31 December 2019

The Pedestal

I posted this 16 Feb 15 but thought I should post it again

People have a tendency to elevate individuals to practically god-like status in which everything they say or teach is the truth.
Many popular preachers of all stripes have their own unappointed apologists. When one popular preacher’s teaching was criticized there were comments defending him strongly. Phrases as “he is the man” and “everything he teaches is true,” “I’ve never heard anything Scripturally wrong come from him,” etc. They follow that preachers teaching, buying their books, listening to their podcasts, and attending their meetings. It seems that their favorite teacher cannot do or teach anything that is wrong.
Some problems
  1. They have lost their first love as what happened in Ephesus. Jesus has been demoted. Jesus is THE teacher. “Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love.” (Revelation 2:4, EMTV).
  2. They have made a human to be nearly infallible. “By no means! Indeed, let God be true but every man a liar, just as it is written: "That You may be justified in Your words, and You may prevail when You are judged." (Romans 3:4, EMTV)
  3. They feel that you cannot criticize THEIR teacher. “He/she is a great teacher, you have no right to criticize.” Saying, “Do not touch My anointed ones, And do My prophets no harm.” (Psalms 105:15, NKJV). “To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” (Isaiah 8:20, NKJV). “I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars; (Revelation 2:2, NKJV)
  4. I’ve never heard anything Scripturally wrong come from him.” “But test all things; hold fast that which is good.” (1 Thessalonians 5:21, EMTV)
  5. These teachers like that attention that comes from being a “great” teacher. “They love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces and to have people call them ‘Teacher.’ You must not be called ‘Teacher,’ because you are all equal and have only one Teacher.” (Matthew 23:7-8, GNB92)
  6. What is truth is being decided by the individual. This is wrong; it is to be decided only by Scripture. The Bible is the only source of 100% truth. The entirety of Your word is truth, and all Your righteous judgments endure forever. (Psalms 119:160, HCSB). Every word of God is pure; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him. (Proverbs 30:5, HCSB). All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, (2 Timothy 3:16, EMTV).
  7. If the teacher apostatizes, their followers probably will too. They have put so much trust into their teacher that they will not question what they teacher. “Every word of God is pure; He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him.” (Proverbs 30:5, NKJV). Thus says the LORD: “Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart departs from the LORD. For he shall be like a shrub in the desert, And shall not see when good comes, But shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, In a salt land which is not inhabited. “Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, and whose hope is the LORD. (Jeremiah 17:5-7, NKJV)
Every teacher, every time should be compared to the teachings of Scripture. We must read the Bible, study the Bible, believe the Bible, and pray.
We need a little skepticism.
Let us put a teacher on a pedestal.

30 December 2019

A Few Thoughts on Psalm 115

Any person’s character triats are patterned after the god that person worships.

This Psalm 115 is basically divided into 2 parts.
B1 Psalm 115:1-8 which covers the topic of the unbeliever
B2 Psalm 115:9-18 which covers the topic of the believer

The unbeliever (Psalm 115:1-8)
B1 Asks a question, “Where is your god?”
C1 Some person worships an idol, which is a statue or an object. It can be pointed out, seen, felt, etc. It is material, supposedly representing a god.
C2 This unbeliever seeing no statue or object in Israel asks, “Where is your god?”
C3 The believer answers
D1 Our God (Yahweh)
E1 He is in the heavens (atmosphere, universe, and beyond)
E2 He does whatever He pleases.
D2 Your god
E1 Is made of silver and gold
E2 Produced by an artisan.
E3 There traits
F1 They cannot talk even though they have mouths.
F2 They cannot see even though they have eyes.
F3 They cannot hear even though they have ears.
F4 They cannot smell even though they have noses.
F5 They cannot feel even though they have hands.
F6 They cannot move even though they have feet.
C4 Some thoughts
D1 The Psalmist glorifies God (Yahweh) in Psalm 115:1.
D2 In Psalm 115:8 two observations are given
E1 The Psalmist notes that people adapt their worldview and lifestyle to be like their god.
E2 All people are like this.
D3 We need to know the character traits of our God (Yahweh). Here is a good reference to start: Resources on Attributes of God
E1 Humans do not and cannot have the noncommunicable traits of God as omniscience, omnipotence, omnipresence, omnisapience, etc.
E2 Humans were created in the image of God to have communicable traits. Sin has corrupted our human nation, nevertheless, we do understand and hopefully have the communicable traits of God as love, mercy, faithfulness, anger, kindness, compassion, ability to reason, etc.

The believer ( Psalm 115:9-18)
B1 The Psalmist encourages (exhorts) all people to trust in God (Yahweh)
C1 Groups
D1 Israelites (Jews)
D2 Priests
D3 Everyone else (those who fear God)
C2 Definition
D1 Trust
E1 The Hebrew word for trust is בָּטַח bâṭach. It means to confide in, set hope on, and have confidence in someone. Also, it means to have no fear.
F1 2 Kings 18:5 NASB He trusted in the LORD, the God of Israel; so that after him there was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor among those who were before him.
F2 1 Chronicles 5:20 NASB They were helped against them, and the Hagrites and all who were with them were given into their hand; for they cried out to God in the battle, and He answered their prayers because they trusted in Him.
F3 1 John 4:18-19 GNB There is no fear in love; perfect love drives out all fear. So then, love has not been made perfect in anyone who is afraid, because fear has to do with punishment. 19 We love because God first loved us. (note here is to strike terror in someone. The fear of God is respect and knowing we will face Him someday. Our respect for Him will drive us to our knees).
D2 Help and shield
E1 The Hebrews words help (עֵזֶר ʻêzer) and shield (מָגֵן mâgên).
E2 Help means help and aid. Exodus 18:4 NIV and the other was named Eliezer, for he said, "My father's God was my helper; he saved me from the sword of Pharaoh."
E3 Shield means shield (a tool or a person who acts as a shield).
F1 Genesis 15:1 CSB After these events, the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision: Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield; your reward will be very great.
F2 1 Kings 10:17 NASB He made 300 shields of beaten gold, using three minas of gold on each shield, and the king put them in the house of the forest of Lebanon.
C2 Character traits of God (Yahweh) listed here
D1 Help and shield (giving us aid to help in our weaknesses and protector, especially of our souls).
D2 Concern (mindful) for us
E1 The word mindful is the Hebrew word זָכַר zâkar. It means to keep in memory and used in many different ways.
E2 Psalm 103:13-14 NASB Just as a father has compassion on his children, So the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him. 14 For He Himself knows our frame; He is mindful that we are but dust.
D3 Blesses us.
E1 Note that God blesses Israel, the house of Aaron, and those who fear God (Gentiles).
E2 Small and great together refers to socioeconomic status, so rich or poor, having great authority or little authority, etc. He is just.
E3 When God increases blessings, He is showing favor.
F1 Let us be warned: Jeremiah 17:10-11 NRSV I the LORD test the mind and search the heart, to give to all according to their ways, according to the fruit of their doings. 11 Like the partridge hatching what it did not lay, so are all who amass wealth unjustly; in mid-life it will leave them, and at their end they will prove to be fools.
F2 Ephesians 6:8 GW You know that your heavenly master will reward all of us for whatever good we do, whether we're slaves or free people.
D4 Just and without prejudice (as mentioned above)
D5 Good as in bountiful providence. I’ll mention just 2 examples:
E1 1 Corinthians 10:13 HCSB No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to humanity. God is faithful, and He will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation He will also provide a way of escape so that you are able to bear it.
E2 Romans 1:16 PickNT I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, because it is the power of God for the salvation of each one who believes (for the Jew first, then the Greek)
D6 Creator and designer: Proverbs 3:19-20 GNB The LORD created the earth by his wisdom; by his knowledge he set the sky in place. 20 His wisdom caused the rivers to flow and the clouds to give rain to the earth.
D7 Giver (of gifts) here the earth. Just one of many, many gifts: Romans 5:5 LEB and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
C3 Two observations
D1 Nonbelievers do not praise God now or after they die.
D2 Believers do praise God now and after they die.

29 December 2019

A Few Thoughts About False Teachers

2 Peter 2:1 LEB But there were also false prophets among the people, as there will be false teachers among you also, who will bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, thus bringing on themselves swift destruction.
2 Corinthians 11:14-15 BSB And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their actions.

Some characteristics of false teachers:
B1 They believe, teach, and lead others into heresies. Heresies are those doctrines/teachings contrary to what was taught by the Lord Jesus, Apostles, or New Testament prophets (James, Jude, etc.). Heresies are doctrines not understand by the plain, normal reading of the Scriptures. See 2 Peter 2:1 (quoted above).
B2 Act and talk very holy. See 2 Corinthians 11:14-15 (quoted above).
B3 Are gifted speakers. They can motivate, captivate, and awe the unsuspecting. Romans 16:18 LEB For such people do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own stomach, and by smooth speech and flattery they deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting.
B4 Tell lies to lead people to follow them (the false teachers): Acts 20:29-30 GW I know that fierce wolves will come to you after I leave, and they won't spare the flock. 30 Some of your own men will come forward and say things that distort the truth. They will do this to lure disciples into following them.
B5 Like the Pharisees of Jesus’s day, these teachers appear righteous in public but in private, they are evil. They cover-up, conceal, and persecute any who exposes them: Matthew 23:27-28 ISV How terrible it will be for you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs that look beautiful on the outside but inside are full of dead people's bones and every kind of impurity. 28 In the same way, on the outside you look righteous to people, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.
B6 They tell people things the people want to hear, instead of truth: Isaiah 30:10-11 AMPC Who [virtually] say to the seers [by their conduct], See not! and to the prophets, Prophesy not to us what is right! Speak to us smooth things, prophesy deceitful illusions. 11 Get out of the true way, turn aside out of the path, cease holding up before us the Holy One of Israel.
B7 Making money off the faithful. Beware of those that have huge tables of their books and their friends books and urge, practically demand all to buy them. 2 Corinthians 2:17 NET For we are not like so many others, hucksters who peddle the word of God for profit, but we are speaking in Christ before God as persons of sincerity, as persons sent from God.
B8 Instead of the truth of Scriptures, they turn to stories of their “experiences,” and lead many astray. 2 Peter 2:3 GNB In their greed these false teachers will make a profit out of telling you made-up stories. For a long time now their Judge has been ready, and their Destroyer has been wide awake!
B9 Some can do miracles.
C1 These miracles are not through the power of God but from the power of the devil.
C2 Popular, respected, authoritative, skilled, gifted, etc. and deadly:
D1 Revelation 19:20 AKJV And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that worked miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.
D2 Exodus 7:10-11 ESV So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and did just as the LORD commanded. Aaron cast down his staff before Pharaoh and his servants, and it became a serpent. 11 Then Pharaoh summoned the wise men and the sorcerers, and they, the magicians of Egypt, also did the same by their secret arts.

What is their motive?
B1 Their own self lusting for money, power, even sex.
B2 Dake under the note of “Solomon’s Request” on 1 Kings 3:9 writes: Too often men pray for gifts which they think will make them great in the eyes of others. They want to imitate some other great man and they aren't called or qualified for that particular work. Their motive is selfish. Solomon, on the other hand, asked for wisdom and understanding in the science of government, to give true justice to Israel. One of the chief functions of the eastern monarch has always been to hear and decide causes. Hence, Solomon desired gifts that would best qualify him for his work and calling in life. (Note, as I’ve mentioned before Dake has some notes that are wrong, so be Bereans).
B3 Many false teachers desire to argue, quarrel, and acquire money. 1 Timothy 6:3-5 GNB Whoever teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the true words of our Lord Jesus Christ and with the teaching of our religion 4 is swollen with pride and knows nothing. He has an unhealthy desire to argue and quarrel about words, and this brings on jealousy, disputes, insults, evil suspicions, 5 and constant arguments from people whose minds do not function and who no longer have the truth. They think that religion is a way to become rich.

How to Avoid
B1 Truth
C1 The Correspondence Theory: words, thoughts, ideas, communication, etc. correspond with reality. There also has to be a standard which is eternal, that is, exists in the past, present, and future.
D1 The most famous version of this theory was given by Aristotle in 335 BC in his Metaphysics, Book IV, Chapter 7 To say of what is, that it is not– or of what is not, that it is– is false. While to say of what is, that it is– and of what is not, that it is not– is true. (Source)
D2 John 1:17 NASB For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ. (Note, I didn’t like the word “realized” at first but then started thinking that truth did not come into existence but has always existed. Humans are in darkness, ignorant, and deceived, so Jesus, God the Son, has revealed truth to us, thus realized). Compare Psalm 25:5.
D3 The opposite of truth is a lie. Common sense knows these things. Even though philosophy may question this view of truth, they cannot live their daily life without truth in its plain, normal sense.
C2 Read and study the Bible, the only source of 100% truth. Personally, it begins with did Jesus exist, what did he do and teach, and is what we read in the Bible most reasonable?
C3 Every believer has the Holy Spirit, who is able to teach us and give us understanding of the passage. Because God the Spirit is omniscient and omnisapient, He can communicate perfectly, which is one reason to take the Bible in its plain, normal sense. I John 2:27 AKJV But the anointing which you have received of him stays in you, and you need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teaches you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it has taught you, you shall abide in him.
C4 The Lord Jesus, the Apostles, Moses, Noah, Sarah, King David, etc. took the Bible, the words of God, in its plain, normal sense.
B2 Know how to interpret the Bible. (Here is one resource) Pray before and after you study.
C1 Observation
D1 What does the verse say?
D2 Understand the text in the plain, normal sense
D3 Context is important. Use at least the 20/20 rule—20 verses before and 20 verses after.
C2 Interpretation
D1 What does the verse mean?
D2 It is not what we want it to mean, what we FEEL it means, or what does it mean to me.
D3 Do not interpret it through a theological, philosophical, or scientific belief.
C3 Application
D1 What do I need to know?
D2 What do I need to do?
D3 What do I need to change?
B3 The more we study; the more we know, and the less we will be fooled, tricked, deceived by false teachers.
B4 Knowing the truth, we must test teachers and what they teach. If a teacher fails the test of Scripture, then we are to avoid them: 2 John 1:9-11 LEB Everyone who goes too far and does not remain in the teaching of Christ does not have God. The one who remains in the teaching—this person has both the Father and the Son. 10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house and do not speak a greeting to him, 11 because the one who speaks a greeting to him shares in his evil deeds.

Safety for God watches over us
B1 Philippians 1:6 GW I'm convinced that God, who began this good work in you, will carry it through to completion on the day of Christ Jesus.
B2 Jude 1:1 GW From Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and brother of James. To those who have been called, who are loved by God the Father, and who are kept safe for Jesus Christ.
B3 Jude 1:24-25 AKJV Now to him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.

27 December 2019

A Few Thoughts on Maranatha

1 Corinthians 16:22 NASB If anyone does not love the Lord, he is to be accursed. Maranatha.

Dr. Wilbur Pickering notes: All commentators appear to be in agreement that Maranatha is a transliteration of an Aramaic expression [although I would have expected Paul to use Hebrew] made up of two words, but there is disagreement over how to make the division. It could be 'maranatha', meaning 'the Lord has come', or 'marana tha', meaning either 'the Lord is coming' or 'O Lord, come'. All three make good sense, so take your pick.

So people understand it, translate it, and interpret it different.

I understand it in the most common sense, “O Lord, Come.”

1 Corinthians 16:22 WEL If anyone does not love the Lord Jesus Christ, let the same be anathema. O Lord, come!

Revelation 22:20 BSB He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!

We are waiting for His return: Philippians 3:20 NET But our citizenship is in heaven - and we also await a savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ,

The return of Jesus Christ is promised
B1 To Israel
C1 Deliverance of Israel and setting up of the kingdom
C2 Doom of coming judgment to those who do not believe
C3 One example: Zechariah 14:1-4 NKJV Behold, the day of the LORD is coming, And your spoil will be divided in your midst. 2 For I will gather all the nations to battle against Jerusalem; The city shall be taken, The houses rifled, And the women ravished. Half of the city shall go into captivity, But the remnant of the people shall not be cut off from the city. 3 Then the LORD will go forth And fight against those nations, As He fights in the day of battle. 4 And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, Which faces Jerusalem on the east. And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two, From east to west, Making a very large valley; Half of the mountain shall move toward the north And half of it toward the south.
B2 To church age believers
C1 John 14:3 NKJV And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.
C2 I Thessalonians 4:16-17 ISV With a shout of command, with the archangel's call, and with the sound of God's trumpet, the Lord himself will come down from heaven, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up in the clouds together with them to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.

Patiently waiting
B1 Enduring trials: James 5:7-10 LEB Therefore be patient, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. Behold, the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the soil, being patient concerning it until it receives the early and late rains. You also be patient. Strengthen your hearts, because the coming of the Lord is near. Brothers, do not complain against one another, in order that you may not be judged. Behold, the judge stands before the doors! Brothers, take as an example of perseverance and endurance the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.
B2 Hebrews 10:37 NRSV For yet "in a very little while, the one who is coming will come and will not delay;

A promise of hope
B1 A crown: I Peter 5:4 ISV Then, when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the victor's crown of glory that will never fade away.
B2 A joy in longing for His return: 2 Timothy 4:8 NRSV From now on there is reserved for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have longed for his appearing.
B3 A new body without defects: 2 Corinthians 5:1-4 CEV Our bodies are like tents that we live in here on earth. But when these tents are destroyed, we know that God will give each of us a place to live. These homes will not be buildings that someone has made, but they are in heaven and will last forever. 2 While we are here on earth, we sigh because we want to live in that heavenly home. 3 We want to put it on like clothes and not be naked. 4 These tents we now live in are like a heavy burden, and we groan. But we don't do this just because we want to leave these bodies that will die. It is because we want to change them for bodies that will never die.
B4 A rescue from the coming wrath of God: 1 Thessalonians 1:10 NRSV and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath that is coming.

An exciting expectation
B1 For the King of all kings to deliver and reign forever and ever: Jude 1:14 NET Now Enoch, the seventh in descent beginning with Adam, even prophesied of them, saying, "Look! The Lord is coming with thousands and thousands of his holy ones,
B2 Titus 2:13 NRSV while we wait for the blessed hope and the manifestation of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.
B3 Philippians 3:20-21 GNB We, however, are citizens of heaven, and we eagerly wait for our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, to come from heaven. 21 He will change our weak mortal bodies and make them like his own glorious body, using that power by which he is able to bring all things under his rule.

An encouragement to live a Christian life
B1 Hebrews 9:28 NRSV so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin, but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.
B2 Luke 12:35-37 GW Be ready for action, and have your lamps burning.  36  Be like servants waiting to open the door at their master's knock when he returns from a wedding. 37 Blessed are those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes. I can guarantee this truth: He will change his clothes, make them sit down at the table, and serve them.
B3 1 John 2:28 GW Now, dear children, live in Christ. Then, when he appears we will have confidence, and when he comes we won't turn from him in shame.
B4 2 Peter 3:11-13 GW All these things will be destroyed in this way. So think of the kind of holy and godly lives you must live 12 as you look forward to the day of God and eagerly wait for it to come. When that day comes, heaven will be on fire and will be destroyed. Everything that makes up the universe will burn and melt. 13 But we look forward to what God has promised-a new heaven and a new earth-a place where everything that has God's approval lives.
B5 2 Timothy 4:1-2 NRSV In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I solemnly urge you: 2 proclaim the message; be persistent whether the time is favorable or unfavorable; convince, rebuke, and encourage, with the utmost patience in teaching.

Lo, He comes with clouds descending
Once for favored sinners slain;
Thousand thousand saints attending
Swell the triumph of His train:
Alleluia! Alleluia!
God appears on earth to reign.

Now redemption, long expected,
comes in solemn splendor near;
all the saints this world rejected
thrill the trumpet sound to hear:
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!
See the day of God appear!

Those dear tokens of his passion
still his dazzling body bears,
cause of endless exultation
to his ransomed worshipers;
with what rapture, with what rapture, with what rapture
gaze we on those glorious scars!

Yea, amen! let all adore thee,
high on thine eternal throne;
Savior, take the power and glory,
claim the kingdom as thine own:
O come quickly! O come quickly! O come quickly!
Thou shalt reign, and thou alone.

25 December 2019

A Few Thoughts About Jesus Christ at Christmas Time

Isaiah 9:6 GW A child will be born for us. A son will be given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. He will be named: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Luke 2:11-12 NRSV to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger."

Matthew 17:2 NRSV And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became dazzling white.
2 Peter 1:16 NET For we did not follow cleverly concocted fables when we made known to you the power and return of our Lord Jesus Christ; no, we were eyewitnesses of his grandeur.

Revelation 1:12-16 MKJV And I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. 13 And having turned, I saw seven golden lampstands. And in the midst of the seven lampstands I saw One like the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the feet, and tied around the breast with a golden band. 14 His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow. And His eyes were like a flame of fire. 15 And His feet were like burnished brass having been fired in a furnace. And His voice was like the sound of many waters. 16 And He had seven stars in His right hand, and out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword. And His face was like the sun shining in its strength.

Revelation 11:15 PickNT So the seventh angel trumpeted, and there were loud voices in heaven saying, "The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever."

For Christmas Day - Poem by Charles Wesley
(now known as Hark the Herald Angels Sing)

Hark, how all the welkin rings,
"Glory to the King of kings;
Peace on earth, and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconcil'd!"

Joyful, all ye nations, rise,
Join the triumph of the skies;
Universal nature say,
"Christ the Lord is born to-day!"

Christ, by highest Heaven ador'd,
Christ, the everlasting Lord:
Late in time behold him come,
Offspring of a virgin's womb!

Veil'd in flesh, the Godhead see,
Hail th' incarnate Deity!
Pleas'd as man with men to appear,
Jesus, our Immanuel here!

Hail, the heavenly Prince of Peace,
Hail, the Sun of Righteousness!
Light and life to all he brings,
Risen with healing in his wings.

Mild he lays his glory by,
Born that man no more may die;
Born to raise the sons of earth;
Born to give them second birth.

Come, desire of nations, come,
Fix in us thy humble home;
Rise, the woman's conquering seed,
Bruise in us the serpent's head.

Now display thy saving power,
Ruin'd nature now restore;
Now in mystic union join
Thine to ours, and ours to thine.

Adam's likeness, Lord, efface,
Stamp thy image in its place.
Second Adam from above,
Reinstate us in thy love.

Let us thee, though lost, regain,
Thee, the life, the inner man:
O, to all thyself impart,
Form'd in each believing heart.

Charles Wesley

24 December 2019

A Few Thoughts About Subconscious Sin—Part 2

Types of sins
B1 Of ignorance, that is, did not know or did not pay attention, but either way, it was not subconscious. Leviticus 5:17 NLT Suppose you sin by violating one of the LORD's commands. Even if you are unaware of what you have done, you are guilty and will be punished for your sin.
B2 Willfully: Psalm 19:13 NIV Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me. Then I will be blameless, innocent of great transgression.
B3 Secret sins are those sins we are aware but wish for no one else to know: Psalm 90:8 NLT You spread out our sins before you—our secret sins—and you see them all.

Types of confidence that are not pride, nor sinful
B1 My wife pointed out this verse to me: Hebrews 13:18 CSB Pray for us, for we are convinced that we have a clear conscience, wanting to conduct ourselves honorably in everything.
C1 The word convinced is the Greek word πείθω peíthō. It means persuade, be persuaded, and to trust, have confidence, be confident.
C2 Adam Clarke comments on this verse: We are persuaded that we have a conscience that not only acquits us of all fraud and sinister design, but assures us that in simplicity and godly sincerity we have laboured to promote the welfare of you and of all mankind.
B2 1 Thessalonians 2:10 NIV You are witnesses, and so is God, of how holy, righteous and blameless we were among you who believed.
B3 God commands us to boast: Jeremiah 9:23-24 NLT This is what the LORD says: "Don't let the wise boast in their wisdom, or the powerful boast in their power, or the rich boast in their riches. 24 But those who wish to boast should boast in this alone: that they truly know me and understand that I am the LORD who demonstrates unfailing love and who brings justice and righteousness to the earth, and that I delight in these things. I, the LORD, have spoken! (see 2 Corinthians 10:17)
B4 Galatians 6:14 NLT As for me, may I never boast about anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of that cross, my interest in this world has been crucified, and the world's interest in me has also died.

Is pride the root of all evil?
B1 Some think so
B2 Love of money is one root of evil. This would be covetousness. 1 Timothy 6:10 PickNT because the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil; in their greediness some have been led away from the faith and have impaled themselves on many distresses.
B3 Would the 10 Commandments be a guide to 10 roots of evil? I don’t know.
B4 Pride is not listed.
B5 Pride is disapproved by God.
C1 Proverbs 8:13 NLT All who fear the LORD will hate evil. Therefore, I hate pride and arrogance, corruption and perverse speech.
C2 Meekness is approved by God. Meekness is best defined by stating the opposite (the antonym) arrogance.
B6 Sin appears to come from 3 sources: 1 John 2:16 NIV For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world.
C1 Sinful desires of the flesh: Galatians 5:19-20 NLT When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division,
C2 Sinful desires of the eyes. Much is said about the eyes. Consider this one verse: 2 Peter 2:14 NET Their eyes, full of adultery, never stop sinning; they entice unstable people. They have trained their hearts for greed, these cursed children!
C3 Sinful pride of life: Luke 8:14 NLT The seeds that fell among the thorns represent those who hear the message, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the cares and riches and pleasures of this life. And so they never grow into maturity.
C4 There is God’s worldview and lifestyle (labeled as “spirit”) and the opposite (labeled as “world”).
D1 John 1:12-13 NLT But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. 13 They are reborn--not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God.
D2 John 8:44 NLT For you are the children of your father the devil, and you love to do the evil things he does. He was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies.
C5 Matthew 15:18-20 NKJV But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man. 19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. 20 These are the things which defile a man, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile a man."

The rooting out of sin
B1 By God, the perfect physician, who works on the sin nature that every human has (except the Lord Jesus who never sinned).
B2 Is the work of the Holy Spirit. It is called sanctification. Sanctification is a separation from what is evil (as defined by any other standard) to what is holy (as defined by God’s standard).
C1 Proverbs 20:27 NLT The LORD's light penetrates the human spirit, exposing every hidden motive.
C2 2 Corinthians 3:18 NLT So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.
C3 2 Thessalonians 2:13 CSB But we ought to thank God always for you, brothers and sisters loved by the Lord, because from the beginning God has chosen you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and through belief in the truth.
B3 Is God’s will for us. He wants us to be sanctified: 2 Thessalonians 2:13 CSB But we ought to thank God always for you, brothers and sisters loved by the Lord, because from the beginning God has chosen you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and through belief in the truth.
B4 By giving our body, soul, and spirit to God and His ways: Romans 6:19 LEB (I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh.) For just as you presented your members as slaves to immorality and lawlessness, leading to lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness, leading to sanctification.
B5 Romans 6:22 CSB But now, since you have been set free from sin and have become enslaved to God, you have your fruit, which results in sanctification​and the outcome is eternal life!
B6 We cannot be sinless in this life. God’s people are to be blameless. 1 Corinthians 1:8 NET He will also strengthen you to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The Christian life
B1 We are justified, this is a complete sanctification. We have a new heart (core of our being), a new creation, this new heart is indwelt by the Holy Spirit.
B2 We are being sanctified, this is progressive sanctification. God works, chastens, leads, etc. us through life to be more Christlike is our desires, thoughts, words, and deeds. 2 Peter 3:18 NET But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the honor both now and on that eternal day.
B3 We will be glorified, this also is a complete sanctification. This happens for most Christians when we die and go to be with the Lord. Some Christians will be alive at the Rapture and will ascend to the Lord to never sin again.

Self-made righteousness
B1 It can’t be done
B2 Ecclesiastes 7:16 ESV Be not overly righteous, and do not make yourself too wise. Why should you destroy yourself?
C1 John Wesley writes on this verse: Be not - This verse and the next have a manifest reference to Ecc 7:15, being two inferences drawn from the two clauses of the observation. Solomon here speaks in the person of an ungodly man, who takes occasion to dissuade men from righteousness, because of the danger which attends it. Therefore, saith he, take heed of strictness, zeal, and forwardness in religion. And the next verse contains an antidote to this suggestion; yea, rather saith he, be not wicked or foolish overmuch; for that will not preserve thee, as thou mayest imagine, but will occasion and hasten thy ruin.
C2 Adam Clarke: In other words, and in modern language, “There is no need of all this watching, fasting, praying, self-denial, etc., you carry things to extremes. Why should you wish to be reputed singular and precise?”
C3 It seems best to understand this passage as teaching to avoid extremes. People cannot be sinless in this life. As others have written, we are not to be like Pharisees who were overstrict in following ceremonial law and neglecting moral law.
D1 Proverbs 25:16 BSB If you find honey, eat just what you need, lest you have too much and vomit it up.
D2 Matthew 9:14 NRSV Then the disciples of John came to him, saying, "Why do we and the Pharisees fast often, but your disciples do not fast?"
D3 Romans 10:3 NRSV For, being ignorant of the righteousness that comes from God, and seeking to establish their own, they have not submitted to God's righteousness.
C4 We are NOT to rely on our own efforts to righteousness and lose sight of God’s grace.
B3 God’s grace is greater than ourselves.
C1 2 Corinthians 12:8-9 NRSV Three times I appealed to the Lord about this, that it would leave me, 9 but he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness." So, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.
C2 Hebrews 4:15 GNB Our High Priest is not one who cannot feel sympathy for our weaknesses. On the contrary, we have a High Priest who was tempted in every way that we are, but did not sin.

Titus 2:11-14 NLT For the grace of God has been revealed, bringing salvation to all people. 12 And we are instructed to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures. We should live in this evil world with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God, 13 while we look forward with hope to that wonderful day when the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will be revealed. 14 He gave his life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us his very own people, totally committed to doing good deeds.

Rejoice in God’s forgiveness, mercy, and grace.
Rest in His love for us.
Remain in His promises.

23 December 2019

A Few Thoughts About Subconscious Sin—Part 1

B1 Sermon I heard recently. Speaking about pride, the preacher mentioned, “If you have pride in your life, God will resist you. Right? Didn’t we just read that? (1 Peter 5:5—editor) We receive power from God, when we humble ourselves and that is called grace. Okay, so that’s why it is really, really important. Look back at your Bibles, if you still got it. Proverbs 16:18: Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall...back into that old sin that you used to get victory over. Right? Yup. Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall. Haughty spirit before failure. Haughty spirit before falling back into sin. A haughty spirit before, quote, a relapse. Pride goes before it every time. The problem is we don’t see it. We don’t recognize it. Why? A lot of the time it is subconscious. It’s arrogance we don’t know we have. In fact, let me just put it to you this way. You can live by very humble means. You can have a plain Jane home and not have a whole lot and content to have little but still be arrogant and just not know it.”

My comments:
C1 Later he speaks of sin coming from arrogance referring to King Saul’s sins in 1 Samuel 15. YET, the Holy Spirit makes it plain through Samuel that Saul’s sin is disobedience, not pride. Hezekiah (2 Chronicles 32:24-26) would have been a better example, but even there the Holy Spirit showed Hezekiah that his sin was pride.
C2 Pride is wrong. It is spoken against by God. But subconscious pride that we do not know we have and will be punished for it?

B2 Job 1:4-5
And his sons went and feasted in their houses, every one his day…

Of course, we confess overt acts of sin, and also secret sins, directly we are aware of them. But our unconscious sins are vastly more numerous than our conscious ones, just as the elevations beneath the ocean waves are much more numerous than those which rear themselves above the breakers as islets. For every one sin you know of, there are perhaps ten of which you are ignorant.

1. Let us understand how unconscious sins come into existence. Old habits assert themselves, in the heat of life, without our noticing them, as a man may unconsciously give a nervous twitch. Besides, our sensibilities are blunt, and permit sins to pass for want of knowing better, as a clerk in a bank may pass a counterfeit banknote for want of longer experience. Moreover, our standard is too low; we measure ourselves against our fellows, and not against the requirements of God. Then, too, though we may resist temptation, we can hardly do it without getting some stain.

2. Let us learn when unconscious sins are most to be dreaded. During times of feasting and holiday. Because we then give less time to devotion. Because we relax our self-watch. Because we are thrown into light and frivolous company. Job was always anxious after such times, and said, "It may be."

3. Let us see how to deal with unconscious sins. They are sins. They will interrupt our communion. They will work a deadly injury to our spiritual life; for hidden disease is even more perilous than that which shows itself. They must be brought beneath the cleansing blood of Jesus. We need to ask many times each day, Lord Jesus, keep me cleansed from all conscious and unconscious sin.

(F. B. Meyer, B. A.)

B1 Subconscious
C1 Relating to thoughts and feelings that exist in the mind and influence your behavior although you are not aware of them. (Source)
C2 Acting or existing without one's awareness (Source)
C3 The Hindu concept of subconscious:
D1 First Quote (Source): Hindu Concepts of the Subconscious Mind

Before the well-known French psychologists Charcot and Janet recognized the existence of the subconscious state of mind the west was interested only in the conscious state of mind. Later Freud, Jung and others concluded that the larger portion of the mind is like the submerged portion of an iceberg. It is unknown to us. But Hindu psychology, long before the birth of Christ, was aware of the subconscious or unconscious state of mind. Panatanjali explained this unconscious state of mind as a storehouse of all past thoughts or samskaras.

These samskaras have the ability to generate tendencies in the conscious plane of the mind. Borrowing a mathematical term, if we call each of these samskaras a vector then the resultant effect of all these will be seen as tendencies in the conscious mind. In the words of Swami Vivekenanda:

Every work that we do, every moment of he day, every thought we think, leaves an impression on the mind-stuff [the internal organ or antahkarana], and even when such impressions are not obvious on the surface they are sufficiently strong to work beneath the surface, man's character is determined by the sum total of these impressions.
D2 Second (Source):
The conscious mind and the subconscious mind, sometimes also called the unconscious mind. The conscious mind is the “awake-mind” - which is only used when we are awake. The subconscious mind goes on working 24 hours of every day. It is not a physical entity, and thus not located anywhere in the physical body. It cannot be seen with the naked eye. It cannot be measured, it cannot be weighed and it cannot be taken apart for scientific research and study. 
D3 Cleansing the subconscious is done by meditation and visualization.
B2 Conscious
C1 Conscious
D1 Conscious (AWAKE)awake, aware of what is happening around you, and able to think: She’s out of surgery but not fully conscious yet.
D2 Conscious adjective (NOTICING)noticing the existence of something: People have become much more conscious of the need to exercise regularly.
D3 Conscious adjective (INTENTIONAL)determined and intentional: Was it a conscious decision to break up the group, or did it just happen?
D4 Conscious adjective (AWARE)being especially aware of or worried about something: Consumers aren’t as conscious of prices as they were last year. (Source)
C2 Consciousaware; capable of thought or will: a conscious decision; cognizant: She was conscious of the stranger standing close to her. (Source)

The evil conclusions of subconscious/unconscious sin
B1 Fear of sinning without knowing it
B2 Every morning, we wake up and wonder how many times I sinned subconsciously. Every evening before sleep, we lay in bed and wonder how many times I sinned subconsciously. We become anxious and self-conscious what we are doing and thinking. “I must ask forgiveness or God will be angry.”
B3 At the time of dying will we be able to ask forgiveness of subconscious/unconscious sins? When our awareness is fading as we get even closer to dying, will we still sin and not ask for forgiveness?
B4 The babies that die before birth (stillborn) or before the age of accountability have no opportunity to ask forgiveness.
B5 We might as well give up the faith, for there is no hope. We are founded on pride and always proud. If pride is not conscious, then it is unconscious (subconscious). If we think we are not proud, we are. If we think we are proud, then we will be proud when we repent. According to the preacher mentioned at the beginning, God resists us. Evidently, we are proud and always proud either with conscious pride or subconscious pride. Psalm 5:5 NLT Therefore, the proud may not stand in your presence, for you hate all who do evil.
B6 If an addict relapses, he is doing an old habit, so she/he is proud.
B7 Do you see F. B. Meyer’s comment? Even if something is done due to lacking experience, it is sin. Besides, our sensibilities are blunt, and permit sins to pass for want of knowing better, as a clerk in a bank may pass a counterfeit banknote for want of longer experience.
B8 Something is very, very wrong in this view.
B9 God have mercy; this belief is so wrong.
B10 There is no joy in forgiveness in this view, because we always sin, because we are continuously proud. On the other hand, the Psalmist rejoices at his forgiveness: Psalm 32:1-2 NIV Of David. A maskil. Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. 2 Blessed is the one whose sin the LORD does not count against them and in whose spirit is no deceit.

Definition of sin
B1 The King of the Universe, Jesus Christ, has laws. Sin is breaking His law, disobeying law, etc.
B2 Neglecting to do what we know is right is sin. James 4:17 GW Whoever knows what is right but doesn't do it is sinning.
B3 These laws are summarized in 10 sets that cover all sins.
C1 No other Gods
C2 No idols
C3 No blasphemy
C4 Special day for rest and worship
C5 Honor parents
C6 No murder
C7 No adultery
C8 No stealing
C9 No false witness
C10 No coveting
B4 Sin can be committed in thoughts, desires, words, and/or deeds.
B5 Sin is punished: James 2:10 NLT For the person who keeps all of the laws except one is as guilty as a person who has broken all of God's laws.
B6 Death is the sentence: Romans 6:23 NLT For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.
B7 What is needed for something to be a sin?
C1 A standard. God is the standard.
D1 For the nation of Israel, it is the 613 Laws of the Old Testament.
D2 For the church (believers, not an organization) it is the approximate 1,000 rules in the New Testament. (Note, I do not know anything about that website, so beware. The list itself is from Dake’s Study Bible. Dake has some heretical belief).
D3 Both sets of laws are consistent with the 10 commandments. All types of lying or false witness are sin, for example.
C2 Sin requires an immoral action, sufficient knowledge, and sufficient consent. To the extent that it keeps us legitimately concerned about the welfare of ourselves or others, it is not an immoral action to worry. Even in cases of needless worry, most worriers do not purposely worry despite knowledge that they should not. Indeed, in some cases, excessive, compulsive worry may be a symptom of a legitimate illness, and therefore not a sin.(Source)
C3 Not doing what is right: James 4:17 NLT Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it.
C4 Sin can be in thoughts, desires, words, and/or deeds.