There is teaching that subtly diverges from the ‘my teaching’ of Jesus, but which nevertheless neutralizes the power of the cross and the resurrection of Jesus as the life of the church. There is teaching that passes for Christian teaching that is as different to the ‘my teaching’ of Jesus as a donkey is from a human being. Yet this distortion is not perceived because it is the reality in which such Christians have always lived.
Joseph Prince has written powerfully, at the direction of the Holy Spirit, on the power of right believing. Right belief - our personal alignment in who God is, what He has done for us and who we are as a result in Christ makes available to us a constant stream of wisdom and revelation from Jesus. Living in wrong belief cuts us off from this source of light and freedom - particularly when we conceive of our wrong belief as the truth.
Right belief is found in Jesus’ teaching alone.
‘To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free’ John 8.32,33.
Grace and truth are not abstractions. Grace and truth is the person of Jesus. God is grace and truth. But grace is not an elastic something that exists so that we can stumble along in non-truth. It nurses us into an increasing fullness of truth. Grace gives rise to the Spirit of Revelation. Pr Prince’s writing encourages believers to believe what God has done for us in Christ, to live in the intimacy with Father than has been won for us in Jesus. We have nurture and sustenance in Father because Jesus performed. Not because we have.
There are Believers whose spirit grows in the continual revelation of God and Believers who are no less precious but who are inert and stationary because they have imagined that they can simply bolt ‘Spirit-filled’ onto their traditions. But what if one's tradition is not the gospel of the Kingdom? What if it is actually another gospel and a distortion of what Christ achieved and handed on to us by the apostles? What if what they have believed is not Jesus’ teaching bit some distortion? What if Believers have a form of godliness and are simply an old creation and congealed in a pre-Christian mentality?
Increasingly Believers are walking in the current revelation of Jesus. Rather than just any gospel or a gospel of random acts of religion they model the gospel of the Kingdom. They keep in step with the Spirit who is always on the move. They enjoy continual revelation – the revelation of who God is, what He has done for us and who we are in in Him. They proceed each day into the fullness of Christ their life and as a result exceed themselves. They encourage you and others in this evolution of the spirit. Just as Father is infinite so to a lesser extent are we – because we are His sons and because we are an extension of Him.
The opposite to a spirit of wisdom and revelation is a spirit of foolishness and blindness. Here we do not glow because we do no know what we do not know. In yesterday's Melbourne Age there was an article about the blissful confidence of the inept. It said,
'It is an unfortunate paradox: If you’re bad at something, you probably also lack the skills to assess your own performance. And if you don’t know much about a topic, you’re unlikely to be aware of the scope of your own ignorance.'
If this is so in the natural it is more so in the spiritual where insight and discernment count so much more that intelligence and information. If we don't know what the new covenant is, what it implies and how it is connected to the new creation and Kingdom of God, we will confidently continue in forms of lifelessness under the impression that we are in the anointing of the Spirit. There is nothing as unfortunate as thinking we are in the anointing when we are surrounded by a cloud of non-spirit and non-life.
It does matter what you believe. Theology is not irrelevant. Good theology is simply accurate knowledge about our Father and our relationship to Him as sons. In Dancing with God, James Malone writes,
‘Habitation comes from truly knowing His person… true faith can only operate when there is a revelation of God’s true person.’
We might add, we are who we really are in God when we understand who Father really is and what He has done for us in Jesus and the Holy Spirit. We have no right to a personal or denominational perspective that is out of sync with the revelation of Jesus by the Spirit and His word; no right at all to a perspective that contradicts the apostles doctrine, denies the new covenant, delivers an inferior identity and perpetuates Adam and Moses as though it is a badge of honour.
Should we lack the spirit of wisdom and revelation we will be unaware when God is among us and prone to think He is here when He is not.
We cannot be an apostolic people if we are living in old covenant assumptions. Or living in teaching that is not Jesus’ teaching. But we can be all that we were created to be personally and as the church when Christ is our life, when Father is truly our Father and we are filled with the Holy Spirit of wisdom, revelation and divine strategy.
'Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is'1 John 3.2 NIV.
'Now if we are children, then we are heirs--heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory' Rom 8.17 NIV.