Jim Wilson is the retired director of Community Christian Ministries in Moscow, Idaho. He will be posting regularly, so check back in soon!

Friday, February 03, 2017

Animism

God in his self-revelation to men started with Adam, then Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Joshua, the judges, Samuel, Saul, David, Solomon, occasional kings, prophets, Zerubbabel, Nehemiah, Ezra, Malachi, Zechariah, and John the Baptist. These men lived across the four thousand years before Jesus. In addition to communicating to them directly, God also had much of His revelation written down in the books of the law, the prophets, and the Psalms. The Israelites disobeyed the prophets and the Scriptures. In the same four thousand years, there were many tribes and nations who did not have the Scriptures nor the men of God to speak to them. They were nations made up of animists and then idolaters.
The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles. (Rom. 1:18-23)
All peoples started out as nihilists worshippers of the true God through general revelation through God’s creations. Psalm 19 describes this general revelation, then the specific revelation.

General Revelation:

The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they reveal knowledge.
They have no speech, they use no words;
no sound is heard from them.
Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world.
In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun.
It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber,
like a champion rejoicing to run his course.
It rises at one end of the heavens
and makes its circuit to the other;
nothing is deprived of its warmth. (Psalm 19:1-6)
Specific Revelation:
The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul.
The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple.
The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes.
The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever.
The decrees of the Lord are firm, and all of them are righteous.
They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold;
They are sweeter than honey, than honey from the honeycomb.
By them your servant is warned; in keeping them there is great reward.
But who can discern their own errors? Forgive my hidden faults.
Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me.
Then I will be blameless, innocent of great transgression.
May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. (Psalm 19:7-14)
Both revelations, general and specific, have rebelled against so that both animism and idolatry affected the people who had specific revelation. We are told in Matthew 28:18-20 to make disciples from these same nations and tribes.

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