"BY YOUR TRADITION"
"Beware lest any man spoil you THROUGH PHILOSOPHY & VAIN DECEIT, AFTER THE TRADITION OF MEN, AFTER THE RUDIMENTS (elementary teachings) OF THE WORLD, & NOT AFTER CHRIST." COL.2:8.
How few have heeded these inspired words of wisdom! How few even seem to be able to discern that they are already trapped & spoiled in the vain philosophies, traditions of men & teachings of the world! Unknowingly they are held captive in the spirit of the world, & like their mother earth have become spiritually barren & desolate - Isa. chptr.24. We are going to look at the tradition of man in a non-traditional way in the hope that some will recognize even subtle areas of captivity & call upon their Deliverer to continue to loose their bands of wickedness, to undue their heavy burdens in order that they themselves might become fit for the Master's use to set other captives free.
We are presently living in the midst of a visible & natural world as well as in the midst of an unseen spiritual world - Eph.6:12. The Bible uses several major terms to describe this spiritual as well as worldly plane of existence wherein we dwell. The book of Revelation reveals the name of our present degenerate world of spiritual bondage & that which is contained therein to be "BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS & ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH." Rev.17:5; 18:2.
The Bible pictures this spiritual "mother of harlots" as a "great whore" (17:2), an unchaste & destructive woman as well as depicting her as "that great city which reigneth.."(17:18) over all ungodly governmental powers & peoples on the earth causing them to drink of her intoxicating wine - Rev.14:8. "Babylon" is also described as "the great city which SPIRITUALLY is called Sodom & Egypt - (meaning fettered chains & double straits), where also our Lord was crucified." Rev.11:8. Earthly Jerusalem & also Rome are other natural types of spiritual Babylon.
Babylon means CONFUSION. Confusion is both a spiritual & natural (or should we say unnatural) state of being that results where there is no real presence of godly unity in peace & harmony. Confusion cannot help but breed intolerance, conflict & DIVISION. Such is the earth in its political, social, economic & religious divisions. In man's vain attempts to bring some lasting semblance of peace & unity, he has enveloped himself in what has come to be known as "TRADITION". The dictionary defines basic tradition as knowledge, customs & practices of mankind. Strong's Concordance says "transmission", "a precept". Young's quotes "a giving over, handing down". And so it is.
How has all this come about? We could go right back to the garden & all its aspects of separation & division from God. However, the Bible gives us another major clue in Gen.10:8-10. "And Cush (meaning black: terror) begat Nimrod (meaning "We will rebel): He began to be A MIGHTY (great) ONE IN THE EARTH. ..the mighty hunter before (Heb.-against) the Lord. And the beginning of his kingdom was BABEL (confusion by mixing) and Erech (long), & Accad (a pitcher), & Calnah (the wail is complete) in the land of Shiner (change of the city)."
The Bible name meanings are from "A Dictionary of Scripture Proper Names." These names are important & often clarify the sense of an entire passage. Here we see the beginnings of a spiritual truth that is surely coming to pass . We see that confusing mixtures of truth & error would long be poured out until the wail, even the groaning & travailing of creation is complete & there is a change of the city, namely the NEW JERUSALEM. Until such time confusion shall continue to have reign over our Babylonish earth.
The natural city of Babylon at one time became the greatest and most beautiful and powerful ruling city on earth yet its far reaching tentacles also held captive the chosen Israel of God. It became not only a great city but a great kingdom & empire as well, which kingdom eventually fell to mix and eventually emerge as a great influence in the Roman culture and empire.
Babylon also meant "gate of Bel" denoting a way of entrance. There is a dual spiritual application here. Bel means "the god of the flesh (it can be taken positive or negative) & was the Babylonian name of Baal, meaning--the Lord as master, possessor, owner. Baal was the sun god of Babylon who's proper name was Marduk or Merodach meaning "thy rebellion." Baal also became the chief male deity of the Phoenicians & Canaanites.
Natural Babylon's wall, iron gates, & garden were great artificial wonders of the world. Her natural visible strengths & beauties, had by John the revelators' time long ago fell to the earth nevermore to rise. But Isaiah, Jeremiah, & John saw & spoke, of a great spiritual anti-type of this natural city & kingdom. This spiritual Babylon the great, still has high & mighty walls, strong iron gates of tradition & deceptive artificial beauties that hold God's people captive at will. Praise be to God, she is also destined to perpetual destruction, & that very shortly.
The Lord of lord's & King of kings was conveying much hidden spiritual truth both to John & the church through the impartation of tremendous spiritual visions, when amongst other things, he was given to see "a WOMAN sit upon a scarlet coloured beast." Rev.17:3. Upon this woman's forehead "was a name written, mystery, BABYLON THE GREAT.." Rev.l7:5. The SCARLET coloured beast in the deepest level of the spiritual (1Cor.2:13; not the letter of the ) word, portrays & represents the collective sin filled nature or soul of mankind. "Though your sins be as SCARLET, they shall be white as snow." Isa.1:18.
Sin only surfaces out of the depth of man's heart & mind - Mrk.chptr.7. Since man is a spirit in a natural body, Satanic influences which are also spiritual, manifest from within. We wrestle spiritually not against outward natural enemies (Eph.6:12) but against inward ones that rule in the realms of man's spiritual darkness, even his mind. Know ye not that your own carnal mind is "a deceiver and an antichrist" (2Jn.7) which "is enmity against God?" Ro.8:7. Truly,"this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now alread is it in the world." 1Jn.4:3.
That uncleansed portion of man's heart & soul is revealed also as "the seat (throne power) of the beast (Rev.2:13; 13:2; 16:10) and as "the bottomless pit" (Rev.20:3) from whence cometh evil & death. In direct contrast & warfare, the regenerate portion of a believer's heart is opened also to the throne power & eternal life of God in Christ. The mind-heart realm in the spiritual soul of man is the place where evil, whether it be of human source (iniquity), or of angelic source (demonic), can be cast down, bound & destroyed by the appropriated power of God. Greater is He and His mind that is in you than the beastly mind of humanity that usurps itself in this inner "world of iniquity." The outer world we live in is a manifest reflection or image of that which is allowed to sit on the throne of the carnal mind.
The mysterious woman "Babylon" whom John saw, whose name (denoting her nature or characteristics) was upon her forehead, even that place where the brain makes heart felt decisions, was seen sitting "upon a scarlet coloured beast" "upon many waters." Rev.l7:l. This inwardly depicts the collective unregenerate souls of the multitudes of mankind, & in the natural visible realm is seen as the multitudes of the earth's nations, kingdoms & tongues - Rev.l7:12; Isa.57:20. In other words, man's fallen bestial nature carries the confused mind of this reigning woman. We are being sat upon & weighted down by the soulish deceptions & traditions of the mind. We must therefore begin to rise up in the Spirit of the Lord & begin to take our rightful place in the heavens & in the earth as the mature sons or God.
The dragon offers the mind of man a great deal of ungodly power & authority (Rev.13:2) and the deceived mind unknowingly worships & gives allegiance to the devil which gives this power unto the beast - Rev.13:4. Saints beware, for the analytical power & the choices we make can easily stem from the unrighteous & traditional influences of the beastly carnal mind. Remember we are created to glorify God & to reflect His image & likeness "in the image or the heavenly." lCor.l5:49. Today, the monetary system has become the foundation of "a golden image" & the lust (inordinate desire) of mammon in "the image of the earthy"(1Cor.15:49 ), is at the root of all evil - 1Tim.6:10
The "image of the beast"(Rev.l3:15) of fallen mankind can be found reflected outwardly in several major realms, namely the earth's political, social, economical, & religious systems. The manifestation of these things in the earth become the natural products of spiritual Babylon. Natural worldly Babylon is really the image and product of the wild beast nature of man's carnal mind.
Whole nations & empires are also metamorphically described as beasts (Dan.7), as are rulers & kings - Ezk.29:3; 32:2; Rev.13:l-18. Behemoth in Jb.40:15 describes the greatest beast. These beasts are combined & conjoined in the book of Revelation & have both natural & spiritual meanings & fulfillments. More often than not, these things are describing the inner residents of the dark kingdom in the fallen soul of mankind.
It has really been the faulty systems of man's own jurisdiction, administration, & tradition that binds him to that which is earthy, bestial, sensual & oft times devilish. There have been no godly standards kept. Every man wants to do that which he pleases in his own way. So we are seeing by the Spirit that BABYLON could also be said to be an accumulated world wide system OF THE TRADITIONS OF CARNALLY MINDED MEN which is "making the word of God of NON EFFECT" (Mk.7:13) in both the natural & spiritual lives of men. Wild beasts were made to live by instinct but man was made to live by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God - Mat.4:4.
The wild beast nature of man has rebelled & blasphemed against God for thousands of years but the age is almost upon us wherein the nature or man shall dwell in peace & unity in the presence of the nature or the Lamb - Isa.11:6. It has been long enough that the woman's house, even the inward carnal mind of man dwelling in the traditions, confusion & rebelliousness of this world, has been the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death - Prv.7:27. Babylon's deceiving lips speak the flattering words (Prv.7:21) of "the false prophet" whose voice constantly bears the message of the beast & his worldly image.
The voice of Babylon, heard as a universal, collective spiritual body of spoken and written deception, is expressed in myriad's of religious, social, economical, and political terms, philosophies & traditions--all in opposition to the holy Spirit of Truth found in the written & spoken word of God - Jn.6:63. One could describe the "false prophet" as being any fleshly body or media of Satanic & worldly testimony--the opposite to the body of the Spirit of Truth bearing the testimony of Jesus, the Spirit of true prophecy - Rev.19:10. Soon, "with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down" & her destructive sound shall be heard no more at all - Rev. 18:21-24.
Divine Precepts vs. Human Tradition
The antonym to the great antichrist kingdom and city is the great city & kingdom of God. Both are natural & spiritual kingdoms. "That GREAT CITY, THE HOLY JERUSALEM (Rev.21:10) symbolizes the collective body of the sons of God raised up to experientially sit in ruling authority with Christ - Eph.2:6; Heb.12:22. The heavenly Jerusalem represents the true church, the invisible body (& city-Mat.5:14) of Christ that is presently in the world (yet to a degree in captivity to Babylon) but are neither willing nor ignorant partakers of her polluted ungodly whoredoms nor her traditionally corrupt alliances.
It is very evident that the majority of the church today is still strongly bound in HUMAN tradition, whereas she should be breaking free & seeking to serve only in DIVINE tradition - 2Ths.2:15; 3:6. She should not only be preaching, but genuinely living according to DIVINE PRECEPTS. But to her shame, she is yet almost lifeless, crushed under the heavy weights or her own HUMAN PRECEPTS. "Wherefore the Lord saith, this people draw near me with their mouth, & with their lips do honour me, & their fear toward me is taught by THE PRECEPT (things set up) OF MEN." Isa.29:13; Ezk.33:3l,32; 14:3; Matt.15:8. Through lack of spiritual knowledge & exercise (Heb.5:13,14), the church like the Jews, is unable to discern what is truly of man & his wild beast nature & that which is of God & the nature of the Lamb - Ezk.22:26; Zep.3:1-7.
Why is this so? A major reason is because the TRADITION of the institutional church, of organized religion is bound in varying degrees, laws, forms & customs of legalism, formalism, ritualism, ceremonialism, pharasaism, & outright hypocrisy, becoming completely entangled in her own denominationalism, doctrinal creeds & programs thereby adding to her invisible"yoke of bondage."
Many "profess that they know God, but IN WORKS they deny Him, being abominable (Prv.6:16-19; 11:1; Lk.16:l5) & disobedient, & unto every good work reprobate." Tit.1:16. Like the original believers, they have been turned again "to the weak & beggarly elements" (Ga1.4:9) of the world, "after THE TRADITIONS OF MEN, after the rudiments OF THE WORLD & not after Christ." Col. 2:8. Many there be that give heed "to Jewish FABLES & COMMANDMENTS OF MEN, that turn from the truth." Tit.l:14. Jesus asks, "Why do you also transgress THE COMMANDMENTS OF GOD BY YOUR TRADITION?.. Thus HAVE YE MADE THE WORD OF GOD OF NONE EFFECT BY YOUR TRADITION." Matt.15:3-6; Mk.7:13.
In a similar vein, Paul asked, "Wherefore if ye be DEAD WITH CHRIST FROM THE RUDIMENTS OF THE WORLD, why as though living in the world, are ye subject to ORDINANCES, (touch not; taste not; handle not; which all are to perish with the using) after THE COMMANDMENTS and DOCTRINES OF MEN?" Col.2:20-22. "Why tempt ye God to put A YOKE UPON THE NECK..?" Ac.l5:10; Matt.23:4.
The sad result of all this, is separation & division of the church both in the natural & spiritual realms. Condemnation of the guiltless arises because of self righteous pride & blindness (Matt.12:1-7) & the name of the Lord is blasphemed among the Gentiles - Rom.2:24.
Jesus commanded His church "that ye love one another" as He loved them. "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another." Jn.13:34,35. But, even the true church has let TRADITION & petty DOCTRINAL differences divide them one against the other. Such things as water sprinkling or immersion: to speak with tongues or not to speak with tongues; reconciliation of all things or of a few... and the list goes on & on. True Christian love does not divide nor breed carnality (1Cor.3:1-4) setting one against the other, rather it brings unity of spirit centered in Christ in spite of our carnal nature - Jn. chptr.l7. How can we truly love God & yet not love our brethren? 1Jn.4:20.
Tradition has always been a major characteristic of false religions & it has crept into the true. It always leads to spiritual & sometimes physical bondage & death. "He that leadeth into CAPTIVITY shall go into CAPTIVITY; He that killeth with the sword (even the word) must be killed with the sword." Rev.13:10. This same divine principle is found in Matt.l5:14. "Babylon signifies captivity & bondage of God's chosen people - Isa.50:33; 52:11. "Judah was carried away captive out or his own land" (Jer.52:27) & so also are God's people to this day. Babylon is the "land of their captivity" (Jer.30:10) even in the realm of the soul.
God calls her "Ye destroyer of mine heritage - Isa.50:11; 51:49. She is also "a destroying mountain (spiritual kingdom), ...which destroyeth all the earth." Jer.51:49. "As Babylon hath caused the slain of Israel to fall (Rev.17:6) so at Babylon shall fall the slain of all the earth." Jer.51:49; Rev.18:24. But alas, it is prophesied she shall sink in her own mire of violence, she shall fall in her own self destruction; a reaping of just reward for that which she had sown - Rev.18:21. She shall not rise from her evil but shall be "desolate forever." Jer.51:26, 62, 64; Ezk.16:41.
Daniel saw "a GREAT image" (Dan.2:3l) but it shall not survive. "A GREAT ROCK in a weary lane (Isa.32:2--a shadow of Christ coming in His kingdom) becomes "the STONE ("cut out of the mountain" of Babylon - Dan.2:45) that smote the image"(Dan. 2:25) of Babylon's great kingdom, even as David before he was crowned, smote the Philistine giant. This "kingdom of God "shall break in pieces & consume all these kingdoms (that make up Babylon), & it shall stand forever Dan.2:44. Then shall it be said, "True & righteous are His judgments for He hath judged the great whore." Rev.19:2.
Free From Tradition
In several senses of meaning, Babylon "hath been a golden cup IN THE LORD'S HAND - Jer.51:7. Some, if not all Christian practices of traditional religion, have in a sense, been even as the Old Test. laws, as "a schoolmaster"(Gal.3:24), a necessary part of the learning process to bring US to a mature knowledge or the Son of God even "unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ - Eph.4:13. God has always had a faithful overcoming people in the earth ready to graduate, ready to receive their full adoption (Gal.chptr.4) --a remnant of the church being prepared (Rev.19:7) to assume responsible roles as literal reigning kings & priests in the kingdom of God that shall one day soon govern the whole earth - Rev.2:26,27; 5:10; 11:15; 12:10; Dan.7:22-27 etc.
Ye who can hear what the Spirit saith unto the church in this hour, "stand fast therefore in THE LIBERTY WHEREWITH CHRIST HATH MADE US FREE, & BE NOT ENTANGLED AGAIN WITH THE YOKE OF BONDAGE." For, brethren, "ye have been called UNTO LIBERTY; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but BY LOVE SERVE ONE ANOTHER." Gal. 5:13. "Take heed lest by any means this LIBERTY OF YOURS become a stumbling block to them that are weak" (1Cor.8:9), "not using YOUR LIBERTY for a cloak of maliciousness, but AS THE SERVANTS OF GOD." 1Ptr.2:16. This is the true nature of "the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus" (Ro.8:2) & "where the Spirit of the Lord is (even in your inward & outward life) there is LIBERTY." 2Cor.3:17.
There is a glorious liberty from tradition & the like that can be appropriated to deliver us "from THE BONDAGE OF CORRUPTION." Ro.8:21. A truth that can set us truly free - Jn.8:32. This liberty is not directly found in any of the traditional systems of man's captivating religions, but it is round in the personal process of learning who we are & who we are not, in Christ Jesus. It is discovered in the power of the Spirit being allowed to bring "INTO CAPTIVITY every thought to the obedience of Christ" (2Cor.10:5) that men may recover themselves out of the snares of the devil (having been taken captive by him), unto the will of God - 2Tim.2:26.
This liberty or which we speak, is a major characteristic of true religion, pure & undefiled before God. It is a genuine heart felt freedom of love & service, unable to be bound or restricted by any carnal creed or tradition of man. True liberty & pure religion is not found in any self originating efforts to try & serve God in outward ritualistic law of man made tradition, but in the possession of a genuine reverential fear of God & a desire to serve Him with all the heart & all the soul - Deut.10:12.
True religion begins through a genuine acceptance of the fact that God because of His nature, has committed Himself to us - Jn.3:16. In a personal way, "we love Him because HE FIRST LOVED US." 1Jn.4:19. We are given from above, a faithful desire & ability to begin to love God "with all the heart, & with all the understanding, & with all the soul, & with all the strength" & to love others as ourselves - Mk. 12:33; Hos.6:6. "What doth the Lord require of thee (to observe tradition? No!), but to do justly, & to love mercy, & to walk HUMBLY WITH GOD." Mk.6:8. Also, be teachable (Ac.9:6; Lk.11:1), maintaining a trusting child like spirit (Matt.18:3) in SINGLENESS OF HEART - Ac.2:46.; Eph.6:5; Co1.3:22.
Another key is sincerity - Josh. 24:14; 1Cor.5:8. As sincere Christians, we must learn to LET the faith which God has placed within us become an EVIDENT FAITH, even a substance "which worketh by (genuine) love." Ga1.5:6. "Let love be without dissimulation, abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good." Ro.12:9. As we learn to do this, we are progressively putting on charity "which is THE BOND OF PERFECTNESS" Col.3:14. True liberty, religion, & love walk hand in hand.
When we begin to see these things by the Spirit & begin to live them out, we are fulfilling the command to worship God "in spirit & in truth." Jn.4: 24. True service, godly commitment and spirit filled worship is rarely found in organized religion, nor is it confined at all to earthly or natural places such as church buildings nor in their attendance. Neither is it found in trying to observe outward traditional forms & patterns of churchianity religion which is so prevalent in the world today. Rather, it is found in the genuinely righteous INWARD ATTITUDES & CHOICES OF THE HEART. These qualities most often are developed in coming through & over coming manifold temptations & difficulties in trying places - 1Ptr.1:7, 8. This develops authentic & sincere individual worship of God in trueness of spirit & not in the falseness of flesh & ecclesiastic liturgy.
Religious or ecclesiastical Babylon is founded & presently upheld in uncompromising sectarian denominationalism. It is founded in man made creeds, doctrines, laws, ordinances, rituals, ceremonies, programs, forms, & all manner of carnal religious habits & exercises present in human tradition. A deceptive spirit of worldliness &/or a deceiving spirit of polluted religion operates in varying degrees in individuals as well as amongst numerous sects & denominational divisions of Christianity today. This kind of religion would set itself up as a mediator between man & God. But the truth is, there is only one true mediator "between God & man, the man Christ Jesus." 1Tim.2:5.
Concerning the church as being one kingdom & temple, & the kingdom of this world on the whole, as the other temple, we see Babylon in its entirety, is a religious, economical, social & political house and kingdom DIVIDED AGAINST ITSELF--none of its divisions which will stand forever - Dan.2:44; Lk.11:17,18. But is any of that which is of Christ & His Spirit divided? 1Cor.1:13. Is it the true Spirit of love that builds spiritual "fenced cities" (Ezk.36:35; Hos.8:14) and sets spiritually unpenetrable barriers & walls of defense around her doctrines & traditions?
We may yet be IN the midst of any or all of Babylon's deceitful aspects but we are made free in Christ not to be OF it - Jn.17:14; 14:30. This is much easier to do once we can recognize it for what it actually is. We may have to be IN the world but we are free not to be OF the spirit OF the world.
The Fruit Of Life And Death
The tree (way-Prv.3:17,18) of life, the lifestyle which we choose is a reflection and image of our hearts desire. Desire is created in all of us & is closely linked in man's spirit to the will. Man's fallen corrupted desire is unto earthly glory & mammon. The love (lust, inordinate over desire) of mammon is at the root of all evil - 1Tim. 6:10. Satisfied carnal desires are actually as much in death as are frustrated desires. Both are void of true spiritual life.
There are three basic things people can do with their lust. They are free to continue to feed & gratify it; they can try to control it, or they can practice biblical self denial and go to the Lord in humbleness & repentance to receive deliverance from it. Only when our inordinate desires are recognized for what they really are (sinful), & then turned unto God in a sincere act of our will, does He begin to deliver us from the evil iniquity that remains in that desire, replacing it with living fruit of His Spirit. Once one comes into a certain understanding & level of overcoming by the Spirit, they are sealed in that area of victory & the fruit will remain. When our desires are right, we need not struggle with wrong ones.
Some people see God as a threat to their desires. Maybe that's why some don't seek Him as they should! The queen (soul, the woman Babylon's spirit) in our temple, seeks constantly to control & reign over the king of glory. But thanks be to The Almighty, there is a desirous people wherein "the desire or the ages shall come.. ..& will fill this house with glory" (Hag.2:7) "and the counsel of peace shall be between them both" (Zec.6:13) when "the Lord whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to His temple."Mal.3:l. The two shall be come one in a divine fusion of power & glory.
Until then, self will,iniquity lust, wrong desire, ungodly motivation etc. is the root of the tree (way, lifestyle) of the knowledge of good & evil. The fruit that can grow on the unpruned branches (Jn.15:5) of this tree is unacceptable to God & is biblically termed as "the works of the flesh." Gal.5:19. This fruit in basic, all inclusive terminology, is simply called "sin" which contains the many seeds of death.
It is the beast nature within man that is constantly being fed this bad fruit, even this food of death. This food is found in abundant supply, stored & housed in man's traditions. Man feeds & acts on words & traditions that are lifeless & damaging in the spiritual realm just as the flesh loves to eat junk foods that are nourishless & harmful in the body realm. This only produces what the Bible calls spiritually "dead works." Heb.6:l.
These works can be great & wonderful works in man's eyes (Matt.7:22), but in God's eyes & nose they are a stench to His nostrils & remain as "works of darkness" (Ro.13:12; Eph.5:11), "works of the flesh" (Ro.5:19), &'' works of the devil" (1Jn.3:8), all of which are found in one form or another in religious "works of the law" (Ro.9:32; Ga1.2:16; 3:2,5,10), bound under the law "of works." Ro.3:27.
The "flesh" may appear righteous & pure in outward appearance but within the carnal man it is "full or dead man's bones." Matt.23:27. As one seeks to purge his conscience "from dead works" (Heb.9:14), "the works that are therein shall be burned up" (2Ptr.3:10) by the Spirit of God who Spirit is "a consuming fire." Heb. 12:29. As a part of Babylon, "she shall be utterly burned with fire." Rev.18:8,18.
In direct opposition & contrast to these lower laws, is the higher operation of "the LAW OF FAITH." Ro.3:27. This also operates in "the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus" (Ro.8:2) wherein are found "the works of Christ" (Matt.11:2) fulfilling all "the works or God." Jn.6:28; 9:3, 4. Brethren, initially "ye are risen with Him, through the faith of the operation of God" (Co1.2:12) & that faith is "not of yourselves...not of works, lest any man should boast.'' Eph.2:8, 9; Tit.3:5.
In light or this New Testament truth, internal & external obedience does not avail to true spiritual profit nor fruit unless the action originates from the Spirit of the Lord. Self sacrifice & religious works of all sorts are as "sounding brass or a tinkling symbol"(1Cor.13:1) unless the motivation for it is a genuinely activated work of the Holy Spirit based in the love of God - 1Cor.chptr. l3. The works of faith are the results of appropriating faith at the time of need. True works are a divinely inspired manifestation, an action which produces positive results from God and for God.
God is a Spirit, the Spirit of agape love. If you have not the gift of God's love (1Jn.3:16), namely the Spirit of life present within you (Ro.8:19), & cannot confess with spirit, soul & body, life to this fact, then regardless of what you think, you have not even the beginnings of biblical charity - 1Jn. chptr. 4. You need salvation!
The manifest activation or true biblical faith is called "works". So also is the manifest action of the flesh & its carnal belief apart from biblical works, also called "works". Confusion reigns when we fail to differentiate between the traditional works of the flesh & the work of the Spirit. The major difference is, that one work has its origin of the natural mind, of the traditions of man, of the human spirit, while the other has its source only of the divine Spirit that inhabits man. No man can know or do the works of God but by the Spirit of God - 1Cor.chptr.2.
The physical body of man without the natural creative, life-giving Spirit of God is naturally & physically dead. So the inner spiritual body of man without the saving Spirit or Christ is also considered spiritually dead. In like manner, natural human faith combined with natural human works is considered "dead works" because neither the faith, nor the works, originated, nor were appreciated, out of the working will of Christ within - Jas. chptr. 2; Phi1.2:12,13. Let us not be so foolish to think that even though we have begun a new life of faith in the Spirit, that we can be made perfect by the works of the flesh in the tradition of man - Ga1.3:13.
You will find that a key word in the Bible is the little word "LET." In a positive sense it means "to be willing", "yield", "forbid not", "allow or permit by choice" and to "be obedient to." In a negative sense, it means to "deny", "abstain "allow not", "obey not", "lay aside", "leave alone" and "put off or away."
"LET us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and LET us put on the armour of light" (Ro.13:12) "and LET the peace of God RULE IN YOUR HEARTS ." Col.3:1 Yes beloved, "LET us cleanse ourselves of all filthiness of the flesh and spirit (2Cor.7:1) and "LET us go on unto perfection." Heb.6:1. His precepts and traditions must become ours and ours must be lost in Him!
"LET love be without dissimulation." Ro.12:9. "LET all your things be done with charity" (1Cor.16:4) "according as HIS DIVINE POWER hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness through the knowledge of Him that hath called us to glory and virtue." 2Ptr.l:3; 2Cor.4:6, 7.
We shall sum all these things up in saying, "Above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And LET the peace or God rule in your hearts." Co1.3:14,15. In other words, "LET this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus." Phil.2:5. If you choose to LET, you will also be enabled & empowered to "SET your affections on things above, not on things on earth." Co1.3:2. In the "things" of the earth lie waiting, the snares of every tradition of man.
"WOE to the inhibitors of the earth and of the sea." Rev. 12:12.
"The time when things are to be brought to a crises, & the period of their fulfillment is near. He who is unrighteous .(unjust, wicked) LET him be unrighteous still, & he that is filthy (vile, impure) LET him be filthy still, and he that is righteous (just, upright) LET him do right still, and he who is holy LET him be holy still (Dan.12:10). Behold, I am coming soon and I shall bring my wages and rewards with me, to repay and to render to each one just what his own action and his own work merit." Rev. 22:10-12; Isa. 40:10; Jer.l7:10 [Amplified Bible].
"I AM THE ALPHA & THE OMEGA, THE FIRST & THE LAST (THE BEFORE ALL & THE END OF ALL) Rev. 22:13.
K. Ross McKay
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