Beware of the Philosophy from Man
During the past few weeks, the Lord has consistently brought across my path a common theme – Beware of the Philosophy of Man. In this context, the term “man” is defined as the ways and ideas of the world. The flesh. It can also be defined as the ways of our own thoughts, which are stemmed from the fleshly nature of man, i.e. self-reasoning.
Here are the main verses that He has placed upon my heart. There is much food for the soul in these verses, I pray for eyes to see, ears to hear, and hearts to receive.. in the name of the Lord our Righteousness, Jesus Christ, amen –
Colossians 2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
Isaiah 55:8-9 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
I also see in Isaiah 55:10-11, a similar context and a promise from God. Lord, I hold your Word as faithful and again I pray.. I pray for the hearts that you purpose to receive this.. So be it in accordance to your truth, amen.
Isaiah 55:10-11 For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.
As we can see from the 2 main verses, we should beware lest any man spoil us via the philosophies and deceitfulness after the traditions of man. Spoil does not mean to spoil like spoiled milk. This could be translated as, “Beware lest any man shall come to pass and lead you away (seduce, plunder) via empty delusions from the traditions of man.” The word philosophy means wisdom.
So what is the difference between our wisdom, knowledge, thoughts, and ways versus His? I think it will be best to use a diagram from Toward a Renewed Mind by Richard F. Gottier. I highly recommend this book, some of these ideas are taken from it.
The difference is that man’s wisdom is gained from rational knowledge, which uses the senses of the flesh: Touch, taste, smell, sight, and sound. These senses feed our minds, then we “rationalize” this information. Knowledge from God is revealed knowledge and Truth. The source of this knowledge is God, revealed to us via His Word, His Creation, His Spirit, etc. Here is the diagram –
As we see in this illustration, our minds have 2 sources that are funneling information into it. This is where free will is exercised. We choose which source of information we dwell upon – Either from the world, flesh, senses, man’s philosophy, etc or from God. This is the end all be all – We choose to serve God or we choose to bow down to idols of this world, i.e. selfishly rationalizing thought, ways of man, our own ideals, etc.
Colossians 3:1-2 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
2 Corinthians 10:5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
Romans 8:5-7 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
A brother said something to me last week that really hit the nail on the head. Man’s mind hits a glass ceiling. We rationalize the limited information that is available to us and we end up trying to make sense out of it. We even will go as far as calling it truth. All along, we can seek out God and ask for revealed knowledge (the real truth), but sometimes we do not. I cannot count the number of times that I rationalized something and solidified it as truth in my mind (then turning into an action), only to find out later that I wasn’t even close to the actual truth. Lord, thank you for this lesson and forgiveness.
The human brain can be separated from the body and kept alive by those in the science/medical field. What they have found is that it is alive in the sense of the cells and such, but there is no activity. It’s like a computer that has received no program. The brain must have a source that is inputting information in order for it to function. So the question must be asked, “Who/What is the source of the information that our mind is firing upon? Rational knowledge from the senses and the philosophy of man, or from the revealed knowledge of God? That’s for each of us to answer individually. Personally, I have not yet arrived to this perfect union in-Christ, but I strive towards such. The answer to this question for me is that it changes moment by moment, situation by situation, and is not an absolute answer…. yet. :)
Here is another illustration. This illustrates the philosophy of man via the world, flesh, traditions of men, etc. The choice: Rational knowledge coming into the soul through the world and flesh. Or, revealed knowledge from God coming into our soul through the spirit –
What is the source? Revealed knowledge is of the Spirit. Rational knowledge is of the flesh. One is an influence from God and the other is an influence of a fallen world. Our soul makes the choice. One glorifies God, the other questions God. One source of knowledge is accepted by faith, the other demands a rational explanation. One agrees with the Word (and is the Word speaking), the other contests the Word by rationalizing it.
How can we tell what the source of our thoughts are before we choose to serve them? Here are some tips. Revealed knowledge from God is the absolute truth. Rational knowledge from our self is partial truth, assumptions, etc. Revealed truth sets free, it is through the Word and from God. It is pure, peaceful, gentle, etc. Rational knowledge is deceptive, has errors, blinds, etc. It is earthly, like man, and can very well be demonic. A wise friend once said, “Let peace be your umpire..” It is good to understand that there is a difference between a spiritual peace and a selfish peace.
James 3:13-18 Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.
If a person cannot see or hear the things of God, then Jesus was pretty clear on this –
John 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
John 3:5-6 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
In the Spiritual Man – God, via the Holy Spirit, works through us via revealed knowledge. God’s revealed knowledge speaks to our spirit when we are born again. In this context, our spirit will then rule the mind, which rules the body. God’s revelation rules our reasoning, and this rules our passions. It’s like this: God’s wisdom > via Holy Spirit > via our spirit > via our mind (reasoning) > into our body (including passions).
In the Fallen Man – The flesh, body (including passions), philosophy of man, etc. rules the mind’s reasoning. The mind then rules our deadened spirit. In the fallen man, our passions rule our reasoning, which rules revelation. It goes like this: Man’s wisdom > our body > our mind > our spirit. It’s backwards. If any reader has not been born again, I highly recommend checking this out, it’s a quick read: How to Know Jesus.
So our outward bodily actions, responses to life, etc. The source is either God or Man (self), Spirit or Flesh.. Or, to be more accurate – Christ or Adam.
I also give the same warning.. beware of the philosophy of man. Beware of who/what is fueling our thought processes. Man will deceive. This also means one other important thing – we very well may deceive ourselves via our own wits.
2 Peter 3:17-18 Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness. But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.