What is Submission?

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

<quote>
Let’s be clear. Submission is a lack of fighting or arguing against God. It’s not a form of trying to earn righteousness by the Law. It’s yielding. It’s realizing that God is the potter and we are the clay. God won’t force Himself on anyone, so submission is required. The Pharisees didn’t submit to God, though they tried in their own strength to obey God’s Law. They were like Christians who say, “The reason I obey the Ten Commandments is that I’m just so thankful that God forgave me that I want to do something for Him.” That’s as if we could give our own righteousness, which is like filthy rags, as a gift that would please God. In contrast to submission, the Pharisees tried to establish their own righteousness.

“For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.” (Romans 10:3 King James Version)
</end quote>
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Author’s Note:

Why did I add this to the book? Some theologians are rightly concerned about adding human fake-righteousness or self-righteousness to the gospel. However, some of these theologians go over the top and think that works need to be eliminated from the gospel. However, God makes it clear as He speaks through Scripture that works are a part of the gospel. Then, phrases such as “works righteousness” are used to condemn anyone who does what’s right or who teaches others to do what’s right. It all becomes very confusing.  They include submission in their list of works to avoid. However, rebellion takes work. Ignoring Christ requires work. We have to expend effort to fight against the Holy Spirit and His righteousness. When we yield, we let go. We don’t fight God. We stop our rebellion. That means that rather than taking our marching orders from our fleshly natures, we listen to Christ. As the Holy Spirit leads and we hear (or listen to) Him, faith comes. Faith gives us access to His grace. Grace does any works within us. Even rational thought is impossible without hearing the voice of God and yielding to it in willing submission.

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God Reveals His Orders

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

<quote>
When the Holy Spirit leads us, He reveals the natural orders and gives us strength for righteousness. We can ask for this righteousness and receive it. When we acknowledge Him and His leading, we can reason rationally. We can provide a rational reason for loving our neighbor rather than killing our neighbor. Without the Holy Spirit, we depend on our natural senses and our primary drives. With the Holy Spirit, we receive revelation of not only the natural but also the spiritual. The Holy Spirit keeps unfolding this revelation in front of us as long as we keep acknowledging Him and yielding to Him in submission and obedience.
</end quote>

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The Illusion of Knowledge

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

<quote>
How can we have truth but not know it? We’re in this plight when we disconnect from the Holy Spirit. God imparts some natural truth in the form of instinct or intuition. We know sex is for marriage. We know marriage is between one man and one woman who vow before God to remain together for life excluding all others from this sacred trust. We know stealing and murder are wrong. We know many such truths, and everyone knows these truths. We know them by divine revelation. However, we can’t prove anything if we’re trying to survive without the Holy Spirit. We’ve seen many who have lost this natural knowledge. They’ve murdered strangers or distorted God’s natural pattern for marriages and families. They drifted from God’s Spirit and rationalized behavior God didn’t create in His natural order. They’ve gone down into bondage to unnatural desires and addictions. Others have followed God’s natural orders to some extent, but they can’t explain why. To them, good and evil are merely interesting concepts but not part of reality. When we refuse to acknowledge God, we can’t know anything for sure. We can have the illusion of knowledge, though.
</end quote>
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Who is Wise?

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

<quote>
“Who is wise and understanding among you; let him show his works out of the good conduct, in the humility of wisdom.” (James 3:13 Berean Literal Bible)

This natural wisdom is good. Without acknowledging Christ, a man can be a successful engineer. Without acknowledging Christ, a woman can start and operate a successful business. God provides natural wisdom and spiritual wisdom, but the two aren’t similar. He imparts natural talents, gifts, and personality traits. People develop skills without acknowledging Christ. However, without the Holy Spirit, if we claim to know anything we confuse “knowledge” with our unfounded opinions. Once we mix those two, we can’t know anything since we can’t sort the truth from the gibberish. We can feel like we know things, but we can never be sure about anything. We may have truth since God reveals reality to us, but we don’t know the difference between revealed truth and imagined speculation. We can’t discern between truth and made-up stuff. Remember, we’re defining knowledge as precise, accurate, and absolutely certain knowledge of truth.

God has also written some knowledge on the conscience of every person. We could call this natural knowledge, but it is revealed knowledge. We don’t know the extent of what God wrote or when God wrote it, but we know this knowledge comes from God. This knowledge is truth, but we can’t know that it’s truth unless we acknowledge that it comes from God. And the human conscience isn’t always reliable. A conscience can be weak, wounded, seared, defiled, or even evil. (1 Corinthians 8:12, 1 Timothy 4:2, Titus 1:15, Hebrews 10:22) What God wrote was pure, but we’re influenced by those around us, by demonic entities, and by our own weak reasoning and speculation. These influences cause impurity in the conscience. Without the light of the Holy Spirit, we have no way to know the difference between what’s pure and what’s impure.

“For when Gentiles, not having the Law, do by nature the things of the Law, these not having the Law are a law to themselves, who show the work of the Law, written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness, and the thoughts between one another accusing or also defending them” (Romans 2:14-15 Berean Literal Bible)

“who having known the righteous judgment of God, that those doing such things are worthy of death, not only are practicing them, but are also approving of those practicing them.” (Romans 1:32 Berean Literal Bible)
</end quote>

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The Fleshly Mind versus Christ

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

<quote>
Natural knowledge and Natural wisdom.

We can learn. Dogs can learn. Cats can learn. All animals obtain a natural pragmatic familiarity. However, for this journey, we don’t want to confuse this natural pragmatic familiarity with certainty of truth. We steer a car by this natural familiarity form of pseudo-knowledge. We get a new car, and the steering doesn’t work exactly as our old car’s steering worked. However, we drive it until we get the feel of it by reacting to our natural senses. We could call this “knowledge,” but it isn’t knowledge unless we acknowledge God Who gives knowledge. When God reveals a matter and we acknowledge God, we can have precise, accurate, absolute, and certain knowledge of truth. But God doesn’t reveal everything, and we only accept a fraction of what He does reveal. Our carnal, sarx mind also calls to us and confuses us, so we aren’t always confident, and we’re sometimes confident when we should be questioning our confidence.

As an illustration of the problem, consider Tony, a former Christian turned atheistic evangelist. This man posted a question to a Christian discussion group and said that this was one of the questions that turned him away from Christianity. Here’s the question: “If God decided to kill most of humanity because they had turned to evil, why would He flood the planet to do so? Why cause such a loss of life?” He claimed that no one was able to answer this question in a way that wouldn’t allow him to rationalize an answer. Since he was always able to generate a rationalized response, he decided that God didn’t exist.

Christians then obediently tried to reason with Tony, and, sure enough, Tony was always able to rationalize an answer to anything the Christians proposed. One Christian asked Tony about the limitations of the human mind, and Tony agreed that the human mind is limited. He admitted that he couldn’t have a true premise, but he claimed that this limitation only kept him from absolute truth. He claimed that he could still “know” the probabilities of things being true or false. He claimed that the fact that he couldn’t have a true premise only meant that he was limited to inductive reasoning rather than deductive reasoning. Of course, that isn’t true. Both inductive and deductive reasoning require true premises. Tony brought out examples of how he’s able to function in society and keep himself alive by using the brute-beast, sarx mind.

The Christian asked how that works, and Tony said, “It works like this: I say something. You say something that appears to be related, based on your words and grammar. If it were a mess of jumbled letters, I would think we did not understand each other, but it’s not, so I say something that seems relevant. If you again respond with stuff that appears relevant, the likelihood that I am getting random responses from the universe is becoming smaller and smaller. So, I inductively conclude that I am almost certainly communicating with an intelligent being and that we almost certainly understand each other’s words, at least in broad outline.”

The Christian asked how Tony was reasoning to his original claim. Tony had already agreed that he was limited to his immediate sensations from his five senses, natural instincts, and axiomatic thinking fallacies. And yet, he felt qualified to ask God about His reasoning in sending the Genesis Flood.

Tony claimed that he “proved” the probability of the non-existence of God through inductive reasoning. Of course, Tony wouldn’t use the word “proved.” He would prefer the word “inferred.” However, for many people, both “infer” and “conclude” imply a rational thought process rather than just making up stuff and using smokescreen fallacies to hide the fact that they’re making up stuff and calling the made-up stuff true.

Tony asked God, and he asked Christians. God wasn’t specific enough in His answer to Tony, and Tony was always able to make up an argument against the answers he received from Christians. He called that “inductive reasoning.”

This true story illustrates the limitation of the brute-beast mind. Tony can use his brute-beast mind to “know” that he’s probably talking to a person rather than receiving random signals from the universe. In that case, he’s reacting to his immediate senses. However, he has to add axiomatic thinking fallacies and misuse inductive reasoning to reason beyond his immediate senses. Using the same process, Tony could convince himself of anything. He would just present his theory and test to see if he could argue against anyone who attempted to refute his theory. His theory could be the tooth fairy or the non-existence of the universe, but he would still be able to think up arguments against anyone who tried to refute his theory. The brute-beast mind can be very clever at making up stories and committing axiomatic thinking fallacies. As long as Tony allows those two methods of reasoning, he can prove anything to himself.
</end quote>
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Sarx

“because the mind of the flesh is hostility toward God; for it is not subject to the Law of God, for not even can it be.” ~ Romans 8:7 Berean Literal Bible

This Scripture again speaks of the fleshly mind. It won’t obey God’s Law, nor can it. King James Version translated this same word as “carnal mind.” The Greek word is “sarx.” Again, this mind interprets sense data to make decisions. This animal nature craves and incites sin. To understand this word better, we’ll look at three more passages where it appears.

“For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.” ~ Romans 7:14 King James Version

“And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. . . . For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?” ~ 1 Corinthians 3:1 & 3 King James Version

“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;” ~ 2 Corinthians 10:4 King James Version

As the natural, sarx, carnal mind depends on natural senses, the spiritual mind depends on spiritual senses. The sarx mind craves and incites sin. It can’t do righteousness. It’s deceitful and desperately wicked. In Romans 7:14, Paul says he’s carnal/sarx, sold under sin. When was he sold as a slave to sin? Adam obeyed Satan rather than God, and he became a slave of Satan through obedience. God’s natural order is obedience to God, not Satan, so Adam distorted the natural order. He passed on this sinfulness to his descendants including Paul, and his descendants all followed their distorted instincts into sin and death.

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God Supplies Everyone’s Needs

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

<quote>
God supplies everything we need. He even provides for the disbelievers so that they have the opportunity to seek Him. Some will seek Him and find Him. Others will continue to reject Him and dishonor Him.

The natural existence is a low existence. It’s sad to see people living at such a lowly level as an animal, but what about Christians living this way?
</end quote>

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Rejecting Evidence

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

<quote>
So, how do we know anything about history? Artifacts exist. We can read letters and legal documents going way back in time. We can see tools and whatever is left of buildings and cities. The interpretation of the artifacts is tentative pseudo-knowledge that’s subject to change with further discoveries. Often, historians commit argument from silence fallacies. That is, they argue that they have not seen evidence for a certain event so the event never happened. Generally, they use selective evidence when committing this kind of fallacy. They reject the written account in Scripture even though written accounts are the most reliable way to know what happened in the past.
</end quote>

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God Reveals Absolute but Incomplete Truth

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

<quote>
God reveals absolute, though partial, truth. God reveals spiritual truth and historical truth, but the brute-beast mind can’t self-generate this form of knowledge. However, this brute-beast mind continually has opinions about such things as morality, sin, God, heaven, hell, ethics, politics, history, and truth. None of these is material. This brute-beast mind can be brilliant in creating testable technology like computers, medical equipment, and rockets. People develop these products pragmatically. They test them. They fine-tune them. However, the brute-beast mind can’t test a historical story or a moral issue. God reveals a natural understanding of moral issues to this natural human mind. We call this “conscience.” However, as humans try to reason from their own natural understandings, the brute-beast mind is incapable. It begins to destroy the conscience and to twist it. This mind is incapable of rational reasoning, and we’ll fully explore why.
</end quote>
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Certainty is Impossible Without God

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

<quote>
God reveals that our natural senses are somewhat accurate. However, if we don’t acknowledge divine revelation, we have to assume that our natural senses are somewhat accurate. Atheist evolutionists, for instance, have no way to prove that their natural senses are accurate or that they even exist. Natural familiarity isn’t precise and accurate knowledge of truth with absolute certainty. Certainty is evasive without God. The human mind by itself can’t provide a true premise to prove a conclusion about what we sense with our five senses. We want to function beyond the level of brute beasts and instinct.
</end quote>

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Truth Comes From Truth

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

<quote>
We don’t need the title “scientist” to use our sensory data. We all do it. We can say, “I tried three ways of doing my task. One of these ways works better. Therefore, I’m going to keep doing my task using the way that works better.” Some people call this “knowledge.” We could call it natural familiarity, but we don’t reason to this familiarity rationally since we never have a true premise without divine revelation. This familiarity isn’t knowledge of truth. We can use this familiarity, but we haven’t reasoned to a true conclusion. Reasoning to a true conclusion requires a true premise, and we don’t have a true premise if we’re devoid of the Holy Spirit. And yet, we can use what our five senses give us as long as we don’t try to reason beyond them.
</end quote>
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