Thousands of professing
Christians and many large denominations insist there are no works
required in order to receive salvation! Millions of people who profess Christ
insist that the LAW is "done away"; that such things as the Sabbath, annual
Sabbaths, clean and unclean meats, tithing are all unnecessary. They believe the
Bible says "Jesus nailed the law to His cross," and claim that "under the ĎNEWí
Covenant" there is no obligation to keep any laws! Millions believe we are saved
by grace alone! They insist there are no works of any kind
involved in salvation.
Is this true? Will God save us if we do not obey Him? Put another
way, will God refuse salvation to us if He finds us trying to keep His
laws? Does it make God angry with us when He sees us trying to keep His
Ten Commandments? Can keeping the Sabbath and holy days get you LOST?
by Garner Ted Armstrong
In this publication, you
will see just what was "nailed to the Ďcross,í" and you will be astonished at
what your own Bible says!
Yet, judging from the angry rhetoric one hears over radio and television
and reads in religious publications, you and I would be in real trouble
with God if we were found trying to keep His laws! "Thatís legalism!"
they say, when asked about keeping the Sabbath or feast days, observing Godís
dietary laws, or obeying the Ten Commandments.
Is God angry with us if we keep His laws? Will we lose out on His
Kingdom if we dare trying to obey Him?
Tunnel Vision ó or Dishonesty?
The favorite text quoted
by thousands of ministers to do away with any works is, "For by grace
are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of
God: not of works, lest any man should boast" (Ephesians 2:8, 9).
Invariably, they stop quoting with the word "boast," and never go on
to read the rest of the thought!
On its face, this oft-quoted verse seems to tell us we need only have
faith to be savedóthat we certainly do not need any "works" to present before
God. If this is so, then why did Paul, the writer of this letter to the
church at Ephesus, continue to say in the same passage, "For we are His
workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath
before ordained that we should walk in them"? (Ephesians 2:10).
If God has ordained that we should "walk in good works," meaning live
a life of good works, which this verse plainly tells us, then isnít this a
diametric contradiction only a few words apart in the Bible?
Not at all. Godís Word does not contradict itself. It does not tell you
one thing in one verse, and the exact opposite in the next. One need only
understand the meaning of the words used in order to grasp the full
meaning of the entire passage. One thing is obvious. If only a part of the
phrase is quoted, ending with the word "boast," the person quoting the verse
does not want his listeners or readers to hear or see the remainder, which says
we are created in Christ, as newly-begotten "creatures in Christ," unto good
works! Is there any dishonesty involved?
What is the Bible Definition of
Grace does not mean a
permanent condition of a human being. "Living under grace" is a term often
used by those who deny there are any works to be accomplished by
Christians. But grace is a quality of the character and nature of God,
not the state of being of a Christian. Grace means unmerited pardon. It means
undeserved, unearned forgiveness! Because God is gracious, meaning
merciful, He is willing to forgive us for our sins when we repent. A plain
paraphrasing of the enigmatic verse in Ephesians 2:8 would be, "By Godís loving,
merciful graciousness and forgiveness, we are saved by faith in Jesus
Christ, and even this faith is a gift from God, it is not something we
can produce ourselves, lest we should boast and brag that we had saved
ourselves! Nevertheless, we are created in Christ, as Christians, for the
purpose of performing good works, which God has before ordained that we
should live in them."
Here is what the dictionary says about grace: "Godís free and
undeserved favor to and love for mankind; influence of God operating in man
to improve and strengthen: but where sin abounded, grace did much more
abound" (Romans 5:20).
Never forget the real meaning of the word "grace." Remember, it is not
the life-long condition of a Christianóa "state of being" in which the Christian
dwells, it is part of the quality of character of God! When we repent of sin,
God is gracious and merciful to forgive us of our sins. Notice, "Now to him that
worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that
worketh not, but believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is
counted for righteousness. Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the
man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, saying, Blessed are
they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered" (Romans 4:4-7).
We can never "work" to eradicate sin. Sin is only forgiven through the
blood of Jesus Christ, not through anything we can accomplish. No amount of
well-doing today can erase evil-doing yesterday. But when God "imputes
righteousness without works" to us, He does so only through the blood sacrifice
of Jesus Christ; through His righteousness.
How greatly blessed we are, by Godís loving and merciful grace,
when He forgives and covers our sins! And what is sin? Sin is the
breaking of Godís Ten Commandments!
No human being can ever earn Godís forgiveness. Remember, being
forgiven is the very first step toward salvation. We know "all have sinned, and
come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). "Blessed is the man to whom the
Lord will not impute sin," wrote Paul (Romans. 4:8). Neither you nor I could
live one hundred lifetimes of one hundred years each, mightily striving to "be
good," or "do good," and earn salvation! We could not keep Godís Ten
Commandments perfectly for one hundred such lifetimes of one hundred years each,
and earn salvation!
Why is this so? Because salvation is the gracious gift of God. A
gift is not something we earn, it is something freely given!
Human Nature; What it Really is
Each of us is imbued with
human nature. Human nature is, by definition, a nature that is contrary to God.
God says, "Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not
subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that
are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the
Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not
the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his" (Romans 8:7-9).
The word "carnal" merely means "fleshly." We are imbued with fleshly,
earthy, carnal human nature, which is a collection of vanity, jealousy, lust,
and greed. Notice that we are by nature "not subject to the law of
God." This is not Godís desire. He wants us to be subject to His laws, which
are there for our good. Yet, by our very nature, we tend to be antagonistic
toward Godís laws. This antagonism shows itself throughout much of nominal,
professing Christianity. Millions of people in dozens of denominations and
church organizations teach against Godís law. How shocked they will be when they
learn WHO WROTE the very law they hate!
The law of God points out what sin is. We could not know that it is wrong
to covet, or lust, apart from Godís law. Human societies have been able to
determine that stealing is wrong; that murder is wrong. Even pagan societies
have devised laws which are necessary to regulate a peaceful society. But no
humanly devised law could ever conclude that it is against the law to lust or
covet. Paul put it this way: "(For not the hearers of the law are just before
God, but the doers of the law shall be justified. For when the Gentiles,
which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these,
having not the law, are a law unto themselves:
"Which show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience
also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else
excusing one another)" (Romans 2:14, 15). Many human societies legislate against
many of the same proscriptions contained in the Ten Commandments, such as
stealing and murder. Yet, they remain oblivious and antagonistic toward Godís
Why is there such antagonism against Godís laws? One would assume
one would find hostility toward Godís laws in non-Christian society; that the
non-Christian and unbeliever would, of course, be antagonistic toward any rules
and regulations in the Bible. But the major source of antagonism toward
Godís laws is in the very place one would expect to find the opposite
viewóthat of humble, joyous acceptance! Instead, the vast majority of
nominal "Christian" ministers evince an impatient, angry hostility toward
Why? Which one of the laws of God is it which causes such passion?
What is so wrong with the laws of God that they find no place in the
liturgy and doctrines of professing Christian churches? Letís investigate each
one, and see:
Which Commandments Do People
Why all the hatred
directed toward Godís law? Does it make any sense? Do you believe God, who "is
LOVE," and who knows all things; Who can foresee all things, wrote a law which
He KNEW was a "bad law," and which He foreknew He would some day have to send
His son to ABOLISH? Jesus said "I and my Father are one." Did Christ come to
dismantle His Fatherís law? You will be ASTONISHED to learn WHO really wrote the
Ten Commandments, and to see what your own Bible says about whether Christ came
to demolish them!
Millions of people seem to HATE any mention of Godís law! Why? What is it
about laws against stealing, murder, lying, adultery, and dishonoring oneís
parents that is so bad? Letís see if we can single out just what it is about
Godís Ten Commandments that make people so angry.
It is not the first commandment people reject. "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" (Exodus 20:2, 3). Nominal
Christianity, Judaism and Islam are called the "three great monotheistic
religions." As such, none of them reject the commandment to worship but the one
true God. They differ enormously, of course, on just who, or what God is; the
nature of Godóbut they are monotheistic, not polytheistic. Certainly, no
Baptist, Methodist, Lutheran or Catholic believes in worshiping more than one
God. There are no books written by Protestants, for example, which take issue
with the first commandment, attempting to justify the worship of idols, or more
than one God. They may disagree on the nature of God, but, regardless of how
they state it, they all accept the concept of "one God."
It is not the second commandment people reject. "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:
"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;
"And showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my
commandments (Exodus 20:4-6). Baptists, Methodists, Lutherans, Episcopalians and
dozens of other denominations reject idols. Of course, many would argue that
statues, sculptures, pictures in stained glass, paintings, crucifixes, and St.
Christophers dangling from rear-view mirrors are not truly "idols." A common
explanation given by those who attend worship services where statuary is present
is that they do not "worship" the statue, but that it merely reminds them
of the one they worship, whether their concept of Christ, or the virgin Mary, or
some other "saint."
However, none of the nominal Christian churches find the second
commandment repugnant to them, or argue that they should bow down to an idol.
They merely disagree on what constitutes "idolatry," not that it is wrong. There
are no books written by the "mainstream" Protestant churches attempting to
justify idolatry and the breaking of the second commandment.
It is not the third commandment they reject. "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" (Exodus 20:7). There are no books written by
mainstream fundamentalist churches arguing that we may curse and swear; no
church says we may take Godís name in vain. However, most do not realize they
are breaking this commandment by repeating the name of Jesus over and over
again, or reciting the "Lordís prayer" repeatedly. Christ commanded us, "And
when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to
pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may
be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
"But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast
shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth
in secret shall reward thee openly.
"But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do:
for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.
"Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things
ye have need of, before ye ask him.
"After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in
heaven, Hallowed be thy name" (Matthew 6:5-9). Yet, nearly all churches do the
exact opposite of what Jesus Christ instructed! The famous "Lordís prayer" is
not a prayer at all, but an outline for prayer. Christ was not praying
when He delivered these words to His disciples. He was merely speaking to them;
instructing them. How strange it is that the verses immediately preceding the
so-called "Lordís Prayer" warn against "vain repetition," and yet the "Lordís
Prayer" is repeated endlessly by hundreds of thousands each week!
Commonly, "taking the Lordís name in vain" is assumed to mean cursing and
swearing; using Godís name, or the name of Jesus Christ in oaths, or as
by-words. None of the churches reject this commandment.
It is not the fifth commandment they reject: "Honour thy father
and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God
giveth thee" (Exodus 20:12). No church argues against the commandment to honor
our parents; none of the monotheistic religions do so; not Islam, Judaism, or
nominal Christianity. There are no books attempting to set aside this
It is not the sixth commandment they reject: "Thou shalt not kill"
(Exodus 20:13). Actually, the commandment reads, "Thou shalt do no murder," for
the Hebrew ward is Ratsach, (pronounced "raw-tsach") which means
murder, as distinct from killing. God commanded ancient Israel to
exterminate their pagan, idolatrous, child-sacrificing Gentile neighbors;
commanded them to carry out the death sentence on capital offenders, such as
murderers. There are no books written to set aside the command against murder.
Of course, there are many nominal Christians who are vehemently against the
death penalty for murderers, no matter how brutal and heinous their crimes. Some
people seem to feel they are more righteous than God, who clearly
prescribed the death penalty for murder, and who will carry out such a penalty
in the millennial reign of Christ.
It is not the seventh commandment they reject: "Thou shalt not
commit adultery" (Exodus 20:14). As Paul wrote to the Romans, even pagan
societies have written laws, and are a "law unto themselves" concerning these
fundamental rules for a peaceful, regulated society. Most churches regard the
breaking of the seventh commandment as sin; most are against divorce. The Roman
Catholic Church is a case in point. In Arab countries, adultery is punishable by
death. There are no books written by Protestant theologians who are angry with
the seventh commandment. Of course, there are "gay churches," and some liberal
churches ordain "gay" preachers or priests, and some condone "same-sex
marriages" all of which are an abomination in Godís sight, and in clear
violation of Godís perfect law. Yet, they do not single out the seventh
commandment for their anger.
It is not the eighth commandment they reject: "Thou shalt not
steal." No churches advocate stealing. There are no books written to set aside
It is not the ninth commandment they reject: "Thou shalt not bear
false witness against thy neighbour" (Exodus 20:16). No church condones lying.
The commandment is couched in terms which seem to imply testifying against oneís
neighbor in a deliberate attempt to defame, as in a legal matter. However,
simple "gossip" breaks this commandment, and perhaps no one engages in vicious
gossip and slander with more alacrity than some professing "Christians," who
become self-righteous and judgmental. Nevertheless, no books have been written
to justify lying, or falsely defaming oneís neighbor.
It is not the tenth commandment they reject: "Thou shalt not covet
thy neighbourís house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbourís wife, nor his
manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is
thy neighbourís" (Exodus 20:17). Though millions of nominal Christians, Jews,
and followers of Islam may desperately covet material things, or covet the
wealth of others, none of them vigorously attempt to set aside the tenth
commandment. As Paul said, this commandment is not among those which have been
instituted by pagan societies. They can determine that theft and murder are
detrimental to society and legislate against them, but no society has determined
that lusting and coveting in your mind are a sin.
It is the law of God that points out what sin is.
Paul wrote, "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" (Romans 7:7). Human nature could
never determine that coveting is wrong. Actually, covetousness is the same thing
as idolatry, for an idol can be anything that comes between us and God;
anything we place before God: "Mortify therefore your members which are
upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil
concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:
"For which thingsí sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of
disobedience" (Colossians 3:5, 6). Though some may not emphasize it, or spend a
great deal of time railing against covetousness, none of the Protestant churches
attempts to single out the tenth commandment for attack, or to argue against it.
Then WHICH of the Ten Commandments is it that makes them so angry? The
one we omitted. The fourth commandment: "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" (Exodus 20:8-11). This commandment makes many people blind,
raging, furious! Not that they mind "keeping Sunday", or even arguing "Well, I
donít think it makes any difference ó I think you ought to Ďkeep every day
holyí, or any Ďone in seven.í" Human reason seems so good to so many. But we are
not saved by our clever arguments, or human reason. Only God will save us, and
only according to HIS word!
You live in a Sunday observing world. Since 325 AD, at the Council
of Nicaea, when an apostate church ordered all Christians to cease from "Judaizing"
by observing the seventh-day Sabbath, the observance of Sunday, the "Day
of the sun," or Solis Invictus, has been in place.
When one is reared by oneís parents or guardians in a ready-made world,
one rarely questions the customs and practices of society. East Asian Indians
are taught from childhood about the Hindu religion. Chinese are taught Buddhism.
Arabs are brought up as believers in the Koran, and Islam. Only a very few, rare
individuals ever think to carefully research and study out why they do
the things they do. Christmas, Easter, Halloween; all are such a part of nominal
Christian society that hardly anyone gives them a second thought.
So it is with Sunday. The fourth commandment clearly points out the
seventh day of the week reminds us that God created this special day
by resting from His creative works, and tells us we must "remember the
Sabbath day to KEEP IT HOLY." It is this commandment which is hated
by millions! Sabbath-keeping simply does not "fit" into a Sunday-keeping world.
With centuries of tradition; huge cathedrals, basilicas, churches; with millions
of members all in lock step on Sunday, the concept of Sabbath-keeping seems
strange, even cultic, to millions.
Of course, the Jews continue to observe the Sabbath. Seventh-Day
Adventists do. Seventh-Day Baptists do. Dozens of other Sabbatarian groups do.
But to the large, Protestant "mainstream" churches, Sabbath-keeping seems
There are dozens of Bible proofs which plainly prove that Godís Sabbath
day was never changed; that it was never "nailed to the cross."
Never doubt for an instant that the fourth commandment is the
actual target of those who would tell you Godís laws are "done away"! It is the
pivotal reason why there is such anger in the minds of so many professing
Christian ministers directed toward "Sabbatarians." How could all these churches
be wrong? they reason. In this book, however, we are dealing specifically
with the question of grace, as opposed to works.
There are dozens of fine books available which document in detail how
the Roman Catholic Church gradually imposed Sunday worship upon the nominal
Christian world. Catholics will openly claim that Protestants have no scriptural
basis for "keeping Sunday"; that they inherited the practice from Rome.
While many fundamentalist churches say the Bible is their sole
guide, even if they disagree widely on what it says, the Roman Catholic Church
cheerfully admits their authority for their doctrines and practices stems from
three distinct sources: (1) The pope, when speaking ex cathedra,
or from the so-called "holy see," which means he is infallible. (2) Church
tradition, handed down from "the fathers." (3) The scriptures. The order in
which these "authorities" are listed is advisable. Where there is any apparent
conflict, the papal decrees and/or the "tradition of the fathers" takes
Missing Keys to
Understanding Your Bible:
does not come merely because one understands the English language, and knows how
to read. Believe it or not Almighty God has said that a true understanding of
His word is not available to everyone. Just because millions of people
believe in Hinduism, no Methodist or Baptist believes they are right. The old
argument, "the majority is always right," is utterly false. So is the excuse,
"surely, all these churches canít be wrong?"
Many read the Bible, yet say they cannot understand it. Why? Because man
has rejected God. Because carnal human nature is enmity against
God and His laws (Romans 8:7). Notice the prophecy of Isaiah, "Stay yourselves,
and wonder; cry ye out, and cry: they are drunken, but not with wine; they
stagger, but not with strong drink.
"For the LORD hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep,
and hath closed your eyes: the prophets and your rulers, the seers hath he
"And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is
sealed, which men deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this, I
pray thee: and he saith, I cannot; for it is sealed:
"And the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this,
I pray thee: and he saith, I am not learned.
"Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with
their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far
from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men:
"Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this
people, even a marvellous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men
shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid.
"Woe unto them that seek deep to hide their counsel from the LORD, and
their works are in the dark, and they say, Who seeth us? and who knoweth us?
"Surely your turning of things upside down shall be esteemed as
the potterís clay: for shall the work say of him that made it, He made me not?
or shall the thing framed say of him that framed it, He had no understanding?
"Is it not yet a very little while, and Lebanon shall be turned into a
fruitful field, and the fruitful field shall be esteemed as a forest?
"And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes
of the blind shall see out of obscurity, and out of darkness" (Isaiah 29:9-18).
This is referring to spiritual deafness and blindness.
Jesus Christ quoted from this prophecy. His disciples wondered why
He continually spoke to the people in puzzles, called "parables." Some seem to
believe He did so to make His meaning clearer. He did the exact opposite!
Notice, "And the disciples came, and said unto Him, Why speakest thou unto them
"He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the
mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.
"For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more
abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he
"Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and
hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.
"And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing
ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not
"For this peopleís heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of
hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should
see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with
their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.
"But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.
"For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have
desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear
those things which ye hear, and have not heard them" (Matthew13:10-17).
What shocking words! Jesus Christ clearly said He spoke to the masses in
puzzles and conundrums lest they should understand; lest they
should be converted; lest He should heal them! Yet, millions assume Jesus
Christ tried valiantly to convert every person He saw; to heal all who came to
Him; to teach everyone all He could about Godís Word! He did no such thing. He
thanked His Father that He had revealed His truth unto "babes," instead
of the intellectually proud of this world (Luke 10:21).
But Christ said "Many are called and few are chosen" (Matthew
Only a humble, contrite, sincere person with whom God is working; one who
is being called to repentance, can clearly understand His word! He said
so! He said, "No man can come unto me, except the Father which hath sent me draw
him..." (John 6:44). Because the natural state of human beings is carnality,
which is hostility toward Godís laws, the immediate tendency when
encountering scriptures about obedience is to attempt to reason around them.
Many things are needed to understand Godís truth. First, one must believe
that God IS, and that the Bible is His inspired word to man. Next, one must
approach the Word of God in a spirit of humble fear, trembling before it in awe.
"Thus saith the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool:
where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest?
"For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have
been, saith the LORD: [YHVH, or, "the Eternal"] but to this man will I
look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my
word" (Isaiah. 66:1, 2).
Few truly tremble before the sacred Word of God. Few are afraid
to put their own interpretation into it; to scornfully reject some scriptures,
and cling to others. The Bible plainly tells us that not every point of truth is
found in any one place: "Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make
to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the
"For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line,
line upon line; here a little, and there a little:
"For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this
"To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to
rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear.
"But the Word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept
upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little;
that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken"
As Jesus Christ said, this is precisely why so many are
deceived about so many doctrines and truths in Godís Word. A glaring example
is the verse quoted at the beginning of this book. Invariably, those who attempt
to do away with Godís law (because they hate the fourth commandment!)
will stop quoting with the word "boast," when, if they quoted the entire
passage, the meaning would become clear.
God inspired John to warn against attempting to put our own ideas into
Scripture: "For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy
of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the
plagues that are written in this book:
"And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this
prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the
holy city, and from the things which are written in this book" (Revelation
Are you one with whom God is working? Is your mind and your heart truly
open to understand Godís Word? If it is, you will be able to completely
understand that Godís loving, merciful grace which is extended to
us when we repent does not mean we may break Godís Ten Commandments!
When thoughts of tradition; of family and friends; thoughts like "Surely
all these big churchesóall these millions of people canít be wrong?" come
into your mind, you will admit to yourself, "Yes, they can, and they usually
There is no church which advocates sin. Yet, most do not teach their
members what sin really is.
What is the Bible Definition of
With spirit of awe and
Godly fear in mind, look at the Bible definition of sin and
justification. There is only one scripture in the Bible which says, "SIN IS":
and then gives us the exact definition of sin. Notice, "Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law" (1 John 3:4). That is what sin IS. It is the breaking of any one of Godís Ten
James wrote, "If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou
shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well:
"But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of
the law as transgressors.
"For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point,
he is guilty of all.
"For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if
thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the
law" (James 2:8-11). To break any point of the Ten Commandments is the same as
breaking all of them! This clearly means that Sabbath-breaking is exactly the
same as murder in Godís sight! Burn this down inside your mind, and never forget
it: SIN IS THE BREAKING OF GODíS LAW!
When we repent, what is it we must repent of? We must repent of
sin! And what IS SIN? It is the breaking of Godís laws; Godís holy, righteous,
perfect Ten Commandments! If only this simple truth were etched into the minds
of millions of nominal Christians, they would see clearly that Godís law is not
When John the Baptist preached, he continually cried out, "Repent ye,
for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand" (Matthew 3:2). Jesus Christ said, "Repent,
for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand" (Matthew 4:17). Repent of
what? Repent of sin! And what IS sin?
On the Day of Pentecost, when thousands were stricken over Peterís
powerful indictment of their blood guiltiness over Christís death, they were
"...pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles,
Men and brethren, what shall we do?
"Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every
one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye
shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit" (Acts 2:37, 38).
Again, repent of what? Repent of sin. And what is sin? It
is the breaking of any point of Godís Ten Commandments. Remember, "All have
sinned and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23), and "The wages of sin
is death" (Romans 6:23).
Those who attempt to "do away" with Godís Ten Commandments (especially
the fourth one) will never write or preach from the scriptures you
see in this bookóscriptures you will find are faithfully quoted exactly as you
find them in your own Bible. They will avoid them like the plague, for they do
not want their members hearing or reading scriptures which plainly tell them
they must keep Godís Ten Commandments once they have repented of having
Notice how Paul wanted to avoid any misunderstanding among the Roman
converts about "grace." He did not want them to assume that, because we are
under Godís grace, we can revert right back to the life of sin
from which we repented. He wrote, "What shall we say then? Shall we continue
in sin, [breaking any one of the Ten Commandments] that grace may
"God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?
"Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were
baptized into His death?
"Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into death: that like as
Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also
should walk [live] in newness of life" (Romans 6:1-4). We are to live a new and
a different way of life; the way of Godís Ten Commandments. David said, "O how
love I thy law! It is my meditation all the day" (Psalms 119:97). David
was a man after Godís own heart, who will be the king over all Israel in
the millennial reign of Christ (Jeremiah 30:9).
Now, you know what sin really IS. If you never forget this, and always
apply it when you read about sin in the Bible, you will have a far greater
What is "Justification"?
Your dictionary says the
word "justify" means: "To show to be just or right...to clear of blame or guilt;
to vindicate." My dictionary even has a biblical meaning: "Justification by
faith: freedom from the penalty of sin through faith in Christ" (The
World Book Encyclopedia Dictionary). As I write, I have a feature on my
word processor which justifies the margins on the page. That is, it
forces all the letters at the beginning or the end (or both, if I desire) of a
line to be exactly square; perpendicular. The word "rectified," or the
expression "made right" means the same thing as "justified."
When we are wrong, we need to be "made right." When we are
sinners, we need to be "justified." Justification means the
forgiveness of sins that are past. It has to do with the removal, through
Godís grace, of our past sins!
When we repent of sin, which is the breaking of Godís laws, God says He
will forgive us. When He has forgiven us, we are then justified: made
right, straightened out, rectifiedóforgiven!
Then what? Does this mean we are then free to go out and do the very same
things we just repented of? Of course not! However, when we have been forgiven,
God expects us to live a life of overcoming!
Here is a most vital point concerning the "grace versus works" arguments
of so many nominal Christians. Millions have become convinced that there is
nothing they must do in order to be saved. Instead of understanding that
salvation is as the result of Godís loving grace, and that His grace
forgives us from our past sins, they believe there is no obedience toward
God required! Some have gone so far as to say once they have accepted Jesus
Christ as Savior, they cannot sin!
How utterly ridiculous! Because one has believed Jesus Christ died for
our sins; believed he or she should accept Him as Savior, does this mean that
lying, cheating, stealing, or even murder are completely overlooked?
Never forget that repentance and the forgiveness of sins is but the
first step in becoming a child of God! Why would Jesus Christ urge us to
overcome if there is nothing further we must do once we have accepted
Him as Savior?
He said, "And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto
the end, to him will I give power over the nations:
"And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter
shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father" (Revelation
2:26, 27). Keeping Christís works unto the end means holding fast to His
teaching and His example. It means not only believing in the mighty works He
accomplished here on earth, but continuing in His work during our entire
Over and over again, your Bible says we must live a life of struggling
against sin; a life of striving to overcome sin.
Some of Christís most important parables dealt with how we are to
overcome. Christ showed that God judges each of us according to our own
individual talents and abilities; that each of us is to be rewarded in His
Kingdom according to what we do with what we have.
Notice, "He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to
receive for himself a kingdom, and to return.
"And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said
unto them, Occupy till I come.
"But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We
will not have this man to reign over us. [Note this carefully!
They would not obey. They detested government!].
"And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the
kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had
given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading.
"Then came the first, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained ten pounds.
"And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been
faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities.
"And the second came, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained five pounds.
"And he said likewise to him, Be thou also over five cities.
"And another came, saying, Lord, behold, here is thy pound, which I have
kept laid up in a napkin:
"For I feared thee, because thou art an austere man: thou takest up that
thou layedst not down, and reapest that thou didst not sow.
"And he saith unto him, Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee, thou
wicked servant. Thou knewest that I was an austere man, taking up that I laid
not down, and reaping that I did not sow:
"Wherefore then gavest not thou my money into the bank, that at my coming
I might have required mine own with usury?
"And he said unto them that stood by, Take from him the pound, and give
it to him that hath ten pounds.
"(And they said unto him, Lord, he hath ten pounds.)
"For I say unto you, That unto every one which hath shall be given; and
from him that hath not, even that he hath shall be taken away from him.
"But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them,
bring hither, and slay them before me" (Luke 19:12-27).
This is a profound parable. Clearly, Christ showed that the man who
doubled his money with only five pounds (the King James English Bible uses the
English "pound sterling" instead of dollars, or Hebrew coin) accomplished just
as much as the man who doubled his money with ten pounds. The only difference
was in their natural gifts; their natural several abilities.
The attitude of the enemies was one of rebellion against laws.
They resented any rulership over them. Christ shows those who rebel
against God as the RULER are to be slain.
Notice that each one of the servants was GIVEN a certain amount.
Salvation is GIVEN of God through Christís sacrifice. But once God has freely
GIVEN us forgiveness and salvation because of His loving grace and mercy, He
expects us to live a life of overcoming. The servants were each given a
gift of money. They didnít earn it. But after receiving the free gift, they were
expected to produce; to use the gift they had received.
The parable clearly shows that we are to "Grow in grace and
knowledge"; that we are to overcome when we have been converted.
The parable of the "talents" is a similar example (Matthew 25:14-30).
In the famous "Sermon on the mount," Jesus Christ showed there is
struggle and difficulty involved in overcoming. He clearly showed
some would seek to enter in to His kingdom, and would not be able.
His words are completely incompatible with the concept of "no works" following
our repentance and baptism.
Christ said, "Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and
broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in
"Because strait [meaning difficult, tortuous] is the gate, and narrow is
the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it" (Matthew
7:13, 14). A little later in this passage, He said, "Not every one that saith
unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth
the will of my Father which is in heaven.
"Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in
thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many
"And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye
that work iniquity [lawlessness]" (Matthew 7:21-23).
These rebellious, lawless ones have works, whether they
know it or not, but their works are "works of lawlessness," or rebellion toward
Godís laws, not the good works God wants to see in our lives.
Millions call Jesus Christ "Lord." They continually speak of how they
"love the Lord," and become emotional about "praising the Lord." Jesus Christ
asks of all these: "And why call ye me ĎLord, Lordí and DO NOT THE THINGS
WHICH I SAY?" (Luke 6:46).
How do We PROVE We Have Faith?
Countless numbers of
professing Christians believe they are saved by "faith." All their lives, they
have heard the message, "Only believe." They have heard repeatedly
that they must only "believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved."
They have heard almost none of the scriptures you have just read; almost
none of the scriptures that show obedience to God must be coupled
with our belief, or else our belief is in vain. By selective "proof
texting," such as you saw at the beginning of this booklet,
deceivers quote only part of a phrase, or carefully select certain verses
to prove their point, while avoiding others.
Millions believe we are saved by "faith alone." They have heard, over and
over again, "By grace are you saved through faith."
But what is faith?
"Faith is the substance [ground, or confidence] of things hoped for, the
evidence of things not seen" (Hebrews 11:1). Even faith is a gift
from God. It is not something we can stir up, or create within ourselves
(Ephesians. 2:8). A few verses later, we read, "But without faith it is
impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and
that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him" (Hebrews. 11:6). The
apostle James said there is a way to demonstrate our faith. He wrote, "What doth
it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works?
can faith save him?
"If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,
"And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled;
notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body;
what doth it profit?
"Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
"Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: show me thy faith
without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works.
"Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also
believe, and tremble [Satan the devil is a believer. He knows God
exists. He has seen Him; He has tempted Jesus Christ up close, in person!
Never forget, the devil "believes!"],
"But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?
"Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac
his son upon the altar?
"Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made
"And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and
it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the friend of God.
"Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by
"Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when
she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?
"For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is
dead also" (James 2:14-26). Can scripture be any plainer? There are works
which must be accomplished; the kind of works Christ described. First, there is
the work of God, of preaching the gospel of the Kingdom of God to all the
world as a witness. Then, there is the work of feeding the flock of God.
Then, there is the work of the church, and the work of each individual
What kind of work? First, love and obedience to God. Second,
love toward fellow man. James wrote, "If ye fulfil the royal law according
to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well:
"But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced
of the law as transgressors.
"For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point,
he is guilty of all (James 2:8-10).
All the mainstream churches believe in accomplishing "good works." They
conduct missionary efforts, build hospitals, shelters, and homes for the elderly
and homeless. They conduct flood and clothing drives for the poor. All this is
admirable. However, they do not believe that last line of Jamesí statement, nor
do they believe most of the scriptures you have been reading! The fourth
commandment is the one they reject.
But the Word of God says if we break even one point of Godís Ten
Commandments, we are guilty of all of them. Clearly, God is telling us He holds
Sabbath-breaking on the same level as idolatry or murder!
Jesus Christ Said We Must
Does That Means We have Something to DO?
Again and again, Christ
tells us we must overcome in order to inherit eternal life. Overcoming
requires effort. It requires work, not just "belief" or "faith"
with no proof of our faith, which James clearly urged.
Notice how Christ said it was those who overcame sin in the flesh
who would be saved. "To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the
tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God" (Revelation 2:7).
"To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will
give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man
knoweth saving he that receiveth it" (Revelation 2:17). "And he that
overcometh and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give
power over the nations:
"And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter
shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father" (Revelation
2:26). There are no "nations" up in heaven. The Kingdom of God will rule HERE,
on this earth (Isaiah 2; Isaiah 11; Micah 4; Revelation 5:10; Revelation 19;
There are three major forces we must overcome. We cannot overcome any one
of the three without the indwelling presence of Godís Holy Spirit, which is only
given to them that obey God (Acts 5:32).
The first major force is Satan, who is the present evil world ruler (2 Corinthians 4:4); the "prince of the power of the air" (Ephesians 2:2), and is
pictured as a "roaring lion, walking about, seeking whom he may devour" (1 Peter
5:8). Satan has deceived all nations from the very beginning (Revelation
12:9). Remember, a deceived person can be a very nice person; one who is
honest, sincere, hard-working; the kind of a person you might like for a
Being deceived connotes honesty and sincerity by definition. If we
know we are deceived, then we are not deceived! One of the most difficult
things for a human being to do is to admit he or she has been wrong. It
goes against ego; against vanity; against our self esteem. Yet, no matter how
sincere; how trusting and believing we might have been, it is very possible we
have been deceived by Satan and his ready-made world.
The second major force is this evil world around us; society,
with its manifold danger, frustrations and temptations. You live in a time
when mankind possesses several different methods by which all life could
be exterminated; an age of nuclear proliferation, the population explosion,
spreading, pandemic disease, malnutrition and starvation; an age of brutal
despotism and suppression of human rights. You live in the age of total trash in
entertainment and in literature. The forces at work around us from radio,
television, magazines, books, and from society itself are at work to destroy
character, destroy the home and family, corrupt our youth, and can cause us to
lose out on Godís Kingdom! Parents know they must carefully monitor what
their children watch on television; that most of what is provided for children
should never be put into any childís mind.
The third major force is our own human nature which is filled with
physical, carnal pulls. Because we are fleshly, material beings, we tend toward
material things. Paul wrote, "For they that are after the flesh do mind the
things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the
"For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life
"Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to
the law of God, neither indeed can be.
"So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God (Romans 8:4-7).
Because we are fleshly; because we are physical creatures with physical senses,
we tend to "mind the things of the flesh" far more than to mind "the things of
Does anyone believe for an instant that it does not require effort,
concentration, determination, struggleóWORK, to overcome these three great
It does not require "works" to BE SAVED! But once God has saved us
from certain destruction in Gehenna fire through His loving grace, He
requires us to quit sinning! Talk to any former smoker who finally
managed to quit, and ask him or her if it required EFFORT; a STRUGGLE; WORK, to
quit! Talk to any former alcoholic, and ask the same question! God FORGIVES sin,
and, once He has graciously forgiven us, He tells us we must strive with
all that is in us, and with the help of His Holy Spirit, not to live any further
in sin. That means He requires us to live a life of overcoming. Paul
wrote extensively about grace, justification, and the struggle to overcome
the great trials in this life. Speaking of material things in contrast to
the great prize of the resurrection, and co-rulership with Christ, He said, "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,
[material things; physical possessions] and do count them but dung, that I may
"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:
"That I may know Him, and the power of his resurrection, and the
fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death;
"If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.
"Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I
follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of
"Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one
thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto
those things which are before,
"I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God
in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 3:8-14). Read that again! Notice that Paul, unlike
some who have been deceived by false teachers, did not "count himself to
have apprehended," or to have already achieved the Kingdom of God, but he
"followed after" the great prize of Godís Kingdom! He pressed toward the
mark, like a long-distance runner who sees the finish point ahead, and who puts
on a burst of speed to win the race!
What are all these scriptures doing in the Bible if one may be
saved merely by belief, and profession of Christ?
Christ was asked about whether the many or the few would be saved: "Then
said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And He said unto them,
"Strive [this connotes a struggle ó hard work!] to enter in
at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and
shall not be able.
"When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut the door,
and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord,
open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye
"Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and
thou hast taught in our streets.
"But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from
me, all ye workers of iniquity.
"There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham,
and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the Kingdom of God, and you
yourselves thrust out.
"And they shall come from the east, and from the west, and from the
north, and from the south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God.
"And, behold, there are last which shall be first, and there are first
which shall be last" (Luke 13:23-30). Jesus Christ told His disciples to STRIVE
to enter into the strait [narrow, difficult] gate that leads to life, and
plainly said MANY WILL SEEK to enter in, and SHALL NOT BE ABLE! This is your
Savior who said this, not any man, or human teacher!
Notice what Jesus Christ told a young man he must DO to be saved: "And,
behold, one came and said unto him, good Master, what good thing shall I do,
that I may have eternal life?
"And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but
one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.
"He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, thou
shalt not commit adultery, thou shalt not steal, thou shalt not bear false
"Honour thy father and thy mother: and, thou shalt love thy neighbour as
"The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth
up: what lack I yet?
"Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou
hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and
"But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he
had great possessions.
"Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, that a rich
man shall hardly enter into the Kingdom of heaven.
"And again I say unto you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye
of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
"When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who
then can be saved?" (Matthew 19:16-26). Plainly, Christ said, if we will enter
into eternal life, we must keep the Ten Commandments! God is not
"required" to repeat all ten in meticulous detail each time He mentions
His law! Some argue that because Christ did not repeat all ten He is only
saying that some of them are still in force and effect. Yet, the man
knew Christ was referring to the Ten Commandments, for they are the only
laws which contain the words Christ quoted! After referring to the Ten
Commandments, Christ then summarized the last six. The man knew exactly
which commandments it was to which Jesus Christ referred, and his response
Again, what are all these scriptures doing in the Bible if
salvation consists ONLY of "believing," and does not require obedience to
Does "Being Under Grace" Mean
We Can IGNORE Godís Laws?
The entire argument about
"grace versus works" is absolutely shattered when we understand all the
foregoing; what grace truly IS; how and when we receive it; what
justification IS; HOW we are "justified," and what sin IS.
Because we have sinned, the law has claimed our life. The penalty
for sin is death (Romans. 6:23). But Christ died in our place. If
we truly BELIEVE this, and accept Jesus Christ as our wonderful, loving,
gracious, merciful Savior, He will turn to His father in heaven, and intercede
for us! We can be forgiven for our sins!
But forgiveness of past sins does not mean we now have license to
go right back into the same way of life! No, we are to live in a new
and a different way of life! As you read through these wonderful
scriptures, never forget the MEANING of the terms. Remember, SIN IS THE
TRANSGRESSION OF GODíS LAW. Grace is Godís loving mercy; His gracious
Suppose an embezzler is discovered by his employer. The employer
confronts the embezzler, and tells him he is going to report him to the police.
However, after listening to the manís heartbroken confession; hearing that he
was desperate, that he is terribly sorry he stole from his boss, the employer
decides to forgive him. Can any amount of honest work on the part of the
former embezzler erase the fact that he stole money?
Now, he is forgiven! Is he now free to continue to embezzle money?
Of course not! Since he has been forgiven for stealing, his employer now expects
that he will never steal again! The embezzler has discovered that his
boss is a gracious man, and is now living under his bossí graceful pardonóunder
"grace!" But because his boss was gracious and forgiving does not mean the man
is now free to steal all he can!
So it is with Godís law. When we repent of breaking it; when we are under
Godís wonderful grace, He expects us to begin keeping His laws.
We are justified by the death of Jesus Christ, but, believe it or
not, we are not saved by His death! No, we are forgiven of SIN by His death; by
His shed blood, but we are saved by His LIFE! If Christís death saves us, then
why did He need to be resurrected? He was resurrected to become our living High
Priest, making intercession for us daily before Godís throne!
Notice this carefully, "But God commendeth His love toward us, in that,
while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
"Much more then, being now justified by His blood, we shall be
saved from wrath through Him.
"For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled [the same thing
as "justification"] to God by the death of His Son, much more, being reconciled,
we shall be saved by his life" (Romans 5:8-10). Millions of professing
Christians are completely unaware of this vitally important scripture! They have
heard all their lives that "Christ died to save sinners," which is true on its
face, but they have not been taught the difference between justification and
How many sermons have you heard preached about what Jesus Christ is doing
Why was He resurrected nearly 2,000 years ago, and what has He been doing
ever since? Let Godís Word answer: "Seeing then that we have a great High
Priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast
"For we have not an High Priest which cannot be touched with the feeling
of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without
"Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may
obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need" (Hebrews 4:14-16). We need
not confess to any man, or any human priest! We need only confess our sins and
faults, our shortcomings and mistakes directly to Jesus Christ! As John said,
"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to
cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9).
What is The "Handwriting of
that is AGAINST us?
Is it The Ten Commandments?
With all the foregoing
firmly in mind, let us now investigate some of the "proof texts" which are most
commonly used to convince people Godís law is "done away." Millions have heard
the expression "Christ nailed the law to His cross."
On its face, such an expression is utterly ridiculous! Jesus Christ was
the One nailed to the stake. Because of the insistent teaching that Godís law is
done away, many have the picture in their mind of Jesus Christ with the law of
God in His hand, nailing it to His cross, like a person might nail an
announcement, or a political poster, to a telephone pole.
This is nonsense. Christ died because we have sinned. And what IS
sin? Never forget the Bible definition! You know that Godís Word plainly defines
sin as the breaking of Godís Ten Commandments!
Now, turn to the 2nd chapter of Colossians, and study it carefully. Paul
is writing to Gentiles; people who had been brought up in utter paganism.
They were polytheistic, believing in Greek mythologies, and pagan "mysteries."
Diana of the Ephesians, Asklepios and Theus, Mars and Venus, Mercury and Horusóthe
so-called "gods" were myriad, and utterly licentious.
When these early Christians became converted, zealous "converted" Jews,
many of whom were anxious to impose the "laws of Moses," including such things
as circumcision and required fasts, attempted to influence these Gentiles. Their
"Talmud" contained hundreds of restrictions, "doís and doníts," which reached
into every aspect of daily life. How to dress, hair styles, hair length, facial
hair, fastings, methods of washing and bathing, abstinence from certain things;
a myriad of restrictions which made life a constant ritual.
The greatest controversy in the first decades of the true church in the
first century was the "Jew-Gentile" controversy; an attempt on the part of
enthusiastic, zealous Jews [who may have been well-intentioned, but simply
wrong], to "convert" Gentile Christians to Judaism.
The apostles struggled against this influence continually. Paulís letters
are laden with references to it, for he was the "apostle to the Gentiles," and
constantly encountered attempts by "Judaizers" to divert Christians from belief
in Jesus Christ and His sacrifice to the observance of rituals.
There were several forces at work. On the one hand, there were the
stoics. These Greek philosophers believed in asceticism; abstemiousness,
deprivation, rejection of materialism. Then there were the Greek philosophies
concerning the nature of God and the purpose of human life. Always, there was
the Jewish influence, urging circumcision, prescribed fasts, abstinence,
meticulous restrictions of every kind.
Notice how Paul attempted to combat the influences which were affecting
the Gentile Christians in Colossae: "As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus
the Lord, so walk ye in Him [live according to His example]:
"Rooted and built up in Him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been
taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.
"Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit,
after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and
not after Christ.
"For in Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
"And ye are complete in Him, which is the Head of all principality and
"In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without
hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the
circumcision of Christ" (Colossians 2:6-11). Notice that circumcision was
being urged upon these early Gentile Christians. Paul knew that circumcision was
only a physical type of conversion. Notice Jeremiah 4:4, "Circumcise yourselves
to the LORD, and take away the foreskins of your heart, ye men of Judah
and inhabitants of Jerusalem: lest my fury come forth like fire, and burn that
none can quench it, because of the evil of your doings." Study Acts 15, where
this issue had become such a problem that it resulted in the first major
conference of the apostles and elders in Jerusalem, who had to rule that
circumcision was no longer necessary. But that ruling (Acts 15:1, 19-21) did not
cause the problem to go away. For decades, Jewish converts insisted that
Gentiles should be circumcised.
Next, Paul warned them to beware that no man deceived them through
philosophy and "vain deceits." Clearly, he was warning against false
teachers, who would deceive these people into accepting vain, but
attractive philosophical concepts which appealed to human vanity.
Then, he said they should avoid human tradition; traditions of the
world, and beware of the "rudiments of the world." The word "rudimentary"
means "elementary," or "base." Can you think of any "elementary" or "base"
teachings in this world today?
You have only to study into the superstitions of stone-age tribes in the
Amazon, or, for that matter, into the superstitions of many pagan religions and
some so-called "Christian" religions to find "base" or "elementary" practices.
There are hundreds of taboos, restrictions, and requirements practiced by
hundreds of religions.
It was no different then. Have you heard of the penalties for spilling
salt, or breaking a mirror? Have you ever been told you should not walk under a
ladder, allow a black cat to walk across your path, or step on a crack in the
sidewalk? Have you ever been told a woman who gazes at a snake will have a
snake-shaped birthmark on her baby?
These seemingly harmless superstitions, alive and well in a modern,
space-age society, are only a small sampling of the "rudiments of the world"
that dominated every aspect of life during the first century. For people who had
grown up surrounded by a belief in dozens of pagan gods; taboos, bacchanalian
orgies, superstitions regarding "lucky" and "unlucky" days; prayers to the sun
and the moon, it was easy for them to be led into the belief that they should
live their lives by observing a myriad of taboos and proscriptions. Can you
think of any religions in which a number of "taboos" are present ó in which
certain duties, such as making signs with oneís hands, facing a certain way,
marching around a rock, dressing in a certain way, etc., are prevalent?
Judaizers attempted to enforce the entire "book of the Law," upon newly
converted Gentile Christians, including circumcision. For pagans, who were
entirely familiar with "cuttings in the flesh," such as tattooing, pierced ears,
noses, lips and tongues; who were familiar with the custom of self-flagellation
in religious rituals, the rite of circumcision was not difficult to accept.
There was another custom which weighed heavily on the minds of
newly-converted Gentile Christians. They lived in a society where the killing of
animals rarely occurred without some sort of sacrificial ritual to a pagan god.
Therefore, the meats for sale in the flea markets and central squares, called
"the shambles," were invariably meats from animals killed in pagan sacrifice. To
people who were now divesting themselves of their pagan past, the meat was
To those more mature in the truth, the idol was absolutely nothing; dead,
lifeless stone or wood, with no power whatsoever to taint or affect the meat in
any way. Yet, so deeply ingrained were the previous superstitions of some, they
could not bring themselves to eat the meat.
Such were the circumstances found by the apostle Paul among the Gentiles
who enthusiastically accepted the gospel of Jesus Christ, and wanted to begin
living according to Godís Word. Following his rejoinder about philosophy and
vain deceits; about the "rudiments of the world," Paul reminded them about the
issue of circumcision, and showed how baptism was a rite which pictured
the death, burial and resurrection of Christ, as well as the symbolic
death of the "old person," who had been living in sin. Coming up out of the
waters of baptism was like being "risen with Christ," to live in a new way of
life. Paul wrote, "For in Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
"And ye are complete in Him, which is the head of all principality and
"In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without
hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of
"Buried with Him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with Him through
the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised Him from the dead.
"And you, being dead in your sins [because sin is the transgression of
the law, and the wages of sin is death: 1 John 3:4; Romans 6:23] and the
uncircumcision of your flesh, hath He quickened together with Him, having
forgiven you all trespasses" (Colossians 2:9-13).
Then, Paul explained how the myriad doís and doníts of the Talmud; the
vast number of restrictions and taboos which had been added to the law of
Moses, were not incumbent upon them.
He wrote, "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
"And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a show of them
openly, triumphing over them in it" (Colosians 2:14, 15). Never are the
Ten Commandments referred to as the "handwriting of ordinances." Never
are Godís Ten Commandments said to be "against" us, or "contrary to us." Always,
they are referred to as holy, righteous, just, and good (Romans 7:12).
Godís laws, received by Moses, were so holy that Mosesí face shone so
brightly when he returned from the Mountain of Sinai they had to place a
veil over his face. "And afterward all the children of Israel came nigh: and he
gave them in commandment all that the LORD had spoken with him in mount Sinai.
"And till Moses had done speaking with them, he put a veil on his face.
"But when Moses went in before the LORD to speak with him, he took the
veil off, until he came out. And he came out, and spake unto the children of
Israel that which he was commanded.
"And the children of Israel saw the face of Moses, that the skin of
Mosesí face shone: and Moses put the veil upon his face again, until he went in
to speak with Him (Exodus 34:32-35). Godís law was never referred to as
"ordinances" which were "against" us. Notice, "Behold, I have taught you
statutes and judgments, even as the LORD my God commanded me, that ye should do
so in the land whither ye go to possess it.
"Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your
understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes,
and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.
"For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them, as
the LORD our God is in all things that we call upon Him for?
"And what nation is there so great, that hath statutes and judgments so
righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day?
"Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou
forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy
heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sonsí sons"
Later in the passage in Colossians 2, you will see a more detailed
description of what Paul refers to when he describes the "handwriting of
ordinances" which was "against" us.
Figuratively, Paul says Jesus Christ "nailed to His cross" [the
Greek word is "stauros" which means "stake"] the "handwriting of ordinances."
Notice how Paul then encourages the Colossians not to let any man
judge them or condemn them concerning various choices in life, such as meats
sacrificed to idols, or kinds of drink, or the manner in which they observed
Godís Holy Days or His Sabbath day: "Let no man therefore judge you [this
says nothing about God judging, or condemning] in meat, or in drink, or in
respect of an holy day, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath days:
"Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ"
The margin says "because of your eating and drinking." Again, notice
carefully the context of these verses. Paul knew some of the people were
judging and condemning other people because they did not abstain from meats
offered to idols, or because they enjoyed eating and drinking on the Sabbath or
the Holy Days. Paul says not to let any man judge them or condemn them.
Man-made "taboos" were being observed by some in Colossae. Paul called
these superstitious taboos "rudiments of the world," and said they were
"ordinances," which were entirely man-made. They were not of God, and no
reference whatsoever is made to the Ten Commandments of God, which Paul
continually reinforced, as you have seen.
The holy days foreshadow things to come, as well as looking back.
While the Sabbath day looks back at Creation, it also foreshadows the
coming millennial reign of Christ.
The word "is" is placed in italics by the translators. This
means the word was provided by them, and is not in the original. The correct
translation should read, "...but the body of Christ." In other words, they were
not to worry about petty human judgments and criticism, but let the church,
the body of Christ be their guide in how they ate or drank with respect
to an holy day.
Now, notice carefully how the ensuing verses shed further light on the
false teachings and judgmental criticisms Paul was addressing: "Let no man
beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping
of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed
up by his fleshly mind,
"And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and
bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the
increase of God" (Colossians 2:18, 19). Again, the emphasis is on not allowing
men influence them, beguile them, mislead them. Lead them into what? Into
"voluntary humility" and "worshipping of angels!" When "religious" people wanted
to appear "spiritual" and "religious" to other people, they effected
various kinds of drab, unattractive garb. They put on the pretense of
humility, which was nothing but an outward show. They would fast on a
feast day, or on the Sabbath, in an outward display of "humility."
Some were "worshipping angels," which was nothing more than an
attempt to cling to pagan, polytheistic beliefs. Notice that NOTHING is said
about Godís Ten Commandments! All of this is Paulís effort to prevent these
Colossians from drifting into asceticism, put on, fake "humility," various "fastings"
and proscriptions against food and drink.
Notice the next few verses, where this very thing is covered: "Wherefore
if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though
living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances,
" (Touch not; taste not; handle not;
"Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and
doctrines of men?
"Which things have indeed a show of wisdom in will worship,
and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the
satisfying of the flesh" (Colossians 2:20-23). The "ordinances" which are
"against" us, and which Christ "took out of the way, nailing it [them] to His
cross [stake]" are the ordinances Paul described: "Touch not, taste not, handle
not." They are taboos, restrictions, and the "commandments and doctrines of
men," not the commandments and doctrines of Almighty God, or the Bible.
Paul said such things "have a show" in "will worship and humility." Of
course! Effecting drab clothing styles, hair styles; appearing long-faced and
"humble" before other people is a "show." Rather than "showing off" in vanity
and pomposity, it is the attempt to "show off" oneís supposed "humility" and
Christ condemned this practice, which was common among the Pharisees.
Notice how Christ exposed the Pharisees for "doing their alms," or performing
their "spiritual" deeds before the public, in an attempt to be admired! "Take
heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise
ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.
"Therefore when thou doest thine alms [perform good deeds, such as
tithing and giving, helping the poor and the sick, etc.], do not sound a trumpet
before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that
they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their
"But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand
"That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret
Himself shall reward thee openly" (Matthew 6:1-4). This is commonplace in many
religions today. Some believe in drab, dull, poor-looking clothing. Some require
various hair styles. Some religions force their women to wear black clothing
from head to foot, and veils, so that only the eyes are showing. Various
religious "orders" effect the same thing. "Voluntary humility" can become so
extreme that Islamic fundamentalists can be seen parading down the streets of
cities in Iran, naked to the waist, whipping themselves on the back until the
Recently, a man was found to have allegedly nailed himself to a
cross, although it is difficult to see how he could have nailed both hands. Each
year, in the Philippines and in Mexico, individuals, in a frenzy of "voluntary
humility" and "will worship," have been nailed to crosses. Others parade through
streets, whipping themselves with leather whips until their backs are streaming
blood! This is nothing more than the "voluntary humility" of PAGAN religions,
and is NOWHERE required in the Bible!
Remember, Paulís entire motive in covering all the points he did in the
2nd chapter of Colossians was so no MAN would "beguile them with enticing words"
(Colossians 2:4). The "handwriting of ordinances" had nothing to do with the Ten
Commandments of God, but was a detailed list of restrictions Paul
described as "touch not, taste not, handle not." Paul encountered these false
teachings continually among the Gentile Christians of the first century. In the
churches in Galatia, a province of Asia Minor, he again encountered Judaizers,
who were urging Gentile Christians to revert back to the ceremonial laws of the
The Ten Commandments Were
Never Called "A Schoolmaster"
controversy was running at a fever pitch in Iconium, Lystra, and Derbe, the
churches of southern Galatia. Paul wrote an extremely strong letter to
the converts there, because false teachers were bringing in "another gospel"
(Galatians 1:6-9), urging the Galatians to adopt the entire "Torah,"
or the "Book of the Law," with all its ceremonial proscriptions.
One such proscription, alluded to in Paulís letter to the Colossians, was
"touch not." According to the ceremonial law, if one were to touch the body of a
dead animal, one was considered ceremonially "unclean." If one touched the dead
body of a man, one was considered "unclean" for seven days (Numbers 19:11, 12).
None of this was any longer necessary. For centuries, Gentiles had become
"proselytes" to Judaism if they would embrace the entire Law of Moses, including
all the rituals and ceremonies, and if they would become circumcised. Some of
the early Jewish converts simply could not break ties with their past. Some had
been Pharisees, some Essenes, some Sadducees. To many, any Gentile was a lower
caste person; someone who needed to be lifted to the spiritual plane of the Jew.
Others, including Simon Magus (Acts 8:9-24) were deliberately perverting
the gospel in order to gain a following for themselves.
Such Judaizers had deeply affected the Gentile Christians in Galatia. As
you study some of the passages of Paulís letter to these people, keep in mind
all that Paul said, over and over again, about the law of God; that it is "Holy,
and Just, and Good;" that the law is "Spiritual," and that Paul was subject
to the law of God.
Paul wrote, "O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you [false teachers
had deeply affected them], that ye should not obey the truth, before
whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?
"This only would I learn of you: Received ye the Spirit by the works
of the law, or by the hearing of faith?
"Are ye so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect
by the flesh?" (Galatians 3:1-3).
How did these converts receive Godís Spirit? Only through repentance,
baptism, and the forgiveness of sins. And what IS sin? It is the transgression
of Godís law. Remember, God only gives His Holy Spirit to those who are willing
to obey Him (Acts 5:32). These people had repented of sin. They had been
baptized. They had begun to live according to Godís laws, as Jesus Christ
magnified them and lifted them to a spiritual plane by His teaching and
Now, false teachers were attempting to get them to go back into the
letter of the law; back into the rituals and ceremonies which were only a
"shadow of things to come," and were no longer necessary in Christ.
As you study these passages, remember the meaning of the word
"justification," and the meaning of the word "grace."
Paul wrote, "For as many as are of the works of the law are under
the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in
all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.
"But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it
is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.
"And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live
"Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a
curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree"
Notice carefully that quotation! It is taken from Deuteronomy, the 27th
chapter, which relates how the Israelites were commanded to divide up by tribes,
and to stand on two opposing mountains, Gerizim and Ebal, to pronounce blessings
and cursings. Read the entire chapter. Notice that many of the cursings involved
the Ten Commandments. Some, while they were covered by the broad meaning of the
Commandments, were detailed. Not a single one of them is a "bad" law. Verse 15
curses idolatry. Verse 16 is covered by the fifth commandment. Several bear upon
the seventh commandment, and several bear upon the tenth. After pronouncing all
these curses, the final verse says, "Cursed be he that confirmeth not all the
words of this law to DO them. And all the people shall say, Amen" (Deuteronomy
Paul did not say, "cursed is the man that continues IN the things written
in the book of the law. He quoted the passage which says "cursed is every one
that continueth NOT" to do them!
The point is, no person can be made righteous; no person can be
justified, by performing the law! It matters not which law; whether
the Ten Commandments or the added laws of the Torah, justification (which is the
removal of past sins and guilt) can never come by doing or performing the works
of the law. Justification comes only through faith in the blood of Jesus Christ.
Paul showed that the law is not a matter of faith in Christ for
the forgiveness of sin, but that the function of the law is to point out what
sin is. The law is not preventive legislation! The law has never prevented a
single person from committing sin. It describes sin, but it does not produce
forgiveness, or justification from having committed sin.
Paul then showed that the "curse" of the law, meaning the penalty of sin,
is death. Christ took this terrible curse upon Himself, as Paul quotes
from Deuteronomy 21:22 and 23.
Now, notice how Paul shows that the book of the law was added
because of transgressions, meaning sins! "Wherefore then serveth the law?
It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom
the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator"
And what is a transgression? It is the breaking of law. Therefore,
there was a law in place which was being broken! There are many Bible proofs
that the Ten Commandments were in full force and effect from Creation! They did
not come into existence at Sinai, they were codified; written on two tables
of stone. But the handing down of the law at Sinai did not bring the law
The Sabbath day was created on the seventh day, and hallowed by God
(Genesis 2:2, 3). Sin was shown to be against Godís law, and punishable by
death long before Sinai. (Genesis 4:7; Genesis 13:13; Genesis 20:6,
9). Since sin is the transgression of the law, there can be no such thing as sin
where no law exists!
Paul wrote, "Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is,
there is no transgression" (Romans 4:15). You cannot be given a traffic
ticket for running a non-existent stop sign. There is NO PENALTY for "breaking"
a NON-EXISTENT law! For there to have been "transgression," there had to be a
LAW in place which was being transgressed. "Death reigned from Adam to Moses,
even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adamís
transgression..." (Romans 5:14). The wages of sin is death. Everyone
knows that Adam and Eve committed sin, yet most fail to understand there was
a law being broken!
They broke the law against coveting. They allowed the forbidden fruit
to come between them and God, thus breaking the law against idolatry. They stole
the fruit, thus breaking the command against stealing. They disobeyed their only
parent, thus breaking the law about honoring their parent. As James said, if we
break one point, we are guilty of all. Thus, Adam and Eve broke the Ten
Commandments, which was sin!
Now, notice further what Paul told the Galatians: "Is the law then
against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which
could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.
"But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by
faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe" (Galatians 3:21, 22).
As was mentioned earlier, one could keep the Ten Commandments perfectly for ten
lifetimes and never earn salvation. Salvation cannot be earned! It
is the free, loving, gracious GIFT of God.
Perhaps the following analogy will help illustrate the point. Suppose a
wealthy man, who lived in a fine home, found that his neighbor had been
regularly breaking into his home, and stealing from him. The wealthy man
approached the neighbor one day, and told him that he knew he lived in poverty;
that he knew he had been stealing his silver, cash, appliances and fine arts.
Suppose he said to him, "I am going to forgive you for stealing from me.
Furthermore, here is a certified cashierís check for one million dollars. With
it, I expect you to pay for your home, get out of debt, and put the rest of the
money to work."
The grateful poor man took the check. Had he earned it? No, of
course not! He had earned, instead, a potential prison sentence! But the
rich man forgave him all!
Is the poor man, who is now a millionaire, free to continue stealing?
In like fashion, when God forgives us of sin, through no good works
or good deeds of our own, He expects us to quit living in sin!
Paul continued, "But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut
up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.
"Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we
might be justified by faith.
"But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster"
(Galatians 3:23-25). We can only be justified by faith in the
sacrifice of Christ. Remember, being "justified" means being
"made right" again; being forgiven of our sins. It does not mean a permanent
condition we enter when we are forgiven, and receive Christ as Savior. The law
was the "schoolmaster" to the Israelites in several senses. There is nothing
wrong with a "schoolmaster," by the way. A schoolmaster is an educator; a
teacher, who points out the right way to live. By listening to the instructions
of a schoolmaster, one not only learns, but one is able to insure success and
prosperity in life. Yet, those who seek to do away with Godís law invariably
attempt to make the statement that the law was a "schoolmaster" as distasteful
But it led to Jesus Christ! Did Jesus Christ come to do away with
Godís law? Why not ask Jesus Christ? He said, "Think not that I am
come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but
"For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one
tittle [not a single punctuation mark; the crossing of a "t," or the dotting of
an "i"] 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" (Matthew 5:17-19). The word "fulfill"
does NOT mean "destroy! Christ plainly said so!
To "fulfill" means to "do or perform." Jesus Christ kept Godís Ten
Commandments perfectly in the spirit, thereby "setting us an example, that we
should follow in His steps" (1 Peter 2:21). Remember all you have read in the
first portion of this book. Jesus Christ of Nazareth continually emphasized
obedience to Godís law. He said, "...I have kept my Fatherís
commandments" (John 15:10). But Jesus Christ did not live a righteous life in
your stead. Because He kept His Fatherís laws does not mean we donít have to do
the same! Christ died because we have sinned , He did not die so we can
continue to live in sin!
Not only do those attempting to do away with the fourth commandment
attack the whole law, they also attack the entire Old Testament! Millions
of nominal Christians believe (because they have been taught it from their
youth) that the Old Testament is "done away." Yet, about one-third of the New
Testament is quotation from the Old. The apostles all taught from it, for there
was not a shred of the New Testament written until about twenty-five years after
the resurrection of Christ.
Notice what Jesus said to His disciples after His resurrection: "Then he
said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets
"Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into His
"And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, He expounded unto
them in all the scriptures the things concerning Himself" (Luke
24:25-27). Could most nominal Christian ministers do the same today? Jesus did.
Notice that the Old Testament was referred to as "scriptures," and that Christ
expounded "things concerning Himself" even from the books of Moses!
Notice further, "And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake
unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which
were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the
psalms, concerning me.
"Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the
"And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ
to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:
"And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name
among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem (Luke 24:44-48).
Jesus Christ thus placed His own divine stamp of approval and
authenticity on the Old Testament! He mentioned all three of its parts; The Law,
the Prophets, and the Psalms, or "Writings." Incidentally, this is the correct
order for the books of the Old Testament, just as they are found in the
Hebrew Bible. The Old Testament should end with 2 Chronicles, not with Malachi.
When the apostles began fulfilling Christís commission to "go into all
the world and preach the gospel," they did so using the only scriptures
extantóthe scriptures of the Old Testament!
There were many aspects of the law which pointed to Christ. The Passover
Lamb was a type of Christ. All the animal sacrifices were types of Christ, as is
pointed out in Hebrews 9:10-28. Christ was pictured by the unleavened bread
eaten during the Days of Unleavened Bread. He referred to Himself as the "bread
of life," and the "living bread" which came down from heaven (John 6:48-51). He
was pictured by the "wave sheaf offering" (Leviticus 23:10-12). He was pictured
by the offering of the "first fruits," which became "Pentecost" (fiftieth). His
second-coming was pictured by the Feast of Trumpets. He was pictured by the
sacrificial kid on the Day of Atonement. He is pictured as "tabernacling with
man" (John 1:14) during the Feast of Tabernacles.
Believe it or Not, the One
Who Became Christ Wrote the Law!
There is no clearer
scripture than Johnís 1st chapter. It plainly shows that the One who wrote the
Ten Commandments with His own finger is the member of the divine sovereign
Elohim (the Hebrew name for God) who became a human being, born of the
Notice the obvious proof! "In the beginning was the Word [Greek: Logos,
meaning "Spokesman"], and the Word was with God [Greek: Theos, which is
the equivalent of the Hebrew, Elohim, and means more than one], and the
Word was God.
"The same was in the beginning with God.
"All things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made that
" In Him was life; and the life was the light of men.
"And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not"
(John 1:1-5). This clearly shows that the one who did the creating
(Genesis 1,2) was the person of the divine Godhead who was born as Jesus
Christ! Clearly, this means the one who created the Sabbath day by resting upon
it, and hallowing it, or "making it holy," was the One we know of as Jesus
Now, WHY would God give a law to Israel that He knew He would later have
to abolish? Since the law was so holy that Mosesí face shone brightly
when he came down from the mount; since it was called by this same person of the
Godhead "your righteousness" then WHY would God write and deliver a law He knew
would not work? Since the vision of the new heavens and new earth includes the
temple, and within the temple the Ark of the Covenant, and within the Ark Godís
laws (Revelation 11:19), why, if the laws of God are so detestable (mainly, the
fourth one) would they occupy so holy a place?
Notice further proof in Johnís 1st chapter: "He was in the world, and the
world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not.
"He came unto His own [the Jews], and His own received Him not.
"But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of
God, even to them that believe on His name:
"Which were born [The Greek is gennao, which should read
"begotten"], not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man,
but of God.
"And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt [Greek: "tabernacled"]
among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the
Father,) full of grace and truth (John 1:10-14). Can anything be clearer? The
world was MADE by the one who became Jesus Christ. Do you realize the
consequences of this? This means that the God of the Old Testament was the
person of the divine Elohim who became Jesus Christ! It means that the
One who wrote the law with His own finger was the one who became Jesus Christ!
The one who appeared to Abraham; who dealt with Isaac and Jacob; who
brought Israel out of Egypt; who parted the Red Sea, and who gave the law to
Moses; the one who was in the cloud and pillar of fire over the Tabernacle in
the wildernessóthis one was the Creator.
The Word was made flesh!
One of the most oft-quoted scriptures about Jesus Christ is found
right in this passage, John 1:12: "But as many as received Him, to them gave He
power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name."
Notice some parallel verses in the book of Hebrews, the 1st chapter:
"God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the
fathers by the prophets,
"Hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son, whom He hath
appointed heir of all things, by whom also He made the worlds;
"Who being the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His
person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by
Himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;
"Being made so much better than the angels, as He hath by inheritance
obtained a more excellent name than they.
"For unto which of the angels said He at any time, Thou art my son, this
day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to Him a Father, and he shall be
to me a son?
"And again, when He bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, He
saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.
"And of the angels He saith, Who maketh His angels spirits, and His
ministers a flame of fire.
"But unto the Son He saith, Thy throne, O GOD, is for ever and
ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom" (Hebrews.
Can anything be plainer? Yet thousands of professing "Christian"
ministers, and millions of members of their churches remain completely
ignorant of this most vital truth! How can anyone who has read the first
chapter of the Gospel of John doubt for one instant that Jesus Christ is the One
Who said, "Let there be light"? He was the Member of the Godhead Who did the
creating on creation week. Once we understand Jesus Christ is the one who is
the God of the Old Testament, dozens of important truths become clear!
Millions assume that Jesus Christ came to "do away" with
the laws of His Father! Millions of nominal Christians believe the laws of the
Old Testament were harsh, unyielding, severe. They have been told all their
lives that the laws of God were like a yoke of bondage; that Christ delivered
us from Godís laws. Nothing could be further from the truth, as you have seen
proved in this book, over and over again.
But what about the "New Covenant"? If we are "New Covenant" Christians,
are we under any obligation to keep Godís laws?
The New Covenant And Godís Laws
Again, one must
understand the simple meaning of English words in order to understand biblical
concepts. A covenant is an agreement between two parties.
God entered into a covenant with Israel. He proposed to them that,
IF they would keep His holy, perfect laws, He would BLESS them so bountifully
they would scarcely be able to receive it. He would give them long lives,
healthy bodies, prosperous crops, rain in due season, protection from their
enemies, healthy childrenóeverything anyone could ever want.
God said to them, "Ye shall make you no idols nor graven image, neither
rear you up a standing image, neither shall ye set up any image of stone in your
land, to bow down unto it: for I am the LORD your God.
"Ye shall keep my Sabbaths, and reverence my sanctuary: I am the LORD.
"If ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them;
"Then I will give you rain in due season, and the land shall yield
her increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit.
"And your threshing shall reach unto the vintage, and the vintage shall
reach unto the sowing time: and ye shall eat your bread to the full, and dwell
in your land safely.
"And I will give peace in the land, and ye shall lie down, and none shall
make you afraid: and I will rid evil beasts out of the land, neither shall the
sword go through your land.
"And ye shall chase your enemies, and they shall fall before you by the
"And five of you shall chase an hundred, and an hundred of you shall put
ten thousand to flight: and your enemies shall fall before you by the sword.
"For I will have respect unto you, and make you fruitful, and multiply
you, and establish my covenant with you.
"And ye shall eat old store, and bring forth the old because of the new.
"And I will set my tabernacle among you: and my soul shall not abhor you.
"And I will walk among you, and will be your God, and ye shall be my
people" (Leviticus 26:1-12). What a fabulous list of promises! What incredible
BLESSINGS! Notice that God mentioned His Sabbath days, together with idolatry,
at the very beginning. Notice the "quid pro quo" here. God said IF
they would KEEP HIS LAWS, including being careful to observe His holy Sabbath
days, He would establish His covenant with them. The covenant is not
the law, but an agreement about the law!
The covenant God proposed was accepted by the people: "And Moses
came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before their faces all
these words which the LORD commanded him.
"And all the people answered together, and said, ĎAll that the LORD hath
spoken we will do!í [They accepted the terms and conditions of the
covenant]. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the LORD" (Exodus
But the people broke their part of the bargain! Again and again,
Israel rebelled against God. The two great sins mentioned again and again
through their entire history were the sins of idolatry and Sabbath-breaking!
By analogy, God likened the Old Covenant to a marriage agreement. Like a
young man of great wealth proposing to a young lady he wants to marry, God
promised all the blessings listed above if Israel, the bride, would
remain faithful to Him!
God said, "I became an HUSBAND unto them" (Jeremiah 31:32). But Israel
was unfaithful to God, rebelling against His laws, descending into idolatry, and
abandoning His weekly and annual Sabbaths.
Notice the Biblical analogy in Ezekiel 16. To save space, we will not
reprint the entire chapter here, but each verse bears careful study. Here is a
goodly part of it: "And when I passed by thee, and saw thee polluted in thine
own blood, I said unto thee when thou wast in thy blood, Live; yea, I said unto
thee when thou wast in thy blood, Live.
"I have caused thee to multiply as the bud of the field, and thou hast
increased and waxen great, and thou art come to excellent ornaments: thy breasts
are fashioned, and thine hair is grown, whereas thou wast naked and bare.
"Now when I passed by thee, and looked upon thee, behold, thy time was
the time of love; and I spread my skirt over thee, and covered thy nakedness:
yea, I sware unto thee, and entered into a covenant with thee, saith the
Lord GOD, and thou becamest mine.
"Then washed I thee with water; yea, I thoroughly washed away thy blood
from thee, and I anointed thee with oil.
"I clothed thee also with broidered work, and shod thee with badgersí
skin, and I girded thee about with fine linen, and I covered thee with silk.
"I decked thee also with ornaments, and I put bracelets upon thy hands,
and a chain on thy neck.
"And I put a jewel on thy forehead, and earrings in thine ears, and a
beautiful crown upon thine head.
"Thus wast thou decked with gold and silver; and thy raiment was of fine
linen, and silk, and broidered work; thou didst eat fine flour, and honey, and
oil: and thou wast exceeding beautiful, and thou didst prosper into a kingdom.
"And thy renown went forth among the heathen for thy beauty: for it was
perfect through my comeliness, which I had put upon thee, saith the Lord GOD
[And WHO was this member of the divine creating Family called Elohim? You
have seen the proof that it was the one who became Jesus Christ of
Nazareth, born of the virgin Mary].
"But thou didst trust in thine own beauty, and playedst the harlot
because of thy renown, and pouredst out thy fornications on every one that
passed by; his it was.
"And of thy garments thou didst take, and deckedst thy high places with
divers colours, and playedst the harlot thereupon: the like things shall not
come, neither shall it be so.
"Thou hast also taken thy fair jewels of my gold and of my silver, which
I had given thee, and madest to thyself images of men, and didst commit whoredom
"And tookest thy broidered garments, and coveredst them: and thou hast
set mine oil and mine incense before them.
"My meat also which I gave thee, fine flour, and oil, and honey,
wherewith I fed thee, thou hast even set it before them for a sweet savour: and
thus it was, saith the Lord GOD.
"Moreover thou hast taken thy sons and thy daughters, whom thou hast
borne unto me, and these hast thou sacrificed unto them to be devoured.
Is this of thy whoredoms a small matter,
"That thou hast slain my children, and delivered them to cause
them to pass through the fire for them?" (Ezekiel 6:6-21). By analogy, God shows
that Israel, His "bride," whom He brought up from the wretched condition in
which He found them in Egypt (as a castaway child, covered with blood), even
though she accepted all His fabulous gifts, became a prostitute! Israel drifted
into every conceivable evilóeven to the point of infant sacrifice!
Study also the 23rd chapter of Ezekiel, where God names the two
rebellious houses; Judah and Israel, Ahola and Aholibah, and uses
similar language you have seen in Ezekiel 16.
Now, with this in mind, notice what God says about the "Old Covenant" and
the "New Covenant": "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; which my
covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the
"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, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and
they shall be my people" (Jeremiah 31:31-33).
What was WRONG WITH THE COVENANT? Absolutely NOTHING! But the people
broke their part of the agreement! The PEOPLE broke the covenant.
Godís covenant with Israel was based upon physical promises for obedience
in the letter. He did not tell them in that ancient time that hating oneís
neighbor was a sin! Rather, they were required to keep the letter of the law.
Therefore, the Old Covenant was based upon physical promises in return for
physical obedience. He did not promise them eternal lifeóHe promised them a
long, fruitful, successful, happy physical life. They were not promised
spiritual salvation, but promised material success and blessing.
Now, read that important passage again. Ask yourself the honest question,
and give yourself the honest answer: Does the New Covenant DO AWAY with Godís
law? ABSOLUTELY NOT! Instead, God says He will put His law into our "inward
parts" and write it in our hearts!" Are you a "New Covenant" Christian?
If so, is the LAW OF GOD written deeply into the innermost part of your being?
What about the FOURTH commandment? Is it also written there?
Notice the exact same theme quoted in the book of Hebrews, in the New
Testament of your Bible: "But now hath He [Jesus Christ, as our High Priest in
heaven] obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also He is the mediator
of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.
"For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have
been sought for the second [But what was the FAULT with the covenant? It was not
Godís law, it was the people who sinned, and BROKE their part of the covenant!]
"For finding fault with them, He saith, Behold, the days come,
saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and
with the house of Judah:
"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, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord.
"For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after
those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write
them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a
"And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his
brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the
"For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and
their iniquities will I remember no more" [what IS sin? It is the breaking
of Godís law] (Hebrews 8:6-13). Is the law of God written into the very depths
of your being? Is it written into your "inward parts," meaning your heart and
mind? Far from "doing away" with Godís law, the New Covenant is intended to
inculcate it into our very innermost being!
Jesus Christ is the mediator of the New Covenant. Under the Old Covenant;
the "Schoolmaster" to which Paul referred, the Israelites were continually
reminded of the consequences of sin by the shedding of animal blood. But
sacrificing animals could never atone for sin. It was merely a reminder of the
"wages of sin," which is death. Notice, "But Christ being come an High Priest of
good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with
hands, that is to say, not of this building;
"Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by His own blood He
entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.
"For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer
sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh:
"How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit
offered Himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to
serve the living God?
"And for this cause He is the mediator of the new testament, that
by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions [sins; the
breaking of Godís Ten Commandments] that were under the first testament, they
which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance" (Hebrews
Jesus Christ magnified the law, and made it honorable. He commanded that
we obey the spirit and intent of the law, not merely the letter! Far from "doing
away" with the law, He showed how it is much, much more applicableóhow it
reaches into every nuance of human behavioróhow it applies even to human
The Pharisees of Jesusí day were the ultra right-wing religious sect.
They not only meticulously observed the law, they also observed dozens of
man-made restrictions which had been added to the law. They rigorously observed
the Sabbath and the annual holy days. They paid tithes. They avoided unclean
meats. The trouble was, they became totally self righteous. They became
hypocrites (Matthew 23), haughty, judgmental critics of others.
Notice what Christ said about the difference between the Phariseeís
"letter of the law" observance and what was required under the New Covenant:
"For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the
righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the
kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 5:20). Then was there anything a person must DO
after repentance and baptism? Was it all merely a matter of "belief"? Was it
"faith ONLY, without works"? By no means. As you have read, faith without works
is dead. Christ continued, "Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time,
Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the
"But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother
without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to
his brother, Raca, ["You wretch; you vain, worthless thing"] shall be in danger
of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell [Gehenna]
fire" (Matthew 5:20-22).
The wages of sin is death in Gehenna fire! Here, Jesus Christ magnifies
the sixth commandment against murder, lifting it to a spiritual plane. He shows
that one can break Godís commandment against murder by harboring hatred in his
heart toward his fellow man! Millions break this commandment each day. Countless
thousands of professing Christians harbor utter contempt, disgust, rejection,
and anger in their hearts toward others. This is especially true in various
competing religious groups!
No one can hate quite so virulently as a posturing, self-righteous
religious person who holds others who are not of his persuasion in contempt.
The New Covenant emblazons Godís laws deep into the innermost being of a
converted Christian! Far from "doing away" with the law, the New Covenant
greatly magnifies it; makes it apply spiritually.
The Love of God; What is it?
John wrote about love. He
was that "disciple whom Jesus loved." John wrote repeatedly about Godís laws;
about His Ten Commandments. Many professing Christians speak of how nice it is
to "know the lord." Letís see if such people really "know the Lord" the way they
think they do: "And hereby we do know that we know Him, if we keep His
commandments" (1 John 2:3).
But what if some say they "know the Lord," and yet argue that His laws
are "done away"? John writes, "He that saith, I know Him, and keepeth NOT His
commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him" (1 John 2:3).
Strong words! Again and again, John shows that Christians are to obey Godís
laws! As you have already read, John wrote, "Whosoever committeth sin
transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.
"And ye know that He was manifested to take away our sins; [so we would
begin to obey His laws, and quit sinning] and in Him is no sin.
"Whosoever abideth in Him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen
Him, neither known Him.
"Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is
righteous, even as He is righteous" (1 John 3:4-7). Psalms 119:172 tells us,
"All thy commandments are righteousness."
John continued, "He that committeth sin [breaks any point of Godís Ten
Commandments] is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning" (1 John
3:4-8). Godís Ten Commandments show us, in the first four points, HOW to love,
and in the last six, HOW to love our neighbor. John wrote, "For THIS IS the love
of God, that we keep His commandments: and His commandments are not
grievous" (1 John 5:3).
There is no Bible truth which can be absolutely proved any more
conclusively than the fact that Godís children are required to obey Him!
Yet, countless thousands of religious tracts, articles and books have been
written by theologians attempting to set aside Godís laws. Again, WHY? As
we saw in the beginning of this small book, most professing Christians have no
difficulty with nine of the Ten Commandments. It is that fourth one they hate!
Finally, notice the description of Godís true Church in the very last
days of our decadent civilization. Here, near the end of the Bible, when the
terrible days of the "Great Tribulation," the heavenly signs and the Day of the
Lord are occurring, John describes the surviving remnant of the saints who are
being terribly persecuted by Satan.
"And the dragon [Satan: see vs. 7] was wroth with the woman [the true
church], and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which KEEP THE
COMMANDMENTS OF GOD, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ" (Revelation 12:17).
The testimony of Jesus Christ is the gospel. It is all He taught.
Remember, and never forget, that when a man asked Jesus Christ if there was
anything he needed to DO in order to inherit eternal life, Christ answered, "If
thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments!" (Matthew 19:17).
Abraham, Isaac and Jacob kept Godís commandments. Christ said they will
be in the Kingdom of God with Him. The righteous prophets and the righteous men
and women listed in Hebrews 11, who became martyrs for their faith, kept Godís
commandments. They will be in Godís kingdom. The laws of God will be enforced
in Christís world-ruling kingdom!
Notice, "And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of
the Lordís house shall be established in the top of the mountains [symbols of
governments], and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow
"And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the
mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and He will teach us of
His ways, and we will walk in His paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the
law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
"And He shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and
they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning
hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn
war any more" (Isaiah 2:2-4). Make no mistake! Godís Ten Commandments will be
the law of the land in the Kingdom of God. And, because God will
enforce His laws upon all mankind, a time of great peace and prosperity
never known in the history of man will ensue. Because of obedience to His laws,
countless millions of human beings will come to know only wondrous blessings of
good health, sound minds, healthy, happy children, success and prosperity!
Gone will be all disease, drug abuse, murder, rape, arson, burglary, gang
wars, racism, extortion, violence and war! Satan will be bound for one thousand
years; cast into a figurative "abyss," not allowed access to the earth
(Revelation 20:1-3). All evil will be abolished from the earth. There
will be love, joy, and peace everlasting! One thing is sure: the time for
"argument" about Godís laws will be over when God Almighty sets His hand
to intervene in the course of human events and sends Jesus Christ to rule this
world with a rod of iron (Revelation 2:26). Then, the time will be long past
when petty human religious teachers can argue and reason around Godís Word, and
deceive their followers into believing that Godís Ten Commandments are
"done away." Then, Jesus Christ will command them to obey in person!
Look at this beautiful picture of the millennial reign of Christ: "And
there shall come forth a rod [a shoot] out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch [a
type of Christ] shall grow out of his roots:
"And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon Him, the spirit of wisdom and
understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of
the fear of the LORD;
"And shall make Him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and
He shall not judge after the sight of His eyes, neither reprove after the
hearing of His ears:
"But with righteousness shall He judge [the cause of] the poor, and
reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and He shall smite the earth with
the rod of His mouth, and with the breath of His lips shall He slay the wicked.
"And righteousness shall be the girdle of His loins, and faithfulness the
girdle of His reins.
"The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down
with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a
little child shall lead them.
"And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down
together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
"And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned
child shall put his hand on the cockatriceí [adderís] den.
"They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth
shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.
"And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse [Jesus Christ], which
shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and His
rest shall be glorious" (Isaiah 11:1-10).
What a fabulous picture! Think of it! The KINGDOM OF GOD established
right here, on this good, green earth at last! Then, there will be NO MORE
DISEASE; no more CRIME; no more drought, famine, or war! There will be NO false
religions; NO posturing, hand-wringing, hair-shirted, breast-beating Pharisees
presiding over the SUFFERING of those who incur their wrath. There will NO
Instead, the knowledge of God will be as
prevalent on earth as the waters
cover the seabeds! For the sake of sin-sick, war-weary, carnal mankind, may God
speed that day! o
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