Church of God, New World Ministries

The Monstrous Religious Lie - Part Two

“I will not obey your God, even though you make me admit that He exists!” This was said by a highly educated woman several years ago. This woman was educated in this world’s way of thinking and doing. It was a typical reaction, although, perhaps, this woman admitted her true mental attitude more freely than most people would be willing to do. After all, most people want their own way, and they will often go to any lengths in an attempt to prove that they are right. Usually their reasonings and arguments are necessitated because they are unwilling to face or admit the simple truth.

So it is with the religious deception unmasked in part one of this article of the religious lie. Men deliberately invent many and varied reasonings to excuse their lawless behavior.

Millions of professing Christians have been deceived into believing that the Ten Commandments were done away, or nailed to the cross. Even though many were taught to memorize the commandments in Sunday school, in most cases their churches do not teach the authority of God’s commandments over the lives of true Christians. They have invented various arguments against the authority of the first, fourth, seventh or other of the commandments.

Many have not realized it, but it is an astonishing fact that most denominations do not believe in the necessity of literal obedience to a single one of the Ten Commandments of God Almighty! Why is this? Why do men seem to hate the idea of obedience to the Commandments of God?

It is because men are basically lazy, because they want to shirk responsibility. The modern idea of “no obedience” frees man from the personal responsibility to God of their thoughts and actions. They would much rather believe in the teaching that “it was all settled long ago” that all a Christian must do is “accept Christ as Saviour” than to acknowledge their responsibility to live as He lived through God’s Spirit in them.

Another reason why many argue against God’s law is that they dread and hate the idea of having to change their daily lives! Deep down, most men realize the terrific change in their daily lives that would be required were they to literally obey the Ten Commandments as a way of life.

The One who created our minds tells us that they are just naturally and normally hostile toward God’s law and His authority! (Romans 8:7.) The reason a rebellious, carnal mind is antagonistic toward God’s law is that it forces that man to acknowledge the authority of a personal living ruling God.

A carnal mind rebels against the idea of a supreme God in Heaven who can command him what to do! He wants to invent his own “god” to make a “god” in his own image and therefore control and limit his so-called “god.” In their intellectual vanity and abject stupidity, many modernists try to picture God as mere “essence,” or the “divine spark” in man’s mind or some other vague supposedly intellectual nothingness! In actual fact, such men are trying to take to themselves the prerogatives of the true God and make themselves become “God!” They are following the exact same course as their ancestors, Adam and Eve. They too, took the prerogative to decide for themselves what was right and wrong.

They want to decide why, when and how to worship. They are self-willed, and they want to seize the authority of God Himself in deciding these matters! For these reasons, then, many professing religious leaders today hate God’s law, and they have deceived many millions of their unsuspecting followers into rejecting the Ten Commandments of God as the true Christian way of life, to be lived and literally obeyed!

In Religious lies part one, we presented the positive proof that Christ and His apostles taught obedience to the Ten Commandments of God as the Christian way of life. We showed how Christ taught that we are not only to do but teach even the least of God’s Commandments (Matt. 5:19). We related how when the young man came to Jesus asking the way to salvation, He answered: “But if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments (Matt. 19:17).

We found that the apostle James taught that Christians are to be judged by all ten of the commandments (James 2:10-12). And we found the apostle John describing the love of God which every Christian must receive through the Holy Spirit: “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments: and his commandments are not grievous (I John 5:3). We saw that the entire Bible closes on a note of obedience, for God states in Revelation 22:14: “Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.”

In the face of dozens of plain, clear scriptures like this, what then are the arguments and where are the scriptures that the” professing ministers of Christ” use to nullify the authority of God’s Commandments?

The fact is that they are many and varied, and often confused. It would require a very large-sized book to even begin to answer in detail all of the arguments that men put forth against obedience to God! However, we will attempt to cover and expose the falsehood of some of the main arguments here. And it is important to understand that the way to see through these arguments is to read the entire passage in which the so-called “proof texts” against God’s law is found, and to study all the scriptures dealing with any one facet of God’s law which may be under consideration.

In their attempt to nullify God’s law, men have distorted literally dozens of plain, clear statements of scripture and have spiritualized away many others. Another common practice to watch for is that wrong definitions are placed on terms in the Bible having to do with obedience to God’s law. The key to understanding the truth is to be willing to accept the Bible definition for these terms.

One of the basic arguments against the authority of God’s law is that it was supposedly “nailed to the cross.” Even in this first instance, it is important to point out that most theologians blindly assume without proof that the “law” is a huge, all-encompassing blanket term including the rituals of the Old Testament priesthood such as washings and animal sacrifices, the statutes and judgments given to Israel as a civil nation, and the Ten Commandments as well.

Once they have falsely defined the word “law” trying to make it include all these things, then they attack their self-created “enemy” with vigor! They exclaim that the “old law” was harsh and stern, the product of the “cruel” God of the Old Testament, as they look at it with human reason. They get people to believing that all of His “law” was very unnecessary only temporary, and needed to be done away with by Jesus Christ at the cross.

The Bible shows what Christ did nail to the cross was our SINS! “Who his own self bare our sin in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness” (I Peter 2:24). The truth is that Christ did not nail His Father’s law to the cross, but rather that our disobedience to God’s Law caused Jesus Christ to be nailed to the cross!

Your Bible plainly says: “For sin is the transgression of the law” (I John 3:4).And what is the penalty for sin? “For the wages of sin is death” (Rom. 6:23). So Christ had to pay the penalty of our sins by His death on the cross!

There are only two places in the Bible which, taken out of the context, might even be remotely taken to teach that Christ nailed the Commandments to the cross. They are Eph. 2:15 and Col. 2:14. In both instances the word “ordinances” is used instead of commandments by the translators. And rightly so!

Why? Because an entirely different Greek word is used for ordinances than is normally employed to mean the spiritual Ten Commandments of God. The Greek word is dogmasin, from which we derive our word “dogma” or man-made belief or creed.

In Col. 2:20-21 read it, the very same word translated “ordinances” is clearly explained to mean human pagan religious practices involving commands to “touch not; taste not; handle not” penance! These have nothing to do with the Ten Commandments, the spiritual law of God showing us how to love God and our neighbor.

Another clear proof that Christ did not do away with His Father’s Commandments is given in His own teaching to His disciples after everything was nailed to the cross, and He had been resurrected from the dead. Having taught obedience to God’s law throughout His entire ministry as we have seen (Matt. 19:17), Jesus sent His apostles forth to the Jewish and Gentile peoples saying: Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you; and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world” (Matt. 28:19-20).

Here we find the very Son of God, after the cross sending forth His disciples to preach the very same message of obedience to God’s Commandments which He had continually preached and taught them throughout His entire ministry! Could anything be clearer?

Another basic argument used to nullify the authority of God’s Commandments is that they were “superseded” by the later teaching of the Apostle Paul. Those who hold this argument claim that Paul was more educated and “intellectual” and therefore apparently knew better than Jesus Himself! They don’t put it in those words, of course, but that is certainly what it amount to.

Often their ideas are based upon the theory of “progressive revelation.” It goes like this: God revealed a little bit to Adam, more to Abraham, more to Moses, more to David, more to Isaiah, more to John the Baptist, more to Jesus, then most of all to the apostle Paul. Therefore, since they claim to find in Paul’s writings arguments against the authority of God’s Commandments, they feel that this is the “height” of God’s revelation and that we have now become too “spiritual” to literally obey the Commandments given by God the Creator. In addition to being rather childish reasoning when you’re dealing with the great God who made our puny little brains in the first place, this reasoning certainly falls down when you carry it one or two steps further!

For if you are going to logically follow on to the last Biblical author, you must come to the Apostle John. And nowhere in the New Testament is the authority of the Ten Commandments over the lives of individual Christians taught more clearly than in the writings of the Apostle John! In addition to I John 5:3 which shows that God’s love is that we keep His Commandments, there are many other passages which clearly show that each Christian should obey the commandments of God the Father. “And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep His commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight” (I John 3:22).

Remember John’s inspired definition of the true saints of God? “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus” (Rev. 14:12).

These are just a few examples of the point in question, but the truth is that the theory of “progressive revelation” falls flat on its face when exposed to dozens of clear scriptures in your Bible.

Another argument, used by the Roman Catholics and some others, is that the necessity of obeying certain of God’s Commandments was set aside by the authority of the Church and its traditions. Needless to say, an entire article would be needed to thoroughly prove that human church leaders have no authority to set aside the plain statement of scripture at any time or under any circumstances! They remain the same “forever and ever” (Ps. 11:7-8).Jesus Christ commanded: “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God” (Matt. 4:4).

Certainly the principle of distorting God’s Word mentioned in Revelation 22:18-19 applies to every scripture: “If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: and if any man shall take away from the words of this book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part of the book of life and out of the holy city and from the things which are written in this book.”

Now let us analyze a few of the specific scriptures which modern theologians wrest and pervert in a vain effort to overthrow the authority of God’s law. Most of them, of course, are contained in the writings of the Apostle Paul.

Knowing this would happen, God inspired Peter to warn: “Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction” (II Peter 3:15-16).

Since God directly warns against wresting or twisting and perverting Paul’s writings, we should be very careful not to read a meaning into Paul’s writings that is not there! Also, we should be very careful to get each verse in context and understand it as intended in the simple story flow of the passage under discussion. We should find and accept the Bible definition and usage of the terms involved regarding God’s law.

Maybe you have heard ministers use the first part of Romans 3:20 as a proof verse against God’s law. Notice it: “Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight.” This verse is often coupled together with Romans 3:28 for additional proof that it is not necessary to keep the commandments of God after the time of Jesus Christ. “Therefore we conclude that man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.”

Now here, even in this first instance, is a good example of verse-twisting! Notice that only the first part of Romans 3:20 is quoted. Note also that these verses do not say that we should not obey God’s Commandments, but rather that we are not “justified” by keeping the law. But the preachers using these verses against God’s law generally assume, without proof that “justify” means salvation or the way to eternal life.

Now let us examine the real meaning of these verses. First, notice the last part of Romans 3:20 which is usually omitted when quoting it against God’s law: “For by the law is the knowledge of sin.” You would think this phrase alone, if honestly understood would be enough to convince “Christian ministers” that God’s law is of necessity still very much in existence and not by any means “nailed to the cross!” For this phrase says that God’s law defines sin, shows us what sin is.

And in this same book of Romans Paul again states under inspiration: “I had not known sin, but by the law” (Rom. 7:7). And in Romans 4:15, Paul states: “For where no law is, there is no transgression.” In other words, if God’s law were not in existence there would be no transgression, there would be no sin! Then, we may emphatically ask, if God’s law is “done away,” if there is no sin, then why did Jesus Christ have to die one of the most painful deaths ever invented by man to supposedly pay the penalty for our sins on the stake?

The truth is, of course, that the Ten Commandments are still very much in existence and is binding upon true Christians as the way of life God intends them to live through the help of the Holy Spirit.

But now, what about the first part of this verse under consideration: “Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight”? The key to the right answer lies in the true definition of the term “justify.” “Justification,” as the Bible always uses it, has to do with forgiveness of past sins. It is not directly used to describe the process of Christians being born again, glorified and made immortal in God’s Kingdom.

Notice: “Much more then, being now justified by his blood (Jesus’ death for our sins on the stake), we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled (or justified), we shall be saved by His life” (Rom. 5:9-10). You see, we are “justified” forgiven our past sins by accepting the blood of Jesus Christ on the stake in full payment for them. But then we must “grow in grace and knowledge” and begin to obey God’s spiritual law revealed in the Ten Commandments by Jesus Christ Himself, our living High Priest, living His life in us through the Holy Spirit. Therefore, as Paul states ultimately, “we shall be saved by His life.” So it is actually Christ in us who keeps the Commandments. it is the living Christ in us who helps us grow in grace and in knowledge to become like our Father in heaven in holy righteous character. “It is Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Col. 1:27).

Now read again Romans 3:20, 28 with this Bible definition for justify in mind. Of course you are not justified for your past sins by beginning to keep God’s law today! It is the same with our American civil laws. We are not forgiven for breaking the traffic laws yesterday just because we keep all the traffic laws today! That does not certify that the traffic laws are no longer necessary! For they define the right way to drive and walk, just as God’s laws define the right way to live toward Him and our neighbor.

The God of your Bible says that He will not ultimately “save” and give immortal life and glory in His Kingdom to anyone who refuses to obey Him and keep His Commandments. Notice Paul’s conclusion to this entire chapter in which these problem verses are contained: “Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law” (v. 31)!

Knowing that faith in Christ’s sacrifice alone can bring forgiveness for past sins certainly does not do away with the Commandments! Rather, it reconciles one to God so that God will then grant that person His Holy Spirit, His very life and character. Thus, he will now have the spiritual power, the very life of Christ in him, to keep not only the letter, but the very spiritual intent and purpose of God’s Ten Commandments.

Another favorite verse used by ministers attempting to prove that God’s law was done away is found in Gal. 2:16: “Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.”

Again, the basic key to understanding is that the word justify has only to do with forgiveness of past sins! It takes the blood of Christ and belief in His sacrifice to bring forgiveness of these past sins! Your obedience today can’t undo you r past mistakes. But in this particular case, the term “works of the law” doesn’t even refer to obedience to the Ten Commandments! It refers to the ritualistic “law of Moses.”

The whole question in this passage has to do with penance, mistakenly using the rituals of the Mosaic Law for justification instead of the blood of Christ. The Ferrar Fenton translation of the Bible makes this plain in verse 16: It translates the expression “works of the law” as “ritualism.” For the original Greek word there is ergon and involves physical action. It is speaking of the misuse of temporary physical rituals and sacrifices of the Law of Moses instituted to instill the habit of obedience, and as a reminder of sin. This verse is not referring to the Ten Commandments of God which are described by this same Paul as “spiritual” and Holy, and Just, and Good’ (Rom. 7:12, 14).

The entire book of Galatians deals with this problem of the attempt to substitute the rituals of Moses as penance for sin in place of the blood of Christ. This is made plain in Gal. 3:19. “Wherefore then serveth the law?” Why was the law of rituals given? “It was added because of transgressions; till the seed should come to whom the promises was made” (Gal. 3:19).

Notice what law Paul is talking about throughout this entire section of the Bible! Paul was talking about a law which was “added!” And notice that it was added because of transgressions. In other words, there must have been transgressions of a previous law or Paul could not have made this statement! For we have already seen that God says: “Where no law is, there is no transgression” (Rom. 4:15).

Therefore, Paul is speaking about the law of rituals and sacrifices which was imposed for a specific period of time on the physical nation of Israel. It was “added” long after the eternal spiritual law of God, the Ten Commandments, had been revealed to man. Even Abraham, the distant ancestor of Moses, obeyed God’s law long before any “law of Moses” was instituted (Gen. 26:5).

Paul says that this law of rituals and sacrifices was added “till the seed should come” in other words, until Jesus Christ came in the flesh. He describes it as a “school master” which would teach men the habit of obedience and the need of a Saviour until Christ came.

This sacrificial Law of Moses was only temporary until the true sacrifice of Christ would be made. In Heb. 9:10, God describes this entire system as a law, “which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation.” So here we find additional proof that the law “added” until the time of Christ’s coming was the sacrificial law and its physical rituals given through the Levitical priesthood under Moses!

Another basic misunderstanding is caused by a distortion of the true meaning of the phrase “under the law” in the New Testament. This expression is used several times and always has the same meaning.

One of the most oft-quoted verses incorporating this phrase is Romans 6:14: “For sin shall not have dominion over you: for you are not under the law, but under grace.” After reading these words, many preachers then launch into a tirade against the Commandments of God, claiming that we are not under the authority of the Ten Commandments any more.

But what does this expression mean? “Under the law” always means under the penalty of breaking the Ten Commandments! It means that we have broken the Commandments and therefore come “under” the claim of God’s Law and His justice.

And what is that claim? The penalty of breaking God’s law is death (Rom. 6:23), and Jesus Christ paid that penalty! Therefore, as Paul is clearly teaching in all of these verses if we read the entire chapters in which they are contained, Christians who have already accepted Christ’s sacrifice are no longer “under” the penalty of God’s law, but are rather “under” the claim of grace, the claim to God’s mercy through His Son Jesus Christ!

Note also that the first phrase of this verse, “For sin shall not have dominion over you,” clearly teaches that we are not to break God’s Commandments! For the Bible definition of sin is found in I John 3:4: “Sin is the transgression of the law.” Therefore, Paul is saying that sin, or law breaking is not to have dominion over our thoughts and lives.

Paul continues in Romans 6:15: “What then? Shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.” In other words, are we to break God’s law because we are under grace and forgiveness of our past sins before we were converted? Paul says “God forbid!” Paul continues: “Know you not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness” (v. 16).

Paul declares that if you “serve sin”, if you break God’s Commandments, it will lead “unto death.” If you sin, you will reap the death penalty described in this very chapter in verse 23! But if you serve God and obey His Commandments, then we find that obedience leads “unto righteousness.” And, of course, if you continue to grow in righteousness, eternal life will be your ultimate reward in God’s Kingdom!

How plain! The choice is yours! Either you acknowledge the clear principles expressed in this article and in the Bible and obey the God of Jesus Christ through His Spirit within you, or your reward is death!

God’s Commandments reveal the way to happiness, joy, and peace. And God will not grant eternal life to anyone who is not willing to live the right way. He knows they would only make themselves and others absolutely miserable for all eternity!

May God help you to make the right decision, to let Jesus Christ literally live His life in you, keep the Commandments of God, and develop His very holy, righteous character that you may be granted eternal life in the very Kingdom and Family of the great God of heaven. Who has made you in His image for this very purpose!

 
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