“That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them”. (Mark 4:12)
By this saying, Jesus lets us know that spiritual vision is a gift, withheld from some. I believe these are those who are too proud and puffed up in their own knowledge. Those who study to boast and to argue, but not to learn and submit. Though they may look hard and long, and examine a book word for word, understanding evades them, because understanding is a gift that Wisdom gives to the humble.
The Wisdom of God is so precious that He guards it from fools. Jesus taught His disciples not to waste insight on the unreasonable (Matt 7:6). Entertaining debate with confirmed and hardened atheists may seem like a profitable exercise, but it is fraught with dangers. This certain class of unbelievers have determined not to know the Truth, and to continue to pursue dialogue is more an exercise of pride in our knowledge than love for them and others. Others, who have not heard will not hear, when you trap yourself in such a position.
At some point, after we have presented the gospel, and given a defense for our belief (1 Pet 3:15), it’s time to walk away. God is the One who calls, and He knows those who will hear… (John 10:27)
Our last duty is to pray for those that have rejected our witness. Pray that God might give them the grace to believe. Do not think highly of yourself because you know the Truth. Remember that it is by grace that you are saved, through faith, which is not of yourselves: it is the gift of God (Eph 2:8).
Finally, let those who have ears to hear hear the appeal of Wisdom!
Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets: She crieth in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gates: in the city she uttereth her words, saying, How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge? Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you. Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof: I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh; When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you. Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me: For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the Lord : They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof. Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices. For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them. But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil. (Prov 1:20-33)
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Categories: The Latest, True Religion
Reblogged this on Talmidimblogging.
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Spiritual vision is indeed a gift, one that only God can give! Act 16 talks about a woman by a river (Lydia) whose heart was opened to hear what Paul had to say and she was saved.
The parable of the sower, seed, and soils is first told in Mark 4 and then the purpose of parables is explained. In the first telling, Jesus seems to be saying that only those who have “ears” (spiritual sight) is able to hear. Since it is Jesus who intentionally spoke in parables, the “so that” at the beginning of verse 12 is significant. The text tells us that the following “That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them”. Was ihe very purpose of the parable! (unless I can’t understand words).
Then Jesus explains the parable. The sower sows but several types of ground yield no fruit for a variety of reasons. It is only ‘good soil’ that bears fruit, and much fruit at that! Can we say that good soil for seed represents the listener who has his ‘spiritual ears’ on? That leaves us the question of how spiritual eyes are opened.
Jesus told his disciples“to you it has been given (granted) kingdom secrets, but that those who are not his disciples’ they were given parables “so that………” Perhaps just as the “sower” specially prepares the planting ground to receive seed and produce fruit, it is God who prepares hearts to receive the gospel message and until he does, there is no fruit. Jesus told Nicodemus that unless one is born again he cannot even see the Kingdom. Is this pointing to regeneration preceding faith? Interesting question.
Is ‘dust ahaking time’ really in view in Mark 4?
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When we have preached the gospel, we dust off our feet against unbelievers, not to curse them, but to show that we share no part in their condemnation. Our conscience is clear, because we have done our part. (Eze 3:18-19).
Thanks for your contribution!
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Spiritual vision is indeed a gift!
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See, this is why religious belief is so pernicious; it take a nice person like Born4Battle and through scripture asserts that he is special, that he has been selected, that his religious beliefs are actually a gift… and not just any gift randomly sprinkled but one like a seed that – oh, just by coincidence – happens to land on him!
Well. he identifies himself as ‘good soil’. How convenient. That’s why this belief has taken root, you see. It has nothing to do with him. It’s God. it’s B4B’s lucky, lucky character.
Ah, but what’s the flip side, this ‘pernicious’ effect that I claim lies nestled at this belief’s core, one that turns – one that causes – a nice fellow like this into one ready, willing, and able to commit whatever heinous, immoral acts are deemed pious? (Just following your divine orders, Mein Dear Leader.)
Look at what this belief does to someone like me…. someone who has done absolutely nothing to earn any malevolence from such a swell guy who doesn’t know me at all. By his thinking process, he has already established that as a non believer, I have not been selected, you see, that I am not ‘fertile ground’ and that if I have ‘heard the call’ and have not agreed to believe as he does, then my character is in question, my motives are suspect, that my morality is doubt, that I am not as rooted to divine will as he is and that I have earned whatever consequences his god has deemed fit to visit upon me.
Why is this kind of belief a root cause of harm?
Consider: there is no qualitative difference between this thinking process revealed by Born4Battle (can you feel the love from that moniker) and that exercised as a justification for the actions by ISIS believers. The only difference is the selected object of slavish submission.
If that accurate observation doesn’t give you a bit of a jolt back to reality, then your brain is lost to reason.
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Well, it not at all an accurate observation. We are both looking at the same thing, but I’ve got 3D goggles on, where as you havent! You can’t see the whole presentation, so you don’t understand. Problem is, I can’t manufacture these glasses to give you one. Only God, who made the ‘movie’ can give you the glasses.
Your battle is with Him. Not me. Not Born4Battle.
Are you suggesting you have special insight?
I am not suggesting. I am saying that I have spritual vision that you do not have. Is that clearer?
What is ‘spiritual’ vision?
Google is your friend 🙂
Google doesn’t help explain what you mean by that… other than producing a list a several dozen kinds of visions related to all kinds of nebulous ‘spiritual’ references. You used this term as if it explained how your ‘3D’ vision was somehow more insightful than anything I could see. Without you explaining what you mean by that term so that I can compare and contrast, your claim is just hyperbole.
Spiritual vision simply means that my Spirit is awakened to a spiritual realm that you are not aware of.
If I speak of those things to you, you would judge me only based on the things you see and understand in this world, in the same way if an Astronaut were to come across an alien, he wouldn’t know how to describe it to us, without using the descriptive words in our dictionary.
But if you tried to draw or recreate an image of this alien from his description, you would miss it by a mile! You need to have gone to space and seen the alien too.
Or, you can just accuse the astronaut of being delusional, which ever is easier!
Does it matter to you at all that I can replicate your ‘spiritual vision’ and create all kinds of ‘spiritual’ experiences by impeding certain brain function using magnetic fields?
What this means is that the experiences are not eternal to your brain (you have no evidence it is) but dependent on it (that can be demonstrated). Your brain, in this case, creates – not recognizes – you ‘spiritual vision’.
So what is ‘it’ you are sensing? This is not 3D vision into some realm that you can see but I cannot; what you’re doing is generating a vision into your brain’s fiction and mistaking that fiction for non fiction. Of course I can’t see it but I can generate my own that you cannot see. So what? This is not ‘spiritual insight’ into a shared reality; it’s a step towards better understanding how our brains function not by theology but by studying the brain itself. The theology – again, and reliably again – leads us absolutely nowhere in furthering our understanding of reality. All it does is fool you into thinking you have any actual insight where I don’t. And that is incorrect.
You recreating my ‘spiritual vision’ with your magnetic fields is like you making false jewels with plastic and trying to sell them in the market place. It is counterfeit. It is fake and cheap and of no value to anyone.
We have come back to the ‘it’s all in your head’ conclusion that is all you have against my beliefs. I dare you to PROVE it is all in my head.
And logically, if you really do think I’m insane, then you would have to be a lunatic to be arguing with me?
Well, Sir, I don’t think I identified myself as anything. All I wanted to do was analyze the text aroung the basis of this blog post. Context helps a lot. I agree with the hostess here. Spiritial vision is a gift. Eph 2:8-9 says that grace and faith are gifts. Repentance is a gift. 1 Cor 2:14 reinforces Jesus teaching about being born from above as necessary to see the Kingdom. I didn’t say anything about being selected or special, nor did I say anything personal about any particular individual. It doesn’t make any difference what I believe, but it matters a great deal what the Bible teaches. The Bible teaches that in our natural state (out of the womb) as unbelievers: We are dead in our sin, have minds set against God, are incapable of understanding spiritual things, that we love our sin, that we are by nature objects of wrath. That’s what the Bible teaches about all of us – you, me and everyone else. Somewhere along the line God opened some of our hearts and eyes to be able to hear and receive the message that Christ died for our sins, brought us to us to repentance and belief and now we can be called children of God. I pray that God would open your heart to hear the gospel that is herein presented.
I don’t know you Sir, but you seem to have something against God and religion. As was stated, your problem is with God. If you claim to be an atheist, I can understand your anger. You run from a God you know exists.
BTW, ‘Born4Battle’ has nothing to do with wanting a fight. It comes from a song that contained the lyrics “some people want to live in the sound of Chapel bells, but I want to run a mission a yard from the gates of Hell” The message of the gospel is that important.
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