Separation unto God is the spiritual aspect of religion that involves primarily the spirit and soul of man, the invisible latent half of man’s triune nature. When we come to the feet of Jesus and become His dedicated servant, we are sanctified instantaneously. Sanctified in simple language is coined in just three words; devoted unto God. Dedication to God also involves bringing the sarx (carnal flesh nature) under submission to the will of God as revealed in the teachings of the Lord Jesus and then expanded by further revelation to the apostles in their more detailed instruction we call, the apostle’s doctrine. Separation from the evil influences of the world produced by the god of this world, to entice us and raw us away from seeking our new spiritual life with our whole heart. That is only becomes possible through an intimate walk with the Lord Jesus that creates strong desires to please Him who laid down His mortal life that I might have eternal life.
The body is the third part of man’s triune nature and the depraved nature of the whole man. This depraved body nature has a strong affinity with the environment of the world around it. Paul makes us realize this when he warns the Corinthian church that we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ and we will be judged by those things we have done in our bodies whether good or bad. The appetites ((1) libido, (2) hunger and (3) ambition) must be brought under the governing control of the Spirit of Christ in me when I become a child of God. The signature of genuine regeneration is when the Spirit of Christ as Lord over the will of the appetites of the body! If the appetites of the flesh nature are not under Spirit control, then I am none of His. Romans 8:9. If Christ dwells in a man’s heart the evidence is that the moral power of Christ will be manifest AND THE MORAL POWER OF Christ within expels and dominates the evil tendencies of the flesh. John 6:63. No one can be a new creation in Christ and be rebellious against any moral commandments the word of God puts on this body of sin. Apostate religion rebels against any commandment or instruction given to the church in the word that is directed to the body. But the body is the instrument of sin and it is in the body that scripture tells us plainly that sins reigns. Romans 7:25; 8:3. But, if Christianity is a moral transformation as scripture tells us it is, then conversion to Christ is primarily a moral miracle of transformation!
If I am attempting to live for God with one foot in the world and one foot in the church, I am a crossover Christian and taking some very big chances with my eternal destiny. Coalition governments never work or survive. Phony Christianity will not allow God’s word to dictate to it “in the little things that don’t matter.” The modern crossover gospel that believes, we must change with the world in order to win it, has not only taken hold of a doctrine of the Devil, but they have not experienced the authentic work of transforming grace that renews the mind. Romans 12:2. Through that demonic philosophy the carnal mind then attempts to bring the world’s values with them over into the church. They have never surrendered their bodies and its appetites as a living sacrifice. The result of these pragmatic philosophies is that the church becomes so worldly and the world becomes so churchy that you can no longer tell the difference. Their bodies remain committed to the engrained cultural values of the world system around them and then the go to church praise God with great emotion. These must return to the feet of Jesus and enter into an experience of exomologesis until they have experienced the in depth conversion and a complete consecration as scripture teaches. Water baptism illustrates what did not happen to the many shallow conversion crossover believers. In the early church shallow conversions were not tolerated and when some started saying they had accepted salvation through faith even though they seemed not to have evidence of moral transformation. The church leaders started requiring an intense discipline of confession that became known as exomologesis. They were taken aside and made to spend hours and days recalling their sins of the past and confessing them in deep contrition. They were made to make confessions, to make restitution and then once cleared they had to confess to the body of the church before they could be restored to the fellowship. We do not find a precedent for this procedure in scripture so we cannot practice it. However, that extreme is better than the extreme in the opposite direction being tolerated today in the liberal church movements. Easy believism and the faith doctrine that was one of the convenient doctrines contrived by the Charismatic doctrinaires who handed off a series clichés that became doctrine in the church. One example; Doctrine separates but the Spirit unites an effort to show contempt for doctrine and place emotional worship above pure doctrine. A false teaching is usually a distortion of a pure doctrine. Today we have replaced the life of secret prayer with praise and especially public praise.
When we are baptized by immersion it is a symbol of death or dying with Christ. You are buried in the water (death) and then you are raised to a new life of righteousness unto men and HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD. But when the minister of Christ by his power lifts you up from the water that is a type of God’s power raising you up into the newness of life as a new creation in Christ and bearing His likeness. It means He has saved you from sin and eternal death and now the life you live belongs to him! We have a lot of wet sinners walking around in the world of the neo-antinomian evangelical church world today who have no evidence of a moral change in their values. They are still stuck in the world and want to “worldlyize” the church. They do this because they really think the psychology of the world is wiser than God (or they wouldn’t try to displace the teachings of the word with that of the world). Their faith is still in the using of worldly gimmicks, business psychology and philosophies of expedience to make converts. But when they have made their converts they are like the people who tell them they are saved. Picture a vast graveyard with the heads of the buried and maybe one shoulder or an arm above ground and that is a good spiritual picture of whole evangelical groups and movements in this end time.
It is the flesh nature that has very strong affinities with the fallen world environment. At one time deeper life teaching included themes on consecration, dedication, temperance, restitution and special prayer relationships with God.
In The Classic Christian Culture Commentary we lay no stress on the matter of the holy life that is any different from the scriptures themselves. For God the Father to realize His redemptive purpose to restore man back into fellowship with Him, there has to be a moral transformation before that can happen. Our natures are going to have to be altered and agree with God on all matters mentioned in His word. Before two can walk together they must be agreed and in our case it’s going to mean big changes on our part, not God’s part – transforming changes! Every word of the Bible is expressing that one purpose of God to bring us back to Him through making a new creature of those who return to Him in repentance. Be ye holy as I am holy is a message first given in Leviticus and repeated some five times through the scriptures across time to Peter’s epistle’s – from Moses to Jesus! Holiness IS the only one true theme of the Bible and Satan has done everything he can to relegate it to contempt in the mind of every confessing Christian! This is an unbelievable accomplishment but he has accomplished this around the globe and I am a witness to this having lived in and preached in forty nine nations of the world in my sixty years of ministry.
CCCC (Classical Christian Culture Commentary) is focused on placing attention on the original purpose of God to transform the fallen sinner morally into His likeness. This is a treatment of that original intent to be restored in every Christian heart even if it means I go into the Lord’s presence in repentance to have my first love renewed. The apostle Paul beseeched the Christians to present their bodies once again as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto God surrendering your body in loving obedience to the laws and commandments of the Lord. We must take the body to task with God’s Word in hand and with a broken and contrite heart. Romans 12:2; I Thessalonians 5:23;
This third element of man (the depraved flesh nature) is where most modern theologians and preachers have become either cowards or escapists afraid to touch on the body of sin. Preachers will go through all kinds of verbal contortions to avoid confronting the depravity and perversions, the vanities and vices of the flesh, yet the empirical subject of the bible! It is this body life we defend from coming under the regimen of spirit control because we do not understand the relationship between the two after conversion. Not only that, how can we keep our numbers and teach the biblical truth about carnality and sin? Carnal Christians kick and scream when scriptures touch on the moral prohibitions directed at the body life. But it is in this very area of truth these pages aim its message – at the source of sin, controlling the depraved appetites of the body and the mentality that resents the Spirits control over it. If Jesus hates it, then we hate it! If Jesus is pleased by it then we are pleased by it and nothing else matters.
We will be going back in church history and fuss with some of the early church fathers. For example, Augustine was the inventor of purgatory, celibacy of the priesthood, infant baptism, lapsarianism (Calvinism and predestination) and other more serious doctrinal departures from the word of God. To give the church Fathers a blind credibility based on some of their writings and the place they filled in the earlier church’s history is not wise! We only give infallibility to the authority of scripture and they along with each of us bow to that same final authority. Everything handed down to us from these men should be examined in the light of God’s word. It is a fact that in this end time the church has more tools and evidences to arrive at truth than our fathers had. They lived closer to the life of Jesus and the apostles but did they have the intellectual humility, the divine grace, to write accurately the things that would leave an eternal impression on the posterity of the church?
A good example of this is Augustine overlooking the dual nature of the two entities of man that Jesus taught so clearly that preceded Him and then later of Paul the apostle in all of his epistles and especially his letter to the Romans. Then Luther made the statement that, the epistle of James was a book of straw because he was angered by James writing that, faith without works is dead. Some of the great venerated men whose names have become the name of denominational churches were sometimes not too careful about their exegesis in their attempt to defend their particular doctrines. We must be very careful not to venerate these men and in so doing fail to point out the heresies they propagated. It’s all in the record of the church’s history. We must love the truth and then follow it wherever it takes us.
In this volume we will speak of holiness in both the spiritual and practical sense; from prayers to pearls! Christianity must possess both a negative sentiment for the world with an equal positive sentiment for the divine moral in order to please God. That truth is clearly taught by Jesus and the disciples Hebrews 1:9 Religion without the pursuit of moral excellence is superficial religion no matter how emotional it is (See Amos 5; Matthew 7:21-23). The new liberation gospel of pluralism proposes to introduce a religion of humanly induced sensational results with no regard for personal sanctification. I John 3:5; Romans 8:29. In the end this kind of religion will never cross the finish line!
It is a spurious gospel that implies devotion to God is adequate, and then tolerates an affection for the passing vanities of this world, ruthlessly pouring contempt on the pre-eminence of biblical sanctification.
Scriptural holiness teaching is not the peculiar thinking of an ancient age or the tradition of a bygone culture. Holiness is a spiritual emotion that rejoices in obedience to God’s every commandment. It is a desire to issuing from the very heart of the Spirit born that finds it highest pleasure in obedience to the heavenly Father. The holy heart is twice as willing to obey the commandment, than law requires. Obedience to the commandments is not a duty but the delight of the born again.
But scripture in the very beginning reveals that the whole primary objective of redemption is the achieving of a new moral creature of the divine kind. There is nothing recorded in scripture that is not implicated or involved in the issues of man seeking the godly life through the grace of God, the struggle between good and evil. The encounter between Eve and the snake in Genesis 3 was a moral encounter and from that encounter the battle rages until this day and the enemy and his tactics have not changed. Analyze the temptation of Jesus in Matthew chapter 4 carefully and you will discover your enemy and how to defeat him. Jesus succeeded against him where Eve and Adam failed.
All of recorded history inside and outside of the Bible, every verse of poetry, every prophecy carries the moral message of the divine intent, the perfection of man and every parable, every verbal allusion of the Master, the gospel writers and especially the scenes of Calvary, cry out to declare the supremacy of God’s dream of a paradise for an obedient race of man. Calvary’s purpose is to justly restore man to a state of moral purity and the power to overcome the unholy trinity! The power to be an overcomer begins with living a holy life and walking with God. There is no other message in the Bible but holiness! First, the holiness of the moral excellence of God and secondly, that holiness imputed (hagiazo) at conversion and thirdly, the holiness imputed (hagiosune) after conversion to Christ by the glorious unfathomed powers of the cross! Yes, I did not make a mistake when I said they are both imputed because they both can only happen by the grace that comes from God. Suddenly, in this latter day the biblical traditions of our praying fathers, perfected through the centuries in dungeons, torture chambers and candlelight, glorious revivals, revelations and persecutions, are being challenged and discredited. This down-play of holiness in pulpits and bible college classrooms has morally disarmed three generations of church youth since my conversion sixty years ago. The church youth of today do not even have the same vocabulary we had sixty years ago. This generation, well into the twenty first century now, has little or no knowledge of the biblical doctrine of moral transformation and or of the doctrine of separation due to the fact that most of the teachers in today’s Bible college’s and seminary are liberal and shallow in their theology and belong to the schools of licentious neo-evangelicalism. The blind cannot lead the blind into truth. At the same time personality has been put on a pedestal. Beauty queen contests, physical contact in church, holding hands in prayer and praise, petting, heavy dating, fornication, ecumenism, talent contests, soapies, swimming parties, “moderate” drinking, dancing, dirty stories, preoccupation with drug ridden sports and fashions, cosmetic classes in the church and remarriage at the church altars are only some of the abominations s becoming common in “Bible believing” churches. Ichabod!! This is licentious grace! Better described as disgrace! Theology is out and Meology is in! We have come by the conscience of Gasparoni, the Italian bandit who hoped for heaven because he had never committed murder on Friday. This trend clearly reveals the new pre-occupation of the modern Christian with the body. A natural outcome when the pure doctrine of sanctification is no longer lifted high as one of the supreme doctrines of the Christian quest. (Search Dichotomy of Salvation)
The Bible is the book of the divine ethic. It is man’s only source of the revelation of the divine moral. Scripture contains many revelations, the chief of which would certainly be God revealing himself as a holy God by nature. But the bible contains another doctrine that necessitated the revelation of God – the origin and history of sin.
The whole redemptive plan of blood redemption based on the principle of equivalence according to jurisprudence (the science of law) that demands that only life (in the blood) could atone for the death (in sin) as equivalents. The sin of Adam’s race was tantamount to rebellion against kingdom government. The only thing needed once a plan of perfect justice was in place was a sinless man sent from heaven into a sinful world. The outcome was well understood by God the Father and God the Son. Only heaven could provide that vital key to our redemption. That sinless man from heaven would be hated, despised, conspired against and put to death by evil forces in a world overcome by depravity and degradation. But and once that sinless man’s blood was spilled there would be redemption and heaven would be opened for those who come to Him in repentance and receive from Him the joy and power to obey His Word.
Therefore scripture is the history of sin, giving us its origin in Lucifer in the rebellion in heaven and then transmitted to man soon after his creation in paradise recorded in the first three chapters of Genesis, three of the most important doctrinal chapters in all of the inspired scripture. Strange thing that an archangel and the first man committed the most notoriously evil acts right smack dab in the center of heaven and then in the center of paradise! The Bible traces sin from Lucifer and the heavenly war, through the history of creation, Adam and Eve’s sin committed in the heart of paradise and Golgotha’s victory. Finally in the book of Revelation God’s systematic termination of all three of the thought to be invincible power figures that dominate the world scene in this end time is described. An understanding of sin (rebellion against divine government) in those first three chapters of the bible is essential to having right concepts of all other biblical doctrines and especially the doctrine of redemption and why it was essential to the eternal life of man secured for us by the blood of God’s son, Jesus Christ.
These pages were not only intended to direct God’s toward pure doctrine and proper exegesis of scripture regarding the classic Christian culture of the moral perfection of the Christian life, but also a work of emphasis on other right things. It is intended to apply common and correct theological definition to the scriptures on the subject of practical holiness, as well as to meet the challenge of immoral world influences and the new amoral church creed. On these pages we will consider the source of all of mankind’s trouble, the body and its corrupted appetites and what they are and how Jesus has conquered them and then passed the power of that secret on to every child of God through the scriptures! For example, one of the things we will putting up on site is a complete list of all vices and all virtues taken from Thirty Thousand Thoughts compiled by four great theologians and lifted from one section of this masterpiece printed in several volumes by Funk and Wagnalls Publishers, 1884. This is an exhaustive list of all human vices and virtues. A great help and good thought food for the preacher.
THE BODY AND THE BIBLE
I live in a body. My every day Christian Body life is lived through the articulate members of the body that move from signals that originate in the brain. I live, move and have my being, my existence through the medium of the body. The mind and spirit are joined to it in such a way that as goes the state of my body, so goes the condition of my mind and spirit. Classic Christian Culture Commentary deals with the sanctification and holiness of the body, its relationship to God (a positive relationship) and its relationship to the world (negative relationship). Satan cares not that the modern Christian adopts mental and spiritual faith in Christ as long as he can keep the Christian from presenting the body in sanctification and persuade the mind to embrace the antinomian attitude that resents any moral obedience to God’s moral commandments and in particular those commandments that call for the death of the self and obedience to the doctrine of separation. Antinomians are also anti-doctrine as God’s law is a definite doctrine of both Testaments. These two, doctrine and moral law overlap in so many ways they are inseparable. Where you find Antinomian Christians (actually a misnomer because there is no such thing as a Christian who is against God’s moral law), you will also find a person or a whole church that is anti-doctrine. I have seen with my own eyes the ads in the church section of a Dallas newspaper of Charismatic churches who had written in large letters across the center of their ad, we do not preach doctrine. Of course that is not true at all. The fact that you proclaim that you do not teach doctrine – is a doctrine. Your doctrine is that you do not teach doctrine! What splendid idiocy. The word doctrine in the Greek is didache which means teaching. They are actually advertising that they do not believe in teaching – a major quality of the apostle’s epistles. These people are the epitome of apostasy. They are in fact the doctrinaires of false doctrine. Do they believe in angels? Do they believe in prosperity? Do they believe in God’s love? Do they believe in freedom from biblical commandments? Yes, they believe these things and they teach these things and teach them as doctrine. What a poor thing to brag about. They have many doctrines that they cannot defend with the scripture. What they are saying by this proud almost humorous claim is that, “We do not tell people how to live, nor do we teach the biblical doctrines of sanctification, separation, restitution or anything that will offend you. Such a church cannot preach Jesus because Jesus said, my doctrine is not mine, but His that sent me. John 7:16. I would like to be sitting in that church if the pastor should give an exposition of Matthew 5.
Neither does Satan care to control the Christian body – so long as he can render it un-surrendered to the Lordship of Christ by those enticements he has planted in the world all around us. The sparkle and strobes of the world have so mesmerized the carnally minded that they have become spiritually neutered on issues of right and wrong according to the commandments of Jesus and apostle’s doctrine. We can say they march to the drums of another drummer – a rock drummer. All the prince of this world has to do to make Christianity impotent is make sure the church is striving to please the sinner more than to please God. This was the ploy Satan used to destroy the first human pair’s communion with God. He merely persuaded them to please themselves and ignore their creator. Their disobedience to the commandment destroyed their relationship with God once they no longer obeyed God’s law given to them.
Go ahead and wear salacious and provocative clothing and skip church to attend sporting events and sit home and watch “Christian” TV. Every soul is digging. Saints dig into the Word and sinners dig a pit for them to fall into. You can, by faith even prophecy, cast out devils and support Christian missionary programs that preach the gospel and feed the hungry, just so long as you do not take God’s governance over you seriously. Ignore God’s commandment to be holy and smirk at moral perfection and loving obedience to the moral laws of God, that is your choice and the consequences that will result. Read Matthew 7:21-23 carefully and see the folly that millions of Christians have been lured into by the god of this world in these last days. The only thing that makes praise and good works valid is if we love the Lord and obey what He teaches. And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? Luke 6:46. If ye love me, keep my commandments. John 14:15. Read Matthew 5 for starters.
Satan cares not how much you praise Jesus or go to church. Just so you never believe that God’s moral law applies to the church age of grace. The objective of this treatise is two-fold:
1) To emphasize the importance of the biblical teaching on the role of body in sanctification. Modern interpretation deals chiefly with the sanctification of the latent part of man, the mind and spirit. The Word of God deals with the Spirit control of the body as the empirical efficacy of the cross. The term holiness hardly implies the spirit of man but is totally directed to the behavior of a Spirit controlled body. Liberal fundamentalism’s preferential exclusion of the body is a horrendous falsehood of the false doctrinaires heading the apostasy in this twenty first century. To exclude sanctification from the doctrine of salvation leaves the church with an impotent gospel. It proclaims and accepts Jesus as Savior, but then rejects Him as Lord. It will not save! Matthew 7:21; Luke 6:46. A gospel that eliminates the doctrine of sanctification after the cross negates the efficacy of being sanctified at the cross when we repent.
2) It is a taking to task contemporary interpretation that gives the body of sin immunity or exclusionary treatment by people who have the intelligence to know better. It was the doctrine of the Nicolaitans and the doctrine of Jezebel that Jesus made special mention of in Revelation 2 when He addressed the churches of Ephesus, Smyrna and Pergamos. He condemned Pergamos for tolerating the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, a doctrine he said he hated. He commended the church of Ephesus because they hated the doctrine of the Nicolaitans which He said he also hated! The Nicolaitan doctrine was an early form of the Gnostic movement that would come on its heels to threaten the church. It was a fleshy doctrine that taught that what we did in the body would not be held against our spirits in the judgment as long as we place our faith in Jesus and believed in His redemption in our behalf. To them the spirit would go to heaven if we believed in Jesus and the flesh would pass into dust being two different entities. In his message to the seven churches declared he hated this doctrine, twice! The Nicolaitans got their name from the Hebrew word, Nicolah, meaning, let us eat. They practiced having their wives in common and were made up of many groups but all believed in deep immorality and practiced chanting and had a hodgepodge of various doctrines. They were given to fornication and adultery and all sorts of immorality. In plain language, they were a filthy lot. This doctrine later evolved to become the Gnostic movement that made Jesus the head of a love cult religion adding a mystical aspect to His life in the flesh teaching he was only a mirage denying His humanity. To do this you would have to eliminate most of the books of the New Testament and pervert the meaning of the scriptures they teach from. The Gnostics under Marcion about AD 140. But to know more about the Gnostics in the early church visit, http://www.logosresourcepages.org/Versions/gnosticism.htm
Surprisingly, there has been a recent reviving of the Gnostics who still promote Marcion’s concepts to this day. They have a web site defending his dualism teaching and even have a copy of his butchered bible they sell on line. I quote one paragraph here to point out an error in their deductions.
Marcion followers yet today claim that he compiled the first canon of the New Testament in AD 140 and that for centuries has been maligned as a heretic, since the Church Fathers like Tertullian accused him of taking the razor to the Bible and cutting out several of the Pauline epistles; Acts, 1 and 2 Timothy and Titus. In addition the only Gospel in Marcion’s Bible was two thirds of Luke. Actually that’s it. A part of one gospel and ten Pauline epistles. http://www.marcion.info/
Polycarp, bishop of Alexandria called Marcion Satan to his face when they passed in the market place and Polycarp refused to speak or look at him. Marcion called to Polycarp asking, Polycarp, do you not know me? Polycarp turned, looked at him and said, Yes, I know you, you are Satan.
Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, [emotionalism, praise] shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, [emotionalism, praise] have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? [signs, wonders andmiracles and good works] and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you [ ginosk; “never intimate with you”] depart from me, ye that work iniquity [Grk: anomia; lawless, they despised obedience to the commandments of the word as essential to salvation, the universal signature of all apostate religions]. Matthew 7:21-23
Read the accounts of other whole church movements and eras that were believers in Christ but had perverted the authentic classical Christian culture of moral transformation. Israel as a nation was cast off and dispersed over the earth. Thyatira was in danger and had allowed false teaching to corrupt God’s people. They all had some good qualities but obedience to the commandments and bringing the discipline of the Spirit to bear on the depravity of the flesh was lacking. That lack was allowing the flesh a freedom Christ came to destroy – the freedom of the depraved flesh to express itself contrary to the efficacy of the cross to bring death to the body of sin.
These Modern “fleshologians” who will not tell their followers the terrible (yet glorious) truth of the Spirit’s disciplines over the depraved flesh appetites and how to bring those appetites under the control of the Holy Spirit, gives sin a safe harbor in the body, robbing Christians of not only the ultimate joy of a victorious life in Christ that overcomes the world, but run the terrible risk of being cast into outer darkness unprofitable servants in the judgment. Matthew 8:12; 25:30.
Christian casuistry has become a bit more complicated at the end of this century due to the increasing immoral inventions of godless techies, entertainers and the sports industry combined with the pornography industry, humanistic educational systems and a slew of legislators more concerned for votes now than their children and grandchildren’s welfare. There is a high impact by the evil enticements today that previous church environments did not have to contend with. Materialism has made it possible to have many things encumbering the Christian’s life that other church periods would have never tolerated that placed a strong emphasis on moral transformation and godliness. Thins in our environment even change the meaning of language we speak and the values we hold that previous church periods did not tolerate. Environment has dictated to the Christian what to believe and how to “interpret” the word of God. Television, lewd fashion trends, abortion, sex education in the schools, drugs, divorce and high divorce rates, professional violent and drug ridden athletics, pornography, the rock racket culture, unisex, apostate fundamentalism, special interests and homosexual activism and legal abortion are just a few of the evil influences that have intimidated many churches and their leaders and drawn those churches away from the purity of piety. As the world becomes more and more immoral and secularized the church becomes more mortal and earth oriented to the things around it. In a time when the church should be raising high the banners of holiness and weeping in contrition, it has become a gutless and a giddy country club status conscious social club scraping to the world for its approval and acceptance.