FANTASIES, FABLES AND TRADITIONS
Law and Works
17Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. 18For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. (Mat 5:)
12Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. (John 14:)
He turned the radio down to a low rumble, but the bass, which is what he likes, still thundered through my place. Considering that I live half a block from him with many trees in between, that is saying something.
I had learned to live with his radio long ago, which I told him, but I also advised him that many other of his neighbors had not.
He called again later to see if I could still hear the radio. Because I could, he is now using headphones.
The reason he is concerned about the noise is not because he is trying to be a good neighbor. That would be a good reason, but it is not his reason.
This neighbor had recently started attending a Catholic church, and he, according to what he told me, is trying to be a "good Catholic."
This brought to my mind that being a good any thing is a good thing.
My mother I could see little change in since I was living elsewhere and she died soon after I was released from the Army. But my father I saw great changes in. Oh, he was pretty much the same hard-headed know-it-all we had all grown to "know and love." But when it came to the things I grew up seeing in him, they changed.
My father was a mechanic, and a man's man you might say. He was tough and loved to prove it; he enjoyed hanging out with his buddies; he drank (not necessarily to excess); he smoked; he cussed; and he did all the things a "guy" does.
But my mother insisted my father become a Mormon, and I am sure my father resisted as strongly as he was able. I wish I had learned before he died what my mother threatened in order get him to become anything. But become he did.
Somehow my father stopped his drinking, smoking, cussing and even stopped drinking coffee. And, he became very involved in his new church.
As I said, my mother died within a few years after my father became a Mormon. And I know he became a Mormon because of my mother. To my knowledge, though my parents insisted we chil'n go to church (any church, it mattered not), I don't recall ever seeing either of my parents in church.
In fact, my father became so active in his church that he became highly esteemed and was even (ordained?) a "High Priest" (whatever that entails, I'm not caught up that far in Mormon doctrine).
Twelve years after my mother died, my father remarried. Then not long after she also died, and he eventually remarried again at the age of sixty-five to a seventy year old virgin. In both cases my father insisted his brides-to-be join the Mormon church or there would be no marriage.
My father died at the age of eighty two, blind and barely able to get himself around the house. But he always had the Bible or the Book of Mormon or some such playing on his tape player beside his chair - even when he "watched" (listened to) the TV.
My father was a dedicated man, and certainly a changed one because of his beliefs and his church.
And there are certainly others not of the Christian faith who work hard in order to be a good whatever-they-are. For instance a Hindu or a Buddhist will work to do good things in this life so they will return in a higher form in their next life. They are fully aware that there are rewards for doing good things in the here and now.
The Catholics also believe there are rewards to be gained from good works. By doing good things and performing certain rituals they believe they will either go to heaven straight away upon their death, or at least have to spend less time in purgatory working off their bad behavior here on earth.
Mormons, though to my knowledge do not believe in Purgatory, they do believe that by being a better person they will ascend to a higher heaven when they die.
Why should it be so difficult to get "Christians" to stop sinning?
"Why, officer, was I speeding?"
"I clocked you doing a hundred and ten miles per hour in a twenty mile an hour School zone."
"That was a little fast, I suppose. I'll try to hold it down a little next time."
"I wish you would. I would appreciate it."
"Too bad there's not laws in this city against such things. I guess if there were, you wouldn't have people like me speeding."
"That's true. And we do have laws of a sort against speeding, that is, we have suggestions posted here and there. Only there's nothing that allows us to punish those who choose not follow the suggestions, I mean law, or whatever they are."
"Kind of like a lion with no teeth."
"You could very well say that. So will you hold it down next time you come through our town? Please with sugar on it?"
"Not likely. Not as long as there's nothing anybody can do about it. I'll just keep on doing what I want to and there's nothing anybody can do to stop me."
And whereas the Catholic church and those known as "cults" demand that their congregation keep the organization functioning properly with their efforts and their tithes and offerings; the Fundamental (I use the word loosely because I know of no word that covers the multitude and variation of churches that lend themselves to the "no works" doctrine, unless the word is Protestant) churches must accept everyone into their church because there are no laws, because "laws" are outlawed.
I would hate to be called to be a pastor in such a Protestant church. It's a losing battle at best; at least where souls and Morality is concerned.
There are those churches who teach that Works are the evidence of being Born Again. The trouble is, this is hardly more than a compromise because, again, there is no penalty as far as the church is concerned for not showing that fruit.
Many years ago there was a comedy team who went by the name of Laurel and Hardy. Although they specialized in slapstick comedy, their last movie, made in their old age, was far from slapstick. It was about one of the boys inheriting an island that was controlled by no nation, therefore whoever lived on the island had no laws that they must follow. And that is just what they established; a nation with no laws.
The premise did not work any better for them than it has for the Protestant church.
If you would like to see a good example of the fallacious theory of "no laws," watch this movie (Utopia); or better yet, join a Protestant church.
I see the Church as a group of people dedicated to, and totally led by God Himself, and wants nothing more than to be in God's moment-by-moment presence (Psalm 1:2-3; Rev 7:15; 22:3-4; 1Cor 16; 2Cor 6:16-17; Acts 26:7; Rom 12:10-11).
I see God's New Creation Man as a Temple, the New Jerusalem being cleansed, trained and prepared to wholly receive the full presence and manifestation of God Himself (Rev 21 & 22:).
Paul allotted a great deal of space in his letters admonishing the churches to clean up their act and to avoid those who do not live up to the high standard of the Church. Those who obeyed, Paul praised. Those who did not respond as they should, Paul castigated.
And Paul was not the only one who would not tolerate poor behavior in the Church. Jesus had many harsh Words to say regarding bad behavior in the first chapters of the book of Revelation dedicated to the Churches. In fact it is difficult to read the book of Revelation, or the Epistles, or any part of the Bible, without getting dreadful chills of fear for our bad conduct. Talk about a Fire and Brimstone sermon!
But, somehow, there are scads of churches who can read into these books the "Love of Jesus" and totally miss the Anger of our Lord.
And, unfortunately, those who do read the Bible in this unlawful fashion teach their congregates to do the same, thereby shearing their conscience as with a hot iron.
"Hear no evil; See no evil: Do no evil." Ever heard this before? Well you won't hear it in the modern churches of today, the "forward looking" (into the World system of thinking) churches. It's "Do what you want, and have it all too."
And, of course, the World floods to such a message, one that reinforces what it wants to hear; especially since they can get coffee, donuts and a popular Punk band thrown into the bargain.
But, as a church, "Works" work. Works make people feel contented with their church, and themselves. Works gives a person a "place" in the church. Works is like giving a child a responsibility so they can feel a part of the family. Without these works, a child feels unwanted and unloved, and unnecessary. So he falls farther and farther away from, not only the family, but his self-esteem as well.
I know of which I speak. I had parents who tried to save me from works, which caused bad feeling about myself; and I had a Grandfather who "let" me work my tail off, for which I am eternally grateful.
My family, who tried to spare me, I tried to avoid; and the Grandfather who let me work, and who gave me plenty of work to do, (on a fair sized farm) I have a great deal of love and respect for.
This principle is not restricted to churches alone; Business and governments work in this same manner. So far, in the past ten years, I have watched this failed system at work in two cities I've lived in (and have witnessed the consequences of the same in several cities before this). In both cases, when I moved to the city (small town under the banner of a city) there was a moratorium on building. During that time the city built a new water and sewage plant to handle the needs of the town. Of course it was the old, settled people of the city who had to pay for this system that was designed to handle their needs.
Then the moratorium was lifted, and the city grew like a self-devouring crocodile. Within a very short period of time the city (one of the cities) is already outgrowing its water and sewage plant, and taxes once again will have to be raised in order to build another, larger one. And where to put the sewage? Where to get the water? All the land needed to drain the waste water has been built upon, and there is only so much water available. So they have to try and convince neighboring towns to part with some of their water, which they, of course, would not oblige.
The citizens were induced, by taxes, to pay for the city's expansion, as well as having to pay higher utility bills in order to build the new water and sewage plant. Meanwhile, the small businesses that had been in the city providing supplies to the citizens for generations through the good, and especially the hard times, were called upon to pay for the city's expansion. Then, since the city had grown, land prices grew by leaps and bounds.
Because of the building boom, prices of building materials skyrocketed to 10 times their cost, not only raising the cost of new houses, but those old, established citizens (who had built a comfortable little town for themselves) could not afford to maintain what they owned.
The city, to accommodate all the new inhabitants, built streets circumventing the old town whereupon malls and new shops are built, turning the shops that had supported the inhabitants and had paid for those streets into empty buildings resembling a ghost town.
Now, since the city had grown to such a large number of people, the giant superstores took interest and began to move in, not only forcing out what remained of the old Mom an' Pop stores, but the newly built ones besides.
Meanwhile, the locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables and the fresh dairy products left the market or had increased in price because the land used for such had become so valuable that it was sold and was now used to build more houses for still more stores and houses.
The trees that were the pride and joy of the little town had to be cut down in order to build all these buildings, and were replaced with little shrubs in front of people's houses. What trees remained were no longer protected by the trees that had blocked them and fell to the first wind that confronted the little town.
Without the trees and the fields of vegetation, air pollution set in and ground erosion caused unstable conditions, which caused a reduction of the local water reservoir, which had become polluted from the erosion and the motor boats that were now so plentiful.
Yet they continued to grow by leaps and bounds thinking that would solve the problems, even though growth is what was causing the problem in the first place.
Placing one's left hand on a hot stove in order to cure a burn on the right hand.
The city no longer serves the people, the city now expects the people to serve the city!
Eventually, as with nature, the tide shifts and some other part of the country becomes highlighted by the media as "the place to live" and most of the people try to sell their overpriced houses to move to the new Utopia. However, now their houses, though taxed according to the high price they paid, is only worth a fraction of that price, and no one wants it even if they gave it away.
So the town becomes a place barren of caring people that it once embraced, overrun with weeds and abandoned cars, and inhabited by drifters and the underprivileged. (This final stage hasn't happened yet, both towns are still in the growing stage. But as I said, I have seen the results too many times before, and our history books are full of such misadventures, and our maps still show dots where this very same practice has taken place. And for an excellent example, just take a look at the abandoned ruins of that great Roman Empire.)
This is the workings of man. This is an example of human engineering at work.
This is the churches once again building the Tower of Babel, trying to reach God his way. And like the Tower, God will blow on it, and the tower and the city will turn to cinder. This city, that is being built this day, God calls "Babylon the Great," and the city will fall. And who is Babylon? Every church in every corner of the world is a daughter of the Great Harlot who "sits on many Waters." The one holding back the True Saints who are filled with the Fountain of Living Waters that is intended to flow in a never-ending stream to the churches. Waters that are quenched by the doctrines and traditions of those very churches that have turned a deaf ear to that very Water (Jer 17:13; John 7:38; Rev 21:6) .
Then, if all churches are Babylon, where is the True Church? It is the Woman, the Church in the wilderness, having its wilderness instruction, fed by the ravens as was Elijah when there was a drought on the land.
And there is a drought on this land. Not a drought of water, but a drought of the Living Water, the Holy Spirit that is to flow from each "living stone" of the New Jerusalem, the Church of God (Amos 8:9-14; Rev 21&22).
In the Old Testament God laid down very specific Laws to control every aspect of life as it applied to not only His people, but for His land as well. Nothing was left to chance, it was all right there in the Book.
Wild expansion, under the Law, could not occur because all land had to stay in the family it had been given to. The land could not be sold to "strangers" whereby it could end up as the property of non-Jews.
And to keep the people of God as pure as the land, the people were not to be "unequally yoked" with unbelievers (2Cor 6:14).
During the Millennium, the ultimate Sabbath (1,000, years is as one day with the Lord) everything returns to its original condition and its original owner (2Pet 3:8). And what was the original condition of the land Adam and Eve were to inhabit? And Who was the original Owner of everything, including the land and the people?
God has to keep us from running off to do our "own thing" which means our "own destruction." We need a leash like a young pup needs a leash to keep it from blindly running into the street; like an infant needs a crib to keep it from putting everything it finds into its mouth or into its nose.
God provided us with a leash, and He called that leash "Law."
Without this Law, we humans are "lawless," and as lawless people we are the same as those in Sodom, or the ones wiped out by the flood.
Contrary to the Theory of Evolution where everything gets better and better, and Man is instinctively good and will redeem the world if given half a chance; Man is instinctively stupid and selfish and will blow up the world if given half a chance. And half a chance is just what God is giving us at this present time. He has released the leash and given us free reign. And in a very short time he, mankind, will have brought about Armageddon, the Tribulation; and man will once again have to be saved from himself.
Then came the baby boomers. They did not have their wilderness experience. They did not have to fight their way into the promised land. They had not been fed on bread and water for forty years. They had not seen the miracles or been led by the Shekinah Glory. They had not watched their fathers die of old age, or the ground splitting beneath their feet, or by the bite of an asp.
These children had not been trained. They grew up in a land and a time when "everything was wonderful." A time of "Peace, Peace." A time when they could do anything they wanted to because the land belonged to them. They were rich in their own eyes and knew not that they were wretched and poor and blind (Rev 3: 17).
These children filled with plenty and self-deceit, that had Laws but knew they didn't have to follow them; did they follow their "natural good instinct" they have been taught by the Humanists they have? Did they choose to serve the Living God who created them and by His blood brought them out of bondage?
No, they followed the same instinct their fathers who came out of Egypt followed; the same instinct their pre-flood ancestors followed; the same instinct their first parents followed; they did that which was "right in their own eyes" (Judges 21:25).
And the end of this sinful practice does not stop at the borders of the World, but has infiltrated the churches at a rapid pace. Every conceivable Law of God is now being broken, and the unholy acts are not only being practiced by the ministry of the churches, but hailed as worthy and honorable, and supported by the very God they purport to worship and obey who demands we not do the despicable acts.
Man off his leash. Man ready for destruction.
It is said (and this many years ago) that if God doesn't destroy this nation, He will have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah.
How much more so today. And how much more so will He have to punish the churches that are sinning under the banner of His Name?
Man has works. These works are either going to be within the Law, or they will be without the Law. We see in the books of the Old Testament what happens to man's works without the Law, and the consequences for such works.
We are seeing now what Man "works" without the Law, and the direction it is taking.
There is no church that follows the Law of God. In fact many, if not most churches deny the Law of God. There are those who try to follow God's Law as they understand it, but they are actually following a rule book written to keep the machinery of the organization going. And there are certainly those churches who think they are following God's Law; but they are in reality following Doctrines and Traditions established by the Establishment. This is the same fallacy Jesus had to confront with the Pharisees and the Scribes, the "Legitimate" church of His day. They were fully convinced that they were right, and had Scripture after Scripture to back up their stance. They had Scripture, they had Traditions; what they didn't have is the ears to hear the Very Word of God standing before them.
The Law is our text book that tells us what the will of God is for each of His soldiers. To those who are not soldiers in the Army of God, the Laws mean nothing whatever and can be dismissed or thrown into the trash can, like so may of the churches are telling their congregates to do. But for those who are soldiers, and who realize that they are in a battle where those rules mean the difference between life and death (Eternally), then every word is listened to intently, memorized, and followed to the letter.
This rather reminds me of the pieces of the cross that was being sold in the '50's (I'm sure at other times as well). I suppose tons of "authentic" pieces of the cross were sold. Gee, I didn't know the cross was so big!!!
Another thing the Pope did in order to raise money was to sell "indulgences." Now, indulgences were a mighty fine thing to have. Indulgences allowed you to continue sinning and not have to pay the consequences in purgatory. These indulgences came straight from the Pope, so there was no way God could void them.
More and more money was needed because the cathedral was getting bigger and bigger, and more and more expensive. After all, the skills of such people as Michelangelo did not come cheap.
So the Pope and his cohorts devised a plan whereby preachers would be required to spend time, then more and more time selling the advantages of attending the Catholic Museum, and especially for buying indulgences. This, of course, left less and less time for sermons, which, of course, is what preachers are all about. And if you have ever been to a Catholic mass, you know there isn't too much time for anything because the next shift will be coming in shortly.
Well, after a while, and as the advertisements grew longer and longer, certain preachers became tired of it all. They wanted back their time at the pulpit in order to present their message they had worked all week to prepare.
One of these frustrated souls was Martin Luther. So one day he took a piece of paper and wrote out 95 grievances (actually it boiled down to much fewer because most of them were saying the same thing, only using different words). This piece of paper he nailed to the door of the church (some say he mailed it. But the nails sounds more dramatic and reminiscent of the cross).
This is believed to have started the Protestant Revolution.
Advertising works. Evidence of this is the fine cathedrals that were built from the money brought in by selling museum tickets and indulgences. And what has happened to the fine cathedral? Why, it's right where it used to be; and many people come to see this mighty "Tower of Babel" built to honor "God." But how many come to worship God in this tribute to Him? Maybe a 125 people (by my last hearing of the number).
Using God's name to do what Man wants to do is not new. It is done all the time. The way to sell anything is to either put "God" on it, or to put "Free" on it, or to put "Sex" on it. Notice how any ad that has these words, the word will be many times larger than any of the others and usually be a flashing red.
God sells. And people buy.
The church is often used to sell what is desired to be sold. The World knows this all too well. Watch TV or go to any church website. Notice the number of things they have to sell. Churches have certain advantages the World doesn't. For one it is tax-exempt, so it doesn't need to take in as much money as does the World for the same purposes. The churches can make pleas for money to send food to the starving children of whatever country, which is popular at the moment. Of course only a few cents of each dollar gets to the starving kids. Most of it is needed to support the Preacher's Rolls-Royce. The church can sell overpriced books and pieces of the cross to their trusting believers, which is rather difficult for the World to do. The church can make pleas for donations to keep their business running and growing. And these donations are tax-deductible. Can you imagine AT&T begging you for money over and above your bill? Speaking of bills, the churches can request, require or demand money, depending on the church and the power it wields over its people, in the form of tithes. Then, if all the forgoing was not enough, the church can beg for money to keep their preacher out of jail, or even to help pay for their billion dollar mansion they are building.
And people will dig into their paltry allotment check and send in the money. Why? Because it's the church asking for it.
Man is gullible. He is not only gullibly, he is stupid (a nice way to misinterpret God's word for it which is "Foolish").
Churches and advertisers are not the only ones to feed on the gullibility of Man. Governments are very apt to do the same.
Use, infiltrate, take over - then obliterate.
Read the story of the end result of what the churches has become in the 17th chapter of Revelation. Notice how Worldly and rich with commercialism, and powerful it had become. Then take a look around you at what you see. Is there any difference?
And where is the True Church all this time? In Babylon? No, the True Church is in Chapter 12 following the Lord and waiting to give birth to the Manchild, that company of trained soldiers having been taught by the Lord in the wilderness, and who is following the Lord through His Spirit. Now, there is a good chance you didn't know this because you were told this chapter is talking about Mary, or Israel, giving birth to Jesus. Read it again and see if it makes any sense at all to interpret it in that way. Then, if you can see through to the truth of the Scripture, maybe you will understand how Doctrine and Tradition keeps you from hearing what the Holy Spirit has to say to you.
Man is gullible. He will buy anything with the name "God, Free and Sex" on it. The churches have been selling "God" for centuries. For the past hundred years or so they have added the word "Free (from Laws)" to the sales pitch. And now, even behind the pulpit, the word "Sex (of any nature)" has been included.
Where else is there to go? "How low can you go:" says Limbo Louie. I don't think we have but a very short time to wait til we find out, and then God will make very short work of the church.
If we won't "Work," God will.
You may have noticed that God or the Name of Jesus hasn't been mentioned in the little history of the church I presented earlier. I had a brief tirade there, but that was my own, it had nothing to do with church.
Was God's Name mentioned during any of the services during all these hundreds of years? Oh yes, but it had very little to do with worship, or even much to do with God. Churches are for worshipping God and to teach about Him. But speaking about someone does not make for worship, nor does speaking to someone make for conversation. For instance, I have mentioned Martin Luther's name several times, but I certainly am not worshipping him. And I have spoken thousands of words to you, but that certainly does not make for a conversation between you and me, nor does it mean at all that you have even heard a word I have said.
For instance, the Chrysler building was built by (for) Walter P. Chrysler. You might say it was constructed for his honor. But does mr. Walter P. get any honor for the structure built in his name?
The Crystal Cathedral is another such structure supposedly built for God. But its dedication reads: To the glory of man, with the greater glory of God. Here it is straight from the horse's mouth, their official website:
On September 14, 1980, Dr. Schuller dedicated the Cathedral "To the Glory of Man for the Greater Glory of God."
May I ask: when did Man have any Glory? Perhaps in the Garden of Eden?
Let's look at what God meant when He called us "Adam":
Jesus was wholly led by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is what separated Him from mankind in general. Take away the Holy Spirit and Jesus was just a man; a righteous man to be sure, but a man nonetheless. Jesus in the Psalms acclaimed Himself to be but a "worm" (Psalm 22:6). Should we think any better of ourselves? Jesus was "Conceived" of the Holy Spirit (Mat 1:20; Luke 1:35), then again He received the Holy Spirit at His Baptism (Mat 3:16-17). In my opinion this was not necessary for Jesus as He already had the Holy Spirit from birth. But as Jesus told John the Baptist, it had to be so in order that God could proclaim Him his Son to whom we are to listen; and as an example of what we are to expect (Mat 3:14). This stands true for the temptation as well. Satan and Jesus fully knew Jesus couldn't be tempted, but we need to know we will be tempted in our wilderness (Valley of Death) testing after our Baptism, if we have truly repented and desire to follow Jesus and the leading of the Holy Spirit as Jesus' dedicated disciple (Mark 10:21; Luke 9:23; Mat 4:1; Psalm 23:4; Joel 3:14).
In this day we try our best to keep from having our "wilderness testing and training." We are told that dirty looks are the sufferings we must endure for being a Christian; the cross we must bear. We pray to get ourselves and all others out of their wilderness, to give us all we want and desire, to make us comfortable and happy. We are not content with the "Daily Bread" and "Water of the Holy Spirit" God supplies those in the wilderness. Jesus is trying to get us off our sofa; into the line of fire; out of our comfort zone so He can teach us faith, and obedience, and to learn to love Him in spite of the pain and misery we will bear in our having "come out" of the World and into His loving arms (John 3:5; 4:14; Num 20:8-11; John 15:18-19).
We shouldn't be praying for people to be taken out of their training, but to have the strength to bear it through their journey into the valley.
How many youngsters in the Military beg to be spared their Basic Training? How many mothers and sweethearts would love to not have their sweet child or lover have to endure those 20 mile forced marches or the crawling under live machine gun fire.
But to save them from this experience is to send a lamb into a pack of wolves when that innocent youngster has to go to war and face an enemy who wants nothing more than to see him dead.
Cut the binding cocoon of a caterpillar in effort to free it and you have both robbed it of its freedom, its destiny and its life. That worm that is enduring great hardship and struggle is in the process of becoming one of nature's most beautiful and elegant creatures. Rob it of its struggle and it becomes fit for neither being a worm from which it came, nor for the air for which it is designed.
Prayer should be for the ultimate outcome, not to escape the experience.
I spent three years in the Army, and wanted nothing more than to get out and "begin my life." To be released from my cocoon and be a free man once again.
None of these experiences in the Army were anywhere near "enjoyable," and certainly something anyone would avoid if at all possible. But for me, they were the best possible things I could have been given. I needed them all. And what I learned from those "wilderness experiences" has helped me in countless ways. In fact, I really believe I could not function in society without those experiences.
Would a shorter time have served just as well? Maybe; but I can see how even the very last day of the Army was very important for my being who an am now,
God knows what we need. We only know what we want.
How many people do you know or have read about who found the Lord and became great ministers of His Word through the devastating experience of prison or some other such episode in their life?
Rescue me from either of these? No way! Help me through them if you want to help me. But no rescue!
Tell a man he will have to serve time in prison for doing something he shouldn't, and he is likely to rethink his actions. If he is told he will have to spend a short time, he might consider the punishment worth the price of what he desires to do. Tell him he will have to spend a long time, and he will likely try his best to avoid the punishment. Tell him it means death, and he will run just as far away from his desires as he can.
The Catholic church offers Purgatory. And along with it parishioners are told that maybe someone will pay some penance that will get them out and send them on to heaven.
Our laws say maybe you will have to spend time in prison, if you get caught, and if you can't afford a shyster lawyer whose specialty it is to get you out of what you have gotten yourself in to. This is the "American Way," and it serves very little to distract people from their lustful ways.
The modern churches have even gone farther with the concept of "doing the crime and never having to worry about the time." They have not only obliterated Purgatory, but have hung up signs saying: "You are all saved. Come in and get your coffee and donuts and listen to our band. Don't worry, you will never even realize you are out of the World and in the hands of the Living God." (Heb 1:31)
God presented us the Law. Why did God give Man the Law? Was the Law given in order to keep us from doing wrong? In our society, that is why the law is given, to keep us from doing what is wrong in the eyes of men in high position. But is that the reason God gave us His Laws?
Before the flood there was still but that one Law, which nobody could break because nobody could get to the Tree, though I'm sure every single person would have loved to have a bite of that forbidden fruit, just as everyone lusts after it today.
Man could not sin. There were no laws to break. Breaking the Law is what sin means.
They were living under the condemnation of Adam, remember? They were already condemned (Gen 2:17; 3:19). Certain individuals rose above that condemnation such as Enoch and Noah, and then Abraham.
Abraham? He wasn't before the flood, so how could he be under the same condemnation as the pre-flooders?
The flood washed away all the people, not the condemnation!
Moses and the Israelites also stood under the condemnation of Adam. But they were given something by God, their personal protector, that no one else had. They were given the Law.
If it weren't for the Law, the Israelites would all have had to stand with no hope of Salvation.
By performing the required sacrifices they then became "under the Blood" of the Covenant that God made with the Hebrew children, and that they agreed to follow (Joshua 24:15-17; Ex 4:23; 23:25; Deut 5:27; 26:16-19; Mat 23:41; 27:25). If they obeyed the rules, they would be allowed not only to stay and prosper in the land God provided for them; but they were allowed to remain alive.
Should they break the Law, then all bets were off and they would have to suffer the consequences, which were the same consequences Adam and Eve faced - banishment from God's land, and death (Isa 14:2; Jer 2:7; 16:18; Prov 1:24-31; Lev 26:14-39; Ezek 7:3, 27; 16:59; 39:24).
But they failed in the most important area. They failed in the same way the Scribes and the Pharisees failed and for which Jesus had to reprimand them time and again.
Did the Pharisees obey all the Laws? Oh yes. They not only followed God's laws but made a bunch more that had to be followed which were much more restrictive than the ones God gave them.
And for those man-made laws Jesus condemned them, and ultimately destroyed their Temple that they worshiped over and above even God.
Unlike their fathers, this new breed followed in the footsteps of their leader without arguing and trying to find out what was in it for them, as did their fathers, moaning and groaning because God didn't supply their desires. This was apparently one of God's strongest complaints against the first wave of Israelites - they "Murmured." (Ex 16:7-12).
In the Promised land there was no need for God to provide the basics, that is manna (Joshua 5:12). They were able to acquire on their own more than they would ever need. But in their wilderness experience they received just the bare essentials, their "daily bread" and that is all. And in the Lord's prayer, it is clear that is all we are to expect; and even then, we are supposed to at least ask for it, not just be showered with it (Mat 6:5-15).
(Continued on Part 2)
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