Friday, August 28, 2009

Faith and the Spirit

Faith and the Spirit


I’ve often wondered how is was that Satan could have swayed a third of the angelic host to follow him, thereby finding themselves demons and fallen also.

A bit of this will be considered speculation, but I feel I am on the right track on this.

The sin of Satan; his rebellion, was the abandonment of faith in God where his faith turned inward, where he thought he could be like God, and indeed replace God. He placed his faith in himself.

As we should now understand, those who reject faith in God commit the ultimate sin, thereby resulting in separation from God. Satan and the fallen angels would have had God’s Spirit as a part of their mental makeup, and their collective sin would have resulted in the removal of God’s Spirit from them. The result, on that spiritual plane of existence, was spiritual beings now insane.

The name of the game for Satan since the creation of man has been one of separating man from God through the same methodology he used to get a third of the angels to be removed from God; get them to reject faith in God.

With Eve, it was simply a matter of convincing her that God didn’t reveal everything in regards to that tree and its fruit. He convinced her there was something to gain in eating the fruit. He appealed to her vanity. He appealed to her ego. He appealed to her intellect.

I can imagine now how Satan managed to sway those angels, for there was a similar situation that surfaced back in the old WCG. HWA gave an assignment to Dibar Apartian where, later in time, GTA gave him another assignment. HWA was furious with him, and reminded Dibar Apartian who his boss was and no one, not even GTA, had the authority to tell him to do something else other than the job HWA had given him.

We have gleaned from Scripture that this third of the angels were “under” Satan in regards to that first habitation that they abandoned, and it would have been a simple matter for Satan to have turned to this third of them and reminded them God had placed them under his authority, and proceeded to tell them what they were to do. If they were listening to him, and doing what he wanted, that was now contrary to the will of God, that’s all it would have taken. They were no longer faithful to God as a result. It would have been all so subtle, yet effective, and devastating.

We cannot afford to minimize this. Adam and Eve’s sin of faithlessness seems like such an innocent mistake in a way.

God removed Adam and Eve from His presence, accordingly, even as His presence was removed from Satan and those angels that sinned.

As a result, we are born with that Adamic nature that is devoid of contact with God and His Spirit. We were born with what Scripture refers to as that “stony heart.” We are born of Adam, and without being born of God, we are doomed to perish.

The story of Scripture is one of those who God worked with, developing their faith, and those God worked with who were devoid of faith. Noah was a preacher of righteousness. Noah believed God, and built an ark to save animals and his family as a result. The writer of Hebrews relates those deemed righteous throughout history as being righteous as a result of their faith. Modern deceivers redefine this righteousness as being a result of other things, such as law keeping or even racial purity when it came to Noah, as HWA insisted. Try reminding the followers of HWA today that Noah, according to HWA, was righteous because he was ethnically “pure.”

Abraham comes on the scene, and God starts working with him, promising him prosperity and an inheritance if he will but believe God. Abraham believes, but his faith isn’t always perfect or complete, yet by the time he is an old man, he is willing to comply with God’s command to sacrifice Isaac, knowing that God could and would have to resurrect him from that death in order to make good on God’s promise regarding his offspring being through Isaac (Heb 11:17-19).

Then comes the example of the Hebrews and the old covenant era. They were referred to as stiff-necked, rebellious, and faithless. They were given the old covenant law which they gave lip service to, but never truly kept. They are the example of faithlessness in Scripture.

From this perspective, we come to Saul, the first king of Israel. Saul is given God’s Spirit without the benefit of faith. The result? In the end, a king gone insane. Sound familiar?

Then we come to king David. Again, a man given God’s Spirit, and a man who had faith in God, and with the addition of being under the old covenant law. He too lauded that law, then violated it to a degree that we find incredulous today. What was he thinking?

In Paul’s writings, he points out that the law actually can, and does, incite a people to sin. From the viewpoint of psychology, we learn that the more a person thinks of himself, believing himself to be more than he is, and greater in his own eyes than other people, the more above other people he believes he is, and the more he believes himself to be above the rules that regulate the masses he has risen above.

Ramona Armstrong, before being wed to HWA, is reported to have expressed her concern to HWA in regards to their relationship. HWA replied that he was above the law; he was God’s apostle; he had special rights and privileges.

Did king David have the same attitude? We see in Scripture his love and faith in God, but not much love for his fellow man, including those who were close to him and served him faithfully, such as Uriah. David repaid his dedication by having him killed so that he could cover up his affair with Uriah’s wife.

What about us and the laws of the land? Do you ever fudge a bit, driving above the speed limit? If you do, why? So you can get to your destination a minute earlier? When you come to a stop sign, do you always come to a complete stop? No? Why?

We don’t like being subject to laws; slaves to laws. We don’t like being told what to do, any more than a little kid who constantly ignores his parent’s commands to comply with what they want.

Those who insist we keep the law do not keep the law themselves. They want to give the appearance of being faithful to the law. They want to have the satisfaction of believing they have convinced others to keep the law, as though this somehow offsets their lack of keeping that law!

As many as desire to make a fair shew in the flesh, they constrain you to be circumcised; only lest they should suffer persecution for the cross of Christ. For neither they themselves who are circumcised keep the law; but desire to have you circumcised, that they may glory in your flesh. — Galatians 6:12-13

They glory in your flesh means they glory in what they have gotten you to do physically; in this case, keeping the law. Notice the similar language here:

O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh? — Galatians 3:1-3

Are you made perfect now by what you do physically, in this case by keeping that law? Is the Spirit and faith not enough for you? Can you improve on the Spirit and faith through your own efforts?

Our era; our time, is a time of faith. It is a time of faith in God and His Christ only, without the encumbrance of that law that could only expose the Adamic sinful nature. We already should know and understand who and what we are independent of God’s Spirit; sinners – sinful, and incapable of producing our own righteousness through that law.

There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. 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: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. — Romans 8:1-4

To walk after the flesh is to walk according to your own efforts, as we see from Paul’s writings in Galatians.

We are to live by being focused on the Spirit to the exclusion of all else. There is to be no distractions. There is to be nothing to shift our focus away from God and faith in Him.




************

It is important that you understand; Everything on this blog is based on the current understanding of each author. Never take anyone's word for it, always prove it for yourself, it is your responsibility. You cannot ride someone else's coattail into the Kingdom.

Acts 17:11

************

6 comments:

Bill said...

It is the stolen fruit that is the sweetest.

Seeker Of Truth said...

It is interesting, is it not, that one cannot resist the thing they are told they can't have or are to stay clear of?
Built into human nature? I think so.

angel said...

The strategy of Satan is as effective today as it was with Eve, "Has God indeed said....?"

Satan wants us to think God is holding out on us, hasn't told us everything, can't be trusted.

You're right, insanity follows; just look at what people are willing to believe rather than trust God.

xHWA said...

"Are you made perfect now by what you do physically, in this case by keeping that law?"

NO!

"Is the Spirit and faith not enough for you?"

Must not be!

"Can you improve on the Spirit and faith through your own efforts?"

NO!

anon15:5 said...

Can you improve on the Spirit and faith through your own efforts? That IS the question. But I wonder if we fully grasp the subtlety of this issue and the fine line we walk in avoiding this trap? Sure, we can polarize the issue into "law verses grace" or "law verses faith" and then think that by avoiding the observance of certain old covenant laws, we are home free. But such is not the case--the problem runs deeper.

What about the "laws" (human- not divine) WE have imposed on ourselves or allowed others to impose upon us, that, of themselves may not be bad, but through a misguided use or a misdirected faith can become an affront to the cross of Christ?

Take the religious practices of "prayer" and "Bible study" as examples. BOTH are good things--both are necessary for a Christian's growth and maturity. But then Mr. Armstrong comes along and ADDS a law to the Word by saying we really should be praying 3 times a day for an hour at a time --OR that we should be studying our Bibles an hour a day---implying that not doing so we will be out of sinc with God! So now this practice becomes mandated duty and very subtlety our being right with God is no longer through faith in Jesus Christ (Romans 5:1), but in our own ability to pray and study, or fast or eat whole wheat bread, or refrain from pork, or something of that stature. Yes, this reasoning, as Paul says, "DOES indeed have a shew of wisdom"--Colossians 2:23--(if praying once is good then praying twice is better), and it's not that human effort of itself is wrong or not needed. What's wrong is when our reliance and faith becomes misguided and is placed IN THAT EFFORT and not on Christ that we "fall from Grace" into "another Gospel". Believe me, this trap is so easy to fall into, especially when the real problem is usually ME and not the practice!

Excellent blog! You are indeed on the right track!

Seeker Of Truth said...

Anon 15:5 said...
"...I wonder if we fully grasp the subtlety of this issue and the fine line we walk in avoiding this trap? ...

So now this practice becomes mandated duty and very subtlety our being right with God is no longer through faith in Jesus Christ (Romans 5:1), but in our own ability to pray and study, or fast or eat whole wheat bread, or refrain from pork, or something of that stature...

What's wrong is when our reliance and faith becomes misguided and is placed IN THAT EFFORT and not on Christ that we "fall from Grace" into "another Gospel"."


So very true Fifteen! I think the most difficult thing to grasp is that it's ALL Christ, not us! We are to believe and to love one another. There is nothing we can do to earn the Kingdom.
It's not a matter of "How good or bad am I?" It's a matter of "I have repented & I believe, therefore I am saved!"

Mat 18:6, Mar 1:15,
Luk 8:12, Joh 1:12,
Joh 3:16, Joh 3:18,
Joh 3:36, Joh 6:35,
Joh 6:47, Joh 8:24,
Joh 11:25, Joh 12:46,
Joh 14:1, Joh 16:8-9,
Joh 20:31