Fred R. Coulter - October 27, 2001

Now most Protestants believe that the laws of God have been done away. As a matter of fact I got a desperate e-mail from a man saying, “My father has been reading the Bible and he’s come to the conclusion that he ought to keep the Sabbath, that he ought not eat unclean foods, that he ought to keep the Holy Days, and I want you to send me some material to straighten him out.”

That was an e-mail. I don’t answer e-mail’s. So I sent back, “Please send your address and we’ll send you some material.” Because he said, “We’re not bound to this legalism or any of these things in the New Testament.” So OK, let’s look at it. Let’s come to the key verse in Matthew 5, and let’s look at it, and let’s really answer the question, how and what did Christ really do? Because remember this, that if you say that Jesus Christ did away with the laws and commandments of God and took away your obligation and requirement to do them, you are accusing Christ of being the minister of sin. Why? Because without law and commandments there is no righteousness and you have lawlessness.

Now before we go to Matthew 5, let’s go to Matthew 7 and let’s see what’s going to happen to the agents of lawlessness, who use His name, who preach His word, and like this man here. Now there are two men – two authors - that I may write to. I’m not going to say that I will, but I may. This man here, Samuel C. Gipp, who wrote, Understandable History of the Bible. He’s a Sunday keeper; and Alan Phelps, who wrote the book - and it’s going to be published in August – Vatican Assassins. And I told his representative when I called concerning getting the Vatican Assassins, I said, “You know, he’s got a lot of good points on what the Jesuits have really done down through history. But, you know, he’s really still a Catholic.” He only believes in the “grace” branch of the Catholics. See?

Protestantism is only the “grace” branch of the Catholics. Because if they still keep Sunday, which the Catholics say, “We know is not scriptural, and we know it’s only by the authority of the Pope that we keep it, and not by scripture,” and you keep Sunday, and Easter and Christmas and all of these days of Rome, however many or few, you are still a Catholic. I don’t care if you came out in protest against her, you are still a Catholic and you claim to believe all the word of God and turn around and say that the laws have been done away.

And Paul said clearly Christ is not the minister of sin. So if you say that He did away with the laws and commandments of God, you make Him a minister of sin, and you make Him lawless, the minister of lawlessness. Now let’s see what's going to happen to those who believe in lawlessness. Matthew 7:21, “Not everyone that saith unto Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven…” So it’s not that you understand some of the word of God, which the Protestants do. And like this man here, Gipp wrote, he says that Catholicism is 10 percent twisted scripture and 90 percent pagan fact. Well Protestantism is 40 percent scripture and 60 percent lawlessness and pagan fact.

Now notice, “…But he that doeth…” Now that’s one of those words which is a present tense participle in the Greek, which means, “the one who is doing”, present tense active, always on-going, because you can’t do the will of God in the past, because that’s already gone. And you can’t do the will of God in the future because it hasn’t arrived. So you always do the will of God in the present. “…Doeth [doing] the will of My Father [not just Christ] which is in heaven” (vs. 21).

Now here we have – what is this? Outcome-based education, and TQM - total quality management. If you try, you get credit. It’s like in education - if you try we’ll give you a diploma. In California they had a big headline in the paper. Students that pass the test with 55 percent - hello? Students that failed 45 percent of the test were given diplomas and they graduated because they tried. So not everyone that tries, you see.

“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?” Now that’s notable, isn’t it? Yes it is. “…And in Thy name done many wonderful works?” Built buildings and churches, nations, cities, all of that. “And then I will profess unto them, I never knew you…” (vs. 22-23). Now what does it mean, to “know you”?

Hold your place here and come to 1 John 2:3. And that’s a favorite thing that the Protestants say, isn’t it – “Know the Lord”? Yes. “Know the Lord.” And they always seem to say, “The Lord, the Lord, the Lord, the Lord.” Very seldom do they say God the Father and Jesus Christ. It’s not wrong to say “the Lord”, but that’s what the Protestants say all the time. Verse 3, “And hereby we do know…” now notice that is a double affirmative. It’s one thing to say, “I know.” It’s another thing to say, “I do know”, or really know. And so this is kind of, as we will see here, actually a triple affirmative. “We do…”, which is one, “…know…”, which is two, “…that we know Him…”, which is three. So we have three affirmatives here concerning knowing Christ.

“…If…” So there’s a condition to knowing Him. “…We keep His commandments.” It’s important. But on what are all the commandments and the law and the prophets hanging from? To love God with all your heart, all your mind, all your soul, and all your being, see. Let’s go on. “He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not [is not keeping, present tense] His commandments, is…”, what? “…A liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth [is keeping] His word, in him verily is the love of God perfected…” And that means on an ongoing basis, you see. “…Hereby [by this, that is, by this means] know we that we are in Him” (1 John 2:3-5).

Now let’s go to Revelation 21 here for just a minute, then will come back to Matthew 7 and finish that. So let’s understand where liars are going to go. Now let’s look at the two contrasts here. Verse 7, “He that overcometh…” or that is, the one who is overcoming, “…shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be My son.” That is, to enter into the Kingdom of God, no question about it.

Verse 8, “But…” I don’t know why they say it’s wrong to start a sentence with “but” in English. I think certain sentences ought to start with that. I have few difficulties with some people who edit my work, so I get a couple sentences with “but” in there, here’s one. “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part and the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now let’s come back and finish Matthew 7. So you see, if you say you know Him, just like they profess they did all these works, and sure, they did all of these works. No doubt about it. But Christ said, “I never knew you.” “…Depart from me, ye that work iniquity” (vs. 23). Now the Greek there is anomia,which means, “you who work lawlessness.” Now part of lawlessness, the ultimate in lawlessness, is the abolition of the laws of God. Yet these same people who believe that pride themselves in the rule of law in which every country they live in. It’s almost like they have a split brain. This side for religion and this side for living in the land, you see.

So notice, verse 24, “Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of Mine, and doeth them…” that is, present tense participle, now notice it is “sayings.” What does that include? What does a saying include? Anything He spoke. So what’s important? Every word of God. What did Jesus say how man ought to live? By every word of God.

But Alan Dershowitz would say, “Well, if you’re going to live by every word of God,” Alan Dershowitz will say, “Well, the reason I’m an atheist and I don’t believe in the Bible, and you say that you ought to live by every word of the Bible, it says that if a person commits adultery you ought to take them out and stone them. Or if they murder you ought to take them out and stone them. See? So if you don’t do that, you don’t believe every word.” Well, dear Alan, you need to understand that - being a lawyer - you ought to realize that God gave the law of capital punishment to sovereign nations.

When Israel was brought into existence, when it was given the covenant at Mount Sinai, it was not only just the people of God, but it was a sovereign nation. So therefore the same rule that applied in Genesis 9, where God said, “Man will take the life of a man who kills a man” (Genesis 9:6, paraphrased), which is capital punishment, God gave to Israel. But He did not give it to the church, because the church is a separate organization, scattered in many different nations and you cannot go against the command that you already gave to the sovereign nations, otherwise God would be duplicitous. So He did not give it to the church. How long you think any church organization would exist within any sovereign nation under heaven if they took to themselves the death penalty for the members within their organization? Never happen. It would never happen. Now that’s a seed for the future, which we’ll cover… I covered that on Refuting Sunday Keeping #12. Yes. The administration of death. A very important thing.

But He says “My sayings and does them.” Matthew 7:24, “…I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:” Now who is the Rock? Christ is the Rock, I Corinthians 10:4. “And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not…” Now this is indicative that all of those who follow Christ will have problems, difficulties, trials, challenges, assaults, whatever. “…And it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And everyone that heareth these sayings of Mine, and doeth them not…” And the Greek here for “doing” is poieo,comes from poieowhich means, “to practice.” “…Shall be likened unto foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it” (Matt. 7:25-27). And we’ve seen pictures of floods where it takes away houses.

Now let’s come back to Matthew 5 and let’s look at a sleight of hand, which the Protestants have accepted and believed, which is absolutely contrary to the sayings and teachings of Christ. They say that the laws of God have been abolished and done away with. Therefore, we’re no longer required to do them. But we should love God, and if we love God then anything we do is right. That is, if you sort of had a warm feeling in your heart, then what ever you do is ok as long as you love God. Well, you see, that is again, terrible twisted thinking, because you can’t love God unless you keep His commandments. Now let’s read this carefully. Matthew 5:17, “Think not…” Now what does that mean? Don’t let it enter your mind. “…That I am come to destroy [and that means to abolish] the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.”       

“So Christ fulfilled them for us, therefore we don’t have to do them.” That’s the way they reason it. But they don’t read verse 18 very often. “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.” Where do you find jots, and where you find tittles? Hebrew. Where do you find the law and the commandments? Hebrew. That’s right - Old Testament. Now, we know heaven and earth is still here because we’re sitting in chairs on the earth and we know that the Sabbath has begun because the sun just set. So we know both are here. And if they weren’t here, we wouldn’t be here. So Christ has it very simple to understand.

Now what does it mean to fulfill? There are two meanings to fulfill. It comes from the Greek word plaroma, meaning to fill full. Like I’ve got a glass up here, I’ve got a quarter of a cup of stale coffee. If I throw that out and fill it full with another cup, I have a full cup of coffee, don’t I? Now how did He fill full the law? Let’s go on.

He began right here, verse 21. “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:” Now isn’t that true? You could go back Exodus 21 and it talks about damage, manslaughter, murder. And they would go to the judge and the judge would determine whether he would give his life, or whether he would give the equivalent of money for the loss of the hand or the loss of an arm or the loss of an eye; which, by the way, is the very basis of insurance that we have today don’t we? All of you drove here to get here, and all of you cannot drive your car unless you have insurance on your car. And if you hit someone and they lose an arm or they lose in a leg or they lose an eye, your insurance company states in there, “We’ll pay so much for an eye, so much for a hand, so much for an arm, so much for a foot,” and so forth.

Now then, Jesus says, verse 22, “…And whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca [or that is, “fool”], shall be in danger of the council:” or that is, the Sanhedrin. But Jesus says, “…But whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.” Now which is worse: standing in front of a Sanhedrin, or council, or judgment seat, or standing at the edge of the lake of fire ready to be thrown in? Now did that not fill full of the law, “You shall not murder?” Because where does murder start? In the mind. And it starts by looking down on someone to the point that you hold them in contempt and judge them worthy of death by your action. And when you do it, you judge it a good deed because you have done something that needed to be done. Which is most of the defense of people who murder, right?

Jesus also says, verse 23, “Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar,”, that is, you come before God in the presence of God, which was then at the altar, “…and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way…” God doesn’t even want to hear your prayer. He doesn’t even want to accept your offering. Because it’s more important that you love your neighbor and you love your brother and you love each other, so go get reconciled.

Now it’s a different thing when you come to doctrinal differences and problems. That is an entirely different thing. This is personal relations. God does not want you to come to Him to develop a personal relationship with Him and Jesus Christ, and you can’t even get along with your brother and sister whom you can see. Now if you go to them and you try and be reconciled, and you have done everything that you can and they still refuse, then it’s upon them.

Verse 24, “…Go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then offer thy gift.” Now, this is far more binding isn’t it? This is a higher standard to fulfill, is it not? Yes. So in coming to fill the law full, He’s giving the full spiritual meaning and intent of the law. He just did with murder, ok? Let’s look at the next one. Which then murder is what? The sixth commandment, right? Adultery is the seventh commandment, right? You’re all supposed to memorize them, aren’t you? Is that not true?

“Ye have heard that it was said of them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery:” And regardless of Bill Clinton’s definition of “is” is, or sex, it’s still adultery. “But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart” (vs. 27-28). Now that’s a far higher standard, isn’t it? From having a situation that: it’s not adultery until the physical act has been performed; to the now higher standard, the higher spiritual standard: that if you lust - a man lust after woman, or woman lust after a man - it is already adultery in the heart.

Now let’s come here - hold your place here, we’ll come back - and let’s go to 2 Corinthians 10. Let’s tie a few other scriptures together with this. Because how on earth are you going to handle that? Now that’s a tough one isn’t it? Saying, “Well, Paul’s interpretation of the Scriptures is just carnal.” He’s not walking according to the flesh. Now notice, he says [verse 3], “…Though we walk in the flesh…” Now, there’s a difference between walking according to the flesh and walking in the flesh. What is that? If you’re walking according to the flesh, you’re carnal minded. Just put in your notes Romans 8. Because if the mind of the flesh is minding the things of the flesh and you are walking according to the flesh, but if you walk according to the Spirit, you see, that’s a different proposition entirely.

“For though we walk in the flesh…” We still are in the flesh, you see. “…We do not war after the flesh.” We don’t overcome with carnal means. You know, you can’t overcome carnality with carnality. All you can do is what they call in psychology, is sublimate. Which is substitutionary behavior. You never get rid of the lust. You never get rid of the carnality; you just change your carnal behavior from one which is evil to one which is less evil, but you have not changed your nature. Only the Spirit of God can change your nature, you see. Only the Spirit of God can convert you. You can have all kinds of programs - psychological programs - where you increase your thinking, you become a better speaker, you become more confident, and all those things are just carnal development of the personality, which they’re not necessarily wrong. But you can’t substitute carnality for spiritual conversion.

Here’s how. Verse 4, it says we do not war after the flesh. “(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds;)” And the biggest stronghold is right here between your two temples. “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;” (vs. 4-5).

Now that’s how you overcome spiritually, you see. These things will come along. The lust will be there. But you overcome it by using the Spirit of God and casting the thought down and saying, “God, help me cast this thought out of my mind.” That way, then, you are not committing adultery, or stealing, which covetousness which is idolatry, and all those sort of things. You bring every thought into captivity to obedience of Christ.

“And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled” (vs. 6). Now then, that’s why you have to be always under the grace of God and loving God, and that is the fuel, and that is the power of the Spirit, which helps you to overcome those things. Now when a lust comes along - you see, under the Old Covenant you could sit there and you could just watch all the women and all the men walk by. They have that now they have the underwear ad for women sitting on a park bench and they're guessing, you know, what kind shorts does this guy wear? That’s female lust for men, right? And you have men looking at every woman that walks along, and that’s male lust for women, right? None of them have committed adultery in the letter, have they? But what has it done? It has mentally and psychologically broke down resistance, hasn’t it? Yes.

See now, ours are entirely different. When a temptation comes along we need to apply 2 Corinthians 10. Bring every thought into captivity. So let’s go to James 1, and let’s see how the process takes hold, and why Christ says that he who looks upon a woman has already committed adultery with her in his heart. Now this is especially true if he's been a whoremonger because his mind will be filled with many different women. And it’s the same thing with a woman who has become a whore. Her mind will be filled with many different men. So they have a tougher proposition to overcome.

Now, verse 13, let’s see how the process takes place. We’ve already seen that Christ said, “You shall not lust.” We’ve already seen that we are to cast those thoughts down and bring them into captivity unto Christ. Now let’s see the process and see at what point we can capture that and cast it down into the obedience of Christ. “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth He any man:”

Let’s understand - this is very important to realize. God did not send that man or woman to walk past you when you lusted. God sets before you good and evil and life and death, and you must choose. That’s what God does. What came before you to fill your eyes with that was not God but another human being. So it’s a temptation. So you cannot say, “Well, why did God let that woman come right in front of my eyes?” Or, “Why did God let that man come right in front of my eyes?” God had nothing to do with it. When that happened, you had a choice.

Now notice, verse 14, “But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away…” From whom? From God. “…Of his own lust…” So the first place to stop it is at the thought of lust. That’s the easiest and quickest way to stop the lust. Bring that thought into captivity, cast it down, and ask God to give you the strength to overcome, ask God to cast that thought out of your mind right then. You don’t have to run home, get in the closet, lock the door, and say, “Oh God, by the way, when I was on Fifth and Main…” see? [Laughs]. You do it right then. “God, don’t let this lust go any further in my mind.” You see? Right then. You don’t wait.

Next, the next point is, “…And is enticed.” So you don’t stop it at the lust point. You sort of develop the thought a little further, see. Then you’re enticed. Now then when this happens, verse 15, “Then when lust hath conceived…” So you have lust, you have enticement, and then you have conception – conception of sin in your mind. It’s not wrong to be tempted, it’s not wrong to fight against the lust or have it enter into your mind. It is wrong when you entice it and conceive it. You see, because all those things will happen to everyone. But if you stop it at the first point of temptation, or you stop it at the second point of enticement, then you’re not going to have it come to conception.

Conception was - let’s use the example of David and Bathsheba. Bathsheba said in her heart, “The king walks up there every night.” Why was she bathing at the time he walked up there? Bathsheba was not innocent, but David was responsible. So David looked down and he said, “Wow.” There’s lust. And then he said, “Well, hey,” sent his servant on down, and he says, “You tell the woman the king wants to talk to her.” Well who could refuse the king? So now it has been enticed and conceived. Then the act takes place. So at any one of those points David could have stopped. But he didn’t. “Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death” (vs. 15).

So Christ now, let’s come back here to Matthew 5, has given us a standard, which starts with the thought so that we can stop the thought from conceiving to sin. Now that’s a whole lot harder. That’s a lot higher standard, isn’t it? Is that law filled to the full greater in its requirement, or less in its requirement? It is greater. So therefore to fulfill means to fill to the full.

Now, same thing concerning adultery. Same thing concerning swearing. How many people…? Let’s come here to verse 33, “Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself [or that is, swear by yourself], but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths:” And we have it today, don’t we? You go to court, “Place your hand on the Bible and raise your right hand you promise to tell the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth?” “Yes, I do,” and you sit down and lie. Because the outward act had no impression upon your mind spiritually. So Christ is now giving a higher standard. And this is really quite a high standard. You think about it.

“But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God’s throne:” How many people say, “I swear by God's throne,” or, “I swear by my mother’s grave,” or “my father’s grave,” or whatever? You’re swearing on dead bones. I mean, come on. Think about it. “…Nor by the earth; for it is His footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for is the city of the great King. Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black. But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay:” In other words, let your “Yes” be a true yes, and let your “No” be a true no. “…For whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil” (vs. 34-37). Or that is, the evil one. Who is what? The father of liars, right?

Now if you’re not sure about something, you can give a qualified “yes”, but make that qualified yes be known. “Yes, I would like to come, but I have some other things that I need to do. “ Or a qualified “no.” But still let it be a true yes or a true no. Now is that hard? Of course it's hard. Is that a higher standard? No question about it, it's a higher standard.

Let’s come down to verse 43. Let’s look at this higher standard. “Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy.” Now that’s the way the world does it, isn't it? Same way in sports. Sports teaches this: you love your home team and you hate the other team, right? Notice what He says. Now, is this harder? Is this harder? I dare say this is the hardest one for all of us to really get and understand, isn’t it? Now we are not to love Satan, because he is beyond any hope. These are human beings. “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;” (vs. 43-44). Now that is hard, isn’t it? Yes it is. But what does this - what is the reason for this? There’s a reason why Christ said this. And it’s based on God says, “Vengeance is Mine.” He’ll take care of the enemy. Can He do a better job of it than you? But of course.

How about those that persecute you? Despiteful use you? You pray for them. I wonder if anyone was praying – we’ll look at two examples here, now. Let’s come to Acts 7, and let’s see what Steven did. Now he came and witnessed before the Sanhedrin. Arrested, delivered into their hands. He gave them a testimony that was so moving and stirring, that I tell you, it’s really something.

Part 2

Now let’s look at the account of Stephen, and we will see here is a perfect example of loving your enemy and praying for those that despitefully use you and persecute you, and in this case, kill you. Now let’s come to Acts 7. After he finished telling them the history, beginning back with Abraham, all the way down through Moses and the children of Israel, and Solomon, and so forth, verse 51, he says to the Sanhedrin - now notice, this is the official Jewish governing body - the ultimate. This is like going before the combination of Congress and the Supreme Court, and with the President sitting in the audience.

“Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy [Spirit] Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye. Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them which shewed before of the coming of the Just One; of Whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers: who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it” (Acts 7:51-53). Now when you tell Jews they haven’t kept the law, I mean, they come unglued.

Verse 54, “When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with their teeth. But he, being full the Holy [Spirit] Ghost, looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God,” Now He’s not - He wasn’t sitting at this time. He was standing, watching. Because this was a final warning to the Jews in Judea at that time, that unless they repented, everything was going. The city would be gone, their religion would be gone, their priesthood would be gone, everything would be destroyed. So this was quite a thing. So He was standing.

Now, question: how far away is the throne of God? If heaven is opened and he saw it, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, it must be a whole lot closer than a lot of us have thought, right? Just because we can’t see it doesn’t mean it’s way, way out there... [Pause] Yeah. The question was, was this just a vision, or was this something that he actually saw happen? I’m sure he saw it happen, but I’m sure no one else saw it happen. But it’s just like when the young man - when Elisha told the young man, he said, “Those who are fighting for us are more than the enemy.” And he said, “Well, there’s me and there’s you, and who else?” And he said, “Lord, open his eyes that he may see.” And what did he see? He saw all the angelic host. So I’m sure that he saw it. Yes.

Verse 56, “And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.” Now, you go back, and if you’re a Jew in opposition to him, you think of Daniel 7, where you see One like the Son of man coming to the Ancient of days, you see. And so all you can do is just what they did. “Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord.” So he caused a riot. “And cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man’s feet, whose name was Saul. And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God…” or that is, who calling upon God, “…and saying, Lord Jesus receive my spirit. And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge.” Now if that's not praying for your enemies and those that hate you, persecute you, and despitefully use you, I don’t know what is. A perfect example of that. “…And when he had said this, he fell asleep” (vs. 56-60).

Now then, someone must have been praying for Saul. Because - in the next chapter, what happens? Well, galloping down the road to Damascus, and all this sudden, bingo - he’s kicked off his donkey. And he is blinded. And converted. And God had great purpose for it. Saul, who became Paul.

Now let’s come back to Matthew 5, and let’s see what is the purpose of bringing the law to a higher spiritual standard. Now here’s the reason why God says to do so. Now you can just put in your notes or your margin, John 3:16. The reason that we are is because we are to become like the Father. That’s why. “Because God so loved the world that He…” what? “…gave His only begotten Son that…” what? “…that whosoever believes on Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16, paraphrased). And because God has not called the enemy does not mean that we should not pray for them.

Because, “That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven.” That is the reason. “…For He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good…” The sun is going rise in the morning on everybody who's evil and everybody is good. “…And sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans [tax collectors – that’s who publicans are] the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?” (vs. 45-47).

Now notice verse 48. Here is the goal of it, of filling the law to the full, that you “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” Now is that a high standard or not? Yes, it is. A very high standard. So that’s what it means to fill the law full.

Now let’s come back here to Matthew 5 again, and let’s come to verse 19. “Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.” Why? Because you are not keeping the law to its fullest spiritual standard.

Now if you try to do all of these things motivated just from a carnal physical point of view, as I wrote in the letter, which you will see which is called “Command and Control,” we are to have love and obedience. We are to love God and keep His commandments. That’s different than command and control. And you can read the letter and find out why.

Now let’s look at another aspect of fulfilling which is different than to “fill the law to the full” in certain ways. In one aspect it is filling the law to the full. In another aspect is completing a certain section of the law. Now then, let’s look at the thing concerning circumcision. Since we’ve gone through “The Circumcision Wars” here, let’s come to Romans 2. Since you’ve been studying Romans, you’ve just gone through some of this.

Romans 2:25, “For circumcision verily profiteth, if thou keep the law: but if thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision is made uncircumcision. Therefore if the uncircumcision keep the righteousness of the law [which is to be fulfilled in us, Romans 8:4], shall not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision? And shall not uncircumcision which is by nature, if it fulfill the law, judge thee, who by the letter and circumcision dost transgress the law? For he is not a Jew, which is one and outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: but he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God” (Rom. 2:25-29).

Which is harder? To have circumcision of the flesh, or circumcision of the mind? The mind. So He completed - and let’s come back here to Deuteronomy 10, which is a prophecy of circumcision of the heart. When you read these verses you will understand that these are, these have New Testament requirements. Deuteronomy 10:12, “And now, Israel [you can just put your name there], what doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all His ways, and to love Him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul,” You see, this is really New Testament requirement here.

“To keep the commandments of the LORD, and His statutes, which I command thee this day for thy good? Behold, the heaven and the heaven of heavens is the LORD’S thy God, the earth also, with all that therein is. Only the LORD had a delight in thy fathers to love them, and He chose their seed after them, even you above all people, as it is this day” (vs. 13-15). Now let’s think of that in relationship to the church, and let’s think of that in relationship to your calling. Because God the Father Himself is the one who has called you. I mean, think of that. God the Father has reached down in your life to call you. That’s why you’re here. That’s why God has His people. So that’s a profound thing to understand, that God would do that. And in the light of that, then, you see, God has a great and marvelous purpose for all of us as revealed in His Holy Days and so forth.

But notice, verse 16. Here is the requirement for us. “Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiff necked.” So this is a call for conversion. So this is really a prophecy of the circumcision of the heart. God could command them to do it and there would be certain people who would become tender hearted enough, like Josiah, that could do it. But they only did it with the assistance of God. Now verse 17, “For the LORD thy God is God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God, a mighty, and a terrible, which regardeth not persons, nor taketh a reward:” So is that something?

“He doth execute the judgment of the fatherless and widow, and loveth the stranger, in giving him food and raiment. Love ye therefore the stranger: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt. Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God; and shalt thou serve, and to Him shalt thou cleave, and swear by His name. He is thy praise, and He is thy God, that hath done for thee these great and terrible things, which thine eyes have seen” (vs. 18-21). And God has done great an awesome things in calling us.

Now you see, this is the way that you’re able to really come to an attitude of humility in knowing that God the Father Himself has personally called you. This is not to exult us in a carnal way so that we think, “Oh how great I am! God the Father had to call me.” See, no - it’s the other way around. How great and marvelous that God is, that He would reach down into each of our individual lives and call us. Therefore this is to help us love God even more, and to bring us to a proper attitude of mind of humility, you see. Because it says the one who exalts himself shall be abased, but he that humbles himself shall be exalted, you see. And the way you humble yourself is how? By seeing the greatness of God. By seeing His love, His grace, His mercy, you see. And that humbles you. And that’s what so fantastic about it, and that is the true whole operation, or the effect, rather, of the circumcision of the heart.

So circumcision has been fulfilled in the letter of the law. Now let’s look at the spiritual circumcision - Colossians 2. Spiritual circumcision is a higher standard because it means that you are going to have your mind converted. Let’s see how this is done. Let’s begin here in verse 6. Now if you haven’t gone through the series on Colossians, by all means write for it, and that will help you understand it. And just realize this: ninety-nine times out of a hundred when Protestants explain something to do away with the laws of God, no one understand that it's the exact opposite of what they say. Now if you just realize that, you’ll be able to understand the word of God even more.

Colossians 2:6, “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in Him…” Now notice - it’s not rooted up and built up in the church, it’s not rooted up and built up in the ministry, you see. It is rooted and built up in Him.

Hold your place here and come to Ephesians 3, just a couple pages over. And what does it mean to be rooted and built up in Him? Ephesians 3:17, “That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded and love…” So if you’re rooted and grounded in love, and you’re rooted and built up in Him - now to be “built up” means to be edified. And that’s where teaching comes in.

That’s why what we do and what I do is different than preaching. It doesn’t mean that I cannot have emotion or passion about it, because I do. It doesn’t mean that I cannot have conviction and power in what I’m preaching, because I do. But it means that the brethren are to be built up. In other words, everything that we do is to teach you to be built up and be built closer to Christ. That’s what God wants. He doesn’t want numbers. Look what happened when David said, “Well, you know, I'm going to number Israel.” Joab said, “Look, you don't need to do that. God will fight your battles.” “No, go number them.” When we start looking and counting on numbers, then we will find ourselves under the same penalty that David did.

But if each individual is taught that you have a direct relationship between you and God, and there’s no man between you, and each individual is taught how to have that relationship with God, then it’s going to be, what you say in modern terminology, internalized. Meaning, it becomes a part of you. See, you don’t keep the commandments because they are here written in a book. You keep the commandments because they are here written in your mind and in your heart. That’s the whole purpose of it, you see. Built up. It’s for the edification of the Church.

Colossians 2:7, “…And stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.” Now, Worldwide did not heed verse 8. “Beware lest a certain man named Stavrinides spoil you through philosophy.” [Laughs] I added the names in there because it says, “Don’t let anyone deceive you.” Verse 8, “…Spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ” (vs. 7-8). You see, what we’re learning what to do here is how to overcome by the power of Christ and His word, rather than make yourself a better person by the rudiments of the world.

“For in Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in Him, which is the head of all principality and power: in Whom also ye are circumcised…” Now here we come to circumcision, you see. Now notice all things that he is saying leading up to this, because all of these things are the result of the circumcision of the heart. “In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ” (vs. 9-11).

Now here is how the circumcision of Christ takes place. “Buried with Him in baptism…” And you can just put in your margin Romans 6, because it talks all about if you are buried into Christ you are buried into His death. “…Wherein also ye are risen with Him through the faith of the operation of God [that is, to walk in newness of life], who hath raised Him from the dead” (vs.12). So that is the circumcision of the heart. When you are baptized you bury your sins, you are co-joined into the death of Jesus Christ, you are raised out of that watery grave to walk in newness of life, you have now made a covenant unto God to walk in His ways, to love Him and serve Him. And He will convert your heart and mind, which then, begins with the laying on of hands after baptism to receive the Holy Spirit.

Now, is circumcision of the heart a greater thing than of the flesh? We already said yes. Now it’s the same way as we’ve seen with the keeping of the commandments. Now let’s see what else He has done. Let’s come to the book of Hebrews. Now we find that the priesthood has been changed. So He brought the operation and the works of the priesthood with all of their rituals and all of their sacrifices to completion. By instead of having the priesthood of Aaron - let’s come here to chapter 5. Instead of having a priesthood of men, He now is the High Priest of everyone. He is Melchizedek. So we have a greater priesthood, don’t we? The ministry is not a priesthood. The ministry is to serve the brethren to perfect them.

So it talks about every high priest, verse 1, “…taken from among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins: who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way; for that he himself also is compassed with infirmity [or that is, weaknesses]. And by reason hereof he ought, as for the people, so also for himself, to offer for sins. And no man taketh this honor unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron” (Heb. 5:1-4).

Now then, the priesthood was changed in two ways: when Christ became our High Priest. Let’s come to chapter 7:20. “And inasmuch as not without an oath He was made priest: (For those priests were made without an oath…)…” Now you see, Christ was made a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek by an oath from God, whereas Aaron was just selected. There was no oath. “…But this [that is, Melchizedek] with an oath by Him that said unto Him, the LORD swear and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek)” (Heb. 7:20-21). That’s a higher priesthood. That is a spiritual priesthood. The other one was a physical priesthood for physical offerings of animals and meal offerings and drink offerings and all of that. That has been brought to a completion. Ended. So when it says that when Christ said He came to fulfill law, some of them He brought to completion. And they are no longer required, but when He brought - note this carefully - when He brought the physical to completion. He replaced it with a higher spiritual standard, just like He did the commandments and laws of God, He gave them a higher spiritual standard.

Now we have a priesthood after the order of Melchizedek. Now let’s come to chapter 8:1, “Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, Who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens…” Now that’s a far higher place, isn’t it, than having a priest go into the Holy of Holies once a year with the blood of animals, right? Yes. “A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man” (Heb. 8:1-2). And then he talks about what men have to do.

Let’s come to chapter 9:11, “But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by His own blood He entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us” (Heb. 9:11-12). Is not the blood of Christ greater than the blood of bulls and goats and animals and heifers? Yes it is. Because it redeems us from all sin.

“For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh…” (vs. 13). Now let’s understand the difference between being sanctified at the temple by the things of animal sacrifices and the ashes of heifer. They were never justified to God the Father in heaven above. They were only justified to the temple. That was it. They were accepted as forgiven in the flesh at the temple, and they could have confidence that God forgave their sins through that operation of the Old Covenant under the terms of the Old Covenant, but the forgiveness of those sins was not the same as it is for us today who have forgiveness through the blood of Christ, which is an eternal forgiveness. This was to the purifying of the flesh.

Now verse 14 makes it clear. “How much more shall the blood of Christ [compared to the blood of goats and calves], Who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” So if you’re just purified in the flesh outwardly, it hasn’t changed your mind. But if you are purified by the blood of Jesus Christ and receive the Spirit of God, then it purges your conscience, which is what you need. Not only does God forgive your sins and doesn’t remember them any longer, you also need to ask God to purge them out of your mind and not relive them again and go around with a guilty conscience. A lot of people give their own personal carnal sacrifice of a guilty conscience because somehow they feel that if they have a guilty conscience that God will forgive them more. Nonsense. When you repent of it, you repent of it. You learn the lesson from it and go forward. If you continue to have a guilty conscience over it, then ask God to help you learn the lesson and purge it out of your mind and out of your conscience. Catholicism, Judaism, Protestantism - in some cases, not all - want you to have a guilty conscience to control you by fear. God does not want that. He wants your conscience to be purged.

So therefore, He is the… let’s come over here to verse 22. “And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission. It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these…” which is the blood of Christ. No - the pattern of things in heaven, that’s the Tabernacle on the earth, should be purified with these, which is the animal sacrifices. Excuse me. “…But the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us…” (vs. 22-24).

Now that is a higher priesthood, isn't it? Yes it is. So when He brought to completion the priesthood and the animal sacrifices, He put in place His own sacrifice, which is higher and greater; and He becomes the High Priest, which is higher and greater; and we pray to God the Father in heaven above, right into the Holy of Holies, which is higher and greater than going to the Wailing Wall and rocking back and forth like an idiot and stuffing little pieces of paper in between the stones. That’s how far their prayers go. Into a crack and a rock.

Now then, when that happens, here is the result of that, verse 16 of chapter 10. “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them;”

Now then, everything is done by faith, because you believe God; by grace, because you’ve been put under that umbrella of grace, that God loves you, has called you, is with you, has given His Spirit, forgives your sins, constantly forgives your sins as you come to Him and repent. And that’s continuous by the operation of grace. Now we believe the Bible where it says that we are justified by the blood of Christ. Nothing else can do it because we’re dealing with a higher standard.

So when Christ said, “I came not to destroy the law but to fulfill,” He fulfilled it in two ways: to bring it to a higher standard with the full spiritual intent and meaning, and to bring the physical priesthood, and the physical rituals, and the physical circumcision to an end, and replace that with a higher standard. So that’s how He fulfilled the law.

 

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