“In the Old Testament we had the law and in the New Testament we have grace, no more law.” Right? Isn’t that the common teaching? Let’s see what the Law, the Prophets, and the Lord have to say about that. Firstly, whatever the Law says is said by the Lawgiver Who describes Himself by His law, and secondly, whatever the Prophets say is said by the One by Whom the prophets are sent and Whom the prophets represent.
What?! Grace in the Old Testament?
Of course, we speak of TRUE prophets of which there are rare few in the midst of a world infested with false prophets who come in the Lord’s Name misrepresenting the Lord for their own gain of one kind or another. We also receive the testimony of the Lord by the Scriptures that He never changes but is always the same, contrary to the testimony of the black-hearts “whose feet go down to death, whose steps take hold on Hell. Lest you should ponder the path of life, their (her) ways are moveable, that you cannot know them” (Proverbs 5:5-6). Their continual testimony throughout the ages is that “things they are a-changing” so this or that testimony of the Lord no longer applies. Very convenient.
Continuing appropriately with the following verses for this writing and the reader’s admonition:
“Hear me now therefore, O you children, and don’t depart from the words of my mouth. Remove your way far from them (her…the false body of Christ, the strange woman, the Harlot, the false prophets), and don’t come near the door of their (her) house: lest you give your honor to others, and your years to the cruel: lest strangers be filled with your wealth; and your labors be in the house of a stranger; and you mourn at the last, when your flesh and your body are consumed, and say, How have I hated instruction, and my heart despised reproof; and have not obeyed the voice of my teachers, nor inclined my ear to them that instructed me! I was almost in all evil in the midst of the congregation and assembly” (Proverbs 5:7-14).
“But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord” (Genesis 6:8). What?! Grace in the Old Testament? And that as soon Genesis six yet?! Wait one minute, here! Maybe I have a “Per” version of the Bible. Check yours out, people, will you?
“Damn it, Victor, must you now mess with our lives, tampering with a perfectly convenient doctrine by using some obscure verses taken out of context? What have we to do with you? Leave us alone to our own destructives and mind your own business! Many intelligent and well-educated Biblical scholars with masters and doctorates have intensely studied and figured things out ages before you ever came on the scene. Who are you to start messing with the Scriptures, the things of God and our minds?”
To this I reply, “Be careful of what you are so sure of and of what you damn. Yes, the doctrine you have held is perfectly convenient for lawlessness and for your destruction, and you won’t escape the judgment of God believing it and doing your own thing. I will not stop with one or two verses, and as touching obscurity, some of those verses chosen are only obscure to those who are ignorant of the Scriptures and of the ways of the Lord. If you will not listen, then you have nothing to do with me nor I with you and I shall have no choice but to leave you to your destructives, but it is my business to speak these things forth because the Heavenly Father has given me to do so, therefore I AM minding my business.
Grace was always there. Grace is.
As for the great scholars, it was the same who crucified the Lord and who persecute Him today in His servants even as their fathers did in the Lord’s day and in the days of the prophets before that. Why did they do so? Because He was the Light and they walked in darkness. So then how can those who walk in darkness love or know anything of the Light?
Nor do I mess with the Scriptures nor with the things of God. Rather I bring forth the truth for the sakes of those who will believe. And as to your minds, your mess seems as order and the introduction of Godly order to your thinking and understanding will appear to be the mess. But repent, receive the truth and you will be made free because it is the will of God that such should be so.”
Grace was always there. Grace is. It was gracious of God to create the Heavens and the Earth and to set on Earth the Garden of Eden. It was gracious of God to create man in His image, to set him in that garden, to put him to sleep and to give him a wife. When Adam and Eve fell, it was grace at work, covering them with skins.
Notice, Adam and Eve peeped not a word of confession of disobedience nor was there any indication of repentance, yet God covered them. Yes, He thrust them out of the Garden but He did not end them then and there. And, it was the grace of God to put a flaming sword to guard the Tree of Life lest Adam and Eve should partake of it in their state and live forever. Again, by grace, Eve was given Abel who worshipped the Lord in spirit and in truth, by faith.
By grace, they began to call upon the Name of the Lord in the days of Enos, third generation from Adam, the son of Seth, who was the third born of Adam. Do you really think it was by law or by the righteousness of men that they began to call on the Name of the Lord? There is absolutely no basis for such a thought! Think again. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” says the Scripture. That included Enos and all those men with him (Genesis 4:26). And it was by grace that Enoch, seventh from Adam, walked with God, not by any works or righteousness of his own.
It was grace that Noah, tenth from Adam, found in the eyes of God, and by grace, Shem was chosen in prophecy to father the future generations wherein Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and so many others would come, and they by grace. Was it not grace upon Jacob who was chosen above the firstborn, Esau, to receive the birthright and the blessing? The testimony of the Scriptures is clear that Jacob was an unrighteous fellow, a supplanter, a liar, a conniver who was chosen strictly by election of God and not by any works of his own (Romans 9:10-16).
There cannot be law without grace or grace without law.
Grace was ever there, with Joseph, with his undeserving, murderous, incestuous, fornicating, lying brothers, with Moses (what, you think Moses took “Personnel Management at M.I.T.?), with Gideon (what, you think Gideon went to Westpoint and finished with terrorist training camps?), with Samson (what, you think Samson went to a body-building gym?), with Samuel (what, you think he was born a genius?), his mother who couldn’t bear without the grace of God (what, you think they had fertility drugs in those days?), with all the kings of Israel, with David, who performed mighty deeds, who was forgiven for murder and adultery, etc., etc., down to Mary who, by grace, as a virgin, gave birth to none other than the Son of God. By grace was Saul of Tarsus saved and all those ever saved. Grace was there, and grace is here. Grace has been, is, and always will be. Without the grace of God, there would never be anything.
But the Law was also then, even before it was ever given at Mt. Sinai. Were Adam and Eve permitted to wander over the face of the earth where they wished and to do as they pleased? No, but they were placed in the garden, to dress and to keep it. Were they not forbidden to eat of the Tree of Knowledge? Was not Abraham required to circumcise his sons, servants and himself? Was not Moses, before he even returned to Egypt, required to circumcise? Is that not law…”thou shalt and thou shalt not?” And was there not consequence for disobedience? Yes, the law was there too, along with the reward for obedience and the penalty or consequence for disobedience. The law is here today.
When lawlessness flourished in the days of Noah, God determined to wipe it all away and a very scarce 8 souls were spared. These were commanded certain things, to build an ark with very “legalistic” specifications, to gather all living things in certain numbers, clean and unclean, and to enter the ark at a certain time. Law, law, law! But Noah and his household were given the privilege and honor of keeping these laws because Noah had found grace in the eyes of the Lord! I say to you now, there cannot be law without grace and there is no such thing as grace without law. The two are one though two, and two though one. Which came first? Neither. They are both of the very nature of God.
Where is the confusion then? Does it not say that the law was given by Moses and that grace and truth came by Jesus Christ (John 1:17)? Surely! But not at all does John say what people are supposing him to say. Oh, how we read into the Scriptures, wresting them to our destruction, listening to man who would do anything to be free of the law of God, that being the essence of sin! Did not Jesus say, “Don’t think that I’ve come to do away with the law…I’ve come to fulfill it. Till Heaven and Earth pass away, not a jot nor tittle of the law will pass away until all is fulfilled” (Matthew 5:17-18)?
Now I ask you: Have Heaven and Earth passed away yet? If not, then neither has the law, not one tiny microscopic portion of it. Then how is it that there are, as at all other times (lawlessness is nothing new, is it?), those who say there is no more law, there is no more need to keep the law; law applied way back when but not here, not now, not to us? Did not Jesus say that some would come to Him in the last day saying, “Lord, receive us, we prophesied, we cast out devils, we did great works in Your Name” and He would reply to them, “Depart from Me, you that work iniquity (you who do not keep the law…the word ‘iniquity’ meaning ‘lawlessness’)?”
Do we not see laws in force after the life of Christ in the flesh in the gospels?
Continuing what Jesus said in Matthew: “Whoever 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.” Are we talking during some Old Testament “dispensation of the law”? No, we are talking KINGDOM now, the very place where the denouncers and deny-ers of the law declare there is no place nor no more need for the law. And lest these should say, “Yes, but Jesus was talking while yet in the Old Testament law dispensation which would be in effect until He died on the cross, doing away with the law,” I ask again: Were Heaven and Earth done away at the cross, whether generally or for you personally?
And do we not see laws in force after the life of Christ in the flesh in the gospels? In Acts, were not people given all sorts of instructions? The disciples were told by the Lord to wait in Jerusalem, Peter at Pentecost told the people to repent and to be baptized, Peter and the apostles instructed the people to appoint certain to wait on tables concerning the widows, Peter commanded that Cornelius and his household be baptized in the Name of the Lord, Paul told Timothy and Titus what to do and told them to tell others what to do, and James and the elders commanded the Gentile converts to abstain from pollutions of idols, from fornication, from things strangled and from blood.
Now an interesting statement follows here in Acts 15:21: “For Moses of old time has in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every sabbath.” In other words, “All we require of you at the moment, given your newness of life in Christ, is that you tend to these rather serious matters but as you grow and are able to embrace the many other things of God and of the law of God, you can go to the synagogues and learn more on sabbath days.” They did not do away with Moses nor with the law.
Speaking of Moses, did he become redundant at some point? Was he “old hat”? If so, how is it he appeared with Jesus at the mount of transfiguration, counselling together about a matter no less than the most important one we know of, the death of our Lord at Jerusalem? So many “theologians” and “Bible scholars” say Moses represented the law and Elijah the prophets. Wasn’t Moses a prophet? In fact, Deuteronomy 34:10 says, “And there arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face…” If anyone represented the prophets, it ought to be Moses.
Or the wise of this world say, “Moses represented the law and Elijah grace.” If so, was Moses replaced by Elijah, or overshadowed by him? No, he was there in glory, side by side with him. And did not the writer of Hebrews declare that Moses had been faithful? What does it mean to be faithful but to be of faith, believing? Is not faith a gift? Is it not by grace that we all, not only Moses, receive this gift?
Law and grace, goodness and severity. Where would we be without law?!
Modern day “gracers” would soon contradict themselves, swiftly showing themselves utterly void of grace, and stone Moses if he were to appear on the scene, though they would garnish his tomb while he was departed, if he had a tomb, which he doesn’t, by the grace of God. But I tell you, Moses IS here today, one with the present brethren of and in the Lord, and they do stone him in the brethren while praising him in his past.
But how is it that Elijah could represent grace, having been in the Old Testament, if that period was a period of law only, a man who took a sword and beheaded 450 prominent citizens of Israel in one event? Does that sound like grace to you? But oh, so many contradictions from those who speak their own minds and not the mind of the Lord! Yet it was grace when those prophets of Baal were destroyed, maybe not for them but for the people of Israel. God demonstrated His will, His power, His glory that day for their sakes, as rarely before or after.
Law and grace, goodness and severity. Where would we be without law?! And how is it that John, in Revelation, speaks of those saints who had gotten the victory as singing THE SONG OF MOSES and of THE LAMB (law and grace?), saying, “Great and marvellous are Your works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are Your ways, King of saints…” (Revelation 15:3)? If Moses was glorified by the ministration of the law, how is it that God should keep his glory while man takes it away? Is it not because man would cast away the law from himself, and therefore Moses with it?
Murderers, you choose your iniquities, and it is understandable therefore, that you should kill your neighbor. Yes, you say you honor Moses, but in your lawless spirits, you kill him, even as did the Pharisees who claimed to honor the prophets of old yet they persecuted those who were in their presence, those united in spirit with the prophets of old.
Jude testifies of these “defenders of grace” saying to the brethren that they should “earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered to the saints. For,” he says, “there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the GRACE of our God INTO LASCIVIOUSNESS (lust), and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Let us go to the very end of not only the New Testament but to the yet future time spoken of in the end of the New Testament, the Book of Revelation, chapter 22. Verse 14 says, “Blessed 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.”
Your grace will be exposed for the lawlessness it is.
What commandments? Both His personal instructions and His general laws of conduct toward God and man. There cannot be one without the other. What city? The city of God, of course, the New Jerusalem. For without are who? The lawbreakers, the iniquitous…sorcerers, whoremongers, murderers, idolaters, liars… John then writes, “If any man shall add to these things, God shall add to him the plagues that are written in this book: and if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.”
Whether John refers only to the Book of Revelation or whether there is a double meaning here to include the whole Bible doesn’t matter one whit. The fact is that the Bible speaks of the law of God and the Book of Revelation is “bone of Its bone and flesh of Its flesh.” Do away with the law, you fornicators and adulterers, cast it far from you, speak the words of your hearts, saying of the Lord and of His anointed, “Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.” See where it will get you, but allow me to tell you in advance, (though perhaps not so well in advance as you may suppose), where it will get you, you who think you are “saved.”
John says, “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone: which is the second death” (Revelation 21:8).
But no! This doesn’t apply to you who are under grace now, does it? In Christ you are free, saved, washed in His blood, no longer under the law, atoned for, sanctified, anointed, blessed, called, chosen, eternally secure. We’ll see your supposed grace and the fruit of that grace in the end. I tell you, your grace will be exposed for the lawlessness it is, a phony cloak to justify your evil deeds which you masquerade as service to and worship of God. You think to mock God but He will yet mock you and you’ll know it when He does, just like He knows it when you mock HIM.
Now, what laws would they eventually keep and not keep? Truly, there were some of each. There was no longer need for ceremonial, ritualistic, sacrificial laws. Those “shadows” were fulfilled in Christ and in the chosen in Christ, including circumcision which was a token of the circumcision of the heart where the spiritual seed (the Word of God and the word of the new creature) comes from. But will you tell me that the moral law was then of no effect? In Christ, a man is made free from the law but what law? From the law of SIN AND DEATH (Romans 8:2), not from the law of God as delivered on tablets to Moses.
It is the carnal who say we are free from the law of God. The law being spiritual, the carnal man hates it and opposes it with vehemence, but the spiritual man loves the law. To him it is life. “Oh, how I love Your law!” the psalmist exclaimed (Psalm 119:97)…under inspiration of the Spirit of God. How was he able to do so? By grace! By grace he praised the Lord and loved the law! By grace he understood the value of the law. All of Psalm 119 extols, magnifies and praises the law of God, recognizing that the law was “health to his navel” (Proverbs 3:1-8) and that the keeping of it was highly profitable.
When Paul preached, all he had was the Old Testament.
“Old Testament! Old Testament!” the lawless cry. Are you aware that when Paul preached in the New Testament, all he had was the Old Testament from which to preach? Are you aware that most of the New Testament is either direct quotation or an exposition of the Old Testament? Do you not realize that the Old Testament was what Jesus was referring to when He said to the Jews, “Search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have life and they are they which testify of Me”?
Is Psalm 1 only for the Old Testament people? Only the self-destructive fool concludes so. But what does it say?
“Blessed is the man… (whose) delight is in the Law of the Lord; and in His Law does he meditate both day and night….”
It also says, “The ungodly are not so, but are like the chaff which the wind drives away.” If Psalm 1 is only for Jews of old and days long gone, why do the religious read it? Why does one gain comfort from the Psalms? Why does the New Testament quote from the Psalms if they are no longer relevant?
Many are aware of these words in Proverbs: “Where there is no vision, the people perish…” but few pay attention to the rest of that verse: “…but he that keeps Your Law, happy is he” (Proverbs 29:18).
Psalm 119 is full of Law. The longest psalm of all is about God’s precious and holy Law.
How could anything testify of the one and only begotten Son of God, the One “full of grace and truth” without having the substance? Such would not be a true witness or do God justice. But it is the Word of God, no less, and of that same Old Testament Paul said to Timothy, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). So many professing believers like to quote this one too, not stopping to consider that while they think it speaks of the New Testament, it really speaks of the Old at that time.
They also deny the law while quoting this Scripture that declares that ALL Scripture (including the law) is profitable, not for ideas, or suggestions, or explanations, but for doctrine, reproof, correction, for instruction in righteousness… What righteousness? The righteousness which is by faith and not by the law, of course. And to what end? “That the man of God MAY BE PERFECT, THOROUGHLY FURNISHED UNTO ALL GOOD WORKS!” Are we perfected by the law? Partly, yes. By grace? Partly, yes. By faith? Partly, yes. By obedience? Partly, yes. None of these are dispensable in the salvation of any soul. So it is. Jesus said, “He that has My commandments and keeps them, he it is that loves me…”
And may I add James’ words as well: “But will you know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Do you see how faith wrought with his works, and by works was FAITH MADE PERFECT? And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed to him for righteousness: and he was called the FRIEND OF GOD. You see then how that BY WORKS A MAN IS JUSTIFIED, AND NOT BY FAITH ONLY” (James 2:20-24)? So then, are we also perfected by works? According to James, yes, works growing out of genuine faith.
Grace is the favor or power to have or to do or to be something outside of oneself.
Luther is famous for the doctrine of justification by faith alone. He is reported to declare or at least suspect the Book of James as not inspired by God and therefore not Scripture because of things James said concerning faith and works. He, later in life, also viciously attacked and persecuted the Jews who, though enemies concerning the gospel, are nevertheless the beloved for the fathers’ sakes. The “Lutherans” also indulged in military means to the death against other groups of “non-Lutherans” even as the Catholic Church persecuted non-Catholics. Luther also continued with the abominable Mass, infant baptism and other doctrines and rituals that are clearly works, many of error in and of themselves. Let us not look to Luther but to God for our guidance.
What is grace? Grace is the favor or power given to have or to do or to be something outside of oneself. When Paul speaks of no longer being under the law, he was saying that the carnal man cannot hope to keep the law anymore than one can peruse the stars with a microscope, harvest grain with a wristwatch, see with an elbow. The man is carnal and the law is spiritual, the two being diametrically opposed natures or essences.
But when Jesus Christ raises one from the dead and makes him a new creature…then the law not only CAN be kept, or MUST be kept, but IS kept, just like a pig can squeal, a dog can bark or a man can breath. Indeed, when normal, these can do nothing. It is in their very natures, requiring no effort and impossible to subdue short of incapacitation or destruction. Grace does not do away with the law but enables man to keep the law. Being able to keep the law, he is no longer threatened nor burdened by it. He, being now OF rather than UNDER the law, no longer hates but loves it. It is his nature, his life.
“Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path” the psalmist says. Throughout that Psalm (119), constant reference is made to the Lord’s words, testimonies, laws, commandments, ordinances, judgments, precepts and statutes as one and the same. He expresses an intense, reverential love and awe for these. He has learned the eternal value of the laws of God and by them, His relationship to God. If he lacked vision, he found it in the keeping of the law and no longer perished (Proverbs 29:18).
I look around me and everywhere I see perishing, perishing, perishing. People are suffering every kind of hardship and trouble imaginable. Why? Because they lack vision. They do not keep the testimonies, statutes, ordinances, precepts, judgments, commandments, laws of God. They will not be told what to do. They will not be corrected by anyone, especially a man, which excludes ALL correction because, if they will not be corrected by man, neither will they be corrected by God.
God grants grace that they be law-loving citizens of the Kingdom of God.
God sent men, came as a man, again sent men in His Name and will not be seen by any man who does not say in absolute commitment of the heart, soul, mind and strength, “Blessed is he that comes in the Name of the Lord.” Men coming in their own name they receive; charlatans coming in the Name of the Lord, they receive; imposters coming in some other god’s name, they receive.
But when the Lord comes, they reject Him. Why? He comes as a thief, with clouds, without observation, in earthen vessels, in the weakness and infirmity of His servants, His prepared messengers (prepared by Him in “wilderness” and not by men in seminaries and Bible schools), clothed in foolishness, obscurity, without provable credentials or commendations of men, speaking unpalatable truth, calling on the hearers to repent, convincing them of sin they never knew they had or won’t hear of sin they know they have.
It is to true prophets that the perishing say, “We know better! We see! WE will teach YOU! We’ll be damned before we will listen to the likes of you! We’re looking for heroes, people who ‘love,’ people like ourselves, not dreamers and self-appointed messiahs who can do nothing but criticize, criticize, criticize!” But wisdom is justified of her children and God grants grace to such as should be saved, that they be law-abiding, law-loving citizens of the Kingdom of God to His glory, forever and ever.
Paul says that “the law is GOOD if it be used lawfully, knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane..” (1 Timothy 1:8-11). The problem is that the so-called “saved” don’t see themselves as being in the category of those in need of the law. On the contrary, they are the “righteous.” And do the righteous do as they please? Do they not stop to wonder about those of whom the Lord Jesus speaks, those who thought themselves sure to be serving none other than Him by prophecy, exorcisms, gifts, great works, prayer, fasting, alms, witnessing, Bible teaching, etc.?
Why is it always the other guy that is the guilty one but we ourselves are never the possible ones of whom the Lord is speaking? I have often wondered, “How do I know I’m not one of those, thinking I’m righteous, only to be rudely surprised one day?” I have often examined myself to see whether I am in the faith, not because I believe I can go in and out moment by moment or day by day as some think they can, but because I have wanted to be sure that I serve the Lord and not my own vain imaginations.
But there are many who refuse to examine themselves and if they happen to do so, they refuse to look at themselves too closely. Why? They do not wish to give up their independence, their right to themselves which is no right at all. They are quite unwilling to die, to be crucified unto the world. They insist on living. So they go on deceiving themselves and others, justifying the flesh, sugar-coating their personalities (their images) and their deeds, ever dishonest and hiding, ever learning and never coming to a knowledge of the truth though they know every movement and doctrine that has ever hit the “Christian” street for generations.
They cast away every good thing so that there is nothing left but FREEDOM.
Sporting themselves without fear, empty clouds without rain, empty wells without water, they speak great swelling words, seeking the glory and praise of men, defiling everything they touch, subverting their hearers, desiring to be teachers of the very law they hate. They beguile unstable souls by tickling their ears with sensational doctrines, even true doctrines interpreted carnally and decorated to tantalize those who seek such, as an escape from their real world in which the Lord has put them to face up to and in which to look to Him. All this they do in the Name of the Lord, in the Name of “the latest moves and revelations of God which nobody has known in history until now.”
Filthy dreamers these are, defiling both flesh and spirit, presuming to be saviors, making souls children of hell worse than they are themselves (one wonders if such can be possible). They cast away and rationalize around every good thing that exists so that there is nothing left but FREEDOM, FREEDOM, FREEDOM…freedom from man, freedom from doctrine, freedom from control, freedom from God Himself. “I’m free, free, free,” they declare from the housetops, “and I want you to be free too! Hear these new revelations that the church systems are keeping from you! Man, you’ve never run into anything as spiritually advanced and free as me, me, me!”
Bastards despise government, dominion, the yoke of Christ, casting it off as the works and designs of men, or, they don’t care what it is. And truly there have been many works of men, many yokes imposed unrighteously, many laws decreed by carnal kingdom builders in the Name of the Lord. “Concerning the works of men, by the Word of Your lips I have kept me from the paths of the destroyer” says the psalmist.
Indeed there have been many bondages placed upon men in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, but does that mean that the real is not there, almost identical in appearance? Does not the counterfeit prove and not disprove the existence of the genuine, else there would be no counterfeit? But seducers will grow worse and worse and the deceived are just as bad as the deceivers. Both are liars and wicked. It takes a liar to be deceived by lies; deep calls unto deep; blind guides lead the blind and both fall into the ditch, not only the deceivers but the deceived, because both are deserving of same.
Human nature is not changed by keeping laws but we do not dispense with the law because it doesn’t change nature. Law wasn’t meant to change anybody. It has the following purposes:
1) to reveal the nature and will of God,
2) to expose lawlessness, and
3) to constrain the lawless.
Why are laws needed? To control! Now there’s a hateful word for the lawless!
By the law I know my sin. Without the law, I am ignorant of my need before God. By the law I am acquainted with the character of God, that He is so high above me and that I can never have fellowship with Him until I am like Him. But the part that men hate most and fight tooth and nail against concerning the law is that the law is dispensed as a restraining force, as a tutor in the interim until man comes to have his change wherein he is no longer lawless. The law changes nobody but it must be there until the change comes. Neither does that change come entirely at conversion. The conversion from the world to the Lord is only the first step.
Why are laws needed? To control! Now there’s a hateful word for the lawless! Control! How hideous! How ungodly and awful! Law is given by God, not to change one but to control, to tutor one until that one grows up in grace to BE the law of GOD, AS A TESTIMONY AND WITNESS TO THE NATIONS, THE WORLD.
One of the problems is that the moment a lawless man is converted, he thinks himself to be mature, God’s man of the hour, full of grace, free of law or need of teaching. Salvation does not begin with an almost total absence of pride and unrighteousness, but of humility and righteousness. Notice: salvation has just begun, not just ended. Mostly pride resides there, and the process of salvation (it is a process) begins the purging of that pride to the eventual exposure of that man of sin, that “soul man,” the son of perdition who thinks himself righteous, holy and the very image or essence of God, whom God finally destroys once and for all.
I could let my son eat what and how he wished, go to bed when he wished, wash, brush his teeth, dress, go to school, play however and whenever he wished. Do you think I would be rewarded with that approach by a mature, unselfish, disciplined, accomplished, young man by the age of 20 or 30? It won’t happen. He must be taught right from wrong, and not only so, but told what to do, how, when, where, with whom, to whom and often though not always, why.
Without law, without that discipline at the hands of parents who were given to him for that very purpose, he would be a rotten mess as a human being by physical adulthood. Sadly and tragically, there are many out there exactly like that because they had foolish parents with foolish ideas of emancipation, of freedom, freedom of expression and thought, thinking they were on the cutting edge of modern and revolutionary child-rearing, destined to nurture and produce societal giants, uninhibited and not “traumatized” by do’s and don’ts. They have succeeded. Unfortunately, their offspring are giants in folly and every wicked work including matricide and patricide. A child left to itself is a sure tragedy. “No laws!” the lawless cry, doing away with them, and chaos and anarchy prevail.
As I correct my son in his schoolwork, for example, while at first he is unable to do that which is right, and chafes at what is required of him, soon, if he and I both persist, he is found to be able to do that which is right and productive, without my “laws.”
The fulfillment of the Law is grace.
“I will run the way of Your commandments, when YOU SHALL ENLARGE MY HEART” (Psalm 119:32) and, “Give me understanding, and I shall keep Your law; yes, I shall observe it with my whole heart” (v 34).
Grace is the fulfillment of the law. Was not Jesus full of grace and truth? Did not Jesus say that He came to fulfill the law? The fulfillment of the law is grace. When my son has been given the ability to do that which he was once unable to do by himself, he has entered into grace. So with us. By obedience to the Lord through faith, we enter into our reward, even as did Abraham when he obeyed, offering up his only son. Without the law, there would have been no grace! Without grace, there would have been no need for the law! Law and grace are two sides of the same coin.
My detractors have told me that I am a mixture of law and grace, that God hates mixture. Yes, I am a mixture of law and grace, and yes, God hates mixture, yet not all mixtures because there are good mixtures and bad. While the haters of God’s law, the sons of iniquity, or those simply ignorant of the Lord and His ways shun the law, thinking it irrelevant to grace and in opposite nature to it, I tell you today that law and grace go together as nose and face; one without the other is tragic. I am thankful to be such a mixture if so I am. By the mercy of God and by His grace, I have His law in my inward parts and live it in my outward parts, teaching others to be the same.
The spiritual is no different than the physical which the Lord has given us to learn of the more and all-important spiritual. Consider the examples the Lord took from the physical to teach the spiritual. Laws are there, for us, for the good of all, for the lawless to be restrained, disciplined, taught, converted to usefulness and fruitfulness in the sight of both God and man.
Salvation does not come by the works of the law but the works of the law do come by salvation and, the two work hand in hand. What did Paul, the preacher of grace, say? “Do we then make void the law through faith? GOD FORBID: yes, we ESTABLISH the law” (Romans 3:31).
While we are not saved BY the law in and of itself, neither are we saved FROM it. The law is not an enemy or something vile or detrimental, to be refused or discarded as soon as possible as some would believe. The law of God has never been, I repeat, HAS NEVER BEEN HARMFUL TO ANYONE AT ANY TIME. Only the wicked have considered the law of God to be an evil, even if they grudgingly consider it to be a necessary evil. Yes, the letter kills, and it was meant to. Without the death of the carnal man, there is no life.
“Blessed are the undefiled in the Way, who walk in the Law of the Lord.”
Men die to the flesh, the world and the devil through obedience. “By faith” yes, the Hebrews writer, says, but he says, “By faith they did thus-and-so.” Faith was always followed by obedience to the Lord in matters He required of them. Abraham went through a series of obediences to God and was perfected in faith which was accounted to him for righteousness.
What were the first words of faith by Saul of Tarsus when the Lord converted him? “What WOULD YOU HAVE ME TO DO, LORD?” And the Lord told him what to do. These were words born out of faith, followed with obedience. CAN THERE BE OBEDIENCE WITHOUT LAW?
And what does another writer of God say? “Blessed is the man that doesn’t walk in the counsel of the ungodly (those propagating evil laws or non-laws or lawlessness), nor stands in the way of sinners (breakers of the law), nor sits in the seat of the scornful (of the Lord, His Lordship, His righteousness and His law). But his delight is in…THE LAW OF THE LORD; and in His LAW does he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he does shall prosper.
“The ungodly (lawless, those that do iniquity) are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind drives away. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment (where determination is made of either the keeping of or the breaking of the law), nor sinners (law breakers) in the congregation of the righteous (those who say with the psalmist, “O, how I love Your law!”). For the Lord knows the WAY of the righteous (Blessed are the undefiled in the WAY, who walk IN THE LAW OF THE LORD…Psalm 119:1): but the way of the ungodly shall perish” (Psalm 1).
The Law is holy and good, as God. But there are those who perceive God to be this mushy person who drools, smiles, hugs, caresses, whispers sweet words, pities, praises, and gives wonderful feelings. This same god is the god, I would say, of the vast majority of those who profess to be born again, even of those who deny they perceive God in such a way. They worship another Jesus.
They worship Ashtoreth (Astarte, Easter), the goddess of love, prosperity and fertility, in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and don’t know it. Many have been “saved,” with genuine experience (genuine in experience though not in true salvation) by another gospel. The same gods that were worshipped in the Old Testament…Ashtoreth, Baal, and others are being worshipped today. Another gospel is being preached out there, a misrepresentation of the Lord, His will, His ways. Indeed, there is mixture of truth and error, false doctrine and true, and such mixtures does the Lord hate as He would dung on a dinner plate with vegetables, however beautifully arranged and dressed. And beautifully arranged and dressed the mixture is, so that many are deceived but by the LAW and grace of God, given so that one may know to discern between good and evil, true and false.
What of the soppy image of God? “Behold the goodness and severity of God.”
Did not the psalmist say, “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed thereto according to Your Word. With my whole heart have I sought You: O let me not wander from Your commandments” (Psalms 119:9-10)? And, “Your testimonies also are my delight and my COUNSELLORS” (v. 24) and, “Remove from me the way of lying: and grant me Your LAW GRACIOUSLY (law and grace)” (v. 29)! and, “You through Your commandments have made me wiser than my enemies: for they are ever with me” (v. 98) and, “You are near, O Lord; and all Your commandments are truth” (v. 151) (His Word is Truth, His commandments are His Word and they are Truth…God’s laws are truth) and, “Lord, I have hoped for Your salvation, and done Your commandments” (v.166) (see how salvation is tied in with the Law of God), and, “I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek Your servant; for I do not forget Your commandments” (Psalm 119:176). CAN THERE BE OBEDIENCE WITHOUT COMMANDMENTS?
And what of this soppy image of God? Does not Paul say, “Behold…the goodness and severity of God” (Romans 11:22)? Does he not say, “Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men,” in reference to one day having to appear before the judgment seat of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:10-11)? Does not Isaiah speak of the Lord’s anointed as one who “will magnify the law, and make it honorable”?
And did the Lord call Ananias and Sapphira to repentance, pleading with them, giving them a chance to repent, in keeping with this mushy character imposed upon Him by wishful thinkers who think to escape the judgment of God, or did He get a little stronger than that? Read it in Acts 5. I do know by experience, with chagrin and remorse, yet finally, thankfulness, that the Lord can get hard indeed, and that seemingly without warning, but the warnings are always there, always.
Why do carnal men choose the soppy image of God? Because He comes to exercise His Lordship, His Kingship of the Kingdom. Now a kingdom has a king ruling. To have a king, there is need of subjects to rule. To rule, there must be certain requirements or laws and these must be instituted and enforced by the ruler, otherwise there is no rule but only chaos and anarchy. What is lordship or kingship but rulership? And what is rulership but direction and control by laws and principles?
They conjure up a god without Law who allows them to do as they please.
If the rulership is good and beneficent, the laws and principles will be good, fair, just and profitable for all concerned, regardless of how they may be esteemed by the ruled. But the wicked, not desiring any law, depict a soppy God, saying, “He is kind; He overlooks evils; He understands; He is compassionate; He knows our frame; He would never do us any harm; He would never ever send the sword, famine, pestilence or wild beast; He is good; He is forgiving; He never speaks harshly but always gently to His beloved children.” And of course, many of these things are true, but misapplied, they conjure up in their minds a permissive god, a god without law who would allow them to do as they please. Thus they erase all accountability from their consciences, destroying themselves.
“Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty” my enemies quote, speaking of liberty FROM, not within the law (as Paul meant it), speaking of unbridled lawlessness, iniquity which is disguised as true worship of the Lord. Neither did Paul mean UNDER the law. But again, the psalmist says by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, “And take not the Word of Truth utterly out of my mouth; for I have hoped in Your judgments. So shall I keep Your LAW continually for ever and ever. And I will walk at LIBERTY: for I seek Your precepts” (Psalm 119 v. 43-45). Forever and ever? How long is that?
Yes, the saint of God can say with the psalmist, “The proud have had me greatly in derision: yet have I not declined from Your law” (v. 51) and “Horror has taken hold upon me because of the wicked that forsake Your law.” (v. 53) What is the horror of it? It is twofold: Firstly, there is the lawlessness in itself, but added to that, and worse still is the fact that they do so in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
So they don’t smoke, get drunk, swear, hop in bed with another’s man’s wife or kill (at least not outwardly), read pornography, watch X-rated movies, rob banks, cheat on income tax. And so they do pray every day, give to the poor, witness to others, read their Bibles, “go to church,” help out their neighbors, sing spiritual songs, fast, distribute “Christian” literature, talk about and teach spiritual truths, write papers and tracts, etc., etc. These same people, while having a show of piety and form of godliness, walk in utter lawlessness toward God in motive, doing their own thing except where they perceive it profitable in selfish gain to do otherwise. Have I not given a description of the Pharisees who crucified the Lord? And Jesus said of them, “Except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall in no case enter into the Kingdom of Heaven” (Matthew 5:20).
Wherein is their lawlessness then? It is in their spirits and motivations. Why do they do what they do, be it ever so praiseworthy in outward appearance? To be seen of themselves and of men, for the praise of man, for social benefit, companionship, a sense of self-importance and usefulness, deceiving themselves into thinking they do God a service, thinking they heap up treasure in Heaven. “Pride compasses them about as a chain.”
Wherein is their lawlessness? It is in that they will not lay down this life.
“I am hurting, I am hurting!” said the Lord to me. When asking Him why, He replied, “Because My people are suffering.” “Why are Your people suffering, Lord?”
“Because they don’t obey Me (lawlessness).”
“Why don’t they obey You?”
“Because they choose their own ways (lawlessness).”
“Why do they choose their own ways?”
“Because they lack knowledge.”
Wherein is their lawlessness? It is in that they will not lay down this life. They cling to their independence of God, shunning the yoke of Christ while at the one and same time, claiming revelation and liberty from the yokes of men. They refuse to hear a man of God and they cry, “Delusion! Bondage! Control! Babylon!” thinking they hear from God for themselves but they don’t hear. Their mouths speak great swelling words of pride but ignorance pours out. To the dead they are a savor of life but to the living they have only halitosis. Yet they breathe as if one should enjoy. And there is nothing I can do about it but offer my life to the Lord Who takes it to lay it down for them, not that I offer it of myself, but the Lord does it. So must He do it for them.
What about what Paul has to say to the Galatians about the law? Firstly, he speaks of the whole law given as a teacher, a tutor added because of transgression until the Lord would fulfill the requirement of the law by His sacrifice. The law brings us to the Lord (3:24), we believe, are justified by faith and from there are able to establish the law for the first time. First it establishes us, then we establish it. We are not saved but tutored by it until the work of grace is complete in us. First the shadows, then the essence, which we become, by grace, to give meaning to the shadows.
Secondly, Paul speaks of ceremonial law because in Galatians 2:3, he spoke of Titus and circumcision (not a moral law); in 2:11-14, he spoke of Peter’s hypocrisy and eating/not eating with Gentiles (not a moral matter – though it is); in 4:9-11, he speaks of the observations of days, months, times and years (not moral law); and in 5:2-4, he refers to circumcision, again not a moral law. But go on to verse 5:6 and he says, “For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision avails anything, nor uncircumcision; but FAITH which works BY LOVE.”
When a scribe responded to Jesus speaking of how the love of God and neighbor (moral law) was more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices (ceremonial law), Jesus said to him, “You are not far from the Kingdom of God” (Mark 12:28-34). See how the moral law paves the way into the Kingdom and how Jesus and Paul spoke of ceremonial law as not being the ultimate answer.
OBEDIENCE (MORAL LAW) IS BETTER THAN SACRIFICE (CEREMONIAL LAW).
Now what is love? James tells us, in that he says, “If you fulfil the royal law according to the Scripture, You shall love your neighbor as yourself, you do well…” That love is summed up where? In the commandments of God! The LAW of God is LOVE, and that love is a LAW. Did not Jesus say, “A new COMMANDMENT I give you, that you love one another?”
There are many loves. Speaking of two kinds will do for now. There is obedience (an act of the will for the sake of another…Greek word, “agape”). The supreme example here is that of Jesus going to the cross for us. And there is sacrifice (an act of pleasing and profiting one’s self, a response governed by passion, affection, emotion…Greek word “phileo”). The Gentiles love those who love them (phileo) but Christ loves us (acts by His will to do us good…agape) while we hate Him. The Pharisees loved and were zealous in their love.
Faith without works is dead. And works are the keeping of the royal Law, love.
So today do the many who profess Abraham, Moses, and the Lord Jesus Christ even as the Pharisees professed Abraham, Moses, and God. They do much and have a convincing form of godliness, full of love, but it is not the godliness nor is it the love of God Almighty, the Lord Jesus Christ. It is rather the love of the first Adam, the one created in God’s image, fallen to serve himself and his passions, however noble and sacrificial that may look. And there is nothing wrong with “phileo” in itself. The problem arises when it stands in the way of or serves as a substitute for “agape.” It can never take the place of agape nor fulfill the will of God as only can agape.
Can we love without grace? No. Can we keep the royal law in our own strength? No. Can we be righteous in and of ourselves? No. Can we enter the Kingdom by works? No. We enter by “faith which works by love.” Again, James said that faith without works is dead. And the works are the keeping of the royal law, love.
A New Day
When the Son came the first time, Satan tempted Him and He replied, “It is written…” Now the Son comes again in His Day of Glory and Satan comes again but this time it is Satan saying, “It is written…” How so? Because when the Lord came the first time, the law had yet to be fulfilled and He could reply, “It is written…” but now with Jesus’ having fulfilled the law, Satan comes suggesting or insisting that it is not.
Did not Paul say, “All things are lawful to me”? Satan worships the letter even as did his children, the Pharisees, and comes with the letter, quoting it, judging after the outward appearance, condemning, as though the cross never happened or was of no effect. While the law is in force, the cross is null and void and we have no righteousness by faith. Certainly, the works of men, the works of the law, destroy. Satan comes to steal, kill and destroy and he does it ever so religiously, Biblically.
The lawless come and apply the law to those who are lawful in the Lord’s sight, through faith, blameless. But there IS a place for the law, that place being upon the lawless. We have been confused, saying, “The law is valid” while the enemy has said, “It is not valid.” Yet the enemy has applied the law to us and we say, “Invalid,” appearing to contradict ourselves. But the fact is that the law, in its validity, applies not to those in faith, but to them that are lawless not according to the letter, but according to faith. The sons of iniquity apply the law to others but reject it for themselves; neither do they keep the laws, whether by letter or by faith.
“Whosoever is born of God does not commit sin; for his seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God” (1 John 3:9). Sons of faith ARE NOT lawless, by nature, and DO yield their members to righteousness, a righteousness which is through faith and not one by the works of the law.
The goal of the children of faith is the will of God, and not only their goal but their passion. Their passion involves the rule of God (His Kingdom) in their hearts firstly, then in the hearts of all others. The passion of the enemy is to rule rather than be ruled; it is a usurpation of the throne of God. While we use the law for the sake of the Kingdom, the enemy uses it for its own sake.
Sometimes, we go by faith, against the letter, because the Lord is Lord and not the letter, and we obey Him even as did Abraham when he sacrificed his son against the letter of the law of God. Such circumstances are what divide the righteous from the wicked. The wicked can try to go by the letter as do we, but they cannot follow in the realm of faith contrary to the letter. Thus is the enemy exposed.
To walk against the letter according to faith is to lay down the life.
They condemned Jesus for working on the Sabbath, against the letter but according to faith and obedience to the Father. The enemy goes by the letter to impose his rule upon men, not keeping the law himself because incapable, not having faith. Of all the people who needed healing at the pool of Bethesda, Jesus healed only one, and that was a lame man who had a portable bed.
Was it not enough to heal this man? Did He really need to offend the authorities by commanding the healed man to carry his bed on the Sabbath? After all, this man had been lame 38 years! What’s a bed? Leave it! Give it away! Celebrate! But no. He had to take up his bed and walk. He obeyed, and the “letter-righteous” were indignant. Jesus walked where no carnal religious man could go, and so are all those born of the Spirit of God, walking by faith and in obedience. To walk against the letter according to faith is to lay down the life, that being the sign of the Son of man, and the carnal man, as picture-perfect in appearing to be righteous as he can be, will never go where the cross is required. He will excel in the law, and ruthlessly apply it to others, but he will not lay down his life. Indeed, his passion is to preserve it.
The law applies to the dark side, the front side of the cross (front to the enemy, back side to the crucified), to the first Adam, the man of sin, the son of perdition, to the synagogue of Satan. There we appropriately apply the law. But Satan comes, despising the cross, an enemy of the cross (Philippians 3:18), applying the law to the light side, the back side (back side to the enemy but the front side to the resurrected) wherein the law has no more power.
Sons of God apply the law to expose wickedness; the enemy applies the law to condemn righteousness. The children of faith, sons of God, are the law of God fulfilled, while the enemy despises the law of God because he is unfulfilled and the law is unfulfilled in him, and as Cain he walks away, with countenance fallen, setting to destroy those of faith who walk after Abel. We go about seeking to establish the law, the righteousness of God through faith but the enemy goes about rejecting the righteousness of God and establishing his own righteousness by power and might, by the works of the law.
We say, “Not by might, nor by power but by the Spirit of the Lord,” whereas the enemy says, “Not by the Spirit of the Lord but by might and power of the fallen image of the Lord (the carnal man).” The carnal man preserves his life by the works of the law, justifying his existence and status, shunning the cross, whereas we are a demonstration of the sign of the Son of man, laying down our lives, embracing the cross unto the resurrection. We are therefore a savour of death unto the dead. They that say they see are blind, and they that say they live are dead (“You have a name that you live and are dead” – Revelation 3:1).
“Out of Zion shall go forth the Law, and the Word of the Lord from Jerusalem.”
The law of God is wonderful; it is wholesome; it is precious beyond the most precious of things on earth! There is no comparison. So good is it, life of very life!
“The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever: the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them is Your servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward” (Psalm 19:7-11).
Let’s look at what is recorded in Isaiah 2:2-4 and almost identically in Micah 4:1-3. The fulfilment in history of this passage has never been, and many believe it will be fulfilled, but how many take careful consideration of some of its details which I will point out for the purpose of this teaching on law and grace?
“And it shall come to pass in the LAST DAYS, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be ESTABLISHED in the top of the mountains, and shall be EXALTED above the hills; and ALL NATIONS shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths: for OUT OF ZION SHALL GO FORTH THE LAW, and the WORD OF THE LORD from Jerusalem. And He SHALL JUDGE among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, NEITHER SHALL THEY LEARN WAR ANY MORE.”
Now of course there is an argument against anything and I can hear one say, “Yes, that passage speaks of that Day of the Lord when He comes and establishes His Kingdom to usher in a reign of peace, but the law will be for the people over whom the saints rule with the Lord, and not for the saints themselves.” What? Grace for us and not for others? No. And if the objection should be that it is the law of love at that time to be applied, I say that that law is in force now and includes all the law of God. But let me tell you the principle whereby we know where the law is applied or necessary:
THE LAW IS NECESSARY WHEREVER AND WHENEVER THERE IS LAWLESSNESS, PARTICULARLY FOR THE BELIEVER. THE RESTRAINT MUST BE THERE UNTIL THE FULNESS OF REDEMPTION AND THE EFFECT OF GRACE. Then is the law fulfilled.
The Bible has declared that the Law will be kept by those who love the Lord.
What shall then be said to the law-loving and to the lawless who hate the law in the name of grace or any other name? We will quote the Lord as He spoke by Isaiah:
“Hearken to me, you that know righteousness, THE PEOPLE IN WHOSE HEART IS MY LAW; don’t fear the reproach of men, neither be afraid of their revilings. For the moth shall eat them up like a garment, and the worm shall eat them like wool: but My righteousness shall be forever, and my salvation from generation to generation” (Isaiah 51:7-8).
LEGALISM – WHAT IS IT?
Many use this word but when asked, “What is legalism?” they fail to answer. They simply do not know. A typical answer is, “People keeping the law, thinking they’ll go to Heaven that way.” The Bible has amply declared in no uncertain terms that the law must be, will be and is kept by those who love the Lord and who worship Him in spirit and sincerity and truth. And thus they DO “go to Heaven,” (using that expression loosely). Therefore, that answer may be one that should be accepted as good and not bad.
And if it is the correct definition of “legalism,” then legalism is not bad after all but crucially important and holy. But the answer is misleading and is inadequate as a definition of legalism. So what is legalism? Legalism is “trusting in the law itself and in the keeping of it for favor with God, for entering the Kingdom, for being righteous.” While this answer sounds similar, it is not the same. Added to this latter definition, it must be said that the keeping of the law is not only not bad, but imperative.
Legalism is not “keeping the law” but “trusting in the keeping of the law.” One can have the identical appearance between one who lives by faith in God and one who lives by faith in the law. The difference is not in the keeping but in the motive. For example, if I say to myself, “If I keep the ten commandments and all that they infer or entail, God will love me and receive me to Himself.” That is legalism…trusting in the keeping of the law for salvation or acceptance with God.
The rich young ruler considered that he kept all the law, so it isn’t impossible to believe one can. Paul said that his non-Christian days were such that as touching the law, he was blameless! And in the keeping of that law, he was persecuting the Lord Himself. But if I say, “The Lord, He is Lord, and He is my Saviour, and He it is Who enables me to walk in His ways and in His laws,” now I am trusting Him and not the law. I have not cast away the law but I no longer trust in it for my salvation. Outwardly, my former and latter appearances may look the same but in the eyes of God, they are very different. Did not Jesus say to the scribes and Pharisees, “…you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought you to have done, and NOT TO LEAVE THE OTHER UNDONE”?
A False Gospel – A Man and His “Grace” Are Judged
Mr. Green comes poking us regarding the gospel we preach. He says his sole authority is what God says in His Word. Read on and learn from the living, speaking Authority Himself the difference between the false grace and gospel of men and the life-giving truth He intends for you to know and experience.
It’s not right doctrine or the Law that saves us, but the Lord Jesus Christ within, Who makes us a living testimony of both doctrine and the Law. “I tell you, then, that you will be able to enter the Kingdom of Heaven only if you are more faithful than the teachers of the Law and the Pharisees in doing what God requires” (Matthew 5:20 GNB).
The Second Commandment is fulfilled because the First Commandment has been fulfilled. After all, doesn’t everything hinge on loving God with all our hearts and having no other gods before Him?
Another way some express this diabolical doctrine: “We don’t have to worry about keeping God’s Law. That was for the Jews before Christ’s day. They were under the dispensation of Law, but we’re now in the age of Grace.”
Why would the courts and other institutions require that one swear on a Bible, when the very Bible they use expressly commands that one not do so? One cannot so much as make a promise to be virtuous in any way.