Wipe Out Their Enemies, and Cannot Sin

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Hi D____,
This subject is covered in quite a bit of detail in The Law of Moses Versus The Law of The Spirit.
In the sermon on the mount Christ is clearly reforming the law of Moses. Not once does Christ call it the ‘law of God.’ He always calls it “Moses’ law.”

Mat 19:8  He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.

When we go back to the law and read it, the Pharisees were right. God, through Moses, permitted a man to put away his wife for almost any reason. Even if it was simply because he no longer “delighted in her.”

Deu 21:14  And it shall be, if thou have no delight in her, then thou shalt let her go whither she will; but thou shalt not sell her at all for money, thou shalt not make merchandise of her, because thou hast humbled her.

… or if a man “found some uncleaness in her.”

Deu 24:1  When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favour in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her: then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house.
Deu 24:2  And when she is departed out of his house, she may go and be another man’s wife.

This “uncleaness” had nothing to do with adultery because the penalty for that was death. This “uncleaness” could be either personal or domestic hygiene. In other words a man could put his wife away for most any reason, under the law of Moses. All that was required of the man was that he write her a bill of divorcement, “and she may go and be another man’s wife.”
Women had no such rights under the law of Moses. I mention all of this to demonstrate that Christ came as a reformer.

Heb 9:10  Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation.

Christ’s appearance on the scene was “the time of reformation.” Until that time, killing their enemies and putting away unclean wives who no longer delighted them, were all types and shadows of spiritual realities of what is spiritually taking place in the spiritual lives of God’s elect since Christ:

Heb 10:1  For the law having a shadow of good things to come, [ and] not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.

… or to say the same thing in other words:

1Co 10:11  Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.

So Israel’s putting away of unclean wives is a shadow of our “coming out of Babylon” and putting off the uncleaness of the flesh:

Col 2:11  In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:

And the “killing of anything that breathes” is our killing the sins and lusts and illicit passions of the flesh which rule our lives while we are still in the flesh and still in Babylon:

Deu 20:16  But of the cities of these people, which the LORD thy God doth give thee for an inheritance, thou shalt save alive nothing that breatheth:

Why did God cause all of this to happen? Why is this written down? Again:

1Co 10:11  Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.

“The ends of the aions” had not come upon the Old Testament saints. This was revealed to the prophets. They were actually made by God’s spirit to understand that all they did and all they wrote was being done, not for themselves, but for those to whom salvation would later come. It is through us that they will later be brought to God.

1Pe 1:9  Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.
1Pe 1:10  Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace [ that should come] unto you:
1Pe 1:11  Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.
1Pe 1:12  Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.

This is a hard pill for orthodox Christianity to swallow simply because their whole doctrinal house stands on the sand of the immortality of the soul and judgment at the moment of death. Nevertheless God’s Word is true and every doctrine of men is a lie designed to keep us from knowing Him and Christ:

Joh 17:3  And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

Your second question about “cannot sin” is addressed in 1 Peter:

1Pe 4:1  Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;

“Hath ceased from sin” and “cannot sin” are one and the same thing. It is a matter of “abiding in sin” versus “abiding in Christ” and being of  “the same mind” as Christ. If we have Christ’s mind, then we are to reckon ourselves as dead with Christ to sin and risen with Christ to righteousness:

Rom 6:1  What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
Rom 6:2  God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?
Rom 6:3  Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
Rom 6:4  Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
Rom 6:5  For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection

“If we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection.” This is a daily process that requires us to “die daily” as we are daily living as “quickened together with Him.”

Col 2:13  And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;

So when John says…:

1Jn 3:9  Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.

… the word translated ‘commit’ is also correctly translated as ‘continue’ and ‘abode.’  Here are the verses:

Jas 4:13  Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue [ Greek, poieo] there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain:
Rev 13:5 And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue [ Greek, poieo] forty and two months.
Act 20:2  And when he had gone over those parts, and had given them much exhortation, he came into Greece,
Act 20:3  And there abode [ Greek, poieo] three months. And when the Jews laid wait for him, as he was about to sail into Syria, he purposed to return through Macedonia.

When we “die daily” Christ increases as we decrease:

Joh 3:30  He must increase, but I must decrease.

So then, “doth not commit sin” would better be translated ‘doth not contiue in or abide in sin.’
“Cannot sin” is then understood as ‘cannot continue to abide in sin.’

Rom 6:5  For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection

Never do the scriptures teach that flesh is perfected. Quite the contrary:

Php 3:12  Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.
Php 3:13  Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but [ this] one thing [ I do], forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
Php 3:14  I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
Php 3:15  Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.

Verse 15, “be perfect,” does not contradict verse 12, “not as though I were already perfect.” Rather verse 15 is explained by verse 12. Paul is being perfected as he “dies daily.”

1Co 15:31  I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.

Finally we are plainly told:

1Co 15:50  Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.

I hope this helps you to see that perfection is not some thing we achieve while still in the vessel of marred clay. We have this perfect treasure, Christ, as our head and our captain of our faith. He has gone before us and has returned to be with us to the end of our age. We have this treasure, but we have it in marred and earthen vessels:

2Co 4:7  But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.

Not even Christ’s flesh was fit to inherit the kingdom of God. But the resurrected Christ is the Christ we now know and have within our marred vessels of clay.

2Co 5:16  Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more [ after the flesh].

Your brother in Christ,
Mike

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