by John Lowe
(Woodruff, S.C.)

There are more ways to satisfy the flesh than feeding it. There are those who are vainly puffed up by a fleshly mind. The devil is a shrewd fellow; if he cannot cause a believer to become liberal or modernistic, he tries other methods to destroy the Christians testimony. There are various and sundry ways in which the devil can rob us of our reward, and it is almost beyond imagination what some people will do in order to be noticed―even in the field of religion! Men many times glory in being what their fellowman aspires to be, but do not have the nerve to attempt.

At the close of Chapter 2 let me say again: To practice man-made doctrines (“touch not, taste not, handle not”) indeed seems to show wisdom, and on the surface seems to show a will to worship, and denotes humility and surrender. However, if one is practicing “touch not, taste not, handle not” to please a minister, a church, a religion―or to please his own thinking―then that person is not glorifying God. Whether we eat or drink, or whatsoever we do, we are to do it heartily as unto the Lord, and for His glory. Anything we do (or refrain from doing) to satisfy the flesh or bring honor to one’s self, is sin. “To him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin” (James 4:17).

Special Notes and Scripture
1} Asceticism{1 is a lifestyle characterized by abstinence from sensual pleasures, often for the purpose of pursuing spiritual goals. Ascetics may withdraw from the world for their practices or continue to be part of their society, but typically adopt a frugal lifestyle, characterized by the renunciation of material possessions and physical pleasures, and time spent fasting while concentrating on the practice of religion or reflection upon spiritual matters.
[2} “appearance of wisdom” has also been translated as “show of wisdom”; better “reputation for wisdom.”
[3} “self-imposed worship” will-worship is arbitrarily invented worship, would-be worship, devised by man’s own will, not God’s―Worship not required of them, the worship of angels. As we have seen, the Jews had a highly-developed doctrine of angels and the Gnostics believed in all kinds of intermediaries. They worshiped these, while the Christian knows that worship must be kept for God and for Jesus Christ.
[4} “You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:6-8).
[5} Legalism holds that human beings are essentially bad because they are inherently selfish. No one, unless forced to, willingly sacrifices for another. According to the precepts of Legalism, if it is in one's best interest to kill another person, that person will most probably be killed. In order to prevent such deaths, a ruler had to create a body of laws which would direct people's natural inclination of self-interest toward the good of the state.
[6} Mysticism is a religion or religious belief based on union or communion with a deity, or divine being. Mysticism is what lets you transcend the physical to experience enlightenment

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