Dualism and its implications.
JUNE 21, 2023
Dualism and its implications, on this edition of Key Life.
This is Key Life here to let Christians know that God isn’t mad at them. Keep listening, and you’ll hear that because of what Jesus has done, you’re welcomed home into the family of God because of his radical grace, free from the penalties of sin, and never alone in your suffering.
Thank you Matthew. If you’ve been listening last week and so far in this week, we’ve been taking the time because the text justifies it. It’s the 19th chapter of Acts in our study in Acts and verses 11 through 20. And it’s a funny text in some ways, but a very serious text in some ways. Now, if you’ve been listening, we’ve had a lot to say about Satan from this text, that he’s real, that our faith is a supernatural faith, and we sometimes forget about that and that you ought to stay away from the occult. Sweeping across our country is a renewed interest and participation in spiritualism, witchcraft, coverns, even satanic churches. Last night on television, there was a piece that was done on one of the news programs on a satanic church in a particular city. And they showed video clips of a woman holding a Bible and ripping pages out of it and throwing it on the floor and said, I am getting rid of oppression, religious oppression. And I wanted to say, well, I wanted to cry, but secondly, I wanted to say, you’re an idiot. You’re playing with something that is a lot bigger than you think it is, and Satan always says, take what you want and pay for it. And there is a price to be paid. I don’t buy in that you can sell your soul to Satan. You don’t own your soul. You can’t do that. And anybody who says you can is wrong. God owns your soul. And when you belong to him, forget about selling it to anybody else, it’s not yours anymore. But Satan is very real and he does say take what you want and pay for it. Now, I want to take some time today and then we’ll, I hope go to a different subject tomorrow, but I want to say something about dualism and I mentioned it yesterday and it is this, that Christianity, Christian theology, Biblical theology and doctrine is not dualistic. In fact, it is just the opposite. If you read the first chapters of the Book of Job, there’s an interesting incident that happens and Satan is going into the throne room of the God of the universe. And you say, what’s with that? Well, that’s because God’s God, and he’s the king, and Satan is his lackey. And God says to Satan, have you noticed Job? Now, I don’t want God ever to say that about me, not to Satan. Cause the bad stuff that happens throughout that book, I just don’t want to go there, but God says, you know, he’s cool. Well, that’s what the original Hebrew says. He’s something else. And Satan says, well, you blessed him, of course he is. I mean, anybody would, man. He’s got money and a family. Good looking daughters and handsome sons and farms and a mansion. You take that stuff away from him, he’ll curse you. And so, that begins the setup of the incident with Job. But the thing to remember is that Satan had to ask permission before he did anything to Job. And listen to me, satan still has to ask permission if he does anything to you. And so, when you say, as did the comedian, “the devil made me do it”. No, he really didn’t. God had something to do with that. Satan is God’s lackey, his instrument to teach us truth, to cause us to run to him, to understand the nature of the universe, to not buy into the lies that were given over and over again, but we are not dualist. There is no equal powers at battle with one another, one good, and one evil. That’s simply not true. There is one power, there is one sovereign God who is the Creator and the Sustainer and the sovereign Ruler over everything. And that includes Satan. Let me, I don’t have a lot of time, but let me give you some verses. John 14:30
I will not speak much more to you, for the ruler of the world is coming.
And this is what Jesus said.
He has nothing on me.
And this woman, a daughter of Abraham as she is whom Satan has bound for eighteen long years, should not have been released from this hand on the Sabbath day?
Criticizing Jesus because he fixed her.
You know Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed him
This is Acts 10:38 that we’ve already studied.
anointed him with the Holy Spirit with power and how he went about doing good healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.
Who gave himself for our sins that he might rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of God the Father.
For he rescued us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son.
And I could go on and on. There’s so many verses. The point is this, don’t stay awake at night worrying about Satan. Stay close to Jesus. You think about that. Amen.
Thanks Steve. Dualism, a fancy word for a really dumb and unbiblical idea, but you know what’s not a dumb idea? Joining us again tomorrow for more from the Book of Acts as we move forward from here in chapter 19. So, I don’t think I have to make the case to you that we in the church often act like hypocrites, even Pharisees. Well, we recently spoke about this with author Michael Reeves on Steve Brown Etc. Take a listen to part of that conversation, then I’ll be back to tell you about a special free offer.
Michael, we do teach here at Key Life that God is love and he’s not mad at his people and you can delight in him and we laugh a lot. But very rarely is that connected with the idea or the doctrine or the truth of the Trinity. You say that’s front and center. That’s the reason, or one of the significant reasons we can talk about God’s love.
Michael Reeves: Absolutely. The truth is, God is love because God is Trinity. And I think the reason people don’t see that is they think, look, there’s the God I know and love and Trinity, that’s the thing for those pasty faced and socially disastrous theologians in the ivy covered seminaries. I mean, you know how it is in a discipleship group. When young Christian asks, can you just talk about the Trinity with me? You’ll get a couple of normal responses. One will be someone will give a holy roll of the eyes and say, ah, the Trinity oh the mystery, we’re not meant to understand such things. And so, the poor young Christian’s left thinking, oh, what’s this got to do with me then? Or you are told, you know, I’ve got a really helpful illustration here. God’s like a leaf with three bits sticking out of it, or, my favorite God’s like H2O, but actually my real favorite, God is like an egg, he’s a shell, a white, and a yoke, three things, and yet they’re one thing. And you think, yeah, I’m really going worship a God because he’s an egg. What I wanted to show people is, look, Christians don’t believe in the Trinity because they sense his similarity to streaky bacon, three-headed giants, H2O. Christians believe in the Trinity because of Jesus Christ. John said he wrote his gospel, John 20:31.
So that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His name.
In other words, when you go through Jesus, the God you get to know, he’s the Son, he’s revealing to you a Father. And that puts us onto the really big question, what sort of God do we see in Jesus? A totally different sort of God to the God we imagine every day, before anything else in eternity, before he created anything. This God is, well, let me put it this way, cliffhanger. People sometimes ask, what was God doing before he created the world? And the pompous theologians answer is he was creating hell for those cheeky enough to ask such questions. But Jesus tells us in John 17:24, he says.
Father, you loved me before the foundation of the world.
That’s the sort of God we’re talking about, eternally a Father characterized by his nature is to love his son, and therefore you have a God who is love. If you have a single person God, just sitting on his throne all by himself, that’s not a God who is eternally loving, and that’s the sort of problem you have in a religion like Islam, where you might want to talk about Allah as loving, but eternally he hasn’t been loving. It’s not part of his nature, and so it is for every single person God, you could only say God is love of this one, a Father eternally loving his Son as he pours out his Spirit on him.
Well, my friends, you are not going to believe this, but we put that entire conversation onto a CD. Didn’t see that one coming, did you? What’s more? We will send you that CD, for free. Just call us right now at 1-800-KEY-LIFE that’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also e-mail [email protected] to ask for that CD. Or to mail your request, go to Keylife.org/contact to find our mailing addresses for the U.S. and Canada. Just ask for your free copy of the CD featuring Michael Reeves. Finally, would you partner in the work of Key Life through your giving? It’s easy to do. You can charge a gift on your credit card or include a gift in your envelope. Or just pick up your phone and text Key Life to 28950 that’s Key Life, one word, two words. We don’t care, it all works. Text that to 28950 then follow the instructions. Key Life is a member of ECFA in the States and CCCC in Canada. And as always, we are a listener supported production of Key Life Network.