The Good News of the Judgment

The Apostle Paul, the Law of God, and the Sabbath Day in the Judgment Hour
William Diehl

The reason that the Pauline gospel was hated by the Judaizing Christians (and all the false religions of this world) was that Paul taught that we are not justified before God on the basis of ANY law keeping, neither the ceremonial Levitical law NOR the Ten Commandment moral Law!!

Paul's discourse in Romans makes it very clear that he is referring to the Ten Commandments in Romans 1-3. There is no one, Jew nor Gentile, who perfectly keeps the Law of God, for all have sinned and all continually fall short of its righteous requirements. Thus all must be justified by a righteousness that is found in Another, namely the sinless life and atoning death of Christ. According to Paul, salvation and acceptance with God are on the basis of faith alone in the IMPUTED righteousness of Christ. This is the point of Romans 4. To all who put their faith in Christ alone, God accounts them as righteous and then gives the gift of the indwelling Holy Spirit to enable the believer to begin to walk after the Spirit (Romans 6-8) rather than after the flesh in a life of sanctified holy living, bearing the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5) and thus begin to fulfil the righteousness of the Law in the believer's life (Romans 8 and 13).

The idea that Paul is only referring to the ceremonial Levitical law in his epistle to the Romans and the Galatians is not a new idea. The Counter Reformation at the council of Trent of the Roman Church took this erroneous position to refute the Protestant Reformation's breakthrough of Justification by Faith without the works of the Law. The Counter Reformation maintained that Paul was teaching in Romans and Galatians that no one is justified by obedience to the CEREMONIAL law, BUT before a sinner can be accepted by God, the sinner must begin to obey the MORAL Law and have God's enabling grace INFUSED into the sinner and thus enable him to begin to keep the MORAL Law before God could accept a sinner and justify him.

Thus a sinner's acceptance with God in the Roman system of salvation is always based upon God's power to infuse grace into the heart of the sinner and incline the sinner's will to begin to live a life of obedience to God's commandments with enabling power of the Holy Spirit. The sinner calls upon Christ (and the other Saints) in this Antichrist system as merely the giver of the Holy Spirit to enable the sinner to be justified before God by keeping the Law and becoming a "good person" ( sounds just like some among us who are teaching the moral influence method of salvation— that God only saves those who are "safe to save" because they become good neighbors by loving God). Salvation then rests upon works of obedience to the Law through the power of the Holy Spirit.

This is NOT the way of salvation in the New Testament. Justification and our acceptance before God, either now or on the Judgment Day, is never based upon ones ability or success in keeping the Ten Commandments, either in spirit or in letter. The believing community is only accepted by faith in the perfect sinless life and atoning death of Christ, the new Adam and new representative of the Church (Romans 5).

This is the truth that broke the back of the medieval Roman Church and her hold upon the consciences of the world. All the good works of keeping God's Law can never be enough to make us acceptable to God. There is only One who is acceptable before the righteousness of the Law, our sinless High Priest Jesus Christ. All who are trusting only in His perfect righteousness are reckoned by God as spotless before the throne of grace, complete in Him.

Those who attempt to bring their successful Law-keeping to the enable them to stand before the glory of God on the Final Day will be cast out and rejected as entering the fold by another means than that of the Gospel. Thus to teach that Paul is teaching only against keeping the ceremonial law in Romans and Galatians is just a clever device of the Enemy to undo all that the Protestant Reformation has accomplished and for which its proponents bled and died.

We must not think that this teaching of Dr. Fleming is great light that will be the means by which the truth of the true Sabbath day shall be restored to the Christian Church. There is no amount of Sabbath keeping (or keeping of any of the other of the commandments for that matter) of all the Jews and Gentiles of the whole world that will enable this lost world to rejoice in the glory of God if the world is taught that we are accepted before God on the basis of keeping the Ten Commandments. Thus Dr. Fleming's limiting of Paul to referring merely to the ceremonial law and not the Moral Law is a deception of the Counter Reformation that must be rejected.

This is the same erroneous argument that is being proposed today by those who rejected the message of justification by faith without the deeds of the Law. They claim that Paul was only referring to the ceremonial law in Galatians. The truth of the Gospel is that there is NO law to whose obedience will enable us to be saved on the judgment day. Only the perfect Law keeping of Jesus imputed to the account of the believer will suffice on that Day. The Sabbath is the sign and seal of the justification that we have by God's unmerited grace alone through faith alone in the perfect righteousness of Christ alone.

Thus we have our true Sabbath rest by faith in the perfect Law keeping of our Savior. We come together each Sabbath Day in order to celebrate and proclaim the rest in a finished work that was accomplished for us in the sinless person and work of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. The Sabbath Day thus becomes, not only a sanctified day to the worship the Creator of the universe, our Lord Jesus Christ, in six days, but also to come together to rejoice in the imputed righteousness that we have by faith, not of works lest any man should boast.

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