After several thousand years of corruption, man is numb and dull-witted; he has become a demon that opposes God, to … Read More To Have an Unchanged Disposition Is to Be in Enmity to God
What’s the True Meaning of “The Son of Man Is Lord Even of the Sabbath Day”?
We just talked about all the work that God completed, the series of things He did for the first time. Every one of these things is relevant to God’s plan for management, and to God’s will. They are also relevant to God’s own disposition and His essence. If we want to better understand what God has and is, we can’t stop at the Old Testament or at the Age of Law, but we need to move forward along with the steps God took in His work. So, as God ended the Age of Law and began the Age of Grace, our own steps have come to the Age of Grace—an age full of grace and redemption. In this age, God again did something very important for the first time. The work in this new age for both God and mankind was a new starting point. This new starting point was yet again new work that God did for the first time. This new work was something unprecedented that God carried out that could not be imagined by humans and all creatures. It is something that is now well known to all people—this was the first time God became a human being, the first time He began new work in the form of a man, with the identity of a man. This new work signified that God had completed His work in the Age of Law, that He would no longer do or say anything under the law. Neither would He speak or do anything in the form of the law or according to the principles or rules of the law. That is, all His work based on the law was halted forever and would not be continued, because God wanted to begin new work and do new things, and His plan once again had a new starting point. So, God had to lead mankind into the next age.
Whether this was joyful or ominous news to humans depended on what their essence was. It could be said that this was not joyful news, but it was ominous news to some people, because when God began His new work, those people who just followed the laws and rules, who just followed the doctrines but did not fear God would tend to use God’s old work to condemn His new work. For these people, this was ominous news; but for every person who was innocent and open, who was sincere to God and willing to receive His redemption, God’s first incarnation was very joyful news. For since there were humans, this was the first time God had appeared and lived among mankind in a form that wasn’t the Spirit; rather, He was born of a human and lived among people as the Son of man, and worked in their midst. This “first time” broke down people’s conceptions and was also beyond all imagination. In addition, all of God’s followers gained a tangible benefit. God not only ended the old age, but He also ended His old working methods and working style. He no longer allowed His messengers to convey His will, and He was no longer hidden in the clouds, and no longer appeared or spoke to humans commandingly through thunder. Unlike anything before, through a method unimaginable to humans that was difficult for them to understand or accept—becoming flesh—He became the Son of man to develop the work of that age. This step caught mankind by surprise, and it was also very uncomfortable for them, because God had once again started new work that He had never done before. Today, we’ll take a look at what new work God accomplished in the new age, and in all of this new work, what of God’s disposition and what He has and is can we understand?
The following are words recorded in the New Testament of the Bible.
1. (Mat 12:1) At that time Jesus went on thethrough the corn; and his disciples were an hungered, and began to pluck the ears of corn and to eat.
2. (Mat 12:6-8) But I say to you, That in this place is one greater than the temple. But if you had known what this means, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, you would not have condemned the guiltless. For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day.
Let’s first take a look at this passage: “At that time Jesus went on the sabbath day through the corn; and his disciples were an hungered, and began to pluck the ears of corn and to eat.”
Why have we selected this passage? What connection does it have to God’s disposition? In this text, the first thing we know is that it was the Sabbath day, but the Lord Jesus went out and led His disciples through the corn fields. What’s more “outrageous” is that they even “began to pluck the ears of corn and to eat.” In the Age of Law, Jehovah God’s laws were that people could not casually go out or take part in activities on the Sabbath—there were many things that could not be done on the Sabbath. This action on the part of the Lord Jesus was puzzling for those who had lived under the law for a long time, and it even provoked criticism. As for their confusion and how they talked about what the Lord Jesus did, we will put that aside for now and first discuss why the Lord Jesus chose to do this on the Sabbath, of all days, and what He wanted to communicate to people who were living under the law through this action. This is the connection between this passage and God’s disposition that I want to talk about.
When the Lord Jesus came, He used His practical actions to communicate to people: God had departed the Age of Law and had begun new work, and this new work did not require observation of the Sabbath; when God came out from the confines of the Sabbath day, this was just a foretaste of His new work, and His truly great work was continuing to play out. When the Lord Jesus began His work, He had already left behind the shackles of the Age of Law, and had broken through the regulations and principles from that age. In Him, there was no trace of anything related to the law; He had cast it off entirely and no longer observed it, and He no longer required mankind to observe it. So here you see that the Lord Jesus went through the corn fields on the Sabbath; the Lord did not rest, but was outside working. This action of His was a shock to people’s conceptions and communicated to them that He no longer lived under the law, and that He had left the confines of the Sabbath and appeared in front of mankind and in their midst in a new image, with a new way of working. This action of His told people that He had brought with Him new work that began with going out from the law and going out of the Sabbath. When God carried out His new work, He no longer clung to the past, and He was no longer concerned about the regulations of the Age of Law. Neither was He affected by His work in the previous age, but He worked as usual on the Sabbath and when His disciples were hungry, they could pick ears of corn to eat. This was all very normal in God’s eyes. God could have a new beginning for much of the work that He wants to do and the things that He wants to say. Once He has a new start, He neither mentions His previous work again nor continues it. For God has His principles in His work. When He wants to begin new work, it is when He wants to bring mankind into a new stage of His work, and when His work has entered a higher phase. If people continue to act according to the old sayings or regulations or continue to hold fast to them, He will not commemorate or praise this. This is because He has already brought new work, and has entered a new phase of His work. When He initiates new work, He appears to mankind with a completely new image, from a completely new angle, and in a completely new way so that people can see different aspects of His disposition and what He has and is. This is one of His goals in His new work. God does not hold on to the old or take the beaten path; when He works and speaks it’s not as prohibitive as people imagine. In God, all is free and liberated, and there is no prohibitiveness, no constraints—what He brings to mankind is all freedom and liberation. He is a living God, a God who genuinely, truly exists. He is not a puppet or a clay sculpture, and He is totally different from the idols that people enshrine and worship. He is living and vibrant and what His words and work bring to humans is all life and light, all freedom and liberation, because He holds the truth, the life, and the way—He is not constrained by anything in any of His work. No matter what people say and no matter how they see or assess His new work, He will carry out His work with no qualms. He will not worry about anyone’s conceptions or fingers pointed at His work and words, or even their strong opposition and resistance to His new work. No one among all of creation can use human reason, or human imagination, knowledge, or morality to measure or define what God does, to discredit, or disrupt or sabotage His work. There is no prohibitiveness in His work and what He does, and it will not be constrained by any man, thing, or object, and it will not be disrupted by any hostile forces. In His new work, He is an ever-victorious King, and any hostile forces and all heresies and fallacies from mankind are all trampled under His footstool. No matter which new stage of His work He is carrying out, it must be developed and expanded in mankind’s midst, and it must be carried out unhindered in the entire universe until His great work has been completed. This is God’s almightiness and wisdom, and His authority and power. Thus, the Lord Jesus could openly go out and work on the Sabbath because in His heart there were no rules, and there was no knowledge or doctrine that originated from mankind. What He had was God’s new work and His way, and His work was the way to free mankind, to release them, to allow them to exist in the light, and to allow them to live. And those who worship idols or false gods live every day bound by Satan, restrained by all kinds of rules and taboos—today one thing is prohibited, tomorrow another—there is no freedom in their lives. They are like prisoners in shackles with no joy to speak of. What does “prohibition” represent? It represents constraints, bonds, and evil. As soon as a person worships an idol, they are worshiping a false god, worshiping an evil spirit. Prohibition comes along with that. You can’t eat this or that, today you can’t go out, tomorrow you can’t turn your stove on, the next day you can’t move to a new house, certain days must be selected for weddings and funerals, and even for giving birth to a child. What is this called? This is called prohibition; it is bondage of mankind, and it is the shackles of Satan and evil spirits controlling them, and restraining their hearts and bodies. Do these prohibitions exist with God? When speaking of the holiness of God, you should first think of this: With God there are no prohibitions. God has principles in His words and work, but there are no prohibitions, because God Himself is the truth, the way, and the life.
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