Settled In Heaven Blog

Category Archives: James 1:

“Sins Of The Eyes And Heart”

SIH STSTA ICONTHE INTRODUCTION:

There is a clear relationship between what we see with our eyes, what we sinfully desire in our hearts, and the fallen outward actions that we commit.  Our Lord, Himself, addressed this relationship in Matthew 5:27-28 when He said…

 

“Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery:  But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.”

This is a very important issue that we need to understand clearly. In this study we will seek to come to an understanding of the Lord’s teachings (and other related verses) on the relationship of our eyes, heart (desires) and the acts of sin we commit.

 

THE SCRIPTURES:

Job 31:1-8

(1)  I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?

(2)  For what portion of God is there from above? and what inheritance of the Almighty from on high?

(3)  Is not destruction to the wicked? and a strange punishment to the workers of iniquity?

(4)  Doth not he see my ways, and count all my steps?

(5)  If I have walked with vanity, or if my foot hath hasted to deceit;

(6)  Let me be weighed in an even balance, that God may know mine integrity.

(7)  If my step hath turned out of the way, and mine heart walked after mine eyes, and if any blot hath cleaved to mine hands;

(8)  Then let me sow, and let another eat; yea, let my offspring be rooted out.

 

 

Pro 23:7

(7)  For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.

 

Mat 5:27-28

(27)  Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery:

(28)  But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

 

Jas 1:13-16

(13)  Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:

(14)  But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.

(15)  Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.

(16)  Do not err, my beloved brethren.

 

 

THE STUDY:

 

Mat 5:27-28 – Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery:  But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

In our Lord’s teachings found in Matt 5:27-28, we are taught that sin can occur within the heart (desires) of a man.  Please notice that “lusting after her” is counted as committing the sin of adultery “in his heart”.  In other words, possessing sinful lusts is one type of sin that can be committed by man.

This also helps us to understand that there are two different ways that any sin can be committed:

  1. First of all, sin can be committed in the heart when we hold burning desires to perform an act of sin.  In the case of Jesus’ teaching, the desire to commit the act of adultery, is, in and of itself, counted as a sin.
  2. Secondly, sin can involve the outward act of the sin.  In Christ’s teaching this would be the physical act of adultery being committed with the woman after whom the inward lust is being committed.

Please note that both the sin of the heart and the actual commission of that sin are recognized as two separate sins. To lust in the heart is sinful, to go farther and actually commit the physical sin of adultery is recognized as a second commission of sin.  We should never think that if we commit sin in our hearts we had “might as well do the act”.  This is a lie that comes from Satan himself, being told to us in an effort to increase our guilt and the sin that abides in our lives.

 

Jas 1:13-16 – Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.  Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.   Do not err, my beloved brethren.

In the above verse, James explains to us the steps that produce acts of sin in our lives.  James teachings helps us to better understand the relationship between our eyes, heart and the outward performance of sin.

Every commission of sin begins as a temptation.  These temptations are wholly based upon the desires that we hold within us.  Notice what James says… “Every man is tempted when he is drawn away OF HIS OWN LUST and enticed.”  Folks, anytime an opportunity to sin arises, but we have no desire to commit that sin, it is not a temptation to us.

A very simple example is a person who is on a diet and HATES vanilla ice cream.  I can offer that person vanilla ice cream over and over again and they will never be “tempted” to eat it and break their diet.  Why?  Because they have no desire to eat the vanilla ice cream.   However, if the same person LOVES chocolate ice cream, the moment I offer it to them, the offer becomes a “temptation” to them to break their diet.  Because they desire it, the opportunity to partake of it becomes a temptation to them.

James then goes further and explains that when the person recognizes the opportunity to sin is open to them (they are enticed by it), the sinful lust in their heart then gives birth to the outward act of sin which leads to their death.

WOW!  What a horrible chain of events that leads to all men’s downfall, reminds us of a fish that is caught by a fisherman…

  1. The bait is seen by the fish (using its eyes)
  2. The bait attracts the fish because it is hungry (its desires)
  3. The bait is taken by the fish (the outward act of taking that which is sinfully desired)
  4. The fish is killed by the fisherman (death occurs as the direct result of sin)

The commission of sin takes place in the same way…

  1. We see an opportunity to sin (we place our eyes on it)
  2. We then take advantage of that opportunity (because we desire to commit that sin)
  3. The natural result of the commission of that sin is physical and spiritual death.

 

 

Job 31:1-8 – I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid? For what portion of God is there from above? and what inheritance of the Almighty from on high?  Is not destruction to the wicked? and a strange punishment to the workers of iniquity?  Doth not he see my ways, and count all my steps?  If I have walked with vanity, or if my foot hath hasted to deceit;  Let me be weighed in an even balance, that God may know mine integrity.  If my step hath turned out of the way, and mine heart walked after mine eyes, and if any blot hath cleaved to mine hands;  Then let me sow, and let another eat; yea, let my offspring be rooted out.

Job understood the two types of sin when he said… “If my step hath turned out of the way, and mine heart walked after mine eyes”.

  1. Job described the outward acts of sin as “If my step turned out of the way”
  2. Job described the role of inward sinful desires as “mine heart walked after mine eyes”.

 

Job also understood how sin develops in our lives:

  1. He was describing his sinful desires being fulfilled following the seeing an opportunity to sin… “mine heart walked after mine eyes”:
  2. This results in the outward commission of that sin “If my step hath turned out of the way”.

 

Because of Job’s knowledge of these truths, he was able to successfully avoid sin in his life.  This is why he was able to boldly ask the Lord to look at his life and see that his life was dedicated to pleasing Him.  So what is the secret to Job’s success?…

“I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?”

 

He saw the need to control what his eyes looked upon to avoid these times of temptation that so easily come upon all mankind.  he understood that, due to our fallen, sinful natures we all possess sinful desires.  The one of the most effective ways to avoid cultivating and fulfilling those desires was by controlling his eyes…

“I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?”

 

In other words, if Job avoided the opportunity to sin, he would not be feeding his sinful desires nor would he be bringing them to fruition.  What a very important lesson for us all.  By controlling what our eyes look upon we can keep our sinful desires at bay and not “live them out” in our actions!

Job said that the result of this covenant he made with his eyes, he was able to sincerely invite the Lord to examine his life without guilt or hesitation… “Let me be weighed in an even balance, that God may know mine integrity”

 

CONCLUSION:

Do we attempt to control our eyes and avoid temptations whenever we possibly can?  The answer to this question speaks volumes about our character, the person we are within.

King Solomon understood this principle when he wrote in Proverbs 23:7 … “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he;”

In response to Solomon’s writing, lets close by asking ourselves this simple question … “Who are we?”  The answer can be found in our attempts to rule over our eyes and the desires that dwell in our hearts.

 

SIH Homepage: http://www.settledinheaven.org

SIH Text Blog: https://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/

SIH Video Blog: http://youtube.com/settledinheaven/

SIH Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com 

“Temptation Or Testing?”

SIH STSTA ICONTHE INTRODUCTION:

Many times the Hebrew and Greek words translated “temptation” are also translated “test” or “trial”.

In the KJV the two Hebrew words which are most often translated temptation or test are ‘bahan’ and ‘nasa’.  The two Greek words translated similarly are the words ‘dokimazo’ and ‘peirazo’.  The folllowing table better explains the relationship of these words to one another…

 

Hebrew Greek Hebrew and Greek Translation in KJV:
bahan dokimazo examine, prove, assay, try, allow, discern, like
nasa peirazo tempt, try, prove, examine, assay, adventure, go about

 

As you can see from the above table, all 4 words carry with them the ideas of attempting (Deut 4:34, Acts 9:26), testing (Job 23:10, 1 John 4:1), discerning (Gen 38:25, Luke 12:56), and/or tempting (Isa 7:12, Matt 4:1).

In all of the above usages the principle of “testing or attempting something resulting in a conclusion being drawn” is present.  So why would this term be used to describe a temptation taking place?  In this study we will being seeing that the temptations we face are all trials that reveal truths about us.

 

THE SCRIPTURES:

Jas 1:12 – Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.

Rev 3:10 – Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.

 

 

THE STUDY:

Just as King Nebuchadnezzar came to understand, we all understand that the Lord is truly in control of   every event that takes place in our lives…

Dan 4:34-36 – “And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation:  And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?  At the same time my reason returned unto me; and for the glory of my kingdom, mine honour and brightness returned unto me; and my counsellors and my lords sought unto me; and I was established in my kingdom, and excellent majesty was added unto me.”

 

 

This principle not only applies to the blessed times of our lives, but even the more difficult, trying times  are under God’s control and allowed into our lives for a purpose. Remember, the Lord never brings temptation upon us ….

Jas 1:13 – “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:”

 

 

But He allows the powers of darkness, the fallen world, and our flesh to tempt us.  The story of Job clearly presents this truth to us…

Job 1:6-12 – “Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them.  And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.   And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?  Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought?  Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land.  But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face.  And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.”

 

 

Also as Christians, we are also familiar with God’s promise that He never allows anything in our lives that does not eventually work for our good and His glory…

Rom 8:28 – “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

 

 

When we put all of these Biblical principles together, we can see that the Lord controls our temptations and allows temptations to come upon us for our good and His glory.  But how does this all work?  How does the Lord allow temptations to enter our life and how do we benefit from them?

This is where our word study comes into play.  Our word study gives us one of the great reasons why God allows temptations to come upon us…   Every temptation is used by the Lord as a time of testing that teaches us something about ourselves.

 

This principle is repeatedly brought out in Scripture.  Two such texts are:

Jas 1:12 – Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.

Rev 3:10 – Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.

(Please note in both James 1:12 and Revelation 3:10, temptations are described as trials (testings) that are faced by man.)

That is why the words translated “tempt” or “temptation” carry with them the idea of “testing or attempting something resulting in a conclusion being drawn”.  In other words when we are tempted, we are being tested.  This test, and how we respond to it, can teach us much about our Lord, Satan and, especially, ourselves.

When we are tempted, we can learn about the Lord’s enabling grace, His patience and His forgiveness; we can learn about Satan’s methodology, his strength and his limitations as he attempts to bring the Christian to failure; and we can learn about ourselves, our strengths, our weaknesses, and our need of Christ enabling for our day to day walk.

 

CONCLUSION:

Paul, in 2 Corinthians 12:7-10, gives us one practical application for our lesson this morning.

2Co 12:7-10 – “And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.  For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.  And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.”

 

In this text, Paul lists many testings he faced in life (his “thorn in the flesh”, other “infirmities”, “reproaches”, “necessities”, “persecutions”, “distresses”)…  Please note all these testings were actually temptations that sought to hinder Paul and his ministry for Christ.

Paul came to recognize that even these testings (or temptations) were something that brought him pleasure because they taught him about Christ’s enabling grace and his great need of Christ on a daily basis which kept him close to Christ.

 

Folks, we should never underestimate the importance of using times of temptation for our benefit and the Lord’s glory…

May we learn of Christ’s great enabling grace that allows us to remain faithful to Him even during the heaviest times of temptation in our lives.

Through this may we also learn of our daily need of Christ’s grace in our lives.

And finally, when we fail him during times of temptation, may we immediately seek His forgiveness, allow this to reveal our weak areas, our need to avoid these areas of temptation whenever possible, and finally, may we work to strengthen ourselves in these areas through Bible study, prayer and seeking a close walk with Christ.

 

 

SIH Homepage: http://www.settledinheaven.org

SIH Text Blog: https://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/

SIH Video Blog: http://youtube.com/settledinheaven/

SIH Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com 

The Worm, The Hook, The Great Deception

SIH STSTA ICONFor any of you who have ever fished, you probably know how Bill Dance feels in this video compilation of some of his greatest bloopers…. You’ll love it!  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q_BLggf-mqs

The Bible addresses the issue of temptation, by picturing it as a fisherman attempting to catch a fish.  Unfortunately, in this scenario, temptation is the fisherman (empowered by Satan, our flesh and the world) and we are the fish.  What is the purpose of temptation? To bring misery and death to those who choose to take the bait and be reeled in by the sinful forces of this world.

Here is what the Bible has to say about temptation and it’s results…

THE SCRIPTURE:

Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. (Jas 1:13-15)

THE STUDY:

In our first text, we find the steps of progression from temptation to the actual act of sin:

Step 1:  he is drawn away of his own lust  We come into contact with something that appeals to our desires.  Much like a fish is attracted to the bait, due to its hunger.

Step 2:  and enticed.  Enticed means to deceive, mislead.  Much like the fish, after being attracted, does recognize the hook; but believes that the bait is harmless.

Step 3:  Then when lust hath conceived  the idea of conceived means to grasp or take.  Once the fish takes the bait, sealing his fate.

Step 4:  it bringeth forth sin  By acting to satisfy the lists within us, we now commit the sin and, of course, bring an act of sin into our lives.  The result of this sin? Death.  Much like the fish that now has taken the bait is reeled to its awaiting death.

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION

For the Christian….

To avoid the commission of sin we need to derail the temptation to sin process anyway we can.

Here are ways to derail the process at each of the first three steps of the four step process:

Step #1 – If we deal with our lusts properly… our sinful desires will be weakened and the opportunity to full those desires will be lessened.

We will be avoiding as many opportunities to fulfill our sinful lusts as possible.

An example: If our lusts lead us to easily abuse alcohol, we should avoid going into bars or restaurants that serve alcohol.

Or, we can think refuse to dwell mentally on our lust and its fulfillment, weakening our lusts by starving them.

An example: Do our lusts trouble us in the area of coveting the possessions of others?  If we see something we desire that is owned by another, we should not continue to think on the items.  This stirs up our lusts and opens the door to covetousness.

Step #2 – We need to stop and think about the true results of the sin we are about to commit.  We will not see the bait as harmless but as something that will work death to us.

An example: How will this action affect me tomorrow, or next week, or next year?  How will it affect those around me?  What will it do to my testimony?

Step #3 – We need to seek the wisdom of God before we commit to actions we are unsure about.  Ny doing this, we will be directed away from committing sin and resolving to do what is honoring to God.

An example:  Before we commit to an action, we should seek out God’s Word and/or the Godly counsel of others, asking the question “What saith the Lord?”.

By derailing the process before the sin is actually committed, we will be avoiding future pain for ourselves and others around us; while pleasing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

For those who have never trusted in Christ…

Before you can begin to win the victory over temptation in your life, you must first submit your life and desires to the will of the Lord Jesus Christ.  This submission is an absolute necessity for the forgiveness of your sins and living a new life of victory over sin and death.

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.(Jas 4:7-8)

Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.

(Rom 6:16-18)

Spiritual Gifts: When Did The Accrediting Gifts Go Out Of Existence? (Part 1)

SIH TOA ICONIntroduction:

“Charity never faileth: but whether [there be] prophecies, they shall fail; whether [there be] tongues, they shall cease; whether [there be] knowledge, it shall vanish away.” (1 Corinthians 13:8)

 

In our previous studies we have seen that there are three basic types of Accrediting Gifts which include several gifts under each type. In the above passage, we find each type of Accrediting Gift is represented by one gift from each type …

 

Type Of Accrediting Gift Gifts Included In This Type Representative Gift Mentioned In

1 Cor 13:8

Supernatural Revelation Of The Truth The Word Of Wisdom, The Word of Knowledge Word of Knowledge (or Knowledge)
Supernatural Indicators Of The Truth Faith, Gifts Of Healing, Working Of Miracles, Prophecy, Discerning Of Spirits Prophecy (or Prophecies)
Supernatural Proclamation Of The Truth Divers Kinds Of Tongues, Interpretation Of Tongues Diverse Types Of Tongues (or Tongues)

 

Please note the above verse (1 Cor 13:8), which includes one representative gift from each group, makes it plain that each type of Accrediting Gift will come to an end at some point in time. We now will turn our attention to the question at what point in time will these gifts go out of existence?

In this study, we will see that this question is answered by the Word of God using several different lines of teaching which all present the same answer for us. This will be the lines of teaching that we will be studying:
I.        The Coming Of “That Which Is Perfect”
II.        The 70 Year Accreditation Time Span
III.        The Death Of The Apostles
IV.        The Supernatural Beginning / Natural Perpetuation Of God’s Workings
V.        The Prophecies of False Miracles In The “Last Days”

 

 

 

Lesson:


The Coming Of “That Which Is Perfect”

Our text for this lesson is found in 1 Corinthians 13:.

1) Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become [as] sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
2) And though I have [the gift of] prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.
3) And though I bestow all my goods to feed [the poor], and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.
4) Charity suffereth long, [and] is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
5) Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
6) Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
7) Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
8) Charity never faileth: but whether [there be] prophecies, they shall fail; whether [there be] tongues, they shall cease; whether [there be] knowledge, it shall vanish away.
9) For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.
10) But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.
11) When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
12) For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
13) And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these [is] charity.

 

Here is a short outline of the entire chapter…
1)    The Definition and Indicators Of Biblical Love  vs 1-7
2)    Partial Versus Complete Knowledge   vs 8-10
3)    Illustrations of Partiality versus Completeness   vs 11-12
4)    Superiority Of Biblical Love vs 13

 

 

 

For this part of our study, we will be looking at verses 8-13….

 

8) Charity never faileth: but whether [there be] prophecies, they shall fail; whether [there be] tongues, they shall cease; whether [there be] knowledge, it shall vanish away.

Here, Paul makes it very plain that love is the only gift of the four divine gifts (love, prophecy, tongues, knowledge) that will exist eternally.   In our previous studies, we explained that knowledge prophecy and tongues were related to the divine inspiration and accreditation of Scripture (along with the accreditation of the local church).

 

(Please note it is crucial to understand the meaning of the phrases “shall fail”, “shall cease”, and “shall vanish away”)…

  1. “shall cease”
  2. is the Greek word – “pauo” – it means “to stop”, “to be made complete” and “to end”.
  3. is in the middle voice, meaning the subject of the verb is acting upon itself.  In other words, tongues would “stop by themselves” or “would be ended in and of themselves”
  4. “shall fail” and “shall vanish away”
  5. Both of these phrases are the same Greek word “katargeo” which means “to be made inoperative, to cease to work, to cease to exercise, to render useless, to vanish”
  6. Both of these are in the passive voice meaning the subject of the verb receives the action.  In other words, our verse is saying that “the perfect thing” (vs 10) will cause both knowledge and prophecy to “no longer be exercised”, or “to vanish away”

 

9) For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.

Out of the four previously mentioned gifts from God… knowledge and prophecy are set apart by being described as “in part”.  What does “in part” mean?  This phrase is referring to the nature of divinely inspired revelation to man.  Keep in mind, as God handed down His word to mankind, he did it over many years and many different men.  He gave it a part at time, not all at once.   (Isa 28:9-13)

 

The gifts of prophecy and knowledge were “in part” which teaches us that… as each prophecy came from God (as each bit of knowledge came to man) they were “one part” of the whole of divine revelation to man.  Until the final revelation from God was received by John on the Isle of Patmos (the book of Revelation), both knowledge and prophecy received by man was only a piece of His Word.  At the end of the message given to John on Patmos, the word was finally completed.  It was only then that mankind had the prophecy and knowledge God had chosen to give to man was made complete.

 

Love exists eternally, knowledge, prophesying and the gift of tongues will definitely come to an end, making love a much more valuable gift from God.

 

 

10) But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.

Paul describes what causes prophecy and knowledge to vanish away.  He describes it as “that which is perfect.  To help us understand what Paul is referring to, we need to recognize a few important points in our study…
a)    Remember, in the previous verse of our study we saw that the gifts that were “in part” were the gifts of prophecy and knowledge.
b)    Also, we saw that the ending of these gifts were described by the Greek word “katargeo” which means “to be made inoperative, to cease to work, to cease to exercise, to render useless, to vanish”
c)     Thirdly, we learned that based on the Greek passive voice, something must act upon the knowledge and prophecy “to render it useless” or “to cause it to vanish away.”

 

What has acted on the gift of prophecy and knowledge rendering them worthless and causing them to vanish away?

It is the completed revelation from God… Once God had given to man all of His Word, there was no need for prophecy or knowledge gifts any longer… they were now useless, ineffective and worthless because the Lord was not going to add to the Word He had given to men. In other words, divine inspiration ceased and with it, the gifts linked directly to it…. prophecy and knowledge.

a)    Remember, the Lord has made it plain that the Word He has given to us is now complete. We will be receiving no additional inspired truth from Him.  (Rev 22:18, Heb 1:1-2)
b)    We know it is His Word that is “perfect” based on the Greek word for “perfect”… The word for perfect is “telios” – which means “complete”, “finished”, “brought to completion”.  “Telios” refers to the Word of God in James 1:25.  Contextually, based on the subject matter of prophecy and knowledge and the inspiration of the Word, it makes sense that the Word is what is being described as “perfect”…

 

Please note: Not once in Scripture does the word telios refer to sinlessness. Here is every use of the word “telion” in the Bible. Every time it is used it is linked to the completed Word and Spiritual Maturity.  

  1. The Word Of God
    1. James 1:25 – telion speaks of Bible perfect replacing imperfect.
  2. Spiritual Maturity Brought About Through The Word
    1. Eph 4:11-13 – telion speaks of mature man based upon receipt of knowledge resulting in unity
    2. Hebrews 9:11 – telion is speaking of new tabernacle compared to old. Completed NT revelation revealing Christ as completed Messiah prophecy
    3. Hebrews 8:13 – when the NT was complete the OT was thrown down and perfect (Word revealing Christ) has replaced imperfect
    4. 2 Timothy 3:16-17, Hebs 5:12-6:5 – Bible brings men to maturity
  3. Marks Of Spiritual Maturity
    1. Love – matt 5:44-48, Luke 6:36
    2. Dedication to lord – matt 19:21
    3. Spiritual discernment – 1 cor 2:6,14, hebs 5:14
    4. Attitudes – 1 cor 14:20
    5. Truth of gospel salvation, perfect not sinless – phil 3:15
    6. Unity w lord – col 1:28
    7. Faithful to lord – col 4:12
    8. Patience – James 1:4
    9. The gifts of the Lord – James 1:17
    10. Faith/works – James 2:22

(Please note that in Matthew 5:44-48 – “telion” does refer to the Lord. However, in the context, it is not speaking of the Lord’s sinlessness, it is speaking of the spiritual maturity that He displays as He shows unconditional love to those who are around Him. No place in Scripture does the word “telios” mean sinlessly perfect.)

 

For argument’s sake, let’s assume that the term “perfect” does not refer to the completed Word of God. Instead, let’s assume that “perfect” in our text refers to the Lord at His second coming or the eternal sinless state. We have already seen that this “perfect thing” that is coming must act on the gifts of prophecy and knowledge rendering them useless.

If this is so then…
a)    We have to say that the Lord is continually revealing His inspired word to man throughout the ages. In other words, His word is not in completed form, but He is continually adding to His revealed Word to man. This revealing of the Word will only stop at His second coming.
b)    If this is so, we should be continually adding to the Scriptures.  Every new revelation God gives to man should be added to the Scriptures.  This principle does away with the warning given throughout God’s Word to not add to the Scriptures (Revelation 22:18-19, Deuteronomy 4:2, Proverbs 30:6).
c)    And also the fullness and completeness of God’s Word for us to use is done away with.  Therefore, we cannot count on His Word being the complete set of instructions for us to live by. (2 Tim 3:16-17)  In this hypothetical scenario, we may face situations that the Word cannot equip us to face.  What happens if the part of the Word we need now, will not be revealed to man for another 25 years?  Our entire view of the Scriptures must change if this is the case.

However, the Bible clearly tells us otherwise…
a)    The Word of God has been given to us resulting in us being given “all things that pertain unto life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3)
b)    We are told that it is through the Word that we can know fully (Ephesians 3:3-5, Romans 16:25-27). These imply we have no need of other revelation than found in His Word.
c)     In Jude 1:3 we read that the truth was “once” delivered unto the saints. The term “once” is translated from a Greek word that means “once and for all”. In other words, the truth of God was revealed to us through His Word, and at its completion, no other revelation would be needed or given. This is exactly the point of our 1 Corinthians 13 passage.
d)    Also in Ephesians 2:20, we find that the teachings of the Christ, the Apostles, and the Prophets make up the foundation of the Lord’s local churches. This clearly implies the Scriptures would be completed during the founding years of the local assemblies. How can His churches be founded upon something which would not be completed for many years to come? It would be impossible. The very illustration of a foundation teaches us that the Word (just like the foundation) must be completed before the local assembly can be established (like the house that will be framed, roofed and then brought to completion FOLLOWING the completion of its foundation).  A foundation is never completed during or after the completion of the house which stands upon it.

The Word of God is clear that it is a completed document that can be relied upon to meet our every need. Again, keeping all of this in mind helps us to understand that the Word is complete and then it follows that the gifts related to the inspiration of His Word are no longer necessary.

 

11) When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

 

Paul now uses the example of the maturing of the process of understanding is used to picture the process of God’s revealed Word being brought to completion.  Just as Paul’s growth allowed him to come to a more mature and full understanding of life, so too, as God’s Word is brought to completion, it brings to us a fuller understanding of our Lord and our responsibilities as servants.

Based on the Word being brought to completion during the age of the Corinthian church. It was time for them to “grow up” and become mature as well. It would only be at that time that they could use the wonderful blessing of His completed Word to help them to correct the many errors in their assembly.

 

12) For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

Paul now compares our knowledge of God in our sinful flesh with mankind’s knowledge of God with only a portion of His Word given to them.  In both cases, an incomplete view of God is had by man.

  1. Paul describes a time when God cannot be seen clearly
  2. Paul describes our life in our sinful flesh as seeing our Lord “through a glass darkly”.
  3. Paul then compares this to mankind trying to see a full picture of Christ with only a portion of God’s Word given to man. “now I know in part”.
  4. Paul next describes when we can receive a fuller knowledge of Christ
  5. When we go home to be with the Lord in heaven, it is seeing Him “face to face”, this will result in seeing Him much more clearly than while in our sinful flesh.
  6. Paul then compares this to receiving His completed Word which gives us a much more full revelation of the Lord.  “ then shall I know even as also I am known” .

 

In other words, God bringing His Word to completion gives us a much greater knowledge of who He is and what He has done for us. This is being related to man who while in his fallen, fleshly body is greatly limited in knowledge about Him. But when we receive glorified bodies in our eternal state, we will see Him much more clearly.

 

Also, keep in mind, both of these illustrations are illustrations CONCERNING AMOUNT OF KNOWLEDGE AND KNOWLEDGE INCREASING to a state of completeness. This is another point that cannot be ignored.

 

To say “that which is perfect” is speaking of spiritual maturity, the second coming of Christ, or the eternal state does not jive with these two illustrations when they are taken together. One illustration could be said to be speaking of spiritual maturity (vs 11) and other one could be said to be about His second coming and the future state (vs 12).

 

However, the only principle that is being brought out in both illustrations is the principle of incomplete knowledge and understanding being brought to a finished or completed state. Again pointing us back directly to His Word being brought from a state of being “in part” to a finished state of completion.

 

 

13) And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these [is] charity.

 

After telling us about the Word and it’s soon completion, Paul now brings us back to the original thought… love is even greater than our three existing gifts of faith, hope and love.

 

Why didn’t Paul mention prophecy or knowledge as abiding (to continue on for extended period of time, to endure to limit)? We have already seen they would end within a short period of time from the writing of 1 Corinthians when Word was brought to completion (about 20 years).  So he didn’t include these on our list.

 

But why didn’t he include the gift of tongues… when did they cease to exist?  Tongues ceased to exist, around the same time as knowledge and prophecy.  Tongues were one of several “sign gifts” that God gave to mankind. The gift of tongues were handed down through the laying on of the Apostles hands. At the death of the last Apostle, the gift of tongues would no longer be able to be passed down and, therefore, died “in and of themselves” (“they shall cease” – vs 8).

 

Keep in mind, the last Apostle living was the Apostle John. John penned the last book of the Bible (Revelation) in approximately 97 AD and died approximately 100 AD. Following his death tongues could no longer be handed down and went out of existence soon afterward, well within the time frame of this study. We will look at the ending of tongues in great detail in a later portion of this study.

 

Putting all of this together, it is easy to see why only faith, hope and charity are said to “abide” (to stay in place for an extended period of time).  The gifts of prophecy, knowledge and tongues would go out of existence within a few years after Paul’s ministry would be complete.

 

But not so with faith, hope and love.  They would continue on until the second coming of Christ.  When Christ comes back we will have no need of faith nor hope…. As we begin, our eternity with Him, we will begin the process of receiving all His promises to us.  Faith and hope will no longer be needed, we will be experiencing all He has for us.

 

At that point, faith and hope will no longer be in existence, but only love will continue on to eternity.  Thus making “love” the greatest gift of all that are mentioned in 1 Corinthians 13:.

  • Gifts are temporary but love is eternal
  • Gifts are elementary but love is mature
  • Gifts are partial but love is complete

 

 

Based upon our study, we have seen that the gifts involving the Supernatural Revelation Of The Truth (Knowledge) and the Supernatural Indicators Of The Truth (Prophecy) came to an end with the completion of the last book of the Bible, Revelation, in approximately 97 AD. We also saw that the gifts involving the Supernatural Proclamation Of The Truth (Tongues) came to an end within one generation following the death of John in 100 AD.

 

In our next lesson, we will see that the end of the Accrediting gifts can be understood by examining the 70 year time frame that the Lord uses to accredit His Word and the places of worship He has established.

 

 

 

 

Additional Information:

The Coming Of “That Which Is Perfect”

Deu 4:2 Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.

 

Pro 30:6 Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.

 

Isa 28:9-13 Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts.
(10) For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:
(11) For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people.
(12) To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear.
(13) But the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken.

 

Mat 5:44-48 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
(45) That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
(46) For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?
(47) And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?
(48) Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

 

Mat 19:21 Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.

 

Luk 6:36 Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.

 

Rom 16:25-27 Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,
(26) But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:
(27) To God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen. Written to the Romans from Corinthus, and sent by Phebe servant of the church at Cenchrea.

 

1Co 2:6-14 Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought:
(7) But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:
(8) Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
(9) But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
(10) But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.
(11) For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.
(12) Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
(13) Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
(14) But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

 

1Co 13:8-13 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.
(9) For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.
(10) But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.
(11) When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
(12) For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
(13) And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

 

1Co 14:20 Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men.

 

Eph 2:19-20 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;
(20) And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;

 

Eph 3:3-5 How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words,
(4) Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)
(5) Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;

 

Eph 4:11-13 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
(12) For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
(13) Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

 

Php 3:15 Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.

 

Col 1:28 Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:

 

2Ti 3:16-17 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
(17) That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

 

Heb 1:1-2 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,
(2) Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;

 

Heb 5:12-6:5 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.
(13) For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.
(14) But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
(1) Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,
(2) Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.
(3) And this will we do, if God permit.
(4) For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,
(5) And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,

 

Heb 8:13 In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.

 

Heb 9:11 But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building;

Jas 1:4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

 

Jas 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

 

Jas 1:25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.

 

Jas 2:22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?

 

Jud 1:3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.

 

Rev 22:18-20 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
(19) And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
(20) He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

Why Does Evil Exist? (Part #3)

SIH STSTA ICON“Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God Almighty, The Earth Is Filled With Thy Glory”

“I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these [things].(Isaiah 45:7)

[Thou art] of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity:…” (Habakkuk 1:13) 

 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:  (James 1:13)

In above set of Scriptures, we find one of the supposedly contradictory texts of the Scriptures.  On one hand, from the lips of the Lord Himself, He clearly states that “I create evil”.  Then later in the Scriptures we find Habakkuk, as he speaks concerning the Lord, says [Thou art] of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity:  then, to add confusion to our subject, James states clearly that God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:

In this series of lessons, we will be looking into two basic questions, first, “What Is God’s Role In The Existence of Evil ?” and, secondly, “What Is The Purpose Behind The Existence Of Evil ?”

 

THE STUDY:

Before we begin this portion of our study, let’s pick up with the summary from our studies so far …
1.  “Evil” describes something that causes harm or injury
2.  “Evil” can be referring to harm that is so severe, that it causes total destruction or uselessness
3.  “Evil” can, but not necessarily, involves moral wickedness
4.  “Evil” can describe sin or it can describe the results of sin
5.  “Evil” can describe the direct results of sin
6.  “Evil” can describe the indirect results of sin
7.  “Evil” can describe an act that is morally wicked
8.  “Evil” can describe, not the act, but the result of moral wickedness
9.  Evil is “the condition/act of sin, OR the direct or indirect results of sin, that are harmful, and potentially ruinous, to any part of God’s creation.”  
10.  Our Lord is in absolute control of all things, this principle is clearly presented throughout the Bible
11.  It is only because the Lord is in control of all things that we can place our unwavering faith in Him
12.  The Sovereignty Of God affects: His ability to aid us, His answering our prayers, His ability to save, His prophecies to use
13. The Lord is in control of Satan himself, who can do nothing apart from the Lord’s allowance

We will now attempt to come to an understanding about the holiness of God and the origin of evil in this world….

Our Lord Is Perfectly Holy (Separated From Sin) 

When we speak of the holiness of God, we are simply saying that God is completely separated from sin.  He is absolutely pure in character, motives, thoughts and deeds.   His holiness was made manifest to the prophet Isaiah in Isa 6:…
In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.  Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly.  And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, [is] the LORD of hosts: the whole earth [is] full of his glory.  And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke.  Then said I, Woe [is] me! for I am undone; because I [am] a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.”   (Isaiah 6:1-5)

Notice the effects of Isaiah’s recognition of the holiness of God… “Then said I, Woe [is] me! for I am undone; because I [am] a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.” 

The holiness of God is one of His attributes that clearly sets Him above all of creation.  Sin has affected every area of creation, however when Isaiah saw this vision of God he was humbled.  Why? It wasn’t God’s great power or His great majesty that brought Isaiah to his knees… it was the recognition of his absolute sinfulness in the face of the holiness of God.

The attributes of God that Isaiah recognized in his vision were also recognized by the Israelites when they were delivered from bondage in the land of Egypt…
Who [is] like unto thee, O LORD, among the gods? who [is] like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful [in] praises, doing wonders?”   (Exodus 15:11)

Again, we find the holiness of God being one of the main attributes that were recognized by the humbled nation of Israel.  Please note His holiness is so extraordinary, He is described as being “glorious in holiness.”  In other words, His holiness makes Him deserving of our worship, honor, reverence and submission.  It sets Him apart from all of the idolatrous gods of man and makes Him “shine” in comparison to them.

As a matter of fact, His holiness is so extraordinary that we find He cannot accept sin in His presence…
[Thou art] of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity:(Habakkuk 1:13) 

In the New Testament we have testimony of the Lord’s holiness as well…
This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.  (1 John 1:5)

Note how John emphasized the complete, absolute holiness of God… “in him is no darkness at all”.  The illustration that John uses is an interesting one indeed.  He uses the picture of light to describe the holiness of God, in comparison to darkness that represents sin (Acts 26:18).  Just as darkness CANNOT dwell in the presence of light, so too, sin CANNOT dwell in the person of God (2 Cor 6:14).

The holiness of God is not limited to the Father but is also exhibited in the person of Christ….
For such an high priest became us, [who is] holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens;”   (Hebrews 7:26)

What a blessing it is to know that the Lord that we serve is absolutely separated from sin.  He cannot do wrong, He cannot make “mistakes”, He cannot lie, nor can He treat anyone justly.

But also, getting back to our study, sin can in no way come from our God.  He cannot create it, nor can He be held responsible for its existence among man…
Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:  But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.  Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.  Do not err, my beloved brethren.  Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”   (James 1:13-17)

James makes it crystal clear to us that, although the Lord is absolutely sovereign, He cannot be held accountable for the sinful actions of man. This is expressed in the first part of our above text…
Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:  But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.  Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.

But James goes farther and teaches us that the Lord cannot be held accountable for the origination of sin when he says …
Do not err, my beloved brethren.  Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

James helps us to understand that the ONLY type of gifts that proceed from God are “good” and “perfect” gifts.  These descriptions totally eliminate for us the possibility of sin proceeding from God.  To cover all the bases, James then reminds us that this holy God will continue to be absolutely holy throughout eternity…. Therefore, sin will never proceed from Him, nor will He ever be the author of it.

Folks, it is our great responsibility to recognize that, although the Lord included sin in His sovereign plan, and allows the occurrence of sin on a daily basis, He cannot be held accountable for that sin.  The responsibility for the existence of sin must be placed at the doorstep of Satan…
He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.”   (1 John 3:8)

 “Ye are of [your] father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.”   (John 8:44)

Not only do we know that Satan is the originator of sin and a causative force for it in this world, we also find that the Bible teaches us that the responsibility for sin’s entrance into this world must be shared with Adam….
Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:  (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.  Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.  But not as the offence, so also [is] the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, [which is] by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.  And not as [it was] by one that sinned, [so is] the gift: for the judgment [was] by one to condemnation, but the free gift [is] of many offences unto justification.  For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)  Therefore as by the offence of one [judgment came] upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one [the free gift came] upon all men unto justification of life.  For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.”   (Romans 5:12-19)

 

In our study so far, we have now seen that the Lord is in control of all things.  Because we know He is sovereign we must come to an understanding that the sins He has included in His sovereign plan He allows to take place, all other sins He restrains.

We have also come to understand that, due to His absolute holiness, sin cannot proceed from God in any way.  Therefore, He cannot be the author, nor the originator of sin.  Although He has included sin in His plan for mankind, Satan and Adam are the ones responsible for the entrance of sin into God’s creation.

In our next lesson we will be answering the question… “If God, due to His holiness, cannot be the author of sin then what did He mean when He said “I create evil”?”

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

What we have seen in our study so far….

We have attempted to come to a very basic understanding of the term “evil” as used in the Bible.  We have come to see that:
1.  “Evil” describes something that causes harm or injury
2.  “Evil” can be referring to harm that is so severe, that it causes total destruction or uselessness
3.  “Evil” can, but not necessarily, involves moral wickedness
4.  “Evil” can describe sin or it can describe the results of sin
5.  “Evil” can describe the direct results of sin
6.  “Evil” can describe the indirect results of sin
7.  “Evil” can describe an act that is morally wicked
8.  “Evil” can describe, not the act, but the result of moral wickedness
9.  Evil is “the condition/act of sin, OR the direct or indirect results of sin, that are harmful, and potentially ruinous, to any part of God’s creation.”  
10.  Our Lord is in absolute control of all things, this principle is clearly presented throughout the Bible
11.  It is only because the Lord is in control of all things that we can place our unwavering faith in Him
12.  The Sovereignty Of God affects: His ability to aid us, His answering our prayers, His ability to save, His prophecies to use
13. The Lord is in control of Satan himself, who can do nothing apart from the Lord’s allowance
14. The Lord is perfectly holy and separate from sin.
15. Satan and Adam are the ones who are responsible for sin’s existence and entrance into this world

May the Lord bless you as you continue to seek His truth.

For The Free Study Guide For This Series:  .pdf format    .docx format

 

Please visit…

Settled In Heaven Ministries Home On The Web: http://www.settledinheaven.org
Settled In Heaven Ministries Text Blog: https://settledinheaven.wordpress.com
Settled In Heaven Ministries Video Blog: http://youtube.com/settledinheaven

Email Us At: settledinheaven@gmail.com

May the Lord bless your study of His Word.  Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”

Magic Mirror on the Wall

SIH STSTA ICONWe all remember the scene from Snow White.The Evil Queen stands in front of the mirror and says “Magic Mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest one of all?” When the mirror replies that she is no longer the fairest in the kingdom that’s when all the trouble starts for poor Snow White.(Go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c-i8zKJaHMA&feature=related to refresh your memory).

You’ve got to hand it to the Queen, at least she knew where to go to evaluate her appearance.She knew the mirror would reveal what she needed to know about herself.

Likewise with us, as Christians, our Lord gives us a “mirror” that we are to use for our self-examination.Unlike the magic mirror of Snow White, this “mirror” reveals our life’s condition in the eyes of God.It is a very powerful, valuable tool that is far too often overlooked.

What is this tool?How often should we use it?We’ll answer these questions in today’s blog…

THE SCRIPTURE:

But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed. (Jas 1:22-25)

THE STUDY:

In our text, we can see that the mirror God has given to His people is the Bible, His Word.When we read the Bible and compare it to our lives, we receive an image of what our life looks like in the sight of God.

If you notice also in our text this powerful tool can be misused.Instead of leading us to a more Christ-like life, it can be misused causing self-deceit.If we go to God’s Word, receive its truth but then forget what we have read, we have just deceived ourselves.We are thinking, “Boy, I have really pleased the Lord today, I read His Word! (but then forgot it)”; but, in reality, we have not pleased Him at all.

It is clear to see in our text, that the Lord meant for His Word to be read AND APPLIED.To read His Word without application is like buying a gallon of paint but never putting it on the wall.It is purchased, but it’s not put to use.Likewise, reading His Word.Reading His Word takes an investment of time and energy (in a sense “purchasing it”), but if we never apply it, the Word’s usefulness is ignored.

Notice that our text finishes with a promise of a blessing to those who read and apply His Word.This is incredible display of His grace to us.Don’t we deserve a blessing when we use His Word wisely? Let’s stop and think of some basic truths for just a minute:

Firstly, when God created man, He was NOT obligated to give us His Word to direct our lives.After creation and the fall, He could have just as easily left sinful mankind to go his own way. This would have led mankind into an eternity in the lake of fire. But He didn’t do this. He gave us His Word to lead us to Christ.

Secondly, once again, as newly saved Christians, we did not deserve His Word.But He gave us His Word for the Spirit to use to guide us as we live our life.Please notice, in both cases, He gave to us what we did not deserve; He did it simply because He loved us!

Now to take it a step further, the Lord promises to bless those of us who not only read, but, apply His Word to our lives.This, after he graciously gave us His Word and His Spirit to lead and guide us!!!Now, He rewards us for what is our duty to do (Luke 17:10).We owe it to Him to apply His Word; we are not doing Him any favors when we use His Word in the way it was intended.What an absolutely incredible display of His mercy and kindness to us.This is amazing grace!

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

For those of us who are forgiven of our sins…

If we understand how good God has been in giving us His Word, how can we waste this blessing by not applying it to our lives?I am the first to admit, at times, reading His Word and applying it to my life hurts.It’s not easy to see my faults.It’s even harder to overcome them through the power of the Spirit.It’s not easy, it’s painful, but it’s a necessity.We owe it to our Lord.Praise Him, He promises to bless us when we use His Word wisely!

For those who have not come to faith in Christ…

Please remember, one of the greatest reasons the Lord has given His Word to the world is to show mankind its need to be saved from their sin. Also, His Word tells us the way of salvation, placing our God-given faith in Christ.What is your first step to coming to faith in Christ.Look into His Word, see what your condition is and what can be done to remedy that condition.One place you might begin is Ephesians chapter 2.If you have any questions, or you would like to talk to someone about your spiritual condition, feel free to email me or get in contact with any Bible-believing church in your area.

If you have any questions concerning this blog, or if you have a subject you would like discussed, please feel free to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com.I will answer all emails via my blog, email, or both.

Follow my Squidoo Instructional Lens “Presenting God’s Grace”

“The Solemn Obligation To Present the Doctrines of Grace to the Lost and Saved Alike”

http://www.squidoo.com/presenting-gods-grace

May the Lord bless your study of His Word.

Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”

 

The Worm, The Hook, The Great Deception

SIH STSTA ICONFor any of you who have ever fished, you probably know how Bill Dance feels in this video compilation of some of his greatest bloopers…. You’ll love it!  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q_BLggf-mqs

The Bible addresses the issue of temptation, by picturing it as a fisherman attempting to catch a fish.  Unfortunately, in this scenario, temptation is the fisherman (empowered by Satan, our flesh and the world) and we are the fish.  What is the purpose of temptation? To bring misery and death to those who choose to take the bait and be reeled in by the sinful forces of this world.

Here is what the Bible has to say about temptation and it’s results…

THE SCRIPTURE:

Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. (Jas 1:13-15)

THE STUDY:

In our first text, we find the steps of progression from temptation to the actual act of sin:

Step 1:  he is drawn away of his own lust  We come into contact with something that appeals to our desires.  Much like a fish is attracted to the bait, due to its hunger.

Step 2:  and enticed.  Enticed means to deceive, mislead.  Much like the fish, after being attracted, does recognize the hook; but believes that the bait is harmless.

Step 3:  Then when lust hath conceived  the idea of conceived means to grasp or take.  Once the fish takes the bait, sealing his fate.

Step 4:  it bringeth forth sin  By acting to satisfy the lists within us, we now commit the sin and, of course, bring an act of sin into our lives.  The result of this sin? Death.  Much like the fish that now has taken the bait is reeled to its awaiting death.

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION

For the Christian….

To avoid the commission of sin we need to derail the temptation to sin process anyway we can.

Here are ways to derail the process at each of the first three steps of the four step process:

Step #1 – If we deal with our lusts properly… our sinful desires will be weakened and the opportunity to full those desires will be lessened.

We will be avoiding as many opportunities to fulfill our sinful lusts as possible.

An example: If our lusts lead us to easily abuse alcohol, we should avoid going into bars or restaurants that serve alcohol.

Or, we can think refuse to dwell mentally on our lust and its fulfillment, weakening our lusts by starving them.

An example: Do our lusts trouble us in the area of coveting the possessions of others?  If we see something we desire that is owned by another, we should not continue to think on the items.  This stirs up our lusts and opens the door to covetousness.

Step #2 – We need to stop and think about the true results of the sin we are about to commit.  We will not see the bait as harmless but as something that will work death to us.

An example: How will this action affect me tomorrow, or next week, or next year?  How will it affect those around me?  What will it do to my testimony?

Step #3 – We need to seek the wisdom of God before we commit to actions we are unsure about.  Ny doing this, we will be directed away from committing sin and resolving to do what is honoring to God.

An example:  Before we commit to an action, we should seek out God’s Word and/or the Godly counsel of others, asking the question “What saith the Lord?”.

By derailing the process before the sin is actually committed, we will be avoiding future pain for ourselves and others around us; while pleasing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

For those who have never trusted in Christ…

Before you can begin to win the victory over temptation in your life, you must first submit your life and desires to the will of the Lord Jesus Christ.  This submission is an absolute necessity for the forgiveness of your sins and living a new life of victory over sin and death.

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.(Jas 4:7-8)

Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.

(Rom 6:16-18)

To see this lesson taught on video please go to my Video Blog at http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

 If you have any questions concerning this blog, or if you have a subject you would like discussed, please feel free to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com.    I will answer all emails via my blog, email, or both.

Follow my Squidoo Instructional Lens “Presenting God’s Grace” “The Solemn Obligation To Present the Doctrines of Grace to the Lost and Saved Alike” http://www.squidoo.com/presenting-gods-grace

May the Lord bless your study of His Word.  Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”

Halloween Part #5 – The Series Summary

With the Halloween holiday just around the corner, I thought it would be a good idea to take time to study the history and characters surrounding the holiday.

As Christians, we have the responsibility to…

“Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil.” (1Th 5:21-22)

So with this as our motive and the desire of our hearts, let’s end our 5 part series on Halloween:

  1. A Study of The Halloween Celebration (All Hallows Eve)
  2. A Study of The Death Symbols – Skeletons, Ghosts, Jack O’ Lanterns, Frankenstein, Vampires, and Bats
  3. A Study of The Sorcery Symbols – Witches, Black Cats, Spiders, Werewolves, and Full Moons
  4. A Study of The Necromancy Symbols – Séances and Ouija Boards
  5. A Summary of Our Study On Halloween

May the Lord be glorified in our study….

THE SCRIPTURE:

Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. (2Co 6:14-18)

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. (Rom 12:1-2)

Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.  (Jas 1:27)

Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. (1Pe 1:13-16)

Howbeit there is not in every man that knowledge: for some with conscience of the idol unto this hour eat it as a thing offered unto an idol; and their conscience being weak is defiled. But meat commendeth us not to God: for neither, if we eat, are we the better; neither, if we eat not, are we the worse. But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak. For if any man see thee which hast knowledge sit at meat in the idol’s temple, shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols; And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died? But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ. Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend. (1Co 8:7-13)

Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God: Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved. (1Co 10:31-33)

Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. 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. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you. (Php 4:6-9)

THE STUDY:

In our previous studies we have seen 4 basic principles concerning the Halloween festival:

  1. The festival of Halloween’s history is connected with the belief that the spirits of dead men walk the earth, it was observed in preparation for the worship of “the Lord of Darkness”,  it was held to appease and secure peace with these spirits for the upcoming year.
  2. The death symbols of Ghosts, Jack O’ Lanterns, Vampires, and Bats all were connected to the spirits of the dead which did not immediately go to their eternal state, but were able to dwell on the earth, avoiding the judgment they were facing and wreaking havoc among earthly beings.
  3. The sorcery symbols of Witches, Black Cats, Spiders, Werewolves, and Full Moons were related to  the casting of magical spells and incantations that affect mankind.   Also, the worship of false gods through idols derived from God’s creation (moon, planets, etc) was associated with these symbols.
  4. The necromancy symbols of Séances and Ouija Boards has the purpose of communicating with the spirits of the dead.

 

The Halloween festival, its related characters, and their connection to the occult, are very important considerations in the examination of our level of participation in the holiday.

Some areas of our examination should include:

  1. Are we properly separating ourselves from the sin of this world by participating in the Halloween festival?  (2Co 6:14-18)
  2. Is our level of involvement in Halloween considered “conforming” (molded into the shape of) or “fashioned” to this world? (Rom 12:1-2)  (1Pe 1:13-16)
  3. Is the Halloween celebration “spotting” our testimony for the Lord? (Jas 1:27)
  4. Is our participation in Halloween causing our weaker brothers to “stumble” in their walk for Christ?  In other words, are they encouraged to make bad life choices based on the example we are setting? (1Co 8:7-13)
  5. Can our participation in Halloween be done for the Lord’s glory? (1Co 10:31-33)
  6. When we are participating in this celebration can we be having our minds on that which is true, honest, just etc.? (Php 4:6-9)

Over the years, I have seen four basic “levels” of participation in Halloween by God’s people:

  1. A total participation which involved decorating and dressing up with any of the symbols our study has examined. Along with participation in trick or treating and other exclusively Halloween activities.
  2. A participation that involves decorating and dressing up but avoiding demonic images and using only more benign symbols like princesses, cowboys etc. while still participating in trick or treating etc.
  3. A participation in “Harvest” or “Fall” parties on a date other than Oct 31st that totally exclude the Halloween title and avoid all aspects of the holiday (no trick or treat, no costume wearing etc.)
  4. No celebration of any type.  No decorating, no costumes, no parties. They treat the holiday just like any other day.

Which do I believe is the proper approach?

  1. First, let me emphasize that every Christian must decide for him/her self as to the level of participation in Halloween activities.  There is no ‘thus saith the Lord’ on the subject.
  2. Remember, participation in Halloween is NOT participation in the sins it represents.  In other words, you can participate in Halloween and not be guilty of the sins of necromancy, the casting of spells etc.
  3. The question for the believer is … by participating am I appearing to condone these activities that Halloween symbolizes?  Am I placing upon myself the appearance of approval or indifference to those activities? By participating am I saying…. “Hey its no big deal” ?
  4. So what do I think?
    1. Please remember, it really doesn’t matter at all what I think, all that matters is what God’s Word says.  However, for the sake of you who are reading this, I need to take the time to explain what I believe…I think a full participation in Halloween, with costumes and decorations that include the occult symbols is a very questionable stand for a Christian to take.  My feeling when it comes to my service to the Lord is …”it is always better to be safe than sorry”.  If you have a question about an action.  Don’t do it!
    2. By removing the occult symbols out of the Halloween celebration is certainly a big step in the right direction. “The appearance of evil” is basically being removed from the issue. However, the activity of trick or treating and wearing of any costume does have less obvious occult implications.  But certainly, this is a far better than our first option. Also, by participating in trick or treat, it opens the opportunity for witnessing by distributing tracts and pocket sized Bibles with the candy that is passed out to children who come to your door.  The Christian considering this option will have to weigh the gospel going out against the indirect occult association of Halloween.  For me, this is a very difficult decision to make.  I can easily see both sides of this option.
    3. I see no problem at all with the last two options of a harvest party or no celebration at all. Both are totally benign options that have no occult connections whatsoever.

If you would like to have more information about the proper Christian role in Halloween please take a look at: http://www.gty.org/Resources/Articles/1126.  This is a link from Bro John McArthur’s website and well worth our time to read it. (A special thanks to Sharon A. for sending me this link, it’s a good one!  It is much appreciated.)

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION

For the Christian….

So let me end this study as I began this study by saying can we, as Christians, say our participation in Halloween aligns itself with (1Th 5:21-22) “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil.”

May the Lord lead each of us to an understanding of His will and an attitude of understanding and temperance towards other Christians.

For those who have never trusted in Christ…

The greatest need that we all face in our lives is the need for the forgiveness of our sins.  We all have sinned and come short of our Lord’s expectations for us.  If you have never been saved, Halloween should not be your main concern, but concern about your sinful condition should take priority.  How do we find forgiveness of our sins and peace with our Lord?

The Lord gives us clear teaching on the way of salvation:

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.  (Joh 14:6)

 

Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. (Act 4:10-12)

 

For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: (1Pe 3:18)

 

Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.  (Rom 5:1-2)

Turn from your sins and come before the Lord, and trust only in Him for your salvation.

If you would like further information about salvation please refer to the page on my blog entitled “How to have a relationship with God”.

——————————————————————————————————————————-

To see this lesson taught on video please go to my Video Blog at  http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

If you have any questions concerning this blog, or if you have a subject you would like discussed, please feel free to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com.    I will answer all emails via my blog, email, or both.

Take A Look At My Wife’s Artistic/Scriptural Devotion Blog http://alivewithchristart.blogspot.com

Follow my Squidoo Instructional Lens “Presenting God’s Grace” “The Solemn Obligation To Present the Doctrines of Grace to the Lost and Saved Alike” http://www.squidoo.com/presenting-gods-grace

May the Lord bless your study of His Word.  Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”

——————————————————————————————————————————-