Gospel of God’s Psychology Part III.

Chapter 22:  Gospel of God’s Psychology Part III.

“For this you know with certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.” (Ephesians 5:5)

22-1:  Even as modern Scoffers of the Church deny all the seven basic ONEs of sound doctrine, so they have developed a belief system of ONE quite different from the Oneness of the Bible and in particularly Ephesians.

Think about Ephesians 5:5 above, and how can gay rights without any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God be allowed as member of an assembly of that same kingdom of God and Christ.

The Oneness of the scoffers starts and stagnates with a oneness of God and the material and of man, the Oneness of God based on the separate existence of God and Man, mainly on Genesis where “In the beginning, God created heaven and earth” starts with two, loses closed in original sin, and then gets back together as One through Christ and His Atonement.  Those that bog down in a postulated original oneness and of the sexes, in some the beginning words of Ephesians are (1) “without Christ” (2) “without God”, (3) without hope, and (4) strangers to the fellowship of the body of Christ, and (5)  aliens, aliens to the commonwealth of Israel.  Not only are they standing outside this integrated one circle of God through Christ and in Christ, in their natural state of birth without new birth not only shun the God of Creation and separate from Creation, but at the intellectual level and sometimes the minister level strives to destroy all that God is and has stated in His Word.

As Dr. Jones points out the gay and lesbian movement is much more than equal rights, at the highest level of the founders and progenitors it is an effort to destroy the church, God, truth and morality.  If they can’t have it, and they cannot without renouncing homosexuality which is the lowest manifesting on the totem pole of de-evolution in Romans 1, then it is not fair they think that anyone else should have it; and in their warped, desperate, and disillusioned thinking they seek to wipe out the very existence of the church and Christianity.  THAT IS THEIR WRITTEN AGENDA, and it is very strange that the primary weapon in their arsenal is the love of God, a God they in the majority even deny the existence of which.  Strange, yes.

But DOM for the Deification of Men and Women does strange things to the minds and emotions of those who have completely rejected the God our Heavenly Father, Creator of the Universe, that will not even think about.  In the words of Romans 1, “Even as they would not (and do not) retain God in their thinking, God gave them to a reprobate mind to do those things that are not natural and are not convenient.”  They seek to destroy the very nature with which God created them in the first place and in the beginning.

“You Church, are hypocrites because you do not show equal love for gays as you do for others when God has commanded to love your neighbor as yourself, so they want to be accepted into church membership like no one else is accepted.  In other words, without repentance and faith.  Once again very strange.  It is like a little child demanding everything without any discipline in life.  As Dr. Jones well points out, the church must stand fast here against their cry baby ways by affirming the realities of God and the Bible, on the priority of love for God.  As Jesus taught, “Thou must love the Lord they God with all thy heart, mind, and soul”, then the second is like it to love your neighbor as yourself.  Imagine, and you have seen that in other unbelievers, that even while they deny the existence of our Heavenly Father and deny His love as expressed in the provision of His Son on the cross, they wish for you to like and respect them more than God and His Word.  What the sin of unbelief can do in the minds of hearts of natural, not born the second time, men.

But more on the positive side that love is the Essence of Ephesians, then after that a brief summary of DOM in Romans 1.

22-2:  ESSENCE OF EPHESIANS

“What you see is what you get,” for the Christian becomes, “What you see is what you must love,” with modifications.

The Christian cannot love the world, I John tells us that; the love of a brother whom we can see is proof of a love for God whom we cannot see, I John also tells us this; and there is some question, although this author runs the same risk in saying so that Bailey Smith as President of the Southern Baptist Convention ran when he said that God does not hear the prayer of the Jew, if real love can be except between Chris tian brothers since also according to I John, the love of God is perfected or made mature in those that keep God’s Word.

See Christians love Christians; or you don’t love God whom you cannot see is the essence of I John, expressed in the words, “for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?” (I John 4:20 KJV) Of course this admonition assumes that one Christian is in the continuous habit of seeing other Christians, consistent with the other admonition that we are “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is…”   (Heb. 10:25 KJV)

This runs counter to a current trend to worship God in dependent of other Christians.  “I believe in worshipping God where I am or in nature,” is a statement heard often in these contemporary times. But be careful, Christian: a love of the world is not the same as a love of brother, although you can see both and although we are headed in the right direction when we express love for what can be seen, since I John also reminds us to “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world…” (2:15 KJV)

“That group of Christians is too formal.” Or, “They are too charismatic…too evangelistic.” Or, “not evangelistic enough.” “Too friendly;” or, “not friendly enough.” At one time, or at many times for those of us that travel frequently, we have been turned off by the style of a particular group of Christians; but that is the beauty of living in a country where there are so many distinct and various groups of Christians. You can find an assembly that agrees with your style, perhaps with a little adjustment on your part and indeed adjustment is part of love; and you must see Christians in order to begin your proof of love for God.

All would agree, when they stop to think about it, that love on all levels must have three basic ingredients: (1) con tact or fellowship, (2) verbal expression, and (3) expression in deed. And God’s Word as given in the little book of I John is trying to get us to do exactly that with the real love between Christian brothers. But I thought this book to be ONE COMMENTARY ON EPHESIANS and this chapter to be the “Essence of Ephesians.” It is. The essence of Ephesians is the same as the essence of I John; and both an expression of the heart of God, love. It makes sense from the human side of inspiration and from the divine side. John of Zebedee, known in the gospels as “the disciple whom Christ loved, wrote on the human side both the book of Revelation and the letter of I John. John pastored in Ephesus and in Asia Minor; and when he wrote Revelation in 96 A. D., off the coast of Asia Minor and on the island of Patmos, that the church at Ephesus could lose their candlestick because they had lost their first love, he spoke from personal experience as well as “in the spirit.” John had read the letter of Ephesians written in 58 A.D. and circulated as a general epistle with the name of the church to be inserted with the reading in which Paul had laid a foundation that on the positive side would          a departure from love; John, from his pastoral experiences with the seven churches in Asia Minor, wrote I John in 90 A.D. to clarify by example and word what “first love” is like; and then finally in 96 A.D. with authorship of Revelation had to express the Word of God that the problem had become so serious in Ephesus that the church was about to suffer a candlestick removal unless they repented, returning to their first love.  It is easier to see on the divine side:  the essence of Ephesians and I John is the essence of God—love. They both express the very heart of God, and that omnipotent heart is a heart of love. Yet not just love, but love at work, doing good. God is characterized by “God is love” and Jesus in manifesting the character of God on earth was characterized as “He went about doing good.”

Let us briefly summarize the little five-chaptered letter of I John in terms of the three basic ingredients of love.

(1)       Contact or fellowship.

“That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.” (I John 1:3 KJV)

“And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.”   (I John l:4 KJV)

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1:9 KJV)

(2)       Verbal expression.

“For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.” (3:11 KJV)

“We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren.” (3:14 KJV)

“Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and everyone that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.” (4:7)

(3)       Expression in deed.

“let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but indeed, and in truth.”  (3:18)

“But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?” (3:17 KJV)

Freedom, solitude, and demands must be moderated by requirements in this life and in the life to come.  In heaven, it is doubtful that we will do what we want. God will make demands.  Others will make demands.  We must join with others in the worship of God.  Rugged individualism will be out.  It will be a place of no escape from the opinions of Peter, Paul, James, John, and the Christian community. In short, it is best to begin the adjustment now for eternity.

Freedom of some measure is required in this life: Jesus said, “Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” Some solitude is needed: Jesus went alone into the dessert for forty days and nights at the beginning of His ministry on this earth. And demands from others in this life remove both some of our freedom and some of our solitude; are part of life’s adjustments in order to “make full” or fulfill love; and from which we must find periods of relief, as did Jesus often when He went apart in solitude to pray to the Father, in order to survive life in this world.

What we see on earth, and we see plenty, makes demands.  I John expresses it in this manner: “for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?”   (I John 4:20 KJV)

Here, the lucidity of the New English Version is good:

“But if a man says, ‘I love God’, while hating his brother, he is a liar. If he does not love the brother whom he has seen, it cannot be that he loves God whom he has not seen. And in deed this command comes to us from Christ himself* that he who loves God must also love his brother.” (I John 4:20,21)

The needs we see on earth eliminate prolonged solitude.  The need to be our “brother’s keeper”, like Paul, “eating no meat if it will offend my brother,” definitely puts a crimp in our freedom while personifying the ultimate in a love for those that can be seen and those that see us. Life is not simple, and “the greatest of these” is not simple.

22-3:  The Ten Commandments of Ephesians.

The threat God made to the church at Ephesus in Revelation and the real implications of love set out in I John were already in the book of Ephesians for those that had “eyes to see and ears to hear.” Ephesians 4*17 -5»9* I call it the Ten Commandments of Ephesians. All the commandments are there; but you can miss them if you do a cursory reading, or if you do as I did for years in teaching and preaching from the book of Ephesians, stick with the main flow of Ephesians as unity, taking from 4*17 -5:9 what supports that flow or you think what supports that flow, and ignoring this passage as surely a problem or problems in early churches that is not a problem in “our church.” Look again! For the danger is that our church and churches have the same problems; and we, like the church at Ephesus, can overlook it in the letter of Ephesians, miss the message of I John, and come like in Revelation to the point of a legitimate threat unless there is repentance.

If you miss the essence of Ephesians in the positive re enforcement by Paul of what he heard about the “love unto all the saints” and in the great doctrinal statement about salvation by grace and mercy, “for his great love wherewith he loved us” (Ephesians 2:4) KJV)? if you miss it in the “rooted and grounded in love” (3:17) and in the four dimensions of love fail “to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge” (3:18-19)? if the prisoner of the Lord in Ephesians 3:1 does not increase your endeavors for unity by “forbearing one another in love” with his beseeching? and with the terse proverbs from Ephesians like “speaking the truth in love” (4:15)* “edifying of itself in love” (^:16), and “walk in love” (5*2), you do not see love as the essence of Ephesians, then you will comprehend it in the reading of the Ten Commandments from Ephesians. Long before the practical ad monitions of love for wives, love for the church, love for parents and children, bosses and servants and the closing for “all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity” (6:3 KJV) is the passage of Ephesians 3:17 thru 5:9.

It is not incidental. It is essential. Even as we find in the original Ten Commandments as given in the Old Testament a very expression of the mind and heart of God Himself and even as we find in the Ten Commandments as explained by Jesus as one jot or tittle will not pass away until all be fulfilled and that to love God with all the heart, mind, and soul is the great command with the second like unto it, Thy shalt love thy neighbor as thyself, the Ten Commandments are an integral part of the flow of Ephesians and are indispensable in the understanding of its essence.  like the original Ten, like Jesus’ interpretation and summary of the Ten into two, the Ten Commandments of Ephesians makes demands from God} and these demands, if heeded in 54 A.D. and understood in 90, would not have demanded a threat in 96 A.D.  That is 32 years.  A long time for the patience and forbearance of God.   A long time for God through the Spirit, which should not be grieved, to deal with a Christian or a church—then or now.           If a child at Ephesus had received the message of Christ at 12 or a youth at         20 or an adult at 30, by the time the threat came in Revelation they would have been respectively 54, 74, and 84 years old; and so are we, and so we also have time to read and heed less also our famous First Church at Ephesus or in Ephesus bite the dust, becoming as forlorn and unknown as the first church at Ephesus in the heathen country of Turkey.  In short, something or some things in the Ten Commandments of Ephesians were overlooked that caused their demise.

22-4:  Specifics of the Passage.

Perhaps one reason we overlooked the specifics of the Ten, Commandments being so negative, in through 5:9 is because of the positive manner that Paul slides into them: the emphasis of the passage being on “But ye have not so learned Christ…” (4:20 KJV) and predicated on the first words of “that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk in the vanity of their mind…” (4:19 KJV)

Another of the many contrasts of Ephesians like before/ after, the time contrast, the memory and Christ contrast,* and the prime contrast in both I John and Ephesians as between light and darkness. How do the Gentiles walk or live? In the vanity of their mind, with dark understanding, alienated from God, in ignorance and blindness of heart, past feeling, lasciviousness, and uncleanness with greediness. How did you learn Christ? By putting off the old man of corrupt and deceitful lusts and putting on the new man, created by God, and in righteousness and holiness and then the specifics of the Ten Commandments; and with these, we come to learn Christ in terms of His limiting yoke about us.

  1. No other gods before me. (Exodus 20:1-3)

All Ephesians up to this passage has reminded the believers that like the children of Israel before them, they have uniquely identified with the God of the universe that made of the twain, one body and that called them out to be different from the other Gentiles about them.

  1. Do not make any graven image. (Exodus 20:4)

The believer was “in Ephesus.” Their release was secured from the bondage of sin. And the Godhead was not like “stone, graven by art and man’s devices.”            (Acts  17:29 KJV)

  1. Do not take the name of God in vain. (Ex. 20:7)

The same commandment is expressed in this Ephesians passage with:  “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth”  (4:29)} and admonitions against “evil speaking” (4:31) as well as “foolish talking, nor jesting.”  (5*4)

  1. Six days work and remember the sabbath. (20:8-11)

Ephesians does not mention the sabbath specifically; but in the same admonition to not be drunk with wine, describes the aspects of continuous worship as: “but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God…” (Ephesians 5:19»20 KJV) And work:  “working with his hands the thing which is good…”  (4:28 KJV) The good thing surely would not be an idol like that made by Demetrius and the other silversmiths in Ephesus to Diana of the Ephesians.

  1. Honor father and mother. (Exodus 20:12)

Paul left this commandment out of this passage.  He caught his oversight in chapter 6, writing:   “Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise,* that it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.”  (Ephesians 6:2,3 KJV)

  1. Thou shalt not kill. (Exodus 20:13)

Surely, we might think, Paul had not need to remind a church full of Christians of this commandment.  Yet he wrote, keeping in mind how Christ was learned as He taught that anger in the heart was the equivalent of murder   (Matt. 5:22), “Be ye angry, and sin not:    let not the sun go down upon your wrath…”  (Ephesians 4:26 KJV)

  1. No adultery. (Exodus 20:14)

Paul could have skipped this one. For goodness sakes, he was writing to a church full of Christians and to at least seven churches in Asia Minor.  Yet he didn’t. Courageously he wrote, let “fornication…be once named among you…”   (Ephesians  5:3 KJV), nor “whoremonger” that “hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.”. (Ephesians 5:5 KJV)

  1. Thou shalt not steal. (Exodus 20:15)

“Let him that stole stead no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.” (Ephesians  4:28 KJV). And parenthetically, do you see the giving to “him that needeth” the parallel of I John of “seeth his brother have need”?

  1. False witness against neighbour. (Ex. 20:16 KJV)

“Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour…”  (Ephesians 4:25 KJV)

  1. Thou shalt not covet. (Ex. 20:17)

And in the Ephesians passage, it is also the “covetous man” that will not have “any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.”   (Ephesians  5:5 KJV)

22-5:  A Liar?

I John implements Ephesians on the practical aspects of love at work. How would you like to be called a liar by God Himself? Well, better now than eternity, when it is too late. And it is not that God, or the Word of God is calling any specific person a liar by name* for the Word of God as given in I John was written almost 1900 years ago, before you were born, and with us, if the category fits, of falling under the condemnation already recorded. I John, although from the disciple of love and about love, calls a spade a spade, in:

“If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” (I John 1:8 KJV)

“If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.” (I John 1:10 KJV)

“Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ?  He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.”  (I John 2:22 KJV)

“Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.”  (I John 1:6 KJV)

“Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin:  for his seed remaineth in him:            and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.”   (I John 3:9 KJV)

“In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.”  (I John 3:10)

“If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar:  for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?”  (I John 4:20)

The words of I John need little explanation; however, a few brief comments are in order. At first, it is seemingly in contradiction as the reader sees I John 1:8 that all, including Christians have sin and have sinned; and then when we read in I John 3:6 that Christians “sinneth not” and in 3:9 “not commit sin.” The clue to understanding is in the Greek where sin as not a continuous habit of life is what is done by Christians, and “sinneth” as a habit of life can be done only by those that have not seen him or known him.

How do you tell a child of the devil from a child of  God? The one that does not do righteously and specifically by not loving his brother is a child of the devil. Thus, the criterion, according to John, for manifesting or making clear the real love and the real children is love for brothers.

And who is a brother in I John? It must be larger than Christian brothers and larger than brothers by birth; for a supreme example of I John is given in 3*12 with: “Not as

Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother, and wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and  his brother’s righteous. Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you.”  (KJV)

22-6:  Love ‘s ingredients in Ephesians

We have looked at the basic ingredients in all kinds of love as (1) contact or fellowship, (2) verbal expression, and (3) expression in deed; we have looked at those ingredients in I John with full joy of fellowship with Christians, Christ, and God with confessions of sin, (2) the expression of the love of God as expression of the birth from God, and (3) the need for love that goes beyond tongue to deed and truth; and now we come to look at these same ingredients of love in the book of Ephesians.

  1. Contact or Fellowship.
  2. God has made us acceptable: “To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.”  (Ephesians 1:6 KJV)
  3. God has gathered us together with all things: “That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ…”  (Ephesians 1:10)
  4. God has given us an inheritance with all saints: “what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints.” (Ephesians 1:18 KJV)
  5. God mate us alive:

“And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins…”  (Ephesians  2:1 KJV)

  1. God overlooked our past sins: “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us. Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ…”  (Ephesians 2:5 KJV)
  2. God has made us sit together in heavenly places with Christ: “And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus…” (Ephesians 2:6 KJV)
  3. God has more fellowship for us in eternity: “That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us…”  (Ephesians 2:7 KJV)
  4. The blood of Christ brings us close to God: “But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.”  (Ephesians    2:13 KJV)
  5. The cross eliminated the enmity and made one body: “And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby…”  (Ephesians 2:16)
  6. Christians and God: “Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief comer stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto a holy temple in the Lord*.     In whom ye also are builded together for a habitation of God through the Spirit.”  (Ephesians            2:19-22 KJV)
  7. Verbal expression as an expression of the love of God and as the birth from God.
  8. Grace, not of works, for the Christian is the workmanship of Gods “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”  (Ephesians      2:10 KJV)
  9. That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faiths “that ye, being rooted and grounded in love…” (Ephesians 3:17 KJV)
  10. “…And to know the love of Christ…” (Ephesians 3:19 KJV)
  11. “…forbearing one another in love…” (Ephesians 4:2 KJV)
  12. The goal of diverse gifts among Christians is: “For the perfecting of the saints…” (Ephesians 4:12 KJV)
  13. “But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things…” (Ephesians 4:15 KJV)
  14. “…maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.” (Ephesians 4:16 KJV)
  15. Love beyond tongue, in deed and in truth.
  16. It is a love that goes beyond human understanding: “May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height…”  (Ephesians 3:18,19 KJV)
  17. “Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbor: for we are members one of another.” (Ephesians 4:25 KJV)
  18. “give to him that needeth.” (Ephesians 4:28 KJV)
  19. “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” (Ephesians         4:32 KJV)

 

  1. “And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savor.” (Ephesians 5:2 KJV)
  2. “For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth…” (Ephesians 5:9 KJV)

Now, do you really think that if these believers had  comprehended in 54 A.D.  in Ephesians the ingredients of love that John would have to in 90 call some of them liars and then in 96 demand a repentance?   Perhaps some did and others didn’t.

22-7:  Like Sardis, which had “a name that thou livest, and art dead”

(Revelation.  3:1 KJV), there could be in the Ephesus of 54, 90, or  even 96 A.D., like also in Sardis, “a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white:  for they are worthy.”  (Revelation. 3:1 KJV)

Surely among the 144,000 martyred among the first century Christians in the seven churches of Asia Minor that John saw under the altar, “slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held,” (Revelation. 6:9 KJV) were believers from Ephesus; and surely among these were many that having separated themselves from the works of darkness and having practiced the works of love, “cried with a loud voice, saying, how long,    OH Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?” (Revelation. 6: 10 KJV) And when the Lamb of Christ heard their cry, no doubt looking at some believers who remained at Ephesus, at Sardis, and the other churches in Asia, “white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellow-servants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.” (Revelation. 6:11 KJV)

After all, we dare not forget the good things that John in Revelation and in 96 A.D. had to say about the Christians at Ephesus: works, labor, patience, abhorrence of evil and liars that were false prophets. The ones that were liars, the ones that no doubt John was after in I John that denied Christ, said they had not sinned, and continued in the habit of sin and without a love for brothers, were leaders—false prophets. But the evidence from Revelation 2 is that the majority did not follow after these leaders as liars; although still: “Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from  whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.” (Revelation. 2: 3-5 KJV)

John couldn’t end the message like that, or Christ through John. He gave another compliments “But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.”   (Revelation. 2:6 KJV)

22-8:  We love what God loves and hate what God hates, that is part of striving to be LIKE HIM.  (The Nicolaitans were early mystics and gnostics.)

Once again, we turn to the very conservative on Bible “Got Questions” at https://www.gotquestions.org/Nicolaitans.html .

The exact origin of the Nicolaitans is unclear. Some Bible commentators believe they were a heretical sect who followed the teachings of Nicolas—whose name means “one who conquers the people”—who was possibly one of the deacons of the early church mentioned in Acts 6:5. It is possible that Nicolas became an apostate, denying the true faith and became part of a group holding “the doctrine of Balaam,” who taught Israel “to sin by eating food sacrificed to idols and by committing sexual immorality.” Clement of Alexandria says, “They abandoned themselves to pleasure like goats, leading a life of self-indulgence.” Their teaching perverted grace and replaced liberty with license.

Other commentators believe that these Nicolaitans were not so called from any man, but from the Greek word Nicolah, meaning “let us eat,” as they often encouraged each other to eat things offered to idols. Whichever theory is true, it is certain that the deeds of the Nicolaitans were an abomination to Christ. They, like the Gnostics and other false teachers, abused the doctrine of grace and tried to introduce licentiousness in its place (2 Peter 2:15, 19; Jude 1:4).

Jesus commends the church of Ephesus for hating the deeds of the Nicolaitans as He does (Revelation 2:6). No doubt the leaders of the Ephesian church protected their flock from these destructive heresies and kept their people from committing the same evil deeds. All sin is hateful to Christ, as it should be to His followers, as we hate men’s evil deeds, not the men themselves. For the church at Pergamos, Jesus had not commendation, but censure. Unlike the Ephesians, they actually embraced the teachings of the Nicolaitans (Revelation 2:15). Jesus warns them that unless they repent, they are in danger of the judgment that is sure to fall on those who teach false doctrine, attack His church, and destroy His people. The sword of judgment is poised over their heads, and His patience is not limitless (Revelation 2:16; 19:15).

The lesson for us is that the church of the Lord Jesus throughout the ages has been plagued by those of the Nicolaitan spirit. The only way to recognize false teaching is to be intimately familiar with truth through the diligent study of the Word of God.

22-9:  We as members of the body of Christ despise “THE LIE” of DOM because it begins, ends, and remains always IDOLATRY, a rejection of God our Heavenly Father. (This is a brief exegesis of Romans 1.)

First a reminded of how after all is said and done, after the Second Coming with Christ subduing all in heaven and on earth, sorting out for destruction the goats and established on the new earth the sheep of God’s body, then the Oneness of God the Father will become the ALL IN ALL of God the Father.

1 Corinthians 15:24-28 New International Version (NIV)

“Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. 25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 27 For he “has put everything under his feet.”[a] Now when it says that “everything” has been put under him, it is clear that this does not include God himself, who put everything under Christ. 28 When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all.”

Footnotes:

1 Corinthians 15:27 Psalm 8:6

However, for now, back to earth and the history of civilization and the DOM as given in Romans 1—

22-9a:  God Versus DOM (Deification of Man) Part I

As one digs through the slop of atheist/humanist {deification of man} arguments, the need is to flush out the brain either with a little prayer with God or a little mental adjustment from the Bible, the Word of God.  You have been there when  as a witness to truth,  you feel the urge to do foot dusting as Jesus told His original disciples when their message was rejected by such a city that deified man; when becomes apparent that such a person or city has gone beyond the point of no return in unbelief by blasphemy against the Holy Spirit; when it is no longer feasible, also as Jesus taught to cast your pearls before the feet of swine.  Such is the case of wading through the sloppy mud of Atheism and Humanism like in the book “Atheist Mind, Humanist Heart” by Bayer and Figdor with so much sadness of loneliness without a God, purpose, and meaning to the Universe, so much doubt and confusion that is neither healthy and happy for the human spirit, but primarily because it dishonors God by:  (1) Denying His existence, like in one of the 10 major beliefs of B&F, it is stated “There is no God”, just the repeat of it makes a person of faith shudder at the consequences of the ultimate fate in this life and the next for such youth; and (2) Making an idol-god out of Man, herein to be called DOM for Deification of Man, which is really a short form of what you find in Atheist Mind, Humanist Heart.

The Bible states it this way in Romans 1:23-25:  (1) seeking to show wisdom, one might say “ever learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth”, instead with the ultimate conclusion of humanistic researches they become fools in the eyes of God; (2) they change the image of God into an image of corruptible man, sort of what might call de-evolution rather than evolution; (3) God gives up on any such society–Persian, Greek, Roman, and now American–to the uncleanness of immorality; (4) they make a mental and heart-felt exchange of the truth of God for a lie of Satan and the “lust of the human heart that covets to envy”; (5) they make a choice in favor of the Religion of Atheism, which worships and serves the Creature more than the Creator.

Atheism is a religion that says, “My, my, what Man at his best can do”; and further, “Just look at what societies of Men are going to do in global evolution like the Arab Spring led by the internet”, another lie which ignores the fact that ISIS is winning, and will win until the time soon in history when they make the mistake of an attack on Jerusalem.  Pretty strong language, perhaps you would like to read it for yourself in the original words from God in Romans through the Apostle Paul:

“Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.”  (Romans 1:22-25)

22-9b:  God Versus DOM (Deification of Man) Part II.

{Gist: Out of the valley of Mud up into the Mountain Top of the Love of God.  Please refer to the quick flight through Romans plan at the beginning of 22_9.}

  1. A speedy trip from C1 to D3 into the hangar of security.

(1).  C1 at Romans 5:1, Justification by Faith.

(2).  C2 at Romans 6:4, a walking, or lifestyle of newness of life  which comes from a newness of Mind and Heart.

(3).  C3 at Romans 6:23, with a contrast between the wages of sin which is death and the gift of God which is eternal life.

  1. Now with the destination of D safely in sight on the radar if not by visual, we can take more of the mud of NO RESPECT FOR GOD LEADS TO A LOSS OF SELF RESPECT.

NOTE:  Or to put it another way in the terminology of the DOMers, there can be no real humanism after a commitment to Atheism.  With a denial of the Creator and His holy image of character, comes an equal self-denial of Self as made in the image of God, a loss of yourself and humanity of respect, and with the loss of self-respect which you would agree is the basis of love for self that must go to others, but you no longer have anything to give to them for happiness and making each other feel good.  Stated more positively, it is only when you have respect for the Holy and Omnipotent image of God of mind, soul and spirit that you can have full respect for Man as made in the image of God!  We are fortunate that most of the mud is in the first 3 chapters of Romans with already some familiarity on the first chapter, then Romans 2 and 3 can be skimmed through without remaining too long in the Valley of Mud before we come to the Mountain Top of the love of God Itself!

(1).  Step 1a in a loss of Self-Respect, to suppress truth motivated by a lack of righteousness, called unrighteousness in the Bible, Romans 1:18.

NOTE:  This is the first hint in Romans that there is something wrong with Man and Society.

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of man {you might say both ungodliness, a failure to be in the image of God, and unrighteousness, a failure to show other Men the right image of God}, who suppress the truth in righteousness…”   (Romans 1:18)

(2).  Step 1b, Ignorance or lack of toleration for the limited amount of what may be known of God, apart from knowledge of the Bible coupled with personal experience.  This cup of knowledge is manifested like always to all Men and Societies, Romans 1:19.

(3).  Step 1c, with continuing excuses about the theology of God, Man continues likewise down the road of excuses for himself, what he could be in character and personality, and what he is!   There is just no excuse for Man to overlook the invisible attributes of God that are demanded as the scientific method sees of the Great Intelligence in Designer by a powerful, loving, and wise Creator.  Just look at a flower, or a flock of colorful birds, or the atom construction, and so on and so in the works of nature, in order to regain your own respect for creation. (Romans 1:20)

NOTE:  In this modern New Age century, intellectual men of scoffing and seduction have not been able to out reason men of faith of equal capability, how turned to mysticism and secret knowledge in gnosticism, thinking men of faith will not go there.  Well, Dr. Jones has and does go there, and calls these unbelievers a group of Neo-Pagans and Gnostics.

(4).  Step 2a:  The true cycle of human societies has been from first knowing God to without glory and worship to Him, they then lose the respect of viable thoughts and enlightened hearts, Romans 1:21.

(5).  Step 2b:  Human wisdom and the ability to know and reason with a puny human mind gets the best of them so that their wisdom turns to foolhardiness, in the sight of God and with a loss of human respect, Romans 1:22.

  1. Step 3 here comes the repeated cycle of the de-evolution {social evolution and de-evolution like of Herbert Spencer is quite different from physical evolution like from Darwin’s disciples}, as they changed their mental image of God from the incorruptible and holy God to an image of low regard like man, in proportion the loss of self-respect followed. Some societies went past an image and worship of Man to animals and creepy beings, say much like the theory of evolution does to man today.  Have you noticed that if you keep telling a youth or other person that he came from monkeys, he will start acting like a monkey?  Such is the dilemma and result of modern education with a psychology and sociology and even a religion without God that is based on man is self-made in the image of monkeys and apes. (Romans 1:23)
  2. Step 4

(4a).  Much respect for self and society was given up as God turned them over to “uncleanness”, Romans 1:24, the disrespectful uncle a ness of lusts to dishonor the bodies of others in their society.

(4b).   Uncleanness of Truth:  the uncleanness of putting a lie in the place of truth of God, Romans 1:25a; and

(4c).  Tthe uncleanness of false worship and false service for the Creature instead of the Creator {even if it not considered serious to you, it is considered serious to your Maker}.

  1. Step 5, disrespectful and vile passions which followed like from a = F/m because God gave up on talking to their conscience and consciousness, Romans 1:26,27.

22-10:  With a failure of the retention of God in human philosophy, theology, and knowledge, God allows the minds of His creatures to become “debased” {one might say without any real foundation or basic structure to character and personality} so that the disrespectful actions toward the societies of men become the opposite of what Man was first fitted or made to be and do, Romans 1:28-32.

NOTE:  Global evolution of Man, my eye, look at the vicious and growing state without borders of ISIS.  Indeed, they are debased and disrespectful with all those bad and unrighteous things too tedious and lewd to even mention in public so that one must read for himself Romans 1:28-32 and should get through this depth of the mud at least once.  It increasingly is becoming the fate of the world.

22-11:  The Destination  of security in the arms of God with the local VOR, the runway, and the hangar of respectively Romans 8:1, with Romans 8:18, and Romans 8:39.

WARNING, warning, caution, caution as the cockpit of the F-16 often said to the pilot:  D1 of Romans 8:1 is short and easy like flying over a VOR, runways can be long like Romans 8:18 context, and then the taxi way is not always short dependent on the size of the destination, in this case eternal life so you will expect a little taxi time to get in that hangar.

  1. Romans 8:1, the VOR.

NOTE:  You see DOMers, normally we try to take it easy on you quite different from what you strive to do with our flag and beliefs in long expressions of a religious belief system so opposite to Christian faith, the “faith once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3), and to the foundation of this nation of “In God we Trust”.  It is still hard to imagine a Harvard Master of Divinity in Atheism, a Harvard Chaplain of Atheism, and the next thing you know you will evangelize the military to have a Chaplain of Atheism. 

How does that work a master’s degree without the Master Jesus, in Divinity without the Divinity of Christ and without the Divine God.  You know it goes beyond the stable thinking of horse or common sense. If you have given this equal time to your book in the nature of the scientific method and equal time for the pros and cons of debate, to get this far, you must deal with Bible words, concepts, and the arguments of God as given in the book of Romans.   And Regardless, we of the Christian faith need the refreshing escapes  from the Mud.

                                                        Romans 8:1-9

There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.  For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.  For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.  Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.  So, then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.” (Romans 8:1-9)

  1. Romans 8:18, the Runway, Lights on and coming in for a Landing.

NOTE:  Australian Teacher and Psychologist with membership in communities of trust, God, love, and Christ, this is especially for you.  It is long but hopefully you can make your way through it to confidence and a lack of fear in faith, after all it is shorter than the whole book of Romans who as an adult Christian you should be prayerfully reading anyway!  Words like these from the Bible are the only sufficient cure for what ails you!  We can easily match the DOMs pound for pound, but the full weight of our pounds must be utilized as God intended with the Bible in the first place!

“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. {Here is a regained status of self-respect much like Adam and Eve originally had in the Garden of Eden.}  For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. {Here is a twin manner to eliminate free, one does not lose the sense of freedom you initially found in Christ, and two simple prayer to Abba/Father is a warm and comforting experience that provides security, protection, His face to shine on us, graciousness, a focus of His attention and peace.  What more can you ask for in the blessings of God, at least on this earth?  The eternal life comes later as we taxi into the hangar.}  The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:  And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer {the religion of the DOM with happiness makes no allowance whatsoever for the benefits of suffering and the hard way} with him, that we may be also glorified together.  For I reckon {Paul was a southerner} that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.  For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.  For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.  For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. 

And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.  For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?   But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.  Likewise, the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.  And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.”   (Romans 8:14-27)

22-12:  Destination:  The Mountain Top of the Love and eternal care of God of Romans 8:39 and the larger context of Romans 8:28-39.

“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.  For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.  Moreover, whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.” (Romans 8:39)

                                            Romans 8:28-39

“What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?  He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?  Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth.  Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.  Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?  As it is written, for thy sake we are killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.

Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.  For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature,  shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.’  (Romans 8:28-39)

BINGO, Destination

(Believe it or not, this is a short form of the Romans Flight plan on the SunGrist website of BiblecomBibleman, and you are welcome to search it in its entirety as well as other links to the study of the book of Romans, starting at http://sungrist.org/DOMnewsletter2015.html .

NOTE:  As usual you are welcome to free download a PDF of this blog/message at

http://sungrist.org/GospelGodsPsychologyIII.pdf .

 

 

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