I WANT TO GO INTO A MESSAGE WE WILL TITLE “LAW V/S GRACE,” BECAUSE THERE IS SO MUCH MISUNDERSTANDING BETWEEN VARIOUS GROUPS WHO RECEIVE OUR MESSAGES. NATURALLY WE GENTILES HAVE NEVER LIVED UNDER THE LAW GIVEN TO MOSES, BUT WE DO HAVE RESPECT FOR IT, KNOWING IT EXPRESSES THE MIND OF GOD AS HE WAS DEALING WITH A PEOPLE WHO WERE STILL LOOKING FORWARD TO A DELIVERER. IT SETS FORTH TYPES POINTING TO THE DELIVERER THAT WAS TO COME AND IT ALLOWS US TO GAIN UNDERSTANDING OF THE WAY GOD LOOKS AT THE THINGS WE DO, SAY AND ALLOW, BECAUSE GOD HIMSELF DOES NOT CHANGE. HIS STANDARD OF RIGHT AND WRONG, AND OF HOLINESS IN THE LIVES OF BELIEVERS REMAINS THE SAME THROUGHOUT ALL TIME. IT IS JUST A MATTER OF WHETHER WE WILLINGLY DO THE THINGS THAT WE KNOW HE IS PLEASED WITH, OR WHETHER WE ARE SUBJECTED TO A LAW THAT FORCES US TO DO THOSE THINGS. THEREFORE I ASK THAT YOU WOULD LISTEN TO, OR READ THE MESSAGE PRAYERFULLY, AND ALLOW THE SPIRIT OF GOD TO DEAL WITH YOUR UNDERSTANDING.
Let me say right at the onset, This is just a symbolic picture, “Law versus Grace.” Down through the ages of time, among the Christian world, many men have risen thinking they had something that was very important. We have had movements like the Seventh Day Adventist’s, even Pentecostal Adventist’s, that hold to certain beliefs about the Law, and as I say these things, I realize this message will eventually find its way among our Jewish friends, so I beg the listener, Please! I realize I am a Gentile, but I do not preach this message trying to belittle, put down, or nullify anything about the Law given to Moses. Also, I want the Jewish believers to know, I am not speaking to find favor with any particular group of people. I leave the results of it in the hands of God. Years ago when I first started preaching, I never thought that one day I would be responsible for a publication that would go to the ends of the earth. Circumstances that I have not had control over have brought this condition about, so I have to believe God has a specific purpose to be accomplished through our publication: Therefore I want the Jewish folks who will listen to this tape, or read the Contender to understand, that this little publication we call, “The Contender,” goes to practically every free nation on the earth. Back in the early 1990’s, it even went into Russia. Outside of China, I do not know of another place that does not receive it, and it even goes right to their doorway, because it goes into Hong Kong and Singapore. I leave all of that up to God. Since there have been so many things through the years of time, negative, and things said about the Law and about Grace, I feel that it is time to try to clear up the picture. It is true, many Jewish people have a misunderstanding about Gentiles: about why they treat the Law like they do. Up to a point, many Jews may feel justified in saying the things about the Gentiles that they say. Nevertheless, let it be known, as I speak this message, that I am trusting God to give me the right words in the right way, in the right spirit of humility, to set the mind of the Jewish listener at ease. I am not preaching this message to tear down the Law: I have quite the opposite reason. I am preaching this message to let you know, there is a difference between what the Law was and what Grace is. It is true, the Law came by Moses (You will find that in the writings of John.) but Grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. You will also find that in the writings of John. Remember, my Jewish friends and listeners, that the first people on God’s green earth that ever believed what Jesus taught, were Jews. Do not ever forget that all of the New Testament was written by Jewish men who believed what Jesus taught. We Gentiles are the descendants of many generations down through time, and I have always said, Gentiles are crazy people. One will say one thing and another will say something else. You never know which way they are going. At the same time I say that though, I am not ignorant of what God has done among the Gentiles down through these last two thousand years of time. We Gentiles look back in history and thank God for sending among our ancestors, men who were Jews by race, but were men of God, Christian believers. May I ask, What is the difference between a Christian Gentile and an unbelieving Gentile? As far as his nose, there is not necessarily any difference. As far as the color of his hair, there is nothing different. Then what is it? In the book of Acts it says, They were first called Christians at Antioch; That is in Syria. Who were those first Christians in Antioch? They were Jews in dispersion, that had settled there. I remind you, the man they called Saul, who later was called Paul, who also became the apostle to us Gentile Christians, was on the road to Damascus to arrest and kill Christians, when he was converted. He was part of the Sanhedrin Court before becoming a Christian. He had a very angry attitude about Jews at Antioch being influenced by this new faith. He had already consented to the death of many of them. He was going there to have many of them arrested and brought back to Jerusalem, to stand trial and then be martyred. This was the attitude of the man called Paul, in his original state. I am mindful of what Paul in later years of his writings said, that as touching the Law of Moses, he was blameless. He did his best to keep it to the letter back then, but it was this man by the name of Paul, that God gave a revelation to, that far exceeded any other revelation carried by the other Jewish apostles that brought the message of Christ to the Gentiles. On the road to Damascus, when he was knocked down by the power of God. I do not believe he was walking: I think he must have been riding a horse. He was knocked off the horse – He saw great light when the Spirit of the Lord spoke to him. Later he went on into the city; There was a man there by the name of Ananias, who had already been converted, and was praying. The Lord spoke to him, telling him to go out into the way called Strait, and go to a certain house, in which you will find a man by the name of Saul, formerly of Tarsus. (That is in southern Turkey.) Tell him these words, that he has been chosen to be a light to the Gentile world and a means of salvation to the ends of the earth. I remind every Jew to listen to that. I am not ignorant of what he taught in the New Testament. There was never a Jew in that hour, that ever dared to contest him, without sooner or later ending up in trouble. He was one Jew that could look upon a Gentile and thank God for His grace that had been bestowed upon His life. I do not deny the fact that He was a Jew. I will say this, If that man’s teachings, that far back, was to be a means of salvation to the ends of the earth, then all should pay attention. I, therefore, remind the Jewish listener, or reader, I am a Gentile, and I am fully aware of what is recorded in history, of what some men have done to the word of God. They have twisted it, diluted it and presented it in just any old way to accomplish their selfish motives. Nevertheless the truth of the New Testament gospel has been restored to the end time Church and I am a witness of it. I do not say I have been right in everything I have ever thought in life: I am very thankful for the grace of God that has allowed me to see things in his precious word, that has stopped me short of what I might have done and made me realize, it is by His grace that He has done this. He called me to preach HIS WORD, not some other man’s version of what HIS WORD is.
GETTING TO THE TRUTH
Having laid some foundation for this particular message, let us now get to the basis of our subject, “Law versus Grace.” You find that in the writings of St. John’s gospel. That is where I got my text. (John 1:17) ” For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.” Every so often, I receive word from some of the Messianic Jews, We believe in keeping the Law as well as the things we believe about ‘the Messiah. We baptize in His name, believe He is the Son of God, that God was in Him, so on and so forth. Well I want my Jewish listeners to fully understand, I know what the Torah has in it, but I also know what the apostle Paul taught. There is quite a difference between Grace and Law. Therefore if the Jewish listeners will please allow me, as a Gentile, to express to you what God has done for us, I believe it will make a difference. I do not believe your Law will make you a bit better in how you live, than what Grace has done for me. I am not ignorant of what the Torah says, but I know where time and fulfilled prophecy has moved believers to. Because of that, I ask you to turn with me to the 5th chapter of Matthew, verse 17. I had a man write to me about these things. We find that Jesus has been speaking of how you are a light set on a hill, so on and so forth. Then, all of a sudden He changes the thought: He says, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.” That verse right there is a nut shell full. If He did not come to destroy, but to fulfill, then what does fulfill mean? It literally means to make known, to make applicable everything the Law has contained and spoke of as a promise. We are not going to be able to draw the whole picture in this one service. This is going to cover several services. We are going to give the Law a good chance to speak for itself, along with Grace to speak for itself. John said the Law was given by Moses. That is true, Exodus, the 1916 chapter. But John was Jewish also, and he said to go with that statement, that grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. What is the difference between what Moses said and what Jesus said? Was it not Moses who said that a prophet like unto me will the Lord raise up from among your brethren, and Him shall ye hear? Who was he talking about? He was talking about the Messiah. The Pharisees, the Sadducees and the Zealots, all of them in that hour when Jesus was walking on earth, should have heard Him, because He came to fulfill what the prophets had spoken. They treated Him like He was a devil. It is true, there are things He said that looked like it was contrary to the Law, but He was bringing out the spiritual application of what the Law really was pointing to. The Law said thou shalt not, the Law said don’t do this, the Law said don’t do that. As long as you did not do those things, but did this and did that, that is all the Law required, along with keeping certain festivity days and all the other traditions the Law had with it. Be assured, we are not pointing a finger at the Law. We are trying to bring out the real meaning of what the Law was pointing to, and at the same time, show you what it was not pointing to. Notice, “For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” (Note the word fulfilled.) “Whosoever 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. (But if it is going to be taught, we have to understand what part of it we are going to teach.) “For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no wise enter into the kingdom of heaven.” This brings us down a new road, except your righteousness. From the time Moses gave the Law until Christ Jesus came on the scene, we are working in the proximity of some fourteen hundred years of time they had the Law in effect. When Moses gave it to them at the foot of Mt. Sinai, Moses was on top, but they were at the foot of Mt. Sinai, and what a phenomena they saw, but when Moses came down from there, here was the Law written on tables of stone. They were to take that and make emblems of the writings and hang over the door post of their dwellings. Every morning when they went in and out they saw, Thou shalt not, and Thou shall do this or that, so they were to observe that. That is how He reminded them back then, but we are going to find out in this message, God, in our day, has taken and put it in your heart. That is quite a difference, as you will realize here, “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill: (That is what the Law said.) and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: (The Law never said a thing about this.) and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.” What has Jesus really done then? He has said about the Pharisees, as long as the Law said thou shalt not kill, and you had not actually, physically killed, you felt justified in saying, I have kept the Law. However, you walk around in society, here is John, here is Jim, here is Jack. You hate the ground they walk on. You would like to bash their brains out, but the Law keeps you from doing it. When Christ came, He did something for you that changed your attitude. He has taken it off the doorpost of your home and put it in the heart. Now you are living under the new covenant. No matter what they say about you, no matter how much they want to belittle you, you just say, Have mercy on them O Lord. When I think of Stephen, a Jew, in the book of Acts, before he was converted to this faith, he was like all the rest of the Jews. He probably had his likes and dislikes. But when his faith was changed, he was a complete new man, made over by the grace of God. When that bunch of Pharisees found him preaching in the streets, it made them so angry they had to do something. They began to gnash on him, stone him and such. As they were bashing his brains out, he was not lying there on the ground saying, I hate every one of you ornery hypocrites. His face lit up with a smile and he said, I see Jesus standing on the right hand of the Father. Father forgive them for they know not what they do. That is quite a difference. The Law could not put that kind of attitude in a man. All the Law could do was say, Don’t do it. But Grace did something else. Grace took you a step further than what the Law could. Jesus touches many aspects of the Law, in the social and the spiritual. The Law touched the natural man only, but did nothing about our inherited nature. The Jewish people were the only race that had received such a Law from God. It was made for the sinner man that we all are before grace is imputed to us. It did not really make them righteous, but regardless of that, up to a certain point God imputed righteousness to the man or woman that walked in obedience to it. God plainly told them when He gave them that Law, He had chosen them to be a particular race of people among the people of the world, to be a light to exemplify His goodness and mercy. I am also mindful of the fact that after John the Baptist came to testify of the ONE to come, who was Jesus, and he introduced Him one day as the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world, he himself ended up in prison with questions. Some of his faithful disciples were still hanging around, hoping he would be loosed, so one day John sent them, saying, Go ask that man, Are you the ONE we look for, or do we look for another? You can read in the New Testament what Jesus said when they asked that. Then, after they were gone, Jesus began to lift up John for the faithful stand he had taken. That is when Jesus also said these words, The Law and the prophets were until John, since that time the kingdom of God is preached and every man presses into it, meaning, you have got to put forth an effort. This old flesh we live in is bound by tradition, sin, alcohol, and many other things. The things the Law said not to do, you cannot keep from doing them when you are taken captive by the desires of the flesh. We have got to understand, Paul had to contend with it. There were others in the days of Paul that had to run into these characters. They always wanted to mix a little Law with a little Grace, because they were hoping to find prestige among both Jews and Gentiles. When you start doing that, you are not upholding anything, you are compromising practically everything. There are a lot of things we Gentiles have been condemned for, because we have been misunderstood, so if you do not have a revelation of what the Law was really pointing to, you do not know how to touch us Gentiles, you just think you do. I am very thankful, to be privileged to speak some things, hoping that I can say something that some precious Jewish people who have gone through a lot of persecution and ridiculement, living in areas of hostility, never knowing what the night would bring, can be helped by. I hope I can say something to let them know that we are living in the closing era of this present time, and that very soon God is going to deal with both the Jew and the Gentile in a special way. I do not speak this to the unbelieving element on either side: I speak to the believing element of both categories, that conditions in front of us and time itself, will necessitate that our understanding of each other be brought closer and closer together as the grace of God makes it possible. If God promised, that in the last days He would not only bring Judah and Benjamin back into their homeland, but He would also bring back the ten tribes also, those which are called Samaria, and that He would blend them together, that there would no longer be enmity between either group, as there was in the Old Testament period, then I believe it will happen. After 1900 and some years of Grace among us Gentiles, grace which came to us in the truth the apostle Paul taught. Now that it has been restored to us as the apostle Paul taught it, we are not forcing anyone to go out of their way to listen to us, but we are making it available to those who desire to receive it. I realize that many times precious Jewish people would say, We would like to translate the New Testament and get it back into the Jewishness it started out with, but would have to question that kind of outlook. Who do you think this New Testament was written to in the first place? It was written to Gentile churches. There were some Jews within it. Many times it was the Jews in the local dispersed areas that were the first candidates to become a part of what God was calling people to, but around that nucleus was brought an element of Gentile people also. That is what made up that local Gentile church. The different epistles were not written to the Jews in that group: They were written to the whole group. That is why, when we come to the last book in the Bible, which was written in 96 A.D., we find that this last book recorded in the New Testament was written by a Jew in exile, on the Isle of Patmos. The Romans were hoping to shut his mouth by placing him out there, but their effort failed. You can put a man in a hole in the ground, you can put him on top of a mountain, you can put him in a cave, but God still knows where he If God reveals something to him, how can you shut him up? Sooner or later God will get the word out of there. That is exactly what John did. The book of Revelation is not a letter written necessarily to the Jewish nation, because it was already in dispersion. It was written to the ten churches of Asia Minor. They set types of what Christendom was going to go through, as the centuries of time come and go. I do not even try to justify some of the things that have been done by different ones, I just ask my Jewish listeners, Please, let us be sensible. All I have to do is read the gospel to see what Jesus had to contend with in His hour. Look what the Jewish nation had done to the Law and the statues and ordinances, and all the other festivities. They had traditionalized every one of them. Some of them believed nothing. That is just like Gentiles today. They do not want to believe in anything. When we think of the Jews today, they call them the leftists, not only are they leftist Jews, there are leftist Gentiles, they are as liberal as the devil himself. If we are going to look at the liberal all the time, we find ourselves in a corner. We do not even see grace at all. My point is, We have got to rightly understand what the Law was for and find out what Jesus Christ did to fulfill it. He brought us Grace. I will ask you to turn with me to Jeremiah 31. We do not deny the fact that Moses wrote what we read in the book of Exodus. That is part of the Torah. He wrote the commandments in the 20th chapter. As we come into the book of Leviticus, we see all the other statutes and ordinances that Israel was to keep, the Sabbaths, everything; That was the old covenant.
A NEW COVENANT
Jeremiah the prophet, in 606 B.C., the 31st chapter, starting with the 31st verse, wrote, “Behold, the days come, (This was prophesied while the Law was still in force.) saith the Lord, that will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: (He is talking about the two categories of the nation.) Not according to the covenant that made with their fathers In the day that took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt;( Now He is pointing backward to Exodus.) which my covenant although I was an husband unto them, saith the Lord: But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, (meaning a period of time) saith the Lord, will put my law siant their Inward parts, (When He says put in their inward parts, He was not talking about over the door post to their kitchen or living room.) and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, (I can just see the Jew, because when the Sabbath day came, Hey John, you are walking too far. They looked at Jesus, Hey, you are not supposed to be going through the cornfield on the Sabbath day. That was the Jew of that hour, Don’t do this and don’t do that. They had lost sight of what He was pointing to. Can you not just see the Jew of that hour, when the Law was all he had, how they watched each other, how far were they going to go from the house, is he breaking the Sabbath? Your life was watched because each one was judged by what was written. You would have to read every ordinance and statute that goes with that Law. They shall no more teach every man his neighbor. They were spying on one another. You broke this, and you broke that, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord.” When was that going to be? While the Law was still active? No, It is when the new covenant was instituted. We have got to find out from the word of God, not from some denominational church, what this covenant was, and how it is to be applied to our lives. What did it do that the Law could not do? Let us go to Romans, chapter 3, for that. Paul, in the first part of the chapter, has been comparing the Jews and the Gentiles concerning belief and unbelief. We start in the 9th verse, where Paul is using a comparison. “What then? Are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin.” Did Paul, a Jew, who at one time sat on the Sanhedrin court, and testified that he was a Pharisee of the Pharisees, and touching the Law he was blameless, say this? The analysis of the whole thing is, The Law in itself, no matter how strictly you kept it, did not make you righteous. What it was for was to show you where sin lay. That is why it could be said later, after Grace came along by Jesus Christ, For God (hath concluded that all are under sin) meaning we are born in this world with (a nature to not seek after God. If there is not something to remind us, what kind of people would we be? That is why I say, When our society has taken out of our public places and institutions, the ten commandments, which were for the natural man that we all are, where are the reminders? God gave those commandments to show the sinful man that we all are by nature, how to discipline ourselves, to be what God requires of those who would walk with Him. Look at America today, how society has been shut away from the ten commandments and shut off from hearing the true gospel of Jesus Christ. What do we hear now? Don’t mention God or Jesus Christ to me, and don’t try to tell me He is the only means of salvation. People have a right to worship as they please. That is what you hear: They are like a bunch of devils. There are none of them righteous. If you mention anything about God you hear, Don’t talk to me about religion! You cannot even teach morality to them. Principals mean nothing to them. Our society as a whole is fast returning to what the Gentiles were before receiving the gospel of Jesus Christ. We are going to find out by the time we get finished with this message, that the Law was applicable only for a certain period of time. In all of the Law and in all of the ordinances and statutes that they were to keep, there was set forth types and shadows pointing ahead to something that God was going to do for the human race, and He would do it first in the Jewish nation, because they were the nation that had received the Law. Therefore they had the first opportunity to be a light and reflect this new thing to the world, but when the New Covenant came, by the One ordained to be the messenger of such a covenant, those who should have been the first to receive Him just stood looking coldly a Him and said, Crucify Him! Why? Because the hardness of their hearts kept them from knowing who He was Yet they could say, We have kept the Sabbath, we believe in circumcision, we don’t eat pork, we don’t do this or that, we keep this and we keep that. Yes, but their hearts were hardened. Those who boasted of keeping the Law, turned right around and cried, Crucify Him! Away with such a fellow, who testifies of himself, claiming to be the Son of God! He was the messenger of the New Covenant God promised, so be careful what you say. I want to say to my Jewish friends, You are my friends. I am preaching this to let you know that even though I am a Gentile, I am not ignorant of what this precious book (which is the word of God) says. I have seen a lot of ups and downs and ins and outs, do’s and don’t, but I am not moved by any of them. I have come in contact with a lot of glory seekers in my lifetime: They do not want to work with anyone: They want all the glory or none. There is a place for that kind of individual, but I leave it up to the Lord to deal with them. In his Epistle to the Romans, Paul says this, (Rom. 3:9) “What then? Are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; (Rom. 3:10) As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one.” Why did he say that? Because the Law could not redeem them from the nature to sin. As it is written, There is none righteous, no not one. There is none that understandeth. I have to say, In the advent of Christ, all of those Jews that were Pharisees, just look at their garments, how they liked to portray themselves, looking so holy as they walked the streets. Yet another Jew (Paul, who was Saul) was seeing right through all of that. When he said, There is none that understandeth, what did he mean? After you have read it and read it, and have kept it and kept it, if God hasn’t given you a revelation of how to look through the writing and see what it points to, to you it is death. Remember, it was the apostle Paul that said, The letter (the Law you read) killeth, but the Spirit giveth life. The verse is found in (2 Cor 3:6) “Who also hath made us able ministers or the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.” The Spirit of God quickens (makes alive) the written word and it leads you into life. You see beyond the letter, the Author, and what He requires, and when you yield to it the result is eternal life. There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. I remind the Jewish listeners, not to belittle that which is of God, lest you follow in the footsteps of your ancestors that ended up literally despising the Messiah that came to give them life. We just have to thank God, that some of them allowed Him to give them an insight and inspiration that enabled the New Covenant to be put in force. Let me read some more of this, Rom. 3:12. “They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: Their feet are swift to shed blood: Destruction and misery are in their ways.” When Paul said this, he was looking back to the old Judaistic Jews that carried hate. “And the way of peace have they not known: There is no fear of God before their eyes. Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law (deeds mean the acts: keeping it, observing it right to the letter) there shall no flesh be justified in His sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” If the Law had never been written and given to mortal man, what man would have ever known certain things are right and certain things are wrong? I want to use a comparison here in America, to give you the picture. The law says, Thou shalt not kill, but look at our generation today. Young people carrying guns to school, what for? They have some hate stored up. Someone has said something that caused them to have animosity. I will get even. What do you think the law of the land means to them? Nothing, because it is the law of a man. The carnal men of our governments today, have taken the laws that were based on the ten commandments and have absolutely rearranged them and given them another interpretation. That is why the Constitution no longer means what our forefathers wrote it to mean. I have to say, The next time you hear liberal minded politicians and educators crying because innocent children are shot to death, or killed by a pipe bomb, (I hate to say this, for fear of being misunderstood) it might be good to remind them that they are those who bred up such a generation that has no respect for what is right, nor even for life itself. When you shut God out of the picture, this is what you get. How can they write a law that has eternal life at the end? Who are you to say it is wrong to kill, if it is not wrong to commit adultery, an act the word of God denounces, and an act that so many of you are guilty of? It is a shame that our society has come to this point. I can remember a time when it was not like this. You may think I do not know what I am talking about, when I point the finger at those who are responsible for most of what Satan is using our young people for today, but I just thank God for allowing me to be born in a time when most people had their head on straight and violence was not continually in the News. I can see how the devil has blinded the eyes of those in places of responsibility, cutting them off from God, and from the reality of what is written in His word. Satan has clouded their minds with webs of deceit, so that they see nothing wrong with their way of looking at things. Even when tragedy strikes, those who have cultivated it refuse to accept the responsibility for their actions. I realize I say quite a bit about this at times, but it is hard not to, when it is so open to those who have eyes to see. Nevertheless, regardless of what anyone says, there is a God that holds this whole thing together until His word is fulfilled. That is why Paul could write, (Rom 1:20) For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that arc made, even His eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.” The Law was good for what it was intended for because it kept natural minded man from going berserk. This is what allows Genuine Christians to think, when you say we ought to restore the death penalty for these hardened criminals, Oh, but the Bible says thou shalt not kill. Why do you want to hide behind that? You do not want to use the Bible for anything else! It was the Law that said, Thou shalt not commit murder, which means you do not pick up and gun and shoot someone for selfish interests When it comes to the cause of a nation and certain principals of the right of that nation in its identity, if attacked, then that nation has a right to call the muster of arms to go and defend the nation and its society. The sad part is, people have been taught wrong about a lot of things. God does not lie, and He is not two faced. God does not deceive people. It is man, through the influence of Satan, that does the deceiving, the selfish killing and all such, because he does not have the knowledge of what he is reading, even if he reads the Bible. The same Bible that teaches us not to commit murder, also says God told Joshua, When you go to attack Jericho, do not leave one of them alive. That is a different thing altogether.
FLESHLY CONFLICTS KEEPING THE LAW – CHECKING UP ON EACH OTHER
Go with me to Romans 7, starting in verse 10, and you will find the apostle Paul writing of a great conflict that takes place inside of a mortal being. “And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death.” It took the Law in its natural setting, to point to the natural man. I was born a natural man. Sooner or later these natural instincts, these lusts and affections, if they are not somehow brought under control by something, I am liable to explode, go out here and tear up something, hate somebody or who knows what? Here is what Paul says in verse 12, “Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and Just, and good. (It was, because it came from a holy God.) Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. (It shows us what sin was. The Law was not sin, but the Law, the way it was written, showed exactly the nature that I am.) But sin, that it might appear sin, (in other words, it brings the real nature of sin out of us.) working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceedingly sinful.” Under the Law, it was, Keep it, bring your sacrifices, because you had to offer for sin every year. That offering did not atone forever: It only pushed your sins ahead. Ahead! As it pushed sins ahead, then God justified it, because the Law demanded that. If we can keep obedient to that natural aspect of it, God considers us righteous in that respect, but not because we have a righteous spirit. Deep inside, as Paul would say, That which I would like to do, I find myself doing the opposite. “For that which I do I allow not: (Actually he is saying. What I would like to do, many times I find myself doing the opposite.) for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. (Sooner or later the old flesh gives in to sin, that being the nature of our flesh.) “If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. (In other words, there it hangs over the doorpost, every time you go in and out, Thou shalt not, but deep inside me there is something that gnaws away at my old nature. John is watching me and Jim is watching me, and I am watching them, to see which one did the worst. We all have a category of sins in our mind, he did this and he did that, he did worse than I did. It sounds like a lot of loose living Christians today, but that is not God’s way for us to live. I consent unto the law that it is good, because it reminds me what God really wants me to be like. Now then, it is no more that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. (In other words, it is that nature, sooner or later, that gets me caught in a trap. When I don’t want to, that old flesh can just take so much of being submissive to the Law, then it caves in. You know we have a bunch of rascals in our governments and education systems today, that say a lot of this Christendom is just people oppressed by, don’t do this and don’t do that. Well I have to say, Thank God, I am not oppressed or depressed. I live for God because I choose to, You hypocrites. I do it because I love to do it. I have lived this way by the grace of God because I love the Lord: I love His truth. I do not want to do anything else. If what I am doing is pleasing to the Lord, then that is all I ask. It is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me, said Paul about sin. That is what Paul is talking about, the Law was given because it made man to see his own sinful self. For I know that In me (that Is, in my flesh, dwelleth no good thing (That is true.) for to will (wanting to partake of things a of the world) Is present with me(I would like to, I hope to) but how to perform that which Is good I find it not.” Now let us look at the natural man: Here is a young boy growing up and daddy has said, Son, don’t ever smoke. That sounds good to the young boy at the time, but then he grows up to maybe thirteen, then fourteen: He is going to school and there are some other kids asking, Do you ever smoke? No. Why? Dad don’t want me to. Oh, your dad. It was like that when I was in school. At recess we went out behind the boys toilet to smoke. Back then we didn’t have money to buy ready made cigarettes, so the smokers carried a little sack of tobacco and a pack of cigarette papers. They poured it out, I rolled the cigarette, lighted it and passed it around among themselves. Well, a little taste now and a little taste later on, but deep in your mind you know dad said, Don’t ever smoke. Well, that was dad’s word. Dad said it for a reason, because he knew what a terrible habit it could be. Those friends like that are motivated by the inborn nature we all have. I have that same nature in me. Well I tried to hold on to what dad had said, but after a while I was puffing away on those things. It can be the same way with a little taste of beer, or a little taste of whiskey, or anything else. Naturally, the ones that are already drinking will say, Oh come on, it won’t hurt you. That is how they work on you. Brothers and Sisters: I am thankful to God, that lie kept me from ever indulging in that habit. I can say that and not lie. In my young life I have watched how men would act when they got drunk. I said, When I grow up, Lord, help me never to be like that. Well when I was shipped overseas in the Army and put in that outfit, some of those men were already forty, and had been in the army for many years. They drank beer, got drunk, gambled and smoked, the whole nine yards. I was just a young rookie from the country. It wasn’t long until they were saying, Come on Jackson, and have a beer. I would say, No. Why? I don’t want to drink. Come on, you are just like the rest of us. I said, No, I am not like the rest of you. There were others that had been put in the outfit about five months before us. They were drunkards, just like the older ones; and that kind are always trying to get everyone else to do what they do. As I look back on that period of my life I have to say, Thank you Lord, for helping me keep my head on straight! One time one of them said, Oh come on and take a swallow. I did. They asked, What does it taste like?” I said, Mom’s dishwater. I meant it. Every time they got together they would ask me to take a drink, but I always said no. They finally got tired of hearing that and quit offering it to me. I have to say, Thank the Lord! I heard that compelling persuasion, and that criticism, but the Lord honored my request and kept me from becoming what they were. I watched the others: Every time payday came around, as soon as they would get back to their bunks, they had the cards and dice out, gambling. In twenty four hours some of them had lost almost all their thirty some dollars they received on payday. It wasn’t long until some of them started coming to me and saying, Will you keep this three dollars for me? I had compartments in my wallet: I was a walking bank for those guys. Some would give me five dollars, depending on what their rank was, and how much they made. After a while those guys all began to trust me. They knew I would not drink or gamble, and they knew I would not lie. They knew I would not steal, so they would trust me to hold a little of their money. When they would lose all they had kept, naturally they would need something to buy more beer, cigarettes and stuff, so they came to me, Raymond, do you still have my three dollars? Yes I have it. As I look back on all that, even though I had just as much human nature in me, I somehow resisted all of that. I could have been one of them, had it not been for the grace of God. Not because of any law, but by the grace of God. I was kept from becoming twisted up in that old sinful way of life. I am saying all this, hoping it will help someone somewhere. In the natural it is, Thou shalt not, thou shalt not, but sometimes the grace of God just gives you the will to override all those compelling voices that are trying to force you to become one of them. God sovereignly does many things for us that we never even recognize Him in. I am thankful to Him for that. Now I just ask Him to give me the right words, to say something that will help the Jewish people. I want them to know that not all Americans are like some of those they have heard about. I grant you the American, modern society of today has become very loose in living, but I will remind my Jewish friends that there are 5.2 million Jews among the citizenry here. They will probably never come back to Israel – because they like this lifestyle over here. Some of them arc just as bad as any of the Gentiles. There are a few here and there, that somehow have a deep mold. I hope the day will come, when something shakes them and causes them to realize the land of Israel is their homeland. They just do not want to be over there and have rocks thrown at them. They want to escape all the ridiculement and adversity, while the ones that are over there are having to risk their lives to stay there. To my Jewish friends I say, I realize I am a Gentile, but do not think I am ignorant of what the Torah has written in it, nor of what the Law requires of those who follow it. However, if you will listen to me, I will not condemn the Law, because the Law is still for the natural man that has no thought of being led by the Spirit of God. When you take the natural Law away from the natural man, you have taken the very thing away that can convict him of his wrongdoing and turn his thoughts toward God. There is enough of the Old Covenant for God to speak to those who will hear Him. You do not have to have it hanging over your doorpost. He puts it in your heart. That is why we can say, I don’t do those things the world delights in, because I love the Lord. I want to live a life pleasing to Him, that no matter what the test is, or the temptation, or what the environment is like, by His grace I am still able to walk pleasing to Him. I pray, Lord help us to exemplify this grace in such a way that others will be drawn to it. We do not have another twenty five years left to play around: This present age is going to wrap up one of these days very soon. I am thankful to God for a precious book that lets us know this. We can be ready when that time comes. Yes, there was an old covenant, but there is also a new one; and the new one is not an extension of the old one: It is a fulfillment of the old one: That is why we need to give our attention to it.
EXAMINING BOTH THE OLD AND THE NEW COVENANTS
As we look further into this subject, “Law versus Grace,” I will say this to you, I am learning also, as we go along in this, maybe just as much as you are. I have always been a little reluctant to try to go too deep within this subject, for fear there would be something laying somewhere in the scriptures that might cast a little different light and understanding on some passages of scripture we use, but I am now going to ask you to turn to the 20th chapter of Exodus, as we continue with this particular subject, we are dealing with, the old covenant and the new covenant. There are a lot of people in the Gentile Christian world today, that are hung up by doubts and misunderstandings as to what part of the Law we are supposed to keep. Therefore when we get finished with this message, I am praying that all of this will be cleared up. I want to give it a thorough explanation, coming down both lines, so as not to leave any loose ends. Of course I realize there will be people hearing these tapes and reading the Contender messages we print, that will not be able to see what I point to on the charts we use, so I will endeavor to clarify those things as we go along. As I point to this, we have it drawn to represent the two tables of stone the Ten Commandments of the Old Testament were written on. Here in Exodus 20, we find that part of the OLD COVENANT, but over in Jeremiah 31:31, it says, A new covenant will I make with the house of Israel after those days. We are going to learn also, that the old covenant, which was under the Law, containing the ordinances, the judgments, the statutes, the feasts and all of that, carried types and shadows pointing ahead to the New Covenant. I asked the Lord to help me bring all of this out, so that the reading of certain passages will not be just a dull subject. I will say this, The Seventh Day Adventists, as a denomination, as well as the Pentecostal Adventists, would like to make you believe, that if you do not keep Saturday as the Sabbath, then you are absolutely breaking the Law, and if you worship on the first day of the week, you are keeping a Catholic ritual. That is just their way of looking at the things pertaining to worship: That is not the way the Bible is written. You can cram almost anything down the throat of ignorant people, and scare them into doing what you want. It is time the true worshipers know how to worship God in spirit and in truth. A Seventh Day Adventist used to send me big packages of their literature. They always have to put it out that people who worship on the first day of the week and do not keep the Jewish Sabbath, are the ones that are actually wearing the mark of the beast. That is just a twisting of scriptures. I have asked the Lord to grant me the ability to preach this so as to counteract all that junk. I am sending this to my Jewish friends in Israel, knowing Satan will use every deceiving device, trying to keep them from the truth. Though I am a Gentile, I am not like many of the orthodox have imagined about Gentiles for the past two thousand years, like we have just picked up some kind of crazy belief; and that we are all confused and twisted up. I therefore want to say to our Jewish friends that would listen to this subject, Not all of us Gentiles are all messed up. I will have to challenge that by what a man by the name of Saul of Tarsus wrote two thousand years ago, after his name was changed to Paul. He was the apostle God chose of the Jewish race, to bring to the Gentile people a revelation of Grace. Most of the Gentile people back then, were pagans. In some of the cities where Paul went to preach, but his first converts were Jews of the dispersion in that area. He would go to the Jews, because, as he said, The gospel is first to the Jew, and then to the Gentiles. Many of those he came in contact with were Gentiles that had been converted to Judaism, and were of the same community background as the Jews in dispersion. That is the way it was in the old city of Corinth. Therefore God used Paul to exercise great wisdom in dealing with them, because he needed to know how to approach them with the gospel of Jesus Christ. I do not intend to try to persuade anyone by any argument or wisdom of natural minded mankind, but rather by showing you how the grace of God worked through the Law of the Old Testament, to portray and point to what He was leading up to. The Messiah that was to come, was and is the fulfillment of all that the Law was designed to produce. When He comes back literally, He will rule the world from Jerusalem, from the throne of David of old. Let us now give our attention to Exodus 20, starting in verse 1, as we get on into this message. “And God spake all these words, saying, I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: (Why would God put that in His commandments? Because He does not live and exist in any form. He has no shape. He is a sovereign Spirit. He is invisible. He cannot be seen.) Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; (We have a lot of Gentiles today that hate God, even the thought of Him. They want to convince everyone there is no such thing as a God that created this universe. To them, this thing of religion is all a hoax.) And showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh His name in vain. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it. Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee. Thou shalt not kill. (The Hebrew text says, Thou shalt not commit murder. There is quite a difference between the two. This is where Gentiles have taught people the wrong concept. You and I know God does not change His mind on how certain things are worded. When He told Joshua, going in to take Jericho, Destroy every one of them: That was exactly what He meant for him to do: They did not break the commandments in doing it. If you will read on through those chapters, you will find that they conquered thirty cities and did not leave any of the people alive. They had to kill them. You must see that the word murder, and the word kill, are not the same. The word murder, means, you do not take a person’s life because of a selfish motivation. However when it comes to killing an enemy for national purposes, because that enemy is trying to destroy you as a nation or a society of people, and warfare is the only recourse, that commandment does not even apply there. Therefore Gentiles have themselves all twisted up, because they do not know the difference.) Thou shalt not commit adultery. Thou shalt not steal. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s. And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they removed, and stood afar off. And they said unto Moses, “Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die.” And Moses said unto the people, “Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that His fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not.” And the people stood afar off, and Moses drew near unto the thick darkness where God was. And the Lord said unto Moses, Thus thou shalt say unto the children of Israel, Ye have seen that I have talked with you from heaven. Ye shall not make with me gods of silver, neither shall ye make unto you gods of gold. An altar of earth thou shalt make unto me, and shalt sacrifice thereon thy burnt offerings, and thy peace offerings, thy sheep, and thine oxen: in all places where I record my name I will come unto thee, and I will bless thee. And if thou wilt make me an altar of stone, thou shalt not build it of hewn stone: for if thou lift up thy tool upon it, thou hast polluted it. Neither shalt thou go up by steps unto mine altar, that thy nakedness be not discovered hereon.” I referred to this the other night, that thy nakedness be not discovered, but look at our modern world today: They cannot appear on a stage, on TV, without having gone just about as far from the Law as possible. If you will turn with me to Jeremiah, we are going to read about another covenant. In the 31″ chapter, starting in the 31″ verse, let us read. “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make (a new covenant) with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; (He is referring back to the one I just read.) which my covenant they break, although I was an husband unto them, saith the Lord: But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, (meaning in their hearts) and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” As we see the term, covenant, that is what we call the Old Testament. When we look at the New Testament, that is the words that describe the new covenant, because the word covenant, means testament. You may ask, Who gave this Law? Naturally where it is written, Jesus referred to it many times, Moses this, and Moses that, but keep in mind, Moses was the tool that God inspired, and to whom He spoke these things, so he was the instrument chosen to explain all this to the children of Israel. All of this occurred approximately 1400 to 1500 B.C. Let me drop this thought right here though, and explain why I would put that certain time in there. It is because the Law is portrayed by Paul as being a type. What kind of type? It is the type of what the moon is in the celestial lights. What is the moon? It is not the light itself, but it is the reflection of a light that is greater than it. It is only a reflection of the sun. That is exactly what we have here. God was giving them a covenant, because He was going to hold them responsible as to how they observed it and fulfilled what He has asked them to do. That which was the commandments, was filled with judgment, rituals, various other things, statutes and such, all of which was designed to govern the people as a society, and as a family, as well as individuals. God was taking them out of Egyptian bondage and into a strange land. He was going to plant them there. In this strange land, He was going to cause all their enemies to be driven out and destroyed. He wanted this nation of Israel, which we call Jews, to be a light, to shine and reflect God’s holiness and to be a separated people from the world in general, not living a loose, immortal, pagan life, and doing everything they might want to do because of inherited nature. The Gentiles at that time, were doing all those sinful pagan things, so God had chosen the children of Israel to be a special people that would reflect a light to the world. (GOD IS LIGHT.)We will say at this time, This Law in itself was a spiritual Law, because it portrays the spiritual image of what God wants man to be like. Naturally it did not make man, the worshiper, really a spiritual man. It just governed him. That is why the blood of bulls and goats just pushed sins ahead every year, looking for the time when one offering for all mankind would be made. Even the apostle Paul speaks of the blood of bulls and goats offered every year, how it could not take away sin, could not make a permanent atonement. What did it do? It only atoned temporarily. That is what God demanded. It did not take away the cause of sin, it only pushed it ahead. At this time, I would like for us to go back and look at this Law. Open your Bible to Exodus 24. I do not want to bore you with a lot of reading, but I do want to show you, that God at that time, had already spoken to Moses, telling him all these things. We are starting in the 121` verse. “And the Lord said unto Moses, Come up to me into the mount, and be there: and I will give thee tables of stone, and a law, and commandments which I have written; that thou mayest teach them. (Something visible, something the people can see.) And Moses rose up, and his minister Joshua: and Moses went up into the mount of God.” We realize this, he was there many days while God was talking with him. Let us go to the 25th chapter now, starting with the 1st verse. “And the Lord spoke unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring me an offering: of every man that giveth it willingly with his heart ye shall take my offering. And this is the offering which ye shall take of them; gold, and silver, and brass, (God is getting ready to have something built.) And blue, and purple, and scarlet, (Listen to this.) and fine linen, and goats’ hair, And rams’ skins dyed red, and badgers’ skins, and shittim wood, Oil for the light, spices for anointing oil, and for sweet incense, Onyx stones, and stones to be set in the ephod, and in the breastplate. And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them.” I realize I am reading a lot of scripture, but please, bear with me. The generation of people of the Jewish race that stood there hearing this were unique, because there was no other nation of people on the face of the earth, at that time, that had ever been dealt with in this manner. In fact, before this Law was made, there was no written Law whatsoever. The only law in effect was circumcision. God gave that to Abraham. That was a token between him and God. This is why Paul says in the New Testament, They that lived without law, are a law unto themselves. In other words, those that did nature, the things contained in the law, were a law to themselves. When we look at this, we can see how God has not only given them ten commandments to govern the natural man and woman by, because of human nature, but He has also set a spiritual law among them. Let me say to our Jewish friends, Please try to understand what I am looking at, because I know many of you have looked upon Gentiles as though they were just a bunch of crazy people, because they believed in Jesus as their Messiah or Saviour. It is true, that a lot of Gentiles have twisted the interpretation of many scriptures in the New Testament, but keep this in mind. Those early Gentiles that heard Paul, Barnabas, Peter, and those early apostles who were Jews, were given a revelation in their hearts, that caused them to be a different type of person than they had been while they were pagans. When Jesus told Nicodemas, You must be born again, that was quite a shock to the natural mind. What can I do? He sees himself as a Jew. He knows he has physically been born, but Jesus is talking, not about a new physical birth, but a new spiritual birth, which takes place with the spirit man, not the flesh. There is nowhere in the Old Testament Law, that by keeping it to the letter, a person could be born again. It is only a Law to discipline the nature of natural minded mankind. That is why no man is going to see the kingdom of God unless he has truly been born again and filled with the Holy Spirit, which is the Spirit of God. It is a sad thing for a lot of people to think that they can keep the sabbath, they can keep the Law, they can do this, and that gives them a gateway to heaven. That only makes them a better moral person: It does nothing about our nature to sin. “And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them.” Just look at this: God is saying here that He wants to dwell among them, so He wants all these material things brought together, and notice also, He is talking about fine linen. When we get further into this message we are going to find out what that fine linen was to be used for. That was the curtains that went around the sanctuary building, not the outer court. In this building, is where tit( table of shewbread, the ark of the covenant, the mercy seat, the presence of God and the cherubim (the angels) were. God was going to dwell in that, but that sanctuary was among the people. The Law, written on the two tables of stone, was in the ark, that box, which was overlaid with gold. It was on the mercy seat inside of that tent, and was closed in by fine linen curtain, That typed the Bride of Christ that would later be revealed. Where do you see her? We see her in the 19th chapter of Revelation. The first thing you see is the Bride in heaven, clothed in fine linen. I cannot stop now to do a lot of explaining, but just pick up the points and types as we go along. “According to all that I show thee, after the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all the instruments thereof, even so shall ye make it.” We see here, approximately between 1400 and 1500 B.C. You must keep in mind that the Jewish calendar, chronology of months, is not like the Roman calendar we use. They specified each month as having thirty days. How many know what the 15th day of the month brings you to? It brings you to the middle of the month. All this points to the fact that Christ, the second law giver, who was far greater than Moses, came in the fulfillment of the Law, to open up a new way. This is why Paul could write in Galatians, how Christ was made of woman, born under the Law for the purpose that He might take away what the Law could not. That is why we have got to see these types and shadows as they come right along through this thing. I do not have time to specifically deal with one particular type. I just want to drop the points as we go along, because the Law was not the light itself shining: It was only a reflection of something greater to come. Go to verses 10 through 16: Here is where He is going to have a box made, “And they shall make an ark (a box) of shittim wood: two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof, and a cubit and half the breadth thereof, and a cubit and a half the height thereof. And thou shalt overlay it with pure gold, within and without shalt thou overlay it, and shalt make upon it a crown of gold roundabout.” We are looking at a box made of wood. This wood is speaking forward to Christ the Son of God, and the wood of the box speaks of the flesh that the Son of God was incorporated in. It is overlaid, within and without, with gold. That speaks of that divine life that God imputes into the Son, in order for him to be the Son of God, but then God Himself descends and takes up abode in this Son. That does not make the SON, GOD, but HE, that sovereign SPIRIT which is GOD, dwelt in the body which is the natural body of the SON. The SPIRIT which is GOD the CREATOR, became ONE with the spirit of His SON. God’s presence dwelling in that box sets forth types of that which is to come, and by causing the commandments to be placed in it also, it was an ark, and it was natural. They were to carry it, but there was a certain way for it to be carried. Everything about it always pointed to Christ, who is the true ark. He is the ONE ordained of the FATHER to bear the sins of the world. We carry Him in our heart by the baptism of the Holy Spirit. That absolutely takes these commandments and spiritualizes them and puts them in us as part of our makeup. Where the commandments say, Thou shalt not kill, if a man has truly been born again, he loses the nature to even want to think of such a thing. That is what has caused a lot of religious people to act like they have about going to war, and their sons going to war, when WWII came about. They just simply did not believe in killing under any circumstances. Well when we know what the law really says, Thou shalt not commit a murder, that is a different thing altogether. Of course that is not the way a lot of people in the denominational world were taught, so they went before the draft boards and said, I don’t believe in killing. I refuse to carry a gun. They were looked upon as conscientious objectors. I have said before! I never heard of one miracle coming out of any of those people. I am not belittling them, but I am saying I never heard of one miracle coming out of any of them as a testimony of God’s grace, how He has led them. They refused it out of ignorance, because they did not understand the scriptures. I do know of one young man from Canada who was raised not to want to kill. Finally he consented to go, but he refused to carry a rifle. They made him a medic. He was in the Normandy invasion. As they were going in, a lot of his outfit were pinned down and had been killed. There was a necessity to make connections with another outfit in another position – so they asked for volunteers to run the errand and give the message to them. There were two boys that volunteered. They would get so far across the open battlefield and they would get shot down. This Canadian boy that had refused to carry a rifle said he would go. He came out having a testimony, as he was running across the battleground, bullets were hitting all around him, but he made it through and carried the message. The point is, he did not refuse to serve his country. That is the point. We have to look at some of these things in this way. Some Gentile people have twisted things from the Scriptures, just because they did not have a proper understanding of them. They did not have a revelation to know how to teach. I am not saying everybody should have a desire to go into the army so he can kill somebody. That is a wrong attitude also. On the other hand, if you are compelled to go, then if it is to kill, you have to kill. War is not going out there and showing off, and saying, We need to love one another and be nice. You will get nowhere by doing something like that. Let us get back to our reading, “And thou shalt cast four rings of gold for it, and put them in the four corners thereof; and two rings shall be in the one side of it, and two rings in the other side of it – And thou shalt make staves of shittim wood, and overlay them with gold. And thou shalt put the staves into the rings by the sides of the ark, that the ark may be borne with them.” We are looking at a box made of wood, and that speaks of the flesh of Jesus Christ, the human side. The gold speaks of the divine nature, the divine life that the Son of God was of, and God came down and dwelled in the Son when He was baptized in the river, making the scriptures fulfill that God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself. When we look at this box, the purpose of it was, later when Moses would receive the commandments, which was God’s word in this form, they were placed in this box. That box was always carried by the priests wherever they went, in all their battles and such. When we look at it the right way, it was a type of Christ. It pointed ahead. As they respected that, then God’s presence was with them and overshadowed them, whether it was in the tent or whether it was being carried on the priests’ shoulders. God was there to guide those People day and night. My point is, It still did not make the obedient Person a born again believer. He was still a natural person, but because the Law said, Thou shalt not, then he did not do it. Those commandments disciplined him as a man, or as a woman. It also disciplined their society, how they existed in a community among themselves as a whole family of God. It caused them to live a separate life and not pattern their lifestyles after the other Gentile people who were living close around. The Gentiles in that hour were Pagans. They sacrificed things to Idols, they drank blood, all these types of things. God did not want His chosen people to be that way. The Law was pointing ahead to something far greater and more important than what the immediate time offered. Nevertheless, this was necessary for the children of Israel to obey it, to follow it, because that is the only way God would speak to them, lead and direct them, and cause them to be a shining light to the pagan nations about them. Go with me now to Exodus 31:12, where I will read a few verses.
KEEPING THE SABBATH
What we are going to read here is about keeping the Sabbath. “And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my sabbaths (plural) ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you. (Set you apart from other people) Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people. Six days may work be done; but on the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy to the Lord: whosoever doeth any work on the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death. Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant.” This is why even some Gentiles will say, See there, it is never to be done away. The sad part is, we have a lot of Gentiles that do not know a type from a shadow. How many know what the word shadow means? It casts a profile. It means there is light somewhere and the object that casts the shadow is between the light and the earth. When you see a cow standing between the sunlight and the earth, you do not see a profile of an elephant or alligator. Do you? That is why certain things are placed in the Bible as a shadow, because a shadow is pointing directly to the very thing itself. A type on the other hand, is just giving a certain illustration to introduce a thought. That is what a type is. It is not the actual profile, it only introduces you to an object. “Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy to the Lord: whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death. Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day He rested, and was refreshed.” While we were in Mexico, I preached a message and titled it “God’s Sabbath,” but I was using Genesis, the creation. The more you look at Genesis, the more sure you are, that it is utterly impossible that this planet was made in six twenty four hour days. Any Gentile preacher, or any Gentile Christian that believes that stuff, I have to say, he is like a kid playing with words. Notice when you start into the 2nd chapter, the language used. Gen 2:1: “Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. Gen 2:2: “And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.” Gen 2:3: “And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.” Gen 2:4: “These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens.” What does the word generation imply? It never pertains to trees. It pertains to the lifespan of a man. Therefore when God was going to put a man here, then these creative days were actually renewing days, bringing them out of the old judged chaotic state the earth was in. That is why it says in Genesis 1:1, In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth, (period). If they want to say it was fifty million years ago, what difference does that make? The second verse says, And the earth was without form and void, meaning something had happened. What does that tell us? It tells us that between the beginning when it was created and the time over here that God began renewing it, something happened that made it without form and void. It is not that He is recreating it: He is renewing it. He is redeeming it out of a judged state. He brings it out of darkness and begins to bring it back into a living cycle. That is why the first thing He does is create light. The evening and morning were the first day. Since we are talking about generations, God knew that He was going to ordain for man to live almost a dispensational day, a thousand years. Then when you see later on in the 2nd chapter, after He has planted a garden eastward in Eden and has put Adam, the man He has created out of the dust of the earth, in it, (He only created his body from the dust of the earth) and given him a commission. I will speak of the garden like this, It was a little spot where heaven is on earth, and then, the Lord points his attention to the two trees in the MIDST of it. Those two trees were not growing out of the ground like the other trees. They were actually two spiritual laws set before Adam and Eve. Listen to what He said, as He warned him, Don’t eat (or partake) of the fruit of that tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for in the day thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die. Was He speaking of a day of twenty four hours? Or is He speaking of a generative day? It had to be a day of a thousand years, because we know Adam lived 930 years. Accordingly, he died on the same day he partook of the forbidden fruit, 70 years short of a thousand year day. If He was speaking of a day of twenty four hours, then Adam did not die that same day. His life span was seventy years short of a full dispensational day. He disobeyed God; and God always keeps His word. The Bible will always prove itself if we will read it right. When He is telling man over here where we were reading, to observe the Sabbath, He is giving them six twenty four hour days to work, but on the seventh he is to rest physically, and that is all typed from those creative days or regenerative days when He was redeeming the earth, bringing it back into circulation from that former judgment. Yes, we can easily see the word generation is not talking about trees, animals, or any other thing than the lifespan of a man. When He created Adam, He created him and put him in the garden to live forever, because God’s presence was there. But when he sinned, that caused God to remove him from the garden, or rather, He just lifted the garden from him. That took the presence of eternal life away from him. He still lived nine hundred and thirty years, but he was seventy years short of a full dispensational day. What did the apostle Paul say about man’s life span today? Threescore and ten. Look where we fell from, all the way from nine hundred and thirty, or in the case of Methuselah, it was nine hundred and sixty nine years. He lived thirty nine years longer than Adam, but he still failed to live a full dispensational day. Man’s life span just kept getting shorter from there. Well what we want to see here, is that God has ordained a Sabbath observance for this nation. Some will say, Why did He do that? If they were to be a light to the areas around them, what do you think these other people would have done? They worked all the time. They did anything and everything they thought to do. There was no rest day for them. They were ignorant of creation, ignorant about God’s will and purpose, so they lived like they wanted to. They said what they wanted to say. They went where they wanted to go, when they wanted to, without any thought whatsoever as to whether it was right or wrong. For Israel to work only six days a week, this was going to reflect to them that these people were not a greedy, hungry, lustful people. Later on we will see also in some of the ordinances and judgments, He also gave them a Sabbath for the earth. Six years you will till the ground, sow the seed, reap the harvest, but in the seventh year you will let the land rest, let the oxen rest and so forth. He said he would cause the earth to bring forth a bountiful supply in that sixth year, so they would have enough to carry them over. Let me again remind the Jewish person who may listen to this, I am not ignorant of what the Torah says, so do not think I we just ignore it: We study it. What we have found, is that the Torah does not give you the entire picture from beginning to end. It is progressive. That is why we have to pay attention to what the prophets said when they came along later. Like I said, When John sent a couple of his disciples out to ask Jesus, Are you the one we look for, or do we look for another? Jesus said to them, Go tell John the things you have seen, the miracles and such. When they were gone, He looked to the multitude and asked, What did you go out to see? A reed shaken with the wind? Meaning, Did you go to see a man that just talked without knowing what he was talking about? He said, You not only went out to see a prophet, but you saw something greater than that. Then He said these comments, The Law and prophets were until John. Until, what does that mean? That is a word that means there is an end. Since that time the kingdom of God is preached and every man presseth into it, meaning you have got to struggle. Think how many times you have had to struggle in your mind, between what your friends are saying, and how they want to influence you, Don’t be a fanatic, and don’t get mixed up with those people, and then with doing what you know to be right. That is the way it has always been, coming down through time. God’s people have always been a strange people. They never were to live to please everyone. That does not mean you just deliberately try to make enemies of everyone else. If you do that you break what Jesus said. I told you about the man that preaches we should cut ourselves off from all the relatives and friends of the world: Listen to me, If you do that, you will have God frowning on you also. What did Jesus mean when He said, (Luke 16:9) “And I say unto you, Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations?” What did He mean by that? He didn’t say to worship with, or hang out with unrighteous people, but when it comes to natural things, in natural life, there are times you will do business with people whose main goal in life is to gain great riches, and to many of them, worldly gain becomes like a god unto them. You will buy things from them, you may have to work right beside them, but you do not allow yourself to become obsessed with the same motives that drive them. Neither do you have to be a loud mouthed showoff, I don’t want anything to do with your kind. Jesus warned the believers, Make friends of the unrighteous mammon, that when and if you fail, like a lot of people who talk too much, you will not be without any recourse. There are a lot of would be Christians out there that God has given every opportunity to walk in truth and they have held to traditions instead. Then when God begins to let up on his dealing with them, you see them m slipping little by little back into the world. Does the worldly crowd want them? No. They look at them as some old fanatical person that cannot be trusted. They are up one day and sliding back the next. Saints: what am I saying is, make friends with those you must have dealings with, but keep yourself from becoming like them. Accept each day, whatever necessity requires of you. It simply means you will go to the grocery store, where the owner doesn’t believe anything, but you will still be friendly and courteous. I remember an incident a few years back, that a man working at The Ford Motor Co. made a big fuss when they hired some women to work there. His religious belief was that he was not going to work around where women were. He mouthed off and said a lot of things and found his way out of there. He should have just kept his mouth shut. Always remember, there are a lot of things going on in the world in the natural sense, that you may not like, but we are not here to change everything we do not like. Not yet anyway. Rather than mouth off in some pious way, it behooves us to be a shining light in such circumstances.
WHAT THE APOSTLE PAUL TAUGHT
This Sabbath day commandment, sounds like it was to last forever and ever, so I want to say to my Jewish friends, Some people, when you begin to go down a certain pathway of scriptural teachings, get real nervous and say, How do I know he is not trying to deceive me? This is why I say, We have to have enough sense that we can allow God to help us, both the one’s doing the teaching and those who are being taught. You hear people say, The Bible says hell is eternal, so it lasts forever. I say to you, Are we sure that is what the Bible means when it says forever? Open your Bible to the book of Phillippians. The apostle Paul was a Jew, a well learned man in the Law. He plainly said at one place, as touching the Law of Moses, I was blameless. Let us read a few verses here. Phil 3:4: “Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: Phil 3:5 Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; Phil 3:6: “Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.” Phil 3:7: “But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.” Phil 3:8: “Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,” Phil 3:9: “And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith.” When we go to the 7th chapter of Hebrews, starting in verse 11, we find the apostle Paul, explaining this to other Jewish people. This man had an understanding of the Law, to the letter, but he also knew where the New Covenant came in, a covenant that out shined the old one. “If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, for under it the people received the law, what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, (So those that want to hold on to the Law, the commandments, the Sabbath, this and that, Paul began to open up the door to this New Covenant.) and not be called after the order of Aaron? For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law.” From a natural, to a spiritual, because it is only the spiritual that allows us to see how it applies in the new covenant. “For he of whom these things are spoken pertaineth to another tribe, (We know the old priesthood was out of the tribe of Levi: All the Levites were to be priests, and the Bible never spoke of priests from any other source.) of which no man gave attendance at the altar. For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Judah; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning a priesthood.” Now when we look at this, let us also look at the Law. It shows us that somewhere, that Law was going to have a duration, an end of all its natural observances. In all the natural observance, it was the Levite men that functioned and carried out the priestly function of everything. If this Law was to end, to make way for something better, then we have to accept the fact that Christ is the better thing. “And it is yet far more evident: for that after the similitude (or the type) of Melchisedec (You will find him spoken of in Genesis.) There ariseth another priest, (Notice, he is talking about a priest, who in the end analysis is going to be much better than the Old Testament priests, who were Levites.) Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, (The Law in its natural reading, is a carnal thing, because it speaks as Paul wrote in Romans: The Law points man to the sinful nature that dominates his life of course, but as long as he is obedient to the sacrifice, he offers this to the priest at the precise time, then God pushes the guilt ahead, but we want to get to this word, forever, and see how Paul uses it.) but after the power of an endless life. (He is speaking about Christ now.) For he testifieth, Thou art a priest for ever.” This word, forever how long is it supposed to last? Eternal? Without end? You know that is not the way it is. Forever in these scriptures, pertains to a period of time. Because there was a day when there was no high priest in heaven. Jesus went up there two thousand years ago and took that position. For two thousand years He has been making intercession in relationship to the New Covenant, not the old one. Because He fulfilled the old one as far as righteousness is concerned. He is not a Levite. He is a new priest that is far better than the old Levite priest was. “For he testilleth, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.” You and I know, Jesus is not going to be a priest forever, because the same Bible that says forever right here, also says the same ONE that went away, is coming again in like manner. To do what? To become a King. When He was on earth the first time He was a prophet and a law giver. Then He became the Lamb of God that took our place at Calvary. That fulfilled the Passover Lamb. Then He ascended on high to become the everlasting High Priest to make intercession for you and me in relationship to the New Covenant. You just have to remember, when it says forever, it does not mean eternal, No. Somewhere it has an end. The same Bible that would say here, that He is going to come back to be a King and Lord of all the earth, also lets us know we have to read what this word forever really relates to, because it only means a long period of time. He was a prophet on earth. He is a High Priest in heaven, but He is coming back again to be King. For how long? A thousand years. “For there is verily a disannulling of the commandment going before for the weakness of unprofitableness thereof. For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; (That is faith in Jesus Christ.) by the which we draw nigh unto God.” When we begin to understand what the Law was for, and know that it was a type of something to come, we are looking at the scriptures the right way. While the Law was applicable, the New Testament had not even been written. When the Law was given, the prophets had not said anything yet. The Torah was what they had, what they went by. I would like to say something, but I want to say it in a nice way. If Jewish people think we Gentiles do not have respect for the Torah, just because we are not always talking about it, you have a gross misconception about us. I am reading in Exodus, out of the Torah. Before I end this message, I will be reading out of Leviticus. That is the Torah. I must say though, The Torah does not give you the final picture of what it is all to end up like. The last book in the New Testament, the book of Revelation, is what contains the last picture, the finished product. That is why I say, It is a shame that so many Jews today, in all their legalistic way, want to keep the Torah and only that. Jesus had to look those kind in the face and say, You like to sit in Moses seat, you like to talk Moses, Moses, Moses, but then He would come right down through the pages of the prophets and the Psalms, hitting those scriptures that had spoken of the time they were living in right then. He did not just hit one or two: He hit every prophet that had said something about that period of time. If the Jewish rabbis of two thousand years ago, just before the Messiah was born, had been alert when they heard about this strange fellow going to the river to be baptized by this other strange man that has been preaching a lot down there and baptizing people, and would have got their eyes out of the Torah long enough to read some of the prophets, especially Daniel, they would have known what was going on. Those scriptures bring you from the past, and take you to the future. That is why I have said many times, In the days of the first advent of Christ, Judaism was so set in their ways, in their culture, in the tradition of what they believed, a lot of the Jewish society that were so tired and exhausted from the rituals of their traditions, just stopped coming to Jerusalem to worship, or anything. They could see a priesthood so taken up with all the paraphernalia, how they dressed, and how they walked around looking so holy, and had no further revelation about what was written, it was disheartening. This is exactly why Jesus, after He was baptized and made His first entrance into the temple compound, reacted the way He did. What did He do? Think of the many Jews from the orthodox realm, that had always went there and bought a little pigeon, or bought this or that, to have it sacrificed. Those money changers had so polluted the compound around the temple area, it reminds you of our Gentile church world today, the TV programs, the bingo games and soup suppers and all the other gimmicks they use to get hold of money. About all you can hear on their TV programs is, Won’t you stand with us as we try to build this station, or this and that? We believe it is our responsibility to save the world. You will never save the world: That is totally contrary to the scriptures. I will say to most of them, You do not even preach the whole gospel message: You just preach something to please the masses, because you like the crowds. Some of you have heard the true gospel preached, but you – know you cannot preach the truth without being ridiculed, and without losing much of your support. That is why, in the days of John the Baptist, it was necessary for God to send a fore runner upon the scene before the messenger of the New Covenant (Jesus the Christ) came. When John came on the scene he preached, Repent, for the kingdom of heaven (another dispensation) is at hand! God is going to change things. That is why Jesus said, when He was asked about John, The Law and the prophets were until John, (until) since that time the kingdom of God is preached and every man presseth into it. Another way it is explained, it says, The violent take it by force. In other words, you do not just sit down somewhere and say, I think I will just take it easy: I have read the Torah today, and it is wonderful. I am not condemning the Torah: I am just showing you the lazy attitude some have. That is how a lot of those Jews were in that day. Then when the fulfillment of it came along, they said, You have a devil! If those rabbis in that day could have met their congregations in the synagogues and read from the prophets and given an explanation of what he had read, Jesus would probably never have said some of the things He did. Maybe they would not have thought about Him like they did. The historical fact is, there was a small element of Jews that dared to come out of the bushes of indifference, and stand in the background to listen to that man called Jesus. Then when they heard Him say some things and saw Him heal the sick, I could see them look at one another, You know, I think I am going to follow that fellow. We Gentile people must now know our time is running out also. I have to I believe our time of having access to F this gospel and knowing God has restored it to us in the true revelation it was first preached in, it leaves very little time to play around with it. We either have been restored to the true meaning or we are just playing around with words. I believe we have it right. Now the point I am trying to make, is this, I am not pointing the finger to every Jewish person. When I read in the , New Testament, how there was a great throng of people that would stand in the background and whisper about that man called Jesus, and of those that followed Him, some would say, He has a devil, and others were condemning Him for the way He referred to certain things they cherished. They condemned Him for walking through the fields of corn on the Sabbath day. Then they condemned Him for healing on the Sabbath day. He said, If you circumcise a man on the Sabbath day to fulfill the law of Moses, what is wrong with me healing a man that he might be made every wit whole on the Sabbath day? We can see people get such a traditional hold, then they get scared that you are trying to destroy what they have been holding on to. No. You are trying to show them, that those things were ordained to bring you to a certain point in time, and then God was going to make ready a new way, something different, something much better. That is why, when the Law says Thou shalt not commit murder, if you have really been born again, you do not want to commit murder, and you will not. You no longer have to have a commandment written over your door post to keep you from doing those forbidden things: You have it in your heart as a revelation. It is something that causes you, no matter what some may say about you, to say in your heart, Lord, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing. The Law said, Thou shalt not commit adultery, but Jesus comes along and gives you the spiritual meaning. He said, I say, Whosoever looketh upon a woman to lust after her, in his heart he has already committed adultery. That is the spiritual side of the commandment. The Law could not give you that, but the new birth can, and does. That is what the new birth is, the Spirit of God coming to take His abode inside your life, and causing you to look at everything by revelation. He deals with you in such a way you no longer want to do those things you have always done because of human nature. Where before that, every time you opened your mouth a curse word came out, but now you can mash your finger and not even think of such a thing. I grew up with some fellows, that any time anything hurt them, some little scratch or mishap, profanity came out of their mouth. If the grace of God ever is allowed to get hold of their heart, and straighten them up, even though many times the devil will come along and cause you to mash your thumb trying to prove you don’t have the victory; and even though you may have blood oozing out of it, you just grab it and say, Lord, I trust you to heal it and take the soreness away. The more the devil slaps at you, the more you say, Thank you Lord, for giving me grace. I no longer have the urge to use your name in vain. How can there be such a difference? Because God has taken this Law off of the tables of stone and written it in our hearts. The Holy Spirit in here, quickens it to us. While in the days of Jesus, no doubt there were many Jewish men and women, that had lost all interest in going to the temple to fulfill the festivities and things that they were commanded to, when Jesus came along, it was the way He taught and explained things, that made their ears perk up and listen; and what they heard changed their lives.
FIVE LOAVES & TWO SMALL FISH
Let me tell you this. There was a little boy one day. He got caught up in the crowd and followed that man until sundown. His mom was probably getting worried about him. Finally he came home. She asked, Son, where have you been? I knew you would be worried about me, but have you heard about this man called Jesus? Yes. Well, I saw Him come through town today and there was a big crowd of people following Him. I could hear Him saying things, and I could understand what He was saying and It sounded so good. I just had to follow. I understand He is staying down here at a certain place. I would like to follow that man tomorrow. The mother looked at that little boy and saw the interest. She probably thought, There is not a man on earth that I would rather you follow and listen to, than that man. So the next morning she didn’t want the boy to leave without something to eat. The bread they make in the Middle East, is little loaves about the size of hot dog buns. She fixed him five of these little loaves and two little fishes. She said, You go follow the man, but remember, be sure to come home at a proper time. So he joined the crowd. Jesus started preaching about the middle of the morning. They were led to a big open area where there was a lot of grass. Finally he said to Andrew, I am just using Andrew, I don’t know which one it really was. What do we have to feed these people? He did this to test the disciples. He said, we only have so much money. It was Andrew who said, There is a little boy here who has a lunch, but what would it be among so many?” Jesus said, go bring the little boy. They went and got the little boy. I can see this little boy, just like a child going to school. They brought him to Jesus. Jesus said, sonny, would you let me have that lunch. Yes sir. He let Him have it. Think of it, five little hot dog buns and two little fishes. Jesus said, go tell the people to sit down in companies of fifty. He has twelve disciples and they are all going to help minister to this crowd. The first thing He did, was hold it up and pray, Heavenly Father, I know you have always heard me, Bless this food today, for the ones we need to feed. Here are twelve men, but only seven items. How was Jesus going to divide this? I can see him take the five loaves, break them in half and hand a half loaf to ten of the twelve disciples. He then takes the two little fishes and gives them to the other two disciples and says, Now go serve the people. I can just see Peter, Lord, I don’t know where to start with such a little bit: What can this do among so many? These people are hungry. But He said, Go serve the people. I can see Peter as he walked to the first man, shaking, nervous, but the minute he breaks off a piece, that piece suddenly grew to a big hunk of bread. Oh! Peter’s eyes got real big. Is that sufficient brother? Yes. So he goes to the next one and breaks another piece and it does the same thing. Down the line they go. Now the disciples are excited. They cannot break it fast enough. No matter how much they break off, the half loaf does not diminish. Once they break it, it is big in this hand. Then here comes the other two with the two little fishes. How are we going to get enough fish to feed all these people. they had been thinking? The minute they break a piece, that is the piece that multiplied. The source just stayed the same size. When they all began to ask for seconds, they received them, and finally they each had a few crumbs left over, but all of that together added up to a considerable amount, as they looked around. The ground was covered with the leftovers, so Jesus said to the disciples, Go pick up every piece that is left. When they picked it all up, they wound up with twelve baskets full. It only started out with a little boy’s lunch. Jesus went down through Judea and Samaria doing things that caused some of the people to think, You are breaking the Law, you shouldn’t do this. But He was showing them the power of God. He was showing them the mercy of God. It opened the eyes of some people that had almost dropped out and stopped wanting to go to the temple or anything. It revived them and set them on fire. As the days went by, the crowds got larger. Saints: I thank God that He has been merciful to us Gentiles also. We Gentiles have taken the scriptures, twisted them to make them fit a traditional interpretation we hold, but it has created no more joy, no more excitement than many of the things of the world, so it is no wonder so many have lost interest in the things of God. That is why God has quickened those things and put them back in line. Had the rabbis of the days of Jesus, been keeping up, not only with the Torah, but the prophets as well, they should have been able to have known within approximately ten years when their Messiah should be on earth. Had our Gentile doctors of divinity and historians been keeping up with the Torah, and the prophets, and what is said in the New Testament, and see the hour we live in, they should be looking at the same things you and I are today. Instead, they just want to preach a historical Jesus on their TV programs and people come out of the jungles, and out of the alleys, coming to those meetings. They almost look like cattle in a roundup, but what they hear does not prepare them for the coming of the Lord. I have to say, Truth is light, truth brings joy, truth brings peace. I therefore want to take the other side of this and take it to the new covenant. We are not going to tear up the Law, we are just going to take from it the spiritual things that it pointed to; and bring it over here to the new one and show how it is supposed to be received and lived by.
LET THE BIBLE SPEAK
I want to return to the 5th chapter of Matthew for a few minutes, because many of the Jews refer to this. It is how Jesus said it, but we are dealing with the Old covenant, what it consisted of, what it was for, and what it was to accomplish. The new covenant was to be the fulfillment of it, as far as the spiritual benefit is to be applied and this new one, according to the scriptures, is a much better one because it puts the Spirit of God inside the believer. The old, put God among the people, but this new one puts Him inside the believer. That is the difference. I want to say again to the Jews that might listen to this, I realize we many times may say things meaning well, but the way we say them might not be understood by a Jewish person hearing us, so I desire to reassure everyone of our intention to present the scriptures in a proper manner. In St. Matthew 5, starting with verse 17, let us notice how Jesus said this. Whatever He said, had a certain meaning, and it took the apostles of that hour, those that followed Him and witnessed what He said, to interpret and apply it properly. We get it from the book of Acts and the epistles, as they taught and demonstrated the proper meaning. Jesus said to the Jews of that hour, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, (When we preach that the Law was fulfilled, it has to be rightly understood, what we mean.) or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.” The whole meaning is understood in the word fulfill. It lets us know the Law as it was written, the purpose for which it was written, and that the objective God had in giving it was for a duration of time, up to a period of time when God would produce what it pointed to. Did accepting the New Covenant, mean the Old Covenant was never to be read again? Not at all! It still allows the natural man to see what God requires of His people, even though the law is now written in their hearts. Whether Jew or Gentile, our human nature was I really not to serve God in righteousness. Our natural born nature is to be indifferent. That is why God concluded all under sin, none righteous, no matter what they have done trying to fulfill the Law part: It still comes down to the fact that there is something inside the heart of a natural man that has never been changed, that the Law cannot change. It can keep him from going beyond certain limits, but still inside of him there is a rebellious attitude, and many times certain animosities and things that he don’t know how to get rid of, yet because he is being obedient to the letter of the Law, he feels that is all that is necessary. Well, Jesus taught us we have to look at it differently than that. “For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever 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.” In teaching them, what are we teaching them for? It is to show the natural man that he is a sinner by nature. There is no way you can be saved from sin and expect to inherit eternal life, unless you accept the only provided means of eternal life. According to the apostle Paul, the law was our schoolmaster. Gal 3:24: “Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. Gal 3:25: “But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.” Gal 3:26: “For ye are all the children of God I by faith in Christ Jesus.” Just look at America. She was discovered in 1492, but we, as a nation, did not come into existence until about 1600. Around a hundred years later, we see the early colonies fought to get their independence from England, and our early founding fathers set about to draw up the Constitution, and as they discussed the issues and problems for that hour, how to establish this new nation on some kind of government, the ten commandments was adopted as a moral law for the natural man we all are. They put them in the government places, in school buildings, and many of our social laws were patterned after that which is written right there. That is the way it was supposed to be. It remained that way until we were well into the twentieth century. That is exactly why America, of all the nations on the face of this earth, is a nation that was founded under the principles of the teachings of Jesus Christ to produce a Christian life. When it comes to the ten commandments that hung before the American society to remind them, Thou shalt not do this, thou shalt not do that, because God still wants man to live at least a decent life, having some respect and principles. Not so any more: We now have a generation of youth that has been raised up without that kind of teaching. I am not belittling the young people, but last night on the News, they showed some things that are going on in our schools today. As they interviewed some of the students, there was so much talk about bullies, this and that. It is a shame that modern leadership has interpreted certain things down to such a manmade hour of their own ideas, that they no longer want the moral law of God hung up before them. They want to be able to say, This is our law: This is what we demand for mankind to be obedient to. There is not a mortal man on the face of God’s green earth that can write a law God has to honor. I cannot help but say this, If a leader of any kind hears me, I am not saying this out of anger, but when you think you can establish a righteous kingdom on this earth without somewhere recognizing God as being the founder or author of it, you are absolutely going to leave mankind to go backwards in his own ignorance and stupidity. God will not allow it. That is why in our schools today, the more they harp on better education, the worse things get. What are they actually reaching for? Sixty years ago we did not have air conditioned cars and class rooms. Heating in a car was just beginning to catch on. Sixty years ago we had no television, but now we have them everywhere. Look at all the conveniences and modern appliances we have today. What produced this? The education we attained a long time ago. Most everything we have that has been invented, was never learned from a textbook. When they began to produce the automatic washer, there was no text book anywhere that told you how to make one. It took someone with a brain to design the thing. Sometimes they would not even have a diploma from anywhere. Today, they take those things after they have already been invented and channel them through some sort of text book, and treat it like, Look what we have produced! The truth is, they are only upgrading what has already been invented. God had a man down here somewhere whose brain just refused to go along with the natural flow of things. He began to calculate this and that. It is the same way with the steam engine and everything else we have today. None of these things ever came from some man’s textbook. Somewhere, God inspired that man’s mind who invented things we have today. That is the way God produced it. When I hear, We need better education, I have to say, You will never make math any easier. There is a basic approach to arithmetic. Modern man has lost his way through this miserable world he lives in. Morality and principals, most do not even know how to spell them anymore. Many refuse to say, Yes sir., simply because they have never been taught common respect. They say, I don’t have to do that. Well I say, You do not even show yourself to be a decent human being unless you can say yes ma’am or yes sir, when it is proper to do so. You do not need a college degree to learn those basic things. Those basic things are what shows how we should exist together socially, having respect for each other. What Jesus was talking about, that the letter of the Law, as it was then, was for the natural man, but He came to fulfill the righteousness of it, especially that which God wanted the Law to produce, but it could not. We will see in the book of Hebrews a little later, where Paul said that the Law could not make the worshipers thereunto perfect, because it had flaws in it, knowing that man in his carnal state could not keep it to the letter. Even back in the book of Exodus where we were reading earlier, a little further on, when Moses went up into the mountain where God was going to give him the two tables of stone on which the commandments were written, because the others begin to think he had been gone too long, (according to their ideas) what did they do? They said, Make us a god. They got on Aaron like that until he finally said, Tell you wives and so on to bring their ear rings, bracelets and such, and they did so, and a golden calf was fashioned from them. When Moses came down and inquired of Aaron, What have you done? Aaron said, Well they began to complain. They wanted a god that would stay with them, so I took the gold and threw it in the fire and out came a calf. That was a lie. You just do not throw gold in the fire without having a form of some kind involved. It goes to show how human nature is: God had already spoken to them by Moses, concerning this Law, Thou shalt do this, thou shalt not do that and so forth, and now He has taken him up on the mountain to get it embedded in stone, so he can bring it down and set it up and teach it to the generations yet to come, but just because he was gone a few days, they got real bothered and turned to their own ways. That is just like a lot of Gentiles today. If they cannot have the moving of the Spirit when and how they want it, they start cooking up something. Nine times out of ten it is a golden calf, because they cannot go long without having something in motion. I believe we can see now, that it was the righteousness of the Law, that Jesus came to fulfill, that which the types and shadows all pointed to. As for the letter of the Law, it is still for the natural man which we all are, whether Jew or Gentile.
THE NEW COVENANT
Let us go to the book of Hebrews. We want to talk about this Ncw Covenant. How is it different than the old? We have read enough already, that we should see the difference. I hope we catch the picture. Everything that was to be made concerning the tabernacle, the ark of the covenant, the altar on which they offered their sacrifices, all these things carried a type. That type pointed to another era of time when God would do something far better. Let us begin reading here in Hebrews. Paul has just spoken of how Moses was faithful in all the things he was told to do, and how Jesus was faithful in the things He was to do. Therefore He was made a High Priest of a better covenant. Let us start with the 6th verse of the 8th chapter, which says, “But now hath He obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also He is the mediator (or administrator) of a better covenant, That is Jesus. Back in Matthew 5:17, Jesus said He did not come to destroy the Law, but to fulfill it, but here, Paul is saying Jesus was made a mediator, or an administrator of a better covenant, so how do we get it all balanced? It is because this second covenant causes the Spirit of God, according to the plan of God, to do something for the natural person that the Law could not do. The time had not come for God to do that before. Nevertheless He has made this New Covenant in which there are better promises which was established upon better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.” If the first had been the perfect thing God wanted us all to observe and keep, in order to be righteous and have eternal life, there would never have been such a thing as a second covenant. This has got to be understood by the Jewish person, before they can have peace of mind about it. This was given to the Jewish people first, then to the Gentiles. “For finding fault with them, He saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, (He is pointing back to Jeremiah 31.) when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: (Notice the comparison.)Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant.” I am not accusing anyone, I am simply preaching this to show the Jewish people, that as Gentiles who had no Law, had nothing given orally from the God of heaven for us to live by, God was gracious to our ancestors who were pagans, worshipers of devils, and eating things sacrificed to idols. Those Jewish apostles came among them two thousand years ago, bringing a message of hope, and the Spirit of God was with them. Instead of the Gentiles being pointed to a holy building (tabernacle) somewhere, like the a Jews of old, they became a part of the beginning of a new building. That is why the apostle Paul wrote, that we are lively stones, built unto a spiritual house to become a habitation of God by His Spirit. Yes, for the children of Israel, there was a natural tent first. That was it applicable and was a type of God’s dwelling place. It was among them though, not in them as an individual. He was among them to lead them, to keep them as a moral g nation. The Law and things they observed, kept them socially disciplined, so that the nations about them could see, this is a different people, a people that does not worship devils. They were different. God has ordained them to wear that, up to a point, but after a while, things began to slip and slide as each generation came along. After the death of Joshua, here came the judges period. You know what happened. Up and down, up and down they went. They fell out of one state of apostasy into another. God had to raise up men to be deliverers for them. They just failed to observe many of the things God wanted them to observe. For instance, In the Law and ordinances, God commanded them, You will tend the land six years, then the seventh year you will let it rest, as well as your beasts. They observed that up to a point, but the time came that God looked down and saw that they had taken on an attitude, Why should we let the land rest? I heard it said by a Jew one time, We will farm it for six years, then we will rent it to an Arab, or a Gentile for a year. Was that keeping the Law? No, that is cheating God, because they are going to get the rent money from it. Keep in mind, not all those people that came out of Egypt were really Jews: There was a mixed multitude with them. Many times this mixed multitude was the people that psychologically influenced a lot of the reactions of the children of Israel. That is the same way Israel is today. They have come back there by many thousands, but as they came back from many nations, some were married to a Gentile. There are children born to them, so what do you have? They have come back into the land a mixed multitude. They refer to them as the leftists. We call them liberal minded. Some of them do not believe in anything concerning God.
OUR FIRST TRIP TO ISRAEL
In October of 1968, when I was privileged to go to the land of Israel for the first time, we went to see the Holy Land, to see Jerusalem and all we could of what we had read about for years. Our first guide was an Arab, so we were kind of quiet around him, but later on we had two young Jewish fellows that had been in the army during the Six Day War. They told us where they had fought. They asked us why we were over there. We told them we were Christians, and we had come there to see the land where the Bible was written and places the Bible mentions. They were nice young men: They treated us very well. As we talked with them, I remember one said, I find it hard many times to even believe there is a God, because of the way our people have been treated. Me, being a Gentile, and hearing that from a Jewish person, I thought, My you would think all Jews are believers, at least mentally. That is not true. There are thousands of them over there today that do not believe in anything. They are just like so many are, of the Gentile world. They have learned that from this bunch of crazy Gentiles. They went back with the same spirit on them. All of this makes it hard for people that are Jews, and that really want to learn the spiritual significance as to how they can please God, having to deal with that element of unbelief, regardless of whether they call it leftists or liberal. It is a trick of the devil, designed to mislead and deceive them. We have the same thing right here in America. The more that is said about religion to the American society, the more determined that bunch is, to stamp out any mention of God. You have never heard it said so sternly and arrogantly, as it is by our politicians today. Getting back to this point though, it took the apostle Paul, a Jew that was not ignorant of what the Law said, nor of what God wanted to accomplish through the Law, to write it in a way that makes sense to those who really care. Let us begin with the chapter, verse 1 of Hebrews. “Then verily the first covenant had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary. For there was a tabernacle made; the first, wherein was the candlestick, and the table, and the shewbread; which is called the sanctuary. And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of all; Which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid roundabout with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant; And over it the cherubims of glory shadowing the mercy seat; of which we cannot now speak particularly. Now when these things were thus ordained, the priests went always into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the service of God. But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, (on the day of atonement) not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people. The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest.” Here, we find Paul describing every little aspect of the Law, the services, the functions, the ark of the covenant, the sanctuary and the holy place. The Law was given by a man named Moses. The scriptures refer to him as a prophet. He was God’s mouthpiece. It really was not Moses’ Law: It was God’s Law, but Moses was the instrument He used. Moses is referred to as a testator, meaning he gave a law, he made a covenant, he explained it in simple words. When all these other things were made, as I said earlier, they portray types and shadows of something they are pointing to. We find out as we look back to the finished work of Christ at Calvary, He was the new law giver, He was the testator of the new covenant. He had to die to put it in force. He is the ark of the covenant. He was the Passover Lamb. He was everything that was foreshadowed in all these rituals and ceremonies pointing to Christ. When the apostle Paul was teaching in Hebrews, he said Jesus was faithful over all His house and He brought us the New Covenant, the new Law, which we have in a new way. Being who He was, He fulfilled all those things that typed Him. While the Jews still held on to the natural Law given to Moses, Jesus the Christ came as the fulfillment of it in righteousness, but did not change the effect of it for the mortal man. This brought the believer into a new relationship with his Creator and God. That is exactly what the old Law was pointing to. He was made a High Priest. He did not inherit that office from the Levite tribe which had always filled that office. It was all typed by Melchisedec, back in Genesis. When we realize He truly did fulfill the Law as pertaining to righteousness, we gain a better understanding of the plan of God for believers. As touching the natural man who has inherited a nature to sin, that old law still serves to keep him thinking right. If the grace of God that has been made available through the New Covenant is not allowed to make a change in us, we will still meet God’s judgment as described in the old. The apostle Paul explained every bit of it in the epistles he wrote, and especially in the book of Hebrews. Let us read some more. (9:2) “For there was a tabernacle made; the first, wherein was the candlestick, and the table, and the shewbread; which is called the sanctuary. And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of all; Which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid roundabout with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant; And over it the cherubims of glory shadowing the mercy seat.” This describes the interior of this tabernacle and what it all represents; and for fifteen hundred years God allowed this Law to be fulfilled in its ceremonial, traditional settings, so year after year, it was blood on the altar, which did not really atone or in any way change the nature of the person. It just pushed their sins ahead, because the scripture says, the Law could not make the worshipers perfect. When Christ came, He suffered once for all, to take away sin. In that, the grace of God is going to deal with the nature of the natural man, but he will be doing it from inside the individual believers. That is why, when the Law would say, Thou shalt not kill, as long as we did not go out and bash somebody’s head in, then we could not be condemned as a murderer, but we still remained the same old person with an inherited nature to sin. Continued next issue.