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Basic VI – Foolishness

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“But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgement. Again, anyone who says to his brother, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of Hell.”[1] So what drove Paul to put himself in danger of the fire of Hell that he penned to the Galatian church: You foolish Galatians! using a term that Jesus clearly said would put him in the danger of the fire of Hell.

The cause of this outburst from Paul was the sight of the Galatian church going back to revisit from justification by faith to justification by observance of the law as well, because men from James the younger had come to join them. These men from James were so influential that Peter committed hypocrisy in order to appease them by withdrawing from eating with the Gentiles, and through his hypocrisy even Barnabas was led astray.[2]

Paul started off the letter to Galatia with this key point: I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the One who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— which is really no gospel at all.[3] He was writing to a church that was forsaking the real Gospel for a perverted gospel as he calls it, a perverted gospel of Christ.[4] The perversion to the Gospel of Christ was the attempt that some men, whom Paul called false brothers, were preaching circumcision,[5] and then there were those certain men from James who had led Peter and Barnabas astray. So, what is this false gospel or perversion of the Gospel of Christ? These men from James had convinced the Galatian church to observe part of the Law of Moses as part of their justification as well, such as circumcision, as well as faith in Christ. What they did not see was that anyone who has faith in Christ is cut off from God by the Law of Moses. Their justification was this: It was God who said, “This is My Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased.”[6] But then Jesus said, “Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you,”[7] in direct contradiction to “You must not eat the blood of any creature.”[8]

Their initial faith in the gospel Paul preached to them allowed them to receive the Holy Spirit, through whom they would have power to be witnesses for Jesus, so that Paul asked them this question: I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard?[9] You see, foolishness is when you have received the Holy Spirit who gives you the power to manifest the Kingdom of God and then you discard that for a powerless religion based on rules of do this and don’t do that, rules that are designed for people to live by, who have no miraculous power.

The Kingdom of God does not come by careful observation of the law. When Jesus was asked when the Kingdom of God would come, He replied, “The Kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, nor will people say, ‘Here it is,” or ‘There it is,’ because the Kingdom of God is within you.”[10] When He was answering this question, He was speaking to the Pharisees, for they were the ones who asked Him. Pharisees who loved money and added rules upon rules to God’s Law and loved to justify themselves by external selective observation of the law so that when it comes to tithing they would even tithe a tenth of their spices.

Foolishness is a people who have received the Kingdom of God and then forsake it to observe the rules of the Kingdom of Israel and of Men. That is what the Galatians were doing. For it is by faith in Jesus Christ, that is, to believe in Him enough to practise His words, that a person is able to do what He has been doing, and not by fulfilment of the law. Since the Galatians through faith in Christ had already received what Israel could not receive through the law, why should they want anything to do with the obsolete system? That is why Paul wrote: How I wish I be with you now and change my tone, because I am perplexed about you![11] So what was Paul’s tone with the Galatians? It was one of incredulous frustration at how easily they were turned away.

You see, partial observance of the law carries a curse, and that is what anyone who has put their faith in Christ is receiving once they try to add observance of the law to their practice. No one who has ever put their faith in Christ can ever fulfil everything written in the law. It is impossible! Someone who has no faith whatsoever would have a better chance, however slim, to fulfil the law than a person who has put his faith in Christ. Why is that?

Now see why Paul adopted such a tone with the Galatians and used a term that put him in danger of the fire of Hell. For anyone who has put their faith in Christ has drunk blood and eaten the flesh of a Man by that same faith. He has, by faith, broken an ordinance of the Levitical Law that cuts him off from the people, so that no matter how obsessively he then tries to observe the Levitical Law in every minute detail, from tithing to observance of the Sabbath, to eating clean and unclean foods, to its laws of sexual immorality, he is perpetually under a curse. Even if you succeed in observing all of them, the truth is, you had already broken one of them before you even started, the moment you were a person who had believed in Jesus and then was persuaded to also observe and practise the Levitical Law. You are under a curse from that moment on.

Although the Levitical Laws and the words of Jesus are both given by God, they are not compatible with one another. You can live under one system, but not both, because the Levitical Law condemned the words of Jesus when He taught us to drink His blood and eat His flesh, and the words of Jesus make it clear that no one is saved from condemnation if they do not believe in His Name. “But whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the Name of God’s one and only Son.”[12]

This is a point that you must understand from now on if you are to remain in the Kingdom of God and operate effectively with power. You and I should have nothing to do with any part of the Levitical Law in our practice of the words of Jesus. Not one thing! We can uphold it for those who are under the Levitical Law, but for ourselves, nothing. For the moment you and I even practise one shred of that law, we have condemned Jesus Christ all over again. For according to the Levitical Law, Jesus Christ is cursed, for He taught His disciples to drink His blood and eat His flesh, and when He heard the false testimony about Himself, He kept silent. He taught His disciples to break Leviticus 17’s ordinances on the drinking of blood and eating of flesh, and He Himself broke Leviticus 5:1. Continued partial observance of the Levitical Law on our part, or approval of partial observance of the Levitical Law will continue to put us under the curse of the law, and that curse will prevent the power of the Kingdom of God to manifest in us.

What are these practices that are a partial observance of the Levitical Law that puts all who have put their faith in Christ under the curse of the law? These include all practices of tithing, circumcision, observance of a Sabbath’s rest, all avoidance of food on the basis of cleanliness or uncleanness, even all concerns about sexual immorality as we are currently concerned about.

Are you shocked? You should be, but remember the Galatians did something that caused Paul to put himself in danger of the fire of Hell for their sake! And what was it that they did? They reverted to partial observance of the law. There has never been a church at full power because there has never been a church that did not love to partially observe the law.

The early church lost its power as they re-embraced more and more Levitical practices. The current church, regardless of denomination, has no ministry at full power because every single ministry embraces part of the Levitical Law; from their addiction to tithing to obsession with sexual propriety.

You see, no one has ever seen how a church at full power can provide for itself, so the church still relies on mammon. No one has ever seen what happens to a sexually immoral person when he or she comes into the presence of a church where within is the Kingdom of God. Jesus, the first Citizen of the Kingdom of God, had no problems providing for Himself and His followers, and He had no problems sitting in the presence of sinful women, and even being alone with a woman, and a sexually promiscuous woman at that who had five husbands and was then in a defacto relationship.[13]

When Jesus said we who have faith in Him will do what He has been doing, it means also not just doing the miracles, but also being free from the taboos of the Levitical Law, so that like Him, we will have no trouble being alone with a member of the opposite sex if we have the Kingdom of God within us. But until we cast off all our addiction to the practices of the Levitical Law, we will not be able to remove ourselves from the curse that prevents and drains our power and prevents the Kingdom of God from manifesting. For the Kingdom of God is a kingdom of power, peace, righteousness and joy in the Holy Spirit, and no one under a curse by the word of God has peace, righteousness or joy in the Holy Spirit.

No one who having drunk the blood of Christ and eaten His flesh, yet reverts back to observing the law, which crucified Christ, can bring joy to the Holy Spirit. Indeed, such a person does not bring joy to the Holy Spirit, but only grieves Him. For the Holy Spirit was not poured out so that we might be better tithers or observers of the Sabbath, but rather, He was poured out so that we might be co-witnesses with Him that Jesus Christ is indeed the Son of God, and confirming that witness with power. The Lord did not say that the Holy Spirit would give us only words, but that He’d give us power to be His witnesses as well. Words alone are not the complete presence of the Holy Spirit; words and power are.

Before Paul was incarcerated in Jerusalem, His preaching was always accompanied by a clear demonstration of the power of God, so that He clearly wrote to the Corinthians: My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power.[14] Compare that with his preach before King Agrippa in Acts 26 where even his testimony was not able to persuade Agrippa, who said to him, “Your great learning is driving you insane.” All Paul had in Acts 26 was words. He had no power to demonstrate anything. If there was ever a crucial time for Paul to display power; surely Acts 26 was the time when both King Agrippa and Governor Festus were present. What happened to Paul’s power? It was dissipated by his partial observance of the law when the elders and James persuaded him to take part in the purification so that everybody will know that there is no truth in these reports about you, but that you yourself are living in obedience to the law.[15]

Whenever we are keen to show others and pacify ourselves that we are living in obedience to the law, we lose our power.[16] For the law is good, yes, the law is good; but it is not perfect, for no one is justified by observing the law. And since all men are sinners as defined by the Levitical Law, maybe now you might understand why Jesus answered, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good—except God alone,”[17] when He was addressed as “Good Teacher,” by a certain ruler. Jesus spoke the truth about Himself when He told that ruler that He was not good, “God alone is good.” Indeed, Jesus was not a good Teacher at all, for He taught us to eat His flesh and drink His blood in defiance of the good law. No, Jesus is not the good Teacher—He is the perfect Teacher. God alone is good because the law is good, and He ensures not the least stroke of a pen will by any means disappear from the law.

So then, one of the basic answers to the lack of manifestation of power in our lives is because we are holding onto that which is good in preference to that which is perfect. Jesus’ words and ways are perfect, and anyone who believes in Him is cut off from the law already. So have nothing to do with the partial observance of the law at all in your lives, but uphold it for those who are still under it. As for you, the Perfect Law that brings freedom awaits you.

Paul wrote: Yet not even Titus, who was with me, was compelled to be circumcised, even though he was a Greek. This matter arose, because some false brothers had infiltrated our ranks to spy on the freedom we have in Christ Jesus and to make us slaves.[18] What freedom was it that those men were spying on? Freedom from observance of the Law of Moses, no Sabbath observance needed because Christ is Lord of the Sabbath, no tithing, no avoidance of clean and unclean food, no avoidance of sexual immorality even, for there is now neither male nor female amongst those who are worthy of the first resurrection, and no ceremonial cleanliness or ritualistic prayer and worship in temples made by men at times, appointed by men—freedom from observance of the Levitical Law, but not in the upholding of the law.

Thus, the Kingdom of God is also the Kingdom of Christ and the Kingdom of the Spirit, for They are One, as well as the Kingdom of the Father. The Spirit is here to guide us into all truth and take from Jesus that which belongs to Him to make it known to us. He does not take from that which belongs to Israel and make it known to us, for the Kingdom of God is not here to make an alliance with any other kingdom, but to bring all powers, authority and dominion under its subjugation, and then Jesus will hand the kingdom back to God. All powers, authority and dominion include the power of the law and its dominion. The law is subject to the Kingdom of God, but the Kingdom of God is not subject to it. The power of the Kingdom of God can execute judgement according to the law for those who are under the Levitical Law, but the law cannot judge those who are in the Kingdom of God.

Thus, those who are being called out now into the Kingdom of God must come out like Israel came out of Egypt, casting aside the shackles of the partial observance of the law.

James’ letter to the Hebrews would have application to the church if the word he meant was the words of Jesus and the perfect law he meant was Jesus’, when he wrote: Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does.[19]

So, we shall listen to one Word, the words of Jesus, and we shall look intently into His Perfect Law, so then we fulfil Jesus’ words, “So you must obey them and do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practise what they preach.”[20] A voice said, “So cry out.” “What shall I cry out,” [21] said the watchman. “Cry freedom, for the Kingdom of God is here.” “So I now proclaim ‘freedom’ to fall by the sword, plague and famine. You have not obeyed Me; you have not proclaimed freedom for your fellow countrymen.”[22]

You foolish Christians —who deceived you to forsake the Kingdom of God with its power for the palaces built by men’s hands? Repent and live, for the Kingdom of God is here. Repent, I say, for Christ’s sake.


 

[1] Matthew 5:22

[2] Galatians 2:12-13

[3] Galatians 1:6-7

[4] Galatians 1:7

[5] Galatians 2:3-5

[6] Matthew 17:5

[7] John 6:53

[8] Leviticus 17:14

[9] Galatians 3:2

[10] Luke 17:20-21

[11] Galatians 4:20

[12] John 3:18

[13] John 4:7-26

[14] 1 Corinthians 2:4-5

[15] Acts 21:24

[16] Romans 7:13

[17] Luke 18:19

[18] Galatians 2:3-4

[19] James 1:22-25

[20] Matthew 23:3

[21] Isaiah 40:6

[22] Jeremiah 34:17

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