156. Recognize

We do not need to talk in length about the upcoming change because everybody feels in some way or another that we are close to a turning point, be it forcefully or consciously. Some will find it difficult to accept, others try to ignore it, and there is a group who recognize this time as being described in the holy scriptures.

But even those who believe that this time is at hand, see one thing and not the other, many consider themselves believers, so when it is said of this time that there are no believers while millions say they do believe in God, Allah Krishna etc. would mean that we are either far from the time of great change or the word “believer” as mentioned in the holy scriptures is meaning something else.

Romans 12:2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is, his good, pleasing and perfect will.



The English word “mind” translates the Greek term nous. The etymology of nous can be traced back to the root meaning “to sniff” which suggests a “way of acquiring knowledge” through the sense of smell. In early Greek literature (Homer), nous referred not to an intellectual organ(brain) but to a function which was defined as the ability to realize fully “the true nature or essence of a thing as against its surface appearance.” It was the ability to perceive a camouflaged enemy soldier hiding among the rocks. “In Greek philosophy almost from the beginning it becomes the main function of the mind to discover the ‘real’ world or the ‘real’ character of the world as a whole, in contrast to other erroneous beliefs of most human beings.”

The implicit sense of mental perception, inherent in the term nous, may explain why in almost every Greek philosophy the mind appears to be the link between human existence and divine presence. When God was conceptualized as nous, it only took a short step to recognize the ability of the human mind to perceive the reality of God, which was incomprehensible to the physical senses. The Stoics also saw a significant connection between the mind and ethical behaviour.


The Greek Septuagint version of the Hebrew Scriptures represents the increasing Greek influence within Judaism. In the Septuagint the use of nous is rare, due most likely to the absence of any equivalent term within the Hebrew language. The nous, which the Lord gives human beings (Job 7:17) and which he is able to understand fully (7:20) appears to correspond to the inner spirit of a person (7:15).

The growing connection between the concepts of spirit and nous during the intertestamental times can be clearly seen in the Apocrypha, particularly in the Wisdom of Solomon which quotes Isaiah 40:13: For what man is he that can know the counsel of God? Or who can think what the will of the Lord is? For the thoughts of mortal men are miserable, and our devices are uncertain. For the corruptible body presseth down the soul, and the earthly tabernacle weight down the mind [nous] that museth upon many things…And thy counsel who hath known, except thou give wisdom, and send thy Holy Spirit from above?

Philo’s(30 B.C.-A.D. 40) notion of nous must be understood in the context of the question, how can human beings perceive the invisible God? His answer was that “the invisible Deity stamped on the invisible soul the impress of Itself.” Unlike the Greeks, however, Philo recognized that the entire soul, including the mind and spirit, was affected by sin. He suggested that the “mind could not have made so straight an aim if there was not also the divine Spirit guiding it to the truth.” The person who is a “faithful impress of the divine image” is the one who lives according to the “divine breath or Spirit.”


When we explore the background of the concept of renewal we discover the term Paul uses is not found in Greek literature prior to his epistles, suggesting that Paul most likely coined a new word to describe his unique concept of renewal (anakaino). The newness of life in Christ, proclaimed by Paul, is clearly anticipated in the Old Testament. Jeremiah looks forward to the day when God will make a new covenant with Israel by putting his laws into their minds and writing them upon their hearts (31:31, 33).

Similarly, Ezekiel proclaims God’s promise to give his people a new heart and to put his Spirit in them (36:26-27). Perhaps the reference to renewal in Psalm 51:10, “create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit in me, “ anticipates Paul’s concept of renewal. The concept of renewal during intertestamental times was always linked with God’s Spirit and often described a new act of creation. Significantly, renewal was also descriptive of the conversion process in Judaism, though the renewal of human beings was seen as part of the large cosmic process of transformation.


Though we may not be able to say definitively that Paul’s use of nous mirrored the understanding of the term within Greek philosophy and first century Judaism, the possibility is clearly present. If Paul’s use of nous is a reference to that element of a human being that perceived the “real” essence of things, most importantly the presence of the invisible God, then the renewal of the nous is a reference to that element of a human being that perceived the “real” essence of things, most importantly the presence of the invisible God, then the renewal of the nous would describe the believer’s increasingly clearer perception of God and his will for their lives. While it would be inappropriate to replace our contemporary understanding of physiology with first century anthropology, it is also inappropriate to read our contemporary understanding of the mind back onto Paul. Several observations follow based on the implications of reading the text in the way suggested by our brief survey.

First, our ability to clearly perceive God and what he requires is rendered useless by our refusal to acknowledge who God is. At the beginning of Paul’s letter to the church in Rome, he lays out a “Greek(particularly Stoic) understanding of an invisible realm of reality, invisible to sense perception, which can only be known through the rational power of the mind” (Rom. 1:18-32). Paul states that the eternal power and deity of the invisible God are clearly perceivable in the things that have been made (1:19- 20), and finally to a mind that is literally unable to test anything. The word play in 1:28 suggests that once human beings have “tested” God and have decided not to acknowledge him, their nous becomes worthless and unqualified in its perception. The singularity of nous implies that people who reflect God share a common way of perceiving reality. It appears that the improper conduct described in 1:29-31 is a direct result of a mind that is no longer able to perceive God’s will for life. The inability of post modernity to acknowledge the God of truth who stands above our own perspective and experience creates a distortion of reality. While post modernity brings helpful correctives to the assumptions of modernity, the warning not to be “conformed to this age” also cautions against the uncritical acceptance of a postmodern perspective.

Second, the renewal of the mind is an integral part of God’s new creation through the death and resurrection of Christ. Believers in Christ are a new creation, the old has passed away and the new has come (2 Cor. 5:16-17). The resulting transformation brings with it a new perception of reality that reflects the significance of what is unseen, not of what is seen; of walking by faith not by sight (2 Cor. 4:16-18, 5:7). Believers’ participation in this new creation calls for a distinction between life lived according to the ways of the present age (Rom. 8:5-8). Believers are called to live no longer “in the futility of their minds…darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God…due to their hardness of heart” (Eph. 4:17-19). Instead they are to “put off the old person which belongs to your former manner of life…and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new person, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness” (Eph. 4:22-24). The renewal of the mind is a radical perceptual shift where everything is viewed differently. This affects, in particular, the distinctions separating people (Jew/Gentile, slave/free, and male/female) which are no longer significant for those who are one in Christ (Gal. 3:28; Col. 3:11; 1 Cor. 12:13).

The diversity affirmed by the pluralism of post modernity allows for the development of numerous subcultures which are centred around common experiences and ways of looking at life. The church as the body of Christ recognizes the need to be centred on Christ, the head of that body (Eph. 1:22-23).

The affirmation of Christ as the centre of a new creation which transcends particular community perspectives, challenges post modernity’s assumption that there is no truth beyond one’s own values and beliefs.

Third, it is the Spirit of God who is active in the process of transforming believers by the renewal of the mind. In the immediate context of Romans 12:2, Paul uses the term nous when he quotes from Isaiah 40:13 (Rom. 11:36). With the rhetorical question, “Who has known the mind of the Lord?” Paul affirms the mystery behind God’s plans for the Jews despite their present rejection of Jesus. But does the Hebrew term “Spirit,” which lies behind the Septuagint’s translation of Isaiah 40:13, now imply that God’s absolute transcendence has been bridged? It is the Jewish and Gentile believers who have the Spirit of Christ (8:9), and it is by this Spirit that Christians can cry out to God, “Abba, Father!” (8:15).

Of significance is Paul’s use of Isaiah 40:13 again in 1 Corinthians 2:16, where he unexpectedly answers the question, “but we have the mind (nous) of Christ.” This answer is based upon his earlier argument that just as it is only the spirit of a person that knows the inner thoughts (literally, “things”) of that person, so it is only the Spirit of God that knows the inner things of God (1 Cor. 2:11). Yet this same Spirit which searches the depths of God, has been given to believers so that they might understand spiritual things (2:12-13). When Paul claims that the Corinthians have the mind of Christ he surprisingly uses nous instead of Spirit which would follow more naturally from the above analogy.

The point is that believers can begin to perceive the unfathomable and invisible thoughts of God because they have the very nous of Christ through the Spirit of God. Unfortunately, the law of Moses acted like a veil over the minds of the Jews until Christ came to lift it away (2 Cor. 3:13-16). In Romans 7:7-25, Paul suggests that the nous knows what God’s will is but is unable to control a person’s behaviour because of captivity to the power of sin (7:23). Perhaps Paul is describing the struggle of “true believers during the Mosaic Law era who did earnestly wish to do good (7:21) and did joyfully concur with the Law at the core of their being (7:22). But the difficulty they experienced was that they were still under the mastery of sin because they were still under the law (6:14).” When the veil is removed by the Spirit of life, freedom to perceive once again the glory of the Lord and be transformed into the image of Christ follows (2 Cor. 3:17-18).

It is only by God’s Spirit that people are able to perceive God. The need for continual renewal is evident and transformation must be viewed as a journey of walking with and being led by the Spirit. The claim to know God is based on faith in Jesus Christ not on our ability to objectively reach the truth through the use of reason.

Finally, the renewal of the mind is a call for community ethical discernment. Paul probably did not refer to the renewal of individual minds but to the way the church as a community perceives God and tests his will. Elsewhere Paul calls on the church to be “united in the same mind (nous)” so they can judge together what is right (1 Cor. 1:10). A critical issue for the church in Rome was how Jewish and Gentile Christians could together discern God’s will for their lives. The Jewish Christians in Rome had boasted about their ability to know God’s will and test what was excellent because they had been instructed in the law (Rom. 2:17-18). However, their inability to keep the law only revealed the power of sin and that the law was unable to provide a way of escape, only condemnation. Paul calls both Jews and Gentiles to fulfil the law through love for one’s neighbour (Rom. 13:8-10).

The postmodern emphasis on the role of community in the shaping of {61} one’s values and beliefs finds affinity with the New Testament portrayal of the church. The renewal of the mind is a call for a shared perception and testing of God’s will. Ethics is a function of the church as a community. Individual ethics must always be understood in the context of that community and in the light of one’s accountability to God (Rom. 14).

The above reading of Paul’s use of nous as mental perception affirms post modernity’s recognition that our understanding of reality is essentially perceptual. However, this reading of nous also challenges the assumption that our understanding of truth is limited by our own perspective and experience. Rather, as part of God’s new creation, believers are called to acknowledge their continual need for renewed perception by God’s Spirit, which results in a clearer understanding of God’s will for the church.

For those of you who have seriously studied the articles it will sound logic and very familiar and at the same time realize that truth has indeed been limited. That the requirement to be considered a true believer ,”be one of the 144,000” is not met by personality translating the holy scriptures .

This is what the Holy Koran has to say.

When Jesus (Upon whom be peace) comes, it is not necessary that everyone should know him to be the true Jesus. His elect and those close to him will recognize him through the light of belief. It will not be self-evident so that everyone will recognize him.

There are those who say they believe because something happened in their life and their prayer was heard/answered, let me answer this by explaining something, wisdom is something that does not require thinking, thinking is born from seeking, longing, wanting and fear. The very reason why the outer story “ the literal story” does not openly reveal the great treasures is because the devil will take possession of it for its own goal.

What does that mean and how does he do it? To understand this(if you have not yet studied the articles) you will need to realize that evil means impure, and is related to the tree of knowledge which contained good and bad, it is limited knowledge! Parted! A collection of world experiences, a limited insight that judges with this limitation the next moment to satisfy its own build idea,

Now when I say the he “the devil” knows you better then you know yourself, is because he houses in what you understand as the un or subconscious, it will use its collected knowledge to gain fulfilment of its own desires and you often take it that when it seems good that it is not him, but what do they say about lies? The strongest lies are built on a little truth, if he gains insight then he will use it as defence or attack and send thoughts or feelings to which you respond, I want, I think, I feel etc.

You do not know what is under the waves(thoughts and feelings) or what causes them to arise, you might not realize that all that lies under the waves looks through your eyes, listens through your ears and other senses. When you ask yourself to recall a name but it does not come to mind(you do not know where it is stored) it often pops up when you are not thinking about it anymore. This popping up happens all the time, some signals that trigger a reply in thought or feeling you are not aware of but that something “he” does.

This brings us to male and female: intuition belongs to female and is feeling, but feeling needs to gain knowledge so it can speak and say this is what it tells me clearly, but for this to happen it needs to find a connection with mind. Because this relationship can only be built through experience and as it accumulates it starts to trust its collection for as far as it can see, man trusts more on its mental ability but without feeling which is closer to god it remains blind for the underlying vibrations. Lust or love? Good or bad, none on their own can let the white dove fly out to find dry land, in other words not unless male and female are in balance will you recognize.

Daniel 2:22 He revealeth the deep and secret things: he knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him.

Job 12:22 He revealeth deep things out of darkness, and bringeth to light the shades of death.

Proverbs 18:2 A fool has no delight in understanding, but only in revealing his own opinion.


Do you recognize truth or merely your idea of it?



Moshiya van den Broek