year.

When anyone was coming through needing lodging from each of these brothers probably just telling them right on past. They don't want anything to slip, perhaps by some coincidence they knew Joseph and so father Jacob says starving and these brothers cast furtive looks at each other suspicious locks as Ruben looks at Simeon. I'm sure the terror gripped her school. We, the last place on earth I want to go and all of the Guild begins to rise to the surface as they hear the dreaded name of the country where they sold. Jacob says, quit staring at each other. We just looking at one another for good oh Egypt, and so verse three B's 10 brothers of Joseph went down to buy grain from Egypt and I can't help allow my imagination to join that caravan as they had to Egypt. I imagine as they get closer. They will see slave gangs working in the field and they will wonder is Joseph there. They get closer to Egypt and they perhaps see some slaves working some menial tasks and they take a closer look. Perhaps afraid to discover Joseph, the petrified, as you'll see later in the chapter Jacob verse four. Interestingly, did not send Joseph brother Benjamin with his brothers, he noticed the Benjamin you remember is the real blood brother of Joseph, the other brothers or half brothers Benjamin is a true son and he evidently received all of the love of Jacob that had once been given to Joseph so he was obviously pampered. He was like Joseph the partial son perhaps by now Jacob has begun to mistrust his sons, perhaps by now he senses that there was mischief done and he won't send Benjamin with them. He says in the last part of verse four. I am afraid that heart made before him. So the sons of Israel came to buy grain among those who were coming for the famine was in the land of Canaan.

Also, you know it's interesting ladies and gentlemen how God will use guilt by association in your life and mine. There may be some holiday that brings to your mind terrible feelings of guilt because you have unconfessed sin. I'm not talking about sin that you have confess that Jesus Christ that should no longer produce guilt. We are to forgive and we are to allow Christ to forgive us and forget it, but those things that we have held back those things that we harbor in our souls and rebellion be some event, some vacations brought some person's name.

We hear it in her blood runs thick were guilty. She, ladies and gentlemen, when you and I go to the word we read of Peter who denies Jesus Christ is God doing God is perhaps confronting us with guilt by association that is bringing to our minds there yesterday in the hallway of that business.

Some gal asked you something about religion and you refuse to say anything. You denied him you felt guilty perhaps thereby the locker in school.

Somebody made some caustic remark about the Lord and you clammed up and so you read then of Peter and God is able to convict by association.

The second principle Joseph I think uses wisely, for he will begin to use is in the next few verses and will call this the principle of similar circumstance, I agree with great expositor FB Meyer as he talks of how Joseph literally lays down step-by-step everything that they had done to him and he will in a sense of parent words that they want hurled at him. He will put them in the same situation that they put him in why because he wants to sense and to see whether or not they have dealt with guilt fascinating with look at it together.

Now Joseph was the ruler verse six over the land. He was the one who sold to all the people of the land of Joseph's brothers came and bowed down to him.

Interesting chapter 37 verse seven. His dream said they would bow down. This is the same Hebrew word, they bow down to him with their faces to the ground when Joseph saw his brothers. He recognized them, but he disguised himself to them that you got to remember that Joseph is not a prime minister. He's wearing the Egyptian headband. He is clean-shaven now. According to Egyptian custom where the Hebrews had full beards. He looked anything other than a Hebrew and so he continued this acting by spooking to partially similar circumstance.

You'll notice in the earlier chapter 2 been studying with us that they could not speak peace to him. The Hebrew word was shalom. They couldn't say so on the Joseph they hated him so much. Every time he was around. They spoke harshly to him and he now is the ones harshly. He said where you come from. They said from the land of Canaan to buy food that perhaps Joseph is in charge of all of the large purchases of food, and this is why his brothers before Joseph. It recognizes brothers although they did not recognize him and Joseph remembered the dreams which he had had about them and said to them, you are spies you will come to look at the undefended or the naked parts of our land. He will give them what they gave him come to spy on us. Our father sent you along to you conspired.

You remember he brought back a poor report for a bad report of their character and they accused him of being a spy. I imagine there in the valley. He would say those guys I am not a spy on your brother. I love you. Your spy said by our father and now he interestingly accuses them of this, my Lord. Verse 10. Your servants have come to buy food.

We are all sons of one man where honest men, your servants are not spies yet. He said that in no you come to look at the undefended parts of our land. They said your servants are 12 brothers and all the sons of one man in the land of Canaan, the below the youngest is with our father today and one is no more Joseph said to them, it is as I said to you.

You are spies. In other words, not only does he falsely accuse them and he refuses to listen to their plea exactly what they had done to him by this you will be tested. Verse 15 by the life of Pharaoh. You shall not go from this place, unless your youngest brother comes here.

Send one of you, that he may get your brother while you remain confined that your words may be tested whether there is truth in you. But if not by the life of Pharaoh. Surely you are spies. He is giving them several tests.

This is one of them. It's a test of honor.

He is going to discover whether or not they really care about their brother as they will soon put Simeon in prison. This is the principle of similar circumstance and John often works in our hearts the same way George W. Truth used to tell the story.

He is an old preacher of yesteryear a man accused of killing his employer and then to hide the fact he burned his employers home to the ground.

This man was on trial, the prosecutor in his defense attorney were doing their best in the trial went on for several days, the judge presiding there in the courtroom scene until finally the last remarks were made in and it was the judge's turn to address the jury and the judge begin to speak to the jury of this hideous crime that he had been found guilty of and into the shock of all in that pack, courtroom that George buried his head in his hands and began to weep and he said as he confessed to that whole entire courtroom.

He said I have been guilty 30 years ago telling my employer and behind the evidence I burned is home to the ground. I for the last few weeks have been judging my own crime.

Sometimes God can work in our lives to bring about an awakened conscience by similar circumstance.

There's 1/3 is called the principle of isolation. Verse 17 so he put them all together in the prison for three days. Bang bang bang similar circumstances.

He speaks to them just as they spoke to him. He gives them the same treatment and any throws them in prison just as he was thrown in there but I think he has something more in mind by the wisdom of God and given him. He now puts them into a place where all I have to do for three days is think just never in their minds and their guilty consciences have been coming awake by returning to Egypt the land of their brother that they had tried really to forget. Now there in a prison and I imagine that they are casting furtive glances about the wall of the prison wondering is prisoners of their names into the wall and scribbled messages.

I wonder Joseph's name is here. I wonder this is where he was incarcerated there tormented. I think for three days. They have time something ladies and gentlemen, one of the reasons why God cannot get to us in terms of awakening are slumbering consciences of guilt is we never allowing time. We never get along.

We get into a room and we have put the tube on or turn the radio on or get some noise in here because we can stand to be by ourselves. Shakespeare wrote to be alone with my conscience is hell enough.

The last time you been alone before God.

Are you afraid to be knowing that as soon as it is quiet spirit of God will begin grumbling. So bring to mind things that you never Christians are living with guilt upon confessing well as he deals with them. I want to move you to the application and that is the response of the guilty conscious and this is just tremendous.

Let's take time to pull this apart. You know just the law of proportion would tell us that there's a lot in these few chapters. This is probably the story with the most specifics given to us in all the Bible. There's a reason for that isn't just to be read and forgotten.

It isn't just to be interesting it is to be applied. I think that there are several, as we see these slumbering consciences, wake and bring with it, of course, pain. The first response of a guilty conscience, and there are three is an admission of guilt. Let's look at verse 18. Now Joseph said to them on the third day due to some limp writer. God is your honest men let one of your brothers be confined in your prison. In other words, here's the test I'm not going to keep tenant you and send one of you back, but will keep one confined in prison, but the rest of you go Terry Green for the famine of your households and bring your youngest brother to me. So your words may be verified.

All Joseph is doing is working toward a family reunion and you will not die and they agreed to do so, but then they said to one another to see you have a 10 brothers lined up before him, and in the middle is an interpreter. See Joseph has been speaking in Egyptian that's been part of the acting. He knows Hebrew quietly but if he spoke Hebrew, they would perhaps wonder, so he is been conversing to them through the interpreter in Egyptian.

They are beginning to speak that when Hebrew knowing he understands what they say, truly, we are gently concerning our brother because we saw the distress of his soul. Boy that prison has certainly done the job and all these other factors when he pleaded with us yet we would not listen. Therefore this distress is come upon us circle the Lord we in your text. It is very emphatic in the original. This word is that they smite their breasts and they say we only way are guilty.

We have done this crime you it's interesting that when their backs are against the wall and they admit guilt Judah doesn't say God has done this because I committed incest as he had done. Simeon doesn't say God is done this because I massacred those helpless men years ago. Ruben doesn't say God is done this to me because I have slept with my father's wife know the thing in their minds that brought tremendous guilt. They all agreed God is doing this because of what we did to our brother Joseph. Can you imagine as Joseph is being chained in that chain gang along with the other slaves headed for Egypt. His hands are top and he turns back to his brothers and he says Ruben said in this. Don't let them take me and he cries until his cry is no longer heard it says we heard his distress when he pleaded with us yet we would not listen.

Therefore this distress is come upon us, you know, that's so true that whatever you do, something to someone else. You bear distress. There is something about the way God is made us that we actually become the victim when we mistreat when we sin against others. There is a transfer of guilt and Ruben. This is the second response of a guilty conscience, and this is an escape by self-defense Ruben answer them. Say hello to catapult away from the crowd faces. Hey, wait a second, a brothers, I tell you.

Don't sin against this boy, what a lousy thing to say as guilty as they are, and he says didn't I tell you so that this would happen because I told you not to do any against this boy and you did it was a sin was right in there with the rest of them for 25 years had never gone to his father had never taken a trip to Egypt to try to rescue Joseph now self-righteous May guilty away. You know what when God brings to our mind things by way of an awakened conscience we can admit guilt and say Lord, it is because I have the third response of a guilty conscience. This is beautiful in understanding of God's involvement in verse 23 they did not know. However, the Joseph understood and he turned away from them and wept all Joseph. I can imagine being him hearing these nine brothers we that this is being done because of what they had done to him and it brought back on him all of the emotion of that day.

25 years ago when he saw his brothers deserted and abandoned him and he has to turn away just perhaps the Russians from the room finally returned to them and spoke to them.

Verse 24 he took Simeon from them and bound him before their eyes. There's another similar circumstance. Then Joseph gave orders to fill their bags of grain restored man's money to sac in a given provision for the journey. Verse 28 then he said to his brothers as they open their sacks and they saw the money. My money is been returned to the holding Steven and my sac in their heart sank and they turned trembling to one another, saying this underlying this what is this that God is doing. One of the responses that.I think wants to bring us to, as he brings to our minds that guilty conscience that we have been suppressing is that God is involved in our lives that he is even bringing about these events to bring us to himself for cleansing and forgiveness and they finally say doing something first to coincidences here. Something is happening. It must be God.

One of the responses of a guilty conscience is an understanding that we are accountable to God and ultimately the understood that it was God who was behind the scenes.

Perhaps something is coming.

Your mind is been brought by the spirit of God.

You say I am guilty of certain things that I've been struggling with and rebelling against and I'm hanging on to what should I do I want to go to another chapter and 1/2 until this things figured out what the Bible is very clear that is specifically confessing, immediately forsaking wholeheartedly claiming the forgiveness of Jesus Christ. Perhaps some of you may need to make restitution.

Some of you may need to request forgiveness from another as a boy I've mentioned to most of you that my parents of the missionaries for 30 years with the serviceman we really grew up downtown Norfolk running the streets go down there after school it all summer long and back then you could end it was fairly safe. There was a war down there and we would plan the rocks go in and out of every store in the MacArthur Memorial where we used to ransack the hallways. Just about every week in the library and missionary kids named Bobby Walker. He and I were the closest buddies till we graduated from high school. We used to hang around and my father recently got a letter from Bobby Walker now referred to as Bob Bobby wrote in his letter. He said you know God's been working in my heart.

Here's a 32-year-old man. He now directs the largest Christian ranch in Virginia. He said when Isaac can we run a remissions military. I got to the third floor and I'd take a piece of bubblegum and I'd stick it on to the end of a popsicle stick and I slip it down that moneybox and I pull money out.

I can't remember doing that with Bobby.

Maybe that's suppressed dodges. I don't know but guided brought death to his mind. He said I can remember doing that on several occasions is as I have no idea how much I but here's $20. I think Bobby is of course working with teenagers and young people and couples and he evidently is seeing week after week, the importance the necessity conscience. One of the greatest gifts God has given us is the conscience we can turn it off and shouted down. We can ignore or we can buy the word allow God to speak through it so that it is in fact oracle of God, don't go another day with a guilty conscience experience the joy cleansing of the conscience that is clear and clean forgot conscience.

God's gift to if you're able, why don't you try to find some time to be alone and quiet today. Pray and ask God to reveal areas in your life that you need to confess to him. I think you would add to your joy to be able to celebrate this day with a clean conscience. Thanks so much for tuning in to wisdom for the hearts this daily broadcast features the Bible teaching ministry of Stephen Davey, in addition to being a pastor and a radio Bible teacher. Stephen is also the president of shepherd's theological seminary.

How would your life be impacted if you set aside one year to study God's word experience authentic community growing discipleship take a trip and do some study in Israel and earn your Masters degree. All in one year. The school Stephen leads offers a unique program called shepherd's Institute where you can experience all that I just described this unique one year program offers a life-changing opportunity to all believers no matter your vocation.

We had men and women join us right out of college and before entering their career. We've also had men join us who believe they were called to be a pastor. They did this program and then jumped into a master of divinity program. Whatever God has called to investing one year with us would change your life forever. Learn more at shepherd's.and of course join us next time. For more wisdom for the heart

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