Christ Charges the Church
with the Responsibility for the Corruption and Chaos in the World Today!
By Elmer A. Josephson R.I.P.
(A portion from a book manuscript by this title which the founder of Bible Light left with us.)
“Ye are the salt the earth: but if the salt has lost its savor [preserving power and strength] … it is good for nothing but to be cast out and trodden under foot of men” (Matthew 5:13). Christ was addressing a multitude of His followers and His disciples who became the foundation apostles of the church-age. Let us examine what He meant.
What is happening to America? There have been some very glaring examples of moral and decaying rottenness bringing shame and disgrace on God’s Name. And the church is being trampled under foot by the unbelieving world.
Christ continued and admonished: “Ye are the LIGHT of the world [not by puting preachers’ names in neon lights on the church or on TV programs]. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid [a real light will be seen]. Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick [the base: God’s Torah Laws]; and it giveth LIGHT unto all that are in the house. Let your LIGHT so shine before men [If we have real light we should show it. How? And why?] that they may see your good works and glorify [Who?] your Father which is in heaven” (Verses 14-16).
Christ tells us clearly what SALT and LIGHT represent. Both are symbols of God’s Holy and wholly golden LAW! In verse 17, He lays his finger directly on the missing ingredient, “Think not that I am come to destroy the LAW [of God – the way to and secrets of success] or the prophets [whose writings bear testimony to the message of the Law and hold it high and warn of the dangers in transgressing it] I am not come to destroy the LAW but to fulfill it”.
What Christ is saying is that no one gets by in transgressing God’s Holy Law without paying the price of disintegration and decay. And to the extent we ignore the light of God’s Law, we lose our direction and find ourselves lost in the midnight of a lifeless forest.
The Law was not given to be a means of everlasting life in “Heaven”. Christ reiterates so that no one will misunderstand: “I am not come to destroy the law but to fulfill it” – i.e., in you!
We have twisted this to mean that since Christ has fulfilled all the law and paid the awful penalty of death and hell for our transgressions of God’s righteous Law, therefore, now we have a license to break the law with impunity – without paying the price. We may not hear it preached just like that, but that’s how it plays out in the lives of the congregation who endure a sermon once a week, then run to please themselves the rest of the time.
In verse 17 Christ is saying the exact opposite. He is stating clearly that absolutely no one ever gets by breaking the Law of God without suffering its penalty. In other words we cannot actually break the Law, we merely break ourselves over it. When it takes its ‘pound of flesh’ we begin to cry, “Why, Lord? Why me, Lord.”
In verse 18 Christ drives it home: “Verily [I’m telling you the truth!] 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.”
Salt preserves from deterioration and decay, and light reveals the pitfalls that will keep one from falling into a pit. Christ’s prime subject was these two sumbols: “Salt” and “Light”. Remember, He was speaking directly to the 12 apostles whom He knew would be the foundation of “the church”.
For years after getting my ‘sheepskin’ at Bethel Institute, St. Paul, Minnesota, and traveling with an evangelistic party, I was a good sheep following ‘a shepherd’ who taught that Christ fulfilled all, so now we have no responsibility to the law. And many have taught this through the years, and it has made the salt of God’s law to lose its preserving power. This is the reason the church’s light hasn’t been brighter, nor shined farther. The church has reversed what Christ was teaching concerning being a preserving power and a light the world.
The purest essence of God’s Word is His Law that came directly from God’s mouth on Mt. Sinai. We cannot know who God really is apart from His wonderful Law that expresses His perfect character through His unblemished righteousness. This is why God sent His Son into the world: to reveal Himself and His righteousness to the nations. And why Christ alone could became the perfect sacrifice having kept all God’s LAW perfectly.
But we all, as earth-dwellers have sinned in thought, words and deeds which before an all-Holy God must be subject to His righteous penalty of death. It was of this that the spiritual Hebrew giant Apostle Paul of the N.T. wrote to the Gentile Church at Corinth: “God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. . . For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (II Cor. 5:19,21).
This could only be accomplished by the Messiah who had to be the chief physical and spiritual seed, son of Abraham and Son of God (Gen. 12:1-3; 17:1-21; Matt. 1&2).
The High Priest’s Breastplate at the Temple Institute in Jerusalem.
“Israel shall be saved in the LORD with an everlasting salvation: ye shall not be ashamed nor confounded world without end. . . In the LORD shall ALL THE SEED of Israel be justified and shall glory” (Isaiah 45:17,25).
The Law is GOOD – not Evil. Let us stop calling God a liar and stop trampling His Holy Oracles under dirty lying spiritual harlots’ feet.
Everyone of God’s laws was made to protect life and the single individual, and thereby the masses. The One who created man certainly knows what is best for his future welfare and longevity.
“For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life” (Proverbs 6:23).
The church needs to pray the prayer of Nehemiah 1:7: “We have dealt very corruptly against thee, and have not kept the commandments, nor the statutes, nor the judgments which thou commandest thy servant Moses.”
The first all-Jewish church was finally overcome by sheer weight of numbers of former pagan Gentiles. These brought along much of their paganism and idolatry into the church – images, pictures of deity, pagan teaching, etc. All this now awaits judgment as Christ indicates in Rev. 3:15-20. And gives clear call in Isaiah 52:11 to ‘depart and be clean to bear the vessels of the Lord.’ The church has turned away from the simple God-given plan – to worshipping a Christ of their own making that is contrary to the Law of God and therefore leaves the church impotent.
From the earliest days the church has been lax. Christ rebuked them, “Why call ye me Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” It was not given to the Jewish people as a whole to call Jesus, “Lord” – so to whom was He speaking? He knew this message would be read the next 2,000 years primarily by the Gentiles who would call Him, “Lord” and live like the devil.
Let us remember we are coming to the close of the period known as “the times of the Gentiles” when the Lord God did visit the Gentiles to take out of them a people for His Name.
Christ drives it home further in verse 18: “For verily [‘I’m telling you the truth!’] I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass [away] one jot or one tittle [the smallest mark in any language] shall in NO WISE pass from the law till all be fulfilled.”
To show us that He is speaking of the awful penalties that accrue from trampling God’s holy Law, He goes on to make it very clear in verse 19: “Whosoever therefore [that leaves no one out] shall break one of these least commandments and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least [have the very lowest governing position] in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them [the Laws of God and has learned the blessing and enjoyment of obeying them] the same shall be called GREAT IN THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN.” Why?
These are laws God through Christ has laid down for the coming next age, as well as now. He is not speaking about personal salvation or eternal redemption. He looks forward to the coming Kingdom of God on earth and our position in it. He is testing us to see how meticulously we will carry out His orders and be able to assist in governing this coming Kingdom that will be set up on the earth. -
Editor Chris: If space and time permits in future issues we’ll print the portion of Elmar’s manuscript where he takes each of the ten commandments in the light of the church’s desecration of them.
View of Ma’ale Michmas from a nearby mountain reveals the settlement carved out of the desolate terrain beginning to bring restoration. (May 2000 cj)