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Colossians 2:21-23 “Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle, which all concern things which perish with the using—according to the commandments and doctrines of men? These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh”

seek the things above

The goal of faith in us believers, is to rid our souls of those things that keep us from walking in the freedom of the Spirit of God that dwells in us who are saved, now remember that the word for salvation can also be translated deliverance in the New Testament.

1 Peter 1:9 “Receiving the end (goal) of your faith—the salvation of (deliverance = to get rid of the things that hinder) your souls.”

One of the most powerful tools that the enemy uses to keep humans in bondage is religious traditions that emanate from men made doctrines.


2 Corinthians 3:17 “Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”


So that many believers wrongly think that by abiding in religious traditions that stifle the soul and kept it from walking in God’s freedom, that they are doing the will of God, because that is what they have been taught by the doctrines of men. But this is what our Lord says:


Galatians 5:1 “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” NIV


Think back to when we first got saved and how many times our actions were governed by rules that in many cases had nothing to do with biblical principles, but that we somehow thought that by following those rules, that we were doing the right thing in God’s eyes, only to find out later that many of those rules were not even based on the Bible, while others were a clear misrepresentation of true Christian doctrine.


As our opening text revealed to us they all had to do with, Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle.


In our struggle with doing the right thing, we must honestly ask ourselves this question: What is the right thing that we are to do?


May I be bold enough and tell you what the right thing to do is:


If we want to be right, we should always do the spiritual thing!


Colossians 3:1 “If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God.”


If you look at the Scriptures that deals with the freedom that we enjoy in the grace of God, you will find warnings attached to many of them, compelling us not to abuse our freedom in Christ for selfish desires.


1 Peter 2:16 “As free, yet not using liberty as a cloak for vice (wickedness), but as bondservants of God.”


If we do the spiritual thing, defined as seeking those things which are above, then our own self-interests will not be involved, for then our actions will be governed by the desires of Christ who sits at the right hand of God, and the motives behind our actions will always be pure.


And we need to keep in mind that doing the spiritual thing will always be in conflict with men made doctrines. Why is that?


1 Timothy 4:1 “Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons.”


Men made doctrines are the doctrines of demons, for they all cater to men’s own selfish desires, and not the desires of Christ for men.


Christ’s desire for men is that we walk in the liberty of His Spirit, free from guilt, shame, and condemnation.


Demonic doctrines have as their goal to keep men under the bondage of sin, bound by the chains of fear, and under the heavy load of guilt, shame, and condemnation.


How do these men made doctrines affect the churches of today of which we are a part of?


Colossians 2:1 “For I want you to know what a great conflict (struggle) I have for you and those in Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh.”


Why did Paul struggle so much with the faith of the Colossian and Laodicea churches? I believe that he feared that their men made traditions would keep them from realizing their full potential in Christ Jesus.


Colossians 2:2 “That their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, and attaining to all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the knowledge of the mystery of God, both of the Father and of Christ.”


What kind of men made doctrines were there among them that caused the apostle Paul so much consternation?


Revelation 3:14-16 “And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write, ‘These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: I know your works, that your are neither cold not hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.’”


Many years after Paul died we see his fears confirmed in the Lord’s rebuke against the Laodicea church of John’s day, which tragically is the same condition that afflicts many of the churches of today, many of these churches will be left behind when the rapture takes place.


Why did the Lord vomit them out?


Revelation 3:17 “Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked.”


The goal of men made doctrines is to remove men’s need of God and to replace it with the religious traditions that satisfies men’s selfish needs.


The Laodicea church was so deceived that they came to the point where they believed that they had no need of God, for they believed that they had their own religious traditions to prop them up.


It cannot get any more demonic than that, for it was Lucifer himself who said in his heart that he would exalt his throne above the stars of God, and that he would be like the Most High, and then he was promptly cast down to Sheol, to the lowest depths of the pit. Isaiah 14:12-15


But the greatest damage that men made doctrines perpetrate against the churches, besides blinding them to their true spiritual condition, is that it keeps them from receiving the revelation of God’s many hidden treasures of wisdom and knowledge.


That is why so many believers today have problems understanding the Word of God when they read it.


Colossians 2:3 “(Both of the Father and of Christ) In whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”


Since the doctrines of men are the doctrines of demons, and since the desire of demons is to be worshiped through the idols that they represent, then, those who follow men made doctrines practice idolatry, that is they become one with the idols that they worship, or pay homage to at their appointed feasts.


Psalm 135:15-18 “The idols of the nations are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands. They have mouths, but they do not speak; eyes they have, but they do not see; they have ears, but they do not hear; nor is there any breath in their mouths. Those who make them are like them; so is everyone who trust in them.”


How can Christians do the spiritual thing if their spiritual eyes cannot see and their spiritual ears cannot hear?


In His rebuke to the Laodicea church, Jesus told them that they were blind and then counseled them to buy from Him gold refined in the fire.


It is clear that the sin of the Laodicea church is the sin of idolatry, and it is what causes them to become poor, blind and naked like the very idols that they worshiped.


Since the Laodicea church is prophesied to be present at the end of the church age along with the faithful Philadelphia church, and since we know that we are living in the last days of the church age, then it begs the question: Which church are we a part of? Is it possible for a believer to be a part of the Laodicea church and not know it?


Colossians 2:8 “Beware lest anyone cheat (plunder you or take you captive) you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.”


When Paul speaks about, according to the tradition of men, he is not referring to the traditions of unbelievers outside of the church, but to the traditions that have been introduced into the church, in many instances by so called believers masquerading as teachers of the truth, when in reality they were introducing the very basic principles of the world’s paganism into the church of Jesus Christ, unbeknown to many.


And by doing so corrupting many within the church with the idolatry that brings about the spiritual blindness that is so prevalent among the churches of today. And that is what Paul was so fervently fighting against when he wrote to the Colossian church this epistle.


2 Corinthians 13:5 “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified (do not stand the test).”


The greatest protection that we have against deception is that the Spirit of the Living God dwells within us, and it is the Holy Spirit who testifies about Jesus in us, the real Jesus, so let us not resist the Holy Spirit’s prompting when He warns us about so called Christian traditions that have no foundation whatsoever in the Word of God.


For if you resolve in your heart that you are going to stay true to His Word, no matter how much resistance comes your way from the worldly bunch that seeks harmony with this world. Then the Lord will begin to open your spiritual eyes, and make your ears attentive to His Word, so that the treasures of His great wisdom and knowledge, which He has made available for you, will become more real to you than anything that you have ever known.


Colossians 1:27 “To them (you) God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”

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