You wrote: When you make the claim that you are the perfect commandment keeper of Rev 12:17, can you actually say that you have become a perfect commandment keeper now and could never break a commandment again? You better be able to say 'Yes' because you proclaim this status. You mentioned that you keep the commandments because you love God and because the Lord tells you to. This is exactly the way the Jews were.
My Response: Ron, the Jews rejected Jesus. I didn't. When Jesus commanded the adulteress, Mary Magdalene, "Go and sin no more," He didn't give her a command she could not keep. Through His grace, she was able to keep from committing adultery, and so could we. If Christ is abiding in the heart, you have become Christlike. A Christlike person does not wilfully sin. If, through weaknesses of human nature the Christian breaks the law, then Christ is our ADVOCATE. 1 John 2:1 "My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous."
You wrote: There are none righteous, no not one (nor ever will be).
My Response: You are absolutely right. Our righteousness is as filthy rags. Through Christ, however, WE CAN BE MADE RIGHTEOUS. 1 John 1:9 says "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from ALL unrighteousness."
If we are cleansed from ALL unrighteousness, what does that leave us? RIGHTEOUS, isn't it? If you do not believe this, you lack faith. We can be righteous through faith in Jesus Christ!
In fact, the whole Bible is an instruction book on how man can be made righteous.
I Tim 3:16,17 "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works."
Consider these texts:
1 Pet 2:21-23 "For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously:"
Jesus couldn't be our example if we couldn't do what He did. Everything Jesus did, He did them in His humanity. So, everything He did, we, too, could do. The miracles He performed came from His Heavenly Father. The miracles the disciples did came from their Heavenly Father. Jesus didn't used His divinity and expect us to follow Him as our Pattern in that nature. In His humanity, He supplicated the Throne. We, too, could supplicate the Throne of God. In his humanity, He kept perfectly the commandments of God, and so could we. He left us an example that we should follow in His steps.
We are saved not only by his death, but by His life. Rom 5:10 says: "For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life."
Jesus lived His life in perfect obedience to the Commandments of God and so could we. Again it is through the power of an abiding Christ that that would be possible. This is experiential religion. This is Righteousness by Faith--the power of the Gospel to change vile lives, to transform characters! Those awaiting the second coming of Christ would stand before him pure and spotless ELSE they would be consumed in a heartbeat by the brightness of His coming! 2 Thes 2:8.
Eph 5:27 "That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish." God's people make up the church.
Rev 14:4-5 "These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God."
These are just a few examples showing us that it IS POSSIBLE to keep God's Law. Satan says No, it isn't possible; Christ says YES it's possible through my GRACE that is sufficient. Who do you believe?
The principles of the law of God were wrought out in the character of Jesus Christ, and he who cooperates with Christ, becoming a partaker of the divine nature, will develop the divine character, and become an illustration of the divine law. Christ in the heart will bring the whole man, soul, body, and spirit into captivity to the obedience of righteousness. Christ's true followers will be in comfornity to the mind and will and character of God, and the far-reaching principles of the law will be demonstrated in humanity.
You wrote: We could never measure up to the perfection of Christ, that is why we must claim His righteousness.
My Response: You are correct! We could never measure up to the absolute perfection of Christ. Christ is perfect in HIS sphere, and we are to be perfect in OUR sphere. When we have faith in the merits of Jesus Christ, His righteousness is imputed/imparted to us JUST AS IF WE HAD NEVER SINNED, in the same way that Abraham was JUSTIFIED by faith.
"Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness" Rom 4:3-5.
Righteousness is obedience to the law. The law demands righteousness, and this the sinner owes to the law; but he is incapable of rendering it. The only way in which he can attain to righteousness is through faith. By faith he can bring to God the merits of Christ, and the Lord places the obedience of His Son to the sinner's account. Christ's righteousness is accepted in place of man's failure, and God receives, pardons, justifies, the repentant, believing soul, treats him as though he were righteous, and loves him as He loves His Son. This is how faith is accounted righteousness; and the pardoned soul goes on from grace to grace, from light to a greater light. --God's Amazing Grace, Page 265.
Matt 5:48 "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect."
You wrote: You are out of context with Eccl 12:13 which reads, "Fear God and keep His commandments."
I quoted the entire scripture for you for the very reason of not getting out of context. You didn't quote the entire text above. Perhaps you're the one who's out of context, Ron.
You wrote: Sorry Lydia, "Perfect love casteth out all fears." Someone is out of context here. Read all of 1 John 4:18, and see how it ends. It ends with, "But he who fears has not been made perfect in love."
Don't be sorry, Ron, I didn't use the word "fear". God did. The word "fear" used here means "in awe" of God for WHO HE IS--GOD. This type of fear is healthy. Look up Ps 111:10, Prov 2:5, Job 28:28, Deut 6:2, 1 Pet 2:17.
We can't toss aside scriptures in order to uphold our theology. We are to live by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord. Matt 4:4.
You wrote: The Bible does not teach that the blotted out sins get cast onto Satan for any purpose. Show me this verse or verses.
My Response: You have mentioned parallels in the type and the antitype. And so have I. Your parallels, however, are not complete. They stopped in the court (the cross) - the precious blood of the unblemished Sacrifice didn't go in to the sanctuary. There was no ministry involved. No application. No nothing. The book of Hebrews (this is explained later) called Jesus' ministry in the Antitypical Day of Atonement AN EXCELLENT MINISTRY.
There are many things in the Bible that are not specifically stated. They are givens. They are understood. This is one of them. When we look closely at what happened in the type and follow the flow of the services, we can basically know what is going on today in the antitype--Christ's closing ministry that is going on right NOW. Please read this carefully.
With only a few exceptions, all the sacrifices were slain in the court, at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, as the entrance of the first apartment was often called; for the whole congregation of Israel could assemble in the court and at this door. None but priests could enter within the sacred precincts of the tabernacle itself, for it typified the heavenly sanctuary, where God and Christ abide, surrounded by shining cherubim and seraphim. All the work performed in the court was typical of work done in the earth, while the work performed in the first and second apartments of the sanctuary was typical of work done in heaven.
No sacrifice was ever slain within the sanctuary; but the offerings were slain in the court, and the blood and flesh were carried within the sanctuary by the priest. Christ, the great antitypical Sacrifice, was slain in the antitypical court, this earth, and then entered the antitypical sanctuary in the heavens with His own blood and the same body in which He bore our sins on Calvary. Sins are forgiven, and are blotted out from the books in the heavenly sanctuary; but they are not destroyed there. Just as in the type the fires of the brazen altar in the court consumed that which in type represented sin; so in the antitype, the wicked will be "on the breadth of the earth" when fire comes down from God out of heaven and devours them. (Rev 20:9) This earth is the great antitypical court, where all the work typified in the court of the earthly sanctuary will meet its fulfillment.
You wrote: The record of sins that are kept in heaven are the sins of the unsaved.
My Response: Please note that the way sins get into the Heavenly Sanctuary ledger if for the penitent to confess and forsake them. As hardened sinners do not confess their sins (they couldn't care less), their sins are upon their heads, not in the books in Heaven, and when Jesus comes they would be consumed. On the other hand, when the penitent confesses his sins and forsakes them, his sins leave him and are now in the records in heaven for blotting out. When Jesus comes, he would not be consumed. His sins have gone on before him to judgment.
The constant burning upon the altar of that which typified sin, caused an accumulation of ashes. The priests in the earthly sanctuary served "unto the example and shadow of heavenly things," (Heb 8:5) and even the removal of the ashes was directed of the Lord to be done in a manner to typify a portion of the final work of Christ. The priest was to be clothed in the pure white linen garments, when he removed the ashes from the altar. The ashes 'were first taken up by the priest and placed 'beside the altar' on the east side. (Lev 6:10; 1:16) When the time came to remove them from beside the altar, the priest laid aside his priestly robes, and 'put on other garments;' then he carried the ashes forth without the camp, and poured them out in 'a clean place.' (Lev 6:11) Ashes are all that will remain of sin, sinners, and the devil after the fires of the last day have finished their work. (Mal 4:1-3, Eze 28:18,19) When the purifying fires of the Lord have removed the last trace of sin, there will appear a new earth, a clean place, without one taint of sin upon it; and as the righteous walk over the face of the clean, pure earth, the ashes of sin and all that clung to sin in this earth will be under their feet. Truly the type will then have met its antitype, and the ashes of all sin will be in 'a clean place.'
When the priest placed the ashes beside the altar, he was clothed in his priestly robes. The ashes represented the confessed sins of the righteous. When Christ bears the confessed sins of His people, He wears His priestly robes; but the time comes when He will place the sins of the righteous on the head of Satan, lay aside His priestly garments, and come to this earth clad in kingly robes, to gather out of His kingdom all things that offend and do iniquity, (Matt 13:41) Then all sin and sinners will be burned in the fire. Not in priestly robes will Christ come out into the antitypical court, the earth, to complete the final destruction of sin; but as King of kings and Lord of lords.
While the congregation of Israel could gather in the court, the priests alone were to perform the work at the altar, (Num 18:2-7) The Levites were given charge of the sanctuary, but they could not perform the service of the altar, for that typified work which none but Christ could do. He alone can destroy sin.
The laver was between the brazen altar and the door of the sanctuary. The laver and its base were both of brass. Water was kept in them, for the priests to wash both their hands and their feet before they entered the sanctuary to perform any service. They were also required to wash both hands and feet before they went "near the altar to minister, to burn offering made by fire unto the Lord." Death was the penalty for performing service at the altar or within the tabernacle without first washing in the laver. (Ex 30:17-21) As the people in the court beheld the priests wash in the water before they performed the work of the holy office, may it not have taught them the truth that Christ gave to Nicodemus, "Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God"? (John 3:5, Titus 3:5, Eph 5:26)
Now all these took place at the court yard of the sanctuary.
Ron, it is important that I include this here for you to get the parallel between the work that was done in the first apartment in the type and the work that was done in the first apartment in the antitype.
The work in the first apartment consisted principally of the morning and evening daily services, the individual sin-offerings, and services on feast days and on special occasions. God's visible presence was manifested in the first apartment, or tabernacle of the congregation. There at the first veil, or door, of the tabernacle of the congregation, (Ex 29:42,43;30:36 Num 17:4) where the people presented their sin-offerings, God met and communed with the children of Israel. Sometimes the cloud of glory, representing the visible presence of the Most Holy, filled the first apartment so that no one was able to enter. (Ex 40:34,35; 1 Kings 8:10,11: 2 Chron. 5:13,14: 7:2)
God's presence manifested in the first apartment of the earthly sanctuary was a shadow of the glorious presence and throne of the Father in the first apartment of the heavenly sanctuary, where, after enduring "the cross, despising the shame," the Saviour sat down "at the right hand of the throne of God." (Heb 12:2)
The service each morning and evening was very important. Within the first apartment the high priest offered incense upon the golden altar, and trimmed and lighted the lamps. (Ex 30:6-8)
The high priest performed this sacred work, which typified the adding of the fragrant incense of Christ's righteousness to the prayers of God's people, to render them acceptable before God. (Rev 8:3,4) He also trimmed and lighted those lamps that were a shadow of the Holy Spirit emanating from God, which at some time in life shines into the heart of every one, (John 1:9) inviting him to accept the Lord and His service, and which shines continually in the life of the individual who walks in the light, and is faithful to God.
The work that was done in the type had spiritual significance in the antitype. Notice this.
While the high priest within the sanctuary was performing the daily service morning and evening at the golden altar, the priests in the court were burning the whole burnt-offering, the meat-offering, and the drink-offering, upon the brazen altar, and the people were gathered without, praying. (Luke 1:10) When the children of Israel were carried into captivity, the faithful ones prayed, like Daniel, with their windows open toward Jerusalem. (Dan 6:10) They turned toward the temple, where, from the altar of continual intercession, the incense was ascending. This type represented those who may be held captive in cruel bondage by Satan, the prince of this world. It matters not where they may be nor how strong the bands that hold them, if they will resolutely turn their faces from their surroundings toward the heavenly sanctuary, where Christ pleads His blood and presents His righteousness in the sinner's behalf, the prayer of faith will bring peace and joy to the soul, and will break asunder the bands with which Satan has bound them. Christ sets before such an "open door, and no man can shut it." (Rev 3:8)
Ron, as the atonement in the type was NOT COMPLETE with the shedding of the blood of bulls in the court alone, the blood of the slain animal HAD TO BE BROUGHT INTO THE SANCTUARY by the high priest to complete the atonement. This was a ministry that's needed to be done. The high priest sprinkled the blood before the veil, etc. Likewise, the shedding of the blood of Jesus, however important that was, was not complete at the cross (the court) alone UNTIL it is taken into and applied in the Heavenly Sanctuary. In the antitype, Jesus himself entered into Heaven to plead His shed blood on behalf of sinners. Jesus is our High Priest and intercedes in our behalf. Talk about parallels, THIS is a classic parallel. All is not finished at the Cross!
Christ is ministering in behalf of His people! When we pray, read our Bibles, have personal devotions, Jesus in His office as High Priest, hears us, forgives us our sins, blesses us, cheers us, gives us hope, gives us assurance of our salvation, increases our faith, helps us reflect His image, etc. When the mediatorial work is finished He will set aside His priestly garment, change into a Kingly garment and come in power and great glory to take His people home.
The book of Hebrews explains fully and beautifully the mediatorial work of Jesus as High Priest in the great Antitypical Day of Atonement. Notice the parallels in Heb 10. Note particularly verse 20: "By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh."
Going back to your question of where is the verse or verses in the Bible that state that the blotted out sins get cast onto Satan for any purpose. As I have stated before there are many things in the Bible that are not specifically stated. They are givens. They are understood. As we have looked closely at the parallel between the type and the antitype, on the Day of Atonement, the high priest confessed the sins of all Israel and laid them upon the scapegoat which was led out to the wilderness to die by a fit man.
You wrote: The scapegoat represents Jesus Christ, the sin bearer. Satan is not our sin bearer! The Psalmist writes "As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgression from us."
My Response: We're talking about parallels in the sanctuary services of the type and antitype. In the antitype Christ will remove our sins by placing them on the scapegoat (Azazel) for ultimate destruction.
Many modern scholars hold, with the Jews, that Azazel denotes a personal, wicked, superhuman spirit, and nearly all agree that its root meaning is, "one who removes," "a remover," specifically, one who removes "by a series of acts." Others suggest that it is a combination of ‘ez, "goat," and ‘azal, "to go away," "to depart."
As one goat is for the Lord, a personal Being, so the other goat must also be for a personal being; and as they are evidently antithetical, the most consistent view would be that Azazel stands in opposition to the Lord, and hence can be no other than Satan.
Also we find that in verse 26 of Lev 16, the scapegoat contaminated. The fit man that led the goat out to the wilderness to die had to wash his clothes and bathe in water before coming back into the camp. Jesus is the spotless Lamb of God, never a scapegoat. Jesus never contaminated. So, in the antitypical Day of Atonement, Jesus the High Priest in the Heavenly Sanctuary confesses all the sins of His people and lays them on Satan who will be destroyed utterly in the lake of fire together with sins and sinners. They will ashes upon the feet of the redeemed in the earth made new. See Mal 4:3.
True, Jesus is our sin bearer, but He will not always bear our sins. Heb 9:28 says "So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation." Where did the sin go? On Satan for final destruction!
You wrote: I say again that I do not think you understand the Law of Christ. You are still caught up with the old covenant decalogue as God's universal and you believe that you have to keep it perfect. We don't come to Jesus and all of a sudden be able to keep the commandments. When Jesus said "Go and sin no more", He did not mean that it is now possible to be perfect, He was showing this woman that worse things come upon people when they continually sin.
My Response: I think we're going around in circles here. I understand the Law of Christ perfectly well. He abides in my heart, and HE enables me to obey Him by keeping His Law. He lives out His life in me. Gal 2:20.
When Jesus told Mary Magdalene to go and sin no more, she did just that. She quit going to the hang outs of prostitutes to get tempted right back to her former life style.
You are absolutely right when you said Jesus was showing Mary Magdalene that worst things come upon people when they continually sin. So the lesson here is what I've been saying all along: Surrender ALL to Christ and He will help you be obedient.
When people accept Jesus as their personal Lord and Saviour, they have become NEW creatures in Christ. They have put away their former evil life style. New desires, new tastes have developed. That's the POWER of the GOSPEL of Jesus Christ to change lives. This power enables you to keep the commandments of God for it is now written in the heart.
If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." 2 Cor 5:17.
Through the power of Christ, men and women have broken the chains of sinful habit. They have renounced selfishness. The profane have become reverent, the drunken sober, the profligate pure. Souls that have borne the likeness of Satan have become transformed into the image of God. This change is in itself the miracle of miracles. A change wrought by the Word, it is one of the deepest mysteries of the Word. We cannot understand it; we can only believe, as declared by the Scriptures, it is "Christ in you, the hope of glory." Christ in the heart helping you to obey His Law.
When the soul surrenders itself to Christ, a new power takes possession of the new heart. A change is wrought which man can never accomplish for himself. It is a supernatural work, bringing a supernatural element into human nature. The soul that is yielded to Christ becomes His own fortress, which He holds in a revolted world, and He intends that no authority shall be known in it but His own. A soul thus kept in possession by the heavenly agencies is impregnable to the assaults of Satan. But unless we do yield ourselves to the control of Christ, we shall be dominated by the wicked one.
As I mentioned before, God is perfect in His sphere and we are to be perfect in our sphere. Consider the acorn. Is it perfect? It's not an oak tree yet, but is it perfect? It is at that stage, isn't it? It's a perfect seed. When the first green shoot appears, is it perfect? It's not an oak tree yet, but it's perfect at that stage, isn't it? Apply that analogy to our Christian growth. When babes in the faith we are perfect at that stage. We grow by reading and assimilating and digesting the Word of God. Yes, we may slip and fall in times of weakness, but we have an Advocate with the Father, the Lord Jesus. But the direction of the life is Heavenward.
When Jesus said "Go and sin no more", he meant JUST THAT. When people start putting their own interpretations into what Jesus said, that's the reason for so many different interpretations of the Bible--so many confusion and Babylon in the churches today. Why not just accept what Jesus said? Go and sin no more, period.
You wrote: This is what is known as sinning against the Holy Spirit not the law. He was also speaking to a woman who was at the time under the circumstances of an old covenant system of law. The woman was stuck under a covenant that said, "If you break one, you break them all." It was an impossible system. He was also speaking to a woman that lived under a covenant that taught that keeping the law was their righteousness.
My Response: God did not give us an impossible system. Calvary made it possible for us to attain righteousness by faith in Christ Jesus. Because of Calvary we can be victorious over sin and the Devil.
The sin against the Holy Ghost is the sin of persistent refusal to respond to the invitation to repent. To the person who is on the verge of committing the unpardonable sin, the conscience becomes less and less impressible. The voice of God seems to become more and more distant, and the wrongdoer is left to his own infatuation. In stubbornness he resists every appeal, despises all counsel and advice, and turns from every provision made for his salvation, and the voice of the messenger of God makes no impression upon his mind. The Spirit of God no longer exerts a restraining power over him, and the sentence is passed, 'He is joined to idols, let him alone.'
You wrote: We need to keep circumstances in their proper context. If Jesus knows that spiritual growth is a life long process, would he be telling the woman that it is possible to be perfect and she could actually obtain sinlessness at that time.
My Response: Ron, I am not talking about SINLESSNESS here at all. The nature that we inherited from Adam is SINFUL. It's a fallen nature. We have a propensity, a tendency, a bend to sinning because of it. It is not natural to be obedient. It is not natural to be righteous. Obedience comes from God Himself the same as REPENTANCE. Repentance is a GIFT from God. We cannot generate a heart-felt repentance. It has to come from God. We cannot obey God on our own. God helps us to OBEY HIS LAWS.
All my emails to you have been about the fact that we are sinners because WE BREAK THE LAW per 1 John 3:4. Man, in cooperation with Divinity, can be obedient and not sin in this area. However, we cannot do anything to change our fallen nature. No one including Mary Magdalene and all the apostles and disciples put together have attained SINLESSNESS until the Second Coming of Christ when this mortal shall put on immortality.
We do not pray for forgiveness for having inherited a fallen nature from Adam, do we? Such prayer would be something like this: "Lord, please forgive me for being a child of Adam..." But we pray for forgiveness for being dishonest to our neighbors, for coveting things that don't belong to us, for committing adultery, for stealing, etc.
You wrote: If you truly believe that you and all the people in your denomintion have become perfect you are deceived. Even if you think you have become a perfect person in all your actions, you are deceived.
My Response: We need to be refined, cleansed from all earthliness, till we reflect the image of our Saviour, and become "partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust." Then we shall delight to do the will of God, and Christ can own us before the Father and before the holy angels as those who abide in Him, and He will not be ashamed to call us brethren.
But we shall not boast of our holiness. As we have clearer views of Christ's spotlessness and infinite purity, we shall feel as did Daniel, when he beheld the glory of the Lord, and said, "My comeliness was turned in me into corruption."
We cannot say, "I am sinless," till this vile body is changed and fashioned like unto His glorious body. But if we constantly seek to follow Jesus, the blessed hope is ours of standing before the throne of God without spot or wrinkle, or any such thing; complete in Christ, robed in His righteousness and perfection.
Hope I made myself clear.
Ron's response to this email was a simple: "Okay, Lydia". Thus ending my odyssey with Ron on the Old Covenant and God's Moral Law of Ten Commandments which includes the weekly seventh-day Sabbath.
I can't help but feel an overwhelming sadness over this situation with Ron, a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I showed him scriptures to the effect that God's Law is Truth (Ps 119:142,151). God's Truth is His Words. His Words are Spirit and Life Eternal. They cannot be discarded. When we believe and teach others to discard the Truth of God, then it shows we do not have the love for the Truth. Therefore, God will send us strong delusion that we should believe a lie. 2 Thes 2:10-11. I think that's what happened to Ron.