God’s Spiritual Law – Unseen Rules for Living
Our lives are governed by spiritual law – hidden rules that originate from God. They affect every individual and cannot be ignored. They even determine political elections and the destiny of nations
“Love does no harm to a neighbour; therefore love is the fulfilment of the law” [Romans 13:10]
Law affects each one of us, be it civil, moral, scientific – or spiritual!
We all live under ‘law’. From a secular point of view, ‘law’ is a system of rules usually enforced through a set of institutions. For example, Criminal Law pertains to crimes and punishment (acts of intentional harm to individuals or the wider community), Civil Law (based on Roman Law and Corpus Juris) deals with the private relations between members of a community, and Common Law (as in England and America) is the legal system where decisions by judges in courts are explicitly acknowledged to be legal sources.
Then we have the scientific laws of mathematics, physics and chemistry which determine the functioning of everything from the atom to galaxies!
Lastly, we have the concept of ‘moral law’ which might be defined as a set of rules of behaviour that an individual or a group may follow out of personal conscience, and usually to the benefit of society. Sadly, such rules are not necessarily part of legislated law and so are not legally enforceable. So for example, the biblical indictment against adultery is often ignored by western media and by society in general.
So our lives are governed by sets of rules, most of which are unseen until we ‘rub up against them’
1. The Effect of Law
When we naturally obey a law (be it criminal, civil, common, scientific or moral), then we are largely unaware of the law. But when we deliberately or inadvertently break a law there are serious consequences:
- Stealing can put us in prison (Criminal Law)
- Wrong dismissal of an employee may lead to a lawsuit (Civil Law)
- Jumping from a tall building will probably kill us (Scientific Law)
- Having an affair will give us a bad conscience (Moral Law)
So the operation of a law for an individual or nation might be stated as follows:
If you do action A then action B will follow
If action ‘A’ conflicts with the law then action ‘B’ will be some form of reprimand. Conversely, if action ‘A’ is good, then action ‘B’ will also be good. For example, if we keep our car speed well below the legal limit, then there will be a significant saving in fuel.
2. The Origin of Law
Christians argue that the concept of law (as in rules or statutes) originates from the God of the Bible. For instance:
- God gave man basic criminal law (as in stealing, Exodus 22:1)
- God gave man basic civil law (as in the release of debt, Deuteronomy 15:1)
- God gave man basic moral law (as in the Ten Commandments, Exodus 20:1-17)
- God gave man the ability to understand creation via scientific laws (Job 38, Romans 1:20)
- God gave man basic food laws which identify animals that should not be eaten (Leviticus 11:47)
Clearly, things have developed and Old Testament criminal and civil laws must be seen in their historic context. Also, neat divisions between different forms of law should be avoided. Today, we are called to keep the modern-day equivalents of such law, including God’s moral Law. Jesus said;
I did not come to destroy the Law … but to fulfillMatthew 5:17
and He told us how we can keep the Law – all of it – by defining it in generic form:
You shall love the Lord your God … and your neighbour … on these two commandments hang all the Law …Matthew 22:37-40
3. God’s Unseen Spiritual Law
As discussed, it can be argued that the well-known forms of law (criminal, civil, common, scientific and moral) all stem from one parent, universal law, namely God’s Spiritual Law. This is described as ‘the law of the LORD’ (Psalm 119:1), or God’s precepts (divine injunctions), statutes, mandates and commandments (Psalm 119:15). It was underscored by Jesus (Matthew 5:17) and so is not to be ignored. Like other laws, God’s Law is usually hidden until we ‘rub up against it’.
Spiritual Law is tightly linked to God’s Will and to absolute truth. For example, Jesus claimed that He spoke the truth when He said ‘there is only one way to God’ (John 14:6). This is an important example of God’s Law, statute or decree: through Christ’s self-sacrifice on the cross, there is now only one way to God. God has decreed it that way; it is the truth.
Likewise, God has decreed that the earth will one day be ‘burned up’ (2 Peter 3:10) – a scientific law – and the truth behind this biblical statement is endorsed by NASA scientists. See “A Fried Earth”:
Spiritual law is the mysterious or hidden law of the Kingdom of Heaven and stems from the only source of truth, Jesus Christ. Jesus said to His disciples:
It has been given to you to know the mysteries (hidden truths) of the kingdom of heaven, but to them (unbelievers) it has not been givenMatthew 13:11
Here, Jesus is saying that, since truth is spiritually revealed (John 16:13-14), then God’s Spiritual Law is unlikely to be fully appreciated and understood by unbelievers. Nevertheless, whether believer or not, God’s Law is written on man’s heart and he knows when he has violated it through his conscience:
When Gentiles, who do not have the Law, by nature do the things in the Law … show the work of the Law written in their hearts … their conscience … accusing or else excusing them …Romans 2:14-15
But even Christians are unaware of many aspects of God’s Law. It affects everyone and every nation and is inescapable.
God’s Law rules our Lives
As mentioned, God’s Law is usually hidden until we ‘rub up against it’ and see the consequences of our actions. Let’s illustrate two complementary aspects of this law, bearing in mind the logic concept ‘if A, then B’.
The Spiritual Law of Bad Actions:
- Reject God’s Law – and our environment (land) will suffer (Isaiah 24:5)(Deuteronomy 28:18)
- Nations or individuals that curse Israel – will be cursed (Genesis 12:3)
- National disobedience – brings disgrace and curses upon a nation (Deuteronomy 11:26,28; 28.15)(Proverbs 14:34)
- Persistent national unfaithfulness – brings famine upon the land (Ezekiel 14:13)
- Rebellious cities – will be judged by God (Luke 10:12-16)
- Bad rulers – make the people groan (Proverbs 29:2)
- Injustice – angers God and brings judgement (Amos 5)
- A divided nation, city or house – will not stand or prosper (Matthew 12:25)(Mark 3:24-25)
- If we have unforgiveness in our heart – God will not forgive us (Mark 11:25-26)
- Commit sin (transgression of law) – and it will find us out (Numbers 32:23)
- Whatever is deliberately hidden or kept secret – will be revealed (Mark: 4:22)(Matthew 10:26)
- God is not mocked: sow the wind – and reap the whirlwind (Galatians 6:7)(Hosea 8:7)
- Grief and a broken spirit – have a detrimental effect upon our health (Psalm 31:9-10)(Proverbs 17:22)
- Speak idle (useless, unhelpful) words – and we will have to account for them (Matthew 12:36-37)
- Draw children away from God and His Law – and we will be judged for doing so (Matthew 18:6)
- Blaspheme against the Holy Spirit – and we will not be forgiven (Luke 12:10)
- Deny Christ before men – and we will be denied before the angels of heaven (Luke 12:9)
- Whoever exalts himself – will be humbled (Luke 14:11)
- Live a self-centred life – and we will lose real life (Matthew 16:25)
- Live a life full of covetousness (getting possessions) – and you will miss life (Luke 12:15)
- Live an immoral life – and we will be outside the future heavenly city (Revelation 22:15)
- Reject Christ’s offer of reconciliation to God – and we are condemned already (John 3:18)
The Spiritual Law of Good Actions:
- Obey God’s Law – and the environment (land) around us will be blessed (Deuteronomy 28:4,8)
- Nations or individuals that bless Israel – will be blessed (Genesis 12:3)
- National obedience to God – brings His blessing to that nation (Deuteronomy 11:26-27; 28:2)(Psalm 33:12)(Proverbs 14:34)
- National repentance – can stay God’s hand of judgement (Jeremiah 18:8)(2 Chronicles 7:14)
- Obedient cities – will be blessed by God (Deuteronomy 28:3)
- Fight for justice – and we will be blessed (Psalm 106:3)(Isaiah 61:8)
- Confess our sin – and God will forgive us (1 John 1:9)
- If we are merciful – we will receive mercy (Matthew 5:7)
- Have faith – and we can move mountains (Matthew 17:20)
- Follow Christ and seek God’s kingdom – and God will supply our need (Luke 12:31)(Philippians 4:19)(Matthew 6:33)
- Follow Christ – and all things in our life will work together for our good (Romans 8:28)
- Follow Christ – and you will have abundant life (John 10:10)
- Follow Christ – and your name will be written in heaven (Luke 10:20)
- Do good and lend to others – and our reward will be great (Luke 6:35)
- Don’t judge others – and we won’t be judged (Luke 6:37)
- Give – and it will be given back to us in good measure (Luke 6:38)
- Give up things or relationships for Christ’s sake – and receive a hundred-fold in return (Matthew 20:29)
- Do a charitable deed in secret – and we will be rewarded openly (Matthew 6:4)
- A good spirit, wisdom and a merry heart – is like medicine to our body (Proverbs 4:22, 17:22, 18:14)
- Trusting in God – renews our bodily strength and energy (Isaiah 40:31)
- Bless the Lord – and even our youth can be renewed (Psalm 103:5)
- Get wisdom – and wisdom will promote us and bring us honour (Proverbs 4:5-9)
- Get understanding – and you will have a calm spirit (Proverbs 17:27)
- Be diligent, work hard and give to the poor – and we will have blessings and plenty (Proverbs 21:5, 28:27)
- Trust totally in God at all times – and He will keep us in perfect peace (Isaiah 26:3)
- Tell God our plans and trust Him – and He will bring them to pass (Psalm 37:5)
- Acknowledge God in all our ways – and He will direct our paths (Proverbs 3:6, 16:3)
- Make God our refuge – and His angels will protect and guide us (Psalm 92:9-13)
- Live a Christ-centred life – and we will find real and abundant life (Matthew 16:25)(John 10:10)
- Believe and trust in Christ – and we are not condemned before God, we are set free (John 3:18, 8:36)
The Four Spiritual Laws – Fundamental Laws of God
The examples of good and bad actions can be summarized by four fundamental spiritual laws. Quoting from the Amplified Bible, they are:
1. All have sinned and continually fall short of the glory of God … the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God [that is, His remarkable, overwhelming gift of grace to believers] is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 3:23, 6:23)
2. Jesus is the only way to life: Jesus said, “I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance [to the full, till it overflows]. I am the [only] Way [to God] and the [real] Truth and the [real] Life; no one comes to the Father but through Me (John 10:10, 14:6)
3. God accepts whoever believes and trusts in Jesus: For God so [greatly] loved and dearly prized the world, that He [even] gave His [One and] only begotten Son, so that whoever believes and trusts in Him [as Saviour] shall not perish, but have eternal life … believe in the Lord Jesus [as your personal Saviour and entrust yourself to Him] and you will be saved (John 3:16, Acts 16:31)
4: Our salvation is by faith alone: For it is by grace [God’s remarkable compassion and favour drawing you to Christ] that you have been saved [actually delivered from judgment and given eternal life] through faith. And this [salvation] is not of yourselves [not through your own effort], but it is the [undeserved, gracious] gift of God (Ephesians 2:8)
4. God’s Law determines the Prosperity of Nations
Where there is democracy, most voters believe that an election and change of government can improve their lives and the general state of the nation. The majority of voters do not bring God into the process. It doesn’t matter to them if they are voting for a government which is in open rebellion against God’s Law in the sense that its ethos conflicts with biblical teaching. The majority are not concerned about voting for a government that condones abortion and homosexuality for example on the basis of ‘choice’ and ‘equality’, and they are not concerned when Christians are made redundant for simply exercising free-speech and expressing their faith in God.
So can a government that ignores, and sometimes even defies God’s Law e.g. by promoting gay marriage, widespread abortion and gender confusion, really determine a country’s well-being? Does it really have overall authority and power over a nation’s prosperity? Doesn’t God’s hidden Law override all the economic and political plans of such a government? Consider:
If that nation against whom I have spoken turns from evil, I will relent of the disaster that I thought to bring upon it (Jeremiah 18:8)
The rulers take council together, against the Lord … (but) the Lord shall hold them in derision (Psalm 2:2-4)
There is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God (Romans 13:1)
Clearly, according to the Bible, it is God and not government who has overall authority and power. He can either bless a nation (Isaiah 19:19-25), or judge it (Isaiah 21, 60:12 and Zechariah 14:16-19), and He might use man’s democracy in the process.
God’s Judgement on a Nation
As the Old Testament prophets stressed, God may allow corrupt government to rule for a time in order to punish the people or refine believers. But eventually all godless governments fall. Pagan Rome persecuted the early church, but then fell.
Many believe Britain is guilty of deliberately flouting the generic Spiritual Law of loving God and loving our neighbour (Matthew 22:37-40). For example, Britain has legalised homosexuality and same-sex marriage (even the churches accept this), supported widespread abortion (even DIY home abortion), created gender confusion amongst the young (the government guides transgender teaching), promoted the teaching of evolution (it’s only a theory) as fact, and banned any other views, allowed the police to arrest street preachers even when they are simply preaching the gospel, etc..
How can God bless such a nation? See Lance Lambert’s 2011 prophecy over Britain.
If you are in a western-style democracy, ask yourself if your nation is angering God and in danger of falling:
- Has it abandoned the God of the Bible and embraced other gods? (Exodus 20.3, Judges 2:18-19)
- Has it abandoned the biblical concept of absolute truth, of right and wrong (particularly in the case of sexual morality) and replaced it with ‘equality’? (Isaiah 59:14)
- Has it abandoned ‘God’s Sabbath’? (Exodus 20:8)
- Has it mislead the young in terms of immoral education? (Matthew 18:6)
- Has it legalised the killing of unborn people? (Jeremiah 1:5)
- Has it legalised sodomy, as for example in same-sex marriage? (Leviticus 18:22)
- Has it persecuted believers in Christ?
- Has it made a coalition with an openly godless nation or federation e.g. with the EU?
- Has it got godless leaders, in both State and Church?
- Has it embraced “religions of the east”? (John 14:5-6)
If the answers are essentially ‘yes’, then how should we pray for your nation? Daniel prayed for his nation (Israel) which was in a similar situation to that of 21st century democracies, so this is a good model. Note that it is a plea for God’s mercy and not for repentance: we cannot repent on behalf a nation; it is up to individuals to repent. Here are a few prayer suggestions:
- We can acknowledge all our wrong actions, individually and nationally, and plea for God’s mercy (Daniel 9:5,10,13-19)
- We can pray for righteous, Godly leaders in both State and church (Judges 2:16-19)
- We can appeal to our past service to God. For example, Britain translated the Bible and spread it worldwide
God’s Blessing on a Nation
On a more positive note, how can a nation receive true well-being and prosperity? How can it receive God’s blessing? Consider:
- Proverbs 11:11, 14:34 (it must be ‘upright’ and ‘righteous’ in the sight of a holy God)
- Jeremiah 18:7-10, 26:3 (it must recognise and deal with evil – national repentance)
- Ezekiel 14:13 (it must avoid unfaithfulness)
- Deuteronomy 11:26-28 (it must obey God’s commandments – God’s Law)
Voting in a Democracy
So in the light of God’s Spiritual Law, will our election vote (wherever we are) make any positive difference to the well-being of the nation if the choice is between openly rebellious political parties that ignore and even defy God’s law? Probably not, in which case the only way forward is to pray, bearing in mind that prophecy suggests that all nations will eventually become spiritually dark (Isaiah 6:2).
But if you value democracy then voting is important (and sometimes mandatory). So how should we vote? Can we really vote for a leader who openly supports abortion, gay marriage and homosexual behaviour? Instead we might consider:
- Voting for a Christian candidate or party with a Christian ethos, even though they have little chance of success
- In the case of an oppressive government, voting for a candidate who wants to remove the nation from spiritual darkness.