Copyright 1994 - 2018 Bill's Bible Basics
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June 15, 2013
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June 20, 2013
Blessed Are The Merciful, Judged By Our Own Lack Of Mercy, Mosaic Law Reveals Sinful Nature And Points Jews To Christ, Only Justified And Made Righteous Through Faith In Christ, We Are Either Saved By Grace Or Saved By Works But Not Both, Review Of Key Points Discussed, Jesus And Apostles Exposed Religious Jew's Abuse Of Mosaic Law To Keep Common People In Subjection, Jesus And Apostles Fully Supported Moral Aspects Of Mosaic Law, Sample Verses, We Know The Difference Between Right And Wrong Because God's Laws Are Written On Our Hearts, Governed By The Law Of Love, Exact Nature Of The Law Of Love And The Laws God Has Written On Our Hearts, Example Of U.S. Constitution And Bill Of Rights, Law Of Love Appears To Be Comprised Of The Core Moral Laws Of The Mosaic Law, Hookers For Jesus, Doctrines Of Devils And Damnable Heresies, We Must Rightly Divide And Balance God's Word To Arrive At The Truth, Legalists Choose To Ignore Verses Which Expose Their Harsh Legalism And Bondage To The Law, Failing To Keep The Sabbath Is Not Mentioned As A Sin In Moral Laws Of The New Testament
Continuing our discussion from part four, as we have seen, because the Scribes and the Pharisees did not possess the true Spirit of God, not only did they not understand many of the things which Jesus said and taught, but because God is the Supreme Spirit of Love, and they did not possess this Love, everything they said and did was governed by the harsh legalism of the Mosaic Law. As we learned in part two, while they demanded that the harsh justice of the Law be executed upon any person who had transgressed the Laws of Moses, Jesus did the exact opposite by demonstrating genuine Love, Mercy and Forgiveness. So once again we see the letter of the law pitted against being led by the Spirit, which is the Spirit of Love. In studying the New Testament, we discover that not only was Mercy one of Jesus' central teachings, but we also are given a clear warning that those people who treat and judge others without Mercy, will ultimately be judged in the very same fashion by their Heavenly Father, as we see by the following verses.
"Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy."
Matthew 5:7, KJV
"And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples. And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners? But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance."
Matthew 9:10-13, KJV
"At that time Jesus went on the sabbath day through the corn; and his disciples were an hungred, and began to pluck the ears of corn, and to eat. But when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto him, Behold, thy disciples do that which is not lawful to do upon the sabbath day. But he said unto them, Have ye not read what David did, when he was an hungred, and they that were with him; How he entered into the house of God, and did eat the shewbread, which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for them which were with him, but only for the priests? Or have ye not read in the law, how that on the sabbath days the priests in the temple profane the sabbath, and are blameless? But I say unto you, That in this place is one greater than the temple. But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless."
Matthew 12:1-7, KJV
"Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone."
Matthew 23:23, KJV
"And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee. Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves? And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise."
Luke 10:30-37, KJV
"But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil. Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful. Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:"
Luke 6:35-37, KJV
"For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment."
James 2:13, KJV
Treating others without Mercy is just one more manifestation of the inherited human condition which we refer to as sin. As we have seen, sin is transgressing, or violating, God's Laws, and His most important Law of all is the Royal Law of Love. Acting in a merciless fashion is clearly not a genuine demonstration of Love. While there must be a remedy for sin, it should be evident to you by now that endeavoring to keep the Mosaic Law is clearly not the solution, and will never be acceptable to our Heavenly Father. As the Apostle Paul points out in the verses below, while the Mosaic Law could show the Israelites that they were sinners, they could not be justified by that same Law, because absolutely no one can keep the hundreds of harsh, strict statutes of which it is comprised:
"Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin."
Romans 3:20, KJV
"What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet."
Romans 7:7, KJV
"Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster."
Galatians 3:24-25, KJV
As Paul reveals in the previous verses, the purpose of the Laws of Moses was not only to reveal righteousness living to the Israelites, and teach them that they were all sinners because they could not possibly achieve God's high standard on their own, but it was also to serve as a schoolmaster to point the way to the righteousness which can only be found through faith in Jesus Christ. As I have stated a few times now, it is only through our faith in His Atoning Sacrifice, that we can be justified and made righteous in God's sight. There simply is no other acceptable remedy for the penalty of sin. Paul -- who was in fact a self-righteous, Law-bound Pharisee prior to his own conversion -- stresses this very same point in the following verses as well:
"And by him [Jesus] all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses."
Acts 13:39, KJV
"Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;"
Romans 3:20-21, KJV
"Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God . . . But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter."
Romans 7:4, 6, KJV
"For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth."
Romans 10:4, KJV
"And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work."
Romans 11:6, KJV
"But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith . . . Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:"
Galatians 3:11, 13, KJV
"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast."
Ephesians 2:8-9, KJV
"Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;"
Titus 3:5, KJV
So as we see once again by the previous verses, our own works are just not good enough, and will never be good enough. Not only that, but observing the Law just won't do it either. It is only by God's Grace that we can be saved, because as we have previously discussed in this series, "Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth". As Paul writes, we either trust in God's Grace through faith in Jesus Christ to obtain our righteousness, or else we trust in our own works. We cannot place our faith in both of them.
Please notice that Paul writes that "ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ." While Paul obviously means the Mosaic Law, what exactly does he mean when he says "dead to the law"? Before answering this question, let's review a few of the key points which we have discussed in this series thus far.
First, we have seen through Scriptural evidence that the Laws of Moses were not given to the Gentile nations, and were only applied to Gentiles who chose to dwell amongst the Israelites. Second, we learned that neither Jesus or the Apostles directly preached to the Gentiles in the Gospels, and that any mention of the Laws of Moses must therefore have been directed to the Jews themselves. Third, when a strong conflict arose between the legalists in the Jerusalem Church and the Apostle Paul and his Gentile converts, the Jerusalem Church decided to not impose any of the mandates of the Mosaic Law on the Gentiles, other than four restrictions. For example, the Apostles did not enforce circumcision, or observance of the Sabbath and other Jewish feast days, because these things were a part of their special Covenant with God and had nothing to do with the Gentiles.
We have also seen that when Jesus said "my commandments", it is more than likely that He was referring to His teachings of Love, Mercy and Forgiveness, and not to the harsh mandates of the Mosaic Law, which He knew that no one could keep anyway. In fact, as we discovered in part three, for Him to have done so would have been contrary to His purpose for coming to our world in the first place. You may recall that I said that the Lord did not come to place a new and heavier legalistic yoke upon any of our shoulders. He came to give us an easier and lighter burden, as per Matthew 11:28-30. Given the contents of John's Gospel and his Epistles, I also pointed out that it seems obvious that when he said "sin is the transgression of the law", he was not referring to the Mosaic Law, but rather to the Law of Love, because Love is God's highest standard of excellence. Anything we do which is contrary to God's Royal Law of Love is a sin.
The final key point is that while the children of Israel may have received God's Laws through Moses, nevertheless, in the end, the Scriptures inform us that God has written His Laws on the hearts of both Jews and Gentiles alike. Furthermore, these Laws act as our "voice of conscience", and guide us in our everyday living. They are like the proverbial Angel on one's shoulder.
Having stated the above, if we carefully study the Gospels and the Epistles, one very interesting discovery we make is that while Jesus, the original Apostles and the Apostle Paul had some major criticisms of the Scribes and the Pharisees -- or the concision, as Paul also referred to them, because they engaged in the cutting of the flesh, or circumcision -- and how they used different aspects of the Mosaic Law as a type of bludgeon to keep the common people in subjection to their authority, one thing which none of them did was to in any way speak against the moral aspects of the Mosaic Law. In fact, quite to the contrary, both Jesus and the Apostles strongly supported God's Divine Moral Code, as it was first expressed through the Laws of Moses.
In other words, if we study the aforementioned Books, we see that Jesus spoke against the commercialization of the Temple Compound; He criticized the unfair tithing system which was a heavy burden on the poor, but which enriched the religious hierarchy; He exposed the system of bribes -- or "gifts" -- which allowed certain people to get around their obligations; and He verbally castigated the religious elders for their preoccupation with human traditions which nullified God's Laws. When it came to his Gentile converts, as we saw earlier, the Apostle Paul also resisted some Jewish customs, and traditions such as circumcision, keeping the Sabbath and other feast days, refraining from eating certain foods, etc. This is evidenced by verses such as the following, some of which I shared with you earlier:
"Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, saying, Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread. But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death. But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; And honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition."
Matthew 15:1-6, KJV
"And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves, And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves."
Matthew 21:12-13, KJV
"Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation."
Matthew 23:14, KJV
"And when they saw some of his disciples eat bread with defiled, that is to say, with unwashen, hands, they found fault. For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, except they wash their hands oft, eat not, holding the tradition of the elders. And when they come from the market, except they wash, they eat not. And many other things there be, which they have received to hold, as the washing of cups, and pots, brasen vessels, and of tables. Then the Pharisees and scribes asked him, Why walk not thy disciples according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashen hands? He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do. And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition. For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and, Whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death: But ye say, If a man shall say to his father or mother, It is Corban, that is to say, a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; he shall be free. And ye suffer him no more to do ought for his father or his mother; Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye."
Mark 7:2-13, KJV
"And they come to Jerusalem: and Jesus went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves; And would not suffer that any man should carry any vessel through the temple. And he taught, saying unto them, Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? but ye have made it a den of thieves."
Mark 11:15-17, KJV
"And he said unto them in his doctrine, Beware of the scribes, which love to go in long clothing, and love salutations in the marketplaces, And the chief seats in the synagogues, and the uppermost rooms at feasts: Which devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayers: these shall receive greater damnation."
Mark 12:38-40, KJV
"And he went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold therein, and them that bought; Saying unto them, It is written, My house is the house of prayer: but ye have made it a den of thieves."
Luke 19:45-46, KJV
"Beware of the scribes, which desire to walk in long robes, and love greetings in the markets, and the highest seats in the synagogues, and the chief rooms at feasts; Which devour widows' houses, and for a shew make long prayers: the same shall receive greater damnation. And he looked up, and saw the rich men casting their gifts into the treasury. And he saw also a certain poor widow casting in thither two mites. And he said, Of a truth I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all: For all these have of their abundance cast in unto the offerings of God: but she of her penury hath cast in all the living that she had."
Luke 20:46-21:4, KJV
"Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days . . . Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, (Touch not; taste not; handle not; Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men?"
Colossians 2:16, 20-22, KJV
As you can see, it was the abuse of some of the ceremonial, ministerial and traditional aspects of the Mosaic Law, and the fact that some of them were no longer necessary and/or inapplicable to the Gentile converts, which resulted in some degree of disapproval or outright resistance by Jesus and the Apostles. However, to reiterate, it does not appear that the core Moral Code was the object of disapproval in any way. By the core Moral Code, I'm referring to thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal, thou shalt not commit adultery, etc.
We have clearly seen that God has written His Laws on each of our hearts, regardless of whether we happen to be Jews, or Gentiles, or Christians or even atheists for that matter. Because of this, we all know the difference between right and wrong; and our conscience is pricked when we knowingly do something wrong. As we saw earlier, Paul refers to this as "their conscience also bearing witness". We have also seen that as God's born-again children, He expects us to be motivated by the Law of Love in everything that we do.
So the question we need to address concerns the exact nature of God's Law of Love, and the Laws which God has seen fit to write on the tables of our hearts. In other words, God's Law of Love is not a nebulous or ambiguous thing. This Law must consist of specific parameters which clearly define our mode of behavior in this world. It would be similar to telling a foreigner that the United States of America is governed by the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Unless he knows what is actually contained in those historic documents, he will remain clueless. However, if he actually examines those documents for himself, then he will better understand exactly what you mean.
Upon giving this issue some thought, and after studying the New Testament, I have concluded that the Love of Law, and the Laws which God has stamped on each of our hearts, is probably nothing less than the core statutes of the Mosaic Law itself; that is, the Moral Laws, as we find reflected in some of the Ten Commandments. As I mentioned earlier, while Jesus and the Apostles clearly had some issues with how the Mosaic Law was executed by the Scribes and the Pharisees, nevertheless, they did support the moral parameters of the Laws of Moses. This is evident by verses such as the following:
"Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother."
Mark 10:19, KJV
"Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother."
Luke 18:20, KJV
"And after they had held their peace, James answered, saying, Men and brethren, hearken unto me . . . Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God: But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood."
Acts 15:13, 19-20, KJV
"Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,"
1 Corinthians 6:9, KJV
"Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right."
Ephesians 6:1, KJV
"Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord."
Colossians 3:20, KJV
"But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death . . . And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life."
Revelation 21:8, 27, KJV
"For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie."
Revelation 22:15, KJV
As you can see, just about everything that is stated in the previous verses is clearly reflected somewhere in the Mosaic Law. Furthermore, most of the sins which are mentioned are moral or ethical in nature. If one refuses to repent of such sins as fornication, idolatry, adultery, being effeminate, being homosexual -- which is slightly disguised as "abusers of themselves with mankind" -- murder, whoremongering, lying sorcery, stealing and bearing false witness, these verses state that he will not have any part in the Kingdom of God.
Tragically, despite what is clearly stated in the previous verses, as I point out in such articles as "Women Shepherds: The Family Sex Cult Exposed Again!", there are some deceived Christians in the world today who have convinced themselves that it is okay to engage in fornication, adultery and even prostitution, in order to win a soul to Jesus Christ. These deceived people claim that they are "hookers for Jesus", and that the Law of Love gives them the license and the liberty to engage in such things, and not be guilty of sin. However, the fact that Jesus emphasizes the serious nature of these sins, the Apostles emphasize the seriousness of these carnal transgressions, and the fact that they are also mentioned in the last Book of the Bible -- which suggests to me that it is God's final word regarding these issues -- informs me that such Christians who commit these sins are misguided. In fact, what such people believe can clearly be described as being doctrines of devils and damnable heresies, as we see by the following verses:
"Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;"
1 Timothy 4:1-2, KJV
"But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction."
2 Peter 2:1, KJV
As I have shared with my readers so many times before, it is foolish for any of us to take one verse out of the Bible, and turn it into a doctrine. As I strive to do in all of my many articles, led by God's Spirit, we must carefully compare one Scripture with another, and rightly divide God's Word, if we wish to arrive at a balanced understanding of the Truth. We must be willing to take everything into consideration, weigh it prayerfully, and not ignore certain verses simply because they contradict what we want to believe. Consider the wisdom of the following verses:
"Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."
2 Timothy 2:15, KJV
"And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. 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."
Acts 17:10-11, KJV
"Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world."
1 John 4:1, KJV
As we have seen in this series, this is precisely what some legalists do not do. They do not rightly divide God's Word. They omit or ignore certain verses which clearly expose the errors in their harsh legalism and bondage to the Law, and they purposely look for verses which seemingly support their wayward manner of thinking and believing. They search God's Word with doctrinal blinders on their eyes, and willfully reject the freedom from the Law which we obtain through our faith in Jesus Christ.
Regarding the previous verses that I shared with you from the Gospels, the Epistles and the Book of Revelation, let me call something else to your attention. As we have already seen, the various Jewish feast days -- which I discuss more at length in the series entitled "The Lamb of God Was a Goat!" -- formed a part of the Old Covenant which God made with the children of Israel. Those feast days -- including Sabbath observance -- have little to do with Gentile Believers, despite what some Christian legalists and Judaizers erroneously claim. God made no commandment for us Gentiles to observe such days, and the Apostles of the First Century Church refused to enforce them on the Gentiles converts. The reason why I am mentioning this point again, is because while the previous verse set mentions the various moral and ethical transgressions, not one single one of those verses mentions failing to observe the Sabbath as being a sin. Case closed.
Please go to part six for the continuation of this series.
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