Welcome back dear brothers and sisters! In this segment, we will be looking at a particular message given on the 24th Feb. This message begins, like most messages, with a reading of Psalm 8:
O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory above the heavens.
2 Out of the mouth of babies and infants,
you have established strength because of your foes,
to still the enemy and the avenger.
3 When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,
4 what is man that you are mindful of him,
and the son of man that you care for him?
5 Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings
and crowned him with glory and honor.
6 You have given him dominion over the works of your hands;
you have put all things under his feet,
7 all sheep and oxen,
and also the beasts of the field,
8 the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea,
whatever passes along the paths of the seas.
9 O Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!(ESV)
In this sermon, Pastor Prince(PP) explains that ‘Man’, that is us, was made a ‘little lower than the angels…” but was “Crowned with glory and honor.” PP then goes on to say what ‘crowned’ and ‘glory’ and ‘honor’ means in Hebrew. Now although the meanings of these words are correct and you can look them up in any good Hebrew dictionary, what follows bears further study.
PP then continues to explain that man was crowned with glory and honor (meaning Adam and Eve). As PP states; “ God crowned man, and made him a heavy weight.” Then he goes on to say something profound: “ in other words, whatever you say carry weight” Now does he mean whatever a normal man says? Or does he mean the Christian here? The context of the passage would seem to suggest fallen man in v4. Man, in his pre-fall state, was given the responsibility and care (Dominion) over the earth. After the fall, man lost what was given to him till the present day. So let’s just assume PP was talking about Christians here because no fallen man’s words today would carry weight and power.
PP continues to say that “When Jesus walked on earth, He is an example of a man crowned with glory and honor. The man that God meant for every man to be.”
Now before we examine the passage that this was taken from, we see PP going on to say: ‘…and when Jesus spoke to the fig tree, it died, Jesus spoke to leprosy, it departed, Jesus spoke to demons and they left, Jesus spoke to the storm and it was calm.Amen?! His words carry weight!”
PP then reiterates again that God has crowned man with glory and honor but that man forfeited it after the fall. PP then states that this honor and glory was not just for authority but also for protection( from the beasts and animals that God put under Adam’s dominion.) PP then stated that Adam just had to speak to the animals and they would obey him.
So how does man get back this so called ‘Glory and honor’? according to PP, when a man becomes a Christian, he get back this glory and honor which was lost after the fall!
Ok now we need to pause here and examine the psalm again. The psalmist begins by exhorting and praising God, whose domain and majesty is high above all the earth and heavens. This glory which the psalmist speaks of means beauty, comeliness, excellency, honour and majesty. This rightfully belongs to God. The psalmist then goes on to praise God’s handiwork in the stars and moon and then, looks at man, also another of God’s creations. Now here we can see, two different Hebrew words used for man. “ What is man…” Here the word for man is Enosh, which means a mortal or frail man. This is a different word used for ‘Son of man’ in the next line. This phrase, son of man means Son of Adam, which means ‘red man’ or a human being. The Hebrew word enosh is more rich than the greek word for man( anthropos) for it is less dignified than the word Adam in a sense that is mean mortality and weakness.
Then in v 5, the psalmist then says that the Son of Man was made a little lower than the heavenly beings. In the Septuagint, it is translated as angelos or angels. However, in the Hebrew, it is Elohim or God. (The LXX refers to angels possibly to refrain from saying that man is a little god or gods). So we can actually translate this verse as ‘Yet you have made him(the son of man) a little lower than GOD’. In John Gill’s excellent commentary on this psalm, he also states that Jesus, who being equal to Him in the divine nature, was made inferior to God in the human nature.
So the question is, who is this man that the psalmist is talking about? This frail or mortal man is none other than Jesus Christ Himself, who took upon mortal flesh on earth to die for the sins of Adam and his progeny.
This is confirmed by the writer of Hebrews when in Heb 2:6-8, he quotes Ps 8:4-6 and identifies Jesus as the Son of Man mentioned in Ps 8. We can therefore say that it is Jesus that is ‘Crowned with glory and honor’ and not normal men as preached by PP.
Secondly, PP mentioned that man, in the garden of Eden, was crowned with glory and honor according to Ps 8. However, the problem arises when firstly, there is no mention of this fact in Gen nor the entire bible itself except for Ps 8. Secondly, although man in the garden of Eden had some glory, in particular as its caretaker and was commanded to have dominion over the earth, this is to say that man was appointed as the representative of God on the earth and governing the earth on God’s behalf. There is no indication that Adam had any power over the beast of the earth as such nor did he needed protection from them. Also, man did not have the power to command nature like Jesus did. The fact that Jesus could perform healing miracles, command the wind and the waves etc..is not because, as PP states, he is a Glorified man. Jesus could do the things he did simply because He is GOD in human form! His words carried weight because He is the Lord God! Unfortunately, by error or by design, PP fails to state this fact and we are left with the impression that Ps 8 applies to us.
Moving on again, we come to the next part whereby PP states that not everyone is walking in this Glory and honor. He then says that we need to get this glory and honor so that we can command diseases to flee and healing to come on us. Now there is a contradiction here. Do we get this Glory and honor upon receiving Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour or do we get it back when, if PP is correct, we believe in God’s love for us? Again, there is no Biblical support for this as this glory and honor is only given to Jesus Christ ( Heb 2:6-8, 2 Peter 1:16-18). Also, there is no biblical basis for believers commanding sickness to flee nor commanding things into existence.
Of course, PP then quotes Mark 11:23 to back up his claim:
20 As they passed by in the morning, they saw the fig tree withered away to its roots. 21 And Peter remembered and said to him, j
“Rabbi, look! The fig tree that you cursed has withered.” 22 And Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God. 23 Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. 24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received3 it, and it will be yours. 25 And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.”4
However, if you look at the context of this verse, it is talking about prayer and praying for holy Christian things, not commanding things into existence nor commanding sickness to leave.
The rest of the sermon continues to talk about the gospel of grace and that will not be discussed here but at a later stage.
Finally, I will need to say a note about ‘Sin consciousness’ or being conscious of sin. This is an idea that did not originate with PP but actually with E W Kenyon. (More on that later) To be conscious of sin, as Kenyon teaches, is to be always mindful of the sin in the believer and to be thus under the condemnation of the law. So in order not to be conscious of sin, some writers tell us not to talk about sin or even confess sin as this would bring us under the condemnation of the law. This I have seen from some writers on this, especially writers writing from the viewpoint of the Grace gospel. But does 1Jn 1:9 really teaches this? Let’s look at 1 Jn 1 in a wider context:
5 This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all[b] sin.
8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.(KIV)
Here, the apostle John is writing to believers who have ‘remained’ and ‘not gone out’ (1 Jn 2:19). He is writing against the teachings of the agnostics who did not believe in Sin and its reality. Here, the verse 8 states ‘if we claim to be without Sin.” In the greek, it is Jamartian ouk ecomen, “we do not bear the guilt of sin”; literally, “sin we do not have”. In W. Hall Harris III’s study on this passage, he states that this refers to a state of sin. Also that “The author is addressing people who have sinned (resulting in a state of sin), warning them that they cannot claim to be free from the guilt of that sin..” Therefore, if we say we are without consciousness of Sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. Here also, as the passage is addressing believers who are ‘Walking in the light, as He is in the light’, we find that confessing sin to God is also an ongoing process and by doing that, we can be assured that God will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. That is, although we are justified once and for all by the blood of Christ, we cannot deny the guilt and burden of sin whenever it may come. We should therefore, confess and admit to God who is faithful and just, and will forgive us our sins.
Therefore, being conscious of Sin, as Kenyon and others like him would assume, is not about being unforgiven or being under the judgement or curse of God. Rather, it is to be in a state of acceptance of the reality of sin in our lives and to be dependent on God’s grace and mercy in forgiving and cleansing us from the guilt associated with sin. We must avoid the mistake that the Israelites made in Hosea 7:2 who ‘… consider not in their hearts that I remember all their wickedness.’(KJV) This is a charge against those who would deny sin in their lives and yet continue in sin as though it does not matter to GOD?! We need to remember that God is light, in Him there is no darkness(1 Jn 1:5). The only solution for a guilty conscience is not to deny it nor even to confess that, ‘We are the righteousness of God in Christ’ (of which we most certainly are) but to humbly confess it as John states above.