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What Does God Want of Me?

What Does God Want of Me?

Would you believe us if we said the Bible clearly emphasizes that Jesus did not come to do away with God’s laws and commandments? No one would or even should blindly believe without proof. So watch and see what the Bible has to plainly say on the matter, backed up with solid proof.

[The text below represents an edited transcript of this Tomorrow’s World program.]

Do You Think You Know God?

Many people, especially young people, see God as harsh and stern—One who wants to take away all the fun in life. Many professing Christians see the God of the Old Testament as an out-of-touch old man demanding unreasonable requirements, but they see Jesus coming along to do away with those laws and replace them with a different, more loving law. Do you realize, my friends, that these views are totally in error? The God of the Old Testament is not a stern out-of-touch Being, nor are His laws unreasonable.

On today’s Tomorrow’s World program I’ll reveal a shocking truth that few understand. We will see what the Bible says about the God of the Old Testament, what it says about love, and what it is that God truly requires of you and me.

God’s Commandments Represent Love

A warm welcome to all of you from all of us here at Tomorrow’s World. And I especially welcome those of you tuning in for the first time. Today I’m going to give you something that will open your mind to a shocking truth about God that is there for everyone to see, yet almost no one knows it.

Let’s face facts. God is not popular in our world today. Many people don’t believe He exists, believing instead in a creation without a Creator. They believe perfectly harmonious life forms were created out of chaos, yet it can be proven that this is a mathematical impossibility.

Further, we must ask, “Where did matter originate?” Yes, I’m talking about the dirt underneath our feet. Most scientists now believe there was a beginning for our universe, but have no means of explaining how the existing laws that govern matter came to be.

We’ve had other programs on this subject, so I won’t go into that at this time. Suffice it to say that the “no God” concept comes more from prejudice than from scientific fact.

Many see God as One who is impossible to please. They see Him as a harsh demanding Being who enjoys punishing people and seems to hate His very creation. But is that so? Others go to the opposite extreme of thinking that God requires virtually nothing of us. Neither of these concepts is correct.

So let’s talk about God. Who is He, and what does He require of us? Do you realize that the second part to this question is not new? Notice it in Micah 6 and verse 8:

“He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8).

A similar sentiment is expressed by King David in the 15th Psalm where the requirements of God are elaborated upon. The questions are asked:

“...Who may abide in Your tabernacle? Who may dwell in Your holy hill?” (Psalm 15:1).

These questions go beyond the time of David and reflect what God requires of anyone who hopes to be in the Kingdom of God. Now notice the answer:

“He who walks uprightly, and works righteousness, and speaks the truth in his heart; he who does not backbite with his tongue, nor does evil to his neighbor, nor does he take up a reproach against his friend; in whose eyes a vile person is despised, but he honors those who fear the Lord; he who swears to his own hurt and does not change; he who does not put out his money at usury, nor does he take a bribe against the innocent. He who does these things shall never be moved” (Psalm 15:2-5).

Now if you didn’t know better you would think these were the words of Jesus, not those of someone living under the Old Covenant. Maybe the Old Testament God is not quite as harsh as some believe.

But what about those Ten Commandments? Are they as oppressive as some think? Are they burdensome and impossible to keep? Some think so and I’ve personally been told this. I’ve also heard it said that there is nothing you can do to be saved—it’s all been done for you, but is that what the scriptures reveal?

Notice what the one who is considered the Apostle of love has to say about God’s commandments in 1 John 5:3.

“For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome” (1 John 5:3).

But didn’t Jesus come to nail those commandments to the stake? Didn’t He do away with them? Let’s read what He said in Matthew 19. Here a young ruler came to Him and asked the following question:

“...Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?” (Matthew 19:16).

Now, that’s a fair enough question. After all, who wants life to end? Now I understand that when you’re 16, you think life will go on forever. Old age appears so far off and when YOU grow old, YOU will not be decrepit like all the old people you see. No, you’ll still be playing basketball—no sitting down for you! But that’s not reality. We do get old and we understand that there is an end. That’s when most people begin thinking more seriously about the question:

What good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?

Now, what did Jesus answer:

“...But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments” (Matthew 19:17).

Now if keeping the commandments is a requirement for eternal life, and that is what Jesus clearly said, wouldn’t you want to know what they are? Perhaps you can recite the abbreviated form of them, but do you truly understand the spiritual intent behind them? Our resource, “The Ten Commandments” is one of the most important booklets we have ever published, and it can be yours free for the asking. And I’ll be right back to tell you one of the least hidden, but least known secrets of the Bible.

Who Was the God of the Old Testament?

What is that secret? And why, if it is least hidden, do so few know about it? And if it’s not generally known, how important can it be?

The answer to these questions is found in another question:

Exactly who was Jesus of Nazareth?

Do you realize, my friends, that numerous easy to understand statements from the Bible answer this question?

Let’s begin with the real chronological beginning of the Bible. It’s found in John 1, verse 1. Here we read of two members of the God family: One is called, in the original Greek, the Logos, meaning, the Word or Spokesman, and the other is simply referred to as God. Yet, the Word is also called God. Let’s read it together, John 1, verse 1:

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made” (John 1:1-3).

Let’s read that last sentence again. Notice that this passage plainly says that the Word was also God, and that:

“All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made” (John 1:3).

But who is this “Word” that was with God, but also was God, and who made all things? Verse 14 gives us the answer.

“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).

Yes, the Logos, the Word or Spokesman described here, is none other than Jesus Christ. Colossians 1, verses 16 to 17 corroborate the role of Christ in the creation of all things.

“For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist” (Colossians 1:16-17).

Now who is this referring to? Notice verse 18:

“And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence” (Colossians 1:18).

The popular misconception is that there is a harsh and cruel Father who is the God of the Old Testament, that He gave us impossible to keep, burdensome laws; but that His Son, Jesus, came to do away with His Father’s laws and to do everything for us, that there is nothing required of us except to confess faith in His name. As popular as this belief is, it is simply not found in the Bible. In fact, what we learn from these scriptures, is that the One who became Jesus Christ WAS the God of the Old Testament. Notice again Colossians 1:

“For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him” (Colossians 1:16).

Now if He created all things in heaven and on earth, both visible and invisible, that means He created the first humans, so if we are going to please God, we must know more about Him!

The Bible tells us that God brought the children of Israel out of Egypt through powerful miracles. He led them by the hand of Moses to Mount Sinai where He thundered the Ten Commandments and made a covenant with the nation. On that occasion we are told that 74 men saw the God of Israel and ate a covenant meal with Him. Notice in Exodus 24:9-11:

“Then Moses went up, also Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel, and they saw the God of Israel…. But on the nobles of the children of Israel He did not lay His hand. So they saw God, and they ate and drank” (Exodus 24:9-11).

But which member of the God family was this? Was it the Father or the Logos, the One who became known as Jesus the Christ?

The Apostles John and Paul answer this vital question.

Jesus Christ in the Old Testament

Scripture shows all things were created by the Word or Spokesman in the God Family and the Word became the One we know as Jesus. We also noted that when the covenant was made between God and Israel, that men saw the God of Israel, but there is an issue with that. Notice what it says in John 5:37:

“And the Father Himself, who sent Me [Jesus is the speaker here], has testified of Me. You have neither heard His [that is, the Father’s] voice at any time, nor seen His form” (John 5:37).

This is confirmed in John 1:18:

“No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him” (John 1:18).

So if no one has seen God the Father at any time, who did those 74 leaders in Israel see at Mount Sinai? Does the Bible contradict itself? Or is there another explanation? The answer is simple. In this passage it says:

“No one has seen God at any time” (John 1:18).

But it goes on to say,

“The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him” (John 1:18).

Clearly, the One no one has seen is the Father. But remember from John 1:1 it tells us that the Word is both with God and was God:

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1).

Note that the Word was with God, and the Word was God—two beings described here—both are God.

I am named Weston and my wife is with me and my wife also is Weston. If you have not seen me, but met my wife, you could truthfully say that you have seen Weston, but not the husband Weston—only the wife Weston.

When we read that 74 leaders of Israel saw God, yet also read that no one has seen God at any time, it is merely a question of which member of the God Family it is talking about. No one has seen God, the Father, at any time, but they saw the one who became Jesus the Christ. Need more proof? Note Paul’s statement in 1 Corinthians 10, verses 1-4:

“Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea, all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ” (1 Corinthians 10:1-4).

Even a child should be able to understand it. The One who dealt with ancient Israel was none other than the One who became Jesus Christ!

Do you understand, my friends, what this means? Do you understand the implications of this? Stated succinctly, the One who emptied Himself of His glorious power and came to the earth as Jesus Christ, WAS the God of the Old Testament! He was the One who created all things. As we read in Colossians 1:16,

“For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him” (Colossians 1:16).

This is further confirmed in another passage, this time Hebrews 1:1-2:

“God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds” (Hebrews 1:1-2).

Do you still need more proof? Here it is in Ephesians 3:8-9. Be sure to look this up and the other scriptures given in this program in your own Bible. Don’t believe me just because I say it. Read it and prove it for yourself out of your own Bible!

“To me… this grace was given… to make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 3:8-9).

The implications for this are immense. Do you realize that those who claim the law is done away are saying that the One who gave the law turned around and did away with it? That is absurd, and maybe that is why Jesus said,

“...But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments” (Matthew 19:17).

The Law is a Blessing to Those Who Follow

People, young and old alike, often see God as stern, harsh, and eager to punish. How sad that is, because He is just the opposite. As we have already seen during the first portions of this program, the God of the Old Testament is none other than the One who became Jesus Christ. As we read in Colossians 1:16:

“For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him” (Colossians 1:16).

And Paul tells us that the One who interacted with ancient Israel was the One who became Jesus Christ:

“For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ” (1 Corinthians 10:4).

Perhaps you were told, as I was, that the law of God is burdensome, impossible to keep, no longer required, and that Christ did it all for us. Is that what the Bible says? Notice that these ideas are wrong in all aspects. As I read earlier, the Apostle John wrote:

“For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome” (1 John 5:3).

So who are you going to believe? Your neighbor? Your minister? Or, the Apostle John? And what about what Jesus Himself tells us in the Sermon on the Mount? Matthew 4:17-18:

“Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled” (Matthew 5:17-18).

Then, He shows that we must keep, not only the letter of the law, but also the spirit or intent of the law. Note this example in verses 27 and 28:

“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY.’ But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:27-28).

That is about as direct a statement about what Christ requires of us as can be made, but WHY do we have the law of God? Is it to keep us from every good thing, or to keep us from every act that brings heartache and suffering? Notice God’s reaction regarding the children of Israel:

“Oh, that they had such a heart in them that they would fear Me and always keep all My commandments, that it might be well with them and with their children forever!” (Deuteronomy 5:29).

God knows that keeping His law keeps us out of trouble. It protects us against needless pain and suffering. Consider the very first commandment as given in Exodus 20:2-3:

“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before Me” (Exodus 20:2-3).

Maybe you’re thinking you were never in Egypt, never in bondage. But that’s the same reaction the Jews had when Jesus declared in John 8:32:

“And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32).

They were stunned by this and answered Him:

“We are Abraham’s descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can You say, ‘You will be made free?’” (John 8:33).

And Jesus responded:

“Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin” (John 8:34).

The Apostle Paul put it this way in Romans 6:16:

“Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?” (Romans 6:16).

No, my friends, contrary to popular misconceptions, the law of God is not a burden, but a law that sets us free from the burdens that come as a result of violating that law. That is why the Apostle James calls it the law of liberty in James 1:25:

“But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does” (James 1:25).

If you’d like to learn more about this perfect law of liberty that sets you free, be sure to order your free copy of The Ten Commandments.

And come back again next week when Richard Ames, Wallace Smith, Rod McNair, and I will bring you more good news of Tomorrow’s World and the teachings of Jesus Christ.


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