Creation Studies Institute
Six days
 

Weekly Devotionals by Pastor Steve Rowitt, Th.M., Ph.D.



February 2, 2014 – We Should Have Great Expectations 

Do we live our lives with great expectations? Do we act “as if” we really believed that we are in a personal relationship with the Creator of the universe? What prevents us from living our lives expecting God to do exactly what He has promised?

Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen, Eph. 3:20-21.

There is a side effect that occurs, because we have the treasure of the new creation in an earthen vessel, II Cor. 4:7. It has to do with our anti-supernatural bias of our carnal minds. We are indeed new creations who, in Messiah, have been given the mind of Messiah, I Cor. 2:16. That means, the born again person is living in supernatural communion with our heavenly Father, but the carnal (natural) mind, left over from the person we used to be, Rom. 7:18-20, is completely antagonistic to the Word of God, and has a definite anti-supernatural bias.  

But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned, I Cor. 2:14.

We are not our flesh, but understanding the reality of the treasure of the new creation we are in Christ resides in an earthen vessel, requires us to continue to perceive our reality from God’s perspective. This can be accomplished when we are guided by God’s Word and empowered by the Holy Spirit to believe that we are truly new creations who have the mind of Christ, I Cor. 2:16b.

 

February 9, 2014 – Great Expectations requires us to confront our anti-supernatural bias

We can see this lack of faith or anti-supernatural bias chronicled in the story of Peter’s arrest and supernatural deliverance from prison. King Herod had put James, the brother of John, to death. The leadership of the Sanhedrin was pleased with this, so Herod arrested Peter and placed him under heavy guard, Acts 12:4. It is here that we read the response of the body of believers to Peter’s arrest. So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him, Acts 12:5.

An angel of God is sent to rescue Peter from jail, and he is miraculously delivered from his chains, taken past 16 guards, Acts 12:4, and left standing by himself at the end of the street. Here we read the following:

And when Peter had come to himself, he said, “Now I know for certain that the Lord has sent His angel, and has delivered me from the hand of Herod and from all the expectation of the Jewish people.” So, when he had considered this, he came to the house of Mary, the mother of John whose surname was Mark, where many were gathered together praying. And as Peter knocked at the door of the gate, a girl named Rhoda came to answer.  When she recognized Peter’s voice, because of her gladness she did not open the gate, but ran in and announced that Peter stood before the gate. But they said to her, “You are beside yourself!” Yet she kept insisting that it was so. So they said, “It is his angel,” Acts 12:11-15.

Here is where we see this anti-supernatural bias, even within the realm of the tight knit community of the body of believers in Jerusalem. They were holding a prayer vigil on behalf of Peter, yet they refused to believe that God had answered their prayer!

Could we too suffer from this type of anti-supernatural bias when it comes to the things of the Lord? We should pray that we do not allow the old tapes of our carnal mind to interfere with our having great expectations concerning the promises of God according to His Word.

February 16, 2014 – Everything is Possible for Them that Believe

Are there other examples of this anti-supernatural bias in the Word of God? This was a problem for the Old Testament (Tanakh) saints as well as those who have entered in to the New Covenant (Brit Chadasha, Jer. 31:31-37.

  • Adam’s refusal to trust and obey God, Gen. 3:6.
  • Cain’s refusal to bring the appropriate sacrifice, Gen. 4:6-8.
  • Abraham’s response to God’s promise concerning Isaac, Gen. 17:17.
  • Moses’ response to God’s promise of provision, Num.11:21-22.
  • The disciples concerning Yeshua’s resurrection, Luke 24::11.

Now that we have seen this problem illustrated in the lives and testimonies of great people of faith, we can then learn what, if anything, we can do concerning our carnal mind’s tendencies towards naturalism and materialism. We can learn to pray accordingly from the following biblical account.

The Gospel of Mark contains the story about a demonized boy who showed all the symptoms of epilepsy. Aside from the fact that in this case, a spiritual entity was behind the illness, a greater lesson can be gleaned from this passage as a distraught parent seeks Yeshua when the disciples could not heal his son. Yeshua’s response is very instructive.

He answered him and said, “O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him to Me.” Then they brought him to Him. And when he saw Him, immediately the spirit convulsed him, and he fell on the ground and wallowed, foaming at the mouth. So He asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. And often he has thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.”

Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” When Jesus saw that the people came running together, He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “Deaf and dumb spirit, I command you, come out of him and enter him no more!” Then the spirit cried out, convulsed him greatly, and came out of him. And he became as one dead, so that many said, “He is dead.” But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose, Mark 9:14-27.

Understanding the unscriptural anti-supernatural bias of our carnal mind helps us to stay focused on God and His Word. As His beloved children, He has equipped us to live lives of faith. We do not have to be discouraged by circumstances, Rom. 8:28, and we certainly should not find ourselves doubting that we always have the victory in Yeshua. We are more than conquerors through His love, Rom. 8:37.

February 23, 2014 –How can we be certain when it comes to spiritual matters?

We live in a world that is full of spirituality. There are many manifestation of this such as psychics, healers, false Christs, etc., however, not all spirituality is “Holy Spirit” connected. The enemy of God, Satan, is a spirit being, a fallen Cherub, who can appear as an angel of light in order to deceive. This means that false teachers, false apostles can be empowered by the evil one to manifest counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, intended to convince the lost (and even the elect, Matt. 24:24-25) of their legitimacy.

For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works, II Cor. 11:13-15.

The only through the knowledge of God’s Word can God’s children be assured that they will not be deceived. Make no mistake about this, there were born again Christians at Jonestown. They had been deceived along with those who knew not the Lord, but many of them were believers (part of the elect of God) who were so deceived that they lost their spiritual discernment. That is why it is so important that every child of God prayerfully studies the Bible, always seeking to understand the text in the light of its historical and cultural context. The apostle Peter gives this instruction.

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world…By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world. You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. They are of the world. Therefore they speak as of the world, and the world hears them. We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error, I John 4:1-6.

As God’s children, we can continue to live by faith, discerning what is kosher and what is not, according to the clear teaching of God’s Word.