Do we prevent somebody being hurt by superstition or faith by rejecting and challenging those things? 

Is it mistaken to support organised religion in membership or donations?

If people do good because they are human, not because God prompts them then is it right to risk giving God any credit when they alone own their good?

 


OLD TESTAMENT GOD SAYS MOSES' LAWS EVERLASTING
 
Most Christians claim that they don’t have to keep the Law that God gave Moses in the Old Testament of the Bible.  They assume there is a difference intended by God between moral rules which are unchangeable and rules to do with religious culture.  When everybody else mixes them up why should the Bible be any different?

PROPHECY SAYS THE LAW WILL NEVER END

The Old Testament predicts that the Law will never be done away.
 
The Bible does not support the idea that Jesus hated murder and the murderous laws of the Old Testament.

Daniel 7:25 condemns alteration of the law of Moses by a future anti-god monarch which is taken to refer to the antichrist who is yet to come.

After the absorption of Judaism into the Messiah’s cult, the world will be asked to kill anyone who contradicts his word (Zechariah 12:10-13:3). The Law of Moses commanded the same thing so this implies that the morals of the Law will still be binding. The end of Judaism is indeed possible for it is just a small religion. We should be worried if the prediction will come to pass because it will have to be before Judaism dies.

So, the prophets foreknew that the Christ will someday lead his servants in murdering apostates and carrying out the capital laws of God to precision. If you Christians believe in the Bible you must be ready to build a religious machine that will destroy all who disagree with your religion. You have to have it set up for Jesus threatened to come back any moment.

In the Book of Malachi, God says that the people must remember to keep the Law that he gave Moses on Horeb and then that he would send Elijah before the end of the world to turn the hearts of the children to the fathers and the hearts of the fathers to the children (3). This is evidently a way of saying that Elijah would turn the children back to the ways of the fathers who kept the Law. Jesus said that Elijah represented John the Baptist so if he did then neither Jesus or John altered or abrogated the Law.

God promised that he would bring the children of Israel back to their land and make saints of them if they love him right in Deuteronomy 30. It stresses that they must obey the Law God set before them that day and that time. Verse 8 asks that all the commandments they got in Moses’ day be observed. The Bible says that Israel will be scattered for being disobedient and will be restored in their land if they are good. Incidentally, teachings such that as this accuse many Jews of being totally sinful when they are not all back in their land. They breed anti-Semitism. The promise applies also to modern Jews who obey God. They will be back in their land and be safe forever if they obey the Mosiac Law of God. The promise in Deuteronomy 30 is conditional on their obedience to the law. It is not conditional on the Law being abolished. The thought is very very far from it.

Obadiah recites an oracle that has not been fulfilled yet for it predicts the destruction of the nations apart from a righteous portion of Israel. It is taken as a prophecy of a violent Messiah or one who finds that a war is necessary.  For Christians it refers to Jesus.  It is no wonder we have the symbol of warlike retribution the iron sceptre in the Book of Revelation. That is what Jesus will carry according to Revelation 12:2-5. The way it promises that a part of Israel will be saved and the Temple Mount, Zion, will be dedicated to him implies that the people of the Law will get his special attention because of the Law for God wants to be served. Why else would Israel have been singled out? The Temple represented and expressed and was run by the Law so when the Temple is going to be restored the Law is going to be restored.
 
LAW FOR ALL TIME

The prevalent attitude that Christians have towards the Torah is that it is old hat for God has dropped it. They imagine that Christ and the apostles did away with it.

Since the Law and the Prophets were used by Christ to verify his own claims it follows that the New Testament has importance only because of the Old. The Old Testament is the bedrock of Christianity. It is more important than the New in the sense the New has no authority without it. Salvation was still possible under the Old so no one can say the New was better on that score. When the Old Testament is that important there is no way God could abolish anything in it. Jesus said that people like him coming back from the dead was not as important or convincing as the Law and the Prophets (Luke 16:31).

One will scan the Torah in vain for anything that says it is just a temporary collection of precepts. Not even the rest of the Old Testament even hints that the Torah is not eternal. A temporary Law that does not say that it is temporary has no value because anybody claiming to be a prophet could change it. The silence of the Law about its alleged transience indicates that it claims to as permanent as the Lord God himself.

Jesus said that the divorce law was temporary because it did not fit Genesis which said that marriage could not be broken but that is only his interpretation of what may be a contradiction. But one can argue that when the Torah allows divorce it does not say this is the dissolution of a marriage for it never allows remarriage.

God said that when anyone kills another by mistake he must flee to the City of Refuge and if he is found outside it by the avenger he is to be killed by him (Numbers 35). The important line is, “And these things shall be for a statute and ordinance to you throughout your generations in all your dwellings.” It is an everlasting law. By implication so are the others. The covenant God made with Israel demanded that they keep the Law for it was the words of the covenant (Deuteronomy 28:69) and God said that this compact was as much between the descendants of Israel as it was between the Israelites alive then (Deuteronomy 29:13,14). He gave no intimation that the Law would cease to be binding on any future generation so the law of God could not be abolished. It is written that what is to be in this future and what is revealed in the Law of Moses is given to the descendants of Israel forever that they may keep ALL the words of the Law which is described as this Law lest there should be any doubt (Deuteronomy 29:28).

God would be a liar for saying that the Law is to be obeyed by the people and their descendants when he only meant that it must be kept by the people and some of their descendants. Anybody talking that way means all the descendants.

The fact that some ethical laws were added to the Law or exceptions made to its commands after being promulgated does not mean that God can create a new law that does not agree with the one he made first. Laws have to take account of changed circumstances and exceptions do not contradict the rule but show that it is true. A law can be ignored when there is no need for it anymore but that is not the same thing as scrapping it.

Deuteronomy 29:29 says, “The secret things belong unto the Lord our God, but the things which are revealed belong to us and our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.” The secret things are neither the events of the future or even the more probable additions to be made to the Law. It is not likely that such a silly meaning like, “the future concerns our descendants forever”, would have been intended. So, it is saying that the Law concerns Israel and its children forever. Forever is literal for there are no clues that Israel thought then that the world would never end.

Christians try to persuade us that the Law here is merely the Ten Commandments. Not true. The context is about the whole Law not just them. The Torah never calls them the Law but calls all it commands the Law.

The Christians and the Jews hold that the Psalms are divinely inspired books, that is, scripture. Jesus knew them well and he called the Old Testament including them scripture.
Psalm 119 praises the Torah and prays to be able to live it better. If the author had believed that its authority would pass away when the Saviour comes he would have prayed for its abolition in its lifetime. It would be a sin to want the Law if the saviour wanted to do away with it. If God inspired the psalm then he denied that he ever intended to change or abolish the Law.

The Psalm says that the word of God, the Torah, will never pass away (119:89). It says that through all generations it is true (v90). And Christendom dares to say that it is no longer true that we have to keep the Sabbath or stone adulterers to death.

Verse 152, “Of old have I known Your Testimonies, and for a long time, [therefore it is a thoroughly established conviction] that you have founded them forever.” The testimonies are God’s declaration that his laws are truth which we read about in the previous verse.

Verse 160 says, “Every one of your righteous decrees endures forever”.

The Book of Ezekiel promises that in our future that God will enable his people to obey his statutes which include the sacrifices of the Law so we know what statutes are meant (20). Ezekiel 36 says that God in our future will sprinkle clean water on the people to cleanse them from ritual impurity. Christianity says it is a symbol but that is because they are prejudiced. It need not be. It could be literal therefore it should be taken literally. Ezekiel 40 on says that the Law will be in force and proved by God later on so it opposes the doctrine that it will be done away. It says that there will be a Temple, priests, animal sacrifices and Sabbaths.

The Book of Baruch which Catholicism added to the Bible says that the Law of Moses is wise and will be in force forever and that God will turn on those who don’t respect it (4:1).
Anybody who says that God meant the Law to do for a while is a heretic and a false prophet.
 
EZEKIEL AND THE EVERLASTING LAW

Ezekiel 40-48 gives us the clearest proofs that the Law will be maintained by divine decree even in our future. It says that the Law will always be compulsory down to the finest detail.
God promised to deliver Israel from all its sins to make them obey all his rules under the new David, the Christ (Ezekiel 37:24). When Israel is expected to butcher apostates and adulterers and many other kinds of sinners in those says it is not just those who have descended from Israel who are meant for prophecy says that the Israel of the future will include Gentiles - with Israelite blood in them somewhere – too.

Concerning the priests, “And in a controversy they shall act as judges, and they shall judge according to My judgments” (Ezekiel 44:24). These judgments are the penalties laid out in the Torah for there is no hint of an altered Law in Ezekiel. The New American Bible translates the verse better as referring to laws of capital punishment.

In Ezekiel, God seems to change a rule he made in the Torah. The Torah says a priest cannot marry a widow but must only take virgins (Leviticus 21:7). Ezekiel says a priest is allowed to marry a priest’s widow (Ezekiel 44:22). Since Ezekiel wants all the commandments of the Law to be carried out it is obvious that that he made a mistake for he overlooked what the Law said. It is not grounds for insisting that Ezekiel did not consider the Law to be unalterable. Was Ezekiel making an exception to the Torah’s rule? The Torah forbade that when it forbade any alteration of the text so he was not. An exception would not prove the rule in this case for if it did Ezekiel would have been saying that a priest can only marry a priest’s widow for a grave and unavoidable reason. Exceptions only prove the rule when the rule is superseded by a more important rule making the exception necessary. Some would reply that maybe Ezekiel knew we had the sense to know that it would not be allowed but for a serious reason. Another possibility is that when the widow was married to a priest she is not defiled so another priest could take her. The rule about priests having to take virgins is about priests not defiling themselves with ordinary women so priests marrying other priest’s widows would be okay with it. In that case, Ezekiel was clarifying not adding.

The book describes a Temple that has not been built yet. Some Christians say that the Temple is symbolic and a real structure is not meant. There is no evidence for that. They call something symbolic when it contradicts their presuppositions to get around it. It is not right to take something as a symbol without proof. The Fundamentalist apologetic, Encyclopaedia of Bible Difficulties, states that Ezekiel 40-44 will be literally fulfilled (page 280). They are right that it claims to be a literal prophecy.

It says that animal sacrifice will take place (40:41,42). God commands these sacrifice according to v43. Cereal offerings and sin offerings will be performed as instructed by the Law of Moses (42:13).

In Ezekiel 44:7 God complains that the Gentiles who were never circumcised were admitted into his Temple but that will not happen in the New Temple (v5). God bemoans their not being circumcised in heart and flesh implying it would not be as bad if they were - implying that even Gentiles must be circumcised.

The purity laws must be kept – including the one commanding priests to stay away from dead bodies even from their dead parents (44:25).

God commands that the festivals and Sabbaths must be kept (45:17). Chapter 47 describes the world being a paradise and God spells out the way he wants the land distributed to the tribes of Israel (47,48). In chapter 10, God will be visible from the Temple. This great miracle will ensure that the people will be ideal servants forever.
 
ISAIAH 56 AND 66

The additions to the writings of Isaiah (i.e. 40-66) are supposed to support the indifferent attitude of the Church to the Law of Moses.

In Isaiah 56, dishonouring the Sabbath seems to be understood as sinning on it.  But the Bible stresses that we sin must of the time so sinning must mean working on the Sabbath and not praying enough on it. Then foreigners and eunuchs will be welcomed into the Lord’s congregation though barred by the Law. Does this tell us that the Law or part of it will be a thing of the past then? The Law permitted foreigners to join his people only when they had been insulated against pagan influence for all non-Jews were pagans. So, the eunuchs are the only real problem. But God promises that they will not be dry trees so he is promising that the eunuchs that join will be admitted because they have been miraculously cured of their infertile state. He is not reneging on what he commanded in the Law. He says he wants them to keep his Sabbaths meaning the feasts for Sabbath means rest and all the feasts were Sabbaths. He says he will have a house or Temple and sacrifices will be offered. As the miraculous restoration of the eunuch’s testicles has not happened yet, the prophet is telling us that the Law must still be in force. Nobody can plot the predictions before the time of Jesus.

Isaiah 66 says that God will have priests and Levites and the scattered children of Israel will return for every nation, all flesh, will adore him from Sabbath to Sabbath and the dead who will all be sinners and godless people will be hated by all on earth. All that is still to come. This was to take place after God terrified the entire world (“all flesh”) with fire (66:15-17).

Jesus prized the Book of Isaiah and loved to read it. Accordingly, he would not have dreamt of abolishing the Law.
 
CONCLUSION:
 
The Christian doctrine that the Law of Moses as given by God to Moses in the first five books of the Bible is now abrogated and replaced is false. The Church had so little faith in God in Jesus in the early days that it abandoned God’s teaching to make the movement of converts into the Church far smoother.
  
WORKS CONSULTED

Alleged Discrepancies of the Bible, John W Haley, Whitaker House, Pennsylvania, undated
Christ and Violence, Ronald J Sider, Herald Press, Scottdale, Ontario, 1979
Christ’s Literal Reign on Earth From David’s Throne at Jerusalem, John R Rice, Sword of the Lord, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, undated
Early Christian Writings, Editor Maxwell Staniforth, Penguin, London, 1988
Essentials, David L Edwards and John Stott, Hodder & Stoughton, London, 1990
Eunuchs for the Kingdom of Heaven, Uta Ranke-Heinmann, Penguin Books, London, 1991
God’s Festivals and Holy Days, Herbert W Armstrong, Worldwide Church of God, California, 1992
Hard Sayings Derek Kidner InterVarsity Press, London, 1972
Jesus the Only Saviour, Tony and Patricia Higton, Monarch, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, 1993
Kennedy’s Murder, John R Rice, Sword of the Lord, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, 1964
Martin Luther, Richard Marius, Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Cambridge Massachusetts, 1999
Moral Philosophy, Joseph Rickaby SJ, Stonyhurst Philosophy Series, Longmans, Green and Co, London, 1912
Not Under Law, Brian Edwards, Day One Publications, Bromley, Ken, 1994
Radio Replies Vol 2, Frs Rumble and Carty, Radio Replies Press, St Paul, Minnesota, 1940
Sabbath Keeping, Johnie Edwards, Guardian of Truth Publications, Kentucky
Secrets of Romanism, Joseph Zacchello, Loizeaux Brothers, New Jersey, 1984
Set My Exiles Free, John Power, Logos Books, MH Gill & Son Ltd, Dublin, 1967
Storehouse Tithing, Does the Bible Teach it? John R Rice, Sword of the Lord, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, 1954
Sunday or Sabbath? John R Rice, Sword of the Lord, Murfreesboro, 1943
The Christian and War, JB Norris, The Christadelphian, Birmingham, 1985
The Christian and War, Robert Moyer, Sword of the Lord Murfreesboro Tennessee 1946
The Encyclopaedia of Bible Difficulties, Gleason W Archer, Zondervan, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1982
The Enigma of Evil, John Wenham, Eagle, Guildford, Surrey, 1994
The Gospel and Strife, A. D. Norris, The Christadelphian, Birmingham, 1987
The Jesus Event, Martine Tripole SJ, Alba House, New York, 1980
The Kingdom of God on Earth, Stanley Owen, Christadelphian Publishing Office, Birmingham
The Metaphor of God Incarnate, John Hick, SCM Press, London, 1993
The Plain Truth about Easter, Herbert W Armstrong, Worldwide Church of God, California, 1957
The Sabbath, Peter Watkins, Christadelphian Bible Mission, Birmingham
The Ten Commandments, Herbert W Armstrong, Worldwide Church of God, California, 1972
The Truth that Leads to Eternal Life, Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, Brooklyn, New York, 1968
The World Ahead, November December 1998, Vol 6, Issue 6
Theodore Parker’s Discourses, Theodore Parker, Longmans, Green, Reader & Dyer, London, 1876
Those Incredible Christians, Hugh Schonfield, Hutchinson, London, 1968
Vicars of Christ, Peter de Rosa, Corgi Books, London, 1995
War and Pacifism, Margaret Cooling, Scripture Union, London, 1988
War and the Gospel, Jean Lasserre, Herald Press, Ontario, 1962
When Critics Ask, Norman Geisler and Thomas Howe, Victor Books, Wheaton, Illinois, 1992
Which Day is the Christian Sabbath? Herbert W Armstrong, Worldwide Church of God, California, 1976
 
THE WEB

The Law of Moses: Is It Valid Today?
www.ark_of_salvation.orgJewish_law.htm

The Law of Moses and the Law of Christ by Arnold Fruchtenbaum
 www.ariel.org/ff00006c.html