DIGEST OF THE DIVINE LAW #1
Howard Rand (1942)
The Bible contains precepts and commands which are the God-given authority for the direction and control of humanity. God speaks through various channels. Invariably He chose those through whom He conveyed to His people His commands and through whom He spoke to the people. These men, who were thus used by God to record and transmit His directions to the people for their guidance, were known of old as the priests of God and the prophets. The Bible is a continuous living book composed of numerous books of vast antiquity, and it sets forth four great bodies or sources of Divine Law, viz: The Commandments, the Statutes, the Judgments and the Ordinances, from which axe derived all our rights and duties.
As long as the children of Israel obeyed God's laws, they prospered in all things but when they turned away from these laws dire trouble and defeat attended them until they finally came back under the Divine Laws, — our God being a forgiving God.
The source or foundation of all law, order and society rests upon authority. Our human lawgivers declare that all power is from the people and in the people, but how blind are these lawgivers, for the Bible tells us that "there is no power but of God." Again in Isaiah 33:22, we read, "For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king; he will save us." These statements are the underlying principles of all just governments. When the body of the citizenry realize this fact, then and then only will Satan and his kingdom be destroyed.
Human systems are outgrown. Our human lawgivers and rulers pass on and are succeeded by other humans, who in turn supersede the authority of their predecessors. Old laws are repealed and new ones imposed upon the people, and the vicious circle goes on.
It has been justly stated that all equable codes of jurisprudence are founded upon Biblical teaching, for as Blackstone says: "An enactment is not a law when it conflicts with the law of God."
After thousands of years of struggle along the lines of reform, the world has failed to find any system of ethics which can compare with that which is taught in the Sermon on the Mount. Whenever we meet the Divine, and we meet the Divine element daily, we come to the tribunal from whence there is no appeal. When God speaks, man can only obey. The truth of a statement depends upon its own nature, but its authority depends upon its origin. That which comes from God, therefore, is, and forever will be, absolute, supreme and final in its authority.
In my experience as a lawyer, a judge and a soldier, I have found the operation of human laws inadequate; and I have become convinced that the Divine Laws, set forth in the Bible, meet every need of man.
General William George Shedden Dobbie, a God-fearing man and the hero of Malta, says: "At the end of everything it is God on whom we must rely." Captain Eddie Rickenbacker tells us that he and his comrades, after the second day of their terrible ordeal, turned to the Bible and read therefrom morning and evening and Divine Providence answered their prayers for food and deliverance.
A more intimate knowledge of the Bible and the Divine Laws set forth therein becomes increasingly necessary for our preservation as individuals and as a nation, and it is indeed fortunate at this time when our need is so great, that Mr. Howard B. Rand has written this book expounding the Divine Laws to us. He is well qualified by long years of intelligent Bible study to give to the reader a clear interpretation of the Divine Laws, and a thoughtful reading of his book, I am sure, will richly repay the reader.
Joshua 1: 8 says: "This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth, but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous and then thou shalt have good success."
Col. James H. Hayes Rockefeller Flaza New York City December 29, 1942
Old and tried methods of administration are coming to judgment as the past political and economic methods of men give way to a planned economy. Civilization itself, as we have known it, is showing signs of disintegration. Men are striving to build a future economy based upon the present and past knowledge of things as they are and were, and are not taking into consideration certain principles of law, as fundamental in a perfect system of administration and political economy as nature's laws are fundamental to the things to which they apply.
Because the very happiness of a people depends upon the system of law under which they are required to live it is well to consider the fundamental principles of the perfect administration and the true economy, for unless men know and conform with their requirements they may, in their desire to get away from the evils of the present system, bring upon us conditions far worse than those they are trying to escape.
From time to time Destiny Magazine has directed attention to the law of the Lord, which has resulted in many letters and requests for a digest of the Divine law. It is in answer to these requests that this book is written and while of necessity it must at best be but an outline of that law, yet it is to be hoped that sufficient has been given to set before the reader the fundamental principles which are incorporated in the law.
The opening chapters are devoted to a discussion of the scope of the law and the distinction between laws contained in the ritual and those essential for national administration. This is so for the reason that when dealing with the law of the Lord there is confusion in the minds of many (and especially Christians) who have been taught that they are not subject to the law and therefore the laws contained in Scripture are no longer essential or necessary for them to keep or observe. This is untrue, contrary to Biblical teaching and has caused considerable harm. Let it be always remembered, there are four great bodies of law set forth in the Bible. They are as follows:
Laws contained in Commandments.
Laws set forth in the Statutes.
Laws governing Judgments.
Laws contained in Ordinances.
In this treatise on the law the ordinances are only mentioned in relation to the rest of the law. Jesus Christ fulfilled the requirements of these ordinances. The distinction between them and the laws contained in commandments, statutes and judgments is set forth at length in the first two chapters because of the general confusion regarding this matter.
Unfortunately, when referring to the law, the average theologian intuitively and because of his previous training, thinks only of ordinances when he ought to think in terms of all the law and eliminate the ordinances only — for Jesus eliminated them for us.
When men come to a realization that the commandments apply to individual conduct, the statutes to national administration, and the judgments to decisions rendered under both the commandments and the statutes; then there will come an understanding of the law which will lay a foundation on which to build.
Now laws of administration never enforce themselves and so chapter three deals with the organization of the Kingdom, the purpose of which was to establish a government to administer the perfect law. And because, primarily, the law of the Lord is for the protection of the individual and the family, the importance of this is shown in chapter four, and there, too, will be found the laws governing the health of His people. It is shown also that when the individual is made subservient to the state such is a subversion of the law.
From the family we pass on in the next two chapters to the commandments which deal with the individual relationship to God and to our fellow men and then cover in the following chapter three important laws having to do with prosperity. The three systems of men: capitalism, socialism and communism, are shown as inadequate in bringing security to mankind while the God-given system is shown to bring the blessings of peace and prosperity when men are willing to adopt and abide by its principles. The place of money in the Kingdom and the system of taxation which will be equitable to all is also set forth.
The solution of the problems of capital and labor is given in chapter eight, which is a discussion of those Divine laws which, when put into operation, will bring peace to industry and will give to men — both management and labor — a just return from the production resulting from their joint efforts. Closely tied with this subject is the question of ownership and so in chapter nine property rights are discussed, for the Bible sanctions private ownership and the protection of a man in his possessions. The tendency today is to ignore the rights of private possessions and it can have only one ending: destruction of prosperity and ultimate ruin — unless certain fundamental principles of ownership are recognized and restored.
What is the purpose of government? This question is answered in chapter ten, where the history of the organization of governments is given. The evils of a government in business and business in control of government are shown to destroy the very purpose for which governments were originally organized by God. This chapter also covers the type and form of the coming perfection in government when there will be established a real and only true new order of the ages. And that new order will not be in conformity with the plans of those who today are striving to make the world safe for democracy.
Following in chapter eleven is set forth the equitable and just method of court procedure in the laws of jurisprudence. It is shown that both rich and poor are to fare alike before the law and the evil doer is truly penalized, while the righteous are rewarded.
What of the war? When aggressors attack our nation what shall our attitude be? These questions have perplexed many Christians and yet if they were acquainted with the law of the Lord they would know that they must defend their government against all aggression. The pacifist stand is against the law and is unscriptural, all of which is covered in the twelfth chapter, as well as the laws of war when His people are forced to defend their government and nation.
(THIS LAW IS NOT UNDERSTOOD BY RAND. HE SEES A PHYSICAL ISRAEL WHO WENT TO WAR, AND MISSES HOW IT COULD HAVE BEEN WITH ISRAEL. AND SO RAND MISSES ALSO THE NEW COVENANT AS IT PERTAINS TO THE CHRISTIAN AND A NATION'S WAR MACHINE. I HAVE DEVOTED IN-DEPTH STUDIES TO THIS QUESTION ON THIS WEBSITE - Keith Hunt)
The closing chapter deals with the instruction of Jesus to His followers regarding citizenship in the Kingdom, their attitude towards the law and the way they can secure the blessing of peace. In this instruction of the King to His Cabinet there is detailed the requirements of citizenship in the Kingdom and the commandments for individuals to observe. This chapter ends with an outline of the conditions which will be extant in the coming new order when the judges will not judge according to the seeing of their eyes nor hear according to the hearing of their ears, but they will know the thoughts and intents of the hearts of those who stand before them for judgment. Not only is the law to be written into the hearts of His people but judgment is to be rendered in accord with the desire of the heart. Under the administration and rule of the administrators of that day, nothing will harm nor hurt throughout the entire land.
Our nation faces a political and economic crisis today. It is imperative that, as a people, we make the right choice in the type of law and form of administration which will be adopted by this nation. We shall not be able to continue in accord with the old order. Certain groups are already planning an economy of regimentation for our nation; but it will only intensify the suffering and want of the past and bring to our people all the evils that will result from such planning by a group of men who are failing to take into consideration the fundamental principles underlying the law of the Lord. They cannot successfully plan life and happiness apart from the full application of these laws. Their plans, brought to completion, would only result in misery, destitution, want and tyranny. But there is a solution and in this book the reader is presented with the key! It is — The Divine Law.
In this Digest of the Divine Law there is set forth the only possible solution which will prevent ultimate economic chaos and political oblivion. Such will face our nation if this people refuse to accept, as a nation, the administration of His commandments, statutes and judgments as the law of the land. Only in their administration can we have deliverance from tyranny and establish lasting peace between individuals; between management and labor; and between the government and its people.
What Moses said of these laws, when they were first given to our forefathers, most surely applies now: "See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil; In that I command thee this day to love the Lord thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply: and the Lord thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it." (Deut. 30:15-16.)
Today, as we move towards a land blessed by the Lord and the new order which will follow the present conflict, let us restore the law and receive the blessing.
Haverhill, Massachusetts December 1, 1942
AND SO OUR LANDS TODAY MOVE FURTHER AND FURTHER AWAY FROM THE BIBLE AND THE DIVINE LAWS OF GOD; SO WE SHALL REAP WHAT WE SOW; THE PENALTY FOR BREAKING THE LAWS OF GOD IS DEATH AND DESTRUCTION - Keith Hunt
The Divine Law
Perhaps more important to the human being than any other factor in life is his attitude toward Law; for all basic laws are divine in origin. As a matter of fact, man's very existence depends upon the keeping of certain fundamental laws of life which, if violated, result in sudden death! There is only one source and origin of all basic laws and this is true whether they govern the material universe, the physical creation; or the spiritual, moral and economic life of man. That source is God — the fountain-head of all law and order—Who has already revealed to men His Laws which govern an orderly creation. To know and to keep those laws is to live; while to belittle or disregard them brings destitution and want, until death terminates a life of sorrow and suffering, the direct result of failure to keep and observe the laws of God.
In the words of the Psalmist, "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handiwork!" This is an acknowledgment of Divine Law manifested in the ordinances of heaven. The operation of the Law of the Lord, however, is not confined to the physical universe alone, for even the least and the smallest in creation is numbered, weighed, and measured in accordance with law. Jesus had this in mind when He said, "But the very hairs of your head are all numbered."
Scientists may not always recognize the hand and power of Deity in the law and order evident in the field of investigation, but they do recognize that there exists a rigid law which they respect and keep, knowing that its violation brings penalties. In some cases such violation has resulted in the death of the careless experimenter.
Natural laws, so-called, govern the entire operation of the universe from the great heavenly bodies which roll in their circuits to the minutest atom and electron; and the effect has long been recognized as following the cause in orderly process because of the inexorable operation of these laws. This is understood fully by men who have familiarized themselves with God's Laws of gravity, physics, mechanics, chemistry, mathematics and the many and varied multiplicities in the operation of these laws in their innumerable ramifications— all of which supports the thesis of law and order which the scientists have learned to respect and keep.
Scope of the Divine Law
Now recognized natural law does not cover the entire scope of the Divine Regulations which control, govern and preserve an orderly universe. God in His Providence has enacted other laws as well which, if kept, would usher in a Utopian Age — an Age bringing benefits to mankind beyond the fondest dreams of those who have longed for real peace and lasting happiness. These are necessarily laws of governmental administration.
An understanding of the perfect laws of administration, however, cannot be acquired by men through any process of experimentation — a method which was effective in bringing to light the existence of the physical laws of the universe. The brief fact is that it is impossible in this way to come to an un-derstanding of God's Laws of justice, equity and moral conduct.
Man, himself the result of Divine creation in accordance with law, was given by Divine revelation the perfect law of life, the keeping of which would result in peace, happiness, prosperity. Violation of that law was destined to bring injustice, poverty, distress and war. Man may talk of freedom and liberty but there can be no liberty nor freedom apart from law! And when men refuse to observe and keep it the ensuing license results in violence and strife, with chaos as the ultimate end of that society which ignores the Divine Laws.
Man in a state of rebellion spiritually has so far refused to recognize or heed the way of life which would give him peace and bring prosperity in all of his endeavors.. In the very beginning God began to reveal His Laws unto men. The very first command of God to Adam became a rule of action, or law of life, unto man.
A Law unto Man
The positive law of life as given to our first parents in the Garden of Eden was to eat of the fruit of the trees in the Garden and live. The negative law was contained in the command to abstain from partaking of certain forbidden fruits with the warning that the violation of this command would be followed by death. Physical health and well-being depended upon man obeying the first, while the keeping of the second assured him life unending and continuous spiritual communion with God. Thus the Divine Command had become law unto man. But mankind — created in the image of God — was given the right of choice: in obedience — a blessing; in disobedience — a curse. The first would bring continuous health and life—the second, trouble and death. By act of will, man was now able to choose his course, for before him lay two roads — one the way of life, and the other the way of death.
Transgression of the Law
Many have asked the question, What is sin? The answer is simple. Sin is disobedience to the commands of God, a refusal to keep His Laws. John declared this when he said, "Sin is the transgression of the law." (I John 3:4.)
Law, insofar as it regulates the conduct and action of men and nations, is a rule of action estabhshed by a recognized authority with power to enforce justice and direct duty. God is a recognized authority and He has full power to enforce His commands which must ultimately be observed, kept and obeyed; for the Divine Laws cannot be altered nor removed — they are a constant — and the passage of time has no effect upon them.
Enactments of Men
Human regulations, designated as law by men, are often but temporary acts of appeasement to counteract the result of the failure to keep and administer the Law of the Lord. By such means men have endeavored to meet their needs and to find a human solution for existing troubles which have in reality resulted from the breaking of Divine Law. Such man-made regulations undergo continual revision as time marches on! New generations come and changing conditions in the human experiment show the lack of foresight and wisdom in legislative enactments; for when the enactments of men are at variance with the Divine Law there can be only one result — trouble for men. This is true whenever men refuse to conform with the laws of God which govern the universe; or fail to observe and keep God's moral, spiritual, and economic requirements—including the perfect laws of governmental administration.
Before considering the subject of Divine Law in its application to man, both individually and collectively, it is essential that we first settle satisfactorily the question of the entire scope and application of the Divine Laws, and man's relationship to these laws. This becomes necessary because of the prevalence of a doctrinal teaching which has had a definite influence upon Christian men and women to such an extent that it has led some to ignore God's injunction to observe and keep all His Laws. In thus ignoring the law such have failed to recognize the Divine plan of the operation of the Law of the Lord as it governs our physical well-being, economic security and national prosperity.
Perfection of the Law
The Psalmist, in speaking of the law, states, "The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes." And although even this is said of the Law of the Lord, yet some ignore this declaration of the Psalmist, with its unmistakable clarity and meaning, and teach that they are free from the need of keeping His Laws. This doctrinal teaching is based on the assumption that because of Grace (the unmerited favor of God through His Son Jesus Christ), Christians have been exonerated from the need of keeping the law. If a man is free from keeping the law, however, he is at liberty then to violate that law and do so with impunity; and it would then follow that the gift of Grace becomes a license to be used as a cloak to cover sinning (for sin is the violation of the law), which is repugnant to all the teaching of the law and the direct commands of God as given in both the Old and the New Testaments.
Nowhere in Scripture is it stated that a Christian is free from the need of keeping the law. While the Word of God states that a Christian is not under bondage to the law, yet this freedom from bondage cannot in any sense be construed as a license to violate law. It is unfortunate that the gift of Grace has been used to perpetrate a doctrinal belief contrary to the clear teaching of the Bible. Violation of Divine Law is sin whether that law is violated by a Christian or a non-Christian, regardless of any doctrinal excuse that might be made for such violation.
Now the scope of the Divine Law embraces all the needs, activities and requirements of men and nations; limiting, guiding and directing them in all the things that should, and should not, be done. Christians are amiss in not knowing and understanding these laws.
A knowledge of the Law of the Lord would unfold for Christians a much clearer concept of God's plans regarding His people than they have now. The possession of such information would open up before the Christian world the marvelous scope of that law in its entirety and in its application to the needs of men and nations. Such an understanding would once and for all settle the question that no one group of men, Christian or otherwise, are exempt from law observance. It would prove the absurdity of all the excuses given by men to justify their violation of the law; and would show that even to claim the right to ignore or violate Divine Law is, in itself, sin.
Definition of Sin
Sin, as defined in the dictionary, is wholly in accord with the Biblical definition of law violation. The dictionary states that sin is "Any want of conformity to or transgression of a rule of rectitude or duty, especially as made known through the conscience or the revealed Word of God: disagreement in thought, word, deed, or desire, whether by omission or commission, with the Divine Law."
This necessity of law observance must first be established, for unless this is done many Christians will continue to ignore the Divine Laws to their own hurt — thinking that in so doing they are justified because of their acceptance of the teachings of an erroneous doctrine which has belittled the need of such law observance. No man in his right mind would be so foolish as to hold for one moment that the Divine Laws of the physical universe need not be observed. The sane and intelligent Christian recognizes that he must keep them or suffer the consequences resulting from their violation. Is a man, though Christian, justified in a deliberate violation of the requirements of law as laid down in the Ten Commandments? Would he in his violation be immune from the evils resulting from their violation? Certainly not! And what is true regarding these moral laws of God is also true regarding the Divine Laws of administration with their rules and regulations governing economics, jurisprudence and the health of His people. Men or nations violating these laws will find themselves subject to the operation of punitive clauses of the law and will suffer under the curses pronounced for their violation.
Law vs. Grace
Paul is very clear in his statements regarding all this, for evidently he had in mind those in his day who were teaching a doctrine of law violation paralleling that which is held by some Christians today. He said, "Sin (law violation) shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law (in bondage to it), but under Grace (free from the penalties having favor with God and able to keep that law through His Son Jesus Christ)." He continues, "What then? Shall we sin (that is, violate the law), because we are not under (the bondage of) the law, but under Grace? God forbid. Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin (law violation) unto death, or of obedience (law observance) unto righteousness? "
The Apostle clearly states here that Grace does not give a license to anyone to violate law, for such violation he declares is sin. What advantage then has the Christian? Very much, for as John says, "If any man sin (that is, violate the law), we have an advocate with the father, Jesus Christ the righteous." This being so, Paul could say, "Therefore being justified (escaping the penalty of the law through the righteousness of Jesus) by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ."
Cause of Confusion
Perhaps the one great difficulty regarding the absolute need of observing Divine Law and which is responsible for much of the confusion regarding that law has been the failure to recognize the distinction between the laws contained in ordinances and those given in Commandments, Statutes and Judgments. The lack of a clearly defined definition of the Divine Law in each of its particular applications and especially concerning the operation of the ordinance's is responsible for most of this confusion.
Laws and Ordinances
Our purpose in this Digest of the Divine Law is to set forth the operation of these Laws and to clarify for our readers the distinctions between 1) the laws which govern the activities and operations of men and nations, and 2) the ordinances or ritual. These ordinances had their place and purpose in the Divine plan fully revealed through Jesus Christ in His life, ministry, death and resurrection. As to the laws apart from the ordinances it will be shown that if we must obey some, then we are bound to keep them all! If we can, with impunity, violate some, then God has failed and the Bible has ceased to be an authority for the guidance of men and nations. But God has not failed and the authority of His Word still stands immutable in its teachings and law.
The New Covenant
The New Covenant so stressed by the teachings of Christianity is, according to the Bible, definitely associated with the keeping of the law. Jeremiah prophesied and Hebrews affirms, "I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts." If then the Christian is not bound to keep the law, how can it be written into his heart? After the New Testament had been established Paul declared that he was dead to the law. What law? Certainly it could not be that law which was written into his heart as the result of the work of the Holy Spirit! Later Paul asks the question, Why serve the law which was added? This was the law unto which Paul declared he was dead, for that law which was added to the Commandments, Statutes and Judgments received by Israel at Mt. Sinai was none other than the ordinances which were given as the result of Israel's sin when Aaron built the golden calf which they worshipped. These ordinances became a school-master to bring the people to Christ. Now that Christ has come, the schoolmaster is no more needed; nor is it necessary to be in bondage to the ritual, which law Paul declared he served no more.
The Added Ritual
"Confusion" is the only word which explains the condition existing in the minds of so many Christians regarding the law through the failure to recognize the ordinances as that law which was added. The ritual does not now have to be observed; but the Commandments, Statutes, and Judgments are still in operation and every man and nation will ultimately be compelled to observe and keep them. The day will yet come when God's people will be compelled to recognize the operation of these Divine Laws. Ezekiel prophesies of that time and says, "They shall also walk in my judgments, and observe my statutes, and do them." (Ezekiel 37:24.) Let us familiarize ourselves with these Divine Laws which the nation will yet be compelled to observe, keep and obey. In that day, "The law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem." (Micah.4:2.)
A Need Today
As the result of God's recognition of the needs of men there have been revealed to mankind rules and regulations, the keeping of which will bring prosperity and happiness to all men everywhere. Observance, with the resultant peace and good will, will yet characterize all national and international relationships.
It is this recognition on the part of men and nations of the Jehovah administration as set forth in the Divine Law which is essential. It is the crying need of a world full of trouble and strife!
To be continued