The Seven Pillars of Wisdom prt2

#6 July 29,2021

In “The Seven Pillars of Wisdom prt 1” You were offered a basic understanding of why we are taught to seek out God’s wisdom. We can gain knowledge and even a full understanding of all that God ways can bring to our life, yet we remain unchanged. We haven’t consciously refused to grow; we just haven’t yet acquired the ability to apply all that we have learned to our lives and how we live them. This is the essence of all that God’s wisdom can bring to our lives.

1Corinthians 12:4-8

12:4 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.

12:5 And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.

12:6 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.

12:7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.

12:8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;

In his letter to the Corinthians, Paul tells us that only through the Spirit of God can we gain the ability to change and the willingness to grow in the ways of God. This is God’s wisdom and through Solomon we are introduced to wisdom and the house she seeks to build which is you and I, God’s people.

Proverbs 9:1 Wisdom hath builded her house, she hath hewn out her seven pillars;

James the brother of Christ sought to expand on the idea of our learned ability by exposing us to seven attributes of God’s wisdom that we might recognize them. As we are able to grasp the true nature of His wisdom we become more able to use it to grow in both thought and deed according to the knowledge and understanding God offers.

James 3:17  But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.

My offering here is not as much about understanding wisdom as it is about grasping the changes that wisdom brings about in our life and allowing those changes cause us to grow. In the ways of God wisdom might be pure, but we are concerned mainly with how the ways of God can help us grow to be come pure. God’s ways are not always peaceable, but God’s wisdom will teach us how to become peaceable. Again, the ways of God are not always gentle, but by applying the ways of God to our lives, we will become gentle. Before we continue I would be remiss if I didn’t remind you that the first and most important attribute of God’s wisdom we must add to our lives is the realization that we must do this in fellowship with God through His Spirit. Without the Spirit in our lives to guide and strengthen us we just as well quit and go down the road kicking cans. The Spirit is our guide on this journey and we will surely lose our way without Him.   

4.Easy to be entreated: The idea of oneness and our ability to achieve that relationship is the context of this wisdom. By this wisdom we are taught to open our hearts completely and grow without fear to become a people before God. As we grow in the ability to accept and depend on the truth of God, we will find both trust and comfort not only in God, but in the people of God also. As a people, we will realize what the needs of the Kingdom are, and how our labor with God can fulfill these needs. Together we will accept our oneness with God and each other as both the source of our hope and the thrust of our labor.

Alma 5:39-41

5:39 And now I would that ye should be humble, and be submissive, and gentle; easy to be entreated; full of patience and long suffering; being temperate in all things; being diligent in keeping the commandments of God at all times;

5:40 Asking for whatsoever things ye stand in need, both spiritual and temporal; always returning thanks unto God for whatsoever things ye do receive,

5:41 And see that ye have faith, hope, and charity, and then ye will always abound in good works;

The way of God with His children can only truly bear fruit when we accept oneness with God and the people of God as a desirable source of sustenance in our lives. We must be important one to another. We must be willing to recognize the attributes of God in another, and ready to help them refine those talents. We must be ready and willing to ask and answer questions that are pertinent to the growth of the Kingdom first in our hearts and then in the world at large. We must also be humble enough to open our lives to each other in a way the world would call impertinent or too personal. In that mindset we open our hearts to the oneness of purpose that is God’s Kingdom.

1Timothy 5:1-2

5:1 Rebuke not an elder, but entreat him as a father; and the younger men as brethren;

5:2 The elder women as mothers; the younger as sisters, with all purity.

Consider the use of entreat in this passage. By the language vernacular and the understanding it gives us in communicating an idea, it appears as if God is giving us direction on how we should treat each other, but it is more.

Treat {trēt}: (verb or implies action)

1.behave toward or deal with in a certain way. Behave toward, Act toward

Entreat {inˈtrēt,enˈtrēt}: (verb or implies action)

1. treat (someone) in a specified manner.

Do you recognize the difference between the two? Treat deals with the manor in which we relate to another. Entreat expresses the manor in which we reach out to another. This may seem minor, but it is important in a way we can all understand, and it can be very simple. What does it feel like when you meet with someone and you can tell they are very glad to see you? Does it not color the whole encounter? Another example might be the way a supervisor approaches you over a mistake you made. If they treat you like you are either stupid or lazy you will immediately feel either regret or embarrassment. Ultimately you will find yourself feeling offended and defensive. What if they were to teat you as a capable working partner that had just overlooked something? You might feel regret, but would you be embarrassed? Would there be any reason for you to later feel offended or defensive? No, in fact in a majority of cases you would feel gratitude for a superior who helped you correct a mistake. Understand what truly happened here. Your boss entreated you to feel better and be better by treating you as if you meant more to them than the mistake you made. Was this a technique they used or was it a real attitude? Does it really make any difference? In my experience each time I make believe that I like someone, they feel better about themselves and I join them in that feeling. This is the wisdom that creates the love of oneness.

Helaman 3:7 Then were his people easy to be entreated, firm to keep the commandments of God, and slow to be led to do iniquity; and they were quick to hearken unto the words of the Lord;

The oneness God seeks for us produces a testimony of God and the love of God. In that we should be ready to experience friendship like we did as children. At age twelve or thirteen I experienced just such a friendship with Tommy Marlowe. We were inseparable. We were together from the time we spent walking to school in the morning till we were called home for dinner that night. At lunchtime, we ate together. When we were involved in a team sport, we had to be on the same team or neither world play. One morning I left for school and it was cold. Tommy wasn’t there and I went on without him because it was too cold to wait. In that I broke a trust that had developed between us, and it left me feeling incomplete. When I saw him walk into the classroom looking for me I recognized in his eyes all that I felt in my heart. We were only complete when we were together. In that we were one.

Romans 12:5 So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and everyone members one of another.

It is obvious that my testimony speaks of a state of mind that we leave behind with childhood. Though as I grow in God, I wonder if it is God’s plan that we recognize it as more than just childhood whimsy. Is the attitude of humility it offers our life valuable? Does He not say that we should receive His ways as a child would?

Mark 10:11-13

10:11 And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them; and the disciples rebuked those that brought them.

10:12 But when Jesus saw and heard them, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not; for of such is the kingdom of God.

10:13 Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.

Yes, we must be easily entreated. Yes we must recognize our need for the brethren and entreat them in ways that are both loving and sincere. This truly is an aspect of the wisdom of God. 

5.Full of mercy and good fruits: Once again the wisdom of God prompts us to action. It reminds us always that the attributes of the righteous heart are useless if they do not promote works worthy of the Kingdom.

James 2:17-18

2:17 Even so faith, if it have not works is dead, being alone.

2:18 Therefore wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead and cannot save you?

Ether 5:4 Wherefore, whoso believeth in God, might with surety hope for a better world, yea, even a place at the right hand of God, which hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works, being led to glorify God.

In these two passages God uses the attribute of faith to point us in the right direction, but we must understand that all the attributes of righteousness can and will be put to that same test. That which is of God begins in the Spirit, but will only build the Kingdom when we allow it to manifest itself in the lives we live everyday. It is this test that allows us to compare the teachings of man to the righteousness of the Kingdom of God. 

Matthew 7:24-29

7:24 And, again, beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing; but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

7:25 Ye shall know them by their fruits; for do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

7:26 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.

7:27 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit; neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

7:28 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit, is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

7:29 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

Knowing this, we must allow God’s wisdom to teach us what our part is in the labor for the Kingdom of God.

Mormon 4:25 Behold what the scripture says; Man shall not smite, neither shall he judge; for judgment is mine, saith the Lord; and vengeance is mine also, and I will repay.

We have neither the knowledge nor the wherewithal to judge or condemn the children of God. Even though we are tasked with alerting the world to their sinful state it is not meant to be condemnation. It is instead, a message of hope. Because of their rebellious nature, man and the world of man live a life of ideals and motivations that can only bring them death. Hopeless desperation and fear cause them to draw away from others trying to avoid that which is seemingly unavoidable. We cannot bring them hope by adding to their fear. We are to bring them the promise of a loving Father, who seeks to lift them up through faith, hope, and charity to become a people worthy of becoming God’s children. This is not a judgment. This is not condemnation. This is one sinner reaching out to another with a message of hope. The Apostle Paul understood this and shared his understanding with us through his letter to the people of Corinth.

1 Corinthians 4:5 Therefore I judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts; and then shall every man have praise of God.

What are we worthy of? Mercy, God has given us the ability to be His hand of mercy in the world of man. In fact, mercy is required of us that we can receive mercy from God.

Luke 6:36-38

6:36 Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.

6:37 Judge not, and ye shall not be judged; condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned; forgive, and ye shall be forgiven.

6:38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal, it shall be measured to you again.

In the love of God given through the Spirit, we have within us the ability to reach out in mercy to God’s children in the world. We must use that ability to reach out to the world with works worthy of the Kingdom.

Micah 7:18-19

7:18 Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy.

7:19 He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.

Is this not the ministry of Christ? Is this not the ministry of Zion? Is it not our covenant labor to bring the mercy of God to the world of man? Let the seed of mercy grow in your hearts and allow it to produce labor worthy of the Kingdom. Offer a kind word. Offer a helping hand and realize the joy it can bring to your life. In covenant we have received the full mercy of God and it fills us to overflowing. Allow His wisdom to guide you. Use this surplus grace to lead another to the merciful hands of God.

6.Without partiality: We are all quite aware of the bigotry and prejudice that is alive and well in the world. The wisdom of God seeks to teach us that this is not the way of God, but it goes deeper than just the recognized bigotry of man. Race, creed, color, gender, age, body type, and all the other bigotries are just the beginning. God seeks that we even look beyond the natural man’s defensive attitude toward the message we bring. We must look beyond their hate and see the fearful child that lives within them. God’s love for all mankind includes both “because of who they are” and “in spite of who they allow themselves to be”. Our love for Gods children should be the same.

Matthew 5:45-50

5:45 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy.

5:46 But I say unto you, love your enemies; bless them that curse you; do good to them that hate you; and pray for them which despitefully use you and persecute you;

5:47 That ye may be the children of your Father who is in heaven; for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

5:48 For if ye love only them which love you, what reward have you? Do not even the publicans the same?

5:49 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? Do not even the publicans the same?

5:50 Ye are therefore commanded to be perfect, even as your Father who is in heaven is perfect.

We are directed to seek always the perfection of attitude and effort in our covenant labor. Our ability to reach out to all mankind will build itself in our hearts if and when we accept that the ability to be perfect lays in the willing effort we expend seeking to be perfect. Remember we are sinners and received the grace of God through Christ’s sacrifice at Calvary. God seeks to offer that same grace to all who would receive it.

Romans 3:23-26

3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

3:24 Therefore being justified only by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus;

3:25 Whom God has set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;

3:26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness; that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

The testimony of our willing effort to retain perfection inspires others to seek to do the same. In fact the epitome of this effort is called Zion. From Zion the testimony of God’s grace will seek to fill the world with joy to those who accept and follow the way.

Acts 10:34-35

10:34 Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons;

10:35 But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.

God gives us here His standard for those who are worthy of the Kingdom. If they match these criteria they are our sisters and brothers. Whether they are different than us in any other way they are worthy to seek out a covenant with God, and become our brethren.

Luke 8:20-21

8:20 And some who stood by, said unto him, Thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to see thee.

8:21 And he answered and said unto them, My mother and my brethren are those who hear the word of God, and do it.

It is the wisdom of God that we forgo any prejudice as we reach out to the world with God’s grace. Like the fisherman we must cast a wide net….

Matthew 13:48 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind, which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels; but cast the bad away.

and bring to God all those who would choose Him as their father.

7.Without hypocrisy: Hypocrisy is a lie that reveals itself when what we do fails to match what we say.

Job 20:4-7

20:4 Knowest thou not this of old, since man was placed upon earth,

20:5 That the triumphing of the wicked is short, and the joy of the hypocrite but for a moment?

20:6 Though his excellency mount up to the heavens, and his head reach unto the clouds;

20:7 Yet he shall perish forever like his own dung; they which have seen him shall say, Where is he?

In this passage, Gods wisdom extolls once again the need for actions that reflect the words we offer. It has been said that the best sermons given are those that are lived not just preached, and we must learn why this is so very true. When we speak of righteousness and then live righteously we offer the unbeliever information on both why and how. We allow them to realize that God lights the path of righteousness that we might do more than just realize it is there. We are to be a fellowship with righteous understandings common to all, which live righteously and grow together in both knowledge and understanding.

Hypocrisy is a trap that can ensnare us and we can be unaware. It begins when we substitute self-pride for humility. Even in our holiest offerings to the Lord, we can fall to the temptation of hypocrisy.

Matthew 6:2-4

6:2 Therefore, when thou doest alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do, in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, they have their reward.

6:3 But when thou doest alms, let it be unto thee as thy left hand not knowing what thy right hand doeth;

6:4 That thine alms may be in secret; and thy Father who seeth in secret, himself shall reward thee openly.

3 Nephi 5:108 Moreover, when ye fast, be not as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance, for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily, I say unto you, They have their reward.

Hypocrisy is a scourge among the people of God. It happens when the purpose within our hearts is allowed to become something other than an expression our humble need for God. Even the best of us can succumb to the thought within us that says: “Because of my strength in God I am holy. My sacrifice proves it. My works prove it. All that I am tells of my strength in God”. These are lies that enter in to a heart infected with pride. 

2 Nephi 13:16-17

13:16 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, I know that if ye shall follow the Son with full purpose of heart, acting no hypocrisy and no deception before God, but with real intent, repenting of your sins, witnessing unto the Father, that ye are willing to take upon you the name of Christ, by baptism; yea, by following your Lord and your Savior down into the water, according to his word; behold, then shall ye receive the Holy Ghost;

13:17 Yea, then cometh the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost; and then can ye speak with the tongue of angels, and shout praises unto the Holy One of Israel.

If we are to escape the snares of hypocrisy we must humble ourselves to the fact that without the presence of God’s Spirit in our lives directing our every effort; we are nothing.

Isaiah 64:6 But we have sinned; we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

Romans 3: 23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

The wisdom of God brings knowledge, understanding, and the power of God to our lives. Christ’s sacrifice at Calvary has given us the opportunity to know the truth of God. God’s truth is the most precious knowledge we can posses. To retain this truth requires us to understand the fragile nature of the truth in our possession. We are all quite able to destroy the power of God within this truth if our life and the way we live it fails to endorse and validate the words of truth we speak. Hypocrisy in our life causes the truth within us to die and testimony we bring to the world of God working in the life of man dies with it. Be aware of the challenge we face, because it is not a new problem. Hypocrisy and the ability to be a hypocrite have existed since forever. It is the very basis for the ministry of the adversary and it plagues mankind always. Even in the church past, God found the devil working in the hearts of His people. His admonition is not a condemnation. It is instead a call to awareness and instructions that bring hope.

DC 50:3a-3b

50:3a Behold, verily I say unto you, There are hypocrites among you, and have deceived some, which has given the adversary power, but, behold, such shall be reclaimed;

50:3b but the hypocrites shall be detected and shall be cut off, either in life or in death, even as I will, and woe unto them who are cut off from my church, for the same are overcome of the world;

50:3c wherefore, let every man beware lest he do that which is not in truth and righteousness before me.

With a fuller understanding of the seven pillars that support the house of wisdom, we can more readily recognize God’s truth, accept it as wisdom, and learn how to make ourselves and the fellowship in which we dwell, a house of wisdom, too.

Numbers 6:24-26

6:24 The Lord bless thee, and keep thee;

6:25 The Lord make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee;

6:26 The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.

To paraphrase Forest Gump, “Wisdom is as wisdom does”; ’nuff said.


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