Author Topic: Condition of the Heart  (Read 2122 times)

PeteWaldo

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Condition of the Heart
« on: October 03, 2013, 12:44:32 PM »
A thought from Ellis Skolfield:

"Greetings brethren,
 
I don’t personally write much anymore, but over the last few days, I’ve been led to write the following. Maybe it’s for my web site or for the chat room I visit.  Just thought I’d pass it on . . .
 
-----------------------------------
 
In 1701, Asano Takumi-no-Kami Naganori, Lord of Ako Prefecture, was ordered to appear at the Shogun’s palace to perform a couple of ceremonial duties. Lord Asano was a most honorable and devout Confucian who stood on precepts very similar to those in the Bible. But an edict by the Shogun in 1635 kept Christianity out of Japan so it was impossible for Lord Asano to have even heard of Jesus.
 
Lord Asano was to be instructed in court etiquette and protocol by the Shogun’s Chamberlain, one Kira Yoshinaka, a greedy and lecherous court official who expected to be bribed for everything he did. Lord Asano hated court corruption and refused, so Lord Kira continually browbeat Lord Asano, who kept his temper until Lord Kira insulted him publically. That was something the proud Asano could not allow so he drew his sword and attempted to kill Kira. He was prevented from doing so by nearby retainers.
 
This was no minor misdeed; drawing a sword in the Shogun’s palace, regardless of provocation, was an automatic death sentence by seppuku (the ritual and public slitting of one’s own stomach).  Lord Asano knew he would die, be dishonored, his lands seized, his family disgraced and his samurai made homeless, but his honor allowed him to do nothing else so he accepted the judgment of the Shogun and committed seppuku.
 
Well, forty-seven of Lord Asano’s samurai knew this had been an unjust judgment and they really honored their liege lord so they bound together in a blood oath to avenge their master’s unjust death and restore his honor. It took them two years of planning, but in 1703 they stormed Lord Kira’s palace, took his head, stuck it on a pole, and marched it through the capital city. They then laid Kira’s head at the grave of Lord Asano and surrendered to authorities.
 
From the beginning, these forty-seven samurai knew they would be ordered to commit seppuku for killing the Shogun’s Chamberlain, but they did it anyway because, from their doctrinal position, this was the most honorable thing they could do. All forty-seven gave their lives for their friend’s honor.
 
Now let’s cut to 2013 and any church in the land. Here we find Alfonzo Schmidlop or the like. And man, does he have his doctrine down. Alfonzo believes in the seven-year tribulation, election, knows the four spiritual laws, has said the sinners prayer, goes to church every Sunday, takes communion and debates all the above ad nauseam. But Alfonzo also sleeps with his neighbor’s wife on Monday, steals from his employer, is a closet drunk, and is judgmental and unforgiving. So let me ask two questions:
 
1.  Is Alfonzo going to heaven because he has his doctrine right?
 
2.  Are those 47 samurai who did what was right going to hell because they didn’t have any doctrine at all?
 
Those samurai didn’t know anything about Jesus, but “greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friend.” And as the Lord told Samuel, “The Lord doesn’t see as man sees. Man looks on the outward appearance (i.e., the doctrine), but the Lord looks upon the heart.”
 
It appears that God is not looking for people with the right doctrine, but people with the right heart. There were plenty who had the right doctrine in Jesus’ day, but He chose to be with the no-pretense types, the publicans and sinners. Point being: We can know a lot about doctrine and debate our individual positions endlessly, but to know a little about the heart of God, ah, that is something worth striving for."

ExMilitary

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Re: Ellis Skolfield Note
« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2013, 07:05:54 PM »
1.  Is Alfonzo going to heaven because he has his doctrine right?
 
2.  Are those 47 samurai who did what was right going to hell because they didn’t have any doctrine at all?

Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.  Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

Marturion

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Re: Ellis Skolfield Note
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2013, 05:24:51 PM »
1.  Is Alfonzo going to heaven because he has his doctrine right?
 
2.  Are those 47 samurai who did what was right going to hell because they didn’t have any doctrine at all?

Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.  Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
Rom 2:12-16  For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law;  (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified. For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:  Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;) In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.


Could those men have had a circumcision of heart just because they followed the law written on their heart, even though they never heard the gospel? It's certainly not my place to judge, but I certainly wouldn’t rule out the possibility. Only God can see the heart, but I can't help wonder considering the verses above.
Rom 1:16  For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth;.....

ExMilitary

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Re: Ellis Skolfield Note
« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2013, 11:55:53 PM »
1.  Is Alfonzo going to heaven because he has his doctrine right?
 
2.  Are those 47 samurai who did what was right going to hell because they didn’t have any doctrine at all?

Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.  Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
Rom 2:12-16  For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law;  (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified. For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:  Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;) In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.


Could those men have had a circumcision of heart just because they followed the law written on their heart, even though they never heard the gospel? It's certainly not my place to judge, but I certainly wouldn’t rule out the possibility. Only God can see the heart, but I can't help wonder considering the verses above.

Vengeance is mine...
Do not murder...
Love your enemy...
Do not repay evil with evil...
Turn the other cheek...

Romans: What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

James: If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well: But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors. For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law. So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty. For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment.

Now, the question is, if one never hears the gospel, how does God extend mercy... if he even does decide to show mercy... because:

Romans: "As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated. What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid. For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy. For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth. Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth. Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will? Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory, Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?

PeteWaldo

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Re: Ellis Skolfield Note
« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2013, 11:24:17 AM »
Now, the question is, if one never hears the gospel, how does God extend mercy...

Looks like where there's no law there's no transgression:

Rom 4:15 Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression.

While some Jews may remain sovereignly blinded to the Gospel to this day, perhaps so they can't sin against it:

Rom 11:28 As concerning the gospel, [they are] enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, [they are] beloved for the fathers' sakes.
http://www.israelinbibleprophecy.com/spirit_of_slumber.htm#enemies_gospel

Perhaps a very different matter for our Gentile Muslim friends who specifically REJECT the whole subject of the Gospel, and blaspheme the Son of God as articles of their faith, in the false prophet Muhammad alone.
http://falseprophetmuhammad.com

2Pe 2:21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.22 But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.
(I may be out of touch until next Thursday)

Marturion

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Re: Ellis Skolfield Note
« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2013, 02:20:43 PM »
Now, the question is, if one never hears the gospel, how does God extend mercy...

Looks like where there's no law there's no transgression:

Rom 4:15 Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression.

While some Jews may remain sovereignly blinded to the Gospel to this day, perhaps so they can't sin against it:

Rom 11:28 As concerning the gospel, [they are] enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, [they are] beloved for the fathers' sakes.
http://www.israelinbibleprophecy.com/spirit_of_slumber.htm#enemies_gospel

Perhaps a very different matter for our Gentile Muslim friends who specifically REJECT the whole subject of the Gospel, and blaspheme the Son of God as articles of their faith, in the false prophet Muhammad alone.
http://falseprophetmuhammad.com

2Pe 2:21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.22 But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.
(I may be out of touch until next Thursday)

Excellent post Pete! So few understand how some of our Jewish bretheren (not all, only some were sovereignly blinded) who have been given the spirit of slumber can be born again while being an enemy of the gospel, despite the fact that they have not recognized the first advent of Christ. After all how can they recognize what they have not been allowed to see?
Rom 1:16  For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth;.....

Marturion

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Re: Ellis Skolfield Note
« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2013, 02:28:58 PM »
Vengeance is mine...
Do not murder...
Love your enemy...
Do not repay evil with evil...
Turn the other cheek...

Romans: What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

James: If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well: But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors. For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law. So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty. For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment.

Now, the question is, if one never hears the gospel, how does God extend mercy... if he even does decide to show mercy... because:

Romans: "As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated. What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid. For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy. For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth. Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth. Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will? Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory, Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?

So what law is it that is written on the hearts of all? Is it all the laws of the Old Testament or is it maybe just 2?

Mat 22:36-40  Master, which is the great commandment in the law? 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. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

In another forum Ellis Skolfield made the following post.
Quote
Back in the late 40s, Watchman Nee was holding a series of tent meetings in Outer Mongolia. At the end of one service, an old Mongolian man walked up to him and gave this testimony . . .

"When I was very young, my mother took me to a Buddhist temple to burn incense and offer sacrifices. I looked at that idol and said to myself, ‘Buddha, you are just a piece of stone and can’t do anything for me good or ill, and besides that you’re ugly, so I’m not going to worship you. Then I walked out into the courtyard, raised my hands towards the sky and said, "Oh God who made all of this, I don’t know who You are or anything about You, but it is You I am going to worship all my life." Then with tears running down his face the man said, "I’ve met God twice in my life, the first time was back in that courtyard, the second time is now, when I know who He is."

So the question is this, when was the Mongolian saved? The first time He met God, but had no doctrine, or the second time when he knew Jesus as his Savior?

Just my humble opinion (I certainly don't claim to know God's judgments) but I would not be a bit surprised if the Mongolian was actually born again the day he decided to worship the one true God.

Rom_11:33  O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!
Rom 1:16  For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth;.....

ExMilitary

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Re: Ellis Skolfield Note
« Reply #7 on: October 25, 2013, 06:41:54 PM »
So what law is it that is written on the hearts of all? Is it all the laws of the Old Testament or is it maybe just 2?

Mat 22:36-40  Master, which is the great commandment in the law? 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. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

There is no difference.  Like Jesus said, on these two hang all the law and prophets.  Of the ten commandments, 1-4 are the equivalent of "Love the Lord thy God with all..." and 5-10 are the equivalent of "Love thy neighbour as thyself."  Commandment 5 could probably waffle in there somewhere... not to mention that all 10 are part of loving God with all.

Quote
In another forum Ellis Skolfield made the following post.
Quote
Back in the late 40s, Watchman Nee was holding a series of tent meetings in Outer Mongolia. At the end of one service, an old Mongolian man walked up to him and gave this testimony . . .

"When I was very young, my mother took me to a Buddhist temple to burn incense and offer sacrifices. I looked at that idol and said to myself, ‘Buddha, you are just a piece of stone and can’t do anything for me good or ill, and besides that you’re ugly, so I’m not going to worship you. Then I walked out into the courtyard, raised my hands towards the sky and said, "Oh God who made all of this, I don’t know who You are or anything about You, but it is You I am going to worship all my life." Then with tears running down his face the man said, "I’ve met God twice in my life, the first time was back in that courtyard, the second time is now, when I know who He is."

So the question is this, when was the Mongolian saved? The first time He met God, but had no doctrine, or the second time when he knew Jesus as his Savior?

Just my humble opinion (I certainly don't claim to know God's judgments) but I would not be a bit surprised if the Mongolian was actually born again the day he decided to worship the one true God.

Rom_11:33  O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!

The Mongolian was saved when God saved him.  "Judge nothing before it's time."

Again, why do we even ask these questions?  It isn't for us to know.  This issue has been debated throughout church history.

To present a people who have (in man's eyes) done a righteous work by killing an evil leader, holding up ONE act of works, and counterposing that with a broad survey of an unrepentant Pharisee's character and then planting the seed of "how could God be fair in judging the killers as unrighteous" is just plain dangerous.  Is it by one act that we determine the totality of a man's nature?

With this line of thinking taken to it's logical conclusion, we would have no need to spread the Gospel because people can be saved apart from hearing it... in fact, it may be that, in light of harshness of judgement for rejection of the gospel, it might be kinder of us to NOT spread the gospel for fear of someone rejecting it and encountering a harsher judgment.

PeteWaldo

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Re: Ellis Skolfield Note
« Reply #8 on: October 31, 2013, 07:15:50 AM »
So what law is it that is written on the hearts of all? Is it all the laws of the Old Testament or is it maybe just 2?

Mat 22:36-40  Master, which is the great commandment in the law? 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. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

There is no difference.  Like Jesus said, on these two hang all the law and prophets.  Of the ten commandments, 1-4 are the equivalent of "Love the Lord thy God with all..." and 5-10 are the equivalent of "Love thy neighbour as thyself."  Commandment 5 could probably waffle in there somewhere... not to mention that all 10 are part of loving God with all.

Quote
In another forum Ellis Skolfield made the following post.
Quote
Back in the late 40s, Watchman Nee was holding a series of tent meetings in Outer Mongolia. At the end of one service, an old Mongolian man walked up to him and gave this testimony . . .

"When I was very young, my mother took me to a Buddhist temple to burn incense and offer sacrifices. I looked at that idol and said to myself, ‘Buddha, you are just a piece of stone and can’t do anything for me good or ill, and besides that you’re ugly, so I’m not going to worship you. Then I walked out into the courtyard, raised my hands towards the sky and said, "Oh God who made all of this, I don’t know who You are or anything about You, but it is You I am going to worship all my life." Then with tears running down his face the man said, "I’ve met God twice in my life, the first time was back in that courtyard, the second time is now, when I know who He is."

So the question is this, when was the Mongolian saved? The first time He met God, but had no doctrine, or the second time when he knew Jesus as his Savior?

Just my humble opinion (I certainly don't claim to know God's judgments) but I would not be a bit surprised if the Mongolian was actually born again the day he decided to worship the one true God.

Rom_11:33  O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!

The Mongolian was saved when God saved him.  "Judge nothing before it's time."

Again, why do we even ask these questions?  It isn't for us to know.  This issue has been debated throughout church history.

To present a people who have (in man's eyes) done a righteous work by killing an evil leader, holding up ONE act of works, and counterposing that with a broad survey of an unrepentant Pharisee's character and then planting the seed of "how could God be fair in judging the killers as unrighteous" is just plain dangerous.  Is it by one act that we determine the totality of a man's nature?

With this line of thinking taken to it's logical conclusion, we would have no need to spread the Gospel because people can be saved apart from hearing it... in fact, it may be that, in light of harshness of judgement for rejection of the gospel, it might be kinder of us to NOT spread the gospel for fear of someone rejecting it and encountering a harsher judgment.

I made it back to town. By the way, good to have you back Marturion.
ExMil, it could well be that "ignorance is bliss". However the more followers of Muhammad that are brought the Gospel, the better off all of humanity will be. It isn't just about them.

CNS reports: "Sunni Muslim terrorists committed “about 70 percent” of the 12,533 terrorist murders in the world last year, according to a report by the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC)."

That's for the year 2011, and that percentage doesn't even include Shiite Muslim terrorist murders. Thus it should be obvious to all non-Muslims, that the world would be largely at peace today, if the followers of Muhammad had not been commanded to "fight and slay" non-Muslims in the "cause" of "Allah".
http://www.falseprophetmuhammad.com/jihad_islamic_terrorism.htm
Just imagine how the world would change if they all became Christians.

"Considering Muhammad's followers interest in one-way so-called "tolerance", and one-way control of speech in which Muhammad and his follower's blasphemy would get a pass, it should come as no surprise to find that in a poll conducted by Wenzel Strategies on Oct. 22-26, 2012 regarding U.S. Muslims in the "land of the free":  “Almost half of those Muslims surveyed – an astonishing 46 percent – said they believe those Americans who offer criticism or parodies of Islam should face criminal charges,” said pollster Fritz Wenzel in an analysis of the survey’s results."

“Even more shocking: One in eight respondents said they think those Americans who criticize or parody Islam should face the death penalty, while another nine percent said they were unsure on the question”."
http://www.falseprophetmuhammad.com/blasphemy_laws.htm#islam_is_blasphemy

It could be that we bring Muhammad's followers the Gospel, as much for our heirs and the future of the world, as for Muhammad's followers.