Plans for God’s people, chapter 29

Feb 4, 2,020. God’s 11th Month, Sh‘vat 8, year 5,780

To: 23,392 families, gifted with a desire to be atOne with God.

Christendom’s religions celebrate tradition preferring to look to old Baal, Edomite, Ammonite and Moabite practices of “those whose lands God gave Israel.” (It’s why Easter and its traditions appeal more than “the Lord’s Passover season and customs.”) Divided Christendom evolves with tradition and customs “accepting abominable to God practices, calling them Christian.” Jesus and His apostles wouldn’t recognize today’s Christendom churches. Hostility toward Godly authority is the prime cause. This inherited nature caused Israel to want a king and reject God’s appointed ‘Samuel.’ The same hostile toward God mindset causes people to desire religious authority, kings or governmental authority and a divided entity rule, ‘rather than God’s.’ The result is spiritual ignorance. One day the whole world will know ‘only God has authority to define what‘s right, wrong, good and evil.’ When we know that, “we can love and respect all His Ways.” When we know that it’s gifted faith.

Some Israelites/Jews in the ‘Jerusalem church of God’ were saying Gentiles had to be circumcised and keep the law in order to be saved. The apostles pointed out that God was making no distinction “by cleansing Gentile and Israelite hearts by faith.” (Acts 15:9) Jesus’ apostles and James taught “we’re all saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus.”

(Acts 15:10-18; So now why are you ‘Israelites’ putting God to the test by placing on the neck of these disciples a yoke that neither our ancestors nor we have been able to bear? On the contrary, we believe that we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, in the same way as they are.” The whole group kept quiet and listened to Barnabas and Paul while they explained all the miraculous signs and wonders God had done among the Gentiles through them. (13) After they stopped speaking, James replied, “Brothers, listen to me. Simeon has explained how God first concerned Himself to select from among the Gentiles a people for His name. The words of the prophets agree with this, as it is written, ‘After this I will return, and I will rebuild the fallen tent of David; I will rebuild its ruins and restore it, so that the rest of humanity may seek the Lord, namely, all the Gentiles I have called to be My own,’ says the Lord, who makes these things known from long ago.) (Allusion to Isaiah 45:21)  (It’s also a millennial prophecy.)

(Acts 15:19-20; “Therefore I conclude that we should not cause extra difficulty for those among the Gentiles who are turning to God, but that we should write them a letter telling them to abstain from things defiled by idols and from sexual immorality and from what has been strangled and from blood. For Moses has had those who proclaim him in every town from ancient times, because he is read aloud in the synagogues every Sabbath.”)

Why this seemingly elementary instruction letter to Gentiles? These things  were the essence of the violations in Gentile custom they needed to abstain from. Paul explains Israelite’s advantages to the gentile Romans. (Rom 3:1-2; Therefore what advantage does the Jew have, or what is the value of circumcision? Actually, there are many advantages. First of all, the Jews were entrusted with the oracles of God.)

Our English dictionary defines Oracles as mysterious, puzzling, ambiguous or enigmatic etc. (God defines His oracles as predictive “so we may examine and see how they’re fulfilled.” Isaiah 41:22) (With oracles I reveal new events to you before they begin to occur. Isaiah 42:9) (Announcements of His messengers about Jerusalem and towns rebuilt, ruins raised up are oracles. Isa 44:26) (Hired prophets told worthless oracles, lies failing to expose your sin. Lam 2:14) (Judgment is coming like light from the dawn are oracles of God. Hosea 6:5) (Hired prophets will be ashamed, they’ll receive no divine oracles. Mic 3:7) (What good is an idol? A metal or wood image giving misleading oracles? Hab 2:18) (The Jews are commissioned to keep the writings of the law, God’s calendar and His oracles. Followers of Jesus are spiritual Israelites.

(Romans 3:3-8;  What then? If some ‘Jews’ did not believe, does their unbelief nullify the faithfulness of God? Absolutely not! Let God be proven true, and every human being shown up as a liar, just as it is written: “so that you will be justified in your words and will prevail when you are judged.” But if our unrighteousness demonstrates the righteousness of God, what shall we say? The God who inflicts wrath is not unrighteous, is He? (I am speaking in human terms.) Absolutely not! For otherwise how could God judge the world? For if by my lie the truth of God enhances His glory, why am I still actually being judged as a sinner? And why not say, “Let us do evil so that good may come of it”? — as some who slander us allege that we say. (Their condemnation is deserved!)

The spiritual intent of God’s law needs to be understood and loved through Jesus’ gifted faith, that we may be atOne with Him.

Rom 3:28-31;  For we consider that a person is declared righteous by faith apart from the works of the law. Or is God the God of the Jews only? Is He not the God of the Gentiles too? Yes, of the Gentiles too! Since God is One, He will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith. Do we then nullify the law through faith? Absolutely not! Instead we uphold the law.

Rom 7:15-16;  For I don’t understand what I am doing. For I do not do what I want — instead, I do what I hate. But if I do what I don’t want, I agree that the law is good. But now it is no longer me doing it, but sin that lives in me.”)

When sin is recognized and repented of ‘turned from’ it’s the death of the old. Sin produces death in us. Paul recognized the spiritual component of the law and it’s goodness.

(Romans 7:7-17; What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Absolutely not! Certainly, I would not have known sin except through the law. For indeed I would not have known what it means to desire something belonging to someone else if the law had not said, “Do not covet.” But sin, seizing the opportunity through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of wrong desires. For apart from the law, sin is dead. (9) And I was once alive apart from the law, but with the coming of the commandment sin became alive and I died. So I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life brought death. For sin, seizing the opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it I died. So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous, and good. (13) Did that which is good, then, become death to me? Absolutely not! But sin, so that it would be shown to be sin, produced death in me through what is good, so that through the commandment sin would become utterly sinful. (14) For we know that the law is spiritual — but I am ‘by nature - fleshly’ unspiritual, sold into slavery to sin.

(Rom 7:18-23; For I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my flesh. For I want to do the good, but I cannot do it. For I do not do the good I want, but I do the very evil I do not want! (Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer me doing it but sin that lives in me.) So, I find the law that when I want to do good, evil is present with me. (22) For I delight in the law of God in my inner being. But I see a different law in my members waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that is in my members.” (Overcoming the flesh is meant to be a struggle, but God’s gifted Holy Spirit of truth provides desire and effort. (See Phil 2:13.)

(Rom 7:24-27; Wretched man that I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin. This was also to demonstrate His righteousness in the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who lives because of Jesus’ faithfulness. Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded! By what principle? Of works? No, but by the principle of faith!”

We’re reviewing the difference in the Old and New Covenants here. The old was physical and the new is spiritual. God’s law identifies sin, but only through gifted faith in Jesus and His righteous deeds on our behalf are we changed to His spiritual likeness. (Jesus explains how people seeing His deeds and not repenting compare with some that had not seen His deeds.)

(Matt 12:38-42; “Then some of the experts in the law along with some Pharisees answered Him, “Teacher, we want to see a sign from You.” But He answered them, “An evil and adulterous generation asks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. (40) For just as Jonah was in the belly of the huge fish for three days and three nights, so the Son of Man will be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights. The people of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, because they repented when Jonah preached to them – and now, something greater than Jonah is here! (42) The queen of the South will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon – and now, something greater than Solomon is here!”) Quoting Jonah 1:17. (Queen of the South? See 1Kings 10:1-3 and 2 Chronicles 9:1-12, as well as Josephus.

The South likely refers to the eastern part of modern Yemen, although there is an ancient tradition reflected in Josephus which identifies this geo-political entity as Ethiopia.)

What about religions attempting to change God’s set aside times.

Paul tells us at Romans 15:4; “All things written before are for our learning and instruction.” Traditionally, people setting themselves up as leaders defy God in various ways. Such is the case with Jeroboam who thought to change God’s seventh month festival to the eighth month to better separate and control people. It’s been Satan’s way since Adam.

(1Kings 13:4-10; When the king heard what the prophet cried out against the altar in Bethel, Jeroboam, standing at the altar, extended his hand and ordered, “Seize him!” The hand he had extended shriveled up and he could not pull it back. The altar split open and the ashes fell from the altar to the ground, in fulfillment of the sign the prophet had announced with the Lord’s authority. (6) The king pled with the prophet, “Seek the favor of the Lord your God and pray for me, so that my hand may be restored.” So the prophet sought the Lord’s favor and the king’s hand was restored to its former condition. The king then said to the prophet, “Come home with me and have something to eat. I’d like to give a present.” But the prophet said to the king, “Even if you were to give me half your possessions, I could not go with you and eat and drink in this place. For the Lord gave me strict orders, ‘Do not eat or drink there and do not go home the way you came.’” (10) So he started back on another road; he did not travel back on the same road he had taken to Bethel. Then another prophet met the prophet saying “An angel told me with the Lord’s authority, to bring you back to my house so he can eat and drink.” But he was lying to him. So the prophet went back with him and ate and drank in his house.’” Read about how the two prophets wound up.

End of Jeroboam’s Dynasty

(1Kings 13:33-34; “After this happened, Jeroboam still did not change his evil ways; he continued to appoint common people as priests at the high places. Anyone who wanted the job he consecrated as a priest. This sin caused Jeroboam’s dynasty to come to an end and to be destroyed from the face of the earth.”)

Jeroboam tried trickery, having his wife disguise herself in an attempt to fool God’s prophet.

(1Kings 14:7-10; Go, tell Jeroboam, ‘This is what the Lord God of Israel says: “I raised you up from among the people and made you ruler over My people Israel. I tore the kingdom away from the Davidic dynasty and gave it to you. But you are not like My servant David, who kept My commandments and followed Me wholeheartedly by doing only what I approve. You have sinned more than all who came before you. You went and angered Me by making other gods, formed out of metal; you have completely disregarded Me. (10) So I am ready to bring disaster on the dynasty of Jeroboam. I will cut off every last male belonging to Jeroboam in Israel, including even the weak and incapacitated. I will burn up the dynasty of Jeroboam, just as one burns manure until it is completely consumed. Dogs will eat the members of your family who die in the city, and the birds of the sky will eat the ones who die in the country.”’ Indeed, the Lord has announced it!”)

Accordingly God being the same yesterday, today and forever, He isn’t going to allow His holy days and seasons to be changed without retributions.

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