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Spiritual Obedience

Perhaps you can relate to the situation I am about to describe. A parent assigns a specific chore to a child saying “Your task is to clean and sweep the living room floor every day after school”. One day the parent comes home from a hard day of work expecting to see a clean floor; but instead, finds that the room is a complete mess! The parent doesn't look far to find the erring child; he is sitting on the couch with the broom right next to him. The parent says “Son, I specifically told you to weep the floor, why did you disobey me?” But I didn't disobey you” the son replies. “I was “spiritually” sweeping the floor as I was watching the television”. I will leave what happens next in the story between you and your imagination.

Now consider the commandments that our Heavenly Father has given for His Covenant people to obey. They are very specific and binding upon the people of Israel forever. Regarding the Passover, He said “Obey these instructions as an everlasting ordinance for you and your descendants” (Exodus 12:24). So what are the instructions referred to in this passage? The 12th chapter of Exodus provides simple and specific instructions how the people of Israel are to keep the Passover outside the Promised Land. It would be well for anyone desiring to obey His word to read what is commanded there. Without considering obedience to these verses, the church will fail to comprehend their intended meaning when the great Passover event is repeated.

In short, the “biblical” celebration of the ceremony involves Israelites inviting neighbors into their homes to re-tell the story of the Passover. During this time, they are to share a meal consisting of perfect lamb prepared on the 14th day of the month at twilight (3 hours before sunset). The blood of this lamb is to be marked upon the doorpost of the Israelite home where the meal is served to remember how the Angel of death passed over the homes of their ancestors; sparing the firstborn of Israelite and Gentile alike. This ceremony is our yearly reminder of the time that YHWH, by His supreme authority, took the reins of government into His own hands and assembled a Kingdom on earth where His will would be done (Israelite and Gentile alike). You might be thinking “Gasp! Obedience to these Passover commandments are an insult to Christ!” In this case, I would like to remind the reader that the Egyptian society at the time of the first exodus had formed very similar sentiments. “Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron and said, "Go, sacrifice to your God here in the land." But Moses said, "That would not be right. The sacrifices we offer YHWH our God would be detestable to the Egyptians. And if we offer sacrifices that are detestable in their eyes, will they not stone us?” (Exodus 8:25-26)

The remnant must reconcile in their minds how commandments specifically uttered by a Supreme Being (who changes not) have now become an insult to Christ. Don't get me wrong, without the consent of the Son of God to become the sacrifice for all mankind, the Passover in Egypt would never occurred. But this great sacrifice on the part of both the Father and the Son does not negate the fact that the God of Israel has never changed His mind in regard to the adherence of any of His commandments. The great disparity between what was done then and what is done now lies upon the heads of the people of Israel and the church to reconcile. We currently treat many of His commandments like the child in the illustration who “spiritually” swept the living room floor for His parents. “Why have you not obeyed my all of My commandments?” asks the eternal Father to the remnant! To his question the remnant answers “But Father, we are obeying you. We love you but are now “spiritually” keeping your commandments instead.”

“Spiritual obedience?” To my knowledge the Bible does not teach such a thing. Imagine how that concept would have went over in Egypt at the time of the first Passover. Let’s say that a man in the community perceived the shadowy meaning meant by the figure of the Lamb; understanding that it pointed forward to the future sacrifice of the Son of God. The man says in his heart “Since I now comprehend a future fulfillment of the Passover, it is no longer important for me to apply the blood to my door post”. Would the man’s intellectual knowledge save his firstborn from the Angel of death? What if the man decided it was more humane to spare the lamb and nail hyssop to the doorpost instead of applying the blood? Would the Angel pass over his home out of respect for the man’s advanced prophetic understanding? I think we can all agree that path of literal obedience is the correct answer to both of these examples. In the same way, the Remnant (now operating on a platform of man-made traditions) resorts to intellectual knowledge as a shield to counteract the plainly written commandments. The Holy People have replaced what has been commanded by YHWH with alternate forms and ceremonies. These have become stumbling blocks to the advancement of the remnant into full obedience of all the commandments of God.

Contrary to the traditions many have adopted, it is impossible for a man obey His commandments without intending to heed the specific actions commanded. We who have spent years studying His word should already know this. Do we not remember the story of Cain and Abel? We all know who was disfavored by God and why. To be honest, Cain got a few things right. He came to the festival on the same day and ventured to the same place of worship as Abel. But Cain attempted to honor the Creator with articles of worship that the Creator did not ask for. Cain brought what he considered to be right according to his own standards, not according to what was specifically commanded. The spirit of the Creator hovered over the two offerings, yet only consumed the articles that Abel offered. We know that Cain was angry to the point that he persecuted his brother to death.

Cain's offering is not too different than that of the Holy People in relation to the Passover commandments today. What is different is that we have inherited divergent beliefs from our forefathers instead of conceiving them like Cain. For this, there is mercy on the part of the Father as His word dissipates the darkness of our understanding. But if the remnant fails to regard the importance of obedience in this matter, they run the risk of treating their obedient brothers and sisters the same way as Cain. It is now that we must take heed to what the spirit says and apply the eye-salve to our blurry eyes. While it is good to look back and rejoice in the light we have formally received; we must continue to compare our actions and beliefs to the Word of God, reject the error and adopt the full truth. “Hear O Israel, the decrees and laws I am about to teach you. Follow them so that you may live and may go in and take possession of the land that YHWH, the God of your fathers, is giving you. Do not add to what I command you and do not subtract from it, but keep the commands of YHWH your God that I give you.” (Deuteronomy 4:1-2)

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