FROM NOW ON I CONSIDER NO MAN AFTER THE FLESH [1652a]

This is a very important piece of scripture. Paul is saying that we should no longer consider someone [believers] from an earthly point of view, as being of natural human descent, but as someone born again, as a new creation in Christ. He even says “Though we once considered CHRIST in this way, we do so no longer”.

The point is, that as new creatures in Christ, we should be considered in this light and no longer be viewed simply as men and women of the flesh, we are now in the Spirit, children of God. This is how we should consider one another to be, without reference to earthly living or to sinful practices of the world, because “the world has been crucified to me and I to the world”.

We are to consider all from a spiritual point of view, and to see all people as those who share or potentially can share in the release from condemnation that was bought by the blood of Christ. We ourselves should bring judgement to bear upon nobody, since Jesus bore it in His own body to place all on an equal footing in their release from sin and death. We believe, and whether or not they believe is up to them, but may also potentially be up to us.

[2 Cor. 5:16 ]

FROM NOW ON I CONSIDER NO MAN AFTER THE FLESH [1652]

This is a very important piece of scripture. Paul is saying that we should no longer consider someone [believers] from an earthly point of view, as being of natural human descent, but as someone born again, as a new creation in Christ. He even says “Though we once considered CHRIST in this way, we do so no longer”.

The point is, that as new creatures in Christ, we should be considered in this light and no longer be viewed simply as men and women of the flesh, we are now in the Spirit, children of God. This is how we should consider one another to be, without reference to earthly living or to sinful practices of the world, because “the world has been crucified to me and I to the world”.

We are to consider all from a spiritual point of view, and to see all people as those who share or potentially can share in the release from condemnation that was bought by the blood of Christ. We ourselves should bring judgement to bear upon nobody, since Jesus bore it in His own body to place all on an equal footing in their release from sin and death. We believe, and whether or not they believe is up to them, but may also potentially be up to us.

[2 Cor. 5:16 ]

THE TIME OF THE END [1651a]

Many people have had a go at this one, and many have failed. There is no reason as to why I should not be added to that list of failures, which is long and comprehensive of many more “qualified” than I. But it is necessary to “scratch the itch”.

In 2017, someone wrote about a forthcoming astronomical sign, “the sign in heaven described in Revelation 12” that it would happen on “the 23rd of September, this year… for the first time in history and it will not happen again anytime in the next 7,000 years”. He said that we were in the 69th year of the generation Jesus said would not pass away before the end, and that “That sort of designates the time as now”.

That was apparently in 2017, and we are now in 2021, so there has been an extra four years since then. This then presently makes it the 73rd year of that generation ‘that would not pass away before Christ returns’.

So I am prepared to add another two years to this scenario, which makes that generation to be in their 75th year in the year 2023, two years away. OR, if you want a bit more time, say a generation was to be made 80 years, that would give us till 2028. But I wouldn’t bet on it.

THE TIME OF THE END [1651]

Many people have had a go at this one, and many have failed. There is no reason as to why I should not be added to that list of failures, which is long and comprehensive of many more “qualified” than I. But it is necessary to “scratch the itch”.

In 2017, someone wrote about a forthcoming astronomical sign, “the sign in heaven described in Revelation 12” that it would happen on “the 23rd of September, this year… for the first time in history and it will not happen again anytime in the next 7,000 years”. He said that we were in the 69th year of the generation Jesus said would not pass away before the end, and that “That sort of designates the time as now”.

That was apparently in 2017, and we are now in 2021, so there has been an extra four years since then. This then presently makes it the 73rd year of that generation ‘that would not pass away before Christ returns’.

So I am prepared to add another two years to this scenario, which makes that generation to be in their 75th year in the year 2023, two years away. OR, if you want a bit more time, say a generation was to be made 80 years, that would give us till 2028. But I wouldn’t bet on it.

THE SPIRIT ENABLES OBEDIENCE (but if you are led by the Spirit you are not under the law) [1650a]

COMPARING GALATIANS 5 WITH ROMANS 7.

The verse that attracted attention here was Gal.5:18. “But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law” which seems to introduce a new element of conditional release from law. But hopefully the context of this will remove any aspect of conditional release, or at least clarify the matter successfully.

In Romans Paul had been speaking by way of explaining the faith of Christianity to the church in Rome, and in Romans 7, to Jewish members and others of that church, [“To those who know the Law”] and his subject matter was the law, and why the covenant of law was now completed, finished in Christ, and a new covenant “in His blood” established. He had already said that by faith in what Christ had done and by committing themselves to Him, they had received a new Spirit of life by which they could be governed in a far superior way to the previous arrangement, covenant, which consisted of the keeping of laws. In chapter 7 he explained the deficiencies of the law in its failure to suppress “sin in the flesh”.

In Galatians 5, he was speaking to those of an established Christian church who had successfully started with the Spirit, but had fallen prey to those of the old covenant, those persistent “pushers” of the old testament, the old covenant, in keeping with the law of Moses, including the insistence on circumcision amongst other components of the old law. So he was seeking to install again in them the priority of following the Spirit rather than the law, that by falling back under law, they had lost sight of the ball, indeed had “lost the whole ball game”.

In Romans 7, he had explained the failure of the law system, of the old covenant, having reduced the problem to the fact that he by himself and of himself, was powerless to overcome the incessant and ingrained demands of the flesh upon his person. That it was because of law that he lost the battle, because what the law did was to provoke sin in his flesh, his natural nature, against which he had no defence, in fact, it was the law that brought him under condemnation because he in his own mind agreed with the law, and in doing so also agreed with the condemnation that it proclaimed by way of sin’s penalty, death.

So he was SELF CONDEMNED. This being the result of the knowledge of good and evil, as it began with Adam.

He summed it up as that by nature, being aware of good and evil, meant that his mind aligned with the good, but his natural nature wanted to serve its own selfish self serving purposes and reasons, and being completely at home and well established in a body of natural lusts and desires, with the law reinforcing this status of inner death, meant that he was a prisoner to this natural bonding of what he was by way of natural birth, bonded to sin and this reinforced by law, leaving him in a hopeless and helpless position. The animal sacrifices of the law only reinforced his consciousness of sin and death, he was indeed a “wretched man”. He was a conflicted person, caught between good and evil, but realistically immersed in the evil without mode of expression (other than by “wishful thinking”) of the good.

Romans 8 then introduced the gift of the Spirit of life and no condemnation through Christ.

So Galatians 5 is the story of a church built upon the foundation of Romans 7, but where they had since lost the plot and fallen foul of the advances of “the circumcision party” or similar Jewish cohorts, and “lost their first love”. Paul admonishes them, berates them, “Are you so foolish, having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?”

Under the law, the evil deeds of the flesh were empowered, obedience to the law was not possible, only to parts of its rudimentary nature which had no spiritual benefit at all, in fact, quite the contrary was the result.

But now, the spiritual requirements of which the law spoke, are able to be obtained by obedience to the Spirit of life which utterly and completely overrides the “spirit” of death, having removed its power to condemn under the law because Jesus took that condemnation upon Himself, in His own body, for us.

So just as Paul explained the failure of the law in Romans 7, here in Galatians 5 he reinstates the case for the Spirit to dominate our thinking and our hearts. Verse 17 has a parallel to Romans 7 verse 19, but is not the same scenario as some would like to have us believe. In Romans 7 verse 19 he does no good, but only does the evil he does not want to do. His mind, HE himself, fails. But in Galatians verse 17,18 where the Spirit and the flesh are opposed, the Spirit wins out and the flesh is defeated.

In verse 17, because the Spirit and the flesh are opposed, it says that “…you may not do the things that you please”. This could mean one of two things, it could mean either that ‘you cannot please yourself’ about what you do, it is not for you to ‘make up your mind’ as to how YOU ‘resolve’ the issue, NO, your part is simple obedience to the Spirit without question. OR if we compare it with Romans 7 verses 18,19, the “may not do” may be equivalent to the fact that “…I do not practice what I would like to do…”, where it is a statement of his failure because of inner conflict. In Galatians verse 18 this conflict is resolved as “But, if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law”. So it is a reassertion of Romans 8 verses 1 and 2.

The reality is that though the Spirit is immensely powerful regarding empowerment to do good, it can never empower the doing of evil. Paul’s desire in Romans 7 to actually DO the good he wanted to do, but could not do, is now here in Galatians empowered by the Spirit to actually DO THAT WHICH IS GOOD.

Galatians 5:23 says that against the fruit of the Spirit, against the doing of righteousness, THERE IS NO LAW, and verse 18 says that if you are led by (IN) the Spirit, YOU ARE NOT UNDER THE LAW (IN) the flesh).

This then surely does seem to infer that there are only two states of being, the one is to be under the law, in the flesh, the other is to be in the Spirit. The Galatians “fell from grace” “5:4 “You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace”. Paul then had to speak to them about the reestablishment of Christ in them.

So the verse in question then, that of Gal. 5:18, “But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law” can perhaps simply be answered by saying ‘But if you are in the new covenant, you are not in the old’, if you are in Christ, you are not in the flesh. If you are in the Spirit, you are not under the law. Again verse 23, “…against such things there is no law”.

The Spirit enables obedience to itself, to HIMSELF, to righteousness, and is in opposition to unrighteousness. ‘He has purified to Himself a people EAGER TO DO WHAT IS RIGHT’. John goes so far as to say “…he cannot sin…” Because HIS Spirit dwells in him.

Why is the Spirit so powerful a force in us? It is because that part of the mind that would otherwise seek to offer judgement on all things in a legalistic fashion, is bypassed by the accumulated information regarding the mercy and forgiveness of God: the “law written on the heart” is there in the form of the forgiveness of all things, all things which the law itself could not address and deal with. The Spirit is of such integrity and cohesiveness that, providing it (He) is allowed to, sweeps aside all unrighteousness of thought so that only goodness prevails.

Paul’s problem in Romans 7 was that he could not do the good things of which the law spoke, although he said that he wanted to. Our problem now becomes ‘why will we NOW not do‘ those good things as given full authority and power by God’s Spirit to perform them?

So which covenant are we a part of, do we want to be a part of? The covenant of life (Spirit) or the covenant of death (law)? When will we “cross over” from death to life, from law to Spirit? What is our DESIRED ‘mindset’?

DO WE REALLY WANT TO “DO GOOD”? Because there is no law against doing good.

[The law was not made for good men, but for bad][Jesus took unrighteousness into His own body, so we could be released from all unrighteousness into all righteousness][To be “led by” requires obedience to][For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope, did.].

THE SPIRIT ENABLES OBEDIENCE (but if you are led by the Spirit you are not subject to law) [1650]

COMPARING GALATIANS 5 WITH ROMANS 7.

The verse that attracted attention here was Gal.5:18. “But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law” which seems to introduce a new element of conditional release from law. But hopefully the context of this will remove any aspect of conditional release, or at least clarify the matter successfully.

In Romans Paul had been speaking by way of explaining the faith of Christianity to the church in Rome, and in Romans 7, to Jewish members and others of that church, [“To those who know the Law”] and his subject matter was the law, and why the covenant of law was now completed, finished in Christ, and a new covenant “in His blood” established. He had already said that by faith in what Christ had done and by committing themselves to Him, they had received a new Spirit of life by which they could be governed in a far superior way to the previous arrangement, covenant, which consisted of the keeping of laws. In chapter 7 he explained the deficiencies of the law in its failure to suppress “sin in the flesh”.

In Galatians 5, he was speaking to those of an established Christian church who had successfully started with the Spirit, but had fallen prey to those of the old covenant, those persistent “pushers” of the old testament, the old covenant, in keeping with the law of Moses, including the insistence on circumcision amongst other components of the old law. So he was seeking to install again in them the priority of following the Spirit rather than the law, that by falling back under law, they had lost sight of the ball, indeed had “lost the whole ball game”.

In Romans 7, he had explained the failure of the law system, of the old covenant, having reduced the problem to the fact that he by himself and of himself, was powerless to overcome the incessant and ingrained demands of the flesh upon his person. That it was because of law that he lost the battle, because what the law did was to provoke sin in his flesh, his natural nature, against which he had no defence, in fact, it was the law that brought him under condemnation because he in his own mind agreed with the law, and in doing so also agreed with the condemnation that it proclaimed by way of sin’s penalty, death.

So he was SELF CONDEMNED. This being the result of the knowledge of good and evil, as it began with Adam.

He summed it up as that by nature, being aware of good and evil, meant that his mind aligned with the good, but his natural nature wanted to serve its own selfish self serving purposes and reasons, and being completely at home and well established in a body of natural lusts and desires, with the law reinforcing this status of inner death, meant that he was a prisoner to this natural bonding of what he was by way of natural birth, bonded to sin and this reinforced by law, leaving him in a hopeless and helpless position. The animal sacrifices of the law only reinforced his consciousness of sin and death, he was indeed a “wretched man”. He was a conflicted person, caught between good and evil, but realistically immersed in the evil without mode of expression (other than by “wishful thinking”) of the good.

Romans 8 then introduced the gift of the Spirit of life and no condemnation through Christ.

So Galatians 5 is the story of a church built upon the foundation of Romans 7, but where they had since lost the plot and fallen foul of the advances of “the circumcision party” or similar Jewish cohorts, and “lost their first love”. Paul admonishes them, berates them, “Are you so foolish, having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?”

Under the law, the evil deeds of the flesh were empowered, obedience to the law was not possible, only to parts of its rudimentary nature which had no spiritual benefit at all, in fact, quite the contrary was the result.

But now, the spiritual requirements of which the law spoke, are able to be obtained by obedience to the Spirit of life which utterly and completely overrides the “spirit” of death, having removed its power to condemn under the law because Jesus took that condemnation upon Himself, in His own body, for us.

So just as Paul explained the failure of the law in Romans 7, here in Galatians 5 he reinstates the case for the Spirit to dominate our thinking and our hearts. Verse 17 has a parallel to Romans 7 verse 19, but is not the same scenario as some would like to have us believe. In Romans 7 verse 19 he does no good, but only does the evil he does not want to do. His mind, HE himself, fails. But in Galatians verse 17,18 where the Spirit and the flesh are opposed, the Spirit wins out and the flesh is defeated.

In verse 17, because the Spirit and the flesh are opposed, it says that “…you may not do the things that you please”. This could mean one of two things, it could mean either that ‘you cannot please yourself’ about what you do, it is not for you to ‘make up your mind’ as to how YOU ‘resolve’ the issue, NO, your part is simple obedience to the Spirit without question. OR if we compare it with Romans 7 verses 18,19, the “may not do” may be equivalent to the fact that he “cannot do what would please him to do”. In Galatians verse 18 this is resolved as “But, if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law”. So it restates Romans 8 verses 1 and 2.

The reality is that though the Spirit is immensely powerful regarding empowerment to do good, it can never empower the doing of evil. Paul’s desire in Romans 7 to actually DO the good he wanted to do, but could not do, is now empowered by the Spirit to actually DO THAT WHICH IS GOOD.

Galatians 5:23 says that against the fruit of the Spirit, against the doing of righteousness, THERE IS NO LAW, and verse 18 says that if you are led by the Spirit, YOU ARE NOT UNDER THE LAW.

This then surely does seem to infer that there are only two states of being, the one is to be under the law, the other is to be in the Spirit. The Galatians “fell from grace” “5:4 “You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace”. Paul then had to speak to them about the reestablishment of Christ in them.

So the verse in question then, that of Gal. 5:18, “But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law” can perhaps simply be answered by saying ‘But if you are in the new covenant, you are not in the old’, if you are in Christ, you are not in the flesh. If you are in the Spirit, you are not under the law. Again verse 23, “…against such things there is no law”.

The Spirit enables obedience to itself, to HIMSELF, to righteousness, and is in opposition to unrighteousness. ‘He has purified to Himself a people EAGER TO DO WHAT IS RIGHT’. John goes so far as to say “…he cannot sin…” Because HIS Spirit dwells in him.

Why is the Spirit so powerful a force in us? It is because that part of the mind that would otherwise seek to offer judgement on all things in a legalistic fashion, is bypassed by the accumulated information regarding the mercy and forgiveness of God: the “law written on the heart” is there in the form of the forgiveness of all things, all things which the law itself could not address and deal with. The Spirit is of such integrity and cohesiveness that, providing it (He) is allowed to, sweeps aside all unrighteousness of thought so that only goodness prevails.

Paul’s problem in Romans 7 was that he could not do the good things of which the law spoke, although he said that he wanted to. Our problem now becomes ‘why will we NOW not do‘ those good things as given full authority and power by God’s Spirit to perform them?

So which covenant are we a part of, do we want to be a part of? The covenant of life (Spirit) or the covenant of death (law)? When will we “cross over” from death to life, from law to Spirit? What is our DESIRED ‘mindset’?

DO WE REALLY WANT TO “DO GOOD”? Because there is no law against doing good.

[The law was not made for good men, but for bad][Jesus took unrighteousness into His own body, so we could be released from all unrighteousness into all righteousness][To be “led by” requires obedience to]

WELL KNOWN TELE-EVANGELIST TALKS ABOUT SPEAKING IN TONGUES [1651a]

He is Pentecostal and so speaks in tongues. But he starts out by saying how their meetings are criticised because they are all speaking in tongues together, at once, at the same time. To which criticism he responds that, well, they are speaking in an unknown language to God, praising Him, as if to say well, that’s OK then.

But it’s NOT OK, the criticism is valid, is “right on the money”, because it is precisely this situation that is quoted in the bible as being unacceptable and shouldn’t be done. If all speak in tongues and someone unfamiliar with the meetings comes in, they will say that you are mad, nuts, loco etc. Can he not read this for himself? And so, those wishing to speak in tongues should do so at home for their own edification, not speak it in church unless there is one who interprets present, and if there is none to interpret*, he should keep quiet.

This is all plainly to be read in 1 Corinthians 14:23. And Paul is NOT saying that he speaks in tongues more than you all, but that he thanks God more than any of you that he speaks in tongues….”. ‘Nevertheless, in church I would rather speak five words with my mind than ten thousand words in a tongue…’ AND, “Do all speak in tongues?” Obvious answer NO. And the Pentecostal experience was one of KNOWN LANGUAGES of the time. And Paul said he would rather that you prophesied than speak in tongues. Just saying.

*[So “none to interpret” would also mostly disqualify the person themselves from interpreting]

WELL KNOWN TELE-EVANGELIST TALKS ABOUT SPEAKING IN TONGUES [1651]

He is Pentecostal and so speaks in tongues. But he starts out by saying how their meetings are criticised because they are all speaking in tongues together, at once, at the same time. To which criticism he responds that, well, they are speaking in an unknown language to God, praising Him, as if to say well, that’s OK then.

But it’s NOT OK, the criticism is valid, is “right on the money”, because it is precisely this situation that is quoted in the bible as being unacceptable and shouldn’t be done. If all speak in tongues and someone unfamiliar with the meetings comes in, they will say that you are mad, nuts, loco etc. Can he not read this for himself? And so, those wishing to speak in tongues should do so at home for their own edification, not speak it in church unless there is one who interprets present, and if there is none to interpret*, he should keep quiet.

This is all plainly to be read in 1 Corinthians 14:23. And Paul is NOT saying that he speaks in tongues more than you all, but that he thanks God more than any of you that he speaks in tongues….”Nevertheless, in church I would rather speak five words with my mind than five thousand words in a tongue…” or something like that. AND, “Do all speak in tongues?” Obvious answer NO. And the Pentecostal experience was one of KNOWN LANGUAGES of the time. And Paul said he would rather that you prophesied than speak in tongues. Just saying.

*[So “none to interpret” would also mostly disqualify the person themselves from interpreting]

WE WILL ALL BE SUBJECTED TO THE SECOND DEATH EXPERIENCE [1326b]

“Our God is a consuming fire”. The Second Death is that experience spoken of as being when Christians are “as those escaping through the flames”. Christians will escape, but others will be consumed. This is when “everyone’s work is tested”.

The work that we do is actually another way of saying what we have become, it is difficult to separate the good entity we might be, from the good work we might do, as that entity. In other words, the outworking of God’s nature from us towards others.

Jesus died our old death so we might live His new life. For those who have not allowed Him to have dealt with their old death, their old death will still be their present death, and the Spirit will seek them out and consume them, similar to the “Passover” where the first born of Egypt were struck down because they did not recognise the blood and apply it to the entrance of their building (temple), now it will be that all [Egypt] will be struck down who have not accepted the Son of life into their life, so as to banish death from their makeup. This is “The Second Death”. [Coming after the first (spiritual) and literal physical death]. [It is appointed to man once to die, and then the judgement].

Three people in the “fiery furnace” were saved because Jesus was with them in it, and they were relationship or covenant bound to Him. But those outside of this relationship are not known by Him, and will be destroyed when He appears again. They have nothing in common with Him, nor He with them, declaring, “I never knew you”.

We are saved by faith that God “passed over” our former sins, having presented them as having been laid on Jesus, by virtue of Him taking upon Himself the burden of being human, and overcoming it and converting it back to life, making life freely available by His grace. Death and the things of death no longer have power over us to control our behaviour, because faith in Him now controls us, so we do not produce the works of death, but of life, being that we live in the life He gives us and has given us.

But if this acceptance of His death substitution for our former sins does not occur, if we reject this plainly presented forgiveness of our old lives and fail to join with Him in Life’s victory that He achieved on our behalf, for us, then we remain in the old death ridden life on which the Second Death will feed. If we feed on His body and his blood, the Second Death will find nothing left in us on which to feed, [He has nothing in (on) me] and we will join Him in immortality. Or not.