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Tuesday, January 13, 2015, 4:07 PM
In answering questions with regards to God’s law, the subject requires much attention and cannot be answered fully in one post (or perhaps fully in any number of posts). I will attempt to further clarify my answers to these questions in this and another post (two posts to reduce the length of any one post).
Though much has been said about the ten commandments, it can still leave some with questions about observing each one as though it were a legal code. It is true, and Jesus did not come to do away with them. But as a legal code, God’s law could never find anyone “Not Guilty” in His court with regards to living by that law. Everyone has somehow been guilty of committing or not fully living by God’s law.
Our Creator will consider all of His creation. We are part of His creation. We would not be here, nor have any reason for being if not for His creating for His Own will, His own reason, His own purpose. Therefore, our entire existence should be to seek to please our Creator and serve His purpose. The question is, do people really seek that purpose? Then, there are those who seek, but do not seem to find that purpose. Sometimes we do not have to see what that purpose is, but simply to seek as best we know how to live according as we understand He would have us live, and He will see to His purpose as we do our best.
As none of us can expect to be found perfectly innocent before Him, when it comes to choosing our own way or His way; and we have all fallen short of being all that He, our Creator, intended; then we can only find favor from Him through His mercy. That mercy was shown in His love in Jesus coming to show us the true way and to die, a true innocent person, to take the punishment we should have received for failing our Creator. That mercy through faith in Him declares us innocent before Him and frees us from the guilt of the legal code. Then He plants His will in our hearts as we choose to follow Him, and seek to please Him. In seeking to please Him, we no longer have to be concerned about the legal code, as it is now in our hearts to seek Him and His will. Yet in seeking Him, somehow we keep becoming distracted by that legal code. We should remember that the legal code still applies, as that is the code that condemns those who do not accept His mercy. But it is not that we could in our own rights begin to save ourselves by living by that written code. History has shown that mankind continually fails. That is why we continually need to remember to bring our shortcomings to Him and depend on His mercy.
The first four of the ten commandments relate to our relationship to our Creator. The last six to our relationships with other people. Many legal books could be written on the technicalities of these written commandments, but God’s true law is expressed through love, on which all of the law stands. In love, the first four commandments are covered by loving Him and seeking His will above all else, even our own selfish ambitions. One may argue that a certain day of the week is to be set aside for rest, and in the legalistic sense, that day should be Saturday. However, when one has a love for our Creator, then that person will seek to please Him every day, and will find His rest in doing His will, as Jesus said that His will was to do the will of His Father, and even the Sabbath (Saturday) did not keep Him from working towards that will. So in my mind, it is not so much as Saturday or Sunday, but in living everyday in seeking to please Him by doing His will, whatever any person may see to be His will for that day. I hope that searchers may better understand my answer to the question of Saturday or Sunday- which is the right Sabbath. Technically, Saturday is the true Sabbath, but in my mind, I am not concerned with the technicality, but only in serving Him as best I know how.
Tuesday, January 13, 2015, 2:30 PM
Jesus was in a house and many in need of healing had filled the house. Some people bringing a friend couldn’t get into the house because of the crowd, so they went up to the roof and made an opening to let their friend down to Jesus.
Mark 2:3 And they come unto him, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was borne of four. 4 And when they could not come nigh unto him for the press, they uncovered the roof where he was: and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay.
5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee. 6 But there were certain of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts, 7 Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only?
8 And immediately when Jesus perceived in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, he said unto them, Why reason ye these things in your hearts? 9 Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk? 10 But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he saith to the sick of the palsy,) 11 I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house. (KJV)
Adam and Eve lived in paradise in the Garden of Eden. Had they never disobeyed God, they would have never known illness. Living contrary to God’s will and choosing our own way is why the world is full of troubles. The Jews knew that illness was caused because of sin, because if there had never been sin, there would be no illness. When Jesus gave forgiveness to the paralyzed man, the Jews felt He was blaspheming, because only the Creator could offer such forgiveness. So Jesus healed the man. If sin caused the illness, then how could the illness be cured without forgiveness? This put the legal eagles of the Jewish world in a quandary, because they didn’t want to believe in Jesus as the Messiah. Jesus wants us to come to Him for forgiveness. Earthly ailments may continue, but that forgiveness is worth more than any troubles to be encountered in this world, because only by that forgiveness can one find eternal rest with our Heavenly Father.
Monday, January 12, 2015, 4:19 PM
Mark 1:40 And there came a leper to him, beseeching him, and kneeling down to him, and saying unto him, If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. 41 And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean. 42 And as soon as he had spoken, immediately the leprosy departed from him, and he was cleansed. (KJV)
I see three things here to take note of: 1) Jesus has the power to heal; 2) Jesus has the compassion to heal; 3) the leper believed in Jesus power to heal. We should believe in Jesus power and come to Him with our needs. Remember that if we feel our needs are not met, then perhaps what we think we need are not really ‘needs’ but ‘wants’. Also, He will supply what we need (if we believe and come to Him), but there are people with illnesses that are not healed in this earthly body. Sometimes He has a reason to allow things that we may not always understand, but we must keep believing that all will be healed when we reach that Heavenly home.
1st Corinthians 12:27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. 28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles? 30 Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret? 31 But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I UNTO YOU A MORE EXCELLENT WAY. (KJV)
I believe whole heartedly in all of the gifts given by the Holy Spirit, and I believe they have a purpose. God gives us what we need, and if He gives, He expects us to use what He gives to His purpose. The gifts to different people work together so that people can work together to fulfill God’s mission on this earth. Even so, for all the gifts, I underscored, made bold, and put in all capital letters that there is something even more necessary in accomplishing God’s purpose- that is His law of love. The early Bibles were not divided into chapters and verses, so the above verses at the end of chapter 12 would have flowed smoothly into these verses in chapter 13.
1st Corinthians 13:1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. 2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. (KJV)
Without LOVE, all else is empty. God is LOVE.
Saturday, January 10, 2015, 10:49 AM
Again- another response to another question that turned into another post:
“Thanx Steven, but was the Pope in the right order to change the the day of worship from the Saturday Sabbath to the Sun's day Sunday in A.D 330 under the jurisdiction of emporer Constatine? Or can we without anx doubt confirm the passage in Daniel 7 vs 25 which in part says he shall think to change times and laws? Christ clearly said, think not that i have come to destroy or change the law and the prophets but to fulfill Mathew 5 vs 17-19. Jesus Himself kept the Seventh day/Sabbath day Holy Lk 4vs16 and the apostles after His acsension to heaven kept the same Sabbath Acts 13 vs 14 and 42, 44 Acts 16 vs 13. And please read Hebrews chap 4 prayerfully and carefully. Im sure a conclusion can be reached unless otherwise. If we want to know what our un changing God(Heb 13 vs 8) desired and desires to see us do, Genesis has the answers on marriage set up, food to eat and the day to worship Him. I will be glad to share more on this subject if need be. God bless you and you work. Happy Sabbath!”
Very good question. Again, there are many discussions that I don’t care to get into. I used to be very concerned about some of these issues, but then I realized that the New Testament teaches that there are people who will get into vain arguments about the meanings of words. Salvation depends on faith in our Savior and nothing else. Faith in our Savior means believing in Him and knowing that He teaches truth. In truth we can find that all of God’s law is based on love, not on lists of rules, practices, do this, don’t do that. If everything we do is from a pure heart of love, then we will please our Lord. Many people think they live in love without realizing that much of their love is built on their own ideas of what love mean. We must learn to love, even when all else seems lost. To anyone who searches the Scripture and honestly examines him/her self, it is revealed that we are still so far from that perfection that God calls for in His eternal kingdom.
Jesus is true, and He surely did not come to destroy the law. The law is what demonstrates that we are not perfect in God’s eyes, and why we cannot be saved by the law. That is why we need to turn to God’s merciful love and forgiveness through Christ. The law will still be true, and applied to those who have not discovered that love and mercy when they come to the judgment. But careful study of the New Testament reveals that we are free from the law. (There are too many verses for me to try to remember and look them up just now, but I continue to ask people not to believe in what I say, but to search the Scriptures for themselves and see what they believe to be true.) As we have seen that we cannot be saved by the law, then we can come to strive to live by God’s higher standards of that perfect love (which we are still imperfect at). This does not mean that we are to trample God’s law.
As Paul taught, people will revere one day above another, but we are not to judge other’s beliefs, but simply strive to see that we continue to seek God’s guidance towards that higher law of love and show that love to the world around us. Those who have not believed in our Saviors love that went to the cross for us, they will be judged by God’s law in the judgment. Those who have been saved by God’s grace will be judged according to their works (look up the verse that says that the straw and stubble will be burned up and the precious metals will be purified in that fiery judgment- my paraphrase). That judgment of the Christians’ works will not cause them to lose their salvation, but their good works will be their reward in glory, but their bad works will be forgotten. The more that comes from those good works will mean a greater shine for their glory for eternity. I don’t understand how that works, but that is what I believe. (Remember- don’t believe anything because I say it, but search the Scriptures to determine what you truly believe.)
The Scriptures teach that people will change God’s laws. That is not the right thing to do, but those who live by the law will be judged by the law (again- New Testament teaching, not my own thoughts). Again- think about this- those who live by the law, will be judged by God’s law. Conversely, those who live by faith, living in God’s law of love (though realizing our own imperfections in perfectly living up to that law) will not be judged by that law, but in faith will find God’s mercy. I believe that it was a wrong thing to do to change the days of Sabbath, yet at the same time, it was the fulfillment of Biblical prophecy. It is not my place to judge any Pope, or any other person.
Still, I do not regard Saturday or Sunday to be above any other day. I believe that those who, in their hearts, live in faith by God’s law of love will not be subject to that written law; but in their hearts will seek to please God every day (not just a one day a week observance). The day of rest will be at what moments the Lord brings rest to their hearts (perhaps in peaceful sleep, but not necessarily always in this earthly life), and their worship (remember worship means many things- service, adoration, prayer, Scripture study, singing of praise, etc.) will be experience in daily life (though not necessarily everyday in this earthly life- because this earthly life involves many trial and tribulations- different for different people). Remember, Satan is God’s adversary. He will give more trouble to those who seek the Lord and those who know Him, yet seek to please Him. I hope this helps to clarify my beliefs, but still, don’t accept my beliefs, but search the Scriptures to see what you believe to be true.
Love ya’, and don’t be discouraged. Press on and continue your search. I, for one appreciate your enquiring mind.
Friday, January 9, 2015, 12:43 PM
I started by answering a question on a religious forum regarding the Sabbath and decided to turn it into this post.
The subject of the Sabbath can be tricky to a lot of people. When God created the heavens and the earth in six days, said that the seventh (or Shabbat) was to be a day of rest. There is no real reason to suppose that any other day than the day we commonly call Saturday is considered to be the seventh day, as Jews have observed that day for millennia. Even so, for whatever reason the church in the Roman empire under the leadership of the Pope set aside Sunday as the day for Christians to observe the Sabbath, though the Jews and many Christian (or Messianic) groups use Saturday.
Yahsuah is a Hebraic name for the Greek name Jesus. Messianic is simply a Hebraic expression meaning the same thing as the Greek expression Christian. Messiah is a transliteration of the Hebrew term for ‘anointed one’ used to refer to Yeshua, or Yahshua, or Yahoshua and from this comes the term ‘Messianic’ as follower of Messiah. Christos (from which we get the term ‘Christ’) is a transliteration of the Greek term for ‘anointed one’ and from this we get the term ‘Christian’ as a follower of Christ. I didn’t capitalize ‘anointed one’ because it could refer to any number of cases where anyone could be ‘anointed’ in any number of contexts (not even, necessarily religious). However, when ‘Anointed One’ is capitalized, it should by Christians and Messianics be recognized as a reference to Jesus or Yahshua.
Our Lord (Jesus or Yahshua) was Jewish, yet He also transcended earthly races in all manner of speaking as He is also the very Creator Himself become incarnate (in the flesh). I referred to Jesus as “was” in the past tense, because He came in His earthly form as a Jew, born into the line of the Jewish tribe of Judah. He still “is” in the present tense because He IS the Great “I AM”, which Jews recognize as a form of His name. Actually, it could be said that His name is “I AM; I WAS; AND I EVER WILL BE”, because the closest approximation of the meaning of his name is “I AM EXISTENCE ITSELF”. So in reality, He is the author of all races of human beings, therefore, He is not a specific earthly race (to my interpretation, and I hope I said that right).
However the Sabbath, to the best knowledge available, should technically be on Saturday. Today there are many who hold that Sunday is as good a day as any to observe it; however, there is still the evidence that Saturday is the proper day. Some say that Saturday was the day observed by the Jews but does not apply to all Christendom. Messianics still have the upper hand in this- that God established that day after creation long before there was any establishment of a Jewish race. Other factors involved in the debate can be complex and I will not go into that here.
For myself, I believe that we are all sinners and those who have not come to our Creator seeking His mercy and grace offered through Jesus/Yahshua will be eternally separated from Him. Those who come to Him humbly confessing sin and striving with His help to escape the human impulses in this fleshly body that seek self-serving sins and seek with His help to serve Him will be eternally blessed to live forever in Heaven. I say we ‘seek’ to escape sin and ‘seek’ to serve Him in recognition of the fact that no matter how good we become, we are all still so very far from perfection (completeness). We will not be complete until we meet Him face to face as He is (1st John 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. KJV).
I could point out that Jesus disciples broke corn (considered work) on the Sabbath. Remember in the wilderness, the Jews were forbidden to even go out and pick manna up from the ground on the Sabbath. Jesus healed (considered work) on the Sabbath. I will refrain from entering into the argument regarding what are considered Jewish ‘laws’ and ‘traditions’ and how that relates to God’s institutions (such as the Sabbath).
Mark 2:27 And he said unto them, The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath: 28 Therefore the Son of Man is Lord also of the Sabbath. (KJV)
Romans 14:4 Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand. 5 One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. 6 He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. … (KJV)
Now for myself, I believe with regards to Sabbath observance it does not seem at all unreasonable that we should have a day to rest, pray, and study God’s Word. I remember the Jews were told to present ten percent (one tenth) of all to the Lord. One day of the week (whichever day that may be) is one seventh of a week which is less than one tenth (ten percent). To say that it is a day of “rest”, if we sleep six hours per day, that is twenty-five percent rest, which is far more than ten percent. We are told to ‘pray without ceasing’ (1st Thessalonians 5: 17), and search the Scriptures daily, and study to show ourselves approved (no specified amount of time). Yet still, most people say we all need “a day of rest” (even those people who aren’t religious in any religion). (I have seen people write that they were Christian and they were spiritual, but not religious. Since Christianity is considered to be a ‘religion’, then I would think that anyone who considered his/her self to be a Christian should consider being religious.)
Though the Jewish law was to give ten percent, Jesus taught (and the rest of the New Testament testifies) that we are to give our all, our total selves, to give, do, and be all that our Creator created us for. We, in our total selves, belong to Him, and if He leads us to give away everything (“… go and give all that you have to the poor … “ Luke 18: 22), then we must do what He says, as He owns our total selves to begin with. So whatever you believe with regards to any day, mainly remember every day belongs to our Creator.