FIRST-TRUMP#top..........Sound the alarm in Zion..... ...........................

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. A Priest sounds the alarm on a shofar

 

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SABBATH

(Part 2 of 2)


BRIDES & FRIENDS

The Church is the Bride of Christ. I think most will agree to this (John 3:29-30; Rev 21:2-9; Mat 25:1-5; 2Cor 11:2; Eph 5:21-32; also see 1Cor 7:2-35; Col 2:18-19). The wife is to give hereself to her husband and do all she can to please her husband: "21Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. 22Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 23For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. 24Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. 25Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;" (Eph 5: See also 1Cor 11:3). We are not our own (1Cor 7:23; 6:19-20; Mat 20:28; 1Tim 2:5-6), but we, the bride, have been ransomed. The process of attaining a bride has been, and still is in many cultures, that of a prospective husband purchasing a bride (with a dowry). We see this in the story of Jacob where he served the father 7 years for each of his brides. The Bible tells us we have been ransomed from the bondage of sin (Rom 6:22-23). We have been set free from the law of the world, that of bondage to sin, and are now at liberty to serve the Lord, our new "husband" and Master, Head of the family (Rom 6:7, 17-22; 7:3). We are no longer required to serve out of fear or obligation, but out of love.

Love has no boundaries. We see this in a mother's sacrificial love for her child, even when that child is rebellious and disobedient. We also see this in a loving husband toward his wife. A wife and a husband are not only a family, a body, but they are friends. Can we say then that if the Church is the bride of Christ, that the Apostles were also part of the bride of Christ? "12This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. 13Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. 14Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. 15Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends;" (John 15:)

We see in this passage of Scripture that the Apostles are the friends of Jesus only if they obey His commandments. That's a big if that has been eliminated from today's teachings. We are part of God's family, His bride if you please, if we do what He tells us to do, as a wife is instructed to do with her husband (Eph 5:22).

"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." (John 15:) What if I was to change "friend" to "Bride"? Would that be inappropriate, since we see that the bride is also the friend of Christ? I hope you said "yes," and if so, then what about this passage? "15As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. (John 10:15). And this: "26If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. 27And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple." (Luke 14:)

Now, I think I would be safe in saying that if we are not a disciple of the Lord, we surely are not a friend. And if not a friend, then certainly not part of the bride. And if not part of the bride, not part of the Church the Lord is building for himself (Mat 16:18; Eph 5:27).

Above we see where Jesus, the Bridegroom, gave up everything, even to His own life for His bride. And we, as the bride should be willing to do the same. That's everything, not just a morning in church once a week or a quick prayer over supper. If we, which we supposedly did, promised at our conversion to sacrifice everything to God out of love, and for exchange for eternal life and the avoidance of eternal hell, is it asking too much give up a day a week and do nothing for ourself but spend it in worship, study and maybe even fasting? Not out of law, but out of love, just because God, our Creator, desires it of us? (Mark 2:18-20;

13If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: (Isaiah 58:)

13For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. 14For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. (Gal 5:)


A NOTE ON MEATS

Sabbath observance rarely, if ever, stands alone. Those who observe the Sabbath, and insist that the Sabbath is part of the way to salvation, generally include many other commandments as well. Some, if not all, of these churches add their own commandments not included in the Bible such as clothes to wear, dancing, movies, smoking, and other such "modern" contrivances. Sabbath observers also follow the dictates (all that can be followed in this day and age without the Temple) God established for the Jews of the Old Testament. One of these dictates is that of allowable food to be consumed. In order to have a little clearer understanding of God's will for us today, in this age of the New Testament, I thought perhaps a closer look at one of those strict observances might be helpful. And what is more clearly spelled out in the Bible than that of allowed food for this generation? So below are some passages of Scripture dedicated to the consumption of food, that is, what is still defiled, and what has been cleansed:

1The LORD spake unto Moses and to Aaron, saying unto them, 2Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, These are the beasts which ye shall eat among all the beasts that are on the earth..... 4Nevertheless these shall ye not eat of them that chew the cud, ....8Of their flesh shall ye not eat, and their carcase shall ye not touch; they are unclean to you. [Note, for the sake of space, you can check for yourself what these creatures are, if you're interested.]. 23But all other flying creeping things, which have four feet, shall be an abomination unto you. 24And for these ye shall be unclean: whosoever toucheth the carcase of them shall be unclean until the even [How many gardeners who touch a worm or an aphid while obeying the Sabbath and the abstention from unclean foods do you think do this cleansing and remain in a state of uncleanness until evening do you think?] ..... 32And upon whatsoever any of them, when they are dead, doth fall, it shall be unclean; whether it be any vessel of wood, or raiment, or skin, or sack, whatsoever vessel it be, wherein any work is done, it must be put into water, and it shall be unclean until the even; so it shall be cleansed. 33And every earthen vessel, whereinto any of them falleth, whatsoever is in it shall be unclean; and ye shall break it. 34Of all meat which may be eaten, that on which such water cometh shall be unclean: and all drink that may be drunk in every such vessel shall be unclean. 35And every thing whereupon any part of their carcase falleth shall be unclean; whether it be oven, or ranges for pots, they shall be broken down: for they are unclean, and shall be unclean unto you......41And every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth shall be an abomination; it shall not be eaten. 42Whatsoever goeth upon the belly, and whatsoever goeth upon all four, or whatsoever hath more feet among all creeping things that creep upon the earth, them ye shall not eat; for they are an abomination......45For I am the LORD that bringeth you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy. 46This is the law of the beasts, and of the fowl, and of every living creature that moveth in the waters, and of every creature that creepeth upon the earth: 47To make a difference between the unclean and the clean, and between the beast that may be eaten and the beast that may not be eaten. (Lev 11:)

[There's a whole lot more involved to the law of meats and of other such ordinances than just not eating pork. For myself, I wouldn't want to have to destroy my stove because a dead bug fell on it, yet that's part of the law regarding allowable foods. And consider all the dead bugs on your windshield in the Summer. Does this mean you would have to destroy your car? Now, let's see if there were any changes given to us in the New Testaments. I hope so, don't you?]

9On the morrow, as they went on their journey, and drew nigh unto the city, Peter went up upon the housetop to pray about the sixth hour [See John 19:14; Luke 23:44-46; Mark 15:33-38] 10And he became very hungry, and would have eaten: but while they made ready, he fell into a trance, 11And saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending unto him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth: 12Wherein were all manner of fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air. 13And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat. 14But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean. 15And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common......, 30And Cornelius said, Four days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour [Keep in mind this is the same hours Jesus hung on the cross and was being sacrificed, also, supposedly, the time of the evening sacrifice was being performed in the Temple when the Vail was rent.] I prayed in my house, and, behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing, [See Luke 24:4; Acts 9:3 & Mat 17:2.] 31And said, Cornelius, thy prayer is heard, and thine alms are had in remembrance in the sight of God......34Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: 35But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him. 36The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:).... 21Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself. (Phil 3:)

[Note: The cross reconciled all people unto the Lord, including their customs, making the door open to all nations, not just the Jews any more. The laws given to the Jews were intended to separate them from all people, to make them different, set apart, sanctified. Now all are to be sanctified, tho not separated from one another as we do, but from those of the world who do not wish to be set apart unto God.]

1Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times [See 1John 2:18-19.] some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils [See Eph 4:27; 6:21; Luke 22:3; 2Tim 3:13.]; 2Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; 3Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. 4For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: 5For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer. (1Tim 4:)

12All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient ["Profitable, make good."]: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any [Do you think of the word "habit" when you read these words?]. (1Cor 3:)

8The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing: 9Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience; 10Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation [Reformation means to "thoroughly straighten, rectify." Jesus' purpose was not to do away with the Old Testament, but to fulfill, explain the mysteries therein, and to set the purposes of God on its proper and originally intended path.]. 11But 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; (Heb 9:)

9Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein. (Heb 13:)

23All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient ["Be good, bring together, profitable."]: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not. ["Build up, confirm, embolden."] 24Let no man seek his own, but every man another's wealth [Wealth is not in the original Greek transcripts, that's why it's italicized in the KJ. "Seek another man's good" seems to me to be what is actually being stated here.]. 25Whatsoever is sold in the shambles ["Meat-market, store."], that eat, asking no question for conscience sake: 26For the earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof. 27If any of them that believe not bid you to a feast, and ye be disposed to go; whatsoever is set before you, eat, asking no question for conscience sake. 28But if any man say unto you, This is offered in sacrifice unto idols, eat not for his sake that showed it, and for conscience sake: for the earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof: 29Conscience, I say, not thine own, but of the other: for why is my liberty judged of another man's conscience? 30For if I by grace be a partaker, why am I evil spoken of for that for which I give thanks? 31Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. 32Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God: 33Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved. (1Cor 10:)

[Note: Keeping in mind that all things are lawful to the believer, because the believer is going to do what is right according to his conscience, which is influenced by the Holy Spirit, regardless of the laws of the land or the church. And those who are not believers, who do not have their conscience to guide them, are doomed already, regardless of what laws they obey, what church they attend, or how firmly they believe in the ordinances they follow.

This is the problem with the doctrines that confront us. It is not understood (or examined) the fact that two separate groups are being looked at here and elsewhere in the Word. One is the believer, true believer, who is not under law and can work, has to work because he or she is a believer and guided to work diligently for the causes of Christ and the Church, producing fruit; and the unbeliever who, no matter how much he or she works, doing the very same thing (and more) as the believer, is still under penalty of death because of their unbelief. Belief = work. Unbelief = nothing, regardless of work or not work or anything else. Nothing times everything still equals nothing. Believing equals doing what the Lord says, through the Holy Spirit, or suffer a painful conscience until they've rectified their lost condition. And if they continue their lost condition, they "return to their own vomit again" (2Peter 2:10-22); and are likely to not be brought back to the fold (Heb 6:2-6) and be judged with, and as, an unbeliever (Luke 12:44-46).]

1Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations. 2For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak ["Sick, weak, feeble.], eateth herbs. 3Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him. 4Who 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. 5One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. 6He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks. 7For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself. 8For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord's. 9For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living [See Mat 8:22; 22:32; 1Peter 6:4-6; 3:18-19; 2Peter 2:19-22; Eph 2:4-6; Rom 10:12-14.]. 10But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. 11For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. 12So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God. 13Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother's way. 14I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean. 15But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died. 16Let not then your good be evil spoken of: 17For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. 18For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men. 19Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another. 20For meat destroy not the work of God. All things indeed are pure; but it is evil for that man who eateth with offence. 21It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak. 22Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth. 23And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin. (Rom 14:)

[Note: I think an explanation is in order here (at least in the way I see the above Scriptures). Paul says the Christian who abstains from eating meats or whatever is "weak." We, in our egotistic way, tend to take such a statement and use it as reason to condemn. The reader must keep in mind what Paul's purpose is in this passage. In the very first verse he said to receive the one who chooses to not eat meat, because that person is doing so according to his or her conscience. To violate one's conscience is to be placed in a position of the unbeliever, or at least in line for punishment (Rom 14:22-23; Luke 17:44-48). Paul is saying not to condemn or judge another person according to how they choose to worship God. The condemner is being condemned here, not the one who eats or doesn't eat.

Also, there are different reasons for a person having a restricted diet, many of which, such as health or concern for animal life, are not related to one's religious beliefs. The term "weak" here does not mean the person is weak in faith, but they are not aware that all things are lawful to the believer, and that all food is allowed because God has "cleansed" it. Not understanding this concept is not a sin, just a lack of educational maturity. But condemning and judging is a sin. So be careful of where you choose to stand.

Another cause for weakness, the lack of understanding of God's will, is because of the teachings of the church one attends, placing too much confidence (faith) in what the church says, and not learning for one's self what God is saying. If a person is truly saved, then this weakness is not a concern. But if that person is restricting themself, depriving themself, not to serve God, but because the church says they should (or must), then it's nothing but vain effort, and very likely to do more harm than good because it only feeds the ego, the "I'm right and you're wrong" attitude that Paul here is preaching against.]


SUMMATION:

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. 19Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven. (Mat 5:)

36Master, which is the great commandment in the law? 37Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38This is the first and great commandment. 39And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. (Mat 22:)

One great problem we have when trying to learn about any given subject is that everywhere we go for information we're only given information that supports a particular side of the question at hand. This is fine for those who are desiring to prove themself or their stance to be the right and only one. But one sided information is essentially useless to someone who is trying to find the truth of a matter. Unfortunately too few researchers are looking for truth, so truth becomes lost amongst a myriad of information. Remember how easily a needle is lost in a haystack.

We have examples in the Bible of people who struggle to defend a particular view at any cost. These people were so determined to stamp out any other view, and they were so angry at anyone who opposed their view of the truth that they denied their own awaited Messiah, and turned Him over to their hated enemies for execution. Hate is blinding. And hate makes for strange bedfellows. We see this in the Pharisees, the Sadducees, the Scribes, and the Herodians. These all had denominational walls between them as high as the heavens above. Yet, in order to eliminate a single person who tried to point out truth, they scaled that wall and formed a league against Truth Himself.

It would appear to me, and it has been proven to me through my studies of the Word, that no single law or set of laws is what God is concerned with, certainly not in this Church age. We speak of the Letter of the Law, and the Spirit of the Law. Jesus said:

27And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath: 28Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath. (Mark 2:)

The Sabbath is a law, the law in question in this study.

15And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God. 16The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth ["Force, suffer violence."] into it. 17And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle [Smallest part of a letter, like the dot of an i.] of the law to fail. (Luke 16:)

Some groups of "Christians" like to use the above as evidence that the Law is done away with. Yet at the same time they will cling to the law of the Sabbath and demand that everyone who does not fulfil it in the same way they do is doomed to hell. We can't take one aspect of the law and magnify its importance without accepting all the other laws that accompany it.

1Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. 2Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. 3For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. 4Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace. 5For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. 6For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love. 7Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth? 8This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you. 9A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. 10I have confidence in you through the Lord, that ye will be none otherwise minded: but he that troubleth you shall bear his judgment, whosoever he be. 11And I, brethren, if I yet preach circumcision, why do I yet suffer persecution? then is the offence of the cross ceased. 12I would they were even cut off which trouble you.

13For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, BUT BY LOVE SERVE ONE ANOTHER. 14For ALL THE LAW IS FULFILLED IN ONE WORD, EVEN IN THIS; THOU SHALT LOVE THY NEIGHBOUR AS THYSELF. 15But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another. 16This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. 17For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. 18But IF YE BE LED OF THE SPIRIT, YE ARE NOT UNDER THE LAW. (Gal 5:)

We can't pick and choose what laws we want to follow, and dismiss all the others. Yet this is exactly what is being done. I've even seen in some very well-trafficked web sites where people have added their own sets of laws to that of the Sabbath, such as smoking and drinking and other such activities that aren't mentioned in the Bible, and have placed them in rank right along with the Ten Commandments. This, in my mind, is no different than what the Pharisees were doing, and what Jesus condemned (Mat 15:2-6; Col 2:8; Dan 7:25; Rev 22:18-19; Deut 4:1-6).

8Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. (Col 2:)

1Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, saying, 2Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread. 3But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?..... Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition. 7Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, 8This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. 9But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. 10And he called the multitude, and said unto them, Hear, and understand: 11Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man. (Mat 15:) (See Mat 12:34)

What comes out of a man defiles him. If we're dirty, we're dirty. It doesn't matter if one person is dirty behind the ears, and another has a dirty nose. We're dirty. And if we're dirty, we have to clean ourself up. Trying to make one person's dirt less attractive than our own so we don't have to clean ourselves did not work when we were two, and it certainly is not going to work with the Almighty God.

19Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven. (Mat 5:)

Is your righteousness exceeding that of the Pharisees? Or are you standing with the Pharisees doing the very same thing they were?

9As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. 10If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love. 11These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. 12This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. 13Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. 14Ye are my friends, IF YE DO WHATSOEVER I COMMAND YOU. 15Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you [See John 15:26; 14:25-26]. 16Ye 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. 17These things I command you, that ye love one another. (John 15:)

33Little children, yet a little while I am with you. Ye shall seek me: and as I said unto the Jews, Whither I go, ye cannot come; so now I say to you. 34A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. 35By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. (John 13:)

7Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour. 8Owe no man any thing, BUT TO LOVE ONE ANOTHER: FOR HE THAT LOVETH ANOTHER HATH FULFILLED THE LAW. 9For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; AND IF THERE BE ANY OTHER COMMANDMENT, IT IS BRIEFLY COMPREHENDED IN THIS SAYING, NAMELY, THOU SHALT LOVE THY NEIGHBOUR AS THYSELF. 10Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. (Romans 13:)

13For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. 14For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. (Gal 5:)

The book of Romans is a definitive study on the law, if anyone wishes to really become a Biblical lawyer and/or to fulfil all the laws of Moses. But I think if we look at the last verse of the passage above we will see in capsulated form what the law is all about. And I think if we read the Words of Jesus above, we will see that Jesus and Paul were in complete agreement.

3For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. 4Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace. (Gal 5:)

9But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain (Titus 3:)

14We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. 15Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him. 16Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 17But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? 18My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. 19And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him.

20For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. 21Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. 22And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.

23And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment. 24And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us. (1John 3:)

Whoever hates his brother is a murderer. Now that is a strong statement. And it seems to me that there are a great many murderers in the body of Christ. What do you think the Judgement is going to look like when all these murderers, who wear the name tag of Christian, stand before the Judgement Seat?

8If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well: 9But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors. 10For whosoever shall keep the whole law, AND YET OFFEND IN ONE POINT, HE IS GUILTY OF ALL. 11For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law. 12So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty. 13FOR HE SHALL HAVE JUDGMENT WITHOUT MERCY, THAT HATH SHOWED NO MERCY; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment. (James 2:)

I don't think anyone will argue the fact that it's impossible for us to keep the law, even a part of it, leastwise the entire law. If it were possible, then Jesus wouldn't have had to die on the cross as He did. So, with this in mind, it's quite clear that Paul isn't talking about us keeping the law, but rather he's talking about showing mercy and having respect of persons (which includes respecting ourselves over others). If we show a failure in the area of mercy, then we've broken the entire law. So keeping the Sabbath, or any of the other laws, will do no good if we're not treating others, even our unsaved "neighbors", leastwise those in the church, above how we treat ourself and our closest friend.

Does it ever seem to you that there are a great many people, especially those standing behind the pulpits and on soap boxes who have not read the Bible? Or maybe they just consider themselves exempt from what God has said for one reason or another. How can anyone who has read any of the above verses (and I had a very difficult time deciding which ones to use and which to leave out because there are so many verses saying the very same thing as those listed here) and not realize that they are standing at the gates of hell while they scream out (or whisper) their condemnations? We're to be humble. We know this. How humble is it to look down our noses at those who are serving God, often much more than we ourselves, in the way they feel God has called them to do? Wouldn't it make much more sense to you if they were out on the streets with their arm around a non-believer showing them the Word and winning them to Christ?


CONCLUSION:

2Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men: 3Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart. (2Cor 3:) (See Jer 31:33-34)

22Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth. 23And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin. (Rom 14:)

2For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs. 3Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him. 4Who 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. (Rom 14:)

2I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. 13Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come. 14He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you. (John 16:)

13If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD, honourable; and shalt honour him, NOT DOING THINE OWN WAYS, NOR FINDING THINE OWN PLEASURE, NOR SPEAKING THINE OWN WORDS: 14Then shalt thou delight thyself in the LORD; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it. (Isaiah 58:)

20For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. 21Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. 22And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.  (1John 3:)

It seems to me these last passages of Scripture are the key to the Sabbath. The day is to be set apart for fellowship with the Lord, and to learn of Him. It's not to be for our own pleasure such as TV and computer games. Imagine if every person who wore the name of Christ was to spend a day a week doing nothing but studying the Word and fellowshipping with family and friends. Not fellowship as we know it, talking about our favorite sports or the kids, but in learning from one another what each of our lives are like in the Lord, and helping one another with problems, especially problems that hinder Spiritual growth. This is the purpose of the Sabbath. And if this is not being done, then no matter what day is set aside and called the Sabbath, the Sabbath is not being kept.

Observing the Sabbath, or any other of the laws and commandments, or even suggestions God has given can be summed up in these words: John said "and do those things that are pleasing in his sight." (1John 3:22) In my mind this is the key to everything the Bible, and Jesus is telling us. And it is what we should be striving for. A child, which we all are if we are in fact children of God, who just does what he or she is told, and tries to get out of doing any more, is a frustration to a parent. The child is just trying to ride the fence of acceptability, and has to be told every step of the way where they should go and what they should do. On the other hand, a child who desires to please his or her parent, and is always at the ready to learn what they can do to make their parent happy, out of love, not fear or desire for reward, is a delight to a parent. If we in fact love God, we will diligently search the Scriptures to learn what God wants from us so we can please Him that much more. We will see where we need to sacrifice ourself in order to better serve God. We see this behavior in Jesus, in the Apostles, and in the prophets, as well as in Moses, Abraham, Daniel, and Joseph. The desire to please the Lord should be our motivation for everything we do. If we have that as our motive, then it will be much easier to receive from God what He desires of us. If our desire is to just get by, then our ears will be dull of hearing anything but what seems to serve us in the short run.

Whether God requires that we fulfill the Sabbath in this age of grace should not weigh as heavily as does the question: Is it God's will and delight that we keep His Sabbath? It's very clear from the study verses that God does put great emphasis on His Sabbath. Should we keep the Sabbath if we don't have to? I would say that's up to our conscience and our desire to please God. This being the case, at least as I see it, I will then leave it up to you to decide if you should keep the Sabbath, and just what constitutes the Sabbath. Fair enough?

20Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! 21Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight! 22Woe unto them that are mighty to drink wine, and men of strength to mingle strong drink: 23Which justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him! 24Therefore as the fire devoureth the stubble, and the flame consumeth the chaff, so their root shall be as rottenness, and their blossom shall go up as dust: because they have cast away the law of the LORD of hosts, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel. (Isaiah 5:)

13For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. 14FOR ALL THE LAW IS FULFILLED IN ONE WORD, EVEN IN THIS; THOU SHALT LOVE THY NEIGHBOUR AS THYSELF. (Gal 5:)


ADDENDUM:

Because of the Sabbath being a law, and the conflict around law and grace, I thought I would include a few passages that concern the two in this study. There are essentially two groups of people who would bother with a study this extensive, other to skim it for its highlights. Those two groups are: 1. Those looking for information to prove their beliefs and doctrines; and 2. Those earnestly seeking truth of a matter. I hope those of you reading this, or any of my writings, are of the latter group.

Truth is buried in piles of long-established error and intentional misinformation. This is not only man's devices, that of confusion, but it is one of Satan's most effective tools. Error resides on the surface, brightly lit with flashing signs pointing to it. Truth is an unappealing piece of rock (see Isaiah 53:3) , that after it's been run through the purification process, the refiner's fire, becomes gold. Like fool's gold that is attractive to the eye, but has no value; so apparent and popular truth is useless to its holder, but will satisfy one's desire to know. For a good example of this, consider Solomon, the purported wisest man in the world. In his youth he wrote many famous and popular proverbs, which we still live by today. But in his ancient years, after he had failed to live up to those wise saying he, himself wrote, he discovered that words and wisdom are vain. Wisdom is not in the knowing, but in the doing. So if you want to find truth and wisdom, don't look for something to fill your head, but something that you are willing to follow with your heart and your life. Otherwise you will find nothing but artificial fool's gold.


LAW & GRACE:

12All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any. (1Cor 6:)

23All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not. (1Cor 10:)

7For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second. 8For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah [Consider, this is a New Covenant with the "house of Judah and Israel." Yet we take this New Covenant and apply it to ourselves, the Church. Are we now part of Israel and Judah? Either we are or we're not. We can't pick and choose what we will apply to ourselves and what we'll reject. Food for thought (see Rom 9:6 and Luke 22:20]: 9Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord. 10For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: 11And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. 12For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more. 13In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away. (Heb 8:)

15Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before, 16This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; 17And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. 18Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin. (Heb 10:)

8If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well: 9But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors. 10For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. 11For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law. 12So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty. 13For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath showed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment. (James 2:)

13For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. 14For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. (Gal 5:)

7But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer. 8And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins (1Peter 4:)

19Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; 20Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from THE ERROR OF HIS WAY [Not to some denomination or a way of thinking, but to repentance and a changed life.] shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins. (James 5:)

12Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins. (Prov 10:) [Note: this was known 3,000 years ago. How has it become lost in this age of enlightenment?]

36Master, which is the great commandment in the law? 37Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38This is the first and great commandment. 39And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. (Mat 22:)

2For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word. 3He that killeth an ox is as if he slew a man; he that sacrificeth a lamb, as if he cut off a dog's neck; he that offereth an oblation, as if he offered swine's blood; he that burneth incense, as if he blessed an idol. Yea, they have chosen their own ways, and their soul delighteth in their abominations. 4I also will choose their delusions, and will bring their fears upon them; because when I called, none did answer; when I spake, they did not hear: but they did evil before mine eyes, and chose that in which I delighted not. (Isaiah 66:)

10So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do. (Luke 17:)

4And I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; 5Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws. (Gen 26:)

42For he remembered his holy promise, and Abraham his servant.
43And he brought forth his people with joy, and his chosen with gladness:
44And gave them the lands of the heathen: and they inherited the labour of the people;
45That they might observe his statutes, and keep his laws. Praise ye the LORD. (Psalm 105:)

21Neither shall any priest drink wine, when they enter into the inner court. 22Neither shall they take for their wives a widow, nor her that is put away: but they shall take maidens of the seed of the house of Israel, or a widow that had a priest before. 23And they shall teach my people the difference between the holy and profane, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean. 24And in controversy they shall stand in judgment; and they shall judge it according to my judgments: and they shall keep my laws and my statutes in all mine assemblies; and they shall hallow my sabbaths. (Ezek 44:)

8O Lord, to us belongeth confusion of face, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against thee. 9To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses, though we have rebelled against him; 10Neither have we obeyed the voice of the LORD our God, to walk in his laws, which he set before us by his servants the prophets. 11Yea, all Israel have transgressed thy law, even by departing, that they might not obey thy voice; therefore the curse is poured upon us, and the oath that is written in the law of Moses the servant of God, because we have sinned against him. 12And he hath confirmed his words, which he spake against us, and against our judges that judged us, by bringing upon us a great evil: [Note: The "evil" was then, and always has been, upon God's chosen people who went their own way rather than follow His will. This being the case, what do you suppose the Day of the Lord, given to us in Revelation and the other prophets is going to be about?] for under the whole heaven hath not been done as hath been done upon Jerusalem. 13As it is written in the law of Moses, all this evil is come upon us: yet made we not our prayer before the LORD our God, that we might turn from our iniquities, and understand thy truth. [See Rev 2:21; 9:20-21; 16:9,11] 14Therefore hath the LORD watched upon the evil, and brought it upon us: for the LORD our God is righteous in all his works which he doeth: for we obeyed not his voice (Daniel 9:)

15And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood. 16And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth. 17And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. (Rev 12:)

[Note: Try to forget the fairy tales preached in almost every single church and denomination and try to imagine this for what it is. First, place it where it belongs, not billions of years in the past. The serpant is spreading deceptions (the flood) in the church, minimizing the Word of God, which we see increasingly prevalent in the churches. This is intended to whitewash the true believers. But the "elect," the true followers of Jesus who have sacrificed everything for Him (the woman clothed with the sun) is not buying it. So the Dragon is extremely angry at her. The dragon being cast out of Heaven is not somewhere "up there," but here on earth as the tares and the wolves are no longer being received by the true church. As it stands, true believers are a minority among the huge number of tares and wolves who live under a false doctrine, and believe they are the true church and the real followers are mislead and sinful. (The "broad road and the straight and narrow trail that few find") The earth accepts the flood of lies intended for the true believers, and is "swallowed" hook, line and sinker by the worldly church attenders who are not listening to what God is telling them, but have itchy ears for the things that please them.

I know this doesn't set well with you. So just forget what I've said and read on as if I never said it.]

11And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name. 12Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. (Rev 14:)

14Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. 15For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie. (Rev 22:)

1Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him. 2By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. 3For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments:[What commandments? According to the churches God's commandments no longer exist. And if any should happen to exist, they don't have to be followed to receive the rewards offered to the most faithful of believers. Can't you just imagine how pleased Satan is with such a doctrine?] and his commandments are not grievous. 4For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. 5Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth [All eternity hangs on our understanding of what God means by "belief," and what is taught us by man.] that Jesus is the Son of God? (1John 5:)

5And now I beseech thee, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment unto thee, but that which we had from the beginning, that we love one another. 6And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it. (2John 1:)

20For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. [This verse is used by the churches who preach that it takes nothing to get into Heaven, saying that we can forget our conscience and do whatever we want. I don't read it that way at all, do you? But then, I want to please God rather than have Him please me. I do a lousy job of it, but it is my direction.] 21Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. 22And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.

23And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment. 24And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us. (1John 3:)

14For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come. 15By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name. 16But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased. (Heb 13:)

16For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. 18And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount. (2Peter 1:)

29And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him. (John 8:)

12Therefore also now, saith the LORD, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning: 13And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil. (Joel 2:)


POST SCRIPT

I'm going to share a secret with you. Don't tell anyone. Have you ever wondered why God doesn't speak to us in the same say He did His people in the Old Testament? Isn't it strange that He's gone two thousand years being silent, when this is His age of grace for His chosen people, and after He allowed His only begotten son to die for us? Ever wondered why He's silent?

He's not. He's just as vocal as He ever was, and maybe even more so. But only those who are following the Holy Spirit can hear Him Do you hear Him?

What does God tell you about His laws? Does He say He has obliterated those very laws He worked so hard to institute? Or do you find He expects more of us than He did the Jews of old? Check out this passage of Scripture and tell me if it sounds like Jesus thinks the laws have been done away with, or strengthened:

27Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: 28But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. 29And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. 30And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. (Mat 5:)

Then what's the key? Is it grace we're under? Or is it a heavier law?

God has placed His laws in our heart through the Holy Spirit. Those with the Holy Spirit do not need a law written on stone, because they will follow the law, no matter how little or how strict it is, from the heart. We see this in David, a man after God's own heart.

God has given us liberty to do whatever we please:

4And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage: (Gal 2:)

There's no denying we have liberty and are no longer under bondage, even though there are a number of people who will try their best to place us under bondage once more. But even if we were to follow the law of Moses to the letter, it would still do us no good, because that law is open-ended. It no longer has the means to sanctify us as it did when the Temple stood.

13For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. 14For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. (Gal 5:)

Use not our liberty for our own gain. Yet there are a great number of churches, in fact most of them, that teach just the opposite. They say our liberty is strictly for our own gain. They claim that God loves us so much He wants us to have everything our wicked little heart desires. This pleases our itchy ears, but it does not please God now any more than it did during the time of the Old Testament. God said He does not change. But yet we preach that He has made a complete turnaround and is now facing backwards. Doesn't this give a clue that there is something wrong with our reasoning?

We see the law of love as if it's a new thing, that because of the law of love, the old laws have passed away. Jesus spoke heavily on the importance of love as well. So we assume that love is the fulfillment of all the laws. But Jesus was not instituting a new commandment, although He did say that He was giving the disciples a new commandment in John 13:34, and that is to love one another. But Jesus was saying this all along. He even told the young ruler that to love thy neighbor as thyself is (and has been) the greatest of the commandments since the beginning. And Solomon said this:

12Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins. (Proverbs 10:)

Did you catch that? All sins. So love is not a new commandment taking the place of all the old commandments. What did Jesus mean when He said it was a new commandment? The word used by Jesus comes from the word meaning "fresh." We can easily see that all freshness had left the religion of the day. So isn't it possible Jesus was "refreshing? The idea of love?

We live under grace. You have grace. I have grace. In fact even the unsaved have grace. What does grace mean:

GRACE G5485 charis khar'-ece From G5463; graciousness (as gratifying), of manner or act (abstract or concrete; literal, figurative or spiritual; especially the divine influence upon the heart, and its reflection in the life; including gratitude): - acceptable, benefit, favour, gift, grace (-ious), joy liberality, pleasure, thank (-s, -worthy).

So grace is the divine influence on the heart. Doesn't that remind you of the laws written upon the heart? And it involves our gratitude that is exhibited by our outward behavior. Do your actions show a gratitude for the grace you've been given? It also gives us liberty. What are you doing with the liberty you've been given? What did Jesus say you should do with that liberty and that grace given to you? Did He say we should seek to satisfy our lusts as is so often taught?

37Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38This is the first and great commandment. (Mat 22:)

Is this a new concept?

29But if from thence thou shalt seek the LORD thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul. 30When thou art in tribulation, and all these things are come upon thee, even in the latter days, if thou turn to the LORD thy God, and shalt be obedient unto his voice; 31(For the LORD thy God is a merciful God;) he will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which he sware unto them. (Deut 4:)

No, not a new concept. Jesus was merely saying what God has been saying from the beginning. We are to seek God with every bit of our being.

What does all this mean to us in this day of liberty? Any guesses? How would you like to find out at your judgement that you had been deceived and this life of Spiritual leisure you've been living, under the auspicious and authority of your church, was all wrong?

26His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed: 27Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers [From "bank, meat, table." We might say today to put one's money in the bank for interest, or in stocks and bonds, rather than bury it in earth. Consider that we are earthen vessels. Could Jesus here be meaning not to waste what He has given us on ourselves, but to be building up treasure in Heaven? See Luke 11:13 to see what the valuable gift is He gives us and wants us to develop. Also see Mat 13:8 & Luke 8:8 for further explanation of this passage.], and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury ["Bear, to produce, from a seed, a plant." Remind you of the sower and the seed? Maybe of fruit?]. 28Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents. 29For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. 30And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.[See Rev 3:15-19; John 9:41] (Mat 25:)

How are your teeth? Will they stand up to an eternity of gnashing? No? Then how is your fruit doing? You say you're told you don't have to produce fruit? Is that what the passage above says? Not to me it doesn't

Please take careful note of who is doing the weeping and the gnashing of teeth. Is it the unbelievers? I read that it's the servants who are being judged here, not the already condemned world. How do you read it? See Mat 25:23-33 and see if you will be standing with the sheep or the goats. Then count your gift from the Lord, whatever you might think that to be, and see how you've faired.

So, we are given grace, liberty to make our own decisions. As stated earlier, so are the unsaved. The unsaved have the choice by the liberty, the grace, given to them to remain unsaved, or to become saved. Once a person has chosen to be among the saved, they again have grace. That's right, the Christian lives under grace. What God wants to know is, what are you going to do with that grace that cost Him so much? Are you going to go about living your own life as you did before you were saved and learned the will of the Lord (through your reading of the Bible, and the leading from the Holy Spirit, not through whatever is taught to you by the multitudes of denominations that have opinions like the sand of the sea.); or are you going to turn your life over to Him and serve Him to your fullest?

Why, as a parent, would you allow your very young child to do whatever he pleases? Wouldn't your motive for doing something so apparently reckless as that to learn what he is going to do with that liberty? If the child does well, and does what he's been told, you reward him and you know you can trust him. If he rebels, and refuses to do what you've taught him to do, you have to give him more training, and you know you can't trust him. Eventually, as he ages and becomes out of your control, if you see that he refuses to follow your orders, you have to let him go his own way.

What are you doing with the laws God has put in your heart? Are you ignoring them? Or are you trying to follow them as best you can, and to learn more of what God wants of you, and what pleases him?

That's the secret as it has been given to me. I've shared it with you. Did it do any good? Chances are it didn't, because it's not what you want to hear.

7The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction. (Prov 1:)

10The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever. (Psalm 111:)

5But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him. (Luke 12:)

18And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth. (Rev 11:)

5Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the LORD. (Psalm 4:)

16For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering.

17The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise. (Psalm 51:)

1I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. (Rom 12:)

4To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, 5Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. (1Peter 2:)


BOTTOM LINE

As I see it, in this age of grace, there are no laws regarding the keeping of the Sabbath or any other of the laws and ordinances of the Old Testament. It's up to each of us, according to our own conscience, to decide which, if any of the laws we'll obey and follow. And whatever we decide to do, to do it as unto the Lord.

Correction, there is one law, if it can be called a law, that seems to be emphasized quite strongly, often and even by Jesus. That law is to not judge others, because it's the one doing the judging who is going to find themselves being judged the most harshly.


WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE?

I've said this often enough, but I want to make it especially clear here. It appears to me that there are a lot of people who are telling others how they should live their lives, as if they, themselves have it all together. This is not so with me. I do tell the world what I see in the Word, but I'm a long ways from being able to even begin to live what I preach. So at the judgement, when I'm standing right next to you (if you happen to have not succeeded yourself), don't say "What are you doing here?"

End

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