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Difficult Verses 4: 1 John 1.9

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Well, thanks to the people who suggested this verse as a difficult verse they want an explanation on.  I will do my best to help you grasp what this verse is saying.  The verse says this:

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1.9, ESV)

And it is a difficult verse because it seems at face value that it contradicts the wealth of New Covenant Scriptures that we are forgiven because of the work of Jesus, not because of anything we do: that we are saved by grace through faith alone (Ephesians 2.8-9), that the way to salvation is through believing in the work of Christ (Acts 16.31) and not by our works (Romans 4.16, 24).  If our forgiveness is dependent on our ability to confess, then we are in trouble – you don’t remember all your sins, and nor do I – so how can we possibly confess them all.

This verse is initially so difficult to reconcile with the New Covenant that some people actually seek to remove it from Scripture.  I have heard that, against all principles of letter-writing and grammar, that 1 John 1 was written to non-Christians and 1 John 2-5 was written to Christians.  I will give you three reasons why this cannot possibly be true, but firstly let’s just realize this: if your theology has to rip a New Testament letter to the church in two to avoid a verse, you are letting your theological system have more weight than the Word of God has.  That can only be reading into the text, not reading out of it.  

There are three clear reasons this verse applies to Christians today:

  • There is no chapter break between 1 and 2 in the original text.  You have to rip a letter written to the church into two to make this idea work
  • John uses first person plural pronounsin the verse: “we”, “our” and “us”.  Now if John says “we”, “our” and “us” he is including himself.  You cannot argue that this verse is not to Christians unless you want to make the case that John was not a Christian.  If this verse applies to John, it applies to you.
  • People haven’t thought through the implications of what they are saying.  For people who claim this verse isn’t for Christians, they have to then accept it is for non-Christians.  Some people say it is for all non-Christians, others have a special group of non-Christians that 1 John 1 is apparently written to (again, against all possible logic and grammar!).  One prominent teacher tells us that this first chapter of 1 John 1 is written to the Gnostics.   Now, let’s just ignore the fact that there were no Gnostics around in the 1st century when this letter was penned, and let’s just say that if it is not written to Christians then it must be written to someone!  Do the people who think that it written to non-Christians think that non-Christians (whether all of them or just a special group of them) think that non-Christians have to confess all their sins to be righteous?  Do they believe that for a certain group of Gnostics the normal rules of salvation by faith don’t apply?  It’s just not been thought through. 

I appreciate the passion people have for Christ and the complete work, but ripping verses out of the Bible, or relegating them to a secret group of people who no longer exist, because they are difficult to understand is not the way to honour the Word of God.  We have to engage with the Word and find out what it means.

So what does 1 John 1.9 mean?  Well, firstly, we have established that it is definitely written to Christians.  It is written to born-again, righteous, pure, holy, redeemed people.  John includes himself in the recipients of the letter – so it is definitely written to Christians, even mature Christians and leaders and elders!  Let’s just be honest – sometimes Christians, whether they are new Christians, older Christians or even church leaders – sin.  We get caught up in patterns of sinful behaviour and we need to get out.  This verse actually gives us a powerful route out of sin, and to relegate it to a 2nd century cult or rip it out of the letter is to do Christians a great disservice because this verse is powerful and will help you when you rightly understand it.

The first thing we need to do to find the meaning of the verse is examine the words that make it up.  Let’s start with the word “confess”, which in Greek is homologia.  Homo- means the same as, and logia means words, and homologia means to “say the same words as”.  It doesn’t mean we have to ball and squall on the floor and weep and wail about all our sins.  It isn’t talking about an emotional experience, although sinning, dealing with sin and making declarations can be emotional at times.  It is talking about you saying the same thing as God about your sin.  So what does God say about your sin?

Firstly, God says that sin is sin.  So stop calling it something else.  It’s not your personality type, it’s not a bad habit, it’s not my oopsie. It’s sin.  Gossip is sin.  Stealing is sin.  Outbursts of rage is sin.  Looking at a woman with lust in the heart, watching porn, is sin.  Sex outside of marriage is sin.  Cursing Christians is sin.  Pride and arrogance is sin.  Call it what it is.  Face up to the issue – man up and own your sin! Say out loud: “I have sinned.  This action I have done is sin, and I want to be free!”  Let’s exercise some responsibility.

Secondly, God says that your sin has been paid for on the cross.  It has been dealt with.  2 Cor. 5.21 tells us that Christ became sin with your sin so that you could be made the righteousness of God.  So your sin has been forgiven and you have died to sin.  Sin is not your master anymore because you are under grace (Romans 6.14).  Now you have accurately diagnosed your problem as sin, and are not hiding behind an excuse start to declare that you are free from sin, that you are forgiven, that you are redeemed, that you are righteous, that your spirit is pure and holy, that you are born again.  Start to declare this outloud.  That is confessing your sin – saying what God says about it.

You see you can only have God’s remedy for your problem when you admit God’s diagnosis for your problem.  Keep denying it is sin, keep blaming the other people for making you behave like that, you start to distort the world.  Your thinking darkens and you become corrupt.  Admit it is sin, declare it is sin, then you can declare God’s solution to sin: the blood of Christ and the cross of Christ.

So now you have confessed your sin, we find out that God will do two things.  Not because He is merciful and kind (though He is!) but He will do these things because He is faithful and righteous.  You see if you have sinned, and you have confessed that sin, then you need to know that God isn’t going to do what He does next because of His goodness but because of His righteousness and faithfulness.  Christ died for your sin because of God’s goodness, but now that Christ has paid the full price for sin, it would be unrighteous for God not to help you in your sin!

How does God help us?  Well, the Scripture says He forgives us and He cleanses us from all unrighteousness.  This again causes problems for us complete work people, we read this and go “well, I am forgiven” and “I am righteous” so what is this about?  Let’s just look a little deeper and find out.

Firstly, God forgiving us?  Aren’t we forgiven because of Jesus at the cross, rather than because of our awesome confession?  It depends what you mean by forgive.  The Greek word for forgive is also equally translated as separate, and even as divorce a couple of times.  It means to firmly and deliberately separate two things.  This verse isn’t talking about God forgiving us because we finally said sorry – I know it’s been preached that way, but God is not waiting for an apology!  Forgiveness is rooted in the cross, not our apology.  It’s talking about the fact that God will separate you from your sin – when you start declaring what the Bible says about your sin, you find that sin loses it’s power to tempt you, to control you, to hold you.  When you start declaring that you are free from sin, and sin has no dominion over you because you are under grace not law, that sin loses its power to con you into thinking you have to obey it.  That is what 1 John 1.9 means by forgiveness – it’s about being free from that sin.

Then the cleansing from all unrighteousness.  Look, we all should know that our spirits are righteous the moment we get born again. You are totally righteous in your spirit.  Therefore, it doesn’t take a genius to work out that this Scripture is not talking about our spirit! Then it shouldn’t be too difficult to realize it’s talking about our souls.  Your spirit is righteous, but your soul – not so much.  If you had an x-ray machine that could see spirit and soul, and you were standing next to Jesus and you set the machine to spirit – you would not be able to tell the difference between you and Jesus.  You are one spirit (1 Cor. 6.17).  That’s awesome – your spirit is the righteousness of God.

But if you turned the dial on the machine and set it to soul – to thought processes, to how we think and respond and feel.  I am guessing it wouldn’t be that hard to work out which one is Jesus and which one is us!  Our souls are not yet fully renewed and not yet fully restored – we are a work in progress in our souls.  But when we start declaring the Word of God and what God says about sin – confessing our sins – then God, in His faithfulness and righteousness – starts to cleanse our souls from that unrighteousness.  Our thoughts start to line up with His thoughts, our ways subsume into His ways.  It’s awesome!  You see now why the power of this verse means that it should not be relegated to non-Christians or Gnostics or ripped out of the Bible!  It’s part of grace!

Now you sin and most of the time, you can pick yourself up again.  This verse isn’t saying to confess all our sins, it’s talking about those times where a sin or group of sins just seems to be having the victory over us and our life.  Sometimes, and it happens to all of us, a certain sin just seems to get the better of us.  It seems to be winning.  In those cases, here are the 4 steps to victory:

  1. Agree with God that it is a sin.  Stop making excuses or blaming the others, or your DNA, or the situation.  It is sin.  Confess (declare) that your actions are sinful.  This is the diagnosis that allows the remedy – if you can’t make the right diagnosis, you won’t take the right cure!
  2. Agree with God that sin has been dealt with on the cross.  Start to declare and agree with God that sin has been dealt with.  That you died to sin, that sin is not your master.  Read Romans 6.1-14 out loud.  Declare that it is for freedom that you have been set free.  Declare that your spirit is righteous, that you are pure and holy.  Confess (agree with God) that this sin has been dealt with on the cross.
  3. God will then forgive (separate) you from your sin.  You will find as you declare and agree with God what He says about your sin that it’s power is dethroned.  Your confession gives you authority and wisdom.  It dislodges the sin from your thoughts, and God jumps in and separates you and your sin.
  4. God will cleanse you (your soul) from all unrighteousness.  He will start to help you renew your mind and think God thoughts.

The Christian life is not just health and wealth, it’s also manifest righteousness.  It’s living free from sin, living free from selfishness.  Never having to lose relationships because of your selfishness is one of the best blessings about living the Christian life.  And confession of sin, as defined Biblically – not culturally or dogmatically – is one of the most powerful tools in the Christian life.  Don’t follow the people who because of the misusers of this verse have become non-users of this verse!  Become a user of this verse and learn how to live a life free from sin today. 

5 Ways to become more familiar with the Bible

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5. Get a modern paraphrase like the Message or the NLT and read out loud a whole letter of Paul’s.  That is how they were written and that is how the original audience encountered them for the first time.

4.  Find a verse that you love, write it down and learn it by repetition… speak it over and over again.  That is essentially meditating on the Word.

3.  Take a well known verse and read the whole chapter paying attention to the structure, logic, and context of the chapter.  It may surprise you.

2.  Open the Bible at random and read 5 pages.  I know it’s not a good way to build a systematic theology, and it’s not a good way to hear God, but it’s a great way to encounter a passage you may never have deliberately turned to.

1.  Find a passage in the gospels.  Use a cross reference to find the same account in other gospels and read how the other gospel writer’s approach the same passage.  The Bible is fully divine and fully human and this is a great way to explore the Word.

Cave Men – In the Bible!

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Cave men—in the Bible

by David Catchpoole

Photos by Tas Walker

Residents at the opal-mining town of  Coober Pedy, Australia, live in caves like this, complete with kitchen,  comfortable furniture and modern lighting.

Residents at the opal-mining town of  Coober Pedy, Australia, live in caves like this, complete with kitchen,  comfortable furniture and modern lighting.

Residents at the opal-mining town of  Coober Pedy, Australia, live in caves like this, complete with kitchen,  comfortable furniture and modern lighting.Residents at the opal-mining town of Coober Pedy, Australia, live in caves like this, complete with kitchen, comfortable furniture and modern lighting.

Evolutionary stereotypes of the first humans as primitive “Stone Age” cave men who had not yet evolved agriculture just do not square with the Bible’s account of history. The Bible says that in Adam’s day, people “worked the soil” (Genesis 4:2—following the events of 2:15 and 3:17), forged bronze and iron tools (4:22) and made and played musical instruments (4:21). There never was a “Stone Age”!1 (Nor the evolutionary-defined “Bronze Age” or “Iron Age” for that matter.)

So what are we to make of the abundant evidence of human cave-dwellers in the past, such as caves with campfire ash, meal leftovers and charcoal etchings on cave walls?

Firstly, we can note that the caves we see in the world today are all post-Flood. In fact, their very existence—i.e. their formation and worldwide distribution—can really only be satisfactorily explained in terms of conditions generated by the global Flood of Noah’s day (Genesis 6–9).2

Secondly, we see that the Bible itself refers many times to people in caves (post-Noah and post-Babel). However, these are not the “cave men” of evolutionary stereotype. Rather, they are “fully human”—i.e. the descendants of Adam (and Noah)—who for one reason or another3 spent time in caves.

These included Sodom and Gomorrah’s only surviving refugees—Lot and his daughters (Genesis 19:30), the five Amorite kings hiding from Joshua (Joshua 10:16–18,22), and Samson in the cave at Etam (Judges 15:8).

When David left Gath he escaped to the cave of Adullam (1 Samuel 22:1), and later he and his men were in the back of a cave at En Gedi when Saul entered (1 Samuel 24:1–4). Others who spent time in caves were Elijah (1 Kings 19:9,13), Obadiah’s one hundred prophets (whom he supplied with food and water—1 Kings 18:4,13), the ‘men of Israel’ when the Philistines were camped at Micmash (1 Samuel 13:6), and the Israelites at the time of Gideon (Judges 6:2).

These and the many other people in history who found it convenient to live in caves at various times4,5 (and even today—see photos) were not “primitive”, “prehistoric”, “Stone Age” sub-humans, or some such evolutionary stereotype. They were descendants of the first man and woman, created in the image of their Creator (Genesis 1:27), with an in-built capacity for intelligent thought, speech and creativity.

The Lord has said that there will be people occupying caves at some future time, too, as they try to hide themselves from him.

As an outlet for their creative urges, and a welcome distraction while holed up inside a cave, they could have whiled away the time drawing charcoal figures on the walls, or composing poetry. Two of the Psalms, for instance, were written by David when he was ‘in the cave’ (Psalms 57,142—see titles), a poignant record of his crying out to the Lord.

The same Lord has said that there will be people occupying caves at some future time, too, as they try to hide themselves from Him (Isaiah 2:19,21; Revelation 6:15), unsuccessfully (Jeremiah 23:24).

References and notes

  1. See also: Niemand, R., The Stone Age a figment of the imagination? Creation 27(4):13, 2005, <creation.com/stone>. Return to text.
  2. Silvestru, E., Caves for all seasons, Creation 25(3):44–49, 2003; <creation.com/all-seasons>. Also see Emil Silvestru’s DVD presentation: Geology and Cave Formation—A Post-Flood Story”. Return to text.
  3. In at least some cases the trigger might have been a traumatic event (e.g. displacement by war or natural disaster), with a concomitant loss of community expertise (e.g. knowledge of construction and agriculture). See: Catchpoole, D., The people that forgot time (and much else, too), Creation 30(3):34–37, 2008; <creation.com/all-seasons>. Return to text.
  4. Other references in the Bible include Jeremiah 49:8,30, Ezekiel 33:27 and Hebrews 11:38. Return to text.
  5. See e.g., Mizzi, J. and Matthews, M., The amazing cave people of Malta, Creation 26(1):40–43, 2003; <creation.com/malta>. Return to text.

(Available in Indonesian)

Romans 2.12

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12For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law;

Ever been asked what about the lost who never heard the gospel?  Ever wondered what will happen to them?

This short verse tells us four wonderful truths about what will happen to them and what God is like:

1. This verse tells us that God is fair.  He will never judge someone by something they did not know.  If you never knew the law of God, if you have never been told about God’s holiness and justice and standards, you will not be judged by that standard.  God is utterly just in the way He deals with people.  Do you know that the Bible says that Sodom and Gomorrah on judgement day will be dealt with less harshly than Capernaum (Matt. 11.24) – why? Because when God judges He does not judge by the level of darkness, but by the amount of light rejected.  So we know that those who have never heard will not be accountable for what they have never heard.

2. This verse tells us that those who have never heard will still perish.  This is a sobering thought.  Although they will not be judged as harshly as people who have had revival and had miracles done in their city and rejected the Holy Spirit, they still will be judged.  They still will perish.  The Greek word here for perish means to be put over into eternal misery in hell.

Matthew Henry in his commentary on Romans says this about Romans 2.12:

As many as have sinned without law shall perish without law; that is, the unbelieving Gentiles, who had no other guide but natural conscience, no other motive but common mercies, and had not the law of Moses nor any supernatural revelation, shall not be reckoned with for the transgression of the law they never had, nor come under the aggravation of the Jews’ sin against and judgment by the written law; but they shall be judged by, as they sin against, the law of nature, not only as it is in their hearts, corrupted, defaced, and imprisoned in unrighteousness, but as in the uncorrupt original the Judge keeps by him.

Those without the law of Moses and without the revelation of who God is still through their conscience and through the evidence of creation know there is a God.  Because they rejected that God and worshipped idols they will perish.  This should inspire you to go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.  Believe God to send you to the nations to preach the good news.  Expect God to enable you to go – or at the very least find someone else who is going and pray for them and give them money and encourage them.

3.  This verse tells us that if you sin in the law you will be judged by the law.  So many religious people are law-obsessed.  They are living by the law.  That is a dangerous place to be – because James 2.10 tells us if we break any one law we break it all.  The law is a complete whole, not to be divided up.  If you try and live by it and fail on one point, you will be judged more harshly than if you did not know about the law.  Religious people like to judge others, but Paul here is turning it on them and saying: you will be judged more harshly because you have broken the law and you know the law.  You think you are so learned, but the more you learn about God’s law the harsher you will be judged.  It doesn’t make sense to a religious person that a nice village like Capernaum where the all lived decent lives and nodded to God will be judged more harshly than Sodom and Gomorrah where they were homosexual, were happy to rape virgin girls and were happy to rape angels.  But Jesus tells them that if the miracles done in Capernaum were done in Sodom they would have changed.  Sodom didn’t have a chance – but Capernaum had chance after chance and rejected them all.

Capernaum represents the religiosu people today.  They don’t do anything but judge.  You are too happy, you are too sad.  You are not holy enough, you are a fanatic.  You are too loud, you are too quiet.  The presence and power of God is in their midst and they simply ignore it.  The greatest preacher who ever lived on planet earth came to their village to hold the greatest miracle crusade of all time and they rejected it because his father had the wrong job.   Sodom and Gomorrah represent the world today: a lost, rebellious, harsh, vile, selfish group of people – who IF THEY SEE LOVE AND MIRACLES WILL CHANGE!  Jesus didn’t say go into all the church with the gospel, He said go into all the WORLD.

4. This verse tells us that God holds you accountable for what you know – not other people.  So many people take the law and use it to judge everyone else in the world.  Jesus said that the world will not even be judged by the law, but you will.  If you are a religious person, if you don’t know that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins you will be judged by the full force of God’s law.  Don’t let that happen – believe in the gospel.  Realize that Jesus Christ took all your sins on the cross and your way to heaven is by grace alone – not your goodness but God’s.  Then when you accept this for yourself, you will not judge and attack other people, you will love them and tell them about the wondrous grace of God that you found has saved you.

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,

That saved a wretch like me

I once was lost but now am found

Twas blind but now I see

Romans 1.18

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For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;

This is a very serious verse and one that needs considerable contemplation by all Christians. Let’s first of all define the phrase “wrath of God”. The Greek word is orge (pronounced or-gay) and it can mean violent emotions or it can mean punishment.

Most commentaries I read seem to lean towards defining orge in this verse as violent emotions. This goes back to the Calvinist idea that God is angry with the world. I even read one commentary that said that God hates sinners – that if you sin, God hates you until you repent.

I believe whole heartedly that this idea of “sinners in the hand of an angry God” is a false one. We are not sinners in the hands of an angry God, and we were never sinners in the hands of an angry God! We were sinners, but God was not angry. Now, as Christians, we are not sinners any more: we are righteous saints in the hands of a loving Father.

The preacher of “sinners in the hands of an angry God” first transcribed sermon was about how God will not save anyone who comes to Him in sincere faith, as God can do what He likes and God will only save who He wants to save! People in his church were so depressed by his preaching that some of them committed suicide, including his own uncle. He then said that it was God that made them kill themselves! If I thought that unless I was specially chosen by God there was no way I could be redeemed from sin, no matter how much I wanted to be, I think I would be suicidal too! It is utterly Biblically incorrect to say that we are sinners in the hands of an angry God, yet many Christians use this era of Christianity as their benchmark of living Christianity and ignore the book of Acts!

Let’s look at this topic of the wrath of God across the wider Biblical teaching of God and then let’s look at this within the context of Romans 1 and unpick what this verse means. I believe it means that the legal punishment of God is revealed, not God’s emotional anger.

Firstly, let me say that the Bible is clear that God is pure and righteous and holy. Godliness is about being pure and acting right and living holy. I am not for sin – sin is a killer: sin will keep you enslaved and take you places where death can attack and destroy you. However, the sin problem has been dealt with. Sin will never affect your relationship and intimacy with God.

You see when God created Adam and Eve and when they first sinned, God did not punish them. Pain in childbirth, having to work and sweat to make the world produce, difficulty in relationships, being dead spiritually and eventually dying physically were not placed on Adam and Eve by God – they were just the natural consequences of kicking God out of your life and your planet. God gave Adam and Eve planet Earth and they booted God out of it – no wonder the planet is in a mess! No wonder marriages are in a mess – they booted God out of marriage! No wonder child-rearing and producing a living are such hard work – they booted God out of these things!

God wasn’t punishing them, they were just dealing with the natural consequences of their actions. If you live a promiscuous lifestyle and catch a sexually transmitted disease, God didn’t put that on you – it is simply the natural consequence of you actions. If you eat 5000+ calories a day, and you have a heart attack – God didn’t do it. If you drink and drive and crash your car, God didn’t do it. If you sin and end up in hell because you never accepted the redemptive work of Christ at Calvary, God didn’t send you to hell – it is simply the consequence of your actions.

God found Adam and Eve and clothed them with the skin of an animal. God brought death into an animal, so that Adam and Eve could live. That is not the actions of someone who is “violently emotional and angry”. You don’t make a sacrifice for someone you hate.

Now, God continually showed love and affection to the human race. Cain murdered his brother and God marked him. The mark of Cain wasn’t judgment it was mercy: it said that you couldn’t punish Cain. It was protection. You don’t protect a murderer if you are violently emotional and angry.

However, people took the love and mercy of God and the goodness of God for granted. The world became more and more wicked, and people such as Lamech said essentially if Cain could murder and God still loved him, I will go and murder who I like. The goodness of God leads to repentance (Romans 2.4) but not if we take it for granted.

So God had to develop a system of laws. He had to wipe out everyone in a flood. But God did it as a discipline and a punishment for sin – not out of a temper. He is our Father – if a father disciplines and punishes a son, that is fine. If my son was rude or stole something, I would punish them in some appropriate way. But, if I did it out of violent anger (which I have on occasion lost my temper at my children and had to repent of it) then you would say that this was bad parenting. How much more is God a good Father?

He flooded the world because He was the judge of the world, not because He violently hated mankind. Someone in a violent emotional state would not have led Noah to build an ark and waited 100 years to discipline humanity, spending that time calling them to repent with a powerfully anointed preacher. Violently angry people do not wait 100 years pleading with people to change!

He destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah because He had to stop their wickedness spreading. Violently angry people don’t wait until people escape before destroying a city – God did.

You see this idea of God being violently angry and needing to be placated is actually a pagan idea, not a Christian one. The truth is that sin does need a punishment, a death, but God is the one providing the lamb that takes away the sin of the world, not the one looking for it. We are the ones looking for it, and we found it at Calvary – the love of God in a human, giving up His life for us. That is the nature of God.

God must punish sin. The wages of sin is death, and if you die in sin you will go to hell. Sin cannot enter heaven. God’s justice demands that sin is punished. But the love of God triumphs over sin through Calvary. Mercy has triumphed over justice.

This is what this verse is talking about, not a God in heaven looking at people enjoying getting them and blasting them and being violently angry at them. It is a God who knows that sin must be punished and needs to deal with that so that He doesn’t have to punish sin. God doesn’t want anyone going to hell, God doesn’t want anyone sick, anyone suffering, God loves people! Your ungodliness must be punished, your unrighteousness has to be punished! But Jesus was punished so you don’t have to be!

The context of Romans 1.18 is the gospel. The whole reason we need the good news of Jesus is the wrath of God. Not the capricious anger of God, but the punishment of God. God must punish every sin you have ever committed, every impure thought you have ever had. But far from being violently angry with you, God loves you so much that He gave up His only Son to die your death, to bear your iniquity, to take the punishment for your sin – so you could have eternal life, so you could be righteous and pure and so you could have a relationship with God! Selah!

You deserved hell, Jesus went there so you don’t have to. You deserved death, but you are going to live forever if you accept by faith that Jesus took your place. This is the good news. The wrath of God is what makes the good news good news. If there is no wrath of God, then the gospel is meaningless. If sin did not warrant death, then the gospel is useless.

But let that realization of a clear punishment for sin lead you to say that God is an angry God – He is a God who only has thoughts to prosper you not to harm you. Angry people cannot think like that. God is angry – but not at humans, He is angry at injustice, He is angry at ignorance, He is angry that the devil keeps tripping people up and lying to them and making them think that He hates them. He is angry at anything that stops you and Him enjoying fellowship and friendship. But He is not angry at you.

Look at Isaiah 54.7-8:

8In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the LORD thy Redeemer.
9For this is as the waters of Noah unto me: for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth; so have I sworn that I would not be wroth with thee, nor rebuke thee.

God compares His never being wroth (angry) with us again like the promise that He will never flood the earth again. They are as important to Him. Every Christian knows that God will never flood the world again like He did. You need to know as well and as deeply in your spirit that God will NEVER be wroth with you. Ever.

Next time you see a rainbow, thank God that He is not and will never be angry with you. The wrath of God was entirely poured out on Jesus, the entire punishment for the sin of the world was laid entirely on Him.

That is good news!

Romans 1.13

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Now I would not have you ignorant, brethren, that oftentimes I purposed to come unto you, (but was let hitherto,) that I might have some fruit among you also, even as among other Gentiles.

I love this verse. Paul says that he would not have the Roman church ignorant.

Ignorant in the Greek is agnoeō. It literally means without knowledge or without awareness. The English word “agnostic” comes from this root – so just think when someone tells you that they are an agnostic, they are saying “I know nothing”!

I love Paul because he wasn’t some kooky emotionalist – he knew that the key to victory in the Christian life isn’t goosebumps, isn’t falling, isn’t laughing, it is knowledge.

Hosea 4.6 says that people are destroyed by lack of knowledge, Isaiah 5.13 says that people are held captive by what they do not know.

So – my challenge and question to you today is this: what are you doing to increase your knowledge?

Do not complain about areas of your life where there is destruction, where there is captivity, if you are not doing something to increase your knowledge.

Are you in a church where the preaching of the Word increases your knowledge? Have you this week read a book on the Word of God (one that exalts the Word and expounds it, not one that attempts to judge it!)?

Have you learned something new about your career this week? Are you studying something?

What do you know about healing? About prosperity? About dominating your emotions? Do you know enough? Where are you going to get new knowledge?

Do you know which websites have faith-filled life-changing messages and which ones are just the shouters and the beggars?

Do you waste your life in amusement? Remember our Greek word agnoeō? It comes from the Greek word gnoeo which means understanding. The “a” at the beginning means “without” or “the opposite of”, similar to how we might use “un-” as a prefix in the English language to change the meaning of a word. For example, happy and unhappy.

Amusement also comes from the Greek language, muse comes from the Greek word mousa meaning to contemplate or to be creative. Amuse literally means without contemplation or creativity.

That is what nearly all amusement is: what you do without contemplation or creativity. Watching hours of TV, listening to most chart music, playing computer games, all these things. I am not saying these things are wrong, but I will tell you that you only have 24 hours every day, and every hour you spend in a-musement is an hour you cannot spend in “musement”. Remember – God would NOT have you ignorant.

I remember a pastor in my city saying that if he had to work out how successful someone was in life just from their house, his formula would involve the inverse of the size of their television and the size of their personal library.

I think that he would not be far off in his guesses.

The world says that ignorance is bliss. It is not – it is deadly, it will keep you captive, it will destroy you.

What are you doing to destroy your ignorance before it destroys you? Don’t just hope it will go away, it won’t. Make a plan. Decide which 5 books you are going to read before the end of the year.

Decide how many books of the Bible you are going to read before the end of the year. Change church if you need to, find out a Christian conference and take the time off work and get yourself there.

Don’t just sit there and stay ignorant!

Glory and freedom,
Benjamin

BBC highlights squeeze on Christian street preachers

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BBC highlights squeeze on
Christian street preachers

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

A BBC report has highlighted some of the religious liberty issues facing Christian street preachers.

Listen to the report

An extract from BBC Radio 4’s Sunday programme, broadcast on 23 August 2009. Visit the BBC’s website to listen to the entire programme.

The report, featured on Radio 4’s Sunday programme this weekend, included a recording of a recent incident where a street preacher was told by police officers that it is a criminal offence to identify homosexuality as a “sin”.

They said this to Andy Robertson, an evangelist with the Open-Air Mission (OAM), even though he had never mentioned homosexuality in his preaching.

Mark Jones, an employment lawyer who specialises in religious liberty issues, told the programme: “Giving offence of itself is not against the law.

“There is no protection that I may have from somebody simply walking up to me in the street and saying something that I might disagree with or I might be offended by.”

Mr Robertson is not alone in encountering problems while preaching in public.

Earlier this month it was reported that a street preacher had been arrested after reading out Bible passages in Maidstone, Kent.

Last summer a street preacher in Birmingham was arrested after he had mentioned homosexuality while preaching about sin and its consequences.

The Christian Institute’s Mike Judge told the Radio 4 programme why more cases like this are taking place.

He said: “I think the reason for this increase has been there is a diversity and equality agenda that doesn’t seem to allow for Christians to express their faith in a way where other people may disagree with them.”

He said that sensitivity about issues such as minority faiths and sexual orientation has put police officers and local authorities “under huge pressure to be seen to be responding”.

He added that “sometimes you get over-zealous public officials who want to step in and say, ‘you can’t say that because someone might be offended’, and that over-zealousness is I think part of the problem”.

Another evangelist with the OAM was recorded for the programme as he preached in Hounslow, West London.

Tim Whitton told the reporter: “Our approach generally is just to speak but not shout, to be friendly”.

He said the aim was to make sure that “if anyone is ever offended, they’re offended by the message of the Bible, rather than by anything that we’re doing”

What You Need to Know About Islam and the Bible (John Hagee)

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What You Need to Know About Islam and the Bible

Friday, 21 August 2009 11:23 AM EDT John Hagee
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There comes a time in a nation’s historyand there comes a time in the churchwhen spiritual fog and religious deception must be removed by a clear, unbiased, passionate pursuit of truth. America and the church are now in a spiritual fog over the issue of Islam.

But Islam and Christianity are not “sister faiths,” and a side-by-side examination of the texts of the Bible and the Quran will quickly identify some of the differences related to Islam’s teachings about Christ and the truths of our own Bible about the Son of God.

Islam instructs its followers to kill their enemies, but Christianity in-structs its followers to love their enemies.

The Quran says to “fight and slay the Pagans wherever you find them” (Surah 9:5). But our Holy Bible tells Christ’s followers to: “Love your ene-mies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you” (Matt. 5:44, KJV).

Islam denies Christianity’s core truth-the death and resurrection of Jesus.

That they said (in boast), “We killed Christ Jesus the son of Mary, the Messenger of Allah”;but they did not kill him, nor crucified him, but so it was made to appear to them, and those who differ therein are full of doubts, with no (certain) knowledge, but only conjecture to follow, for of a surety they did not kill him. Surah 4:157

Islam says that Jesus did not die on the cross. The Bible says that Christ died on the cross and rose from the dead.

Islam also denies the deity of Jesus Christ.

The Jews call ‘Uzair a son of Allah, and the Christians call Christ the Son of Allah. Allah’s curse be on them: how they are deluded away from the Truth! Surah 9:30

Not only does the Quran deny Christ’s deity-but also, as we see in the verse from the Quran above, it puts a curse on all who confess Jesus Christ as the Son of God. Islam brings Jesus Christ lower than Muhammad, making him no more than a messenger:

Christ the son of Mary was no more than a Messenger; many were the Messengers that passed away before him. His mother was a woman of truth. They had both to eat their (daily) food. See how Allah makes His Signs clear to them; yet see in what ways they are deluded away from the truth! Surah 5:75

Since there are such marked differences in these areas between Islam and Christianity, we must be prepared to test the “truth” of each. History has re-vealed to us that the Islamic Bible, the Quran, is a collection of the revela-tions Muhammad said he was given by an angel, or from a voice coming down from heaven, or sometimes as a message from a dream. Christians are commanded to “try the spirits” to see if they are from God:

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God because many false prophets are gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Anti-christ, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world. 1 John 4:1-3

Every person who calls himself a prophet must be tested by Scripture. (See 1 Corinthians 14:29.)

Every revelation and every prophecy must be judged by the Word of God. If it is not scripturalif it denies Jesus Christ as the Son of God-it is the spirit of the Antichrist.

By applying these tests to the teachings of Muhammad, we will quickly discover that this prophet doesn’t pass the test. From Genesis to Revelation, every page of the Bible testifies of the deity of Jesus Christ. “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32).

Romans 1.5

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By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name:

Paul is now being fairly personal about his life: from Jesus he received grace and apostleship.

Paul breaks down what Jesus has given him into two categories: grace and apostleship.

Grace is what Jesus gives to everybody – of his grace we have all received (John 1.16). When Paul talks about receiving grace He means receiving the grace that we all have access to in Him.

Grace means something you are given that you do not deserve. When we are talking about Jesus, His grace is where He gives you what you do not deserve due to His redemptive work. You deserved poverty, but He gave you riches (2 Cor. 9.8). You deserved sickness, but He healed you (Matthew 8.14-16). You deserved death and hell, but He gave you eternal life (Romans 6.23).

Apostleship is what Jesus gave to Paul only – He gave some apostles (Ephesians 4.11). This represents what Jesus gives us as individuals as our destiny – the anointings and giftings that help us assume our place in the body and fulfill our destiny. You are probably not an apostle, but you are a somebody with a destiny and with a special gift from God that no-one else has.

Can you see how wonderful this is? Jesus gives us grace – all the stuff that everyone gets, and then Jesus gives us an equipping, a mantle, a revelation, a gift that is just for us to fulfill our ministry. He is such a good God.

I have received from Christ grace and teachingship. I have got all the stuff every Christian has – health, wealth, righteousness, peace, joy; and I have some stuff only I have – the ability to expound the Word in a way that makes people think and changes lifes, the ability to release people into their destiny, and the ability to refresh an entire church at once through my words.

You have the stuff we all have, and you have stuff only you have. You should know what both those stuffs are. You should be operating in both the stuffs.

However, confusing these two things up: the general grace and the specific gifts of your destiny leads to many Christians leaving stagnant lifes.

I lay hands on the sick and see them recover not because I am a minister but because I am a believer (Mark 16.17). Many believers will never minister healing because they think it goes in the specific gifting category and never realize it is for EVERY Christian. I have been to churches that teach that speaking in tongues is only for some Christians, when it is available for all.

On the other hand, some Christians think they can be a prophet or teacher if they believe and receive. You can only believe and receive what is in the general grace, not what is a specific gift. You cannot make God make you a teacher or a prophet or an apostle. You cannot confess that you are an apostle and make it so. You cannot teach like me – just like I cannot do what you do the way you do it.

You can believe and receive for your healing because that is grace. You cannot believe and receive for an office and role in the body of Christ – you can only discover your office, not decide it.

Notice that Paul’s grace and apostleship (just like your grace and destiny) were not for him to strut about and boast, were not for goosebumps, were not for laughing and happy meetings – no, they were for obedience to faith among all nations. God has given you grace and a destiny for a reason: to make the nations obey the Word. Whatever God has given you to do, go and take that gift to the nations and convince them to obey the Word.

If you do not know your destiny, don’t sit on your backside waiting for God to write on your wall. Go and use your grace and take that to the nation. Paul was called to be an apostle when he was already preaching the gospel to the nations. If you want to know your calling, start doing the stuff every Christian is expected to do: go and heal the sick, cast out demons, preach the gospel and raise the dead. Speak in new tongues, preach the gospel, make disciples of all nations. As you go, God will reveal His specific plans to you.

But don’t expect God to reveal His specific orders to someone not obeying His standing orders!

God has a destiny for you impact the world and glorify His name. If you want to know what it is, start doing all the stuff that you know to do from the Word.

Then you will know that you have grace and a destiny. You too can say with Paul:

By whom I have received grace and [my destiny], for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name:

Attitudes and the Covenant (Bob Yandian)

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Attitudes and The Covenant

For the past few months we have centered our teachings on the various aspects of the blood covenant. In this issue we will be discussing the role played by an individual’s “attitude” towards a covenant. By attitude I mean, a person’s mental position in regard to the covenant.

We often find that people who are born-again desire to live in the spirit so much that they ignore their minds. However, the Word tells us that our mind is a necessary part of our spiritual life. For example, 1 Corinthians 14:15, says, . . . I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also.

To “will to do something” requires using our minds to make a decision. Look at it another way, if a person’s will were not essential in getting born again, witnessing would be easy. All we would have to do is stand on a street corner and read the Word. The Word would go right into a person’s spirit, and he would be born again, whether he wanted to be or not.

We know though that Jesus does not force anything on us and, thus, we are able to choose whether or not we want to accept Him.

It is a biblical principle that everything produces after its own kind. For example, when you were born into this earthly life, your body was born of your parents. However, when you were born-again, you were born of the Spirit, for God is called the Father of Spirits. This means that when you were born of the Spirit, your physical man remained the same, but your inner man changed.

Furthermore, when you were born again, your mind did not change, only your spirit changed. Therefore, you need to reshape your thinking so that your mind can shift from the physical way of life to the spiritual way of life. This is essential since the mind is where battles take place. Satan cannot get into our reborn spirits, but he can neutralize the effectiveness of our spirits by getting our minds on other things. He will attack the mind in an attempt to get it off the covenant God has with us.

Psalm 103, tells us of the many benefits available to those who have a covenant with God, but it is interesting to note that before David lists these benefits, he admonishes himself in verses one and two, Bless the Lord, O my soul: (notice that he did not say, “my spirit”) and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the Lord, 0 my soul, and forget not all his benefits.

We are told to forget not all God’s benefits. The act of remembering involves using the mind, and in this case, the remembering becomes a way of life. It is a lifetime proposition, which requires a commitment on the part of the believer. In fact, just learning of God’s benefits takes time. It is naive to think that you can grab your Bible and after a few days be a spiritual giant.

For instance, when we talk of prosperity and healing, we are not saying to read the Word only until you are healed or until your finances are straightened out and then put it down.

Rather, as you learn of God’s blessings, and walk in them, and realize that they get better every day, you should want to pick up God’s covenant, the Word, and find out what more of the benefits are. Then, you should go on and renew your mind so that you can view things as God does.

There is more than our human viewpoint or attitude toward any given situation in life. There is also God’s viewpoint. We find an example of man’s view and God’s view in Isaiah 55:7-9:

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

God tells us that His thoughts and His ways are higher than man’s. Although we will never get to God’s level concerning some things, verse ten tells us, For as the rain cometh down, . . . God’s thoughts come raining down upon each of us.

The . . . snow from heaven . . . also comes down (vs. 10). Snow falls one flake at a time. Likewise, He doesn’t overwhelm our brains by giving us all His thoughts at one time. Instead, He sends us one exceeding great and precious promise at a time – one by one – so that we can remember them and grow in the knowledge of Him.

As Isaiah 55:10, goes on to say, the rain and the snow, . . . returneth not thither, (heaven) but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater. God does not send His Word to us only to pull it back. Nor does He dangle His thoughts in front of us only to snatch them away. Rather, the purpose of the water is to remain with us and to saturate us.

When we talk about God’s thoughts, we are referring to His Word, and learning God’s Word or His thoughts helps us in the situations we face in our daily lives. As we view these situations, we can approach them with either man’s attitude or God’s. If we speak God’s words over a situation, we will be facing it as God would which is far greater than anything we could do in the natural.

Ephesians 4:17-18, tells us more about man’s viewpoint. Although it may not seem so, these verses are addressed to believers.

This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart.

Since it is possible for believers to walk as sinners, Paul is telling them not to walk in the vanity (emptiness) of their minds as unbelievers do.

This same use of the word “mind” is found in Ecclesiastes when Solomon began bringing Gentile gods into his house. When he started to worship them, his mind became corrupted. He turned away from the benefits God had given him and he began speaking contrary to the way God speaks.

Ephesians 4:18, tells of having the understanding darkened. The Greek actually means, the faculty for thinking. In other words, their thinking has been darkened. This same idea is found in 2 Corinthians 4:4: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God should shine unto them.

When the gospel is preached to an unbeliever, his mind, not his spirit, is illuminated first. As he begins to understand what is being talked about, his will then opens up and that is the doorway for the light of the glory of the gospel to go down and recreate the man’s spirit and turn it into the image of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The origin of all human thinking is satan. When man was put into the Garden, he had a great mind. He could name all the animals and remember them. Why? Because his spirit was created. There was nothing of satan’s nature in him. But what happened? Satan corrupted Eve’s mind. He got her to think another way – his way – which is different from God’s way. She had God’s mind, but she entertained satan’s thoughts so much that she disobeyed God and caused Adam to disobey, also. Suddenly their minds were blinded to the glorious liberty of God, to the light of the gospel of God, and spiritual darkness entered into them. This same thing is wrong with man- kind today; people’s minds are blinded to the Word. They can’t think God’s viewpoints because they are alienated from God.

However, we as believers have the nature of God in us and we have His exceeding great and precious promises. We have the covenant and benefits of God. He has rained them down on us so that we can receive His blessings. We need to saturate our minds with His Word and change our viewpoints or attitudes about life.

1 Corinthians 2:16 tells us, But we have the mind of Christ. What is the mind of Christ? The Word is. Of all the Bibles we have, none is THE Bible. They all are only copies of THE Bible. The original Bible is THE MIND OF CHRIST. You can burn copies of the book, but you can’t burn THE Book. Many nations have tried to get rid of the Bible, but they can’t do it because they can’t destroy the mind of Christ!

God wants us to think His thoughts and His ways. He wants us to become like Him. Through the Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ, God’s revelation becomes ours. By praying in the Spirit and meditating on His Word, that revelation will burst forth inside of us and we can begin to understand the way the Lord thinks.

The Word not only tells us how God thinks and gives us the mind of Christ, it helps us to know the difference between man’s thinking and God’s thinking. Some- times we hear two voices that tell us how to handle a given situation and we need to know which is the right voice. The one that is backed by the Word is the voice to which we need to listen.

According to Hebrews 4:12, “the Word” . . . is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. There is no such natural sword on this earth. Men have swords that are sharp, but all they can do is cut through natural material. God has a sword that will actually go down and divide the invisible part of you, soul from spirit, or, man’s view- points from God’s viewpoints.

Psalm 139:23, says, Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts. God wants us to lay our thoughts before Him because as Proverbs 23:7 says, as a man. . . thinketh in his heart, so is he . . . We want our very thought to line up with the Word of God. Outward actions mean nothing to the Lord, it’s the inward thought, the intentions of the heart, that matter. You can fake things before men with your outward actions, but the Bible tells us in I Samuel 16:7b, that while man looks on the outward appearance, God looks on the heart. This is why we want even our thoughts to be right before him.

In the twelfth chapter of Romans, Paul talks about some attitudes. These same attitudes prevail today.

Let’s look at what is meant by a “worldly attitude.” Some think it is how you dress, where you go, whether you go to church or not. However, worldliness is not an outward action; it is an inward attitude. Romans 12:1-2, tell us about this attitude.

I Beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And 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.

These verses are speaking to believers, not sinners. Sinners are already con- formed to this world, but when you are born again, it is up to you to not be con- formed to this world. Worldliness is not what you do; it is what you think. You can go to church and praise God and yet still be worldly. Bodily you may not be there but intellectually you “check out” when the message begins. Instead, you plan what you are going to do when church gets over, or what you will do at work tomorrow. However, no one sitting beside you would know you are worldly. They see only your outer man, not your inner thoughts. The irony of this situation is that if you stayed home and made plans for the next day instead of coming to church, we would all say you were worldly.

Col. 3:1-2, tell us, If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. How do we seek those things? Seeking God is not beating on the floor and begging God to do something. Seeking God means meditating on His Word.

We are told in Isaiah 26:3 that God will, . . . keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee. . . The Hebrew gives a double emphasis to the word peace and actually says, “peace peace” to point out that God’s peace is nothing like what man considers to be peace.

Phil. 4:7, repeats this idea, And the peace of God, [not man] which passeth all understanding, [perfect peace cannot be explained by man] shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:8, tells us what to think about in order to stay in perfect peace. Finally brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

Stability is another thing we need to consider because people are always looking for it. The “sound mind” referred to in II Timothy 1:7, actually means a stable mind. For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. We need stability in our thoughts.

II Thess. 2:2, encourages us, . . . be not soon shaken in mind, . . . The mind is where we can be shaken. The Holy Spirit within us cannot be shaken, but when your mind gets shaken, it makes your spirit ineffective. Then, your spirit can’t control you or bring you the thoughts of God and the actions of God. His ways can’t be your ways and His thoughts can’t be your thoughts because your mind is not stable. But, when your mind is peaceful, you are peaceful, worldliness is gone, and you are meditating on the thoughts of God. Your mind becomes renewed to the works of God and you forget not His benefits.

Now let’s look at love. Deut. 6:5, tells us, And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. The New Testament says to love with all your MIND, and all your strength. This strength is inward. Your strength is manifested as you love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind.

First Cor. 13:5, in speaking of charity, or love, says that love thinks no evil. Love starts long before it is an outward experience. It begins as an attitude of the heart.

What happens when you walk in the love of God? When you become stable? When your mind is renewed to the Word of God? You become strong and effective against the devil. Then the Word shows you the difference between the thoughts and intents of your heart, between the world’s viewpoint and God’s viewpoint.

Second Cor. 10:3, tells us that we walk in the flesh. We face fleshly problems; the same problems sinners face. Sinners have problems balancing their checkbooks and so do we. The same marital problems they have, we have. Christians and sinners face job problems. However, we don’t face these problems the way the world does. . . . We do not war after the flesh: (2 Cor. 10:3b). We know that the source of all problems is not fleshly, it is spiritual. We can attack problems at the roots, at the very source of the problem, because we can attack satan.

Furthermore, according to 2 Cor. 10:4, . . . the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, [We don’t fight the devil with guns and knives] but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; Satan is strong, but we are stronger.

In the book of Joshua we read of how the Israelite army attacked cities and completely destroyed their walls. The walls were a city’s stronghold, and when they came down, the city was defeated. Although we fight spiritual warfare, it is just as real as if we were in a physical war because we are fighting against satan and his strongholds.

Verse five of 2 Corinthians 10, tells us what these strongholds are. One strong- hold we are told to cast down is “imaginations.” The Greek for this is “reasonings.” It is typical for a person who is new to the message of faith to try to rationalize his problems. But, you can’t figure out with your human mind how faith works.

For example, if you have stepped out in faith and are believing God for $1,000, the devil will attempt to get you to try to figure out who is going to give it to you. Maybe you reason that it is going to come in the mailbox, so you go to the mailbox day after day and it’s not there. Then you decide that it will come from one of your friends. So when you see them and they have their money out, you get closer to them. You even begin to “help” God by telling them, “Did you know I am believing God for $1,000?” You may reason that God can- not work unless you tell somebody. We need to cast down the human reasoning because it will become a barrier to our faith. It will become a stronghold that will keep us from operating in faith.

Let’s look at 2 Cor. 10:5 in its entirety, Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.

Here we find that we are to cast down “every high thing”, in other words pride. Reasoning and pride are attitudes that will stop the blessings of God because they exalt themselves against the knowledge of God.

Lastly, according to verse five, we are to bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. Since we are soldiers in a spiritual battle, we can take prisoners of war. Wouldn’t it be good to walk before Jesus and say, “Look at all the POW’s I brought home with me. Here is reasoning, pride, human viewpoint, here is what so and so said to do; but I brought it all into obedience to Your Word Lord. I have broken down the strongholds and I have defeated satan and I tell you what, God, it is just you and I all the way. I don’t care if anybody goes with me Lord, I’m going your way. I am following your Word!”

Copyright 2003 by Bob Yandian Ministries.

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