Psalm 119:97                       Should We Love the Law?                      7/21/2013

 

 

 

 

#1.       The Law in the Gospel of Matthew (Matt 22:35-40, Deut 6:5, Lev 19:18, Gal 4:21)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#2.       The Name of Christ (Matt 22:37-40, Rev 19:13, John 1:14, Psalm 119:97)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#3.       The Last Days (Matt 24:37, 1Sam 15:22)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please open your Bibles to the prophecy of the Psalms, Psalm 119:97 (2X). Let me first give you:

·        An Introduction to Psalm 119 (Psalm 119:97-104, 2Tim 3:16-17, Col 2:16-17, Matt 5:17-18)

Psalm 119 is by far the longest chapter in the Bible. I am not planning to do a series of sermons on Psalm 119, and I also do not plan to cover this entire Psalm 119 today. Today we should discuss only the question: “Should We Love the Law?” This seems to be a rhetorical question, but today I want us to focus on a much neglected subject matter in the Christian world. The title of the sermon today is “Should We love the Law?” Where am I going with this sermon? Let me give you a brief outline in six steps, then you will be able to appreciate this sermon much better: First I will give an introduction to Psalm 119. As you very well know, Psalm 119 is a psalm which extols the beauty and the wisdom of the Law of God. Then secondly I will show from the Bible what God means when He speaks about the Law and that we must love the Law. Thirdly I will show that God commands us to love the Lord Jesus Christ. Fourthly I will show how we can harmonize all these different laws. Fifthly I will show how the church in history has generated Pharisees and Judaizers by failing to show how we can harmonize the words of Scripture. Sixthly I want to warn everyone for this danger that is upon us in these last days, for the number of saints in these last days is going to be very, very small.

Therefore the text for the sermon today is just verse 97, Psalm 119:97. As you can infer from the title of this series, this is not an in depth treatise of the subject matter. This is an introduction for beginners. Let us now read Psalm 119:97-104, all 8 verses starting with the letter M, all referring to the word “Mem”, and the word “Mem” means “Water”. All the 8 verses in this section are referring to the water that flows like the Gospel flows out of the mouth of the evangelist. It is the water of the Gospel.

Ps 119:97 ¶ MEM. O how love I thy law! It is my meditation all the day.  98  Thou through thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies: for they are ever with me.  99  I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation.  100  I understand more than the ancients, because I keep thy precepts.  101  I have refrained my feet from every evil way, that I might keep thy word.  102  I have not departed from thy judgments: for thou hast taught me.  103  How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!  104 Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way.

Psalm 119 is an ingeniously structured Psalm. It contains 22 sets of 8 verses, according to the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet. The first set of 8 verses each start with the letter A, which in the Hebrew alphabet is called “Aleph”. The word Aleph means Ox, and when we think of an ox we think of the ox that was a picture of the Lord Jesus Christ who was killed for an offering for all our sins. Every one of these 8 verses refers to the animal sacrifices which were a picture, or a type, of Christ’s offering on the cross. The second set of 8 verses each start with the letter B, which in the Hebrew alphabet is called “Beth”. The word Beth means House, and when we think of a house in the Bible we think of the House of God, both in the Old Testament and in the New Testament meaning of the House of God. Every one of the eight verses refers to the privilege, and the beauty and the honor of having the house of God in our midst. The third set of 8 verses each start with the letter G, which in the Hebrew alphabet is called “Gimel”.  The word Gimel means Camel, and when we think of a camel in the Bible we are reminded of the concept of Perseverance, especially the perseverance of the saints. And so on. This is how we should carefully unfold all the verses of Psalm 119.

In addition each set of 8 verses contains 8 synonyms for “the Law”. In the first 8 verses we recognize these 8 occurrences as the law, testimonies, ways, precepts, statutes, commandments, judgments, and again statutes. The last one is in other sets of 8 verses replaced by “Thy Word”. The entire Psalm 119 is a song of praise for “The Law”. Why the Law? What is so special about the Law? Does this reflect the tendency of the Jews toward legalism? And right away we have to say: NO! The Bible was not written to give us historical tidbits about the Jews of olden days. And the Old Testament was not written just to give us a history of the Jews. The Bible was written for all people and applies to all times. Therefore we must study the Law of God not only from the Old Testament Scriptures, but also from the New Testament Scriptures. We must keep in mind the words from 2Tim 3:16-17,

2Tim 3:16 “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.”

All Scripture is profitable, not only the New Testament but also the Old Testament. And when we want to be “throughly furnished unto all good works” we must study not only the New Testament but also the Old Testament. When we first turn to the Old Testament Scriptures we find that most of the commandments that God gave can be put in two categories: One is the Moral Law and the other is the Ceremonial Law. God did not spell it out precisely this way in the Bible. It is always called “the Law”. But when we use the New Testament as a commentary on the Old Testament we learn from Col 2:16-17 that after the cross certain laws must be abolished, whereas we learn from Matt 5:17-18 that the Law still remains until the end of time. But since we must harmonize all things that we find in the Bible we come to the conclusion that certain laws, like “Thou shalt not kill”, belong to the Moral Law, whereas other laws, like animal sacrifices, belong to the Ceremonial Law. This then is a brief overview of “the Law” as the church has understood it for 20 centuries. Let us hear it from the New Testament:

#1.       The Law in the Gospel of Matthew (Matt 22:35-40, Deut 6:5, Lev 19:18, Gal 4:21)

Please turn in your Bibles to the Gospel according to Matthew, Matt 22:35 (2X). In this passage the Pharisees were gathered together trying to trap the Lord Jesus in anything He would say. First they tested Him with the question, “Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar? Then the Sadducees asked Him a ridiculous question. After Jesus put the Sadducees to silence the Pharisees came again to test Him.

Mt 22:35  Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying,  36  Master, which is the great commandment in the law?  37  Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment.  39  And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.  40  On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

In verse 36 the Pharisee asked the Lord Jesus about the Law. What Law did he have in mind? Well verse 36 plainly says that the Law that he has in mind is the law of commandments. Perhaps he was thinking of the 10 commandments as recorded in Ex 20 and in Deut 5. And if you ask people who are attending churches today, “What is the Law?” most of them will answer you, “It is a name for the 10 commandments”. They have not studied the Bible, for the answer that the Lord Jesus gave was not from the 10 commandments at all. The answer that Jesus gave in verse 37 came out of Deut 6:5. And the answer that Jesus gave in verse 39 came out of Lev 19:18. And so, the Lord Jesus indicated that the Law refers to the entire Pentateuch, which refers to the first five Scrolls in the Bible that were given by Moses: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. This we also understand from other references in the New Testament, like in Gal 4:21, where Genesis is called “the Law”. The Lord Jesus says in verse 40, “On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets”, thereby indicating that the entire Pentateuch and all the Old Testament prophecies written after that are derived from these two commandments. And so, the first conclusion we arrive at is that the Law represents the entire Pentateuch; the first five scrolls of the Bible; the writings of God through the hand of Moses.

Please turn in your Bibles to the Gospel according to John, John 12:32 (2X). In this passage the Lord Jesus is speaking about His nearby crucifixion, and then the Lord Jesus said in John 12:32-34,

Joh 12:32  And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. 33 This he said signifying what death he should die. 34  The people answered him, We have heard out of the law that Christ abideth for ever: and how sayest thou, The Son of man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of man?

When Jesus spoke of being lifted up, the people understood very well that He meant to be lifted up on the cross, and that He would die on that cross. When Jesus spoke of being the Son of Man, they understood very well that He referred to Himself as the Messiah spoken of in the prophecy of Daniel. Let me read to you from Dan 7:13-14, where we have a symbolical view of the Messianic Kingdom.

Da 7:13  I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.  14  Da 7:14  And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.

In this proleptic vision the man who is the Messiah receives from God the Father His Kingdom, which is an everlasting Kingdom that shall not pass away. You can understand that the people were confused. They knew that Messiah would rule in His Kingdom, and it would be an everlasting Kingdom. If the Son of Man in the prophecy of Daniel was the Messiah, then who is this Son of Man who is standing before them, and who claimed that He would die on a Roman cross? They did not figure on Christ going to be resurrected from the grave after His crucifixion. But can you see the importance of John 12:34? The people understood that the Law included the prophecy of Daniel. And this is not the only prophecy that they referred to. When they said, “We have heard out of the law that Christ abideth for ever”, they were referring also to Ezek 37:24-25. Let me read those verses to you.

Eze 37:24  “And David my servant shall be king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in my judgments, and observe my statutes, and do them.  Eze 37:25  And they shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob my servant, wherein your fathers have dwelt; and they shall dwell therein, even they, and their children, and their children’s children for ever: and my servant David shall be their prince forever.”

This tells us that Messiah, the Seed of David, shall endure forever, and His throne shall be established forever, and it shall be a faithful witness in heaven forever. The earth, the sun and the moon shall pass away, but Messiah’s Kingdom and His throne shall be forever. And so the people justifiably asked in John 12:34, “We have heard out of the law that Christ abideth for ever: and how sayest thou, The Son of man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of man?” From this the second conclusion we draw is that the people called the entire Old Testament the Law. Is this also the terminology of the Lord Jesus? And yes, indeed. We can go on and on in many passages that prove that the entire Old Testament is considered “the Law”, and the people who are obeying the law are called “Blessed”.

Who are the people who are called “Blessed”? The beatitudes of Matt 5 declare that they are those who have been truly saved. They are the people who have become born from above. They are the only ones who are called “Blessed” in this world. And so, when we, in this 21st century, read the psalms and apply these to our daily life, we must read these as songs glorifying the Bible, the whole Bible, for that has become our Law of God. And all the other seven synonyms, like judgments, or testimonies, or ways, are merely synonyms for the Bible, which is the whole Word of God. And in this do we delight.

And so, how did we arrive at such far reaching conclusions? We have arrived at these conclusions by letting the context determine the meaning of the word “Law”, and by doing this we have given new life to many verses in the Old Testament and in the New Testament. The words of 2Cor 3:6 come to our mind, which reads as follows,

2Cor 3:6  Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.

By applying to the Old Testament our insight gained from the New Testament, God has made us able ministers of the New Covenant. God has not made us ministers of the stale history of the Jews, but ministers of the New Testament, which is the same word as the New Covenant.

#2.       The Name of Christ (Matt 22:37-40, Rev 19:13, John 1:14, Psalm 119:97)

Let us now turn to Rev 19:13 (2X). First I have given you an introduction to Psalm 119. Secondly, I have shown what God means when He speaks of the Law, that it refers to the entire Bible, not just the commandments. Thirdly, I have shown that the Lord Jesus said in Matt 22:37 “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.  38 This is the first and great commandment.  39  And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.  40  On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” And thus the fact that we must love the Lord Jesus above all is unquestionably true. But how is it that “On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets?” We can reason it out vaguely, but that does not satisfy. Really we must have clear Biblical evidence for it also. How does the Bible declare that we must love both Christ and the Bible with equal intensity? For this we turn to Rev 19. Please turn in your Bibles to the Revelation of Jesus Christ, Rev 19:13 (2X). There we see symbolically Christ come out of heaven riding on a white horse. And there in Rev 19:13 we hear His name. We read in Rev 19:13,

“And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.”

Christ is called “The Word of God.” The information we receive here is that Christ and the Word of God are both one and the same. The Bible is the Word of God. It gives us more confidence that we are in the right direction when we read in John 1:14 “And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us.” And thus, when we are commanded to love Christ, it means that we also love His Word, the Bible. And when we are commanded to love the Bible, it means that at the same time we love the Lord Jesus. When we are reading and studying the Bible we are in fact embracing and loving the Lord Jesus. This is how we understand to harmonize the command to love the Lord Jesus and at the same time love the Bible with equal intensity. Let us now get to a specific verse where we can apply this principle. Please turn to Psalm 119:97 (2X). What does God command us here? We read in Psalm 119:97,

Psalm 119:97, “O how love I thy law! It is my meditation all the day.”

Is this verse literally correct? No, it is not correct, for we must love Christ above all. Did God make a mistake here? Perish the thought! But God instructs us here not to interpret this verse in the literal sense. You see, if we read this verse literally, it actually says that we should not love the Lord Jesus above all, but we should love the Bible above all, and we should meditate on the Bible all the time and every day. That is wrong. It is on Christ that we should meditate all the time and every day. Literally Psalm 119:97 is wrong! The Bible did not atone for our sins, and the Bible did not suffer the equivalent of an eternity in Hell, and the Bible did not transform us from sinners to saints, and the Bible did not make us sons of God. Only God did that, and Jesus Christ is God the Son, who is fully God. And so, you see that this is a verse that tells us in the clearest sense that we must not read the Bible as a history book, and we must not read the Bible literally. That is wrong. We must learn to read the Bible as a spiritual Book, for God is a Spirit, and He wants to be worshipped in the Spirit. There are many churches and denominations which insist that we must read the Bible only in the literal sense. They point at us and say, “They have the wrong hermeneutics.” So far we have not seen any errors in our theology, even though we interpret the Bible in a spiritual way when it needs to be interpreted spiritually. I think, for example of the symbolism of “The Pillar on Rachel’s Grave,” in Gen 35:20, or I think of the symbolism of “Six Stone Vessels” in John 2:6, where an abundance of spiritual information is available, if we only want to see the spiritual picture in those passages. Both of these passages are chapters in my book, “The Revelation of Jesus Christ,” which was published this year. These chapters have been included in this book, “The Revelation of Jesus Christ,” because in the Bible the Epistle to the Seven Churches is a revelation OF Jesus Christ and not a revelation FROM Jesus Christ.

Let me clarify that the Bible is not God. Jesus Christ is God, because He is God the Son. And so, when we say that Rev 19:13 states that the Lord Jesus Christ has the name “The Word of God” we realize that this is not meant in the absolute sense. It only means that the Bible describes to us as fully as possible the Lord Jesus Christ, and it is only a description which is given to mankind, in the language that man can understand. The Bible does not reveal to us the nature of the Trinity, for this is what we cannot understand. But God gave us this information to give us the tools to harmonize the Scriptures. We must understand that loving the Bible is equivalent to loving the Lord Jesus Christ, for this is God’s command to anyone who is saved. The key to salvation is that we know who Christ is, for we must love the true Christ, and not love another idol. The Lord Jesus said in John 17:3, “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” And thus, by definition, a bible where something has been omitted, or where something has been added, is not a Bible that describes the true Lord Jesus Christ and all His attributes, and it is not a Bible that carries the approval of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is a bible that describes another christ, but it is not the Christ from the Bible. It is a bible that focusses on a man-made idol. Let us now consider:

·        Pharisees and Judaizers (Deut 4,5,6,8,11,27,28, Matt 5:17-20, Rev 2:2-4)

Now that we have harmonized the law to love Christ and the law to love the Bible, we must point out the grief the church has generated in the past by raising up many Pharisees and Judaizers who are lifting up Psalm 119 on a pedestal. They fail to see Christ on every page in the Scriptures. They think that they are saved, but in fact they are not saved at all. They say that God had a reason for creating Psalm 119. The reason was that man has to obey the law of God and love the law of God, and this has to be done without any question. Do we not find in Deut 4, 5, 6, 8, 11, 27, 28, an abundance of verses which teach us the benefits of obeying the commandments of the Lord? Jesus said in Matt 5:17-19,

Matt 5:17  Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.  18  For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.  19  Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.  20  For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.”

These verses are brought up many times to prove that we must obey all the commandments that we find in the Bible, except if they have been rescinded. Their line of thought is that if we have been saved, we will want to obey God’s commandments. It is a sign of salvation if we want to obey God’s commandments. Is that really so? Then what do we make out of verse 20? Our righteousness must exceed that of the scribes and Pharisees. If we want to examine ourselves if we are in the faith, should we look to see if we are obeying God’s commandments, or should we look to see if we love the Lord Jesus? Which one should be on top? Please turn to the Revelation of Jesus Christ, chapter 2, and there we find the answer to this question. We read here about the church at Ephesus in Rev 2:2-4,

Rev 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:  3  And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted.  4   Nevertheless I have (somewhat) against thee (because) that thou hast left thy first love.”

What is Christ saying about this church? Christ commends them for keeping their doctrines straight, and for laboring hard to keep the imposters out. “But this I have against thee that thou hast left thy first love.” The word “somewhat” was inserted by the translators. It was not a small error that they have left their first love; it was a BIG one. What was this first love? It definitely did not refer to their love for keeping the commandments, for they were working hard to keep their doctrines straight. No, it was their love for Christ that was waning. And here we have another clue that our love for Christ must be on top. This is how our righteousness does exceed that of the Scribes and Pharisees. If we just keep the commandments our righteousness does not exceed that of the scribes and Pharisees. We must be changed from the inside, and all our business and all our doing is not bringing that change.

Today almost all the denominations have forbidden their pastors to bring any spiritualization in their interpretations of the Bible. They may only bring the historical facts, and be done with it. The result is that they have created a bunch of ignorant nitwits who are now leading their congregations into stale history lessons about the nation of Israel. And unfortunately, when they bring something from the New Testament it is not going to be much better. Spiritually speaking, today the churches have generated many scribes and Pharisees, and many Judaizers who think they are saved because they can recite Psalm 119, but they do not have a love for the Lord Jesus Christ, and they do not know what it means to be “Born Again.” They do not know that God designed the Scriptures for the salvation of our souls. This is what the Bible is for. People who are saved have inherited a love for Christ and for His Father and are very grateful for what God has done for them. But this is the stage we have arrived at in our history. It is the stage where God will put an end to it, because it is a stage that is unprofitable to God.

#3.       The Last Days (Matt 24:37, 1Sam 15:22)

Please turn in your Bibles to the Gospel according to Matthew, Matt 24:37 (2X) What is that stage that is unprofitable to God? It is the stage where the whole world is filled with wicked people who worship idols rather than worship the only true God, and where there are only a few people who worship the true God. Where do I get this from? I get this from Matt 24:37, where the Lord Jesus says,

Matt 24:37  But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

In the flood of Noah’s days only 8 people were saved out of the entire world. God considered only 8 people who were worth saving and all the rest of the world fell under condemnation; they died in the flood, and they are going to be resurrected and stand before the judgment throne in the final judgment of the Last Day. When Christ said that “as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be” we understand that there will only be a tiny fraction of mankind who will be saved; all the rest of mankind will be condemned. Why will they be condemned? They will be condemned because they are worshipping other gods. Let us take this warning to heart. We must examine ourselves to see if we perhaps are guilty of such idolatry. It is clear that all those who do not fear God and who presently live as though God does not exist, are guilty of worshipping the god of self, and they are certainly going to be condemned in the judgment of the Last Day. But there are countless others who believe that they are saved, but are not. “They have been barking up the wrong tree.” What do I mean by that?

The picture is that of a dog who has his paws on the trunk of a big tree, and he is barking his heart out because he thinks that the cat, his arch-enemy, is up there hiding behind the leaves of the tree. But the cat is not there. The cat is in another tree next door. And so, we say that he is barking up the wrong tree. When people pray to another god than the God of the Bible, they are barking up the wrong tree. When people pray for salvation, but the god to whom they send up their prayers is not the God of the Bible, they are barking up the wrong tree. Will the true God of the Bible listen to their prayers and save them? No, because those prayers were addressed to another god. In fact, the God of the Bible will condemn them for sending up their prayers to another god. If the heathen in deep dark Africa pray for mercy while they are addressing their Voodoo god, then the God of the Bible will condemn them for that. If the Romanists pray to the Virgin Mary, the true God of the Bible will condemn them for doing this. All those people are barking up the wrong tree, and they will be held accountable for this in the judgment of the Last Day. You may say that they were sincere in their conviction that they were praying to the true God, but they were sincerely wrong, just like the heathen who pray to their imagined idol were sincerely wrong. And so, if we carefully listen to what the Lord Jesus said in Matt 24:37, we realize that this is a warning not to engage in idolatry. It is certain that there will be many people who will be praying to other gods, for the Lord tells us here that this will be the condition near the end of time. It is certain that the number of saints will be very very small. Why have their pastors and elders not warned them that this would come to pass? Their pastors and elders have not understood that these warnings also apply to them. They thought that they were exempt from these soul searching questions. For example, when the pastors and elders admonish the congregation that they must obey the commandments, for “to obey is better than sacrifice” (1Sam 15:22), they are in fact teaching the congregation idolatry, for obedience is not what must be on top. People in the church and people outside the church are being bombarded with: Obey God’s commandments. Obey, obey, obey! I hear it all the time through the radio, and through the man on the radio, and through other preachers, but it is a false emphasis on what is really important. Christ must be on top, and the love of Christ is the first and foremost sign that we have become saved. And how does the love of Christ manifest itself? It manifests itself by our love for the Word of God. Can we see that in our life?

Please turn in your Bibles to the Epistle to the Galatians, Gal 2:21 (2X). Does the Bible teach us that our obedience is the first and foremost sign of our salvation? Absolutely not! We read in Gal 2:21,

“I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain”

If my condition of being right with God would come by my obedience to the law, in fact to any law, if that is how God would have set up His plan of salvation, then Christ would have died in vain, and the crucifixion of Christ would be of no value whatsoever. Gal 2:21 is not the only verse that states this fact. If we move on to Gal 3:11, we read there the same principle. Gal 3:11, “But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.”

In other words, No Man is declared just in the sight of God by doing the works of the law, for “the just shall live by faith.” No, not his faith, but the faith of Christ, which is given freely to those whom God wants to be saved. We do not conjure up the faith as an evidence of our salvation; we do not trust the faith that comes out our own selves; we do not have faith in our own faith, for the heart of man is deceitful and desperately wicked; but we have received faith from God. It must be a gift from God, or else it is not worth anything. It must be a gift of God’s grace, for salvation is a gift of God’s grace. There is nothing that we can do to receive this gift, for if salvation is by grace, it must be totally by grace, and no more of works, otherwise grace is no more grace.

Move on to Gal 3:21 (2X) where God states the same principle:

Gal 3:21, “Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for IF there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.”

Look at these words carefully: “IF there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.” If God would have designed salvation by having us obey a law, any law, then righteousness would have come by obedience to the law. In other words, if salvation would have come by a law from God such as: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved,” then salvation would have been by obedience to that law and not through Christ crucified. Can you see that obedience to the command from God: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ” can not bring salvation to that individual? Only when that “belief on the Lord Jesus Christ” would be a gift from God, only then salvation would follow. But on our own initiative to believe on Christ is not going to bring salvation, for that would be a work on our part and no work whatsoever can contribute to our salvation. At the same time that God gives us the faith of Christ He also gives us a love for Christ, because it is our love for Christ that is an evidence of our salvation.

Can you see the structure that I have been building for the past 45 minutes? First I have shown you Psalm 119, particularly Psalm 119:97, “O how love I thy law! It is my meditation all the day.” And then I have shown you that you cannot take this verse at face value; you cannot absorb this verse as it stands, for that would constitute a false gospel. It is Christ who must be on top, not Psalm 119. Secondly, I have shown you from the spiritual information of Rev 19:13 that loving Psalm 119 is equivalent to loving Christ, for it is Christ who is glorified in the Word of God. Thirdly, from Matt 22:37-39 we see that God commands us to love Christ above all. Fourthly, from Rev 19:13 we understand that our Christ is represented by the Word of God. In other words, to love Christ and to love the Word of God has been merged into one harmonious commandment. This is the Christ we must love and worship. Fifthly, by failing to harmonize these two commandments we become a breeding ground for Pharisees and Judaizers who claim that thy are obedient to God’s command to love the law. But their law is separate from their Christ. To them these are two objects, whereas in our theology these are both one. Sixthly, we are approaching the end of time where God is going to separate the few from the many who remain unsaved. The many unsaved are barking up the wrong tree; God is not there.

And so, we see that our considerations of Psalm 119:97 lead us to the necessity of spiritualizing what we read here. It is not possible to read the plain Word of God and arrive at a satisfying conclusion without spiritualizing that Christ and the Word of God are one and the same. This brings harmony to Psalm 119:97, and to many other verses in the Bible. The danger that is threatening us in these Last Days is that we might be drawn into another gospel where Christ is not on top. This would lead us in the condition of idolatry. If we will be accused of barking up the wrong tree it would lead us to condemnation on the Last Day. Let me add that if we are among God’s elect we will not be deceived, for God is faithful toward His elect, and He will not allow us to go astray. But in knowing the truth we will be able to instruct those who are new in the faith.

Pray to God that we would be spared from this horrible condition on the Last Day. Pray to God that He will give us the grace to remain faithful all the way to the end of time.

AMEN.                  Let us turn to the Lord in prayer.