God Said Man Said

Basic Nature

The sheep-like behavior of man is another psychological reality that God defined in His Word thousands of years ago. It’s true: we are sheep and we’re going to follow somebody. It’s critically important to establish where that somebody is going.
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Basic Nature

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The young antagonist said, "I read the entire Bible."

Sons and daughters of God never tire of His beautiful Word found in His Holy Bible. To new believers, I say this is the 35th year of my pilgrimage in Christ, and His Words have not become old and jaded, but only more enthralling. The majority-text Holy Bible is like no other book. It is foundational to all truth, and because it’s content is the living Word of God, its truths are inexhaustible. As I sit here contemplating my own past with this magnificent book, I have fairly accurately tallied the following:

● 8,085 company Bible studies

● 5,355 church services

● 25,550 personal Bible studies

● Countless hours of researching and writing about God's glorious Words

I am impressed with these statistics not because I've achieved them, for there are countless believers my senior whose numbers dwarf these. The statistics are impressive because God, in His long-suffering mercy and grace, has consistently underwritten these events with His invigorating encouragement and presence. I am impressed with these statistics because over these many years, God's Word has been an endless source of expanding light and truth. His Words are fresh bread every day. They are inexhaustible. But prior to salvation, these Words are unattainable, for they are only spiritually discerned. To understand these Words, man must be born of the spirit. This can only be accomplished through Christ and the born-again experience. Would you like a personal introduction to the Christ of the Bible? Click on to "Further With Jesus," on this website for easy-to-understand instructions. NOW FOR TODAY’S SUBJECT.

GOD SAID, Genesis 6:5:

And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

GOD SAID, Proverbs 21:2:

Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the LORD pondereth the hearts.

GOD SAID, Psalms 100:3:

Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

MAN SAID: Mankind has an innate goodness, and he will evolve more and more into the perfect model of wisdom and benevolence.

Now THE RECORD. How excellent are the Words of God. Imagine that His truth is the gold standard of all wisdom and understanding. Imagine that thousands of years before modern, high-tech intellect had discovered a truth, God's prophets had proclaimed it. This feature is just another proof that the God of the Bible IS, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

The basic nature of unregenerated man is very clearly and accurately defined in the Scriptures. Many researchers in the field of psychology and sociology have come to the same stark conclusion, unflattering as it may be. God speaks of this nature in Jeremiah 17:9:

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

Whether it's World War II Auschwitz, or the many ethnic cleansings and wars that have taken the lives of millions, or the Palestinian desire to obliterate the Jewish people from the face of the earth, or racial bigotry, personal hatred, bitterness, or lust, unregenerated man's record is abysmal. Several excerpts will follow from a review of an Ethan Watters feature article in Discover magazine titled, "Why Do People Behave Nicely?" The feature discusses the psychological makeup of man. It reads:

For more than a century, psychologists have attempted to get to the root of evil and error. What they have discovered is not encouraging. Milgram and earlier researchers demonstrated that the ability to act rationally can be subverted by crowds or by pressure from authority figures. Recent studies show that humans, even when left alone, are prone to bewildering mistakes and biases.  [End of quote]

As described in the Garden of Eden, the psychological and sociological result of the fall of man was carnaldom, fathered by Lucifer, whose M.O. is to steal, kill, and destroy. Those who sport his confession of rebellion against the Word of God—the first voice in the Garden, the voice of truth—find themselves spiritually dead in trespasses and sins. Their psychological profile will mirror the self-destructive nature of Satan. Not only will it show up in man's willingness to yield to evil and his readiness to commit global atrocities, such as those under Adolf Hitler, but it will demonstrate itself in man committing personal atrocities, such as murder, rape, theft, suicide, abortion, self-mutilation, and more. Until man's nature is changed through the saving blood of Christ Jesus, the field of psychology should not expect to see man (as a process of evolution) develop into the perfect model of wisdom and benevolence, but rather just the opposite.

Psychologists continue to arrive at the Bible's original premise concerning human nature. Again from Discover magazine:

We humans have a variety of ways of perceiving ourselves as smarter, more skilled, and more appealing than we are in reality. Most drivers, for example, say they drive more safely than the average person, even though that is a statistical impossibility. People also tend to consider themselves more attractive than others say they are. [End of quote]

The Word of God profiles this mind-set in Proverbs 21:2:

Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the LORD pondereth the hearts.

And then II Timothy 3:1-5:

1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.

2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,

3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,

4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;

5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

Fully understanding man's self-perception problems and his inability to spot his own faults, God instructs man to more thoroughly examine himself rather than his neighbor. Jesus said in Matthew 7:1-5:

1 Judge not, that ye be not judged.

2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?

5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.

The sheep-like behavior of man is another psychological reality that God defined in His Word thousands of years ago. Isaiah 53:6:

All we like sheep have gone astray;

Jesus properly defines Himself as the Good Shepherd. John 10:14:

I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.

Watters elaborates:

Despite evidence of sheep-like behavior, many researchers still assumed that individuals, on their own, could be counted on to be rational and moral. The sea changes came in the 1970s, from insight gleaned through economics research. In a series of articles and books, psychologists Daniel Kahneman, who later won the Nobel Prize in Economics, and Amos Tversky rejected the long held notion that humans are rational actors in a marketplace. Rather than using all the information available and calculating the best decision, they argued, the human mind relies on "quick and dirty" heuristics, mental shortcuts or rules of thumb, to make decisions.  [End of quote]

It's true: we are sheep and we're going to follow somebody. It's critically important to establish where that somebody is going.

Man is notorious for following the crowd. Again from the Discover article:

In the 1950s, Solomon Asch, a pioneer in social psychology, pitted naive test subjects against a group of strangers who made bizarre judgments about the relative lengths of lines. Pressured to conform to the group, subjects often disregarded the obvious visual evidence and adopted the prevailing judgment.  [End of quote]

Man often adopts the convenient prevailing "wisdom." For many, a prime example would be the vacuous doctrine of the theory of evolution. The position of its proponents is that, given a big bang and billions and billions of years of time and chance, guided by natural selection, we arrive at the place where we are today. This, of course, flies in the face of God's 6,000-plus-year-old earth. I'm sure it is a surprise to many that no one has ever proven the earth to be older than approximately 6,000 years of age. We ask those who think otherwise to e-mail us their proof. We do not ask for their theories or the speculations of the Pied Pipers of pseudoscience. We await the revelation. They cannot succeed, simply because it's not true. But follow prevailing judgment, they will.

A final paragraph from the article follows:

Taking this research at face value, one might conclude that when people are not misjudging the world around them, they are lying to themselves about their own abilities and motivations. In one famous study, people were found to be "insensitive," beset by "ignorance," "general misconceptions," and a whole range of "shortcomings and biases."  [End of quote]

The depiction of unregenerated man in the Word of God, although written thousands of years ago, remains the gold standard.

GOD SAID, Genesis 6:5:

And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

GOD SAID, Proverbs 21:2:

Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the LORD pondereth the hearts.

GOD SAID, Psalms 100:3:

Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

MAN SAID: Mankind has an innate goodness and he will evolve more and more into the perfect model of wisdom and benevolence.

Now you have THE RECORD.




References:

King James Bible

Watters, E., "Why Do People Behave Nicely?" Discover, December 2005, pp36-41

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