The Impossible Standard
QUOTE: PERFECT FAITH, PAGE 28, "He is here, He does this to create a PERFECT FAITH. I feel Him, I know He is here now. I know that His Spirit is here, I know that He knows all thing, Amen. And I know He wants to do something to create this perfection of faith in the people." "....The Word made flesh. Hallelujah! The Word operating in human flesh, by physical signs, perfectly. To bring you to a PERFECT FAITH FOR A PERFECT RAPTURE." (End quote)
The all important question is, "How will our Lord bring us out from under all condemnation?" will He perfect our flesh over a period of time until finally we are able to keep al His Holy and perfect law Standard? Will we, some glorious day, be able to please our Father by bringing our flesh under complete obedience to all His Holy Law so that we fail not in one jot or tittle? Then, with no more failures in the flesh, will we come out from under condemnation? To believe this does away with God's great plan of Salvation!
The scriptures declare that we will never attain to RIGHTEOUSNESS through our struggle to keep the Holy Law. (Though we must strive with all our strength to do so.) Gal. 2:21, "I do not frustrate the grace of God. For if righteousness come by (keeping) the law, then Christ is dead in vain."
To watch the flesh man and wait for the day that he will be able to please God, is to do away with the whole plan of Salvation. GOD'S PLAN OF SALVATION HINGES AROUND THE ALL IMPORTANT TRUTH THAT A SEX BORN MAN CANNOT KEEP THE HOLY, RIGHTEOUS AND PERFECT LAW OF GOD. Paul said in the preceding scripture, that if a man could attain to this high standard of the law, then Christ died for nothing.
From what has been said, a powerful revelation emerges. GOD HAS PURPOSELY SET BEFORE US AN IMPOSSIBLE STANDARD; a Holy Law that no man can keep perfectly. In very fact, the law was sent as our School Master to teach us just that: that it is too high and Holy for us to attain to. Gal. 3:24, "Wherefore the law as our School Master to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by FAITH." (Rather than trying to trust our flesh man to perfectly keep the law.) Does the Scripture actually say that our Father has set before us a Law Standard so high that we can't keep it? Yes! Gal. 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 (Or, if God had set the standard low enough for us to keep it.) VERILY RIGHTEOUSNESS SHOULD HAVE BEEN BY THE LAW."
Do you see, Little Bride? God made sure that no man could keep His Holy Law! Why so? Because according to our Prophet, He had in Himself attributes, one of which gave Him a powerful desire to be a Savior. He was determined to demonstrate this attribute and therefore, before He ever created the first atom, He laid the foundation of a plan that would make room for this surging desire.
The ingenious plan included allowing sin to enter Eden. In all that happened there, Lucifer and the serpent were but tools in the might hand of their Creator. We must conclude then, that God subjected His children to vanity knowing before-hand they would fall. When the children of Adam and Eve were born through sex, there was placed in their blood stream an evil spirit of life that so affects the flesh that it has in it "a law of sin." (Rom. 7:23) This law of sin renders us incapable of keeping God's perfect law.
When a Christian has the revelation that God has set before him an impossible standard, which standard is Holy Law, and that he will never be able to reach it, then he is truly beginning to understand the plan of Salvation and the reason for the VIRGIN BIRTH. A person born different than us must come to live the standard and fulfill the law in our place.
God purposely set His standard too high for us to make room for Salvation through Grace and Faith. He would produce a GOD-MAN through a virgin birth who could live the high standard. The GOD-MAN would have the same flesh as ours. The prophet said the food Mary ate formed His body, just as the food our mother ate formed ours. But, the great difference between the Savior and ourselves was in the BLOOD that flowed through His veins.
We have stated that our blood was contaminated, but His precious blood was the blood of God Himself. Do we understand that , "The Life of the flesh is in the BLOOD.....for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul." (Lev. 17:11) The life of the flesh, or the fruits that the flesh produces, is determined by the BLOOD that flows through the flesh.
In the flesh of Jesus Christ flowed the blood of God, having been placed there in a seed by the Holy Ghost. Medical science knows that the blood in the child comes from the father. Therefore, the blood in Jesus Christ came from His Father. Let's take a closer look at this statement in Lev. 17:11, "the life of the flesh is in the blood..." Have you ever wondered how the man, Jesus Christ, could have been in a flesh body like unto our own, tempted in like fashion as we, yet without sin? What was it that made it possible for Him to live all His precious life completely above sin, while the rest of us, even after our new birth, find it totally impossible to always keep all the perfect law?
It was the difference in the blood! In His blood flowed the Spirit of Life that came out of the Seed of God. In our blood flows a spirit of life that flows to us from Lucifer, to the serpent, to Eve, to us. Our blood is contaminated, therefore, our flesh is so affected by the blood until Paul cried out, "In my flesh dwelleth no good thing." (Rom. 7:18) Again Paul said, "the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh." (Gal.5:17) John said (in John 6:63), ".....the flesh profiteth nothing." Yet again in I Cor. 1:29, "No flesh can (ever) glory in His presence."
Now we are coming down to understanding the Plan of Salvation, and the reason for the virgin birth. God would set forth His Holy perfect law, which law could never be changed. His plan then included subjecting His elect children to this perfect law. In Rom. 8:20, "For the creature (us) was MADE subject to vanity (sin), not willingly, but by reason of Him who hath subjected the same in hope."
Can we see it? God made His PERFECT LAW, then made His children IMPERFECT by bringing them into the world through a sexual birth. He took a part of us out of the original creation, our theophany, made in the likeness and image of God (Gen.1:26), and placed us on earth in a sinful flesh body. He subjected us to sin for reasons of His own, the scripture says He did so in HOPE. That is to say, He knew what He would do to deliver us from our dilemma.
He would come down Himself, be formed in the womb of woman, in flesh such as ours, and then keep His own Holy and Perfect Law in our place. He would be the GOD-MAN. The blood in His veins made Him God, while the flesh that Mary produced by the food she ate made Him a man. In this manner then, our God-Man fulfilled His desire to be a SAVIOR. By fulfilling His own Perfect Law, He became our Savior. (Hebrews 2:14-15)
Matt. 5:17, "Think not that I am come to DESTROY THE LAW, or the prophets. I am not come to set the law aside, nor to make it any easier, He came to fulfill the law." What does that actually mean, that He came to "fulfill the law?" He came to KEEP it in our place.
If He had set His standard so that we, in our sinful flesh, could have kept it, there would have been no need for Him to come down and keep it for us. There would have been no need for the virgin birth, no need for the Cross, and therefore, His desire to be a Savior would have gone unfulfilled!
God Himself came down when the time was right, according to His plan, and was made flesh through Mary made UNDER THE LAW. Gal. 4:4, "But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth His son, made of a woman, made under the law..." What does the scripture mean, that Jesus was made UNDER THE LAW?
It means He was given a body that was subject to temptations like we are. He could feel the pull of sin; His flesh desired the same things our flesh desires. Yes, He was tempted by every sinful thing that tempts us. Heb. 4:15, "For we have not an High Priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities. BUT WAS IN ALL POINTS TEMPTED LIKE AS WE ARE, YET WITHOUT SIN."
Now, here is the reason for the virgin birth: It produced a Person who could be tempted exactly as we are, yet with the ability to resist every temptation all through His life. The blood in His veins gave Him that ability. We were not born with such ability. We came here "shaped in iniquity, and in sin did our mothers conceive us." (Ps. 51:5)
He was born UNDER THE LAW, that is to say, subject to it, and He chose to keep it, and having the ability to keep it He did so. We were born UNDER THE LAW, subject to keeping it, yet without the ability to keep it. Therefore, the scripture says THE LAW FAILED. Rom. 8:3, "For what the law could not do, in that it was weak THROUGH THE FLESH....." There was something the law could not do, it could not make a fallen creature RIGHTEOUS. There is no saving power in the law; it shows no mercy.
There was nothing wrong with the Holy Law. The fault was in our sinful, sex-born flesh. We were not virgin born. We did not bypass the lineage of Adam, as did our Lord. Oh, friends, do you see the great plan of God? It revolves around our inability to keep the perfect law. It is true that once the Seed is quickened in us, we have a burning desire to keep His law, yet not the spiritual ability to do so (Gal. 2:16).
This makes it possible for Him to display His attribute of a Savior. He loved us so much that the only way He could ever makes us understand was to die for us, then we still have problems grasping it. John 3:16-17
What we need to see then, is that there is nothing out of cater in God's plan of Salvation just because we can't live up to His Holy Standard. This is exactly according to the plan. Our salvation does not depend on the FLESH being perfected, but rather on our FAITH being perfected. He has used His perfect standard against our imperfect flesh to drive us to His faith plan of salvation.
This is why the Holy Scriptures say, "Without FAITH it is impossible to please Him." (Heb. 11:6) Without faith in what? Without faith in the plan. Faith in the plan delivers us from CONDEMNATION. Once we see the plan, and how it was meant to work, we can accept forgiveness for all our failures to keep the law, knowing that the Holy Law was sent to "....bring us to Christ." (Gal. 3:24)
That is to say, the law was sent to DRIVE us to Christ and faith in what He has done for us. This is to be delivered from all condemnation.
Lest someone misunderstand, we pause here to say that our inability to keep the law perfectly does not in no way excuse us from our responsibility to the law. Rom. 6:1, "What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? God forbid! Verse 13, "Neither yield ye yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God."
It behooves us to study the 7th and 8th chapters of Romans diligently. For there we see the great apostle Paul, in the 7th chapter is under CONDEMNATION. (Please read the 7th chapter Romans at this point.) He is heart broken because he is unable to attain to the perfect law of God. He had found in his fleshly members a "...law of sin." (Rom. 7:23) His experience has been that "....the evil I would not, that I do." (Rom. 7:19) His testimony is that he is WRETCHED. (Rom. 7:24)
He moans within himself and asks, "Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" He is speaking of his body of flesh that has in it "...no good thing." (Rom. 7:18) As this spiritual giant seeks God for an answer, he is given a revelation. In verse 25 he cries out, "I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord (He shall deliver me)."
Now what does his deliverance consist of? Is his flesh to be so quickened by the Holy Ghost in him that it can at last attain to the Holy Law? Not so at all. The flesh does not improve. A prophet said it will remain "STICKY" as long as we live. Then, what constituted the deliverance that Paul was so fervently thanking God for?
He had seen that God's standard was purposely set too high for mortal man. He was shown that the burning desire to keep the law was being produced in him by the Holy Ghost, and that for a specific reason. The reason being to cause just such DESPERATION as he had been experiencing. He had to have an answer to his desperate situation. (We must have the same answer Little Bride.)
We also who are born again, have a burning desire to keep our Father's law. Have we, as Paul, yet discovered the impossibility of this? Do we now understand that the standard was placed so high that only the GOD-MAN could Himself keep it, and that this was to make room for Father to express His attributes of a Savior.
Do we now see that Paul, and us, serve the law of God with THE MIND, but with the flesh we still serve THE LAW OF SIN and that Paul made this all important statement AFTER HIS DELIVERANCE? This was his mighty revelation, that he would always remain a sinner in his flesh. The blood of Christ did not leave him sinless, it only washed him moment by moment from his sins, as he had need and repented.
Then in Rom. 8:1 with this delivering revelation under his spiritual belt, he shouted, "There is therefore NOW NO CONDEMNATION to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh (trusting in), but after the Spirit." His problem was solved, his heart ache eased as he saw that his Father had subjected him to all this in HOPE, and that as he lived as best he could, repenting every time he failed, no charges were being accepted against him in heaven.
Rom. 8:33, "Who shall lay anything to the charges of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. Verse 34, "Who is he that condemeth?" (Who does the devil think he is condemning God's children that He Himself has justified?)
Brother Branham taught that we can never become perfect in our flesh.
QUOTE: HEBREW BOOK, PAGE 284, "Now what makes (keeps) us from being perfect this morning, (to be able) to do those things just as He did, is because we are still in the veil...." (The veil is the flesh.)
QUOTE: C.O.D. BOOK, PAGE 1030, "Now is anything (any one) perfect by God? No sir!
QUOTE: ISRAEL AND THE CHURCH, "Jesus said, 'Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father in Heaven is perfect.' (He then said it's by FAITH.)
And so we see that those who trust in the keeping of the law for salvation are actually trying to make void God's law of Faith. Rom. 4:14-15, "For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise (that we are saved by faith) made of none effect."
We strive to keep the law with all our strength, but when we fail, we have an advocate with the Father. I John 2:1, "My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous."
Let us examine Rom. 4:15, "Because the law worketh wrath. For where no law is, there is no transgression." The law worketh wrath! What a strange statement. How does the Holy, righteous laws of God work wrath, and who is it that is made angry by it?
The law, when used as a means of salvation, works wrath in the heart of God because it tends to make vain His terrible sacrifice on the cross. Gal. 2:21, "I do not frustrate the Grace of God. For if righteousness come by (keeping) the law, then Christ is dead in vain."
As has been said, our goal is to bring ourselves out from under all condemnation. To do so, we must understand that the power that sin has over us is through the law. In other words, the enemy holds over our heads our failure to keep all the law perfectly. Because of our failures, which we will have all our lives, he constantly condemns us.
Paul said it like this, I Cor. 15:56-57, "The sting of death is sin..." In other words, the fear of death comes from the fact of known sin in our lives, and from doubting that they have been forgiven. Then Paul went on to say, "and the strength of sin is the law." He says sin has strength, then he tells us where sin gets its strength; it comes through the law.
Sin's strength is condemnation, and condemnation comes through our failure to keep some part of the law. Verse 57 gives us the answer to our problem, "But thanks be to God which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." In other words, the Lord Jesus Christ lived all the law in our place, and then imputed that law keeping to us. Now, we accept our righteousness by FAITH. Rom. 4:13, "For the promise that he should be heir of the world, was not o Abraham, or to his seed, through the LAW, but through the righteousness of FAITH."
And so we see that spiritual weakness is produced in us when the enemy CONDEMNS us over our failure to keep some portions of the law. He uses the law against us to cause our faith to drain out. Faith and condemnation cannot abide in the same house. Now, here is the revelation that will set us free Little Bride, God also uses the law, not to condemn us, but to show us the impossibility of our keeping it all, at all times.
This revelation will drive us to Jesus Christ as our only hope. When we end up as did Paul, with no degree of confidence in our flesh, realizing that not one place did God ever promise to sanctify the flesh, then and only then will we transfer all our confidence to God's plan, and the one who carried it out, Jesus Christ.
Phil. 3:3, "For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the Spirit, and rejoice in Jesus Christ, AND HAVE NO CONFIDENCE IN THE FLESH."
When we said above that God does not use the law to condemn us, we do not mean to imply that He does not use it to CONVICT us. "We had not known sin but by the law." (Rom. 7:7) The law does convict us, but conviction lifts the moment we truly repent, while condemnation never lifts until driven out by faith in God's plan.
May we see the plan and that it included the impossible standard of God's Holy law, set before us to drive us to the Lord Jesus, who was not only our standard setter, but our standard keeper.