Posted in theology

Suppressing the truth and searing the conscience

By Elizabeth Prata

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. (Romans 1:18-19).

What did they suppress, exactly? And where? Or how?

They, meaning unbelievers, deny in their minds that there is a God. They suppress that He made everything in creation. They hate thinking of the fact that He made them, which would mean they are accountable to Him at judgment for their words, their deeds, their lives. They squash their conscience when they do evil.

Continue reading “Suppressing the truth and searing the conscience”
Posted in Kay Cude, Uncategorized

Kay Cude Poetry: Conscience

Kay Cude Poetry, Conscience. Used with permission. Right click to open in new tab a bit larger, if you need to.

conscience

I recommend the book by John MacArthur “The Vanishing Conscience“. It explains about how our conscience works in sanctification, and how violations of our conscience (sin) works to inhibit it.

Here is a short devotional from Ligonier about the conscience.
And another, even shorter Ligonier devotional about listening to your conscience

Posted in encouragement, theology

The Inner Life of the Cell

By Elizabeth Prata*

Harvard’s “Inner Life of the Cell” is a success story in unexpected viral interest. Originally developed for classroom education, it went viral on the internet after a showing in 2006 at the Siggraph Electronic Theater. The video below is the shortened version and contains the beautiful musical soundtrack.

Watching this with the Creator in mind as the One who planned us down to the cell and beyond, brings tears to my eyes. Evolutionists believe the cell activity evident in the animation was developed by accident over time. Yet how can such a bustle of activity in each cell be happenstance? It cannot.

This version is the full 8 minutes with music AND narration:

This link gives a longer an explanation of the series, its genesis and intent, along with information about the animation. Go here. The synopsis is below:

Inner Life of the Cell” was originally intended for undergraduate life sciences students at Harvard. However, the animation went viral after being shown in the Siggraph Electronic Theater in 2006. The mix of publicity, criticism and acclaim proved that there was an unmet demand for compelling scientific visuals that educate as well as inspire. “It’s quite clear that we understand the world primarily through sight,” says Dr. Robert Lue Ph.D., Director of Life Sciences Education at Harvard and a professor in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology. “Somehow we don’t use that in teaching science as we really should.” (Source)

While watching the video, I feel moved beyond description, and it is because I am seeing my insignificance compared to His wonderful Glory.

“When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?” (Psalms 8:3-4)

That though this is an animation I trust that it accurately depicts the life of the smallest parts of our body, and I know: “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10)

I praise Him! “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” (Revelation 4:11)

The Bible is replete with statements attesting to His power, creativity, and glory in creating all there is, “I have made the earth, and created man upon it: I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded.” (Isaiah 45:12)

Please take encouragement from this video, which illustrates His power and in so doing, remember, though we are insignificant compared to Him, He created us to have a relationship with Him. I pray yours deepens today, and if you do not know Him, begin a relationship today by asking Him to forgive your wrongs and to take you unto Himself as saved sinner, and His friend.

*First appeared on The End Time in Oct 2010

Posted in encouragement, theology

Complaining About the Manna

By Elizabeth Prata

You know the story. Yahweh had delivered the Hebrews from slavery. He delivered them using 10 miracles (plagues). He delivered them via parting the Red Sea. He sustained them by giving them water. He sustained them by giving them food. Literally, bread from heaven. (Exodus 16:4, Nehemiah 9:15).

It tasted like “wafers made with honey” (Exodus 16:31) and “fresh oil.” (Numbers 11:8).

The manna (literal translation, “What is it?” Exodus 16:15) was nutritious, delicious, and since it was from heaven, didn’t have the curse of the ground upon it.

But they grumbled. They didn’t know what it was. They wanted meat. Continue reading “Complaining About the Manna”

Posted in discernment, theology

Is your ‘check engine’ light on?

By Elizabeth Prata

All humans are sinners. Some are saved by grace, and others aren’t. But all humans have the same mechanism to help restrain sin in their lives: the conscience.

Our conscience is part of a person’s internal rational capacity and is not, as popular lore sometimes suggests, an audience room for the voice of God or of the devil. Conscience is a critical inner awareness that bears witness to the norms and values we recognize and apply. ~Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology – Conscience

As an unsaved person I’d often wonder why it was that everyone knows not to murder another person. Continue reading “Is your ‘check engine’ light on?”

Posted in theology

An example of a seared conscience

By Elizabeth Prata

The Bible mentions a seared conscience. The ones who bring false doctrine to the believers,

through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared, (1 Timothy 4:2)

According to Strong’s Greek lexicon, the word seared is cauterized, which destroys the “spiritual nerve-endings.”

Witness the scene in the desert among Joseph’s brothers. The brothers have been nursing a hatred of Joseph for many years. Jacob obviously loved Joseph the most, and such favoritism was a wedge between the brothers. It incited resentment. (Genesis 37:3-4).

Then Joseph told the brothers about his dream whose obvious interpretation was of prophesied superiority over them, which inflamed the resentment to hatred. (Genesis 37:8).

Then Joseph again told his brothers of another dream which confirmed the coming rulership over them, (Genesis 37:9), and the brothers hated Joseph even more and were jealous. (Genesis 37:11).

When the brothers were keeping flocks at Dothan, Jacob sent Joseph to them to bring back a report on how the flocks were doing. The brothers saw Joseph coming from a distance. Now, this isn’t in the Bible but human nature being what it is, I am sure that the brothers had been discussing Joseph’s dreams, the situation of favoritism with the father, and their hatred and jealousy. Such discussions, re-hashings, and tidbits are juicy and the flesh wants them more and more, and I’m sure that the more the brothers talked about it the angrier they became. They were pretty whipped up by then, I’m guessing.

And this next part IS in the Bible, Genesis 37:18, the brothers plotted to kill him. Reuben and Judah could not go quite that far when the moment came, so instead they decided to throw Joseph into a well.

Then they sat down to eat.

The Bible does not record whether Joseph cried out to the brothers while he was in the well. But human beings being like we are, I’m pretty sure Joseph would not have remained silent? “Guys, this joke’s gone far enough…Hey guys, can you get me up?…Reuben? Judah? Anyone? Anyone? Help! Don’t leave me!”

Amid this act, and whether Joseph stayed quiet or whether he cried out, the brothers ate. I don’t know about you but when I’m agitated, conscience stricken,, upset, I cannot eat. Yet their consciences were so seared they went about their usual business while their own brother was busy perhaps dying in the well.

We are sinners from the womb and there is no doubt about that!

The Lord graciously gave them a spirit of repentance later in life and the brothers were reconciled. This is not always the case with false teachers that the opening scripture speaks of. In fact, some false teachers are already marked for condemnation. (Jude 1:4).

How does a conscience become seared? Ignore it. Keep suppressing the truth in unrighteousness and see the inevitable hardening process that Romans 1:28-32 engenders. If you feel guilty about something, seek the Lord in repentance. Don’t let your spiritual nerve endings become insensate. A conscience is one of the mechanisms God graciously has given us to stay in right relationship with Him. Don’t sear it.

well
The well in town

Posted in theology

What is the conscience? Can we be led astray by it?

By Elizabeth Prata

My friend Pastor Phil wrote this on Facebook. It got me thinking about the conscience. What is conscience? Dare we obey it when it is scarred by sin? Does the person know when their conscience has become seared? First, Pastor Phil’s thoughts, then some scriptures and thoughts musing on my questions and Phil’s.

Phil Andrukaitis:
Proverb for Today

“He who walks with integrity walks securely, but he who perverts his ways will become known” (Proverbs 10:9).

The lesson: A person whose reputation, career, and/or character are based on deception will be humiliated and brought to ruin.

Therefore, here are four actions to help each of us to walk with integrity: First, listen to your conscience; obeying the Scripture will never lead a person astray. Second, cultivate your relationship with your family because your example will impact their lives forever. Third, respect and obey governing authorities as they are commissioned by God for our good. Fourth, become intimately involved with a local church that honors Jesus Christ. After all, every Christian needs other believers to mature in Christ.

Amen.

Pastor Phil answered a question from a friend who had posted a reply, this way:

Conscience is that “device” God has given to each of us because each person is made in the image of God. Having a conscience is one of the distinguishing ways separates a person from the animal world. Conscience is a personal authority to which each of us either listen to or ignore.

Second, beginning with Adam and Eve, I believe God created us and fashioned our hearts to know the difference between right and wrong (Romans 1:18-19). But when they sinned, their sinfully marred spiritual DNA was passed down to each of us. Yes, we still have a conscience and it is scarred by sin, but it still is the first means by which God speaks to us. Even without the knowledge of the Scripture in our minds, even before sinners are regenerated by the Holy Spirit and Holy Scripture, we know the difference between right and wrong. Therefore, conscience will scream at us saying, “STOP!”

Third, I see your point in that we can be led astray with our conscience. I believe this occurs when a person continually ignores his conscience and the Scripture. When we ignore our conscience, though it has been impacted by sin, and experience the painful consequences of our actions, remember, it was our conscience – a gift from God – that warned us to stop. Sadly, when we ignore our conscience, we also tend to ignore, distort, and eventually reject the Scripture. And the consequences are far more painful as our hearts become hardened; God withdraws His hand [influence] from our lives.

————————end Phil’s Facebook comment and reply————————

The heart/conscience is mentioned in the Bible explicitly over 1000 times. For example, in Romans 2:15,

They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them

And in Hebrews 10:22,

let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.

and in 1 Peter 3:15-16,

But in your hearts sanctify Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give a defense to everyone who asks you the reason for the hope that you have. But respond with gentleness and respect, 16keeping a clear conscience, so that those who slander you will be put to shame by your good behavior in Christ

and Titus 1:15,

To the pure, all things are pure, but to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but both their minds and their consciences are defiled.

And so on. So, conscience IS a thing.

J. I. Packer wrote in Rediscovering Holiness,

An educated, sensitive conscience is God’s monitor. It alerts us to the moral quality of what we do or plan to do, forbids lawlessness and irresponsibility, and makes us feel guilt, shame, and fear of the future retribution that it tells us we deserve, when we have allowed ourselves to defy its restraints. Satan’s strategy is to corrupt, desensitize, and if possible kill our consciences. The relativism, materialism, narcissism, secularism, and hedonism of today’s western world help him mightily toward his goal. His task is made yet simpler by the way in which the world’s moral weaknesses have been taken into the contemporary church.

Is the conscience different from “the heart”? In my opinion, yes. Bruce Waltke wrote in Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary,

The heart functions as the conscience. After David showed insubordination against the anointed king by cutting off the corner of his robe, his heart smote him (1 Sam 24:5 ), and after Peter’s sermon the audience was “cut to the heart” (Acts 2:37 ). The heart may condemn us, but God is greater than our hearts (1 John 3:20 ). David prays that God would create for him a pure heart to replace his defiled conscience (Psalm 51:10 ).

John MacArthur wrote in The Vanishing Conscience Revisited,

The Hebrew word for conscience is leb, usually translated “heart” in the Old Testament. The conscience is so much at the core of the human soul that the Hebrew mind did not draw a distinction between conscience and the rest of the inner person. Thus when Moses recorded that Pharaoh “hardened his heart” (Exodus 8:15), he was saying that Pharaoh had steeled his conscience against God’s will.

What is the seared conscience? 1 Timothy 4:1-2 mentions it,

Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, 2 through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared

JI Packer wrote, “when moral and spiritual light has been resisted it may become ‘seared’ (i.e. cauterized, rendered insensitive) (1 Timothy 4:2; cf. Ephesians 4:18).”

mind of christ orig

Posted in encouragement, theology

An encouragement: Keep a tender conscience

By Elizabeth Prata

I hope this fine late summer week has offered you beautiful glimpses of God’s creative intellect and His wonderful power. I posted the other day about a rainbow extending from left to right directly in front of me, and how for the first time I even saw the end of the rainbow pooling in colors right there on the ground. (No pot of gold, sorry 😉

I’m looking forward to the weather easing into fall. Though this summer was quite mild, not brutal like those hot box summers in Georgia of the recent past, I’m still looking forward to pumpkins, fall leaves, and cooler temperatures.

We always enjoy the march of the seasons. “He appointed the moon for seasons: the sun knoweth his going down.” (Psalm 104:19, KJV).

Wherever we are in the world, reading this blog, we see and understand the times and seasons. In spring, we look for the robin, the crocus, the ladyslipper. In summer we look for puffy clouds, rain showers, cicadas. The orderliness and consistency of the seasons since His ordination of them is a comfort. Yet even in Jeremiah 8:7 it is said of the seasons, meaning HIS season,

Yes, the stork in the heaven knows her appointed times; and the turtle and the crane and the swallow observe the time of their coming; but my people know not the judgment of the LORD.”

In the natural history of Israel, Barnes notes explains, “Jeremiah appeals to the obedience which migratory birds render to the law of their natures. The “stork” arrives about March 21, and after a six weeks’ halt departs for the north of Europe. It takes its flight by day, at a vast height in the air (“in the heaven”). The appearance of the “turtle-dove” is one of the pleasant signs of the approach of spring.”

As for the part of the Jeremiah verse which speaks to His judgments, Matthew Henry holds sway here:

“Sin is backsliding; it is going back from the way that leads to life, to that which leads to destruction. They would not attend to the warning of conscience. They did not take the first step towards repentance: true repentance begins in serious inquiry as to what we have done, from conviction that we have done amiss. They would not attend to the ways of providence, nor understand the voice of God in them, ver. 7.

They know not how to improve the seasons of grace, which God affords. They would not attend to the written word. Many enjoy abundance of the means of grace, have Bibles and ministers, but they have them in vain. They will soon be ashamed of their devices. The pretenders to wisdom were the priests and the false prophets. They flattered people in sin, and so flattered them into destruction, silencing their fears and complaints with, All is well. Selfish teachers may promise peace when there is no peace; and thus men encourage each other in committing evil; but in the day of visitation they will have no refuge to flee unto.”

How perfect and prescient His Word is! Let us enjoy the seasons of grace that Jesus offers His children.

In Numbers, where God is dispensing instruction to the Priesthood, God said, “I am giving you the service of the priesthood as a gift.” (Numbers 18:7b). It is a gift to serve Him. It is a gift to dedicate one’s life to him. It is a gift to be close to Him. It was a gift to the people who needed priests. He also gave the Prophets as a gift and in the New Testament, the gift of prophecy is also a gift. (1 Corinthians 12:10; Romans 12:6).

I feel deeply for Jeremiah the Prophet, who was known as The Weeping Prophet. Jeremiah lived in a time when the People’s pride was dragging them backward into sin and away from the LORD. (Jeremiah 13:15-27- “Pride precedes captivity”.) He lived when the people’s sins had piled up. Jeremiah was the last prophet sent to preach to the Southern Kingdom. The searing effects of their sins had hardened them so much that no one ever listened to Jeremiah. He never had one convert. “Yet they did not obey or incline their ear, but followed the counsels and the dictates of their evil hearts, and went backward and not forward.” (Jeremiah 7:24). Seasons of sin means seasons of bondage.

We speak of His love these days and His joy, peace in knowing Him. All these things are good to have and feel and be. But where is the grief? Where are our weeping prophets (Christians) today? Do we repent in grief for our sins?

Jeremiah begged them not to succumb to the false gods who lulled them into security and which did not make them feel guilty or convict them of sin. They did not listen, and they were destroyed. It shall be so again.

Meanwhile, keep up the good fight, persevere. Repent of the big things and the little things. Keep a tender conscience. Enjoy the gift of His Spirit and His people, and His church, and His word. Soon enough, our faith will be made sight, and we shall see Him as He is. What a day that will be!

hope 7