The Works of the Flesh
Sabbath School Lesson 2017 Quarter 3 Lesson 12 Tuesday
In light of what we discussed last evening, just for my subscribers awareness;
The Concise Dictionary of the Occult and New Age, written by Debra Lardie, describes Yoga this way:
A Hindu physical and mental discipline. Hinduism teaches that the self is divine and distinct from the activity associated with the body, mind, and will. Through yoga’s system of exercises, people can train their consciousness to control the body and mind, thereby attaining a higher state of awareness…
Through the regular practice of yoga, people can achieve perfect spiritual insight, tranquillity, and well-being, experiencing freedom from ignorance, suffering, and ultimately achieving rebirth.
This dictionary then goes on to describe the etymology of the word “Yoga.”
The name ‘yoga’ comes from the Sanskrit term that means ‘to join’ or ‘to unite.’ This etymology fits with the underlying philosophy of yoga. Hindus claim that God is a vital energy source from which all reality emanates. People are connected to this universal life force and are archetypes of it. According to Hindu teaching, the human predicament is caused by a lack of awareness of this vital link between people and the cosmic consciousness.
The question is why are we introducing this into the SDA churches?;
This mystical ‘Adventist’ amalgamation is conducted by Golden Thread Productions, an organizational hub for Holy Yoga, Environmentalism and Interfaith Social Justice. Golden Thread Productions has held “Holy” Yoga at Camelback Road SDA, Glendale SDA, Foothills Community SDA (Alicia Johnston’s previous church), Scottsdale Public Library. One of the founders of Golden Thread Productions says she is a “Holy Yoga Instructor, a gift that God has given her.” Another founder’s interests include Psytrance, Goa Trance, Shiva Shidapu, and transformational festivals. And this is all done in the name of Jesus.
Read last paragraph,
“In this context, some people claim that what a person believes about God does not really matter as long as he or she is sincere. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Paul’s list of vices suggests the opposite: corrupt views about God lead to distorted ideas about sexual behavior and religion, and ethics, resulting in the breakdown of human relationships. Furthermore, they can lead to the loss of eternal life, as well (Gal. 5:21).”
What corrupt views of God do we struggle with that interfere with experiencing God’s healing in our lives?
Why do false views of God lead to loss of eternal life?
Lies believed break the circle of love and trust, resulting in fear and selfishness. If we don’t know God we won’t trust Him!
The lesson asks us to read the list of works of the flesh and then the fruits of the Spirit, so let’s read Galatians 5:19-21:
19 The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
What do you hear?
How is idolatry and witchcraft works of the sinful nature?
What is the sinful nature? It is fear and selfishness, and what is the basis of idolatry and witchcraft? Fear and selfishness, about protecting self, getting for self. Pagan practices always have works, appeasement, attempts of the worshipper to influence, control, pay, bribe, or otherwise direct outcomes. Self does not die in such practices, but the misdeeds may be accounted for.
Look for this in Christianity—are there versions of Christianity which focus on accounting for the bad deeds, presenting offerings to God in order to assuage or propitiate His wrath? Such practices are paganism disguised as Christianity.
What about practices in Christianity where certain incantations must be recited in order to bring the power of the supernatural to bear to get what you want, whether it be healing, or a job, or a promotion etc. There is the belief that if the right words, or right rituals, or right incantations can be stated then God is required to dispense supernatural energy to effect the outcome we want—this is witchcraft.
Why will those who live like this not inherit the kingdom of God?
What is the kingdom of God? Is it primarily a kingdom of possessions, is it the kingdom of fear, of selfishness? Or is God’s kingdom primarily defined by its attributes, methods, character? Which is what?
God’s kingdom is the kingdom of love, truth and freedom—why won’t those who live as described by the works of the flesh above inherit such a kingdom?
Is it because God makes the choice to refuse them? Or, is it because they are unfit to live there and they actually choose death rather than to live in God’s kingdom?
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