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We will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete,[1] wrote Paul to the Corinthian church.

What does punish every act of disobedience mean except disobedience to the commands of God?  Paul wrote ‘every act’ meaning every disobedience perpetrated against every covenant of God, both the first, the old, and the new, even the ones made with Noah, Abraham and David.  Every act of disobedience applies to every person and creature in Creation, to the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their own home[2]…and saw that the daughters of men were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose.[3]  To every animal that sheds the blood of another animal, and to men.  The final process of bringing all to account depends on our obedience being complete.

Complete obedience begins by correct obedience, that is, obedience to the law that you are supposed to obey.  Obedience to laws that you are not supposed to obey does not count as obedience.  And complete obedience is perfect obedience, that is, full obedience to the law you are supposed to obey.  The commandment we are to obey first as disciples of Christ is of course the Father’s command, “Listen to Him!”[4], followed by the practice of the words of Jesus we have heard, including all His commands to the disciples.  And since the disciples are also part of the church, then listening to what the Holy Spirit is saying to the churches is also required.[5]  The dedication to the obedience of our set of law can only be complete when it takes precedence over our observance and upholding of the laws that we have no obligation to.

Because blood drinkers are cut off from God according to the Law of Moses, and we who have eaten His flesh and drunk His blood remain in Jesus and He in us,[6] then any effort on our part to obey the Mosaic Law is disobedience to our set of law from Jesus.  Thus, a disciple of Christ who obeys the commands of the Old Covenant as well as the commands of Jesus has in fact disagreed with both sets of laws.  He has not agreed with the old that eating blood and flesh of man means he is dead already by that law.  And he has not believed Jesus when He blessed the bread and cup saying that they are His flesh and blood.  He has not believed in the gravity of the words of Jesus when He said, “I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you.”[7] 

It is not the flesh and blood of the Son of God, but of the Son of Man.  So that Jesus’ words of John 6:53 has this act of obedience to Him putting us in direct conflict with Leviticus 17:12. Our obedience to it even makes us accountable to what God commanded Noah:  “But you must not eat meat that has its lifeblood still in it.  And for your lifeblood I will surely demand an accounting.  I will demand an accounting from every animal.  And from each man, too, I will demand and accounting for the life of his fellow man.”[8]  So then, complete obedience to the words of Jesus, the new law of God, means that we are cut off not only by the Mosaic Law to Israel, but even by the very Covenant of Life with Noah.

Having read and listened to every word spoken by Jesus and believing them enough to practise them no matter how impossible they seem, and to confess openly that is what you are aiming for no matter how impossible it may seem, our obedience cannot be made complete except by our acknowledgement of the complete annulment of the power of any other laws over our loyalty to God.

Now, it is time to clearly understand the difference between obedience, observance and upholding of the laws.  They appear to be the same, but they are completely different in the details, just as a white sapphire may look like a quartz that may look like a diamond before they are polished, but already they are made up of very different materials with very different qualities.  So, likewise to the unpractised, obedience, observance and upholding look, sound and feel the same.  To those who have being practising obedience, allowing the trials and efforts of obedience, upholding and observance to polish them, they will know, and you will know, the difference of the three, like a polished quartz is different to a polished white sapphire to a polished diamond; they are different in their brilliance, beauty and hardness.

Obedience of any commandment is always associated with the promise of reward in the language of God, and disobedience is always associated with the threat of punishment.  Thus, God had a habit of saying in the Old Testament, “If you listen carefully…[9]  If you will follow My decrees and are careful to obey My commands,[10] I will…”  And there are then all sorts of good things that God would do for His people. 

Now, you may already be of the nobler stock and heart who say, “I will obey out of love and not for reward.”  That is good and fine, but the receiving of the reward is never for your benefit.  No, the right attitude and the right spirit that God is seeking from His worshippers are those who receive the reward not for their benefit, but rather, receive the reward for God’s benefit.  So that God is proved true to His word as you allow Him to reward you as He said He would, and also you allow God to delight Himself in rewarding you.  Letting God reward you for your obedience brings joy to God.  Your enjoyment of His rewards brings delight to Him and glory to His Name as His generosity is displayed in the great and exceeding abundance of benefits He showers on anyone who just simply obeys Him.  There are those who seek to obey God for the sake of the reward only, that is fine; God’s generosity tolerates them, but He will find no delight in them, for it is not God who they are seeking to worship, but the reward.

God is seeking worshippers who worship Him in spirit and in truth,[11] not worshippers who worship His rewards.  Thus, if you are only seeking Heaven as your reward for your obedience of faith in Jesus, you will receive Heaven for a while, only to find that Heaven itself will be destroyed, rolled away, to make way for the New Heavens, to which you will be given no access, for you have already received your reward.

Thus, true obedience of the law must be accompanied by the manifestation of the rewards of obedience to verify the obedience.  Thus, for the Israelites, the proof of their obedience occurred not because they were making the burnt offerings, but when they had abundance of harvests, safety and peace in the land, their enemies fleeing from them, and so forth.  Likewise, it is the manifestation of the rewards of obedience that confirms the obedience, not the act of obedience, for the disciples of Christ.  It is not whether you have fine and wise words to convince people, but rather, it is whether you are entrusted with power to do what Jesus has been doing.  Faith in Jesus is not confirmed by baptism or wearing of jewellery or special clothes, but rather the real ability to do what Jesus has been doing and even the greater things.  Real faith in Jesus is not proved by a charitable work where the blind see because doctors are employed to treat them, but because the blind receive their sight regardless of the doctor’s work.  Real faith is not whether you hang a cross around your neck, but whether the cross hangs you around its neck.  Real faith is not how many Bibles you own, carry or have read, but how much the Bible owns you, carries you and can be read in your life.  Thus, no one can claim they have obeyed the law until the rewards of obedience manifest in their lives, each according to their own set.

However, observance of the law has nothing to do with obedience.  Indeed, Paul’s word of Galatians 3:10:  All who rely on the observing of the law are under a curse, should jolt a person, for did not God command that they should be observed?  No!  It was Moses who said, “If you observe carefully all these commands…”[12]  God only ever commanded them, “You must observe My Sabbaths,”[13] and “follow My decrees and obey My commands.”

Observation in God’s eyes has nothing to do with reward, but to do with respect, for God said, “You must observe My Sabbaths.  This will be a sign between Me and you for the generations to come, so you may know that I am the Lord, who makes you holy.”[14]  There is no promise of reward, but rather, it is a sign of respect of God’s holiness.  The Israelites’ observance of the Sabbath was a sign that they respected and honoured God.  It was not their rest, it was God’s rest, because God said, “It will be a sign between Me and the Israelites forever, for in six days the Lord made the Heavens and the Earth, and on the seventh day He abstained from work and rested.”[15]  The Sabbath was never Israel’s rest, as the Holy Spirit declared, “So I declared on oath in My anger, ‘They shall never enter My rest…’”[16]

You can observe the law with disrespect or with respect, that is, those who observe the law with disrespect are like those who bring blind and crippled animals to the Lord’s sacrifice as God complained in Malachi 1:8.  Yes, they were obeying the law, but they were trying to minimise the exacting demand of the law.  They were bringing animals for sacrifice, but they were bringing the worst of the flock, not the best of the flock.  They were observing the law, but not obeying the law, and as such, there is no reward.  In the same way, we observe the Old Testament law out of respect, but not out of reward, knowing that we are not obligated to do so and that our non-observance of that law carries no, I repeat, no punishment, because we are already dead to it through Christ.  But for the sake of the weak, we observe it.  We also observe it because the law is good, but because it is good, we know it brings only death.

As an example taken from the world:  Embassy staff of foreign countries are not under the law of that country when they are in or on its sovereign property, such as their embassy or a vehicle registered to their country.  E.g. a diplomatic car does not have to observe the speed limit if it is on embassy business, but chooses to observe the speed limit out of respect for their host and out of consideration for the safety of pedestrians and other motorists.

An example out of the Bible:  We are not obliged to tithe, but we contribute also out of what we have because it is expedient to do so, for there are practicalities that dictate the need of contributions, but there is no set limit for us.  So, with a group who rely on the tithe to support their pastors, we support them with what they are believing for until they are able to access other means of support.  If we are in a synagogue, then we will observe the tithe out of respect for those who are still under the old law in order not to offend them that we may win them over to the new law.

The key is this:  That you understand that observance of the old law carries with it no reward for you who are in Christ, and non-observance of the law carries with it no punishment either.  Indeed, if you are a Christian who only observes the command ‘listen to Jesus’ but does not actually obey it, then you should expect no reward either.  And the absence of reward for a disciple of Christ is punishment enough, for you have not developed a relationship with God, which gives Him delight and brings Him glory.

Upholding the law as Paul wrote:  Rather, we uphold the law,[17] having emphasised that we do not nullify the law by our faith; what did he mean?  After all, the law no longer applies to us because it is the Mosaic Law.  But what does upholding the law mean regardless of which law, men’s law, Old Covenant Law or New Covenant Law?  It means we apply and enforce the letter of the law to its fulfilment to those who are under that particular law.

·       It means descendants of Noah who have neither heard of Moses or Christ are under the Law of Noah in Genesis 9:4-7.  If they multiply and increase on the Earth, they will never be destroyed by a flood of water.  If they kill or shed the blood of a man, they will have their own blood shed.  And we uphold it, that is, enforce it, for those who are under Noah’s Law as his descendants.

·       It means that those who have heard Moses preached and are circumcised in the flesh are under the Mosaic Law, and we apply and enforce the blessings, rewards, punishments and curses as prescribed by that law to those who say they are under it. 

·       And those who are under the New Covenant Law, the Law of Jesus, likewise have the rewards and punishments applied as per the word, the letter of the word. 

As an example, every person who kills another person under the Noahian Law must themselves be killed.  That is, any person who is a descendant of Noah, but has denied any form of the Mosaic or the New Covenant Law, even an atheist, is under the Noahian Law, for although he may not believe in God, he is a descendant of Noah still.  Thus, capital punishment applies to one under the Noahian Law.  Our upholding of that law means that every descendant of Noah who is not covered by the Mosaic Law or the New Covenant Law will perish before the Lord arrives, unless they repent and believe of course.

The same applies for a person who is under the Mosaic Law who has killed out of murder, but not if they killed because of their zeal for the law and for God, e.g. Phinehas, son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron,[18] and Saul of Tarsus.[19]  However, everyone who does not obey fully all the words of the law must experience the curses of that law, all its illnesses, plagues, famine and so on.  Now perhaps you might see why the two witnesses of Revelation 11 will strike with plague, drought and famine, and who they will strike.  Repentance of course will bring relief.

In the same way, those who are under the New Covenant and yet will not obey the command of the Father once it has been restored will also suffer the consequences of not listening to the Father carefully.  Those who have listened but have not practised will suffer the consequences for those who are in that category.  And so on.

Thus, the application of the word by those whose obedience is complete is as Paul wrote:  To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life.  And who is equal to such a task?[20]  They are those whose obedience is complete.  Understand?

[1] 2 Corinthians 10:6

[2] Jude 6

[3] Genesis 6:2

[4] Matthew 17:5, Mark 9:7; Luke 9:35

[5] Revelation 2-3

[6] John 6:56

[7] John 6:53

[8] Genesis 9:4-5

[9] Exodus 15:26; 23:22

[10] Leviticus 26:3 (18:4; 25:18)

[11] John 4:24

[12] Deuteronomy 11:22

[13] Leviticus 19:3

[14] Exodus 31:13

[15] Exodus 31:17

[16] Hebrews 3:11

[17] Romans 3:31

[18] Numbers 25:11

[19] Acts 8:3

[20] 2 Corinthians 2:16


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