Learning God’s Word seems pointless and boring to someone who walks entirely by the flesh. But only God’s Word provides the clues we need to know the difference between walking by God’s Spirit or walking by a counterfeit spirit. Religion has elevated the written Word to a level of reverence and worship that surpasses the walk of the Holy Spirit. But without the walk of the Holy Spirit, it is impossible to have a relationship with God. Without having a personal relationship through the Holy Spirit, Jesus could truly tell a Christian follower this;
“And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” (Matt 7: 23)
This is the danger that we Christians haven’t been told. We know that He will reject anyone that works evil, but we haven’t been told the context of this verse. Look just six verses earlier to get the context, and read all the way through verse 23.
Matthew 7: 15 – 23 “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. (False prophets talk the Christian talk, may even produce signs, miracles, and wonders, but have a heart of deceit.)
(16) Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? (Jesus warns us to pay attention to their fruit. Their fruit is found in Galatians 5: 22, 23.)
(17) Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. (Corrupt fruit is also clearly listed in Galatians 5: 19 – 21. Very few of us know these verses because we’ve been raised on a “feel good” gospel that avoids direct and uncomfortable verses like these. The one’s that reveal our human nature and evil.)
(18) A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. (The fruit of a person’s life is revealed by their life. By the way they treat other people, especially the people that are evil and hurtful. Do they maintain their peace? Can they still be loving in the face of evil? Do they display joy in their life, even when all hell is breaking loose all around them? Can you see the pattern here?)
(19) Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. (Isn’t this what we do to worn out or bad fruit trees? Jesus is making a farming comparison to spiritual health now and this is a clue for what follows.)
(20) Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.(Know who? The false prophets of verse 15. He brought the subject back to spiritual teachers. How did Jesus discern good and bad spiritual teachers? By their fruit. Do they display the fruit of the spirit that comes from God? Or do they display the fruit of the spirit that is human or devilish?)
(21) Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. (Now Jesus is bringing the subject even closer to home. What about the people who we call our brothers and sisters in believing? What about our own self? If we call ourselves Christian believers, do we obey our Father in heaven? How can we obey Him, if we can’t even recognize His voice in our hearts?)
(22) Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? (Prophecy, miracles, and spiritual power performed without God’s command can still be done by believers. It is possible to cast out a devil spirit simply by using the name of Jesus Christ. But if we obey our teachers without knowing the revelation of God, we are simply obeying the ordinance of man with no relationship with the Father at all. This is a direct warning from Jesus Christ Himself to be certain beyond a shadow of a doubt who our spiritual Lord may be.)
(23) And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. (Only the believers who know and obey the Holy Spirit, can recognize Jesus voice by the Holy Spirit, and produce the fruit of the Spirit, are known by Jesus and will enter the kingdom of heaven.)
Radical Christianity is all about walking with God the Father Almighty. It is about building a spiritual relationship with God by listening to the Holy Spirit and obeying Him. When you do this, you are also listening to the voice of Jesus Christ. You are building a relationship with your Lord and Savior. By your obedience to the Holy Spirit, you show that you know Jesus and that He also knows you. This is the rest of the Gospel of Salvation that was lost by the end of the first century. We all know that anyone that believes in the Lord Jesus Christ will be saved, but very few of us know how to make Him our Lord.
Do we know that Jesus is coming back soon? Yes, but we’ve always known that. What we haven’t been told or shown openly in every Christian church, is how the Holy Spirit works with every believer. Instead, we are being taught that the Holy Spirit works primarily with church leadership, (an extension of Old Testament habits where only kings and priests had the Holy Spirit from God). Since Pentecost, every believer who makes Jesus Christ their Lord has the Holy Spirit. That means every believer can walk and talk with God like the kings and prophets of the Old Testament today. If you are born again, you are a king and priest before God and Radical Christianity takes the position that every believer has the right and ability to walk with God but also has a responsibility to know God’s Word.
This brings us to the second thing that we haven’t been shown openly in the Christian church. That is, how to really conduct our own Biblical studies. We really don’t know how to get our own questions answered by God’s written Word. We don’t know how to prepare our own spiritual meat. What we call “Bible Study” in most churches is really nothing more than extended preaching from the pulpit. More milk for immature babies. The “teacher” regurgitates what they are told to promote. Even the teacher can’t do their own personal study to convey what God has taught them personally. They follow a lesson plan prescribed by their church or suggested by their minister that another person somewhere else had done. Only the minister is really able to conduct their own search in the scriptures in most churches, simply because they were taught a method of Bible study in seminary. Not only that, the only method of Bible study the minister in most churches will allow, is the method they learned in seminary. Every other method, from any other source, will be ignored as unacceptable, subject to criticism, and ultimately rejection.
The average Christian believer is simply bound to the doctrine and tradition of their church and they are purposely kept ignorant of personal Biblical examination. As long as you are ignorant of how the Bible interprets itself, you must believe what somebody else has already “interpreted” for you. We aren’t shown how to really dig into scripture. Most of us don’t even know how a concordance works, let alone what a concordance may be. When we have a question about life, we go to our self-help books first, instead of scripture. When we are having questions about building a relationship with God, we go to our pastor instead of scripture. Everything we do in religion points us to the leaders around us, and we learn what they say, “in the name of God” as opposed to learning how to listen to God directly, and searching the scriptures directly. Radical Christianity takes the position that God wants to deal with His children just as any father would. Directly, or face to face, just as He did with Moses or as as friend, showing grace, mercy and firmness, just like He did with David.
God doesn’t want us to learn about Him purely from “second hand” instruction, but from “first hand” study and His direct instruction by the Holy Spirit. This is why every Christian should know what God identifies as the first thing we need to know about Bible study. This is a phrase that appears only twice in the entire Bible, “knowing this first.” If God inspired this phrase only two times in the entire Word of God, it behooves us to know what He wants us to know first, doesn’t it? Here they are, first:
2 Peter 1: 20, 21 “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.”
The entire Word of God is revelation information that came by way of the Holy Spirit and we don’t have the right to conjure up our own interpretations privately. A writer must think about the things they write. But the holy men of God spoke and wrote the things that the Holy Spirit moved within them to communicate. They wrote exactly what God wanted them to write. The Word was written without additional help from man, so the Word must interpret itself without additional help from any man as well. Here is the second place where “knowing this first” appears:
2 Peter 3: 3, 4 “Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,
And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.” (Bold added)
Now you can ask: What does this have to do with studying or interpreting the Scriptures? Well, you’re right to ask, so let’s allow the Word to interpret itself. To do this, we need to back up just a little, to see the context of the statement.
2 Peter 3: 2 “That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour:” (Bold added)
Both of the phrases relate back to knowing God’s Word. Both remind us that the “words which were spoken before by the holy prophets,” and “the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour,” did not come “by the will of men.” The prophets and apostles all received the Word and “spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” Because the written Word of God is direct spiritual revelation from God to these men and women of God, we do not have the right to make “any private interpretation” out of our imagination. The Word of God interprets itself, and we have the right and responsibility to allow God to tell us what He wants us to know through His Word and by His Holy Spirit.
When we are young in the Word, we need to have a minister tell us what the Word says. But as we mature, we need to allow God to tell us directly what His Word says so we can receive His answer at the moment we need it, not a week or two later. Religion wants to keep us “babes in Christ” all of our lives. God wants us to mature and walk in faith so we can prove His goodness and love every day of our lives. This is the walk of Radical Christianity.
Are you willing to learn how to please God by walking in faith with Him? Are you tired of being treated like a baby? Do you want to mature in your walk and build a relationship with your heavenly and spiritual father? You can do this without the interference of religious dogma or traditions in the privacy of your own home. The walk of faith is your walk with God. It is separate and distinctly different from the religious walk of obedience to dogma and tradition. If you really want to build this kind of relationship with God, get the book below, by clicking the link. Feel free to like, share, and comment on this post. And while you’re at it, thank you for casting your vote for my book at the Author Academy Award site also below. My book has been nominated in the Religious Non-fiction category and I really want to thank you for your vote.