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New Way of Thinking

Posted by: admin on Tue, Aug 28, 2012

Change of Vocabulary in a Frequently Spoken Statement sent by brother Bob the bible lover our good friend.

New Way of Thinking

 

Change of Vocabulary in a Frequently Spoken Statement

(by Bill Stevenson-- March 7, 1998)

 

In a counseling session, I said, “Only with God’s help can we go against our human nature.” The counselor shocked me by immediately telling me not to say that again. Before I could start to elaborate on the statement I made, he went to a butcher paper easel and started drawing a special chart about teaching he received over 20 years ago from Steve Hayner. Below indicates my understanding of what Mr. Jones drew and taught me:

 

Creation

Time of Innocence

The Fall and God's 1st Covenant

Post Pentecost

Post Second Coming

 

Mankind and

creatures

 

 

Dispensation of Grace

 

 

Human nature=

Complete trusting in God by the first man and woman.

Some individuals are righteous via 1 John 1:9 and

completely trusting in God.

 

“in Our likeness”

(No need to eat of "the Tree of Good and Evil".)

 

 

 

 

 

"It is good."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also at the same time, most individuals live selfishly, pridefully, etc.-- Fallen Unnatural Nature.

 

 

 

 

Therefore, I should say from now on, “Only with God’s help can we get back to the pre-Fall way of thinking-- the created good human nature.” Now think about that. That means a very positive reason for living along with the Great Commission!! That doesn’t mean we stop being against the “fallen unnatural nature” indicated in Galatians 1-5:21 and Romans 1, but it means our emphasis should be the transformation indicated in Romans 12 & 8. Look how Romans 8 ends!!

 

Romans 8:28-39--

28 And we know that all things work together for good

to those who love God,

to those who are the called according to His purpose.

29 For whom He foreknew,

He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son,

that He might be the firstborn among many brethren [and Christian sisters].

30 Moreover whom He predestined,

these He also called;

whom He called,

these He also justified;

and whom He justified,

these He also glorified.

What does this passage mean to you? Why is the promise in verse 28 so important?

Why are the verbs in verses 29 and 30 past tense? See Ephesians 2:4-10 before answering.

 

31 What then shall we say to these things?

If God is for us, who can be against us?

32 He Who did not spare His own Son,

but delivered Him up for us all,

how shall He not with Him

also freely give us all things?

33 Who shall bring a charge against God's elect?

It is God Who justifies.

34 Who is he [or she] who condemns?

It is Christ Who

died, and furthermore

is also risen, Who

is even at the right hand of God, Who also

makes intercession for us.

35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?

Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution,

or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

36 As it is written: “For Your sake we are killed all day long;

We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.” [Psalm 44:22]

37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors

through Him Who loved us.

38 For I am persuaded that

neither death nor life,

nor angels nor principalities nor powers,

nor things present nor things to come,

39 nor height nor depth,

nor any other created thing,

shall be able to separate us from the love of God

which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Do you have such Christian faith and courage? If your answer is “yes”, share a personal testimony. If your answer is “no”, describe a situation in which such courage would be needed.

How do Romans 8:1-15, Philippians 1:2-6, and Hebrews 12:1-3 relate to this passage?

 

But what keeps us from this confident way of thinking? Mr. Jones told me new information, which explains this. In his reading of pre-Luther/Reformation Christian philosophy writers, he has concluded that most post-Reformation individuals are interested in obtaining more information and many of those make changes in thinking, behavior, and decision making in relation to the new information. An Information/Reformation cycle is developed for the latter, missing the Transformation (Romans 12:1-3) aspect of the Eastern-developed Christianity!!

 

Romans 12:1-3--

1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers [and sisters], in view of God's mercy,

to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--

this is your spiritual act of worship.

2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world,

but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.

Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--

His good, pleasing, and perfect will.

3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you:

Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought,

but rather think of yourself with sober judgment,

in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.

Notice that Romans 12:2 says “be transformed”, not “transform yourselves” or “transform your minds”. We do our part in acquiring God-pleasing wisdom and making the Holy Spirit urged changes with excited anticipation of supernatural transformation-- restoration our nature to more of Creation created human nature. Consider the following Bible passages of the Apostle Paul’s advice:

 

Galatians 5:22-26--

“22 But the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which His presence within accomplishes] is

love, joy (gladness), peace, patience (an even temper, forbearance),

kindness, goodness (benevolence), faithfulness,

23 gentleness (meekness, humility), self-control (self-restraint, continence).

Against such things there is no law [that can bring a charge].

24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus (the Messiah) have crucified the flesh

with its passions and appetites {and} desires.

25 If we live by the [Holy] Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.

26 Let us not become vainglorious {and} self-conceited, competitive {and} challenging

{and} provoking {and} irritating to one another, envying {and} being jealous of one another.”

 

Colossians 2:6-10--

“So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him,

rooted and built up in Him,

strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and

overflowing with thankfulness.

See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy,

which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world

rather than on Christ.

For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form,

and you have been given fullness in Christ,

Who is the head over every power and authority.”

 

Colossians 3:1-10 & 12-25--

“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ,

set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.

Set your minds on things above, not on Earthly things.

For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.

When Christ, Who is your life, appears,

then you also will appear with Him in glory.

Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your Earthly nature:

sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.

Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.

You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived.

But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these:

anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.

Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices

and have put on the new self,

which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.

Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved,

clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another.

Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

And over all these virtues, put on unselfish love,

which binds them all together in perfect unity.

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts,

since as members of one body you were called to peace.

And be thankful.

Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly

as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom,

and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed,

do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.

Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them

Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.

Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.

Slaves, obey your Earthly masters in everything;

and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to win their favor,

but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord.

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for The Lord, not for men,

since you know that you will receive an inheritance from The Lord as a reward.

It is The Lord Christ you are serving.

Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for his [or her] wrong,

and there is no favoritism.”

 

Colossians 4:2 & 6--

“Devote yourselves to prayer,

being watchful and thankful.

Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt,

so that you may know how to answer everyone.”

 

Philippians 4:4-8--

“Rejoice in the Lord always.

I will say it again: Rejoice!

Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving,

present your requests to God.

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding,

will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Finally, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure,

whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--

think about such things.”

 

Conclusion: That is enough for true revival in any Christian. It was for me and will be for the rest of my life!! Such is the only way to experience the thinking wonderfulness that Adam and Eve were able to experience before the Fall. Have you had such experiences of innocence and peace and love?

 

Additional Scripture and comment related to the beginning of this spiritual essay--

Romans 14:16-19

“Let not then your good be evil spoken of:

for the Kingdom of God is not eating and drinking,

but righteousness, and peace, and joy in The Holy Spirit.

For he [or she] who in these things serves Christ

is acceptable to God and approved by others.

19 Let us therefore pursue after

the things which make for peace,

and things wherewith one may edify another.

After doing 1 John 1:9 confession, a true Christian can briefly experience the righteous and innocent way of thinking that Adam and Woman experienced before their Fall. That is the Kingdom of God that Jesus Christ told the Pharisees was invisible. That is why I live Proverbs 3:5-6 frequently, so that I am sensitive to Holy Spirit telling me of my wrongs and sins. Kingdom of God experiencing, which is also indicated in the above Philippians 4:4-8, is so wonderful, especially when done with a like-minded spouse.

 

 

Three Revelation 2-3 Studies

 

Note: This first page information is from the Thompson Chain Study Bible. Revelation was written by the Apostle John on the island of Patmos, a rocky and desolate isle located in the Aegean Sea, twenty four miles west of the coast of Asia Minor, and about seventy miles southwest of Ephesus. The Seven Churches mentioned by John were all founded in the immediate neighborhood of this city. Ephesus was the leading church of the group where the Apostle Paul labored with great success. The other churches may have been the outgrowth of his missionary work, but there is no record of his doing such. Tradition says that Ephesus was the center of John's later ministry, and he probably had the oversight of the Seven Churches. The following chart can also be considered as seven stages of Christian church history and seven stages of a long living a true Christian.

 

The Seven Churches of Asia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Types

Names of the Churches

Revelation Reference

Virtues Commended

Sins and Weaknesses Rebuke

Promises to Overcomers

of Historical Eras

of Conditions in Modern Churches

Ephesus--
the orthodox church

2:1-7

good works, patience, sound doctrine, church discipline, steadfastness, hatred of evil

loss of love and backsliding

Heavenly food

Late Apostolic Age

active churches over emphasizing Orthodoxy or religious ceremony, but lacking in spiritual fervor

Smyrna--
the poor/rich church

2:8-11

spiritual endurance and Heavenly treasures

no reproof

a Crown of Life

The Early Centuries of Persecution

missionary and other churches enduring persecution

Pergamos--
the church with bad surroundings

2:12-17

steadfastness

tolerance of
corrupt doctrines and heretics

hidden spiritual blessings, divine food, and a new name

The Age of Constantine-- Temporal Prosperity

the churches supported by the Government

Thyatira--
the church of the evil prophetess

2:18-29

charity, spiritual service, faith, and patience

lax discipline and tolerance of a corrupt prophetess

spiritual dominion and illumination

The Age of Papal Apostasy

the development of numerous modern cults

Sardis--
the dying church

3:1-6

none for the majority of the members, a few commended for purity

extreme formalism, spiritual death imminent, and inactivity

a robe of righteousness, Heavenly registration and recognition

The Middle Ages

churches which manifest a growing formalism accompanied by spiritual declension

Philadelphia--
the weak but loyal church

3:7-13

keeping of "the Word" and testimony

none recorded

to become spiritual pillars bearing a divine inscription

The Period of the Reformation-- Luther's times

all earnest spiritual churches

 

 

 

 

 

Types

Laodicea--
the rich/poor church

3:14-22

none recorded

Luke-warmness, spiritual conceit,
no conscious need, spiritual poverty, spiritual blindness, and spiritual wretchedness

divine fellowship and spiritual enthronement

The Last Days

popular, self-satisfied, worldly churches

 

Special Study of Revelation 2-3: For Understanding the Epistles of Jesus Christ

(by Bill Stevenson)

 

Note: The Evangelical Commentary on the Bible states: “These chapters contain letters to the seven churches. These were local churches in Asia Minor, but they were each representative of a particular age in church history.” But also what Jesus says about the actual churches can help us understand more about what is God-pleasing Christianity. Much of what is being professed as Christianity is legalistic religion and not “to God be the glory” behavior. “Each of the letters is addressed to the leader of the church, who is called an angel for some uncertain reason.”

 

Characteristics of Jesus Christ--

1. Who is all powerful: “He Who holds the seven stars in His right hand, Who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands.” (2:1) -- This indicates Christ’s intimate involvement in the life of Christian churches.

2. Who is all knowing: “I know your works” (2:2, 9, 13, 19, 3:1, 8, 15) -- If individuals believed this, they would not think and do much of what they think and do.

3. Who is hoping for professing Christians to learn God’s truth and wisdom, and overcome sinful living: “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” (2:7, 11, 17, 26 & 29, 3:5-6, 12-13, 21-22)

4. Who is giving: to the overcomers of the church of Ephesus-- “opportunity to eat from the Tree of Life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God” (2:7); to the overcomers of the church in Smyrna-- “the crown of life” and “shall not be hurt by the second death” (2:10-11); to the overcomers of the church in Pergamos-- “some of the hidden manna to eat”, “a white stone” on which “a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it” (2:17); to the overcomers of the church of Thyatira-- “power over the nations… as I [Jesus] have received from My Father” and “the morning star” (2:26-28); to the overcomers of the church in Sardis-- permission “to be clothed in white garments” and a promise that his or her name will not be blotted out from the Book of Life but confessed by Him before His Father and His angels (3:5); to the overcomers of the church in Philadelphia-- becoming “a pillar in the temple of” God with permanent residence in the New Jerusalem (3:12); and to the overcomers of the church of the Laodiceans-- permission to sit with Him on His throne (3:21).

5. Who is “the First and the Last, Who was dead, and came to life” (2:8)

6. Who has “the sharp two-edged sword” (2:12)

7. Who has “eyes like a flame of fire, and His feet like fine brass” (2:18)

8. Who has “the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars” (3:1)

9. Who is “holy, He Who is true, ‘He Who has the key of David, He Who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens.’” (3:7)

10. Who is “the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God” (3:14)

 

Commendations--

To the church of Ephesus

1. Good works of labor (mentioned twice, 2:2 & 3 with the addition in verse 3 “for My name’s sake and have not become weary”; “name” is this context means character)

2. Patience (mentioned twice, 2:2 & 3)

3. “Cannot bear those who are evil” (2:2)

4. “Tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars” (2:2)

5. Persevered (2:3)

6. “Hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate” (2:6) -- The Evangelical Commentary on the Bible states: “Little is known about this group except that they were active in Ephesus and Pergamos and that they encouraged immorality and the eating of meat sacrificed to idols…. They seem to have been liberalists or modernists who felt that the church was too strict in its standards, and they advised compromise.”

To the church of Smyrna: Rich spiritually because of “tribulation and poverty” (2:9)

To the church in Pergamos:

1. Living apart from Satan’s rule. (2:13)

2. “You hold fast to My name, and did not deny My faith even in the days in which Antipas was My faithful martyr, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells.” (2:13)

To the church of Thyatira:

1. “I know your works, love, service, faith, and your patience; and the last are more than the first.” (2:19)

2. “I will give to each one of you according to your works.” (2:23)

To the church in Sardis:

1. “I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive...” (3:1a)

2. “You have a few names even in Sardis who have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy.” (3:4)

To the church in Philadelphia:

1. “I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name.” (3:8)

2. Because Jesus Christ loved the Philadelphia Church, He “will make those of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews and are not, but lie” and “will make them come and worship” before the Philadelphia church members’ feet. (3:9)

3. “Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the Earth.” (3:10)

 

Condemnations--

To the church of Ephesus: “You have left your first love.” (2:4) -- See 1 Corinthians 13:1-7.

To the church in Pergamos:

1. “You have there those who hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit sexual immorality.” (2:14) -- In Balaam’s day, there was a ritual of fornication and of eating of meat sacrificed to idols. (Numbers 15:1-3)

2. “You also have those who hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.” (2:15)

To the church of Thyatira:

1. “You allow that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce My servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols.” (2:20) -- Read 1 Kings 16 and 2 Kings 9.

2. “And I gave her time to repent of her sexual immorality, and she did not repent.” (2:21)

3. “And those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of their deeds.” (2:22)

To the church in Sardis:

1. “… but you are dead.” (3:1b)

2. “… for I have not found your works perfect before God.” (3:2b)

To the church of the Laodiceans:

1. “I know your works, that you that you are neither cold nor hot….” (3:15a)

2. “So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.” (3:16)

3. “Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked ...” (3:17) -- The Evangelical Commentary on the Bible states that Christ Jesus “is not impressed by our money, fine clothes, or status.”

 

Challenges--

To the church of Ephesus: “Or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place-- unless you repent.” (2:5c)

To the church of Smyrna: “Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life..” (2:10)

To the church in Pergamos “Or else I will come to you quickly and will fight against them with the sword of My mouth.” (2:16)

To the church of Thyatira:

1. “All churches shall know that I am He Who searches the minds and hearts. And I will give to each one of you according to your works.” (2:23)

2. “As many as do not have this doctrine [of Jezebel], who have not known the depths of Satan, as they say, I will put on you no other burden.” (2:24)

3. “But hold fast what you have till I come.” (2:25)

To the church in Sardis:

1. “Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die.” (3:2a)

2. “Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you.” (3:3)

To the church in Philadelphia: “Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown.” (3:11)

To the church of the Laodiceans:

1. “… Therefore be zealous and repent.” (3:19b)

2. “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.” (3:20)

Corrections, Suggested--

To the church of Ephesus:

1. “Remember therefore from where you have fallen; …” (2:5a)

2. “Repent and do the first works”. (2:5b)

To the church in Pergamos: “Repent”. (2:16)

To the church of Thyatira: “Repent.” (2:22)

To the church in Sardis: “Remember therefore how you have received and heard.” (3:3)

To the church of the Laodiceans:

1. “I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed and anoint your eyes with eye salve that you may see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten...” (3:18-19a) -- The Evangelical Commentary on the Bible states that “Laodicea was known for its fine products and medicines, but Christ counsels the church to purchase things of true worth from Him.”

“Eye salve symbolizes spiritual sight.” “That you may see” means understand.

2. “… I could wish you were cold or hot.” (3:15b)

 

A Personal Application for a Church Group

 

Note: The following is a result of a church youth group "brainstorming". They had analyzed the letters to the churches in Revelation 1-3 with the indicated subtitles. They asked the youth leader if they could do a similar analysis imagining if such a letter had been written to their church group.

 

Character of Christ

1. purity

2. enduring/persevering

3. mercy of God

 

Commendation

1. remain separate from the world

2. reaching out to others

3. perseverance

4. gone through tribulation, but stoked for or hooked on Christ

5 persevered

6 more prayer in groups

 

Condemnation

1. apathy

2 lack of respect

3 not being open and accepting to others

4. lukewarmness

5 cliques, shallow in relationships

6 carnal-- grieve the Holy Spirit

7 too comfortable

 

Correction

1 God’s Word

2 shape up and be determined

3. more accountable to one another

4. follow first completely

5 be bold and have faith

 

Call

1. call to purity

2. dedicated to God and evangelism

3. listen to the Holy Spirit

 

Challenge

1. action (personal)

2. aware of effects on world-- be bold

3. respond

4. reach out and witness


Living for God,

Bible lover Bill

Romans 8:28, Philippians 4:4-8, Proverbs 3:5-6, & Jude 20-25

for.good.living.and.loving@gmail.com

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