Stress and Nervous Tension

Let's take a text from Numbers 35:9-15, "The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When you cross over Jordan into the land of Canaan; then you shall appoint cities to be cities of refuge; that the slayer may flee thither, who killed some one unintentionally. They shall be cities for refuge from the avenger; that the manslayer die not, until he stand before the congregation in judgment.

And of these cities which you shall give six cities shall you have for refuge. You shall give three cities on this side Jordan, and three cities shall you give in the land of Canaan, which shall be cities of refuge. These six cities shall be a refuge, both for the children of Israel, and for the stranger, and for the sojourner among them: that every one who kills some one unintentionally may flee there".

From time immemorial if a man were slain, the duty of avenging him has been the sacred obligation of his NEAREST KINSMAN. But the distinction between intentional and unintentional killing was often not too strictly observed. So God provided cities of refuge for those who slew a man accidentally, not in premeditated sin or unbelief. The killer would be anxious until he got into the city. Then the pressure was let off because the avenger of blood could not harm him there (Numbers 35:1-34; Deuteronomy 19:1-13; Joshua 20:106).

We have a NEAR KINSMAN called Jesus Christ, Who took our place in death, substituting His own Life for ours. Jesus said, "I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more ABUNDANTLY" (John 10:10). In other words—an ETERNAL Life.

In a recent radio broadcast I quoted a newspaper article by a minister who advocated the death penalty as God's Law. I said that I disagree with capital punishment because when God adjudged Cain, the first murderer, guilty, He did not take his life. I said, when we take a man's life, we extinguish any opportunity he might have for repentance and regeneration.

Jesus said, "If any man hears My Words, and believes not, I don't judge him: for I came not to judge but to SAVE the world. He that rejects Me, and doesn't receive My Words, has One that judges him: the Word that I have spoken shall judge him in the last day" (John 12:47-48). In other words, God is the avenger, and the Word, being Himself, will fulfill Itself in its designated and decreed season and time (Romans 12:19). God's law demands a life for a life, but that substitute Life was slain on Calvary. We can only receive that Life if we are ourselves alive to make the choice. Those who don't receive It as their pardon will ultimately lose their life.

To prevent revenge for what was pure accident, and to provide for the proper administration of justice, cities of refuge were founded. These cities of refuge replaced the earlier right of the killer to seek asylum at a sanctuary as practiced by pagans (I Kings 2:28), and by the Roman Catholic church.

These cities of refuge were established on a geographical rather than a tribal basis. Open highways were to be maintained along which the manslayer might have an unobstructed course to the city gate. Everything was to be done to facilitate his flight, in order to preserve his life. On reaching the city gate he was received by the elders and his case heard. If it was satisfactory they gave him asylum until his trial. Then they took him back to the city or district whence he had fled, and there, among his peers, witnesses were questioned.

If it was proved that he wasn't a willful slayer, and that he bore no grudge against the victim and showed no premeditation to injure him, then he was declared innocent and conducted back to the city of refuge. There he must abide until the death of the high priest. Then he was free to return home in safety.

Our High Priest lives and abides forever without death but He's no longer a Mediator, He's a Judge. We're sealed unto the day of our redemption, but we've got to remain in Christ our strong tower and city of refuge.

Until the death of the high priest, the manslayer must by no means go beyond the city bounds. Blood money could not be paid to spare the murderer's life, nor could the refugee be ransomed so that he may return to his home before the death of the high priest (Numbers 35:31-32).

If he were found guilty of deliberate murder, he was handed over to the avenger of blood who, at his own hand, took the murderer's life on behalf of the community. The goel or "avenger of blood", like the sheriff, was an authorized agent, acting on behalf of the city of refuge in order to recover a man they considered ought to be executed as a murderer. The goel of the local city was entitled to execute the killer if he caught him before he reached the city of refuge (Exodus 21:14; Deuteronomy 19:12).

Whenever a murder occurred God had to be propitiated either by the execution of the murderer, or if he were unknown, by an animal substitute.

"If one is found slain in the land which the LORD your God gave you to possess, lying in the field, and it is not known who killed him: Then your elders and judges shall come forth, and they shall measure unto the cities which are round about him that is slain: And the city which is next to the slain man, even the elders of that city shall take an heifer, which has not been wrought with, and which has not drawn in the yoke; And shall bring the heifer down to a rough valley, which is neither eared nor sown, and shall strike off the heifer's neck there in the valley:

And the priests the sons of Levi whom the Lord God has chosen to minister unto him, shall come near and bless in the name of the LORD; and by their word shall every controversy and every stroke be tried: And all the elders of that city next to the slain man, shall wash their hands over the heifer that is beheaded in the valley: And they shall say,

'Our hands have not shed this blood, neither have our eyes seen it. Be merciful, O Lord, to your people Israel, whom you have redeemed, and lay not innocent blood unto your people of Israel's charge'.

And the blood shall be forgiven them. So shall you put away the guilt of innocent blood from among you, when you shall do that which is right in the sight of the Lord".

Deuteronomy 21:1-9 confirms that the murder was the concern of the community at large and not merely of the individual family which had suffered the loss. The blood belongs to God, not to his family because blood is the evidence that life has been taken. The spirit of mortal life travels through the blood. All life comes from God, and He is sovereign in deciding when a life should end.

The elders of the murderer's city, being satisfied that he acted intentionally, would appoint a goel as representative of the local community which had found the killer guilty of murder. And he was entitled to execute him if he were caught before he reached the city of refuge.

This illustrates the tension that existed as a result of the establishment of cities of refuge whose elders could overrule a decision of the local elders to execute the murderer. It was therefore imperative that the man who claimed asylum should have unhindered access to a city of refuge in order to put his case. Otherwise innocent blood would be shed.

When the elders of the city of refuge found a killer guilty of murder, he was executed on the spot by the goel, a kind of bounty hunter. And because he represented the local community, death at his hands was as by the whole community (Deuteronomy 19:12).

Taking innocent life was seen to involve the whole society because it violated the peace of the whole land. In Genesis 4:10, "God said, 'What have you done? the voice of your brother's blood cries unto me from the ground'." The ancient view held that pollution by bloodshed could be purged from the covenant people only by the death of the murderer. So the goel, in pursuing the murderer, wasn't conducting a vendetta of private revenge, but performing a necessary act required by law for the spiritual health of society (Numbers 35:33).

The law of vengeance permitted only "life for life," and not the destruction of family, tribe or village (Deuteronomy 19:21). So behind the custom is a deep respect for the value and dignity of each human being.

So long as the guilt of the murderer was beyond question, the law of blood vengeance worked to preserve a balance of justice and restore peace. In the case of accidental death, the manslayer was considered both guilty and innocent. Two laws were in conflict and the city of refuge was designed to protect society from exalting violence.

To be guilty of one part of the Law is to be guilty of the whole. Praise God, our nearest Kinsman did not come to avenge blood. He said, "I came not to judge the world, but to save the world" (John 12:47). Our Lord Jesus Christ, gave His innocent life to purge our guilt rather than see us receive the wages of sin.

The sinners are always stressed and under tension through pressure of internal conflict, "their conscience is bearing witness to the knowledge in their hearts of what is right, and their thoughts are either accusing or else excusing one another." The condemnation of knowing that they're living against God's laws is what puts them under pressure (Genesis 3:22; Romans 2:1-15).

Like the manslayer, sinners are "on the run" from the avenger of blood Who is God (Genesis 2:17; Romans 6:23). Because they haven't confessed their wrongs and cast their cares upon Him, they seek an outlet whereby they can let off the pressure. Like sport, dancing, club life, gambling, jesting, lust or some other escape from reality. By these diversions they distract and try deceive their own minds. As we try to deceive a computer in order to make it accomplish a task it wasn't designed to perform, the sinner is deceiving himself to avoid facing reality and confessing unbelief.

God is in nature. He placed natural instinct in a man to warn of danger. Death creeping up on their soul. Even without the law, the Gentiles knew right from wrong. Sinners sense danger. Instinct tells them, something's not right, but they try to bury that warning under drugs, alcohol, movies, videos, partying, immorality and smoking.

Satan is a professional. But there is no way we can ignore God's warning without increasing pressure. Road rage, substance abuse, homosexuality and other irrational or excessive forms of behavior are attempts to hide or escape the reality of unbelief and its consequences. We should recognize Satan at his work, and not let him push us around. Unconfessed sin generates nervous tension that builds up and becomes the master of our being because we haven't mastered our self or our circumstances.

We call this "stress". It's one of the most common psychoses, and is a product of unconfessed sin, and lives lived contrary to the Word of God. He promised Christians, "A peace in all circumstances that passes the comprehension of a natural man." Tension, stress, or pressure arises from disobedience to God.

Look at our women, they're afraid of being raped. They complain of "sexual harassment" in the workplace. Yet they paint their faces like cheap whores, compete with men as if they were equals, dress in trousers and immodest clothing that shows every form of their body, and cut their hair like street harlots. If you think these are "little things," remember, it's the "little foxes" that spoil the vine. Jesus said these things were so serious that they made a woman an adulteress, although in the flesh she's a virgin. Paul said, that a woman with cut hair isn't even fit to pray.

No wonder folk suffer from "stress." They're disobeying God's law to serve their own intellectual reasoning. And that's the mark of the beast. Why do they follow their own carnal reasoning? Because they no longer believe in God's Word. And that's why they're under tension. And the pressure must be relieved some how, some way.

Brother Branham's Message opened the Bible to our understanding by revealing the Seven Seals. I apply this revelation to discover the groups behind the scenes creating history to Satan's blueprint. As Satan puts individuals under stress through their choice to follow his plans contrary to God's Word, he's brought the greater society under pressure so he can incarnate himself as ruler of the NWO.

I've learned those who revolted against God at Babel in the start of the Bible are the same group that deceived captive Judah in the middle of the Book. And that they control those groups now driving humanity, like dumb cattle, into a form of totalitarian government called the NWO. I now understand that history is not a series of unconnected events or happenstance, but that it's as meticulously preplanned by the intelligence of evil men, as the destiny of the saints foreknown of God as partakers of His Plan. For Satan is an impersonator, and natural things are types of the Spiritual.

In the natural, modern medicine doesn't seek to find and heal the cause of a sickness or disease so much as it attempts to mask its effects with pain-killing drugs or surgery. The cause that remains is often unclean living or living outside the regulations of God's Word. Thus medicine becomes another form of religion, and the word "religion" means a covering.

The first religion was Adam and Eve's fig leaf. They covered their reproductive organs, showing that the original sin was not eating an apple, but Eve's adultery with the serpent. They covered or hid the symptoms, but the sin was still there. It's fruit was Cain and his accursed offspring, who are not on the Book of Life. Only blood could atone for the,m and the lives of his offspring. And until God restores all things, every living creature will die.

That atonement was made with the blood of our kinsman Redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ. This alone will heal the stress. Until then, "The whole creation groans and travails in pain with us who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, waiting for the Sons of God to manifest, and the redemption of our body" (Romans 8:22-23).

What should we do when we're under stress? Stand before the mirror of God's Word to see where our life fails to reflect Jesus Christ. But instead of finding and removing the cause, which is unbelief and disobedience to God's Word, men try to disguise the symptoms. The symptoms of sin can manifest in worry, nervousness or stress, which, unchecked, become shingles, heart conditions, cancer, drug or alcohol dependency, criminal activity or suicide.

In Australia, more people die through suicide than road accidents. And many a country road accident is in fact a suicide.

US Pharmacies filled 45 million Valium prescriptions in 1978. The raw materials and manufacturing costs of Valium is US$3.00/kg to Hoffman la Roche who sell it to distributors for $20,000/kg whilst the public pay $50,000/kg. Perhaps the most-used drug of its kind, Valium does not heal the stress or remove the cause. It numbs our senses by deceiving the brain into not reporting a signal, warning it of danger, so the problem cannot be cured. The cause of stress or pain may be sin, or a life out of sync' with God's Word.

Ritalin is the new proprietary name for the stimulant used to keep WWII pilots awake on the long bombing flights to and from Germany. Today it's prescribed for children suffering from ADD—Attention Deficit Disorder, something unknown for 6,000 years. There's also "Baby Ritalin" for children as young as ten-months. And Prozac, a mood altering drug that transforms the self with side effects that are potentially deadly. Just one more common prescription drug for psychotic disorders.

Neither of these products attempt to heal the cause of the problem but create new problems like dependency and altered states of perception and behavior. The result of this manifestation of the mark of the beast—wisdom against faith in the revealed Word—is that over 50% of crime in the USA is drug-related.

The second largest cash crop in the USA is marijuana at US$33.1 billion, just US$800 million behind beef and calf production. The problem of drug addiction that erupted in the Western world during the '60's was not happenstance, nor was it the work of small-time thugs. The operation was meticulously planned by the people behind the Tavistok Institute and Stanford Research Institute. I don't mean the government or people of Great Britain, who've been their footsoldiers and shield for centuries. The CIA, another subsidiary which they established, is a major distributor of drugs, and plays a significant role in protecting the banks and multinationals that control this source of income for those who would rule the world.

Their purpose was to destroy the "conditioned reflexes" of sinners raised in the once-Christian society of the Western world. (Read H.G. Wells', "The Open Conspiracy," or Aldous Huxley's, "Brave New World." Discover their associates. These people are today in the last stage of the destruction of our once Christian West and white civilization). What their forefathers achieved by addicting the coolies in China to opium, their descendants have now accomplished in the West.

Weak-minded men who are "ignorant and unlearned," blame the Anglo-Saxon people for the China drug trade and the certain abuse of the power of Empire. These people were not and can never be of English stock. These were serpent's seed: children of Cain, who are wiser in the ways of the world than we ever can or desire to be. These are they who would rule the world.

So, the Devil has a plan, and God has a Plan. The sinner can't see his danger, but he can sense it. Some instinct says "danger," and rings an alarm bell in his heart. If he ignores that warning, the bell keeps ringing and tension builds up.

Tension has built up all over the world. The UN knows, the IMF and WB know. Australia's under stress, Pauline Hanson knows. Even the church knows that something is going to break. Soon.

Christians don't fear death>, and in earlier ages actually looked forward to it. "Now let your servant depart in peace, according to Your Word" (Luke 2:29). "I am torn between a desire to depart and to be with Christ; which is far preferable, and remaining in this body to serve you; which is more necessary (Philippians 1:23).

But I Thessalonians 4:15-17 is our hope, "For we who are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not hinder them which are asleep. For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the Archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord".

"God confirmed His promise with an oath to encourage us who have fled for REFUGE in Christ, to lay hold of the hope set before us: which we have as an anchor of the soul, sure and steadfast, and which enters into the Presence within the veil" (Hebrews 6:18-20).

Christ has "purged our conscience from dead works," making us free to return to Home and that Land beyond the river that we call the Sweet Forever to be with the living God (Hebrews 9:14).

Very soon the living saints will be changed in the atoms and go Home to Wedding Supper and the eternal Land of the Millennium. bb980617.htm

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e-mail to: ags@biblebelievers.org.au