The Power of God’s Utterance

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Though we can’t fully grasp the power and authority of God’s voice, we can have some small inkling of it. This same voice said, “Let there be,” and there was. By this voice, the universe and everything in it came into existence. This same power of His voice creates a new heart in us. This voice imparts deity into us when we’re born again, putting Jesus Christ into our hearts. It imparts gifts of the Spirit and ministries to lowly humans. It’s the voice that transfigures us into the same image of Christ, cleanses us, and builds up Christ in us as we yield ourselves wholly to it.

“I [God] will instruct you and teach you concerning the path you should walk; I will direct you with my eye.” (Psalm 32:8 International Standard Version)

“Therefore Jesus was saying to the Jews having believed in Him, ‘If you abide in My word, you are truly My disciples. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set free you.’” (John 8:31-32 Berean Literal Bible)

We can’t help but notice God’s method, a method that will cause us to know the truth. Jesus said, “If you abide in My word, you are truly My disciples (ones taught by Me), and you will know the truth.” Still, this Scripture is even more exciting when we look into the original language from which this Scripture was translated. If we translate this Scripture literally, His “word” is His “utterance.” We know the truth by dwelling or journeying in His utterance. So He’s talking about living our daily lives in His presence, listening to His voice, and being set free from slavery.

“If we live our lives in the utterance of Jesus, we’ll know the truth, and the truth will set us free.” (Application of John 8:31-32 in modern English)

If we live our lives in the utterance of Jesus, we’re led by Him, and we respond in obedience. And the Holy Spirit is telling us that His leading and power results in works but not self-righteousness, so human effort isn’t helpful. Rather, we submit ourselves to His love and allow His love to do His works through us. This training leads to maturity, and maturity leads to discernment as the following verse points out:

“But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.” (Hebrews 5:14 English Standard Version)

Here, the word that’s translated as “trained” is a word that means “vigorous exercise,” so this training isn’t passive. Also, the word “by” points to “constant practice,” and this phrase “constant practice” is translated from a word that means habit of body or mind, so it means our behavior.

“. . . who have their powers of discernment vigorously exercised by constant practice to distinguish between good and evil.” (literal)

As we look to God for understanding, we see how this truth ties into what James said about faith being dead without works, so our journey will thoroughly explore how we can discern truth from falsehood. In other words, we’re laying out a broad outline now, but we’ll get down to the detail.

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The Basis of Thought and Discernment

We, as followers of Christ, may never ask enough questions to expose the fact that ungodly thinkers base every claim on made-up stuff. This made-up stuff causes ungodly thinkers to say things that seem crazy to us. Rather than listening, we may argue about details, or we may just shut down the conversation in the face of what we perceive to be such obvious irrationality. But, if we ask enough of the right questions, we get down to the basis of thought. Then we see that ungodly thinkers base their most dogmatically-held beliefs on their own assumptions or the assumptions of certain intellectuals.

On the other hand, when we faithfully listen to God’s voice and yield to Him in submission, we base our thinking on what He says and on the living faith that flows when we acknowledge His voice. But we’ll continue to meet those who base every thought on made-up stuff as they dogmatically claim to know, by the mechanism of made-up stuff, that God isn’t leading, teaching, or correcting anyone anywhere. However, we know that Christ always does what He says He’ll do, to instruct, teach, and direct us. We know this truth by revelation that’s confirmed by experience and by God’s faith that comes as we listen to His voice.
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The Big Difference

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The God Complex

Ungodly thinking can go anywhere since it’s based on made-up stuff. Godly thinking must stick to reality, so it’s constrained. It’s like a narrow and restricted way.

Rocky Rockbuilder: God will judge the ungodly. Every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.

Sandy Sandbuilder: Do you feel that those you keep calling ungodly are of God since everything is from God?

Rocky: God created everything. But much of creation rebelled and separated themselves from God.

Sandy: Since God is the ultimate power there is no separation. Separation is an illusion.

Rocky: Without divine revelation, you’re trying to reason beyond your immediate sensory experience. When you do that, you become irrational.

Sandy: I do reason beyond my senses because God created me to do that.

Rocky: That’s a bare assertion. You’re trying to reason beyond your immediate sensory experience without divine revelation. When you do that, you become irrational.

Sandy: According to Scripture wasn’t man made in God’s image?

Rocky: Do you submit yourself to Jesus Christ? Is He Lord of your life? Do you praise Him and worship Him? Have you dedicated yourself to obeying Him in every part of your life?

Sandy: My submission is to God. We are the ones to become the Christ just as Jesus did.

Rocky: That doesn’t answer the questions I asked.

Sandy: That’s the answer I have. I submit to God. And because of that, I become a Christ just as my brother Jesus the Christ did.

Sandy reasons beyond his senses without divine revelation. By the power of his own imagination, he thinks that he’s going to become another Christ separate from Jesus. All he needed was assumption, and he was able to make himself believe this lie. He just needed a little made-up stuff.
</end quote>

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Why the Conflict?

2 Peter 2:12a and Jude 1:10 & 19 speak of those who are like brute beasts, unable to process rational thought and only able to respond to their five senses because they don’t listen to the Holy Spirit.

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Why the Conflict?

Ungodly thinkers and godly thinkers conflict because they each have a different starting point for thinking. An ungodly thinker bases every thought on made-up stuff while a godly thinker bases thought on God and what God is saying in the moment. Before we finish our journey, we’ll understand in detail how we can know reality and avoid being deceived by lies.

Meanwhile, to an ungodly thinker, revelation seems to be a strange basis for thinking. To a follower of Christ, made-up stuff seems to be a strange basis for thinking. But made-up stuff can lead to weird conclusions. In this conflict, ungodly thinkers tend to project their own problems onto godly thinkers by accusing godly thinkers of being irrational. And ungodly Christian thinkers sometimes accuse godly thinkers of creating atheists just as Sandy accused Rocky. However, Brennan Manning gives a different cause of atheism:

The greatest cause of atheism is Christians who acknowledge Jesus with their lips, then walk out the door and deny Him with their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable.

Brennan Manning is largely correct. Although we must remember, self-righteousness and virtue signalling also turn people away from Christ. Here’s a strange fact. Ungodly Christians usually have many works, but their works aren’t God’s works since they didn’t originate in God. They deny Christ with their lifestyles.
</end quote>
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Knowing Christ or Pretending

This is a continuation of a dialog between a person who depends on Christ and a person (atheist, pagan, who knows?) posing as a Christian. Rocky Rockbuilder had asked Sandy Sandbuilder whether Sandy had a relationship with Christ in which Christ leads, teaches, and corrects him. Sandy has been ducking and weaving to avoid answering the question. Rocky ended the last post with this: “I don’t need any stories. I prefer reality. I want you to know that you can know Christ, and you can have this relationship. Whoever seeks Him finds Him.” It continues from there.

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Sandy: If I were not a Christian I would not want to hear about God from someone who denies reality. I have been researching this subject for about the same length of time you have. I have read books and watched videos and have seen little if any truth.

Sandy is making another circular argument in which he assumes that his story of billions of years is reality and then uses this assumption to prove billions of years. It’s also a fallacy to think that made-up stuff is real stuff. Still, it’s common for evolutionists to think that their assumptions, stories, conceptual frameworks, ideas, or other forms of made-up stuff are real. They lose the distinction between make-believe and reality. We notice that Sandy didn’t want to talk about knowing Christ but chose instead to speak of being “a Christian.” And yet, we notice he didn’t even claim to be a Christian in the loosest sense of the word.

Rocky: I didn’t ask if you identify with a religion. I asked whether you know Christ. I don’t consider made-up stuff reality no matter how much someone uses appeal to ridicule fallacies to prove their points. The reason you haven’t found truth is because all truth is hidden in Christ Jesus. You can’t reason sanely to any conclusion without a relationship with Christ. When you open your mind to Him, the Holy Spirit begins to lead you into truth.

Sandy: If it is made-up stuff, I am sure you can prove it wrong.

Rocky: Your reasoning commits an appeal to ignorance fallacy. Truth is a positive thing, and sound reasoning requires proof in the form of a true premise. The only way to have a true premise is if God reveals the premise to you. Therefore, if you don’t acknowledge Him, even the things you know are unproven, and you can’t tell the difference between reality and make-believe. I want to tell you that you can know Jesus Christ. It’s important that you come to this relationship. If you yield yourself to Him, the Holy Spirit will lead you into all truth one day, but it has to start with opening up to Him.

Sandy: People like you are the reason atheists are atheists. If you don’t believe in evolution or billions of years, you don’t believe in science. If you don’t believe in science, no one will believe you. You will keep people from coming to Christ.

Rocky: Neither evolutionism nor old-earth dogmatism is science. No one has observed either of these. No one has to embrace made-up stuff to bring another person to the truth. Christians who don’t know Christ and never listen to His voice or obey Him can’t bring anyone to Christ. They may bring someone to sign up for a religious organization, but Christ isn’t a religion. Christ is real. How would a person who doesn’t know Christ bring someone else to Christ?

That conversation shows the futility of godless thinking. Sandy may be a religious person, but he can’t or won’t testify of Jesus Christ’s wisdom, knowledge, and power.
</end quote>

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It’s Not About Labels

The word “Christian” lost its meaning since it’s used as a label for people who follow Christ and those who don’t follow Christ. Some people label themselves as “Christian” when they’re really deists since they don’t believe that God is actively involved with His creation. They don’t believe in answered prayer. They don’t believe in miracles. They don’t believe that Christ can lead, teach, and correct. They don’t believe that Christ can give discernment of His voice versus all the other voices. They don’t believe that God imparts grace so we can obey His leading and apply His correction. So, some Christians started calling themselves “followers of Christ” to make a distinction. It didn’t take long before Satan converted “follower of Christ” into a euphemism that’s used to refer to many people who don’t listen to the voice of Christ and don’t even believe that such a relationship is possible. They don’t believe that Christ speaks through Scripture and every means of divine revelation mentioned in Scripture. Many are born again and will go to heaven if they die, but they aren’t following Christ. They don’t even believe it’s possible to follow Christ. Even atheists can pretend to be followers of Christ as the following dialog (continued from a previous post) shows.

2 Peter 2:12a and Jude 1:10 & 19 speak of those who are like brute beasts, unable to process rational thought and only able to respond to their five senses because they don’t listen to the Holy Spirit.

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Rocky: You haven’t given me any proof, and you refuse to admit to knowing Christ. Do you refuse because you don’t know Him? Why do you refuse to testify of His presence?

Sandy: I am waiting for you to tell me about these alternative cosmologies. Since you refer to them in the plural, I assume they are not that good. The real explanation requires only one, not plural. [Sandy again stonewalls by ignoring the question and again goes back to a question Rocky already answered.]

Rocky: The real explanation? A cosmology is a speculative explanation. It goes beyond observation. It goes beyond reality, so there is no real cosmological explanation. All such explanations are made-up stuff. You’re confusing reality with made-up stuff, which is hypostatization. Reality is more important than the land of make-believe, and so I want to ask you about knowing Christ. If you don’t know Him, I want to tell you how you can know Him, but if you do know Him, I want to praise God that you know Him.

Sandy: Why do you need more than one cosmology?

Rocky: I don’t need any stories. I prefer reality. I want you to know that you can know Christ, and you can have this relationship. Whoever seeks Him finds Him.

Sandy: If I were not a Christian I would not want to hear about God from someone who denies reality. I have been researching this subject for about the same length of time you have. I have read books and watched videos and have seen little if any truth.

Sandy is making another circular argument in which he assumes that his story of billions of years is reality and then uses this assumption to prove billions of years. It’s also a fallacy to think that made-up stuff is real stuff. Still, it’s common for evolutionists to think that their assumptions, stories, conceptual frameworks, ideas, or other forms of made-up stuff are real. They lose the distinction between make-believe and reality.

We notice that Sandy didn’t want to talk about knowing Christ but chose instead to speak of being “a Christian.” And yet, we notice he didn’t even claim to be a Christian in the loosest sense of the word.
</end quote>
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Personal Revelation

2 Peter 2:12a and Jude 1:10 & 19 speak of those who are like brute beasts, unable to process rational thought and only able to respond to their five senses because they don’t listen to the Holy Spirit.

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Sandy: The age of the universe has been arrived at in hundreds of ways, and you are trying to tell me all of them are wrong?

Rocky: You claimed that the record God left in His creation shows several billions of years. Without any assumptions at all, show me that what you say is true. You can try to coerce people as you’re doing, and this coercion may work for you sometimes. However, without proof, you aren’t going to convince me of your opinion. God has personally told me that the Bible is true and without error, so I know this truth, but I don’t know about your unsupported claims. You talk about a record, but I sense that this “record” is a figment of your imagination since you won’t show proof.

Sandy: You are denying all of science, and you want me to show proof?

Sandy is again saying, “You ask for proof; therefore, I won’t show proof because you must just take my word without any proof.” He refuses to show proof for his claim of billions of years, and he identifies his claim of billions of years as “all of science.” When an ungodly thinker is defending ungodly made-up stuff, such irrationality is the norm, not the exception.

</end quote>

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Basing Thought on Made-up Stuff

2 Peter 2:12a and Jude 1:10 & 19 speak of those who are like brute beasts, unable to process rational thought and only able to respond to their five senses because they don’t listen to the Holy Spirit.

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Lacking a Relationship

This is a conversation between an ungodly thinker and a godly thinker. It illustrates that ungodly thinkers build their thoughts on made-up stuff with smokescreen fallacies hiding the made-up stuff. Godly thinkers, on the other hand, build their thoughts on the foundation of Christ.

Sandy Sandbuilder: I believe in truth, and that’s why I believe in an old creation. I have had many people tell me they can prove me wrong, but the best they could come up with is a video from a doubtful source. [NOTE: This statement is a genetic fallacy coupled with an appeal to ignorance fallacy.]

Rocky Rockbuilder: Made-up stories contribute nothing to truth. Age of the earth or universe is an opinion unless it comes by divine revelation, and one opinion is a good as another since opinion has no substance.

Sandy: So do you believe the record God left in His creation.

Rocky: Yes, and I don’t add made-up stuff to it out of my carnal mind.

Sandy: So you believe the creation is several billion years old?

Rocky: No, I don’t believe “the creation is several billion years old” since God never said it’s several billion years old.

Sandy: And yet the record He left in His creation clearly shows it. Funny you’re able to ignore that.

We notice Sandy speaks of a Creator Who has left and is gone. On the surface, it sounds like Sandy is thinking this way, and as we follow this conversation further, we’ll see that he has no relationship with Christ. We can also notice that Sandy likes to use presuppositional phrases. In his most recent statement, he uses the word “ignore” to presuppose his unsupported claim that the creation “clearly shows” that it’s “several billion years old.” Also, the word “clearly” provides another layer of presupposition, but to whom is it clear?
</end quote>

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Christ Reveals Himself

2 Peter 2:12a and Jude 1:10 & 19 speak of those who are like brute beasts, unable to process rational thought and only able to respond to their five senses because they don’t listen to the Holy Spirit.

<quote>
Frank knew he had a weak heart and he could die at any time. He was in his 80s and had lived a successful life. His daughter had begged him, telling him he needed to believe in Jesus Christ or he would go to hell. Frank wanted to go to heaven, and Frank wanted to believe, but he was still having doubts.

For some reason, Frank felt drawn to a younger couple. He had seen them around, and one day he walked up to them and said, “I think God sent you to talk to me.”

Frank startled the young man and his wife, but they talked to Frank. Frank talked on and on about his inner conflict and the struggle in his mind. He told them he wanted to believe in Jesus, but he had so much education he just couldn’t believe. Frank repeatedly said that when he tells Jesus he can’t believe in Him, Jesus tells him he must. But Frank kept telling Jesus, “I just can’t believe. I have too much education.”

As the conversation went on, Frank did almost all the talking as the young man listened, but then the young man’s wife suddenly realized the conflict in what Frank was claiming. She didn’t want to jump into the conversation between the two men, so she prayed and asked God to show her husband the same thing God had shown her. From this moment, the conversation went something like the following:

Young Man: Frank, you know what I can’t believe?

Frank: What?

Young Man: I can’t believe you don’t believe in Jesus.

Frank: Why?

Young Man: You keep talking to Him, and He keeps answering you.

Frank: You’re right. That’s it. That’s the answer. I do know Him. Why couldn’t my priest tell me this when I asked?
</end quote>
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He Heard Those Words

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2018 State of the Union

God speaks. More people are becoming aware of His presence. President Donald J. Trump, when giving the 2018 State of the Union, said the following:

We see a vivid expression of this truth in the story of the Holets family of New Mexico. Ryan Holets is 27 years old, and an officer with the Albuquerque Police Department. He is here tonight with his wife, Rebecca. Last year, Ryan was on duty when he saw a pregnant, homeless woman preparing to inject heroin. When Ryan told her she was going to harm her unborn child, she began to weep. She told him she didn’t know where to turn, but badly wanted a safe home for her baby.

In that moment, Ryan said he felt God speak to him, “You will do it because you can.” He heard those words. He took out a picture of his wife and their four kids. Then, he went home to tell his wife, Rebecca. In an instant, she agreed to adopt. The Holets named their new daughter Hope.

Ryan and Rebecca, you embody the goodness of our Nation. Thank you, and congratulations.
</end quote>

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