The Covenant is the Straight and Narrow Way
Think for a moment about the Philistines who stole the ark of God as a prize, coveting its power, but neglecting the covenant that it represented (1 Samuel chapters 5-6). Inside the ark were the articles (tokens) of the first covenant: the tables of stone upon which were written the 10 commandments, the pot of manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded. These 3 tokens represented God’s government, truth, and Spirit. Which are again present in the new covenant and tokens of Christ (ark) that are to be embraced (we are to carry Him).
Once the Philistines took ownership of the ark, the covenant was in unsanctified hands and God judged them with plagues to show His displeasure at their aspiration. When restoring the ark of the covenant to the children of Israel the Philistines set the ark upon a cart and tested the waters to see which way the oxen would take the cart? Back to the land of Israel or down another path?
They reasoned thus in your own logic, “If it goeth up by the way of his own coast to Bethshemesh, then he [God] hath done us this great evil: but if not, then we shall know that it is not his hand that smote us: it was a chance that happened to us.” (1 Samuel 6:9)
The Philistines were developing their own path of commitments about what they would believe based upon their assumptions. You’re to follow the covenant, not find balance in your own concepts and develop a truth from that.
You notice that the Philistines, even though they saw the work of God in the open sign, did not repent. They observed the contradiction to their concepts and wanted to get rid of the contradiction (the ark of the covenant). To them, returning the ark was never about obedience to God, but another way to serve their aspiration.
The Philistines counsel was “what if”. What if means to measure truth as something that sits right with one’s own desires. But God directs us in the way of covenant. The covenant is the straight and narrow way.
“And the kine took the straight way to the way of Bethshemesh, and went along the highway, lowing as they went, and turned not aside to the right hand or to the left.” (1 Samuel 6:12)
When Grace is Isolated From the Elements
Trying to bring balance to grace by looking at how grace is being used to excuse oneself from perceived social and political obligations is a great travesty to the kingdom of God.
Grace is being isolated from the other elements and connected to the kingdom of the flesh. Grace is thus made to serve the flesh. This is what Apostle Jude said not to do. Don’t turn the grace of God into lasciviousness (Jude 1:4).
It is when grace is isolated from the other elements and looked at alone that it loses its divine function. Those waving the protest flag against hyper-grace are saying, “You talk about grace, grace, grace, but you’re not doing what we want you to do. You should be out there protesting what’s going on in the world! What good is your doctrine doing you?”
When a believer does not understand the covenant he is like a little child, wanting immediate gratification while neglecting his parent’s instruction. You want to see the world bow their knee to Jesus. That isn’t going to happen now. It will happen in the millennial reign of Christ. Judas wanted that too, but only to fulfill his own aspiration for Jesus.
Judas held the bag and he felt empowered by what he could do with the promise of money pouring into Jesus’ ministry when He would overthrow the Romans and claim the kingdom for Himself (according to Judas’ gospel).
So, in your haste to win the approval of the world (and thus fill your bag), you’re casting off the true grace of God because you see it as a powerless token, blocking the door to your aspiration.
Salvation is Free, but not Free of Responsibility
It’s true. Salvation is free, but it is not free of responsibility. Jesus yoked us with His knowledge and spiritual tools, which yoke He said is easy because we are assisted to carry the yoke (ark) of His knowledge by the power of the Spirit. Jesus’ knowledge and spiritual tools yield the peaceable fruits of righteousness when faith labors with the grace and truth of God. The anointing releases your faith from the slavery of Satan’s prison.
Taking a step back from what I’ve just said, let’s take a look at the people who are waving the hyper-grace protest flag. What are they doing? They have freed themselves from the restrictions of the covenant, they freed themselves to define grace in a way that flowed well with the many carnal observations that they make in the absence of covenant faith. That is the broad way that leads to destruction. The absence of covenant faith is the broad way. The covenant is the narrow way.
We are now well into the new apostolic era. God is calling the church into transition and change. The transition is already taking place. We’re not waiting for it to happen. It is happening now! The devil moves subtly to navigate around transition to spearhead many mock restorative efforts such as the one we see in the hyper-grace drive. Which, by the way is not new, Finis Dake called it ultra-grace back in the 1940s.
One claims to be standing in the breach as a watchman on the wall, calling for change by citing a need for balance and course corrections, claiming that “many truths overemphasized at the expense of other equally important truths”.
I mentioned this earlier on in this article. When God restored the stewardship to the church, He again restored wholesome doctrine to the church. Truth is now again understood as a whole not in pieces and parts and themes. When truth is spoken of in the plural (truths) it is because the one truth of Jesus Christ is broken (shattered) from the covenant and remains an unknown.
When a person claims to be a voice of God for restoration and speaks of one truth being overemphasized at the expense of another truth, he is not speaking by the mouth of God. He’s speaking of the endless and mindless juggling game introduced to the church by devil.
False Grace is the Arrows of Aspiration
Let’s get to the root of false grace. We’ll start by going through this line of logic being reasoned by hyper-grace protesters. They’ve been hearing all these hopeful words delivered about the restoration of the church, change, and a new wind of the Spirit. But they’ve taken what was spoken by the Holy Spirit and directed it into their aspiration. They want the world to see them in a certain light:
• the consummate businessman
• the leader amongst leaders
• the voice that is looked up to and opens doors
And then they look at the apathy of believers whose hope was taken from then long ago. And they want to shake them awake. They want to rally them to their cause(s).
What they want is to train a militia of social and political activists. This is not the will of God. It is not the will of God for the church to be the scale of the world. It is the will of God that Christ be the scale of each believer.
Those who support the hyper-grace theory are saying, “You’re a bunch of do-nothing Christians. You just claim you are saved by grace and do nothing to live a life for Christ!”
Look again at the bullet points above (the consummate business man, the leader amongst leaders, the voice that is looked up to and opens doors). They want the world to stand up and take notice. They want to recreate the days of Daniel before Nebuchadnezzar or Joseph before Pharaoh. They want this open sign again so that they can feel something positive about their Christianity. “I’m on the winning side. I’m standing for God!”
Of course this message will arouse the fleshly nature of man. Who doesn’t want to be a winner? The idea of reliving the glory days of the Bible gets the adrenaline of the natural man going. But God is not recreating the days of Daniel or the days of Joseph in the manner of the open sign, but in the manner of the closed sign. The sign of Christ and His covenant is the hidden work, the still small voice, the secret work that God does within the soul, which He says is the praise of His glory.
God desires to do a work in you, in your soul that far exceeds the glory of anything He created. Of all that God created, the work of Christ in you is the praise of His glory, His crowning achievement (Ephesians 1:6). God values the work He does in your soul far above anything He created.
When a person says that you have to get behind their political and social agendas, we need to examine the voice they are listening to and giving themselves over to. While claiming to see the world in need of God (which is true), they’re actually not speaking of bringing them into the covenant of God where their souls would be saved. They’re speaking of fulfilling political and social agendas for God and they’re wanting to arouse your aspiration to join them.
This is a displacement of power. Because they don’t have the power of faith they are putting faith over here (in social issues). Because they are not experiencing the power of regeneration they have to fabricate a witness for themselves in other things.
Human aspiration is not the voice of God. Human aspiration is the false wind behind every false doctrine. One can speak what is true about Daniel and Joseph and the deliverances wrought through these servants of God, but not see the spirit they are laboring with to justify walking contrary to God. The grace of God, on the other hand justifies Jesus Christ.NEXT