The Law: All or Nothing? Done Away or Still Today?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by asterisktom, Apr 21, 2011.

  1. asterisktom

    asterisktom
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    The Law: All or Nothing? Done Away or Still Today?
    There is not a third, modified choice. Not according to Christ's Promise


    Here is His promise:
    “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled." - Matt. 5:17-18

    You may need to read this several times, slowly, to let the point of this article sink in. I know that this is not something that I saw until fairly recently. And I had read - and perhaps at some time even memorized - this passage, still not grasping Christ's powerful point.

    The point of this passage is that there will never be a time when the Law will operate only partially. For instance, there will never be a time when we are obligated to keep the Ten Commandments - without keeping every other lesser law (every "jot" and "tittle").

    Yet, this is exactly what many do today. They erect a distinction between ceremonial law (for the Jews only) and the eternal law (binding on all believers). Quick quiz: What is the Greek word for "ceremonial", as in "ceremonial law"? How about the Hebrew word? There is none. That is already an indication itself that this distinction is man-made, not God-ordained.

    Because it is difficult to actually see what this verse is saying, seeing that we are overly familiar with what we think the verse is saying, it might be helpful to try a different tack.

    Let's try the mathematical word-problem approach. To solve a hard word problem it is often helpful to substitute values to gain insight into the problem. In Matt. 5:18 let us forget, for the moment, some phrases and replace them with different phrases. This way we will be able to see just what type of action is being described, and - more importantly - the actual duration of those actions. After all, this is the very gist of the misunderstanding of this passage.

    Poor Ned
    Note that the substituted phrases are in brackets:
    For assuredly, I say to you, till [Ned's prison sentence is completed], [not one day will pass without him wearing an orange suit and being a prisoner] till [he has served out the mandated punishment].

    Consider poor Ned's case. He is laboring under a double whammy: Because he has a sentence to fulfill he has to wear that orange suit and, more importantly, he is imprisoned. When does relief come to Ned? When his sentence is completed. At that time - and exactly at that time, not a second sooner - he is free to dress as he pleases and to leave the prison. He is a new man! And here is the clincher: The place of Ned's incarceration - and where the records were all kept - burned to the ground! You might say that this addition is unwarranted from Scripture, but read on.

    Application for us
    Now consider our case. Mankind was laboring under sin and condemnation. Christ put an end to all this by his sacrifice on the cross. All of our condemnation, our incredibly detailed and discouraging rap-sheet, was nailed to the cross. And here is the clincher for us: Like Ned's case, the place where our guilt was perpetuated ("through the Law is the knowledge of sin", Rom. 3:20) was likewise destroyed. At the cross the Temple veil, that reminder of our estrangement from God, was already torn in half, top to bottom (God's initiative, not ours). At the destruction of Jerusalem in AD70 the only means of perpetuating and observing the Law was likewise destroyed. The elements (the STOICHEIA), the basis of our condemnation, likewise burned to the ground. Hallelujah! Peter tells us - twice - that the "elements will melt with fervent heat". What are these elements? None other than the foundational principals of the whole Law system, Gal. 4:3; Col. 2:8, 20. With the burning of the physical bricks and stones of the Temple there was an inexorable but invisible burning up of that whole system. We couldn't return to the Law if we wanted to.

    But why would we even want to, seeing that it only ever condemned us before God, never commended us to God?

    New Heavens, New Earth - right now.
    When Ned was free from his sentence and condemnation he was a new man. By comparison, when we are free from our condemnation we were not only new creatures in Christ, but we were also , from that time on, in a new heavens and new earth.

    If you don't believe me, go back to the original passage. At the very time when we were no longer under the Law and its condemnation, at that very time we are in the new heavens and new earth. We have this right now. We are not waiting for this still to happen in the future. The New Heavens and New Earth is the world of the new creature in Christ.

    If we are not in the New Heavens and New Earth then we must also still be under the Law - all of it, every jot and tittle. Under the Law and without place or means to practice the Law - in its entirety. We would be, of all men, the most miserable!

    Eternal & Invisible
    An objection might be raised: This does not look at all like the New Heavens and New Earth, not at all what I would expect. Well, the problem is in our perception. We have been taught a certain way. Look again at what the Bible says, not what man's teaching insists.

    "We walk by faith, and not by sight." - 2 Cor.5:7

    "we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal." - 2 Cor.4:18
     
  2. revmwc

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    The Law was given to Isarel for them to follow after entering the land. Unless you are Jew the law doesn't apply to you. The Law shows us God's standard and that we can't live up to it, neither could the Jews and they had to believe a saviour was coming. We have to believe a saviour has already come. Jesus was speaking to Jews not gentiles, do the Jews still observe the feast? Do they follow try to follow the law? I know of a lady who is Jewish married to a gentile and he is a pstor thet observe passover togther even though she is a christian. So for most jews chrisitian or not they observe the elements ofthe law. The law never applied to gentiles so we were never under the law as the jews were.
     
    #2 revmwc, Apr 21, 2011
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  3. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate
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    It seems to me that the OP is teaching 'Hyper-Preterism.' Does that fall under the ban of the Moderators?

    Steve
     
    #3 Martin Marprelate, Apr 21, 2011
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  4. asterisktom

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    But the point here is not who the Law was applied to, but what Christ said about the Law - when it was to end. And what was to happen right after the Law became obsolete.
     
  5. revmwc

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    Didn't seem that way to sorry I violated some rule?
     
  6. revmwc

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    It applies to who He was talking to which was the jews.
     
  7. JesusFan

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    didn't peter refer to the elements "being burned away: as if by Fire though?
    Would new heavens and earth be when/where reign of God and Christ are perfectly fulfilled?
    Are you saying this new earth is opreating JUST the way God would directly ruling over it?
    Aren't we seill to look for the Second Coming of Jesus, for HIM to restore the earth back to being as God fully intends it to be?
     
  8. Martin Marprelate

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    I may be incorrect. I have changed my post.

    Steve
     
  9. asterisktom

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    Show me how I have misconstrued Christ's words here. I am not the least concerned about Millennial exclusion. I am concerned about rightly understanding and teaching His Word.
     
  10. revmwc

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    Sorry this earth we are on doesn't fit the dimensions given by John as to the New Jerusalem which will come down from heaven and rest on the rnovated earth.
     
  11. asterisktom

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    Agreed totally. Not my point, however.
     
  12. Aaron

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    And yet Christ said in the very same sermon, "Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them, for this is the law and the prophets." Right there is a straightforward commandment to fulfill the law in the same sermon in which some say it is argued that there is no law.

    And lest someone argue that since the sermon was before the crucifixion the law was still in effect, Christ's Apostles repeated the command. Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.
     
    #12 Aaron, Apr 21, 2011
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  13. asterisktom

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    Aah, here come the labels. That didn't take long. Well, maybe somebody here will actually deal with the points raised by my OP.
     
  14. asterisktom

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    Neither do the angels I believe in "fit the dimensions" of the ones I read about in Revelation: Two huge pillars for legs, one on the land, the other the sea.
     
  15. asterisktom

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    I believe, Aaron, that you are arguing against something I don't believe either. We both agree that the Law was operative in the time of Christ and that of the Apostles' teaching ministry. But the point of the OP is not when the Law was, but when it wasn't.

    And what happened then.
     
  16. Aaron

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    Oh no. Here we go again.

    I'm going to make this short and sweet. When one can argue there is no marriage, then he can argue there is no law. Until then, Thou shalt not commit adultery is still a binding commandment, and if one commandment is in effect, then all ten are are in effect.
     
  17. JesusFan

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    Nor does this "new Earth" fit in with the world the prophets foretold, when messiah would establish his rule/reign upon the earth...

    Don't think way World operates right now is under reign of the Messiah fully yet, as satan is still god of this present earth. and when jesus returns, He will establish His rule on earth!

    Also, according tot he Bible, isn't the actual time of the "New Heavens/earth" be right at end of this present world , after Jesus had ruled upon earth, and than turns everything back over to his heavenly Father, and go into Eternity period?
     
  18. asterisktom

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    My points here are:
    1. Peter uses "burn" and "melt with fervent heat" use a Jew writing to Jews. The OT has several references to no-literal burnings. They were judgments of God nonetheless.
    2. The elements here are STOICHEIA. The rest of the NT uses the word in an abstract, not concrete, way.

    Once again, "New heavens and new earth" would have a special meaning for Peter's readers, especially for those who were well-versed in Isaiah introduction of this phrase.
    I am not sure what you are saying here. Could you perhaps rephrase? Thanks.
     
  19. asterisktom

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    Go? I didn't go anywhere. I am still in Matthew 5, waiting for an answer to the problem stated.
    And your rationale for keeping God's commandments down to those ten are...? To be sure, I am not arguing that we can all commit adultery, only that the reason for our not committing adultery is not because it was once chiseled on some stone, but because God writes His royal law of liberty on our hearts. This same Spirit teaches us to love. This precludes adultery.

    However this Spirit did not teach me anything about keeping the Sabbath holy, according to modern man's rubrics.

    But all of this still does not touch on the OP, summarized as:
    1. When any part of the Law passes away it all passes away - together.
    2. When that does happen - and I believe it did, since the means of keeping that Law is now gone - then we are necessarily in the new heavens and new Earth.

    All of this (except for the parenthetical part of #2) is clearly stated in Matt. 5:17-18.
     
  20. revmwc

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    Yes but John tells us Christ will reign on earth prior to the New Jerusalem coming down, so the Millinium kingdom has not yet come.

    Of course the church must be raptured out prior to it all Paul and John both show us this.

    1 Corinthians 15:51Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,

    52In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

    53For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.

    1 Thessalonians 4:15For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.

    16For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

    17Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

    Then John foresees the rapture in Revelation 4:1 After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter

    Notice John hears the trumpet call, then when He get's to heaven Revelation 4:2And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.

    3And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald.

    4And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold.

    He sees the 24 elders of the church enthroned and wearing their crowns.

    1 Corinthians 3:12Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;

    13Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.

    14If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.

    15If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

    Notice the rewards are given when the church is raptured, later at the end of revelation we see the great white throne in which the unbelievers are judged. So no we aren't living in the kingdom we are under Grace as gentiles. The Law never applied to gentiles it was always for the Jews. The rapture must take place then the time of trouble, the tribulation as shown by John, then the milinium and then the New Jerusalem.
     

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