Tradition of Man vs Law of God

I noticed something long before I started keeping the Sabbath. One of Jesus’ biggest beef with the Pharisees seemed to be their adding to the law of God. They had all these added rules, laws and traditions that were never recorded in the written Law of Moses.

Because of this and my huge lack of knowledge concerning the actual written Law, I was very confused about which laws were “Jewish” laws and which were God’s laws. But I discovered a remedy to my confusion. It’s called “Read the Bible“. If it’s not in the Bible, then it’s not God’s Law. Pretty simple, really. Yet, I missed it for so long.

What do I mean?

SABBATH KEEPING: Tradition of Man vs. Law of God

For example, did Jesus ever break the Sabbath commandment? No. He was perfect, right? He was the spotless Lamb of God, who obeyed all of God’s Law completely.

Yet, why were the Pharisees giving him grief over the things he was doing on the Sabbath (ie healing the lame, allowing His disciples to pick/eat grain, etc.)? Because he was breaking their Jewish law…not the Law of God. How do I know this? Well, besides the fact that I know Jesus perfectly obeyed his Father’s teachings and instructions, I’ve read the Law of God, and those added rules are not in there.

Exodus 20:8-11 says,

“‘Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.'”

Leviticus 23:3 says,

“‘There are six days when you may work, but the seventh day is a day of sabbath rest, a day of sacred assembly. You are not to do any work; wherever you live, it is a sabbath to the LORD.'”

Deuteronomy 5:12-15 says,

“‘Observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy, as the LORD your God has commanded you. Six days you shall labor and do all your work,  but the seventh day is a sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your ox, your donkey or any of your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns, so that your male and female servants may rest, as you do. Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that the LORD your God brought you out of there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore the LORD your God has commanded you to observe the Sabbath day.'”

So is keeping the Sabbath Day commandment according to these verses a Jewish law (tradition of man) or a law of God? It is the Law of God. Did Jesus obey it? Yes. As followers of Jesus, shouldn’t we? Yes.

But what about the Sabbath rules such as: don’t create anything, don’t walk so many miles, don’t carry anything for long distances, etc.? These are traditions of men! They’re not listed in our Bibles as commands given by YHWH, right? No, these are added Jewish laws.

Before I move on, I need to point out that I used to think Jesus kept laws like the Sabbath because he was Jewish. But as we see, time and time again, while Jesus was physically Jewish, he still broke much of “Jewish law”. So why would he break some Jewish laws, yet keep other laws? The laws he kept were the ones found in the Bible. Those are the laws we as believers and followers of Jesus should also be keepingnot because they are Jewish laws, but because they are the Law of God.

This is why it is so important for us to read and study our Bibles. In order to do the will of the Father, we need to learn what that is. The will of the Father is outlined in the Law of Moses. Jesus taught on it, giving us more insight into it. He also lived it, giving us an earthly example to follow. He is the Word made flesh…the embodiment of the Word of God. When he became flesh, what Word was in existence at that time? (Hint: It was before Paul, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, James, and Peter wrote anything.)

So why was I so ignorant of or detached from the Old Testament most of my Christian life? Why did I have it stuck in my mind that the Old Testament was primarily for the Jews and the New Testament was for the Christians? I was taught it. Now I’m finding, it was a deception.

DIETARY LAW: Tradition of Man vs Law of God

Here’s another one: Did Jesus ever give permission to eat unclean animals? Oh, I would venture to guess that a *large* majority of Christians will say, “Yes, he did.” And not only that, “Peter saw a vision that specifically told us to kill and eat unclean animals.” But truth be told, No, Jesus did not give us permission to eat unclean animals.

Oh, I know this goes against every fiber of some of your beings who are reading this. But think about it. Jesus was perfect, right? He did his Father’s will…He obeyed every bit of the Law of God (that applied to him, as a non-levitical priest and non-woman). So why would he go against the Father’s will and say what his Father called “detestable” and forbade him to eat, was now not “detestable” for those who follow him? He wouldn’t!

PETER’S VISION (Acts 10)

But what about Peter’s vision? He saw a sheet being lowered down from heaven with unclean animals on it and a voice told him to “Kill and eat”…this happened three times! Peter was perplexed because he never ate an unclean animal…he knew the will of the Father…it is expressly stated in the Law of Moses. He told the Lord this after hearing the command to kill and eat. The voice replied, “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.

After a little bit some men came looking for Peter and the Spirit of God told him to go with the men. By the time he went with the men, he had figured out the interpretation of the vision. Acts 10:27-28 says,

“Talking with him, Peter went inside and found a large gathering of people. He said to them: “You are well aware that it is against our law for a Jew to associate with a Gentile or visit him…”

Whoa…stop the presses! Did you catch that? He said, “it is against our law.” Which law is he talking about? He said it was against the law “for a Jew to associate with a Gentile or visit him“. Is that Jewish law (tradition of man) or the Law of God?

Well, how do we know for sure? We read our Bibles! Let me give you a hint…it’s not in there. I checked. But don’t just take my word for it. Open your Bible to Exodus starting at about chapter 20 and read all the way through to the end of Deuteronomy. You won’t find it in there. That’s because it is a tradition of man. Let’s move on with the interpretation of the vision…

“…But God has shown me that I should not call any man impure or unclean.”

Whoop…did you see that? “…I should not call any *man” impure or unclean.” It doesn’t say, “meat”…it says, “man.” But I thought the vision was about unclean animals. Yes, God used His own law about unclean animals to grab Peter’s attention concerning a tradition of man.

We see evidence of Peter’s tendency to follow this tradition of man in Paul’s letter to the Galatians. Chapter 2, verses 11-14 say,

“When Peter came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he was clearly in the wrong. Before certain men came from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles. But when they arrived, he began to draw back and separate himself from the Gentiles because he was afraid of those who belonged to the circumcision group. The other Jews joined him in his hypocrisy, so that by their hypocrisy even Barnabas was led astray. When I saw they were not acting in line with the truth of the gospel, I said to Peter in front of them all, ‘You are a Jew, yet you live like a Gentile and not like a Jew. How is it, then, that you force Gentiles to follow Jewish customs?'”

There, did you see that? By Peter’s drawing back and separating himself from the Gentiles, (the same thing that vision was pointing out was wrong), he was following a Jewish custom. This was not something found in the Law of God…this was a tradition of man incorporated into the Jewish religion. Paul rebuked Peter for this.

Okay, but wait a minute I thought I read somewhere in the gospels that Jesus declared all foods “clean”. Yes, you did. Mark 7:18-19 says,

“‘Are you so dull?’ he asked. ‘Don’t you see that nothing that enters a person from the outside can defile them? For it doesn’t go into their heart but into their stomach, and then out of the body.’ (In saying this, Jesus declared all foods clean.)”

I know you’re not going to believe me. but that paranthetical statement added on to the end does not mean all unclean animals are now clean. How do I know this? First, I must confess I was tipped off in a health book I read several years ago written by a Jew that the unclean animals identified in Deuteronomy 14 is not considered “food” to Jews.

Also, think about it. You consider a chicken food, right? How about a turkey? Now, what about a vulture? If someone were to ask you if there were any foods you’d rather not eat, would you even consider listing a vulture? Why not? Because that doesn’t even register on our radar as something we would consume.

This is what the list of unclean animals are in the Law of God. They are labeled “abominations”, “detestable” or “disgusting things”. They are not even considered “food” by God’s standard for His children.

But if this verse doesn’t mean “all unclean animals are now made clean”, what does it mean? For that we need to check the full context of this passage…starting with Mark 7:1-5:

“The Pharisees and some of the teachers of the law who had come from Jerusalem gathered around Jesus and saw some of his disciples eating food with hands that were defiled, that is, unwashed. (The Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they give their hands a ceremonial washing, holding to the tradition of the elders. When they come from the marketplace they do not eat unless they wash. And they observe many other traditions, such as the washing of cups, pitchers and kettles.) So the Pharisees and teachers of the law asked Jesus, ‘Why don’t your disciples live according to the tradition of the elders instead of eating their food with defiled hands?'”

The issue at hand concerns a “tradition of the elders”. Still think this is pertaining to a Law of God? Read your Bible…handwashing before meals is not in there. But if you don’t want to take the time to pull out your Old Testament at the moment (I don’t blame you), just keep reading and see what Jesus has to tell us.

“He replied, “Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written:

“‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.’[Isaiah 29:13]

You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to human traditions.”

“And he continued, “You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe[or set up] your own traditions! For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and mother,’[Exodus 20:12, Deut 5:16] and, ‘Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.’[Exodus 21:17, Leviticus 20:9] But you say that if anyone declares that what might have been used to help their father or mother is Corban (that is, devoted to God)— then you no longer let them do anything for their father or mother. Thus you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And you do many things like that.””

Ooooh. That is harsh. But there you have it, ladies and gentlemen. These Pharisees were letting go of the commands of God and holding on to human traditions. They were nullifying the word of God by their handed-down traditions. And…they did many things like that. Ouch! That was a pretty sharp rebuke. Let’s continue…

“Again Jesus called the crowd to him and said, “Listen to me, everyone, and understand this. Nothing outside a person can defile them by going into them. Rather, it is what comes out of a person that defiles them.”

Now wait a second – why would Jesus start teaching “nothing outside a person can defile them by going into them” after this little exchange with the Pharisees and their tradition of man?

I propose it is because this tradition taught that if you don’t wash your hands (or cups, pitchers & kettles) before eating, you will become defiled or “unclean”. Seems like a reasonable assumption given the context, doesn’t it?

Also, if he was starting to teach about something having to do with the Law of God (say, eating unclean animals), he would be a HUGE HYPOCRITE. He just got done chewing out the Pharisees for passing down traditions that nullify the word of God, why would he proceed to nullify the word of God with his own teaching? Obviously, he’s not talking about changing the Law of God here.

Let’s keep going…

“After he had left the crowd and entered the house, his disciples asked him about this parable. “Are you so dull?” he asked. “Don’t you see that nothing that enters a person from the outside can defile them? For it doesn’t go into their heart but into their stomach, and then out of the body.” (In saying this, Jesus declared all foods clean.)

So, Jesus is saying just because you don’t wash your hands or your dishes before you eat, this doesn’t make you “unclean”.

“He went on: “What comes out of a person is what defiles them. For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come—sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and defile a person.””

What makes a person “unclean” or “defiled” are the evil thoughts that come out of a person’s heart…not dirty hands or dirty dishes.

I know that’s going to burst a lot of people’s bubbles. Many of us have been taught that Jesus usurped his Father’s authority here and did a 180 on the dietary law, but that is so incredibly contrary to Christ’s character. Jesus would never…and never did speak or teach against his Father’s will. He never broke his Father’s commands, and he never taught his disciples to do so either.

So, are the traditions of man bad or wrong? If they nullify the Law of God, yes. If they are considered a part of or equal to the law of God, yes. However, if they are just considered traditions and don’t violate or nullify the Law of God, I personally, don’t see anything wrong with them. Your best bet, however, would be to pray about it and see what God has to tell you.

I will tell you emphatically though, If God’s Law clearly states something contrary to the tradition of man, there is no way He is going to give you the go-ahead to follow your man-made tradition, forsaking His very own Law.

Having said that, we need to do our homework here. We need to dig out our Bibles and figure out what the Law of God really says.

I can tell you it is no where near burdensome compared to the traditions of man (be it Jewish tradition or even Christian tradition). In Matthew 11:28-30 Jesus said,

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

What burdens is he talking about here? Those who were “weary and burdened”… I imagine it could have been the burden of sin, but I also think it was the burden of man-made religious tradition.

Jesus said his “yoke is easy”, his “burden is light”. Jesus knew no sin…all he knew was the will of the Father. He lived it, he taught it and he calls to those of us who are weary and burdened to come to him, receive his rest, take his yoke and learn from him.

It’s a life-long process, folks. We’re not expected to get it overnight. We’re not expected to get it perfect every time. Praise God for his grace! It truly is amazing.

First we receive grace through the blood of Jesus’ sacrifice, justifying us, giving us access to the throne room of heaven. Then we die to our flesh (also known as being released from the law of sin and death) and live according to the Spirit, following in the footsteps of our earthly example, Jesus Christ, the Word of God made flesh. We seek to do the will of the Father, as Jesus did…and we will be blessed for it.

Shalom!

9 thoughts on “Tradition of Man vs Law of God

  1. Marva

    I truly enjoyed your article on the law of God verses Jewish tradition. Thank you so much for putting together in plain to understand English and the Word of God what is the Truth.

    I have been keeping the Sabbath and striving to follow the Law of God for many years and have a religious forum that I post to regularly to proclaim God’s truth in the midst of so much deception.

    I would like permission to use your material. It would be greatly appreciated and God bless you!

    Reply
  2. Darrell

    The Vail has been removed, But, the people have to want to believe God’s written word and not the traditions of men.

    Reply
  3. Lee

    God’s word is not difficult to comprehend…It’s only difficult to accept because of what man’s tradition has taught us. God’s word is simple, clear, and precise!

    Shalom

    Reply
  4. Dave

    Your article is well versed with one exception, Christ is the Sabbath for the born-again believer today. Keeping the Sabbath was not re-instituted by Christ (as was all the other Commandments) in His ministry in setting up the New Covenant. The Law was set up as a condition within the Old Covenant that the Jews had to keep in order to remain participating in the Old Covenant. That Law has been superseded by the Law of the New Covenant – which is love.

    Keeping the Sabbath is NOT a New Covenant commandment, for again, the Sabbath was intended for man’s rest, and in Christ is our Sabbath rest in the New Covenant.

    Hebrews 4:1-11
    1 Therefore, WHILE THE PROMISE OF ENTERING HIS REST STILL STANDS, let us fear lest any of you should seem to have failed to reach it.
    2 For good news came to us just as to them, but the message they heard did not benefit them, because they were not united by faith with those who listened.
    3 FOR WE WHO HAVE BELIEVED HAVE ENTERED THAT REST, as He has said, “As I swore in my wrath, ‘They shall not enter My rest,'” although His works were finished from the foundation of the world.
    4 For He has somewhere spoken of the seventh day in this way: “And God rested on the seventh day from all His works.”
    5 And again in this passage He said, “They shall not enter My rest.”
    6 Since therefore it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly received the good news FAILED TO ENTER BECAUSE OF UNBELIEF,
    7 again He appoints a certain day, “Today,” saying through David so long afterward, in the words already quoted, “Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts.”
    8 For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken of another day later on.
    9 So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God,
    10 for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from His works as God did from His.
    11 Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of unbelief.

    We enter into God’s Sabbath rest today, under the New Covenant, by faith, NOT by keeping the Sabbath…that is legalism, and a little leaven corrupts the entire message. Blessings to you! And I would highly recommend doing a study on the New Covenant, because if you are going to keep one aspect of the Old Covenant Law, then you need to keep all of it according to scripture.

    Reply
  5. Alex

    I enjoyed your article. I have written a paper entitled “Are You Living By Man’s Laws and Traditions or God’s Laws?” I think you would enjoy it. I will e-mail it to you if you would like to read it. It talks about the Jewish 613 laws and how Jesus abolished those and how we Christians have made hundreds and thousands of man made laws that are not biblical, but how we condemn those who do not adhere to our man-made laws (“Christian” laws). Sober comes from the Greek meaning “not in excess” it does not refer to strictly alcohol, but refers to anything, that in excess, makes you take your eyes off of God. Thank you for your time.

    Reply
  6. Alex

    This is a paper I wrote and thought you might enjoy.

    LIVING BY MAN’S TRADITIONS AND LAWS OR GOD’S??

    Are You Living By Man’s Traditions and Laws or God’s?
    Alexander K. Semmler
    Florida State University

    Are You Living By Man’s Traditions and Laws or God’s?
    The dangers of false teachers, teaching tradition and man’s laws and teaching what people have been taught (Tradition). In the time before Jesus the Jewish people had established 613 laws (Mitzvah) that the people were to live by, these were man’s laws and not God’s. These laws of the Mitzvah were based on the laws of Moses, but they had become saturated with man’s laws. The Sadducees tried to corner Jesus and disprove him. They came to him and called him “Teacher.” This is very important because the term “Teacher” was extremely honorable and highly respected and only used for the most learned. The Sadducees questioned Jesus about a man dying without children and what was to happen to his wife. Jesus told the Sadducees they were in error and did not know the Scriptures or the power of God. Upon hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees then the Pharisees got together and decided to test Jesus. They were basically conspiring to set Jesus up so they could take away His credibility. So they asked Him: ““Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” The Pharisees figured that Jesus couldn’t pick just one of the 613 laws to be the greatest. But Jesus replied: Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” This is the first and greatest command. And the second is like it: ”Love your neighbor as yourself.” All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commands.” Now with this Jesus wiped out the 613 laws that man had created and restored only God’s laws, but what has happened since then? Those 613 laws have been replaced by literally thousands of man-made laws. Not God’s laws, but what man thinks God’s laws should be. God’s word is perfect and without flaw. God strictly warns against adding or subtracting from His word. Obviously we need laws made by man to maintain our civilization and common everyday life, the problem arises when man declares their laws to be of or from God, that’s where the problems arise. Blaise Pascal said: “Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from a religious conviction.” Now that’s not to say that we as man can’t hold ourselves to standards that we set for ourselves, those are personal choices. The problem is that when we start holding others accountable for our personal choices, our personal convictions, we are then saying that we know better than God and that is extremely dangerous! You may be asking yourself what some of these laws are, what could I possibly be doing that isn’t biblically inspired?
    Many people preach, and self-righteously proclaim, not to just take what you want from God’s word; you have to read the entire scripture. Sadly, these are usually the people who are the most judgmental and legalistic people. They will take snippets of scripture and twist them to say what they want it to say. One major problem is that English is not an original language of the bible. The original languages are Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek. Greek is the most prevalent because Alexander the Great had conquered the world and Greek was the most commonly used language at the time. Many Greek words literally have hundreds of translations and when the bible was translated into English the scholars used the English word that was most common or fit and flowed well.
    What are these laws and traditions, lets list a few and stand by this will ruffle a few feathers: Alcohol, gambling, the lottery, boys and girls swimming in the same pool (waterhole), dancing, women cutting their hair, women wearing pants or having to wear sleeves between their wrist and elbow, etc. etc. etc. Obviously this list can go on and on and on. The biggest and most controversial of these is the issue of the consumption of alcohol, is this biblical? The most common scripture reference legalists will refer to is where the term “sober” is referenced. The word “sober” comes from the Greek meaning “not in excess.” It in no way refers to only alcohol or is it referencing drunkenness; it is talking about ANYTHING, in excess, which leads you to take your eyes off of God. That is where the sin comes in. This can be alcohol, money, gambling, the lottery, candy, ice cream, soda… ANYTHING! The legalist (puritan) will talk about the references to drunkenness and yes, alcoholism is sinful because you have allowed something to take over your life and take your focus off of God! Drunkenness is not always referencing alcohol, you could be drunk in the Spirit, punch-drunk, and once again translation used the simplest word for the vernacular of the time. Sober… not in excess: In excess ANYTHING can be sinful! Jesus’ first miracle was to turn water into wine, not grape juice but wine. We Christians like to re-write history to make it fit our agenda. Why would we do this? The answer is power; power and control over people. It is as simple as that! In Genesis 19: 32-38 Lots daughters get him drunk so as to have sex with him and get pregnant. The legalists will argue that fermented wine will say wine and strong drink otherwise it is just grape juice… Oh my… really?! Well, then what kind of grape juice did Lots daughter use?! Scary, it really is! The fact of the matter is that fermented wine was and still is a strong part of the Jewish culture and Jesus was Jewish; consult a Rabbi if you don’t believe this. They question why we Christians try to change their history to fit our Puritan agenda… Why?… Power and Control, it’s as simple as that. I am in no way saying that everyone should now start drinking alcohol or introducing it into your household, but stop judging and living by man’s laws, live and judge by Gods laws! Alcohol is not a part of my life nor is it allowed in my home, but that is a personal choice not scriptural! I used this example because it is the most controversial subject in the Christian community, but I challenge you to be honest with yourself and truly study Gods word. Timothy tells you to stop drinking water and drink wine for your stomach. Not to guzzle wine and become an alcoholic, remember not in excess. I understand many parents want to protect their children from the possible dangers of overuse of alcohol, but to lie about what God’s word says is more dangerous than any man-made product!
    Whatever happened to personal responsibility? Teach, educate, be a parent and be active in your child’s life. Similarly, is the lottery or gambling in and of itself sinful, of course it is not. Can it be, just like anything the answer is yes! If a millionaire buys a $10.00 lotto ticket is it the same as a poor person spending their last $10.00 trying to win some money instead of buying milk for their baby? Of course it’s different, once again, not in excess. This can basically correlate to anything, but we Christians like to just focus on our self-righteousness! God gave us a wonderful gift called a brain, regrettably too many people are either not willing to use it or are scared to use it. Everything in moderation is a familiar term we often hear. This is so important in our walk with Jesus, keep your eyes focused on Him and live by His laws not mans. So, I believe it is our responsibility to study God’s word.
    Preachers, Pastors, Rabbis, and Priests give us guidance but they are only human and do not know everything. We need to build on the pastor’s guidance, remember nobody can get you to heaven except you. It is the ultimate test of personal responsibility. I know that I am stirring the pot and this will cause many people distress or even upset them, but fret not. I am but a child of God, always trying to learn and I am human and fallible. I have an opinion, which I try to back with scripture, read and pray and form your own informed decision. I know that many people cannot and will not ever agree with this because of their upbringing and the fear in their heart, the fear placed by those who thrive on power and control and the need to make people dependent on them.
    One fact I am amazed by daily is how God addresses every issue you may ever encounter in the bible; so I reference Romans 16: 18 NIV: “For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naïve people.” KJV: “For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.” Look up the scripture and read the entire verse. We can have personal convictions in our lives; these are personal choices and can help us to serve God in mighty ways. But, when we start to hold others accountable for our personal convictions we are in dangerous territory. God warns us in the closing words of the bible: Revelation 22: 18-19 NIV: “I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this scroll: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to that person the plagues described in this scroll. And if anyone takes words away from this scroll of prophecy. God will take away from that person any share in the tree of life and in the Holy City, which are described in this scroll.” KJV: “For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, if any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take way from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.”
    Once again read the entire scripture. Have you ever heard the term “scared straight?” That scripture will do it for me. Live your life for our loving wonderful God, He loves you! He is not some evil hateful being who is just waiting to strike you down when you mess up. How many of you know this type of person: All is well until the least little thing happens and their world crumbles… They figure God was just waiting to punish them and this is His judgment. There are definitely repercussions for our actions but I serve a loving God, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! Do you know Him? Do you serve Him or do you serve a god you have been taught by man’s laws? I invite you to serve the God of the Bible. The Father whose Son died on the cross for our salvation and now sits at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty. Amen and may God’s peace, love and blessings go with you.

    Here are some additional thoughts and bible references to read, but do not take my word for it, read the bible. Open your heart to God; truly open your heart to God. It is easier said than done because we may ask for God’s guidance, but we sure want that guidance to be our learned ways don’t we. Christians are always excited for a “new” Christian until they get into the word and challenge our ways… our traditions and learned ways… How dare they do that, well now they’re just messing up… hmmm… Read on and I hope and pray that you receive blessings.

    “Reverend” and “Preacher” are titles loosely given or taken by people with absolutely no formal training or schooling. “Ordained” by family or others who have taught just what they have learned from tradition or what they have seen. These people have little, and sometimes no, ability to understand or comprehend the Biblical word; they just rant a hell, fire and brimstone sermon that they have heard and condemn everyone who does not do what they say should be done. They are people who thrive on power and have the need to control others. It may not be a conscious act, but when people do not adhere to their teachings, or rebel against their control, they are quickly condemned or their faith is questioned. Here are some of the Biblical verses I have found that warn against these types of people.
    Deuteronomy 4: 1-2
    (NIV)
    Obedience Commanded
    4 Now, Israel, hear the decrees and laws I am about to teach you. Follow them so that you may live and may go in and take possession of the land the Lord, the God of your ancestors, is giving you. 2 Do not add to what I command you and do not subtract from it, but keep the commands of the Lord your God that I give you.
    (KJV)
    4 Now therefore hearken, O Israel, unto the statutes and unto the judgments, which I teach you, for to do them, that ye may live, and go in and possess the land which the Lord God of your fathers giveth you. 2 Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you.
    Isaiah 29: 13
    (NIV)
    13 The Lord says: “These people come near to me with their mouth?and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is based on merely human rules they have been taught. [b] Isaiah 29:13 Hebrew; Septuagint They worship me in vain; / their teachings are merely human rules
    (KJV)
    13 Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men:
    Mark 7: 5-9
    (NIV)
    5 So the Pharisees and teachers of the law asked Jesus, “Why don’t your disciples live according to the tradition of the elders instead of eating their food with defiled hands?” 6 He replied, “Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written: “‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. 7 They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.’ 8 You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to human traditions.” 9 And he continued, “You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions!
    (KJV)
    5 Then the Pharisees and scribes asked him, Why walk not thy disciples according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashen hands? 6 He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. 7 Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. 8 For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do. 9 And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.
    Romans 16: 17-19
    (NIV)
    17 I urge you, brothers and sisters, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. 18 For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people. 19 Everyone has heard about your obedience, so I rejoice because of you; but I want you to be wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil.
    (KJV)
    17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. 18 For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple. 19 For your obedience is come abroad unto all men. I am glad therefore on your behalf: but yet I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil.
    Acts 5: 27-32
    (NIV)
    27 The apostles were brought in and made to appear before the Sanhedrin to be questioned by the high priest. 28 “We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name,” he said. “Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and are determined to make us guilty of this man’s blood.” 29 Peter and the other apostles replied: “We must obey God rather than human beings! 30 The God of our ancestors raised Jesus from the dead—whom you killed by hanging him on a cross. 31 God exalted him to his own right hand as Prince and Savior that he might bring Israel to repentance and forgive their sins. 32 We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.”
    (KJV)
    27 And when they had brought them, they set them before the council: and the high priest asked them, 28 Saying, Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us. 29 Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men. 30 The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree. 31 Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. 32 And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.
    1 Corinthians 4: 1-7
    (NIV)
    The Nature of True Apostleship
    This, then, is how you ought to regard us: as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the mysteries God has revealed. 2 Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful. 3 I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself. 4 My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me. 5 Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart. At that time each will receive their praise from God. 6 Now, brothers and sisters, I have applied these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, so that you may learn from us the meaning of the saying, “Do not go beyond what is written.” Then you will not be puffed up in being a follower of one of us over against the other. 7 For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?
    (KJV)
    4 Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. 2 Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful. 3 But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man’s judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self. 4 For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord. 5 Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God. 6 And these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and to Apollos for your sakes; that ye might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another. 7 For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?
    1 Timothy 1: 3-11
    (NIV)
    Timothy Charged to Oppose False Teachers
    3 As I urged you when I went into Macedonia, stay there in Ephesus so that you may command certain people not to teach false doctrines any longer 4 or to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies. Such things promote controversial speculations rather than advancing God’s work—which is by faith. 5 The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. 6 Some have departed from these and have turned to meaningless talk. 7 They want to be teachers of the law, but they do not know what they are talking about or what they so confidently affirm. 8 We know that the law is good if one uses it properly. 9 We also know that the law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, 10 for the sexually immoral, for those practicing homosexuality, for slave traders and liars and perjurers—and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine 11 that conforms to the gospel concerning the glory of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me.
    (KJV)
    3 As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine, 4 Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do. 5 Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned: 6 From which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling; 7 Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm. 8 But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully; 9 Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, 10 For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine; 11 According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust.
    Ephesians 4: 1-16
    (NIV)
    Unity and Maturity in the Body of Christ
    4 As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. 2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. 7 But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. 8 This is why it[a] says: “When he ascended on high,? he took many captives? and gave gifts to his people.”[b] 9 (What does “he ascended” mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions[c]? 10 He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.) 11 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. 14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. 15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.
    (KJV)
    4 I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, 2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; 3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; 5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. 7 But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. 8 Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. 9 (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? 10 He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.) 11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: 14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; 15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: 16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.
    Revelation 22: 18-19
    (NIV)
    18 I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this scroll: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to that person the plagues described in this scroll. 19 And if anyone takes words away from this scroll of prophecy, God will take away from that person any share in the tree of life and in the Holy City, which are described in this scroll.
    (KJV)
    18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, if any man add into these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: 19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

    I may sound very cynical and even bitter throughout my writing, but I am frustrated with the American society and where it is headed. I look at many, if not most things from a military aspect. A quick and effective plan of attack is to infiltrate, divide and then conquer. I believe this is the route the evil one has taken; he used the “evangelical movement” in America to mask his agenda; false teachers, false rules and a division of God’s people. We judge and condemn the children of God by man’s laws and rules. I challenge people to look themselves in the mirror and ask themselves this, “Which is worse, the people who are doing wrong in man’s eyes or those who are judging them by man’s law and claiming it’s God’s law?”
    This is such a hard topic to discuss because most people go on the defensive as soon as these topics are breached. I have made several changes to my life, that in my younger years I took as gospel. It is difficult to listen to God sometimes, well maybe not difficult to hear him, but difficult to follow His leading. We get nervous to go against what people whom we respect have told us. Pray to God and always ask him to guide you, and to work through you, do not ask Him to change others to conform to your taught ways.
    I hope that this paper will inspire the reader to delve into God’s word. Many people have left their faith or stopped actively worshipping God because of hurt and judgment they have experienced. God loves every single one of us more than we could ever imagine. Do not let “man” interfere with your relationship with God. Amen!

    References
    King James Version, & New International Version (2010). The Bible.

    Reply
  7. Carrie Wigal Post author

    Thank you for sharing, Dave. I’m sorry it has taken so long to respond to you.

    While I appreciate your perspective, I don’t agree with your understanding of the keeping of the Sabbath day being made obsolete.

    The pattern of working for six days and ceasing from work was established from the very beginning in Genesis 1-2:2. Keeping the Sabbath day holy was a commandment not only given at the time of the Ten Commandments, but again at the start of the construction of the tabernacle. I believe it was a *gift* to mankind, especially considering the fact the Israelites were enslaved in Egypt and had to work/labor day after day non-stop. Even today, having at least one day off in seven is welcome relief. That particular commandment was reiterated time and time again throughout the rest of the Old Testament, indicating to me that God took that command seriously.

    Jesus said that he did not come to destroy the Law, but rather to fill it up. Just because it was not recorded in the four gospels that he specifically stated to keep the Sabbath day holy, doesn’t mean it suddenly became unnecessary. Given the amount of mentions of the Sabbath day throughout the gospel accounts, it appears to me it must have been a common practice to uphold that commandment.

    Also, it is my understanding that Hebrews 4 is talking about different kinds of “rest”s, and the author is taking what is known about “the Sabbath day” and “entering His rest” from the Law and the Prophets and expounding upon them to give more insight. I don’t believe he or anyone else (to include Christ) has the power to nullify the commandment spoken, and even written in stone, by God.

    Reply

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