God Leads You Moment by Moment.

GodLeadsYouMomentByMoment

God leads you moment by moment. He puts impressions into your mind. If you acknowledge Him in all your ways, He reveals the interpretations of your experiences and observations of everything. At the same time, your fleshly nature is also trying to influence you and deceive you, so it’s not always easy to know God’s will. However, at every moment, you are certain of at least one thing that God places before you. What you hand finds to do, do it with your might. Do this while yielding to the power of the Holy Spirit to do righteousness. All righteousness begins with God’s leading and continues with God’s power for righteousness. If you want to work the works of God, you must know the works of God are inspired by the Spirit’s leading and executed by the Spirit, so there are two places where humans can add their part and frustrate the grace of God.

God will give wisdom to you for your business. You will know the answer. When you seek God about this, you will know. If something is contrary to Scripture in itself, God will bring that Scripture to your remembrance, and God will lead you in a new direction. If your current pattern of living puts you into a constant temptation, the Holy Spirit will either lead you out of that pattern or will transform your nature so that you overcome the temptation completely. When you’re in God’s will, He imparts a peace and confidence to you. You have a certainty that you’re in His will. If you can’t find peace, don’t make compromises. Seek God until He reveals what’s wrong. God will lead you a step at a time into His will.

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Works Righteousness

SavedToGoodWorks2

 

For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not. Ecclesiastes 7:20

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. Ephesians 2:8-9

Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. James 2:17

This matter of works, grace, Law, faith, and righteousness can be confusing. Does grace fight the Law or fullfil the Law? Sometimes, theology adds to what God is saying through Scripture or diminishes it. There’s a phrase that you may have heard, “works righteousness.” It’s generally a term that’s used against theologies that claim that one must earn the right to be born again by doing good works. Sometimes, it seems to be used against any notion that Christians are called to good works. Sometimes, it’s a justification for fleshly behavior. I would like to explore this.

Another term, “impute,” means to ascribe (righteousness, guilt, etc.) to someone by virtue of a similar quality in another. The word is used in some translations. It’s only applied to imputing sin, except in the case of Romans 4:22-24, in which case, it is used in regard to imputing righteousness. However, the original language uses an accounting term, a term that means to reckon, count, compute, or calculate. The original language would indicate that we actually take on the attributes of Christ as opposed to having God simply treat us as if we had those attributes.

And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness. Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; Romans 4:22-24

The original language is to reckon, count, compute, calculate, count over, to take into account, to make an account of. It’s not pretending. It’s understanding reality. Christ in us, the hope of glory, is our righteousness. He’s real.

It has been taught that the word, “justification,” means that God treats us “just as if” we were righteous even though we aren’t righteous. The claim is that “God just pretends that we are just.” The problem with this interpretation is that the word, “justification,” doesn’t quite say that.

1344 δικαιοω dikaioo dik-ah-yo’-o
from 1342; TDNT-2:211,168; {See TDNT 192} v
AV-justify 37, be freed 1, be righteous 1, justifier 1; 40
1) to render righteous or such he ought to be
2) to show, exhibit, evince, one to be righteous, such as he is and wishes himself to be considered
3) to declare, pronounce, one to be just, righteous, or such as he ought to be

Justification means “to render righteous.” Justification is evincing one to be righteous. Evincing is revealing the presence of righteousness. We know that the presence of this righteousness has nothing to do with human flesh. It has to do with the Presence of the King of kings living and moving within the newborn baby in Christ and every person who follows Christ. It’s also a declaration. When God declares something, that’s how it is. When God says, “Let there be light,” there is light. From this, it seems that God isn’t pretending that we’re righteous. He’s actually making us righteous. Christ is in us. He is righteous. We HAVE a sinful fleshly nature. We ARE the Christ nature. We’ll explore this, but first, there’s another word, “justification.”

In the Old Testament, the Hebrew word, “tsadaq,” is in the original texts. This word means “to be just; to be righteous.” It’s not about treating the unrighteous as if they were righteous.

He shall see of the travail of his soul, [and] shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. Isaiah 53:11

When you receive Christ, God renders you righteous. This is justification. Christ now lives in you. You still have a sinful fleshly nature. Your flesh can’t be reconciled to Christ Who lives in you. Christ cannot sin. Your flesh can’t self-generate righteousness. The flesh isn’t just or justified. God has justified you but not your flesh. Your fleshly nature can’t be reformed. It can be controlled by the Holy Spirit as you ignore the demands of the flesh and pay attention to the leading of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit gives you Power to overcome your fleshly nature. You can die to the fleshly nature incrementally if you’re willing to obey the Holy Spirit and disobey the fleshly nature. If you read Romans, you can see that Paul identified with the living Christ dwelling within. He didn’t consider that sinful nature or the sinful temptations generated by that sinful part of himself. The flesh must die incrementally as Christ lives within us. If this sounds different from what you’ve always been taught, I hope that you have patience and look at the Scriptures that are provided and that you take time to ask the Holy Spirit about it.

God is clear, through Scripture, regarding works. They are needed. Faith without works is dead. Good works cannot be self-generated by our fleshly nature. God is the only One Who’s good, so He is the only One Who can do the works through us. He does this by grace through faith.

So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word [rhema] of God. Romans 10:17

Note how faith comes. It comes by hearing the rhema of God. Note the definition of “rhema” below. It’s an Utterance of God. God speaks through Scripture. The Holy Spirit also brings Scripture to your remembrance. The Holy Spirit also leads you through your conscience. Many other ways that God speaks are mentioned in Scripture. We don’t want to diminish what God is saying through Scripture by artificially eliminating these other means through which God reveals.

4487 ρημα rhema hray’-mah
from 4483; TDNT-4:69,505; {See TDNT 431} n n
AV-word 56, saying 9, thing 3, no thing + 3756 1, not tr 1; 70
1) that which is or has been uttered by the living voice, thing spoken, word
1a) any sound produced by the voice and having definite meaning
1b) speech, discourse
1b1) what one has said
1c) a series of words joined together into a sentence (a declaration of one’s mind made in words)
1c1) an utterance
1c2) a saying of any sort as a message, a narrative
1c2a) concerning some occurrence
2) subject matter of speech, thing spoken of
2a) so far forth as it is a matter of narration
2b) so far as it is a matter of command
2c) a matter of dispute, case at law

In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Proverbs 3:6

When we get close to God and submit to His Spirit, He begins to lead us into righteousness. When He leads, faith comes. Faith is not making believe. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the rhema (Utterance) of God. God leads through Scripture and through every means mentioned in Scripture. We must acknowledge Him or faith doesn’t come. God speaks to Atheists through Scripture. He speaks to them through Christians who speak by the Holy Spirit, through Creation, and through other means. However, Atheists refuse to thank God, to give Him glory, or even to acknowledge Him. Faith doesn’t come to them.

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Romans 1:18-21

God is always the first-mover. Jesus said that no one can come to Christ unless the Father draws that person. God reveals Himself to every person, but some people refuse to acknowledge Him.

For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. Galatians 5:17

But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. Hebrews 5:14

When any person ceases to acknowledge God’s leading and teaching, that person becomes calloused against God. That person becomes numb to the spiritual realm. However, if we listen to Him, our spiritual senses are exercised by reason of use so that we can discern between good (The Holy Spirit’s desires) and evil (our fleshly desires).

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. Eph. 2:10

We aren’t saved from good works to sin. We are saved from sin to good works. We aren’t saved from Hell by good works. We’re saved from sin and the resulting destruction by grace through faith that comes by hearing the rhema of God.

Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ Romans 3:22a

the faith isn’t really ours. It’s not something we make believe. It’s certainty. It only comes when God speaks to us. Each time God speaks to us, faith builds and becomes greater, that is, providing we respond in submission to Him.

But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. 1 Corinthians 15:10

Paul didn’t do the works. The grace of God did the works through Paul. Faith gave access to that grace each time. Each time Paul did any righteous work, he did it by grace through faith at the urging of the Holy Spirit. Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the rhema of God.

…and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ! Romans 5:17b

God has nothing against righteousness or holiness. God has nothing against you doing good works. You and I have a problem, however, when we try to self-generate good works. When we do that, they are dead works. They are filthy rags. When Christ does the good works through us, we die to the flesh and Christ is more fully formed in us.

Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous 1 John 3:7a

When God warns you not to let anyone deceive you, this is because someone is going to try to deceive you. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can have righteousness without doing righteousness. Christ in you is righteous, not your fleshly nature. Christ can’t sin. If you are walking in the Spirit, you aren’t going to follow your flesh. Christ will do His righteousness through you. If you do follow your flesh, you can confess it, and He will forgive you.

For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love. Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth? Galatians 5:5-7

We don’t have this righteousness working in us fully. Yet, God has given us the vision of hope for the righteousness we will have in the future through faith. Righteousness is through faith. It’s not pretend righteousness. It’s real. It’s Christ thinking His Thoughts, speaking His Words, and doing His Acts through you. Now, we often fall prey to the desires of the flesh. That won’t be the case forever. There will be total victory. Even now, we have some victory over sin, and Christ is being formed more fully in us. The flesh is dying. Faith has its power in love. Love fulfills all the commands of God.

For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Galatians 5:5:13-14

Again, God warns us not to use liberty to serve the flesh. If we serve the flesh, we become slaves to the flesh. If we serve the Holy Spirit, we become willing slaves of God.

Likewise reckon [an accounting term–not pretending but counting or calculating reality] ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. Romans 6:11-18

You died to sin through Christ. You became alive to Christ, Who now lives within you. Don’t pay attention to the dead man. Listen to the New Man Who is alive within you. Consider the fact that He is the real you. You have two natures in your person. Don’t try to be double-minded, obeying flesh in some areas of your life and Christ in some other areas of your life. Don’t try to think half by fleshly rationalization and half by the leading and revelation of the Holy Spirit. Commit yourself to one Master, Jesus Christ.

This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. Galatians 5:5:16-18

If you walk in the Spirit. How do you walk in the Spirit? While it is called today, hear His Voice. Jesus said, “My sheep hear My Voice.” He also said, “Whoever is on the side of truth listens to me.” In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. The heathen fail to acknowledge Him. Whoever listens to Him, respects Him, and acknowledges Him, is led by Him. Whoever is led by Him will be given the Power of grace to do His will. This is walking in the Spirit.

 

…having their conscience seared with a hot iron 1 Tim. 4:2

Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. Hebrews 10:22

You can’t reconcile the flesh to the Spirit. This is a battle to the death. It’s deadly serious. Your flesh is taking it very seriously. You can direct your attention and will wherever you want to. Direct it to Jesus. Spend time with Him. Read Scripture while focusing on what the Holy Spirit is telling you through Scripture. When living your life, listen to the direction of the Holy Spirit moment by moment as He speaks through your conscience. You will then always know right from wrong because He never leaves you nor does He ever forsake you.

Those who resist Him soon find His Voice becoming very faint. They find the voice of the fleshly nature becoming stronger. Eventually, their consciences are seared as with a hot iron. They have an evil conscience. They lose the ability to tell the difference between Divine revelation and human make-believe. That is to say, they can no longer tell the difference between Truth and the made-up rationalizations coming out of their own minds.

 

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. Galatians 5:5:22-23

The Spirit bears fruit when we pay attention to God’s leading. Note that this is the fruit of the Holy Spirit. The flesh has no part in this. The two are at odds. They can’t agree. If you listen to your flesh, it will kill you both spiritually and physically. If you listen to the Holy Spirit in respectful submission, you’ll live. We can’t self-generate works, yet works are needed. They’re the works that the Holy Spirit does through you as the love of God is shed abroad in your heart by the Holy Ghost.

You have a responsibility in all of this. Your part is to receive (to not reject) the free gift of righteousness. God has left you with the ability to reject Him. He knows what you will do, since He knows all things, but that doesn’t take away your ability to choose. Your part is to cease from resisting the Holy Spirit. Your part is to let go and let God do His Works through you by the Power of the Holy Spirit.

But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway. 1 Corinthians 9:27

And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Galatians 5:5:24-25

In baptism, your fleshly nature is buried. You are now committed to living in the Spirit. However, you have a responsibility to walk in the Spirit. It would be a contradiction to say that you could somehow walk in the Holy Spirit by your own power and inner strength separated from the Holy Spirit. When you walk in the Spirit, you’re yielding to the Holy Spirit and to the Christ in you. You’re submitting yourself to the free gift of righteousness. Righteousness is really Christ working through you. He’s your righteousness. Your fleshly nature has no righteousness and nothing that it can add to Christ. It can’t help Christ. It’s not going to willingly submit to Christ. The fleshly nature can’t help Christ do righteousness through you. You must turn your will toward Christ and away from your flesh. You must submit. To submit is simply to stop resisting God.

 

And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them. Galatians 3:12

When Paul was writing of the law, he wasn’t condoning sin. He was noting the weakness of human ability to fulfill the law of God. Since God’s plan is that salvation would be through Christ, trying to get it any other way is rebellion against God. Self-righteousness is extreme pride and disrespect for what God has done.

With the law of Moses, many of the precepts were symbolic of what is fulfilled in Christ. For instance, circumcision is fulfilled in cutting away the fleshly nature from the heart (innermost mind). The Sabbath is fulfilled as we rest from trying to do our own works and allow Christ to do His Works through us. Yet, in these Old Testament precepts, it’s interesting to note that there’s a health benefit.

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. Hebrews 11:6

 

Without faith, it’s impossible to please God. That’s because God does His righteous Works by grace. And grace is through faith. Whoever seeks Christ finds Christ. God rewards the person who seeks Him. The reward is that the person finds Him. That’s the best reward that anyone could have for anything. This seeking is ongoing, since God is infinite and we are finite. After we’re born again, we continue to seek to know Him better and to allow Him to transfigure us to be more like Christ.

…whatsoever is not of faith is sin. Romans 14:23b

Here, Paul is addressing meat offered to idols when He makes this statement that has general application. “Whatever isn’t of faith is sin.” Since faith comes by hearing God’s Utterance, we can’t just do as we like. We need to seek His will and yield to Him so that He does His will through us. This is the opposite of trying to obey rules. The Law is good. It’s an expression of God’s will. Yet, humans can’t obey it perfectly with the perfect attitude. We’re incapable. Under grace, God pardons past sins so we can stand in His Presence. He then leads us. When He leads us, a supernatural belief and trust comes that brings certainty. This supernatural belief and trust is called “faith.” Faith is the substance of things hoped for. That means that it’s substance, meaning part of reality as opposed to concept or theory. It’s the concrete substance of those things we hope for. Hope, in this context, isn’t I-hope-so hope. This is the hope that goes on into the eternities and never ends. It’s a vision from God about what He’s going to do. Hope is absolute and faith is absolute. Faith is also the evidence of things not seen. There are things that we can’t see yet. Faith is the absolute certainty of those things.

So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word [rhema] of God. Romans 10:17

God speaks. He leads. The Holy Spirit teaches us and leads us into all truth. He guides in the details of our lives. We’re learning to hear Him and to respond in submission.

By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Romans 5:2

Grace is accessed through faith. Notice the relationship. God speaks. Faith comes by hearing God’s Utterance. Grace is accessed by faith. Righteousness is by grace. All of this happens in a microsecond by the Holy Spirit.

 

And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: Philippians 3:9

Grace does the works. (1 Corinthians 15:10 quoted above) It’s a huge problem when we, as Christians, try to think up righteous things to do, try to self-generate love, joy, peace, or any of the fruit of the Spirit. The flesh doesn’t self-generate the fruit of the Holy Spirit. The flesh is well able to counterfeit this and every other gift of God. Consider all the self-righteous people who don’t know Jesus Christ. They’re able to live on the level of law. They even know how to make up their own laws to live by and how to judge others by those made-up laws.

If you want to have the fruit of the Spirit, spend time in the Presence of Christ. Read your Bible. Spend time in prayer. Remain in the Spiritual realm when you wake up, when you’re driving, when you’re at work, when you’re with friends, when you’re with family, and when you go to bed at night. Praise Him at all times. Live in the Presence of the Holy Spirit. Then, you’ll hear His Voice directing you and comforting you. Faith will come and give access to grace. The Holy Spirit will flow through you, and these gifts will be evident in your life.

For he hath made him [to be] sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. 2 Corinthians 5:21

Christ is our righteousness. Christ, living out through us, is righteousness. We, then, are His Hands extended to a dying world.

Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. Galatians 2:16

Notice that we’re justified, that is, made just, by the faith of Jesus Christ. We hear His Voice leading us through the Holy Spirit. We acknowledge Him and submit ourselves to Him. His faith comes, which gives access into His grace. His grace does His righteousness through us. This is the justification with which we are justified.

Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. 1 Peter 2:24

He bore our sins. He died for them. We are pardoned. We have become dead to those sins so that we can live in righteousness. This isn’t our own righteousness, but the free gift of righteousness by grace through faith.

For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. Romans 1:17

This righteousness is God’s righteousness. Jesus never did His own works. He didn’t say His own words. He only said and did those things that came from the Father. He said plainly, “There’s none good but God.” Of course, Jesus is God, but the Son is in submission to the Father. God is the only One Who can do righteousness. We need to yield to Him.

This faith is incremental. We go from faith to faith. Whatever we are in Christ is by grace through faith. Whatever we do in Christ is by grace through faith. We can’t possibly self-generate righteousness out of the fleshly nature.

For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. Romans 4:3

He [Abraham] staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; Romans 4:20

Abraham had faith. He believed God. This faith allowed Abraham to do the will of God and to submit to God’s will. It was counted to Abraham for righteousness. God assessed the situation and determined that it was righteousness. It wasn’t Abraham’s flesh that was righteous. It was the Spirit that was with Abraham that enabled Him to do God’s will.

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20

Paul recognized that it was Christ living in Him that was causing Him to be who he was and to do what he did. He didn’t deny that he had a sinful flesh, but he was living his life by the faith of the Son of God that comes by hearing the Utterance of God.

Even the righteousness of God [which is] by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: Romans 3:22

This is the righteousness of God. It’s not human righteousness. It’s a righteousness that’s only available by grace through faith.

In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this [is] his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS. Jeremiah 23:6

But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: 1 Corinthians 1:30

Christ is our Righteousness. Note that He is our Wisdom. Other translations are more clear, showing that Righteousness, Sanctification (Holiness), and Redemption (being set free from sin) are attributes of Wisdom. Christ is our Wisdom, so He is our Righteousness. He is also our Holiness. He is also our Redemption.

[There is] therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. Romans 8:1-4

All of this is dependent on our submission to Him. When we submit, we come closer to Him. When we rebel, and we do that sometimes, we drift away from Him. If we drift away from Him, we step off the Way. We no longer walk by faith. Whatever is not of faith is sin. Sin is stepping off the Way or missing the target. In the original language, we can step off the Way or slip off the Way. However, if we confess our fault, He’s faithful and just to forgive our sin. He brings us back onto the Way. The Way is Jesus Christ. He’s the Way to eternal Life. He’s also the Life. He’s both the Way to the goal and He’s the goal, Life.

For anyone who has been walking in the Spirit for a while, many fleshly things will have already dropped off. However, there will still be strongholds of the enemy.

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; 2 Corinthians 10:3-5

These strongholds in our minds are very deceptive and only the spiritual weapons God has provided are able to pull them down. Because they’re in our own minds, we often are unaware that they are strongholds of the enemy. They seem as if they are part of reality. However, they are things that God never said. They are things that an enemy sowed into our minds. They can even insert presuppositions into Scripture as we read it so that we don’t really read Scripture. We become like the people mentioned in 2 Corinthians 3 who have a veil in front of their faces. Read the definition of stronghold below.

3794 οχυρωμα ochuroma okh-oo’-ro-mah
from a remote derivative of 2192 (meaning to fortify, through the idea of holding safely); TDNT-5:590,752; {See TDNT 576} n n
AV-strong hold 1; 1
1) a castle, stronghold, fortress, fastness
2) anything on which one relies
2a) of the arguments and reasonings by which a disputant endeavours to fortify his opinion and defend it against his opponent

A castle, a stronghold, a fortress is guarding the way. If something is protected by solid stone walls, it’s difficult to get at it.

A stronghold is fastness–think of a fastener. Think of a big bolt. You can try to get rid of that habit or that thought that you try not to think, but you won’t do it without removing that bolt.

It’s anything on which you rely. It’s all the arguments and reasoning by which you try to fortify your opinion and defend it against anyone who questions you. The problem is that strongholds never seem like opinions to the one with the stronghold. I don’t know what all my strongholds are. Neither do you. These strongholds are opinions that seem just like reality. In fact, they seem more real than real reality.

Yet, God has supplied the Church, the called-out people of God, with weapons. They are powerful. Many of them are not being used. Strongholds are keeping saints of God from exercising the Power of these spiritual weapons. The purpose of this article isn’t to list these weapons. If you’re wondering which weapons you personally aren’t using, think of those parts of the New Testament that “no longer apply” or that “were for just those early Christians.” You have everything you need. However, you must appropriate what God has given. If you do that, you will be counted among the overcomers and you’ll inherit all the promises that are for the overcomers.

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The Fruit of the Spirit

TheFruitOfTheSpirit

Why do humans want to try to self-generate those things that are freely given by God through Christ? God says that it’s because they love darkness rather than light. He says that they refuse to thank Him, glorify Him, or even acknowledge Him. Eventually, they become so calloused against Him that they are past any ability to hear His Voice, see His Face, feel His Touch, taste His Sweetness, or smell His Aroma. They have become separated from Him.

The book, “Reason,” while it uses a debate between Ken Ham (Christian) and Bill Nye (Non-Christian) as a backdrop, is really about choosing to accept God’s good gifts. It’s about submission to the Holy Spirit. It’s about allowing God to lead and guide. It’s about receiving His Knowledge, Wisdom, and Understanding. It’s about listening to His Voice so that Faith comes, giving certainty of knowledge rather than guesses and made-up stuff.

It has always been popular to believe that humans could self-generate love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, meekness, faith, and self-control. In reality, humans can only generate counterfeits of these. The human mind, and demonic entities, are able to counterfeit any of the good things that only come from God. Consider righteousness. Only God is good. He imparts His gift of righteousness to anyone willing to receive it. Yet, so many people try to generate their own righteousness. They end up being self-righteous and proud. Think about knowledge, wisdom, and understanding. All of these come from God. None of them can be received from God without deep, sincere respect from God. Those who are rebellious toward God persist in trying to self-generate knowledge, wisdom, and understanding. They are able to generate some pretty convincing counterfeits and to deceive many people. However, there isn’t any way for human beings to self-generate knowledge. Even Secularists know that they can never have certainty about anything without Divine revelation. However, they then make the insane, dogmatic assertion, based on made-up stuff, that God doesn’t reveal anything to anyone. Since they don’t have any hope of ever having certainty about anything, why are Secularists so dogmatic about this assertion? Because they have decided not to receive God’s goodness. They have submitted themselves to the spirit of Antichrist.

Some Christians also block the mercy and grace of God by trying to self-generate love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, meekness, faith, and self-control. They try to self-generate wisdom, knowledge, and understanding. These wonderful things that come to us as we stand in the Presence of the Holy One are not available to those who try to be double-minded. The self-generated counterfeits can never fulfill or bring satisfaction. Yet, every person who seeks Christ finds Christ. Every person who is willing to abide in Christ, seek Him, spend time in His Presence in submission to Him, is given all these wonderful things. They are imparted by God. These are the things that change the person into the Image of Jesus Christ. It’s not enough to want to be like Jesus. We need to lay down our own efforts and allow Him to think His Thoughts, speak His Words, and do His Acts through us with Power for His Righteousness, which leads to Holiness.

In every situation, you and I are faced with the choice of yielding to self-will or God’s will. Why not let yourself go into the wonderful gifts of God and just allow His love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, meekness, faith, self-control, wisdom, knowledge, and understanding to flow through you?

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God Doesn’t Need Circular Reasoning

GodDoesntUseCircularReasoning

Secularists are forced to base all reasoning on logical fallacies. That’s because they can never have a true premise. Rational thought requires true premises. Secularists have no means by which to show a premise true. They can’t prove it without another premise–another premise that they can’t prove. An unproven premise can’t be used as proof for another premise.

Circular reasoning is one of the ways to hide this problem that all Secularists have in all situations. Circular reasoning is an attempt to prove a premise in this way. “We know the age of the fossils because of the rocks they’re in, and we know the age of the rocks because of the fossils that are in them.” That way, the premise for the age of the rocks is the age of the fossils and the premise for the age of the fossils is the age of the rocks. Of course, they never state it this simply. They make it complex with many fallacies to hide the circular reasoning. All aging methods used support any method of trying to assert that the Earth is billions of years old always involves circular reasoning. The circular reasoning is used to hide the fact that the stories about billions of years are pure fantasy.

Secularists love to ridicule Christians who say, “The Bible is the word of God. How do we know? Because the Bible reveals this about itself.” Some Christian teachers love to say it. Some Christians actually say that the highest authority is always circular. That isn’t true. God doesn’t have to resort to any fallacy.

When God says something, He doesn’t use circular reasoning fallacies. He appeals to His own authority. That’s not quite the same thing as a circular reasoning fallacy. An appeal to authority is only a fallacy if the authority isn’t qualified. God is well qualified. He’s the only One qualified to establish truth.

“For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself,” Hebrews 6:13

That’s not circular reasoning. That’s appeal to His own authority, and authority that only God has.

I’ve personally gone away from saying, “The Bible says.” It may not be a big deal, but I have been saying, “God says, through the Bible.” In addition, I have been cautioned by the Holy Spirit that human interpretation of Scripture adds to God’s Words or diminishes them. This interpretation happens automatically. The fallen human mind wants to adjust what the Scripture is saying. For that reason, I pray that the Holy Spirit reveal to me the meaning of Scripture. Even then, I’m trying to hold my theology loosely enough that the Holy Spirit is able to correct me.

Logic is how God thinks. I’m pretty sure that human beings don’t understand it totally.

“Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:7-8

God doesn’t use circular reasoning fallacies. Circular reasoning is just a way to give the illusion that made-up stuff is real. God doesn’t have to make things up. God doesn’t have to use any fallacy. God says what is true. He knows all things. He is the only Truth. He cannot lie. Therefore, we can rely on what He says. He speaks to our innermost minds concerning Scripture. “The Bible is God’s Word without error,” is one of the first things that He teaches new-born Christ-followers.

Every person who knows and follows Christ is led and taught by the Holy Spirit moment by moment. We may drift out of His Presence and into His Presence, but in those times when we are in His Presence, following Him, He is imparting His Divine Wisdom, Knowledge, and Understanding. Even when we’re drifting, His mercy sustains us. He still imparts His Divine Wisdom, Knowledge, and Understanding to us, or we would quickly die. He does the same for those Secularist who never intend to give Him the glory, to thank Him, or even to acknowledge Him. He explains to us that He does this so that they might have a chance to yet find Him.

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Movies and Books about Heaven. Am I Missing Something?

ArgumentSpeculation

I kept seeing various attacks against anyone who had given an account of having been in Heaven. The attacks often take the form of accusations that the accounts violate Scripture: “fanciful” “contrary to everything God’s word says about Heaven.” I wonder how many people took the time to read the accusations fully and to search the Scripture to see who is lying? I was compelled to do just that and to write this article. However, I’m not writing as an expert on this subject and I haven’t spent a great deal of time. If you happen to know more about this than I wrote here, feel free to let me know. This article only reflects what I found when I did my research.

These accounts were from people who were confessed Christians. The attacks were not from Atheists and Secularists. The attacks were from Christians. So, who do you believe? In these cases, the first place to look is in the Bible. What we need to do is examine the accusations in the light of Scripture. We’ll look at the various accusations one at a time and see if they are Scriptural. They all claim to be Scriptural.

1. The only Scriptural account of anyone going to Heaven and coming back is Paul. Paul was forbidden to tell about it.

1 Corinthians 12:2 I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven. 3 And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) 4 How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.

Some said that the Bible says, “no one is permitted to tell” the things heard in “Paradise.” However, the Bible doesn’t say that Paul couldn’t tell about his trip to Heaven. He wasn’t forbidden to talk about it. He was writing about it by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. That’s how we know about it. It says that he heard some unspeakable or unspoken words that it’s not lawful for a man to utter. Through Scripture, God doesn’t make the generalization that these folks made. That’s just how easy it is to add to God’s Words or to minimize God’s Words.

Suppose that the assumption is correct. What if Paul were commanded not to speak of anything that he saw or heard. This might indeed have been the case. If that hypothesis were correct, are we to assume that the same applies to every other person for eternity? Assumption is the thinking tool of Secularists, not Christians. Assumptions add to God’s Words or diminish them.

2. Jesus said, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.” Therefore, we don’t need any personal testimony of God actually doing anything real.

That conclusion is non sequitur. It doesn’t follow from the premise. The premise is that Jesus said that those who have not seen and yet believed are blessed. You have to add to what Jesus said to think that personal testimony is forbidden or that God doesn’t consider it necessary.

Consider this Scripture:

1 John 1:1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;

2 peter 1:16 For we did not follow cleverly devised stories when we told you about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in power, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.

3. Stephen and the Apostles Paul and John were alive when they saw Heaven. They didn’t die or have a near death experience.

Well, that might be true, although it might not be true for Paul. However, even if it is true, how would a new law then be written that God can’t reveal Heaven to anyone who dies and is brought back to life like so many were in Bible days? The conclusion doesn’t follow from the premises.

This particular claim adds to God’s words. God asks us not to add to His Words.

4. Don Piper didn’t see Jesus or God.

Consider whether this is a disqualifying point. I don’t know of a Scripture that says that it would be impossible that someone should go to the outskirts of Heaven and be directed back without seeing Christ? Where is the source for this objection other than in human assumptions about Heaven.

Piper described a wonderful place but didn’t say that He physically saw Christ. Some have gone so far as to assume that this means Christ wasn’t there. When one Christian begins to assume things about another Christian, trouble starts. When a Christian begins voicing his or her assumptions implying that they are facts, that’s gossip.

James 2:4 Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts?

5. The Heaven described is far too human to be Heaven.

What criteria would such a person have to make a judgment about that” It would be either extra-biblical revelation or extra-biblical speculation.

6. The vision of Heaven was either “psychological” (What do you think that implies?) or “demonic deception.”

That’s quite an accusation based on no evidence at all. He didn’t offer the possibility that it was symbolic, as many visions are. He didn’t offer the possibility that the part of Heaven that Piper saw could have been exactly what Piper saw. It’s amazing how dogmatic we humans can become concerning things about which we know little or even nothing at all.

7. God doesn’t want us know know any more about Heaven than He has revealed in the Bible.

Where, in the Bible, does it say that? No Scripture reference was offered.

8. The books and movies about Heaven are made by people focused on themselves.

This is an ad hominem argument. It is a criticism against the person rather than dealing with the subject matter.

Focus on self is always a problem for any Christian who gets any attention. I would suspect that every preacher, author, singer, or other famous Christian struggles with the temptation to glorify themselves rather than Christ. In fact, looking at the way Churches are built, you will usually see that they are built with a focus on the speaker rather than being built for a 1 Corinthians 14 church service. Many organizations focus on a certain person. Even those that have several pastors, generally have a preeminent pastor. No such office is mentioned in Scripture. So, this argument can be used against every man and woman who teaches or preaches on radio or TV. It can be leveled against many pastors in many churches around the world. It can be leveled against many authors and singers if it’s valid.

9. The writing is of inferior quality.

Is there a Scripture that implies that the best writers are inspired by God and those who aren’t that skilled are unable to speak for God? No such Scripture was offered.

10. The teaching is simplistic.

Is there a Scripture that implies that teaching must be complex? None was offered.

11. Too long.

Is there a Scripture that sets the limits for the length of the book?

12. Too boring.

Is that a Scriptural method to judge ministry? To whom was it boring? I know some teenagers who think that anything to do with God is boring. Is the entertainment value and important prerequisite for truth? If so, I don’t know of a Scripture to support this.

Summary

I’m neither endorsing nor condemning any of these books or movies. I’ve read two of the books and seen one of the movies. I don’t think that we know enough about Heaven to judge. I wasn’t able to find a single Biblical problem. That doesn’t mean that the books or movies are correct in every detail. It just means that the articles gave a false impression. More importantly, the Church has been divided mainly by speculative doctrines that add to God’s Words and that diminish God’s Words. Those divisive doctrines have led to competitive organizations with a party spirit drawing people together around the organizations rather than around Christ. The intellect is worshiped, and the personal nature of the relationship with Christ is minimized while the leading and teaching of the Holy Spirit is minimized.

The advertising for the articles written against these books and movies implied big problems with Scripture. Perhaps these authors are correct and there are grave problems, but I couldn’t find them. Am I missing something?

These books and articles certainly tell about things that aren’t detailed in Scripture. However, any personal testimony of any experience would also give details that couldn’t be found in Scripture. For that matter, when a teacher teaches from Scripture, that teacher invariably says things that are not written. Often that person interprets the Scripture based on whatever theological framework he or she learned. Sometimes, that person is acting as the oracle of God, which is what God commands all of us to be. Only spiritual senses that have been exercised by reason of use can tell the difference. I make no such claim.

If you, the reader, have spoken or written about others, reading into what they were saying, making them seem wrong and evil, I want to encourage you to put the best construction on everything. There is false doctrine, but there is no guarantee that your doctrine or my doctrine is absolutely complete and perfect rendering of what God is telling us through Scripture. Of course, every man’s way is right in his own eyes–women too. Yet, we need to realize that we are not all-knowing, and we don’t know everything God wants us to know. In fact, God says that if anyone thinks that he or she knows any thing (any doctrine, truth, concept, theory, science, etc.), that person doesn’t know it as he or she ought to know it. A demagogue gets his or her popularity by demonizing others. It seems to be a good way to succeed. So many popular Christians make their living this way. If you’ve done this, confess your sin to God. If you’re tempted in this sin, follow the Holy Spirit rather than your own fleshly nature.

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Without Divine Revelation

WithoutRevelation

 

That’s the simplicity that’s in Christ Jesus. We know Him. He leads us. He teaches us. We don’t need to use loopy logic. We can know what He reveals through Scripture, through Creation, through what we observe. We don’t have to interpret Scripture using assumptions and other kinds of made-up stuff. We can ask the Holy Spirit about it. Whatever the Holy Spirit doesn’t reveal to us, we leave with God.

All other ways of thinking are based on made-up stuff. No Secularist can explain another way to think. No Secularists can explain how he or she can prove any premise true. Without a true premise, sound logic is impossible. Without the ability to have certainty, it’s impossible to be rational

At first, Secularists may deny this. If pressed, they will claim that their made-up stuff is correct and known–even though it’s made up stuff. More likely, they will just deny the harsh reality of the futility of their own thinking. The human mind can’t pull knowledge out of the air. We can observer imperfectly, but additional knowledge is required to interpret observation. This is true of scientific observation, too. Even Scripture, if interpreted by the carnal mind, is useless. We need the Holy Spirit, our Teacher and Friend.

At a certain point, the Secularist will claim that every follower of Christ was only assuming that he or she was following Christ. When asked for the method by which they think they can know this, they will change the subject, engage in name-calling, or do whatever it takes to keep themselves from facing the harsh reality of the futility of their own thinking. You may even be amazed at how irrational they become and how mean. Eventually, they will manifest their slave-master, Satan.

The goal of the dogmatic skeptics or the ardent Secularists is to keep you from dwelling in the Presence of Christ. Often, these can be brothers and sisters in Christ who have somehow become disconnected from the Head, Christ. They don’t believe what God is saying. They refuse to acknowledge Him as He speaks through you. If they can’t convince you with irrational logic, they will try to make you angry. The principalities and powers against which we fight are well aware that fear or anger will take us out of the Presence of Christ. Alternately, they will try to force you to lean on your own understanding and to speculate about all types of things. They’ll ask you question after question to try to get you to speculate, because they know that speculation takes you out of the Presence of Christ and that it gives glory to your own intellect.

There are wonderful promises to the overcomers. God isn’t asking us to overcome the skeptics or Secularists. He’s asking us to overcome our fleshly natures and to have a totally transformed mind. He’s asking us to press into His Glory and to dwell there. The testing of our faith is the very mechanism that brings us into the fullness of the experience. As steel is heated to give it strength, so you and I must go through the heat and be found faithful as part of the process of growing up into the fullness of Christ.

 

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The Foundation of Thought

EveryClaimOfAnErrorOrInconsistency1

 

Note the claim: “Every claim of an error or inconsistency in the Bible is based on at least one assumption.” You may challenge that. You may ask, “How could anyone know such a thing?” And that would be a good question to ask. The answer is even better than the question.

There are two ways that this can be known.

First, without Divine revelation, nothing can be known. Whenever humans try to reason without the benefit of Divine revelation, they must use a single method. Here’s another way to think about it. Without Divine revelation, humans have only one method of interpreting any observation or experience. That method is known as making stuff up. The fancy word for it is the axiomatic thinking fallacy. Axioms are things that are made up and declared true. Assumptions are about the same thing. Assumptions are unknown things that are treated as if they were known. Made-up stuff isn’t a good foundation for thought. In fact, a chain of thought is only as strong as its weakest link. If you allow yourself a single assumption, presupposition, axiom, unsupported assertion, or lie, you can prove anything to yourself.

Let me demonstrate. Allow me to assume that you don’t exist. OK. So, our starting point of thinking is that you don’t exist. Here’s the logic. You don’t exist. Therefore, you don’t exist. It’s pretty plain that if you don’t exist, you don’t exist. Therefore, your opinion doesn’t matter and you don’t matter.

Does that sound goofy? Would universities base huge parts of their teaching on this type of thinking? How about the assumption/axiom of Naturalism. Naturalism assumes that God doesn’t exist. Then, the logic goes like this, “Since God doesn’t exist, God doesn’t exist and is eliminated from consideration in science, ethics, politics, decision-making, or any other discipline. Most universities base huge parts of their teaching on this type of thinking. Beware of ungodly teachers. They’ll educate you into ignorance. Whoever you yield yourself as servant to obey, that’s whose servant you are.

Assumptions are dangerous if they’re taken seriously. If you call them by another name, for instance, “axiom,” they are no less dangerous. Logic is simple. Here’s a graphic that we use to illustrate how logic works.

logic

Second, God tells us that the Bible is without error. He speaks through Scripture and through every method that is mentioned in Scripture to make this statement and confirm it by several witnesses.

Notice that I didn’t say “The Bible says.” Bibles don’t actually talk. Bibles don’t have personalities. In fact, an ardent Atheist can read the Bible and never hear from God. For such a person, the Bible is just dead letter in the same way that they can look at Creation and ignore what God is saying through Creation. Faith doesn’t come to the resistant Atheist, because faith comes by hearing and hearing comes by the rhema (Utterance) of God.

When we, as Christians, interpret Scripture using our own fallen, deceitful, desperately wicked minds, we don’t hear God either. We add things to Scripture. We diminish Scripture. We do it without our conscious awareness, and we think that we are just taking Scripture as it’s written. We may interpret based on some theology we have always been taught. We may interpret based on new ideas that come from our fallen minds. We may interpret based on our own fleshly desires. We may interpret based on the influence of demonic spirits. If the Holy Spirit doesn’t interpret this to us, then we don’t have a clue.

Here’s the tricky part. God tells us, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9) If we try to regulate our deceitful mind with our deceitful mind, our deceitful mind will easily deceive us. We would be trying to solve the problem with the problem. The Holy Spirit must deliver us from our own mind. We need to be transformed by the renewing of our mind. (Romans 12:2) Note that “the renewing of our mind” is in passive voice. We aren’t doing it. The Holy Spirit is doing it. What He reveals to us will amaze us as He shows us the deceptions of our own minds. As God says, “Who can know it?” We can’t. The Holy Spirit can. This transformation isn’t instant.

The Holy Spirit does it, but we have a part. Our part is to get close to God and allow Him to do it. Our part is submission and obedience. Our part is acknowledging Him in all our ways. Our part is to hold our theology loosely so that the Holy Spirit can correct us–even the theologies that we like to defend. We would all like to be 100% right and prove ourselves right, but that’s just our deceptive pride. Humility is more powerful than pride, because it stops worshiping our own minds and begins to allow Christ to have preeminence.

Since the Holy Spirit tells all of us that none of us know anything as we ought to know it, we can see that we interpret a lot of life this way. We interpret more than Scripture this way. We tend to interpret our relationships this way. We tend to interpret our experiences this way. We tend to interpret what we see this way. If we allow ourselves to drift, we’ll drift away from God.

Scripture tells us to seek the Lord. Generally, that means to inquire of Him. We need to seek His leading in every part of our lives. He created us for this purpose, that we would sincerely acknowledge Him in submission and respect. We are meant to live our lives in His Presence. We are blessed through Christ to be able to flow in the Holy Anointing of God, with the Holy Spirit leading and teaching us moment by moment. As we yield to the Holy Spirit in this way, God will restore His Church and make it holy. All the man-made orders will collapse. All the self-appointed ministries will be exposed. All the false teachers will find that no one believes them any more, no matter how popular and holy they looked when they were promoting themselves and their doctrines. The Church will come into unity. The Scriptural gifts, ministries, and offices will be restored with power and authority in Christ Jesus. What a day that will be! It’s already started.

A new book, “Reason,” will be coming out soon. It will answer many questions you may be having. If you have questions that need answering now, feel free to post them here.

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Evidence for Christ

EvidenceForChrist

Sometimes, theology loses the simplicity that’s in Christ Jesus.

But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. 2 Corinthians 11:3

Knowing Christ is the evidence for Christ. That’s not circular reasoning. It’s a little bit like saying, “Knowing your dad is proof of his existence.” or “Seeing my car in the driveway is proof that it’s in the driveway.” However, there’s a huge difference between observing or experiencing someone in the carnal and knowing Christ. There’s a huge difference between seeing and interpreting a mountain by the weakness of human capability and knowing Christ by Divine revelation. When human beings observe or experience, they interpret what they see, feel, hear, smell, taste, and otherwise experience. It’s impossible to observe anything without interpretation. Interpretation must add to the observation or diminish it. It’s common to interpret through the filter of the worldview. The worldview is a fake reality that appears more real, to the person who owns it, than real reality.

Knowing Christ isn’t like that. Christ reveals Himself to us. He is the creator of your human spirit, mind, and body. He’s well able to impart knowledge of Himself and His Truth. He’s well able to lead and guide.

We, on the other hand, have a problem in that we tend to interpret what He says. When we read Scripture, we tend to dip into our worldviews and come up with various interpretations. Often, we don’t even ask Christ to reveal the Bible to to us. Even when we ask, we tend to get in there to give Him our help. He doesn’t need our help. In the same way, scientists tend to use assumptions. Business professionals tend to resort to assumptions.

Yet, every observation and experience can become part of knowing Christ. If we acknowledge Him in all our ways, we will become more aware of His teaching and leading moment by moment in every situation. In this way, He can reveal reality to you, whether in the physical realm or the spiritual realm. In this case, it isn’t you doing the interpretation. You don’t try to exercise your fallen mind to understand the people that you know. You don’t try to lean on your own understanding (assumptions, stories, and worldview) to interpret scientific evidence. You ask God about it. You hear His Voice explaining how it all works. The Holy Spirit speaks through Scripture, by the way, and never contradicts Himself. Don’t add to His words. Don’t diminish His Words. Don’t make assumptions. Listen to Him.

This is a progressive progress from glory to glory. It’s not about gaining a bunch of knowledge about things or theology. It’s about coming to know Christ and His truth. Through submission to His Spirit, we are actually changed, transfigured, into His same Image, from glory to glory, by the Spirit of the Lord.

A Secular scientist may think that this is quite different from the process of science. However, true science follows this process exactly. It’s progressive. It doesn’t get closure on theories that can’t be proven. A true scientist opens his or her mind to God to reveal the meaning of what they are looking at. A true theologian does the same when looking at Scripture. In both cases, current knowledge is to be held loosely since it’s imperfect, it’s incomplete, and it might be totally wrong. In both cases, the person who is looking for truth listens to the Voice of Jesus Christ.

“My sheep hear My Voice.” Jesus speaking in John 10:27

 

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Circular Reasoning – NOT Circular Reasoning

CircularNonCircular

The circular reasoning straw man is a favorite fallacy for Secularists. Is it possible that some Christians actually do use this kind of poor logic? I hope not. A follower of Christ never needs to be irrational. A Secularist can never be rational, since a Secularist must base every thought on made-up stuff. For every interpretation of any observation, any experience, or Scripture, a Secularist must use made-up stuff. The fallacy is known as “axiomatic thinking.” It includes all the various methods of using made-up stuff to reason. Most logical fallacies are simply smokescreens to cover up axiomatic thinking fallacies. There are only two types of fallacies in the most basic analysis: axiomatic thinking and smokescreen. Circular reasoning is a smokescreen to hide axiomatic thinking. In the image on the left, there are two Divine revelations that are being presented as if they were axiomatic thinking fallacies that are being hidden by circular reasoning.

Christians never need to use fallacies. However, there is no way that any Secularist can prove any premise true without using axiomatic thinking fallacies. They only way to avoid axiomatic thinking fallacies is to listen to God and avoid adding to what He says. Divine revelation is the only way to avoid committing fallacies.

When Secularists use the straw man, they’re the ones using circular reasoning. They pull the unsupported assertion, “There is no God,” from their worldview. Then they reason from that axiomatic thinking fallacy. Beginning with the axiom, “There is no God,” they conclude,”God can’t possibly reveal that the Bible is His Word, since He doesn’t exist.” Also, based on the same circular reasoning, God would not be able to speak through Scripture. That’s why you can clearly state, to the Secularist, your experience with Christ. The Secularist, blinded by his or her own worldview, translates that as the Secularist straw man fallacy you see in red to the left.

Some people teach:

“The highest authority is always circular in reasoning. For example, the Bible is the word of God. How do we know? Because the Bible reveals this about itself.”

God is the Highest Authority. He isn’t circular in His reasoning, though. He does appeal to His own authority, since there is no other authority. That’s not the same as circular reasoning. It’s also not a faulty appeal to authority fallacy, since this is the only possible valid appeal to authority. If a book has authority, as the Bible does, it only has authority because God wrote it, preserved it to us, and currently speaks to us through it.

Some Christians don’t believe that God is active and working in their lives. They believe that they just have to use their own fallen minds to figure things out. They believe in the Bible, but they don’t interact with the God of the Bible. They never experience His Presence, leading, or teaching. They’re born again, but they lean on their own understanding. I pray that they do reach out and touch the Lord. That they begin to experience Him with all their spiritual senses so that they can know the difference between their own minds and the mind of Christ.

 

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