“Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the LORD of hosts…Remember ye the law of Moses my servant…lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.” (Malachi 3-4)
This analysis is so simple and obvious. So how did we get from there to the claims of Christianity today?
The great change from the old to the new covenant is
- not giving up the practice of the law,
- but the permanent presence of God’s Spirit empowering the practice of the law.
It is the same change as an engagement promise to a marriage vow.
“Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah…I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And…they shall all know me / be united with me under the terms of the new covenant, which was impossible under the previous covenant due to sinful state…for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” (Jeremiah 31:31-34)
“And the Redeemer shall come…unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the LORD. As for me, this is my covenant with them, saith the LORD; My spirit that is upon thee…shall not depart…from henceforth and for ever.” (Isaiah 59:20-21)
“the Spirit of truth…dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you…At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will…manifest myself to him.” (John 14:17-21)
Just as marriage vows require more from each partner than engagement promises, so the new covenant of union between God and individual humans demands greater, not less, commitment from each partner than the old.
“Thus saith the LORD God; I will…assemble you out of the countries where ye have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel…And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you…That they may walk in my statutes, and keep mine ordinances, and do them…” ( Ezekiel 11:17-20)
YHVH’s vow to permanently indwell and empower humans to obey laws clearly establishes that the humans’ commitment to the covenant is to obey the laws!
“For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” (Romans 8:3-4)
“For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: but I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 7:22-25)
God’s spiritual laws / overriding control over the physical laws of nature make it possible to perform what we call miracles.
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.” (John 14:12)
On the other hand, we find that the miracle works that Jesus promised would prove Spirit indwelling are works he rejects as proving the workers are his followers. Which is it?
“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit…Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” (Matthew 7:15-22)
Paul provides one of the many balancing acts in scripture. The “signs” – which can be faked or empowered by an evil spirit – aren’t the works that Jesus demands of us for salvation or even to prove salvation. All of these signs aren’t manifested by every believer, but every believer should be doing something!
“Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant…Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.
- to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom;
- to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;
- To another faith by the same Spirit;
- to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;
- To another the working of miracles;
- to another prophecy;
- to another discerning of spirits;
- to another divers kinds of tongues;
- to another the interpretation of tongues:
But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will. For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.
For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit…But now are they many members, yet but one body…
And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles? Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? Obviously his rather sarcastic answer is “No!” do all interpret?
But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way. Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal…Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy.
For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries. But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort. He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church…Now, brethren, if I come unto you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you, except I shall speak to you either by revelation, or by knowledge, or by prophesying, or by doctrine?…Brethren, be not children in understanding…
In the law it is written, With men of other tongues and other lips will I speak unto this people; and yet for all that will they not hear me, saith the Lord. Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not…
Let all things be done unto edifying. If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret. But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God…
What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only?
If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.
But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant.” (I Corinthians 12-14)
Do we really believe Paul’s statement that “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” (II Timothy 3:16)? Not if we ignore and toss aside the Old Testament, despite the fact as laid out above that the Jesus of Christianity has absolutely no validity without the Old Testament.
Although Christianity acknowledges that Jesus Christ is identified by his likeness to Moses, Christianity ignores the importance of Moses and his successors by downplaying their roles as being nothing more than just “types” of Christ. This results in an intrinsic “unhitching” of the significance of the Old Testament to the following New Testament, even by those who deplore the open “unhitching” of the Old from the New.
We are discarding our own identity in Christ if we consider that Moses and his immediate successor were just place holders until the ultimate Christ showed up over a thousand years later. Joshua and his successors were each a true Promised Deliverer at that time and in those circumstances by FOLLOWING THE COURSE SET BY MOSES.
“And Moses called unto Joshua, and said unto him in the sight of all Israel, Be strong and of a good courage: for THOU must go with this people unto the land which the LORD hath sworn unto their fathers to give them; and THOU shalt cause them to inherit it.
And the LORD, he it is that doth go before THEE; he will be with THEE, he will not fail THEE, neither forsake THEE: fear not, neither be dismayed. ” (Deuteronomy 31:7-8)
“he hath said, I will never leave THEE, nor forsake THEE. So that WE may boldly say, The Lord is MY helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto ME.” (Hebrews 13:5-6)
“the LORD spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ minister…as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee…
Only [human responsibility in this partnership] be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper withersoever thou goest.
This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. Have not I commanded thee?” (Joshua 1:1-9)
In another passage, mainstream Christianity treats an Old Testament prophecy as applying to the New Testament Church. because of the world-wide viewpoint. But instead of taking a blind flying leap forward into the future, serious students who continue to stick with the hermeneutical and historical approach will recognize the world-wide perspective of the entire Bible, Old and New Testaments.
“My people [which we have proven aforetime in the post Melchizedek Moses, at this point in time, are the Hebrews] went down aforetime into Egypt to sojourn there; and the Assyrian oppressed them without cause…they that rule over them make them to howl, saith the LORD; and my name continually every day is blasphemed…
Therefore my people / the Hebrews shall know my name / attributes / famous acts: therefore they shall know IN THAT DAY that I am he that doth speak: behold, it is I…”For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall HE be called [not Sennacherib].”(Isaiah 52:4-6, 54:5)
The passage is written to encourage people being oppressed at the time of writing to trust in the promised deliverer. For that objective to work, the promise must have been fulfilled in the past. Like unbiased archeologists, let’s sift through the levels to discover what it is, starting with the historical context in which Isaiah wrote these encouraging words.
“Sennacherib king of Assyria came up against all the defensed cities of Judah, and took them. And the king of Assyria [predatory precursor to Nazi ideology and possibly even genetically to some Germans] sent…a great army…to Hezekiah, saying…Let not thy God, in whom thou trustest, deceive thee, saying, Jerusalem shall not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria. Behold, thou hast heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all lands by destroying them utterly; and shalt thou be delivered? Have the gods of the nations delivered them which my fathers have destroyed…?
Then Isaiah the son of Amoz sent unto Hezekiah, saying, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Whereas thou hast prayed to me against Sennacherib king of Assyria: This is the word which the LORD hath spoken concerning him…Whom hast thou reproached and blasphemed? and against whom hast thou exalted thy voice, and lifted up thine eyes on high? even against the Holy One of Israel…Because thy rage against me…I will defend this city to save it for mine own sake, and for my servant David’s sake.” (Isaiah 36-37)
The next level to analyze is the historic circumstances equivalent to those currently being experienced c. 700 by people “howling under oppression.” This is what provides valid encouragement to have faith in the same previous experience of deliverance. For example, the basis for faith in being delivered by God from their enemies by the individuals Isaac, then Jacob, then Joseph, then ultimately by a horde of Hebrews was knowledge of past miraculous deliverances of their ancient fathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
This is the only basis for faith in ANYTHING – Sennacherib’s promise of leniency for those who surrender or utter destruction for those who resist, a COVID vaccine, the utterly contradictory self-evolution of selfish humanity into self-sacrificing Superman able to save a world clearly set on self-destruct – despite the bedrock basis of eugenics in evolution as “the survival of the fittest”, a presidential candidate…
Even God himself.
“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.“ (Romans 10:17)
So, placing the meaning of this message in proper historical context, especially with the significant words, we find that this is not a prophecy of a future new religion of Christianity at all, but solidly establishes our saving faith in events that occurred, and relationships that were established, before the world began. This passage can then apply to future believers, just as the relationship between God and the Adams, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David, etc. applies also to us. Just don’t make the mistake of thinking it is only about us. It is about all mankind from the beginning of time.
- Maker – foundational relationship of God towards humanity. “God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion.” (Genesis 1:26)
- Husband – Partner in a union where two become one. And the LORD God…took one of his ribs…and made he a woman…And Adam said…she shall be called Wo-man, because she was taken out of Man…they shall be one flesh. (Genesis 2:21-23)
- LORD of hosts / armies – Dominion requires defense against enemies. “Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.“ (Genesis 2:1)
- Redeemer / kinsman Since the champion of his people represents all his nation / family he must be “one flesh” with them. “The LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this…her seed…shall bruise / crush thy head.” (Genesis 3:14-15) “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them…“ (Hebrews 2:14-15)
- Holy / consecrated, set apart one of Isra / He who struggles with – not against – El / God. The perennially popular movie The Karate Kid exemplifies this nicely. In both Jacob and Daniel’s cases, persistence in submitting to the sensei’s / master’s instructions and methods, through crippling difficulties, results in character transformation and reflexive modeling of the master’s behavior, turning oppression to victory. According to Hosea, the title Isra-El applied to Jacob before God officially bestowed it on him.
- “Jacob…took his brother by the heel in the womb and by his strength he had power with God.” Are you catching that? We could rephrase “by his strength he had power with God” as “He who struggles with God.” Even in the womb infants respond to God’s Spirit, and Jacob was one of them, fighting to make God’s plan come to pass.
- “Yea, he had power over the angel, and prevailed.” Again, do you catch the figure of two matched wrestlers? Like David’s choice of Joab and his mighty men, God chooses dogged fighters who are willing to give their lives for the cause. So much for Calvinism.
- “he found him in Bethel…Even the LORD God of hosts/armies”…every time Jacob needed supernatural power.
- when fleeing from Esau where he bargains with God
- when oppressed by Laban
- when returning to face Esau’s wrath
- when fleeing from the Canaanites revenging the massacre at Shechem.
- And Jacob fled into the country of Syria, and Israel [functioning as God’s Fighter although not yet officially designated as such] served for a wife [since Isaac did not give him a bride price like Abraham had given, but Jacob clung determinedly to faith in God’s promise to his inheritance]…
- And by a prophet the LORD brought Israel out of Egypt, and by a prophet was he preserved...Therefore turn thou to thy God: keep mercy and judgment and wait on thy God continually.” (Hosea 12)
- Don’t miss the point Hosea is making! Like Isaiah, Hosea encourages his audience to follow Jacob’s example of trust in God’s promises during their times of conflict: This title of Isra-El / God’s Fighter does not apply only to Jacob son of Isaac as a name. Like a Medal of Honor, is an award given in recognition of a character trait, developed through years of faithfulness despite adversity, and proven through exemplary behavior, designating anyone who God chooses to set apart as a partner in his service.
- “The God of the whole earth shall he be called.” This is a battle plan, not an afterthought, and it was not put into place on the Day of Pentecost with Christianity. It was the gauntlet thrown down in challenge to Nimrod’s 70 nations at Babel with the single Hebrew nation .
- “Are ye not as children of the Ethiopians unto me, O children of Israel? saith the LORD.
- Have not I brought up Israel out of the land of Egypt?
- and the Philistines from Caphtor,
- and the [As]Syrians from Kir?
- I will command, and I will sift the house of Israel among all nations, to serve their purpose of witnessing of God!
- “Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world. Wherefore…the Gentiles are turned to God: For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every sabbath day.” (Acts 15:18-21)
- In that day will I raise up the tabernacle / destructible building of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old: That they may possess the remnant of Edom, and of all the heathen, which are called by my name, saith the LORD that doeth this.” (Amos 9:7-12)
When Israel stopped voluntarily representing YHVH to the world, the only way God could continue to maintain a permanent Father relationship with Israel was through disciplining his children.
“My son, despise not the chastening of the Lord; neither be weary of his correction: For whom the Lord loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.” (Proverbs 3:11-12. Hebrews 12:5-6)
“Now therefore so shalt thou say unto my servant David, Thus saith the LORD of hosts…I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and…I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever.
I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men: But my mercy shall not depart away from him. (II Samuel 7:8-15)
Thy first father / chief priest, high priest hath sinned, and thy teachers / of religious studies have transgressed against me. Therefore I have profaned [ un-sanctified, stripped of appointed positions to serve God] the princes of the sanctuary, and have given Jacob to the curse, and Israel to reproaches.” (Isaiah 43)
But this does not justify the opinion that God separated out a “Gentile Christian” Church. If we believe what the Bible says about the throne of the seed of David lasting for ever, then we have to also believe what the Bible says about the priesthood of the seed of Aaron lasting for ever, and therefore the Mosaic law is still in effect.
Yes, the letter to the Hebrews states that Jesus was called of God to be a priest, and therefore “the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law.” (Hebrews 7:12) But we can’t interpret “a change also of the law” to mean the entire Mosaic code was tossed out when Jesus died on the cross. We certainly don’t believe that the Ten Commandments were discarded.
Keep the distinction between individual laws and and the entirety of a covenant. Most of all, remember that the Mosaic covenant was just the latest in a series of covenants to the Hebrews and included all the prior covenants to the Adams, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob etc. Read the post on Melchizedek Moses if this is a new concept.
“For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Juda; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood...For there is verily / truly a disannulling of the [singular] commandment going before for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof. For the [singular] law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did [make perfect]; by the which we draw nigh unto God…by him that said unto him, The LORD sware and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec…because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood.
Apply hermeneutics. The commandment / law that was changed, even disannulled, has something to do with the Melchizedekian priesthood. This law preceded, is not unique to, simply continued under, the Mosaic law. It goes back to the beginning of time, and applies to all of Adam’s race. As detailed in the post The Order of Melchizedek, this immutable law of nature causing death was given to the first Melchizedek, Adam.
“And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion…And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” (Genesis 1:26, 2:16-17)
This is not some arbitrary wrath of God. This is a law of nature over which mankind was put in charge, and therefore mankind has to deal with. All around us we see the consequences of death spreading from human failure to nurture life.
When the violation of the first law, like a trip wire, triggered the death knell throughout creation, merciful Creator God enacted another law. It was only by allowing the death sentence of the the first law to be transferred to another life that the first law could be effectively disannulled.
“And Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden. And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked / vulnerable, i.e lost some kind of hyper dimensional covering exposing his newly corrupted mortal state and I hid myself. And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat? And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat…And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat. And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this…I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise / apply crushing blow to thy head…
Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God [kill animals to] make coats of skins…And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain [Hey, I’ve got a better idea!] brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD. And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering: But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect.” (Genesis 3-4)
The exchange of life for life should come as a logical observation, not as a spiritual mandate. We know that humans must sacrifice another life in order to maintain human life. Having our meat cut up into unrecognizable shapes and wrapped in plastic allows us to overlook that fact, but it’s still a fact nonetheless.
YHVH allowed the use of animal blood, until the Redeemer came to earth in “the latter day”, “in the end of the world” to sacrifice his fully human blood. The change / disannulling of the first law was the one requiring regular animal sacrifices to atone for sin.
Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people’s: for this he did once, when he offered up himself…
For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.
For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth. Whereupon neither the first testament was dedicated without blood.
Keep in mind – that first testament of death following transgression of the law was the killing of animals for the Adams. A blood sacrifice was proven, through the rejection of Cain’s bloodless sacrifice, that the only way to overcome death was to transfer it to another victim. As the passage continues, we need to recognize that Moses simply continued, perhaps reinstated details of, this law, but he most certainly didn’t initiate it. The reason this passage focuses on Moses is because it is refuting an argument being made at that time regarding the Mosaic law.
For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and of goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book, and all the people, Saying, This is the blood of the testament which God hath enjoined unto you…without shedding of blood is no remission.
It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us: Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others;
- For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world [not just since the founding of the nation of Israel]:
- but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.” (Hebrews 9)