Testimony or Law

by Lynford Heron
The Centurion Press - Posted Friday, February 15, 2002

Tommy and Jane are the children of Mr. and Ms. Anderson.  Mr. and Ms. Anderson look to God for direction because they realize that their children wants to be like them.  In conversation, dress, social interactions, household responsibilities and in all other areas of life, they make conscious efforts powered by the help of the Holy spirit to set good examples for their children.

Tommy and Jane looks to mommy and daddy for instruction.  They observe them well and basically pattern their life from what they learn from their parents.  Most of the lessons they learn are indirect.  Meaning they look to mommy and daddy so much that they become change by holding, so the Anderson's do not have any problems with their kids.  They explained the principles that governs the house and they are amazed by how they children learn and function well just by example.

However, Tommy stop looking to mommy and daddy.  His gaze has shifted on everything else around him other than his parents.  His eyes are no longer single on mommy and daddy.  Consequently, all the rich lessons and laws that govern their house reflected and revealed in the person and lifestyle of his parents are lost.  Tommy started to do things differently.  However, Jane's eyes are still focus on her parents and she continues to follow in their leading.  The Anderson's are longsuffering and patient parents, but it got to the point where they had to sit down with Tommy and say, "this is the way we do things around this house.  Since your are not looking to us for direction, since you are not learning by our example, these are the things you will do around this house and this is the kind of attitude we will tolerate."  The Anderson's had to lay down the law.  They had to lay before Tommy the laws that govern their house.  

Most of us can relate to that analogy.  The situation often exist where parents are constantly counseling one child while the other is like an angel.  They do not have to say to that child, do this, this, this or that.  They are already doing it, so there is no need.  Here we see that Tommy gets a law and Jane gets a testimony. 

Testimony and Law Defined
Testimony - First-hand authentication of a fact

Law - A rule of conduct or procedure established by custom, agreement or authority.

Who was the Law given to and who received a Testimony?
1 Timothy 1:9-10
9 Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers,
10 For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;
Remember Mr. and Ms Anderson and the situation with their kids.  They had to pull out the law book on Tommy, for he was not abiding by the laws of the house.  Likewise, God had to give his law to the house of Israel because they were walking against His ways.  If they were doing good, there would not have been a need for a law.  But it was given to the disobedient, ungodly and sinners.  This is serious subject friends, and I pray that you restudy it, so that you will completely understand it.  In the next study, untitled Christ or the Law, you will come to understand that we are under a new covenant.  We are now save by grace through faith.  Christ is now the center of attention.  Let us continue... 

Psalm 78:5
For he established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children:
Here we see that Jacob received a testimony but Israel received a law.  This is extremely important for us to understand.  We need to find out why the Law was given, then we will understand its purpose.  Remember friends, we are at war.  There is a spiritual war raging around us since the beginning of time and we are caught in the cross fire.  The devil knows that if he can confuse our understanding in light of the law and the testimony then we will also share in his fate receiving hell as our inheritance.

A quick journey back in time...
In order to understand this subject, we must understand our roots.  We need to examine the attitude and lifestyle of our forefathers.  So let's start from the beginning.

We all know the story well about the disobedience of Adam.  Consequently, sin was introduced into this world and into ou members.  Adam gave his allegiance to the devil when he went against the dictates of God.  We must accept also that no man can serve two masters.
Luke 16:13
No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
Matthew 12:30
He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.
Sin separates man from God.  So after man sinned, he was under a new master, the devil.  That's why Christ had to gave His life as a ransom price to redeem us, to buy us back with the purchase price of his spilt blood.  However, after man sinned God in His love and mercy did a beautiful thing for man.  He placed enmity between man and the devil.
Genesis 3:15
And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
Enmity is a deep seated dislike, an antagonist spirit, conflict.  Enmity served to prevent man from being completely controlled by the devil.  As Paul said...
Romans 7:23
But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
Paul spoke to the enemy within and without.  Man is constantly at war.  He is fighting the war within himself and the spiritual attacks of the devil at the same time.  To let down our guard for a minute can prove fatal.  But there is a great day coming when man will be reconciled to God.  A day when man will be made brand new and the war within will cease through the power of Jesus Christ.  Enmity removed...
Ephesians 2:15-16
Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;
And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:

God wants His dear children to look to Him, so that by beholding they will become like Him.  He wants us to stay in Him so that we can have a victorious life.  Thereby, we will not fulfill the lust of the flesh.  But based on the track record of man, we will find out that man does not want to look to God, they do not want to worship Him, they do not want Him to be king of their life, they want to live after the imaginations of their own heart.  They did not want to walk with God establishing an intimate relationship.  Consequently, they were walking in sin continually.  

Friends, It is all about worship.  God wants an intimate relationship.  He wants to treat us as beloved children.  He wants us to go directly to him.  But our forefathers walked after the imaginations of their own hearts.
Genesis 6:5-7
And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.
And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.

The people were walking after the imaginations of their own heart.  The earth is our home and God is the Father of the house and we are His children and He is saying to us, look to Me My children so that you will know how to walk.  But some do not want to behold him.  They are distracted and tickled by everything else around them.  At that time in earth's history, God did not give the people an established law saying, this is the way you should walk.  However, we find that many were doing the things contained in the Law even though the Law did not exist.  One of such individuals was Noah (listing those individuals from the beginning up).
Genesis 6:8-9
But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.
These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.

But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord the Bible said.  Why, because he walked with God.  But, how did he know how to walk if the law was not given in his time?  What is the law?  The law is the character of God, right?  Therefore, there is two ways an individual will know how to walk.  One, if he gets instruction directly from God by beholding him, or by the written law.  Dear reader, follow carefully because the punch line is coming...

God wants an intimate relationship - a one to one
Abraham - Genesis 17:3 (We see here that God talked with Abraham)
Moses - Exodus 3:14 (God talks to Moses as well)
God spoke to many others that wanted a relationship with him.  He spoke with Lot, Jacob, Noah, Abraham, Issac and Joseph just to name a few.  The Law did not exist in Abraham's time but many were fulfilling the dictates contained in the Law without the knowledge of the written law.  Why?  They looked to God and He instructed them how to walk.  They looked to him and patterned their life after the similitude of God.

Why was the Law given?
We see that before and after the Law was given man continued a self-centered life style rather than one led by the Lord.
Exodus 16:2-3
And the whole congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness:
And the children of Israel said unto them, Would to God we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the flesh pots, and when we did eat bread to the full; for ye have brought us forth into this wilderness, to kill this whole assembly with hunger.

They did not know the power of God because they did not know God.  They knew of Him and knew of his power, but they did not know Him.  The Bible says that perfect love cast out fear.  Therefore, they would be at peace in Him.
Exodus 32:9
And the LORD said unto Moses, I have seen this people, and, behold, it is a stiffnecked people:
Verses 17-28 tells the story of the golden calf that the people of Israel made.  They wanted to worship something, but not God.
1 Samuel 8:7-10
And the LORD said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them.
According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt even unto this day, wherewith they have forsaken me, and served other gods, so do they also unto thee.
Now therefore hearken unto their voice: howbeit yet protest solemnly unto them, and show them the manner of the king that shall reign over them.
And Samuel told all the words of the LORD unto the people that asked of him a king.

The children of Israel did not want God to rule over them.  They did not want an intimate one to one relationship.  They got to the point where they asked God for a earthly king, someone they could see to rule over them, so that they could be like the other nations.  Even before Israel got to this point, in His love and mercy towards man even though they did not want to look to him, God gave Moses the ten commandments and told him to govern the house of Israel by this My character written on tables of stone, for my people do not want to serve me.  God knows that only his character, His words can keep man.  He knows that if they do not look to Him then He must set something in place that will serve to order their steps in His words so that they will not be completely controlled by the devil.  Therefore the Law was given.  
Psalm 78:5-8
For he established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children:
That the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born; who should arise and declare them to their children:
That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments:
And might not be as their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation; a generation that set not their heart aright, and whose spirit was not stedfast with God.

Therefore, Israel received a law and Jacob received a testimony.  The Lord did not have to lay down a law before Jacob and say to him, do this, this, this and this.  There was no need to because he patterned his life after the similitude of God by beholding Him.  The Law always existed, for it is the character of God.  But Israel on the other hand needed guidance and they weren't looking to God for it.  So God gave them a Law.
Romans 2:14
For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:
Which show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)
When we allow the Lord to live within our hearts, the Law is automatically written in our hearts by the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit.  We will do the things contained in the law without looking to the Law.  Remember Tommy and Jane in the illustration given above.  The Law of his parents home was introduced to him because he was going against the principle of the home. 
Galatians 3:19
Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.
The Law was added because of transgression.  God had to give His little children something to order there steps in His words.
Galatians 3:24
Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
God was saying to the prophets who were in those responsible positions, like Moses, "train up my little children in this path, so that when they get old they will not depart from Me."  Remember that the Law is the character of God and His character does not change.  When we look to God, we will always hear him saying to us the things contained in the Law.  So the Law was there schoolmaster.

What was the purpose to the law/schoolmaster.
The Law was supposed to keep Israel until Christ come, that we might be justified by faith.  And when that time comes, we are no longer under a school master.  The attitude of looking to the Law for righteousness should shift towards looking to Jesus.
Galatians 3:23-25
But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.
Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.

We were kept by the law, but now that Jesus is here we are not longer under a schoolmaster.  The Lord is saying to us, look to my Son, look to Jesus.  The law cannot save you.  Jesus and only Jesus can save.

Romans 7:7
What shall we say then? is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.
God wanted to be our guide.  He wanted to walk and talk to us, revealing to man His ways so that we would not walk in darkness.  But because we our forefathers, as we are doing today, did not keep their eyes on Him, sin did not seem sinful.  They were not convicted in there hearts that some of the things that they were doing, was wrong.  Therefore, the Lord exposed sin by introducing the Law.  Which law was it?  It was the Ten Commandments.  Because the Bible said, "I had not known sin, but by the law.  For I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet."  Thou shalt not covet was the last of the Ten Commandments, number 10.

Can the Law save you?
Galatians 3:21
Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.
We cannot afford to continue in our legalistic way of life.  The Law does not save.  Look to Jesus friends.  But does that mean that the Law is abolished.  God forbid.  The Law stands forever.  God's Word still declares in 1 John 3:4 that, "Sin is the transgression of the law."  However, we must understand the purpose of the Law and our relation with it after the cross.  The answers to those questions are given in the study, "Christ or the Law"

Study Topics

  The Gospel
  Creation or Evolution
  Accidental Sins
  The Sabbath Day?
  Man's Nature
  Testimony or Law
  Christ or the Law
  Religious Prejudice
  Successful Marriage  


















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