By now it should be obvious that God’s children of light should always be growing spiritually. However, the true reality about spiritual growth is this, the believer should always be striving to be like Jesus, but due to our humanity, will never reach full perfection until His return. But due to the lack of spiritual examples since the end of the first century, most of us never fully mature to the point where we can truly make Jesus Christ our Lord. We confess it openly and privately, but until we are faced with an impossible situation, we will never really know if Jesus is truly our lord or simply our savior. There is a very subtle but important mental difference between the two.
Recognizing and acknowledging Jesus Christ as our personal savior is all that is needed to bring us into the church fold. This is the great deception of the carnal Christian church and the greatest obstacle that modern Christians have to overcome. The carnal Christian follows the rules. The carnal Christian obeys their leadership. The carnal Christian is religious and will defend their church and its doctrine even to death and against other Christian believers. The carnal Christian understands the Word of God’s role as the definer of “right” and “wrong” concerning sin, and the definer of “good” and “bad” morals or character. They understand all of these things by their intelligence, but to make Jesus Christ Lord in their life, requires a commitment to walk in faith by the Holy Spirit. To the degree that the Holy Spirit is understood, or ignored, determines the depth of their spirituality with God. The carnal Christian understands “spirituality,” as a moral issue alone concerning sin. But a Radical Christian understands spirituality, as a Lordship issue between God and man.
The Radical Christian is the type of Christian that is represented on the final side of the allegorical coin we’ve been considering for some time. A carnal Christian is so bound by respect for man’s authority, that to obey God in spite of the traditions and teachings of the church is truly gut wrenching. They can literally become physically ill. Even though obedience to God is simple, it is the possibility of disobedience to men that makes obedience to God difficult. This is the first and most powerful deterrent against obedience to God. It is the power of religious doctrine and pastoral authority. This is the defining factor for the people that are represented by the first side of the coin, (tails), and the edge of the coin, (the narrow beam).
Radical Christians live as the head, not the tail. We are not “doormats for Jesus.”
Deuteronomy 28: 13, 14. “And the LORD shall make thee the head, and not the tail; and thou shalt be above only, and thou shalt not be beneath; if that thou hearken unto the commandments of the LORD thy God, which I command thee this day, to observe and to do them: And thou shalt not go aside from any of the words which I command thee this day, to the right hand, or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them.”
This is the promise God gave to Israel and Christianity is first and foremost a Jewish belief that continues the spiritual narrative of the Old Testament. The promises made to Abraham and to the nation of Israel in the Old Testament apply to the Christians of today because we are worshiping and following their same God. Everything the Old Testament said about the LORD is embodied in Jesus Christ. The American Standard Version uses the word “Jehovah” instead of “LORD” and it is actually more accurate in that it aligns with the original, written Hebrew of the ancient texts; “yᵊhōvâ,” H3068. To state it more bluntly, Jesus Christ in the New Testament is yᵊhōvâ or LORD in the Old Testament. Jesus never stated that He was God, but He never denied any attribute of yᵊhōvâ either. The LORD and all of the LORD’s power and authority in the Old Testament, is true of Jesus Christ when He walked in Israel 2000 years ago, and today in our lives as Christians. This is the bridge that Radical Christians have successfully figured out for themselves, but until now they’ve all figured it out privately and individually.
This does not, by any means, implies that the Radical Christian lives a better life or is smarter than a carnal Christian. Living a better life is a direct result of education and application. These are matters of the flesh and intelligence. It does mean that the Radical Christian understands the line of division between the flesh and the Spirit better than the carnal Christian. “The walk of faith” with God is not directed to the structured church and its leadership, but directed by Jesus Christ in obedience to the Holy Spirit. The Radical Christian lives according to the directing hand of Jesus as is reveals in 1 Corinthians chapter 12.
1 Corinthians 12: 8, 10b “For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; to another discerning of spirits;”
These are the revelation manifestations of the Holy Spirit. These manifestations are also called “women’s intuition,” “gut feelings,” “first thought,” or “your conscience.” For the Radical Christian, these things are all attributed to God and the terms “word of wisdom,” “word of knowledge,” or “discerning of spirits” is used. We use the correct Biblical terms to describe the Holy Spirit’s way of communicating with the believer. These are the revelation manifestations or God’s way of telling you something directly. These “revelation manifestations” are not just a mental phenomenon where an “audible voice” is heard. God works with His children in exactly the same way that He worked with believers all throughout the Bible. If we really believe that God is the same, and has never changed, then it is our attitudes about God that has changed.
Hebrews 13: 8 “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.”
James 1: 17 “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”
The Radical Christian believes that God is real, true, alive, and powerful. There is absolutely no doubt at all that God answers prayers. As a result, the Radical Christian not only desires, but expects to witness God’s power and miracles just as it is promised in 1 Corinthians.
1 Corinthians 12: 9 and 10a “To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles;”
These are called “the manifestation of the Spirit” in 1 Corinthians 12: 7. What we’ve failed to hear from the pulpit of Christian churches are practical, spiritual lessons that teach us how to walk in faith by the Holy Spirit God, gave us when we became born again. We need practical lessons that show how men and women of God throughout the Bible received revelation and worked miracles with God. Instead, we get moral lessons that keep our attention directed to men and our flesh. We learned to obey men and clean up our flesh when we needed spiritual lessons that direct our attention to God and His ability to deliver us from evil and darkness every day of our lives. These are lessons that we’ve been forced to figure out alone and many times without a real ability to learn how God’s Word explains itself.
The Radical Christian knows how to study the Bible directly, and is willing to stake their eternal existence on the Word of God. Carnal Christians on the other hand must depend upon another man’s ability to study God’s Word. This is why the carnal Christian depends upon men for their “spiritual” learning. They are not taught to trust God’s Word or how to study God’s Word. The carnal Christian learns the Word of God only through the doctrinal lens of the church and for many of us, have learned to ignore sections of Scripture that the church taught us to ignore. We’ve been taught to ignore, minimize, or even be afraid of this last set of spiritual manifestations of the Holy Spirit. Some churches have gone so far as to call these manifestations dead and insignificant, a thing of the past. But this is not how God tells us to regard anything that He says. This ability to water down and minimize God’s Holy Word is devilish and was part of the temptations against Jesus Christ Himself. This is how Jesus defended Himself against the devil.
Matthew 4: 4 “But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”
So church doctrine may tell us to ignore scripture, but Jesus Christ tells us that “every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God” is how we live. To that end, and because Jesus said it is important, here are the spoken manifestations of the Holy Spirit.
1 Corinthians 12: 10 edited “to another prophecy; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:” (We’ve already covered the phrases that are omitted now.)
This entire verse isn’t accepted by most mainstream churches today. Tongues was largely unknown until 1901 and is generally rejected as “died with the apostles” today by most churches. Since tongues is ignored, then “the interpretation of tongues” is likewise ignored. In the churches that do, in fact, acknowledge or practice these manifestations, they are greatly misunderstood. Any understanding is strongly based on the teachers that follow in the footsteps of the original instructions and vocabulary of 1901. No new or greater understanding is welcome. Finally, we can consider prophecy. This has been the “gold standard” proving the existence of God’s Spirit throughout the Old Testament but has also been largely ignored for 2000 years. To openly acknowledge belief or practice in any of these three manifestations, or “gifts” will open the Radical Christian to ridicule or worse. So today, this one verse alone brings fear to the heart of any carnal Christian and divides the Body of Christ.
The Radical Christian understands the source of the division is devilish. This was the first attack against the Body of Christ. To install carnal Christians as the leaders of the church and disregard the true leadership role of spiritual Christians altogether. Carnal Christians evangelize by logic, reason, intelligence, and fine speech.
1 Corinthians 2: 4a “And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom,”
The end result of this form of evangelizing is to direct a believer’s faith to the wisdom of men. This is “religion” in its lowest common denominator and defines the focus of faith for the majority of the entire world irregardless of the name of the religion. This is what radical liberals and Atheists have been saying for years. “The Christian church is no different than any other religion in the world.” And they are telling the truth about all Christian organizations. But the organizations are not the Christian church. The true church is the Body of Christ and this is the church that Radical Christians choose to acknowledge. The Body of Christ is marked with one main difference: the active and open evidence of the power of God. This is what Paul was trying to convey in 1 Corinthians.
1 Corinthians 2: 4b “but in the power of God.”
The progressive spiritual growth of a Christian is meant to lead them from darkness to light. Darkness is the state where we all begin our walk. Why should any Christian be harsh, evasive, or critical of anyone who walks in darkness? We all began that way. Walking in darkness is living life without God, seeking only to satisfy the desires of the flesh. The only way to be delivered from this state of being is for someone to share the light of God’s Word and share the message of salvation through Jesus Christ. When we accepted Christ as our savior, we receive the gift of the Holy Spirit and we are saved. This is as far as the message of the church goes. But this is not where the message in the written Word ends. The Word speaks of Jesus as both our Lord and Savior.
2 Peter 1: 11 “For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.”
But at the same time, we are also warned against going back to our original state of darkness.
2 Peter 2: 20 “For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.”
Salvation without the accompanying Lordship of Jesus Christ by the Holy Spirit and power of God in evidence is both immature and displays an incomplete message of salvation. Radical Christians have learned by their own study of Scripture that one missing piece in our walk with God. That missing piece, is tapping into the wisdom of God. The moment a believer chooses to learn how to walk in faith by the Spirit of God, they have chosen to tap into the wisdom of God and became radical in their walk. They have chosen to reduce the power of the wisdom of men in their lives and increase the importance of the wisdom of God instead. The leadership of the church in Acts actively displayed the walk of faith. But over time, it became obvious that the church became led by men who were jealous of those who walked in faith. They began to take over the leadership of the church more and more until enticing words by the wisdom of men became the driving force of evangelism. The next verse is the key to understanding why this walk became unknown.
1 Corinthians 2: 6 “Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought:”
This wisdom is not the wisdom of the world, nor of the spirits that control the world that Jesus defeated. It is the wisdom spoken among those that are “perfect.” This word “perfect” came from the Greek teleios G5046 and is found 19X in the KJV and is translated “perfect,” “man,” and “of full age.” When we look at the Outline of Biblical Usage from the Blue Letter Bible site, we find this: “full grown, adult, of full age, mature.” The wisdom they are speaking of, is among those believers who are spiritually mature. This is the perfection the church is supposed to be leading us into. But this wisdom was being lost even as the church was growing in the book of Acts. The spiritual wisdom of God is only available from the Holy Spirit and the walk of faith among spiritually mature Christians.
Those believers who are jealous of the power of God that mature Christians display are still walking by the wisdom of men. Radical Christians seek nothing less than to mature with God. They are able to defeat darkness and stay one step ahead of disaster. How? By literally walking in faith by believing and obeying God’s revelation by the Holy Spirit. The impact and importance of this walk was so profound that God kept it a secret from the foundation of the world.
1 Corinthians 2: 7 “But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:”
This mystery remains a mystery to anyone who walks by the flesh. Even carnal Christians consider the wisdom of God a mystery. As long as they continue to walk by the flesh and the wisdom of reason and intelligence, the wisdom of God will always remain a mystery. Believers walking by the wisdom of God like Jesus Christ did, would absolutely wreak havoc against the kingdom of darkness. So God kept the availability of the walk of faith a total mystery all through the ages. Here is the reason why.
1 Corinthians 2: 8 “Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.”
Radical Christians today, are believers that follow in the footsteps of the spiritual leaders of the early church. We strive to make Jesus Christ our Lord. We do this by keeping our eyes upon Him, our ears open to the Holy Spirit and our hearts upon God Almighty. We know we are fighting a spiritual battle for our souls and the souls of our friends, family, and nation. But the first and hardest battle we have to fight is the one that takes us past the walk of the flesh into the walk of faith. This is the battle where the Radical Christian becomes radical and learns to trust God by making Jesus Christ their own direct Lord. The Radical Christian builds a personal relationship with their Savior. Believing and accepting His sacrifice as payment for our souls makes Jesus Christ our Savior and is as far as the gospel of Jesus Christ goes in the church.
It is the personal relationship that makes Jesus Christ our Lord, this is the rest of the gospel of Jesus Christ. This is the missing part of the message that Satan doesn’t want any of us to know. Think about it, if the princes of this world knew, “they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.” Now that they know, they worked to make it a mystery in the church. They don’t want believers to know the power and ability they have in the Holy Spirit. Believers only have that power when they walk in faith with God by making Jesus Christ their Lord.
1 Corinthians 2: 12 and 13 “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.”
This is how the apostle Paul learned the doctrines he taught in the church epistles: Romans through Thessalonians.
Galatians 1: 12 “For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.”
Paul spends the entire set of epistles teaching how to make Jesus Christ your Lord and Savior. He never implies that the walk of faith is reserved for church leadership, but a walk that every believer can participate in with God. This walk of faith is the difference between the radical, spiritual believer and the carnal believer who walks by their flesh. The last four verses of 1 Corinthians chapter 2 compares the two different walks of a Christian believer. The natural walk of flesh and blood, or body and soul, and the spiritual walk of the body, soul, and spirit believer walking in faith.
1 Corinthians 2: 13 – 16 “Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.”
If you really want to make Jesus Christ your Lord, there is no other way but to learn how to recognize the way your Holy Spirit works in your life. The only thing stopping you is your fear. Which lord is the greater lord to fear?
Matthew 10: 28 “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”
Who holds the keys to heaven and hell today? Do you want to step in front of your savior only to hear these words?
Matthew 7: 23b “I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”
Who is Jesus speaking these words to? Look at the previous two verses.
Matthew 7: 21 – 23 “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. 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? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”
The book below outlines the process to make this walk of faith a living reality for any Christian believer. If you don’t want your Savior to speak these words to you, you must learn how to make Him your Lord. This is what defines a Radical Christian, a believer of Jesus Christ who has made Him both the Savior and the Lord of their life.