A Dimension of the Cross

by Ray Smith It has become increasingly evident that there is a move afoot by some groups to try and get believers to return to living the Torah (Law) life style. There also seems to be a belief that when a person is born again they become Jewish, therefore have to start keeping the Passover and the Jewish Festivals, the Jewish Diet, the old Tithing System and the Sabbath. We will see this is not a new move, but a very old one that Paul and the first Christian believers of The Way" had to deal with as well. I will also show that the first Gentile believers were given only four things to keep by the Jewish Christian Leaders in Jerusalem, these did not include keeping the Law, Passover & feasts, Diet, Tithing or the Sabbath. This revelation knowledge came to me recently while travelling to Rotorua. (New Zealand, North Island) I was in my car alone, when Father God spoke to me that Judaism was dead. He then reminded me of two stories, one I had read of a young Jewish man in Australia who was given a vision of a Passover setting. This is something he had partaken of with his family all his life, but in the vision there was a big, heavy cobweb covering the whole scene. In the vision it was revealed to him, that Judaism was dead and that he was looking in the wrong direction to find Father God. The second story is one in which I was personally involved. There was a young couple that stayed in our home. He was Jewish and his wife was Roman Catholic. While they were staying with us, Father God gave me a "word" for them. I asked them if they wanted to hear it, and they said yes. Father God simply told me to tell them that He wanted them by choice to turn their backs on their own religions and together look to Him. If they did this, they would discover who He really was and would have a stronger marriage and a better future. The interesting thing was of course, that Father God was having me tell a Jewish man to turn his back on Judaism, why, because Father God had already finished with it! I should also add here, that a few months before this, Father God had reminded me that when the curtain in the Temple was rent from top to bottom, it was a sign of some huge changes. Now this was a serious curtain some one hundred millimeters thick, I had already investigated this and was mildly alarmed at what I had discovered. That made what happened to me on the road to Rotorua even more significant as it was the start of the revelation of these very important truths. Jew, Gentile or Christian So, I guess the first thing we should address is, do born again Christians become Jewish . . . or not. Let's look at Ephesians 2: 15 & 16 (GNB). He abolished the Jewish Law with its commandments and rules, in order to create out of the two races one new people in union with Himself, in this way making peace. By His death on the cross Christ destroyed their enmity; by means of the cross He united both races into one body and brought them back to God. Here is what the NKJV says . . . Having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace. And that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. And the NLT says . . . By His death He ended the whole system of Jewish Law that excluded the Gentiles. His purpose was to make peace between the Jews and the Gentiles by creating in Himself one new person from the two groups. Together as one body, Christ reconciled both groups to God by means of His death and our hostility towards each other was put to death. Paul writing to the Romans says . . . For Christ has brought the Law to an end, so that everyone who believes is put right with God. (Romans 10: 4 (GNB) The first thing we see here in the first three extracts is, that Christ abolished, annulled, abrogated, canceled, invalidated, repealed, rescinded, revoked, quashed and ended, just to use some of the words to describe what He did to the Jewish Law, at the cross. To choose one of the above words and look at its meaning; abrogated means . . . to repeal - do away with a law, right, or formal agreement. The God given Jewish Law was what separated or made the Jewish people different from the Gentile People. There are only the two groups of people, if you are not Jewish, then you are a Gentile. To the Jews it was the Law that told them how they should live and what they could or couldn't do. Through the cross, where Jesus abolished the Jewish Law which gave them their identity and also excluded the Gentiles, Judaism was also abolished because there was now no Law of God (Mosaic Law) to enforce it. Judaism was never wrong, it is just that Father God had finished with it because Jesus has now done what the Law, and animal sacrificing for that matter, could not do. Now, the fact that the Jewish Law and Judaism are both abolished, how can a born again Christian become Jewish, or for what reason would they need to become Jewish? The above verses clearly speak of a New Man being created in union with Christ Jesus! Now it said New Man, not Jewish man or Gentile man! In fact we become Christians, followers of Christ, or, Messianic, followers of the Messiah. Paul writing to the Corinthians says . . . When anyone is joined to Christ, he is a new being; the old is gone, the new has come. (2 Corinthians 5: 17 (GNB). Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. (NKJV). What this means is that those who become Christians become new persons. They are not the same anymore, for the old life is gone. A new life has begun. (NLT). Israel & Jews not Forsaken I would like to make it absolutely clear here, that this does not mean that Israel or the Jews have been replaced by the Church, or that Father God has finished with them. They are still His chosen people and at the time when the ‘fullness’ of the Gentiles has come, the eyes of the Jewish people will be opened and they will become a part of the "one fold" with "one Shepherd" as quoted below in John 10: 16. Paul writing to the Romans says . . . There is a secret truth, my brothers, which I want you to know, for it will keep you from thinking how wise you are. It is that the stubbornness of the people of Israel is not permanent, but will last only until the complete number of the Gentiles comes to God. And this is how all Israel will be saved. As the Scripture says, "The Savior will come from Zion and remove all wickedness from the descendants of Jacob. I will make this covenant with them when I take away their sins." (Romans 11: 25 - 27 (GNB). I want you to understand this mystery dear brothers and sisters, so that you will not feel proud and start bragging. Some of the Jews have hard hearts, but this will last only until the complete number of Gentiles comes to Christ. And so all Israel will be saved. Do you remember what the prophets said about this? "Deliverer will come from Jerusalem and He will turn Israel from all ungodliness. And then I will keep My covenant with them and take away their sins.' (Romans 11: 25 - 27(NLT). You will find it interesting to read the whole of Romans chapter eleven. Circumcision, To Be or Not to Be Paul writing to the Galatians says . . . It does not matter at all whether or not one is circumcised; what does matter is being a new creature. (Galatians 6: 15 (GNB). For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but a new creation. (NKJV). It doesn't make any difference now whether we have been circumcised or not. What counts is whether we really have been changed into new and different people. (NLT). In John's Gospel Jesus said . . . There are other sheep which belong to Me that are not of this sheepfold. I must bring them, too; they will listen to My voice, and they will become one flock with one shepherd (John 10: 16 (GNB). It must be remembered, that this all mainly applies to those who are born again and are in Christ. Outside of that people would consider that nothing has changed and life will go on with whatever system they are under. I would also like to point out here, that Paul writing to the Romans in chapter four declares that Abraham was counted as righteous by Father God through his faith before he was circumcised and before the Law was given. Now Paul is saying here that, if Abraham could be counted as righteous by Father God through faith before circumcision and the Law, we can still be counted as righteous even after Christ has abolished the Law (& circumcision for that matter) at the cross by living a life of faith in relationship, or, in union with Christ Jesus! We now need to go and look at the Law and see what that was all about. Law & Sin Paul writes . . . What shall we say, then, that the Law itself is sinful? Of course not! But it was the Law that made me know what sin is. If the Law had not said, "do not desire what belongs to someone else," I would not have known such a desire. But by means of that commandment sin found its chance to stir up all kinds of selfish desires in me. Apart from the Law, sin is a dead thing. I myself was once alive apart from the Law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life, and I died. And the commandment which was meant to bring life, in my case brought death. Sin found its chance, and by means of the commandment it delivered me and killed me. So then, the Law itself is holy, and the commandment is holy, right, and good. But does this mean that what is good caused my death? By no means! It was sin that did it; by using what is good, sin brought death to me, in order that its true nature as sin might be revealed. And so, by means of the commandment sin is shown to be even more terribly sinful. Romans 7: 7 - 13 (GNB) The writer to the Hebrews says . . . The Jewish Law is not a full and faithful model of the real things; it is only a faint outline of the good things to come. The same sacrifices are offered for ever, year after year. How can the Law, then, by means of these sacrifices make perfect the people who come to God? Hebrews 10: 1 (GNB) Paul writing to Timothy says . . . We know that the Law is good if it is used as it should be. It must be remembered, of course, that laws are made, not for good people, but for law-breakers and criminals, for the godless and sinful, for those who are not religious or spiritual, for those who kill their fathers and mothers, for murders, for the immoral, for sexual perverts, for kidnappers, for those who lie and give false testimony or who do anything else contrary to sound doctrine. 1 Timothy 1: 8 - 10 (GNB). I think that the above verses convey what the real purpose and intent of the Law was. The Law & Jesus I am always interested in what Jesus had to say about anything, and here is what He had to say about the Law . . . "Do not think that I have come to do away with the Law of Moses and the teachings of the prophets. I have not come to do away with them, but to make their teachings come true. Remember that as long as heaven and earth last, not the least point nor the smallest detail of the Law will be done away with - not until the end of all things." Matthew 5: 17 - 18 (GNB). Now, Jesus did exactly what He said He would do about keeping the Law, but the real secret is, how did He do it? The crowning verse for me, of how He achieved it, is coming just ahead! It is my strong belief that the Law (Torah) was never given by Father God as Rules to live by. Father God loves His Law and His intention was for the Law to show us where we had gone wrong concerning sin and drive us back to Him. The Law is also like a mirror for us to look into, so that we could see ourselves as we really are before a Righteous and Holy Father God, then go the shed Blood of the Lord Jesus and wash. If by keeping the Law we could be justified before Father God, we wouldn't need the Lord Jesus and He wouldn't have had to go through what He did on the cross. Paul says to the Galatians 5:4 (GNB) . . . Those of you who try to be put right with God by obeying the Law have cut yourselves off from Christ. Now, that statement in itself is a serious indictment! Listen to what Paul says in Romans 3: 19 - 23 . . . Now we know that everything in the Law applies to those who live under the Law, in order to stop all human excuses and bring the whole world under God’s judgment. For no one is put right in God's sight by doing what the Law requires; what the Law does is to make man know that he has sinned. But now God''s way of putting people right with Himself has been revealed. It has nothing to do with the Law, even though the Law of Moses and the prophets gave their witness to it. God puts people right through their faith in Jesus Christ . God does this to all who believe in Christ, because there is no difference at all . . . everyone has sinned and is far away from God's saving presence. (GNB). And then Paul writing to the Galatians says . . . Those who depend on obeying the Law live under a curse. For the scripture says, "Whoever does not always obey everything that is written in the book of the Law is under God's curse!" Now, it is clear that no one is put right with God by means of the Law, because the scripture says, “Only the person who is put right with God through faith shall live." But the Law has nothing to do with faith. Instead, as the scripture says, "Whoever does everything the Law requires will live." But by becoming a curse for us Christ has redeemed us from the curse that the Law brings; for the scripture says, "Anyone who is hanged on a tree is under God's curse." Christ did this in order that the blessing which God promised to Abraham might be given to the Gentiles by means of Christ Jesus, so that through faith we might receive the Spirit promised by God. (Galatians 3: 10 - 14 (GNB). But before the time for faith came, the Law kept us all locked up as prisoners until this coming faith should be revealed. And so the Law was in charge of us until Christ came, in order that we might then be put right with God through faith. Now that the time of faith is here, the Law is no longer in charge of us. Galatians 3: 23 - 25 (GNB) But I think the crowning verse for me on the whole issue is found in Romans 13: 8 - 10 (GNB) . . . Be under obligation to no one . . . the only obligation you have is to love one another. Whoever does this has obeyed the Law. The commandments, "Do not commit adultery; do not commit murder; do not steal; do not desire what belongs to someone else" . . . all these, and any others besides, are summed up in the one command, "Love your neighbor as you love yourself." If you love someone, you will never do him wrong; to love, then, is to obey the whole Law. Well, I don’t think you will get it clearer than that . . . do you! Someone said to me recently, that Christ kept the Law perfectly when He lived here on earth, then died for all of us . . . because we couldn't. It is very important to point out here, that the love that is talked about here in the above verses in Romans 13: 8 - 10, is not human love, but God’s love! Human love is conditional, whereas, God’s love is unconditional. So how do we get this "God's love" so that we can live the Law perfectly as Jesus did? It is by being born again; and to be born again is . . . I have been crucified with Christ, it's no longer I who lives, but Christ who lives in me. The life that I now live I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. (Galatians 2: 19 & 20). In other words, if we have been crucified with Christ, then we are dead and Christ is alive in us, therefore, God's love, in us, will enable us to keep every "jot & tittle" of the Law as Jesus did when He was living on earth . . . through love! To maintain this lifestyle, we need to do as Jesus said in Luke 9: 23 & 24 . . . "If anyone wants to come with Me, he must forget self, take up his cross everyday, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his own life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it." (GNB). Then He said to the crowd . . . "If any of you want to be my follower, you must put aside selfish ambition, shoulder your cross daily, and follow me. If you try to keep your life for yourself, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for me, you will find true life. (Luke 9: 23 - 24 (NLT). Paul writing to the Romans says . . . There is no condemnation now for those who live in union with Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit, which brings us life in union with Christ Jesus, has set me free from the law of sin and death. What the Law could not do, because human nature was weak, God did. He condemned sin in human nature by sending His own Son, who came with the nature like man's sinful nature, to do away with sin. God did this so that the righteous demands of the Law might be fully satisfied in us who live according to the Spirit, and not according to human nature. Those who live as their human nature tells them to, have their minds controlled by what human nature wants. To be controlled by human nature results in death; to be controlled by the Spirit results in life and peace. And so a person becomes an enemy of God when he is controlled by his human nature; for he does not obey God's Law, in fact he cannot obey it. Those who obey their human nature cannot please God. (Romans 8: 1 - 8 (GNB) For the whole Law is summed up in one commandment: "Love your neighbor as yourself." Galatians 5: 14 (GNB). If the Spirit leads you, then you are not subject to the Law. Galatians 5: 18 (GNB). But the Spirit produces love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility and self - control. There is no law against such things as these. Galatians 5: 22 (GNB). How could there ever be a law against love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility and self - control when these are the fruit of the Holy Spirit, or, the very nature of God ? The Law & Diet Now, in the given Jewish Law were instructions about what they could and could not eat. There was a list of animals and other things that were considered unclean, according to the Law. It bears considering what it was like for Peter, when in a vision a sheet was lowered from heaven before him with all sorts of animals, reptiles and birds on it, that were considered unclean by the Mosaic Law, and he was told to kill and eat. Here is the account in Acts of what happened to him . . . The next day, as they were on their way and coming near Joppa, Peter went up on the roof of the house about noon in order to pray. He became hungry and wanted something to eat; while the food was being prepared, he had a vision. He saw heaven opened and something coming down that looked like a large sheet being lowered by its four corners to the earth. In it were all kinds of animals, reptiles, and wild birds. A voice said to him, “Get up, Peter; kill and eat! “ But Peter said, "Certainly not, Lord! I have never eaten anything ritually unclean or defiled." The voice spoke to him again, “do not consider anything unclean that God has declared clean." This happened three times, and then the thing was taken back up into heaven. (Acts 10: 9 - 16 (GNB) The next day, as they went on their journey and drew near the city, Peter went up on the housetop to pray, about the sixth hour. Then he became very hungry and wanted to eat; but while they made ready, he fell into a trance. And saw heaven opened and an object like a great sheet bound at the four corners, descending to him and let down to earth. In it were all kinds of four-footed animals of the earth, wild beasts, creeping things, and birds of the air. And a voice came to him, "Rise Peter, kill and eat." But Peter said, "Not so, Lord! For I have never eaten anything common or unclean." And a voice spoke to him again the second time, "What God has cleansed you must not call common." This was done three times. Finally the object was taken up into heaven again. (Acts 10: 9 - 16 (NKJV). While the above verses say that the sheet contained four-footed animals of the earth, wild beasts, creeping things, and birds of the air, it does not give any specific list of what they might specifically be, therefore, I believe that we cannot give any list of what they may not be. Now, all this was first time news for Peter, who, as the Bible says, had never defiled himself by eating anything unclean, according to the Jewish Law. But now, low and behold, here he was being told by Father God, albeit in a vision, that all he had been clothed in by the Jewish Law, was now defunct, obsolete, annulled, abrogated, cancelled, rescinded and finished with. As the account goes on to say, while Peter was trying to get his head around what he had just seen, men sent by Cornelius, a Gentile Roman Officer, were now standing outside the house where Peter was. It looks like he wasn't given any time to consider what had just happened to him, before he was invited to go and share the Gospel with a household of Gentiles. It was the Holy Spirit that came and gave Peter directions of what he was to do . . . through his born again relationship with Jesus! Again, to me, it seems very clear, that at the cross, when Jesus abolished the Law, as written in Ephesians 2: 15, this was one part, albeit the major part of the old way that changed, and the above account was the first time that Peter had encountered it. Faith is Everything Of course there are the scriptures that declare, that without faith we cannot please God. It is not so much as what we do, but, that we do it by faith. In other words, if we do something, like what we eat, by faith through relationship with Father God, it is Ok. But, if we eat something without faith in our relationship with Father God, it is sin. Everything we do must be done from faith through relationship, if not, then it is done from Law, and there has been much written about Law in this article. And . . . Do not, because of food, destroy what God has done. All foods may be eaten, but it is wrong to eat anything that will cause someone else to fall into sin. The right thing to do is to keep from eating meat, drinking wine, or doing anything else that will make your brother fall. Keep what you believe about this matter, then, between yourself and God. Happy is the person who does not feel guilty when he does something he judges is right! But if he has doubts about what he eats, God condemns him when he eats it, because his action is not based on faith. And anything that is not based on faith is sin. (Romans 14: 20 - 23 (GNB). For further reading on this matter, read the whole of Romans chapter 14. The Sabbath He cancelled the unfavorable record of our debts with its binding rules and did away with it completely by nailing it to the cross. And on that cross Christ freed Himself from the power of the spiritual rulers and authorities; He made a public spectacle of them by leading them as captives in His victory procession. So let no one make rules about what you eat, drink, or about holy days, or the new - moon festival, or the Sabbath. All such things are only a shadow of things in the future; the reality is Christ. (Colossians 2: 14 - 17 (GNB). He cancelled the record that contained the charges against us. He took it and destroyed it by nailing it to Christ's cross. In this way, God disarmed the evil rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by His victory over them on the cross of Christ. So don't let anyone condemn you for what you eat or drink, or for not celebrating certain holidays or new - moon ceremonies or Sabbaths . (Colossians 2: 14 - 17 (NLT). The first two verses here are also aligned with Ephesians 2: 15 & 16 which I have quoted earlier. Paul writing to the Colossians this time, is telling them the same as he told the Ephesians, that Christ has cancelled, abolished, abrogated, annulled, rescinded, repealed and has completely done away with the unfavorable record of our debts with its binding rules, so, don't let anyone try and you that there are still rules to be adhered to, including the Sabbath. My question is, why on earth would we want to, after being born again and set free from the Law with its binding rules, in union with, or in a living, intimate relationship with Christ Jesus, allow ourselves to again be shackled, or yoked by what Christ came to set us free of? It just makes no sense! Four Rules only I alluded earlier to the fact that, when Paul went to Jerusalem and reported to the Apostles and Elders that he was preaching the Gospel to the Gentiles, the Elders gave four things that these new believers should abstain from. These four things are found in Acts 15:28 & 29 . . . "The Holy Spirit and we have agreed not to put any other burden on you besides these necessary rules: eat no food that has been offered to idols; eat no blood; eat no animal that has been strangled; and keep yourselves from sexual immorality. You will do well if you take care not to do these things. With our best wishes". (GNB). You can read the full account of Paul's visit to Jerusalem to meet with the Apostles and Elders, from which a letter was written to the Gentile believers in Antioch, Syria and Cilicia. (Acts chapter 15). Tithing Here is another part of church life, as we have known it, that has been dragged up from the Old Testament. I personally have heard taught, that the church is now the "storehouse", and the Old Testament Scriptures quoted of how we should be bringing our tithes into the "storehouse". As I have already written, the Mosaic Law was abolished by Jesus on the cross, this old way of tithing was abolished along with it! The storehouse, in the Old Testament, was set up for all of the other tribes to bring their tithes into the storehouse as provision for the Levitical Priests. The Levites were not allowed to work, so the only way they could survive was through provision brought into the storehouse by the other eleven tribes. When we are born again, as the Scriptures declare, we have been crucified with Christ; we are dead and Christ is alive in us, therefore everything we have then, belongs to Jesus. Because, if we are dead and Christ is alive in us: can a dead man own anything? So, if this is so, and, if indeed Christ is "in us", our money and all that we have belongs to Jesus, and He can do with it what He desires . . . this also pertains to our lives! Our giving should be done through our relationship with Jesus . . . not the Law. Summary It is important to remember, that it is not a good thing to base belief on just one or two verses, but from the weight of Scripture. It is also equally important not to take as Gospel what others, whom we may consider more spiritually adept than ourselves, say on a subject. Paul wrote, that the people of Berea patiently searched the Scriptures to see if what the disciples were telling them was the truth. The biggest mistake I consider I have made is, that I never took the time to do what the people of Berea did, and that was to check up on what our spiritual leaders were teaching us, to see if it was scripturally correct. Therefore, I would encourage you to do your own study of scripture and be certain that what you are reading here, is in fact, the truth. It is also important that we do this from a relationship with Jesus and not from Law, which is just knowing about him. So, seeing that it is evident that the Law has been abolished, which means that there is now no Law to keep Judaism enforced, everything pertaining to the Law is also abolished; Passover, Feasts & Festivals, Diet, Tithing and the Sabbath. In fact, the only thing that Jesus taught that we should keep was that we should celebrate Communion on a regular basis, in remembrance of Him until He comes again. There is nothing else that Jesus taught that we should keep, other than the four things that the Holy Spirit, along with the Apostles and Elders, gave to Paul in a letter to pass onto the Gentile believers. Virtually all of the Scriptures I have quoted were written by the Apostle Paul. And remembering that . . . All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching the truth, rebuking error, correcting faults, and giving instruction for right living, (2 Timothy 3: 16 (GNB) in my view, either Paul was a total "nut - case", or he was telling the truth. If indeed Christ is in us, or in other words, we are truly born again by the Holy Spirit and live daily in an intimate relationship with the Lord Jesus, then the Holy Spirit will give His witness to the truth. It certainly seems to me, that the weight of Scripture is pointing toward the abolishment of the Law and all that it enforced as a fact! Work out Your own Salvation with Fear & Trembling In closing I would like to make very clear, that every truly born again believer, filled with the Holy Spirit, has a living, intimate relationship with Father God, just as Jesus did while here on earth. Jesus answered . . . "I have already told you, but you would not believe me. The things I do by My Father's authority speak on My behalf; but you will not believe, for you are not My sheep. My sheep hear My voice; I know them, and they follow Me." (John 10: 25 - 27 (GNB). So Jesus answered them . . . "I am telling you the truth: the Son can do nothing on His own; He does only what He sees His Father doing. What the Father does, the Son also does." (John 5: 19 (GNB). "I can do nothing on My own authority; I judge only as God tells Me, so My judgment is right, because I am not trying to do what I want, but only what He who sent Me wants." (John 5: 30 (GNB). Here we see, on three occasions, Jesus clearly indicating that He did only what His Father told Him through the Holy Spirit. The last verse in particular is a very interesting verse concerning judgment. As we already know, up until the cross, the Law was given to show right from wrong and bring all men under God's judgment, and we have already seen that the Law cannot bring life! At Pentecost, the Holy Spirit was given, because it is only the Spirit that can give life. It is He who made us capable of serving the new covenant, which consists not of a written law, but of the Spirit. The written law brings death, but the Spirit gives life. (2 Corinthians 3: 6 (GNB). The Church age has been a time when each person has direct communication with Father God, through Jesus Christ, by the Holy Spirit. All of us are required to hear and obey. True discipleship is to teach every new believer how to hear and obey. There are many voices that every person hears today, our own voice, God's voice, other people's voices and Satan's voice. We all need to sort out our thoughts and become aware of just whose voices we are listening to. You can guarantee that negative thoughts/voices are not from Father God! He never sees his creation as useless or hopeless, because He says that . . .(we) I can do all things through Christ who strengthens (us) me! (Philippians 4: 13 (GNB). It is only the enemy who brings negative thoughts/voices, but we don't have to listen to them . . . it is simply a choice to which thoughts/voices we will listen to. I believe that the verse below is the answer to negative thoughts/voices. Negative thoughts/voices are some of the proud obstacles that are raised against the knowledge of God. For the knowledge of God is, that . . . (we) I can do all things through Christ who strengthens (us) me! (Philippians 4: 13 (GNB). We pull down every proud obstacle that is raised against the knowledge of God; we take every thought captive and make it obey Christ. (2 Corinthians 10: 5 (GNB). I used to have trouble hearing Father God's voice, so I asked Him why. His reply to me was, that I was lambasting myself with noise and that was why I couldn't hear Him. I used to get up in the morning and turn the radio on. Get in the car to go to work and turn the radio on. Get to work and turn the radio on, so, I did the exact opposite by keeping the radio off, and started to hear Him. It was Moses experience, that he heard Father God's voice in the stillness and quietness . . . try it! Father God desires people who are willing to come to Him through the Lord Jesus and follow Him through a living, intimate relationship, and not by Law. Father God is not impressed with our service that is not done out of relationship. Listen to this . . . “Not everyone who calls Me "Lord, Lord" will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but only those who do what My Father in Heaven wants them to do. When Judgment day comes, many will say to Me, "Lord, Lord! In your name we spoke God's message, by your name we drove out many demons and performed many miracles!" Then I will say to them, "I never knew you. Get away from Me, you wicked people!" (Matthew 7: 21 - 23 (GNB). No Intimacy! “Not everyone says to Me, "Lord, Lord" shall enter the kingdom of Heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in Heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, "Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done other wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, "I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!"" (Matthew 7: 21 - 23 (NKJV). Again, no intimacy! "Not all people who sound religious are really Godly. They may refer to Me as "Lord", but they still won't enter the Kingdom of Heaven. The decisive issue is whether they obey My Father in Heaven. On Judgment day many will tell Me, "Lord, Lord, we prophesied in Your name, and cast out demons in Your name, and performed many miracles in Your name. But I will reply, "I never knew you. Go away, the things you did were unauthorized.""(Matthew 7: 21 - 23 (NLT). Still, again, no intimacy! I believe these three verses make it very clear, that the only service that is acceptable to Father God is the service that is done through a living, intimate relationship; in other words, hearing and following the instruction of Father God through the Holy Spirit . . . other than that, it is considered, "wicked", "lawlessness" and "unauthorised", or simply . . . Law! The world sees the church today as living mostly by Law. It has become a religion, or a club, just like all other religions. All that divides them all is that they have different Rules and Laws. Father God is calling all of us back to a living, intimate relationship. . . from the heart.