The TREE OF LIFE is a weekly teaching summary. The Tree of Life for the week ending 11-26-00
The Doctrine of Weeping Part. 1.
We are continuing our study of Phi 3:18: "For many [a reference to reversionists under the influence of evil] keep walking, concerning whom I have continually warned you many times, and now tell you even weeping&ldots;"
"You" refers to those who listened to the teaching of Bible doctrine. Paul always communicated to a group, according to the words of our Lord, "Where two or three are gathered together in My name, there am I in the midst of them." The next phrase, translated "concerning whom I have continually warned you often," describes how frequently and faithfully Paul warned the Royal Family of God about reversionism. The motto of every pastor-teacher should be "I have told you (the congregation) many times before, and even now, I will tell you again." Paul constantly warned his listeners how far reversionism can carry someone from the doctrines they once considered wonderful, such as the Cross, the Grace of God, the Royal Family Honor Code, and true Fellowship.
In the next phrase of Phi 3:18 Paul continues teaching and warning, not only the Philippians, but all Church-age believers. The thrust of his teaching is a permanent monument to the importance of persistence in studying and teaching, by which all believers grow spiritually. The verb "tell" can be translated "continue to affirm."
Phi 3:18 For many keep walking, concerning whom I have warned you many times, and now continue to affirm...
Every true man has true emotion, and there is something wrong with the man who never weeps. Legitimate weeping is an expression of emotion in the soul. The soul's essence is composed of five parts:
Self-consciousness (LUK 1:46), man's awareness of his own existence.
Mentality (ROM 12:2), which is what one thinks. Self-consciousness is of no use without mentality.
Volition (LUK 12:19). The volition is man's free will function in all decision making; man has the ability to be negative or positive toward anything in life. Human volition was created to resolve the angelic conflict.
Emotion (LUK 12:19). Emotion is the "appreciator" of the soul; it responds or reacts to whatever thoughts are in the
soul. In normal function, the right lobe of the soul, where the mentality is located, dominates the emotion. Abnormally, the emotion rules the mentality, allowing neurosis and psychosis to set in.
Conscience (ACT 24:16). This is the "evaluator" of the soul and contains the norms and standards.
There are different kinds of weeping, and in Phi 3:18 the Greek verb "klaion" is used for a very manly weeping, from one of the most strong, masculine men who ever lived. Paul was thinking of all the great friends he had known in the past, and at the time that he wrote this epistle, these very same people have not only turned against him, but worse, they have turned against the Cross. They began to ignore what was accomplished on the Cross and to make an issue out of people's sins rather than the Cross and the grace of God. We, as grace believers, cannot help but shed a tear for someone with whom we were once close, but now, for some reason, no longer are. We can not help feeling an emotion of sadness for someone who did not finish the journey, someone who has not and may never break through the maturity barrier in time, and in some cases has even tried to stop others from doing so. They are those who were once excited and devoted to the plan of God, but have lost their fervency. As our Lord said in REV 2:4, they have "left their first love."
The very same believers who once claimed to believe in
impersonal love no longer love impersonally and unconditionally. Those who once claimed to believe in honoring authority, and letting God handle those who misuse and abuse authority, now attack those in authority. Those who once claimed to realize the danger of mental attitude sins are now filled with arrogance, pride, jealousy, anger, hatred, implacability, guilt, bitterness, and vindictiveness. Those who once claimed to know the sins of the tongue now enter into gossip, maligning, slander, judging, lying, and verbal deception. The same believers who once claimed to understand the danger of overt sins, and reaping what one sows, now flaunt their so-called "new-found freedom." What a danger it is to be forgiven but not to forgive, and to try to injure another member of the body of Christ.
MAT 25:40 "Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me."
Paul would do whatever he could for people whom he loved. He was an exceptional breed of person and friend that is very rare. Paul was the friend of PRO 17:17, "A true friend loves at all times and as a brother is born for adversity." If there is anything priceless in life, it is true friends. They are there to fight for you when someone is trying to take advantage of you, and defend you even when you are not present. They are the kinds of friends who makes prosperity marvelous, because they share in your joy, and who lighten adversity by dividing and sharing it with you. Paul was willing to "give it his all," but he discovered an unfortunate fact in life: The more you do for others, the more they expect you to do, and the greater the chance that they will reject you. Under the first mention principle in this subject, God did all that He could for Satan, but Satan rejected everything God had done for him, EZE 28:11-18. The Lord also did everything He could for Adam and the woman, but they too rejected Him, GEN 3:6-19. He said to Israel in ISA 5:4, "What more was there to do for My vineyard that I have not done in it?" The Holy Spirit said through the apostle Paul in ROM 8:32, "He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?"
Phi 3:18 For many keep walking, concerning whom I have warned you many times, and now continue to affirm, even weeping&ldots;
Remember, there is a legitimate biblical form of emotion, manifested at times by weeping. Under the principle of inspiration, God the Holy Spirit so supernaturally directed the human writers of Scripture that, without waiving their human intelligence, vocabulary, individuality, literary style, personality, personal feelings, or any other human factor, His complete and coherent message to mankind was recorded, with perfect accuracy, in the original languages of Scripture, the very words bearing the authority of divine authorship. Here, God the Holy Spirit used the human characteristics, especially the personal feelings, of the apostle Paul. There was no need for Him to change Paul's personality. Paul was a true man; he was mentally tough in the soul. Manliness in the soul means sensitivity to others. It means sensitivity with regard to others, the memory of others, the recollection and love of others, and those inevitable tears when you realize they did not "finish the course." All
of us have friends and loved ones that we have lost along the way. We all have those memories, which often come to us when we are alone. We remember the ones we would like to see restored. Paul, as a man, understood that there is nothing wrong with this type of emotion in weeping.
JOH 11:35 Jesus wept.
LUK 19:41 And when He approached, He saw the city and wept over it.
Since "weeping" is a major part of our study in Phi 3:18, we will note some of the legitimate and illegitimate forms of weeping.
The Doctrine of Weeping
Point 1: Weeping is the shedding of tears as an expression of emotion. It is an expression of grief, sorrow, frustration, lamentation, emotional stimulation, happiness, pain, or any overpowering emotion. Weeping therefore can express either weakness or strength.
ECC 3:4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.
According to the word of God, there is weeping that is good for the soul and weeping that is detrimental. Legitimate weeping is related to genuine expressions of emotion, which are not related to the arrogance or emotion complexes of sins. Illegitimate weeping is related to both the arrogance and emotion complexes of sins, as well as the law of volitional responsibility. This illegitimate weeping is a manifestation of withdrawal, disorientation to the grace of God, frustration, and scar tissue of the soul.
Point 2: Biblical Passages that Deal with Illegitimate Weeping.
A good example of unjustified weeping is found Num 14:
1-4. In the background to this passage, Moses had sent twelve men, one from each tribe, to spy out the promised land. When they
returned at the end of 40 days, they came to Moses and Aaron and all the congregation of Israel with an "evil report," for fear of the
Negative Volition through refusal to hear Bible doctrine as taught by their teacher Moses. This is the most basic and common form of negative volition toward God's plan.
Negative Volition through refusal to metabolize doctrine after hearing it.
Negative Volition through withdrawal and refusal to apply doctrine.
This withdrawal was caused by their fear, hysteria, and depression, and even their hatred of their Bible teacher, Moses. Remember that this entire assembly is the one that saw the omnipotence and grace of God perform ten miracles back in Egypt, and then saw the deliverance of God ten times in the desert. The problem was that they were so dominated by emotion, and so susceptible to the emotion complex of sins, that they could not appreciate these miraculous manifestations of God's faithfulness. They had no doctrine in the soul and no integrity, or the spiritual strength to apply the doctrine while under pressure. At least 2,000,000 people had a nervous breakdown all at one time! Just think about 2,000,000 people "lifting up their voices" and crying and weeping all night! This is a very emotional group of people. A few weeks prior to this, they were singing songs, dancing, banging on tambourines, and singing choruses like EXO 15:2, "The Lord is my strength and song, and He has become my deliverance; this is my God, and I will praise Him; my father's God, and I will extol Him." Now, in NUM 14:1-2, however, "Then all the congregation lifted up their voices and cried, and the people wept that night. And all the sons of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron." Notice that in between all their weeping, they still had something to say to Moses and Aaron. Always
remember to be very careful what you say when you are emotional. It may leave a scar that will haunt you for the rest of your life, in you or in the other person.
NUM 14:3 "And why is the Lord bringing us into this land, to fall by the sword? Our wives and our little ones will become plunder; would it not be better for us to return to Egypt?"
Notice how irrational illegitimate weeping is. Thinking that the Lord had rescued them from Egypt to be killed in the desert was ridiculous. Unfortunately, this is what happens when we operate on emotion rather than thought. This is what happens when we make an emotional decision and start weeping, rather than remaining rational and thinking. Their conclusion was totally erroneous. At this point, they actually preferred to return to the slavery of Egypt, which represented "security," rather than following the freedom of the truth. They forgot all of the injustices they had suffered in slavery. They forgot that they had seen extraordinary miracles in the ten plagues that God performed through Moses, to release them from slavery. This reaction of illegitimate weeping was very different from the emotional response of the apostle Paul in Phi 3:18. This was not legitimate emotion, nor was it legitimate weeping.
This experience of the Exodus generation was very shocking and was a major test. So quickly, they wanted to go back to Egypt and back into slavery. They blamed Moses, blamed the Lord, and wanted a new leader. The Lord had shown them His perfection, He had been perfectly faithful to them, yet they rebelled completely.
As we will see in our study, while illegitimate weeping is
irrational, illogical, and absurd, legitimate weeping is a normal and even manly response to many circumstances in life, whether extreme sorrow or extreme happiness. God is the one who invented tears, and at times, we can and should weep.