A Holy Nation #5

Friday, January 24, 2014

“For I am the LORD that bringeth you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy” (Leviticus 11:45 KJV).

Today’s Scripture summarizes a book most burdensome to many.

Indeed, Israel had a motivation to keep the Mosaic Law. Essentially, Moses told them, “Obey God’s laws or experience His wrath!” Nevertheless, history testifies that Israel spent more time experiencing JEHOVAH’S judgments—outside of her Promised Land, scattered amongst the Gentiles, et cetera—than she did enjoying His blessings.

Today’s Scripture is an excerpt from that strict system of Law-keeping (here, kosher food laws are being dispensed). Israel was to obey JEHOVAH, to act differently from her Gentiles neighbors (in the context of today’s Scripture, to maintain a unique diet). “I am the LORD your God, which have separated you from other people. Ye shall therefore put difference between clean beasts and unclean, and between unclean fowls and clean: and ye shall not make your souls abominable by beast, or by fowl, or by any manner of living thing that creepeth on the ground, which I have separated from you as unclean” (Leviticus 20:24b,25).

Read Leviticus 20:26: “And ye shall be holy unto me: for I the LORD am holy, and have severed you from other people, that ye should be mine.” And Leviticus 22:31-33: “Therefore shall ye keep my commandments, and do them: I am the LORD. Neither shall ye profane my holy name; but I will be hallowed among the children of Israel: I am the LORD which hallow [sanctify] you, That brought you out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: I am the LORD.” Israel was JEHOVAH’S people, and all the Gentiles should have seen that difference in their lifestyles.

Absolutely, the Mosaic Law was an extremely strict system (many Jews died for breaking it!). Yes, God foreknew that Israel could never keep it, that they would never measure up to His righteousness. So, if He knew they could not keep it, then why did He give Israel the Mosaic Law in the first place? The Bible explains….

A Holy Nation #1

Monday, January 20, 2014

“For I am the LORD that bringeth you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy” (Leviticus 11:45 KJV).

Today’s Scripture summarizes a book most burdensome to many.

An individual with whom I recently spoke had difficulty fathoming the necessity of the “strange” Old Testament kosher food laws (Leviticus chapter 11). In fact, the entire book of Leviticus (27 chapters) contains what many call “nit-picky” rules and regulations.

Leviticus—whose name is derived from Levi, the tribe of Israel’s priests, the main people of the book—abounds with JEHOVAH’S highly detailed instructions to Israel regarding blood sacrifices and food offerings, sexuality, clothing, health laws for lepers (those who contracted various skin diseases), a complex calendar of yearly feasts, farming practices, servitude and real estate, tithing, clean and unclean foods, an elaborate system of divine judgment in response to their disobedience, et cetera. The average Bible reader stumbles over this book. Why was God so strict and demanding? Did He just enjoy bullying Israel and controlling her every move?

Moses advised Israel in Deuteronomy 4:6-8: “Keep therefore and do [God’s statutes and judgments]; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statues, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people. For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them, as the LORD our God is in all things that we call upon him for? And what nation is there so great, that hath statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day?”

As today’s Scripture indicates, JEHOVAH is “holy,” and He wanted Israel to be “holy.” “Holy” in this sense means, “set apart [sanctified],” not sinless. Just as JEHOVAH was separate from the false idols of the heathen (Psalm 96:4,5, for example), so He wanted Israel to be separate from the nations of the world. He had redeemed them from Egypt (a type of the world), and now they were to live like His people!

Now, we begin to see why God was so “demanding” in the Mosaic Law….

Why Animals Fear Man

Saturday, August 18, 2012

“And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon all that moveth upon the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea; into your hand are they delivered” (Genesis 9:2 KJV).

Today’s Scripture explains why animals flee from and/or attack encroaching humans.

In the beginning humans and animals lived together harmoniously. Actually, God brought to Adam all the fowls of the air and all the beasts of the field so that he could name them (Genesis 2:19,20)—yes, that would include dinosaurs! Humans and animals were originally herbivores, meaning their diets consisted strictly of plants (herbs, nuts/seeds, fruits, vegetables, et cetera), not flesh (Genesis 1:29,30).

But, once Adam sinned, the diet of man and animals changed. Here, in today’s Scripture, Noah and his family have survived the Great Flood, and they are now exiting the ark. God’s instructions are: “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth” (Genesis 9:1). This is basically what God told Adam and Eve some 1,600 years earlier (Genesis 1:28), but now God adds a stipulation: Noah can eat flesh.

The LORD tells Noah in Genesis 9:3: “Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things.” Mankind can now eat any creature: he has to first catch or trap it! But, to make it fair, God instilled within animals the mechanism to flee from us humans, and to attack us when we invade their habitats. Here is one example of where science disagrees with the Bible: scientists (wrongly) classify man as a “higher evolved animal,” whereas God’s Word differentiates between humans and animals.

Today, we do not observe Israel’s kosher food laws (Colossians 2:16). We can eat any animal we choose: “For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer” (1 Timothy 4:4,5). You can eat any and every animal, but first you must catch it! 🙂

Doctrines of Devils

Thursday, April 12, 2012

“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; speaking lies in hypocrisy; having conscience seared with a hot iron; forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats…” (1 Timothy 4:1,2 KJV).

Today’s Scripture describes modern-day lukewarm Christendom, especially its leadership. Many church leaders are “speaking lies in hypocrisy.” They appear as sincere and godly men, but they covet your trust… as to acquire your wallet!

Exactly what are “doctrines of devils?” Dabbling in the occult? Frequenting clubs and bars? Illegal activities? A doctrine of devils is any teaching that is contrary to the King James Bible rightly divided. Denominational teaching, church tradition, and human viewpoint are doctrines of devils.

God commanded Israel to observe the Sabbath, get water baptized, tithe, tongue talk, work miracles, eat kosher foods, and keep the Mosaic Law. If anyone tells you that you have to do those things—and much of Christendom does—they are teaching you doctrines of devils. God is not administering Israel’s program today; these activities do not belong in our dispensation.

These are Israel’s commandments and ordinances, not ours! God does not demand these activities from you. If someone wants to put you under the Mosaic Law, that is a doctrine of devils (Romans 6:14,15). If they tell you to work for your salvation instead of relying on Jesus Christ’s finished cross work, that too is a doctrine of devils (Galatians 1:6-9).

Satan is sneaky. A doctrine of devils may even use the name “Jesus,” “Gospel,” or “Spirit,” but Paul warns us of “another Jesus, another spirit, and another gospel” (2 Corinthians 11:3,4; Galatians 1:6-9).

One of the last things Paul wrote was, “This thou knowest, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me” (2 Timothy 1:15). If a departure from God’s Word through Paul’s ministry existed 2,000 years ago, how much worse has that apostasy gotten! Since Paul’s time, 38,000-plus (!) “Christian” denominations have sprung up. There has been such an explosion of false teaching that it is unbelievable.

Beware of the doctrines of devils… in church circles.

Diets and the Dispensations

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

“For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer” (1 Timothy 4:4,5 KJV).

Opponents of dispensational Bible study claim that because God never changes (Malachi 3:6; Hebrews 13:8), His dealings with mankind never change. Certainly, God’s essence—His character and nature—never changes. But, His directions to man do change, and this is easily exemplified by comparing today’s Scripture with the following:

  • NO MEAT, VEGETATION ONLY — Genesis 1:27-29: Before sin, God instructed Adam and Eve to eat only vegetation like nuts, seeds, vegetables, and fruits (no meat).
  • ALL MEAT AND VEGETATION — Genesis 9:1-4: After the Great Flood, God taught Noah to eat any animal that he could catch (1,600 years after Adam, meat is incorporated into man’s diet).
  • ONLY CERTAIN MEAT — Leviticus 11:1-31 and Deuteronomy 14:1-21: In the Mosaic Law, some 850 years after Noah, God ordered Israel to abstain from some meats, the “unclean” beasts which included bats, owls, camels, vultures, lizards, and swine. These kosher food laws of Judaism remained in effect for the next 1500 years.

Which passage should we obey? Eat only vegetation (Genesis 1:27-29)? Or, eat any meat we choose (today’s Scripture and Genesis 9:1-4)? Or, eat only certain meats (Leviticus 11:1-31 and Deuteronomy 14:1-21)? While these seem like contradictions, notice God spoke them to different groups of people at different times (dispensations). We must never mix the directions God gave in the various dispensations because Bible “contradictions” will arise. “Rightly dividing the word of truth” is necessary to determine which passage is God’s Word to us (2 Timothy 2:15).

As Gentiles, Paul is our apostle (Romans 11:13): Paul is God’s spokesman to us. In today’s Scripture, the Holy Spirit through Paul tells us that since we live in the Dispensation of Grace, we are not bound to observe Israel’s kosher food laws. We can eat all meats, provided we give God thanks (but note how God did not allow this in other dispensations).

No clearer example of the importance of dispensational Bible study could be presented.

Kosher Food Laws

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

“Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:” (Colossians 2:16 KJV).

Some professing “Christian” groups prohibit their members from consuming pork products. Is this necessary? While God clearly forbade the nation Israel from eating pork in time past (Leviticus 11:7,8; Deuteronomy 14:8), we are not under legalistic demands (the Mosaic Law) in this the Dispensation of Grace. “Ye are not under the law, but under grace” (Romans 6:14b). God does not want us to be in the bondage of Mosaic Law-keeping (Galatians 4:9-11; Galatians 5:1).

Today, God uses His grace, not the Mosaic Law, to educate us and guide our lifestyles and behavior: “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;” (Titus 2:11,12).

The Apostle Peter, according to Acts 10:9-16, was a kosher-food Jew. When he finally ate non-kosher foods with the Apostle Paul’s Gentile believers, the Jews were upset with Peter (Galatians 2:11,12). These Jews had no idea that God had opened a new dispensation, our dispensation, and the laws that God gave Israel in the Dispensation of Law did not apply to anyone in our Dispensation of Grace. Hence, today’s Scripture declares that we are not bound to observe Israel’s kosher food laws and religious days (including the Sabbath day!).

In 1 Timothy 4:1-5, we read God’s further instructions to us regarding kosher food laws: “…some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrine of devils; speaking lies in hypocrisy… and commanding to abstain from meats [foods], which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.”

Provided that you give thanks to God for the bacon, catfish, and shrimp, God says you can eat them! 🙂