DELIVERANCE FROM SIN
"Blessed are the pure heart for they shall see [behold] God." (Matt. 5:8)
There are two kinds of righteousness that come to us as part of the
new covenant. The first is imputed (ascribed) righteousness [put
into your account where you reckon it to be yours given to you].
God sovereignly forgives [says "paid in full"] our sins [spiritual and
moral indebtedness] through the blood of the Lord Jesus and imputes, or
ascribes, Jesusí own righteousness [substitutes His for ours] to us as
we put our faith in Him. On the basis of our repentance and profession
of faith in Christ, God regards us as acceptable and pleasing in His sight.
The first kind of righteousness, imputed righteousness, is the foundation
of the new covenant. We customarily refer to receiving imputed righteousness
as being "saved by grace". Imputed righteousness is the foundation
of Christian preaching and teaching.
The second kind of righteousness is actual deliverance from the nature and the effects of sin [cleansed, given up]. Today there is little understanding of the second kind of righteousness. It is the removal of the presence of sin from us so we do not sin any more. We no longer practice the actions, such as fornication, lying, stealing, murder, occult practices, and drunkenness, that are contrary to the law of God [the 100 percenter no longer practices WHATEVER The Holy Spirit leads him to see is contrary to WHATEVER God wants for him, for ONLY The Spirit of God KNOWS the things of God and what He has planned for the individual, leading him to relinquish even things that are NOT contrary to the laws of God!]. Also we [learn to] obey God without question in all matters in which He speaks to us.
Yet it is the second kind of righteousness that characterizes the new covenant. There are relatively few verses in the New Testament that speak of imputed righteousness. However, there are numerous passages in the New Testament that proclaim the necessity for the practice of righteous behavior on the part of the believer.
And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin. Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. (I John 3:5,6)
The above verse states that the Lord Jesus came to remove sin from us; not only or even primarily the guilt of our sin but the actual presence of sin. According to I John 3:3-15, Christians are not to be sinning. When we sin we are to confess that sin, obtaining both forgiveness and cleansing. We then are restored to Godís Presence. The Book of First John does not permit the continued practice of known sin in the life of the believer [There are the known sins that are named in the Bible which the believer is expected no longer to practice, but there are also UNknown sins that are known to The Holy Spirit].
There is no sin in the Kingdom of God. We cannot enter the Kingdom of God while we are practicing sin.
God is redeeming men. He is transforming them so they can bring the purity of Heaven into the Earth [our "earth" - flesh]. The Holy City, the New Jerusalem, is the Church, the Body of Christ. The Throne of God and of the Lamb dwells eternally in the new Jerusalem. Heaven will come to earth in the new Jerusalem.
Redemption is deliverance from sin, not deliverance from Hell. As long as we sin, we are under the authority of the Lake of Fire whether or not we call on the Lord Jesus. All sin belongs in the Lake of Fire and shall remain there throughout eternity. There is no escape from the moral laws of the Kingdom of God.
Jesus did not come to alter the moral laws of the Kingdom. Rather the Lord Jesus came to help us obtain our freedom from sin and rebellion so the Lake of Fire no longer has authority over us (Revelation 2:11; 3:5; 20:6).
Adam and Eve were in Paradise and there was no law of sin in their bodies. But they did not prize fellowship with God highly enough. Therefore they sinned in Paradise.
Wanting to live in fellowship with God and wanting to live in Paradise (as our natural man thinks of Paradise as a place where we can do as we please without discomfort), are two different desires. They hardly are related. Most people, whether or not they are believers, wish to enter Paradise (the kind of Paradise they imagine) when they die. They attempt to make their present environment as much like their concept of Paradise as possible.
How many people are enraptured with the idea of being in fellowship with God. So enraptured, in fact, that they spend a great deal of time praying and seeking the Lord?
If we would be scriptural, then we must agree that Jesus came to reconcile us to the Father, not to bring us to Heaven. The concept of going to Heaven when we die, or of making our eternal home in Heaven is not in the Scriptures. The term mansion, in John 14:2, is an indefensible translation leading to an incorrect concept. The meaning of the word translated mansion (in the Authorized Version) is "dwelling place". We are being made the dwelling place of the Lord. The Lordís death and resurrection makes this possible for each one of us.
The Apostle Paul sought always to be in perfect fellowship with his Christ whether in the body or out of the body. For Paul, to die was to be present with his Lord. This statement of Paulís is used to prove we enter Paradise when we die. We miss the point! The point is to be [present] with the Lord.
Now, what about the belief that once we "go to Heaven" we cannot sin? That going to Heaven is Godís solution to the problem of sin in our lives?
Let us recognize that sin is a spiritual phenomenon. Sin originated in the spirit realm. To this day, people sin because of what began in the heavensóthe rebellion of the angels [spirits] against God. As John says, "He that committeth sin is of the devil" (I John 3:8).
If this is true, how does dying and passing into the spirit realm of Paradise prevent us from trusting in our own resources for security, from desiring immoral pleasure, or from seeking our own way rather than Godís will? If self-reliance, lying (Satan is the father of liars), pride, discontent, and self-will began in the heavens, and if our lustful passions are inflamed by demons [principalities, powers], how, then, is it true that dying and passing into the spirit realm cleanses us from moral uncleanness, from trust in what we can see and acquire, and from self-seeking?
Is there a single verse of the Scriptures that teaches us Christ came to bring us to Heaven where we no longer can sin? If there is not a single verse that states this clearly, then we ought not to make such a doctrine a fundamental belief of our theology. [In fact, we learn from scripture that even the Heavens had to be cleansed. See Job 15:15; Hebrews 9:23; Hebrews 7:26]
Now that we have set forth why we believe these three Christian beliefs are not scriptural, let us proceed to a discussion of the two primary dimensions of deliverance from sin, as provided by the Lord God through Christ. Let us examine what the Scriptures teach concerning deliverance from sin.
The two primary dimensions of deliverance are:
(1) The provision that Christ will make for us at His return.
(2) The provision that Christ has made for us during our present life on the earth.
[THE AUTHOR SEES THESE AS TWO TOTALLY SEPARATE PROVISIONS, OBVIOUSLY BELIEVING IN A LITERAL RETURN (THE RAPTURE OF THE CHURCH ALBEIT AFTER "THE TRIBULATION"). MY LIFE PROVES THAT THESE ARE ONE AND THE SAME PROVISION, THE 1ST ONE THAT HE MENTIONS BEING THE CULMINATION OF THE SECOND ONE. IF YOU READ WITH WHAT I WRITE HERE IN MIND, YOU'LL BE SEEING THE REAL TRUTH...THAT CHRIST ONLY "RETURNS" TO AND FOR THOSE WHO HAVE PREPARED FOR HIM WITH THE BLESSED AND GREAT OPPORTUNITY TO SO PREPARE BEFORE PHYSICAL DEATH]...during one's present life on the Earth.
The provision for deliverance from sin at Christís return, and the provision for us now are related in a manner we shall explain later.
The provision for deliverance from sin that Christ will make for us at His return is the total removal of the presence of whatever sin remains in our personality and also the clothing of our resurrected flesh and bones with a body fashioned from the substance of eternal life. This superior body not only will be free from the law of sin, as was true also of the flesh and blood bodies of Adam and Eve, but in addition will be militantly righteous and holy [recall I have told you of a body that I am aware of under this skin?] .
The body that the overcomer will be given will be as aggressively righteous and holy as his inner spiritual nature, because the new body is being fashioned as a direct result of his victories over his temptations and tribulations (II Corinthians 4:17). His body will reflect perfectly what has been accomplished in him during his pilgrimage on the earth. He will receive this body as a reward at the coming of the Lord [The Lord "comes" when The Spirit's work is completed].
And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness [righteous acts] of saints. (Revelation 19:8)
Here is Godís answer to our cry for deliverance from the presence of sin. God will remove all of the desire of sin from us, desire that we have put to death through the Holy Spirit, and give us a body that is militantly righteous, a body that will clothe our resurrected flesh and bones [our flesh and bones will clothe "IT", which is why it is a hidden, LIVING entity]. The mortal will put on immortality. Death will be swallowed up by eternal resurrection life.
The reader must understand clearly however that the reward of the removal of the last vestiges of sin and the granting of a body fashioned from eternal life, a body that is militantly righteous and holy, will be issued only to those believers who have followed the Lord diligently. The careless, lukewarm believer is neither authorized by the Scripture nor competent through training and experience to receive such Divine Glory.
Consider: the overcomer has served God on this present earth. He has gained victory over sin. He hates sin and loves righteousness as his Lord hates sin and loves righteousness. He has obeyed God even when the obedience caused him pain and self-denial. Also, he has maintained a single-minded dedication to the things of Christ although surrounded in the present world by many temptations.
His inner spiritual nature is strong in the Lord. He has learned [been taught] to keep his body under the control of the Spirit and Word of God.
Now God will put on him a clothing of eternal life. Not only is there no sin in his body but now his body is [Divinely] filled with radiant eternal life. His body [Divinely] loves righteousness and totally rejects sin and disobedience. His body [Divinely] loves God and always desires to be in the Presence of God.
He lives and moves and has his being in the Presence of God and Christ. A righteous spirit [Divinely] made perfect, clothed with the Substance of eternal life, and filled with God and Christóthis is Godís answer to the problem of sin. This is the perfect redemption, the total deliverance from sin possible under the new Covenant.
Such freedom from sin and glorious fellowship with Christ are possible for us, but there are actions we must take now.
The concept that all believers in Christ will die and go to Heaven where they will be free from sin is, as we have stated, without the support of Godís written Word.
God expects us to be cleansing ourselves from sin during our discipleship
here. We are to be washing our robes and making them white in the blood
of the Lamb, making ourselves ready for the marriage of the Lamb. The marriage
of the Lamb is the entering of GOD AND CHRIST into us in full measure and
our being clothed with a body of glory [TRUE]. Here is the spiritual fulfillment
of the old-covenant feast of Tabernacles (Leviticus 23:34).
And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure. (I John 3:3)
Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse
ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit,
perfecting holiness in the fear of God. (II Corinthians 7:1)
And they that are Christís have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. (Galatians 5:24)
There are many passages that command us to wash the robes of our daily conduct.
Being cleansed from sin is not impossible. When the Holy Spirit convicts us of a sin, we are to confess that sin clearly and specifically. We are to repent of it thoroughly, determining never to practice it again. We are to beseech the Lord to deliver us from its power and to give us perfect victory over it. Sometimes it helps to have another person pray with us or to have the elders of the church pray for us during the assembly of the saints.
If we go to war against a sin in this manner we will achieve victory over it. The only reason we continue committing the same sins is we are not single-minded concerning victory. First we must make up our mind that what we are doing is sinful. We must name our behavior as sin. Then we must desire strongly that the Lord God remove it from our personality.
We cannot deliver ourselves from sin. Our part is to keep the commandments of the Scriptures as well as we can, continually praying and asking the Lordís help. As we keep the Lordís Word, His Spirit comes to us and breaks the chains of Satan.
There is no single procedure that always results in deliverance from sin just as there was no one strategy that resulted in victory over the tribes of Canaan. We must keep ourselves open to the Lord, looking to Him for wisdom and power.
It is the Lordís will that we be delivered spiritually and physically. The path to full deliverance varies with the individual. Deliverance is a reward for obeying the Lord. In addition, there is a reward for gaining deliverance. The believer who seeks the Lord diligently is rewarded doubly: first, by deliverance from sin; second, by the benefits that result from freedom from sin, the primary benefit being eternal life in the Presence of God.
There may be some deliverances that will come after deathódeliverances in addition to freedom from our present sinful body and the gaining of a righteous body. We are not attempting to describe such deliverances because we do not understand them clearly from the Scriptures. We do know that God can deliver anyone at any time from any kind of bondage.
And he answered and spake unto those that stood before him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment. (Zechariah 3:4)
It is wise to gain the deliverance available to us each day because we do not understand fully what will be possible in the future. The Kingdom principle is that if we are faithful in the present problems we will be entrusted with a larger sphere of opportunity.
The path to victory over sin is specific confession, thorough repentance, and trust in the Lord Jesus to remove the sin from us. It helps to assemble regularly with fervent believers if possible. It never is Godís will for one of His saints to walk helplessly in known sin. We can be delivered if that is what we desire with all our heart.
The New Testament warns us that if we sow sin we will reap destruction. The New Testament commands us to be perfect. We are to pray to God to perform what He has commanded concerning us. The Lord is willing and able to do this if we will press on toward Him with single-minded determination. The double-minded individual will receive nothing from the Lord. The promises of life and authority are for the conquerors, not for the lukewarm.
God never asks us to do what He will not enable us to do. God has commanded us to purify ourselves through the blood of Jesus. God expects us to do this and always will assist the sincere worshipper. But those who disobey Godís will have no basis on which to hope that when they die God will take them to Paradise and then clothe them with the white robe of the righteous acts of the saints. This hope is not scriptural nor reasonable.
We already have mentioned the fact that there exists a relationship between gaining victory over sin now and the receiving of the white robe of militant righteousness and holiness when Christ returns. Let us examine this relationship more closely.
The relationship is that the white robe of righteousness is being formed now by our repentance and godly living. We shall receive precisely what we have sown. If we have lived the victorious life in the Spirit, always striving against sin as God enables us, then we will be clothed with the robe of righteous conduct.
If we have lived in the lusts of the flesh, have disobeyed Christ, and have otherwise neglected our great salvation, we will be naked in the Day of the Lord. It is as simple and straightforward as that.
The fine linen, white and clean, is the righteous acts of the saints. They have woven this robe and have cleansed it by their conduct on earth. They have shown themselves worthy of being clothed with the robe of militant righteousness and holiness:
Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their
garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for
they are worthy. He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels. (Revelation 3:4,5)
Our being clothed with white raiment and keeping our name in the Book of Life depend on our overcoming sin today. This we do through Christ. If we are careless in the matter of consistently cleansing ourselves through the blood of the Lamb we run the risk of not being clothed in white raiment and of having our name blotted out of the Book of Life.
Much Christian teaching is contrary to what we have just stated. Therefore much Christian teaching runs counter to the exhortations and mandates of the written Word of God. Let the reader take heed, for the Book of Revelation is not to be changed in any manner.
The hope of millions of Godís beloved people is misplaced. They are trusting in the traditions of men for their eternal welfare. They are not trusting in the written Word of God.
Christ came to save us from our sins. Through Christís blood and the Spirit of God we can wash our robe (our daily conduct) and make it pure and clean by confession and repentance. If we do this throughout our lifetime, repenting and fighting onward again if we should stumble and fall, we will receive that most glorious of rewardsóa robe of righteous power that will for eternity keep us in a righteous and holy state before the Lord of Heaven.
If we live a careless, lukewarm "Christian" life, sinning occasionally, not performing with eagerness what we understand to be Godís will for us; if we do not present our body a living sacrifice in order to discern Godís will; if we show more interest in the cares and pleasures of the world than we do in the things concerning our redemption and service to God, we have no basis for believing we will be revealed in righteousness in the Day of the Lord.
Let us take heed! It is our eternal destiny that is at stake.
THE DAY OF THE LORD IS AT HAND.