CHOOSE YOU THIS DAY. . . 8/14/2009
DISPOSITION AND DEEDS
"Except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 5:20
The characteristic of a disciple is not that he does good things, but that he is good in motive because he has been made good by the super-natural grace of God. The only thing that exceeds right-doing is right-being. Jesus Christ came to put into any man who would let Him a new heredity which would exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees.
Jesus says - If you are My disciple you must be right not only in your living, but in your motives, in your dreams, in the recesses of your mind. You must be so pure in your motives that God Almighty can see nothing to censure. Who can stand in the Eternal Light of God and have nothing for God to censure? Only the Son of God, and Jesus Christ claims that by His Redemption He can put into any man His own disposition, and make him as unsullied and as simple as a child. The purity which God demands is impossible unless I can be remade within, and that is what Jesus has undertaken to do by His Redemption.
No man can make himself pure by obeying laws. Jesus Christ does not give us rules and regulations; His teachings are truths that can only be interpreted by the disposition He puts in. The great marvel of Jesus Christ's salvation is that He alters heredity. He does not alter human nature; He alters its mainspring. (Oswald Chambers’ MY UTMOST FOR HIS HIGHEST, July 24th)
You see dear Brothers and Sisters, we are no longer subject to the same motivation as the unsaved, unless we choose not to believe and receive God’s alteration of our heredity. Since everything we have in Christ Jesus is received by faith, if we do not believe it to be possible to have our heredity changed, it just will not be any different than it was prior to our salvation.
But the scriptures say something completely different, if we will only believe what they actually say. Are we willing to face persecution and rejection to follow Jesus no matter where He leads or are we going to stay safe (at least in our own minds) by clinging to our tradition, just like the Pharisees did?
We often quote verses like I John 3:6 and explain it away using our tradition. But what does the Bible tell us in this and the surrounding verses? Do our traditions/interpretations agree with the Bible, or do we, like the Pharisees and Sadducees, interpret the Bible according to what our traditions say? We are very good at explaining away the hard sayings of the Bible so that we can continue on in our sin, so that we can be in control.
We do not want to face the possibility that we are wrong or that what we teach is wrong. We often would rather believe what we have been told by our mentors, teachers, pastors, preachers, even our own studies instead of agreeing with what the Bible actually says. We have too much of our own reputation in what we teach. There is a great unwillingness within us to admit that we were wrong. Then we would have to repent from those teachings, something we are just unwilling to do. We spent far too much of our own time and effort in figuring them out and now, “No upstart is going to tell me what is right and wrong; I KNOW what is correct!”
We do this not because we do so on purpose or that we have decided to deceive ourselves or others, but we do so because that is the way it has always been done (in our circles) and we think (however erroneously) because so many say this it must be true. Unfortunately, that is a false premise.
Have we taken each of our doctrines and heard directly from Him that they are correct? I am not sure how to say this any clearer. Have we gotten on our knees about what we believe asked God to judge them according to Himself and then allowed Him to change everything He says does not agree with Him? Have we heard His voice tell us this or do we assume because we think we read it in the Bible that our doctrines are correct? Be honest.
Are we hearing His actual voice or just our own thinking (perhaps even satan’s ideas)? Do we hear Him speak or are we assuming that we know? How is it that we have taken all of our doctrines to the Lord and had Him declare them to be in agreement with what the Holy Spirit teaches? I do not refer to what we think the Bible says, but I refer to what the Holy Spirit actually teaches each person who belongs to Christ Jesus! That is what the Bible says, isn’t it?
Joh 16:13 But when He, the Spirit of Truth (the Truth-giving Spirit) comes, He will guide you into all the Truth (the whole, full Truth). For He will not speak His own message [on His own authority]; but He will tell whatever He hears [from the Father; He will give the message that has been given to Him], and He will announce and declare to you the things that are to come [that will happen in the future].
If we do not believe we can be of one mind and one accord with our brothers and sisters, then we are contradicting what the Bible actually says. The Holy Spirit will indeed teach us the absolute truth as God sees it, not man’s doctrines. We have to come into line with Him not with what other people say and teach.
If we say that man will always sin for as long as he lives, there had better be a verse that says this or we are teaching false doctrine. We will have to give an account to God for every false doctrine that we promote. I am not saying we are not saved, but at the same time we are told that whoever does such a thing will not receive certain blessings we when stand before the Lord. Perhaps it is these who will be saved through the fire, by the skin of their teeth, so to speak. I do not know, it is God’s place to make that judgment.
At the same time, Jesus warns us of those who teach falsely, and that it might be better for them to never have been born, which does not sound too good to me. I am not claiming anyone reading this is proclaiming anything false; please do not go there. This is a warning to all who would preach the gospel including myself. There have been many organizations and those in power since the time of Christ to proclaim certain others were preaching falsely, even heretics. Often, those who make those proclamations, especially those who have been in power, were the ones who were false. We see this throughout the New Testament and we see this throughout Church History. All we have to do is look at what was happening during the Dark Ages when the RCC was in power to have some idea of what I am speaking of. The culmination of that darkness occurred during the Inquisition and all of the atrocities that happened at that time.
Will we align ourselves with them and end up doing the very same things, or will we be like the Bereans, become more noble and search out the scriptures by the Holy Spirit to see if these things are true or not? According to the Bible we cannot understand the scriptures by ourselves. Spiritual Truth is not realized, understood, or agreed upon by human nature. Unless we are willing to be wrong about everything we think is good and proper and right and allow the Lord Himself to determine for us what is good, bad, right, wrong, true and false we will always end up being wrong!
According to the Bible, we should come into agreement with each other. If we are not, then there must be something wrong somewhere. God is never wrong. The Bible is completely accurate. The trouble comes when we decide for ourselves what the Bible means; when we listen to man’s ideas, man’s understandings, man’s anything, we will end up in deception. Some will use the argument that what I just said means they should not listen to me.
That is absolutely true! Do not listen to me! But do not listen to you either. Nor anyone else, including every teacher, instructor, pastor, evangelist, prophet, apostle, bishop or any other person at all! Do not believe yourself. If you hold something to be true, WHY do you think it is true? Who told you it was true? Where did you learn it? Did you learn it in Bible school, in your own personal Bible study, from some preacher/teacher? Where? How did you come to this knowledge? Was it through painstaking research into the language, tenses, the Hebrew/Greek, etc? Did you get it from a commentary, a study book, or some other source?
Please, consider these things very closely. Do not assume that just because you are saved you know what is true and what is false. There will be some who will not like what I am saying. They will attempt to detract from it in some manner. They may accuse me, call my own walk or integrity into question, or in some way attempt to discredit me or what I am saying. Let them; they will receive their judgment from the Lord.
All of the ways of knowledge I have described above are eating the Fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. There is only one way to eat from the TREE OF LIFE! That is to lay down everything you have every learned, assume it is false and ask to be taught directly by Revelation through the Holy Spirit. There is no other way! If this does not make sense to you, then please seek the Lord about it diligently. If it does, there is no further need for me to explain.
If we have been taught by the Holy Spirit directly, then our doctrines will agree 100% with all of the Bible. We often will find that these teachings from the Lord contradict many of the traditional views but they will always be in agreement with the whole Bible no matter how many traiditonal doctrines they contradict. But if we find that we are explaining away what the Bible says, if we are somehow contradicting the Bible with our teachings, then they did not come by Revelation from the Holy Spirit!
How do we explain this verse?
1Jn 3:8 [But] he who commits sin [who practices evildoing] is of the devil [takes his character from the evil one], for the devil has sinned (violated the divine law) from the beginning. The reason the Son of God was made manifest (visible) was to undo (destroy, loosen, and dissolve) the works the devil [has done].
1Jn 5:18 We know [absolutely] that anyone born of God does not [deliberately and knowingly] practice committing sin, but the One Who was begotten of God carefully watches over and protects him [Christ's divine presence within him preserves him against the evil], and the wicked one does not lay hold (get a grip) on him or touch [him].
How about these?
1Co 10:12 Therefore let anyone who thinks he stands [who feels sure that he has a steadfast mind and is standing firm], take heed lest he fall [into sin].
1Co 10:13 For no temptation (no trial regarded as enticing to sin), [no matter how it comes or where it leads] has overtaken you and laid hold on you that is not common to man [that is, no temptation or trial has come to you that is beyond human resistance and that is not adjusted and adapted and belonging to human experience, and such as man can bear]. But God is faithful [to His Word and to His compassionate nature], and He [can be trusted] not to let you be tempted and tried and assayed beyond your ability and strength of resistance and power to endure, but with the temptation He will [always] also provide the way out (the means of escape to a landing place), that you may be capable and strong and powerful to bear up under it patiently.
2Co 5:17 Therefore if any person is [ingrafted] in Christ (the Messiah) he is a new creation (a new creature altogether); the old [previous moral and spiritual condition] has passed away. Behold, the fresh and new has come!
All of these passages clearly state that God has made a way for us not to sin, that our old moral way of living is completely gone and we are absolutely new creatures, no longer sinners! Yet how many will do whatever they can to prove we will still sin, because they see it daily in their lives, not because of what the Bible says? Again, let me state this emphatically, I am not speaking of sinless perfection, yet, according to these verses and many more, we do not have to sin! So why do people say something different? Who are we to believe them or the Bible? Why do so many make it a point to clarify that we will always sin when the Bible does not say this?
If it does, please post the verse. Do not explain these away, just post the verse that says we will continue to sin, in context with the rest of the chapter and book. Do not place a single isolated verse and expect it to prove we will always sin. Yes, I have placed a few solitary verses here but the surrounding verses in these chapters all support and agree with the above verses. No place do they contradict what I am saying here. So, if you know of a verse that says we will always sin, I would love to see it, for though I have read the Bible many times, I have never read that verse.
Are we going to teach according to man’s tradition, or according to the Bible? Look at this last sentence in MY UTMOST FOR HIS HIGHEST for July 25.
The Sermon on the Mount is not a set of rules and regulations: it is a statement of the life we will live when the Holy Spirit is getting His way with us.
Can we understand what these words say? I only use Chambers because what he writes is in absolute agreement with the scriptures; not that we should follow Him or any other man. We cannot understand what the scriptures teach until we have let go of everything else. This is why Jesus taught what He did in His parables. Do we remember the Pearl of Great Price and the Hidden Treasure? Those are just two of His parables that teach us we must give up everything in order to receive the best and most precious thing! Do we honestly think that we can get saved and from then on we understand His truths?
If we believe this then we are already deceived!
We would not have so many different denominations if that were true. So there must be something that most people miss! If we did not miss it, we would not be in the trouble the Church is in at this time. Are we willing to continue on the same way we have been going OR are we going to stop and take a God honest look at ourselves and what we believe in the light of the Holy Spirit?
Do we have a truly supernatural life in Christ Jesus or is it just some religion we say we believe in? I have said this before and will continue to proclaim it, no amount of study will ever cause us to walk like we are commanded to walk! We will not become the people of God by our study and learning of facts! We cannot even get saved except by the Power of God! If the Power of God is not present when we pray the “salvation prayer” then no matter how many times we pray it, we will not be saved!
I do not know the words I cannot speak or write in some way that is any clearer. We must not accept doctrines just because that is what we learned from some source other than direct revelation from the Lord; and I am not speaking of reading the Bible either. I am speaking of how Paul had the gospel revealed to him. He learned from Jesus Christ via the Holy Spirit. Paul was already a Bible scholar. He threw it all away. All of his knowledge and understanding that he had gained during his studies he considered it dung, refuse! He looked for and expected the very power of GOD to be revealed in the lives of those he ministered to. Look at this>>>
1Co 4:19 But I will come to you [and] shortly, if the Lord is willing, and then I will perceive and understand not what the talk of these puffed up and arrogant spirits amount to, but their force (the moral power and excellence of soul they really possess).
1Co 4:20 For the kingdom of God consists of and is based on not talk but power (moral power and excellence of soul).
That certainly is not preached today! In fact, there are many groups that preach exactly in opposition to this. Paul was not concerned about what those people said. He wanted to see the reality of Christ Jesus in their lives being lived out on a daily basis. What do I mean? Look at what he tells the Corinthians later in the same book.
1Co 15:34 Awake [from your drunken stupor and return] to sober sense and your right minds, and sin no more. For some of you have not the knowledge of God [you are utterly and willfully and disgracefully ignorant, and continue to be so, lacking the sense of God's presence and all true knowledge of Him]. I say this to your shame.
Do we honestly think that very same judgment would not be pronounced on the modern Church? I am saying nothing new. I am repeating what is said all through the Bible if we are willing to leave behind our pre-conceived notions and ideas, our traditions, our teachings, our doctrines, our studies, our understandings, our thoughts, our lives, our pride, our absolutely everything and become willing to be wrong about all of it. How do we know what we believe is correct? Carefully consider this with the Lord. How do we honestly know that all of the things that I just listed are correct in our lives? How? What do we base that knowledge on? Is it because we have studied? That is what the Pharisees did. So what do we base this knowledge of correct doctrine on? Is it because that is what is commonly acceptable? Well, it is commonly acceptable that abortion is ok, so that is not a very good criterion. Besides the Bible tells us that man does not understand the scriptures or the things of God unless the Holy Spirit teaches him.
We cannot trust in tradition at all. That again is what the Pharisees did. Oh, and we cannot trust ourselves either.
Pro 3:5 Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding.
Pro 3:6 In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths.
Pro 3:7 Be not wise in your own eyes; reverently fear and worship the Lord and turn [entirely] away from evil. [Prov. 8:13.]
Hmm, the Bible seems to tell us that we cannot figure things out for ourselves. If we cannot rely on tradition, ourselves, our studies, or any other human being then where do we think we should go to find His absolute Truth? How many of us have truly considered asking the Lord to teach us by revelation? Or don’t we believe that what Jesus said is real? Do we want to explain it away by saying it is what we learn by our study? Friends, that is how the world learns. Have we stopped to think about that? How are our methods of learning any different than the world’s? When will get it through our thick skulls that Christianity is not something we can figure out for ourselves? The Bible says this, but we continue to say, “We believe the whole Bible!” and teach contradictory to it!
No, I do not expect to convince anyone of these things. I only hope to raise a question in honest people’s minds. A question that will cause each of us to seek out directly from the Lord what HE says. Let us not allow our traditions and doctrinal statements to control and guide us. They may be correct, but than again, perhaps they are not. How many of them have we taken to Jesus and heard from Him what HE thinks about those same traditions and doctrines?
Therefore, I return to my question for all of us; on what basis do we believe that we know God’s Absolute Truth? Who decided for us what is true or false? Before we go any further, if our answer to that question is, “I did”. I have another question for all of us. How many times have we been wrong? I know I have been wrong many times. I am completely unreliable. I am so unreliable that I would not want to base my eternal destiny on what I think is correct. Are any of us really willing to base our eternal destiny on our own choices of what is right or wrong?
So, how do we know what is right or wrong? How do we know that what we believe is true according to the ONE who will judge us? Or do we just assume that because so many people believe some doctrine, it must be true? Each one of us must decide if we are willing to rely on what we think is correct or not. According to Jesus in Matt 7, there will be people who think they belong to Him who will told to depart, even though they may have performed miracles, signs and wonders. That is not His criteria. According to Jesus and the Bible, He is the author of salvation to those who obey Him, to those who actually perform the will of the Heavenly Father. James tells us that if our faith does not produce good works it cannot even save us.
That is what the Bible says. I am not making these things up nor am I reaching or stretching the truth. If we are honest with ourselves then we will have to admit these things are true.
Once more I return to the question. On what is the basis of our belief? Every denomination says the Bible, but since these denominations often contradict each other, that statement means so very little. What they mean is, they base their belief on their interpretation of the Bible, which is a completely different thing. Are we willing to go to the Source and ask Him what He says? Are we so willing to know His truth that if indeed He shows us that the doctrines we currently hold dear are false that we will not only throw them away but let those around us know that the Lord has corrected us in these areas?
If not, then we do not really love the truth!
The final result of those who do not love the truth is shown to us in II Thesalonians.
II Thes 2:9-12 The coming [of the lawless one, the antichrist] is through the activity and working of Satan and will be attended by great power and with all sorts of [pretended] miracles and signs and delusive marvels--[all of them] lying wonders--
10And by unlimited seduction to evil and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing (going to perdition) because they did not welcome the Truth but refused to love it that they might be saved.
11Therefore God sends upon them a misleading influence, a working of error and a strong delusion to make them believe what is false,
12In order that all may be judged and condemned who did not believe in [who refused to adhere to, trust in, and rely on] the Truth, but [instead] took pleasure in unrighteousness.
I do not know about anyone else, but I am not willing to take a chance that I will be considered one of those to whom the LORD HIMSELF will send a delusion so strong that I will have to believe a lie! Each of us must decide for ourselves what we will do. We can choose to continue on in the manner of man, or we can stop learning and living like the world does and begin to learn as Jesus Christ told us; being taught by the Holy Spirit. We are told that the natural man cannot understand the things of God, yet we treat these same truths as though they are no different than what we learn in school. One or the other must be wrong, and somehow I do not believe it is the Bible.
Should we listen to the counsel of man or should we believe what we are told in the Bible? Choose for yourself what you will do; I intend to learn from the Great Teacher, Jesus Christ.
A bondslave in Christ Jesus, Dirk