Wednesday, January 8, 2014

An Open Mind that Loves the Truth

Sometimes when people come to God for confirmation, they do so with a closed mind. They come to Him wanting Him to tell them what they want to hear, and that prevents them from getting His opinion on those issues.  It prevents them from knowing God's will. For example, there are the matters, which I have posted in Godly Attire and Adornment -- Seven Divine Revelations, Rock, Rap, and Reggae Music -- Three Divine Revelations, Alcohol and Cigarettes -- Ten Divine Revelations, and A Warning for Married Christian Couples,  just to name a few.

Love the Truth
You’ve got to love the Truth, buy it, and sell it not (Pr 23:23).  If you will approach this matter with an open mind, sincerely wanting the whole Truth, and nothing but the Truth, you will find it.  I know this from personal experience, since that’s how I came to know Christ.  When a friend first told me I was searching for Jesus, as a nineteen-year old soldier in the US Army, I didn’t believe him.  But when I searched the Scriptures and asked God to show me the whole Truth and nothing but the Truth, then the Truth set me free, and the Lord Jesus Christ saved me (see The Truth Set Me Free!). He is the Truth!

I want to be very clear what kind of open mind I am not talking about.  I am not talking about being open to every idea that comes along, nor do I mean being open to every religion’s beliefs, as if they all represent the Truth.  To do so is like having a well in front of your home, which is open at the top, above the ground.  If it were left uncovered, and any time someone comes along and asks to dump something in it, you allow them to do so, people would come and dump sewage, used engine oil, and all kinds of toxic substances into your well.  Since the spring that supplies the well is your source of pure drinking water, you would be foolish to have that sort of openness to your well.  You need to guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life (Pr 4:23). No man comes to the Father, except through Jesus Christ.

Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” (Joh 14:6)

So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, "If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free." (Joh 8:31-32)

It’s the same way with anything.  If you approach it with a closed mind, you will only succeed in holding onto your old ideas and ways of thinking, as well as your old way of living.  Like an old faucet that has been closed for so long that when it is turned on it only gushes forth with rusty water, your mind will only gush forth with corrupted, corroded, polluted ideas. 

Renewing of Our Minds is Needed
Sin has a noetic effect.  That means it has a negative influence on the mind’s ability to function correctly.  It leads to warped thinking and spiritual blindness. We’ve become conformed to the world more than we even realize!  This is why we need Jesus Christ to transform us by the renewing of our minds. 

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Ro 12:1-2)

There are too many unbelieving believers! We cannot begin to fathom how much we have been conditioned, programmed, or brainwashed by the world and the traditions of men. The term “world” refers to this present world system we live in, which is ruled by the god of this world – satan.  

“The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” (2 Cor 4:4)

Culture and Traditions of Men
Much of what we call culture or fashion is actually the world.  Then there are traditions of men, which are teachings of men that are not from God.  Although they may have a form of godliness, they deny the power thereof.  Although religious men in positions of spiritual authority may teach them, they are not the Truth. 

As I demonstrated in my article, Tradition vs. Truth, they actually keep us from obeying God’s Word.  God commands us to love and do good.  But the traditions of men say things like, “You cannot heal on the Sabbath, since that would be work,” or “You are no longer obligated to help your parents, because you have dedicated that money to God through a solemn oath.”  Beware of the traditions of men!  Don’t be deceived into hell by them!

The Voice of the Lord
You had better make sure you are listening to the Lord’s voice and not the voice of men.  (See Hearing the Lord's Voice). The Lord is the Good Shepherd of the sheep, who leads His sheep lovingly and wisely into paths of righteousness (Ps 23:3).  Sometimes He uses His staff to do so, and other times He may use His rod (Ps 23:4b).  His sheep follow him because they know his voice. They will not listen to a stranger.

“But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.” (Jn 4:5)

Strangers are those teaching traditions of men or anything contrary to God’s holy Word.  It could be your pastor, who knows that you, as a sister, are living with your boyfriend or cross-dressing, and yet only speaks of grace, telling you that you are “free,” rather than confronting your sin.  It could be a commentary of the Bible, or a preacher on TV.  It could be your Christian brother or sister – even a member of your own family.  Will you love them more than God?  They will not be able to deliver you when you stand before the Lord in the judgment.  If you did not act on His Word, He will tell you, “I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!” (Mt 7:23)

Peace or Division
The Lord said we must love Him more than father or mother – more than our own flesh (Lk 14:26-27).  When we do so, it will bring division, because He did not come to bring peace on the earth, but a sword.

“I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! But I have a baptism to undergo, and what constraint I am under until it is completed! Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division. From now on there will be five in one family divided against each other, three against two and two against three. They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.” (Lk 12:49-53)

His Word is sharper than any two-edged sword!

“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” (He 4:12)

Doctrines of Demons
A closed mind refuses to even consider the possibility that something could be true.  It says, “Everyone knows the world is flat, not round.”  It says, “There’s nothing wrong with living together with my boyfriend, because we love each other.” It leads to bigotry, prejudice, and false teachings.  It leads you to approach a subject with your preconceived notion, and reject anything that does not agree.

We should have a closed mind to anything contrary to God’s Word.  We should not open ourselves up to strange teachings and doctrines of demons.  We must make sure we only listen to the Lord’s voice.  But when we are challenged, reproved, or corrected from the Word of God by someone, we need to take it to the Lord.  We must search the Scriptures to see if these things are true.

If apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers, have properly equipped you, then you will be prepared for works of service (Eph 4:11-13).  Then every new teaching you hear will no longer sway you.

“Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” (Eph 4:14-16)

You will be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God.  You will become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

The Whole Body Builds Itself  Up
From Him the whole Body builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.  This means that you are not an island.  No church or individual has a corner on the Truth.  You need the other members of the Body, and we need you.  Just because the Lord has not revealed something to you or to the group you belong to, it does not mean it is not true.  If the Lord revealed everything to you, then you would possess all knowledge, and you would cease to need the other members of the Body.  No matter whether you are a teacher of the Word, who can explain the Bible well.  No matter whether you are an apostle or prophet, and the Lord has genuinely given you exceedingly great revelations, you still need the other members of the Body.  So don’t close your mind to what they say in the name of the Lord, but search the Scriptures to see if it is really so.

Scripture Meditations
“Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.” (Ac 17:11)

“But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth.” (Jn 16:13a)

"Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life." (Pro 4:23)

“I have a message from God in my heart concerning the sinfulness of the wicked: There is no fear of God before their eyes. In their own eyes they flatter themselves too much to detect or hate their sin.” (Ps 36:1-2)

“For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.” (2 Tim 4:3-4)

“The way of fools seems right to them, but the wise listen to advice. (Pr 12:15)

“Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion.” (He 3:15)

“The mocker seeks wisdom and finds none, but knowledge comes easily to the discerning.” (Pr 14:6)

“There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death.” (Pr 14:12)

“Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter. Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight.” (Is 5:20-21)

"The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with how Satan works. He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie, and all the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness." (2 Thes 2:9-12)

The Challenge
Don't be deceived by all the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing.  Don’t just gather around yourself teachers to say what you want to hear.  Don’t turn you’re your ears away from the Truth. Don’t assume that your way is right, just because it seems right to you, but listen to advice.  Even though the way you have been going may appear to be right, it could still lead to death.  Don’t stand up for a bad cause, and call evil good or good evil.  Don’t put darkness for light or light for darkness, and don’t be wise in your own eyes or clever in your own sight.  Make sure you are listening to the Lord’s voice, and not man’s.  Don’t harden your heart to the Lord’s voice. Don't refuse to love the Truth and so be saved.

Love the Truth and keep your mind open to what the Holy Spirit would say to you.  No matter who you are, you still need the other members of the Body of Christ.  Listen to the revelations that I have presented in these testimonies given in the name of the Lord Jesus, and search the Scriptures like a Berean to see if what they said is true.  Pray about it and ask the Lord to confirm to you if these things are true; the Holy Spirit will lead you into all Truth.  Then you will know the Truth and the Truth will set you free.

If any man wants to see the Lord, he must walk in truth, righteousness, and holiness.  That is the only standard for heaven. The Lord still loves you, but His standard is high, His mercy is only attainable in the world.

Attribution notice: Scriptures taken from The Holy Bible, New International Version® NIV®, unless otherwise noted.

Author's note Also see Garments of Godliness, Godly Attire and Adornment -- Seven Divine Revelations, Rachael Mushala Testimony of Hell, The Forgotten Sin of Worldliness, Faith Works!, Keeping Sundays Holy, Separation from the World, The Highest Form of Slavery, and Is Tithing Required? You can access the Seeking the Lord Main Directory or my complete blog directory at "Writing for the Master." Now I'd like to ask a very important question.

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission.

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