Spiritual Light

instructions in the faith for spirit filled believers
This book contains perhaps the most needed understanding for God's people today. Prompted by the word of the Lord this book analyzes what the Bible says about the most fundamentally important aspects of Jesus' saving work. Precious understanding revealed by a loving God for His people!
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Book Contents
Title Page
Original Introduction
Introduction to the 3rd Printing
My Credentials
Chapter One
The Third Commandment
Credentials for Chapter One
Marriage - Taking the Name
Spiritual Adultery
Like All the Nations
For Our Admonition
Chapter Two
The Sacrifice of Christ
Credentials for Chapter Two
The Sacrifice of Christ - The Copy & the True
An Important Detail - Where was Christ Sacrificed?
The Witness
Chapter Three
Conversion and Baptism
Credentials for Chapter Three
Two Gospels
Circles - The Body of Christ
Same Wrong Error - Sufficiency of Christ
Chapter Four
Salvation and Works
Credentials for Chapter Four
Ignorant and Unstable
Hebrews - Hope - Kept by Power
Glorified - Two Rocks (Rom 10:9-10)
Acts 16 - Saved Through Faith
Error in the Name of Truth
Remnants of Works - Conclusion

Spiritual Light

Remnants of Works

All those things being understood, let us look at some ways in which present day believers are still clinging to remnants of works of the Law which Christ fulfilled.

First, and most prominent in our day, is water baptism. It was a work of the Law. It was ordained by God during the time of the Law (e.g. Lev. 14:8; Mt. 3:1), being a symbolic religious ceremony which pointed to the spiritual baptism of Christ.

The earliest believers, composed exclusively of Jews, rightly continued baptizing in water, as well as circumcising, offering sacrifices, and following every other precept of the Law. But Paul's message to the Gentiles was that in Christ, there is but one baptism (Eph. 4:5), and that this one baptism is in spirit (1Cor. 12:13). Having received the spiritual baptism of Jesus, the reality to which Old Testament water baptism pointed, where then is the need for a fleshly baptism? Paul's message, for which he was persecuted by both saints and sinners alike, was that the only baptism that counts for salvation is Jesus' baptism of the holy Ghost (cp. 1Pet. 3:20-21). And to practice the symbol after being baptized by Christ is to imply an insufficiency in Christ's fulfillment of that work of the Law.

Another example of a ceremonial work such as the Law commanded is special robes for worship. Our robe for worship now is to be the righteousness of God. Choir robes, nuns' habits, clerical collars, ministerial drapery, are all extensions of the era of symbols, a step backward from Christ. And whoever is involved in the use of such things simply has not realized the commanding sufficiency of Christ's fulfillment of the Law.

The Substance Intended

Christ was the master of communicating heavenly doctrine using earthly motifs. But it is both the blessing and the burden of God's teachers that in communicating to humans, earthly words and ideas must be employed. A blessing, because familiar earthly realities may communicate the loftiest eternal truths to the simplest folk. A burden, because most of the time most of the people will seize upon the vehicle used rather than the substance intended.

Consider the washing of the apostles' feet in John 13:4-15. Peter asked, "Lord, do you wash my feet?" Jesus responded, "You do not now understand what I'm doing, but later you'll understand." Peter obviously knew that Jesus was washing his feet, but he did not understand what Jesus was really doing. Jesus was simply using the earthly example of feet washing to communicate a heavenly message which would be understood by them only at a later time, when the Spirit came. He was not ordaining foot washing ceremonies; he was trying to communicate a spiritual truth to carnal minds!

Such is exactly the case with what is referred to as "holy communion." Jesus never intended for his followers to re-enact the physical last supper. His giving, and their consuming, of earthly bread and wine was merely the earthly vehicle used to communicate a spiritual reality which they would understand only after he was gone and the Spirit had come. The disciples did not know what Jesus was saying when he told them to eat his flesh and drink his blood (Jn. 6:53-56) any more than they knew what he was doing when he washed their feet. This is what he told his disciples they had to do to inherit eternal life:

"Therefore, Jesus said to them, Truly, truly, I tell you, if you don't eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you do not have life in you. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up in the last day. For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him."


Anyone can see that Jesus was speaking figuratively here. But on that day, many of Jesus' disciples did not see that, even though the Lord promptly added this explanation:

"It is the Spirit that gives life; the flesh is worthless. The words that I speak to you, they are spirit, and they are life."

(Jn. 6:63)

It is the Spirit that the saints drink together (1Cor. 12:13). And our fellowship with one another is the spiritual bread that we eat together!

"I speak as to wise men; carefully measure what I say. The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not our sharing in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not our partaking of the body of Christ? For we, being many are one loaf, one body, for we all share in the one loaf."

(1Cor. 10:15-17)

Lived For Us

The time is passed when we should have understood these things and should have been enjoying the liberty of Christ from ceremonial works. We should have already understood what "works of the Law" means, and should have spent the time and money wasted on them in prayer or study or almsgiving or some other work that will count for good when we face God. The only thing worse than having been entangled with those dead symbols for so long is to continue to be entangled with them.

It is rightly proclaimed that Jesus died for us. But how few understand that he also lived for us! Born under the Law for us, he was circumcised the eighth day for us, was baptized in water for us, kept the holy days and feast days for us, and fulfilled every other work of the Law for us. And once we are baptized by the Spirit into Christ, God not only considers us to have been crucified with him (Rom. 6:6), buried with him (Rom. 6:4), and risen with him (Col. 2:12), He also considers us to have been circumcised with him (Col. 2:11), and to have fulfilled the Law in every other respect.

Because of Jesus, we do not observe feast days, do not circumcise in the flesh, baptize in water, or perform any other work of the Law. Jesus did all that for us. His doing those things means we need not do them, just as his dying for us means we need not die for our own sins. He is our righteousness. And he is sufficient.

To refuse Christ is to imply that his work was not godly. To come to Christ and then partake of carnal religious symbols is to imply that his work was not godly enough.

Free to Obey

It is this message of liberty from works of the Law that was "twisted," in Peter's words, by "ignorant and unstable" men into a doctrine completely contrary to everything the Scriptures and the Spirit teach, a doctrine with an appeal which has not died.

On the basis of Scriptures such as Ephesians 2:8-9, Paul's message of the worthlessness of works of the Law has been misrepresented to mean that works of any kind are worthless, and that the reward of salvation will be given to anyone who has been converted, whether he lives a holy life or not. Those "ignorant, unstable men" were persuasive, however, and won converts, while the apostles labored to keep their alluring error from spreading, Jude wrote:

"I will therefore put you in remembrance, though you once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not."

(Jude v. 5)

Paul warned the Corinthians not to listen to clever speakers who said that one could live an ungodly life and yet inherit God's kingdom:

"Or do you not know that the unjust will not inherit God's kingdom? Do not be deceived; neither the immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor catamites, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor greedy folk, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor the rapacious, will inherit the kingdom of God."

(1Cor. 6:9-10)

It was never imagined by Jesus, Paul, Jude, or any biblical writer, that the reward of salvation would be given irrespective of one's works. Certainly, believers have been freed by the sacrifice of Christ from works of the Law, but believers are not freed from the obligation to work. The body of Christ is indeed free from the handwritten ordinances of the Law, but that does not mean that we are without standards or that we may make up our own. That we are delivered from the Law of Moses does not mean that we are lawless.

By the power of the Spirit, God's people are free to obey God. No man without a Spirit-renewed mind can obey God "because the carnal mind is enmity against God, for it is not subject to the Law of God, neither indeed can be. So then, they who are in the flesh cannot please God. But you are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be the Spirit of God dwell in you" (Rom. 8:1-9a).


God's children are free to renounce two pernicious digressions from the truth. First, we must refuse fleshly ceremonies that waste our time and money. Water baptismal services are a waste of time. The baptism of Christ is sufficient. Bread and drink should be consumed at home or given to the poor; when we come together, let us partake of the Lord's supper, which is the communion of his blood (his Spirit) and the communion of his body (our brothers and sisters). Money spent on uniforms for worship is wasted - let us "put on Christ", and then come together to worship. And this we will do when we truly realize that Christ alone is sufficient!

We need desperately to move from shadows to the light of the Son, and then to stand firm in the liberty of Christ. The world needs to have grace ministered to it; neither ceremony nor symbol can cleanse a soul.

Secondly, we must learn, and teach, that the wages of sin is death - for the saint as well as for the sinner. We will be saved or lost depending on our works. If we, through the strength of God's Spirit, live holy lives, we will someday see our God; but if we do not do God's will, we will be damned. The body must escape those alluring doctrines which would have us believe we may live un-full-filled spiritual lives and yet be saved in the end. "For if you [God's people] live after the flesh, you will die, but if you [God's people], through the Spirit, put to death the deeds of the body, you will live" (Rom. 8:13).

Peter will conclude this message with this inspired exhortation found in 1Peter:1:17-18:

"And if you call on the Father, who without respect of persons judges according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear, forasmuch as you know that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain way of life received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot."