Keeping our Bodies Under Subjection

By Frank Brown

Now that most of us have doctrine pretty well established – our belief system, our Scriptural understanding - it is time to move on to learn how to implement that doctrine into our lives in such a way that we can obey our Creator in Spirit and in Truth. This is not to say that we already have or already know ALL we need to have or to know, but we cannot stay in one place for the rest of our lives. Similar to grade school, where we advanced as we learned, then learned more, so are our spiritual lives. When we begin our Walk, we are spiritual babes, and should be fed with spiritual “milk,” as Peter said in 1 Pet 2:2  As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:

The writer of Hebrews chastised some who had apparently begun to fall away : (Heb 5:12-14 KJV)  "For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of Yah; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. {13} For every one that useth milk is unskillful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. {14} But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil."

Once we get grounded in the basics of what Scripture is teaching, we will be able to detect false doctrine immediately. If not yet well-grounded, then do as the Bereans did when the Apostle Shaul came preaching a different evangel to them, as we see in Acts 17.

(Acts 17:1-12 KJV)  "Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where was a synagogue of the Jews: {2} And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three Sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures, {3} Opening and alleging, that Messiah must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Yahshua, whom I preach unto you, is Messiah. {4} And some of them believed, and consorted with Paul and Silas; and of the devout Greeks a great multitude, and of the chief women not a few. {5} But the Jews which believed not, moved with envy, took unto them certain lewd fellows of the baser sort, and gathered a company, and set all the city on an uproar, and assaulted the house of Jason, and sought to bring them out to the people. {6} And when they found them not, they drew Jason and certain brethren unto the rulers of the city, crying, These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also; {7} Whom Jason hath received: and these all do contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, one Yahshua.

{8} And they troubled the people and the rulers of the city, when they heard these things. {9} And when they had taken security of Jason, and of the other, they let them go. {10} And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. {11} These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. {12} Therefore many of them believed; also of honourable women which were Greeks, and of men, not a few."

The Scriptures they were searching, incidentally, was what we call the OLD Testament. The new had not yet been written. We are blessed today with both, and if we don’t use them, it is to our own hurt. This is how we grow in grace and knowledge, (2 Peter 3:18).

We are told to study to show ourselves approved: (2 Tim 2:12-16 NRSV)  "if we endure, we will also reign with him; if we deny him, he will also deny us; {13} if we are faithless, he remains faithful-- for he cannot deny himself. {14} Remind them of this, and warn them before Yah that they are to avoid wrangling over words, which does no good but only ruins those who are listening. {15} Do your best to present yourself to Yah as one approved by him, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly explaining the word of truth. {16} Avoid profane chatter, for it will lead people into more and more impiety,"

By doing these things, we are kept from being “blown about by every wind of doctrine,” which we are warned against in (Eph 4:13-15 NRSV)  "until all of us come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of Yah, to maturity, to the measure of the full stature of Messiah. {14} We must no longer be children, tossed to and fro and blown about by every wind of doctrine, by people's trickery, by their craftiness in deceitful scheming. {15} But speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into the Messiah,"

So, we are to apply these principles, incorporating them into every facet of our lives, so we will live right and be pleasing in His sight. But how? By keeping our bodies under subjection, just as Paul had to do (1 Cor 9:27 KJV)  "But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway."

(Heb 2:1-9 NRSV)  “Therefore we must pay greater attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away from it. {2} For if the message declared through angels was valid, and every transgression or disobedience received a just penalty, {3} how can we escape if we neglect so great a salvation?”

What is the key to keeping our bodies under subjection? I touched on this briefly last Sabbath at Harrison, and in response to a question asked in a letter from a prison inmate.

The first step is to bring our MINDS under subjection. Everything starts there. How do we expel devious carnal fleshly thoughts from our minds? By filling the mind with righteous thoughts. Don’t leave it empty, or evil spirits and our own carnal pulls will fill it with wrong thoughts – and first thing you know, we are doing what Paul said in Romans 7:

(Rom 7:14-19 NRSV)  "For we know that the law is spiritual; but I am of the flesh, sold into slavery under sin. {15} I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. {16} Now if I do what I do not want, I agree that the law is good. {17} But in fact it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells within me. {18} For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, in my flesh. I can will what is right, but I cannot do it. {19} For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do."

Paul is speaking of his carnal self. It is not in man to direct his steps rightly (Jer. 10:23-24 KJV)  "O YAH, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps. {24} O YAH, correct me, but with judgment; not in thine anger, lest you bring me to nothing."

Yahweh knew that we of ourselves cannot do right. He said in Deut. 5:29 KJV  "O that there were such an heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children for ever!"

But He did make a way for us to have that heart – He inspired this same Jeremiah to prophesy in chapter 31:31-33, that the time was coming when He would write His Torah in our hearts. This process started in Acts 2 when the Holy Spirit was sent on the day of Pentecost in 30 CE. This is the key to being able to master our carnal natures and to live righteous lives. In fact, it is the only way. Without His Spirit dwelling in our minds (hearts), the seat of judgment, emotion, feelings, it is utterly impossible to please Him. And if we do not please Him, we are none of His.

Let me leave you with these Scriptures from Romans chapter 8:

(Rom 8:1-16 KJV)  "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Messiah Yahshua, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. {2} For the law of the Spirit of life in Messiah Yahshua hath made me free from the law of sin and death. {3} For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, Yahweh sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: {4} That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. {5} For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. {6} For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. {7} Because the carnal mind is enmity against Yahweh: for it is not subject to the law of Yahweh, neither indeed can be.

 {8} So then they that are in the flesh cannot please Yahweh. {9} But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of Yahweh dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Messiah, he is none of his. {10} And if Messiah be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. {11} But if the Spirit of him that raised up Yahshua from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Messiah from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. {12} Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. {13} For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. {14} For as many as are led by the Spirit of Yahweh, they are the sons of Yahweh. {15} For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. {16} The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of Yahweh:"

I realize that most of us know these things, but some may not, and even those of us who do, can use a reminder now and then. But remember, none of this will help you unless you put it into practice. ~