192 - THE TRUTH 2
Jesus said, “If therefore the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed” (John 8:36).Speaking to the Jews, what is Jesus saying? Jesus was saying that when Jehovah delivered Israel from the slavery of Egypt, that deliverance was not true; and if it was not true, it was false. Let us look at it. The people were all delivered, with a strong hand and with an outstretched arm (Deut 4:34).Nevertheless, this deliverance was only physical and exterior. The deliverance was not on the inside, that is, in the heart. For this reason, Stephen, the first martyr said, “This is the Moses who said to the sons of Israel, ‘God shall raise up for you a prophet like Me from your brethren.’ This is the one who was in tje congregation in the wilderness together with the angel who was speaking to him on Mount Sinai, and who was with our fathers; and he received living oracles to pass on to you. And our fathers were unwilling to be obedient to him, but repudiated him and in their hearts turned back to Egypt” (Acts. 7:37-39). If the people were physically delivered, but their hearts were in Egypt, the deliverance was only an apparent deliverance. The wife of Lot was delivered from Sodom, but her heart remained there, and she turned back, thinking, “What a pity, it was so good over there!” Because the heart of the people was not delivered, Jehovah killed them in the desert. “Now I desire to remind you, though you know all things once for all, that the Lord, after saving a people out of the land of Egypt, subsequently destroyed those who did not believe” (Jude 5). From a total of a million people, only two were saved. To make it very clear, let us think a little bit: The people remained 400 years in Egypt, being corrupted. Jehovah comes and delivers them, taking them to the foot of Sinai, and through the law, there he forbids them to do what they were addicted to, and which they liked. Besides, he forced the people to hunger and thirst in the desert. With their bellies empty, the people dreamed with the onions of Egypt. This was a deceit from Jehovah. Jeremiah said, “Ah, Jehovah God! Surely Thou hast utterly deceived this people and Jerusalem, saying, ‘You will have peace’; whereas a sword touches the throat” (Jer. 4:10).
Jesus, on the contrary, delivers the heart, first, and the complete deliverance of the physical part, that is, of the flesh, will be possible only with the final resurrection. Paul reveals the following, “So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown a perishable body, it is raised an imperishable body; it is sown dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body” (1 Cor. 15:42-44).
The deliverance of Jehovah reveals slaves, for man does not practice evil because he is forbidden to do it, and for fear of the curses of the law (Deut. 28:15-68). A man who is truly delivered does not return to his bad habits. The law of Jehovah forbids, but it does not truly deliver. The fact that it forbids proves that it does not have the power to heal or deliver.
The freedom that the law gives is a false freedom, for it determines what men can do or cannot do. In the face of the law, the individual initiative is nullified, and no one is free to do what he pleases, therefore the law produces slaves, not free men. Let us look at Paul’s explanation: “Tell me, you who want to be under law, do you not listen to the law? For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the bondwoman, and one by the free woman. But the son by the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and the son by the free woman through the promise. This is allegorically speaking: for these women are two covenants, one proceeding from Mount Sinai bearing children who are to be slaves; she is Hagar. Now this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children” (Gal. 4:21-15). Hagar is a picture of the covenant of the law, which just produces slaves. A littler further on, Paul says, “It was from freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery. Behold I, Paul, say to you that if you receive circumcision, Christ will be of no benefit to you. And I testify again to every man who receives circumcision, that he is under obligation to keep the whole Law. You have been severed from Christ, you who were seeking to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace” (Gal. 5:1-4). By this text of Paul we can clearly understand that, when Jesus says, “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32), and also, “If therefore the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed” (John 8:36), Jesus is referring to the deliverance from the law of Jehovah, with its evil results. Let us look at some of these results:
- The law produces wrath, not love (Rom. 4:15). “[Love] does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is nor provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered” (1 Cor. 13:5). “[Love] bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” (1 Cor. 13:7).True love does not get angry, does not get irritated, and does not take vengeance. The Father is not the god of wrath and vengeful fury, so Jesus taught us saying, “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you in order that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven” (Matt. 5:43-45). And John, the apostle of love, tells us, “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and every one who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love” (1 John 4:7-8). Since Jehovah hates, David declares, “Do I not hate those who hate Thee, O Jehovah? I hat them with the utmost hatred; they have become my enemies (Ps. 139:21-22). David had a heart according to the heart of Jehovah, the god who hates peoples and men. “When God heard, He was filled with wrath, and greatly abhorred Israel” (Ps. 78:59). “Jehovah tests the righteous and the wicked, and the one who loves violence His soul hates” (Ps. 11:5). When Jesus says, “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free,” he is saying that he will deliver from Jehovah, since those who are of Jehovah are slaves of hatred, war, vengeance, eye for an eye, and from the curses.
- Paul says that the knowledge of sin comes through the law (1 Cor. 15:56). He reveals that the wages of sin is death (Rom. 6:23). And he goes on to say, “Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body that you should obey its lusts” (Rom. 6:12). The prophet Ezekiel says, “The soul who sins will die” (Ezek. 18:4). We can conclude by these texts that the law is the base of the kingdom of Satan. We read in the letter to the Hebrews about the glorious work of Jesus Christ:“Since then the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil; and might deliver those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives” (Heb. 2:14-15). The law is the basis of the kingdom of Satan. Then, it is not the basis of the kingdom of God. This is fantastic! Luke says, “The Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until John; since then the gospel of the kingdom of God is preached” (Luke 16:16). The Law is not part of the kingdom of the truth, but it is connected to the kingdom of the father of lies. The law is not of faith (Gal. 3:12). Thank God, the Father! Christ delivers us from the law, from death, from sin and form the devil (1 John 3:8).
By Pastor Olavo Silveira Pereira