SEARED CONSCIENCE OR CLEARED CONSCIENCE?
BY: JOHN STOLWYK
SHEDDING THE ADAMIC MIND
SEARED CONSCIENCE OR CLEARED CONSCIENCE
Like coming from a bright, warm sunny afternoon into a cold dark cave is the picture of one who has lost their consciousness of God’s Presence. But even more is that the darkness becomes a part of them and they become darkness. This is the picture of Adam’s fallen race. In Romans 1 we have a description of mankind in this darkness:
For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God, or give thanks; but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Rom 1:21 NAS
Jesus made clear to us that what condemns man is his desire to suppress the truth and not come to Him who is the Light. This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God. John 3:19-21. As man continues to run from God’s light who is Jesus Christ the Truth. Man not only walks in darkness but becomes darkness. Jesus said, if your eye is evil, your whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness! Matt 6:23. In other words the conscience of man came into existence at the fall. Immediately man became conscious of his nakedness because he avoids the light. Men not only will walk in darkness but they will be filled with darkness and alienated from the life of God. Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: Eph 4:18 KJV & Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled. Titus 1:15 KJV
When Adam sinned he lost consciousness of God’s goodness and love for him. He became filled with dark and strange thoughts of God. He became afraid of God and hid from Him. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear: because fear has torment. He that fears is not made perfect in love. 1 John 4:18 KJV Adam lost the perception of God’s love for him! Did God stop loving him? No! God is love. God cannot cease to exist, because we sin. He only ceases to exist in a darkened mind filled with darkness. Nothing in God has ever changed. That is why mankind needs to repent, (have a new mind) toward God. I am not saying we should not turn from our sins but the emphasis of repentance in the NT is strongly if not completely on repentance toward God. This repentance toward Him guarantees the other but not visa versa. For they themselves show of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; 1 Thess 1:9 KJV. When we turn our face to God we turn our back on everything that is not Him. The Bible speaks of a repentance that needs to be repented of. For godly sorrow works repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world works death. 2 Cor 7:10 Salvation means deliverance and death means separation. A true repentance will deliver you from separation from God because you see God for who He really is and who you are in Him. I have seen people go up week after week in meetings repenting of the same thing they repented of the week before. This kind of repentance needs to be repented of once and for all because it never deals with the solution to their problem. It wasn’t until the prodigal Son turned to His father and pursued Him that he changed his mind. Do you think he ever enjoyed being in the pig pen. God doesn’t want us to repent of the pig pen but to remember the Love that the Father has for us! What was the first thing the son wanted to offer to his father, I will work for you like a slave because I am unworthy. What is the first thing a religious person says to God? Oh what can I do to make it right. The bottom line my friend is that you can do a thing! Jesus already did it. What did father (God) say, my son is back cloth him in glory. Yes, there will be works from true repentance but God wants us to know His great heart for us.
This brings us to a most interesting and important topic. When someone is born of God they become a new creation. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 2 Cor 5:17 KJV God brings a purity to us beyond human comprehension, but not beyond the Spirit’s revelation. God is not hiding anything from His children. Two often partially quoted scriptures are 1 Cor 2:9 but as it is written, Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for them that love him. Or Isaiah 55:8+9 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, says the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isa 55:8-9 KJV. For most people that settles it. Let’s look a little closer. First Isaiah 55 is written to wicked unbelievers who’s minds are darkened verses 6&7 says: Seek you the LORD while he may be found, call you upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. As for 1 Cor 2:9 lets read on: But God has revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God For what man knows the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knows no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teaches, but which the Holy Ghost teaches; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he that is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ! We have the ability to know because God has given us His mind through Jesus Christ by the Holy Spirit. It is the enemy’s desire to keep us in the darkness and focused on sin. Whereas God wants us to walk in the light and better still be the light as He is! As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world. John 9:5 You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Matt 5:14 As my Father has sent me, even so send I you. John 20:21.
God’s cleansing is so complete that He has cleansed us from the very consciousness of sin! Paul said, And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offense toward God, and toward men. Acts 24:16. Unfortunately one of the suitcases we tend to bring with us from the former life is that one of a seared & defiled conscience. People fear if they don’t keep tabs on how sinful they are (which they are not if they are in Christ) then sin will take over. Having lived with a defiled conscience for many years people “believe” being sin-conscious is “being normal.” Unfortunately that is as far from the truth as the East is from the West. Paul also said, My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me. 1 Cor 4:6. When we no longer focus on sin because we are taken up with repentance toward God. Life in God takes on a whole new meaning.
Now I am sure a lot of questions arise as we enter this topic from a new perspective. At this point I will try to answer them as they came to me when I was challenged by God to receive His total cleansing of the conscience.
Where do we read of the conscience being cleansed? Glad you asked or I asked? The theme of the Book of Hebrews is “better.” It shows how the New Covenant surpasses the old by no comparison. (see also 2 Cor 3:8-11) One of these comparisons is the OT testament sacrifices compared to the one final and perfect sacrifice of Christ. The writer explains these sacrifices in the OT and their limitations. For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins. Heb 10:1-2 KJV He goes on to say that these sacrifices actually did the opposite they reminded them every year! The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing: Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience; Heb 9:8-9 The writer goes on to show how the one perfect sacrifice of Christ does a complete cleansing. For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies to the purifying of the flesh: How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? Heb 9:13-14 He ends the chapter with when Jesus comes the second time it will not be in reference to sin. The sin question has been answered. And you know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin… for this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.1 John 3:5, 8. He accomplished His purpose. For by one offering he has perfected for ever them that are sanctified. Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before, This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin. Heb 10:14-18
Doesn’t the Holy Spirit convict me of my sins like it says in John 16:8?
Another good question. Judas asked Jesus an interesting question too. Yet a little while, and the world sees me no more; but you see me: because I live, you shall live also. At that day you shall know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. He that has my commandments, and keeps them, he it is that loves me: and he that loves me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. Judas said unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that you will manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? John 14:19-22. The disciples at this point did not understand what was about to happen to them at Passover & Pentecost. God was going to cleanse the temple of mankind’s heart and come to LIVE IN THEM! First, here is a distinction made between a believer and the world. In John 16:8 Jesus is explaining that the Holy Spirit would be at work in the world convincing and persuading them of sin. It does not say when he comes He will convict you of sins. Second, it does not say sins. The sin is clearly defined in the next verse. Of Sin because they do not believe in Me. That is the only sin the Holy Spirit is convincing the world of. We need to understand that after Jesus died and offered his blood to God a universal cleansing took place in the heavenlies. God is no longer imputing the trespasses of the world against them. (See 2 Cor 5:14,15,19). What condemns the world is not their sin but what they do with the Son of God who became sin for them. Everyone is familiar with John 3:16 and can probably quote it but the two following verses are just as important if not more so. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believes on him is not condemned: but he that believes not is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. The bottom line is that there is nothing more that Jesus can do with our sins they have been thrown into the sea of God’s forgetfulness.
How am I going to know if I am sinning if the Holy Spirit is not convicting me?
That is a simple question and a good one. Basically because HE LIVES IN YOU. Let’s look at the word. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby you are sealed unto the day of redemption Eph 4:30. Also But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.. know you not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which you have of God, and you are not your own? For you are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s. We are joined at the spirit level and have become one. When a Christian sins the Holy Spirit is grieved you “feel” His pain. It is one thing to have someone make you feel bad because you hurt them. It is another thing when you feel their pain. This is what happens to a true believer. It is in the truest sense like a marriage. That is why a true believer cannot continue to sin. No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God 1 John 3:9.
I hear believers say that they do a sin search at the end of the day in case they missed one. If you are a Christian you know when you sin, it is as plain as the nose on your face. This is not rocket science or hide and seek.
What about the Apostle Paul in Romans 7 he said he was constantly doing the wrong things?
Let’s hear another side of that story and then bring them together. And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offense toward God, and toward men Acts 24:16. For I am conscious of nothing against myself, yet I am not by this acquitted; but the one who examines me is the Lord. 1 Cor 4:4 NAS. Is Romans 7 a chapter that is condoning a sinful life or a life of defeat. Let us look at the chapter in light of it’s context. Chapter 6 says, What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Rom 6:1-2 Knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, that our body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin. Rom 6:6-8. The chapter after, There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. Rom 8:1+2 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if you live after the flesh, you shall die: but if you through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, you shall live. Rom 8:12+13. Chapter 7 of Romans shows us the function and limitation of the law. Its function was to show the righteous standard of God’s nature showing man how far he had fallen short of what God desires. It’s limitation that it cannot save us or make us holy. The harder we work at it the more sin will be produced. Actually the law produces sin consciousness and gives sin its strength. If we try to become justified by keeping the law Romans 7 is what we will experience. God wants to fulfill the righteous requirements of the law in us not by us. (See Rom 8:4) What is so important to see is that sin and the law didn’t die we did! We are married to another, to Jesus Christ so we should walk in the newness of life we have in Him not it the oldness of the letter (The law). Forasmuch then as Christ has suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin; That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.1 Peter 4:1-2
Why am I still tempted?
Every man is tested by the trials of life. James tells us to count these as joy because of the effect they have on our lives. When we respond to a test in our own strength we enter into temptation. This is because we are drawn away of our own desires. We always think temptation carries with it a negative connotation. Did you know to do anything in your own strength whether it be good or bad is displeasing to God. The tree that gave the knowledge of good and evil was forbidden by God. It seems logical that the good on this tree was a good thing but it was not. To act independent of God’s life (The tree of Life) is what plunged the human race into this present darkness. To such a degree that man can’t tell right from wrong if he eats from his conscience apart from God. It is in this realm that we are drawn away. Adam did not have a consciousness of sin before he ate. When we walk in the realm of the soul (as a natural man) we cannot understand the things of the Spirit of God because they are foolishness to us. Do you believe you have the ability to know right from wrong? Or do have the ability to choose between right and wrong?
Why do I still sin?
This is because we do not know who we really are. We are walking in unrenewed areas of our minds. Every time a Christian sins they are acting out of character. If you believe you are a sinner then go ahead and sin that is what sinners do. But if you believe you are a child of God then please realize you can act like one, because you have a new life in you that has never sinned, a life that knows no corruption, a life that will never experience death, and His Name is Jesus the Christ of God. Why do I go ahead when I know it is a sin anyway?
Because we have been lied to by religious men telling us that we are just sinners saved by grace. In other words grace is an overdraft provision from God. Just like a bank if you take out to much money they can cover it for you. That is a warped few of grace to say the least. As a matter of fact Grace is the empowerment of God’s life in Christ. When Paul said by the grace of God I am what I am. He was not talking about being a sinner. He was talking about being a new creation empowered by the life of God’s Spirit!
We have been so conditioned that if we sin the temptation will cease. These are some of the lies implanted in our minds: “After all what do sinners do but sin.” “God understands that I will always sin.” “The preacher sins, the pope sins hey we all sin lets not be too hard on ourselves.” “Someday Jesus will come back and take care of this.” These my friend are some of the greatest disempowering lies that are out there. No one has ever known the fullness of a temptation until they have not sinned to get through it. Jesus was tempted in every way like us but he never sinned!
A cleansed conscience is essential to enjoying the presence of Our Father in whom we live and move. Don’t let well-meaning religious men robbed you of your greatest assets. Know that God has given you the mind of Christ that you may know all the things that he has freely given to you, and you have no need for “men” to teach you these things because they are revealed to you by the Spirit of God that is in every child of God.
SEARED CONSCIENCE OR CLEARED CONSCIENCE [John Stolwyk] 1