This picture shows the heart of a worldly, sinful man or woman, described in the Bible as a sinner, that is, one who is controlled by the evil of this world and by the natural desires and cravings of the human nature. This is a true picture of the heart as God sees it. The bleary, red eyes speak of drunkenness as described in Proverbs 23:29-33: “Show me someone who drinks too much, who has to try out some new drink, and I will show you someone miserable and sorry for himself, always causing trouble and always complaining. His eyes are bloodshot, and he has bruises that could have been avoided. Don’t let wine tempt you, even though it is rich red, though it sparkles in the cup, and it goes down smoothly. The next morning you will feel as if you have been bitten by a poisonous snake. Weird sights will apperar before your eyes, and you will not be able to think or speak clearly.”
Below the head in this picture, the heart of man can be seen occupied by various animals which speak of the many different sins in the human heart, as the heart is the centre and breeding place of our sins. God tells us by the mouth of His prophet Jeremiah, that “Nobody can understand the human heart. There is nothing else so deceitful; it is too sick to be healed” (Jeremiah 17:9).
Jesus Himself confirms this by saying, “For from the inside, from a person’s heart, come the evil ideas which lead him to do immoral things; to rob, kill, commit adultery, be greedy, and do all sorts of evil things; deceit, indecency, jealousy, slander, pride, and folly – all these evil things come from inside a person and make him unclean” (Mark 7:21-23).
While the beauty of the peacock is admired by everybody, here in the heart of man, it speaks of the sin of pride. Lucifer, once God’s special angel of light, lost his position through pride and so became God’s enemy – the devil (Isaiah 14:9-17; Ezekiel 28:12-17).
Pride comes from the very centre of hell, and reveals itself in many ways. Some people pride themselves on their riches, their standard of education: fashionable clothing by which they expose their bodies in a shameless way: the wearing of jingling ornaments, bracelets, rings, etc., as is so clearly described in Isaiah 3:16-24. Some pride themselves on their forefathers, nationality, culture, sport, etc., forgetting that “God resists the proud, but shows favour to the humble” (1 Peter 5:5). God hates pride and self-importance (Proverbs 8:13)). “Pride leads to destruction, and arrogance to downfall” (Proverbs 16:18).
2. THE GOAT
represents bodily desires, immorality, adultery. The sins mentioned here have increased in these modern, but last days, to such an extent, that we have to admit the truth of the words of Jesus when He predicted, nearly 2000 years ago, that the last days will be like the days of Sodom and Gomorrah. Not only has this sinful way of living gripped men and women and come into the homes of religious people and institutions, the schools and hostels, but this wickedness shamelessly and in a subtle way enters the hearts of people by means of cinemas, theatres, obscene literature, and in so many other ways, that what God calls sin is being looked upon as modern morality. Millions of young people form their idea of an ideal life from the cinemas and novels, only to find themselves in trouble, shame and regret. Immoral an loose-living actors and actresses become the heroes and heroines of the younger generation. The dance-halss, too, are very often the breeding places of immorality. God’s heroes of purity, like Joseph (Genesis 39) and others, are no longer taken as examples. Even the old Zulu heathen, who would put an adulterer or adulteress to death, could teach our so-called civilised generation a lesson and stand up against us in condemnation at the day of judgement. God tells us not to play with immorality but to avoid it. “Any other sin a man commits does not affect his own body: Don’t you know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and who was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourselves but to God” (1 Cor. 6:18, 19); “So if anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you yourselves are His temple” (1 Cor. 3:17).
3. THE PIG
speaks of the sins of drunkenness and gluttony. It is a dirty animal eagerly swallowing up everything in its way, clean or dirty, and in the same way a sinful heart devours every immoral suggestion, expression, picture, literature, etc. The body, intended to be the temple of the living God, is made unclean by harmful food and filthy habits such as the smoking or chewing of tobacco, the use of opium and harmful drugs and tablets, etc. The habit of smoking tobacco and even “opium” has gripped men and women as never before. Only the power of God can free such poor tobacco victims and slaves of the devil. While most religiously inclined people would not dare to smoke in a church-building, considering it almost an insult to God, they nevertheless have no hesitation about soiling through this stinking weed, that wich is actually the temple of God, i.e., their bodies. “Surely you know” says the Apostle Paul, “that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you! So if anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him” (1 Cor. 3:16, 17; 6:18, 19).
A greedy person is hateful or worth nothing in the sight of God. We eat in order to live; we do not live in order to eat. Hunger can be satisfied by eating wholesome food, but greed will always cry, “Give, give!”
Greed will never be satisfied, will never be filled. According to the Old Testament law a glutton and a drunkard had to be stoned to death (Deut. 21:18-21). “Drunkards and gluttons will be reduced to poverty. If all you do is eat and sleep, you will soon be wearing rags.” (Prov. 28:7). Remember that a certain rich man, a glutton and a slave to his desires, died and found himself in hell in great pain. The evil of drink need hardly be mentioned. It is only too well known to be taken lightly. God tells us clearly in His Word that no drunkard will possess the Kingdom of God. Beer is not a food, it is a drink that confuses and affects the mind, so that those who drink it act foolishly. They become immoral and even kill and murder one another which they would not otherwise have done. “Drinking too much makes you loud and foolish. It’s stupid to get drunk” (Prov. 20:1).
Those who make and sell strong drink are just as guilty before God, for God says, “You are doomed! Heroes of the wine boottle! Brave and fearless when it comes to mixing drinks!” (Isaiah 5:22). “You will be condemned if you give drink to your neighbours, giving it to them till they are drunk” (Hab. 2:15). “Surely you know that the wicked will not possess God’s Kingdom. Do not fool yourselves; people who are immoral or who worship idols or are adulterers or homosexual perverts or who steal or are greedy or are drunkards or who slander others or are thieves – none of these will possess God’s Kingdom” (1 Cor. 6:9, 10).
The sins of our human nature are unmistakable. These are some of them: “immorality, filthy and indecent actions, worshipping of idols and witchcraft. People become enemies and they fight; they become jealous, angry and ambitious. They separate into parties and groups; they are envious, get drunk, have orgies, and do other things like these. Those who do these things will not possess the Kingdom of God” (Gal. 5:19-21). “Do not geht drunk with wine, which will only ruin you; instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit” (Eph. 5:18).
Jesus gives the following invitation to everyone who is thirsty concerning spiritual matters. “Whoever is thirsty should come to me and drink” (John 7:37, 38). “Come everyone who is thirsty – here is water! Come, you that have no money – buy corn and eat! Come! buy (spiritual) wine and milk – it will cost you nothing!” (Isa. 55:1). “Whoever drinks the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring which will provide him with live-giving water and give him eternal live” (John 4:14).
4. THE TORTOISE
speaks of laziness, sluggishness to obey and witchcraft. Rebellion is as bad as witchcraft (1 Sam. 15:23). “A lazy man who refuses to work is only killing himself, all he does is think about what be would like to have” (Prov. 21:25, 26). Joshua had to say to the Israelites, “Don’t stay here doing nothing; hurry! Go on in and take it ower!” (Judg. 18:9). Human nature is very lazy and slow to obtain the things of God. Jesus said, “Do your best to go in through the narrow door” (Luke 13:24). “Anyone who seeks will find” (Matt. 7:8). “The Kingdom of heaven has suffered violent attacks, and violent men try to seize it” (Matt. 11:12).
Carelessness concerning the salvation and spiritual welfare of our souls leads to eternal death. It keeps us from praying, from searching for the deep things of God, from accepting God’s rich promises, it leads to destruction. When God speaks to you, urging you to give your heart to Him today, the devil tells you to do it tomorrow, or some other convenient day, which unfortunately, may never come; and you will die without salvation and without Christ. God says, “If you hear God’s voice today, do not be stubborn, as your ancestors were when they rebelled against God” (Heb. 3:7,8). How many people have died spiritually by putting off salvation for some more convenient day which never came? The day tomorrow is not yours.
The shell of the tortoise is often used by witch-doctors for the practising of witchcraft, and points here to the sin of trusting in and practising witchcraft, fortune-telling or magic or voodoo, instead of trusting the living God. Especially in times of testing and sickness, suffering and bereavement, we are told to call upon the living God, who is ready to help, instead of trusting in good or bad luck; for “The Lord guides a man in the way he should go” (Psalm 37:23). “Is there anyone who is ill? He should send for the church elders, who will pray for him and rub olive-oil on him in the name of the Lord. This prayer made in faith will heal the sick person; the Lord will restore him to health, and the sins he has committed will be forgiven. So then confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, so that you will be healed” (James 5:14-16). God com manded the Israelites saying, “Don’t sacrifice your children in the fires on your altars; and don’t let your people practise divination or look for omens or use spells or charms (or consult fortune tellers), and don’t let them consult the spirits of the dead (such as spiritism). The Lord your God hates people who do these disgusting things” (Deut. 18:10-12). Outside the (heavenly) city are the perverts and those who practise magic, the immoral and the murderers, those who worship idols and those who are liars both in words and deeds” (Rev. 22:15).
“Do not go for advice to people who consult the spirits of the dead. If you do, you will be ritually unclean. I am the Lord your God” (Lev. 19:31). “But people will tell you to ask for messages from fortune-tellers and mediums, who chirp and mutter. They will say, ‘After all, people should ask for messages from the spirits and consult the dead on behalf of the living.’ You are to answer them, ‘Listen to what the Lord is teaching you! Don’t listen to mediums -what they tell you will do you no good'” (Isa. 8:19, 20).
While you are reading this little book, God is speaking to you, calling you to turn from your sins and to give your life to Him, but the spirit of the tortoise, which is in your heart, makes all kinds of suggestions to you to put off making this decision, and tries to fill your heart with fear. “What will my family, my friends, and other people say, if I become a real Christian? What will happen if I cannot take part in the dances, parties and worldly amusements any longer? Instead of seeing the great riches in Christ Jesus, His wonderful peace, His joy which words cannot express, His glory, eternal life so full of happiness, you begin to see all the things which you may lose or “give up” when you allow Christ to come into your heart, while fear of man as well as fear of death keeps you a slave to the devil. But Christ came to set free those who were slaves all their lives because of their fear of death. (Hebr. 2:14,15). The spirit of sluggishness to obey is making you so stubborn that your heart will be as hard as the shell of the tortoise.
5. THE LEOPARD
is a very savage and cruel beast. Hatred, anger and a bad temper often rule the heart of man and many times lead to murder. You may try, and even manage, to control that bad temper of yours, until it breaks out in all its fierceness. It is better to admit that it is in your heart, and ask Jesus to set you free. “Don’t give in to anger; it only leads to trouble” (Psalm 37:8). “Anger is cruel and destructive” (Prov. 27:4). “Keep your temper under control; it is foolish to harbour a grudge” (Eccl. 7:9), “Get rid of anger” (Col. 3:8).
Many cowards drink to encourage themselves to carry out some evil deed or revenge, but it is “like wine made from the venom of snakes” (Deut. 32:33). Revenge is sweet to the sinful heart, but God is the one who punishes all wrongdoing. Jesus said, “Love your neighbour as you love yourself (Mark 12:31) and “Love your enemies” (Matt. 5:44). God promised to forgive the wrongs we have done, if we forgive others for the wrongs that they have done to us (Matt. 6:12). A sulky, grumbling spirit is hated by God. The awful desire for bloodshed and war is in the heart of man, and therefore real peace must be established in the heart if it is to last.
6. THE SNAKE
tricked Eve in the garden of Eden and broke up the sweet fellowship and friendship with God. Satan, was very jealous of Adam and Eve, when he saw them as rulers over the world, living in perfect unity with God, taking his place. Out of jealousy Satan planned their destruction, and succeeded in breaking up their wonderful friendship and life with God. The same devilish jealousy and envy in the human heart destroys happiness in the hearts of some when they see others are happy and living comfortably. Jealousy brings evil thoughts into the heart to destroy the happi ness of others, and can even lead to murder. This is especially the case in some married lives. “A husband is never angrier than when he is jealous; his revenge knows no limits” (Prov. 6:34). In business as well as in all other walks of life it causes untold suffering and hatred. Even Christian workers, preachers and ministers are not free from jealousy should God use another of His servants more than themselves. They should be constantly on guard, and filled with the pure love of God which He has poured out into our hearts by means of the Holy Spirit (Rom. 5:5), otherwise their usefulness to God and their ministry will be spoilt by a jealous nature.
7. THE FROG
speaks here to the sins of greediness and the love of money which is the source of all evil (1 Tim. 6:10). Certain frogs in the Congo have been seen eating ants by the hundreds until they burst and died. A greedy person is not willing to open his hand to help the poor and needy, but tries by all means, honest and dishonest, to get more of the riches of this world. Jesus Himself said, “Do not store up riches for yourselves here on earth, where moths and rust destroy, and robbers break in and steal. Instead, store up riches for yourselves in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and robbers cannot break in and steal. For your heart will always be where your riches are” (Matt. 6:19-21). Achan and his family were stoned because he loved gold and silver and clothes (Joshua 7). Judas Iscariot, the disciple of Jesus, hanged himself because the love of money had made him betray his Lord and Master. It is not the money that is evil, neither the gold, but the love of money which lies hidden in the human heart.
Thousands of men and women of all classes and races are ruining their lives and the lives of their family by the awful desire to obtain great and sudden riches by means of gambling and betting for large sums of money at horse and dog races, etc. The desire to become rich without much trouble leads to stealing and murder as well as suicide. Love of money and greediness have many companions, such as love of fame, of power, it may be political power to rule over others, financial power to oppress the poor; religious power, being more concerned for the name of a church organisation than for God, disapproving of any child of God who has the courage to follow Christ without belonging to his particular church (Mark 9:38). Jesus said, “Watch out and guard yourselves from every kind of greed; because a person’s true life is not made up of the things he owns, no matter how rich he may be” (Luke 12:15). The story of the rich man is told like this: “There was once a rich man who had land which bore good crops. He began to think to himself, T haven’t anywhere to keep all my crops. What can I do? This is what I will do,’ he told himself; ‘I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, where I will store my corn and all my other goods. Then I will say to myself, Lucky man! You have all the good things you need for many years. Take life easy, eat, drink, and enjoy yourself!’ But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night you will have to give up your life; then who will get all these things you have kept for yourself?’ This is how it is with those who pile up riches for themselves but are not rich in God’s sight” (Luke 12:16-21). “Does a person gain anything if he wins the whole world but loses his life? Of course not” (Mark 8:36). “And so I tell you not to worry about the food you need to stay alive or about the clothes you need for your body… Instead, be concerned with His Kingdom, and He will provide you with these things… For your heart will always be where your riches are” (Luke 12:22-34).
the father of all lies and of them that tell lies, is the one who persuades us to sin, and is the ruler of the heart. Jesus said, “You are the children of your father, the devil, and you want to follow your father’s desires. From the very beginning he was a murderer and has never been on the side of truth, because there is no truth in him. When he tells a lie, he is only doing what is natural to him, because he is a liar and the father of all lies” (John 8:44). A small lie is as bad as a big one. There are lies which are spoken, written, acted. A hypocrite is a liar for in reality he pretends to be what he is not. God cannot lie – neither can a Christian (Titus 1:2). “If, then, we say that we have fellowship with Him, yet at the same time live in the darkness, we are lying both in our words and in our actions” (1 John 1:6). “But outside the (heavenly) city are the perverts and those who practise magic, the immoral and the murderers, those who worship idols and those who are liars both in words and deeds” (Rev. 22:15). “God hates a witness who tells one lie after another” (Prov. 6:19).
9. THE STAR
speaks of the conscience in the heart of every man. Here it is, dirty and evil, probably dead through continual and deliberate sinning; blinded and sinful, so that it can no longer judge its own actions. This evil conscience may sometimes be quiet, sometimes troubled. It accuses when it should excuse, and it excuses when it should accuse. It may be dead, as if burnt with a hot iron, and have lost all sense and feeling through abandoning the faith, obeying lying spirits and following the teachings of demons, and listening to teachings spread by deceitful liars (1 Tim. 4:1, 2; Hebr. 10:22).
10. THE EYE
of God sees everything that goes on in the heart. Nothing can be hidden from His flaming eye, and therefore He knows and sees all the secret thoughts and intentions of the heart. Whether you do your evil deeds in the darkest night, in the thickest forest, in the deepest ditch or wherever it may be, God sees it. (The eyes in these pictures also agree with the expression on the man’s face.)
11. THE LITTLE TONGUES OF FIRE
round about the heart show the love of God surrounding the sinful heart. While God hates sin He loves man and does not want the death of a sinner, but that he should turn away from his sins and live (2 Pet. 3:9). Jesus came to save sinners. There is great joy in heaven over one sinner that repents (Luke 15:7). The little tongues also speak of the blood of Jesus Christ, “the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29).
12. THE ANGEL
represents the Word of God. God wants to speak to those who have been deceived and are carrying heavy loads of sin, so that they may turn from their sinful ways and let the light and love of God come into their hearts.
13. THE DOVE
is a sign of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit who reveals the truth about God, about sin and what is right, and about God’s judgement (John 15:26). The Holy Spirit is shown here outside the human heart. He cannot live where sin rules.
Should the picture of this heart be the same as the condition of your heart, cry to the Lord, open your heart to Him, let the light of His Word shine in. “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31). God is willing, yes, He has promised to change your heart, to give you a new heart and a new mind (Ezek. 11:19). This is explained in the second picture.