Gospels and Acts

The Gospels and ActsCCCC Logo

MATTHEW

KEY: “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.” Matthew 7:12

Matthew 1:21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.

Note: “From” our sins. Jesus came as a moral deliverer! He came to save us “from” our sins and anything less or apart from this divine objective is not true salvation.

Matthew 3:11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: 12 Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.

The baptism with the Holy Ghost is fiery, sifting, purging. Christ bestows this baptism. Its work is thorough. Repentance

Matthew 3:15 And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him. 16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:

Turtle doves under the Mosaic system were Divine offered as sacrifices. Leviticus 1:14; 5:7; 12:8; 14:22,30; 15:14,29. Here in the text again we see the dove descending from heaven upon the Lord at the scene of His water baptism. The dove has always been a type of the Holy Spirit and is implied in Genesis 1:2 when the Holy Spirit “moved upon the face of the waters.” The word “moved” is equivalent in English to undulate. Undulate is a bird-study term used to describe the rhythmic movement of a bird’s wing in flight. The nature of the dove with its many characteristics reveal to us the nature and purposes of the Holy Spirit, it being a symbol.

1. The turtle dove was without gall (reaction, anger, bitterness). This speaks of a selfless, vicarious, yielded and gentle life and death. The dove nature speaks of altruism. When we place great emphasis upon the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, we are speaking of the qualities of His nature (divine) indwelling us with all of His purely moral traits. Chiefly His objectives in His indwelling is to create Christ in us, who in turn restores us to fellowship with the Father. No gall speaks of the gentleness of the believer.

2. Peacefulness is also one of the characteristics of the dove He places within us. It has become a symbol of peace. Its nature is so peaceful it has gained reputation as the creature of peace by all of the nations of the world!

3. Devotion is characterized in the dove’s loyalty to a single mate throughout its entire life. You’ll never meet a divorced dove!

4. Homing is another characteristic of the dove. It establishes its home and then remains.

5. Power is surprisingly another characteristic of the dove! It has endurance, speed, level of energy and range of flying that is even greater than the eagle!

6. Selective eating is another thing that characterizes the dove. Philippians 1:9,10 The dove has extremely well controlled selective eating habits. The dove only eats pure grain cereals. It is by its selective eating habits that she insures her purity. The Holy Spirit has come to the heart of the believer to bring to us the knowledge, the wisdom, the sensitivities of right and wrong so that in this worldly environment we will be able to choose those things that are wholesome and contribute to our goals of perfection and intimacy with God.

So should every Christian be with this reputation of holiness; be as gentle and peaceful in nature … as pure inwardly as we may appear outwardly. Holiness is made up of many precious qualities and not just externals. Those who practice purity should, as the dove, appear pure, be extremely sensitive to moral principles and select only those things that are pure out of the environment. If we have the Holy Spirit in-filling our lives, we will acquire the same reputation as the dove.

Matthew 5:6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

Here is a reference to holy desire. The holy heart “hungers and thirsts” for righteousness – righteousness within himself and without in the world. Through Christ we can be possessors of righteousness within now. At the end of the age when He has “subdued all things,” there will be “a new heaven and a new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness.” And then righteousness within and without will be consummated! It’s coming! It is only a matter of time and patience – but it will come and we shall be satisfied. 2 Peter 3:13.

Matthew 5:8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

“Then there are those who are pure in heart.” [And true happiness must issue from purity.]

Matthew 5:10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

(Jeremiah 7:6)

NO ENEMIES?
He has no enemies you say? My friend, your boast is poor;
He who hath mingled in the fray of duty Enemies
That the brave endure, must have made foes.
If he has none, small is the work he has done.
He has called no traitor to a stand;
He has cast no cup from tempted hand,
He has cast no cup from wrong to right,
He has been a coward in the fight.

Matthew 5:14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. 15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.

THE IMPORTANCE OF A CHRISTIAN’S APPEARANCE
The Christian life should emit light “unto all.” Environment is the physical appearance of those things around us including the physical appearance of people. People upon people is the strongest of environmental influences. The reason is that biological attraction is the strongest attraction there is in our environment. The affect of other humans upon us as a part of our environment is by far the most powerful of those things attracting us. People attract people, and in a very wholesome sense, people are attracted to people. Therefore, how we visibly appear to each other can have either a moralizing or demoralizing effect upon others. For this reason, the scripture teaches some very explicit principles regarding our relationship and conduct between each other as it regards visible appearance and behavior. The written moral laws of both the Old and New Testaments mention matters of visible appearance. For this reason, biblical instruction regarding dress, hair and adornment was given that would establish visible purity as characteristic of Christians. The Holy Spirit makes me sensitive to any tendencies of the self to accentuate the sexual features with conscious intent to attract others to me. The attraction to the biological self by art and device is the wisdom of the carnal and will lead to hurt, shame and grief. Paul calls this kind of body oriented thinking, “the carnal mind.” It abides by the laws of sin and death. The spiritually minded abide by the laws of God. Romans 8:4,7. I am my neighbor’s environment.

Matthew 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

1. Let your light (life) shine.
2. That men may see your good works and
3. The Father is glorified.

LIGHT: The initiative of the Christian.

GOOD WORKS: This is not human niceness, this is heart holiness from God! See Righteousness; Ephesians 2:10; Good Works.

GLORIFY: Praise that is acceptable of God flows from the heart of holiness and willing obedience. See Isaiah 1:15-17; 58:6-14; Amos 5:21-24; Luke 6:46. A proper regard and affection for God’s moral law is very pleasing to the Lord. See Psalm 119.

Matthew 5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.

The first mention of law (NOMOS) by our Lord is here in the Sermon on the Mount.

Law: decreed by government and set forth to be the standard of justice and for the administering of justice. First mentioned by Jesus in Matthew 5:17, and then mentioned by Him in Matthew 6:12. Christ came to provide the legal means of being restored unto the Father by the blood of the cross Revelation 1:5), which was demanded of law. Leviticus 17:11. Therefore man cannot be justified (legally restored) to God’s favor by either the moral or ceremonial law of Moses. To better understand precisely this point W.E. Vine says;

Law – (nouns) NOMOS, akin to nemo, [meaning] to divide out, distribute … hence, usage, custom, and then law … or by statute; the word ethos, Government [meaning] custom … while nomos became the established name for law as decreed by a state and set up as the standard for the administration of justice. In the N.T. it is used

(a) of law in general, e.g. Romans 2:12,13, “a law” (R.V.), expressing a general principle relating to law; verse 14, last part; 3:27, “By what manner of law?’ i.e., ‘by what sort of principle (has the glorying been excluded)?’; 4:15 (last part); 5:13, referring to the period between Adam’s trespass and the giving of the Law; 7:1 (1st part, R.V. marg., “law”); against those graces which constitute the fruit of the Spirit “there is no law,” Galatians 5:23; “the ostensible aim of the law is to restrain the evil tendencies natural to man in his fallen estate; yet in experience law finds itself not merely ineffective, it actually provokes those tendencies to greater activity. The intention of the gift of the Spirit is to constrain the believer to a life in which the natural tendencies shall have no place, and to produce in him their direct contraries. Law, therefore, has nothing to say against the fruit of the Spirit; hence the believer is not only not under law, verse 18, the law finds no scope in his life, inasmuch as, and in so far as, [if so be that] he is led by the Spirit.”

(b) of a force or influence impel ling to action, Romans 7:21,23 … (in Ceremonial regard to the statement in Galatians (Vine) 2:16, that “a man is not justified by the works of the Law,” the absence of the article before nomos indicates the assertion of a principle, ‘by obedience to law,’ but evidently the Mosaic law is in view. Here the Apostle is maintaining that submission to circumcision entails the obligation to do the whole Law. Circumcision belongs to the ceremonial part of the Law, but, while the Mosaic Law is actually divisible into the ceremonial and moral, no such distinction is made or even assumed in Scripture. The statement maintains the freedom of the believer from the law of Moses in its totality as a means of justification);” See Romans 3:20.

THE NEW ROYAL NATURE
Once we are justified by His blood, we enter the life of sanctification and perfection. My new life in Christ has given me a nature affinity with the moral principles of God’s law. As a sinner it made me guilty, but now the law of God and not the law of sin (in my body) is the government I now recognize. It doesn’t make me guilty any longer because my new nature is in harmony with it, desires it, hungers for it, loves it. See Psalm 119. This is why the word “Law” (neither moral nor ceremonial) is used as not effecting justification. Only the blood saves, but grace, righteousness and holiness (See HAGIASUNE) my love for moral principle (the royal law) keeps us saved. See Luke 16:17; Romans 3:20-28.

Matthew 5:20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Flesh obedience lacks compassion. Pharisees were so involved in their own commandments (the Talmud), they had stopped giving a due regard to the precious Word of God. They had so many ways of interpreting the Word recorded in the Talmud that the pure Word of God had become secondary to their traditions. Any self taught system that replaces the original teachings of scripture is self-righteous and legalistic whether it be traditions of Charismatics or the traditions (human) of traditional (biblical) holiness people. “Legalism” is not limited to the behavior of a narrow-minded kind of holiness that has no compassion for the lost and only thinks of coming to church to “run and fetch a bless’n.” There are “legalists,” many of them, among the Charismatics who have their own peculiar traditions and sets of laws that do not align with the Word. The third kind of legalism is the biblical kind that loves order and loves the commandment … an affectionate regard for kingdom principles finding delight in obedience to the Word.

Matthew 5:28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

Jesus addresses the matter of fantasizing. We’re living in the day of pornography, swingers (married couples and singles who hold orgies together, or exchange married partners with the purpose of committing adulterous acts), transexual surgery, and flagrant public display of homosexuality as an accepted lifestyle. This flaunting of sexuality is having its degrading influence upon the church. The church is affected by the characteristics of the environment it is in. The Christian who refuses to openly make warfare against immoral trends in the environment, will by this inaction fall victim to the evils he refused to do battle with right within his family or his church. We will face the enemy we refuse to engage. He will come to you with advantage to do battle in the end. Some professional, secular psychologists advise married adults who have become disenchanted with their partner to practice fantasy, to imagine they are with another Imagination person of their choosing. Jesus clearly condemns this as a wrong and immoral use of the imagination equating it to the sin of adultery.

Fantasizing is also something that goes on in the mind of the Christian, which he sometimes finds very difficult to control. There are two things that provoke adulterous thoughts.

1. Provocative sensual women who have foolishly turned their souls over to the arts of glamour and sexuality,

2. Men with unrestrained minds. These unclean acts of provocative conduct are Chaste body based and sinful in nature.

The whole art of cosmetology is based on sexual attraction. Charles Darwin, whose curiosity about evolution left no aspect of the subject unexplored, believed that beauty is related to sexuality; his descent of man outlines his theory of sexual selection. A woman’s biological powers of attraction are not to be morally underestimated. For this reason the Bible record denounces the practice of exploiting sexual attraction. Self is not to be accentuated. According to scripture and according to what is decent (earns respect), self attraction is an obnoxious sin! The Charismatics who so highly endorse God’s love have apparently not applied I Corinthians 13 to their concept of divine love. Accenting feminine charm is foreign to and addressed by scripture as sin and vanity. Glamour is not love – it is lust! “Love vaunteth not itself.” See Isaiah 3; Psalm 39:11; Proverbs 6:25; 31:30; Ezekiel 16:14; 28:17; I Timothy 2:9; Titus 2:5; I Peter 3:1-3. Those who are anxious about their beauty (body), violate at least six of love’s prohibitions in I Corinthians 13:4-6. In The World as Will and Idea, Schopenhauer, the 19-century German philosopher, equates the ecstasy that seizes a man at the sight of a woman whose beauty appeals to him with a desire to perpetuate the human species. The human emphasis on accentuating physical beauty has always been related to sexual desire according to the world’s authorities. A prominent modern cosmetologist and expert on beauty and glamour, Luygi Giacometti states, “beauty plays a crucial role in sexual selection. It would seem, then, that unless the senses are first aroused by beauty, attraction between the sexes cannot become operative. The eye must be fascinated and the ear charmed by the person who is to be pursued. Hence both sexes develop a constellation of physical attributes harmoniously interspersed with the secondary sexual characteristics. It is these attributes … bodily form, grace of gesture and walk, voice, face and lips, the color and texture of skin and hair, eyes … that provide the initial stimulus to sexual passion and the guide to sexual selection.” By confession of the cosmetologists, cosmetics from ancient times have been used to deify the flesh. “In human beings, the sexual characteristics that embody the most conspicuous elements of beauty and therefore arouse the strongest sexual response in the beholder are prominently and uniquely displayed on the front of the body. But despite the emphasis on the breast as a sexual object, no part of the human body mirrors ones feelings, passions and sexual desire as faithfully as the face. Sexual prologue begins in the face, which expresses the language of yearning with great eloquence. the facial expressions produced by the mimetic muscles are the expression in the eyes and the movement of the lips.” The objective of sensual art is diametric to godliness required of women. ladies should not only abstain from painting and jewelry according to the scripture, but the plucking of the eyebrows (or shaving them off) to achieve a worldly beauty. If the thoughts are pure so will ones appearance.

BRIEF HISTORY OF COSMETOLOGY

The Egyptians practiced it as a fine art, although it was known to be practiced in biblical times in the person of Jezebel, the wife of King Ahab of Israel (897 BC). Some cosmetics have health advantages. Eye paint, for example was first used in Egypt as an insect repellent and as a prophylactic for eye disease. Both men and women used kohl (lead sulfide) to darken their upper eyelids; their lower lids were painted green with malachite (copper carbinate), which was also used as a mild remedy for trachoma, a highly contagious disease of the eyelids. It was the Greeks who first coined the word KOSMETIKOS to imply, “to adorn.” In his Historia Naturalis, Pliny the Elder (AD 23-79) described many of the cosmetic preparations used by the Romans. “Egypt and the Mideast had introduced into Rome so many exotic unguents, creams, ointments, bleaches, lash colors, depilatories, and hair dyes, that the Roman Senate curtailed their import to check the out flow of money. ‘At the lowest reckoning’ grumbled Pliny, ‘India, China (silk), and the Arabian peninsula drain our Empire of 100,000,000 sesterces, ($8 million) annually. That is what our luxuries and women folk cost us.” “Despite the opposition of the church to physical adornment, the use of cosmetics and beauty aids flourished throughout the middle ages and reached its zenith during Renaissance when men as well as women spent countless hours and large sums of money to whiten their faces, rouge their cheeks and lips, curl and dye their hair, soften their hands and lather with musky perfumes from the Orient.” We see from history that the world has always clamored after deification of flesh and that our church fathers were clearly opposed to its wasteful and sensual practice. scripture references above.

Matthew 5:29 And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. 30 And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.

Whatever measures of self-discipline we take to “crucify” the flesh with the affections and lusts (Galatians 5:24) that might be necessary, we are urged to do so! My personal desire and initiative in cooperating with the Holy Spirit against sin in my members cultivates holiness (HAGIASMOS) in me.

Matthew 5:41 And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.

THE WILLING HEART – THE HIGHEST FORM OF OBEDIENCE

Moral duty is not bound up in the moral law, but rather in the moral commitment, or the commitment to the divine moral by the Christian. Halford Luccock said, “The word ‘must’ frequently has the clank of ball and chain to it. We do not instinctively like it.” However, the new creation is a new heart with an all new set of affections and values. There are many compulsions in life we accept without thought. These are duties which our life depends on and so we take them in stride. We must bathe to stay clean. We must drive on the right side of the road. We must prepare our food before we can eat it. We must pay for goods we take home – there are thousands of compulsions in the natural life. It is not requirement itself (in the nature of law) that makes law affective or affects good. The strength of law is the willingness of the one under submission to that law! Willingness or compatibility with the law is a matter of man’s affections, his center of being, his values, his loving and appreciating the orderly outcome and positive effects of moral law. An affection for goodness is the essence of spiritual obedience. Willingness of the Christian to regard and obey the moral commandment, his willingness, love, and harmony with the law is the power of the law. Paul said, “with the heart (kardia, the center of being, the core of the soul and seat of all affections) man believeth unto righteousness.” So righteousness is desirable to the new creation and is the chief characteristic and pursuit of the “born again.” See Romans 10:10. You do not have to obey God’s law. You may be unwilling to do so and then suffer the consequences of disorder that will surely result as the outcome of being incompatible with the principles of good and order. It is only when the human heart is incompatible with the principles of the divine ethic that law is considered as something dreadful and undesirable. When man invents his own code of ethics, he resents God’s law. This incompatibility of man’s heart with the divine commandment is equivalent to rebellion and the greatest evidence of man’s need of having his heart “born again” or to be put back in harmony with divine government. See Psalm 19, Willingness is the key to obedience. To fight the commandment is to resist the moral wisdom of God, the essence of divine law. To be out of harmony with the divine law reveals a human spirit not in harmony with the Holy Spirit, a life not at all controlled by, nor regarding, the real moral objectives of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. The only way to avoid the slavishness of necessity is to be willing, if possible to do more than is demanded. What this principle of Jesus does, then when applied to our moral life, is clear. It divides a man’s conduct into two parts, the compulsory and the voluntary, the things he must do, and the things he chooses to do, the first mile and the second mile. It says moreover, that only as the voluntary overspreads and saturates the necessary and life ceases to be slavery and come to its full meaning of dignity and value. There is an essential nobility that belongs only to the soul who can say with Jesus, “No man taketh my life from me. I lay it down of myself.” Until willingness overflows obligation, men fight as conscripts [drafted] instead of following the flag as patriots [Volunteers]. Not till duty, looms larger than rights is a man truly moral. Christianity begins when the sense of privilege in service becomes greater than both rights and duties. The essential word of Christianity is love and that means super-abundant willingness to help.

Matthew 5:44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

AGAPE – SUPERNATURAL CHARACTER – HERE’S THE TEST.

Love my enemies!?!

1. This presupposes the fact that we will indeed have enemies, “All who live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” This simply says that the godly will have persecutors (enemies).

2. An “enemy” is not necessarily someone I hate, but more correctly should be understood as someone who hates me.

3. Even though we will not fellowship with the ungodly, we must remain open to the possibility of their conversion, and for this to be possible there must be divine compassion for them.

4. Righteous hatred is impersonal hatred of sin. Malicious hatred is personal hatred that excludes even the wish for conversion, reconciliation or salvation, and is characterized among “brethren” by not desiring the company of a brother. Hate avoids the hated – love reaches out and desires fellowship. The sooner we deal with hate, identify it, repent and reconcile, the sooner our salvation will become valid. Matthew 6:14; Mark 11:25; Luke 17:3,4.

Matthew 5:47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? 48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

“This does not mean absolute perfection or perfection in divine attributes, but perfection in love, in good nature, in good tempers, in universal sympathy for all sorts and conditions of men.”

Matthew 6:13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

Today we are being distracted from deliverance from sin by a message that delivers from poverty. Lazarus was a poor beggar who went to heaven because he was delivered from sin. The poor rich man went to hell, saved from poverty, but not from sin.

Matthew 6:22 The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.

SINGLE, THY WHOLE BODY SHALL BE FULL OF LIGHT.

“First love” is characterized as being a “singular love.” When other loves (desires) enter life, we lose the “first (singular) love.” Light is always the type of truth.

Matthew 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. 34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

THE RICH AND THE POOR
The kingdom of God is more than just getting saved and feeling rosy on the inside, wearing a perpetual smile and reciting prosperity scriptures. Here we have two very strong words that speak of character and the implications of holiness.

1. Kingdom of God – speaks to us of the divine government and its many laws. Someone has counted 1,050 commandments in the New Testament. When Jesus said the kingdom of God is within you, this includes the idea of inwardly possessing by nature God’s precepts of moral government. The essence of government is law, the laws of the kingdom are born within us and become a part of our lives as new citizens of the kingdom of holiness. See Matthew 5; Royal Nature, Matthew 6:12; Romans 8:4; Hebrews 8:10; 10:16.

2. Righteousness – From the Greek word, DIKAISUNE, implying honest dealings, equitable, from the Greek word, DIKAIOS, meaning holiness of character. Riches affect the lifestyle and way of thinking of humans, including Christians. Jesus pulled no punches on this issue. He never spoke a single word of praise for earthly wealth, but on the contrary, warned against the deceitfulness of riches. He equated riches with thorns which choke out the good seed of the Word. When certain of the rich, came to him, He advised, “Sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven.” He then went on to say, “It is easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.” When He told the story of the rich fool who built bigger barns, He warned that “life does not consist of the abundance of things a man possesseth.” The apostle Paul took up where Jesus left off on this matter, giving strict charge to the rich in this world, and warning them not to “trust in uncertain riches.” James, our Lord’s brother, was even more severe when he asked, “Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats?” Wealth fosters pride, extravagance, selfishness and destroys compassion in many who come by it. I Timothy 6:9 Warning: Christians are not to share in any political hatred for the rich because they are poor. There is a hatred among many poor for the rich. Sometimes we may see reasons for it, but this spirit in a Christian heart is as wrong as the rich man who oppresses the poor. Holiness of heart will not allow the rich to be without compassion for the poor, nor allow the poor to hate the rich. The godly rich are doubly rich! While some well-known men in scripture, i.e., Abraham, Joseph, David, Solomon, were among the rich, yet God never commended these men for their riches, or spoke commendably of their wealth. These were godly men who through faith and obedience contained their wealth well. While God tolerated wealth, he did not advocate it nor urge the pursuit of it. Many modern Christians are being made to believe that prosperity and faith are always relative and that is never true! The teachers of this doctrine teach on the premise of an implied meaning. Any teaching given from a part of scripture must be in harmony with the whole of scripture.

ALL THAT GLITTERS IS NOT GOD
Paul did not say … “All that live godly in Christ Jesus shall be blessed right out of their socks.” He said they would be persecuted to the point of suffering. 2 Timothy 3:12 Never is any heresy one hundred percent wrong. The fact that something seems to work is no proof that it is right. Following are 30 things that “prosperity teachers” will not tell you.

1. That prosperity is “the will of God for you,” as they teach it, is diametric to the biblical doctrines of the crucified life, self denial, sacrifice, Christian altruism (living completely for others) and spiritual contentment. Titus 2:12

2. The teaching of Jesus that concern for, or occupation with the matters of earthly needs was a concern and practice of the heathen, but not the Christian. Matthew 6:24-34

3. That Jesus angrily condemned the church of Laodicea for their materialistic philosophy and lifestyle. Revelation 3:17

4. The paradox of the cross; to take up the cross and follow Christ in death to self. “He that will gain his life must lose it.” Matthew 10:30-30; 19:29

5. Covetousness is one of the most grievous and gross forms of human transgression against God and man. There is a very thin wall of partition between covetousness and the desire for material wealth and abundance. Wanting material things is clearly prohibited in the Old and New Testament. To believe that we can gain worldly goods or even God’s blessings in any form with biblical formulas, amounts to knowing how to get everything out of God we can get for ourselves. Faith and love (the agape kind) are not so much interested in what they can get from God as they are in WHAT GOD CAN GET OUT OF US. A teaching of RECEIVING without proper emphasis on obedience to the moral disciplines of the Bible is just a respectable religious form of lust. Deuteronomy 6:12; Proverbs 23:4; 28:22; Matthew 6:19-21; 13:22; Mark 4:19; Luke 12:15; I Timothy 6:5,9; Revelation 3:17.

6. In the Lord’s Prayer He taught us to only pray for our daily human needs. He prayed, “GIVE US THIS DAY OUR DAILY BREAD.” Matthew 6:11

7. In the sixth chapter of I Timothy, Paul makes many references to false teachers. Note that his main opposition to the false teacher is the way they mishandle the matters of material gain. So emphatic is he about their error he states, “… a corrupt man destitute of the truth … from such withdraw thyself.”

8. Modern Christians are taught they can use faith to produce anything they profess that is promised to God’s children as recorded in scripture. TRUE SPIRITUAL FAITH HAS NO WANT FOR ANYTHING IN THE WORLD! PURE FAITH DOES NOT FIND ITS RESOURCES IN THE WORLD. In the Hall of Faith recorded in Hebrews 11, there is not one instance faith was used to heap wealth on the self life. Faith is concerned with the NEEDS OF OTHERS and not with the WANTS OF SELF.

9. PAUL THE APOSTLE sewed tents, suffered shipwreck and beatings. The proponents of positive confession tell us that Paul did not have “revelation knowledge” and therefore he, not having the light of positive confession, suffered the things he did. What splendid idiocy! In other words: a) All scripture is not Divinely inspired. b) These modern teachers are more enlightened and trustworthy than the apostle Paul. c) With some of Paul’s writings inspired and other writings NOT INSPIRED, PRAY TELL WHICH IS AND WHICH IS NOT? Christian, think! Are we going to be followers of Paul or those who blaspheme his sacred apostleship? 2 Corinthians 12:7

10. Jesus told the story of the rich man who went to hell, and it was the beggar who went to heaven in the arms of the angels. SO THERE IS SUCH A THING AS A RICH BEGGAR AND A POOR RICH MAN. Luke 16

11. The first time Jesus sent the disciples forth in ministry, He instructed them to “take neither purse nor script.” Their faith was in putting complete dependence for all their needs upon God. True faith teaches us this dependence. One preacher said, “I am not eulogizing poverty anymore than I am reproving riches. The simple truth is that neither is an apt measurement for faith.” Amen!

12. When Jesus gave the parable of the sower, He said, “In whom the cares of the world and deceitfulness of riches, choke out the Word … so he is unfruitful!” Matthew

13. In the writings of Jesus and James we’re warned against the seeking of riches. “Hurtful lusts” and lack of compassion are only two of many things money can bring into our lives with it. James 5:1-6; Mark 10:25

14. THRICE DID JESUS WARN it was extremely difficult for the rich to enter into the kingdom of heaven! Would God the Holy Spirit teach us contrary to the Master’s words? Will the Word of God contradict the doctrines or ways of life it prescribes for true disciples? Matthew 19:24; Mark 10:25; Luke 18:25

15. PROSPERITY TEACHING IS A GEOGRAPHICAL PHENOMENA. It works only in developed nations, especially in the Western world. Churches purified by trials, poverty and persecution reject the teaching. We would, however, put this doctrine to the test. We ask its proponents to take it to Laos or India and lift these nations from the pits of starvation and human suffering. If it is true doctrine, take it where it is really needed and change the world with it. If we go where there is no television, no privileges of propagation, no computerized mailing lists available, and most of all, no economy to support it, will it work there? If this is true doctrine it could heal the world.

16. The teaching of material prosperity is not a spiritual pursuit, nor does the spiritual man benefit from it. It claims to be used in God’s work, but ends up too oft spoiling God’s worker. Money has always been the chief corrupter of man. “The love of money is the root of all evil.” I Timothy 6:10

17. PROSPERITY AFFECTS THE HEART. The Influence prophet said, “I spake unto thee in thy prosperity; but thou sayest, I will not Heart hear.” Jeremiah 22:21

18. PROSPERITY TEACHING IS CONTRARY TO THE LIFESTYLE OF JESUS CHRIST. While we are not required to live the exact lifestyle of Jesus, He was a perfect example in all things. His example did not teach us to be involved with possessions of wealth, but to the contrary, HE DISPLAYED A VERY SIMPLISTIC AND MODERATE LIFESTYLE. Luke 9:58

19. “MANY ARE THE AFFLICTIONS OF THE RIGHTEOUS.” We are all in the University of the Holy Spirit. If Jesus “learned obedience by the things which He suffered,” no amount of Christian science acrobatics will get you out of it! Hebrews 5:8; Psalm 34:19

20. JOB’S EXPERIENCE EXPOSES SPIRITUAL POWERS Job not seen. The principle of God proving the character of His children is an eternal one. In the end Job was delivered, BUT BEFORE HE WAS DELIVERED HE PROVED HIS FAITHFULNESS AND SUFFERED IN DOING IT. Positive confession is a half truth presented as a whole truth. That is error.

21. Prosperity teachers will tell you that Paul suffered many things because he did not have “revelation knowledge.” What they will not tell you is that when Jesus personally dictated a letter to the church at Smyrna, He described the church as in poverty and tribulation. Jesus prophesied ten days or ten years of persecution and never offered them revelation knowledge that they might avoid that dreaded time. But if you live in Smyrna you have a promise, “Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.” Revelation 2:8-11

22. Jesus said, “When you are filled with the Holy Spirit, you shall be my witnesses,” which is the Greek word, MARTUS, literally meaning, martyrs. The coming of the Holy Spirit signals death to self, whether it means living death or literal death. Extravagance and selfish indulgence is diametric to the crucified life in Christ.

23. When Paul was converted Jesus said, “For I will show him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake.” according to scripture, is more a part of discipleship than wealth, ease and comfort. Acts 19; I Corinthians 1:26-29; John 16:33

24. “The Beatitudes may then, be considered as the Christian paradoxes, for they place happiness in dispositions and circumstances which men generally deem incompatible with it.” (Matthew Henry) Blessed are the poor in spirit, blessed are they that mourn, blessed are they which are persecuted, blessed are ye, when men shall revile you and persecute you and say all manner of evil against you falsely for my sake. The beatitudes reveal principles contrary to the philosophy of man (humanism), happiness is not derived from the abundance of material things, but from the rightness of character (right with man) and holiness (right with God) of life. Did John mean material wealth in 3 John verse 2? He gave up everything to follow Christ, lost even his freedom for following him, was exiled for preaching Christ and might of been martyred in boiling oil in the end. Would not the health and prosperity John wished upon Gaius be based upon a biblical understanding of prosperity and health?

25. It says of Jesus, “Yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered.” The Greek word, PENTHO: to experience mental or physical pain.

26. “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: That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lust of men, but to the will of God.” I Suffering Peter 4:1,2 In verse 2, Peter further explains that to cease from sin brings a certain agony to the flesh nature, but freedom to the spiritual man and with that freedom, spiritual life of liberty and power in the Holy Ghost. See Matthew 5:29; I Peter 2:21.

27. We are going to war and not to a party. Logic tells us that discipline, suffering, blood, death, and mourning applies to war and not parties. Indulgence, banqueting, reveling, extravagance, fashion, glamour, conveniences, luxury and merriment do not belong to war, but to indulgent party-going revelers. Holiness Christians will celebrate after the unconditional surrender of the Antichrist and Satan is dropped into the boiling lake of fire and all evil is finally exterminated. Then holiness Christians will have their party! Malachi 3:15

28. Moses possessed holy ambition. “He chose rather to suffer affliction with God’s people.” We all agree it was a sign of wisdom in Moses to reject the immaculate comforts and securities of Egypt to join God’s hated and despised people. In losing everything mundane and earthly, he gained everything heavenly and eternal.

29. Emphasis on materialism and gain by faith are distracting and disengaging us from proper spiritual emphasis. Jesus told us plainly, “give no thought what ye shall eat or drink … your heavenly Father knows what you have need of.” Needs will be provided without thought. On the other hand, we are to “strive” to enter in at the strait gate. Today we strive to believe God for our material state, and “take no thought” of the strait gate (the disciplines of holiness and character).

30. Contentment is a virtue of the holiness life. In I Timothy 6:8 Paul says, “With food and raiment therewith be content.” The great aversion of the liberal church movement to prosperity is a carnal admission of discontentment. Paul assured the churches he was contented with whatsoever state he found himself in. To make material possessions or the well-being of the physical state an indication of spiritual life or faith is contrary to the doctrines of Christian contentment. The holy life is a contented life. Contentment is one of the greatest spiritual states a Christian can find himself in. To accept his circumstances, whatever they may be, so long as he is pursuing the plan of God for his life – moral perfection. True disciples believe that God provides for all of our needs according to His riches in glory. The Bible teaches prosperity with godliness, but only in the light of what all scriptures say on the matter of the disciple’s relationship to mammon. Luke 16:13

Matthew 7:12 Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.

THE GOLDEN RULE: A GOLDEN LIFE
The golden rule expresses the golden nature of real agape. Notice what Jesus said, “as you would have them do unto you” – which implies they may not have done it unto you yet and may never do a nice thing unto you … but you’re to do it anyway! Jesus is saying in the golden rule statement, “Do something nice for a person first before they even have a chance to do anything nice for you.” Divine love does not wait until someone does us a favor or shows us some kindness first and then returns the favor – agape takes the initiative. Divine love reaches out in kindness first!

Matthew 7:13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

TWO GATES TO WHERE?
“The gate” speaks of beginning. Entering through the gate assumes we are going on in “the way.” But the gate, nor the way is as important as what the way leads to! The wide gate leads to destruction. The narrow way leads to life. It is the end of the course, where we are going we should think about when we set out on a journey. Bible holiness doesn’t concern itself with the straitness of the gate or with the narrowness of the way, but the ultimate goal – the finish line and meeting God in judgment there. Doctor J. I. Brice said, “The narrowness of Narrow Way the Pentecostal church was its power. Such narrowness has always been power. Singleness of aim is the secret of success in the task of any specialty. Concentration is the law of power and efficiency. For the sake of the redemption of the world, the church must narrow it’s allegiance; and as it does so, it will find its strength.”

Matthew 7:17 Even so every good tree brunet forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree brunet forth evil fruit.

ONLY TWO KINDS OF TREES
There are many hundreds of species of trees, but morally speaking there are only two kinds; good trees and corrupt trees. This teaching bears upon a very important principle in determining good and evil. Good things cannot come forth from evil Origin seeds, nor can evil come forth from good seeds. We are confused often as Christians living in a modern age as to the right and wrong of certain practices, such as cosmetics, rock music, video games or any of a great variety of activities, all of which have moral implications. Some modern Christians seem to think some things acceptable for the Christian today that were not acceptable to Christians of previous generations. In this parable of the two trees, Jesus reveals the principle of determining whether a thing is good or evil. The key is ORIGIN – the seed. If you want to know if something is good or evil, trace it back to its seed. e.g. Cosmetology, Matthew 5:28; Rock Sound, Amos 5:23. Rock music cannot be “cleaned up” by putting Rock Music it into the church with religious words anymore than you can hang apples on a catalpa tree and keep the worms from showing up. A catalpa tree is a catalpa tree because it came from a catalpa seed. Rock is rock because it originated in the immoral cradles of youthful rebellion, drug addiction, expressionism and the rebellious subculture movement of the 60’s. You can try to change rock, but you will never be able to change its origin. Many Christians during the birth of rock culture could not accept it because they saw where it originated and the morals of the personages who promoted it. But the next generation wasn’t familiar with evil origin and it, in the meantime, became widely accepted and woven into the world environment. Then the next generation of Christianity came along who had no teaching and no knowledge of the practical aspects of holiness, they embraced rock and “Christianized” it. Now “punk” is coming in. Even “rock Christians” find it hard to accept punk fashions, but in spite of its origin and the hesitancy of this generation to see any virtue in punk, it will be allowed into the church by the next generation. These are not mere fads, they are spirits – evil spirits come to bind and blind the church with a master plan to corrupt us by degrees until Satan himself rules the church. Those who possess the spirit of holiness will not welcome these spirits into the church. Proverbs 24:21.

Matthew 7:21 Not everyone that smith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

USING THE WORD “LORD” LOOSELY
We must first understand that Jesus’ words were not necessarily to only the Christians existing in the last days. Down through the history of the church there have been antinomian (against law) movements. These are Christian movements who profess Christ, but reject the idea of God’s law continuing in effect during the dispensation of God’s Spirit, and as a result they denounce divine government. See Commandments; Matthew 6:33. One such influential person was Marcion of Marcion the 2nd century of church history. He lead the first great anti-nomian movement propagating a doctrine that under grace, Sub “there is no law.” Marcion, the son of an early church bishop, went so far as to remove all commandments from scripture and denounced obedience to any moral law whatsoever. Marcion’s influence constituted one of the greatest threats to the early church. He was finally excommunicated. Down through the church ages there have been movements of anti-nomians (anti-meaning against, and nomia, gr. meaning law). Any doctrine within the church that attempts to establish a Gospel without law is antinomian. Calvin attempted to establish the Calvin Gospel without law, bringing into existence the teaching that there are those chosen arbitrarily by the sovereignty of God to eternal life apart from any works of righteousness. James 2:24 This extreme form of Calvinism concludes that those who are chosen of God will be saved though they will have no works. So we conclude that any form of conditionless salvation is anti-nomian in nature and contrary to the whole of scripture. Calvinism is usually understood in its extreme form of teaching as conditionless salvation. The opposite school, known as the Armenian teaching, is the doctrine of conditional salvation based upon the continuing in the good works of obedience after the new birth as the condition to maintain valid salvation. See Ephesians 2:10.Modern Charismatics and neo-fundamentalists who have departed from the traditional teachings of the Fathers on the matter of separation and holiness of life, also embrace a Christianity that amounts to conditionless salvation. In this sense, there is no difference between conditionless Calvinism and conditionless Charismaticism. It is all conditionless theology. Jesus opens this discourse with the fact that many Christians will come to Him in “that day” with great emotion saying, “Lord, Lord!” But emotionalism is no substitute for obedience. As we will find amoral antinomian Christianity often substitutes emotionalism for obedience thinking that believing in Him with great resolution is acceptable to Christ. Emotion is not the highest form of love. The highest form of love is obedience. John 14:15; 13:17

THUS SPEAKETH CHRIST OUR LORD
(Engraved on an old slab in the cathedral of Lubeck, Germany.)
Ye call me master and obey me not,
Ye call me light and seek me not,
Ye call me way and walk me not,
Ye call me life and desire me not,
Ye call me wise and follow me not,
Ye call me fair and love me not
Ye call me rich and ask me not,
Ye call me eternal and seek me not,
Ye call me gracious and trust me not,
Ye call me noble and serve me not,
Ye call me mighty and honor me not,
Ye call me just and fear me not;
If I condemn ye, blame me not.

Matthew 7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

They promoted the kingdom of God, but also represented a lawless moral which we will see. Matthew 23:15

These Christians made three claims;
1. We have prophesied in thy name.
2. We have cast out demons in thy name.
3. In thy name we have done many wonderful works.

These are not the feats of impostors! Ambitious spiritual faith and power is indicated in all three claims. These are the claims of liberal fundamentalists, not modernists. To lay claim to these kinds of supernatural accomplishments they had to be fundamental in faith. Two opposite evils that seem to have always plagued Christians are the two tendencies to either; 1) Obey without compassion. See Luke 15:29, or 2) Worship without obedience (“and do not the things I say”) the moral commandments. They are both terrible distortions of the holy life prescribed in the Gospel and create great confusion in the body of Christ. Jesus told John the Baptist’s disciples His credentials were miracles. But that is not miracles apart from absolute spiritual goodness. We will learn from these words of our Lord that there is no eternal destiny apart from holiness of heart and life. What righteousness we are capable of shall be required. What we are capable of, we are responsible for. We’re living in a time when men seem to have God’s miracles apart from God’s morals. The question is, can faith apart from holiness of life produce miracles? God gives miracles and signs often in spite of what we are rather than because of what we are. However, these men have not realized that; 1) miracles are granted by God on the basis of the need of others combined with faith factors, while 2) admission into the kingdom of God will be on the basis of obedience to the righteousness we are capable of through the grace of Jesus Christ. There are works of faith and there are good works of character. Let us see this more clearly as we go on. What we have in Matthew 7:21-23, is the divine revelation of the claimed results of earthly ministries. This is the great era in church history for superlative achievements, super churches, elite Charismatic spiritual leaders of great success, satellite ministries, worldwide achievement and renown. Revelation 3:17. But when we all stand in judgment to have our works tried, scrutinized by Him with eyes of fire and voice of thunder – what strange things will happen. For in that judgment only moral achievement will be rewarded! I Corinthians 6:9-11; 2 Corinthians 5:10. In the seventh chapter of Matthew verse 22, Jesus said that there would be those that come to Him in the day of judgment saying, “We have prophesied, we have cast out devils and done many wonderful works in your name,” yet they were rejected. Now what we must reconcile is the fact that He, 1) Gave miracles in His life as His credentials, but here, 2) He gave no credence to miracles and rejected them as proof of anything.

CONCLUSION: In observing the life of Christ as against those referred to in Matthew 7, we make this observation; that miracles without intimacy with the Lord, a close adherence to pure doctrine and possessing the evidence of new birth, Romans 10:10; James 2:12 are invalid. Moral purity is the assumed first quality of being born of the Holy Spirit into the body of Christ. Faith may produce miracles, but obedience (works, ergon, good deeds, works as in Ephesians 2:10; James 2:14-26 is the essence of moral character. They did not possess the latter! What was this serious flaw in their lives that finds them being cast away? Intimacy with the Lord Jesus which is much more than praise.

Matthew 7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

In this verse lies the key that unlocks the previous two verses. But first notice in verse 22, that again these people became very emotional. Notice also that the invoking of “Jesus’ name” does not necessarily imply divine authority or divine approval. Those who appear to have Pentecostal “traits” make no claims of righteousness or holiness. Their claims are in works apart from goodness and His moral commandments. Matthew 5 and 6. Their claims are works of faith, and not of moral goodness. They are not claiming, “Lord, Lord, have we not sought to obey Thee and cultivate godliness in all men?” You cannot employ the Holy Spirit to do your bidding and then go out and “do your own thing” morally. We have here two key words that unlock this “hard saying” of the Lord.

THE WORD OF APPROVAL
“I never knew you.” ginosko is the particular Greek word Jesus uses. Why this term when Vine lists fifteen different Greek words translated as “know” or “knew” in English? Let us see where this word is used in other passages to get the full impact of what Jesus said. Matthew 1:25. And Joseph knew her not (Mary) until she had brought forth the first born (Jesus). John 2:24 But Jesus did not commit Himself unto them, because He knew all men.“Vine says of this statement by Jesus… “I have never been in approving connection with you.” Especially meaningful is the idea that Joseph’s intimate conjugal relationship with his engaged wife, Mary, is the same personal intimacy lacking between Himself and these fundamentalists He is rejecting. This is also referred to as experimental knowledge as opposed to non-experimental knowledge. ginosko is used in terms of the knower’s approval of the known. This is seen in the above scriptures, as well as many others space does not allow us to list. Young’s Analytical Concordance to the Bible (Look under “know,” not “knew”) is a good source to extend this study. Or paraphrased, Jesus literally said to these Pentecostals who cast out demons and prophesied, Away from me, you lawless one! I was never intimate with you.

“Away from Me ye workers of iniquity.” The next key word is iniquity, which is the Greek word anomia.
This is not to be confused with antinomian (against law).
Antinomian means to be against or opposed to the moral laws of God.
Anomia is showing and attitude of indifference, the moral law of God is unimportant.
The word iniquity implies a doer of evil works but here it is describing the iniquity of an apostate church and that the sin of this church was rooted in lawlessness, a disregard for the moral law, the commandments of the Lord.

Amorality is more insidious than immorality because it is too good to go to hell and too bad to go to heaven. It’s hard to condemn and just as hard to commend but the forerunner of immorality. This word anomia used here means non-law, or no-law. They had faith and works, but they had no interest in the biblical doctrines of sanctified character and/or holiness. Law is God’s revelation of His own divine character, is a part of conversion and an essential element of the redemptive experience! See Psalm 19:7; Jeremiah 9:13; John 14:15; 15:14. Anomia translated iniquity in this text reflects the idea of the state of being lawless. It indicates by the Lord’s vehement casting off of these praisers who held God’s moral commandments (Read Matthew 5) in contempt utterly ignoring them and apparently opposed to them. Jesus told us, If you love me, keep my commandments. Anomia describes Christians who were apparently once justified and fell into the errors of a conditionless fundamentalism (faith without holiness). They had faith in Christ, but placed no importance on the one thousand and fifty commandments given to the New Covenant church in the writings of the New Testament. They had no experience of personal intimacy with the Lord. They had cast off the commandments and listened to their carnal teachers instead of the word of God and the Holy Spirit because it accommodated their carnal personal preferences until they had become a law unto themselves. “This definition of sin sets forth its essential character as the rejection of the law or will of God and the substitution of the will of self.” See W.E. Vine Exp. Dictionary of New Testament words: Lawless, Iniquity) So, these being rejected in judgment confessed an espousal and loyalty to Christ personally, but cast off His moral commandments as non-essential. Reject the Word of sanctification and you have rejected the blood, the very efficacy of the cross! There is more fuzzy thinking on the doctrine of law in Christian circles today than perhaps any other doctrine. We had better begin to wake up to the fact that Jesus will be rejecting lawless Christians at the judgment seat and make a serious study of the matter. See James 2:12; Law of Liberty. W. E. Vine says of this word anomia, “not a law of compulsion enforced from without, but meeting with ready obedience through the desire and delight of the renewed being who is subject to it; into it he looks and in its teaching he delights;” Calvary provides me with the holy inner presence of the Spirit of Christ that loves the law of the Lord. It’s the same moral quality, but now it is dwelling in my heart in the form of moral desire – now I delight in moral excellence – the spirit of the moral law (love) is in me. If that love for perfection, to be holy, for moral excellence that corresponds with the written law is not in me, then the written law exposes me as not possessing agape. I John 1:3-5; Romans 8:4; John 14:15,21,23-24.

Matthew 8:2 And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. 3 And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed. (2 Corinthians 7:1)

“Faith in Christ’s willingness and ability to cleanse, brings His prompt answer, ‘I will: be thou clean’.” The desire to be clean is never without God’s instant attention!

Matthew 12:1 At that time Jesus went on the sabbath day through the corn; and his disciples were an hungred, and began to pluck the ears of corn, and to eat. 2 But when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto him, Behold, thy disciples do that which is not lawful to do upon the sabbath day. 3 But he said unto them, Have ye not read what David did, when he was an hungred, and they that were with him; 4 How he entered into the house of God, and did eat the shewbread, which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for them which were with him, but only for the priests? 5 Or have ye not read in the law, how that on the sabbath days the priests in the temple profane the sabbath, and are blameless?

In this scene Jesus and the disciples are eating from the fields as they pass through on the Sabbath day. The Pharisees saw it (v.2) and accused them of violating the law of the Sabbath. Jesus brings out a great principle concerning the law; that when God gave the law, it was given on the premise of benevolence, the well-being of the total social state of man. as a love that relaxes the moral commandment if we find it inconvenient or reasoning finds it to be intrusive or not preferable. Holiness people love the Word and all commandments and understands the moral commandments as something desirable and beneficial. Liberal theology thinks to change the commandment to suit the heart. The Bible teaches that God changes the heart to suit the commandment. See Heart Holiness. There will be times when the principle of benevolence supersedes the literacy of the law. In this case, the disciples were traveling on a journey, passed through a field and plucked some grain to relieve their hunger. The Pharisees immediately used the occasion to bring accusation against them of breaking the law of the Sabbath.

Love is the supreme motivation behind all of God’s commandments. While God does not want His people to forget the Sabbath day that is a monument to the instantaneous creation, the Pharisees had become so humanly rigid about God’s laws, they had carried the law to an extent of literalness that amounted to making demands on the people which even God Himself did not intend or make.

The disciples did not go to the field to harvest the field, which was definitely forbidden by law, Deuteronomy 5; Exodus 20, on the other hand, fatigued travelers passing through the fields, gathering the grain for energy along the way would not be considered a transgression or construed as meaning labor. Jesus then cited David eating the shewbread from the house of God, which was unlawful for him to eat (v.4), and that priests actually labor on the Sabbath and yet do not profane the Sabbath. There are necessities that serve the well-being of man and yet do not constitute a violation of the principle or moral precept, nor sets a precedent for others to follow in wholesale violation of the commandment. We must be careful in the pursuit of holiness, not to become so overbearingly scrupulous that we become as guilty as the Pharisees and demand a humanistic holiness of our people. If it, 1) Does not set a precedent, 2) Does not constitute a new trend away from the commandment, 3) Serves a benevolent purpose on the behalf of the well-being of an individual or the welfare of a group, then it is possible that a law of God may be exceeded by the dictates of love. Their act of plucking the grain was not a practice, but an isolated incidence of necessity. Compromise occurs when conduct become a selfish constant practice apart from necessity. All of God’s commandments are based on benevolent principle, that is, love always seeks the well-being of others with joy, regardless. All of God’s commandments are based upon this principle of divine love. So, having God’s love we fulfill the commandment and when out of love obey the commandments we fulfill love. See Romans 13:8-10. It is impossible to fulfill the commandments, Romans 8:7, without having a heart of perfect love pounding with holy delight the principles of the kingdom. Namely; high regard for the commandment as the wisdom of God and the revelation of the divine order of things born out of a right concept of God.

Matthew 12:36 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. 37 For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.

MORAL LANGUAGE OF THE BIBLE

Language used everyday indicates that man is a moral being. Many common words used universally reveals concepts of human behavior and moral ideas.

Must

Can

Can’t

Yes

Will

Want

Should

No

Shall

Would

May

Good

Right

Ought

Wrong

Maybe

This partial list of moral words from the Bible text will impress us with the fact that the Bible is indeed a moral book and that man indeed is a moral creature! Think upon a single word and list the different moral implications that can be derived from each word. Some are easily recognized as having moral implications, others are more symbolical of moral values.

Abstain

Abomination

Account

Accursed

Acquit

Adultery

Adulterer

Adversary

Almost

Amen

Anger

Anguish

Appetite

Arrogance

Ashamed

Ashes

Astray

Astrologers

Atonement

Attain

Avenge

Awake

Baal

Babel

Backbiting

Backslider

Balances

Base

Beach

Believe

Beloved

Best

Bitter

Blabber

Blame

Bliss

Blood

Blot

Boast

Brass

Brawler

Bribes

Bridle

Bum

Calamity

Calm

Captive

Cause

Chain

Change

Charity

Chaste

Choice

Circumcise

Clean

Come

Comforter

Command

Commend

Commit

Communion

Compassion

Compel

Complete

Condemn

Condescend

Constrain

Contempt

Correct

Corrupt

Counsel

Covenant

Cover

Covet

Craftiness

Crooked

Cross

Crown

Crucify

Cruel

Cry

Curse

Damned

Dance

Dark

Day

Dead

Deceived

Dedication

Defile

Defraud

Deliver

Deny

Desire

Despair

Despise

Destroy

Devil

Devise

Devour

Devout

Die

Differ

Diligence

Discern

Disciple

Dishonor

Dishonest

Disobedient

Divide

Divine

Division

Doctrine

Dog

Door

Double-minded

Doubt

Dread

Dross

Drunk

Due

Dumb

Ear

Earnest

Earthly

Edify

Effect

Election

End

Endure

Enemy

Enmity

Enlightened

Enticed

Equal

Equity

Error

Escape

Establish

Estate

Esteem

Estranged

Eternal

Evil

Exalt

Example

Excuse

Exhort

Expound

Eye

Fable

Fail

Faint

Faith

Faithful

Fall

False

Fasting

Fault

Favor

Fear

Fidelity

Fight

Finish

Fire

Flesh

Flood

Folly

Fool

Forbid

Forgive

Fornication

Forsake

Foundation

Free

Froward

Fruit

Frustrate

Fulfill

Gentle

Glad

Glory

Gluttony

God

Godly

Gospel

Grace

Gracious

Grate

Greedy

Grow

Guile

Guilty

Hair

Happy

Harden

Harvest

Harlot

Hate

Haughty

Heal

Healing

Health

Hear

Heart

Heathen

Heaven

Heavy

Heed

Hell

Help

Holiness

Honest

Honor

Hope

Hunger

Hurt

Hypocrite

Idol

Ignorance

Immortality

Impute

Incorruptible

Infinite

Iniquity

Innocence

Instruct

Integrity

Intercession

Interest

Jealous

Joy

Judgment

Just

Keep

Kindness

Knowledge

Lack

Labor

Lamb

Lamp

Law

Learn

Leaven

Lend

Liberality

Liberty

Lie

Life

Longsuffering

Look

Love

Lust

Malice

Master

Meek

Mercy

Might

Mind

Money

Mouth

Murder

Murmur

Naked

Nature

Night

Obey

Observe

Offense

Oil

Oppress

Order

Ordinance

Overcome

Pain

Pardon

Path

Patience

Peace

Perdition

Perfect

Pit

Pity

Plague

Please

Pleasure

Poor

Poverty

Power

Praise

Pray

Preach

Precepts

Presence

Prevail

Pride

Priest

Principality

Profit

Promise

Prophet

Prosperity

Proud

Prudent

Punish

Pure

Purge

Rage

Rainbow

Ransom

Rebuke

Reckon

Redeem

Refuse

Reject

Remember

Remission

Repent

Require

Reproof

Resist

Respect

Restore

Reverence

Revile

Revive

Reward

Right

Righteous

Riot

Rule

Sacrifice

Saints

Salt

Salvation

Sanctify

Sanctuary

Saved

Savior

Scorner

Seared

Seek

Separate

Serve

Service

Shame

Sin

Sincerity

Sleep

Sluggard

Snare

Sober

Sow

Spare

Speak

Spirit

Spot

Straight

Strength

Strive

Strong

Study

Subjection

Submit

Suffer

Swear

Teach

Temporal

Tempt

Terror

Testimony

Traitor

Transgress

Treason

Trespass

Tribulation

True

Trust

Unbelief

Unblameable

Unclean

Understanding

Unfaithful

Unfruitful

Ungodly

Unjust

Unrighteous

Unspotted

Unstable

Upright

Vain

Victory

Vigilant

Walk

War

Wash

Watch

Weak

Wicked

Will

Wisdom

Witchcraft

Worldly

Worship

Wrath

     

Man’s language reveals him to be a creature of moral values. See “speech” and “words” in Young’s Universal Subject guide to the Bible.

Matthew 13:21 Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.

Notice the reference to the initiative to be had by the Christian, “have no root in themselves.” There is a root of “will” to be had within ourselves if we are to be rooted in Christ.

Matthew 15:9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

In Jesus’ day there were 60 volumes in the Talmud, which were the interpretations of the law of Moses plus the Misnah. Today there are 365 volumes in the Talmud! It was to this teaching contained in the Talmud authored by Jewish religious peers that Jesus is referring to here as “The commandments of men.” It contains a liturgy of manmade codes and concepts with no ties whatsoever to the moral commandments of scripture. When liberals refer to holiness people as “Pharisees” and “legalists” with this saying of Jesus, they are dead wrong in the application of these words. Holiness people who practice convictions that regulate worldly appearance, based on the biblical text, are on solid ground and must not be discouraged by the intimidating attempts of non-holiness believers. See Isaiah 65:5. He condemned the Torah traditions that were made up of liturgies and nonsensical requirements about eating eggs of dead hens and other farfetched non moral requirements. But the standards taught by holiness churches tare moral principles promoting the divine principles of purity. All holiness is based on a moral reason – even if that teaching is extreme and not required by implication – most teachings including what I would consider extreme and not required directly by the apostle’s teaching, is usually taught for reasons of purity. Not so with the dutiful liturgies of the Pharisees and scribes of Jesus day.

The carnal mind cannot correctly interpret spiritual principle, because it has no affection or affinity with moral perfection. Example: We have made holiness a monster full of hypocrisy and cruelty. We have humanized it. Result: The doctrine of sanctification has been completely eliminated as a theme “under study.” On the other hand, there are many practices or “traditions” practiced by the contemporary liberals that are indeed unscriptural traditions. That is unbiblical tradition also. 1) Holding hands in prayer. 2) The common practice of physical adornment and cosmetology. 3) Emphasis of personalities, entertainment. 4) The teaching of Bible holiness and separation as legalism. These are all new trends that mark new traditional customs that started characterizing the neo fundamental movement since 1945. They practice forms of worship not found in scripture and a lifestyle tolerating worldliness and emotionalism apart from holiness of life. These contemporary believers censure Christians whose traditions are rooted in preserved scriptural principles (2 Thessalonians 2:15), while they abound in unbiblical traditions of their own. Liberalism has produced its own kind of rigid legalistic views regarding what is right and wrong. Any rigid dogma that becomes exclusive and aloof from those outside of their own circles constitutes “legalism.” When what I believe becomes a law to me and those who do not agree with me are considered “violators” of my beliefs and I separate from brethren on the basis of anything other than unbiblical immoral conduct and/or oneness in the blood of Christ . . . I am a legalist.

There is as much legalism among the Charismatics and liberals as with any other group that creates exclusiveness on the premise of its own self-determined concepts of right and wrong conduct. The scriptural teaching on the matter of divorce and remarriage has been liberalized by human intellect and neo-theology. You will find that any religion that deviates from the literacy of scripture has been tampered with by secular concepts. The carnal mind, which is not subject to the law of God, or does not pay proper heed to the commandment, has handed down decrees regarding the holy life with unholy knowledge and authority. We have neither the love for the commandment nor Love or resolution enough to comply with what is scripturally right. The moral principles of God have been intellectually codified by the unregenerate apostate theologians. It is the distortion of the commandment and the law of God by the unregenerate mind that has given rise to wrong concepts about the law of God and moral behavior. Wrong concepts of redemption, all the carnal concepts Carnal Mind that have been formed and framed have been given birth by the humanistic vocalists who have blathered their views in the church by virtue of their celebrity status, charisma, or academic titles. When you rationalize a doctrine into existence you can tamper with it and change it. But when you’re dealing directly with commandments of God, tampering is impossible. Carnal intelligence will not tolerate the commandments to remain as such. The carnal mind tries to take literacy away from the Word of God commandment as was revealed in Satan’s tampering with the original commandment in the Garden of Eden. He didn’t deny the commandment, he just altered it by placing a question mark in her mind. She let the snake interpret the commandment for her. Of course, you can’t change the commandment itself, you can only change it in your own mind. So the carnal (body oriented) mind will not receive the literal commandment. The body nature is not compatible with commandment obedience, “For the carnal mind is not subject to the law of God (moral commandments of God), neither indeed can be.” Romans 8:7. It (the body life) is given to rationalizing against the moral control of the body life whether it be God or man. The regenerate mind lovingly yields to the moral commandment believing in and surrendering to the wisdom of it.

As regards the change in the attitude of Christians toward pure doctrine, sanctification and in particular the practice of separation from the world; our economy made a great contribution to this change toward allowing the worldly practices into the church. The great depression shattered the American economy in 1929 and held on to the nation until after WW II in 1945. Beginning with 1945 the United States started a strong recovery and money became available once more. There was a money boom in the country until 2008 when another market crash occurred. But in the boom beginning in 1945 when America started having more things available to the average person and we could afford the things we didn’t believe in when we were poor and couldn’t afford what was forbidden. But as materialism and money became more available and then add to that equation the coming of television and other high tech convenience, the church began to change its message, dropped the doctrine of separation, mortification and temperance opening the floodgates of materialism and bodily indulgences. One Charismatic “Christian” publishing house serves cocktails at their board meetings. I have lived through sixty years of these changes observing and studying them closely. It strange to see what we don’t believe in when we can’t afford them and then over a time we start believing in things we can afford that we once didn’t believe in because we could not afford them.

Matthew 15:13 But he answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up.

An analogy of sanctification. You can have good seed and good soil, plenty of rain and sunshine, but in the final analysis, if we don’t keep the weeds out of our life we end up with nothing of worth. Sanctification is absolutely essential to Christian growth and survival as weeding and cultivation is absolutely necessary to the survival of any garden or crop. So in the final analysis, sanctification is an essential to salvation. Romans 3:20. Justification brings us to sanctification. The scripture teaches us in Colossians to put on the new man and “put off” the works of the old man and the old nature – the old lifestyle. Colossians 3:9-12. Putting on Christ is the sunshine and rain we need to grow, and “putting off” is weed pulling. Though negative action, it is absolutely essential to growth and complimentary to the positive contributions of sun and rain. If there is a need in the church today, it is to declare war on the weeds.

IDENTIFYING THE WEEDS

1. Sometimes the weeds look like the vegetation – the fruit of the garden.
2. Sometimes the fruit looks like the weeds.
3. It’s always easier to pull the weeds after the rain (after the reviving work of the Holy Spirit upon the life).
4. They are persistent. While the fruitful vegetation is easily spoiled and easily uprooted – weeds are more hardy and persistent.
5. Weeds are not bothered so much by insects – you hardly ever see weeds eaten by insects, while vegetables and fruitful vegetation are constantly threatened by them.

Matthew 18:18 Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

“Spiritual overseers (ordained ministers) of the church are the guardians of the church and have in them the God vested authority to discern evils in the worldly system and expose them to the church and even rule as to what is not morally acceptable to the church. This authority was used and expressed more in the earlier years of the Pentecostal movement when being right and pure was more important to us than self and success. Experience and the lofty success philosophies of liberalism scoffs at keeping corruption out of the church by decree. ‘You can’t legislate holiness’ they repeat with confidence. No – holiness is a love for purity – they don’t have that. But the pure in heart believe in ‘legislating sin and evil influences.’ We should observe that the church in any age and any locale has a right (even a responsibility) to establish standards which differentiate its membership from the world and from current popular sins. In our day rebellion, effeminacy, role confession, homosexuality … are problems the church must witness against every way possible and Christians should be happy to follow the standards and ‘shun all appearance of evil’.” Jeremiah 23:22; Matthew 16:19; Acts 15:20,29; I Corinthians 11:16.

Matthew 19:3 The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause? 4 And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, 5 And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? 6 Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. 7 They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away? 8 He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so. 9 And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.

Divorced people and remarried couples who sit in our congregations must not take every mention of divorce, remarriage and adultery as a personal remark directed at them. They should be the most opposed to the traumas of a shattered marriage. They who have experienced it should be shouting “amen” in support of their pastor’s courage to keep it from the church, and especially in warning to the young. The church needs a clear message and teaching on divorce. Those who have remarriage in their lives should go to their pastors and tell them, “Pastor, we are divorced people and we know the torture, the pain, the remorse and the scalding tears of it. We know why God is against divorce and we want you to stand against it, and when you do, we’ll not be offended, we’ll be behind you and want you to know we will support your stand against this devastating sin.” Among Christians, divorce is being practiced today as “the way out,” to switch partners and on such ridiculous grounds as incompatibility! Where is the Holy Spirit that can change the heart of the sinner and heal the sick? Those who hold divorce papers and profess faith in God at the same time are hypocrites of the lowest sort! The Spirit-filled church is raising no voice against this plague of incontinency. All we have done is throw kerosene on the fire by changing our by-laws to justify it and creating “singles” ministries that bring the divorced and previously unmarried together. “From the beginning it was not so.” Micah 2:9; Malachi 2:14-16; Matthew 19:3-9; Luke 16:18; I Corinthians 7:10,11. Note: A good scholarly work on divorce and remarriage, “Does Divorce Dissolve Marriage,” by Milton T. Wells. (Out of print)

Matthew 22:39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

Self-made theorists – humanistic psychologists use the neighbor passage here to prove Jesus taught “self-love” as they. ERICH FROMM was one of the first self-love advocates to make this claim. However, Jesus was considering only two commandments; 1) Love God, 2) Love your neighbor to the degree you love yourself. This presupposes every man already loves himself. This destroys the theory that low self-esteem is the basic problem with man. Jesus was correcting selfishness here and not low esteem. See Ephesians 5:29.

Matthew 23:2 Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat: 3 All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.

To the Publicans and sinners He shows compassion. Matthew 9:11; 11:19; Luke 7:34.

To the Scribes, the priests, the lawyers, the Pharisees He shows anger. Matthew 23:3,14, 15. We must see compassion as a necessary part of corrective action. When corrective action is administered with the intent of improving character and ultimately achieving character, we are demonstrating a faith with wisdom. In the cleansing of the temple at the beginning of His ministry, and again at the end of His ministry, we see Christ’s unchanging corrective attitude toward sin! He did not mellow in His position against sin. Proverbs 24:21,22. Christians often confuse the ministry of compassion with the ministry of correction. It is sometimes difficult to know whether to react with corrective measures, words, or with compassion and loving patience. Jesus displayed both reactions. None have lived a more holy life than the Savior. Yet He displayed both corrective response to sin and compassion to the sinner, depending upon the measure of responsibility of the person guilty of transgression. The measure of guilt is often in ratio to the measure of knowledge of the transgressor. Notice His corrective responses toward the fig tree, the Pharisees, the rich young ruler, the temple merchants, compared to His compassion toward such persons as Zacchaeus and the woman caught in adultery (a classic example of compassionate response). John 8:11.

Matthew 23:15 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.

THE MISSIONARY FROM HELL Great efforts alone are not always a sign of God’s work. The effort must be based upon the principles of holiness of life. Lifting the moral level of life in the convert is the divine objective. This is the story of the missionary from hell.

1. “Woe unto you.” Many think they are “doing it for the Lord,” but He will not be pleased if our message does not carry the power of sanctification. Be sure you carry true doctrine.

2. “Ye compass sea and land.” Scope of labor is no indication of divine approval or partnership.

3. “To make one proselyte.” Are we after statistics or disciples.

4. “And when he is made.” It is not the persuasion of mind and the science of communication that constitutes discipleship. Here the apostates made converts, but as we will see, not a disciple of Christ.

5. “Ye make him twofold the child of hell than yourselves.” Usually (there is the exception) a disciple will not rise above the standard or experience of his parent in the Lord. The law of reproduction is that we reproduce like kind.

There is a popular trend today in evangelism to evangelize without the transformed life as the objective. Your evangelism may be correct and your theology down pat, but are we carrying the message of the holy heart? Without this divine moral the propagation of the Gospel can prove to be a complete loss. Matthew 7:21-23. When we pass on an abnormal and amoral Christianity to those we “win,” we curse and damn what we claim to be achievements. Are you called to evangelism? Have the God given message. Are you traveling to the nations? Have God’s message or stay home!

Matthew 26:41 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.

FLESH AND SPIRIT
We go to the Garden of Eden to discover a basic principle of human nature. When Adam’s nature, through disobedience, fell into the state of degeneration, causing him to lose his innocence, his reactions were twofold: 1) He became aware of nakedness, and 2) He experienced guilt in the presence of God. His flesh and his spirit were affected by disobedience. Genesis 3:7, 21. For communion with God to be fully restored, there must be both physical and spiritual restoration. As soon as Adam and Eve realized Apparel their nakedness, they attempted to clothe themselves with aprons of Nakedness leaves. God proceeded to cover their nakedness in His own way. He replaced their aprons of leaves with His coats of skin. Thus God provided a covering for both the sin of the flesh and the sin of the spirit. He shed the animal’s blood, instituting blood sacrifice, using the skins to cover the shame of their nakedness. We see the practical and the spiritual combined in God’s first act of atonement. We also see the human concept of modesty (aprons) compared with the Holy concept of modesty (coats). The coats speak to us of modesty and visible purity. The shed blood of the animals Prayer speaks of communion with God being restored through blood atonement. Leviticus 17:11. In the Garden of Eden God provided a covering for both the flesh and the spirit. This act reveals the dichotomy of man. “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” John 6:63 In I Corinthians 6:20 he again pleads, “Therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit.” These are reasons why the body is mentioned separately from the spirit and also why it is mentioned first. The reason is because the body appetites are the cause and medium of all committed sin. Romans 6:6; 7:20,23; James 1:14. Man without God is animal. The human body has the identical characteristics of a dog as an organism. The scripture leaves no guesswork in making it clear that the greatest threat to our moral purity is the lack of control of the appetites in the degenerate body. The big issue of Romans six through eight is “My Body.” Romans 8:8.

THE THREE SENSE PLEASURES (APPETITES)
There are three basic appetites in flesh – Sex, Hunger and Ambition.

THE FLESH APPETITES DEFINED
HUNGER APPETITE: The hunger Appetites appetite serves as a regulator of food Defined intake for the required energy of man. A lustful hunger appetite becomes an instrument of destruction instead of strength when it is misused. Luxury eating is the basic cause of most fateful heart conditions in addition to many other diseases and physical weaknesses that occur in man. The food industry is constantly introducing new taste sensations for pleasure. Next to overeating is the indulgence of known harmful non-foods such as tobacco, alcohol and drugs. Even coffee and tea can be habit-forming and harmful. Philippians 3:19.

GREED APPETITE: or the appetite of ambition, is necessary in man’s colossal task of replenishing the earth. This appetite brought war to heaven by the lusting Lucifer and then to earth. Greed caused Eve to want more dominion than God conferred on her. The desire to possess and to have dominion beyond appointment is still present, leaving its curse upon creation. James 4:1-3.

SEX APPETITE: The twofold purpose of God in creating sex is, 1) Intimate physical companionship between married partners (only), and 2) The reproduction of man. In fallen man the strongest of the three appetites is the sex appetite. Because it is the most dominant, it has the greatest bearing on human behavior. The sex pleasure is the strongest form of pleasure to the ego and the physical life. The appetites were created by God, and are basically good when used for reasons in keeping with God’s original design of the body. But when any one of the appetites are used for sensual pleasure only, then the act becomes selfish and the original purpose is violated and lust occurs. Lust is appetite out of control! Appetite is the cause of frustration being expressed by Paul in Romans 7.

THE STRONGEST OF THE SENSE PLEASURES
First, scripture reveals that flesh nature is a dominant factor in human behavior, and now we are to learn that sex pleasure is the strongest of the flesh appetites. This is very interesting in view of what is happening in society and the church today. Exodus 20:17; Job 31:9-12; Matthew 5:28; I Peter 2:11; 2 Peter 2:18. In music, fashions, literature, as in all the arts, sex has become the dominant theme. The essence of flesh is sex. Any attempt to divorce sex from flesh is inconceivable. Sex is holy in its original state and when experienced in conformity with God’s moral law. Hebrews 13:4. Jesus set forth many maxims in His teachings dealing with probably what He considered basic behavioral problems. In Matthew five He deals strongly with fantasizing. Unregulated sex lust is also bringing the Hollywood look to the church that at one time was more Influences interested in appearing moral than modern. Every worldly fashion and practice should be judged as either contributing or not contributing to moral purity … but, alas, the art of sexual attraction is openly on display in the church, brazenly parading itself past the doors of the tabernacle, as Cozbi and Zimri of old, while the plague rages and good men do nothing about it. Number 25:6,18. Oh, God, we need a Phinehas! C. B. Eavey, in his book entitled “Practical Christian Ethics,” states: “Sex is so much a part of our nature that it is impossible to overemphasize the importance of purity and chastity … purity, or chastity is a virtue that disposes us to regulate in accordance with principles of right, the exercise of sexual intercourse, the enjoyment of the carnal pleasure attached to it, and all actions that tend to lead to sexual intercourse or excite its distinctive pleasure.”

Matthew 27:33 And when they were come unto a place called Golgotha, that is to say, a place of a skull, 34 They gave him vinegar to drink mingled with gall: and when he had tasted thereof, he would not drink. 35 And they crucified him,

If he spared not His Son in the agonies of Calvary to lift us from our sin, will he spare us if we do not regard holiness and walk above sin? The lack of intervention on the part of God at the scenes of Calvary proves God’s perfect hatred of evil, His utter contempt for wickedness and His absolute determination to exterminate sin from off the face of the earth! The extreme measures to affect our atonement reveals the divine contempt for sin.

Matthew 27:51 And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;

The renting of the veil signifies God’s acceptance of Calvary’s atonement and signaled Earth of Christ’s finished work. Through that atoning blood a way has been made back into the holy of holies! Colossians 2:14. The first thing God did when finally the agonies of the cross ended was to rent the veil! His first supernatural act against the nation of Israel for their rejection. At the same time He was welcoming the world of sinners to come into His holy presence. He had been waiting to welcome man back into His holy presence since Adam was driven from the Garden from millenniums past! “Welcome back, Oh Adam’s race, into My holy presence.” When Christ redeemed us He did not merely release us from sin, but brought us into the very chambers of holiness! When God opened the way into the Holy of Holies, He revealed His intent to restore man to his original state of holiness – the divine intent for every redeemed person. “For this is the will of God, even your sanctification.” I Thessalonians 4:3. The veil of the temple was believed to be of a very heavy linen, up to four inches thick! It would have been impossible for human strength to rip the veil asunder. Ephesians 2:14 “From the top to the bottom”; the second sign to man that this phenomenon was divinely executed by a power beyond man. The veil is reported to be from ten to fourteen foot high. It was beyond the stature of a human being. It was too high for men to achieve. And so we see the initiative of God as having taken place making a way for “whosoever will may come” from the outer world of sin into the holy presence and be restored in fellowship with God. There is a combination of the initiative of God in the renting of the veil and the initiative of the believer to take advantage of that access, meet the conditions of repentance, abandon the selfish sinful life of appetites and step across into the Holy of Holies. Where we mention these two initiatives, we’ve embarked upon the theological matter of how righteousness is actually attained. Is it totally obtained by the initiative of God, or by the initiative of man? The achievement of spiritual maturity is much like the process of human maturity. In the beginning a child’s decisions are all made by the parent, but as the child grows and the parent instills values into the child he takes on those values and begins to be able to make his own right decision in life. There is a transmission of the parent’s values into the child until they possess the same values. As the child grows it begins to make more of its own decisions. The parent is making fewer decisions and the child more and more until full maturity. Over a span of 18 to 20 years the child has become an adult making all of his or her own decisions, but still consulting the wisdom of the experience of the older parent from time to time when making decisions. A mature person realizes fully that he/she has derived life and knowledge from the parent and owes its very existence to the parent, yet has become an autonomous entity with rights of his own. We can say that righteousness in the beginning of the spiritual life is totally the righteousness of Christ, but in the words of John the Baptist, “He must increase and I must decrease” – I am learning to exercise spiritual responsibility of my own and in a manner pleasing to the Father. In the beginning, the righteousness depends totally upon our state in Christ. As we take on the knowledge of the Word and walk in the Spirit, we learn through love to make decisions of our own, based upon the principles our peers have faithfully taught us. Our state becomes a standing in Christ. It should be made clear that all of my righteousness is of Christ whether it is righteousness He imputed upon me at the cross or His righteousness He teaches me after the cross which is my standing in Him. We can say that all righteousness we can claim is the righteousness He imputes at and after the cross, or it is my state and my standing, as some brethren prefer to use. Both terms are correct. But it is this bible student’s persuasion that imputed and imparted are not adequate to differentiate between the two different applications of two different graces.

MARK

Mark 1:41 “I will; be thou clean.”

Mark 4:18 And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word, 19 And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful. (Colossians 3:5)

Mark 7:9 And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.

ORIGINS OF MODERN CHRISTIAN TRADITIONS
There is human tradition and there is biblical tradition. This Scripture is often used against those who place a importance on the traditional truths and values such as holiness of life and being content with our state and not seeking material wealth. The traditional Christian is also orthodox in that he seeks to follow biblical precedent rather to follow some new method that conflicts with traditional apostolic teaching.

What was the real meaning behind Jesus’ words warning against the tradition of these Jews? What is the real difference between THE COMMANDMENT OF GOD and YOUR OWN TRADITION? We have two opposing factions here; First we have the COMMANDMENT and then we have TRADITION. Jesus apparently stands on the side of the commandment and is refuting tradition – that is clear to all.

THE COMMANDMENT: Is a reference to the Law of Moses or the Word of God as it was delivered to the people from God by the hand of Moses. These commandments were those precepts contained in the Word of God in the Old Testament. This is known as the Torah.

TRADITION: As Jesus was referring to here in this text was a reference to the tradition the Jews had been practicing since they came out of captivity approximately 500 B.C.. In Nehemiah we have a record of how the Jews read the Word God and gave the sense thereof (Nehemiah 8:8). The doctors of the law and the scribes decided what explanations would enter these books of interpretation and stored them in volumes of books. The interpretations in these books were then taught and imposed upon the Jews and became binding tradition to the point the Word of God had become lost and buried beneath all of the traditions taught by the elders. By the time Jesus was born there were over 100 volumes of these interpretations being enforced as the true meaning of the words of Moses. Today, 2000 years after Christ, there are 365 volumes of these books of interpretation binding upon the Jew if he is to be considered as living by the law. These volumes are known as the Talmud.

The Talmud contained man made laws that had actually canceled what the Word of God was originally teaching. The Jews were so bound by these traditions that obedience to the Word of God had been obscured. We want to point out that Jesus did not condemn the Jews for their obedience to the Word of God, but rather their obedience to so many religious traditions that the Word of God had become canceled! They were paying more attention to the traditions taught by the elders than they were to the commandments given them by God!

So we must make it clear that Jesus in making this statement was not against obedience to the law of God, nor was He censuring anyone for observing the traditional values as contained in the commandments of God. He was in fact censuring the Jews for not being obedient to the laws God had given them to keep the teaching of the elders contained in the Talmud. In this text Jesus is exposing the error of the Talmudic teaching and traditions as opposed to the teaching contained in the commandments of God.

This is plainly to be seen as Jesus taking a position against the Talmud in favor of the Torah.

Jesus is not lashing out against biblical tradition but rather against humanly devised religious tradition that conflicts with the God’s Word.

Liberals teach prosperity as the Word of God. That is their tradition which they teach. But, Jesus and the apostles teach sacrifice. This is the traditional teaching of the Word to disciples of Jesus. The book of Acts has no such instruction to seek riches or courses on becoming rich. Rich men came into the church but they had to abide by the same doctrines of mortification and sacrifice as the rest of the church and they were never favored over the poor. The modern apostate teaching on wealth is far removed from the apostle’s doctrine teaches about the wealth. In the world it is seen as power and that is precisely what it is sought by anyone whether they be a televangelist or an ambitious college grad. It is to be sought by them because it has status and fame in some cases. Christian, flee from this demon! 1 Timothy 6:8-1-

The evangelical ecumenists teach that we must lay aside all doctrine and seek unity on belief in Jesus. BUT, having belief in Jesus and His atoning death does not make someone or some churches approved of God. Don’t these people with mixing pot theology read their bible? There are many “believers” in the end time church period that belong to a very broad and popular ecumenical apostate movement that openly refuses to teach moral transformation and sanctification of life as well as many other things taught in the apostle’s doctrine. Again and again the apostle Paul commands the church not to receive such believers nor even bid them God speed. But, everyone thinks they’re going up when the sound of God’s trump peels forth from the eastern sky. There are going to be a lot of dazed looks on the faces of those who suddenly realize they have been left behind. Believing that He saves and that He is coming again does qualify anyone for being included in the snatching out of the church.

17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. 18 For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple. Romans 16:17-18.

Liberal teachers of fleshology teach that cosmetics are harmless holding cosmetic classes in their church. Abomination! BUT . . . The apostle and the early church Fathers refuted the practice of accentuating the feminine charms as contrary to modesty, as a vanity that vaunted the flesh. Paul includes vanity and vaunting of the self in his list of what God’s love is NOT. But these people don’t regard the word seriously because they are following the multitude to do evil. The scriptures attribute these practices to evil people and harlots. Cyprian, one of the early church father’s I have quoted and have a lot of respect for wrote a beautiful treatise on chastity that every pastor with spiritual guts should be teaching in their churches and especially in this age of salacious behavior.

Like the Jews who changed the divorce laws many Charismatics teach that divorce and remarriage is not punished. And if they do believe it is wrong then they have the ridiculous teaching that after you enter an adulterous marriage you need only to admit to the Lord you did wrong and then continue right on living in adultery with that partner. If I have read my bible correctly, adultery and fornication are sins unto death. How many of you pastors teach that? BUT . . . From the beginning it was not so! Jesus was clear on the sin of remarriage and adultery. He is the one who named it, adultery. Remarriage is forbidden and adulterers do not enter the kingdom of God. As for the theory that God will forgive me if I remarry and then I can go on living in adultery shows a total ignorance of God’s Word. Sin that is confessed and not forsaken is not forgiven. Sin that is confessed must be abandoned.

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. 1 John 1:7.

Liberals and Charismatics teach that doctrine is a threat to the unity of the Christian and that doctrine must be reduced to a common set of elementary beliefs that; Jesus was the son of God and that He was crucified, buried and rose again the third day and is now in heaven making intercession for the saints. All other doctrine whether true of false is of no consequence and only serves to divide Christian brothers. What splendid idiocy that God’s word divides those who believe God’s word! BUT, the Devil believes Jesus was the son of God and lived and died and rose again. The Devil believes but he is certainly not my brother! Evangelical ecumenism is spiritual suicide that will bring extinction to the authentic apostolic church chooses to test the church by allowing it to play out without His intervention. It is the zenith of theological insanity. Ecumenism is another tradition invented by the apostates who criticize the remnant fundamental Christians and churches for keeping the traditional biblical lifestyle values and their literal obedience to the apostle’s teaching. Yes, there is bad tradition and there is good tradition.

Good tradition is the preservation of those original doctrines and practices of the Scripture, the apostle’s teaching.

Bad tradition is conceived in the minds of men, attempts to be relative to the corrupted age it lives in and conflicts with the principles and teachings of Pragmatism the Word of God.

On and on we could go with the many traditions being taught and practiced in liberal and Charismatic churches over the world today.

As the world changes these free thinkers change with it. But those who hold to tradition as taught in the Word of God will not conform to the tradition being taught by apostate preachers.

The Laodiceans practiced the tradition that had their origin in the world. Christians abide by the traditions which have their origin in the Word of God. When you follow the world you are following their traditions. When I follow God I am following His traditions.

Do not be intimidated by those who have bashed Biblical tradition. They have their own tradition but it is not based on apostolic teaching but rather their own interpretations just as the Jews did in observing the interpretations of the TALMUD.

The contemporary church is continually accusing the holiness people of bound to tradition and openly opposing the Biblical traditions of separation from depraved cultural forms of worldliness which the apostles and the church Fathers taught and practiced.

A far more insidious evil is the Charismatic traditions of sensual style, physical contact, prosperity teaching and emotionalism replacing the traditional values of godliness and separation clearly taught by the apostles in Scripture.

Tradition is defined as something handed down from generation to generation, or an event celebrated on a regular anniversary. There are many good traditions as well as bad traditions. But for a tradition to be practiced and taught in the church it must have its origin in the Biblical record, it must have a Biblical precedent. Christian doctrine and practices must be based on verifiable origin, i.e., established in biblical passage, taught by apostles, cultivates the biblical life of moral excellence achieving positive moral character.

The contemporary church is accusing the traditional church of having traditions, while they themselves are taking on a whole new set of traditions and teaching them to the new generation of the church. Let us consider some of these traditions which the contemporary church practices.

1. In the 1950’s when the glossilia phenomenon became wide spread and moved into the ranks of the Catholic church, many priests and nuns accepted the phenomenon and experienced it, becoming leaders of Charismatic groups in the Catholic church, holding Charismatic services in the Catholic parishes. Through the centuries the Catholic church has developed one of the most sophisticated religious systems of the church’s history. It has created by its strange combinations of liturgies, non-biblical traditions, its vast wealth and pomp, a massive worldwide constituency that is extremely loyal to the heads of the church (the holy Father-Poppa), but extremely amoral by biblical standards.

Charismatic movement moved into the Catholic circles in the 1950’s, the influence of Catholic amorality and disregard for biblical morality probably did more to destroy the emphasis of holiness than anything Satan put against the church in ages. Out of those early meetings being held among the Catholics, the Charismatics learned and incorporated some of the following traditions into their Traditions worship. Mental and physical ecstasy (a weeping, sobbing kind of praise) that lifted the worshiper into ecstatic levels of praise while at the same time showing no evidence of moral transformation, or disregard for the erroneous traditions, liturgies and doctrines taught by the Catholic church. These early Catholic Charismatics injected into the life streams of the Charismatic movement the idea that emotional experience is sufficient apart from traditional moral standards. They taught Protestant Charismatics ecstatic emotionalism was the highest form of love for God. The traditional low regard of Catholicism for the moral perfection message contained in scripture was transmitted. Emotionalism and Catholics were in and traditional holiness was out! This has always been a characteristic of the Catholic church – to subject the authority of God’s Word to religious experience, or to a tradition set by the Catholic church. Thus was introduced into the Charismatic movement, the tradition of emotionalism over and apart from obedience to the Word of God. Sanctification was supplanted by emotionalism and fleshly worship. A contribution of Catholic influence. This documented on a film produced in the mid sixties which is in the possession of this writer.

2. Physical contact was also brought into practice by the Catholic Charismatics. The holding of hands (indiscriminately between the sexes) dates back to the time of the Catholic influence. Physical contact of any kind, such as embracing, in particular, between men and women, is not a biblical tradition. Holding hands while praying is an unbiblical Charismatic tradition that originated in the Catholic Charismatic meetings also. It is strictly a tradition of the neo-church movement, and particularly, the Charismatic movement. So another tradition is fostered upon the church by the modern Gospel critics who criticize the holiness movement of being traditional. Holiness tradition originated with the Fathers, Origin based upon scriptural teaching. Where do the Charismatic traditions come from? Much of it documented on film documentaries from the 50’s.

3. Cosmetology. The science of altering the natural appearance and by art transforming the natural appearance accenting the feminine features so as to become sensuously and erotically attractive to the opposite sex.

4. Rock music is a new tradition among the “contemps” (contemporary church). Rock music is neither hymnology, psalms, nor by virtue of its origin can it possibly be “spiritual songs.” It does not fit into any of the three classes of scripturally authorized types of music. It is a new thing accepted by the contemps and is most definitely traditionally belonging to the liberal movement. From the rise of music taking a predominant place in services came also the theatrical habit of applause, yet another Charismatic tradition. So again, while the contemporary church is accusing the historical church of being traditional, they themselves have incorporated ungodly traditions from sources not so nice. See Rock Sound, Music.

5. The contemps have strange traditional teaching on the Holy Spirit. The clear emphasis of the Holy Spirit in scripture is that He, a) Has come to convict the world, b) Is designated by Christ as the Spirit of Truth, and c) Is the author of moral perfection in the saint. The neo-traditionalists do not emphasize any one of these three biblical teachings regarding the Holy Spirit. Rather, their emphasis has been on, a) Tongues, b) Praise, c) Prosperity, and d) Power. It must be pointed out that any kind of power is dangerous in the hands of any man who does not possess character.

Mark 7:22 Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness:

The world puts a lot of emphasis on fashion, cosmetics and jewelry, all externals of the visible flesh nature. In recent years books have been written emphasizing the importance of “body language.” This “science” truthfully reveals the messages people send out to others around them by the way they dress, by posture and by facial expressions. Sensual people can mask their hidden intentions and deny any evil intentions by accusers and then make sensual contact with those they select to be promiscuous with. While the world puts a lot of emphasis on the external appearance of the body language, the amoral Charismatics ignore the moral effect these practices of externalism have on social environment and think to practice the same sensual externalism as sinners without it creating any immoral side effects. Liberal fundamentalists insist it is a “small matt” and “not going to send anybody to hell.” Sensual dress and appearance is one of the biggest subjects in the world, and that makes it a matter of great moral significance to the purity of the church. The Charismatic doesn’t really deny the importance of the outward man because they large amounts of money and time adorning it. What he denies is that it is a violation of any moral principle or Biblical teaching. But claim is a dishonest and blind conclusion that is clearly interested in its own preferences that deny actuality and Biblical revelation. It is open rebellion against simple commandments of God’s Word. The prophets mention vain and immoral externals; Jesus and the apostles mentioned external and visible moral values! Church Fathers mentioned the importance of the worldly appearance of the external Christian; Great revivalists of the church age such as John Wesley and Charles Finney did made externals one of the main issues of pure Christianity! And so did every man of God discern that pride of flesh is a spiritual matter abhorred by God and to be deplored by dedicated Christians. Isaiah 3:16-24; I Timothy 2:9.

Mark 8:34 And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. (Matthew 10:39; 16:24; 19:29; Luke 9:23; 17:33; John 12:25)

The flesh life will necessarily suffer losses. The frustrating thing the modern Christians are trying to accomplish is to achieve in the spirit without suffering any loss to the flesh. But to the contrary, we are trying to excel in the flesh and achieve in the spirit, which is a diametric impossibility.

Mark 9:49 For every one shall be salted with fire, and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt.

HOLINESS AND “THE SALT OF THE EARTH”

All sacrifices in the tabernacle were salted with salt. Leviticus 2:13. Salt is a type of deterrent of moral corruption. The sacrifices were not to be spoiled or rotting when offered. Neither are we to offer the Lord a life that is (morally) corrupted. Have salt (moral purity) in yourselves. See Luke 14:34. Anything we offer to the Lord must be clean and uncorrupted.

Mark 10:24 And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them, Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God!

Money is a form of power and it often distracts us from the power of God. Money, not carefully under the control of the Holy Spirit, becomes power in the hands of flesh that can make us selfish, inconsiderate, proud and blind to the need of others. It can alter character for the worse is what Jesus is saying to us.

Mark 12:30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.

“Thou shalt,” a command to love God? So loving God, (so essential to the holy state) involves the will, the initiative of the Christian! I can will to love God and accomplish it because, a) Every Christian will have this desire; b) God’s grace will come running to my side when I make Him my desire! I John 5:3

Mark 14:68 But he denied, saying, I know not, neither understand I what thou sayest. And he went out into the porch; and the cock crew. 72 And the second time the cock crew. And Peter called to mind the word that Jesus said unto him, Before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice. And when he thought thereon, he wept.

CHRISTIAN CONSCIENCE
At one time in Peter’s life the only thing that stood between Peter and Jesus was a rooster. The account could be outlined like this:
I. The Word of Jesus
II. The Witness of the Rooster
III. The Weeping of the Apostle

Three things can be seen in the way Christ dealt with Peter:
1. He is concerned with and works through conscience.
2. Even “big preachers” should have a conscience.
3. A sensitive conscience is the only way back to God. We are to do something concrete about our errors! To merely acknowledge them is not enough.

The shrill sound of the rooster call pierced the conscience of Peter as much as the Savior’s voice would have. The call of the rooster had become an extension of the voice of the forgiving Christ. For this reason, the rooster has become a symbol of an aroused conscience.

CONSCIENCE DEFINED
There are many good definitions of what conscience is. It should be studied and understood to some degree by every Christian. Consciousness of right and wrong or a sense of moral goodness or blameworthiness of one’s own conduct. This function of the mind seems to be aware of and sensitive to moral behavior. When a person’s behavior falls below his moral values, his conscience is aroused and sensitized.

God reveals in these scriptures involving Peter and the rooster, that the conscience of even great men can become conditioned to dangerous denials and need re-sensitizing through the experience of regret and repentance. Peter experienced a genuine emotional breakdown that flowed out from the soul God-ward in submissive repentance. No matter what a man has done, when that man’s spirit breaks down in a weeping, sobbing cry for God’s forgiveness … He cannot deny. Over and over again the Bible teaches us this God-uniting fact. “A broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.” CONSCIENCE: MORAL CONSCIOUSNESS, moral awareness. Sensitive to right and wrong in my environment: moral evaluation and sensitivity.

Christians do not become privileged characters with God because they are His children, and should not hold the belief that we can violate the moral law of God without there being consequences.

There are two reasons why we should suffer consequences. a) Consequences suffered in wrongdoing amount to an experience that affects and changes my character for good. Forgiveness is a legal matter suffered by Christ, but consequences of disobedience are “chastisings.” b) Probably the more important fact is that there is a difference between the guilt of sin and the consequences Sin, David of sin. David sinned against everything he knew and believed when he took Bathsheba away from her husband, Uriah. While God forgave David this ugly deed, He also in the same breath pronounced judgments of penalty upon David that were not withdrawn 2 Samuel 12:13,14. The consequence was that by David’s conduct he gave “occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme.” Here is a very graphic example of this spiritual law: that to be forgiven the guilt of sin, and penalty as a consequence of sin are two different things with God! The guilt of sin God can legally forgive through Calvary. He insists that the consequences and reproach of sin we share with Him.

We make a clear distinction between the suffering we undertake in disobeying the conscience that admonishes us regarding right and wrong, and the terrible and impossible task of correcting consequences once sin is committed. Conscience serves us before we sin, as well as after we sin. While conscience may cause us to repent after we have sinned it cannot remove the consequences of sin committed.

By this we see that there is a reason for making a difference between, 1) guilt of sin and 2) the consequences of sin. The one can be corrected by a legal decree. But the other, the consequence, is usually impossible to retrieve completely. For that reason there must be a different treatment often in the form of retribution even after forgiveness has been granted.

An aroused conscience will deter us from misdeeds that bring pain to ourselves and reproach to God from His enemies.

CONSCIENCE AND PRAYER
We must make a difference between an aroused conscience and a sensitive conscience. A sensitive conscience speaks more of the state of the conscience in alarming us to avoid sin and disobedience. An aroused conscience speaks of a person who has committed a wrong and is suddenly made aware of that wrong after it’s been committed. This was the case with Peter.

It is more desirable to have a sensitive conscience. Prayer probably serves us in the most valuable way in the effect it has on our conscience. It has been said that a praying man cannot sin. We have all had the experience of thinking a thing not wrong until we have prayed about it. Prayer, or communion with God, sensitizes us to true spiritual and biblical values and develops feelings for right and wrong and for others. Prayer is the key to having a mellow heart, to break before the Lord in prayer and contrition. There are many benefits to the habit of prayer and brokenness before the Lord. But among the chief benefits would be the sensitizing of the conscience and the mellowing of the human spirit.

LUKE

Luke 6:46 “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?”

Luke 1:5 There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth. 6 And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.

“Behold this husband and wife righteous before God! What must have been the joys of such a union with God and with one another! What an edifying spectacle of family religion! What shining examples of religious and ecclesiastical fidelity!”

This was in the so-called “time of silence” and apostasy. So what?!? Environment may affect me morally if I permit it, but it does not determine my standing with God – it is the holy environment within me that determines my righteousness and my destiny.

Luke 1:75 In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life.

This prayer of Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist, reveals; 1) That those God chose to bear His special offspring regard holiness as the supreme factor in life. 2) The high moral concepts of his parents. 3) The holy environment John had as a growing child. 4) That his religious home-life was an important part of his preparation for ministry.

Luke 6:40 The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master.

Christ, being morally perfect and our pattern in life at the same time, brings us to a simple conclusion regarding our Christian objectives. Any form of Christianity not making holiness of life the very theme of redemption, is impotent religion.

Luke 6:45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.

Here the Lord makes reference to the relationship between internal and external qualities. Liberals insist that holiness people place undue emphasis on the externals (even though they themselves practice the adornment of the external self) and that “what is on the outside doesn’t matter, it’s what’s on the inside that counts.” The Lord Jesus here makes it clear that we know the true internal state by external evidences. The visible external self reveals quite clearly my inner values. However, it doesn’t mean a plain Christian may lack other qualities, such as compassion or generosity. Liberals tend to censure the plainness in holiness people because they found inconsistencies in other areas of their life. Plainness reveals modest virtues, but doesn’t mean all the virtues are there, nor that we should reject what is good in a person because they are not perfected in other areas of their life. A worldly external reveals a worldly heart. A modest external reveals a modest heart, but not necessarily a perfect heart.

Luke 11:34 The light of the body is the eye: therefore when thine eye is single, thy whole body also is full of light; but when thine eye is evil, thy body also is full of darkness.

Luke 12:15 And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth. (See Matthew 6:33,34)

Here Jesus says, “The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully.” So, the foolish and wicked also prosper. It must be that prosperity is not always a sign of God’s approval. Jesus said very plainly in verse 21 that he was “not rich toward God.” It is not riches and wealth that distinguish the righteous from the wicked. It is holiness! Satan can duplicate every earthly blessing, but he cannot, nor would he under any circumstances, advocate separation from the world and holiness unto God. He advocates the humaneness of humanism, self-righteousness, socialism and even church membership, but he will not, nor can he imitate holiness.

Luke 13:24 Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.

AGONIZOMAI, to contend, agonize. One translator put it, “strain every nerve.” A strong reference to the resolution of the holy will. There are times when Christians come under not so ideal conditions when the Holy Spirit must needs transform our passive desires for what is pure into a mighty resolution (determination) to do what is right.

Luke 14:25 And there went great multitudes with him: and he turned, and said unto them, (See verses 26,27,33)

“The modern evangelist would have had hundreds more names for his mailing list. But in the text you’ll find Jesus gave this crowd three “cannots” and lost an army of prospects! This would be unthinkable as the way to treat a multitude that would gather under our ministry by today’s evangelistic thinkers.”

God’s government is not an earthly commonwealth, this is the kingdom of God, a moralistic kingdom with moral subjects and moral objectives. Modern evangelicalism embraces a neo-evangelical philosophy that follows the pragmatic idea of “The end justifies the means.” If it brings results, do it! If it “brings people to Christ,” do it! If they can sing and move a crowd, use them!

In AD 1540, a man by the name of Ignatus Loyola founded the Society of Jesuits. They have been very successful in promoting the Roman Catholic causes. One of the reasons they have been effective is because they practice a peculiar ethic called, “Jesuit Casuistry.” Basically it means; Use whatever means necessary that will get the desired result. Results without righteousness. In 1950, Dr. Harold Ockenga coined the word; “New Evangelicalism.” He called out against separatism, for a bridge to be built over to the liberal modernists. Dr. T.A. Raedeke, the head of Key 73 in Dallas that year, said to the mixed crowd (modernists, liberals and evangelicals), “Do your own thing your way.” Some did, everything from beer drinkers to movie stars and night club entertainers. The neo-evangelicals had launched their own program to achieve results, no matter what Bible principles were violated to achieve them. This movement has rendered the church morally impotent (but numerically impressive).

It is not the Gospel that is negative or needs changing. We don’t need a different message to keep the crowd, we need a different crowd who will keep the message. The only way to achieve this is to preach the truth, preach purity of life and heart as Jesus did. He often lost the crowds, but in the end produced a holy remnant that was pure. Read John 8:30, and then verse 59. These are the same people in each case. “Except ye eat the flesh of the son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.” When He preached this it scattered the Remnant crowd. “This is a hard saying; who can hear it?” From that time many of His disciples went back and walked no more with Him. John 6:35. When Jesus got down to the remaining 12 disciples, “Will you also go away?”

Today the evangelist’s PR man would have called a staff meeting and said, “We’ve got to change the message, we’re losing the crowds – we’re not communicating effectively.”

Luke 14:34 Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be seasoned?

Salt is mentioned more than 20 times in the Bible, here spoken of as preserving purity and overcoming the corrupting processes of worldly environment. See Mark 9:49.

1. All animal sacrifices under the Mosaic system must be offered with salt. Leviticus 2:13.
2. Salt symbolized hospitality, durability, and purity – Cruden’s Complete Concordance.

Salt was an important commodity in the time of Israel’s sojourning and settling in the promise land. One of the greatest resources in the promised land was the dead sea, and especially the vast deposits of salt readily available on the southern shores of the Salt Sea. It was valuable to all of the nations of the world, and also was an important part of the sacrificial system of animal sacrifice. Leviticus 2:13. Without refrigeration the only means of preserving meat foods from corruption was by salt. In many European countries, as in other parts of the world, salt is still very common in the market place. Roman soldiers were paid their wages in salt – a valuable commodity they could barter and trade with.

1. Meat sacrifices were to have the salt to indicate the sacrifices were themselves to be pure sacrifices.
2. The salt indicated a pure sacrifice.
3. The salt on the sacrifices spoke of man and God entering into a friendship together by the meat and salt together. To this day, in the Mideast the eating of bread and salt together implies a bond of friendship and loyalty.
4. The salt purifying the sacrifice on the altars of atonement speaks of the fact that Christ, as the Lamb of God, would be offered up without blemish (corruption). Hebrews 4:15,28.

Note: In Michelangelo’s great masterpiece, the Lord’s Supper, Judas clinging to the money bag has knocked over the salt cellar on the table with his elbow. By this Michelangelo was indicating Judas’ contempt for Jesus’ atoning sacrifice.

Characteristics of salt.
The effect of a part upon the whole. The moral influence of God’s children. The church, seemingly insignificant, and yet a preserving moral factor in the world. The divine influence. Salt resists the process of corruption. Salt is a type of the nature and power of the saints – to stop corruption in its sphere.

Luke 15:17 And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!

SINNERS DEMENTED
This young man was raised in a home of godliness and was taught the principles of right and wrong. Yet he went out and did contrary to this teaching. The conversation between the father and the elder brother after the prodigal returned, reveals clearly the righteous precepts of this father. When we do contrary to the moral knowledge we have and enter willfully into disobedience, we are resisting conscience and all of the dictates of the mind. “He that knoweth to do right and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” To live against what you know is right is a form of mental illness. It is to force a mental condition upon yourself that amounts to being demented. For it says of this young man, when his circumstances forced him to begin to think right again. EIS HEOUTON OE ELTHON, the only time this is used as a combination of words, implied by the text to mean, “and when he came to his senses.”

Sin is the worst kind of mental illness.

The renewing of the mind is the work of the Holy Spirit immediately following regeneration. Romans 12:2.

New mental attitudes toward God’s laws come to us through the mind of Christ in regeneration. Hebrews 8:10; 10:16; Luke 8:35; I Corinthians 2:16.

Luke 15:28 And he was angry, and would not go in: therefore came his father out, and intreated him.

OBEDIENCE WITHOUT COMPASSION
There are three spirits represented here. One, the prodigal, was acceptable, but not ideal. The second, the pernicious elder brother, appears desirable, but in the end was unacceptable. The third was the gracious spirit of the father, who forgave the penitent and entreated the pernicious. Neither of the brothers were perfect examples of Christian conduct – but the Father – so gracious, so patient, was.

1. There was the bad brother with a good spirit. The prodigal.
2. And then there was the good brother with the bad spirit. The pernicious.
3. And the good father with a good spirit. The danger of the holiness movement is obedience without compassion – there is a tendency for the “good brother” to hold a self-righteous spirit when he knows he is right and that his brother is wrong. God may see us all in need. Point: Let us search our hearts, maybe they both have some good points.

OBEDIENCE WITHOUT CHARACTER SOME OF THE “GOOD BROTHER’S” SINS;

Anger, unforgiving spirit, accusation, jealousy, disrespect, emotional instability, reactionary, pouting, arrogance, bad example to the servants, insubordinate, insulting, sarcastic and injurious to the innocent. How did his younger brother feel when he found out his older brother resented his return and would not come to the feast? Jesus tells us the bad brother returned home and repented. But it is not said the compassionless elder brother ever repented or recovered. The good brother never did make his amends with the father.

Luke 16:17 And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail.

IT IS WRITTEN!
When God goes to the trouble of having something written down, you know then it is a serious matter! To Moses, “Write thou these words.” Brother, Law when God starts writing things in “black and white,” it’s on the record! Demons from hell, fiery oblivion, holocaust, death, nor any power known to man can change it. If it’s written – do it – out of love if possible, but do it! By fear, out of duty, or sheer discipline. “It is written!” Go to the Bible and see there where it is written:

“Now therefore, write ye this.” “Write in the great roll.” “Thus saith the Lord, write ye.” “Write the vision and make it clear.” “The things I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.” “These things I write.” “It is written.” “Write, for these things are true!” “Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.”

“That all rules and regulations concerning the Church and the arguments by which Paul supports them were merely of local and temporary significance, not of perpetual obligation. They are not binding on us of modern enlightenment and advanced cultural intelligence. The evasion is so weak and discreditable that it hardly needs refutation. It’s very statement refutes itself. I Corinthians 14:37.

THE OLD PATHS BACK TO THE BEGINNING!
Our only remedy is to get back to ‘the beginning.’ That was Bacon’s rule for the reformation of abuses, even ‘what was from the beginning.’ It was Lord Coke’s argument ‘against every custom that invalidates the law’ – ‘It was not so from the beginning.’ It was our Lord’s rule in reference to polygamy- ‘It was not so from the beginning.’ It is John’s rule even to ‘abide in that which was from the beginning.’ So much for the puerile talk about ‘local and temporary significance’.”

Luke 16:24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.

Following is a list of virtues every church on earth should possess; but these are all Church found in hell.

MORE HOLINESS IN HELL THAN IN THE CHURCH!
In verse 24 is the beginning of a new faith for the rich man! …the beginning of many changes that instantly came over him when he passed into eternity.

1. v. 24 “and he cried…” HE BELIEVES IN EMOTION
2. “Father Abraham” HE IS SHOWING REVERENCE
3. “have mercy on me” HE HAS BECOME HUMANE AND BENEVOLENT
4. “for I am tormented in this flame” HE BELIEVES IN HELL!
5. v.25, v.26 – Abraham assures him there is no possibility of help or relief because of the great gulf that is fixed.
6. v.27 – “I pray thee therefore” HE BELIEVES IN PRAYER
7. “that thou wouldest send him” HE BELIEVES IN MISSIONS
8. “to my father’s house:” HE HAS A BURDEN FOR THE LOST
9. v.28 – “for I have five brethren that he may testify unto them” HE HAS A CONCERN FOR OTHERS
10. “lest they also come into this place of torment” HE BELIEVES IN WARNING AGAINST HELL
11. v.29 – “Abraham saith unto him, they have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.”
12. v.30 – “Nay, Father Abraham” HE BELIEVES IN INTERCESSION – IMPORTUNITY
13. “but if one went unto them from the dead” HE BELIEVES IN MIRACLES!
14. “they will repent” HE BELIEVES IN REPENTANCE
15. v.31 – And now Abraham says again, “If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rose from the dead!” Here we see Abraham representing the voice of heaven, insisting the greatest witness in the world is God’s Word! See Nothing Happened.

Luke 17:27 They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. 28 Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded;

AMORALITY JUDGED WITH IMMORALITY “ALL IS WELL” BY THE APPEARANCE OF THINGS
The appearance of things was that everything was proceeding normal, but suddenly it started to rain and God’s judgment fell – so softly, but so sure and deadly. The generation of Lot and Noah were not aware of God’s plan, they were not wanting to know. They were preoccupied. “And when they shall say peace and safety (The appearance of things) … then cometh sudden destruction!” The appearance of things in the last days of the coming of the Christ will be that everything is fine, peaceful, maybe even a disarmament program that will give us the appearance of a world solution to war, but we must not be deceived, by the appearance of things. “And thou sayest, I am rich and increased with goods and have need of nothing (The appearance of things) and knowest not that thou art wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked.”

Jesus said not to judge “according to appearance, but judge ye righteous judgment.”

Humanism and those men in power positions will make us believe that everything is going fine and according to their plan, but God has another plan and the divine prophetic plan is quite different from all the plans of man. Align with God’s moral laws now!

Man has his eyes on space – to build satellites and space stations – to survive apart from God’s plan and according to all of our projections and the artist’s pictures in the science magazines. Given a little more time, man will become god to himself and very effectively determine his own destiny, but that is only the appearance of things.

We must not go by the appearance of things, but by the revelation of God.

The church leaders of today tell us that we are living in a time of great revival, prosperity and the blessing of God (The appearance of things), but God is not happy with the apostasy which is an actuality! Humanistic church leaders within the fundamental movements and denominations have been so infected by plurality, prosperity and positivism, they are oblivious to the Prosperity apostasy.

When a spiritual ministry emphasizes the appearance of things and ignores what is obvious by revelation of scripture, he has committed a gross injustice not only to himself, but to all of those who receive his teaching.

Luke 18:1 And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;

SPIRITUAL OSMOSIS
Osmosis: Eventual equalization of pressures separated by semi-permeable membrane.

Greek word for faint, ENKAKEO, To cave in, collapse. I John 4:4; Romans 12:21.

To pray and not faint speaks of inside pressure being affected by outside pressure.

Osmosis is the process by which slowly an external pressure overcomes and equalizes a low pressure area.

The environment of the world is a high pressure area.

The spiritual life of the Christian exists in the same sphere, but on the other side of the spiritual membrane.

Just as Israel coexisted with the different tribal, ethnic heathen nations, so the world today is a threat to the church.

HOLINESS AND THE HEATHEN
God forbid Israel to copy the customs and practices of the heathen nations around them, and especially when those customs tended to superstition and the honoring of other gods and other non-deities rather than giving God the glory and credit for their prosperity and blessings. Christians today are having the pressure put on them to “go along with the new thing God is doing.”

God will not share His glory or even the laws of truth concerning harvest, wars, worship or sacrifice with the gods of this world. No matter how innocent some of the customs and practices Christians get taken up with, God forbids any habits or observance that have heathen origin.

The Bible says very clearly, “Be ye holy even as I am holy.” Leviticus 11:44.

As Christians, we practice many customs that come to us from the heathen. One of the great transgressions is the way we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord (Easter). The word Easter come from the word Esthar (Samarimas) who was the mother and wife of Nimrod. After Nimrod’s death, she worked hard to make him a deity and succeeded. He came to be known as “Baal” the God of the sun. She made herself ESTHAR the goddess of the moon. We still celebrate her at Easter, not according to the Hebrew calendar as we should, but by setting the date in relationship to the vernal equinox (movement of the moon)! We celebrate the resurrection of Christ by the position of the heavenly bodies as taught to us by the Catholic church who received it from pagan celebration. Sometimes we do what God tells us, but do we stop observing what the world teaches us. There’s more to “worldliness” than lipstick and movies!

Any form of lifestyle dictated by flesh and contrary to the teachings of holy scripture is heathen in essence. It would please the Lord and bring unprecedented revival if we would reform and withdraw from every celebration of pagan origin!

We need only to go to the Old Testament and notice some of the commandments God gave Israel to see how God insisted on His people, who were to be called by His name, to carefully avoid any practices of the heathen. Exodus 23:19, “thou shalt not seethe the kid in his mother’s milk.” This was an idolatrous practice of the heathen.

Cudworth said, “On the authority of an ancient Karaite comment it was an ancient heathen custom to boil a kid in the dam’s milk, and then sprinkle it with bits and pieces from the trees, fields, gardens, orchards, intended to make the trees and fields more fruitful the following year.” Notice that this commandment is given in conjunction with the text on the subject of the feast of harvest.

Thomson says, “Arabs to this day boil kid in milk with onions, and spices and call it LEBU IMMU.” The Jews will not eat it! God forbid this practice on the premise it was practiced by the heathen (world). Leviticus 2:11 “Ye shall burn no leaven, nor any honey, in any offering of the Lord made by fire.” Maimonides assigned as a reason for this law that it was a “practice of the idolaters to offer only leaven bread and to choose sweet things for their oblations, and to anoint or to smear them with honey.”

Leviticus 17:7 “They shall no more offer their sacrifices unto devils.” The word devil in this verse in Hebrew is literally rendered, “hairy, shaggy, rough.” The word is used to designate he-goats. The Egyptians worship the goat under the name of Mendes. A province in Egypt was also called by this god. The goat was worshiped as a personification of the fructifying power of nature, and was reckoned among the eight principle gods of Egypt. Temples and statues were erected in many places of this god, Mendes. The Israelites, while in Egypt in the land of Goshen, were located close to some of the leading idolatrous cities and practices. just by virtue of Osmosis the Israelites were exposed to these idolatrous teachings and temples – learning and yielding to the pressures of the Egyptian culture upon them – slowly they were acquiring the Egyptians religious influence. This commandment was given against the goat worship of the heathen which the Israelites had learned while in Egypt.

In Leviticus 19:23, “Ye shall count the fruit thereof as uncircumcised … three years shall it be as uncircumcised unto you … it shall not be eaten of.”

God puts pressure on us (in us) to equalize the pressures outside! To prevent spiritual osmosis!

Why?

Maimonides says that the idolatrous nations living contemporary with Israel believed that the first fruits of trees should be used in idolatrous ceremonies or the trees would stop giving their fruit and possibly die. It was a practice of the heathen to use the first fruits the first few years in their idolatrous ceremonies. The law God gives here was aimed at this heathen practice – what the world was doing was exactly what Israel should not do! God was so intent on Israel not practicing this nor believing this idolatrous folly that He told Israel they could not even eat the fruit for three years. This kept them from becoming like the heathen.

Leviticus 19:17 “Ye shall not round the corners of heads, neither shalt thou mar the corners of thy beard.” Among the ancient nations, hair was often used in divination. Worshipers of the stars and planets kept their hair straight around as if a bowl was set on their heads. Arabs use to shave the hair around the head and let the hair grow on the back of the head from the crown down in honor of the god Bacchus. Most idolater nations carefully trimmed the beard round and even. This was forbidden by the Jews.

Doctor Robinson says, “that to this day the Jews in the East are distinguished in this respect from the Mohammedans.” It was also an ancient superstition and Hair custom to cut off the hair at the death of a friend and throw it into the tombs on the corpse – sometimes laid on the face and chest as an offering to the infernal gods. Today there is no moral to throwing around the hair of a dead man because the practice is no longer observed. Law is required as long as the cause for it exists. Again God forbids the Jews to touch their beards and trim them for fear they will start doing it for the same reason as the idolaters.

One of the best reasons for not doing many things as a Christian is simply because “Everybody is doing it.” When everybody is doing it that is the first and best reason Christians should stop and examine what they do and not unconsciously “follow a multitude to do evil.”

In Leviticus 19:28 “You should not make any cutting in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you.”

Here cutting of one’s flesh and tattooing is forbidden. The custom of scratching the arms, hands and face as token of mourning for the dead is said to have existed among the Babylonians, Armenians, Scythians and Romans, and is also practiced by the Arabs, Persians and Abyssinians, as well as New Zealanders.

TATTOOING – practiced by many heathen nations, as well as the Orientals, figures of birds, trees and temples – flowers by puncturing with needles with ink. The heathen did it and so Israel was forbidden from doing it.

Remember – if “Everybody is doing it,” that is the best reason why Christians should not. When everybody is doing it, that is the pressure being put on us. It is expected that we should start doing the same things.

When we yield to the pressure of “everybody is doing it” we become victims of the osmosis.

Wearing attire similar to the opposite sex. Androgyny Deuteronomy 22:5 “The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither Slacks shall a man put on a woman’s garment … for all that do so are abomination unto the Lord thy God.” God does not always explain in a verse why he gave the commandment. The only way we know why is if we understood the cultures of the people, the environment and the pressure of other societies upon Israel By knowing the evil customs of the ancient people around Israel we come very quickly to know why God gave the commandment. These laws were given because there was immorality in the environment that these fashions lent themselves to. In the influence of the evil cultures all around Israel demanded a law as a guideline to prevent corruption.

For this reason the commandments were given for moral reasons. Commandments were given to preserve the church against the habits, customs and idolatrous practices coming into the camp from the environment. The church has the right, the authority and the power to create and invoke any commandment that may be necessary to express a moral opinion that would keep the church from defilement.

When this commandment was given, idolaters Environment were commanded “and when a man presents himself before the star of Venice he shall wear the color dress of a woman … and when a woman adores the star of Mars, she shall Influence appear in armor.”

Among the pagans it was common for the sexes to be mixed and for their deities to be masculine, but dressed in woman’s attire and woman dressed in men’s attire.

The principle of this commandment is “the distinction of the sexes,” while today we do not have the idolaters threatening the distinction of sexes as Israel had, we do have open, proud, brazen homosexuality! We do have unisex. For this reason we have the right to invoke this commandment, to create moral pressure and insist that ladies dress in their distinctive attire and not wear men’s clothing nor young men and women be attired in unisex clothing.

Boys and girls, men and women walking on the streets dressed alike until we’re not able to recognize which is masculine and which is feminine. God hates this, “it is an abomination unto the Lord,” because it is especially appreciated, endorsed, and encouraged by the homosexual and lesbian communities. The moral wisdom of the Holy Spirit reveals to us that; a) These fashions originate with the immoral and are therefore wicked. b) That unisex fashion is endorsed by swingers, sub-culture and especially homosexuals. How could a Spirit-filled Christian be in agreement with this roster of sinners? Only sinning saints (spelled with a small “s”) not possessing the Spirit of holiness would act with trivia toward such facts. It is this moral hardness the church must repent of to be saved before His coming. At least “holiness people” (who are accused of not having holiness inside) bear a facsimile of godliness and modesty abstaining from such devilish practices as these. Homosexuality is on “the inside” too, but it shows on the outside.

We have allowed the homosexual groups ties to build up their pressures against “straight” society. We have lowered our standards, indeed, violated God’s standards and taken on the standards of the world void of all sensitivity to the evils of androgynous behavior. Now there are homosexual Pentecostal pastors and scores of “gay” Pentecostal churches across America. Liberal fundamentalism helped provide the environment that incubated such abominations. If we had kept the strict precepts and convictions of our Pentecostal (Spirit-filled) Fathers, these conditions would have never developed to this point. We tramped down their standard and now there is none!

Deuteronomy 22:9 “Thou shalt not sow thy vineyard with divers seeds … lest thy fruit of thy seed which thou hast sown, and the fruit of thy vineyards be defiled.”

The Zabians sowed barley and dried grapes together, believing that without this union there would not be a good vintage … but if they were sown mixed the gods would be kind to them. God did not allow Israel to sow their seed mixed and even warned that if they do so, He would curse their crops … because the Zabians practiced this in obedience to a false god.

Deuteronomy 22:11 “Thou shalt not wear a garment of diverse sorts, as of wool and linen together.”

Mixed cloth, cotton and wool.

This was also in opposition of the Zabian priest, who wore robes of woolen and linen. Wool representing their animals and flocks, and linen representing their fields and vegetation. The Zabians worshiped the host of heaven (stars) and probably wore the mixed cloth to bring a blessing from the planets for their animals and their fields. These were laws to be observed by Israel to distinguish them and keep them separated from the world. The same reason for convictions and prohibitions today. We have become worldly and impotent because we don’t have the guts or enough of God to want to understand separation.

Therefore, because the heathen did it, Israel was forbidden to do it … not because it was uncomfortable or there was any hygienic or moral reasons attached … only that the heathen did it, therefore Israel was not to do it.

“Holiness people” have taken a position against certain practices that have tried to invade the church originating in the world. Holiness Christians do not believe we should be intimidated by fashions and trends dictating to us. The world is programmed to flesh. We are programmed and committed by the Holy Spirit to a life of separation and purity of life. See external; Romans 12:2.

When the world’s styles dictate contrary to biblical principle we should not conform! When the styles do conform and become modest, we should rejoice. Short hair on men goes in and out of vogue. For Christian men, short hair is always in. Maxi skirts came into vogue and some preachers preached against them. They preached against mini’s and against maxi’s! They just preached against anything coming from the world as a fashion. That’s not the motive behind our pulpit ministry. We should be in favor of modesty, whether it’s fashion with the world or not!

Let us consider some of the things Christians are practicing that have originated in the world.

1. HAIR. In the New Testament, I Corinthians 11, short hair is a sign to men of the Christian faith, but in the early 1960’s the Beatles started a wave of long hair styling, intellectuals, hippies, atheists, picked up on the hairy, werewolf hair styles. Many of the revolutionaries grew beards so that photographs taken by police could not identify them. The whole long hair movement came from the lowest, God hating elements of society. But some preachers who preached against it gave in (caved in under pressure) and forgot its origin and yielded to the style because everybody was doing it.

2. COSMETICS – Until the 1930’s the only women who wore paint on their persons were prostitutes. Now the Christians are doing it. The spirit of purity gave way to the spirit of glamour and erotic appeal. Pastors who raised their voices against cosmetics were accused of being legalistic and “behind the times.” The pressure increased from within the church. Liberalism became more and more vocal until the righteous were intimidated into silence.

3. TELEVISION – Modern television is foul, suggestive, full of cursing and allusions to sex until even comedy, music and “family shows” are saturated with the perversions of a morally sick society. Scripture, Psalm 101:2,3, very clearly gives injunction against having anything unclean in the home and setting it before your eyes and having anything in common with the ungodly people who produce its programming. But when this evil arose, spiritually sensitive pastors took a stand against it because it promoted the world’s immoral values. If we don’t raise a standard (spiritual truth – pressure) against the evils of the environment, osmosis will neutralize us!

4. MIXED BATHING – Modesty is commanded of the Christian in the New Testament. Anything that threatens to destroy modesty is evil, wrong, devastating and self-destructive. Mixed bathing in the world has now turned to topless bathing. Beaches are the most dangerous places to be after dark. Beer drinking, brawls, rapes and free sex all take place on the beaches at night. Liberal Christians who go to the beaches have confessed in private that it is a physiological impossibility to retain a pure mind on a public beach or among unclad people.

5. REMARRIAGE – Remarriage starts way back before even the experience of divorce. John the Baptist gave his life rather than compromise this doctrine. It starts back with the way a child is trained and prepared for marriage. It starts back to the time of courtship when it should be long enough for people to become friends before they are joined in marriage. It starts way back in high school where you traded rings and “went steady” and got into heavy petting and thought personality was everything and holiness was legalism. Divorce among “spirit-filled people” is becoming more and more common. Hear the well known Radio/TV preacher saying, “After all, this is the real purpose for divorce – that we might be free to marry again.” In every red lettered Bible Jesus Himself emphatically gave commandment against remarriage. While divorce may be tolerated for certain reasons, it must be remembered that once you divorce, remarriage is forbidden unless your mate dies or you are reunited with your living mate. “From the beginning this was so.” Romans 7:2,3; I Corinthians 7:11.

Dancing, card playing, gambling in any form, including check pools at your place of work, movies, circuses and carnivals have always been avoided by dedicated Christians. Little by little the pressure was put on. First, better times came and we could afford it. Then we heard someone defend it as acceptable. Then a few started doing it. Next we hear someone in the business was saved from it, but stayed in it. Then we started asking these people to testify and tell us how they were serving Christ in their Hollywood atmosphere. Then no one dared speak against it openly anymore. The church leaders are doing it! Now rock is in the churches, we have “Christian” nightclubs, athletes who play on Sunday, the movies are in the home, cosmetics, jewelry and public bathing – all once kept without the church are commonly practiced inside the modern Evangelical church. Even dancing, drinking and card playing are practiced in certain Charismatic circles. The body is in, the Bible is out! If revival is moral awakening – we need a sweeping revival!

The pressure is on, brethren, to humiliate all who love the way of purity and piety. Some men, with a bold and cocksure demeanor, attack the message of holiness whenever they can. Most of them once held the holiness life in their hands. They are the traitorous victims of osmosis.

The power against osmosis; Read the holy Word, run with the holy crowd and tarry often in the presence of a holy God!

Luke 19:5 And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for to day I must abide at thy house.

TO MEET CHRIST IS TO CONTACT PURITY
This is one of the many key scriptures revealing how the reality of Christ’s presence effects moral reform in us and creates the desire to rectify past misdeeds and make restitution. Christ’s real presence effects people morally long after the emotional experience has worn off.

When Moses, Isaiah, Ezekiel and Daniel, made actual encounters with the divine messengers, the impact was a moral one and made them conscious of their unworthiness and even of their sins immediately. Isaiah 6:1-6.

While Christ had a profound moral effect upon Zacchaeus, he seemed to have no moral effect whatsoever upon the Scribes, lawyers, Pharisees and priests. To the contrary, they railed Him and expressed the greatest hostility and contempt toward Him. These who were not affected are those who place their righteousness in something other than biblical truth and doctrine. The holy nature will respond to Christ. Even among humble sinners, there is a longing in some of them for true morality. How many times have Christians entered into conversations and watched dramatic changes take place in the attitude of the sinner when the conversation became seriously directed toward Christ. Even frivolous and flirting spirits are turned to serious inquiry in the presence of serious holiness.

Zacchaeus made glorious moral changes and restitutions as a result of tarrying in the presence of Christ. Anyone who seeks Christ and gets close to Him just as Zacchaeus did, will be morally effected and reformed just as Zacchaeus was. He will emanate His holiness upon us. By these experiences we become like Him … in character. Jesus had a moral impact on Zacchaeus and so will He have upon any disciple that will sit at His feet and wait in His holy presence, taking in His Word.

JOHN

John 14:21 “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. John 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.”

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

Here as in no other part of scripture is the Word, Greek person of Christ synonymous with the Word (LOGOS) of God. His Son and His sayings are the same. My actual relationship with the Word of God is my true relationship with Christ. The same affection we show for Christ in worship should be equal to my love for His commandments. Fundamental emotionalism that is only capable of emotional worship and adoration of the person of Christ, but lacks in willing obedience to the Word of God is not a Spirit-born affection. Indwelling of the Holy Spirit gives me the same love for logos as for Christ. The Bible is the character and the nature of Christ in verbal form. Christ was the divine moral personified. The Word is the personal Christ in writing. The life that is indwelt by the Spirit of holiness will seek above all things the moral excellence of his master revealed in the logos. This is an appetite of the new creation. It would be impossible to be a Christian, to read the Word and spend sufficient time in secret prayer without it creating a profound appetite for that which is holy and good and pure. We cannot have two different relationships, The one with Christ and a different one with the Word. They are the same person in different forms. See John 7:20.

John 1:47 Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!

“Guiltless is a wonderful thing. Guileless is far more wonderful … Guiltless means pardoned – guileless means purified.”

John 2:23 Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did. 24 But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men, 25 And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man. (Jeremiah 12:6)

SEVEN BASIC HUNGERS OF HUMAN NATURE
The psychological make-up of man is one of the most complex pursuits of the sciences. There is an incredible tendency in man to make gods out of the great among them. Jesus considered their kind of worship of Him as repulsive. He saw the wrong of their motives. They were nationalists who saw in Him their opportunity to break the tethers of the Roman Empire and it’s iron legions and restore Israel’s independence. They were opportunists with selfish dreams. Jesus had nothing to do with their scheme to use Him. While He saw goodness in Nathanael, He saw an evil intent in these Jews. He knows us best who knows our motives and our morals. Here are seven of the hungers we can isolate and relate to morally.

1. Hunger for pleasure – this hunger has created entertainment, games, sports and the creation of the great “fun industry,” which includes everything from gambling casinos to electronic football games.

2. Hunger for food – this includes food and raiment and gives harvest, tools and industry.

3. Hunger for knowledge – this gives to man schools, books, created the sciences and produced literature in the millions of volumes worldwide.

4. Hunger of beauty – this gives rise to the fine arts, soothes the beast in man by beautiful sounds in music, creates an aesthetic value for every taste in the arts.

5. Hunger for affection – this is the binding tie to homes, creates fireside scenes of families together. It brings people from the corners of the earth for family reunions. It even gives to man his loyalties that carry him victoriously through war.

6. Hunger for fame – this gives to man the drive of achievement, office, status and the thrones of influence.

7. Hunger for God – every human has a hunger to know and be known of deity. Every human must worship something, a deity, a cause, or an object – but he must worship something! This is his love for God.

John 4:17 The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Jesus said unto her, Thou hast well said, I have no husband: 18 For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly. 29 Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ? 41 And many more believed because of his own word; 42 And said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world.

Jesus embarrassed the woman of Sychar with the exposure of her immoral living. Being fierce and frank will not make the Gospel ineffective. The more sin abounds, the more sinners will react – but we must be as persistent in presenting holiness as the libertines are in making this an evil, unfit world. If we do, the Lord will honor us with the power to win them! Jesus can’t be a Savior until the sin is dealt with and confessed. Then, and only then, can He become their Savior. His bold stance on her sinful life brought revival to the entire countryside of Sychar. Before she could see Him as a Savior, she had to meet Him as a sin hating prophet!

John 5:14 Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.

Sin was a causal factor in this man’s case. Jesus clearly makes the promise a part of obedience to the precept. Sin is violation of the precept. If there is no moral precept, there can be no sin. His moral state determined the future of his physical condition.

John 7:7 The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil.

Was Jesus a positive preacher or a preacher of love? His messages were frequently offensive and had dissembling effects. Only those who loved the truth fervently and knew the ring of truth survived His thunder. Implication of His words: Anything outside of Christ is the world and Jesus showed no sentiment for the world system.

John 7:20 The people answered and said, Thou hast a devil: who goeth about to kill thee?

CHRISTIANS MAKE GOD A DEVIL
These were the religious people of Jesus’ day speaking. Christians who show resentment toward the moral commandments of God, cast a bad reflection upon the Lord in doing so. Paul Scherer in his book, Love is a Spendthrift, says, “so may men turn into beasts and God into a devil.” As men debase themselves and become worldly in their philosophies, they begin to reject the life of holiness and separation clearly taught in scripture. In doing so, their lifestyles become more and more diametric to the divine moral as they become less and less sensitive to evil. They practice separation – but it is separation from the standards of Christian holiness. As our distaste for scriptural morality increases, the more we rail on God for giving us this moral standard. “I don’t rail on God!” When one complains, rejects or ignores biblical morality or holds a preacher of righteousness in contempt – it is tantamount to making God a devil. As we demoralize and become more devilish, we make God the devil. When we seek Him, repent and separate from the world, we are admitting our own selfishness and sin – and that makes God holy! If God is good, then all His commandments, all of His judgments, all of His moral precepts and all the moral principles of scripture are good also and worthy of our immediate love and attention! If God’s commandments are not good, then He is not good. If these commandments are devilish and “unreasonable,” then so is God a devil and unreasonable. We cannot separate the nature of the commandment from the nature of the commandment giver. See Psalm 19.

John 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

This is the age of information. But information is not necessarily truth. Information is simply the accruing and gathering of knowledge – and secular knowledge at that. The flesh nature is self-preferring in its orientation. That is we select truth and select facts only on subjects we prefer. The carnal nature is personality centered. The spiritual man is character centered. Information does not require that I know all of the facts. Information is confused with truth by the advocates of personality religion. It gathers good data, but it gathers only those select facts that support personal philosophies and interests. The Spirit of truth (the Holy Spirit). John 14:17; 16:13; 1 John 5:6. The love of truth will not tolerate a preference for certain facts. He will guide you into all truth. John 16:13. Truth treats all facts impartially. Information knowledge “puffs up” and is “ever learning and never coming to the knowledge of Jesus Christ.” Information is being a partial seeking for facts while truth is the impartial seeking of the facts. The partial seeker wants to know only those things about Christ that support his/her preferences. The transformed believer loves truth, accepts all facts about Christ, including His cross, His kingdom, and His moral commandments. Information knowledge has the potential of being partial and seeking only certain facts. This modern Gospel is a product of selective information knowledge. It is not a theology with any semblance of sound biblical exegesis. It has no intention of learning all the truth; it selects only those “facts” that appear to support their human logic. False teachers and false prophets use the authority of scripture to lend credibility to human theories and logic. But when all the facts available are known on a subject (exegesis), truth is known. Truth is only found by those who love it. It has a way of coming out of hiding when it hears the prayers of love. Much of the Christian, the new amoral evangelical literature today is loaded with humanistic semantics. It is information oriented. Nothing is printed on judgment, sin, fear of God, worldliness, and especially is there nothing mentioned about sanctification or separation. Information knowledge as an academic pursuit can even cause pride if a prayer life is not sustained. I Corinthians 8:1. Truth; the unbiased passion for actuality. Most all doctrines and neo-teachings we are receiving in the last days are not new at all. Most of them are taken from ancient philosophy. The doctrine of preference is a classic example. The doctrine of preference is nothing but relativism which has been taught for ages and is the false assumption that right and wrong, good and evil, are just matters of human opinion. W. T. Purkiser writes, “Relativism comes in many shapes and sizes, it lurks in the statement that ‘it doesn’t matter so much what you believe as long as you are sincere.’ It skulks in the doctrine that ‘there is nothing good or bad in itself, but thinking makes it so.’ It hides in the partial truth that ‘the only absolute commandment is the law of love.’ [See notes I Corinthians 13] Relativism is the instinctive ethic of the natural man. It enthrones his own ‘inner light’ above the eternal Word of God.” And as J. S. Whale somewhere remarked, ‘inner light is the quickest road to outer darkness.'” Like other myths, relativism breaks down when it bumps up against reality. People who don’t like moral laws just don’t like facts. But facts have a way of being what they are whether we like it or not. It is foolish self-illusion to think that one can ignore or defy the laws of right and wrong and merge in life or after life unscathed.

John 8:37 I know that ye are Abraham’s seed; but ye seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you.

SELECTIVE HEARERS
Many good people in Jesus’ day rejected his words. We’re living in a day of selective hearing … preferred listening – special interest listening. 2 Timothy 4:3,4. James condemned Christians for being hearers and not doers, but the contemporary liberals are doing a poor job of even listening. If Jesus would come to the Christian crowd of today, the “Spirit-filled” movement would reject His words in the very same manner He was rejected in the scenes recorded in this text (John 8). The modern Pentecostal would not stand still to have this man tell them, “you are of your father the devil.” For much less truth than this people run off to have their “ears tickled” in today’s church crowd. We have poor taste as listeners today. “He that hath an ear let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.” The Word of God is God’s voice and the ear is the Christians medium of receiving truth. If the modern Christian is selective in what to emphasize in the way of positive doctrines and conditionless blessings, extracting the sweetness of the promises as a man robs the honey from the beehive, leaving the rest (precepts) behind, he would not likely receive the strong teaching of the Master Himself. Communication is in hearing more than it is Listening speaking. Especially considering the fact we mortals have so much to learn … and you only learn by listening. We should cultivate the ability to listen – to receive the without being selective. See Jeremiah 9:20; Matthew 13:16; Hebrews 5:11; Romans 10:17; John 10:3-5; Revelation 2 and 3.

John 8:44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

TOUGH TALK
Righteousness can talk tough. Jesus and the prophets talked tough to God’s enemies. When David went down into the valley of Elah to take the challenge of Goliath, the giant made fun of David’s staff and mockingly asked if he had come to kill a dog. David told him he had come to take his head and feed him to the foul of the air and the beast of the field! Jesus said, “You whited sepulchers, Generation of vipers, You compass land and sea to make one convert and when you have made him he is twofold the child of hell that you are!” When Christ was speaking to the crowds (John 8) He said to those Jews who believed on Him, “You are of your father the devil!” Read the prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Nehemiah, Micah … Christ was not a passive, whining fem! He was a man who could speak softly to the hurting and straight and tough to the hypocrites!

John 11:43 And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth.

There were two parts to Lazarus’ complete deliverance; First, he was given life. “Lazarus, come forth!” Secondly, he was given the command, “loose him, and let him go.” In the words of De Witt Talmage, “the unfortunate thing now is that so many Christians are only half liberated. They have been raised from the death and burial of sin in the spiritual life, but they yet have the grave clothes on them. They are like Lazarus, hobbling up out of the tomb bound hand and foot.”

John 13:17 If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.

The power of authentic Christianity is the power to execute. See John 1:12; Romans 7:15-21; James 4:17.

1. “If ye know these things,” knowledge, learning.

2. “Happy are ye …” The supreme desire of man.

3. “if ye do them.” Obedience, execution.

Happiness is the supreme will of God for man, and interestingly enough, the supreme desire of man is to be happy. Here’s how to find it. Most of man’s behavior is based on his personal ideas of happiness and the quest of it. Even Christians find it elusive. Man seeks happiness in strange things. He seeks it in war, in violence, in riches, in strength, in speed, in sex, in drugs, in popularity, in a bottle, in success – but, “There is a way that seemeth right unto man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” You can tell a man’s character by the things he finds his greatest pleasures in. Your happiness will be no greater than the thing that makes you happy.

HAPPINESS OF GOD’S TERMS

There are seven logical steps to biblical happiness. Like a ladder, each step must be taken in succession. You cannot proceed beyond the step you do not take.

STEP 1 – GOD
The Sovereign of Divine Government God is not to be thought of as some sort of mythical Being with supernatural powers drifting on a cloud leisurely observing His creatures whiling away His time. God is the sovereign head of a vast and highly sophisticated system of universal government! Christians must get a hold of the facts! The Church is the human element of THE KINGDOM OF GOD! God is the regal Head of the Eternal Kingdom! All glory, laud, praise, dominion and honor are due Him. Exodus 19:18; 24:10; 33:20; 34:5; Deuteronomy 28:58; 33:2; Job 37:22; Psalms 29:2; 57:5; 72:18; 76:4; 96:3; 97:9; Isaiah 6:1; 57:15; Ezekiel 1:26-28; Matthew 6:13; I Timothy 6:15; Revelation 4:11. Clouds of angels worship Him. Celestial armies of flaming chariots obey Him. Humans wilt and fall prostrate when only His messengers appear unto them. Moses was the one human to come closest to His person and merged from Shekinah with his skin glowing until the people of Israel fled from him. “No man shall see My face and live.” Exodus 33:20 The truth is that no human could be overtly exposed to God’s glory and survive! This is not a mere religion! This is a kingdom ruled By our sovereign God. Happiness begins with this true concept of a mighty and omnipotent Jehovah who rules among men and angels.

STEP 2 – GOVERNMENT
Method of Rule
Wherever you have a Sovereign ruler you have some form of governmental structure. The Visible Church is not the sum of God’s real estate! The physical church worldwide, as man sees it, represents only a fraction of the total Kingdom. No matter how big you think you are, you belong to something so big, you’re nothing! And no matter how small you are, you are a part of something so big, you’re not small at all! The Church is an extension of God’s government upon Earth. The Church is part of the total Kingdom government, comes under Kingdom government and must abide by the laws of the Kingdom. Jesus said, “If I cast out devils by the power of God, then you know that the Kingdom of God is come upon you.” When He taught us to pray He made reference to our subjection to and our objectives in seeing Divine Government established in the Earth. “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven.” When Isaiah looked down through the corridors of the ages and saw the Messiah coming forth to pay His redemptive visit to Earth, he threw back his head and cried aloud, “And the government shall be upon His shoulder: and … of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end.” The Christian’s ultimate loyalties belong to the government of God’s Kingdom. Our commitment is to Him who sits upon the throne of glistening jasper!

STEP 3 – LAW
A Rule of Order
Under the covenant of law it was proven to man that depraved flesh nature had no affinities with the principles of Divine law. He could not keep God’s laws because his nature was rebellious to patterns and principles of the Divine moral. Man still rebels against Divine law. But when we are genuinely converted we are reconciled to God’s right to govern us. And when the Holy Spirit inundates a life He first off puts us in harmony with the idea of being governed and behaving in all things as God has expressed in the commandments. The Holy Spirit has come to restore the submissive attitude of love and compatibility toward the laws of Divine government. “That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Romans 8:4; Hebrews 10:16. God’s law is not antagonistic to God’s grace. Neither is God’s law diametric to God’s love. God’s laws simply define the wishes of divine government. God’s law is spiritual and always has been. Romans 7:12,14. God’s laws are not just in the form of written commandments. The word law also means, principle or, rule of order. Truth illuminates these many principles of conduct. There is a whole world of principled conduct that lies beyond the written commandment. Contrary to some of the shallow and idiotic teaching of some of our contemporary brethren on the subject of Divine law; Never will you find a truly spiritual person who resents the moral laws of God. It is the rebellious flesh nature that either ignores or resents the idea of being confined to God’s laws and authority. “For the carnal mind is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” Romans 8:7 So, before God’s law can do us any good we have to get rid of this contemptible attitude of the flesh and submit to this work of the Holy Spirit to bring obedience with love and submission born out of desire, not drudgery. This is where our real problem lies – not in the law of God, but in our attitude of submission to it! To happily comply with Kingdom law and principle is called obedience.

STEP 4 – OBEDIENCE
Following Orders – the bridge that joins LAW with ORDER.
This is the only means to achieving God’s happiness. God has given laws to the whole cosmic world. When any part of the creation follows the laws of God, order results. It’s called, “a peaceful arrangement.” The vegetable world very quietly abides by all the laws given to it. They just follow orders and regard the laws of photosynthesis, gravity, pollination … results: flowers, fragrance, honey, color, fruit and beauty. God hurled suns, moons and whole galaxies into space and fixed them there with laws. For millenniums they have been speeding through the heavens following orders – and the result is a very peaceful arrangement. God made vaporous clouds, water and wind and then made gigantic grids between earth and sky to bring forth rain in its season – and He did it all with laws. Everything from Galaxies to atoms are set within the orderly bounds of Divine law and they all follow orders! Obedience in man is the highest form of love. Jesus said, “If you love Me, keep My commandments.” Emotionalism, fluent speech, tears, scripture choruses, prophesying, speaking in tongues and even understanding the mysteries of scripture are being used as substitutes for obedience to the Word. Some even point to these experiences with some pride as if it were a kind of credential or Divine approval. But it’s all a cop-out if there is no obedience, no love or submission to the moral laws of the Word, to the principles of Christian conduct and lifestyle. King Saul lost everything when he trifled with obedience. Hate, depression and suicide all came after his disobedience. Obedience is the catalyst of salvation! Psalm 50:23. Nothing happens in God apart from obedience. Where there is obedience there is order. Where there is disobedience there will always be some form of disorder. Obedience is the only thing that can produce order. And so, the only way to achieve order is by acting in harmony with God’s laws which reveal the peaceful arrangement. James called it being “doers of the Word.”

STEP 5 – ORDER
Accomplishing Peaceful Arrangement
Peter assures us that “If we do these things we make our calling an election sure.”
The order that comes only through living in full compliance with and within the express wishes of the divine moral law produces life and existence with a minimum of conflict. Law prescribes an arrangement of people, places and things in such a way that conflict is reduced. Sometimes obedience is not the most desirable thing to man, but the pain and loss that disorder creates in the end is much more painful. But if the governed have love and confidence in their King, they will not question the laws He makes. His laws will reflect His nature. Law, as does love, will not put stress on people, but rather seeks the well-being of the people through the harmony and order it produces when obeyed.

STEP 6 – PEACE
State of Minimal Conflict
When there is harmony (minimal conflict) with people and things around us, peace is the product. There is a paradox to this matter of inner peace. For while the physical man may experience deep earthly tribulation, yet his spirit has peace with the Kingdom of God and its moral laws. Most of man’s troubles come from his own incompetence and his unwillingness to regard the laws of God. Once that relationship of perfect harmony with the order of things is restored to us, peace comes. Only Christ through the atonement holds the power of this restoration! It’s all in the divine commandment! John 1:12.

STEP 7 – HAPPINESS
The Enjoyment of Life When Christ comes within the heart He teaches us to live in harmony with the rest of God’s creation. The moral commandment is the key to that harmony. As we give regard to God’s spiritual laws and the order they can produce, it is only then man begins to enjoy life as God intended. Happiness is born only out of obedience to God and not out of having things we want in this world. Titus 2:11-12. Happiness is your spiritual standing with God and not your physical state in the world. In the words of John Wesley often quoted: “The whole duty of man is to love God and enjoy Him forever.” Happiness is often elusive because we try to achieve it apart from Christ. God’s happiness is only achieved on God’s terms – Seven simple steps.

John 14:17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

“Spirit of Truth” is the title Jesus gave Him. If you are filled with the Holy Spirit, you are filled with the “Spirit of Truth.” You will love the Word (the source of divine truth), you will love the truth more than self!

John 14:21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.

“Whosoever continues to hold and keep my commandments is the one who really loves me and whoever really loves me will be loved by my Father; yes, I will love him Myself and will make Myself real to him.” (Williams Translation) Manifest means, “to make known to the senses.” Jesus has come forth in the flesh, in the words of scripture, manifest in the flesh, that He might be exposed to us as the Divine model.

John 14:30 Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.

THE TESTIMONY OF JESUS

Literal translation of Greek from the Jay Green Hebrew Greek English Interlinear, “In me not he has nothing.” In this chapter Jesus is in the upper room with his disciples having His last personal and in-depth exchange on some very weighty matters of the kingdom. He said, “Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in Me.” As Jesus came to the end of His life, He had this testimony, “the ruler of this world owns no part of me, he has affected me none whatsoever, he has not influenced me nor affected my spiritual life one whit! He has not changed My theology and as I leave this world, I am leaving without one thing in My life he has put there.” What a Testimony! How many of us can say right now that Satan’s world environment has not influenced us, nor in any way can he claim to have injected something into our thought streams, or influenced us in some way, tricked us into disobedience, wrong philosophy, worldliness – there is nothing in my life evil influence has put there. No wonder Peter said that, “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, to visit the fatherless and the widows in their affliction and to keep himself unspotted from the world”. Jesus did! James 1:27 Satan wants to encroach upon us, he wants to claim some influence, control, some part of us as his mark upon our lives. The Spirit of holiness will disallow it!

John 15:3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.

The Word of God is greatly instrumental in man’s continuing conversion process. Justification the blood alone effects. But after justification the conversion process continues. See Psalm 19:7.

John 15:19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.

We are not chosen in the world, but out of the world. Separation is the mark that characterizes the chosen of the Lord. When there is a charm or affinity – any desirable Compromise tie between a Christian and the world, his relationship to the Master is imperfect. The new trend is to “mix into the world and be an effective witness for Jesus.” The scriptural injunction is to “come out from among them.” It should be quite clear by the degree of conformity to the world just who is who and who is what.

John 16:8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:

It is very clear that Jesus intended the Holy Spirit to be the overseer and executor of our sanctification. Sin, righteousness and judgment are all moral terms that have to do with character and conduct of the saint. There was a time in the church’s history, not too distant, when the baptism of the Holy Spirit was equivalent to sanctification. At the turn of the 19th century, one godly church Father wrote under the heading, Holiness and Inheritance; “Inheritance differs not only from wages and rewards, but also from gifts and even legacy. Distant relatives and friends and even servants, might be remembered in a will with legacy; but an inheritance comes only to the children, and that even when there be no will. It is a right which issues from relationship. Now sanctification is treated in scripture as an inheritance. See Acts 26:18: ‘That they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me;’ And the very same expression is found too in Acts 20:32. Again, in Ephesians 1:11, we read: ‘We have obtained an inheritance’; and in the 13th and 14th verses, this is connected with the gift of the Holy Ghost. Thus: ‘Ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance.’ Sanctification by the gift of the Holy Ghost is of itself the first distribution of our heavenly Father’s estate among His children. And this gift is the ‘earnest’; that is, both a sample and a guarantee of the heavenly inheritance which awaits us at His coming. The experience of holiness is an inheritance of liberty, of full assurance, of power, and of the abiding presence of God. And all hinges remember, upon relationship. ‘If children then heirs.’ So if any lacks proof of their adoption let them first seek forgiveness of sins. But all who have witness of their sonship may confidently press their claim to the promised gift of the Holy Ghost. For ‘This is the will of God, even your sanctification.’ With reverent boldness you may now claim your family rights in Jesus name.”

WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO CONVERSION?

THE TRUE GOSPEL TEACHES;

THE APOSTLE’S DOCTRINE TEACHES TRUE CONVERSION ;
1. Contrast;
2. Conviction;
3. Conversion

THE APOSTATE GOSPEL TEACHES FALSE CONVERSION;
1. Conform;
2. Communicate;
3. Convince

Based on a the liberal pragmatic philosophy The new Gospel philosophy that is non offensive to the sinner, demands a compromise on the part of the Christian that most certainly leads to moral and antinomian neutrality.

Contrast attracts the sinner. He is awed by it – envies and admires it. By this contrast he sees the difference between the life of the holy person and his own sinful wasted life. It is the sinner seeing this contrast that brings the ministry of the Holy Spirit into play. Then the Holy Spirit begins the work of conviction. The Holy Spirit can better work when that contrast is noted between the pure and the wicked, between the righteous and the sinner. Contrast and conviction work together to effect true conversion. The contemporary evangelical philosophy teaches that we should conform to the world, listen to their music, watch their TV programs, dress like them, and by this they will see that we are not such a peculiar people and that we are more like them than they realize. They can be comfortable with us. The new philosophy is that once they see we’re not so different, we are better able to communicate with them and then as we communicate with them and hold this dialogue, we bring them to a knowledge of Christ. Christ did not come to forgive only, He came to deliver men from sin! The subtle changes of neo-theology would make us believe that repentance and forgiveness are the same things. Anyone with the brains of a turkey knows there is a world of difference between these two words. Christians are getting humanistic junk from the modern fundamental pulpits that is satanically calculated to muddle our morality. There are no true conversions apart from the true Holy Ghost process of contrast, conviction, and conversion. It is repentance, and not forgiveness that is essential to the experience of regeneration. Conviction first, then repentance second. Forgiveness is the third fact in salvation. Justification is the fourth, reconciliation is the fifth, regeneration the sixth and transformation the seventh.

THE MORAL PROCESS

Renewed relationship with God depends on forgiveness, which in turn follows repentance, which in turn is brought on by regret or conviction (to be convinced). Without a Holy Spirit activated conscience this whole process becomes impossible.

JOHN 17
John 17 is the “Priestly Prayer” of Jesus for the disciples. One of the chief characteristics of this prayer is for the holiness and unity of his people. A prayer filled with strong moral terminology.

John 17:14 I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. 15 I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.

“This is to be done by sanctifying them through his Word, which is truth (v.17). Christ sanctified himself that we might be sanctified (v.19). Sanctified souls stay in this world to show how saints can be preserved in such a world.” The separation which holiness requires is not separation from the world, but from the evil that is in the world. “Ye are in the world,” said Jesus when He prayed for His disciples, “But they are not of the world.” They were chosen out of the world that they might be sent back into the world.

John 17:16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

“What sanctifying power there is in simple Bible truth! It is the foundation of Bible holiness. It dispels error, develops faith, points to the atoning Christ and to the purifying power of the Holy Ghost. Biblical truth is the potent instrument to sanctify us wholly. Scriptural exposition [perfects holiness in the body].” The Word of God is the tangible revelation of the nature of God. The Christian mind absorbs the Word only as it’s read and meditated upon. There is no way possible to retain the Word of God, or have it for recall, or to be used against the enemy of our soul until we have read it, absorbed it and allowed it to cumulate and be stored in our minds. Faithful reading of and meditation of the Word of God is an extremely important part of our sanctification as denoted in these words of the Master. And remember this, faith is in the Word and it is our chief weapon against the forces of temptation and evil. Quote the Word when you’re tempted! Quote the Word! The Holy Spirit has come to “bring all things to remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” John 14:26 The only way the Holy Spirit can bring up the Word of God and use it is if we have stored it in the memory! We must deposit the Word in the mind; from there He can use it. Here we see an interplay between the mind (memory), the Holy Spirit, and the power of faith. Mundane attractions or distractions in the worldly environment destroy our Word-life – the cycle is broken. Our thrust in personal sanctification is halted. Dwight L. Moody said, “the Word will keep you from sin, or sin will keep you from the Word.” I John 2:5 This is a parallel scripture to Psalm 19:7, “The law of the Lord is perfect converting the soul.” The laws of God taken into the mind, effect change in us, in conformity to the Word. The Holy Spirit is the chief agent in transmitting the Word, but the Word of God is the chief source in the transformation process. As we read the Word it transforms (sanctifies) us and thus effects our conversion. “Be ye transformed by the renewing of your minds.” So transformation is something that happens through the mind. Obedience to the law in itself is not redemptive because there is no blood in it. The depth of conversion is determined by an abundant willingness to conform to the Word. See I John 5:3. Obedience is not sufficient apart from the blood, and the blood will not avail even though acknowledged, without the evidence of loving obedience to the commandment. Romans 12:2. Calvary resulted in reconciliation, and that reconciliation in turn resulted in a new creation with a new affection for the moral principles of Divine government. See Hebrews 1:9; 8:10; 10:16; Psalm 101:2; Luke 17:16; Romans 3:20.

John 17:19 And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.

See Sanctified in word study section; this verse. “Christ consecrated himself to his mission, to his sufferings, to his cross that all believers might be entirely consecrated and truly sanctified. Christ could not sanctify himself in the sense of purifying himself – for he was already originally pure – but he devoted himself to the sanctification of all who so accept him by faith.” Actually, the Lord is making allusion to the effects of the cross. It’s whole redemptive purpose was to sanctify those who come to God through the “Truth” of the cross. Christ Himself was sanctified in the sense He was set apart and dedicated to the death of the cross to bring sanctification to the lost.

John 17:21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. 23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

“The only near analogy in human life is marriage. But Christ also likens it to the unity of the Trinity. ‘As thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us … I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one.’ But sin separates. God cannot unite with sin. Hence sin must be removed. And this is what sanctification is; it is God’s [grace] … removing sin from our nature … The blood of Jesus provides for this. The Baptism with the Holy Ghost effects it. All God’s interests now are ours. All our interests are his. We are one. We are made “partakers of the Divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” See 2 Corinthians 5:17,18; Titus 2:11; 2 Peter 1:4.

John 18:38 Pilate saith unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and saith unto them, I find in him no fault at all.

To many people in the world, truth is an elusive abstract ideal. Jesus came saying, “Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:32 Truth is to present all of the facts in such a way that you leave a right impression. Truth has not been executed until a right impression is left with the seeker. The one thing a disciple is and must be, a lover of truth! The goal of every disciple of Christ is truth. For modern Christians to not know the truth about the holiness life is impossible. For modern Christians to reject the truth concerning the dedication of the body and separation from the world, reveals only that Christian’s contempt for “all truth.” Truth is the supreme thing in the spiritual world, just as light is the supreme thing in the physical world. In the cosmic world, nothing can exist without light. It must precede it and the cosmic world can only continue as light continues and precedes it. So it is in the spiritual world – truth precedes all knowledge, all Christian experience, all human experience. We therefore conclude that truth is the supreme element of the kingdom of God. You cannot even know there is a kingdom unless you hear the truth telling you about it. So truth precedes all knowledge. kingdom. The Bible is God’s revelation of divine truth. It is the book that contains all the facts about God, His kingdom, the atonement, His plan for the ages and His will for man. Without the revelation of scripture we would have no divine enlightenment. The Holy Spirit was always referred to by Jesus in His discussion with the apostles as, The Spirit of Truth. John 14:17; 15:26; 16:13. Truth is like a lion – you never have to defend it. Truth is like a straw – storm and sea cannot sink it. Truth is like a mirror – it cannot lie, but you must have light to use it. Synonyms for truth: Actuality, Reality, Honesty, Trustworthy, Transparent. Psalm 146:6; 138:2; Proverbs 12:17,19; 23:23. When Israel fell into apostasy, the prophet Isaiah declared this condition that “truth was fallen in the street.” Isaiah 59:14,15 Jeremiah also speaking of Israel’s corruption, noted as he looked around, “they are not valiant for the truth.” Jeremiah 9:3Of Jesus it is said, “Full of grace and truth.” John 1:14 He came bearing a witness of the truth. John 5:33. A Christian is not holiness because he says he is, or because he belongs to a “holiness church.” He is holiness because he loves the truth, he breathes it, he walks it. No matter what his culture, his environment, his society, there is no influence greater upon him than divine truth! You are a holiness Christian because you have obeyed the truth. Only truth makes one holy. Sanctification operates only through the application of divine truth and the effect the Word of God has upon the heart and the life. Sanctification is by truth. John 17:19, “And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.” Someone said, “We live in a world that is made up of illusion, perception and a little bit of truth.” The modern Gospel is amoral and not morally obligated. In fact, it has disjoined itself from all moral teachings of the scripture, having lost its voice on the subjects of biblical sanctification, godliness, worldliness, holiness, righteousness, separation, consecration, purity, vanity, sin, perfection and judgment. They make passing token remarks or criticize those who do teach these Bible subjects – but they make no effort to hold in-depth studies of such topics. An amoral Gospel that does not include the facts of death to self, separation, mortification, the crucified life, careful and in-depth teaching on the deadly doctrines of worldliness, is not a true Gospel, it is a sub-gospel. Galatians 1:10-12.

ACTS

Acts 14:22 “Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.”

Acts 2:42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

No sings, no choirs, no sensational personalities, no Emmy awards, no temples, no riches, no vast empire, no electricity, no satellites, no computer mailing lists, no security – all things in common. But this they had; an insatiable hunger for doctrine (teaching of the very kind given in the Word of God). See I Timothy 4:6,16; 5:18; 2 SALT GUIDE TO PRACTICAL HOLINESS Timothy 3:10; 4:3.

Acts 11:26 And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.

DESCRIPTION OF A CHRISTIAN

“He feels supreme love for One whom he has never seen. He talks familiarly every day to Someone he cannot see, expects to go to heaven on virtue of Another, empties himself in order that he might be full, admits he is wrong so that he can be declared right and goes down in order to get up. He is strongest when he is weakest, richest when he is poorest, and happiest when he feels the worst. He dies so that he can live, forsakes in order to have, gives away so that he can keep, sees the invisible, hears the inaudible, and knows that which passeth knowledge.” A. W. Tozer

Acts 15:8 And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us; 9 And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. (See 2 Corinthians 7:1)

“This is a clear and positive assertion that Pentecost means purity of heart receivable by faith occurring instantaneously witnessed by the Holy Ghost.” Doctrinally there is a very close relationship between the baptism of the Holy Ghost and purity of heart. The modern Gospel emphasis has been upon the Holy Spirit giving us power, which is clearly stated in Jesus’ instructions to the apostles, Acts 1:8. But there is more to being “witnesses unto Me” than a powerful verbal testimony. Christianity is conspicuous by virtue of its purity (separation sets us apart from the world in style and demeanor) and good works. Jesus said, “Let your light so shine before men that they might see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16 These are works men know, recognize not to be human – they see us doing the work, but glorify God. It is a high form of morality that reflects the dignity and love of God. This is holiness! But to divorce the idea of the moral excellence of the divine nature from the supernatural manifestations in the form of gifts is unimaginable! They are married in the flames of Pentecost! An element of truth much needed in the modern Pentecostal churches is in these words, “Purifying their hearts by faith” as a part of the true baptism of the Holy Spirit. Acts 26:18 The great majority of modern Christians find no relationship or interest between power and purity, or that divine power always implies divine purity. Some modern Christians by experimenting have discovered that they can be quite worldly and yet experience measures of success, happiness, and even exercise the gifts of the Spirit. In the beginning it was not so. Power and piety were married in the flames of the first Pentecost! See Genesis 3:1-8; Matthew 7:22.

Acts 15:14 Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name.

Things designated as holy, apart from and other than God Himself, are called holy when they belong to God. However, once anything or person becomes a possession of God, it becomes holy, it no longer belongs to itself or another, nor is it to be used for anything other than God’s divine purpose and will. The Greek word for church is ekklesia, meaning called out ones or separated ones. This verse gives us a very accurate description of exactly what the church is. It is a people separated from the world unto God. Because this is not literal, it is moral in sense. We are a people with divine morals and that holy state commends us to His fellowship. We are different from the world inasmuch the holy moral is diametric to the depraved moral standard of man. Romans 8:5; I Corinthians 5:9-11.

Acts 15:19 Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God: 20 But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood. 23 And they wrote letters by them after this manner; The apostles and elders and brethren send greeting unto the brethren which are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia: 28 For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things; 29 That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well. 30 So when they were dismissed, they came to Antioch: and when they had gathered the multitude together, they delivered the epistle: 31 Which when they had read, they rejoiced for the consolation.

THE CHURCH CANNOT DEPEND ON THE WORLD’S MORALS.

Custom may change with time – principle (law) will not change unless the cause of law ceases. The depravity of man is the cause of law, and therefore, moral law will continue as long as depravity or evil exists. Civil rule is not always morally right. e.g., Abortion laws, homosexual rights and creation not allowed to be taught as an option to evolution in public schools.

THE CHURCH HAS AUTHORITY TO PRESERVE BIBLE MORALITY

The world is given to change in moral values while the church’s standard is fixed and absolute. It is therefore the responsibility of the ministry to defend the moral standard of the church if it becomes threatened by worldly practices encroaching the body and threatening corruption. Moral standards are required for the moral preservation of the church and may be declared as binding by church elders if they so determine certain practices as being evil or corrupting and so long as such standards uphold the spirit and the letter of biblical principles of right. Matthew 16:18,19; 18:18. Church authorities (ministries) of the church may put restrictions upon behavior and use of evils or vices in the preserving of moral purity, should such abuses become apparent or have the potential of corrupting the church. This authority to denounce evil influences has always been a custom of the holiness church from ancient times to present. Matthew 16:19; 18:18. Only “the snake”, corrupters and apostates decry the church’s custom of disclosing the dangers of evil influences. Genesis 3:1.

Acts 19:32 Some therefore cried one thing, and some another: for the assembly was confused; and the more part knew not wherefore they were come together. (See homily Exodus 23:2)

Acts 20:21 Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.

Through the atonement, Christ made repentance possible. Except ye shall repent, ye shall … likewise perish. Luke 13:3,5. Repentance is not to be confused with forgiveness. Repentance is toward God. Forgiveness is what we receive from God after These are both part of the conversion experience, but distinct and distinguishable. Without repentance there is no forgiveness. This doctrinal confusion is a result of the shallow “easy believism” type of evangelism going on in many modern Gospel circles. Charismatic demeanor lacks seriousness. It is a “joy movement” that too often lacks serious dedication to good doctrinal exegesis.

Acts 20:32 And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.

Acts 24:16 And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men.

Paul said, “herein do I exercise myself.” He did not say, “herein do I set around and dream of such a possibility” – no! He said, “herein do I exercise myself.” Exercise is from the Greek word, ASKEO. It implies a regimen kind of training, to strive for. This is not attained by people with sloppy unregimented lifestyles. Holiness is achieved by strong desire and personal effort. Luke 13:24. In the beginning, it is God who sanctifies, but in the end it is man, who by his own desires and disciplines, makes himself available to the Sanctifier. All great achievements, and above all, the greatest achievement of all, the holy life is achieved only through vigorous physical, mental and spiritual intent, effort and exercise. Philippians 3:14. “I press toward the mark.” Press (1377) Press, Greek dioko, to pursue or be given to. Strive to enter in at the straight gate.” Strive, agonazomai, to struggle, compete or to contend.

Acts 26:18 To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me. (Acts 15:8; 20:32; Ephesians 1:11; 2 Corinthians 7:1)

“Inheritance differs not only from wages and reward, but also from gifts and even legacy. Distant relatives and friends, and even servants, might be remembered in a will with legacies; but an inheritance comes only to the children, and that is true even when there is no will. It is a right which issues from relationship. Now sanctification is treated in Scripture as an inheritance. The very same expression is found too in Acts 20:32. Again, in Ephesians 1:11, we read: ‘We have obtained an inheritance’; and in the 13th and 14th verses this is connected with the gift of the Holy Ghost thus: ‘Ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance.’ [See homily Acts 15:8] Sanctification by the gift of the Holy Ghost is of itself the first distribution of our Heavenly Father’s estate among His children. And this gift is the ‘earnest’; that is, both a sample and a guarantee of the heavenly inheritance which awaits us at His coming. The experience of Holiness is an inheritance of liberty, of full assurance, of power, and of the abiding presence of God. And all hinges, remember, upon relationship. ‘If children, then heirs.’ So if any lack proofs of their adoption, let them first seek forgiveness of sins. But all who have witness of their sonship may confidently press their claim to the promised gift of the Holy Ghost. For ‘this is the will of God, even your sanctification.’ With reverent boldness you may now claim your family rights in Jesus’ name.” All of these above scriptures carry the same expression. Indicating that holiness (sanctification) is not only a part of the inheritance of the saints, but it is a part of the trinity of divine forces that start working in our life at the very beginning of the Christian walk. Those three forces are 1) faith, 2) sanctification, and 3) inheritance. The first objective of newborn faith is a confidence and belief in the inheritance we have through Christ which is a purifying force altering the very nature of the believer. 2 Corinthians 5:17,18. The” witness of sonship in Christ is a faith that produces sanctification of life. Scripture declares, “If children, then heirs.” We are heirs only after we become His children, and if we are His children, we bear His likeness in nature and possess the same moral desires and affections, loving good and hating evil.

 

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