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Discussion Forum : Revivals And Church History : The Jewish Roots of the Christian Faith

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RobertW
Moderator



Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4594
Independence, Missouri

 Re:

[b][size=small]The Cross as a Sword[/size][/b]
[b][size=xx-small]Compiled By Robert Wurtz II[/size][/b]

In 312, the Roman Emperor Constantine I the Great was in Trier,
Germany where he had a vision of a cross (X) that appeared in the sky with the words, "In hoc signum vinces" ("By this You Will Conquer"). The Emperor was greatly influenced by the apparition and encouraged his 20,000 troops for the upcoming bloody battle against Maxentius and his 100,000 men. Marcus Aurelius Valerius Maxentius, more commonly known as Maxentius, was the child of the Emperor Maximianus Herculius and the Syrian Eutropia; he was born ca. 278 A.D. Constantine's soldiers, the majority of whom were pagans, placed the sacred image of the cross (X) on their shields. The two military forces clashed near the Milvian Bridge over the Tiber River. Maxentius succumbed in the Tiber on October 28, 312, while his fierce legions were soundly routed"

This caused an extensive emphasis on the cross after that. Soon the Catholics would adopt the signing of the Cross at baptism. Father Charles M. Mangam writes Emperor Constantine decreed in the 313 Edict of Milan that the worship of God performed by the Christians was from henceforth tolerated and that Christianity was the official religion of the Roman Empire. Furthermore, the victorious leader did not seek revenge against his enemies but instead treated them with justice. Constantine, particularly when facing a huge obstacle, placed his trust in Christ and His triumphant Cross. The lesson is clear: Jesus won over evil. We embrace His Cross when we cheerfully accept the myriad and multiple agonies present in our lives, realizing that when humbly yielded to, these crosses help to usher us into the reign of God that has no end.

Before the Cross was used officially as a sign of a Christian the ichthus symbol was used < or fish symbol. In the ante-Nicene era, when Christians had to be afraid of persecution by the Roman empire, the fish symbol has been used as a secret sign to know each other.

Today we as believers, in general, cherish the Cross as a symbol of the finished work of Christ. the Cross has been spoken of in song and sermon alike for God's glory. The Jews, in many cases though, see it as a curse because the scripture says "Cursed is everyone that hangs on a tree." This is part of the Gospel explaination to them. As it is written... "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:" (Galatians 3:13 KJV).

Personally, I do not feel that the excesses of some and their atrocities ought to damper our use of that symbol- if only as a mark of identity. I am not dogmatic on the matter in any wise- other than to say that if the MESSAGE of the Gospel is being compromised and the crosses are removed as a result- that I do have a problem with. However, it MUST NOT be used in an idolatrous form as though it contained special powers, etc. It is a symbol, take it or leave it. Many Messianics refuse to display a Cross because of its associated meaning to the Jews. I have no problem with that. To deny a symbol in this context is not to deny Christ.

God Bless,

-Robert

**Notes**

http://www.catholic.org/featured/headline.php?ID=351


_________________
SermonIndex.net Moderator - Robert Wurtz II

Obedience is better esteemed with God than acquired knowledge, it is the most important lesson -fundamental to the gaining of all spiritual knowledge from God. (GW North)

 2004/4/9 10:50Profile
RobertW
Moderator



Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4594
Independence, Missouri

 Re:

[b][size=small]PLUNGED INTO DARKNESS[/size][/b]
[b][size=xx-small]By Robert Wurtz II[/size][/b]

When we talk about the world plunging into darkness it can only happen for one reason--- there is an absence of LIGHT. The Word of God is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our pathway. When the Word of God was being lived out in the lives of believers in the ante-Nicene era there was a light in the Word to the unbelievers. However, when the Canon was finally completed and the scripture was set to be placed into the common language; the completion of that book would dictate the fate of the world for the next 1000 years. This version is known as Jeromes Latin "Vulgate" of 405 CE. It was a tremendous work of great magnitude. Actually, it was almost too good. The translation was such that it was deemed by the Universal Church (Catholic) to be unacceptable to try to change it. So when the language changed and the people no longer spoke Latin- the Bible was then relegated to the monasteries (Monastic Orders). In time people would literally be burned at the stake for teaching their children the Ten Commandments in English. The reason for this is simple; it gives the people a Bible in their common language and they will interpret it as the Spirit wills and not them. It was all about control.

The common people could neither read nor understand the Bible any longer. The people became dependent on the Monks or religious people to interpret and teach them the Word of God. This is why it is imperative to always have an accurate version of Scripture in the COMMON language of the people. This is what drove Tyndale to make the notorious remark to the religious leaders If the Lord spare my life ere many years I will cause a boy that driveth the plow to know the scriptures better than thee! How was that? They did not have Bibles as we do today. The Word of God was utterly precious in those days. Tyndale made good use of Gutenburgs printing press and the rest is history.

When the Bible is not in the common tongue all sorts of manipulations can happen from within a corrupt leadership. This is why there was ultimately a need for the Reformation. The Church was so off track that God had to Reform the whole thing. The people only knew what they were taught. In an atmosphere of ignorance a lot of things can be done by well meaning people. The people only knew what their leaders taught them. This is still no excuse though because everyone is born with a conscience.

The only way to handle Jewish mistreatment is to say the killings and persecution of innocent people was wrong and unacceptable; PERIOD. No buts, what ifs, or anything else. It was sin and it was a travesty.

From Jerome to Wycliffe there was a deep darkness upon the earth. The time would fail me here to discuss the formation of the English Bible; but it was certainly a Godsend. As Gods word has been proliferated- we have seen an increase in light- but not always an increase in love. With the word of God in hand many have still rebelled against its precepts to love. Some of the worst wars and human atrocities in the history of the world have happened since the printing press. It is not the hearers of the work- but the doers of the work that we are to be.

God Bless,

-Robert

**Notes**

The Vulgate is the version of the Latin Bible, primarily translated from Hebrew and Greek by St. Jerome, used by the Roman Catholic Church for more than 1000 years. In 382 Pope Damasus commissioned Jerome, the leading biblical scholar of his day, to produce an acceptable Latin translation of the Bible from the several divergent translations then in use. His revised Latin translation of the Gospels was delivered to the Pope in 384. Using the Septuagint Greek version of the Old Testament, he produced new Latin translations of the Psalms (the Gallican Psalter), the Book of Job, and some other books. Later, he decided the Septuagint was unsatisfactory and began translating the entire Old Testament from the original Hebrew, completing it 405 CE.


Vulgate (from the Latin editio vulgata meaning "common version"


_________________
SermonIndex.net Moderator - Robert Wurtz II

Obedience is better esteemed with God than acquired knowledge, it is the most important lesson -fundamental to the gaining of all spiritual knowledge from God. (GW North)

 2004/4/9 15:11Profile
RobertW
Moderator



Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4594
Independence, Missouri

 Re:

[b][size=small]The Yellow Badges[/size][/b]
[b][size=xx-small]Compiled By Robert Wurtz II[/size][/b]

The Jewish Badge of Shame


Antisemitism is alive and well in the world despite the millions of Jews who were mercilessly massacred in the last 65 years. Who will ultimately be judged for the holocaust? Who will be judged for the antisemetic laws that had been passed for centuries driving the Jews from Christ? Individuals? Nations? When I think about the horrible persecution of the Jews for over 1900 years of the common era (not to mention the centuries before that) it is difficult to comprehend how human beings with a God given conscience could treat their fellow human beings with such heartless hatred. The only thing I have even been able to figure is that they simply stopped viewing them as human beings and then the door was open to nearly anything and everything evil coming out of them. This is a great picture of Total Depravity. How could a human being look into a childs eyes and abuse and kill them? How could a person be so depraved that they no longer felt the prick of their conscience when the killed women and the elderly? The pictures will remain forever in our minds as a haunting reminder. Every one of those people had a story. They were someones son or someones daughter. Some mother gave birth to them and some mom and dad raised them. The black and white images of Jewish persecution somehow tends to disconnect us from the reality that they were people like you and me. They felt pain and hunger and sorrow. They felt so much torment of the mind and body.

A side note to this is how they were treated when they were allowed to live. God has always blessed the Jews. They have excessive accomplishments to be such a small nation. Albert Einstein was a Jew and so were many other accomplished people who contributed to society. They always seem to be blessed, and the bitter envy because of it has led to sore crimes against humanity. For centuries Jews were made to wear yellow badges in Europe.

Some Origins of the Marking

Pope Innocent III summoned the Fourth Lateran Council in 1215. Although a delegation of Jews from southern France attempted to ensure that no anti-Jewish decisions were taken, the Council focused on negative Jewish legislation which would be carried out for centuries and later reinstated by the Nazis. The council determined that the Jews must be prevented from taking excessive interest from Christians. The Jews were not to appear in public at Easter, or on days of Christian lamentation, because they were in the habit of dressing up and railing at Christians on such occasions. Then they insisted that converts to Christianity must desist from Jewish observances. This was a common problem for many Jews as they knew that God had called them to be unique in the earth through their keeping of the Law. The early Jewish Christians were quite zealous for the Law; though they did not trust it for salvation.

This was not the first time that Jews were ordered to wear a distinguishing badge to indicate that they were Jews. During the first Muslim Conquest, Omar II ordered all Jews and Christians to wear a distinctive badge. Sultan Al-Hakim enforced the rule rigidly. For 500+ years Jews wore special badges on their chests in Christian Europe and later were forced again to wear them by the Nazis.

In England, the badge was in the shape of two tablets. In some communities it was a yellow badge with a red bull's-eye. In Italy, Jews were forced to wear a coarse red cape. French Jews, until their expulsion, wore a red and white circle on their chests.

The most common badge was a circle of yellow cloth, at least a handsbreadth in diameter, which was called the "badge of shame."

Although the law went unenforced during the modern years of enlightenment, Hitler reinstituted the order, forcing all Jews to wear a yellow Magen David (shield of David, or as it is more commonly known, the Star of David) on their clothes with the word "Jew" written on it. For that reason, many Jews remain sensitive about a yellow Magen David as decoration. Today the star of David is the emblem on the Israeli National Flag.

Some Yellow Badge Pictures:

http://www.us-israel.org/jsource/Holocaust/badges.html

As we continue our study it is my desire to see a heart change in Christians concerning the Jews. That the insensitive jokes about them would be utterly stopped and a grief the likes of which Paul had for the Jewish people would seize upon us. When was the last time we wept over the Jews or any lost souls for that matter? Reading over just a few of the multitude of crimes against the Jews ought to stir the fallow ground of our hearts concerning God's people that he foreknew. Perhaps this study if nothing else will leave us with a contrite heart concerning the very nation of the Jews from which Christ came. They are His kindred according to the flesh. Jesus was a Jew. Paul and Peter were Jews. When we see Jews we ought to think of Christ and desire to show mercy through the Gospel unto them.

God Bless,

-Robert

** Notes**

http://www.us-israel.org/jsource/Judaism/star.html

http://www.us-israel.org/jsource/History/med.html

http://www.jewishgates.com/file.asp?File_ID=95

Illustrated World Encyclopedia C. 1970


_________________
SermonIndex.net Moderator - Robert Wurtz II

Obedience is better esteemed with God than acquired knowledge, it is the most important lesson -fundamental to the gaining of all spiritual knowledge from God. (GW North)

 2004/4/10 18:16Profile
RobertW
Moderator



Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4594
Independence, Missouri

 Re:

[b][size=small]The New Covenant[/size][/b]
[b][size=small]Part I (The Sign of Circumcision)[/size][/b]
[b][size=xx-small]By Robert Wurtz II[/size][/b]

Abrahamic Faith

Philippians 3:3 For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.

This is Abrahamic faith in a nutshell. We as born again believers are of the true circumcision because we walk in the steps of faithful Abraham which he walked- being yet uncircumcised (Romans 4:9-11). According to Philippians 3:3 this intails worshiping God in the Spirit (which presupposes walking in the Spirit), rejoicing in the finished work of Christ (the promised seed), and having no faith in the flesh (GK. sarx; sin nature or fallen human nature). The Greek word for confidence is [i][b][size=x-small]pietho[/size][/b][/i] and it is translated in the KJV as agree, assure, believe, have confidence, make friend, obey, persuade, trust, and yield.

Because Abraham trusted or had confidence (peitho) in God and not the flesh He was called the friend of God (James 2:23). This is how righteousness is imputed to us. It requires that we transfer our confidence and friendship from the flesh (GK. Sarx. Sin Nature) and unto God. When we shift our confidence from the flesh to the promised seed (Jesus Christ; Galatians 3:16) through genuine repentance we become an heir to the righteousness of God which is by faith (Hebrews 11:7).

The 'Seed' was first spoken of to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden during the pronouncement of judgment upon them (Genesis 3:15; the one seed who shall bruise the head of the serpent; protevangel; see also Romans 16:20). The Promised Seed is the [b][size=x-small]object[/size][/b] of our 'Abraham like faith'- to the exclusion of the flesh (GK sarx; sinful human nature). Paul refused to TRUST in the flesh even when he was able to uphold the law blamelessly (Philippians 3:6). Why? Because no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them (Galatians 3:12-13).

Obeying the ordinances of the law in our own human power is to again TRUST in the "arm of the flesh. So we see then that Abraham was given the sign of circumcision as a sign that he had put off trusting in his fallen human nature and had placed his confidence in God and His Christ (Compare Galatians 3:16 and Romans 16:20). This is known as CIRCUMCISION OF THE HEART (Deuteronomy 10:16; Jeremiah 4:4).

Circumcision of the heart must be done or we will not love God. As it is written [size=small]And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live[/size] (Deuteronomy 30:6). Why? Because the flesh is governed by the LAW OF SIN- which is simply a state in which, because of original sin, it REBELS against anything and everything that God says to do or not to do. It is a knee jerk reaction of the sin nature to rebel against God. It is the very nature of Satan himself.

How could anyone possibly love God and be governed by a law (law of sin) that is hostile to and hates God? The law of Moses was added because of transgressions in order to EXPOSE the sin nature in everyone and in turn point them to Christ when they see the utter impossibility of loving and serving God in the flesh. However, in spite of that, many pridefully made the laws appear to be kept- while Christ continually pointed to the peoples sins in their hearts. This the religious people did not like or tolerate very well.

To remain uncircumcised of the TRUST in the sinful human nature (the flesh) is to always be resisting to Holy Ghost (Acts 7:51). To have uncircumcised ears is to HEARKEN to the sin nature instead of God (Jeremiah 6:10). Therefore they that are in the flesh cannot please God (Romans 8:8). Why? Because to live after the flesh is to TRUST and OBEY the flesh and the result is death (Romans 8:13). There are 2 sides to the "flesh": LICENSE and LEGALISM. Both are characteristics of the sin nature as both are birthed out of pride. License seeks to rebel against all God has commanded and legalism seeks to show God that man can be just as holy as God apart from God.

God gave Abraham the outward sign of Circumcision as a token of the inward work that had taken place when his heart was circumcised of the friendship and trust (Greek peitho) in the fallen human nature and was transferred to God (Romans 4:10). Circumcision was given to Abraham after he was already circumcised in heart so that others would see the identification mark that He was a man that trusted the Lord and had no confidence in the flesh.

The reason why Gentiles dont have to be circumcised is because it is an outward token of an inward work of grace performed by God (Deuteronomy 30:6). The sign or token does nothing for the heart. Many had the outward symbol as did the people who stoned Stephen, but they were uncircumcised in heart AND ears (Acts 7:51).

God Bless,

-Robert


_________________
SermonIndex.net Moderator - Robert Wurtz II

Obedience is better esteemed with God than acquired knowledge, it is the most important lesson -fundamental to the gaining of all spiritual knowledge from God. (GW North)

 2004/4/13 8:10Profile
RobertW
Moderator



Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4594
Independence, Missouri

 Re:

[b][size=small]The New Covenant[/size][/b]
[b][size=small]Part II (The Conscience)[/size][/b]
[b][size=xx-small]By Robert Wurtz II[/size][/b]

This brings us to the New Covenant.

Hebrews 8:10-13 (See also Jeremiah 31:33)

For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more. In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away (Hebrews 8:10-13).

God begins to write HIS laws upon our CIRCUMCISED HEARTS once we are genuinely born again- having trusted Christ with an Abrahamic Faith that rejects TRUSTING the flesh (GK Sarx Sin Nature). Once our heart is exposed with open face (as it were) it can then be changed into the image of Christ from glory to glory by the Spirit of God (II Corinthians 3).

It was a lite thing for God to form man out of the dust of the earth; it would prove to be a great work to form Christ in us (Galatians 4:19). This is the true essence of sanctification- that Christ would be fully formed in us.

The writing of the laws of God upon our heart or the changing of our hearts into His image from glory to glory is a process that requires several things to happen. First, we have to deal with our CONSCIENCE. And that, because the end of the commandment is going to be (among other things) a pure conscience. As it is written Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a GOOD CONSCIENCE, and of faith unfeigned (I Timothy 1:5) and again Holding faith, and a GOOD CONSCIENCE; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck (I Timothy 1:19) and again The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a GOOD CONSCIENCE toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ (I Peter 3:21).

Our CONSCIENCE is that unaffiliated member of our being that God has placed in us to speak on HIS behalf. It is a double or joint knowledge, namely, one of a divine law or rule, and the other of a man's own action. It calls our actions against the laws written upon the heart-- exactly as it sees them.

The conscience in its God given form is used by the Holy Spitit to convict us of sin (John 8:9). It is the mechanism of moral judgment which men/women pass on the morality of his/her own actions, and as to their purity of his/her motives. It is the secret testimony of the soul, whereby it approves things that are good, and condemns those that are evil without partiality. The will of God is the only rule that should immediately bind the conscience. No one has authority over the conscience but God. Man can sear their conscience; but they cannot make it call evil good and good evil.

God Bless,

-Robert


_________________
SermonIndex.net Moderator - Robert Wurtz II

Obedience is better esteemed with God than acquired knowledge, it is the most important lesson -fundamental to the gaining of all spiritual knowledge from God. (GW North)

 2004/4/13 11:02Profile
RobertW
Moderator



Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4594
Independence, Missouri

 Re:

[b][size=small]The New Covenant[/size]
[size=small]Part III ('States' of the Conscience)[/size]
[size=xx-small]By Robert Wurtz II[/size][/b]

The GUILTY conscience is a primary obstacle to us coming to the throne of grace or to do His service (Hebrews 9:9). The blood of bulls and of goats could not take away sins- nor did it have the power to PURGE the conscience of its guilt. For this cause of a guilty conscience- people under the Law lived their whole lives in fear of death (Hebrews 2:15). However, we read in Hebrews 9:14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God and again Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water (Hebrews 10:22).


Of an EVIL conscience there are several kinds. When our conscience has lost its sense of right and wrong to one degree or another this could be called a polluted or defiled conscience. This comes about from false criteria with which the conscience judges. The mechanism may work, but the 'laws' written in the heart may have been non-biblical teachings that should have been 'cast down' as they exalted themselves against the kowledge of God. The conscience is evil when it gives either none or a false testimony as to past or present actions. Likewise, when reflecting upon our own sin and wickedness, our conscience feels no pain, it is EVIL, and said to be seared or hardened (1 Timothy 4:2). This is caused by our deliberate quinching of it when the Spirit of God would seek to bring correction to our life. A dull spot develops in the area that the conscience is continually quenched or seared. It is also EVIL when, during the commission of sin(s), it remains silent.

A GOOD conscience is one that has been purged by the blood of Christ and is utilizing the laws of God written upon our hearts BY GOD as a reference point for its moral decisions. Everyone is born with certain default laws upon our hearts in so much as to render every human being who ever lived as guilty before God for their sins (Romans 1:28). Moreover, the process of writing the laws upon our hearts is demonstrated to the circumcision by Paul concerning the Gentiles. As it is written For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another. In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel. (Romans 2:14-16). So we see then that the rulings of our conscience will be front and center even in the judgment.

A WEAK conscience is one in which there are residual rules and regulations of men that have noting to do with God, but yet are present in the heart and are used by the conscience to make ruling for good or evil. This is seen in great detail in Romans 14. As it is written Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters. One man's faith allows him to eat everything, but another man, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. The man who eats everything must not look down on him who does not, and the man who does not eat everything must not condemn the man who does, for God has accepted him. Who are you to judge someone else's servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand (NIV).

This is true in all sorts of disputable matters. The issue is, does the person have a pure biblical justification in their conscience for what they are doing. If so then they are acting in faith. If a person believes that what they are about to do is sin- it is sin unto them (Romans 14:23). Why, because they cannot do it in a pure conscience.

This is not to say that God has a different set of rules for everyone because He does not. The issue has to do with our growth and having been built up in the knowledge of Christ (Ephesians 4:13). It takes time for God to erase things like old wives fables and legalistic laws and add HIS LAW in their place. There are also times when we may be vulnerable to certain sins and the Holy Spirit will CONVICT us to stay away from the things that make us fall.

We have a lot of traditions as did the Pharisees that make the Word of God of no effect (Matthew 15:3). And that because a lot of taste not, touch not, and handle not, teachings exist that have cropped up in the last 200 years. As it is written Therefore, if you died with Christ from the basic principles of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations -- "Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle," which all concern things which perish with the using -- according to the commandments and doctrines of men? These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh (Colossians 2:22,23 NKJV). Change comes when we prayerfully spend time in Gods Word seeking to know the truth of God.


Many people believe a lot of legalistic things that they have been taught or has been passed down from their families that are unbiblical; God will correct these wrongs in our conscience as the Holy Spirit (our teacher) leads us into all truth. And when this happens we may feel at liberty to do certain things that we once viewed as sin or we may feel convicted to stop doing something we once thought allright; however, we must use great caution here as not to be using liberty as an occasion to the flesh or legalism as a means of our Christian expression. Some people get 'revived' or 'on-fire' and become very critical in an unhelpful way. This is different than feeling a sorrow for the spiritual state of the Church, etc.' which if normal behavior of a true believer when things are unChristlike. License and legalism are the two enemies of the true Christian life.

On Liberty:

As it is written For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another (Galatians 5:13). It is possible to do things that other Christians view as sin and cause them to stumble in the faith. As it is also written Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother's way. I know and am convinced by the Lord Jesus that there is nothing unclean of itself; but to him who considers anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean. Yet if your brother is grieved because of your food, you are no longer walking in love. Do not destroy with your food the one for whom Christ died (Romans 14:13-15). So then the summation of these things is found in Romans 14:21-23 It is good neither to eat meat nor drink wine nor do anything by which your brother stumbles or is offended or is made weak. Do you have faith? Have it to yourself before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves. But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because he does not eat from faith; for whatever is not from faith is sin (NKJV).

The end of the commandment is to love God with all our soul, mind, and strength and our neighbor as ourselves. If we are not attaining to this end we need to reevaluate what we are doing in out relationship with God.

God Bless,

-Robert


_________________
SermonIndex.net Moderator - Robert Wurtz II

Obedience is better esteemed with God than acquired knowledge, it is the most important lesson -fundamental to the gaining of all spiritual knowledge from God. (GW North)

 2004/4/13 15:12Profile
RobertW
Moderator



Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4594
Independence, Missouri

 Re:

[b][size=small]ESTABLISHING THE LAW[/size][/b]
[b] (On Judaizing and Antinomianism)[/b]
[b][size=xx-small]By Robert Wurtz II[/size][/b]



One of the hardest things it seemed for many of the circumcision to understand during the first century is how that a Gentile could establish the law without being UNDER the law. It is a understanding of the TRUE gospel that frees us from the Old Covenant and all of its carnal ordinances that were imposed on the people until the time of reformation. The goal with the Old Covenant was not to bring about righteousness or help the righteous; it was to expose sins in the unrighteous. That would include all of us.

Upon seeing our sin we would then turn to the New Covenant which saves us from the wrath of the Old Covenant or the general wrath of God that is revealed against all who hold the truth in unrighteousness (Romans 1:18); and in turn establish in us a new nature after the very nature of God (John 3:3).

His Seed Remaineth In Him

I John 3:3-10 tells us plainly that those who are born of God are manifest by the fact that they live righteous lives that are characterized by purification of our hearts- which extends outward; and in turn perfects our love for God and one another. To those things scripture tells us; there is no law against. As it is written But the Fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance, against such there is no law (Galatians 5:22, 23). This requires that we walk in the Spirit- which is the topic of our next study.

Judaizer

A Judaizer can be defined as a person who insisted that Gentiles keep the Law of Moses in order to maintain fellowship with Jewish believers. This belief was not uncommon among the early Church as the Jews who accepted Christ continued to keep the law and many were in fact zealous of the law (Acts 21:20). They followed the teaching of Christ who stated Do not suppose that I am come to destroy the Law, or the prophets. I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven. But, whoever shall do them and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 5:17, 19). As time went on and a clear understanding and balance came to the Church- it was not long until many began to believe they were under no law at all. Paul address this in Romans 6:1 &15, etc..



Antinomian

The belief that Christians are under no requirements before God concerning law is called ANTINOMINIANISM. Antinomianism is the heretical doctrine that Christians are exempt from all the obligations of moral law. The term first came into use at the, when it was employed by Martin Luther to designate the teachings of Johannes Agricola and his secretaries, who, pushing a mistaken and perverted interpretation of the Reformer's doctrine of justification by faith alone (sola-feday) to a far-reaching but logical conclusion, asserted that, as good works do not promote salvation, so neither do evil works hinder it; and, as all Christians are necessarily sanctified by their very vocation and profession, so as justified Christians, they are incapable of losing their spiritual holiness, justification, and final salvation by any act of disobedience to, or even by any direct violation of the law of God.

The concept of antinomianism is not new as Paul battled it with the notorious question in scripture Shall we sin that grace may abound? And like questions Paul continued in discussing what Christ taught saying "Do we then make the Law void through faith? May it never be! Rather, we establish the Law" (Romans 3:31). The fact is, it is impossible to establish the law under the Old Covenant as it was helpless to anything more than cause a persons sin nature to rise up. It contained many carnal ordinances imposed upon the people until the time of reformation (Hebrews 9:10). The New covenant was brought about to accomplish the goals of the Old Covenant in establishing Gods personality in our hearts that we might be Pure from the heart.


God Bless,

-Robert




Some additional notes and Scriptures from various sources:


Johannes Agricola (1494-1566) was a Protestant theologian and friend of Luther who fell into the latter's disfavor for developing a version of antinomianism. He saw insistence on the Law -- for example the Ten Commandments (aka the "Decalog") -- as a case of the Catholic emphasis on good works. "The Decalog belongs in the courthouse, not the pulpit.... To the gallows with Moses!" he once declared. Following Luther's treatise "Against the Antinomians" (1536), Agricola eventually recanted, but the position he gave up has repeatedly been taken up by minority voices


Titus 1:14 Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth. I Timothy 1:4 Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do.


_________________
SermonIndex.net Moderator - Robert Wurtz II

Obedience is better esteemed with God than acquired knowledge, it is the most important lesson -fundamental to the gaining of all spiritual knowledge from God. (GW North)

 2004/4/14 15:49Profile
philologos
Member



Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re:

Robert writes God gave Abraham the outward sign of Circumcision as a token of the inward work that had taken place when his heart was circumcised of the friendship and trust (Greek peitho) in the fallen human nature and was transferred to God (Romans 4:10). Circumcision was given to Abraham after he was already circumcised in heart so that others would see the identification mark that He was a man that trusted the Lord and had no confidence in the flesh.

If this is true, why were Isaac and Ishmael and the whole of Abraham's household circumcised at the same time as Abraham? And why were Hebrew males circumcised as infants? And why did God threaten to kill Moses because Moses' sons had not been circumcised?


_________________
His/yours
Ron B
www.biblebase.com

"Love perfecteth what it begins;

Thy power doth save me from my sins;

Thy grace upholdeth me.

This life of trust, how glad, how sweet;

My need and Thy great fulness meet,

And I have all in Thee.

Jean Sophia Pigott (1845-1882)

 2004/4/15 6:43Profile
RobertW
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Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4594
Independence, Missouri

 Re:

[b]Whose Praise Is Not Of Men[/b]

Hello Bro Ron,

Great question! Paul answers this in Romans 4:9-12 saying:

9 Cometh this blessedness then upon the circumcision only, or upon the uncircumcision also? for we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness. 10 How was it then reckoned? when he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision. 11 And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also: 12 And the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised.

Simply being circumcised; whether it were Isaac or Ishmael or anyone else did not guarantee the person salvation- though God may have commanded it. I think that Abraham understood what the significance of the sign of circumcision was and passed that meaning on to his children. They personally had to choose if they would "walk in the steps of faithful Abraham" their father. If they did they were of the true circumcision- if they did not keep the covenant it was empty of its significance and their circumcision became "uncircumcision". In demonstration that the people were actually uncircumcised in heart and ears- God added the law to expose the sin nature as the ruler of their lives-- as opposed to Abraham who placed His trust-- not in the 'flesh' but in God and His promised Seed (which was Christ).

For us as Gentiles we read... In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ (Colossians 2:11-13).


In answer to the question I think that it is good to bring it up as the Jews in the time of Jesus believed they were guaranteed salvation by virtue of "birthright." This is the origin of the whole issue of ELECTION. God later told the Gentiles through Paul in Ephesians 1 that they were also ordained from the foundation of the world that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love; having predestinated us... etc. That predestination or election is in Christ. (Not that I want to discuss that). If you are circumcised or uncircumcised and "In Christ" you are predestined. If you are uncircumcised or circumcised and NOT in Christ you are damned. From here we move on to adoption which you did quite well teaching in section 4 of your series.

Abraham's sons were not saved because they were circumcised of their foreskin. As it is written... "circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing; but the keeping of the commandments of God" (1 Corinthians 7:19).

Jesus said it more plainly when he told the people not to think it a great thing that they were children of Abraham; for God was able of the rocks on the ground to raise up Children unto Abraham (my paraphrase). Paul expands on this in Romans 2:25-29 saying... For circumcision verily profiteth, if thou keep the law: but if thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision is made uncircumcision. 26 Therefore if the uncircumcision keep the righteousness of the law, shall not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision? 27 And shall not uncircumcision which is by nature, if it fulfil the law, judge thee, who by the letter and circumcision dost transgress the law? 28 For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: 29 But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit [NIV: a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit], and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.

Stephen preached to the Jewish religious leaders that they were uncircumcised in heart and ears and always resisted the Holy Spirit. That is a clear indication that though they were circumcised the 8th day of the stock of Israel they had no where to glory- for righteousness does not come by these things- but by submission to the Holy Spirit to regeneration and the circumcision of the "sin nature" with the circumcision made WITHOUT hands- through faith in Christ and His finished work (sola feday). Can a man trust both God and the flesh (sin) at the same time? No; as no man can serve two masters. To turn ones faith from the flesh and sin to Christ and His righteousness encapsulates repentance. Paul said that if anyone had wherein to trust in the "flesh" He had more. So we see again that the "fles" is flesh whether is is in legalism or license. The issue is walking in the Spirit so that we are not under the Law.

Much more could be said to expand on this topic. I hope this is enough to clairify the issue. I don't want to overlyrealize all that was available to Abraham before the cross- but I do believe that for those who had abrahamic like faith they circumcised their children in faith believing that through training them up in the way they should go they would walk in like faith before God and be saved. The just have ALWAYS lived by faith. When their is a trust in the flesh- God has to introduce law to expose where the trust is being placed. This is a great mystery, but God has revealed it to us in the New Testament to a great extent.

I guess it was no different that God threatening the people to kill them if they did not keep the Sabbath. it demonstrates how severe the law is when a person refuses to be justified by faith.


*** Edit Further Clarification***

The token was originally made between God and Abraham.

Genesis 17:11 and ye have circumcised the flesh of your foreskin, and it hath become a token of a covenant between Me and you.

However, in time it became a symbol that the Jews would look for to determine where they stood with God. Paul circumcised Timothy to keep him from being rejected by the circumcision. I am not condoning the practice of determining that circumcision of the foreskin be the determining factor in a person being in or out as far as the circumcision was concerned. I am only pointing out that it was a definite issue and practice among the Jews.

In time though, even under the law the prophets would tell the people of their need to circumcise their hearts- though they did not cease the practice of circumcision of the flesh.

God Bless,

-Robert


_________________
SermonIndex.net Moderator - Robert Wurtz II

Obedience is better esteemed with God than acquired knowledge, it is the most important lesson -fundamental to the gaining of all spiritual knowledge from God. (GW North)

 2004/4/15 10:40Profile
philologos
Member



Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re:

Hi Robert
I think that circumcision for Abraham and all that was his was more 'elemental'. A brand in his flesh that he belonged to God, as did all that was his. As such it is a symbolic statement of 'no confidence in the flesh', meaning that God's purposes, particularly in the raising of the promised seed, could never be realised by man's energies. Not primarily because the flesh is evil (this is Hebrew thought-patterns we are touching) but that it was 'weak' (unable).


_________________
His/yours
Ron B
www.biblebase.com

"Love perfecteth what it begins;

Thy power doth save me from my sins;

Thy grace upholdeth me.

This life of trust, how glad, how sweet;

My need and Thy great fulness meet,

And I have all in Thee.

Jean Sophia Pigott (1845-1882)

 2004/4/15 16:01Profile





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