Copyright 1994 - 2018 Bill's Bible Basics
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Published On :
June 2, 1998
Last Updated :
June 11, 2013
Jewish Legalism: Mosaic Law And The Traditions Of The Elders, Influence Of Mosaic Law On Modern Law, Liberal Laws Strive To Invalidate God's Word, Prophetic Link Between Old Testament Priesthood And Priesthood Established By Christ, Jesus Died Only Once For Our Sins, Salvation Plan In Three Dozen Verses, Message To The World Tract, God's Saving Grace vs Good Works, The Tools For The Job, Watch Out For The Devil's Devices, The Hope That Is In You, The Futility Of Using Pressure Tactics While Witnessing, Only God's Fruit Will Remain, Sword Of The Spirit, God's Word Will Accomplish Its Purpose, Free Will And Personal Choice, Closing Remarks, Recommended Reading List
In total contradiction to the Scriptures which I shared with you at the end of part one, as I explain in the controversial series entitled "Welcome to Greater Israel, USA", in certain cases -- such as with Judaism -- good works are demonstrated by observing certain laws and regulations. With the Orthodox Jews, this means strict adherence to the Mosaic Law and the traditions of the Jewish Elders. If you are familiar with the Gospels, then you will no doubt know that this was a constant point of contention between the Lord and the self-righteous Scribes and Pharisees, as is clearly evidenced by verses such as the following:
"In the mean time, when there were gathered together an innumerable multitude of people, insomuch that they trode one upon another, he began to say unto his disciples first of all, Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy."
Luke 12:1, KJV
"Then Jesus said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees. And they reasoned among themselves, saying, It is because we have taken no bread. Which when Jesus perceived, he said unto them, O ye of little faith, why reason ye among yourselves, because ye have brought no bread? Do ye not yet understand, neither remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many baskets ye took up? Neither the seven loaves of the four thousand, and how many baskets ye took up? How is it that ye do not understand that I spake it not to you concerning bread, that ye should beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees? Then understood they how that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees."
Matthew 16:6-12, KJV
"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
"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 7:6-13, KJV
Certain other religions -- including Islam -- recognize and respect the merit of the Mosaic Law of the Old Testament. In fact, many laws which are in existence today in various parts of the world, find their origin in the Laws which were first given to Moses on the summit of Mount Horeb, or Sinai. Sadly, as I explain in "When Sin is No Longer a Sin", in many places these God-given and time-honored Laws are now being replaced by much more liberal laws which endeavor to invalidate God's Word, and give people a license to sin, while maintaining a supposedly "clean conscience". However, God is not amused by such foolish and rebellious violation of His eternal Laws.
At any rate, this belief in the merits of the Mosaic Law can be used with some degree of success to find common ground with people who embrace other religions, and in some cases to wean them from their faith in good works, to the Saving Grace which is found in Jesus Christ alone. As the Apostle Paul so wisely wrote, "if righteousness come by the law [or by good deeds] then Christ is dead in vain."
To better understand the prophetic link which exists between the rituals of the priesthood of the Old Testament era, and the priesthood which was established By Jesus Christ in the New Testament, I again encourage you to read "Is Jesus the Only Begotten Son of God?". This series shows the connection between the Apostle Paul's Epistle to the Hebrews concerning the order of the high priest Melchizedek, and the Levitical priesthood which existed up until the time that the Temple was destroyed in 70 AD by General Titus and the legions of Rome. As you will learn, Jesus' final Sacrifice replaced the animal sacrifices which were offered by the Levitical priests. While it is somewhat heavy reading, it will nevertheless add to the foundation you have already established by reading the aforementioned articles. Allow me to share some sample verses from that series with you:
"Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. For in that he died, he died unto sin ONCE: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God."
Romans 6:9-10, KJV
"But this man, [Jesus] because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people's: for this he did ONCE, when he offered up himself."
Hebrews 7:24-27, KJV
"But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in ONCE into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us."
Hebrews 9:11-12, KJV
"For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us: Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now ONCE in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself . . . So Christ was ONCE offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation."
Hebrews 9:24-26, 28, KJV
"By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ ONCE for all."
Hebrews 10:10, KJV
"For Christ also hath ONCE suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:"
1 Peter 3:18, KJV
Another article which you will find helpful as you endeavor to win non-Christians to faith in Jesus Christ is entitled "A Verse a Day to Keep the Doubts Away!". This particular article contains about three dozen key verses which explain the Salvation Plan. No doubt, you will be familiar with many of them. These verses should prove to be extremely beneficial to anyone who is attempting to witness to family members and friends regarding the purpose for Christ's Sacrifice on the Cross. In fact, you may be inspired to try to memorize as many of these verses as you possibly can.
Directly related to the aforementioned article is "Message to the World". This article actually started out as a small Salvation tract which I designed on my computer many years ago, and then printed out at a print shop for distribution here in my part of the world. Later, I worked on the tract, amplified its contents by adding a lot of Bible verses to it, and converted it into a regular article for the Bill's Bible Basics website. From that time until now, thanks to the generous help of other online friends, "Message to the World" has been translated into six other languages. These are all available for download in PDF format on the Bill's Bible Basics website.
I also recommend that you consider reading "The Royal Law: Thou Shalt Love!". This article further exposes the vanity of depending on our own good works in order to try to save ourselves. Two other articles which amply discuss the issue of God's Grace versus the Law, or Grace versus good works, are "The Gospel of Thomas: Introspection or Heaven-Spection" and "Parable of the Sower: Salvation and Service".
If you carefully and prayerfully read all of these articles -- as your time permits -- not only will you increase your personal understanding regarding God's Salvation Plan, but you will acquire a great wealth of Scriptural knowledge, and thus arm yourself with the important tools that you need in order to combat any false, erroneous, misleading or deceptive doctrine with which Satan might attempt to entrap you through these non-Christian belief systems, and perhaps by which your listeners themselves have been entrapped. Please keep in mind the Apostle Paul's admonition in the following verse:
"Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices."
2 Corinthians 2:11, KJV
Furthermore, you will be able to provide solid Scriptural answers to anyone who may question you concerning the hope that is in you. Exactly what is this hope? Please read the following verses and be inspired:
"But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ."
1 Peter 3:15-16, KJV
"For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it."
Romans 8:18-25, KJV
"Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God; Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:"
Colossians 1:25-27, KJV
"Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope;"
1 Timothy 1:1, KJV
"Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God's elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness; In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;"
Titus 1:1-2, KJV
"For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;"
Titus 2:11-13, KJV
"That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life."
Titus 3:7, KJV
"And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after; But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end."
Hebrews 3:5-6, KJV
"And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end:"
Hebrews 6:11, KJV
"Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ . . . Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God."
1 Peter 1:13, 21, KJV
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time."
1 Peter 1:3-5, KJV
"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. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure."
1 John 3:2-3, KJV
Before concluding this article, allow me to remind you that despite your earnest and sincere desire to witness to family members and friends, it is important for you to realize that no matter how faithful you may be to perform your witnessing tasks, you cannot win anyone to Jesus Christ. While it is in fact your Christian responsibility to share the Good News in whatever capacity or form the Lord shows you, as I explain in the in-depth series entitled "Christian Witnessing: Winning the Sheep and Waging the Warfare", please do not ever forget that it is only God's eternal Spirit which can truly convict a darkened heart in order to bring a person to the point of repentance, and thus to the saving Grace of Jesus Christ. Consider the truth that is revealed in the following verses:
"No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day."
John 6:44, KJV
"Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved."
Acts 2:47, KJV
"Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you."
John 15:16, KJV
So while God may use you as His special messenger in order to reach out to a certain individual -- whether it is a friend, a relative, or even a total stranger -- it is only His Spirit which can cut through all of their defenses, and help them to recognize their need for Christ. As we learn in the Epistle to the Hebrews, God's Word is like a sharp, spiritual sword which cuts right to the heart. So even when it appears as if a friend or relative is not listening to you, and hardening their heart against you, don't lose hope. God's Spirit may still be working on their heart, and in their life, even if in their pride, they do everything possible to make you think otherwise. As we also read in the Book of the Prophet Isaiah, God's Word always accomplishes the purpose for which He sends it forth. Consider the following verses and be encouraged:
"For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."
Hebrews 4:12, KJV
"For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it."
Isaiah 55:10-11, KJV
To reiterate, any fruit which is not truly born of His Spirit will not survive. It will shrivel up and die, and eventually fall by the wayside, exactly as Jesus explains in the Parable of the Sower. In times past I have seen people pressured into repeating a Salvation prayer. In fact, many years ago, I was probably guilty of doing this a few times myself. It was not that the person really wanted to, or was ready to accept the Lord. Rather, it was a way to get rid of a rather insistent Christian who would not leave until he had brought the person to a decision. Now, years later, I question how many people are actually saved by such high-pressure witnessing tactics.
As I have stated so many times before, Salvation only results when one truly acknowledges his own sinful condition, and his need for a Savior, and then recognizes and accepts that Jesus Christ is that Savior. As I explain in the article "Free Will and Personal Choice", a person must choose to yield himself to God's Spirit of his own accord, and not because someone is standing beside him saying "You better do this or else!". It is through accepting the Sacrifice of Jesus Christ by our own free will that we manifest our love and appreciation towards God the Father. Anything short of this kind of voluntary act of submission to the Will of our Father will not suffice.
With these thoughts I will bring this article to a close. It is my hope that the recommendations which I have made herein will not only strengthen your personal faith, but that these articles will also assist you in your endeavors to witness to family members and friends who may embrace other non-Christian religions. Last of all, if you happen to have an account with Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Tumblr, etc, I would appreciate if you would take the time to click on the corresponding link that you find on this page. Thanks so much, and may God bless you abundantly!
For your convenience, below is a list of reading resources which were either mentioned in this article, or which are related to topics which were discussed in this article, and which are likewise located on this very same Bill's Bible Basics website:
A Verse a Day to Keep the Doubts Away!
All Are Given a Chance, But . . .
Civil Disobedience and Christian Persecution
Christian Witnessing: Winning the Sheep and Waging the Warfare
Free Will and Personal Choice
Holy Qur'an and Islam: A Doctrine of Devils?
Humility in Our Understanding of God's Word
Is Jesus the Only Begotten Son of God?
Is the Message of Salvation Meant for All Men?
Marriage of the Lamb
Message to the World
Not Everyone is a Child of God
Parable of the Sower: Salvation and Service
Study, Work and Don't Be Ashamed
The Blood Atonement: In Jesus' Own Words
The Children of Light: Are You One of Us?
The Gospel of Thomas: Introspection or Heaven-Spection
The Royal Law: Thou Shalt Love!
The Urantia Book: An Attack on the Blood Atonement!
To Pray or Not to Pray?
Welcome to Greater Israel, USA!
When Sin is No Longer a Sin