Keeping Parts Of The Old Testament

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Hi J____,
Thank you for asking why we keep Lev 19:28 but not Lev 19:27.

Lev 19:28  Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the LORD.
Lev 19:27  Ye shall not round the corners of your heads, neither shalt thou mar the corners of thy beard.

As I have pointed out in The Law of Moses Versus The Law of The Spirit in great detail, there are many parts of the Old Covenant which are carried over into the New Covenant, even though the New Covenant is “in the spirit” and not “in the letter”. We are told of Christ:

1Ti 3:16  And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.

So Christ was “justified in the spirit” even though he “broke the sabbath” by telling a man to “take up thy bed” on the sabbath.

Joh 5:17  But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.
Joh 5:18  Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.

Yet when asked what was needed to inherit life, Christ told the rich young ruler to “keep the commandments, and Christ mentioned several of the ten commandments. The sabbath was not one of the commandments Christ referenced.

Mat 19:16  And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?
Mat 19:17  And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, [ that is], God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.
Mat 19:18  He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness,
Mat 19:19  Honour thy father and [ thy] mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

So this man’s question, coming after all of Christ’s teachings in chapters 5 and 6 in which he would quote sections of the Old Testament and then reform those sections with all of His “But I say unto you…” reforms, was essentially the same as your question. Why do we keep part of the Old Testament but not other parts?
Let’s look at the context of the verses you ask about in Leviticus. Here are the two verses you ask about along with the verse before and the verse after those two verses.

Lev 19:26  Ye shall not eat [ any thing] with the blood: neither shall ye use enchantment, nor observe times.
Lev 19:27  Ye shall not round the corners of your heads, neither shalt thou mar the corners of thy beard.
Lev 19:28  Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I [ am] the LORD.
Lev 19:29  Do not prostitute thy daughter, to cause her to be a whore; lest the land fall to whoredom, and the land become full of wickedness.

The verse before tells us not to eat meat with the blood, don’t dabble in spells, magic, sorcery or mysticism and do not observe pagan times. The verse after the two verses you question tells us not to prostitute our daughters, to cause them to become whores or our whole land will slip into apostasy.
Any person who is seeking only to please his Creator will observe and do all the things contained in all of these verses, including verse 27, because the whole point in all of these verses is that we are to do all that we do only to please God, and not to serve other gods or glorify and please one’s own flesh.

1Co 10:31  Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.

But that is the message only “in spirit” and not in letter. To those who see only the letter, a person who is naturally bald is considered cursed by God. So the orthodox Jews, to this day, do not cut the hair on their temples, and they wear beards as if it makes them more righteous to do so.
You ask why we observe verse 28, do not tattoo oneself, but we do not observe verse 27, do not round one’s heads nor round the corners of one’s beard?’
The answer is that we actually observe both in spirit, because we do all we do to the glory of God and not to draw attention to ourselves by wearing tattoos and Mohawks or other outlandish hairdos. Any person who deliberately dresses in a way that draws attention to himself/ herself simply for the purpose of drawing attention to self is surely not “doing all that he does to the glory of God.”
Yes, it is true, Christ expects more of us than we can possibly do. That is why we have been given His spirit, and now we can honestly say with the apostle Paul:

Php 4:12  I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.
Php 4:13  I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

So how are we “instructed in all things”?  How can we know exactly when the Old Testament agrees with the New and when it doesn’t agree? The answer is that the holy spirit instructs and guides us with His spiritual words and verses like the one we quoted above:

1Co 10:31  Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.

Our flesh is far more concerned with what friends and family and society will think of us if we really live by that principle. But our spirit “knows how to be both abased [ in the flesh] and how to abound [ in the spirit] and we discover that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us through His Word – Words like these:

1Co 6:12  All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.
1Co 6:13  Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats: but God shall destroy both it and them. Now the body [ is] not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body.

Our society is a virtual slave to its own totally unscriptural traditions. They are not “done to the glory of God”. They are done to please and appease family and friends. They certainly are not expedient for those who place this year’s gifts on a credit card that still has last year’s expenses on it. As a society we are “brought under the power of” totally pagan traditions, all the while claiming that what we are doing is expedient and to the glory of God.
This is such an important point that Paul repeats it in this same epistle:

1Co 10:20  But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils.
1Co 10:21  Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table, and of the table of devils.
1Co 10:22  Do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? are we stronger than he?
1Co 10:23  All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.

What does “the cup of devils” have society to do?” That is exactly what is an abomination to God, in both the Old and in the New Testaments.

Deu 12:28  Observe and hear all these words which I command thee, that it may go well with thee, and with thy children after thee for ever, when thou doest that which is good and right in the sight of the LORD thy God.
Deu 12:29  When the LORD thy God shall cut off the nations from before thee, whither thou goest to possess them, and thou succeedest them, and dwellest in their land;
Deu 12:30  Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them, after that they be destroyed from before thee; and that thou enquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise.
Deu 12:31  Thou shalt not do so unto the LORD thy God: for every abomination to the LORD, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods; for even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their gods.
Deu 12:32  What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.

It is nothing less than “burning our children in the fire to the gods of the heathen” when we deliberately lie to our children about Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the tooth fairy, ghosts and goblins, cupid and any and all of the other ways we have “enquired after their gods, saying, ‘How did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise to the glory of my God'” (Deu 12:30).
Is it lawful for me to do all of those things? Yes, it is lawful while we are coming to maturity and while we are “weak in the faith” and we truly believe we are doing so to God.

Rom 14:1 Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations.
Rom 14:2 For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs.
Rom 14:3 Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him.
Rom 14:4 Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.
Rom 14:5 One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.
Rom 14:6 He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks.

Who is this person who “regards not the day to the Lord”” This is not left to our own personal speculation. We have Christ Himself for our example, and we have these words from His apostle.

Gal 4:9  But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?
Gal 4:10  Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years.
Gal 4:11  I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain.

Romans was written prior to Galatians, and it might be easy to misunderstand Rom 14, if it were not for Christ’s own example and for the clarifying words of Gal 4. The brother who is “weak in the faith” in Rom 14 is the same brother who has “returned to the weak and beggarly elements” of Gal 4 of which the Apostle Paul laments, “I am afraid of you lest I have bestowed upon you labor in vain, because you have traded your strong meat for the milk of carnal babes, who, when persecution and tribulation arises because of the word are offended.”

Mat 13:21  Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.

Yes, it is lawful to receive those who are weak in the faith and are totally incapable of yet accepting the strong meat of God’s Word. Not even a newly converted soldier is expected to say, “O. K. Here I am. Place me before the firing squad because I am laying down my arms here and now.” Instead he is instructed to “be content with your wages and do violence to no man, and if you can be free, use it…”
No carnal babe in Christ is even capable of “doing all he does to the glory of God” or doing all he does only “because it edifies Christ, and because it is spiritually expedient”.
If we have grown beyond “the basic principles of  the doctrines of Christ”, how can we claim to be edifying our brothers when we encourage them to just fit in with society? How can we claim that we are not under the power of a pagan- oriented society, when every holiday we keep and observe is of completely pagan origins?  That is the very essence of “denying Christ before men” because Christ Himself deliberately broke all the sabbaths and holy days of His time in order to work as His Father worked.” He also broke those holy days for the very purpose of leaving us an example that we should follow in His steps.

Joh 5:17  But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto [ on the sabbath, contrary to the customs of the day], and I work.
1Pe 2:21  For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:

As is always the case, we are rescued from heresy and a darkened sun and air only by “the sum of God’s Word… line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little”, by remembering that we will all live by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God, and by being given eyes that see and ears that hear that Christ is the Word, that His words are spirit and that eternal life is to know God and His Son through those spiritual words.
If all of those scriptural principles are at work in our lives we will know when it is expedient to keep the words of the Old Testament and when we should see that the letter and the spirit are not in sync. If we come to Christ’s words with the mind of Christ, we will have no problem telling a man to keep the commandments, even as we “have broken the sabbath”, because we have been brought to see that Christ is our sabbath, and as such we will now find it much easier to distinguish what is and what is not expedient.

1Co 2:4  And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit [ scripture] and of power:
1Co 2:5  That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God [ scripture].
1Co 2:6  Howbeit we speak wisdom among [ Greek, within] them that are perfect [ Greek, being perfected]: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought:
1Co 2:7  But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:
1Co 2:8  Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
1Co 2:9  But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
1Co 2:10  But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit [ scripture]: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.
1Co 2:11  For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit [ scripture] of God.
1Co 2:12  Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
1Co 2:13  Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
1Co 2:14  But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

I have worked some very long hours last week, so I hope you will forgive me for not having gotten this to you earlier. Here is another Old Testament principle revealed to us by His spirit, which is expedient that we carry over into the the New Testament.

Psa 119:165  Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.

How can we be offended if we really believe that “all things” are of God?:)
Your brother in the Christ,
Mike

Hi J____,

Thank you for getting back to me, and yes, I do know that you love me and all of us at IWWB. I think you know that I love you, too. As I have told you before, I do not feel the need to try to change anyone’s thinking on keeping days, months, times and years. That would be a grave mistake on my part. It is not right to try to push strong meat on those who have not been given to receive that meat.
The reason I mention this to you is simply because you have mentioned it to me so many times, telling me that you feel just what you express here once again. To summarize what you say here is that you truly believe that milk is meat and meat is milk. You truly believe that “one man esteems one day above another” is the meat and “the man who esteems every day alike” is the weaker brother who is still on the milk. That is what you told me.
Notice this verse is addressed to both of us.

Rom 14:6  He that regardeth the day, regardeth [ it] unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard [ it]. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks.

What Paul is saying here is that we should both leave the convicting of the heart up to the holy spirit. But he ties this statement in verse six right back in with the eating and not eating of verse one.

Rom 14:1  Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, [ but] not to doubtful disputations.
Rom 14:2  For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs.

Now here is the verse you referenced in your letter.

Col 2:20  Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances,
Col 2:21 (Touch not; taste not; handle not;
Col 2:22  Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men?

Every word of every verse I have quoted to this point, in both Romans and Colossians, is written by Paul in response to Judaizers who are attempting to persuade his Christian converts to go back to placing their faith in the righteousness that is in the keeping of the law of Moses. That was the church of Paul’s day. If I am attempting to earn my own salvation by refraining from keeping days, months, times and years, then God will see right through that, and He will judge me accordingly. If you are keeping the Pagan holidays to avoid persecution, then He will also see through that. But let’s not impute such motives to one another.
Now, with the understanding that he that regards the day does so unto the Lord, let’s examine your own words here and see if may there is a gap in your logic. Here is what you say:

If we “both agree that not much that is taught in those churches is reliable,” then we would have to both agree that the observance of all the days, months, times and years of those churches is not reliable. Surely not even you would attempt to justify putting up a Christmas tree, lying about Santa Claus, Ishtar bunnies, Halloween goblins, etc. Can you honestly conceive in your mind that Jesus would indulge in such Paganism when He wouldn’t even observe the days, months, times and years of Moses?
The one thing we should both draw from what Paul said in Roman’s 14 is that the weak brother is not to judge the brother who esteems every day alike, and the stronger brother is not to despise the weaker brother who keeps those days unto the Lord.
I too, attend my extended family’s celebrations when I am invited, but I do not deny Gal 4:10 when I go. I never bring it up, but just as I do with you, when it comes up, I remain faithful to God’s Word. If you feel that is self- righteousness, then I am more than willing to bear that burden.
It is not my intention to force meat on you, but one thing is clear. It is much easier and smoother to not take a stand with scripture than it is to stand up and be counted and be willing to be called self- righteous by those who observe “what is taught in those churches.”

You say:

I am well aware of being rejected by those who I considered to be of “near spiritual kin”. To this very day there are dozens of brothers and sisters in Christ we both know, who were once considered to be of near spiritual kin, who do think differently than me on this and many other matters. You are so very right “The pain is not nice”. But we must be willing to accept the pain that our convictions bring.
I know it is the weak brother who is told not to judge the brother who esteems every day alike because, as I pointed out, we have Christ’s example of not observing the holy days or the sabbath, and we have those very clear verses in Gal 4:

Gal 4:3  Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world:
Gal 4:9  But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?
Gal 4:10  Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years.
Gal 4:11  I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain.

So it was the observing of these things that caused Paul to be concerned for the spiritual welfare of those in his charge. I was not that they were esteeming every day alike.
Now with those verses in Gal 4 right here before us, let’s examine that verse you used to make your point about me being self- righteous. Here are the verses you referenced:

Col 2:20 Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances,
Col 2:21 (Touch not; taste not; handle not;
Col 2:22 Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men?

The “elements of the world” of Gal 4 are the same Greek words translated “rudiments of the world” here in Col 2. So the “touch not; taste not; handle not” are all part of the same law that taught Paul’s converts to “observe days, months, times and years”, the very things that both Paul and Christ refused to do, and the very things that were so popular with those churches who had their bread and water taken away from them.
Just so you know, Sandi and I went back to keeping Christmas and birthdays for many years after we left the WWCG. It wasn’t until I met my own destruction that I came to see what I am sharing with you. What the WWCG taught was irrelevant to me then, and it still is. But these verses of scripture are no longer irrelevant to me, and I would hope they are not irrelevant to you.

Joh 5:18  Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.
Gal 4:9  But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?
Gal 4:10  Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years.
Gal 4:11  I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain.

It is “those churches” who keep those days, etc.
Why would you think that I am being self- righteous about being an outcast from my family for believing the words of Gal 4:10, but you don’t think that I am self- righteous about being an outcast from my family for believing what the scriptures say in 1Ti 4:10? I certainly don’t think you are self- righteous for believing the words of 1Ti 4:10.

1Ti 4:10  For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.

We should simply expect to “suffer reproach” not just because of the words of this verse, but for the words of Gal 4:10 also. Are we not to live by every word?
So let’s not impute motives to each other, and let’s let God’s Word be our only concern. I personally like you very much. Of course I believe you are wrong about this subject, if you believe that the person who is eating spiritual strong meat is the person who least incurs the rejection of friends and family.
Simply reasserting that you think I am self- righteous has no basis in scripture, and we both need to try the spirits to see whether they are of God. It does neither of us any good in any way to impute motives to each other. If you thought I was accusing you of denying Christ by keeping Christmas, etc., I can see why you would do that, but that was not my intention. All I meant by what I said was to demonstrate that it is much harder to obey God than to just fit in with society. I truly did not mean to imply that you were putting the praise of men above the praise of God. That is what “Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind” means. The whole motive behind the 14th chapter of Romans is to tell those who are more mature in Christ, not to expect babes in Christ to act like mature Christians immediately. It just does not work that way. Babes in Christ are just as sincere when they know Christ and Him crucified, as those who know that they must fill up in themselves the affliction of the Christ. Nevertheless Paul levels with us all and tells us that when that is where we are, we are “yet carnal… babes in Christ. In Rom 14, he does the same and makes it clear that it is the weak brother who eats only herbs.
I hope you will give me the benefit of the doubt if there is any doubt about my self- righteousness. The Lord knows that I certainly want to be rid of such a spirit if it is there. But let’s let the Lord be the judge of our motives. He is very good at manifesting what is approved. Instead of accusing each other of bad motives, let’s let God’s word speak for us.

Rom 14:1  Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, [ but] not to doubtful disputations.
Rom 14:2  For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs.
Rom 14:3  Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him.
Rom 14:4  Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.
Rom 14:5  One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day [ alike]. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.
Rom 14:6  He that regardeth the day, regardeth [ it] unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard [ it]. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks.

I think you and I can live by those words without imputing bad motives, and I truly believe that the Lord will make manifest to both of us what He approves.
In closing I will comment on this paragraph of your e- mail:

With your comments about watching the Superbowl in mind, I will still dare to quote this verse:

1Co 10:31  Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.

So it is with the purpose of glorifying God that I expect to be reproached for believing in universal salvation, and it is for the same purpose that I expect to be reproached for following Christ and Paul’s example concerning the keeping of days, etc. But just like you, I never allow the days themselves to keep me from being there when those days are convenient for the family to come together.
I was really hoping you would comment on the example both Christ and Paul have set for us. I really would appreciate knowing if you think I am way off about that, because I agree with you that Pagan holidays are just convenient times to get together, just as Sunday is a convenient day to have our study.

Your brother who really does love you,
Mike

Hi J____,

Thanks again for your godly attitude of wanting to help others by what you have experienced. That is what John (the humble one) calls “the testimony of Jesus Christ… the spirit of prophecy:)”

Rev 19:10  And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See [ thou do it] not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.

Your brother in Christ,
Mike

Hi J____,
What a wonderful attitude!

In truth, I personally think that families getting together should always come before coming to a weekly Bible Study or a conference. It is not a good witness to be separated from our families just because we do not agree on doctrine. I attend every family function I am invited to, whatever the reason is for being there. I do not exchange gifts, but I do show up. According to Rom 14, this does not amount to the level of heresy, and we are never to attempt to force our level of understanding on others in any event.
Of course I forgive you, I hope you will forgive me if I have ever said a word that was not in the patience and love that is our Lord. I am far from perfected, and struggle to overcome the flesh and to die daily just as you do.
As far as learning how to rightly divide scripture is concerned, we both know that the understanding of spiritual matters in a gift from God, but there are certain principles that are revealed concerning those who have been gifted with the discerning of spirits and the ability to see the mysteries of the kingdom of God. A few of those principles are to always remember that:
1) Christ’s words are spirit and do not always mean what they say, but rather mean what they mean.
2) Many times, like with all the commandments except the fourth one, the commandments are still in line with the spirit of the commandment. We cannot dishonor God or our brother, and claim to be living in the spirit.
3) we “must live by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God,” and “keep the things written therein.”
4) Truth is to be found only in the sum of God’s word and not to be based on one single verse.
Those are just a few very Biblical principles that come to mind.
But when it comes to what parts of the Old Testament are to be kept, both Paul and Christ give us the principle of expediency. Christ said it was expedient that He return to the Father:

Joh 16:7  Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.

Paul says “I can do all things, but all things are not expedient.”

1Co 10:23  All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.
1Co 6:12  All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.
1Co 6:13  Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats: but God shall destroy both it and them. Now the body [ is] not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body.

It is expedient that we love and honor God and our fellow man. But the world as a whole ignores the Biblical definition of what it means to love our brothers and love God. This too, is a principle that helps us to rightly divide the word of God.

1Jn 5:2  By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.
1Jn 5:3  For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.

There is no hope of understanding God’s Word without an understanding of these verses. We cannot confuse the love of our brothers with the love of God. We are not told, ‘By this we know we love God because we love our brothers’, and place what we consider to be love above what God commands. Rather we are told that the only way to know that we love our brothers is to obey God’s commandments.
This is not a complete study on this subject, but I hope this gives you something to consider and will in some way edify you.
In the final analysis, eyes that see and ears that hear are a gift that is either given or is not given to each of us by a sovereign God.

1Co 2:7  But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, [ even] the hidden [ wisdom], which God ordained before the world unto our glory: 1Co 2:13  Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
1Co 2:14  But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know [ them], because they are spiritually discerned.

If you ask God for wisdom, and if it is according to His will, you will be given that wisdom.

Jas 1:5  If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all [ men] liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
1Jn 5:14  And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:

I truly believe God is giving you eyes that see, and ears that hear.

Your brother in Christ,
Mike

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