The Law vs. the Spirit - II
All too often the Spirit and the Law are pitched against each other as if they are two opposite things.
But then I ask you: where does the Spirit come from, and where does the Torah come from? Do they not both come from the same Side?
The Spirit is not the opposite of the Law, one does not replace the other.
Instead, the infilling with the Spirit brings one over to the other side so that the Law no longer stands in contrast with us as an external contrasting element, a reminder of our shortcomings.
After all, the Law, coming from the side of Life, contrasts with everything coming from the side of Evil (death), and as long as we have an identity born from the latter side we will experience the Law as a contrasting, accusing element convincing us of guilt, sin and death.
The Law (like a pure conscience), by means of contrast, outlines sin and death, and this is what Paul is referring to when he writes in Romans 7:13:
“Did that which is good [the Law], then, bring death to me?
By no means! It was sin, working death in me through what is good, in order that sin might be shown to be sin, and through the commandment might become sinful beyond measure.”
The moment we are re-created by the Spirit as new creations with an identity from that Spirit, the Torah no longer is an element of contrast, and therefore, being part of Life and Good, the only contrast we then experience is the contrast with the Law of destruction, ‘sin having made a home in us’. Since we no longer have an identity then which is born from Evil, this element of sin now is the alien contrasting element within us.
Paul writes in Romans 7:16-20:
“Now if I do what I do not want, I agree that the Law is good.
So then it is no longer I that do it, but sin which dwells within me.”
[in other words: the identity born from Faith no longer experiences the Law as a contrast because it is born from the same Spirit from whence the Law comes; hence the Law –previously experienced as the element which brought to light our existence in a sin, evil-based nature leading to death- is incorporated in our new nature, and that which stands in contrast with the Law is now experienced by us as alien, something we no longer identify with, ‘sin which dwells within us’]
“For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, in my flesh.
I can will what is right, but I cannot do it. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do.
Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I that do it, but sin which dwells within me.”
[in other words: an alien element, ‘sin having made a home in us’, stands in contrast with our new identity; IT acts within us, but IT is no longer US, whereas previously WE would have our identity in IT, and God’s Spirit and the Law would have been the contrasting elements causing discomfort and pain]
It is important to keep Paul's words in mind once we are becoming new creations through Faith; the wicked thoughts and feelings we may experience within us are the result of sin having made a home in us.
They are like an evil conscience bringing pain and discomfort, and just as was the case with guilt and shame originating from old nature contrasting with the conscience coming from God, we need to learn to submit ourselves in silence to God in such moments.
Since we no longer have an identity derived from evil, this part of ‘sin within us’ stands in contrast with whom we really are, and the experience of this contrasting, alien element of evil within us does NOT mean we are sinning! It is the remnant of our former nature trying to lock us back into its reality.
John writes in his letters that whoever is born of God CANNOT sin, but it does not imply that sin within us is completely absent.
To sin means to build further upon and derive our identity from sin within us.
Once we are born from God this element of sin within us is experienced as an alien intruder, and whatever thoughts and feelings IT may cause to rise in us, this does NOT equal sinning, because it is alien and we experience it as something which brings discomfort and pain, just as our conscience would be experienced at the time we still had an identity born from evil.
As long as we stand as an observer of this alien element, knowing all to well our powerlessness and thus yearning for God’s deliverance, we remain out of its reach.
So, the title of this post is the very thing which is so wrong with today’s Christianity!
It is based on a satanic misconception which has led to all manner of misinterpretations, an artificial separation which has kept the Christian community from reaching the fullness that the new Life brings with it, a separation which set up ‘Christianity’ as an element of contrast with 'Judaism'.
I regard this phenomenon as a diabolical ploy to keep people locked into ignorance.
It is a satanic strategy which seeks to prevent the Jewish people from accepting and believing in their Messiah, and it keeps the Christians from realizing the fullness of their Faith because they are separated from their Torah roots.
But Satan’s ploys are used by God as part of His plan, to Satan’s eternal frustration.
God allowed this to happen so that the Gentile believers in the Messiah and the Jewish believers in the Torah need each other to reach the fullness of the promise of Faith.
Both the natural olive branch and the grafted branch need to come together in order to bring forth the fullness of fruit, both need each other just as a husband needs his wife and vice versa in order to make the marriage blossom and complete.
Satan used the Politically Correct conformists in the early Christian community to tear what originally was a Judaic reform movement loose from its roots and marry the movement with pagan elements, turning it into a state approved religion.
The conformists were rewarded, the non-conformists were persecuted.
And the big lie at the root of the separation is the Law vs. Spirit argument, an artificially induced separation based on misinterpretation.
Faith does NOT turn the Law into trashcan-fodder.
The moment God’s Spirit gives birth to our new identity which is rooted in God, we incorporate the Law in us instead of being separate from it.
The moment we say that we are ‘under the Law’, or ‘above/beyond the Law’ (based on a false argument of Spirit vs. the Law), we acknowledge the Law as being separate from us, or else we could not be under, above or beyond it.
Since the Torah and the Spirit come from the same Side, the Law being the external manifestation and the Spirit being the internal manifestation of that Side, our new identity born from the Spirit CANNOT EVER be separate from the Torah as if the Torah could be an alien contrasting element.
The Spirit internalizes that which once stood as an external contrasting element to our sinful (evil-based) nature (“...and I will write My laws upon their heart”).
The Law and the Spirit are not two opposing elements, how could they?
It would mean that God is divided against Himself.
Putting the Torah into practice does NOT imply that we are under the Law and therefore have lost the Faith. Again, this is based on the faulty argument of Faith vs. Law.
If Faith internalizes the Law, as the Bible states, then putting the Torah into practice does not imply that we are under the Law, but rather it means we simply act out that which is written in our hearts.
If a nation’s laws are based on a common sense, then living as a ‘law-abiding citizen’ does not mean that you are under the law as if the law restricts and limits you, it simply means that you are of the same mindset as the law.
A criminal however, being in contrast with the law, will experience the law as an accusing and limiting element, and if the criminal’s nature makes him incompatible with the concepts of the law, then for him being able to live in a country without legal persecution means that he is under the law, restraining himself in a legalistic way.
When Paul writes that we are no longer under the Law, it does NOT mean that he throws the Law in the trashcan.
It means that the Law no longer is a contrasting and condemning element because we now have a new identity planted in us through God’s Spirit.
We are no longer under the Law because the Spirit within us has reconciled us to God so that the Law is no longer an accuser, nor does it mean that we can transgress every commandment and do as we like, because the Spirit which corroborates the validity of the Law is the Spirit who gives life to our new identity.
When we identify with that new identity, how can we act contrary to the Life force who inspired that identity by setting the Law aside?
No more than we can do Good when our nature has been inspired (corrupted) by Evil, we cannot do evil when our nature has been renewed by God’s Spirit. If we do evil, then we testify of ourselves that we still identify with evil.
I John 3:6:
“No one who abides in Him sins; no one who sins has either seen Him or known Him”
I John 3:9:
“No one born of God commits sin; for God’s nature abides in him, and he cannot sin because he is born of God”.
I John 5:18:
“We know that anyone born from God does not sin, but He who was born from God keeps him, and the evil one does not touch him”
And this is what John has to say about the Faith vs. Law argument, I John 2:4:
“He who says ‘I know Him’ but disobeys His commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in Him”
I John 5:3:
“For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.
For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that overcomes the world, our Faith.”
Here, in a nutshell, John refers to the things I have been writing about in my series of articles about the Trees.
‘Whatever is born of God’ (our new identity planted in us by God’s Spirit) ‘overcomes the world’ (God saving us from sin dwelling with in). The Law is no longer a contrast but incorporated within us, and it is God’s Spirit within us who fulfills and keeps the Law.
All we have to learn is to ‘let go and let God’.
The case presented in this article can be compared to the story of a man who does not smoke, and he hangs a non-smoking sign in his hallway.
He invites two other men over, one does not smoke, the other does smoke.
The one who does not smoke is in complete agreement with his friend; he knows about the dangers of smoking, he does not like the smell of burning tobacco, and he most certainly understands his friend for putting up a sign of non-smoking in order to avoid this repugnant, unhealthy smell from lingering in his home.
The other man is a smoker, and although he can understand the friend’s need to keep his house a smoke-free zone, he enjoys his cigarettes.
Because of his liking for tobacco his friend’s sign of non-smoking acts like a contrast to his preferences, and entering his friend’s house feels like coming under the law of his friend, forcing him to make concessions.
When he approaches the house he feels forced to put out his cigarette, because in the hallway the non-smoking sign is visible for all guests.
Sometimes when he goes over he secretly lights up a cigarette in the men’s room, because, the non-smoking sign after all is in the hall and therefore the most direct interpretation would be that it is intended for the entire hall but not the entire house, and furthermore, in the men’s room there’s always a room open, so who can be bothered by him smoking for a little while in the men’s room?
But he understands his friend, always telling himself that the need for a smoking-free zone is good for non-smokers, but people like him who are smokers have no need of a non-smoking area, they should be free to smoke and indulge in their habit.
This metaphor illustrates the false argument of Law vs. Spirit.
The Law (non-smoking sign) is not a burdensome commandment to the friend sharing the same mindset as his friend. He is not under his friend’s law when he enters his house because he is not in contrast with his law.
If the entire world consisted of people like the non-smoking friend, then there would not even be a need to hang up a non-smoking sign in the hall.
The other man was not of the same mindset, and because of that, the non-smoking sign stood in contrast with him as an external element of restriction.
He did not identify with his friend’s ideas, instead he identified with a different set of ideas.
It is sad to see how this whole false idea of Spirit VERSUS Law has served to not only separate Christians from their roots and thus prevent them from reaching the fullness of their Faith, but also it has served to create Christianity as a religion separate from the Torah and thus separate from the Jewish religion, thus bringing forth a wide gap between what is now called Judaism (which ALSO has its own man-based concepts integrated in it) and Christianity.
The ‘Christian’ is looked upon by a lot of Jews as a strange creature who needed to steal from a religion to create its own, while the Jew is considered by some Christians as a poor slave of an outdated Law in need of deliverance from the Law through the Spirit.
It even has gone so far that there is a theory that, whereas Christians need the saving grace of the Messiah, the Jews have the Law and do not need the grace of the Messiah.
This too is a satanic lie to perpetuate the separation and prevent God’s children from reaching the fullness of their Faith.
The written Torah points forward to the living Torah, and how on earth can anyone seriously separate the two and give one portion to the Goyim and the other to the Jews and say that it is God’s will to have different, separated paths to Salvation?
It’s the equivalent of actually carrying out Solomon’s commandment to slice the baby in half and give one half to one woman, and the other half to the other woman (just read the story in I Kings 3:16->).
It’s a preposterous lie.
I know that some of you may not agree with what I write here, but I challenge you to read the books of the prophets of the Old Testament, and pay close attention to their words about the end times.
You will find time and again that they do NOT describe these times as times when the commandments and ordinances as ordained in the Torah are abolished for God’s people, quite the contrary, nor do they speak of the end times as an age where the Sabbath has been replaced.
I am not trying to Judaize anyone, I am just shedding some light on what I consider to be false premises within Christianity (and Judaism).
Once my eyes were opened to the beautiful continuity of the ‘old’ and ‘new’ covenant (the new covenant really being phase II of the prophecy contained within the ‘old’ covenant) I wondered about how it had been possible for me to miss this link for so many years while all the time it was right under my nose.
Christianity cannot be separated from the Torah just as Judaism cannot be separated from that which the Torah points forward to: the living, life-changing Spirit brought to us by the Messiah, Yahshua.
To use the sword of the lie to separate the two is the equivalent of cutting the baby in half.
I am convinced that right now a time of great change is upon us, and part of this change is the destruction of the lie which has separated the Jews from their Messiah, and the Christians from their roots, a lie which has prevented both sides from reaching the fullness of Faith and become one new creation in the Messiah.
All praise and honour to our liberator, Messiah Yahshua, the living image of YHWH.