What is the better way to move around? To walk in the light of day, or to walk in a dark room with a small flashlight? When you use a flashlight, only the area where you point that light is enlightened. But when you walk in the light of day, everything is illuminated. This is the choice every person makes concerning their daily spiritual walk in life and living. Whether Christian or non-Christian, we all make this choice concerning our walk. For the Christian, it means whether we choose to live in spiritual light by the Holy Spirit or live by the logic and reason of our intelligence. For the non-Christian, it means whether they choose to commit their lives to the spiritual powers of the world or live by their own intelligence.
The difference between the spirit that Christians rely upon and the spirits that non-Christians rely upon is the difference between Jesus Christ and every other spirit.
Romans 8: 14 “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.”
To be led by the Spirit of God is to follow and obey God’s lead. That means to trust in the revelation of the Holy Spirit within you. Or, to be even more blunt, to trust an invisible God and believe that the invisible voice in your heart is from God. The world already knows how to trust the voice of devil spirits in their heart. Take your pick from Indian heritage to witchcraft, Voodoo to Eastern religions, transcendental meditation to the Secret, there is a true smorgasbord of spirituality to choose, all without Christ.
But Christians are NOT taught to trust God’s voice at all. Gary Stearman, the host of Prophecy Watchers.com states that the invisible God is a mystery. He speaks using spiritual terminology and the popular channel he hosts even talks about prophecy. But he states himself that the working of the Holy Spirit displayed by the apostles of the early church was a special anointing reserved for only those men, at that time, for the purpose of establishing the Christian church. This is the accepted belief of most Christian ministers today and is what they were taught in seminary. They all believe they are walking in spiritual faith with God already by simply following the written Word alone.
Mr. Stearman expounds on Colossians 1: 9 in one of his videos and explains three key words in the verse. Here is the verse:
Colossians 1: 9 “For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;”
He is an ordained minister with many years of experience and a congregation of followers both in his church and online. This expository teaching can be found at his Prophecy Watchers channel on Roku under the heading “Studies with Stearman.” The study is titled “The Mystery of the Invisible God.” These are the three key words: “knowledge,” “wisdom,” and “spiritual understanding.” The last word is actually two words that must be understood together because they point to a specific kind of understanding. Here is how he explains these three words.
“‘Knowledge’, epignōsis, means: learning the facts. Learning the framework upon which can be built a higher knowledge.” (quoted)
He goes no farther in the explanation of this word. He doesn’t tell us what the “higher knowledge” may be, but leaves the listener open to assumptions and goes directly into the next word, wisdom.
“‘Wisdom’ is sophia and it’s a philosophical term and it means learning the elements of understanding complex issues.” (quoted)
He reiterates that Paul opens this prayer desiring the believer to have “epignōsis, full knowledge of His will and wisom, rock solid logic and spiritual understanding. And so this is clause one of his prayer and there are seven more, making a total of eight.” Then he continues on to verse 10. We are led to believe that the “facts” are Biblical, leading to “spiritual” higher knowledge, which “wisdom” reveals the elements of the complex issue of God’s invisible mystery.
Ladies and gentlemen, there are three key words in this verse that needed to be explained. Mr. Stearman even stated that there are three key words. But he only bothered to explain two of the three words and his definitions were nothing more than a short blurb that we are to accept as truth without any more facts or explanation. We are simply left to assume he knows what he is talking about because of his stature as the host and minister in charge of the lesson. Christian religion has set protocols that believers who are not ordained and authorized to teach are supposed to follow.
One of these protocols is to never question the authority of the teacher and assume he knows what he is saying. In this manner, the teacher remains the teacher and the believer is always the student. The student’s place is always under the teacher and never to be at the same level of understanding or authority. This is not entirely a wrong idea. It is the basis of Old Testament structure, the Temple, and the government. But when Jesus sent the Holy Spirit, everything changed. This change is taught all through the New Testament, but it is greatly ignored in the church today as unnecessary.
The early church was not built by the wisdom and preaching of men, but by the demonstrated power of the Spirit of God at work among men. This is what turned the pagan Gentiles to Jesus Christ. But at the same time that spiritual truth was spreading, religious authority within the church was also fighting to remain dominant. Religious authority sets the leadership above and separate from the believers. Its power rests upon the wisdom of the leadership being greater and distinct from the ignorance of the congregation, or laity. This is the power of religion and is distinctly different from the power of God. Paul had to address this religious movement within the Christian believers.
1 Corinthians 2: 4, 5 “And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.”
There were two gospels of Jesus Christ fighting for dominance in the early church. One gospel, preached by the religious Messianic Jews demanded the obedience to the law. The other gospel, preached by Paul, rested in the relationship and power of God by the Holy Spirit. The first gospel was championed by Peter among the Jews. Its power was the wisdom and authority of the law and leadership of the church. The second gospel was championed by Paul among the Gentiles. Its power was the wisdom and liberty of walking with God by every believer. This is what Paul told the Galatians.
Galatians 1: 6, 7 “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.”
The two words translated “another” in these two verses are not the same word in the Greek. They have two distinctly different meanings that are never conveyed in the English, but are shown by the Greek. The first word “another” in verse 6 is heteros, which is “another of a different kind.” The second word “another” in verse 7 is allos, which is “another of a similar kind.” So the two verses could be rendered in this manner to make more sense.
Galatians 1: 6, 7 “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto a different gospel: Which is not the same (as the one I taught you); but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.”
These are the two competing “wisdom’s” in the church. The wisdom of authority among men based upon obedience to the law controlling the flesh, or the wisdom of God based upon demonstrated spiritual power by the followers of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The first wisdom is carnal, logical, and cold. It is the imposition of the precepts of law and tradition without spiritual power or the need for any demonstration of spiritual power. This was the way of the Jewish leadership at the time, fighting to maintain their religious authority over the new believers of the Lord Jesus Christ. And this was also the demonstrated habit pattern of Peter even though he knew how to walk by the Spirit. The second wisdom is spiritual, unpredictable, and compassionate. It is the way of walking by faith with the Holy Spirit at work in the believers of the Lord Jesus Christ.
So knowledge and wisdom in the church can come by two different methods. In the carnal church led by the wisdom of men, knowledge comes from the leadership of the church and is based upon logical reasoning. The knowledge is built step by step, precept upon precept. Leaders who are authorized to teach have to display detailed knowledge of church doctrine. This carnal church has no need for a spiritual display of any kind. In fact, any spiritual display of power would be disruptive to the status quo in that spiritual power needs a spiritual Lord that supersedes the authority of men. In order to control or reduce the disruption of spiritual displays of power in the carnal church, it is easiest to class all spiritual displays as devilish without any regard to its source. Especially when the leadership of the church is incapable of making these displays due to spiritual immaturity, unbelief, or outright rejection of Godly spirituality. This attitude began after the fall of Jerusalem to Roman forces in 70 A.D. and the end of the first century.
The problem with the early church of the first century, was simply that the church met in synagogues. The doctrine of Jesus Christ was taught by Jews to the Gentiles. Christianity is a Jewish belief and Jesus Christ was a Jewish leader who demonstrated God’s spiritual power actively at work in His life and taught others how to do the same in their lives. These others were the 12 apostles and all of them were zealous of the law. Every time Jesus walked by the Spirit of God, He demonstrated the weakness of the wisdom of men against the power of God. The established leadership of the Temple was jealous of His power. The same Temple leadership was still the leadership of the synagogues after the Holy Spirit came on Pentecost. When the new believers demonstrated God’s power, this same leadership was jealous of these believers. They worked to discourage those displays in order to maintain their control and authority all through the book of Acts and the church in Jerusalem slowly conformed to their authority. Demonstrated spiritual power was discouraged in every way by Temple leadership as it cannot be controlled by the precepts of men.
This was how the Christian church grew after the death of the apostles towards the end of the first century. But the carnal church was never meant to be the dominant church. Until Paul was arrested by these religious leaders, he built the gentile Christian church with the demonstrated power of God. It took Paul’s disappearance from the leadership structure of the first century church to allow carnal Christianity to dominate Christian history. As long as the “knowledge” we learn is carnal and logical, the “wisdom” we practice is firmly based on the flesh and the leadership we follow are the men and women of the church and the doctrines they teach. This is the first form of “wisdom” based upon carnal “knowledge” and the logic and intelligence of the flesh.
The second form of wisdom comes from God and is based upon spiritual power lived by the followers of the Lord Jesus Christ. In this case, knowledge comes from God directly by the Holy Spirit but the knowledge of the written Word is still essential. This was not a problem when the believers met daily in the synagogues and in the homes. They were able to talk to one another about spiritual matters and Jewish history is filled with the power of God at work among men. They knew God was real. Many of them knew Jesus Christ directly and sat under His feet when He taught. Some of them were sent out by Jesus to heal, cast out demons and spread His gospel of the Kingdom of God. These people experienced the power of God at work in their own lives because of the Spirit that Jesus ministered to them. The Jews knew how to hear from God, by the Spirit, and obey God, by their ministering. But by the end of the first Century, Jews and Gentiles were firmly at odds against one another and Gentile Christians were forced to figure out Godly spirituality without the help of Jewish history or understanding.
The defining difference of the second form of wisdom is the wisdom that comes from God. It is NOT a precept based logic, but a precept supported logic. The revelation that comes from God by the Holy Spirit does not in any way change the written Word of God. What it does change, is the focus of the leadership. Church leadership of men teaches the written Word of God, but the believer obeys God directly. To the degree that spiritual revelation agrees with the spirit of the written Word, then that revelation can be obeyed as from God Himself. To the degree that the spiritual revelation does not agree with the written Word of God, then that revelation can be cast off as a deception from devils or the logic and reasoning of the mind. In this manner, the believer must know the written Word and be able to try the spirits whether they are of God.
1 John 4: 1 “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.”
A believer that walks with this much trust in God by the Holy Spirit, is making Jesus Christ their direct Lord. This elevates the importance of God in the believer’s walk and reduces the impact and importance of a powerless religion. The problem with today’s world however, is that powerless, and spiritless Christianity is competing against the powerful and devilish spirits of the world. As long as Christianity was the dominant force in culture, devil spirits were held back and could not take over. But it became obvious to the world that Christianity was becoming nothing more than another empty and spirit less religion of the world. In response, the principalities of the world became emboldened to reclaim their former dominance. Beginning in the 17th Century, the Christian church itself began to change in a much darker way. While it was still expected that all Christians would attend regular church services every Sunday, they were no longer expected to live their Christianity outside of church.
The rise of Deism contributed to the rise of the watered down gospel from the pulpit. Truth was no longer absolute. Without the Spirit of God in operation at the pulpit, God became more and more like the Greek and Roman gods of classical history and philosophy. The power of God became a mythical story from the long lost past. Biblical truth became an impossible goal to live. And classical mysticism became the vogue along with the rise of the acceptance of the theory of evolution during the 19th Century. With the help of the supporters of Hegel and the Luciferian church, Karl Marx renounced Christianity and developed the Socialist philosophy. With the help of witchcraft and a spirit guide, Alice A. Bailey also renounced Christianity and developed the New Age philosophy, which was adopted into the UN Charter. These are spiritual developments from the princes and principalities of the world that have marked the 20th Century. The problems of the world are caused by the rejection of Godly spirituality by the church and the acceptance of devilish spirituality by the rest of the world.
Because the leaders of the church like Gary Stearman are ignorant of God’s spirituality by the Holy Spirit, they are powerless against the ongoing rise of devilish power in the world. Jesus Christ fought against these devil spirits long ago and won. He revealed the mystery of the invisible God for His believers to gain victory against these ruling cultural spirits. This is why every Christian believer needs to learn how to understand the written Word of God from the spiritual point of view instead of the carnal point of view alone. We need to know how to defeat these spirits and make them submit to the will of God once again. But these ruling spirits will never submit to a superficial Christian fighting with the tools of the flesh. They will only submit to the power of God wielded by a mature Christian living by the faith of Jesus Christ and uses the spiritual tools of the Holy Spirit daily. This is the change that God is bringing about in the church today for the 21st Century. It is a grass roots movement with change starting from the congregation. It is happening without the help of a pulpit that cannot understand spiritual matters. That is church leadership who are ignorant or have rejected Christian spirituality and Godly power by walking with their logic and intelligence instead.
Mr Stearman explained “knowledge” and “wisdom” from the carnal point of view. Here is the same verse explained from the spiritual point of view.
Colossians 1: 9 “For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;”
To “be filled with the knowledge of his will” is to be filled with the Holy Spirit, know what the written Word says, and to be able to recognize Jesus’ voice in your heart. It is to be able to hear direct spiritual revelation from God. When you know the written Word and it agrees with spiritual revelation from the Holy Spirit, you will know God’s will for that moment of time and situation at hand. Now that you will know what God’s will is, you will also know what to do. That is the “wisdom” Paul is speaking about in this verse. When God tells you what is happening, “knowledge,” He is also giving you insight from the spiritual realm. This is “spiritual understanding.” To know when devil spirits are at work trying to disrupt things around you. But God won’t tell you what’s happening so you can do nothing about it. He will also tell you how to fight against them. “Wisdom” is to know how and when to act spiritually against devilish spiritual forces.
If you believe that we are living in the end of times with Jesus Christ about to return at any moment, then now is the time to rise up and mature spiritually. Christian religion without an understanding of spirituality in Christ is an utter failure. To expect the pulpit to change and become truly spiritual is foolhardy. If you really want to know God and experience His power in your life, you have to learn by yourself with God. But you don’t have to figure it all out alone. My book came about after a lifetime of searching to know God from church. It is possible to get to know God spiritually from church, but you will never find out all you need to know from any single church or denomination. They all know part of the truth, but none of them can put it together so you can build your own relationship with God directly. They all believe they are spiritual, but their spirituality is framed by carnal understanding. Our flesh is weak and will always fight against the spirit.
Galatians 5: 17 “For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.”
This verse shows how the flesh and the spirit are against each other. To frame our spirituality with church doctrine is to use the flesh to define the spirit. This is how we are taught to understand spiritual matters and it is confusing and foolish. The spirit from God is higher, greater, or above the flesh. It sets above the realm of the flesh. Our job as Christian believers is to train our soul to obey God’s Spirit. By doing this, we are literally making Jesus Christ our Lord. Our lives are no longer controlled by the doctrine, (law), of the church, but by the Spirit of God.
Galatians 5: 18 “But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.”
When church leaders like Gary Stearman try to define our “spiritual understanding” with the “knowledge” and “wisdom” of our carnal understanding, (the flesh), spirituality will always remain a mystery. The great fear of every church leader that only understands things by the flesh is that the believer could follow the wrong spirit. This fear is only justified when the believer does not know the written Word and unfortunately, most of us do not know the written Word. But, even if we don’t know the written Word, God gave every one of us a promise in Gal 5: 16 that protects us.
Galatians 5: 15 “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.”
This is the one single defining difference between walking by God’s Spirit and walking by any other spirit. When you walk in faith by the Holy Spirit, you are not walking to fulfill the lusts of the flesh. When you walk by any other, (devilish), spirit, they tempt with the lusts of the flesh. This was what the devil used against Jesus in Matt 4: 1 – 11, and Luke 4: 1 – 13. These are the same kind of temptations every human being has to endure and are the same kind of temptations that cause men and nations to rise and fall. Gal 5: 19 – 21 outline the works of the flesh. To the degree that we follow spiritual revelation to fulfill any of the works of the flesh that pleases our selfish desires, we are following deceiving spirits. But to the degree we follow the Holy Spirit in obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ, we are doing the will of God the Father and learning how to walk in faith. As long as our teachers are incapable of showing us how to walk in faith with God, the devil spirits running the world are winning the spiritual war against us. We need to rise up and mature spiritually to fight against them. We need to learn how to engage in spiritual warfare and quit talking in spiritual terms to describe carnal living.
When you walk in faith with God, you are gaining “spiritual understanding.” So here is the true progression of Col 1: 9. Paul’s prayer for the believers began with his understanding of their faith in Christ Jesus. He already knew they were walking with the Holy Spirit in love for all the saints.
Colossians 1: 4 “Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints,”
The context of the chapter is their spiritual walk of faith and their Godly love for the saints. This is what God is calling the Body of Christ back into being. This is what is lost. Believers who believe God first, meaning they are willing to place their faith in their Holy Spirit and obey their Lord Jesus Christ. They must be willing to live their faith in action. In other words, believers who live what they say they believe. This is what the world is doing now, they are walking in faith with devil spirits leading their way. We need to walk in faith with God leading our way in direct competition against the world and devil spirits. The world is afraid of God because Jesus Christ had already defeated those spirits and they know that as long as a believer walks in faith with Christ they must submit to God’s will.
The walk of faith is being restored in the Body of Christ and that is what “Rules for Radical Christians: A Practical Primer for Defeating Radical Liberals at Their Own Game” is all about. Radical Liberals walk in faith with devil spirits as their source of inspiration. They believe they are enlightened. Radical Christians walk in faith with the Holy Spirit as their source of inspiration. We are learning how to walk in God’s light. Radical Liberals have Lucifer as their lord, but Lucifer is content to be called anything that takes a person’s attention away from Jesus Christ and God. Radical Christians have Jesus Christ as their Lord and worship God as their spiritual Father. The book is called a practical primer because it only scratches the surface and serves as an introduction to help anyone begin a walk of faith with God. Developing and maturing in that walk will take a lifetime. The only question left now is, when do you want to start? I will guarantee that you will not find the information in this book anywhere in any single church.