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Showing posts with label Self-Deception. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Self-Deception. Show all posts

Friday, August 25, 2023

Unequal Weights & The Standard of Truth – Statements of Truth - 6 - Purity 1130

Unequal Weights & The Standard of Truth  – Statements of Truth - 6  - Purity 1130

Purity 1130 08/25/2023 Purity 1130 Podcast

Purity 1130 on YouTube: 


Good morning,

Today’s photo of the setting sun in a hazy sky over the mountains near Murphy NC comes to us from Fred Dimmick who shared this view Wednesday evening on social media, along with the following:

Sunset from the mountain

Cicadas start their call.

Coyotes howl

Bats take flight,

Good night to one and all.

Well, It’s Friday and as we are ready to say “good night” to another work week I am filled with joyful anticipation over the fact that I will be reunited with my beloved wife this evening after over a week’s separation. Last weekend TammyLyn was vacationing with family and this week she has been doing twelve-hour days at the Washington County Fair representing Boces and volunteering for Operation Adopt a Soldier and because of her late hours and my early rising, we haven’t even seen each other via FB messenger for our nightly Bible Study like we normally do. So I am longing to see her and will even brave the barnyard atmosphere and the temptations of “fair food” at the Washington County Fair to see her sooner rather than later. 

Well it has been over one week of victory over my food addiction as I have been diligent to log all the food I have eaten into the My Fitness Pal app and made “good choices” with the things I have allowed into the Temple of the Holy Spirit.  As a part of this battle, I have chosen to be accountable and to track my weight loss progress. Last Thursday I publicly announced that I weighed in at 238.9 pounds and am happy to announce that I am less than that today. I will report my weight as 237.8 officially, so 1 week 1 pound. Slow progress but I will take it.

However, while that will be the official end of this story, that’s not all there is to it. Part of my documentation process is taking a photo of the scale to have a photographic record of what I weigh, so I don’t forget and will have a visual record of my progress on my phone.  But here is the thing, I was a tad obsessive about staying on track this week so instead of just weighing in once a week, I was weighing myself every day and over the last week I saw the scale I was using fluctuate between 232 pounds to 235 pounds to 233 pounds to 238 pounds again.  What is now my “old scale” sits in the garbage can awaiting its final disposal at the dump tomorrow and this latest inconsistency is only one reason why it has to go.  

This particular scale that will remain nameless would measure your weight two different ways.  Sometimes you would step on the scale, the digital numbers would change a bit but then it would stop and report your weight. Other times it would display “Sensing” and or “Thinking” and ask you to “Step Off” the scale, before reporting in digital numbers what your weight was.   So what is that about? Why two different ways and why did the scale have to “think” about the number it was going to give me?  It was mildly annoying to have the two different ways of being weighed but it also seemed to have a discrepancy of how it was weighing me with each way. The “straight number” reporting method would be one number and the “sensing or thinking” method gave me another number – on the same day, immediately following each reading! And as I had this scale for at least a couple of years, I knew that I couldn’t really trust it because the numbers didn’t really reflect reality.  I couldn’t be two different weights.

Of the two methods, I preferred the “sensing” or “thinking” method because those readings tended to say I weighed less.  It was as if the scale wanted to give me a break and say I weighed less than I was. So, I took the fact that my scale was inconsistent with a grain of salt and just figured my health journey “wasn’t about a number”.  

But this week my scale started to try to sense things that were not there! I would walk by the bathroom and glance inside and see the scale’s led display screen glowing and saying “sensing”. I tried taking the batteries out and replacing them, but the problem persisted. For a couple of days, I left one battery out and would put it back in to weigh myself.  But yesterday, I decided to end the insanity and buy a new scale that at least would work, not have 2 methods of “thinking” about and reporting my weight and wouldn’t kill the batteries by trying to weigh things that were not there!

And while I have accepted that I didn’t lose 5 pounds in one week, like my old scale said I did, I am admittedly a little frosty when I consider that a scale would have such variances between readings and the fact that I had lived with it for so long.   

Even the Bible speaks about how God hates “unjust weights”. 

Proverbs 20:23 (ESV)
23  Unequal weights are an abomination to the LORD, and false scales are not good.

Unequal weights are an abomination! And False scales are not good! Scripture!

And why? Because they are liars!  I don’t want a scale to “think” about what I way, I want it, to borrow an old co-worker’s phrase, to “tell me like it “T – I -  tis!”.  Don’t try to sugarcoat it scale! Tell me the truth!

Now that I think about it, those varying scales wreaked havoc on my emotions.  It’s very disappointing thinking that you lost 5 pounds and then discovering that you really only lost one.  That disappointment could cause someone to quit, to throw in the towel and to think that there was no point in trying to be healthy because they just continually gain and lose weight no matter what they do.  So “good night”, scale. I should have returned you or thrown you in the garbage a long time ago because you were an “unequal weight”! You were a false scale. I don’t need your lies that give me false hope. I need the truth!

And that brings us to our current series – Statements of Truth – that springs from the last portion of Step # 2, Deception Vs. Truth, of the Steps to Freedom in Christ by Dr. Neil Anderson            

That step deals with Deception, and because we have completed the process of examining, confessing, and renouncing all of the ways we have been deceived. the good doctor prescribes a healthy dose of truth for us:

Anderson introduces the Statements of Truth by stating: 

“For two thousand years Christians have known the importance of verbally and publicly declaring truth. Read aloud the following statements of truth, and carefully consider what you are professing. You may find it helpful to read them aloud every day for at least six weeks, which will help you renew your mind to the truth.”

So for our current series, we are presenting each of the remaining 6 Statements of Truth from Step 2 of the Steps to Freedom in Christ, one at a time, We are declaring them verbally and publicly, because we, like the Christians who have gone before us over the last two thousand years. know the importance of doing so. 

We are also sharing the statement’s associated Bible verses and sharing our thoughts about what each Statement of Truth is telling us, why they are important, and how they apply to our lives as Christians.  

So today’s Statement of Truth is:

6.    I believe that apart from Christ I can do nothing, so I declare my complete dependence on Him. I choose to abide in Christ in order to bear much fruit and glorify my Father. I announced to Satan that Jesus is my Lord. I reject any and all counterfeit gifts or works of Satan in my life.

And the Bible verses listed with this statement are: 

John 15:5, 8 (NKJV)
5  I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.

8  By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.

1 Corinthians 12:3 (NKJV)
3  Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed, and no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit.

Today’s statement of truth brings us back to earth and has us focus on the fact that apart from Christ we can do nothing.  In truth, we are all dependent on Him.  If we don’t have faith in Him, we face God’s wrath and go to hell – so I don’t care what you may have accomplished in life, if that is your end when you “do it yourself” – it shows that you really accomplish nothing.  

However, when we put our faith in Jesus, all our good works are giving God glory. I know in my case that I would have never done some of the good things I have done since my conversion if I had never come to faith in Jesus.  Mission trips to Africa and Guatemala would have never been taken without Jesus.  My personal recovery and serving in the church in any capacity would have never happened without Jesus.  Volunteering for the AFSP, Salvation Army, and Operation Adopt A Soldier never happen without Jesus. This blog and this podcast never happen without Jesus.  My wife TammyLyn never happens without Jesus!   So I know how this statement of truth is true – because I chose to abide in Christ and have been blessed to bear whatever fruit the Lord wanted to produce in and through my life to glorify the Father.  

So yes, we announce to Satan that Jesus is our Lord, and we reject any counterfeit gifts or works of Satan (those worldly ways of wisdom – to lie, cheat, steal cleverly for instance) that we have learned by growing up in this world broken by sin.  

We stop doing things “my way” or “the world’s way” because it’s a “jungle out there”, and instead we follow the ways of the Lion of Judah and do things according to the “truth, the way, and the life of Jesus Christ.   He is the Living word of God and He alone is our standard of truth, and we dare not try to accomplish anything without Him.

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For those who want more evidence for Christianity than my simple encouragements provide, I offer apologist, Frank Turek’s website, https://crossexamined.org/ .

Today’s Bible verse comes to us from “The Quick Scripture Reference for Counseling” By John G. Kruis.

( While Bible verses on various topics of Counseling can be found with a quick google search, we encourage you to purchase this resource to support the late author’s work. (https://www.amazon.com/Quick-Scripture-Reference-Counseling-Kruis-ebook/dp/B00CIUJZT2?ref_=ast_author_dp )

This morning’s meditation verse comes from the section on Alcohol & Drug Abuse

Luke 21:34 (ESV)
34  “But watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap.

Today’s verse fall under the second point of our counseling reference guide resource’s section on Alcohol & Drug Abuse.

 2. Jesus warns against the abuse of alcohol.

Today’s verse counterbalances any foolishness that we would try to participate in by suggesting that Jesus was a “drunkard” in Matthew 11:9. If you try to make the case that Jesus was a drunken party animal because He turned water into wine and says people call him a drunkard in Matthew 11:9 you would be joining in with the Pharisees who lied about Jesus and be blaspheming the Lord.  

While  the word of God doesn’t condemn alcoholic beverages it does condemn drunkenness. (1 Cor 6:10).  And in today’s verse Jesus Himself warns about drunkenness and the coming day of judgment. 

So if you have a problem with consuming alcohol, you slip into drunkenness. You should go to the Lord in prayer and ask Him if He wants you to continue in your drunken ways or if He could give you the strength to overcome it. 

I know personally how the “drunken verses” in the Bible convicted me to repent of my alcoholic ways and I know that the Lord is faithful in helping those who ask for His help to be free of the abuse of alcohol. 

So don’t pretend drunkenness is okay, and don’t you dare suggest that Jesus was a drunk, because those things just aren’t true, and the Lord calls us to walk in the light of his truth and to live a good and holy life.  

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As always, I invite all to go to mt4christ.org where I always share insights from prominent Christian theologians and counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk.

Today we continue sharing from  The Holy Spirit By A.W. Pink.

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage you all to purchase A.W. Pink’s books for your own private study and to support his work.  This resource is available online for $0.99 (https://www.amazon.com/Holy-Spirit-Arthur-Pink-Collection-ebook/dp/B008CM5292/ref=sr_1_3?crid=AHKAQOM39CTN&keywords=a.w.+pink+the+holy+spirit&qid=1684376225&sprefix=a.w.+pink+the+holy+spirit+%2Caps%2C96&sr=8-3) 

A.W. Pink’s The Holy Spirit

21 - The Spirit Leading

A Caution

The wayward child and the self-willed youth is guided by his own unsanctified and unsubdued spirit. The man of the world is controlled by “the spirit of the world.” The wicked are governed by Satan “the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience” (Eph. 2:2). But the Christian is to yield himself unto “the still small voice” of the Holy Spirit. Yet a word of caution is needed at this point, for in our day there are many fanatics and impious people who do that which is grossly dishonoring to God under the plea that they were “prompted by the Spirit” so to act. To be “led by the Spirit of God” does not mean being influenced by unaccountable suggestions and uncontrollable impulses which result in conduct displeasing to God, and often injurious to ourselves and others. No, indeed: not so does the Spirit of God “lead” anyone.

There is a safe and sure criterion by which the Christian may gauge his inward impulses, and ascertain whether they proceed from his own restless spirit, an evil spirit, or the Spirit of God. That criterion is the written Word of God, and by it all must be measured. The Holy Spirit never prompts anyone to act contrary to the Scriptures. How could He, when He is the Author of them! His promptings are always unto obedience to the precepts of Holy Writ. Therefore, when a man who has not been distinctly called, separated, and qualified by God to be a minister of His Word, undertakes to “preach,” no matter how strong the impulse, it proceeds not from the Holy Spirit. When a woman “feels led” to pray in public where men are present, she is moved by “another spirit” (2 Cor. 11:4), or if one claimed “guidance” in assuming an unequal yoke by marrying an unbeliever, 2 Corinthians 6:14 would prove conclusively that it was not the “guidance” of the Holy Spirit. Divine Direction

The Holy Spirit fulfills His office of Guide by three distinct operations. First, He communicates life and grace, a new “nature;” second, He stirs that life unto action, and gives “more grace;” third, He directs the action into performance of duty. Life, motion, and conduct are inseparable in nature and grace alike. First, the Holy Spirit quickens us into newness of life, infusing gracious habits into the soul. “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you” (Ezek. 36:26). Second, He moves upon the soul and assists the new nature to act according to its own gracious habits and principles: He “worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure” (Phil. 2:13). Third, He directs our actions by enlightening our understandings, guiding our inclinations, and moving our wills to do that which is pleasing unto God. It is the last two we are now considering.

Divine direction is promised the saints: “The meek will He guide in judgment: and the meek will He teach His way” (Ps. 25:9): and this not only by general directions, but by particular excitations. “I am the LORD thy God which teacheth thee to profit, which leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldest go” (Isa. 48:17). Divine guidance is desired by the saints as a great and necessary blessing: “Show me Thy ways, O LORD; teach me Thy paths. Lead me in Thy truth, and teach me: for Thou art the God of my salvation; on Thee do I wait all the day” (Ps. 25:4, 5). Mark the earnestness of this prayer: “show me, teach me, lead me.” Note the argument: “Thou art the God of my salvation,” and as such, pledged to undertake for me. Observe the importunity: “on Thee do I wait all the day,” as if he would not be left for a moment to his own poor wisdom and power. Even the “new nature” is utterly dependent upon the Holy Spirit.

Though the children of God are “light in the Lord” (Eph. 5:8) and have a general understanding of the way of godliness, yet much ignorance and darkness still remains in them, and therefore in order to a steady and constant course of obedience they need to be guided by the Holy Spirit, so that their light may be both directive and persuasive. Though Christians have a general understanding of their duty, much grace from God is needed to perform it by them. If left to themselves, their own corruptions would blind and govern them, and therefore do they pray, “Order my steps in Thy Word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me” (Ps. 119:133). The way to Heaven is a “narrow” one, hard to find and harder still to be kept, except God teach us daily by His Spirit. Wisdom from on High is continually needed to know how to apply the rules of Scripture to all the varied details of our lives. The Holy Spirit is the only fountain of holiness, and to Him we must constantly turn for directions.

But something more than knowledge is needed by us: the Spirit must persuade and incline our hearts, and move our wills. How strong are our inclinations to sin, how easily fleshly impulses override our better judgment, how weak we are before temptation! We know what we should do, but are carried away by corrupt affections to the contrary. It is at this point the Holy Spirit governs from within. First, by His restraining motions, bidding us to avoid and mortify sin; second, by His quickening motions, inviting us to the pursuit of holiness. And just so far as we yield to His “strivings” are we “led by the Spirit of God.” As moral agents we are responsible to co-operate with the Spirit and respond to His gentle sway over us. Alas, we so often fail to do so. But though He allows this up to a certain point—for our humbling—yet by His invincible power He prevents our making shipwreck of the faith, and after many chastenings, conducts us safely to Glory.[1]

---------------------------more tomorrow------------------------

Join our “Victory over the Darkness”, “The Bondage Breaker”, "Freedom in Christ" series of Discipleship Classes via the mt4christ247 podcast!

at https://mt4christ247.podbean.com, You can also find it on Apple podcasts

(https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-mt4christ247s-podcast/id1551615154). The mt4christ247 podcast is also available on Google Podcasts, Amazon Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartradio, and Audible.com. 

These teachings are also available on the MT4Christ247 YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/@MT4Christ247

Email me at mt4christ247@gmail.com to receive the class materials, share your progress, and to be encouraged.

My wife, TammyLyn, also offers Christian encouragement via her Ask Seek Knock blog (https://tammylynask.blogspot.com/ ),  her Facebook Group: Ask, Seek, Knock (https://www.facebook.com/groups/529047851449098 ) and her podcast Ask, Seek, and Knock on Podbean (https://feed.podbean.com/tammalyn78/feed.xml)

For those who require the assistance of a Deeper Walk International Prayer Minister to experience healing or your freedom in Christ, I highly recommend Christy Edge’s Life on the Edge Freedom Prayer Ministry. You can schedule a session by going to : https://cedge216.wixsite.com/life-on-the-edge     

“The views, opinions, and commentary of this publication are those of the author, M.T. Clark, only, and do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of any of the photographers, artists, ministries, or other authors of the other works that may be included in this publication, and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of any entities the author may represent.”

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship



[1] Arthur Walkington Pink, The Holy Spirit (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, n.d.).

Saturday, August 19, 2023

The Science of Discipleship – Statements of Truth - 1 - Purity 1125

The Science of Discipleship – Statements of Truth - 1  - Purity 1125

Purity 1125 08/19/2023 Purity 1125 Podcast

Purity 1125 on YouTube: 



Good morning,

Today’s photo of upward facing view of a palm tree and a magnificent cloud filled blue sky comes to us from my cousin, Kevin Zempko, who captured this backyard barbecue moment in the San Elijos Hills in San Marcos, CA back on August 9th

Well, It’s Saturday and something about Kevin’s photo just says “the weekend” to me but a quick check of the calendar shows that our cousin didn’t have to wait for the weekend to appreciate the beauty around him, as the 9th was a Wednesday.  Let that be a lesson to all of us that we don’t have to wait for a particular time, day, or season to appreciate the good things in our life. We don’t live in the past and we don’t live in the future. We live right now and the way we experience peace and joy in life is to stop ourselves, right now, and remind ourselves that there is much good in our lives, happening right now, and to appreciate it and to thank God for it.  

While we should have goals and dreams that we are working to accomplish, and we should be doing things to help us grow and to be healthy, we shouldn’t be so future focused and goal-oriented that we forget the many blessings we have in the present moment and that “the process” the fact that we are actively seeking to accomplish something and experience more peace, more joy, and more freedom, in and of itself, is a good thing too.   

I have had a serious wake-up call in regard to my health goal recently that made me realize that even though my goal has an established milestone to meet, I allowed myself to lose focus on what in reality is a definite, concrete goal and ended up turning what is clear into something fuzzy because I set no definite deadline on when I wished to accomplish it, or more accurately didn’t set a new deadline on it when I failed to accomplish it.  

In the late winter months, I made an appointment for a physical in June and had set the goal to be closer to my goal weight of 200 pounds but when I failed to even get to the milestone mark of 215 (which I had accomplished a couple of times in my YO-YO existence), I gave myself “grace” and instead of going back to the drawing board and pressing in with a renewed commitment and new deadline, I let it slide and have just been floundering in compromise, by “cheating” on my “food plan” (Do you even have a plan when you “cheat” every weekend?).  Instead of setting a new deadline and redoubling my efforts, I just “let it be” and continued to mindlessly eat things I shouldn’t and too much in general.   I had fallen into a state of self-deception where I told myself I was “working” on my health goal but in reality had more or less given up on it because I had allowed myself to do things that would prevent me from accomplishing it.  Talk about self-sabotage!    

After my two-week vacation and a solid week of inactivity, the truth became painfully obvious and I committed myself again to fight the good fight, again with no deadline, or noticeable plan to measure my progress.  On Wednesday, I mindlessly consumed some sugar-laden snacks as a “reward”, I guess, after a long day at work and a good night at the ministry.  But the morning after came with the shame of failure and the realization that I had made some big mistakes in how I had decided to reach “my health goal”, which was, in fact, part of the larger battle of defeating my food addiction.   The health goal language was actually sugarcoating the true issue – food addiction – and because I didn’t call it for what it is, I was living in denial and not fighting it the way I should.  

So I enlisted, okay more like “drafted” a brother in Christ to be my accountability partner, as in “you’re it, I need it, We’re doing this,”.  As someone who has victory over addictions in other areas, I knew how to overcome and now I am going back to basics for my food addiction and am learning just how deceived I was in the way I was seeking to accomplish what I wanted to accomplish.  

Yesterday, I reacquainted myself with the My Fitness Pal app and started tracking my food intake after logging everything for the day I can report that I was successful for the day but was a big failure in the past.  After I documented everything for the day, I realized that I had been assuming that “I was good” when I wasn’t.  I knew the general guidelines for what I should and shouldn’t eat and had made the big assumption that if I stayed within those guidelines, I didn’t really have to worry about how much I ate!  Wrong.  After yesterday’s documenting every morsel that went into my system I realized that I had been eating too much, periodically, quite often – even with just the “good food” but I had made matters worse by eating the “bad stuff” too.  

The truth of how unaware I was of what I was doing has hit me like a ton of bricks and I now realize that I really have to be diligent to stay in the present moment and observe and record everything I am doing.  My victory over food addiction demands that I pay attention to what I am doing from moment to moment. I need to live in truth by seeing things how they truly are and by being true to the goals I have set.

So we set the goal to check in and watch ourselves every day, to report to our accountability partner once a day, to weigh in once a week, and set the realistic goal of getting to 200 by May 11th, 2024.   That’s 38 weeks from today. I am hopeful I can get there, with the expectation that 1 pound per week is a balanced and realistic pace to set.  Of course, I will try to crush that goal before then, I’m sure, but I at least have put something concrete before me to stand on, be accountable to, and to walk towards.  This is a short, long-termed goal that will help to keep me focused, to keep my eye on the prize.  

Being aware of what we are doing, setting goals, and living in truth also applies to our faith life and thought life too of course.  The science of discipleship is to know the truth of God’s word, to realize it applies directly to us, and to increasingly live by it to be a “real Christian” – a disciple of Jesus Christ. To reap a harvest of the fruit of Spirit in our lives, we need to plant the seed of the truth of God’s word in our hearts and minds and to set the conditions, with how we think and act, to allow it to grow and change us from the inside out. 

We have to know what we believe and know why we believe it. We have to know who we are in Christ and live like it.   We have to know the truth, experientially, and to decide to keep living by it, continuously and progressively, to allow it to set us free.     

And thus we transition to our new series – Statements of Truth – that comes right on the heels of our series on Self-Deception because it springs from the same resource, Step # 2, Deception Vs. Truth, of the Steps to Freedom in Christ by Dr. Neil Anderson          

Yesterday we presented the second part of Anderson’s “concluding instructions” from Step 2, and because that Step deals with Deception, the good doctor prescribes a healthy dose of truth for us, now that we have examined, confessed, and renounced all of the ways we have been deceived. 

Anderson introduces the Statements of Truth by stating: 

“For two thousand years Christians have known the importance of verbally and publicly declaring truth. Read aloud the following statements of truth, and carefully consider what you are professing. You may find it helpful to read them aloud every day for at least six weeks, which will help you renew your mind to the truth.”

So for our new series, we will present each of the 11 Statements of Truth from Step 2 of the Steps to Freedom in Christ. We will declare them verbally and publicly, because we, like the Christians who have gone before us over the last two thousand years.  know the importance of doing so. 

We will share their associated Bible verses and share our thoughts about what each Statement of Truth is telling us, why they are important, and how they apply to our lives as Christians.  

So today’s Statement of Truth is:

1.    I recognize that there is only one true and living God who exists as the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. He is worthy of all honor, praise, and glory as the one who made all things and holds all things together.

And the Bible verses listed with this statement are: 

Exodus 20:2-3 (NKJV)
2  "I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. 3  You shall have no other gods before Me.

Colossians 1:16-17 (NKJV)
16  For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.
17  And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.

From these verses we can see that there is One God, we are to have no other gods (small g) before Him, and that He is the Creator of all things, and He is preeminent over them and literally holds them together.  What is not clear is that Colossians 1 is talking about Jesus!  That passage in Colossians presents Jesus as the Creator and the Sustainer of all things, making it clear that He is God. 

The Trinity is a mystery of course but it is a doctrine that presents the truth of ultimate reality. There is One God in three distinct persons – a paradox for sure.  But remember a paradox is something that is seemingly contradictory but is in fact true. I was going to write more about the Trinity, but I have learned that the more one seeks to explain it the more you run into the risk of falling into theological error.  However, I am providing a link to Open Bible Info’s “100 Bible Verses about the Trinity” to show the verses where the trinitarian nature of God is clearly supported by scripture (https://www.openbible.info/topics/the_trinity

So what does that mean for us? 

Well The Only God is God the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit – anything else is not God – so any other religion or philosophy that is lifted up as something to be admired, worshiped or followed is a false god that seeks to draw us away from the One True God. By presenting an alternative to Christ, they are by definition Anti-Christ and should be avoided and condemned as a clever scheme of the spiritual forces of darkness to lead us astray. 

Also any pseudo-Christian faith system, that denies the deity of Jesus or The Holy Spirit, is also Anti-Christ. Judaism, Islam, Jehovah Witnesses, and Mormons and many others pay lip service to belief in the God of the Bible, but all deny Jesus as God and the doctrine of the Trinity.  Walter Martin’s The Kingdom of Cults is perhaps the best resource for exposing all other faith systems as false and I highly recommend it for anyone who is interested in knowing the truth about false religions and who have a heart to save those who have been deceived by other religions.   

But beyond these concerns, this first statement of truth advises us to honor and praise the Lord.  What are we supposed to do with this truth?  We are to worship the Lord and give Him glory for what He has done and by the way we live our lives.  

What do I do with this truth? Seek the One True God’s will for your life, put your faith in Jesus, and Follow Him.

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For those who want more evidence for Christianity than my simple encouragements provide, I offer apologist, Frank Turek’s website, https://crossexamined.org/ .

Today’s Bible verse comes to us from “The Quick Scripture Reference for Counseling” By John G. Kruis.

( While Bible verses on various topics of Counseling can be found with a quick google search, we encourage you to purchase this resource to support the late author’s work. (https://www.amazon.com/Quick-Scripture-Reference-Counseling-Kruis-ebook/dp/B00CIUJZT2?ref_=ast_author_dp )

This morning’s meditation verse comes from the section on Affliction, Discipline, Chastisement, & Trials.

Psalm 27:5-6 (ESV)
5  For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will lift me high upon a rock.
6  And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me, and I will offer in his tent sacrifices with shouts of joy; I will sing and make melody to the LORD.

Today’s verse fall under the twenty-second point of our counseling reference guide resource’s section on Affliction, Discipline, Chastisement, & Trials

 22. In the time of trouble you can experience God's protective care and, even through the tears, sing praises to God.

Today’s verses speak of the Lord’s protection and how the realization of it should move us to worship Him and sing praises to His name.  

When we realize the gift of our salvation and the ever-present hope that we experience with God’s continual presence and provision for our lives, the natural response is to worship Him and to rejoice!

To think on my journey of faith, I am humbled and joyful because of the victory I have experienced and because I remember that in those dark and lonely days of walking toward my freedom, the Lord was with me, and He will always be there for those who put their faith in Jesus and follow Him. 

God was there in my days of trouble. He lifted me out of the muck and mire of my former life and lifted me above my enemies all around me and so like the psalmist I will offer Him the sacrifice of my love and obedience, as much as I can, and will praise Him with shouts of joy and I will sing and make as much melody as I can muster to the Lord.   

God delivers us! So let’s worship and sing His praises always and forever!

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As always, I invite all to go to mt4christ.org where I always share insights from prominent Christian theologians and counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk.

Today we continue sharing from  The Holy Spirit By A.W. Pink.

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage you all to purchase A.W. Pink’s books for your own private study and to support his work.  This resource is available online for $0.99 (https://www.amazon.com/Holy-Spirit-Arthur-Pink-Collection-ebook/dp/B008CM5292/ref=sr_1_3?crid=AHKAQOM39CTN&keywords=a.w.+pink+the+holy+spirit&qid=1684376225&sprefix=a.w.+pink+the+holy+spirit+%2Caps%2C96&sr=8-3

A.W. Pink’s The Holy Spirit

20 - The Spirit Cleansing

Our Helper

Though grace be wrought in the hearts of the regenerate, it is not in their power to act it: He who implanted it must renew, excite, and marshal it. “If ye through the Spirit do mortify” (Rom. 8:13). First, He it is who discovers the sin that is to be mortified, opening it to the view of the soul, stripping it of its deceits, exposing its deformity. Second, He it is who gradually weakens sin’s power, acting as “the Spirit of burning” (Isa. 4:4), consuming the dross. Third, He it is who reveals and applies the efficacy of the Cross of Christ, in which there is contained a sin-mortifying virtue, whereby we are “made conformable unto His death” (Phil. 3:10). Fourth, He it is who strengthens us with might in the inner man, so that our graces—the opposites of the lusts of the flesh—are invigorated and called into exercise.

The Holy Spirit is the effective Helper. Men may employ the aids of inward rigor and outward severity, and they may for a time stifle and suppress their evil habits; but unless the Spirit of God work in us, nothing can amount to true mortification. Yet note well it is not, “If the Spirit do mortify,” nor even, “If the Spirit through you do mortify,” but, “If ye through the Spirit do mortify!” The Christian is not passive, but active in this work. We are bidden to “cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit” (2 Cor. 7:1). We are exhorted to “build up yourselves on your most holy faith” and “keep ourselves in the love of God” (Jude 20, 21). Paul could say, “I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection” (1 Cor. 9:27). It is by yielding to the Spirit’s impulses, heeding His strivings, submitting ourselves unto His government, that any measure of success is granted us in this most important work.

The believer is not a cipher in this work. The gracious operations of the Spirit were never designed to be a substitute for the Christian’s discharge of his duty. True, His influence is indispensable, though it relaxes us not from our individual responsibility. “Little children, keep yourselves from idols” (1 John 5:21) emphasizes our obligation, and plainly intimates that God requires from His people something more than a passive waiting for Him to stir them into action. O my reader, beware of cloaking a spirit of slothful indolence under an apparent jealous regard for the honor of the Spirit. Is no self-effort required to escape the snares of Satan by refusing to walk in those paths which God has forbidden? Is no self-effort to be made in breaking away from the evil influence of godless companions? Is no self-effort called for to dethrone an unlawful habit? Mortification is a task to which every Christian must address himself with prayerful and resolute earnestness. Nevertheless it is a task far transcending our feeble powers.

It is only “through the Spirit” that any of us can acceptably and effectually (in any degree) “mortify the deeds of the body.” He it is who works in us a loathing of sin, a mourning over it, a turning away from it. He it is who presses upon us the claims of Christ, reminding us that inasmuch as He died for sin, we must spare no efforts to die to sin—“striving against sin” (Heb. 12:4), confessing it (1 John 1:9), forsaking it (Prov. 28:13). He it is who preserves us from giving way to despair, and encourages us to renew the conflict, assuring us that ultimately we shall be more than conquerors through Him that loved us. He it is who deepens our aspirations after holiness, causing us to cry, “Create in me a clean heart, O God” (Ps. 51:10), and moving us to “forget those things which are behind, and reach forth unto those things which are before” (Phil. 3:13).[1]

---------------------------more tomorrow------------------------

Join our “Victory over the Darkness”, “The Bondage Breaker”, "Freedom in Christ" series of Discipleship Classes via the mt4christ247 podcast!

at https://mt4christ247.podbean.com, You can also find it on Apple podcasts

(https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-mt4christ247s-podcast/id1551615154). The mt4christ247 podcast is also available on Google Podcasts, Amazon Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartradio, and Audible.com. 

These teachings are also available on the MT4Christ247 You Tube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/@MT4Christ247

Email me at mt4christ247@gmail.com to receive the class materials, share your progress, and to be encouraged.

My wife, TammyLyn, also offers Christian encouragement via her Ask Seek Knock blog (https://tammylynask.blogspot.com/ ),  her Facebook Group: Ask, Seek, Knock (https://www.facebook.com/groups/529047851449098 ) and her podcast Ask, Seek, and Knock on Podbean (https://feed.podbean.com/tammalyn78/feed.xml)

For those who require the assistance of a Deeper Walk International Prayer Minister to experience healing or your freedom in Christ, I highly recommend Christy Edge’s Life on the Edge Freedom Prayer Ministry. You can schedule a session by going to : https://cedge216.wixsite.com/life-on-the-edge     

“The views, opinions, and commentary of this publication are those of the author, M.T. Clark, only, and do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of any of the photographers, artists, ministries, or other authors of the other works that may be included in this publication, and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of any entities the author may represent.”

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship


[1] Arthur Walkington Pink, The Holy Spirit (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, n.d.).

 

Friday, August 18, 2023

A Twisted Concept of Faith vs Knowing the Truth – Self-Deception Series 35 - Purity 1124

 

A Twisted Concept of Faith vs Knowing the Truth  – Self-Deception Series 35 - Purity 1124

Purity 1124 08/18/2023 Purity 1124 Podcast

Purity 1124 on YouTube: 



Good morning,

Today’s photo of the sun setting into the depths of Lake Ontario to the left of the Oswego West Pierhead Lighthouse and a group of people huddling under a tent or gazebo structure comes to us from Celestial Blue Photography, as Rocco Saya shared this scene on social media in August 14th. 

Well, It’s Friday and I thought that Rocco’s photo was a great one to share as the sun sets on another work week.  While Lake Ontario and the Oswego Lighthouse are a familiar offering from Celestial Blue Photography, I never tire of it and thought it was also a good visual representation of the fact that the sun is beginning to set on the Summer of ’23.   It’s Labor Day weekend in 2 weeks and although Summer doesn’t officially end until September 23rd, 36 days away, you know that things change dramatically after Labor Day and the kids go back to school.  As much as we may want to hold onto the belief in an endless Summer, it doesn’t make it true.      

And that brings us to our current series on Self-Deception, where we have decided to investigate some of the ways we deceive ourselves by walking through Step 2, Deception Vs. Truth, of the Steps to Freedom in Christ to see what ways we may have been deceived by “the world” and ourselves and in what ways we have wrongly defended ourselves. 

While we reached the end of this series on Self-Deception by going through all 32 points of the ways we can be deceived by the world, ourselves, and the ways we have wrongly defended ourselves, two days ago.  I have decided to conclude the series by sharing the closing instructions that immediately follow those three sections on the ways we can be deceived. 

In today’s section of those closing instructions, Neil Anderson writes about the dangers of the New Age movement’s twisting of the concept of faith and truth. He writes:  

“The New Age movement has twisted the concept of faith by teaching that we make something true by believing it. That is false.

We cannot create reality with our minds; only God can do that.

Our responsibility is to face reality and choose to believe what God says is true.

True biblical faith, therefore, is choosing to believe and act upon what is true, because God has said it is true, and He is the truth.

Faith is something you decide to do, not something you feel like doing.

Believing something doesn't make it true; It's already true, therefore we choose to believe it!

Truth is not conditioned by whether we choose to believe it or not.

Everybody lives by faith the only difference between Christian faith and non-Christian faith is the object of our faith.

If the object of our faith is not trustworthy or real, then no amount of believing will change that.

That's why our faith must be grounded on the solid rock of God's perfect unchanging character and the truth of His word.”

I cut to the chase today with Anderson’s statements because I am a little distracted and could use the wisdom of the basic concepts of our faith.  

While faith is something we decide to do, because we could always doubt, we stand on the truth of God’s word, which we also have to take on faith. 

But don’t get that twisted either.  While we could doubt whether or not the Bible is true, there are at least three good reasons to believe it is true.  

1.    History and archaeology have confirmed the claims of the Bible to true be time and time again.   I refer anyone who is interested in knowing Why We Believe the Bible to go to our first Freedom in Christ Teaching on YouTube (https://youtu.be/Riqg9u61TkY) where the lesson gives specific examples of how historians doubted certain Bible facts only to have the truth of scripture to be confirmed by archaeologists literally digging up evidence to support God’s word . Or I would suggest checking out D. James Kennedy’s book “Why I Believe” that I read in back Bible college, that gave a natural born skeptic, me, relief that he wasn’t following a “blind faith” when he put his faith in Jesus.  

2.    The second piece of evidence, also highlighted in the sources I mentioned, is fulfilled prophecy.  What the Bible has predicted to come to pass, has come to pass again and again.   The most significant fulfilled prophecy of course is the coming of the Messiah and the details of the life of Jesus. “Conservatively, Jesus fulfilled at least 300 prophecies in His earthly ministry.” (https://www.gotquestions.org/prophecies-of-Jesus.html) and I am sharing a link to the article from GotQuestions.org that gives a whole table of prophecies and the Bible verses that they are drawn from.  

3.    People who put their faith in Jesus are changed.  Now I know this doesn’t apply more for some than others in the “church” – because of the reality of “tares amongst the wheat” in the “church building”. But the true church – the body of Christ is comprised of people who are not ashamed of the gospel and have been transformed by it.  Included in this evidence is the fact that the “church” has never stopped growing.  Despite this post-modern – post Christian society of Western civilization, worldwide the number of Christians has continued to increase.  This evidence is also highlighted in the first lesson of the Freedom in Christ course we mentioned above.  

As Anderson indicates, the Bible is already true, therefore we choose to believe it and choose to apply it to our lives.   We are not making this stuff up!  As much as others like to debate everything, the reality of Jesus Christ, who lived, did miracles, taught wisdom, lived a sinless life, died, was resurrected, and ascended into heaven, if honestly examined would lead one to the conclusion that He was who He said He was and that the only One we should put our faith in is Him.       

Jesus is the object of our faith, and He is trustworthy to be believed, loved, and followed. So keep walking and talking with God and tell the true story of the gospel Jesus and how it has changed and is changing your life to others so they can know the truth and be set free.    

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For those who want more evidence for Christianity than my simple encouragements provide, I offer apologist, Frank Turek’s website, https://crossexamined.org/ .

Today’s Bible verse comes to us from “The Quick Scripture Reference for Counseling” By John G. Kruis.

( While Bible verses on various topics of Counseling can be found with a quick google search, we encourage you to purchase this resource to support the late author’s work. (https://www.amazon.com/Quick-Scripture-Reference-Counseling-Kruis-ebook/dp/B00CIUJZT2?ref_=ast_author_dp )

This morning’s meditation verse comes from the section on Affliction, Discipline, Chastisement, & Trials.

1 Peter 1:7-8 (NLT2)
7  These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.
8  You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy.

Today’s verse fall under the tweny first point of our counseling reference guide resource’s section on Affliction, Discipline, Chastisement, & Trials

 21. At times God gives us trials so that our faith may be purified as gold is refined by fire, that Christ may be honored and glorified.

Today’s verse shows us that the trials we go through are another evidence of our faith being genuine.  We suffer for our faith now but when Jesus Christ is revealed to be the truth, the way, and the life to the whole world, we will rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy as every knee shall bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.

Atheists and Non-believers mock Christians for the things they believe and for the moral lifestyle they try to live when they follow Jesus and sometimes the pressure to just go along with the world is great as we face persecution but a true disciple of Jesus knows the truth of reality itself and has no choice but to endure the world’s abuse and to continue to proclaim the truth of God’s kingdom and the gospel of Jesus Christ come what may.  

Christians have gone into eternity by the violence of evil men who tempted them to renounce their faith. But because the martyred saints knew their Savior lives, they freely surrendered their lives rather than denounce the One who gave them life, forgave their sins, and promised them a place in His eternal kingdom.  

Our faith in Jesus is genuine  - He’s the TRUTH – and so we will be genuine followers of His no matter where the Lord leads us because we know that we will be with Him, and we will rejoice!

--------------------------------------------------------------------

As always, I invite all to go to mt4christ.org where I always share insights from prominent Christian theologians and counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk.

Today we continue sharing from  The Holy Spirit By A.W. Pink.

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage you all to purchase A.W. Pink’s books for your own private study and to support his work.  This resource is available online for $0.99 (https://www.amazon.com/Holy-Spirit-Arthur-Pink-Collection-ebook/dp/B008CM5292/ref=sr_1_3?crid=AHKAQOM39CTN&keywords=a.w.+pink+the+holy+spirit&qid=1684376225&sprefix=a.w.+pink+the+holy+spirit+%2Caps%2C96&sr=8-3) 

A.W. Pink’s The Holy Spirit

20 - The Spirit Cleansing

True Mortification

Though the real Christian has been delivered from condemnation and freed from the reigning power of sin, yet there is a continual need for him to “mortify” or put to death the principle and actings of indwelling corruption. His main fight is against allowing sin to bring him into captivity to the lusts of the flesh. “Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness”—enter into no truce, form no alliance with—“but rather reprove them” (Eph. 5:11). Say with Ephraim of old, “What have Ito do any more with idols?” (Hosea 14:8). No real communion with God is possible while sinful lusts remain unmortified. Allowed sin draws the heart from God, entangles the affections, discomposes the soul, and provokes God to close His ears against our prayers: see Ezekiel 14:3.

Now it is most important that we should distinguish between mock mortification and true, between the counterfeit resemblances of this duty and the duty itself. There is a pagan “mortification,” which is merely suppressing such sins as nature itself discovers and from such reasons and motives as nature suggests (Rom. 2:14). This tends to hide sin rather than mortify it. It is not a recovering of the soul from the world unto God, but only acquiring a fitness to live with less scandal among men. There is a Popish and superstitious “mortification,” which consists in the neglect of the body, abstaining from marriage, certain kinds of meat, and apparel. Such things have “a show of wisdom” and are highly regarded by the carnal world, but not being commanded by God they have no spiritual value whatsoever. They macerate the natural man instead of mortifying the old man. There is also a Protestant “mortification” which differs nothing in principle from the Popish: certain fanatics eschew some of God’s creatures; others demand abstinence when God requires temperance.

True mortification consists, first, in weakening sin’s root and principle. It is of little avail to chop off the heads of weeds while their roots remain in the ground—nor is much accomplished by seeking to correct outward habits while the heart be left neglected. One in a high fever cannot expect to lower his temperature while he continues to eat heartily, nor can the lusts of the flesh be weakened so long as we feed or “make provision for” them. Second, in suppressing the risings of inward corruptions: by turning a deaf ear to their voice, by crying to God for grace so to do, by pleading the blood of Christ for deliverance. Make conscience of evil thoughts and imaginations: do not regard them as inevitable, still less cherish them; turn the mind to holy objects. Third, in restraining its outward actings: “denying ungodliness,” etc. (Titus 2:12).[1]

---------------------------more tomorrow------------------------

Join our “Victory over the Darkness”, “The Bondage Breaker”, "Freedom in Christ" series of Discipleship Classes via the mt4christ247 podcast!

at https://mt4christ247.podbean.com, You can also find it on Apple podcasts

(https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-mt4christ247s-podcast/id1551615154). The mt4christ247 podcast is also available on Google Podcasts, Amazon Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartradio, and Audible.com. 

These teachings are also available on the MT4Christ247 You Tube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/@MT4Christ247

Email me at mt4christ247@gmail.com to receive the class materials, share your progress, and to be encouraged.

My wife, TammyLyn, also offers Christian encouragement via her Ask Seek Knock blog (https://tammylynask.blogspot.com/ ),  her Facebook Group: Ask, Seek, Knock (https://www.facebook.com/groups/529047851449098 ) and her podcast Ask, Seek, and Knock on Podbean (https://feed.podbean.com/tammalyn78/feed.xml)

For those who require the assistance of a Deeper Walk International Prayer Minister to experience healing or your freedom in Christ, I highly recommend Christy Edge’s Life on the Edge Freedom Prayer Ministry. You can schedule a session by going to : https://cedge216.wixsite.com/life-on-the-edge     

“The views, opinions, and commentary of this publication are those of the author, M.T. Clark, only, and do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of any of the photographers, artists, ministries, or other authors of the other works that may be included in this publication, and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of any entities the author may represent.”

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship


[1] Arthur Walkington Pink, The Holy Spirit (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, n.d.).