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The Sin Of Presumption
In keeping with the principle of divine inspiration (Hebrews 4:12) Jude (Judas), the half-brother of the humanity of the Lord Jesus Christ (Mark 6:3) was clearly under the inspiration of God the Holy Spirit when he wrote what we now refer to as the New Testament book of Jude.
Like Moses, who composed a detailed account of the creation (Gen. 1:1), the devastation (Gen. 1:2a) and restoration of planet Earth (Gen.1:2b-31) in preparation for the creation and inhabitation of Man, Jude wrote about a debate between Satan and Michael to which he was not a witness.
The point that Jude was making in Jude 1:9 was the difference between Satan and Michael, as each one revealed his mindset during a debate over the body of Moses.
Whatever comes out of the mouth reveals much about what is going on in the soul at the time. It is not always a matter of what is said, but the way that it is said and the motivation behind it.
Let's look at some background information concerning the debate and the debaters of which Jude wrote.
Scripture (Deut. 34: 6) records that the Lord Himself buried the bodily remains of Moses.
The soul leaves the body at the moment of physical death.
There is not ONE human soul in any grave, urn, or cemetery, only the decaying bodily remains.
The departed souls of unbelievers are in the Torments of Hades and awaiting the final judgment and the lake of fire.
The departed souls of believers are in Heaven in interim bodies, awaiting the Rapture of the Church.
At the time, of his passing, Moses was alone with the Lord on a mountain. This event took place just before the Hebrews were about to enter the Promised Land.
The timing of the earthly departure of Moses was the result of divine discipline.
Here, and in such cases recorded in Acts 5, Scripture reveals that one does not have to commit what human viewpoint would consider a crime worthy of death to incur physical death via divine discipline.
The good news is that even if a born again believer is taken from this world as a result of divine discipline, he/she does not lose his/her salvation.
The "Sunday School image" that many of us have of such Biblical personalities as David and Moses seems to overshadow the fact that both of these great men of God had been involved in murder in the course of their lives.
Moses committed murder BEFORE he met the Lord in the burning bush and David conspired to commit murder AFTER he was a believer. Note that neither man was disqualified from either salvation or from serving God as a result.
During the Old Testament dispensation (prior to the disclosure of the full Gospel Message) believers were saved by placing his/her faith in God to the extent that God had revealed Himself to them (Gen. 15:6).
David first tried to cover up his sin of adultery by calling home from military service the man whose wife he impregnated.
When the man declined to have relations with his wife, David arranged for the man's murder by having it appear that he was a casualty of war.
In Moses' case, he intervened in a fight between a Hebrew and an Egyptian.
Moses had the time to check to see if anyone was looking (Exodus 2:12) and buried the dead man's corpse to conceal the act (Exodus 2:12).
Such actions would refute any claim of justifiable homicide, as these are not the actions of an innocent man.
When Pharaoh heard of the incident, he tried to have Moses executed, but Moss fled the country. I believe that this was why Moses made all the excuses that he did in order to not return there when he was later called by God to do so.
Failure to address one's past sins will be used by the Ephesians 6:12 forces of evil to impede the future progress of one's walk with God.
Keep in mind that when we confess our sin(s) to God, we are not telling Him anything that He does not already know, and that He has already promised (1John 1:9) to forgive us when we do.
Scripture does not indicate what divine discipline (if any) that Moses received for the murder of the Egyptian.
We are told that David lost the baby (2Sam. 12:14) that was the product of his affair with Bathsheba.
After having her husband murdered, David took her home as his wife. It is through this family line that the humanity of the Lord Jesus Christ was manifested!
The sin nature was NOT passed down to our Lord's humanity via the virgin conception via God the Holy Spirit.
Some scholars also attribute all the violence and chaos in the domestic life of David during his reign as king to divine discipline as well.
As demonstrated by the lives of Moses and David, we see that until they and each one of us, either unwittingly or by conscious design, do complete our individual part in the master plan of God, we will remain on this earth.
When a born again believer gets involved in sin, he/she is subject to divine discipline here on earth (Hebrews 12:6) and the loss of the additional rewards that he/she might have otherwise received at the judgment of the believers' deeds that takes place in Heaven. He/she does not lose his/her salvation (1Cor. 3:15).
The maximum penalty that one can receive via either secular authority (Romans 13: 4) or via divine discipline (Hebrews 12:6) is physical death (Acts 5).
The Promised Land that Moses was not allowed to enter was land here on Earth that the ancient Hebrew were given by God.
Some people have issues with the nation of Israel claiming to have national boundaries established by God, but Acts 17:26 teaches, this is true of all nations, and that each one serves a purpose in the plan of God.
At the time of Moses' earthly departure, his soul went to Paradise (Luke 16:23) where all believers in God departed to at the moment of physical death during the Old Testament dispensation.
This is the same Paradise spoken of by the Lord Jesus Christ in His conversation with the repentant thief on the cross (Luke 23:43).
There are no longer any souls in the compartment of Paradise in Hades.
However, the souls of all unbelievers throughout human history continue to go to the Torments of Hades upon departing their bodies at physical death.
Those suffering (Luke 16:23) in Hades will continue to do so until the judgment of all unbelievers takes place at its appointed time in the future (Rev. 20: 13, 15).
At that time, things for the unbelievers only gets worse as Scripture teaches that all unbelievers are sent forever into what the Bible calls the Lake of Fire.
Their only sin was the sin of disbelief, as all other sins of the entire human race were paid for by the Lord Jesus Christ.
During the period of our Lord's earthly ministry, Moses appeared in an interim body along with Elijah on the Mount of Transfiguration.
There he spoke with the Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 17:3).
There seems to be a connection with the sin of Moses (Numbers 20:12) that resulted in him not being allowed to enter the Promised Land, and the presumptuous attitude that Satan exhibited during this debate with Michael.
A person acts presumptuously by speaking of or doing things that he/she assumes to be true without having a true or full knowledge of all the facts.
One must be humble to be taught anything. The mental attitude sins of pride and arrogance prevents one from learning anything.
The principle to remember and the question to be asked concerning the validity of spiritual arguments is where in Scripture is there a passage that would give one cause to either believe or to reject what is offered to us as having come from God.
We can not grow in the knowledge of the Lord without taking in and applying new information.
In our walk with God, If we do not have more knowledge about God than we did six months previously, then we are living a lifestyle of disobedience to the (2Peter 3:18) command of God to grow in His grace and knowledge.
At the same time, it is vitally important to make sure that the
"new" concepts are Biblically substantiated. If the "new" information is coming from God, it may be "new" to us, but God has been waiting to reveal it to us for all of our lives.
If we do not acquire the ability to discern what is and what is not Biblically substantiated, we will be vulnerable to all the counterfeit alternatives that the kingdom of darkness has to offer.
You can be assured that for every thing that God has established, Satan has or will offer a counterfeit alternative for it that will appeal to the fallen nature within us.
It is much simpler to just play Church once or twice a week rather than to grow in God's grace and knowledge as all true disciples will desire to do.
It is not a sin to ponder about the many "secret things" (Deut 29:29) that God, in His wisdom keeps the details of such things from us for the development of our faith.
It becomes a spiritual issue, however, when in doing so, we fail to apply what CAN be Biblically substantiated, or begin to accept as dogma what cannot be substantiated, elevating such speculations to a position of equality with Scripture.
This is how all the products and practices of religion have infiltrated so many sectors that claim to be a part of the Christian Community.
We are not told exactly what Satan said in this debate, but Jude makes it clear that he was acting presumptuously in doing so as the devil and Michael debated over the body of Moses.
Let's take a look at the debaters for some insight into their backgrounds that will enable us to better under-stand why each one chose to act or to speak in the manner they did in the course of the debate that was recorded by Jude.
Michael is an archangel. An "archangel" is a high-ranking angel within the angelic realm. The rank of an angel is indicated by the function(s) that are assigned to each category of angels and the number of wing spans that they possess.
In addition to the general charge shared by all elect angels to serve and to protect the domain of God, Michael is the guardian angel assigned to the nation of Israel.
Prior to the fall of the angels, Satan was a cherubim angel and served as a guardian of the throne room of God (Ezekiel 28:14).
Remaining truly humble when one is promoted to a position of power and/or notability is a test that very few beings handle very well.
Angels do have the ability to take on human appearance (Hebrews 13:2), but they do NOT become people and people do NOT become angels.
Angels and humans are not to have intimate relations.
An ancient attempt to do so resulted in the manifestation of the Nephilim (Gen.6:4). This was among the final acts of gross evil that preceded the flood of Noah's day (Gen. 6:13).
Angels do NOT reproduce and the number of angels that God created does not increase or decrease. The entire angelic race are now divided into two major categories, elect and fallen.
The elect chose for God. The fallen are those who chose for Satan and are who make up the Ephesians 6:12 forces of evil. The fallen angels will also be thrown into the lake of fire at the appointed time along with the devil they chose to serve.
The total amount of human souls continues to increase, but in the eternal state, the human race will no longer reproduce and there will be a fixed amount of human souls, as well.
The entire human race will then consist of those in heaven and those who end up in the lake of fire. The human soul, once created, never dies. There is no third place for a departed soul to spend all of eternity.
One of the basic features that angels and humans share is that they are the only two species of God's creation that the Bible records as having been given free will.
Both Satan and Michael were high ranking angelic beings, but the heart of Satan, like most rebels, was full of arrogance.
At some point in Eternity past, Satan declared his independence of God and attempted to establish a kingdom of his own on planet earth, before Man was ever created. His declaration of independence is recorded in Isaiah 14: 13, 14.
The devil's desire was to be like God (Isaiah 14:14), but this was not for the purpose of glorifying God. Advancing disciples are conformed to the likeness of Christ by developing and applying the mind of Christ to the daily activities that God arranges for His glory.
What Satan desired was to be worshiped as God is worshipped.
Needless to say, the revolt, in which at least one third of God's angels followed Satan, failed. The devastation of the angelic civilization here on earth resulted in the surface of the earth becoming formless and void (Gen. 1:2a/ Jer. 4 :23).
It was with presumption that the devil spoke during the debate with Michael.
Michael responded to whatever it was that the devil said, or perhaps in the way he said it.
Michael's response was only to say that the Lord would rebuke Satan.
The lessons to be learned here are that if a high-ranking angelic being refrains from going beyond what has been revealed to him, should not we even more so do the same?
If arrogance and pride is what the mind of the devil produces, should we not avoid such sin and attitudes in order to glorify the Lord?
Yet, how many times do those who claim to be Christians, in ignorance or arrogance, make statements regarding God's alleged unwillingness to forgive particular sins, based on the heinous nature of the sin or the quantity of the accumulated sin?
While this makes sense to the naturally-minded man, one cannot take this position without also promoting the blasphemous concept that God will take back the salvation that He has given in grace,
Grace is anything that God provides that was not earned or deserved by the recipient. Grace goes against the grain of the proud and the arrogant who believe that they are what they are by what they have done or have kept themselves from doing.
True Christianity is not about what WE do or don't do in order to please God. True Christianity is about believing in what God has already done for us to provide for the salvation of our souls, and what He will do through us in the course of our post salvation spiritual life to bring glory to Himself.
The second thing that the proud and the arrogant hate about grace is their belief that those who are not as "good" as they presume themselves to be, should pay for their sin(s), and not merely confess (1John 1:9) them to be forgiven.
Individuals may not appaer get what they or others believe they had coming, but no one gets away with anything.
The desire to be punished for the things that weigh down a guilty conscience can lead a soul into all kinds of evil and negative behavior, substituting the penalties received and the consequences for their secret sins that the guilty conscience bears and that haunts the soul.
This is an all too common counterfeit alternative to what God has arranged to address all sin, including the sin of guilt.
Every sin WAS paid for in full by the Person and Work of the Lord Jesus Christ. The only sin that God will not forgive is the unpardonable sin of disbelief.
This sin was not atoned for by the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross, and remains to be the one and only sin for which those who commit it will spend all of eternity in what the Bible calls the lake of fire.
The next time you begin to think that you or someone else has gotten away with something, consider by whom and by what means all the sins of the world were paid.
Never grumble about how the grace of God has been extended to someone that you believe should be punished. Instead, consider where you would be if God saw to it that you received the full penalty for all that you have done, and you will walk away with a better appreciation for the grace of God.
Sin can result in divine discipline (Hebrews 12:6) here on earth, and the loss of some of one's heavenly reward, but NEVER the loss of salvation for those who were born again (1Cor. 3: 12-15).
The teaching that one can lose his/her salvation is not only false, but amounts to blasphemy as it is an attack on the integrity of the Person and the Work of the Lord Jesus Christ.
God cannot require any additional payment for a sin that has been stamped PAID IN FULL by the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Divine discipline is NOT for the purpose of punishment, but for the purpose of having the person(s) involved or those witnessing it to return to the plan of God or to have respect for God.
Human nature tends to judge and place sinners on varying levels of sin with a corresponding punishment.
This is due, in part, of the practical reality for the need of secular law to establish an appropriate punishment for violators of its law.
From divine viewpoint, sin is sin (James 2:10), and the result of all sin is death (Romans 6:23).
For the unbeliever, it is a continuation of the spiritual death with which he/she came into this world.
For the believer, it is temporal death, that being a breach in the fellowship with God (2Cor. 13:14), and the accompanying inability to have God the Holy Spirit produce divine good through him/her (John 15:5), until the sin is (1John 1:9) addressed.
The fact is that we all have broken the laws of both God and Man, and have not received the full consequences of our behavior.
The systems in place for the enforcement of Man's law do not have the omniscience of God and unlawful activity is not always detected.
If everyone was caught and given the maximum penalty for their crime, there would be more prisons than homes.
It is the grace and patience of God that causes God not to send down a lightening bolt and take us out as soon as we commit a sin.
The degree and frequency in which a believer chooses to enter into or remain in post salvation sin invites a corresponding amount of divine discipline.
James 2:10 places the entire entire fallen human race in the same boat, and that boat is on the way down!
Salvation is not about an ongoing battle with sin, but about going from a spiritually dead condition in which we ALL come into this world (Psalms 51:5) to receiving a spiritually regenerated human spirit (Titus 3:5) and the eternal life (John 3:16) of God.
The arrogance and ignorance of the sin of presumption will deceive the soul into believing it can redeem itself via human good, works, or the products of man-made religion, and cause one to be judgmental of others who do not do the same.
Moses chose to strike the rock, instead of speaking to rock, as he was instructed to do.
This simple act is symbolic of man's inherent desire to accomplish good, but do it his way.
Rather one learns the details of the post salvation spiritual life and chooses to execute it or not will neither improves nor will it diminish his/her salvation.
But if one desires to fulfill the reason for which God created him/her, he/she must learn not only what it is that he/she must do, but God's way of doing it.
Pride, arrogance, and the sin of presumption are ingredients of a recipe for disaster.
Douglas Laird is a non-denomination Christian who has been involved with spiritual writing since the mid 1980's. He was ordained to do the work of a pastor-teacher in 2008.
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