Thursday, February 18, 2010

Jesus Fulfilled the Old Testament and Became a New Lawgiver Better than Moses

"Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law and the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished" Matthew 5:17-18.

These two verses are sometimes used to prove that everything in the Old Testament (the Law and the Prophets) is as binding on Christians as it was binding on the Jews in the Old Covenant. From the Sabbath law written on the tablets of stone, to the “storehouse tithing” laws, to the discipline and punishment of rebellious children, to the dietary and civil laws in Leviticus--some say all of these biblical laws of the Old Covenant are as binding upon Christians as they were the Jews. Jesus, however, is clearly teaching just the opposite. Jesus reveals to His disciples how He came to fulfill (plerosai) the Old Testament (the Law and the Prophets). He then proceeds to boldly declare that "the Law" will pass away when "heaven and earth" pass away because the Law will have been completely fulfilled ("accomplished" NAS).

Western Christians think of "heaven and earth" as the sky and the terrestial ball we call earth. But when Jews would refer to the establishment and/or fall of governments or covenants, their prophets would employ the language of creation and/or destruction of "heaven and earth." For example, God describes His agreement with the Jews in the Old Covenant in this manner: "I have put my word in your mouth and have covered you with the shadow of my hand, to establish the heavens, to found the earth, and to say to Zion, 'You are my people'" (Isaiah 51:16). The Old Testament prophets said God promised to destroy "the heavens and the earth" because Israel "broke my covenant" (Isaiah 24:5). "Heaven and earth" in the context of Isaiah's writing is not the literal heaven or the literal earth, but the Jewish economy and the Jewish age. Jesus, the apostles and the early Christians were all Jews, and they would be familiar with the "heaven and earth" language employed by prophets to describe the judgment of God on nations or ages.

The great theologian John Owen writes about Peter's prediction (pre-70 AD) in II Peter 3 regarding the end of the "heavens and earth:"

"I affirm that the heavens and earth here intended in this prophecy of Peter, the coming of the Lord, the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men, mentioned in the destruction of that heaven and earth, do all of them relate, not to the last and final judgment of the world, but to that utter desolation and destruction that was to be made of the Judaical church and state".
The early Christians clearly understood that God was coming in judgment to end "the Jewish age" (Matthew 24:3). Jesus plainly told His disciples that "not one stone" would be left upon the other at the Temple in Jerusalem. He said that "the Jewish age" would be destroyed, and He used language of the destruction of the "heavens and earth" (Matthew 24:29) as the nomenclature for the end of this Jewish age. Within a generation of Jesus speaking these words (Matthew 24:34), Jerusalem, the Temple, the age of the Jews, and the destruction of the "heavens and earth" occurred (in 70 AD), fulfilling the prophecies of Matthew 24 and Isaiah 24 regarding the end of the Jewish age. Thus, the LAW OF THE OLD COVENANT WAS ABOLISHED--precisely the way Jesus said it would be in Matthew 5:17-18, because "heaven and earth" (the Old Covenant) passed away. All the Old Testament laws (613) associated with Israel's covenant with God were now gone. Why? Because Christ had fulfilled them. He was the Anti-type, fulfilling the types. He was the Substance, predicted by the shadows. He fulfilled completely what the Law and the Prophets declared. Nobody disagrees that the idea of "the Law" passing away or being abolished, even for Christian Jews, would be a drastic change for the age in which they lived. For "the Law" to pass away means there would be no more Temple, no more feasts, no more sacrifices--the world as the Jews knew it would be forever different. But it had to pass away--because Jesus fulfilled it.

Summary: When God established His covenant with the Jews, He described it as the establishment of "heaven and earth" (Isaiah 51:16). When Israel broke their covenant with God through unfaithfulness to His Law, God described the impending judgment as the destruction of "heaven and earth" (Isaiah 24, Matthew 24, II Peter 3). The destruction of "heaven and earth" occurred in 70 AD when the Temple and the Jewish age were destroyed by the Roman army, and the "Law" was abolished, just as Jesus predicted it would be in Matthew 5:17-18.

The question then becomes, post 70 AD, what "Law" is established and in effect for Christians to follow?

Matthew presents Jesus as the New Lawgiver

(1). The early Christians saw Matthew's writings to be five books, similar to the Pentateuch of Moses.
The first book (Matthew 1-4), tells the narrative of Jesus' birth and early years and has remarkable parallels to the narratives of Israel's forefathers and Moses the Lawgiver as God led His people out of the bondage of Egypt. The second book (Matthew 5-7) parallels with the teaching of Moses on Mt. Sinai etc… as found in the book of Exodus. The third, fourth and fifth books in Matthew point us to the instructions of Jesus to His followers and parallel the teaching of Moses to Israel in the books of the law called Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy.
(2). The Sermon on the Mount is preceded by baptism in water and forty days in the wilderness. Again, the whole narrative of Jesus (childhood, exodus, baptism, wilderness, mountain, law) is precisely the narrative of Moses and Israel (childhood, exodus, Red Sea, wilderness …). The parallel between Jesus' life and that of the old lawgiver Moses is clearly seen in the book of Matthew.
(3). Matthew calls Jesus greater than Moses (i.e. "hear HIM" not Moses 17:5), “greater than Solomon” (12:42), “greater than the Temple” (12:6), “greater than Jonah” (12:41), and the “Lord of the Sabbath” (12:8).
(4). It is disobedience to the Words of Christ that defines “lawlessness” (anomia) in Matthew (see 7:23-24).
(5). In the Great Commission, Jesus instructs to teach all that “I have commanded” (28:18-20).

The idea that we do not have "Law" as believers in Jesus Christ is ludicrous. Our Law is His Law. Our desire is to do His will, to hear His commands, to be His bondslaves, and to do as He bids. The Royal Law (James 2:8) of Christ is "to love one another as He has loved us" (John 13:34). Jesus, gospels writers and others of the apostles all write to help us understand how this agape love works itself out in our lives.

But now, when we read the Old Testament, we see Jesus. Our concentration is not obedience to Old Covenant "commands" or laws--we see Christ. We see Him in the narratives of creation and exodus, in the laws of sacrifice and festivals, in the prophets and the psalms--all the Old Covenant Scriptures point to Him. We, however, are not "bound" to any Old Covenant laws--including any alleged "Sabbath" day, because we are inlawed to Christ (I Corinthians 9:21). Every day is a day of rest. For those who cringe at the thought of no "Ten Commandments" for believers, we remind them that it is hard to commit adultery when you aren't lusting in your heart (Jesus' command in Matthew 5:28), or to commit murder when you don't hate (Jesus' command in Matthew 5:17), or to steal when you see a need and give to meet it (Jesus' command in Matthew 6:4), etc... It's also hard to keep any special day as a Sabbath day because every day is a day of rest in Christ (Colossians 2:16).

The Law that we follow is Christ's Law--and we willingly, cheerfully, and fully pledge ourselves to keep it as His bondslaves. But we reject any notion that our Lord's law is Moses' law. "Heaven and earth" has passed away, and a "new heaven and earth" (the New Covenant) with a new Lawgiver, a new age, a new people, and a new agreement with better promises has dawned (Hebrews 8).

In His Grace,



Jeff Rogers said...


Jeff Rogers said...

"When Israel was a youth I loved him, And out of Egypt I called My son." Hosea 11:1

Who could the prophet be speaking of? It appears that he is speaking of National Israel after the flesh. But here he is speaking of Jehovah's Son which Israel was a type and shadow of the real Son of Jehovah.

Under the Spirit of Jehovah's inspiration Matthew says that the prophet was speaking to fulfill these words when he called Jesus out of Egypt with his mother Mary and step-father Joseph.

"He remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet: "OUT OF EGYPT I CALLED MY SON." Matthew 2:15

So what does this mean? I believe it means that Jesus is Israel. Israel was also portrayed in the old testament as a Vine of God taken up out of Egypt and planted in a good land but that vine was not fruitful. See Isaiah 5, Psalm 80:8,Hosea 10:1. But in John 15 we see that Jesus declares boldly that "I AM the True Vine". Israel was the failed fruitless vine. Jesus was the fruitful obedient successful vine of God. All the pictures that Israel was intended to portray, find there fulfillment in Jesus. So then what of the promises made to Israel. Contrary to modern day dispensational teaching, we need not wait for a restored physical nation for God to honor his promises to Israel...NO! For all the promises are now found in Christ the Israel of Jehovah, the Son called out of Egypt. The types and shadows are all fulfilled in HIM. 2 Corinthians even tells us how God's promises are now found in his Son

"For the Son of God, Christ Jesus, who was preached among you by us--by me and Silvanus and Timothy--was not yes and no, but is yes in Him. For as many as are the promises of God, in Him they are yes; therefore also through Him is our Amen to the glory of God through us." 2 Corinthians 1:19-20

Anonymous said...

Oh for the love of Pete...

Israel is Jesus?

Howsabout Israel is umm...Israel?

Save you types and shadows for your typewriter and chalk drawings.

Byroniac said...


I am not a master of the type representation of Jesus, but Jesus can be pictured as the perfect type of Israel being a sinless, Law-fulfilling Jew (Jewish Rabbi, even). According to the theology I have read, just as Adam is the federal head of the human race in the negative sense of original sin, Jesus is the representative of all those elect in God for redemption. He can also be the ideal representative and head of believing, faithful Israel (after all, what is Israel, but a nation, and what is a nation, but a collection of people, some of whom were true believers?).

Neil Cameron (One Salient Oversight) said...

An example of the change in the law came about when Jesus was presented with the woman who committed adultery in John 8.

In verse 5 the people holding the woman refer to Deuteronomy 22:24 as the legal basis for stoning her.

There is no doubt that the woman was guilty. After the crowd dispersed, Jesus commanded her to "sin no more".

So adultery is a sin - but didn't Jesus break the OT law by not allowing the legal process to continue?

These verses are a precedent in how we view sin under the New Covenant. Sin is still sin, but the way we deal with it is different.

In the Old Covenant, adulterers were stoned. In the New Covenant, stoning was no longer needed.

This is why Paul in 1 Corinthians 5 doesn't call on the Corinthians to stone the immoral brother. The worst he orders is to expel the man from the church.

So then, what should we do with homosexuals? Homosexual practice is most definitely a sin, but should that mean Christians support its criminalization?

Gene S said...

Haven't you heard we have a new Law and Covenent recently established?

It's name is Baptist Faith and Message 2000!!!

Gene S said...


Good question Salient!!!

Gene S said...

Now, before we have a fist fight on homosexuality, I share a great story:

Ice Fishing

A blonde wanted to go ice fishing. She'd seen many books
on the subject, and finally, after getting all the necessary
items together, she made for the nearest frozen lake.
After positioning her footstool, she started to make
a circular cut in the ice.

Suddenly, from the sky, a voice boomed, "THERE ARE NO
FISH UNDER THE ICE!" Startled, the blonde moved further
down the ice and began to cut yet another hole. Again,
from the heavens, the voice bellowed, "THERE ARE NO

The blonde, now quite worried, moved way down to the
opposite end of the ice, set up her stool, and tried
again to cut her hole. The voice came once more: "THERE
ARE NO FISH UNDER THE ICE!" She stopped, looked skyward,
and said, "Is that you, Lord?" The voice replied, "No,
I'm the Ice-Rink Manager!"

At least, henceforth, let's find a good frozen lake rather than the Ice Rink added to the Mega church complex to make us more attractive to the people of the city!

Paul Burleson said...


Jeff's first comment expresses what I want to say about your post.

I'll only add.. an extremely refreshing morning read.

Anonymous said...


As a layman, I have known what you are saying as truth as the Spirit has made it clear to me. I just didn't know how to say it to the "educated" pastors that are teaching something so obviously different. Thanks for stating and explaining the obvious to pastors that seek to put me, and their congregations, back under the law. And worse, it is THEIR law, and obedience to them as "God's man" that they seek. And of course, true obedience can only be demonstrated if one is giving 10% of their gross income, undesignated, to their insatiable budget demands.


Lydia said...

"In verse 5 the people holding the woman refer to Deuteronomy 22:24 as the legal basis for stoning her.

There is no doubt that the woman was guilty. After the crowd dispersed, Jesus commanded her to "sin no more".

So adultery is a sin - but didn't Jesus break the OT law by not allowing the legal process to continue?"

Actually they were not following the law. Where was the man? He was caught, too, but not brought out.

"The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst 4they said to him, "Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery." John 8

One does not commit adultery alone nor are they usually alone when caught 'in the act'. Even women. :o)

So, they were not really following the law at all but their own traditions. they were trying to trap Jesus using their traditions. He did not get caught up in the technicalities but pointed out what was in their hearts.

Anonymous said...

I get a little tired of the anti-scholastic rhetoric that is spewed from time to time by Christians. One's view of Scripture has nothing to do with their level of education but everything to do with their understanding of how the Bible is arranged from a literary perspective and the grammatical rules which govern that, and by how much primary research and prayer they put into it. One educator said this:

"There are two ways to slide easily through life: to believe everything or to doubt everything. Both ways save us from thinking." -Alfred Korzybski

I reject the idea that Wade has come to his conclusions from parroting the view of others, though I like to joke that his theology is simply that of John Gill's. While Wade may not have a graduate degree, his "methods of research" are second to none, and while I may not agree with his analysis entirely of this issue, I would venture to say his primary research is exponentially higher than mine not even including the fact that he is likely much more well read than I, and I assure you I read a lot. So Wade IS one of those highly educated pastors and every flock ought to be proud to have such an one who would value the truth enough to not simply "believe" everything or "doubt" everything.

Wade is a scholar and a gentleman. And for that reason he is allowed to be wrong on occasion.


Anonymous said...

Kevin - thanks for the arrogance. It comes shining through. :)

Anonymous said...


Nope, I think you must have read wrong. I was simply praising due diligence. I have no more education than most on here. But one thing I am proud of is the fact that I never post behind the veil secrecy.

Yella! said...


Wade's theology is simply that of John Gill's.

Interesting statement; one which I take as a compliment. I disagree with Gill on several theological issues, not the least of which is overemphasis (in my opinion) on "limited atonement," which leads him to exegete portions of Scripture with his logical presuppositions--a danger which we all face.

But I take your statement as a compliment because Gill was the world's foremost Hebrew scholar in a day when children often learned Hebrew and Greek in grammar school. Gill possessed no formal degree of any kind. He was a non-conformist, and only those associated with the Anglican church in the 18th Century had opportunity to attend the state higher education system (Oxford, etc...). So, when Augustus Toplady and other scholars in England began to notice the published Hebrew works of this Baptist theologan named John Gill, they would often ask, "Have you read a man named John Gill?" By the end of his life he was so famous for his scholarly publications that there was a common saying in London for someone who wanted to prove the "certainty" of something--"It's as certain as Gill as in the bookshop."

When Aberdeen University sought to bestow a doctorate on Gill for his work on the Hebrew "jot," Gill politely declared of the doctorate--"I neither sought it, thought it, or bought it."

My, how times have changed for us Baptist pastors.

Ramesh said...


For some reason this post is disturbing.

Why are so many pastors getting this basic teaching of Our Lord Jesus Christ wrong?

Why are these pastors willing to yoke us to laws that are difficult to follow?

Why are they not teaching the laws of Our Lord Jesus Christ, that are "easy" to follow and understand?

What are they teaching in seminaries now-a-days?

Tom Parker said...

Thy Peace:

Sadly, I think so much of this is a control issue, that is wanting to control others instead of allowing the Holy Spirit to guide them.

I want no part of all these rules and regulations that no man or woman can attain, but that someone is always going to be watching you instead of themselves.

linda said...

Thank you for feeding us so richly, Pastor Wade!

Thoughts from our breakfast table:

Satan must surely laugh when he gets us to debate theology rather than proclaim Christ.

Paul Burleson said...

Thy Peace,

There are probably innumerable motives for living/teaching a systems of laws/rules but, my opinion only, I'm not sure but what a MAJOR reason is measurement. The ability to measure how we are doing with God even. This would enable us to know a sense of worth or value [look how I'm doing] as we measure our progress in life, even the christian life. [God is pleased with me if I/when, I so I must______.

Make your list..

have a quiet time
Memorize scripture
attend church
know correct doctrine
don't drink
don't whatever

It also would enable us to measure ourselves against others. [I'm glad I'm not like_____. At least I haven't done____like he/she did it I know the correct view of this doctrine________.]

None of this fits the life of true grace at all but it sure defines the flesh.

Understanding true Grace only enables us to do whatever we do or don't do driven by..."this is my choice and I make it based on my gratefulness Lord for what YOU'VE done on my behalf."

So if He says to do's done. If He says don't do's not done. But it is because of my BEING what I am by His Grace that drives it and with others I am learning to BE gracious/loving/forgiving as He is to me. Oh the difference grace true makes.

Ramesh said...

Paul Burleson: Amen.

Aussie John said...


I trust there will be many more, like you, who are going to eternity resting on the work of Christ rather than a theological idol or position.

I also must say a loud "AMEN" to your father's comment. He must be a man who is proud of his son!

Conscience said...

Hebrews 8:10 “But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” says the Lord: “I will put My laws into their minds, and I will write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they will be My people.
11 And each person will not teach his fellow citizen,and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know Me, from the least to the greatest of them.
12 For I will be merciful to their wrongdoing, and I will never again remember their sins.”
13 By saying, a new [covenant], He has declared that the first is old. And what is old and aging is about to disappear.

The New Covenant has the Old Laws written on our hearts

Bob Cleveland said...

It occurs to me that, unless we truly embrace the grace of God, we'll never be able to truly shake "legalism", and it's the shaking off of legalism that lets us see others as God sees them. Clothed in the righteousness of Jesus.

If we can't really let go of being legalistic about ourselves, how much more legalistic will our natural man cause us to be when we look at others?

Dr. Mike Kear said...

Amen, Bob Cleveland! said...


You write: The New Covenant has the Old Laws written on our hearts.

The writer of Hebrews answers;

"By saying, a new [covenant], He has declared that the first is old. And what is old and aging is about to disappear" (Hebrews 8:13).

Unless your heart has disappeared with the Old Covenant--and I don't think it has--what has been written on your heart is NOT the 613 laws of the Old Covenant, but the Royal Law of Christ which is to love one another.

On the other hand, those who wish to bind us all to laws from the Old Covenant might be called people with a disappeared heart--or no heart.

Wink. Just kidding.


Inkling said...

One Salient Oversight said:
"So then, what should we do with homosexuals? Homosexual practice is most definitely a sin, but should that mean Christians support its criminalization?"

You raise an excellent question. I don't think the OT punishment gives us much of a guide, because it prescribes the same punishment for adultery yet I don't see anyone rushing to make adultery a capital crime in our culture.

But I do think there are valid arguments for criminalizing it. One can certainly argue that homosexuality has a corrosive effect on the culture, much more so than other sexual sins. Agnostic John Derbyshire has written about this, here, here, and here.

On the other hand, trying to legislate sexual morality creates a number of problems and temptations and injustices.

In hindsight, I think it was a mistake for the Christian right to fight to keep the sodomy laws on the books, because that led to some horrendous law-making by the Supreme Court. We won a few battles but lost the war, and I think it would have been better had we not fought the battles to begin with.

OK, enough rambling for now. I'll run for cover since I've probably said something to offend everybody.

Inkling said...

"Unless your heart has disappeared with the Old Covenant--and I don't think it has--what has been written on your heart is NOT the 613 laws of the Old Covenant, but the Royal Law of Christ which is to love one another."

Wade, I would add to this that even in the OT, the Mosaic law was not the "Law of God" in a strict sense. After all, one of the primary points of the Sermon on the Mount is the huge gulf between the standard of conduct required by the Mosaic law, and the standard of conduct required by God's holiness. Jesus wasn't changing the Mosaic law, He was emphasizing how limited, how loose it was compared to God's perfect holiness.

"For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven." How could this be, if the Mosaic law were a perfect representation of God's true law and nature? And why would Jesus tell us that God softened the Mosaic law because of the hardness of Israel's heart? Surely divorce is not the only concession God made in the Mosaic law.

The OT hints at this in verses like Micah 6:8, but Jesus made it explicit. I agree with Paul that the law is good, but the law was crafted for a particular people who have long since passed from the earth.

ml said...

I think the better statement would be Jesus is the true Israel [See John 15]. Wade, can you give me a source for your Statement number 1 about how the early church saw the Gospel of Matthew as being 5 books? Other than a secondary source, just curious as to whom in the early church stated such a position?


Conscience said...

Do you think you dealt with Hebrews 8 well?
I prefer John Owen's explanation much better than yours. Why do you purport that he supports your proposition when he so ably attacks it?
"Expositors generally observe, that respect is had herein unto the giving of the law on mount Sinai, — that is, in the first covenant; for then the law (that is, “the ten words”) was written in tables of stone. And although the original tables were broken by Moses, when the people had broken the covenant, yet would not God alter that dispensation, nor write his laws any other way, but commanded new tables of stone to be made, and wrote them therein. And this was done, not so much to secure the outward letter of them, as to represent the hardness of the hearts of the people unto whom they were given. God did not, God would not by virtue of that covenant otherwise dispose of his law. And the event that ensued hereon was, that they brake these laws, and abode not in obedience. This event God promiseth to obviate and prevent under the new covenant, and that by writing these laws now in our hearts, which he wrote before only in tables of stone; that is, he will effectually work that obedience in us which the law doth require, for he “worketh in us both to will and to do of his own good pleasure.” The heart, as distinguished from the mind, compriseth the will and the affections; and they are compared unto the tables wherein the letter of the law was engraven. For as by that writing and engraving, the tables received the impression of the letters and words wherein the law was contained, which they did firmly retain and represent, so as that although they were stones still in their nature, yet were they nothing but the law in their use; so by the grace of the new covenant there is a durable impression of the law of God on the wills and affections of men, whereby they answer it, represent it, comply with it, and have a living principle of it abiding in them. Wherefore, as this work must necessarily consist of two parts, namely, the removal out of the heart of whatever is contrary unto the law of God, and the implanting of principles of obedience thereinto; so it comes under a double description or denomination in the Scripture. For sometimes it is called a “taking away of the heart of stone,” or” circumcising of the heart;” and sometimes the “giving of an heart of flesh,” the “writing of the law in our hearts;” — which is the renovation of our natures into the image of God in righteousness and the holiness of truth. Wherefore in this promise the whole of our sanctification, in its beginning and progress, in its work upon our whole souls and all their faculties, is comprised. And we may observe, — Obs. VIII. The work of grace in the new covenant passeth on the whole soul, in all its faculties, powers, and affections, unto their change and renovation. —The whole was corrupted, and the whole must be renewed."

Christiane said...

"So then, what should we do with homosexuals? Homosexual practice is most definitely a sin, but should that mean Christians support its criminalization?"

In the time of Christ among us, another question about a sexual sinner was asked of Lord Christ. Adultery WAS most definitely a sexial sin. And shouldn't Lord Christ agree to support the legal stoning of the guilty one?

What can be learned from what happened in that place of execution?

Did Christ deny 'the law' and its penalty.

So why then did the men put down their stones and walk away, one by one. (Of great importance is that the elders were the first to act.)

They were told this: 'he among you without sin cast the first stone'.

In the end, the 'only person there without sin' was Lord Christ. Did He follow 'the law' as He justly might? No, He did not.

He did not condemn, or execute. He only asked of her to go and sin no more. And then, He continued on His Mission that led ultimately to the Cross where He was the One who paid for her sin.

What can we learn?
What happened there?
We've heard the story and grown 'used to it' but did we really look deeply into the behavior of Lord Christ in that place?

We ask of Christ this:
What should we then do, Teacher, about this homosexual? The person and the sexual sin may have changed; but if we truly are 'with Christ and in Christ'; then, by the grace of the Holy Spirit, we will hear within us, the eternal response of Jesus, still.

ml said...

We learn that Jesus was stoned for the adulterous woman and man and so no death was needed. This is how he fulfilled the demands of the law [2 Cor 5:21]. And we also learn that he tells the woman to go and sin no more. That is if this is really an original scene in the life of Jesus. said...


Um, I think my post points out the agreement of my view with John Owen's on the destruction of heaven and earth being the desctruction of the Jewish state and Temple. Owen would, of course, (as you point out) hold to traditional separation of the Old Covenant Law into moral, civil and ceremonial--an artificial division never found once in Scripture. That is the subject for another post. said...


It's not original source, but for a good discussion of this early church view I would recommend "New Covenant Theology" by Fred Zaspel an Tom Wells. They devote almost an entire chapter on the early church's view of Matthew. said...

Off for ministry this weekend. Blessings to everyone!


TheWayofCain said...

Wade, your interpretations are right on! Full-Preterism is in your future.

Byroniac said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Byroniac said...

TheWayOfCain, I think that Full Preterism is the only logical conclusion of right hermeneutics of the various prophetic passages. I hope Wade will consider it honestly. I think it has much merit.

Have you listened to any of the sermons on the last days at Sovereign Grace Bible? I have not listened to them all, yet. But the material is fascinating and difficult to argue.

feetxxxl said...

the sole purpose of the law under the new covenant is make us conscious of NOT......NOT godloving our neighbors as ourselves.(romans)

by living our lives directed by the three commandments of love, we believers not only automatically obey the law, for which we receive no righteousness, but we do much more , we fulfill it, just as christ did.........................christ who said....... follow me.

when christ said love one another as i have loved you, he was telling believers that they were to love as he, god, loved when he walked this earth.

because his indwelling spirit, now lives in us, it is thru the grace of this indwelling spirit in our intimate relationship of faith in and with him that we love as he loved.

Ramesh said...

Off Topic:

Les Puryear had one more last word (705 words) on this episode here. William Thornton had this in reply to Les Puryear, here.

Anonymous said...

Kevin - I am yella? Really. Oh well, pride cometh before a fall and you are proud. Or did I read that wrong too. Proud and arrogant go hand in hand.

"But one thing I am proud of is the fact that I never post behind the veil secrecy."

New BBC Open Forum said...


I found this one to be more interesting.

With that, I am scared ...


That's funny, Wade.

feetxxxl said...

bottom line:

a "bible says" mindset is an old covenant approach to a relationship to god thru regulation as in deut 28, because a "bible says" approach implies regulation. under new covenant, even from the beginning of christ ministry, we are not to be led by regulation but instead by the three commandments of love.

"A voice of one calling in the desert,
'Prepare the way for the Lord,
make straight paths for him.' "

"He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire."
""If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. "

that is what christ was saying when he said whoever "has not sinned......" that, 2nd commandment( love your neighbor.....)was the fulfillment of the law (the fulfillment of the law being love) and that stoning the adultress would be a violation of that love.

in regards to homosexuality, if homosexuality in any way was a violation of the 2nd commandment(love your neighbor....)(the summation of all new covenant law), jesus would have mentioned it. because jesus teachings like pauls were not thru the law but about voilation of the spirit of god, violation of his love. like murder being more than physical killing, and lust being about the heart.

christ brought and expanded understanding of god's love, and what it meant to godlove neighbor and self, and the father. jesus tells we are to godlove as he godloved.

in truth our witness thru the grace of christ (his indwelling in us) is our leading, it substaniates and guides our understanding of new covenant law(about what is NOT GODLOVING) in the same way it guided john to know who was the christ "that which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life." thru fellowship of walking in the light.
romans1:20For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.
as believers we are called to witness what is of god's divine nature in being homosexual thru our hearts thru the indwelling of the spirit that lives in us, and standing on a understanding of the law regardless of who promotes it and how long it has been promoted, does not trump this, and is no excuse.

as jesus said, "we believers would recognize them by their fruit" the fruit of the spirit that was in their lives.(gal5)

Lydia said...

Les Puryear had one more last word (705 words) on this episode here. William Thornton had this in reply to Les Puryear, here.

Fri Feb 19, 11:16:00 PM 2010

LOL! I did not get past the first sentence. Les is using the typical SBC playbook tactics.

Here is the first sentence:

"In reading the blogs and forums it seems that I am not very popular among moderates and Wade Burleson supporters. I must be doing something right. :)"

See, all you have to do to make anyone who disagrees with you the bad guy is to label them all and dismiss them.

He missed one category because there are some serious lefties who comment here. Some had made it clear they hate fundamentalists while they preach love. You missed that category, Les.

What Les and his buddies don't get is that all kinds comment here but that does not mean we agree with Wade everything. I have made that clear over the past year with some serious disagreement. Kevin makes it clear every 5 minutes.

The REAL reason folks are here is because he does not moderate yet discusses topics indepth. It is not the typical SBC place where the ruling authorities are deleting and moderating anyone who dares to disagree with the great ones. They have become so arrogant they cannot have any serious interaction or debate with those who disagree with them. They have gotten too used to their words being the law to the sheep in their little worlds.

Very few of us have missed the fact that from day one, Les has refused to have INTERACTION and debate about a 'tithe' system for the NC. He has just called us names and tried to divert attention from what he did.

Lydia said...

"As I was told by an SBC official, "No one pays any attention to Wade Burleson." I tend to disagree with that statement. There are a few people who care what Wade Burleson says: liberals, moderates, and disgruntled Southern Baptists. I am not among that number. "

OOOH, the insults get better!

Hey Les, why not both you the the "official" be real 'men', as you all like to term it, and give his name. If it got out that he insulted Wade and the commenters here, he might just get a promotion over it. At the very least, he is assured job security unless the money dries up.

So why not give his name?

Lydia said...

Thornton's excellent point about who is the bully:

"Burleson, according to Les, is the one using "bullying" tactics. Yeah? Then, please publish Burleson's email that he sent to your deacons asking if they think you should keep your job? Oh, no email like that? "

Anonymous said...

GCRTF "unanimous" report Monday by RF to EC. Some say SBC will change forever.

Tom Kelley said...

Kevin M. Crowder said...

GCRTF "unanimous" report Monday by RF to EC. Some say SBC will change forever.

Depending on the change, that could be a good thing.

Anonymous said...

Conversely, depending on the change, that could be a bad thing.

Either way the whole thing has been behind closed doors by the handpicked princes of the church. But rest assured the Convention will get 10 minutes to discuss before they vote...BFM2000 comes to mind.

Christiane said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Christiane said...

Les is not the one to give Richard Behney of Indiana lessons in back-peddling.

Actually, when these guys are documented by their e-mails and their taped video speeches, there is little more to be said.

'Oh, that's not what I meant' in both cases sounds so very lame.

Kelly said...

Just a question about "heaven and earth". In Revelation when a "new heaven and new earth" are spoken of and when Peter says this world is reserved for fire, how would you interpret those passages in light of your explanation? I find this very interesting and honestly would like to hear your answer. Please take this question as someone wishing to learn.

With that would you say that Revelation was written earlier than most think, would you say it was written before 70 AD and the destruction of the Temple - I have thought that was a possibility for a while and am leaning more to that conclusion in the last few years.

How would you see this in view of Christ coming for His Bride and the wedding motif of Scripture, being our marriage contract? Hope this makes sense. Thank you for your time.

TheWayofCain said...


Yes, I found his sermons several years ago. He was a partial-pret but when I returned to his site a few years later he had become what seems to be a full-pretrist. (He saw what we saw)Unfortunately he is no longer pastoring. His sermons can also be found here(along with many others):

Perhaps you can clue me in on how to post a link????


Some excellent books on the dating of Revelation:

An excellent book on the wedding motiff is covered in Preston's latest book:

Byroniac said...

TheWayOfCain, you can use HTML to do that, so try looking up the A (for Anchor) HTML element. It's easy, but it's also easy to forget to close the tag out (you have to have a begin tag and an ending tag for it)

Thanks for all the links.

TheWayofCain said...

How do you close it? I keep getting this:

Your HTML cannot be accepted: Tag is not closed: A

Byroniac said...


it's supposed to look something like (except I am using parentheses):

(a href="")What you want underlined(/a)

Ramesh said...

Use this example here, for html links.

Ramesh said...

Blogger > Help > How do I make a link to another webpage?.

TheWayofCain said...

We Shall Meet Him in the Air

Thanks guys! But it's going to take awhile to memorize all that.

TheWayofCain said...

Have Heaven and Earth Passed away

You've created a monster. :)

Byroniac said...

We may have created the Son of Thy Link, or Thy Link II :)

Ramesh said...

Ministry of Reconciliation [Debbie Kaufman] > The Truth, The Whole Truth, And Nothing But The Truth. Is Ergun Caner Being Truthful?.

A very active blog post with lots of comments!

Christiane said...

Sharing from a Lenten Psalm

"I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,
and in His Word I hope;

my soul waits for the Lord

more than watchmen for the morning,

more than watchmen for the morning."

Gene S said...


Remember Paul described himself as a "Pharisee of all Pharisees."

The sad part of his Damascus Road experience is that it caused him to convert to Christianity, BUT it didn't eliminate his legalisms of the Pharisee.

Had he been married, it would likely have been different. Every time I give my wife a jab about being quiet and submissive, I have my running shoes on because those green eyes are about to send out their laser beam stare followed by, "WHAT DID YOU JUST SAY???"

Wisely, I usually say, "It was just a joke," before she puts her hand on the frying pan.

Any man who claims his wife is always submissive is---just lying!

He is also likely sleeping on the sofa or in the dog house behind Magnolia Hill! I remember well PP's President's article about taking his beloved hound dog into the President's home at SEBTS--and quickly having "Miss Dorothy" inform him she would have no dog paw prints on her carpet.

Now, is this proper "submission" in accordance with our current "Pharisee of Pharisees?"

feetxxxl said...

apart from all that is about godloving ones neighbor as onesself.

"everything is permissible but not everything is constructive."

paul wasnt being legalistic, no more than he was when he had timothy circumcised. what paul was saying was that though women teaching in church was permissible, he did not find it constructive in his churches because of the cultural conditions he was dealing at the time.

under the new covenant, we do not live under regulation but instead under the grace of the indwelling spirit that lives in each believer. whose relationship with, we are led by(him being yoked to our new heart of flesh on which is written the new covenant) and are shown all truth.

Bob Cleveland said...


That thought came from Paul not in a discussion about who could teach what, but in a discussion about the use of his body. He said all things were lawful (or permissible) for him, but not all was profitable or beneficial for him to do.

Unless he said that somewhere that's currently escaping my mind.

Tom Kelley said...

Gene S said...


Remember Paul described himself as a "Pharisee of all Pharisees."

The sad part of his Damascus Road experience is that it caused him to convert to Christianity, BUT it didn't eliminate his legalisms of the Pharisee.

Paul a legalist? Seriously? Can you give some examples?

Ramesh said...

Lot of blogging activity in here:

Ministry of Reconciliation [Debbie Kaufman] > Hey Over Here! Remember Me? The Truth ,The Whole Truth, And Ergun Caner pt. 2.

SBC Today > The Cost of Following Christ.

Even James White has joined the comment section here.


Gene S said...


I have read his letters which make what I say clear!

Have you read any of them to even ask for any proof???


Tom Kelley said...

Assume I haven't and I am a complete dunce and enlighten me, please.

Anonymous said...


I think I understand what you mean when you say Paul was a legalist. Certainly what he says in Scripture hits to the heart of our lives as we desire to live free in Christ. But I believe that a certain amount of legalism might be necessary to keep the flesh close to righteousness so that the heart can have a "mind like Christ." No doubt that was Paul's yearning (even zealous) desire as he penned the Words of our Lord, unbeknownst to him, in his epistles. It is very difficult however for me, as one who believes the authority of every word of the 66 book canon, to take passages like 1 Corinthians 11:4-15 and call them irrelevant to our modern context, yet that is exactly what we must do. But, Paul himself gives us this out with 11:2 and 11:16. Additionally, Paul (the legalist) in THAT context is telling the Corinthian Church here at the very beginning of this "divisions in worship" pericope to be "imitators of me, as I am of Christ." Thus these tangible actions which he even calls "traditions" are for the good of the people in that day and that time and hardly can be applicable directly to us today. Though, some missionaries in other cultures can take principlic understanding from Paul's actions--in their specific time and place.

He then goes into the sacramental sign of the new covenant, then on to Spiritual Gifts infused with love. I am working on a series of lessons which refuse chapters 12 and 13 to better explain, from my perspective, what Paul was trying to get across here. In that light, chapters 11 and 14 can be better understood.

So yes, Paul was a legalist, but a product of his day and calling. He had to be who he was for our Lord to have used him in the ways in which he did, and to give us through the pen of Paul, the "Theology of God."

I just pray however that calling Paul a legalist would not make someone discount his words. For "they are faithful and true."

Anonymous said...

Not sure where the "az" came from Gene. I promise you, you are not an "az" lol

feetxxxl said...

paul was anything but a legalist or an ideolog. paul one of the most ferverent persecutors of believers, was taught not by the apostles but directly by christ himself.

he never taught thru the law, not even about the man who had his father's wife.

Gene S said...

Remember, Paul was a persecuter of Christians because of his position as a Pharisee.

From the beginning of his ministry as a new follower of Christ, there was conflict between him and the Apostles. It had to do with ego and who was closest to the human Jesus.

By "legalist" I mean Paul was constantly thinking in terms of rules which needed to be followed in order to be a more true follower of Christ.

Jesus, on the other hand, was the Son of God. He was fully human and fully divine.

He boiled down the law into 2 simple fronts: Love God and Love your neighbor as yourself.

He was advocating a direct relationship to God through faith in him as opposed to the constant need for sacrifice and the following of the Talmud. The Pharisees had build a fence around the law full of a multitude of minute rules like you can't even pluck grain on the Sabbath or it would be considered harvesting.

I think you get my drift.

Again, read Paul's writings for yourself and see if you don't find the mind and control of a Pharisee-oriented person.

You can take the boy out of the country, but you can't take the country out of the boy. Otherwise, Paul and Peter would have found a way to continue as brothers in their faith in Jesus as the Christ.

Tom Kelley said...

Kevin & Gene,
I guess one or both of you are using a different definition of legalist than I would. I would normally think of a legalist as basically someone who adds conditions beyond scripture for being right with God (either to be saved or to be considered a "good, spiritual Christian"). Since Paul's writings are the inspired Word of God, everything he wrote is true and trustworthy for us in living our lives rightly before God. So I can't see how anything in his epistles could be considered legalism.

What does it mean to you when you say Paul was a legalist?

Tom Kelley said...

Just saw your latest post. I can't see any other way to take what you are saying but as a denial that everything Paul wrote in the Bible was under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. It sounds like you are saying that Paul taught things that placed additional expectations on us beyond what God wanted. I hope that I have misunderstood, but if that's what you believe, that's your right, but it is neither a Baptist nor a Christian perspective.

Tom Kelley said...

Kevin M. Crowder said...
But I believe that a certain amount of legalism might be necessary to keep the flesh close to righteousness so that the heart can have a "mind like Christ."

I don't get this. Paul placed no confidence in the flesh, nor in the law to subdue it, "because the mind of the flesh is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can it be" (Romans 8:7).

Kevin, you are such a pro-nomian!

Anonymous said...

To the Rapper T Kelley,

I find no conflict between the words of Christ and the word of Paul. For as you say they are, such that is recorded, ALL the Words of Christ. Saul was a zealot. Paul was an Apostle. Both had a sin nature, the later's was being crucified daily. Paul was the man he was because God made Saul to be who he was. Strange dichotomy? Sure! But praise be to God.

Some would have us believe that Jesus was a pansy flower child. Not so. He was God, but He was also wild, and had a full and natural (though sinless) desire for life--full of joy. He preached love, not as an extant commandment, but as thread to be weaved through all of life "in Him." It is the love of Christ which keeps us obedient to the righteous requirements of God.

Paul was NOT a legalist in the pejorative sense that is thrown around on here from time to time. Paul was one wholly and holy dedicated to obedience to the One who blinded him, yet made him see.


Anonymous said...

To the Rapper T Kelley,

I may love the law, but I don't keep it any better than you do I promise.


Tom Kelley said...

No, I bet you do keep the law better than I do.

(See? I'm such a sinner I just bet. I bet you don't bet. Ugh, I did it again.)

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Please vote:





T Kelley: Nope, I don't bet, I swear!


Tom Kelley said...

Kevin M. Crowder said...
Nope, I don't bet, I swear!

LOL! Very Spurgeon-esque.

I vote idontknomian.


Gene S said...

I have to get an early start on my day and don't have time right now to give a properly backed up scriptural answer.

My general statement stands. Basically I see it as Jesus set the example and Paul put some Pharisee to it by dealing with details of behaviour out of line with what he believed was right.

In no way am I saying he was wrong, but I am saying legalism was much more in the picture than with Jesus.

Some of you who have the day to play on the puter can probably help me and not keep folks waiting for my answer. The more you read Paul, the more you will see what I am trying to say.

Anonymous said...

It is interesting to note however that the man Jesus Christ never wrote a book in the New Testament. The Seven Letters to the Seven Churches are the closest we get to word for word "write these things." Yet still in the pen of John.

The Gospels give us the accounts of 2 Apostles, a Doctor, and the strange bird John Mark. The Beloved Apostle give us one more extensive epistle, then a couple short quips and an obscure vision. The Doctor writes a history book and Peter, not to be outdone my Paul, write his systematic theology in a manner similar to Paul giving us some new insight while really confusing us in other places. Then Paul and his 12 letters plus this strange anonymous yet strangely Pauline type letter called Hebrews.

How foolish it would be of us to simply read Scripture in a dronish fashion without learning what we can about the person and styles of each of the authors.

Ap. Matthew, John Mark, Luke, Ap. John the Beloved, Ap. Paul of Tarsus, The Writer of Hebrews, and The Arch-Rev. Ap. Peter, and St. Jude.

Each of these men were informed by The Christ either directly or indirectly. The Canon of Scripture, indeed the Word of God would be incomplete without even one of them. To know the Christ is to know them all. The good, the bad, and the ugly.

To be "like Christ" is not to follow a set of words or actions recorded by man (That would be legalistic). For barely have a glimpse of the man Christ and all he said and did on earth. We only have enough to inform our theology as seen fit by The Ancient of Days.

To be like Christ is to be moved and powered by the Holy Spirit, who informs all revelation.

Tom Kelley said...

Ok, good to know you aren't saying Paul was wrong. But based on my use of the term legalism, which I believe is a wrong thing, I can't go with the use of that term for Paul's writings.

Jesus gave plenty of "rules", too, if you want to look at it that way -- perhaps we have more rules from Paul simply because more of the New Testamant was written by him than by those who recorded the words of Jesus.

Paul abandoned his Pharisical views of relating to God when he experienced the grace of God in Christ. Any behaviors that Paul spoke for or against with were not a result of his own personal views about right and wrong, they were the behaviors that God wants us to have.

Tom Kelley said...

I seriously doubt that Peter's motivation in writing his epistles was to avoid being outdone by Paul. But who knows? Thankfully God can and does work through us despite our basest inclinatons. And I agree that some of Peter's writings are less than crystal clear at points, kinda messing with our attempts to do a clean systematic theology. :)

I think we have a bit more recorded about Jesus in the gospels than just enough to inform our theology. But I agree that the gospels give us only a part of the picture, and all of the NT (and OT) reveal Christ. And knowing about the authors, their backgrounds, they styles, etc., certainly helps clarify things.

"To be like Christ is to be moved and powered by the Holy Spirit, who informs all revelation."

Amen to that.


Stephen Garrett said...

Dear Wade:

I agree that Jesus is the new lawgiver and that we are not under the laws of the old covenant, including Sabbath and tithing laws. Excellent! I also agree that the division of the O.T. laws into civil, moral, and ceremonial, is arbitrary and without a scriptural basis. This needs to be preached.

I do not agree, however, with you preterism or the making of heaven and earth passing away to be the passing away of the old covenant. I hope you will reconsider this.



Byroniac said...


I am sure you know there are varieties of preterism, and several are considered orthodox (obviously not full preterism). I am not entirely convinced that full preterism is true, but I am at least a partial preterist, and consider the full preterism to have merit.

feetxxxl said...

read heb 8.

"what is called old will become obsolete and soon pass away."

it has since passed away.

what is there in the old covenant that is needed to a supplement to the new covenant.