Valuing What God Values

Part 1: Introduction

4/2/17
- Peter DeWitt
Audio Written Summary Blog Post
In this series, Peter is going to be addressing about five or six “controversial to the world but not controversial to God” topics. We are going to address those topics from the Word of God, and where helpful, Peter is also going to pull in some empirical evidence to help us see just how true the Word of God proves (Ps. 18:30). The first topic we are going to address is creation – and therefore we will also address evolution. 
 
If we don’t know what the Word of God says on these controversial-to-the-world matters, we will have what the Word of God calls a “weak conscience” (1 Cor. 8:7). When you know the Word of God on the matter, that’s what gives you a strong conscience! 
 
The core focus of Jesus’ life was to imitate the Father (Jn. 5:19-20). In other words, Jesus’ philosophy of life was to do what the Father was doing and say what the Father was saying. There is a great humility in Jesus’ philosophy of life (Mt. 10:24-25). He did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. This is the mind of Christ: “I can do nothing of Myself, but what I see the Father do; for whatever the Father does, I do in like manner; it’s enough for Me to be like Him.” 
 
In the world, there are two philosophical operating systems available to us. The one was subscribed to (through deception of the serpent) by Adam and Eve. They ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, but God never made man to be able to discern good and evil for himself. But Jesus was not like the first Adam. Instead, we hear from Jesus, “I can say nothing of Myself other than what I hear the Father say.” That’s it. There are two philosophies for life. The one is “I am going to discern good and evil for myself.” The second philosophy is “what my Papa says is what I say.” The second philosophy says “I’ve decided that’s enough. I’ve decided that it’s enough for me to be like the Father.” This is THE ROOT of Christian philosophy. Having a value system – a philosophy – that is like Christ! 
 
1 Corinthians 2:16 says that we (as believers) have “the mind of Christ.” Jesus was saying “here’s how I operate. I say what He says and I do what He does.” And we have that mind of Christ! What many of us have done is use the tree of the knowledge of good and evil as the “operating system” for our entire lives, and what we’ve done is taken the Word of God and put it into that operating system as a program. And the Lord is saying, “I want My Word and My ways to be the whole operating system – not just a program.” Like the Lord told Peter, “your mind has been on the throne of your heart, and I want to be.” This is that! Pastor Brad taught on humility a couple years ago. This is a follow-up to that humility series. THIS is humility. It’s saying, “I know I have a right to have my own thoughts; I just choose to have His.” This is the philosophical foundation to this sermon series. Now let’s apply a Christ-like philosophy to some issues God is very clear about. Amen! 
 

Part 2: Righteousness by Faith

4/16/17
- Peter DeWitt
Audio Written Summary Blog Post
Christian philosophy is to think like Christ. The tree of the knowledge of good and evil is about trying to discern good and evil for ourselves. God is saying “that is going to kill you.” We therefore, are encouraged by God to simply just do what He says. Jesus Himself did exactly that. That is the start and the finish of Christian Philosophy! It’s enough that we would be like our Father – like our teacher! 
 
There is no more important message than the message of righteousness by faith. 1 Tim. 1:8-9 says that the law is not for the righteous person! Jesus became sin even though He knew no sin in order that we might become the righteousness of God in Him! Therefore, the law is not for the believer! Romans 10:4 says  it so well “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.”  John 16:7-11 says the Holy Spirit is convicting those that do not believe in Jesus of their need for a savior. For believers, however, Holy Spirit is convicting us not of sin, but of our righteousness in Christ! 
 
Isaiah 54:9-10 says “For this is like the waters of Noah to Me; For as I have sworn That the waters of Noah would no longer cover the earth, so have I sworn That I would not be angry with you, nor rebuke you. For the mountains shall depart And the hills be removed, But My kindness shall not depart from you, Nor shall My covenant of peace be removed,” Says the Lord, who has mercy on you.” God has sworn to each of us that He would not be angry with us! It is impossible for God to be angry with you. All of the wrath of God for all sin for all time actually went on Jesus. All of the anger for all time got put on Jesus; that means there is none left for you!
 
God is wanting EVERY believer to be “established in righteousness!” The Holy Spirit is convicting us of righteousness. In Isaiah 54:15, we see that “Indeed they shall surely assemble, but not because of Me.” Righteousness means to be in right standing with God. We have peace with Him by faith! (Rom. 5:1) God is not sending ANY bad into any of our lives!  God will never put anything on you that He put on Christ! For instance, He's not going to put sickness on you. He put that on Christ so it didn’t need to be on you! By His stripes you were healed! (1 Pe. 2:24) 
 
This word of righteousness by faith is actually the foundational revelation of all revelations! Hebrews 5:12-13 says “For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe.” Paul was saying everyone who is partaking only of milk – who is not mature and ready to be a teacher – is unskilled in the word of RIGHTEOUSNESS. This is the foundational revelation of ALL revelations! This is the key who unlocks everything else. Romans 2:4 even says that it is the goodness of God is what leads us to repentance. The ability to change your mind (repent) is completely contingent upon our revelation of God’s goodness towards us!

Part 3: The Truth about Creation (part 1)

5/7/17
- Peter DeWitt
Audio Written Summary Blog Post

God is not so concerned with His word being destroyed. He is concerned about people being destroyed. This sermon series is not about trying to defend God’s word. God’s word cannot be destroyed. (1 Pe. 1:24-25) Many, many people have been bound in modern times and it is Jesus’ ministry to set them free! What have they been bound by? By a lie that God’s word is not true …

Hebrews 6:18 says “it is impossible for God to lie.” Believers are called to know the truth and set others free with it! In John 5:46-47 Jesus says, “For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me. But if you do not believe his (Moses’) writings, how will you believe My words?” What did Moses write? The first 5 books of the Bible – including the account of creation. Jesus said that if Moses’ words were called into question then you would not be able to believe the words of Christ. This is why we talk about the truth of creation!
 
Micro evolution is different from macro evolution. Micro evolution is the change in the allelic frequency of a population over time. Micro evolution is observable science. Evolution as it relates to origins, however, is not science; it is a religion called naturalism. 
There are many pieces of evidence that call into question the veracity of an evolutionary explanations of origins. For instance, Mount St. Helen’s erupted in 1986 and ten years later, scientists measured some lava for Argon-40 content which clearly showed that 10 year old lava was actually 350,000 years old! Radioactive dating is flawed by assumptions. 
 
Similarly when we look at layers of rocks, we often notice that the layers of rock are perfectly parallel. This is surprising if the earth is as old as many scientists believe it to be because there should be millions of years worth or erosion on the top of each layer prior to the next layer being deposited. 
 
What about the Grand Canyon? First of all, if the Grand Canyon formed by simple erosion over million of years, how is the canyon so many times wider than the actual river? Secondly, how are the canyon walls so vertical? Typical erosion produces sloping – not vertical – walls. Third, cliffs produce falling rocks over time (this is why rock climbers wear helmets). So, if the Grand Canyon was millions of years old, it’s age should be evidenced by major talus slopes – which it does not have. Finally, in recent times the North Fork of the Toutle River rapidly formed a “little grand canyon” (1/40th scale) in only a 2 month period! 
 
We also see evidence in the fossil record that does not mesh with gradual evolutionary theory. We see fossils of fish in the middle of eating another fish and fossils of other organisms in the middle of giving birth! The flood provides an easy explanation to those rapid fossilization events. Similarly, we observe how one vertical tree can travel through multiple rock layers. What would cause many layers of rock to form at ONE time? A global flood!
 
2 Peter 3:3-4 says “that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.”
Uniformitarianism is right there in 2 Peter 3:4! “all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.” Charles Lyell conceived of uniformitarianism in 1824-25 and according to his own writing thought if he could get this concept out to the public he could get rid of Moses from science. Lyell came up with uniformitarianism and then Charles Darwin (the father of evolution)Darwin based the theory of evolution as it relates to the origin of man on Lyell’s uniformitarianism theory.
 
In the 1820’s Lyell knew that rejecting the Biblical account of creation and the flood would be awkward for the clergy. Now, nearly 200 years later it is awkward for clergy to teach the Biblical account of creation and the flood. How sad! Lyell’s goal was to “free the science from Moses!” This exact scientific theory is prophesied in 2 Peter 3:4 – 1775 years before Lyell wrote it.
 
Interestingly, even scientists that espouse evolutionary theory have critique for the uniformitarian foundation of evolutionary theory – saying it was propagated primarily “by strength of rhetoric” and that it has lead to “the rejection of sudden or catastrophic events in the face of positive evidence for them, for no reason other than that they were not gradual.” 
 
Remember, this is NOT about defending God’s Word; it about people not perishing. There is evidence that casts doubt on the evolutionary theories. According to four evolutionary biologists, there has never been an observable change-in-kinds. In other words, the very basis of evolutionary theory has never been scientifically observed. 
 
2 Peter 3 makes it clear that scoffers do not want to believe in God because if they did they would have to be accountable to Him – instead they prefer to walk according to their own lusts. So, they deliberately block the coming judgment from their mind. In order to do that they must willfully ignore the evidence of God in creation and the evidence of the Global flood. In other words, they want to rid the science of Moses … and do you remember what Jesus said? “For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?”

Part 4: The Truth about Creation (part 2)

5/21/17
- Peter DeWitt
Audio Written Summary Blog Post

Why all of this talk about Creation? Remember that in John 5:45-47 Jesus says “For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?” According to Jesus Himself, to the proportion we don’t believe the writings of Moses, to the same proportion we will not believe the sayings of Jesus! There is a generation that has been raised up in the religion of naturalism which says “don’t believe the bible.”

The bible says we should speak the truth in love. Why? Because if you remove love from the truth, it is no longer the “T” Truth! Likewise if you remove the truth out of love, it is no longer love. John 1:17 says “For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” In John 8:5, the Pharisees asked Jesus what He “Grace and Truth” says about the woman caught in the act of adultery. So what did Jesus (Grace and Truth) say to this woman? “Neither do I condemn you (GRACE)… go and SIN no more.” (TRUTH)  (John 8:11) Grace & Truth! The inability or unwillingness to correct is NOT love. Proverbs 24:23-25 says that if we will correct at the lead of the Lord, a delight is going to come on us and a special blessing is going to be given to us because we have partnered with that person’s heavenly Father who desires us to partner with Him in parenting His creation!
 
God is not so concerned about His Word being destroyed – He simply doesn’t want people to be destroyed. He is NOT willing that any should perish. So, is Genesis Literal about the 6 days of Creation? Dr. James Barr, Hebrew scholar and Oriel Professor at Oxford University, has written:(a) creation took place in a series of six days which were the same as the days of 24 hours we now experience; (b) the figures contained in the Genesis genealogies provided by simple addition a chronology from the beginning of the world up to latter stages in the biblical story . . .”  This is not defense of doctrine, but simply a commentary on the Hebrew text from a linguistic perspective. 
 
Should the creation account in Genesis be taken poetically? There is Hebrew poetry – many examples of which in the Old Testament are historically accurate. There is indeed poetry in Genesis. Genesis 4:23-24 is in poetic form. Genesis 1-3, however, is NOT in poetic form.
People will also ask if there are gaps in the Genesis 5 and 11 genealogies. Note that 1 Chronicles 1, Luke 3, and Jude 14 all site the Genesis 5 and 11 genealogies as literal, historical genealogies. Also note that while the bible contains many “lineage-establishing” genealogies, those lineage-type genealogies are not about years. There is something very different about the Genesis 5 and 11 genealogies in that they always say the age at which the next generation was “begat” or “fathered.” Why? Because you quickly add up the history. Genesis 5 and 11 represent what could be called a “chrono-genealogy.” They do not only establish lineage, but also a timeframe for the history of the earth. 
 
Now let’s look at the actual language of Genesis. The literal translation for Genesis 1:5 is “and evening was, and morning was, a day, one.” It’s clear as day! “Evening” means evening. “Morning” means morning! A day – one. God is so emphatic. Similarly telling, in Genesis 1:14 God, through Moses, uses the word “year” in the same verse as “day.” The same word for “day” (like in Genesis 1:5) is used all the way through the creation story in Genesis 1. In verse 14, the word for year and the word for day appear in the same verse. What does that tell us? Moses knew the word for year but chose not to use it throughout the description of the 6-literal-day creation event – because they were talking about days not years!
 
Genesis 2:3 “And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done.” This connected the sabbath of a week to the week of creation – not a coincidence. Speaking of the 6th day of creation, Genesis 5:1-2 twice says God created man in a day “…In the day that God created man, He made him in the likeness of God. He created them male and female, and blessed them and called them Mankind in the day they were created.”  In Exodus 20:11 we read what God Himself spoke to Moses “For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day.” Day, day, day! They were 6 literal days!
 
But what about 2 Peter 3:8 where we read that “But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” Let’s look at that. There is a bit of a problem using 2 Peter 3:8 to try to “interpret” the days of creation because 2 Peter 3:8 says both (1) one day is as a thousand years, and (2) a thousand years is as one day. If 2 Peter 3:8 was meant to unlock a hidden timing in Genesis, it is awfully confusing! So, was God confused in the historical timeline He was giving us? No! 2 Peter 3:8 has NOTHING to do with the historical Genesis timeline. We must look at 2 Peter 3:8 in context! These verses are saying “don’t think that God is running late. He is not slack concerning His promise to come back and judge the world. He simply doesn’t want anybody to perish and He exists outside of time so it doesn’t hurt Him at all to take extra time so that more can come to repentance!” 
 
All of this is so you can total confidence in the Word of God! Now, what did Jesus say about the age of the earth? Let’s look at Mark 10:6 “But from the beginning of the creation, God ‘made them male and female.” What is the context of this conversation in Mark 10? Divorce – and therefore marriage. This is our Lord speaking! He said that people were made by God at the BEGINNING of creation. Jesus would NOT agree at all with any part of historical evolutionary theory! From the beginning of creation God made humans! So when did Homo sapiens appear? After the apes “evolved” for 3 million years? From the BEGINNING of creation man and woman have been on the earth – and marriage has been on earth! So encouraging!
 

Part 5: Abortion from an Apostolic Perspective (part 1)

6/4/17
- Peter DeWitt
Audio Written Summary Blog Post

The Roman empire would send a Roman ambassador who carried “the DNA” of the Emperor into that newly conquered Roman territory in order to Romanize the territory. That ambassador was called an "apostle" and Jesus deliberately translated that term into the Kingdom. Matthew 6:10 is the apostolic prayer: “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven.” 

In Matthew 10:1-2 and 5-8 we see the apostles were (1) given authority, (2) sent out, and (3) commanded concerning the specific territory / people group they were to go t such that they could (A) preach that ‘the kingdom of heaven is at hand’ and (B) to demonstrate the kingdom of heaven by healing the sick, cleansing the lepers, raising the dead, and casting out demons. This is analogous to the Roman apostles going to Spain and saying “hello Spanish people, behold the Roman kingdom is at hand and here are the Roman customs.” 
The idea of apostleship is key to God’s design of the church. Mark 3:14 shows us that apostles (1) spend time with Jesus and then (2) they go share about Jesus. In Romans 1:5 Paul says that he has received an apostleship for all nations to be obedient to the faith of Christ! Apostles are charged by God to make earth look like heaven! 
 
Jesus is the chief cornerstone and the foundation of the church is the apostles and the prophets. The pastor is supporting. The teacher is supporting. The evangelist is playing a role. The apostles and prophets are meant to be driving the church. The apostle is commissioned with knowing heaven so that he can bring heaven to earth. You don’t have to be an apostle to function apostolically just as you don’t have to be a prophet to hear the Lord. 
 
This message is about an apostolic perspective on abortion. Should we as believers be actively impacting the abortion culture? The answer is yes. The apostolic call is clear. We are supposed to heaven-ize earth. Therefore, consider this question … are babies being killed in Heaven? Therefore, they should not be being killed on earth. That’s the call. The apostolic foundation says “what does heaven look like?” and if earth doesn’t look like heaven, it is my job to make earth look like heaven – to bring heaven to earth. 
 
Mark Crawford says “the surest way for good to prevail on earth is for good people to do something good.” Remember salt is a preservative that flavors all it touches. We are supposed to be seasoning the world – preserving the world. God doesn’t have for us to blend in; He has for us to season! We are not supposed to blend in with darkness to expose it and bring light to it so there can be healing brought into that situation. Our light is not a light of condemnation but of liberation! In other words, we’re not supposed to look like we are Spanish when we’ve been sent by the Roman Emperor to Roman-ize Spain! God is saying “you have the heavenly DNA; go out and heaven-ize earth!”
 
In Matthew 28:18-20 we hear Jesus say “all authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.” This means that earth is a heaven-conquered territory. Now Jesus tells His disciples “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations …” All the nations are now a heaven-conquered territory – not under the dominion of the devil, but under the dominion of heaven and we all as ambassadors who know the culture of the kingdom of heaven, pray this prayer “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven.”
 
There are only two philosophies in the world. First, there is the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The second option is the Word of God! The first part of this series was about us having that mind (to operate by the Word of God) personally. The second part of the series is going to build on that more broadly. God wants His Word to be the operating system of our city and nation. He does not want His Word, His church, to be just one of the programs running amidst a worldly operating system. Earth is already a heaven-conquered territory. The church is built on the foundation of the apostles. The apostles have been called to heaven-ize earth and everyone that comes into that teaching in that church is now called to heaven-ize earth. 
 
Speaking prophetically, Abraham was looking for a city whose architect and builder was God! The separation of church and state means that the State is NOT to run the church. It does NOT mean that the people of the church should not be running the state! The people of the church should see what heaven looks like and experience what heaven feels like – and then bring that into every sphere of our country! That's the apostolic perspective! “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven.” 
 
Our job is to be with Jesus, know what Heaven looks like – know what Jesus is like. “Wait a second, there is no baby killing in heaven! Babies are not to be killed on earth. Wait a second, there is no murder in heaven! Gang killing needs to stop in this city because it doesn’t exist in heaven and my job is to heaven-ize this city.” This is the apostolic call and the church is built on this foundation. Earth is a heaven-conquered territory. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations!

Part 6: Addressing Secular Humanism

6/18/17
- Peter DeWitt
Audio Written Summary Blog Post
American Christians often think that the church should be separated from state, but that’s not what the constitution says! The state is not supposed to run the church, but as believers we are called to bring God’s will (His Kingdom) to every area of society! “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” (Mt. 6:10)
 
If the church does not shape culture for Christ, others will shape it for us. Secular humanism had taken hold of our government and educational systems with a motto of “good without God.” We are in a season where the foundations of secular humanism in our nation are being shaken and many believers find themselves disoriented. 
 
God is looking for a band of believers whose minds are not confused by the ways of the world, but instead are clear about the Word of God. We do not need a pastor-in-chief. The church is called to disciple the nations. Secular humanism’s hold on our country is dying and God is positioning the church to fill that void and rebuild the walls of righteousness in our nation. A wave of revival has already begun in our nation and God is hoping to partner with each of us to cause His will to be done on earth as it is in heaven!

Part 7: Abortion from an Apostolic Perspective (part 2)

7/2/17
- Peter DeWitt
Audio Written Summary

There is no need to re-invent God’s vision for churches. He has empowered us to preach the gospel everywhere, disciple nations, cast out demons, prophesy destiny, and speak with new tongues. We are blessed with every spiritual blessing in Christ, protected from harm, and lay hands on the sick who then recover! These are not theories to us, but promises from the Word of God for us to walk in … and we are hearing testimonies weekly of exactly that!

Grace and truth co-exist in a Person and His name is Jesus! And what God has joined together let no man separate! God wants the body of Christ to not only know what He says but also to disciple nations accordingly. 
 
It’s easy to brush abortion under the rug - out of sight, out of mind. But God says “don’t ignore it! Don’t turn a blind eye to it!” The Bible is clear that abortion is murder and we are called to speak up for those who don’t yet have a voice. God individually fashioned each one of us and has beautiful plans for every unborn child. May we partner with God to see those plans come to pass!

Part 8: Abortion from an Apostolic Perspective (part 3)

7/16/17
- Peter DeWitt
Audio Written Summary

We carry the power of God wherever we go and as we are connected to the Vine, we bear His fruit naturally! We are not supposed to be conformed to the world, but instead to inform the world!

Hearts are changing about abortion in our nation. It is not a medical conversation - it is a moral one. The Bible is clear, abortion is murder and God is calling the church to speak lovingly and plainly about it. Is it possible abortion could again be outlawed in our land within the decade?
 
Nearly 60 million American babies have been murdered since 1973. The yearly number peaked in the 90’s around 1.4 million and has since reduced to about 900,000. We must be grateful for the progress yet hungry for complete safety for our unborn boys and girls. Abortion is not rare. It is not about women’s rights nor women’s health, and the data is clear … women are safer when abortion is outlawed. Infanticide happened in Bible times too - including when both Moses and Jesus were born. Who is it in this generation that satan is trying to keep from their destiny? May no more destinies be cut off from the children of our nation!

Part 9: God's Word about Homosexuality

8/6/17
- Peter DeWitt
Audio Written Summary

You don’t need a certification to shout “amen” during a sermon. Yes, things should be done decently and in order, but the church misses the will of God far more from lack of pushing into the things of the Spirit than from pushing too far. God is looking for someone not to be lukewarm.

Ignoring or not teaching on homosexuality is what the vast majority of theologically conservative pastors are doing. As a result, there has been a 250% increase in favorability towards homosexual marriage in just 10 years among a group that is professing to be evangelical (gospel-sharing) Christians! Has the Bible been re-written in the last 10 years?
 
“There is a way that seems right to a man but in the end is the way of death.” This message is about loving homosexuals in a way that’s right to God. 
 
You can be a minister or you can be a man-pleaser. You can’t be both. It is God’s Word that equips us to minister. God’s Word gives people life - not death, peace, and causes them to be blessed. It brings about good, perfect, and pleasing things in their life so they experience life and life more abundantly. So let’s seek out what the Word of God is on how to best love homosexuals!