Sunday, August 11, 2013

Jesus and the Old Testament

If you believe that the narratives contained in the Old Testament Scriptures are valid and at least generally accurate than you are faced with a problem. How do you reconcile the teachings and life of Jesus who was God in the flesh with those violent revelations of God in the Old Testament? It is common place for many today to create some sort of amalgam in which you can claim to follow Jesus and yet incorporate certain violent aspects of the Old Testament narratives. This is not only problematic but it takes license where there is none. And it is the essence of spiritual hubris to build your own God with a smorgasbord of Scriptures with which you pick and choose what you like without embracing the superior and foundational teachings of Jesus Himself.

If Jesus is not the complete and all encompassing revelation of God then He becomes just another lego block in your theology. The Old Testament continues to be used of the Spirit to reveal Christ without demanding answers to the question of divine violence. “You have heard it said…but I say” must provide for us a template and a prism through which we understand the fullness of God. But what about the violence depicted in the Old Testament? That is a mystery and I myself embrace Oscar Hammerstein’s statement,

“Who can explain it, who can tell you why?

Fools give you answers, wise men never try”.

But even without a complete explanation we still must bow to the final and complete revelation contained in the teachings and the Person of Jesus the Christ. I suggest that if there are not some mysteries associated with understanding God then that is not the authentic God. How could God do some of the things the Old Testament Scriptures record and then culminate with the profoundly nonviolent teachings of the God called Jesus? I do not know, but I do know what Jesus taught and lived. And I am bound to follow Jesus and to understand the very nature of God through that incarnate prism. Yes, I do not know some things, perhaps many things.

But when segments of the visible church make Jesus into something that goes against what He taught then we not only have a problem but we have another Jesus constructed for the satisfaction of man. Usually the “sometimes violent” Jesus has a connection to democracy, freedom, and the American way. The “just war” Jesus is a product of patriotism and not of His own teachings. And professing believers will reach back into the Old Testament and sculpt a Jesus which commits all kinds of violent acts usually associated with protecting a certain nation and most notably the one called America.

More recently in some men’s theology God will destroy towns and kill people with tornados and hurricanes in response to something associated with the gay thing. In their twisted sense of moral umbrage God seems to allow rampant adultery and divorce, abortions by the millions, and false teachers and heretics who deny Christ altogether. But when it comes to the gay issue God takes violent and murderous action. This is another distortion and is spiritual idiocy as well as being completely untethered to the New Testament. It makes God a moral marionette of man rather than actively pursuing the redemption of sinners both gay and straight. But the formula is the same. They construct a mixture of the different revelations of God which in effect compromises, dilutes, and even obscures the revelation of Jesus, which is not only the clearest, but is the perfect revelation of the Creator.

But this is no minor issue. This goes to the very heart of who Jesus is, who God is, and what Christianity is. And if we get this wrong we get it all wrong. If we mix the Old Testament narratives with the character of Jesus then we have grossly misunderstood His teachings and what it means to be a follower of Jesus. In fact, anyone with a fourth grade reading capacity can see that the teachings of Jesus seem incompatible with the violence depicted in the Old Testament. Why do they seem incompatible? Because they are. So we are left with no choice. We must follow Jesus and openly admit that the atrocities committed by God in the Old Testament are a mystery and may have served His purposes, however we are now living in a “better” covenant with “better” promises and with a “better” sacrifice.

Take heart, my fellow travelers in the Spirit. We are not called to unravel all the mysteries that belong to the Godhead. The kind of reconciliation which addresses the two distinct revelations of the same God are not given to us and are safely tucked away in God’s own mind. But we are to cling to Christ alone and His teachings. But nowhere in Scripture are we to strive to enjoin the two covenants and the two revelations in order to manipulate an excuse for violence and other bad behaviors. You cannot kill your enemy and love him at the same time. You cannot do good to him while bombing him as well. You see, it is not only incongruous, but it is spiritual insanity.

Even if we assumed that God still acted today with violence we can see just how indiscriminate His actions are. He allows all kinds of sin and debauchery and when He sends earthquakes and tornados He often kills many innocent lives. But can’t you see just how foolish such a scenario is? Just a reading of the gospels reveals a far different God than the one so many have constructed.

Heb.1: 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;

In the end the New Testament was not just an appendage to the Old Testament. It is the final revelation of who God is and what He has done and what He is like. We are not called to draw a straight line between the Old Covenant and the New Covenant. We are called to worship Christ and follow His teachings. The rest may be one day known, but then again, we may never fully understand everything. And standing before the Risen Christ I doubt we will really care.


Lorena said...

Some like to mix the old covenant with the new covenant when they're trying to control people. Really though, when the old is mixed with the new, that's an entirely other covenant (non-existent). That should tell/warn us something is wrong with putting the two together.
The new covenant stands on the grace of Christ alone without all the old attachments, if I can put it that way.

brcorcoran said...

I'm finding it is very hard for many believers just to embrace who "Christ" is...

Ephesians 5:1-2 says -

Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us...

In prayers we hear -

Oh Lord, You are gracious, kind, loving...You never fail us...You always take care of our needs...You are patient and long-suffering towards us, always forgiving us...yet

If we are to "imitate" Him, aren't we supposed to reflect these qualities toward one another?

The same argument is going on today that Apostle Paul had during his day...trying to bring the believer back under law somehow so we believe in Christ yet hang onto Law...

Once a believer is challenged to go out of his (comfort zone), out comes Law and as a result, we cannot treat one another as God treats us...instead, we treat others as we "believe" God treats us, judging our every move...

Every time a trial comes in our lives, we see it as judgment instead of seeing it as a time to grow, to learn patience, long-suffering, endurance...

When another wrongs us somehow, instead of embracing grace, patience, forgiveness, kindness, never holding in account a wrong suffered, we lean towards some kind of judgment against the one the wronged us...why?...We don't embrace "Christ" in His fullness...

Somehow, we revert back to law (old testament) and justify our actions...

If we can just (embrace) Christ, believe we are truly, truly forgiven...that He doesn't hold anything against us...that He is everything the (New Testament) says He is, maybe we might just start treating each other the way we believe He treats us, imitating Him as little children...


Julie Wilton said...

I get somewhat confused about whether God causes calamities to judge certain places. I just listened to an older audio on Apostasy Watch, that says the opposite of what you are saying. Both sides sound right. How can that be?

Anonymous said...

Amen. This message can't be spread enough. Jesus is not enough for some ministries and christians. They try to break free from grace for all, because they WANT to feel justified and vindicated by the Father, who said, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay". They want to override His Son because the Son came with the characteristics of a lamb, that was led to the slaughter.

Some christians right now, it seems, don't like weakness, or wimpiness. It's a sign of weakness, and the culture values strength, arrogance, vulgarity, superiority, intellectualism, in/your/face honesty, rogueness, arguments, self-righteous entitled and demanding of worldly authorities. They shun 'turn-the-other-cheek', they don't retreat in a prayerful life, they fight and demand an OT-type christian army to rise and fight back. They want a God like the God of Israel who backed them up 100% and took care of all their barbaric enemies. They want a spiritual Commander-in-Chief to rule and reign now.

They wouldn't admit it, but there's a segment of christians out there who are ashamed of the Lamb. They want to recreaate Him as the Lion now; they don't want to wait until He returns and restores the world with power and might. They want Jesus to be all-powerful and Rambo-style now, to protect their national kingdoms on earth. The refuse to accept Him as He revealed Himself to us in this dispensation.

I came out from a legalistic church and see how easy it is for christians to want not only eternal security, but temporal security as well. They want the kind of security that the Father provided Israel, the covenant people, in the OT. When it conveniences them, they use certain OT judgments to force people to stop certain sin, to put fear in them and control them.

For instance, I once heard a preaching about how the congregation didn't listen and obey the pastor enough, and they used the OT example of how a bear came out of the bushes and ate the children who mocked the prophet, or references to unfortunate demises of people of God who disobeyed....... The Old Covenant was a fearful covenant and if people didn't follow to the fine letter of the law, then they disobeyed the whole law. They strove and could never succeed.

Whoever now teaches christians that we need to turn the true Son of God, Jesus, into the OT God before His death, burial and resurrection, are basically forsaking His gift and His plan, and telling Him we want it the old way.

This is serious and how many will see it as it is?


Anonymous said...

Just a few more examples I recall. In church, we used to hear the pastor quote, "Touch not the anointed". It was a way of saying, (without saying), that anyone who disagreed or spoke behind the back of the pastor was in danger of 'touching' the anointed of God, and being punished in some fashion. It put fear in the congregation enough so that they never spoke out against anything that appeared false or out of order. It gave the pastor full reign to take advantage. One example, was that a congregant, being the best friend of this pastor, was dabbling in the stock market and had been caught doing some illegal activity and was charged.

As soon as anyone quotes OT, unless it's for edification and it agrees with the new Law (NT), I have to research and make sure it's not quoted to put guilt on an already blood-bought child of God. Of course congregants need not go around gossipping or discussing errors the Pastor may have made, but, if the pastor has nothing to be ashamed of, he'll allow the Lord to fight his personal battles, although not with David's army and carnal weapons, but with the Lord's spiritual weapons listed in the NT.


Anonymous said...

Another ponderance. Sorry, don't want to hold up the page. The OT laws of the food diets and such, and how to wash oneself before entering the temple, and the laws of women in the outer court, and the dozen or so laws of punishment by stoning for certain sin. Women were not supposed to touch a man, and the punishment for that was pretty harsh. There were laws for women during their menstrual cycles and they were considered unclean.

If the church insists on going back there, they'll have to re-read the whole books again and pull out every sin that required stoning or cutting off a limb. They'll be so thankful that Jesus came to relieve us of those laws. Heaven now is a possibility for every human being who ever lived in the crevices and outposts of the most isolated parts of the world.

The call by some tv evangelists that God is just eager to flash down lightning and thunder on certain sin, is anti-New Testament. Evangelists like this must have decided the OT becomes them much more than the NT. Or, it profits them more, which could mean they've traded in their salvation for a bowl of temporal pottage.


Cal said...

Great post.

I've been slapped with a "I'm trying to take the full counsel of God", in so many words, before when understanding the Old Testament. How wrong! Jesus is the full revelation of God's wisdom! That's it. There's no god, no divine blackhole, behind the back of Jesus.

As a possible way forward with the warfare of Israel, I try everything through the lens of Jesus, which means that we see types and shadows everywhere. Thus in the wars, we see Israel go up against micro-empires that were sold enmeshed in their death-cult, that they had to go. So too do we the same war continue, won totally by Jesus and continued by his followers. A war against powers, principalities and darknesses in high places.

To retool a phrase from the letter to the Hebrews: the use of bronze swords and shields could not remove evil. Jesus reveals that cross-bearing forgiveness is the way evil is overcome (c.f. Col 2:15). It's not much of an answer, but its a start.


jerry mcfarland said...

Julie Wilton said...
I get somewhat confused about whether God causes calamities to judge certain places. I just listened to an older audio on Apostasy Watch that says the opposite of what you are saying. Both sides sound right. How can that be?

As I currently understand, though Jesus is GOD manifested in the flesh and the only template in which we are to be conformed, GOD {the Father} still sits on the throne. HE is the one who judges Mankind & the nations. HE has set into Creation laws of “cause and effect” against nations and individuals. If a nation sins and refuses to repent, then ultimately HE will allow catastrophes to occur in order to hopefully bring repentance. But calamities do not always bring the desired results even though GOD is not willing that any should perish, but all be brought to repentance. {Note in Revelation where it says: Yet men would not repent.}

We know that some things happen because the Earth remains under sin. Mankind is lost and will do good and evil works. The weather is messed up and storms happen. Not every event is necessarily “the judgment of GOD". Yes, GOD has been long-suffering with nations full of murder, lying, stealing, etc w/o “raining fire and brimstone”. But there is a difference between governments allowing sin and condoning sin through legislation.

Here in Babylon-America, the courts are changing the laws more and more to legalize and encourage moral perversity. Our actions are abominable and have pretty much reached the limit. Jesus very well is the reconciliation unto GOD for individuals - and such who are born again must change - however, GOD still has a cup of iniquity for each nation that must be dealt with. HE is judging nations with droughts, earthquakes, hurricanes, etc.

No, Believers in Messiah Jesus should not participate in the same actions of the lost. They should come out and be separate. And we are being judged, for “Judgment begins at the House of GOD.” A particular nation is not the House of GOD, but some of its citizens can be. Thus the stirring of the Holy Spirit to break the yoke of nationalism and patriotism rampant within the Church. Our allegiance is to HIM first and foremost. HE will draw a people out of the Earth for HIS Kingdom which is soon to be installed. Meanwhile, to fulfill the word of the Prophets, HE must allow and bring about the physical results of sin and rejection of HIM.

A bit longer than intended, but I hope something will help.

michael said...

Well indeed there is confusion about these things.

Is the Old Testament to be set aside? No, not in the least!

Lets consider some things about judgments and violence that we do see in the New Testament. Right there in Matthew's account we see the slaughter of children by Herod. Also there's this:

There were some present at that very time who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And he answered them, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:1-5 ESV)

Then there's what Peter said about Jesus here quoting Moses:

Moses said, ‘The Lord God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your brothers. You shall listen to him in whatever he tells you. And it shall be that every soul who does not listen to that prophet shall be destroyed from the people.’ (Acts 3:22, 23 ESV)

Then we have Ananias and Saphira being struck down for lying to the Holy Spirit.

And what about the guards Herod sent to their deaths because God sent an Angel to release Peter from certain death at Herod's command? Then there's Herod himself being struck down and eaten by worms!

Then there is this remarkable word at the other extreme spoken by Paul that gives me pause shaking my head puzzled wondering at the awe inspiring Word of His Grace:

Since they had been without food for a long time, Paul stood up among them and said, “Men, you should have listened to me and not have set sail from Crete and incurred this injury and loss. Yet now I urge you to take heart, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship. For this very night there stood before me an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I worship, and he said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul; you must stand before Caesar. And behold, God has granted you all those who sail with you.’ (Acts 27:21-24 ESV)

Think about that would you! "GOD HAS GRANTED YOU ALL THOSE WHO SAIL WITH YOU."!!!

So for me I see no disconnect between the Old and New especially when you consider every reference to Scripture in the New save a couple two or three places refers to Old Testament verses. For instance I'll close with one:

And now I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified. (Acts 20:32 ESV)

When endeavoring to comprehend the Old Testament I submit one must be fully informed that what they are reading is the earlier version of the True Grace of God intended to build us up and sanctify us too "BY THE SAME WORD OF HIS GRACE"!

brcorcoran said...

Ephesians 2:11-19

Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh—who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands— that at that time you were -

* without Christ,
*aliens from the commonwealth of Israel

*strangers from the covenants of promise

*no hope

*without God in the world.

But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near. For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.

Now, therefore, you are no longer "strangers and foreigners", but (fellow citizens) with the saints and members of the household of God,

The Old Testament was to the Jew, not the Gentile.

Anonymous said...

Christians ought to highly prize the Old Testament!

Jesus Himself was completely conversant with the Old Testament and its content. He not only quoted from it often and trusted it totally but informed us when He fulfilled it!

In Luke 4:18-21 we can read how He quotes from Isaiah 61. I believe we should all study these verses very diligently. We ought to desire to praise Him daily for fulfilling these scriptures! Truly He is the Spirit of Prophecy.

Our great Lord also confirmed the destruction of Sodom and the death of Lot’s wife (Luke 17:29, 32). He confirmed the murder of Abel by his brother Cain (Luke 11:51) and the calling of Moses (Mark 12:26), and the manna given in the wilderness (John 6:31–51).

What a Lord. What a Savior. What a Friend. What a soon-to-return Judge is Our Creator, Lord Jesus Christ!

Reine Gnade

Anonymous said...

The Old Testament is for all of God's creation! It's God's gracious, loving gift. It is God's will for Christians and non Christians to study it attentively.

Reine Gnade

Anonymous said...

Let's guard against the temptation to develop our observational skills at the expense of allowing the LORD to bless us with increased spiritual discernment. The Bible teaches that wisdom is the principal thing!

Proverbs 4:7
Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.

Truly we need the LORD to bless us with increased wisdom, so that we can submit wholeheartedly to His will and become more loving in both word and deed.

Truly the LORD God is Our wisdom!!

Josef Sefton

Anonymous said...

Reading all comments here and it's all true, because everyone is quoting scripture.

However, when David was making a plea for justice and wrote in Psalm 83, about his enemies, verse 13-18: "Oh my God, make them like the whirling dust, like the chaff before the wind! As the fire burns the woods, and as the flame sets the mountains on fire, So pursue them with Your tempest and frighten them with Your storm. Fill their faces with shame, that they may seek Your name, O Lord, Let them be confounded and dismayed forever; Yes, let them be put to shame and perish, that they may know that You, whoe name alone is the Lord, are the Most High over all the earth".

As new creatures in Christ, we know it's not our place to call on the Lord to avenge us and hurt our enemies. So, everything written in the OT had a purpose and gives us a description of God's relationship with Israel and David the King. The price for being protected by the Awesome Father was to obey and practice every difficult ritual and offer a yearly sacrifice for sins. It was tedious. Now we have a new way. But the sacrifice we gentiles have to make is to be Christ-like in all His ways and not pursue vengeance on our enemies, but to forgive them.

Disciples of the Lord aren't supposed to call down judgment in this dispensation. I think this is why many prefer to live the glory days of the OT, so they aren't reminded that we are lambs who must reserve judgment to God on judgment day only. I wish it were that we could be like David and call down an army of angels, but we know that privilege was only given to God's Covenant people.

Just thinking out loud.....


Anonymous said...

Here I go again......

I truly believe that the Lord will continually protect Israel according to the prophecies regarding her in the last days - even though there will be casualties and great distress of nations. But, the church should not labour to have any part in it, but to pray for her, and pray for Jerusalem. But we should never intrude on God's Plan and placement of leaders who'll participate in that. My belief is it's absolutely not our place or responsibility, even it could be considered sinful if we believe we, the church, should interfere.

If the church would take on it's responsibility of studying scripture, it would notice that the Book of Acts and the epistles never once asked believers to engage in political entanglements with Israel, except in preaching the message. I hear a lot of talk where christians are relieved when our national leaders say they support her, because our carnal natures don't want our nations to be cursed, but rather blessed. We want to be blessed and therein lies the problem. It's not out of love for God's people, but it's out of a selfish need to pick the right side so we can benefit. In fact, as christians, we are supposed to pick the side that Jesus is on. He is on the Jews and Palestinians side, and the Ethiopians and Egyptians and Libyans and Tunisians and Syrians and Jordanians and Lebanese and Turks and.....etc...etc.

As a christian, my soul is convicted by knowing that I should be NO respecter of persons. I give God the glory to whatever He chooses to do and pray that none should perish without Him.

It's not "fun" to be a christian. If we feel it's an entitlement or a perk or gives us the upper hand, and a sense of superiority so we can lord it over others, then we aren't practicing real christianity. That's how I feel right now.


Anonymous said...

Jackie all the comments here are not all true, because everyone is quoting scripture. Quoting scripture doesn't insure that a commentary is true at all!! It's what is in the commentary that matters.

When David was making a plea for justice and wrote in Psalm 83, about his enemies, verse 13-18: "Oh my God, make them like the whirling dust, like the chaff before the wind! As the fire burns the woods, and as the flame sets the mountains on fire, So pursue them with Your tempest and frighten them with Your storm. Fill their faces with shame, that they may seek Your name, O Lord, Let them be confounded and dismayed forever; Yes, let them be put to shame and perish, that they may know that You, whose name alone is the Lord, are the Most High over all the earth".

Well. God would only answer such a prayer if He thought it was right to do so, for He can't behave unjustly.
True. Now we (true believers) have a new way. True. We are not pursue vengeance on our enemies, but to forgive them.

It is not about intruding or interfering but about submitting to God's will and letting His glorious love and power show itself through us. We must go out like David armed with faith in the only true God and confront all those who exalt themselves defiantly against the only true God who has blessed us with the gift of the holy Bible.

Jesus Himself said: Pray for Jerusalem. That's in the imperative tense. His words are authoritative. If we don't do this we can't claim to obedient in this important matter. Should we choose to obey Him we will be richly blessed by the LORD for our obedience to His word.

Prayer always involves follow up, for the Bible teaches that faith without works is dead. God used Nehemiah's prayers to bring him back to Jerusalem to rebuild the wall that had been broken down and He will use the prayers of those who pray for Jerusalem to glorify His name in both word and deed.

It's about the LORD calling and choosing us and about us endeavouring to obey His will.

Jackie, I don't agree with your teaching. He will bless what He blesses and punish what He curses. If any of those countries or people you have listed merit punishing He will punish them. If any merit blessing He will bless them. He is merciful and good to all that is true, but that wont get in the way of His punishing iniquity when and how He sees fit.

Jackie, your desire to pray that God rescues many people is commendable, yet I think is needful to understand that the LORD God has already decided that multitudes will perish.

Let's speak up against sin and not just into our collection of pillows that aren't stained by tears!

Reine Gnade

Anonymous said...

Just piping in here after all these comments: I contend with Cal that the OT is types and shadows of Jesus, of the redemptive plan of our God, of the eternal covenant, revealing the nature of a holy redemptive God and the horribleness of sin and its consequences. God entered into UNIQUE covenant with the nation of Israel; now the NEW covenant is SPIRITUAL and extends to all who obey the gospel and are regenerate. It's not political. You can't misapply the old law under this new covenant, which is what the theonomists and dominionists do. Now God has spoken to us IN HIS SON!

I agree with J. especially about not embroiling in the politics of this world, and leaving judgment to the only righteous Judge. Honestly, I don't understand much of what Reine is trying to say.

Misunderstanding the relationship and revelation of the OT with the NT is common today in much of "evangelicalism." I hold to the old saying I was taught long ago: "The New Testament in the Old concealed: the Old Testament in the New revealed."

Love and grace to you all in Christ.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Reine; thanks for responding to me. I appreciate your comments - I just wanted to clarify, that I do realize we are to pray for Jerusalem. I guess I didn't make that clear when I wrote. Yes, that is a NT edict for the church to do.

I've been through many bible studies and yet, I still see contradictions with what I've been taught in regards to how the church (in the West) regards the conflicts in the Middle East. We, the church, were taught that we were to be unconditional friends of Israel, because of the verse, "those who bless Israel will be blessed and those who curse Israel will be cursed."

Then, I started questioning the violence that had to be necessary in order for a nation like Israel to survive. I started to read scripture again and formulated through my personal prayers and the Word that it's not right for anyone to REJOICE when bloodshed was affecting the attackers. and the world seems to put it's head in the sand, as the prophecies declared, when it comes to Israel. the world has to respond in carnal warfare. Christians on the other hand have to respond in spiritual warfare. Israel. It occurred to me that the church was becoming a cheerleader for Israel and completely conscience-seared about it's enemies. We are to pray for our enemies, we, the church, have to be about the Father's business. The church is becoming an international judge, very much like the United Nations, only in complete support of Israel. The church is playing international political sport in the affairs of a very volatile area. With all the faith it brags about, clearly the church has no faith that God is in charge over the affairs of Israel. It feels it has to become a civil right leader for Israel, raising money for awareness and supporting monetarily, and electing politicians that assure they are on it's side. They love to hear that millions of taxpayer dollars in defense weaponry is sent to help them 'protect' themselves. Is this our purpose? Jesus healed the sick, and now we with a clean conscience think it's OK to pass out the ammo for a good cause?

Bible studies and books I'd read claimed that Ishmael's descendents would be angry and begrudge jews and there would be schism for generations until the end. Even if this were so, God has a plan. It's not up to us, the church, to play 'international' mediator for physical Israel.

I'm to love and treat those as I would have them treat me, per Jesus' command. I was blessed with two wonderful boys, thank the Lord.

When I look at photos of injured small children in Syria, or any area that is fighting rebels and families who are in the crossfire, I see those little boys as my own. I don't whether they are Muslim, Catholics or Jews, but my heart goes out to them.

That's what I was trying to convey. I wish that men like John Hagee would seriously not invoke justification for Israel and throw money into conferences that demand allegiance of christians to blindly support Israel. Israeli leaders? They are no different than our leaders. They are power-hungry, greedy and few have concern for Jehovah's Law. Israeli leaders have been yoked with western ideals for years. They are like all of us. They need Jesus. But the church is too afraid to tell them that. The church would rather support the cause, without telling them about Jesus, because "the cause" warrants lots of blessings that the church believes it will receive from God for supporting Israel. That's the bottom line. The church needs to be reprimanded, IMV, for turning this into a crusade. Believe me when I say that it has drawn not just criticism, but it has drawn incredulity that a follower of Jesus could actually take sides on a war issue. They continually quote Ghandi's quote, something like, "I love your Christ, but I don't like your christian".


Cherie c. said...

I agree with Michael, there is violence in the the NT which is judgment.

Jesus was beaten beyond recognition, stabbed, nailed to a wooden board or a tree, blood had to be shed for the forgiveness of sin. Someone had to endure God's judgment against humanity.

The Apostles were beaten, and stoned to death, etc. and God allowed it. Was it judgement, some I believe was, but Jesus warned of the violence His disciples would face. Jesus told Barnabas what Paul would have to endure.

I am told the OT is but a shadow of who and what was to come. So since judgment came to the people of Israel by God, it was but a shadow of the judgement Jesus was to endure for our sins, by God.

The OT is more of a parallel to the NT than one would think.

your sister in Christ Jesus,
Cherie c.

Anonymous said...

Jackie, I don't agree with your use of the word blind. If we are to sincerely pray for the peace of Jerusalem we must also desire for Tel Aviv, Haifa and southern Israel to have peace too.

The LORD is Our teacher He doesn't teach us to support Israel blindly but biblically. Can we in the West give someone greater support than to pray earnestly for their welfare before the LORD God who is all powerful?

Reine Gnade

Anonymous said...

Welcome back Cherie!

A Christian is someone the LORD has rescued. He loves them. When they are stoned they never come under Judgement.

What happened to them was totally unjust.

Reine Gnade

Anonymous said...

Dear readers, you are invited to eat God's word from the Old Testament too! What is true that the Old Testament prepares the attentive reader for a great event namely the coming of Christ, the eternal Word, to earth.

Reine Gnade

Anonymous said...

Josef is an example of a man who was a child of God who who got involved in the challenges of his day and the LORD God was with him!!

David got involved as King. God was with him mightily in this position of leadership and He blessed him to make righteous decisions and judgements.
Nehemiah also got involved in local issues in Jerusalem. Esther got involved, as Queen, in the protecting of Jews even though she was married to a man who wasn't a believer in the living LORD.

Commentators here ought to be praising the courage of those who step up be a blessing to their fellowman!

Reine Gnade

Julie Wilton said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Hi Reine, I'm just responding to you again. We're in deep discussion here. I never pretend that I'm a teacher. I'm here to learn and to share my thoughts. And I appreciate any correction.

When I wrote of those ministries, like John Hagee, who create a teaching where christians should endorse Israel, I used the words "blindly support Israel".

What I meant by that is this: Some teachers and evangelists are asking the church to support all and everything Israel. This includes her government, her military, her leaders, some of which are non-practicing Jews, or some who are atheists, or some who are ambitious. I believe that some christians, yes, 'blindly' go along with false teachers who claim we should support their present government officials. That is the 'blind' part I was referring to.

I do not say that we are blind if we support Israel. But, I think the scriptures are clear that we, as New Testament, under the blood of Christ, believers can support her with prayer and the fruit and gifts of the Spirit. We should not believe everything some evangelists teach. They ask us to give solidarity to Israel, but also ask us to give money, donations, and ask us to 'vote' for the right candidate who supports Israel, and they ask us to rejoice when our governments reserve millions of dollars for her. This, to me, is blind allegiance. Do we know how their leaders are using that money? Can we trust today's leaders as though they are Davids, men after God's heart? I don't think we should be foolish enough to believe they have everyone's best interests at heart. I'm just sharing my opinion that I would not want to engage in taking sides in a war, as a christian.

I agree with what Bro. Rick has written in this post. I also believe that the 'falling away' of the church could very well be those who cling to the Old Testament. Those who want to live the gospels and the apostolic church life will be persecuted.

I know Esther was a good example. But, as christians, we can't go back there. We can say do great exploits and risk our lives for a people, but will that glorify Christ in this dispensation? Would it glorify Jesus if we unfoiled a plan of a leader to kill christians and then felt justified as the authorities hung the perpetrators? Is this the kind of justice a christian seeks? Revenge? Nowhere in the Book of Esther did it say that she pleaded for Haman and his gang to be forgiven. And this was the ways of the OT law. An eye for an eye. And Esther's husband, who was not a Jew, executed his enemies. This is the husband Esther chose to marry. So, the story shows courage, but it doesn't show Jesus yet. I want to follow Jesus.

Anonymous said...

Reine, I just posted and forgot to ID myself. Just another thought, I'd prefer to be, if I could be as committed as her, a Dorcas, or a Martha or a Mary, rather than an Esther. I love the old testament heroes. I love how courageous they were and I don't have that courage. Maybe someday.

And the Davids, and Solomons, and the prophets, and Daniel and Joseph and Deborah, and all of them offer examples to me that do encourage me to strive to be as faithful to God in their time as they were. If Jesus had decided to come then, would they have recognized Him? Or would they have also tried to get rid of him?


Anonymous said...

Jackie, courage and love belong together. The LORD blesses Christians with both love and courage. They are inseparable. It wouldn't make sense for the LORD to command us to come boldly to the throne of grace without also empowering us to do this.

I love your enthusiam for Dorcas, Martha, Mary and hopefully soon Esther.

She certainly was an immensely courageous woman who stood up to combat the evil desires of Haman who was filled with hatred for Jews.

Jackie, praise the LORD for His gift of courage and boldness, for you are a vibrant witness of His love. Truly the LORD is love!!

Reine Gnade

Anonymous said...

Jackie there was just one King David! He, despite his many transgressions, heard, obeyed and loved the eternal holy One.

As someone the LORD had saved his heart, mind and soul welcomed the eternal Word of God whom we know as Lord Jesus. The same is true for Daniel and Joseph!!

Wherever the holy Spirit is, so too is Christ's spirit for they are one. King David, Daniel and Joseph knew the Spirit of Truth. They were active warriors against the Father of Lies and friends with Their Creator.

Let's all exalt the name of gracious Lord Jesus.

Reine Gnade

Chris Baumgart said...

So then how are Christians looking at current legislation that moves to free same gender couples to legally marry and legislation to to bring much needed healthcare to the poor, and underinsured working people? Our country is to be cursed and judged if we allow this type of "perversion" to prosper say Christian leaders concerning marriage, but giving much needed help to the poor through making healthcare more assecable is fulfilling the call of Jesus for christians to tend to the sick, the weak, the infirmed... Confusing? God is going to bring a great judgement against this country if homosexuals are allowed to marry but when I read the New Testament we Christians are to be blessed when fulfilling our duty to practice benevolence by making sure the sick, the weak, the infirmed are being taken care of. Are the deceiving powers of Satan at work here? Most of the Christian leaders that publicly preach fear of judgement are the same that would deny healthcare to the poor... They actually reason, and bringing many on board with them, that the "battle" is fighting this gay agenda while denying the very scriptural precedence of the incredible need to tend to the suffering of the many, many sick, weak and helpless. Right now the "Church" here in America seems is sick in the head, and I have the New Testament to prove it!

Anonymous said...

Amen, Reine!


Rick Frueh said...

This country has always been fallen which is the curse. Legalizing gay marriage changes nothing.

Anonymous said...

Let's not forget what happened in Germany in the 1920s and 1930s. Passing laws that dishonor the LORD God have the potential to quickly plunge a nation into utter chaos -thus putting the safety and peace of the entire world at risk.

Rick, it's not all one way traffic. America is fallen as is an, unsaved man but the LORD is still blessing him where He can and cursing him when He deems it appropriate to do so.

Reine Gnade

Rick Frueh said...

The entire world is in the wicked one. An unsaved man is an enemy of God and any earthly good is not a direct blessing of God. God does not bless nations in the gospel age. He blesses and corrects his church.
We must see ourselves as the servants of Christ and not as Americans.

Cherie c. said...


Not going to debate you, you took what I wrote out of context. Judgment is in the NT. Ananias and Saphira were struck dead, judgment.

Thanks for the "Welcome Back", but I am surprised you said that being you were one of three reasons I left. I have forgiven, but I am not going to allow anyone to draw me into a back and forth. It creates animosity and that is not Godly. You and a few others will find something wrong with what I write, so to get it out of the way now, if and when you respond to a post of mine that is attacking in tone, I will not acknowledge it. It will do us no good or anyone else who reads our back and forth so please do not try to get me to respond. Out of reverence for our Lord and respect for Pastor Rick, I will not be addressing you again, but thanks for saying hi.

Cherie c.

Anonymous said...

Certainly unsaved man is captive to Satan and as such an enemy of God but the finished work of Christ o n the cross points to the fact that God is still prepared to bless His creation.
He has not stopped drawing broken and contrite sinners to His Beloved Son.

Certainly multitudes are falling away but those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, Lord Jesus Christ is our righteousness, will be blessed.

Very true Rick, the LORD blesses and corrects his church and we must see ourselves as the servants of faithful Lord Jesus Christ.

Reine Gnade

Anonymous said...

I really love Psalm 145:9. It says: The Lord is
good to all; He has compassion on all He has made.

Josef Sefton

Anonymous said...

Hi Cherie, thank you for your note. Just so you know more about me Reine Gnade and Josef Sefton are the same person. I post commentaries with Reine Gnade especially for those who know me from Germany.

Recently I missed your bubbly personality and sensed that some comments from some people might have been like unwelcome people arriving at your front door. Cherie, I desire your happiness. If I didn't have welcoming words for students of the Bible I certainly couldn't expect the LORD to bless me with welcoming words for atheists when I post commentaries on their anti-Christian websites!

My writing style can be intense at times but don't be upset I'm for you not against you. I will do everything I can to guide everyone deeper into truth.

As far as Ananias and Saphira goes I haven't yet formed a definitive opinion on this mysterious action of the LORD. If I was pushed for an opinion I would say that they were unsaved. It seems to me to be an act of the LORD sovereignly deciding to take their lives.

Regarding what you wrote Cherie and my reply- an apostle is a Christian, so I don't see how I have taken things out of context.

In closing whatever you decide is up to you Cherie, just know that I'm here to encouage you to follow Christ even more purely.

Reine Gnade

brcorcoran said...

Anonymous said...

Let's not forget what happened in Germany in the 1920s and 1930s. Passing laws that dishonor the LORD God have the potential to quickly plunge a nation into utter chaos -thus putting the safety and peace of the entire world at risk.

Rick, it's not all one way traffic. America is fallen as is an, unsaved man but the LORD is still blessing him where He can and cursing him when He deems it appropriate to do so.

Reine Gnade

@Reine...can you provide scripture based on the covenant the born again believer is under where God is cursing when He deems it to be appropriate?...everything we believe must be proven by scripture else it's nothing but thought...blessings

Anonymous said...

Hi brcorcoran, I am referring to an unsaved person in my commentary.

(Jeremiah 17:5) Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD.

See Deuteronomy 27, Romans 1

Reine Gnade

Anonymous said...

After doing some news reading today, I hear about some christian charities that work towards helping different needs, relief for the needy, or programs to encourage and help veterans. While these are good, it requires me to ask: why do the heads of these christian organizations get rich? They own their own planes and multiple properties. And, why do mega-pastors take the immense tithes and use them to increase their salaries? Of course it's greed, but why do so many blindfolded christians not see this discrepancy of the NT? What is shocking is that only a few notice.

I wonder if these men have themselves convinced that they too can benefit from Abraham's promise of 'blessing'. Abraham was indeed blessed, and his descendents, but under the old law.

Abraham had relations with Sarah's handmaiden, per Sarah's request, so that they could have a child. This behavior isn't encouraged but condemned in the NT. Solomon had hundreds of wives. David had several wives.

I find that church leaders are becoming less and less convicted by the NT and consecrated holy living and becoming more and more condoning of OT behaviors. Is this why they pursue wealth while spreading the gospel? Do they feel justified to seek wealth or feel it's their just reward? I know that today's church has not only lost it's first love, but has traded in the cross and God's Son for Abraham. It seems Abraham is easier to follow, because he was so blessed. It's a win-win for them because they don't have to live like Abraham to please the Lord, like put his son Isaac on the altar for sacrifice. They know they don't have to sacrifice their sons on any altar, because Jesus Christ is the ultimate sacrifice and the Father sacrificed His son for us all. So, these leaders think they can benefit both ways. They don't have to make any sacrifice, yet they can benefit like Abraham did, owning stock and land and being very wealthy. They love to revere the characters of the OT and romanticize the Ruths, Esthers, and Jabez, so we can all achieve the same blessings they had.

It's so obvious that the church doesn't want Christ's way. They want a new way and created a new christian walk that can gleen a little from both. Is this why adultery and divorce is so prevalent among christians today? If David could, well, they can. If Esther could be a beautiful woman and model for the King's court, then christian women can achieve perfect beauty. Is this why some christian politicians call out imprecatory prayer from Psalms towards men they hate?

Is this why politicians who claim they believe God, have no remorse or conscience about removing food stamps from those they perceive as lazy? Is this why they feel it's OK to persecute gays and lesbians and persecute and mock the poor and treat them like the old enemies of ancient Israel?


Anonymous said...

The LORD sees all the thieving from tithing that goes on.

A thief doesn't revere true servants of God but they do applaud other thieves as long as they don't rob them!

A thief is looking for ways to "benefit" himself. Unless under conviction from God a corrupt person votes for further corruption not sinlessness!

Reine Gnade

Anonymous said...

Sorry to be contrary, but NO laws passed by governments of this fallen world can really "honor God." Only faith pleases God in this age of grace since Calvary. Without faith it is impossible to please God.

Some laws are better than others; more beneficial than others in their results, but none of them are "holy" or "righteous." Because only obedience to the Gospel is righteousness, not by works anymore.

This way of thinking that laws are changing that are upsetting God and making Him angry toward judgment, is a holdover from the false theology of magisterial sacralist rule. Look, there is only ONE righteousn nation, and it is the Church under the Lordship of Jesus. I believe in common grace which is what the rule of earthly governments can accomplish on a temporal level. But let's get it straight that none of the nations of this earth have had "righteousness" in the New Testament definition. So they can't "lose" righteousness by passing "ungodly" laws. All the world lies in the wicked one. Righteousness does not come by conformance to the Decalogue or any other code.

So, Germany did not fall from grace because it passed ungodly laws, but passed ungodly laws because it was already fallen. (likewise also the United States!) These nations are not holy nations, only regenerate saints comprise a holy nation--the Church.

The New Testament instructs us that the nations of this world are ALREADY under judgment, destined for fire, in the grip of sin, under darkness. Only by coming out through Christ into the holy nation can anyone be saved. The manifestation of final judgment is reserved for the future because God is patient and desires all to come to repentance, but this world is already judged.

"Ungodly" laws may bring greater suffering to humanity that those that align more with divine justice, because sin and its fruits are its own judgment. But we must be clear that no laws enacted by any earthly authorities can "please God" or be "righteous" in the biblical sense. That's why we are to be looking for the Kingdom of Christ to come fully at the eschaton, while living as pilgrims (not citizens)now among the nations of this world.


Chris Baumgart said...

J, -historically Christian behavior is tied to the prosperity preaching done over, at least, the last 35 years. You would like to think that the public displays of massive failure from the Jim and Tammy Faye Baker Ministry, Jim Swaggert Ministries and some others would shake the foundations of the Church here in America. (?) But others continue in their place, TBN, CBN, - which can only suggest the hearts of most Christians here are not truly submitted to Lord Jesus. The strongholds of deception concerning wealth were displayed in the last election cycle, where again most evangelicals voted to make "greed" a running mate making their concern for raising taxes "the devils work" promptly placing a fan of Ayn Rand, Paul Ryan, to run for high office... Christians were OK with this. When you give this some deeper thought, it is sickening.

Anonymous said...

Irrespective of the calibre of the politicians of Israel we are commanded to pray for the peace of Jerusalem.

Reine Gnade

Anonymous said...

Laws passed by the American government can honor God provided God deems them good. If a law is truly good and beneficial it's a very good thing.

Reine Gnade

Rick Frueh said...

Nowhere in the New Testament are we commanded to pray for the peace of Israel. And laws without Jesus, just like people without Jesus, can never be "good". Morality without Jesus is not moral. There is none good, laws or people, without Jesus. God's warth abideth upon them all.

Anonymous said...

Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God” (Matthew 5:9). We are commanded to do our best to live at peace with others. “If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men” (Romans 12:18).

God wants us to seek peace among all people, and that would include praying for peace in Jerusalem, especially because of its special place in His heart.

Anonymous said...

The Bible teaches us to pray about what God has already promised He would do.

Revelation 11:15 says, “The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and He shall reign for ever and ever.”

Yet Jesus taught us to pray “Thy kingdom come and Thy will be done…” •

The Bible teaches there’s going to be peace in Jerusalem, yet Psalm 122:6 tells us to “pray for the peace of Jerusalem.”

Jesus Christ is going to come again. (Revelation 22:20)

Then John prays, “Even so, Come, Lord Jesus.” It is prophesied, yet we’re told to pray it will happen!

Reine Gnade

Anonymous said...

But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

Mathew 5:44

God commands us to pray without ceasing. Behold how Jesus on the cross was still prayerful.
Let us not forget His great compassion for the unsaved.

Reine Gnade

Rick Frueh said...

That is exactly what the post was about. Mixing the Old Covenant with the New can form any kind of belief system. Are we to kill our enemies or love them? Are we to call down wrath upon Assyria or evangelize them? It all stems from a misguided and unscriptural noting about America and the secular state called Israel.
We live in the age of grace and of the Bride of Christ. The State of Israel has no part of that and are in fact infidels in large part. God does not deal with nations or cities as a whole. This is the Great Commission to preach the gospel to every creature. No ethic distinctions nor national origins. It is a kingdom in the Spirit.

Cherie c. said...

You are incorrect Reine, need to read the Bible in Context. Governments are made up of fallen mankind, so no law enacted can honor God. We can I only please God when we have the Holy Spirit. God allows government for a means to enact judment. "Render unto ceasar what is ceasar's and unto God what is God's."

We are to pray for our government so that they allow us to live in peace.

Kingdoms were established by satan and allowed by God.

Cherie c. said...

Amen and spot on Pastor Rick.

Anonymous said...

Biblically speaking the unsaved are the enemies of Christians, for they are at enemity with God. A Christian is commanded to pray for their enemies. Rick, where is the evidence on your site that you are interested in putting this commandment into practice? Where is your love for the unsaved in Jerusalem or other cities of the world? Do you every mention them?
All I read from you, apart from a few exceptions like Spurgeon, is dismissive criticism. The true love of Christ reaches out in prayer to the untaught and unreached in Jerusalem too.

Reine Gnade

Anonymous said...

If someone lives in the age of grace then they ought to be desirous to pray for those whom the heavenly Father can still draw to Christ. They would have a spirit of intercession as Jesus demonstrated perfectly on the cross. We must not give up on infidels but desire that the heavenly Father can draw them to Christ.

Reine Gnade

Anonymous said...

God hasn't stopped dealing with nations. We only have to read prophecy that hasn't yet been fulfilled to realize that. Let's not forget that God is still saving those who are lost.

Reine Gnade

Anonymous said...

It is unwise to make such sweeping statements. A government can be lead by a Christian believer. Every government is different but it is my own observation that some people in many governments worldwide do still stand up for the word of God.
In the last twenty years fewer and fewer people are doing this because the calibre and integrity of people worldwide in government has diminished.

Reine Gnade

Anonymous said...

Cherie, in my opinion you are misunderstanding the words of Jesus that you are quoting.What is due unto a Caesar or an earthly ruler? Jesus is saying you and I are to pay our taxes! Until He returns we are pay our taxes.Yes, let us render unto God what is Gods'.

Let us study the Old Testament for its wisdom has not gone out of date. Let us be taught by God when we study the Old Testament instead of being frightened to quote from it.

God still has much to teach eager students from the Old Testament.

brcorcoran said...

Something to consider...

Put yourself back in Bible days (BEFORE) Apostle Paul...this is where us Gentiles were concerning God - (Ephesians 2)

Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh—who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.

Were the Gentiles who were lost without hope in the Synagogue every Saturday learning the Old Testament?

Then came the 12 Apostles, yet they did not go the way of the Gentile, they were sent to the lost sheep of the house of Israel only at the beginning.

Once Apostle Paul came on the scene, he came with a different message than the other 12 Apostles as seen here -

Galatians 2:7

But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision (Gentile)was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision (Jew) was unto Peter...

Apostle Paul had a different message for the Gentile as you can see he was given much more revelation than the 12 Apostles as stated here -

2 Peter 3:16 (Peter talking about Paul)

As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.

Apostle Paul never told us Gentiles to study the (Old Testament)...Apostle Paul came with a "fresh message", a message hid from the beginning...

Why do we concern ourselves with the Old Testament when the Old Testament points to the promise seed?

Galatians 3:19
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.

Both Jew and Gentile are to follow the writings of Apostle Paul, he is the Apostle to the Gentiles and our Apostle said to follow him as he follows Christ...

Church Fellowships are full of law, legalism and bondage because they cannot fully embrace "GRACE" because we do the same thing that Apostle Paul fought at the beginning...the Jews were trying to bring the Gentile under bondage of law...Now today, Church Fellowships try to do the same thing...

We are under GRACE and GRACE alone, no law, no rules, no quotas, just loving God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength and loving our neighbor as ourselves...

Love fulfills does no ill to it's neighbor or God...

Rick Frueh said...

Exactly. The Old Testament is now shadows and types that point to Christ who is the final and complete revelation of the invisible God.

Anonymous said...

That's true. Jesus commands us to love God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength and love our neighbor as ourselves.

However God doesn't stop writing His word on the tablet of our heart. He doesn't erase but write His law on the tablet of a Christians' heart.

Jesus pointed us to the Old Testament for a good reason, for it is His eternal word.

Why would anyone not desire to deeply explore it?
Are you afraid of Deuteronomy 27?

Do you really think the Ten Commandments have no place in a Christian's life? The very opposite is true.

God's commandments are precious to Him. It's not about being under the law but about cherishing it. Without truly treasuring what God values we will not truly treasure Him or our neighbor.

Reine Gnade

brcorcoran said...

The Gospels are all (Old Testament)...

Jesus Christ came as a minister to the Jew not the Gentile to confirm the promises of the Fathers in fact

Jesus told the 12 Apostles not to go the way of the Gentile...

The plan of God was for Israel to receive Jesus Christ as their Messiah as a "NATION"...they rejected him so

God rose up Apostle Paul to go to the Gentiles...

The Gentiles were alienated from God and without God with no hope in this world at the time Apostle Paul came on the scene...

The Gentiles at the time of Apostle Paul had no scripture...they were barbarians...

We are commanded to follow Apostle Paul, he is our Apostle and he said to follow him as he follows Christ...that tells me, I follow his writings and his writings revealed the "GRACE" of God, no "LAW" attached to it...

Apostle Paul was beaten by his own because of what he preached due to them not being able to leave Law and follow Grace alone...

I believe the Church today is bound by legalism, law, all because the same battle is still going on today, trying to mix the Old Covenant with the New...

Apostle Paul told those in his day that if they believed and were circumcised, Jesus Christ profits them nothing...

Today, we can say that if you believe in Jesus Christ and think you have to keep the 10 commandments, go to church, be baptized or any other ordinance or law, Jesus Christ profits us nothing...

Concerning the 10 Commandments -

In the following example please tell me what commandment is being applied -

You see a person walking down the road, face full of tumors, completely see children mocking him and laughing at on the other hand have compassion and feel sorry for the person...

What commandment of the 10 kept you from making fun of this person?

You see, the Law of Christ written on our hearts is far more than 10 commandments written on a piece of paper...we are under Grace and have "God living in us", his Love abides in us, shed abroad in our hearts...

When you mix law and grace, the love of God is made void, the ability to express God's love in it's fullness now is stifled by rules, regulations, laws and self righteousness...

Anonymous said...

In order to grow more loving we have be taught. For example to honor our parent's more closely God has to teach us to do this. As He graciously does this we become aware that He has purified our heart, soul and mind. As He sheds His love abroad; in our heart we
truly can honour and desire fervently to honor our parents more attentively.

He is the loving, gracious eternal word. His commandment and His word are iinseparable.

They are what makes Him what He is. He takes what is written on paper, the Bible, and writes it on the tablet of our heart. That is His gracious act.

Paul couldn't have been so dedicated in glorifying God unless God Himself had graciously taught Him to focus on Christ and Him crucified. All these blessings Christ won for us on the cross. Truly Lord Jesus Christ Our risen, all-glorious, all-wise Lord is love.

Salvation is a gracious gift of God. Just because the law can't save doesn't give us the go ahead to wave it goodbye. God is still the lawgiver.

Reine Gnade

Annette said...

Always in awe of our LORD Jesus Christ.....always......

Matthew 12:1-8
"At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. And His disciples were hungry, and began to pluck heads of grain and to eat. And when the Pharisees saw it, they said to Him, "Look, Your disciples are doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath!" But He said to them, "Have you not read what David did when he was hungry, he and those who were with him: how he entered the house of God and ate the showbread which was not lawful for him to eat, nor for those who were with him, but only for the priests? "Or have you not read in the law that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath and are blameless? "Yet I say to you that in this place there is One greater than the temple. 'But if you had known what this means, "I desire mercy and not sacrifice,' you would not have comdemned the guiltless. "For the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath."

And again....always in awe of our precious Savior.....

Annette said...

Matthew 17:24-27

"When they had come to Capernaum, those who received the temple tax came to Peter and said, "Does your Teacher not pay the temple tax?" He said, "Yes." And when he had come into the house, Jesus anticipated him, saying, "What do you think Simon? From whom do the kings of the earth take customs or taxes, from their sons or from strangers?" Peter said to Him, "From strangers." Jesus said to him, "Then the sons are free. Nevertheless, lest we offend them, go to the sea, cast a hook, and take the fish that comes up first. And when you have opened its mouth, you will find a piece of money, take that and give it to them for Me and you."

Are the times in which we live, really that different than those in which Jesus walked this earth? Different faces, different costumes, and different toys perhaps, but the heart of man remains the same and is constant....spinning in a perpetual state of sin.


Rick Frueh said...

If the law of Moses is still applicable today then why do you not worship on Saturday? Or do you pick up sticks on Saturday? Or does you clothing have more than one material? Or do you marry your brother's widow even though you are married?
If the law is still in effect today than what gives anyone the right to divide it and claim only some of it is still in force? It is all or nothing. Those who are in Christ are free from the law through the sacrifice of our Redeemer. Everyone breaks the law ALL the time...even those who say it is still for believers today.

Annette said...

As I read through all of these entries, it is my desire to learn from each one, most of the time, respectfully, and quite honestly, there have been a few times when I just have to walk away, talk to my faithful dog Red, then pray.

In my notes, I respect these thoughts from brcorcoran; "I believe the church today is bound by legalism, law, all because the same battle is still going on today, trying to mix the Old Testament with the New....."

And also, these penned words by Pastor Rick, "The Old Testament is now shadows and types that point to Christ who is the final and complete revelation of the invisible God."

Thank-You for these thoughts Body of Christ! Aw we learn from Jesus, God literally in the flesh, dwelling amongst sinful man, interacts with basically two groups of people, the self righteous and the truly repentant...knowing the heart of every man, woman, and child He encountered as nothing is hidden from Him. In studying the Gospels once again, it is amazing to me how the religious zealots of His day tried to entrap Him with the laws of the Old Testament as if they were the patent holders and living it to the letter.

Could not the Pharisees, Saducees, priests and scribes not see? Jesus, however, saw what was written on their hearts and still willingly gave up His earthly life, with no fight nor rebellion in His being, for their sins...for our sins. Can we truly understand this kind of love.....can we fully embrace this?


Rick Frueh said...

If we are bound to the law today then Christ and His sacrifice is just icing on the Old Testament cake. But what Christ did is an entirely new cake with better promises and a better covenant.
II Cor.3: 11 For if that which is done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious.
There is only one covenant that remains. Only one.

Rick Frueh said...

II Cor.3: 7 But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away:
8 How shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious?

Are we to mix death with life? Look at what Paul said. There is no glory to the law today. It has fulfilled its purpose which was to bring us to Christ. Now there is only Christ.

Annette said...

Is is possible the church of today is trying in its flesh to become more appealing/more holy to God by incorporating selective Old Testament Laws to our lives today?

Absolutely, yes.

In the last church I attended, there were some in leadership who promoted practicing the Jewish Feasts, saying that we are commanded to still honor them today, even as Gentiles....there are some who say that we are still required to honor the Sabbath on Saturday, not Sunday, as some choose to do....that we are still commanded not to eat pork or any other split hooved animal as it is an abomination to continue tithing according to Old Testament teachings....etc., etc., etc.

Can a born again believer in Jesus Christ be made to feel guilty by church leadership for not attending a "sedar meal" at the church building? Yes, however, their attempts failed miserably, for when we understand the law in conjunction with mercy and grace, there is no condemnation.

As I observe our lifestyles as well as those who profess Christ, I dare say that we have a difficult time even abiding by the ten commandments, let alone six hundred and is impossible for me anyway. Yes, you are correct, Pastor Rick, it is impossible to live even ten commands....or what about the two most important commands......


Annette said...

Thank-You for those amazing Scriptural references.....just had to keep going....."But their minds were blinded. For until this day the same veil remains unlifted in the reading of the Old Testament, because the veil is taken away in Christ." 2 Corinthians 3:14

Leading up to more icing on the cake...."Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty."
2 Corinthians 3:17

There are times on the farm when I look up at the sparrows and the robins, thinking "Oh what freedom they seem to have!"

And I continue to watch, listen, and learn.

Praise God from whom all blessings flow.....while enjoying this Bible study.

brcorcoran said...

Amen Brother Rick...

Your blog is definitely an asset to this day and age!

Annette said...

Thank-You for the Scriptures Pastor Rick as they are truly liberating....the yoke of Jesus Christ is so much lighter than the plowshare of man.

Those amazing verses are not only well worth highlighting, but much more glorious to live!

There are days when I take a moment on the farm to look up and watch the sparrows and robins (I also admire the beauty of the blue jays but have observed them to be so nasty to one another) and feel such joy in my being as they seem to experience such freedom.

"Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty." 2 Corinthians 3:17.....The entire chapter was well worth the read.

I appreciate this Bible Study group...Praise God from whom all blessings flow....

Annette said...

Oh my....I am sorry about the duplicate post on my part as I wasn't sure I entered it in right.

I apologize for the confusion to all who engage.

My computer skills need work, that is for sure....howeve, I can bake a tasty cake...with homemade buttercream icing.

I know...Jesus is far better and I am built up once again in my faith today.

Please give Cheri my greeings, Pastor Rick as it is so good to see her back!

Cherie c. said...


It is all we need to know.

Hi Annette! How are you dear sister?

Cherie c.

Anonymous said...

Consider what David thought of God's commandments. "Trouble and anguish have overtaken me, yet Your commandments are my delights (Ps. 119.143). "You are near, O LORD, and all Your commandments are truth" (Ps. 119.151).

God's commandments are truth! The witness of a Christian ought to be that God's commandments are truth.

Reine Gnade

Anonymous said...

Romans 7:22
For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:

These words of Paul reveal that he delighted in the law of God. It's God's will for us to delight in the law of God.

Ephesians 3:16
That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit, in the inner man:

But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

The Psalmist delighted in the law of the Lord.
Reine Gnade

Rick Frueh said...

The law of the Lord refers to God's Word and not the law of Moses. This comment thread is now closed. Thank you.