This phrase dead works is used only twice in the Bible, both instances are in Hebrews.
Heb 6:1, “Therefore leaving the elementary teaching about the Christ, let us press on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God,”
Heb 9:14, “how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
Dead Works are human good. The definitions and descriptions of human good are:
1. Human good must never be confused with true morality or the legitimate production of the believer. Human good is the production of the believer in the cosmic system. Human good is not valid in God’s eyes. Human good is the production of evil.
2. Human good is the result of functioning inside the cosmic system. The believer performing human good can be motivated by the cosmic system.
Example 1: It is often a reaction mode vs. a response mode, e.g., helping someone because you dislike a person who wasn’t helping that person, or showing someone how much better you are by your Christian production.
Example 2: People often give, because they are unhappy.
3. Human good is characterized by fanaticism and arrogant concentration without doctrinal inculcation. Fanatics produce human good. They want to be entertained and entertain themselves through their works.
4. There are three classifications of human good.
a. The believer living in the cosmic system.
b. Establishment orientation human good. This is really not human good, but establishment good. An example is the unbeliever who joins the military or an unbeliever keeping faithful to his/her spouse.
c. Human good of the unbeliever registered in the books of works, Rev 20:12.
5. Human good is a reference to anything produced by man apart from grace provision. Anything God provides in grace for production becomes divine good. Human good and divine good are antithetical and mutually exclusive.
6. Knowledge of human good and evil is not needed for a relationship with God, Gen 2:17.
Human good originates inside the cosmic system, and it is dead to God, Heb 6:1. All production while inside the cosmic system is dead works. The arrogant believer’s Christian service is dead works. To avoid the problem of dead works the believer must gain momentum by utilizing the rebound technique. 1 John 1:9, Eph 5:18, 3:16, Confession of sin with resultant filling of the Holy Spirit, and by appropriating or presenting yourselves available for the Grace Apparatus for Perception (GAP), to teach, train and use you.
Legitimate Christian production performed outside of God’s power system is dead works i.e., a right thing done in a wrong way. You cannot build your Edification Complex of the Soul (ECS) and advance spiritually until you change your mind about human good.
Human good related to the cosmic system results in boasting, Eph 2:8‑9; Rom 4:2-5. Rom 4:2, “For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God.” If works saved you, you would have cause for boasting in the cosmic system vs. boasting of God’s power system.
The Greek word for “boast” is kaucheoma (kow”-khay-mah) kaucheoma . This is Thayer’s definition: That of which one glories or can glory, matter or ground of glorying, a glorying or boasting.
We find legitimate boasting in 1 Cor 1:31, “so that, just as it is written, “Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord.” Gal 6:14, “But may it never be that I would boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ,” and Heb 3:6, “but Christ was faithful as a Son over His house—whose house we are, if we hold fast our confidence and the boast of our hope firm until the end.” We also find legitimate boasting in 2 Cor 10:8 & 16, 11:30.
Man is stimulated into pseudo‑happiness by boasting of his production. James 4:16, “But as it is, you boast in your arrogance; all such boasting is evil.”
And yet if our production is correctly accomplished through the power of the Holy Spirit, we can boast to ourselves but not to others. Gal 6:4, “But each one must examine his own work, and then he will have reason for boasting in regard to himself alone, and not in regard to another. 5For each one will bear his own load.”
Human good produced from the cosmic system is never acceptable to God. An example of Ananias and Sapphira’s human good is found in, Acts 5:1 – 11. Isa. 64:6a, “all our righteous deeds are like menstrual rags.” The same word is used in Ezek 36:16-17, “The person in the cosmic system is like a woman who is ceremonially unclean and the human good is like her menstrual rags, totally unrighteous.” Isa 64:6b “and all of us in the cosmic system whither like a leaf; and our perversities are like the wind; and they blow us away.” On the other hand, we find an example of properly motivated Divine Good in Acts 4:32-37
Human good will not provide salvation, Titus 3:5 & Eph 2:9. Tit 3:5, “He saved us, not on the basis of deeds (works of righteousness) which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit.”
The person in the cosmic system contends that faith is not enough for salvation. Whole denominations are built on living one’s life inside the cosmic system and performing human good.
2 Tim 1:9, “not according to our works, but according to his predetermined plan, even grace.” Human good has no place in the plan of God, 1 Cor 13:1‑3. Human good is the product of the cosmic system, the power of Satan, which is synonymous with the production of the arrogance of Satan. Therefore, anything related to the cosmic system is outside the plan of God. Human good can only become divine good when it is performed inside God’s divine power system.
There is a legitimate function of human good, that being establishment good, which God blesses. The examples of this are found in Mat 6:1-4 Giving; Mat 6:5-15 Prayer; Mat 6:16-18 Fasting; Mat 6:19-24 Giving and Offering; Mat 6:25 Logistical grace blessings, so why worry about storing up!
The production of Divine Good vs. Human Good is found in Mat 7:16-20. Both the believer and unbeliever can produce legitimate human good by honoring and executing the Laws of Divine Establishment. God created and ordained the Divine Establishments for the freedom, protection, prosperity and enjoyment of the human race. Since God created the Divine Establishments, they are part of His perfect plan and power. Honoring the Divine Establishments therefore produces Human good inside His power system, which includes the Laws of Divine Establishment. The four Divine Establishments are volition, marriage, family, and nationalism.
Legitimate human good is based on the function of humility, Ecc 9. An unbeliever can produce an acceptable human good rewardable only in time by the function of humility under the Laws of Divine Establishment. This is the only blessing the unbeliever can have in time. The unbeliever must function under humility, respect for authority, and impersonal love inside of God’s power system for this human good to be legitimate to God. Eccl 9:9 teaches that the unbeliever can be happy in his job and marriage. Eccl 9:9, “Enjoy life with the woman whom you love all the days of your fleeting life which He has given to you under the sun; for this is your reward in life and in your toil in which you have labored under the sun.”
Therefore, the unbeliever can have limited blessing by honoring his right woman and having genuine humility.
God blesses anyone who obeys the laws of divine establishment. Once a believer or unbeliever enters the cosmic system, outside of the Divine Establishments, the blessing is no longer present. So it is possible for the unbeliever to be blessed by God while honoring divine establishments even while the believer, who has entered the cosmic system, is under discipline.
Establishment human good is based on the principle that organizational humility plus enforced humility equals genuine humility. Organizational humility is the authority and discipline applied within any organization. An organization can be marriage, the home, an educational system, athletics, business or professional groups, the military, law enforcement, public service, medical centers, religious organizations, and for us local churches and missionary organizations. Enforced humility is submission to legitimate authority. Genuine humility is the virtue of complete grace orientation, which for the believer comes by means of the perception of Bible Doctrine.
Humility must be distinguished from humiliation
Humility is the virtue of freedom from arrogance.
Humiliation is to reduce your view of self to a lower status in your own eyes or in the eyes of others.
Humiliation is being mortified, while humility is being grace‑oriented
Meaning and definition of humility:
1. Humility is the quality or status of being humble. While the noun “humble” has many definitions, ranging from “feeling of insignificance and feeling of inferiority” to “low in rank or low in importance,” none of these definitions relate to the biblical word.
2. Humility or being humble in the Pre-designed Protocol Plan of God (P3G) is recognition of the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ and submitting to that authority. Since the Bible is the mind of Christ, submission to the authority of our Lord is tantamount to consistent post-salvation epistemological rehabilitation. The opposite of this is Heb 10:29 “trampling under foot…”. We submit by our daily intake of the word of God. If we become neglectful of doctrine, we are in a state of rebellion and not humble.
3. Through consistent perception, metabolization and application of bible doctrine (P.M.A.), arrogance is brought low or humbled, while the filling of the Holy Spirit, grace orientation, personal love for God the Father, impersonal love for all mankind, a personal sense of destiny, and occupation with Christ are raised to the highest level of function.
Divine institution #3 is the family in the home. The home is the structure for organizational humility, the parents are the authority for enforced humility, and the child’s volition is the basis for genuine humility, or the basis for developing tragic flaws if parental authority is rejected.
Divine institution #4 is human government. The client nation to God is organizational humility, the government is the authority for enforced humility, and the volition of the people is the basis for genuine humility and the vigor of the nation.
Genuine humility produces a human good totally apart from the cosmic system. Rom 13:1‑7, “Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and God establishes those which exist. 2Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves. 3For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same; 4for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil. 5Therefore it is necessary to be in subjection, not only because of wrath, but also for conscience’ sake. 6For because of this you also pay taxes, for rulers are servants of God, devoting themselves to this very thing. 7Render to all what is due them: tax to whom tax is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor.”
For church age believers human good is judged after the resurrection of the church at the end of the church age, at the Judgment Seat of Christ, Rom 14:10; 2 Cor 5:10. There are four groups resurrected in the Christocentic dispensations. 1 Cor 15:20‑24.
Alpha Company: The resurrection of Christ at the end of the great power experiment of the Hypostatic Union, for He is “the first fruits of them that slept.” Mat 28; Mar 16; Luk 24; Joh 20‑21; Acts 2:31‑34. Christ stands and witnesses to the world.
Bravo Company: The resurrection of the royal family of God at the end of the great power experiment of the Church Age. Pastor stands and witnesses the judgment of his congregation, Joh 14:1‑3; Phil 3:20‑21; 1 Cor 15:51‑57; 1 Thess 4:13‑18; 1 Joh 3:1‑2. For church age believers human good is judged at the judgment seat of Christ found in Rom 14:10, “But you, why do you judge your brother? Or you again, why do you regard your brother with contempt? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God.”, and 2 Cor 5:10, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.”
Charlie Company: The resurrection of the Old Testament believers and Tribulational martyrs at the end of the Tribulation and the Second Advent, Dan 12:13; Isa 26:19‑20; Mat 24:31; Rev 20:4. They stand and witness the judgment of the nations.
Delta Company: The resurrection of the Millennial saints at the end of the Millennium. They stand and witness the judgment of unbelievers.
In 1 Cor 13:1‑3, Paul gives an example of human good, “If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2If I have the gift of prophesy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.” If he speaks in tongues, and yet is in the cosmic system, then the use of the gift has no spiritual content, and the use becomes nothing more than human good. “I am nothing.” at the end of verse 2 describes the believer’s loss of rewards, because a nothing produces human good, and in verse 3 the principle is: Martyrdom is human good when executed inside the cosmic system.
Believers who produce human good suffer loss of reward. 1 Cor 3:11‑16 teaches the principle of the rejection of human good.
Human good is judged for unbelievers at the end of the Millennium at the Great White Throne. Human good is the basis of their indictment Rev 20:11‑15, “Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them. 12And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds. 13And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds. 14Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. 15And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.” Establishment Good establishes no credit with God for the unbeliever at the Great White Throne Judgment.
The source of human good is the area of strength of the old sin nature.
Asceticism – The act of renouncing the comforts of society and leading a life of self-discipline and self-denial in order to please God.
Lasciviousness – The lust pattern of the old sin nature, a wanted desire for a thing.
All human good in history will be judged because it comes from the same source as sin, i.e., the old sin nature.
Human good was not judged on the cross so that it could continue along with evil as the issue in the Angelic Conflict. Therefore, it was rejected at the cross. Human good continues because Satan still rules until the Second Advent. It will continue in the Millennium to prove that its source is the old sin nature and not the presence of Satan.
Human good related to the Integrity of God: Human good is totally divorced from the integrity of God. The integrity of God is the sum total of His divine attributes in operation, but three are functional in relationship to the believer and his spiritual life: righteousness, justice, and love. The integrity of God is part of the divine essence known as “holiness”. Perfect righteousness is the principle of integrity and justice is the function. The grace of God is an extension of divine love. As an extension of divine love, grace is both a characteristic and a policy of divine love. Therefore, grace is an integral part of divine love and the integrity of God as shown in 2 Cor 13:14, “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ…”. Grace is identified with God as a part of the integrity of God. Rom 5:15; 1 Cor 1:4, 15:10; 2 Cor 6:1, 8:1; Eph 3:2,7. Grace has existed from eternity past. Grace is manifested to mankind through the integrity of God.
What the righteousness of God demands, the justice of God executes. When the righteousness of God condemns, the justice of God judges. The righteousness of God condemned every sin in human history and imputed them to Jesus Christ for judgment by the justice of God. When the righteousness of God approves, the justice of God blesses. The righteousness of God is the base and foundation for the function of the grace of God.
The justice of God is the provider and the point of reference for every believer in Jesus Christ; therefore, the justice of God is the activator of the grace of God; the catalyst for both blessing and discipline from God. You cannot contradict the justice of God without destroying the grace of God and turning grace into legalism and evil.
The righteousness of God approves the believer’s execution of the spiritual life, because the spiritual life was designed to be compatible with His righteousness, justice, grace, and His love. 2 Cor 13:14 explains to us the principle of harmonious rapport with God as the overall definition of our spiritual life. “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with all of you.” Gal 5:22, “The production profit (gain, advantage) of the Spirit is love (impersonal love) based on integrity, joy (sharing the happiness of God, harmonious rapport with God).” So the principle found here is that human good never fulfills its objectives of improving anything.
Man had relationship with the integrity of God in the garden through creation. God’s point of reference with mankind prior to the original sin of man in the Garden of Eden was the love of God. God’s point of reference with mankind after the fall of mankind is the righteousness and justice of God. The point of contact in harmonious rapport with God is to satisfy the righteousness of God so that the justice of God does not have to spend our whole life on earth judging us by divine discipline.
Human good couldn’t improve that perfect environment and relationship found in the garden. The first test for man was: Since you cannot improve perfect environment, if you learn “good” by eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you will attempt to perform good. Therefore, you will blaspheme against God, reject His authority, and produce evil.
The Integrity of God and Human self-righteousness:
1. The integrity of God is infinite, absolute, and eternal. It is not the mere absence of sin, but the sum total of His divine attributes, their perfection, and their infinity. The integrity of God is not maintained by the will or sovereignty of God. It is His immutable Self. Nor is it maintained by the self-righteousness of man.
2. Divine perfect righteousness totally rejects man’s self-righteousness. God in grace provides all that His integrity demands of the human race. Therefore there is nothing man can do to destroy or compromise the integrity of God. God does not need our help or our relative righteousness. We need His help, His perfect righteousness.
3. Imputed perfect righteousness is where God begins to share His integrity with us. God didn’t do this from human sentimentality or emotional attraction to our pleasing personality.
4. All of our righteousnesses are as menstrual rags in His sight, Isa 64:6.
5. Neither man’s sinfulness or self-righteousness advances the glory of God. Only God can glorify God. Divine integrity advances the glory of God. Only what God has provided for man in grace can glorify God.
6. Any member of the human race who ignores his personal sins as a manifestation of spiritual death and at the same time presents his self-righteousness to God for salvation has neither respect nor awe for the integrity of God.
7. Maladjustment to the justice of God at salvation means no relationship with the integrity of God, no eternal life, and no imputed perfect righteousness. Therefore the justice of God can only condemn the unbeliever. The unbeliever can only be blessed indirectly through association with the mature believer or by honoring the Divine Establishments.
Human good is the worst enemy of humanity. Human good destroys our prosperity and is the greatest enslaver of people. Some people say that respectability means relationship with God. This is a lie and evil. Respectability is a means of higher hypocrisy in humans. You cannot be respectable and have an old sin nature too. With doctrine however, you can have poise. Respectable people aren’t necessarily establishment people. The first evil man ever performed was his attempt to become respectable by putting on clothes, Gen 3:7.
So what is good in God’s eyes? God only accepts His own good and His own righteousness. He can use us to produce His own good. In our flesh (human power) we cannot produce anything that is pleasing or acceptable to God. It must all be through and by His power that we produce good, and that being Divine Good not human good. 2 Tim 2:21, “Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from these things, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work.”