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Cleanliness on the 'Outside' & 'Inside'

Posted by: Administrator on July 06, 1996 4:32:37 AM (5330 Reads)

- Who can distinguish SPIRITUAL CONVICTION from CONSCIENCE?

- How does our Lord explain INSIDE in rebuking the Scribes and Pharisees for cleaning only the OUTSIDE?

 

CLEANLINESS ON THE “OUTSIDE” & “INSIDE”

 

Conscience is the sense of  right and  wrong, often referred to as the arbiter of  moral choices.  The word is derived from the Latin verb conscire (meaning to know, to understand.)  It has been described as the highest faculty of the human mind, with the function of governing the baser faculties of sense, feeling, and impulse.

 

In the Bible, conscience applies both to the believer and the unbeliever.  Example, Paul, an apostle of  Christ, spoke of his conscience in:

 

Acts 23:1  "And Paul, earnestly beholding the council, said, Men and brethren, I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day."

 

Romans 9:1  "I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost,"

 

As it applies to the unbelievers:

 

When the Scribes and Pharisees caught a woman in the act of adultery, they asked our Lord what to do with her.  They cited a law imposing punishment by death with stoning:

 

John 8:5-9  "Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?... "So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her... And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst."

Titus 1:15  "Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled."

Conscience, therefore, is used to indicate conviction for sins (1 John 3:4), or transgression of the word of God, both of the real and pseudo-believers.  What is interesting to note is, why the Scribes and Pharisees were not convicted of their sins when our Lord rebuked them in the following?

 

Matthew 23:8-10  "But be not ye called Rabbi (or teacher): for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren.  And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.  Neither be ye called masters (or leaders): for one is your Master, even Christ."

 

The Scribes and Pharisees saw how the woman sinned by committing physical adultery.  For them, they did not steal material things because it is a sin to disobey  the commandment “Thou shalt not steal.” Why did they not know that they were “taking something” that did not belong to them in the following?  The honor and glory related to the titles “Father,” and “Rabbi or master or teacher,” solely belong to God!

Why were the religious leaders not convicted of their sin in distinguishing themselves from the rest of the people, in manners of clothing and extra honor given them?

 

Matthew 23:5-7  "But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments,  and love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues,  and greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi."

 

Because of the gravity of their sins,  Jesus Christ called the Scribes and Pharisees “serpents and generation of vipers:”

 

Matthew 23:33  "Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?"

 

Never did we hear our Lord  called the political enemies and the worst sinners, the thieves, murderers, adulteress,  and other criminals, the same thing!

 

The Scribes were considered expert in the Law, while the Pharisees were the leading exponents thereto.  As such therefore, they were known for their obedience to  the word of God.  In their view, Jesus Christ did not follow the Law.  Our Lord, however, said:

 

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

 

Whom shall we believe?  Perhaps, no man will side with the Scribes and Pharisees.

 

From the foregoing facts, it is quite clear that the religious leaders’  conviction for sins is limited only to those that relate physically to the BODY. 

 

Examples:

 

1. Murder, or taking the life of a person.

 

2. Stealing, or taking anything of value that is not owned.

 

3. Adultery, or having canal knowledge with someone who is not the spouse.

 

4. Not keeping the Sabbath Day holy.

 

5. Eating “unclean food.”

 

6. And other violations of the law, all relating to the physical life.

 

Thus, the Scribes and Pharisees saw how the woman caught in the act of adultery committed sin.  On their part, they tried to follow the law literally-physically thinking that that is all to the obedience to the word of God. 

 

 

CONSCIENCE

 

It is conscience that made the Scribes and Pharisees discerned “physical sins.”  Conscience, therefore, can now be identified as the product of the intellect and feeling that all men possess.  Of all creatures, only man has these attribute, because only man has a SOUL. 

 

Conscience, therefore, is the discernment of  what is right and wrong pertaining to the physical life.  Thereupon, following the correct path, man with his conscience makes him morally upright and righteous.  From the Natural Man’s point of view, this is equated to Godliness.  This is what our Lord saw in the Jews how they revered  their religious leaders.  To Jesus Christ, however, this is only “cleanliness on the outside (Matthew 23:26).”

 

The illustrations showed that conscience is inadequate and incompetent to let man  discern “spiritual things.”

 

1 Corinthians 2:14  "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned."

 

The Natural Man is made up only of the BODY, consisting of the senses; and the SOUL, composed of the intellect and feeling.  “Spiritual things” or  “things of the Spirit” are not sensually, intellectually, or emotionally discerned.  They can only be spiritually discerned.  The religious leaders during the time of our Lord did not realize that.  They had only their conscience to convict them.  They only “saw literal-physical things,” but remained “blind to spiritual or things pertaining to the inner being.”

 

No wonder, although the Scribes were teachers of the law, they lacked the faculty to discern spiritual things.  They were still NATURAL MEN.  An example is Nicodemus, a great teacher of the law in Israel:

 

John 3:1-4  "There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews:  The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.  Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.  Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?"

 

John 3:7  "Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again." 

 

John 3:9-10  "Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be?  Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?"

 

This is truth engraved in the Lamb’s book of life.  The book is the source of spiritual life.  These are the sacred writings written by men chosen by God, called prophets and apostles.  These sacred writings are now compiled into one book popularly called the Holy Bible.  This is what is written, among others:

 

2 Peter 1:21  "For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost."

 

Prophecy in human parlance are the things that are expected to happen at a certain time in the future.  To our Lord, prophecy is broader in scope.  It encompasses everything written in the sacred scriptures.

 

Matthew 5:18  "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."

 

And these “prophecies” or things written in the Holy Bible are not for private interpretation:

 

2 Peter 1:20  "Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation."

 

False prophets, however, subvert this truth and many people will follow them, as it is written:

 

2 Peter 2:1-2  "But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies...and many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of."

 

The sacred scripture as a source of spiritual life has the following role:

 

2 TIMOTHY 3:16  "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:"

 

 

Spiritual Conviction

 

It was proven that this role of the sacred Scripture had not been explored by the religious leaders during the time of Christ!  True to what Jesus saw in Nicodemus, a teacher of the law, he had to be “born again,”   or to be “born of water and Spirit.”

 

If the Natural Man,  man without the Spirit of God,  does not have the faculties to discern “spiritual things;” a man truly “born again” or “born of water and in Spirit,” has the “mind of Christ:”

 

1 Corinthians 2:16  "For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ."

 

What does “having the mind of Christ” mean?   This simply means that Christ teaches and makes  the real believer understand “spiritual things:”

 

Mark 4:34  "But without a parable spake he not unto them: and when they were alone, he expounded all things to his disciples."

 

“Spiritual things” are discerned from the very word of God:

 

1 Corinthians 2:12-13  "Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.  Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual."

 

In other words,  aside from understanding literal-physical things  that comes from CONSCIENCE,  discernment of “spiritual things” is added.  This is SPIRITUAL CONVICTION.

 

The Jews are the offspring of Abraham.  They claimed to be the chosen people of the God.  This is what the “intellect dictates.”  This is, however,  negated by the following: 

 

GALATIANS 3:29  "And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise."

 

The Jews, with some exceptions, did not even believe Jesus Christ.  How could they be His people?

 

Proof for the spiritual truth, the Jews did not recognize the God that they were worshipping:

 

John 8:54-55  "Jesus answered...it is my Father that honoureth me; of whom ye say, that he is your God...Yet ye have not known him...”

 

John 8:19  "Then said they unto him, Where is thy Father? Jesus answered, Ye neither know me, nor my Father: if ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also."

 

Who would accept that the Jews are not the spiritual descendants of Abraham?  This banners the distinction between the LITERAL and the SPIRITUAL perceptions in the word of God. 

 

The Jews under the leadership of the Scribes, Pharisees, and Sadducees were guilty of “sin” of the highest order.  Without “spiritual conviction” they were not even aware of  what Jesus Christ told them:

 

John 8:24  "I  (JESUS, the Son) said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am HE, ye shall die in your sins."

 

It was their God Who was speaking in the following:

 

Isaiah 46:4  "And even to your old age I am HE... I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you."

 

Isaiah 52:6  "Therefore my people shall know my name: therefore they shall know in that day that I am HE that doth speak: behold, it is I."

 

Isaiah 43:11  "I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour."

 

Very clearly, the Jews did not recognize their God as our Lord told them. The Jews and their religious leaders were typifical of the Natural Men. They did not understand spiritual things.  Spiritual things were foolishness to them.   They tried to comprehend what God was telling them with their physical and intellectual faculties.  They ended up ignorant of the very Laws or word of God that they faithfully tried to follow.  They had CONSCIENCE permitting them to “clean the outside” by following the law to the “letter.”  With their moral uprightness, they thought they were already close to God Whom they did not even recognize.  Paul, who used to be “one of them” being a Pharisee,  received this great revelation when he wrote:

 

2 Corinthians 3:6  "Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, butthe spirit giveth life."

 

Did the Jews and the people today realize that “letter” refers to the LITERAL word; while “spirit” pertains to the SPIRITUAL word?  They thought that sincerity is all that matters to God.  But this is negated by the following:

 

Romans 10:2  "For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge."

 

And because of lack of knowledge, they followed their Standard of Righteousness which is not the Standard of God:

 

Romans 10:3  "For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God."

 

Because they did not “belong to Jesus Christ,” they did not have the Spirit that would convict them  of sins of the “inner being.” Unknown to them, because of  “spiritual blindness,”   they did not have SPIRITUAL CONVICTION.  While they had access to the Law or the word of God, the gospel was hidden from:

 

2 Corinthians 4:3  "But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:"

 

 

The Ten Commandments and “Spiritual Conviction”

 

Perhaps, to many people, the laws of God are limited only to the Ten Commandments.  They think that to follow these commandments literally-physically is all that God requires  for eternal life. He refuted this notion when He met the Rich Young Ruler who wanted to follow Him (Luke 18:18-22) .   As expounded earlier, literal obedience to the commandments is simply the product of CONSCIENCE.  Jesus Christ saw this as “cleaning only the outside.”

 

It is SPIRITUAL CONVICTION that makes a person  see the “cleaning of the inside” in the Ten Commandments.  Illustrations:

 

THE FIRST COMMANDMENT:

 

Exodus 20:1-3  "And God spake all these words, saying,  I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.  Thou shalt have no other gods before me."

 

Here, God introduces Himself to His chosen.  People reading this probably have not thought why  this is inscribed as the First Commandment.  It is Jesus Christ Who listed this as the “First Commandment of all.”  This came about when a Scribe asked Him as to, “Which is the first commandment of all?”  Our Lord answered him:

 

Mark 12:28-29  "And one of the scribes came...” asked him, Which is the first commandment of all?  And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:"

 

“I am the Lord thy God” and “The Lord our God is one Lord” is actually an introduction of God of Himself!  In the mind of a Natural Man, this could not be a commandment.  It is simply a statement of fact.  Our Lord, however, is speaking “spiritual things.” 

 

How many people “obey” the First Commandment?  Stated in another way, how many people have clearly identified and truly recognized the “One Lord and one God?”  It is written, to simply believe in one God is not enough!

 

James 2:19  "Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe..."

 

God gave this “First Commandment” as a PREREQUISITE to the other commandments, both in THE TEN COMMANDMENTS and in THE TWO GREAT COMMANDMENTS (Mark 12:29-31).   As a prerequisite, obedience to the other commandments must be preceded by the first.  How many people realized that?

 

How deep is the understanding of the Jews to the PREREQUISITE to the commandments?  How about to the people who believe in the Bible today?  The religious leaders were dumbfounded to hear Jesus Christ say, “You do not know God!” 

 

John 8:54-55  "Jesus answered...it is my Father that honoureth me; of whom ye say, that he is your God: Yet ye have not known him...”

 

Did the Jews believe Him? He proved their spiritual blindness by saying:

 

John 8:19  "...Jesus answered, Ye neither know me, nor my Father: if ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also."

 

They hated our Lord as a consequence.  Today, Christendom, to whom the Word of God is entrusted like the Jews, also profess to worship the God in the Bible.  While everybody purports to know Jesus Christ and confess to be the Savior, many find themselves at a loss when asked to pinpoint the one true God!  Everybody reads the following truth about God:

 

Deuteronomy 32:39  "See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god with me...”

 

Isaiah 43:10  "...saith the LORD...that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me."

 

1 Corinthians 8:6  "But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things...and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things...”

 

2 Corinthians 3:17  "Now the Lord is that Spirit...”

 

1 John 5:7  "For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one."

 

1 John 5:20  "And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God...”

 

How true and clear  are so-called Christians’ recognition of the real identity of the “One Lord and one God.”  The following doctrines find their respective contradiction to what is written:

 

1.  Believing that the Father is the only God.  Jesus Christ is only a man and never a God.  This is the doctrine’s contradiction to what is written:

 

a. Why did Jesus Christ accept worship(Matthew 2:11, 14:33, Luke 24:52) when He emphatically stated that only God should be worshipped(Matthew 4:10),   if He is not a God?

 

b.  Why did the Father, the only God, state that He is the only Savior in Isaiah 43:11, when Jesus is the Savior in Matthew 1:21. 

 

c. What does John mean  in 1 John  5:20?  Plus many more.

 

2. Believing that Jesus, the Son, is only a minor God and the Holy Spirit is only a force of God.

 

a. How many God/s are there?  One or two?

 

b. Can we find God saying, “There is a God or god with Him?”  "Thus saith the LORD...I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God."  --  Isaiah 44:6

 

3. Believing that Jesus Christ is only a third person of the Trinity.  Each person is a God.  Thus, the Father is  God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is also God, but one person is not the other two persons.

 

a. Is God clearly identified in this doctrine?  Can anyone truly recognize God following this belief?

 

b. This doctrine teaches that God is a mystery, incapable of full and clear recognition.  Does not this belief  contradict what is written in the Old Testament?

 

Jeremiah 31:34  "And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD...”

 

c. Does not this doctrine contradict what is written in the New Testament?

 

Hebrew 8:11  "And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest."

 

While the Jews professed to know God but did not recognize Jesus Christ, and according to our Lord, they did not know the Father; Christendom today professes to know Jesus Christ, but still remain in the dark as to Who that “One Lord and one God” is!  Can we see the similarity?  Does it make any difference?

 

Regarding “obedience” to the First Commandment, did the Jews get a passing mark?  How many people today believing in the Bible pass the same test?  “Obedience” to the First Commandment is a PREREQUISITE to the rest of the commandments, that is what Jesus Christ told the inquisitive Scribe!  The revelation of the identity of God is found in the article: The God of the Old and New Testament.

 

Jesus Christ proved that the Jews were “disobedient” to the First Commandment.  They were ignorant as not to recognize their God.  The false God is always waiting to be worshipped!

 

PROVERBS 21:16  "The man that wandereth out of the way of understanding shall remain in the congregation of the dead."

 

Has this truth passed away in our time?  This requires self-examination.

 

 

THE SECOND COMMANDMENT

 

Exodus 20:4-5  "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing...Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God...”

 

CONSCIENCE dictates that it is wrong to make and to bow down before or venerate any graven images.  Because of spiritual blindness,  the literal simple understanding of the commandment is even negated with the use of philosophy.  Thus, the practice of some religious sects allowing the veneration of statues and pictures supposedly those of God and the saints.  The Jews following the “letter of the law” never had this practice. 

The Jews and their religious leaders thought that they had already complied with the Second Commandment when they did not make, nor did they bow and serve graven images.  Who would say that the Jews were wrong?  So are the people today who had gotten rid of their graven images and other idols.

 

One characteristic to describe God is His extreme jealousy.  He adopted  a title that the Scribes and Pharisees missed:

 

Exodus 34:14  "For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God:"

 

Can God share the honor and glory that solely belong to Him?  That is where we find Jesus Christ rebuking the Jews and their religious leaders for the use of the titles: Father (Matthew 23:9), or Master (Matthew 23:10) or teacher or leader.   Only God deserves these epithets!  Did the religious leaders know that they were defying the Second Commandment?

 

Today, the religious leaders find themselves in the shoes of their counterpart during the time of Christ.  They do not only appropriate the titles: Father, Master or chief or leader or teacher.  They even go beyond calling themselves Holy and Reverend, when these titles solely belong to God:

 

Psalms 111:9  "He sent redemption unto his people: he hath commanded his covenant for ever: holy and reverend is his name." 

 

Literal understanding of the word of God is limited only to physical idolatry of statues and pictures.  The spiritual word goes beyond that.  It deprives God of the esteem due Him, which is now erroneously directed to fellowmen.  In this case, people are the object of idolatry.  Jesus Christ condemned this practice as found in:

 

Revelation 2:6  "But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitanes, which I also hate."

 

(The word NICOLAITANS comes from the ME., Ofr. NICOLAS; L. NICOLAUS; Gr. NIKOLAOS <nike, victory + laos, the people.  Thus, victory over the people. )  Unwittingly, man enjoys “victory” over his fellowmen in religious matters.  With the kind of organizational set-up in religious sects, the leaders cannot help but occupy a position of esteem over the people, or laity.  The practice sets a favorable atmosphere for idolizing the leaders of the organization, which the subjects equally enjoy.  Unknowingly, both the subject and the object become victims of the sin of idolatry of the highest order.  Christ condemns the “deeds of the Nicolaitans” as Lucifer is condemned, the first to rob God of the honor and glory exclusively belonging to Him. 

 

Peter, the apostle believed to head the church founded by Christ and whose position the leaders of some sects imagine to assume, warns of the malpractice, which  in essence is Nicolaitanism:

 

1 Peter 5:3  "Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock."

Paul, the apostle appointed by Christ in His physical absence, like Peter warned the believers of this practice:

1 Corinthians 3:21  "Therefore let no man glory in men...”

 

Bible-readers find the people of the Old Testament  guilty of idolatry in worshipping the different gods of the heathens:

 

BAAL, the god of the Canaanites, and the Phoenicians.  Jezebel championed the worship of this god.

 

ASHTORETH, the goddess of the Canaanites, later known as Ashtaroth, Venus, Diana, the goddess of beauty.

DAGON, the god of the Philistines, with the head and hands of a man and the body of a fish.

APIS, the god of the Egyptians with a head and hands of a man and the body of a lion.

 

The Jews, under the leadership of the Scribes, Pharisees, and Sadducees, could not imagine themselves guilty of idolatrous worship to these gods and goddesses.  Neither are members of religious sects today.  Jesus Christ, however, kept on rebuking the Jews for the sin of idolatry which they missed for lack of  SPIRITUAL CONVICTION.  How many people see this truth today?

 

Do not religious leaders today want to be looked up and exalted in various ways?  How relevant is the thing that our Lord saw in the Scribes and Pharisees during His time!

 

Matthew 23:5-6  "But all their works they do for to be seen of men...”

 

It is the laity or members of religious sects who can attest to this truth.  Do not religious leaders distinguish themselves by the clothe, standing collar, cross, crucifix, and other insignia they wear?  Are they not being honored in social gatherings? 

 

Matthew 23:6-7  “they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments,  And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues,  And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi."

 

Do they “see” their awkward position in the eyes of God?

 

John 9:39-41  "And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind.  And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also?  Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth."

 

Is CONSCIENCE adequate to discern obedience to the 2nd Commandment? Obedience to the Second Commandment, solely based on conscience, is limited to physical idolatry involving statues, images, and pictures.  SPIRITUAL CONVICTION, after having the “mind of Christ,”   is far beyond CONSCIENCE.  It delves into the innermost being of the man who has it as revealed by the Spirit.

 

Our Lord rebuked the religious leaders for spiritual blindness.   They thought they were leading the people to God Whom they did not even recognize.  They preached the word of God that they themselves did “not understand” in the view of our Lord.  God speaks His SPIRITUAL LANGUAGE.  They were limited only to the LITERAL LANGUAGE of the Natural Man. 

 

How relevant is the rebuke of our Lord to the religious leaders -- all the time!  Can they not be identified?

 

John 5:44  "How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only?"

 

Matthew 23:24  "Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel."

 

Matthew 23:15  "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte...”

 

Matthew 23:28  "Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity."

 

Unknown to the religious leaders, they were guilty of self-idolatry, as Lucifer was.  The blind followers who looked up at these leaders were like the fallen angels.  Is this not the sin of idolatry of the highest order?  Is it not for this reason that our Lord called them:

 

Matthew 23:13  "But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in."

 

Matthew 23:33  "Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?"

 

Never did we hear Jesus Christ call other sinners: the political enemies of  the Jews, the murderers, the thieves, the harlots, and other criminals, “serpents and generation vipers” as the religious leaders!  It is they who were supposed to have followed the law and were righteous in the eyes of the people.  The absence of SPIRITUAL CONVICTION in them, however, spelled the difference.  They thought they were already acceptable to God by having “clean conscience” pertaining to their physical life, while remaining “blind” to the spiritual sins of the SOUL.  Better for the “sinners” who did not see themselves “clean.”  It was easier for them to bow to the Word and repent.

 

Matthew 9:12-13  "But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.  But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance."

 

 

THE THIRD COMMANDMENT

 

Exodus 20:7  "Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain."

 

How did the Jews who followed the law to the “letter” apply this commandment?  To them, the name of  God is any of the following:  “I am that I am (Exodus 3:14),”   “Jealous (Exodus 34:14),” “Jehovah (Psalms 83:18),” perhaps “Yahweh,” “Rose of Sharon (Songs 2:1),” “Lily of the Valley,” and “Lord (Isaiah 42:8).”

 

Today, Christendom that similarly perceives the  word of God has Jesus Christ as an added  name of the Lord.  Following the Third Commandment therefore is simply not to make fun with any of the names mentioned.  And to show zealousnes, members of religious sects keep on praising any of the names.  Thus, one often hears “Praise the Lord Jesus Christ,” “Glory and honor to the Lord,” “Glory be to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob,” “Hallelujah, glory to God in the highest,” etc.

 

That is all that CONSCIENCE dictates obedience to the Commandment.  If God referred only to His literal name, then prophet Micah would have erred in writting:

 

Micah 4:5  "For all people will walk every one in the name of his god, and we will walk in the name of the LORD our God for ever and ever."

 

How could the chosen “walk in the name of the Lord?”  It is clear  that God is referring to His spiritual name.  Who can discern that the spiritual “name of the Lord” is the Word of God?

 

Revelation 19:13  "And he (Jesus Christ) was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God."

 

“To walk in His name” therefore, is to live by the word of God, or  to walk by the Truth.  Did not Jesus say, “I am the way and the truth?  

God is speaking His spiritual language.  “Taking the name of  the Lord in vain,” is not simply making fun of or being disrespectful to His physical name, but also of His spiritual name.  “Taking the name of the Lord in vain” is to renounce the word, and the truth in the word.  Relate this Commandment of God now to the warning of Jesus Christ in:

 

Matthew 7:21-23  "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.  Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?  And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity."

 

Where lies the power of the NAME of the Lord?  Is it in the physical name JESUS CHRIST?  He warned the people regarding the use of His name:

 

Matthew 24:5  "For many shall come in my name...and shall deceive many."

 

The power is in His words which is His  spiritual name!

 

Jeremiah 23:29  "Is not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?"

 

Hebrew 4:12  "For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."

 

Ephesians 6:17  "And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:"

 

Who are worthy of eternal life?  Are they not those people who “doeth the will of the Father?”  How could one do the “will of the Father” without SPIRITUAL CONVICTION?  If the spiritual name of God is HIS WORDS, what is “taking that name of the Lord in vain?”

 

Perhaps, all may profess following the Third Commanment because everybody respects, lifts up, and praises the literal name of God.  That is in the perception of the Natural Man.  What is it from the point of view of God?  Why will Jesus tell many people, “I never knew you?”  Do many people truly “recognize” Him and the Father?  What kind of “wonderful works” will these people profess to have done?  Why are they being accused of “workers of iniquity?” Refer to the topic: MIRACLES & WONDERS.

 

Can we not see now the line separating CONSCIENCE and SPIRITUAL CONVICTION?  No wonder, God reminds those who “take the name of  the Lord in vain:”

 

Exodus 20:7  “...the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain."

 

Leviticus 24:16  "And he that blasphemeth the name of the LORD, he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him...”

 

“Taking the name of the Lord in vain” therefore is professing to follow God’s His words, but rejecting and maligning the truth.  God is the truth.

 

Psalms 86:15  "But thou, O Lord, art a God full of... truth."

 

 

THE FOURTH COMMANDMENT

 

Exodus 20:8-11  "Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.  Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:  But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:  For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it." 

 

God knows the heart  of man.  He knows that man would try to understand His words according to the dictate of the intellect. Man follows some commandments to the “letter,” and then brag about following the law.  He then claims loving God. That is what our Lord found in the Jews, especially the religious leaders.  Paul, formerly a Pharisee, after recognizing his God, received this revelation about the “letter of the law:”

 

Romans 3:20  "Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin."

 

With CONSCIENCE, the religious leaders kept the literal Sabbath by not physically working on that day.  They saw themselves more righteous than Jesus Christ because they did not see Him keeping the Sabbath holy.  He was therefore accused of violating the Sabbath Law.

 

John 9:16  "Therefore said some of the Pharisees, This man is not of God, because he keepeth not the sabbath day...”

 

The literal Sabbath was for resting the BODY.  Jesus, however,  indicated that it was the SOUL that is preferred (Matthew 10:28).   He confirmed His statement in John 6:63 “My words are spirit,” and the revelation of Paul from God in Romans 7:14 “For we know that the law is spiritual.” 

One reason why God manifested Himself in the flesh is to show the way in following His words.  This is how Jesus  Christ explained keeping the spiritual Sabbath holy.  It is a rest for the SOUL:

 

Matthew 11:28-29  "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls."

 

Spiritual Sabbath therefore is a respite for the SOUL.  It is peace for the mind and serenity for the heart.  No one will argue that the spiritual is better than the physical.  The spiritual refers to the “inside,” -- the physical to the “outside.”  The Jews and their religious leaders kept the physical.  Jesus Christ and His disciples kept the spiritual.

 

 

The heavy yoke

 

One condition set by our Lord for the fulfillment of the spiritual Sabbath is, “To come to Him.”  Coming to Christ is not simply saying, “I accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior” followed by a burst of emotion.  It is much more and deeper than that.  It is in fact, sad to state, shun by many people.  “Coming to Christ” is adhering to the Truth.  Truth is the heavy yoke that no one probably can carry without being made light by our Lord.  If it were not so, then many people would have embraced it.  What did our Lord say, “Many or only a few are chosen?”

 

The general notion is that yoke are the affliction and trials that one undergoes in life.

 

Matthew 11:28-30  "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."

 

However, there is another reference to the word. Were Peter, Andrew, John, James, Levi and other disciples greatly afflicted with some disease or problems when our Lord called them one by one?  There is nothing written about that.  They must have realized that the YOKE or the TRUTH is too heavy for them to carry.  Thus, their coming to our Lord.

 

Matthew 7:13-15  "Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.  Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves."

 

Believing in the Word and coming to the Truth are two different things.  The teachers of the law preached the word of God, but they never came to the truth.  Simply believing in the word of God ends in the “letter;” while adhering to the truth, as demonstrated  by Christ in keeping the Sabbath, finds it way to the “spiritual.”

 

2 Corinthians 3:6  "Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life."

 

The other condition for the fulfillment of the spiritual Sabbath is to “carry the yoke of Jesus.”  Contrary to the general belief that yoke refers to trials and hardships, the spiritual yoke is heavy that no one can carry it without the strength from Christ.  Jesus’ disciples carried this yoke.  This yoke must be exclusive to the real believers:

2 Corinthians 6:14  "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers... and what communion hath light with darkness?"

Real believers are bound by a common yoke.  What is this yoke carried by the people of God which can never be shared, or accepted, by the unbelievers?  “Can two walk together, except they be agreed? (Amos 3:3)   What is the point of disagreement between the believers and the unbelievers? What is the thing that binds the real Christians together?  

 

PHILIPPIANS 4:3  "And I entreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel...and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life."

 

What separates the real Christians from the pseudo-Christians? What is this yoke that they cannot share with each other?  It is the TRUTH!  Truth, therefore, must be the heavy yoke!  If the spiritual yoke were light, there would have been many people carrying it.  But as it is written, “Many are called and only a few are chosen.”  “Narrow is the gate and only a few  enter it.” 

 

CONSCIENCE, dictated by the intellect, directs that the BODY should be rested by following literal Sabbath.  It is the SOUL, however, that needs the much awaited “rest.” This comes only from SPIRITUAL CONVICTION.  Is this not the spiritual rest that Christ preached which the religious leaders did not understand?

 

Hebrew 4:7-11  "Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.  For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day.  There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.  For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.  Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief." 

 

The Natural Man sees only physical things.  God speaks “spiritual things.”  Jesus Christ physically demonstrated spiritual Sabbath in the following:

 

Matthew 8:23  "And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him.  And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep.  And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish." 

 

Here, the Natural Man sees only the story.  The Spiritual Man does not only view the story, but perceives the spiritual message behind it. 

 

Take note that Jesus was followed by His disciples to the ship.  This conveys the message that Jesus Christ, as model, is to be followed by His chosen people in the spiritual journey.  He traveled on a ship to reach the other side of the lake.  God manifested Himself in the flesh to show the way to the “other side” of life -- the spiritual life.  In His travel, Jesus had to pass over a body of water.  Water symbolizes people (Revelation 17:15) and man himself (Psalms 18:16).   Jesus, in His life on earth, “passed over the people.”  It means He was not influenced or carried by their erroneous beliefs, teachings, and practices.  In the journey, they encountered a great storm.  This is what is expected also in the spiritual journey of Christ’ s real disciples to the “other side” of life.  It is a spiritual storm with buffeting waves and wind.

 

 

WATER AND THE BIG WAVES

 

The big waves rattled the apostles who followed Jesus in the ship.  Waves of  water represent people:

 

Revelation 17:15  "And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest... are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues."

 

Just as the big waves seemed to wake up our Lord from His sleep, so do people seem to rob God’s people of their peace or spiritual rest.  Are not the people oftentimes the cause of man’s troubles?  Even in the Old Testament, God already revealed this to His people.  It is not only other people, but the men within one’s household:

 

Micah 7:6  "For the son dishonoureth the father, the daughter riseth up against her mother, the daughter in law against her mother in law; a man's enemies are the men of his own house."

 

Jesus Christ confirmed this to His disciples:

 

Matthew 10:36  "And a man's foes shall be they of his own household."

 

It is not only in our own physical or social household that this happens, but in God’s own “house” as well.  This was shown in Christ’s apostles (Mark 10:35-37).   Sometimes, the waves represent man himself and is the cause of his loss of peace (Psalms 69:1).

 

But Jesus was not bothered at all by the “big waves.”  He remained “asleep.”  Spiritually, the people around our Lord, the Scribes, Pharisees, Sadducees, and the Jews in general, and even His own disciples, were not strong enough to rob Him of His rest.

 

 

THE STRONG WIND

 

It was not only the big waves that seemed to wake up our Lord  from His sleep, but also the strong wind.  Strong wind symbolizes the stinging words from the mouth:

 

Job 8:2  "How long wilt thou speak these things? and how long shall the words of thy mouth be like a strong wind?" 

 

Are they not the biting words of other people that bother us and keep us awake at night? 

 

Strong wind may also refer to one’s own feeling and mind, the attributes of the soul:

 

Job 30:15  "Terrors are turned upon me: they pursue my soul as the wind...”

 

Is not the fear of being neglected, disgraced, discredited, defamed very disturbing?  Are not our own jealousy, envy, covetousness, and hatred “strong wind” in our life that keep us awake?  Jesus demonstrated that these kinds of “strong winds” coming from the soul were not enough to wake Him from His sleep.

 

Jesus Christ valued the keeping of the spiritual Sabbath, the rest for the SOUL, more valuable than  the rest for the BODY.  He worked as a carpenter indefatigably (Mark 6:3), as Paul did (Acts 20:34).  

 

Spiritual Sabbath, an inner peace, as a fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) is a sign for God’s people.

 

Exodus 31:13  "Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you...that ye may know that I am the LORD that doth sanctify you."

 

Only the people God with their SPIRITUAL CONVICTION can truly keep the  Fourth Commandment.  God, therefore, expects to find peace in them.  Christ is the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6).   He expects to find Christ in them. That is why a man caught gathering wood on the Sabbath was stoned to death.  This indicates that the man did not have peace. He did not have Christ.  Anyone who does not have Christ does not deserve eternal life!  The second death (Revelation 20:14) is waiting for him:

 

Numbers 15:32-36  "And while the children of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man that gathered sticks upon the sabbath day.  And they that found him gathering sticks brought him unto Moses and Aaron, and unto all the congregation.  And they put him in ward, because it was not declared what should be done to him.  And the LORD said unto Moses, The man shall be surely put to death: all the congregation shall stone him with stones without the camp.  And all the congregation brought him without the camp, and stoned him with stones, and he died; as the LORD commanded Moses."

 

 

JESUS IS LORD OF THE SABBATH

 

Matthew 12:1-6  "At that time Jesus went on the sabbath day through the corn; and his disciples were an hungred, and began to pluck the ears of corn, and to eat. 2 But when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto him, Behold, thy disciples do that which is not lawful to do upon the sabbath day. 3 But he said unto them, Have ye not read what David did, when he was an hungred, and they that were with him; 4 How he entered into the house of God, and did eat the showbread, which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for them which were with him, but only for the priests? 5 Or have ye not read in the law, how that on the sabbath days the priests in the temple profane the sabbath, and are blameless? 6 But I say unto you, That in this place is one greater than the temple."

 

Matthew 12:8  "For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day."

 

Who can explain the great message of this but God alone through His words!  Man’s comprehension is limited only to his LITERAL LANGUAGE.  How could the priests in the temple profane the sabbath and remain blameless?  Our Lord must be referring to the LITERAL profanation.  They, however, remained blameless before God!  Did God contradict Himself with respect to the enforcement of the law?

 

That is how the word of God remains irreconcilable with the LITERAL LANGUAGE of man from the SPIRITUAL LANGUAGE of God.  Literally, the priests profaned the sabbath.  Spiritually, for remaining blameless, they must have kept it holy!

 

Literally, it was not lawful for the priests to eat the showbread.  Spiritually, however, the showbread symbolizes the word of God (Ephesians 5:26), which should be eaten as spiritual food (Jeremiah 15:16). 

 

So is the corn that the apostles picked to eat on the sabbath.  Corn turned into bread symbolizes the word of God.  What the apostles did, picking corn and eating it on the sabbath, is actually the keeping of the sabbat holy!  They “ate” the word of God that the TRUTH would be in them.  Christ is the truth.  Christ is the Prince of Peace.  Sabbath is spiritual peace.

 

 

THE FIFTH COMMANDMENT

 

Exodus 20:12  "Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee."

 

Everybody appreciates this command.  Even those who reject the Bible have no quarrel on this.  This is an example of moral lessons derived from the Bible, if what is understood is only the literal meaning.  Morality simply “cleanses the outside” with the literal obedience to the law, as our Lord saw in the Scribes and Pharisees and in the Rich Young Ruler.  But moral lessons are not all to the inspired word of God.  More than the moral are the spiritual lessons. It is hoped man could distinguish the two.  MORALS are what constitute man’s Standard of Righteousness; SPIRITUAL, that of God’s Standard.  These two do not always go together in the eyes of men; neither do they in the eyes of God.  Only a few see and appreciate the difference.

 

To the advocates of the LITERAL interpretation of the Bible, and the zealous obedience to it, why do they not prescribe the corresponding punishment imposed for its violation?

 

Exodus 21:17  "And he that curseth his father, or his mother, shall surely be put to death."

 

 

THE SPIRITUAL FATHER

 

Who is my father and my mother?  Man could be thinking of his physical parents, whose relationship with him is social in nature.  Social should be distinguished from the spiritual.  God’s word is more than the physical and the social.  They are “things of the Spirit”  which the Natural Man does not have the means to understand for they are spiritually discerned:

 

1 Corinthians 2:14  "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned."

 

Words of God are spiritually, not sensually (of the senses), not intellectually or emotionally, discerned.  Demonstration of spiritual discernment through the word of God: Who is the only Father according to Jesus Christ?

 

Matthew 23:8-9  "But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren.  And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven."

 

For Christ’s disciples, there is only one Father, and that is God.  Anyone, therefore, who takes the role of a spiritual father, and is called as such, usurps the position of  God.  He also appropriates the honor that only belongs to God. 

 

 

THE SPIRITUAL MOTHER

 

In like manner, the spiritual should be distinguished from the physical mother.  The “wife” of Christ is the Church.

 

Ephesians 5:23-25  "For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church...Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;"

 

Ephesians 5:32  "This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church."

 

The Church should not be mistaken for the religious sect or denomination.  A sect is a group of “religious” rather than “spiritual” people.  A religious sect, like the sect of the Pharisees during the time of Christ, uses the law or the Bible as the basis for religious beliefs.  A religious sect is an organization composed of members bound by a common religious beliefs, under the supervision of the religious leaders. 

 

Leaders of religious sects are trained and appointed by men.  This fact alone exposes the religious sect as not representing the Church because of the taint of human precepts and religious traditions which God condemns (Colossians 2:8, Isaiah 8:20).   An organization tainted with human and extraneous doctrines can never be the spiritual Church.  The Church, as the wife of Christ, is never led by any man or group of men, but by Him.  Is He not the head of the wife?  Christ, the spiritual husband, is the truth.   The spiritual Church is led and headed by the truth, not governed by sets of human doctrines and religious traditions which are “additions” to the Bible.

 

It is the spiritual understanding of the laws of God that distinguished Christ and His disciples from the sects of the Pharisees and Sadducees.  It is the spiritual understanding and application of the Word of God that distinguishes the Church, the spiritual mother, from the religious sects and denominations.  Just as the laws of Moses were given to the Israelites only, and not to the Amalekites, Hittites, Jebusites, Canaanites; so is the word of God given only to the real Christians.  The law of Moses in their spiritual perspective were hidden from the reiigious people:

 

Mark 4:11-12  "And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables:  that seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand...

 

Those within should be clearly distinguished from those without, as the Spiritual Man is distinguished from the Natural Man.  The Natural Man can only understand literal-physical things  and has only his CONSCIENCE to tell him.  The Spiritual Man, who perceives spiritual things, has his SPIRITUAL CONVICTION to guide him. 

 

 

SPIRITUAL PARENTS

 

The spiritual parents are God and the Church.  God is the husband, the chosen people composing the Church are the wife:

 

Isaiah 54:5  "For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name...”

 

JERMIAH 3:14  "...saith the LORD; for I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family...”

 

Jeremiah 31:32  "... I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD:"

 

The spirtual mother is headed by the spiritual Father.  The  Church is composed of real believers.  How can the Natural Man understand that the real believer who is a part of the Church is a spiritual son at the same time?  This must be foolishness to him. 

 

To honor the physical parents is MORALITY and only refers to the PHYSICAL LIFE.  This is “cleanliness on the outside.”  To honor the spiritual parents is SPIRITUALITY.  This is “cleanliness in the inside” and refers to the SPIRITUAL LIFE.  “Cleansing the inside” should  precede  the “cleansing of the outside,”  as our Lord admonished the religious hypocrites:

 

Matthew 23:26  "Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also."

 

The physical is but a shadow of the spiritual.  The “outside” is  an allusion of the “inside.”  Jesus Christ told this to Nicodemus, a teacher of the law, typifying a Natural Man.  Even the Disciples, without our Lord’s guidance, could not have perceived spiritual things.

 

John 3:12  "If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?"

 

Paul, a Pharisee before, received this great revelation which he wrote to the Christians of Corinth:

 

1 Corinthians 15:49  "And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly."

 

The Scribes and Pharisees saw only the “outside,” the “physical,” the  “earthly.”  Jesus Christ preached looking first at the “inside,” the “spiritual,” the “heavenly.”

 

“To honor the father and mother” therefore means more than just giving respect to the “earthly” parents.  Far and above is respect for the “spiritual parents.”  To honor the spiritual Father, that is God,  means  totalling submitting to Him, like what Jesus showed by example.  Respect for the spiritual mother,  the Church composing the real believers, is to be an indispensable part of the “household of God,”  and never a cause for stumbling for the brethren. 

 

Matthew 18:6  "But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea."

 

The “little ones” are the real believers, not just the literal children.

 

Matthew 18:3  "And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven."

 

John 13:33  "Little children, yet a little while I am with you. Ye shall seek me: and as I said...”

 

Now the word of God gives a deeper and far-reaching meaning whenever we come across it:

 

Ephesians 6:1-3  "Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.  Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise...”

 

It is not only the physical blessing that the real Christian looks for in the preceding exhortation, but the promise of eternal life with God.

 

 

DEATH FOR DISHONORING PARENTS

 

God gave an edict that anyone who dishonors his parents should be put to death (Exodus 21:17).   After discerning the spiritual meaning of the word, now the more we are convinced that it will never pass away.  The death penalty for disgracing the spiritual parents is explicitly stated in the following:

 

Hebrew 6:4-6  "For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,  and have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, if they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame."

 

 

THE SIXTH COMMANDMENT

 

Exodus 20:13  "Thou shalt not kill."

 

The Natural Man only sees the literal-physical application of the commandment.  If that is all to the law, then Jesus Christ was not justified in refusing the Rich Ruler trying to follow Him.  Our Lord set conditions aside  from “following the law.”

 

Luke 18:18-22  "And a certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?  And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God.  Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother.  And he said, All these have I kept from my youth up.  Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all...that  thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me." And when he heard this, he was very sorrowful: for he was very rich. And when Jesus saw that he was very sorrowful, he said, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God! For it is easier for a camel to go through a needle's eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

 

The Scribes and Pharisees, like the Rich Ruler, who were noted for “following the law” were called hypocrites by our Lord:

 

Matthew 23:25-26  "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.  Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also."

 

It is CONSCIENCE that dictates a person to “follow the law.”  It is CONSCIENCE that convicts a person from disobeying the law. But “following the law” to man’s understanding is limited only to the literal-physical application of the commandment.  This is only “cleanliness on the outside” as our Lord made the Scribes and Pharisees to understand.  They were, however, “blind” to the “cleanliness of the inside” because they did not have SPIRITUAL CONVICTION to obey the “spirit of the law.”  Here is how our Lord expounded the “spirit of  the law:”

 

Matthew 5:21-22  "Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment:  But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment...”

 

Jesus Christ expressed the application of the commandment not only to the BODY but also to the SOUL; not only “cleanliness on the outside” but “in the inside” as well.  John the apostle by divine revelation wrote about this in:

 

1 John 3:15  "Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him."

 

Our Lord emphasized “hating without a cause.”  He demonstrated hating “with a cause” when He cast out the merchants in the temple (John 2:14-15).   He rebuked the Scribes and Pharisees calling them hypocrite and serpents and a generation of vipers.

 

 

SPIRITUAL MURDER

 

Jesus Christ taught that murder goes beyond the visible and the invisible, beyond the physical and mental.  He expressed spiritual murder in the following:

 

Matthew 23:13  "But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in."

 

Without SPIRITUAL CONVICTION, who can discern spiritual disobedience to the commandment, “Thou shalt not kill?”  How many so-called apostles of Christ in our time who do not think they are not leading people to eternal life?  These represent the 1001 religious sects who all preach salvation.  Like the Scribes and Pharisees, they all preach “cleanliness on the outside.”  That is all to righteousness and Godliness to people who do not yet have SPIRITUAL CONVICTION.  In the eyes of our Lord,  however, they are shutting up the kingdom of heaven against men!  Did Jesus Christ call Herod, who killed many children,  and the murderers “serpents and vipirs?” He reserved this to the Scribes and Pharisees, the righteous and Godly people in the eyes of men:

 

Matthew 23:25  "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess."

 

Matthew 23:33  "Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?"

 

How many people can distinguish “uncleanness in the inside” from “impurity  on the outside?”  How many people can distinguish  SPIRITUAL CONVICTION from CONSCIENCE? Spiritual murder from physical murder?  Eternal damnation from termination of life on earth?

 

 

THE RICH YOUNG RULER

 

The Rich Young Ruler professed to have followed the law.  To our Lord, that is only “cleanliness on the outside.”  Because the Rich Young Ruler could only understand literal-physical things, he thought he had to sell his material possessions and give the proceeds to the literally poor or destitutes.  Unknown to him, “possessions” are what are ensconsed in the heart.

 

Matthew 6:21  "For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."

 

To sell the “possessions” is to part with them and receive “proceeds” in exchange.  Are they material possessions?  Only what is in the heart.  Therefore, for the things in the heart to be exchanged with things of the Spirit, which is the TRUTH,  is already a “sale” in the eyes of our Lord.  Distributing or sharing the TRUTH to the “poor” was our Lord’s command.  Again, are they the literally-physically poor?  Not all the phyisically-materially poor like the truth.  To give the “proceeds” to all the poor will contradict the following:

 

Matthew 7:6  "Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you."

 

Therefore our Lord, through His words, identifies the “poor” in the following.  They are the “little children” in the eyes of our Lord.  Our Lord called His disciples “little children” in John 13:33.

 

Matthew 5:3  "Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."

 

Paul, Joseph of Arimathea a rich Christian, and the others,  did not literally-physically sell their material possessions.  The message had not changed.  Abraham, Jacob, David, Solomon did not sell their material possessions to follow God.

 

 

THE SEVENTH COMMANDMENT

 

Exodus 20:14  "Thou shalt not commit adultery."

 

Adultery to the Scribes and Pharisees and the Rich Young Ruler is simply having carnal knowledge with somebody who is not the spouse.  CONSCIENCE dictates that one should remain faithful to the partner in marriage.  That is all to the obedience to the commandment as the Natural Man understands it. 

 

God, however, goes beyond the literal-physical.   How does God explain the spiritual?  Does any man know about the spiritual Husband?  

Isaiah 54:5  "For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called."

 

Is there a spiritual marriage?  Who are the spiritual Wife?

 

Jeremiah 3:14  "Turn, O backsliding children, saith the LORD; for I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family...”

 

Are all people the spiritual Wife?  Only the chosen people are:

 

Jeremiah 31:32  "...I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt... I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD:"

 

Who is the “other man?”

 

It is Satan who tries to grab and win people to his side to be his spiritual “wife” also.  Thus, rivalry between God and the Devil. 

As Husband, what is the “seed” being planted by God to His wife, the chosen few?

 

Luke 8:11  "Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God."

 

What is the “seed” of Satan that he wants “to plant” in the people?  It is the “leaven in the word” of God!

 

Matthew 16:6  "Then Jesus said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees."

 

Matthew 16:11  "How is it that ye do not understand that I spake it not to you concerning bread, that ye should beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees?"

 

Matthew 16:12  "Then understood they how that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees."

 

“Leaven in the word” are the human precepts and religious traditions, which are all the fruits of human wisdom through philosophy.  Satan uses the very word of God to deceive people, as he tried that to our Lord in the desert.

 

Matthew 4:5-6  "Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple,  And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone."

 

Satan cited  verses in the book of Psalms: 

 

Psalms 91:11-12  "For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone."

 

Are the following beliefs, doctrines, and practices not “leaven in the word?”

 

1.  Is it the pure word of God, or “leaven in the word,” for religious leaders to be called “Father,” (Matthew 23:8-1) “Rabbi,” or Teacher, or Head, or Leader, or Pastor, “Reverend” (Psalms 111:9) and “holy?”  Did Christ’s disciples appropriate those titles?   Do people realize the distinction between  TITLE and  FUNCTION?  The TITLES confer honor and glory that belong to God.  FUNCTION refers to the work that bears fruits in the eyes of God, and this may not necessarily be noticed by men. 

 

2.  Is it the pure word of God, or “leaven in the word,” for so-called apostles of Christ to acquire knowledge through man’s efforts?  They preach belief and trust in God. Do they believe and trust God in His words?  God has this to say on acquiring wisdom about Him and His words:

James 1:5-I  "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.  But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.  A double minded man is unstable in all his ways." 

 

Where is the place of the Seminaries and Bible schools in the Holy Bible?  Is the religious doctrine of teaching, training, and appointing apostles of Christ  a “seed” of God, or the “seed” of the enemy of God?  Is this “seed” not the cause of the proliferation of  Christian denominations -- all professing the truth?

 

3. Is it the pure word of God, or “leaven in the word,” for the leaders of  religious sects to take upon themselves the authority to appoint “servants of God?”  The “authority” is supposedly endowed to them in almost all Bible versions in the following:

 

Matthew 28:19  "Go ye therefore and make disciples of  all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:"

 

The Authorized or King James version of 1611, which has not yet suffered corruption as other versions had, has the following for the same verse:

 

Matthew 28:19  "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:"

 

The desecration is exposed by Mark:

 

Mark 16:15  "And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature."

 

Have we seen the “hand of Satan” in changing the phrase, “teach or preach the gospel” to “make disciples” just so false apostles would have authority to appoint fellow “apostles?” 

 

Is there an instance in the Old Testament  where servants of God appointed fellow servants of God?  Did Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Johsua, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, and other servants appoint fellow servants of God? 

Did we ever find in the New Testament where Peter, John, James, Paul and other apostles of Christ appoint fellow apostles?  Peter and the other apostles, before Pentecost, tried to appoint Matthias to replace Judas Iscariot (Acts 1:15-26).   They were rebuked by Christ and their error was exposed when He appointed PAUL instead (Galatians 1:1).   The appointment of Paul was done in Jesus’ “physical absence” if only to show that He is the sole authority in appointing “apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers.”  Unknown to the false apostles, Jesus Christ is the Holy Spirit: "Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty."  --  2 Corinthians 3:17

Ephesians 4:11  "And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;"

 

Is not the practice of teaching, training, and appointing so-called apostles of Christ spiritual ADULTERY of the highest degree?  From this, originated deceptive doctrines using the Holy Bible as basis by the 1001 religious denominations.  They have their respective “apostles of Christ!”

 

Can we now appreciate what our Lord felt about the Scribes and Pharisees’  who thought they were leading the people to God?

 

Matthew 23:13  "But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in."

 

The Scribes and Pharisees’ obedience to the commandment, “Thou shalt not commit adultery” made our Lord to tell them:

 

Matthew 23:26  "Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also."

 

In His indignation He called them:

 

Matthew 23:33  "Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?"

 

Physical adultery is unfaithfulness to one’s spouse.  Spiritual adultery is infidelity to one’s spiritual spouse, in this case God!  Thus, although the Jews had been faithful to their spouses under the leadership of the Teachers of the Law, who were noted for following the LETTER of the Law, our Lord called them:

 

Mark 8:38  "Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels."

 

God did not only see His people commit spiritual adultery during the time of the Scribes and Pharisees.  In the Old Testament, they also  violated the commandment:

 

Jeremiah 3:8  "And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away... yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played the harlot also."

 

 

THE EIGHT COMMANDMENT

 

Exodus 20:15  "Thou shalt not steal."

 

Like the other commandments previously discussed, the commandment is intended to keep the BODY, SOUL, and SPIRIT blameless.

 

1 Thessalonians 5:23  "And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ."

 

For the blamelessness of the BODY, it is physical material stealing that should be avoided as everybody understands.  For the SOUL, it is covetous practices:

 

Mark 7:21-23  "For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts...thefts, covetousness...All these things come from within, and defile the man.”

 

1 Corinthians 6:9-10  "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate... "Nor thieves, nor covetous...  shall inherit the kingdom of God."

 

Covetousness takes many forms.  It may be for material things or intangible possession:  house, automobile, land, and prestige and popularity of another.  It could be covetousness for the honor and glory of God.  Only God is good.   Only the name of God is reverend.   Only God should be called Rabbi or head or leader and Father.

 

Spiritual stealing is defined as “not passing through the door.”   God defines spiritual door as:

 

John 10:9   “(Jesus said) I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved...”

 

Jesus Christ is the truth and the way:

 

John 14:6  "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth...”

 

Is it the truth, or the “spiritual door,”  not to recognize the “One Lord and one God” before one ever learns to love God and his fellowmen?   Is it the truth and the right way to be called Father?   ...to  be called Rabbi or Teacher or Master or Head or Chief or Pastor or Shepherd? ... to be called Holy? ...to be called Reverend,  as to be looked up by and be above the laity?  Is it not the truth for the real disciples of Christ to be called brothers,   indicating their equality in His eyes?

 

James 4:10  "Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up."

 

Is it the truth or the “spiritual door” to try to acquire spiritual knowledge from fellowmen?  What role are the Bible schools and Seminaries to God?  Are they the right venues of acquiring knowledge from God?

 

James 1:5-8  "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.  But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.  For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.  A double minded man is unstable in all his ways." 

 

Is this not this way our Lord showed  His disciples?

 

Mark 4:34  "But without a parable spake he not unto them: and when they were alone, he expounded all things to his disciples."

 

Can people accept that Jesus Christ is still capable of teaching His chosen in His physical absence as He did to Paul?

 

GALATIANS 1:11-12  "But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man.  For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ." 

 

Does His word pass away?  Can the power of God be limited?

 

1 John 2:27  "But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie...”

 

How does God reveal the great message of His words, so that no one will be tempted to bypass the spiritual door?

 

1 Corinthians 2:12  "Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God."

 

1 Corinthians 2:13  "Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual."

 

Using the foregoing  truth as basis, how many among the so-called apostles of Christ today pass through the spiritual door?  This is a test for real spiritual trust in God:

 

James 1:5-8  "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally...”

 

Man’s perception of STEALING is limited only to material things.  To God, it could be any of the following:  material, intellectual-emotional, and spiritual.  What kind of stealing is the following?

 

Matthew 23:13  "But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in."

 

Matthew 23:15  "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves."

 

The object of robbery, in this case, are the souls of men.  Could not  “Twofold more the child of hell”  refer to things abominable to God or those contrary to His words?  Can people accept this bitter truth?

 

PROVERBS 28:9  "He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination."

 

How many have the spiritual conviction to discern this great revelation of God in His words?

 

 

THE NINTH COMMANDMENT

 

Exodus 20:16  "Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour."

 

Conscience dictates that “to bear false witness” is simply to tell something contrary to the facts.  Conscience, however, cannot “reach” bearing false witness to spiritual truths.  Spiritual truths to many people is equated to sincerity.  Anything sincerely done is spiritual truth to the great majority of the people.  Spiritual lie, however, is defined as anything contrary to spiritual truth.  Spiritual truths, on the other hand, are spiritual beliefs that are not contradictory to the word of God.  How could anyone, therefore,  be spiritually guilty of this commandment?  The answer is summarized  in the following:

 

Romans 10:2-3  "For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.  For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God."

 

How easy for anyone to claim “spiritual truthfulness!”  However, Christ refutes this as He rebuked the Rich Young Ruler who claimed to have followed the commandments since childhood (Luke 18:18-21).   How could anyone claim truthfulness to the word of  God when he denies the TRUTH in the following?

 

2 Corinthians 3:6  "Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life."

 

The Scribes and Pharisees did not submit to this truth.  They denied the spiritual nature of the law which Jesus Christ explicated in their presence.  The foregoing kinds of lies may refer to the unbelievers and pseudo-believers.  There is a much deeper meaning of “bearing false witness” that now pertains to the real Christians:

 

1 John 1:6  "If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not have the truth:"

 

To know the truth is not enough.  Knowing it but not walking on it is a great spiritual lie in the view of our Lord.  Here is another example of a spiritual lie:

 

James 3:14  "But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth."

 

If anyone lives only by the “letter of the law” like the Rich Young Ruler, he does not know that he can never follow Jesus like His disciples did.  Many people only look at the “letter of the law that killeth” and miss the “spirit of the law that giveth eternal life.”

 

Because the Rich Young Ruler could only understand literal-physical things, he thought he had to sell his material possessions and give the proceeds to the literally poor or destitutes.  Unknown to him, “possessions” are what are ensconsed in the heart.

 

Matthew 6:21  "For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."

 

To sell the “possessions” is to part with them and receive “proceeds” in exchange.  Are they material possessions?  Only what is in the heart.  Therefore, for the things in the heart to be exchanged with things of the Spirit, which is the TRUTH,  is already a “sale” in the eyes of our Lord.  Distributing or sharing the TRUTH to the “poor” was our Lord’s command.  Again, are they the literally-physically poor?  Not all the phyisically-materially poor like the truth.  To give the “proceeds” to all the poor will contradict the following:

 

Matthew 7:6  "Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you."

 

Therefore our Lord, through His words, identifies the “poor” in the following:

 

Matthew 5:3  "Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."

 

Paul, Joseph of Arimathea a rich Christian, and the others,  did not literally-physically sell their material possessions.  The message had not changed.  Abraham, Jacob, David, Solomon did not sell their material possessions to follow God.

 

 

THE TENTH COMMANDMENT

 

Exodus 20:17  "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's."

 

The commandments are interrelated to one another as the whole Bible is, for everything constitutes the word of God of which He is represented by (John 1:1).   We have seen the relationship between adultery and idolatry, and vice versa, and stealing, bearing false witnesss, and covetousness, among others. 

 

As in the other commandments, “keeping the BODY, SOUL, and SPIRIT blameless” serves as  the guide in fully understanding what God “has written with His finger.”  The Rich Young Ruler claimed obedience to the law.  But he only saw  “the letters” or perceived what is on the “outside.”  The “letters” concern only the physical-material.  The Scribes and Pharisees who were the exponents of the “letter of the law” were rebuked for their erroneous perception of the word of God. 

 

Luke 16:14-15  "And the Pharisees also, who were covetous, heard all these things: and they derided him.  And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God."

 

More than the physical-material are the things unseen.  The Natural Man cannot see those “within.” (1 Corinthians 2:14)

 

Luke 12:15"And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth."

To “covet thy neighbor’s house” goes beyond the material.  A “spiritual house” may refer to the “house of the Lord,” or God’s people:

Ezekiel 2:5  "And they, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear, for they are a rebellious house...”

 

To covet a spiritual house therefore, is to pine for, to desire to take, or to envy God’s people.  This is religious proselyting.  Proselyting should be distinguished from real evangelism.  In proselyting, people are won for the religious sect or organization, like the Pharisees trying to win the Sadducees, and vice versa, during the time of Christ.  True evangelism is simply sharing the truth, as this article intends to accomplish.  This was seen in the works of Jesus Christ and later continued by the Disciples.  The motive for real evangelism is the salvation of the soul.  It is never tainted with any material, financial, social, emotional or any consideration.

 

“Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife” goes beyond the literal.  Of course it does not condon the physical.  Consider the following:

 

1 Corinthians 5:1-4  "It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father's wife.  And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you.  For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed,  in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ,"

 

Behind the “letter”  or the literal is the spiritual message.  Who is the spiritual FATHER?

 

Matthew 23:9  "And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven."

 

The spiritual FATHER is God!  Who is the spiritual WIFE of the spiritual FATHER?

 

Isaiah 54:5   "For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts...”

 

Ephesians 5:23-25  "For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church...Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church...”

 

The spiritual WIFE or MOTHER is the CHURCH!  To covet the spiritual wife therefore, is to usurp  the role or authority of God in the Church.  God implants His “seeds” (Luke 8:11)   in the Church.  To wrest this function is to implant one’s  “seeds” or own words or doctrines in the Church.  Together with the act is the appropriation of the glory that solely belongs to the spiritual HUSBAND.  In this case, grabbing the honor and glory belonging to God alone is appropriating the role of the FATHER.

 

 

Perfection, the ultimate goal

 

Ever since, God’s plan was for the perfection of His chosen few.  In the Old Testament, we find God telling Abram, before he was called Abraham, “walk before Him, and to be pefect.” (Genesis 17:1)  Then God repeated the admonition when His people were in the wilderness:

 

Deuteronomy 18:13  "Thou shalt be perfect with the LORD thy God."

 

When God was “manifest in the flesh,”   He told His people personally:

 

Matthew 5:48  "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect."

 

Christ’s disciples after Pentecost realized the need for spiritual perfection.  Peter reiterated everything God kept on reminding His chosen few:

 

1 Peter 1:16  "Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy."

 

At this point, perhaps the reader of the article has realized the distinction between religious and spiritual perfection, the distinction between human standard and the divine standard, and the distinction between CONSCIENCE and SPIRITUAL CONVICTION.  Religious perfection is dictated by the doctrines of the respective religious sects and denominations.  Divine perfection is ordained under only one standard: “For the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.”

 

Matthew 23:26  "Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.”

 

CONSCIENCE  “tells” man to cleanse the OUTSIDE.  SPIRITUAL CONVICTION “tells” man to purify the INSIDE.  The Natural Man has only his CONSCIENCE to convict him of his sins.  Jesus Christ,  in telling Nicodemus to be “born again,” in effect, wanted him to have SPIRITUAL CONVICTION.

 

- END -

 

 

 

Footnotes...

 

 

1 John 3:4  "Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law."

  Matthew 23:26  "Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also." 

John 3:3  "Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." 

John 3:5  "Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." 

1 Corinthians 2:14  "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." 

Matthew 15:14  "Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch." 

Luke 18:18-22  "And a certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?"  ... Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother.  And he said, All these have I kept from my youth up.  Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing...”

Mark 12:28-32  "And one of the scribes came, and ... asked him, Which is the first commandment of all?" "And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:  And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart...this is the first commandment.  And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these." 

"And the scribe said unto him, Well, Master, thou hast said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but he:"  --  Mark 12:32

As a child, Jesus was worshipped by the Wise Men from the East (Matthew 2:11)

   Jesus accepted worship from His disciples before His death and resurrection (Matthew 14:33)

 

     Jesus accepted worship from His disciples after His death and resurrection (Luke 24:52)

Matthew 4:10  "Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve." 

Matthew 23:9  "And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven." 

Matthew 23:8  "But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren." 

College Edition - Webster’s New World Dictionary of the English Language.

1 Corinthians 2:14  "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." 

1 Corinthians 2:16  "For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ." 

Luke 6:39  "And he spake a parable unto them, Can the blind lead the blind? shall they not both fall into the ditch?" 

Exodus 3:14  "And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you." 

Exodus 34:14  "For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God:" 

Psalms 83:18  "That men may know that thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH, art the most high over all the earth." 

Song of Songs 2:1  "I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys." 

Isaiah 42:8  "I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images." 

John 14:6

Revelation 19:13  "And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God." 

 

Matthew 10:28  "And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell." 

Amos 3:3

Revelation 17:15  "And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest...are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues." 

Psalms 18:16  "He...drew me out of many waters." 

Mark 10:35-37  "And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, come unto him, saying, Master, we would that thou shouldest do for us whatsoever we shall desire.  And he said unto them, What would ye that I should do for you?  They said unto him, Grant unto us that we may sit, one on thy right hand, and the other on thy left hand, in thy glory."

Psalms 69:1  "..Save me, O God; for the waters are come in unto my soul." 

1 Corinthians 11:1  "Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ." 

 

     Acts 20:34  "Yea, ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me." 

Galatians 5:23  "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law." 

Isaiah 9:6  "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." 

Revelation 20:14  "And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death." 

Isaiah 8:20  "To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them." 

   Colossians 2:8  "Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ." 

John 14:6 "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life...”

Exodus 21:17  "And he that curseth his father, or his mother, shall surely be put to death." 

John 2:14-15  "And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting:  And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers' money, and overthrew the tables;" 

Matthew 23:33  "Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?" 

 

1 Corinthians 2:14  "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." 

Romans 7:14  "For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin." 

Ephesians 5:23-25  "For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church...Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands...Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church...” 

Matthew 23:8-10  "But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren.  And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.  Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ."

Psalms 111:9  "He sent redemption unto his people: he hath commanded his covenant for ever: holy and reverend is his name." 

Acts 1:15-26

Galatians 1:1  "Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ...”

     Galatians 1:11-12  "But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man.  For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ." 

Luke 18:19  "And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God." 

Psalms 111:9  "He sent redemption unto his people: he hath commanded his covenant for ever: holy and reverend is his name." 

Matthew 23:8-9  "But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren." 

 

"And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven." 

John 10:1  "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber." 

Hebrews 8:11  "And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest." 

Mark 12:29  "And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:" 

Mark 12:30-31  "And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment." 

"And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these." 

Matthew 23:9  "And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven." 

Matthew 23:8  "But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren." 

Luke 1:49  "For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name." 

Psalms 111:9  "He sent redemption unto his people: he hath commanded his covenant for ever: holy and reverend is his name." 

Matthew 23:8  "But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren." 

Matthew 23:12  "And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted." 

Luke 18:18-21  "And a certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?  And Jesus said unto him...thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother.  And he said, All these have I kept from my youth up...Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing...”

 

Excerpts from the book  CHRISTIANITY: Yesterday & Today.

John 1:1  "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." 

1 Corinthians 2:14  "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." 

Luke 8:11  "Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God." 

Genesis 17:1  "And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect."

1 Timothy 3:16  "And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh...”