Gal 3:5 & 6 – He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.

I woke up in the middle of the night with that reference in my mind; the reference: ‘Galatians 3:5 & 6’ had been spoken to me by someone in a dream, but I didn’t know what the passage was. I figured that since I had just woken up, and the reference was fresh in my mind that I’d turn on a light and look it up while it was fresh in my mind. Turns out when I read it, I knew it had to be the Lord trying to stir up this revelation in me. It falls right in line with a scripture I had been meditating on recently – Romans 8:2 ‘For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.’

Here is a pertinent revelation which I have had in the past, but the Lord is stirring it up in my spirit in a new degree, and I think its so that I can minister it to others. A lot of what we are seeing in these days in every circle is a deep degree of polorization (which ties in, bear with me); polotics are deeply factioned, religion is deeply factioned, families are deeply factioned. Actually, this is a sign of the times; Jesus describes the phenomenon in speaking of latter day events (Luke 21:16).

Have you ever had anyone try to convert you? You know, like the Mormons, or Jehovah’s Witnesses?

People try to convert me ALL THE TIME. Not ussually the Mormons or Jehovah’s Witnesses, anymore (though every once in a while…). Most of the time the people who try to convert me are people that I mostly agree with – generally the people who try to convert me are Christians. Some people try to convert me to the church of Rome, some people try to convert me to Calvinism, some peoeple try to convert me to a certain politial perspective (or party)… most everywhere I go to fellowship with other believers, they try to convert me to their specific perspective, theology or orginization.

The difficulty with this lies in one specific thing: is Chritianity a religion? Because I have come to be convinced that it is not supposed to be a religion at all. I don’t really like to use the phrase: ‘Christianity is a relationship, not a religion,’ because that phrase has become a trite, token thing to say without any real meaning (oft repeated right in the midst of denominational faction). Its meaning is overlooked… and people frankly don’t believe it. In a debate about theology & doctrine (I’ve had a few), one of the first points people drop (or at least have with me – and it tells me a lot) is: “Oh, come on when it comes down to it, you have to admit Christianity really is a religion.”

When I hit this point with a Catholic, I certainly let them have it because Catholocism definately is a religion… (and that’s one of the main reasons I’m not a Catholic) but that doesn’t mean Christianity is.

Biblically, Christianity is a covenant (which I have discussed in greater detail elsewhere); a covenant is a relationship – the best example that I know of is marriage. Marriage is a covenant relationship.

Religion (of any kind) is a law: things you must DO, or not DO in order to be a participant in relationship with God. Christ abolished the law: ‘Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances…’ (Eph 2:15)

I’ve elsewhere discussed Judaism, which is a RELIGION had a development can be traced through the Old Testament. FIRST was the COVENANT. God made covenant with Abraham (which superceded His covenant with Noah); interestingly, Abraham had an intimate relationship with God… but God held him to NO LAW. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were in covenant with God and there was no law, or priesthod: NO RELIGION just a relationship. (Of course Abraham honored Melchizidek as a priest, and honored him with tithes, this came from honoring the anointing on Melchizidek, not on the basis of it being a religious requirement (Gal 5:18 – But if ye be LED OF THE SPIRIT ye are not under the law.) The Law wasn’t added until later, when the people of the covenant resisted walking in a relationship with God (as Paul declared later: the law was added because of transgression (Gal 3:19).)

The New Covenant returns us to the same relational setup that God had with Abraham, For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. (Rom 8:2)

Most Christians, whether they realize it or not develop their own religion. Anyone who tries to convert you to anything beyond a True Covenant cut with God on the basis of Jesus Christ’s sacrifice is in some way factionalizing you.

As it was said: He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. (Gal 3:5 & 6)

Among the Old Testament prophets who predicted the coming of Christ, and the New Covenant, one specifically stands out to me as a man who attained the New Testament faith even centuries before Christ came in the flesh. That man was Isaiah, the prophet. Hundreds of years before Jesus came, Isaiah saw Christ enthroned over the temple in Jerusalem, seated far above the realm earthly kings of Israel (Is. 6). In fact, it coud be argued that Isaiah was the first commissioned Apostle of Jesus Christ; Isaiah was personally commissioned by Jesus Christ to prophesy the Lord’s coming in a way that would blind the Jews from percieving THAT EVERYTHING HE (ISAIAH) SAID WAS ABOUT JESUS CHRIST (Is. 6:9 & 10).

In Isaiah’s commissioned apostolic capacity (yet during the dispensation of the Old Covenant), he and his disciples were entrusted with the New Covenant Gospel message in the form of a mystery (it could be revealed, or taught as plain doctrine because it had not happened yet (Christ’s coming)). The mystery could only be revealed to those who had been enlightened by the Holy Spirit just as Isaiah declared it:

Isaiah 8:14,16-18 ‘And He [Jesus] shall be… for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both houses of Israel, for a gin and a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. … 16 Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples. 17 And I [Isaiah, or figuratively: the elect] will wait upon the Lord, that hideth his face from the house of Jacob, and I [Isaiah, the elect] will look for Him [will watch & wait for the Messiah]. 18 Behold, I [Isaiah] and the children whom the Lord hath given me and for wonders in Israel from the Lord of hosts, which dwelleth in mount Zion.

Interestingly, Christ STERNLY admonished Isaiah not to make faction with any. Just a few verses before the above passage where it is revealed that Isaiah and his disciples are the keepers of the secret knowldge of the New Covenant, Isaiah said this:

Is. 8:11-14 For the Lord spake thus unto me with a strong hand [sternly], and instructed me that I should not walk in the way of this people, saying, ‘Say ye not, A confederacy to all them to whom this people shall say, A confederacy; neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid. Sanctify the Lord of hosts Himself [Jesus Christ]; and let Him be your Dread. And He shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.’

What was it that kept Isaiah in the right Way? Was it because he converted to the system of Orthodox Judaism that existed in the days of Uzziah (faction)? Was it because he submitted to the nation of Judah as a theocratic government being the precursor of the reign of Christ (faction)? No, in fact, according to Isaiah, joining in confederacy to any earthly group was something that Christ STERNLY instructed Him against. (Those who are under the Old Covenant (the Jewish religion) are still blind to the Gospel just as they were in Isaiah’s day (2 Cor. 3:14-16).)

So it is in these days of religious, and political faction and polorization. Joining a religion, or religious organization, or ascribing to someone’s theological system WILL NOT save you.

To Isaiah was given this charge, as also unto us: Sanctify the Lord Jesus Christ, Himself (Christ, and Christ alone); and let Him be your dread, and He will be for your sanctuary.

Gal 3:5 & 6 – He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.

Romans 8:2 ‘For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.’

(This post may actually be a good prequel to this one: ‘How to Recognize the Messiah’)