Hebrews 1:9 “Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.”
Hebrews 1:3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; Hebrews
Here we see the battle of the Son of God consummated. He has come to destroy sin and nail it to the cross. Another instance of Christ’s ongoing war against sin. The greatest enemy of God’s kingdom! Sin is to Satan and hell what holiness is to God and heaven.
Hebrews 1:9 Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.
He loved righteousness! Why doesn’t it say, “He loved God” as being commendable? Because to love God apart from righteousness makes love senseless, phony and invalid. But when it says He loved “righteousness,” His love for God is proven! And then, He hated iniquity. Here is divine affection defined; for one cannot love God more than he hates iniquity. In the holy sense, love (AGAPE: benevolent affection) and hate (MISEO ANOMIA: to detest lawlessness) are the qualities of Iniquity the Divine affection. The same as dedication to God assumes separation from the world, so love for God assumes hatred for sin. A love for what is right and good according to divine standards qualifies and validates agape love. Those who push the love doctrine emphasize strongly that we should “love the brethren,” and “love the sinner,” and “love everybody.” While this has some very commendable implications for those professing Christ, it only expresses love in the social sense; that is as I relate to others around me. The first commitment of love (AGAPE) is to moral principles and values. It must be so or I will slight God’s wish for my moral purity. We cannot love people properly until we love God properly and relate morally to the world as He relates to the world and its values. See Righteousness, Greek. My first allegiance is to God and then to people lest righteousness be sacrificed for the preferences of my friends. Charismatic “love” is misdirected in that it thinks of people first and then tends to subject the commandment to that priority. The only way AGAPE can be expressed properly and in all of its holy sweetness is that it remains committed to the moral principles of redemption; committed to destroying the works of the devil. Only then can we love people or the brethren as God would have us. How different the Old Testament would read if God had loved people and put people before the principles of right and justice. When we interpret AGAPE as something that just simply loves people first of all and above all, we have oversimplified our theology and left our souls wide open to an unprincipled religion. The apostle Paul was committed to “truth in love,” not to the “love of people.” Our love for people will not be efficacious, it will not have good and/or moral order and peace as its ultimate effect if it is not first subjected to the power and principles of divine truth. This is a reference to Christ and His moral nature in particular. Note: Christ-likeness is not to be understood as some kind of mushy sentimentalism. Our concepts of Christ in this regard tend to be very humanistic. The real Christ, the true Christ nature hates iniquity with the same fervency that he loves righteousness. This is the Christ-like life. This is the balance that identifies it as the genuine divine nature. Amos 5:15. To be Balance like Christ we must have our love priorities arranged in the same order as His.
Hebrews 2:11 For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren,
This is HAGIOZO again in both instances; to be declared holy and not as possessing the nature of holiness.
Hebrews 5:13 For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.
Christians who can take strong moral preaching and teaching are stronger than those who prefer the bland sweetness of milk. Some Christians just satisfy themselves on music and talking shallowly of devotion to Christ. Others want to be challenged, “exercised” and tested! To be intent on perfection and open to strong teaching on the sanctified life is the kind of meat those “of full age” enjoy. Christians who cannot tolerate strong moral teaching (“to discern both good and evil”) are still “babies” not yet ready to assume the responsibilities of the strong.
Hebrews 6:1 Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, 2 Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. 3 And this will we do, if God permit. 4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, 5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, 6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.
The objective and concern of sanctification is not what is permissible for me, or what is allowed of a Christian; that is to look toward license; that is fleshology; it is to live on the edge of permissibility. That is the carnal man trying to please God just enough to save himself in the end. The spiritual man’s objective is purity. It is the perfecting of himself making goodness the objective. It is a zeal for “good works.” Titus 2:14; Ephesians 2:10. He is not looking for “permissibles” in the Word; He is looking toward perfection that is revealed in Christ (the Word). While Greek scholars don’t consider Strong’s Concordance to be the most accurate at times, he defines this word “perfection” (5051) in an interesting way that is indeed accurate and in agreement with other Greek sources. This word, TELEIOTES, (from TELEIOO, to bring to completion) he translates as “a completer!” See 2 Corinthians 7:1; Philippians 4:12-16; Titus 2:11,12; I Peter 1:15; 2 Peter 1:3; 3:11. (v.4) “For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened …(v.6) if they fall away; to renew them again unto repentance.”
1. It is believed by many Bible scholars that this statement by the apostle must be understood in light of the fact that this epistle was written to the Hebrew community and that it is referring to those who left law (ceremonial) and came under grace and then defected and returned to the animal sacrifices of ceremonial law.
2. Note that it does not say “it is impossible for them to be saved,” but rather, it is impossible for them “to be renewed again unto repentance.” That is; they will not receive the same renewal the second time as they did the first. There is no scripture to support the idea we only have one chance to accept Christ and no more. To the contrary, Peter can attest to this. Vine’s observations on this word renew, (ANAKAINIZO, 340), supports the idea that these Jews had professed Christ but had not experienced its regenerating effects, then fell back into Judaism. It would be harder for them to be renewed if they ever returned to Christ.
Hebrews 10:10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
That is, HAGIAZO, declared righteous and not hagiasmos, possessing righteous character. See Romans 6:19; Hebrews 10:14.
Hebrews 10:11 And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: (Titus 2:11,12)
MORAL LAW AND CEREMONIAL LAW
Calvinists insist that “the law” was insufficient because the priests had to come daily to offer sacrifices that would not take away the sins of the people. But in saying this, Calvinists do not make a difference between the institution of the ceremonial law and the revelation of the moral law. Because of the influence of Calvinistic teaching, Christians have been confused and fallen into error because they make no distinction between the ceremonial law and the moral law. When this error prevails, we fall into the opinion that teaches law as diametric to grace. See Law, Grace Ceremonial, Law Moral. As we have mentioned, this epistle is written to the Jewish believers. Hebrews 6:4 As our text reveals, the inspired writer is making no reference to the moral law; only to the ceremonial law. The ceremonial laws were all shadows and types of the coming Messiah and were fulfilled in His life, death and resurrection. The moral law was not affected as was ceremonial law by these events. When once the anti-type arrived (Christ the Lamb of God) and fulfilled all of those things which the ceremonial law and sacrifices were foretelling, they were canceled. The ceremonial law including the sacrifices are admittedly, by all Evangelical theologians, fore-shadows of the coming Messiah. But there is no such foreshadowing whatsoever in the moral law. Actually, more than being just a set of commandments, the ten principles which Moses laid down are primarily a revelation of the nature of God. You cannot do away with the moral law any more than you can do away with God Himself. See Romans 3:20-28. And so, in Him all of our priestly needs are met. While the ministry of Moses’ system was not the true priestly system, it functioned as the foretelling of the coming of Christ, our high priest. Hebrews 9:11 The ceremonial law was temporary and was therefore a “shadow” of those things to come. The moral law is fixed moral criteria, while the ceremonial law was a temporary or intermediary means by which righteousness could be fulfilled till “that which is perfect is come.” I Corinthians 13:10 When Christ came and executed the plan of atonement, which culminated in the bloody scenes of the cross, the true priest had finally come to ascend into the heavenlies and officiate over the kingdom from the Father’s right hand of authority as Redeemer, Sanctifier and overseer of the moral law (government) Isaiah 9:6,7 The moral law had the true revelation of the moral law from the beginning. It has never changed. Principle never changes and every moral law of God is based on principle. Therefore, it will never change unless the reason for its existence ceases to be. The law was created for man and will exist with man so long as he remains on earth. There is plenty of evidence in Romans chapters 7 and 8 that moral law is alive and doing well in the New Covenant dispensation. Study those chapters and note the many “appearances” of the moral law. At no time did Jesus in His teaching indicate in any way the moral law was abolished with the ceremonial law. In fact, He amplified the moral law saying, “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; … but I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: … and whosoever shall say, thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.” Matthew 5:17-22.
Hebrews 10:14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. 15 Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before, (See Hebrews 10:10)
Sanctified – HAGIAZO again. 10:16 THIS IS THE COVENANT THAT I WILL MAKE WITH THEM AFTER THOSE DAYS, SAITH THE LORD, I WILL PUT MY LAWS INTO THEIR HEARTS, AND IN THEIR MINDS WILL I WRITE THEM;
So the new nature is commandment oriented. Romans 8:4; Hebrews 8:10.
Hebrews 10:22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.
The sanctified body is an ultimate objective of spiritual victory of the Holy Spirit, and the part of personality opposing Spirit and sins struggle to control. The carnal nature wants to keep it in tact and the Word of God (the divine moral) seeks to effect its death (Complete subjection to the holy life). See Romans 12:2
Hebrews 10:26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,
Sinning against grace doesn’t necessarily mean damnation if we repent and withdraw; but it does mean a loss suffered in the judgment. To sin where grace once delivered us is serious and apparently while the confession is received and restoration is possible, there will be a loss of all works (probably), until repentance restores such a one. See Sin; Forgiveness; Ezekiel 18,26,27.
Hebrews 10:29 (KJV)
29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? 38 Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.
To comprehend the moral lesson intended here, two words in the text are important. Just (DIKAIOS), Vine says, “First used of persons observant of … custom, rule, right, especially in the fulfillment of duties towards gods and men, and with things that were in accordance with right. Faith (pistis), reliance in or upon. In most cases this word is used to incorporate the whole scheme of salvation with Christ as the only means of justification in God’s sight. See word studies in the New Testament, M.R. Vincent, Volume IV; and word studies in the Greek New Testament, K.S. Wuest, Volume II; and Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament words. It does not subdue or negate the observance of moral precept, it intensifies it! For if obedience to the moral law that came through Moses was the intent to produce righteousness and failed Deuteronomy 6:17,18; Galatians 3:10; then the whole efficacious act of Calvary was to make man righteous; to provide the power to live righteously! If man was alienated from God for violation of the moral law then the purpose of justification is a simple conclusion: that “the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit”. Romans 8:4; See 2 Peter 3:14.
Hebrews 11:24 By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter;
Moses “refused” to become the son of the Egyptian princess. “NO” means, I love you Jesus! Joseph refused Potiphar’s wife. Mordecai refused to bow. Daniel refused to make a man his God. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego refused to bow to an image.
As Jesus started His earthly ministry, in the wilderness He shouted NO! three times in the Devil’s face. Matthew 4:3-11.
Hebrews 11:25 Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;
THE ENEMY CALLED PLEASURE
What gives you pleasure determines your character. Knowledge is what we know to be good and right. When we choose pleasure over what we know is good, which is lack of self-control, we fail ourselves, increase our weakness and do a disservice to ourselves. When we do a selfish act, we not only lose self respect, but we rob ourselves of ultimate happiness. To sin against knowledge is simply to seek pleasure over right. See Galatians 5:17. Pleasure is immediate results over what is Result Cult ultimately good. The indulgence of self in pleasure is an immediate personal delight at the cost of ultimate good. When Christians will defend a preference of pleasure over any moral commandment, they reveal where their affections lie. A trait of holy character is resolve in the matters of right. Don’t confuse what is good with what is pleasant.
Hebrews 11:26 Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward.
For those who have the philosophy that status in the world is a great credit to God and an asset to the church, study the scriptures. God doesn’t need anyone in a high position to pull strings for Him. If He has the power to promote, He has the power to control the world from a beggar’s hovel … or change the world’s destiny with a carpenter’s son! Jeremiah 45:5; Ezekiel 28:5; Matthew 13:22; Mark 4:19; Luke 8:14; Mark 10:23; I Timothy 6:9; Proverbs 20:22; Revelation 3:17.
Hebrews 12:1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
We who seek the holiness life must forever get rid of the idea that “sin” is our only problem. Anything that impedes or effects my dedication to Christ must be considered a weight – not wrong, but it slows my spiritual progress and reflects on my self-discipline, and whether I have Spirit control.
Hebrews 12:10 For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.
Read Hebrews 12:6-11. Note: 1. “For their own pleasure” 2. “For our profit”
The perfect chastiser.
The perfect chastening.
The perfect child (holiness).
There is calamity in the life of both sinner and saint. The difference is that we suffer for a purpose and always have a sense of Divine design – the sinner just suffers.
Hebrews 12:14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:
The first thing to be said of this scripture, is that it should never be quoted in part! This verse does not say, “Without holiness, no man shall see the Lord.” It says, “Follow peace with all men, and holiness …” The tendency to quote only part of this scripture reflects a rather serious imperfection on the part of holiness brethren. Do we have our own kind of preferences? You only have half of a religion if you only have half of this verse. a) “Follow peace with all men,” is the first part of this commandment. It demands that we maintain a sweet spiritual attitude toward those around us. Notice Paul’s universal application; “with all men.” This means saint and sinner alike! This word follow is not the common Greek word, AKOLOUTHEO, meaning merely to follow, but a much stronger word, DIOKO, meaning to pursue or be in pursuit of. This commandment corresponds with Paul’s strong admonition in Romans 12:18, “as much as lieth within you, follow peace with all men.” That sounds like a pretty strong effort. Jesus did not go to the cross for good people, he went to the cross for sinners. He loved “all men” and thereby revealed to us again that He truly possessed “the spirit of holiness.” Romans 1:4 He sought all men with love. When the angels came announcing His birth, they were singing, “Peace on earth good will toward men.” That was a world run by the pagan Roman Empire, vicious heathen nomads and the apostate Hebrew power structure, full of legalism (Talmudism). When He came He was firm where extreme measures were demanded. But how gracious was the scene when he looked down in the darkness from Golgotha and asked the Father to forgive them. This “peace with all men” is an area of holiness that needs much attention and cultivation among “holiness” brethren. Before our holiness can be valid, this scripture sends a clear message that there is something that precedes it – a peaceful spirit toward all men. A love for God that lacks a love for man (black, yellow, red, white) cancels both. “How can we love God whom we have not seen if we do not love man (black, yellow, red, white) whom we have seen?” Good question! Thank you John for that word from the Holy Ghost! I John 4:20. Holiness is separation from the world and regard for the commandment. But separation from the world includes more than its dress and hairstyles – it includes hate, prejudice, superior attitudes, pride, haughtiness – doing anything to anyone you wouldn’t want anybody to do to you, holding grudges. It’s all part of the true holy life. It’s all worldliness! Commandments? Start with Hebrews 12:14. Then Romans 12:9, “Let love be without dissimulation (hypocrisy).” That is to say, there can be pretense in a professing Christian’s love. The holy heart treats all men equal and senses the wrong of feeling another man is inferior because of his race, his education, or his status in life. Holiness with racial prejudice is hypocrisy in its worst form and of the lowest degree of spirituality. Holiness is first “following peace with all men.” b) “And holiness.” hagiasmos, referring to our state of holiness through the process of sanctification. See I Thessalonians 3:13. Peace with all men speaks of our right relationship with men, holiness speaks of our right relationship to God. But note the order of this commandment. Peace with man precedes holiness. The fact is, you cannot say two things at the same time, you have to say one before the other, and in this case the Holy Spirit chose to put our relationship with others first that we might understand the importance of peace with others in our pursuit of holiness to God. Obedience to the commandments is based upon the principle of love (others), not only for God whom we have not seen, but for men, poor men, men with running sores, for the destitute, for women with scalding tears and children crying through the night, fatherless and motherless. It seems we are to get ourselves right with all men before we can approach to Lord claiming “holiness.” I John 4:20. God loves people, love for people joined with love for the moral law of God proves you have the love of God in you. That’s holiness. Jesus supped with publicans and sinners, with social rejects and even answered the prayer of a Roman centurion. Yet He remained gracious, holy and resolute about all matters of moral purity. Matthew 8; John 14:30.
WHAT IS BIBLE HOLINESS?
Isaiah describes it as a way within a way, “and it shall be called the way of holiness, the unclean shall not pass over it.” David calls it the “beauty of holiness.” The apostle John called it being “made perfect in love”; Christ called it “the pure in heart”; Paul called it “life and peace,” “the crucifixion of the old man,” “being made free from sin,” a condition in which “the Lord imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.”
WHAT HOLINESS IS NOT
1. It is not absolute perfection – that belongs to God alone.
2. Neither is it angelic perfection that is promised. Angels never make mistakes and we [do. Angels have supernatural powers we do not possess, such as fourth dimension existence, and translation from location to location, without sin in the body.]
3. Nor is it Adamic perfection that is commanded, but Christian perfection that is commanded, according to Matthew 5:48, having the same mind and possessing the same love as Jesus.
4. Holiness is not perfect knowledge: it is not perfection of the head, but a perfect heart that is promised. Not many mighty men can see the Way of Holiness, but some poor fishermen of Galilee did, and we have known hundreds of the Lord’s poor who enjoy this blessing, while many who are very learned could not understand it.
5. Holiness is not freedom from infirmities. The Holy Spirit helpeth our infirmities, but never helps our sins. The apostle Paul gloried in his infirmities because the power of Christ rested upon him, but he did not glory in his sin. Therefore holiness admits of many infirmities, but not one sin.
6. Holiness is not freedom from temptation, [for] temptation is not sin unless you yield to it. We shall always be open to the attacks of Satan, for in no other way could our allegiance to God be proved, than by trials and temptations.
7. Holiness is not regeneration. -This is the birth of the soul into the kingdom of God, which includes forgiveness of sins, the impartation of life eternal, and the witness of the Spirit to our acceptance with God. Holiness is the [process of] removal of indwelling sin from the soul. Romans 3:20-28.
8. Holiness is not a state from which you cannot fall, but a condition where you may be kept from falling as you walk in the light. It is not that you are unable to sin, but by the power of God you [have no desire] to sin. You may not understand very much or comprehend the deep things of God, but you can be pure in heart.
Hebrews 12:15 Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;
Sometimes staying pure in our spirits requires a little digging. The “roots” are not seen that lie under the surface. If you “nip it in the bud” it may have been let to grow too long. Better yet, “nip it in the root.” Be sensitive to even the unseen presence of anything, any thought that may spring up into “trouble.” 2 Corinthians 10:5 Bitterness defiles “many.”
Hebrews 13:5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
Would to God our television ministries would start teaching the doctrine of contentedness and lay the covetous want of riches doctrine to rest! It would be very difficult to separate covetousness from the doctrine that teaches prosperity and abundance of material things through “faith.”
Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.
YESTERDAY, TODAY AND FOREVER – Terms of time and eternity.
Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever Hebrews 13:8 And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundred fold, and shall inherit eternal life. Matthew 19:29
Time is ethereal, it has no substance. You cannot touch it, or see it But it is the common commodity of life! Spend it wisely, it will give you happiness! It is only your enemy when you waste it! TIME IS CALIBRATED BY THE SOLAR SYSTEM and God dwells beyond the sphere of time. He is not subject to time, or effected by it. The memory of angels goes into the eternities! Man tends to interpret everything by only those things he can relate to in his little tiny period of time called, life.
God is a timeless God, He lives in the realm of eternity. In time values change. In the kingdom of God they do not! In eternity it is only holiness. GOD IS LIGHT – IT IS UNCHANGING Light is a constant. Light is energy. Light produces truth, color, form.
Hebrews 13:9 It is a good thing that the heart be established with grace;
When unrest comes, check the grace list in Titus 2:11,12.
Hebrews 13:12 Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate.
“Not Christ’s triumphal entrance into the earthly Jerusalem, honored of all, the center of hosannas, effected our sanctification, but his departure without the gate to shed his blood on Calvary for us. Holiness and humility, saintliness and suffering, are always associated.”Too many today admire the popular Christ who entered Jerusalem, but know nothing of the exhausted bleeding man crawling through the streets amid the howls and jeers of a spitting mob toward Golgotha.
Hebrews 13:20 Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, 21 Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.
“The God who gave us ‘peace’ in conversion is here asked – not only to make us personally perfect – but to make us perfect in every good work that is pleasing in his sight – to make us personally and practically perfect. The God who gives ‘peace’ in conversion, gives also ‘perfection’ in sanctification. This perfection is personal and practical.” See Dichotomy of Salvation; Romans 3:20.
James 3:17 “But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.”
James 1:4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
“There is, then, a possibility of our being so fully saved that we may be – perfect – entire – wanting nothing. ‘May be’ – what a privilege! What an assurance! How complete the perfect work of patience – ‘that ye may be perfect, entire, wanting nothing.’ These last three expressions are a trinity of complete [and final truth].” Well, for those who would argue against perfection, it seems the scripture has come forth with a thundering retort. “It is not only possible to be perfect, but in addition to being perfect you can also be entire and wanting nothing!” It is a state only reached through the portals of prayer and Holy Ghost saturation.
James 1:13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:
God is the source of good and not evil. James 1:17. It must be understood that God ut environment. It is that physical world around me that constantly filters through my senses to mold the inner man – the impression of physical things on my personality. Environment is the appearance of physical things around us we are conscious of. But as Christians we are not only interested in the environment we choose for ourselves, but the environment we become to others. If environment molds life, then I am molding someone else’s life when I become a part of their environment. There are basically two kinds of environment. 1) Social, and 2) Non- social environment. The physical appearance of people, or biological environment, has by far the most profound effect on human behavior. People have the strongest effect on us because of the biological ties that attract us to each other. It is for this reason that society does things together, such as follow a trend or a fashion. It is this factor that creates such phenomenon in social order as the sub-culture. It is the power of man upon man! We conclude from experience, from science, as well as from scripture, that by far the most powerful influence on human behavior is the visible, biological attractions between people. Therefore, how we appear to each other in our visible, physical form, can have either a moralizing or demoralizing effect on others. Suddenly certain commandments peculiar to the New Testament regarding the Christian’s appearance begin to make sense. It is for this reason the scripture teaches some very explicit principles regarding our visible appearance and conduct. The moral regulations of Moses, Jesus and the apostles are based on this principle. Deuteronomy 22:5; I Thessalonians 5:22; I Timothy 2:9-10; I Peter 3:3. The true Christian’s love will show a moral concern for others by the way he or she appears and acts in their presence. Scriptural holy life teaching is not the peculiar thinking of an ancient age or the tradition of an era. It is biblical lifestyle that guarantees the happiness and power of God in any age when taken seriously. Moral regulations in the Bible regarding the visible man are given to purify environment so that in turn God can visit us in an atmosphere more ideal to Him! Each time we pray, we should ask the Lord to help us not to be moral pollution to another person’s environment in any way … to keep us from contributing any unwholesome distractions … from emitting any biological impurities into the environment of another person’s life.
James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
Here James attributes all good and goodness as coming from God. God is the source of all goodness, there being no evil in Him. See Immutable Genesis 1; Matthew 7:11; 19:17.
James 1:21 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.
We are to have control of ourselves. To say we have no control over our behavior is not what scripture teaches. See Initiative. But a more evil error is to say that when I do control myself in accordance with the Word, that God is not pleased because “it’s your own effort” and therefore self-righteousness. Silly! Does the Holy Spirit have to “control” me or did He give me a new mind and heart, set up His presence within me and then delights when I make the choice to do righteously?
James 1:26 If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.
James exposes a terrible fact here, that my tongue can deceive my heart and void the validity of my Christianity.
James 1:27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.
Here is another illustration of the clear difference between righteousness (dikiosune) and holiness (hagiasmos); “to visit the fatherless and widows” (righteousness), “and to keep himself unspotted from the world” (holiness). Verse 26 describes vain religion, but verse 27 tells us that pure religion is full of compassion and unspotted from the world. This is another illustration joining obedience to compassion for obedience to be valid. See I Corinthians 13; Luke 15. Isn’t it strange how that man either wants a religion that is all obedience without compassion or all compassion without obedience. Compassion must be with obedience and obedience with compassion for either to be valid. Being “unspotted.” This word aspilos is derived from spilos (4696), a defect. Here James is saying a-spilos, meaning without defect. Ephesians 5:27 True religion is holiness with compassion. James puts in a few simple words what scripture teaches throughout. See Compassion, Obedience.
THE IMPORTANCE OF (BEING WITHOUT) SPOTS
Holiness people are often accused of being scrupulous and argumentative about “little things.” Holiness people are perfectionists. We take the matter of separation as seriously as we do the blood! Romans 8:11-13; 2 Peter 1:5-10. In the pursuit of holiness we have a concern in regards to little things. A spark is all it takes to send a fiery conflagration raging across the land in devastation of beauty and life. We confess that we are concerned about “little things” because it is those little foxes that spoil the vines and spots that blemish the white robes of redemption. Song of Solomon 2:15. The holiness life is sensitive to the slightest irregularity – in our own life – on our own robes of white! Not the whole garment being faded or discolored, torn or stained, but one single spot or blemish on the garment is to be a matter of immediate concern. To those who say little things do not count, we would make these observations;
1. A man can sit on a mountain; but he can’t sit on a tack.
2. Plagues that rage over nations and become historically black memories (such as the Black plague of France) are constituted of invisible to the eye microscopic bacteria.
3. Atoms, sub-atomic particles threaten the extinction of man and end history.
4. Read James 3:2.
For the want of a nail, the shoe was lost.
For the want of a shoe, the horse was lost.
For the want of a horse, the soldier was lost.
For the want of a soldier, the battle was lost.
For the want of a battle, the war was lost.
For the want of the war, a nation was lost.
All for the want of a nail.
James 2:1 My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons. 2 For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment; 3 And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool:
The Gospel is classless! James gives us moral instructions regarding not showing any kind of respect for persons on a class basis.
James 2:8 If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, 12 So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty.
THE ROYAL LAW OF LIBERTY
The study of this phrase is very rewarding. It renews an appreciation in the mercy and work of the Lord Jesus Christ. In determining the interpretation of the “law of liberty” the words nomos and eleutheria must be studied in light of New Testament meanings. The words seem to contradict each other and thus bring a lot of confusion but I believe they go well together. The noun nomos is used one hundred ninety one times in the New Testament and ten times by James with five of those coming in chapter 2:8-12. (One time in 1:25 and four other times in 4:11) Within this context its meaning is “a rule governing ones actions” with the new law contrasted with the old law. In the Jewish community this consisted of the commandments found in the Mosaic writings, but now with the coming of Christ and the changes made by Him the law was “removed from its mediatorial position and opened up access to God.” Jesus summed up the Law in two great commandments (Lk 10:25-28). He dealt with the new meaning behind the law in the Sermon on the Mount. James sees this distinction in his discussion of the law in James 2:8-12. He first mentions the royal law which is one of the great commandments given by Jesus. Then he goes on to explain how that the partiality under discussion is both a transgression of this law and the whole law as given by Moses and the ten commandments. In verse 12 he beings his concluding remarks in that we should order our life in accordance with the law of liberty. It seems obvious in the context that this law of liberty then is a pattern for life and a guide for our deeds that was instituted by Jesus. It seems synonymous to the royal law to love our neighbor as our self, a part of Jesus’ command. In a broader sense the phrase could then refer “to those collections of Christ’s sayings, such as the Sermon on the Mount and the Discourse on the Plain which was regarded as the rule of life.” Perhaps even the whole gospel account. However as we look at the word eleutheria, the word for liberty, we find even deeper meanings behind this phrase. This word occurs eleven times in the New Testament and in each of these times it is of much importance in understanding this phrase. Freedom in the New Testament is not political freedom or some philosophical position that sees man as free to do as he pleases. Liberty for the New Testament Christian is put in contrast to the Jewish system of detailed religious ordinances. (I Cor. 10:19; Gal. 2:14; 2 Cor. 3:14; Gal. 5:4) No longer does man strive for righteousness by observing minute regulations given to him (which is impossible. Rom. 3:20- 22), but that righteousness is obtained by accepting Christ and His redemption by faith. Christ brought a freedom from this yoke of bondage within the As well though, this freedom that Christ brought is also a liberty from the awful slave-master, sin. By the Liberty power of Christ in us and by the Spirit we have a principle in our life that gives us an impetus to live above sin in a far greater way than man has ever done before. (Rom. 6:18,22) We are free from the mountainous volume and weight of the law and free from that bent to sin. No longer is every right thing we do a regulation written down somewhere and no longer do we find it so easy or desirous to do wrong. A great freedom! This freedom then is a new way of life in which man finds himself wanting to live in accordance with God’s will and being able to do so. It frees man to become all that he is meant to be. Both words, nomos and eleutheria, Initiative refer to a way of life though perhaps from slightly different angles. nomos perhaps refers to man’s responsibility where eleutheria refers to God’s grace and mercy which enables man to meet that responsibility. The law of liberty is aptly named on two counts. “It is not a law enforced by compulsion from without, but it has been freely accepted as expressing the desire and aim of it.” This law is freely chosen. Second and most important the law brings liberty to those who bring themselves under its authority. “The preceding context and 2:13 make it clear that deeds of mercy are the chief element in the law of liberty.” As the mercy of Christ is the only cause of our righteousness, so likewise are mercy and grace to conduct and rule our lives. The law of liberty then is principle within man that directs his way to live and comes to him only through the regenerating power and redemption of Christ (Gal. 2:4) and by the presence of the Holy Spirit. (2 Cor. 3:17) This law of liberty is focused in two underlying principles, to serve men (Gal. 5:13; I Cor. 9:19; I Cor. 10:24) and to glorify God in all that we do. (I Cor. 10:29-31). “The action of the Jew in the Old Testament was governed by requirements of the law. The action of the Christian is controlled by his love for his fellow man and his desire to please God.” These two press upon our life an undying desire to perform totally the will of God. Thus the law of liberty may be “called perfect because it carries out, completes, and realizes the object and meaning of the Mosaic law which it replaces.” The aim of the law of liberty is, by the Spirit of the Lord, to conform us into the image of the Lord. (2 Cor. 3:17,18; James 1:25) From these scriptures we [learn] that the law of liberty is the glory of the Lord which we attempt to reflect in our lives and by which we shall be judged.
James 2:17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. 18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. 19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. 20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? 24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. (See 2 Peter 3:14)
This second chapter of James is a emphasis Works needed to bring a balance to the whole New Testament text.
James 2:24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.
James 2:24 is a “blockbuster!” It obliterates the neat theological concepts of contemporary interpretation. In fact the initiative of the believer (follow initiative reference for study) is a doctrine the Bible is replete with and will not tolerate the humanistic theology of grace that salvation is conditionless. See Precept/Promise. [On the surface this verse seems to be] a flat contradiction of Paul’s statement, “Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin” (Romans 3:20). How can we reconcile the teaching of Paul’s “justification by grace without works” and the teaching of James’ “justification by works.” Do they contradict each other? To understand this Scripture as well as any other, we must always ask two questions. First, to whom is he talking? and second, what is he talking about? Apply this rule to the teaching of Paul and James. Paul in Romans is telling us how a sinner can be justified in God’s sight, and that is by faith alone. The key phrase is, “in his (God’s) sight.” How can a sinner be saved and justified in God’s sight? The answer is: by faith, and faith alone. But James is discussing the question, How can this believer, already justified in the sight of God, now be justified in the sight of men? The answer is: by works. God sees faith in the heart of the repentant sinner, and declares him justified; but men will never know it, until they see it in the conduct and works of this saved man. We are justified in God’s sight by faith; we are justified in the sight of men only by our works. Faith is the ROOT, and works are the FRUIT. Both Paul and James refer us to the life of Abraham as an example of justification by faith, and by works. Paul calls our attention to an entirely different incident in Abraham’s life than does James. Abraham was justified in the sight of God when he believed what God said concerning a promised son. Romans 4:3 says, “… Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.” It was faith without works. But when James uses Abraham as an example of justification by works, he refers us to an experience in Abraham’s life which was many years after. It was his sacrifice of his son Isaac in obedience to God. This was the public demonstration of his faith. By this act of sacrifice he proved to men the reality of his faith in God. James therefore says: “Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? (James 2:21). Note these words, when he had offered his son. Abraham had been justified by faith in God’s sight over thirty years previously, but now when (after) he had offered up his son, he justified his faith in the sight of all men. This is the answer to the error of Antinomianism, which teaches that since we are saved by grace, it makes no difference how we live. It is an error just as serious as legalism. James 2:14 through 26 is a point of balance that may indicate the early church’s problem of conditionless grace as we are experiencing today. Romans 3:20 with Ephesians 2:8,9 have been used to imply salvation is without works. James corrects that error with scripture and logic here. Let us clarify though, that neither (or any) scripture teaches saving faith apart from works or condition. In Romans 3:20, Paul was speaking of justification and not salvation in the total duration of the Christian experience. In Ephesians Paul did speak of works if we read verse 10. But when we find someone who contends we are saved only by the blood of Jesus – they are correct! But to stay saved, obedience to the royal law of liberty is required. See Obedience; Initiative; Romans 5:25; 2 Peter 1:10.
James 3:2 For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body. (James 1:26)
Nothing more conclusively demonstrates any man’s perfection than inoffensiveness in words. ‘Out of the abundance of a good heart the mouth speaketh.’ and profession of perfect love may be neutralized by offensive language. Blessing and cursing cannot consistently proceed out of the same mouth. ‘The words of the pure are pleasant words’. (Proverbs 15:26)” What a tremendous all encompassing statement! The man who can bridle, or control the tongue, has enough sanctifying power and anointing upon his life that he can control the whole body. The man who can control his tongue has the same power it takes to control sin impulses in the body. The tongue being the most unruly member of the human body calls for special concentration of sanctifying powers. If we don’t, it in turn threatens our progress in sanctification. It stands to reason that the thing I would have the most difficult time controlling would be the greatest threat to my sanctification. James tells us that the tongue is “the most unruly member of the body.” A good barometer then, of supernatural morality or true Calvary love abiding within, is the control I have over my tongue. Conversation and conduct, lip and live, are not only a damning threat to my own destiny, but can bring pain and knifing hurt to others. The Christian seeking sanctification will take heed to the words of James 3:8, “Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell. But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God.” James is pressing hard on this sinful member of the body. Christians will not commit the “scarlet sins” with their body, but seem to place a justifiable reason for committing iniquity with the tongue. Many precious Christians who have fallen and try so hard to recover and go on with God are cut down again and again by “church tongues.” Instead of “restore,” we “destroy.” With the tongue more than the boot we kick the man down each time he tries to raise up. It is better to be the fallen person struggling to recover than the professing saint with a tongue controlled by hell! The preference of the sanctified life, of course, is to avoid both. No man can tame it! But Christ can! Concerning the tongue, its sins are legion. It is capable of falsehood; false witness; lying; slander; gossip; flattery; tale bearing; blasphemy; cursing; profanity; loquacity; mockery; railings; insult; filthiness (stories); levity; debate; accusation; defamation; reviling and murmuring. Find a sin in the Bible where the tongue was not taking a major part. Scripture warns of the sinful tongue often and the guilt it can bring. The tongue and its sinful powers is perhaps one of the greatest transgressions of professing holiness people. It takes a club or weapon to hurt or kill a man’s body – but with only words you can murder a soul for eternity! See Psalm 41:6-9; Proverbs 13:3; 18:6,7,13; 10:18; Jeremiah 6:28; 9:4; Romans 1:29; I Corinthians 6:10; 2 Corinthians 12:20; I Peter 2:1.You can tell a good man by his tongue.
James 3:13 Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.
The word conversation always means conduct or behavior. The holiness Christian, knowledgeable and wise, will out of that wisdom and knowledge produce good moral conduct.
James 3:17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.
Here is God’s list of priorities. A good verse to hold in the heart and give guidance to the sanctified. This is one of the Bible’s best description of the spiritual life. Another description of spirituality is found in Psalm 15. See Integrity for other scriptures that define the qualities of a holy life.
James 4:3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. 4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
Here is one of the strongest statements scripture makes against worldliness. New birth in Christ means complete and utter enmity with the world. It is a serious thing to have a wrong relationship with the world. It so embraces some they do not even realize God has left their life. See Judges 16:20; Revelation 3:17. We say there are three things opposed to the Christ-life (Sin, Satan and Self), but the world is the environment of all three! The world is the flesh pot where Satan, sin and self seethe away! See Worldliness; 2 Timothy 4:10. When you make an acronym of Satan, Sin and Self, you come out with, “SSS” …the sound of the world and … the sssnake. I John 2:15.
James 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.
The sinner’s initiative is involved in the cleansing! Volition and will of the Christian is clearly involved in taking the initiative in, 1) Submission, 2) Resistance to the devil, 3) Drawing nigh to God, 4) Cleansing of evil works, 5) Purifying of the heart. Yes, the Holy Spirit is the agent and the giver of faith and power, but my will must cooperate to execute the act of righteousness.
James 4:9 Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.
What a blow to the Charismatic philosophy that God wants us to be happy, to smile all the time. Singing groups are taught to smile broadly and put on a happiness act while they’re singing that is not natural. Leaders teach the choir to smile at the audience while singing. You’ll see this if you watch for it. Actually, good reasoning would make one believe that it’s difficult to do the best job of singing while you’re trying to keep a smile going. Worship and Christian service is a matter of serious truth. A grinning Gospel is not the correct image of the Christian experience. It’s just more phony psychology in the church. There are precious times of rejoicing and holy laughter, but let’s not manufacture it. We are dealing with destinies, problems, real life, we are doing battle with sin. Away with theatrics! “Be afflicted, mourn, weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.”
James 5:16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
THE PRAYERS OF A RIGHTEOUS MAN
The neo-fundamentalists has so emphasized a show of emotional praise, that a wrong kind of communion with God has developed. Prayer is not deep enough until God gets our attention and can reveal our faults to us. Prayer is not contrite enough. A happy, dancing, giggling kind of prayer and praise attempts to prevail in the church. Deep supplication, intercession, fasting, the sorrow, the weeping between the porch and the altar, the brokenness, contriteness of prayer is gone. The labor of prayer in the closet has turned into a therapy of praise and dance. Neo-fleshology emphasizes praise over traditional doctrines of intercession and secret prayer. The key word here is the word, righteous! (DIKAIOS, equates character, just in conduct). And remember, this is character and justness on God’s terms based on biblical revelation of moral standard. A man himself must be righteous before his prayers can be right. Prayer itself, no matter how often, how long, means nothing apart from the righteousness of the person praying. This is what the apostle meant when he said, the fervent prayer of a “righteous” man availeth much. He is qualifying the pray-er as much as the prayer. There’s too much praise and not enough righteous prayer. So it must be there is such a thing as fervent prayer of those who are not righteous.
1 Peter 4:1 “Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;”
1 Peter 1:2 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.
Peter is speaking to Christians and alludes to those essentials that keep us saved: sanctification and obedience with “the sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ.” Here it is again; this all important doctrinal order of difference between instantaneous justification through the blood of Jesus our Savior and sanctification through our obedience to our Lord Jesus Christ. See Romans 3:20; 8:29; Dichotomy.
1 Peter 1:13 Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;
Self austerity is vital to Christian discipleship and self-improvement. Neo-Christianity avoids this, emphasizing pleasantries. Of course, it’s quite easy to obey a religion that has no laws, no order, no substance! Austerity is needed in especially the modern environment that is diametric to the Bible holiness message of Christian perfection. Peter’s words reflect resolution; a very important element of character. Character is defined as good moral judgment with resolution. Jesus was different than the Pharisees and Sadducees because “He spoke with authority.” He spoke with serious tones in His voice. Hard preaching is in style for the anointed ministry and for those who would follow in the steps of Jesus, living in an age of apostasy and moral corruption. Our Lord was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief at periods in His ministry. Yes, the church needs a new outlook on spiritual moods and attitudes. Just as nations seeking economic recovery, the church needs a new spiritual austerity program if it is going to stem the tide and accomplish a moral recovery. 2 Chronicles 7:14. Some call it reform.
1 Peter 1:14 As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:
“As obedient children, do not let your character be shaped any longer by the desires you cherished in your days of ignorance.” (New English Bible) Worldliness is the result of ignorance of God’s Word. Worldliness is the sign of a dumb saint. Worldliness is a form of ignorance just as separation is a sign of holy wisdom. Romans 12:1,2.
1 Peter 1:15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; 16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
God’s Word is God’s law. God’s law is God’s will. God’s will is God’s way. Will, God’s We have, 1) God’s holy nature as the divine model for us to pattern our lives after. 2) The injunction to the believer to look to God as his model and fashion our lives after His. See Perfection. Paul says the same things in his epistle to Initiative the Philippians (3:11-16). He there epitomized the whole work of perfection with the words, “I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” (v.14). Over and over again the old lady kept praying, “Lord, take your Holy Broom and sweep out the spider webs, Lord, take your Holy Broom and sweep out the spider webs!” Finally the Lord spoke to her and said, “kill the spider.”
THE COMMAND TO HOLINESS
“Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.” I John 4:17. Exodus 19:6; Leviticus 11:44;19:2; 20:7,26; Amos 3:3; Matthew 5:48; I Thessalonians 4:7; Revelation 22:11,14. It is quite certain God is speaking to us personally [when He said], “YE.” It was to believers who knew the meaning of opposition and persecution that Peter issued this trumpet call to holiness. There is an Indian saying: The perfume of holiness travels even against the wind. We are to be “blameless and harmless the sons of God without rebuke in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation among whom ye shine as lights in the world.” Philippians 2:15.
1. THE LAW OF HOLINESS.
“Be ye holy.” A command is issued: It is repeated in the next verse; 5 times in the book of Leviticus. Matthew Henry said, Be ye holy, is the great and fundamental law of religion … Holiness is the heart of our Christian faith … Holiness is the theme of all scripture. The New Testament is a blaze with it. Its whole revelation points to the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ, as the standard of Christian duty and privilege. There is no escaping its sanction, it is a law not an option. That is why no one can afford to be indifferent to the question of holiness. What is holiness? It is complete conformity in all things great and small alike to the holy will of God [as revealed in scripture]. The possibility of holiness is in the fact that He commanded it. No pains were spared to impress the idea that nothing is too pure or good [when offered] to God. a) Sacrifices to be without Standards blemish. b) Vessels of precious material and perfect workmanship. c) Bread unleavened. d) Altar built of whole stones. e) Priests free from all bodily defect. f) Clothes of worshipers washed clean.
2. THE AIM OF HOLINESS.
“As He [which hath called you] is holy.” v.15. The nature of God Himself is at once the measure and the goal of holiness. 2 Peter 1:4 It is from Him that we receive the Model Image model. Three elements combine in the Bible disclosure of God’s holy being. a) AWESOMENESS, b) EXALTATION, and c) SEPARATION FROM SIN. God’s holiness was that part of His nature which reacted against sin.
3. THE GROUND OF HOLINESS. “As He which hath called you.” v.15. Holiness in the believer is a work of the Spirit which presupposes and builds on a prior call of God. v.2. Holiness is no after-thought, no postscript, it is the age-long purpose of the Almighty. “He hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love.” Ephesians 1:14; Leviticus 20:26
4. THE SCOPE OF HOLINESS.
“In Holiness all manner of conversation.” v.15. The extent of holiness is forcibly underlined here. It covers every department of life. To the Christian every side of life belongs to God, and holiness applies everywhere. Church, home, job or leisure. [Separation from the unclean, the Unclean theme of Leviticus chapter 11. “Unclean is found 39 times!] God Himself distinguishes what is clean or unclean for His people. The unclean animals are know by their feet and mouth. This points to our walk and word as evidence of our being clean before the Lord. Leviticus 11:4. [The ground, bushes, animals, fire, incense, buildings, materials, nations, people, days, blood, occasions and all manner of things declared holy by God.] So separation from evil and from compromising allegiance is the price of true convictions. The Christian and the world live at best under an uneasy truce. Compromise is impossible and surrender unthinkable.
1 Peter 1:22 Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:
1 Peter 2:1 Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, 2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:
E. Stanley Jones said, “We are very immature people attempting to handle very mature problems. Our biggest problems are created when we possess great powers, but do not have the maturity to handle them.”
1 Peter 2:5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. 9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: 11 Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; 12 Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.
1 Peter 2:24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness:
1 Peter 3:2 While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear.
HOLINESS STANDARD OF THE EARLY CHURCH
Cyprian says, Chastity is the Body dignity of the body. The ornament of morality, the sacredness of the sexes, the bond of modesty, the source of purity, the peacefulness of home, and the crown of concord, the mother of innocency and the adornment of beauty. Unchastity is the prostitution of beauty. Chastity adds to you the discipline of good morals. It is the principles of service and the service to principles. It is not careful whom it pleases, but itself, always modest the mother of innocency, ever adorned with modesty alone. Only conscious of being conspicuous when in the presence of the wicked. Seeks nothing in the way of adornments, commends us to God and unites us with Christ, drives from our bodies all illicit conflicts of desire and instills into our bodies, peace. Chastity is a virtuous mind watching over the body. Un-possessors cannot accuse it since they admire much but are unable to capture it because it is venerable (worthy of great respect) to its enemies. Unchastity damages by attraction and is the foe of continency, the madness of lust, the destruction of good conscience. The anxiety of beauty, the mother of impenitence. Anxiety about beauty is the wisdom of an evil mind. She is not a modest woman who strives to stir up the fancy of another. The wearing of gold shows the extravagance of a boastful soul. It is not the woman who is adorned but her vices are made manifest. Moreover to chastity, brethren, are suited and are known first of all divine modesty, and the sacred meditation of divine precepts, and a soul inclined to faith, a mind attuned to the sacredness of Christianity, then carefulness that nothing should be elaborated beyond measure or extended beyond propriety, nothing should be made a show of, nothing artfully colored.
1 Peter 3:3 Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; 4 But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. (See 3:2) 3:11 11 Let him eschew evil, and do good; 13 And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good? (See Galatians 5:17) 15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: 1 Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; 2 That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God. 3 For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries: 4 Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you: 7 But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.
Flesh is not to be pampered, it is assigned to death. Only death stops sin – sin is in the flesh. See Romans 6:6,7. What a blow this first verse is to the prosperity heresy.
2 Peter 1:3 “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:”
2 Peter 1:3 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: 4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. 5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; 6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; 7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. 8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
His provisions are for the life of “godliness,” “the divine nature” and “virtue” and nothing here mentioned for flesh prosperity. Note words: Godliness, virtue, divine nature, corruption in the world, and lust. In this first chapter of Peter’s second epistle, he makes progressive sanctification (our moral state) something clearly different from being made Holy the instant of repentance and justification (our standing). This prompting us to pursue the stations of achievement speak of a course of time, duration.
2 Peter 2:1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. 2 And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. 3 And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.
See Jude, Characteristics of Apostates; 2 Timothy 4:3. Christians of traditional holiness persuasion everywhere are concerned with the moral corruption creeping into Evangelical ranks. These conditions are upon us and our voices must be lifted in warning.
1. They shall be among the people.
2. They will teach false doctrines.
3. “Who privily (pareimi, meaning to be very near, at hand) bring in damnable heresies.
4. “Denying the Lord.” Note the apostates inability to cope with the lordship of Jesus. They do not deny His blood nor His deity, not even His power. Their hang-up is on the matter of His lordship, or His divine authority, the moral law. Note Philippians 3:18, Paul stated they were the “enemies of the cross of Christ.” He did not say they were Christ’s enemies, but enemies of His cross, the symbol of death to self.
5. “Bring upon themselves swift destruction.” They may enjoy the glory and notoriety for a season, but they are on the path of self-destruction.
6. “And many shall follow their pernicious ways.” Not some, but many will follow their teaching because it appeals to the body oriented lifestyle. This word apoleia translated pernicious here means destructive or destruction.
7. “By reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.” Two conclusions can be made here on the surface and both are correct. a) The lewdness of liberalism becomes so apparent, they become a reproach to the true Gospel. b) Speaking of the new liberation Gospel’s attack on the traditional holiness movement.
8. “Through covetousness [and]…with feigned words.” Here again is revealed their False strong affection for material things, for luxury, for pleasure and worldly lifestyle. Are they motivated with “feigned words.” These “false profit$” use language that is to their material advantage. They use positivism, love, any non-offensive language guaranteeing eternal life apart from obedience and holiness (separation unto God). They are counseled by their promotion agents, motivators and business psychology experts, pulling dollars to “make merchandise of you.”
9. “Whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.” God in His patience and tolerance has allowed them to exist for some good reasons that may include to try the church.
2 Peter 2:7 And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked:
THE VIRTUE OF THE MALCONTENTS
How was Lot vexed? The word vexed comes from the Greek word KATAPONEO (928), under constant pressure and tension. What vexed Lot? “The filthy conduct of the wicked.” Sin does vex the righteous. It makes the holy sick and malcontent. Sin is the word to describe gross human misconduct. It’s always an affront to God and His children. Sin is rebellion against divine order (government). Sin murdered Jesus of Nazareth. Sin separates man from God. Does sin vex the modern Christian? Do we laugh and dance along with it? Do we enter their halls and join their milling crowds? Do we play their music, lose our self in the non-concurrent sounds of worldly excitement? Has sin become cute and funny, tolerable? Christians who live in the present sinful world unaffected by the wickedness on all sides, are spiritually impotent, imperceptive and superficial. Jesus came to declare war against sin and with the divine objective to “destroy the works of the devil.” I John 3:8. Jesus was against sin. 1) He upbraided the woman of Sychar for living in adultery, 2) He cited the sins of whole generations when referring to Noah and Lot, 3) Jesus emphatically taught repentance which assumes the horror of sin, 4) Jesus took upon himself unmentionable tortures in becoming the propitiation for our sins. The extreme measures of punishment put upon Christ (bearing our guilt) reveals the extreme hatred God has for sin. 5) Jesus was hailed for hating iniquity and for that hatred, He was rewarded with the anointing oil of gladness above all others. Hebrews 1:9. Just Lot was vexed to see the mincing homosexuals and lesbians all around him. Just Lot was vexed at the corruption in the market place, the unjust balances, the usury, tawdry, little merchants peddling their merchandise, barking like dogs. Just Lot was vexed at the laughter rising from the revelings and banquetings with no thought of God. Just Lot was vexed at the corrupt politics of wicked men without morals in high places. Just Lot was vexed by the public lewdness and the sound of orgies in the night. Just Lot was vexed watching the people live in opulence and pleasure with no thought for the poor, the diseased, or the suffering. Just Lot did not labor under the philosophical illusion of “friendship with the world.” The affect that corrupt society had upon this righteous and holy man of God was, vexation! Lot did not agree with the philosophy of the culture – did not allow the environment or his Sodomite associates to sway him. He did not accept the world as it was. He accepted only the world he had in his heart that he knew God wanted. Jesus was a malcontent. Ezra did not like things the way they were. It took extreme measures, but he changed them. Hezekiah was a malcontent, a reformer bent on improving the moral state of the society around him. John the Baptist was a malcontent reformer. He denounced Herod as being a bad influence in marrying his brother’s wife. Moses was a malcontent. He would not accept the circumstances of tribute that were pressed upon his people, he would not stand to see evil triumph over good and set out to do something about it! Even though he started out in his own strength, he had this quality: he was malcontent. When you feel troubled about morality or injustice, don’t ever develop a guilty complex over it. If it is unscriptural then you should feel the same righteous indignation about it as did Jesus when He was moved to cleanse the temple. All prophets are malcontents, and the church needs more such men badly! We have been weaned on the sweet milks of compromise until we have lost our stomach for the warfare. Because Lot was just, he was vexed. He was vexed because he was just.
2 Peter 2:19 While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.
The apostates are great advocates of “liberty.” Christian liberty can only be understood by first comprehending the biblical teaching of the two natures of man. See Galatians 5:17. But here scripture tells us something of what bondage (DOULOO 1402, to enslave) is about; “of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.” If you are overcome (hettao 2274, to bring under, subject to) by the influence of the world then your flesh is in bondage to the world. If your spirit is overcome by the influence of the Word and the Spirit, then you are in bondage to Jesus.
2 Peter 2:21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.
Peter doesn’t tell us what happens to these “turncoats.” Worse than those who came into the liberal environment and turned from it. There is only one way to escape this unmentionable judgment – return to holiness now no matter the cost!
2 Peter 3:1 This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance:
MEMORY AND THE HOLY AMBITION
Memory is a wonderful faculty of the mind The Holy Spirit used Peter’s memory to convict him when the cock crowed. Matthew 26:75; Mark 11:21. Jesus told the disciples at the last supper that each time they drank of the cup and eat of the bread, they should do it in remembrance of him. Luke 22:19. Jesus promised his disciples in the upper room that the Holy Spirit would come with a special ministry of memory. He promised that the Holy Spirit would cause the disciples to remember all things. John 14:26. Paul told Timothy to put the brethren in remembrance. I Timothy 4:6. Paul recalled the genuineness of the faith and loyalty of Timothy’s mother. 2 Timothy 1:5. And of special attention we are given an injunction to “call to remembrance the former days.” Hebrews 10:32. As history proves that the church’s conscience wanes and weaken with time, it is an important part of our personal moral development to regard with respect the teaching of our Fathers and the convictions that were taught us by the tradition of former generations. Read their theology, imbibe their concepts that it may keep you from the apostasy that comes to us in this time. I Corinthians 15:2; 2 Thessalonians 2:15. There is such a thing as good tradition as implied in Paul’s strong language, “Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.” 2 Thessalonians 2:15. This is good use of the memory.
2 Peter 3:11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,
This is not real life! The real world and real life are soon to come. With one great galactic boom, this world and it’s lifestyle will end. With this fact in mind, Peter warns us that the only things that will matter after that event will be, 1) Holy conduct, and 2) Godliness. Holy conduct speaks of how I project myself to others, appropriate the grace of God in all my relationships. Godliness speaks of a God-nurtured nature out of which good conversation flows. W. E. Vine states, “a God-ward attitude.” Conduct is the stream, while godliness is the rock out of which the sparkling waters flow. True doctrine produces godliness. False doctrine does not produce piety. It will incite worship, praise, religious fervor, but not piety.
2 Peter 3:12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, 14 Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.
Peter doesn’t mention blood here as qualifying us for the world to come. Yet we know the blood is the very first thing that qualifies us. The blood is always an assumed part of and essential to salvation, but Peter here with other writers of scripture makes it clear that while the blood alone justifies, our works must follow the works of Christ if salvation is to be valid. See John 14:30; Ephesians 2:10; James 2:14-20. Here it is again – “without spot.” A difference in human and divine concept of moral life. Our moral philosophy is, “nobody’s perfect,” God says, “Be ye perfect!”
1 John 5:3 “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.”
1 John 1:5 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
Sentimentalism and human emotion has created a sickening distortion of agape. Here John reveals very plainly that the love of God, first of all, has a love for the truth of His word. Moffet brings out this interesting way of putting it; “He who says, ‘I know Him,’ but does not obey His commands, is a liar and the truth is not in him; but whoever obeys His word, in him love to God is really complete.” Love and obedience to the Word are one and the same. The modern Gospel often leaves the impression that obedience to the Word and the commandments of the Word is dead dry legalism. But John tells us, See John 5:1-3, that true agape is first manifested by an affection for the Word of God that enjoys following through in obedience.
NOTE: We are very strong believers in the Authorized version of the KJV. Sometimes the Greek scholars such as Moffet, Williams or Phillips may paraphrase a scripture that makes the literal Greek meaning clearer. I always go to Greek software, Scripture Direct and check the literal translation and compare it with any text I dare to quote to be sure that the paraphrase is faithful to the Greek text. I do not consider these other translations to be bibles, but good books that sometimes give good expression to the literal Greek.
LIGHT AND TRUTH
Light and truth are the supreme things in the two worlds man coexists in. Light is the supreme thing in the physical world while truth is the supreme thing in the spiritual world. This is why light is always a type of Christ or truth in scripture. They each are supreme in the their respective worlds. Christ is supreme in both worlds! Light is the supreme thing in the cosmic world, without it nothing can exist and nothing preexisted it. Light is absolutely essential and must exist before any other form of life in the cosmic world. We see this order in the Genesis account of creation when light was first introduced before God proceeded creating the biological forms. This sequence (order) is scientifically correct. The light had to exist for any higher forms of biological life to exist. In the spiritual world, truth is supreme. God has exalted His Word (truth) even above His name for the very important reason that His name is revealed in the Word. Therefore, truth must precede a knowledge of God. Notice the placement of the words truth and light in verses 6 and 7. We can replace light for truth in the text and it says the same thing! See what other words in these two verses can be inter-changed and still mean the same thing. Fellowship with God is dependent upon, first of all, our relationship to truth. The whole relationship and divine purpose of the Holy Spirit to the believer, is to reveal truth. John 14:17; 15:26; 16:13.
1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
Our fellowship with Jesus depends upon two things;
1. “The blood.” The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin” (confessed, see verse 9).
2. Obedience. “If we walk in the light as He is in the light.” See Light; Truth; Commandments.
1 John 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
“True, he is merciful in cleansing our souls; but he is also just. Christ has fulfilled the condition of making ample atonement for all sin. We fulfill the conditions by confession and forsaking sin. God has bound Himself on these conditions to cleanse us. It is not now only an act of mercy, but also an act of justice for Him to do so.”
1 John 1:10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
We all have areas in our life that are yet un-mastered and uncontrolled by the lordship of Jesus Christ. A holiness Christian faces the reality of sin and the fact that there are areas of his life yet to be surrendered and perfected, and if we are not careful about this non-perfection attitude and make out as if we are indeed being perfected and that everything is alright when in truth it is not, “we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” Christians are sin conscious and especially when that sin may be in their own life! Perfection can only be achieved as we deal honestly and quickly with all sin we discover in our lives. There will always be the carnal Christian attitude that if we will just pay Him lip service, speak in tongues, get a jerk, a tear, and little blessing, then everything’s alright. That is not what this text tells us. (1:1-10) This text makes it very clear that, 1) God is light, and 2) “In Him is no darkness at all.” The text is in particular directed at just such positivism. “If we say that we have fellowship with him and walk in darkness,” this clearly implies that one can be claiming fellowship, intimacy, with Christ and indeed be walking in the darkness of worldliness, deception and sin. Verse 7 tells us, “If we walk in the light as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his son cleanseth us from all sin.” Note: If we are walking with Christ, there will be this continuing process of sin cleansing! There is no such thing as this declared oblivious state of positivism that is without any consideration of sin. This is idealism, and in the words of John, “deception.”While fellowship with Him elevates me to the highest and most divine level of morality, there still remains the matter of having to deal with my imperfections, my unconscious conscious violation of others. If our lives are Christ inspired, He will have goals of moral perfection in us as He had in His own body. This text reveals the Christian’s attitude toward sin. The problem holiness people have is thinking because they do comply with separation principles that complying with the external commandments is holiness. That is also deception. See 2:4. There is only one holy attitude toward sin, it is the same attitude God has toward sin and expressed by the extreme measures taken at Calvary in doing battle with it! The only proper attitude towards sin by the Christian is one of contrition, regret and vexation. We joke about sin, we laugh about it. Worldliness and conformity to it destroys the godly attitude toward it. When we have lost our seriousness, we lost our depth of dedication with it. 2 Peter 2:7,8.
1 John 2:1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:
1. Holiness is prayer. It means a dedication unto the Lord, a communion and close fellowship with Him in prayer in secret tryst. Who ever heard of dedication without a personal prayer life.
2. Holiness is compassion. People all over the world are suffering. Do we care? Then comes, “Oh, yes, I hear about these things and pray.” That’s not compassion! That’s a lying excuse without true holiness. Compassion fills stomachs, provides literature, sends love to the missionary that has purchasing power for the kingdom. I John 3:17.
3. Holiness is love. Holiness is fraternal. It loves the brethren! Love is wanting to be with someone. We can easily say, “Oh I love my brother, my sister…” But do you want to be with them? If we don’t, our words are flippant. Stop holding your hatred with lying lips and do “all that lieth within you” to love that person by the help of God! Proverbs 10:18; Romans 12:18. AGAPE love. Love is practical; it’s “putting your money where your mouth is.” Compassion is more than acknowledging the need, but doing something about it, be it so little, but what I can. When legitimate needs exists compassion must commit itself to prayerful concern, become involved in some small way. Love that seeks to enjoy the fellowship of every true brother in Christ the same. Holiness has a prayer life. It groans and pleads with God in the closet. Those who profess holiness better get a hold of themselves or be eaten with the cancer of hate and unforgiveness. Opposing evil and conforming to conservative dress and appearance doesn’t mean anything if a carnal hate persists in the affections. Most holiness people know this, but some still harbor hate in the heart. I Corinthians 13. Holiness is a love that minimizes the faults of others … anything the person they love may do. “Love covereth a multitude of sins.” Partiality It favors whom it loves. It lets things go by, it overlooks. This is how mothers spoil their kids. Love overlooks faults. Love goes easy on whom it favors. God asks us to “follow peace with all men.” See Hebrews 12:14. Is my holiness impartial? Do I minimize the faults of certain ones I love and reject others without any feeling when especially I know they want my fellowship? That’s not the Holy Spirit, that’s the spirit of mafia, a spirit of politics! Oh, God, we have “holiness churches” and “holiness people,” but how we need the holiness heart.
1 John 2:2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. 3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. 4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.
Here we see another reference to the dichotomy of salvation; 1) Verse 2, “He is a propitiation for our sins” (justification), and 2) Verse 3, “and hereby we do know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments.” See Dichotomy; Romans 3:20; 4:6; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; 2 Peter 1:3. There has to be some standard to prove the true – this is it! This is Bible perfection. It is very plain. A Christian proves his love for Jesus by keeping God’s Word and having an intimate relationship with it. The modern worldly Christian immediately asserts that “I do love the Word of God!” But this includes obedience to the Word, even the pearl principle and every commandment given to the body. If you love Him then you love all 1,050 commandments in the New Testament. Everyone will insist they love the Lord and are obeying Him even if they are not keeping the pearl principle. John 14:21-24. Those who have disobedience in their life (carnal dominance) always try to cover for their disobedience with; “There are more important things than that!” Yes this is true – but if pearls aren’t so important why defend them? Because what we defend when the commandment speaks against them indicates that they are important or we would not practice doing it against the commandment and especially would we not defend ourselves where the Word has spoken. Not only does the pearl principle expose the disobedient, but the little attention paid to those commandments He gave in Matthew chapter 5. All this great claim the liberals express for having love is tested on this point. “Whoso keepeth His Word in him verily is the love of God perfected.” Let’s talk less about love and “important things” and do more obeying the Word beginning with the smallest matter first. John 14:15; 2 Timothy 3:16 There is no such thing as sanctification apart from scriptural obedience and a loving, respectful regard for every commandment in the Word of God! The evidence of new birth is not doctrinally the same as a proof. There are many claimed evidences of being a Christian. e.g., miracles, succession (priestly), success, happiness, tongues. But the proof is love for the truth and in particular, the truth of God’s Word and His holiness. It’s easy get along nicely with the popular Christ we have fantasized into existence; it’s easy to love the idealistic deity we have formed in our imaginations, but when we meet the Real Jesus someday it is unlikely that, 1) He will be the Christ we know, and 2) that we will like Him. “It is only when we obey God’s [moral] laws that we can be quite sure that we really know him. The man who claims to know God but does not obey his laws is not only a liar, he lives in self-delusion. In practice, the more a man learns to obey God’s laws the more truly and fully does he express his love for him. Obedience is the test of whether we really live ‘in God’ or not. The life of a man who professes to be living in God must bear the stamp of Christ.” I John 2:2-6 (J. B Phillips)
1 John 2:3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. 4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. 6 He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked. 7 Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which ye have heard from the beginning.
Notice that John makes a distinction between the written Word (commandments – plural) and the Spirit of the Word (the love commandment – singular). They are, of course, both very much in force. See Romans 13:8-10.
1 John 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
The beauty of holiness and the virtues of modesty, plainness, natural appearance and non-conformity to worldly fashion constitutes the fashion of the holy. So there is quite a contrast in the two worlds of fashion. When the body is presented as a sacrifice you Pride are dead to the cheap, body beauty of the world and will lovingly obey every commandment given the body to oppose it, including the pearl principle. Romans 12:1,2. “There is also a moral sense in which ‘world’ is used by the apostles Paul and John. In this moral sense, ‘world’ means everything depraved and corrupted: the sum total of the values, the attitudes, the passions, and the desires which move sinful man and energize sinful society.”
1 John 2:16 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.
“Never give your hearts to this world or to any of the things in it. A man cannot love the Father and love the world at the same time. For the whole world-system, based as it is on men’s primitive desires, their greedy ambitions and the glamour of all that they think splendid, is not derived from the Father at all, but from the world itself.” (J. B. Phillips) Love always means heart. It comes from the heart, effects the heart and reflects the nature of the heart. To “love not the world” simply means, don’t give your heart to it!
1 John 2:17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever. 19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.
Defining common terms being used to designate fundamental church groups.
1. HOLINESS people is the designation for those fundamentalists who believe in the fundamental doctrines, careful to preserve proper emphasis on holiness, doctrine of dedication unto Christ as Savior and separation from the world in obedience to Christ. Fault: Lack of loving the brethren as we should outside of our circles. In pursuit, they have often been without proper compassion.
2. CONSERVATIVES are traditional in that they do not accept contemporary amoral interpretation. The conservative retains a profession of traditional Christianity, but does not practice the separation aspects of holiness. While they do not oppose holiness, they do not propose holiness.
3. APOSTATES are those fundamentalists who have deviated from the tradition of the apostles doctrines and make no commitment to the moral commandments, assail traditional values, yet identify with the fundamentalists. They are the advocates of the prosperity emphasis that advocates faith in the promises apart from obedience to the precepts.
4. CONTEMPORARIES, are made up of a class conscious, and celebritized elite, usually affluent, vocal and influential, the cutting edge of the apostates. They call themselves “Contemporary” in an attempt to make it clear they are not traditional. They do not acknowledge biblical sanctification as an essential part of salvation. They openly speak against the traditional church values and adapt their own customs while denouncing “tradition” in others. They reject the influence and moral convictions as taught by the Fathers, having developed a lifestyle that accommodates the new Charismatic rich Christian concepts.
5. FUNDAMENTALISTS, all Christians of the “born again” faith which includes conservatives, holiness, contemporaries and apostates. All claim to be fundamental (the atoning blood, divine healing, the second coming of Christ, the resurrection from the dead, etc.). This seems to be the only thing they have in common. The one doctrine that immediately sets each of these groups of fundamentalists into different categories of faith is the doctrine of sanctification. While they all believe in justification, all do not accept the works of sanctification or separation from the world.
1 John 2:26 These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you.
Some men in Gospel ranks have ulterior motives for wanting our loyalties. Avoid being “used” and support your local church and give your loyalties due the ministry to your pastor. Holiness people are the most difficult to be seduced by the wave of superstar preachers.
1 John 2:29 If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him.
right concept of God leads to right conduct in me. I can only live right as I think right. “Let everyone that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.” 2 Timothy 2:19
1 John 3:3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.
“Every regenerate person (without exception) who has the true gospel hope seeks Christ-like purity. If he does not, he shows that he never was truly regenerate, or that he has lost that experience. Christ-like purity is the legitimate outcome of real regeneration and the only ground of eternal hope.”
1 John 3:4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. 6 Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. 8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. 9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.
“The late Bishop Hedding defined sinning as ‘a willful violation of a known law of God.’ Every true child of God is saved from all known and willful violations of God’s law. If he is not so saved from committing sin he is a child of the devil. But Christ was manifested to destroy the devil’s work. Without exception – ‘whosoever is born of God doth not commit [practice] sin.” The Greek word for commit, POIEO has a broad meaning but basically means to be committed to, to exercise in or to practice. “It means to commit, with the connotation to be content, continue, perform, abide, agree.” Vine says, “of a continuous habit, equivalent to PRASSO, to practice.” John did not say here that “whosoever commits one single sin is not born of God.” He said, “whosoever is born of God does not practice sin.” A true Christian will not brazenly defy and violate God’s commandments – even the “little unimportant ones.” See I John 2:2-5. A sinner practices sin, but every once-in-awhile he does something good. A saint is one who practices good and every once-in-awhile does something wrong. Holiness can be found of any who have the desire to have it. There are many coming to Christ in apostate churches and leave to find the “Bible church” because they know “this isn’t it” as they read their Bibles. If some have that discernment, then all can do it, but only those who are saved and whose seed remains in them. We may ask why some people who have “accepted Christ” do not see their need of holiness and remain? There’s so many of those modern Christians! Are they lost? Answer: What I am capable of, I am responsible for. What dedication one Christian is capable of so is every other Christian. If I live against and speak against the holy life; I am responsible for that even if I’m not living it.
1 John 3:10 In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.
Righteousness and love are required of sainthood.
1. Sin will always take you further than you wanted to go;
2. Keeps us longer than we intended to stay; and,
3. Costs us more than we intended to pay. -A. T. Blankenship
Not even the greatest man of God has ever, or is capable of preaching sin as dreadful, as horrible, as abominable, as damning, as deceitful as it actually is. It stands to reason that if man could see sin as God sees it, every Christian life would be transformed. The closest mortal man can get to seeing the intensity of God’s divine hatred for sin is to stare long and hard at the scenes of Calvary!
1. People coming to the altar for salvation would not only be “coming to Christ,” but they would be fleeing from the terrors of sin.
2. Knowing the true terror of sin they would be much less likely to return to that way of life.
3. It would give the newborn Christian a sensitivity to right and wrong in his pursuit of sanctification.
4. It would make the life of holiness and sanctification much more popular to the church.
5. It would cause the Christians to be offensive and intent in their warfare against evil influences of the world.
6. A wrong attitude toward sin – when the church plays down sin, the cardinal doctrines are weakened.
a. HEAVEN: Almost anyone can get to heaven by simply “accepting Jesus Christ.”
b. HELL is mentioned slightly, but not preached in the modern Evangelical pulpit. Easy on sin means “go easy on hell.”
c. SANCTIFICATION is not any longer considered a major doctrine. Actually, it is part of the atonement. 2 Thessalonians 2:13. When sin is no more deplorable, we lose our desire to be holy and pure.
d. CHURCH DISCIPLINE is no longer an essential part of keeping the church pure. Sinful conduct and evil practices were once put out of the church. But sin has lost its terribleness, adultery and worldliness have become leaders in the church.
e. SOCIAL SINS such as smoking, dancing, card playing and alcohol are not Tobacco even considered wrong in many modern Christian circles. They were once Cards called by their proper name: sinful and worldly.
f. DIVORCE threatens the home, turns our children into delinquents and scars them emotionally, raises the teen suicide rate, destroys reputations and curses nations and is becoming one of the most common of all practices inside the church. All because the church has lost its sensitivity to sin.
g. SATAN: The Laodicean church does not even realize his infiltration of “the Spirit-filled” movement, where his most insidious and diabolical thrust is taking place within the church. Revelation 3:17; 12:10
1. Sin is transgression of the law. I John 2:10; Psalm 19:12-14.
2. Sin is knowing to do good and doing it not. James 4:17.
3. Sin is whatsoever is not of faith. Romans 14:23.
4. Sin is coming short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23.
E. Stanley Jones said, “Sin is rooted in self advantage.” Sin in the final analysis is what it has been since the very beginning when Satan was cast out of heaven; it is the creature rebelling against the creator!
1 John 3:22 And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.
Here is the difference between righteousness and holiness made very clear again. “Because we keep His commandments,” righteousness. My vertical relationship to others. “And do those things pleasing in His sight,” holiness. My horizontal relationship with God. This verse is divided into three easy to understand statements.
1. “Whatsoever we ask of Him, we receive of Him.” John is speaking of receiving from God the thing we ask, which implies the lesser having need to receive from the greater. It indicates much more than simply wanting and getting “things” from God. It implies a very close and intimate relationship with God and that intimate relationship being of infinitely more importance than the “things” we may get from Him.
2. “Because we keep His commandments.” Commandments refer to the principles of right and wrong. The commandment reveals the wisdom and better judgment of God. It is a knowledge we have of God that is general and is information put at the disposal of all, saints and sinners alike. Even salvation begins with a commandment, “Repent!” Acts 2:38. The commandments are divine moral revelation, information regarding atonement, repentance, peaceful behavior, the Ten Commandments and the simple teaching of Christ in the beatitudes and the Sermon on the Mount.
3. “And do those things that are pleasing in His sight.” Not merely that we believe “in those things,” but that we also “do those things” that please Him. “Things pleasing” is getting down to the finer matters of Christian ethics and holiness of life. “Things pleasing” speak of precepts of the conscience, or commonly called, “Christian convictions.” These are standards of righteousness based on the consensus of right and wrong set by the Christian conscience. This matter of pleasing the Lord has to be one of the dimensions of Christian ethics as we are living in an environment that is different from place to place and from time to time. The Holy Spirit in us must judge all actions, deeds, and practices in life if we are to remain in sinless fellowship with God. “Things pleasing” regards our personal standard, which is greatly affected, predetermined by the degree of sensitivities of the individual’s conscience, which is in turn, activated by a life of personal devotion and prayer. The Christian conscience is Holy Spirit activated and therefore will have a dimension of divine awareness and moral perception that the unsaved or carnal Christian who does not pray will not have. We live in a very fast changing world. Every change in some way requires the need of moral evaluation and judgment. Example: The computer age brought with it the video game. Behavioral sciences became concerned about the affects of video games upon youth. The church seemed to leave this video problem up to the sciences. However, there certainly are moral implications in the video craze. First of all, most video games are based upon destruction in the form of killing, explosions, or consuming. That kind of “entertainment” certainly has moral implications! But the moral danger is in the psychological conditioning of young people in their impressionable and formative years to kill and destroy by impulse (without any thought, but by pure instant reaction) as a game. We do not have a commandment warning on video games in the Bible, but these matt3rs will concern those who are seeking values and wisdom that will serve the ultimate good of their children. For the things please God are; a) Those things which are good and, b) Those things which are good are those things which make the greatest contribution ultimately. That “good” is already revealed in the moral commandments of scripture. Holiness Christians should not be intimidated and made to believe by these non-ethical Christian groups that moral sensitivity is a non-essential” matter in these last days. The existence of these amoral groups are a prophetic phenomenon. Matthew 24:37-39; Luke 17:26-30; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-11; I Timothy 4:1-6; 2 Timothy 4:3-5; 2 Peter 3:3,17; Jude; Revelation 3:14-22. Amoral religion is any religious creed that depreciates, discredits, or excludes holiness as being an essential element of salvation. Holiness Christians tend to have more biblical sensitivity in the area of “things pleasing.” They have much to improve on, but are more aware of what worldly practices consist of. They are conforming to trends and fads. This area of obedience pertaining to “things pleasing” is a deeper life Christianity born out of intimacy and prayer fellowship with God. It only stands to reason that closer proximity to God and His person, more exposure to His eminence and holiness would result in a higher form of conscience and a higher ethic. While “things pleasing” would certainly include the commandments, the commandments do not necessarily include that special relationship God offers to those who do those things that please Him. “Pleasing” the Lord involves non-commandment matters of personal purity and separation from the world, but of course, based upon the principles of the written commandment. Conclusion: As the world changes, Christians must be quick to put moral scrutiny upon the affect of those changes or the affect those changes will have upon personal life. John 8:32,36; I Thessalonians 4:2-5; 5:5.
1 John 3:24 And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.
We see in verse 23 the word is singular, commandment. Here in verse 24 it becomes plural, commandments. The tendency to oversimplify the Gospel and believe that salvation is all in one commandment makes us wonder why God went to the trouble to write the other 1,049 commandments contained in the New Testament. Notice the very important connection between keeping the commandments and “dwelling in Him.” The chief commandment is to love God and one another. This love does not exclude the Christian’s love for all of His commandments. See Romans 8; Matthew 5; Psalm 19. Verse 24 implies that dwelling in Christ and obedience to the commandments are one and the same condition. This condition can only be possible in a human life through regeneration and “by the spirit which he hath given us.” I John 4:1-5. When we lose our desire to comply with the moral commandment we are losing the touch of regeneration. Hebrews 6:6.
1 John 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. 4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. 5 They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them. 7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
This is one of many verses (verse 7) in John’s Gospel that when isolated from the context of his epistles gives rise to another kind of oversimplified easy-believism that detached itself from all moral precepts. Other verses mentioning the words law or love are frequently misquoted by liberal Christians who are not careful to follow sound exegesis. Such would be verses 12 and 13, which states,“If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.” Another isolated verse is verse 15, “Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.” I John 4:2 “Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:” This would make us believe and has made us believe that belief in fundamental doctrine automatically means salvation. To believe in Christ is salvation. This is bunk! Satan is a fundamentalist! He has more theological knowledge than a Greek scholar and a hundred men of God all put together! He believes in Christ’s second coming – he has it all, but he’s not saved. See Fundamentalism; Amos 5. I John 5:1 “Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him.” I John 5:12 “He that hath the Son hath life;” These are some of the verses that are frequently isolated from the moral commandments by the love cult teachers. To understand the doctrinal error of this oversimplified theology go to comments in Romans 3:20. I John 5:3-5; See Commandments; Law;
1 John 4:17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.
The implication is that agape is so selfless that it is sinless. Hebrews 1:9.
1 John 5:1 Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him. 2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. 3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.
The less of the world you have, the more of God you will want. “Not grievous.” If you’re saved you won’t pout about obedience or whine your disapproval of the commandment. Look at verse 3 again! If you’re saved and have the love of God, you won’t have to obey the commandments, but love in you will keep them It’s so easy to do anything if you want to. Keep here is tereo, to watch over, to give heed to, and used in Jesus’ prayer, John 17:11,12,15, as the keeping power of God the Father and Jesus Christ over His people! Are we precious to God? So are the commandments loved and precious in the sight of His saints. We (God’s true children) do not find the commandments “grievious.” (barus; burdensome, undesirable)
1 John 5:4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. 5 Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?
Those who believe on Christ are not necessarily overcoming the world, but those who are overcoming the world are those who most certainly believe on Christ.
1 John 5:13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.
What is right? How is it established? How can righteousness exist or be experimental if it was not in written form? By written rightness we know (epistomology) the truth! As we live the Word and obey it, we experience it! This is how we know we know! In substance the love of God is the law of God. See Genesis; Good Law and love are the same. The law of God is Word the love of God in writing. Love is the Spirit of the law. I John 5:3; Romans 13:8; Deuteronomy 6:5; Luke 16:17.
1 John 5:17 All unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not unto death. 18 We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not.
Notice John’s words directed at the initiative of the believer, “he that is begotten of God keepeth himself.” Also, in verse 21, “Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.” See Colossians 3:5. See I John 3:9, Commit: in regard to this statement, “There is a sin not unto death.”
1 John 5:21 Little children, keep yourselves from idols. (See Colossians 3:5)
2 John 1:9 “Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.”
2 John 1:4 I rejoiced greatly that I found of thy children walking in truth, as we have received a commandment from the Father. 9 Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.
Here is another allusion of John as to what he means in 5:17, “There is a sin not unto death;” “and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ.” John impressed us again and again in his epistles that one cannot practice sin or “transgress … the doctrines (teachings) of Christ” and have life. However, there is transgression that does not constitute a willful act against God’s commandments that is “not unto death.” See 3:9 also.
3 John 11 “Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God.”
3 John 9 I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not. 10 Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church.
Diotrephes the church demagogue. Demagogues require everything from others and nothing of themselves. But someday they will be judged as they judged others by the great Judge. How many Diotrephes’ do we have who have pushed their way to the top (and we wonder how they got there) and hold their authority as heartless tyrants. Today we call them “politicians.” They rule in favor of their “favorite sons” and bar the Johns from the church. What a sound of grief we can hear in John’s words, “Diotrephes … receiveth us not.” This scoundrel and hypocrite barring the beloved John from the church! But the bottom line on these kind is found in these words, “who loveth to have the preeminence.” They always have great love … for themselves.
3 John 11 Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God. (Philippians 1:9,10)
Jude 24 “Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,”
In interpreting the causes of declension and departure…the third great sin is compromise with the world. There is no difference between Hollywood and modernism. Hollywood is the world’s pleasure, while modernism is the world’s religion. Both belong to this present evil age (Galatians 1,4). Both are controlled by the “prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience” (Ephesians 2:2). There seems to be a diabolical plot to wed Evangelicals to the world’s system in these last days of a dying dispensation of grace. The apostate system of the Protestant church will in a coming day pave the way for the Antichrist. Christ has died in vain if we are not delivered from the pleasures of this world. -James A. Stewart
Jude 1 Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called: 2 Mercy unto you, and peace, and love, be multiplied. 3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.
THE ROOTS OF THE GOSPEL
When you separate from any original doctrine, you are separated from truth.”They have gone out from us, but they are not of us.” The Bible contains a revelation of the genuine Gospel. Jude exposes the apostate separatists. The genuine Gospel is the original and literal revelation of all scriptures and especially the teaching of the Lord Jesus and the apostles. 2 John 9 To separate from or cease to practice the original teachings, constitutes a separation from. See verse 19; A genuine Christian is one who believes in the original Christianity. He knows his roots! For a thing to be genuine it must be the original, or have its roots in the original. There is very little difference in meaning when we speak of Christianity as being authentic, original, and/or genuine. It is impossible to be a genuine Christian if the way of life is not identical to the original (origin)! We must be careful to bear out that this does not imply that any exclusive or select group may claim being that genuine Christianity. Genuineness is in the possession of a perfect heart of love and holiness and is available to everyone!
Jude 11 Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core.
THIRTY CHARACTERISTICS OF THE APOSTATES
Jude’s expose begins;
1. Verse 4, certain men crept in unawares. Unawares is the Greek word PAREISDUNO, to creep in unnoticed, from this we deduct that apostates are “creeps.”
2. Verse 4, ungodly.
3. Verse 4, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness. ” ‘Lasciviousness’ is ASELGEIA … the meaning of the word partakers of the spirit of anarchy.” – Wuest. See Jeremiah 48:10, Ministries. Presenting God’s grace as sub-grace, humanized and conditionless, religion that appeals to the lifestyle of the body.
4. Verse 4, denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. Notice Jude’s emphasis upon the word “Lord” in referring to both God the Father and God the Son by carefully giving them both title of Lord. This word deny, ARNEOMAI, carries the idea of refusing rather than reject a belief in Christ. It means, to deny Christ to me, abnegation, to disallow, to contradict. They do not reject Christ as the Son of God; they denied the Son of God, His sovereign right over them. See Romans 3:20; Lordship. Apostates present only that side of God, Romans 11:22, that serves their advantage. They use God as their “gimmick,” but divorce themselves from all symbols of divine authority. Apostates resent all symbols of authority. It is a religion that is lawless and without any authority beyond themselves. A recognition of divine authority and a serious theological investigation of it would be self-destructive to them. Hebrews 1:9; Psalms 19, 50.
5. Verse 8, these dreamers. Jude here describes these creeps (verse 4) as “dreamers” taken from the Greek, ENUPNION, meaning something seen in the state of sleep. Doctrines of dreamers are not trustworthy. Their minds are drugged with “the good life.”
6. Verse 8, defile the flesh, or literally, sully the pure natural appearance. Worldliness not only destroys the naturalness of the body, it makes the body the chief object of attention. It speaks of pride, opulence, popularity. This whole sickening theory of self-deification and “beautiful people” is foreign to the Gospel message of holiness and purity. The only thing the Bible speaks of the body as being good for is to be “sacrificed.” Romans 12:2. The neo-Gospel perverts the truth, setting the body up as the object of importance, ease and luxury. Neo-Christianity places high value on the body while the Gospel demands it be put to death, inhibiting it and disallowing it to do the things it wants to do. Romans 6,7,8; Galatians 5:17.
7. Verse 8, despise dominion. Apostates do not recognize any authority or order of church government. They are ungoverned and control themselves. Not only so, but the influence of the celebrity preacher is now so great he holds local pastors in his hands and remains out of reach of correction or reproof. The dominion despisers have put church government to disarray. They have no regard for the local pastor because they have no need of him. They are responsible to no one. There are two reasons why apostates are dangerous to the church. a) Hundreds and thousands of innocent Christians are exposed to their ministry who are themselves not students of the Word of God, are not recognizing their own rights and privileges to determine their destiny and establish their own personal relationship to Christ. They depend on others for their guidance. b) Apostates do not only refuse dominion, but they “despise” dominion. They never teach their followers to be loyal to local pastors and churches.
8. Verse 8, speak evil of dignities. The most blatant characteristic of the apostate is his arrogance! They speak against holiness and holiness people. One “great televangelist bible teacher” when questioned about something questionable he did that became known retorted, If you don’t like it,(and then moving in close to the TV camera lens until his mouth was distorted), phooey !
9. Verse 10, but these speak evil of those things which they know not. “These” same apostates and their weakness to speak against, or trifle with holy things. Listen and you will hear them talking and writing slanderously against those who hold the doctrines of the holiness Fathers. They call them “holier than thou’s,” “legalists,” “traditionalists,” and “Victorian Puritans.” This, of course, is a reflection upon every man of God through 1900 years of church history that taught and held to the doctrines of sanctification. They are poor historians. The 19th century was the second most peaceful century on the Gregorian calendar, second only to the first century. It was in this last century Christianity influenced the largest populaces in its 2,000 year history and was the century of piety when some of its greatest pulpiteers were raised up to preach against sin with holy fierceness. It includes godly men who taught and preached the doctrines of mortification, separation and worldliness. Suddenly “these” apostates attack the modern remnant of holiness people as being legalists, implying that our church Fathers in the period of church revival from 1750 AD to 1950 AD were legalists. John Wesley, General Booth, William Carey, David Livingston, Matthew Henry, Fanny Crosby, Charles Finney and countless precious men of God who embraced purity of heart such as the great Salvation Army author, Samuel Logan Brengle. Great Evangelical authors such as C. T. Studd, Sparks, Tozer, Campbell Morgan and Matthew Henry all lived in this period of holiness and world evangelism awakening. It was a time when our ageless hymns were written that still remain a blessing in the church. But contemporary Pentecostal theology refers to this period of evangelism and holiness as “the period of legalism!?” What an indictment against their intelligence. The moral teaching of the church since John Wesley’s strong literary influence (1748) and the inception of Methodism has consistently been that of perfect love, holiness of life through prayer and9obedience to the Word. But now according to “these” despisers of dominion, this whole period of blessed moral revival that rocked the world for Christ as no other period of the church (and with no electricity!), with a pure Christianity is suddenly “legalism.” What was once considered revival has become “legalism” to them. But to those of us who remember those days of holiness and joy of life in the midst of waves of God’s power in the old brush arbors and tents, to us who were there, we know the truth; we know that the modern Gospel is the apostasy of the last days, an empty dying movement busy polishing brass on a sinking ship. Holiness people must be comforted in the fact that they who do such things “speak evil of the things which they Evil understand not” and must be loved in spite of their ignorance and betrayal of the precious cross of Christ. Holiness people must be very careful to retain their composure of Calvary love when addressing this situation, and in particular, when encountered by these accusations by disciples of the apostate movement. 2 Thessalonians 3:14,15.
10. Verse 10, but what they know naturally. It must be understood that the natural mind of man can go to the scripture and make certain rational conclusions and perceive a great amount of spiritual truth. An unregenerate person can derive logical thought from scripture, e.g. I Corinthians 13, “though I understand all mysteries.” Truth is not an illusive thing. Truth is something comprehended by the unregenerate as well as the regenerate. A person who is truly born of the Holy Spirit has the Holy Spirit as a tutor and teacher besides his natural understanding. The added presence of the Holy Spirit in the heart of man offers him two divine advantages; a) The Holy Spirit illuminates and quickens the truth of scripture to us with the intent we grow “thereby.” I Peter 2:2. b) To inspire us with the love for all truth (non-selective) that gives us “power to become the Sons of God.” I Corinthians 1:12. On the other hand, the human mind can also study the scriptures and come forth with conclusions that will sound logical.
11. Verse 10, as brute beasts. Jude uses very strong language here. In referring to the apostates he calls them animals! An animal is an indulgent and morally uninhibited creature. This is speaking of a group of “Christians” who will be within the church of the last days! “These” apostates are repeatedly described as sensual in such terms as, lasciviousness v.4, beasts v.10, greed v.11, lusts v.16,18, they are depicted as appetite oriented in their behavior.
12. Verse 10, in those things they corrupt themselves. Apostates promote the very life of worldliness that will bring self destruction to them and those who follow their ways. Sin is not always an open violation of God’s commandment, but is often a practice that leads to open violations against God’s laws.
13. Verse 11, the way of Cain, the error of Balaam, and the gainsaying of Core. The Bible’s great examples of, a) Cain, the Rebellion rebel, b) Balaam, the corrupter, and c) Core, the lawless reprobate that despised authority. BALAAM’S SPIRITUAL
I. The Error of Balaam – Jude 11
II. The Way of Balaam – 2 Peter 2:15
III. The Counsel of Balaam – Numbers 31:16
IV. The Doctrine of Balaam – Revelation 2:14
Balaam started out by making a “mistake” then it became his “way of life,” thirdly he started to “communicate (counsel) with evil.” Finally he taught (doctrine) Balak to cast a stumbling block before the children of Israel. Numbers 31:8; Joshua 13:22.
14. Verse 12, spots in your feasts. The apostates join themselves to the faithful in the Lord’s Supper. They partake without any reflection, arrogantly moving among us with an air of importance.
15. Verse 12, clouds without water, carried about of winds. They look like clouds, they blow in the wind (winds of doctrine, Ephesians 4:14) like clouds, swirl like clouds, but without water, the cleansing power of the Word. There is no true cleansing or refreshing from them, they just pass overhead thundering out their promises of rain. They go on appearance and produce nothing as they promise. They are aesthetic ministries – beautiful, exciting, but empty – no rain. They raise hopes but make no actual contribution to the purity and refreshing of the body.
16. Verse 12, trees whose fruit withereth. They have fruit, but the quality and lasting goodness is not there.
17. Verse 12, without fruit. American religion spends ninety percent of its funds on self-support. They may scream out their denials and brag on their statistics, but here the Lord pronounces the actual results, “without fruit.”
18. Verse 12, twice dead. Dead in the flesh and dead in the spirit.
19. Verse 12, plucked up by the roots. This may speak of their judgment and God’s sudden reaching out to cut them off. It also speaks of “rejects,” plucked up by God (but accepted by men).
20. Verse 13, raging waves of the sea, awesome, powerful and impressive.
21. Verse 13, wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever. This is not speaking of the wonderfully organized Catholic church, or even anything that resembles the unified liberal theology (World Council of Churches) movement. Neither of these have any influence on the remnant church. Wandering stars do not belong to any solar system, nor are they fixed in an orbit bound by useful and orderly laws. Like stars that have crashed through galactic barriers seeking the freedom of an open universe, without any laws of the solar system to belong to, they go thundering through space on their own. But in the end, they will end up with all space garbage thundering into the vortex of a stellar black hole. We are supposed to “belong” and be subject to authority and laws of established government.
22. Verse 16, murmurers.
23. Verse 16, complainers.
24. Verse 16, walking after their own lusts. They boast of their riches and luxury, fare sumptuously, living a lifestyle of the body. Lust religion is based upon prospering in this life.
25. Verse 16, speaking great and swelling words. The apostates are elegant and rhetorical in speech. No matter how ridiculous, how poor the exegesis, how off-the-cuff or shallow the teaching, their Charismatic ways always sound impressive.
26. Verse 16, having men’s persons in admiration because of advantage. Popularity is power and the apostates, by the clever use of technology and the counsel of technicians, specialists and the image makers, become super-preachers with access to the super-churches and super-pastors. It becomes a religion of the rich, a clique of super-Christians, the rich and the famous. Big men attract big men. While rich apostates lavish their money on big men with super-ministries, legitimate struggling ministries continue to go unnoticed and un-helped out on the front lines of world evangelism.
27. Verse 18, mockers. They mock anyone they disagree with. These mockers also make light of holy things. They are careless, frivolous and trifling.
28. Verse 19, these be they who separate themselves. (verse 3) From church authority, from those who hold to the original, from local church governments. Some apostates teach that you send your tithe to them. They are separated inasmuch as they are not subject to any local church authority. They are an authority to themselves. This means they are not accountable. Anyone not accountable is not credible. (Not to be confused with the doctrine of separation.) The doctrine of separation from the world was taught by Jesus and the apostles. John 17; 2 Corinthians 6. We would make a difference between separatists (apostates) from the church and separationists (Christians who separate from the world).
29. Verse 19, sensual. Proponents of body religion promoting a form of Christian doctrine that promotes the freedom of the body appetites to indulge in respectable forms of luxury. This word PSUCHIKOS, from the root PSUCHE, a word that defines human or natural behavior reflecting personal uninhibited desire.
30. Verse 19, having not the Spirit.
THREE KINDS OF BIBLICAL SEPARATION
1. Separation of good brethren from false brethren. Ephesians 5:11; 2 John 10,11.
2. Separation from the world by the true Christians – by holiness Christians. 2 Corinthians 6:17.
3. Separation of the apostates from traditional church doctrines and authority. When they separate from the traditional church, they also separate from traditional doctrine. See verses 8 and 13 above. “Having not the Spirit” represents the higher form of life and is the Greek word PNEUMA used to distinguish the higher supernatural Spirit life.
Jude 20 But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost,
Faith is more than “divine optimism.” It is not merely believing and receiving. It is not mere mental assent. When Jude alludes to faith he calls it, “most holy faith.” It believes to the point of conformity and execution (action)! Faith with the character of the divine moral is a faith that believes in holy perfection as strongly as it believes in healing and miracles. It takes faith in Christ to attain holiness the same as anything else we receive from God. Faith is power, and often power lacks character. There have been fine men of God who received gifts and special anointing from the Lord and experienced the glorious privileges of divine power in their life, but did not pay too much attention to the matter of holy character. See notes on Balaam above, verse 11. When they dropped holiness, they dropped the power line to their life. It may be that a man will become bigger and bigger, but that is no sign of faith. If big organizations were a sign of “holy faith,” it must mean that AT&T, 3M, and IBM have the most holy faith.” Power (faith) without character (holiness) is a morally devastating condition that confuses and demoralizes the church. It will work no differently in the church than it does in the world. Atilla the Hun, Nero, Hitler are only a few of the world’s figures that reveal what devastation a single life with power and no character bring to the world. Power without character becomes tyranny whether in the world, or the church. Where there is tyranny, there is a lack of character. In the divine economy God wants character and power to coexist. We must also be careful not to confuse ambition with faith. They can resemble. Some very highly motivated religious personalities can produce Evangelical organizations with tremendous energies and ambitions. But the test of the faith ministry is, is it preceded with the proper emphasis of moral character and holiness of life? Faith without works is dead. Faith without holiness is human ambition. See Matthew 7:21-23.
THE SOURCE OF HOLINESS, HIS PRESENCE
Then there are those things that feed and increase my appetite for holiness. 1) Associating with those who themselves are pursuing the life of holiness. This fellowship with the holy brethren is the same personal kind of relationship that affects us negatively if those personal relationships are not kingdom oriented. 2) A very constant and intimate relationship with the Word of God in meditation, in memorizing a verse and in “morsel reading,” the practice of reading the Word of God at the beginning of the day until you read something that is quickened by the Holy Spirit, retaining it. Determine to hide that in your heart for that day and meditate on it. 3) The life of secret prayer is in the prayer closet. Alone with Him we keep our tryst. Waiting in His presence leaves the sweet influence of His nature upon us. The law of association and admiration cause me to become like the one I associate with. To be with Him is to unconsciously become like Him. Psalm 15. These be three holy duties that will keep us morally alive and morally opinionated. Through them we are helped in taking on the likeness of the Lord.
Jude 24 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, 25 To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.
Here is where the capability of man and the ability of God make holiness the absolute duty of every true Christian. God has provided all things to make our call to holiness and moral perfection possible. The only thing God needs is the totally surrendered heart to accomplish the efficacy (desired result) of the cross. I Thessalonians 4:3.