Promises and Secrets

Promises and SecretsPromises and Secrets

A website for those not afraid to examine their beliefs, compare them to the real world, and make sure they fit.



Replacement Theology

VIEWPOINT



Many Christian churches think that they are now the key to salvation, and that the Jews are no longer in God's favor.

FACT



Gentiles can be saved as well as the Jews, if they believe in Christ and obey His commandments.


BLUE VIEWPOINT



Replacement Theology - that's what it's called when Christian groups think that the Israelites (Jews) have completely lost their favor with God and that the Gentiles (us) have replaced the Jews as the apple of God's eye.

When you ask why people think this, they point to a few vague verses, but fail to see that those same verses also apply to the Gentiles in the modern church. They seem to fall back on what they were told by their priest or pastor, but rarely do any research to get the full (or even correct) story. Confused? It's easy to be confused by those who think this.

Remember, "Salvation is from the Jews"

Well, they don't think in exactly these terms, but many believe that God is done with the Jews because of their stubbornness. There was a vague reference in one of the New Testament books, made by some Guy, that said something like the words above this paragraph. It is somewhere in John 4:22
You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews.

, but it doesn't seem to matter to many people who think the Jews have been replaced.

Modern Christians read the whole New Testament as if it completely replaces the Old Testament, and now it is the only list of expectations that God has for His new people. And they seem to feel they can even pick and choose through those expectations that are so mushy that we have no real guidelines from God to fear. They don't even realize that God has left no one behind except those who want to be left there - both Jew and Gentile. When Paul speaks through his letters, many Christians (Gentiles) read it as though it is written exclusively to them as "the people of God". Nothing could be further from the truth.

Most of today's churches seem to think that if it is in the Old Testament, it pertains only to the Jews and no longer applies to modern life. Then they (or their pastors) turn right around to contradict that thought by gathering "meaningful prophecies" from the OT, and suddenly, part of the OT pertains to us Gentiles in modern day even though it is for some reason not binding on us. The Catholics have a phrase for this. It's called "cafeteria faith" when you pick and choose to believe only the parts you like.

The Bible doesn't say that...

Here's an example of this concept. While we were watching a television program on Amazing Facts the other day, Doug Batchelor expressed the belief that when Jesus comes again, all believers will be taken to Heaven and that everyone else left on earth will be killed instantly. Oh, and he said that Jesus' feet would never touch the earth. Well, he said more than that, but those were the parts that got my attention.

Normally, Mr. Batchelor and I agree on positions regarding the Bible interpretations. However, as you can see by the rest of the articles in this website, we use scripture (or point to the lack of it when appropriate) to support expressed views, and this program of Mr. Batchelor's did not seem very Biblical.

After contacting the Amazing Facts site to express my concern for these "facts" that contradict the passages in Zechariah chapter 14
The Lord Comes and Reigns

14 A day of the Lord is coming, Jerusalem, when your possessions will be plundered and divided up within your very walls.

2 I will gather all the nations to Jerusalem to fight against it; the city will be captured, the houses ransacked, and the women raped. Half of the city will go into exile, but the rest of the people will not be taken from the city. 3 Then the Lord will go out and fight against those nations, as he fights on a day of battle. 4 On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem, and the Mount of Olives will be split in two from east to west, forming a great valley, with half of the mountain moving north and half moving south. 5 You will flee by my mountain valley, for it will extend to Azel. You will flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the Lord my God will come, and all the holy ones with him.

6 On that day there will be neither sunlight nor cold, frosty darkness. 7 It will be a unique day - a day known only to the Lord - with no distinction between day and night. When evening comes, there will be light.

8 On that day living water will flow out from Jerusalem, half of it east to the Dead Sea and half of it west to the Mediterranean Sea, in summer and in winter.

9 The Lord will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one Lord, and his name the only name.

10 The whole land, from Geba to Rimmon, south of Jerusalem, will become like the Arabah. But Jerusalem will be raised up high from the Benjamin Gate to the site of the First Gate, to the Corner Gate, and from the Tower of Hananel to the royal winepresses, and will remain in its place. 11 It will be inhabited; never again will it be destroyed. Jerusalem will be secure.

12 This is the plague with which the Lord will strike all the nations that fought against Jerusalem: Their flesh will rot while they are still standing on their feet, their eyes will rot in their sockets, and their tongues will rot in their mouths. 13 On that day people will be stricken by the Lord with great panic. They will seize each other by the hand and attack one another. 14 Judah too will fight at Jerusalem. The wealth of all the surrounding nations will be collected - great quantities of gold and silver and clothing. 15 A similar plague will strike the horses and mules, the camels and donkeys, and all the animals in those camps.

16 Then the survivors from all the nations that have attacked Jerusalem will go up year after year to worship the King, the Lord Almighty, and to celebrate the Festival of Tabernacles. 17 If any of the peoples of the earth do not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord Almighty, they will have no rain. 18 If the Egyptian people do not go up and take part, they will have no rain. The Lord will bring on them the plague he inflicts on the nations that do not go up to celebrate the Festival of Tabernacles. 19 This will be the punishment of Egypt and the punishment of all the nations that do not go up to celebrate the Festival of Tabernacles.

20 On that day holy to the Lord will be inscribed on the bells of the horses, and the cooking pots in the Lord's house will be like the sacred bowls in front of the altar. 21 Every pot in Jerusalem and Judah will be holy to the Lord Almighty, and all who come to sacrifice will take some of the pots and cook in them. And on that day there will no longer be a Canaanite in the house of the Lord Almighty.

, they said that the prophecies of Zechariah would only come true if Israel had accepted the Messiah, but since they have not, this passage of prophecy would not happen - ever. My questions for him are, "This concept is based on what scripture?" and, "How many Jews would be required to keep that prophecy alive - all of them?". Many Jews do believe in Christ - they are called Messianic Jews. But, I guess they don't count in Mr. Batchelor's eyes. Either that, or 100% attendance was required for the prophecy.

While that was disturbing enough, it was the responder's next statement that really confused me. He said:

"Care must be exercised when applying the prophecies of Zech 14 to our day so that unwarranted conclusions are not drawn. They should be carefully compared with the New Testament writings in order to come to a correct interpretation."

The Bible says a lot, and it all fits together

Meaning nothing personal against Mr. Batchelor, but the comment from Amazing Facts is hogwash. The thing you must do is make sure the interpretation you have agrees with both the Old and New Testaments. It's not just a one-way thing. If you interpret something in the New Testament, you must make sure it agrees with the Old as well. They must both say the same thing no matter which way you go. The statement by Mr. Batchelor implies that the NT is the standard by which everything is judged, and if the OT disagrees, it must be ignored. And, more importantly, notice that no scripture was given to support this "conditional" interpretation.

Every time we hear something like this from a modern-day pastor, we know something is going to follow that will entail some private philosophy that only their church has. Even then, it is surely something that only a modern-day "prophet" (and only the one(s) in their church) can know and relate to the church. This is not saying that this could not happen, but when someone takes a clear statement from the Bible, and say that it is conditional without any references to indicate such, then it is our duty to doubt it and investigate as did the Bereans.

When Paul wrote to Timothy in 2 Tim 3:16-17
16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

, his praise for the value of scripture was referring to the only scripture of the time - the Old Testament. When exactly did this condition change? Since this statement was made after Jesus died for us, who made the "new" interpretation valid instead of the one current at the time of Paul? For anyone to say that the interpretation of the Old Testament depends on a "proper" reading of the New Testament is trying to sell you a smelly bill of goods.

God never changes

Any student of scripture knows that the New Testament rests on the proper interpretation of the Old Testament - and the ideas of both must be in sync with each other - unless specified otherwise in the same text! The whole New Testament is from men prompted by real events and interpretation of God's word with help from the Holy Spirit. That same Holy Spirit prompted the OT writers to record their visions and prophecies. These came from God. Even if, as happened in the book of Jonah, God did change His mind because the Ninevites repented and came to God, they would still have the chance to be saved! That was the whole purpose of the warning! Otherwise, why give the warning?

"He didn't say it, but He meant maybe...?"

So, you cannot just write off the prophecy of Zechariah 14 before the time even comes. That is, unless you must do so in order to promote your own personal twist to the clear meaning of the Word of God. Look through Zechariah 14 and see where you can find something like "if you don't change your ways, I will...". Zechariah was not offering a choice, he was describing future events. Even chapter 13 was saying "I will..." not "if you...then I will...". If you don't ignore the prophecy of events yet to come, how can you make up an alternative ending, for that prophecy, that is not supported by the word of God?

Let's start with some verses from the word of God, and see what we could possibly be complaining about here. But, before we go there, let's look at a definition so we are all on the same page. Let's start with one for Israel from Holman's Illustrated Bible Dictionary:

Israel - This is the name the Lord gave to Jacob after he wrestled with the angel through the night. In various contexts, it means "God strives", "God rules", "God heals", or "he strives against God".

A little foundation

Now, a little history is in order (don't worry, not much). In Genesis 32:22-32
22 That night Jacob got up and took his two wives, his two female servants and his eleven sons and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. 23 After he had sent them across the stream, he sent over all his possessions. 24 So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. 25 When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob's hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man. 26 Then the man said, "Let me go, for it is daybreak."

But Jacob replied, "I will not let you go unless you bless me."

27 The man asked him, "What is your name?"

"Jacob," he answered.

28 Then the man said, "Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome."

29 Jacob said, "Please tell me your name." But he replied, "Why do you ask my name?" Then he blessed him there.

30 So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, "It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared."

31 The sun rose above him as he passed Peniel, and he was limping because of his hip. 32 Therefore to this day the Israelites do not eat the tendon attached to the socket of the hip, because the socket of Jacob's hip was touched near the tendon.

, we see the story of Jacob's struggle with the angel, who was God Himself (verse 30). That is when Jacob received his new name "Israel", which meant "struggles with God". Now, to put this into perspective, Israel was not named something like "obedient to everything God says", or "submits to God", "cringes before God". He was a strong individual who put demands on God and expected results. God had also blessed Jacob with 12 sons who turned out to be the twelve tribes of Israel. The patriarchs that were this group of brothers wound up in Egypt, in effect saving the family from starvation. Much happened to this family over the next few hundred years, including slavery to Egypt.

After 400 years of slavery to Egypt, the family of Jacob had grown considerably, and the Israelites, as they were then called, were chosen by God for a purpose. God chose them for a purpose, they did not choose Him. He told them through one of their own - Moses. It is during a meeting between God and Moses at the burning bush in the wilderness when God told him what His plans were for him and the Israelites. God said that He was the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and He could see the suffering of the Israelites under the rule of Egypt.

Moses, the complainer

O.K., we're there. After a false start when Moses thought he messed up by increasing the burden on his people (Exodus 5, bricks without straw) and killing a man, he ran away. God found Moses (surprise), and told him to go back and tell Pharoah to let the Israelites go out into the desert to celebrate a ceremony to Him. Moses was so reluctant, he had even pleaded with God to send someone else in his place. Moses griped that ever since he followed God's orders, he only messed things up for Israel. (Doesn't this sound a little like a "struggle with God"? Seems like God chooses the "toughies" to work with.) However, it was what He said to Moses next, that is the point of all this:

6 "Therefore, say to the Israelites: 'I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. I will free you from being slaves to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment. 7 I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am the LORD your God, who brought you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. (Exodus 6:6-7)

Once God chooses you, you're stuck

God chose the Israelites because of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; their fathers. Now, if God chooses you, you are stuck. (Remember what happened to Jonah.) God took the Israelites on as a project, and anyone who messed with them would have to deal with Him. Above, God clearly said, "I will take you as my people". Now, that makes the Israelites a people that belong to Him. Now, God never does things just to see if they will work, then try something else if they don't. He sticks with a project until it is done. However, there were always two sides to the project. People still have free will and could make their own choices. So, there were often conditions for the Israelites. They couldn't just go blamelessly on their way without following the will of God. If some chose God's way, they were His people. If others did not choose His way, they were cut off.

The troublemakers spoil it for everyone

In Leviticus 26:2-12
2 'You shall keep My sabbaths and reverence My sanctuary; I am the LORD. 3 'If you walk in My statutes and keep My commandments so as to carry them out, 4 then I shall give you rains in their season, so that the land will yield its produce and the trees of the field will bear their fruit. 5 'Indeed, your threshing will last for you until grape gathering, and grape gathering will last until sowing time. You will thus eat your food to the full and live securely in your land. 6 'I shall also grant peace in the land, so that you may lie down with no one making you tremble. I shall also eliminate harmful beasts from the land, and no sword will pass through your land. 7 'But you will chase your enemies and they will fall before you by the sword; 8 five of you will chase a hundred, and a hundred of you will chase ten thousand, and your enemies will fall before you by the sword. 9 'So I will turn toward you and make you fruitful and multiply you, and I will confirm My covenant with you. 10 'You will eat the old supply and clear out the old because of the new. 11 'Moreover, I will make My dwelling among you, and My soul will not reject you. 12 'I will also walk among you and be your God, and you shall be My people.'

, God lays out some of the things He expects from the Israelites. After all, He is going to let them represent Him to the other nations, but they can't just go off doing whatever they wanted. So, there is a caveat to His choosing them - if they don't do what he wants, the whole nation will be severely punished. This is likely where the idea came from that God has disowned His people and "replaced" them with the Gentiles.

Here, it is important to remember the scope of what we are talking about. This is an entire nation of people. Just like here in America, not everyone in Israel feels or acts the same as everyone else. This sometimes punishing of everyone is a way of getting everyone to pull together, much like a coach who makes everyone run an extra 10 laps because of one smart mouth. People will pitch in to get that one "smart alec" to shut up. (Yeah, yeah. Many think that I am the smart alec - maybe so.)

How did God say that, again?

Again, like in America, some of the arrogant (yeah, yeah) people will just continue to ruin things for everyone else. At the time this becomes apparent, there is a "paring" from the herd. In the Bible, God expresses it like this:

Lev 17:10 And any man from the house of Israel, or from the aliens who sojourn among them, who eats any blood, I will set My face against that person who eats blood and will cut him off from among his people.

Lev 18:29 Everyone who does any of these detestable things--such persons must be cut off from their people.

Lev 23:29 Those who do not deny themselves on that day must be cut off from their people.

Num 9:13 But the man who is clean and is not on a journey, and yet neglects to observe the Passover, that person shall then be cut off from his people, for he did not present the offering of the LORD at its appointed time That man will bear his sin.

Num 15:30 But the person who does anything defiantly, whether he is native or an alien, that one is blaspheming the LORD; and that person shall be cut off from among his people.

Yes, there are a lot more, and yes, they are mostly from the Old Testament. The point here is twofold: (1) If you deliberately disobey God, you will be cut off from the group of people He claims as His. This means that you are no longer His. This does not mean that the person across the street is cut off as you are because of your disobedience. If you apply this to the Israelites, some are obedient and some are not.

God has a purpose

People are cut off for a reason. The Jews have a certain set of obligations to follow the Will of God that are somewhat different from those that we Gentiles are expected to follow - though not as different as many Christians seem to think. Originally, many of the Jews insisted that the Gentiles had to essentially become Jews. After having a top-level meeting with the council about this, they sent notice to the Gentiles to let them off the hook - sort of. See Acts 15:28-29, the New Testament, and note that these are right out of the Old Testament listing, including blood rules:

It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements: You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality. You will do well to avoid these things. Farewell. (Acts 15:28-29)

Now, does anyone really think that these are the only rules that now apply to Gentiles? (Think about murder, stealing, adultery, idolatry.) Not at all. This list is just assurance that the Gentiles do not have to become Jews to be acceptable to God. They are still expected to fall within the will of God.

What if you are "cut off" from the people?

Getting back to the second point, (2) if someone has been cut off from the people of God, this means that they are no longer included with their original group. When someone speaks of the group to which they once belonged, the reference still means the group as a whole, it just no longer includes the one who was cut off. So, the believing Israelites are still in the group of the preferred people of God, not replaced by anyone. Remember Paul's phrase:

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. (Romans 1:16) (Emphasis mine)

How about something else from the New Testament?

Yeah, the last few paragraphs are a lot in one breath, but here is the point. Even if many Jews have been (or will be) cut off from the Israelites, a reference to the Israelites still means the Jews, but only the faithful ones. And when the Israelites are mentioned in modern times, it refers to the spiritual Israelites, all believers in Christ, including the Gentiles. How can we say this? The Bible tell us so through Paul's letters:

Understand, then, that those who have faith are children of Abraham. (Galatians 3:7)

It is not as though God's word had failed. For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel. Nor because they are his descendants are they all Abraham's children. On the contrary, "It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned." In other words, it is not the children by physical descent who are God's children, but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as Abraham's offspring. (Romans 9:6-8)

So those who rely on faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith. (Galatians 3:29)


We are Jews also?

Read the Bible for what it says, then make sure your interpretation matches what the rest of the book says. God has never given up on those who believe in Him. Even the Old Testament refers to the "foreigners" who follow the word of God. God has always included any who follow Him.

People claim that this commandment is only for the Israelites:

8 "Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy."" (Exodus 20:8-11, emphasis mine)

But, how do those people then explain this:

6 "And foreigners who bind themselves to the Lord
    to minister to him,
to love the name of the Lord,
    and to be his servants,
all who keep the Sabbath without desecrating it
    and who hold fast to my covenant

7 these I will bring to my holy mountain
    and give them joy in my house of prayer.
Their burnt offerings and sacrifices
    will be accepted on my altar;
for my house will be called
    a house of prayer for all nations.
The Sovereign Lord declares
    he who gathers the exiles of Israel:
'I will gather still others to them
    besides those already gathered.'" (Isaiah 56:6-8, Emphasis mine)

Our gift, for obeying

Yes, this is the Old Testament, but the only way that matters is if the "New Covenant" actually replaces the Old Covenant. But that would mean that God does not have to keep His promises to anyone, not just Israel. This promise was from God to the believing foreigner, so it was not broken by Israel's actions. And the conditional part of this was that if we do something for Him, we will reap the blessings He offers. I wonder how God feels to find out that some of us no longer respect His word from the OT. That was the only word that the New Testament writers had upon which to build their legacy.

Here is where some people point to Hebrews 8:13
By calling this covenant "new," he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and outdated will soon disappear.

, claiming that the Old Covenant is now obsolete because the "New" Covenant replaces it. This is true in a sense, but what is now in the "New" Covenant? And just what did Paul mean by "will soon disappear"? Paul was expecting the Lord to return at any moment. The whole position of the Sunday churches on this issue is that the Old Covenant was made obsolete, so they can completely redefine the New Covenant as they want it to be. But, what about Hebrews 10:16?:

16 "This is the covenant I will make with them
    after that time, says the Lord.
I will put my laws in their hearts,
    and I will write them on their minds."

The New Covenant is based on this

This doesn't leave room for doubt. And remember, this may be in Hebrews, but it is a rephrase of Jeremiah 31:33
"This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel after that time," declares the LORD. "I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.

which is estimated to have been written roughly between 630 and 560 B.C., when the "New" Covenant originated. God's laws are still here and still in force. You can say that the only laws that He means are Jesus' "Love God..." and "Love your neighbor...", and that does away with the Ten Commandments, but you're not being honest - unless you think God now feels it is O.K. for us Gentiles to steal and murder. But, for most people, this "soft law" concept is only so they don't have to feel guilty about not keeping the Sabbath. "But", you say, "'Love your neighbor...' means you won't steal or murder!" Exactly, because all the Ten Commandment law is still in effect - all of them.

Think about another side of the "Old covenant is done away" argument. If it is now just "Love God..." and "Love your neighbor...", then God no longer has to keep any promise made to anyone (see "Covenants" on this site for some discussion of promises now unnecessary for God to keep if this is true). True Christians have always held that the "New" Covenant is a renewal (remaking) of the Old Covenant, bringing the Old back in the realistic terms described by Christ Himself.

Try thinking of it like this; You own a farm next to a river, and you have a dock for your boat. The dock has some broken boards that are causing it to tilt and part of it is now in the water. You get some new boards and replace the broken parts with fresh ones and you added a light so you can see at night. Now you have a new dock. It is still the same dock, but you now have a "new" one that works better than the "old" one.

Jesus kept the Old and New alive

How did Christ blend the Old and the New? Look at Matthew 19:16-22:

16 Just then a man came up to Jesus and asked, "Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?"17 "Why do you ask me about what is good?" Jesus replied. "There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, keep the commandments." 18 "Which ones?" he inquired. Jesus replied, "'You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, 19 honor your father and mother,' and 'love your neighbor as yourself.'" 20 "All these I have kept," the young man said. "What do I still lack?" 21 Jesus answered, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." 22 When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.

Or Matthew 23:23:

"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices--mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law--justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former."

"Important matter of the law..."

According to what we hear from all the "New Covenant" Christians, the law was "done away with" on the cross. If faithfulness is an important matter of the law, doesn't that cause a problem? The faith that the modern "soft approach" church claims is faith not associated in any way with the law. That seems to be a completely different faith than that to which Jesus referred. If you take the law out of the hearts of believers, they they are no longer part of the Jeremiah 31:33/Hebrew 10:16
16 "This is the covenant I will make with them
    after that time, says the Lord.
I will put my laws in their hearts,
    and I will write them on their minds."

covenant of the Lord.

How did that get in there?

Did you notice where Jesus added one of His new commandments to the list of old commandments? How does Jesus say this if he knew that, shortly, He would be leaving and "changing" the law so that nothing in the Old Testament means anything anymore? Is He just teaching things that don't matter because He is going to change things so that everyone will be saved? Why didn't He just say, as did the Beatles, "'All you need is love' dat tat dah dah dah...?" He wasn't gloating because He had caught them in an error that would send them to hell. No, Jesus was showing the Jews where they were in error and guiding them as to what they should do in the future. Even Paul (no, not McCartney) didn't say that all you need is love. In 1 Cor 13:1-3 he added love to the rest of what the law says to make the person whole:

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

And then there is that obscure passage in Matthew 5:21-30:

21 "You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, 'You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.' 22 But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, 'Raca,' is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, 'You fool!' will be in danger of the fire of hell. 23 "Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, 24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift. 25 "Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still together on the way, or your adversary may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison. 26 Truly I tell you, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny.

27 "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall not commit adultery.' 28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell."

With Jesus, the Ten Commandments now mean more than before

If He was changing everything, why would He reiterate everything as though it still mattered? More than that, He made it mean even more than they thought! So, if Jesus did away with the old laws and the Jews for the purposes of salvation, which is the only way He could "replace" the Jews with the Gentiles, why would He guide them toward salvation based on OT rules? No, the New Testament, and the New Covenant, are based on the foundation that God established in the Old Testament, but they improve the New Covenant by adding faith and love to it. By doing that Jesus made it "New" like the dock we discussed, and that would make the Old one without love obsolete, because a New and better one is now in effect.

There's more if you want it...

There is some discussion on this and other questions about the Old and the New on the site at Refiner's Fire if you want to dig deeper. The more I dig, the more I discover that many do not read the Bible for what it actually says, but see only what they want to see. I am finding more and more truth to the statement "To know the Bible, you need to be familiar with the culture, customs, and language of the people who wrote it." Without that lens, we see through our glasses dimly, if at all.

We are not special as Gentiles, unless we join the people of God as spiritual Israelites who care about His plans, and instructions, instead of our own. The Jews have not been replaced by us, we have merely joined those wise enough to believe in the Messiah.


Disagree? Find an error? Contact us at gjohnsonjr@promisesandsecrets.com and give us your view.

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