Errors that Hinder our Spiritual Progress
Edited from an article by
Seeley D. Kinne

The Church in New Testament times contained the mightiest power ever known in this earth. Nothing could stand before it. The decline of that divine saving energy is the most lamentable failure ever known to man.

The Gospel, as originally given to Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles, was a pure revelation of Jesus Christ; unsullied and unmixed with anything that was derived from man. It was purely spiritual, heavenly, and supernatural, lifting those who tasted its power, from groveling earth creatures to a new-creation life in the Spirit, sitting with Jesus Christ in the heavenlies.

There sprang forth a company of men and women so bound together in one body, the Church that they were of one accord, one heart and soul; compacted into a unit. Before this host, filled with the dynamite of heaven, every other power gave way.

But alas! The time came when various mixtures of Jewish traditions, form and rituals, legalism, heathen philosophies, and human power came in and polluted the pure stream of water of life that flowed out from the Gospel. Gradually the original flow of spiritual life and supernatural power waned, till all was lost, and for a thousand years gross darkness prevailed. Since the Reformation, part of the original power and glory has been recovered. Now we are come to the times of the restoration of all that was lost.

"Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began." Acts 3:21

There are undiscovered obstacles that hinder the restoration of the New Testament Church to the level of its first glory and power, and the attainment of the full Apostolic state of ministry and experience. If these obstacles were seen, some would have overcome them. The reason they have remained undiscovered is that men have searched by the light of reason rather than by revelation.

It must be recognized that the Gospel is by revelation.

"For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith." Romans 1:17

Therefore, it cannot be re-discovered without revelation. Error and mixture can only be found out by "divine illumination."

LEGALISM

The first Covenant was intended to be a schoolmaster to bring us to Christ. It operated by law, a complete system for every circumstance of life. The New Covenant is by the operation of the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus. These two methods were not to be combined.

Tendencies to legalistic methods of applying the Gospel have long been a menace to spirituality. They have colored our teachings more than we have realized. To discover and eliminate these legalistic ways of dealing, and come to the pure "Gospel of God's Grace" requires a deep measure of revelation that will show the great mercy manifested in the Covenant of Grace through Jesus Christ.

The great distinction between the Law covenant and the Grace covenant is that the Law commands to do this or that, abstain from wrong doing; but Grace flows in streams of enabling power. Law reproves man's weaknesses and failures; but Grace magnifies and exalts the imparted ability of God, raising man from his fallen state to be heir of the divine nature. It heals, renews, recreates, and makes us a new creature. The Holy Spirit is the source of this Grace. All is done by His direction and by the in-working of His power. The independent activity of man tends to legalism.

PHILOSOPHY

For centuries, beginning 600 or more years B.C., there were men, principally Greeks, called philosophers. Among them were Aristotle, Plato, Epictetus, and many others. They were deep thinkers. They evolved theories and hypothesis concerning creation, nature of matter, and man. Their deductions are called philosophy.

These men did not have a knowledge of God, nor did they have revelation and prophecy, which is the true key of knowledge. Their conclusion could not be correct. No science or philosophy of creation, nature, or man can be sound if it is not founded upon the knowledge of God and truth discovered through revelation and prophetic wisdom.

In medieval times, religion and philosophy went hand in hand. Such men as Thomas Aquinas, Augustine, and others attempted to combine the two. They sought to make the facts of Christianity compatible with the ideas of philosophy. They endeavored to reduce religious faith to the intellectual plain of rationality.

This was one of the greatest of crimes against Jesus Christ and man. It could but be very destructive to any faith in the supernatural. The loss of the original, anointed, powerful, miraculous, prophetic Gospel is in a degree due to this philosophy being mixed-in with the truth of God, thus diluting the Gospel.

How far reaching and disastrous this introduction of heathen philosophy has been we shall scarcely ever fully discover, even by the most radical search with the strongest light of divine revelation.

TRADITION

The word tradition is used here as the name of those several teachings, customs, and doctrines, which have grown out from the ideas of men, but lack foundation in divine revelation and are often contrary to the Bible.

Jesus spoke against many Jewish traditions, which He declared made void the law. We do well to examine the traditions we hold that may make void the power of God in the Gospel, or at least tend to lessen its energy.

CONCLUSION

It is easier for man, who tends to be spiritually slothful, to perform his religious activities by a previously revealed understanding, than to seek and obtain a present "Move of the Spirit" for the occasion. Some, for example, read a communion service from a ritual. They might have had some new fresh prophetic working for the occasion had the Spirit been given opportunity.

Many times, we have shut the door to the miracle working power of the Spirit, and thus missed the water turned into wine, or some rich supernatural move of the Lord, and this because of our substituting the weak philosophies, rites, and traditions of man for the glorious gifts and grace of God.

Let us return to the Lord that He may heal us.