“For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished.”
For truly, I say to you,
Jesus contrasts His view of Scripture with that of religious leaders. The words “for truly” literally mean surely, verily, certainly. A statement of utmost importance follows the word “truly.” Using this introductory formula, Jesus affirmed by solemn declaration His commitment to Scripture. The word “truly” comes from the word “amen,” which means “I believe it.” This word always involves personal acceptance of the truth presented. It was a word dealing with solemn truth.
“And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write, ‘These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: Re 3:14
until heaven and earth pass away,
In Jesus’ view, nothing will abrogate Scripture.
Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away. Mt 24:35
“But the word of the Lord endures forever.” Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you. 1 Pe 1:25
not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law
Jesus’ belief in Scripture extended to the smallest Hebrew letter (the jot or yod) and to the smallest stroke of a part of a Hebrew letter (the tittle corresponds to a stroke of a Hebrew letter). Here is what the yod looks like: י and here is the difference between the marks of the tittle in two Hebrew letters: ה and ח. No aspect of Scripture will pass away until creation as we know it passes away.
until all is accomplished.
This is the second “until” clause in this verse, and the repetition indicates strong emphasis. Scriptures emphatically will exist until the end of time. The word “until” introduces time into Jesus’ view of Scripture—Scriptures will exist until God accomplishes what He needs to accomplish. When Jesus fulfills His purpose for time in His Millennial kingdom, He will usher His earthly kingdom into eternity.
Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. 1 Co 15:24-25
Inspiration of Scripture extends to its words.
Jesus had a complete and thorough view of the inspiration of Scripture. His high view of Scripture did not accommodate culture.
If He called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken), Jn 10:35
Chris, I am afraid you do not take notice of many extant, plain Scriptures in the New Testament. God set aside the nation Israel with all the laws that pertain to her when he launched the church. We have no blood sacrifices, worship in the tabernacle, etc because God fulfilled the law by His death on the cross.
Note this article:
The Sabbath And Dispensationalism
Joel T. Williamson Jr.
Ph.D. Cand., Dallas Theological Seminary
Professor of Hebrew and Old Testament, Calvary Bible College
and Theological Seminary
Professor of Theology, Calvary Theological Seminary
In the twenty-first century, dispensationalism faces challenges from two opposing poles within evangelicalism. At one extreme are scholars who find it unbiblical, such as Karlberg:
Covenant theology is guided by the principle of sola Scriptura. The Scriptures are self-interpreting: this is what is meant by the Reformational principle of the analogy of Scripture. Taking their cue from the NT’s use of the OT, covenant theologians formulate their theological method in terms of the biblical pattern of promise and fulfillment. On the other hand, the dispensational hermeneutic, it seems to me, imposes an a priori definition of “literalness” upon the meaning and interpretation of Scripture.1
At the other extreme are laymen who enjoy its eschatology—especially in fictionalized form—but otherwise find it irrelevant. By applying a consistent, literal hermeneutic, this article addresses both extremes. It uses the Bible’s own teaching about the Sabbath to show that dispensationalism is both biblical and practical.
Abolition of the Sabbath: Dispensationalism as Biblical
Dispensationalism is defined, at least in part, by its “literal” hermeneutic. Indeed, Ryrie considers the literal, or “normal,” hermeneutic crucial to the dispensational system, part of its sine qua non.2 Literal interpretation does not involve any voodoo or complicated machinations. One simply interprets Scripture as any other written text, taking it at face value within its context. Approached this way, Sabbath passages lead inevitably to the conclusion that the Old Testament command to keep the Sabbath does not apply to the New
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Testament church. Even some covenant theologians come to this conclusion.3 The implications of this fact, however, cannot be reconciled with the covenant position.
The Abolition of the Sabbath
In the New Testament, the legal requirement to keep Sabbath is abolished. While individual Christians are allowed to keep Sabbath, the practice is never imposed on the church. Two major Pauline passages prove this. The first is Galatians 4:10–11: “You observe days and months and seasons and years. I am afraid for you, lest I have labored for you in vain.”4 Some argue that Paul was referring to non-Jewish festivals,5 whereas others to a syncretistic mixture of Jewish and pagan celebrations.6 After weighing the merits of these explanations, however, De Lacey concluded, “Paul viewed any attempt to impose Sabbath keeping (or indeed the keeping of any of the regular festivals of the Jewish or astrological calendars) upon Gentiles as wrong, and any tendency on the part of converts to submit to this coercion as a retrograde step.”7
The second passage, Romans 14:5, indicates that the keeping of Sabbath is a matter of personal conscience for the believers at Rome, not a legal requirement8 : “One person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind.” Stifler remarked, “It is impossible to say that this general language does not include the Sabbath.”9 Colossians 2:16–17 apparently makes the same point, but exegetical issues render the matter less certain.10 Law is mandatory, not optional. In the Old Testament, the Sabbath is a matter of law. Failure to keep it brings capital punishment
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(Exod 31:14–15; 35:2).11 In the New Testament, however, keeping Sabbath is optional; breaking it brings no negative consequences. If the Sabbath is no longer mandatory, the Sabbath is no longer law. The conclusion is inescapable.
Despite this evidence, many Christians still call Sunday the Sabbath, the “Christian” Sabbath, and consider their worship a fulfillment of the fourth commandment. This position is formalized in the Westminster Confession of Faith (21.7):
[God] hath particularly appointed one day in seven, for a Sabbath, to be kept holy unto Him: which, from the beginning of the world to the resurrection of Christ, was the last day of the week; and, from the resurrection of Christ, was changed into the first day of the week, which, in Scripture, is called the Lord’s Day, and is to be continued to the end of the world, as the Christian Sabbath.
In keeping with this understanding, Hendriksen argued that Romans 14:5 refers to the Jewish Sabbath, not to the Christian Sabbath, which is still governed by the fourth commandment:
Since the New Testament does indeed ascribe very special significance to the first day of the week (Matt. 28:1; Mark 16:2, 9; Luke 24:1; John 20:1, 19; Acts 20:7; 1 Cor. 16:2; Rev. 1:10), it is indeed very doubtful that the apostle would have expressed himself in such moderate terms if the “weak” members of Rome’s church had been indifferent about setting this day apart from all the others (as far as practical in those days) as a day of rest and worship.12
Even taken together, however, Hendriksen’s nine passages cannot support the weight of his conclusion. The first six (Matt 28:1; Mark 16:2, 9; Luke 24:1; John 20:1, 19) only report that Jesus rose from the dead on Sunday, a day the Synoptic gospels explicitly distinguish from the Sabbath (Matt 28:1; Mark 16:1; Luke 23:56). The rest probably do refer to Lord’s Day worship, but none identify it as a Christian Sabbath or treat it as divinely mandated.13 The
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texts show only that first-century Christians met on Sunday, not that they believed that the fourth commandment required them to do so.
Thus, taken at face value, Scripture testifies that the commandment to keep the Sabbath is no longer binding as law. This conclusion fully accords with the long-term claims of dispensationalists, such as Charles L. Feinberg. “A study of the period from the death of Christ and the descent of the Spirit on Pentecost till the rapture of the church reveals most unmistakably that the Sabbath has been abolished.”14 Dispensationalists, however, are not the only ones to see it this way. Speaking for a consortium of seven, non-dispensational scholars, D. A. Carson comes to essentially the same conclusion: “We are not persuaded that the New Testament unambiguously develops a ‘transfer theology,’ according to which the Sabbath moves from the seventh day to the first day of the week.”15
Implications of Abolition
When compared with the testimony of other Scripture, the abolition of the Sabbath brings three further facts to light: (1) that the church and Israel are distinct entities; (2) that the Mosaic code in its entirety has been abolished; and, (3) that the Jews have a future role in God’s plan. Deductive logic evokes these implications, but the testimony of Scripture validates each of them.
Distinction of Church and Israel
The logic behind the first implication is taught in Algebra I: things not equal to the same thing are not equal to each other. If Sabbath observance is a distinguishing mark of Israel but not of the church, the church cannot be Israel.
The Sabbath and Israel. In Scripture, the Sabbath is unique to Israel. The command is given only to Israel and is contextually linked to the exodus from Egypt, an event affecting only Israel: “You were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God brought you out from there by a mighty hand and an outstretched arm; therefore the Lord your God commanded you to keep the Sabbath day” (Deut 5:15). As part of the Decalogue, the Sabbath is at the core of the Lord’s covenant with Israel at Sinai: “And he declared unto you His covenant, which He commanded you to perform, even ten commandments;
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and he wrote them upon two tables of stone” (Deut 4:10, cf. Eph 2:12).16 Indeed, it is the sign of the special relationship established by that covenant: “Surely My Sabbaths you shall keep, for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the Lord who sanctifies you” (Exod 31:13, cf. Ezek 20:12, 20). In Israel, keeping the Sabbath was more than an act of worship; it was a manifestation of loyalty. Breaking the Sabbath was tantamount to treason, a capital offense (Exod 31:14–15; Numb 15:32–35).
The Sabbath and Mankind. Scripture is clear: the Sabbath belongs to Israel. Nonetheless, most covenant theologians insist that the Sabbath was instituted at creation. According to the Westminster Confession of Faith (21.7), it was imposed on all men:
As it is the law of nature, that, in general, a due proportion of time be set apart for the worship of God; so, in His Word, by a positive, moral, and perpetual commandment binding all men in all ages, He hath particularly appointed one day in seven, for a Sabbath, to be kept holy unto Him: which, from the beginning of the world to the resurrection of Christ, was the last day of the week; and, from the resurrection of Christ, was changed into the first day of the week [emphasis added].
Not all covenant proponents are willing to go that far. Karlberg, for example, acknowledged that elements of the statement “are at variance with the teaching of Scripture,” insisting that the Sabbath is for all time, but not for all men:
Although the sabbath ordinance is a binding obligation upon the people of God in all ages, the manner of observance changes over the course of covenant history, most notably between the Mosaic and New Covenants. Contrary to the teaching of the Confession, the sabbath as sign of God’s covenant is not binding on nonbelievers, simply because they are not recipients of the covenant-sign.17
Thus, the covenant belief is that the Lord established the Sabbath commandment when he sanctified the seventh day in Genesis 2:2–3.18 The facts
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of the passage, however, do not require this conclusion. Genesis 2 does report that God rested (or “ceased”); it does not command that man (in whole or in part) practice such a rest. Furthermore, if the Sabbath did begin in Eden, why is it not even mentioned again until Exodus 16? Arguments from silence are often weak, but as Feinberg demonstrated, this silence is deafening:
If the Sabbath did exist, then it is more than passing strange that, although we find accounts of the religious life and worship of the patriarchs, in which accounts mention is specifically made to the rite of circumcision, the sacrifices, the offering of the tithe, and the institution of marriage, we should find no mention of the great institution of the Sabbath.19
Proponents also argue that the fourth commandment itself asserts jurisdiction over more than just Jews. At first glance, this does seem correct: “The seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates” (Exod 20:10, cf. Deut 5:14). The male and female servants here might be Hebrews, but the “stranger” clearly is not. The Hebrew term גֵּר (gēr) refers to a foreigner, a resident alien. Thus, the Sabbath commandment does govern more than Jews. It does not, however, govern more than Israel. The alien is one that resides “within your gates,” that is, in the cities of Israel. Pre-exilic Israel was a theocracy, and its law applied to the nation, not just to its Jewish or believing population. The alien had to observe the Sabbath while living in Israel for the same reason that an American motorist has to drive on the left while living in England—even though English traffic laws are not binding in the United States. Similarly, Sabbath law did not govern those outside of Israel, but it did govern all within it, even resident aliens.
Implication. The Sabbath then is distinctively Israelite, the sign of its covenant relationship with the Lord. As previously shown, however, it is not continued in the church which means that Israel and the church are different entities. This idea is fundamental to dispensationalism, but note its source. This conclusion is not imposed by the theological system; it flows naturally from the text of Scripture. It is beyond the scope of this study to offer detailed proof, but two examples should suffice.20 The most notable is 1 Corinthians 10:32: “Give no offense, either to the Jews or to the Greeks or to the church of God.” According to this text, Israel and the church are as distinct as Israel and the Gentiles. The rest of the New Testament maintains the same distinction. Thus,
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the book of Revelation specifically refers to the church twenty times in chapters 1–3, a portion addressed to the churches of Asia Minor, but not once in chapters 4–21, which portray the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies given to Israel.21
Abolition of the Mosaic Law
The abolition of the Sabbath implies a second thing: that all of the commandments of the Mosaic code are now nullified. Here again, the logic is easy to follow, and the Scriptural support is overwhelming.
Theological Explanation. Many scholars divide the Mosaic code into three parts: the ceremonial law, the civil (or social) law, and the moral law. The ceremonial law deals with ritual worship; the civil, with the administration of justice in the nation; and the moral, with timeless ethical principles. According to this reckoning, the ceremonial and civil portions of the law have been abrogated,22 but the moral law, and specifically the Ten Commandments, remains in effect. For example, Hodge argued, “the precepts of the decalogue bind the Church in all ages; while the specific details contained in the books of Moses, designed to point out the way in which the duty they enjoined was then to be performed, are no longer in force.”23
Old Testament Evidence. The tripartite division proves theologically useful to some since it suggests how the law can be both abrogated and binding at the same time. The problem is that the Old Testament itself suggests no such classification. The law makes no such distinction when arranging its commands. Everyone agrees that Leviticus 19:18 states a universally applicable moral principle: “You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the
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children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.” The very next verse, however, is ceremonial and would thus be limited to Old Testament Israel: “You shall keep My statutes. You shall not let your livestock breed with another kind. You shall not sow your seed with mixed seed. Nor shall a garment of mixed linen and wool come upon you.” Nothing in these verses or the surrounding context suggests that Israel saw them as qualitatively different. Indeed, why should the first be binding on the church but not the second?
Furthermore, the law makes no such distinction when encouraging readers to heed its commands. The same motivational clauses appear with commands of all three classes. In Leviticus, for example, the Lord repeatedly commanded His people to “be holy; for I am holy” (Lev 11:44–45; 19:2; 20:7, 26). In the context, however, being holy involves obeying commands from all three categories of law. To be holy, the Jew had to limit his diet (11:41–45), a ceremonial command.24 He also had to leave the corners of his field for gleaners (19:9–10), which was a civil command, and to revere his parents (19:2–3), which was a moral command. All three are motivated by the same comment: “I am the Lord.”
Finally, the law made no such distinction when assigning penalties for violators. The same punishment applies to the different classes of law. The death penalty is attached just as readily to Nadab and Abihu’s failure to follow proper ritual procedure (10:1–7) as to sexual immorality (20:8–16).
New Testament Evidence. The New Testament also regards the law as a unified whole. Paul, for example, testified to “every man who becomes circumcised that he is a debtor to keep the whole law” (Gal 5:3). Similarly, James insisted, “whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all” (Jas 2:10). Kaiser, however, disagreed, arguing that Christ’s distinction between “weightier” and “lighter” things of the law (Matt 23:23) justifies the categories.25 Kaiser’s argument is appealing at first glance,
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but it fundamentally misunderstands what Christ meant. Dorsey, a non-dispensationalist, clarified the matter:
Jesus, in agreement with the OT writers (cf. Deut 10:12; 1 Sam 15:22–23; Isa 1:11ff; Hos 6:6; Amos 5:21–24; Mic 6:6–8; etc.), is simply arguing that the overarching principles and purposes of the corpus as a whole, as well as the underlying principles and purposes of each individual law (of whatever category), are more important (“weightier”) than the minor verbal details in the wording of specific regulations and the accompanying minutiae of oral traditions.26
Matthew 5:19 shows that whatever He did mean by these terms, Jesus clearly did not mean that certain laws are more significant than others: “Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven.” In other words, every violation is a major violation. In light of this and other evidence, scholars of all theological persuasion reject the tripartite division of the law.27
Implication. Consider the implication of all this. If the Sabbath law is nullified, then all the law is nullified. As one of the Ten Commandments, Sabbath keeping is usually considered part of the moral law. Certainly, that is how Warfield understood it: “I am to speak to you today, not of the usefulness or of the blessedness of the Sabbath, but of its obligation. And I am to speak to you of its obligation, not as that obligation naturally arises out of its usefulness or blessedness, but as it is immediately imposed by God in his Word.”28 If the Sabbath—one of the Ten Commandments—is no longer binding, how can any part of the law still be in effect?
As in the previous case, this idea is more than a logical conclusion; it is the clear and direct teaching of Scripture:
But if the ministry of death, written and engraved on stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of the glory of his countenance, which glory was passing away, how will the ministry of the Spirit not be more glorious? For if the ministry of
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condemnation had glory, the ministry of righteousness exceeds much more in glory. For even what was made glorious had no glory in this respect, because of the glory that excels. For if what is passing away was glorious, what remains is much more glorious (2 Cor 3:7–11).
In 2 Corinthians 3:7 and 11, the New King James Version translates καταργέω as “passing away.” The Greek term refers to that which has been done away with or abolished. The New Revised Standard Version makes the sense even clearer: “set aside.” Thus, the law with its glory is set aside—not just the law, but the portion specific “written and engraved on stones.” Ryrie noted the significance of this phrase:
The only part of the Mosaic law which was written in stones was the Ten Commandments — that category which some designate as the moral part of the law. Thus, this passage says that the Ten Commandments are a ministration of death; and furthermore, the same passage declares in no uncertain terms that they are done away (vs. 11). Language could not be clearer, and yet there are fewer truths of which it is harder to convince people.29
A Future for Israel
The end of the law leads to one more implication: God is not finished with Israel as a people. In both the Old and New Testaments, prophecy shows that the Sabbath law has a future. If the Sabbath, a peculiarly Israelite institution, has a future, then Israel must also have a future.30
Sabbath in the Future. Though abolished at this time, the Sabbath has a future. References to that future occur in Isaiah 66:23 and Matthew 24:20, but the most complete information comes from Ezekiel 36—46. In these chapters, the Lord promised the Babylonian exiles that He would ultimately bring in a new and permanent order for Israel. When He would gather Israel and Judah from captivity, He will retrieve each and every person (36:24; cf. 39:28), reunify the two nations of Israel and Judah (37:21–22) under the authority of a Davidic king (37:24–25), and reestablish them in their land (36:8–12, 33). At that time, He will give them a new heart (36:26) and place His own Spirit in them (36:27; 37:11–14; 39:29), so that they become His people, and He becomes their God (36:28; 37:23, 27; 39:22, 28). As part of this deliverance, the Lord will destroy the army of Gog in a conflict so great that it will take seven months to bury the dead (39:12). A huge, new Temple will be built (40–44), a Temple far greater and glorious than that built by Zerubbabel (cf. Hag 2:3).
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In this new Temple, the Lord will dwell, and from it, He will reign forever among His people Israel (43:7). None of these things have happened yet; the fulfillment must be in the future.
As part of the Lord’s instructions for worship in the new order, Ezekiel 44–46 makes six references to Sabbath observance. First, the priests are to sanctify the Sabbath (44:24). Second, each Sabbath, the prince is to offer sacrifices (45:15). Third, the eastern gate of the Temple’s inner court will be kept shut during the week, but on the Sabbath, it is to be opened (46:1). Fourth, on the Sabbath, the people are to worship (46:3). Fifth, it is at the eastern gate that the prince is to offer his Sabbath offering of six spotless lambs and a ram (46:4). Sixth, any voluntary offerings brought by the prince at other times are to be prepared according to the pattern of those for the Sabbath (46:12). In each and every case, the Sabbath is treated as a literal day of worship and rest.
Ezekiel 36-–46 creates problems for amillennialists, who try to explain it as figurative of the new covenant relationship that has existed since the resurrection of Christ. Clowney’s explanation of Ezekiel’s Temple is a good example. He denied that spiritualized the text; nevertheless, he insistd that Ezekiel’s Temple is a reference to the incarnate Christ.
This is not spiritualization in our usual sense of the word, but the very opposite. In Christ is realization. It is not so much that Christ fulfills what the temple means; rather Christ is the meaning for which the temple existed. As the symbolic language of the temple cultus continues to be used for Christ and for the heavenly temple of his eternal ministry, we know that our understanding is being drawn from earthly things to heavenly, from the creature to the Creator.31
If Ezekiel’s Temple refers figuratively to Christ, what is the interpreter to do with all the details associated with it? Why does the text spend three chapters just measuring every part of this imaginary structure? And what about the rituals, including the Sabbath, which are prescribed? How do they fit the “realization”? How much simpler and more natural it is to understand Ezekiel as describing an actual building!
Implication. The Lord has promised a new order, but it has not come. Why not? Since the Scriptures cannot err, there are only three possible explanations: (1) the promised new order is fulfilled spiritually in the church, which functions as the New Israel; (2) the promised new order has been forfeited by Israel, and so will never come; or, (3) the promised new order will yet be fulfilled in the future.
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As already demonstrated, the church is not Israel. The abrogation of Sabbath law testifies to this fact. Thus, Scripture negates the first possibility. The second runs afoul of the specific emphasis of Ezekiel 36–46. These chapters condition everything on the Lord, nothing on Israel. Israel is the beneficiary, but the focus is on what the Lord does and why.
Throughout the passage, it is the Lord alone who acts, performing what He has spoken (36:36; 37:14). Israel, in contrast, is as dead and helpless as scattered dry bones. It is the Lord who raises them, restores them, and puts his Spirit within them (37:1–14). He even accepts responsibility for making them righteous, promising to “put my Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them” (36:27). Two verses later, he added, “I will deliver you from all your uncleannesses.” After such dogmatic assertions, it is hard to imagine an implied condition: “I will do all this—provided, of course that you do not stop me by rebelling.” Indeed, how can a condition be attached to a promise such as Ezekiel 39:29: “‘I will not hide My face from them anymore; for I shall have poured out My Spirit on the house of Israel,’ says the Lord God”?
If the Lord’s works suggest that the promise is unconditional, the motives that generate them are even more convincing. The Lord does not act because of compassion for Israel here, but because of concern for His own holy name: “I do not do this for your sake, O house of Israel, but for My holy name’s sake, which you have profaned among the nations wherever you went” (36:22; cf. 36:21, 32; 39:25). In all that He promises to do, the Lord has but one objective: that all men might know that he is the Lord, all Israelites (36:11, 38; 37:13–14; 39:22, 28) and all Gentiles (36:23, 36; 37:28; 38:23; 39:6–7). If, however, the promise is conditional, how does it vindicate the name of the Lord? How will the nations know that He is the Lord if He does not perform what He has spoken? Thus, the only viable explanation is that the new order is still future. If that is correct, then Israel must have a future.
Conclusions Regarding Dispensationalism as Biblical
The preceding analysis dissected the Sabbath question biblically, examining the pertinent texts and interpreting them at face value. It validated its findings by comparing them with the teaching of other Scripture. By this means, it uncovered three specific insights: (1) the church is not New Testament Israel; (2) the entire Mosaic Code is no longer binding as law; and, (3) Israel has a role to play in the future. Each is a distinctive aspect of the system.32 All three are
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clearly biblical. Thus, contrary to the pronouncements of some, there is nothing “unbiblical” about dispensationalism. In this case at least, its teachings are derived inductively from the text, not artificially imposed upon it. In short: dispensationalism is biblical.
Application of the Sabbath: Dispensationalism as Practical
Everything based on Scripture is inherently useful, “profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Tim 3:16). Therefore, to be valid, the dispensational approach must show how the New Testament saint profits from the Old Testament commandment. The remainder of this article attempts to do just that.
Traditional Approaches to Application
As already demonstrated, most covenant theologians distinguish moral from non-moral laws.33 This classification dictates their application. Moral laws, such as the Sabbath, are applied as law, just as they were in the Old Testament. They do make minor adjustments to account for different times and circumstances, but as Hays explained, these adjustments raise another problem: If changed, is it still the same law?34
Although many Christians claim that the Sabbath law is a moral law, practically none of them obey it. Going to church on Sunday, the first day of the week, can hardly be called obedience to the Sabbath law. Moses would not have accepted the first day of the week as a substitute for the seventh day. Also obeying the Sabbath regulations was much more involved than mere
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church attendance. In the Book of Numbers a man was executed for gathering wood on the Sabbath (Num. 15:32–36).35
Conversely, non-moral laws are generically explained as foreshadowing some New Testament “realization.” Otherwise, they are ignored as no longer applicable.36 This also creates a problem: Is the interpreter free to ignore large portions of inspired text? This is particularly troubling since it contradicts New Testament use of the Old. Consider Dorsey’s summary of Paul’s approach of Paul.
Paul holds the corpus in such high esteem that his inner being delights in it. Most significantly for the present inquiry, he maintains that the individual laws (speaking specifically of the law dealing with muzzling the ox; Deut 25:4) were given “for us” and are written “for us” (1 Cor 9:8–10). In no instance does he imply that only a particular category of laws possesses such high value.37
To state things briefly, the traditional, moral—non-moral, approach runs a double risk: On the one hand it may add to the Scripture and on the other, subtract from it. Failure at either extreme brings dire consequences (cf. Rev 22:18–19).
Unfortunately, many dispensationalists follow the traditional approach without considering its theological implications. Others, in their zeal to defend their system, go even further, ignoring the law altogether, describing it only in negative terms,38 or refusing to apply any command not explicitly repeated in the New Testament.39 While intended to prevent legalism, this approach tends
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to sidestep sanctification altogether either by stimulating antinomianism, a condition just as foreign to grace as legalism (Rom 6:1–14); or, in an exquisite irony, by producing its own kind of legalism where believers measure spirituality by the degree of liberty they allow themselves. Whatever its motive or effect, this approach tends to treat the Mosaic code not just as terminated law, but as expired Scripture, inspired texts with no message for the current dispensation.
“Principlism” as an Approach to Application
How then should a New Testament saint apply the Old Testament law? In keeping with the dispensationalist’s commitment to a consistent hermeneutic, Hays 40 suggested that the proper approach must meet five criteria:
It should be an approach that (a) is consistent, treating the Old Testament Scripture as God’s Word, (b) does not depend on arbitrary nontextual categories [e.g. dividing the law into moral, ceremonial, and civil commands], (c) reflects the literary and historical context of the Law, placing it firmly into the narrative story of the Pentateuch, (d) reflects the theological context of the Law, and (e) corresponds to New Testament teaching.41
For Hays, this approach is “principlism,” an approach that attempts to identify and apply the universal principles implicit42 in Old Testament texts.
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This scheme involves five steps, each correlating with one or more of his criteria. First, discover what the law meant to its original readers, how they understood it, and were supposed to respond to it (i.e. grammatical-historical interpretation). While no longer regulation; the Mosaic code is still revelation, and this step treats it as such. Second, identify how the theological and situational reality of the original readers differs from that of modern Christians. Third, distinguish the universal principle behind the specific command. To assist in this process, Hays offered five guidelines: “(a) It should be reflected in the text, (b) it should be timeless, (c) it should correspond to the theology of the rest of Scripture, (d) it should not be culturally bound, and (e) it should be relevant to both Old Testament and current New Testament believers.”43 Fourth, check the proposed principle against the teaching of the New Testament. Several Mosaic commands, including nine of the Ten Commandments, are repeated to the church, but their status has changed. “When the New Testament repeats a law it thus becomes a commandment for believers, to be obeyed as a command of Christ. But the validity and authority as a command comes from the New Testament and not the Old Testament.”44 When, however, the New Testament nullifies a command, it is still God’s word. As such, it still demands a response, a response that reflects the same principle, but expressed in a way appropriate to the new dispensation. For example, the holiness code in Leviticus 11 gives a detailed list of what Israel could and could not eat. The church is not bound by that law (Acts 10:9–16), but it is bound by the principle implicit in it. New Testament believers are also to manifest a difference even in the mundane matters of life: “whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Cor 10:31). Fifth, apply the principle to modern life. Perhaps the clearest example of this in the New Testament is found in 1 Corinthians 9:9, where Paul used a Mosaic command about oxen to demonstrate that those in ministry ought to receive material support. Deuteronomy 25:4 was not given to the church at Corinth; indeed, the law did not even deal with the matter at issue. What was relevant was the principle behind the law: those who work should receive reward from their labors. If it is true of an ox, how much more is it true of a man of God!
Principlism and the Application of Sabbath Law
Sabbath observance is an excellent case for evaluating the usefulness of principlism. The Sabbath is the only one of the Ten Commandments not repeated to the church; thus, the New Testament does not assign any present
JODT 11:32 (March 2007) p. 93
application to it. Furthermore, the ethical principle that requires the distinction of one day from the rest of week is not immediately obvious. Indeed, one can question whether that principle is even an ethical one. Though many Christians consider the Sabbath a moral obligation, Scripture often regards it as a ceremonial ritual along with the other celebrations of Israel: “Let no one judge you. .. regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths” (Col 2:16).45
Requirements. The fourth commandment was given to Israel at Sinai as one of its basic stipulations of the Mosaic covenant. As such, the Lord made the requirements explicit. Israel was to set apart (“keep holy”) the seventh day of the week. On it, no one in Israel (Jew, slave, resident alien, or even animal) was to do any work (Exod 20:10; Deut 5:14). Plowing and reaping were to cease (Exod 34:21). Fires were not to be kindled (35:2–3). However, it was not a day of inactivity; it was a day of worship. Every Sabbath, there was to be a “holy convocation,” an assembly of the people for celebration (Lev 23:3), a weekly remembrance of the Lord’s grace paralleling the annual remembrances at New Years, Passover, and Pentecost (Numb 28). In addition to the daily burnt offerings, the priests were to offer a special burnt offering of two male lambs, a special grain offering of fine flour, and a special drink offering on the Sabbath (28:9–10).
Significance. Sabbath observance had special significance to Israel; it commemorated their unique relationship with the Lord: “It is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the Lord who sanctifies you” (Exod 31:13). Consequently, failure to comply was a capital crime (Numb 15:32–36). The law explains its ban on working in light of this significance. In Exodus 20:11, Sabbath rest is seen as a reflection of the Lord’s own “rest” after completing creation. As such, it marked Israel’s special relationship with the Creator. In Deuteronomy 5:15, it is seen as an opportunity for remembering that the Lord had delivered them from slavery in Egypt. Thus, it also marked Israel’s special relationship with their Redeemer.
In the New Testament, participation in Sabbath rest is an option, but no longer a requirement. Furthermore, the modern Christian is under the New Covenant, not the Old (Mosaic) Covenant. The sign of that covenant is the cup taken at the Lord’s Table, as Christ himself declared: “This cup is the new covenant in My blood” (1 Cor 11:25).
JODT 11:32 (March 2007) p. 94
Even before the commandment was abolished, Jesus’ controversy with the Pharisees reveals at least one principle implicit in the law of the Sabbath. As Deffinbaugh observed, Jesus and His opponents saw the law differently. They saw it as a precept, or rule; He saw it as a principle: “To the Pharisees, the essence of the Fourth Commandment was this precept: Thou shalt not work. To the Lord Jesus, the essence of this commandment was this principle: Remember the Sabbath to keep it holy. One could cease from work on the Sabbath (as the Pharisees did) without keeping the Sabbath holy.”46 The Sabbath as law is now abolished, but the principles behind it remain.
When seeking applications of the Fourth Commandment, most people start (and end) their search with a comparison of the Sabbath and the Lord’s Day, but there is a better and more general basis for application. This principle is often missed when people read Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5. The Sabbath commandment does more than regulate the seventh day; in reality, it regulates the entire week: “Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work” (Exod 20:9–10, cf. Deut 5:13–14). Implicit in all this is the fact that the Lord, not man, has authority over his people’s time.47 He organizes their time into distinct periods and claims the right to determine how each is to be used. Thus, in work as well as worship, they are accountable to God.
Correlation with New Testament
The New Testament authenticates this principle. In Romans 14, Paul explained why Christians should not judge each other in matters of individual conscience. In the process, however, he reflected a balanced New Testament view of the Sabbath issue:
One person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind. He who observes the day observes it to the Lord; and he who does not observe the day, to the Lord he does not observe it. He who eats, eats to the Lord, for he gives God thanks; and he who does not eat, to the Lord he does not eat, and he gives God thanks. For none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself. For if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s (Rom 14:5–8).
JODT 11:32 (March 2007) p. 95
In one respect, this clearly teaches that the Sabbath is no longer a matter of law. In another respect, it shows that the real issue is not keeping Sabbath, but how one uses his time, whether it is used for the Lord. This understanding is confirmed by Paul’s parallel example, the application of Jewish dietary laws. The Sabbath issue is applied to the believer’s use of his time, the food issue, and to his reception of God’s provision. In both cases, he demonstrated that the command is defunct, but the principle is still at work.
In light of the preceding, one basic way for the Christian to apply the Sabbath is to regard his time as given and regulated by the Lord. With God in charge, there is always time for what he needs to do, time to finish his work, and time to worship his God. Nothing in this conclusion is intended to imply that regular church worship is optional for the Christian. Hebrews 10:25 is clear and binding on the church: Christians are not free to forsake regular assembly with others of like faith. This, however, is a matter of New Testament law, not an application of the Fourth Commandment.
Dispensationalism as Biblical and Practical
In the twenty-first century, as already stated, dispensationalism faces challenges from two opposing poles within evangelicalism: those who consider it unbiblical and those who consider it irrelevant. This article has examined the issue of Sabbath observance to show that dispensationalism rises to both challenges. By approaching Scripture with a consistent, common sense hermeneutic, it discovers truths “profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness” (2 Tim 3:16). In short: dispensationalism is profitable, and it is profitable because it is biblical.
What did I say about a massive attack of verbal diarrhea to try and cover up what is clear and concise? I rest my case. Not all the words in all languages of the world can change the truth about a matter.
How one gets from Colossians 2:16 to the seventh day weekly Sabbath nobody knows. It’s a case of an unclear passage bent to say what a theologian wants it to say – unclear passages are beloved by theologians because they are so flexible. There is no clear, explicit and unambiguous indication anywhere in the Bible, Old or New Testaments, that the Sabbath has been done away with. In fact, the following seems to indicate the Sabbath will be celebrated in the New World: Isa 66:23 And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the LORD.
Read around the verse to get the context.
Chris, I hope people do read the context of Colossians 2, even the argument of the entire book, because it rejects outright what you propose. Maybe another article will help you:
How should we decide what to do about the 4th Commandment, to keep the Sabbath holy?
I would suggest that you might want to take a look at three lessons I did on the fourth commandment.
/docs/ot/books/exo/deffin/exo-15.htm /docs/ot/books/exo/deffin/exo-16.htm /docs/ot/books/exo/deffin/exo-17.htm
Years ago, Dr. Bruce Waltke (formerly a Hebrew professor at Dallas Seminary — now teaching elsewhere) said something like this: “When we come to the New Testament, we must determine whether the New Testament ratifies, modifies, or abrogates the Old Testament law.” There are some of the commandments that are clearly carried directly over into the New Testament.
For example, the New Testament forbids stealing (Ephesians 4:28) and lying, since it requires us to speak the truth (Ephesians 4:25).
There are things in the law that have been set aside, however. For example, Mark 7:17-23, along with Acts 10 and 11 make it abundantly clear that the clean/unclean food laws of the Old Testament have been set aside — nullified. These are no longer requirements for the New Testament believer, although freedom is given about doing so (Romans 14:1-10f.), so long as one does not deny the gospel by his practice (see Galatians 2:11-14f.).
The Sabbath was the sign of the Old Covenant (as circumcision was the sign of the Abrahamic Covenant and the rainbow was the sign of the Noahic Covenant), and thus strict Sabbath-keeping does not have the same meaning for those who are now under the New Covenant.
The principle of observing a day of rest, and of freedom from distraction, so that one can devote himself to worshipping God is clearly laid out in the Book of Isaiah:
13 You must observe the Sabbath rather than doing anything you want on my holy day. You must look forward to the Sabbath and treat the Lord’s holy day with respect. You must treat it with respect by refraining from your normal activities, and by refraining from your selfish pursuits and from making business deals. 14 Then you will find joy in your relationship to the Lord, and I will give you great prosperity, and cause crops to grow on the land I gave to your ancestor Jacob.” Know for certain that the Lord has spoken (Isaiah 58:13-14).
It is good to set a day aside, free from the usual cares and distractions of life, so that one can devote himself to worshipping God. But this day is not specified as — nor restricted to — “the Sabbath” in the New Testament, either in Acts or in the Epistles.
The Bible seems to make it clear that observing a Jewish Sabbath is not required:
16 Therefore do not let anyone judge you with respect to food or drink, or in the matter of a feast, new moon, or Sabbath days 17 that are only the shadow of the things to come, but the reality is Christ (Colossians 2:16-17).
5 One person regards one day holier than other days, and another regards them all alike. Each must be fully convinced in his own mind. 6 The one who observes the day, does it for the Lord. The one who eats, eats for the Lord, because he gives thanks to God, and the one who abstains from eating, abstains for the Lord, and he gives thanks to God (Romans 14:5-6).
Thus, when we see the church meeting on the first day of the week, rather than keeping the traditional Sabbath (see Acts 20:7; 1 Corinthians 16:2), it should come as no surprise.
I should probably point out that circumcision was required of believers in the Old Testament (Genesis 17:9-14; Leviticus 12:1-3; Joshua 5:1-5). Moses was nearly put to death for neglecting to circumcise his son (Exodus 4:24-26). But circumcision was not required for those who came to faith in Jesus in the New Testament. New believers were baptized, not circumcised. Indeed, Paul both refused and forbade circumcision when it symbolized a person placing themselves under law (Galatians 2:1-10; 5:1-6f.). (I should add that he did have Timothy circumcised, so that being uncircumcised would not hinder the gospel — Acts 16:3. In this case, Judaisers were not demanding circumcision.).
Once again let me emphasize that setting aside a day of rest, and freedom from distraction, so that one can worship the Lord is a good thing. Where we differ is that this day needs to be the Sabbath Day of the Old Testament.
Chris, you said, ” Not all the words in all languages of the world can change the truth about a matter.” He who will not be convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.
Thank you Grant. That is the clearest understanding I have had on the Sabbath. I am very thankful, it helps me to finally understand with more clarity since my church has changed from Saturday to Sunday.
Grant, you said: “He who will not be convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.”
Whenever someone has to trot out trite platitudes to come to the rescue of his case everyone, that someone included, knows that he does not have a case.
It boils down to “the law.” Paul is the champion of the lawless brigade. Poor Paul had great difficulty finding the right words to say what he wanted to say. He is the only Biblical author of whom another Biblical author (Peter) said that he was hard to understand. At best, Paul had moments of clarity.
God’s law is ‘one strike and you’re out.’ Break one law and you’re as guilty as breaking them all. James 2:10 For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.
The law can only save us if we don’t break one law even once. For all of us humans, that ship has sailed. That’s where Jesus steps in – he paid the price for us breaking the law subjected to certain conditions. Paul managed to say this quite clearly here:
Galatians 2:16 yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.
But that doesn’t mean we can now disregard the law. For without the law anything goes, as Paul mentioned here:
Romans 4:15 For the law brings wrath, but where there is no law there is no transgression.
Romans 5:13 for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law.
Want to lie to those poor suckers out there so they will believe things that are not in the Bible? Go for it. Want to distort what is in the Bible? The same really as lying. Go for it.
The law not being able to save us does not mean we can transgress and change the law and in many cases even be proud of it. Paul said:
Romans 3:31 Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the law.
In fact, breaking the law is a sin: 1 John 3:4 Whoever sins is guilty of breaking God’s law because sin is a breaking of the law.
And we must pay more than lip-service to the law:
Romans 2:13 For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be justified.
Note that righteous does not mean the same as saved. Many are hostile to the law and teaches people to be hostile to the law. Jesus had somewhat to say about such people:
Matthew 5:19 Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
Paul had just one gripe – circumcision. And I’ve done quite a few of those. I wonder what Paul would have made of that? But they were not for religious reasons.
It’s now Easter. And I thought today that Passover is a Jewish feast which Exodus 12 said we gentiles should not be allowed to celebrate and Easter is a heathen, fertility feast with the coming of Spring in the northern hemisphere. Jesus will not recognise the Christian church of our time. It started to go wrong with the Church Fathers importing Greek philosophy into it. Like the Borg in Deep Space Nine, Christianity assimilated the competition. Mystery and Gnosticism are alive and well in the Trinity. Christian churches around the world tip the hat once a week to sun worship.
Most of this, if not all, will be too straight-forward and clear for you. For the theologian truth is a vague, malleable abstraction that can be anything he wants it to be. Clearly phrased statements make the theologian uncomfortable.
Chris, in this case I am afraid that platitude is accurate by your own admission.
It is now obvious why you have a problem with interpretation of Scripture—you view a chosen vehicle by God to write ½ of the New Testament as “lawless.” Although Peter recognized his writing as Scripture (2 Pe 3:14-16), Paul had to rebuke him for his legalism in Galatians 2. He had reverted to Judaistic teaching with their legalism.
Nowhere do I claim that the moral law is not for today. It defines sin for us. There is no justification for “anything goes” in Christian living.
Justification is never “subjected to certain conditions.” There is no evidence for that whatsoever in Scripture.
I suggest you look up your references on my site to understand those Scriptures you reference.
It appears to me that you have a superficial understanding of Scripture. For example, the word “law” has many lexical usages, the moral law, ceremonial law, civil law, and it sometimes refers to Scripture itself (Mt 5:19). The context must determine its usage.
Your biggest problem is that you do not have the ability to exercise proper hermeneutics (but that is for scholars and too abstruse for you). Cults always have had a problem to interpret the Bible by context, exegesis, culture, history, among other things. What is clear and “straightforward” is that you do not have the capacity to interpret the Bible as it is, rather than reading your interpretation into the text (eisegesis).
Grant you say: ‘Justification is never “subjected to certain conditions.”’ The condition is, as John said, John 20:31 But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God and that by believing you may have life in his name.
Not believing that (what John said), Jesus avails one nothing. Or don’t you agree with John?
As for your platitude, I was not convinced against my will. I have a well-developed BS detector and when most theologians speak, it’s going off almost all the time. Theology belongs with the arts and humanities. With a degree in any of those, one also gets a graduate diploma – BSA. The B is for bull and the A for artist.
Someone said that the closer one’s conclusion is to the raw data (for the Bible that means that which is clear as it stands there) the most likely one’s conclusion is to be right, and the more steps there are between the raw data and one’s conclusion the more likely one’s conclusion is to be wrong. Theologians love the steps; the more, the better.
Exegesis in practice means distorting what the Bible says. Jesus was always about his Father whose will he said he always did and who directed all his actions and words and who (the Father) was greater than he (Jesus). You can be sure when Jesus talked about laws and/or commandments he talked of those of his Father. As Jesus said, he didn’t come to annul the law but to keep it. In some weird and wonderful way, theologians say keeping the law annuls it. They deserve the BSA after their names over and over.
I don’t read any interpretation into the text. I take it as it stands there. How come you have not noticed it? It is you who twist and bend to fit your ideas.
A few theologians are led by an honesty which is rare in the field to see what they were taught is not true. But most keep on singing the company song. Safeguarding one’s income is a strong incentive to believe any nonsense. There is no bigger nonsense that humanity has come up with than the assertion that 1+1+1=1. And not knowing where to use addition and where to use multiplication is a close second.
You might have noticed that Jesus was consistently negative about theologians. I wonder why?
1 John 5:2-3 about summarises the law question: 2 This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. 3 In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome,
God’s commandments tell us what he wants us to do.
How will you nullify that?
Chris, one of your false assumptions about my position is that we do not believe in keeping God’s moral commands. I have asserted that it is imperative to keep God’s moral standards throughout the 10,000 pages on this site. https://versebyversecommentary.com/1-john/1-john-52b/ You need to make a distinction between the Mosaic law given to the nation Israel, such as the civil law (for a nation), ceremonial law such as the Sabbaths and the moral law, which every believer is obligated to keep because they are a reflection of God’s character. Christ fulfilled all the requirements of the law on our behalf
Chris, you said “conditions” plural, not singular. “Belief” in the finished work of Christ is the only condition for salvation. The Greek word πιστευω occurs 98 times in the gospel of John and it is the only condition stated for salvation. Look at my Introduction to the gospel of John: https://versebyversecommentary.com/books/introduction-to-john/
Your ignorance of theologians is appalling. The exegetes, expositors and theologians that I know operate on Aristotelian logic, factuality, objectivity and scholarship of which you are obviously unaware. I do not view myself a theologian but as an expositor-exegete. I have had 8 years of Greek and 3 of Hebrew. That is dealing with the “raw data.” I have over a 1000 pages of verse-by-verse exposition of the gospel of John where I studied Greek words, sentences, paragraphs, immediate context and argument of the book, the syntax and semantics of every verse. The scholarship, even among liberals, is amazing. You have obviously not read true scholarship of either expositors, exegetes or the theologians. Your comment about a paper I referenced above shows that patently. You don’t get Ph.ds and Th.ds by the sloppy way you treat Scripture. You obviously have no clue what it takes to get a degree in this category nor are you aware of the great scholarship from liberals to conservatives. Your ignorance is amazing.
Jesus attacked false teachers, not people who were true to Scripture.
Chris, I am not going to give you any more platform for your invective based on ignorance.
2 Timothy 2:23-26
23 But refuse foolish and ignorant speculations, knowing that they produce [a]quarrels. 24 The Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, 25 with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, 26 and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive [b]by him to do his will.
You are using some kind of new-testament legalism to prove old testament legalism is wrong. SO legalism is wrong because legalism says so? Silly quarrels. There is only one master teacher, Lord Jesus Christ. I don’t think he had a PhD.? The bible proves even his closest followers/ apostles didn’t truly understand or comprehend all his teachings. You do? How could Paul be the final word? Was he at the last supper? At the cross? He is definitely touched and inspired by God, but he is not the messiah. Follow the Word of God (usually in red print). Your war of words will turn away those looking for a relationship with Christ. Point people to Christ, not interpretations of his teachings.
2 Corinthians 2:16
to the one an aroma from death to death, to the other an aroma from life to life. And who is adequate for these things?
Peace be with you
Trevor, it appears that you have not read my studies in this chapter. Where you extract your false statements about what I have said is an amazing bit of interpretation gymnastics.
Hi, Mr. Grant. Hope you’re doing well today. I have a question.
I did skim though all of the comments on (v.17-18) and didn’t see a specific question-answer to the was I was looking for. Would you happen to know the answer to the question as to what is meant by “all the days that you live on the Earth” (Deut.12:1), “to a thousand generations” (Deut.11:1), “forever” (Ps.119:151-152; 160) when it comes to the law, the statutes, and so forth?
I don’t believe we are bound by the law, but grace, but these words “forever” and “all the days” seem as if, at least, the Jews needed to keep them always. Please, help my understanding and looking forward to your answer, whenever you get time, sir.
Have a great weekend!
Sometimes the world “law” represents all of Scripture and at other times the 10 commandments or other laws of the Old and New Testament such as the Mosaic law. The difference lies in the context of each use of the word “law.”
Re Deut 11:1, the word כֹּל means “at all times” as an idiom for the totality of a thing, everythng.
Re Deut 12:1, the qualifier is “as long as you live in this land.” The reference is a promise to Israel, whom God set aside with the economy of grace.
Ps 119, every verse in this chapter refers to the Bible, not the Mosaic Law.