Forever

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Lev.10:8 The LORD then spoke to Aaron, saying,
9 “Do not drink wine or strong drink, neither you nor your sons with you, when you come into the tent of meeting, so that you will not die—it is a perpetual statute throughout your generations—
10 and so as to make a distinction between the holy and the profane, and between the unclean and the clean,
11 and so as to teach the sons of Israel all the statutes which the LORD has spoken to them through Moses.”

“Perpetual statute”

We are now priests of God….why does this not apply to us since it is a perpetual statute?

Lev. 16:34 “Now you shall have this as a permanent statute, to make atonement for the sons of Israel for all their sins once every year.” And just as the LORD had commanded Moses, so he did.”

Believers say Jesus is the atonement…I do too, because I realize that due to the NEW covenant, this PERPETUAL statute is no longer PERPETUAL.

Did God lie and say perpetual when He didn’t really mean it? NO!

Lev. 23:10 “Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘When you enter the land which I am going to give to you and reap its harvest, then you shall bring in the sheaf of the first fruits of your harvest to the priest.
11 ‘He shall wave the sheaf before the LORD for you to be accepted; on the day after the sabbath the priest shall wave it.
12 ‘Now on the day when you wave the sheaf, you shall offer a male lamb one year old without defect for a burnt offering to the LORD.
13 ‘Its grain offering shall then be two-tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil, an offering by fire to the LORD for a soothing aroma, with its drink offering, a fourth of a [fn]hin of wine.
14 ‘Until this same day, until you have brought in the offering of your God, you shall eat neither bread nor roasted grain nor new growth. It is to be a perpetual statute throughout your generations in all your dwelling places.”

Do we wave the sheaf & offer the male lamb…it is a perpetual statute in ALL your dwelling places.

Lev.23:29 “If there is any [fn]person who will not humble himself on this same day, he shall be cut off from his people.
30 “As for any person who does any work on this same day, that person I will destroy from among his people.
31 “You shall do no work at all. It is to be a perpetual statute throughout your generations in all your dwelling places.”

Are we cutting off people who are working on the Sabbath? NO!

Num. 19:20 ‘But the man who is unclean and does not purify himself from uncleanness, that person shall be cut off from the midst of the assembly, because he has defiled the sanctuary of the LORD; the water for impurity has not been sprinkled on him, he is unclean.
21 ‘So it shall be a perpetual statute for them. And he who sprinkles the water for impurity shall wash his clothes, and he who touches the water for impurity shall be unclean until evening.”

Again, are we cutting off people? It’s a perpetual statute.

Here’s the great description of the Word “forever” (olam): http://www.ancient-hebrew.org/27_eternity.html

GOD gets to define & redefine & make new. FAITH is how we please Him. Which takes more faith, not having a list of laws to keep and having to trust that the Person of God is good whether we understand His ways or not OR hanging a list of laws that we can check off.

In theory, we don’t even need a relationship with God to keep His laws. We have the list.

But, there is no substitute for a relationship.

Further, an infant never had a list of sins they broke, they haven’t broken even 1. Yet they are guilty before God. It’s not the list and which sin or how many, it’s our sinful disposition.

That is unfixable by laws, but entirely fixed by relationship.

Another problem with the Law being established “forever”…

Matt. 5:18 “For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not [fn]the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished….

Once heaven & earth pass away & all has been accomplished….then the Law can be done away with. Except, now we’re back at the same problem of that pesky word “forever.”

God said His word stands forever, his word is his law, and once all has been fulfilled & heaven & earth pass away (which we KNOW will happen Scripturally), now jots & tittles can fall away?

The truth is that our American or Western understanding of the word forever is permanent irregardless of time & space, or eternal. But a Hebrew writer using the word forever (olam) would be meaning this: beyond the knowable or foreseeable future, not implying eternal at all.

Again, God gets to define eternal; not us. So maybe we should examine what’s in Scripture as it really is and not as we would hope it to be. Test everything…

Required for What?

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I hear a lot of 119 Ministries followers say that the Law is required for all believers. My question is, required for what?

For Salvation?
For Rewards?
To please God?
To be counted as righteous?
For a good life?

For Salvation? I haven’t heard anybody who ascribes to following the Law (as a Christian) who believes this. So we are on the same page biblically in this regard. Whew!

For rewards? Now this, I have heard a lot about. And this is how it’s told: we obey the Law out of our deep love for God. But when we obey, we are told we will receive future rewards, future crowns, & present blessings.

Up to this point, Scripture supports this. However, by the time you tack on “required” regarding the Law, you have taken what was a love relationship & made it into an employer-employee relationship. No longer is the focus on the object of your love. Now it is on the requirements and the rewards upon *achieving* (key word) those requirements.

As soon as Salvation is begun at the foot of the cross, where we brought nothing & have received Jesus’ grace & righteousness, we stand up and start achieving suddenly? It’s as if God is holding out a bone saying, “Here, come this way. Look at this yummy treat you get if you obey what I demand…” Except, God is not like that. HE wants to be our reward, what we seek, and our portion forever.

Yes, because He is lavish with His love, He gives all kinds of gifts & rewards. But our obedience to the old Law is not a requirement. Faith in Jesus is what produces this.

To please God?
If we do the Law, God is pleased. If we do not keep the Law He is not pleased. It cannot be any other way if we accept the presumption that the Law is required. However, I do not keep the old Law. Many true believers do not keep the old Law. We please God by our faith. Hebrews 11 lists person after person who pleased God through their faith. Interestingly, their deeds were all vastly different. So the deed itself could not be what pleased God. Rather, what was common to each of them was a solid faith & belief in God. So it becomes clear that not in keeping the Law do we please God, but in having faith in Him. That faith gets walked out, not in the Laws we keep but by our loving desire of voluntary obedience to the Person of God in the moment He asks it of us.

To be counted as righteous?
“But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, so that, just as it is written, “Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord.””
-1 Corinthians 1:30-31

“He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”
-2 Corinthians 5:21

The only righteousness we have is the righteousness we receive in the person of Jesus. We cannot produce any righteous acts. Our salvation & our sanctification are both only possible in the person of Jesus. If our post-salvation deeds can produce righteousness, then we do not need Jesus’ righteousness post-salvation. And, further, if we can produce righteous deeds, we add to the righteousness of Jesus, because it is done extra-Jesus or outside of the person of Jesus. That goes entirely counter to Scripture.

For a good life?
This is shallow at best. And naive. Is it Scriptural to believe that if we keep the Law our lives will be filled with peace, joy, & safety? Consider Jesus…he was rejected, betrayed, beaten, and crucified. He kept every Law even in its intent. Consider Paul…if as Law keepers believe, he also kept the Law vigilantly, why did he suffer beatings, imprisonment, slander, and martyrdom? So a good & happy life is not necessarily going to follow precise keeping of the Law. In fact, Scripture assures believers their lives will be rather challenging & stressful. In God’s sum total of the world view He is privy to, every believer’s life is good and for their good. But the good may not be revealed in this lifetime. So, to claim peace & joyful prosperity as a result of fulfilling the requirement of the Law is scripturally inaccurate.

Lastly, if keeping the Law is required for something & you don’t keep the Law, you cannot receive the thing for which you did not keep the requirement. And if you can, then the thing which is required, isn’t a requirement since you can get it without completing the requirement fully. For example, if you must complete a driving test & submit ID & pay a fee in order to receive a drivers license, those three things are requirements having to be fulfilled. They are not optional. If you don’t do those things, you get no license. If however, you don’t do those things and you still receive your license anyway, then those things cannot not be truly required.

In light of this, if we cannot completely keep the requirements of the Law after salvation, we cannot receive what we would if we could. However, if grace covers the mistakes and sins, then the requirements do not have to be met in order to receive anything. And they cease to be real requirements if, in not fulfilling them, you can still receive what you hoped to. Likewise, if grace does not cover the gaps, and the requirements are true requirements, then we can not afford to leave anything undone. And if this is true, we are ALL without hope.

Clean Food? Part II

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Please read “Clean Food? Part I” before this so you can see how the Old & New Testaments work together here.

(The following is something I had already written in a comment on this site.)

When we get to Acts, Peter has a vision about previously unclean foods. He is told to “kill and eat” repeatedly. If this were referring to Gentiles…is he to kill and eat the Gentiles? Emphatically, No! God was not confused about what His vision to Peter was all about. God wouldn’t tempt Peter to sin…James 1:13 “13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone.” The sheet with animals came down & Peter was told not once, but 3 times to kill and eat. The voice from heaven even said in Acts 10:15“What God has cleansed, no longer consider unholy.” If it were not about food, then God was tempting Him. But, we know God does not tempt us to sin, so then we can conclude Satan is tempting Peter. No, because Peter clearly recognized it as the voice of God. So, if there is no tempting, clearly, God was telling Peter, “Kill & eat” because God had truly cleansed the food.

So it is possible then for God to cleanse things that were once ritually unclean or unholy (depending on your translation). And if you need more proof that He can cleanse things that were once unclean, look at yourself. (And I’ll look at myself!!). He cleansed us through Jesus’ blood. It doesn’t say this in scripture, but it’s not impossible…maybe the same blood that makes us clean also cleansed all foods and made them also clean. Again, the WAY God cleansed the food is not told to us in Scripture, but whatever way He did it, you can be sure He did it legally, just as Jesus’ blood legally cleanses us. (i.e. it’s not God being a nice God and saying, that’s okay I forgive you for everything…He settled accounts legally with Jesus’ death. So, I’m sure He also had a way to settle it with the unclean animals, legally.)

Further, Jesus explains even prior to the Acts episode in Mark 7:14-23 that it is not what is outside that defiles a man, rather what come from inside.

Rom. 14:1-3 “1 Now accept the one who is weak in faith, but not for the purpose of passing judgment on his opinions. 2 One person has faith that he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats vegetables only. 3 The one who eats is not to regard with contempt the one who does not eat, and the one who does not eat is not to judge the one who eats, for God has accepted him. “

Clearly this refers to food and goes so far as to say “all”. If it were referring to clean food, it would have said so, because Paul is not known for speaking succinctly. He explains things in detail and goes to extreme measures to be understood.

Gal. 2:11-21 “11 But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. 12 For prior to the coming of certain men from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he began to withdraw and hold himself aloof, fearing the party of the circumcision. 13 The rest of the Jews joined him in hypocrisy, with the result that even Barnabas was carried away by their hypocrisy. 14 But when I saw that they were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas in the presence of all, “If you, being a Jew, live like the Gentiles and not like the Jews, how is it that you compel the Gentiles to live like Jews?
15 “We are Jews by nature and not sinners from among the Gentiles; 16 nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified. 17 But if, while seeking to be justified in Christ, we ourselves have also been found sinners, is Christ then a minister of sin? May it never be! 18 For if I rebuild what I have once destroyed, I prove myself to be a transgressor. 19 For through the Law I died to the Law, so that I might live to God. 20 I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. 21 I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly.”

This passage has LOTS of important things in it. First, we see Cephas (Peter) eating with the Gentiles. What were they eating? You can be sure it was something against the Law because Paul addressed the Law. If was merely that he was eating WITH uncircumcised company, then that would be a custom of the Jews, not a Law. However, if he was eating whatever they were eating, now he would be indeed living like a Gentile, as Paul had said he was.

I want to quote this same passage again because it’s important…Paul said, (v.14) “If you, being a Jew, live like the Gentiles and not like the Jews, how is it that you compel the Gentiles to live like Jews?”

I’ve already talked about Peter living like a Gentile. If you still believe it is in regard to Peter simply eating WITH Gentiles, not WHAT he was eating, he’s how you can be sure…

The second portion of that verse says, “how is it that you compel the Gentiles to live like Jews?” Obviously, Gentiles would NOT no longer eat WITH Gentiles…they are one. They were being compelled by Peter to no longer eat “unclean” foods and possibly to wash ceremoniously before hand, so Peter would look good to his fellow Jews and not get flack from them.

Paul did not call him guilty of living like a Gentile; instead, he called him guilty of “rebuilding what [he] had once destroyed” and “prove[-ing himself] to be a transgressor”. v. 18.

Now, what did Cephas once destroy? Living under the Law. And if he again rebuilt that by suddenly living under the Law which he had just not been living under, he proves he is a transgressor of that law.

How strange that Paul did not condemn him for destroying the Law. Rather, he condemned him for trying to rebuild it.

Col. 2:16-17 “16 Therefore no one is to act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day— 17 things which are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ. “

In this passage, we see that the food & drink regulations, festivals, new moons, & Sabbaths are shadows. Shadows are not real, they are a non-descript outline of what the real thing is, i.e. Jesus. These things had value until now, when we now have something NEW. The reason we have the NEW is because of JESUS who has brought the real, who IS the real.

Eph 2: 11-22″ 11 Therefore remember that formerly you, the Gentiles in the flesh, who are called “Uncircumcision” by the so-called “Circumcision,” which is performed in the flesh by human hands— 12 remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, 15 by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace, 16 and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity. 17 AND HE CAME AND PREACHED PEACE TO YOU WHO WERE FAR AWAY, AND PEACE TO THOSE WHO WERE NEAR; 18 for through Him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father. 19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, 21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, 22 in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.”

Jesus abolished in His flesh the enmity between Jews & Gentiles. What is that exactly? The Law of commandments. But that’s not all, his put to death that enmity, the Law. Not just setting it aside or doing away with it. He put it to death (v.16). But that, too, is not all! He did this to ESTABLISH something.

Before I go further. Contrast this whole idea with what Law-Keepers believe. Please understand that I say “believe”. Believing it doesn’t make it true. People who believe that a Christ-follower must keep the law believe that when Jesus said in Matthew 5:17 “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill,” the word “fulfill” means”establish”, not satisfy or complete.

But as Paul explains the legality of what happened on the cross, we see that Jesus indeed did NOT come to abolish the Law at all. I.e., He did not come to set it aside or throw it out per say. In His life He fulfilled the requirements of the Law perfectly. In His death, He fulfilled the requirements of the Law perfectly for all mankind, once & for all. If in Matt. 5:17, Jesus had come to abolish the law, He would have been free to live outside of the Law and not abide by it. He didn’t do this, as we know.

However, in His death, He fulfilled it to death. So to speak. It was so fulfilled that is was no longer able to be used. It is an old wineskin that has burst and can no longer hold anything. In the death of His flesh, He abolished the Law. He did not establish it. But, back to what I said before, He did ESTABLISH something.

What is that? Peace. Eph. 2:15 “15 by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace, “

He ESTABLISHED peace by making both groups in Himself into one NEW man! Not putting both groups into the old wineskin…it’s burst and cannot hold the NEW!

So, all this is to explain how, although God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, He chooses in His wisdom what He qualifies as sin. In the garden, they ate no meat. Later, He gave them every moving thing. Later still, He amended the every moving thing to ensure good hygiene & teach the concept of holiness. In Acts, because of Jesus’ fulfillment of the Law and subsequent death, the ordinances are dead.

Not that there is no longer any sin. However, the ordinances are the Old. Jesus has brought both Jews & Gentiles together into something NEW. We now have a totally new way to approach God (through Jesus) and we have a new way to understand sin, the indwelling Holy Spirit.

As such, as believers, we have become members of a new covenant totally dependent on Jesus’ blood and accomplishment on the cross. We no longer have a list of old laws, we have the laws written on our hearts and interpreted to us by the Holy Spirit.

That is how for you, pork may be entirely offensive. To me, it may be a legitimate food which God has purified. Both are acceptable to God.

And for now, that is enough food for thought, pardon the pun. :)

Clean Food? Part I

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First, God gave mankind & animals only plants & fruit as food.

Gen. 1:29-30 “29 Then God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you; 30 and to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the sky and to every thing that moves on the earth which has life, I have given every green plant for food”; and it was so.”

Although Abel tended sheep, we only see him using the sheep as a burnt offering to God. Nothing suggest they ate the sheep. Further, Noah is told in Gen. 6:21 to “Take every kind of food that you will need. Store it away. It will be food for you and for them [animals on the ark].” This indicates that the only acceptable food was still plant-based. God instructs Noah to bring 7 pairs of “clean” animals, which looking backward from Moses, seems to indicate clean for eating. But in just examining the text, the clean animals were used for a sacrifice immediately after exiting the ark. So it makes more sense & is in better keeping with Abel’s use of sheep, that at this point, clean animals were not for human consumption, but for sacrificing to God.

Immediately after the clean animal sacrifice from Noah, God clearly gives Noah & everyone after him every moving thing for food. God even goes so far as to add it to what He already gave them, “the green plants.”

Gen. 9:3-4 “3 Every moving thing that is alive shall be food for you; I give all to you, as I gave the green plant. 4 Only you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood.”

It’s important to note that He gives every moving thing. Not just clean. If it were just clean, He would have said just as He said pre-flood to bring 7 pairs of the clean & 1 pair of all others. He made a point to distinguish clean & unclean to Noah pre-flood; if it were intended in the food allowed, He would have said it here even more so.

Later, in Leviticus 10-11, God gives new laws that specify some animals as clean & edible and others as unclean & inedible. And the unclean animals can make unclean anyone or anything it even touches, except for a spring of flowing water. A small clue is given at the beginning of Lev. 10. God’s first words were that there are a lot of animals that live on the land. The more time had passed from Noah, the more animals had populated the earth, the more predator-prey activity, the more blood spilled, the more disease bred and passed among the animals. Perhaps this & the new wilderness conditions the Hebrews were then living in caused God to enact these new laws. Additionally, He gives other clues saying for the people to set themselves apart & be holy & clean like He is.

There are two beautiful parts to this. One is very practical. God is teaching them to be civilized & have good hygiene for their health. However, He is also teaching them about His nature: that He is holy and clean. He is using something so practical & physical in nature to demonstrate His God-attributes.

It was only at the time of Abel’s sacrifice that people began to worship God. By the time of Noah, ALL people except those on the ark were entirely wicked and godless. So by the time of Moses, we see God having chosen a people who were nothing and now He begins to train them up to teach them in very externally prescribed ways how to behave in their new community along with slowly teaching them who He is. Because at this point in time, God is very much unknown. There is very little history or prophecy as yet to show mankind who He is. He is yet a vague, widely unknown God, rarely sought after. So His use of external food laws to teach himself as holy is beautiful.

By the time we get to Acts, we see an entirely different world in place. The main parts of the world have become more orderly by governments. Cultures have been established where people have a sense of right & wrong (not necessarily Biblically so), instead of complete anarchy & wickedness & disorder as in Noah’s day. Similarly, instead of the baby people-group of Israel just coming out of captivity in Egypt under Moses, where they were suddenly on their own and unsure how or what to do, the cultures in Acts has society are older & established. Hundreds of years of prophecy, law, and history of God’s interaction with people are largely known and studied. Who God is is no longer vague. He’s painted a picture of Himself over time and history.

Jesus has come, died, and been buried & resurrected. From what I read in Scripture, a new covenant has been put into place. Here in Acts, the old food laws are suddenly displaced.

The Word

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When the Word of The Lord came to a prophet, is it then for every believer?

Isaiah 13 says the message given is about the destruction of Babylon. Do we have a hard time accepting that this prophecy, given by God, contained within the Scriptures of God, isn’t prophetically declaring our destruction? Why then do we have such a hard time accepting that the Law given to Moses for the Israelites, was FOR the Israelites?

Because we have been grafted into Israel? Actually, the point at which are grafted in is Abraham (not Moses) and it is regarding a promise, not the Law (read Romans 11 and Galatians 3 carefully).

For those wanting all believers to follow Law & Torah, I often see Scripture quoted and everywhere the word “Word” is, the word “Law” has been put instead. And often the word “Torah” also.

Are you really sure that Rev. 22:
7 “Look, I am coming soon! Blessed are those who obey the words of prophecy written in this book.” (The book of Revelation is neither Law nor Torah) is not also the “Word” of God included in the following verses?

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:1

For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires. Heb. 4:12

But the word of the Lord remains forever. And that word is the Good News that was preached to you.
1 Pet. 1:25

God can mean whatever He wants when He says “Word”.

Sometimes it’s Law, other times Torah, other times prophecy, other times the Good News as in 1 Pet. 1:25, and sometimes anything that passes from the heart or mouth of God. And even other times it is a Person.

To focus on the Law & Torah is to intellectualize a Person…God is entirely bigger than our best guess of Him and that is why the great buildup of the initial coming of Jesus is so exceptional and huge. Trying to cram God and our response to Him into the Law & Torah is like trying to cram all His glory into a suitcase…you’ll only fit a tiny bit into it and miss the whole beautiful, unending, inscrutable Person of Him.

My instructions for living come from the living Spirit of Jesus within me who mediates my relationship with my Father and guides me through the Scriptures which He enlivens. The whole of the Old Testament contains many instructions for living, many of which are written on my heart by the living Spirit who teaches and personalized them to whatever wickedness is embedded in my personal heart and trains me toward righteousness.

Maybe others feel comfortable making assumptions about “Word”. I do not. “Word” means what God wants it to mean, not what I or anyone prefers. I won’t claim to have the wisdom or intellect to sort it out, but I do boast in the power and intellect of the Holy Spirit to teach me the mind of Christ as I live through Him.

1 Corinthians 2
Paul’s Message of Wisdom

1When I first came to you, dear brothers and sisters,[j] I didn’t use lofty words and impressive wisdom to tell you God’s secret plan.[k] 2For I decided that while I was with you I would forget everything except Jesus Christ, the One who was crucified. 3I came to you in weakness–timid and trembling. 4And my message and my preaching were very plain. Rather than using clever and persuasive speeches, I relied only on the power of the Holy Spirit. 5I did this so you would trust not in human wisdom but in the power of God.
6Yet when I am among mature believers, I do speak with words of wisdom, but not the kind of wisdom that belongs to this world or to the rulers of this world, who are soon forgotten. 7No, the wisdom we speak of is the mystery of God[l]–His plan that was previously hidden, even though He made it for our ultimate glory before the world began. 8But the rulers of this world have not understood it; if they had, they would not have crucified our glorious Lord. 9That is what the Scriptures mean when they say,

“No eye has seen, no ear has heard,
and no mind has imagined
what God has prepared
for those who love Him.”[m]

10But[n] it was to us that God revealed these things by His Spirit. For His Spirit searches out everything and shows us God’s deep secrets. 11No one can know a person’s thoughts except that person’s own spirit, and no one can know God’s thoughts except God’s own Spirit. 12And we have received God’s Spirit (not the world’s spirit), so we can know the wonderful things God has freely given us.
13When we tell you these things, we do not use words that come from human wisdom. Instead, we speak words given to us by the Spirit, using the Spirit’s words to explain spiritual truths.[o] 14But people who aren’t spiritual[p] can’t receive these truths from God’s Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them and they can’t understand it, for only those who are spiritual can understand what the Spirit means. 15Those who are spiritual can evaluate all things, but they themselves cannot be evaluated by others. 16For,

“Who can know the Lord’s thoughts?
Who knows enough to teach Him?”[q]

But we understand these things, for we have the mind of Christ.

God Changes the Law

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God changes the Law at times.

At first, God tells all the Israelites they will be His priests. (Ex.19:5-6) Soon after, the people make a golden calf and only the tribe of Levi agrees to stand with Moses for the Lord.

Through Moses, God set up a priesthood to operate exclusively under the tribe of Levi and it was done in conjunction with the Law.

After having established Levites as priests perpetually, fast forward to Jesus as explained in Hebrews 7. Now via an oath, God suddenly breaks through this perpetuality and starts a new & final priesthood with Jesus being the High Priest forever. He changes the Law.

“Now if perfection was through the Levitical priesthood (for on the basis of it the people received the Law), what further need was there for another priest to arise according to the order of Melchizedek, and not be designated according to the order of Aaron? For when the priesthood is changed, of necessity there takes place a change of law also.”
-Hebrews 7:11-12

No longer is this according to the Law, where only Levites can be priests. This is according to some external-to-the-Law oath. God is clearly above the Law, not equal to it. And as indicated in the text below, AFTER the Law, as in post-Law.

“For the Law appoints men as high priests who are weak, but the word of the oath, which came after the Law, appoints a Son, made perfect forever.”
-Hebrews 7:28

Galatians, Galatians!

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“Why then the law? It was added because of transgressions, until the offspring should come to whom the promise had been made, and it was put in place through angels by an intermediary. Now an intermediary implies more than one, but God is one. Is the law then contrary to the promises of God? Certainly not! For if a law had been given that could give life, then righteousness would indeed be by the law. But the Scripture imprisoned everything under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed. So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.”
-Galatians 3:19-29

The Law was ADDED, not always existent. The Law was TEMPORARY, added because of sin and until Jesus came. The Law prior to Jesus was meant as a guardian to keep hold on us until it was time for Jesus at which time faith would be enacted and law would be done with. This scripture clearly and definitively expresses an after-Law time indicated and initiated or culminated by the coming of Jesus. Like it or don’t, but it is clear.

New or Renewed?

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Kainos, Greek word meaning new or unprecedented

2 Cor. 5:17 “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.”

Rev. 21:1 “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away…”

Rev. 3:12 “….the new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven…”

Heb. 8:8. “Finding fault with them, He says, “BEHOLD, DAYS ARE COMING, SAYS THE LORD, WHEN I WILL EFFECT A NEW COVENANT…NOT LIKE THE COVENANT WHICH I MADE WITH THEIR FATHERS ON THE DAY WHEN I TOOK THEM BY THE HAND TO LEAD THEM OUT OF THE LAND OF EGYPT…”

Some teach that when Jesus spoke of a new covenant as in Luke 22:20b, “…This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood,” that He meant renewed, similar to a new moon. The moon never actually goes away, it simply renews itself each month. They need it to mean renewed to nullify the idea that Jesus was somehow doing away with the old covenant. If Jesus were doing away with the old covenant, then that would mean the terms of the old covenant were no longer guaranteed and likewise the requirements of fulfilling the covenant were also subject to change.

If Jesus were renewing the old covenant, then we are all subject to fulfilling its requirements.

However, the Greek word kainos is always used to mean brand new. Or else we are only renewed creatures with renewed things having come, there is coming only a renewed heaven & renewed earth, and only a renewed Jerusalem. Other uses would mean putting renewed wine in renewed wineskins (yuck!), Jesus was laid in a renewed tomb. In Mark 1:27, it would read, “What is this? A renewed teaching with authority! He commands even unclean spirits, and they obey Him.”

It doesn’t fit in any instances. Even the Greek word for renewing as used in biblical sense means renovation, complete change for the better.

Finally, even the prophet Jeremiah before Jesus was even born, spoke of this special new covenant. The word used in Hebrew in this case is chadash. Surely it means renewed? Nope. It means new, fresh. And in other Hebrew passages it would have to say a renewed king over Egypt, renewed grain offering, renewed wife, renewed ropes to bind Sampson, and singing renewed songs, to name a few. But, it doesn’t.

There is simply no getting around the fact that Jesus said and meant “New” and all the implications therein. We must read what Scripture says, not what we want it to say.

The Day God Hated His Appointed Feasts

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Isaiah1:11 “What are your multiplied sacrifices to Me?”
Says the LORD.
“I [a]have had enough of burnt offerings of rams
And the fat of fed cattle;
And I take no pleasure in the blood of bulls, lambs or goats.
12 “When you come to appear before Me,
Who requires [b]of you this trampling of My courts?
13 “Bring your worthless offerings no longer,
Incense is an abomination to Me.
New moon and sabbath, the calling of assemblies—
I cannot endure iniquity and the solemn assembly.
14 “I hate your new moon festivals and your appointed feasts,
They have become a burden to Me;
I am weary of bearing them. “

If God requires people to keep Sabbath and keep festivals, He certainly is changing it up here in Isaiah. “Hate”is a strong word for something supposedly necessary and sacred to God.

But looking at it from a New Covenant perspective, we see that He does not require it. He is after the heart and He always was. It’s not about keeping festivals and Sabbaths; if it were, He would be pleased with Judah in this passage. Instead, He’s disgusted with them. The only explanation for this is their hearts were far from Him and it made everything they did, even keeping tenets of the law, undesirable.

Even more interestingly, sacrifices didn’t make it any better. In vs. 11, God says He’s tired of the sacrifices. What kind of God is this that demands all this and then when it is given is still not satisfied or pleased?

It is the God who isn’t appeased by trinkets and the superficial. He is after intimate communion with whosoever will believe. It will never be enough to complete the Law. We must rely on the Holy Spirit to teach us what it means to please God. We believers have laws written on our hearts where the requirements are not easily defined or measured.

The beauty of the new covenant is that we have the Holy Spirit to teach us in the moment what is required for the moment. God wants a relationship, Father to child, Groom to bride, King to servant, God to a holy people…levels upon levels of depth and ways of relating. He is so far above and unreachable. That is why He came to us and became God-with-us.

The Law wasn’t getting deep enough. It only dealt with externals. He has always longed and hoped it would lead to internals. That is why He was tired & disgusted with Judah…they were not relating to Him; they were throwing Him a bone, thinking it was required. And if He were requiring it, He would have been thrilled with that bone. But He hated it instead, longing for His people to long for Him.

In summary, Judah was keeping the Sabbath, the feasts, and giving sacrifices for sins, but it didn’t count at all. It didn’t satisfy God. It wasn’t enough. It wasn’t even desired by God. It was even hated by God. It’s not about which Law you keep…It’s about whether you are obedient from your heart to the law written on your heart by the circumcising finger of God and taught to your heart by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. That is the place where your works are either pleasing or not and that is where freedom in Christ begins.

Nothing is required, yet because of the overwhelming gratefulness and love we have for Him because of who He is and what He has begun in us, we seek actively to do everything He nudges us to do thru the Holy Spirit. Must we, from God’s perspective? Legally, no. Must we, from my heart crying “Abba Father”? My response is “I will do anything, be anything, go anywhere because I have been bought by blood”. But the legal requirement, exoskeleton Law has been removed, completed, fulfilled, wineskin burst by Jesus’ death.

The law of Love has changed everything. And for the better!

Cursed, But Covered by Grace?

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119 Ministries Quotes are in BLUE.  Mine are in BLACK.

“I will attempt to show that this apathy and emptiness is a result of the practices of the modern church which are in direct contradiction with scripture, and as a result; the Church is reaping a Curse.” -from Blessed or Cursed?

“By adopting a “grace only” doctrine, the church has forsaken the warnings throughout scripture and is
reaping the curse.” -from Blessed or Cursed?

CONTRADICTS

“Y’shua dying on the cross abolished the curse that resulted from our disobedience to God’s law.” -from Grace, Faith and Obedience – How Do They All Work Together?

“When we keep God’s law, we still receive the blessings as originally prescribed, but not the curse of the second death when we fail. When we fail, it is covered under grace through the work on the cross. When we are obedient, we still receive the blessings.” -from Grace, Faith, and Obedience – How Do They All Work Together?

The Church is reaping a curse, but in the midst of her failure, she is covered by grace and the curse is no longer valid? Hmmm.  You cannot have the curse abolished by Jesus and yet have it still applicable under the Law.

Test Everything!