The Letter and the Spirit of the Law
Beware of false teachers who claim that the “spirit” of the Word of God does away with the letter of the law of God! There are those who claim that it is Pharisaic to be zealous for keeping the law of God in its physical letter, such men try to substitute what they regard as “spiritual” things for God’s law.
What did Jesus teach? Jesus taught that we are to be zealous to live by BOTH the letter of the law in its physical application and the spirit of the law.
Matthew 23:23 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.
Technically we can keep the letter of the law without keeping the spirit of the law, but it is impossible to keep the spirit of the law without also keeping the letter of the law, because the letter of the law is the foundation of the spirit and intent of the law.
The letter of a law is the foundation of any possible intent of a law! How can there be a spirit and intent of a law when that law does not exist in the letter?
Yes, keeping only the letter of the law engenders death; for we can keep the letter and still break the spirit and intent of God’s Word.
Nevertheless keeping both the law in the letter AND the spirit, gives life eternal; provided we sincerely repent of PAST law breaking and go forward to “sin [break the law in both letter and spirit] no more”. This is evident in the resurrected Christ who kept both the letter and the spirit of the law and taught us to do likewise.
In Fact, one cannot even keep the letter of the law by one’s own strength without God’s Holy Spirit! The history of Israel reveals that one cannot even keep the letter of the law under the Mosaic Covenant, because that Covenant contained no promise of the Holy Spirit without which it is impossible to obey God in either letter or spirit.
Romans 8:7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
2 Corinthians 3:7 But if the ministration of death [because there was no sacrifice for breaking the spirit of the law], written and engraven in stones [at Mount Sinai], was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away [the Mosaic Covenant was to end and a New Covenant was to come, Jeremiah 31:31]:
3:8 How shall not the ministration of the [the spiritual New Covenant which brings life eternal] spirit be rather glorious?
The spiritual New Covenant of Jeremiah 31:31, is much more glorious than the merely physical Mosaic Covenant; because the physical Mosaic Covenant ended with the death of the Husband of Israel, but the spiritual New Covenant is eternal: IF we keep it, obeying our LORD.
3:9 For if the ministration of condemnation [The Mosaic Covenant condemns us because we are not able to keep it, lacking the Spirit of God; and because there is no propitiation for breaking the spirit (intent) of the law.] be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory.
The Mosaic Covenant was a physical covenant with sacrifices for physical sin. Those who sinned could be reconciled to that Mosaic Covenant by the physical sacrifices, but there was no SPIRITUAL sacrifice for breaking the intent, purpose and spirit of the law.
That Mosaic Covenant which had no promise of eternal life, is surpassed by the spiritual New Covenant, that does promise and will produce eternal life for its adherents. The Mosaic Covenant was temporary; the spiritual New Covenant is eternal (Jer 31:31).
The New Covenant is a SPIRITUAL Covenant, which imparts SPIRITUAL knowledge and understanding of the purpose and intent, the spirit of the law. The New Covenant also provides an effectual sacrifice for the breaking of the intent, purpose and spirit of the law, and enables us to keep that spirit of the law, by placing a new spirit and attitude within us; the Spirit of God!
Remember, that one cannot keep the spirit of a nonexistent law: Therefore the law remains; and we are to keep all of God’s Word in BOTH the letter and the spirit of the law.
Jeremiah 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.
The New Covenant is that God will write His law upon our very hearts and in our minds so that God’s law and the whole Word of God becomes our very nature. As we grow in understanding we keep the Word of God more and more perfectly in the letter and the purpose, intent and spirit, becoming holy as God is holy!
By keeping and internalizing every Word of God, we ARE internalizing Jesus Christ and God the Father, and becoming like them! For the law defines the very nature of God!
2 Corinthians 3:10 For even that which was made glorious [the Mosaic Covenant] had no glory in this respect [lacking the Holy Spirit and the promise of eternal life], by reason of the glory that excelleth [which is the eternal spiritual New Covenant].
3:11 For if that which is done away was glorious [Paul knew the Mosaic Covenant was ended by the death of Christ the Husband], much more that which remaineth [the eternal New Covenant] is glorious.
3:12 Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great plainness [boldness to speak openly] of speech: 3:13 And not as Moses, which put a vail over his face, that the children of Israel could not stedfastly look to the end [upon the glory of that which was to end] of that which is abolished [Paul clearly tells us that the Mosaic Covenant was abolished in his day and we know that a Marriage Covenant ends with the death of the Husband]: 3:14 But their minds [spirits] were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail [of sin] untaken away in the reading of the old testament [Mosaic Covenant]; which vail [of sin can only be removed by the application of the sacrifice of Christ] is done away in Christ.
This veil represents the sin of breaking the purpose and intent of the law; which the Mosaic Covenant had no real atonement for. The sacrifices of the Mosaic Covenant could not atone for sin against the spirit of the law; they only atoned for breaking the physical Mosaic Covenant and pictured the need for a spiritual atonement by the ultimate sacrifice of our Creator and the entering in of a New Covenant through the atonement of Jesus Christ.
3:15 But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the veil [the veil of sin separating us from God and the spirit of the law; remains without the sacrifice of Christ; because the Mosaic Covenant had no effective propitiation to atone for spiritual sin] is upon their heart.
Brethren, the Mosaic Covenant did not provide the Holy Spirit to teach us that we CANNOT keep even the physical letter of the law by our own will and strength. The New Covenant provides the holy Spirit to all sincerely repentant persons which Spirit enables us to live by every Word of God in both the letter and in its spirit and intent.
- BEWARE, those false teachers who try to claim that we must live by the letter of the law but that we need not go beyond the letter to keep God’s Word in its spirit and intent.
- BEWARE those false teachers who say that we need only keep the spirit of the law and Word of God and say that we need not keep the letter of the law as well. In teaching this they lead people away from living by the Word of God, into following their own false traditions and are true Pharisees indeed!
Faith and the Works of Faith
James 2:14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? Can faith save him? 2:5 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, 2:16 and one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body, what doth it profit?
2:17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. 2:18 Yea, a man may say, You hast faith, and I have works. Show me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works. 2:19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble [Yet the demons will not obey God’s Word, therefore their belief brings them nothing but the sure knowledge of their coming therefore their belief brings them nothing but the sure knowledge of their coming judgment]. 2:20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?
2:21 Was not Abraham our father justified [by his deeds] by works when he [obeyed God] had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? 2:22 Seest thou how faith wrought [worked with] with his works and by works was faith made perfect? 2:23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.
2:24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. 2:25 Likewise also was not Rehab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way? 2:26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead.
What then are the works of faith? the works of godly faith are to live by every Word of God in BOTH the letter and the spirit! When Jesus was tempted to satisfy his hunger by turning a stone into bred, did he rationalize that stone and bread are only physical?
NO! He said that we must live by every Word of God
Luke 4:2 Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered.
4:3 And the devil said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread.
4:4 And Jesus answered him, saying, “It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God”.
Brethren we CANNOT keep the spirit of the law without keeping the letter of the law, because the letter is the very foundation of the laws spirit and intent. Jesus taught us this when he declared:
Matthew 15: 3 But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?
15:4 For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death.
15:5 But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift [an offering], by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; 15:6 And honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition.
15:7 Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, 15:8 This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. 15:9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
In saying this Jesus clearly taught that we are to keep the letter of the law in order to fulfill the spirit of the law!
We are to live by the letter and the intent and spirit of the law, in passionate enthusiastic Christ-like zeal!
True godly love is to live by every Word of God, which means keeping the letter of the law as the foundation of the spiritual intent of that law. Without the letter of the law there can be no spirit or intent of a non-existent law!
1 John 2:5 But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. 2:6 He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.
1 John 5:2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.
One cannot even keep the letter of the law by one’s own strength of self will! The history of Israel reveals that one cannot even keep the letter of the law under the Mosaic Covenant, because that Covenant contained no promise of the Holy Spirit without which it is impossible to obey God in either letter or spirit.
Romans 8:7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
Folks start off with the assumption that the Pharisees were zealous for God’s law; and conclude that since Christ condemned the Pharisees, they think that Christ also objected to zealously living by God’s Word and law.
The first rule of logic: BEWARE of a possible foundational false premise in any argument!
The Pharisees were NOT zealous for God’s law! They made God’s law of no effect because they were zealous for and exalted their own false traditions ABOVE the Word and law of God! UCG has swallowed this false premise and used it as the basis to replace their zeal for living by God’s Word with a false emotional feel good “love” and organizational loyalty.
Discerning Between the Holy and the Profane
In this confusing world, how are we to know who is a true servant of the Living God and who is not?
The answer to this question is given to us in Matthew 7, Deuteronomy 13 and Deuteronomy 18:20-22. While the term prophets is used, this instruction is equally applicable to anyone who claims to be a man of God.
1 Corinthians 11:3 But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.
The ONLY ecclesiastical authority which exists is the authority of the TRUTH itself and God’s Word is Truth. Therefore the whole Word of God is the ultimate moral authority and the authority by which all people will be judged by God.
All people will be judged by Almighty God; either to life eternal for those who live by every Word of God, or to damnation for those who refuse to live by every Word of God.
Since we will all be judged by our fidelity to every Word of God; it is imperative that we make absolutely sure that any teachings of men which we accept and follow must be consistent with every Word of God. Therefore we must “prove all things” by the Word of God and “hold fast that which is good” by God’s Word (1 Thess 5:21)
Not every person who claims to be godly, is godly. There are many false teachers desiring to have personal followings. Such people may be seeking wealth and the adulation of men, or they may be genuinely sincere but sincerely wrong; and so claiming to be of God they USE the term “God” to pass on their own ideas.
They may claim to love and follow God the Father or Jesus Christ, they may even be well meaning but deceived themselves and teaching wrongly, not understanding.
Mark 7:7 Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
How do we understand the truth and how do we discern who is teaching the truth? The key is really very simple, we are the servants of those that we obey, as Jesus asked:
Luke 6:46 And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?
Some teach error out of sincerity and some are so wicked that they think and teach that they can do anything they want and God will back them up, but the scriptures say:
Romans 6:16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
If we were God’s servants we would be living by every Word of God and doing what God says; Almighty God and His Word would always be sovereign over our lives and deeds and we would always be subject to God and the Word of God!
If we decide we can do whatever we want and think that God will back us up, even if our decisions are contrary to God’s Word; then we have exalted ourselves to be sovereign above God and the Word of God, and we have made God and the Word of God subject to our own personal decisions! We are not obeying the Word of God, we are requiring that God follow us!
If we obey the Word of God, then we are God’s servants indeed; but if we do what WE decide, we are NOT the servants of God but the servants of our own devices.
The godly man lives by EVERY WORD of GOD (Mat 4:4); while the wicked man claims that he has the right to bind and loose God’s Word and to decide for himself what is right and what is wrong for himself.
How then do we tell the difference between those who serve God and those who do not serve God; the difference between the true man of God and the false teacher; the difference between the holy and the profane?
A godly person lives by every Word of God and teaches all people to do likewise, and if he should slip it will be a rare situation and not the norm; and he will acknowledge his fault ad quickly repent. He will also be eagerly seeking to grow continually in knowledge and understanding of godliness and will be quick to discard past errors and false traditions of men as he learns the truth.
The wicked person will stand on his own – or his organizations – false traditions, and will do everything he can to avoid accepting or living by every Word of God.
The things a godly person says; MUST be true according to every Word of God; and all godly people will teach all men to live by every Word of God. In other words EVERYTHING that they say MUST be consistent with every Word spoken by God (Mat 4:4).
It is vital that we be able to discern between Godly people and ungodly people, between God’s Spirit and deceitful false spirits, between good and evil. Here are a few keys to spiritual discernment between God’s Holy Spirit and the many counterfeit spirits trying to deceive us and lead us astray.
Satan presents himself as an angel of light, counterfeiting the gifts and fruits of God’s Spirit.
2 Corinthians 11:14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is [presents himself] transformed into an angel of light. 11:15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also [present themselves as] be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.
2 John 1:7 For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come [those who reject that Jesus Christ will dwell in our flesh, through his spirit empowering us to live as Christ lives] in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.
Any person or spirit that says that Jesus Christ will not come to dwell in us and enable us to live by every Word of God as Jesus did and does; is an antichrist!
How can we discern between the Holy Spirit of God and the counterfeits presented by Satan to deceive us away from God?
The Spirit of God is truth and leads those who follow it, into all truth. The Word of God is truth, therefore the Spirit of God and the Word of God are always consistent.
John 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
The first key;
God’s Spirit is the Spirit of Christ, for God the father and Jesus Christ are in full unity with one another, and those in whom Christ dwells will do the same thing that Jesus did, and will keep the whole Word of God as Jesus did.
The Holy Spirit will lead us to keep the whole Word of God without any hint of compromise.
God is not divided against himself and God’s Spirit would NEVER lead us to compromise with any sin; it would never lead us to set aside sections of scripture to enable us to try to justify our sins; instead it would lead us into all truth and into a zealous keeping of the whole Word, the truth of God; as Christ did and does.
John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments. 14:16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; 14:17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
God’s Spirit is not available to the worldly; because the worldly, the carnally minded, are not subject to God and cannot be. God’s Holy Spirit is given ONLY to those who keep God’s Word.
Acts 5:32 And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.
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. 14:24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me. 14:25 These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. 14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
Romans 8:9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. 8:10 And if Christ be in you, the body is [the flesh will die, but the spirit will be resurrected] dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.[empowering us to live as Christ lived, keeping the whole Word of God]
What did Jesus teach?
Matthew 19:17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.
God’s Spirit is the Spirit of truth and is the very nature of God the Father and Jesus Christ; that nature is a Gift from God the Father to dwell within all those who have sincerely repented and committed themselves to living by every Word of God.
The Holy Spirit is ONLY given to those who obey all the teachings [doctrines] and live by every Word of God the Father and Jesus Christ; for the Holy Spirit is the very nature of God; and is not, and cannot, be divided against God.
The Holy Spirit is ONE in complete UNITY with Jesus Christ and with God the Father; and if it is dwelling is us, it will lead us into complete wholehearted UNITY with God the Father and with Jesus Christ.
Those who have not sincerely repented of breaking or compromising with the Word of God, and who have not committed to STOP sinning and to START learning of God and living by every Word of God with passionate zeal: Will NOT be given the GIFT of the Holy Spirit! and if they did have it and have gotten lax for God’s Word; they are quenching that Spirit!
John 15:26 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:
God is spirit (John 4:24); the Holy Spirit of God is the Spirit of truth (John 14:17, 1 John 5:6, John 14:18-28).
What is truth? God’s Word is truth: (John 17:17)
Ephesians 5:8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: [therefore] walk [live] as children of light: 5:9 (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)
The Spirit of God leads us into all truth and we are to prove out what is true by comparing all things to the Word of God
5:10 Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord [by the Word of God].
We are to have nothing to do with false doctrine or willful sin; and we are commanded NOT to tolerate, but to reprove all false doctrine and sin
5:11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.
James 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. 1:23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: 1:24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was 1:25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty [from sin], and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.
Therefore, in John 16:7 Christ said: Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.
Jesus Christ had to fulfill his mission and die for the sins of the world so that those who are called of God the Father, to come to Christ and believe on him; who are called to repent of disobedience to the Word of God; those who commit themselves to live by every Word of God at baptism, washing away the sins of the past and becoming alive to Christ and dead to sin; might then receive the GIFT of God’s Spirit.
God’s Spirit is a gift given ONLY to those who obey all the commandments of God without compromise.
Acts 5:32 And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.
It is time to be absolutely clear: God is NOT divided against himself; God the Father and the Son are ONE in complete unity; and their Spirit is ONE (John 10:30, 17:11, 17:21) in complete unity: The Holy Spirit is the nature of God the Father and the nature of the Son; and is NOT divided against them!
The Holy Spirit will lead and empower us to live by every Word of God; and will NEVER lead us to compromise with that Word or to reject parts of it, or to countenance and tolerate anything false or any willful sin.
Therefore any spirit which teaches tolerance for doctrinal diversity, or teaches that doctrine – the teachings of the Word of God – is not important; and any spirit that teaches that a little willful sin is all right because Jesus will understand and forgive: and any spirit that rejects sections of scripture [like on the Sabbath or Calendar or Holy Days] to justify false teachings and sin: IS the false spirit of antichrist, it is a satanic spirit attempting to counterfeit God’s Spirit and lead us astray from Almighty God!
Look at the various groups of the spiritual Ekklesia and think about what they are doing! By rejecting truth they are rejecting the Holy Spirit of truth for false demonic spirits of deceit and sin! They are quenching God’s Holy Spirit by rebellion against any zeal to live by every Word of God; and because they have rejected any zeal to keep the Word of God, Jesus Christ is going to reject them and spue them out of his body (Rev 3:16).
This is serious! This is a salvational matter!
Therefore God in his mercy and willing to try to save us; will cast us into great tribulation that through the affliction of the flesh the spirit might be brought to sincere repentance and be saved. But we are forewarned and we can TEST and PROVE the spirits: whether they are of God or of the Wicked One.
How do we discern the spirits whether they be holy or evil?
We are commanded to test and prove out all things by the whole Word of God.
1 John 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 3:17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.
2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
1 Thessalonians 5:21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.
That is the reason for the scattering of the Ekklesia today: We have apostatized and blindly followed idols of men, not proving all things by the Word of God as to whether they be true, like the Bereans and Ephesians did; and we have refused to be zealous to live by every Word of God: We have quenched the Holy Spirit of God!
The Holy Spirit is the GIFT of God to those who have sincerely repented of following the false traditions of men, and who have committed themselves to love and cherish God and every Word of God.
By leaving our first love to turn back into the spiritual Egypt of slavery to the false traditions of men; we have been deceived into rejecting much of God’s Word, and because we have rejected him: He will also reject us until we repent!
Ezekiel 34 the entire chapter is about those shepherds in BOTH physical and spiritual Israel who are wolves and feed themselves with all the good things of the flock while neglecting to feed the flock with the truth of the sound doctrine of God’s Word in due season.
Ezekiel 34:1 And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying 34:2 Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD unto the shepherds; Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! should not the shepherds feed the flocks?
The Vine and Branches
This is a powerful; explanation of the meaning of the command to cut branches and bring them into the temple at the Feast of Tabernacles. Bringing in the branches with great rejoicing represents bringing in of the harvest of humanity into the Family of God.
Jesus teaches that he is the vine [or trunk] of the tree of life; and that the called out to him are the branches. As a branch receives its nourishment from the vine and trunk of the tree; so we receive our spiritual nourishment from the Bread of Life, the true VINE; Jesus Christ!
To have eternal life; we MUST be in FULL UNITY with Christ; and if we turn away from living by every Word of God the Father in the letter and in the spirit and intent of the law; we will be rejected by Christ and by God the Father, because we have already rejected their Word.
If we remain faithfully loyal to Jesus Christ and God the Father by diligently studying and zealously KEEPING and living by every Word of God; we will still be tried, tested and given experiences bad and good, to increase our spiritual growth and development into FULL UNITY with Christ.
John 15:1 I am the true vine [trunk of the tree, the Logos the whole Word of God], and my Father is the husbandman. 15:2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit [is NOT faithful and zealous to live by every Word of God as Christ does] he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit [which comes through living by EVERY WORD of GOD], he purgeth [trims and trains] it, that it may bring forth more fruit.
If we abide in the Word of God, doing those things that please Jesus Christ and God the Father; they will abide in us through the Spirit of God. If we are NOT zealous to KEEP the Word of God; WE ARE NONE OF HIS!
Remember that when you are asked by your elder to pollute the Sabbath or to take Passover and observe High Days on the wrong dates, or in the wrong ways; or are told that you need not eat Unleavened Bread every day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread as God has commanded.
After washing the disciple’s feet; they were all clean except one. That one being the person who did not spiritually abide in Christ the true VINE
15:3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. 15:4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
Beware false Christ’s who tolerate sin and are not filled with Christ-like zeal to live by every Word of God; Because without a firm close FULL UNITY with the true Christ who lives by every Word of God; our religion is vain and meaningless, and falls to the status of a human social club.
15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
To be grafted into the true vine of Christ; we MUST be called of God the Father; believe, repent and be baptized, for the remission of sins to be granted. And IF we remain abiding in God; with him dwelling us; IF we follow the Holy Spirit’s lead into all truth diligently keeping God’s Word, then we shall bear much fruit!
15:6 If a man abide not in me [not living in Christ-like zeal to live by EVERY WORD of GOD], he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.
Those who compromise with any part of the whole Word of God , which Christ loves; and who tolerate sin, which Christ hates; will be rejected and cast into the furnace of affliction; and if they still do not repent they will be cast into the fire of ultimate destruction.
15:7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. 15:8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.
15:9 As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.
“Continue in my love” means that Christ wants our loving relationship with HIM to continue, through our learning and keeping the Word which he has preached; which is to do God the Father’s will and to live by every Word of God, internalizing the very nature of God the Father.
Watch Out! Many will teach to keep the commandments, but by commandments they mean their own false traditions and not the whole Word of God.
15:10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.
What did Christ command us? He kept the whole Word of God fully and we are to do likewise, living as he lived and as he will live in us.
Jesus Christ lived a life of perfect obedience to his beloved Father, and he will live a life of perfect obedience to God the Father in us!
Matthew 19:17 . . . . but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments
John 15:11 These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.
15:12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you [true godly love is defined by the Word of God]. 15:13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
We are to be willing to lay down our lives for God the Father and Jesus Christ; as Christ laid down his life for us! How long will we squabble over who gets to lead; and over who gets what?
How has the love of God disappeared from us? Where has our zeal to live by every Word of God gone? Where is our unity with God?
15:14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.
Amos 3:3 Can two walk together, except they be agreed?
The fruits of a spirit, or a man; are the results of their thoughts and actions, and these fruits sum up the character of the person or spirit, whether it is godly or evil.
Discerning Between Men of God and False Teachers
Jesus Christ instructed us:
Matthew 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
A wolf feeds himself and ravages the flock.
Matthew 7:16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 7:17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
Those who are political and seek the chief seats, who seek self-aggrandizement and personal advantage; are the wolves hiding among the sheep. Today there are very many wolves who do not feed the sheep the true Gospel of: warning, repentance, and diligent faithful obedience to God which brings eternal salvation.
If any man teaches tolerance for sin out of a phony false love; if any elder tolerates sin [the breaking of God’s commandments, not the breaking of some organizational edict] without rebuke; if any organization does not preach a message of warning and repentance to the world; They are corrupt branches that will be pruned off at the judgment!
The True Good Shepherd feeds the flock with the words of truth; with the teachings that lead to salvation; strongly rebuking all sin. We are to follow that true Good Shepherd with the diligent KEEPING of the whole Word of God, so that the whole flock internalizes God the Father and the Son; growing into a full spiritual unity with God!
Matthew 7:18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 7:19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
The good tree is that Good Shepherd [Jesus Christ] who is working to bring the whole flock into a fullness of unity with God the Father! We are to follow that Good Shepherd who gave his all, his very life for God the Father’s flock and did not seek his own.
We are to follow that example that was set for us, and faithfully serve God the Father by feeding his flock with the very Word of God, the very nature of God; without fear or compromise; regardless of what men think or do.
There are some good elders among you even now, who teach the true way of salvation and are alert watchmen discerning the signs of the times. They may be kept down, ridiculed and even persecuted by others, yet God the Father will reward them.
Luke 12:42 And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season?
12:43 Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing
12:44 Of a truth I say unto you, that he will make him ruler over all that he hath.
Matthew 7:19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
The evil servant
Luke 12:45 But and if that servant say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to beat the menservants and maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken;
Those who abuse others and seek their own pleasures will be taken by surprise and sternly corrected
Luke 12:46 The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers.
12:47 And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.
The unconverted who did not know the will of God, shall have much less correction than the converted who grow lax, lukewarm, complacent and self-willed.
12:48 But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required
Matthew 7:20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
We will know the good shepherds by their love of God and their diligent keeping and teaching of every Word of God and by their diligence to do the will of HIM who called them.
Matthew 23:11 But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. 23:12 And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.
Matthew 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
7:24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: 7:25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
Those who internalize the nature of God the Father and Jesus Christ; who become one with them in total spiritual unity, through a deep love for God and all the things of God, those who love the passionate keeping of all of their commandments and who set a good example of godliness and FEED THE FLOCK with the good pasture of the Word, watering them with the Spirit of Godliness; are building on the foundation of the Word of God which shall NEVER be moved.
Ephesians 2:20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;
Matthew 7:26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: 7:27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.
The Word of God is not plainly taught today, because it is NOT KEPT! It is because the Word of God exposes the many false shepherds among us! It is because the Word of God cuts sharply into the very heart and spirit of our organizations and convicts us of our sins and egocentric complacency; and our lack of God centeredness; exposing our almost total lack of Christ-like zeal for God the Father’s will and ways!
Jesus Christ [Hebrew: Yeshua] stands at the door of each of those called to him; knocking (Rev 3:14-22), calling us to repent of our self- righteous idolizing of our own ways; calling us to a diligent dedicated passionate obedience to every Word of God; calling us to a zeal for the keeping of God’s Word and instructions; calling us to sincerely repent of our self-seeking embracing of worldliness.
It is only by studying and doing the Word of God, that we begin to learn to discern between the holy and the profane; between the wolves and the true shepherds and sheep; for truly the wolves do disguise themselves diligently, and can only be discerned through a proving of all things by the scriptures.
Matthew 7:28 And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine: 7:29 For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.
Jesus Christ had the authority of the Word of God, because he taught, stood on and lived that Word!
Any person who teaches the very Word of God, has the authority of the Word of truth which he teaches.
Christ taught us to live by every Word of God the Father! Christ’s authority was from God the Father, because he stood on and taught what God the Father had commanded him!
As long as he taught what the Father had commanded; Christ was speaking in the Name Of, and by the Authority Of: The very King of the Universe!
John 12:49 For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.
It is the Word of God which is authoritative and no man has any NO authority whatsoever, regardless of whether they are ordained or not; and regardless of what office they claim! Yet, if what a man teaches is the truth, then it has the inherent authority of that truth! Therefore judge the words of ALL men by the whole Word of Almighty God!
We are to test all men and spirits by the scriptures and we are to discern between the righteous and the wicked, by their fruits [deeds].
If the spirit we are following were godly, it would lead us towards a deeper unity with God through the diligent and enthusiastic keeping of the whole Word of God. Instead many are doing the exact opposite and departing further and further from any zeal to live by every Word of God.
God’s Spirit will always be totally consistent with the truth of the whole Word of God, and a false spirit will decry any zeal for the Word of God and try to get you to live contrary to the Word of God!
There is NO authority in any man; all authority is in the Word of God, and any man who teaches contrary to God’s Word; is NOT of God and has absolutely NO moral authority!
Working miracles, healings, or the ability to speak many languages is no indicator of the presence of the Holy Spirit of God.
Matthew 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
2 Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
God’s Spirit is the Spirit of a sound mind and power; it is the Spirit of self-control. God’s Spirit is not the spirit of the loss of self-control or of extreme emotional ecstasy. The Holy Spirit is a Spirit of self-control that strengthens us to calmly and wisely decide to do right and refuse to do wrong; empowering us to live by every Word of God.
God’s Spirit is love and what is love? Love is defined by God’s Word as:
2 John 1:6 And this is love, that we walk after [live by] his commandments.
1 John 2:5 But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. 2:6 He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk [live], even as he walked [lived and lives].
There are those who claim that they live by every Word of God and then claim that all but the Ten Commandments are done away in God’s Word: LIE! The New Covenant is the Mosaic Covenant with the addition of the Holy Spirit to empower us to live by every Word of God just as Jesus Christ perfectly kept the entirety of the Holy Scriptures, not just the Ten Commandments!
If we had God’s Spirit we would understand that to break any part of the whole Word of God is to break the Ten Commandments as well; for disobedience to God is dishonouring our Father!
John 14:21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him 14:22 Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? 13:23 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; 14:24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.
Let us prove all things by the Word of God, and in doing that and living by every Word of God; we show that we love God the Father and Jesus Christ: and if we do not do that, we do not love God the Father of Jesus Christ no matter what we claim.
Romans 2:13 (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.
James 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves
Godly teachers will teach all people the difference between the holy and the profane, and teaching the difference between sin and living by every Word of God
Ezekiel 44:23 And they shall teach my people the difference between the holy and profane, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean.
Study the scriptures and learn to discern between good and evil.
Hebrews 5:14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
Prove all things, spirits and men by the whole Word of God, and hold fast that which is good and consistent with the whole Word of God.
Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 3:6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
God gave this instruction anciently to Moses:
Deuteronomy 13:1 If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder 13:2 And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods [do anything contrary to the Word of God], which thou hast not known, and let us serve [obey] them;
Regardless of appearances [for Satan and his ministers present themselves as angels of light], we are to prove all things by the scriptures; we are to follow only the whole Word of God and not idols of men
13:3 Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the Lord your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
God Tests His People!
God wants to know just how much we really love HIM! Do we truly love God enough to do what God says? or will we be turned aside by every person who claims to be of God?
13:4 Ye shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him.
Those who seek to dominate the brethren to cause people to follow themselves and their false traditions in place of the Word of Almighty God will be destroyed by the Eternal if they do not repent.
Brethren that means that nearly every church of God leader and elder is facing rejection by Jesus Christ (Rev 3:14-22), and stern correction in the soon coming great tribulation.
13:5 And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death; because he hath spoken to turn you away from the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, to thrust thee out of the way which the LORD thy God commanded thee to walk in. So shalt thou put the evil away from the midst of thee.
Miracles and fulfilled prophecy are not proof of whether a man is of God or not: the proof that a person is godly is their zeal and faithfulness to live by and teach others to live by every Word of God.
Anyone who water’s down or diminishes, or adds to God’s commandments; is to be rejected as if he did not exist for you, as if he is dead. We are not to make idols of any person or thing to put them before God, not even a member of our own family.
Deuteronomy 13:6 If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which is as thine own soul [body], entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which thou hast not known, thou, nor thy fathers;
13:7 Namely, of the gods of the people which are round about you, nigh unto thee, or far off from thee, from the one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth;
13:8 Thou shalt not consent unto him, nor hearken unto him; neither shall thine eye pity him, neither shalt thou spare, neither shalt thou conceal him:
13:9 But thou shalt surely kill him; thine hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people.
13:10 And thou shalt stone him with stones, that he die; because he hath sought to thrust [or to deceive] thee away from the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.
It is the Eternal God who is sovereign not man. It is the Eternal’s will that we are to perform, not men’s will. It is the Eternal’s laws that we are to obey and his Word, not men’s words.
No man has the right to change God’s Word, or to bind or loose God’s commandments in the sense of changing them.
No man can exalt himself above the great Majesty on High who has created the universe, who can hold the world in the hollow of His hands. And before whom a man, any man; is merely a speck of dust in comparison.
God the Son is to be obeyed because he gave up his God-hood to become flesh and die for us, redeeming and freeing us from bondage to sin, because he also created us being the implementing Creator and because he is the Husband of our baptismal covenant.
God the Father is to be obeyed because he is a Great King, the King of the entire universe, because he is our spiritual Father being the executive creating authority, and because he is the figurative Father of our espoused Husband Jesus Christ. Our Husband obeys His Father and has commanded us to do likewise; and we obey our Husband, therefore we obey His Father also!
We can discern between good and evil and between the doers of good and evil; by comparing all things against the standard of the Word of God Almighty! Whatever is consistent with every Word of God is righteous and good, and any departure from any part of the Word of God is evil!