the four laws

Living Stream Ministry Podcast ::

Romans chapters 7 and 8 are (in my opinion) the most crucial chapters to every Christian in understanding how to live a vital Christian life. Paul was speaking frankly concerning his experience…what he was doing…what he could do and what he couldn’t do. If ever there was a man that could be good…that was equipped to be good…to fulfill the law and be obedient…this would have been Paul.

And yet, he met with such experience that he ended up crying “Oh wretched man that I am. Who will deliver me from the body of this death!” And I think many many believers identify with that. We feel that we have tried…that we have worked…tried “plan A” and then “plan B.” And we go from plan to plan…thinking that something is going to finally make this Christian life vital and real to all of us. And some things help a little bit and then it seems like somehow the thing gets shorted out and sometimes disastrously so…and yet many times we get up and start again.

We have come to the most deep, most meaningful, crucial point. In all these verses, I would say three crucial words are repeatedly mentioned. (1) the word law. (2) the word life. (3) and death. Law, life and death. We all have to realize…even scientifically speaking…these three things are the hardest thing for the scientists to explain. Who could define life? Could you? Could you tell me in any university…any kind of prominent famous professor that could explain to you what is life? Not only life…even this ugly thing…death…is a hard thing to explain.

You may think death is somewhat too abstract, but in the Bible, death is very concrete. Why? Revelation 20 says death eventually will be cast into the lake of fire. The first thing which will be cast into the lake of fire is Satan. And following him you have Hades. And this proves how Satan is a solid person and how Hades is a solid place. This matter of death should be also something solid.

Then, of course we all know the matter of law is a profound thing. The thing that surprises me is that 2,000 years ago, Paul the apostle understood the matter of law. If you look into it, firstly it denotes the ten commandments of God. The law of God. But Paul says in my mind there is a law. What is this? And he says also there is the law of sin and of death. What is this? Not only so, you also have the law of the Spirit of life. The law and life are good enough for us to be troubled. Now he put also the Spirit. The law of the Spirit of life. What is this?

The first time through Romans on the life-study of the Bible, we touched these four laws that are mentioned in chapters 7 and 8. To really understand this portion of scripture, we need to be clear that there are two different types or kinds of law. We have to underline that to get into the experience that Paul got into, we need to have the understanding that he had. And this is why I appreciate brother Lee and brother Nee getting into this in a spiritually scientific (if one can say that) method of looking at the laws that are operating. And Paul used the word laws.

Certainly, the first time the law is mentioned it refers to the law of God. That is an objective written standard that God spoke to the children of Israel for their behavior on this earth. That is the law outside of ourselves. Then Paul comes to the law of doing good in my mind. And that refers to an innate law or innate ability or capacity…desire that man wants to do good. And we do. We are created in God’s image and we are created that way to be those kind of beings. So there is something in our mind…a law…a propensity…e.g. the dogs bark, the fish swim, the birds fly. Every life has a law, and part of the human life is wanting to do good.

Then there is the law of sin in our members, and this law is the other side of doing good. This law comes from man’s fall where Satan tempted man to partake of the knowledge of good and evil. And by that partaking, man not only disobeyed but partook of something that brought another law into his members…into his flesh of his body, and that is the desire to do evil.

The fourth law that we have looked at in Romans 7 and 8 is the law of the Spirit of life. And this is another law that is within us. It’s another innate ability within us that comes from regeneration. That comes from God Himself dwelling inside of us as the Spirit of life. When this operates, this law sets us free from the law of sin and death. We don’t wrestle with that problem of good and evil. We just go to the law of the Spirit of life which is resurrection life…which takes us into the realm of God and of enjoying God…instead of being occupied with the matters of good and evil.

So we have talked about these four laws. The law of God outside of us. And then inside of us three…the law of good in our mind to do good. The law of evil in our members to do evil. The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus in our spirit to bring us into the realm of God Himself.

Living Stream Ministry

living by the principle of faith

Living Stream Ministry Podcast ::

In the Old Testament you had to keep the law then you can have a good fellowship with God. But today, you need to have the Faith, then you can get into the fellowship with God. Today, God’s dealing with His people is based upon the principle of faith.

If you look into God’s dealing with Abraham, you could see God’s dealing with him was based upon God’s promise. God didn’t give Abraham any commandments. God only gave Abraham the promise. So God’s dealing with Abraham was according to God’s promise. So the promise given by God to Abraham became the principle upon which God dealt with Abraham.

Then later on Moses came and God gave the law through Moses to the children of Israel. Then that law given at Mount Sinai became the principle according to which God dealt with the children of Israel. In the New Testament, you could see that today God deals with the believers in Christ not according to the law…but according to the Faith.

So Abraham’s entire relationship with God was based on God’s promise.

If the children of Israel kept the law, then they were able to have a good relationship with God. If they broke the law, however, then they were in trouble in terms of their relationship with God. We see in the Old Testament many times the children of Israel had a big problem with God because they did not keep the law, and God had to come in and deal with them and judge them based upon the principle of the law.

Well this principle didn’t work well in the Old Testament so in the New Testament God brought in a new principle and that is the principle of Faith. So today, our relationship with God is not based upon our keeping of the law of the Old Testament, but it’s based upon our faith in Christ. Actually, this Faith is not just a kind of a mental agreement with the gospel or the teachings of the Bible. This Faith is a living Faith in a living person that joins us to that Person and that causes that Person to enter into us and to become one with us.

So now we have a relationship with God in the principle of Faith which makes us one with Christ and makes Christ one with us. God wants us to live our Christian life based upon this principle. Not on the principle of trying to keep the law by the strength and the effort of our natural life. God wants us to be joined to Christ by Faith and to live by the principle of Faith.

The standard of the kingdom of the heavens is to have no anger toward our brother and no lust. Who can keep such a standard? Actually, only one person in the entire universe is able to keep this standard and that is Christ Himself. And this is precisely the key thing here. What this shows us is that if we’re going to live in the kingdom and meet the requirements of the kingdom, we cannot rely on our own natural life. Because our life is not capable of living to such a high standard. This means that we must join ourselves to Christ every day and every moment of every day by Faith.

Christ today…He’s the life-giving Spirit, and He dwells in our spirit. If we are one with Him, then spontaneously we will live a life that keeps not only the requirement of the Old Testament law, but that also satisfies the requirement of the higher law of the kingdom of the heavens. This is a life that is just the living of Christ in us.

After we have been saved according to the principle of faith, we need to live a higher life. …You are qualified to be judged at the judgement seat of Christ. And that judgement at the judgement seat of Christ is described here three times by three (3) kinds of judgement.. All 3 levels of judgement refer to that one judgement, the judgment at the judgement seat of Christ. We Christians…we the saved ones according to the principle of faith will be judged…not at the white throne recorded in Revelation chapter 20…but will be judged at the judgement seat of Christ, and this will be 1000 years earlier than the white throne.

Yes to be saved it is absolutely by Faith through Grace…that is right. But after you have been saved, be careful. You need to live a life that is higher than what the old law requires. It not only touches the outward doing…but it touches the inward moving. Such a high standard. What should we do then? The Lord’s word warns us, if you would not be serious, you’ll be put into the fire. Don’t think this is to be lost. We have to be fearful and trembling.

I must keep myself to the resurrected Christ. I must be one with Him. I must trust in Him. I must rely upon Him. I must stay in Him. I must remain with Him because the standard of morality of the kingdom of the heavens is too high for me. And this is too serious. We have to flee your temper…flee your lust. This not a small thing to lose your temper. This serious word may force us to keep ourselves to Christ.

Living Stream Ministry

His ministry was the ministry of Jubilee

Living Stream Ministry Podcast ::

In Luke, the start of the ministry of the Man Savior was chapter 4 with Jubilee, and the Jubilee concept should govern the writing of all the following chapters.  Now you come to chapter 9, 5,000 men with their wives…children, if they would be dismissed with hunger, there would be no more Jubilee. This one and than one would complain. “Nearly the whole day, I didn’t get any food.” Would this be Jubilee? This would be famine. The people would be full of hunger. But after the feeding there was real Jubilee.

The Lord sent the 12 to spread His ministry. What was His ministry? His ministry was the ministry of Jubilee. There would be no poor ones. All poor ones would be filled up. There would be no more captives. All captives would be released. And all would be brought back to the enjoyment of God. What is this?

This is Jubilee declared in chapter 4. Twelve (12) baskets of leftovers. This is Jubilee. In the kingdom of God could there be some kind of hunger? No! Jubilee. In the Jubilee there would be no hunger, but satisfaction. Everybody would be satisfied and there still would be some left over.

The disciples approach…in Luke chapter 9…was to ask the Lord to send the crowds away so that they could provide food for themselves. This approach really is in the principle of the law. The law places requirements on man. In order to fulfill the law, man has to do something out of himself to meet those requirements. There is no supply from God to meet the requirements of the law.

But the principle of Grace…which is the New Testament principle…is that God supplies man with everything that man needs to fulfill the requirements of God and also to satisfy man’s inner hunger. God doesn’t ask us to do something; He asks us to receive what He supplies.

So in this story here (Luke 9), the Lord asked the disciples to make the people recline in groups of 50, and then the Lord proceeded in a wonderful way…under Gods’ blessing…to feed this great crowd of people…to supply every one of them so that not one of them was hungry. Everyone was fully satisfied. And there was an overabundance of supply. This is the real Jubilee. When everyone has his hunger fully satisfied and still there is something left over. This is God’s New Testament Gospel. This is God’s New Testament economy.

Living Stream Ministry