Over the last few years, I’ve been on a road traveled by very few people. The Messiah called it “the Narrow Road.”
Although this road is unkempt and difficult, the treasures that are found along the Way are worth the price of the loneliness.
On this journey, I’ve developed an extreme fascination with, and strong desire to know, His Ways and how He operates.
If you hold steadfastly to the Unshakeable Faith Pillars that I’ve listed on my site, then they are true for you at all times and cannot change – hence the name “Pillars.” If these truths change at any time, they are not “Pillars,” the Bible is a lie and our faith is in vain.
Yep, those are very “absolute” words, but there are no gray areas for someone who believes in Absolute Truth.
God has His Ways. His Ways are not like our ways (Isaiah 55:8-9), but our ways are to gradually conform to His Ways (Deuteronomy 8:6, 10:12, Micah 4:2), or we do not truly follow Him.
Such is the Way of a disciple.
Psalm 103 – More Empirical Evidence of an Unchangeable God
Every time I study His Ways, I see a continuous thread running throughout the Old and New Testaments. God truly never changes… He is always the same.
This morning, as I was reading in Psalm 103, I smiled to myself as I discovered yet more proof of the unchangeable nature of my King, and how it relates to His mercy. Let me show you what I’ve found.
He made known His Ways unto Moses, his acts unto the children of Israel.
The truth found in this verse poses a very serious problem for mainstream christians.
Although they will vehemently profess that they do, indeed, believe in His unchangeable nature, their theology (usually heavily influenced by dispensationalism) embraces the opposite. Theirs is a God who “morphs” somewhere between the Old and the New Testaments.
- He makes up rules – and then drops them.
- He acts one way for 4,000 years – and then changes for the next 2,000 years, only to switch again when He returns.
- He’s not a respecter of persons – unless of course, you’re a Jew.
And the list goes on and on.
But, contrary to our man-made reasoning, the Scripture continually backs up the idea of an unchangeable God. He is always steadfast… always the same.
If God doesn’t change, then His Ways do not change either. If our God changes, then our Bible is a lie and our faith is in vain. Yes… Absolute Words for Absolute Truth.
But rest assured, He doesn’t change and our faith is still valid, if we hold to the faith of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
It’s in our understanding that we falter – we need our minds renewed according to the whole Word of God (Romans 12:2), not according to the latest fad teaching.
Embracing a Love that Hates
The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever.
Throughout the Old and New Testaments, He was, and is, the amalgamation of the two ideals that we so desperately strive to separate.
He is the epitome of “Love.” But because He is “Love,” He must hate and punish sin.
Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.
The same God who hates the transgression of the law before Yeshua is the same God who hates the transgression of the law now.
But what does all this have to do with His mercy and how to receive it?
Mercy is attracted to the Fear of the Lord
He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.
Wait a minute … What’s this? For a minute there, I thought that I was reading out of the New Testament!
Seriously folks, this verse flies in the face of the image of God that the imposters in the pulpits have conjured up.
Did God have this kind of mercy prior to the cross? You bet He did!
Even before Yeshua’s ultimate sacrifice, our loving and gracious God showed mercy when it was right to show mercy.
Why do you think He showed mercy to some, but then had others slaughtered? We have our answer in the next verse.
For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.
The Fear of the Lord was the key element to an individual obtaining the mercy of the Most High. He would even remove transgression from the ones who sought His Ways and chose to emulate them.
You don’t believe me? Read Psalm 103:11-12 again… it’s right there!
The Connection Between the Fear of the Lord, Obedience and Wisdom
My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide [H6845 – treasure up] my commandments with thee; so that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding;
Do you see the “so that thou” in the verse above? This phrase connects the first part of the verse with the second.
If you receive God’s Word and hide His commandments within your heart, it causes you to “incline your ear to wisdom” and “apply your heart to understanding.”
- You cannot claim to be wise and understanding unless you listen to (and receive as true) His Word.
- You cannot claim to be wise and understanding unless you hide [H6845 – treasure up] His commandments.
Walking in Defiance of the New Covenant
I’m not trying to be insulting here, it’s simply what the Word says, and has said for ages.
If you claim to be wise and understanding and do not do the deeds mentioned above, you are a liar (1 John 2:4) who is walking in delusion. You walk in utter defiance of the New Covenant.
But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.
People who walk in utter defiance of the New Covenant by walking in opposition to the commandments of the Most High cannot know wisdom, know matter how much they spout on about spiritual, even biblical, topics.
It’s simply impossible.
Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.
Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and thy law is the truth.
Connecting the Dots in Scripture Yields a Great Reward!
Seekers of truth … all Scripture is connected together and makes sense! We don’t need to add to or take away from it to satisfy our man-made theologies. And we don’t need to modify it to match up with our “experiences.”
Like a giant “connect-the-dots” puzzle, it all joins together in a massive, glorious Plan.
Fortunately, for those who are truly part of the New Covenant, there is mercy along the path.
Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him. For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.
Our Father has mercy on us, but His mercy is not a “blank check.”
When a Father’s Mercy Has Limits
When they were babies, if they pooped their pants, I would gladly change them (well, mostly it was their mom who did the dirty work, but that’s another discussion) without wrath or punishment.
As they grew older, I expected them to take care of those issues themselves, like normal human beings.
They are now all teenagers, and I’m happy to say, they are all potty-trained. [Hallelujah!]
However, if they ever decide to revert back to that kind of infantile behavior… they can definitely expect wrath and punishment to occur.
In the same way, God’s mercy with us, as His children, has its limits.
God’s mercy is not a “blank check.”
As we get older, we are not allowed to just lie back and wallow in the mire of our sin (think “dirty diapers”).
God’s mercy is the same throughout the Word of God. There will be judgment for every man… even the believer.
For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.
But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who ‘will render to each one according to his deeds’
The old “salvation equation” will not save you.
“Receiving Jesus into your heart” is not the cure-all for your problems or a free pass into heaven, nor can it be found anywhere in the Word of God. I know that comes as a shock to some of you, but I dare you to try to look it up!
Believe it or not, saying the formulaic “sinner’s prayer” doesn’t save you either.
True Salvation that Makes Sense
Here’s what saves you… Jesus and His disciples went out preaching, saying:
And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
Come on, friends. Put the dots together.
- Jesus came to save us from our “sins.” (Matthew 1:21)
- Repenting is turning away from “sin.” (Acts 3:19)
- “Sin” is the transgression of the Torah. (1 John 3:4)
So, again… c’mon guys… connect the dots. What does all this mean??
Jesus came to save us from the penalty of our transgression of the Torah!
If this adds up, then why do all the imposters in the pulpits encourage us to CONTINUE TO turn away from following God’s commandments, calling something “bondage,” when God called it “perfect” (Psalm 19:7) and “a blessing” to those who obey it (Deuteronomy 28)?
Hmmmmm… think about it. Does the Word of God contradict itself… or do you smell wolves?
Now, not all wolves are intentionally leading the flock astray.
Most of these unwitting wolves have been trained in their cemeteries (seminaries) to cherry-pick select verses from Paul’s epistles and formulate entire doctrines contrary to the rest of the Word (including the Gospels).
This kind of cherry-picking will lead you straight to hell.
If you read Matthew 7:15-23, you’ll see that these “lawless” people are genuinely surprised that they don’t make it into the Kingdom. They did all the stuff in Jesus Name… SUCCESSFULLY… but they could not enter the Kingdom. All due to lawlessness [G458 – anomia].
It’s quite sad, really.
What does it mean to “pursue His righteousness”?
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
When most read this verse, they believe it to say that we should seek God’s Kingdom and His righteousness – a “righteousness” that is beyond our comprehension and unattainable, so we shouldn’t even try.
Don’t you see what an oxymoron that is?
Look, the Messiah did not come to the earth to dangle the proverbial carrot in front of us – knowing that we would never be able to take a bite. That’s not righteousness, that’s abuse!
No, He came to reveal God’s righteousness so that we can act like Him — that’s what the gospel was all about!
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
In a prior post, we established the truth that faith is not just mental assent, but a combination of belief AND righteous deeds.
So it should be a foregone conclusion that, as we “seek first the Kingdom and His righteousness,” we will do the things He did.
because as he is, so are we in this world.
As we are pursuing, and ACTING ON, this righteousness, we will find abundant mercy, grace and love following our every footstep.
If we expect to have mercy apart from a willingness to obey, we’re going to have a rude awakening on Judgment Day.
And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: that they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: in the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them.
I said all that to say this – we NEED His mercy.
I don’t know about you, but I am a highly-fallible human being, in need of His mercy every day.
This need for His mercy causes me to pursue obedience to His Commandments. I will never lie down apathetically on an imaginary, unscriptural “bed of roses,” satisfied that His mercy has me covered, and neither should you… EVER.
I will always strive to become more like Him, confident that He will be faithful to change my inner being as I learn to understand His Ways and obey Him.
I’m not a perfect man… I never was (just ask my wife). But I know I’m growing closer to the mark when I take the following verse to heart.
But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children’s children; to such as keep his covenant, and to those that remember his commandments to do them.