A Study of Philippians 4, Verse 8

 

 

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are  honest, whatsoever things are  just, whatsoever things are  pure, whatsoever things are  lovely, whatsoever things are  of good report; if there be  any virtue, and if there be  any praise, think on these things. -- Philippians 4: 8

 

How often do we wonder what we should think about during the process of the day?  I wondered about this quite a bit,  especially when I first got involved in the Word of God.  When I was young in the Word, I had a hard time with this principle and I still do at times.  I don't know why but I try to blame it upon the world and all the negatives that we face every single day.  If you turn on the six o'clock news, what do you see?  You see nothing but negatives, one negative after another.  So when it comes to Philippians 4: 8, we need to really renew our mind to think about things that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, and of good report. 

 

And here is one good reason why.  If I didn’t know the Word of God, especially Philippians 4: 8, I could have felt a negative trauma a few years ago that might have lasted for a very long time.  Instead, I shook it off quickly because I am used to the adversary’s attacks.  I know my enemy well.  But I know the power of God much better.

 

I am now going to give you an example of a situation that recently happened to me and how a knowledge of the Word defeated the world’s tactics.  It involves a person who is full of fear, controlled and suspects everything everyone does, even if the intentions of the person are good.  It's a terrible way to live, but that's what happens when we don't study the Word of God.  We choose the way of life or the way of death.

 

For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me. – Job 3: 25

 

I was trying to communicate with a stranger via an internet transaction.  This person expressed an unusual interest in friendship and seemed  to be a very nice person.  But when it got down to brass tacks such as really getting to know small details, this person just freaked out on me and ran away.  Of course, she made a very good attempt to blame me for a problem that she created in her mind.  In a way, I felt relieved because I knew something was wrong.  Who was telling me this?  God was telling me and that's what we call Word of Knowledge which is one of the nine (9) manifestations of Holy Spirit mentioned in Corinthians.

 

For to one [prophet] is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another [prophet] the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; -- I Corinthians 12: 8

 

For reasons unknown to me, the translators mention ‘word of wisdom’ before ‘word of knowledge’.  Actually word of knowledge is given by God first because it tells you what you need to KNOW.  Word of wisdom tells you WHAT TO DO with the word of knowledge you just received.

 

In I Corinthians Chapter 12, there are three manifestations which can be referred to as the eyes and ears of the Church – Word of Knowledge, Word of Wisdom, and Discerning of Spirits.  I am very thankful for these manifestations because they warned me of trouble and they also told me what to do about it.  In this case, the person, who I believe is seriously mentally unbalanced/spiritually challenged did for me what I was about to do myself -- get away.  She was rude and said I made her upset because I looked up her birthday on a public government internet site!!  I wanted to send her a birthday card.  Some people are sick and they are walking around.  It’s called a Borderline Personality Trait Disorder.  They’re overly nice to you and then will cut your throat at the first opportunity.  As I mentioned in other teachings, I worked in a large psychiatric facility and usually a borderline is put on a locked ward due to extremely violent tendencies.  Satan made sure to close down many of these facilities and now these people are running around on the street.  They are spiritually oppressed and controlled, but God protects His people, so no need to worry.  However, it is good to be informed. 

 

The situation, overall, was not very pleasant.  It's a shame that these things have to happen, but in this second heaven and earth, these things will always happen.    The person became  paranoid over a birthday card.  Can you imagine how I first felt?  In my situation, being a teacher of the Word,  I have to be extremely careful that the god of this world doesn't set a trap for me even based on the smallest, most preposterous thing.  Was this person trying to hide something?  That’s for God to know.  The fact is God interceded for me before I got involved anymore in this purely evil situation because I knew Philippians 4: 8.  Remember, in times of weakness, God’s strength is made manifest in us.

 

And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee:  for my strength is made perfect [mature] in weakness [humility]. – II Corinthians 12: 9a

 

What a comfort that is.  Did you know that Michael, the Archangel fights for us?  No, I’m not messing with God’s power.  My goal was to share God’s Word with this person, but never got the chance.  So if you get into situations like this, remember, you are not alone.  Satan goes after God’s people – he already has the unbelievers.  STAND – God needs you.  You can deal with it.

 

Applying Philippians 4: 8 is extremely important in this day and age as it always was.  I am going to finally get into the details of this Scripture since our foundation already answered the question  as to why it is so important.  Many, many years ago, I had written what was close to a literal translation of this verse in the back of my Bible.  I am going to finally make good use of those notes to hopefully teach you something and to remember, myself, the importance of this tremendous verse of Scripture.  So we are now going to get into a work-study and a word-study of the Word of God pertaining to Philippians 4: 8.  It will blow your mind to learn all that is in just this one verse of Scripture.  Let’s get started.

 

We never rise beyond what we think.  We are going to manifest what we dwell on mentally.  God’s Word says that our thoughts are to be in Christ Jesus.  Then we must think Philippians 4: 8.  You must remember that it is just as easy to think good as it is to think evil.  The problem is with our society – it is so negative that we must purposefully work to keep our thoughts positive.  By our own free will, we must decide whether we are going to think as the Word says or think as the world does.

 

Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, [you] do:  and [if you do] the God of peace shall be with you. – Philippians 4: 9

 

 

A LITERAL TRANSLATION OF PHILIPPIANS 4: 8 ACCORDING TO USAGE:

 

By now you should know that all Scripture interprets itself in the verse where it is written, in the context, or where it was used before.  The word ‘Finally’ is a summary of the CONTEXT of the previous seven (7) verses which is talking about the renewed mind.  “Finally, brethren”………. here is what we should be thinking and speaking.

 

‘whatsoever things are true’ -- The key to the meaning of this part of the verse is, of course, ‘TRUE’.  The Greek word for ‘true’ here means “unconcealed, manifest, open, real, actual.”  Aren’t those great things to think about? – real – unconcealed.  Doesn’t that already refresh your mind?  And what is the only truth on earth?  The Word of God.  We speak it forth openly and unconcealed, unlike the enemy who hides and deceives.  Let me continue the meaning:

 

“that is  whose appearance is not mere show, but is the reality it appears to be; that is  whose utterance agrees with the reality and does not conceal it.  True as opposed to what is false.”

 

Again, only the Word of God is truth – He is true.  We don’t put on a show with ‘bells and whistles’ like the world does.  That’s why this web site is set up the way it is – plain and simple, but adequate, no distractions.

 

He that hath received his testimony hath set to his seal that God is true. – John 3: 33

 

Also, God cannot lie.

 

In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began; -- Titus 1: 2

 

IN ONE PART OF PHILIPPIANS, we see:  unconcealed, manifest, open, real, actual; whose appearance is not mere show; truth and not lies! Etc., etc., to infinity.

 

Think of all the beautiful, magnificent truths and endless implications in the simple phrase:  whatsoever things are TRUE.  Although we can do a complete teaching on just the first part of the verse, we must move on.

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‘whatsoever things are honest’ – Honest in the Greek means the following and remember these are the things that we are to think and speak on.  A dictionary would be a good tool to have on hand at this point.  Honest is defined as revered, august, venerable, grave, and dignified.  First let’s look at the meaning of ‘revered’ using The American Heritage Dictionary Of The English Language.

 

REVERETo regard with awe, great respect or devotion.  I think we should stop here with such a concise definition.  To think of things that are honest is to think on things that we have great respect or devotion for such as God’s Word.  We sit back in amazement or awe when we can understand the rightly divided Word of God.

 

Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.  -- Colossians 3: 2

 

Things on this earth are of the god of this world.  You surely don’t want to think on those things.  You can see that the old English meaning of the word ‘honest’ is different than the modern English version.  Yes, it does include ‘honest’ as we know it, but it also has other important meanings.  Let’s look at another one.

 

AUGUSTinspiring awe or admiration; majestic.  Venerable for reasons of age or high rank.  Isn’t the Word something even beyond what we can describe?  We should think on things that are respectable because they have stood the test of time.  NOTHING has stood the test of time like God’s Word.  By now, we can see that if we focus on the Word, we will be doing Philippians 4: 8, but look at the details of the words.  They help us to understand more clearly exactly what we should do.  God spells it out for us.  ‘August’ is a word not used very often in modern day English and very often, the study of the Bible will greatly expand your vocabulary and also increase your intelligence.  Glory to God.  Remember, we are still working with the word ‘honest’.

 

VENERABLEI’m going to let the definition speak for itself.  “Worthy of reverence or respect by virtue of dignity, character, position, or age; commanding respect or reverence by association.”  We are to think of and speak of people, places, things, and situations that express the above meanings and characteristics in our heart.  Now let’s both compare what we mostly think on every day to the above.  We’ve got some work to do, don’t we?  But remember, it gets better and better as God Almighty helps us.

 

GRAVE – extremely serious; important; weighty; dignified in conduct.  I’m going to stop here.  I cannot help but think of all the people with their cell phones.  Do you think they are talking about such matters??!!!!!!!!  It’s a joke.  When Satan came out with the cell phone, he ‘laughed his way to the bank’.  As if people had very little peace to begin with, NOW THEY HAVE NONE!  Did you know that most cell phone calls made in public have no one at the other end??  People are screaming for attention and it’s right in the Word of God.  At home, my phone rings about twice a month – I might answer it.  Give me a Blackberry pie any day.  Do you think that when I get my two calls a month that people have something extremely serious, weighty and dignified to say?  BULLSHIT.  I learned a little trick many years ago.  While you are in the middle of your sentence, click the hang up button as fast as you can.  The other end has no idea if you got cut off, hung up on or their phone did something funky.  I love it.  You see, it is only the damn devil getting you to WASTE YOUR TIME.  Are you going to let him?  Are you?  Remember, we are still working the word ‘honest’ and thinking of the above highlighted items which make for a good and productive conversation or thoughts.

 

DIGNIFIED -- The presence of poise and self-respect in one’s deportment to a degree that inspires respect.

 

That’s an excellent denotation definition.  How many dignified people do you meet today?!  I can only think of a few of my college professors.  Being honest means that we are to become dignified and only the application of God’s Word will take you there.  Can you imagine inspiring respect wherever you go?  It’s available.

 

In conclusion of the phrase ‘whatsoever things are honest’, these five (5) definitions are most important.  As I said, there is so much in this one verse of Scripture, it is astounding.  We’re not done yet.

 

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‘whatsoever things are just’ – Just is defined as fulfilling all claims which are right and becoming.  [Now watch this next part . . . . ]  A right state (of which God and His Word is the standard ) so that no fault or defect can be charged.  (Used of God it refers to His doings as answering to the rule which He has established for Himself.)  Hence, of man, it is just conformity to God’s revealed Will.

 

What claims are right and becoming?  Only God’s Will can measure up to this standard.  Again, God is saying to think about what is right and we can only do this when we renew our mind. 

 

I Beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is  your reasonable service.  And be not conformed to this world:  but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is  that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. -- Romans 12: 1, 2

 

By renewing our mind, we prove God’s Will to ourselves.  The renewed mind is our key to power.  It teaches us what to think on as summed up in Philippians 4: 8.

 

What is our ‘standard’?  What is our blueprint for living?   God’s Word.  Do you remember Ecclesiastes?

 

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter:  Fear [respect] God, and keep his commandments:  for this is  the whole duty  of man. --  Ecclesiastes 12: 13

 

We were put on this earth to live by the commandments in the Word of God.  That is our primary purpose for being alive and it allows God to work within us by our own free will.

 

In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through [in] the Spirit. – Ephesians 2: 22

 

Now let’s go back to the beginning of the definition that says  “A right state (of which God and His Word is the standard ) so that no fault or defect can be charged.”  Remember the adversary is the accuser of God’s people.  He will search for words to find fault with you just like he did with Jesus Christ.  IF YOU SPEAK ON THINGS THAT ARE JUST as defined above, then he cannot find a fault or a defect in what you say.

 

God’s Word says that we should speak and think on things that inhibit men completely from finding any fault in our words or behavior.

 

So speaking and thinking on ‘whatsoever things are just’ is, in essence, to speak on the Word of God and to think on the Word of God.

 

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‘whatsoever things are pure’ – This is referring to  things that are pure, chaste, clean, not contaminated by anything in itself really evil (though mixed with it ); pure from every defilement.

 

What does it mean to be mixed with something that is evil, but it doesn’t really contaminate it?   All these definitions are a credit to Bullinger’s Lexicon.  I can only understand that the things we should speak and think on are clean and chaste and not completely contaminated by evil.  Think about the things in this world.  II Corinthians 4: 4 tells us that the god of this world is the devil, at the present time.  So even though we do think on things that are pure, they have some sort of admixture in them because of the world we now live in.  In other words, nothing except the Word of God in it’s original form is truly 100% pure.  So when we speak about other things in this world that adhere to the definition of pure, it is often mixed with some sort of evil, but not enough to contaminate it.  Bullinger uses the example of wine and water.  Wine alone is completely pure.  But wine mixed with water is not pure, but it is still not contaminated or defiled.  On the previous argument, some things we do mix with a worldly influence can be referred to as still pure and not contaminated, even though it is mixed with some evil.  This may be a difficult concept to grasp, so simply think and speak on things that are pure, chaste and clean.  These type of renewed mind thoughts can only heal your mind and result in positive believing which will yield positive results.

 

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‘whatsoever things are lovely’ -- There is very little information in the Lexicon about this concept of Philippians 4: 8, but I do feel it is more than adequate.

 

We are to think on thing that are ‘dear to any one’.  Actually, isn’t that a lovely thought?  Often, when we are alone, we may be pressured by our adversary to feel lonely or discouraged.  If that happens to you, next time think of things that are dear to you – things that bless you and are important to you.  This will shut the enemy down.  Many times I think about the great times I had with my previous dog as we walked about 2.5 hours a day for 14.5 years.  They were great majestic times for me and stay precious to my heart.  You may have a favorite pastime that you enjoy very much.  Think on that.  Think on something that is dear to you.  God wants us blessed and to experience joy inside.  After all, we have eternal life and Jesus Christ is coming back to get us off this earth.  Some day there will be a new heaven and a new earth wherein dwelleth righteous – the 3rd heaven and earth.  Why shouldn’t we think about these important things – things that are precious to us?  God is love and His Word reflects that great love He has for us.  He loves us even more than we can understand.

 

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God illustrates His love for us in such a detailed manner in Philippians 4: 8, it is truly a masterpiece of a Scripture.  Now that we know what we are to think on and what we are to speak on, we simply do it by our own free will and God will absolutely show you dynamic results in your life.  Let’s repeat this masterpiece Scripture as a closing to this teaching.  Learn it by heart and live it every day. 

 

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are  honest, whatsoever things are  just, whatsoever things are  pure, whatsoever things are  lovely, whatsoever things are  of good report; if there be  any virtue, and if there be  any praise, think on these things. -- Philippians 4: 8

 

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