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Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : An omniscient God foresees Christ yet establishes law 'forever'

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Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri


The consistent motif in the use of the concept of “tabernacle” in both Old and New Testaments is that of God’s dwelling place (tabernacling) among his people. The word Beth-El means house of God. Jacob saw a ladder to heaven with angels ascending and descending and called the place after this name. He knew he could reach God from the house of God. It was the gate of Heaven. God desired to tabernacle among His people as He had done with Adam before the fall, but even more so.

In a way the Wilderness Tabernacle was a mobile palace from which God could rule as King over His people Israel. The first covenant worship was dominated by ceremonies and sacrifices that the tabernacle (and later the temple) utilized. Walking horizontally into the tabernacle was akin to ascending vertically up to the throne room of God. The Ark represented His throne and the mercy seat was where the blood was offered. God always kept His end of the covenant, but Israel transgressed. There had to be a way to keep the covenant functional and deal with breaches in the contract. The covenant was maintained by the offering of blood for transgressions of the covenant in order to allow the relationship between God and Israel to continue. God's glory 'tabernacled' among the people so long as they kept His covenant.

When Israel sinned the Ark was carried away and had to be recovered. This recovery by David was a cause for celebration. David decided to purchase Arnon's threshing floor for the spot to build the Temple. This is the place where the hand of God's wrath was stayed when he had numbered Israel. this is important. God can build His house where there is appreciation for forgiveness of sins. In time the Temple was built and Solomon dedicated it. He brought many sacrifices until an area had to be set aside to contain them all. When the altar was full and Solomon had prayed the FIRE fell. this is always how the Fire falls- when we get totally on the altar in such a way that God will believe us. The Sacred Fire was rekindled there for service and the Glory returned. It would be short lived. Eventually the Glory departed and the Temple was destroyed. The Ark was lost as it was all carried to Babylon.

Cyrus sent the Jews to rebuild the Temple. Zerubabels temple never saw the glory of the previous temple. Herod expanded this temple but as far as we know God never showed up here in the way He did in Solomon's time. It was abandoned for the most part. There was no Ark signifying that the authority of God was not in view. This was manifest much later when the Jews decided 'it is not in heaven' and usurped all authority from God and gave it to the Rabbis. When Jesus came into the world we have this language:

And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)

Our language here is that of tabernacling. Jesus Christ was THE Temple of God while on earth. He said destroy this Temple and I'll restore it in three days. It was His body the Temple. John said and later Peter said similarly, "We beheld His Glory". They saw the tangible evidence of the Shekinah Glory in the miracles, etc. They identified the Finger of God, ie., the ARK or authority of God being manifest in their midst. The Ark had returned in the Person of Jesus Christ. Our Lord's death on the cross enabled the Temples of men to be cleansed by the blood and readied to receive the Holy Spirit in such a way as described by Steven in Acts 7 and Isaiah 66:1-2. Regenerate man is now the Temple in one sense and living stones in the Temple in another sense. Yet for all this Ephesians tells us it is only the EARNEST of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession. It is what the New Covenant provides.

God is now focused in the lives and spirits of regenerate New Covenant believers. Our bodies are viewed as the 'tabernacle' or 'tent' (Hebrew booth), that is, a temporary shell that will pass away at physical death and allow the human spirit to enter into the heavenly dwelling of God and Christ. We will then be resurrected and receive a 'spiritual body' like unto His Glorious Body. This is the spiritual reality to which the old covenant tabernacle pointed. Zechariah 14 points to a time when there will no longer be a need to distinguish between Holy and Profane as it is described in the Old Testament. God will put away evil and sin. ALL will be Holy. Christ having died on the Cross for our sins supersedes any animal sacrifice, so we know that is not in view here. My hypothesis is that the Prophet is foretelling of a time when all things will be cleansed and we can perpetually offer ourselves holy and acceptable to God (Romans 12;1-2) unthwarted. We will celebrate the fact that God has accomplished what He said out to do from the beginning.

Notice how in Zechariah 14 the phrase "in that day" is used seven times (v. 4,6,8,9,13,20, 21). Compare that with John's words:

At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. (John 14:20)

In that day (en ekeinēi tēi hēmerāi). The New Dispensation of the Holy Spirit, beginning with Christ’s Resurrection and the Coming of the Holy Spirit at pentecost. Shall know (gnōsesthe). Future middle of ginōskō. Chapters 1 to 3 of Acts bear eloquent witness to these words. (Vincent)

Robert Wurtz II

 2012/1/12 0:18Profile

Joined: 2011/4/2
Posts: 103
Lake Charles, LA


@RobertW - beautiful post and thank you for that.

I deleted my original post as I don't think it really matters to theEphah.

Bryan Reed

 2012/1/12 1:14Profile


--RobertW-- thanks for taking the time to participate in this debate, It was very enlightening. I enjoyed the discussion .


 2012/1/12 1:16

Joined: 2008/5/3
Posts: 435


Yes, that was interesting reading. But let's point out a few holes in it.

"Zechariah 14 points to a time when there will no longer be a need to distinguish between Holy and Profane as it is described in the Old Testament. God will put away evil and sin. ALL will be Holy."

Yes, from a partial viewpoint of the saints that is correct, but not in absolute view, as we read: Zechariah 14:18  And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that have no rain; there shall be the plague, wherewith the LORD will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles.

The heathen are still with us. How and by what means will they be ruled?

Revelation 12:5  And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne.

With a rod of iron, and let's not forget that at the end of the 1000 years there will be yet another and final deception of the nations:

Revelation 20:7  And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.

There must be of course a law, otherwise how can they be judged? So at that time is this saying still valid then, in a general sense? :
Matthew 5:18  For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

Yes, because directly after Rev 20 we read when exactly heaven and earth pass away:

Revelation 21:1  And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.

THAT is the time all is fullfilled according to context used by Jesus. He was not talking about the cross here.

That's why we can see the whole picture only when we diffentiate as suggested by ginnyrose:

ginnyrose wrote:

"1. The religious law that dealt with the ceremonial rituals, like animal sacrifice.

2. Civil law that dealt with capital punishments, how to deal with criminal behavior.

3. The moral law. It deals with human relationships and life in general - sanitation, for example.

The ceremonial law was fulfilled in Christ Jesus by him dying and shedding his blood. Read Hebrews.

The moral law was reinforced and expanded - read the sermon on the mount.

The civil law was given to the state to enforce. The church's role is to evangelize, not hunt down criminals and mete out punishment. Read Romans 13."

It's more work to study scriptures by asking what law is spoken about every time "law" is mentioned. Only with that basic understanding ALL and every scripture, every bit and pieces of every mention of 'law' and 'commandments' fit perfectly and have not to be changed in the slightest to fit a particular view or doctrine.

Commandments are by the way not only for sinners, also for sons and daughthers of the household. We are not mature until Jesus's return, except in our own eyes where we can be king of our own kingdom at any time.

 2012/1/12 20:59Profile

Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri


I think it is a questionable rendering of the text to translate goy (goyim) as 'heathen'; as the LXX has ἔθνη (ethane/ethnos) or 'nations' in Zech. 14:18. I think heathen is too strong here and does not necessarily fit the flow of the text. There is said to be punishment upon those that come not up to Tabernacles, but I'm not sure this makes them heathen.

There are many questions surrounding these eschatological events. I don't think we can speculate safely here. There are strong implications to the notion that the Old Covenant is in force here. I don't think it necessary to resurrect the Old Covenant for the sake of Tabernacles or moral law. Some Dispensationalists envision a New Millennial Temple with a restored sacrificial system and many other falsehoods. I have no confidence in eschatological speculations and hypothesis. I think it wise to base our theology on things that are clearly known rather than make our soteriology subject to our eschatology.

In case I have not been clear let me say again that I know that true Christians do not move in antinomianism. This is what Paul was falsely accused of preaching. It may come as a surprise, but if a person is walking in the Spirit they do not need the law and are not under the law. Sinners are a different matter all together. They will be judged based upon their response to the revealed will of God; each according to the measure he/she has been afforded. Paul gives us a possibility:

Therefore if the uncircumcision keep the righteousness of the law, shall not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision? (Romans 2:26)

This may refer to Gentiles (goyim) or the Born Again walking out the righteousness of the Law. I think both are in view here.

That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. (Romans 8:4)

For simplicity sake, let us break the world down into two categories of people. Paul states, "Not after the flesh, but after the Spirit" (mē kata sarka alla kata pneuma). Here are the two walks of life (kata sarka or after flesh in 7:7-24, kata pneuma or after Spirit 8:1-11). A person can be keeping the law and still be walking after the flesh. This is what Paul tells us in Galatians; having begun in the Spirit are you now made perfect by the flesh? In other words, can you be perfected by switching from kata pneuma to kata sarka? God forbid.

The original question of this post comes back into view:

"My question is how does an omniscient God stipulate this command to be 'for ever' with the knowledge of Christ to come and take away 'the first' and establish 'the second' a la Hebrews 10:9-10?"

God was never taken by surprise by the fall of man. The law was added because of transgressions until the Seed should come. The coming of the Seed means a new possibility that renders the Law unnecessary. 'Forever' is a relative term as has been explored before; it is until the Seed should come in this context. They that receive Christ are enabled to be Baptized into Him by the Spirit. We were in Adam, a disseminator of death and now we are in the last Adam a quickening Spirit. We are no longer in the flesh (sarx/sara) if the Spirit of God dwells in us. Once man could walk in the Spirit (kata pneuma) he was no longer under the law. Why would he need that law? He lives in a way against which there is no law. God's revealed moral law is in play for those that kata sarka (walk in the flesh). What law? It depends on the level of privilege the person experienced. Some it is the law of God written on the heart and enforced through conscience; others it is the written revelation of God's moral law.

But I must say again that keeping the law does not mean a person is walking in the Spirit. Keep that clear. Paul was blameless touching the Law but was in the flesh until he was Born Again. The Old Covenant is no longer offered. It is closed, done, gone, finished, over, fulfilled, etc. etc. It is not available because it is expired. The teachings of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount are nothing more than a pre revelation of what a manifestation of a person walking kata pneuma will look like. We cannot codify the New Testament into a system of Pos and Neg commands as that is not the point. If a person is not walking in the Sermon on the Mount it is because they are not walking in the Spirit. The solution is not to come under a law-based man made extrapolation of rules from sacred text, but to repent and do your first works over in such a way that God will believe you and refill you with His Spirit. Law is nothing more than embalming fluid in a dead carcass. We need the life giving Spirit if we are to emulate Jesus Christ. It is what the New Covenant provides and the Old Covenant could not do in that it was weak through the flesh. etc. etc.

Robert Wurtz II

 2012/1/12 22:39Profile

Joined: 2003/5/8
Posts: 4419
Charlotte, NC


Well said Robert.

What is a very interesting thing to see, especially coming from a Wesleyan Pentecostal tradition is how legalistic many of our "Spirit-Filled" forefathers have been. I have an older brother today, who is a very dynamic and powerful preacher. He shines like a light bulb in the pulpit. When he preaches, sinners get saved, and hearts and minds are laid wide open for the Holy Spirit to just flood and convict. Your faith is amazingly strengthened, and you often remember what he says years after the fact. His preaching is absolutely electrifying.

Yet, he thinks it a sin (no joke) to wear anything less than your "Sunday best" to the "house of God." I've never seen him in church without a suit & tie... ever. I'm beside myself sometimes to think about him. The Spirit definitely does powerful things through him. But at the end of the day, I can't help but think of the letter to the Galatians.

He definitely is used by the Spirit in powerful ways in the pulpit. But Law rules his heart. And worst of all, it's not one of the 613 codified ones. It's the laws our forefathers, well meaning as they were, invented yet canonized.

Jimmy H

 2012/1/12 23:13Profile

Joined: 2011/9/30
Posts: 1211


Very good article, Robert.

Jesus is the end of the law to everyone that believeth. Romans 10:4

In Hebrews, the old covenant, with its sacrificial worship practices, could not forgive sins (10:4,11); could not cleanse a person’s conscience from the consciousness of sin (9:9,10,13; 10:2); could not provide access to God, for such was limited to the high priest once a year (9:7,25); and could not perfect and sanctify man to function as God intended (7:19; 9:9; 10:1). The singularly sufficient sacrifice of Jesus Christ, on the other hand, does effect redemption (9:12,15) and forgiveness of sins (9:26,28; 10:12,18); does cleanse man’s conscience internally (9:14) so that there is no consciousness of sins (10:2,17); does provide free access to God, unrestricted, direct, and immediate (9:12,24; 10:19,20); and does perfect and sanctify the believer (10:10,14) to be all that God intends man to be.

The finality of Christ’s sacrificial death signifies the end of all animal sacrifices (10:18). His forgiveness of sins is such that these sins can forever be put out of our remembrance, as they are from His remembrance (10:17). The inauguration of the new covenant signifies the complete abrogation of the old covenant (10:9) – “Christ is the end of the Law” (Romans 10:4) – the shadow gives way to the substance (10:1). Christ’s victorious access to the Holy of Holies of God’s presence evidences that God cannot be confined to any worship-box in any religion, but has an “open-door policy” for all who will approach Him through Christ (10:19).

What did this mean for the Hebrew Christians in Jerusalem to whom Paul was writing? It was a direct warning that to return to any involvement in the Jewish worship practices would be a denial of Jesus. It would necessarily indicate the apostasy of “standing away from” Jesus, in repudiation of His singular sufficiency. It would be to say that Jesus – His sacrifice, His life – was not enough. (Jim Fowler)

Jesus is just better in every way. Why would we want to go back to being Torah observant, back to the shadows?

Heb 8:6
But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.

Jesus is just Better in every way.

Jesus: the Better Revelation of God
Hebrews 1:1-4

Jesus: the Better Man for Mankind
Hebrews 2:5-18

Jesus: the Better Ground of Faithfulness
Hebrews 3:1-19

Jesus: the Better Rest of God
Hebrews 4:1-13

Jesus: the Better Divine-Human High Priest
Hebrews 4:14 ­ 5:10

Jesus: the Better Hope of Inheriting the Promises of God
Hebrews 5:11 - 6:20

Jesus: The Better Hope of Man
Hebrews 7:19

Jesus: the Better Mediator between Man and God
Hebrews 7:20-28

Jesus: The Minister of a Better Covenant
Hebrews 8:6

Jesus: The Minister of Better Promises
Hebrews 8:6

Jesus: The Better Sacrifice for Forgiveness
Hebrews 9:23

Jesus: The Better Way of Access to God
Hebrews 10:19-39

Jesus: The Better Guarantor of Promises Received by Faith
Hebrews 11:1-40

Jesus: The Better Country
Hebrews 11:6

Jesus: The Better Resurrection
Hebrews 11:35

Jesus: The Better Example of Faithful Endurance
Hebrews 12:1-13

Jesus: The Better Example of Holiness and Worship
Hebrews 12:14-29

Jesus: The Better Example of Suffering and Bearing Reproach
Hebrews 13:1-25


 2012/1/12 23:20Profile

Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri


Jimmy's: "But Law rules his heart. And worst of all, it's not one of the 613 codified ones. It's the laws our forefathers, well meaning as they were, invented."

How does that saying go? Preferences of men, become traditions of men, become commandments of men. Something like that. I think some of the old timers connected the way they carried themselves when representing God as an important part of their testimony to the world. They thought you need to 'dress the part'. There are some old 1800's sermons here on SI along this line that are real eye openers. There was a time when men would not assume the pulpit until they had donned their wig lest they let down the ministry. Strange expressions of faith.

Robert Wurtz II

 2012/1/12 23:22Profile


There is said to be punishment upon those that come not up to Tabernacles, but I'm not sure this makes them heathen.

Yes it does. Heathen simply means "stranger to the covenant"

There are many questions surrounding these eschatological events. I don't think we can speculate safely here. There are strong implications to the notion that the Old Covenant is in force here. I don't think it necessary to resurrect the Old Covenant for the sake of Tabernacles or moral law.

It doesn't matter what you think brother, what you think and how you feel wouldn't change the prophesy.

The law was added because of transgressions until the Seed should come.

The Law was not added as you suggest, the law was GIVEN

The Old Covenant is no longer offered. It is closed, done, gone, finished, over, fulfilled, etc. etc. It is not available because it is expired.

Should we take your word for it? Or should we listen to the Messiah? Has it ever occurred to you that the Creator of heaven and earth has never created anything that is faulty, weak, expired or whatever derogatory term you have for his Holy commandments. Even as it's clearly shown in scripture that until heaven and earth pass away not the smallest letter of the law shall pass away.

Which part of that don't you understand sir?

We need the life giving Spirit if we are to emulate Jesus Christ. It is what the New Covenant provides and the Old Covenant could not do in that it was weak through the flesh. etc. etc.

let me see if I understand you correctly, you are blaspheming the Creator's holy commandments which brings forth his spirit; at the same time asking to be filled with the same holy spirit you're ridiculing. Are you serious?

 2012/1/12 23:53

Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri


As with all such conversations such as these that have come up in recent times, and posters being banned only to return in stealth and promote such heresy again, we have digressed into combativeness.

For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise.

Notice concerning the promise, 'God gave it'. The inheritance is given, the Old Covenant (the Law) was added.

Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator. (Galatians 3:18, 19)

Notice here 'it was added 'till' the Seed should come. Who is the Seed?

Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. (Galatians 3:16)

The writer to Hebrews penning his work prior to the Temple destruction states clearly:

In speaking of a new covenant, he makes the first one obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away. (Hebrews 8:13)

As soon as God announced a new covenant the transitory first covenant was on its way out. The destruction of the Temple meant the abrogation of the temple cultus and sealed the deal. There is no way to service the old covenant because its priesthood has been eliminated.

For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law. (Hebrews 7:13)

The word for change here is μετατιθεμένης (metathesis) and means more than a slight modification. The same word occurs in Hebrews 11:5 where we read, By faith Enoch was translated (removed) that he should not see death and again in 12:27 And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. Again here the term connotes removal.

For there is verily a disannulling of the commandment going before for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof. (Hebrews 7:18)

For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second. (Hebrews 8:7)

As we learn from v. 18 and 8:7 what is meant is essentially an abrogation, that is to say repeal or do away with the law. Paul tells us in Romans that it was spiritual, but because it was dead in the water to provide the promise of the Spirit It was weak and unprofitable.

Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law. But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. (Galatians 3:21-26)

Notice, the Law 'was' our schoolmaster. γέγονεν here is in the perfect tense. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. This is as straightforward as anything. God having given us the New Covenant we are no longer under the schoolmaster (Old Covenant).

As this point and many others have been demonstrated here and repeatedly in past such threads, I will end this conversation with this final post. As we have asked before so I ask again, please do not bring this topic up for discussion again, but rather consider prayerfully what has been said. I joined this conversation and felt it was profitable until the previous post took the familiar combative turn. This thread is locked.

Robert Wurtz II

 2012/1/13 6:42Profile

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