A Call To The Remnant

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The Word and the Spirit alone must be our guide.

Posted by appolus on June 8, 2015

bibleWe are living in strange days I am sure you will agree. Days in which folks no longer listen to sound doctrine. In 2:4 Tim we are warned of such days and rightly so of course. Paul tells Timothy that people will look for teachers who will tell them what their itching ears want to hear. The old phrase  sola scriptura is latin for scripture alone. It was the battle cry of the reformation. It was the sword that sent a tremendous blow into the heart of religiousity. The traditions of men had swamped the truth and religious leaders made the people bear heavy external burdens without any regard to their internal spiritual state. All that mattered was what was seen on the outside.

And so, we often regard this warning from Paul as pertaining to the last days meaning perhaps the last of the last days for surely we have been living in the latter days since the birthing of the Church. Yet in this chapter Paul says “ for the time will come.” What time? Our time? His time? After he dies? A progression or better still a regression of all of these? Listen to what Paul says in Acts 20 to people he would not see again, his last words to them so to speak…..

Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears. (Act 20:28-31)

Paul says that after his departing, after his death, grevious, or the translation, burdensome wolves would enter in and not spare any of the flock. Men who had spied out their liberty, the freedom of the flock would come in with heavy burdens and rob them of their freedom. This is what is meant by the scattering of the flock. For who, having found freedom in Christ, could then suffer again to be enslaved under the burden of religious men?

Now I believe Paul was speaking prophetically. He states emphatically, hence the warning for three years night and day, “ I know this.” So this is something that he knows, he has been shown by the Spirit what will happen when he is gone and he is lovingly writing to young Timothy to encourage him to hold the line so to speak. Paul knew the battle that he had himself when it came to those who had sought to burden the saints with the bondage of religion. He knew what a tremendous battle lay ahead for the saints as the forces of religious men, men from without and from within, moved in like wolves move in after circling the flock. Their aim was to once again enslave men by the bondage of religion. And we see that after a three hundred year battle,  the forces of religion culminated in the birth of the Catholic Church. This organisation sought to hunt down and kill anyone who would not bow to their authority, it is the mark of religion.

Now what was the answer to the problem that faced Timothy and the saints, not just then but all down through the ages? We praise the Lord that He gave us the answer through Paul in the Word. Paul says to Timothy ” preach the Word.” 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. (2Ti 3:16-17)

What audacious man would add to that? Only a man who did not fear to add to the word of God the works of men. Here we have been told that all Scripture is given by the inspiration of God and it is where we derive all of our teaching from and that this is what the man of God who strives to be perfect needs, this and nothing else. This great truth would be the weapon in the hands of all those who were to come and oppose the men of religion and tradition. Think of the great fury that was poured out upon those who preached the Word of God without the authority of the religious men. And the men who strived with everything in them to translate and put the Word of God into the hands of all men were spared no mercy as they were hunted down and killed like dogs in the street by institutions intoxicated with authority and their own traditions.

As it was in the days of Timothy, as it was in the days of the Reformation so it is in our day. The guarantee of freedom in Christ comes through the Holy Spirit and the Word of God. Other things may be helpful, including human teachers, but the guarantee comes from God alone and His Word. If we stand on that, then Paul’s warning to Timothy and to all who would follow Timothy shall not be in vain. Beware brothers and sisters of the wolves that come to destroy with burdens of religion. They still come from without and within. This is why John says…..

These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you. But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him. (1Jn 2:26-27)

The things that John and Paul and Peter were warning about were the seducers. They made no particular warnings about the Romans or the secular threat that the saints would face, indeed this was expected. No, the warnings were against the seducers. A seducer is someone who tempts you away from your rightful place. If a woman seduces a married man she tempts him away from his wife. If a man seduces a married woman, he tempts her away from her husband and disaster and divorce typically follow. And so the warnings are against those who would seduce the saints away from their new found freedoms, back into the arms of religion and heavy burdens.

And praise God He did not leave us as orphans. He has given us the Holy Spirit and we have that anointing within us that will lead us into all truth, if indeed we have His Spirit. And we have the Word of God which is profitable for everything and leads us on the narrow path towards perfection and is lamp unto our feet. Now what about the men who do not have His Spirit? What do they have? They have their own minds and intellects. From this they draw forth their own traditions. In many of the mainline denominations of our day, so many know nothing of the Word of God but they have been taught the traditions of men, traditions that stretch back into the mists of time.

As a former Bricklayer, my number one tool apart from my trowel was my spirit level. Now one could get pretty close if one had a good eye. It might be almost level or almost plumb. Yet what builder would build based on his own eye, no matter how good that eye is? Only by applying the spirit level can one ascertain if something is level or not. Only by having the Holy Spirit and the Word of God can we say what John says “and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.” Teachers are undoubtedly helpful, but without the Holy Spirit and the Word of God, one is merely trying to guage if something is on the level by ones own eye. Tradition may be helpful, but it is a poor substitute and so often has become the counterfeit of the religious man who is devoid of the Spirit. Living Spiritual realities are turned into empty meaningless external observations. The Word of God is all in all and those who abide in that continually through the anointing of the Holy Spirit need not fear the burdensome wolves. Stand fast against them, yes, but fear them? No. They may try and kill you, for those of this spirit have always been violent, but we do not fear those who can merely harm the body. Stand fast brothers and sisters. The wolves are gathering in ways we have never seen before and they are encircling the whole flock.

Stand fast in the Word and in the Spirit. Let His Word abide in you and you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free. Let this freedom be like a bell that is rung for all to hear. Let this freedom be like a lamp that is hung high so that all might see. Let the Holy Spirit lead and guide you into all truth. Do not allow men and their traditions, no matter how good those traditions may seem to be, seduce you away from the Word of God and His Spirit. For the days are coming, days of great darkness and confusion, where only those who stand firm in Him and Him alone will stand. Stand fast brothers and sisters.

2 Responses to “The Word and the Spirit alone must be our guide.”

  1. Barbara said

    “For the days are coming, days of great darkness and confusion, where only those who stand firm in Him and Him alone will stand. Stand fast brothers and sisters.” This is the message of my heart. It grieves me that the body of Christ is not hearing this message from their pastors. And at the same time, we each are responsible for our own spiritual growth, to hunger and thirst after Him, and if we do, we will find Him. This is His promise to us.

    • appolus said

      It is indeed His promise Barbara, seeking Him, His face, His Word, His will, the beauty of HIs Holiness, HIs companionship, His hiding place. All of these things are the mark of the saint, different degrees certainly, but common to all who love Jesus as their Lord and Saviour………………..bro Frank

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