Post from the Past: Still waiting on God?

I have heard people say that God spoke to them audibly. I have never known exactly what to think of that, even though I am sure that God is quite capable of doing anything He feels like doing. A few years ago, however, I had an experience that made me wonder.

I was attending chapel at my college. It was probably the first or second time I had ever been to chapel there. Even though the university had a chapel-attendance policy, I was exempt; I was a commuting student and was rarely on campus during chapel sessions. I don’t remember what the message was about that day, but I remember sitting there in my own little world talking to God. I was asking Him what He wanted for my life. Normally, we see or hear words, but this was a completely different experience. While I didn’t hear an audible voice, I felt the very distinct impression of two specific words: Serve Me.

“Impression” is the only word I can think of that even comes close what I felt. Now as to whether these words came straight from heaven, or whether they were just the culmination of everything that I already knew, I have no idea. But as I was thinking about this experience later, more and more I got the impression that I should have already known the answer. It doesn’t really matter whether God spoke directly to me, or whether I just happened to figure it out in that instant. Either way, I’m absolutely sure what God wants me to do with the rest of my life: serve Him.

Serve Him. Am I being too simplistic? I don’t think so. I guess you could just brush it off as a phrase that you have heard one too many times. Maybe it has lost its meaning to you. But if you will take a moment to consider the implications, I think you will see that those two little words offer a life-changing experience. Taken literally, they have the power to change the life of everyone who comes into contact with you. Those words, acted upon, will function as a stone tossed into the middle of a sea of souls. Whether a large stone or a small one is entirely up to you.

How do I serve Him? One obvious way we can serve Him is by serving others. “…Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” Matthew 25:40b.

Why do I think I should have already known the answer?

Because God has already told us to serve. It is not a suggestion, but a standing order. “…but by love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” Galatians 5:13c-14.

Because Jesus is our example. “For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45.

Christ’s first miracle as a man occurred because there was a need to be met. John 2:1-11.

The question then, is how can we serve? Find a person with a need and fill it. Find an organization that helps people with needs and volunteer. No act of kindness is too small. The more spontaneous, unexpected, and undeserved it is, the greater impact it will have. If you have an abundance of time or money, start by offering these. If you don’t have either, find ways to consume less of what you do have so that you will have some left over to share with others. What do you think is more effective: knocking on doors and inviting complete strangers to church, or serving someone in the community, stranger or not, and following up with a conversation about Christ? They may even ask you why in the world you are offering your time, money, sweat, etc. This will open the door to explain how your actions are nothing compared to the love of God and the free, undeserved gift of salvation.

When can we serve? Start by cutting out as much television as you possibly can. Remember that everything in this world will be burned up, and that we could be taken off this earth at literally any moment. Get up a little earlier or go to bed a little later. Take a week or a month, and inventory how you spend your time. Try not to worry too much about loss of personal time. Time means nothing to those who have an eternity to look forward to. Any time lost to serving others and spreading the gospel will most certainly be redeemed after you are resurrected. You will be laying up treasure in heaven. Of course, you must still make time for your family: they are your responsibility, and serving them is just as important as serving others.

Do you ever feel like you can’t do anything else without direction from God? Do you feel you have been waiting for years, and you are just tired of waiting? Sometimes I fear that we Christians use “waiting on God” as an excuse. He has already given us direction for our lives. Why do we think we need to wait for a personal word from God, in addition to what He has given us in His Word? Are we waiting for Him to drop an opportunity into our laps? Are we waiting to be the leader of a ministry? Our own ministry? That’s our first mistake. Ministry is about everyone except us. Sometimes, we don’t recognize God’s will because it doesn’t line up with our own will. He wants us working, not sitting around waiting for Him to knock us over the head with an answer that we approve of. I’m not suggesting that we stop waiting on the Lord. He commands us to do that as well. I’m merely suggesting that we do both – obey His commandments, and wait, expecting Him to lead us to the next step.

Challenge: Still waiting on God? All well and good. But in the meantime, obey the call to service.

Submission – what does it really mean?

Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the savior of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.

Ephesians 5:22-24

What should you do when you feel that your husband isn’t treating you right? Maybe you can sense a reoccurring streak of selfishness, or maybe it’s as bad as a complete disregard for how you feel. Worse than that, perhaps you can see that he is making poor choices or ignoring the mandates set forth in God’s Word. How can you make him understand? The short answer: you can’t. You can try to reason with him; respectfully tell him exactly how you feel. Sometimes your honesty will be enough to make him take a second look at things. But in the long run, you can’t force him to believe differently about something or to behave in a certain way.

How then, should you react? Here’s my advice, although many may not agree. The Bible commands wives to submit to their husbands. I know, I know; it also commands husbands to love their wives as Christ loves the church. That means that your husband should listen to your opinions and give them a lot of weight in his decision-making, right? Well, the truth is, however your husband decides to interpret that verse, it shouldn’t have any impact on the way you interpret the preceding ones. You see, those verses aren’t set up like “if…then” statements. If the husband loves his wife, then the wife submits to her husband. What if your husband isn’t a Christian at all, and gives no thought to the Bible whatsoever? Does that automatically make you the decision-maker of the household? Because your decisions are the right ones? No. Every wife believes her opinions to be the right ones – all the time. The Bible doesn’t say, “Therefore, whosoever is wrong shall submit to whosoever is right.” God has ordained your husband to make family decisions.

The only time you can disobey your husband is if he asks you to sin against God. You cannot force him to act the way you believe God wants him to. I have found that approaching God’s command this way frees me from worry about the effects of my husband’s decisions. I obey God by obeying my husband; everything that happens in my life as a result is God’s responsibility. You see, God will never punish you for obeying him. In fact, the only way you can find His perfect will is to obey Him to the letter – even if you feel that God’s will is being hindered by others in your life. Believe me; He does have the power to perfectly order your life in spite of other humans.

Your only job is to act the way you believe God wants you to act. As a matter of fact, that is everyone’s job, and the sooner we can believe that as a church, the sooner we can begin to examine our own lives, and stop nit-picking the lives of others – either audibly by nagging them, or in our thoughts. Think about a common church service for example. Maybe the pastor is preaching about finding God’s will for your life. Maybe your husband is sitting next to you, and you just know this sermon is exactly what he needs. You speak to him after the service and discover that he thought the message was, “ok.” What? That was a life-changing message! So why isn’t he bubbling over and brainstorming areas in his life that need changing right away? Sometimes – I would venture to say all of the time – what people really need in their lives is an example of godly living. My advice is to apply every Word from God to your own life, whether you are sitting in church or having a quiet Bible study by yourself. So much time is wasted by thinking, “So-and-so really needs to hear this. I wish she were here,” or “I hope he’s paying good attention. This message is for him.” When in reality, God has you sitting under that message on that day for a reason, and I guarantee that that reason is not so you can sit there and think about who else needs to hear it. Am I making sense? Let me bring it down to one sentence:

It is not the words you speak that will change the world, but the example that you set.

Challenge: apply everything you read today to your own life.

The Heart of the Christmas Controversy

I posted the following article to my FaceBook page the other day. I had a request to post it here as well.

It is here for your consideration only, not as an encouragement to argue, not as a judgment, not out of bitterness, nor an effort to try to make anyone look silly, etc. However, please do feel free to comment, because I am ever seeking for a greater understanding of the truth. I am still learning, so what may look like a pompous thesis is merely a collection of my current conclusions. Our God is eternal, and we will eternally be discovering His awesomeness, so I am under no delusion to have discovered everything about Him, His personality, His revelation, His great big wonderful plan of redemption, or even His will for my small role in the grand scheme of things. I am constantly studying, constantly learning, constantly facing my own misconceptions, constantly being broken down and built back up by the Word of God. And my efforts have not gone unrewarded. Our household is currently in a state of revival. “As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.” Psalm 42:1 “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.” Matthew 5:6
Feel free to say anything you like here, even if you do not believe in my God (Yahweh) at all. “Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.” Psalm 119:165. I am not offended that we are different people and have different values and ideologies. And I believe that most, if not all of us, are striving to find universal Truth. This is my journey.
A note: This discussion started over whether it was appropriate to worship Yahweh in the same ways that the pagans have worshipped their gods over the course of history. I have determined that the root of the matter has more to do with whether New Testament Christians should be keeping the Old Testament Laws, and that is what I will attempt to answer here. Once that conclusion is drawn, everything else falls easily into place. If more discussion is needed, we can talk about that at a later date.

In case there is anyone here who is seeking answers (anyone else will probably shy away from the length of this article, lol), I thought I would offer some support of the unpopular perspective. That way, when you are adhering to the following verse, you will have more to think about rather than a few chosen scriptures that seem to support the popular opinion. “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” II Timothy 2:15
Be careful: Even the scriptures I quote here should not be enough to convince you. I may have inadvertantly taken some out of context. In order to reach a proper conclusion, you need to read every chapter and verse and beg God for clarity. (Good timing: the New Year is coming up, and you can commit to reading it all the way through.) The WHOLE Word of God must agree with itself, and that only happens when you understand that the Law has not been abolished, as Paul makes very clear. “Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.” Romans 3:31

If the law were void, would anyone need saving? Consider the following passages, and try to follow my logic here: Sin is still defined as transgression of the Law. “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.” I John 3:4 “…but sin is not imputed when there is no law.” Romans 5:13 “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 You would not be able to tell “sinners” that they need to repent and be washed in the blood of the Lamb if the Law was no longer in effect. If His death did away with the Law, then sin would not be imputed to anyone, and there is no longer any need to have our sins covered. However, sin is still very real, and the consequences are real as well. “…and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.” James 1:15
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The writings of Paul are confusing if you’ve been taught that the Law is void. In one place he says that circumcision doesn’t mean anything, and in another he says, “we establish the Law.” His seeming contradictions become perfectly clear when you understand that Paul was talking about the inability of the Law to save us. He isn’t saying it’s okay to sin as much as you want. “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?” Romans 6:1&2 (Remember the definition of sin in this verse by again looking at I John 3:4.) He is just saying that the blood of Christ covers our sins. “Moreover the law entered, that the offence might about. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:” Romans 5:20 One of the contributors to the original argument summed it up perfectly when he said, “The fulfillment of the law means we don’t go to hell for those things.” (In referral to keeping the whole law, unless I misunderstood his point.) But consider this: we don’t go to hell for theft, murder, or anything else once we are under the blood of Christ. Nobody argues that these things are still sins. But Christians are no longer under the curse of the Law: in that sin brings forth death. We are covered under the spotless blood of the perfect Lamb. More on that later.
If you have time, read the book of Galatians. (Please make the time.) The problem Paul was facing was that the Jews were telling the Gentile converts that they couldn’t be saved unless they were physically circumcised (converted to the Jewish nation). The good news of the gospel is that you don’t have to be Jewish to be part of God’s covenant people. Paul knew that every Jewish person had failed to keep the Law. They were saved through the grace of God, and not by any action they had done. How could they, being disobedient Jews, then require the Gentiles to be obedient to the Law? “But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?” Galatians 2:14
Salvation does not hinge on works. “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. We all understand this – and that is the point Paul was making. “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace. For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.” Galatians 5:1-6.
Is Paul saying that my son, Ian, who was circumcised when he was eight days old, is a debtor to do the whole law? Is he saying it’s bad to follow God’s law in the rite of circumcision? No, he makes it crystal clear that if you are trying to justify yourself through circumcision (as some of the Jews were demanding), that you would have to keep the entire Law to earn that justification. Read it again. It’s all or nothing. Only Christ was able to keep the entire Law. Only He was worthy to pay our sin debt, freeing us from the curse of the Law (death). If He is our example, let’s follow Him as closely as possible, even though it’s impossible to be perfect. “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” John 14:15 If Christ and Yahweh are one and the same, then Christ is telling us to keep Yahweh’s commandments. I have many verses proving the deity of Christ, if that is a hang-up for anyone. There isn’t an Old Testament God and a New Testament God. There is one God, and He doesn’t change, and His definition of sin doesn’t change.
In Colossians, which is another book that many people have difficulty with, Paul was giving people permission to keep the Holy Days if they wanted. They lived in a culture that emphasized neglect of the body and diet, etc. He’s not saying it’s okay to break God’s Law. It should go without saying that he isn’t making God’s Law void. When I tell my son that he can do whatever he wants after dinner, I’m not including murder, theft, and rape. Goes without saying. God tells us over and over again that He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. I wanted to say that only the penalty for sin has changed, but that’s not really true either. If you are not under the blood of Christ, the penalty is still very much the same. And the penalty for our sins was paid for us, by the perfect Lamb of God. God’s Law has not changed. He also told them that they couldn’t take away or add to His Law: Deuteronomy 4:2 Why do we think this verse is meaningless, but hold so tightly to the almost identical one given in Revelation?
Psalm 19:7 says “The Law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul…” Did it then become imperfect? “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law…” Galatians 3:13. The curse of the Law is not the Law itself, as made clear by the Psalms and countless other passages. The curse comes through disobedience. Deuteronomy 27:26. “Cursed be he that confirmeth not all the words of this law to do them…” That is the curse that the blood of Christ saves us from. The only thing “wrong” with the Law was its inability to save: “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.” Galatians 3:21

I would like to specifically respond to this statement: “If your problem is in applying Old Testament law statements given clearly to the nation of Israel, then I do not know how to answer you.” This comment was made on FaceBook in response to my husband who posted the reference to this passage: “Observe and hear all these words which I command thee, that it may go well with thee, and with thy children after thee for ever, when thou doest that which is good and right in the sight of the LORD thy God. When the LORD thy God shall cut off the nations from before thee, whither thou goest to possess them, and thou succeedest them, and dwellest in their land; Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them, after that they be destroyed from before thee; and that thou enquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? Even so will I do likewise. Thou shalt not do so unto the LORD thy God: for every abomination to the LORD, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods; for even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their gods. What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.” Deuteronomy 12:28-32 (Notice He isn’t concerning Himself here with the nation worshipping other Gods, merely how they worship Him.)
Yes, God was speaking to the nation of Israel. They were the ones listening, writing down His Law, making an effort to keep His law (even though it had no power to save, not even then). However, the Law was for everyone: “Ye shall have one manner of law, as well for the stranger, as for one of your own country: for I am the LORD your God.” Leviticus 24:22
If a stranger wanted to partake in the Passover, for instance, he had to be circumcised (become part of the Jewish nation). Read Exodus 12. Today, those who are spiritual Jews undergo a circumcision of the heart. (A physical circumcision for eating the physical Passover, and a spiritual circumcision for partaking in the spiritual Passover.) I am every bit as much a Jew in God’s eyes as Abraham’s natural children. Therefore, the Law applies to me. There has only ever been one Law for those who follow God, whether natural Jews or spiritual.
Also, all this talk about being New Testament Christians: It’s the same problem the Jews have. The Jews maintain that they are clinging to the Torah and prophets. Modern Christianity clings to the New. The fact is, once the preconceptions are cleared away, the entire Word of God is in harmony with itself. The entire Word of God is for all people of all times. Jesus is the Word, and He does not change. He is not a fickle, man-made God. “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by EVERY word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:4 There’s one you can look up in the Old and New Testaments both because Jesus is quoting the Old Testament here.
The Bereans were commended because they searched the Old Testament to confirm the gospel: “These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” Acts 17:11
Some closing verses to consider: Matthew 5:17-19 “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”
The Law is a blessing to those who follow it: Joshua 1:8 “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.”
Psalm 1 “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his seaon: his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.”

I am tempted to also copy and paste Psalm 119 in its entirety, but you can look it up if you are so inclined.
In two previous posts (“The Law Is Not an Example of Planned Obsolescence” and “What Do I Really Believe?”), I talk about some of these things more in-depth, if you can believe that. Sorry for the thought-vomit, but I have been meaning to collect my research on this topic for a very long time, so here it is. I have many more verses to support these ideas, if there are any specific questions or responses.

photo credit: MTSOfan <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/8628862@N05/8624465192″>Recovered and On Display</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

The Accuser

Read Job 2

The word “LORD” here (and throughout most of the Bible) is a substitution for God’s name, Yahweh. It literally translates into “I AM.” It was given to Moses in Exodus 3:15 (although it was known and apparently forgotten before that – Genesis 4:26) We know that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob did not know him by this name: Exodus 6:3. Jesus himself makes an unmistakable reference to His name in John 8:58.  (Assuming He was speaking Hebrew here, and there’s no reason to believe He wasn’t, He changed His grammar to say “Yahweh” (I AM). If you notice, the Jews did not like Him equating Himself with God, and they began stoning Him. The days are coming when all mankind will call upon His true name: Zephaniah 3:9

I thought all of this was worth mention, although today’s thoughts are more about the name of Satan. However, I did not want to give too much attention to that name without first acknowledging Yahweh’s beautiful name (since He plays an important role in this chapter as well). We have overlooked His holy name far too long, and I did not want to do that here. In case you think I am dreaming all of this up, or making a big deal out of nothing, it is common knowledge among those who have studied it. Research it and see if I am correct. You can start here: Hebrew Names of God.

In Hebrew Satan means “accuser” or “adversary.” I have only known the definition of his name for one week, however, in that time, it has helped me a lot. Anytime lately that I find myself angry at someone else for the way they are behaving, I remember that Satan is the accuser of our souls. I do NOT want to be anything like him. Our job is not to accuse others for what they are doing wrong. Our job is not to try to make God or others angry with someone when they are not living up to our standards. Just think about it: how often do we fail to meet our own standards? Sometimes when I get angry, I will remember some of the sins of my past and be thankful that someone isn’t following me around telling all of my current friends and associates about my past failures. I am glad that someone doesn’t just show up on my Facebook page and tell all of my secrets from my youth. Thinking about this always throws a blanket of ice over my disgust with someone else. How often do we all fail to live up to God’s demands? Last week, we talked about how our righteousness was as filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6). No one is sinless. We have no right to point out blame in another of God’s children.

Let’s dig into the story a little bit:

Job 2:10 But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.

Job was able to go through these trials without speaking anything foolish. We know he must have had a few thoughts during these events that were not wholly acceptable to God. We know this because God reprimands him at the end of the book. Job 38:3-4, etc. However, he controlled his tongue. This kind of discipline enabled him to also control his body – the works of his flesh. See how he was perfect, or complete:

Job 2:3 And the Lord said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect [complete] and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause.

James 1:4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. (Another example of perfect meaning complete.)

Perfect. What does that mean exactly? Here is a link to the etymology for this word. This makes me think that he was finished. He would never be wholly without sin, especially considering that we all have sins in our past, and even if you could be perfect for a day, a month, a year (I have absolutely no idea if this is possible – what is the limit that a human can go without sin?), those former sins would keep us from ever coming into Yahweh’s presence – were it not for the redemptive work of the blood of Christ. But Job was perhaps as perfect as he was ever going to be. As a human being, he was complete.

James 3:2 For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body. 

It takes an enormous amount of discipline to not sin with your mouth. If you have that much discipline, controlling your body will not be any more difficult for you.

Read the whole chapter of James 3 and think about the implications. How does our tongue get us in trouble? Many times we begin to control ourselves, and then suddenly give up completely, telling everything we know or think.

James 1:26-27 If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain. Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

I just included that last verse for free. It is an often quoted verse, but we tend to leave off the very last phrase and all of its implications. Just something extra for you to think about this week and come to your own conclusions.face-1381321_640

Entitlement and the Bible

Our society is in trouble, and everyone knows it.  We are surrounded by people who abuse the welfare system. The Bible suggests a reasonable punishment for these folks:

2 Thessalonians 3:10-12

10 For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.

11 For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies.

12 Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread.

The root of this problem is a total disregard for Biblical principles. Let me show you:

Job 1:13-22

13 And there was a day when his sons and his daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother’s house:

14 And there came a messenger unto Job, and said, The oxen were plowing, and the asses feeding beside them:

15 And the Sabeans fell upon them, and took them away; yea, they have slain the servants with the edge of the sword; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.

16 While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, The fire of God is fallen from heaven, and hath burned up the sheep, and the servants, and consumed them; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.

17 While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, The Chaldeans made out three bands, and fell upon the camels, and have carried them away, yea, and slain the servants with the edge of the sword; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.

18 While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, Thy sons and thy daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother’s house:

19 And, behold, there came a great wind from the wilderness, and smote the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young men, and they are dead; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.

20 Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped,

21 And said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.

22 In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.

We have been raised in a culture that is always looking out for number one. We begin learning our own self-importance from our loving parents and teachers who are merely trying to build self-esteem, and it just continues through life: My school is the best because I go there. My team is the best because I’m on it. My church is the best. My friends are the best. My town is the best, ad nauseum.

We have been nurtured with a world-view of entitlement: I deserve to be wealthy; I deserve respect; I deserve to own the things I want; I deserve some time off. Credit card companies and businesses of every kind are seriously guilty for promoting this kind of thinking and behavior. The pervasiveness of the materialistic world that surrounds us is largely to blame for this constant barrage of input that stimulates the “me” mentality.

 

StealingFact 1: Human beings are greedy.

James 4:1-3

From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?

2 Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.

3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.

 

Fact 2: The poor envy the rich.

I think we make the mistake of thinking that everyone on this earth should be equally successful. Solomon tells us in Ecclesiastes 5:10-20 not to envy the rich because they have their (earthly) reward. Just because someone else has something doesn’t mean that every person on earth deserves it.

 

Luke 6:20-26

20 And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God.

21 Blessed are ye that hunger now: for ye shall be filled. Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh.

22 Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake.

23 Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets.

24 But woe unto you that are rich! for ye have received your consolation.

25 Woe unto you that are full! for ye shall hunger. Woe unto you that laugh now! for ye shall mourn and weep.

26 Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets.

 

Fact 3: When it comes down to it, we don’t deserve anything at all.  

Jeremiah 17:9

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? 

Isaiah 64:6-8

But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

And there is none that calleth upon thy name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of thee: for thou hast hid thy face from us, and hast consumed us, because of our iniquities.

But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand.

 

Fact 4: We have no right to question God.

Who are we to question God and His providence? We don’t know what’s best for us – we merely think we do. We get ourselves into scrapes all the time because we rebel against God.

Romans 9:20-24

20 Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?

21 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?

22 What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:

23 And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,

24 Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?

We know ourselves to fall short of God’s standards countless times, and many of these times we directly defy Him (Any time we sin on purpose, we assert our knowledge of what is best for us over God’s knowledge. We say, “no, I know better than You.”) Ephesians 2:8-9 We can never earn salvation, we don’t deserve it.

 

Fact 5: Everything we have is God’s.

James 1:17

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

Everything you have had, have now, or ever will have is a gift from God’s hand to yours. Everything good you own is like God saying, “I love you; I want to give this to you today.” But when He removes something from our lives, it is also because He loves us.

 

Fact 6: We prove our trust in Him through obedience to His Word.

We have to trust Him enough to believe He loves us and acts in our best interest; our actions should reflect those beliefs. Anything short of obedience shows that we do not trust Him with our lives.

James 2:17

Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.

When things go wrong, when we lose things, when we can’t catch a break, remember that we are not on this earth to self-worship or seek our own good.

 

Fact 7: We serve a God who loves us in spite of our shortcomings.

Zephaniah 3:17

The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.

He was willing to become a human being and share our plight, taking our punishment for sin upon His own flesh. This is how much He values us.

John 3:16

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Matthew 10:30-31

But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.

Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.

Conclusion:

Humans may not deserve God’s love, but He loves us unconditionally. We are who He thinks we are – precious souls in need of a Savior. We were redeemed (bought) by the very blood of Christ, so even though we don’t deserve redemption, we are far more valuable than any price could ever tell.

Our goal is to become totally dependent on Him, trusting Him for everything. Each breath, each penny, each door that opens and closes in our lives. The book of Job will help us get there.

Proverbs 3:5

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

Instead of feeling sorry for ourselves when we are in poor health, jobless, and betrayed, we need to offer up a sacrifice of praise.

Hebrews 13:15

By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.

Romans 12:1-2

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

II Samuel 24:24.

And the king said unto Araunah, Nay; but I will surely buy it of thee at a price: neither will I offer burnt offerings unto the Lord my God of that which doth cost me nothing. So David bought the threshingfloor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver.

We need to remember that He is in control, even when things seem dire (think of the crucifixion – God was using Satan’s own plan against him).

I Peter 5:7

Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

Trust, have faith, take action, obey His commandments, knowing that He only wants what is best for us, and that all things work together for our good.

Romans 8:28

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

Isaiah 26:3

Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.

And we can rest easy, knowing that He will take care of us through every situation.

 

The Law Is Not an Example of Planned Obsolescence

bible-1149924_1280As I study all of the Scriptures more in-depth, and consider the Torah (Genesis-Deuteronomy) from an angle I have never considered, three things jump out at me. I will get to that part in a minute. First of all, what is the angle I am talking about here? That the Law hasn’t become obsolete. Let me make very clear that I am not talking about the Levitical law – the sacrifices and priesthood. Jesus Christ has perfectly and eternally fulfilled God’s just demand for sacrifice and reconciliation, so thankfully, that aspect of the Law is perpetually and permanently met. Not only was He the perfect Lamb, but He also acted as the high priest (after the order of Melchizedek, who predated the order of Levi), offering himself for the the ransom of many (Psalm 110:4, Genesis, 14:18, Hebrews 7, Mark 10:45). We are redeemed. It is finished.

Some verses that support the eternal existence of the Law. (For a better understanding, pull out your Bibles and read the whole chapter or even the whole book wherein the verses are found.)

I John 3:4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. (Proof that the Law still points to sin in our lives.)

Romans 6:1-2 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?

God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? (Proof that we should not disobey the Law, even under the New Testament covenant.)

Matthew 5:17-19  Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.

18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

19 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. (Proof that the Law will stand as long as the earth stands, and that folks will be in trouble for teaching that the Law is no longer valid. Also proof that breaking the Law does not negate one’s salvation.)

Something worth noting – “jot” and “tittle” refer to the smallest markings of the Hebrew language (equivalent to crossing a “t” or dotting an “i”). Considering this and the fact that the New Testament had not been written yet, we can be assured that Jesus was referring to the Old Testament Law.

If you will read all of Romans chapter 4, you will see that adherence to the Law never justified anyone, not even those living under it. No one in the history of mankind has ever been able to obey the whole law, with the exception of Jesus Christ our Savior. No one in history has ever earned his way into the presence of the Holy Father. Salvation has always come through faith to those who believe. So the question remains: If God gave the Law, that never saved anybody, what purpose did it serve then, and what purpose does it serve now? I believe the purpose has remained the same throughout time, before the incarnate Christ, and even now, in the era of our Lord.

The Three-fold Purpose of the Law

These are the three main purposes that I can see. I am sure there are many more, but these definitely deserve some attention.

  1. To reveal sin in our lives, thereby proving our need for a Savior.
  2. To act as an indisputable sign, pointing perfectly and completely at Jesus Christ as Messiah.
  3. To show us how to live an abundant life during our sojourn here on earth.

To reveal sin: this is a pretty much undisputed purpose of the Law, at least among Christians. However, since my husband and I have been observing the Law in our lives (food laws, Sabbath Day, etc), a few people have wondered if we are sinning by trying to keep the Law. Let me show you Paul’s answer to that question:

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 – but the whole chapter is eye-opening. 

When the Law was given, we were suddenly capable of sinning against it. If your child picks his nose, he is only doing something natural. Until you tell him not to, and then if he continues, he is disobeying. Suddenly, it becomes sin. That does not mean that you shouldn’t instruct your children in cleanliness for their own good (more about that later). That does not make the instruction bad. And just because you will love your child forever and still be his parent if he does pick his nose, does not mean that he has license to disobey as much as he chooses. And if he chooses to obey, that does not mean that he is afraid you will disown him or stop loving him if he doesn’t. This is how some people react when I tell them we are keeping the Law.

Just because our family chooses to obey God’s Law, does not suddenly mean that we think we are earning our salvation. The idea is ludicrous to me, even though it is probably the number one argument against obedience. One sin. One. That’s all it takes, and a person is no longer capable of earning salvation. That’s all of us, folks. We are not trying to earn salvation or love or acceptance or anything else. We are merely trying to obey the Rule-Maker because we love Him, because He makes the rules, and because He has only ever asked us to do what was best for us. Speaking of that, I am going to skip over point two for now (because I fear it will be lengthy), and jump right over to point three.

An abundant life: The word Torah (translated law) also means instruction. We often joke that this life didn’t come with a handbook, but it did! Not only for how to behave, how to treat others, and hope for the future. It tells us everything we need to know to live a happy, healthy, prosperous life. Do take some time and read Psalm 119. The Law is not a bad thing! God tells us what to eat and what not to eat, how to be clean, how to be financially prosperous. The Jews were blamed for the outbreak of the Black Death because they weren’t getting sick at the rate of non-Jews. Why weren’t they getting sick? Probably because they washed using running water. Leviticus 15:13

My husband and I chose to have our son circumcised on the eighth day of life. For no other reason than that we believe that God always instructs us in our favor. We discovered years later that blood clotting is best on the eighth day of life.

Deuteronomy 5:33 Ye shall walk in all the ways which the Lord your God hath commanded you, that ye may live, and that it may be well with you, and that ye may prolong your days in the land which ye shall possess.

Deuteronomy 6:24 And the Lord commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the Lord our God, for our good always, that he might preserve us alive, as it is at this day.

Joshua 1:8 This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

Jesus is the Word by which the universe was created. He is the Word made flesh. The Law is part of his Word, part of who He is.

Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

Malachi 3:6a For I am the LORD, I change not;

Colossians 2:9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.

John 1:1-5 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, 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 was made.

In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

Does it seem that some verses say that the Law has been abolished?

I believe everything the Bible says about everything. I’m not trying to pick and choose verses, glossing over the ones I think are contrary to what I have come to believe. I want to examine everything. If the Bible is 100% accurate (and it is), then it does not contradict itself. If parts of it contradict itself, how would we determine what parts to believe? Creation, the virgin birth, salvation, the resurrection, eternal life? It is either all true, or it is the greatest conspiracy of all time. (However, when I get into my second point – in another post – you will see that it is too complex to be conspiracy. It is all true!)

If some verses seem to say one thing, and others seem to say something opposite, then there must be something we are misunderstanding. Why are we misunderstanding? Christians have had their eyes blinded for centuries. We can’t understand what the Bible is trying to say because we have been approaching everything with the misconception that the law is not longer valid. What have we misunderstood concerning the Law? Why does the Bible seem to say that the Law has passed away while also making very clear that it has not? I think some of the confusion lies in the fact that because the Levitical part of the Law has been fulfilled, folks get the idea from reading the Scriptures that the Law doesn’t apply to us at all anymore. Apparently, there were some folks during Jesus’ ministry who also thought this way, or perhaps He was speaking to modern-day Christians in advance (referring to His words previously quoted above from Matthew 5).

Also, Paul speaks out against the ordinances and says that they are nailed to the cross. My research online shows that many folks believe that he is speaking about the Law here. However, if you read the entire chapter of Colossians 2, you will see that he is plainly talking about the ordinances of men and traditions of the world. You see, there’s this whole other addition to the Law that the Jews were observing (and many still do), and that is the Talmud – man’s interpretations and expansion of God’s Law. Also, if you read Psalm 119, you will discover that the Law of the Lord is perfect.

Another verse commonly quoted is I Corinthians 7:19: Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God.

Galatians 6:11-15 Ye see how large a letter I have written unto you with mine own hand. As many as desire to make a fair shew in the flesh, they constrain you to be circumcised; only lest they should suffer persecution for the cross of Christ. For neither they themselves who are circumcised keep the law; but desire to have you circumcised, that they may glory in your flesh. But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.

The Jewish people were trying to make circumcision a salvation issue for the new Gentile converts. Even though, because of their own unrighteousness, the Jews could not wholly keep the Law themselves, but they were still demanding that the Gentiles be circumcised if they wanted to accept Christ. Why did they think they got to choose the one way to salvation? Circumcision? Hardly!

God makes it very plain, over and over, that salvation is by grace alone. I think folks who speak out against Torah keepers believe that we are making the Law a salvation issue. Nothing could be further from the truth. The Law is what it always was – never saved anybody, never will. Always pointed to Christ, always will. Was given for the good of mankind then and mankind today.

Ephesians 2:8-9 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.

Acts 16:30-31 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?

31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

What do I really believe?

I have been quiet lately, I know. I may appear calm on the outside, but my soul is stirring underneath, like a barely controlled tempest. My mind is altered. My life is beginning to take a shape that I am unfamiliar with. In a previous post, I alluded to a change in perception that has been taking place for over a year now. Well, today I am ready to talk about it.

I have been hesitant to publicly address how I now believe. One reason being that I am constantly learning new things, and I know that in another year’s time, I will have morphed completely beyond where I am now, and I am loathe to make a fool of myself, speaking of things which I barely understand. I have only scratched the surface, I know. But I am yearning, starving for more, and every week I uncover something new that has been hiding in plain sight all my life: Principally, I have uncovered 2 things:

  1. the overwhelming, inexplicable foreshadowing of Jesus Christ throughout the Law and the Old Testament. Something like this cannot be forged. The conspiracy would have to span thousands of years, countless patient martyrs, and make sudden and complete perfect sense of the hidden mystery of God that was revealed in the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ our Messiah. The more you study, the more you will realize that the gospel message could not possibly have been contrived by men. I realize I’m a little late to the party on this one. Many of you have already discovered what has lately been filling me with amazement and unspeakable respect and awe in the face of our Creator and Redeemer. However, I want to lay these things out plainly for any other seeker that may be a bit behind, as I was (and am).
  2. the fact that the Law is every bit as relevant today as it ever has been. (This is the belief that I expect to be challenged for.) “The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.” Deuteronomy 29:29. “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.” Joshua 1:8. “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.” I John 3:4. “Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church: Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God; Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.” Colossians 1:24-29

The second reason is difficult for me to admit. I am afraid. Afraid that my dearest friends and family members will misunderstand what I have to say. Afraid that they will think that I am not “looking unto Jesus as the author and finisher of our faith.” That’s why I intend to be very careful about how I word things. I will attempt to say exactly what I mean. I do not fear questions and challenges, so ask away. To quote a good friend of mine: “I am not afraid to discover the truth, whatever it may be” – which is what led me to this place to begin with.

Here is what has changed my life: deep inspection of the Law of God, the Torah. I have only just learned this term, its meaning, and the importance and impact of these books (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy). I am not saying they are the most important books of the Bible, merely that we have neglected them for centuries, and that it’s high time they reclaim their proper place in the hearts and lives of mankind.

Now I have long since wondered about Christianity and its neglect of just one of the Ten Commandments. Why neglect one? This has been an ongoing, nagging question in my heart since childhood. There have even been phases in my life where I have attempted to keep the Sabbath, but they were always short-lived. I lacked the urgency needed to follow God’s rules (due to being steeped in modern-day, “fluffy” Christianity).

However, my journey began in earnest after learning that I am BRCA positive. I started to wonder if my genes harbored some trace of a Jewish heritage. Having always believed that the Law was given to God’s chosen people, this wonderment changed something in me. Was the Law intended for me? However, I was only in a phase of curiosity. I had not yet reached the intense desire to find out everything that it’s possible for a person to know about God and His Law (which are insights into His personality and righteousness).

While I was mostly ignoring the occasional blips on my spiritual radar, I went on with my life as normal. On the other hand, my dad started to dig and began sharing things with me. His conversation and lifestyle sparked in me a compulsion to prove him wrong. I was afraid that he was placing his salvation in his own hands, not in the pierced hands of Jesus Christ alone. I feared he was on the verge of practicing gnosticism, wondering if he believed he knew things that were only revealed to a chosen few. I would come home from visits at my parents’ home and search and comb the scriptures, comparing the old (testament) with the new, and the new with the old, trying all the while to read them with naked eyes. Does that make sense? Eyes that were not looking through filtered lenses of world-view, doctrine, or any other type, striving to merely see what God is saying about His Covenant and everything else. Deeper and deeper, revelation after revelation, the Scriptures slowly began to change my mind, and only God knows how deep the rabbit hole goes. I am beginning to suspect it is infinite.

Here is the third reason that I have been hesitant to share, and it is the biggest. I have this fear that perhaps I am wrong. Maybe it’s the urging of the Holy Spirit asking me not to get into things over my head. Most likely it’s Satan, trying to prevent me from discovering the fullness of God’s majesty and plan of redemption. I would like to think that I know the difference between the voice of God and that of His adversary, and I believe that I do. However, for your sakes, please do not take anything I have to say at face value, and do your own digging. Please. If there is anything you take away from all of my rambling, be it this admonition: Find out for yourself; it is your responsibility. This is not, however, a disclaimer. I am not attempting to wash my hands of my part in this movement. I am not pretending that I won’t share the blame if I mislead anyone, and God knows that is the last thing I want to do, so I have waited this long to share the beliefs of which I am now fully convinced. I am just stating, that if you believe a lie without consulting the Scriptures, you will be equally responsible for your own misguidedness.

In my next few posts, I will be addressing a few of the things I have learned very recently, and I hope they spur you toward revival and a thirst for the Living Water and His righteousness. “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.” Matthew 5:6.Christie Thomas Even if you disagree with everything I say here, I hope these words compel you to dig and find out whether I am right or wrong. I urge you to search the Scriptures for yourself, Old and New Testaments alike, and find out what God has to say to you.

It’s time to stop relying on conventions, traditions, and unsupported doctrines of men. Some doctrines are good; some are bad, but we have everything we need to allow us to discern the truth. We have no excuse to mindlessly accept what we’ve always been told. We have been given the Word and the Holy Spirit of God. It’s time to stop neglecting the Holy Scriptures – the one thing in this world that reveals the message of life freely to all who believe.

 

This is enough for one day. Aside from the scriptures provided here, I realize I have said next to nothing of substance in this post. However, I am afraid to write everything I am thinking at once. (I am afraid you will get bored and stop reading!) Next time, if God gives me grace to complete it, I will begin to tackle what I believe is the three-fold purpose of the Law:

  1. To reveal sin in our lives, thereby proving our need for a Savior.
  2. To act as an indisputable sign, pointing perfectly and completely at Jesus Christ as Messiah.
  3. To show us how to live an abundant life during our sojourn here on earth.

 

Later, I intend to cover some common objections.

I would also like to talk about the names of God and His Son, the feast days, worldliness in the church (including pagan practices), and the tricky way that Satan has convinced us (almost collectively) that sin is okay.

These are all from a layman’s viewpoint; I am seeking to educate myself but have no credentials of any kind. However, I am a perpetual student of Yahweh and His holiness. “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15

 

I John 4:1-5:

Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:

And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.

Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.

They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them.