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Carnal Ordinances: Naturalistic World That Ended

 

CARNAL ORDINANCES

The Naturalistic World

That Had Come To An End

By: Ted Roberts 

January, A.D. 2005 [updated 2007 & 2016]

 

Seeking the Everlasting Gospel Ministries, Houston, TX

Digging Scriptures for Truth

©copyright 2016 by Ted Roberts

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NOTE: All Scriptural quotes are from The King James Version, unless otherwise noted. The passages or words are sometimes in CAPITALS or BOLDING for emphasis. Words in italics, however, within quoted scriptures, are not for emphasis, but were placed within by the King James editors, who 'added' these words for sentence flow, which were not in the original autographs. Text [within brackets] are the authors own thoughts inserted into the biblical text for teaching purposes.

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Chapter 1: Setting the Stage...

In this writing, we shall explore a territory that not too many have ventured to study - that of Carnal Ordinances. And just what are Carnal Ordinances? We shall see, as we plunge into the fascinating subject, and pick it piece by piece, until the conclusive findings will reveal something that a Christian world has been clamped onto for far too long . . . As we shall observe, this subject is one of the most important in Christian study, even though it may not seem so at first. We shall begin with some necessary dictionary meanings, to define our path, so that the journey will be more complete. Please bear with me as we quickly explore the volumes of our English dictionaries, selecting a few relevant passages, so that a conclusive affirmative can be reached.

 

Webster's New Universal Unabridged Dictionary

CARNAL:

#1 not spiritual; merely human; temporal; worldly: a man of secular, rather carnal leanings.

#2 Pertaining to or characterized by the flesh or the body, its passions and appetites; sensual: carnal pleasures.

Syn. earthly, natural. 2. Fleshly, bodily, animal, lustful, lecherous, lascivious, libidinous, concupiscent.

 

ORDINANCE:

(we will only use the meanings relevant to this study. Deeper studies on this subject are highly required.)

Meaning #3. a. an established rite or ceremony. b. a sacrament. c. the communion.

 

These are the two basic meanings of these two words. Now, why would I include both the word "Carnal," along with the word "Ordinance," as a compound word? Especially since the word Ordinance include ceremonious activities that are still done in churches today? Are they? Well, let's look at the words "SACRAMENT," "RITE," and "CEREMONY," which appears as the meanings of the word "Ordinance," and let's see . . . And, again, please bear with me as we sift through these meanings, for I will come to my point soon enough:

 

SACRAMENT:

#1 Eccles. a. a VISIBLE sign of an inward grace. b. a VISIBLE sign instituted by Jesus Christ [actually, it came from the Levitical Priesthood] to symbolize or confer grace: the sacraments of the Protestant Churches are BAPTISM and the LORD'S SUPPER; the sacraments of the Roman Catholic and Greek Orthodox churches are BAPTISM, CONFIRMATION, the EUCHARIST, MATRIMONY, PENANCE, HOLY ORDERS, and EXTREME UNCTION.

#2 Also called Holy sacrament. The Eucharist or the Lord's Supper.

#3 The consecrated elements of the Eucharist, especially the bread.

#4 Something regarded as possessing a sacred character or mysterious significance.

#5 a sign, token, or symbol.

#6 an oath; solemn pledge. Obligation. Oath.

 

RITE:

Meaning #1. a formal or ceremonial act or procedure prescribed or customary in religious or other solemn use: rites of baptism; sacrificial rites.

#2. a particular form or system of religious or other ceremonial practice: the Roman rite; the Scottish rite in Freemasonry.

#3. one of the historical versions of the Eucharist service: the Anglican Rite.

#6. Any customary observance or practice.

 

CEREMONY:

Meaning #2. a formal religious or sacred observances; a solemn rite: a marriage ceremony.

#4. Any formal act or observance.

#6. Strict adherence to conventional forms; formality. (Syn) Ceremony, Rite, Ritual refer to set observances and acts traditional in religious services. Ceremony applies to more or less formal dignified acts on religious occasions. A Rite is an established, prescribed, or customary form of religious practice: the rite of baptism. Ritual refers to the form of conducting worship or to a code of ceremonies in general.

 

RITUAL:

Meaning #1 An established or prescribed procedure for a religious or other rite.

#2. A system of religious or other rites.

#3. Observance of set forms in public worship. 

#5. a book containing the offices to be used by priests in administering the sacraments and for visitation of the sick, burial of the dead, etc.

#6. a prescribed or established rite, ceremony, proceeding or service.

#7. prescribed, established or ceremonial acts or features collectively, as in religious services.

#9. The nature of or practices as a rite or rites.

 

See? These are practices that are still observed in churches today. But is that bad? Perhaps a better question to ask − which is a question that I've just asked a moment ago − is why I even use the words "Carnal" and "Ordinance" as a compound word? Especially when we learned that the word "Carnal" is really of the flesh, and is not a spiritual thing at all! Well, it's not I, but rather the writer of the book of Hebrews who had coined the phrase:

 

 

Hebrews 9:10

Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation.

 

So, what does that exactly mean? And can we compare what was going on in the Old Testament (which the writer of Hebrews was really telling about), with the same rites, rituals, and ceremonies that are done in modern churches today? Well, this question remains to be answered. And we will explore the possibilities within the scriptures themselves:

 

OLD TESTAMENT ORDINANCES

Exodus 18:20

And thou shalt teach them ordinances and laws, and shalt shew them the way wherein they must walk, and the work that they must do.

 

NEW TESTAMENT ORDINANCES

1 Corinthians 11:1-2

Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ. Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you.

 

Is there a difference between “Old Testament Ordinances” and “New Testament Ordinances?” Or did Paul deliver the same ordinances to the Gentiles as Moses delivered them to the Jews?

 

In Greek there are four words used in the New Testament scriptures to describe the one word Ordinance; that is, the King James Version decided to translate four Greek words into Ordinance. Let us see why, while exploring the Greek meanings of Strong's Greek Dictionary:

 

 

DIKAIOMA:

an equitable [equal, fair, just] deed: by a statute or decision - judgment, justification, ordinance, righteousness. This Greek word is found in Hebrews 9:1 and 9:10 only, of which we will cover soon.

 

DOGMA:

a law (civil, ceremonial, or eccl.) - decree, ordinance. The Greek word is found in Ephesians 2:15 and Colossians 2:14 only, of which we will cover soon.

 

DOGMATIZO (Greek word that derives from DOGMA):

to prescribe by statute, i.e. to submit to ceremonial rule, be subject to ordinances. This Greek word is found in Colossians 2:20 only, but is the same Greek word, practically, as DOGMA. We will be covering this scripture soon as well.

 

PARADOSIS:

Transmission, i.e. a precept; spec. the Jewish traditionary law: - ordinance, tradition. Greek word found only in 1 Corinthians 11:2, as we have just read.

 

By examining the above Greek words, we can clearly see that they have the same meanings, practically, to the words that we first sought dictionary meanings to at the beginning of this study. Basically, a Carnal Ordinance is any outward form of religious ritual used to demonstrate worship to God, with the usage of fleshy items (such as a mouth and arms); and of which are done even in church services today . . . All this will be covered very soon.

 

Job 38:33

Knowest thou the ordinances of heaven? canst thou set the dominion thereof in the earth?

 

Webster's Dictionary

DOMINION

Meaning #1. The power or right of governing and controlling; sovereign authority.

#2. Rule; control; domination.

 

In other words:

Job 38:33 paraphrased:

Can a son of man know the true ordinance of heavenly matters? Can a son of man set power and rule over heavenly matters in the earth?

 

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CHAPTER 2: Exploring Further

Now, before seriously getting into this study, I must point out, step by step, a certain scripture that speaks loudly for New Testament worship, which will give us a better understanding of what God wishes for us to do to truly worship Him.

 

Ephesians 2:15a

[Jesus] Having abolished in his flesh the enmity...

 

Since this is going to be a thorough study, I wish to give dictionary meanings, for particular words, which will enhance the flow of the scriptures. And all dictionary meanings, in this particular writing (unless otherwise noted), will be given from Webster's Unabridged Dictionary, and Strong's Hebrew and Greek Dictionaries.

 

ABOLISHED (Webster's)

#1: To do away with; put an end to; annul; make void.

#2: To destroy totally.

Syn: Cancel; annihilate, obliterate, extinguish; exterminate, eliminate. To do away with completely with something.

 

ENMITY (Webster's)

#1: a feeling or condition of hostility; hatred; ill will; animosity; An Enemy.

 

So, considering these meanings, we can say:

 

Ephesians 2:15a

 [Jesus] Having abolished [totally destroyed] in his flesh the enmity [hostile enemy]...

 

And now, considering this, we must figure out what enemy of Jesus was so hostile, What enemy of his was so bad, that he had to destroy it in his flesh! And just how did he destroy it in his flesh? . . . Firstly, let us learn of the enemy in this instance. And to do this, we must, again, learn about italicized words in our Bibles (which I cover in chapter 1 of my writing: "Brotherly Love"), that they are not set there to “emphasize” Biblical words, as they weren't even in the original Greek texts to begin with, but were merely placed there by the translators to help us better understand otherwise difficult passages . . . Having said this, the next word in this passage of scripture (that is, in Ephesians 2:15) is the word 'even.' And (you guessed it!) it's italicized ... Please realize that, for this particular study (and, really, for all my studies), I mainly use the King James Version Bible − and I point out my reasons for this choice in my upcoming writing: “The Bible is not a Buffet” . . . By placing the word 'even' at this particular spot in the scripture, it almost would seem that the word is meaning 'ALSO,' or 'AS WELL AS.' As if the passage were saying: "[Jesus] Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, and also..." But that's not what it's really conveying. In reality, it's actually meaning to say: 'WHICH IS.' . . .  "[Jesus] Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, which is..." Which is what?

 

Ephesians 2:15

[Jesus] Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even [which is] the law of commandments...

 

The law of commandments is his enemy? But what of the commandment that says to love one another? Is that his enemy? God forbid! We should know, however, that 'loving one another' is primarily a New Testament law. As I point out in detail in my writing: "Brotherly Love," 'loving one another' is actually a law after Christ! Even though the law of Moses had 'loving one another' as its basis (along with loving God with everything that you have), this new law teaches ONLY love . . . But, wow!, what a deep impact it really has: as I, again, point out in extreme detail in "Brotherly Love" ... However, in Ephesians 2:15, we know that the law of Moses is what's really being talked about ... Really? Yes − as we shall soon see. But, in the meantime, let's continue with our passage...

 

Ephesians 2:15

[Jesus] Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even [which is] the law of commandments contained in ordinances...

 

Seeing it so in its full light, this passage wasn't really saying that the law had become God's enemy − but rather, it was the law which was contained in ordinances! We must really understand that the Mosaic law was a law of ordinances (that is, carnal ordinances), and was rules and regulations for those people in the Old Testament to follow (in showing them how to worship God), but all in a fleshly way: i.e. Externally, which merely represented some things spiritual − but weren't the spiritual things themselves. Jesus having come, though, destroyed all of that by the fulfilling of them!

 

Matthew 5:17

Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.

 

And this is accomplished by turning that which was natural into that which is spiritual. That is, a complete and utter change! And yet, at the same time, He had not destroyed that which was before, but simply took it to the next step − to the next level . . .

 

But, let's see, in scripture, it telling us that the law changed...

 

Hebrews 7:12

For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law.

 

Again, how did the law change? It went from being a natural law to a spiritual law. But what does all that even mean? I will certainly explain this in the upcoming pages − for, indeed, that is one of the most important parts of this writing! But, we must enter into this little explored topic one step at a time ... So, for now, let's explore some scriptures for more insight into how the Mosaic law was viewed by the New Testament writers...

 

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CHAPTER 3: The Law Contained in Ordinances

Romans 3:20-21

Therefore by the DEEDS [i.e. Works, or Ordinances] of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets.

 

Romans 3:28

Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds [i.e. Works, or Ordinances] of the law.

 

DEED (Webster's Dictionary meaning):

#1: Something that is done, performed, or accomplished; an act.

#2: An exploit or achievement.

#3: Action or performance

In other words - ordinances! And these ordinances had become the works of the law... But, let's continue...

 

Romans 5:13b

...but sin is not imputed when there is no law.

 

IMPUTE: (Webster's)

#3. In law: To charge as with some crime.

 

1 Corinthians 15:56

The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the [Mosaic] law.

 

Galatians 2:16a

Knowing that a man is not justified by the WORKS [ordinances]  of the law...

 

Remember our first quoted scripture in this study in Exodus?

 

Exodus 18:20

And thou shalt teach them ordinances and laws, and shalt shew them the way wherein they must walk, and the work [again, ordinances] that they must do.

 

Therefore the WORKS of the law are the same as the ORDINANCES. So, let us continue with Galatians:

 

Galatians 2:16

Knowing that a man is not justified by the WORKS [ordinances] of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the WORKS of the law: for by the WORKS of the law shall no flesh be justified.

 

Galatians 2:21

I do not frustrate the grace of God: for IF righteousness come by the [Mosaic] law, then Christ is dead in vain. [3:2] This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the WORKS [ordinances] of the [Mosaic] law, or by the hearing of faith? Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect [complete or mature] by the flesh?

 

Do we see how Paul phrased this last question? "Having begun in the Spirit, are you now made perfect by the flesh?" Like I said, it went from natural to spiritual − but not backwards!

 

 

SPIRITUAL (Webster's Dictionary Meaning)

#1 Of or pertaining to, or consisting of Spirit; incorporeal.

#2 Of or pertaining to the spirit or soul, as distinguished from the physical nature: a spiritual approach to life.

#6 of or pertaining to the spirit as of the seat of the moral or religious nature.

#7 Of or pertaining to sacred things or matters; religious; devotional; sacred.

#9 Of or pertaining to the conscious thoughts and emotions.

#12 A spiritual thing or matter.

 

Spiritual matters are FAR ABOVE earthly matters; earthly matters are not subject to the laws of God, neither indeed can they be. Flesh and blood cannot even inherit the kingdom of God − for the kingdom is spiritual − but we are carnal, sold under sin.

 

1 Corinthians 2:14

But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

 

But the Mosaic law was never destroyed - it only turned spiritual - it changed! But let us continue our observation on the Mosaic law in Galatians Chapter 3, starting with verse 5:

 

Galatians 3:5-29

He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the WORKS of the [Mosaic] law, or by the hearing of faith? Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham. For as many as are of the works [ordinances] of the [Mosaic] law are under the CURSE: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. And the [Mosaic] law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them. Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man's covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto. Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect. For IF the inheritance be of the law [along with all its ordinances], it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise. Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator. Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one. Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law. But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe. But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. Wherefore the law [along with ordinances] was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster [and no longer need ordinances]. For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.

 

I would like to point out that even though we are not under the Mosaic law anymore, that does not mean we are not under ANY law, for indeed there is a law for which we must contend to . . .

 

Romans 13:9-10

For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

 

Galatians 5:14

For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

 

Galatians 6:2

Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.

 

Matthew 5:43-48

Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

 

Matthew 22:34-40

But when the Pharisees had heard that he had put the Sadducees to silence, they were gathered together. Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

 

St. John 15:12

This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.

 

1 John 3:14

We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.

 

Now, if the law of Moses is the law of death, then this NEW law must be after life.

 

 

Romans 7:22-23a

For I delight in the law of God after the inward man [a new law of life]: But I see another law in my members...

           

What law is this that Paul is seeing in his members? Is it the Mosaic Law to which we are not supposed to live under? Indeed, it is a form of that first law that Paul describes as working in his members; and if he yields to it, then he suffers death for the same! He knows that man wishes to be religious, but on their own terms, not God's terms; for, being religious in man's circles means to have lots of money, prestige, and power! And, just like the Mosaic law, this law (that is in his members) is based strictly upon "fleshly worship" and "carnal ordinances." Notice, that this is a law that works in our members: i.e., tongue and arms − to demonstrate a fleshly worship − fleshly ways, and acts, and works; for truly, it is fulfilling the very worshipping acts of the Mosaic law, a law that brings us back under a first heaven experience − where the Mosaic law had once lived! − and even though the Mosaic law had officially came to an end when Jesus died on the cross, saying: "It is finished!," yet flesh, that desires fleshly works and worship, will try to lead us BACK to a carnal state of worship − a type of worship that is done away with in Christ. Indeed, people really do try and bring us all back to a first heaven experience − for, truly, the Old Testament was the first heaven!

           

Let us see how this works in the scriptures:

 

Romans 7:23-25

But I see another [fleshly] law in my members, warring against the law of my mind [being the mind of Christ], and [this mind of man] bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members [my outward-man members: wanting to worship God in a fleshly way]. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death [outward-man]? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind [mind of Christ] I myself serve the law of God [love one another]; but with the flesh the law of sin. 

 

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