Blog Archives

God Changes the Law

Standard

God changes the Law at times.

At first, God tells all the Israelites they will be His priests. (Ex.19:5-6) Soon after, the people make a golden calf and only the tribe of Levi agrees to stand with Moses for the Lord.

Through Moses, God set up a priesthood to operate exclusively under the tribe of Levi and it was done in conjunction with the Law.

After having established Levites as priests perpetually, fast forward to Jesus as explained in Hebrews 7. Now via an oath, God suddenly breaks through this perpetuality and starts a new & final priesthood with Jesus being the High Priest forever. He changes the Law.

“Now if perfection was through the Levitical priesthood (for on the basis of it the people received the Law), what further need was there for another priest to arise according to the order of Melchizedek, and not be designated according to the order of Aaron? For when the priesthood is changed, of necessity there takes place a change of law also.”
-Hebrews 7:11-12

No longer is this according to the Law, where only Levites can be priests. This is according to some external-to-the-Law oath. God is clearly above the Law, not equal to it. And as indicated in the text below, AFTER the Law, as in post-Law.

“For the Law appoints men as high priests who are weak, but the word of the oath, which came after the Law, appoints a Son, made perfect forever.”
-Hebrews 7:28

Galatians, Galatians!

Standard

“Why then the law? It was added because of transgressions, until the offspring should come to whom the promise had been made, and it was put in place through angels by an intermediary. Now an intermediary implies more than one, but God is one. Is the law then contrary to the promises of God? Certainly not! For if a law had been given that could give life, then righteousness would indeed be by the law. But the Scripture imprisoned everything under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed. So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.”
-Galatians 3:19-29

The Law was ADDED, not always existent. The Law was TEMPORARY, added because of sin and until Jesus came. The Law prior to Jesus was meant as a guardian to keep hold on us until it was time for Jesus at which time faith would be enacted and law would be done with. This scripture clearly and definitively expresses an after-Law time indicated and initiated or culminated by the coming of Jesus. Like it or don’t, but it is clear.

New or Renewed?

Standard

Kainos, Greek word meaning new or unprecedented

2 Cor. 5:17 “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.”

Rev. 21:1 “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away…”

Rev. 3:12 “….the new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven…”

Heb. 8:8. “Finding fault with them, He says, “BEHOLD, DAYS ARE COMING, SAYS THE LORD, WHEN I WILL EFFECT A NEW COVENANT…NOT LIKE THE COVENANT WHICH I MADE WITH THEIR FATHERS ON THE DAY WHEN I TOOK THEM BY THE HAND TO LEAD THEM OUT OF THE LAND OF EGYPT…”

Some teach that when Jesus spoke of a new covenant as in Luke 22:20b, “…This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood,” that He meant renewed, similar to a new moon. The moon never actually goes away, it simply renews itself each month. They need it to mean renewed to nullify the idea that Jesus was somehow doing away with the old covenant. If Jesus were doing away with the old covenant, then that would mean the terms of the old covenant were no longer guaranteed and likewise the requirements of fulfilling the covenant were also subject to change.

If Jesus were renewing the old covenant, then we are all subject to fulfilling its requirements.

However, the Greek word kainos is always used to mean brand new. Or else we are only renewed creatures with renewed things having come, there is coming only a renewed heaven & renewed earth, and only a renewed Jerusalem. Other uses would mean putting renewed wine in renewed wineskins (yuck!), Jesus was laid in a renewed tomb. In Mark 1:27, it would read, “What is this? A renewed teaching with authority! He commands even unclean spirits, and they obey Him.”

It doesn’t fit in any instances. Even the Greek word for renewing as used in biblical sense means renovation, complete change for the better.

Finally, even the prophet Jeremiah before Jesus was even born, spoke of this special new covenant. The word used in Hebrew in this case is chadash. Surely it means renewed? Nope. It means new, fresh. And in other Hebrew passages it would have to say a renewed king over Egypt, renewed grain offering, renewed wife, renewed ropes to bind Sampson, and singing renewed songs, to name a few. But, it doesn’t.

There is simply no getting around the fact that Jesus said and meant “New” and all the implications therein. We must read what Scripture says, not what we want it to say.

The Day God Hated His Appointed Feasts

Standard

Isaiah1:11 “What are your multiplied sacrifices to Me?”
Says the LORD.
“I [a]have had enough of burnt offerings of rams
And the fat of fed cattle;
And I take no pleasure in the blood of bulls, lambs or goats.
12 “When you come to appear before Me,
Who requires [b]of you this trampling of My courts?
13 “Bring your worthless offerings no longer,
Incense is an abomination to Me.
New moon and sabbath, the calling of assemblies—
I cannot endure iniquity and the solemn assembly.
14 “I hate your new moon festivals and your appointed feasts,
They have become a burden to Me;
I am weary of bearing them. ”

If God requires people to keep Sabbath and keep festivals, He certainly is changing it up here in Isaiah. “Hate”is a strong word for something supposedly necessary and sacred to God.

But looking at it from a New Covenant perspective, we see that He does not require it. He is after the heart and He always was. It’s not about keeping festivals and Sabbaths; if it were, He would be pleased with Judah in this passage. Instead, He’s disgusted with them. The only explanation for this is their hearts were far from Him and it made everything they did, even keeping tenets of the law, undesirable.

Even more interestingly, sacrifices didn’t make it any better. In vs. 11, God says He’s tired of the sacrifices. What kind of God is this that demands all this and then when it is given is still not satisfied or pleased?

It is the God who isn’t appeased by trinkets and the superficial. He is after intimate communion with whosoever will believe. It will never be enough to complete the Law. We must rely on the Holy Spirit to teach us what it means to please God. We believers have laws written on our hearts where the requirements are not easily defined or measured.

The beauty of the new covenant is that we have the Holy Spirit to teach us in the moment what is required for the moment. God wants a relationship, Father to child, Groom to bride, King to servant, God to a holy people…levels upon levels of depth and ways of relating. He is so far above and unreachable. That is why He came to us and became God-with-us.

The Law wasn’t getting deep enough. It only dealt with externals. He has always longed and hoped it would lead to internals. That is why He was tired & disgusted with Judah…they were not relating to Him; they were throwing Him a bone, thinking it was required. And if He were requiring it, He would have been thrilled with that bone. But He hated it instead, longing for His people to long for Him.

In summary, Judah was keeping the Sabbath, the feasts, and giving sacrifices for sins, but it didn’t count at all. It didn’t satisfy God. It wasn’t enough. It wasn’t even desired by God. It was even hated by God. It’s not about which Law you keep…It’s about whether you are obedient from your heart to the law written on your heart by the circumcising finger of God and taught to your heart by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. That is the place where your works are either pleasing or not and that is where freedom in Christ begins.

Nothing is required, yet because of the overwhelming gratefulness and love we have for Him because of who He is and what He has begun in us, we seek actively to do everything He nudges us to do thru the Holy Spirit. Must we, from God’s perspective? Legally, no. Must we, from my heart crying “Abba Father”? My response is “I will do anything, be anything, go anywhere because I have been bought by blood”. But the legal requirement, exoskeleton Law has been removed, completed, fulfilled, wineskin burst by Jesus’ death.

The law of Love has changed everything. And for the better!