THE HIGHEST LAW OF GOD
Copyright © 2013 Trumpet Ministries, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica. Used by permission.
Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, "I will dwell in them and walk among them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people." (II Corinthians 6:16—NASB)
There was an occasion on which the Lord Jesus approached the elders of Israel. Jesus said to them, "Search the Scriptures for in them you think you have eternal life. And you will not come to Me that you might have life"!
You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life. (John 5:39,40)
In the passage we see the difference between religion and eternal life. Religion has fellowship with the Scriptures. Eternal life has fellowship with the Lord Jesus.
Let me say at the outset that I subscribe to the full verbal inspiration of all generally accepted Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek texts. In this brief essay I am by no means casting so much as a shadow of doubt on the Scriptures.
If we are to mature in the Lord Jesus we must obey His commands and those of His Apostles. The Spirit of God never contradicts the written Word.
There may be found, however, in some Christian people, an attitude much like the elders of Israel. They fasten on the inspired texts but do not know Jesus Himself.
I do not know if the spiritual environment has changed recently and now Jesus is closer to us than has been true previously. I think it may be possible. But Jesus is very real to me. He is in my consciousness at all times, day and night. And I do not believe I am anyone special. I think Jesus will be close to anyone who listens to Him and does His will.
We can see the religious blindness when the Lord was teaching on the earth. He was criticized for healing on the Sabbath—He who always kept the intent of the Law of Moses in every respect.
Jesus was criticized for permitting His disciples to eat from the heads of the wheat that was growing.
Then the Lord reminded the elders that David ate the Showbread because he was hungry. This is an unheard of act! None but the priests could so much as look at the Table of Showbread, much less eat of the Bread of the Presence.
But David was hungry. That was why it was justified.
We cannot just go around defying the written Word of God. But if we are walking in God's Presence, as David was, and have God's Heart, we will know when to adhere to the letter of the Bible and when to follow Jesus in some seemingly contrary way.
There is, in the Book of Isaiah, an interesting explanation of the Sabbath day.
"If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath and from doing as you please on my holy day, if you call the Sabbath a delight and the Lord's holy day honorable, and if you honor it by not going your own way and not doing as you please or speaking idle words, then you will find your joy in the Lord, and I will cause you to ride in triumph on the heights of the land and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob." (Isaiah 58:13,14)
Can you see from the above the intent of the Sabbath command? It is infinitely more than just not working. One can cease working on Saturday and not at all fulfill the above.
In fact, the intent of the Sabbath command is fulfilled in our discipleship when we choose to enter the rest of God, in which we cease from our own works and live at every moment according to what we are hearing from the Lord Jesus. Yet we may, as we are directed by the Spirit, work on Saturday.
This is a difficult subject to explain correctly. A person can take what I am saying and use it to fornicate. This actually is done by people who live together apart from any civil sanction, saying "God has told us we are married in His sight."
But the very definition of fornication is sexual activity outside of legal marriage; and Paul told us fornicators will not inherit the Kingdom of God.
So can we go against the Bible any time we feel like it? Absolutely not. We never can come to maturity in Christ, to the point where we know the will of Christ for us, unless we keep His commands and those of His Apostles. The Morning Star, Christ, will not rise in us unless we take heed to the Scriptures!
We also have the prophetic message (the Scriptures) as something completely reliable, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. (II Peter 1:19)
However, we always must be hearing from Jesus how He wants His commands fulfilled; and we always must be receiving from Him wisdom and strength to properly obey His will.
The Father and the Son will not make us Their eternal dwelling place unless we obey the teachings of Christ. Thus we see that the current teaching of "grace" has the ability to keep us from ever being the dwelling place of the Father and the Son.
Jesus replied, "Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them." (John 14:23)
The Apostle Paul taught that we can turn away from the Law of Moses and believe in Christ, and yet possess the righteousness of the Law. This is true, of course, but what it means to believe in Christ often is misunderstood, I think.
Christ is the culmination of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes. (Romans 10:4)
There is "belief" that merely is little more than an acknowledgment of what is true. The demons believe and tremble, the Apostle James tells us as he warns about the "belief" that is nothing more than mental assent.
You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder. (James 2:19)
In spite of James' warning, it appears to me that this kind of empty belief prevails in America of our day. "Believe in Christ and you will go to Heaven when you die and live in a mansion," is a common exhortation.
However, to truly believe in Christ means to turn aside from our regular life in the world and spend time each day praying and cultivating the Lord's Presence. This means meditating in the Scriptures and presenting our body as a living sacrifice that we might prove God's will for our life.
Christ has a ministry and gift for each one of us, and we never will find it unless we spend time each day seeking the Lord.
The American culture is filled with information and communication devices of every sort imaginable: television, Internet, cell phones, Facebook, Twitter, electronic games, and no doubt more to come.
These are the habitation of Satan. By these means Satan insures that our mind is transformed into the image he wants. We never will find God's will for our life if we are occupied with social networking.
I mentioned to our congregation that we should keep a record each day of how much time we spend on these electronic devices, and devote the same amount of time to cultivating the Presence of Christ. Until we do this we never will come to the highest law of God.
Spending significant time each day seeking the Lord will lead us to a higher plane of fellowship with Christ than we may have experienced. If we keep on pressing forward in Christ, we will begin to know what He wants us to do at every moment.
The new covenant is not a covenant of the letter but of the Spirit of God. We must learn how to be led by the Spirit, who is the Law of the new covenant.
The new covenant is the writing of the eternal moral law of God in our mind and heart. Such writing provides an inner law to govern our conduct. In this manner we grow into the image of Christ.
This is the covenant I will establish with the people of Israel after that time, declares the Lord. I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. (Hebrews 8:10)
Although the passage says "with the people of Israel," it applies to all who are of the one Seed of Abraham. The above is the only Christian covenant found in the New Testament.
The forming of Christ in us is part of the highest law of God. But it must be accompanied by our continually hearing and obeying the living Jesus if our being formed in the image of God is to be perfected.
Remember, I am not saying we can discard the Bible. I am saying we obey the written admonitions until we actually are having fellowship with God and Christ.
It is obvious that most people throughout history have been largely ignorant of the true God and His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. These will not be cast into the Lake of Fire, as I think is somewhat implied in Christian thinking. Rather, unless they are truly wicked individuals, I believe they will be taught the Bible in the spirit world. They will be judged as we are, even though they no longer are alive in the world.
There will be teachers who will help them find the Lord's will for themselves. I hope to be one of those teachers.
For this is the reason the gospel was preached even to those who are now dead, so that they might be judged according to human standards in regard to the body, but live according to God in regard to the spirit. (I Peter 4:6)
Please do not deduce from my teaching that I am saying we can defy Christ in the present world, and then have another chance in the spirit world after we die. There comes a time in every person's life when he or she is confronted with the need to obey Christ, whether in the present world or the next. If we knowingly and willfully disobey Christ, there will be no second chance. We have sealed our own doom.
The first law of the Kingdom is absolute obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ. The Lake of Fire is the proper home for those who refuse to obey God's King, the Lord Jesus.
The title of the present essay is "The Highest Law of God." We begin by confessing our belief in Christ. Then we are baptized in water in the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
After this we gather with fervent Christians on a regular basis, if such is possible. We give of our substance. We pray and read our Bible each day. We obey the teachings of Christ. We look to the Lord as to what way we can help build up the Body of Christ. If God so leads, we can bring others to Christ.
Meanwhile the eternal moral law of God is being written in our mind and heart; which is the same as saying, Christ is being formed in us.
We keep pressing forward, keenly aware that we have a very competent adversary, Satan, who will do all in his power to keep us from being transformed into God's image.
As we seek the Mind of Christ in the decisions, great and small, that we make each day, the Presence of Christ becomes stronger. We keep committing our way to Him and He keeps directing our path.
We make sure that we have time each day to pray and meditate in the Scriptures, even though that may not leave time for the television, or Facebook, or Twitter. Like the Apostle Paul, we are counting all else as garbage that we may know Christ.
If we manage to overcome through Christ the traps Satan sets for us, bearing our personal cross of denial (which is the only way to escape being deceived), we begin to approach the Light, we might say.
Now, instead of being led only by Christian principles, we are hearing from Jesus. The Father and Christ are having fellowship with us.
We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. (I John 1:3)
The Lord Jesus said, "that where I am, there you may be also."
And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. (John 14:3)
Now, let's think about that for a moment.
Where is Jesus? Having the power of multiple presence (which we also may have some day if we follow Him diligently long enough), Jesus is in a multitude of places at once. In fact, He is right next to you, if you desire His Presence.
But there is one place where Jesus always is, and that is the Throne Room of the Father.
The Apostle Paul advised us to seek those things that are above where Christ sits at the right hand of God.
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. (Colossians 3:1,2)
Have you ever tried keeping your heart on things above? I find it difficult because there are so many other thoughts. But I have been praying, especially every night after I go to bed, that God will establish my mind in the heavenlies.
The result of this persistent prayer is that I have been becoming increasingly aware of what I refer to as the Throne Room. Several times each day and night I ask the Lord to make me aware of being in the Throne Room.
There are wonderful things there. The first thing that catches our eye is the great Throne of the Father. The Father has the overall appearance of jasper and ruby.
There is a rainbow with the shining of an emerald circling the Throne.
Surrounding the Throne are twenty-four lesser thrones on which are seated twenty-four elders. They are clothed in white and have golden crowns on their heads.
They continually are laying their crowns before the Throne and worshiping Him who sits on the great Throne. If we are to be with Christ where He always is, we too must continually cast down our crown before God, saying, "Not my will but Yours be done."
Lightning and thunder keep coming from the Throne, because the power that upholds the universe is issuing from here. One time many years ago I had a brief glimpse of the Throne and the rays of power always issuing from it.
The seven Spirits of God are as lamps blazing before the Throne. I take these to be the seven Spirits mentioned by Isaiah that rest in Their fullness on the anointed Jesus: wisdom, understanding, counsel, might, knowledge, the fear of the Lord, and delight in the fear of the Lord.
There is in front of the Throne a sea of glass, as clear as crystal, but now filled with fire because of the exercise of Divine judgment. Standing beside the fiery sea are those who have lived victoriously in the Lord. They are singing the song of Moses and of the Lamb, revealing that the saints of all ages partake of the redemption that is in Christ.
Around the Throne are the four Cherubim of Glory, portraying in themselves the four Faces of God. I believe these Cherubim are God's way of revealing His personality outside of Himself. They are covered with eyes, signifying that all matters are visible to the Father.
Then, of the highest importance, we see the Lamb. He has been slain. He alone is able to break the seals and open the scroll that tells of the events attending the establishing on the earth of the Kingdom of God and of Christ.
Such is the vision that is before me as I endeavor to keep my attention on things above, as the Apostle Paul exhorted us. I desire with all my heart to be there; to live there; to be established there for eternity.
I want to be with Jesus where He always is. How about you?
Continual, ever increasing fellowship with God and Christ keeps us righteous before God more fully than any other law could possibly do. It is the highest law of God.
Perfect obedience to Christ is required both in our inward nature and in our outward nature. Jesus Christ is the King whom God has chosen, and be must be obeyed promptly and diligently at all times.
And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. (John 14:3)