How was it that before Yahshua Messiah’s perfect sacrifice, there were prophets. priests, kings, and common people in the Old Testament who followed YHWH so faithfully and attained such a degree of righteousness, they went alive into Heaven (Paradise) or oversaw incredible miracles? It was certainly not because they did not have the Holy Spirit for the Bible says the Spirit of YHWH came upon many Old Testament personages. Nor was it easier for them to be Law-abiding than it is for us, as evidenced by the many times they succumbed to the temptation to sin. I believe it was their absolute delight in YHWH’s Law, something lacking in the Church today.
Many Christians do not even know the Law so how can they delight in it? Some do not read or study the Old Testament at all believing it to be irrelevant for today’s Church. Shockingly, I recently read in a book by a well-known contemporary Christian writer, that (she believes) the Old Testament was not written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit as was the New Testament! How confused and ignorant these babes in Messiah must be by these lies.
Father does not expect a Christian with little background in the Law to live according to it in one day. It takes years of study, understanding through revelation, and conviction with subsequent changes in a person’s life and behaviour to enable them to follow it. Father will lead every one of His children by His Spirit and study of His Word to do so. Even the twelve disciples, who were inherently familiar with the Law, were trained by Yahshua for three years before becoming apostles. Imagine if we were convicted of all of our sins, or transgressions of the Law, at once. We would not be able to get up off the floor for the agony, shame, ans revulsion we would feel.
The gradual elimination of sin from our lives is illustrated in EXODUS 23:28-30:
And I will send hornets before thee, which shall drive out the Hivite, the Canaanite, and the Hittite, from before thee. I will not drive them out before thee in one year; lest the land become desolate, and the beast of the field multiply against thee. By little and little I will drive them out from before thee, until thou be increased, and inherit the land.
When I was that very new, very immature Christian expelled from Bible College for rebellious behaviour, I sat in church on my last weekend deflated, discouraged, wondering how to deal with my problems. The above Scripture was the topic for the sermon. It dawned on me that Father would deliver me over a period of time–I did not have to do it all at once–be perfect overnight. I started sobbing with the first of many convictions about my rebelliousness. As I went forward for prayer, Father did a work in the hearts of the principal of the Bible College and his wife. When this gracious lady came over to pray for me, she said they would reconsider the situation. As described in the previous post, on Monday morning I was reinstated with some conditions attached. It is a beautiful Scripture on which to stand when one feels overpowered by weakness and sin.
Each time a person deals with a sinful part of their nature, or a sin, then is forgiven and delivered of it, there is a period during which they must stand against the temptation to return to that sin. Immediately afterwards he is weakest, but becomes stronger each time the sin is resisted until it ceases to be a problem. For instance, before going to Papua New Guinea I had smoked on and off for 20 years, having indulged in my first cigarette when I was eleven. I blew off my last cigarette the night before flying to PNG and Bible College. That year in which it was strictly forbidden to smoke in college on threat of instant expulsion helped me to quit what I had always before found impossible.
Despite the fact I gave up cigarettes never to smoke again, I had to stand against the urge to smoke for FIVE LONG TURBULENT YEARS. Father gave me the grace and strength to resist sinning like this again.
After one area is dealt with in a Christian’s life, the Holy Spirit will spotlight the next area or sin to be dealt with. While the current sin or sins are being seen to, Father allows the person to be oblivious to many other sins they may be committing.