Walking with God
Apostle John Welty - Second 8th Week Ministries
Jesus addressed the doctrines and traditions of men which pollute faith when dealing with the religious leaders of His day who had turned from the revelation of God to confirm instead that which served their own purposes and seemed right in their own eyes. The very things they used to excuse themselves they were also using to condemn others; even going so far as to condemn Jesus to death.
While they won’t agree, today's religious leaders would also condemn Jesus to death by their own doctrines which spring forth from their own principles and aspirations which deafen their ears to the voice of God. Of course they would take offense to this suggestion and defend themselves even as the religious leaders took offense and defended themselves against the preaching of Jesus as we see in Matthew 23:29-31:
“Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous, And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets. Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets.”
Jesus was persecuted by the religious leaders because He was reproving the doctrine which they were embracing and which they proclaimed to be of God. They felt the prick of Truth as the grace of God was present to empower the knowledge He was sharing with them and instead of repenting and taking on this yoke of His knowledge, they instead lashed out against Him.
We see the same thing happening still when the knowledge of Christ is shared in truth. This is because there is no place for the principle and aspiration of man to find expression within the framework of the covenant of Christ. As long as the stewardship is present to maintain the purity of His holy knowledge, truth demands conformity and separation from the past indoctrinations which fell short of God’s glory and virtue.
We see this also when Stephen laid out the pattern of disobedience which they had enshrined into a religion for themselves:
51Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.
52Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them which shewed before of the coming of the Just One; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers:
53Who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it.
54When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with their teeth.
55But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God,
56And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.
57Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord,
58And cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man's feet, whose name was Saul.
59And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.
60And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.
While they cloak themselves now through feigned piety and show what they believe to be righteous indignation, their shame is not hidden from God. As Jesus said, "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." (Matthew 7:22-24)
But don't let the errors of man be confused with the power and will of God. He created both light and darkness so that our hearts could be tested for faith which is of value in His sight only when drawn from the heart by His own voice.