Old Covenant Carnal Showings
by Tara Lang Chapman
February 2009 Roman Calendar
What inspired me to write this study article is that the previous co-owner of my Christian mothering forums believes that one must wear the blue fringe at the four corners of his or her clothing, spoken of twice in the law of Moses (Num. 15:37-40; Deut. 22:12). This caused her to break away from co-owning and co-managing the forums. She is indeed being a blessing to others in other ways, and she is still dear to me. However, I strongly disagree with her on this issue. I did wear tassels for around a year's time, but I was so turned off by my friend's pushing them onto others as if they were a requirement under the new covenant turned me off of wearing them at all, anymore, since I do not want to be associated with being of that mindset. Using such things as a teacher to those not yet begotten with God's Spirit is probably the best way to use them. I mainly wore them in order to provoke conversation in others (who asked about them), and it's easier for Christians to identify each other in that way…but the more I thought about this, I realized my own error, because it's better for someone to SEE how I actually conduct myself and THEN ask me questions rather than ask what those things are dangling on my clothes. What if I happened to not even be acting appropriately? My heart should come out in my actions, and people should see that I'm different b/c of THAT, not b/c I wear some badge that symbolizes that (which I can wear whether I'm acting the right way or NOT).
As far as the second reason I wore them: I may get some Christians' attention, but it's more likely that I'll only attract those who are hung up on outward show, regardless of whether their hearts are right or not, AND as far as my identifying others, most who are deeply righteous and live by the Spirit of God do not wear tassels. I have to find them by identifying their actions that result from their hearts being right.
So while I know that some wear the tassels but are not hung up on physical show (whether true or false), I was referring to the majority in the world who wear them, which from my experience have been hung up on outward show to make other flesh-and-blood people think they are righteous (regardless of whether they are or they are not). People who are too focused on this have the fear/respect of man and not of God. We should tremble at what God can do if we have the wrong hearts and minds. We are fooling ourselves if we think we can hide our thoughts from Him.
I believe the outward show Spirit-begotten children should have first and foremost is what naturally results from having a good heart and mind, NOT the things that symbolize it and is often nothing more than dressing up a wolf in sheep's clothing.
An in-depth study of the Levitical priesthood, sacrifices, washings/baptisms, and other carnal/physical ordinances is highly recommended. The more you read these things in the Torah and compare them to the NC, the more you will begin to understand how the physical ordinances were a SCHOOL TEACHER to bring people to the REAL high priest, the one and only perfect SACRIFICE, the true CLEANSER and HELPER, and true OBEDIENCE. None of those things could take away sin, and none of those things could save or make a person truly clean. They were for carnal-natured people. Salvation can only come from a clean heart. Even obeying the Ten Commandments just physically will not ensure a person's salvation. A person must serve them with his or her HEART. That is how we are all judged. A person can obey the Law by the letter perfectly and still be thrown into the lake of fire. Transgression of many physical commandments and statutes calls for the physical death penalty, but the judgments of the Law are there for to deter carnal-minded people from transgressing it. Spiritual-minded people do not need that deterrent, because they love the Law and want to obey it with the desire of their hearts. However, EVERYONE who transgresses the spirit of the Law will die spiritually. Their bodies AND their spirits will be destroyed in the lake of fire, from which there is never another resurrection.
The bottom line is that God judges our HEARTS. He designed our spirits and bodies in a way where he can record/track our thoughts, feelings, etc. This is technology far advanced than what man currently has. It's our hearts and minds that matter. If our hearts are right, then we're going to be keeping the spirit of the Law, and it naturally follows that we'll be keeping the letter of the Law, and when our hearts are right, we have deep remorse whenever we mess up. God has always wanted this. He has never gotten delight from sacrifices but rather obedience to the Ten Commandments. It's a person's choice as to whether they want to do various cleansings/baptisms, have their foreskin circumcised, wear tzit-tzit, and offer animal sacrifices and offerings, etc. whenever there is a temple of God standing. None of these things count toward salvation or good works. Under the new covenant, all these things are replaced ("made of necessity a change in the law," meaning the law of the priesthood, sacrifices, cleansings, etc.). Christ is our sacrifice and our high priest. The Spirit of God--the same kind of Spirit that is within our Father and within our Lord--is our cleanser and our helper.
I'll start with reproducing chapters 7 through 9 of Hebrews with bold and underline emphasis mine:
1 For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him; 2 To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace; 3 Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually.
4 Now consider how great this man was, unto whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils. 5 And verily they that are of the sons of Levi, who receive the office of the priesthood, have a commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law, that is, of their brethren, though they come out of the loins of Abraham: 6 But he whose descent is not counted from them received tithes of Abraham, and blessed him that had the promises. 7 And without all contradiction the less is blessed of the better. 8 And here men that die receive tithes; but there he receiveth them, of whom it is witnessed that he liveth. 9 And as I may so say, Levi also, who receiveth tithes, payed tithes in Abraham. 10 For he was yet in the loins of his father, when Melchisedec met him.
11 If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron? 12 For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law. 13 For he of whom these things are spoken pertaineth to another tribe, of which no man gave attendance at the altar. 14 For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Juda; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood. 15 And it is yet far more evident: for that after the similitude of Melchisedec there ariseth another priest, 16 Who is made, not after the law of a carnal [fleshly/physical] commandment, but after the power of an endless life.
17 For he testifieth, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.
18 For there is verily a disannulling of the commandment going before for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof. 19 For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God. 20 And inasmuch as not without an oath he was made priest:
21 (For those priests were made without an oath; but this with an oath by him that said unto him, The Lord sware and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec:)
22 By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament.
23 And they truly were many priests, because they were not suffered to continue by reason of death: 24 But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. 25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.
26 For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; 27 Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people's: for this he did once, when he offered up himself. 28 For the law maketh men high priests which have infirmity; but the word of the oath, which was since the law, maketh the Son, who is consecrated for evermore.
Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens; 2 A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man. 3 For every high priest is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices: wherefore it is of necessity that this man have somewhat also to offer. 4 For if he were on earth, he should not be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the law: 5 Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount. 6 But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.
7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.
8 For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah:
9 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord.
10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:
11 And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.
12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.
13 In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.
1 Then verily the first covenant had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary. 2 For there was a tabernacle made; the first, wherein was the candlestick, and the table, and the shewbread; which is called the sanctuary. 3 And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of all; 4 Which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron's rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant; 5 And over it the cherubims of glory shadowing the mercyseat; of which we cannot now speak particularly.
6 Now when these things were thus ordained, the priests went always into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the service of God. 7 But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people: 8 The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing: 9 Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience; 10 Which stood only in meats and drinks [concerned only with food and drinks], and divers washings [various baptisms], and carnal [fleshly/physical] ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation.
11 But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; 12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. 13 For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: 14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
15 And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance. 16 For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. 17 For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth. 18 Whereupon neither the first testament was dedicated without blood. 19 For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and of goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book, and all the people, 20 Saying, This is the blood of the testament which God hath enjoined unto you. 21 Moreover he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle, and all the vessels of the ministry. 22 And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.
23 It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. 24 For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us: 25 Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; 26 For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. 27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: 28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.
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. 2 For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins. 3 But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year. 4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.
5 Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me:
6 In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure.
7 Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.
8 Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law; 9 Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second. 10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
11 And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: 12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; 13 From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. 14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. 15 Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before,
16 This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;
17 And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.
18 Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.
My friend with whom I disagreed said that she was "shocked" and "[could] not believe" that I did not follow "all of Torah." (Torah is the law of Moses, given by God.) My answer is as follows:
I guess that would depend on what you mean "all of Torah." Nothing has been "done away," but things have been changed. Christ's sacrifice replaces animal sacrifices (Heb. 10:1-14). That isn't to say that they can't still be done, but they are not required. Physical circumcision is not required (Acts15:1; Rom. 2:25-29; 4:9-12; 1 Cor. 7:18-19; Gal. 2:3, 7-9, 12; 5:2-12; 6:12-15; Phil. 3:2-5; Col. 2:11). Various washings, shavings, and other physical ordinances aren't required (Heb. 9:9-10). It's not that these things are "done away." It is just returned to the way it was before the Levitical priesthood and before the old covenant of circumcision made with Abraham. We're back to the order of Melchizedek with Christ as our High Priest. These things have always existed spiritually in those who have had God's Spirit, even before the Lev. priesthood and sacrificial system. They were only given in physical ordinances to help teach the carnal-minded (all those without God's Spirit, which used to be a choice few compared to today) TEMPORARILY, "until the time of reformation" (Heb. 9:10).
So, no, I'm not going to push any of these things upon anyone and tell them they must do so, b/c it's contrary to scripture. We ARE required to keep the Ten Commandments and their statutes (including statutes that are added over time by our spiritual knowledge, in other words by judging the evidence of changes, for example dietary choices that have come along since Moses, and the statute on incest was not from the beginning, but with changing time, it became necessary to add that statute, b/c genetics had become so bad that you couldn't healthily marry that close). These are the principles that were from the beginning. Law is truth, and truth is law. Science/knowledge teaches us that. If something is true for humans, then it's law under the Ten Commandments.
There's nothing that physical circ., animal sacrifices, wearing tassels, and physical washings can do to save a person. These are all symbolic of what a person must have to be saved (the only sacrifice that saves is Christ's, and the only thing that truly reminds a person to keep the commandments and cleanses a person is the Spirit of God).
We should be careful not to be one who glories in a person's flesh and their outward physical showings, when none of that is going to do anything to save them. Therefore if the uncircumcision [those uncircumcised, which are mostly gentiles] keep the righteousness of the law, shall not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision? And shall not uncircumcision which is by nature, if it fulfill the law, judge thee, who by the letter and circumcision dost transgress the law? For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: be he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God. ~Rom. 2:26-29
The physical ordinances under the priesthood and sacrificial system and circumcision are not part of the Ten Commandments. This is clear in many places in scripture, the above passage included. It's differentiated clearly, because if a person must be physically circumcised in order to be considered one who keeps God's commandments, then it wouldn't be worded the way it is. It says that one who is uncircumcised is considered circumcised, IF HE KEEPS THE LAW. But, you are saying that person isn't keeping the law. That's not what scripture says.
They had these SAME arguments in the early days of the Church. Read all through the new testament, and you can see it. The circumcision issue was heavily debated. You can read all about it in Acts 15 and the whole book of Galatians, as well as in Romans and a spattering here and there. There were those even then who tried to burden people into thinking they must still do those physical ordinances in order to be converted or saved, and it's just not true.
I'm not a different person on the days I wear my tassels than on the days I don't! It doesn't affect how I follow the Law. It's what's in my heart. A snip of foreskin cut from a penis isn't going to change how a man keeps the Law or not or whether he even keeps it at all (there are plenty of people in this nation who are circed but do not keep the Law, so WHAT benefit does his circumcision do him--Rom. 2:25. None, he's counted as uncircumcised in God's eyes). A person must be circumcised in the heart. A person doing ritual baptisms/washings or head shavings or whatever is not going to change how well a person is keeping the Law. These things can be physical reminders, but it doesn't do anything to deeply convert a person. Only the Spirit can do that. As scripture says, the Old Covenant had its faults. If it was so good and could save a person, then the NC would not have been sought for. None of these things could ever save anyone.
So, if you are including these things in your definition of what people here must agree to, then no, I do not and will not agree. These things are left to CHOICE.
I hope we can come to an agreement, but there's no way I'm going to turn away from my scriptural knowledge on this and impose such things on people as requirements.
Now some analogies I wrote up:
Let's say you took the Mensa test and passed and so became a member of Mensa. Let's say you decide to wear a Mensa pin. Does this pin alone prove that you are a member of Mensa? Of course not. Anyone could get ahold of a Mensa pin and wear it and claim to be a member. You are truly a Mensa member if you pass the test, if you have the mind for Mensa. On the other hand, a true Mensa member who doesn't choose to wear a Mensa pin is still a true member of Mensa. The pin doesn't matter either way. It's just an outward showing, and both true members and false members can wear the pin and claim to be members. What really matters, regardless of the pin-wearing, is that a person truly passed the test and really is a member.
You could get a fake driver's license and carry it around. Would that prove that you passed a driver's test and are fit to drive on our roadways? What if you did pass your driver's test and are fit to drive, but you left your license at home? Are you somehow rendered unfit to drive? No, you are not, and a law enforcement officer can easily look up your information. Now, granted, you may be ticketed for not having your license, but why is that? Because a driver's license is helpful for the law enforcement officer. He's human and doesn't know that you passed your test and are fit to drive. The license itself is just a showing of your capabilities and makes it easier and more convenient for other human people.
Does the wearing of a ring on the left ring finger alone prove that one is married (or whatever outward symbolism one may show)? No, anyone can do this. What if a married individual doesn't wear a ring? Does that mean the person isn't married, and does it mean he or she doesn't love his or her spouse and is not loyal? (My husband usually doesn't wear his ring; he did on a chain for awhile, before the chain was tarnished in our water. It causes problems on his finger during work and actually has caused problem on a chain, too. In other words, it's a burden [and actually potentially dangerous], but it doesn't change the fact that he is married to me and loves me.) The only inconvenience, really, is that the outward show is not there, so other people might not realize you're married (which doesn't really make a difference these days, as people don't seem to care whether one is married or not, sadly.)
Does God need us to have some outward showing that we keep His commandments: the tip of the penile skin snipped or some tassels hanging from our clothing, etc. Does water truly cleanse one from his or her sins? (Baptism by water is the only command under the NC that is a physical ordinance, and it's right prior to the second baptism--that of the Spirit. Once the person has the Spirit of God within him or her, what is a physical washing, except if someone is filthy and needs a bath? As Christ said, if you are clean, you are in no need of a bath.) Do animal sacrifices do anything to cover our sins? Does a human priest have any power over forgiveness when mediating between God and us when we sin?
None of it matters if a person does not have God's Spirit and does not keep the commandments in the spirit. These physical things can show to other flesh-and-blood human beings that we desire to keep the commandments, but there are those with these physical things that don't keep the commandments in spirit, and so what do those physical things matter? They're worthless. They count for nothing. Likewise, if one is truly keeping the commandments in spirit, then God knows it, and some physical outward showings aren't needed, anyway. It matters not one way or the other whether a true child of God who is keeping the law in the spirit does any of these physical ordinances that symbolize a reminder to keep the commandments, that a person keeps the commandments, or that one is clean from his or her sins. God knows the person is, and that is what matters.
I wear the tassels, but they are absolutely worthless for that which they were intended. The purpose for these under the OC were to remind a person to keep the commandments. Well, I usually only look down and see them when it's time to sit on the toilet, at which time they become rather burdensome. The rest of the time they do not bother me being there, but the only time I really see them is a time when they become burdensome, because I have to make sure they don't go into the toilet. And quite honestly, how many people are usually thinking thoughts of transgression against God, their neighbors, or themselves while they're sitting on the commode? So, what good is it that the person sees the tassels right then? Ten minutes later, he or she has long forgotten about the tassels, and some temptation or something has come before him or her. As one of the fellow brethren said, "For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second" (Heb. 8:7).
It didn't work!!!!!! People are carnal. We must have God's Spirit WITHIN us to remind and help us to keep the commandments. We must circumcise our hearts. We must be cleansed of our sin by the Spirit. We must have our past sins covered by the blood of Christ. We must have Christ's continued intercession. All the carnal ordinances which foreshadowed these things were [and still are] worthless!!! They did nothing to save or cleanse a person. They did a very poor job of reminding people to do what is right. Their HEARTS needed to be changed. All these things were only meant to be imposed "until the time of reformation." They were meant to be a "schoolteacher."
For anyone who thinks a person must do these in order to be right with God, he or she totally doesn't get it, does not see the big picture, does not understand, and needs to do some serious prayer and study.
These things are clearly differentiated from the Ten Commandments and their statutes. There is more than enough scripture that bears this out. And none of this stuff matters, but what DOES matter is the keeping of the commandments of God (I Cor. 7:19).
And as I've said before in another place, a person can keep the Ten Commandments in their letter and also be on his or her way to the hell fire. It's the HEART God judges. Anyone can keep the letter of the law without even having God's Spirit. Most people seem to have little to no trouble not murdering someone, committing adultery, lying, keeping the sabbath, and so on, in the letter, if they either choose to do so b/c they are more or less moral people or if the judgment (penalty for transgression) is enough of a deterrent. But, it's not the physical death penalty anyone ought to be truly concerned about, and it's not the letter of the law anyone should be concerned about. It's the spirit of the law. THAT is what we're all being judged on, dear friends. Are we keeping the commandments with all our heart and mind? Men might not know. Men can be fooled. That's especially true if a person is doing a good job of keeping the letter of the law and perhaps truer still if they are showing off with physical ordinances. But, God is not fooled.
To be brutally honest, my Father doesn't give a flip whether anyone is wearing tassels or has their foreskin snipped or any of those other things. What He cares about is whether His children are keeping His commandments and whether they are keeping them in the spirit, with all their heart and mind and life. All those ordinances are supposed to remind us to keep the commandments and to be a physical badge to others that we are. They are NOT part of the commandments themselves.
When I was in high school, I had honors and was in the Beta Club, was voted Most Studious, Best Dressed, and Most Likely to Succeed. I was in several clubs and held an office of parliamentarian in one of the clubs. I was voted Who's Who Among American High School Students. I had all these credentials and honors, and I was given this jacket. I was given patches and pins that I could put on the jacket to show everything. I never did get the patches put on, and I didn't put most of the pens on, either. It probably didn't matter, either, because most already knew I was distinguished. I could have done this, but not doing it certainly did not mean that I somehow wasn't what it all represented. Really, though, it's all there for show, so you can show it off to those who don't know. It's a choice, not what makes a member…just an outward boasting.
Also think of a person's looks and personality. Some are deceiving. Many lovely-looking people are lovely in spirit (mind). BUT there are ugly-appearing people who are actually beautiful (inside) and beautiful-appearing people who are actually ugly (inside). It's really what is inside that counts. The outside is just a bonus.
There are plenty of people out there who hold college degrees but do not do well in their field of supposed expertise. Some even cheated to get the degrees! On the other side of the coin, there are no shortage of people who know their field of study very well but hold no man-made degrees to "prove" it. Well, a piece of paper isn't really proof, anyway. Whether the person really can do well what it says is what matters. Some who have the paper can, and that takes them further in the world of man, but those who know their stuff and who do not have the paper are not inferior as far as God is concerned. And if a man is wise, he'd judge a person on what he or she really can or does do. They're usually better than those who have the supposed outward proof (which is not the outward proof of actually doing it but just the paper or whatever). They have usually spent more time really focusing on what is important rather than what man requires is important. It's indeed harder for these people to be noticed, but if they're really that good at their field of study, they'll eventually be noticed by the wise.
Another Analogy and Further Reiteration:
Say my husband tells me to pick up some razor blades for his razor. I forget and so disobey his command. He gets upset and frustrated, and so he tells me the next time I go out to get him some razor blades and to write it down as a reminder. He added this command so that I'd remember the other command. The writing a note isn't going to matter one way or the other in the great scheme of things with my husband. If I bring home the razor blades the next time, he's not going to then ask to see the note I wrote to make sure I wrote the reminder. At that point, he doesn't care anything about a reminder note. The thing that did matter was that I got him some razor blades. If I say, "I didn't write a reminder note," he's not going to blow up and say, "Why didn't you follow my instructions?!" He'd say, "Well, I'm just glad you got my razor blades. That's all I care about." If I had written a note and told him that I'd written the note like he told me, he would say, "Oh, well that's good. I'm glad you remembered to get my razor blades." If I had written a note and had forgotten the blades, anyway, he would be upset, even more upset that I was foolish enough to have the reminder and still not get the blades!
Sometimes I've written reminder notes to myself for various things but have forgotten to look at the note! Two weeks ago, our cats had a vet appt., and I'd written it in my planner, but I didn't look at my planner that morning. So, the physical reminder didn't even do any good!
Now, wouldn't it be something if we had a technological advancement, maybe a microchip or something, that we could have put inside of us that would tell us things so that we don't forget? This would totally do away with the need for physical written notes and such that have such fault. Wouldn't it be great if when my husband told me to get him some razor blades (or whatever), and I was in the store about to leave that I heard a voice (b/c of the highly advanced chip or whatever inside of my mind) that said, "Don't forget the razor blades?" That would totally do away with the need of a written note, which much of the time I forget to look at, anyway. What good is a note if I can't even remember that I have a note (or left it home or in the vehicle, etc.)? It's not the note that's important, anyway. It's getting the razor blades!
I'm so thankful that I DO have a highly advanced mind within me to remember my God's commandments. If I had to rely on the tassels to remember to do His commandments, I'd be in quite a pickle. And I know my Righteous Father doesn't care whether I'm wearing tassels or not as long as I'm keeping His Law--His Ten Commandments. The tassels are worthless if I'm not doing what's important in the first place. It's like Paul said of circumcision. It's worthless and means nothing if a person isn't keeping the Law, but if someone who is not circumcised is keeping the Law, then that person puts to shame the person who is physically circumcised. It's the uncircumcised person who is keeping the Law who is justified in God's sight, not the circumcised person who is not keeping the Law (Rom.2:25-29). The Law here, is of course, the Ten Commandments and their statutes...the Law that matters.
David also had God's Spirit and knew what really mattered to God. David said, "Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears has thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required" (Psa. 40:6). Well, did not God require these things? HE DIDN'T REQUIRE IT AS PART OF THE TEN COMMANDMENTS! The sacrifices and offerings were because people broke the Ten Commandments and their statutes. In another place, when David was writing a psalm of repentance after his sins of adultery and murder, he said, "For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering" (Psa. 51:16). Now, do you think David would have felt condemned if some other fellow came along and said, "Oh, David, I CAN'T BELIEVE you are a Torah-breaker. I'm SHOCKED. We are to go by every word of the Torah, and you are supposed to offer sacrifices for your terrible sins."
WELL, what did God think of David, who claimed that God didn't require those things? God said that David was a man after God's own heart. God loved David so much, despite the terrible mistakes he made (but repented of greatly), that He chose David to be right underneath Christ in the Kingdom of God on this earth. David will be ruling over the 12 tribes of Israel. David had and was led by God's Spirit. He knew what really mattered. He looked forward to Christ's sacrifice. That was what he put his faith in. He lived in the time of the Old Covenant, yet He had a NC mindset. He had God's Spirit. He knew very well what God wanted. Those animal sacrifices were for carnal people. All those reminders and those washings were for carnal people. Those with the Spirit of God dwelling in them knew and know what really matters, the keeping of the commandments of God. If we're doing that and have the right heart toward His Law, then God isn't even going to bother to look and see whether we're wearing tassels, snip our foreskin (if we're male), offer animal sacrifices and other offerings, do ritual washings, etc.
If we're already keeping His commandments, then why would He care about those other things? He doesn't. Those things were in mind for carnal people with whom He found fault (b/c of their Law-breaking), and those things still didn't do anything to change them. Only God's Spirit can do that. After each of those Psalm scriptures I quoted above, David added, "I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart" (Psa. 40:8) and "The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise" (Psa. 51:17).
David and Paul understood the difference between God's Law as defined by the Ten Commandments and their statutes and then the carnal stuff added for carnal people and knew that those things didn't even help those carnal people. David lived under the OC and Paul under the NC. They both were NC-minded and knew what mattered.
I will not feel condemned by anyone who tells me that I break God's Law b/c I don't follow or teach these things designed for carnal individuals as a school teacher, especially when most such people do not follow the Ten Commandments in the spirit and only look at what Moses wrote 3,000 years ago without bothering to continue to grow in grace and knowledge (as Paul pointed out as an example that those who boasted in their law-keeping of circumcision broke the idolatry, adultery, and stealing commandments in one way or the other). I'm not here to please men and their faulty ideas. I seek to please my Father in heaven, and He knows me and my heart, just as He knew David and his. I know what my Father sees as important, and it's sure not whether I'm wearing tassels on a given day or doing any of those other carnal faulty reminders and other such things.
I am NOT saying everyone who wears tassels lacks the right heart and only caring about outward show. I certainly am not saying that. What bothers me even more is that I'm concerned about that same person, because she and I had a conversation not too long before this incident, which revealed to me that she indeed thought the physical was more important than the spiritual.
I was talking about how spiritual sin is what matters. (For example, a person can continually hate or desire to murder someone but never physically does it, and there can be another person who physically murders someone in a fit of rage but previously had not had any feelings of hate toward that person and felt bad afterward. Perhaps in the world of man, the latter would get the death penalty, but before God's judgment seat the former person who never physically laid a hand on the person he hated will be condemned, while the one who physically murdered but in spirit felt bad about it will not be condemned.) Well, I got a response along the lines of, "Yes, I know spiritual sin is bad, too." I knew then that she and I were not on the same page. Bad, too??? That is WHAT matters! Period. The way she worded it revealed that she believed the physical is more important.
As I said in another place, a person who has a righteous heart is NATURALLY going to have less physical sin than a person who has an unrighteous heart. But, EVERYONE--good hearts and bad hearts--commits PHYSICAL SIN. Again, some may commit MORE in number, but it doesn't matter of the number…only one sin earns the death penalty. The DIFFERENCE between a person who has grace and the person who does not is the HEART. Spiritual sin is what matters. Now a person can dress all in white and talk about God all the time (there is someone who resides in Rome who does just this) and can deceive billions of people into thinking he's righteous with all the outward show. But, the person will never fool God. God knows our hearts, no matter what we do to show to other flesh-and-blood people to make them believe we are righteous.
It's going to be IMPOSSIBLE for anyone to get me to believe that in order for me to prove to God that I have an obedient heart, that I have to have all these outward show of things. Baptism of repentance is the only thing required, which happens (excepting special circumstances) BEFORE the begettal of God's Spirit. It's repent (of breaking the Ten Commandments) and be baptized, and THEN one gets the Spirit of God. And the Spirit of God, which circumcises my heart and reminds me always to obey, and SHOULD naturally come out in my physical actions so that people can see what kind of person I am, is SOOOOO much better than a foreskin clipping (which wouldn't apply to me, anyway), tassels, and whatever else.
I certainly do not need some box of written scriptures hanging from my forehead or around my wrist. God never seriously thought that would change anyone. A change has to be from the heart and mind. Those scriptures aren't supposed to hang in a physical box on our forehead and strapped on our hands. The Law is supposed to be written in our MIND (behind our forehead), and supposed to be evident in our actions (with our hands): the mark of God, his Spirit in our mind. None of these things are the Ten Commandments themselves, and all the physical stuff that symbolized keeping them does nobody without God's Spirit any good (and on the flip side those with God's Spirit don't need them).