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Bondage To The Written Laws



By Dr. Richard Ing

Under the Old Testament, God required that certain days be set aside as special Sabbaths, or feast days.  He also gave specific instructions regarding temple affairs, sacrifices and rituals that had to be strictly followed.  So precise were those instructions that the priests dared not divert from them by using their own intellect and good intentions.  Nadab and Abihu, Aaron's two priest sons, offered strange fire to the Lord and God sent fire from heaven to devour them.  Lev. 10:1; Nu. 3:4.

The "do's and do nots" under the Old Covenant became a curse because no man could obey all of the law to do them.  "For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them."  Gal. 3:10.  If you followed one part of the written law, you were required to obey all of them.

The apostle Paul was sent by God to minister to the uncircumcised Gentiles and preached that "the just shall live by faith.  And the law is not of faith."  Gal. 3:11-12.  "For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor.  For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God."  Gal. 2:18-19.  Faith in Jesus Christ and works of the law do not go together.

The apostle Paul rebuked those that celebrated certain times and days as being special or part of Christianity.  "Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years.  I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain."  Gal. 4:10-11; Col. 2:16. 

Some of the Jews who claimed to be Christians insisted that the Gentiles had to be circumcised in order to become a Christian, as they were under the Old Covenant.  Paul resisted them and stated, "If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?"  Gal. 2:14.  In other words, if the converted Jews now live free from the bondage of the written law, why do they require the Gentile converts to live according to the written law? 

Jesus Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law.  Gal.3:13.  We are no longer bound by holidays, celebrations and festivals as those under the Old Covenant.  The Lord even released us from the bondage of needing a temple of wood and stone to worship Him.  He did away with the elite priesthood with their exalted statuses and titles.  God made our body the temple of God and put the Holy Spirit in us in place of an elite priesthood reserved to the privileged only.  But the flesh has reinstated the Old Covenant, thus making the cross of Jesus of non-effect.  Those that observe special feast days, months, times and years, have returned to the Old Covenant and are fallen from grace.  "Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace."  Gal. 5:4.

The early church never celebrated Halloween, Christmas or Easter.  These observances bring curses upon the church.  They put us back into bondage to the flesh and the written law.  "O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?  This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?"  Gal. 3:1-2.  Not that the laws of God are not righteous.  They were put into our hearts.

Christmas is as much a "work of the law" as is circumcision, wearing a skull cap, washing hands in a laver before entering church, making the sign of the cross, wearing priestly gowns, building an altar to God or a replica of the ark of the testimony and carrying it down the aisle in a procession before service.  I've visited such Christian churches before.  Many Christian churches have reinstated much of the Old Covenant observances.  "A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump."  Gal. 5:9. 

The scary thing is that the flesh craves attention.  It loves to be religious and receive credit.  But if a Christian goes back to obeying the written law, he is responsible keeping all of the law.  Worse, he has fallen from grace.  Gal. 5:3-4.

Decisions must be made that could affect where you are with God.  In an earlier article, I mentioned that God destroyed His people in the days of Isaiah, the prophet, and one hundred and twenty years later, in the days of Jeremiah, because the people were worshiping the Virgin (Is. 47:1), Madonna ("Lady" in Italian.  Is. 47:5, 7), the Queen of Heaven (Jer. 44:17-19), and observing December 25, the birthday of Tammuz, the sun god of Babylon (Eze. 8:14), by putting up Christmas trees in their homes (Jer. 10:1-5) and giving each other gifts. 

Are you under the Old Covenant or do you live by the faith of Jesus Christ and His grace?  You cannot obey the Old Covenant laws and rituals and be under the grace of God and the cross at the same time.

The truth will make you angry, but the truth will make you free.

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