Rightly Dividing the Word: The Deceitfulness of Sin
Filed Under Christianity, End times, Moral virtue
35. Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward.
36. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised.
37. For yet in a very little while, He who is coming will come, and will not delay.
38. But My righteous one shall live by faith; and if he shrinks back, My soul has no pleasure in him.
Verse 37 sounds very encouraging, right? Yes, it does, that is until you consider that it was written almost two thousand years ago. With that consideration, a “little while” looks a little bleak!
However, recently a Bride brother pointed out something that brings light and marvelous meaning and welcomed relevance to this passage. He noted that the New Testament was laid out in the same pattern of the church, which is of course:
First Remnant —> Christianity —> Second Remnant
Examining the books of the New Testament, we find that the Gospels address the formation of the first Remnant, begun by Yahshua. Next, in the first eight chapters of Acts, there is the continuation of that work—from Yahshua’s ascension to the stoning of Stephen, and finally the translation of Phillip. Though Saul/Paul was introduced in chapters seven and eight, in chapter nine the major emphasis shifts to him, with the bulk of Acts thereafter dedicated totally to him. Following Acts are, of course, all the letters of Paul, through to the end of Philemon.
Next in order, the book of Hebrews is contested in its authorship. For many years, and even moreso since the revelation of the Bride, I have concluded that Paul was not its author. Hebrews is just too much Remnant in its message for Paul to have written it. Apart from the mention of Timothy in the closing verses, along with a salutation that matches that of Colossians, its style and message is just not that of Paul. Also, in all of Paul’s letters, he consistently placed his name in them so as to secure his authorship, even adding a personal notation in the closing of Galatians to highlight his authorship. This characteristic identification of Paul is distinctly absent in Hebrews. Also, in all but three of his letters (Philippians, 2 Thessalonians, and Philemon) he identifies himself as an apostle (a strange thing for the man who four times in Galatians 2 dismissed the original twelve apostles as being merely “reputed”). This title in authorship is equally absent in Hebrews; where instead, Yahshua Himself is identified as the Apostle (3:1). Clearly, this is a Remnant book and could not have been written by Paul.
Of course after Hebrews come the letters from James (either the brother of Yahshua or the apostle), Peter (the apostle), John (the apostle), and Jude (the brother of Yahshua), as well as Revelation (equally from John, the apostle).
As this Bride brother noted, the opening books of the Gospels through Acts 8 relate specifically to the first Remnant. Next, the remainder of Acts and all the uninterrupted letters of Paul follow, which, appropriately, occupy the place of Christianity. Then the books from Hebrews through Revelation reveal and relate to the second Remnant. Thus we see the like pattern:
Gospels thru Acts 8 —> Acts 9 thru Paul’s letters —> Hebrews thru Rev.
I have long noted that these latter books are far more revealing regarding the Remnant, and this pattern evidences and affirms this all the more. And, adding even more conclusive testimony is this most unusual statement in Hebrews 10:37: “For yet in a very little while, He who is coming will come, and will not delay.” The imminent timing of this passage is clearly relative specifically to the second Remnant. Though it has been nearly two thousand years since it was written, this message is MOST timely and relevant to today—He who is coming will come in our days, and He will not delay. This is clearly the message relative specifically to the second Remnant, explaining why the New Testament is designed the way it is—rightly dividing the word into three distinct parts relevant to the church.
Most importantly, we, the second Remnant, are wise and discerning to give our attention and study to these books from Hebrews through Revelation. Thus, for the remainder of this writing, and undoubtedly for other writings to come, we will give ourselves to this purpose. What is Yahweh telling the second Remnant that is presented in these concluding books? One thing is certain: If you are in any regard familiar with these books, they are not void of exacting personal responsibility and moral obligation. It seems most fitting that Martin Luther, a Christian, wanted to remove the book of James from the Bible. He called it a book of straw. Why? Because it requires personal accountability and attesting works, both of which are gravely absent in churches today.
Let us now examine some of these qualities consistent with our high calling that are set forth in Hebrews and these other second Remnant books. To begin with, in Hebrews 3:12-13, just after giving the example of the sons of Israel failing to enter into the Promised Land, we read:
Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God. But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called “Today,” so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.
How many messages have you heard in church that warned about the vices and consequences of sin? Frankly, I cannot remember one message warning about sin, or even pointing out what is indeed sin. Instead, they teach on everything else, and to their own ruin focus on the message of grace, grace, grace. In fact, they teach grace so exclusively that they cause the hearers to deny personal accountability, and fail to call men to perform, as actually Paul noted, “deeds consistent with repentance” (Acts 26:20). Likewise, as second Remnant Jude 1:4 warned, their grace message prevails to the extent that it affords a license to sin, turning “the grace of our God into licentiousness.” What we want to focus on first is this ability of sin to deceive and to blind people—“the deceitfulness of sin!”
Also significantly and appropriately recorded in a second Remnant book, in 2 Peter 1:2-5 we read the following. As you read this, give attention to how it too more specifically applies to the second Remnant, who have a knowledge of what Yahweh is doing that no one before has received.
Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature [including an immortal body], having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust. Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge ….
If we, the Bride, do not excel in moral excellence, then we are not worthy to be called the Bride, who is to make herself ready for Immanuel (Revelation 19:7). We, who have received wonderful never-before-seen knowledge, nullify that knowledge if we fail to excel in moral excellence. One does not run to first base, pass by second, go to third, then go to home plate, and score. Moral excellence is not an option for the Bride, but an obligated mandate! If we want to ascend alive into heaven and enter into an immortal, incorruptible body, then we must demonstrate this by how we prove ourselves today. How can we be worthy to enter into the heavenlies, if we live our lives today in corruption? By our actions we prove what we truly desire, and will receive what we pursue on this earth while in this flesh.
If you live according to the flesh, then you are a servant of the flesh and will remain in the flesh. But if you serve that which is above in righteousness, “applying all diligence,” ever striving for it, then you will enter into that which is above. By your actions you will prove what you really desire. If you live your life for this world, you will inherit this world. But if you live your life for that which is above in righteousness and goodness, then you will receive that which is above. In short, you will reap what you sow.
To help understand this matter of the deceitfulness of sin, the best way to do so is to give some examples with which I am personally familiar. First is a matter that was at hand when I read this passage regarding the deceitfulness of sin, making this truth all too real. There is a man close to me who discovered that his wife had a sexual relationship with another man. This lady is a believer, yet freely gave herself to this failure. In second Remnant Hebrews 13:4 we read:
Marriage is to be held in honor among all, and the marriage bed is to be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge.
How can one read this passage and give in to the passing pleasure of sin? By the deceitfulness of sin! What went on in that lady’s mind that would cause her to discard her walk with Yahweh and insult the one-flesh union that she covenanted with her husband? One does not violate that covenant without consequences—with the spouse, with others, and with God. Part of this judgment by God is to allow the violated spouse to divorce the guilty spouse, and indeed this defilement severely threatens this woman’s marriage. In Malachi 2:16, also a clearly Elijah Remnant book, Yahweh forthrightly states that He hates divorce; and, He hates the breaking of the one-flesh covenant between a man and a woman, which is the only justification for divorce. If one truly loves Yahweh God, then they should obey Him, deny their flesh, choose to resist evil, embrace difficulty if necessary, and do what is right and good according to His commands.
One might say here: Well, God will forgive that lady. Really? Then why did he allow divorce for that offense? I had one Christian woman tell me upon deciding to unlawfully divorce her husband, “God will just have to forgive me.” Does God really have to forgive her, or was she also deceived by sin? Do you really think that when one chooses to sin, that grace is automatically given because of the “blood of Christ”? Herein is the grave and destructive error of loose Christian teachings, for also in second Remnant Hebrews, 10:26 and 27, we read:
For if we sin willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a terrifying expectation of judgment and the fury of a fire which will consume the adversaries.
This is not some eternal hell-fire judgment for the “lost,” but the correction and purification that takes place while in this flesh. If one sins willfully, there is no sacrifice for that sin. This is the very truth attested to in the original sin offerings. Repeatedly, it is stated that the sin offerings were for sins committed unintentionally (Leviticus 4 and 5, Numbers 15 and 35, Deuteronomy 4 and 19). Clearly, in like manner this is true with believers today who rely upon Yahshua’s sacrifice. If you want forgiveness, then do not sin willfully.
Herein is the grave truth regarding one’s walk. Many have been trained like a spoiled child to think that no matter what they do, daddy is going to forgive them. And, people do not want to read what the Scriptures teach about sin, as though by ignoring it the liability and consequences will disappear. Not true! But instead, the wise will be honest and circumspect with the entirety of the Scriptures, including the warnings and the rebukes. For example, in second Remnant Hebrews 12:4-11 we read:
You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood in your striving against sin; and you have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as sons, “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor faint when you are reproved by Him; for those whom the Lord loves He disciplines, and He scourges every son whom He receives.”
It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness. All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.
Where are those who do indeed “strive against sin”? People do not want to hear about the judgment of Yahweh God. It is an unpopular subject and does not build big churches. But in like regard, in 1 Corinthians 11:29-32, Paul equally declared:
For he who eats and drinks, eats and drinks judgment to himself if he does not judge the body rightly. For this reason many among you are weak and sick, and a number sleep. But if we judged ourselves rightly, we would not be judged. But when we are judged, we are disciplined by the Lord so that we will not be condemned along with the world.
In 2 Corinthians 12:20, Paul laid out a cause and effect that was not only true pertaining to him and the Corinthians, but is true with God and us, with parents and their children, with a husband and a wife, and in fact in any place where there is authority. In the closing of the second letter to the Corinthians, Paul warned them:
For I am afraid that perhaps when I come I may find you to be not what I wish, and may be found by you to be not what you wish ….
Speaking as a father and a husband, since my children and my wife began to reject me, it has caused me to be a man I do not want to be—having to effect discipline. But, this is the responsibility of authority; and until they become what I want them to be, all of our lives are now dramatically impacted. And in like regard, Yahweh has to become that which He does not want to be when we become what He does not want us to be. As Yahshua declared shortly before His crucifixion, so our actions determine His dealings with us, even the delay or withholding of His blessings:
“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling. Behold, your house is being left to you desolate! For I say to you, from now on you will not see Me until you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’ “ [Matthew 23:37-39]
Oh, how I can relate to this! How I have longed to gather my family together in like protection and blessing, but they have determined that my actions be otherwise and their house is left desolate. I have had to become what I do not want to be. This is sadly true with the Bride brother and his wife as well. And in like regard, we must realize that we create the same problem relative to Yahweh when we wander in our ways and choose to do our own will and pleasure.
Once again in a second Remnant book, in 1 Peter 2:18-25 we find revealing truth regarding what our attitude should be concerning difficulties and correction, whether it be from man or from Yahweh. To understand the relevance and message of this next quote requires that the entire portion be read. And do not just consider this relative to a master/servant relationship, but regarding any place of established authority. This will be evident as we consider the instruction that immediately follows.
Servants, be submissive to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and gentle, but also to those who are unreasonable. For this finds favor, if for the sake of conscience toward God a person bears up under sorrows when suffering unjustly. For what credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience? But if when you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it, this finds favor with God.
For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth; and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously; and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed. For you were continually straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls.
So, when you suffer for doing wrong, then just take it. You deserve it. But also, when authority has treated you unjustly and you take it as well, then you identify with Yahshua and have a reward and favor with God—a reward that is eternal!
But also regarding this passage, I noted that this is relative to all authority, including the authority that a husband has over his wife—authority that is invested through and upheld by God. After pointing to the examples of the servant and Yahshua, Peter then aptly continues with a comparison that most women do not want to, and even refuse to, acknowledge. In the very next verses (3:1-2), Peter continues:
IN THE SAME WAY [as a servant and Yahshua], you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior.
What a marvelous opportunity women have to gain the favor of God; but more often in this present society, they actually deny Yahshua. When women rebel against their husbands, it is as if to despise Yahshua’s sacrifice and to say that He too should have rejected the authority that He was placed under and should not have died for our sins. Today we are immersed in a society that shamefully worships and exalts rebellion, laughing at it as though it is a cute spoiled child. But instead, it is SIN, and it demands judgment, which has come upon this nation and the world!
Out of the lust of the flesh the wife of the man close to me rejected her husband’s headship by violating her one-flesh covenant and in the natural unlawfully pursued the head of another man. In like regard my wife has rejected her head, though not violating our one-flesh union. I therefore have no legal basis to divorce her; but, there are consequences both from me and from God for her lawless actions. The close brother’s wife was deceived by the lust of the flesh and lawlessness. On the other hand, my wife is deceived by the blindness of Christianity and their own repeated lawlessness that leads to sin. But both have succumbed to the deceitfulness of sin.
Also, in both of these cases there is another common factor—the deception of worldliness, being lulled by and becoming stained by the world. This is where we will continue in the next posting as we examine the deceitfulness of sin and consider the compelling messages set forth in second Remnant Hebrews through Revelation. Until then, I urge you to read and carefully examine these closing books. By revealing pattern, they hold a message that is directed to us today, the second Remnant.
As we have noted as well, these second Remnant books are very much directed toward moral excellence and performing deeds consistent with our calling. Again, if we, the Bride, do not excel in moral excellence, then we are not worthy to be called the Bride. If we want to ascend alive into heaven and enter into an immortal, incorruptible body, then we must demonstrate this by how we prove ourselves today. If we desire to enter into the heavenlies, then “with all diligence” we must demonstrate this in how we live right now. If we serve that which is above in righteousness, ever striving for it, only then will we enter into that which is above.
In conclusion, let us read from second Remnant Jude 1:22-23:
Have mercy on some, who are doubting; save others, snatching them out of the fire; and on some have mercy with fear, hating even the garment polluted by the flesh.