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Discussion Forum : Revivals And Church History : The 'Unnatural' Love ("The Betrayal of the Ages" Continued)

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CJaKfOrEsT
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Aaron Ireland

 2006/5/12 19:49Profile
RobertW
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 Re:

THE SPIRIT OF THE MIND (Part 10)

That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; (Ephesians 4:22, 23)


The first step in renewing the mind is to [u]believe[/u] that your mind needs to be renewed in the first place. One must believe that the Christian life demands that the entire [i]bent[/i] of one's mind be towards the will of God.

In a previous lesson we discussed how God had given man a new heart and a new spirit, but not a new ‘mind’. God, through the finished work of the cross transforms the spirit of their mind, but does not delete the whole of the [i]memory[/i] or instantly replace [i]wrong reasoning[/i]. For those who have been born again, the 'spirit of the mind' is [i]bent[/i] towards God’s will, but even this ‘bent’ needs to be continually refreshed by the Lord.

This renewal goes hand in hand with the Word of God that has the [i]effect[/i] of ‘reprogramming’ the beliefs, thinking and reasoning. Some may think that when we were born again the mind was renewed and that was [i]all[/i] we needed. Truth is, the mind must be renewed [u]perpetually[/u] in order to prevent our conformity to this world (Romans 12:2).

In a former study we also examined how God through the Apostle made his case for our [i]commitment[/i] to renewing our minds. The key here is 'commitment'. Before one will be committed, they have to ne 'convinced'. One has to be [i]completely convinced[/i] that their mind must be constantly renewed.

The old adage comes to mind, “where there is a will- there is a way.” Perhaps this is why Paul used such strong terms in Romans 12:1. The UBS Handbook states that, “There are a number of ways in which the phrase “I beseech you” may be rendered; "I strongly urge you," or "I beg of you earnestly." Once the people have a revelation of this they are more likely to take it seriously and act on it. Truly, it is life and death. Where there is a ‘will’ there is a ‘way’.

Our shortage is not the [u]means[/u] of renewing our mind, but [u]our resolve[/u] to have it renewed. If the mind is not renewed, the heart is likely to turn aside after this world and conformity to it is inevitable. Conformity and friendship are not far apart.

People take on the traits of those they befriend. This is where the concept of an ‘affected’ personality comes from. People want approval from their friends and often resort to mimicking them. Friendship with the world is no different and is expressed in [i]conformity to it[/i]. Can two walk together if they are not agreed?

Once the realization of the ramifications of befriending the world are realized and an express determination to prevent this is made, the renewal of the mind has already begun.


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Robert Wurtz II

 2006/5/15 15:55Profile
RobertW
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THE OTHER 'BESEECH THEE' OF ROMANS 12:1 (Part 11)

[u]And[/u] be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. (Romans 12:2)

In a previous study we looked at Romans 12:1 where Paul calls our attention to the previous 11 chapters with the term, ‘therefore’. Romans is the closest thing we have in the New Testament to a systematic theology on the subject of salvation from Sin and sins (R.B., soteriology). In verse 1 of chapter 12 he draws attention to the great ‘survey’ of the cross that he had afore explained to the readers. Paul expounded upon the length and width and breadth and height of God’s plan of redemption and the tremendous sacrifice and love that God demonstrated to us while yet sinners.

With chapters 1-11 as his [i]backdrop[/i] he opens chapter 12 verse 1 with [i]“I beseech you therefore brethren…”[/i] He closes the verse by saying, that our presentation of our bodies is our 'reasonable' service. This word in the Greek is [i]logicos[/i] and is where we get the English word logic. He was saying, essentially, that anything ‘other’ than our full presentation of ourselves to God, in light of all He has done for us, simply would [u]not[/u] make sense; it would [i]defy reason[/i].

We then have the conjunction ‘and’ that couples the thoughts of verse 1 with 2. This means that the passage in verse 2 also is part of the ‘therefore’ of verse 1. If we understand this rightly it would be as if Paul said, [i]“I beseech ye therefore brethren by the mercies of God… to be not conformed to this world but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind…” [/i] These are compelling words. These are words that draw our attention to what Christ has done and our right response to it.


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Robert Wurtz II

 2006/5/17 7:25Profile
RobertW
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GOD'S GREAT ENEMY (PART 12)

We must begin this section by affirming God’s total enmity with this World. In I John 2:15-16 we read;

“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.”

There are only a handful of occasions in which the word ‘agapE’ is [i]not[/i] used in relationship to Christian Love (the Love of God). Our passage is one of them and it is similar to other passages where we are told that things such as; [i]men agapE (love) darkness rather than light because their deeds are evil [/i](John 3:19). We read in II Timothy 4:10, [i]For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world…[/i]

We have to make a distinction between agapE in this sense and the love of God as described in our previous study. In the afore mentioned examples the word is used to denote a love willing to [i]sacrifice[/i]. But that does not mean the sacrifice is necessarily unconditional. A few other examples using agapE in a non-Christian love sense includes one that ‘loved’ the nation of Israel (Luke 7:5); the Pharisee’s that ‘loved’ the chief seats (Luke 11:43) and sinners that are said to ‘love’ (agapE) those who ‘love’ (agapE) them (Luke 6:32). In all of these cases there is a sacrifice and an exchange taking place.


It would seem appropriate to say, the agapE of God is ‘self-less’, the ‘agapE expressed by the unsaved is ‘selfish’. In either case, we are not to love the world whatsoever. We are not to befriend the world either. We are not just told to love [u]not[/u] the world, but [u]neither[/u] the things that are in the world. Then we are faced with an ‘if’ leading into John’s second thought… [i]If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.[/i]

You cannot have the love of God shed abroad in your heart by the Holy Spirit (Romans 5) and love the world at the same time. It is impossible. It is an axiom of this passage that if you love the world you do not have the love of the Father. This is a ‘one or the other’ question; it cannot have an answer of both.

The ‘World’ is this temporal age headed by the spirit of disobedience, bent on selfish rebellion against God. It is the domain of Satan where the expression of his nature is increasing with each passing day. The ‘things’ that are in the world are, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. Paris Reidhead in his sermon "The Danger of Third Generation Religion" remarks that 'these' are the only three ‘tools’ in the devil’s kit. With these three things he has damned the race of men. By way of illustration, they answer to the Old Testament gods of Baal, Asteroth, and Molech. Baal represents the procurement of ‘things’, Asteroth represents ‘forbidden and illicit knowledge or experience’, Molech ‘ascendancy over ones fellows’. These are the three main characteristics of a secular world view. This is the nature of Satan manifest in society.


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Robert Wurtz II

 2006/5/17 7:44Profile
RobertW
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 Re:

CONFORMITY TO THIS WORLD (Part 13)

Returning to our passage in Romans 12:2, [i]be not ‘conformed’[/i] is an interesting phrase. Paul seems to be telling the people that there is a danger that after all God has done the effects of His work would be made void by neglecting this truth. What travesty! What an injustice? That God would take a sinner from a sinful world, forgive their sins, give him/her a new nature, pour His love in their hearts by His Spirit, put them back into the world for the purpose of their being a ‘peculiar people’ (in the midst of a perverse and crooked generation), and that person pattern their life after the world that God sent His Son to save them from.

A [i]sober[/i] mind sees this as utter madness. Sin has a way of numbing the conscience to the reality and seriousness of their actions. [i]They are drunk but not with wine, they stagger but not with strong drink[/i]. You don't have to be intoxicated with alcohol or mind altering drugs to be 'drunk' on sin. We read, [i]Be not conformed[/i]; that is, do not pattern yourself after.

The word ‘conformed’ has the Greek root, [i]sun[/i] (soon) and it means to walk together in union as companions. Can two walk together that are not agreed? James said it this way, [i]Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.[/i] Those members of the church that have befriended the world are figuratively regarded as unfaithful spouses to God. Why? Because their affections have turned away from Him and have turned to this World, His enemy. This is the pure definition of [i]whoredoms[/i]; to take the love that belongs to the one and give it to another. What’s the solution? [i]But be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind.[/i]


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Robert Wurtz II

 2006/5/17 7:56Profile
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ONE THING THOU LACKEST (Part 14)

When you were born again you became a new creature. This was a creative miracle on the part of God in which you died to the old man (by the cross) and were raised to life as the new man (in the power of the Holy Spirit). This was a miracle every much as real as our Lord calling Lazarus from the grave or healing a blinded eye. You were emancipated from Sin (Romans 6:18-22), freed from the Law (Romans 7:1-6) and were crucified to this world and the world to you (Galatians 6:14). Your flesh has been crucified also (Galatians 5:24).

Now, as the born again, you are no longer in the flesh but in the Spirit if so be that the Holy Spirit dwells in you (Romans 8:3-9). You have received a new heart and Spirit in place of the old stony heart and the spirit of disobedience (Ezekiel 36:27, 27; Ephesians 2:2, etc.). The life that you now life is no longer you, but Christ that liveth in you (Galatians 2:20). But though you received a new heart and a new Spirit (the Holy Spirit), you did not receive a new brain. The spirit of your mind has changed, but there are many many beliefs and reasonings that God will need to 'renew' and change in order to change you into His image from Glory to Glory. People come to God with some strange and even outrageous beliefs. God takes us where we are and begins working on our minds.



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Robert Wurtz II

 2006/5/17 8:05Profile
RobertW
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THE RENOVATION OF THE MIND (Part 15)

We must always bear in mind that though we received a new heart at salvation, we did not get a new memory. We have a new affection, but we also have a memory bank ‘loaded’ with trash (as it were) from the previous owner.

I recall once that I looked at a house for purchase that was two stories and huge on the inside. The seller was asking little for the house compared to what it looked to be worth from the exterior. When I went inside the home I had never been as overwhelmed with trash and junk in all my life. I didn’t know that folk could survive under such conditions. The trash was to my knees and I was literally wading through it from room to room. The house was ‘loaded’ with the remnants of the life the former owner had lived. It seemed that when they unpackaged something, they left the packing where it fell. The smell was awful to put it mildly.

Though we have a new nature and are free from the flesh, Sin, and this world, we are loaded with memories of the past experiences we have lived out. Bad habits. Wrong reasonings. Life patterns. Memories that have an awesome and almost 'automatic' effect. Like dialing a phone by placing your hands over the numbers and not being able to recall it till your hand touched the pad- then the hand dialed it. Many such things.

Our mind is powerful. It can recall vivid color, majestic sound, distinctive scents, magnificent flavor, emotions distilled from a multitude of circumstances, and other unknown factors that we are not keen enough to realize. Many of these thoughts were the products of being drawn away by our lusts or godless emotions and were birthed with the hallmarks of our sinful condition. Put this all together and you have a 'mind's eye' that can [i]take you there[/i], either past or future. The past has a powerful effect on the present as it pertains to our minds. The vast warehouse of intricate memories both stores and manufactures new thoughts. With a wide arrangement of resources, the combinations and possibilities are almost endless. Can you see why the mind must be renewed?



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Robert Wurtz II

 2006/5/17 8:12Profile
RobertW
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 Re:

FALSE RENEWAL (Part 16)


In 1993 I had been born again about 2 years and desired greatly to please the Lord. I knew that my mind needed to be renewed daily. I recall hearing a TV minister state that he was going to start a series on “Renewing The Mind” and I looked forward each day to the coming start of that series. When it started a study guide (book) was offered, so I ordered it. When it arrived it was little more than a bizarre combination of [i]prosperity[/i] proof text scriptures and positive thinking techniques. I was greatly disappointed to say the least.

I understood then that there was no abundance of believers that truly understood what it meant to ‘renew their minds.’ What disillusionment I felt when I had looked for a resource to assist me in renewing my mind to the image of Christ, and found the exact opposite in a book that would set my mind on the temporal things of this world. The book that promised to renew the mind- actually sought to conform it to this world.

In the 80’s and 90’s prosperity and positive thinking techniques gained a foothold in American Evangelicalism and laid the foundation for the apostasy and gross departure from scripture that those who think Biblically are vexed by today- from day to day. These were promoted by many televangelists that [u]influenced[/u] local preaching.

As TV preaching has gone, so has gone much of the church. This is evidenced by a sharp turn away from the scriptures and towards [i]psychology[/i] and [i]motivational[/i] preaching. The whole emphasis of the Church as a whole has shifted. The emphasis has often been on being 'positive' and 'optimistic' in exchange for Truth and Faith. Tears in the altars have dried and a whole new form of Christianity has cropped up.

Fads have come and gone and each has left their own distinctive ‘mark’. Many worldly concepts birthed in the minds of ungodly men fabricated ideas that would challenge the word of God, by using the word of God as its proof text. Ron Bailey tells of a pulpit he once saw that had a plate that none could see save the man preaching. The enscribed words were, "[b]We would see Jesus[/b]." Would to God that such a reminder would be attached to every pulpit in the world.


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Robert Wurtz II

 2006/5/17 8:23Profile
RobertW
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RAT POISON IS 90% GOOD CORN (Part 17)

The devil loves to teach Christians his subtle ways. Paul writes in Colossians 2:8, [i]Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.[/i] Imagine buying a book on ‘renewing your mind’ for the purpose of being transformed to prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God, only to find a subtle work of noxious poison designed to corrupt your thinking process with worldly reasoning. As if we need to be taught the worlds ways again or something? As if we need to set our new heart on the affections of the sinful? What it amounted to was corruption of a regenerated and renewed mind.

Though obviously well intended, it was flesh at best and demonic at worst. Popular Christian authors are increasingly promoting many of these types of teachings. “If it is bad it is bad, regardless of its origin. Christians should judge a book for its dedication to truth, not by the popularity of its author.” (A.W. Tozer) God does not respect persons as men do (Galatians 2:6). It is a sin to do so (James 2:1). We must be good Bereans and test all things from the word (Acts 17).

‘Positive thinking' as it is commonly known is one of these doctrines. Positive thinking is not the same thing as [i]faith[/i]. It is an awful counterfeit. Carlton Pearson (before he fell into Universalism) commented that Rat Poison is 90% good corn; it’s the 10% strict nine that makes it deadly. It had been good if he had heeded his own advice. It speaks of how men can quote truths for novelty sake and not realize what they are actually saying. The problem is, like mice, folk are more than willing to ignore the 10% as long as 90% is good. That seems reasonable doesn’t it? If 9 out of 10 things said seem biblical, can we ignore the 10% rife heresy? It might seem OK today, but it would not in times where Christians were discerning and confrontational towards false teachers. We should speak the truth in love, but it is [u]not[/u] love to drink down poison for fear of giving offense.


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Robert Wurtz II

 2006/5/17 8:31Profile
RobertW
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CELEBRITY PREACHERS (Part 18)

Celebrities wield tremendous power over people. If a person has appeared on TV, they have an influence unlike anyone else. Folk reason that if they are on TV, and have a following in the thousands or millions then they must be doing something right? But is that necessarily so? No! That’s the worlds reasoning corrupting minds as further evidence of need for renewal. Christian's who have somehow became popular and are now essentially 'celebrities' have the same type of influence over people. The larger the ministry- the more their teachings are implemented.

The ‘positive thinking’ type doctrines equate discernment with being [i]critical[/i] and [i]fault finding[/i]. Anyone who questions their beliefs is causing discord or disunity. This has the effect of having a security guard that turns his head rather than blowing the whistle. This is one of the most effective discernment neutralizers ever devised. People ignore the warning signs for fear of being ‘labeled’ or 'fighting against God' and 'His Anointed'. The voice of [i]reason[/i] is out and deception is in.

The NAS version of Colossians 2:8 translates a little differently; [i]See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.[/i] No-one means no-one. This passage is a prophetic word to our times.

We cannot do God’s work the world’s way. We have to do God’s work- God’s way. It is the Spirit that quickeneth, the flesh profiteth nothing. The Church in the 21st century has to reckon with one major question; either the word of God is [i]absolute[/i] or [i]obsolete[/i] (Ravenhill). Let God be true and every man a liar.


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Robert Wurtz II

 2006/5/17 8:39Profile





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