What is Dominionism?

What is Dominionism?Seven Mountain Mandate

What is Dominionism?  Dominionism is a worldview that is held by some Christians.  Those who hold to Dominionism believe that God has commanded His followers to take Dominion over the world.  The ultimate goal of Dominionism is to take dominion over every government of the world and subject the world to a theocratic (theocracy) government.  This theocracy will be based on biblical morality.  The hope is to slowly gain control of seven major areas of influence in societies.  This is often referred to as the Seven Mountain Mandate.

The Seven Mountain Mandate

The seven areas of influence that Dominionists seek to control are; religion, arts/entertainment, business, family, education, media, and government.  The most important area to Dominionists is the government.

It is said that in 1975 Bill Bright of Campus Crusades and Loren Cunningham of Youth With a Mission (YWAM) received a word from God explaining that believers are to take dominion over the seven mountains of society.  They were told that if they expected to be effective for Christ they would need to gain influence in the seven areas.

Implementation of the Seven Mountain Mandate

How is the Seven Mountain Mandate implemented?   First it happens through common people who live their lives in different areas of our culture, who try to influence whatever sphere they find themselves in.  Secondly, the New Apostolic Reformation recognizes and appoints people they call marketplace apostles to help in the cause of gaining control or influence over the seven mountains.  These appointed people are believed to be anointed (empowered by God) to have special influence or abilities in these seven mountain areas.

“They have access to the seven molders of culture (religion, family, arts and entertainment, education, government, media, and business).  With them in place, we can expect that God will release the wealth of the wicked that He has been promising to the righteous, large sums of wealth that will be used to bring about significant, measurable social transformation.”  C. Peter Wagner

What is Dominionism

The Problem With Dominionism

The motivation to influence society in a biblical way is a noble one.  I would agree that we should do our best to influence our society for Christ, stop abortion, oppose gay marriage etc.  The problem is Dominionism and Dominionists have their priorities out of mixed up.  We as believers in the Lord Jesus Christ should vote.  We should try to bring biblical values to every area in our society we touch.  But we are not commanded to take Dominion of our society and force biblical values on people who don’t want anything to do with them.  If we want to change society, we need to do it one soul at a time, through the gospel.

Jesus did not command us to go out and take Dominion of the Government.  We don’t see his disciples trying to infiltrate the Roman government in order to take Dominion.  Jesus commanded his disciples to:

Matthew 28:19-20  “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:  (20)  Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”

Notice that Christ first commanded them to make converts (baptize) and then teach them to observe all that Christ commanded.  Christ’s disciples did just that.  They went out into the world and made disciples of Christ.  As the gospel went out it naturally had a powerful and positive influence on society.

Did God Really Command the Seven Mountain Mandate?

 

If God told Bill Bright and Loren Cunningham that they would need to fulfill the Seven Mountain Mandate to have any real impact for

Christ, why didn’t Christ say something two thousand years ago?  Why did God wait that long to give us the real effective way to bring

about the kingdom?

As I mentioned earlier, Dominionists believe that they will take dominion of the Earth and that Christ cannot return until dominion has been taken.  Tomorrow we will look at some scriptures that clearly show that Christians will not be taking dominion.  Christ will return and He will subdue the nations and take Dominion.

Don’t miss my podcast series on the New Apostolic Reformation as well as my series on Dominionism below.  Look forward to more articles on this subject in the coming days.

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What is the New Apostolic Reformation?

What is the New Apostolic Reformation?New Apostolic Reformation

For years now I continued to hear about this mysterious group called the New Apostolic Reformation.  Who are these guys?  Is this the next secret society like the masons?  Is the NAR a new cult?  In this article I want to introduce you to who the New Apostolic Reformation is and give you a basic understanding of what they believe.  Make no mistake, the New Apostolic Reformation beliefs and goals are dangerous and should concern any serious Bible believing doctrinally minded Christian.

Who is the New Apostolic Reformation?

The NAR is a vast global network of self-appointed “apostles and prophets”.  This group has no official leader although many see C. Peter Wagner as the most influential and authoritative voice in the movement.  Some of the notable leaders who are affiliated with the NAR are Lou Engle of , Mike Bickle of the International House of Prayer (IHOP), Ché Ahn, Stacey Campbell, Bill Hannon, Cindy Jacobs, Rick Joyner of Morning Star Ministries, Rick Warren, Todd Bentley, Earl Palk, Ted Haggard, Chuck D. Pierce, Dutch Sheets, Joseph Prince, Jim Laffoon, Mary Crum, Jack Deere,  Barbara Yoder, Alice Smith, George Otis, Bob Beckett, Charles Kraft, David Cannistraci, Eddie Smith, Ed Silvoso, and George Barna to name just a few.  Like I said, this movement is vast and it’s worldwide.

Apostles and Prophets are the Foundation of the NAR

One of the key beliefs in the New Apostolic Reformation is that apostles and prophets are for today.  These apostles and prophets are believed to receive revelations from God and then pass them down to their congregations.

NAR and the Fivefold ministry

Most of the New Apostolic Reformation crowd subscribes to a concept called the fivefold ministry.  The five in the fivefold is apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers and evangelists.  The NAR puts a strong emphasis on all five offices (fivefold) being operational in the church.  They get this concept from:

Ephesians 4:11-13  And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;  (12)  For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:  (13)  Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

1 Corinthians 12:28  And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.

According to the NAR, apostles hold the highest authority, then prophets and then finally pastors teachers and evangelists.  This top down hierarchy makes the typical NAR church a perfect environment for oppressive and controlling Covering Theology.

Extra biblical revelations and the New Apostolic Reformation

Because the NAR subscribes to modern day prophets and apostles, they also put a strong emphasis on extra-biblical revelation.  Unfortunately, their revelations are not from the Lord.  The general rule of thumb amongst the NAR is if the revelation does not blatantly contradict the scriptures, and if it comes from a recognized apostle or prophet, it must be from God.  Just because a supposed revelation does not contradict with the Bible does not automatically mean it is a word from the Lord.  Secondly, these recognized apostles and prophets were appointed by men and not by God.  Thirdly, their revelations often contradict each other.  And lastly, they often do in fact contradict God’s word.

I guess I would also like to add that these NAR apostles and prophets are always steeped in damnable doctrines.  Doctrines like positive confession, the health and wealth gospel, and the little gods doctrine are amongst their unbiblical and dangerous teachings.  If these NAR Word of Faith types were really having day to day conversations with God, why isn’t God saying something about these heretical teachings?

And why are these Word of Faith/NAR type apostles and prophets always seeming to be involved in sexual scandals?

What does the New Apostolic Reformation believe?

Not only does the NAR not have an official leader or authority, the NAR also doesn’t have any official creeds or statements.  Nonetheless, you generally find the following beliefs in NAR circles.

Dominionism and the Seven Mountain Mandate

Dominionism is the belief that Christ cannot return until all the believers in Christ rise and take dominion over the world.  They hope to achieve this by taking over the seven most influential areas of society.  These seven areas are: religion, family, business, arts/entertainment media, education, and government.  This is often referred to as the Seven Mountain Mandate.  I will be exploring more about Dominionism and the Seven Mountain Mandate in a future post.

Strategic Level Spiritual Warfare

Another way that the New Apostolic Reformation crowd hopes to gain Dominion is through Strategic Level Spiritual Warfare (SLSW).  SLSW encompasses a whole host of spiritual practices.  I will be writing posts on many of these practices in the coming days.  Some of these practices include: prayer mapping, prayer journeys, prayer walking, warfare prayer/worship, binding territorial demons, identificational repentance, breaking generational curses, and deliverance.

Why Is Understanding the NAR Important?

Not only is this movement ginormous (yeah that’s a word) and worldwide, it is also very influential.  The Nar even has political influence.  Notable people of political influence who have been used by the NAR include: Newt Gingrich, Sarah Palin, Rick Perry, Sam Brownback and David Barton.

What we’re dealing with is a movement that believes that it is their duty to literally take control of the governments of the world.  Some leftist organizations are calling the New Apostolic Reformation a Christian Jihadist movement.  That, my friends, is not good.  We need to share the truth with these misguided believers and put an end to this nonsense.

Don’t miss my podcast series on the New Apostolic Reformation as well as my series on Dominionism below.  Look forward to more articles on this subject in the coming days.
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What were Jesus’ last words?

What were Jesus’ last words?

What were Jesus’ last words?  Some atheist websites claim that the following Bible verses

Jesus Last Words

contradict each other because they contain somewhat conflicting accounts of Jesus’ last words.

Matthew 27:46  And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

Matthew 27:50  Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.

Luke 23:46  And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.

John 19:30  When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.

Mark 15:34  And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

Do these verses contradict concerning Jesus’ last words?  No.  The law of non-contradiction states that “A cannot be both A and non-A at the same time and in the same way.  Is it possible that all these verses could be true at the same time?  Absolutely.  In order for this to be a real Bible contradiction, the atheist must show that these verses cannot all be true at the same time.  We as Christians simply have to show how these verses could be reconciled.

Define “last words”

I would define someone’s last words as what they spoke during the last movements of their lives.  The patriarch Jacob spoke many last words over his sons before he died (Gen 49).  His long prophecy over his boys could all be considered his last words.

Jesus’ last words

Now consider the four accounts of Jesus’ last words.  Remember that each gospel writer is giving their own account of the gospel.  Mathew, Mark, Luke and John all key in on different aspects of the life of Christ.  Also consider the possibility that John may have been closer to the cross than the rest of the disciples and had heard words the others had not.

It is likely that Jesus used a combination of the three different statements for example; My God my God, why hast thou forsaken me, it is finished, into thy hands I commend my spirit.  It’s not hard to imagine Christ using all three statements together.  It’s certainly not contradictory.
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Are Tongues a necessary sign of salvation?

Are Tongues a necessary sign of salvationAre Tongues A Necessary Sign of Salvation

Oneness Pentecostals and some hyper Charismatic groups believe that if you do not speak in tongues, you’re not saved.  Are Tongues necessary for salvation?  Must the gift of tongues accompany all believers?  This article will not address the question of whether tongues are for today.  Look for that series in the near future.

What Are Tongues?

One thing is for sure.  Tongues are real languages.  Whether they are tongues of men or angels, they are still real languages.  In Acts 2:5-8 we see an example of the disciples being given the ability to speak in other languages that they do not know.

Acts 2:5-8  “And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.  (6)  Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.  (7)  And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans?  (8)  And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?”

These tongues were not the vain repetition of syllables and sounds (gibberish) that is often heard in hyper Charismatic circles.  So often I have witnessed believers who claim to speak in tongues who only repeat the same 10-20 syllables over and over for years on end.  In other words, they will repeat the same phrase or sentence in their own personal tongue (not biblical) over and over.  Even though they are repeating the same phrase or sentence, they will claim countless different interpretations for the same sentence or phrase.  The point I’m trying to make here is that the gift of tongues is the ability to speak in a real language that can be understood by those who speak that language.

Tongues of Angels?

1Co 13:1  “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.”

Many times the one speaking in the tongue won’t be aware of what they are saying.

1 Corinthians 14:14-15  “For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful.  (15)  What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also.”

Tongues can be a language that only God understands.

1 Corinthians 14:1-4  “Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy.  (2)  For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries.  (3)  But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.  (4)  He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church.”

Are tongues a necessary sign of Salvation?

No.  Paul clearly says that not all believers have the gift of tongues.  Nowhere in the Bible is it claimed that tongues are a necessary sign of salvation.  Additionally Paul does give us a way to identify believers and that is by inspecting their fruit.

Not all believers have the gift of tongues

Whether you believe that tongues are for today, Paul is clear that not all believers have the gift of tongues.  In 1 Cor 14:5 we see that Paul wishes all the Corinthians spoke in tongues.

1 Corinthians 14:5  “I would that ye all spake with tongues, but rather that ye prophesied: for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying.”

In 1 Cor 12:7 Paul againg makes it abundantly clear that tongues are not given to all believers.

1 Corinthians 12:7-11 “ But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.  (8)  For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;  (9)  To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;  (10)  To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:  (11)  But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.”

I don’t see how much clearer it can get.  Paul starts by saying “to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom”.  Do all have the word of wisdom?  No.  He then goes on by saying “to another” gifts of healing.  Are all given gifts of healing?  Absolutely not.  Paul works his way through many different gifts given only to some believers and ends with tongues.  Are we to conclude that even though Paul is clearly saying that these gifts are not given to all believers, tongues somehow is the exception?  This passage is plain and clear.  Not all believers are given the gift of tongues.

Just in case we still don’t get it…

1 Corinthians 12:27-30  “Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.  (28)  And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.  (29)  Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles?  (30)  Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?”

In the above passage Paul is illustrating how the church resembles a body.  Each part of the body has its own unique purpose.  He then starts asking questions like “are all apostles?” and the unspoken answer is no.  “Are all prophets”?  Again, no.  As paul works through this illustration of the body of Christ, he is making it clear that each believer has their place and function in the body of Christ.  Each believer is not the same, nor are they given the same gifts.

Paul downplays the importance of speaking in tongues

1 Corinthians 14:19-20  “Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue.  (20)  Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men.”

No scriptural support for the necessity of tongues

The closest proof text for the necessity of tongues in a believer’s life is Acts 10:44-48.  This passage is often used by Oneness Pentecostals to support the belief that tongues are a necessary sign of salvation.  The interesting part about this passage is that the believers receive the gift of tongues before they are baptized.  This completely goes against the Oneness belief in Baptismal Regeneration.

Acts 10:44-48  “While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.  (45)  And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.  (46)  For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter,  (47)  Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?  (48)  And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.”

Nowhere in the above passage does it say that all believers will speak in tongues.

How do we know if someone is saved?

If tongues are not the indicator of one’s salvation, how can we know who is saved?  We can’t know for sure.  All we can do is judge them by their fruit.  That’s right.  I said judge them.

Matthew 7:16-20  “Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?  (17)  Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.  (18)  A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.  (19)  Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.  (20)  Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.”

Mat 12:33  “Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit.”

Matthew 13:23  “But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.”

Examples of fruit

Galatians 5:22-23  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,  (23)  Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

Ephesians 5:9-10  (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)  (10)  Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.

Conclusion

The Bible is clear.  Tongues are not a necessary sign of salvation.  All believers do not speak in tongues.  Again, I am not addressing the issue of whether tongues are for today or not.  How do we know the saved from the unsaved?  Only God knows the heart.  Nonetheless, we can judge them by their fruit.

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Did Jesus Profane the Sabbath?

Did Jesus Profane the Sabbath?

Did Jesus Break the Sabbath?  Did Jesus sin?  On several occasions we see the Pharisees accusing Jesus of violating the Sabbath laws.  Did Jesus violate the Sabbath laws?Jesus healed multiple people on the Sabbath.  In one instance Jesus and His disciples pick corn on the Sabbath.  Did Jesus profane the Sabbath?  No.  It is my contention that if Jesus did violate the Sabbath laws then He would not be that pure a spotless lamb that is necessary for our atonement.

In this article and series were going to look at the multiple instances that Jesus is said to have profaned the Sabbath.  We will see what Jesus actually did to supposedly violate the Sabbath laws.  We will look at what the Bible says concerning the Sabbath.  We will discuss what oral traditions the Pharisees had built up around the keeping of the Sabbath and we will look at how Jesus responded to the Pharisees when they accused Him of profaning the Sabbath.

Jesus and His disciples pick corn on the Sabbath

Matthew 12:1-12  “At that time Jesus went on the sabbath day through the corn; and his disciples were an hungred, and began to pluck the ears of corn, and to eat.  (2)  But when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto him, Behold, thy disciples do that which is not lawful to do upon the sabbath day.  (3)  But he said unto them, Have ye not read what David did, when he was an hungred, and they that were with him;  (4)  How he entered into the house of God, and did eat the shewbread, which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for them which were with him, but only for the priests?  (5)  Or have ye not read in the law, how that on the sabbath days the priests in the temple profane the sabbath, and are blameless?  (6)  But I say unto you, That in this place is one greater than the temple.  (7)  But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless.  (8)  For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day. 

In this account we see that Jesus and His disciples are being accused of profaning the Sabbath by harvesting corn and technically speaking, harvesting on the Sabbath is prohibited.

Exodus 34:21  Six days thou shalt work, but on the seventh day thou shalt rest: in earing time and in harvest thou shalt rest.

Is picking small amounts of grain for immediate consumption considered harvesting?  We do know that minor food preparation was not considered breaking the Sabbath.  God does not intend for the Sabbath to be a burden to mankind, but a blessing.

Mark 2:27  And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath:  (28)  Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.”

Why then were the Pharisees so bent out of shape over the disciples picking grains?  Because the disciples were breaking the Pharisees oral traditions found in the Mishna.  The Mishna is a collection of oral traditions/commentary concerning the Jewish law.  The Mishna is not inspired of God but many Pharisees believed it to be so.  In the Mishna we find thirty nine tasks that are considered work on the Sabbath.  Threshing and winnowing are two tasks that are listed as work.  In other words, the Pharisees were accusing Jesus and His disciples of breaking their oral traditions not God’s commands.

One of Jesus’ responses is to point at how the priests in the temple work on the Sabbath yet they are “blameless”.  How much more blameless are His disciples who are working for the Messiah Himself?

Jesus then quotes this amazing passage from Hosea 6:6

Matthew 12:7  But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless.

As I mentioned before, the Sabbath was not to be a burden for God’s people.  God made the Sabbath for man and not man for the Sabbath.

Jesus Heals a Man’s Hand on the Sabbath

Matthew 12:9-12 (9)  And when he was departed thence, he went into their synagogue:  (10)  And, behold, there was a man which had his hand withered. And they asked him, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath days? that they might accuse him. 

Here we see another account of the Pharisees accusing Jesus of violating the law by healing someone on the Sabbath.  The Bible makes no such rule about healing people on the Sabbath.  This idea that healing on the Sabbath is a violation comes from the Mishna.  According to these oral traditions, it was forbidden to even help an injured person on the Sabbath.  This is completely contrary to how God is portrayed in the scriptures.  Again remember that Jesus said He would” have mercy, and not sacrifice”.  Our God values mercy over sacrifice.

Jesus then asked the Pharisees the following question.

Matthew 12:11 “What man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it, and lift it out?  (12)  How much then is a man better than a sheep? Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the sabbath days.”

Jesus was pointing out the hypocrisy.  On one hand they claimed it was a violation of the Sabbath to help someone who was injured on the Sabbath, yet they believed that it was ok to help an animal out of a ditch on the Sabbath.

Consider the following verse.

Mat 23:23  “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.”

The Pharisees were notorious for their strict legalism and lack of mercy to those who were in need.  This seems to be the theme of most the conflicts between Jesus and the Pharisees.  They were more concerned about keeping their law (oral traditions), than they were doing the will of God.

Having mercy on an animal during the Sabbath

It’s interesting to note that Jesus does not condemn the practice of helping an animal on the Sabbath.  This is consistent with our God’s character.  He is a God of love and mercy who even values the lives of animals.

Proverbs 12:10  “A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.”

If Jesus prefers doing good and showing mercy to animals in need on the Sabbath day, how much more would He prefer helping a person in need on the Sabbath?

Here is another instance where Jesus talks about showing mercy to animals on the Sabbath. 

Luke 13:10-17  “And he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the sabbath.  (11)  And, behold, there was a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself.  (12)  And when Jesus saw her, he called her to him, and said unto her, Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity.  (13)  And he laid his hands on her: and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God.  (14)  And the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation, because that Jesus had healed on the sabbath day, and said unto the people, There are six days in which men ought to work: in them therefore come and be healed, and not on the sabbath day.  (15)  The Lord then answered him, and said, Thou hypocrite, doth not each one of you on the sabbath loose his ox or his ass from the stall, and lead him away to watering?  (16)  And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the sabbath day?  (17)  And when he had said these things, all his adversaries were ashamed: and all the people rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done by him.”

If showing mercy to an animal is acceptable on the Sabbath, how much more acceptable is showing mercy to mankind on the Sabbath?

Part of God’s law is to love your neighbor as yourself

The Pharisees were so concerned about keeping the Sabbath and their oral traditions that they neglected the weightier matters of the law, such as loving your neighbor as yourself.

Leviticus 19:18  “Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD.”

Jesus reiterates the importance of this part of the law. 

Matthew 22:35-40  “Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying,  (36)  Master, which is the great commandment in the law?  (37)  Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.  (38)  This is the first and great commandment.  (39)  And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.  (40)  On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”

Loving your neighbor is a higher priority than strictly following the Sabbath 

Mark 12:33  “And to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbour as himself, is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.”

Moral Dilemmas and God’s law

There are times in our Christian walk where we are faced with moral dilemmas and we must choose how to best please our God.  Jesus spoke about this when he was confronted about healing on the Sabbath.

John 7:19-24  “Did not Moses give you the law, and yet none of you keepeth the law? Why go ye about to kill me?  (20)  The people answered and said, Thou hast a devil: who goeth about to kill thee?  (21)  Jesus answered and said unto them, I have done one work, and ye all marvel.  (22)  Moses therefore gave unto you circumcision; (not because it is of Moses, but of the fathers;) and ye on the Sabbath day circumcise a man.  (23)  If a man on the Sabbath day receive circumcision, that the law of Moses should not be broken; are ye angry at me, because I have made a man every whit whole on the abbath day?  (24)  Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.” 

The law states that we should abstain from working on the Sabbath and yet it also states that a child must be circumcised on the eighth day.  What if the eighth day falls on a Sabbath?  This truly is a moral dilemma.  In these situations, Jesus says we must “judge righteously”.  This is no different than the priests working on the Sabbath day and are said to be blameless.  It is not that they are breaking the Sabbath.  They were given an exception to the Sabbath as they observed the more “weightier matters of the law”.

We have already seen that God desires mercy over sacrifice.  We also see that loving your neighbor is more important than burnt offerings and sacrifices.  When faced with the dilemma of whether to strictly observe the Sabbath or help someone on the Sabbath Jesus tells us the most important thing is to show mercy and in this case, there is an exception to the Sabbath.

Jesus did not sin on the Sabbath

Now that we see that there are exceptions to the Sabbath rest, I would like to look at plain and clear scriptures that prove that Jesus did not sin on the Sabbath.  First it should be noted that transgressing the law is sin.

1 John 3:4  “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.”

Yet Jesus was without sin.

Hebrews 4:15  “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.”

1 Peter 2:21-22  “For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:  (22)  Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth”

2 Corinthians 5:21  “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”

Did Jesus sin against the law?  Absolutely not.

Conclusion

  1. Jesus violated the Jews oral tradition, not God’s law.
  2. When two laws conflict we are to judge righteously, favoring mercy over sacrifice.
  3. The Bible is clear that Jesus did not sin and break the law.

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