MY RESPONSE TO SECOND LETTER:
First of all, congratulations on little Anneka Faith! May God grant you wisdom to lead this little soul safely to Jesus as she matures. Before I begin, I want to say that when I see all the work you put into this, and when I sense that you sincerely are trying to find truth, it wins my respect and love. You are the only one in your group that cares enough to put the time and effort forth. I believe God is working in your heart, and I sincerely pray you will find the truth. I want to say that my emphasis (bold, caps, underline, exclamation point, etc.) in this response does not mean anger or volume, but the emphasis is so you do not miss a vital point. May God help you to understand and hear me out with an open and humble mind.
Yes, I did read Michael Martin’s book. Having read much history from different perspectives, it amuses me how biased historians can be. I’ve seen Protestants point out all the dismal failures and embarrassing stupidity of Anabaptists; and I’ve seen Anabaptists do the same to Protestants while at the same time both are ignoring the faults and failings of their own group. This I saw again very clearly in Martin’s book. There were some Scriptural, logical and right conclusions, and then there were some chasms lacking Scripture, logic, and common sense. It was typical for someone looking at issues and history through the glasses of his indoctrination - something we all must pray for God to enlighten us in. It is a very similar mentality as I see in your statement: “And it brings us to a much different conclusion — a conclusion which harmonizes with the conclusion of the vast majority of true, God-fearing Christians throughout history have reached.” This statement assumes far more than you know. The way you have misrepresented us in your article and letter tells me how you would come to such a conclusion. You will be greatly surprised on judgment day as to who were the true godly Christians through the ages, as God is the one who determines such things, and He determines it consistent with His Word.
I am quite aware of the faults and failings and foolishness in the plain circles: Splits, schisms, fornication, incest, wicked courtship practices, pride, immodesty, drinking, smoking, chewing, drugs, rock music, tax evasion, secret abortions, rowdy youth, spiritual deadness, superstition, witchcraft, extravagance, vanity, etc. etc. — not only now, but in the past. I have been shocked numerous times at things we would not have allowed in the Baptist churches I grew up in. All hidden behind an outward show of piety and plainness. I am also very aware of the differences in doctrine and the lack of solidarity, though maintaining some basic tenets which keep them in the boundaries of “acceptable”. Interpreting the Bible is not just a mystical matter of shooting in the dark and hoping to hit the target; but rather on most issues truth can be known definitely and proven by rock solid rules of interpretation and demonstration. Yes, there are some issues where we could only wish for an Apostle to question; but these are typically not vital to Christian living and obedience to God.
You say: “when the honest student faces difficulty in Scripture interpretation, what shall he do? Will he be arrogant enough to imagine that his own private interpretation of Scripture trumps all others? No, the honest student, when faced with challenges in Scripture, will go for help.”
Answer: This is true; but seems to be an accusation. I began earnestly studying Scripture when I was 15, and when a pastor of a Baptist Church at 25 it led me to question and reject many things being taught in the denomination I was raised with. I heard all about my arrogance and pride in not just following those 60 year old men with mega-churches who “ought to know”. I was accused of thinking I was the only one right, etc, etc. — Yes, and it bothered me much and I spent many hours agonizing in prayer over it then just as I did when I realized the Mennonites were wrong on divorce and remarriage and Jesus correcting Moses. I’m sure Conrad G., Felix M. and the martyrs heard all these accusations as well. The irony of it all is that when I left the Baptist I was agreeing with thousands of others; but the Baptist accused me of thinking I was the only one right. When I disagree with the Mennonites, they accuse me of thinking I’m the only one right, when thousands agree with me, and even many of their forefathers — part of that mysterious “vast majority” you claim. In many of the points you make in this letter, YOU are standing alone, because the Mennonite ministers I know would not even stand with you on some of your claims — which we will deal with.
Your friend Robert and yourself could be greatly helped in your view of the Sabbath if you could simply read Colossians 2:16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: ...which clearly sets the Sabbaths and holy days in the realm of ceremonial law. Heb. 4 tells us it was a type of that heavenly rest we are now to labor to enter into; and though the Jews were still required to observe it before AD 70 while the old economy was still operating, the Gentiles never were (Acts 15&21). This is not ambiguous and mysterious, it is simply the facts. You apparently don’t understand the difference between moral law and ceremonial law from your comments. YES, it was immoral to break the ceremonial law when it was in force — THAT IS NOT THE POINT. Moral law and ceremonial law are different in nature — the Bible declares such!
1Co 7:19 Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God.
Is Paul saying that the keeping of God’s commandments are nothing??? Of course not, he is declaring a doctrinal fact that some laws are typical and have no intrinsic value — are really nothing in and of themselves, but only have relevance when they are commanded by God for special purposes. When God says they are in force, they are morally wrong to disobey; but that doesn’t mean they are “moral law” in the sense we are speaking of. They are not eternal principles of God’s holiness/love — they are not “loving” or “unloving” in and of themselves. Only if God has told us to do it — then the obedience is part of loving God. Moral Laws are principles of LOVE — God’s LOVE in action for all time and eternity — Thou shalt not steal, covet, lie, murder, commit adultery, dishonor your parents, have other gods, etc. Baptism and communion are ceremonial in nature — not moral in nature; but it is immoral to break these ordinances while they are part of a covenant. It is always wrong to murder, lie, steal, commit adultery, dishonor parents, etc. whether it is part of a covenant arrangement or not. The verses below prove the difference between moral law and ceremonial law.
Romans 2:25 For circumcision verily profiteth, if thou keep the law: but if thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision is made uncircumcision.
26 Therefore if the uncircumcision keep the righteousness of the law, shall not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision?
27 And shall not uncircumcision which is by nature, if it fulfil the law, judge thee, who by the letter and circumcision dost transgress the law?
28 For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:
29 But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.
This passage demonstrates the difference between moral law and ceremonial — first, circumcision was symbolic of a moral principle of circumcising the heart, and therefore without the moral aspect the ceremonial aspect was worthless. This passage declares plainly that “the uncircumcision” or the Gentile who keeps the “righteousness of the law” (the Moral Law), yet doesn’t practice Judaism and keep the ceremonial law is a Jew inwardly but not outwardly. Being a Jew inwardly, but not outwardly means you are obeying the righteousness of the law — the moral law; but you are not obeying the ceremonial law, which included all the rites and ceremonies that made you a Jew outwardly. THERE IS NO WAY AROUND THE OBVIOUS TRUTH THAT ONE CAN KEEP THE MORAL LAW AND YET NOT BE KEEPING THE CEREMONIAL LAW. The Bible often uses the term “righteousness of the law” when speaking of what we and thousands of Bible students call “Moral Law”. The “righteousness of the law” is God’s own holiness, love, justice, mercy, wisdom, and moral judgments. They never change, so when the same circumstances exist, God’s moral judgment call will always be the same. Progressive revelation doesn’t mean God’s morality is evolving, but we are seeing more of the picture — more of the SAME picture.
Now for your questions:
You asked: What did Jesus mean when he said he came not to destroy, but to fulfill the law and the prophets? And what commandments are they, which we must not break or teach men to break, lest we be called least in the kingdom of heaven?
ANSWER: Judaism was in full force when Jesus spoke these words, and Jesus was a perfect Jew (inwardly and outwardly) so he could be the spotless, sinless lamb to make atonement. In Matt 23 Jesus says that his listeners should obey the Pharisees on matters of “law-abiding” because they sit in Moses’ seat — this is obviously to Jews as they are the primary ones Jesus preached to while on earth. The Law of Moses was the church standard for every New Testament believer; and this did not change for anyone until Cornelius — 12 years after Pentecost! For the first 12 years after Pentecost all evangelism included circumcision and submission to Moses Law — both moral and ceremonial. This is a very important point that many miss. God had to give Peter a special vision in order for the church to let go of the Ceremonial Law for Gentile converts. In Acts 21 — which is about 29 years after Pentecost — the Jews were still obeying ALL Moses’ Law, though they had a New Covenant view of it, and were IN THE NEW COVENANT THEMSELVES. This is not interpretation, but facts of history!
YOU ASK: How do we decide what part of Moses’ Law is still in affect today? What laws were fulfilled in Christ?
ANSWER: Good question. I have shown clearly in my writing that part of the law was fulfilled in Christ and his heavenly priesthood, and part was written on our hearts as the foundation of the New Covenant — This is not interpretation, but is clearly stated in Hebrews and demonstrated in my book. Anything that was a type, shadow, or only had local temporary relevance — and therefore could not be a moral judgment or part of God’s “ways” and holiness was ceremonial and civil in nature. Any law that was a part of God’s holiness, way, and judgment is moral and eternal law. This is not mysterious, but may require some study. The New Covenant is clearly said to be God’s laws written on our hearts — this was said when everyone knew that God’s Law and Moses’ Law was one and the same — but they also knew there was a difference between ceremonial ordinances and eternal moral precepts. 1Sa 15:22; Ps 40:6; 50:8; Isa 1:11; Jer 7:22; Ho 6:6
YOU ASK: What about sowing different seed and mixing fabrics?
n De 22:9 Thou shalt not sow thy vineyard with divers seeds: lest the fruit of thy seed which thou hast sown, and the fruit of thy vineyard, be defiled.
n Le 19:19 ¶ Ye shall keep my statutes. Thou shalt not let thy cattle gender with a diverse kind: thou shalt not sow thy field with mingled seed: neither shall a garment mingled of linen and woollen come upon thee.
n If we don’t assume we know what this means and seek help as you suggested earlier, we can learn some interesting things - I would encourage you to read some good commentaries. What you will find is that most agree these precepts were directed towards some superstitious or idolatrous practices in their day, or were object lessons much like clean and unclean meats which helped teach them separation - making them ceremonial in nature. You will also find that we don’t really know what the word means that is translated “linen and woolen”. The mixing of fabrics could have been clothes of patchwork or certain designs for extravagance — nobody really knows. Some say these practices (mingled seed) were connected with witchcraft and idolatry — not just simple husbandry and agriculture, as we know they practiced grafting. Do you think it was wise for God to warn them about the dangers of cross-pollination and losing the original pure seeds they had? NO doubt — if that is what it was about. Do we know what “diverse kind” means? All cows are of the same “kind”, but many experiments have been made between horses and cows, and this was connected to idolatrous and licentious practices in those days — cattle include goats, sheep, cows, horses, camels, etc. IF THERE IS A MORAL PRINCIPLE INVOLVED THAT WE CAN BE SURE OF, WE NEED TO OBEY IT; but we are not accountable for what we don’t know and cannot learn. They knew what it was for, but we don’t know what was really going on, and God hasn’t explained it elsewhere — so evidently it was for a local situation. It seems God was using this to teach them about maintaining purity by separation -- That is certainly a moral principle.
o Cattle: b@hemah, be-hay-maw' from an unused root (probably meaning to be mute); properly, a dumb beast; especially any large quadruped or animal (often collective):--beast, cattle.
YOU ASK: What about laws that are clearly moral, such as Lev. 20:10? or Lev 20:9?
n Lev. 20:9 For every one that curseth his father or his mother shall be surely put to death: he hath cursed his father or his mother; his blood shall be upon him.
10 ¶ And the man that committeth adultery with another man's wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.
n This is indeed God’s will for civil authorities, and if God’s will were being done on earth as it is in heaven — which we should be praying for, this would be done. Your statement that just because I personally cannot execute these laws due to the fact that I am not the civil government, then I am unable to keep God’s Law, is ludicrous. The Bible clearly states than Zacharias and Elizabeth were keeping God’s Law, but we know Herod wasn’t, nor were the Romans or Sanhedrin — this did not alleviate them from obeying what was their responsibility. I am supposed to obey what applies to my circumstance — this is obvious.
n What did Jesus say about these laws???
Mark 7: 8 For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do.
9 And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.
10 For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and, Whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death:
11 But ye say, If a man shall say to his father or mother, It is Corban, that is to say, a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; he shall be free.
12 And ye suffer him no more to do ought for his father or his mother;
13 Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.
Obviously Jesus thought they were still valid!!! Is Jesus also condemning others who make the Word of God of none affect through their tradition?? I explain clearly in my book why Jesus told the adulteress, go and sin no more — there were no witnesses! But Jesus had told them that if there was a true and righteous witness, that they were to cast the first stone — this was God’s Law!
n De 17:6 At the mouth of two witnesses, or three witnesses, shall he that is worthy of death be put to death; but at the mouth of one witness he shall not be put to death.
n De 13:9 But thou shalt surely kill him; thine hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people.
o The witnesses were to cast the first stones
You quote Gal. 3:10 For as many as are of the works of the 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.
11 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.
n Do you understand what you are saying?? Yes, they were all accountable to either keep all God’s law perfectly or go to hell. Moses Law is God’s Law. Since we’ve all fallen short of God’s standard, we have a Saviour, and therefore we seek justification through our Saviour, and not separate from him in our own ability to be perfect. If the law was God’s plumbline, and Jesus paid our debt so we are not condemned by it, then this only proves how much God likes his plumbline, and that apart from Christ’s priesthood, we would all go to hell for not keeping it perfectly.
You also quote Gal. 3:21 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.
22 But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.
23 But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.
24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.
n Do you understand what this says? Because the law could not really atone for sin — the blood of bulls and goats could not take away sin (Heb 10:4) — therefore justification could not come by the Law’s sacrifices and ordinances. Before Jesus came with a true atonement we — the Jews — were kept under the ceremonies which could not take away sin, but served as a tutor — How else could the world really learn and appreciate what Jesus being the Lamb of God was all about? How else would the world know about Jesus’ heavenly priesthood in the heavenly tabernacle if there wasn’t first an earthly replica? This passage is not saying that we are not under the moral laws of God, but that we are not seeking justification through the blood of bulls and goats under the old covenant! Compare with Romans 8: 4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. —This must be New Covenant reality for all saints.
Also, if you look at the root of the argument in Galatians, you will hear Paul saying in Gal. 2:21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain. If our justification before God came through the Law of Moses and the blood of bulls and goats, then Christ dying to atone for our sins was in vain. THIS IS THE ARGUMENT HE IS DEALING WITH. There is no verse in the NT that declares we are out from under God’s Moral Laws given through Moses and the prophets — Consider James’ use of the moral law. He calls it The “Word”, the “law of liberty” and the “royal law”, and quotes a few of the ten commandments to prove what he is speaking of.
James 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:
24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.
25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.
James 2:8 If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well:
9 But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors.
10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.
11 For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law.
12 So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty.
n The Law of liberty is The Law of Love, which is the basis of the Law and the Prophets — God’s law gives liberty when we are obeying it according to the Gospel, and not seeking justification by it.
Compare with Romans 8:1-13 — this is clearly dealing with the “righteousness” of the law as spoken of in Romans 2:25-29. Animal sacrifices are not fulfilled in us when we walk in the Spirit, but moral precepts are.
See I John 3:4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.
5 And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.
6 Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.
7 Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.
YOU SAY: He does not say He came to establish the Law and the Prophets. He says he came to fulfill them. What depth was in the words He spoke while hanging on the cross, “It is finished!” The Old Covenant was finished, The law and the prophets were finished. His own teaching was finished. His sacrificial lifeblood was poured out, and God’s great sacrifice was finished.”
ANSWER: Jesus DID come to fulfill; but that doesn’t mean he obeyed for you what you are supposed to obey. Part of fulfilling the Law was the work of the Holy Ghost and the church in writing God’s Law in the hearts of the believers. You are only right on one point — that God’s great sacrifice was finished. The rest is rank heresy — If Jesus’ own teaching was finished, then you as a Gentile have no hope, but to come under Judaism to be saved — Jesus is the one who taught Peter and Paul and His church to accept Gentiles without circumcision and the Law of Moses —12 years after Pentecost! Remember?? What about the 40 days after the resurrection? If Jesus’ own teaching was finished like you say the Law and prophets were, then why do you follow them???
29 years after Pentecost thousands of Jews were still zealous of the Law and Paul says Heb 8:13 In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away. This was written shortly before the destruction of Jerusalem, when God ended the requirements of the Old Covenant. Jesus’ work was not finished on the cross— only His sacrifice was finished -- He kept teaching them until He ascended, and He is now our High Priest in heaven ministering for our salvation — otherwise nobody would be saved.
In working up to Paul’s conclusions about the righteousness of the Law being fulfilled in believers who walk in the Spirit he states:
Ro 3:31 Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.
Mt 7:12 ¶ Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.
You are making bold statements and you are leading yourself into heresy by running from the truth — This is dangerous! Beware!
YOU SAY: Matt 5:17-18 “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets...” Why do you think they thought that’s what He was trying to do? They thought He was destroying the Law, because that’s what it sounded like to them. He was teaching things that sounded radically new to them.”
ANSWER: He said this before His teaching, but not right before — the last thing he said before he began with the comparisons was “except your righteousness exceed the righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.” Then He began comparing His teaching with theirs. Who had been teaching the people????? Why did it SOUND new??? BUT WHAT DID JESUS SAY??? IT WAS NOT CONTRARY TO THE LAW, THOUGH IT SOUNDED NEW TO THEM ---- THIS IS WHAT I’VE BEEN TRYING TO TELL YOU ALL! THIS IS WHAT MALACHI PLAINLY PREDICTED!
I believe Jesus would say to you all, Lu 24:25 ...O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken:
Why didn’t you quote all the passage about the New Covenant in Heb 8:8-10?
Heb 8: 8 For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah:
9 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord.
10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:
YOU SAY: “Fulfill” means “accomplish” and we are not to think we are to fulfill the law by keeping it.
ANSWER: Did you read my book or not? Fulfilling types and shadows and fulfilling moral precepts are very different. The word fulfill and fulfilled used in Jesus words there (Matt 5:17,18) are from two different words, the one you mention and say does not mean that we have to do or keep the law is seen shortly afterwards in the same sermon:
Mt 5:45 That ye may be <ginomai> 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 .
n Obviously our fulfilling this mandate of God is something we must DO and commands we must KEEP
AGAIN it shows up in the same sermon:
Mt 6:10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done <ginomai> in earth, as it is in heaven .
n Obviously this requires us to DO and KEEP commandments for God’s will to be fulfilled on earth as it is in heaven.
I COULD GO ON, but lets look at the other word used in Matt. 5:17 for “fulfill”. It is the same word used in Romans 8:4:
Ro 8:4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled <pleroo> in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
n This doesn’t mean “finished or done away”; but accomplished or fulfilled by KEEPING and DOING IT!
AGAIN IT APPEARS:
Ro 13:8 Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled <pleroo> the law.
n Why is this relevant or even said, if the Law of God is now irrelevant??? WE ARE TO FULFILL THE LAW WHICH IS WRITTEN ON OUR HEARTS
YOU SAY: “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: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” We talked about this verse a little bit ago. If he was speaking here of the Mosaic Law, Paul and the other apostles would have repeatedly broken it. They taught that circumcision (which was not given by Moses, but was commanded by Moses) was unnecessary. They themselves did not break the law, but they taught others that it was not necessary to keep. The only way to make sense of Jesus’ words here, is to understand that He was speaking of the commandments He himself was giving them.
ANSWER: OOOh my! Slow down J______. Do you not know what it took to get the church to let go of circumcision and the ceremonial law??? Peter had to see a vision from heaven and they had to have a major conference at Jerusalem with all the apostles — AND IT ONLY APPLIED TO GENTILE CONVERTS!!! AND IT WAS 12 YEARS AFTER PENTECOST!! AND...only the outward circumcision was unnecessary — the inward circumcision was still necessary for all believers. Circumcision was ceremonial law, which when fulfilled by the true entity (inward circumcision) became “fulfilled” in the sense of “completed” -- unnecessary; but this is not possible with a moral precept — thou shalt not covet is only fulfilled by not coveting — DOING AND KEEPING THE COMMANDMENT. This I made very clear in my book that you said you read.
YOU SAID: Micheal Martin hit the nail on the head when he said, “The Old Covenant was not a set of timeless universal principles dropped from the sky for all peoples and all times.” The Laws of the Old Covenant revealed to Israel only that part of God’s heart which He chose at that time to reveal to them. They were good, even perfect, for the purpose God had for that nation in that time and place.
ANSWER: Micheal Martin’s statement could be said about Jesus and the apostles teachings as well — They were obviously not dropped from the sky and there are many things said that only applied to the audience at that time and place as most was directly to Jews, not Gentiles — SHALL WE THEN IGNORE THE TIMELESS AND ETERNAL PRINCIPLES OF MORALITY THAT WERE MEANT FOR ALL PEOPLE IN ALL PLACES???? Of course not. Jesus even said to His disciples — “Joh 16:12 I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.” YES THE WORD OF GOD IS A PROGRESSIVE REVELATION, BUT IT NEVER CONTRADICTS ITSELF OR CHANGES ITS MORAL JUDGMENTS. What Jesus taught them later through the Holy Ghost did not contradict or change His morality or moral judgments.
You said: It is important to recognize that Jesus was not plan B, after plan A failed. God knew before He ever created the world that the Mosaic law, the entire Old Covenant, would not be enough. Remember, “...if there had been a law given which could have given life, truly righteousness would have been by the law (Gal. 3:21)”
ANSWER: J_________, come now, did you really read my book? Of course Jesus wasn’t plan B — of course God knew the Old Covenant wouldn’t be enough. You are not refuting me in this; but you’ve forgotten that you are the ones that try to set aside the Old Covenant as a failed plan — not me! The Old Covenant was God’s “tutor” to teach us about Jesus as the Lamb, the prophet, the priest, the king — That is why Jesus took the two on the road to Emmaus through the Old Testament to reveal himself. YOU ARE THE ONES WHO CANNOT SEE THE CONTINUITY. I’m arguing for the continuity.
YOU QUOTE: Deut 18:15 The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken;
16 According to all that thou desiredst of the LORD thy God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, that I die not.
17 And the LORD said unto me, They have well spoken that which they have spoken.
18 I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.
19 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.
THEN YOU SAY: Acts 3:22-26 makes it clear that this passage is speaking specifically of the Messiah, Jesus Christ. In this passage Peter is quoting that Old Testament passage, only he says it a little differently, since he quotes from the Septuagint: “And it shall be that every soul who will not hear that Prophet shall be utterly destroyed from among the people(Acts 3:23).” Now this is very serious. From the very beginning of the Old Covenant, God said He would raise up a Prophet to speak His words to the children of Israel, and they must hear Him.
John 12:48 He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.
49 For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.
Through these passages it is clear that Jesus’ teaching far supercedes the teaching of Moses. In the last day, we will not be judged by the Law of Moses. We will be judged by the words of Jesus Christ. To say that Jesus taught nothing new or different from Moses is preposterous! Why would God have told the children of Israel, through Moses, that He would raise up another Prophet later to teach them, if this Prophet would say nothing different than Moses had already said?
#1 — Deut 18:15 is a telescoping prophecy, like “In thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed” — It had initial reference to every prophet God raised up as can be seen in the next verses you didn’t quote - 20 But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die.
21 And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the LORD hath not spoken?
22 When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.
Every prophet, INCLUDING MOSES, had the same authority when speaking the Word of the LORD, and everyone who refused to hear them was cut off.
#2 YES, JESUS was the ultimate fulfillment of that, just as He was the ultimate fulfillment of the “SEED” of Abraham. YES, if we don’t listen to HIM we will be cut off! YES, He made things clear and taught with the authority of God, and even taught some new things — He was the ultimate Lamb, the ultimate Prophet, the ultimate Priest, AND HE broke down the middle wall of partition between Jew and Gentile to make in himself one new body — this was all new, BUT IT WAS PARALLEL AND CONSISTENT WITH THE OLD AND NEVER NEVER NEVER CONTRADICTED!!! THAT IS THE WHOLE POINT! NEW DOESN’T HAVE TO BE CORRECTING OR CONTRADICTING — IT CANNOT BE IF YOU LISTEN CLOSELY TO WHAT YOU’VE QUOTED. Can you see below what you have missed???
n De 18:18 I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.
Jesus himself says that what Moses said was the Word and Commandment of God. Everything Moses said was GOD’S WORDS and everything Jesus said was GOD’S WORDS, and they cannot contradict or correct each other. AND IF YOU DON’T RECEIVE MALACHI’S WORDS, YOU WILL BRING UPON YOURSELF THE CURSE TO ALL WHO REJECT GOD’S WORDS.
n Malachi clearly says that the Messiah will preach against adulterers and false swearers, and he shows that this will all be consistent with Moses’ Law — YOU ARE NOT LISTENING TO MALACHI!
John 5:45 Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust.
46 For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me.
47 But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?
THEY BOTH HAD GOD’S WORDS, AND THEY ARE IN AGREEMENT!!!
Romans 2:12 For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law;
13 (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.
14 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:
15 Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)
16 In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.
MOSES’ LAW WILL BE USED ON JUDGMENT DAY If the New Covenant was based on God’s writing His laws in our minds and hearts — then they become terms of the covenant and not keeping those laws written on our hearts is violation of the covenant!!!
I JOHN 3:4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.
5 And ye know that he (JESUS) was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.
6 Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.
7 Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.
Jas 2:9 But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors.
Jas 2:11 For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law.
Jas 2:12 So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty.
Jas 4:11 ¶ Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge.
YOU SAID: Jesus teaching was not merely clearing up misconceptions about Moses’ law. He was giving them a whole new understanding of the Law of God. The Law of God was the source of the law delivered through Moses, but the law of Moses was not the Law of God in its entirety. The law of Moses was the Law of God for a specific people in a specific time and place. Through it we catch beautiful glimpses, from time to time, of the bright sunshine behind the storm cloud. When Jesus came, however, He removed the heavy, cloudy veil, and revealed to us to Law of God from which the Law of Moses came.
ANSWER: I can agree with some of this — Yes the Law of God was the source of Moses’ Law — I show this clearly in the diagram in my book Did Jesus Correct Moses. Yes, it was not all God had to say. YES, Jesus gave them a new understanding of Moses’ Law because the Pharisees were giving them a wrong understanding, and the Sermon on the Mount is Jesus correcting wrong interpretations — this is what I’ve been saying all along. However to say that the Law of Moses was specific to a certain people in a specific time leads to the question — all of it?? or part of it?? If God’s law is the source, then some at least is eternal!!! If Moses Law was from the source of God’s Law, then Jesus cannot be correcting Moses’ Law on any point of morality — calling something sin or evil that Moses commanded!!! Since the New Covenant is God’s laws written in our hearts, then THAT PART is eternal. When you say that we catch glimpses from time to time of sunshine behind the storm cloud are you saying that not all the Old Testament Scriptures are inspired by God, but only some of them are??? Is it our limited understanding that makes the cloud or is it lack in the Old Testament Scriptures that makes the cloud??? If you believe the New Testament Scriptures that ALL SCRIPTURE IS GIVEN BY INSPIRATION OF GOD, then the cloud is our limited understanding and EVERY TRUE BIBLE SCHOLAR KNOWS THAT THE OLD TESTAMENT IS THE NEW TESTAMENT CONCEALED, WHILE THE NEW TESTAMENT IS THE OLD TESTAMENT REVEALED. This is my point all along — Jesus came and clarified, but didn’t correct the Scriptures that God had inspired. Why is this so hard to accept??? Why? Because it hits the ism square in the nose.
YOU SAID: Was the law imperfect? Yes and no. It was imperfect in the sense that it was unable to accomplish in us the redemption we can find in Jesus Christ (Acts 13:38-39).
Still, the Law of Moses was perfect in that it fulfilled the purpose God had for it in its time and place. It revealed the power and righteousness of God and the depravity of man. It showed man how desperately he needed the salvation of God. “What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! On the contrary, I would not have known sin except through the law. For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said, “you shall not covet (Rom. 7:7)
ANSWER: Hey J_____, this is great! You are finally on my side. The only thing imperfect about the Law was that it could not make true atonement in its rituals; but they only pointed to Jesus and His true atonement. The ceremonial law was all types and shadows. YES, it did reveal the righteousness of God in the moral aspects of the law, and Jesus certainly wouldn’t correct this. YES, the law cannot be called sin — nothing the law commanded can be called sin!! John says in AD 97 that sin is the transgression of the law. You are now getting it. I only wish this would be a continuing thing!
YOU SAID: What about Malachi? I do not claim to perfectly understand Malachi, although I see in him no reason to believe that Christ was to come and turn people back to the law of Moses.
ANSWER: You cannot escape from the truth that Malachi clearly states that Messiah will come and preach against adulterers and false swearers, and in Malachi this is clearly stated as the abuse of God’s Law, not the changing and calling God’s Law sin — “Ro 7:7 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.” Had Jesus changed and called God’s Law sin, He would have been a false prophet, and the Jews would have been justified in stoning Him.
n Joh 8:46 ¶ Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me?
o Jesus couldn’t give this challenge if He was calling God’s Law sin — The Law gives the knowledge of sin — even in the NT.
n 1Jo 3:4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.
n Isa 8:20 To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.
Jesus never broke the law or spoke contrary to the inspired Word of God, which He was obligated to keep and teach — it was His own Word.
n Joh 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
n Joh 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
n Joh 2:22 When therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them; and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said.
n 2Ti 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: -- when?? In Paul’s day
Mt 4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
YOU SAID: My point in quoting those verses (John 8:39-40) is simply that it is not contradictory to say that Israel, in Malachi’s day, was to return to the Law of Moses, but when the Messiah would come, they would turn from that law to follow Him. The law of Moses was still God’s perfect will for them at that time, and if they would not return to it they would not be prepared for the Messiah when He came. Malachi says, in chapter 3, verse 3, that the Messiah would come and “Purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer to the Lord an offering in righteousness.” Do you suppose the Levites at that time thought that meant the sacrifice of sheep and bulls? It would be understandable if they did, yet today we know that’s not what God meant. He meant that He would teach them to sacrifice their own bodies as offerings in righteousness. Yes, the Messiah is like a refiner’s fire, and a purifier of silver, and His day is indeed a great and dreadful day. He will restore us to the law of God, and we will again discern between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve Him.
The call to return to the law of Moses was intended for all those of God’s children who were waiting the coming of the Messiah. Nowhere does Malachi tell us that the Messiah, when he arrived, would direct us back to the law of Moses.
ANSWER: It is quite obvious from what you’ve said that you have a real problem equating the Law of Moses with the Law of God. When Messiah came and purified the sons of Levi, as he said He would do, what was the result??
n (29 years after Pentecost) Acts 21: 18 And the day following Paul went in with us unto James; and all the elders were present.
19 And when he had saluted them, he declared particularly what things God had wrought among the Gentiles by his ministry.
20 And when they heard it, they glorified the Lord, and said unto him, Thou seest, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are which believe; and they are all zealous of the law:
21 And they are informed of thee, that thou teachest all the Jews which are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, saying that they ought not to circumcise their children, neither to walk after the customs.
22 What is it therefore? the multitude must needs come together: for they will hear that thou art come.
23 Do therefore this that we say to thee: We have four men which have a vow on them;
24 Them take, and purify thyself with them, and be at charges with them, that they may shave their heads: and all may know that those things, whereof they were informed concerning thee, are nothing; but that thou thyself also walkest orderly, and keepest the law.
25 As touching the Gentiles which believe, we have written and concluded that they observe no such thing, save only that they keep themselves from things offered to idols, and from blood, and from strangled, and from fornication.
Can you accept that you are wrong?? Can you see the context in Malachi?
n Malachi 2:4 And ye shall know that I have sent this commandment unto you, that my covenant might be with Levi, saith the LORD of hosts.
5 My covenant was with him of life and peace; and I gave them to him for the fear wherewith he feared me, and was afraid before my name.
6 The law of truth was in his mouth, and iniquity was not found in his lips: he walked with me in peace and equity, and did turn many away from iniquity.
7 For the priest's lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth: for he is the messenger of the LORD of hosts.
8 But ye are departed out of the way; ye have caused many to stumble at the law; ye have corrupted the covenant of Levi, saith the LORD of hosts.
Did you forget to look at Vs 4 of chapter 3?
n Mal. 3:3 And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness.
4 Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the LORD, as in the days of old, and as in former years.
5 And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers, and against those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not me, saith the LORD of hosts.
6 For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.
7 ¶ Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the LORD of hosts.
God equates returning to his ordinances with returning to HIM. He tells them plainly that He wants what He had originally commanded, and that He changes not, and that when the messenger of the covenant comes, they will know that He changes not — and He will call them back to God’s ordinances and preach against adulterers and false swearers.
How can you say, “He will restore us to the Law of God” and then say, “Nowhere does Malachi tell us that the Messiah, when he arrived, would direct us back to the law of Moses.” The Law of Moses was the Law of God
IT IS HARD FOR THEE TO KICK AGAINST THE PRICKS.
YOU SAID: You asked for my interpretation of Romans 8. My understanding of this passage is that those who are enabled by the power of Jesus Christ to walk according to the Spirit, fulfill the righteous requirements of the law, even though it is not their focus. If the law said, “You shall not murder,” and Jesus Christ said, “You shall not hate, because hatred leads to murder,” we who obey Jesus Christ are fulfilling the righteous requirements of the law much better than those who simply go by the letter. And what are the righteous requirements of the law, but to “love the Lord with all your heart,” and to “love your neighbor as yourself”? Jesus said that on these two commandments hang the entire law and the prophets. Was Jesus bringing a new and different righteousness than that? No! He taught us how to truly fulfill the law of God by walking according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh. The law was weak through the flesh, Paul says. It lacked the power to transform hearts from carnal, fleshly pursuits to righteous, unselfish godliness. With Jesus, the law does not begin and end with the physical act. It begins with the conditions and desires of the heart that lead to the physical act.
ANSWER: I can almost agree 100% with this, and in some places you are just about quoting my book that you said you read, so I don’t see how you can think this is a correcting of my position; however, I think you aren’t considering a couple things:
n Romans 8:3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
Grammatical construction demands that the goal and purpose of God was to accomplish this task — “That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us” - It was not just an incidental by-product. Your corrupt translation says, “requirements”, but that is not what the Greek says. The word “righteousness of the law” is a phrase that has important doctrinal connotations, and is what refers to the moral law as opposed to the ceremonial law, WHICH IS NOT FULFILLED IN US WHEN WE WALK IN THE SPIRIT.
Was Jesus bringing a new and different righteousness than that of God’s Law through Moses and the Prophets??? You say, “NO!”; but that totally surrenders the case for you, because IF JESUS’ DEFINITION OF LOVE TO GOD AND NEIGHBOR IS CONSISTENT WITH MOSES’ LAW AND THE PROPHETS, THEN THE LAW OF MOSES AND THE PROPHETS DEFINE TRUE LOVE FOR US ON GOD’S TERMS AND NOT OUR OWN!!!! THIS IS THE WHOLE ARGUMENT!!!
What are the requirements of the Law??? You ask this, but don’t you know?? The law required those who heard the damsel cry out to deliver her! The law required that when there was moral uncleanness in the marriage that the man could write a bill of divorce and put the woman away and when done correctly remarriage was not adultery. The law required that men swear only by God’s name and by no other oath. Did Jesus teach a righteousness different than this?? NO!
Pr 24:11 If thou forbear to deliver them that are drawn unto death, and those that are ready to be slain; 12 If thou sayest, Behold, we knew it not; doth not he that pondereth the heart consider it? and he that keepeth thy soul, doth not he know it? and shall not he render to every man according to his works?
Jesus, God in the flesh, was required to obey this as well or He would have sinned and not fulfilled the righteousness of the Law and the Prophets. This is LOVE on God’s terms!
The problem is you all arrogantly think you understand Jesus better than God, the apostles, and the very Scriptures — You need to submit your opinions to the clear Word of God — Let God's Word define God’s Words.
YOU SAID: “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. (Rom. 8:7)”
It is important to recognize that Paul talks about several different laws in Romans, especially chapters 7&8. We must not imagine that “Law of Moses” could be interjected every time the phrase “law ofGod” is used. If is clear from the context here that when Paul says, “law of God” in verse 7, he is not simply speaking of the law of Moses. In chapter 7:4-6: “4 Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.
5 For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.
6 But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.”
What does Paul mean here when he says, “die to the law?”
ANSWER: EVERY TIME “LAW OF GOD” IS USED IN THE SCRIPTURE IT MEANS “LAW OF MOSES”. Are you seeking help or assuming your idea trumps every commentary on earth.
Because the context is speaking of the “righteousness of the law” and not “requirements”, Paul is speaking specifically about the moral laws of God, not the ceremonial.
Romans 7:1-7 is speaking about Moses law: 1 ¶ Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth?
2 For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband.
3 So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.
4 Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.
5 For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.
6 But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.
7 ¶ What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.
According to the law of God, if a woman who was not put away according to the law of God and was so still bound to her husband was to then go marry another man, she would be an adulteress; but after the husband died, she could do this without being called an adulteress because her bondage ended when the husband died. Her husband was the medium that kept her bound to the law. Even so, we were under the condemnation of the law because of our transgressions due to walking after the flesh. In verse 6 where it says we are delivered from the law, THAT being dead wherein we were held -- THAT is referring to our flesh to which we were wedded.
n Romans 6: 16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.
18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.
When we were in the flesh, we were yielding our members to the flesh, which resulted in sin — when we died with Jesus by being “crucified with ChrIst” or by repentance and faith leaving our old life — putting off the old man, etc. — When we did this, we died to our old life, and thus THAT which brought us under the condemnation of the law was gone, and we could then be married to Christ. Before we could be married to Christ, we had to die to the flesh, which delivered us from the law that condemned our fleshly activities. WE ARE BECOME DEAD TO THE CLAIMS OF THE LAW, JUST LIKE THE WOMAN, BUT THE LAW IS NOT DEAD, OUR FIRST HUSBAND OR WHO WE SERVED IS DEAD. JESUS GIVES US POWER TO FULFILL THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF THE LAW WHEN WE ARE MARRIED TO HIM.
Ga 5:24 And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
Romans 7: 12 Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.
13 Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful.
14 ¶ For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.
THE LAW OF MOSES IS HOLY, JUST, GOOD, SPIRITUAL — AND VERY RELEVANT TO THE NT BELIEVER!
YOU SAID: “Tell me, you who desire to be under the law, do you not hear the law (Gal. 4:21)?”
What do you think about Galatians? Chapter 4 is a very clear picture of the end of the Mosaic Law (the bondwoman) and the beginning of the law of Christ (the freewoman). Chapter 5 makes it clear also that attempting to be justified according to the law estranges us from Christ and shows that we have fallen from grace. If we would fulfill the law, Paul says, it “is fulfilled in one word, even in this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself (vs 14).” ...”but if you are led of the spirit, you are not under the law, (vs 18).” Not under the law? What law? Surely we are still to love our neighbor as ourself? Yes, we are still under the law of God, but we live according to the Spirit, as revealed to us through Jesus Christ, and not according to the flesh, as laid out in the law of Moses. When Paul says that the law is obsolete, he must be saying “the entire Mosaic legal system” not the divine principles of God from which that legal system sprang. Hairsplitting? Perhaps, but I guess hairs must be split sometimes. The point is, we no longer need the Mosaic legal system to tell us what it means to love our neighbor. Christ does this, and our complete allegiance is to Him. Now He tells us how to love our neighbor, and He is not speaking contrary to God’s moral precepts. He is simply bringing us closer to them.
“Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ (6:2).”
ANSWER: J_____, J_____, you are confused and talking in circles. You are mixing different concepts, and confusing yourself terribly
n First, being under the law as spoken of in Galatians, is seeking justification through the law, which was NEVER what God intended the law for — it was a misconception which meant they were seeking to be “under the Law” contrary to “justification by faith” — but “justification by faith” was from the beginning, before the law was given through Moses...
o Gal. 3: 6 ¶ Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.
7 Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.
8 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.
9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.
10 For as many as are of the works of the 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.
11 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.
12 And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.
This, Paul is saying, is the way it was meant to be from the beginning. The law was never meant to be for our justification; but... “they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.” (Romans 10)
n The law’s purpose was to give us
#1 a plumbline of moral law
#2 a system of atonement
The law’s system of atonement was simply pointing us to Jesus and his future priesthood, and was never meant to be seen as THE means of atonement apart from faith in God’s true atonement.
Galatians chapter 4 reproves Gentile converts for desiring the Old Covenant arrangement rather than Christ’s Priesthood because of the ritualism they were accustomed to. Paul tells them that the Old Covenant could not redeem those under it, and therefore was in bondage/debt and left all under it in bondage/debt. Jesus is the only one who could pay the debt, and so being under His priesthood is the way to freedom/liberty/out of debt. It in no way declares the end of God’s holiness as seen in the moral law.
Galatians does not show the end of Moses’ law and the beginning of the law of Christ; but rather argues that God’s plan of atonement was never through the law — for two reasons — they could not perfectly keep the moral law, and the ceremonial could not make true atonement — so the Old Covenant was in debt by pushing sins forward for Christ to pay. Now that Christ has come and paid the debt and established His heavenly priesthood, it is foolish to seek justification back under the Old Covenant. THIS IS THE ARGUMENT, and does not mean that God’s moral law is now irrelevant or changed or corrected by Jesus.
When we are led by the Spirit, we are under Jesus’ blood, and not under the obligation to be justified by the Old Covenant. HOWEVER, THE SPIRIT OF GOD LEADS US TO FULFILL THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD’S LAW, NOT CONTRARY TO IT.
IT IS HERESY TO SAY THAT MOSES LAW WAS THE WORKS OF THE FLESH — THE LAW IS SPIRITUAL, HOLY, JUST, GOOD, AND BY IT WE KNOW WHAT SIN IS — SIN IS THE TRANSGRESSION OF THE LAW. YES, WE NEED THE LAW TO DEFINE WHAT LOVE IS, BECAUSE JESUS SAID HIS DEFINITION OF LOVE IS WHAT THE LAW HUNG FROM AND WAS THE SAME!!!
Mt 7:12 ¶ Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.
We don’t need to split hairs, we just need to understand what the Bible is saying in the context it is saying it. We are not under the Old Covenant ceremonies for justification. We are not under the moral law for justification, for we cannot obey it perfectly; but if we want Jesus to justify us by His blood, we had better strive to walk in the Spirit and fulfill the righteousness of the law, because the new covenant is based on God’s commandments being written on our hearts. God’s commandments refer to Moses law in the moral aspects thereof — there is no denying this without rank heresy.
Re 12:17 And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.
Re 14:12 Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.
YOU SAID: I cannot understand how you could believe that Jesus brought no new light on the law of God than that which had already been delivered by the prophets. To me, the evidence is overwhelming! Jesus Christ delivered to us the words of life, unveiled for us the beauty and majesty of the law of God, and His words outshine by far the words of Moses!
ANSWER: THE WORDS OF MOSES ARE THE WORDS OF JESUS — THE LAW OF MOSES IS THE LAW OF GOD — With all due love and respect, you are terribly confused. I AM THE ONE SAYING THAT JESUS CLARIFIED GOD’S LAW AND CORRECTED THE MISCONCEPTIONS OF THE JEWS — I AM THE ONE SAYING THAT JESUS CAME TO TEACH THE SPIRIT AND RIGHTEOUSNESS OF THE LAW -- HAVE YOU READ MY BOOK OR NOT?? YOUR SIDE IS SAYING THAT JESUS CORRECTED GOD’S LAW AND CHANGED SOME OF IT TO SIN — THIS IS THE ISSUE!!
The words of Moses are the words of JESUS -- “Before Abraham was, I AM” Jesus gave Moses the Law. We are the one’s saying that Jesus simply shed more light on the law and taught the spirit and righteousness thereof.
YOU SAID: Remember the time when Jesus was on the mountain with His disciples, and was transfigured, shining white before them? At that time, Moses and Elijah appeared with Him, and they were talking with Him. Suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, Hear Him!” When the disciples regained their senses after this, they were alone with Jesus. What does this passage say to you? To me, the meaning is crystal clear. Moses and Elijah, representatives of the law and the prophets, faded away, leaving only Jesus Christ. Then we have the clear audible voice of the Father, telling us to hear His beloved Son. “Hear Him!” He said. He didn’t just say, “Believe in Him.” This means that Jesus was to teach us something beyond what the Law and the Prophets taught us.
ANSWER: Yes, HEAR HIM, but not “hear Him according to the Mennonite interpretation”. YES, Jesus did teach us many things beyond what the Old Testament said, BUT NOT CONTRARY OR CONTRADICTORY! Moses’ words were Jesus’ words! Jesus would never have called his own words sin or evil as you all believe.
Moses and Elijah talked with Jesus about His death to make atonement for sins, which the Law could not do -- THEY WERE IN TOTAL AGREEMENT BECAUSE MOSES WORDS WERE GOD’S WORDS — DON’T EVER FORGET THAT.
What did Peter get out of that experience? LISTEN CLOSE
2 Peter 1:16 ¶ For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.
17 For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
18 And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.
19 ¶ We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:
20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
Peter believed that the Old Testament was the WORDS OF GOD, and not the words of men (private interpretation/personal opinion) THAT MEANS MOSES SAID NOTHING — ABSOLUTELY NOTHING THAT WAS HIS OWN IDEA; BUT ALL WAS GOD’S LAW AND WORD -- THAT IS WHAT PETER BELIEVED AFTER BEING ON THE MOUNT OF TRANSFIGURATION!
YOU SAID: John 6:32 “Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven.
33 For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.”
vs. 45 “It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.” I should have quoted this verse when talking about Malachi. It was important for Malachi to turn the people back to the law of Moses, so they could learn from the Father. Thus, when the time was ripe and the Messiah appeared, they would be ready to turn to Him.
vs. 63 “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.”
vs. 68 “Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.”
Rev. 19: 11 ¶ And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.
12 His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.
13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.
14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.
15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
16 And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.
What more could be said? I’m sure a lot, but I need to quit for this time. You asked if I have read the entire Old Testament. I have, several times. But I am still not as familiar with the Word of God as I wish I was. If the Lord continues to give me life, I wish to learn more. But most of all, I wish to become more and more intimately acquainted with the Word of God incarnate, Jesus Christ.
If you wish to send a reply to PLAIN THINGS about the article, you are welcome. Or if you just wish to respond informally to me, that’s okay as well.
In His name, _______________
ANSWER: So again you admit that one hearing Moses’ Law was being "taught of the Father", and that those who believe and obey Moses’ Law would be more apt to recognize and receive Jesus. This is a great point on my side of the argument, and I hope you meditate on it. If Jesus spoke to correct or call what the law commanded sin or evil, which you believe He did in the matters of divorce, swearing, and defending the weak — I say, if Jesus spoke to call all divorce and remarriage adultery, and all swearing evil, and forbad physical force in the protection of those in danger, then the people most attached to Moses law, believing it was the teaching of the Father, would have to stone Jesus for being a false prophet.
Deut. 13: 1 ¶ If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder,
2 And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them;
3 Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
4 Ye shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him.
5 And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death; because he hath spoken to turn you away from the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, to thrust thee out of the way which the LORD thy God commanded thee to walk in. So shalt thou put the evil away from the midst of thee.
How could God condemn the Jews for killing Jesus if He changed, corrected, called them to a different law, and said what Moses commanded was evil (Matt 5:37)??? This command in Deut 13 was consistent with the command to hear the prophet Moses spoke of (Deut. 18:15), because that prophet (Jesus) would have God’s Words in His mouth just like Moses did, and would only speak truth according to what was written. Jesus NEVER spoke contrary to God’s Holy Scriptures, but defended them, clarified their meaning, and preached them with power and clarity.
The Jews never charged Jesus with speaking contrary to the Scriptures; but Jesus continually pointed them back to the Scriptures and equated what Moses said with God’s Word and command (Mk 7)
J_____, I believe you are very sincere and I love you for it. You are confused and misled; but if you are determined ABOVE ALL ELSE, to know the Word incarnate, then you must let the Bible speak for itself and believe ALL that it says without putting your “camps” interpretations first and foremost. They are not all correct, and you need to see this to fully understand God’s Word. I am praying you will see it.
Thank you again for the opportunity to clarify my position. It is unfortunate that you all have assumed so much, rather than clarify. There is much assumption in the article in the paper, which I will deal with next.
With great concern for your understanding of God’s Word