|The Traditions of Men
What Is Written
After 1600 years of studying the Mosaic Law, the Jews could not recognize the Messiah to which it pointed. Is it possible that Christians may suffer the same fate? What animal does your mind picture laying next to a lamb based upon Isaiah 11:6-9? Think on that before you scroll down.
Most Christians picture a lion laying with a lamb. There are all kinds of garden statuary one can purchase with a lion laying with a lamb. Artists have painted beautiful pictures depicting the hope that this image conjures up in the mind.
Let us take a look at the portion of Scripture from which this picture is taken:
"The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb,
I selected Isaiah chapter 11 as a relatively insignificant example of how artists, poets, cultural biases and other powers have the ability to cause us to see things not found in the scriptures. Probably 9 out of 10 Christians will think of a lion laying with a lamb, certainly not a wolf. On the other hands, through various means, concepts and ideas are injected into our minds which cause us to think we see things in the Bible that are not really there. Our minds are easily deceived, especially if we think we are smart.
At this point I would bet them there were more f's in the sentence than they found. Sometimes I collected a pretty sizable amount of money (which I never kept). There were actually 7 f's in the sentence. The mind, especially a fast mind or a good reader, trains itself to skip over insignificant words. In the sentence I gave them, the mind skips over the word "of" which obviously contains an f. But these intelligent "smart" types would read that single sentence several times always passing over the "ofs" therefore always coming up short.
Recently, a group of scientists at Emory University wired two groups of Democrats and Republicans to fMRI devises to see what part of the brain they used when trying to reason through some negative data about their candidate and also negative data about the opponent. It turns out that instead of using the logic/rational part of the brain to analyze the negative material about their candidate, they used the part of the brain the deals with emotions and security. Furthermore, after a subject wrestled with the material and found a way of dealing with the negative material in such a way as to still have high regard for his/her candidate, the brain actually released a chemical as a reward similar to what is released when a drug or alcohol addict gives himself a fix. In other words, the brain actually gave the body a reward for lying to itself, for manipulating data which could possibly cause stress and potential internal and external conflict.
Who we are in the world is greatly influenced by many institutions which speak into our lives over the years, especially our early formative years. Stalin believed if he could get the minds of the youth of a single generation, he could change the world. These institutions and tools they use to inject thoughts into our minds create a subconscious persona, a false idea of who we really are. All societies have these instruments of conformity. Many of us are not aware of how much of who we are has been created by a few people who control the institutions which mold our society. To get a mother to consent to send her son to a foreign land to kill other human beings for "God and country" requires some real sophisticated brain-washing. But societies of all kinds have been seduced by these power hungry men and women for many generations. May we enter a time in which we are all freed from these diabolical systems and traditions of men.
Many animals have far better senses than we human beings. Furthermore, even if our senses pick up the truth, our minds have been conditioned to twist that information into a lie if it serves us better. The Emory University study explored how the mind works in politics. I'm sure the same mechanisms that twisted the truth in politics come into play when it comes to religion and issues of morality.
Most of you have seen optical illusion drawings that deceive our eyes. One of the more popular drawings has two lines of equal length which appear to our eyes of different length because of the direction of some added lines attached to the ends of the lines.
The illustrations I used to show how our senses and mind are just a few examples out of thousands that I could have used to illustrate that we do not value truth as much as we would like to think. Furthermore, our mind and senses are poor instruments for determining truth and reality.
Jesus, Paul and other writers of the Bible gave ample warned that it was impossible for the natural (carnal, fleshy unspiritual) mind to comprehend the things of the Spirit, that is, the Truth. The Truth can only be seen and understood by the "mind of Christ" which begins to become available to those "born from above," that is, born of His Spirit. Faith is like a sixth sense that does not activate until the Living Word enters the heart. Knowledge in the natural mind will never reveal the kingdom of God, the truth to anyone.
Unfortunately, for most of us, Christians, even though the written Scriptures are quite plain in their warnings about being led astray from following the Spirit of Truth, that is, the Holy Spirit, we easily get deceived into following "traditions of men" created by men and women who believe they are truly doing the will of God. These men and women have formed thousands of Christian denominations, to divert us from being led by the Holy Spirit. Ever so subtly we quench and grieve the Holy Spirit if we ever received the Holy Spirit in the first place. There are many traditional teachings in hundreds of Christian denominations that actually steer people away from a divine encounter with the Holy Spirit. I can only image the emotion Paul felt as he was writing his letter to the Galatians who were being deceived by "super apostles" into reverting back to religious forms and rituals instead of being taught by the Holy Spirit. If Paul were writing today to the average Christian in the average church, in great agony of spirit he would be writing:
"O foolish Christians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified? This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law or by the hearing of faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?" (Gal. 3:1-3; that is, by law-keeping, performing various rituals, abstaining from certain foods, celebrating certain holy days, esteeming one day like Saturday or Sunday over another, etc.)
Mixing various parts of the Mosaic law, or another other types of moral law such as the Roman Law or English Common law or various forms of traditions and custom with Grace will cause us from falling from Grace. We will grieve or quench the Holy Spirit and revert back to being led by our natural senses and carnal mind. Will become religious instead of spiritual. We succumb back to the fallen nature, the Adamic nature. We begin to practice the lie again because the natural man and his mind is ruled by the one who comes to kill, steal and destroy who was a murder, liar and thief from the very beginning. Once Satan has us being lead by our natural mind with its senses while thinking we are led by the Holy Spirit and has us mixing law with grace -- even if we had a perfect English Bible translation before us, we couldn't see the Truth in it.
If murder is in our hearts, we will find justification for our murder in the Bible. If we want to justify slavery, it's not too hard to find a scripture or two one can use to justify such behavior. If one wants to justify a war and that they are on the right side of that war, a good Baptist can justify going to war to kill Germans and a good German Lutheran can find justification for killing Methodist Americans. Both sides will even have Christian chaplains encouraging them on in their killing of their own fellow Christians. There are Zionist Evangelical Christians today who swear absolute loyalty to Israel that justify the killing of Christians in Israel because they are Palestinians. Yes, a Christian seduced by the traditions of men can become quite a deranged being hence two world wars fought primarily by Christians against Christians. This has gone on for a long time.
Satan cannot create. He has to use human beings made in the image of God to do that. He has to trick human beings through deception. Human beings are depicted as sheep by the Scriptures. Sheep are dumb herd animals. They are easily led astray. "All we like sheep have gone astray." Unfortunately, we, Christians, forget that Satan was the most "subtle" creature God made. Satan is very sly and deceptive. He is not stupid.
Personally, I believe Satan's greatest ability to deceive human beings is by using God ordained things and twisting their use. Or often he resurrects something God used in the past which God no longer puts His anointing on and gets God's people to use it again. For example, in the Wilderness, Moses created a brass snake on a pole which would heal people who were bitten by fiery serpents. This worked fine in the wilderness, but when Israel entered the Promised Land, the supernatural provision ended. God's word to one generation is not necessarily His word to another generation. The snake on the pole no longer had God's anointing thus making it an idol. Hundreds of years after they trekked in the wilderness, we find Israel worshipping the snake on a pole. The penalty of idolatry under the Mosaic Law is death. The snake on the pole that God used to heal one generation of Israelites became an instrument of death to another generation of Israelites. (S)he who has ears to hear, let him/her hear what the Spirit says to them in THEIR generation.
It is possible to read the Bible a thousand times and never see many scriptures right in front of your nose. For example, carefully read this verse and ask the Holy Spirit what it means. :
"Take this Book of the Law, and put it beside the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, that it may be there as a witness against you; for I know your rebellion and your stiff neck. If today, while I am with you, you have been rebellious against the LORD, then how much more after my death? Gather to me all the elders of your tribes, and your officers, that I may speak these words in their hearing and call heaven and earth to witness against them. For I know that after my death you will become utterly corrupt, and turn aside from the way which I have commanded you. And evil will befall you in the latter days, because you will do evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke Him to anger through the works of your hands." (Deut. 31:26-29)