The law is light, enough light to be “…a lamp to my feet, and a light for my path.”1 The law is meant to serve as a guide for people who live in darkness. “We also know that the law is made not for good men but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious…and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine that conforms to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me.”2 People who are living in darkness are like people in a tunnel. Inside the tunnel there are lights, rules and regulations to help in finding the way out. Jesus is the light at the end of the tunnel. Once you have reached him, the lights in the tunnel are darkness by comparison. The danger is that we become preoccupied with the lights in the tunnel, so much so that we can no longer see the light at the end.3 In a sense, this is what happened to the Jews. The whole world was in darkness, but God gave the law and the promises to the Jews. While the Gentiles had a sense of law, it was not nearly so bright as God’s law. As a result the Jews were blinded to the truth.4
It is clear from the scripture that the work of anti-christ would intensify rather than diminish as the end approached. The work of anti-christ is not blatant evil, it is man made goodness.5 It does not matter, who’s law, the result is always deadly, pride or guilt.6 The remedy for the devil’s kind of wisdom, is to be “…crushed in the head…”7
“Savage wolves” are those who divide the Body of Christ, but there are also “savage wolves” who see themselves as having a vested interest in maintaining the division of the Body of Christ. The division of the Body serves the purposes of those who have made an idol out of their own position, those who’s greatest personal ambition is to “rule rather than serve.” It is not uncommon to find leaders for whom it is a forgone conclusion that their very own self-perception is prima facie justification for another division of the Body of Christ. Who they are in their own minds, is
1 Psalms 119:104-106
2 I Timothy 1:8-11
3 II Corinthians 3:14
4 II Corinthians 4:3, 4
5 I Timothy 4:1
6 Romans 2:14, 15
7 Genesis 3:15, Matthew 27:33
reason enough, to start another “church.” To divide the Body of Christ is not a sign of maturity, it is a sign of infancy.
1JO 5:21 “Little children, keep yourselves from idols.”
NOT FLESH AND BLOOD
This may be a problem of the flesh, but it is not a flesh and blood problem:
EPH 6:12 “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”
It was Dean Sherman of Youth With A Mission, who triggered the following understanding in my heart. The trigger had to do with an understanding of the word “principality.” He broke this word down: “prince” over a “pality.” He points out that “All authority is of God,” but that all authority is not necessarily godly. Authority is a principle of God. Rebellion or lawlessness is the principle of Satan. Our first response to authority should be submission. Satan’s response to authority is to grasp it. This is the difference between Christ and anti-christ, where authority is concerned.
As the source of all authority, God provides spheres of authority. God’s spheres of authority are like areas of divine definition or limitation. A “pality” is a kind of sphere of legitimate authority. A married couple is a basic authority unit. A family is another, a clan another, tribes and nations are still others. A municipality is another. Schools have principals, towns have mayors, armies have generals, etc. There are many legitimate spheres of authority to which we must give proper respect and submission. The Church universal is another, and the Churches on earth are still others.
Satan knows all about God’s authority structures. And does everything possible to over-throw them. His primary means of over-throw is to set up competing structures.
At this point we would like to make an application of this understanding where the Church is concerned. A principality is a “prince” over a “pality,” a ruler over a region or sphere. The Churches, on but not of the earth, are designed to be expressions of the eternal, and universal, Church. That
Church is the timeless Body of Christ. It is “one body,” without division. Its expression in the earth, must also be without division, “…that the world might know that the Father has sent the Son…” The context in which this oneness is to be expressed is a “pality,” a municipality, if you will. Two churches in the same “pality,” are not an expression of divine truth, they are a violation of divine truth. They are not ordained of God. They are the work of the evil one. They are not an expression of the Truth, they are a denial of the Truth.
DEU 6:4 “Hear O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is One.” The Lord’s expression in the earth, the Church in any given place is also one. God never called any church by any name except by the name of the “pality” where it was located. The spiritually wicked principalities, know this, and make war against the truth by energizing the formation of rival churches. This practice is foreshadowed in the Old Testament where “… high places were built at the head of every way…” These were alternative or rivals to the place where God wanted the people to worship. For New Covenant people, this is anti-christ, and false prophets are the instruments through whom this rebellion is carried out.
Jay Ferris, Spring 1990
Pamela Oliveira (Spo… on The Truth in Love Shelby S on The Truth in Love Pamela Oliveira (Spo… on What Is God Hoping For? thesonsarefree on What Is God Hoping For? Joseph Simmons on Born in Woundedness