What we believe about perfection and becoming Perfectly You
We believe that man was created in the image and likeness of God (Gen 1:26-28; 2:7; 5:1; 9:6). God is perfect (Deut 32:4). God's way is perfect (2 Sam 22:31, 33).
We understand that in the third creative act of God, animals and man were brought into being. Their bodies were formed, but their life was created. We believe that man's creation was the subject of Divine Council (Gen 1:26-28).
We know that man became a morally fallen creature (Gen 3; Rom 5). There was a curse on man (Gen 3:19), and inbred sin followed (Rom 5:12-21). Sin is of universal effect. From Adam all men derive their beings (Acts 17:26). The whole race was in his loins when he sinned.
Scientifically, the study of epigenetics show this. See the section on epigenetics at this link:
However, scientifically it is shown that every organ, every cell, every neuron is perfect. There are no fear circuits in the body. This is borne out in Scriptures:
We understand that we were created in His own image (Gen 1:27), we were made upright, virtuous, decent, right, perfect (Eccl 7:29), with a divine sense of eternity/purpose (Eccl 3:11). From Ecclesiastes, we see Solomon found widespread corruption but learned to trace the degradation to its source, not in God's agency or design. Man was created immortal, and in the image of His own nature. However, man abased his free will and death came into the world.
The word 'perfect' as an adjective describes:
"Having all the required or desirable elements, or characteristics; as good as it is possible to be." (e.g. She strove to be the perfect wife.)
And we see that we are commanded to be perfect:
Jesus Himself said, "Be ye perfect even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." (Matt 5:48) We have that possibility to be perfect through the new birth (2 Cor 5:17; 1 John 2:29; 3:5-10; 5:1-4, 18), and Paul commanded us to be perfect in 2 Cor 13:11.
The Scriptures also say that Abraham was commanded to be perfect (Gen 17:1), Israel was commanded to be perfect (Deut 18:13), as was Solomon (1 Kings 8:61).
Also, there were 5 examples of perfect men and angels:
David (1 Kings 11:4; 15:3)
Asa (1 Kings 15:14; 2 Chron 15:17)
Job (Job 1:1, 8; 2:3)
Spirits of just men made perfect in heaven (Heb 12:23)
Satan before he fell (Ezek 28:12-15)
Also, Noah was just and perfect (Gen 6:9).
We believe that this is all possible as through Jesus we were created by Him, and for Him, and by Him all things consist..." (Col 1:16,17)
From our understanding of Scripture, we believe that man lost several things in the fall:
1. Spiritual, physical and eternal life (Isa 59:2; Rom 5:12-21; Eph 2)
2. Communion with God (Isa 59:2)
3. Fellowship with animals (Gen 9:2)
4. His full dominion over things (Psalm 8)
5. Freedom from satan (John 14:30; 2 Cor 4:4; Eph 6:10-18; Rev 12:9)
6. Perfect God consciousness (Gen 2:25; 3:27)
7. Full power to do good (Gen 6:5-7; Rom 7)
8. Perfect self-control (Eph 2; Gal 5)
9. Right to the Tree of Life (Gen 3:22-24)
10. God's Glory (Rom 3:23)
11. Righteousness and true holiness (Eph 4:22-24)
12. Perfect health (Gen 3:16-19; Matt 8:17; 1 Peter 2:24)
13. All benefits of perfect union with God (Rev 21:1-7; 22:1-3)
However, we believe that he did not lose the layer of perfection in his core, which has layers of imperfection added on through generational sin and curses.
What we believe about being born again
We teach from the pulpit that man is a triune being: spirit, soul and body. We believe that when we are born again, our spirit is consecrated or regenerated. A person born again hears the voice of the Spirit (John 3:6).
We have read the Scriptures about being born again. (See John 1:13; 3:3,7; 1 Peter 1:23)
From that, our experience and understanding of being born again means there must be a transformation from God and a renewal in righteousness and true holiness to be saved (2 Cor 5:17-21; Eph 4:22-24; Col 1:13-14, 20; 2:12-17; 3:1-16). For example, we teach/preach that:
1. It is a moral and spiritual change (Gal 4:29, John 3:1-8).
2. It is a change of heart, will, motives, desires, life and conduct (mind choices) (2 Cor 5:17-18).
3. It is a change of masters, not of constitutional makeup of body, soul or spirit (Rom 6:11-23; 8:1-4).
4. It is an adoption of one from the satanic family into the family of God (Rom 8:14-16; Gal 4:5; Eph 1:5)
5. It is not a coming into existence of the body, soul or spirit, as in natural birth, but a consecration of them to serve God and holiness instead of satan and sin (Rom 6:16-22; 8:1-13; Col 3:5-10; Gal 5:16-26).
Our message at the end of many teaching sessions in many churches/ministries is that the moment one is grown enough to recognize he/she is a sinner, and when they repent and believe the Gospel, a moral and spiritual change takes place (Mark 1:15; 2 Cor 5:17-18; Rom 1:16; 10:9-10; Eph 2:8-9; 1 John 1:9).
What we believe about the mind
"For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind." (2 Tim 1:7)
Commentary: Spirit-Filled Life Bible, NKJV:
"Possibly because of his youth or natural temperament, Timothy was prone to timidity (fear) and may have been reluctant to accept heavy responsibilities. In the verses (1 Tim 1:6-7) Paul is reminding him that the Holy Spirit's fullness and gifts provide enabling power to exercise one's ministry."
The words sound mind come from the Greek 'sophronismos' a combination of 'sos,' (safe), and 'phren,' (the mind), hence, safe-thinking. The word denotes good judgment, disciplined thought patterns, and the ability to understand and make right decisions. It includes the qualities of self-control and self-discipline.
Link this to Romans 8:27, "Now he who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is...." and again to 1 Chronicles 28:9, "As for you, my son Solomon, know the God of your father, and serve Him with a loyal heart and with a willing mind; for the Lord searches all hearts and understands all the intents of the thoughts..."
"And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength." This is the first commandment. See also Deut 10:12; 30:6; Luke 10:27.
Here the word mind comes from the Greek 'dianoia,' literally, "a thinking through." Dianoia combines nous, "mind," and dia, "through." The word suggests understanding, insight, meditation, reflection, perception, the gift of apprehension, the faculty of thought. When this faculty is renewed by the Holy Spirit, the whole mind-set changes from the fearful negativism of the carnal mind to the vibrant, positive thinking of the quickened spiritual mind.
"Then they came to Jesus, and saw the one who had been demon possessed and had the legion, sitting and clothed and in his right mind. And they were afraid." (Mark 5:15)
The words 'right mind' come from the Greek 'sophroneo.' To be of sound mind, sane, self-controlled, serious, moderate, sober-minded, restrained, disciplined, able to reason. From 'soon,' "to save," and 'phren,' "the mind." The word describes our behavior and attitude as we approach the ending of the age (1 Peter 4:7).
Other 'mind' scriptures:
"Who has put wisdom in the mind? Or has given understanding to the heart?" (Job 38:36)
"You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You." (Isa 26:3)
Commentary: Spirit-Filled Life Bible, NKJV:
"Perfect peace is expressed in Hebrew by 'shalom, shalom,' a Hebrew method of putting great emphasis on a word. You will keep him in everything the word shalom implies: health, happiness, well-being, peace. The word translated mind is not the usual Hebrew word, but rather a word meaning 'creative imagination.' Isaiah's thought is that he whose creative imagination, the seat of plans and ideas, is firmly founded on the eternal Lord, will enjoy shalom in all its implications."
"And do not seek what you should eat or what you should drink, nor have an anxious mind." (Luke 12:29)
Commentary: Spirit-Filled Life Bible:
"A proper attitude toward material things, based on a simple trust in a caring Father, frees one from a nagging anxiety about the physical necessities of life. Worry is useless because life is in God's hands." (Luke 12:24-26)
"For who has known the mind of the LORD? Or who has become His counselor?" (Rom 11:34) See also Leviticus 24:12.
"And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of the mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God." (Rom 12:2) We are to be transformed by a renewed mind committed to the ideals of the Kingdom of God. See also Ephesians 4:23.
"Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion." (Rom 12:16)
Love is to be the guiding principle in Christian relationships.
WE EACH HAVE A MIND
"One person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind." (Rom 14:5)
See Num 16:28; 24:13; Deut 18:6; 1 Sam 2:35.
"For 'who has known the mind of the LORD that he may instruct him?' But we have the mind of Christ." (1 Cor 2:16)
We need to recognize that the natural mind cannot understand or receive from the Holy Spirit. Know that only the spiritually alive can discern spiritual wisdom.
"Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus." (Phil 2:5) This Scripture is talking about adopting Christ's attitude of unselfishness, servanthood, humility, and obedience.
Some mind attributes/adjectives
Mind of readiness (Acts 17:11)
Mind of humility (Acts 20:19, Col 3:12)
Willing mind (1 Cor 8:12)
Vain mind (Eph 4:17)
Mind of lowliness (Phil 2:3)
Mind of earthly things (Phil 3:19)
Mind of the flesh (Rom 8:5, Col 2:8)
Mind defiled (Titus 1:15)
"But his flesh upon him shall have pain, and his soul within him shall mourn." (Job 14:22)
Job plainly expressed the often repeated doctrines of the material and spiritual natures of man. The flesh was upon him and his spirit within him. The body only is material and of dust and will return to dust (Gen 2:7; 3:19; Eccl 3:19-21). The inner man, which is made up of soul and spirit, is spiritual; it was created to live inside the body (Gen 2:7). At death the body dies and the inner man leaves it, going to heaven or hell, depending on the way the individual lived in his/her lifetime, whether he/she accepted God's provision of salvation and conformed to the righteousness taught in the Bible. All souls are fully conscious between death and the resurrection, the righteous souls being conscious in heaven (2 Cor 5:8; Phil 1:21-24; Heb 12:22-23; Rev 6:9-11), and the wicked souls in hell (Isa 14:9; Luke 16:19-31; Rev 20:11-15).
See also where the spirit and the soul is distinguished: 1 Thess 5:23; Heb 4:12
References of the soul of man as an individual being: Gen 2:7; 12:5; 46:15-27; Exod 1:5; 12:4; Lev 22:11; Psalm 25:20; Prov 10:3; 11:25, 30; 14-25; 19:15; Ezek 13:18-20; 18:4
Commentary: Dake's Annotated Reference Bible:
"The Hebrew word 'napesh' for soul is used in terms of the soul of man as possessing appetites, and exercising mental facilities, certain feelings, emotions, desires, and passions. Hence, we speak of the soul that feels and the spirit of man that knows (1 Cor 2:11). The soul and the spirit make the inner man with its feelings, will, knowledge, intellect, and other spiritual powers."
Man cannot kill the soul (Matt 10:28)
God has a soul (Matt 12:18; Heb 10:38)
God want both soul and body healthy (3 John 2; 1 Peter 2:24)
What we believe about the baptism in the Holy Spirit and speaking with other tongues
Baptism in the Holy Spirit
"And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance." (Acts 2:4)
Here we find that that all those that were together in one accord were both filled and baptized with the Spirit. This was predicted by Isaiah (Isa 28:9-12), and by Jesus (Mark 16:17; John 15:26; 16:13), and fulfilled in Acts (Acts 2:4-13; 10:44-48; 19:1-6; 1 Cor:12-14).
Prior to this we see that the Old Testatment saints had many spiritual experiences and blessings:
1. They were filled (Exod 28:3)
2. Had the Spirit in them (Gen 41:28)
3. And within them (Psalm 51:10-11)
4. Spirit entered into (Ezek 2:2)
5. Upon (Judg 3:10)
6. Moved many (2 Peter 1:21)
However, none of of the Old Testament saints were baptized in the Spirit. John the Baptist and others were filled with the Spirit, but not baptized (Luke 1:15-17, 41, 67; 2:35-38). Mary was filled about 35 years before she was baptized with the Holy Spirit at Pentecost (Luke 1:46-56; Acts 1:13-15). Jesus was filled about 30 years before He was baptized with the Spirit (Isa 50:4-5; Luke 2:40-52; Matt 3:16-17). The disciples were filled and had the Spirit in them 3 years before they were baptized with the Spirit (Matt 10:1-8, 20; Acts 1:4-8).
We also read that the Old Testament saints had the gifts and fruit of the Spirit (1 Kings 3:12), different measures of the Spirit (Num 11:16-25), but not the Spirit baptism, or the Spirit 'without measure' (John 3:34; 7:37-39). The disciples had gifts and great power before the Spirit baptism (Matt 10:1-8, 16-20; Mark 6:7-13), but were told to get the Spirit baptism before starting their ministry (Luke 24:49; John 7:37-39; 14:12; Acts 1:4-8).
From all of this we gather that the Spirit baptism is the fullness of God in the lives of believers, not the Spirit by measure as in Old Testament times (John 3:34; 7:37-39; Luke 24:48; Acts 10:38; Isa 61:1; Rom 15:29; Eph 3:19).
The difference between a filling and a baptism, or the Spirit by measure or without measure, may be illustrated by a glass and a pitcher of water. To the extent the water is poured into the glass, it is filled, but not baptized. By burying the glass in the fullness of water it is both filled and baptized. Taking the glass out of the fullness of water it is no longer baptized. So it is with believers, to the extent that one is filled with Spirit he/she has that measure of power and can do things according to the degree of anointing he/she has. If he/she is merely filled and has the Spirit by measure he/she is limited in spiritual power. If he/she has the Spirit in all fullness, there is no limitation. He/she can do the works of Christ and the apostles (Matt 17:29; 21:22; Mark 9:23; 11:22-24; 16:17-18; John 14:12; Acts 2:43; 3:6; 5:16; Rom 15:18-19, 29).
Speaking in Other Tongues
Tongues are a supernatural utterance in another language which are not known to the speaker (Isa 28:11; Mark 16:17; Acts 2:4; 1 Cor 12:10).
Tongues are a sign to unbelievers in this age and their exercise is a fulfillment of prophecy (1 Cor 14:21; Isa 28:11-12). This prophecy reveals that God intended, over 700 years before Christ, to speak to men with stammering lips and other languages.
Paul's explanation of the main purpose of tongues (1 Cor 14:22) is that they are designed as a sign for unbelievers that through their miraculous exercise sinners might see the manifestation of the supernatural (Isa 28:11-12). Examples of this are found in Acts 2:1-11; 10:44-48; 19:1-7; 1 Cor 14.
Though speaking in tongues is done through immediate inspiration by new recipients when one has thus received the gift of Spirit baptism, it then becomes a part of his mental make up so that he can, if he desires to do so, exercise it without direct inspiration, even in a back-slidden condition (1 Cor 13:1-3). This is why the exercise of vocal gifts of prophecy, tongues, and interpretation of tongues is commanded to be regulated and even judged as to whether it be under direct inspiration or whether the person is exercising a gift of himself (1 Cor 14:29-33).
The benefits of tongues (1 Cor 14) are:
1. Tongues are spoken to God (v2-3)
2. Mysteries or things not understood are spoken in tongues (v3-4)
3. Tongues edifies the speaker (v3-4)
4. Tongues enable one to commune with God (v2-4)
5. Tongues will have a greater effect than prophecy if interpreted and understood (v5)
6. Tongues are no profit to the public unless interpreted (v5-13, 27-28)
7. As in all the gifts, the main purpose of tongues is to excel in edifying the Church (v12)
8. The human spirit of the speaker is the thing edified by tongues (v1-5, 14-15, 24-25)
9. Tongues are a sign to unbelievers (v21-22)
10. All speaking in tongues at once causes mockery by the unsaved (v23-25)
This will naturally be the result of such misuse of tongues. When the mockery began at Pentecost, Peter stopped the 120 from talking in tongues and preached a sermon in his own native language which all could understand (Acts 2:11-14).
Paul himself boasted of his ability to speak in tongues more than all the others, yet he said there was a time and a place for speaking in tongues. He gave six instances when not to speak in tongues:
1. When not done in love (1 Cor 13:1-3)
2. When in regular Church meetings and no interpreter is present (1 Cor 14:5, 27-28)
3. When it is time to give truth to the public (1 Cor 14:6-13, 19, 23-25)
4. When invited to say grace at the table (1 Cor 14:16-17)
5. When the whole Church would like to speak in tongues and people are present who would stumble at such action (1 Cor 14:23-25)
6. After 2 or 3 messages in tongues have been given and interpreted (1 Cor 14:27)
What we believe about wisdom
"Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence."
Wisdom is that which enables men to judge what are the best ends and the best means of attaining them. Prudence is practical wisdom applied in the best time and manner to secure the best ends.
"If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him."
Wisdom derived from the Greek 'Sophia' meaning cleverness, skill, scientific knowledge, wisdom.
"Wisdom is good with an inheritance; and by it there is profit to them that see the sun."
There are many blessings of wisdom:
1. It excels folly (Eccl 2:13)
2. It does not allow one to be discouraged regarding better former days (Eccl 7:10)
3. It is good with an inheritance, for it helps one to know how to use what he has received to the best advantage for the future (Eccl 7:11)
4. It enables man to make a profit
5. It is a defense (Eccl 7:12)
6. It gives life
7. Is better than strength (Eccl 7:19; 9:16)
8. It proves all things (Eccl 7:23)
9. It gives joy and boldness (Eccl 8:1)
10. It delivers in war (Eccl 9:15)
11. It is better than weapons of war (Eccl 9:18)
12. It is profitable to direct (Eccl 10:10)
Wisdom is justified.
"The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners. But wisdom is justified of her children."
"Wisdom has seen fit to justify both courses taken by John and Jesus (see Matt 11:18) but you hypocrites condemn them. You would condemn any course taken by a godly man, for you seek to justify your acts of darkness and rejection of truth."
"But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work."
Nine marks of human wisdom:
1. Bitter envying (v 14,16)
2. Strife in the heart (v 14,16)
3. Glory in profession (v 14)
4. Earthly, having this life only in view (v 15)
5. Sensual, living only to satisfy the animal appetites (v 15)
6. Devilish, inspired by demons (v 15)
7. Confusion (v 16)
8. Every evil work (v 16)
"But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy."
Eight characteristics of divine wisdom:
1. Pure -- chaste, holy, and clean (v 17)
2. Peaceable (v 17; Heb 12:14)
3. Gentle -- meek, modest, and kind (v 17)
4. Easily entreated -- not stubborn or obstinate, but yielding to others (v 17)
5. Full of mercy -- always forgiving, and performing acts of kindness ( v 17)
6. Full of good fruits -- (Gal 5:22-23)
7. Without partiality -- having no respect of persons (v 17; James 2:1-10)
8. Without hypocrisy -- open, honest, genuine and true
In the Old Testament, people were filled with the Spirit of wisdom: Exod 28:3; 31:3-6; 35:31; Deut 34:9.
They were given wisdom of the heart (Exod 35:26; 36:2), and received wisdom of an angel (2 Sam 14:20).
The wisdom of God was found in Solomon:
1 Kings 3:28; 4:29-34; 5:12; 7:14; 10:4-24; 11:41; 2 Chr 1:10-12; 9:3-24
The Bible talks about wisdom in the 'inward parts' (Job 38:36).
Wisdom is often equated with 'truth.' Larry Lea, in his book on wisdom, defines wisdom as two parts, one of which is 'what is the truth of everything?' Psalm 51:6 says, "Behold, thou desire at truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom."
The notes on the inward part in the Dakes Annotated Reference Bible say that the inward part is the center of all true religion and righteousness if one is saved (2 Cor 5:17-18), and of sin in all unsaved (Mark 7:19-21).
There is also reference of "the wisdom of God made the earth, world and heavens."
(Psalm 136:5; Prov 3:19; Jer 10:12)
Wisdom is the "principal thing" (Prov 4:7)... "therefore get wisdom." This is a command.
Proverbs 4:1-9 gives 14 commands and 14 blessings of wisdom. It tells us to get wisdom at any costs!
"Listen, my sons, to a father’s instruction;
pay attention and gain understanding.
I give you sound learning,
so do not forsake my teaching.
For I too was a son to my father,
still tender, and cherished by my mother.
Then he taught me, and he said to me,
“Take hold of my words with all your heart;
keep my commands, and you will live.
Get wisdom, get understanding;
do not forget my words or turn away from them.
Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you;
love her, and she will watch over you.
The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom.
Though it cost all you have, get understanding.
Cherish her, and she will exalt you;
embrace her, and she will honor you.
She will give you a garland to grace your head
and present you with a glorious crown.”
Some other points:
Wisdom is better than rubies (Prov 8:11)
Wisdom is too high for a fool (Prov 24:7)
Wisdom remained with me (Eccl 2:9)
Wisdom excels folly (Eccl 2:13)
Wisdom is good with an inheritance (Eccl 7:11)
Wisdom is a defense (Eccl 7:12)
Wisdom strengthens the wise (Eccl 7:19)
Wisdom is better than strength (Eccl 9:16)
Wisdom is better than weapons (Eccl 9:18)
Wisdom is profitable to direct (Eccl 10:10)
There is wisdom of the world which God made foolish (1 Cor 1:20; 2:6; 3:19).
Notes: "The wisdom of the world is a craft, or subtle trade, which men carry on with others to benefit themselves."
The "fear of the Lord is wisdom." (Job 28:28) This is in harmony with what was said later by Solomon, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom." (Prov 1:7; 9:10; Psalm 111:10). However, it is the beginning, not the end, nor is it wisdom itself. It is the first principle. True wisdom is to justify God and condemn self (Dake's Annotated Reference Bible).
Proverbs 2:2 says to "incline thine ear unto wisdom," because the "Lord giveth wisdom." (Prov 2:6) We see five examples of Biblical characters getting wisdom:
Joseph (Gen 41:38-39)
Moses (Exod 4:12)
Solomon (1 Kings 3:12; 4:29) *
Daniel (Dan 1:17; 2:23)
Stephen (Acts 6:5, 10)
* In terms of the wisdom given to Solomon... "so that there shall not be any among the kings like unto thee all thy days" (1 Kings 3:12), has to be understood in the limited sense of ordinary rulers of the earth. Jesus Christ had even more wisdom and knowledge than Solomon, besides many other gifts of the Holy Spirit which Israel's king did not have. Christ himself said, "Behold, a greater than Solomon is here." (Matt 12:42; Luke 11:31)
The man that finds wisdom is happy! (Prov 3:13) He that gets wisdom loves his own soul (mind) (Prov 19:8). The greater good will come through guarding and obeying wisdom and understanding.
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About Dr. Leaf
Dr. Caroline Leaf has researched the human brain with particular emphasis on unlocking its vast, untapped potential.