Heaven, Hell, and Your Self.


Dean Gotcher

The only thing keeping you out of Heaven is your "self." "Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God." Luke 16:15 We are to die to our "self" daily, pick up our cross, i.e., willingly face rejection from others for our faith, and follow the Lord Jesus Christ, doing His Heavenly Father's will in all things commanded. We are made "new creatures" in Christ, i.e., while in the world we are not longer of it.

"Aufheben" or "enlightenment" is the act of picking something up to examine it. The very act 'changes' us and it, i.e., with us removing it from its original position and examining it according to our "self." While done with material objects this is good, being the process of true science, with us simply 'discovering' the laws of nature already established by God, but when done with ("of and for") our "self" it is evil. Self is made of two things: how we "feel" and what we are "thinking" about, i.e., our opinion we are dialoguing with our "self" about in the 'moment,' based upon 1) our desire for pleasure, i.e., the pleasures of the 'moment' which the world offers (or, in our mind, has the potential of offering)—pleasure is always "good" in our eyes, which reveals 2) our hatred toward that which prevents us from satisfying it.

If you personalize "self," i.e., if you see "you" from your "self," "self" sees you as all there is in the universe. "Self" worships you and you alone. You are the total focus of its attention. You are the center of its universe. You can do no wrong in its eyes. Self ties you to the world ("mammon"), in the 'moment,' in pleasure. That is why you hate your "self" after doing something you know was wrong and getting into trouble, having listened to your "self" instead. "Self" is Hegel's "particular" which, being common to all mankind and therefore when 'justified' (affirmed) by mankind, through dialectic 'reasoning,' manifests dialectic 'reasoning, i.e., "self" 'justification," as being the "universal," the wisdom of men, i.e., the pride of life, 'justifying' the flesh and the eyes, i.e., all that is of the world. Hegel's goal, i.e., the "purpose" of dialectic 'reasoning' (Vernunft), i.e., of aufheben, i.e., of enlightenment was to 'liberate' (save or preserve) your "self" (Selbsterhaltung) from anything which and anyone who might prevent you and "self" from becoming "at-one-with" one another and the world, in the 'moment,' in pleasure.

If we love God (deny our "self"), we hate the world. Jesus Christ went so far as to say that we must hate (not kill but reprove, correct, rebuke, treat as dead, quite listening to, control, discipline, humble, deny, etc.,) our "self." Denying "self" does not make us "at-one-with" God, but to be "at-one-with" God we must deny our "self." When we truly love someone we stop thinking about our "self," i.e., we stop thinking about what is happening (or going to happen) to us, i.e., whether we are missing out on pleasure or having to endure pain. Yet when we love the world (esteem our "self"), even enduring pain, including the pain of missing out on pleasure for the world, we must hate God. "No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon." Matthew 6:24

"For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world." 1 John 2:16 It is in the "light" of "self" that those of the world think and act. The scriptures warn us: "Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness" Luke 11:35 "O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps." Jeremiah 10:23

We are created in the image of God, with the ability to evaluate. We were created to evaluate our "self" and the world around us from God's Word. When we evaluate our "self," the world, and God's Word from our "self" we are in essence picking our "self" up and making our "self" God. It is this very act which creates evil.

It is impossible to please God without faith—with faith coming by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. No one can take us out of God's hand, except ourselves, when we examine our "self," the world, and God's Word from our "self, i.e., when we practice dialectic 'reasoning,' 'justifying' our "self" according to our carnal nature, making our "self" "of and for" the world only.

"I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me." John 5:30 "For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother." Matthew 12:50 "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven." "Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven." Matthew 7:21

It is important to note that down through the ages it has been "church leadership" (with their opinion of God's Word), which has come between man and the Word of God, with men having to stand before religious-secular leaders, declaring the authority of God's Word over their opinions, holding to the truth at all cost, denying themselves, enduring to the end. The fellowship (the congregation or assembly) of believers is the result (byproduct) of God's Word in each individual member's life. Their fellowship is not in the institution ("the church") itself. In other words, fellowship is not the result of "the church" and/or its "leadership," it is the result of the Word of God in each individuals life, dying to their "self" daily, living in Christ, walking by the Holy Spirit. Our faith is not to be in man and his institutions, including his (man's) "church" with its, "Its not about you," "It is about others, i.e., us." i.e., keeping "self" alive. It is to be in the Word of God alone, affecting (judging) all men and their institutions, including man's "church" according to God's Word, i.e., dying to "self" and the world daily, meditating upon, weighting our thoughts and actions upon, and living according to His Word first. "And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God." Luke 4:4

The greatest enemy you will face in this life is not the world. It is your "self." Do not let your "self" come between you and the Father, and his Son Jesus Christ. Where you spend eternity depends upon it. "And truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ." 1 John 3:1 "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." John 14:6 "And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me." Luke 9:23

© Institution for Authority Research, Dean Gotcher 2015