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Hope As An Anchor Of The Soul (New Year)

hope as an anchor of the soul, eternal security, new year 2018, assurance of salvation

As we move into 2018 many are hoping for a better year than 2017. Many had a very hard year, even excessively hard. Yesterday I was at a public hospital to see a doctor (thyroid) and get medicine repeats. While at the first stage of the process I got talking with a doctor also waiting in the process. He used to work at that particular hospital but had moved on. As we spoke I asked him what his thoughts were for the new year. He immediately answered that he saw nothing ahead that he felt that he could put his hope in. He is not optimistic about the future.

And in one way or another we will all be looking ahead and wondering what life will be like in 2018, or wondering what will happen in our personal circumstances in the coming year. And with so many changes happening so quickly and unexpectedly in the last 20 years or so. It’s hard to be able to predict what will happen in the coming new year. Life has become very uncertain, very unpredictable, not as it was 30-40 years ago.

What many found to be secure 30 years ago in businesses and careers are no longer secure today. From a spiritual perspective I see a very positive side to the modern insecurity of the temporal life. When businesses and careers were secure people who were resisting God found a comfortable place to hide from the Lord in those ‘secure’ environments. But as our world has so turned from the Lord and each generation turned from Him further than the previous generations. Our world has become more and more insecure as it’s become more and more ungodly. And as the Lord has been left out of modern society more and more, He has not allowed such people, such nations, to prosper as once they did when they acknowledge Him, and the Christian Faith as the one truth faith from Him. Now it is becoming far harder to find the world a distraction ‘from the Lord’. In all levels of society people are very insecure regarding their future, regarding the new year. And that is good! People mustn’t be able to find ‘security’ in the world!

I’m hoping that this will have a positive cause in some irreligious people turning to the Lord. And some religious, lost people, turning properly, Biblically to the Lord. As only the Lord can provide absolutely perfect security regardless of our circumstances. That which the Lord wants to give each of us, our world at it’s best cannot come close to providing…

Hope … As An Anchor Of The Soul

While still in this life, in this world, God’s children have hope, perfect security from God regarding their temporal life, as well as their eternal souls…

Hebrews 6:18-20
18  That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us:
19  Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil;
20  Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.

As an anchor secures a boat or ship from drifting, so an individual being ‘in-Christ’, being Born Again’, is perfectly secure regarding their eternal soul’s security. And each child of God may have this hope keep them perfectly secure in this world. Even should chaos be happening around them, because their security, their hope is in Christ, their hope cannot be taken away, it cannot be lost! It is in Hebrews 6 promised to be both, “sure and stedfast”…

“Sure”: As in ‘certain’ or ‘unfailing’

“Stedfast”: Will not abandon the child of God before they are living in eternity, at Home in Heaven with the Lord.

This is where our hope for 2018 must be! In Christ! Not in ‘favourible circumstances’ or in ‘things working out better for us in the New Year’. There is no Biblical reason why 2018 will be good as far as temporal things are concerned. Our rebellious societies / cultures give every indication of breaking down even further than they have at this point in time! Get hope from the ONLY source that guarantees hope … Christ!

In Christ’s Hand, In The Hand Of The Father

Those who are truly Christ’s, those who have actually been born again, follow Him. Their life is not their own, they follow their Saviour’s example that He made while in our world…

John 10:27-30
27  My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
28  And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
29  My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.
30  I and my Father are one.

Christ’s redeemed, His sheep, are absolutely secure in His Hand. As secure as if they were already with Him in Heaven! There is no more secure place than in their Saviour’s Hand! And if that was not enough, the Lord Jesus further comforts His sheep with the fact that they are also in the Father’s Hand! Language cannot express the extent of such security! Words fail us to adequately describe the absolute security of God’s children! And though they will have trials and struggles while still in this sin damaged world, their souls are perfectly secure in Christ for all eternity.

Those Who Know And Keep Christ’s Commandments Are Those Who Are Secure

1 John 2:3-6
And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.
4  He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
5  But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.
He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.

It is one thing reading, and learning of the perfect security of God’s children. It is another to have such hope, such certainty in one’s heart and mind, giving daily comfort. The irresponsible child of God will not experience the comfort of hope and certainty as they should in their daily walk. The apostle John writes of the eternal security of the child of God who keeps the commandments of Christ faithfully. And this promised certainty strengthens with time. Where on going obedience to the commands of Christ becomes the life of the child of God. Where their life is permanently changed / shaped by the commands of Christ. And (v5) as the, “love of God”, ‘matures’ / ‘is perfected’ in them. Love for God, and then love for their fellow man. These will become blessed indicators of true life with Christ as a child of God. And (v6) they will live according to the same values that the Scriptures teach us that Christ had. Witnessing such change in one self will encourage that one that they have in reality been secured in Christ.

The Inner Working Of The Holy Spirit Gives God’s Children Eternal Security

Here we see that it is the whole Triune Godhead that is involved in the child of God’s hope, their eternal security. Here we are taught the part that the Holy Spirit has…

Romans 8:4  “That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”

It is through the indwelling Holy Spirit that the obedient child of God is enabled to live righteously, according to the normally impossibly high standards of God’s law. Which happens when they, in obedience to the leading of the indwelling Holy Spirit, walk after Him instead of after the sinful passions of their flesh…

Romans 8:13-17
13  For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.
14  For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
15  For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
16  The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
17  And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

V15/ It is by the indwell Holy Spirit that God’s children will love Almighty God as their Father.

V16/ They will know the witness of the indwelling Spirit that thy are indeed children of God.

Again: it is through obediently allowing the indwelling Holy Spirit to lead them that another form of ‘hope’, ‘eternal security’ is realized / known in God’s children’s personal experience. That, “all things work together for good to them that love God…”

Romans 8:28  “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

The apostle Paul, after teaching the amazing truths of this chapter in Romans describing the incomparable life of the Spirit led, and Spirit enabled child of God, sums up…

Romans 8:31-32
31  What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?
32  He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?

Folks, why be mindlessly foolish by looking to the world, our cultures, and life’s fickle circumstances in the coming 2018 for hope in the coming months of 2018?! Look to the Lord each day, week and month for all your hope in life! Our rebellious world and its ways is going to pass away forever soon (1 John 2:17). Only the ways of the Lord will continue into eternity. Live with the Lord and get used to living according to His values and ways now! And know His hope as an anchor through 2018 and for the rest of your life in this temporal world!

1 John 2:17  “And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

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Elijah And The Four Hundred Prophets Of Baal – Which Is The True God?

This morning my devotional reading reached 1 Kings 18 and 19. Chapter 18 has always greatly encouraged me, as we have a classic demonstration of the difference between truth and error. That Truth works, and error is only superstition in the mind…

(Read all of 1 Kings 18)

1 Kings 18:17-41
17  And it came to pass, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said unto him, Art thou he that troubleth Israel?
18  And he answered, I have not troubled Israel; but thou, and thy father’s house, in that ye have forsaken the commandments of the LORD, and thou hast followed Baalim.
19  Now therefore send, and gather to me all Israel unto mount Carmel, and the prophets of Baal four hundred and fifty, and the prophets of the groves four hundred, which eat at Jezebel’s table.
20  So Ahab sent unto all the children of Israel, and gathered the prophets together unto mount Carmel.
21  And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word.
22  Then said Elijah unto the people, I, even I only, remain a prophet of the LORD; but Baal’s prophets are four hundred and fifty men.
23  Let them therefore give us two bullocks; and let them choose one bullock for themselves, and cut it in pieces, and lay it on wood, and put no fire under: and I will dress the other bullock, and lay it on wood, and put no fire under:
24  And call ye on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the LORD: and the God that answereth by fire, let him be God. And all the people answered and said, It is well spoken.
25  And Elijah said unto the prophets of Baal, Choose you one bullock for yourselves, and dress it first; for ye are many; and call on the name of your gods, but put no fire under.
26  And they took the bullock which was given them, and they dressed it, and called on the name of Baal from morning even until noon, saying, O Baal, hear us. But there was no voice, nor any that answered. And they leaped upon the altar which was made.
27  And it came to pass at noon, that Elijah mocked them, and said, Cry aloud: for he is a god; either he is talking, or he is pursuing, or he is in a journey, or peradventure he sleepeth, and must be awaked.
28  And they cried aloud, and cut themselves after their manner with knives and lancets, till the blood gushed out upon them.
29  And it came to pass, when midday was past, and they prophesied until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that there was neither voice, nor any to answer, nor any that regarded.
30  And Elijah said unto all the people, Come near unto me. And all the people came near unto him. And he repaired the altar of the LORD that was broken down.
31  And Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, unto whom the word of the LORD came, saying, Israel shall be thy name:
32  And with the stones he built an altar in the name of the LORD: and he made a trench about the altar, as great as would contain two measures of seed.
33  And he put the wood in order, and cut the bullock in pieces, and laid him on the wood, and said, Fill four barrels with water, and pour it on the burnt sacrifice, and on the wood.
34  And he said, Do it the second time. And they did it the second time. And he said, Do it the third time. And they did it the third time.
35  And the water ran round about the altar; and he filled the trench also with water.
36  And it came to pass at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near, and said, LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel, and that I am thy servant, and that I have done all these things at thy word.
37  Hear me, O LORD, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the LORD God, and that thou hast turned their heart back again.
38  Then the fire of the LORD fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench.
39  And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces: and they said, The LORD, he is the God; the LORD, he is the God.
40  And Elijah said unto them, Take the prophets of Baal; let not one of them escape. And they took them: and Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishon, and slew them there.
41  And Elijah said unto Ahab, Get thee up, eat and drink; for there is a sound of abundance of rain.

The LORD again, in His mercy and grace, reached out to wicked Israel – who had again turned from Him to baal – and through His prophet Elijah gave them a living demonstration of the difference between Himself and baal. The difference between Truth and error, the difference between spiritual reality and superstition that is only in the mind, and not in reality.

Today, in the Church age, we do not have fire coming down from Heaven experiences to go by, but the blessed Holy Spirit reaching out to us. Reaching out to the lost to woo them to be repentant toward God, and have faith toward the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 20:21 KJV). And then to those who respond to the work of the Holy Spirit and are born again, each have the Holy Spirit living inside of them (Romans 8:9 KJV). Living inside of them to give them personal enabling to live a godly life with their Father, Almighty God. And to change them, as they faithfully obey the indwelling Holy Spirit’s leading, to be more and more live their blessed Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Every one of God’s children can, and should have, more than the one outward experience witnessed by Israel in 1 Kings 18. They can daily have their God’s personal empowering and guidance in their walk with Him. They just have to, in honesty and in integrity, respond to Him, to His Spirit within them with whole hearted obedience.

001 INTEGRITY DISCOVERING GOD’S TRUTH FOR THE CHURCH INTRODUCTION

It must be said right from the beginning that there is no magic formula to quickly discover God’s Truth. It takes a life dedicated to the Lord, and to the discovery, and obedient response to God’s Truth as we discover it for ourselves.

The Outline of this mini series of studies will be along the following lines:

  • The Bible is perfectly accurate
  • God’s Truth is in the Bible only
  • The Bible must be taken literally, except where it says otherwise
  • God’s specific Truth for the Church is found in the New Testament, while still learning from the Old Testament
  • The Holy Spirit has been commissioned by the Lord to lead us to discover His Truth.
  • It takes honest, responsible reading, studying and meditating on God’s Word, with the goal of not simply trying to understand what we find there, but asking the Lord to guide us into His Truth.

Our daily studies will be introducing a number of very large subjects and often will need additional study to properly examine that which is only introduced by the morning studies. I will be making addition, more extensive materials available for more thorough examination of the subjects that we cover.

THE BIBLE IS PERFECTLY ACCURATE

It would not be possible to discover God’s Truth for the Church age if there were no access to that Truth for us to read, study and meditate on. So that we can learn it, understand it and then obey it. Praise the Lord that He has made certain that we can learn His Truth and be able to say, as the Old Testament believers did, “Thus saith the Lord!” i.e. Be able to know with absolute certainty what God’s will is, and what life and service with and to Him is today.

The Lord Has Given Us The Bible By Inspiration

2Timothy 3:16 ALL SCRIPTURE IS GIVEN BY INSPIRATION OF GOD, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

“ALL SCRIPTURE is given by inspiration of God”. Not one word of the Bible is not the product of God’s inspiration. What does the Lord mean by “inspiration of God”? These 3 words come from one Greek word θεοπνευστοςmeaning ‘God breathed’ – literally. Meaning spoken by God – His Words.

2Peter 1:21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

The Holy Spirit chose certain holy men to reveal Truth / doctrine though. Scripture is not simply what was thought wise or good by God’s people in the past. Scripture (the bible) is truth / doctrine directly from God. As we have seen the Lord has always been very particular about His children keeping His will for them, exactly as He has instructed them. The only way that this is possible is for us to have His will recorded, so that we can learn it from an infallible source – His Book, the Bible.

The Extent Of God’s Inspiration Is Not Conceptual, But Verbal – The Very Words Were Inspired By God

Psalms 12:6-7
6  The WORDS of the LORD are PURE WORDS: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.
7  Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.

Proverbs 30:5  EVERY WORD OF GOD IS PURE: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.

Matthew 24:35  Heaven and earth shall pass away, but MY WORDS shall not pass away.

Because it is so important to the Lord that we have access to His Truth for us, He has taken great care in its deliver to us. That the fallible men that He gave it to us through, would not taint, or spoil it by their natural, human weaknesses. If we look at how it could be possible that the writers of the Bible could write perfect books from how reliable each were. Then we will naturally be skeptical in being able to completely trust the books of the Bible completely. But when we consider that the Bible is God’s revelation to man, and that He is the One behind the giving of His revelation to us. And that He is the One behind its accuracy. Then that is a different world altogether.

Through the Lord men and women have done the impossible. Moses parted the Red Sea for the children of Israel to cross on dry land. Peter walked on the sea! Not humanly possible unless the Lord enables them to.

And so with the transmission of His Truth to us, the Lord – in His own interests, and purposes to man – was behind the perfectly accurate recording of His Truth. So that we may be able to – after responsible – reading, studying and meditating on His Truths, and being led by His Spirit. To be able to know with certainty, “Thus saith the Lord!”, in all areas of His Truth.

Next we will have a look at how the Lord perfectly preserved His Word for us to still have it in our hands today.

To download an MS Word file of the above study click on the below link…

001 INTEGRITY – DISCOVERYING GOD’S TRUTH FOR THE CHURCH-final

013 INTEGRITY Discovering God’s Truth For The Church

[This is a very long study. Take extra time with it.]

The second hermeneutical principle we need to recognize, in our search for God’s Truth, as we read and study the Bible, is the dispensational divisions of Scripture.

THE BIBLE MUST BE INTERPRETED DISPENSATIONALLY

Not all people of all ages in the history of our world have had the same responsibility before God. And if we don’t understand the dispensational divisions of Scripture then we will not find God’s Truth. Truth that He wants us to know as His children in the Church. Sooner or later we will attempt to fulfill responsibilities that we are not required to. And so deviate from God’s Truth for ourselves in the Church.

(Based on C.I. Schofield’s Dispensational study …)

Definition

A dispensation is a period of time during which God deals in a particular way with man in respect to sin and to man’s responsibility.

The importance of dispensations is appreciated when one realizes that not all of mankind, before the Church, has had the same responsibility before God. Therefore we must read the Bible understanding which parts were written for those in the past only, with regards to their responsibilities to God, and to be able to study with the understanding of what is applicable to us in the Church age (And what is applicable to me NOW in the latter days.).

Examples:

  • During the Dispensation of Innocence Adam and Eve were responsible to keep their innocence by abstaining from the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
  • Under the Dispensation of Law Israel were responsible to keep all of the Laws of Moses.
  • During the Dispensation of Law Israel were commanded to keep the Sabbath (Exodus 20:8) – breaking this law was punishable by death (Numbers 15:32-35). During the dispensation of the Church we are not commanded to keep the Sabbath at all. In fact we are given liberty with regard to the keeping of holy days (Romans 14:5-6). This is a dramatic difference between Israel and the Church!
  • Another dramatic difference between the dispensations of the Law and the Church is the Lord’s will concerning earthly gain and non-spiritual prosperity. Israel were promised earthly prosperity for faithfulness in the keeping of His laws (Deuteronomy 7:12-26). Where the Church is commanded to set their affections on things above (of God), and not on things of the earth (Colossians 3:2).

And so if we are not careful we may find ourselves trying to fulfill the responsibilities of believers of another age. Responsibilities that the Lord does not require us to keep in this Church age. And so Dispensations are another Hermeneutical principle that we MUST keep in mind as we read and study the Bible. Not to do so would hinder us from discovering God’s Truth in the Bible meant for the Church.

In every dispensation salvation is only by grace through faith! In Old Testament times men were saved by repentance towards, and faith in God; and since Christ’s death and resurrection, men have been saved by being repentant towards God, and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ who has died for our sins according to the Scriptures (Acts 20:21; 1 Corinthians 15:3). Each dispensation may be regarded as a new test of the natural man, and each ends in judgment – marking his utter failure. Thus man is repeatedly brought face to with face his need to be reconciled to God (2 Corinthians 5:20).

DispensationsChart

The Scriptures divide time into seven dispensations of unequal length. ‘Time,’ as used here, is the whole period from the creation of Adam to “a new heaven and a new earth.” (Revelation. 21). Five of these dispensations have been fulfilled; we are living in the sixth; and we have before us the seventh.

THE DISPENSATION OF INNOCENCE

This dispensation extended from the creation of Adam to the expulsion from Eden. The consequences of the failure of man under this first dispensation have been the most disastrous and far reaching of any.

MAN’S STATE IN THE BEGINNING – Genesis. 1:26-29 – Made in the image of God – sinless

Genesis 1:26-29
26  And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
27  So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
28  And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
29  And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.

HIS RESPONSIBILITY – Genesis 2:15, 16-17 – To look after the Garden of Eden; Not to eat from the Tree of the knowledge of good and evil

Genesis 2:15-17
15  And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.
16  And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:
17  But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

HIS FAILURE – Genesis. 3:6  – Ate from the Tree of the Knowledge of good and evil

Genesis 3:6  And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.

THE JUDGMENT – Genesis 3:23-24  – Were driven from the Garden of Eden forever

Genesis 3:23-24
23 Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.
24  So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.

THE CONSEQUENCES – Genesis 3:14-19; Romans 5:12, 18.  – Satan was punished, Women give birth in pain; Men have to work the earth for food; Both man and women would know death; Both, along with their children, are separated from God by sin.

Genesis 3:14-19
14  And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:
15  And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
16  Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.
17  And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;
18  Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;
19  In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.

Romans 5:12  Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

Romans 5:18  Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.

THE DISPENSATION OF CONSCIENCE

This dispensation extended from the Fall to the Flood. By the Fall, Adam and Eve acquired and transmitted to the race the knowledge of good and evil, or conscience. By this the race came under responsibility to do good and not evil.

MAN’S STATE IN THE BEGINNING – Genesis  3:7, 22-23, Rom. 5:12  – Knew good and evil, Separated from God by sin

Genesis 3:7  And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.

Genesis 3:22-23
22  And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:
23  Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.

Romans 5:12  Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

HIS RESPONSIBILITY – Genesis 4:7a  – To do well in the eyes of God – i.e. to live by enlightened conscience.

Genesis 4:7  If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.

HIS FAILURE – Genesis 6:5, 11, 12  – Man fell from obeying God into gross sin

Genesis 6:5  And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

Genesis 6:11-12
11  The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence.
12  And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.

THE JUDGMENT – Genesis 7:11, 12, 23  – All except Noah’s family destroyed in a worldwide flood

Genesis 7:11-12
11  In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened.
12  And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights.

Genesis 7:23  And every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, both man, and cattle, and the creeping things, and the fowl of the heaven; and they were destroyed from the earth: and Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark.

THE DISPENSATION OF HUMAN GOVERNMENT

Out of the judgment which terminated the Dispensation of Conscience, God saved eight persons. To them He gave the purged earth, with ample power to govern it. This dispensation extended form the end of the Flood to the dispersion at Babel.

MAN’S STATE IN THE BEGINNING – Genesis  7:1; Hebrews 11:7  – Noah and his family were righteous

Genesis 7:1  And the LORD said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation.

Hebrews 11:7  By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.

HIS RESPONSIBILITY – Genesis 9:1, 6  – To repopulate the earth; The Lord institutes capital punishment for murder; To continue to live by his enlightened conscience.

Genesis 9:1  And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.

Genesis 9:6  Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.

HIS FAILURE – Genesis 11:1-4  – They failed to spread over the earth.  They build the Tower of Babel to keep themselves together and to make a memorial to themselves.

Genesis 11:1-4
1  And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech.
2  And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there.
3  And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them throughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for morter.
4  And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.

THE JUDGMENT – Genesis 11:5-8  – The Lord divided them with different languages

Genesis 11:5-8
5  And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded.
6  And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.
7  Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.
8  So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city.

THE DISPENSATION OF PROMISE

Out of the dispersed descendants of the builders of Babel God called one man, Abram, with whom He entered into covenant. He promised Abram:

  • A land
  • A natural or earthly seed (Human family)
  • A spiritual or heavenly seed (Spiritual family)

Other promises were conditional upon faithfulness and obedience. This dispensation extended from the call of Abram to the giving of the Law.

MAN’S STATE IN THE BEGINNING – Genesis 12:1-3; 13:14-17; 15:5  – God was guiding Abram; Land given to Abram; Abram’s seed will be equal to the stars

Genesis 12:1-3
1  Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee:
2  And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:
3  And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.

Genesis 13:14-17
14  And the LORD said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward:
15  For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever.
16  And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered.
17  Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for I will give it unto thee.

Genesis 15:5  And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be.

HIS RESPONSIBILITY – Genesis 26:2, 3 – Not to go down into Egypt, but to stay in the land that the Lord was about to show Isaac

Genesis 26:2-3
2  And the LORD appeared unto him, and said, Go not down into Egypt; dwell in the land which I shall tell thee of:
3  Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee; for unto thee, and unto thy seed, I will give all these countries, and I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father;

HIS FAILURE – Genesis 47:1  – To stay in the provided land when they went into Egypt

Genesis 47:1  Then Joseph came and told Pharaoh, and said, My father and my brethren, and their flocks, and their herds, and all that they have, are come out of the land of Canaan; and, behold, they are in the land of Goshen.

THE JUDGMENT – Exodus 1:8-14 – Became the slaves of the Egyptians

Exodus 1:8-14
8  Now there arose up a new king over Egypt, which knew not Joseph.
9  And he said unto his people, Behold, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we:
10  Come on, let us deal wisely with them; lest they multiply, and it come to pass, that, when there falleth out any war, they join also unto our enemies, and fight against us, and so get them up out of the land.
11  Therefore they did set over them taskmasters to afflict them with their burdens. And they built for Pharaoh treasure cities, Pithom and Raamses.
12  But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew. And they were grieved because of the children of Israel.
13  And the Egyptians made the children of Israel to serve with rigour:
14  And they made their lives bitter with hard bondage, in morter, and in brick, and in all manner of service in the field: all their service, wherein they made them serve, was with rigour.

THE DISPENSATION OF LAW

This dispensation extends from Sinai to Calvary – from the exodus to the cross. God, in grace, visited and delivered His people from Egyptian bondage. The history of Israel in the wilderness and in the land is one long record of flagrant, persistent violation of the law. At last, after multiplied warnings, God closed the testing of man by law in judgment; first Israel, and then Judah, were driven out of the land into dispersion.

During the Dispensation of the Law the entire Old Testament was written. All of that portion from Exodus 19 to the end is legal in its spirit, and has a primary application to the Jews only.

MAN’S STATE IN THE BEGINNING – Exodus 19:1-4  -In fellowship with the Lord

Exodus 19:1-4
1  In the third month, when the children of Israel were gone forth out of the land of Egypt, the same day came they into the wilderness of Sinai.
2  For they were departed from Rephidim, and were come to the desert of Sinai, and had pitched in the wilderness; and there Israel camped before the mount.
3  And Moses went up unto God, and the LORD called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel;
4  Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself.

HIS RESPONSIBILITY – Exodus 19:5, 6; Deuteronomy 4:5-9  – To obey the voice of God and keep His commandments. To be an example to the world of the blessedness of having Jehovah, the one true God, as their God.

Exodus 19:5-6
5  Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine:
6  And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.

Deuteronomy 4:5-9
5  Behold, I have taught you statutes and judgments, even as the LORD my God commanded me, that ye should do so in the land whither ye go to possess it.
6  Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.
7  For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them, as the LORD our God is in all things that we call upon him for?
8  And what nation is there so great, that hath statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day?
9  Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons’ sons
;

HIS FAILURE – 2 Kings 17:7-17; 19; Acts 2:22, 23  – Disobeyed God; Worshipped idols; Failed to be a positive example to the nations of the world; Crucified their Messiah.

2 Kings 17:7-17
7  For so it was, that the children of Israel had sinned against the LORD their God, which had brought them up out of the land of Egypt, from under the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and had feared other gods,
8  And walked in the statutes of the heathen, whom the LORD cast out from before the children of Israel, and of the kings of Israel, which they had made.
9  And the children of Israel did secretly those things that were not right against the LORD their God, and they built them high places in all their cities, from the tower of the watchmen to the fenced city.
10  And they set them up images and groves in every high hill, and under every green tree:
11  And there they burnt incense in all the high places, as did the heathen whom the LORD carried away before them; and wrought wicked things to provoke the LORD to anger:
12  For they served idols, whereof the LORD had said unto them, Ye shall not do this thing.
13  Yet the LORD testified against Israel, and against Judah, by all the prophets, and by all the seers, saying, Turn ye from your evil ways, and keep my commandments and my statutes, according to all the law which I commanded your fathers, and which I sent to you by my servants the prophets.
14  Notwithstanding they would not hear, but hardened their necks, like to the neck of their fathers, that did not believe in the LORD their God.
15  And they rejected his statutes, and his covenant that he made with their fathers, and his testimonies which he testified against them; and they followed vanity, and became vain, and went after the heathen that were round about them, concerning whom the LORD had charged them, that they should not do like them.
16  And they left all the commandments of the LORD their God, and made them molten images, even two calves, and made a grove, and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served Baal.
17  And they caused their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire, and used divination and enchantments, and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger.

2 Kings 17:19  Also Judah kept not the commandments of the LORD their God, but walked in the statutes of Israel which they made.

Acts 2:22-23
22  Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:
23  Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:

THE JUDGMENT – 2 Kings 17:1-6, 20; 25:1-11 – The Lord delivered both halves of the nations into captivity

2 Kings 17:1-6
1  In the twelfth year of Ahaz king of Judah began Hoshea the son of Elah to reign in Samaria over Israel nine years.
2  And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, but not as the kings of Israel that were before him.
3  Against him came up Shalmaneser king of Assyria; and Hoshea became his servant, and gave him presents.
4  And the king of Assyria found conspiracy in Hoshea: for he had sent messengers to So king of Egypt, and brought no present to the king of Assyria, as he had done year by year: therefore the king of Assyria shut him up, and bound him in prison.
5  Then the king of Assyria came up throughout all the land, and went up to Samaria, and besieged it three years.
6  In the ninth year of Hoshea the king of Assyria took Samaria, and carried Israel away into Assyria, and placed them in Halah and in Habor by the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes.

2 Kings 17:20  And the LORD rejected all the seed of Israel, and afflicted them, and delivered them into the hand of spoilers, until he had cast them out of his sight.

2 Kings 25:1-11
1  And it came to pass in the ninth year of his reign, in the tenth month, in the tenth day of the month, that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came, he, and all his host, against Jerusalem, and pitched against it; and they built forts
against it round about.
2  And the city was besieged unto the eleventh year of king Zedekiah.
3  And on the ninth day of the fourth month the famine prevailed in the city, and there was no bread for the people of the land.
4  And the city was broken up, and all the men of war fled by night by the way of the gate between two walls, which is by the king’s garden: (now the Chaldees were against the city round about:) and the king went the way toward the plain.
5  And the army of the Chaldees pursued after the king, and overtook him in the plains of Jericho: and all his army were scattered from him.
6  So they took the king, and brought him up to the king of Babylon to Riblah; and they gave judgment upon him.
7  And they slew the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes, and put out the eyes of Zedekiah, and bound him with fetters of brass, and carried him to Babylon.
8  And in the fifth month, on the seventh day of the month, which is the nineteenth year of king Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, came Nebuzaradan, captain of the guard, a servant of the king of Babylon, unto Jerusalem:
9  And he burnt the house of the LORD, and the king’s house, and all the houses of Jerusalem, and every great man’s house burnt he with fire.
10  And all the army of the Chaldees, that were with the captain of the guard, brake down the walls of Jerusalem round about.
11  Now the rest of the people that were left in the city, and the fugitives that fell away to the king of Babylon, with the remnant of the multitude, did Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard carry away.

THE DISPENSATION OF THE CHURCH

In His life and death the Lord Jesus Christ perfectly fulfilled the righteous demands of the law. By “being made a curse for us” He made known to men God’s grace in its fullness. What had once been a type and shadow was now reality.

All of the New Testament was written in the early days of the Dispensation of the Church. The four Gospels, giving the life and teachings of Christ, connect the Dispensation of Law with the Dispensation of the Church and partake of the character of each. Chapters 2-28 of Acts and all of the Epistles belong wholly to the Dispensation of the Church.

The predicted result of this testing of man under grace is judgment upon an unbelieving world and an apostate church.

MAN’S STATE IN THE BEGINNING – Matthew 18:11; Romans. 3:19, 23  – Guilty sinners before the Lord

Matthew 18:11  For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.

Romans 3:19  Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.

Romans 3:23  For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

HIS RESPONSIBILITY – John 1:11-13; Acts 20:21; Romans 8:14  – Must be repentant towards God, and receive Christ as Saviour; Those who have been born again to follow the Holy Spirit’s leading

John 1:11-13
11  He came unto his own, and his own received him not.
12  But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
13  Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

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

Romans 8:14  For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

HIS FAILURE – Luke 19:12-14; 18:8; Matthew 24:37-39  – Saviour rejected

The Lord tells of His rejection in a parable …

Luke 19:12-14
12  He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return.
13  And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come.
14  But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us.

We are told of man’s spiritual condition at the Second Coming of Christ …

Luke 18:8  I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?

Matthew 24:37-39
37  But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
38  For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,
39  And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

THE JUDGMENT – John 3:16-18; Revelation 20:15 – Eternal damnation

Those Who Will Not Believe In Christ Will Be Damned To Hell

John 3:16-18
16  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17  For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18  He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Revelation 20:15  And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

The Rapture Of The Church

The first revealed event in the closing of this dispensation will be the descent of the Lord from Heaven and the rapture of the true Church. The “dead in Christ” will be raised and, together with believers then living, caught up “to meet the Lord in the air” (1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17).

1 Thessalonians 4:16-17
16  For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
17  Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

THE DISPENSATION OF THE KINGDOM

Following the purifying judgments (the 7 years of tribulation and great tribulation) which will attend the personal return of Christ to the earth, He will reign over restored Israel and over the earth for one thousand years. During this unique period satan will be bound in the bottomless pit for one thousand years. This period is commonly called the Millennium. The seat of Christ’s power will be Jerusalem and the saints of this Dispensation of the Church will reign with Him (Isaiah 2:1-4; Revelation 19:11 – 21; 20:1-6; Isaiah 11).

The Lord Jesus Will Reign Personally Over Israel, And Establish World Peace During That Age

Isaiah 2:1-4
1  The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.
2  And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD’S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.
3  And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
4  And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.

This Reign Will Begin With The Second Coming Of Christ With The Church

Revelation 19:11-21
11  And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.
12  His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.
13  And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.
14  And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.
15  And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
16  And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.
17  And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God;
18  That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great.
19  And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army.
20  And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.
21  And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.

Satan Bound For One Thousand Years

Revelation 20:1-6
1  And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.
2  And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,
3  And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.
4  And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
5  But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
6  Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

But when Satan is “loosed a little season” (Revelation 20:3), he will find the natural heart as prone to evil as ever. Therefore, he will easily gather the nations to battle against the Lord and His saints. With this battle the last dispensation will close, like all the others, in judgment. “The great white throne” will be set. The wicked dead will be raised, judged and “cast into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:11-15). Then there will be “a new heaven and a new earth” for all eternity (Revelation 20:3, 7-15; Revelation 21, 22).

The Battle Of Gog And Magog, And The Great White Throne Judgement

Revelation 20:7-15
7  And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,8  And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.
9  And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.
10  And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
11  And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.
12  And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
13  And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
14  And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
15  And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

Summary Of The Dispensations

  • Innocence – from Adam to the Expulsion from Eden
  • Conscience – from the Fall to the Flood
  • Human Government – from the Flood to Babel
  • Promise – from Abraham to Sinai
  • Law – from Sinai to Calvary
  • Grace – from Calvary to the Second Advent of Christ
  • Kingdom – from the Second Advent to a New Heaven and a New Earth

CONCLUSION

The importance of dispensations is hopefully clear. Anyone who does not recognize the dispensational divisions in Scripture will surely go astray from the mind of God. Anyone who does not recognize that not all peoples of all times have the same responsibility to the Lord, nor do we all have the same promises from the Lord. Failure to divide the Scriptures according man’s responsibility and the promises made to him in the history of our world, will cause such people to seek to fulfill responsibilities not meant for them. And then expect the Lord to fulfill promises not made to them. This error can only cause confusion, disappointment and ultimately disillusionment in the Christian Faith.

Preachers and teachers too have a responsibility to be responsible in the use of Scriptures outside of the present dispensation in their preaching and teaching. The way that this is usually done is to make use of the abundant Old Testament historical records to teach New Testament truths. The truths taught may be completely correct, but the method used to present those truths is dangerous.

Historical records were not given by the Lord to teach spiritual truths. They were given to record the Lord’s dealings with man, and to illustrate spiritual truths. Every spiritual truth that is revealed in the Scriptures for the Church is taught in clear passages, in the New Testament, that were given to teach those truths. Historical records of the new and old testaments are wonderful tools for illustrating spiritual truths already presented through proof texts that were placed in the Bible for our instruction. But a New Testament spiritual truth must never be taught by means of an Old Testament historical account. The reason should be obvious. The Old Testament historical record, or account, was not given by the Lord to teach a New Testament truth. And so when a preacher or teacher uses an Old Testament record to teach a New Testament truth. He is expecting those listening to him to simply believe him, as the Old Testament record is no Scriptural authority for the New Testament Truth. And so those listening have no means, from the sermon or lesson, to examine the teaching by Scripture. They have to go to the New Testament, without the guidance of the preacher or teacher, and search for Scripture that indeed teaches the message or lesson presented.

There is also the danger of leading those listening to us to take Old Testament teaching meant for Old Testament saints for themselves. This will inevitably lead them to belief and practice that is out of step with the Lord. Therefore to a faith that is wrong, and that has no power or enabling from the Lord. To a life that will not be with the Lord as true Scriptural faith does. Into a spiritual life that does not work!

To download an MS Word file of the above study WITH A DISPENSATION CHART click on the below link…

012 INTEGRITY Discovering God’s Truth For The Church

[THIS IS A VERY LONG STUDY. DON’T RUSH IT. TAKE LONGER WITH IT 🙂 ]

Important Principles For Discovering God’s Truth As A Christian …

THE BIBLE IS TO BE INTERPRETED LITERALLY

In order for the Church to be able to have God’s Truth revealed to them through the Bible, that Truth needs to be plainly revealed. As with Israel who had their faith and responsibility plainly revealed to them by the Lord through Moses. Where they were expected to take what the Lord commanded them literally, and so know without doubt what the Lord required from them. So it is with the Church, our faith has been revealed in a manner that what is written in the New Testament is literally what the Lord requires of us.

There are some passages where the context tells us that what is written is figurative, and so the literal and the figurative passages are easily identified. That which is stated as fact is to be taken as literal fact, and that which is stated as symbolical or figurative is to be taken as such. But the context will always be clear one way or the other.

LITERAL INTERPRETATION

Example 1 – Israel loved Joseph more than his brothers

Genesis 37:3  Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colours.

This verse is giving a literal historical record of Israel loving his son Joseph more than all his children. There is no hidden, or allegorical, meaning in this verse. It means just what it says.

Example 2 – The Prophecy of The Virgin Birth Of Christ

Isaiah 7:14  Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

This verse is a prophecy of the virgin birth of Christ. It literally states that a virgin shall conceive and bear a son called Immanuel (a prophetic name for Christ meaning ‘God with us’). It was literally fulfilled …

Matthew 1:18-25
18  Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.
19  Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily.
20  But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying,Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.
21  And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.
22  Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,
23  Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.
24  Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife:
25  And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.

Example 3 – Our World Was Created In Six Literal Days

Genesis chapter 1 gives the literal account of the creation of everything. For example the first 6 verses of the Creation record …

Genesis 1:1-6
1  In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
2  And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
3  And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
4  And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.
5  And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.
6  And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.

The record of the six days of creation are recorded as the Lord speaking our world into creation in six literal 24 hour days. There is nothing in the record that suggests anything but that creation happened just as Genesis chapter one describes.

When the Lord gave the Ten Commandments, and was describing the 5th commandment, He referred to the creation of the world as in six literal days …

Exodus 20:8-11
8  Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
9  Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:
10  But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:
11  For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

Example 4 – The Israelites Crossed The Red Sea On Dry Land

Exodus 14:21-22
21  And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided.
22  And the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry ground: and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left.

The miracles that are recorded in the Bible sound fantastic – perhaps unreal to some. Moses the author, in this case, wrote this record as a real event, because it was a real event. Other authors in the Bible wrote of miracles that they saw, or that the Lord performed through them. Miracles that we can only wonder at, things we have never seen with our eyes. Each of these miracles described are recorded as literal events that literally happened.

Figurative Passages

Some passages of Scripture are figurative because in the context they are said to be figurative.

For example John’s vision of the Lord Jesus in Revelation 1 …

Revelation 1:9-20
9  I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.
10  I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,
11  Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.
12  And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks;
13  And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.
14  His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire;
15  And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.
16  And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.
17  And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last:
18  I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.
19  Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;
20  The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.

V10/ The apostle John tells us that the Holy Spirit showed him a vision, “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, …”. The Holy Spirit showed John certain things that were not literal. These things represented real things, and we are told – in the passage, or elsewhere, what the things in the vision represented …

  • Seven golden candlesticks (v12-13) – John sees Jesus among the candle sticks
  • Seven stars (v16) – John sees seven stars in Jesus’ right hand
  • A sharp twoedged sword (v16) – John sees the sharp twoedged sword coming out of Jesus’ mouth

The first two ‘symbols’ are explained in this passage and the third is common knowledge from another epistle:

The “seven golden candlesticks” – are explained in v20. “the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches”. And the picture that we are meant to see is that the Lord is with the local churches. He has a personal interest in their well-being.

The “Seven stars” are explained in v20 as well. “The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches”. And to further demonstrate the Lord’s intimate interest in those local churches, those churches’ “angels” are in the Lord’s right hand. The “angels” are probably the pastors of the churches. I say ‘probably’ because we are not actually told who the angels are. Unless we understand the angels to be actual angels responsible for, or assigned by the Lord to those local churches. But beyond that we really don’t actually know. Anything beyond that we are guessing, or simply giving our opinion. And if we are honest we will say so.

The “sharp twoedged sword” we know from Hebrews 4:12 …

Hebrews 4:12  “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”

Here we are told what is meant by a “twoedged sword” in the Bible – the term is given for God’s Word. And so in Revelation 1:16 the symbol of a “sharp two edged sword coming out of the mouth of the Lord Jesus’ mouth is appropriately referring to God’s words coming out of the mouth of the Lord Jesus.

ALLEGORICAL INTERPRETATION

There are some who strangely (dishonestly?) use the allegorical interpretation of the Word of God. By this approach people give themselves license to give their own private interpretation of what a passage in the Bible means. With this approach there is no, “thus saith the Lord”. i.e. We cannot with certainty know for certain what is being revealed, or taught by the author. The authority of plain Scripture is removed from the Bible to the ‘interpreter’.

See the following examples (from David Cloud’s, “How to study the Bible” advanced study):

a.    For example, the Geneva Bible note at Revelation 9:11 identifies ―the Angel of the bottomless pit as ―’Antichrist the Pope, king of hypocrites and Satan‘s ambassador’. There is no reason, though, to see the angel of the bottomless pit as anything other than a literal fallen angel in a literal bottomless pit.

b.    Harold Camping, founder of Family Christian Radio, came up with the following allegorical interpretation of Revelation 11:7. He says the two witnesses represent the church. The church has been in the great tribulation but has now been killed. Therefore, the church is dead; God is through with churches and pastors and they have no more Scriptural authority.

c.    New Agers also interpret the Bible ―spiritually. Levi Dowling, in the Aquarian Gospel of Jesus the Christ, says that the man bearing a pitcher of water in Luke 22:10 signifies coming of Age of Aquarius.

Therefore The Bible Cannot Be Interpreted Allegorically

This approach allows people to give private, personal interpretations of God’s Word which opens the door endless variations of belief (And some seriously wild interpretations!). And as we have seen, the Lord in every age – or dispensation – has been very firm about what He required of believers, and that they do precisely what He told them to do. In order for Israel – in the past – and the Church today to be able to go to the recorded revelation of God’s will. And be able to find the precise will of God revealed there. That record must be literal. And as we have shown, it is.

To download 2 MS Word files of the above study click on the below links…

012a INTEGRITY – DISCOVERYING GOD’S TRUTH FOR THE CHURCH (PART 12a)-final

012b INTEGRITY – DISCOVERYING GOD’S TRUTH FOR THE CHURCH (PART 12b) -final

011 INTEGRITY Discovering God’s Truth For The Church

THE REALITY OF BEING LED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT (Part 6)

Romans 8:14  For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

The Works (deeds, ways) Of The Flesh

Galatians 5:19-21
19  Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
20  Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
21  Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

This passage describes people who are outside of Christ, who are “in the flesh”, who “walk after the flesh.” And lists what they do, as well as those things that they are capable of doing when either “in the flesh” – we have not been born again, or we have been born again, but we are disobedient to the attempted leading of the Holy Spirit, and are therefore “walking after the flesh”.

This fleshly spiritual condition is visible “manifest” to all. (Some definitions are taken from Strong’s or Thayer’s dictionaries.)

  • Adultery – sex outside of one’s marriage relationship – even lusting when looking at someone (Matthew 5:28)
  • Fornication – all sexual sin
  • Uncleanness – physical or moral impurity
  • Lasciviousness – uncontrollable lust, excess, licentiousness, wantonness, outrageousness, shamelessness, insolence
  • Idolatry – putting things or people before the Lord
  • Witchcraft – sorcery
  • Hatred – hostility
  • Variance – contention, strife, wrangling
  • Emulations – an envious and contentious rivalry, jealousy
  • Wrath – selfish passion, angry, heat, anger
  • Strife – selfishly contentious
  • Seditions – selfishly causing division
  • Heresies – selfish dissensions arising from diversity of opinions and aims
  • Envyings – jealousy
  • Murders – to kill motivated by the flesh
  • Drunkeness – losing control of oneself under the influence of alcohol
  • Revellings – letting loose
  •  Etc…

“…they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” i.e. While a person is given over to being controlled by their fleshly passions, they will not be able to yield to God in repentance and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ with all of their hearts (Acts 20:21).

The Fruit Of The Spirit

Galatians 5:22-23
22  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
23  Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

The “fruit” or result, or benefit, of “walking after the Spirit”, or walking “in the Spirit”, is:

  • Love – unselfish, godly love; Love, whether used of God or man, is an earnest and anxious desire for and an active and beneficent interest in the well-being of the one loved (Thayer dictionary).
  • Joy – cheerfulness, that is, calm delight (Strong dictionary)
  • Peace – quietness or rest of mind; not being troubled by the conscience
  • Longsuffering – patience
  • Gentleness – moral goodness, integrity (Strong dictionary)
  • Goodness – uprightness (consistent integrity/honesty) of heart and life (Thayer dictionary)
  • Faith – conviction of the truthfulness of God and of the Christian faith (Strong dictionary)
  • Meekness – a yielding to God; no matter what our natural ability we are to yield to God
  • Temperance – self control

These definitions seem as if we are describing people in the world, on the one hand, and then people of Heaven on the other. What really stands out to me it the fact that the acts and attitude of those “in the flesh” the lost and those who are “in Christ” who are not “walking after the Spirit”, but in disobedience they are “walking after the flesh”, are not very different! One would expect to be able to tell the difference very easily between God’s children and those who are not. And it is a shame to God’s children when they do not stand out clearly from those who are not God’s children. They are saying to all who see their lives that being a child of God makes no difference to one’s life. And that God doesn’t care about that. The truth is, as we have seen, is the exact opposite!

This Galatians 5 passage ends with the following strong exhortation:

Galatians 5:24-26
24  And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
25  If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
26  Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.

Paul uses the word “have”, meaning that what he is describing is what is true of those who “are Christ’s”. The natural thing for those who have followed the Spirit’s lead to repent towards God, and have faith in Christ (Acts 20:21) and be born again, is to then crucify “the flesh with the affections and lusts”. Showing that they have been born again and are now a child of God, no longer living according to the sinful passions of their flesh.

“Crucified” is as it implies – put to death. Though not once and for all, but on a daily basis make up their minds to not walking after their flesh, but walking after the Spirit. i.e. Not doing what they feel like doing, but doing what they know, and are learning, is their Father’s will for them.

Verse 25, if we are God’s children then we are to live like God’s children, and not like the world who are not.

Verse 26, resist the flesh which will continually provoke us to want to be admired by others, and have us not being satisfied with who we are “in Christ”, but look at others with envy.

None of us are there yet. Keep looking to the Lord to make consistent progress to His glory! Show Him, and those who know us, Whom we love most!

To download an MS Word file of the above study click on the below link…

011 INTEGRITY – DISCOVERYING GOD’S TRUTH FOR THE CHURCH (PART 11) -final

010 INTEGRITY Discovering God’s Truth For The Church

THE REALITY OF BEING LED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT (Part 5)

Romans 8:14  For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

Galatians 5:1, 16-25
The Lord’s Goal In Each Of His Children

The Lord’s Goal in each of His children is their living victoriously over their sinful flesh, living to God’s righteous standard as enabled by His Spirit, as we saw in Romans 8. In Galatians 5:1, Paul writes that they “stand fast”(be firm with godly determination) in the “liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free”.

Galatians 5:1  Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.

When God’s children understand and strive for the liberty from the condemnation of the law and their flesh, they should not easily be “entangled again with the yoke of bandage.” Meaning, that they should not easily enticed by their flesh to sin, because they UNDERSTAND the spiritual life – they understand the spiritual battle with their flesh. That giving into temptation is deciding against the Lord and His leading through His Spirit, deciding rather to obey the passions of the flesh. Bringing the child of God into guilt and bondage.

Bringing them into bondage in the sense that they can become slaves to certain indulgences. Where we give into them once, then twice, and then a third time … and we’re hooked! We know our personal weaknesses, and if we allow Him, the Holy Spirit will guide us into what is a controllable / manageable treat. As opposed to sinful indulgence where we lose control and are living according to sinful fleshly passion.

Galatians 5:16-17
16  This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
17  For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.

In this passage we are introduced to the inner struggle that is happening between our flesh and the indwelling Spirit. Our flesh is passionately holding onto independence, while the Spirit of God is passionately wooing us to follow His lead in our life with our Father. And until we make up our minds to give all to the Lord, we will always be torn between the two. Sooner or later we do make up our minds, because being pulled between the two is a terrible life while we are undecided! Most, sadly end up giving up trying to walk with the Lord in pure honesty and give in to their flesh’s passions. Usually because they don’t understand this inner battle, and how they harm themselves by giving in to their fleshly passions – while also trying to obey the Lord. We cannot have both worlds!

Illustration

I like to think of the spiritual life as walking and climbing to the top of a mountain. Like the spiritual life, it needs focus, and godly determination to reach the top because it will be very tough at times.

With us we have a large bag that we have to take with us. And when we lose focus of our goal we notice the lose stones and rock laying around. And we start to pick them up and put them in our large bag. If we keep this up we will eventually have a bag that is way too heavy for us to carry. And our efforts to continue are brought to a halt. All because of the mindless picking up of stones and rocks! Choosing against the leading of the Spirit for our sinful flesh is just as foolish! This leads to where we feel that the spiritual life is just too tough, or brings too much guilt upon us for failing.

And unless we get our focus back on the Lord, and recognise how we have brought ourselves into bondage to the flesh, and the law – where guilt comes from – we will likely give up trying!

The Child Of God’s Challenge

Galatians 5:25  If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

Those who have been born again are “in Christ” (Romans 8), they do “live in the Spirit” because they have been born again, but must consciously choose to also “walk in the Spirit”. Which in Romans 8 is described as “walking after the Spirit” according to “the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus”. THIS is where spiritual victory is to be found. Living AND walking “in the Spirit”.

This is also the spiritual walk which will lead to our learning and living God’s Truth. i.e. The spiritual life according to God’s Word.

All who have been born again, MUST DAILY CHOOSE – make a conscious decision – to “walk in the Spirit”, or as described in Romans 8, we must CHOOSE to “walk after the Spirit”.

Dealing With Failure

We will sin. That is a fact of the spiritual life while still in this world. How we deal with sin is very important – and can be critical.

1 John 1:9  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

John is writing to those who have been born again. When we sin we must confess to our Father that we have sinned against Him. And ask Him for help to not repeat the sin, and then we are to take steps to be extra careful that it doesn’t happen again. And if it does, confess it again, but NEVER give up being serious about dealing with the sin. DON’T indulge in self pity – this is prideful sin! Grit your teeth in godly determination if need be, and take the matter before the Lord and beg Him, if need be, that He helps you rid your walk of the sin.

BUT NEVER GIVE UP! You have the Lord with you, and all of Heaven on your side!

(To be continued …)

To download an MS Word file of the above study click on the below link…

010 INTEGRITY – DISCOVERYING GOD’S TRUTH FOR THE CHURCH (PART 10) -final

009 INTEGRITY Discovering God’s Truth For The Church

THE REALITY OF BEING LED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT (Part 4)

Romans 8:14  For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

Those Who “In Christ” Walk After The Spirit, And Are Therefore Spiritually Minded

On the opposite side of the spiritual world is the glorious life of the child of God who is being led by the Spirit.

In Romans 8:1-16 we have the Lord’s perfect will for each child of His …

Romans 8:1-16
1  There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
2  For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
3  For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
4  That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
5  For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.
6  For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
7  Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
8  So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
9  But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
10  And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
11  But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.
12  Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.
13  For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.
14  For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
15  For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
16  The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

The potential for every child of God is …

That they live according to “the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus” (v2). “That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled”, in those, “who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” (v4). Meaning that they live with their Father according to their potential “in Christ”, through the enabling of His Spirit within them. And not living according to their flesh’s sinful passions.

There is a fundamental difference between those “in the flesh” (the lost) and those “in Christ”. Those “in Christ”have the Spirit of God living in them (Romans 8:9). Meaning that the righteous demands of God’s law ARE achievable by those “in Christ” who “walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Those in Christ HAVE THIS CHOICE, and unless they are living in sinful rebellion, or in inconsistent obedience to the Spirit’s leading, the Spirit of God IS enabling them to live to God’s righteous demands in His law (v3-4).

Their life with the Lord is further described as “they that are after the Spirit … (“mind” / value) … the things of the Spirit”. Those who obediently walk after the Spirit’s leading, are led into a life that is shaped by the Spirit. Their lives are filled with things that the Lord values. This life with the Lord of learning to valuing the things of God more and more over time, makes the obedient child of God “spiritually minded” (v6). Their very thinking changes – to be more and more in harmony with their Father (See also Romans 12:2). They are no longer in conflict with God, but in harmony with Him! And as much as they continually, and consistently allow the Spirit of God to lead them, the more in harmony with the Lord they will become. Being spiritually minded is “life and peace” with, and from, God (verse 6). This is the abundant life that Christ came to give! (John 10:10)

What an incomparably glorious existence – and while still in this world!

Summing Up So Far

In this passage, we have the spiritual contrast between the lost and the obedient child of God. The distance between the two could not be greater! The fact that we do not see this different in today’s local churches tells us that something is desperately wrong! The problem is not with the Lord, nor the Spirit Who has been commissioned by the God Head to lead His children. In this Romans 8 passage we are given the answer, and we will have a look at this passage in more deal as we go along in this study.

(To be continued …)

To download an MS Word file of the above study click on the below link…

009 INTEGRITY – DISCOVERYING GOD’S TRUTH FOR THE CHURCH (PART 9) -final

008 INTEGRITY Discovering God’s Truth For The Church

THE REALITY OF BEING LED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT (Part 3)

Romans 8:14  For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

If our being led by the Holy Spirit were only dependent on His faithfulness to lead us, then the Church in these last days would not be in such a mess as it is. There would be unity in the Church, because there would be unity in doctrine (belief). And all children of God would grow as they should, and local churches and Christian homes would be a pre-taste of Heaven.

However, things are not quite like that in local churches and homes are they? The reason for this is that the leading of the Holy Spirit is not happening as it should in the lives of those who have been born again.

Today I would like to begin to teach what is hampering the Holy Spirit’s leading in the spiritual lives of today’s children of God. We will be studying Romans 8:1-16 (KJV) and Galatians 5:16-25 (KJV) where the basic ministry of the Holy Spirit is taught in glorious detail. As well as that which hinders His efforts to lead those who have been born again.

Let’s note the basic outline of what we are taught between these two passages:

Romans 8:1-16 …
The Lord’s Goal In Each Of His Children

Our living victoriously over our sinful flesh, living with God according to His righteous standard as enabled by His Spirit. And consistently maturing to be more and more like the Lord Jesus with time, and less and less like our world (Matthew 16:24). This is the Lord’s goal for each of His children.

Romans 8:1-4
1  There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
2  For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
3  For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
4  That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

Addressing those who have been born again, “them which are in Christ Jesus”, we are taught that by the enabling of the indwelling Holy Spirit, “the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus”, “that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us”. So long as His children meet His requirements in their daily walk with Him, “who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” i.e. Just as there is the natural law of gravity, there is a spiritual law, “the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus”. And just as the law of gravity must always be acknowledged for our good, so must this spiritual law be obeyed if we want to make progress in our spiritual lives.

The Challenge Of Our Flesh

In the Lord’s eyes people are either being led by His Spirit, or they are walking / living after the sinful passions of their flesh. When a lost soul is born again they receive the Spirit of God Who lives in them (Romans 8:9). And because of the indwelling Spirit, children of God are enabled to resist the powerful passions of their sinful flesh. When being led by the Holy Spirit, and not their sinful flesh.

The difference between the lives of the lost and those who have been born again and led by the Holy Spirit is … MUST BE … as clear as day and night…

The Lost Walk After Their Flesh And Are Carnally Minded

In Romans 8:5-8 we have the spiritual condition of the lost described as follows …

Romans 8:5-8
5  For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.
6  For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
7  Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
8  So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.

They are “in the flesh” (v8), therefore they live “after the flesh” – i.e. Their existence is their sinful flesh and it’s sinful passions. And so cannot but live according to their flesh’s sinful passions. They “mind (value, live according to) the things of the flesh” – their lives are filled with things and activities to fulfil their self-centred passions. And as such are called “carnally minded” by the Lord. It is not just their actions that are fleshly, or sinful, but they themselves are sinful in their being. Their thinking, their thoughts are sinful to the Lord! They are spiritually dead! And if this is not enough, the Lord reveals that their carnal minds, their carnal being “is enmity against God”, or their minds, and themselves as persons, are in conflict with God Himself down to the core!

All because … they are not subject, yielded, to the law of God, and neither are they able to be! So the lost, those “in the flesh” (in direct contrast to those “in Christ” – verse 1) cannot please God!

What a sad state of existence! A sad state of existence from the Lord’s perspective – the truth of their lives!

(To be continued …)

To download an MS Word file of the above study click on the below link…

008 INTEGRITY – DISCOVERYING GOD’S TRUTH FOR THE CHURCH (PART 8) -final

007 INTEGRITY Discovering God’s Truth For The Church

THE REALITY OF BEING LED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT (Part 2)

Romans 8:14  For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

It is ESSENTIAL to ACTUALLY being led by the Holy Spirit, and not ASSUMING His leading, that we be honest in our personal response to His efforts to lead us in the spiritual life. We have used the word INTEGRITY for some time now. We looked at the subject of integrity in the Bible itself initially in 10 morning devotional studies (these are available in a document to download from the Downloads Page on the www.kingswaybaptist.co.za website, for review.). And since then the titles of our morning devotional studies each have the word Integrity in their titles. This is because being children of God with integrity was key to each subject we have studied. Our being honest in our personal response to our Father is very, very important to Him. And necessary to our spiritual growth, and necessary towards us being led by the Holy Spirit to discover His Truth.

Our being honest with the Lord will show itself by our actually being led by the Holy Spirit. Meaning, in practical terms, that we will make steady progress in our knowledge of God’s Word, and our personal walk with Him each day. We will begin to see our obeying of what we learn in God’s Word. We will begin to see the Lord’s hand in our lives as we see taught in God’s Word. That our Father, by His Spirit opens up His Word to our understanding over time. That we start to understand His ways better and better. That we are being changed to value what He values as is revealed in His Word.

But in order for that to happen steadily in our walk, we MUST obey what we understand to be His leading. Now, we will make mistakes of course, but as we DO OUR BEST to be honest with the Lord, AND DON’T PICK AND CHOOSE where we will obey, and make excuses why we cannot obey. With time WE WILL MAKE PROGRESS in learning the reality of being led by the Holy Spirit:

Some Examples Of What He Will Lead Us To Add To Our Lives (if not already there):

When we learn that we are called to read the Bible, we will do so …

1 Timothy 4:13  Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.

When we learn that we are called to study the Bible, we will do so. Asking the Lord to guide us in what we study, and which study course we will use in the beginning, and how much study time to allocate each week …

2 Timothy 2:15  Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

When we learn that we are called to meditate in the Scriptures, we will do so. By meditation we mean, thinking about the truths we are studying, in our minds comparing one Scripture with another Scripture on the same truth. Asking for guidance to understand what the Lord wants us to understand about that truth …

1 Timothy 4:15-16
15  Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all.
16  Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.

Joshua 1:8  This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.

When we learn that we are called to have a prayer life with our Father, we will have set aside times to pray …

Ephesians 6:18  Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

And so on …

The Lord bless your efforts to learn the incomparable blessing of being personally guided by His Spirit into His Truth!

To download an MS Word file of the above study click on the below link…

007 INTEGRITY – DISCOVERYING GOD’S TRUTH FOR THE CHURCH (PART 7) -final