Tag Archives: Old Testament

Jesus in the Old Testament?

Does the following passage give us a glimpse of Jesus in the Old Testament?

What do you think?

Judges 13

21 But the angel of the Lord did no more appear to Manoah and to his wife. Then Manoah knew that he was an angel of the Lord.

22 And Manoah said unto his wife, We shall surely die, because we have seen God.

23 But his wife said unto him, If the Lord were pleased to kill us, he would not have received a burnt offering and a meat offering at our hands, neither would he have shewed us all these things, nor would as at this time have told us such things as these.

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I Stand in Awe of Him

Here is the sixth reason why I persist in studying the Old Testament through a Jewish lens: it has put me in utter amazement. I have been familiar with the gospel for over 30 years, but until a couple of years ago, I had never experienced the mind-blowing comprehension of the gospel as it is foreshadowed in the Old Testament.

His providence astounds me. His redemption is beyond fathoming. I cannot put into words for you how God’s plan for mankind affects me. He gave Adam everything he needed, including a relationship with the Almighty. Adam walked away from that relationship, and the Father has been plotting a way to restore it ever since. “We must all die; we are like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again. But God will not take away life, and he devises means so that the banished one will not remain an outcast.” 2 Samuel 14:14 (ESV)

i-am-the-door

(Picture from 119 Ministries)

He is constantly working on our behalf: “Behold, I go forward, but he is not there; and backward, but I cannot perceive him: On the left hand, where he doth work, but I cannot behold him: he hideth himself on the right hand, that I cannot see him:” Job 23:8-9

I have been smitten by God’s enormous love and brought to tears over and over again as I discover more about His personality and provision for us. Sometimes I feel like my human body can not bear up under the presence of His overwhelming holiness. Just catching a small glimpse of Him here and there throughout the scriptures has made me fully aware that a man cannot see God and live. (Exodus 33:20)

In light of my recent studies, I am convinced that we cannot so much as comprehend Him and live! I am certainly going to need a new body before I meet Him face to face, so I won’t have to worry about whether my heart stops or whether I’m still breathing. And I will need a new mind that will not crumple in the light of His magnificent truth. And then I’m going to need an eternity with Him to search out His goodness, His wisdom, His love.

Let me tell you something. Satan and the forces of this world do not want you to study the Old Testament. The richness of God’s salvation is hidden on every page, and Satan doesn’t want us to know about that. Satan is good at deceiving, so he tells us that some things (aka the OT) are just not important anymore.

God, on the other hand, desires to have a relationship with us. He wants us to know everything we can about Him, to be constantly hungry for more. God wants you to study the entire Word. That’s why He left it for us. “As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?” Psalm 42:1-2

Let me leave you with a song that praises Him for His indescribable nature:

You are beautiful beyond description
Too marvelous for words
Too wonderful for comprehension
Like nothing ever seen or heard
Who can grasp you infinite wisdom
Who can fathom the depth of your love
You are beautiful beyond description
Majesty enthroned above

And I stand, I stand in awe of you
I stand, I stand in awe of you
Holy God to whom all praise is due
I stand in awe of you

(I Stand in Awe of You, Hillsong)

Do You Really Believe in the Old Testament?

8624465192_1d123f2711_nFor the past few days, I have been posting articles concerning Jewish beliefs or interpretations of the scriptures. If only the Jewish nation knew everything that Christians knew about Christ, and if Christendom knew everything the Jews knew about their language, customs, and scriptures. There would be a mountain of evidence between us, all pointing to the true Messiah. If we could come together, I feel that we would be able to show any seeker the truth – atheist, Muslim, you name it.

Point #5.

What’s the point in studying the Old Testament? How does it advance the kingdom of God?

Finding out as much as possible about the OT is a great way to win souls. You can flat out “prove” the inerrancy of the Scriptures, mostly due to the prophecies and the harmony between testaments. Much of what you find in the New Testament is a reference, commentary, or explanation of the Old Testament revealed in the light of the redemptive work of Jesus Christ (like the references to the cities of refuge). The more you know, the more you can prove. Luke thought it appropriate to prove that Jesus is who He said He is. (Read Luke and Acts to discover Luke’s methods. I also talk a bit about them in my post Proof of God.)

In addition to building a body of evidence, there is another reason to read the Old Testament. It is quite silly to say you believe in something that you have never studied or even read. I was speaking with a devout Jewish woman last year about one of my favorite quotes from Zephaniah: “For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the LORD, to serve him with one consent.” Zephaniah 3:9. (I have so much to say about this verse, but that is for another post. ) She responded that she had never read Zephaniah in all her life, and that she only studied the Torah because there was enough in it to keep her busy.

While I would agree that there are mountains of knowledge in the Torah, and that you could probably never exhaust the supply of information and meaning hidden within it, I found it strange that she would not read everything at her disposal. Wouldn’t she be curious about the other revelations? If Zephaniah and the other prophets and writings are inspired of God, why would you neglect to read them? How can you even claim to believe something you have not studied? You can say that you believe the Bible is true. That is belief in a statement. Someone told you the Bible is true, and you believe it. But can you honestly say that you believe facts, histories, prophecies, and foreshadowings if you have never even read them?

As we read through the Bible, the Word works in us to reveal that it is true: “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12. But you have to read it if you want to benefit from these effects! If you don’t read it, then you are accepting someone else’s interpretation of it, and not the Holy Spirit’s.

Today I feel compelled to impress upon you the importance of reading the entire Word of God. Also, I want you to realize that the two testaments were inspired by the same God, whose plan for mankind has not altered in the least over the course of history. Christ was “slain from the foundation of the world.” Revelation 13:8 “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.” Galatians 3:8

Here’s one more reason to study the Old Testament, if these others have failed to convince you: We are told to do it. If you don’t believe me, check out these verses about studying.

I want to help you learn to read and study the scriptures, so here are a couple of ideas to get you started:

Because we forget so easily, because spaced repetition is the key to long-term memory, and because our understanding  of the Word is ever growing, I think it’s important to read the Bible through once a year. While that may seem like a mountain of homework to some, it is not as difficult as you think. If you read at a pretty standard speed, you can do it in fifteen minutes a day. To make it even easier, there are Daily Bible reading apps, The One Year Bible in print (you can get it on Amazon), Bible reading charts that you can download, etc. My favorite Kindle Bible is the Daily Bible in One Year. Here is its description from Amazon: “The readings are categorized into Epistles, the Law, History, Psalms, Poetry, Prophecy, and Gospels which repeat every seven days. They are designed to provide variety in your reading while allowing sufficient time each day to reflect on each reading.” If you just want to stick with the Bible on your shelf, here is my favorite reading plan. It follows the same format as the Kindle Bible I just mentioned. Also, and this might be the easiest thing to do, you could just divide the number of pages in your Bible by 365, round up to the nearest whole page, and read that much every day. It will probably be much less than what you might have imagined.

If reading is difficult for you, might I suggest listening online? Here is an audio Bible from biblestudytools.com to get you started, but you might also check Librivox and YouTube.

Tomorrow I intend to wrap this series up, with what may very well be my favorite reason for studying the Old Testament.

The Jewish word ga’al and the City of Refuge

city-of-refugeYesterday, I published my first point regarding why I study Jewish belief. Here is point two:

The Scriptures were written by the Hebrew people for the Hebrew people, in the Hebrew language. Anyone who has studied a second language will know that there will necessarily be some expressions, ideas, words, etc that Hebrew-speaking people will just understand better. For instance, the Passover, found in Exodus 12: Jews keep the Passover feast every single year according to the instructions given in Leviticus 23, commemorating the night that the death angel passed over everyone who was under the blood. It was commanded by God that they keep it forever. (Exodus 12:14, and one of many reasons why Torah-observant Christians keep it today.) It was a dress rehearsal for the redemptive act of Jesus Christ on the cross. When we see the Passover through their eyes, we understand better: We had an appointment with death, but because the innocent lamb died, He became the substitute for us, and now we no longer have to die. (Romans 6:23, Genesis 2:17, Proverbs 11:19, Ezekiel 18:4, James 1:15, Romans 5)

Another of my favorite passages is Joshua 20. The word for “avenger” in this passage is the same exact word translated “redeemer,” which is also the same word translated “kinsman,” both from the book of Ruth. There is no distinction. These words mean each other. They are each other. Your next of kin has the ability to redeem you or to avenge your death. If you read the book of Ruth again (also Leviticus 25:24-25), you will discover that Jesus Christ had to be our next of kin in order to qualify as redeemer, but Yahweh constantly refers to Himself as our redeemer. He also says in Exodus 6:6 that He will redeem us with an outstretched arm. If you read yesterday’s post, that will mean something more to you. The answer? Yeshua the Messiah is Yahweh in the flesh, the arm of the LORD. The Jews would have understood this before they hardened their hearts. Ah, for fun, read Numbers 11:23 and Isaiah 59:1!

Okay, back to Joshua 20.

“The Lord also spake unto Joshua, saying, Speak to the children of Israel, saying, Appoint out for you cities of refuge, whereof I spake unto you by the hand of Moses: That the slayer that killeth any person unawares and unwittingly may flee thither: and they shall be your refuge from the avenger of blood. And when he that doth flee unto one of those cities shall stand at the entering of the gate of the city, and shall declare his cause in the ears of the elders of that city, they shall take him into the city unto them, and give him a place, that he may dwell among them. And if the avenger of blood pursue after him, then they shall not deliver the slayer up into his hand; because he smote his neighbour unwittingly, and hated him not beforetime. And he shall dwell in that city, until he stand before the congregation for judgment, and until the death of the high priest that shall be in those days: then shall the slayer return, and come unto his own city, and unto his own house, unto the city from whence he fled. And they appointed Kedesh in Galilee in mount Naphtali, and Shechem in mount Ephraim, and Kirjatharba, which is Hebron, in the mountain of Judah. And on the other side Jordan by Jericho eastward, they assigned Bezer in the wilderness upon the plain out of the tribe of Reuben, and Ramoth in Gilead out of the tribe of Gad, and Golan in Bashan out of the tribe of Manasseh. These were the cities appointed for all the children of Israel, and for the stranger that sojourneth among them, that whosoever killeth any person at unawares might flee thither, and not die by the hand of the avenger of blood, until he stood before the congregation.”

So what does this mean? What would you see here if you were Hebrew and heard the good news of the Gospel? I hope I can explain this clearly, the way I see it.

The Father is the Son’s avenger of blood (nearest of kin). The Son was slain, unwittingly, by those who are responsible for His death: sinners. When a sinner learns of Christ, He runs to the city of refuge (which is also Christ). The City protects the man-slayer from the avenger of blood until the death of the high priest, at which point he may return home. The amazing thing about this passage is that Christ is also our high priest. It is his death that pardons us! This is the amazing love of God. This is how cool He is. “…yet doth he devise means, that his banished be not expelled from him.” 2 Samuel 14:14 – Basically meaning that He is acting out His plan to keep us from being separated from Him forever.

Okay, amazing, right? But there’s more to this passage. First, there is eternal security. I have so much to say on this topic; maybe someday I will make an entire post out of it, but for now, suffice it to say that once the high priest is dead, the avenger of blood can no longer seek to destroy us. That’s it. Eternal life.

Secondly, there are those who, after hearing the gospel and learning what Christ accomplished on the cross, turn away and become haters of God. These are those who have made themselves murderers by becoming willingly responsible for the death of Christ. These will be delivered up from the city of refuge, directly into the hands of the avenger of blood.

The writer of Hebrews is expounding on Joshua 20 right here:

“For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.” Hebrews 10:26-30. 

Actually, you will find more concerning Joshua 20 if you read the entire book of Hebrews. Here is another passage:

For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.” Hebrews 6:4-6

Interesting, right? Suddenly, after learning the meaning of ga’al (meaning to redeem, to act as kinsman, to avenge), and after having read Joshua 20, I understood these passages while also understanding eternal security. There’s a first time for everything, right?

Let me sum up: Studying the New Testament in light of the Old and vice versa provides amazing clarity.

Proof of God

8624465192_1d123f2711_nOkay, so it’s a legitimate question. Why do I believe that God exists? Maybe I’m repeating myself here, but it came up on my FaceBook page today, and I’d like to share this post with a wider audience, so here it is.
Here’s one reason among many: Bible prophecy.
“The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner.” Psalm 118:22.
How did the Psalmist know hundreds of years in advance that the Jewish people would reject Him when He got here? It’s not like the Jewish folks are doing it to make the Bible seem true. If they were doing it on purpose, they would have to acknowledge that Jesus is the Christ eventually, and most of them flat-out refuse. They don’t want anything to do with Jesus. They are waiting on pins and needles for their Messiah to come in and set up an earthly government, yet, if they have read their own scriptures, penned by their own people, authored by their own God, you would think it might occur to them that He would have to first be rejected.
Also, how can they look for a kingdom to last forever when they have this prophecy: “And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself:” Daniel 9:26 Are they wanting Him to come in, set up a kingdom, and THEN be cut off? That doesn’t make an ounce of sense. In fact, I have discovered through research that the Jews long believed that there would be two Messiahs. It was the only way they could reconcile the fact that He was prophesied to suffer and die for us (Isaiah 53 – which they used to acknowledge was about Him, but deny it now), and also prophesied to establish an eternal kingdom on the earth. Now they refuse Jesus on the basis that He didn’t fulfill ALL of the prophecies and therefore can not be the Messiah. They should really look into their own religion a little more and see what changed in rabbinical thinking and literature AFTER Jesus came and fulfilled the first part of the prophecies. The changes are quite telling.
Their own prophecies only make sense in the light of the birth, life, death, burial, resurrection, and return of Yeshua Messiah. He fulfilled the prophecies in a way that they couldn’t have fathomed, much less predicted.
In general, I have found that modern Christendom is pretty inadequate at giving any proof that Jesus is the Christ because many believers refuse to comb the Old Testament. Many will say – “you just have to have faith.” And I do believe that God gives us all the measure of faith we need to believe, but it kind of upsets me that we have such a body of evidence that we are completely neglecting, especially in light of Luke’s treatise that he gave to Theophilus (which word I think breaks down into “lover of God” in Greek). He says he gave it to us “That thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed.” Luke 1:4 This book was written with the care and scholarship of an educated man, a man who didn’t expect people to believe him just because he said so, a man dedicated to presenting the truth in a manner that could be confirmed by anyone who chose to look into the facts. The book of Acts was written in the same fashion, also authored by Luke. It should come as no surprise then, that Luke quotes from the Old Testament A LOT throughout both books, giving the proof that Jesus is exactly who He says He is.
The proof that God exists is found in the perfect harmony between the Old Testament and the New – in the continual and perfect foreshadowing of an event that nobody ever saw coming. In fact, I have not found a single New Testament doctrine that wasn’t foreshadowed in the Old. Everything from baptism to the final trumpet blast is represented in the OT. Even the mystery of the gospel, which has to do with the salvation of the Gentiles.
And why make it a mystery? Why keep everything a secret, continually foreshadowing but explaining nothing? “…we speak of the mysterious and hidden wisdom of God, which He destined for our glory before time began. None of the rulers of this age understood it. For if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.” 1 Corinthians 2:7-8. Also, for you, Seeker, so that you will know that something that marvelous couldn’t have been mysteriously hinted at countless times, yet come to pass in a way that ties up every loose end, answers every riddle, laughs in the face of coincidence.
I’m not finished looking yet, but I am beginning to suspect that everything the New Testament teaches has its foundation in the Old. We know that everything Paul taught originated with the Old: “Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come: That Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should shew light unto the people, and to the Gentiles.” Acts 26:22-23.
God gave us brains for a purpose; He gave us logic and reasoning skills. He wants us to use them and encourage others to do the same. Believing something just because mommy said so or because society says so is a cop-out for someone who doesn’t want to take the time or make the effort to do any real research. “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15. And of course, after you accept Him, you will know beyond the shadow of a doubt because “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:” Romans 8:16.
These things may not mean anything to folks who have already made up their minds about God, but it may speak to someone who is searching. I have many more scriptures to share from the OT that were amazingly fulfilled by Christ.

The Heart of the Christmas Controversy

I posted the following article to my FaceBook page the other day. I had a request to post it here as well.

It is here for your consideration only, not as an encouragement to argue, not as a judgment, not out of bitterness, nor an effort to try to make anyone look silly, etc. However, please do feel free to comment, because I am ever seeking for a greater understanding of the truth. I am still learning, so what may look like a pompous thesis is merely a collection of my current conclusions. Our God is eternal, and we will eternally be discovering His awesomeness, so I am under no delusion to have discovered everything about Him, His personality, His revelation, His great big wonderful plan of redemption, or even His will for my small role in the grand scheme of things. I am constantly studying, constantly learning, constantly facing my own misconceptions, constantly being broken down and built back up by the Word of God. And my efforts have not gone unrewarded. Our household is currently in a state of revival. “As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.” Psalm 42:1 “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.” Matthew 5:6
Feel free to say anything you like here, even if you do not believe in my God (Yahweh) at all. “Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.” Psalm 119:165. I am not offended that we are different people and have different values and ideologies. And I believe that most, if not all of us, are striving to find universal Truth. This is my journey.
A note: This discussion started over whether it was appropriate to worship Yahweh in the same ways that the pagans have worshipped their gods over the course of history. I have determined that the root of the matter has more to do with whether New Testament Christians should be keeping the Old Testament Laws, and that is what I will attempt to answer here. Once that conclusion is drawn, everything else falls easily into place. If more discussion is needed, we can talk about that at a later date.

In case there is anyone here who is seeking answers (anyone else will probably shy away from the length of this article, lol), I thought I would offer some support of the unpopular perspective. That way, when you are adhering to the following verse, you will have more to think about rather than a few chosen scriptures that seem to support the popular opinion. “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” II Timothy 2:15
Be careful: Even the scriptures I quote here should not be enough to convince you. I may have inadvertantly taken some out of context. In order to reach a proper conclusion, you need to read every chapter and verse and beg God for clarity. (Good timing: the New Year is coming up, and you can commit to reading it all the way through.) The WHOLE Word of God must agree with itself, and that only happens when you understand that the Law has not been abolished, as Paul makes very clear. “Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.” Romans 3:31

If the law were void, would anyone need saving? Consider the following passages, and try to follow my logic here: Sin is still defined as transgression of the Law. “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.” I John 3:4 “…but sin is not imputed when there is no law.” Romans 5:13 “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.’” Romans 7:7 You would not be able to tell “sinners” that they need to repent and be washed in the blood of the Lamb if the Law was no longer in effect. If His death did away with the Law, then sin would not be imputed to anyone, and there is no longer any need to have our sins covered. However, sin is still very real, and the consequences are real as well. “…and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.” James 1:15
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The writings of Paul are confusing if you’ve been taught that the Law is void. In one place he says that circumcision doesn’t mean anything, and in another he says, “we establish the Law.” His seeming contradictions become perfectly clear when you understand that Paul was talking about the inability of the Law to save us. He isn’t saying it’s okay to sin as much as you want. “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?” Romans 6:1&2 (Remember the definition of sin in this verse by again looking at I John 3:4.) He is just saying that the blood of Christ covers our sins. “Moreover the law entered, that the offence might about. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:” Romans 5:20 One of the contributors to the original argument summed it up perfectly when he said, “The fulfillment of the law means we don’t go to hell for those things.” (In referral to keeping the whole law, unless I misunderstood his point.) But consider this: we don’t go to hell for theft, murder, or anything else once we are under the blood of Christ. Nobody argues that these things are still sins. But Christians are no longer under the curse of the Law: in that sin brings forth death. We are covered under the spotless blood of the perfect Lamb. More on that later.
If you have time, read the book of Galatians. (Please make the time.) The problem Paul was facing was that the Jews were telling the Gentile converts that they couldn’t be saved unless they were physically circumcised (converted to the Jewish nation). The good news of the gospel is that you don’t have to be Jewish to be part of God’s covenant people. Paul knew that every Jewish person had failed to keep the Law. They were saved through the grace of God, and not by any action they had done. How could they, being disobedient Jews, then require the Gentiles to be obedient to the Law? “But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?” Galatians 2:14
Salvation does not hinge on works. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Ephesians 2:8&9. We all understand this – and that is the point Paul was making. “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace. For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.” Galatians 5:1-6.
Is Paul saying that my son, Ian, who was circumcised when he was eight days old, is a debtor to do the whole law? Is he saying it’s bad to follow God’s law in the rite of circumcision? No, he makes it crystal clear that if you are trying to justify yourself through circumcision (as some of the Jews were demanding), that you would have to keep the entire Law to earn that justification. Read it again. It’s all or nothing. Only Christ was able to keep the entire Law. Only He was worthy to pay our sin debt, freeing us from the curse of the Law (death). If He is our example, let’s follow Him as closely as possible, even though it’s impossible to be perfect. “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” John 14:15 If Christ and Yahweh are one and the same, then Christ is telling us to keep Yahweh’s commandments. I have many verses proving the deity of Christ, if that is a hang-up for anyone. There isn’t an Old Testament God and a New Testament God. There is one God, and He doesn’t change, and His definition of sin doesn’t change.
In Colossians, which is another book that many people have difficulty with, Paul was giving people permission to keep the Holy Days if they wanted. They lived in a culture that emphasized neglect of the body and diet, etc. He’s not saying it’s okay to break God’s Law. It should go without saying that he isn’t making God’s Law void. When I tell my son that he can do whatever he wants after dinner, I’m not including murder, theft, and rape. Goes without saying. God tells us over and over again that He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. I wanted to say that only the penalty for sin has changed, but that’s not really true either. If you are not under the blood of Christ, the penalty is still very much the same. And the penalty for our sins was paid for us, by the perfect Lamb of God. God’s Law has not changed. He also told them that they couldn’t take away or add to His Law: Deuteronomy 4:2 Why do we think this verse is meaningless, but hold so tightly to the almost identical one given in Revelation?
Psalm 19:7 says “The Law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul…” Did it then become imperfect? “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law…” Galatians 3:13. The curse of the Law is not the Law itself, as made clear by the Psalms and countless other passages. The curse comes through disobedience. Deuteronomy 27:26. “Cursed be he that confirmeth not all the words of this law to do them…” That is the curse that the blood of Christ saves us from. The only thing “wrong” with the Law was its inability to save: “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.” Galatians 3:21

I would like to specifically respond to this statement: “If your problem is in applying Old Testament law statements given clearly to the nation of Israel, then I do not know how to answer you.” This comment was made on FaceBook in response to my husband who posted the reference to this passage: “Observe and hear all these words which I command thee, that it may go well with thee, and with thy children after thee for ever, when thou doest that which is good and right in the sight of the LORD thy God. When the LORD thy God shall cut off the nations from before thee, whither thou goest to possess them, and thou succeedest them, and dwellest in their land; Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them, after that they be destroyed from before thee; and that thou enquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? Even so will I do likewise. Thou shalt not do so unto the LORD thy God: for every abomination to the LORD, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods; for even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their gods. What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.” Deuteronomy 12:28-32 (Notice He isn’t concerning Himself here with the nation worshiping other gods, merely how they worship Him.)
Yes, God was speaking to the nation of Israel. They were the ones listening, writing down His Law, making an effort to keep His law (even though it had no power to save, not even then). However, the Law was for everyone: “Ye shall have one manner of law, as well for the stranger, as for one of your own country: for I am the LORD your God.” Leviticus 24:22
If a stranger wanted to partake in the Passover, for instance, he had to be circumcised (become part of the Jewish nation). Read Exodus 12. Today, those who are spiritual Jews undergo a circumcision of the heart. (A physical circumcision for eating the physical Passover, and a spiritual circumcision for partaking in the spiritual Passover.) I am every bit as much a Jew in God’s eyes as Abraham’s natural children. Therefore, the Law applies to me. There has only ever been one Law for those who follow God, whether natural Jews or spiritual.
Also, all this talk about being New Testament Christians: It’s the same problem the Jews have. The Jews maintain that they are clinging to the Torah and prophets. Modern Christianity clings to the New. The fact is, once the preconceptions are cleared away, the entire Word of God is in harmony with itself. The entire Word of God is for all people of all times. Jesus is the Word, and He does not change. He is not a fickle, man-made God. “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by EVERY word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:4 There’s one you can look up in the Old and New Testaments both because Jesus is quoting the Old Testament here.
The Bereans were commended because they searched the Old Testament to confirm the gospel: “These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” Acts 17:11
Some closing verses to consider: Matthew 5:17-19 “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. 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.”
The Law is a blessing to those who follow it: Joshua 1:8 “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.”
Psalm 1 “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his seaon: his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.”

I am tempted to also copy and paste Psalm 119 in its entirety, but you can look it up if you are so inclined.
In two previous posts (“The Law Is Not an Example of Planned Obsolescence” and “What Do I Really Believe?”), I talk about some of these things more in-depth, if you can believe that. Sorry for the thought-vomit, but I have been meaning to collect my research on this topic for a very long time, so here it is. I have many more verses to support these ideas, if there are any specific questions or responses.

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