Prophecy – Part 96 – Continuation, The Study of The Works of The Flesh, Galatians 5:16-21
In our last study we were examining the works of the flesh from Galatians 5:16-21. Today we want to continue that study, inasmuch as it is so very important to the success of our life for the Lord Jesus Christ.
If you remember there were 17 characteristics of the work of the flesh that we must remember. We had reviewed seven, and today we want to pick up with number 8, VARIANCE (EREIS). But as we begin, we will first consider two special points that the Scripture points out to help us.
- Remember, the flesh is so strong that it often keeps us from doing what we would. Also, as we have seen from Scripture, the only hope we have of ever controlling the flesh is to walk in the Spirit of God (the Holy Spirit) – His presence and power. (See again, Galatians 5:16, Romans 7:15-20 and 2 Corinthians 10:4.)
- Further, daily, we must live as Christ directs in Ephesians 6:10. “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the Devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against the spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:10-12).
Now let’s consider the remaining characteristics of the flesh starting with number 8, variance.
- VARIANCE (EREIS): it means strife, discord, contention, fighting, struggling, quarreling, dissension, wrangling. It means that a man fights against another person in order to get something. It might be the following – position, promotion, property, honor, recognition. He deceives, doing whatever has to be done to get what he is after.
“He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strife of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings,” (I Timothy 6:4).
“Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers” (2 Timothy 2:14).
“The beginning of strife is as when one letteth out water: therefore leave off contention, before it be meddled with” (Proverbs 17:14)
“As coals are to burning coals, and wood to fire; so is a contentious man to kindle strife” (Proverbs 26:21).
- EMULATIONS (ZELOI): that is jealousy, wanting and desiring to have what someone else has. It may be material things, recognition, honor, or position.
“And when his brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him” (Genesis 37:4). Israel loved Joseph more because he was the child of his old age. He made him a coat of many colors so his brothers hated him.
“For jealousy is the rage of a man: therefore he will not spare in the day of vengeance” (Proverbs 6:34).
“And he [the elder son] answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends but as soon as thy son [the prodigal son] was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf” (Luke 15:29-30).
- WRATH (thumoi): bursts of anger; indignation; a violent, explosive temper; quick-tempered explosive reactions that arise from stirred and boiling emotions. But it is anger which fades away just as quickly as it arose. It is not anger that lasts.
“Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: for the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God” (James 1:19-10).
“An angry man stirreth up strife, and a furious man aboundeth in transgression” (Proverbs 29:22).
- STRIFE (eritheiai): conflict, struggle, fight, contention faction, dissension, a party spirit, a cliquish spirit.
“Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves” (Philippians 2:3).
“Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the LORD that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers” (2 Timothy 2:14).
“It is an honor for a man to cease from strife: but every fool will be meddling” (Proverbs 20:3).
- SEDITIONS (dichostasiai): division, rebellion, standing against others, splitting off from others.
“For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, He hath also rejected thee from being king” (I Samuel 15:23).
“Woe to the rebellious children, saith the LORD, that take counsel, but not from me; and that cover with a covering, but not of my spirit, that they may add sin to sin:” (Isaiah 30:1).
“I have spread out my hands all the day unto a rebellious people, which walketh in a way that was not good, after their own thoughts” (Isaiah 65:2).
“But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities” (2 Peter 2:10).
13. HERESIES (AIRESEIS): rejecting the fundamental beliefs of God, Christ, the Scriptures, and the church; believing and holding to some teaching other than the truth.
“But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men” (Matthew 15:9).
“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the LATTER TIMES some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;” (I Timothy 4:1, emphasis added).
I Timothy 4:1-5 is a passage that must be taken ever so seriously by ministers and laymen alike. It is a WARNING about false teachers and their apostasy.
The false teachers will arise in the latter days of history. The phrase “latter times” means a little later on, not far out in the future. That is, false teachers were to arise within the church almost immediately, continue on through our day, and on to the end of time. I John says that false teachers are present in churches today and are called Antichrists.
The point is well made, the church and the genuine believers have to be constantly on guard against false teaching. The terrible danger of false teaching always confronts the church and believer.
NOTE: This is a revelation of the Spirit of God Himself. It is not the idea of some preacher seeking recognition because of his novel idea. It is the warning of God’s Spirit. The Spirit has spoken “EXPRESSLY ” (rhetos); that is, in specific terms, in plain words, distinctly, so that there can be no question about what is being said. False teachers will arise in the latter times.
False teachers – Apostasy: the apostasy of the false teachers is serious, so serious that it should make us search our hearts. False teachers commit several tragic errors. Three that we will examine are:
- False teachers “depart from the faith:” NOTE: THEY ARE WITHIN THE CHURCH, within the field of religion. This passage is not dealing with the philosophies and false teaching taught by unbelievers out in the world. It is talking about false teachers within the church.
The Spirit of God is warning us: some preachers and some teachers will turn away from the faith and become false teachers. They will turn away from the Lord Jesus Christ, away from the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. (See: Romans 4:25; Romans 10:9-10; I Corinthians 15:3-4; I Peter 2:24.)
NOTE: There is only ONE TRUE FAITH that can save a person.
A person can have all kinds of faith and he can have faith in all kinds of people and things and religions. But ONLY one faith can save a person, the faith in God’s Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. This is the faith from which a person must never depart. (See: John 3:16-18; John 6:40; John 14:6; John 20:31; Romans 10:9-13).
- False teachers give attention to seducing spirits and teachings of devils. There are all kinds of evil spirits throughout the world, spirits that are set on seducing and deceiving people. They are set on leading people to follow them and their ideas and teachings. They do all they can to turn people away from the doctrine and faith of Christ.
NOTE: The method they use is not a frontal attack, not a clear or loud declaration against the truth. They mix some truth with error. Their method is to…
*seduce *lure *persuade
*deceive *entice *charm
*delude *attract *appear as light and truth
(See: 2 Corinthians 11:13-15; 2 Timothy 4:3-4; Titus 1:10-11.)
- False teachers speak lies in hypocrisy. Very simply, they teach something different from what the Scriptures say, and they know it. They know they are not teaching what Scripture says. In fact, some false teachers take pride in their stand against what they call “a literal interpretation” of Scripture.
NOTE: Some even mock and poke fun at those who believe and hold to the truth of Scripture. But note what is so often overlooked:
- “Speaking lies” means speaking and teaching what is contrary to Scripture (Revelation 22:18-19; Deuteronomy 4:2; 12:32; Proverbs 30:5-6; Matthew 22:29; Matthew 24:24). This is exactly what Scripture is declaring. In the eyes of Scripture, a lie is a teaching that is contrary to the teaching of Scripture.
- “In hypocrisy” the teacher knows that he is teaching contrary to Scripture. He claims to be a minister or teacher of God, Christ, and the Word, (Scripture), and yet he teaches something contrary to what Scripture says. A hypocrite is a person who claims to be one thing but he is something else.
THE POINT IS THIS: The false teacher is a person who speaks lies in hypocrisy. He denies, refutes, or ignores what Scripture says and he knows it; yet he claims to be a minister or teacher of Christ and the gospel, he is anything but.
NOTE: This is the person who is an instrument or tool of some seducing and deceptive spirit, who teaches the doctrines of evil spirits.
(See: Matthew 15:7-9; Matthew 16:12; Matthew 23:28; Luke 12:56-57; Romans 16:17-18; Colossians 2:8; I Timothy 4:1-2; Titus 1:16; Hebrews 13:9.)
- ENVYINGS (phthonoi): This word goes beyond jealousy. It is the spirit…
- that wants not only the things that another person has, but begrudges the fact that person has them.
- that wants not only the things to be taken away from the person, but wants him to suffer through the loss of them.
(See: Proverbs 14:30; Proverbs 23:17; Proverbs 24:1; Romans 13:13; I Corinthians 13:4; Galatians 5:26.)
- MURDERS (phonoi): to kill, to take the life of another person. Murder is sin against the sixth commandment (Exodus 20:13). (See: Matthew 19:18; Romans 13:8-9; I Peter 4:15; I John 3:15.)
- DRUNKENESS (mehai): taking drink or drugs to affect one’s senses for lust or pleasure; becoming tipsy or intoxicated; partaking of drugs, seeking to loosen moral restraint for bodily pleasure. (See: Luke 21:34; Romans 13:13; I Corinthians 6:10; Ephesians 5:18; I Thessalonians 5:7; Proverbs 20:1; Proverbs 23:29-30; Isaiah 5:11; Nahum 1:10.)
- REVELLINGS (komoi): carousing; uncontrolled license, indulgence, and pleasure; taking part in wild parties; lying around indulging in feeding the lusts of the flesh, orgies). (See: I Peter 4:3; 2 Peter 2:13-14; Galatians 5:21; Exodus 32:6; Judges 9:27; I Samuel 30:16.)
Galatians 5:21 – FLESH – JUDGMENT: the judgment of those who live by the flesh. Very simply, they SHALL NOT inherit the kingdom of God. This can be clearly seen; if God is righteous, then people must live righteous lives in order to be accepted by Him. However, people ignore the fact that God’s righteousness and His demand for righteousness. People divorce their behavior from religion. People…
- profess religion.
- practice religion.
- talk religion.
- defend their beliefs about religion.
However, they go ahead and live like they want regardless of their religion. If they want to do something, they do it feeling that God will forgive them. There are few people who really think that God will reject them. They feel that they will have done enough good to be acceptable to God….
- enough kindness.
- enough religion.
- enough works.
- enough service.
In the final analysis, most people just think that God will accept them. This attitude comes from a false concept of God, a concept that looks upon God as a father who is indulgent and who gives his children the license to DO SOME WRONG.
This is a fatal mistake. It was a mistake that some of the Galatian church members were making, and is the same mistake that teeming multitudes of religious people have made down through the centuries.
“Know ye not that the unrighteous SHALL NOT INHERIT THE KINGDOM OF GOD?” (I Corinthians 6:9a).
“Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but HE THAT DOETH THE WILL of my Father, who 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 I WILL PROFESS UNTO THEM, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity” (Matthew 7:21-23, emphasis added, KJV).
NOTE: True Believers are to inherit a kingdom, a new heaven and earth where God will rule and reign. They are to be given eternal life and given the glorious privilege of being citizens in God’s kingdom and world. They are to live with Him and serve Him in PERFECTION for all eternity. This glorious privilege is to be given ONLY TO GENUINE BELIEVERS, those men and women who have truly given their lives to the Lord Jesus Christ – given their lives to live as Jesus Christ says to live. No matter how religious a person is — no matter how much zeal a person may have in keeping religious rituals and in attending services and giving to charity — if he does not live a pure and righteous life, “he or she shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” (See: I Corinthians 6:9; Matthew 5:20; I Corinthians 15:50; Ephesians 5:5; Revelation 21:27; Revelation 22:15.)
APPLICATION/CHALLENGE: – Being good is not enough. The Bible says that our good works are not good enough (Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5).
The Bible says that you must one day answer to God (Romans 1:32; Matthew 25:46).
Good question, are you ready to face death without the Lord Jesus Christ? If not saved, why do you continue to reject the only One that God says will give you eternal life?
See John 3:16 and recognize Jesus Christ as your Savior, your ONLY HOPE of entering the Kingdom of God!
See Romans 10:9-13 and follow the path to heaven!
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