In 1869, a Christian philanthropist named James Campbell published a book titled The History and Philosophy of Marriage: Polygamy and Monogamy Compared. Filled with incredible wisdom and thought into natural law as well as Scripture regarding the societal effects of monogamy and polygamy. (Technically, the author always refers to polygyny, but uses the umbrella term polygamy.)Continue reading “Some thought provoking quotes from James Campbell, c. 1869”
It is with great peril that we negotiate with the Elohim of Avraham, Itzhaak and Ya’acov. We may come with a list of terms, however, we quickly find it best to simply hand Him a blank check.
If you consider yourself a servant of the Most High, dare to take the leap. Quit negotiating and simply sign the check. Long-term, it is much less painful.
The other day my wife, Kelly Clayton Rambo, showed me a meme that was on her Facebook page. I read it and immediately stated the corollary back to her…
“Righteousness, even if contrary to the traditions of men, is still righteousness, regardless of what everyone else thinks!”
While I have no idea who Russell M Nelson, the assumed author of the quote at left, is, I do know the quote is true. Scripture says so in multiple ways, but the most significant is,
Whatsoever thing I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add to it nor take away from it.Deut. 12:32
See? The two initial statements above, Nelson’s and mine, state in part the same truth. Let’s look at them in a little more detail.
“Sin, even if legalized by man, is still sin…” Man can’t change God’s Law by ignoring, overwriting, legislating or even erasing it. His Law is eternal and unchanging. To paraphrase God about some of His prophecies, ‘If you can make the sun stop coming up, or the sea cease to rush to shore, then you may be able to change the Torah.’ Murder is still murder, regardless of what the general populace believes, the government legalizes or how many copies of the Bible you burn. Murder (or, insert any other action condemned by God) is sin. Period.
The corollary for this is also true. Righteousness is righteousness, even if you don’t like it. Maybe people who keep the Feasts of the Lord, something He commands on multiple occasions, rankle you. Maybe it really irritates you that they choose to ignore, or even point out the verifiable pagan roots of some holidays. So? Keeping them is still righteousness, whether you like it or not. Same for Shabbat. Same for God’s everlasting dietary restrictions in Leviticus 11.
What is particularly interesting is when ‘believers’ don’t like a fellow follower of the Word because that follower actually does or believes what the Word clearly teaches. Imagine: someone studies the Word and sees that going to Jerusalem for the feasts is a commandment and begins to actually keep it while others, who may not understand or be convicted of that commandment, tear them down or separate from them. Does that action in any way undermine or change God’s commandment? No, it just exposes the sin and rebellion in the heart of the divisive.
How about a believer who separates from another because believing what the Bible says about a matter is ‘bad for public perception or public relations.’ Division and shunning is better than truth? Really? Pray tell what you think the Father’s opinion is of that course of action. I don’t see a single example of righteous men suppressing truth that ended well. In fact, the righteous in Scripture, prophets, apostles and the Messiah Himself, were willing to die for the hard truths, traditions and customs of men be damned.
Bottom-line: Sin is sin only if God says that it is sin. Righteousness is defined by Scripture, therefore, if Scripture calls something righteous, then we can’t call it otherwise. And, if God never calls something ‘unrighteous’ then we can’t either.
This really is simple stuff, yet people get wrapped around the axle. Do Bible stuff in Bible ways. Everything else is just religion and ‘religion’ is man-made rules for self-righteousness which, if based on man’s self made rules, is, by definition, sin!
So, do we instruct God in righteousness, or does He, the Lawgiver and Judge instruct us?
Whether we like or don’t like what the Torah says is immaterial. It is still TRUTH. It is the definition of righteousness.
It is okay to wrestle with it, but in the end we have to make a decision: obey or disobey. We are accountable for every jot and tittle.
“But this I confess to you, that according to the Way (which they call a sect), I worship the God of our fathers, believing everything written in the Torah and the Prophets.
Acts 24:14 TLV
Theological contortionist and doctrinal gymnastics aside, the seventh day Sabbath has not been changed (Ex. 20:8-11). The feasts of the Lord remain in effect (Lev. 23), and eating unclean still brings curses (Is. 66:16-17).
Please. Read what your Bible actually says, not what man made church doctrines say it says.
Set the trumpet to thy mouth. He shall come as an eagle against the house of the Lord , because they have transgressed my covenant, and trespassed against my law.
Hosea 8:1 KJV
The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul; The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.
Psalms 19:7 NASB
Acts 21:20 relates that a mark of the apostolic kahal/ekklesia/congregation was being zealous for the Law.
How does the Church today view those ‘zealous for the Law?’. How does God view those ‘zealous for the Law?’
If the Law, the Torah, defines sin and righteousness, how should we view those who denigrate or teach against lawFULL behavior? Is it just possible that Christendom is wrong and walking contrary to God’s ways? Is it possible that for the last 1800+ years Christian pastors and theologians commit the same error of the religious leaders Yeshua chastised for elevating their traditions above the simple written Word?
God’s Word says that the Torah brings life, righteousness, blessings and sanctification. Are you keeping the Sabbath, His Feasts, a clean diet, etc? Pete Rambo doesn’t say that is ‘the Way,’ God does.
Shema!! Yeshua died to redeem you from lawLESSness so that you might walk lawfully.
… Messiah Yeshua… gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.
Titus 2 NASB
One of the curious things about spiritual blindness is that the one affected usually has no awareness of being blind!
Friend and blogger, Anne Elliott of Anne’s Coffee Break, has recently written an interesting piece exploring blindness. Much good meat in this piece to consider.
How to Be Healed of Spiritual Blindness
Last week, I studied what the Bible has to say about healing, especially since I’ve been pondering blindness. This week, a verse in Revelation jumped off the page at me, and I knew I needed to study it further.
“And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write,
“‘These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked— I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.
“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches”’” (Revelation 3:14-22, NKJV).
I thought about the spiritual blindness that is permeating our country — no, the churches of our country — and yet, as Yeshua says, we do not know that we are “wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked.”
If 78% of Americans consider themselves Christians, according to an August 2015 report by the Barna Group, then why do we see such rampant sin in America? Why do we see “adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like” (Galatians 5:19-21), which Scripture tells us have no part in the kingdom of God?
And how can this be healed? (Continue Reading…)