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Saturday, January 19, 2019

1-19-2019                           The LAW and today

When dealing with the natural man, the spiritual man and the heart of man, we discover that it’s not just understanding the “temptations of Jesus” (Jan. 5, 2019)  but the Old Testament also informs us of what we have to deal with these three areas and so we can realize what we need to deal with in Spiritual Warfare.

When Father laid the “Law”, the Ten Commandments, on my heart concerning this, I said “C’mon, Lord.  Really?).  He responded “Really!” 

The Ten Commandments are initially found in Exodus chapter twenty verses three through seventeen (Exod. 20:3-17).  Five of the seven areas Father put on my heart to bring forth an understanding in dealing with the natural man and finish with the heart of man.  But the “Law” and “angelic intervention” both start with the heart of man impressing the need for our heart to be impacted if we expect to realize true victory in the other five areas.  To be awakened our natural man needs to hear but to understand, we need to be ‘tuned in’ Spiritually with Father so we can build a solid relationship with Father through Jesus. 

We readily understand the ‘natural’ but we have to learn and grow into the ‘spiritual’ and then we learn to walk in the ‘heart’.  Five examples begin with what we understand the most, us but two begin with what we need to know the most, our heart.  So the Ten Commandments begin with dealing with our heart.

Let’s take a look at how these elements are presented in the book of Exodus.

You shall have no other Gods before Me. (Exod. 2:3)”.  Father created all that is (Gen. 1:1-31), and there are no other gods before Him or even beside Him (Isa. 45:4-8).  Therefore He is worthy of all our praise and glory (Exod. 20:5-6, Luke 4:8).  He is a jealous God and wants our complete devotion so He can bless us and guide us as He always has our best interests at heart.  He knows that nothing else out there truly cares about our well-being but with Him, we are His top priority.  He knows that when we put Him first, everything else will fall into place.

Therefore, He does not want us to make an image of anything to bow own before it (Exod 20:4), even if we say it represents Him (Hinduism).  God is a Spirit.  How can we make an image of something we cannot truly ‘see’?  How can we say that something that God created is Him?  We indeed can experience Father even without actually ‘seeing’ Him (with the naked eye, experiencing Father is another topic altogether).  Things made of stone, wood, metal or anything else are inanimate objects which just sit or stand there doing nothing.  The only time we see an image ‘coming to life’ is when the image of the beast speaks and causes those who don’t worship the beast to be killed (Rev.13:14-15) and even that, the image could only do things as long as the beast could see it.  It will be a deception upon mankind. 

Even though, at times, it may seem harsh, God’s love for us will not permit Him to cause harm to those who love Him.  Love reprimands without injury (Rev. 3:19).  Father does as Paul tells us, ‘do all things to edification (Rom. 14:19).  Those who don’t believe in Jesus are already condemned (John 3:18), therefore they are subject to and controlled by the power of this world.  The power in this world is Satan (2 Corinth. 4:4, Rev. 12:7-9).  To make any image of God and to worship it is inspired by our enemy.  Praise and glorify God but don’t bow down before any man-mad image.

And we should not take the name of the Lord God in vain (Exod. 20:7).  What is vain?  The Hebrew word used here is shav (7723) which means idolatry, as in false gods, lie about, destroy, make desolate (of no value).  In other words, to make the Creator of all things as worthless as all the other gods out there.  Also consider contributing the works of the only true and living God to ‘anything’ else (sound a bit like blasphemy?).

These three areas deal with our relationship with the one, true, living God, our heart.  He wants a relationship with us, a close relationship, just as the apostle John had with Jesus (John 13:23).
Now, the next two commandments may be split between the natural and the heart of man but they are actually transition between the first three commandments and the last five.  A time of yielding our spirits to the Lord.

Remember the Sabbath, to keep it holy (Exod. 20:8).  God wants us to take some specific time to be with Him.  A time when we’re not busy doing other things but can sit down and commune with Him.  Allow Him to be our companion.  We should set that time apart from everything else where we can just focus on the Creator of all things, giving Him thanksgiving, praise and glory and LISTENING for what He has to share with us (Exod. 20:9-11)!  If you’ve seen the “War Room”, the wife literally put herself in her ‘prayer closet’.  Paul reminds us that no day is really different from another (Rom. 14:1-8).  So we may conclude that not just one day a week, but we should set aside some time, each day, to spend with God.  Daniel prayed three times a day.  Can we afford at least once?  Moses communed with (talked with and listened to) God on the mount and in the tent (Exod. 19:1-6, Exod. 33:9).  Ought we not to follow his example by getting close to our Lord?

Honor our natural parents (Exod. 20:12).  This is the first commandment with promise – so that we can live long.  We also find that if we have a hard time honoring our natural parents (whom we see), how well can we honor our heavenly Father whom we don’t see?  Jesus, Himself, asks this question though in a slightly different way “How can I tell you heavenly things when you don’t understand the natural (John 3:12)?  By the time I was nine, my father was no longer in the house.  He was an alcoholic, so I don’t remember him having a huge impact on the family as I was growing up.  Now my dad did sober up (by the grace of God) and remarried and even though there was not a ‘regular’ connection, there were times my Heavenly Father used my earthly father to impact my adult life.  I learned to respect my dad.  My mom?  I was always with her.  Effectively, she raised me.  But, in case you missed it, respect equates with honoring.  We can respect someone and give them their ‘due’ honor (for position of authority, etc.) and not even like them.  But when we truly honor someone, it is a decision we make and it comes from the heart.   

So setting aside time for God and honoring those in authority certainly points us in the direction as how we should treat everyone – with respect.  Again, whatever we do should be to the edification of others (1 Corinth. 10:23-24).

These last five commandments, hopefully) help us to understand how we can edify others.  Each of these commandments is presented in the negative, so we should do the opposite.

Don’t kill (Exod. 20:13)  Obviously, we should not wantonly commit murder.  That is kill someone just because we feel like it, ‘I don’t like the way they looked or looked at me’.  We should not kill in the commission of a crime (of course, we shouldn’t be committing the crime to begin with).  The Hebrew word ratsach (7523) includes ‘dash to pieces’ and murder.  Webster’s includes to ‘deprive of life’.  Scripture says that if a man takes the life of another man, he should be put to death himself (Lev. 24:17). Now, even though the military takes the life of the enemy, it is not the same.  Read the Old Testament, Abraham went after the people who kidnapped Lot and others and slew them (Gen. 14:14-20).  Scripture tells us to be obedient to those in authority over us for they shall praise our good deeds but authority is an avenger upon the evil (Romans 13:1-4).  The opposite of kill is to give life.  The best way we can bring life is to share light and light is Jesus Christ (John 1:1-14).

Now hate is also killing because when we hate someone, we are not likely to share the life-giving gospel of Jesus Christ which leads to life eternal.  Hate equates to killing for those who have refused Jesus are already condemned to death for lack of belief (John 3:18).  Jesus says “I am the way, the truth and the life, no man comes to the Father but by Me (John 14:6).

Don’t commit adultery (Exod. 20:14).  The Hebrew word is naawf (5003), to break vows of wedlock. 

The Old Testament mentions fornication only in 2 Chronicles, Isaiah and Ezekiel and is talking about spiritual fornication which is like being adulterous or immersing in idolatry with other gods.  The New Testament also carries the idea of idolatrous activity as well as adulterous relationship pertaining to sexual lust (4203 porneuo).  Webster’s includes a sexual relationship between two unmarried people.  Paul warns the Thessalonians to abstain from fornication keeping our bodies in honor and sanctification (unto the Lord) (1Thess. 4:1-4).

So, basically, the only difference between adultery and fornication are the marriage vows.  They both reflect sexual immorality which also means greater incident of STD.  Why do we think God says to ‘contain’ ourselves but if we can’t then marry (1 Corinth. 7:7-9) and once married stay true to the one we married?  Ergo, we should not defame others by engaging in sexual or spiritual  immorality.   
Don’t steal (Exod. 20:15).  The Hebrew word here is gawnab (1589), carry away, deceive.  Without even looking at Webster’s we can see this is also depriving someone of something that is rightfully theirs.  We can do this in the dark of the night, trickery or even lying.  Remember, Satan comes to steal, kill and/or destroy (John 10:10) so we’re not just talking physical objects but also spiritual well-being.  If the devil can’t keep us from receiving Jesus, he steals through discouragement, tough fights and half-truth as he did with Jesus in the wilderness (Matt. 4:1-11) so as to keep us off track.  When we falter, he steals our testimony, our witness as a Christian.  But, PTL, once we truly repent, we’re back on track (Isa. 38:17) for we have an advocate with the Father pleading our case (1 John 2:1).  So we keep what is ours, don’t take what is not ours share of what we have with others.

Don’t bear false witness (Exod. 20:16).  Two Hebrew word are translated here to imply ‘false’ ‘winess’: sheqer (8267) deceit, lie, without cause and ed (5707) testimony. 

Have any of us ever took cookies out of the cookie jar when we were not supposed to?  Mom might have come back asking “who took cookies?”  Knowing we might be punished for our dastardly deed, our reply most likely was “Not me!”  Seemingly innocent enough, but still a lie.  My son tells his sons to tell the truth when confronted.  His sons may be punished, but the punishment won’t be as severe as if the child tried to cover things with a lie (wonder where my son got that from).  Think of a courtroom.  What is perjury?  Giving false testimony after swearing before the court (and before God) to be truthful.  In the courtroom, that carries severe punishment, possibly jail time.  Think about gossip, spreading rumors about someone else.  Words pour out of our mouths which we probably don’t know if they’re true or not.  We may be spreading ‘lies’ about another.  We can even lie about ourselves expressing greater than truth facts about ourselves to make us feel better about ourselves, boost our egos or maybe even just trying to get a psychological edge over someone else.  We know the devil is a liar and the father thereof (John 8:44), so when we ‘fudge’ the truth, who are we emulating?  Rather we should always be open and truthful when we speak.  Does this mean I can’t joke?  Make sure what you say is not hurtful and that all hearing understand, otherwise, keep our lips ‘zipped’.

Don’t covet your neighbor’s house, wife, or anything else that is your neighbor’s (Exod. 20:17).  The Hebrew word for covet is chamad (2530) among other things means delight, desire, lust for. 
Understand, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to better ourselves, just not at someone else’s expense.  Do it the old-fashioned way, earn it!  Coveting things your neighbor owns leads to theft.  Coveting your neighbor’s wife leads to adultery or something worse (rape).  Nothing wrong desiring something ‘like’ your neighbor’s, just not what he actually possesses. 

Coveting is lust and lust only leads to something harmful to another.  As I said, coveting can lead to theft, adultery even murder and lying.  Would any of us kill to possess something someone else has?  Even if it is only in an attempt to cover up something we did?  We may say “I’d kill to have that!”  Problem is there are some who would literally mean it and then, just like the cookie jar, lie to cover up our deed.  Watch any detective shows lately? It is not wrong to desire to have something ‘like’ our neighbor, but we go out and ‘earn’ our own.

The last five commandments bring man’s basic nature into focus.  These are things the ‘natural’ man is subject to and we should always be striving to overcome these negative aspects of our lives.  For the most part, most of us do well (he’s such a ‘good’ man), but as mankind pulls farther and farther away from God, just how long can that last?  Watch the news or pick up a newspaper. 

The natural man must be dealt with so we can move into a spiritual connection with Father eventually (and hopefully) leading into a closer walk (relationship) with our Lord and Savior.  Yet, we discover walking closer with the Lord makes it easier to nurture the spiritual man thus making it easier to control our basic nature (the natural man). 

Paul tells us that “Woe is me for the things I shouldn’t do, I do, etc. (Rom. 7:14-25) but Jesus delivers us from this dilemma (Rom. 7:25).  We just have to be obedient to Him.

Understanding how the Law interfaces with the natural man, the spiritual man and the heart of man helps us to realize what Father is doing in today’s church.  Ever since William Tyndale, Father has been bringing His church to where we are today.  As we await the impending “Spiritual Explosion” Father is drawing His children into a closer relationship with Himself.  We are coming to know more and more His calling upon our lives as individuals and not ‘just’ as a church. 

We know that the Great Commission of the church is to share Jesus Christ with the world (Matt. 28:18-20) that we might have that eternal assurance of fellowship with the Father through Jesus Christ because the Holy Ghost is alive and well within our hearts. 

For over six seasons (600 years) God has been bringing His people to the Spiritual point in which we are currently.  We’re entering into a seventh season where the Holy Spirit is being unleashed so God’s children can truly be the children of our heavenly Father – doing His will in this world, en masse and big time.  For over twenty years “prophets” have seen this coming and now we are at the doorstep of this new season.  The questions to us are:  Are we ready?  Are we willing?  Are we obedient?  To press into this new season to Glorify God? 

However we must come to understand that we need to be fully equipped to be able to effectively fight the enemy and resist his counter measures on all fronts.  Five more installments are coming to help us understand that which we need to know as we battle in the natural, in the Spirit and in the heart.


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