| Re:Back to thread topic.|
For those who lack or ask for understanding.
[b]What's Here and What's Coming ~[/b]
Beware of false prophets which come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly they are ravening wolves. .
Matthew 7: 21-23
Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
Matthew 24: v 4-5
And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.
5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.
Mark 13: v 21-23
And then if any man shall say to you, Lo, here is Christ; or, lo, he is there; believe him not:
22 For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.
Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.
Romans 16: v 17-18
Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.
II Corinthians 11:13-15
For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.
Galations 1: 8-10
But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.
1 John 4:1
Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
2 Peter 2:1-3
But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.
2 Peter 2:18
For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error.
2 Corinthians 11:13-15
For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.
And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.
2 Timothy 3:1-7
This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
2 Timothy 4:2-5
"Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry."
But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman's hand.
[b][u]The Importance of Sound Doctrine by A.W. Tozer,[/u]
The Best Of A.W. Tozer, pg. 174-176, taken from Man, The Dwelling Place Of God
It would be impossible to overemphasize the importance of sound doctrine in the life of a Christian. Right thinking about all spiritual matters is imperative if we would have right living. As men do not gather grapes of thorns nor figs of thistles, so sound character does not grow out of unsound teaching.
The word doctrine means simply religious beliefs held and taught. It is the sacred task of all Christians, first as believers and then as teachers of religious beliefs, to be certain that these beliefs correspond exactly to truth. A precise agreement between belief and fact constitutes soundness in doctrine. We cannot afford to have less.
The apostles not only taught truth but contended for its purity against any who would corrupt it. The Pauline epistles resist every effort of false teachers to introduce doctrinal vagaries. john's epistles are sharp with condemnation of those teachers who harassed the young church by denying the incarnation and throwing doubts upon the doctrine of the Trinity; and Jude in his brief but powerful epistle rises to heights of burning eloquence as he pours scorn upon evil teachers who would mislead the saints.
Each generation of Christians must look to its beliefs. While truth itself is unchanging, the minds of men are porous vessels out of which truth can leak and into which error may seep to dilute the truth they contain. The human heart is heretical by nature and runs to error as naturally as a garden to weeds. All a man, a church or a denomination needs to guarantee deterioration of doctrine is to take everything for granted and do nothing. The unattended garden will soon be overrun with weeds; the heart that fails to cultivate truth and root out error will shortly be a theological wilderness; the church or denomination that grows careless on the highway of truth will before long find itself astray, bogged down in some mud flat from which there is no escape.
In every field of human thought and activity accuracy is considered a virtue. To err ever so slightly is to invite serious loss, if not death itself. Only in religious thought is faithfulness to truth looked upon as a fault. When men deal with things earthly and temporal they demand truth; when they come to the consideration of things heavenly and eternal they hedge and hesitate as if truth either could not be discovered or didn't matter anyway.
Montaigne said that a liar is one who is brave toward God and a coward toward men; for a liar faces God and shrinks from men. Is this not simply a proof of unbelief? Is it not to say that the liar believes in men but is not convinced of the existence of God, and is willing to risk the displeasure of a God who may not exist rather than that of man who obviously does?
I think also that deep, basic unbelief is back of human carelessness in religion. The scientist, the physician, the navigator deals with matters he knows are real; and because these things are real the world demands that both teacher and practitioner be skilled in the knowledge of them. The teacher of spiritual things only is required to be unsure in his beliefs, ambiguous in his remarks and tolerant of every religious opinion expressed by anyone, even by the man least qualified to hold an opinion.
Haziness of doctrine has always been the mark of the liberal. When the Holy Scriptures are rejected as the final authority on religious belief something must be found to take their place. Historically that something has been either reason or sentiment: if sentiment, it has been humanism. Sometimes there has been an admixture of the two, as may be seen in liberal churches today. These will not quite give up the Bible, neither will they quite believe it; the result is an unclear body of beliefs more like a fog than a mountain, where anything may be true but nothing may be trusted as being certainly true.
We have gotten accustomed to the blurred puffs of gray fog that pass for doctrine in modernistic churches and expect nothing better, but it is a cause for real alarm that the fog has begun of late to creep into many evangelical churches. From some previously unimpeachable sources are now coming vague statements consisting of a milky admixture of Scripture, science and human sentiment that is true to none of its ingredients because each one works to cancel the others out.
Certain of our evangelical brethren appear to be laboring under the impression that they are advanced thinkers because they are rethinking evolution and re-evaluating various Bible doctrines or even divine inspiration itself; but so far are they from being advanced thinkers that they are merely timid followers of modemism-fifty years behind the parade.
Little by little evangelical Christians these days are being brainwashed. One evidence is that increasing numbers of them are becoming ashamed to be found unequivocally on the side of truth. They say they believe but their beliefs have been so diluted as to be impossible of clear definition.
Moral power has always accompanied definitive beliefs. Great saints have always been dogmatic. We need right now a return to a gentle dogmatism that smiles while it stands stubborn and firm on the Word of God that liveth and abideth forever.
2 Timothy 3:1-7
This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,
Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.[/b]
["take some time off away from the site for awhile"] I did ~ 24 1/2 hours :-?
| 2006/4/20 2:48|
| Re: TRUTH ~|
[b]WHAT IS TRUTH? (John 18:38) [/b]
Truth is bound up with God. We find it in the meaning and interpretation which God gives to everything He has created. Apart from God and His revelation, truth does not exist. Where God is, there truth is. Since the whole creation bears witness to God, His truth extends throughout all creation. Nothing can deny what God has revealed or declared. It was the false witness of rebellious Satan that led to the fall of man.
In Genesis 11?6 we read: Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden; But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.
[b]Jesus Christ - the Truth[/b]
The false witness of Satan led to the fall. But the true witness of our Lord Jesus Christ leads to our redemption. All life apart from Christ is based on falsehood which has no lasting foundation. For only He is "the way, the truth, and the life". (John 14:6) "Other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ" (1 Corinthians 3:11). The Kingdom of God, is based on Truth, and "grace and truth came by Jesus Christ." (John 1: 17) Therefore, the advance of God's Kingdom demands that falsehood be eradicated. Hence the commandment: "Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour." (Exodus 20:16)
Jesus declared that His purpose in coming into the world was to "bear witness unto the truth." He said: "Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice" (John 18:37). That Jesus Christ is the Truth, is affirmed also in the book of Revelation. He is described as "the faithful witness" (L5) and "the Amen, the faithful and true witness" Q14). As "the Amen" He is the One in whom all the promises and the purposes of God are fulfilled. "For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God ... 11 (2 Corinthians 1:20) Jesus Christ, the truth, the true and faithful witness, the Amen of God, is the Lord of history. He stands opposed to every false witness. Every individual or group that does not build its life on the foundation of the sovereign, triune God and His written Law? Word is a false witness. The cross to which He was driven by false witnesses stands as a witness to the truth that man is a sinner, that man has violated God's Law and that, without repentance, fid& and obedience, he deserves to die. The cross witnesses to the truth that there is only one way of salvation apart from which there is only judgment and eternal damnation.
[b]The Truth in every area of life[/b]
The truth must be upheld and preserved in every sphere of life. In the family the Bible must have a proper place. Parents and children must be governed according to its teaching. In the church the ministry must deal faithfully with the Scriptures. The principle of Scripture interpreting Scripture must apply in all its preaching, teaching, administering of the sacraments and in exercising discipline. The church must speak as the true witness to the requirements of God's Law in society. In the state, too, which is God's minister of justice for the execution of His Law, those in authority must preserve the truth of God by commending the doer of good and punishing the doer of evil? "For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, he afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil." (Romans 133?4)
Judges Although a judge must be blind to the persons before him, to ensure that all are equal before the law, he cannot be impartial when considering the issues. He must favour the Law of God and apply its judgment on the matter in hand. He must do as God would do, "requiting the wicked, by recompensing his way upon his own head; and ... justifying the righteous, by giving him according to his righteousness." (2 Chronicles 6:23) In Psalm 82, we learn that judges are called gods, not in respect of their persons, but because they function as those to whom "the word of God came" (John 10:35) In other words, judges and courts of law are basic to the operation and advancement of the Kingdom of God on earth. If their judgment is corrupted, as is described in Psalm 82:2 where it says: "How long will ye judge unjustly, and accept the persons of the wicked?" then "all the foundations of the earth are out of course." (v 5) Society is shaken and disturbed where judgment is perverted. When Jesus stated that the Word of God came to judges, He also said: "The Scripture cannot be broken." It cannot be made null and void, 7he Bible is a book for judges for the ordering of society according to the truth. Where the Word of God is set aside, we are ruled by false witnesses, and society is then under the curse of God and under His direct judgment. To deny the civil application of God's Word and to confine it to matters concerning the church and the personal lives of Christians, as many do, is another form of false witness.
Witnesses Turning briefly to the witness M a court of law, the testimony of a witness must be honest and faithful. He must testify under an oath taken in the name of the triune God. His testimony must be subject to cross?examination and to corroboration. Scripture also requires no less than two witnesses. "One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established." (Deuteronomy 19:15) To witness falsely is a criminal offence against God and against man. The punishment of the false witness is prescribed in Deut. 19:19: "Then shall ye do unto him, as he had thought to have done unto his brother: so shalt thou put the evil away from among you."
The ninth commandment requires us to bear true witness concerning God and man and even our enemies and Satan. To ascribe to Satan the power that belongs only to God is to witness falsely. To witness truly is to promote the well-being of our society and a godly law?order in which nothing, neither good nor evil, will be exaggerated or concealed. Unless truth as defined by the Bible is upheld and preserved, our society will perish in a revolution of falsehood which promises a utopia beyond good and evil.
We are under an obligation to tell the truth in all normal circumstances. But we also learn from Scripture that there are situations when truth?telling can bring injury or death to the people of God. To give the truth to an enemy bent on the destruction of the truth is to be a party to that evil action. So we see that neither the lies of Rahab with which she protected the Israelite spies (Joshua 2) nor the lies of the Hebrew midwives with which they saved the baby boys _(Exodus 1) were condemned. On the contrary, "Joshua saved Rahab the harlot alive," and "God dealt well with the midwives." Clearly, an enemy of God is not entitled to the truth. Furthermore, our obligation to tell the truth in normal circumstances does not mean that private matters, which are of no concern to others, must be divulged.
[b]Falsehood and "Freedom"[/b]
We are all witnesses of a universe of God?created and God ordered facts. In God's creation everything speaks of Him. A true witness acknowledges this, but a false witness rebelliously suppresses it. Instead of submitting to the interpretation which God gives to everything, he exalts his mind above God's Word to a position of false independence. He "changes the truth of God into a lie" (Romans 1:25). If his interpretation, at any point, is M harmony with the truth, he does not acknowledge God. If his interpretation is in conflict with God's revelation of truth in creation and in Scripture, he maintains that his word alone is true. What follows is a denial of God. But it is absurd to assume that a creature can so much as think independently of God and arrive at the truth without God. It is a claim to be God and a denial of the Almighty, Clearly the creature lives, moves and has his being in the context of God and His truth, as the Scripture says: In Him "we live, and move, and have our being." (Acts 17:28) If we try to exalt ourselves above the Creator, substituting our truth for His, then life becomes meaningless, full of wrong thinking, lies, slander, false witness, false prophecy, false media and false freedom. Man who is enmeshed in falsehood cannot be free, for the testimony of the Faithful and True Witness is: "If ye continue in my word... ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free." (John 8:32) He sent us the "Spirit of truth" to guide us "into all truth." (John 16:13) And if we pray in faith our "heavenly Father will give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him." (Luke 11: 13)
So God expects us to worship Him "in spirit and in truth," (John 4:23) "to testify of the truth" and to walk in it. (3 John 3). He expects that we speak the truth, and says to us.? "Every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified and by thy words thou shalt be condemned." (Matthew 12:36?37)
GOD OUR SAVIOUR WILL HAVE ALL MEN TO BE SAVED,
AND TO COME UNTO THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE TRUTH. (1 Timothy 2:4)
| 2006/4/20 14:16|
So much truth, and only One Author of Truth. It
really should'nt be that hard to find, if thats what one was really seeking. You think!
Regarding the question, Where is all this leading
Its leading to this,
Jer. 5:3 O Lord, are not thine eyes upon the Truth? Thou hast stricken them, but they have
not greived; Thou hast consumed them, but they have refused to receive correction: They have made their faces harder than a rock; they have refused to return.
Jer. 7:28 But thou shalt say unto them, this is a nation that obeyeth not the voice of the Lord thy God, nor receiveth correction: Truth is perished, and is cut off from their mouth.
Jer. 9:3 And they bend their tongues like their
bows for lies: but they are not valiant for the Truth upon the earth; for they proceed from evil
to evil, and they know not me, saith the Lord.
Jer. 9:5 And they will deceive every one his neighbor, and will not speak the Truth: They
have taught their tongues to speak lies, and
weary themselves to commit iniquity.
This could all change by this,
Zech. 8:16 These are the things that ye shall do;
Speak ye every man the Truth to his neighbor;
execute the judgment of Truth and Peace in your
But instead, we have preachers ( self called apostles, prophets, evangelist, pastors and teachers) seeking to find acceptable words,
Eccles. 12:10 The preacher sought to find acceptable words: [u]and that which was written was upright, even words of Truth.[/u]
2 Tim 4:3,4 For the time will come when they will
not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lust shall heap to themselves teachers, having
4. And they shall turn away there ears from the
Truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
Where is all this leading to? For those who seek
only HIS TRUTH, > HIM <
Deut. 32:4 He is the Rock, His work is perfect:
for all His ways are judgment: a God of TRUTH and
without iniquity, Just and Right is He.
As for me and my house, we shall depend on His
Truth, His Judgment, His Justice, and His Righteousness.
All of this, Because of HIS TRUTH,
| 2006/4/20 21:05||Profile|
| Re: Enough !|
Psa 11:2 For, lo, the wicked bend their bow, they make ready their arrow upon the string, that they may privily shoot at the upright in heart.
[b]Psa 11:3 If the[u] foundations[/u] be destroyed, what can the righteous do?[/b]
Psa 11:4 The LORD is in his holy temple, the LORD's throne is in heaven: his eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children of men.
Psa 11:5 The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth.
Psa 11:6 Upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and a horrible tempest: this shall be the portion of their cup.
Psa 11:7 For the righteous LORD loveth righteousness; his countenance doth behold the upright.
[b]Adam Clarke Psa 11:3 -
"If the foundations be destroyed[/b] - If 'Saul', who is the vicegerent of God,[u] has cast aside his fear, and now regards neither truth nor justice, a righteous man has no security for his life.
This is at present thy case; therefore flee!
They have utterly destroyed the foundations; (of truth and equity); what can righteousness now effect?[/u]
Kimchi supposes this refers to the priests who were murdered by Doeg, at the command of Saul.
[u]The priests are destroyed, the preservers of knowledge and truth; the Divine worship is overthrown; and what can the righteous man work?[/u]"
The next "move of God" will not be what is being DEMANDED of HIM, but the Strong 'Delusion' and the church of Babylon.
He "moved" 2000 years ago .... how dare we demand more !
He's waited for us to move toward that which is Right and True and in His Spirit and Truth for a Very Long Time.
And those Authors who stand in HIS Presence now in Heaven, wail at what we've done with what He gave them to write - that we hide behind.
Ichabod and Enough.
| 2006/4/21 2:19|
| Re: Is anyone out there awake?|
Does anyone see or hear what is being said here?
Have all eyes and ears been stopped up and all
understanding been made void.
Ps. 11:3 If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?
Has all fear of the Lord been cast aside?
Do we no longer care or reguard, Truth and Justice?
Is that what your silence is all about?
Are you afraid to speak because you have utterly
destroyed the foundations of, truth and equity?
Our dear sister Annie said
The next " move of God " will not be what is being demanded of
What are you demanding, is it revival? Then look
what Jesus said, when answering the question,
" Which is the first commandment of all? ( Which is the most important commandment of all? ).
Mark 12:29-31. And Jesus answered him,
The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:
30. And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is
the first commandment.
31.And the second is like namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.
You want revival in yourself? Then you had better obey the commandments above.
John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
John 15:10 If you keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I keep my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.
Revival will not come by listening to great preachers and wonderful sermons. It will come because we Love Him with ALL our being, nothing short of that will suffice.
Try reading the greatest sermon ever preached,
Matt. 5-7. The Sermon on the Mount, by the greatest preacher who has always been. I believe
you will find His character impeckable, and oh, by the way, He is never mentioned as a late,
great, preacher from the past, he is always up to date. I beleive something like the I AM, THE FIRST and the LAST, ALPHA and OMEGA, BEGINNING
and the END. HE that was, and IS, and IS to COME.
You want revival? then it is His love you must have, and it is ALL your love He MUST HAVE!
To finish sister Annie"s
, but strong 'Delusion' and the church of Babylon.
Many want revival for the estatic feelings, emotions, and perceived spiritual uplift it seems
to bring. Just like when we listen to one of the great sermons here. We feel, strengthened, uplifted, and closer to the Lord.
But we are not, it is only a feeling. The angel
of light loves us to depend on feelings, and the closer the end gets, the more feelings are being stressed. Everyone wants to see a sign.
Jesus talked about signs,
Luke 11:29,30 And when the people were gathered
thick together, he began to say, This is an evil generation: they seek a sign; and there shall no
sign be given it, but the sign of Jonas the prophet.
30. For as Jonas was a sign unto the Ninevites, so shall also the Son of man be to this generation.
In Luke 16:19-31 We see the rich man asking
Abraham his loved ones a sign,
27. Then he said, I pray they therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house:
28. For I have five brethren; that he may testify
unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.
29. Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.
30. And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went from the dead, they will repent.
31. And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses
and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded,
though one rose from the dead.
People, we have, Matt., Mark, Luke, John, Peter,
Paul, John and most of all one who has risen
from the dead, JESUS CHRIST, and look at what
they say about your sign,
Now I beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering
together unto him,
2. That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by
letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is
3. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except their come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the
son of perdition;
4. Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as god sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
5. Remember ye not, that when I was yet with you,
I told you these things?
6. And now ye know what withhodeth that he might be revealed in his time.
7. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work;
only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.
8. And then shall the Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
9. Even him, whose coming is after the working of
Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
10. And with all deceivableness of unrightness in
them that perish; because they receive not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
11. And for this cause God shall send them strong
delusion, that they should believe a lie:
12. That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
So you seek a sign? you will get many very soon,
powers and signs and lying wonders and who will
fall for this GREAT REVEVAL?
ALL THOSE who received not the love of the truth,
given over to strong 'Delusion' to belive a lie.
You say not me, never,
Really, seems the deceiver will have it pretty
easy, Jesus says,
Matt. 24:24 For there shall arise false Christ, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.
How many so called christians, worshipped G.W. Bush? All he has done is make claims and promises.
WAKE UP AMERICAN church! You are living in
Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy
mind, and with all thy strength: THIS IS THE FIRST COMMANDMENT. Mark 12:30
| 2006/4/22 13:58||Profile|
Because you posted .... because you have a shepherd's heart only.
I will only leave one more Site for TRUTH and pray for the Elect and for more true shepherds who understand and care to inspect the pastures they send their sheep into or feed them, because they Love Him and them. JOHN 14:6
http://www.sliceoflaodicea.com/ Definitely a shepherd's desktop shortcut for regular examination for sheep protecting.
Only the hireling doesn't protect the sheep because [b]HE DOESN'T LOVE THEM !!![/b]
Every article on this site is good, but for now ... when you have time .... REALLY look closely and follow the links in the one titled [b]"Living Spiritual Teachers"[/b].
This is the 'next' stage that we are in, as far as "where is all of this leading to ?"
We know where it's all leading, but the Word says, the "MOST" don't get it or WANT it.
As I posted on Appolos's thead about "The Battle", the "BATTLE OF THE LAST DAYS IS OVER TRUTH AND TRUTH ALONE".
Before I was saved, at a certain time in the early morning, we'd here "LAST CALL !"
Now that I've been with the Lord and in the Classics these 30 years .... I hear it again .... but not from the "bouncer" .... but from HEAVEN Itself.
So be it.
| 2006/4/22 16:37|
Thank you so much for putting together these post's. They really have spoken to me.
Only the hireling doesn't protect the sheep because HE DOESN'T LOVE THEM !!!
I have found articles in this following link very helpfull though it is sad that we even need a site like this:
John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
John 15:10 If you keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I keep my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.
Revival will not come by listening to great preachers and wonderful sermons. It will come because we Love Him with ALL our being, nothing short of that will suffice.
In my daily reading:
Blest be Thy love, dear Lord,
That taught us this sweet way,
Only to love Thee for thyself,
And for that love obey.
To love God is to love His Character. For instance, God is purity. And to be pure in thought and look, to turn away from unhallowed books and conversation, to abhor the moments in which we have not been pure, is to love God. God is love; and to love men till private attachments have expanded into a philanthropy which embraces all, that is to love God. God is truth. To be true, to hate every form of falsehood, to live a brave, true, real life,- that is to love God. God is infinate; and to love the boundless, reaching on from grace to grace, adding charity to faith, and rising upwards ever to see the ideal still above us, and to die with it unattained, aiming insatiably to be perfect as the Father is perfect,- that is to love God. F.W.Robertson
| 2006/4/22 18:09|
Someone posted on the poem thread which inspired me to get the two i was led to write out. I thought the following would be appropriate here?
[u][b]A Pastors Heart[/b][/u]
The pastor, The shepherd
They care for the sheep
In loving arms they hold
Risking it all
For the sake of their fold
In the meadow
Across the stream
Through the valley
Parched desert too
The pastor, The shepherd
Guiding them through
On a journey together
Forwards they must go
Down the narrow path
Pastor, Shepherd leading the way
Awaiting the saviour
Oh happy day!
The lost, gone astray
The shepherd must go
To bring back to the fold
Each one he must find
Looking and searching
Leaving the rest behind
A wolf in sheeps clothing
Works into the fold
Sly and deceptive
He takes his pray
Fooling them with false love
Leading them astray
The shepherd returns
For His beloved sheep
The wolf sees him coming
And cowardly runs away
But the shepherd with his rod and staff
Rounds up those gone astray
The shepherds love
A pastors heart
Imparted from our Lord
To make strong the weak
In their giftings they grow
The pastor, The body
He in them and they in him
All are one
Awaiting their beloved
Jhn 10:11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.
| 2006/4/22 18:45|
Geraldine, thank you for making sense out of the two diametrically opposed messages going on 'today'.
Your poem should be broadcasted through-out the world. Never have I read one that has touched my heart so deeply. And that is truth.
The wounded/battered sheep site about broke me.
God chose to call us sheep because of how defenseless and foolish they are. (I used to tend the wooly ones.) Just the pictures on top of that site spoke volumes.
And when I saw "legalism" as the top topic .... YES - Legalism is man's cheap way out of dying to self-righteousness and walking in total dependence on His Spirit ... so you betcha that will be a chief sheep killer.
Pastorfrin brought up LOVE. You did also.
I'm about to say something I've never said on here.
For 30 years I read every book ever written on how to find the "Crucified Life" - "How to Die to Self" - "That He may Increase and I Decrease" .... it was my obsession and my driving passion.
I never watched TV or went out anywhere's, except for fellowship and visits to family.
I wanted to spend every minute of my waking hours for all of these years trying to find HIM.
Or better stated to KNOW HIM as in Phil. 3.
I'd read up to five Classics a week. I'd cry and pray and cry and pray until I think even Heaven was sick of it after a while - ha.
But finally, more like, FINALLY - it came.
I had been asking God for almost 30 years to show me, "But HOW do I die to self, etc. etc. ?"
Then he sent a very wise old man into my life who only taught that GOD IS AGAPE/DIVINE/LOVE.
That every single thing HE has done has been because HE IS LOVE.
That the ONLY way we can die to self is to seek, find, and allow HIS LOVE to fully have it's way .... no matter the consequences.
When LOVE INCARNATE came to earth .... THEY KILLED HIM.
WE cannot muster up or "try to" love as HIS LOVE.
Only HE can do that in us, if we're willing to die to reputation, etc..
How will we know HE is instilling HIS love into us ?
First (the way) will be our desire for HIM will increase as no desire we've ever felt on earth.
For HIM and HIM ALONE.
Not ever feeling lonely or bored again, even if in one room for years. Consumed with HIM.
Secondly (the truth) is our desire for TRUTH, because HE IS THE TRUTH.
Not even a speck of non-truth will we settle for any longer, because WE WANT HIM --- ALL OF HIM.
Thirdly (the life) is our walk from then on.
Not one step is for us, because our desires have become HIS desires and we don't know any other way anymore. We're consumed with THAT that is ETERNAL. We are seated in Heavenly places finally makes sense or becomes reality to us.
THIS JESUS IS THE WAY, THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE.
That is why "Love" has come out three times on this thread today. His ONLY Two Commandments.
[u]Thank you both !![/u]
| 2006/4/22 20:43|
| Re: What is Truth ?|
[b]Absolute Necessity of Sound Doctrine
By R. K. McGregor Wright, Th.M., Ph.D.
The Task Before Us[/b][excerpts]
The purpose of this paper is to establish clearly whether the Bible makes correct teaching, sound doctrine, or (to use the historic term) orthodoxy, necessary for the progress of the Christian life. The case will be argued here on the grounds of the teaching of the New Testament alone, only because the vast mass of supporting data in the Old Testament only strengthens the argument and must await another paper.
The case requires both definition and reasoned argument leading to the conclusion, and will be dealt with in two stages. We will ask: (1) how does the New Testament present the doctrine of doctrine?; and (2) what is the relation between doctrine and life?
It seems to be more and more assumed that correct practice is so easy to come by that it need not depend on correct doctrine at all, that doctrinal orthodoxy is really just "a head trip." Most of the people attending our churches seem to function as if somehow sincerity will do instead of truth.
This leads us to:
[b]The Head vs. Heart Heresy[/b]
It is very common in these days of so great an embarrassment of riches in the matter of books and religious freedom, to hear mention of the mysterious gap supposed to exist between the "head" and the "heart." It is assumed, of course, that the mind, the intellect, is the head, while our faith resides in something called the heart. It is therefore possible to have head knowledge without heart knowledge, and so miss out on the reality of faith.
Likewise, a mysterious gap is thought to exist between theory and practice which we are somehow unable to bridge. People who ask too many questions are accused of being on a "head trip" and admonished to "be practical." Their problems are said to be solvable somehow by having the right kind of experience rather than by getting their questions answered from the Bible in the form of doctrine. Their problems are to be solved through understanding their emotions, by improving relationships, through serendipity, through counseling, through a new commitment, or perhaps even by "getting to know God better." But never can personal problems be solved through doctrine, since mere theory is not thought of as being "practical."
It is even suggested or implied that "there are really no answers" in the final analysis, since the ultimate questions dissolve at last into mysteries. We do not need answers; we need to grow up and learn to accept the paradoxes of life! True Christian maturity is said to be measured by our commitment in the face of final paradox rather than by any kind of knowledge. People who want answers are just immature, thats all.
It is not the purpose of this exercise to refute these absurdities as completely as they deserve. We shall have to be satisfied just now with the response that against all forms of modern irrationalism, the Christian religion is recognized by specialists in comparative religion as being by far the most intellectual religion of all; that the New Testament puts a heavy priority on the regeneration of the intellect (witness the Pauline emphasis on the intellect in the prayers for the Ephesian and Colossian churches in the first chapters of their respective epistles); that the Bible in both the Old Testament and the New makes it perfectly plain that the term heart means the seat of the intellect, or the mind as our capacity to reason; therefore all the problems we face are to be solved first by allowing the Bible to change our minds about the truth, and then by learning what Gods answer is to our problem, as God defines and explains both problem and answer.
The spiritual breakthrough comes when, in humble dependence on Gods mercy, we accept His account of the matter and obey what He says to do about it. The results are predestined to be successful and to infallibly meet the needs of the believer sooner or later. The Bible itself calls this process "making disciples," and the primary method is said to be by something called teaching. This program was set forth in the last words of Jesus as recorded in Matthews Gospel, in the Great Commission.
The word teach appearing there, occurs twenty times in the Gospel of Matthew alone, and Jesus is called Teacher there about ten times. If we look at the whole NT, the two nouns for teaching or doctrine occur over fifty times, while the verb to teach occurs over ninety times. The word teacher appears at least fifty-eight times. Half a dozen other related words appear on another twenty occasions.
This makes a total of over 240 references in the NT alone to teachers teaching doctrines.
When we recall that the well-known references to born again and regeneration occur in less than twenty verses we can only conclude that there is an extremely important subject being set forth in Scripture, which we may call the Bibles doctrine about doctrine. Surely a subject which demands far over two hundred references in Scripture must be one of the most important things in the Bible.
[b]The Doctrine of Doctrine in the New Testament[/b]
For convenience, we will concentrate on the Pastoral epistles, 1 and 2 Timothy and Titus. The two NT words for doctrine may be considered synonymous for our purposes, and occur in these three epistles seventeen times. The verb appears another six times. A term meaning able to teach appears twice, and teacher three times.
There are therefore at least twenty-eight passages in these letters alone which will show us how important Paul thought doctrine to be. They may be classified as those passages (a) commanding or exhorting us to teach and be taught, and we shall refer to these as positive passages; and (b) those verses which warn against false teaching and teachers, which we shall call the negative verses. We shall consider the negative verses first.
To begin with, certain verses contain repeated warnings of the damage done by false doctrine. The very first occurrence of the word doctrine in these epistles warns Timothy to resist false doctrine by proper instruction of those involved in teaching it (1 Tim. 1:3).
Anything incompatible with the apostolic deposit was to be actively resisted. According to 1:10-11, this deposit covers moral matters in essential harmony with the ethical content of the OT Law. Everything else is "contrary to sound doctrine." In 4:1, specific teachings are described as "doctrines of demons," including forbidding Christians to get married, and spiritual vegetarianism. Paul traces much false doctrine to demonic influence in other epistles also (See Gen. 3; Eph. 6; 2Cor. 4:4; 1Cor. 10:20; Rom. 1:21-32; Rev. 9:20-21).
In 2 Tim. 4:3, the final apostasy is introduced as being the result of a turning away from sound doctrine to a multiplicity of popular teachers who tell the people what they want to hear and substitute mythology for divine revelation. Myths are exactly what the Bible does not contain, according to Peter (2 Peter 1:16).
Titus likewise warns of those who wreck whole house-churches with false doctrine which generates revenue for them and damnation for their hearers (1:11). Paul says (1:9) that a key responsibility of a Christian leader is to challenge and refute false doctrine from anyone who presents it.
Elders are to be active in opposition to these things and ever vigilant against them. There is no mistaking Pauls attitude here: by exhortation (by actively challenging error when presenting the biblical alternative) and by reasoned argument (intended to convince opponents) sound doctrine is to prevail. The dreadful alternative is suggested in verses 10-16, that those deceived will be rendered useless for good works.
At this point in the study something needs to be said about the relationship of reasoned argument to evangelism. Unfortunately today, we blithely accept the common but artificial distinction made between preaching the gospel and Apologetics. Evangelism and Apologetics are treated as separate subjects in the Bible College or Seminary curriculum and the division has determined our modern practice.
One would think that because God has given the Church such specialists as Josh McDowell, Francis Schaeffer and Cornelius Van Til, therefore we do not have to give any attention to apologetics personally; besides, isnt it really for intellectuals only? Isnt it a subject for seminarians? Besides, everyone knows you cant argue someone into the kingdom
Over against this dead weight of evasion, we should place the NT attitude to the defense of the faith, somewhat as follows:
First, we should note that Apologetics is an essential part of the Gospel; all the speeches in the book of Acts contain apologetic arguments based either on the OT prophecies or Jewish history, or recent events such as the coming of Christ. Read Peters speech in 2: 14-40 or 3: 12-26 or 4: 8-12 or Stephens in 7:2-53 or Pauls in 17:22-31, to mention only some of the examples of apologetic material in NT preaching.
Second, the task of defending the faith is commanded in 1 Peter 3:15 and Jude 3, and illustrated by almost every NT document; most of Pauls epistles contain arguments against various errors of his own day. Apologetics is therefore not an optional extra, but an integral part of the apostolic mandate.
Third, we have the methods of the Apostles throughout Acts. Consider the verbs used in 17:2 (reasoned with them), 17:17 (disputed
daily), 18:4 (reasoned and persuaded), 18:11 (teaching), 18:13 (persuaded), 18:19 (reasoned), 18:28 (convincing), 19:9 (disputing daily), 19:26 (persuaded), and 19:33 (defended himself), from a mere three chapters.
Paul links Apologetics consistently with Evangelism in both his writings and his practice. In Phil. 1:7, he describes his own work as being "the defense and confirmation" of the gospel. Clearly, Apologetics is for unbelievers a defense of the truth, and for believers a confirming of the apostolic message.
We must conclude from even so brief a survey, that the apostles argued with unbelief as well as preached to it, that they expected their arguments to convince at least some hearers, and that they saw both proclaiming and defending the gospel as two sides of the one coin of evangelism. No disjunction exists here between head and heart, for gospel truth is to be addressed to the mind!
The Apostle Paul identifies himself as "a teacher of the gentiles in faith and truth" (1 Tim. 2:7) and indicates that at that time he was not allowing women to teach or to arrogate teaching positions to themselves over the existing (male) leaders. Apparently in such a male-dominated society as we know the ancient world to have been, Christian women were bypassing the orderly procedures of church administration by rejecting the then all-but-universal male leadership which had probably been too slow in making practical Pauls injunction about "neither male nor female in Christ" (Gal. 3:28). He warns that these women must learn the same way the men did, "in quietness and submission" and not "usurp authority over the men" in teaching positions.
The warning example of Eve transgressing because of false doctrine deceiving her is to be noted. A woman cannot teach anyone unless she is "capable of teaching" (3:2), and she cannot teach without first learning. Therefore, "let the woman learn" is a mandate roughly equivalent to "educate your women too," and is in harmony with Jesus radical answer to the Jewish refusal to teach their women the Law, when he accepted Mary as a student disciple "at his feet" and warned Martha that her sister had chosen "the better part" which would never be taken away from her (Luke 10:38-42). Paul agreed with Jesus attitude, apparently.
In chapter 4, verses 6, 11, 13, and 16 are an interesting group of verses. In order to be a good minister, Timothy is to be "nourished up" on good doctrine in harmony with the apostolic deposit. The alternative again is "fables" or myths. Verse 10 rebukes idolatry, since we serve the "living God," the final preserver of all people, and especially the Savior of believers. This he says, we must teach. In verse 13, the (public) reading of the Scriptures aloud was vital for the life of churches in which so many were illiterate. Exhortation then, involves presenting the challenge of the truth and "the doctrine." Only by taking heed to the doctrine (v. 16) can both the teacher and the learners (i.e. disciples) be kept safe.
Elders may spend most of their time "teaching the word" (5:17) and are therefore to be paid "double honor." The epistle closes with three verses (6:1, 2 and 3) in which it seems that "the doctrine" can be blasphemed as well as "the name of God," as a result of unworthy lives. These things, he says, we must "teach and exhort." Paul sees teaching and challenging the faithful as two sides of the one coin of properly communicated truth.
In verse 3, Paul equates his own teaching with "the words of our Lord Jesus Christ" as "the doctrine according with godliness." Those who "teach otherwise" are motivated by pride and other sins which, he warned, will eventually "drown them in destruction and ruin" (vs. 4-9).
Second Timothy is, if anything, even stronger. Again, he opens the subject (1:11) by identifying himself as an apostle sent to announce the gospel as a teacher of the nations. In 2:2 the word anthropois means people, human beings in general, and cannot be restricted to males. It links up with the mandate to educate women in 1 Tim. 2:11 and is a collective mandate to educate both male and female Christian leadership in doctrine, thus preparing them to teach.
There is more of this kind of thing in 2 Timothy. In 2:24 Gods servants are warned not to be "macho" (yes, thats the Greek word! Cf. Titus 3:2 also) but to be gentle, patient, "apt to teach." The word for this is didaktikos and means having a didactic or doctrinal emphasis.
In verse 3:10, Paul notes that the consistency of his doctrine and his life is part of his exemplary Christian leadership. This is what it means to "live godly in Christ Jesus" and he adds that we can expect it to bring persecution. The inconsistent and hypocritical believer is no challenge to heathenism! A godly consistency in which life is controlled by truth is a terrible affront to the false autonomism of the unbeliever and he cannot leave it alone. A "form of godliness" is fine, but "the power thereof" is an irritant to unbelief (3:3-7).
The classical spot for the doctrine of doctrine is 2 Tim. 3:16. "All Scripture is God-breathed" says Paul, and as a result is profitable for doctrine. This term is then expanded by the rest of the verse into reproof (telling us when we are wrong), correction (telling us the right alternative), instruction in righteousness (or ongoing discipleship training, paideia or education). The purpose is then described as being "in order that the anthropos of God may be properly equipped, totally and completely equipped or furnished with a view to every good work."
No more comprehensive statement could be made of the perfect sufficiency of Scripture. When it comes to the place of doctrine in the life of the believer, its sola scriptura all the way. The alternative is the disaster outlined in 4:3-4, in which sound doctrine is replaced by a relativistic mythology, as in modern liberal theology, and the popular recent New Age mysticism.
Paul sums up Timothys task in 4:2, as "Proclaim the Word, be on the spot every chance you get, since all seasons are in season. Reprove sin, admonish the sinner, challenge to godliness. The method is by patient and persistent doctrinal teaching; and nothing less will do" (my paraphrase).
In the letter to Titus, Paul expands on the need for doctrinal leaders. In 1:5-7, he notes that he ordained elders in every city to be overseers (episkopoi). They are to hold fast to the faithful word of doctrine (v. 9) in order to challenge and convince contradictors through sound doctrine. In 2:1 "sound doctrine" is the foundation of life for elders. The principle subject of this letter is the responsibility of Christian leadership. The chapter break at 2:1 gives the false impression that the subject has been changed from leaders to those being led. There seems to be no adequate ground for assuming this.
Paul began in 1:5-7 to explain the basic qualifications for generic leadership. The leaders are then related by their overseer status to the younger women and younger men to whom they minister. It is particularly mentioned that teaching is part of an older womans ministry (2:3-4). In 2:6-7, the younger men are warned to be uncorrupt in their doctrine. In 2:9, slaves are to decorate the Christian doctrine by their godly lives, in view of the blessed hope of Christs coming, towards which we are all moving (12-13). In verse 13, God is said to be the ultimate teacher of his children, educating them (paideuo) toward consistent holiness.
And all this is in the pastoral epistles alone!
[b]Necessity of Sound Doctrine[/b]
The Bible teaches that the Holy Spirit is the agent of Gods regenerating of the human soul, effecting the change by the instrumentality of the Word of God (John 1:12-13, 3:5-8, Titus 3:5, James 1:17-18, 1 Pet. 1:21-25, etc.). This process of renewing the soul into the image of Christ continues all through the believers life until its consummation in the very presence of Jesus himself (John 15:3, 17:17, Rom. 12:1-2, 1Cor. 2:9-16, 2Cor. 3:17-18, 4:4, etc. concluding with 1 John 3:2).
The Bible uniformly presents itself as an instrument by which the eternal God reaches down into time by His sovereignty to effect those results which are to manifest His eternal plan or word. His Law-word for creation (Gen. 1) and His Law-word for redemption (James 1:18) work the same way: God speaks and the desired result is effected (Isa. 55:8-11). Sometimes the effect is by a direct action, and sometimes it is accomplished by a long chain of causal law-structures. In either case, the result is sure and manifests the divine will with irresistible certainty.
It follows, also irresistibly, that one of the links in that chain is such a human activity as preaching the word and teaching. Holiness being conformity to Gods word, sound doctrine is a necessary and indispensable step in the process, and false doctrine has a similar power and effect in the other direction.
The human mind is a flexible, dynamic function of our created humanness which at any instant is either reacting to true or false elements of doctrine. At every point where our consciousness touches and interprets the outside world, it does so in terms of presuppositions, axioms, or assumptions. Only then does it proceed by those necessary and unavoidable thought processes which unify and interpret our ongoing experience.
This process of intellectual interaction with the creation is the interpretive function which is our exercise of human prophethood under God as the original interpreter of His own Creation. It even continues while we sleep, in the subconscious realm, from which dreams sometimes rise to consciousness. We never stop interpreting reality.
When Adam and Eve fell, they lost the ability (but not the responsibility!) to act as Gods vice-regents over Creation. God created them in His image to function as prophets, priests and kings.
As prophet, Adam was to hear Gods word of interpretation and, assuming it to be true, extend that interpretation to all of creation as he encountered it. He was to reinterpret reality in terms of Gods prior exhaustive interpretation, part of which was revealed in the direct words of special revelation. This task of reinterpretation in terms of Gods revealed interpretation is called the task of the prophet. The realm of the prophet is truth, knowledge, exhortation and proclamation.
In other words, a truly creational Epistemology presupposes Gods exhaustive knowledge, and in faith responds accordingly. When Adam and Eve made themselves their ultimate reference-point and began with their own autonomist presuppositions, they had thereby automatically failed as Gods viceregents in the realm of interpretation; they had failed as prophets.
Likewise, our first parents failed as priests. They should have represented God to each other and each other to God as pre-redemptive mediators in the realm of Ethics. When Adam saw that his wife was encountering false doctrine he should have acted as her prophet and challenged the heresy Satan was offering.
So should Eve have prophetically challenged Satans word as being inconsistent with Gods prior interpretation. Neither of them did this. Nor did Adam go to God to intercede for Eve, as priest in the realm of ethics, thereby obediently responding to God in righteousness. They both rejected responsibility for each other. We might note incidentally here, that the presupposition of autonomy or freewill did not lead to a sense of responsibility, but rather undermined it.
Likewise, they fell in the realm of Ontology, or Being, not presupposing the Creator-Creature distinction that underlies holiness of ones being. In making themselvesrather than their Creatorthe reference point for meaning, they lost both the ability and the authority to act rightly as vice-regents or kings under God over the Creation, for they were now servants of another (Rom. 1:25 and 6:16). As in a game of chess, the rules control what is possible in the game. In the process of thinking, the rules are the axioms or presuppositions we start with. And nobody escapes presuppositions. Presuppositions determine everything.
The offices of prophet, priest, and king were recovered for the believer in the person of Christ, just as they were lost in the person of Adam. The functional elements of the image of God lost in Adam are available to us in Christ, Himself the Image of God (2Cor. 4:4, Col. 1:15, Heb. 1:3), as we are being renewed by the process of redemptive regeneration (Eph. 4:24 and Col. 3:10, 2Cor. 3:8 and 4:4, and Rom. 8:29 with 12:1-2).
These verses show how the qualities of holiness (of our being, or ontology,) righteousness (of our action, or ethics), and truth (of our interpretation, or epistemology) are being daily renewed in the believer through the redemptive activity of the Word, thus restoring us as kings, priests, and prophets in these three realms, respectively. Holiness, righteousness, and truth are thus the attributes of Gods image which we lost in the Fall and recover through regeneration.
[u]How vital, then, that our conscious mind be filled with Gods redemptive interpretation of reality! We must deliberately seek to know and accept what God says about everything in order to understand reality aright, in order to interact with His Creation correctly. Only on the basis of Gods revealed presuppositions, and of Gods ultimate rationality, of Gods revealed interpretations of reality in Scripture, can we know truth at all, since we are supported ultimately by Gods exhaustive consciousness of Himself and of His creation, and of us in particular as His beloved children.
It is this view of reality which Scripture variously calls the truth, or sound doctrine, and even "the faith of Gods elect" (Tit. 1:1). Because God cannot lie (Heb. 6:18), He cannot contradict Himself (2 Tim. 2:13). It follows that sound doctrine has the necessary attribute of being wholly consistent with itself, granting, of course, its base in revelation as the starting-point and God as its ever-present integration-point. This does not mean, of course, that all the results of the human task of theology will be always perfectly consistent, but it does mean that the believer has the hope of consistency always before him, and Gods promise of sanctification supports our growth in this as in other areas.[/u]
[b]Theory and Practice, Doctrine and Life[/b]
We said at the outset that attention would be given to the relation between doctrine and life. Something has already been said about how doctrine fits us for the tasks of prophethood, priesthood, and kingship. These offices are the formal structures or models for our obedience towards God by which we create and influence culture, i.e., contribute to the Kingdom of God as we pray for it in the Lords Prayer that "Thy will be done, thy kingdom come," etc.
We have noted already (first two paragraphs of section V, above) that Gods Law-word for Redemption is as sovereignly efficacious as it was for Creation. The Word of God comes to us in special revelation as a direct, inscripturated, propositional communication, providentially preserved in history as the Canon of Scripture. It is this word that Paul exhorts Timothy to "preach" (2 Tim. 4:2).
Its collective content is "the doctrine" (2 Tim. 3:16), and by giving constant attention to it, Timothy was told that he would save both himself and his hearers (1 Tim. 4:15-16). For the Apostle Paul, the question was not whether one would communicate doctrine or not, for it was impossible to function without doing so; the question was whether it would be sound doctrine or not.
It seems then, that in the Christian vision of reality, theory and practice form an indissoluble unity; all theory has an effect in practice and all practice, whether true or false, is the practice of true or false theory. It follows of necessity then, that it is impossible to function as a believer at all without sound doctrine. At least in the Pastoral Epistles, as we have seen, sound doctrine is an essential part of the apostolic mandate and is the principle pastoral tool.
| 2006/4/23 5:13|