A law limits the damage that we would do if we thought like ANIMALS. Animals only focus on the WHAT. They kill, steal, and destroy because their only focus is on survival. Animals do not create because they have a Wrong or No HOW/WHY.
What would it be like to get money for obeying the law?
DOCTRINE #33: LAW
A law consists of a DON'T WHAT and the threat of a penalty. A law treats everyone the same by establishing a specific Right HOW: Ritual.
Question: Do you believe you are living under laws you place on yourself?
Next Doctrine: Doctrine #34
Table of Contents
If you need it, here is the support from the Word of God...
"1 And God spake all these words, saying,
2 I am Jehovah thy God, who brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
4 Thou shalt not make unto thee a graven image, nor any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.
5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them, for I Jehovah thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, upon the third and upon the fourth generation of them that hate me,
6 and showing lovingkindness unto thousands of them that love me and keep my commandments.
7 Thou shalt not take the name of Jehovah thy God in vain; for Jehovah will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
9 Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work;
10 but the seventh day is a sabbath unto Jehovah thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy man-servant, nor thy maid-servant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:
11 for in six days Jehovah made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore Jehovah blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
12 Honor thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long in the land which Jehovah thy God giveth thee.
13 Thou shalt not kill.
14 Thou shalt not commit adultery.
15 Thou shalt not steal.
16 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.
17 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife, nor his man-servant, nor his maid-servant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that is thy neighbor's." (Exodus 20:1-17)
(The Ten Commandments were DONT'S and they were all WHAT'S.)
"18 And he that smiteth a beast mortally shall make it good, life for life.
19 And if a man cause a blemish in his neighbor; as he hath done, so shall it be done to him:
20 breach for breach, eye for eye, tooth for tooth; as he hath caused a blemish in a man, so shall it be rendered unto him.
21 And he that killeth a beast shall make it good: and he that killeth a man shall be put to death.
22 Ye shall have one manner of law, as well for the sojourner, as for the home-born: for I am Jehovah your God." (Leviticus 24:18-22)
(The law can't create; it can only equal out Justice. The goal of the law was to get things to even immediately, during your time on earth. It didn't matter who did it or WHY they did it. The HOW for evening it out was specific and became ritual/tradition...)
"1 And Jehovah spake unto Moses, saying,
2 Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If any one shall sin unwittingly, in any of the things which Jehovah hath commanded not to be done, and shall do any one of them:
3 if the anointed priest shall sin so as to bring guilt on the people, then let him offer for his sin, which he hath sinned, a young bullock without blemish unto Jehovah for a sin-offering.
4 And he shall bring the bullock unto the door of the tent of meeting before Jehovah; and he shall lay his hand upon the head of the bullock, and kill the bullock before Jehovah.
5 And the anointed priest shall take of the blood of the bullock, and bring it to the tent of meeting:
6 and the priest shall dip his finger in the blood, and sprinkle of the blood seven times before Jehovah, before the veil of the sanctuary.
7 And the priest shall put of the blood upon the horns of the altar of sweet incense before Jehovah, which is in the tent of meeting; and all the blood of the bullock shall he pour out at the base of the altar of burnt-offering, which is at the door of the tent of meeting.
8 And all the fat of the bullock of the sin-offering he shall take off from it; the fat that covereth the inwards, and all the fat that is upon the inwards,
9 and the two kidneys, and the fat that is upon them, which is by the loins, and the caul upon the liver, with the kidneys, shall he take away,
10 as it is taken off from the ox of the sacrifice of peace-offerings: and the priest shall burn them upon the altar of burnt-offering.
11 And the skin of the bullock, and all its flesh, with its head, and with its legs, and its inwards, and its dung,
12 even the whole bullock shall he carry forth without the camp unto a clean place, where the ashes are poured out, and burn it on wood with fire: where the ashes are poured out shall it be burnt." (Leviticus 4:1-12)
(It didn't matter who did it or WHY or if they even knew: "any one shall sin unwittingly". There was a very specific HOW to even things back out. If you sinned you would have an EXPERIENCE that would cause you to get back to even. You help children learn by hitting their hand away from the container of poison before they drink it.)
"6 Moreover Jehovah said unto me in the days of Josiah the king, Hast thou seen that which backsliding Israel hath done? she is gone up upon every high mountain and under every green tree, and there hath played the harlot.
7 And I said after she had done all these things, She will return unto me; but she returned not: and her treacherous sister Judah saw it.
8 And I saw, when, for this very cause that backsliding Israel had committed adultery, I had put her away and given her a bill of divorcement, yet treacherous Judah her sister feared not; but she also went and played the harlot.
9 And it came to pass through the lightness of her whoredom, that the land was polluted, and she committed adultery with stones and with stocks.
10 And yet for all this her treacherous sister Judah hath not returned unto me with her whole heart, but feignedly, saith Jehovah.
11 And Jehovah said unto me, Backsliding Israel hath showed herself more righteous than treacherous Judah.
12 Go, and proclaim these words toward the north, and say, Return, thou backsliding Israel, saith Jehovah; I will not look in anger upon you; for I am merciful, saith Jehovah, I will not keep anger for ever.
13 Only acknowledge thine iniquity, that thou hast transgressed against Jehovah thy God, and hast scattered thy ways to the strangers under every green tree, and ye have not obeyed my voice, saith Jehovah." Jeremiah 3:6-13)
(Everyone was treated the same. Judah did not learn through the experience of her sister Israel, so a greater consequence was going to fall on Judah. In the New Testament, we are parts of the Bride. Paul focused the church on how we each have a different purpose by talking about the body parts. In the Old Testament, everyone equally made up the body, and the body was talked about. It was called a wife, sister, or harlot.)
"1 And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of Jehovah thy God, to observe to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that Jehovah thy God will set thee on high above all the nations of the earth:
2 and all these blessings shall come upon thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of Jehovah thy God.
3 Blessed shalt thou be in the city, and blessed shalt thou be in the field." (Deuteronomy 28:1-3)
(Deuteronomy 28 was a long chapter. A shorter and similar chapter is covered below in ADDITIONAL SCRIPTURE. Here, we will cover Deuteronomy 28 as a summary. These first three verses began the list of blessings that continued through verse 14. Notice, the blessing wasn't coming from within the commandments. These verses showed God was offering a blessing for keeping the Law. This was God encouraging growth by understanding. God always first tried to motivate people to grow by what they could gain. Then...)
"15 But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of Jehovah thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day, that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee.
16 Cursed shalt thou be in the city, and cursed shalt thou be in the field." (Deuteronomy 28:15-16)
(The list of curses continued through verse 44. When people weren't motivated to grow by gain through understanding, God then motivated people to grow by showing them what they could lose. This was growth through experience. Then...)
"45 And all these curses shall come upon thee, and shall pursue thee, and overtake thee, till thou be destroyed; because thou hearkenedst not unto the voice of Jehovah thy God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which he commanded thee:
46 and they shall be upon thee for a sign and for a wonder, and upon thy seed for ever." (Deuteronomy 28:45-46)
(Notice, these curses were supposed to be a sign and a wonder to cause the people to go back to doing the right thing. If the people didn't grow, these curses would continue until they were utterly destroyed; they would have no more mercy. The list of penalties for not learning by experience continued through verse 62. Then...)
"63 And it shall come to pass, that, as Jehovah rejoiced over you to do you good, and to multiply you, so Jehovah will rejoice over you to cause you to perish, and to destroy you; and ye shall be plucked from off the land whither thou goest in to possess it." (Deuteronomy 28:63)
(God wanted to help people grow with benefits through understanding. However, He was just as willing to help people grow with curses through experience. Wayne Swokowski taught me the definition and etymology of the Hebrew word for "law" in the Old Testament was not governmental like most of us believe. The word "LAW" meant guidance. It came from the idea of being sprinkled upon with water from the outside. The Law was knowledge (graphe) from the outside that first attempted to reach the person through understanding, then experience from the outside.)
"26 And ye shall be holy unto me: for I, Jehovah, am holy, and have set you apart from the peoples, that ye should be mine." (Leviticus 20:26)
(God gave the children of Israel His Law so that they could be guided by Him. Holy meant pure and clean and set apart, and the Law provided a way for the children of Israel to be holy so that they could be with God because He is Holy.)
"9 But ye are a elect race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God's own possession, that ye may show forth the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:" (1 Peter 2:9)
(In the Old Testament, the people were declared holy and their goal was to maintain it by NOT doing something wrong. There was no goal they were growing towards. They basically got physical blessings if they maintained their spiritual holiness.)
"7 And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee and to thy seed after thee." (Genesis 17:7)
(God made an everlasting covenant with Israel. There was no goal, it went on forever. Basically with a law you are only on the line or below the line. It is not like a stock market graph, it is more like a wave that never gets bigger.)
What would it take for you to change your beliefs? Do you grow with a curse through experience? For some, the only thing that can motivate them is the thought of losing something. They only want to stay out of the red. When you ask them if they want more their answer is, "I'm doing my best and that's good enough for me!"
You can grow with a benefit through understanding! Do you grow if someone gives you a chance to fix the way you think by showing you what you can gain?
How do want your God to treat you? How do you treat others? Wouldn't it be amazing if we lived our lives without having to constantly run into the brick walls before realizing that our teeth are going to get smashed out of our mouths? In the next Doctrine we will find out how!
Leviticus 26 began with God showing through understanding what Israel could gain:
"1 Ye shall make you no idols, neither shall ye rear you up a graven image, or a pillar, neither shall ye place any figured stone in your land, to bow down unto it: for I am Jehovah your God.
2 Ye shall keep my sabbaths, and reverence my sanctuary: I am Jehovah.
3 If ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them;
4 then I will give your rains in their season, and the land shall yield its increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit.
5 And your threshing shall reach unto the vintage, and the vintage shall reach unto the sowing time; and ye shall eat your bread to the full, and dwell in your land safely.
6 And I will give peace in the land, and ye shall lie down, and none shall make you afraid: and I will cause evil beasts to cease out of the land, neither shall the sword go through your land.
7 And ye shall chase your enemies, and they shall fall before you by the sword.
8 And five of you shall chase a hundred, and a hundred of you shall chase ten thousand; and your enemies shall fall before you by the sword.
9 And I will have respect unto you, and make you fruitful, and multiply you, and will establish my covenant with you.
10 And ye shall eat old store long kept, and ye shall bring forth the old because of the new.
11 And I will set my tabernacle among you: and my soul shall not abhor you.
12 And I will walk among you, and will be your God, and ye shall be my people.
13 I am Jehovah your God, who brought you forth out of the land of Egypt, that ye should not be their bondmen; and I have broken the bars of your yoke, and made you go upright."
Then, God explained what would happen (what God would take away) to Israel through experience if they didn't respond to God approaching them with a benefit through understanding:
"14 But if ye will not hearken unto me, and will not do all these commandments;
15 and if ye shall reject my statutes, and if your soul abhor mine ordinances, so that ye will not do all my commandments, but break my covenant;
16 I also will do this unto you: I will appoint terror over you, even consumption and fever, that shall consume the eyes, and make the soul to pine away; and ye shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it.
17 And I will set my face against you, and ye shall be smitten before your enemies: they that hate you shall rule over you; and ye shall flee when none pursueth you."
However, the next verse showed God punished Israel through experience so they would choose to grow:
"18 And if ye will not yet for these things hearken unto me, then I will chastise you seven times more for your sins."
Notice, not responding to God's warning meant God would punish them seven times more.
"19 And I will break the pride of your power: and I will make your heaven as iron, and your earth as brass;
20 and your strength shall be spent in vain; for your land shall not yield its increase, neither shall the trees of the land yield their fruit.
21 And if ye walk contrary unto me, and will not hearken unto me, I will bring seven times more plagues upon you according to your sins."
Notice, God was still appealing to Israel through experience. If Israel didn't respond, God would bring seven times more plagues to get their attention.
"22 And I will send the beast of the field among you, which shall rob you of your children, and destroy your cattle, and make you few in number; and your ways shall become desolate.
23 And if by these things ye will not be reformed unto me, but will walk contrary unto me;
24 then will I also walk contrary unto you; and I will smite you, even I, seven times for your sins."
Again, God still appealed to Israel through experience...
"25 And I will bring a sword upon you, that shall execute the vengeance of the covenant; and ye shall be gathered together within your cities: and I will send the pestilence among you; and ye shall be delivered into the hand of the enemy.
26 When I break your staff of bread, ten women shall bake your bread in one oven, and they shall deliver your bread again by weight: and ye shall eat, and not be satisfied.
27 And if ye will not for all this hearken unto me, but walk contrary unto me;
28 then I will walk contrary unto you in wrath; and I also will chastise you seven times for your sins."
The pattern continued...God appealed to Israel through experience. However, it looked like God reached the end of mercy...
"29 And ye shall eat the flesh of your sons, and the flesh of your daughters shall ye eat.
30 And I will destroy your high places, and cut down your sun-images, and cast your dead bodies upon the bodies of your idols; and my soul shall abhor you.
31 And I will make your cities a waste, and will bring your sanctuaries unto desolation, and I will not smell the savor of your sweet odors.
32 And I will bring the land into desolation; and your enemies that dwell therein shall be astonished at it.
33 And you will I scatter among the nations, and I will draw out the sword after you: and your land shall be a desolation, and your cities shall be a waste.
34 Then shall the land enjoy its sabbaths, as long as it lieth desolate, and ye are in your enemies' land; even then shall the land rest, and enjoy its sabbaths.
35 As long as it lieth desolate it shall have rest, even the rest which it had not in your sabbaths, when ye dwelt upon it.
36 And as for them that are left of you, I will send a faintness into their heart in the lands of their enemies: and the sound of a driven leaf shall chase them; and they shall flee, as one fleeth from the sword; and they shall fall when none pursueth.
37 And they shall stumble one upon another, as it were before the sword, when none pursueth: and ye shall have no power to stand before your enemies.
38 And ye shall perish among the nations, and the land of your enemies shall eat you up.
39 And they that are left of you shall pine away in their iniquity in your enemies' lands; and also in the iniquities of their fathers shall they pine away with them."
However, there was still enough mercy for Israel to begin the process of getting back to even. It wouldn't be by doing the commandments. Israel had to do something more...
"40 And they shall confess their iniquity, and the iniquity of their fathers, in their trespass which they trespassed against me, and also that, because they walked contrary unto me,
41 I also walked contrary unto them, and brought them into the land of their enemies: if then their uncircumcised heart be humbled, and they then accept of the punishment of their iniquity;
42 then will I remember my covenant with Jacob; and also my covenant with Isaac, and also my covenant with Abraham will I remember; and I will remember the land.
43 The land also shall be left by them, and shall enjoy its sabbaths, while it lieth desolate without them: and they shall accept of the punishment of their iniquity; because, even because they rejected mine ordinances, and their soul abhorred my statutes.
44 And yet for all that, when they are in the land of their enemies, I will not reject them, neither will I abhor them, to destroy them utterly, and to break my covenant with them; for I am Jehovah their God;
45 but I will for their sakes remember the covenant of their ancestors, whom I brought forth out of the land of Egypt in the sight of the nations, that I might be their God: I am Jehovah.
46 These are the statutes and ordinances and laws, which Jehovah made between him and the children of Israel in mount Sinai by Moses."
God's focus is growth.