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“To the Law and to the Testimony”–Being the Witness of God’s Love

God is Love, and He is Light. Therefore Love is Light, for agape Love makes known God’s plan to carry out His purpose, which is to reproduce Himself, to magnify His nature of Love in and through us. He will accomplish His purpose  of reproducing Himself, and He will use us humans to do it. Consequently, mankind has an extremely important part to play in God’s purpose and plan. After all, God did say in His word that “man is the glory of God.” And God is glorified when His Love, His nature is reproduced in us.

God’s plan to accomplish this reproduction of Himself, then, centers on man as the environment where it will take place. And His plan has been written down in words, called the Logos, the Word, which was “made flesh and dwelt among us” in the form of the Son of God (for more see the previous four essays).

Instructions

The Holy Bible is this library of books comprised of the written down word of God that gives us instructions on how He will accomplish this reproduction of Himself (Love). [The Spirit in this moment is giving us precious secrets as to what He is doing–secrets so rare that some may never have heard them before. His servants do not know these secrets; His friends, however, are privy to them, for He reveals the mysteries of His will, His purpose and His plan to His friends, His confidants, His followers chosen to walk in the “high calling” (John 15: 15; Phil. 3: 14).

These instructions are called the law. In the OT Hebrew, the word is torah, meaning “instruction, doctrine”               (https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/Lexicon/Lexicon.cfm?strongs=H8451&t=KJV). It is from an old root verb meaning “to teach.” Teach what? Instruct us in what? The law instructs us as to God’s purpose and plan and how we can be a part of it.

The reader will notice the words above in bold print. There is an enigmatic passage of scripture containing all of these words and more. “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them” (Isa. 8: 20). If they do not speak concerning the law (the standard of God’s reproduction of Himself) and the testimony (the Spirit of Christ, which is the Spirit of Love)–if they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them. They just will not know what they are talking about.

“No light in them…” But in Christ “was life and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in darkness and the darkness comprehended it not.” Love is the light shining into the dark, lost hearts of this world. Love loves the unlovable (John 1: 4-7). The Word (Logos) was God. The Word contained life, and this life was the light of men.  The Word was made flesh and became the Light that lightens every man who comes into the world.

The words we speak should agree with the law and the testimony. If someone speaks a word not in agreement with them, then there is no light in them. And because the light makes known as to who God is (Love) and what He has done for us in including us in His plan of reproducing Himself, those with “no light” are in trouble. They do not know God nor His purpose, plan, nor vision of sharing His nature of Love with His creation.

The “law” instructs us as to what Love will do when present in the human being. The “testimony” is the witness of the presence of the Spirit of God operating and loving through a person. It all goes back to the nature and heart of God, which is the Spirit of love. His eternal purpose of sharing love and His plan to reproduce Himself (Love) in us is prelude in seeing clearly the kingdom of God as the vision of God in the past, present, and future.

The law is what Love demands. It is the standard by which we may know who has the Holy Spirit of Love and who does not. The testimony is that Spirit of Love in action through a human being because of God’s presence in them.  God’s Spirit of Love in a person is the witness (testimony) of God in the earth. The Love that Christ showed the world when He laid down His life for us–when that same Spirit of Love abides in us, the law is fulfilled. “For he that loves another has fulfilled the law.” For all of the Ten Commandments “is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself…therefore love is the fulfilling of the law” (Rom. 13: 8-10; Gal. 5: 14).

I cannot say, “In conclusion…” because this is just the beginning. It is all about Love, which is to say, God. He wants to share Himself, multiply Himself, reproduce Himself–in us. This knowledge is paramount , for we cannot spiritually grow properly without this knowledge. Without it we are as Martha of Bethany, who was satisfied with being a servant of earthly things to the Master. With this knowledge we become as Mary of Bethany, who sat at the Master’s feet, soaking in the glorious mysteries of His love. And when Martha complained to Christ that Mary wasn’t helping serve, He said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her” (Luke 10: 38-42 NKJV).   Kenneth Wayne Hancock

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under agape, Bible, calling of God, Christ, elect, eternal life, eternal purpose, glorification, kingdom of God, light, love, Love from Above, Spirit of God, spiritual growth, will of God

Feasts, New Moons, Sabbaths–Mere Shadows of Christ in Us

The Feast Days of Yahweh, His New Moons and Calendar, and His Sabbath Days–even the Ten Commnadment Law itself–are but a shadow of the spiritual light we are in Him and that He is in us.  A shadow is not the real thing.  We can learn from studying a shadow, but a shadow can never replace the thing that creates the shadow.

After we are crucified with Him, buried with Him, and risen with Christ–after receiving a new heart from the Master, the apostle Paul says this: “Let no man therefore judge you in respect of a feast day, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath days: which are a shadow of things to come…” (Col. 2: 11-17).  In fact, these feast days and Sabbaths and laws “serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things,” even as God told Moses to “make all things according to the pattern showed to you in the mount” (Heb. 8: 5). All things that Moses laid down to the children of Israel are a “shadow of heavenly things” and not the heavenly things themselves.

And what are these “heavenly things” that the apostle is talking about in Hebrews 8: 5? We children of the living God are those heavenly things! When we finally get it that it is “no longer I that lives but Christ that lives in me,” we then are the pattern for all the things that Moses instituted in the first five books.

The old testament was the sprinkling of animal blood upon the tabernacle, for “without the shedding of blood is no remission. But the “heavenly things” needed “better sacrifices than these” for purification (Heb. 9: 23). We, brethren, are those “heavenly things” that needed the blood of the Lamb to purify us!

We now as the spiritual body of Christ were before the sabbaths, before the moon, before food and drink, before the holy days, the feast days, before time, before this earth, before this world.  We are now “risen with Christ” and we  “seek those things which are from above” [Col. 3: 1].  We now yearn to see our true home, our heavenly dwelling.

For God has established in this new walk, this “newness of life,” a spiritual reality (Rom. 6: 4).  It is built upon better promises wherein He says that He will put His Spirit in our minds and hearts and that He will not remember our sins anymore!  This is the new covenant (Jer. 31: 31-34; Heb. 8: 12).

The apostle Paul says that we are a new creation and “are complete in Him… buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead” [Col. 2: 10-20].  We are new spiritual righteous creatures now and are not to be judged in respect of what we eat or drink, what holy days, new moons, or sabbaths that are observed.  Why? Because His Spirit now in us was before all the laws and observances were set down on this earth.  This does not give us a license to carelessly break them.  Rather His Spirit in us guides us to that right walk in Him.

In other words, we now do not observe religiously these mentioned things to somehow be accepted by the Father.  To the contrary, we use these to teach us to come to the Savior in a true, meaningful way.

We do not do them to insure that we are okay with God.  That would be working for salvation.  Remember: they are shadows and not the reality of true worship.  Rather they, like the Mosaic Law and the Ten Commandments, are part 0f the “schoolmaster” that Paul refers to, that “the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.  But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster” [Gal. 3: 22-25].

The Schoolmaster

The laws of God are instructive to a seeker of God.  They teach us and help bring us to the cross.  They show us about His plan of redemption.  His feasts show that very plan as a type and shadow of Christ Himself.  The new moons and sabbaths teach us of His plan and timing for His coming kingdom.  But they are but a shadow of the reality that now resides in our hearts.  They are only an image of the reality.  They are made for us to learn from–made for us by our Creator.  But they are only a shadow of the Reality.  That Reality is Christ’s Spirit in us.

Shadows Are Not Real

Shadows have never been the real deal.  Shadows are actually made from a lack of light.  Shadows are in the shape of things or people, but they are not the real thing; they are not a part of reality.  Shadows merely imitate reality; they simulate what is real; they intimate that which is true; they suggest obscurely as to what or who made their image possible. But they are not the real thing.

They do not have the depth.  They lack that third dimension.  Shadows are flat and a bit distorted at times.  They lie upon the earth in only two dimensions.  Something three dimensional is held up off the earth, and light is actually blocked and a flat shadow results–a lack of light laying flat on the earth.  Shadows are earthly phenomenon; they are distinctively of the earth.

Furthermore, shadows have no life in and of themselves.  They are only beneficial in that they resemble at times the thing that blocks the light.  Shadows are dark lifeless representations of other things.  They cannot give life because they have not life to give.  The law, along with the feast days, new moons and sabbaths are a shadow of the reality found in Christ.

We Can Learn from Shadows

But we can learn from shadows.  What do they tell us?  We can glean a rough idea of what something is, what is its shape, what is its function.  But we cannot by embracing a shadow ever obtain the reality.

Shadows are merely lifeless, lightless representations and can never perfect anyone.  They can lead you to the Perfecter, but worshipping and circling a shadow is not worshipping that Glorious Reality.

All shadows disappear when the true Light comes near.  Christ is the Light with “neither shadow nor variableness of turning” [James 1: 7].  The true Light dispels the shadows. When He is truly come inside of us His temple, the Light will cause the shadows–the new moons, feast days, sabbaths, and all other earthly situations of worship to disappear.

These two passages of scripture should become clearer now: “The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath” (Mark 2: 27).

“The law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient…” (I Tim 1: 9).

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Filed under baptism, cross, crucified with Christ, death of self, feast days, resurrection