False Ministers #2

In my last blog I talked about Jesus’ warning to BE [a]ware of – not BE afraid of – false ministers! In this blog I want to keep going down that road to reality, that path to protection, and that lane that leads to liberty!

Let’s take a look at what Jude had to say to the first century believers that we would do well to pay careful attention to today!

~~~ Our text is from the Book Of Jude ~~~

“1 Jude, a bond-servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to those who are the called, beloved in God the Father, and kept for Jesus Christ:”

Identifies the author and the audience. Jude is writing to those who are THE called. In my last blog we talked about those who were called. I mentioned Jesus calls people and people call themselves. These called ones are the ones accepted by God into the Beloved, and are kept FOR Jesus Christ by God the Father.

Paul says in Ephesians 4:1 – “I . . . . implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called.” His inference is this, this particular calling is from the Lord. He then goes into the fruit of the Lord’s calling in the next few verses.

“2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, 3 being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.”

Let’s take a quick look at these verses. I hope you will notice the “spirit” or “fruit” of the one legitimately walking in the Lord’s call as compared to the fruit of the false minister and ministry that we detailed in the last blog and will detail later in this one too.

“Humility” is not thinking less of yourself but thinking of yourself less. It is God-focused not self-focused. It is God-reliant not self-reliant.

“Gentleness” is our strength [areas of strength] in submission to the Lord and His delegated authorities. I ‘restrain’ my strengths for the common good. It is a picture of a stallion yielded to his trainer.

“Patience” is planning for the long haul, not plowing ahead against the wishes of those you are supposed to be related to, and relating to.

“Showing tolerance” is respect for the connections and relationships with those your are supposed to be in relationship with.

“Love” here is God’s love which is sacrificial not self-absorbed. It puts others before self.

“Be diligent to preserve” is being dedicated to be cognizant of the effect you are having and can have on the community. Be one who preserves not perverts.

“THE unity of the Spirit” is the Spirit’s unity, or what the Spirit is trying to accomplish in your community. Again the focus is on the Lord – not on you.

In verses 4 – 6 Paul then reminds his audience that we all should be in harmony with the Godhead, who exemplifies community [common unity], respect and focus.

“2 May mercy and peace and love be multiplied to you.” Jude releases the typical blessing that the New Testament writers begin their letters with.

“3 Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints.”

Jude speaks of a common [shared among all believers] salvation, and the necessity for the saved community to contend earnestly for THE [only] faith handed down [from Jesus who authored it] to the saints.

“4 For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.”

How did they get “in” “unnoticed”? They masqueraded as sheep [saints]! This means they must have  adopted the outward appearance and like-minded lingo [language] of the saints, to deceive the saints.

This should not be a surprise to the wise. Satan himself will appear AS an angel of light.

Jude reveals they fooled the church people but they did not fool the One who’s idea the church was and is and will always be.

These imposter’s were from long ago marked out for condemnation which means they certainly did not have a personal relationship with Jesus.

Their ungodliness manifested in the form and fashion of the course of the world.

They turned, twisted God’s grace and made it after their twisted image. Their grace is called hyper-grace that allows for all kinds of illegitimate [licentious] behavior because “God has already forgiven them ALL their trespasses.” They believe they can do what they want, to whom they want, with whom they want, for as long as they want. They are not punishable. Just ask them!

Oh what an amazing grace!

They added insult to injury by denying the Only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.

They did not deny His existence. They simply made Him effeminate, powerless, and unwilling to stop their illegitimate behavior. They said, “No, Jesus!” They denied His Lordship over their lives.

“5 Now I desire to remind you, though you know all things once for all, that the Lord, after saving a people out of the land of Egypt, subsequently destroyed those who did not believe.”

Do NOT think that the work of the Cross is God’s payment for you to keep sinning!

And –

Do NOT think that God’s gift of grace is a get out of hell free card!

Jude is reminding his audience that God is the same yesterday, today and forever and no one should put the Lord God to a foolish test. “There IS a way that seems right to man, but it ends in death.”

“6 And angels who did not keep their own domain, but abandoned their proper abode, He has kept in eternal bonds under darkness for the judgment of the great day, 7 just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, since they in the same way as these indulged in gross immorality and went after strange flesh, are exhibited as an example in undergoing the punishment of eternal fire.”

Again, Jude is giving a history lesson on the dangers of tempting God. Rebellion against God will never work out well for the rebellious, whether they be men or angels.

“8 Yet in the same way these men, also by dreaming, defile the flesh, and reject authority, and revile angelic majesties.”

Jude is now connecting the dots between those who in past times mocked God by their behavior and the contemporary rebels. He identifies them by these characteristics:

They are dreamers – This means they live in a parallel universe than everyone else. Their reality is real to them but it is not real. It is their virtual world from which they get their virtual worldview. Metaphorically speaking, according to Thayer’s Dictionary of NT Words, this means to be beguiled with sensual images and carried away to an impious course of conduct.

They defile the flesh – Means they disguise their flesh as a person would change the color of a garment with dye. “Wolves in sheep’s clothing”. It also means to defile with sinfulness.

Reject authority – Means they are their own authority. They are the captains of their own ship. They are masters of their own ministry. If they are “under authority” it is either a facade or they have aligned themselves with people who will not confront them.

Revile majesties – The word angel is NOT in the original text. These false brethren mock, blaspheme, speak evil of and reproach leaders who God puts in their life to bring them to repentance. Majesties speak of the God-head and God ordained authorities who they expect their people to be accountable to.

9 But Michael the archangel, when he disputed with the devil and argued about the body of Moses, he did not dare pronounce against him a railing judgment, but said, “The Lord rebuke you!”

Here Jude is revealing that when Michael the archangel confronted the devil and argued with him over the body of Moses, did not approach him in his own name and in his own strength. He came “IN the name of The Lord.” Let this be a warning to anyone and everyone who would attempt to do God’s work in their own strength.

10 But these men revile the things which they do not understand; and the things which they know by instinct, like unreasoning animals, by these things they are destroyed.

These impostors step into realms they were not called to or prepared for. They operated out of natural instincts instead of Spirit anointing, and ended up being destroyed.

11 Woe to them! For they have gone the way of Cain, and for pay they have rushed headlong into the error of Balaam, and perished in the rebellion of Korah.

Bummer! “For they have gone” – this means they made this determination at some point in their past. They plotted and planned to carry out their agenda. Nothing was going to prevent them from having their own way.

Have gone the way of Cain – Cain was the first human murderer who refused to deal with his issue. Like Lucifer, who was a murderer from the beginning, Cain chose to eliminate his competition instead of dealing with his issues. God’s rejection of his offering [ministry], and his own disappointment drove him to do what he harbored in his heart. Cain was selfish, self centered, self absorbed and self inflated. He hated his brother just like the devil hates God and anything and anyone associated with God.

Have rushed headlong into the way of Balaam – Baalam was a prophet who could hear from God, and who could deliver accurate words from God. Balaam could also be bought for a price. In other words, he was not submitted to the Lordship of Jesus and money and prestige were his gods. Balaam was for sale. Balaam would also twist the word of God to fit his agenda. He was a prophet looking for profit!

Perished [past tense although it had not yet happened] in the rebellion of Korah – Korah gathered a group and led them in a rebellion against Moses and Aaron, God’s delegated authorities. The earth opened up and swallowed them alive. They did not die and then go to hell. They went to hell while alive!

Someone once said something like this, “The only people who start at the top dig holes for a living.” These perverse men never learned the first rule of holes, “When you find you are in a hole, quit digging.”

“12 These are the men who are hidden reefs in your love feasts when they feast with you without fear, caring for themselves; clouds without water, carried along by winds; autumn trees without fruit, doubly dead, uprooted; 13 wild waves of the sea, casting up their own shame like foam; wandering stars, for whom the black darkness has been reserved forever.”

Hidden reefs in your love feasts – Means they disguise their true intentions. They are shallow and dangerous. They are close to the body and close to attempting to shipwreck those who are deep drafted vessels of God.

Feast with you without fear – Means they believe they will never be exposed.

Caring for themselves – Means they are there for what they can get not what they have to offer. They come to be served not to serve and when they do serve it is not out of pure motives. They are posturing for position and power.

Clouds without water – They do not truly refresh the environment. They provide shade which is temporary relief. What they offer does not permanently change the terrain, because they carry no rain.

Carried along by winds – Means they are every changing. They cannot be satisfied. They are always chasing the latest fads and “moves of God”. There is no real stability in their lives.

They are unhappy, unsatisfied and unhinged – Paul references these in Ephesians 4 when he talks about “we are NO LONGER to be children, tossed to and fro by EVERY wind of doctrine.”

This doctrine is not sound Biblical doctrine. It is the latest “contemporary and relevant” marketing method of doing ministry.

Winds here are a counterfeit move of the Holy Spirit. Jesus said the Holy Spirit moved like the wind [John 3].

Autumn trees without fruit – Means they are like the fig tree Jesus cursed when He looked for fruit and found none. Jesus looks for specific fruit and as we saw in the last blog He will shut the door and remove from Himself those who bear unacceptable fruit. These trees do not produce the fruit Jesus looks for.

Doubly dead – Means they are destined for both physical and spiritual death, or eternal separation form God.

Uprooted – Means they are not rooted and or grounded in true love and they are not rooted and grounded in the Word of God, or the true house of God. They do NOT put down real roots.

Wild waves of the sea – Means they are unruly, unprincipled, undisciplined and under no authority. They are wild and restless. They are always stirring up trouble. [See Isaiah 57:20]

Cast up their own shame like foam – Means they have fluff but no substance. Their ministry is shallow and temporal. Their shame speaks of the eventuality they will be found out.

Wandering stars – Means they, like the angels who followed Lucifer in the rebellion against God, will not keep their place. This is a reiteration of verse 6. These ministers are not dependable as they cannot be “pinned down” as that would be considered “legalistic” and “religious” to expect them to be consistent. Again, this is another way to say they will not submit to legitimate authority.

For whom the black darkness has been reserved forever – This is a troubling statement because darkness is black, but Jude describes it as “black darkness”. This is a reference to what happened in Egypt when God struck them with a darkness so dark they could feel it, and could not see their hand if they put it right in front of their eyes. This darkness represents life without God, who is Light.

“14 It was also about these men that Enoch, in the seventh generation from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord came with many thousands of His holy ones, 15 to execute judgment upon all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their ungodly deeds which they have done in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.”

Jude, as he has throughout this short letter, refers to history when legitimate ministry is conducted by legitimate ministers. The Lord may take a while to get around to dealing with illegitimate ministry and ministers, but make no mistake about it, He will get around to it!

“16 These are grumblers, finding fault, following after their own lusts; they speak arrogantly, flattering people for the sake of gaining an advantage.”

These foolish people just do not know when to leave their masquerade party. Jude now shifts to a new set of perverse characteristics that give them away. They ~

Are grumblers – Murmurers, complainers, agitators. They speak just loud enough for those close to them to hear. They are the “grape [gossip] vine” in the church. Sometimes they join the intercessors so they can pray for others, especially the leadership, because the leaders just don’t get it, or them.

Find fault – Means they look for all that is wrong and fixate on that. They are great at seeing problems and have no problem making sure someone in the church knows they know what is wrong. They rarely have solutions so they rarely offer any. They are discontented and lay the blame at the feet of everyone or anyone but themselves.

Follow after their own lusts – Means they are led by their physical appetites not by the Spirit of God. Their motivations are worldly, not heavenly. Remember, they are in it for what they can get out of it. They give to get and when they believe they will not benefit any more they stop giving.

Speak arrogantly – Means they have an inflated sense of their own importance and have no problem talking about how great they are. They are the smartest people in the room. They are the most gifted in the room. Just ask them! These people elevate themselves by demoting others in their heart and with their talk.

Flattering people for the sake of gaining an advantage – Means they are masters at manipulation. They are cool customers. They are smooth operators. They make you believe they are building you up but the whole time they are posturing for promotion  – at the leader’s expense!

Jude continues by reminding the legitimate disciples and ministers what the 12 apostles of the Lamb, those authorized personally by Jesus to carry on His work His way, had to say,

“17 But you, beloved, ought to remember the words that were spoken beforehand by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ,”

We are to call to mind what the apostles of the Lamb wrote and said.

18 that they were saying to you, “In the last time there will be mockers, following after their own ungodly lusts.”

From their day to the last Day these false believers will be hanging around the real community of believers.

“19 These are the ones who cause divisions, worldly-minded, devoid of the Spirit.”

Jude, in reiterating the fruit to be aware of says this about the counterfeit Christian:

They cause division – They attempt to bring a different vision into the house than the one God has placed in the house. When they don’t get their way they work to separate others by enlisting those who will follow them and their vision.

They are worldly-minded – This means they operate out of a mindset that is inferior to heaven’s.

This mindset is carnal and corrupt!

They are devoid of the Holy Spirit – They can produce signs and wonders that appear on the surface to be legitimate but as we have seen God honors the name of His Son, not necessarily the person using His name.

“20 But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit,”

Jude points his finger at the ones kept for Jesus and says,

Be personally responsible for your spirituality [your own edification, your own holy faith] by praying in the Holy Spirit [being led by the Spirit in your daily devotion to God], and by –

“21 keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life.”

Keeping yourself in the love of God. This means keeping your focus on God, not self. And keep your focus on how you can serve others in His name [character] and not be self-serving.

Jude continues by saying,

“22 And have mercy on some, who are doubting; 23 save others, snatching them out of the fire; and on some have mercy with fear, hating even the garment polluted by the flesh.”

Have mercy on some – Not all? No! On who? On those who are doubting, not those who are rebelling. Show compassion for the ones who became trapped by the seduction of the seducers, if they are repentant.

Save others, snatching them out of the fire – Do all that is possible to rescue the ones that can be rescued, or who want to be rescued, before destruction comes.

On some have mercy with fear – Try to appeal to them on the basis of what their future looks like if they do not turn from their evil way. Appeal to these people warning them that God may be slow to judge but judge He eventually will.

Hating even the garment polluted by the flesh – Remind them that to God all of our own efforts are as filthy rags. These rags were the menstrual cloths the women used in that day. The pollution of the flesh was the old blood mixed with dead cells. This is a graphic picture of what God thinks of doing His work our way, or without Him.

Then we find Jude’s benediction.

“24 Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, 25 to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever . Amen!”

Keep THE Faith! Keep THE Passion!

Our hunger and thirst for God escorts us into deep satisfaction in God! Dr. Kevin M. Drury, DMin A Hisstorymaker!

All Scripture

Every time ALL CAPS are used it is for emphasis only!

16″All scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, reproof, correction, for training in righteousness; 17[so] that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work” [2 Timothy 3:16,17].

This is a classic text for a multitude of reasons. I would like to provide some context and exposition so that each of you, not just the men, can be an adequate and equipped minister of the gospel of grace.

First of all, in Christ there is neither male nor female and all Christian believers are ministers of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Paul, the apostle of grace, in my opinion, had more revelation on the word, will and ways of God than any other human being, except for Jesus Christ.

Galatians 3:28 – “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

Paul, writing to his spiritual son Timothy, was instructing him on the importance of the Scripture in his development as a young minister of the Christian life, Christian message, and Christian ministry.

In verse 16 of his second letter to Timothy he pens the classic text – “All Scripture is inspired by God”.

Taken literally, which we should, the phrase “all Scripture” is referring to the Old Testament Scripture. But in context we must also know that the New Testament was being lived out and also being written by the different New Testament writers.

Without a context the text becomes a pretext that can be taken out of context. This is done a lot with preachers and teachers that have already formulated a belief that they are trying to prove. In other words, these “teachers” find verses in the Bible to prove what they already believe. This is called proof texting and eisegesis. Eisegesis is a fancy Greek word that means to read into the text a personal bias. Exegesis is the Greek word that means to get, or take out of the text what the text is saying. In other words – LET THE TEXT TELL YOU WHAT THE TEXT IS SAYING!

As representatives of the Lord we must provide the context in order to come to the correct  conclusion.

Also, correct hermeneutics requires us to first determine what the text meant to the person or people it was written to. We cannot leap frog thousands of years into our day to come to conclusions without first understanding what it meant when it was written. I refer you to my previous blog Eschatological Options.

Additionally, everyone who reads and or studies the Bible should ask these questions as they approach the text. Who? What? When? Where? Why? How? These questions enable us to become investigators in our quest to come to correct conclusions.

Whatever is misdiagnosed will be mistreated!

In Acts 17 Paul and Silas are preaching the gospel of grace in Berea. Look at what Luke recorded, “10 The brethren [brothers and sister in Christ] immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. 11 Now these [Berean Jews] were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so.” As a side note there must have been at least 10 Jewish men in Berea because 10 men are required to form a synagogue [Fausset Bible Dictionary, Holman Bible Dictionary].

As a core value we all should check out every minister’s theology with Scripture. We should go to every Bible references they cite in their sermons or books, blogs and articles.

In God we trust!

Everyone else should be checked and verified!

If Paul and Silas did not require their listeners to take their word for what they were teaching, we should not blindly “trust” someone no matter how long they have been in ministry.

As a personal core value I always encourage my readers and listeners to be as noble minded as the Bereans.

There is a syndrome that has plagued the Church since Mount Sinai when God’s Church in the wilderness [See Acts 7:38] told Moses in so many words [I’m paraphrasing], “You go hear from God and come back and tell us what He is saying because He is a scary Person.” [Exodus 20:19 – “Then they said to Moses, “Speak to us yourself and we will listen; but let not God speak to us, or we will die.””]

Too many of today’s “Church” people only hear what God is saying through what their favorite preacher is saying.


By the way, it is NOT dishonoring to hold ministers [our leaders] accountable by doing your own study and even asking questions. We are not blind sheep. We are also not in the Old Testament where only the prophets heard from and spoke for God. It’s a good thing too because one misspoken word brought the swift judgment of death.

Once I heard a preacher teaching on the High Priest in the Holy of Holies on the Day of Atonement. He was teaching that the High Priest was wearing the blue ephod with the bells and pomegranates sewn on the hem all around and that he was required to keep moving or die. I went to that preacher later and said, “I don’t understand what you taught because in Leviticus 16:1-4 it explicitly says the High Priest only wore white linen when He went into the Most Holy Place. If he was not wearing the blue ephod on the Day of Atonement then what you taught is not true.” He said to me, “I will have to look into this.” I never heard back from him so I don’t know where he stands on this issue.

Leviticus 16:1-4 KJV – “1 And the LORD spake unto Moses after the death of the two sons of Aaron, when they offered before the LORD, and died; 2 And the LORD said unto Moses, ‘Speak unto Aaron thy brother, that he come not at all times into the holy place within the vail before the mercy seat, which is upon the ark; that he die not: for I will appear in the cloud upon the mercy seat. 3 Thus shall Aaron come into the holy place: with a young bullock for a sin offering, and a ram for a burnt offering. 4 He shall put on the holy linen coat, and he shall have the linen breeches upon his flesh, and shall be girded with a linen girdle, and with the linen mitre shall he be attired: these are holy garments; therefore shall he wash his flesh in water, and so put them on.”


You may be in a cult if you feel manipulated! You may be in a cult if you are accused of being a Jezebel or Absalom!

You may be operating out of one of those evil spirits.

If so, repent quickly and thoroughly!

Having your own opinions and beliefs DOES NOT constitute you having an evil spirit.

You may be in a cult if your leader tells you, “I am only trying to protect you from error” which is code for “You need me to keep you from error.” I once heard a preacher say that in his sermon. I was stunned!

All believers [true Christians] have the Holy Spirit and can “know what is true.”

1 John 2:20,26,27 – “20 But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you all know. 26 These things I have written to you concerning those who are trying to deceive you. 27 As for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you [tell you what to believe, or tell you what is safe or not]; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him.”

1 John 2 begins with, “My little children, I am writing to you . . . .” The phrase ‘little children’ is the Greek word paidion. There are four words in the Greek for child [children]. 1] brephos = unborn or newborn [totally dependant on another person], 2] nepios = selfish [Paul uses this word in 1 Cor 3:1], 3] paidion = age of accountability as they know what sin is, at this stage the child is transitioning out of selfishness to selflessness, and 4] teknon = mature child but not yet considered a son of the covenant where the Father can entrust His “store” to the child.

Paul himself had already been writing letters that would “one day” be called Scripture. Just because the New Testament was not yet canonized – for it would take several hundred years for that designation to come – doesn’t mean his writings were not being viewed in the first century as being authoritative.

Look at what Peter said concerning Paul. Keep in mind Peter was a Jewish disciple of Jesus Christ who lost his life being faithful to the message of God’s message of grace. Peter was one of the 12 original apostles [Apostles of the Lamb], and an elder in local churches.

2 Peter 3:14-18 – “14 Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless, 15 and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation; just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you, 16 as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort [to twist, as in to make it into what they want it to say and mean], as they do ALSO THE REST OF the Scriptures, to their own destruction. 17 You therefore, beloved, knowing this [that there are people twisting the Scripture to fit their own agenda] beforehand, be on your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of unprincipled men and fall from your own steadfastness [to Christ], 18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.”

Do you see what Peter said about Paul? . . . . “our beloved brother [in Christ] Paul, according to the wisdom [revelation] given him, wrote to you, as also in ALL HIS LETTERS, speaking in THEM of these things, in which are SOME THINGS HARD TO UNDERSTAND, which the untaught and unstable DISTORT, as they do the REST OF THE SCRIPTURES, to their own destruction.”

Peter is substantiating Paul’s letters [plural] as authoritative with the rest of the [OT] Scriptures, in the first century. He said that even though some of what Paul was writing was hard to understand, it was not an excuse to distort it. Those distorting Paul’s “wisdom [revelation]” would do so to their own destruction.

I love that Peter, like Barnabas in Paul’s early days as a believer, gave Paul street cred [credibility]!

What was Paul’s wisdom? Well some of it is revealed here ~

Colossians 2:6-23 – “6 Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, 7 having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude. 8 See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ. 9 For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, 10 and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority; 11 and in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ; 12 having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. 13 When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, 14 having canceled out the certificate of debt  [Law of commandments] consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. 15 When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him. 16 Therefore no one is to act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day — 17 things which are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ. 18 Let no one keep defrauding you of your prize by delighting in self-abasement and the worship of the angels, taking his stand on visions he has seen, inflated without cause by his fleshly [carnal] mind, 19 and not holding fast to the head, from whom the entire body, being supplied and held together by the joints and ligaments, grows with a growth which is from God. 20 If you have died with Christ to the elementary principles of the world, why, as if you were living in the world, do you submit yourself to decrees, such as, 21 “Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch!” 22 (which all refer to things destined to perish with use)—in accordance with the commandments and teachings of men? 23 These are matters which have, to be sure, the appearance of wisdom in self-made religion and self-abasement and severe treatment of the body, but are of no value against fleshly indulgence.

In verses 16 AND 17 Paul states, “Therefore NO ONE is to act as your judge [deciding if you have a relationship with Christ or not] in regard to [based on] food or drink [Jewish dietary laws – Romans 14:17 — “for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”], or in respect to a festival [the feasts of Israel], or a new moon [Jewish calendar], or a Sabbath day [Jewish ethical Laws]–THINGS WHICH ARE A MERE SHADOW OF WHAT IS TO COME; BUT THE SUBSTANCE BELONGS TO CHRIST.”

The word judge in verse 16 can mean an umpire, someone who makes decisions on what or who is safe [saved], and what or who is out [not safe or saved]. It carries the idea of a person who self appoints theirselves as sole arbiter of who is playing by the rules and attempts to disqualify the ones “they deem” breaking the rules.

He continues in verse 18, “Let NO ONE keep defrauding you of your prize”. Jesus and our personal relationship to Him is our prize. In other words, don’t pay attention to someone that tells you are in danger of going to hell if you do not adhere to these shadows.

He begins in verse 6 by saying, “Therefore as you have received Jesus Christ the Lord so walk in Him.” Paul is speaking of a faith relationship not a keeping the rules relationship. We know this to be true by what followed in verse 7, “Having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith.”

This is very similar language to what Paul wrote in Galatians chapter 3. The book of Galatians was written by Paul to combat the Judaizers who perverted [distorted] the message of grace and kept attempting to destroy Paul’s ministry of grace.

I want to go back to verse 10 of Colossians 2 before we move on. I want you to get what Paul said in this verse so please pay careful attention to these words.

“And in Him [Christ] you HAVE BEEN made complete.” Did you get that? I hope you got it. Paul was saying there is nothing more you have to do or need to do. “YOU HAVE BEEN MADE COMPLETE IN HIM.” Paul also said this – “We are being conformed to the image of Jesus Christ” [Romans 8:29]. Taken together Paul’s wisdom reveals we are being conformed to the ONE we ARE ALREADY complete in.” Hallelujah! By God’s grace working inside of us we will become who we already are in Christ. Double Hallelujah!!

Galatians 3:1-9 – “1 You foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified? 2 This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith? 3 Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected [completed or matured] by the flesh? 4 Did you suffer so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain? 5 So then, does He who provides you with the Spirit and works miracles among you, do it by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith? 6 Even so Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness. 7 Therefore, be sure that it is those who are of faith who are sons of Abraham. 8 The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “All the nations will be blessed in you.” 9 So then those who are of faith are blessed with Abraham, the believer.'”

I could go on and on and on releasing “the wisdom” of Paul, who by the way continues to this day being pursued and persecuted by the modern day Judaizers, those Jewish believers, or Jewish wannabe’s, who want to bring us back under the Law of Moses.

Did you know that a person does not fall from grace the moment they commit a sin because “where sin abounds grace abounds much more” [Romans 5:20]. A person falls from grace when they try to relate to God by the Law [rules and regulations], attempting to earn His approval though their own performance.

Galatians 5:4 – “You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.”

Christian teachers [leaders] who are Law based [external government] are usually very insecure people. I know this because they use the LAW to control people. People who want to control others usually cannot control themselves [no internal government]. They live in a perpetual state of fear. Freedom requires a lot more personal responsibility and these leaders can’t stand their people having freedom, because they don’t have freedom. They are always focused on what is wrong with “YOU”. In truth they are usually punishing themselves but take it out on others.

Jesus was asked what was the greatest commandment. He answered – “Love God” and then He said the second one was just like it – “Love people”.

Jesus changed the rules on His own rules!

Jesus took the 10 commandments, 9 of which were negative – what we can’t do – and turned them into 2 positive things we could do – love God and love people. He continued by stating emphatically – “ALL THE LAW AND PROPHETS HANG ON THESE.”

In other words love trumps law! Or, love is greater than rules!

I do not commit adultery because there is a Law that says, “Thou shalt NOT commit adultery.” I am faithful to my wife because I LOVE MY WIFE and we have a heart to heart connection! This is not rocket science folks!

We ARE saved and are kept saved by grace through faith – PERIOD! Keeping some external form of a past, present or future religious order can never save us or keep us saved.

When people want contemporary Christians to hold on to the types and shadows of the old world order it is usually because they do not have a very strong relationship with God’s heart.

Those who are weak in their relationship to the ultimate reality [Jesus] need the security of His shadow [Go back to the above mentioned reference in Colossians 2:6-23].

Paul calls these things elementary!

Colossians 2:8

“See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.”

Colossians 2:20-23

20 If you have died with Christ to the elementary principles of the world, why, as if you were living in the world, do you submit yourself to decrees, such as, 21 “Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch!” 22 (which all refer to things destined to perish with use)—in accordance with the commandments and teachings of men? 23 These are matters which have, to be sure, the appearance of wisdom in self-made religion and self-abasement and severe treatment of the body, but are of no value against fleshly indulgence.

What in the world is the world Paul is referring to in this text? How about the Jewish and pagan world! He is referring to Jewish rules and regulations as well as pagan prohibitions that had an outward appearance of being godly, but was “self-made religion.”

There are too many people focused on Christ’s shadow. Shadows point to a greater reality. Old Testament types and shadows are the virtual reality.

Jesus Christ is reality!

Look at what Peter had to say about salvation, “3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials , 7 so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 8 and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, 9 obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls. 10 As to this salvation, the prophets who prophesied of the grace that would come to you made careful searches and inquiries, 11 seeking to know what person or time the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating as He predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow. 12 It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves, but you, in these things which now have been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven—things into which angels long to look .” [1 Peter 1:3-12]

Come on somebody – where is “we must keep the festivals or any other Old Testament ritual to be saved?” In fact, Peter says God’s power keeps us in our salvation through [our] faith!

Hebrews 11:6 – “But without faith it is impossible to please him.” “Without faith” NOT “without the festivals” it is IMPOSSIBLE to please God.

Peter even says that the Spirit of Christ prophesied the message of grace through the Old Testament prophets and that He [Holy Spirit] “predicted” the sufferings [at the hands of lawless Jews which included their constant harassing Him, turning Him over to the Romans, giving false testimony against Him, abandoning Him, mocking Him while on the Cross, shall I go on . . . .calling Him Beelzebub, saying He was a bastard child, refusing to kill Him themselves by stoning as a false prophet but hiring a hit man [Pilate] to crucify Him. This to me clearly reveals they knew exactly what they were doing].

God’s grace is God’s ability!

It is a gift from God!

Grace does not provide excuses for misbehavior [sin, immaturity]. God’s grace enable us to be [become] who He says we are and to do all that He says we can do.

Friends, it is up to you to stay free from religious teaching and teachers who want nothing more than to bring you back under a religious system that died and was replaced 2000 years ago.

God raised Jesus the Christ from the dead. He will NEVER raise Judaism from the dead!

Paul wrote in Galatians 5 – “It WAS for FREEDOM’S sake that Christ set YOU free. Therefore, DO NOT ALLOW yourselves to be enslaved again by any yoke of bondage.” [V1]

Check out Paul’s warning to Titus, another one of his sons in the faith who he had placed on Crete to set in order the local church there – “10 For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision: 11 Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake. 12 One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, The Cretians are alway liars, evil beasts, slow bellies. 13 This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith; 14 Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth. 15 Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled. 16 They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate” [Titus 1:10-16].

These false teachers of the circumcision were either Jewish Christians or men masquerading as Christians or unsaved Jewish men who could not stand other Jews, and even Gentiles getting saved and becoming free. Money was a main motivating force for their “theology”. They professed a relationship with God but in reality denied Him through their works [teachings].

This is what Paul had to say to the saints in Thessalonica –

1 Thessalonians 2:13-16 – “13 For this reason we also constantly thank God that when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but for what it really is, the word of God, which also performs its work in you who believe. 14 For you, brethren, became imitators of the churches of God in Christ Jesus that are in Judea, for you also endured the same sufferings at the hands of your own countrymen, even as they did from the Jews, 15 who both killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and drove us out. They are not pleasing to God, but hostile to all men, 16 hindering us from speaking to the Gentiles so that they may be saved; with the result that they always fill up the measure of their sins. But wrath has come upon them to the utmost.” [See Acts 17 for context]

The false circumcision teachers were promoting “Jewish fables”. There are a host of opinions as to what these fables actually were but we can suffice to say they were being used to subvert whole households in order to get people’s money.

As I stated in my previous blog Eschatological Options “Bad News Sells.” There are actually Christians today promoting war and profiting off of it by selling DVD’s, CD’s, books, etc. Many predictions have been espoused by those who have a non Scriptural love affair with natural Israel. To me they are no different than those who have an non Scriptural love affair with Mary. Natural Israel and Mary were simply vehicles to bring the Savior of the world into the world. Once the Savior arrived we should have honor for natural Israel and Mary but our focus is on Jesus. Because only those who are in Christ are the people of God.

God told Israel the only way they could stay on the the land or return to the land was through obedience and repentance. As far as I know they have yet to repent for falsely accusing Jesus and murdering Him.

I will not take up more time and space to provide the Scripture texts for the following statements.

God’s promise of land to Abraham and to his Seed was unconditional!

Natural Israel’s right to retain the land was conditional on their complete obedience to God!

Natural Israel’s right to return to the land after they rebelled and were expelled was based on REPENTANCE!

The actual promise of land to Abraham [actually Abram] was the planet not Palestine. Romans 4:13 – “For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.”

In closing, I do not personally know of one person who believes the Old Testament has been done away with, in the sense that it no longer has value to us. I do personally know lots of people who believe the Old Testament has been fulfilled in Jesus Christ, and that He inaugurated, and is the Mediator of a better covenant. The New Testament explains the Old Testament, not vice versa! The New Testament is SUPERIOR to the Old Testament.

I don’t know about you, but I am not looking backwards into the Old Testament. I choose rather to do what the apostle Paul said in Philippians 3, “2 Beware of the dogs [Jews considered non Jews [the heathen] dogs and here Paul is saying unregenerate Jews are dogs [heathen]], beware of the evil workers, beware of the false circumcision [unsaved Jews or the Judaizers]; 3 for we are the true circumcision, who worship in the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh, 4 although I myself might have confidence even in the flesh. If anyone else has a mind to put confidence in the flesh, I far more: 5 circumcised the eighth day, of the nation of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the Law, a Pharisee; 6 as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to the righteousness which is in the Law, found blameless. 7 But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. 8 More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, 9 and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, 10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; 11 in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. 12 Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. 13 Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind [See verses 4-6] and reaching forward to what lies ahead,14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Let us therefore, as many as are perfect [mature], have this attitude; and if in anything you have a different attitude, God will reveal that also to you; 16 however, let us keep living by that same standard to which we have attained.”

And again,

Hebrews 8:1-13 – “1 Now the main point in what has been said is this: we have such a high priest, who has taken His seat at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, 2 [Jesus is] a minister in the sanctuary and in the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, not man. 3 For every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices; so it is necessary that this high priest also have something to offer. 4 Now if He were on earth, He would not be a priest at all, since there are those who offer the gifts according to the Law; 5 who serve a copy and shadow of the heavenly things, just as Moses was warned by God when he was about to erect the tabernacle; for, “See,” He says, “that you make all things according to the pattern [the heavenly pattern] which was shown you on the mountain.” 6 But now He [Jesus] has obtained a more excellent ministry, by as much as He is also the mediator of a better covenant, which has been enacted on better promises. 7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion sought for a second. 8 For finding fault with them, He says, “Behold, days are coming, says the Lord, when I will effect a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah; 9 not like the covenant which I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; For they did not continue in My covenant, and I did not care for them, says the Lord.10 “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws into their minds, and I will write them on their hearts. and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 11 “And they shall not teach everyone his fellow citizen, and everyone his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord, ‘For all will know Me, from the least to the greatest of them. 12 “For I will be merciful to their iniquities, And I will remember their sins no more.” 13 When He said, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. But whatever is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to disappear.”

Stay Hungry And Thirsty For God My Friends!

Dr. Kevin M. Drury, DMin

A Hisstorymaker!