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Friday, February 15, 2013

Spirit of the Law



Often times I hear preachers preaching against a homosexual lifestyle.  Marriage should be between one man and one woman, they say.  Adultery is wrong.  These things are true however these same ministers often preach that God's ten commandment laws are done away with.  To them I say, "Now wait just a minute..."  How can you claim that both things are true?  I took the liberty of looking up ALL of the texts that I could find about homosexual activity. I found six. "YOUVERSION.com" has a Bible app that allows a person to search for key words or phrases.  The word homosexual actually doesn't actually appear in the King James Version of the Bible.  In the New King James it appears once.  I had to really do my homework to find the verses.  So let's look at those verses.  The first one is in Leviticus 18:22 it reads, "You shall not lie with a male as with a woman."  The whole chapter prohibits several other kinds of sexual relations.  Mark 7:21, 22 Talks about the evils that come from the heart of men and in one translation the term "Lewdness" found in the NKJV are translated homosexual. The next verse is 1 Corinthians 6:9, 10 reads, "Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, no idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God."  Did you notice how the list is written? Fornicator, idolater, adulterer, and the homosexual along with various other sins? One sin is apparently not going to be any better or worse than any other sin as NONE of them enter the kingdom of heaven.  I found it very interesting that four of the sins listed had to do with sexual activity but that an Idolater was put in between the list of sexual sins. And let's take a look at the rest of the list.  Do any of these remind you of the last six commandments? (See Exodus 20:15-17)  The next verse is found in 2 Corinthians 12:21 this verse also translates "lewdness" to homosexual in one version that I found. Galatians 5:19-21 gives a list similar to 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 also calling lewdness as homosexual.  The list of sins is longer and includes outbursts of wrath, sorcery, selfishness, envy, murder, heresies, and hatred.  The last verse is in Revelation 22:15 It simply refers to the "sexually immoral", along with murderers, liars, and idolaters.  That's all of them.
             So then I did a search for the word "law".  There are 515 references in the Bible for law; we will not be looking at ALL of them today!  If you are really that ambitious you can do your own searching, and I encourage you to do so.  313 of those references are in the Old Testament and 202 in the new. Some of these references had to do with in-laws so they can be discarded in this study.  Most preachers who say that the law is done away with or "nailed to the cross" often only want to omit one of the Ten Commandments, the other nine they don't have a problem with.  The ONE commandment that they want to do away with is the Only one that starts with the word "remember".  Can it possibly be that God knew thousands of years ago that people today would be trying to forget the one law He asked them to remember?  You can ask these ministers if since the law was done away with is it then okay to have other gods before God? They say no, and then you can ask well is it okay to dishonor your parents? or murder? or lie, or commit adultery? No, no, no! So then they say that we honor the spirit of the law not the letter.  If the letter of the law says "thou shalt not murder" the spirit of the law is, "thou shalt not hate thy brother without a cause"; so if I don't hate my brother, I can then kill him and that's okay cause I don't hate him?(Matthew 5:22) or how about adultery... I never slept with that woman, I just thought about it night and day.  Matthew 5:28 states, "But I say unto you, that whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart." So which is more stringent the spirit or the letter?   What verses are they using to say that we don't have to follow God's laws anymore? One of them is found in Colossians 2:14 "Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;" verse 16 expounds on this by adding, "let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of a holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:" And they say, "see, we can eat and drink whatever we want and we don't have to keep the Sabbath."  In the very next chapter Paul refutes their arguments to this, in Colossians 3:5-13 Paul tells his readers to put away uncleanness because the wrath of God cometh children of disobedience. The ordinances that Paul is referring to here are not the Ten Commandments but rather the ordinances that Moses put forth to point forward to Christ; such as the sacrificing of innocent lambs.  Do we need to do that anymore?  Why not?  Because Jesus IS the Lamb of God which takes away the sins of the world. (John 1:29)  The Jews had other customs like feast days that reminded them of their heritage.  These customs don't mean much to people outside of the Jewish nation. This customs included extra days that they called sabbath days (small "s").  They weren't the Seventh day Sabbath, they were just solemn feasts.  That is where the phrase "new moons, and sabbath days" comes in at.
            So my question is this...Can God change? Malachi 3:6 Says, "For I am the Lord, I change not:" So can God change his laws?  Suppose for a minute that God randomly decided to change the laws of gravity.  One minute we would be walking down the street and the next we could be floating in midair. Or the gravitational pull was so strong that occasionally we could not lift even our foot because it was too heavy and then we go to yank it up and we fly into outer space because God reversed the gravitational field?  Sound silly? Of course.  How about the text in Romans 6:23 that says, "The wages of sin is death...?"  What if Jesus said, "I don't want to die on the cross, could we just change that law for a little bit?"  Wouldn't we then consider that God is unjust and unfair? The same author that wrote Colossians also wrote Romans so what does Paul say about God's law in Romans?  Let's look at chapter 7:7-25.  I will highlight verse 7, 12, and 25 here but please read the whole thing on your own. 7 "What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet." 12 "Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good." 25 "I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God: but with the flesh the law of sin."
            Let's take a quick look at when The Sabbath was instituted.  Turn to Genesis chapter 2 verses 2-3. "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.  And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God had created and made."  Now I ask you what nationality were Adam and Eve?  They weren't Jewish.  Moving forward to Exodus 16 God begins reeducation His people on which day the Sabbath is.  Take some time and read the whole chapter.  Notice that chapter 16 comes before the giving of the 10 commandments to Moses which takes place in chapter 20.  So God expected them to keep the Sabbath before He actually wrote it in stone with His finger.  Beginning in verse 22-35 God is taking the time to teach the Israelites which day the Sabbath is and the lesson continues for forty years.  I found verse 28 especially interesting, it reads: "And the Lord said to Moses, How long refuse ye to keep my commandments and my laws?"  Wait a cotton picken minute, He hadn't even written them down yet!  Do you think that they forgot which day of the week they were to worship on?  Nope! 'Cause in Jesus day they had so many laws concerning the Sabbath Jesus had to remind them what the day was for! (See Mark 2:23-28) So which day is the Sabbath? Matthew 28:1 "In the end of the Sabbath as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week...." Which day is Easter on? 
            So maybe the disciples changed Sabbath?  First let me ask, EVEN IF a mortal disciple decided to change which day he worshiped on would that make it acceptable in God's eyes?  The Book of Acts repeatedly tells of the disciples worshiping on Sabbath.  Let's look at one such verse, Acts 17:2 "And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three Sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures."  But wasn't it Paul that had so much to say about freedom from the law?  And wasn't it Paul who instructed others to do so?  The one text that people use to say this is found in Paul's writings to the church in Corinth. 1 Corinthians 16:2 "Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come."  Paul is simply instructing them to gather the offerings before he gets there so as not to waste time when he does get there.
             Repeatedly the Bible gives reference to people in the last days obeying God's commandments and following His Sabbath day.  Lets look at a few of those in closing.  Matthew 24:20 Jesus has been talking both about the coming destruction of the Jewish temple and about the end of the world and He says, "But pray ye that your flight be not in winter, neither on the Sabbath day."  If Jesus had planned on changing His laws don't you think He would have said something about it in his 33 1/2 years here on earth?  Isaiah 66:22-23 say, "For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make shall remain before me, saith the Lord, so shall your seed and your name remain. And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another and from one Sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the Lord."  So even in the new Earth all will be keeping the Sabbath.  The Last book in the Bible chapter 14 verse 12, Revelation 14:12 says, "Here is the patience of the saints; here are they that keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus."
             From the Beginning of the Bible to the very end God admonishes us to keep His commandments.  There are warnings against those who think to change the words of God's book. Revelation 22:19 "And if any man shall take away from the words of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book."  While it is always good to preach against sin in all of its forms, it is important to remember that God always means what He says, and will not hold a person guiltless who disregards parts of His laws.


L H J E T W N I S Q R Y R W K Y H G

I U X A E R E V I V E D A U L W R W

C D R B V P O B M M U L O G O X Z V

A T E W O R D A I N E D N V R N G T

R D V E C K Y O V D O I E D T M B H

N W I O Y F S U H Q D X U T L R Q G

A E L G T A O O P E G H H A A W R I

L L E E I T Z X E E R J U H N H W L

W L D B V E O C Q W N T G V L S R E

O E L E I O X B L A I X J Z F C E D

L T N N T E S X D R Z A M D O I T H

L H V B P I P J I R L U W L R Q C S

A B Z N A C W P Y I U G P O B S H F

A P D J C N S Z V N B G G S I O E L

N H Y L O H Z E N G U L P K D F D E

Y Y M H M O R N O I S A C C O E L S

I J L G T H A N K T K W K R Z I H H

A L C O M M A N D M E N T J T C I T

alive
dwelleth
ordained
allow
exceedingly
revived
captivity
flesh
sin
carnal
forbid
sold
hate
spiritual
covet
holy
delight
law
warring

Romans 7:7-25