Editor’s Note: E.W. Abraham is one of the old-time Bible scholars who made a tremendous impact on the movement through his lectures, artciles and books. One book, “The Perfect Prayer” is still carried by the Association Bookstore. Mr. Abraham’s wife, Dorothy, was an author as well and her children’s book, “The Forest of Happiness” is also carried by the Bookstore.
Generally speaking, there is almost complete agreement among those who understand the Gospel of the Kingdom as to the modern identity of Israel with the Anglo-Saxon-Celtic peoples, but a degree of uncertainty and difference of opinion when the present duty of the Israel nations comes into question. Should we, as soon as we realise that we are Israel, try to keep the laws God gave to Israel of old, or does the Grace of God absolve us from the need? Again, did Jesus Christ bring in an entirely new set of laws, and “do away” with those given to Israel of old? Of the “Law of Ordinances”, of course, there can be little doubt. These ordinances Jesus Christ “nailed to His Cross”; they were but a shadow or type of His life, death and resurrection, and He fulfilled them all.
But what of those other laws, the neglect of which has brought us to such a pass today? May we steal, murder and commit adultery with impunity? May we slander our neighbour, or covet his wife of goods without consequence? May we neglect the laws of hygiene, of agriculture, of usury, of the Sabbath, without ill effect? Common sense gives us the answer to these questions. Our present tottering civilization is the direct result of our breaking, or failing to heed these perfect laws of God. The evidence is plain enough before our eyes, with our wars and destruction, our, starving millions, our worked-out farms, our overflowing hospitals, asylums and prisons, and our enormous, everlasting debts.
Let us leave to common sense the question, “Is God’s perfect law, as stated in the Old Testament, anything less than perfect in the New?” Jesus Christ told us plainly enough, when He summarized the law, that “On these two hang ALL the law and the prophets”; and on another occasion, “Whosoever therefore shall break ONE OF THESE LEAST COMMANDMENTS, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven”. Christ was speaking to people who knew the law far better than we know it today. They were well taught in those days, and had no other Scripture than that which we now know as the Old Testament.
Jesus Christ taught us, too, to pray, “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth AS it is in Heaven”. Can common sense conceive of anything other than God’s perfect laws in the Kingdom we seek? If they are written in our hearts, will they be any different in substance?
Then, what of the Grace of God? Grace is the free, unmerited favour of God Who gives us strength to understand and keep the law”, in spirit and in truth”. Through Grace we are pardoned freely when we transgress the Law. These two – law and grace – are complementary one to the other, not antagonistic to each other. Because of the Grace of God, we aim to keep the law. “If ye love Me”, Christ said, “keep My commandments”. And again, “Not everyone that saith unto Me, Lord, and, shall enter into the Kingdom of Heaven , but he that doeth the will of My Father which is in Heaven”.