An Intelligent Foundation

By John Thiel, Audio: mp3

John 4:23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. 24 God [is] a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship [him] in spirit and in truth.

The Bible contains an intelligent foundation and yet our present age in which we dwell both in the religious and social circles is a time of uncertainty. Nothing is definite. What has been believed in the past generation is no longer so distinctly believed. In fact they tell us we have to keep up with the times. Faith is held as a class opinion. Every denomination and organisation of Christianity has a different class of faith, a class of opinion. The variety of organisations claiming to be the church of God bewilders the intelligent mind. Impressions, opinions, imaginations feelings and notions govern conviction. A person is convicted by their own impressions, opinions, feelings and notions. They believe them to be part of their convictions. Christianity today is dependent on this nebula for its substantiation. It is a nebulae of euphoria that has no concrete power to hold you if you are an intelligent discerner. I want to explore the God and Christianity of the Bible that provides a secure foundation to base your conviction on. Jesus Christ was and still is today a fundamentalist.

John 8:31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, [then] are ye my disciples indeed;

8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

Is truth relative? Truth is fundamental, it is unchangeable. It is truth and Jesus says if you will follow me you will know truth and there are no shady areas in truth, it is absolute. When Jesus was examined by Pilate, notice his fundamentalist expression.

John 18:37 Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.

Notice how Pilate reacted.

John 18:38 Pilate saith unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and saith unto them, I find in him no fault [at all].

In other words, he had the same problem in that day as people have today. What is truth? All the different fabrications of doctrines that exited among the Jews at that time, the Pharisees, Sadducees and different companies that existed in Judaism confused the genuine seeker for truth and Jesus says I am the one upholding truth, I am the king of truth and that dilemma of fundamentalism that Pilate was having troubles with exists no different today. Here is a fundamental exercise that we can’t escape if we are going to be Disciples of Christ.

The Samaritans

John 4:20 Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship. 21 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. 22 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. 23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. 24 God [is] a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship [him] in spirit and in truth. 

Let us examine the depth of these words that Jesus is expressing. We are to realise what he was doing in reference certain worshippers, the Samaritans, this was a church and they were worshipping in Samaria a particular religious belief. He tells her straight out you worship you know not what. How would you like to be addressed like that by someone? You think you worship aright but you don’t know what you worship. What a fundamentalist mentality not tolerated today. He says the hour cometh and now is where truth worshippers will worship in sprit and in truth in neither mountain. Even the Jews with all their various different beliefs are not worshipping correctly because it is now that the Lord is looking for people that he is a spirit and they must worship him in spirit and in truth. What is Jesus referring to when he said God is a spirit? What does he mean that he is a spirit and we are to worship him in spirit and in truth?

1 Corinthians 2:11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.

When he talked about God being a spirit, what was he referring to? God is a spirit that knows. He knows the deep things, intelligent realities that are through the universe just like every human being is a spirit. When it is referring to the spirit it is the intelligent entity that knows. God is an intelligent entity, a spirit and in worshipping him we need to understand.

John 2:12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.

God wants us to know what he knows.

John 2:13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

It is talking about knowledge, teaching and understanding and speaking things which are not mans but Gods wisdom.

John 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know [them], because they are spiritually discerned.

To worship God in spirit and in truth means to discern spiritually.

John 2:15 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. 16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.

God is an intelligent entity, he is a mind, he is a spirit and to worship God in spirit and in truth means to worship God as an intelligent entity having a mind that is receiving the mind of God and all that he wants to reveal to our mind. To worship him means to do so according to verse 16 that we have the mind of Christ. Jesus refers to this kind of worship.

Matthew 22:37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

This is the first and great commandment. To worship God is to love him with all our heart and soul and mind. Your heart, the seat of your emotions, the mind the intellect, your body, soul and whole being this is what is meant to worship God in spirit and in truth and the mind, the intelligent part of us needs to be renewed by the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

The mind needs to be renewed after the image after the image of him who created us. The natural man cannot understand the things of God. To worship him in spirit and truth is to have a mind in tune with his mind.

Colossians 3:9 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds. 10 And have put on the new [man], which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:

God is a spirit and he created us in his own image and we are to be renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created us. God is a spirit and our worship must be substantiated by the mind and intelligence of God, an intelligent foundation of worship. It is this mind that God has given us that is to be the ruling and government factor in our person. It is very emphatic that we understand that there is a spirit in me that is an intelligent entity that must govern my whole being.

The tempted one needs to understand the true force of the will. This is the governing power in the nature of man–the power of decision, of choice. Everything depends on the right action of the will. Desires for goodness and purity are right, so far as they go; but if we stop here, they avail nothing. Many will go down to ruin while hoping and desiring to overcome their evil propensities. They do not yield the will to God. They do not choose to serve Him. {MH 176.1}

Whatever your future is, whatever you are going to do in life, it depends on your will.

God has given us the power of choice; it is ours to exercise. We cannot change our hearts, we cannot control our thoughts, our impulses, our affections. We cannot make ourselves pure, fit for God’s service. But we can choose to serve God, we can give Him our will; then He will work in us to will and to do according to His good pleasure. Thus our whole nature will be brought under the control of Christ. {MH 176.2}

Did you notice that the governing force that makes the difference in our life is the governing force of our will and that must be intelligently exercised in whichever path I choose to walk? If we are going to worship God in spirit and in truth and ensure our mind is correctly balanced then my will must be submissive to that intelligent will of God.

Through the right exercise of the will, an entire change may be made in the life. By yielding up the will to Christ, we ally ourselves with divine power. We receive strength from above to hold us steadfast. A pure and noble life, a life of victory over appetite and lust, is possible to everyone who will unite his weak, wavering human will to the omnipotent, unwavering will of God. {MH 176.3}

Here is the answer to all our problems whatever it is, here is the answer. I marvel how souls find it so difficult to understand true Christianity. With this mind that is bound together by the power of the will, to the mind of God we are enabled to think his thoughts after him. The disciples did this and that is why the true disciple of Jesus is a fundamentalist in a world of divergent mental opinions. There is a truth that is unbending that we need to be in harmony with if we are going to find sanity, a sure emotional foundation for our lives. The apostle and disciple identified this spirit concept.

1 Corinthians 2:13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

There is no deviation, no maybes, we speak fundamental reality the things of the spirit of God.

1 Corinthians 2:4 And my speech and my preaching [was] not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:

There is a fundamental truth, a practise of life that is unalterable and I am presenting it to you. It is not man’s opinion or enticing ways, it is an assurance that here is truth unadulterated. That is what the apostles spoke about.

1 John 1:1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life. 2 (For the life was manifested, and we have seen [it], and bear witness, and show unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;)

Pure Truth Fellowship

We know what we believe, we have touched and handled it. We have seen it but we have a more sure word of prophecy which is a hugely intelligent confidence that is prophecy unadulterated that is light shining in as dark place so the day star may arise in your heart. Apostle Paul comes home with this statement in a world of variety of Christian opinion.

Galatians 1:8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.

If you differ from what we have taught he is accursed. That goes down well in today’s mentality? Who are you? Who do you think you are? That is what gets thrown at you by holding a firm distinct doctrine that is unbendable you are regarded as an extremist and fundamentalist and you are not a loving and lovable Christian.

Galatians 1:9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any [man] preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed 10 For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.

You and I today are being warned by Jesus. There are many people who really believe that Jesus is their Lord. Many and they do many wonderful things in the name of the Lord. What does Jesus say?

Matthew 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works. 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

Can you trust your warm emotions to God? Can you trust your opinion, emotions, feelings, your imaginary picturing’s of God claiming to be your God? Can you trust it?

It is unsafe to trust to feelings or impressions; these are unreliable guides. God’s law is the only correct standard of holiness. It is by this law that character is to be judged. If an inquirer after salvation were to ask, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” the modern teachers of sanctification would answer, “Only believe that Jesus saves you.” But when Christ was asked this question He said, “What is written in the law? how readest thou?” And when the questioner replied, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, … and thy neighbour as thyself,” Jesus said, “Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.” Luke 10:26-28. {FLB 217.2}

No value is attached to a mere profession of faith in Christ; only the love which is shown by works is counted genuine. Yet it is love alone which in the sight of Heaven makes any act of value. . . . {FLB 217.3}

There are many statements in the Spirit of Prophecy that denote clearly that our faith is not an emotional faith. It is a faith that relies on a thus saith the Lord and nothing short of it. No matter how much I believe in Jesus, if my belief is not in harmony with a thus saith the Lord, he doesn’t know me. Somebody might say, I am promoting legalism but when it says we are to rely on the law and will of God, that does not do away with the precious gospel of Jesus Christ because the faith in Jesus Christ means I have to even practise what is written in reference to my surrender to him at the beautiful cross of Jesus. If it is not done the way that God had revealed it through his word, it is also of no value.

Here is where the security lies to where you can rest your emotions. I have presented a found where my emotions can rest upon. If I have anything diff my emotions are totally irrelevant. What is the truth, the fundamental truth that is engaged in the precious comfort of salvation? When I read the following the statement I thought I must write it out and put it in my wallet to remind myself time and time again this intelligent activity that is required for you and me to be saved.

Blessed is the soul who can say, “I am guilty before God: but Jesus is my Advocate. I have transgressed His law. I cannot save myself; but I make the precious blood that was shed on Calvary all my plea. I am lost in Adam, but restored in Christ. God, who so loved the world as to give His only begotten Son to die, will not leave me to perish while repentant and in contrition of soul. He will not look upon me, for I am all unworthy; but He will look upon the face of His Anointed, He will look upon my Substitute and Surety, and listen to the plea of my Advocate, who died for my sin, that I might be made the righteousness of God in Him. By beholding Him I shall be changed into His image. I cannot change my own character, save by partaking of the grace of Him who is all goodness, righteousness, mercy, and truth. But by beholding Him, I shall catch His spirit, and be transformed into His likeness. The heart that is filled with the grace of Christ will be made manifest by its peace and joy; and where Christ abides, the character will become purified, elevated, ennobled, and glorified. {SD 120.2}

Did you see intelligence here? Did you see an intelligent foundation that there is an intelligent recognition that I am totally undone and guilty and no natural human mind is prepared to say that. We always fish for something that makes me feel good within myself. Egocentrism is the natural man. For you to say such a thing is the human intelligent mind is in tune with Gods mind. My intelligent mind has picked up the precious realities of the blood shed on Calvary. It has intelligently pursued Jesus in Gethsemane through to the resurrection and the intelligent mind says I am lost in Adam but I am restored in Christ. Can you see the intelligent security expressed? It doesn’t stop there like so many people do.

The intelligent mind continues to behold something of Gods purity and righteousness, as he gazes upon the intelligent representation of God’s word he says I have to change, I can’t go to heaven the way I am. I cannot change my own character, it is an impossibility, I can’t change. By beholding him I shall catch his spirit and be transformed into his likeness. What a wonderful intelligent truth that I am not going to sit by and think I am going to be saved but it doesn’t matter what I’m doing. My character is horrible, intelligently you know that and as you discover your horrible character you realise I have to look away from that character and look upon him and his wonderful character and I know I’m going to be changed as I occupy my mind with that. That intelligent application and knowledge will change and give such security that we will not alter our path as we continue through the path of sanctification. No matter how bad we feel and the mistakes we make, we keep beholding the love of God and the heart keeps breaking and melting and it will change me and there will be peace and joy and this will produce a people that will be so consistent and fundamental that those who haven’t got it will judge them falsely. You and I have a fundamental security, an intelligent foundation in God’s word that unless we embrace we will not stand as the witnesses of Gods pure truth. We are called upon to pursue it intelligently as we have read so powerful in the book Sons and Daughters of God above.

The Security We Provide for the Onlooker

This is in reference to our test that we will be and are going through in reference to Sabbath violation when the despotic power will seek to compel us to violate..

While we will not violate the Sabbath, which a despotic power will seek to compel us to do, we will be wise in Christ—Christ’s wisdom—and not in our own spirit. A consistent, substantial, lovable Christian is a powerful argument for the truth. {CTr 329.3}

Only an intelligent mind clinging to the intelligent mind of God will be consistent in its tenacity to keep hanging onto the mercy and grace and God. It becomes a substance of things hoped for. It is so overwhelmed with the love of God is in own heart that no one no matter horrible they are will be mistreated by us. That will be a powerful argument for truth that is unchangeable and fundamental.

We must say no words that will do ourselves harm, for this would be bad enough, but when we speak words, and when we do presumptuous things that imperil the cause of God, we are doing a cruel work, for we give Satan advantage. We are not to be rash and impetuous, but always learning of Jesus and how to act in His Spirit, presenting the truth as it is in Jesus. . . . {CTr 329.3}

Can you trust something, a mind that speaks differently than your impressions, feelings and opinions? Have you learnt that yet? That you trust in a mind that speaks differently to your impressions, notions, feelings and opinions? Can you do it? God has proven that he can be trusted and it is very much the exercise of each one of us every day to rely upon the intelligence that is diff to my opinion, feelings, impressions and emotions. It is my prayer that we can rest all our being upon him who has so graciously given us that intelligent truth that I read about as the great atonement that was made for me in Jesus Christ. May God bless us to concrete and confirm our hold upon this intelligent foundation.

Amen.

Posted on January 16, 2011, in Divine Service Sermons, Sermons by John Thiel. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Jesus’ fundamentalism is based on the knowledge He had of the Father. John 3:31-35, Matthew11:27, John12:48-50. Unadulterated Truth is fact based on the word of God. It is obligatory for one called to Truth to search and know the Creator. It is one thing to have a knowledge of God; but another to know Him. For the later affirms a personal relationship. Every promise of God is as it is without any twist to it. To assume inconsistencies to suit one’s beliefs diverts our knowledge of Him from that Which is Truth. Jesus says not an iota should be removed from the word. I love this teaching on and I pray that we do realise the importance of knowing the Creator.

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