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Friday, July 31, 2015

Does God Ever Change His Mind?
by David Vaughn Elliott

Does God ever change His mind? Listen to the words that the Lord put into the mouth of Balaam: "God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: has he said, and shall he not do it?" (Num. 23:19). Does this mean that whatever God predicts is sure to happen; that all of God's warnings and promises will be fulfilled -- unconditionally?

That's not how Jonah understood God's nature. When God told Jonah to prophesy doom upon Nineveh, Jonah fled. Why? "I fled before unto Tarshish: for I knew that you are a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and you repent of the evil" (4:2). And thus it happened. When Jonah did prophesy Nineveh's destruction, Nineveh repented and God relented.  

How did Jonah know that God might "repent of the evil"? I don't know; but the book of Jonah itself is a testimony to this truth. So is the word of Jeremiah: "If that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them. And at what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it; If it do evil in my sight, that it obey not my voice, then I will repent of the good" (Jer. 18:8-10). "Repent of the evil... repent of the good." "Repent" means to change one's mind. Other versions render it "relent," "think better," "reconsider." 

God is not obligated to state these conditions every time He predicts a blessing or a disaster. Like Jonah, we should always keep in mind that God's mercy and justice can call for a change of plans. In Balaam's case, there was no reason to change. God had promised to bless Israel, and he surely would not "repent of the good" simply because the Moabites didn't like it.

In the case of Nineveh, no "if" is recorded. It may not always be easy to distinguish between a promise/warning with conditions and a prophetic prediction that has no conditions. It is essential to consider all the Scriptures that have a bearing on each prediction. 

Deut. 30 foretold that if Israel returned to God, God would "turn your captivity" (v 3). He promised to bless them abundantly, "if you shall... keep his commandments and his statutes which are written in this book of the law" (v 10). This "if" was predicated on their keeping the Law of Moses. However, there was another condition that was not stated at that time.

The promise in Deut. 30 is like a coupon you have in 2008 that expired in 2006. The coupon is no longer valid. So it is with the promise in Deut. 30. Israelis today cannot fulfill the "if" even if they want to. They have no temple in which to offer the prescribed sacrifices. Worse yet, if they were to demolish the Dome of the Rock and build a temple in its place, God would not recognize it. Jesus blotted "out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us... and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross" (Col. 2:14). At that moment, God tore the veil of the temple from top to bottom. From that moment, the Law of Moses was no longer valid. "For the priesthood being changed [from Levi to Christ], there is made of necessity a change also of the law" (Heb. 7:12). 

The promise of return with blessings based on keeping the laws in "this book of the law," is no longer valid. The promise has expired. As Paul told the Galatians, "Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; you are fallen from grace" (5:4). Any promise based on keeping the Law of Moses is out-dated, expired, of no value today. The way for Jews to be blessed of God today is the same as for all of us. "There is neither Jew nor Greek... for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you be Christ's, then are you Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise" (Gal. 3:28-29). Because of Jesus' death, God's requirements and conditions have changed. 
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Thursday, July 30, 2015

WHO IS THE HOLY FATHER? WHO IS THE CHIEF SHEPHERD? by steve finnell


Who is the Holy Father? Who is the Chief Shepherd? Who is the head of the church of Christ on earth? Catholics believe it is the Pope, do the Scriptures confirm that assumption?

THE CATHOLIC VIEW [Ref. www.ourcatholicprayers./com/prayers-for-the-pope.html]

O God, the Shepherd and Ruler of all Your faithful people, mercifully look upon Your servant [name of Pope], whom You have chosen as the chief Shepherd to preside over Your Church. We beg You to help him edify, both by word and example, those over whom he has charge, that he may reach everlasting life together with the flock entrusted to him. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.


Lord Jesus, shelter our Holy Father the Pope under the protection of Your Sacred Heart. Be his light, his strength and his consolation.

Holy Father


John 17:11 "Now I am no longer in the world, 

but these are in the world, and I come to You,

Holy Father, keep through Your name those

  whom You have given Me, that they may be

 one as We are. (NKJV)



Jesus called God the Father, Holy Father. Jesus

did not call the apostle Peter Holy Father. Only

God the Father deserves to be called Holy 

Father. To call the Pope or any man Holy Father 

is blasphemous.


1 Peter 5:4 and when the Chief Shepherd 

appears, you will receive the crown of glory that

does not fade away.(NKJV)


Jesus is the only Chief Shepherd. To call the 

Pope or any other man the Chief Shepherd is 

blasphemous.


Colossians 1:13-18.....18 And He is the head of 

the body, the church, who is the beginning, the 

firstborn from the dead, that in all things He 

may have the preeminence.(NKJV)


 Paul wrote this is AD 60. Paul said Jesus

Christ was the head of the church of Christ. To 

say that Peter was, or that the Pope or any 

other man is the head of the church of Christ is 

blasphemous. 






























  

WAS PETER THE FIRST POPE?  BY STEVE FINNELL


Was the apostle Peter the first Pope of the Roman Catholic Church? A few reasons why Peter was not the first Pope.

Peter was not Pope because there is no office of Pope mentioned in the Scriptures. Peter was not the first Pope of the Roman Catholic Church because there is no Roman Catholic Church mentioned in the Bible.

Peter was not a Pope because the apostles were not in subjection to him.

2 Corinthians 11:5 For I consider myself not in the least inferior to the most eminent apostles. 2 Corinthians 12:11 I have become foolish; you yourselves compelled me. Actually I should have been commended by you, for in no respect was I inferior to the most eminent apostles, even though I am a nobody.

Not only was the apostle Paul not in subjection to Peter, he reprimanded Peter in Antioch.

Galatians 2:11-21 But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned....14 But when I saw that they were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas in the presence of all, "If you, being a Jew, live like the Gentiles and not like the Jews, how is it that you compel the Gentiles to live like Jews?....

Peter was not Paul's superior. (Cephas was Peter, John 1:42)

Peter was not a Pope, because he did not believe that the Virgin Mary was a mediator between men and God nor did he offer up prayers to her.

1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,

Peter was not a Pope, because he did not pray to any saints dead or alive. Prayer is worship.

Matthew 4:10 Then Jesus said to him, "Go Satan! For it is written, 'You shall worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only !"

Peter was not the first Pope, because he refuse to let men bow down and kiss his ring in an act of worship.

Acts 10:25-26 When Peter entered, Cornelius met him. fell at his feet and worshiped him. 26 But Peter raised him up, saying, "Stand up; I too am just a man."

Peter was not the first Pope because he did not referred to himself as the Chief Shepherd or head of the church of Christ. The Chief Shepherd and head of the church is Jesus Christ and Jesus alone.(Colossians 1:13-19, 1 Peter 5:1-4, Hebrews 13"20, Ephesians 1:20-23, Matthew 28:18-20, Ephesians 5:22-24.)

Peter was not the first Pope nor was he ever a Pope.

(All Scripture from: NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE) 

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The Tree Of Life

GEORGE L. FAULL

Interviewer:       Brother Faull, why do you believe men die?
Bro. Faull:         Death is the result of sin.
Interviewer:       Is that because of personal sin?
Bro. Faull:        Of course not. Some are born dead. It is said of Jacob and Esau while still in the womb, that they had neither done any good or evil. Romans 9:11.
Interviewer:      But why should everyone die for Adam’s sin?
Bro. Faull:        Because that is what God warned would result if Adam sinned.  “For in the day that you eat thereof, you shall surely die,” or “Dying you shall die.”  This was before the creation of Eve.  Adam is the fountainhead of the human race.  He obviously understood that not only he himself would die, but all humans, likewise.  Later he told his new wife that she was included for she told Satan in plural:  “Ye shall not eat it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.”  So it is clear that they understood it was for both of them and their posterity as well.  If an electrician says to a man, “You touch that wire and you will surely die.”  Surely it includes his family.
Interviewer:      Well, I can see that it would apply to the man who did the same thing, but not all men have eaten the forbidden fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.  So why will they die?  If I touched a wire, I would die, but not my children, unless they touched the wire.
Bro. Faull:        Good observation!  Scripture does say, “Nevertheless, death reigned from Adam to Moses even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression.”  Romans 5:17.
Interviewer:      So again, why do men dir for Adam’s sin?
Bro. Faull:        We do not die for Adam’s sin.  That would imply that we are guilty of his sin.  We die because of Adam’s sin.  Romans 5:12.
Interviewer:      Go on.
Bro. Faull:        God warned Adam, that if he ate of the forbidden fruit, he would begin to die.  Adam sinned!  As a result, God removed Adam and his wife away from the source of life, namely the Tree of Life.  When God removed the source of life from mankind, and put cherubim to guard them from partaking of the Tree of Life, they obviously all died.  Since their descendants could not eat of the source of life, they too died.  They did not die for Adam’s sin, but because of Adam’s sin.  Suppose a man and his family were in a lifeboat.  The man drank the rest of the forbidden canteen.  The children did not die for the guilt of the father’s sin, but because of his sin.
                        Likewise, the guilt of Adam did not pass to his descendants.  The effect of taking away the Tree of Life caused all men to die, for it was the source of life.  God drove the guilty pair from the garden and from the source of life, causing their descendants to simply die for there was no tree of life for them to partake of outside the Garden of Eden.  The children suffer the consequence of the parent’s sin, not the guilt.  Sin, therefore, is said to have brought death and it happens to all mankind.
Interviewer:      Are you saying then that death is not the wages of sin?
Bro. Faull:        No.  Death is the wages of sin.  It is the price Adam paid for his sin.  He died and his posterity also died because we cannot partake of the Tree of Life.  The tree was the means of life.  Its absence brings death.  Man could keep living even after he sinned, if he could have continued to eat of the Tree of Life.  This is proven by what God said:
                        Genesis 3:22-24, “22 And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil:  and, now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:  23 Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the Garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.  24 So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the Garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.”
Interviewer:      But isn’t it true that all men are born sinners now?
Bro. Faull:        This is the commonly held doctrine of both Catholicism and Evangelicals.  I do not believe that.
Interviewer:      Doesn’t the Bible say, “For as by one man’s disobedience, many were made sinners?
Bro. Faull:        Yes, Romans 5:19 says that, but I suggest that we quote all of it.
                        Romans 5:19, “For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.”
                        Now, let me ask you a question.  When a person becomes a Christian, the text says that he is made righteous.  Is he really righteous, or is he counted righteous?  Is he righteous or is it an imputed righteousness?
Interviewer:      It is an imputed righteousness.
Bro. Faull:        Likewise Adam’s descendants are counted sinners.  They do not become sinners in reality till they personally sin any more than we are in reality righteous
Interviewer:      But I must call you back to the statement, “By one man’s disobedience many were made sinners.  They were made sinners!
Bro. Faull:        Yes, they were made or declared to be, constituted or rendered sinners just as we are declared to be or rendered, or constituted to be righteous, even though we are not sinless in reality.  Note what Paul says in :
                        Romans 5:12-14, “12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:  13 (For until the law sin was in the world:  but sin is not imputed when there is no law.  14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.”
                        Note that sin is not imputed [counted, reckoned, or laid to one’s charge] where there is no law.  Nevertheless, death reigned over those from Adam to Moses.  Why did death reign?  Because there was no way for them to eat of the Tree of Life and live.
Interviewer:      Didn’t those under law sin?
Bro. Faull:        Not after the similitude or likeness of Adam.  Once the law was given, they became sinners.
                        Romans 7:7-9, “7 What shall we say then?  [Is] the law sin?  God forbid.  Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law:  for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.  8 But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence.  For without the law sin [was] dead.  9 For I was alive without the law once:  but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.”
                        Sin is a transgression of the Law.
                        I John 3:4, “Whosoever commiteth sin transgresseth also the law:  for sin is the transgression of the Law.”
                        By the Law is the knowledge of sin.
                        Romans 3:20, “Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight:  for by the law [is] the knowledge of sin.”
                        Before that, they were guilty of the sin of omission and commission against their conscience.  They will thereby be judged by it.
                        Romans 2:14-15, “14 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:  15 Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and [their] thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another.)”
                        Likewise, unborn children and infants have not sinned against knowledge.  They died simply because their parents never ate of the Tree of Life.  They suffered the consequences of Adam’s sin, but not the guilt of it.
Interviewer:      This is all new and interesting to me.  However, we Christians will get to eat of the Tree of Life, yet the Bible shows that even the wicked will be raised.  Does Jesus’ death give eternal life to everyone?
Bro. Faull:        By no means!  Adam’s sin resulted in death to all mankind.  Christ’s death on the cross paid the price and His resurrection proves that His work was accepted as the payment of the wages of sin.  His death makes it possible for all men to be raised from the dead, as all shall be raised from the reign of death.  However, not all shall be raised to eternal life in Heaven.  Some will be raised to condemnation.
                        John 5:28-29, “28 Marvel not at this:  for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, 29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.”
                        It is those who do Christ’s will who have the right to eat of the Tree of Life, and live eternally.
                        Revelation 22:14, “Blessed [are] they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the Tree of Life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.”
                        Those who for sake Christ, will experience the second death.
                        Revelation 20:15, “And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”
Interviewer:      I am still hung up on “made” sinners.
Bro. Faull:        They were rendered or constituted sinners.  The word is a passive verb.  They were not made to be sinners by nature or against their will.  They are reckoned sinners by God, that is in His mind.  God reckoned them to be sinners.  One is not “reckoned” a sinner if he really is a sinner!!!  If a token is reckoned or rendered to a quarter, it is not a quarter.  God reckoned all men sinners because of Adam’s sin.  God did not make them sinners in the womb in actual fact, for if they were made actual sinners, they are not “reckoned” or  “constituted” sinners.  They are tokens, not quarters.  God did not start making embryos inherent sinners because Adam sinned.  He counted the sinners.
Interviewer:      Please illustrate what you are saying so that I can grasp it better.
Bro. Faull:        I recently went to a farmer and asked him if I could fish in his pond.  He said, “No. I allowed another man to fish here and he made a mess and didn’t clean it up.  I determined not to let anyone else mess up my beautiful environment around my pond.”  He counted me a polluter.  I am not actually a polluter.  He counted or reckoned me to be a polluter.  I suffered the consequences of the actual polluter, and like him, was forbidden the use of the pond.  Now, he never changed my nature, made me bent toward polluting or in any way affected my future.  He just reckoned I was like the polluter. God reckons all men sinners.  Bu choice we all become transgressors after we are born.  We go astray.  There is none righteous.  We have all sinned and are falling short of His glory.  Innocence soon leaves us by our own choice.
Interviewer:      Won’t some argue with you on that?
Bro. Faull:        Of course, but if that view is not held, they have a very serious problem.
Interviewer:      Which is?
Bro. Faull:        Jesus was made in the likeness of sinful man.  He took on our very nature.  Was He indeed made an actual depraved, guilty sinner?  That would have to follow, if men inherited an evil nature from Adam.  Listen to these verses:
                        Hebrews 2:14-18, “14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is the devil.”
                        Philippians 2:5-8, “5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:  7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men.  8 And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”
                        If Jesus were made like man in his nature and that nature is inherently evil, then Christ was born evil.  Did God make Christ a sinner so He could save us?  Was the first Adam an inherent sinner from creation when he was created in God’s image?  Is not a baby still created in the image of God?  Is then God an inherent sinner?  The ramifications of the alleged depraved nature of man are endless.
Interviewer:      I’m sorry.  I think my time has run out.  We will just have to get together soon to discuss this further.
Bro. Faull:        That will be fine.  Feel free to give me a call at any time.  Thank you for your time.

Monday, July 27, 2015

DOES GOD APPROVE OF MANKIND COMMUNICATING WITH THE DEAD? by steve finnell


Does God approve of the dead communicating with the living?Does God approve of the living communicating with the dead? Does God sanction conversations with the dead through mediums? Does God give men the option of talking and petitioning the dead through prayer? Are dead saints aware of those who are alive? Can dead saints hear and answer prayers? The answer is no, no, no, no, no and no.

1. Does God approve of the dead communicating with the living? No

In the parable of the rich man and Lazarus, or as some believe is a fact, instead of a parable, the rich man was denied that Lazarus could return to testify to his living brothers. God does not approve of the dead communicating with the living. (Luke 16:19-31)

2. Does God approve of the living communicating with the dead? No.

1 Samuel 28:7-20......15 Now Samuel said to Saul, "Why have you disturbed me by bringing me up?" And Saul answered, "I am deeply distressed; for the Philistines make war against me, and God has departed from me  and does not  answer me anymore, neither by prophets nor by dreams. Therefore I called you, that you may reveal to me what I should do."  .......(NKJV)

A. Saul used a medium at Endor to bring Samuel up. That was a sin.
B. Saul could not pray to Samuel to ask for advice. The dead cannot hear the living nor do they know what the living are doing. Saul could not pray and ask Samuel to intercede for him with God.

3.Does God sanction conversations with the dead through mediums? No.

Deuteronomy 18:9-12.......11"or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead.12 "For all who do these things are an abomination to the Lord, and because of these abominations the Lord your God drives them out from from before you.(NKJV)

Conversations with the dead through mediums is sinful.

4. Does God give men the option of talking and petitioning the dead through prayer? Can dead saints hear and answer prayers? Are dead saints aware of the living? No, No, and No.

Ecclesiastes 9:5 For the living know they are alive; But the dead know nothing, And they have no more reward, For the memory of them is forgotten. (NKJV)

Job 14:21 10-21 But a man dies and is laid away; Indeed he breathes his last and where is he?....21 His sons come to honor and he does not know it;They are brought low, and he does not perceive it.(NKJV)

The dead are not aware of the living. The dead are not Omniscient. The dead cannot answer prayer. The dead are not Omnipotent.

Samuel could not hear Saul from the grave, he had to be brought up my a medium. Saul also had no power to answer prayers.

Dead popes, the Virgin Mary, nor dead family members are aware of the living and even if they were, they have no power nor ability to grant or answer prayers. The only way to communicate with the dead is through mediums and that is a sin.

Only the living can offer prayers for the living. Even then, the living have no power to answer prayers.

      
   







Sunday, July 26, 2015

IS PRAYING TO GOD WORSHIP? by steve finnell


Is praying to God a form of worship? Yes, without a doubt. Is praying to men or women who are dead or alive worship? Yes, without a doubt.

Who should men worship? Luke 4:7-8 "Therefore, if You will worship  before me, all will be Yours." 8 And Jesus answered and said to him, "Get behind Me, Satan! For it is written, 'You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve."(NKJV)

WHAT IS WORSHIP?

Worship Defined: 1. (Ecclesiastical terms) to show profound religious devotion and respect to; adore or venerate (God or any person or thing considered divine) 2. to be devoted to and full of admiration for. 3. to have or express feelings of profound adoration......7. (Ecclesiastical) the formal expression of religious adoration; rites, prayers, etc. [REF. The Free Dictionary. http://www.thefreedictionary.com/worship]

Praying to God is worship and men are to only worship God. 

A Costa Rican woman has told how she recovered from a brain aneurysm after praying to Blessed Pope John Paul ll ---the second miracle attributed to the pontiff, who died in 2005. [REF: catholicherald. co.uk]

Praying to any man, dead or alive, is worship and to worship anyone but God is sin.

Through the selfless "yes" of the Virgin Mary, Jesus Christ, our Savior, was brought into the world. It is appropriate, therefore , that we offer prayers of petition and praise to the Mother of God.

43 ARTICLES IN: PRAYERS TO THE VIRGIN MARY-PRAYERS TO SAINT MARY, THE MOTHER OF GOD. Ref: http://catholicism.about.com/od/tothevirginmary/

Praying to anyone is worship and to worship anyone but God is sin.

WORSHIP IS RESERVED FOR GOD ALONE!    

Are 'The Ten' Binding Today?
by David Vaughn Elliott

The Ten Commandments are arguably the most famous law ever written. Many people are confused about this law. Did Jesus come to destroy the law? Are the Ten Commandments God's greatest commands? Should we join the fight in the U.S. to defend them? Are "The Ten" binding on Christians today? The first three questions are discussed in Insights #143, #230, and #142. In today's Insight we discuss the final question. We will examine both some of the arguments used to answer the question in the affirmative, as well as some of the NT texts which directly speak of The Ten. To begin with, there is the question of ...

"The Law of the Lord" and "the Law of Moses"

The Bible frequently speaks of "the law of the Lord" and other times of "the law of Moses." Are these two different laws? Is "the law of the Lord" eternal, while "the law of Moses" was temporary? Does "law of the Lord" refer to The Ten, whereas "law of Moses" refers to other commandments which Moses wrote in the books of the Law?

In 2 Chron. 31:3 we read of "the burnt offerings for the sabbaths, and for the new moons, and for the set feasts, as it is written in the law of the Lord." Note that the text refers to "the Law of the Lord," but it is not quoting The Ten.

The OT often uses such expressions as "the book of the law of Moses, wherein the Lord commanded" (2 Kings 14:6). Thus we see "the Law of Moses" was not composed of Moses' ideas. It was God's law from beginning to end! Moses was just the scribe.

In Nehemiah 8, Ezra reads the law to the people. In that chapter, the book of the law is called both "the book of the Law of Moses" (verse 1) and "the book of the Law of God" (verses 8, 18). The same is true in Luke 2:21-24, 39, relating what Mary and Joseph did after Jesus' birth in order to fulfill the law. Luke 2 in part refers to the requirements found in Lev. 12. In Luke 2 these requirements of Leviticus are called both "the law of Moses" (Luke 2:22) and "the law of the Lord" (Luke 2:24, 39).

There was only one law before the death of Christ. It was interchangeably called "the law of the Lord," "the law of Moses" and variations of "the law of the Lord given by Moses." It included The Ten and all the other commandments found in Exodus thru Deuteronomy. One law!

Can God's "Everlasting" Law Change?

Various texts in the NT say that God's law was changed in Christ. (Col. 2:14; Heb. 7:12-19, etc.). But other texts in the Bible say things like: "All his commandments are sure. They stand fast for ever and ever" (Psalm 111:7-8). How can we harmonize this apparent contradiction? Does "forever" mean "forever"?

In 2 Chron. 33:4 we read: "the Lord had said, In Jerusalem shall my name be for ever." Verse 8 adds: "Neither will I any more remove the foot of Israel from off the land which I have appointed for your fathers, if only they will observe to do all that I have commanded them even all the law." "If only." God's "forever" includes conditions. God can change his "forever" when man sins.

Jeremiah prophesied a change of covenants. One reason for the change: "My covenant they brake" (31:32). Israel broke the covenant; God planned "a new covenant" (verse 31).

God also changes his covenants according to his own eternal purpose. In Gen. 17:9-14, God said: "This is my covenant... Every man child among you shall be circumcised... My covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant." And yet in Gal. 5:6 we read: "For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision avails any thing, nor uncircumcision." God's "everlasting covenant" of circumcision ceased when Christ died.

God's commands and law can change, did change, and had to change. God had said that the Aaronic priesthood would "surely be an everlasting priesthood" (Ex. 40:13-15); yet that priesthood was changed when God made Christ our High Priest. God added: "For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law" (Heb. 7:12).

Over and over in the OT "forever" and "everlasting" simply indicate that a covenant or law will continue in force, year after year and generation after generation. However, the "forever" is frequently conditioned, on the one hand, by man's faithfulness and, on the other hand, by God's own plans. Many times, in the light of total Bible teaching, "forever" can only be understood as meaning "continuously" until the arrival of the Messiah.

"The Ministry of Condemnation"

The NT often quotes individual commandments from The Ten. But 2 Cor. 3 is a text which discusses The Ten as a single unit. When verse 3 says, "tables (tablets) of stone," it must be speaking of The Ten. Deuteronomy 4:13 says: "He declared unto you his covenant, which he commanded you to perform, even ten commandments; and he wrote them upon two tables of stone." 

Exodus 34:28-35 narrates that at the giving of the "two tables," "the ten commandments," Moses' "face shone," so "Moses put the veil upon his face." Then 2 Cor. 3:7, 13 says: "The children of Israel could not steadfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance... Moses, who put a veil over his face." Thus there can be no doubt that 2 Cor. 3 is talking about The Ten in their entirety. The chapter is contrasting The Ten (the old covenant, OT) with "the new covenant" (NT). Study the contrast:

The Ten Commandments vs. the New Covenant
2 Cor. 3:3....Written in tables of stone vs. Written in the heart 
3:6....Of the letter, which kills vs. Of the spirit, which gives life
3:6,14....The old testament vs. The new testament
3:7,8....Ministration of death vs. Ministration of the spirit
3:9..Ministration of condemnation vs. Ministration of righteousness
3:10....No glory in comparison vs. Excelling glory
3:11....Is done away vs. Remains
3:13-14....Given thru Moses vs. Given thru Christ 
3:14-17....A veil on the heart vs. Veil taken away; liberty

The ten commandments -- in their totality, as a code of law, as a covenant of God with his people -- were a ministration of death and condemnation. Yes, it was a glorious covenant; but as the sun outshines the moon, so the new covenant outshines the old. On the basis of 2 Cor. 3, we can affirm that whatever parts of the OT may not have been done away, one thing was clearly done away: the covenant of the Ten Commandments!

The Old Testament is Old; We Have a New Testament

The words "testament" and "covenant" are the same word in the Greek. In each text where the Greek word is found, the various Bible versions may translate the word either way.

Some 600 years before Christ, Jeremiah prophesied the coming of "a new covenant" (31:31; Heb. 8:8). Hebrews 7:22 and 8:6 says that the covenant of Jesus is "a better covenant." Then Heb. 8:13, making a contrast, says: "In that he says, A new covenant, he has made the first old."

Since the Bible speaks of various covenants before Christ, it is important to correctly identify the "first," "old" covenant. Hebrews 8:9 says that it was the one that God made with Israel when He brought them out of the land of Egypt. Hebrews 9 further identifies "the first covenant" (verse 1), by giving many details. There was a tabernacle and candlestick (verse 2). There was an "ark of the covenant," in which were "the tables of the covenant" (verse 4). We have already identified these tables as containing The Ten.

So the "tables of the covenant" (The Ten) were an integral part of the covenant which, when Hebrews was written, "decays and waxes old" and was "ready to vanish away" (8:13). Hebrews 9:14-17 explains that the new testament came into effect at the death of Christ. And 10:9 says: "He takes away the first that he may establish the second."

Ephesians 2:11-22, addressed to "Gentiles in the flesh," explains that before Christ they were "aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants." Verse 14 explains that before Christ there was a "wall of partition between us," (between Jews and Gentiles). But Christ broke down the wall, "having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances" (2:13-15). Thus it is clear that the old commandments (The Ten and the rest) formed a divisive wall between Jews and Gentiles. But Christ, dying on the cross, put an end to the old covenant, thus breaking down the wall, so that in its place both Jews and Gentiles could receive a glorious New Testament!

Nine of the Ten Are Repeated in the NT

How could the ten commandments be done away? Is it all right today to steal, to murder, to dishonor parents? Of course not. Nine of The Ten are repeated in the NT. Some are repeated in identical words, while others are found in synonymous expressions. The Ten themselves, found in Ex. 20 and Deut. 5, are here shown in abbreviated form. 

The Ten Commandments in the New Covenant
1. Have no other gods.....Lk.4:6-8; 1 Co.8:5,6; 1 Ti.2:5
2. Do not bow down to any image.....Jn.4:24; Acts 17:29; 1 Co.6:9
3. Do not use God's name in vain.....Mt.15:19; Ro.2:24; 1 Ti.1:20
4. Do not work on the seventh day.....----------------------------
5. Honor your father and mother.....Mt.15:4; Lk.18:20; Eph.6:2
6. Do not kill.....Mt.15:19; Lk.18:20; Rom.13:9
7. Do not commit adultery.....Mt.15:19; Lk.18:20; 1 Co.6:9
8. Do not steal.....Mt.15:19; Lk.18:20; 1 Co.6:10
9. Do not bear false witness.....Mt.15:19; Lk.18:20; Rom.13:9
10. Do not covet.....Mt.5:28; Rom.13:9; 1 Co.6:10

The fourth commandment of The Ten is not commanded in the NT. Jesus, indeed, living under the law, kept the Sabbath. He also corrected some false concepts held in his day regarding the Sabbath. But there is no record of Jesus ever commanding anybody to keep the Sabbath. Nor did the Apostles ever command it. Today we must obey nine of The Ten -- not because they were part of The Ten, but because they are a part of the New Covenant. In a later Insight, Lord willing, we will examine the Sabbath question in depth.

The Ten Commandments in their entirety, as a code of law, as a covenant, are not binding upon us today. As a code of law, they are old and done away. Nevertheless, nine of The Ten must be obeyed -- not because they are part of The Ten, but because they are part of the New Testament. 
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