Tag Archives: sacrifice

Health Care – A Misnomer

The Problem

One of the major problems facing the legislature of the United States of America is the so-called “Health Care Plan.” The major reason this issue cannot be solved is because they are not dealing with the real issue, Health, but rather with the issue of Sickness. It is a Sickness-Care plan.

The “Plan” is all about providing more doctor-visits, more prescriptions, more hospitalizations, more surgeries, more tests, and more medical diagnoses, more pain relief. This, you see, is about sickness. It indicates that we, as a nation are sick, and, as a nation, we are agreeing with that.

Obviously, all of these things will not make us healthy, but which will only possibly give us temporary relief, sometimes leading to even more pain and disability. We must, rather, deal with the problem of how to be healthy.

The Solution

For example, start with “Why are we so sick?” The major reasons are: inactivity, idleness, self-indulgence. This life-style leads to physical and moral decay; obesity, addictions and irresponsibility.

When God created Mankind, He gave them dominion, responsibility and accountability, over all Flesh, which included Man’s own Flesh, physical and moral accountability and responsibility for self-control and discipline. He ordained the sacrificial rituals to teach us that the Flesh must be sacrificed and be subordinate to the Spirit.

When Cain failed to present an appropriate sacrifice of flesh, God warned him: “If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? And if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him,” Genesis 4:7. The imagery here of “sin lieth at the door,” is that of a wild carnivorous beast crouching at the door of your house, ready to spring on you. God warns Cain: “Thou shalt rule over him.” We are to rule over sin by sacrificing the Flesh.

How To Do It

Romans 12:1-2 puts this into proper perspective: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.”

Sacrificing the Flesh means controlling your appetites, for food, drink, sex, power, selfishness, etc. In case this is not perfectly clear, Galatians 5:16-21 describes it thoroughly:

Galatians 5:16 KJV – [This] I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. (17)  For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. (18) But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. (19) Now the works of the flesh are manifest which are these: Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, (20) Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, (21) Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told [you] in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

The definition of ‘revelings’ is: “Rebellion, over indulgence in eating or other pleasures.” These “works of the Flesh” clearly describe what is involved in a sacrifice of our Flesh. While it may seem to be depriving us unnecessarily, yet it is for the good, the well-being and the health of the whole person, including the Flesh.

To make this process even clearer, we have Colossians 2:12; 3:1-6: “Buried with Him, [Christ] in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with Him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised Him from the dead…. 3:1 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. (2) Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. (3) For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. (4) When Christ, [who is] our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. (5) Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: (6) For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience.”

The word ‘mortify’ means to slay, kill, that is, to sacrifice.

True “Health-Care” requires the sacrifice of the Flesh.

A Body Thou Hast Prepared Me

The Old Testament is a schoolmaster to bring us to Christ.

So how did all of the Old Testament sacrifices bring us to Christ? Why did they slaughter so many animals and go through ceremonial burnings and disposals? Was all of this just in order to do what God had commanded them to do in the ceremonial laws? Yet, God later rejected even these very ceremonies. Why?

When Christ came into the world he said, ‘Sacrifices and offerings thou hast not desired, but a body hast thou prepared for me; in burnt offerings and sin offerings thou hast taken no pleasure.  Then I said, ‘Lo, I have come to do thy will, O God’ as it is written of me in the roll of the book.”  When he said above, ‘Thou hast neither desired nor taken pleasure in sacrifices and offerings and burnt offerings and sin offerings’ (these are offered according to the law), then he added, ‘Lo, I have come to do thy will.’  He abolishes the first in order to establish the second.  And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.”  (Hebrews 10:5-10 RSV, quoting from Psalm 40:6-8.)

So what did all of the sacrificial laws and ordinances foreshadow? Answer: The ritual, ceremonial law was only types and shadows to bring us to understand the sacrifice of Christ.

What sacrifices does God require of us?

Are we still to offer sacrifices to God? What could we possibly give to God Who is the Creator and Giver of all things?  The answer is that He has graciously provided us with the sacrifice that pleases Him most, our bodies. He has given us our bodies for a sacrifice.

Romans 12:1: “I appeal to you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.”  (RSV)

So how do we “sacrifice” our bodies? We present our bodies through an exercise of our will, as exemplified by Christ: “Lo, I have come to do thy will, O God.”  It is by submitting our will to His will in sacrificing our fleshly bodies that we are sanctified, even as Christ made possible: “And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

This means that we are to crucify the lusts of the flesh and bring them into subjection to the will of God:

“And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” (Galatians 5:24)

To crucify is to kill, deaden, mortify, the Flesh. “For if you live according to the Flesh, you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death, [mortify], the deeds of the body, you will live,” Romans 8:13 RSV. It is a matter of Life and Death.

We find specific similar instructions in Colossians 3:5-10: “Put to death, [mortify], therefore what is earthly in you: fornication, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming. In these you once walked, when you lived in them. But now put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and foul talk from your mouth. Do not lie one to another, seeing that you have put off the old nature, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator,” RSV. We are to put to death the old nature of sin.

How do we live this out in our earthly walk with God?

Answer: Romans 12:1-2: By a LIVING sacrifice: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies, a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.” KJV. We are to put on the new nature of Christ.

Jesus said: “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it,” Matthew 16:24-25. The cross means “death.” We are to daily deny our flesh; that is the daily “cross” we are to bear.

Yes, it is a conundrum,

A conundrum is a kind of riddle in which some odd resemblance is proposed for discovery between things quite unlike, in this case, between Life, and Death. For John 3:16 promises us eternal Life in exchange for the old carnal nature: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth on Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” See also John 6:54; 10:28; 12:25; 17:2-3; Romans 6:23; I Timothy 6:12, 19. IJohn 1:2; 2:25; 5:11, 13, 20, and many other references. We gain eternal Life by submitting to the ‘death’ of our unholy nature.

So the question is:

Are you ready and willing to trade this body of death, the unholy desires, appetites, lusts, and practices for the beauty, power, and glory of Eternal Life? This is what Jesus came to offer us in His glorious Body. Through His death, He purchased Life for every man. He offers us eternal life in His resurrected Body. What a Savior!

 

False Apostles

Revelation 2:2: “I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars.”

Them which say they are apostles and are not.” This is in anticipation of the warning in 2:9 (to Smyrna) and 3:9 (to Philadelphia) against “those who say they are Jews but are not.” These false apostles are judged like the false Jews, – they are liars.

Danger of False Doctrine

Eusebius quotes the writings of Hegesippus concerning “the seven sects” which divided the Church in his day:

“Every man introducing his own opinion in his own particular way. From these in turn came false Christs, false prophets, false apostles, who split the unity of the Church by poisonous suggestions against God and against His Christ,” (4.22.4).

This is similar to the modern “new age” teaching that everyone should be “true to himself” and pay no attention to anyone else. This is the prelude to anarchy. When this teaching is practiced, the culture descends into the law of the jungle, “survival of the fittest,” and “law of tooth and claw.”

There must be a standard for living in community with others and the reality is that only the Bible standards can survive the ages. Jesus is our Perfect Example. He sacrificed Himself for the good of Humankind. As Christians we are called to just such sacrifice.

 

The Law – Do We Need It Now?

Let’s start from the beginning.

Genesis 1:26-28: “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
(27) So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him, male and female created he them.
(28) And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that creepeth upon the earth.”

God’s First Law: The Breath/Spirit Of Life

Since God is a Spirit, and created Man in His own image, Man was created as a Spirit. We have a soul; we live in a body of flesh; but we are a Spirit. Genesis 2:7: ‘And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” Note that the word ‘breath’ is the same word as ‘spirit’ in Hebrew. God breathed His Spirit into Adam. The Spirit is the “breath of Life.” This is the first law: The “Law of the Breath/Spirit of Life,” Romans 8:1-2.

“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the Law of the Spirit/Breath of Life hath made me free from the law of sin and death.

The Law of Sin and Death

Genesis 2:16-17: “And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” This is the law of sin and death, see Romans 8:2

Before the fall, Man’s whole volition, intention, and natural spontaneous impulses were to do God’s will in the Spirit. When Mankind fell into sin, however, his Spirit, the inner man, died and it became necessary for his flesh to be ruled by the force of law. This condition required an atoning death, and so the whole Old Testament sacrificial system was established in order to teach Mankind the necessity of sacrificing the Flesh to redeem the Spirit.

In the fullness of time, Christ came, died the atoning death for all Mankind, and offered the resurrected Life to whosoever will. In His resurrected Body, He restored God’s original intention for Mankind; that is, that they would be alive in the Spirit/Breath, ruling, taking dominion over every living thing, including his own fleshly body.

However, not all would be willing to accept this New Birth, this Life from the Dead. So, for those, the Law must still be enforced upon the outward man. And the Spirit Man, the inner man, the real person, must rule his own flesh by the Law. The Law is still necessary to bring the Flesh, the outward man, into obedience to God’s Law until and unless he is born again of the Spirit.

As born-again Christians, we naturally fulfill the law. Our righteousness will exceed that of the Pharisees who were so diligent to keep the letter of the law while twisting and perverting it. Our righteousness must not only keep the true letter of the law, but also keep the Spirit of the law: willing and intuitive obedience to the Spirit of God. For the Christians, keeping the Law is not grievous but the natural thing to do.