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Deliverance From the World
We have been dealing with five different areas in which the cross has provided deliverance for us, five different things from which we can be delivered. We’ve dealt with four of them and today we’re going to go on to the fifth. It probably would be good to do a little review. Let’s just state in their right order the deliverances. The first one was from this present evil age. The second one was from the law. The third from self-centeredness. And the fourth from the flesh.
What I pointed out is this deliverance is worked out through these. In other words, to be delivered from the present evil age involves being delivered from the law, from self, from the flesh. And now this one is the world. That’s what we’re going to speak about this morning for a while, it’s the statement that we are delivered from the world.
The actual scripture is found in Galatians 6:14. Paul says:
“God forbid [or may it not be]...”
Incidentally that’s a very typical Hebrew expression. If you are familiar with Hebrew language and thought, it’s quite amazing how much of what Paul says is directly Hebraic.
“...may it never be that I should glory [or boast], except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.”
So what Paul says is the cross has separated me from the world and the world from me. Between the world and me there is the cross. And it’s a very vivid expression. He says, “When I look at the world I see a crucified figure. When the world looks at me it sees a crucified figure. I don’t appreciate the world, the world doesn’t appreciate me. The cross has come between the world and me.”
Again I need to explain—I think I’ve dealt with it already—what is meant by “the world.” It doesn’t mean the created world, it doesn’t mean nature, it doesn’t mean the skies and the seas. It doesn’t mean the universe. But it means a certain social order that man has set up which we’re all part of by nature, we’re born into it. And the essence, the distinctive feature of this social order is that God is not acknowledged. His rule is not accepted. It’s a rebel order.
There was a similar rebel order before the flood and Peter says the world that then was before the flood perished. Now the earth didn’t perish but that whole human setup perished. It’s very important we understand what’s meant by the word world.
Now there’s another human setup in being and we’re part of it—until the cross comes into our lives. And when the cross does its work in our lives we are separated from the world. We are no longer part of it.
I don’t think there’s a more important aspect of the work of the cross for contemporary western Christians than this separation from the world. I was preaching a year or two ago on Easter Sunday in a Baptist church and I got to this text and I read it out. Something happened to me personally. I had a personal deliverance from the world, its opinions, its standards, its values, its pressures, its judgments. I suddenly realized I didn’t care what it thought about me. I was not interested in its favor. I was separated from it, released from it.
I believe that’s tremendously and urgently necessary for the church in the west, let’s say, in the United States and other western nations. I believe the distinguishing line between the church and the world has almost been totally obliterated. I believe the church is very much at home in the world. A great deal of contemporary American Christianity is a kind of middle class social club that meets on Sunday morning. A little bit above the average of general morality and standards but that’s all. Now I don’t believe that Jesus died to produce that. It wouldn’t have been worth his death. I believe God has something totally different in mind.
And really, one of our problems is we’ve got so used to a certain type of religious order and we’ve applied to it the language of the New Testament. We think that’s what the New Testament describes. It doesn’t. The New Testament describes something totally different.
And really here, I believe, is the decisive issue. It’s how do we relate to the world? I’ve probably said this already in the course of this discussion but I’ll say it again. Looking at the American scene today, who has had more influence on who? The church on Hollywood or Hollywood on the church? I would say a whole lot of Hollywood’s standards, measurements and techniques are an accepted part of much of the Christian church but I don’t think the church has in any sense impacted Hollywood. If there’s a tug of war, the church has been pulled right into the opposite camp.
Let’s look at certain statements that the scripture makes about the world. They’re very simple, they’re very basic. They’re so brief that you could easily ignore them. But if they’re true then we have to face up to them. We’ll look, first of all, in 1John 5:19. Again, I would say when you come to themes, the difference between God’s people and the world is one of the main themes of the writing of John. And in 1 John 5:19 he says:
Now my observation is in most places in the New Testament where it says we know, today we don’t know. I wonder how many of us really know what comes after this.
“We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one.”
Who is the wicked one? Satan.
Now you’ll see if you have one of those Bibles that puts things in italics, that “under the sway of,” or whatever word you have there is in italics, it’s applied by the translators because the Greek is very difficult to translate into English. What it actually says is the whole world lies in the wicked one. The whole world. It’s under his control. That’s a very important statement because whatever is under his control is not under God’s control.
Then in Revelation 12:9 we get this picture of Satan. We won’t go into the context right now, we may later.
“So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the devil, and Satan...”
Notice he’s both a dragon and a serpent. As a dragon he’s a huge, fearsome beast. As a serpent he’s a small, slimy, slippery thing that gets into very small holes. If he can’t come as a dragon then he’ll come as a snake. He’s called the devil and Satan. The word devil is the Greek word for slanderer. That’s his actual title. He is the slanderer. He’s the false accuser, the accuser of the brethren. And Satan means the one who opposes or resists, the enemy.
And then it says about him:
“...who deceives the whole world...”
So take those two statements in 1John 5 and Revelation 12, the whole world lies in the wicked one, he deceives the whole world.
If you can accept them, it’s very clear that the church and the world are two very different kinds of people. There can be no harmony between them, no agreement between them. But only separation. The only separation that is possible is through the cross.
When we look at what we call the world, success, wealth, power, all the things that the world esteems and pursues and works for, we have to say that to the Christian they are just a corpse on a cross. The world is crucified to me and I am crucified to the world. The world doesn’t think much of me, that’s all right, I don’t think much of the world. The world is not impressed by me, that’s okay, I’m not impressed by the world. Between us is the cross. Our standards, our values, our objectives are totally different. That’s what Paul is saying.
Then we look in 1Corinthians 2 and we find that the Spirit of God and the spirit of the world are opposed to each other. 1Corinthians 2 is one of my personal favorites. I’ll tell you why, because my whole field of study for years was Greek philosophy. And when Paul in the New Testament talks about the wisdom of this world, he is talking about Greek philosophy. It goes a lot further than that but that’s what he’s actually talking about. And from my background I’m able to appreciate in a unique way how absolutely accurate what he says is. It gives me respect for his understanding and his judgment.
We could begin at the beginning of chapter 2 for a moment. You need to bear in mind if you follow in the book of Acts that in Acts 17 Paul went to Athens. Then in Acts 18 he came to Corinth. Now Athens was the intellectual center of the ancient world, the center of philosophy, the university city if you’d like. Corinth was a seaport with a very wicked, profligate lifestyle typical of most major seaports then and now. When Paul was in Athens he suited his message to the Athenians. It was quite an intellectual message. He even quoted one of their poets. And the results were fairly meager. A few people believed.
Something must have happened to Paul in between Athens and Corinth and he records it here because he says, “When I came to Corinth I had a totally different determination.” Let’s read what he said.
“When I came to you, I did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom, declaring to you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know anything among you...”
That’s a remarkable decision, isn’t it? “I determined to forget all that I’d learned. I could quote the Greek poets and philosophers but I determine not to do it. I determine not to know anything except one thing.” What was that? Jesus Christ crucified. It was totally different.
Now if you look at the record of Paul’s ministry in Corinth, it’s estimated that within a short period of time there were 25,000 believers in Corinth. What was the difference? The message of the cross. Paul says:
“And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching was not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power.”
We need to bear in mind one thing, that the Holy Spirit can be demonstrated. He’s invisible but he’s demonstrated by what he does. I personally am convinced that is the primary New Testament method to present the gospel. It’s not with education, it’s not with learning, it’s not with eloquence, but it’s in the demonstration of the supernatural power of God through the Holy Spirit.
“...the demonstration of the Spirit and of power: that your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.”
I’ll tell you why it’s unwise to have your faith in the wisdom of men. Because it changes with every generation. What philosophers teach one generation they deny the next. So you have a very unstable base if it’s built on human wisdom or oratory or even theology. Paul says the only stable base is the supernatural power of God.
Then he continues, I’d like to read the whole of this. I love this chapter. Going on in verse 6:
“However we speak wisdom among those who are mature: yet not the wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing.”
It’s a different kind of wisdom. You see, my whole pursuit as a young man was wisdom so this absolutely reaches me right where I was. I was searching for wisdom. Philosophy means the love of wisdom. I was a philosopher because I wanted to find wisdom. Let’s go on. Verse 7:
“But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom...”
I think the New English Bible says “we speak a secret, hidden wisdom of God.” That thrills me. It might not thrill everybody but it thrills me. There is a secret, hidden wisdom of God. That’s really what I’ve been looking for. I tried philosophy, I tried yoga, I tried everything that seemed to offer any prospects but I never got there because there’s only one door to the secret, hidden wisdom of God. Do you know what that is? The cross, that’s right.
“...which God ordained before the ages for our glory.”
Look at the end of verse 7, does that excite you? God has a secret, hidden wisdom which he ordained before creation took place. What was his purpose? Our glory. To bring us into his glory. I mean, if that doesn’t excite you, honestly I’m sorry for you! The truth of the matter is you haven’t grasped what he’s saying.
Then he says in verse 8:
“Which none of the rulers of this age...”
You’ll notice he’s saying “this age” three times. Remember we’ve been delivered from the present evil age?
“Which none of the rulers of this age knew: for had they known it they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.”
They didn’t know what they were doing.
“But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for those who love him.”
So we cannot reason out what God has prepared for us. The mind won’t tell us, the senses won’t tell us, our eyes won’t tell us, our ears won’t tell us. There’s a totally different way of apprehending what God has prepared for us.
What’s the way? Verse 10:
“But God has revealed them to us through his Spirit...”
He’s not going to, he has. The question is have we received the revelation?
“...for the Spirit searcheth all things, yes, the deep things of God.”
Do you know where that phrase “the deep things of God” comes from? It’s ?Whitley’s? translation. You know ?Whitley? was the first person that translated the Bible into English. And that phrase has just lived on in the English versions of the Bible to the present. The deep things of God.
“For what man knows the things of a man, except the spirit of the man which is in him?”
Now that’s profoundly true for you counselors! Let me say a man’s mind doesn’t know the things that are in it. There are all sorts of things in a person that his mind doesn’t know anything about. His spirit knows.
Do you know what I’ve noticed when people receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit? That’s the first time their spirit is really liberated. For the first time his spirit can really express itself without going through the bottleneck of the mind because it’s got a language the mind doesn’t understand. And I’ve noticed many times that when that happens to a person, the person will break down and start to weep. And what I believe the explanation is is that person has been carrying some kind of a wound in his spirit which he never could communicate because his little mind couldn’t understand it. But when his spirit is released, he’s released from his wounds, from his pressure, from his inner agony. When people begin to sob when they receive the baptism I always encourage them, “Go on, let it go, get it all out. You can’t buy this. No psychiatrist can do it for you.”
See, the baptism in the Holy Spirit as I understand, is the only thing that liberates the spirit in a person. You can be saved and believe intellectually but there’s something that’s bound up inside you until your spirit can communicate with God without having to go through your mind. The Bible says in 1 Corinthians later on, “He that speaketh in a tongue doesn’t speak to men, but to God. In the Spirit he speaks mysteries.” If that doesn’t excite you you’ve never had a vision of it. Fancy being able to share mysteries in the Spirit with Almighty God! What does your silly little mind got to say to that?
We’re going on, verse 11:
“For what man knoweth the things of a man, except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so, no one knows the things of God, except the Spirit of God.”
The only source of revelation of the things of God is the Spirit of God. And only insofar as we are open to the Spirit of God and can receive from the Spirit of God can we know the things of God. And when the Spirit reveals it, brothers you know, you know that you know.
See, theology has ideas, concepts. But the Holy Spirit imparts knowledge. Theology knows about God. The Holy Spirit enables you to know God. That’s totally different.
“Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit who is from God...”
You see, there’s a direct opposition. The spirit of the world is in one area, the Spirit of God is in another area. They are in opposition to one another.
I think I ought to pause here. I was preaching in our home church in Fort Lauderdale about two years ago now. I had just come back from a long trip and they said to me, “We don’t want a report on your meetings, we want a message from the word.” I don’t really remember what I got into but somehow I got to this. I mean, we have good people. I would say just as good as most of you people! But I just got absolutely gripped by this realization that the spirit of the world and the Spirit of God are opposites. The people who think like the world don’t think like God. And I saw how much of the spirit of the world was in our congregation. I mean, it shocked me. I explained this to them. Normally I’m a person who believes in appealing to people to come forward and respond and do something. But I knew that wouldn’t work. I knew I could get 50% of the people to raise their hands and say a prayer. I knew it wouldn’t change them. So I said, “There’s nothing we can do about it. We’re shut up to the mercy of God. If God doesn’t help us, we can’t help ourselves.”
I think that was a prophetic statement because just about one year later God came to our help supernaturally, sovereignly he visited. I think I referred to it briefly. He gave us this three week period which became a six week period in which we met with him every morning from 5 to 7 A.M. I mean met with God and not just go to a prayer meeting. And I believe in a sense that was God’s acknowledgment of what I had said, “if he didn’t come to our help, there was nothing we could do about it”.
I think I’ll give you a scripture that became real to me at that point. This is not going according to my outline, you may notice that. That’s usually the most exciting times. Zechariah 12:10. Now I want to say I believe very definitely in the restoration of Israel as a nation to the favor of God. So I do not spiritualize the promises made to Israel. I believe they’ll all be fulfilled exactly the way they were written. But there are spiritual patterns which we can apply to the church. And here it says in Zechariah 12:10—You know, I want to tell you we’re moving toward an appointment with God somewhere here. I’m not in control, I’m not in the driver’s seat. Somebody else has taken the steering wheel. Zechariah 12:10:
“I will pour out on the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and supplications...”
That’s a totally sovereign act of God. He moves by his Spirit from his level down to ours. We cannot move up to his.
If I were to ask you, when you talk about supplications, in one word what are you asking God for? Mercy. That’s the first thing we have to ask for is his mercy. But it’s grace, you understand? We can’t even do that without God’s grace. And the grace comes by the Holy Spirit.
Now what will happen?
“...then they will look to me whom they have pierced, and they will mourn for him, as one mourns for his only son, and shall grieve for him, as one grieves for a firstborn.”
I think that’s as clear a prophecy of the crucifixion of the Lord as you can find. “They will look on me,” and it is God speaking, “whom they have pierced. And they will mourn.”
But what I want to point out to you is that only by the Holy Spirit can we look on him. Only the Holy Spirit can reveal. And what the Holy Spirit reveals to us is exactly what’s here, that we have pierced the Lord, that we have grieved him, that we have hurt him. That’s something that the natural mind can’t appreciate. You can’t reason this out, it comes by revelation. And we spent hours on our faces on the floor before God in repentance. Not repenting of drunkenness or immorality but repenting of the way we treated the Lord. We had wounded him time and time again. And there wasn’t a single person in our church, myself included, who wasn’t aware of this by the Holy Spirit.
Then it talks about a great mourning that follows which we won’t go into the details of. But we go on into chapter 13 and we just read the first two verses.
“In that day a fountain shall be opened to the house of David and for the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness.”
The very same people upon whom the Spirit had been poured out, the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. And that again is something sovereign. When we really come to the point of seeing how desperately we need God’s mercy he will open a fountain for sin and for uncleanness. And brothers and sisters, I have to tell you the church desperately needs that fountain.
We’ll read just one more verse.
“It shall be in that day, says the Lord of hosts, that I will cut off the names of the idols from the land, and they shall no longer be remembered: I will also cause the prophets and the unclean spirit to depart from the land.”
God says he’ll deal with two things: idolatry and the unclean spirit. And I believe that unclean spirit is the spirit of the world. I believe it needs to be driven out of the church. But only God can do it. We can’t preach it, we can’t organize it; we’re simply dependent on the mercy of God.
We’re to return to 1Corinthians 2, I haven’t yet got to the passage that I was aiming at. 1Corinthians 2:12:
“Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.”
It’s important to understand that everything we need has already been given to us by God through the cross. Full and total provision has already been made. But only the Holy Spirit can reveal to us what God has given us. And without the Holy Spirit we can be legally heirs of God and live like beggars. Remember what I said? The Holy Spirit has the keys to the storehouse? If he doesn’t use the key and open the door, there’s no way we can force our way in.
Then Paul goes on:
“These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches, but which the Holy Spirit teaches; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.”
There’s a lot of different ways of translating that. Using spiritual language for spiritual things or using spiritual language for spiritual people.
I want to pause there for a moment because I think it’s very important for you who are involved in counseling. I think it’s very important to see that the truths of scripture, and particularly the truths that relate to the cross cannot be expressed in the language of human wisdom. That’s psychology, that’s psychiatry and philosophy and a whole lot of theology. The language we use determines or limits our ability to apprehend and express truth.
Psychology has a number of advantages. Basically it’s statistical. It takes a number of times a thing happens and makes that a norm. So if 80% of people masturbate, it’s normal to masturbate. God doesn’t measure his standards by the number of people who do a thing. Psychology can tell you if there are certain symptoms in your life you have this much percent probability of committing suicide. That’s important, but what it cannot do is express spiritual truth because it needs spiritual language.
Whenever I hear preachers quoting psychiatrists I become extremely nervous because I’m inclined to think that they’re not presenting a clear, simple, basic truth of the word of God.
“The natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness to him: nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”
Now here is a perfect example of what I’m saying and it centers around that word “the natural man” which is a very misleading translation. The Greek word is psuchekos. How many of you know what psucheis in Greek? It’s the soul. So if you wanted to translate it very literally you’d translate it soulish. Some languages, the Scandinavian languages have a word ?shalisk? which is taken from the word shale: soul. It’s very unfortunate that English doesn’t have it.
What Paul is saying is the man who tries to apprehend with his soul the things that can only be apprehended by the Spirit, doesn’t get there. The man who operates in the realm of the soul cannot receive the things of the Spirit.
Now you see, psychology I would venture to say, has no language to express that, am I right? Basically, if psychologists acknowledge that you have an inner part, they’ll call it the soul. They are not aware of the fact that there’s a lot more inside man than the soul. I can see by your faces that you need some further help. But it’s all related to the theme we’re dealing with.
If you turn to 1Thessalonians 5:23. These scriptures are not on your outline, you might want to write them down. We’re taking a little journey this morning out into unmapped territory. 1Thessalonians 5:23. Paul says:
“Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit, soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
What is total man? It is what? Spirit, soul and body. Now what’s the difference between spirit and soul? Well, that can’t be answered in a single sentence but let me point out how you can find the answer. There is one probe that reaches into the inner areas of human personality and separates between the spirit and the soul. What is that? The word of God. Let’s look in Hebrews 4:12.
“For the word of God is living and powerful [the Greek word is energetic, I like it.], and sharper than any two-edged sword; piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
There is only one way that we can learn to distinguish between spirit and soul. That is by applying the word of God. The word of God separates between spirit and soul.
Now I want to give you some passages in which this word psuchekosis used. I think as we go through them—and these are the only places in the New Testament where it’s used and it’s translated differently in different translations so if you don’t get behind the translations you won’t get to the real root. We’ll look at them. 1Corinthians 2:14. We’ve been there, haven’t we? Let’s go back to it for a moment.
“But the soulish man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness to him, nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”
They’re discerned by the Spirit and not by the soul. Do you understand? So a person who approaches the things of God from the standpoint of the soul cannot receive them. In fact, they seem foolishness to him. We meet many, many people like that. They call it foolishness. All they’re demonstrating is that they don’t operate in the realm of the Spirit.
Then two or three examples that are very interesting, we can’t spend time on them. 1Corinthians 15—I think God must have given this to me because you’re all counselors. 1Corinthians 15:44 and following. It’s speaking about the body that’s buried and the body that’s raised in resurrection. Verse 44:
“It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body.”
What word do you think is translated “natural”? Psuchekos. It is sown a soulish body; it is raised a spiritual body. Let’s go on a little.
“There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.”
Or, if there is a natural body, there is a soulish body; there is a spiritual body. And then verse 46:
“However the spiritual was not first, but the soulish; and afterward the spiritual.”
Now you can ask yourself what’s the difference in a soulish body and a spiritual body? It’s a very difficult question to answer. I think we’ll probably have to wait until we get our spiritual body to find the full answer. But what I want to point out to you is there’s an antithesis all the way through the New Testament between the spiritual and the soulish.
Let me give you my idea what a spiritual body is. It may not be right at all. I believe the spirit is the God inbreathed part of man. When God created man he breathed into him the breath of life, he breathed his Spirit in. And man became a living soul. Now I’m in trouble because we’ve got to go to Hebrew. I hope I’m not going to confuse you but you’ll have time to ask questions not now, but later. The Hebrew word for spirit which is very close to Arabic is ruach. And it has that ?hhh? letter at the end which people who don’t know Semitic languages or don’t come from Scotland can’t say. The Scottish can say it, Loch Lomond.
Now, the word for soul is nefesh. I didn’t intend to get involved in this, Lord help me. But it’s so vivid to me and if I can make it vivid to you that’s worth it. So God breathed his Spirit in, the ruach, the strong, powerful, continuous outgoing breath. The inbreathed Spirit of God into the clay brought into being something totally new, a soul. The modern translations say person and that rather confuses it. A soul is a nefesh. And whereas spirit is eternal, outgoing, inexhaustible, the nefeshis dependent on the spirit. If you’d like to look here it says in 1Corinthians 15:45:
“The first man Adam became a living soul; the last Adam became a life giving Spirit.”
The Spirit is life giving. The Spirit doesn’t need life from any source, it is life. But the soul needs to receive life.
Now, this will cause you to laugh but you’ll never forget it. The Hebrew word for soul is nefeshand most basic Hebrew words the sound has got something to do with the meaning. When a person is deep in sleep they’ll go like this. (Demonstrates breathing.) See the essence of it, he has to breathe in first before he can breathe out. So that’s the dependent life of the soul.
Now, the body with which we are landed is a soulish body. In other words, anything that happens in it has to go through the soul. David told his soul, “Bless the Lord.” His spirit was all ready to bless the Lord but he couldn’t bless the Lord until his soul acted. It’s like, in a sense, the soul is the gearbox between the spirit and the body. To get the body operating the spirit has to use the gearbox of the soul. That means it’s a soulish body. In a sense it’s some ways it’s almost a place of confinement for a spirit.
We’ll wait and find out what it’s like when we get resurrected, but I believe the resurrected body will be a spiritual body. The spirit won’t have to depend on the soul to get things done. I want to be over there and I’m over there. I want to go up and I go up. That’s the way I see it. All I’m going at the moment, incidentally, is just pointing out that there’s a continuing, deep, basic difference between spiritual and soulish all the way through the New Testament. Okay?
Now we’ll look at two other places where the word soulish is used. The first is James 3:15, talking about the wrong kind of wisdom. James says:
“This wisdom does not come from above, but is earthly, sensual [but the Greek word is soulish] and demonic.”
Then you’ll see there’s a downward descent. First you get on to the earthly level. Then you get into the soulish realm. The next thing is demonic. When we get out of the Spirit and get dominated by the soul we’re a target for demons. In my personal opinion, demons do not attack the spirit, they fasten on the soul. You’ll find demonic problems are in the realm of the soul—the mind, the will and the emotions.
So to be soulish in that sense is to be right out of line with God’s will. To let your soul direct you apart from your spirit and apart from the Holy Spirit is to be headed for trouble. When you become soulish the next step down is demonic.
And then there’s one other verse that we need to look at. We’re getting near the end of our time. I tell you, I prayed earnestly for the Lord to divide the time up right this time and he surprised me because I didn’t expect to do this. Jude, the last epistle before Revelation. Jude 19, talking about troublemakers in the church. We don’t have any of those today. Well, let’s read from verse 17.
“But you remember the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ: How they told you that there would be mockers in the last time, who would walk according to their own ungodly lusts.”
Now that’s not talking about people outside the church, that’s talking about people who profess to be Christians. It says:
“These are sensual persons who cause division, not having the Spirit.”
Guess what the word sensual is? Soulish, that’s right. These are the soulish people, people who operate in the soul and not in the realm of the Spirit. What do they do? They cause division. That’s where divisions come from. They never come from the Holy Spirit. They come from the soulish area of man when it’s not under the control of the Spirit.
Now let’s go back to 1Corinthians 2:14 or thereabouts, and I want to emphasize what I was trying to say that you cannot adequately communicate spiritual truth in the language of the world’s wisdom. The world doesn’t have the categories, it doesn’t recognize the distinction. I think God must have led me because of your function as counselors. You’re never going to really help people adequately until you can distinguish between the soul and the spirit.
One of the tragedies of the Charismatic movement is that most Charismatics don’t know the difference. As a preacher I know how easy it is to appeal to people’s souls, to their emotions, get them stirred up. The results are not permanent. There’s no real depth or solidity in them. As a matter of fact, a lot of people are afraid of the spiritual realm. Even Charismatics. They’re afraid of silence. Whoever says that we’ve got to keep talking all the time? When we get silent we might hear something we don’t want to hear.
Let’s look in 1Corinthians 2, we’re going back to verse 13.
“These things [that’s the things that God has freely given to us] we speak not in words which man’s wisdom teaches, but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the soulish man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”
We’ll have to stop there but let me point out to you the soulish man includes the psychiatrist and the psychologist if they don’t have the Spirit of God. Now there are psychologists and psychiatrists who do but basically the areas of spiritual truth that we are dealing with cannot adequately be expressed in the language of human wisdom.