Life, Not Doctrines

Some ministers have their charts, maps, etc. to show the chronological order of what has happened and what is going to happen in the last days. They talk about a rapture that could take place at any moment, even in the next few minutes. Even if there is a rapture one day, it couldn’t happen the way most Fundamentalists teach it, and it certainly couldn’t happen today. If it did, the majority of the Christian world would be left behind. The Word talks about a Church in its purity, without spot or wrinkle (Ephesians 5:25-27), but you would have a very difficult time trying to find a church like that today. Many Christians are of the opinion that if you have been forgiven for your sins, then you are without spot or wrinkle. Wrong! That just isn’t so! They tend to forget that human nature itself is sin.

The Old Testament law required a newborn male child to be circumcised on the eighth day (Leviticus 12:3). Circumcision was a sign of entering into covenant with the Lord. Naturally, the baby had done nothing right or wrong only being eight days old. It was completely innocent. The need for the child to be circumcised showed that it wasn’t acts of sin but the sin-nature that had to be cut off to enter the covenant community of God.

A sin offering was required when someone committed a sin. The sinner would lay his hand on the goat (or, lamb) and confess his sin, thus, transferring the sin to the goat. Then the goat was slain and the sinner was forgiven, if he was truly repentant of course. In time, though, another sin was committed and he was back with another sin offering. Why? Did the first sin offering not work? Was he not clean and sanctified by the first sin offering? No, he wasn’t! He still had the same nature, which was the source of his sin. That is why John the Baptist said, “Put the ax to the root of the tree” (Matthew 3:10). Don’t just pick the leaves off the tree. Put the ax to the root; get to the source of the sin. Circumcise the sinful nature.

Hebrews 10:1-4,14 For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.
2 For then would they not have ceased to be offered? Because that the worshippers once purged should have no more conscience of sins.
3 But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year.
4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.
14 For by one offering He (Jesus Christ) has perfected for ever them that are sanctified.

The sacrifice of Jesus Christ does a lot more than those bulls and goats. The blood of Jesus Christ washes away the sin committed and also makes provision for a change of nature. A change of nature, though, doesn’t just happen in a skinny second. It is a process that takes place as you appropriate the work of the cross. The dealings of the Lord are progressive. It is as Jesus told His disciples in John’s Gospel. I have yet many things to say unto you, but you cannot bear them now. John 16:12. And He looks at our adamic nature and says, “There is a lot more that I have to deal with, but it can’t be done all at once. As they grow I will take care of it.” Our walk with the Lord is a progression towards fullness. Woe unto the person that starts and then stops.

One of The Trumpet messages a couple of years ago asked the question, “Is your dwelling a house or a tabernacle?” speaking of where you are spiritually. If your dwelling is a house, then you have a permanent dwelling. You’re not planning to move. Many Christians do that. They build themselves a spiritual house saying, in effect, “This is how far we are going, and we are not going any farther. We got saved and that’s enough.” They built a house with their doctrines and they never go beyond that. But some will say, “I’m going to live in a tent, so I can pack up and move on in God.” That is what Abraham did.

“Oh, but Israel is the Holy Land.”

Abraham didn’t think it was so holy, because he never built a house there. The Bible says that he sojourned in the land, for he was looking for something better. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: for he looked for a city which had foundations, whose builder and maker was God. Hebrews 11:9-10.

Do you know what Mystical Babylon is? It is the hold of every foul and unclean spirit (Revelation 18:2). Babylon is what God was in yesterday. A walk with God is a procession from glory to glory (II Corinthians 3:18). What happens when you stop progressing? God moves on and you don’t! Then that becomes Babylon and spiritual death sets in.

What was Laodicea’s problem (Revelation 3:14-22)? They thought they were rich and had need of nothing. But the Lord said they were wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked. Then He advised them to buy of Him gold tried in the fire. What did He mean? They needed His nature! But they were so involved in their religious games they didn’t even know that He wasn’t in their midst. But you could hear them say, “Well, where two or three are gathered together; He is in our midst.” But He wasn’t in their midst. Quoting Scripture doesn’t mean a thing if it isn’t life to you. Christ was on the outside knocking on the door, If any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me (verse 20). They didn’t hear Him. And a lot of Christians today aren’t hearing Him either. Is the Lord revealing Himself to any today? Oh, yes, He is! Is the Lord coming? Yes, presently, right now! He is coming! He is coming on a certain spirit level. We must move up to that level to receive Him. Then later He will move up to another level to draw us up to it and the process continues from glory to glory (II Corinthians 3:18).

What about Joshua? Joshua was Moses’ right hand man. When Moses went into the tabernacle to be in the presence of and to talk with God, Joshua went in also. When Moses departed, Joshua stayed (Exodus 33:11). Joshua was a man who loved the Lord. It was Joshua and Caleb that went into the land of Canaan with the other spies (Numbers 13). They saw the Anakim there, the sons of Anak: Ahiman, Sheshai, and Talmai. They were the Nephilim. Joshua and Caleb said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it (verse 30). But the other spies gave an evil report and were afraid to go up. I’m telling you about Joshua, a man that had a relationship with the Lord.

The day came when Joshua would no longer serve Moses. Moses died and Joshua was commissioned to take the people into the land of promise (Numbers 27:18-23; Joshua 1:1:1-3). The children of Israel under Joshua’s command crossed the Jordan and camped by Jericho. There Joshua met a man with a drawn sword (Joshua 5:13-15). Joshua didn’t know the man and asked, “Are you for us or for our adversaries?” And the man said, “No, I have come as Captain of the host of the Lord.” Then Joshua realized that the man was a manifestation of the Lord, and he fell down to worship Him. Joshua had been accustomed to sitting in the presence of the Lord in the tabernacle, but he wasn’t aware of the Lord in this new way. Listen, no matter where you are in your walk with the Lord, He will appear differently to you on the next level. And if your heart is not really open, you might reject Him. Many Christians have rejected the Lord when He did not fit the mold of their present experience. Their doctrines were not flexible enough to receive the Lord in a new way. Inflexible doctrines cannot hold the new wine of the Kingdom. Neither do men put new wine into old bottles: else the bottles break, and the wine runs out, and the bottles perish: but they put new wine into new bottles, and both are preserved. Matthew 9:17.

John 1:11 He came unto His own, and His own received Him not.

Don’t just look at this verse historically, that it is speaking only of the Jews. What about today? There is a spiritual coming of His presence today and all Christians are not receiving Him. We must understand that we have to change; we must grow spiritually. It is not that we haven’t received Him at all, but can we receive Him on a higher level? The old wineskins weren’t flexible enough to receive a higher revelation of the Lord. What about you? Are you stuck in tradition? Are you held captive by your doctrines? Can you open your heart to a revelation of the Lord beyond what you have now?

In the eleventh chapter of John, Jesus is talking about John the Baptist. John was in prison at the time and Jesus had already begun His ministry. John was hearing the reports of his ministry. John was thinking, “That doesn’t sound like what I was expecting. I had my feelings of what the Messiah was to be and to do. And Jesus is ministering differently than what I had expected.” So John sends two of his disciples to find out if Jesus was the one to come or do they look for another? (Matthew 11:1-3). John the Baptist was the forerunner of Christ. It was His job to prepare the way for His ministry. Did he know the Lord? Yes, he did! When John saw Jesus approaching the Jordan where he was baptizing, he said, Behold, the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world (John 1:29). But later when Jesus was ministering in a different way than John expected, he wondered if He was really the Christ. Jesus was functioning on a higher realm than John was aware of. Listen! There is a presence of the Lord coming forth on a higher realm than what you are experiencing. Will you receive Him?

I Peter 1:3-5 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fades not away, reserved in heaven for you,
5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

Peter says that there is a salvation reserved for the last time. Is Jesus going to bring on a different salvation? No, not in that sense. He has made provision for everything involved in our salvation (II Peter 1:2-4). He doesn’t have to do anything else. For by one offering He has perfected for ever them that are sanctified. Hebrews 10:14. What He does is He opens new realms of the salvation already provided. There is a salvation reserved in the Spirit realm for the last time. You know what the religious world will do with that, “One day in the future, in the last days of the end of time, He has a salvation for us.” This salvation is reserved for people in their last time, people in their maturity. Your last time is your adulthood. When you become spiritually mature the Lord can open up things to you that He couldn’t reveal to you before. He has a salvation beyond what you know now that is reserved for the time of your spiritual maturity.

Brother John Doe might move right in and experience that last time salvation, while the rest of us are sitting around wondering what it is, if we do not take the initiative to move on in God. Man’s way of thinking wants to put everything in the natural realm of history, saying, “Some time in the future it will take place.” However, that is not the way the Scriptures relate the will of God. You would never have convinced Enoch that he would have to wait thousands of years to experience the coming of the Lord. He had a revelation of the Lord coming with ten thousands of His saints. And by faith he entered into an experience that was not known by others (Jude 14; Genesis 5:24; Hebrews 11:5). I’m telling you that the Lord is opening up another realm of His presence to those who have a heart for more of God. The key for entrance, though, is not doctrines! It’s life! It is not what you know on your present level. It is a matter of hunger for more. Do you really desire to move into new realms of God?

The doctrinal wineskins are brittle. They won’t hold the new wine of the Kingdom of God. Old order Christians say, “Well, it has to line up with my doctrines,” or “It must agree with my interpretation of the Bible.” Your doctrines and interpretations can keep you from moving into more of God. Our whole desire must be to enter into His life and for His life to enter into us. I saw a church ad for a pastor recently. They said they were a doctrinally conservative church, and they wanted a pastor that was Spirit led. That is two opposites. The Holy Spirit is never conservative. The Holy Spirit will lead you to break ruts and traditions to lead you into more of God!

John 5:39 Search the Scriptures; for in them you think you have eternal life; and they are they which testify of Me.

Jesus is not telling them to go search the Scriptures. They had been doing that all along. He is saying, “This is what you do. You think you have eternal life because of your devotion to the Scriptures.” Many Christians are of the same opinion today. They search the Scriptures for doctrines and religious laws. Even with all the correct doctrines, you can still miss God.

John 5:46-47 For had you believed Moses, you would have believed Me: for he wrote of Me.
47 But if you believed not his writings, how shall you believe My words?

The Pharisees held Moses in great esteem. They quoted him continuously. He was the “man of God,” for he had given them the Law. But Jesus said that they didn’t really believe Moses. If they had then they would also believe Him for Moses wrote of Him. The Pharisees studied Moses diligently and they made his writings the basis for their doctrines and laws. But Jesus said, “If you really believed Moses, you would also believe Me. You would know who I am. Moses spoke of Me. But all you could see were sacrifices, rituals, rules, and regulations. You were interpreting the Scriptures completely on the natural realm. You were gathering surface manna. You didn’t find the life in the Scriptures. There was a treasure hidden in the field, but you missed it.” There is a treasure hidden in the Scriptures. Can you find it? Once in a while someone will pick up the Bible, and say, “Whoa, look at this!” Life opened up to them, and they began gathering the hidden manna.

It is amazing how people can be so satisfied with their lifeless doctrines. They don’t grow spiritually, but they continue to exalt their doctrines. A particular church comes to mind. The pastor taught Kingdom truths and had some great revelations as far as types and shadows and such. The ministry sounds really good, but the people didn’t grow spiritually under it. Why? It is because there is no life in it. Much of the pastor’s interpretation of the Scriptures was correct, but he hadn’t learned how to find the treasure in them, the very life of the Lord. Preaching the Scriptures about the Lord is one thing; ministering His life is another.

Memorizing and quoting Scriptures are not enough. You could quote Scriptures by the yard and still not know the Lord. If Satan can get you to build a house of doctrines so that you are not growing in the Lord, he’s got you in bondage. He doesn’t care how many people get saved. He doesn’t care if you grow spiritually somewhat. He doesn’t care if you receive the Holy Spirit and speak in tongues and prophesy, but he doesn’t won’t you to become a mature Christian, a member of the son-company because they are the ones who will crush him under their feet (Romans 16:20). If he can get you involved in a religious church that isn’t growing spiritually he is satisfied, because then you will feel you’re worshiping God and doing the right thing. And Satan laughs and says, “You just keep right on being religious and worshiping your doctrines, because you’re not growing spiritually.”

John 1:11 He came unto His own, and His own received Him not.

What does “He came unto His own” mean? He is coming to those He possesses, those who belong to Him. Belonging to the Lord is great, but it is not as good as His life coming forth in you and your life coming forth in Him. The fact that He possesses you doesn’t mean that His life is in you. You can possess something that is apart from you. We want Him living in us and through us. And once He is living in you, He won’t be satisfied to just set up His living quarters. He is going to flow through you and that is what causes the fruitfulness. He is glorified when His life flows through you. Christ in you is the hope of glory (Colossians 1:27). Christ flowing through you is the glory.

Copyright © 2001 by Henry DuBose