Posts Tagged ‘Moses’

THE LAW OF GOD IS PERFECT

Posted: June 29, 2014 in Bible
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THE LAW OF GOD IS PERFECT

Many of the things we do and not even think about, but they have their origins in the Law God .  God took a nation of slaves and made them into a nation led by Biblical Principles. Many of which we live by on a daily basis, not realising that God was there first.

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The fundamental nature of God is LOVE, in the Greek Agape..  There are many themes which runs throughout scripture and this is one of them.  Like a silver thread which runs too and fro connecting scripture into one revelation, presenting the reader with a wondrous tapestry of revelation.   From the outset of Scripture we are presented with Adam walking with God in the cool of the day. It speaks of a garden where God could come down and share time with Adam.

KOINŌNIA / FRIENDSHIP

1 john 1: 3 That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship [is] with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ

There lies this glorious and wondrous revelation that God and man would be called into fellowship.  God with man and man in turn could respond in kind to his creator.

From time to time God would visit and speak to the prophets and patriarchs of old.  Abraham Isaac Jacob Moses Elijah and many others.  All experienced God on a personal level , which forever changed their lives.  Many were given the title as men who WALKED WITH GOD.

I POSED THE QUESTION TO SOME MOSLEMS:  WAS THERE ANYTHING IN THE KORAN THAT CAME ANYWHERE NEAR TO THIS EXPERIENCE?

Only one Moslem attempted to debate the issue and all he wanted to do was change the subject.

Af far as I can see they don’t have anything similar.  A revelation which is very much absent from the Koran.  Allah it appears  only to loves those who loved him.  But this does not express the agape love which scripture abounds with.  Nor a god that openly goes out to deceive others.  Brethren this is not love.

Say (O Mohammed) “If you do love Allah, follow me, Allah will love you, and forgive your sins, as Allah is All-Forgiving, All-Merciful”. Surah Imrân (3:31)

The Hadith:   ”Allah almighty said: If My servant loves to meet Me, I love to meet him, and if he hates to meet Me, I hate to meet him.” (Al- Bukhari)

And We never sent a messenger save with the language of his folk, that he might make (the message) clear for them. Then Allah sendeth whom He will astray, and guideth whom He will. He is the Mighty, the Wise.                                                          Surah 14: 4

Contrast this with what scripture says:

Rom 5: 8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Contrast the conditional love of Allah for the unconditional love of God. Nowhere does God take any delight in sending people deliberately astray for the sheer fun of it.  ON the contrary the Bible is rich with imagery, history and prophecy concerning God love and desire towards a people who will come to know him.

AGAPE IN ACTION

Agape : A love that seeks the highest good in another.  The highest good is for man to enjoy God  forever.  That is the ultimate expression of Gods love for man.  An expression which is so sacrificial that God had to step out of eternity, clothe himself with humility and be sacrificed so that man can be reunited with God.   Man has yet to understand the eternal scope of such a love.  How high, how deep and how wide Gods love is.   

WHEN MAN STUMBLES AT THE LOVE OF GOD.

1Cr 1:18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

The crucifixion of Jesus is derided and reviled by Islam.  They simply do not realise they are rejecting the ultimate expression of sacrificial love.   As a concept it is totally alien to them. Preferring to believe that Allah set about a mass deception by substituting another in Jesus place.  So someone else died in Jesus place rather than having Jesus die in our place.  For they believe that they can and must atone for their own sins via good deeds and works of self-righteousness. 

As the cross was the downfall of Satan and his hosts, Should we be surprised that Satan would raise up a religion which so hates and malign it as foolish. 

The irony of a substitution being substituted is not lost, for Satan must hate such an expression of divine love.  Because of this men stumble and deride it as foolishness.  Because their minds can’t conceive it they refuse to believe it.   It is not just that God became flesh and blood but that upsets them so much, but that God made a conscious decision to personally interact with sinners.  He became up close and personnel with his creation.  For some a God who is that close is just unacceptable, they prefer to have a pagan deity who is remote, distant and untouchable.

Mat 8:17 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare [our] sicknesses

Hbr 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as [we are, yet] without sin.

Yet for many this is just too close and personal for a God to bother with.

But it shows that at the heart of God is a desire to restore what man is incapable of restoring.  The gap between man and God was just too far and lies too deep to cross. An eternal darkness that would have remained so, had God not have chosen to light the way.

Moslems may be quick to remind others that Moslem means to submit themselves to god, yet in submitting they are actually rejecting the will of GOD by submitting themselves to another deity. In so doing rejecting the greatest offer of love God can offer.   Many preferring to climb the steps to some Islamic paradise without help.  Unfortunately those steps don’t lead upwards but downwards.

The Islamic paradise consists of perpetual brothels, perpetual virgins, whore houses, slavery and bribes to keep the Moslem looking to their own lustful pleasures.  This might have worked to bribe the Bedouins of Muhammad’s day who had little.  But it is totally alien to the truth of scripture. There is no place in this paradise for an intimacy with a HOLY and RIGHTEOUS GOD.

ISRAEL AND GODS PRESENCE

From the moment the children of Israel were delivered from their captivity .  God began to establish the children of Israel into a nation.  God would be at the centre of that nation.  God said to Moses and the people to build for himself a tabernacle, and construct the Ark of the Covenant. Upon the ark two cherubim’s and between the cherubim was the mercy-seat.   Before that Tabernacle was the outward symbol of a fire by night and a cloud by day.  The fire would light their way and the cloud would shelter them.  When this mighty cloud moved from before the tabernacle it was Gods way of saying that it was time to move.  As chieftains of old when they moved their rod/ symbol  of power from before his tent, it was time to pack up and go.  Where that rod was placed was where his tent would be placed.  God was saying that here he would dwell with his people and he was their chief.  The Ark of the Covenant came to represent Gods presence with his people.   But the tabernacle and the ark were only for a time.  God had bigger plans.

THE PROMISE OF THE AGES

Sin did not just change mans nature, but it also saw man separated from God.  From   intimacy of a garden to a place of wandering, separated and alienated from God. However God intention was to restore man.  God does not give up just because man is a rebel

Zec 2:11 And many nations shall be joined to the LORD in that day, and shall be my people: and I will dwell in the midst of thee, and thou shalt know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me unto thee.

Zech 8:8 And I will bring them, and they shall dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God, in truth and in righteousness

The imagery throughout scripture continues with this theme of God and man united in a bond fellowship.  At each step God bringing  man into an ever deeper relationship with himself.

Friendship cannot be imposed or legislated, it has to grow and be worked at,  and this is what we see in scripture.

SHEPHERD  WITH HIS SHEEP

Psa 23:4-6  Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou [art] with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

The intimacy of the shepherd with his sheep is another aspect that speaks of the continual fellowship of man and God.  How many times we have read this and not realise the full significance of the revelation.  In those days the shepherd stayed with his sheep and protected them , lived with then and suffered with them.

THE ULTIMATE PLAN; WE ARE TO BE FAMILY.

Isa 53:10 -11 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put [him] to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see [his] seed, he shall prolong [his] days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. He shall see of the travail of his soul, [and] shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.

The saviour would see the fruits of his sufferings.  He would see his seed and the fruit of his travail and be satisfied.  We who believe are that seed.  Seed speaks so closely of family.  The spiritual offspring of God.  Restored relationship and the void has been crossed so that now man can make his way home.

This is the hope all believers. These prophecies were to find their ultimate fulfilment in the NT

ADOPTION = FAMILY

 Full adoption does not exist in Islam.  The concept of a child being embraced and accepted with full rights as any natural-born child is also alien to Islam.  However it does reveal Gods continual desire to restore a relationship with  man.  It is not that God has needs, but love must have an ultimate object.  That object is a restored relationship with a holy and loving God.  Man was made to worship and enjoy God forever.

Eph 1: 3 Blessed [be] the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly [places] in Christ:

Eph 2: 19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God;

The language of scripture fully testifies to this reality.  The imagery and prophecy declares this is Gods ultimate plan.  But more than God dwelling in a tent but now dwelling within the lives of his people. 

John 14: 23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him

Finally a redeemed mankind would share and enjoy the presence of God for ever.  A people who would continually reflect the nature and aspirations of a loving God.

Rev 22: 4-5 And they shall see his face; and his name [shall be] in their foreheads. And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.

What was started in the garden finds its ultimate expression in a new world and a New Jerusalem.

What started in the temple and an ark is finished by God dwelling in the hearts of those who know him.  NO such revelation is recorded by Allah .

Rom 8:15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

  1. In Islam god is remote, But the Bible tells us that this is not what GOD wants.
  2. In Islam god is unknown, but in the Bible Gods wants to be known.
  3. In Islam god keeps his distance, but in the bible God drew near before man even knew he was there.
  4. In Islam there is no relationship with god, but in the Bible everything God does speaks of relationship.
  5. In Islam god only loves those who love him, In the Bible long before man could ever reciprocate love, God was the one who was pouring out his love.

Allah demands all but gives nothing.  God emptied himself off all but love and gave everything.  Now this God, MY GOD is worthy to be worshipped.  He loved me before I knew what that love was.  How can I do anything less but respond to such a love as this?  He woos us with strings of love.  What else can I do but respond?

Moslems will often accuse the apostle Paul of changing what Jesus taught, however God found in Paul another Moses.  Moses was trained in the highest levels Egyptian traditions.  Paul was also trained to the highest level of Jewish tradition.  God got both their attention in a miraculous way.  God spoke to both of them.  Both were called and trained to help establish Gods people

Through Moses God brought out a bunch slaves.  God set them free from their taskmasters who treated them cruelly.  Moses led them into the wilderness where he established and taught them to become a people who could govern themselves.  They were to become a physical nation, trained up to establish a physical kingdom.

God took another bunch of slaves delivered them from their superstition and paganism, and setting them free from their wickedness. They too were under a heavy taskmaster.  Then through the apostle Paul taught them how to be a people.  Helping them to see who they were in Christ and to establish what they were in Christ.   Through the apostle Paul God defined  some of the most basic principles which defined our worship, preparing  the way for those would become a spiritual people who would be trained up to establish a  spiritual kingdom

The argument that Paul changed the law and subverted the teachings of Jesus simply collapses when one understand the background as to what was happening.  By the time Jesus was born the temple and all that went with it was well past its sell by date.  God was moving beyond that to something better.  The Jewish people were themselves moving beyond the temple as Jewish people were ever-moving further across the known world.  Synagogues were being established for local Jews in many places including Israel.  Jesus became the final paschal lamb to be killed.  And once that was done the whole structure upon which sacrificial sacrifices were offered was done and finished.   One of the main reasons that Christians do not adhere too much of what the Torah demanded is because most of these things were established around the temple, the Levite priests and the sacrifices.  Once they were gone there was no longer a need to base ones faith around this temple complex.  God was moving away from a structure and into the very lives of those who believe.

Now Jesus asked which of the commandments was the most important.  Many Jewish scholars would spend hours debating which law was the most important.  Jesus cuts through the lot

Deut 6: 5 And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might

 Luke 10: 27 And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.

 Jesus is simply quoting what the Old Testament itself says.

 Paul reiterates this in 1 Cor 13  

1 Cor 13: 1- Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become [as] sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. 

1 Cor 13: 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed [the poor], and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing

 Remember through Paul, God was establishing the basic practical principles of the kingdom and how to put those principles into effect.

 Many believe that Paul was very anti circumcision and he developed the idea of doing away with it.  Yet few realise that it was God himself through Moses who established that circumcision had to of the heart long before it was ever of the flesh.

 Deut 30: 6 And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live.

For what good is circumcision externally if the heart itself has not been changed.  Circumcision therefore becomes a meaningless
ritual without a change life.

A man can have a scar and still be as wicked as a man without one.

 THE FIRST JERUSALEM COUNCIL

 The accusations that many Moslems throw at the apostle Paul that he changed the direction upon which the Christian faith moved is fruitless.  Considering also that even Moslems don’t adhere to what the law demanded either.  They have no background in a Jewish temple, Levitical priesthood or sacrificial offering.  So they themselves would be seen as apostates as far as the Torah are concerned.  More like calling the kettle black.

We are told that Paul; in case he was preaching another gospel went up to the Jerusalem church and submitted himself to the apostles.

 Gal 2: 2  And I went up by revelation, and communicated unto them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to them which were of reputation, lest by any means I should run, or had run, in vain. But neither Titus, who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised:

Acts 15 was the first Jerusalem council where many of this issue were thrashed out.  It should be remembered that this was a predominantly Jewish council

Acts 15: 1 And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, [and said], Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved.

 Acts 15: 5 But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed, saying, That it was needful to circumcise them, and to command [them] to keep the law of Moses.

 The temple and all that went with it was still an active complex at this time.  The fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the temple were still many years ahead.  So the whole issue was very much a hot topic.  Was it salvation by faith alone or salvation plus works rituals etc.

 Acts 15: 6 And the apostles and elders came together for to consider of this matter.

 Acts 15: 10 Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?

 Acts 15: 24 Forasmuch as we have heard, that certain which went out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls, saying, [Ye must] be circumcised, and keep the law: to whom we gave no [such] commandment:

 Now it was made clear that NO such message was delivered either by the apostles or Paul that Gentiles believers were to keep the commandments.  This by application meant all the rules and regulations which were imposed
upon the Jews. 

 WAS THIS DECISION RIGHT…….  YES! 

 Within a few decades the temple and all that went with it would be gone.  They knew that salvation had to be in Christ alone through faith alone. 

 Acts 15: 11 But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.

  It was made very clear from the chapter that what Paul and other preached was indeed the same gospel.

 The practicalities of keeping the temple rituals were all gone  destroyed by Roman legions.  The Jews were for the most part scattered.   So any continuation of these rituals was now impossible.

 2 cor 6: 16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols?   for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in [them]; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

 The tabernacle was but a shadow of what was to come.  God for a time dwelt within its tents situated between the cherubim which rested on top of the Ark of the Covenant.  There God would meet with the high priest . But God desired a better coveant through which to communicate with his people.

 Jer 31: 33 But this [shall be] the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.

 Ex 29: 45 And I will dwell among the children of Israel, and will be their God

 Lev 26: 12 And I will walk among you, and will be your God, and ye shall be my people.

 Jer 32: 38 And they shall be my people, and I will be their God:

                                         

Now as we can see Paul was not in conflict with either what Moses taught or the prophets.    But was Paul in conflict with Jesus ?

John 14: 23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.

Jesus made this promise that he and the father would come and dwell within the believer.  So we can see this whole train
of revelation being revealed from as far back as Moses himself.

 DOES PAUL TEACH THAT WE SHOULD OBEY GOD?

Mar 3: 35 For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother (Jesus)

 Rom  12: 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what
[is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God  (Paul)

 1 Peter 4: 2 That he no longer should live the rest of [his] time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.  (Peter)

Again we see that what Paul teaches was what Jesus and the rest of the disciples taught.

 Whilst Moses and Paul lives ended differently it could be said that they never saw the full fulfilment of what
they started.  But on both accounts they were instrumental in establishing two great nations.   Establishing the simple practicalities of worship order decency morality and doctrine  In many ways both were instrumental in establishing the church.  Both received their revelation direct from God.  Both it appears receive that training in the backside of the desert. 

John 1: 17 For the law was given by Moses, [but] grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

Rom 5: 15 But not as the offence, so also [is] the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, [which is] by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.

1 Peter 5: 10 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle [you].

So we have an agreement that what Jesus taught the apostles taught.  There was no conflict between them.

WHO DECIDED TO TAKE THE GOSPEL TO THE GENTILES

 Many Moslems will try to add that the gospel was only to the Jews and that Islam is for the world.  Such a suggestion is just plain foolish.  They will also try and argue that it was Paul that took the gospel to the gentiles.  As you will see that was also not the case.

Let us  see what scripture says on this matter.

Even in the OT with Moses there was a hint that even gentiles would be allowed into the covenant provided they were prepared to keep the law that was established under Moses.

 Ex 12: 38 And a mixed multitude went up also with them; and flocks, and herds, [even] very much cattle.

This meant there were also Gentiles (Egyptians )  that fled with the Jews.

 Ex 12: 48 And when a stranger (gentile) shall sojourn with thee, and will keep the passover to the LORD, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near and keep it; and he shall be as one that is born in the land: for no uncircumcised person shall eat thereof.

Nevertheless prophecy did speak of a time when the gentiles would play a greater part in the affairs of God.

Is 60: 3 And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising

(NO arguement there… it says gentiles shall come to the light)

  Is 62: 3 And the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory: and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the LORD shall name.

(Gentiles would see the righteousness of God)

 John 10: 16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, [and] one shepherd.

(John confirms this revelation that this is what Jesus  declared)

 Acts 11: 18 When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.

(Holy Spirit confirmed by baptising gentile believers)

Acts 13: 46  Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles.

Hosea 1: 10 Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered; and it shall come to pass, [that] in the place where it was said unto them, Ye [are] not my people, [there] it shall be said unto them, [Ye are] the sons of the living God.

 So from both the old and the new there was still the revelation that the gentiles would indeed come into the covenant of grace.  There is no conflict whatsoever in the Gentiles being brought into the covenant.  From the start it was always Gods intention to save both Jews and Gentiles; to bring them into one fold under one shepherd.