Law vs. Lawlessness #5
Matt 24:11 "Then many false prophets
will rise up and deceive many.
12 "And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.
13 "But he who endures to the end shall be saved.
There is a Purpose of the Law of Moses
It is not surprising that even this worlds intellectual world writers can get mixed up concerning the Law of God. The whole Western "Christian" world is mixed up on these matters! The teachers usually go on quote Galatians 3:17, where we read:
Gal 3:17 "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" (KJV).
The moder day teachers, then state, based on this verse:
"Christians have a relationship with God based on faith, not on law. . . His [Pauls] point here is that the law of Mosesthe old covenantwas temporary. It was added only till Christ came" .
But is this what Paul was talking about?
This is very misleading, as they state that the whole system of law, given at Sinai, was temporary. But the truth is, much of the Sinai Law was really merely a repetition of Gods Law from the time of Adam and Eve. Remember, Cain and Abel also offered sacrifices, and Abraham kept Gods "statutes, commandments and laws." The apostle John tells us that "sin is the transgression of the law" (I John 3:4),
...and Paul informs us that "sin is not imputed where there is no law" (Rom.5:13), yet he says, "all have sinned" (Rom.5:12). Therefore, the LAW of God was in effect from the very days of Adam and Eve! Death is the penalty of sin (Rom.6:23), and "death reigned from Adam to Moses" (Rom.5:14). Therefore, SIN existed from Adam to Mosesand for SIN to exist, the LAW of GOD had to exist!
At Mount Sinai, Paul tells us in Galatians, concerning the law, "It was ADDED because of TRANSGRESSIONS [i.e., breaking of the laws of God], till the seed should come to whom the promise was made [Christ]"
(Gal.3:19).This Law which was "added" was NOT the "Old Covenant"! Lets not be confused. The Covenant and the Law are two different things!
The Covenant was an AGREEMENT between Israel and God. The Laws were part of that agreement; they were, in effect, the TERMS of that Covenant. All of those spiritual, moral, ethical, and civil LAWS did not begin with Moses at Mount Sinai, but went back to CREATION!
The Sabbath law, for example, goes back to Creation (Gen.2:1-3). God reminded Israel of which day was the Sabbath weeks before Israel ever got to Mount Sinai (Exodus 16). God gave them the Passover commandments (Exodus 12:14-16) fifty days before the Sinai covenant!
What, then, was really "new"or "added"to the system of Laws which God had already put in force, prior to Mount Sinai?Why, the answer should be obvious.
At Mount Sinai the physical tabernacle, Levitical priesthood, prescribed sacrifices and rituals, were addedwhat we generally call the RITUALISTIC LAW, or the law related to the Levitical Priesthood! These were the "meats [meal offerings[ and drinks [drink offerings], and divers washings, and carnal ordinances [marginal reference, "rites, or ceremonies"], imposed on them until the time of reformation" (Heb.9:10). The Greek word for "ordinances" here is dikaioma which means "what has been established and ordained by law, an ordinance," "a judicial sentence," "a righteous act or deed," and in this verse clearly refers to those things related to the Levitical priesthood.
This was a whole body of legislation which was ADDED at Mount Sinai! These rituals pointed to Christ, and to heavenly objects, of which they were a type or shadow. These things are not obligatory for Christians today!
Ferrar Fenton, in his translation, translates these passages in Galatians 3:17-19 as follows:
"And I assert thisthe RITUALS, beginning four hundred and thirty years after, could not cancel a Settlement previously established by God, so as to abolish the promise. For if the inheritance comes from a RITUAL, it is no more from a promise; yet God granted it to Abraham through a promise. Why, then, the law [of rituals]? It was established BECAUSE OF SINS, until the Heir should come in Whom were the promises."
We must carefully distinguish what was truly "added" at Sinai and what existed before, in terms of Gods Laws. Clearly, the rituals were added at Mount Sinai. But from the very time of Adam, it was a sin to worship false gods or idols (Gen.31:19-35), to take Gods name in vain (Gen.4:26), to desecrate the Sabbath (Gen.2:1-3), to dishonor ones parents (Gen.9:17-25), to kill (Gen.4:7-10), to commit adultery (Gen.39:7-12), to steal (Gen.30:33), to bear false witness (Gen.3:1-3, 14), and to lust or covet (Gen.3:1-7). Thus all ten of the Ten Commandments were in force from the time of Adam!
The only "laws" therefore which were altered, changed, or "set aside" for any length of time, by the coming of Christ, were those specific laws which He Himself declared to be changedand most of those were not weakened or diminished in any way, but made more strong and strict and binding! (Matt.5-7). For example, Jesus said it was even a sin to "lust" after a woman with your eyes, to commit adultery in your heart (Matt.5:28)! He also forbade swearing, saying to let our yes be "yes" and our no, "no" (Matt.5:33-37). He commanded us to even love our "enemies" (Matt.5:43-47).
Therefore, when The teachers of this worldly way, imply that ALL Gods "Laws" were "added" at Mount Sinai, and Abrahams relationship with God was only based on "faith," they are a LIAR, and a false witnessa prevaricator and perverter of the Word of God!
When This worlds unknowledgeable teachers say " the whole "package of laws became obsolete when Christ died" they are confusing the old covenant itself, which is obsolete, with the LAWS which were the core and basis of the old covenant, which are NOT obsoletehow can they be?
They are based on eternal veritiesthey are ETERNAL! As David himself wrote: "The LAW of the Lord is PERFECT, converting the soul . . . The statutes of the Lord are RIGHT, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is PURE, enlightening the eyes . . . the judgments of the Lord are TRUE and RIGHTEOUS ALTOGETHER. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them is thy servant WARNED: and in KEEPING OF THEM THERE IS GREAT REWARD"
Psa 19:7 The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul; The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple;
Psa 19:8 The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; The commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes;
Psa 19:9 The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; The judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.
Psa 19:10 More to be desired are they than gold, Yea, than much fine gold; Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.
Psa 19:11 Moreover by them Your servant is warned, And in keeping them there is great reward.
Now notice how preachers today pervert the clear meaning of another scripture. They often quotes Hebrew 10:1 and claims therefore that the Law of God itself is "only a shadow." Notice it!
"The law is only a shadow of the good things that are comingnot the realities themselves."
Now, my Bible has this verse differently! Let us notice several translations:
"For the law HAVING A SHADOW of good things to come, and not the very image of the things . . ." (KJV).
"For as the Law HAS a mere shadow of the bliss that is to be, instead of representing the reality of that bliss" (Moffatt).
"For the Torah has in it a shadow of the good things to come, but not the actual manifestation of the originals" (Jewish NT).
The original Greek of the New Testament is that the Law "has" or "possesses" a shadow of thingsnot that the Law itself IS a "shadow." Modern Preachers quote the NIV version here, where it is an interpretation and not a true translation of the original Greek language!
Heb 10:1 (NIV) The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming--not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship.
The Worldly preachers claims that tithing is "voluntary" under the New Covenant, but was commanded in the Law of Moses. He says it was "voluntary" in the day of Abraham (p.14). But does the New Covenant abolish tithing?
Tithing Law Abolished?
We know Abraham paid tithes on all his increase (Gen.14:20). Jacob also made this same vow (Gen.28:22). Later God gave the tithe to the Levites (Lev.27:30-33; Num.18:21, 24). However, Paul points out that the Levites "who receiveth tithes, PAYED tithes in Abraham. For he [Levi] was yet in the loins of his father, when Melchisedec met him" (Heb.7:9-10).
Paul then states, "For the priesthood being changed [from Levi to Melchisedek, or Christ], there is made of necessity a CHANGE ALSO OF THE LAW" (Heb.7:12).Heb 7:12 For the priesthood being changed, of necessity there is also a change of the law.
What kind of change? Obviously, a change in the tithing law! Changed how? Changed in TO WHOM tithes are to be paid! Paul did not say the tithing law was done away with.They merely said that since the priesthood was changed, from Levi to Christ, therefore the tithes now should go or be paid to CHRIST and His representativesHis Church!
Verse 8 actually makes this clear. Paul wrote, "And here men that die receive tithes [that is, the Levites]; but there he [Christ] receives them [present tense], of whom it is witnessed that HE LIVETH"that is, Christ is ALIVE today, and He is to receive TITHES today, instead of the Levitical priesthoodthe tithes of all those people who accept Him as Messiah and Savior and who follow and serve and obey Him!
Jesus Himself acknowledged that tithing is a law today, when He said not a "jot" or a "tittle" would pass from the Law till heaven and earth passed away (Matt.5:17-19). He also clearly acknowledged it when He said of the Pharisees, "Ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and NOT to leave the other [tithing] undone" (Matt.23:23).
And, lest we forget it, Jesus taught tithing from the simple premise that He declared that the scribes and Pharisees "sit in Moses seat." He commanded, therefore, "ALL therefore WHATSOEVER they bid you observe, that observe and DO" (Matt.23:1-3).
Did the Pharisees command tithing? Of course they did! Although they went about trying to establish legalistic righteousness, apart from Christ and the Holy Spirit, through their own efforts (Rom.10:3), they were the custodians of the oracles of God
Rom 3:1 Then what advantage has the Jew? Or what is the benefit of circumcision?
Rom 3:2 Great in every respect. First of all, that they were entrusted with the oracles of God.
Rom 3:3 What then? If some did not believe, their unbelief will not nullify the faithfulness of God, will it?
They commanded, in interpreting the Law, that tithes were to be paid! Jesus said, therefore, we must DO AS THEY COMMANDEDthat is, PAY TITHES! But our tithes are to go to Christ and His representativesthat is the only "change" in the tithing law (Heb.7:12)!
More to come later as this developes. 10/99 jw
The Sabbath Observance coming soon....