God’s Covenant Laws

1 Corinthians 7:19

(19) Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God.

That tells us that we are to keep the Ten Commandments under the New Covenant. It cannot be refuted. The Ten Commandments were part of the Old Covenant too. That part is not obsolete; we are still using it in the brand new model. The moral law is still in force and effect. To break the commandments is sin, while to do them is righteousness.

That includes all ten – not just nine. Remember Jesus‘ declaration that not one jot or tittle would pass from the law. If Jesus speaks the truth, how can people say that the fourth commandment is done away? They directly refute their Savior. It is really quite silly.

Most of the rest of the law, that is, part of the terms of the Old Covenant, still directly apply. How about tithing, part of the Old Covenant? We find that tithing supersedes the Old Covenant. What about the food laws, also is part of the Old Covenant? The New Testament records that they were still being kept by people who should have known better if they were done away. Many of those laws still directly apply.

Even those that may only indirectly apply are still applicable in their spirit, in their intent. Intent suggests “the stretching out.” Those laws help to define sin and righteousness in specific situations. Their positive intent is always to bring us to holiness– to the image of God.

We need to discipline ourselves never to look at a law of God – whether it is civil or ceremonial – and assume it has no application for us, as if God just intended it for the Israelites back then. Far from it! God’s law (and its intent) is always love and eternal, which is why Jesus says that none of it would pass until all is fulfilled.

Obedience to those laws can neither justify nor save us, but they are the wisdom and the love of God, given to guide us. We should be studying them to understand how to make our lives holier than ever before.

Our Living Source

For us as believers, contentment should be governed by inner attitude and the decisions we make rather than by external circumstances. Because Paul had learned this secret, he was able to experience joy and peace in any kind of situation–whether he was surrounded by friends or isolated in a Roman prison; whether he had plenty or was in great need.

The apostle understood what it meant to live in Christ and to have Christ living in him (John 15:1-9; Gal. 5:22-23). He had made a simple but profound faith decision to draw his life from the Lord and, as a result, had the calm assurance that what he possessed inside could never be stolen. He was confident in his identity as a child of the Almighty, with full access to the abundant life Jesus offers.

I want to challenge you–this week, when something threatens to steal your contentment, choose to draw from God; decide to stop drawing from other sources and trying to be in control. When you find yourself becoming flustered, anxious, or angry, stop and say, “Lord, You are my source, and I draw from You the capacity to be kind. I draw from You the forgiveness I need to extend right now. I draw from You the love I need to express.” This decision is a matter of simple trust.

Watch and see how God will quiet your spirit and provide confidence when you draw only from Him as your source. You’ll be surprised at your own attitude: when you respond from within–rather than from the flesh–Jesus will give you the ability to respond as He would.

The Power Belongs To God

Romans 8:27-30

(27) And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. (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. (29) For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. (30) Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

With such postive statements about our salvation, why should we be hopeless and fearfully doubt that God will supply all our needs? Does He ever fail to succeed in whatever He undertakes? These verses flatly and dogmatically state that, if we want to cooperate in faith to bring God’s purpose for us to its intended conclusion, we must, I repeat, must, believe that His watchfulness over us involves every circumstance of our lives.

Verses 31 and 32 put a cap on this issue: “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?”

In verse 30, note that the term “sanctified” is missing from the list of the general stages of God’s purpose. Sanctification is the only part of the salvation process in which our cooperation plays a major, consistent, and daily role. Why does Paul exclude it? This was not an oversight; he deliberately leaves “sanctified” out because he wants, for the remainder of this section of this epistle, to focus entirely on the absolute certainty of God’s providence, not on any works we may perform in cooperation with Him during the sanctification process.

Paul is not saying that God will always do what we might want Him to do; he is reminding us that He will always do what is right according to His purpose. God has the necessary powers to do as He sees fit for His purpose and us. He is watching, which is even more reason for us to draw on that power.

Nobody can successfully stand in the way of His completing that purpose in each of us, but based on our knowledge of those powers, are we willing to accept His providence? Do we accept what He provides in any given circumstance, even though what He provides might not be what we would like to have?

All of the things Paul writes here are wonderful, but the key to this particular subject is the answer to the question he asks in verse 30: “If God be for us who can be against us?” God has the power and the will, and He does not make mistakes or empty promises. Paul then lists what God has already done for all concerned. Our responsibility is to choose to put these facts to work in our specific circumstances.

The handwriting on the wall for us is this: Terribly difficult times are coming, and they will affect all of us to varying degrees. The only successful way to complete our minute part in God’s purpose is to choose to draw on His power. We must begin at once to cultivate the habit of cooperating by faith, accepting whatever He chooses to provide in our circumstances. If this habit is in place through long practice, we will be ready when the pressure really mounts.

Because He is the Source of our deliverance in every circumstance, it is crucial for us to know God as well as we can. Our relationship with Him through Jesus Christ is the key that gives us access to the deliverance He provides. He has the power, and it is His will to meet our every need. It is incumbent upon us, therefore, to use our time now to build on our present relationship with Him, making it stronger and more intimate.

Seeing God Is Not Necessary

(1) Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. (2) Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. (3) And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.

People spend their lives chasing after a name that will bring them a measure of honor or notoriety. They want to be associated with a “name” university, a “name” team, a “name” company; wear clothing with a certain “name” label; drive a “name” automobile; or marry into a certain family “name.” Yet, the greatest name that anyone could possibly bear has come to us unbidden. Thus, John is exhorting his readers to remember their privileges in bearing that awesome name. Chrysostom, a fourth-century Catholic archbishop, counseled parents to give children scriptural names, urging them to tell the children stories about the person who bore that name so that, as they matured, they would have something to live up to.

Is there a paradox in what John writes? We know that in order to see God, we need to be like Him. Carnally, we think that to be like Him, we need to see Him. God says that seeing Him is not necessary, as He has chosen to conduct His purposes for man through faith in His Word. He has revealed what He is by His names and by the life of Jesus Christ. By faith, we can emulate Him through His Spirit. If we saw Him in the flesh, our curiosity would likely be satisfied, or we would be so overwhelmed by His perfection that we would give up. That is how human nature works. God’s way of faith is better.

Malachi 3:16, provides wise counsel befitting the times in which we live: “Then those who feared the LORD spoke to one another, and the LORD listened and heard them; so a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the LORD and who meditate on His name.” The people described here are pictured as meditating for the purpose of praising, imitating, and passing on their thoughts to each other. They looked for God’s good hand in every area of their lives.

David exclaims in Psalm 34: 1-3: “I will bless the LORD at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make its boast in the LORD; the humble shall hear of it and be glad. Oh, magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt His name together.

Light Of Peace

A wise man once said that our minds are like great bodies of water. Sometimes numerous thoughts, stimuli, or emotions act like rough winds, beating our minds into waves resulting in confusion, anger, sadness, exhaustion, stress, sickness and all the other problems we face.
It is only when we surrender our hearts, let go of our cares, and be still that then our soul becomes like it is intended to be… refelecting exactly what is above it. In this painting, we are reminded of “the peace that transcends all human understanding (Phil 4:7)” as we are dazzled by an almost impossible display of the heavens as it reflects on the perfectly peaceful glassy sea.
To me, Lighthouses have always held some symbolism to Jesus in that they shine in the storms, keep us from the rocks in life, offer a harbor and shelter in the storm, and guide us. Jesus said ” Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not be afraid”.
In this painting, the lights are on and the pathway is lit for you to come in to the warmth of Christ’s love, as ships from all corners of the sea, and from all nations are being drawn to the glorious and everlasting.
A wise man once said that our minds are like great bodies of water. Sometimes numerous thoughts, stimuli, or emotions act like rough winds, beating our minds into waves resulting in confusion, anger, sadness, exhaustion, stress, sickness and all the other problems we face.
It is only when we surrender our hearts, let go of our cares, and be still that then our soul becomes like it is intended to be… refelecting exactly what is above it. In this painting, we are reminded of “the peace that transcends all human understanding (Phil 4:7)” as we are dazzled by an almost impossible display of the heavens as it reflects on the perfectly peaceful glassy sea.
To me, Lighthouses have always held some symbolism to Jesus in that they shine in the storms, keep us from the rocks in life, offer a harbor and shelter in the storm, and guide us. Jesus said ” Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not be afraid”.
In this painting, the lights are on and the pathway is lit for you to come in to the warmth of Christ’s love, as ships from all corners of the sea, and from all nations are being drawn to the glorious and everlasting.

Where Did The Star of David Begin

This popular Jewish symbol is a six-pointed star formed by two overlapping equilateral triangles. It appears on many synagogues and also ON THE NATIONAL FLAG OF ISRAEL. The star symbol IS VERY OLD and was used as a decoration by MANY ANCIENT CULTURES, from Britain to Mesopotamia. The oldest known example dates from about 6000 B.C.

THE BURNING BUSH VERSES THE STAR OF DAVID

The oldest known symbol of Israel is NOT the Star of David but THE BURNING BUSH as mentioned in Exodus 3.

“And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a FLAME OF FIRE OUT OF THE MIDST OF A BUSH: and he (Moses) looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was NOT CONSUMED.” (Exodus 3:2)

The burning bush symbolized Israel, A NATION NOT CONSUMED. In spite of many nations trying to annihilate the Jews, God has promised to preserve them and this has proven true in history.

BUT WHAT ABOUT THAT STAR?

Note that the above says that the star dates back to about 6000 B.C., and was in many ancient cultures. This is very important because THIS STAR HAS BEEN CONNECTED TO FALSE PAGAN WORSHIP and Moses had a very difficult time getting the people of Israel to forsake this false religion.

During the Middle Ages the symbol became connected with MAGIC and protection, along with the pentagram or five-pointed star.

The connection with magic DATES MUCH EARLIER THAN THE MIDDLE AGES for both stars (The six-point and the five-point) and this can easily be proven by a study on magic and witchcraft.

The Star of David also came to be called the Shield of David or the Seal of Solomon, although its use by these leaders is doubtful. The STAR OF DAVID IS NOT MENTIONED IN SCRIPTURE.

At this point the Bible appears to disagree with the above even though the phrase “Star of David” itself does not appear in the Bible, it is obvious that THERE IS A STAR MENTIONED. Please note the following verses.

TWO TABERNACLES MENTIONED IN SCRIPTURE

  • THE TRUE – “And Moses took the tabernacle, and pitched it without the camp, afar off from the camp, and called it THE TABERNACLE OF THE CONGREGATION. And it came to pass, that every one which sought the LORD went out unto the tabernacle of the congregation, which was without the camp.” (Exodus 33:7)
  • THE FALSE – “And the LORD spake unto Moses saying, Speak unto the congregation, saying, Get you up from about the TABERNACLE OF KORAH, DATHAN, AND ABIRAM.” (Numbers 16:23-24)

So according to the above two passages there were TWO TABERNACLES in the wilderness. The true and the false. Notice below how God in His word identifies these two tabernacles and places THE FALSE ONE WITH A STAR.

  • THE TRUE – “When God heard this, he was wroth, and greatly abhorred Israel: So that he forsook the TABERNACLE OF SHILOH, the tent which he placed among men.” (Psalms 78:59-60)
  • THE FALSE – “Have ye offered unto me sacrifices and offerings in the wilderness forty years, O house of Israel? But ye have borne the TABERNACLE OF YOUR MOLOCH AND CHIUN your images, the STAR OF YOUR GOD, WHICH YE MADE TO YOURSELVES.” (Amos 5:25-26)

STEPHEN MENTIONS THIS STAR IN ACTS 7

  • “Then God turned, and gave them up to WORSHIP THE HOST OF HEAVEN; as it is written in the book of the prophets, O ye house of Israel, have ye offered to me slain beasts and sacrifices by the space of FORTY YEARS IN THE WILDERNESS? Yea, ye took up THE TABERNACLE OF MOLOCH, AND THE STAR OF YOUR GOD REMPHAN, figures which ye made to worship them…” (Acts 7:42-43)

THE FALSE TABERNACLE AND THE TRUE TABERNACLE
ARE ALSO MENTIONED IN HEBREWS

  • “Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such AN HIGH PRIEST (JESUS CHRIST), who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens; A minister of the sanctuary, and of THE TRUE TABERNACLE, WHICH THE LORD PITCHED, AND NOT MAN.” (Hebrews 8:1-2)

During the LAST TWO CENTURIES the six-pointed star has become a distinct Jewish symbol. One motive was the desire to have a common Jewish identification similar to the Christian cross.

Notice that it has ONLY BEEN THE PAST TWO CENTURIES that the star has become a distinct Jewish symbol.

Although the Nazis used the star as A BADGE OF SHAME during World War II, it came to represent unity and hope.

The Jewish people in Hitler’s time were not thinking of unity and hope. They were thinking of SURVIVAL.

Today the Star of David stands alongside the much older MENORAH or candelabrum as a symbol of Jewish tradition.

Even though the menorah is old THE BURNING BUSH IS OLDER and is in direct connection with the Jewish nation.

CONCLUSION

The burning bush is THE REAL SYMBOL of the Jewish Nation and not the Star of David. The Star of David (so called) is definitely from pagan origins and is not approved by God Almighty in the scriptures.

Who knows? Maybe when the Lord returns and sets up His kingdom He will present a NEW FLAG for Israel – with A BURNING BUSH on it AS A REMINDER to His people that HE LOVED THEM AND PRESERVED THEM THROUGHOUT THE AGES AS A NATION

God’s still on the Throne

…because everyone who has been fathered by God conquers the world. This is the conquering power that has conquered the world: our faith. (1 John 5:4)

At every turn in the road one can find something that will rob him of his victory and peace of mind, if he permits it. Satan is a long way from having retired from the business of deluding and ruining God’s children if he can. At every milestone it is well to look carefully to the thermometer of one’s experience, to see whether the temperature is well up.

Sometimes a person can, if he will, actually snatch victory from the very jaws of defeat, if he will resolutely put his faith up at just the right moment.

Faith can change any situation. No matter how dark it is, no matter what the trouble may be, a quick lifting of the heart to God in a moment of real, actual faith in Him, will alter the situation in a moment.

God is still on His throne, and He can turn defeat into victory in a second of time, if we really trust Him.

“God is mighty! He is able to deliver;
Faith can victor be in every trying hour;
Fear and care and sin and sorrow be defeated
By our faith in God’s almighty, conquering power.

“Have faith in God, the sun will shine,
Though dark the clouds may be today;
His heart has planned your path and mine,
Have faith in God, have faith alway.”

“When one has faith, one does not retire; one stops the enemy where he finds him.”
~Marshal Foch

Speak Truth, In Love

Christians often talk about the need to “speak the truth in love,” a command found in Ephesians 4:15. Many times what they mean is the need to share difficult truths in a gentle, kind, inoffensive manner. From a practical standpoint, we know that difficult things are best heard when our defenses are not up. In a loving, non-threatening environment, hard truths are more readily received. So it is biblical to share hard truths with others “in love,” in the manner that the phrase is commonly used. Looking at the context of Ephesians 4:15, however, gives us deeper insight on what it means to “speak the truth in love.”

In the verses prior to the command to speak the truth in love, Paul writes about unity in the body of Christ. He urges the Ephesians, and all Christians by extension, to “live a life worthy of the calling you have received” (Ephesians 4:1). He describes this life as one in which we are humble, gentle, patient, bearing with one another in love, and making efforts toward unity. Paul reminds his readers that we all serve the same Lord and are part of the same body. He talks about Christ giving apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers “to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:12–13). Having reached maturity, we will not be spiritual infants, easily deceived, and tossed to and fro “by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming” (Ephesians 4:14).

In this context—of church unity and spiritual maturity—Paul writes, “Speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ” (Ephesians 4:15). Rather than be spiritually immature and easily deceived, we are to speak the truth to one another, with love, so that we can all grow in maturity. We are to train one another in truth—the foundational gospel truths, truths about who God is and what He has called us to do, hard truths of correction, etc.—and our motivation to do so is love.

The “love” referred to in this verse is agape love, a self-sacrificial love that works for the benefit of the loved one. We speak truth in order to build up. Several verses later Paul writes, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen” (Ephesians 4:29). Our words should be beneficial to the hearers of those words. We should speak truth in love.

Paul also counsels “to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of you minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body” (Ephesians 4:22–25). As members of the same body, we should not deceive one another. We cannot defraud each other through lies. Nor should we attempt to hide things about ourselves out of shame or in an effort to manage our images. Rather, as those who are part of the same body intended for the same purpose and united by the same love, we should be characterized by honesty. Those who love must speak the truth: “Love . . . rejoices with the truth” (1 Corinthians 13:6). Dishonesty is unloving and abusive.

Speaking the truth in love is not as much about having a gentle demeanor as it is about the way truth and love go hand-in-hand. Because we love one another, we must speak the truth. Because we know the truth, we must be people characterized by love (John 13:34–35; 15:1–17). Jesus “came from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). As His followers who are being conformed to His image (Romans 8:29), we should also be characterized by grace and truth.

Importantly, we are also called to love those who do not know Christ. The best way we can show love is to share with them the truth of the gospel. Apart from Christ, people are dead in their sins and destined for an eternity in hell (John 3:16–18; Romans 6:23). But in Christ they can receive new life and eternal salvation (Romans 10:9–15; 2 Corinthians 5:17). This is a message we must share. Peter wrote, “In your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:15). We share the gospel because we love the people for whom Christ died. We speak God’s truth because of His love and in a way that clearly and unapologetically communicates both truth and love (1 John 4:10–12).

The Laws Purpose and Intent

James 2: 11-3

(11) For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law. (12) So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty. (13) For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth

James highlights the importance of mercy in keeping the spirit of the law. He exhorts us to speak and act as those who are to be judged by “a law of liberty,” so that he sets no limit to the range of the law—meaning it covers all aspects of life.

In James 4:11, he warns us against speaking against the law or judging the law, that is, to assume the place of judge instead of “doer of the law.” Our efforts should not be in judging someone else and whether or not they are keeping the law. However, we should be looking inwardly to determine whether or not we are doing what is required—not only in the letter of the law but especially in its spirit.

James would not have used such language unless he had a profound conviction of the perfection of the law as a rule of life for the saints redeemed from its condemnation. Thus, we can call it the perfect law of liberty—the royal law. Many Christians do not look at the law of God as being perfect. They pick and choose which parts of the law they will obey, ones they feel most comfortable with, and they ignore the rest. Yet the apostle says in James 2:10, that if we break one, we break them all.

All sin is lawlessness, as I John 3:4 states, and the sum of all lawkeeping is love of God and love of the brethren Matthew 26: 33-40; Romans 13:8-10, so the summary of the old law is echoed and endorsed. And it is continued—because Christ did not come to destroy the law but to magnify it (Matthew 5: 17-178, Isaiah 42:21).