Friday, February 2, 2018
“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast” (Eph. 2:8–9). In these end-times, however, false teachers entice many to add to their salvation certain things of Jewish law that deceptively sensationalize.
True faith in Christ rejects adding works of any false religious systems, including Judaism. And for he who has known the way of grace through faith but returns to performing even a portion of that law, God warns, “You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace” (Gal. 5:4). If not for justification, why practice any of it?
In these end-times false teachers are convincing many to return to and practice certain portions of the law, but this leads to spiritual apostasy. Here’s how: “For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them’” (Gal. 3:10).
“What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! On the contrary, I would not have known sin except through the law. For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said, ‘You shall not covet’” (Rom. 7:7). No man can keep the law, only Christ was able to keep and fulfill the law, and grace through faith in Him justifies us before God, not any works of the law.
Just as God called Abram out of “Ur of the Chaldeans” (Gen. 11:28), saying, “Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you” (Gen. 12:1); and just as God told Moses to lead the Jews out of Egypt and never return, so too, true Christians must come out of false Judaism’s performance and live by faith, see Heb. 11:6.
Deception is leading many astray to observe certain portions of the law. But God’s warning at Gal. 3:10 should be sufficient to stop any professing Christian from returning to and performing any portion of the law, and to live by grace through faith alone.
False teachers are circulating in the church teaching to practice special Jewish days, customs, feasts and observances. Some pastors now wear the Jewish prayer shawl on their head to pray; others observe certain feasts, festivals and restrictions of foods according to the law. Spiritually, a return to the law after knowing Christ by faith, endangers one from being cut off from Christ.
But a return to Jewish law is just another of many end-time signs. Ancient Israel, having been led out of bondage to Egypt also desired to return, saying, “Would it not be better for us to return to Egypt? So they said to one another. ‘Let us select a leader and return to Egypt’” (Num. 14:3–4). But God destroyed that entire generation that desired to return to their bondage.
God said, “The carcasses of you who have complained against Me shall fall in this wilderness, all of you who were numbered, according to your entire number, from twenty years old and above…I the Lord have spoken this. I will surely do so to all this evil congregation who are gathered together against Me. In this wilderness they will be consumed, and there they shall die” (Num. 14:29, 35). A return to observing the law is likewise a complaint against God’s grace!
One of the deceptions yet to come is when Antichrist enables, by his 7-year peace “covenant” (Dan. 9:27), the return to sacrificial worship by Orthodox Jews in their rebuilt third temple, see Rev. 11:1. False teachings now, however, are preparing Christians to also return to the law. Sacrificial worship in the rebuilt third temple will be an abomination to God who sent His Son Jesus to die on Calvary but was raised to life for the redemption of all who believe Him by faith.
Many Christians are now deceived to believe that a return to practicing at least a portion of the law, its customs, observances, special days and feasts is pleasing to God. But to every soul who so believes and practices, be warned that God said “Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them” (Gal. 3:10). You cannot do it!
Deceiving spirits are convincing many Christians to return to certain customs of Judaism which is the precursor to accepting the return to temple worship when Antichrist makes his seven-year peace “covenant” (Dan. 9:27), and will be an enabling element to “the falling away” (2 Thess. 2:3). One cannot be “estranged from Christ” (Gal. 5:4) if he didn’t once belong to Christ.
And if anyone attempts to practice just one portion of the law, he is obligated to “continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them”, which is impossible, for no man is able to perform or keep the law. That’s why “as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse”, for which, “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law” (Gal. 3:13).
A departure from faith and return to the former performances of law have been put in motion by deceiving spirits. The law of Judaism was fulfilled by the Man, Christ, who came from heaven and returned to heaven. No other man was or is able to keep the law. But a deceptive return to portions of it is being espoused as pleasing to God. BUT IT’S A LIE, DON’T BELIEVE IT!
Performing the law or any portions of it appeals to the flesh. IT LOOKS AND FEELS SO RELIGIOUS! That’s also the deception of Roman Catholicism; it ministers pride to the flesh. People are motivated to worship by what they perceive with their physical senses. But that doesn’t please God who said “without faith it is impossible to please Him” (Heb. 11:6).
True saving faith is not based on what we perceive with our physical senses. Yet, that’s the beguiling apostasy of Roman Catholicism and Judaism. Both minister to the flesh as religious regalia, articles and customs of false worship make their return in the church. Many are not discerning of these deceptions. Many are sincere in their worship, but are sincerely wrong.
All the pieces of the prophetic gospel are coming together in fulfillment of the end-times. Know that, “That which has been is what will be, that which is done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun” (Eccl. 1:9). We have entered the end-times and prophetic replay of ancient Israel when she was supposed to possess her inheritance, Canaan, but disbelieved God and desired to return to her bondage in Egypt, and suffered destruction in the wilderness.
Preparations are now underway for the same to reoccur. “See, I have told you beforehand…For wherever the carcass is, there the eagles will be gathered together” (Matt. 24:25, 28).
Marlin J. Yoder