While much of Christianity is under and bound by the law of fleshly commandments, God through the sending and continuous revealing of His Son desires to release and set free those who are still bound. With God making available a new covenant for His people, most still, remain locked under the law of an old covenant. This allows the freedom of the new birth to lie dormant within as the people strive to remain under the bondage of the carnal mind and its laws. Heb. 7:16 & 19 declares, “Who [Jesus] has come, not according to the law of a fleshly commandment, but according to the power of an endless life. …. For the law made nothing perfect [complete]; on the other hand, there is the bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God”. Serving God according to an outward commandment or law has become the commonplace activities of many Christian groups who meet weekly in the name of God. These activities are proving to be weak and useless in providing full access to God’s presence. Meanwhile God’s desire, through the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit, is to annul the old and usher in a new and better covenant, a different realm, and a King/Priest kingdom order.
While there was a purpose in the law of fleshly commandments, its purpose was not to establish a way of life for the people. These fleshly laws were to reveal sin and the sin nature. It was to be a temporary measure used to convince and reveal to the people their need for justification and of the laws inability to save them. In understanding the inability to save themselves, they could thus turn to Christ, who becomes their progressive savior. Gal. 3:19, “What purpose then does the law serve? It was added because of transgressions, till the Seed [Christ] should come to who the promise was made: …” Thus, these people have a need to move beyond the law of a carnal commandment to receive and partake of the Seed, the Christ. Is it not so that most gatherings maintain their existence through ritualistic activities of worship and order which has become the trademark of their particular organization. Meanwhile, the Holy Spirit moves to establish another order, an order of anointing that releases the freedom of true worship and praise unto God. Gal. 5:14, “For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; you shall love your neighbor as yourself”. Christian freedom is not just the removal of moral restraints, but it is freedom to serve. The true gospel exchanges the oppressive bondage of legalism for the higher bondage of love. Gal. 5:18, “But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law”. Those who are led by the Spirit will do what is right freely, and not by the compulsion of some external law.
If many of the programs promoted among the church of today are the results of carnal minded rituals, is God pleased? Much of what people see and hear among many of the gatherings is nothing more than carnal minded inspirations, stirred up to draw and please the people who desire nothing more than to be entertained. Entertainment in that their programs continue as usual, rituals promoted by carnal minded ministers to feed the appetites of a carnal minded people. That is, to have church as usual without upsetting or offending the members. Ezekiel 13:3 shouts out this truth in declaring, “Thus says the Lord God: woe to the foolish prophets, who follow their own spirit and have seen nothing!” These are those who use their own intellectual training and who follow their own spirit, rather than listen to God who desires to lead them. Where are the ministers that are willing to allow the Holy Spirit freedom to order the flow of each church meeting? God’s order, when yielded to, moves outside the box of repetitious rituals, to manifest the presence of God among the whole assembly. 1 Cor. 14:26, “How is it then, brethren? Whenever you come together, each of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, and has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification”. The things and manifestations of the Spirit are for every member of the body of Christ and not for just an elite few. Even as Paul encourages Timothy, we are to stir up and keep the fires of the soul ablaze. We are to minister to the fullest use of the spiritual equipment that God has given. 2 Tim. 1:6, “Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands”. 1 Tim. 4:14a, “Do not neglect the gift that is in you. …”.
The word declares of a period of time when a separating from the truth would take place. A time would come when sound doctrine would become the exception instead of commonplace. God declares that a people would depart from the faith by ministering a denial of the essential doctrines of Christianity. False teachers would arise to teach doctrines inspired by deceiving spirits. In leading the people astray, they would claim divine inspiration as they abandon God’s word and spiritual truths. 1 Tim. 4:1-2, “Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron,”. While we see these positions fulfilled and ministered among the Christian community today, God has given us a promise. This promise is that He will establish a divine order people as He pours out His Spirit upon that people. (Read Joel 2:28-32). The outpouring of His Spirit upon “all flesh” is the promise given by the Father. “All flesh” refers to every category of person, not every individual. The three categories within any culture include gender, age, and class. This speaks of man, women, young and old alike with the spiritual gifting of the Holy Spirit being available for all God’s Spirit-filled people. The coming of the Holy Spirit was not just a promise to the apostles and their contemporaries only, but unto all who would receive Him. Acts 2:39, “For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call”.
While there are many people, who continue with “church as usual”, there remains a remnant that is becoming “living sacrifices” for the sake of Christ. They, while living among those who conform to the mind-set of this carnal world, present themselves unto God for His use alone. In this the renewing of the mind, which is committed to the ideals and the order of the kingdom of God, is transforming them. Transformed kingdom living calls for lives marked by humility and service through giftedness to the body of Christ. Scripture reminds us that just as the physical body is of many members, each with a different function, the church likewise is a body of many members. These members of Christ body are all closely related and they constitute a unity with each having separate functions and responsibilities. Now, this much member body, in order to be perfect, must allow each member the right to function. Each, given liberty to minister in their place as the Holy Spirit directs and anoints. This does not allow any one member to dominate and become ritualistic in ordering the service, but each one freely moving as God directs through the presence and manifestation of the Holy Spirit. Is such a divine order possible, NO, not by the carnal mind, but YES, as the Holy Spirit is given freedom and liberty to order and anoint each vessel according to His purpose in glorifying God among His people.
The problem that many groups face today is that carnality displays itself with the need to dominate and rule over the people. For this cause, by using the name of Jesus, carnality rules the gathering to feed its need to control. In controlling, it refuses to give place for the Holy Spirit to have freedom. When there is a lack of freedom in the Holy Spirit, there is no life of Christ being manifest, there is no light shining unto that perfect day. Without increasing revelation and understanding, darkness rules as the controlling person grips the people in a vise of spiritual death. Thus, a people groan, people travail and their cry is heard by God even as He heard the cry of the children of Israel in Egypt. In hearing the cry, God is mindful of His purpose, His deliberate plan, His proposition and design that are to enable a people to be conformed “to the image of His Son”. For this cause, He has called forth a people, a first fruits people to come forth by the act of justification. In their coming forth because He has justified them through obedience, He also will glorify them. Thus, we see a harvest coming forth. The first fruits are on the scene and the full harvest is ready to come forth.
Eph. 4:11-15, “And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors [Shepard’s] and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry. For the edifying [building up] of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head – Christ”. This is speaking of the true ministry that is at work among the church that begets vital, spiritually functional people throughout the whole of God’s family, which is the true church.
Eph. 5:18-21, “And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another in the fear of God”.