Union with Christ

Ephesians 2:1 

“And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;” KJV

“In the past you were spiritually dead because of your sins and the things you did against God.” New Century Version

“AND YOU [He made alive], when you were dead (slain) by [your] trespasses and sins” AMPC

There is no life in Christ Jesus without the death of the former life of sin. In fact, the continuous experience of life outside Christ, after you have been saved, brings upon you the accumulating death that sin normally incurs to a climax (Romans 6:23), and if continued long enough, a climactic spiritual death that occurs as a final judgment of the sin that has ruled for so long. 

The final death that breaks the dominion of sin was the death of Christ, our substitute; and by our deliberate union or identification with Christ, we, who have come to Christ, have now passed from (spiritual) death to life.

Hence, it is those who realize that they “…were dead in trespasses and sins” who can experience resurrection to a better life, the life of Christ. “Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin…” (Romans 6:11). The deed has been done. Victory over sin and all the effects of sin have been achieved by Christ. There is nothing to be done again. It is now left for you to reckon it as the truth and make it the principle/rule for your life henceforth. The death of death occurs when we refuse to reckon the perfect work that was done. (Death of death is not used here as Death dying but as a double situation of death)

We have received all that we are in the new creation through our union with Christ. The only way to freedom from any besetting sin at work in your life, as a Christian, is not to cry or pray “warfare” prayers or go for deliverance. The right way is to recognize your union with Christ, the fact that you ARE one in Christ, in His death and in His resurrection. 

So that when you pray, you will not be begging God to save you from what He has already saved you from in Christ; you will only give thanks to God and then “pray” that understanding into your spirit man. It is treasonable to think or declare that something else needs to be done to set you free from your peculiar sins. Christ has done it; your faith in what He has done is what brings you experientially into Union with Christ, where you will literally experience the victory that is accustomed to your new position (Ephesians 2:5-6).

Reckon means “to take into account, compute, impute, to take an inventory, having the like force or weight…” The same weight of consideration you give to the death of Christ is to be your consideration of your own death to sin. And the same force with which He was raised in resurrection is to be seen as how you have also been resurrected into newness of life. If you don’t take the inventory of all that Christ’s death has purchased for you because of your identification with Him, you will keep struggling to pay for your freedom again, as if the full price was not paid by the death and resurrection of Jesus.

Now, as many as believe that they are saved by grace, and still refuse to reckon that they are dead to sin, and “…alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom. 6:11) are doubly dead. It is a mighty blindfolding that has come upon them, that makes them unable to see the perfect work of redemption. This blindness is usually because they are not taught (Romans 10:14) or they refuse to believe if they were taught (Hebrews 5:12). They are dead twice because, even though they are dead to sin through Christ’s death, they cannot practically experience the resurrection life UNTIL they “reckon” – accept, believe, confess – their death to sin through Christ. 

And since they do not come alive into the newness of life, their death to sin, not being reckoned – accepted, appropriated, believed – becomes double death. That is the death that the nature of sin in their lives have already incurred, which invites God’s wrath, and the “unused” or unreckoned death of Christ for them, which reactivates the verdict of spiritual death upon them afresh.

Hebrews 6:4-6 

“For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened…And have tasted the good word of God…If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.” KJV

Not accepting the death of Christ as the end of your sin (and the power of sin over you and the former desires you had for sin) means you reject that perfect substitutionary and sacrificial death of Christ, of which you must now come under the judgment/wrath of God afresh, to become confined to (a life of) spiritual death. If you don’t believe that the death of Jesus is the end of sin in your life, you have rejected God’s means of perfect deliverance from sin, by which you were justified, and you must now appear before the court of heaven alone, as it were, to receive the full wrath of God for your sins. The destruction that results is self-inflicted and needless. And it is the only destiny for those who choose to set aside the righteousness of God, to establish their own righteousness, by trying to “work” for victory over sin, rather than accept the work that has already been accomplished by God in Christ (Romans 10:3-4).

John 3:18 KJV

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.

*NOTE: Until you have reckoned what Christ has done, and settled into your new position in Christ, you do not have the appropriate foundation to receive the building blocks of further instructions of “what to do” into your life (Ephesians chapters 4-6). The instructions of how we are to live, in scriptures, are building blocks for a life that already have the foundation upon which to build the structure of Christlikeness. The foundation is Christ (1 Corinthians 3:11) and our understanding of what He has done for us (Ephesians chapters 1-3)

Picture credits: ekklesia muskogee dot org, Jacob’s Well NJ, Pinterest 

The Glory of the New Covenant

2 Corinthians 3:6, 9-10 KJV

[6] Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life. [9] For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory. [10] For even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth.

Nothing is yet to happen in the course of man’s history that has taken God by surprise. And nothing will. He who knows the end from the beginning will not be alarmed by anything in man’s struggle (reluctance and sluggishness) to accept His best for them. Everything we see today about the prevalent unbelief towards the true culture of the kingdom is not a new thing to God, because it is this same unbelief He has had to deal with right from the beginning of time.

The first man

Genesis 2:8, 16-17 KJV

[8] And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. [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.” 

When God finished the work of creating man, He settled him in Eden, a place that we could call a type of the kingdom of heaven. But as an embassy of heaven on planet earth, there has to be a way to make the quality of life and leadership that exists in heaven the same rule on earth (in Eden). The culture must be literally equal. And God told Adam, there is just one tree you shouldn’t eat from, to keep the flow between heaven and earth, to retain the quality of culture and reproduce the same level of effectiveness. To not eat from that tree is the test Adam must pass to have a genuine replication of God’s life and culture in his dominion (terrain). It cannot be genuine if it was not Adam’s personal choice; and the only way it could be his choice was for him to have an opportunity to switch to an alternative: which is, to do it his own way. 

When he chose to eat the forbidden fruit after his wife had eaten, he basically chose to reject the way of faith, to live by sight, which has, henceforth, become the prevailing rule or principle in the world system. Please note what this tells us about the natural man: he can ONLY thrive when he is outside God’s kingdom; once you put him inside the kingdom, he will seize to function because he dies. You must reckon yourself dead to sin and alive to God (Romans 6:11). The basic unbelief we see at work in Adam and Eve as they ate the forbidden fruit is the same inherited unbelief in every man ever since, that has no interest in God’s ways (but his own way), even if he is interested in God’s acts/works/miracles.

Psalm 103:7 KJV

He made known his ways unto Moses, his acts unto the children of Israel.

I personally believe we need both; God’s acts and God’s ways. If you look closely at that Scripture, you will see that Moses knew both the ways of God and His acts. He was also among the children of Israel, seeing and experiencing the acts of God; and most of the time being used to perform these mighty acts. Salvation is an act of God, for instance. Not of works, lest any man should boast (Ephesians 2:9). We become saved by faith (accepting what God has done in Christ); which means we are not the one working at the point of salvation, it is God. And you know, it is a miracle to be saved.

So, Moses and the children of Israel were saved from Egypt (salvation) but only Moses (and maybe a few others like Caleb and Joshua) pressed on to know God and His ways. Even though, it is incontrovertible that every act of God is permanent, even salvation, it is the choice to choose God’s ways over our own ways that is the true result of that salvation. The curse upon mankind is positionally reversed at salvation and practically reversed by choosing God’s ways. We use the word “practically” to show that God is not to blame if a person receives salvation and does not work out his own salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12). When we choose God’s ways that is when we have activated the full ramifications of salvation. That choice is what puts you in the kingdom of heaven where you are directly governed by God.

The nation of Israel

Hebrews 3:10-11 KJV

[10] Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err in their heart; and they have not known my ways. [11] So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.)

Coming out of Egypt (a type of salvation), God’s plan was to settle them in Canaan. He wanted to showcase them to the world as a masterpiece among the nations and as an evangelistic tool to “colonize” or convert the gentiles into the kingdom of heaven. But the fruit or result of Adam’s feeding on the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was still at work. Israel refused God’s offer of Himself to them and their calling into the priesthood and went their own ways. Egypt was still in them; and unbelief was their rule of life.

This shows me that faith is impossible without having a personal encounter with God.

Their rejection of God at Sinai when they told Moses that they could not enter the glory cloud to meet with God (Exodus 20:18-21) was an unfortunate seed they were sowing into their own hearts and it germinated in kind with unbelievable “strides” of unbelief later in their journey. 40 days became 40 years, the priesthood that was meant for the entire nation was divinely withdrawn to a tribe (the sons of Levi) and only Caleb and Joshua entered into God’s promise (God’s rest) out of about 600,000 men who left Egypt. (Number 26:65, 14:22-24, 29-31, Exodus 12:37)

Psalm 78:10-11, 22, 40-41, 56 KJV

They kept not the covenant of God, and refused to walk in his law; [11] And forgat his works, and his wonders that he had shewed them. [22] Because they believed not in God, and trusted not in his salvation: [40] How oft did they provoke him in the wilderness, and grieve him in the desert! [41] Yea, they turned back and tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel. [56] Yet they tempted and provoked the most high God, and kept not his testimonies:

Note: just as God began the entire human race by creating one man – Adam, and just as He began the New Creation race through one man – Christ, so also God began His kingdom on earth with one nation, Israel.

Seeing that Israel did not keep the first covenant (and there was just no way they could have, since they rejected a personal relationship with the God of the covenant), that covenant became abhorrent to God, it became corrupted, …decaying and fading. (Jeremiah 31:31-34, 50:4-5, Hebrews 8:7-13, 10:16-17). Having found fault with it, because of the way it was dominated by the unbelief of Israel, to the extent that the only thing it could offer anyone today is unbelief, He made a new covenant that only those who believe in Him can enter into it (Hebrews 8:8-9).

This new covenant cannot be corrupted because it can’t admit any un-believer. The old covenant admitted people through physical circumcision, the shedding of your own private blood, but the New Covenant admits through the shed blood of Christ, which as many as believes on Him, are washed and redeemed by it. 

The Church 

Amplified Bible 2 Corinthians 3:7-8

“Now if the ministry of death, engraved in letters on stones [the covenant of the Law which led to death because of sin], came with such glory and splendor that the Israelites were not able to look steadily at the face of Moses because of its glory, [a brilliance] that was fading, how will the ministry of the Spirit [the new covenant which allows us to be Spirit-filled] fail to be even more glorious and splendid?”

Adam failed and God promised a new founder of a new race when He said the seed of the woman will bruise the head of the serpent (Genesis 3:15). By believing in Him, we become partakers of His life (of faith) and are permanently escused from the judgement of God on Adam and all who are still connected to him. Israel also failed to be the nation of priests He wanted and God allowed them to be broken off for a season so as to graft us gentiles in (Romans 11:15, 20), and now all those who come to Jesus, whether Jew or Gentile, have been made into a new nation of priests and kings (1 Peter 2:5, 9; Revelation 1:6, 5:10)

The New Covenant has been ushered in by the blood of Jesus (Luke 22:20) and it is to make us all that Adam and the nation of Israel walked away from. The law is written directly in our hearts and minds, so that we can experience the ways of God that Moses knew, which made him different from all the people of his time (Numbers 12:3). He was a New Covenant man in Old Covenant times. Mind you, you don’t hear of Moses coming to the Temple to atone for his own sins; because the kind of life he had access to, which the children of Israel rejected, excused him from the rigours of such endless sacrifices that does not remove the guilt or conscience of sin (Hebrews 10:1-3). 

Knowing what is right and wrong has only achieved one thing: it established the sin condition of all men (Galatians 3:22, Romans 3:9, 11:32). So it is not just knowing God’s law that sets us free from sin and takes us out of the world system into the kingdom of heaven, it is knowing God Himself. The New Covenant allows us to be Spirit-filled, having the very Spirit of God within us, which will make us love righteousness and hate wickedness like Jesus did (Hebrews 1:9), and it will also make us to live a quality of life that is above the standard of the law (Matthew 5:20-22, 27-28).

That is worth repeating again and again. The life we will live in the New Covenant is higher in quality and glory than the life that was possible in the Old Covenant. 

Therefore, it should be unheard of among those of us who are born again, by the grace of God, that we are living by the low standards of the Old Covenant, even though our new birth actually ushers us into the New Covenant. God has permitted all who will be saved by grace to CHOOSE whether they will live by the full terms of the New Covenant or live by the Old Covenant or a human adaptation of both. Yet, only one of these will glorify Jesus: the New Covenant. The Old Covenant or a mixture of Old and New will only glorify the flesh. And “…they that are in the flesh cannot please God.” Romans 8:8 KJV

Hence, every single effect of sin that plagues mankind today has no right to molest you who have been washed by the blood of the New Covenant, the blood of Jesus. Even if it is a generationally recurrent trend in your clan, “…if any man be in Christ, HE IS A NEW CREATURE: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17). You can choose to believe this, all that Christ has done for you, and enter into your rest or you can choose to doubt it and spend your time (which is your life) looking for those who will ask you to PAY A PRICE (as in fast and pray etc) for something that is already yours. The choice is yours!

Here is the question you must now answer: which one glorifies God…for His word to come to pass in your life by simply believing (on) Him or for you to add your own works because you don’t believe, which will steal the glory from God? Please note that prayer and fasting is not been ridiculed; what is been dealt with is the motivation for praying and fasting. Is it in fear and doubt, thinking you need to achieve a sort of spiritual stamina before God can give you what He has already done or is it in faith and determination, saying you will not allow any benefit of your redemption to elude you? As you can see, these are two different motivations.

“…for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.” Romans 14:23

Only what is of faith brings glory to God because it simply means the work was not done by you or me, the work was done by God. And even when you have to DO things; it is as the LORD works it in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure (Philippians 2:13). And as such, it is being done by faith. Those who refuse to hear Him who is speaking now from heaven (Jesus the Mediator of the New Covenant) cannot walk by faith because faith comes by hearing Him (Romans 10:17). And when you hear Him, you will dare all the odds on your way, looking on to Jesus, the author and finisher of your faith; and you will refuse to be reduced again to the level of life of the Old Covenant that God abhors. It is time to enter into your rest!

Amplified Bible Hebrews 12:25 See to it that you do not refuse [to listen to] Him who is speaking [to you now]. For if those [sons of Israel] did not escape when they refused [to listen to] him who warned them on earth [revealing God’s will], how much less will we escape if we turn our backs on Him who warns from heaven?

Picture credits: J. B. Nicholson Jr., Pastor Walker, Pinterest, faithdebates dot org dot UK, beautifulng dot com

The Genesis

In this post, we are simply investigating:
1. Why we find it difficult to transit from the Old Covenant to the New Covenant?

2. …from the Law to Grace

3. …from Unbelief to Faith

4. …from Egypt to Canaan

5. …from Sin to Righteousness

6. …from Slavery to Freedom

7. …from Shadows to the Substance

We saw from the last post, our rejection of the common priesthood we share with all believers, our rejection of God’s offer of Himself, and our rejection of the New Covenant.

 This rejection is the fruit of unbelief 

This trend of shrinking back from the living God and refusing Him (Christ) who is speaking today, is actually a symptom of a much deeper problem. And we can trace it back to the Garden of Eden, where man listened to the serpent and ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 3:1-6).

Unbelief: the source of all man’s struggles

Eating from that tree is the main origin of all that man struggles with today. The basic unbelief that quietly began on that day with Eve is the real gulf that stands between God and man. Even when men have been saved, of which he had to believe in order to receive salvation and new life, he continues to deal with some measure of unbelief in his heart as he presses to lay hold on God’s eternal promises for his life (2 Peter 1:4) and that for which Christ has apprehended him (Philippians 3:12). 

The thing is, God has great expectations concerning your life here on earth. Jeremiah 29:11, Romans 8:19, 1 John 2:6

And it is with His promises that you are able to know for sure what He has willed for you generally as a member of God’s family and what He has called you to achieve specifically for Him. Hence, both the materialization of our New Creation status in concrete, physical experience, where our position in Christ gradually becomes our experience, and our Life’s assignment, requires us to daily walk by faith and not by sight or else we may not see the glory of God. 

In the beginning…

Let’s get back to Genesis. In chapter 2:9, we see that God made “…every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.” Please note that they were all “pleasant to the sight and good for food”, including the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Which means the first decision man will ever make was not about good or bad, it was about good or good. That’s right! And it means, among the two good options, there was one that was better, simply because God said so. All the trees in Eden were good; what makes one better is that God expressly told Adam not to eat of it (Genesis 2:16-17). 

When God speaks, it is sufficient to gain your faith and obedience

When Adam and Eve ate of the forbidden tree, they instantly lost their capacity for communion with God, for when God came down looking for them, Adam said, “I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.” (Genesis 3:10). Hiding from God meant that there was something now missing within their lives that makes it functionally impossible for them to (remain in) fellowship with God. The knowledge of good and evil that they received withdrew them from divine fellowship and partnership. And the basic seed of that knowledge is what the writer of Hebrews call “an evil heart of unbelief”(Hebrews 3:12). 

Since it is by unbelief that man partook of that tree and became separated from God and His purposes, to break free from that separation, it must be by faith. It was by faith that they lived in the Garden, under God, in complete dominion of the earth and pleasing to God before they entertained the tempter’s suggestion and by that new rule, unbelief, entered into another way of life. Everything was now by sight. They now saw that they were naked and immediately made their own covering for themselves (since they had just lost the glory) unlike what the scriptures said earlier about them that they were not ashamed (Genesis 3:7, 2:25).

Living by faith…

Living by faith, therefore, begins primarily by repenting of our sins (which is actually the heritage of unbelief conferred on us as a birth right) and this repentance means to make a U-turn from the life of sin to the life of righteousness. All of these is possible when we believe and call upon the name of the LORD; there is no other price to pay, and no deed to perform (Acts 2:21, 16:31). We are instantly given a new nature which lives by faith and not by sight, and if we allow the New Life to be (to lead), the traces left by our old lives will lose the power to enforce or reenact our old ways.

Now based on this foundation of salvation, living by faith is, therefore, accepting our new position in Christ, with all the merits of Christ credited to our accounts, by the grace of God, and never again seeing ourselves as we used to be (without Christ, without hope and without God in the world). Ephesians 2:1-5, 11-13, 19

Before the fall, Adam and Eve did not have to see their own nakedness because they were covered by the glory of God, which is Christ, being the image of the invisible God (Colossians 1:15) and the brightness of God’s glory (Hebrews 1:3). So, we see that what makes it inherently difficult to accept the full privileges of our redemption is a native unbelief we have within us as part of the nature of sin we all received from Adam

Take charge and renew your mind

While our salvation sets us free from the nature of sin, the most basic element of that nature, unbelief, requires a deliberate intake of the Word of God to neutralize it in our minds (Romans 10:17) This is necessary because our minds have been used to this way of living, so even when our spirit is willing to go in God’s direction, our flesh (which is our body and mind working together) is weak (Matthew 26:41) because it feeds on the previous experiences already lodged in the mind, inspite of our salvation. 

Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4; Luke 4:4). That is just the truth! The new man will only live by the word of God, which produces faith and neutralizes the generational unbelief that is upon the entire human race. 

God has made all things ready, done everything that needed to be done, to “redeem” you from the universal influence that unbelief has over all mankind. The journey to fully partake of the nature of God begins by being deliberate to withdraw yourself from things and media that feeds unbelief, while exposing yourself to God through His word and personal communion, as well as sharing fellowship with God’s people around you. 

Make it your goal to fully accept and experience the priesthood of the believer, to accept and experience God personally (not reserving it for the clergy) and to fully make that necessary transition to the New Covenant. 

Hebrews 4:1-2 KJV 

[1] Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. [2] For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it .

Scriptures:

1. On our priesthood: 1 Peter 2:5, 9; Revelation 1:6, 5:10, 20:6

2. On experiencing God personally: Exodus 20:18-21, Deuteronomy 4:10-12, 36; 5:4-5, 23-27, Matthew 11:27-30, Hebrews 1:1-2, 4:16

3. On transiting from the Old Covenant to the New Covenant: Hebrews 8:7-13, Jeremiah 31:31-34

Questions for further meditations

a. Why (do you) refuse (to accept) a personal access to God? 

b. Why (do you) delegate your personal access to the “Moses” (the clergy) of our times? 

Delegating your access to God is a very painful thing to Him (Deuteronomy 5:28-31); while it was terrible enough for those in the Old Covenant, it is much more terrible for us today, if we refuse the privilege to know God, because Christ has opened a new and living way to God, through His life, death, burial and resurrection. And refusing to draw near to God will not be because of anything that God has left undone, it will simply be because of a mere reluctance, which is unbelief, to do so.

c. Why do we still hold on to the shadows when the substance, Christ, is here? 

These are physical symbols, that was necessary before Christ came, to represent the works of God among men. Refusing to drop these things for Christ, now that He has come, only points to our over infatuation with “what we can see with out physical eyes”, instead of living by faith. I will get into this in a future post. 

Picture credits: lightrains, lovethispic, Share A Verse, wideawakechristian

The Exodus

​Hebrews 12:25 KJV

“See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape , if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven:”

Change is a difficult thing. It messes with all you have known so far. It disrupts your thinking, methods and, of course, your comfort zone…you just don’t want to think of all you will have to let go to allow the change that stares you in the face. This problem with change is as old as the entire human race. When Israel came out of Egypt, even though they could heave a sigh of relief and dance about their newfound freedom, this change of location came with a mandatory change of lifestyle. Jehovah has gotten His people for Himself and He will introduce Himself to them and show them the way of life in His government.

Turning down God’s offer of Himself

Fast forward to Sinai (same as Horeb) and Israel cringes before the Divine Majesty and begs to be excluded from the main privilege of their freedom: the privilege of drawing near to Almighty God without instant death. No nation on earth had ever experienced that (Deuteronomy 4:7, 33). Even Moses who initially met with Jehovah at the burning bush on Mt. Sinai was terrified still by His mighty presence this time (Deuteronomy 4:10-12, 5:4-5, 23-27; Exodus 20:18-21, 19:18).

Turning down God’s offer of priesthood

They were to be a nation of priests, that is, every single Hebrew was intended by God to be a priest, but their refusal to draw near to Him could only accommodate the priesthood to one tribe out of twelve. That was not God’s perfect will. Please check the scriptures. In Exodus 19:6, 22, we see that although God clearly stated that He wanted all the people to be “…a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation…”, we realize that only those people who actually drew near to Him were called priests in verse 22: “And let the priests also, which come near to the Lord…”. And when the people sinned against the LORD by making a golden calf to worship, those who chose to be on the LORD’s side, going to and fro the camp with their swords indiscriminately, were all from the tribe of Levi (Exodus 32:26-28).

Turning down God’s offer of a better covenant

Now, that was how the priesthood that was meant to be a national privilege became a tribal heritage for the Levites (Deuteronomy 33:8-10). Sadly this is still playing out today after God had completed His work of redemption and brought in a better covenant with a better promise (Hebrews 8:6). Although God holds out the same promise to all who are saved, regardless of their race, social standing and denomination; we still see that only a few are interested in God’s best. 

In spite of God’s clear declaration to the church that all redeemed saints are now “…a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people…” (1 Peter 2:9), and not just the preachers alone, we see that many still carry the unbelieving heart of those Israelites by drawing back to the barest minimum it takes to serve God, while the remaining few press on to know their God. For these few, it is, “my utmost for His Highest”. They are the ones who take God at His words and accept their call into the priesthood of the believer. Whereas they love their fellow men, it cannot but come behind their love for Christ, and you know, they also love not their lives unto death (Luke 14:26, Revelation 12:11b).

Why can we not agree with God?

Although God had much in store for Israel, He could only do what they were comfortable with. That is a nice way of saying, God had to find a way to accommodate their unbelief. Whenever we refuse to allow God to do as He pleases, to fulfill the fullness of His purposes, and especially, to establish the New Covenant with the concurrent effect of swallowing up the Old Covenant and all its shadows, we are reenacting the unbelief of Israel. The unbelief that turned a journey of 40 days to 40 years and made an entire generation stranded and wasted in the wilderness, save Joshua and Caleb.

This should lead us to understand the cry in the heart of God when He said: “O that there were such an heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children for ever!” Deuteronomy 5:29 KJV. That was the issue! We can say Moses had this kind of heart because he did not shrink from the presence of the LORD. Little wonder Scriptures say, “He made known his ways unto Moses, his acts unto the children of Israel.” (Psalm 103:7 KJV). Apart from the fact that Moses was called to be a deliverer, he knew the ways of God because He personally knew God and walked with Him (Numbers 12:3, 7). Even God testified about His relationship with Moses. He told Miriam and Aaron that He speaks with Moses face to face and not in visions and dreams that other prophets may be bragging about (Numbers 12:5-8).

These clearly teach us that even in Old testament times, God could find few men whose life and pursuit of the LORD expressed the coming New covenant. Such men were Moses, David, Joshua, Abraham etc. Although the New Covenant was not yet available to all in the olden times, these men’s passion for God gave them a foretaste of what was to come.

So I wonder why you will refuse Him who is speaking from heaven today. I wonder why you will not believe God and pursue His promises in the New Covenant. I wonder why you will still struggle to obey God by yourself when Christ has offered to do the work in and through you. I honestly wonder why we cannot drop the shadows since the Substance is already here. The Author and Finisher of our faith is here now, why do we still want to continue the show the way we think it should be done? The show is not ours; it is the LORD’s! 

The Church does not belong to any of us; it is the LORD’s. Why can’t all doctrines give way to Christ? In fact, I must tell you, any doctrine that does not lead you to Jesus is a distraction, a mere mental exercise that lacks transformation. You can throw it away! How can the LORD God be in our midst and we still want to school Him in our peculiar teachings so that He can work according to our preferences? That will not be the LORD anymore, if we could instruct Him. He is not to conform to our image; we are to conform to His image and likeness (Genesis 1:26, Ephesians 4:24, Colossians 3:10).

The Old is ready to vanish away

It is dangerous, really dangerous to refuse Him that speaks from Heaven now. Those who refused Him when He spoke on earth (that’s on Sinai) did not escape the consequences of their unbelief. Even when angels spoke, you dare not disobey or doubt (you can ask Zacharias, John’s father, about his ordeal with the angel Gabriel in Luke 1:18-20). If in the Old Covenant, every disobedience and unbelief was faithfully “rewarded”, how much more shall we not escape, if we allow what Christ is saying to us today to slip out of our hands and by so doing neglect such a great salvation? (Hebrews 2:1-3)

We are not to keep looking down trying to protect our cherished traditions; we are to look up, longing for the King of the Kingdom Himself to take over, to shake what can be shaken until that which cannot be shaken will remain (Hebrews 12:27-28). That which cannot be shaken is the New Covenant and its very installment threatens the continuity of the Old. The inauguration of the New Covenant has already placed the Old one on “probation”, if you like; even though actually, it is already nullified.

That “probation” speaks of a time God has graciously given to allow us to gradually acclimatize to the New Covenant. That is why it says, “In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.” (Hebrews 8:13 KJV). So, when it says, “…is ready to vanish away”, it means its tenure has expired but it is somehow left on the scene to naturally diminish in glory, until it totally vanish away, as the glory of the New Covenant dawns upon God’s people. 

The New Covenant is the answer…

It is this New Covenant that will solve the problem of unfaithfulness among God’s people. Endless rules and regulations might make a “goat” to behave like a “sheep” because they are like ropes that ties them to a certain expectation. So, the obedience of the goat is really due to self preservation, minimum discomfort and especially uniformity. The rope has defined what he can do and even if he loves to do something that is sinful, he cannot do it yet because he has been tied down away from actualizing his lust. Whenever the rope is removed, the “goat” will be himself and go ahead with all he had been longing for.

Christ has met all of God’s righteous requirements and God does not need anyone to try to prove righteousness apart from Christ’s righteousness. He has promised a new Heart and Spirit for every one of us who come to Him and believes. That means, He will remove the nature of a “goat” and replace with that of a “sheep”, so that it will no longer be by a rope on our necks, restraining us, that we able to obey God. Without the ropes, moving freely in life, we are able to live like a sheep following the Shepherd of our souls with a desire to please Him in our inward parts and greatly helped to carry it out outwardly.

Hebrews 8:10 KJV

For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:

This is definitely a superior Covenant because it transforms us from within, making us right with God and as we renew our minds to understand the privileges of the New Creation Man, we become desirous of God’s will and we are able to proof it by our obedience. The ropes of dos and donts are not necessary for this kind of person, because he freely and willingly obeys God. 

Hence, we see that what God wanted in the beginning will still be achieved. God will have a people who will choose the tree of life over the tree of knowledge of good and evil. He will have a people who will choose Christ over the law. He will have a people who will trust and obey rather than struggle and still disobey. If anything is worth living for at all, it is living in the fullness of God’s New Covenant, and watch God Himself defend His finished works in your life.

Image credits: Ligonier, I will follow on WordPress

Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth

Let us all agree first of all on a few thoughts:
“ALL scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17 KJV caps mine)

Which means the entire 66 books of the Bible are God’s word of counsel and instruction for all redeemed saints to receive for their lives and not just to debate and analyze for mere sensational purposes. The coming of Grace has NOT abolished the first 39 books of the Scriptures, it has only abrogated* ALL the forms, types and shadows of the Old Covenant in honor of the reality, anti-type and substance revealed in Christ in the New Covenant.

Here are 3 scriptures below to settle that in your spirit:

Note: If we understood this, there are many things we have carried over from the old in die hard fashion, and that we are unwilling to let go even though the real thing is here. We want to have Substance and the shadow at the same time. Christ is actually dishonored when we prefer a “picture” of Him to His real Self.

*Abrogated: “to end or cancel (something) in a formal and official way; to abolish by authoritative action.” Merriam Webster dictionary

Matthew 5:17-18 KJV

[17] Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. [18] For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

Luke 24:44 KJV

And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.

Hebrews 1:1-2 KJV

[1] God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, [2] Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;

Others: Hebrews 2:1-3, 2 Corinthians 3:14.

Eisegesis and Exegesis

There are some two words that theologians have used to show the difference between correct interpretation of Scriptures and one that is incorrect. It is eisegesis and exegesis.

According to Merriam Webster dictionary, Eisegesis is “the interpretation of a text (as of the Bible) by reading into it one’s own ideas”. While Exegesis is “exposition, explanation; especially: an explanation or critical interpretation of a text.” One interpretation is grossly influenced by previous ideas held by the individual while the other is quite objective, simply saying what the text says. 

Exegesis is …by faith

Although, it may look impossible to be totally uninfluenced by one’s previous traditions, prejudices and ideas when we come to Scriptures, we must nevertheless come by faith. For the just shall live by faith (Romans 1:17). That is, we must trust God to help us break through the kernel of our preconceived ideas to touch the very spirit/meat of God’s revelation in every scripture. 

There is no need to be fearful of any aspect of Scriptures, as if God has said certain things that are not in sync with His Character and Completeness. And sure enough, we may even have to read and reread the Scriptures and ask deliberate questions like the Bereans, who will not just take whatever a very senior apostle like Paul said. They usually went back home to read the scriptures (which at the time was the Old Testament) to confirm and critique what they heard (Acts 17:11). 

So for them, it was not whatever men said that gave meaning to God’s word; rather, it was God’s word that decides whether men are correct or not. 

2 Timothy 2:15 KJV

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


“Study to show thyself approved unto God…”

You are not approved unto God until you have given yourself to the discipline of studying the Word of God, allowing the Holy Spirit to constantly penetrate into the very depths of your heart, separating your soul from your spirit, thereby elevating and putting in the spotlight (of your heart) the will of God for your life for you to choose (Hebrews 4:12, Romans 12:2).

“…a workman that needeth not to be ashamed…”

This is the approval that makes you that effective workman that cannot be ashamed. Why is the Spirit of God raising the issue of shame? A life that has any unfinished business with God, that constantly “dribbles” the word of God, so as not to convict him/her on any matter, is a life that will be dishonest in handling the word of God. The word of truth cannot be rightly divided by such men and women. 

“Dribbling here is when your conscience and/or the Holy Spirit has already raised a red flag over an issue and you deliberately avoid such places in scriptures that could reactivate or remind you of such red flags.”


“…rightly dividing the word of truth.”

To divide God’s word rightly, we must listen to the Spirit, who Himself influenced the human writers, to understand the scriptures. That’s why it says the letter kills but the spirit, the Holy Spirit, gives life (2 Corinthians 3:6) That life He gives is that divine capacity/power to live at the level of the portion of God’s Word that is currently illuminating us. 

Yet, no man must make this an excuse to shroud the Word of God in unnecessary mystery that mystifies our interpretations, explanations and conclusions. No. That which the Spirit reveals will bring life, not death. Life that is proven in the triumph of grace in that person’s own life and Life that upholds the harmony of God’s Word in both Old and New Testaments and does not overtly or covertly contradict the ways of God. 

In studying, we put our lives under (the influence of) the word of God so that we experience the change, from glory to glory, promised to those who keep beholding Jesus in His Word. Also, we get busy searching the scriptures to know God’s ways and God’s mind and of course to see how the theme of redemption runs through every book, from Genesis to Revelation. 

It must be clear to us as we do this that anything we don’t understand in the Old Covenant is revealed in the New and anything that looks unclear in the New Covenant is hidden in the Old. And Christ is the image that must form in the heart and passions of whomsoever is reading and studying the word of God, not even doctrine itself.

Resolving the perceived tension between Grace and works

Anywhere you see a book of the Bible emphasizing one concept over the another, it is almost always in response to heresy; and when you are responding to such things, the weight of response is on the side of the story that the heresy tries to subvert or hide. We have to bear this in mind. When Paul was dealing with us not been saved by works in Galatians, it was in response to certain Jewish teachers who are insisting that Gentiles (other nations apart from Israel) must be physically circumcised before they can be truly saved. The Holy Spirit will not allow His work of inward circumcision of the heart to be interrupted and subverted by such a return to outward forms that actually saves no one. 

And when you look at the book of James, you will see that the emphasis our brother James brought by the Spirit is works. Not that we are saved by it, but that we must prove our salvation by it. History tells us that Martin Luther rejected the book of James for a time because (I’m thinking!) he has been so preoccupied with Grace alone (Sola Gracia) and may be rightfully so, that he could not imagine that the same God who spoke of “being saved by grace alone” through one man will speak of “proving that we are saved by works” through another man. 

So, we learn that receiving the ministry of only one person can make us unbalanced because of the tendency of most of us teachers to emphasize or specialize on one aspect of the Gospel. We need to accept all those that God has approved their lives and callings in His body (Church) as faithful stewards to receive from, in order to lay hold of the whole purpose of God, which will make us complete (1 Corinthians 8:2, 2 Peter 3:15-16, Galatians 2:7-9).

Moreover, we learn that the Holy Spirit brings different emphasis according to the need of the moment. And whatever emphasis it is, the Spirit neither contradicts Himself nor the whole counsel of God. Those who have found it difficult to understand these are usually those who have been swayed by the prejudices of certain church fathers in history, that they can even be bold to declare that certain parts of Scriptures does not speak to them anymore. 

Even some have gone as far as saying the words of Jesus in the gospels does not speak to them because they believed the church started in Acts. That is going too far! There is just no basis for that. That is simply an error from one or more church fathers in history, swallowed (perhaps) by those who are trying to escape certain teachings and instructions of our LORD Jesus Christ.

Get rid of your traditional (or is it denominational?) blinders!

The truth is all of us have the tendency to be blinded by traditions; a way of doing things and applying the word of God that is common to a group, which may not be bad in itself, UNTIL it interferes with the progress of God’s people in their pursuit of God. Church leaders have a need to demystify themselves, so that their followers can be free to ignore their traditions wherever (and whenever) it clashes with the truth of God’s Word.

And truth be told, those who love to be seen as infallible among Church leaders are usually those who lead men away from Christ. I have seen men who don’t give the impression of infallibility (being above correction), choosing the path of ordinariness among their brethren, allowing a sure word in their heart to be seen as a ‘mere’ counsel, not necessarily a ‘thus saith the Lord”; yet such men have made more progress in winning people for Christ, whose progress are almost unstoppable.

If you are still holding on to any tradition of men, you may be in danger of been unable to divide the word of truth. Except if we have traditions that points us to Christ and His Word alone and not to a man’s (groups of men’s) personal belief system. In that case, by all means please remain with that tradition.

“Christ can’t be wrong, do we need to stress that? But we, being human, can be wrong; and whenever we admit our wrong, we make progress in our quest for Christlikeness”

Picture Credits: Apologetic report, Howard Carter’s blog, Slideshare, Jerome pilgrim sojourner, Augustine’s quote from Pinterest, Valley Reformed Church

Rest for a troubled soul

Regardless of the overwhelming imagery of your past life, you must determine to refuse the enemy any access whatsoever into your mind, to torment you about what God has already cleansed and to undermine your desire to trust that once you believe in the LORD Jesus in your heart and confess it with your mouth, you are saved (John 1:12, Romans 10:9-11). Let God be true and all men liars, including the devil, the father of those who remain lairs (Romans 3:4, John 8:44). 

Only believe…

He says, “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.” (Psalm 103:12). Do you know how far it is? How can you ever imagine that God’s work is incomplete because of your remembrance of your past and the constant temptation yielding to contemplation to rekindle old ways? All that, as vivid as they may be to you, have nothing to do with the finality and faultlessness of the New Life you have received in Christ Jesus. The same way you have BELIEVED to be saved in the first place, is the same way you need to keep BELIEVING to CONTINUE in your newness of life.

…that He died and has resurrected…

Now, you don’t actually need to be transported to heaven to confirm with God or check it out before you can be sure (Romans 10:6) neither do you need a visit to hell to verify the truth of Christ’s resurrection (Romans 10:7). All that you need to do is believe and you CANNOT be ashamed (Romans 10:11). That means God who promised is faithful to keep His word and regardless of the attack of the enemy on your mind and your spirit man, let God be true and all men liars, even the devil. (Psalm 119:89-90, Hebrews 6:16-19)

[89] For ever, O Lord , thy word is settled in heaven. [90] Thy faithfulness is unto all generations: thou hast established the earth, and it abideth. 

Psalm 119:89-90 KJV

“God also bound himself with an oath, so that those he promised to help would be perfectly sure and never need to wonder whether he might change his plans. He has given us both his promise and his oath, two things we can completely count on, for it is impossible for God to tell a lie. Now all those who flee to him to save them can take new courage when they hear such assurances from God.” 

Hebrews 6:17-18 The Living Bible

…to save you.

What we are dealing with here is assurance of salvation. The devil fiercely tries to sell you a lie (and he is the perfect conman) to permanently break down the desire to turn to the LORD and follow Him. By giving you an impression that you are not (yet) saved due to strong imagery of your undesirable past, he makes you to forfeit what God has said and you know, agreeing with the devil is all that is needed to thwart your faith or new life in Christ. So the question is whom to agree with. Christ or satan? You do NOT need any extra grace than what heaven releases to everyone who is turning to Christ …to believe simply that you are entirely saved by the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus and not by any act of righteousness you have done yet.

The trick is this. Those who will believe this simply, like a child, will walk into the newness of life that manifests in a changed life full of good works. And those who don’t believe, thinking they must do something else first, by the way of a good work, will never be able to experience the fullness of the life of Jesus in them. They are seeking to gain the new life by their works rather than seizing from it and entering into the works of God, which brings into the promised rest, resonating with divine assurances of salvation.

Now, let’s deal with those satanic arguments and sinful imageries of the past. Please read 2 Corinthians 10:3-6. Then let’s read 4 & 5 again in KJV & The Living Bible 

[4](For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) [5] Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 KJV

I use God’s mighty weapons, not those made by men, to knock down the devil’s strongholds. These weapons can break down every proud argument against God and every wall that can be built to keep men from finding him. With these weapons I can capture rebels and bring them back to God and change them into men whose hearts’ desire is obedience to Christ.”  2 Corinthians 10:4-5 TLB

Just-as-if-I’d-never-sinned

Take time and let this soak into your spirit. This stronghold of lack of assurance is a lie and argument that the devil is sponsoring into your life by your own constant contemplation and dissatisfaction about your past life, friends, activities and objects that serve as constant reminders of this and any direct spiritual assault of satan against your mind to discredit your newfound faith in Christ. There is one truth I must tell you and the devil will do anything to keep you from knowing, understanding and accepting (believing) it. It is that, when you believe in your heart and confess with your mouth the LORD Jesus as I said initially (of course having confessed and repented of your sins – Matthew 3:2, Luke 3:8), you are instantly justified – “just-as-if-I’d-never-sinned”.

All those sins the devil is reminding you of is actually illegal, it is illegal for him to do that, because all your sins and the curse of it has been blotted out and nailed to the cross of Christ (Please read Colossians 1:13-15). That is the way God sees you now but the devil will want to force his lies on you; remember that he can hardly tell the truth, he is the father of liars (John 8:44). So, whose report will you believe? 

Believing what God says about Himself and your new life in Christ is one major weapon of your warfare to destroy all of satan’s arguments in your heart. This is using the word of God, which is your sword in dealing with the devil. Swinging your sword at him is basically presenting evidence of your new position in Christ. When you confront him with God’s Word, you are submit(ing) yourself to God and resist(ing) the devil, and he MUST flee from you (James 4:7).

Now, come to the LORD afresh and tell Him you are sorry for doubting His work. And then cast yourself upon Him. Tell Jesus that “You are my Saviour, I cast all my sins upon You and I do away with my sinful nature.” Believe in your heart that the LORD Jesus was raised from the dead and confess it with your mouth that He is now LORD (owner, master) over your life, and guess what? You SHALL be saved (Romans 10:8-9). 
Photo credits: Creation outreach, Evangelical outreach, pastorbillholdridge dot wordpress dot com, Charles Lewis

False teachings (and teachers) of works

My aim is to allow the word of God to speak for itself without the constant interruptions (or is it infiltrations?) of human traditions, even traditional Christianity. Grace stands for one thing: completed in Christ. Works or Law after Christ has come also stands for one thing: incomplete in spite of Christ. By grace, we mean, all that needs to be done has been done by Christ, having satisfied God by meeting all the requirements of the righteous law of God. It is from this foundation we must build our entire faith. (NOTE: The word “faith” shows that the work is not yours but God’s and by faith or trust, you cooperate with God to make His work a reality in your life). 

“the Messiah is the culmination of the Law…” ISV

“For Christ is the fulfillment of the law for righteousness…” WEB

“For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.” KJV

Romans 10:4

By works or law, we mean, either a deliberate despising and ‘bypassing’ of what Christ has done or ignorance of the whole counsel of God in this matter, as to insist that there is yet a thing or two to do before we can be totally free from sin or any effect of sin. This is what shows the essential flaw in any teaching that hints that even though you are born again, you need to do this and that before you can be free from something you are struggling with. It sounds plausible especially because the sufferer’s experience seems to pose a challenge to the clear teachings of Scriptures. 

So, when you have a people who are choosing to validate and over-validate their experiences over and above the Word of God and a group of men and women, who themselves are willing to take advantage of the common weakness/ignorance of such people, then it seems that God has got something wrong in His Word, of which these false teachers are vigorously trying to “correct” by reverting to the ministry of condemnation (2 Corinthians 3). 

Keep this in mind, will you? Never allow your experience or anyone’s experience to sway you from the clear thoughts of Scriptures. Let God be true and all men liars (Romans 3:4). And truly we do come to such experiences in our lives when something seems to be discrediting God and challenging what we have believed. That is the time of your testing. As long as you will insist on what God has said, you will eventually see that “high thing” falling down before God’s word (2 Corinthians 10:5). 

As far as I am concerned, no matter how real anything is in my life that is against the will of God, I dismiss it in the face of God’s settled testimony. It is therefore false and God is true. 

Jesus Only

When Jesus was transfigured before Peter, James and John, God did something that must permanently deliver us from the error of ignoring Christ to revert to any other prophet in scriptures, as a way of understanding the mind of God. Peter suggested that three tabernacles be built for the three men, Christ, the Son of God, Moses, representing the law and Elijah, representing the prophet. God instantly interrupted Peter from heaven and said “…THIS is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye HIM.” (Matthew 17:5) and “And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only.” (Matthew 17:8) 

So, we see that neither the threatening of Moses by the law nor the fierceness of Elijah can help us. What will help us is this: to see that what will produce that heavenly life in us is not beating people with endless rules or using “anointing” to scare people to obey God (which is even witchcraft); it is Jesus only. It is allowing men to see Him alone, without threatening them or creating rules for them, so that their obedience to God will be inward and genuine, not outward and hypocritical

There is no teaching that insists that in order for you to be fully delivered from the effects of sin (generally life’s troubles, generational problems and all forms of demonic interference etc) you must do something more that does not draw heavily on someone else in the Scriptures at the expense of Christ. Let us call all such teachings by sincere brothers and false teachers as hyper-works

Whether deliberate or not, whenever we allow the toughness of the human condition to draw us out of the Rock of our salvation to another ground, being another man (which is a sinking sand even though they are in the bible), we have downgraded (fallen) from grace and have quietly, if not knowingly, accepted the ministry of condemnation. And it will only sink both the preacher and those who follow them, even if they do experience some measure of divine intervention. 

Divine intervention is not a proof of divine approval

Many people are unable to separate their sentiments for men and women they love from the issues requiring them to raise a red flag in their minds against a trend of ministry and teaching that has detracted from Christ. The popularity of such works and the plausibility of such men seems to weaken their capacity to discern the truth about them. Let it be a rule in your mind that popularity, acceptance, display of power leading to results are not necessarily evidences of God’s approval. 

Each time you have to add to what Christ has done, you have undermined the freedom of the grace of God to accomplish all that God has purposed for an individual. Of which they can only walk in, as they remain steady on that Rock, Christ, and become more intimate with Him in their personal study of God’s word and prayer. The things preachers add to Christ have a natural tendency to gradually take people’s affection away from Christ unto their new favourite teacher or prophet. 

Espoused to one husband, not two: Christ and Christ alone

Our brother Paul was so concerned about this that he said,

“I am anxious for you with the deep concern of God himself—anxious that your love should be for Christ alone, just as a pure maiden saves her love for one man only, for the one who will be her husband. But I am frightened, fearing that in some way you will be led away from your pure and simple devotion to our Lord, just as Eve was deceived by Satan in the Garden of Eden. You seem so gullible: you believe whatever anyone tells you even if he is preaching about another Jesus than the one we preach, or a different spirit than the Holy Spirit you received, or shows you a different way to be saved. You swallow it all.”  

2 Corinthians 11:2-4 The Living Bible

While some are sincerely unaware that this is what they are doing, it does not reduce the damage that is done to the virgin (a believer or the body of believers) that has been espoused to One husband, Christ. The glory of Christ is eclipsed (obscured, covered) by all these human additions and traditions. Even though God has found fault with the old covenant and has now instituted the new one in Christ, they are unable to look steadfastly to the end of that which is abolished because Moses keeps veiling his face (2 Corinthians 3:13-14). 

Even if men who are preaching to you have decided to die in the old covenant and its physical observances of works, can you not leave them to their fate and turn to the LORD so that the veil will be removed from your life (2 Corinthians 3:16)? When you do, you would have entered fully into your rest, rest from all the burdens that men have tied on your head before now, and allow God’s own works (which is His grace) to transform you from glory to glory (2 Corinthians 3:18, Hebrews 4:1-2,9-11).

Photo credit: National Presbyterian Church