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Jesus is our tithe June 23, 2014

Posted by Henry in Contending for the Faith, Tithing.
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Here is an interesting take on the tithe by a Pastor Amos Ortiz.

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1. Anonymous - September 10, 2014

The New Testament specifically names 3 laws and the offerings and sacrifice laws which have been abolished. Tithing, and the very important giving of offerings on the annual holy days are not among the laws that have been singled out as annulled. If they have been annulled, then our precious Savior has deceived us in Matthew 23:23 and Luke 11:42. I strongly encourage you to visit http://TithingHelps.Us to understand better why tithing was never abolished.

MATTHEW 23:23: “…….. You SHOULD TITHE, yes, but do not neglect the more important things. — New Living Translation

“…….. You OUGHT TO TITHE but without forgetting about those more important matters.” — Common English Bible

LUKE 11:42: “…….. You should be fair and kind to others and still GIVE A TENTH to God.” — Contemporary English Version

“…….. You SHOULD TITHE, yes, but do not neglect the more important things.” — New Living Translation

“…….. And you should also continue to do those other things–{LIKE GIVING ONE – TENTH}.” — Easy – to – Read Version

2. Henry - September 13, 2014

Anonymous,
Let me ask you this: to whom was the Law given?

The Law was given to Israel alone when they entered the Promised Land. The subject of Jesus’ attention in the verses you cite was the Pharisees who were still under the Law, which required them to tithe to the Levites who served the Temple that existed then. This Law had no bearing on Gentiles (or outsiders of Israel). Ephesians 2 clearly explains this well. I would implore you to read it and tell me if you still think Jesus was telling the church to tithe.

1Don’t forget that you Gentiles used to be outsiders. You were called “uncircumcised heathens” by the Jews, who were proud of their circumcision, even though it affected only their bodies and not their hearts. 12In those days you were living apart from Christ. You were excluded from citizenship among the people of Israel, and you did not know the covenant promises God had made to them. You lived in this world without God and without hope. 13But now you have been united with Christ Jesus. Once you were far away from God, but now you have been brought near to him through the blood of Christ.
14For Christ himself has brought peace to us. He united Jews and Gentiles into one people when, in his own body on the cross, he broke down the wall of hostility that separated us. 15He did this by ending the system of law with its commandments and regulations.
[Ehp 2 – New Living Translation]

Does it not clearly say here that Law separated us from Israel and that God joined us together with Israel through the blood of Jesus by abolising the law with its commandments and regulations? If this has happened why are you and others trying to place God’s people back under the Law?

3. Anonymous - September 14, 2014

It is about 2:00 AM Saturday night, Henry, so I will try to answer all of your questions more thoroughly Sunday. I just cannot resist saying something now, though. Yes, I have read and studied Ephesians 2:15 intensely. I know that most mainstream Christians use that verse to support their idea that many Old Testament laws have been annulled. If you study the Greek word dogma in that verse you should realize that there is not only reasonable doubt that the “commandments in ORDINANCES” referred to in verse 15 is the Biblically recorded, divine (God inspired) Mosaic law, but that there is a MASSIVE amount of reasonable doubt. The “ordinances,” which is the more literal translation, in that verse quite logically refers to MAN MADE, MAN CONCOCTED laws, most likely in this case, of course, the very burdensome Jewish Oral Law, Not the Biblically recorded Mosaic law, which IS NOT man made.

Mainstream Christians many times ignore the real context of controversial verses, especially concerning the food laws. Ephesians 2:15 is one more verse that is commonly misinterpreted.

Instead of just using the New Living Translation I wish you would be more open minded enough to use more literal translations for Ephesians 2:15 such as the following 4 translations:

Ephesians 2:14,15: “For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, 15 having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments CONTAINED IN ORDINANCES, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace.” — New King James Version

Ephesians 2:14,15: “For He is our Peace, Who makes both one, and razes the central wall of the barrier 15 (the enmity in His flesh), nullifying the law of PRECEPTS IN DECREES, that He should be creating the two, in Himself, into one new humanity, making peace;” — Concordant Literal Version

Ephesians 2:14,15: “For he is our peace, who made both one, and brake down the middle wall of partition, 15 having abolished in his flesh the enmity, [even] the law of commandments [CONTAINED] IN ORDINANCES; that he might create in himself of the twain one new man, [so] making peace.” — English Revised Version

Ephesians 2:14,15: “For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and breaking down the middle wall of partition, the enmities in his flesh: 15 Making void the law of commandments CONTAINED IN DECREES: that he might make the two in himself into one new man, making peace.” — Douay-Rheims Bible

Don’t forget, also, that you’re up against over 90 pro-Mosaic law verses in the New Testament.

4. Anonymous - September 15, 2014

Concerning the idea that the Law was given only to Israel, it does not seem reasonable that you can reconcile that idea with the following verses:

ROMANS 2:10-13: “But God will give glory, honor …… to the Jews FIRST and also to the Gentiles. 11 For God JUDGES EVERYONE BY THE SAME STANDARD. 12 The Gentiles …… sin and are lost apart from the Law. THE JEWS have the Law; they sin and ARE JUDGED BY THE LAW. 13 …… people are put right with God …… by DOING WHAT THE LAW COMMANDS.” — Good News Translation

The above verses indicate strongly that the same standard, which is the Law, will be applied to both Gentiles and the Jews, and so both groups will be judged on how well each person obeys the Law.

Micah 4:1-3: “….. in the latter days ….. the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established on the top of the mountains ….. and peoples shall flow to it. 2 Many nations shall come and say ‘….. let us go up ….. to the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths.’ FOR OUT OF ZION THE LAW SHALL GO FORTH ….. from Jerusalem. 3 ….. Neither shall they learn war anymore.” —- NKJV These verses refer to the distant future, a time that has not yet arrived. “Mountain” is symbolic of the theocratic government of the Lord.

How in the world can anyone say that the Mosaic laws were intended for the Jews only when these Micah verses quite plainly reveal that such laws will be obeyed by EVERYONE worldwide some day?

EPHESIANS 2:19,20: “…… you are …… fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles AND PROPHETS ……” — NKJV These Ephesian verses reveal that Christianity consists of the teachings of the apostles AND THE TEACHINGS OF THE PROPHETS like Moses, Malachi, Zechariah, etc.

Getting back to Ephesians 2:15, whatever was abolished was “contained” in or involved “ordinances” or “decrees,” which by the Greek definition of dogma overwhelmingly refers to man made judgments, opinions, edicts, rules, or instructions. The Greek for “ordinances” or “decrees” is dogma, Strong’s 1378, a somewhat rare, special word in the Bible overwhelmingly referring to judgments, rules, and decrees concocted by human beings, not divine laws specifically recorded in the Bible. The very man made, burdensome, divisive Oral Torah is most likely the set of laws that was done away with here, not the God created civil and moral laws in the Scriptures, which include many laws of the most basic decency and common sense. Since when did the written, God inspired Mosaic laws forbidding the placement of stumbling blocks in front of blind people, forbidding the removal of property landmarks, and forbidding the prosecution of a son for a crime committed by his father, create “hostility” between the Gentiles and the Jews? Despite the personal conclusion that the authors of the New Living Translation, New International Version, and other translations jumped to in their translations, these Ephesians verses do not conclusively, beyond reasonable doubt, say that the entire written Mosaic law or even most of it, which contains a substantial number of very humane, good laws given directly by the Lord, has been annulled. Logic, reasonable logic totally devoid of all peer pressure, dictates that the probability is well over 50% that what was abolished here were the man made, non-Biblical Oral Torah laws added by the Jews. The Greek nomos is used in the Bible around 200 or more times to refer to all or the bulk of written, Biblically recorded Old Testament laws, not dogma, used only 5 times, which never even clearly refers to all or even most of the written, God inspired Biblical laws. The 1 John 3:4 definition of sin specifies that sin is breaking the law (nomos), not breaking dogma.

Verse 14 sets the stage for better understanding verse 15. Verse 14: “He ……. has broken down the MIDDLE WALL OF SEPARATION.” The phrase “middle wall” is helpful to understand verse 15 because it identifies and concentrates only on a wall or barrier made by man, not a barrier made by God or His divine laws. The Greek for “middle wall” is mesotoichon, Strong’s 3320, a special, rare word appearing only once in the Bible in Ephesians 2:15. The word mesotoichon was used by the famous Jewish historian Flavius Josephus to refer specifically to a balustrade in the Jewish temple in Jerusalem to keep gentiles from entering the holy section of the temple. That balustrade (the Jews built the barrier because they wanted to build it, not because of any Scripture) was definitely a man made barrier, not a divinely made barrier or wall created by any Scripture. The Greek for “of separation” is phragmos, Strong’s 5418, which means a “fence” or “railing.” In his book Wars of the Jews Josephus used the terms mesotoichon and phragmos for a particular balustrade or barrier in the Jewish temple (Book 5, chapter 5, section 2 and 6). This barrier was built by the Jews to isolate the outer court where the gentiles were, from the inner part of the temple where all gentiles were banned. Written notices in Greek and Latin were posted at the bottom of the steps leading to the inner area, warning gentiles that death would be the penalty for entering the inner area of the temple. Two of those notices were found, one in 1871 and the other in 1935. The actual, physical “middle wall” was demolished when the temple was destroyed in 70 A.D. by the Romans. Several years before the middle wall was destroyed, though, Paul pointed it out as an appropriate symbol of racial and religious barriers separating people.

In verse 15 the Greek for “law” is nomos, Strong’s 3551, which can refer to man made laws depending on the context since there are more than seven definitions of nomos. “Commandments” in the Greek is entole, Strong’s 1785, which can also refer to rules and laws created by men. Again, the Greek word for “ordinances” is dogma, Strong’s 1378. This word appears only three other times in the Bible besides Ephesians 2:15 and Colossians 2:14, which refers to man made opinions, judgments, or decrees (in Colossians 2:14, according to the context of Colossians 2:13, dogma logically refers to the written or somehow recorded record [apparently in heaven] of people’s sins). In the other three times dogma is used, it never clearly refers to the Bible’s written Mosaic laws. In two cases dogma refers to secular regulations devised by a non-Christian Roman ruler, Caesar, not to God’s holy laws:

1) Luke 2:1: “…….there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.” The Greek for decree is dogma.

2) Acts 17:7: “……… these all do contrary to the decrees of Caesar saying that there is another king …….” The Greek for decrees is dogma.

3) Acts 16:4: “And as they went through the cities, they delivered them the decrees for to keep, that were ordained of the apostles and elders which were at Jerusalem.” Again the Greek for decrees is dogma. The man made decrees in this verse were formulated by the apostles and elders in Jerusalem to primarily inform church members that circumcision was no longer required.

Since “the law of commandments contained in ordinances” is nonspecific, if this verse really did mean that the Mosaic laws have been abolished, then a large number of very good, common sense laws also would have been done away with by Jesus Christ Himself, which is absurd, demonstrating another glittering flaw in mainstreamers’ reasoning that Ephesians 2:15 proves that the written Mosaic laws were annulled. Very good, common sense Mosaic laws not specifically listed in the New Testament that even most pagan societies would not break include laws prohibiting removing property landmarks, prohibiting the mingling of lepers with the general population, forbidding incest, forbidding punishing a son for a crime his father committed, prohibiting being a member of a vandalizing mob, prohibiting bribery, prohibiting bestiality, prohibiting putting stumbling blocks in front of blind people, and on and on. Do you really think that Jesus thought that the law forbidding putting stumbling blocks in front of the blind created “enmity” between Jews and gentiles?

For an even more complete understanding of Ephesians 2:15 please visit http://www.ucg.org/booklet/new-covenant-does-it-abolish-gods-law/peace-and-unity-christ/.

Remember, not just a few, but MOST Bible translations are tainted with a misleading, anti-Old Testament personal remark inserted directly into the original Greek at the end of Mark 7:19, which is proof that most translators have an anti-Mosaic law bias. Whenever the translation opportunity comes, they seize it to slant the translation their way. Ephesians 2:15 is one more example of that bias as shown in the New Living Translation.

5. Henry - September 18, 2014

Anonymous,

You need to understand what is written in plain English before resorting to Greek scholarship.

You need to look at the portion of scripture again instead of using logic and supposition to frame your argument.

According to you the scripture here was referring to man-made ordinances and not the God ordained ones. Are you therefore saying that these man made ordinances separated us from God, without a hope? And that Jesus had to die on the cross in order to dismantle these man-made laws so that Jews and Gentiles can be one in His flesh? You clearly do not understand the Gospel.

The truth of the matter is that the covenant promises were contained in the Law and it was the Law that separate us from Israel – this is why the Gentiles had no hope or knowledge of the covenant promises.

Furthermore no one could be justified by the Law before God and this is why it was abolished (read Heb 10, Rom 3:20).

Now read Gal 3

16God gave the promises to Abraham and his child.j And notice that the Scripture doesn’t say “to his children,k” as if it meant many descendants. Rather, it says “to his child”—and that, of course, means Christ. 17This is what I am trying to say: The agreement God made with Abraham could not be canceled 430 years later when God gave the law to Moses. God would be breaking his promise. 18For if the inheritance could be received by keeping the law, then it would not be the result of accepting God’s promise. But God graciously gave it to Abraham as a promise.
19Why, then, was the law given? It was given alongside the promise to show people their sins. But the law was designed to last only until the coming of the child who was promised. God gave his law through angels to Moses, who was the mediator between God and the people. 20Now a mediator is helpful if more than one party must reach an agreement. But God, who is one, did not use a mediator when he gave his promise to Abraham.

21Is there a conflict, then, between God’s law and God’s promises?l Absolutely not! If the law could give us new life, we could be made right with God by obeying it. 22But the Scriptures declare that we are all prisoners of sin, so we receive God’s promise of freedom only by believing in Jesus Christ.

God’s Children through Faith

23Before the way of faith in Christ was available to us, we were placed under guard by the law. We were kept in protective custody, so to speak, until the way of faith was revealed.
24Let me put it another way. The law was our guardian until Christ came; it protected us until we could be made right with God through faith. 25And now that the way of faith has come, we no longer need the law as our guardian.

Notice it says clearly in verse 19 that the Law was designed to last only until Christ came (the child in the verse refers to Christ – see verse 16). Jesus Himself also said this in the gospels that the Law and the prophets were until John (Luke 16:16) confirming what Paul has said here.

If you seek to keep the Law today by following it by letter you will not enter heaven. Live by faith in Jesus and experience the freedom in Christ for those who seek to follow the Law today have fallen from Grace (Gal 5:4).

6. Anonymous - September 19, 2014

Henry,

This may be just a partial reply to your last comment. I may need a little more time to answer all of your questions.

You really do need to be willing to check other translations, especially when it comes to trying to understand controversial verses, instead of clinging solely to the New Living Translation. That translation is often not as literal as it should be in some verses, and it definitely is unjustifiably biased against the Mosaic laws, and that can be proven by Mark 7:19.

Concerning Romans 3:20, that verse is basically just an abstract, intellectual observation revealing that it really is faith that saves us, not our obedience to Biblical laws. That verse, though, does not clearly say or even imply that law keeping is no longer needed. This verse could very well have been and probably was directed toward people, especially “hard core,” stubborn Jews, who refuse to accept the grace provided by the sacrificial death of Jesus, and who insisted on relying ONLY on law keeping for their salvation.

Regarding Hebrews 10 the context involves a part, but only a part, of the law that was abolished. Those verses refer specifically to and only to the sacrifice and offerings laws, not the tithing, dietary, festival, and other OT laws. The word “sacrifices” appears repeatedly throughout Hebrews 10. Yes, the sacrifice and offerings laws definitely have been annulled.

Concerning Galatians 3:17-25 those verses also refer to and only to the now abolished sacrifice laws, which was the “tutor.”

Galatians 3:19: “What purpose then does the law serve? It was added because of transgressions, till the Seed should come to whom the promise was made ……..”

Note very carefully that the word “transgressions” appears in this verse, which is highly significant. Transgressions are defined as breaking or violating certain PRE-EXISTING laws. If there were no laws previously, then transgressions could not have occurred. (There is ample evidence that the 10 Commandments, which contained the Saturday Sabbath, were in full force before the Mosaic laws were formally codified.) Paul, the author of this verse, is logically talking about temporary, carnal ordinances of the law added at Mount Sinai. The Ten Commandments did not originate at Sinai, and they did not end at the cross, the sacrifice of Jesus. Something, however, did originate at Sinai, and something ended at the cross. The Decalogue was revealed at the Garden of Eden, but certain things were added at Sinai. Galatians 3:19: “……..it was added because of transgressions, till the Seed should come ……..” Something was transitory and then went away. The book of Hebrews can explain Galatians 3:19. Hebrews 9:8-11: “The Holy Spirit indicating this, that the way into the Holiest of All was not yet made manifest while the first tabernacle was (still) standing. 9 It was symbolic for the present time in which both gifts and sacrifices are offered which cannot make him who performed the service perfect in regard to the conscience- 10 concerned only with foods and drinks (food and drink offerings), various washings (purification rites), (and) fleshly ordinances IMPOSED UNTIL THE TIME OF REFORMATION. 11 But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come ……..”

The sacrificial and ceremonial laws of washings, purification rites and other physical ordinances were most logically the things that ended when Jesus died, not the many moral and civil laws of the Mosaic laws.

Galatians 3:24,25: “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.” — NKJV

In all probability the particular “law” referred to here is the same law discussed in nearby Galatians 3:19, which were the temporary laws involving sacrifices and offerings that ended after the death of Jesus. Hebrews 9:10 is additional evidence that the laws that were added then abolished were only the sacrifice and offerings laws, not other laws such as the Ten Commandments, tithing, dietary, festival, and others. The Greek word for “schoolmaster” is paidagogos, 3807. This special word is used in the NT only 3 times, and according to Strong it basically means “guardian” or “disciplinarian,” definitely NOT “teacher” or “instructor,” which is a distinct and huge difference. Verse 25 therefore does not say that we are no longer under a teacher of the law or no longer under what the law says or teaches, but rather that we are no longer under the penalty, punishment, or disciplinary part (potentially death for disobedience) of the OT offerings and sacrifice laws. Disciplinarians chastise, penalize, and punish people for breaking rules, like the costly, expensive sacrifices in the past punished people for sinning.

Again, I recommend that you refer to the New Living Translation only occasionally, not 100 per cent of the time.

7. Anonymous - September 20, 2014

In my last comment I did not address Galatians 5:4. Here is my reply to that verse:

GALATIANS 5:4: “You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.” — NKJV

Many people mistakenly interpret this verse as 1) evidence law keeping is no longer required for salvation. Taken even more literally, concentrating only on the words in that verse, verse 4, though, can just as easily be interpreted to mean 2) that stubborn, primarily Jewish people who want to rely 100% on law keeping, and law keeping only, one more time, AND LAW KEEPING ONLY, for justification to be saved, and not also on the grace and atoning sacrifice of Jesus at all, have truly separated themselves from Jesus, making His sacrificial death meaningless. Yes, I agree with you Henry, that I will not be able to enter heaven (actually eternal life on the earth is more Biblical) if I rely SOLELY on law keeping to save me, and if I reject the sacrificial death of Jesus to atone for past sins. However, I DO ACCEPT GRACE AND FORGIVENESS OF PAST SINS BY THE SACRIFICIAL DEATH OF JESUS, and I worship Jesus, too, of course. Salvation involves grace with a certain amount of righteous law keeping. The Bible says that repeatedly.

Luke 16:16: “The law and the prophets “were” until John: from that time the kingdom of God is announced ……” (Analytical Literal Version) The word “were” is artificially inserted by translators and is not in the original Greek. This verse is basically repeated in Matthew 11:13:

Matthew 11:13: “For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.”

In both Luke 16:16 and Matthew 11:13 the original Greek word for the pivotally important word “until” is heos, Strong’s number 2193. It is often translated as “until,” but is translated about as often as “unto.” Other translations are “to,” “while,” and “whilst.” In the following 12 different translations you can see that there is no indication at all that the law was abolished in this verse: The New Living Translation, New Century Version, New Life Bible, The Darby Translation, Goodspeed New Testament, Knox New Testament, Living Oracles New Testament, Williams New Testament, Worsley New Testament, and An Understandable Version. Therefore this verse is not conclusively anti-Mosaic law. The “until” word usually does not even appear in these translations. Easy to Read Version: “All the prophets and the law {of Moses} spoke until the time John came. They told about the things that would happen.” The Message: “But if you read the books of the Prophets and God’s Law closely, you will see them culminate in John, teaming up with him in preparing the way for the Messiah of the kingdom.”

These Matthew and Luke verses essentially just state that John the Baptist learned Old Testament laws and prophecies, which was the only religious material available for him to learn since the New Testament did not exist when he was alive. After John arrived he announced the soon coming kingdom of God. That announcement in itself was not a clear statement, beyond reasonable doubt, that Old Testament laws then became abolished.

8. Anonymous - September 26, 2014

In one or more of your previous writings I believe you said that during the time that ancient Israel existed, the Israelis tithed only on their agricultural profits. The following quotation, though, refutes that idea.

2 Chronicles 31:5: “……… the children of Israel brought in abundantly the first fruits of grain and wine, oil and honey, and of all the produce of the field; AND they brought in abundantly the TITHE OF EVERYTHING.” — NKJV

Since this verse initially stated that the first fruits (apparently the tithes) of ALL the produce of the field was brought in, the additional words “and they brought in abundantly the tithe of everything,” instead of being merely redundant, most likely meant non-agricultural income. The word “everything” very probably means all income, whether it is from agriculture, carpentry wages, rental income, salaries, etc.

9. Henry - September 27, 2014

Anonymous,
It is clear to me that you base your theology on “probabilities” rather than a certainty of what the scriptures say. You use words like “most logically” or “in all probability” to frame your argument. This my friend is not scriptural. The Law has been abolished. Period. This is what the scriptures say regardless of which version of the Bible you are reading. The scriptures do not say that part of the Law is abolished it refers to the whole Law. Jesus Christ has redefined the righteousness that we should live by. If you love your neighbor as yourself you would not remove the old landmarks; you would not commit adultery with your neighbor’s wife; you would not kill; you would not steal; and so on and so forth. This is why Paul tells us in Gal 5:14 that the ENTIRE Law is fulfilled in keeping the one command which is to love your neighbor as yourself. Scripture does NOT say that we get right with God by keeping the Law as well as Grace through faith. You are inserting words into the text when you say it’s not by grace only.

21But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; 22Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: Rom 3

This tells us that God’s righteousness today is without the law – in other words we now have a way to be made right with God without keeping the requirements of the law. So if this is so how can you claim it is not by Grace alone? This is why Paul again says in Rom 8

God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: 4That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

Here the scripture tells us that the righteousness of the law is automatically fulfilled in us (in other words we too fulfill the righteousness of the Law) when we live by faith in Jesus Christ. It is then a futile exercise to argue about which parts of the law are abolished or not. We live by faith we fulfill the law so there is no more need for the law, except that it shows man his sinful state.

This is the Gospel message. If after reading this you still believe that you need to keep parts of the law then I cannot continue to engage with you on this subject as it is fruitless exercise.

10. Henry - September 28, 2014

Anonymous,
This dispute which you have raised was also raised 2000 years ago at the Jerusalem council in Acts15 from verse 5. Here the Pharisees who believed was asking if the Gentiles should also follow the Mosaic Law (not the traditions of men). This dispute was then settled by the response given by the apostles. The Gentiles were not supposed to follow the law or be circumcised but to observe a number of stipulations such as not eating meat sacrificed to idols, or eating anything in it with the blood etc. The scriptures are very clear.

Just to humour you though concerning 2 Chron 31:5 about the tithe. You are the one reflecting your own preconceived notion upon the word “everything”. You need to look at Lev 27:31-32 to see what God had commanded to be tithe. If you tithe something else other than what God asked for then you would be disobeying the law. Tithing money for instance instead of giving the produce would be disobedience. Note the number of times money was referred to in Lev 27 before we come to the tithe such as pledges made to God and so on. God required money in those instances but not for the tithe except where you were redeeming the tithe and paying a penalty of one fifth on top.

11. Anonymous - September 29, 2014

I have closely read your last 2 posts and I am preparing a careful reply which should appear within 24 hours.

12. Anonymous - September 30, 2014

Regarding what happened at the Jerusalem Council in Acts 15, I did not initially understand this chapter when I first read it long ago. The online libraries of conservative churches like the United Church of God, an International Association, though, explained the background of that chapter which is essential to understand it.

Acts 15:19,20,28,29: “Therefore I judge that we should not trouble those from among the Gentiles who are turning to God, 20 but that we write to them to abstain from things polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from things strangled, and from blood. ……. 28 For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things: 29 that you abstain from things offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality …….”

When the book of Acts was written the dominant Greek and Roman cultures at that time were centered around idol worship and even had many local pagan temples. Christian Gentiles assembled, literally with the sizable Jewish community, in the synagogues each Saturday. Bibles were extremely expensive at the time since Scrolls were hand written, and very few people had them except the very rich. Synagogue services were the only opportunity most Gentile Christians had to hear the Scriptures and learn Christianity since new Christian congregations had not yet been established in many areas. The Jews welcomed the new people, but they needed to be assured that the Gentiles had genuinely forsaken any form of idolatry. The apostles therefore required the Gentile believers, TO GET ALONG WITH THE JEWS, to accept certain rules (generally man made rules or customs that were not necessarily always required for salvation) showing that they had HAD REJECTED IDOLATROUS PRACTICES:

1) they should not become involved in any ritual involving animal strangulation,

2) they should not participate in any ceremony misusing blood in sacrifices,

3) they should not become involved in any meal associated with idol worship, and

4) they should completely avoid any contact or dealings with temple prostitutes.

Verse 21: “For Moses has had throughout many generations those who preach him in every city, being read in the synagogues every Sabbath.” This last verse shows that the apostles were motivated to help make the Jews accept the new Christian converts into the synagogues to regularly hear and learn what Moses was recorded to have said. If Acts 15:20,29 is a complete, exhaustive list of laws for Christians to obey, Gentile believers can now murder, cheat, lie, remove property landmarks, commit bribery, abuse the name of the Lord, work on the Sabbath, eat an animal torn by a wild animal, consult wizards, eat trichinosis infected pork and other toxic, scavenger meat, forget about tithing which often saves the helpless hungry from starving to death, curse their parents, covet, divorce for frivolous reasons and marry someone else, look at women adulterously, etc. which of course is a ridiculous conclusion. Acts 15:20,29 therefore does not even remotely begin to prove that the Mosaic laws have been nullified. For a better understanding of these verses in Acts 15 go to tomorrowsworld.org/magazines/2008/how-to-study-your-bible then scroll down to principle 5.

ACTS 15:24: “……. some who went out from us have troubled you with words, unsettling your souls, saying, ‘You must be circumcised AND keep the law’—to whom we gave no such commandment—” — NKJV

The Greek word for “AND” is kai, Strong’s number 2532, usually translated as “and.” However, kai definitely CAN also be translated in other ways, depending on the context. The conservative, more literal King James Version of the Bible translates kai in other verses in the New Testament as “even” 108 times, “then” 20 times, and “so” 18 times. Kai has also been translated as “so then,” “certainly,” “just,” “now,” “well,” “while,” “for,” “if,” “that,” “therefore,” and “when.” Kai can easily mean “as a consequence or result of an action taken” in which verse 24 could very well mean that circumcision would merely be an act or consequence of keeping the law of Moses, and therefore Mosaic law observance in general was not a separate command. In such a situation keeping the other laws of Moses is not an issue. Verse 24: “……. saying, ‘You must be circumcised so then or certainly or now or well or while or for or if or that or therefore or when or then or even or so keep the law’—to whom we gave no such commandment—” are other very possible translations. “…… to whom we gave no such commandment” would therefore refer ONLY to circumcision, not other laws.

THINK! Paul and Barnabas had a HUGE argument and debate over ONLY ONE SINGLE part of the law, circumcision, in Acts 15. Can you even begin to imagine how great and prolonged the debate would have been if all the other Mosaic laws were disputed, such as those dealing with murder, the Sabbath, tithing, coveting, using the Lord’s name in vain, the Feast of Tabernacles, the law forbidding putting stumbling blocks in front of blind people, removing property landmarks, bribery, incest, and on and on? Kai therefore must have had a meaning other than “and.” The verse 1 Corinthians 7:19: “Circumcision is nothing and un-circumcision is nothing, but keeping the commandments of God is what matters,” only one of many, many dozens of other pro-law keeping verses, helps prove that the Apostles did not conclude that the other Mosaic laws were nullified at the time they decided to abolish circumcision. Acts 27:9 records that Paul continued to observe Old Testament laws such as the fasting Day of Atonement, which occurred well after the time they decided to end circumcision. The Apostles concluded that it would be too much of a burden to impose only circumcision, not the general law, on Christians.

I will address your other verses and comments probably tomorrow. This discussion of whether or not the law is still valid is benefitting both you and I and our readers since “iron sharpens iron.” I have learned how to better explain some of the verses you have challenged me with. I wish you would start thinking about how you define sin, and if sin can prevent a Christian from being saved. I would like to know your answer to those questions.

13. Anonymous - October 1, 2014

Henry, I once heard a minister say that if you have 3 Biblical verses that initially, at first glance, seem to say one thing, and you have 28 verses that clearly say just the opposite, then the safest, most logical, most common sense, most reasonable thing to do is go along with what the 18 say. The majority, especially the vast majority, wins. This is the case with a very few verses that seem, at first, to give some kind of support to your anti-law position. There are many, many dozens of obviously pro-law keeping verses, though, that you apparently do not want to even mention here. The majority, especially the vast majority, again, being just reasonable, wins again here showing us that some, but not all, OT laws must still be obeyed. You have been challenging me with seemingly anti-law verses that I have been able to generally refute, without bringing to your attention about 10 pro-law keeping verses for each one of your seemingly anti-law verses.
Here is what you said, Henry: “Scripture does NOT say that we get right with God by keeping the Law ……” However, the following verse clearly indicates you are wrong.

ROMANS 2:13 “…… people are put right with God …… by DOING WHAT THE LAW COMMANDS.” — Good News Translation

You said “This is why Paul tells us in Gal 5:14 that the ENTIRE Law is fulfilled in keeping the one command which is to love your neighbor as yourself.” Don’t you think it is only fair to assume that idea is simply a broad, but true generalization? What if the neighbors are single homosexuals that do love each other, even to the point of engaging in their kind of sexual intercourse? You need laws, in this case the laws forbidding “gay” sex, to guide Christians as to how to attain righteousness.

Galatians 5:14: “For the entire Law is fulfilled in one word, in this [commandment], “You will love your neighbor as yourself.’ [Lev 19:18]” — Analytical Literal Translation

Also, you are not aware of what the Greek word for “fulfilled” really means in verse 14. The original Greek word for fulfilled is pleroo, Strong’s number 4137, which does not mean to replace, abolish, substitute, or perform for other Christians. It overwhelmingly means to “make replete, level up, be full, perfect, fully preach, complete, or to fill.” Fulfill means to fill to the full in verse 14, to fill full, or fill fuller. Pleroo means basically “to add to,” or “supplement.” Joseph H. Thayer, famous Bible word expert, includes the following words in his definition of pleroo: “to furnish or supply liberally,” “liberally supplied,” “to render full,” “to fill up to the top,” “so that nothing shall be wanting to full measure, fill to the brim,” “to make complete in every particular,” and “to render perfect.”

Loving your neighbor as yourself truly does complete, add perfection to, and greatly supplements “the entire law.”

The same pleroo word was used in Matthew 13:48 in which nets were filled up with fish!

Romans 3:21,22 and 8:3,4 talk about the supreme righteousness of God the Father and Jesus, which of course is superior to any kind of law keeping righteousness humans can attain. Those verses are generalizations which do not clearly say or even imply law keeping can be abandoned. However, I can begin to see how you might believe those verses add some kind of support to your anti-law position. Like I said, though, you’re up against over 60 much, much, one more time, MUCH clearer, simpler, more easily understood verses supporting OT law keeping such as the following:

ISAIAH 66:17: “SOME OF YOU …… EAT THE MEAT OF PIGS …… BUT I, THE LORD, WILL DESTROY YOU FOR THIS.” — Contemporary English Version

MATTHEW 13:41,42: “…… his angels …… gather ALL WHO VIOLATE THE TORAH; 42 AND CAST THEM INTO A FURNACE OF FIRE ……” — ExeGeses Companion Bible

MATTHEW 7:23: “…… I never ever knew you, DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO VIOLATE THE TORAH.” — ExeGeses Companion Bible

ACTS 24:14: “….. I worship the God of my Fathers, BELIEVING ALL THINGS WHICH ARE WRITTEN IN THE LAW and in the Prophets.” — NKJV Paul’s teachings were identically the same as those of Jesus, Whose doctrines in turn WERE THE SAME as those of God the Father.

ACTS 2:38: “REPENT, and …… be baptized …… FOR THE REMISSION OF SINS; and you shall receive …… the Holy Spirit.” — NKJV Acts 3:19 also commands us to repent of our sins (primarily Old Testament sins according to 1 John 3:4), but I ask you with all sincerity, WHY IN THE WORLD ARE WE REQUIRED TO REPENT OF THOSE SINS, IF THOSE LAWS REALLY HAVE BEEN ABOLISHED AND ARE THEREFORE NONEXISTENT? VERY OBVIOUS CONCLUSION: THE OBEDIENCE PART OF THOSE PROTECTIVE, EVEN HEALTH PRESERVING LAWS (REFERRING TO THE DIETARY LAWS, FOR EXAMPLE) NEVER WAS ABOLISHED.

GALATIANS 5:18: “BUT IF YOU ARE LED BY THE SPIRIT, YOU ARE NOT UNDER THE LAW.” — NKJV (not under the now abolished death penalty part of the law, Romans 8:2. YOU MUST OBEY THE LAW, THOUGH, JUST TO ACQUIRE THE GUIDING HOLY SPIRIT IN THE FIRST PLACE ACCORDING TO ACTS 2:38. Repent means to stop sinning. The only way to stop sinning is to obey the law.

Christians never will be able to be saved if they do not have the Holy Spirit.

Romans 3:31: “Do we then make void the law through faith? GOD FORBID: yea, we establish the law.” — King James Version

JOHN 3:36: “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever DISOBEYS the Son will never have life,” — Today’s English Version

Romans 3:31 in the Living Bible: “Well then, if we are saved by faith, does this mean that we no longer need to OBEY God’s law (nomos-Mosaic laws, 3551)? JUST THE OPPOSITE! In fact, only when we trust Jesus can we truly OBEY Him.”

Are you really allowed to “throw those verses out the window”?

What is your Biblical definition of sin? The “gold standard” verse defining sin is 1 John 3:4. Do you disagree with that verse? Will deliberate, excessive sin that is never repented of cause a “Christian” to lose his salvation, if he ever had it in the first place?
.

14. Anonymous - October 1, 2014

Correction: At the beginning of my comment I mentioned the example of 3 versus 28 and 18 verses. The 18 verses should be 28 verses, not 18.

15. Henry - November 4, 2014

Anonymous,
Whilst the historical context and the Greek explanations are interesting they do not add much to resolving the question at hand.

You still do not understand the gospel hence you try to establish support for law keeping. Paul most certainly was not using Rom 2:13 to suggest we should attempt to keep the law because he later says that no flesh shall be justified before God by keeping the law. Paul was simply illustrating a point to the Jews by drawing comparisons with the Gentiles.

Lets look at what Paul said in Philippians 3:

9….. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ.c For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith.

Is Paul contradicting himself by saying in one breath that we should follow the Mosaic Law and in another breath saying we don’t become righteous by obeying? Absolutely not. I think the problem is with how you look at the scriptures. You attempt to put verses of scripture into two boxes, i.e., those that supposedly support law keeping versus those that do not. The scriptures however do not contradict so the challenge for us is in finding where the harmony lies.

Is the Law important? Yes. Why? “…for by the law is the knowledge of sin. (Rom 3:20). The law was also a precursor to the righteousness of Christ which comes by faith. 21But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; (Rom 3:21).

The law and the prophets were but a witness to the righteousness of Christ which is of faith. This is why Paul later says, “28Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.”

Before Christ came there was the law, but now that Christ has come, He stands between us and the law such that when we believe on Him we automatically fulfil the righteous requirements of the law without needing to obey the letter (Rom 8:4).

6But now we have been released from the law, for we died to it and are no longer captive to its power. Now we can serve God, not in the old way of obeying the letter of the law, but in the new way of living in the Spirit. (Rom 7)

Anonymous, it is up to you now if you want to use Greek to explain away what is clearly written in our Gospel concerning salvation.

16. Anonymous - November 12, 2014

Thank you for wanting to patiently continue this very important discussion, Henry.

Concerning Philippians 3:9, yes, of course, righteousness through faith in Jesus’ supreme sacrifice is far, far more important than law keeping. The issue of justification here, though, is basically a philosophical, abstract observation, a comparison giving us more insight and an overall perspective concerning law keeping and faith, and that we must have faith in Jesus’ death that will make atonement for our past sins. There is a world of difference between justification and day to day obedience to Biblical laws. One does not cancel out the other in day to day living. I fully acknowledge that Paul elsewhere said that no one is justified by law keeping. That statement by Paul, however, did not even imply that we are free from law keeping. Paul said that to help us better understand salvation. Paul did not say, EVER, that the actual practice of law keeping no longer was needed. Paul said clearly, explicitly, in words that we can understand, that we must obey the law in Romans 2:13 and MANY times elsewhere.

I do not put some Scriptures in a box to show that they do not support obedience to God’s laws. Some verses point out that law keeping is inferior to faith in Jesus (regarding His sacrifice), but those verses NEVER, NEVER actually say that we can abandon law keeping.

Romans 2:13: “For not the hearers of the law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the law will be justified.” It is obviously a safe bet that we can interpret literally verse 13 as instruction that we really do need to keep the law. We should be able to have confidence that Paul is not deliberately lying to us here. Please do not deliberately “throw out the window” near by law keeping Romans 3:31 which re-affirms Romans 2:13.

Regarding Romans 8:4 “the righteous requirement of the law” fulfilled in us (through Jesus’ sacrifice) refers precisely only to a specific law, the law of sin and death revealed just 2 preceding verses away. That is a law separate and different from other laws such as the tithing, dietary, and festival laws, etc. The law of sin and death is the context, the subject content of much of Romans 8, not the very separate moral and civil laws.

Romans 7:4-6: “……..you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another—to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God. 5 For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions which were aroused by the law were at work in our members to bear fruit TO DEATH. 6 But now we have been delivered from the law, having died to what we were held by, so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter.”

To understand these very concise verses other verses must be acknowledged as equally valid. Some (actually a significant number) of those other verses are also guiding clues in explaining verses 4 through 6. Isaiah 28:12,13 warns us that just knowing small parts of the Bible here and there, without knowing the entire Bible, can ensnare us. Note that in Romans 7 major emphasis is on DEATH, the penalty for sinning, as shown in Romans 7:5,6,9,10,11, and 24. What law have Christians become dead to and delivered from? Near the beginning of the very next chapter Romans 8:2 pinpoints the exact law that they have been delivered from, THE LAW OF SIN AND DEATH. The specific law of sin and death, or the penalty part of the law for breaking the law, is distinctly different from the other part of the law, law keeping. A powerful clue that these Roman 7 verses DO NOT indicate law keeping has ended is the following logic. The word “sin” occurs frequently throughout the NT, 127 times in the New International Version. 1 John 3:4 defines sin as the transgression of the law, referring to the general law in the Bible. The Greek in 1 John 3:4 shows that the law includes many still applicable OT laws such as the tithing, dietary, and festival laws. If Jesus abolished the law, sin then becomes non-existent because laws no longer exist to break. But since the Bible all the way to Revelation repeatedly and solemnly warns Christians to avoid sin, defined Biblically as breaking the law, then the law is shown to still exist and be in full force. Look at verses 7 and 12: 7 “What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! On the contrary, I would not have known sin except through the law……..” The “oldness of the letter” in Romans 7:6 refers to the original, LEGAL CONDEMNATION for breaking the law, which was the automatic death penalty part of the law for violating the law (Numbers 15:35, Mark 7:10, etc.). 12: “Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good.” Verses 7 and 12 emphasize that observing the majority of the Mosaic laws is still a necessary and integral part of Christianity. These verses are addressed to baptized Christians with the Holy Spirit faithfully obeying divine laws, thereby nullifying or suspending for themselves the penalty, and only the penalty, not the obedience part of the law, of violating Biblical laws. Romans 7:4 says that YOU, a Christian, have become dead (or immune) to the law (the penalty part of the law). Verse 4 does not say that the law has become dead. Verse 6: “But now we have been delivered from the law …..” Concluding, there is simply too much reasonable doubt to believe that Romans 7:4-6 conclusively and clearly proves OT law keeping has been annulled. A far larger number of verses not only support law keeping, but clearly support law keeping. For a better understanding please visit http://www.ucg.org/booklet/new-covenant-does-it-abolish-gods-law/justice-and-judgment-god/ then scroll down to the lower one third of that page. Another good site is http://rcg.org/questions/p155.a.html.

I do not delete any verse from the Bible, contrary to what you keep trying to do, Henry. You need to keep trying to understand that Biblical discussions of faith based righteousness/justification are merely an OBSERVATION, a COMPARISON of faith in Jesus’ sacrifice versus law keeping, not official permission, not an official license to skip law obedience. Such discussions are a reminder that we must not depend SOLELY, repeat, SOLELY and ONLY on law keeping to save us.

JUDE 1:4: “…… some people …… are SHAMELESS SCOUNDRELS. Their design is to replace the sheer GRACE of our God with sheer LICENSE ……” — The Message

JUDE 1:4: “Some sinful men …… speak of the loving–favor of God to COVER UP THEIR SINS …….” — New Life Bible

JUDE 1:4: “…… (impious, profane) persons …… pervert the grace …… of our God into LAWLESSNESS ……” — The Amplified Bible

I don’t want to hurt your feelings, but in the 3 above verses that is the way the Bible, not me, describes you. Yes, I know, it is a huge change to switch to believing, and especially practicing law keeping. But it is not hard and should actually make you richer in many ways in the future. I suspect that you fear hostility from relatives or friends if you changed to law keeping. That fear you need to overcome and conquer. Tens of thousands of other Christians have conquered that fear and are thriving, believing as I do that law keeping cannot be abandoned.

17. Henry - November 12, 2014

Anonymous,
If you want to resort to name-calling or throwing words at me that is up to you. I am not in the least offended because I know you do it out of ignorance.

As I have already said this discussion is an exercise in futility in so far as you are blind to the scriptures.

Let me humor you on Rom 2:13:
“For not the hearers of the law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the law will be justified.”

You use this verse to support your idea that we must practice the law to the letter because by doing so we will be justified.

However lets contrast with Rom 3:20
For no one can ever be made right with God by doing what the law commands.

So hold on a minute: Did Paul not say that the doers of the law would be justified (made right with God) in Rom 2:13? So how comes he is now contradicting himself by saying that no one can ever be justified (made right with God) by doing what the law commands?

Note that this fact as pointed out in Rom 3:20 is also repeated in Acts 13:39, Gal 2:16,19, Gal 5:4, Heb 7:19.

According to your view, a person is justified by both law keeping and faith in Jesus Christ but Paul contradicts you here. Here is what Paul concluded:

Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith WITHOUT the deeds of the law. (Rom 3:28) Emphasis mine.

It is therefore very clear to see that the essence of your arguments do not line up with what the scriptures say. You have written many lengthy posts which all argues that one is justified by keeping the letter of the law and through faith but Paul refutes that with one verse, Rom 3:28. What do you say then?

Please consider this carefully before you rush to construct another lengthy post.

“There is a way that seem right to a man but the end thereof is destruction.”

18. Anonymous - November 13, 2014

Okay, I apologize for allowing the Bible to call you names.

Before I answer all the questions in your last comment, will you please explain just the following 5 verses, and only the following 5 verses, concentrating exclusively on them?

MATTHEW 7:21-23: “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the Kingdom of Heaven ……. 22 Many will say to Me in that day (Judgment Day which will occur after the millennium and after the following second resurrection), ‘Lord, Lord (desperately crying out fearing they may be rejected), have we not prophesied (preached) in your name, cast out demons in your name, and done many wonders (maybe purported miraculous cures by some prominent Christians) in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness (anomia)!” — NKJV The words in parentheses are my own added words.

MATTHEW 13:41,42: “…… his angels …… gather ALL WHO VIOLATE THE TORAH; 42 AND CAST THEM INTO A FURNACE OF FIRE ……” — ExeGeses Companion Bible

The words “lawlessness” and “TORAH” in both Matthew 7:23 and Matthew 13:41 come from the Greek word anomia, which by definition includes many Mosaic laws.

Surely you must admit that “TORAH” and “lawlessness” involves some kind of specific law keeping. Surely you must admit that “VIOLATE” means transgressing or breaking those laws. Surely you must admit that those 5 verses are addressed not only to unconverted sinners, but ALSO TO LAW IGNORING CHRISTIANS, TOO. Surely you must admit that Christians very strongly want to avoid being incinerated in a fiery furnace.

Surely you must admit that those 5 verses are in the Bible, which refer to a time in the future that has not yet arrived. Will you acknowledge that those 5 verses are in the Bible, and please explain them?

19. Henry - November 14, 2014

Anonymous,
I am not sure it will do any good answering your questions. I have laid out clear scriptures to you and instead of addressing them you ignore them and raise objections with other scriptures. The problem with you is that you read verses of scripture in isolation and thereby you attempt to make the scriptures fit your belief instead of your believe being led by the scriptures.

It is a moot point to argue whether or not the verses you posted appear in scripture. You use the ExeGeses companion to butress your point when you know full well that the word Torah does not appear in other translations of Matt 13:41-42. But even if I concede this your arguments still do not hold water.

Lets take you back to Matt 7. If you had read through verses 24 to the end you would have noted that Jesus’ emphasis was on doing the sayings of His. This was the antedote to practising “iniquity” or “lawlessness” in verse 23 – This also takes care of Matt 13:41-42. Jesus most certainly did not teach anywhere in Matt 7 that one should practice the Mosaic Law to letter. What He did teach in verse 12 is to do unto others as you would have them do unto you, for this sums up the law and the prophets – this is a different rendering to “love your neighbour as yourself” but which means the same thing. This point is important as we will see later.

In Luke 10 a lawyer asked Jesus, what should one do to inherit eternal life. Note Jesus response:

25And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? 26He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? 27And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. 28And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live. (Luke 10)

The rest of the passage is worth reading but the message is clear that there are only two “laws” that both Jew and gentiles are required to practice and it is to Love the Lord thy God and love thy neighbour as thyself. Jesus tells us plainly that the whole law is summed up in these two commands (Matt 22:40, Gal 5:4). Therefore if you are not practicising these 2 laws you are lawless.

Jesus abolished the law of commandments (Mosaic Law) contained in ordinances (Eph 2:15) and gave us a new commandment which in fact sums up the old law and the prophets.

A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.

A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. (John 13:34, 15:12,17)

I know of no scriptures where Jesus explicitly or otherwise commands us to practice the commandments of old contained in ordinances. In fact in the Great Commission Jesus commanded His disciples to teach only those things which He had commanded. (Matt 28:20).

20. Anonymous - November 17, 2014

In isolation? IN ISOLATION? I have at least 4 more “isolated” verses that easily support not only law keeping in general but specific kinds of Mosaic law keeping, such as the food and festival laws, which I will provide in another comment. About maybe 5 or 6 years ago I debated online law keeping with another mainstream Christian who at the time was a 63 year old retired oil field worker. He too, incredibly, accused me of using “isolated” verses as more proof that many Mosaic laws still need to be followed. Like a typical mainstreamer, he also basically said that if a certain translation is good enough for a translator, then it’s good enough for him with no need to ever challenge the translation of any controversial verse, which is not wise. There is no such thing as “isolated” verses. All verses are important and need to be respected and believed or else the entire Bible cannot be trusted. It’s “all or nothing.” The Bible is overall very harmonious, as it of course should be.

Getting back to your comment before my last one, Romans 3;20 says: “Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, ……” Romans 3:28: “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law.” —NKJV H

How in the world did you think that you could ever get away with using those verses to conclude that law keeping has been abolished? Romans 3:31 is only 3 verses away from verse 28, and verse 31 is the real conclusion of the matter. Verse 31 explains that the law is still in effect, still in force: “Do we then make void the law through faith? CERTAINLY NOT! On the contrary, we ESTABLISH THE LAW.” Verse 28’s conclusion is a conditional, qualified conclusion “spelled out” and explicitly explained by verse 31, thoroughly proving that law keeping is not optional, but still required. You should know by now that you cannot get away with lifting a verse “sky high” out of context and expect reasonable, open minded, inquisitive readers willing to read all of Romans 3, to believe you. Not one single “justified by faith” verse you have quoted actually states that the practice, repeat, the practice, one more time, the practice of law keeping itself is no longer needed. That is why Paul in verse 31 ended the chapter of Romans 3 saying basically that the law (law keeping) is still valid to make sure that his justification verses are not misinterpreted.

Concerning Hebrews 7:19, the law discussed there is not the general law, but only one very specific law that was abolished, the law requiring the Levitical priesthood to continue. That is another verse you lifted way out of context. Acts 13:39, Galatians 2:16,19, and Galatians 5:4 in no way clearly say that the actual practice of law keeping has ended. Since Romans 3:31 proves quite conclusively that the justification idea in Romans 3:20 and Romans 3:28 does not mean that law keeping can be abandoned, then the real conclusion of verse 31 logically and easily can be extrapolated to Acts 13:39, Gal. 2;16,19 and Gal. 5;4. I know, it is easy to believe that these justification verses kind of, sort of, seem to say that the law has been abolished, but that is not what those verses really say. Verse 31 is “iron clad” proof that those verses do not really say the law has been abolished.

Justification can be compared to a car transporting someone from point A to point B. You can say that it is really the engine, transmission and tires that get you from A to B, not the tail and signal lights on the car. But are you going to then tear off the external lighting system from the car because that is not what really moves the car? Of course not. If you do remove all the lights, it is only a matter of time until you injure or kill someone or yourself if you continue to use the car in the presence of other cars. The car’s lights are essential, not optional, to the safe operation of the car. The engine, transmission and tires can be compared to faith in Jesus’ sacrifice, and the car’s lights can be compared to law keeping. Both complement one another. One cannot operate or exist without the other even though one system or idea is far more important than the other.

21. Anonymous - November 17, 2014

Also, from the Greek an alternate translation of “apart” in Romans 3:28 is “besides.” So it could just as easily be translated as “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith BESIDES the deeds of the law,” leaving wide open as the Grand Canyon the interpretation that law keeping has not been annulled.

22. Henry - November 17, 2014

The point that seems to continuously elude you is that Christians who are justified by faith are law-keepers. They don’t keep the Torah as to the letter but they keep the laws now written on their hearts and minds. The Mosaic law was the first covenant which has passed away and we are now under a new covenant. Paul describes these two covenants in Gal 4 as follows:

21Tell me, you who want to live under the law, do you know what the law actually says? 22The Scriptures say that Abraham had two sons, one from his slave wife and one from his freeborn wife.g 23The son of the slave wife was born in a human attempt to bring about the fulfillment of God’s promise. But the son of the freeborn wife was born as God’s own fulfillment of his promise.
24These two women serve as an illustration of God’s two covenants. The first woman, Hagar, represents Mount Sinai where people received the law that enslaved them. 25And now Jerusalem is just like Mount Sinai in Arabia,h because she and her children live in slavery to the law. 26But the other woman, Sarah, represents the heavenly Jerusalem. She is the free woman, and she is our mother. 27As Isaiah said,

“Rejoice, O childless woman,
you who have never given birth!
Break into a joyful shout,
you who have never been in labor!
For the desolate woman now has more children
than the woman who lives with her husband!”i
28And you, dear brothers and sisters, are children of the promise, just like Isaac. 29But you are now being persecuted by those who want you to keep the law, just as Ishmael, the child born by human effort, persecuted Isaac, the child born by the power of the Spirit.

30But what do the Scriptures say about that? “Get rid of the slave and her son, for the son of the slave woman will not share the inheritance with the free woman’s son.”j 31So, dear brothers and sisters, we are not children of the slave woman; we are children of the free woman.

I hope you will understand what this is clearly saying.


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