THE ETERNAL LAW OF GOD
Perhaps the greatest error in Christian thinking is that Christs grace brings us eternal life and fellowship with God apart from our obedience to the eternal moral law. It is a misunderstanding of the Apostle Paul of enormous significance. This error has wrecked the work of the Kingdom of God in the earth. Eternal life can exist only where there is obedience to the eternal law of God.
The eternal law of the Lord God of Heaven never changes. It has existed from eons past. It abides today and will endure throughout the eons yet to come. It never shall change or pass away. An abridged, covenantal form of the eternal law was given to Moses to pass on to Israel, and through Israel to all mankind. At that time its expression was hindered because of the limitations of our flesh. Now that we have been born again of Christ, and the Spirit of God is dwelling in us, we can begin to respond to the fullest implications of this holy law.
THE ETERNAL LAW OF GOD
1. The Lord God of Heaven shall be the first love of our heart, the first thought of our mind, the first priority of our devotion and energies.
2. We will not worship or be in bondage to any thing, relationship, or circumstance. We will serve Christ alone and God through Him.
3. We will use the name of Christ and of God only in the utmost sinceritynever loosely or to support our lie. We will not attempt to deceive others or ourselves by presenting our word and will as though they were Gods word and will. We will keep the name of God holy in our heart and mouth.
4. We will not spend our life creating our own heaven and earth but will cease from our own works and enter Gods rest, recognizing that all has been finished from the creation of the world. The Lord and His works shall be our continual delight. We will not seek our own pleasure or speak our own words but will seek the Lords pleasure and speak His words. Our goal in life will be to find Gods will and perform it. Our necessary food will be to finish the work God has given us to do, laying aside all concern for our own security, our own pleasure, and our own achievement.
5. We will honor our father and mother and all others who have been used of God to give us life, to nourish and guide us, and to bring us to maturity in Christ. We will respect authority.
6. We will not permit hatred or anger toward another person to abide in our heart but will commit our need for justice to the Lord. We will not strive to harm or remove those who are hindering us but will present our situation to the Lord for His wisdom.
7. We will not indulge in unlawful passions, in filthy imaginations, romantic lusts, in relationships God has not ordained.
8. We will not take what belongs to another person or seek to get what we want apart from God. We will never deprive another person in order to gain joy for ourselves.
9. We will not bear a false witness against another person, gossiping, criticizing, putting him or her in a bad light for our own advantage.
10. We will not desire for ourselves that which belongs to another. We will forsake envy, competitiveness, jealousy, personal ambition, self-importance.
The eternal law of the Lord God of Heaven never changes. It has existed from eons past. It abides today and will endure throughout the eons yet to come. It never shall change or pass away.
The eternal law of God is the expression of Gods moral Nature. The changing of one particle of Gods moral Nature would be the worst of all possible catastrophes.
An abridged, covenantal form of the eternal law was given to Moses to pass on to Israel, and through Israel to all mankind. At that time its expression was hindered because of the limitations of our flesh. Now that we have been born again of Christ, and the Spirit of God is dwelling in us, we can begin to respond to the fullest implications of this holy law.
One may note that our interpretation of the Sabbath Day, the fourth commandment, is expanded to include our whole personality and state of existence and is not confined to one day of seven. We think the Lord Jesus desires that we view the Ten Commandments with enlarged perception.
Perhaps the greatest error in Christian thinking is that Christs grace brings us eternal life and fellowship with God apart from obedience to the eternal moral law. It is a misunderstanding of the Apostle Paul of enormous significance. This error has wrecked the work of the Kingdom of God in the earth.
Eternal life can exist only where there is righteousnessrighteousness that comes from obedience to the eternal law of God. The Lord Jesus Christ obeyed the moral law perfectly and then died for our sins. Now we can receive Christ by faith. As we do, the righteousness proceeding from the justifying authority of the blood of the righteous Jesus is imputed (ascribed) to us. On this basis, God gives us eternal life.
It is after this initial state of redemption that the monumental error of Christian thinking begins its deadly work of undermining the Kingdom of God (the doing of Gods will in the earth). It never has been Gods intention that His grace should serve as an alternative to obedience to the moral law. Rather, the propitiating (appeasing) and remitting (forgiving and canceling) aspects of Divine grace serve while the dynamic aspects of that same grace are transforming us until we begin to keep the eternal moral law by nature.
But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law [Torah] in their inner parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. (Jeremiah 31:33)
If such is not our understanding and our experience we may be turning the grace of God into an excuse for lawlessness. This is what is taking place today in many places where the Gospel of Christ is being taught.
The present apostasy has arisen in large measure from our lack of understanding of the Kingdom of God. We are picturing the Christian salvation as being one thing when in fact it is another.
The Kingdom of God, of Heaven, is more "down to earth" than we understand it to be.
The Kingdom of God consists of ordinary people like you and me. God calls us to Himself. If we respond by repenting of our old way of living, receiving Christ, and being baptized in water, God counts us as "saved."
Being "saved" means God is ready, through the Lord Jesus Christ, to make us fit to dwell in His new world, His world of resurrected humanspeople who are given back their bodies and live in immortal life.
Being saved means we have been rescued from union with Satan and the image of Satan and are participating in the program that will have been completed when we are in perfect union with the Father through the Son, and are revealing in our thoughts, words, and actions the Personality of the Son. To view the new covenant as being primarily the forgiveness of our sins is to miss the main purpose, which is the bringing forth of a new creation in the image of the Lord Jesus Christ and in union with Christ.
The things that happen to us from the moment of receiving Christ are for the purpose of "saving" us. "Saving" us means removing from us the behaviors that God will not accept in His Presence (see Revelation 21:8 for eight behaviors over which spiritual death always has authority whether or not we have made a profession of Christ). To abide in Gods fiery Presence we must live according to the ten aspects of His eternal moral law that we mentioned previously.
Our God is a consuming Fire and He always destroys that which violates His eternal law (Isaiah 33:14,15). We Christians must understand that Divine grace through Christ does not make it possible for God to dwell with the behaviors He rejects. Rather, Divine grace under the new covenant covers us while God changes our behavior, making us new creatures. Christ was revealed for the purpose of destroying the works of the devil, not to make it possible for God to dwell with the devil.
There are rewards of rulership, of power, of opportunities for service, for closeness to God, available to those who are willing to follow God through the perils and sufferings associated with gaining the Glory of God. It appears that predestination plays an important role, especially in establishing positions of rulership in the Kingdom.
The Kingdom of God is made up of the greatest and the least and all those in between. We are happiest when we allow God to prepare us for the particular role and place in His Kingdom for which He has created us.
In every instance the works of darkness must be removed from us. From the beginning of salvation forward, our actual position in the Kingdom depends on our individual calling and also on the diligence we apply to achieving the destiny for which we have been grasped by the Lord.
Our tradition presents our physical death, our "going to Heaven," as solving the problems both of the removal of the works of darkness from us and of achieving rewards and status in the Kingdom. This is a false doctrine without scriptural support of any kind.
What we are, we are until we work with the Holy Spirit in the transformation of our personality. Such transformation is the new covenant (II Corinthians 3:18).
When we die physically we remain unchanged except for the absence of the various frailties of our physical body. The inner spiritual life that motivates us remains unchanged. If we are a self-centered, argumentative person on the earth we probably will be a self-centered, argumentative person in the spirit realm. We will need stronger spirits to bring peace to our situation, as is true while we are on the earth (Psalms 84:5-7).
The creating of the Kingdom of God is a realistic, sensible, practical program. There are no wands waved at which time we become something we basically are not.
The Kingdom of Heaven is as a grain of mustard seed. No doubt that seed will grow in us forever as we are being created in the image of God. But whether we are alive on the earth now, or deceased and in the spirit realm, or living on the new earth, what we are, we are. We need to understand this because we may be wasting valuable time in the present hourtime given to us so we may be transformed into the image of the Lord Jesus.
The penalty for the sin in Eden was the loss of our physical bodies. It never was Gods intention that a persons body be subject to decay. The process of corruption came about so God could separate our spiritual nature from our physical body for a season, with the end in view of giving us a righteous spiritual nature. When we have been created in Christs moral image in our spiritual nature, our body will be returned to us.
We cannot receive back our body until, through the Lord Jesus Christ, we achieve victory over the forces of darkness and death to which mankind is subject. We cannot eat of the tree of life until we overcome the moral behaviors over which the second death has authority. We overcome these sins by choosing to obey God.
As soon as we make a firm commitment to the will of God, the Virtue and power of Christ are applied to us and we are enabled to conquer the behaviors that prevent our immortality (Philippians 3:8-12).
Only those who by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ overcome the enemies of Gods law will attain the resurrection to righteousness, immortality and glory. We do not gain the resurrection to glory by grace, mercy, or any other act of Gods compassion. Gods compassion forgives our sins and gives us the authority and power to attain the resurrection to glory.
The resurrection of the righteous must be attained. It cannot be imputed (ascribed) to us. The resurrection of the physical body to righteousness, immortality and glory, which is the central goal of the Gospel of the Kingdom of God, the conquering of the last enemy, is an area of misunderstanding in the present hour.
God does all the fighting when we come out of Egypt. But when we cross over Jordan to resurrection ground, the fighting is done by us with the Lords guidance and help.
The program of "saving" us, making us fit for Gods Presence, requires our cooperation. If we insist on saving our life, retaining the behaviors that are comfortable and familiar but condemned by Gods Word (such as fearfulness, unbelief, fornication, covetousness), we run a risk, according to the written Word, of being rejected by the Lord.
But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned. (Hebrews 6:8)
Some Christian teachers are explaining that salvation is an unconditional amnesty and no behavior on our part can place our salvation in jeopardy. From their point of view we are forgiven our sins past, present, and future whether or not we serve the Lord.
However, the Scriptures teach that the works of the flesh cannot enter the Kingdom of God. Satan is whispering, "Thou shalt not surely die."
Such teachers are picturing the goal of the Christian salvation as eternal residence in the spirit Paradise. "If God has forgiven us through grace, why can we not be admitted to live forever in the spirit Paradise?"
The goal of the Christian salvation is not to live forever in the spirit Paradise. The goal of the Christian salvation is the restoration of what was lost in the garden of Eden: eternal bodily life lived in a material Paradise in which God is present.
Even more glorious than this, God is seeking to dwell in us. This is the Kingdom of Godthe eternal oneness of the Divine and the human, the holy spiritual and the holy material, the restoration of Paradise to the earth. We may discover that those who have died are longing for the Day of Resurrectionfor the time when they gain back the material world.
And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we will reign on the earth. (Revelation 5:10)
"On the earth"!
The role of Divine grace is not to bring unchanged people to Paradise, thus perpetuating the problem of Eden. Rather, the role of Divine grace is to forgive the sons of men, through the atonement made by Christ on the cross of Calvary, and then to impart Divine Life to them so they may cast off the chains of darkness and death and become fit once again to enjoy the Presence of God in the garden.
The father did not come to the prodigal son while he was sitting in the pigpen and say, "If you will accept my forgiveness I will make you lord over my household." He did not promise, "If you will just raise your hand as a token of acceptance you can continue with your drunkenness, your fornication, your gambling, your riotous living. By my grace you will rule over all I possess."
Yet, this is what sometimes presented as the Gospel of the Kingdom of God.
The story of the prodigal son is the greatest story ever told. It is the story of every person born on the earth, of mankind as a whole, and of the Christian Church. God gives us His riches. We then squander them according to our lusts.
Finally we "come to ourselves." We realize that our Fathers house is of greater value than the world. We pick ourselves up and return to our Father. He is waiting for us because we are His children. His joy is very great as He celebrates our return from the dead.
We do not bring the pigs and the swill back home. We return chastened and repentant. We are ready to be a servant but God accepts us as a son. It is the angels that are the servants.
Our reception home does not mark the end of our salvation but the beginning. No doubt many years passed by before the prodigal was able to get the "pigs" out of his personality.
It is one matter to get the man out of the cesspool. It is another matter to get the cesspool out of the man. Getting the man out of the cesspool is repentance. Getting the cesspool out of the man is salvation.
This is what the Christian salvation is all about. First, Gods love, working through the atonement, pulls the man out of the garbage. Gods grace helps the individual to repent. Then Gods power and Divine Nature cast the garbage out of the man.
The Kingdom of God is practical and understandable. God is "saving" us so we will become like Him in nature, acceptable to Him in our personality and behavior. God accomplishes this by the new birth, and then by growth in the Divine Nature of the Lord Jesus Christ. What we are, we are. Physical death does not change what we are. It is only as we partake of Christ that we are changed.
If we harden our heart, refusing to cooperate with the Holy Spirit, the Divine judgment comes upon us with the intent of making us partakers of Gods righteousness and holiness. If we harden our heart yet further we move to dangerous spiritual ground. We become an adversary of God (Hebrews 10:26,27).
For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, (Hebrews 10:26)
Gods people must be warned in the present hour. It is a time for heartfelt repentance and for a reformation of Christian thinking.
Ours is a new day, the beginning of the Jubilee of deliverance. It is the beginning of the restoration of all that Adam and Eve forfeited. It is the fulfillment of the Word spoken by Gods prophets (Acts 3:19-21).
The Lord Jesus Christ stands ready to wash the members of His Body with a baptism of fire, breaking the power of sin in them. It is time to take the Kingdom. We are a firstfruits of mankind. The material creation awaits eagerly the unveiling of the sons of God. The nations cannot come forth from the prisons of slavery and corruption and receive eternal life until the saints are ready to minister Christ to them.
Spiritual oppression already weighs heavily on us. The tares are coming to maturity. The age of moral horrors is at hand. It is time to rise and shine for Gods greatest glory has been reserved for this day of battle. It is time to prepare ourselves to serve the Lord.