|Galatians 3:24 |
24 Therefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith.3 [Unless you come to strive to obey the moral core of the law, included in the law on every man's heart, you will never be brought to Christ to be justified by inward faith, hearing the word of God within your heart and obeying it with persistence; the moral core of the law is: do not steal, do not murder, do not covet (want), do not lie, do not commit adultery, honor your mother and father, and love you neighbor as yourself — which is to do to others as you would have them do to you — the golden rule.]
3 the law was our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. Paul further tells us: if (and when) you are led (prompted, ordered, commanded) by the Spirit, you are not under the law, Gal 5:18. To be led, is to have the Spirit prompt your thoughts, words, and deeds. Before Christ appears in your heart with the fruit of the Spirit to lead and prompt you, all the commands you hear from the Lord are also written in your heart to clarify and add to the law in every man's heart, which is your schoolmaster to be continually obeyed. Eventually the law must be fulfilled in us; Christ must change us to become like himself so we too fulfill the Law. We must pass through the time of impurity, seeking purity, with the law sounding our deficiencies and transgressions to our sorrow, which motivates us to seek divine help to change. If we ignore the law and its requirements for moral conduct, reminding us to find God's help to be rid of sin, we are hopelessly locked into sin, with the condemnation of the Lord sure to follow. So we walk by the inward law on your heart, which includes the moral outward laws, until we are continually led by the listened-to and heard commands from the Lord. By our obedience to commands heard within our heart, we are justified by faith, the faith within. As we obey, Christ then writes each of his commands in our heart until the tiniest mustard-seed grows into the largest tree, and until we are completely leavened. Becoming pure, we enter the Kingdom of Heaven and God's love is perfected in us; thus we have become justified by faith within. As Paul said in Rom 2:10: glory, honor, and peace, are to every man who works good.
George Fox wrote of this transition from the schoolmaster of law, to the Spirit of Christ, in his Journal.
The law of the spirit crosses the fleshly mind, spirit, and will, which lives in disobedience, and does not keep within the law of the spirit. I saw this law was the pure love of God which was upon me, and which I must go through, though I was troubled while I was under it; for I could not be dead to the law but through the law, which judged and condemned what is to be condemned. I saw, many talked of the law, who had never known the law to be their schoolmaster; and many talked of the gospel of Christ, who had never known life and immortality brought to light in them by it. You that have been under that schoolmaster, and the condemnation of it, know these things; for though the Lord in that day opened these things unto me in secret, they have been since published by his eternal spirit, as on the house top. And as you are brought into the law, and through the law to be dead to it, and witness [see, experience] the righteousness of the law fulfilled in you, you will afterwards come to know what it is to be brought into the faith, and through faith from under the law; and abiding in the faith, which Christ is the author of, you will have peace and access to God.
Note! Fox has written above that there is an entirely different level of faith that comes after you witness the righteousness of the law fulfilled in you. This is after you have been crucified on the inward cross of self-denial, to have received the appearance of Christ within your heart, and to have produced the fruit of the Spirit, which includes love, peace, joy, kindness, faith — a new level of faith, but the only level of faith that frees you from the law. From the Word of the Lord within, "until you witness receiving faith from Christ, you are under the law." Up to this time, as you are hearing the Word of the Lord within convict you of sin and teach you about righteous living, you are in the Ministry of Condemnation, yet to receive the Ministry of Life.
William Dewsbury, who entered the Kingdom, also wrote of an entirely different level of hearing that occurred after he had been crucified on the inward cross of self-denial:
I stand here as a witness for the God of heaven,
I never heard the voice of Christ
until I was slain and baptized, and lay as a little child under his heavenly chastisements;
as soon as ever my soul was brought to this, in my humiliation,
Oh! then, the dreadful judgment was taken away, and the book of life was opened unto me,
and the Lord spoke comfortably to me, 'I have loved you with an everlasting love;"
and I was made a Christian through a day of vengeance, and of burning as an oven;
and the haughtiness and pride of man in me was brought low.
(Dewsbury had just experienced the baptism of fire and death to pass over from death to life as he heard the Voice of the Lord for the first time.)
There is a voice of the Lord like thunder over the waters described in many Old Testament passages. This is radically different than the small still voice we hear from within our hearts or from the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit and the Word of the Lord within speak with words from Jesus, so we are hearing from the Son of God. But until we can truly hear the Voice of the Lord, we will not know for sure it is the Lord speaking to us. From the Word of the Lord within: "You will always have doubts until you hear His voice. My voice is like thunder over waters. You will hear His voice when He calls you." We will hear the Lord's voice like thunder over waters for the first time after we have submitted to the baptism of fire and death to then be called forth and resurrected with Him as a new creature. Then, as John 10:3-5 states: we will know his voice, he will lead us out of the world to the kingdom, and we will flee from other voices. When you hear His voice for the first time, you have passed over from death to life; and once you have heard His voice like thunder over waters, you will always know whether or not it is the Lord speaking to you.
We first have to listen to the Holy Spirit and the word of the Lord within to hear and obey His many teachings and commands. Then with long persistence and patience in doing obedient works of repentance, we experience the baptism of fire and death, to then hear the Voice of the Lord as we pass from death to life. Until then, we have to be on our guard to not be deceived by the enemy, pretending to be the Lord speaking to us. Based on the advice of Edward Burrough, (click to read), a giant in the early Quakers, until we can distinguish between the voice of the Lord and the voice of the enemy, we should do nothing for the Lord but follow his commands* to repent. When we can hear the Voice of the Lord, we walk in the light; and William Penn wrote, "Though it is the duty of all to walk in the light, and to wait for it, that by it they may be instructed in the way of life and salvation, yet it is they only who are actually led** by it, that can rightly discern between the false spirits and the true."
* Any command to repent from the Lord should be first pure, then peaceable, fair, gentle, easily accepted, full of mercy and good fruits, immediately understood, and sincere. James 3:17
** By way of review: to be guided or led by the light, the light must first arise in your heart like a magnificent star, so that you are shown everything to do and told everything to say; the unmistakable arising of the light comes from faith in the voice.
You may hear the Lord tell you to go ahead with your considering to buy something or do something that you feel is necessary; and providing it is nothing that you know to be wrong, or it is nothing He has told you not to do in the past, you can follow His suggestions before you can distinguish His voice. If you don't need what you are considering to purchase, He may plainly tell you, "you don't need it." If it is not necessary to do something you are considering, He may tell you, "it's not necessary." If it is necessary and/or needed, he may encourage you to proceed.
When we can hear the voice of the Lord that is like thunder over the waters, we truly experience the fulfillment of the scriptures:
To him the doorkeeper opens; and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name, and leads them out.
And when he has brought out his own sheep, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him; for they know his voice.
They will not follow a stranger, but will flee from him; for they do not know the voice of strangers.
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me [they obey].
And I give eternal life to them, so that they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
My Father, who gave them to me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. John 10:3-5, 27-29.
Truly, truly, I say to you, 'He who hears my word, and believes in [depends on, trusts, obeys] him who sent me, has eternal life, and shall not come into condemnation; but has passed [past tense] over from death to life.'
Truly, truly, I say to you, 'The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear shall live." John 5:24-25
So, while we are being taught by the Holy Spirit, while we hear the Word within our hearts, we have a faith — but there is a much higher level of faith to be experienced, and a much more intense voice of Christ Himself to hear — after we are dead to the law through the law, after we have suffered under the Ministry of Condemnation, after our selfish nature has been crucified. The faith and belief that results from these events is from a knowing of Jesus. This new level faith and associated new level of belief, offers understanding of the scriptures that ascribe so much to "believing:"
those that hear the voice of the Son of God shall live. John 5:25 (because they have just died to their selfish nature)
Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in me, he shall also do the works that I do; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go to my Father. John 12:4
He who believes in [depends on, trusts, obeys] the Son has everlasting life [of God]; and he who does not believe [depend on, trust, obey] the Son shall not see life [of God]; but the wrath of God remains on him. John 3:36
Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ, is born of God, and everyone who loves the father also loves him who is begotten of him. 1 John 5:1
Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes [depends on, trusts, obeys] on me has everlasting life. John 6:47
He who believes on me, as the scripture has said, 'out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. John 7:38
Who is he who overcomes [has conquered] the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? 1 John 5:5
He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself; 1 John 5:10
For we who have believed do enter into rest, Heb 4:3
If you believe, whatever (all things) you ask in prayer, you will receive. Mat 21:22
Further, though we have a lesser faith, having heard the Comforter, Holy Spirit, whom Jesus said the Father would send in His name, this new higher level of faith would certainly be the faith that Jesus Himself has authored and then perfects.
Deepening this mysterious different levels of faith, is that the same Greek word for believe (episteusamen) is used in: knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. Rom 13:11. The Lord spoke in parables to deliberately hide his gospel from the wise and self-righteous intelligent of his time:
I thank you, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent, and have revealed them to babes, even so, Father, for it seemed good in your sight. Luke 10:21
That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; otherwise they might turn, and their sins be forgiven them. Mark 4:12
From the Word of the Lord within: "Only those who want to be clean can hear." Apparently, He has left the word "believe" to be ambiguous, so that only those who want to be clean can hear the complete message of the scriptures and this web site. Those who don't want to be clean can interpret "believe" to think all sin is excused, that the Law is dead to them, and they will go to heaven still sinning when they die; they close their eyes and ears to the Bible's many exclusions, requirements, and qualifying conditions of salvation. Thus the scriptures remains fulfilled:
Regarding those of whom it would be better if they had never been born:
If after one has been touched by God with a wake up experience, and should they then continue to sin, they will gradually deaden their conscience until they no longer can be aroused to depart from sin; and in that process, they finally crucify the Son of God afresh. Their hearts become so calloused and hardened in their sins, they can no longer be reached by God's voice within, or man's voice without. (Gentle reader, if you have read with sincere interest this far, your heart has not been hardened so much that you cannot hear; and you can still return to the Lord to receive his changing grace.)
Let me illustrate why the false sects are so deadly: I was an agnostic until age 36. My moral code was very humanistic, believing that as long as I didn't harm others, everything was OK. My life was full of sin until I realized there was a God who was watching everything I did. I immediately reformed and stopped many, many practices of evil, knowing I was in his view at all times. Now compare that against a "believer in Jesus," who is told by his sect that all his sins are excused and paid for by Jesus; or in the case of Catholics and Orthodox sects their Eucharistic Sacrifice and confessions are made until they die, with never a hint as to how to stop sinning. Thus a man in Christendom is easily led into sin after sin, and in the process he deadens his conscience and the light of Christ within him, until finally he has crucified the Son of God afresh. For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come; if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance; since they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to open shame. Heb 6:4-6. So Christendom has become the synagogues of Satan, the killing ground of the seed of God, and the habitation of demons, filled with unclean birds; as William Penn said in No Cross No Crown: "they kiss him like Judas, call Him Master like Judas, sell Him to continue their lusts and pleasures of the world, and then drag him through the mire and dirt as they continue to sin; the deity they truly worship is the god of this world, the great lord of lusts," who is Satan; and also according to early Quaker, kingdom-dwelling Isaac Penington: "in the apostasy, men have not known God or Satan, the light or the darkness; but have mistook, taking the one for the other, worshipping the devil instead of God."
The Lord describes this repeat of sin—sacraments, sin again—sacraments again,...... as a conflagration: a great fire or great destruction. From the Word of the Lord within:
- "Sacraments: conflagration — to continue to do what you are not supposed to do, and afterwards be overcome with grief as to what you have done.
- Church: forever sorry for what you have done, while at the same time turning right around and doing it again; it feeds itself.
- Great is the destruction of those places of worship.
- The Christian medium itself is conformable to death."
Until those in the sects of Christendom have killed their conscience through repeated sin, they can still hear and possibly be motivated to renew their efforts to exercise their faith; but after having been convicted of some particular sin in the light, for every act of disobedience they then commit, they must produce the same number of acts of obedience before that sin is taken out of their heart. From the Word of the Lord within: "When the light shows you something to do, every act of disobedience has to be carried away by an act of obedience."
From the Word of the Lord within: "The entire Bible is a parable." A parable is also translated as a proverb. Parables and proverbs deliberately have hidden meanings.
That time of apostasy came long ago, and still is, which Paul spoke to Timothy: the time will come when men will not endure sound doctrine, but they will heap [accumulate in piles] to themselves teachers after their own lusts, who will say what their itching ears want to hear; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and will be turned to fables. 2 Tim 4:3-4. Today there are millions of preachers and teachers leading billions of their followers to destruction. God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie; so that all those might be damned who do not believe the truth, but have pleasure in unrighteousness. 2 Thes 2:11-12.
Not only is the Bible a parable that can be misinterpreted, God also allowed the strongest demonstration of power by the false church, imitating Christianity; God allowed the beast with horns like a lamb to cause fire to come down from heaven — thus to establish the false church among men who were looking for a sign rather than the truth. Isaac Penington, in his expose of Christendom having become Babylon, explains these miracles being performed by the antichrists, particularly in the time of Babylon's beginning to displace the true church. And he does great wonders, so that he makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men. And deceives those who dwell on the earth by means of those miracles. Rev 13:13-14.
The Lord is recorded as warning us three times about false Christian prophets, (ministers, evangelists, teachers), that perform miracles:
And in Revelation, we are told the spirits of demons would be working miracles. Rev 16:14; and the demons work miracles through men who put on a great show of being religious. There are many "Christian" healing ministries with great show, great pomp, great words of vanity, loud and raucous services, but you will know them by the fruits they obviously lack: self-control, peace, gentleness, humility, etc.
Power without truth is how the false church of Babylon was established. Do not be deceived with power accompanied by lies. Unless power is accompanied by the true gospel, (freedom from even the desire to sin, union with Christ and God, and translation into the kingdom of God while still on earth), through repentance on the inward cross of self-denial that results in Jesus appearing in your heart to destroy all sin, such power is from the devil and not God.
Never accept any demonstration of power as necessarily coming from God. Remember Jannes and Jambres, the Egyptian Magicians, who cast down their rods that turned into serpents, and who turned the waters of Egypt to blood. The miracle workers of Christendom, who preach the false gospel of instant grace as a license for excusing continuation of sin, derive their power from Satan. However, the power of Satan is not limited to false Christian ministers; it is also frequently demonstrated in other religions.
The false church of Babylon shows great signs and wonders, to convince those who have not been taught by revelation in their hearts by the Spirit of God as to what is the true gospel, the true hope, love vs. lust, sin vs. righteousness, turmoil vs. peace, humility vs. pride, good vs. evil, light vs. darkness, bitter vs. sweet. Since the elect have been taught by the Spirit in revelations, they see past the miracles of the false church and false prophets; which false prophets who live in sin, and excuse, life-long sin.
Although Babylon's false prophets are very difficult to discern, the elect are not deceived because their love of the truth overrides their being impressed with demonstration of power accompanied by lies.
There is a web page, How to Identify a Blind Guide or False Prophet, devoted to the doctrines of false prophets/blind guide preachers vs. true prophets/ministers to help you distinguish a true preacher/teacher from a false preacher/teacher.