The Hebrew word for “heathen” is goy. It is used in reference to any nation other than Israel. It also refers to those who crucified Christ and mystically refers to the flesh nature of man in its diversity and opposition to Christ.
Psalm 2:1-3 Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?
2 The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against His anointed, saying,
3 Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.
We find in the holy writings that the nations were always against the Lord and His anointed. Nations that seemed to have no reason hated the Israelites. They were God’s anointed, so they were hated. Human nature always hates God and His people. Serving God puts limitations upon the flesh nature of man; therefore, it rises up to break their bands asunder and to cast away their cords.
This same scripture is found again in the fourth chapter of Acts. This time it is the Jews who are the rebellious heathen opposed to the Lord and His people. Peter and John had healed the lame man at the gate of the temple called Beautiful, and for that the Jews rose up against the disciples. Peter and John related what happened to the other disciples and they began to pray.
Acts 4:23-30 And being let go, they went to their own company, and reported all
that the chief priests and elders had said unto them.
24 And when they heard that, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, Lord, Thou art God, which made heaven, and earth, and sea, and all that is in them:
25 Who by the mouth of Thy servant David has said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things?
26 The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against His Christ.
This time it is not other nations but the Jews themselves that have arisen against the Lord and His anointed.
27 For of a truth against Thy holy child Jesus, whom You have anointed, both
Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were
28 For to do whatsoever Thy hand and Thy counsel determined before to do.
Notice that Herod, Pontius Pilate, the Gentiles, and the nation of Israel are all lumped together as the heathen who are raised up against the Lord and His Christ.
29 And now, Lord, behold their threatenings; and grant unto Thy servants, that
with all boldness they may speak Thy Word,
30 By stretching forth Your hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of Thy holy child Jesus.
31 And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spake the Word of God with boldness.
At first, the nation of Israel was the Lord’s anointed and the nations raged against them. Then, in the early days of the New Testament the disciples of Jesus were the Lord’s anointed, and even the Jewish nation raged against them. Wherever the Lord’s anointed was found human nature raged against it. Listen to what the Apostle Paul speaks to the elders of God’s anointed in Ephesus.
Acts 20:28-31 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, which
the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which He has
purchased with His own blood.
29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.
30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.
31 Therefore watch, and remember that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.
Paul had ministered to the church in Ephesus for three full years. Yet, he knew human nature and how it raged against the anointed of the Lord. Some of the brethren there in the Ephesian church would be deceived by their own flesh nature and would draw away disciples unto them. One of the works of the flesh is “divisions,” which creates sects. Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are: fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, angers, rivalries, divisions, sects…Galatians 5:19-20 (Interlinear Greek-English New Testament). Today the Christian Church is divided into literally hundreds of denominations, each one claiming to be the right one. They are the result of the works of the flesh in Christians. Paul said, “Of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things to draw away disciples after them.” Human nature rages against the anointing of the Lord. It is the rage of the heathen.
Galatians 5:16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.
Flesh is the same for everyone. Every human being has lust in his nature until it has been judged by the Lord. Let me repeat that. Every Christian has lust in his nature until it has been judged and slain by the Lord. And until you learn how to walk in the Spirit you will fulfill the lust of the flesh. Let’s get serious. More often than not, a Christian will say he is being led by the Lord when he is actually being led by the lust of his flesh.
Galatians 5:17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary the one to the other; so that you cannot do the things that you would.
Your flesh nature is the heathen that rages against the Lord and His anointed. This war is going on within you. Because you are a Christian, His anointing is in you. The heathen of your flesh nature, though, will rage against the Lord and His anointing that is in you. Your flesh nature is the worst enemy you have. It is so deceptive. It will make you think you are serving the Lord when you are actually serving your flesh. That is idolatry.
Galatians 5:18 But if you are led of the Spirit, you are not under the law.
If you are led by the anointing of the Spirit within you, then you are not under the law of your flesh. What should you do when the heathen of your flesh rages against the Lord and His anointing in you? First, thank God because that is a sign you are moving in the right direction. Then, ask the Lord to invade your life, to come forth within you conquering and to conquer (Revelation 6:2). The great battle of the Lord and the antichrist will take place within you.
Matthew 5:10-12 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake
(this is the persecution of your flesh against the righteousness of Christ that
is coming forth within you); for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
11 Blessed are you, when men (your man nature) 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. When the heathen of your flesh nature rages against the Lord and His anointed you are in good company with the prophets.
Psalm 2:1-4 Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?
heathen and the people here represent the various characters of your flesh
nature: pride, anger, lust, self-centeredness, strife, jealousies, etc.)
2 The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against His anointed, saying, (The kings of the earth and the rulers are the things of your flesh nature that have ruled over you.)
3 Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. (The Lordship of Jesus Christ puts restrictions upon the flesh nature, and it rebels against the Christ coming forth within you.)
4 He that sits in the heavens shall laugh; the Lord shall have them in derision.
Those who are taking dominion of their flesh are raised up together, and made to sit together in heavenly places in Christ (Ephesians 2:6), and from that heavenly position in Christ we laugh and rejoice because the Lord gives us victory over our flesh.
Copyright © 2007 by Henry DuBose