By Pastor George D. Cutler
Grace Gospel Ministry
The majority of Christendom believes that ones own innate inclinations, as they translate into varying actions; result in independent determinants of daily occurrences. Such is the expression of the terminology, “decisions and choices,” as they are perceived to control and shape the course of things that transpire. In the formulation of this mindset lies the basis, which seeks to blot out the issue of human mortality and instead establish man’s independence from God (based upon his own efforts). Such thinking even seeks to blot out the issue of depravity (evidenced by mankind’s personal sins) and instead establish the ability of mortals to produce inherent goodness apart from God. This type cogitation even seeks to blot out the consistent testimony of the incurably evil nature of the world (steeped in creature rebellion and irretrievably sullied by it) and instead suggest the possibility of establishing a new man-made Eden on earth (both personal and collective)........... by helping God!
This transmundane has bought forth the thinking that has moved mankind from the primitive practice of worshiping things and worshiping self to worshiping what one esteems, to what one does, to what one is perceived to effectuate. In this view, humans (yes, even God’s people) in effect create an idol (a personal good or goal) and glory in its perceived accomplishment. This unfortunate illusion does not take into account that God has a sovereign plan and purpose that He has already determined (worked out) from eternity. Too many of God’s people subconsciously and some consciously practice the pursuance of such even though the perceived good or goal is not God's good or goal, as they assume in doing so that their intentions can trump God's will. In this sense, the assumption is that God needs mankind’s cooperation to accomplish this good or goal and that without such participation, it wouldn't or couldn't be accomplished.
In this view, it is assumed that humans are “helping God,” but in reality such posturing is only illusionary living. All of mankind (especially believers) must come to realize that no lives could ever be "fixed" or “influenced” apart from God through His design and truth. Actually, nothing in this world will ever be "fixed" apart from God through His eternal plan and decrees. Some, who continue to misunderstand God’s processes, transmogrify from confidence and esteem in self instead of in God; to looking to self for ultimate truth instead of to God. In reality of course, such end up relying on, esteeming, looking to and prioritizing the humanistic–physical sphere (but that of course is the purpose of this integrated system of deception). Thus, it is outrageous to assume that pitifully limited human beings could ever rise above the sin and evil that is the nature of depravity and through self inspired efforts, create their own personal paradise on earth (individual or collective).
This mindset is merely a small step from assuming that one has no need of God and is in fact capable of exerting actions that are equal to His (the essential logic that flows from trusting in oneself). Within this cogitation is the sub-conscientious assumption that ones view of this world and its life functions, is more realistic than what God proclaims in His Word. This is indeed a flawed assumption, which in effect exudes the notion that independent human actions are absolutely necessary in assisting God though no one would ever venture to put it in these terms but that is what such behavior amounts to. Hence there is the tendency to "help God" apart from His will, as though the determination abides within oneself to decide what is good to do for the world and for oneself (apart from what God wills). It is in this sense that some are establishing goals and standards that they believe to be equal and maybe even superior to God’s.
While this may seem to be not only an outrageous but unlikely mind-set, it is in fact the principle upon which the majority of the world's population is currently operating. For whether in the social, political or religious realms, the majority of mankind is of the opinion that what they are doing is "good", even though it is patently obvious to the informed child of God that most of what is happening in the world is far from good in light of the divine definition of that word. But most people and groups are adept at justifying their actions …….. not on the basis of divine standards of truth (for the truth of God reproves, corrects and aligns according to His righteousness) but according to their own self-centered constructed standards. These types of standards are generally flexible enough to bend to whatever fleshly desires that may be prevailing at any given time, which are standards that are innately diabolical at their base. It is critical to understand that it is God’s standards, which establishes what is good; conversely, just because something may appear to be good, does not make it so.
Thus, all daily functioning should be based upon the truth that God's will is the issue, not human will; that God's righteousness is the perfect standard, not depraved pathetic self-righteousness. It is of course right and proper for every child of God to desire to please God but this is possible only according to His will. A corroborative example is, when Paul went to Damascus with every intent to have the leaders of the Kingdom Church arrested and taken to Jerusalem for trial and what had previously amounted to judicial murder, he was earnestly convinced that he was "doing good" and "helping God" by working to eradicate this blasphemous sect (cf. John 16:2). Contrariwise, in reality of course, he was persecuting Jesus Christ and His church (Acts 9:5; 22:7-8; 26:14-15; Galatians 1:13). Thus, what he originally vigorously opposed became the very cause to which he would later devote his life and for which he would ultimately lose it.
The truth of the matter is that the righteousness of Jesus Christ is the only true good - the center and focus of all God's manifested workings. This is the essence of what opposition to God is designed to replace and substitute for. "Doing good" apart from Christ’s righteousness, worse yet, "doing good" while denying the exclusiveness of its essence, is in rebellion to the entire purpose and plan of God for the lives of His elect; for only in Jesus Christ is there any solution to the dilemma of the sinful human nature. This is true whether the issue is applicable to ones own personal life or the world in general. The faithfulness of Jesus Christ and His redemptive work is the exclusive remedy for mankind to be saved and delivered from sin, evil, disease and death that characterize the functioning of the world. It is only through His glorious return and decreed Kingdom that this world will ever be straightened out. Those who claim to be able to do “good” apart from God’s plan are abiding in illusionary folly. Such are convinced that they are able to improve a world that God has long ago marked for complete renovation, as this is the only plausible adduce for alleviating evil from it entirely. In essence, to deny the decrees of God is to deny the need for a Savior and His solution, which in effect is to proclaim arrogantly instead that mankind is somehow able to "help God" by human paltry activities.
Accordingly, it is crucial for God’s people to understand that the role of mankind is restricted to the operational aspect of functioning within God’s assigned course for each individual according to His purpose. Comprehension of this truth effectively delineates human perceptions as distinguished from divine facts, as the following illustration displays:
The integrated world-system, as viewed by the conceptualization of humanly perceived antithetical conveyances above, form the essential propaganda system for mankind’s (and in effect Satan's) implementation of his rule over the world. Contrariwise, the impartations of truths according to divine factuality are essentially progressive (in the order listed above) and when accepted, serve to mutually reinforce the realities of life in lieu of the illusions of human imagination:
Therein abides the basis of mindset for Satan’s and mankind’s world system. This is the acceptable cogitation and lie that have seduced the rank and file of mankind. This is the intuitive expression that exercises control over this cosmos through the lie that seeks to ensnare all of mankind. The accumulation of common human responses to this propaganda is incited by greed, pride and self-righteousness; which has culminated in an integrated system of organized gross depravity and evil that is better known as the chaos termed "human history". Human history (as opposed to God’s eternal plan of salvation for His elect, which He is manifesting in the course of time) is not really progressive at all from the divine point of view but actually and inherently regressive.
Society’s organized functioning draws its operation and structure from the depraved nature of its environment and is thoroughly self absorbed despite God’s active divine restraint of gross evil. Given its internal mechanism for evaluating right and wrong and good and evil (that is, its conscience), it reliance is upon the sensible efforts of “good and just men” to moved humanity "forward" or at least “retarded its decline.” As it is however, human kind and civilization are accelerating on the downward spiral that has been its course since its manifested separation, as identified in the Garden of Eden. The wide-spread fallacious assumption that the world is now somehow better off than mankind of ages past certainly does not proceed from a divine or even a humanistic, moral point of view.
True manifested faith in God is at best varied and in more diluted form than ever before in the history of the world, and as for the progression of evil, one may even say the astounding invention of new and more elaborate and tolerable forms of evil and their widespread distribution and availability is rampart and in more concentrated form than ever before. According to prophecy, this trend will accelerate on into the dark tribulation period, culminating in the double-tier return of the Lord Jesus Christ. Hence, so-called “human choices and decisions,” are not effective components of determinants and do not exert control of occurrences as the present world’s system boasts. In fact, what is being exhibited more than ever before is less discipline and control and at the same time more crime, sin and demonstrable evil, as more opportunity for the exercise of these vices (along with an ever greater ability to rationalize them) are manifested in terms of progress. The reality of course is that in terms of "human achievement", things are surely unstable and unsettled in this era of modification, technological-economic, socio-political and continuously, even religious changes. It is incredible but while most of God’s people would rightly assess some of these things as obviously bad (increase in certain culture activities, dilution of genuine faith in and adherence to the Bible, etc.), many more of these changes that masquerade as advances are enthusiastically embraced.
In mankind’s search to extract information for the supposed purpose of shaping opinions and forging decisions and choices, there is more dependency on the collective thoughts of humanity and less reliance on the directives of Divinity. Corroboration of this is documented by recent reports indicating that more time is logged on the internet for secular mutation than any other single purpose. Many access fruitful studies via the internet and there are other positive uses for the medium and even some morally productive ones but there is no question about the fact that this technological "super-highway" for information is being used in a most aggressive fashion as a substitute for spiritual direction. Technology is an effective tool but a tool in the hands of the depraved nature of mankind is at best a morally ambiguous thing. Add to this a world system that is constantly exerting its influence toward sinfulness, self-love and technology, as it becomes merely a means of accelerating the implementation of the human mindset.
There is no sound basis for opposition to technology nor should there be for indeed it is useful for God's work. But it is the epitome of carnality to reach beyond the value limits of it or to bestow too much praise upon it, for like almost all so-called "progressive forces” in the sphere of time, it is in truth the advancement of plans for the enslavement and destruction of the human race. It is in fact the illusionary establishment of a state wherein all limitations of God's built-in restraints are perceived to be non-existing. Such phenomenon will be the order in the dark days of the Great Tribulation. Due in great part to so-called materialistic "progress", the realization of this decreed state of affairs is steadily evolving according to its course. A great component of the reason for this is that such techno-cultural progress is inevitably coupled with a corresponding spiritual regression. The reason for this is simple. Proportionally, as one depends upon oneself and human abilities, the less such is interested in God and all that He has decreed for His elect.
In essence, humanly perceived ethological and scientific "progress" requires no moral advancement at all. Indeed, all the collective accomplishments in this vein (minuscule from the standpoint of all that is in the universe, not to mention from the true point of comparison, the Creator of the universe) have served as operational components of mankind’s alienation from God. This is displayed in mankind’s exuberance in creating a false sense of mastery over the material world (though death remains and suffering has intensified). Hence, for those who are not blessed to internalize the true spiritual realities of life (the forgiveness of sin through the blood of Jesus Christ, first and foremost); it is all too easy to allay their dependence upon human technology, which in turn undermines their reliance upon God. Such gives the flawed impression that human choices and decisions ultimately determine the course of life.
Plunging headlong into the myth that scientific, technological, social, cultural and human progress disembogues the ultimate value ardently solidifies this illusionary mindset. Faith in technology and other phenomena (instead of faith in God), i.e., hope in political solutions (instead of God's solutions) and prioritization for human cultural accomplishments (instead of for God and the sacrifice of His Son), are common variations on the carnal theme of working to make heaven on earth. In reality, any effort whose equation does engender the enablement of God exudes the impossibility of human accomplishments and is foolhardy. Only God can satisfy the true needs of depraved humanity, which are in essence: forgiveness of the sin nature, spiritual peace and eternal life.
The unscriptural misapprehension of a re-won paradise on earth is insanely ludicrous for sinful mortal creatures but many have unfortunately cogitated into this myth. It is the height of absurdity to openly flaunt the independent and determinant notion of the “abilities” of mankind apart from God (despite the limitless testimony that He has documented of Himself in every aspect of His creation), thus concomitantly proclaiming unreserved faith in the "progress" of the depraved environment. The pseudo-trees of life offered by dispensational misconceived doctrinal percepts merely perpetrate false hopes in this current age. In worshiping progress, one is merely establishing a new system of idolatry here on earth, fueled by the mindset that mankind’s choices and decisions (mostly aided by God), are the dominant forces of effectuations in this present life.
The attractiveness of the evil one’s (Satan's) integrated world system is inserted into the entire essential spectrum of human life. Here, concentration and focus are predominantly on the well-recognized categories of human experience where perspicuous influences mainly breed. In this sense, Religion and the Occult is the area accruing perhaps the most obvious of satanically inspired infiltrations of influence into the world of mankind, since it is in this field (religion and the occult) where the forces of depravity multitudinously and directly oppose the truth of God. The truth of the matter can best be demonstrated by the passage:
(GNT) “----------- therefore, if anyone might cleanse himself from these things, he will be a vessel unto honor, having been sanctified, very useful to the master, having been prepared unto every good work. But flee from the youthful desires, and pursue righteousness, faithfulness, love, peace with those calling upon the Lord out of a pure heart. But the foolish and ignorant questions avoid, knowing that they breed fights; and a servant of the Lord must not fight, but be gentle toward all, qualified to teach, holding up under evil, in mildness instructing the ones opposing, for perhaps in time God may give to them repentance unto a perfect knowledge of truth, ----“ (II Timothy 2:21-25).
Jesus Christ is the only means of salvation. Manifestation-wise, before Christ’s redemptive display on the cross, those of His elect abided according to their respective covenant promise of justification through the eternal expiatory sacrifice. In this view, beginning with Adam and Eve and their coats of skin onward, there is in effect, the depictions claiming beforehand Christ's manifested work through symbolic animal sacrifices. Subsequent to the testimony of Christ’s sacrificial death on Calvary, one can reflect on it as His saving work for His elect on the cross. Thus, whether the focus is before or after the cross, Christ has always been the only way to God. All other religious, occult systems, doctrines, groups, cults and the like are false paths. To approach God, one must do it according to His dictates and methodology, which is the exclusive means, i.e., the faithfulness of Jesus Christ. This is the only avenue, which brings salvation, forgiveness of sins and the manifested promise of resurrection. None of this can be achieved by good works, self-sacrifice, ritual or membership in any organization. Thus salvation evolves from the eternal redemptive work of Christ alone rather the assertion of mankind’s decisions and choices.
Despite the hyper-materialistic nature of this world, God has imbued His people with His spiritual nature engendering a deep and abiding need to satisfy this essential part of their makeup. Only a true relationship with God through Jesus Christ can truly satisfy this need. In this light, it is important to recognize that the drive for spirituality gravitates toward the phenomena of the eternal unseen, as opposed to the development of the earthly kaleidoscopic variety of alternatives. These run the gamut from staid and traditional religions to outlandish, mystical or cabalistic activities. Some sectors of Christendom are anxious to find something for everyone and anything that intrigues the exposits of mysticism, as such masquerades as the truth of Jesus Christ. Any and all religious activities which do not assess Christ in the undiluted center of things, in effect substitute depraved entities there by default. True spirituality entails the godly endowed desire to seek the attributes of the Creator, while humanly inspired activities merely perpetuate separation from Him.
Organization within itself is not the authenticating ingredient in the conveyance of true spirituality. In this sense, some of God’s people will do things in a group that they would never do on their own. Corollary to this and equally important is the principle that if enough people are doing something in a highly organized manner, then an air of legitimacy will be lent to the enterprise. Such is usually foisted by a false patina of orthodoxy that in effect, usually serve to blind initiates, both new and old to the fact that God and Christ may in reality be entirely absent and the organization subtly carnal in every way. Once enough people become involved in such religious organizations, a momentum and critical mass is achieved that allows these pseudo-groups to present to the world a false picture of spirituality (even though in truth God is not in their midst at all). It is also a common human failing that once some ministries have become involved in something, once they have "thrown good money after bad" long enough, such come to have a vested interest in believing their “decisions and choices” for fear of appearing to have labored in error. For if they admit to having "been had", they fear not only looking foolish but they perceive that all “their sacrifices” have been in vain.
For these reasons, many organizations are good targets for the human-materialistic nature of mankind. Even legitimate God-fearing Christian groups have historically succumbed to this humanistic inspired infiltration. Generations of followers and leaders alike in these type ministries are almost never clear in their thinking in the eternal spiritual realm. When tradition and organization become even more important than the Word of God, it exudes a sense of the abandonment of the true Bible Basics, i.e., the Essential Doctrines of the Bible. In its place, there is the popular and more humanly based entrenchment of self-help, self-control and self-reliance, which doctrinally propagates the unscriptural belief that mankind influences and even determines the course and direction of daily occurrences through their “decisions and choices.” The fact of the matter is that mankind’s input in the process of events is limited to the manifestation aspect of what have been actualized in God’s decrees in the eternal sphere. Accordingly, there is no influential or determinable index that account for any aspect of human-actualization through mankind’s “decisions and choices” in the sphere of time.”