A Personal Message to You from a Man of God
“In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.” (Judges 21:25 KJV)
“Nevertheless the foundation of God stands sure, having this seal: ‘The Lord knew those who are His.’ And, ‘Let everyone who names the Name of Christ depart from iniquity!’” (2 Timothy 2:19 MKJV)
There are two kinds of iniquity (lawlessness) committed by men. Some people aren’t aware of the Law of God and its vital importance. They ignorantly serve to destroy themselves and others with little conscience of evil-doing. Then there are those who know better, who profess to believe in God according to His revelation in the Bible, yet they do evil, assaulting their consciences and doubly damning themselves. These receive the greater judgment.
Whether ignorant or not, however, everybody knows best; they are all wise in their own eyes. It doesn’t matter whether they call themselves the Lord’s or not. It doesn’t matter at whose feet they’ve learned, whether they’ve red the Scriptures much or little, or whether they’re in the religious systems.
Nobody wants to hear they’re wrong; nobody wants to obey a man in spiritual matters.
Many professors of Christ outside the religious systems of men are the greatest rebels of all, with the greatest egos, hence being the easiest to offend. Often this is why they aren’t part of a spiritual community. It’s not because they are as Abraham, leaving behind sin and kin by faith, but because they are as the sons of Korah, demanding equality of authority. (Not that they shouldn’t have come out from their religious associations for the right reasons.)
It doesn’t matter if they have accurate doctrinal knowledge or not. Indeed, knowledge puffs up. Male or female, married or single, rich or poor, weak or strong, they all have the spirit that says, “I know better… I’ll tell you.”
Nobody wants to hear they’re wrong; nobody wants to follow; nobody wants to obey a man in spiritual matters. Flesh only obeys if it perceives a self-serving reward. Sons of iniquity won’t tolerate rebuke, reproof, or judgment in everyday matters, mundane and spiritual. (See The Sons of Correction.)
“There’s one God and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,” the religious declare. “I follow Jesus and Jesus only. You’re putting me under condemnation. You’re trying to lord it over me… who do you think you are?!”
God has always sent men to declare His will, however. There’s no reason to believe He has changed. Who am I that He should send me, and that I should speak on the Lord’s behalf? Yet, He asks me to give my life for His sheep. Of myself, I’m not one to do that, not that any man is or ever was. The Lord has called me to speak, teach, rebuke, criticize, condemn, and judge, yes, judge.
You may say of me, “Surely his ego has taken him over; he’s beside himself. He’s anti-Christ!”
Perhaps you’re right and I’m wrong. God spare you and destroy me if this is so. But I speak of many things the Lord has made known to me, and I can’t help but speak.
“Law, law, law!” Some protest. “That’s all I hear from your mouth. The Bible says the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. I tried the Law; it didn’t work. I have no peace with personal do’s and don’ts. Right standing with God doesn’t come by the Law – we’re under Grace now. Don’t you know that?”
Those of you who think to be “full of Grace” are so wrong! You say that Law was the Old and Grace is the New. Is that so? But Law and Grace are both found in the Old Testament while the Law was in ministration, and Law and Grace are both here now while Grace is in ministration. The Law was never done away with… the ceremonial Law, yes, but the moral Law and the discipline of God, never. (Read Law and Grace.)
We, as saints, may not be under the Law, but the Law is certainly inscribed on our hearts by Christ.
Protesters against the Law of God declare that Love has replaced the Law, but what does the Scripture say?
“Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for he who loves another has fulfilled the Law” (Romans 13:8 MKJV).
What Law? Why, none other than the Ten Commandments. So they weren’t done away. We are given Grace to fulfill the Law. That is Love.
Even the world teaches that you can’t do as you please. In North America, one drives on the right side of the road; in England, on the left. There are speed limits and multitudinous laws and restrictions that we must all obey or suffer both practical and legal consequences.
Herein lies some of the confusion: We, as saints, may not be under the Law, but the Law is certainly inscribed on our hearts by Christ. We keep the Law because it’s our new nature to do so, not because we trust the keeping of it in order to have favor with God. We keep it because we have favor with God.
Our salvation is not gained, added to, or completed by the works of the Law. Saints uphold and maintain the Law for the glory of God because they’re saved, cleansed by the blood of Christ.
Grace is not doing away with the Law, but doing away with the inability to keep the Law.
Grace is not the power to keep the Law, in and of ourselves; it is the power of Christ in us to keep it.
The Law is not fulfilled in the sense of not meant to be kept any longer (Heaven and earth will pass away first); it is fulfilled in that its demands have been met by Christ in us.
We fulfill the Law in these flesh-and-blood bodies by the power of His Spirit and resurrection life. (Read Grace – The Reality.)
So we aren’t freed from the Law as though it were done away; we are freed from the Law in that it no longer defies or intimidates us. We no longer hate it; we’re no longer in rebellion to it. It isn’t the Law that must be done away, but our resistance to it, which comes by the flesh and the man of sin sitting on the throne of God in our hearts.
The Lord once said to me, “They will come to you crying ‘Law! Law!’ but they hate the Law because they hate Me. They will come to you saying, ‘Grace! Grace!’ but I will show them the fruits of their supposed grace, which is lawlessness. I will give Grace to those who obey Me and they will bask in the goodness of that Grace.”
Many mistake lawlessness (iniquity) for Grace. They greatly err. Why do you suppose Jesus said to some who thought to have gained His favor, “Depart from Me, you that work iniquity. I don’t know you”? He was speaking to those who should have known, and professed to know, better. They thought they had a free ticket to Heaven through Grace, because they had done many works in His Name and supposed they were no longer responsible for turning from their sins.
Iniquity is the state of not wanting to be told what to do. Many calling themselves Christians don’t believe anyone but God has the right to give them commands. And they don’t believe He’ll do so any other way than directly. They believe He will personally direct them without any intermediaries. They’re so wrong.
Jesus, our Pattern Example, told the disciples what to do. He set the standard for all believers. Years after the Pentecostal outpouring, James, Paul, and the elders were telling people what to do. Men of God from Heaven were telling John what to do and men of God on earth were telling others what to do.
Law is what all must know and embrace if they’re to live in safety and prosperity.
In our age, as in all others, to tell others what to do is anathema.
To submit to one who tells you what to do is double anathema.
A wise parent will require obedience of a child. The child may not appreciate it, but he learns and does better for it – perhaps his life is even ultimately spared. Is Law at work here? Most definitely, and why not? Is it necessary? Certainly. Should a child be permitted to destroy himself in ignorance? Will parents who love their child permit such a thing?
Law is necessary everywhere. All creation is made up of Law. Law is what all must know and embrace if they’re to live in safety and prosperity. Those of you who love life, don’t be deceived by rebellious people and their philosophies and customs they call “freedom.” Embrace the Law of God as brought forth by His chosen vessels set in authority, whether earthly or Heavenly. Those who contest this truth go their way and suffer the consequences. That, too, by the way, is inescapable Law.
Isn’t the Bible the record of men of God concerning what is required of you by His Law? The Bible can’t correct you, however, like a living person can. One in rebellion can choose to interpret the Bible as he wishes, or to ignore it, rather than be instructed by a man. Isn’t this so?
What does it mean to lord it over people, as some object about ministers of Christ? Peter wasn’t speaking of acts, but of motive, when he instructed the elders: “Feed the flock of God… taking the oversight thereof… neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being examples to the flock” (1 Peter 5:2-3). Examples must be followed, mustn’t they?
Peter wasn’t instructing the elders against telling people what to do. He was cautioning them about their motives, exhorting them to lead by example and not be as Pharisees who taught from the Law, but didn’t keep it.
“The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat, so practice and observe whatever they tell you–but not what they do. For they preach, but do not practice” (Matthew 23:2-3 ESV).
Jesus told His disciples what to do in spite of the fact that He said these things to them:
Mark 10:42-45 MKJV
(42) You know that they who are accounted rulers over the nations exercise lordship over them. And their great ones exercise authority on them.
(43) But it shall not be so among you. But whoever desires to be great among you, let him be your servant.
(44) And whoever of you desires to become first, he shall be servant of all.
(45) For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.
Here are examples of the Lord giving commands:
“And He said to them, ‘Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.’ And they immediately left their nets and followed Him” (Matthew 4:19-20 MKJV).
“And as He stopped speaking, He said to Simon, ‘Launch out into the deep and let your nets down for a haul’” (Luke 5:4 MKJV).
“Jesus sent out these twelve, commanding them, saying, ‘Do not go into the way of the nations, and do not enter into any city of the Samaritans. But rather go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel’” (Matthew 10:5-6 MKJV).
“Jesus said to them, ‘Fill the water pots with water.’ And they filled them up to the brim. And He said to them, ‘Now draw out and carry it to the master of the feast.’ And they carried it” (John 2:7-8 MKJV).
The Scriptures are full of commands by men of God in both Old and New Testaments.
To the woman at the well, He said, “Go, call your husband and come here” (John 4:16 MKJV).
“Then Jesus answered and said, ‘O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I suffer you? Bring him here to Me’” (Matthew 17:17 MKJV).
“But lest we should offend them, go to the sea and cast a hook, and take up the first fish that comes up. And when you have opened its mouth, you shall find a stater; take that, and give it to them for Me and you” (Matthew 17:27 MKJV).
“And when they drew near Jerusalem, and had come to Bethphage, to the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, ‘Go into the village across from you. And immediately you will find an ass tied, and a colt with her. Untie them and bring them to Me. And if anyone says anything to you, you shall say, The Lord has need of them, and immediately he will send them’” (Matthew 21:1-3 MKJV).
“And He said to them, ‘Cast the net on the right side of the boat and you will find.’ Therefore they cast, and now they no longer had the strength to draw, from the multitude of fish” (John 21:6 MKJV).
Jesus was always telling His disciples what to do. He told them to take away the stone at the grave of Lazarus (doesn’t sound like He even helped); He told them to loose Lazarus and let him go; He told them to prepare the Passover that they might eat; He told them a thing or two to do when He cleansed the Temple. The Gospels are filled with commands Jesus gave to others.
Later we read of James and the elders giving instructions for Jew and Gentile alike. Peter gave instructions concerning the widows. The apostles chose those to wait on tables and directed the use of monies brought to them. Paul directed many in what to do in all sorts of matters.
The Scriptures are full of commands by men of God in both Old and New Testaments. Why don’t people see that? Why do they all stand up and shout, “You’re not going to tell ME what to do”? Why do they resist and argue, “We’re all kings and priests and therefore equal in every way with anyone and everyone”?
The simple answer is that they are not the Lord’s and have never known the spirit of submission and obedience. Listen to what the Lord said to the heathen centurion who believed in Him and understood authority:
Matthew 8:8-10 MKJV
(8) The centurion answered and said, “Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof; but only speak the word, and my boy will be healed.
(9) For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to this one, ‘Go!’ And he goes; and to another, ‘Come!’ And he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this!’ And he does it.”
(10) When Jesus heard, He marveled and said to those who followed, “Truly I say to you, I have not found such great faith, no, not in Israel.”
Consider the contradiction of so-called believers who reject spiritual authority. We pay our taxes to heathen governments, don’t we? We drive the speed limit and obey the police. We wear what our employers require us to wear at work and do as they direct. But aren’t we kings and priests? If so, why should we have to do these things? Or do we do as we’re told by the world’s authorities only?
The son of iniquity despises authority of any kind except his own.
You say, “Those are invalid examples for discussing spiritual authority; those are physical, secular, worldly, everyday things! We’re talking about Heavenly matters.” Invalid? Let’s look at another statement Peter made:
1 Peter 2:13-18 GNB
(13) For the sake of the Lord submit yourselves to every human authority: to the Emperor, who is the supreme authority,
(14) and to the governors, who have been appointed by him to punish the evildoers and to praise those who do good.
(15) For God wants you to silence the ignorant talk of foolish people by the good things you do.
(16) Live as free people; do not, however, use your freedom to cover up any evil, but live as God’s slaves.
(17) Respect everyone, love other believers, honor God, and respect the Emperor.
(18) You servants must submit yourselves to your masters and show them complete respect, not only to those who are kind and considerate, but also to those who are harsh.
Where does it say we should obey and submit to secular powers only and not to those placed in authority by God in more important matters?
“Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the Word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation” (Hebrews 13:7 KJV).
“Yield to those leading you, and be submissive, for they watch for your souls, as those who must give account, that they may do it with joy and not with grief; for that is unprofitable for you” (Hebrews 13:17 MKJV).
Hear what Paul says to Timothy: “Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially they who labor in the Word and doctrine” (1 Timothy 5:17).
So, commands of both secular and spiritual authorities are to be obeyed. The son of iniquity, however, despises authority of any kind except his own. He recognizes no boundaries; he reserves all right to himself. A proud, rebellious nature demands equality. It is iniquitous in all its ways and cannot be otherwise. That, too, is an inescapable law. Law everywhere!
Children of iniquity live in hell, because their existence is one full of every kind of law imaginable, covering everything – they can’t even stumble without the punishment of falling! Surely God is a tyrant to the rebel, Someone to be despised.
Charlatans, and even well-meaning men, have come using the Name of God with their systems of submission, their doctrines of do’s and don’ts, and ways of doing things, requiring various modes of behaviour, some fairly tolerable and some incredible. By God’s grace, I come to tell you what to do, and if you do it, by God’s grace you’ll live.
If you’re His and I’m His, we’ll do well. If you’re His and I’m not, He’ll keep you. If I’m His and you aren’t, you’ll despise what I have to say. If neither of us is His, none of this matters.
You may well ask, “Why should I submit to you? Perhaps you ought to submit to me!” Perhaps that’s a valid point. We shall know by the Lord soon and well enough. I’ll know you by your power, you’ll know me by mine, and God will make clear what He requires of us. And require it He will, because He’s finished winking.
Why are we not offended at insults and evils done to us? It is because God has removed the power and burden of pride in us. He has crucified our egos, which are a hindrance to any man or woman who desires to be free and live life to the fullest.
How can one in sin lead sinners out of their sins? There is a sinful compassion that spares the flesh and destroys the soul, but those who uphold and magnify God’s Laws are kept. “Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint; but one who keeps the Law is blessed” (Proverbs 29:18 WEB).
Jeff writes, "I'm desperately trying to return to God, repenting as best I know how and pursuing Him through fervent reading of the Word but I feel like He's through with me. Scriptures like Hebrews 6:1-8 paint a grim picture of hopelessness for the backslidden. Is there any reconciliation between Scriptures like "If we draw near to Him, He will draw near to us" or "you will find Me, if you seek Me with all your heart" and verses like Heb 6:1-8, which seem to describe the unpardonable sin? How can know unequivocally that he or she has committed it? Are there testimonies of persons who were truly converted returning to God after going back into a sinful life? Please respond..."