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 hose
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"
Rom 1:17. Therefore, it cannot be re-discovered without revelation.
Error and mixture can only be found out by divine illumination.
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 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.
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
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
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.
It is easier for man, who tends to be spiritually slothful,
to perform his religious activities by a previously made or
revealed _œ“Õ than to seek and obtain a
"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
Let us return to the Lord that He may heal us.