obedience to the torah and law grace

The Spiritual Side of Obedience

The sincere Truth seeker knows that there is a powerful, spiritual dimension to existence than what is immediately evident, and that his life must reflect special goals as a follower of the Father and His Son.

Most live out their allotted time on earth focused entirely on the natural. With no greater purpose or desire than to indulge in the here and now. The singular goal of the vast majority of humanity is increasingly more wealth and gusto. They love its riches, its prestige, its enjoyments — striving daily for what the culture offers and what it stands for and glorifies. But when their days are done, all that they worked and sweated for ultimately becomes the property of someone else.  Even the memory of them soon fades away, Ecclesiastes 9:5. Life is a terrible thing to waste.

Yahweh is giving His called-out ones the opportunity of the ages – to join Him and His Son in His coming, everlasting kingdom.

Our choice is either to put all our efforts and aspirations into only a few decades worth of this earthly life, or prepare one day to leave the superficiality and temporal nature of this existence and join our Heavenly Father and His Son in an awesome and endless kingdom rulership, enjoying rewards far exceeding our finite comprehension. “But as it is written, eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which Elohim has prepared for them that love him,” 1Corinthians 2:9.

Natural Man Is Self-satisfied

Temporal gains are all that most people want from their priceless gift of life. They live their threescore and ten years for themselves.The average person has an innate rebelliousness at the mere mention of obeying the One who made him.  The common belief built on centuries of misteaching is that heavenly rewards will be granted anyway, regardless how one lives. From Genesis through Revelation the Bible says the exact opposite.  People will be judged by and rewarded based on how they live. John wrote inRevelation 20:12: “And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before the throne; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.”

They reveal that they are in essence a deity unto themselves.  As one celebrity quipped about her infant, “My baby is my religion.”This is what Romans 8:7 describes as the carnal mind: “Because the carnal mind is enmity against Elohim for it is not subject to the law ofElohim, neither indeed can be” (Rom. 8:7). Paul also wrote, “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of Elohim; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of Elohim. But the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of Elohim: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned,”1Corinthians 2:12 and 14.

The unconverted individual can no more un­derstand Yahweh than a squirrel in the forest. Like the squirrel, his whole shallow ex­istence consists in what he can see, feel, taste, and, enjoy.

In Galatians 6:7-8 Yahweh gives us a choice. He says it is up to each one of us which existence will be ours. “Be not deceived; Yahweh is not mocked: for whatsoever a man sows, that shall he also reap. For he that sows to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that sows to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.” The beauty of Yahweh’s grace is that we can have whichever we wish: a short-lived physical life of disobedience, with its temporary everything filled with emptiness, or a far superior, infinitely greater and exciting and rewarding spiritual existence serving the Father Yahweh now and for eternity.

No Thanks to the Gnostics

Immortality comes only from Yahweh, He alone has it. Timothy 6:16 says of Him, “Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man has seen, nor can see.” Immortality is not something we innately have. Theprevailing teach­ing is that every person has a resident immortal soul that waits to be re­leased at death to fly away to its heav­enly reward.

No wonder most people arent really concerned with how they live their lives. No wonder they dont care if they don’t have His Name right, don’t honor­ the Sabbath, and generally disobey Him. No wonder He is not resident deep within their hearts: They think they have no need for Him! They think they will live forever automatically!

The immortality notion is rooted in teachings of the pagan Gnostics, who also believed that humans have innate immortality.Gnosticism taught that the physical universe was a terrible mistake of Yahweh, and that man originally lived in the spirit realm. We now wait for death so that we can be released back to where we should have been all along – living as immortals in a spirit world.

Their twisted immortality beliefs form the basis of the modern view about the hereafter: everyone goes immediately to heaven upon death. This false idea is endlessly repeated in traditional sermons and funeral eulogies. It is the original satanic lie. It is the very heresy that Satan himself first foisted on humanity!

The Adversary said, “You shall not surely die, Eve. For Yahweh knows that when you eat this forbidden fruit, you will be a Mighty One yourself. So do it for YOU!” (Have you ever wondered why Eve didn’t stop to ask, “Why would Yahweh place within easy reach a temptation that if accepted would make Adam and me as powerful, omniscient, and immortal as He?”)

The immortal soul teaching has been the most potent and influential lie ever put into words. It has done untold damage against the truth, and millions have been deceived by it.

What makes this belief so sinister is that, still believing Satan, the vast majority of this world do not really think they need Yahweh — they are told they are already immortal and will have everlasting life no matter how they choose to live. This belief helps explain today’s law-less attitudes and behavior.

Spiritually Ignorant

Our culture has lost sight of who created and now energizes the universe. Of course, through the teaching of evolution many believe that the universe created and drives itself! Evolution is an ingenious plot of Ha Satan to eliminate the Creator from man’s consciousness.

Many scientists by study­ing astronomy, physics, chemistry, mathematics, electricity, and other dis­ciplines, believe they have answers to all that exists. In fact, all they really have are a few answers to questions about the physi­cal universe. They have not even begun to understand the far greater spiritual realm. All man’s wisdom is foolishness, Paul writes in Romans 1:22. We cannot even comprehend our own brains, let alone use those brains to figure out how we got here and where we are going from here.

Almighty Yahweh answers man’s folly in Isaiah 44:24-25: “Thus says Yahweh, your redeemer, and he that formed you from the womb, I am Yahweh that makes all things; that stretches forth the heavens alone; that spreads abroad the earth by myself; That frustrates the to­kens of the liars, and makes diviners mad; that turns wise men backward, and makes their knowledge foolish.

Yahweh is the Mighty One of na­ture as well as the ruler over spiritual things. He is the last word. He is THE authority and the final recourse.

From His Creator man learns about moral­ity. There is nothing really moral or im­moral about the behavior of a dog or a monkey or a fish. They act only as their brains were prewired to act. They live in a purely physical universe and behave strictly according to how they were designed.

But Yahweh says that He created man in His own image. And when He created humankind He brought the spiritual world in touch with the physical. Along with the physical laws that govern this earth we have spiritual laws – moral, ethical laws and stan­dards of right and wrong. And then He also gives us a choice. We have the prerogative to choose to follow our Creator or to reject Him in our lives. The first leads to rewards that cannot be imagined, the second results in everlasting death.

Yahweh Defines Morality

Now we can answer the question about what makes right, right … and wrong, wrong. What is it about the nature of sin that makes it “sinful” and evil?

The often-quoted Greek philoso­phers in all their vaunted human wisdom certainly didn’t know, beyond realizing that right and wrong carry their own consequences.

The answer they could not arrive at is Yahweh. Yahweh and He alone is the standard that creates right and wrong in both physical and spiritual universes. Moral right and wrong on this earth are determined by Yahweh’s own character. Without Yahweh, right and wrong would have no meaning. Right and wrong emanate from the spiritual – where Yahweh dwells – not from the natural, physical world. Be­cause man is physical first (not spiritual first, as the Gnostics taught), he must be taught right and wrong, good and evil. These are spiritual principles that don’t come naturally to humans.

There is no moral “right” and wrongabout the way nature oper­ates. If a tree falls and kills a squirrel, there is nothing morally right and wrong about it. But if I strike my neighbor, I have broken a spiritual law and am deserving of punishment. Why? Because Yahweh and only Yahweh has defined such an act as wrong and He brings this understanding to man through His laws.

It is Yahweh who brings morality to our lives. If I steal from my neighbor I have broken Yahweh’s spiritual-moral law.

Yahweh’s Laws Express Himself

Claiming that Yahwehs laws as given in the Covenant are unnecessary is to denigrate Yahweh Himself. Yahweh’s character is the measure of righteous­ness. And His laws are the expression of Yahweh’s own moral attributes. Therefore, to reject His laws is to reject what makes Yahweh who He is. His laws are His standard for behavior. No wonder the Evil One would like to destroy Yahweh’s laws through erroneous doctrines like salvation through faith alone.

The pompous academic will say, “How do you know what is right and wrong? How do you know what is truth? Truth is relative. Your truth may not be the same for everyone.”

Reject Yahweh and you WON’T not know what truth is. Live with an unchanged car­nal nature and you will be ignorant of proper,spiritual things and, even worse, harbor enmity for Yahweh. This is why lawless individuals have a natural hatred for the Bible and the religious individuals who follow it. Go to any secular college and you will find an abundance of those who harbor a nautral dislike for Bible-based religion.

“Because the carnal mind is enmity against Elohim: for it is not subject to the law of Elohim, neither indeed can be(Rom. 8:7).

The prophet Isaiah confirms the ba­sic nature of unrepentant man: “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away” (Isa. 64:6).

Isaiah just described us in our natu­ral element. If we want to stay natural, that is how Yahweh will see us. The result of that kind of life is destruction, be­cause it will limit us only to the natural existence of a finite, physical world.

The only way we can have a chance at that spiritual world where life never ends is to become like Yahweh in mind and heart and behavior. In other words, to be­come spiritual. That is precisely what His laws accomplish in us because at their root His laws are spiritual.Paul wrote: For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin” (Rom. 7:14).

Why He Did Not Lower the Bar

In 1Peter 1: 16 we read, “Because it is written, Be holy; for I am holy” (quoted from Lev. 11:44). Holy” means set apart: set apart from the physical, from the worldly, from sin and its corruption.

Why, since all men have sinned by violating Yahweh’s laws, did Yahweh not just change or do away with his laws to conform to the lives of men and save them all? Instead of trying to change man, why not just lower the standards? After all, no one is able to live up to them anyway, many believe.

Why can’t the great Lawgiver just abolish sin by doing away with His laws? After all, Yahweh is supreme, isn’t He? The answer goes to the heart of who Yahweh Himself is.

Yahwehs moral, spiritual laws are not the result of His own whim. He didn’t sit down one day and say, “Let’s see, Ill make murder wrong, and steal­ing a sin, and lying wrong and cheating bad…” He didn’t do that and couldn’t do that and still retain His own identity.

Yahweh’s laws are a reflection of Yahweh Himself–His very character and His nature. To change His laws would be to change Him. And that is impossible. Yahweh is unchangeable, as He Him­self said. “For I [am] Yahweh, I change not; therefore you sons of Jacob are not consumed,Malachi 3:6. Sin is con­trary not only to the work of Yahweh, but also to the very nature of Yahweh. His holiness requires that sin result in death. Yahweh is life. Sin is death.

That is the way things are, by virtue of the way Yahweh made us and our world. It wont change one thing to argue about it. Saying the law has been done away doesn’t make it so. Resistance is futile. Yahweh himself says man’s rebellious ways and thinking are destined to be destroyed. And He commands us to obey Him.  “Let no man deceive you with vain words [words spoken against the truth]: for because of these things comes the wrath of Elohim upon the children of disobedience [lawlessness]” (Eph. 5:6).

Yahweh cannot tolerate sin – which is the breaking of His laws. Sin goes against everything that makes Him what He is. Therefore,sin is enmity, ­hatred of Yahweh, and is His de­spised enemy.

This isnt an arbitrary development. The universe is built on this principle. When Yahweh put man on this earth, He also introduced His spiritual law as part of this creation. He told Adam and Eve what was right and what was wrong.

Yahweh must either condemn sin or violate His own being. The penalty of every sin that has been committed or will ever be committed must be paid. We ei­ther pay it with our own blood or we rely on Yahshuas. If we want to overcome sin, then, we must accept Yahshua’s blood for our past sins and then come in line with His law – His very nature – from that point for­ward. It‘s just thatclear and simple.

If Yahshua did away with the law, then He did away with sin itself and we no longer need a Savior. Notice: “Whosoever commits sin transgresses also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law(lJohn 3:4).

Notice What Happens...

Coming into line with Yahwehs laws creates harmony and happiness in our lives! No wonder we read, “Wherefore the law is holy,and the commandment holy, and just, and good(Rom. 7:12).

When we observe Yahwehs laws we should feel great, knowing that Yahweh accepts us as one like Himself. When we rebe­l, we’remiserable and fearful. It’s axiomatic that when we move away from Yahweh we become subject to evil influences. Those who hate the Bible are in their hearts miserable.

What better proof that His laws are right and good and perfect and acceptable and nec­essary!

by Elder Alan Mansager

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Posted in Biblical Law and Torah Studies.
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