Article Based On A Sermon given 4 July 2009

The Spirit Of A Sound Mind

by Jon Bowles

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In the past nine sermons I talked about the Fruit of the Spirit that you find over in Galatians 5:22-23; but there is one vital attribute that I haven't covered, and here in II Timothy 1:1 we find very clearly what is mentioned. It starts off with Paul saying:

"Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, according to the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus, To Timothy, my dearly beloved son: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. I thank God, whom I serve from my forefathers with pure conscience, that without ceasing I have remembrance of thee in my prayers night and day; Greatly desiring to see thee, being mindful of thy tears, that I may be filled with joy;" (II Timothy 1:1-4)

Now Paul was actually in Rome at the time. He was under lock and key. I suppose it sounds, when we read certain instances, he was probably in chains, perhaps even chained to a guard, who knows, at this particular time. II Timothy 1:5:

"When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also." (II Timothy 1:5)

He was somebody who had actually grown up in Church and who had learned what he learned from his mother and his grandmother. He brings out that it was the case that here was somebody - and if you think about it in the actual timing of this, his mother and his grandmother would probably be going back to the things they understood from the Old Testament. Because he wasn't a Church kid in the modern sense, he was one that had been steeped in the Jewish religion before. Notice he says his mother and his grandmother - his mother was Jewish, but his father was a Greek. So in fact it was coming from his mother's side that he understood the things that he did. But I want you to notice; here Paul is saying to Timothy that he is persuaded that this Spirit of God that was in your mother, that was in your grandmother, is also in you. II Timothy 1:6:

"Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands." (II Timothy 1:6)

So presumably Paul may have actually baptized him. He certainly would have gone ahead and ordained him, but he would probably have baptized him as well, because he says; "...in thee by the putting on of my hands" (II Timothy 1:6). There's the indication of the very Spirit of God that is in there. Mind you, it may be the gift that he had was being ordained a minister. It is unclear as to what that actually means. But it says; and II Timothy 1:7 is the one I wanted us all to notice:

"For God hath not given us the spirit of fear..." (II Timothy 1:7)

And Timothy, if you will notice what other things have been said about him; "Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach's sake and thine often infirmities." (I Timothy 5:23). Did he have a stomach ulcer? Was he fearful naturally? Was his natural reaction one of being fearful? Paul is saying; "No, God hasn't given us the spirit of fear." He is encouraging him to actually do something which goes against the grain.

On the website you can download the sermon I gave several years ago on this book of II Timothy, and detailing exactly what was going on during this time. It was a Bible Study that I gave on the book, 'Why II Timothy?' 12 April 2004. Now II Timothy 1:7:

"For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." (II Timothy 1:7)

That 'sound mind' literally means what it says. You go back to the original word, (Strong's 4995), and that is exactly what it means. I didn't cover that aspect in the sermons about the Fruit of the Spirit, the series of nine sermons that I have just given, but this is a vital attribute of the Spirit of God - the attribute of a sound mind. A mind that is sound, a mind that is going in the right direction, a mind that can make decisions, and make the assessments that are necessary.

Paul was encouraging Timothy in these verses and saying; "Look, this is something that has been given to you, something that you actually have. It has been given to you by my hands. Make sure you can use it in this particular instance." He was encouraging him to actually come and see him, and he was in chains. He was not just in chains, he was in chains by Nero. People in chains by Nero, you tend to keep your distance from. That's the reason why he is saying about faith. That is why he is saying about not being fearful, by stirring up the Spirit, the gift that is in you, because anybody going and seeing a prisoner of Nero, then immediately is tarred with the same brush. And that makes you stop and think.

So what I want to do today is talk about this subject of a sound mind. The kind of mind that Timothy had to have, the kind of mind that was Spirit-led. It was a power. It wasn't just an academic kind of sound mind. It was a Spirit of power, a Spirit of love, it is going in the same direction as God's mind. Yet at the same time, it is sound. It is absolutely rock solid. It knows where it is. It is able to assess the future, having looked right into the future, and looked back from that future to where we happen to be today. That obviously has a great deal to tell us right now.

The five areas that I have put down that will examine this particular subject, the subject of having a sound mind according to and coming from the very Spirit of the Almighty God are:

Satan's Pride (PLAY FROM 08:28)

So let's have a look at this subject of Satan's pride, and just read what it actually says in Ezekiel 28:11. This is the scripture that we always turn to, when we are thinking about Satan and about his background, and the position that he finds himself in. I want you to notice Satan's pride, and I also want you to notice he is insane. What he did was insane, it does not make sense:

"Moreover the word of the [Eternal] came unto me, saying, Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus [the one that is behind the prince of Tyre, the individual, the spirit being, the spirit power, that is behind and guiding this prince of Tyre], and say unto him, Thus saith the [Eternal] God; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty [not only is he perfect in beauty, he is also the sum of wisdom, filled with wisdom, I want you to notice that very carefully]. Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold..." (Ezekiel 28:11-13)

If you want to know what they all are, look them up on the internet, because I'm not quite sure which one each one is, but you can imagine that his skin glistened. It glowed with all these iridescent colours that were in these stones.

I was reading the obituary of a man that died recently. He was a resident of New York. He actually was a diamond cutter. He had been given this particular diamond, and for about three months he sat examining this uncut diamond and just trying to work out the best way to start. I mean, any one can get and cut a diamond any old how. It's like somebody gives you a carrot and they might say, "Right, go peel the carrot." So you do, and you get end up with a little carrot about an inch long. But if somebody gives you a diamond, you have to plot it and get the facets. There it is, it's only so many carats in size, it is something very, very small. But to get that perfectly finished diamond he has to study it for months on end. And then he will start to actually make the facets according to how the gem is.

Of some of the famous stones he worked on, I think five stones were over a hundred carats, that he actually ended up with at the end. The biggest kind of diamonds that you or I have probably ever seen, except the Crown Jewels, would be something like twenty to thirty carats; but this was over a hundred. It says there were about five of them that he was working on. He did absolutely exquisite workmanship, but he has just recently died.

Here are all these precious stones, all the glistening, gleaming, beauty that we see in the precious stones; but it is on the surface of his skin. Ezekiel 28:13:

"...the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created [we just can't imagine the way this being could sing].Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee." (Ezekiel 28:13-15)

Remember, he was the sum full of wisdom. He was perfect in beauty, but he was also the sum total of wisdom as well. He was the highest, wisest being that God could create. Ezekiel 28:16:

"By the multitude of thy merchandise [or journeyings] they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will [remove, is a better translation than destroy] thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty [it was vanity that was the problem. Vanity. So when you are looking at the sound mindedness I want you to notice again;], thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness..." (Ezekiel 28:16-17)

So the attitude of mind which came into Satan was one of vanity. He started to look at himself as really something. He was amazing, but only because God made him so. Instead of the way of give, it was suddenly the way of get that was entering his mind. That corrupted the sound mindedness, and that removed the wisdom from him. From that time, he became mad, he became insane. He made irrational, foolish, stupid decisions. Such as: 'Lets go and knock God off His throne'. The Eternal, Ancient of Days - to knock Him off His throne, the One that actually created you and created all things? Insanity, total insanity.

But the reason for the insanity was; "Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness..." (Ezekiel 28:17). By looking at his brightness, by having his heart lifted up because of his beauty - that is what corrupted his wisdom. It was Satan's pride that destroyed his logic; that destroyed his sound mind. God made him with a sound mind, but once that pride got in there, once the vanity took hold, then the entire logic went out the window and he makes irrational, stupid decisions, foolish decisions.

You can see how; "...the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time." (Revelation 12:12). He is enraged by the fact that he has been thrown back down to earth. The tribulation is going to be caused by his frame of mind that is in mankind. It is coming from this spirit source, and this spirit source is coming from a vain source. It is self absorbed, incoming. It is the antithesis of the very Spirit of God which is outgoing, loving, and giving. A spirit of power and love, and of a sound mind. That is the antithesis of this spirit, this satanic mindset that is here.

It is interesting, if you go over to John 8:48 we find here the Jews of Christ's day making an assessment of Christ. Today if you say somebody has a demon they won't accept it at all, but in days gone by and in other countries they do. And here, in the time of the Jews, they did, and they understood about this subject, it says:

"Then answered the Jews, and said unto him, Say we not well that thou art a Samaritan, and hast a devil? Jesus answered, I have not a devil [demon]; but I honour my Father, and ye do dishonour me. And I seek not mine own glory: there is one that seeketh and judgeth. Verily, verily, I say unto you, If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death. Then said the Jews unto him, Now we know that thou hast a [demon]. Abraham is dead, and the prophets; and thou sayest, If a man keep my saying, he shall never taste of death. Art thou greater than our father Abraham, which is dead? and the prophets are dead: whom makest thou thyself?" (John 8:48-53)

Do you see how they actually assessed the subject? That is what Satan is like, vanity-filled and insane. I remember watching a film at one time. It was called 'The Emperor's New Clothes', 2001.

According to the story, 'The Emperor's New Clothes' is about how Napoleon was captured by the British and put onto the island of St. Helena. This individual was not actually Napoleon according to the film. Napoleon had escaped and this was an imposter who then took over his role. Napoleon then continued living in a Paris suburb and fell in love with a lady who had actually lost her husband in the war. And he tried to persuade everybody that he was actually Napoleon. Of course everybody laughed at him. Eventually he was put into a lunatic asylum and the truth suddenly dawned on him as to why. According to this film, when he went into the lunatic asylum, he saw all the other people in there, and they all thought they were Napoleon! Every single one of them walking around as if they were Napoleon!

This is what it says here; "...whom makest thou thyself?" (John 8:53). Again, the spirit is coming from a Satanic spirit and a Satanic spirit has a pride about it. That pride then is mad, it is also twisted, it is insane, completely, totally insane.

When you see Christ it says: ...[Satan] hath nothing in me." (John 14:30). Nothing at all, nothing whatsoever. The reason that was the case is because; "...for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto [Jesus Christ]." (John 3:34). So here in I John chapter 3:24 it says:

"And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him [he is a brother or sister of Jesus Christ]. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us." (I John 3:24)

This Spirit, the Spirit of a sound mind, a Spirit that is totally different from a satanic spirit. I John 4:1:

"Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God..." (I John 4:1)

The word spirit in both Hebrew, Strong's 7307, and Greek, Strong's 4151, also means breath. It's what comes out of the mouth. Therefore, as I am speaking to you I'm using breath. But, I am also using a spiritual breath to form these words, to give these words meaning. It is not a garbled nonsense, or a moo of a cow, but something coming from a spiritual source. I John 4:1:

"Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world [this is how you make the test, how you test whether this Breath is correct or not]. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth ['homologeo' Strong's 3670, this is what the word confess is] that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God" (I John 4:1-2)

Coming in the flesh continually, present progressive tense on that word 'is come'. In other words, what is coming out of the mouth, what is actually being said, what is being spoken; if that bears up with what Christ would speak, then it is coming from the Spirit of God. I John 4:3:

"And every spirit [breath] that confesseth not [is not of the same Word] that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist [is against the Anointed One, because the word Christ means Anointed One, so it is a spirit that works against that], whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you [Christ in us], than he that is in the world [Christ living in us through that very Spirit of God]. They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them. We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error." (I John 4:3-6)

That's how you sort it out, that's the way it's done. What's coming out of the mouth; does it back up what would come out of the mouth of Jesus Christ? If He were there in that particular situation giving whatever was being said? If it does, then it is coming from the right spiritual source. If it doesn't, then it's coming from a wrong spiritual source. That's the way in which you determine between the two spiritual sources, in the context of keeping the commandments as it says in I John 3:24, because Christ kept the commandments perfectly.

But, you see, Satan didn't, Satan had pride. It is the way of give and the way of get. It's the Two Trees. It's one which is outgoing, and one which is incoming. One spirit is outgoing, the other spirit is incoming. You see the two and the two are totally divergent to each other. You can make an assessment of what is coming out of people's mouths, as to where it's coming from. This is why Christ said; ...[Satan] hath nothing in me." (John 14:30), Nothing of that spirit. Why? Because He was the Christ. He had the Spirit of God without measure. That was where it was coming from.

So when we are looking at Satan's pride, as it says; "...until you were corrupted by your vanity." (Ezekiel 28:17 paraphrased). Until that vanity corrupted the wisdom. Once that vanity entered in, the sound mindedness that was created there disappeared, went, gone. And if we have the same spirit as that being, the sound mindedness will disappear, it won't be there, we will have a different spirit, a different approach, a different mindset.

Man's Pride (PLAY FROM 23:55)

Therefore, it is something that we need to be absolutely sure of. So that we can repent and get back on track, get back onto that mindset. Go back and come before God and ask for that Spirit again. As David said in Psalm 51:10:

"...renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me." (Psalm 51:10-11)

So we also need the same kind of approach. In Genesis 3:6 we read that when Satan tempted Eve, she saw that it was a tree to be desired, to make one wise and she desired it. She wanted it. It was a vanity - to make her wise, to make her know things, an intellectual vanity as Mr Armstrong continually brings out. Turn over to II Thessalonians 2:7. This really is coming very close to home now, because here we are looking at the time we are in today:

"For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now [restrains] will [restrain], until he be taken [arises] out of the [midst]. And then shall that Wicked [One] be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish [where is that spirit coming from, what is actually powering this individual? Well, he is the Wicked One, he is powered by Satan]; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this [reason]..." (II Thessalonians 2:7-11)

They had a vanity. They didn't receive the love of the truth. The truth is, that God is in control. The truth is the Gospel of the Kingdom of God, the rulership of God, the family of God that is going to be ruling over the earth, but they didn't have that love of the truth. II Thessalonians 2:11

"And for this [reason] God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie [it is a delusion, they are insane, there is an insanity there]: That they all might be [judged] who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness." (II Thessalonians 2:11-12)

They are actually wanting to go in the wrong way. Again, the delusion is there, the twist is there, they are wanting to look at things in a certain light, in a certain way. Turn back to Romans 1:18, these verses are also very much the case today, they have been preserved for us to understand the present situation:

"For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who [suppress] the truth in unrighteousness [they are doing that deliberately, they are pushing the truth down, they are wanting to hide the truth, to get rid of it, to suppress it]; Because that which may be known of God is manifest [to] them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:" (Romans 1:18-20)

As it said over in II Thessalonians 2:12; they wanted to believe the lie. They were determined to try and believe the lie. It's interesting I have an article here that was in the paper. It says; "Warm woollies, climate change and the incredible shrinking sheep. Evolution is being turned on its head on a remote British island where climate change has caused a curious case of shrinking sheep. Scientists have found, survival of the fittest, and natural selection, usually means species grow bigger as they evolve. However, milder weather on the uninhabited island of the Scottish Outer Hebrides has pushed this process into reverse. Despite a greater abundance of food, milder winters and longer summers, the wild Soay sheep of St. Kilda archipelago are shrinking by a hundred grams a year."

Now they say that evolution is doing this. Again, the whole article is about how evolution is shrinking these sheep because they have got more food. Now, if the sheep were getting bigger, what would they say? Evolution is actually in operation here, very clear. They got more food therefore they are getting bigger. Clear evidence of evolution. It doesn't matter which way it's going to go, they are going to suppress the truth in unrighteousness. They have already made up their mind as to what the truth is. They then go, and whatever evidence comes in, ram the evidence in there to fit. It doesn't matter which way it is. Whichever way, whether they are getting bigger or getting smaller or staying the same size, evolution will be demonstrated in some way. You can guarantee that, that will be the case. But you see here in Romans 1:20 it says:

"For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made [open your eyes and look at this world! But it's not just looking at the world, it's the fact that there is anything here at all; yet man's pride and man's attitude of mind, coming from a Satanic spirit means that the sound mindedness disappears], even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God [or had this awareness of God, they could see the evidence that was there, they didn't glorify Him as God], they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations..." (Romans 1:20-21)

It is the vanity in imaginations that is the problem. It is the same problem as we find in Satan. Satan corrupted his wisdom by the reason of his brightness. They have their imaginations of Soay sheep, or whatever the bits and pieces are. There are some big professors somewhere, that are able to speak and people give them deference, and as it says in Romans 1:21:

"...but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened." (Romans 1:21)

Their wisdom is corrupted, their sound mindedness disappears. What is obvious to a small child, that you can't have something that is made without somebody making it. Can you? Is there anything you know of that is made, that has not had somebody make it? It is the logical thing.

You look outside and you say; "Okay the DNA molecule came into existence, and it managed to work its way through the evolutionary pattern." What is the chance of a molecule in the primeval soup, made of exactly the right ingredients, to then progress from that primeval soup all the way through the millions of years to become the kind of beings that you and I are, just by random chance? You might get something that might reproduce itself, as a crystal, in a bacterial form. But to then be able to evolve into an intelligent life form. Ridiculous!

The number of base pairs on a simple bacteria, e-coli; is about three to four million base pairs. You can get certainly bacteria that are less than that, significantly less than that, but where do they live? They live inside as parasites within other organisms. Without those other organisms they couldn't exist. So for the only things that are self existing, you are looking at about three to four million base pairs.

You do the mathematics as to what chance occurrence, to get the occurrence right to have the environment right. Well, I'll tell you what it is: it's ten to the power of two million. Ten to the power of seventy to eighty is the number of atoms in the universe. This is ten to the power of two million! Ten to the power of two million is from here three and a half miles of zeros. That's the odds against once coming up with a bacteria like e-coli by blind chance! You've got to have this kind of statistical nonsense and accept it. Why would anybody accept that? When you're looking at a human being, you're looking at three or four thousand million base pairs! You work out the odds for that. I have no idea really. Romans 1:21:

"Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations [they imagined and they suppressed the truth, it is man's pride, suppressing the truth in unrighteousness because of what he wants], and their foolish heart [their wisdom] was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools," (Romans 1:21-22)

So when we are looking at sound mindedness coming from the very Spirit of God, and thene looking at the spirit of the world, you are looking at anything but. It is coming from the same thing that happened with Satan. Satan's vanity corrupted his wisdom. In the case of mankind, his vanity has corrupted his sound mindedness. It's coming from the same spirit. It's the same mindset. It's carnal nature that has been taken on, coming out of that spiritual mindset. That's what you see. Romans 1:18

"And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over..." (Romans 1:28)

You see, if you try to kick God out of the equation, and you look at reality and you say, "Oh well, we will do it without God", it's insane! It is an insane position to hold. Because they didn't like to retain God in their knowledge, their organized understanding, their scientific knowledge, their education, their higher learning, Romans 1:28:

"...God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not [fit]; Being filled with all unrighteousness..." (Romans 1:28-29)

It just tumbles out of control. This is what we are seeing in society today. It is a society tumbling out of control, going in a direction that is totally wrong. Again, I have a couple of articles from the last couple of days' papers:

First of all: "Mr Cameron says sorry to gays for 1980 Section 28 law. David Cameron, the leader of the opposition, publically apologized for Section 28. The law introduced by the Thatcher Government banning local authorities from promoting homosexuality." What has a local authority got to do with promoting homosexuality anyway? Why, what is the logic in it? Where is it? Explain to me anything that is logical about the practice, anything at all. "The Tory leader, speaking at a Gay Pride event ...(interesting, that they choose that word 'pride') ... went much further than before, in apologizing for decisions taken by the party when Baroness Thatcher was leader. Mr Cameron was the first Tory leader to speak at a gay pride event, and said; 'I am sorry for Section 28. We got it wrong. It was an emotional issue, I hope you can forgive us.'"

That is the direction that society is taking today. Why? Because as it said; " Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools," (Romans 1:22). Vanity filled the heart and the vanity of his brightness corrupted his wisdom. It's coming from that same spiritual source.

It's not just the leader of the opposition. Here's the Prime Minister: "My Pride and Labour's Gay Laws by Brown." Again, within a day of each other last week. "In his message to Pride London, Mr Brown described the creation of civil partnerships that has a massive stride towards equality the homosexual community made under Labour. (Here is what he said:) "I am very proud of all that this government has achieved on LGBT rights these last twelve years. (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) But I know that we quite simply could not have done without the activism of our out-and-proud LGBT community, so I hope you are very proud of what your campaigning has achieved. You have changed laws and changed lives, and changed the world. Together we have done a lot, but we must never become complacent. We must always be vigilant to see that the progress isn't reversed. (Well, I've got news for him!) This government is committed to standing at your shoulder in the fight for equality, and we are guided by one very simple principle. When it comes to LGBT rights, you can't legislate love."

Again, because they became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened, (Romans 1:21) their wisdom got twisted. You can read the rest of this section here that goes into how that wisdom was actually twisted. That is where it's coming from. It's the same place as Satan. Satan's mind was corrupted because of his vanity and the wisdom went. Man's mind is corrupted by this intellectual vanity and the wisdom has gone. But God is saying to us that we've got something different. We have got to make sure that we behave in a very different way. Let's look over in I Timothy 4:1:

"Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of [demons; that is the direction in which it'll be going in the latter days] Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;" (I Timothy 4:1-2)

It's interesting as well. Notice what it says: "...the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith..." (I Timothy 4:1). It's going away from the faith of God. So we are looking within the Church as well, eating and drinking with the drunken. (Matthew 24:49). Therefore, they will have the same kind of addled view as you get in the religions outside in the world. That's what you find in the wider Church unfortunately. The departing from the faith that was delivered. I Timothy 4:3:

"Forbidding to marry..." (I Timothy 4:3)

You can include ascetic celibacy and all of that area which you find within the Catholic circles. Homosexuality is another area because what's the purpose of marriage? It is so that you have a married union, and you have children - the source of the next generation. It's where the next generation comes from; it's the crucible the next generation has got to come from. And the amoral, not immoral, life style that we have today. I Timothy 4:3:

"Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: For it is sanctified by the word of God [as in Leviticus 11] and [and also by] prayer." (I Timothy 4:3-5)

By the blessing on the meal. So when we are looking at this subject, certainly vegetarianism and this drive for 'meat-free Mondays'. Have you seen any of that? Paul McCartney is doing that with a group of his vegetarian friends striving for 'meat-free Mondays'. Why? So that they can cut down the ruminants - the cows and sheep and goats and things that we eat - so they don't produce methane out of both ends, and therefore you save the planet. That's what they are saying. That's what's their 'logic'.

What does not come across however, and what is totally ignored is all they think of is the gas coming out both ends, whether it's a belch or the other end. That's the only thing they look at. What about bacteria that comes out the other end? What about bacteria that then goes into the soil and keep the soil fertility up? You try keeping soil fertility up just purely with chemicals. It is very, very difficult indeed. In fact, the moment you stop applying chemicals, the soil is dead, finished. You have to keep putting those chemical on year after year after year. All you are doing is using the soil as something to hold the plant upright, while you pour the chemicals on. If you want soil fertility you have to have bacteria in the soil. Bacteria comes from where? The same place the meat comes from, and that goes onto the land. And that therefore keeps fertility there.

But you see, what have we got today? We've got vegetarianism, and it's coming from this source. Vegetarianism is a doctrine of demons. They say, "Oh well what about what Paul said?" They were eating only vegetables because they couldn't get meat that hadn't been sacrificed to idols. It was idolatry that was a problem there. But vegetarianism where you equate animals with man is a doctrine of demons, because it tears man down from his God-given potential, and it elevates animals to a potential that was never given to them. It corrupts the human, it's a madness, a foolishness.

Another area is where you abstain from meats which God has created to be received. Has there ever been a time where you get bulimia or anorexia like today? Can you remember anybody back in the forties or fifties or whatever? Was anybody anorexic then? The only people anorexic were the people coming out of Belsen.

But today, there is a twisting of the mind and you have got this problem. Again, where is it coming from? Where is this man's pride coming from? Where is this problem coming from? It's the same problem that came from Satan. It's the vanity that comes into man's mind and at the same time it is a twisting of the mind. It is going in a direction that is not Godly. It corrupts the wisdom. It corrupts the sound mindedness.

The Context of II Timothy (PLAY FROM 45:42)

Now if we go over to II Timothy 1:7 again, and just remind ourselves of the context of this particular passage where it says:

"For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;" (II Timothy 1:7-8)

Here Paul is clearly a prisoner. You can also find him mentioning it in II Timothy 1:16:

"The Lord give mercy unto the house of Onesiphorus; for he oft refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain:" (II Timothy 1:16).

So he presumably was chained, and very probably to a guard. II Timothy 2:9:

"Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, even unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound." (II Timothy 2:9) It isn't chained.

Another section is II Timothy 4:6:

"For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness..." (II Timothy 4:6-8)

He could see his execution coming. And the reason why is because this was written about 64 to 66 AD. And in 64 AD Nero burnt Rome, and tried to blame it on the Christian community. Now whether it was the Christian community, or whether it was the Simon Magus 'christian' community is debatable. But Nero tried to blame it on the followers of Christ, be it the real followers or just people that just masqueraded as such. These are real people here, and Timothy was a real person, and Paul is saying in II Timothy 3:1:

"This know also, that in the last days [times of stress] shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy," (II Timothy 3:1-2)

Again, it's an incoming attitude of mind. It is a vain attitude of mind, and from that attitude of mind is going to be the antithesis of a sound mind that he is encouraging Timothy to have. That sound mind based on a spirit of power, and a spirit of love, based on the very Spirit of God. The mindset of God that gives that sound mindedness, and the strength of will, and the strength of character to not be fearful. To go forward and not be fearful. It's interesting also in II Timothy 3:8, where he likens it to Jannes and Jambres. These two individuals were two of the magicians that withstood Moses; they were reputed to be cannibals:

"Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as their's also was." (II Timothy 3:8-9)

In other words, the sound mindedness of God's people will be evident in front of all. Nero was insane. You talk about vanity? Vanity oozed out of Nero, and it therefore corrupted his wisdom. The wisdom disappeared, the wisdom was not there.

Here in II Timothy we just go around and look at certain aspects. II Timothy 1:12:

"For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day [he is looking down through the annals of time to the last day, against that day in the future and he realizes that the things that he is going through then are for that purpose, and looking forward to that purpose]. Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus." (II Timothy 1:12-13)

The sound words, sound mindedness coming from Paul, he could see the sound mindedness that was there and the defence that he was able to actually give. In II Timothy 2:15:

"Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness. And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus; Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some. Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity." (II Timothy 2:15-19)

The fact of the resurrection - he was making sure that Timothy understood about the resurrection, because he was asking him to come to visit him in prison, at a time when Rome had been burned by Nero, blamed on the Christians, and the Christians were being crucified as a result of that in the gardens of Rome. Yet he is saying; "Look, get your priorities sorted." In II Timothy 3:14::

"But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them [there's the sound mindedness, coming from the Word of God]; And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is [God breathed]..." (II Timothy 3:14-16)

It comes from that same Spirit. The Spirit that he's mentioned where he said; " Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God...For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." (II Timothy 1:6-7). All these scriptures you can go back to, and you can understand that this came from the same power. It came from the attitude of mind, which is outgoing concern and love. It is the same sound mindedness that is there because that is the product of the Spirit of God. It's the way the Spirit of God actually works. II Timothy 3:16:

"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect [mature], thoroughly furnished unto all good works." (II Timothy 3:16-17)

Including the good work of coming to visit him in prison and to bring what he was really after, which was the book bag as far as we can tell. Let's have a look again at II Timothy 1:16:

"The Lord give mercy unto the house of Onesiphorus; for he oft refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain: [Verse 18] The Lord grant unto him that he may find mercy of the Lord in that day: and in how many things he ministered unto me at Ephesus, thou knowest very well." (II Timothy 1:16,18)

He is using Onesiphorus as an example, and the indication is, the way it's worded, it almost looks as if this individual is dead. That he died in helping Paul and that he actually did suffer the ultimate penalty of death. If we just turn back to II Corinthians 1:8:

"For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia [so there's the problem in Ephesus, which is in Asia. And remember, Onesiphorus helped him at Ephesus], that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life [we didn't even know whether we were going to live or die from one day to the next]: But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead: Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us; Ye also helping together by prayer for us, that for the gift bestowed upon us by the means of many persons thanks may be given by many on our behalf." (II Corinthians 1:8-11)

If we go back in I Corinthians 15:29, we find Ephesus specifically mentioned, and a hint as to what the problem was there:

"Else what shall they do which are baptized for the [hope of the] dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for [the hope after we are dead]? And why stand we in jeopardy every hour? I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily. If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantageth it me, if the dead rise not? let us eat and drink; for to morrow we die." (I Corinthians 15:29-32)

Why am I going through these trials and problems and difficulties? Being chased, and close to death as he was in Asia. As it says in II Timothy 1:17, speaking of Onesiphorus:

"But, when he was in Rome, he sought me out very diligently, and found me. The Lord grant unto him that he may find mercy of the Lord in that day: and in how many things he ministered unto me at Ephesus, thou knowest very well." (II Timothy 1:17-18)

He was in the thick of it. He wasn't put off by the problems. He put his trust in God, and his mind was certainly one of sound mindedness. He had his vision going forward into the future and it wasn't the fearfulness that Paul, again, was trying to encourage Timothy to avoid. In II Timothy 4:6, we see here how this was the case:

"For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing. Do thy diligence to come shortly unto me: For Demas hath forsaken me...[he was encouraging Timothy constantly to come to him, verse 16] At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge." (II Timothy 4:6-10,16)

By taking all the italicized words out it probably reads a lot better; "At my first answer no man stood with me, but all...forsook me...that it may not be laid to their charge." (II Timothy 4:16). They didn't want to stand by Paul, so that they themselves didn't suffer the same fate. He was a Roman citizen, he would have had his head lopped off; but the Jews, such as Timothy, would have been crucified. You can understand it. These were ordinary people. Yet was what was needed in such an incredibly difficult time was that Spirit.

The Sound Holy Spirit (PLAY FROM 57:53)

A Spirit that brings the words to memory. That sound Holy Spirit that puts the things into their context. That allows us to look down into the future properly. This Spirit of a sound mind is absolutely vital, and it is going to be absolutely vital for every single one of us as the years go by, as the months go by. We don't know when these things are really going to erupt in this earth. We are going to live through a time which will be the greatest time of trial that has ever gripped the earth. Eventually we are going to have to receive protection if we are going to survive it.

But the initial plagues in Egypt - the first three - were suffered by the Israelites, and there is nothing to say that we aren't going to suffer certain difficulties. Every indication, when you look at Luke 21:14-15, indicates that when you are dragged before the courts, you don't study to give an answer, but it will be given to you at that time. So, when the Dragon chases the woman into the wilderness, every indication is that the Church is going to be 'hated by all men for My name's sake' We need the same kind of mindset we find here in II Timothy, and the same kind of reasoning that Paul was using to encourage Timothy to come to him in prison. Here in John 14:23 it says:

"Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me. These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. But the Comforter [Parakletos], which is the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, [it] shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you." (John 14:23-26)

So if we are doing Bible Study, and we are actually reading scripture - which we should do on a daily basis, we should be getting our nose in this Book - then during the day, that Spirit of a sound mind will give us what we need. It will bring it back into our memory again, and allow that sound mind to be applied to the specific circumstance we find ourselves in. It is a sound, holy, clean Spirit. It is a clean Spirit, it is also a 'cleaning' Spirit. It is something that does the cleaning of the mind. It is holy. It is the same kind of cleaning action that Jesus Christ Himself, and also God the Father have, because they operate through that Spirit. It is the power that they operate through. It is not something that is independent in that sense. If we turn over to Romans 5:1 it says:

"Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God [looking forward to the glory of God, to the position that we will hold in the future as those teachers in the future]. And not only so, but we glory in [trials] also [we put things into context, we have the same kind of bigger picture, we should have the same kind of understanding of what the trial is doing, how the trial is training us]: knowing that [trial] worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given unto us." (Romans 5:1-5)

The love of God is the character of God that is shed abroad in our hearts by the Spirit of God. It is through trials that, that character is able to be generated. We glory in trials, and get a bigger picture. That is what the Spirit of God does. Over in James 1:2 is the classic one, it is the one that we don't like reading, but it is still true:

"My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into [different trials; the sound Holy Spirit of God gives us the approach that is necessary in these things] Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. If any of you lack wisdom [if you don't understand what's going on, if you need that Spirit of a sound mind to be able to see and assess the situation properly then], let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith [keep walking the way we need to walk, in the faith, trusting God all the time], nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed." (James 1:2-6)

I Peter 1:3 says:

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved [on high] for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation [rescue] ready to be revealed in the last time [so we are looking forward into that future time]. Wherein ye greatly rejoice [you are rejoicing, looking forward into that future hope that is there], though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold [trials]: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be [tested] with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:" (I Peter 1:3-7)

When that time comes, what we go through now, the sound mindedness that is being developed within us, is a sound, holy, clean and cleaning Spirit. That is what is necessary.

The Sound Minded World Tomorrow (PLAY FROM 1:05:01)

It is that sound mindedness that actually we are looking forward to in the future. Turn over to I Corinthians 6:1 Paul warns the Corinthian Church:

"Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints? Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? [We are going to judge the world, the judgment is going to have to be God's judgment, it is going to have to be a sound minded judgment that is necessary to be administered] and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?" (I Corinthians 6:1-2)

The decisions that we make today as well have got to come from a sound mindedness coming from the Spirit of God. If we have the same kind of mental approach and the kind of vanity that filled Satan originally - that warped and twisted his wisdom and the kind of vanity that we see in mankind, that is warping and twisting their understanding, making their understanding darkened - we will also have a darkened understanding. If we are going in a darkened way, we will get the darkened understanding. We will be twisted, we will be mad, we will be insane, with an insane attitude of mind. But it is saying that the Spirit of God gives power of love and of sound mindedness. And the Spirit of God is given on repentance, turning from our way to God's Way. Again it is the Two Trees, going from our way, the tree of get, to the tree of give. I Corinthians 6:2:

"Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?" (I Corinthians 6:3)

It is the case that we have got to be judging in the future, that is what we are learning today. And that judgment has got to be done using the Spirit of a sound mind. We have got to go to God and ask Him for it. We have got to make sure that Spirit of God is flowing through us.

The Fruit of the Spirit, that we have been going through the last nine sermons I've given. Certainly each and every aspect is vital, but sound mindedness, covers the whole thing. It covers the whole thing because it's the sound mindedness which is flowing from God, that we are going to need in the future to actually make judgments by. We are needing to actually exercise it at this present time also, making sound minded judgments. I Corinthians 6:9:

"Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God [all these various worldly attributes, there is a madness about them all, all of them have a twisted mentality]. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God." (I Corinthians 6:9-11)

"That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word," (Ephesians 5:26).

Turn to Isaiah 11, as it speaks of that individual who was given the Holy Spirit without measure, "...God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him." (John 3:34).

Over in chapter 11 is the passage that is quoted on the crest of the Ambassador College seal. This chapter is all to do with the Millennium, it is to do with the lion dwelling with the lamb. Here is where is it actually going to be coming from Isaiah 11:1:

"And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: And the spirit of the [Eternal] shall rest upon him..." (Isaiah 11:1-2)

Notice, it's the Spirit of the Eternal. It was given without measure to Jesus Christ. He has gone ahead of us. He is the King of kings, and those kings that must come behind Him, must teach in exactly the same way. There is no point in somebody going to one of us, asking for advice, and the sound mindedness not being there. Then he goes to Jesus Christ and gets a totally diverse assessment of the situation. That's impossible. We won't be there if that's the case. Isaiah 11:2:

"And the spirit of the [Eternal] shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the [Eternal];" (Isaiah 11:2)

It's not the spirit that is vanity filled, and the wisdom is therefore corrupted; be that in man, be that in an angel which was created as a glorious being. This is a totally different mindset. This is a totally different approach ...

"...the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the [Eternal]; And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the [Eternal]: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears:" (Isaiah 11:2-3)

You say, "Well if this is Christ, surely the Eternal is Christ." Yes, the Eternal that was dealing with man in the Old Testament is Christ. But we also find scriptures such as; "The Lord said unto my Lord..." (Psalm 110:1). The first word 'LORD' there is 'YHWH' [Strong's 3068,] the Eternal; and the second 'Lord' is 'Adoni' [Strong's 113] which is referring to the Christ, the Messiah. So Psalm 110:1 is saying:

"The [Eternal] said to My [Adoni, which is the Messiah] Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool." (Psalm 110:1)

So it can apply to both, it depends on how it's used. Here it's very clearly and obviously, Christ, the Eternal of the Old Testament, the One that they actually dealt with them. But also the Father is also eternal. He is an eternal being just the same as Christ is an eternal being. Isaiah 11:3:

"And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth: with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked." (Isaiah 11:3-4

He is sound minded, totally, utterly, completely sound minded. How can we judge angels? How can we judge the world if our mind also is not totally, completely, utterly sound minded? The idea that; 'Oh well, that will happen in the resurrection', is a nonsense. The fact is, the stage that we are in today is the stage of developing God's character. That's what we are doing. That's why we are human. If we don't develop that character, if we are not converted from a human thinking - which is a Satanic thinking of vanity that warps wisdom - if we do not get away from that, and have repentance across to this other way of thinking - which is a Spirit-led means of thinking - we can't be used.

We've got to also be able to have the Spirit of the Eternal resting upon us. The Spirit of wisdom, understanding, council, might, knowledge and the fear of the Eternal. This is the time when we are developing it. This is the purpose of human life. This is why we have been made human, so that God can make sure that we are able to choose to go His Way, choose to go in the direction of God, to repent, to turn, from our own ways and go in that Way instead. Isaiah 11:5:

"And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins. The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them [the very nature of animals will change]. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice' den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the [Eternal, the Eternal's knowledge, coming from the Breath of the Eternal, the Eternal's Spirit, the Spirit of a sound mind, so the knowledge is of a sound mind, it is sound minded knowledge] as the waters cover the sea." (Isaiah 11:5-9)

It is vital that this is applied today. Turn over to II Corinthians 3:14. We keep going back to this one in this particular series because it is such a vital scripture. We see here is Jesus Christ, who has the Spirit of God given to Him without measure; who in the future will be exhibiting that Spirit in full authority and full control. And will therefore judge the world in righteousness, and give the world what it desperately needs today, through that Spirit of a sound mind. Remember that scripture in Isaiah 11 is all part of the Old Testament, looking forward into the future given by the One that was the Logos, the One that became the Christ: II Corinthians 3:14:

"But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament [they cannot understand what the scriptures said, the scriptures are God Breathed; "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof..." (II Timothy 3:16), and yet these people couldn't understand it]; which vail is done away in Christ. But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart. Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away" (II Corinthians 3:14-16)

When we are converted, when we are repentant, when we turn from one tree to the other tree. That's why the Two Trees are so absolutely vital. That's why Mr Armstrong went on and on and on about the Two Trees. It is turning from one tree to the other tree. You put the tree right, and its fruit will be good. If the tree is corrupt, nothing you can do will put the good fruit on it. Go out to the ash trees and see if you can pick apples on them. You can go and look for apples as long as you like from an ash tree and you will not get apples off an ash tree, unless someone has spliced an apple branch into it or something. It doesn't work that way. You get the tree right, and then you get the fruit right. As II Corinthians 3:16 says:

"...when [that heart] shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away. Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty [he is working through the very Spirit of God, the same Spirit that filled Jesus Christ is given to us, the Spirit of love and of a sound mind]. But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord." (II Corinthians 3:16-18)

So in other words, you are looking in the mirror. You see Christ on one side, you see your reflection on the other, and one is becoming the same as the other. From glory, which is Christ, to glory, which should be us in the future. We are having the same mindset, the same sound mindedness that is mentioned over in II Timothy, and it is mentioned as the way Christ is, as opposed to the way Satan is.

Satan's vanity corrupted his wisdom. With man today, all across society today, the intellectual vanity is corrupting our wisdom. That is what's happening. It is also happening within the Church as well. If we don't guard against it, the vanity will corrupt our wisdom. It can be such foolishness that we see many times. Let me give you an example:

I remember one time there was one problem that we as ministers had and absolutely just could not solve. Divorce and remarriage? that's a doddle. All the various problems, that's a doddle; but the tea rota {1} was something else! Trying to get the tea rota right was beyond me - not making one person seem more important than another was the problem. Where was the sound mind? I'm thinking back many, many years. But you see this in the Church, the trivia, the ridiculousness, the foolishness of the tea rota - a kind of pecking order - and yet it can cause mayhem in a Church. Is that the Spirit of God? Really, honestly? Christ didn't have a problem with a tea rota! II Corinthians 3:18:

"But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord." (II Corinthians 3:18)

Why was there a problem with the tea rota? Because people were getting offended. Because of what? Because of vanity. Others seemingly elevated. Where does that come from? II Corinthians 4:1:

"Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God. But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost [they haven't a clue, they don't see this, they cannot understand these things]: In whom the god of this world [this age] hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. For we preach not ourselves..." (II Corinthians 4:1-5)

So where is that problem coming from with the tea rota? A vanity that comes from the god of this world, blinding the minds of those that don't believe, that do not understand, that do not have the Spirit of God working. Lay it on the line. That's where it came from. That is where it was coming from. II Corinthians 4:5:

"For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake. For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us." (II Corinthians 4:5-7)

It is not coming from us. It is a quality that comes from the Spirit of God and it is of sound mindedness. Let's go back to Isaiah 66 again. Notice the place where this passage comes: it is a backwards prophecy. It starts looking at the New Jerusalem, the new heavens and the new earth in Isaiah 65:17 and it goes backwards from that point. You are looking down at the future, and the fact that we are going to have to be ready for that. We are going to have to judge angels. We are also going to have to judge the world, which is the millennium. We are going to have to be ready for that. We can't give a judgment which is going to be different from Christ. It has to be the same. It goes back where the wolf and the lamb will feed together, and in Isaiah 66:1:

"Thus saith the [Eternal], The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house [where is this dwelling? Where is the Spirit of God going to reside? Remember this is now, before the millennium, it is where the Church finds itself today] that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest? For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the Lord: but to this [house, to this residence, this place where the Spirit of God will be] ...will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word." (Isaiah 66:1-2)

That is very antithesis of Satan, whose mind was puffed up by his vanity, and that corrupted his wisdom. In this case, it is the Spirit that is given to somebody that is of a poor and contrite spirit and trembles at my word. So that what? So that Spirit can then produce what? Power, love and a sound mind.


Footnotes:

{1} A 'doddle' is a very easy task. And a 'rota' is a roster, or list of names, times and duties.