In his book, The Power of Right Believing, Joseph Prince unveils the advantages of … right belief. Sincere and innocent people can have their lives dulled by wrong beliefs, even if they are not consciously aware of the error that they have embraced and the polluted sources from which they came. This happens because beliefs morph into a culture. People live and breathe this atmosphere, eat its fruits and it becomes part of their lives. Ideas, in a real way become us. Which is why Jesus said. ‘Those who eat Me will live because of Me.’ The gospel of the Kingdom is what Jesus, Paul, John and people like Joseph Prince say it is. Not what we make up. Distorted beliefs become for the Body of Christ, what cancer is to the human body, sapping it of life. They also become the home of spirits of religion attempting to in every way they can do dim the fullness of Christ.
‘Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers’ 1 Tim 4.16 NIV.
‘But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine’ 4 Titus 2.1 KJV.
‘They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer’ Acts 2.41 NIV.
Right belief is the undoing of Adam and the end of Moses. The new covenant in spirit and in truth is your life and the trinity in His fullness is in you. Because Jesus imparts Himself to you His life is yours. You are life itself, holiness, love, grace, joy and sons and daughters of God. The new covenant is exclusively Jesus and infinite in spoke. He is the manifestation of the church. He fills reality with His person. So let us be clear and aligned with Jesus. Father, Son and Holy Spirit are a divine conspiracy that creates an ultra-life created order in which you are new beings and society becomes a new creation. Dr Stephen Crosby summarises the radical nature of our new covenant life.
“The author of Hebrews tries to get at the magnitude and radicalness of the scope of the change between the two covenants by using the strong language that he/she did. It is not a modification or adjustment of few points of religious methodology. It is not like the seamless change from dawn to noon. No. It is a more glorious and dramatic change. It is a convulsing alteration in the fabric of the created order.” (1)
PURE IN SPIRIT
A friend of mine visited another church on Sunday Evening. I asked her what the sermon was like. “It was more pure that what I am used to,” she replied. By ‘pure’ she meant less encrusted and encumbered by religious additions and subtractions that diluted and disempowered what is meant to be THIS GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM.
So what’s purity about?
I had a vivid dream once. There was a raised platform on which were a number of drinking fountains. One was pure water representing the undiluted water of life. One was hydrochloric acid. Another was beer. One was muddy water. All representing degrees of dilution, pollution and toxicity. This was a picture of purity and pollution.
A PURE VIRGIN
Paul urges us to be absorbed in a purity that is more pure than any purity and oneness with our wife. He invites us to live in Jesus’ gift to each of us: In ‘we and Father are one.’ In Jesus we have left behind Adam’s adultery. We are in Jesus. Today we have the union with God that Jesus has with His Father. We have a pure oneness with God because God alone is our life.
Paul urged that we have ‘one husband.’ Any gospel that is not pure flows from divided loyalties. Such a ‘gospel’ imparts confusion and non-life in the name of life. Some are toxic because they negate the cross or substitute false christs for the Christ of God. Others are subtle distortions such as the promotion of old covenant mindsets and ‘try harder mentalities.’ Some promote moralism as if this is the gospel of the Kingdom. They do not produce immediate death – just a haze of semi-consciousness, a daze instead of spiritual discernment and an accommodation to routines that are forms of godliness without spirit and life.
‘I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him’ 2 Cor 11.2 NIV.
PURE IN HEART
Jesus said, ‘Blessed are the pure for they shall see God.’ This is to say that those who follow Jesus unconditionally will know God, understand the gospel of the Kingdom. Should they be side-tracked by cunningly devised fables, they will eventually see through the deceit and come to know God and His provision for us in spirit and in truth.
The most confused will be those who have more than one Christ – their identity in their religious community and their identity as a Believer. Sadly this is a situation where we have two husbands. As a result we have difficulty in seeing God because we have two ‘centres’ of truth. Paul urges that we have one husband who is Christ. Thus our attention and our heart is not adulterated and we see God clearly. Here we grow in spiritual discernment and rightly divide (interpret) the word of truth. The non-pure in heart will not see God as He is. They will contain themselves in a glass darkly, and offer distorted versions of the Christ and His Kingdom.
We can know the truth and the truth will set us free - if we are willing to have one Christ and follow Jesus wherever He leads.
‘I do not write to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it and because no lie comes from the truth’ 1 John 2.21 NIV.
(1) Crosby, Stephen. The New Testament Prophet: Understanding the Mind, Temperament, and Calling (Kindle Locations 794-797). . Kindle Edition.