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 Old Testament Law

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Sir Emeth Mimetes
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PostSubject: Old Testament Law   Wed Feb 18, 2009 2:35 am

Greetings,

In the course of some discussions, I discovered some controversy amongst us about how we ought to apply the Old Testament Law to us in the New Testament era. Because of the foundational nature of this issue, I would like it if we all participated in this thread's discussion. I will put some threads back in the Queue and edit them to reflect this thread's existence.

There are many ways that people use to deal with the Old Testament Law (the Mosaic law especially). There are two that I know of that are very prevalent. Please correct me if I misstate them or miss one.

1) Only the Old Testament laws that are restated in the New Testament are valid. The Old Testament Laws therefore can only be used for context of the New Testament.

2)All the Old Testament laws are valid, except the ones that are explicitly overruled in the New Testament by Christ's coming.

Many people use one or the other of these two systems. Most of the time it does not matter, as they overlap a lot. But there are discrepancies between the two, and some of them apply in our discussions. So we need to figure out which one is the way that God desires us to use to accurately discern His intent, purpose, and meaning for His Word.

Please be kind and non-abrasive in your conversation. Admit that you are wrong when you are shown to be, and do not get on the defensive! I do not want a debate, but effective communication. I do not want anyone in a "I have to win" mode, or a "I need to beat that view" mode. We are not in a war. We are here to learn and agree. Do not compromise Scripture: that is our basis.

Proverbs 27:17 Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.

We are friends and not enemies, we are not here to make enemies. We discuss to show what we have learned and to learn from each other. We are here to sharpen, not to sword fight. Wink

With joy and peace in Christ,
Jay Lauser

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I am Sir Emeth Mimetes (knighted to the warfare of truth by the calling of Christ, the Master of my order), and thus, though poorly is it ever met by my feeble abilities, is my mission: to combat those ideas that are rooted in mindsets that are contrary to my Master.
May I never forsake abiding in Him, and may His ways never cease to thrive within my heart, for He only is my strength and hope.
note: emeth is Hebrew for truth, right, faithful;
mimetes is Greek for an imitator or follower.
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von



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PostSubject: Re: Old Testament Law   Mon Feb 23, 2009 6:19 pm

I am a theonomist (see the wikipedia for a definition).

I believe that all OT law reflect Gods unchanging attributes.

Some may not apply in the same sense that a 35 MPH speed limit may not apply when one is driving on the freeway... ie not because it is wrong but because it is not for this situation. thus the various sacrificial laws don't 'apply' because of Christs sacrifice.


But all moral and civil laws apply given their situation.
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PostSubject: Re: Old Testament Law   Sun Mar 01, 2009 10:28 am

I've thought about this quite a bit. It is a question asked not only on here, but also at school among Christians. Because of the difference in opinions, many people avoid this question. I think it is wise though that we face it and try to answer it or at least come to some kind of common ground with it.

Personally, I am leaning more towards the second one. The reason being is that every aspect of God's Word is important, the Old Testament and the New Testament. They both show qualities and characterists of God. When we only take the New Testament laws, I fear that we are leaving out characterists and laws that make God well, God. He is all mighty and powerful and His laws are perfect. So in this sense, I don't believe the 1st way is entirely accurate. Therefore, I think the 2nd way is more accurate and is more true to His character. Jesus's sacrifice lead many ceremonial laws and food laws being no longer required.

There is also another aspect that we should consider in this matter. In the New Testament when the apostles opened up God's message to the Gentiles, they were told that they were no longer required to go through the food restrictions, the sacrifice laws, or the circumcision laws. However, the apostles also said to the people that these ceremonial items were in no way wrong and if the people felt in their hearts that not doing the ceremonial items were wrong, then they would be disobeying God themselves. So in this manner, the laws that were overruled by Christ's coming are not wrong and are not prohibited. The only difference is that they are no longer required.

All in all, the Old Testament and the New Testament laws are all valid and right. However, certain laws are not longer required unless the Holy Spirit leads that person to obey those laws.

In Christ,
Hannah

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PostSubject: Re: Old Testament Law   Fri Mar 20, 2009 8:53 pm

Thanks for that post, Jay. It was helpful.
God knows what laws are helpful, He knows what penalties are just and preventative, He knows what the boundaries of government should be. I believe that the Old Testament laws reflect His perfect knowledge, and that to the extent that we can, we should keep those laws.
There are, however, certain laws about morality (e.g. honor your father and your mother, do not commit adultery, do not take the Lord's name in vain, etc.) that were written for a God-fearing society. I'm not sure how these would apply to a nation that is not composed entirely of Christians. Is it the government's duty to enforce these laws today? At this point, I really don't know.

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PostSubject: Re: Old Testament Law   Fri Mar 20, 2009 9:23 pm

Dr. Hipopótamo wrote:
Thanks for that post, Jay. It was helpful.
God knows what laws are helpful, He knows what penalties are just and preventative, He knows what the boundaries of government should be. I believe that the Old Testament laws reflect His perfect knowledge, and that to the extent that we can, we should keep those laws.
There are, however, certain laws about morality (e.g. honor your father and your mother, do not commit adultery, do not take the Lord's name in vain, etc.) that were written for a God-fearing society. I'm not sure how these would apply to a nation that is not composed entirely of Christians. Is it the government's duty to enforce these laws today? At this point, I really don't know.

if you look at the law, you will see which of those laws were designed to be punished by the civil magistrate.
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PostSubject: Re: Old Testament Law   Sat Mar 21, 2009 12:43 pm

Dr. Hipopótamo wrote:
Thanks for that post, Jay. It was helpful.
God knows what laws are helpful, He knows what penalties are just and preventative, He knows what the boundaries of government should be. I believe that the Old Testament laws reflect His perfect knowledge, and that to the extent that we can, we should keep those laws.
There are, however, certain laws about morality (e.g. honor your father and your mother, do not commit adultery, do not take the Lord's name in vain, etc.) that were written for a God-fearing society. I'm not sure how these would apply to a nation that is not composed entirely of Christians. Is it the government's duty to enforce these laws today? At this point, I really don't know.

Very good question, Dr. Hipopótamo. I believe that is is the governments duty to carry out laws today.

We are discussing the ideals of a government and country based entirely upon Biblical principles. So in that sense, whether or not all the people are God-fearing, they would have to obey a God-fearing government/administration.

Adultery and honoring father and mother are not morality issues, they are crimes. We can tell this because they involve other people, they involve action, and they violate a person's liberty. Also, there are set punishments for these crimes in the Old Testament that are meant to be carried out by the government.

Exodus 21:17 And he that curseth his father, or his mother, shall surely be put to death.

Leviticus 20:9 For every one that curseth his father or his mother shall be surely put to death: he hath cursed his father or his mother; his blood shall be upon him.

Leviticus 20:10 And the man that committeth adultery with another man's wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.


With love in Christ,
Hannah

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PostSubject: Re: Old Testament Law   Thu Apr 09, 2009 5:25 am

This post begins with my post found in Forms of Government. If you have not yet read it, I encourage you to go read it first so that you know where I’m coming from in this post.

Mr. Von said this about laws that should be under a magistrate’s jurisdiction but are not offenses to life, liberty, and property.

Quote :
Oh, lets see...

Blasphemy
Failure to circumsize
Rebellion against parents
adultery
fornication
failure to honor the sabbath (Num 15:32)

etc.


I readily agree that these laws were under the jurisdiction of a civil magistrate during Israel’s theocratic government system; however, some are no longer under government jurisdiction. Blasphemy, failure to circumcise, rebellion against parents, and failure to honor the sabbath were laws that God instituted for the time that Israel was a theocracy. This is logical seeing that they are offenses against God or His holiness. God was the ruler over Israel, so they were offenses against Israel’s King. Such sins were only punished by civil magistrate during Israel’s transition into theocracy and her theocratic period. The other times that these sins are brought up is latter in Scripture in which the context implies that such sins are punishable only by God in eternity. They are not ever again mentioned as being punished by the magistrate in both the republic and the monarchy states of Israel.

It is logical to assume that people still broke these laws during the other forms of government, yet Scripture does not say that they were punished by a magistrate. This is reasonable when you see that these specific sins were offenses against the King of Israel (God) at the time. When God was no longer ruler over Israel (in a direct sense), these laws were moved out from government jurisdiction, to simply under God’s eternal law. (That being the measuring stick for who enters heaven or hell.)

Secondly, the New Covenant now takes the place of the Mosaic Covenant. With the death of Christ, the Mosaic Covenant was fulfilled and no longer necessary, and a new covenant put in its place. The Mosaic Covenant included both civil and ceremonial parts to it. It would be inconsistent to say that only the ceremonial aspect of the covenant was nullified with Jesus’ death and that the civil law still held its full applicability. I do believe that many of the laws still apply, but only those that make sense under the biblical form of modern government; namely a republic. These laws would only be those that were offenses to a person’s life, liberty, and property.

Blasphemy and rebellion against parents are now only eternally punishable by God. They are still sins against Him and His holiness, but as He is no longer the direct ruler of a nation, they are no longer under civil governments jurisdiction.

Circumcision was something that God instituted to set Israel apart from other nations. Now that God is no longer direct king over a nation, this law is no longer a crime against the government. It is a good practice that we still follow for cleanly reasons, but is not under the government’s jurisdiction.

Rebellion against parents also falls under the family jurisdiction. It is the father’s role in the family to punish this sin; no longer the government’s.

God no longer requires us to observe the Sabbath day. The following passage defends this point and also shows that the Mosaic civil laws have been satisfied in the work of Christ. They are no longer applicable this side of the cross. (That is, except those violating a person’s life, liberty, and property.)

Colossians 2:14-17 & 20-23- “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it. Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.... Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, (Touch not; taste not; handle not; Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men. Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body: not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh.”

Adultery and fornication are crimes that take away life, liberty, and property of the people and, therefore, do fall under government jurisdiction. The nullification of the government’s involvement in the other sins is seen in the purpose of those crimes. Since that purpose no longer exist, those sins are no longer crimes against the government.

To God be the glory,
-Caleb


Last edited by caleb on Thu Apr 09, 2009 12:14 pm; edited 2 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: Old Testament Law   Thu Apr 09, 2009 5:28 am

Quote :
Caleb.

You state these things, but they have no justification in history or Scripture.

First of all, Israel was never a theocracy, as I point out here:

http://lawfulnation.pureforum.net/table-f18/what-is-crime-t13-75.htm

Thus it never transitioned from or to one.

If you read my post on Forms of Government, I clearly lay out how and when Israel was indeed a theocracy. To stay on topic here, I will refer all discussions pertaining to theocracy to that post.

Quote :
Secondly, as we read in Psalm 2, Romans 13, and elsewhere, God is the ultimate ruler of all nations.

I agree that God is indeed the ultimate ruler of all nations. God is sovereign, which means to be in total control of everything. It is unbiblical to say that God is not sovereign or that He is not the ultimate ruler of all nations. What I meant in my post above is that He is not the direct ruler that the people and government body acknowledge as such. For instance, the president of the United Sates is Barack Hussein Obama, not God. God is the ultimate ruler of our nation in that He sovereignly determines and works out all that our nation does; but we, as the people, and the government itself does not recognize God as holding the highest office in our government.

Quote :
Thirdly, you would have to do a lot more work on the 'context' thing if you wish to make that point. Romans 1, for example, says:

Rom 1:29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,
Rom 1:30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
Rom 1:31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:
Rom 1:32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

This list, ending with Gods statement that those who do such thing are 'worthy' of death, includes both those things which you would call private or family, and those which one hopes you would agree are in the Civil magistrates jurisdiction.

Actually, Romans 1 is not talking about civil government at all. The whole context of Romans 1, beginning in verse 16 and continuing through chapter 3 talks about man's depravity before God in regards to salvation. The death that you bring up is most certainly not death punishable by civil magistrates, but rather God condemning wicked man to eternal damnation in Hell. All of the judgment mentioned in this passage is in regards to God’s judgment of man after death. Nowhere in this passage is civil government even mentioned, whereas, God’s grace, salvation, and God’s judgment are mentioned frequently throughout.

Quote :
The 'burden' of proof on those who wish to limit the governments jurisdiction to 'life, liberty, and property' is on them. They (you) cannot merely assert it in the face of the OT law. II Tim states that all Scripture is profitable for doctrine. So if you are going to say that the blasphemy laws are no longer valid, there has to be a 'profitable for doctrine' way for you to say that... how the sacrifice of Christ on the cross has moved blasphemy from a civil to a private crime.

You would somehow need to be able to prove that it is now good for countries to be filled with blasphemers. A difficult thing to prove, I would think.


I absolutely agree that ALL of Scripture is ‘profitable for doctrine.’ The OT law is very profitable for the doctrine of God. It demonstrates God’s incredible holiness in a way that would be shocking to many today. God, as the officially recognized direct ruler of Israel enacted laws which demonstrate His holiness and righteousness. The death penalty for blasphemy, dishonor, and many other such seemingly “insignificant” sins show us exactly how much God demands respect and protection to His holiness. These are indeed significant sins that are enough to damn a person to an eternity of Hell. I do indeed believe that it is not “good for countries to be filled with blasphemers.” However, this specific law is about protecting the holiness of God, and was only instituted as punishable by civil government when God was direct king over Israel. Now, this sin is punishable by God after death with utter consignment to the eternal abyss.

Quote :
God laid out the boundaries for civil vs family vs employer vs private jurisdiction in the OT. You cannot merely cry 'OT' and throw those out of court. You need to show how and why they have changed... what they have changed to... and why the Sacrifice of Christ made that appropriate.

You can do that with the OT sacrifices. Communion does not obliterate the OT animal sacrifieces... it points back at what they pointed forward to. It justifies them.

But merely saying that Blasphemy is now private does none-such.


As I said in my earlier post, the fact that these sins are only punished by civil magistrate during the theocracy, the purpose of these laws, and the fulfilling work of Christ on the cross, all testify that these aforementioned “crimes” no longer fall under the jurisdiction of the government.

1. The times that these sins were punished by civil magistrate are only mentioned after Israel’s republic form of government and before her monarchy state. If I am wrong, please show me. (Note: there are some occurrences during the transition from republic to theocracy; however, never is it mentioned, to my recollection, after the theocracy state.) The fact that Scripture doesn’t mention these sins being punished by the government implies that these sins were no longer under government control. It is logical to assume, though, that these sins were still committed after the theocracy state. God even blessed Israel several times during her monarchy times. Why would God bless Israel if she was directly disobeying God by not punishing offenders of blasphemy, dishonor, etc.?

2. Again, the purpose of these specific laws were to protect and declare God’s holiness as King over Israel. Because He was filling the highest government position, these sins became crimes against civil government and were thus punishable by civil magistrates. Now that God is not filling the office of any government, these sins are not longer needed in civil government. They do still readily apply to life however. Anyone who blasphemes the name of the Lord or dishonors parents will receive just punishment by God unless He sovereignly saves them. The point I’m making here is that these sins are only punishable by the jurisdiction they fall under. These sins no longer fulfill any purpose in national government, but they are still relevant in an eternal perspective. Now these sins are in effect to show us our sinfulness and our desperate need for a Savior. But the government has no business in punishing offenders of these sins.

3. Hebrews 8 speaks about Jesus fulfilling the old covenant and replacing it with a new and better covenant. Jesus also says that He came to fulfill the law (Matthew 5:17-18). In other words, Jesus kept the whole law perfectly so that He might pay the penalty for our sins and completely satisfy God’s righteous wrath. Now, we are under a new and more perfect covenant; that of grace.

Quote :
It is wrong to say either was nullified, and it is in no way inconsistent to say they are different.

If I post a 35 mph speed limit in a school zone, I do not *nullify* the 70 mph speed limit on the freeway.

The ceremonial law *pointed forward to Christ*, just as communion and baptism point backwards to Christ. Thus it is not 'nullifying' the law to say that we should not sacrifice lambs... it is verifying it. The lambs very purpose was to serve *until Christ*... THE Lamb.

My daughter recently lost her learners permit. But she didn't cry about it... because they gave her, in its place, a drivers license. The permit had its place... until the license. Just so the various priesthoods etc.

However Christ did not implement direct civil rule over the physical earth. He does not sit on some throne in Jerusalem hearing civil matters. Thus the civil law is still necessary.


Perhaps a better term than “nullify” is fulfill and replace. As I stated earlier, Scripture does say that Jesus fulfilled the law and that His death brought about the New Covenant which replaces the Old. You are correct that Jesus “did not implement direct civil rule over the physical earth.” That was not His purpose. He even told this to His disciples when they confronted Him about it. I also agree that “the civil law is still necessary.” However, it is not the Mosaic Covenantal Civil Law that is necessary. That was replaced to some extent with Israel’s progression (or should I say decline) into a Monarchy. The Mosaic law then became a standard to measure one’s spiritual status by. Some, if not most, of the laws still retained their position under civil jurisdiction; but this is logically not the case for all of the laws.

Quote :
The First use of The Law

The first use of the law is, as Scripture says, to lead us to Christ. By showing us our sin, our utter depravity in His sight, it points us to our need of a savior. Other laws have historically pointed to that savior Himself.

Code:
1Jn 3:4...
Heb 10:28...
Jas 2:8...
Rom 7:7...
Rom 5:20...
Rom 3:20...
Rom 2:12...
Heb 10:1...
Php 3:9...
Eph 2:14...
Gal 3:19...
Gal 3:1...
Gal 2:16...
1Co 15:55...

I absolutely agree with this. Man is radically corrupt and in desperate need of a Savior. I want to be clear on one thing though; the law, in this case, is not civil law punishable by a governmental magistrate. This is the law that shows man his wretchedness before God, and by which man is condemned to eternity in Hell.

Quote :
The Second use of The Law

The second use of the law is for the ‘lawless’, or the world. It provides a moral code and appropriate responses to all kinds of civil evil.

1Ti 1:8...
Rom 13:1...


The first passage here should go under your first point. The context implies that it is the law that condemns man before God, not before civil law. The second passage clearly teaches that we are to submit to the governing authority that we find ourselves under.

Quote :
The Third use of The Law

The third use of the law is to guide the Christian in righteousness. It reveals Gods will, and in love we follow His commands.
Gal 5:12...
Rom 7:12...
Heb 10:16...
Jas 4:11...
1Co 14:34...
1Co 9:9...
1Co 7:39...
Rom 13:8...
Rom 8:7...

These passages do teach us how a Christian should act. Some also fall under the category of the first use of the law because of their context.

Quote :

The Fourth, blasphemous, use of the Law
The fourth use of the law is to attempt to win Gods approval unto Salvation.
Gal 2:21...
Gal 5:1...
Rom 9:31...

I agree with your point here completely. In all of this however, I do not see your basis for enforcing the theocratic law of Israel in modern government contexts. Could you please show from Scripture where it says that this law must still be used in our governments today?

To God be the glory,
-Caleb
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PostSubject: Re: Old Testament Law   Thu Apr 09, 2009 5:33 am

Quote :

Well, actually, no, it matters not at all... which was the point I was making

Nowhere in Scripture does God Himself speak of a democracy, a theocracy, a republic or any other form of government. Nowhere in Gods Holy and Perfect Law is any distinction made, or any limitation given, indicating that some laws would stop 'at the end of the theocracy'.

Of course Scripture doesn't use the labels of democracy, theocracy, republic, monarchy, dictatorship, etc. If that is what you mean. These words have developed latter to name the different systems of government that have existed. So, though the Bible doesn't list these forms by the name that we refer to them now, it does mention several forms of government that can now be labeled with such names because of the process of government that was enacted. Does that make sense? I probably used too many pronouns. Let me know if I need to clarify.

I absolutely agree that God's law was and is holy and perfect. However, they are only such in the context that He places them in. All of God's laws fulfill a perfect purpose in the place He has placed them. If He changes the circumstances around them so that that purpose is no longer necessary, (or at least, no longer necessary in that specific way) He changes the law or the system. Allow me to illustrate with an extreme case: Sacrifice for sin.

All the way back with the Adamic Covenant, God instituted animal sacrifice to cover sins. With the Mosaic Covenant, God slightly changed the system. What I mean by this is that He designed certain types of sacrifices for certain sins, festivals, etc. Many of these sacrifices also provided ways that the poor, who could not afford the animal required, could sacrifice grain offerings. These laws were perfect for the time and context that they were instituted in. God was pleased with these sacrifices as numerous passages say. Yet, these sacrifices only covered sins; they did not take away sins. How do I know this? Because the people had to continue to sacrifice offerings to God all their life. They didn't offer one sacrifice and then stop because their sin debt had been paid. So, God sent His one and only Son, the perfect sacrifice, to completely take away sins by His death on the cross. God's wrath was fully satisfied. Now we no longer need animal sacrifices. Why? Because Jesus completely paid the sin debt that was required. In post-crucifixion life now, animal sacrifices are no longer perfect or good. (In fact, the opposite is true.) Without going into the limited atonement vs. unlimited atonement debate, we know that Jesus didn't save everyone. People still go to Hell because their sins have not been paid for. They still have their sin account. That does not mean that unbelievers should have animal sacrifices to cover their sins. The ramifications of Christ's death effect the whole world now, and the context for animal sacrifices no longer exists.

My point is, animal sacrifices were perfect law for their time. Now they are not. God has changed the context of life (for lack of a better term) and thus the purpose of animal sacrifices no longer exists.

Quote :

Indeed even in your example, taking your point on the theocracy to be true in its strongest sense, no law of Israel would be affected by the change.

You state that God was the supreme King and Judge over Israel. So He was... and so He is. Over Israel, Canada, Australia... and all other nations. Some nations have even, from time to time, acknowledged as much. Others reject the idea. It makes no difference, He still is.

So blasphemy is still treason against our supreme judge and lawmaker.

Code:
Psa 2:1  Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?
Psa 2:2  The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying,
Psa 2:3  Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.
Psa 2:4  He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision.
Psa 2:5  Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure.
Psa 2:6  Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.
Psa 2:7  I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.
Psa 2:8  Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.
Psa 2:9  Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel.
Psa 2:10  Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth.
Psa 2:11  Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling.
Psa 2:12  Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.

Theocracy is drastically different from all other forms of government. The Creator God of the Universe holds a direct office in the system of government. No other system is like this. Yes, God is ruler over all nations in an eternal perspective, but not to the extent that He holds office. The context of a theocracy is so different from that of other government systems that it is only logical that the laws would be slightly unique for that context of government. When God removed this context, the purpose of these laws was no longer in existence. If God kept these laws in effect afterwards, they would no longer be perfect. They would be out of place and useless for the new context. Thus, for God's law to remain perfect, He changed the law when He changed the system of government. The new law is still perfect, it is just different from the old law. This is because the context of the law is different, thus making the purpose of the law different.

To God be the glory,
-Caleb
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PostSubject: Re: Old Testament Law   Thu Apr 09, 2009 5:35 am

Quote :
1) Specific to vague:

Firstly a theological point. The people of Israel were no more saved by animal sacrifices then we are. I assume you know this, but I will state it anyway. Abraham, David, Lot, Job... all were saved by the sacrifice of Christ, just as we are.

What the animal sacrifices did do was to point forward to Christ. Before He came, they pointed forward, they foreshadowed his coming


Agreed. That is why I said that the animal sacrifices “covered” the sins, whereas Jesus “completely paid for sins.” I’m sorry I didn’t make this clear. Yes, OT believers were saved only by Christ.

Quote :
So the law here has never changed, we are all saved by the Sacrifice of Christ. None that were or ever will be saved will ever be saved except through him.


Yes, the law has changed. At least in regards to the form of sacrificing. God commanded animal sacrifices. That was the law. Now He doesn’t because of Christ’s sacrifice. However, if you mean that the eternal law that results in spiritual death if broken (i.e. breaking the Ten Commandments in conjunction with Romans 6:23) has not changed, I agree. God’s eternal law for being perfect has not changed. The standard for entering Heaven is still the same. “All have sinned” (Romans 3:23) and the standard for what sin is as always remained the same.

Quote :
Indeed, if I read your theory correctly, it was not even AT or because of the sacrifice of Christ that you believe these things changed. If understand you, you believe that these things changed at the transition from Samuel to Saul.

Yes, I do believe that this changed took place when Saul was crowned king for reasons I have already mentioned. I can restate them if you would like, but I don’t want to be redundant.

Quote :
Did Christ, when accused of Blasphemy by the Jewish leaders, and threatened with stoning, respond by correcting their misunderstanding of the law (as He did at so many other points)? Or did He instead answer and refute the charge of blasphemy itself?

Well, there are a couple of problems with this example. First, the Jewish leaders wanted to get rid of Jesus period. They didn’t care how, they just wanted to have Him killed. They thus resorted to mob rule influence and improper hermeneutics to do this illegally. The whole accusation was illegal in and of itself. The leaders, thirsty for Jesus’ blood, grabbed this law out of context and applied it to their immediate situation. (This happens all the time, even today.) They were able to stir up the crowd against Jesus and thus had mob rule which usually acts on impulse without considering justice.

Quote :
If you were to have visited Israel during the time of the judges (which you insist on calling a theocracy) I doubt that you would have seen it as any different than thousands of other governments of the time (in a secular sense). It was standard stuff for (false) gods to be the top of the pile in a government. You would have a king, and ministers, and judges, and such like all the way down. But when something really serious came up, especially some sort of new or disturbing, you would find everyone flocking off to the high priest for some kind of ruling.


No, there was no human king in place during this time. So you couldn’t have seen the king. What I meant by this is that the whole form of government was vastly different because God held the highest office. All ramifications of this would have been much different then other nations. Civil life may have looked similar, but the way of government was far different.

Quote :
The King of England is the head of the Church of England and rules, according to form, 'under God'. He is typically crowned by an archbishop... acknowledging that his rule is only valid if approved by God.)


This is in regards to the belief of the Divine Right of Kings which is a totally different discussion. I don’t quite know your point here, so I won’t address this further.

Quote :
And one of my larger complaints against your position is precisely this... God hasn't removed the context. Unlike your example of the animal sacrifices, where the context of 'before the sacrifice of Christ' really has been removed, this context hasn't.

We still have civil rulers ruling over unGodly people. We still have murderers, Sodomites, adulterers, thieves, etc. Thus the context in which the law was given, the need for civil government, still exists. And nowhere can we find better law for that civil government than in Gods perfect law.

The context I was in reference to was God holding office in the government. This results in some unique laws pertaining to that form of government. Now that God no longer holds office, the context has changed.

To God be the glory,
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PostSubject: Re: Old Testament Law   Fri Apr 10, 2009 3:51 pm

I am still in agony about losing my posts. Very, very annoying.

Here is an interesting article about theocracy.

http://persevero.blogspot.com/2008/09/answering-theologically-naive-defense.html
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PostSubject: Re: Old Testament Law   Fri Apr 10, 2009 3:55 pm

Quote:
Quote :
Quote :
If you were to have visited Israel during the time of the judges (which you insist on calling a theocracy) I doubt that you would have seen it as any different than thousands of other governments of the time (in a secular sense). It was standard stuff for (false) gods to be the top of the pile in a government. You would have a king, and ministers, and judges, and such like all the way down. But when something really serious came up, especially some sort of new or disturbing, you would find everyone flocking off to the high priest for some kind of ruling.

No, there was no human king in place during this time. So you couldn’t have seen the king. What I meant by this is that the whole form of government was vastly different because God held the highest office. All ramifications of this would have been much different then other nations. Civil life may have looked similar, but the way of government was far different.

You, like, totally missed my point here.

I was saying that if you visited a country 'other than Israel' they would have placed (their) God as the chief executive too. They might have had (they, the other nation) a king, ministers, judges, or beaurocrats but *they* would have said that their god, via their high priest, was still head honcho.

I was not implying Israel had a king. Nor that you would have seen one in Israel. I meant that 'whatever you would have seen' (ie king, judges, civil servants, etc.) they would have acknowledged God, a god, or gods as the highest.


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PostSubject: Re: Old Testament Law   Fri Apr 10, 2009 4:01 pm

Quote :
This is in regards to the belief of the Divine Right of Kings which is a totally different discussion. I don’t quite know your point here, so I won’t address this further.


My point is that, in the same sense that Israel was or wasn't a theocracy pretty much every nation is or isn't one.

Before modern times pretty much every nation placed God or a god or gods at the top of the list of their rulers. Sure, they might ignore Him, or him, or it, or her, or them... but Israel did that too. Sure their rulers might have proceeded as if He, or he (assume rest of list of possibilities) didn't exist, passing laws or making rulings that ignored his laws... but Israel did that too.

But my larger point is that... it doesn't matter. There is not a shred of Biblical evidence that any change in the nature of practice of the law of God happned at the time of the inaguration of Saul.

Indeed I don't know any commentators or theologians who have ever said there was. Do you?
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PostSubject: Re: Old Testament Law   Fri Apr 10, 2009 4:05 pm

Quote :
The context I was in reference to was God holding office in the government. This results in some unique laws pertaining to that form of government. Now that God no longer holds office, the context has changed.

That is the context you talk about, but it was not the context of the civil law of God. The context of the civil law of God was that a sinful group of people (like us) was given the perfect blueprint for the civil rule of a non-directly judged by God nation (like us).

A true theocracy, a true direct rule by God, would need no law code at all. God would (as He did during the theocracy) speak directly to each human individual (read: Adam) and tell them what they were to do.

However once the theocracy ended (once Eve was created) God started mediating His law through individual rulers (read: Adam). Law changed from being a 'do this' to being a 'God wants us to do this' and even a 'Based on what God has told us to do, I want you to do this.'

Thus as long as we still stand in need of civil government, Gods directions for how to go about creating one are still... what we should do.

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PostSubject: Re: Old Testament Law   Sat Apr 11, 2009 7:37 am

von wrote:

You, like, totally missed my point here.

I was saying that if you visited a country 'other than Israel' they would have placed (their) God as the chief executive too. They might have had (they, the other nation) a king, ministers, judges, or beaurocrats but *they* would have said that their god, via their high priest, was still head honcho.

I was not implying Israel had a king. Nor that you would have seen one in Israel. I meant that 'whatever you would have seen' (ie king, judges, civil servants, etc.) they would have acknowledged God, a god, or gods as the highest.

Well, not really. In these situations, man made their "god or gods" ruler. Sometimes, like in the case of the Egyptians, they made their ruler, who was a person, into a "god". The difference with Israel, was that it was a true theocracy in the sense that God was actually ruling from a direct position in the government, not man ruling in the name of a god.

Von wrote:

A true theocracy, a true direct rule by God, would need no law code at all. God would (as He did during the theocracy) speak directly to each human individual (read: Adam) and tell them what they were to do.


This doesn't seem to match with the character of God. Of course God would institute a law code as direct ruler of a nation. This is far more practical, efficient, and less confusing than if God directly spoke to each individual person. I'm not saying that God couldn't do this, but that He wouldn't. As you can see from Israel's time of theocracy, God did institute a moral code of law.

Von wrote:

There is not a shred of Biblical evidence that any change in the nature of practice of the law of God happned at the time of the inaguration of Saul.


Think, for example, about idolatry. Idolatry is the worship of another god other than the One True God. In the Old Covenant, Israel was to kill anyone who did not worship the true God. This sometimes included whole people groups. Yet, in the New Covenant, we are never instructed to do this. Rather, we are to spread the gospel to the lost. We do not slaughter Mormons, Muslims, Hindus, Zoroastrians, etc. as would have been practiced under the Mosaic Covenant. We preach the gospel to them under the New Covenant of grace.

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PostSubject: Re: Old Testament Law   Sat Apr 11, 2009 7:46 am

Quote :
Well, not really. In these situations, man made their "god or gods" ruler. Sometimes, like in the case of the Egyptians, they made their ruler, who was a person, into a "god". The difference with Israel, was that it was a true theocracy in the sense that God was actually ruling from a direct position in the government, not man ruling in the name of a god.

You can't really mean this. You can't really be defining 'theocracy' as only when the actual true God rules.

We are speaking of a form of government. And I am saying that if you are calling the 'form' of government that the Israelis had a 'theocracy' (which it wasn't) then you have to call a myriad of other governments, including England and the US, 'theocracies'.
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PostSubject: Re: Old Testament Law   Sat Apr 11, 2009 7:50 am

Quote :
This doesn't seem to match with the character of God. Of course God would institute a law code as direct ruler of a nation. This is far more practical, efficient, and less confusing than if God directly spoke to each individual person. I'm not saying that God couldn't do this, but that He wouldn't. As you can see from Israel's time of theocracy, God did institute a moral code of law.

Circular reasoning foul!!!

As we are discussing *whether or not* Israel was a theocracy at any time post Adam, it is obviously way out of bounds for you to say 'from Israels time of theocracy' and then point to the time of the judges.

Israels only 'time of theocracy' was during the sole existence of Adam. And at that time he told Adam what to do personally Smile

Even if you want to include 'your' theocracy, you must admit that the time of Adam was a theocracy. So, since God did indeed give individual instructions, you can't say that it is against His character.

And your statements about practical, less confusing are not correct. In what way would it be impractical for God to give each individual human instructions? Imagine if He had woken you up this morning with a list of things that you were to do... instead of relying on your parents, the church, and the state.
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PostSubject: Re: Old Testament Law   Sat Apr 11, 2009 7:57 am

Quote :
Think, for example, about idolatry. Idolatry is the worship of another god other than the One True God. In the Old Covenant, Israel was to kill anyone who did not worship the true God. This sometimes included whole people groups. Yet, in the New Covenant, we are never instructed to do this.

Negative evidence.

We are also not told to drive to work in cars. Must we then walk? We are not told to use toilets, must we then [edited for modesty and cleanliness]?

If God gave us clear instructions for something in the Old Testament, it is NOT evidence of His changing his mind that those instructions are not repeated in the New Testament.

Annanias and Saphira were not instructed not to lie to the Holy Spirit... yet God killed them for it. The early church was NOT instructed to kick those of the Nicolatian party out, yet God punished them for not doing it.

You have made an artificial distinction between laws, and then you read this back into Scripture. It is understandable, as our society has made those same distinctions. But it is not Biblical. Scripture does not support those distinctions.

And you miss your own point. Are you saying that idolatry was not to be civilly punished *post the inauguration of Saul'???

It WAS!

Or are you changing your time of change? From Saul to Christ?
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PostSubject: Re: Old Testament Law   Sat Apr 11, 2009 8:00 am

von wrote:

You can't really mean this. You can't really be defining 'theocracy' as only when the actual true God rules.

We are speaking of a form of government. And I am saying that if you are calling the 'form' of government that the Israelis had a 'theocracy' (which it wasn't) then you have to call a myriad of other governments, including England and the US, 'theocracies'.

Actually, our definition of theocracy is: THEOC'RACY, n. [Gr. God, and power; to hold.] Government of a state by the immediate direction of God; or the state thus governed. Of this species the Israelites furnish an illustrious example. The theocracy lasted till the time of Saul. In order to have the "Government of a state by the immediate direction of God," God must exist. The other "theocracies" you suggested, man was either making himself god or claiming that a false god was in authority. But in reality, it was only man speaking or ruling as god. In true theocracy, God is the One Who actually governs. No other God exists, therefore, no other god can rule. Thus, theocracy, in its true meaning, can only be when the actual true God rules.

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PostSubject: Re: Old Testament Law   Sat Apr 11, 2009 8:09 am

von wrote:

Circular reasoning foul!!!

As we are discussing *whether or not* Israel was a theocracy at any time post Adam, it is obviously way out of bounds for you to say 'from Israels time of theocracy' and then point to the time of the judges.

Israels only 'time of theocracy' was during the sole existence of Adam. And at that time he told Adam what to do personally Smile

Even if you want to include 'your' theocracy, you must admit that the time of Adam was a theocracy. So, since God did indeed give individual instructions, you can't say that it is against His character.

And your statements about practical, less confusing are not correct. In what way would it be impractical for God to give each individual human instructions? Imagine if He had woken you up this morning with a list of things that you were to do... instead of relying on your parents, the church, and the state.

Theocracy does not mean that God was a dictator. Of course He could have judges under Him just like Kings have governors, lords, dukes etc. Theocracy means that God immediately governs a nation. He holds the highest office. It doesn't mean He holds the only office. So, yes, the time of judges was a theocracy.

I'm sorry I wasn't clear about this. Yes, God has given individual instructions to people. Your correctly pointed out the example with Adam. Yet, at the larger scale of the nation of Israel, He instituted a law code. It would be impractical for God to speak with every individual person, giving them instructions, when He could just as easily tell everyone His law by instituting a law code. Think of the confusion that would result if someone claimed God told him something He really didn't. Then God would tell someone else that He was lying. Who are the people to believe. God would have to tell everyone that the one man was lying. Whereas with a law code, God tells everyone the law, it is written in stone (sometimes literally) so that judges can objectively go back and show what God says about the law.

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PostSubject: Re: Old Testament Law   Sat Apr 11, 2009 8:11 am

caleb wrote:
von wrote:

You can't really mean this. You can't really be defining 'theocracy' as only when the actual true God rules.

We are speaking of a form of government. And I am saying that if you are calling the 'form' of government that the Israelis had a 'theocracy' (which it wasn't) then you have to call a myriad of other governments, including England and the US, 'theocracies'.

Actually, our definition of theocracy is: THEOC'RACY, n. [Gr. God, and power; to hold.] Government of a state by the immediate direction of God; or the state thus governed. Of this species the Israelites furnish an illustrious example. The theocracy lasted till the time of Saul. In order to have the "Government of a state by the immediate direction of God," God must exist. The other "theocracies" you suggested, man was either making himself god or claiming that a false god was in authority. But in reality, it was only man speaking or ruling as god. In true theocracy, God is the One Who actually governs. No other God exists, therefore, no other god can rule. Thus, theocracy, in its true meaning, can only be when the actual true God rules.

To God be the glory,
-Caleb

Oh, sigh.

By this definition (which I don't agree with, by the way, so I am not sure why you are calling it 'our' definition) we are no longer talking a 'form' of government, but an actual government.


And only during the time of Adam did God 'immediately' direct. At all other times, in all other places, in all nations and peoples, he had directed through mediation. (ie not 'im' 'mediate' but mediated). Gods Law is and always has been the supreme law of all nations, whether they recognize it or not.

So if we are talking of the 'form' of government, there have been and are a myriad of theocracies.

If we are talking of non-mediated rule by God Himself, then we have had only one... Eden pre-Eve.

(Indeed your own example shows the 'mediation'. When they had a problem... and the normal mechanisms failed... only then did they turn to God... who mediated His judgment through Moses and the judges.
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PostSubject: Re: Old Testament Law   Sat Apr 11, 2009 8:12 am

Quote :
He holds the highest office.

God holds the highest office in every nation that has ever existed, or will exist.
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PostSubject: Re: Old Testament Law   Sat Apr 11, 2009 8:16 am

von wrote:

Negative evidence.

We are also not told to drive to work in cars. Must we then walk? We are not told to use toilets, must we then [edited for modesty and cleanliness]?

If God gave us clear instructions for something in the Old Testament, it is NOT evidence of His changing his mind that those instructions are not repeated in the New Testament.

Annanias and Saphira were not instructed not to lie to the Holy Spirit... yet God killed them for it. The early church was NOT instructed to kick those of the Nicolatian party out, yet God punished them for not doing it.

You have made an artificial distinction between laws, and then you read this back into Scripture. It is understandable, as our society has made those same distinctions. But it is not Biblical. Scripture does not support those distinctions.

And you miss your own point. Are you saying that idolatry was not to be civilly punished *post the inauguration of Saul'???

It WAS!

Or are you changing your time of change? From Saul to Christ?

I'm not saying that at all. I was using one law in both examples. In the Old Covenant God said to kill idolaters. In the New, He tells us to witness to them. Where is an example of idolatry being punished after Saul? I'm not aware of one, but perhaps you could objectively correct me. How do you, as a theonomist, apply the death penalty for idolatry? You seem to believe that blasphemy and dishonor to parents are crimes the government has jurisdiction over because it was like that for Israel. So what about idolatry?

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PostSubject: Re: Old Testament Law   Sat Apr 11, 2009 8:19 am

von wrote:


God holds the highest office in every nation that has ever existed, or will exist.

No, He doesn't actually hold office as recognized by the people. He is overall ruler in an eternal sense, but not direct holder of office. Unless I'm mistaken, our president is Barack Obama, our vice president is Joe Biden, our secretary of state is Hillary Clinton, etc. None of these are God. (Thank goodness.) The people of America, or any other nation for that matter, do not recognize God as holding office.

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PostSubject: Re: Old Testament Law   Sat Apr 11, 2009 8:21 am

Quote :
I'm sorry I wasn't clear about this. Yes, God has given individual instructions to people. Your correctly pointed out the example with Adam. Yet, at the larger scale of the nation of Israel, He instituted a law code. It would be impractical for God to speak with every individual person, giving them instructions, when He could just as easily tell everyone His law by instituting a law code. Think of the confusion that would result if someone claimed God told him something He really didn't. Then God would tell someone else that He was lying. Who are the people to believe. God would have to tell everyone that the one man was lying. Whereas with a law code, God tells everyone the law, it is written in stone (sometimes literally) so that judges can objectively go back and show what God says about the law.

Well, no.

If God wished he could just punish the lying blasphemer with death direct... the way He did several times.

I believe that God has His very good reasons for what He does, including mediated government.

(Just to clear up any confusion from others reading. The word 'immediate', when applied to government, means: Acting or occurring without the interposition of another agency or object; direct. Thus normally priests, or judges, or kings... 'mediate' Gods rule (or the rule of some false god). It is they, not the people directly, who go and meet God 'face to face'.

It is the end of that mediation that God promises for us:

Code:
Jer 31:31  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:
Jer 31:32  Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD:
Jer 31:33  But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, 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.
Jer 31:34  And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.
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