Colossians 2:13 “And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, 14 having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. 15 Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it. 16 So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, 17 WHICH ARE A SHADOW of things to come, but the substance is of Christ.”
Hebrews 8:1 “Now this is the main point of the things we are saying: We have such a High Priest, who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, 2 a Minister of the sanctuary and of the true tabernacle which the Lord erected, and not man. 3 For every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices. Therefore it is necessary that this One also have something to offer. 4 For if He were on earth, He would not be a priest, since there are priests who offer the gifts according to the law; 5 who serve THE COPY AND SHADOW of the heavenly things, as Moses was divinely instructed when he was about to make the tabernacle. For He said, “See that you make all things according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.”
Hebrews 10:1 “For the law, HAVING A SHADOW of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect. 2 For then would they not have ceased to be offered? For the worshipers, once [a]purified, would have had no more consciousness of sins. 3 But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. 4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins.”
By the power of The Holy Spirit, I will do my best to make this post very clear. First, I know that some of my posts are offensive to the religious mindset. The truth is, it is not my intent nor that of The Holy Spirit to offend anyone. The Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus like a dove. To say He descended like a dove is a figure of speech called a simile, directly comparing two things (The Holy Spirit and a dove). Doves have always been a symbol of beauty and peace. Jesus said, “Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed “(John 8:36). Therefore, when He sheds light upon us concerning religious traditions, The Son is setting us free. However, freedom always comes with a cost. Religious spirits have tied down most Christians worldwide; and yes, I did say spirits. They are demonic forces sent to divide The Body of Christ. They are extremely crafty. In most cases, when a person is born again they are immediately indoctrinated into a denomination. The Holy Spirit has given me this bluntly so I will deliver it in like manner, denominations are divisive. Now don’t get me wrong, I know it is not the intent of any church to divide The Body of Christ. It has been that way since Paul wrote:
1st Cor. 12 “Now I say this, that each of you says, “I am of Paul,” or “I am of Apollos,” or “I am of Cephas,” or “I am of Christ.” 13 Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?” He then repeated himself:
1st Cor. 3: 4 “For when one says, “I am of Paul,” and another, “I am of Apollos,” are you not CARNAL? 5 Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers through whom you believed, as the Lord gave to each one?”
How is it that we, the 21st-century church cannot see that we have fallen into the same snare of the devil Satan set for the 1st-century church? Either a strong spirit of delusion is upon the church or, we are in denial. Personally, I would rather believe the latter. Denial can be dealt with by admitting that we have been deceived and repent, however, the former is a work of God The Father Himself. In other words, He is just done with some of us, much like Pharaoh contending with God through Moses.
Speaking of Moses, for the Hebrew people, the Law and Moses were synonymous. The religious leaders of Jesus’ day held to the strictest “letter of the Law” in the face of the One who said in John 5:37 “And the Father Himself, who sent Me, has testified of Me. You have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His form. 38 But you do not have His word abiding in you, because whom He sent, Him you do not believe. 39 You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me.”
The Scriptures the Pharisees, Sadducees, Scribes, and Priest searched was the Law of Moses, and in them, they could not acknowledge the One standing right there in front of their faces. Colossians 2: 17 says the rituals of the Law were “a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ.”
I want to deal with two Greek words now. The first word is “substance”. The KJV uses the word “body”, which is closer to the original Greek text. It is the word “sōma”> 4) that which casts a shadow as distinguished from the shadow itself. Keep in mind there were several uses of the word, however, Inductive Bible Study must stay in line with the context. The Law and all of its rituals were Christ shadow. God The Father never wanted His children to remain in Christ shadow but to remain in Christ. Christ must be in us as our hope of glory. His Words must abide in us as we abide in Him.
The second word I want to define is in 1st Corinthians 3: 4 “carnal”, in the Greek it’s “sarkikos”> 1) fleshly, carnal
1a) having the nature of flesh, i.e. under the control of the animal appetites
1a1) governed by mere human nature not by the Spirit of God.
1a3) human: with the included idea of depravity.
Ouch, “governed by mere human nature, not by the Spirit of God” that one really hits home. The Body of Christ at the time of Paul’s ministry began to fall into factions, or divisions. He warned them by saying, this behavior does not come from the Spirit of God, it comes from our deprived human flesh. In addition, religious rituals today are still just a shadow. Keeping them does not make you any more righteous and holier than Christ has already made us. Every denomination has its own thing that distinguishes them from another. I can’t make this any clearer than this, some of us say I am of John Wesley (Methodist), some say I am of John Smyth (Baptist), some say I am of John Calvin and John Knox (Presbyterian), some say I am Holiness (which traces back to John Wesley), and some say I am Lutheran. Special note, we really cannot say Martin Luther started Lutheranism. The last thing he wanted was to start a denomination. CARNAL men, other than Martin Luther took it upon themselves to do this.
My desire is that the many words I have used to write this post will not discourage you from reading it not just once, but come back and study it. If I am wrong about these things, please let me know. However, if I am right (The Spirit of God bears witness with my spirit that I am) is there anyone out there who is willing to help change this pattern of carnal behavior? To be continued…