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|The Religious Spirit by jantman(m): 12:05pm On Mar 21|
For Christ our Passover also has been sacrificed (see I Corinthians 5:7).
It was the Passover sacrifice which delivered Israel from the power of Pharaoh so that her people would never again serve Egypt. It is the cross, of which the Passover was a prophetic type, which delivers us from the power of Satan and slavery to the corruption of the world. Realizing this, Satan rages against those who turn to the cross, just as Pharaoh raged against Israel when he saw he was losing his power over them. As the Passover did in type, the cross brings judgment upon the evils of the world and delivers all who will embrace it from the worlds bondage.
Since the time of Cain and Abel, the sacrifice has been the main point of conflict between the two seeds, which represent the two natures of man—carnal and spiritual. Satan is not threatened if we embrace the doctrines or the institution of Christianity; in fact, he may well encourage it. He knows that the good side of the Tree of Knowledge is just as deadly as the evil side, and far more deceptive.
Human goodness is an affront to the cross and is used as a compensation for it. It deludes us into thinking that if we do more good than evil, we will be acceptable to the Father, thereby placing us above the need for the sacrifice of His Son. Satan is happy for us to embrace anything religious as long as we do not turn to the cross. When we turn to the cross, Satans power over us is completely broken; at that point we march out of his dominion into the glorious liberty of the Spirit.
The greatest opposition to embracing the cross and true liberty of the Spirit will come from those who are religious. This battle began with the first two brothers, Cain and Abel, and rages to this day. The cross will always be the greatest threat to the religious, and the religious will always be the greatest enemy of the cross. The demon-possessed were not the ones who persecuted Jesus; they bowed the knee and submitted to Him. The religious, moral, and conservative citizens were the ones who crucified Jesus, and these will be the ones who rise up against anyone who preaches the true message of the cross.
The greatest persecution against the true faith will always come from those who have been converted in their minds but not in their hearts. These are living by the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge instead of the fruit of the Tree of Life. Their true devotion will be to intellectual comprehension of doctrines rather than to a living relationship with God and compliance with His will.
Jesus warned, Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven; but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven (Matthew 7:21). We will only know true doctrine if we esteem doing His will above just knowing the doctrine. As Jesus explained, If any man is willing to do His will, he shall know of the teaching, whether it is of God, or whether I speak from Myself (John 7:17).
A person can desire truth for many different reasons. Some of the motivations for seeking truth are actually evil, such as pride, self-justification, or even fear. Only those who have a love for the truth will escape the deceptions of the evil day. Of course, those who love the truth do want their doctrines to be accurate, but we will only have accurate and pure doctrines if we love the God of truth more than the truths of God. It is not knowing the Book of the Lord that gives life, but knowing the Lord of the Book. We must love the Truth Himself more than we love the individual truths. If we do this, we will love those truths more than we would if we esteemed them more than we do Him. It is not a matter of having one or the other, but having both in the proper ORDER.
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