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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Saved To Good Works

FromGloryToGlory3

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

“And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.” Matthew 19:17

Only God can do good works. God has called us to this.

“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

For this reason, God does His Works through us by grace through faith.

Faith comes by hearing. He speaks. We acknowledge Him. He directs our paths. Faith comes and gives access to His grace. Grace does His Works. If we get involved, other than our responsibility to yield our members to His free gift of Righteousness, we would just frustrate the grace of God. God doesn’t need our intervention. He needs our submission, since He won’t force Himself on anyone.

Secularists are people who can’t deal with the reality of the righteousness of God. Because they love darkness rather than light, they reject God and His Righteousness. They then end up rejecting all Divine revelation. Without Divine revelation, pretending is the only other option for interpretation of Scripture, Creation, or experience. That may be a shock, especially to Secularists. It won’t be that much of a shock to any Christ-follower who has tried to reason with a Secularist.

Sound reason requires a true premise and a conclusion that follows from the premise. For a conclusion to follow from a premise, nothing can be added to or diminished from the premise on the way to the conclusion. The Secularist runs into a problem in trying to prove a premise true. Denying Divine revelation, the Secularist doesn’t have that option. The Secularist can simply declare the premise true based on his own or another human authority. This is the axiomatic thinking fallacy. That’s a fancy word for pretending and thinking that make-believe is real. The Secularist can use circular reasoning, infinite regression, personal attacks, or hundreds of other methods to make make-believe seem real.

However, the Secularist isn’t having an intellectual problem other than trying to establish human intellect as a god of some sort. The Secularist is having a righteousness problem. Salvation is to God’s Righteousness and from human sin. Secularists love darkness rather than light. Because all Righteousness must come from God, the Secularist’s human-righteousness is evil and filthy rags. Only repentance and turning to Christ can save them from their insanity.

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Secularists Can’t Prove Anything

FromGloryToGlory2

 

Educated Secularists have conceded this–the part about not being able to prove their beliefs. However, they are generally unable to deal rationally with the consequences. Since they are used to rationalizing everything rather than using sound logic, they just rationalize this problem away in the same way they ignore the Almighty Creator God when He reveals Himself and His Wisdom to them.

Under Secularistic thought restrictions, Divine revelation is disallowed. God must be ignored when He speaks. That leaves axiomatic thinking fallacies and smokescreen fallacies to cover up the axiomatic thinking fallacies as the only possible options for Secularist thinking to interpret observation and experience. Keep in mind that the Secularist is trying to convince himself or herself more than anyone else. Fallacies are the means. All fallacies fall into one of the two categories: axiomatic thinking or smokescreens. Axiomatic thinking is making stuff up.

Axiomatic thinking is pretending. It’s making believe.

The result of Secular thought would be humorous if it weren’t so sad. Generally, Secularists just try not to think about their irrationality. If they are forced to think about it, the pattern is something like the following:

The only way that Secularists can interpret any observation or experience is using make-believe (axiomatic thinking).

Therefore, they believe that pretending (axiomatic thinking) is the way to truth.

Alternately, they pretend that there is no truth.

In addition, they pretend that Divine revelation is also make-believe–and they must be dogmatic about this illusion. They often resort to proof by repetition fallacies, which are merely smokescreens to cover up the fact that they’re pretending.

When confronted with the fact that God is verifiable, that everyone who seeks Christ finds Christ and that knowing Christ solves their problem, the spiritual problem comes to the surface. They refuse to look at the evidence. They refuse to seek Christ.

In a recent discussion, I asked a dogmatic trolling Atheist to just test this and gave him a list of things to do, much like the detailed steps of a scientific experiment. Steps are required because Secularists who have fallen to the level of trolling are very resistant to God. If you ask them to merely ask Christ to make Himself real to them, they will play games with that. They have fallen to the point where every discussion is a mind-game. The object is to avoid God at all costs. In this case, it’s at the cost of rational thought.

The Secularist loses the distinction between reality and make-believe.

The Secularist can’t offer any method by which the follower of Christ can verify the Secularist’s make-believe world. The follower of Christ can offer a method by which the Secularist can verify the fact that Christ is real and that He reveals Himself and His truth to anyone who persistently seeks Him in sincerity and respect with a desire to submit to Christ and to leave all thought, word, and actions that aren’t the leading of Christ. This requires yielding to the Spirit of Christ so that God can progressively bring righteousness and holiness. This is generally exactly what Secularists don’t want.

Just in case a Secularist does want to look at the evidence, here are the steps by which you can know. This is an explanation of what it means to seek Jesus and find Him. If you aren’t interested, perhaps some others who visit here may find this helpful.
1. Prepare yourself. You must be sincere. You must be prepared to be persistent. Your attitude is important to this process. You must be respectful.
2. Tell Him that you’re sorry for all the things that you’ve done that have been selfish and have violated His Love: not respecting Him, not responding to Him, not respecting authority that He has set, wanting things that He didn’t give you, sexual sin of any kind, hurting others with words or actions, or any such thing you might have done.
3. Ask Him to forgive you. He will.
4. Ask Him to be your Lord and to rule over your life. Make a commitment to follow His commands.
5. Ask Him to give you the Holy Spirit to lead you and guide you moment by moment.
6. Follow your commitment.
7. Over time, the Holy Spirit will show you the truth of the Bible and the fallacies of your thinking that made you think that the Bible wasn’t accurate.
If you truly want to know the truth, you’ll do this. If not, you won’t and you’ll continue to brainwash yourself in dogmatic Secularism.

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Certainty

EverHigher71

A common misconception of the definition of “faith” is that it’s blind belief for no reason. Faith isn’t rationalized, but without it, sound reasoning is impossible. That may seem to be a bold statement, but read on to understand.

Rationalization is a mental process by which insane thinking is made to appear sane. It gives the illusion of sound reasoning when the reasoning is irrational. Rationalization works using two methods: axiomatic thinking and smokescreens.

The first method is axiomatic thinking, simply making stuff up. Assumptions are merely fabrications that were made up and then treated as if they were part of reality. Unsupported assertions are concepts that are claimed true when there’s no certainty that they’re true. Axioms are unsupported assertions that are claimed true just because they’re claimed true. Lies are claims that aren’t true. Assumptions are lies in that they pretend the assumption is known when the assumption is, in fact, not known. It’s a lie to imply that an assumption is true. All assumptions are unknown. All of these fallacies fall under the heading of axiomatic thinking fallacies. On one or both sides of every debate, you will find axiomatic thinking.

The second method of rationalization is to try to make the made-up stuff seem to be real. It’s the art of making fake things look real. There are many methods that are used to do this. Some of them are simple and others are very complex. Usually, several methods are nested together, so these methods become very confusing and deceiving. Examples would include statistical tricks, circular reasoning, infinite regression, equivocation, ad hominem thinking, and appeals to human authorities, popularity, fear, emotion, ridicule, or any other thing that gives the illusion that the made-up stuff is true. Hundreds of logical fallacies are used as smokescreens to hide axiomatic thinking fallacies.

Those are the two elements of rationalization: axiomatic thinking and smokescreens. Rationalization is making believe. Whenever we rationalize, and we all do it sometimes, we lose the ability to tell the difference between reality and make-believe for that time and situation. We lose the ability to tell the difference between substance and concept. We lose the ability to tell the difference between what exists and what is theory. Scientific theories are concepts. Some scientists become so irrational that they claim that scientific theories are facts. They do this by rationalization.

When God speaks to us about faith, He isn’t talking about rationalization. Rationalized belief is worthless.

We don’t make ourselves believe in God. That would be make-believe. We don’t believe in spite of the evidence. God has revealed that the faith is the evidence, and the word, “evidence,” in this sense, means absolute certainty and absolute proof.

Now faith is the substance (as opposed to concept) of things hoped for, the evidence (absolutely certain proof) of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1)

Consider the nature of sound reasoning. Sound logic requires proof. The proof must prove what is claimed. The conclusion is what is claimed. The premise is the proof. The premise must be true.

How do you prove a premise true?

Do you declare it to be an axiom? That’s the axiomatic fallacy. Do you try to prove it with another premise that you can’t prove? That’s the infinite regression fallacy. Do you use circular reasoning? That’s a fallacy, and it proves nothing. There’s only one way to have a true premise.

When God reveals something, then it’s known. It’s true. God reveals things through Scripture, through Creation, and through the moving of the Holy Spirit. God reveals, but we need to acknowledge Him. He does reveal things even to those who refuse to acknowledge Him. Otherwise, all Secularists and Naturalistic Christians would die quite quickly. He supplies what they need to live so that they will have a chance to turn to Him and find Him.

Every person who is actually following Christ is led and taught by the Holy Spirit moment by moment. There are no exceptions to this. They see His Hand working in the Creation. They see His Hand working in others who are following Christ. They hear His Voice in Scripture, in Creation, in their innermost awareness of His Presence, and in any other person who’s speaking by the Holy Spirit. They are learning to hear Him more clearly and to discern between His Voice and every other Voice. As they walk in His Presence and see His glory, they are being changed into the same image from glory to glory by the Spirit of the Lord. They are dying to the flesh and being formed into the new Man. Christ is living in them and becoming stronger and more fully formed. The flesh is losing its hold on them, and the deceptive carnal mind is losing its grip. God has provided an arsenal of weapons for Christ’s followers to make it possible for everyone who is willing to eventually come to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. What a day that will be!

Secularists and Naturalists, on the other hand, have no way to know the difference between what they make up and what God reveals. Within their worldview, they refuse to acknowledge God as He reveals Himself and His truth to them. They take some of the practical knowledge that God gives them, but they claim that it’s conceptual, just like all the things they make up. They reject much of the truth that God gives. Eventually, God turns them over to their own reprobate minds. Their own reprobate minds destroy them. They can’t tell the difference between reality and make-believe. The axiomatic thinking of the Secularist or Naturalist can’t be proven. Axiomatic thinking is the means by which the Secularist or Naturalist interprets his or her observations or experiences (experiments). No Secularist or Naturalist can have certainty that his or her assumptions, unsupported assertions, or axioms are true. However, any Secularist or Naturalist can confirm God. Any one of them can seek God in sincerity and respect and come to know Him through Jesus Christ. All such people need do is confess that they haven’t properly respected God, obeyed Him, or acknowledged Him, and ask Jesus Christ to forgive them and reveal His will and His Person, while willingly submitting themselves to the leadership and rule of Christ. You can see the contrast, can’t you? One can be confirmed. All who seek Him find Him. The other can never be confirmed.

Unfortunately, if we, as Christians lean on our own minds to understand rather than acknowledging the presence and leading of God, we can’t tell the difference between reality and make-believe either. We would no longer be walking by faith but we would be walking by human opinion and interpretation of observation, experience, and philosophy. This happens.

Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. Some theologians have assumed that “the word of God” is the same as “the Bible.” However, that isn’t what’s written. If we go into the original language, we find no “the.” We find the Greek word, “rhema,” which means “Utterance.” So, this verse literally says that faith comes by hearing and hearing comes by Utterance of God. God speaks through the Bible. Through the Bible, God says that He also speaks many other ways, and all those ways will be consistent with what He is saying through the Bible.

Interpreting Scripture using assumptions is no better than interpreting Creation using assumptions. When scientists lean on human understanding rather than God, they interpret their observations and experiences (experiments) through the filter of their various worldviews. Often, a groupthink worldview is applied among an entire group of scientists. When this happens, the Holy Spirit won’t force Himself on them. They make up all kinds of stories that later must be changed. The same thing happens among theologians. A great leader and popular theologian can cause problems for generations that follow their speculations.

However, in Christ, we have a sure Leader. We have One Whom we can trust. If we all keep seeking Him and His righteousness, we will be found faithful. He will restore the order of the Body of Christ. He will restore the authority and the power. He will restore the Scriptural offices, ministries, and gifts. Despise not the day of small beginnings. God is now working throughout the Earth.

God speaks. He leads. He teaches. We acknowledge and faith comes. We don’t make-believe that God exists. We hear His Voice. We respond with respect and submission. Faith give us access to grace. Grace does God’s Works through us. We can actually become His Hand extended, reaching out to the oppressed.

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Ever Higher In Christ Jesus

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There’s a difference between presupposition and what is empirical. The word, “empirical,” means “by experience.” You see, every person who follows Christ is led and taught by the Holy Spirit moment by moment. That’s my experience, too. We all experience His Divine revelation as it’s imparted. However, without Christ and His revelation, no one can ever truly know the difference between reality and make-believe. It’s not that God doesn’t reveal truth to them. He does or they would quickly die. But the Münchausen trilemma makes them process all thoughts by lumping revelation with presupposition, simply because they refuse to acknowledge God or to be thankful to Him. For this reason, the contrast in thinking is between made-up stuff and Divine revelation. People can, of course, deny Divine revelation. That is a universal negative fallacy based on nothing but an unsupported assertion. You can see the problem with Secularist thinking, can’t you?

Now, God speaks through Scripture and every method mentioned in Scripture. Satan and the human mind work together with counterfeits of everything real that God uses to bring us to His good purpose. How can we avoid being deceived. Here’s the way. Know Him. Whoever seeks Him finds Him. The Father knows how to give good gifts to His children. If you’re looking for a spiritual experience, that’s what you’ll get. However, if you are looking for Christ and His righteousness, then you’ll be satisfied. You’ll receive the Spirit of Christ from the Father.

Most, if not all, of us end up on both sides of this equation. We are impure. We don’t fully desire God’s will. We all have a fleshly nature. The flesh desires comfort, money, power, ecclesiastical success, recognition, respect, honor, prestige, glory, pleasure, independence, and many other things rather than desiring God’s will. The Christ nature, Christ in us, the hope of glory, desires God’s will. Each of us must turn our will toward Christ rather than toward our fleshly nature and our carnal mind. Then, we will be able to seek first the Kingdom of God. That will assure that our hearts will be prepared to hear God’s Voice and to respond in submission.

To be sure, this isn’t an instant fix. God describes it as an experience that goes from glory to glory. As we all with open face, beholding as in a glass, the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image, from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. There is a veil that is naturally in front of our faces. That veil is the fleshly nature. We must deny it and look into the glass, that mirror, and see the glory of the Lord. Then, we are changed into the same image. He shows us who we are in Him. We see how we fit into the Body of Christ. We see what He is leading us in right at the moment. We’re learning to see better as the flesh dies away. The flesh dies away in the presence of the Holy Spirit. The flesh dies away as we yield the members of our Body to His free gift of righteousness. The very thing that kills the flesh is also building up the Christ and making us alive to Christ. In this way, we make progress moment by moment as we are led by the Holy Spirit and as we yield ourselves to Him in willing submission.

As we become familiar with Christ, we begin to notice differences between self-confidence and the certainty that we call “faith.” We immediately notice the difference between God’s Voice and the demonic voices, but we also begin to discern between human voices and the Divine. We hear the Holy Spirit bringing Scripture to our remembrance to refute the lies of our own minds or the minds of others. We also begin to recognize the difference between the Peace that Jesus gives and the peace that the world, the human mind, the human flesh, or the deceiver gives. ?This is how discernment is imparted and how we are changed.

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If knowing depends on revelation, how do you determine who’s telling the truth when two people are claiming revelation?

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How do you tell who’s telling the truth, since it depends of Divine revelation? Can’t anyone claim Divine revelation then? That’s the intelligent question, and the question that God addresses as He speaks through Scripture. Consider the Mormons, Jehovah Witnesses, and many others who claim Divine revelation. They don’t agree. They can’t all be right. Then, consider the various denominations with all of their various theologies all claiming to follow the plain revelation of God through the Bible. What’s going on?

The answer is quite simple once you realize the power of the Almighty God. When He reveals, He manages the process. We can reject what He’s saying, but He’s in charge. Jesus said that whoever asks for the Holy Spirit will receive the Holy Spirit, and He said many other things about this. It has to do with sincerity of the will. Speaking through the Apostle, James, God is telling us that a double-minded person will receive nothing. Jesus tied discernment to a sincere will to do the will of God. If you really want reality, God will see to it that you get it. Your fleshly nature, will, of course, begin to die incrementally in the process.

You may be wondering how to determine your revelation is actually revelation or a deception. This is especially an issue when two people claim revelation. Micaiah, the prophet, ran into this problem when called to prophesy to King Ahab. (1 Kings 22) Many other prophets came and gave King Ahab a good report. Micaiah told King Ahab that he would die in battle the next day. The other prophets ridiculed Micaiah, but Micaiah just said that if King Ahab were to return from battle, then God hadn’t spoken through him. Of course, Ahab was killed even though he took every precaution to stay as far away from the action as possible. Jeremiah had a similar problem, and God told Jeremiah that the false prophets were speaking a vision out of their own minds. Paul also dealt with false apostles. God warns us about false teachers, and He lets us know that they will come. So, how do you know who is telling the truth when there are so many today who claim to be the source of truth?

Part of the problem is the emphasis is on knowing things rather than knowing Christ. This kind of knowledge puffs up with pride. Knowing about Him or about things is different from knowing Him. If we all know Him, He will lead us in the same ways “until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” (Eph. 4:13) As of right now, “those who think they know something do not yet know as they ought to know.” (1 Co. 8:2) Yet, we can discern, though not completely yet, who is speaking by the Holy Spirit and who is speaking by a different spirit. “No one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, ‘Jesus be cursed,’ and no one can say, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ except by the Holy Spirit.” (1 Co 12:3) The real issue is, “How can you tell the difference between what comes from the human or demonic and what comes from the Holy Spirit.

How Can I Know God’s Will And Be Led By The Spirit Of God?

Yet, incorrect doctrine can cause devastating problems. Consider two people who are teaching about sexual perversions, heterosexual, homosexual, or others. One encourages people to engage in these perversions and says that the only sin is to point out that perversion is sin. The other points out what God is saying, through Scripture, about perverting sex. How you determine between these two people who have very different versions of what they claim to be truth. Let’s say that both are even claiming revelation believed to be given to them by God on this subject. How do you choose who’s correct or is it impossible to determine?

It’s usually pretty easy to determine, but not if you don’t want to do God’s will. For instance, sin, particularly sexual sin, ruins the consciences. It sears the conscience as with a hot iron. The spiritual ears become calloused and a person in this condition can’t discern reality from make-believe. A person like this can’t discern God’s Voice from what is being made-up by the human mind or by a demon.

To answer this question, we’ll have to go into the weakness of the human mind, the Münchausen trilemma, and the power of Divine revelation.

God speaks through Scripture and every means mentioned in Scripture. Everyone who follows Christ is led and taught by Christ moment by moment. Those who truly want to do His will and who allow Christ to work through them are gradually transformed so that their senses are more keen to discern between what God is saying and what’s coming from other sources. Disobedience destroys this discernment.

Generally, one of the first things that the Holy Spirit teaches is that God speaks through Scripture and that the Scripture is without error. The Holy Spirit directly instructs Christ-followers to search the Scriptures regarding claimed Divine revelation.

Divine revelation takes different forms. Consider the example of people who do or don’t believe in the three persons in one God. That’s a matter of God defining Himself. There’s also Divine revelation regarding leading. Leading is quite different in that God doesn’t specify who a Christ-follower is supposed to marry or which job a Christ-follower is supposed to take through Scripture. The Holy Spirit may bring a Scripture to mind for personal leading, but He may also just speak through other means. In the case of something like the doctrine known as trinity, God speaks through Scripture. In the case of defining morals, God speaks through Scripture. God has a lot to say about the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as He is speaking through Scripture. God has a lot to say about sexual morality. However, human worldviews can act as a veil to keep Christ-followers from ever hearing God’s Voice.

I’ve never heard anyone claim extra-biblical revelation as the basis for either belief or disbelief in godhead doctrines. As you look at the form of the arguments presented, there is no difference in form between interpretation of the Bible, Creation, or experience. God speaks through the Bible, Creation, and experience. It seems that people who are convinced of doctrines of all kinds that go beyond Scripture are convinced that God is telling them, through the Bible (or through Creation, or thought experience), whatever their interpretation is. In the case of the Bible, you can look at Scripture and see that the text doesn’t contain the doctrines being claimed. The conclusion requires assumptions and fabrications. In the case of scientific speculation, you can look at the observation and see that the observation doesn’t contain the conclusion. The conclusions require assumptions and stories. You can try to point this out, but, if the doctrine has been internalized, and if it has become part of the person’s worldview, that person can no longer hear God’s Voice regarding the issue. Only the Holy Spirit can correct the person. The problem is that the person is probably resistant to the Holy Spirit. For you and me, why don’t we just pray that God give us a soft heart toward the Holy Spirit to receive His correction? God will answer a sincere prayer like that. We can lay our doctrine at the foot of the cross, and God will return to us what is real.

I would like to address unreal expectations. The human ego wants to know everything. It likes to be told that it’s right. For this reason, human beings tend to rush to judgment and jump to conclusions. They think that coming to know all truth is like flipping a switch. Some say that they now have all truth. Really! Such an attitude makes it difficult for the Holy Spirit to lead such a person who knows all things already. The human mind is deceptive and desperately wicked to the point that we can’t know our own minds. This is a process that God is managing in His time. There’s no quick fix. For the Secularist, there is no hope unless he or she abandons dogmatic Secularism. For us, we have hope, and we make daily progress provided that we’re faithful.

There’s no conflict in what God is saying. There’s conflict when someone adds even a single assumption. Assumptions and stories add to God’s Utterances or diminish God’s Utterances. God doesn’t take that lightly. It’s a form of lying. Lies are abominations to God.

Assumptions are often hidden–even from the person making the assumptions. They are often presupposed. Usually, assumptions are consistent with worldviews and are confirmed by worldviews. Worldviews are merely conceptual inner fake realities that seem more real than real reality.

I’ve heard people rationalize from Scripture, adding in assumptions and presuppositions. That’s where division enters. However, I’ve not yet heard anyone claim extra-biblical revelation for this. There may be some false prophets out there who claim extra-biblical revelation of some sort, but I haven’t seen such a thing. Since the Holy Spirit is teaching and guiding us to search the Scripture, the Holy Spirit is able to expose the false prophet using Scripture. However, there is also the peace of God that comes when something is right. God imparts His peace when we’re in His will. That’s more than just a feeling, although there is usually a feeling of peace. It involves all the spiritual senses and it’s a certainty that something is right and good. God works with multiple witnesses. He will often show the same thing confirmed through His Creation. He sometimes sends an angel messenger. I’ve never had that, but others have. And, He uses every other means mentioned in Scripture. There are many of them.

Some people think that Divine revelation means omniscience. What we are able to receive as Divine revelation is always partial and progressive. It goes from glory to glory by the Holy Spirit. That’s part of why knowing Christ is more important than knowing anything else. God is omniscient, but He only tells us what we need to know. The rest belongs to Him. There’s much about the Godhead that we don’t know. God hasn’t revealed it. There’s a unity and relationship between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit that goes beyond our understanding. Those things that God reveals are ours. Those that He hasn’t revealed belong to Him. People get into trouble when they try to rationalize beyond what God is saying.

Concepts are not reality, but they can give the illusion of reality. Theologies are conceptual in nature. They aren’t real. They are models of something real. Anyone who models reality must remember that the models are not the reality. They’re only abstractions. Sometimes, theologies are taught as if they were reality. That’s a mistake. Jesus is the Reality. Jesus is the Truth. All teaching should point to Him rather than to human intellect.

I know what God has revealed to me through Scripture about the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. The word, “trinity,” represents a concept, but it may well be that the term means different things to different people. I know what God has revealed to me through Scripture, conscience, Creation, and experience about sexual morality. The revelation is known. The theology that goes beyond that is mere concept. There are places in my own mind where theology becomes confused with revelation. You probably have the same problem. That’s why we need to hold our theology loosely and we need to hold tightly to Jesus. The Holy Spirit is here to lead us into all truth.

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Is Faith the Same as Making Believe?

AcknowledgeGodWhenHeLeadsYou

Faith is a gift from God, whether we are discussing the charisma gift, the fruit of the Spirit, or the faith that is in the heart of everyone who follows Christ. It comes. We don’t self-generate this kind of faith. There is a kind of faith that people are able to self-generate. It’s called “make-believe.” People make themselves believe things all the time. They believe the things they want to be true. Real faith isn’t like that. We don’t make-believe that God exists. God speaks. If we will listen and acknowledge Him, faith comes. He allows us to reject Him. He doesn’t force Himself on anyone. He doesn’t believe for us, but imparts His certainty. Make-believe can never be certain. It’s mere concept and has no substance. The faith of God has substance. It’s the substance of things hoped for. It is certain. It’s the evidence, the certain proof, of things not seen. This doesn’t remove human will. We can reject Him when He speaks. We’re warned not to harden our hearts when He speaks. We can harden our hearts. We can harden our hearts and reject the faith that gives access to grace to be born again. We can harden our hearts after we’re born again and we can reject the faith that gives access to grace to do the righteousness of God.

This type of article can be very unnerving to a person who leans on his or her own understanding and is used to a rationalized, make-believe, faith. However, no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit reveals Christ, Christ’s will, Christ’s intimate leading, and Christ’s teaching to every person who is following Christ. We don’t always acknowledge Him, though.

Warning!

Some theologians teach that you don’t have a will or that God determines who will believe and who won’t. They teach that God has made some people for the purpose of putting them in Hell forever and ever. They teach that those people have no choice. They teach that the choice was made for them before the worlds were made. To believe such a thing requires adding some hidden assumptions to Scripture. In other words, these theologians are adding to God’s Words. God asks us not to add to His Words or to diminish His Words. Some may even claim that they have extra-biblical revelation regarding this. With a claim like that, the day will disclose it.

GotQuestions.org gives this answer:

Question: “Where does faith come from?”

Answer: Faith is the avenue or the instrument God uses to bring salvation to His people. God gives faith because of His grace and mercy, because He loves us (Ephesians 4—5). Faith comes from God in the form of a gift (Ephesians 2:8).

A gift is not earned by some good deed or kind word, and it is not given because the giver expects a gift in return—under any of those conditions, a gift would not be a gift. The Bible emphasizes that faith is a gift because God deserves all of the glory for our salvation. If the receiver of faith could do anything whatsoever to deserve or earn the gift, that person would have every right to boast (Ephesians 2:9). But all such boasting is excluded (Romans 3:27). God wants Christians to understand they have done nothing to earn faith, it’s only because of what Christ did on the cross that God gives anyone faith (Ephesians 2:5, 16).

By knowing our saving faith comes from God alone, it should encourage Christians to “not think of yourself more highly than you ought,” but remember God decides the measure of faith each one receives (Romans 12:3). http://www.gotquestions.org/where-does-faith-come-from.html

This issue of faith, whether it is of God or of man, has been argued for a long time. At the risk of causing more confusion, here are some of the commentaries’ opinions. Remember that human opinions are not to be compared to Divine revelation. As with all subjects, the fullness of this subject has not yet been fully revealed. If anyone thinks that he or she knows anything, that person doesn’t know

Ellicott’s Commentary for English Readers

And that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.—This attribution of all to the gift of God seems to cover the whole idea—both the gift of salvation and the gift of faith to accept it. The former part is enforced by the words “not of works,” the latter by the declaration, “we (and all that is in us) are His workmanship.” The word here rendered “gift” is peculiar to this passage; the word employed in Romans 5:15-16; Romans 6:23, for “free gift” (charisma) having been appropriated (both in the singular and plural) to special “gifts” of grace.
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary
The goodness of God in converting and saving sinners heretofore, encourages others in after-time, to hope in his grace and mercy. Our faith, our conversion, and our eternal salvation, are not of works, lest any man should boast. These things are not brought to pass by any thing done by us, therefore all boasting is shut out. All is the free gift of God, and the effect of being quickened by his power.

Barnes’ Notes on the Bible

And that not of yourselves – That is, salvation does not proceed from yourselves. The word rendered “that” – τοῦτο touto – is in the neuter gender, and the word “faith” – πίστις pistis – is in the feminine. The word “that,” therefore, does not refer particularly to faith, as being the gift of God, but to “the salvation by grace” of which he had been speaking. This is the interpretation of the passage which is the most obvious, and which is now generally conceded to be the true one; see Bloomfield. Many critics, however, as Doddridge, Beza, Piscator, and Chrysostom, maintain that the word “that” (τοῦτο touto) refers to “faith” (πίστις pistis); and Doddridge maintains that such a use is common in the New Testament. As a matter of grammar this opinion is certainly doubtful, if not untenable; but as a matter of theology it is a question of very little importance.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

and that—namely, the act of believing, or “faith.” “Of yourselves” stands in opposition to, “it is the gift of God” (Php 1:29). “That which I have said, ‘through faith,’ I do not wish to be understood so as if I excepted faith itself from grace” [Estius]. “God justifies the believing man, not for the worthiness of his belief, but for the worthiness of Him in whom he believes” [Hooker]. The initiation, as well as the increase, of faith, is from the Spirit of God, not only by an external proposal of the word, but by internal illumination in the soul [Pearson]. Yet “faith” cometh by the means which man must avail himself of, namely, “hearing the word of God” (Ro 10:17), and prayer (Lu 11:13), though the blessing is wholly of God (1Co 3:6, 7).

Pulpit Commentary

And that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God. Which of the two things is meant – salvation or faith? The grammatical structure and the analogy of the passage favor the former view, “Your salvation is not of yourselves,” though many able men have taken the latter. The apostle is so anxious to bring out the great distinguishing doctrine of grace that he puts it in all lights, affirms it positively, contrasts it with its opposite, and emphasizes it by repetition. It is a gift, not a purchase; a free gift, without money and without price; what would never have been yours, but for the generosity of God. It is very usual in the New Testament thus to represent salvation; cf. our Lord’s words to Nicodemus (John 3:16); to the woman of Samaria (John 4:14); St. Paul’s “Thanks be to God for his unspeakable gift” (2 Corinthians 9:15); “The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23); and 1 John 5:11, “God gave unto us eternal life, and the life is in his Son.” This usage confirms the view that it is not merely faith, but the whole work and person of Christ which faith receives, that is meant here as the “gift of God.”

Bengel’s Gnomen

Ephesians 2:8. Τῃ—χάριτι) τῇ has a relative meaning, in reference to Ephesians 2:5, χάριτι.—γὰρ, for) He does not say, therefore, but for, because he concludes [infers] from the effect to the cause.—διὰ τῆς πίστεως, by faith) which arises from the resurrection of Christ, chap. Ephesians 1:19,[23] [whence it is not at all mentioned in Ephesians 2:5, but for the first time in Ephesians 2:8. See Colossians 2:12.—V. g.] The antithesis is, not of works; an antithesis of the same kind as that between grace andboasting [“lest any man should boast”].—καὶ τοῦτο) and this, namely, believing, or faith, is not of yourselves. The antithesis is: this is the gift of God alone.

[23] Which passage implies, not merely that faith believes in Christ’s resurrection, but that also it is the same Spirit, which raised Jesus, which raises the spiritually dead and creates in them faith.
Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges
The question is largely occasioned by the construction of the Greek, in which “that” (neuter) does not agree with “faith” (feminine).—Many great expositors, Calvin at the head of them, accordingly take “that” to refer to the main previous idea, and “through faith” to be a separate inserted thought. Alford, who takes this view, states the case for it briefly and well. Nevertheless we recommend the other explanation, and for the following simple reason: the phrase “and that” (lit., “and this”) is familiar in N.T. Greek to introduce an addition of thought, enforcing or heightening what has gone before. See 1 Corinthians 6:6; 1 Corinthians 6:8; “and that before the unbelievers;” “and that, your brethren;” Php 1:28; Hebrews 11:12, (A.V., “and him, &c.”). But if it here refers only to the general previous idea, gratuitous salvation, it is hard to see what new force of thought it adds to the words “by grace.” If on the other hand it refers to the last special statement, “through faith,” there is a real additional point in the assertion that even the act of believing is a gift of God; for thus precisely the one link in the process where the man might have thought he acted alone, and where therefore, in St Paul’s sense, he might claim to “boast,” is claimed for God. Let the clauses, “and that, not of you; God’s is the gift,” be taken as a parenthesis, and the point of the interpretation will be clear; while the Greek amply admits the arrangement.

That “faith” is a matter of Divine gift is clear from e. g. 2 Corinthians 4:13; Php 1:29. Not that a new faculty of trust is implanted, but gracious manifestations—of the soul’s need and the Saviour’s glory—prevail upon the will to choose to repose trust in the right Object. The “gift” of faith is but one phase of the Divine action which (Php 2:13) “worketh in us to will.” And it may be said to be one aspect of the “gift of repentance” (Acts 5:31; 2 Timothy 2:25), for repentance is no mere preliminary to faith; it is the whole complex “change of mind” which includes faith.

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