Sabbath Message by Tom Shardt

New Moon 1/5/29/120

Dear Friends,

A recent Sabbath message dealt with an issue regarding the Nature of God as a tenet of faith propagated and defended by Trinitarians. A serious error presented by Trinitarians in addition to their trinity doctrine is their Gnostic teaching pertaining to the Laws of God. By misquoting the writings of Paul, Trinitarians claim that Christ abolished the Law of Commandments and we are no longer under obligation to observe them.

Not long ago I received a couple of e-mails that were forwarded to me by my son who asked for my input regarding the content of the e-mails. The e-mails were authored by a minister from the Worldwide COG system, who not only subscribes to the trinity doctrine, but also teaches this false antinomian concept. The minister quoted Paul in Romans 7:4-6, claiming that Paul gives us “freedom words” and that we are no longer under obligation to keep the Ten Commandments. In his misguided presentation, the minister also ridicules other COG organizations for their teaching obedience to God’s Law because he believes it is “riddling the modern faith.”

There are several key study papers that deal with the Law and Paul’s writings, for example, The Relationship between Salvation by Grace and the Law (No.82), Distinction in the Law (No. 96), The Works of the Law Text – MMT (No. 104), Love and the Structure of the Law (No. 200), The Law of God (L1), and the entire law series Nos. 252 through 263.

The following is the response I sent to my son and daughter-in-law:

Let’s look at easy to understand statements that Jesus Christ made when he gave the Sermon on the Mount. In Matthew 5:17-18 (RSV) Christ instructs us:

17) Think not that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets; I have come not to abolish them but to fulfill them
18) For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the law until all is accomplished.

Christ fulfilled the prophecies about him as foretold in the prophets. All is accomplished when Christ returns the Kingdom back to his God and Father after the Millennium and 2nd resurrection, when the Father will become all in all with His creation (1Cor. 15:28). This obviously is yet future.

Trinitarians do not believe the Christ of Scripture, but believe the false Trinitarian Christ therefore they either ignore or twist this Scripture. Now, I am not sure what planet this minister is on, but it apparently is not earth, but I am still standing on earth so it must still exist in this galaxy. I can still look up to and see the heavens. So, should I believe this minister, or the Jesus Christ of Scripture? That’s a no-brainer! This statement by Christ should be enough to understand that the Law is still in force today and we need to be observing it, but let’s continue with the discussion.

Christ states in Matthew 5:27-28: (RSV)
27) “You have heard that it was said, “You shall not commit adultery.”
28) “But I say to you that every one who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”

The above Scriptures are anchoring Scriptures from which all understanding regarding God’s Law must flow.

In the old covenant, ancient Israel was not given the Holy Spirit, except for a select few like David and the prophets therefore, as long as they did not commit the physical act forbidden in the Law, they did not break the Law. But, with the new covenant, and the giving of the Holy Spirit, Christ is now elevating the Law to a higher level, the spiritual level, not diminishing it, not doing away with God’s Law! Now lusting or coveting in the mind (the thought process) is where sin begins and takes hold, and committing the physical act completes the cycle of sin. That is why we are to control our thoughts, control what enters our mind, and reject sin in the mind BEFORE it takes hold in the mind. This is how Christ fulfilled the Law mentioned in verse 17 by elevating it to the spiritual plane, leaving us an example that we should follow in his footsteps.

1Peter 2:21-22 (RSV):
21) For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example that you should follow in his steps,
22) He committed no sin; no guile was found on his lips.

James, the brother of Christ, states in James 1:13-15 (KJV):
13) Let no man when he is tempted, say I am tempted of God; for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth He any man;
14) But every man is tempteth when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.
15) Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin, and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.

With the giving of the Holy Spirit, truly converted Christians have the power to reject sin in the mind. Sin is defined by the breaking of God’s Law, otherwise, without God’s Law we would not know what sin is. So the transgression of the Law defines what sin is.

How do we love God and love our neighbor? Do we put other gods before the One True God? Do we show love to our neighbor by making love to his wife, by killing him, by stealing from him, by bearing false witness against him, by coveting and taking what belongs to him? Romans 5:13 states that sin is not imputed where there is no law (KJV). So, it’s no longer a sin to do these things because the Law has been done away and we no longer have to keep it? God forbid!

Keeping God’s Law is basic to understanding true Christianity. It is Christianity 101, one of the beginning courses of study. If there was one thing the ministry under Herbert Armstrong got right, it was that the Christian must keep and observe God’s Law even though the ministry itself, like the Pharisees, misapplied the Law to their financial benefit.

But, these lawless ministers who teach that we don’t have to keep God’s Law are responsible for the destruction of our society and are destroying our nation! Look! According to statistics, it is the white female Protestant woman who is getting the most abortions, who are murdering their babies. These false ministers are not only condemning themselves, but also the nation! They are more subversive than any other entity in our society including perverse politicians.

Let me ask a question. If Christ has done away with his Father’s Law, then why is it said in the following Scripture?

Hebrews 10:16-17 (KJV):
16) “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord: I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds, will I write them;
17) And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.

We are in the days when God will write His Laws in the heart and mind where the desire to keep them resides, and where the Holy Spirit resides to guide our thought process intellectually through knowledge, for those being called into the new covenant with Him. Yet God knows that the true Christian whom He has called is still human and will fall short of His glory and will sin. That is where forgiveness and Grace enter the picture. As long as the new covenant Christian acknowledges his or her sin before God, truly repents of breaking God’s Law (change and stop the sin), God then will forgive and apply His saving Grace because of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. He will do what is stated in vs. 17, “and their sins and iniquities will I remember no more” .

It is sad that lawless ministers put up the phony argument that it is a Law versus Grace issue, and espousing that you don’t have to keep God’s Law because of Grace. They actually turn Grace into a license to do whatever YOU want because YOU determine what is right and wrong. That is called licentiousness (2Pet. 2:15-22 KJV).

No, it is a Law and Grace issue. If we do not have to keep the Law, then there would be no need for Grace, for Grace is unmerited pardon. As stated previously, upon true repentance God applies the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and grants Grace or pardon to those who have entered into the new covenant relationship with Him at baptism, and who are keeping the faith and His Laws. Obviously these lawless ministers who teach that Christians do not have to keep God’s Law have not entered into the new covenant relationship with God. They are outside the new covenant because of their disobedience and refusal to accept God’s Laws in their life. Their WILL is contrary to God’s WILL which is rebellion, and rebellion is as witchcraft (1Sam.15:23 KJV). They are blind guides who are no better than the Pharisees who have perverted the Law of God through their oral traditions.

This minister begins his dissertation by quoting Romans 7:4-6. As you know, the Apostle Paul authored the Book of Romans. Let me bring to your attention what the Apostle Peter states in 2Peter3, verses 15-18 (RSV) about Paul’s writings:
15) “And count the forbearance of our Lord as salvation. So also our beloved brother Paul wrote to you according to the wisdom given him,
16) speaking of this as he does in all his letters. There are some things in them hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do other scriptures.
17) You therefore beloved, knowing this beforehand, beware lest you be carried away with the error of lawless men and lose your own stability,
18) But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.”

In 2Peter 2:19, 21, Peter states the dire consequence of those men who promise freedom from (vs. 19), and turn back from the holy commandment (vs. 21) once delivered unto them.

I noticed in this minister’s comment after quoting of Romans 7:4-6 he states, “these are freedom words”, as in freedom from God’s Law that he sees “riddling the modern faith”. What a stupid statement to make!

In Romans 8:7-9, Paul states:
7) “For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, indeed it cannot
8) and those in the flesh cannot please God
9) But you are not in the flesh, you are in the Spirit, if the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.

Acts 5:32 states (RSV):
And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him.

There’s that nasty word “obey” that spells “bondage” to the Gnostic antinomian (a person who maintains that Christians are freed from the moral law of God as enumerated in the Ten Commandments by virtue of grace and faith). But the truth be told, it takes a willingness to obey God’s Law before He gives His Holy Spirit to a person.

Obedience to God is nothing new. In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve had instruction by God to touch not the forbidden fruit. But they listened to Satan and were enticed to disobey God, which they did. They paid the penalty. It is no different today. Satan is now enticing mankind through lawless men who pose as ministers of righteousness to get us to reject God’s commands and Law. There is nothing new under the sun.

The one book these lawless ministers hate is the Book of James. Martin Luther called it the epistle of straw. A popular southern California TV evangelist who recently died referred to James as “James the Jerk”. That had to make the fallen hosts leap for joy.

In chapter 2 of James in the KJV, no less than 3 times James states, “faith without works is dead” (verses 17, 20, and 26). Works include showing love toward our neighbor and the keeping all of God’s Law (vv. 8-11).

Now let’s look at some of Paul’s clear statements in the Book of Romans since lawless ministers turn to the harder sayings of Paul and twist the understanding Paul is trying to convey. Paul is not doing away with God’s Law in his writings, but he draws comparisons between the physical and spiritual aspects of the Law that take place between the old and new covenants. As quoted above, he does so in a manner that the Apostle Peter refers to Paul’s writings as “hard to understand.” But, Paul himself says in the following verses (RSV):

Romans 2:13 - For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be justified
Romans 3:31 - Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! We uphold the law.
Romans 7:12 - So the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, and just and good.
Romans 7:22 – For I delight in the law of God, in my inmost self.

Do these verses sound like Paul is doing away with God’s Law? Is Paul countermanding Christ’s clear instructions regarding God’s Law when he authored the Book of Romans? These lawless ministers adopted twisted reasoning! It is insanity!

Now read the following Scriptures in the book of Revelation (KJV), an end-time book.

Revelation 12:17
And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

Revelation 14:12
Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

Revelation 22:14
Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.

Now either these words inspired by God are true, or the opposing words of this minister are true. Antinomians teach diametrically opposite to God's Word. Do we believe God or them? Once again, a no-brainer! It should be obvious to anyone with an ounce of sense the ridiculousness and false arguments of an anarchist ministry who teach that God’s commandments are done away. These false ministers do not have the faith and testimony of Jesus Christ that they proclaim to have because of their false teachings and lawless attitude. They serve the rebellious interests of an anarchist god. They do not serve the One True God and His Son Jesus Christ.

To conclude this for now, lawless ministers substitute God’s Law for a warm fuzzy feeling in the heart and teach that all you have to do is love God and love your neighbor. They cannot be specific and define that love because it is just a warm feeling in the heart. According to their teachings, just “know the Lord” and “accept Jesus in your heart”. This is all you have to do. What silly nonsense! These ministers are not up to God’s standards that He sets for the ministry who are to represent His Kingdom and His Government.

They are ignorant in the understanding of God’s Word. They are sapping the spiritual life’s blood out of their followers and our nation. Let the truth be told. God’s Laws are still in effect today and are to be kept. Understanding God’s Word requires an understanding of who is God, that He is not Trinitarian, Binitarian, or Ditheistic in nature. God’s word gives us an understanding of what He requires of us regarding His Laws. God is not an anarchist and does not support anarchy, which is what lawlessness is.

Bye for now,

Tom Schardt
Assistant Coordinator of California


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