Positive Self-Examination

As we approach Passover, we should be mindful of examining ourselves in light of God’s Word.  Certainly, as clean up the leaven in our homes, we should clean out the spiritual leaven in our lives.

 28But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. (1 Corinthians 11:28, King James Version)

However, a realistic examination requires we look at the good as well as the bad.  This isn’t so that we can gloat or feel good over some small thing we’ve done, but making a mental note of what we are doing right helps to ensure we don’t forget those things and let them slide.  It also helps us to make note of any progress we’ve made along the lines of spiritual maturity.

And, let’s face it: If we cannot note any improvements, then we’ve stopped growing.  That is a dangerous position to be in.

 18A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

 19Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

 20Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. (Matthew 7:18-20, King James Version)

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0 Comments

  1. Kevin McMillen from West Virginia

    I love the Passover season. Time again to try to help people think about the traditions that we've kept in the past, whether good or bad.

    The tradition that I'm talking about here is the cleaning of little particles of leaven in our couches, cars, air vents, or corners of our houses.

    Is this biblical?

    We all know that God's feasts are symbolic, so we know that leaven pictures sin.

    I ask you, is it the small crumbs that picture our partaking of sin, or is it the actual bread, donuts, cookies, cakes, etc.?

    I have heard so many times over the years that we must put sin out of our lives.

    Just how do we put sin out of our lives? Once we've sinned, how can "WE" remove sin?

    We can't. Only Jesus can.

    What we "can" do is after accepting Jesus' sacrifice, pictured by Passover, actually "ALL" we can ever do of ourselves is try to avoid sin.

    So what about those crumbs? Since unleavened bread is totally symbolic, what would be the symbolism of the crumbs in our couches, cars, etc.?

    Wouldn't they picture our past sins?

    If they do, then our trying to clean them up on our own, pictures legalism. Trying to remove sins on our own.

    We should know by now that there is nothing we can do about past sins other than to accept Jesus' sacrifice to cover them.

    What we can do is try to avoid future sin. This is pictured by removing potential sin in our houses, which picture potential sin in our lives.

    We remove the bread, cakes, cookies, etc. from our cupboards and refrigerator. And then we avoid those products for seven days. If we accidentally eat something, we ask for forgiveness. That's it.

    That's how it works in our lives so that's how it should work during the Days of Unleavened Bread.

    If we remove crumbs from our houses, we are symbolically placing ourselves in the role of Jesus in the process.

    I sincerely believe that this misunderstanding in the past has caused much harm in the church of God, and much self righteousness.

    Please don't just pooh pooh this. I don't expect anyone to agree with this without serious bible study and prayer.

    All I ask is that you consider it.

  2. John D said;"And, let’s face it: If we cannot note any improvements, then we’ve stopped growing. That is a dangerous position to be in."

    @Kevin; "Since unleavened bread is totally symbolic, what would be the symbolism of the crumbs in our couches, cars, etc.?"

    There is no soundness in your reasoning that I can see. These days have symbolic meaning and point to a step in God's plan–true but they are also real. since when did anyone ever go to the store and buy a loaf of "symbolically leavened bread? It is REALLY leavened or it is not. the symbolism is the leaven representing sin, which we are to avoid entirely for seven days.
    I find your comments could contribute to a very lax approach to the preparation for Passover and the Days. See Rev.3:19 and think about what John said.

  3. John D Carmack

    @Kevin: I am not going to tell you how to clean your couch or your car.

    "Just how do we put sin out of our lives? Once we've sinned, how can 'WE' remove sin?

    "We can't. Only Jesus can."

    First of all, God didn't make us puppets. He gave us free will. We have to make choices everyday as to whether or not we will obey Him. Therefore, putting leaven out of our homes is a choice we make. In a similar fashion, we decide whether or not we are going to do certain sins.

    Second of all, I find that statement very close to the idea, "Well, I cannot do it, so I'll just sit down and let Jesus do it all for me." We have our part to play; that's why God gave us a mind and free will. We can choose to act or react in certain ways, and we will give an account for those choices. We are commanded to bear fruit in many places.

    What did Jesus call the man with one talent? "Thou wicked and slothful servant". Jesus called him lazy because he did not use what was given to him.

    Third, let's pretend to the extreme and say, for the sake of argument, that we actually were able to put all sin out of our lives if we worked really, really hard at it. I know, it isn't possible, but let's just say that it was. Who gets the credit?

    Yes, it's a trick question. God still gets the credit. He created us, gave us food for energy, air to breathe and whatever strength we might have to do certain things. It still is all because of Him!

    So, we can respond either with laziness and expect to be waited upon hand and foot, or we can be humble enough to realize that God will grant us the strength to overcome if we petition Him and use the tools He gives us.

  4. Andrew Giddens

    Kevin,

    The whole of your argument essentially rests on one statement… that the crumbs represent past sins.

    That's also where your argument comes falling apart. Sins are intangible. They don't hang around once they've been committed (unless it's ongoing, which I'll get to later). The after effects and impact hang around, sure, but not the sin. So an analogy for DUB would be that the fat on one's body might be the after effects of indulging in too many leavened sweets. Surely it would be foolish to try and purge -that- as part of the DUB!

    But the command says we are to remove leavening from our households. Do those crumbs stop being leavened just because you ate them awhile ago?

    Does sin stop being sin just because you stopped it awhile ago?

    The purging of the crumbs can go a mite far, yes. Some people can get really phariseeical about the crumb purging process. But does that mean it's bad? If it's symbolic of us putting sin out of our lives, should we allow sin-crumbs to remain?

    A better analogy of what the crumbs represent in terms of sin is simple. They're the small things we have in our lives that we're barely aware of, but are sin. Or even when we let the trappings of our old lives lay around.

    I seriously doubt you or anyone else would say "Well, I used to look at Playboy, but I don't anymore because that's a sin. Still, I think I have a few laying around somewhere in my room, probably under the bed. Nah, I'm not going to bother finding them to throw away, though. Why should I bother throwing them out if I'm not sinning in that way anymore? I'm a better person now, and those are just crumbs. Besides, that would be me trying to exalt myself over Christ in getting sin out of my life, wouldn't it? If Christ wants them gone, he can throw them away for me."

    And yes, this answer has come with Bible Study and prayer. It's a topic I've considered a lot over the past few years. And I still don't agree with your take.

  5. Kevin McMillen from West Virginia

    John, once again you're not trying to understand what is being said.

    I'm not saying do nothing Jesus will take care of it, but common sense says that the crumbs in our house don't represent sin unless we're tempted to eat them.

    If they picture anything they picture past sins, and here I most certainly am saying that I'll do nothing (but accept Jesus' sacrifice) and let him take care of the past sins.

    I'll do what I can, I can remove all temptations, which would be represented by yeast, baking soda, bread, cake, etc.

    Also, during the days I can refrain from eating anything leaven. This is far from doing nothing, but it shows that the only thing that I can do anything about is potential future sin. I can do nothing about past sins that I've committed other than to remove the temptations.

    If you choose to continue to try to assume the role of Christ in removing past sins, then that's up to you. Yep, it's your decision, I'm just trying to show you a little common sense. Hoping you'll think a little about what you do and not just do it because you have grown accustomed to it.

    Maybe the problem is that you all don't really know what sin in our lives is. Sin isn't that Playboy magazine on the shelf at the store, sin is when we pick it up and lust. To sin takes action or inaction as the case may be.

    We can remove the temptation, but we can't remove the sin. Once we've sinned, we've sinned, and there is absolutely nothing we can do about it, only Jesus can remove sin.

    Tell me John, just how do you remove sin from your life?

    If you have trouble with anger, what do you do? You try to remain calm, you may listen to calming tapes, you may go to anger management. All those are good, but they are merely removing the temptation.

    You haven't sinned until you actually get angry, once you get angry and sinned, just how do you go about removing that sin from your life? You can't, only Jesus can.

    Now, when we say we are removing sin when we clean our couches, are we really? If we say that leaven pictures sin, and we try to remove the crumbs in our couches, are we really removing sin?

    Or is it temptations that is all that we can remove from our lives? If that's the case, are the crumbs in the couch really temptations for you?

    As I said, we can't remove sin from our lives, we can remove the temptations, but once we've sinned we're doomed without Christ.

    And to, even symbolically, try to remove sin/leaven on our own, denies Christ's sole role in removing sin.

    All we can do is get rid of the cakes, cookies, and make sure we don't drive past the Crispy Creme during the Days of Unleavened Bread.

    As I said, the tradition of cleaning the crumbs out of our houses symbolically pictures self righteousness with the idea that we can remove sin.

    It's not that hard to comprehend folks!

  6. Kevin McMillen from West Virginia

    So then Andrew, are you tempted to eat the crumbs?

    Also, you mention the command to remove leaven. You assume that means crumbs. I believe it just means the products that one would be eating during the week. Whatever the point is.

    You believe the leaven pictures sin and the crumbs are leaven, so you believe removing crumbs is removing sin. I ask again, once you've sinned, how can you remove it?

    You can't.

    I believe that the leaven pictures potential sin, it isn't sin until we eat of it. The leaven pictures temptations.

    We remove those temptations, which we are perfectly capable of doing. We can remove temptations from our lives, but once we sin, we can not remove sin.

    The temptations are the cookies in our cupboard, the cakes, the baking soda and yeats in our cabinets that we could make bread or cakes from. Those things we can remove, just as we can and should remove all temptations from our lives, such as that Playboy magazine.

    What I'm saying is that once we've sinned, or actually lusted after those pictures, there's nothing we can do except, confess our sins to Jesus.

    We can't remove the sins.

    Now tell me, are those crumbs in the couch really all that tempting?

  7. John D Carmack

    "John, once again you're not trying to understand what is being said."

    Kevin, are you sure about that? Have you looked into my heart and judged what my motives are? Are you sure you want to continue to escalate the rhetoric — again?

    Are you saying, then, that leaven represents temptation? If so, it wasn't clear from your first comment, but your followup comments seem to be saying that.

    If you don't speak clearly, then why jump on me for not understanding?

  8. I think this whole discussion turned into all about bread crumbs and forgot about Jesus which legalism always leads to.

  9. @Kevin; "It's not that hard to comprehend folks!" No Kevin it isn't–the word of God is very easy to understand;
    Exod 12:19 'For seven days no leaven shall be found in your houses— (not even in crumbs)
    Exod 13:7— no leavened bread shall be seen among you, nor shall leaven be seen among you in all your quarters." (not even the neglected crumbs in the toaster setting their untouched on your counter because you don't see the need to rid the crumbs.)

    So I do my best to make sure there is not any—not even crumbs! I am sure I miss some–but it is not because I take the lack-a-daisical approach that I don't need to worry about it because Christ has already forgiven me. God looks on the heart and sees our diligence and willingness to make every effort to please Him by obeying what he says. If that is not there, how do you know Christ OR GOD has FORGIVEN you?
    You might take the Passover unworthily, if you even take it.

    Anony Jon

  10. John D Carmack

    As GTA used to say, "What's the opposite of legalism? IL-legalism?"

  11. No offense intended, but I am somewhat shocked that anyone would still quote anything GTA ever said. He wasn't exactly the example of anyone God would reveal wisdom to.

  12. John D Carmack

    Frankly, I'm disappointed in the number of religious people, including in COG circles, who seem to focus on personalities rather than whether or not what they say (or have said) has merit.

  13. Really not focusing on the personality, the guy certainly possessed charisma but had no character. Reminds me of those words of wisdom in the Bible "by their fruits you shall know them."

    Words coming from someones mouth who does not live what they preach sounds very hollow and superficial and doesn't warrant creditability.

  14. Andrew Giddens

    Kevin… you may see it as representing temptation, but is that what the Bible says about it? Leaven is used to picture sin, not temptation. That is done a consistent basis.

    And also, you're wrong that only Christ can remove sin from our lives. We can, but only through Christ's -help- and the Holy Spirit. And it will still be imperfect, but it's still our job to put sin out of our life.

    If leaven is sin, and crumbs are leavened, crumbs would still be sin. Not sins long past or something to be ignored. Sin is sin is sin. Leaven is leaven is leaven. The Bible is actually pretty straightforward on this topic, rationalizing this as temptation is rather not Biblical but a matter of following one's own thoughts and heart.

    Really, this doesn't come across as anything more than a way to get out of having to work at removing leaven from one's house and actually put an effort into these matters. And that's dangerous. Your words aren't jiving with what's actually in the Bible on that matter, tradition or not.

    I'm not about to condemn you, Kevin, but you may want to take a deeper look at your own take on this and consider it further. I'm certainly not saying make sure absolutely every last possible crumb is gone from every tiny little crevice of the house, but I would say there is definitely more effort to be had in getting rid of the crumbs.

  15. @anonymous; "Words coming from someones mouth who does not live what they preach sounds very hollow and superficial and doesn't warrant creditability."
    Now you are talking about UCG and the present council and its president. Although I have to give them credit for still trying to preach the Gospel.

  16. John D Carmack

    As far as UCG goes, those of us affected by all of that aren't going to heal by continually ripping the scab off. Jesus said to pray for our enemies. Not that those in other groups are our enemies, but rather how much less should we pray for those in other groups?

    Maybe in both cases (UCG and GTA), it is time to drop the stones.

    If UCG is preaching the Gospel, then is it any less the Gospel? What about GTA? Did he preach the Gospel? What does Php 1:15-18 say about these things?

    Over and over in religious discussion groups, I see a preponderance of the logical fallacy of ad hominem attacks. Should these things be? Are they Christ-like? It is one thing to warn someone of their conduct, but it is another to talk down about a person in order to best them in an argument.

    It's the same as the "shoot the messenger" type of mentality. If you don't like the message, then get rid of the messenger by whatever means available.

    If Muammar Gaddafi told you the sky was blue, would you believe him? Would the fact that Gaddafi said it change whether or not the sky really was blue?

    You know, back in the 70s, GTA was the face of the World Tomorrow. To many people, he was also the face of WCG. That's the way it was, right or wrong, like it or not. He was a charismatic individual with a speaking style that appealed to a wide range or people. My father already knew about Easter and keeping Sunday, but my knowledge came mainly through GTA. I remember the shock of realizing Christ was not raised up on a Sunday, even though I was fairly young.

    I didn't even know there was another Armstrong for a long time. I kept hearing about "Mr Armstrong", and I assumed they meant GTA. Someone mentioned his age a couple of times, and that led me to questioning what they were talking about.

    Did the fact that GTA said Christ was not raised on a Sunday change whether or not it actually happened? Did the fact that GTA said Christ would return change whether or not it is true?

    Maybe instead of writing about positive self-examination, I should have written about how we should look upon others.

    "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."

  17. @anonymous, I was speaking of anyone or group that does not walk the walk they preach to others and shows no outward sign of repentance. To me that is proof positive they really don't believe what they are saying. It just so happened the subject was GTA because he is a star example of that.

    For the record I'm not associated with any COG group.

  18. One thing within CoG circles should be examined. How should Herbert or Gardner Armstrong be quoted? Any less or more than Martin Luther?

    The documentation for the below is freely available to anyone and undeniable.

    Gardner – adulterer
    Herbert – false prophet
    Martin Luther – anti-semtic

    Such as above becomes a dilema, even in scripture. Before Saul was called and stricken down on the road to Damascus, he wrote about that time in 1Cor 15:9, "For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God." But after he was called he wrote in 1Cor 4:4 "For I am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not acquitted because of this. The one who judges me is the Lord."

    I believe when quoting those involved in Christian history, it can be a very difficult thing to "Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man."

  19. @anonymous; "Although I have to give them (UCG)credit for still trying to preach the Gospel."
    I read this and went to the site of COGWA out of curiousity. they claim as there mission that they are preaching the gospel–it is right there when the page opens—-BUT–after looking all around on the site I did not find one thing that was specifically a gospel proclamation that one could click and listen to or read, other than just their statements. I think I see your point and would agree they are not preaching the gospel even as UCG still does.

  20. Kevin McMillen

    Part 2

    Also, to try to help with the confusion. I really find little symbolism in the crumbs in the couch, car, or whatever. I just used this to make the point that what we have done in the past was wrong.

    If the eating of leaven pictures our sinning, then logically what would the crumbs picture? It would be representative of the past times we ate bread, cookies, etc. and only during the days would they picture those past sins.

    And those sins were covered by Christs blood when we got baptised, which we picture during Passover.

    It's really amazing the symbolism if you're willing to look at it and not cling to old customs.

    We partake of the bread and wine at Passover. this pictures the forgiveness of our past sins. Which the crumbs picture the remnants of those past sins, the harms that they caused if you will. They are forgiven, they are covered by the blood of Christ.

    (Now lets hope that we've kept our houses clean throughout the year and there aren't a lot of crumbs) If we go trying to clean those hopefully few crumbs that are left, we are digging up past sins, and if we in our minds are removing them, then we are doing the job that Christ has already done.

    I know that many will claim that those crumbs picture if we don't remove them, the possibility of going back to our previous sins, but does it really? Are you tempted to eat those crumbs?

    It's not the crumbs that picture our past and future temptations or future sins, it the bread in the cupboard, the cakes in the cake saver, the yeast in the cabinet. These picture the potential of going back into sin if we eat them.

    We are to remove those items, which pictures all that we can do ourselves in the process of sin.

    We've already done all we can do about past sins, we accepted Christ, pictured by Passover. Now all we can do is remove the potential sins from our lives. Pictured by the bread and cookies.

    Then, after we remove the potential sins, we live the week trying not to sin. Trying not to eat leavening. We are strengthened in our trying by eating every day of the bread of life, unleavened bread, which is Christ.

    And if we do perchance sin by eating leavening we repent and confess our sins.

    This is how our spiritual life works, this is how the Days of Unleavened Bread work.

    We have in the past by trying to clean our the crumbs, actually been picturing trying to remove sin on our own.

    We can't remove sin from our lives, for once we sin, we sin. What we can do is remove the potential sin, and that's all we can do. We walk away from potential sin in our lives, just as we don't eat leavened products for seven days.

    As I've said, sin takes action or inaction. That strip club down the street is not sin. It's not sin until we decide to walk in it. What we do during the Days is throw out the bread and cookies which pictures deciding not to walk in it. We remove the temptations.

    It's really easy to understand folks. But the Sabbath and Holy days are easy to understand too but only a few in the world are willing to consider.

  21. Kevin McMillen

    Sorry Andrew, but if you believe that we can remove sin then you are badly mistaken. Sin is the transgression of the law. Once we transgress the law, there is absolutely nothing we can do about that sin other than to accept Jesus' sacrifice.

    On the other hand, we can remove whatever it was that tempted us. We can try to not sin again in the future. We can remove ourselves from a potential sinning situation. But Andrew, these things that we can do is a far cry from removing sin.

    This is exactly the problem that I see with the tradition of cleaning crumbs. The misunderstandings that are created from such a custom.

    It looks like we've come to where most of the church doesn't understand the difference between sin and temptation.

    While we can't remove the sin, we can remove the temptation.

    Which is why I don't think that temptation is the accurate definition for what the crumbs picture.

    Probably what I said earlier about them picturing what past sin has done in our lives, the harm to our minds, our friends, our families.

    I'm not trying to dogmatically say what they mean, but I do know they don't picture sins that we will commit in the future. Ex. makes it plain that anyone who eats of leavening will be cut off from Israel.

    It is the eating of leavening that pictures sin, not just the leavening itself.

    I'm not tempted to eat that little morsel of toast that might be between my cushions.

    As far as being lazy. How long does it take to vacuum out a couch? Ten minutes? How about the car? Half hour?

    Come on. Too much has been made our of cleaning the crumbs picturing us examining ourselves per Paul's writings. I get more spiritual examining done when I get rid of the cookies which would picture the anger that I deal with. When I get rid of the bread which pictures the porn addiction that I used to have problems with.

    Knowing that these bread products are picturing removing the things in my life that would tempt me to sin. If one has a pron problem, get Net Nanny for your computer, I did and it helps a lot.

    If your right hand offend you, get rid of it.

    That is what we get rid of during the days. Those little pieces of crumbs picture nothing. Those cupcakes, those cookies, that is what we need to be dealing with spiritually.

    Hopefully one day we'll learn.

    Only Christ can remove sin, it's up to us to flee from the potential of sin, which is what removing the bread products picture.

  22. John D Carmack

    @Kevin: You emphasize the eating of leaven a great deal, but what do the Scriptures say?

    "During those seven days, there must be no trace of yeast in your homes." ~ Ex 12:19 (NLT)

    "Eat unleavened bread during those seven days; nothing with yeast in it is to be seen. among you, nor shall any yeast be seen anywhere within your borders." ~ Ex 13:7 (NIV)

    Argue all you want about what that represents, but I think I'll go ahead and vacuum my couch.

    "Now, all the talk about legalism. Yeah, GTA had a little quip about legalism, but it technically wasn't true."

    You're right, but I think that misses the point. It is normally those who would charge legalism that are using the word incorrectly. If you say anything at all about keeping the Sabbath, invariably someone wants to say you're a legalist for keeping the Law. GTA wasn't using the term incorrectly, but it was a retort to those who do.

  23. Kevin McMillen

    Exd 12:19 Seven days shall there be no leaven found in your houses: for whosoever eateth that which is leavened, even that soul shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he be a stranger, or born in the land.

    Exd 12:20 Ye shall eat nothing leavened; in all your habitations shall ye eat unleavened bread.

    *****

    Exd 13:6 Seven days thou shalt eat unleavened bread, and in the seventh day [shall be] a feast to the LORD.

    Exd 13:7 Unleavened bread shall be eaten seven days; and there shall no leavened bread be seen with thee, neither shall there be leaven seen with thee in all thy quarters.

    **********

    Once again the context and emphasis is on what is being eaten. You can read whatever you want into the word leaven, it doesn't matter to me, but in the context, when it says no leaven shall be seen in your quarters, it means things that would be eaten. IMO

  24. Kevin McMillen

    If one keeps the Sabbath with the idea that you somehow are going to receive favor of God by doing so, one is a legalist.

    Those who use the term against Sabbath keepers use the term correctly, they just incorrectly assume we do it for favor from God.

    Once again, it was Garner Ted who used the word incorrectly.

  25. John D Carmack

    Kevin, first you write: "Legalism, we all know that when the term is used, means obeying the law thinking that one receives brownie points from God for doing so."

    Then, you write: "Those who use the term against Sabbath keepers use the term correctly, they just incorrectly assume we do it for favor from God."

    That's a contradiction.

    "Once again, it was Garner Ted who used the word incorrectly."

    No, he was not. He was pushing back against people who assume that keeping the Law = legalism.

  26. Kevin McMillen

    John, there's no contradiction there.

    I said that legalism means keeping the law thinking that doing so will gain favor from God.

    Then I said that those who use it against Sabbath keepers are using the word correctly, but they assume we are keeping the law to gain favor.

    The contradiction is just in your understanding of what I'm saying, not in what I said.

    Just because they are wrong in why we are keeping the Sabbath, doesn't mean they are using the word wrong.

    Once again, it was Garner Ted that used the word wrong. At least wrong as it is commonly used in religion today. He might have been right using possibly the third or fourth of Websters definitions, but the context used by religion for legalist is not one who keeps the law, it is one who tries to earn favor by law keeping.

    Also, most Christians DO NOT believe that keeping law is legalism. They keep law, they just think it is New Testament law that is all we are to keep.

    Their assumption is that we keep the Sabbath because of the old covenant, and in doing so trying to earn God's favor.

    We don't keep the Sabbath because of the old covenant. There is no earning favor intended.

    Just because they are wrong in their understanding of why we keep the law, doesn't mean they are using the word wrong.

    Yes, he was wrong. Sure he received accolades from the choir that he was preaching to, but he was pushing back at no one, for no one heard the quip other than Sabbath keepers.

    Actually it was quite stupid on his part to say that if legalism means we keep the law then I guess I'm a legalist. When:

    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/legalism

    When the word is used, one must use the context that the word is meant. When religiousity uses the word legalism it means keeping the law to earn favor from God.

    I don't care what GTA said, I am not a legalist!

  27. John D Carmack

    Kevin wrote: "Just because they are wrong in why we are keeping the Sabbath, doesn't mean they are using the word wrong."

    Please go re-read what I wrote. You are wrong because that is not what they are saying. They are saying keeping the Law, period, makes you a legalist. I know because I've been in enough discussions with them to know that. If you doubt me, go back to one of the posts where I have a link to what Greg Laurie as much as says that very same thing.

  28. Kevin McMillen

    John, this is what I wrote:

    "Their assumption is that we keep the Sabbath because of the old covenant, and in doing so trying to earn God's favor."

    When they use the word Law, capital L, they mean the Old Covenant.

    Thus as I said, they believe that when we keep the Sabbath that we are keeping the Old Covenant, which to them is legalistic.

    As I also said they do believe in keeping law, as in what they call the New Covenant law of love or the so called spiritual law, which to them are all commands they find in the New Testament.

    What they don't understand is that we don't keep the Sabbath or Holy Days because of the Old Covenant. And really the fault is our own in explaining why we do what we do.

    When we talk about keeping the Sabbath we use the fourth commandment. The bible says the Ten Commandments are the words of the covenant. The old covenant.

    We also use Lev. 23 for the reason we keep the Holy Days.

    Those are not the reasons I keep the Sabbath or the Holy Days. You might because of that, but I don't.

    I believe that God gave his laws at creation, in the garden of Eden. Proof? I have none, just what I consider common sense.

    I keep the Sabbath and Holy days because they were commanded from creation.

    Why do I believe they were commanded from creation?

    Let's see. We know that murder was a sin long before Mt. Sinai, we know that adultery was a sin long before Mt. Sinai.

    When were they commanded? We don't know. They weren't written as commands in Genesis, but I believe they were indeed commanded and codified.

    Many claim the law wasn't codified till Mt. Sinai, if that was the case, how did Abraham know what laws, commands and statutes to keep in Gen. 26:5?

    Our explanation of why we keep the Sabbath and the Holy Days make us look legalistic.

    We can't blame them, we, the COG need to take the blame.

    Even Michael Maynard after 45 years in the COG didn't seem to know why we kept the Sabbath and Holy Days. Why? Because the suppose3d ministry did a lousy job of teaching why we keep them. It has nothing to do with the Mt. Sinai covenant.

  29. John D Carmack

    Kevin wrote: "When they use the word Law, capital L, they mean the Old Covenant.

    "Thus as I said, they believe that when we keep the Sabbath that we are keeping the Old Covenant, which to them is legalistic."

    That's pretty much what I've been trying to say. And believe me, it pretty much stops there. They see keeping the Law as legalistic. Why? Point blank, it usually is because they don't want to keep it. If they can come up with a reason at all, it's usually that all these churches cannot be wrong, all the "church fathers" cannot be wrong, their traditions cannot be wrong, etc.

    And, I've seen a few Michael Maynards in my short time. There are some that I would have never dreamed would depart from the Sabbath and holy days, but they have. And, one in particular used to give sermonettes, used to talk about how the Sabbaths and holy days always existed, how God's Law reflected love, etc.

    So, is it completely the fault of the COG? I don't think so. At least some of the responsibility has to lie with the individual.

    And, Leviticus 23 isn't just Old Covenant. It wasn't put into the Bible to symbolize days and laws that would fade away. The entire OC was a type, and the NC is the archetype. Many of the patterns continue, but the reasons are different, the promises are different and the rules more about the heart rather than merely the deed.

    Does that mean I keep the holy days because of Lev 23? In a sense, it does I suppose, and I'm not going to be ashamed of it, either. It is still the words that God gave His people. It is still instruction for how to live. It is still for learning spiritual lessons and frankly about God Himself. And, most importantly, it is because of the words Jesus spoke when He said none of the Law would be destroyed.

  30. John D Carmack

    @Kevin: I submit that you are confused because you are going into such great depths into words like "because" that you are confusing yourself.

    Yes, I keep them because of Lev 23. However, I don't keep it because of the Old Covenant. You're supposed to be smart. Figure it out. I don't have time to sit here and make you a causality diagram, nor should I have to.

    "because
    "1. ( subordinating ) on account of the fact that; on account of being; since: because it's so cold we'll go home
    "2. ( preposition ) because of on account of: I lost my job because of her "

  31. Kevin McMillen

    Lev. 23 is part of the Old Covenant. It is you who is confused my friend.

    I like that, "You're supposed to be smart."

    It looks like you are the one that doesn't understand that Lev. 23 is part of the Old Covenant.

    You probably believe that you keep the Sabbath because of the Ten Commandments.

    What do these verse say?

    Exd 34:28 And he was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights; he did neither eat bread, nor drink water. And he wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the ten commandments.

    Deu 4:13 And he declared unto you his covenant, which he commanded you to perform, [even] ten commandments; and he wrote them upon two tables of stone.

    As I said, no wonder people are confused, you don't even know why you keep the Sabbath and Holy Days.

    The Ten Commandments are the words of the Old Covenant.

    If you don't understand that, and you're trying to be a teacher, based upon your blog writings, you're going to confuse a lot of people.

    God gave commands long before Ex. 20 and Lev. 23, he gave them at creation. Abraham kept them.

    It is you John that is confused, but I blame the supposed "ministry" whom you have been trusting to teach you.

    Ok, John, you claim you keep the Holy Days because of Lev. 23

    Do you dwell in booths during the Feast of Tabernacles?

    Lev 23:42 Ye shall dwell in booths seven days; all that are Israelites born shall dwell in booths:

    Booths are a hut or lair, made of entwined boughs.

    Do you live in them for seven days?

    If not, why not?

    What gives you the right to change this command to hotels or condos?

    How about this one John:

    Lev 23:40 And ye shall take you on the first day the boughs of goodly trees, branches of palm trees, and the boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook; and ye shall rejoice before the LORD your God seven days.

    Do you take the boughs of goodly trees and rejoice before God?

    This doesn't say take a few branches and place them by the podium.

    Do you do this? Why not?

    It's from Lev. 23

    Is it Old Covenant or isn't?

    John, you are the one that is confused!

  32. John D Carmack

    "14 Keep reminding God’s people of these things. Warn them before God against quarreling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen." ~ 2Ti 2:14