Christian, Inspirational

Conditions Too

Some claim the love of God is unconditional. They do not know God nor the scriptures.

In an earlier post we discovered the first condition of Christianity in John 3:16. It is belief.

What are some other conditions? Mark 16:16 tells us that in addition to belief in Christ we must be baptized to be saved!

Let’s look at some other verses to see if we can spot the condition:

2 Corinthians 6:17-18 KJV Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing ; and I will receive you, [18] And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

If we want to be a son or daughter of God Almighty, what must we do? The condition is clear. Be separate and touch not the unclean thing.

John 14:21 KJV He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.

If we want the Father and son’s love we keep his commandments.

Learning to spot conditions in scripture will help teach you proper discernment and help you in rightly dividing the Word of God.

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Christian, Inspirational

Context is Key II

I have heard it said that the Ten Commandments were Mosaic law (given to Moses in the Old Testament) and we no longer need to follow them since we are now under the New Testament.

I have heard it said we don’t need to follow the laws and precepts of Corinthians because Paul wrote them only to the Church of Corinth.

I have heard people claim promises throughout the Old Testament which were specific only to Israel at a specific time.

Context does matter. Discernment and rightly dividing the word of God requires us to first look at the Holy Bible as a whole. It was written for us. It is directed at the modern day reader. Things written to others in times past are lively and directed at us today.

1 John 2:7 KJV
Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which ye have heard from the beginning.

Is not the law that which we have heard from the beginning, whether by faithful preaching or by our own reading of the Bible?

Ecclesiastes 12:13 KJV
Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.

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Christian, Inspirational

Stuck

In Revelation 2:25 KJV, the Lord warned the church in Thyatira, But that which ye have already hold fast till I come.

The problem is most denominations today heed this advice not discerning the truth. Their preachers cling to what they were taught in seminary or preaching school. I once heard someone jokingly call it cemetery – and I’m not sure that’s far off the mark.

Which is a commandment of God:

A. Remember the Sabbath Day to keep it holy.

Or

B. Thou shall not use musical instruments in a worship service.

The correct answer is A. All the Ten Commandments are still valid and even reiterated in the New Testament. What theologians who divide the law argue is that the law of Moses has ended while we are now under the law of Christ and the New Testament. To which I say read the New Testament correctly and you will see Jesus and his disciples keeping the Sabbath. Read the Old Testament correctly and you will see Moses received the law from Christ.

In Matthew 5:17 KJV, Jesus says, Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.

There are plenty of examples of musical instruments in the Old Testament being used to worship the Lord. If you’re holiness is composed only of singing acapella in church services, I point out, Matthew 5:20 KJV For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Cling to the truth. If you have problems discerning it while you’re in school or reading the Bible at home, pray to the Lord for understanding.

James 1:5 KJV If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

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Christian, Inspirational

Written on the Heart

I’ve discussed the Law of Jesus in previous posts. This is what New Testament churches say we are under, professing we are no longer under the Law of Moses. Be wary of the church you attend, this can even include the Ten Commandments.

Ultimately, the Law of Jesus is what we allow God to write on our hearts and minds. What is written on the Heart must in most cases first pass the gates of our Mind. This is problematic since most preachers today don’t know, follow, nor preach the Law of Jesus.

In Matthew 22:37-40 KJV Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. [38] This is the first and great commandment. [39] And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. [40] On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

I have learned and believe the Ten Commandments found in Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5 are instruction on how to love God and our neighbor.

I’m not sure if you can teach discernment, but in this and in following posts I will attempt to do so as I proffer for your consideration my interpretation of the Law of Jesus.

I have been asked about the 613 commandments Jewish leaders teach. The first question one should ask before writing a law upon the heart is does it help me demonstrate love towards God and/or my neighbor. Moses warned us not to add or to diminish from the Law, statutes, and regulations given by God. I will attempt not to do so.

This post will examine 600-613. In future posts I will examine the remaining 613 commandments approximately 25 per post. The commandments are taken from Wikipedia. In future posts I will discuss New Testament laws and some catch alls of note. My comments are in italics.

  1. Deut. 25:13 — Not to possess inaccurate scales and weights even if they are not for use This seems a reasonable way to love our neighbor and people we do business with and is an extension of thou shalt not steal. Even if they are not for use – seems to be an addition from rabbinical influence. Why possess them and the temptation. For future reference I will use ri to represent rabbinical influence. Keep in mind as Christians we have only one Rabbi – Jesus. As such I give deference to him and the Holy Bible, but view other teachers with skepticism.
  2. Deut. 25:17 — Remember what Amalek did to the Jewish people
  3. Deut. 25:19 — Wipe out the memory of Amalek
  4. Deut. 25:19 — Not to forget Amalek’s atrocities and ambush on our journey from Egypt in the desert We can choose to remember, but I’m not sure who Amalek is today or how to apply this except as perhaps a warning on how we relate to those that seriously wrong us. I try to remember first what Paul said, vengeance is mine saith the Lord.
  5. Deut. 26:5-9 — To read the Torah portionpertaining to their presentation I don’t like to break up sentences so I added through verse 9, but the crux seems to be remember the Lord who delivered us from the Egyptians and deny not the Truth.
  6. Deut. 26:13,12,14— To read the confession of tithes every fourth and seventh year – of importance here is generosity to others, who can argue giving especially to those mentioned is a good account.
  7. Deut. 26:14 — Not to spend its redemption money on anything but food, drink, or ointment At issue here is the ri of unclean use. I think when we eat we should eat thankfully and when we give we try to give to truly good purposes.
  8. Deut. 26:14 — Not to eat Ma’aser Sheni while impure
  9. Deut. 26:14 — A mourner on the first day after death must not eat Ma’aser Shenii I don’t feel that this applies today. Ma’aser Shenii is the second tithe. I’m not sure I understand the designations of five tithes. Our donations today are typically given in cash to our local churches on a weekly basis. Frankly, I’m not convinced that we are under the tithe today. Advice for giving in the New Testament is to give cheerfully and as we have prospered, but Jesus himself said the children are free. Of interesting note is that early Jews celebrated in the fruits of the tithe with the recepients!
  10. Deut. 22:26 — The court must not punish anybody who was forced to do a crime Please read the surrounding verses. The ri has greatly broadened the principle expressed here. Being raped is not a criminal act, but it does appear the victim should cry out for help in the city. I think in the city or in the country a victim should cry out for help. It may be thus the crime is prevented. The concept presented is mercy for the victim, punishment for the perpetrator.
  11. Deut. 28:9 To emulate His ways indeed he wants us to live and be Holy. Matthew 5:48
  12. Deut. 31:12 — To assemble all the people on the Sukkot following the seventh year the focus or spirit of this and surrounding verses seems to be Read and Learn God’s Law. Traveling to Israel may be impractical, but learning from the Holy Bible is not.
  13. Deut. 31:19 — Each male must write a Torah scroll I disagree with ri here. I feel the song may be verses 20 and 21 which were a prophetic warning against Israel.
  14. Deut. 32:38 Not to drink wine poured in service to idols the New Testament says as much as we are not to eat food sacrificed to idols. Acts 15:29
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Singing

After mentioning that we all should examine what goes on in our churches to see if it is scripturally sound, I thought I would make that the subject of my previous post and the next few following posts. This post will attempt to cover singing.

Romans 15:9 KJV And that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy; as it is written, For this cause I will confess to thee among the Gentiles, and sing unto thy name.

Ephesians 5:19 KJV Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;

Colossians 3:16 KJV Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

I believe both a cappella and singing with musical instruments are appropriate during services. While there is no verse in the New Testament which directly says, use musical instruments while singing, there are ample verses of their use in the Old Testament. Here the Church of Christ denomination is following the traditions of man rather than exercising discernment. Old Testament verses include:

Exodus 15:20 KJV And Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances.

1 Chronicles 13:8 KJV And David and all Israel played before God with all their might, and with singing, and with harps, and with psalteries, and with timbrels, and with cymbals, and with trumpets.

These are just a few. I think something of interesting note in mentioned earlier in Col. 3:16 is: teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns.

I think the intent here is that we should all be active in what is sung in our churches. Many churches such as the one I attend use a standard hymnal and the songs don’t seem to change much from Sunday to Sunday. Isn’t Col. 3:16 expecting more? Is it hoped we should write new songs, person specific songs, educational songs?

Keep in mind singing, giving, and praying need not be limited to the interior of churches.

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Christian, Inspirational

Discernment

Hebrews 10:16-17 KJV

This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; [17] And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.

Which laws do you allow God to write on your heart?

The Church of Christ denomination says it is a command to sing and to sing a capella. As God loveth a cheerful giver, He surely appreciates the cheerful singer. Musical instruments? Psalm 150. Maybe God enjoys a capella, but I don’t think it’s a matter of righteousness, it’s more a matter of your lack of understanding. It is in my opinion a tradition of man, an idea of early Church of Christ preachers.

The Church of Christ spends hours out of every year claiming holiness in a capella, yet the COC denomination cannot read and understand 1 Corinthians 14:34-38. It is clearly a New Testament command and one that no churches keep. If you are ignorant of these verses, skip them, but read on.

Neither can the Church of Christ denomination comprehend all of the Ten Commandments. They do not keep the Sabbath, nor believe it should be kept. 9 out of 10? Maybe. I would argue it’s a slippery slope. All ten are incorporated into the New Testament.

So what part of the Law of Jesus is in your heart and on your mind?

I believe what you let the Lord write there, he will also help you to keep. Discernment is a gift of God.

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