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Galatians 5

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 1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty with which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with the yoke of bondage.

 2 Behold, I Paul, say to you, that if you become circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing.

 3 For I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised [after believing in Christ], that he has become obligated to comply with the whole law.

 4 Whoever of you tries to be justified by the law has fallen from grace, and Christ has become of no benefit to you.

 5 For we, through the Spirit, by faith, patiently wait for the hope of righteousness.1 [Faith comes with the receipt of the fruit of the Spirit. Gal 5:22-23 below. Only when you have produced fruit, walking in love, fulfilling the law, then you are imputed righteous; and then no law applies to you. Gal 5:23 below. Later, when you have been born again to become a new creature that is in union with Christ and the Father, then you possess the righteousness of God; then is the end of imputation and belief. See Footnote 3 of 1 John 3 for the definition of righteousness.]

 6 For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision, nor uncircumcision benefits anything except faith, which is energized and demonstrated by works [thus operating] through love. [Faith must be operational faith, evidenced by obedient works of love for God, which is obedience to the promptings of the Spirit of God's direction; such is the love of God. The first works of love for God are: a) to wait in humble silence as you listen and watch for His commands, and b) then to obey His spoken commands that you hear to repent from the sins He reveals in your heart. Notice! Paul agrees with James, who wrote, "faith without works is dead," James 2:20-24. John wrote, "he who practices truth comes to the light, so that his deeds may be shown to have been produced (effected, formed, prompted, energized) through God." John 3:21; such works are the only works that survive passing through the fire, which every man must go through. From the Word of the Lord within: "What is the evidence of your belief? — operational faith. Faith is to hear the Word of God and obey."]

 7 You were running well; who hindered you that you should not obey the truth?

 8 This persuasion does not come from him [God] who called you.

 9 A little leaven [fleshly rituals] leavens [spreads through] the whole lump. [If you only sit in humble silence and wait on God's commands, to then obey them, there is no occasion for pride; but if you decide to perform some work, believing it will please God, that gives rise to pride. The pride turns into self-righteousness, believing you are religious and pleasing to God. Dead works, (those not commanded by God), leave you without the heart and soul purifying grace of God, leaving you in your sinful nature, walking in the flesh. Those claiming to be religious while still sinning are hypocritesthe yeast of the Pharisees. From the word of the Lord within: "The hypocrite may talk of faith and do evil. Remember, every person who sins denies Him as Lord and Master. If you are still sinning, you belong to sin and not to Me. Truly these people call on me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. Christianity has no idea who I am or what I stand for. The enemy is in all of Christendom." God must be worshiped in Spirit and Truth, and Christianity's worship is just heathenish rituals, (communion/eucharist, sprinkling infants, passing the plate for money, will-worship according to a planned agenda, group prayer, group singing, etc.), that only create an illusion of being religious; but the illusion is hypocrisy that has leavened the whole lump of Christianity.]

 10 I have confidence in you through the Lord, that none of you will be of a different persuasion from me; but he who troubles you will bear the Lord's judgment, whoever he is.

 11 Brothers, if I am still preaching circumcision, why do I still suffer persecution? And so the offence of the cross2 would have ceased. [The preaching of the necessity of the cross for salvation offends, so much that Paul was persecuted for preaching it. When the early Quakers preached the cross, the Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Baptists, and Puritans, imprisoned them, seized their property, and killed them. Christendom denies Jesus' insistence on salvation's prerequisite of bearing the cross to slay their selfish, sinful spirits; and they are greatly offended when reminded.]

 12 I wish those who trouble you would castrate themselves.

 13 For you, brothers, have been called to liberty; only this liberty is not to permit rituals of the flesh, but for you to serve one another in love.

 14 For all the law is fulfilled in one commandment, even in this: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself."

 15 But if you bite and devour one another, be careful that you are not consumed by one another.

 16 This I say then, walk in the Spirit, and you will not fulfill the lust of the flesh.

 17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another. So that you cannot do the things you wish. [The flesh with its lusts and pride wars against your soul, the Spirit of God, and the inner law of God in you heart. This war must be won by you to victory, the overcoming of sin, the world, and the devil — for you to attain freedom from sin and salvation. This can only occur if you do not do the things you wish; you must crucify your lusts and fleshly desires to then be guided in thoughts, words, and deeds by God. You must be led by the Spirit, following Him, which is doing His will, not yours; the man of flesh, your carnal mind, and your will must die on the inward cross of self-denial.]

 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.3 [To be led by the Spirit is to obey what you see and hear the Word from within your heart commands you to do and speak; when you are totally walking by commands from the Spirit, faith has come. Until this gift of faith by revelation has arrived, the inner law, which includes moral core of the outward law, is your schoolmaster, Gal 3:24-25. From the Word of the Lord within: "Until you witness receiving faith from Christ, you are under the law. Until you witness the law fulfilled in you, you are under the law." Note verses 19-24 below. As you follow the Lord's first commands to repent from your evil behaviors, (resulting in His removal of even your desire to sin), your confidence dramatically increases in attaining all the gospel's promises.]

 19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are: adultery, sexual immorality, uncleanness, lack of restraint, [The works of the flesh are sin, and the wages of sin are death. From the Word of the Lord within: "Consequence-free sin does not exist; the consequences are truly staggering. There is a war you must win: sin must be overcome; the fleshly lusts war against your soul."]

 20 Idolatry [covetousness], sorcery, hatred, arguments, jealousies, rage, selfish ambition, divisiveness,

 21 Envies, murders, drunkenness, revelries [partying], and the like; which I say beforehand, as I have said before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.4 [All men do works of the flesh because their hearts are defiled until they have been crucified on the inward cross of self-denial, and in no way shall there enter into heaven anything that is defiled. Rev 21:27]

 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace (quietness and confident trust forever), patience (including longsuffering, steadfastness, and perseverance), kindness (including morality and integrity), goodness, faithfulness, [From the Word of the Lord within, "until you witness receiving faith from Christ, you are under the law." Until you are led by the spirit, you are under the law, Gal 5:18; when you receive this fruit, you are then led by the Spirit. Those branches without fruit are thrown into the fire.]

 23 Gentleness (including meekness and humility), and self-control (mastery of sensual appetites, passions, and desires). Against these there is no law.5 [After you have mortified and crucified your sinful nature on the inward cross of self-denial, you receive the fruit of the spirit. Then you are no longer subject to the law because then you are led by the Spirit. Rom 8:14, Gal 3:25, 5:18. The law has dominion over a man until his death, Rom 7:1, which death occurs when he has been crucified, Rom 7:6,Gal 2:20; as the next verse emphasizes.]

 24 Those who belong to Christ have crucified the flesh [the sinful nature] with its passions and desires [lusts and affections].6 [After your sinful nature has been put to death on the inward cross of self-denial, then you belong to Christ as you walk in love, following the Spirit, fulfilling the law; and then you receive an imputed righteousness. Having suffered on the cross, you no longer live the rest of your time in the lusts of men, but you live to the will of God, 1 Pet 4:1-2; which is to be obediently led and guided by the Spirit in thoughts, words, and deeds.]

 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. [For we no longer walk by sight, but by faith. 2 Cor 5:7]

 26 Let us not be vain-glorious and conceited, provoking one another, and envying one another.


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1 we, through the Spirit, by faith, patiently wait for the hope of righteousness.

we, through the Spirit, by faith, patiently wait

How do we wait? Reading books, watching TV, playing games, reading the Bible, etc.? No! This waiting is how to seek God's salvation and righteousness, which Jesus told us should be our first priority in life. Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. Mat 6:33. This is the waiting that the prophets of the Old Testament and the believers of the New Testament observed. To wait on God is to persistently sit in humble silence, listen for his voice and words, watch for his revelations, hear his commands, and then obey Him. This is the key to spiritual growth: to wait on God, listen, and watch; this is part of the cross. This is how to sit at the feet of the Spirit of Jesus and listen to his words, which Jesus told us was the "good part" and "only one thing needed:"

And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus' feet and heard his word.
"There is only one thing needed, and Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her." Luke 10:39,42

We hear his word from within our hearts. Rom 10:8,17. The words he speaks to us are spirit and life. John 6:63

The one thing needed is to sit at the feet of Jesus and listen to his words, the words he speaks to us from within our hearts that are spirit and life. We too must sit silently and wait on the Lord, to listen, to hear, and obey.

Notice also: what she hears will not be taken away from her. Those teachings will survive passing through the fire that everyone must endure.

All your holy ones are in your power. And they sit at your feet, each receiving your words. Deu 33:3

To wait on God, listen, watch, and obey is the cross, which is the way to purity and salvation, the deliverance from all sin.

wait for the hope of righteousness.

Here Paul is speaking of the hope of righteousness to be patiently waited for by the Spirit in faith. See Footnote 3 to 1 John 3:7 for the definition of righteousness.

There is an imputed righteousness that comes with the measure of faith received with the fruit of the Spirit, which is rewarded to those who have crucified their selfish, evil spirit on the inward cross of self-denial, but not before. Believing in Jesus is not the faith that imputes righteousness; see Footnote 2 of Romans 3 for the detail of imputed righteousness.

John warns us: Little children, let no man deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, even as He is righteous. 1 John 3:7. All unrighteousness is sin. 1 John 5:17. Jesus only spoke, judged, and did as He was prompted and ordered by God; to practice righteousness we also must be able to only speak what we hear Him order us to say and only do what we are ordered to do by God. This ability only comes after we have crucified our selfish spirit and sin has been destroyed by the Spirit through bearing the inward cross of self-denial; then we are walking the same way He walked and in the world as He was with perfection, purity, and holiness. We must be restored to the image of God that Adam lost in the Garden; to put on the newly created nature [of Christ], which is created in God's image of true righteousness and holiness. When we are righteous, everything we say and do is just, fair, morally correct, perfect, true, holy, virtuous, good, and pure. When we are righteous, everything we say and everything we do is right — righteousness.

Paul is speaking of the end of imputed righteousness with the possession Christ and his righteousness, which comes with being born again in union with Christ, Him then being our controlling King who rules our thoughts, words, deeds. This is the righteousness in the new creature, the resurrection of you together with Christ in the crucified believer. And Paul has defined faith to be obedience to the leading of the Spirit, which faith comes with the fruit of the Spirit, (verse 22), which fruit comes those who have crucified their sinful natures. See also footnotes to Gal 3:24-25. From the Word of the Lord within:

Righteousness is imputed when you receive faith with the fruit of the Spirit, against which is no law, to then walk in love, obeying the continuous commands of Christ; this occurs at the death of your selfish spirit on the inward cross of self-denial. When you possess the fullness of Christ, that ends imputation, and you are righteous as He is righteous. Until then we, through the Spirit, by faith, patiently wait for the hope of righteousness, Gal. 5:5. We wait by hearing the Lord speak to us from within our heart and believing what he says. We exercise our faith to carry the inward cross of self-denial, which is to obey the commands we hear God speak to us as we wait, watch, and listen in silence for his directions, teachings, commands, encouragements, convictions, and destruction of sin in our hearts.

2 the offence of the cross. What offence? For we are to God the sweet aroma of Christ to those who are being saved; and in those who are perishing: To this latter we are the aroma of death to death; and to the former the aroma of life to life. 2 Cor 2:15-16. For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 1 Cor 1:18.

Christendom denies the cross is necessary. Christendom claims that believing the cross is necessary is to deny Jesus having saved all believers through his death. Although Christ's death did pay for the sins of all men, our bearing the cross is not to pay the penalty for our sins; Christ has already paid for that. We don't physically die on the inward cross of self-denial. We suffer, so that our selfish spirit dies on the inward cross to be finished with sin, and then by the grace of God, we receive salvation, the baptism of the Holy Spirit, union with God, and entry into the Kingdom of Heaven, to be there forever. Christ tasted death for all men, allowing all men to access the grace of God, by going to Him, hearing Him and obeying Him; Christ died on the cross to show us the extent of obedience required to attain salvation; our cross is to sacrifice our own will and follow the commands of God that we hear, as we go to Him, wait on Him, listen for Him, watch for Him, hear him, eventually see Him, and obey Him.

So because Christendom denies the cross is necessary, which Jesus said at least five times was absolutely necessary, then Christendom is perishing for the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing. 1 Cor 1:18. To Christendom, the cross has the aroma of death. 2 Cor 2:15-16. But the cross is the power of God to be delivered from sin, to be made free from sin forever, a forever cleansing and perfection.

3 If you are led by the Spirit [mark! if led by the Spirit, you are prompted, ordered, or commanded by the Spirit], you are not under the law. But until you are led by the Spirit, the outward moral law is your schoolmaster. Until you are led by (being obedient to) the Spirit's commands to you, you must be schooled by the Law — the moral portions of the Law that mirror the inner law on every man's heart. This law convicts us when we steal, lie, etc. The outward, moral laws sounds out our shortcomings, motivating us to seek the grace of God to be changed — motivating us to seek the counsel, teachings, commands, and leading of the Spirit. The outward, moral laws lead us to the Spirit and leads us to Christ.

The next verses show that you must rid yourself of the sins of the flesh (19-21), which occurs by crucifying your selfish, evil spirit on the inward cross of self-denial (24); to then receive from Christ the fruit of the Spirit, including faith (22-23). Then, and only then, are you free from the law as your schoolmaster; for you are walking in love, the love of God having been perfected in you.

4 Paul discloses the fine print of the covenant, identifying the exclusions of "just believe in Jesus to be saved." Adultery, sexual immorality, uncleanness, lack of restraint, idolatry [covetousness], sorcery, hatred, arguments, jealousies, rage, selfishness, dissenting, divisions, envies, murders, drunkenness, revelries [partying], and the like, which I tell you before, as I have also told you in times past, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. Paul also warns, You can be sure: No sexually immoral, or impure, or covetous person, who is an is idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with vain words. For because of such things God's wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Eph 5:5-6. And Jesus tells us: For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a man. Mark 7:21-23. Everyone with any of these evils, even those who call themselves Christians, will be banned from heaven. If people with these kinds of selfish behavior were allowed in heaven, heaven would be as bad as earth. Only former sinners enter heaven. There is no such thing as a sinner saved still sinning; a saved sinner, is an oxymoron. Look at Jesus; is there any sin in him? Jesus is holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from sinners, Heb 7:26. Do you expect him to join his body in marriage to wicked people still sinning? I assure you, only the lovely, pure, holy bride will he join.

5 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace (quietness and confident trust forever), patience (including longsuffering, steadfastness, and perseverance), kindness (including morality and integrity), goodness, faithfulness, gentleness (including meekness and humility), and self-control (mastery of sensual appetites, desires, and passions). Against these there is no law. To receive the fruit of the Spirit, you must have mortified and crucified your sinful nature on the inward cross of self-denial. Until you have produced the fruit of the Spirit, you are under the law; until fruit, you do not have freedom from the law. To produce fruit is the mark of the true follower of Christ; the mark of the true disciple. To produce fruit, you must abide [remain, live] in Christ's word and light, and Christ must remain in you. When you produce much fruit you bring glory to the Father. Until you produce fruit, you are subject to being thrown into the fire of Hell at death. Until you have produced the fruit of the spirit, you must obey the law that is in every man's heart, which includes the moral core of the outward law, as supplemented by all the commands you receive directly from the Lord speaking to you as you wait on Him in humble silence. After your selfish spirit has been crucified on the inward cross of self-denial to then receive the fruit of the Spirit, then all your thoughts, words, and deeds are prompted and commanded by God; then you are no longer subject to the law. From the Word of the Lord within: "There are no laws when you are under complete control of the spirit; you walk in love in obedience as prompted — you don't walk in restricted flesh. Until you witness receiving faith from Christ, you are under the law."

The receipt of this level of faith within the receipt of the fruit of the Spirit is:

This faith is not the faith that everyone assumes they have by believing in Jesus; but by persistent listening to Him and believing what He says, you will produce fruit and receive faith then.

6 Those who belong to Christ have crucified the flesh [the sinful nature] with its passions and desires [lusts and affections]. The missing cross that leads to fruit, that leads to purity, that leads to salvation, that leads to union, that leads to the Kingdom — to have any of these, you must have first crucified your flesh, (sinful nature, lusts, affections), on the inward cross of self denial.

So then those who are in the flesh cannot please God. Rom 8:8
For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 8:13
And those who belong to Christ have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Gal 5:24

Until you have killed the sinful nature in you, you of course are going to continue to sin. As Jesus said, Truly, Truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. John 8:34. And if you die while still sinning, you have no inheritance in the kingdom of God; instead you will be banned from heaven to learn about the evil in yourself the hard way with far less reward that comes from putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision performed by Christ while still alive on the earth.

Notice, you do not belong to Christ until you have crucified your sinful nature on the inward cross of self-denial. You are not in Christ until you have crucified your sinful nature on the inward cross of self-denial. You are not one of his sheep until you have crucified your sinful nature on the inward cross of self-denial. You do not have salvation until you have crucified your sinful nature on the inward cross of self-denial.

There are two stages of perfection, which Fox and Crisp both described.

Based on scripture and the writings of the early Quakers, we can separate the various descriptions of spiritual maturity into the two stages:

The Two Stages of Perfection
Status or Occurrence

After Crucifixion

(1st Stage of Perfection)

The "End"

(2nd Stage of Perfection)

Freedom from sin*
 
Fruit of the Spirit
 
Imputed Righteousness
 
Saint*
 
Purity*
 
See the Lord*
 
 
Renewed up to the image of God*
 
Peace with God*
 
Freedom from Law
 
Walk in the Light
 
Walk in the Spirit
 
Worship in Spirit and Truth
 
Able to Do Most of the Lord's Work
 
True Fellowship*
 
Impermanent Perfection*
 
Know all things. See everything.
 
Enter the Kingdom of Heaven
 
Son of God
 
Mortification
(with Carnal Mind and Imagination Destroyed)
 
Inherit the Substance — Christ
 
Righteousness
(without imputation)
 
Eternal Life of God
 
Permanent Perfection
 
Sanctification
 
Redemption
 
Justification
 
Born Again
 
Circumcision of the Heart
 
Protected from Ever Sinning Again
 
Union
 
Sit Down in Christ in the Rest
 
Glory
 

* These occurrences were also attainable in the Old Covenant [Old Testament].

According to the Word of the Lord within, the first stage is not even a shadow of what you will inherit in the second stage.

After you have crucified your selfish, devilish nature, (the first stage of perfection), you must be continuously watchful, (against temptation), as you walk according to the Lord's guidance because without watchfulness you can fall to temptation, just like Eve fell.

When George Fox was raised to this first stage, he was immediately tempted to practice medicine as his Journal relates below:

Now I came up in spirit, through the flaming sword, into the paradise of God. All things were new, and all the creation gave another smell unto me than before, beyond what words can utter. I knew nothing but pureness, innocence, and righteousness, being renewed up into the image of God by Christ Jesus; so that I came up to the state of Adam, which he was in before he fell. The creation was open to me; and it was shown to me how all things had their names given them, according to their nature and virtue. I was at a stand in my mind, whether I should practice medicine for the good of mankind, seeing the nature and virtues of the creatures were so opened to me by the Lord.

He was tempted to practice medicine according to his own desires; his carnal mind was at a stand, not yet destroyed. Those of us who reach this first stage of perfection will likewise be severely tempted; but we can minimize our risk of falling if we remember to: 1) continue to obey any commands we have received in the past, and 2) reject anything that we want to do, only doing what we are ordered to do by the Lord. Should we fall, unless we wilfully disobey, we can still choose to repent as we walk in the light and the blood of Jesus that cleanses us of all sin. The less we fall, the sooner we attain the second stage and inherit the substance, Christ.

From the Word of the Lord within: "Many fell and erred from the true faith. When the fruit withers, I remove the protection."

I would submit the following additional admonitions to guard against falling to sin at this stage, (lessons learned from the sad failure of James Naylor):

Concerned about the risk of loss in the first stage of perfection, the Word of the Lord within said, "speak slowly, forever hold your peace." Previously He has said:

The death of the early Quaker, James Naylor, appears to be the classic example of protection being removed due to wilful disobedience after reaching the first stage of perfection. James Naylor was an eminent early Quaker preacher who had reached the 1st stage of perfection. However, he sadly dropped his watchfulness and refused the written order of the Society along with written and in-person warnings from George Fox to disassociate himself from a group of fawning admirers that were out of the truth. In writing Fox warned him from the Word of the Lord that he was "against the Truth in willfulness and stubbornness." Shortly afterwards, Naylor precipitated a great scandal, which resulted in him suffering severe punishment and imprisonment; as he was returning home, he was beaten, robbed, left bound and naked in a field, found by a passer-by, and taken to a Quaker doctor where he died a day later at the age of 42. These events are detailed in the web page on James Naylor.

As I was reviewing James Naylor's failure in my mind, I heard the Word of the Lord within say: "stunning willfulness." If you are aware of how eminent James Naylor was among the early Quakers, it is indeed stunning what he did and continued to do over a significant period of time.

Before George Fox had entered the second stage of perfection and the kingdom, for about three years he was sent on limited, specific assignments by the Lord. But he only did what he was specifically told to do, exactly when he was told to do it; he then returned to his residence and continued waiting on the Lord. Plus, he was sufficiently perfected that he was able to preach, debate, and pray with words supplied by the Holy Spirit; so powerful were his words that even churches shook when he prayed within them. So limited teaching or preaching can be instructed by the Lord before you are completely perfected; but be careful to only do what he tells you to do, nothing more, nothing less; then return to your home to continue to wait on the Lord's further imparting of his Spirit by his words that you hear him speak to you.

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