Law, Restated

Just put a new article up on the website titled Law, Restated. It’s about the imaginary restriction some people put on the Law that it is not restated in the New Testament. Therefore it is not something we “have” to do. I beg to differ. In the article we look at the many ways the Law is stated and restated in different forms throughout the Old Testament. Then we’re ready to look in the New and see if the Law is there. The conclusion is that yes, the Law is restated in the New Testament.

So now what?

Whole Bible Christianity, The Book

Our book Whole Bible Christianity has finally been published! It is on Amazon at this link:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/0997501413/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=1DQVER67Q2HMX&coliid=I1RPTLB6JQO1FI

There is a Look Inside feature, you can flip between the front and back cover, and it is only $19.50. If you would prefer, we will have the entire text on a web page when we update our website so you can read it online.

The book has about 800 direct quotes from the Word, around 1,500 entries in the Scripture Index, and is about 340 pages. One of the many uses of the book is as a handbook for whole Bible Christians everywhere who need a reference to help counter attacks against a whole Bible lifestyle. Chapter 7 deals with a bunch of the objections to following God’s living oracles, and chapter 8 has a list of blessings from doing what Jesus says.

Let us know what you think, and make sure to post a review on Amazon if you would be so kind.

Shalom
Bruce

New vid: Living in the New Testament Synagogue

Hot off the computer, a new video looking at the New Testament synagogue and what they used for a daily living guide. The New Testament wasn’t compiled and accepted until about 200 A.D., so in the meantime what did the New Testament synagogue use?

Just a little curve to help with the biblical thinking processes.

Shalom
Bruce

Start of the Church

I was raised thinking that the church started at Pentecost in Acts chapter 2. The story I was told was that God finally got fed up with Israel and switched His program to the Gentiles. As if the Gentiles were so wonderful or more receptive or better behaved or something. Translations of the Bible reinforce this story because they pretty much universally use the English word “church” in the New Testament but not in the Old.

 

The word the translators (and pastors, priests, and rabbis) think is associated with the church is the Greek word we transliterate ekklesia (ἐκκλησία a-klay-see-uh Strong’s number 1577). This word simply means “assembly” or “congregation.” The Hebrew words for assembly or congregation are qahal (6951) and edah. They mean the same thing as ekklesia, and in fact the Greek Septuagint uses ekklesia about 52 times. Sometimes the assembly is formal, such as when kings called Israel together, and sometimes is was an informal family gathering. But ekklesia is not translated “church” in the OT in any of the English translations I consulted.

 

There’s simply no reason to make an arbitrary distinction for the assembly between the OT and the NT. God’s assembly has been gathering for a long time. The plan of God is continuous, without interruption, and didn’t start in Acts 2. It might’ve gotten a kick in the pants, but the congregation has always been around. The “assembly” that Jesus said He would build (Matthew 16:18) has a foundation that was started in the Garden and goes on into the future as a kingdom that never ends.

The Second Sermon on the Mount

From ‘Whole Bible Christianity’ chapter 7 The Second Sermon on the Mount

Matthew in chapters five, six and seven of his gospel account records for us the second Sermon on the Mount. Yeah, I said second because the first was at Mt. Sinai with Moses, who relayed it to Israel. The second is similar to the first; even identical. Since Jesus actually gave both sermons, we would expect they would sound alike, which they do. In fact, what we really have here is Jesus cutting through man’s false teachings about what He set down at Sinai. He repeats His message over and over and over and over in the Bible. Man’s interpretations or applications of the Law to that point were lacking, so Jesus corrected them.

In 5:17 He says He did not come to abolish the Law and the Prophets, but to fulfill. The word ‘abolish’ is clear – it means eliminate (or destroy, or change). As in ‘I did not come to eliminate the Law.’ It wouldn’t make very much sense for Jesus to say, “I did not come to abolish the Law, but to abolish it.” The word ‘fulfill,’ used as the opposite of ‘abolish,’ means to interpret correctly so that words are given their proper meaning. It’s clear in this context Jesus is saying He would not destroy the Law through wrong interpretation. So we can read this statement as, ‘I did not come to remove or destroy or change the Law, but to correctly interpret it so it would be put back on a firm foundation.’

The word ‘fulfill’ by itself also means to ‘fill up full,’ as in filling up the foundation forms of a house with cement. Jesus cements His intention by telling us that even the tiniest part of God’s Law will not change until heaven and earth pass away. Some try to make the phrase “until all is accomplished” to mean Jesus changed the Law through the resurrection. But heaven and earth certainly did not pass away at that time. Therefore the Law still stands, placed on firm foundation by the Giver and Interpreter. It is still absolutely applicable to everyone.

Whole Bible Christianity book draft

Which Law?

‘Whole Bible Christianity’ chapter 1 ‘Which Law?’

Some people limit The Law to the first five books (the Pentateuch), which they call the ‘Law of Moses.’ Other people will divide the Law of Moses into three (unbiblical) sections (civil, ceremonial, and moral) and say only the ‘moral laws’ count. There are the people who think there are ten Laws, and those who think there are only two laws now (love the Lord and love each other). Then we’ve got the red letter people, telling us to pay attention to only red letters. Lastly, there are people who think the Law is imaginary, or merely spiritual, and as long as we think we are obeying then we must be really obeying.

Whole Bible Christians, as the name implies, say that every word from the mouth of God is Law (Deuteronomy 8:3, Matthew 4:4). It is plain to us that The Law is every word that He speaks from Genesis to Revelation. We believe “all of the above” when it comes to His Law. It is more than just three sections or five books. It’s all moral. Red letters, black, purple, or whatever, don’t matter. Every word is read and followed literally as much as we can.

His Words (and Law) are intimately woven around history and God’s dealings with men. There is no avoiding the Word, whether we call it Law or something else. Most of this book is about the Law because most of His book is about the Law. The subject of His whole Law (commands, statutes, charge, ordinances, etc.) is mentioned thousands of times in the Word, as well as related subjects such as obeying His voice (Genesis 22:18, 26:5; Exodus 19:5), hearing His voice (John 10:16, 27, 18:37; Revelation 3:20), ears that don’t hear and eyes that don’t see (Jeremiah 5:21, 6:10; Ezekiel 12:2; Mark 8:18). His Word and His Law is the same thing.

You’ve heard it said that the Law isn’t for Christians. That it’s been ‘fulfilled’ by Jesus and therefore eliminated. That we “can’t do” the Law. Or maybe just “the Ten” apply (or maybe just 9 or 8 or 2). I cover a bunch of those anti-biblical teachings in chapter 6. But when you read the Word, the whole thing seems to be directed at every believer. Now you’re thinking, “What in the world is going on?” because you’ve been told so much different.

I understand. It happens a lot. But let me assure you – all of His Law really does apply to everyone, all the time, everywhere (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14). Jesus talked a lot about the Law. He gave it, established it, and lived it. He did not abolish it (Matthew 5:17-19). It is part of the gospel (Hebrews 4:2), and it is unequaled as a lifestyle and discipleship method. We don’t have to follow the Law, we get to. The message of the Bible, from the Garden to Jesus to you and me, is do what God says.

46“For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me, for he wrote about Me. 47“But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?” (John 5:46-47 NASB95)

Law in the New Testament, Stepmothers

Chapter 7, Law in the New Testament, Whole Bible Christianity

If the Law had been ‘fulfilled,’ (twisted to mean ‘eliminated’) then the following is a very curious thing for Paul to say.

1It is actually reported that there is immorality among you, and immorality of such a kind as does not exist even among the Gentiles, that someone has his father’s wife. 2You have become arrogant and have not mourned instead, so that the one who had done this deed would be removed from your midst. (1 Corinthians 5:1-2 NASB95)

Why would he care about a man who marries his stepmother? Wouldn’t all marriages be okay? According to the modern church, isn’t everything and everyone clean? Why would Paul appeal to the Law at all (Leviticus 18:8; Deuteronomy 22:30 and 27:30)? Why also would Paul appeal to the fact that this is something even Gentiles didn’t do?

There might be a thin argument here for the fictitious ‘moral law.’ Except how do we pick and choose what is ‘moral’ and what isn’t when God speaks? Isn’t everything He says by definition ‘moral?’ Could it be that the congregation had changed the law to say that ‘everything was clean?’ Were they perhaps practicing their ‘freedom in Christ?’

Paul doesn’t make up any new commandment here. He certainly doesn’t cherry-pick nor does he apply only the law he chooses. Not only does he say that the Corinthians should be following this Law, he implies it is a natural fact everyone (even the non-believing Gentiles) knows. In other words, God’s people should at least have the sense God gave a pagan. He also gives the punishment for the sin outlined in Torah (“remove the evil from your midst”). Later, it looks like they were “obedient in all things”(2 Corinthians 2:5-11).