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Contradictions in Scripture?

Note: WLC does not endorse the erroneous names applied to the Father & Son by the author of the following article, but has left the original work (by Mr. Richard Anthony) intact.  For more on the Sacred Names of the Father & Son, please see Why Yahuwah & Yahushua Only. -WLC Team

By: Richard Anthony

The variations contained in the scripture actually indicate the Truth of the Scripture.

In a court today, if witnesses all testify precisely the same regarding an incident, the conclusion is, not that they are truthful, but that they are perjurers. Why? Because experience teaches us that no two people see an event exactly alike. One point impresses one witness; another point impresses another. Again, they may all have heard exactly the same words spoken in connection with the event, but each reports the words a little differently. One witness may even report certain parts of a conversation that the other witnesses do not report. But so long as there is no clear contradiction in the thought or meaning of the variant statements, the witnesses may be considered to have told the truth. Indeed, apparently contradictory statements may often prove to be not contradictory at all, but actually complementary.

All experience, and especially the experience of the courts through the long years, leads to the conclusion that truthful witnessing need not be - indeed, should not be - equated with carbon-copy identity of testimony of the different witnesses to an event, including their testimony as to what was said at the particular event.

1.    How can the Bible say God made the world (Acts 17:24) and loves the world (John 3:16) on the one hand, and then turn around and tell us not to love the world (1 John 2:15) on the other? Is this a contradiction in the Bible?

Answer: No, but it does need some explanation. The Bible uses the word "world" in three different ways. First, it can mean the material universe or earth which God created. This is how the word is used in Act 17:24. Second, it can mean the world of mankind, as in John 3:16. God loves all people. Third, it can mean the affairs and things of ungodly men. This is how the word is used in 1 John 2:15-16, and this is the primary meaning of the word "world" throughout the New Testament.

2.    In the first day of creation, God divided the light from the dark (Genesis 1:4), but the sun was not created until the fourth day (Genesis 1:16)! How do you explain this?

Please see: When was the Moon Created? Does the Day Really Matter? 

3.    Is God both good and evil? Isaiah 45:7.

Answer: Notice it does not say that God is evil but that He creates evil. What this is saying is that God has allowed evil to co-exist in this sphere in order to test man as well as to perfect him. It is in the midst of such opposition, unpleasant though it often is, that man grows spiritually the most. Therefore, as God gave Satan permission to afflict Job, so He permits the same with us, unless our affliction is of our own making or the collective fault of unredeemed society. God creates evil, yes, but not the evil of sin, he creates the evil of punishment. He is the Author of all that is true, holy, and good, but evil, error, and misery came into the world by his permission, through the willful disobedience of man, but are restrained and overruled to his righteous purpose. Evil is the instrument which he employs in his government, and is permitted by him in order to execute his wise and just decrees.

4.    The Gospel records Jesus' prayer in Gethsemane (John 17:1-26; Luke 22:39-46), but the writers were asleep when Jesus prayed. How do you explain this?

Answer: Some believe it was revealed to the apostle John by revelation after the event. This is a possible explanation but unlikely. We know the disciples were asleep whilst Jesus prayed but what we don't know is how much of the prayer they heard, or didn't hear. Let us remember these facts: (1) Jesus was only a "stone's throw away" from the disciples; (2) The silence of the night was around them; and (3) it is more than likely that Jesus prayed aloud because people did everything aloud in those days. Therefore, the disciples heard the opening words of the prayer before they went to sleep.

Sit down and read Jesus' Prayer aloud for yourself and time how long it takes you (John 17:1-26; Luke 22:39-46). I would estimate that this is a three minute prayer. I very much doubt that the disciples fell asleep instantly and that Jesus returned to them three minutes later. What is more probable is that this prayer was the introduction to a much longer prayer. The Comforter brought the part which they had heard back to remembrance after He had ascended, this being a promise made to them (John 14:26 ). Thus the part of the prayer we have recorded is that which the disciples could remember. It must be the part they heard whilst they were fully awake. No doubt providence intended that we hear no more, and no doubt the same providence had intended that they fall asleep too.

5.    Jesus said, "If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true" (John 5:31) and then claims, "I am one that bear witness of myself" (John 8:18). Aren't these contradictory comments?

Answer: Jesus did not claim Himself as a witness. Jesus said His own witness agreed with the witness of the Father (John 8:18), satisfying the Law's requirement of two witnesses (John 8:17).

6.    After Moses and Aaron turned all the waters that were in the Nile river into blood (Exodus 7:20), the magicians did the same (verse 22). But if all the water in Egypt was turned into blood by Moses, where did the magicians get the water which they changed into blood?

Answer: This question is answered in Exodus 7:24. The Egyptians digged round about the river for water to drink, and it seems that the water obtained by this means was not bloody like that in the river. On this water therefore the magicians might operate. Again, though a general commission was given to Moses, not only to turn the waters of the river (Nile) into blood, but also those of their streams, rivers, ponds, and pools (Exodus 7:19); yet it seems pretty clear from Exodus 7:20 that he did not proceed thus far, at least in the first instance; for it is there stated that only the waters of the river were turned into blood. Afterwards the plague doubtless became general. At the commencement therefore of this plague, the magicians might obtain other water to imitate the miracle; and it would not be difficult for them, by juggling tricks or the assistance of a familiar spirit, to give it a bloody appearance, a fetid smell, and a bad taste. On either of these grounds there is no contradiction in the Mosaic account, though some have been very studious to find one.

7.    If God is full of love, why did he destroy nations?

Answer: He destroyed them out of love for the people. Just like the world interceded and destroyed Nazi Germany to protect the people of the world from violence, God did likewise. God destroyed the land in the time of Noah because of the violence it was filled with (Genesis 6:13). God destroyed Sodom and Gomorra because of the violence that it was filled with (Genesis 13:13), and the fact that there was not one righteous man living there (Genesis 18:16-25). He threatened to destroy Nineveh because of the violence in their land (Jonah 3:8), but Nineveh changed their ways and was spared (verse 10). God destroyed Jerusalem because the city was full of violence (Ezekiel 7:23-25). God could not find one righteous man in Israel, so he had to destroy it to save the people from their misery (Ezekiel 22:29-31). If God would have found even one man that sought God's Truth, God would have pardoned it (Jeremiah 5:1).

8.    For a chapter and a half, David has been Saul's personal musician, and in 1 Samuel 17:55-58, Saul wants to know who David is? The Scripture is not reliable!

Answer: Saul never asked, "Who is this man", he didn't want to know who David was! He asked, three times, the same basic question. He wanted to know whose son he was (verses 55,56,58). He wanted to know who David's father was!

9.    Did David buy it for fifty shekels of silver, or six hundred shekels of gold? 2 Samuel 24:24, 1 Chronicles 21:25.

Answer: In Samuel, David purchased the threshing floor and the oxen, and there built an altar to the Lord. In Chronicles, David bought the whole place. Being much larger than the threshing, he paid more. Solomon's temple could not have been built on a threshing floor (2 Chronicles 3:1). The fifty shekels of silver was the earnest payment, and the six hundred shekels of gold the total price.

10.Why does Matthew attribute a quote about the potter's field to Jeremiah, when Jeremiah has no such passage, and the closest one in the Old Testament is Zechariah (Matthew 27:9-10; Zechariah 11:12)?

Answer: Matthew 27:9 says this prophesy was "spoken by Jeremy (Jeremiah)." Some prophecies were spoken and not written. Some others were not spoken but only written, while some others were both spoken and written. When we read a quotation that says "as it is written", we will find it 100% in the Scripture, since it is guaranteed that it is written. However, when what is quoted is said that it was simply spoken, then we may find it written but we may also not find it written. The Word does not guarantee that it was written. What it guarantees is that it was spoken. This prophecy was only spoken by the prophets and it was latter written down by Matthew.

There are sixteen quotations in the Scripture for which we are told that they were spoken. These are Matthew 1:22, 2:15, 17, 23, 3:13, 4:14, 8:17, 12:17, 13:35, 21:4, 22:31, 24:15, 27:9, 27:35, Mark 13:14, and Acts 2:16. To see whether they were both spoken and written, or whether they were only spoken, we have to search the Scripture to see if we can find them. A search like this shows that most of the prophecies that were spoken were also written, but not all of them (Matthew 2:23 and 27:10 for instance).

11.Matthew 2:23 is a cause of trouble since the spoken prophecy that the Messiah would be called a Nazarene can nowhere be found written in the Old Testament.

Answer: Again, this is a prophesy that was spoken, so it is not necessarily written (see above answer). However, you may also consider this:

First, you must understand that a "Nazarene" is not a "Nazarite." There's the Nazerite vow (Numbers 6:13), Samson was a Nazarite (Judges 13:5,24), but a "Nazarene" simply means a citizen of Nazarite. There are passages in the Old Testament which say Jesus would be called a Nazarene, but it's a matter of what is meant by the term "Nazarene." A "Nazarene" came to be a synonym for one who is contemptible or despised (John 1:46). We see similar terms today dealing with racism and nationalism. But notice that the previous two prophesies in Matthew 2; verse 15 says "the prophet, saying..." (singular) then he quotes directly from the scripture; verse 17 says "Jeremiah the prophet, saying..." (singular) then he quotes directly from Jeremiah. But notice how verse 23 is worded, "which was spoken by the prophets,..." (plural) and there's no word "saying" indicating a direct quote, "He shall be called a Nazarene." Notice the difference? It's because Matthew is using a summation statement. He's using something that the people of his time would be familiar with which would state the same thing that the prophets stated in Isaiah 49:7; 53:3, Psalm 22:6, that he would be despised.

12.Then what about 1Corinthians 15:4: "Christ rose again the third day, according to the Scriptures"? Where is it written in the Old Testament that Christ would rise the third day? You may search the Old Testament for prophesies of Jesus' death, burial and resurrection on the third day, but you will never find them!

Answer: Hosea 6:2 says, "After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight." This is antitypical language which refers to Messiah, the ideal Israel (Isaiah 49:3; compare Hosea 11:1, Matthew 2:15), who was raised on the third day (John 2:19; 1Corinthians 15:4; compare Isaiah 53:10). Compare the similar use of Israel's political resurrection as the type of the general resurrection of which "Christ is the first-fruits" (Isaiah 26:19; Ezekiel 37:1-14; Daniel 12:2).

Additionally, 2 Peter 3:16 says that the "epistles" are scriptures also. So, the "scriptures" in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 could easily refer to the epistles from the new Testament books, many of which were written prior to the writing of 1 Corinthians.

13.Matthew 12:30 says those who are neutral are against Jesus, but Mark 9:40 says those who are neutral are for Jesus.

Answer: These two verses address two different situations. In Matthew 12:30, when it comes to the critical point of accepting or rejecting Jesus, not being for Jesus amounts to opposing Him (John 3:18). In Mark 9:40, when it comes to someone attempting to work in Christ's name, but perhaps with less than a full knowledge of him (Acts 18:25), there is no need to believe he is against Christ.

14.The Scripture tells us to seek and understand God (Psalms 53:2, Proverbs 2:5, Daniel 9:13 ), but at the same time says that God cannot be understood (Job 11:7; 37:23, Romans 11:33).

Answer: To quote from Job 11:7; 37:23 is misleading. It is like quoting from the Jews who said Jesus was a sinner, and then quote from Jesus who said he was not a sinner, and claim the Scripture contradicts itself.

Job 11:7 is a quote from what Zophar said, and Job 37:23 is a quote from what Elihu said. These two people condemned righteous Job falsely. God condemned Zophar and Elihu for what they said! God himself said of these 2 people that they spoke wrong: Job 42:7, "...for ye have not spoken of me the thing that is right." Therefore, these 2 verses are not the teachings of God, but of man.

As for Romans 11:33, this verse is saying how unattainable it is to have the same wisdom and knowledge that God possesses, not how hard it is to understand God. The point is that man, in a limited, physical body, cannot know the same knowledge that an infinite, spiritual entity possesses. For example, someone can say they "know" someone, like their wife. And they do! They know their thoughts, what they will choose to do, how they react to situations, etc. They know them! But what that husband doesn't know is all the wisdom and knowledge that she herself possesses. Only she knows that. And with God, it is impossible for a pea-brained man to have the same amount of knowledge that an infinite God possesses.

15."Those that seek me early shall find me" (Proverbs 8:17; Luke 11:9-10) contradicts "they shall seek me early, but shall not find me" (Proverbs 1:28).

Answer: Proverbs 8:17 is in reference to only those who "love" the Lord. Proverbs 1:28 is in reference to fools (verse 7) and sinners (verse 9), who do not love the Lord. In Luke 11:9-10, only those who have a repentant heart can ask and seek God's knowledge. Proverbs 1:28 is dealing with sinners who are in calamity, distress, and anguish (verses 26-27) and despise the knowledge of God (verses 29-30), who are seeking God out of selfishness, not a repentant heart.

16.With God all things are possible (Matthew 19:26), God is all powerful (Jeremiah 32:27), yet God "could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley, because they had chariots of iron" (Judges 1:19).

Answer: It was not God, but Judah, who could not do this. God's spirit was with Judah, and he approved of what Judah was doing, but it was not God's will, at that time, that the inhabitants be driven out. Judah probably prayed, "Please help me drive these inhabitant out, if it be your will". Just like Jesus prayed for the Father to "let this cup pass" from him, and added, "nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt" (Matthew 26:39). Just like Jesus placed God's will above his own will, Judah would not want to have done something contrary to God's will.

17.Is God a Deceiver? Jeremiah says, "Lord GOD! surely thou hast greatly deceived this people and Jerusalem, saying, Ye shall have peace" (Jeremiah 4:10)?

Answer: No. Jeremiah is the speaker of this passage. If one reads Jeremiah, he will find that there were many false prophets that prophesied that there would be peace. In fact, the only prophet that spoke the word of God, the only genuine prophet, was Jeremiah whose prophecy was constantly a warning to the people of Israel for the destruction that would come (and finally came) if they continued to disobey God.

Those prophets, through whom the deception came, prophesied by Baal. The Lord never spoke to them. This is the literal truth. When Jeremiah 4:10 says that the Lord deceived the people, this was only Jeremiah's opinion at the time he spoke this. He later came to the truth that the Lord never spoke to these false prophets, and tells us by whom those false prophets prophesied by:

Jeremiah 23:13, 16-17, 21, "And I (the Lord) have seen folly in the prophets of Samaria: they prophesied by Baal ........ Thus says the Lord of hosts: Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you...... They continually say to those who despise me, The Lord has said, you shall have peace......... I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran. I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied." (See also Jeremiah 2:8; 6:14; 8:11; 28).

18.Jeremiah complains and says "O LORD, thou hast deceived me" (Jeremiah 20:7), and Ezekiel 14:9 says, "And if the prophet be deceived when he hath spoken a thing, I the LORD have deceived that prophet.

Answer: Jeremiah's complaint was due to his infirmity in consequence of his imprisonment. Thou didst promise never to give me up to the will of mine enemies, and yet Thou hast done so. But Jeremiah misunderstood God's promise, which was not that he should have nothing to suffer, but that God would deliver him out of sufferings (Jeremiah 1:19). Under its pressure, the best of men are liable to lose their patience, and indulge in unbecoming complaints concerning God's providence.

19.The prophet Micaiah says "...the LORD hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of these thy prophets, and the LORD hath spoken evil against thee" (2 Chronicles 18:22). How do you explain this?

Answer: When read in context (2 Chronicles 18:18-22), this is basically what it says:

"Then the spirit of Naboth of Jezreel came out from the abode of the righteous, and stood before the Lord, and said, I will deceive him. And the Lord said, By what means? To which he answered, I will be a spirit of false prophecy in the mouth of his prophets. And the Lord said, Thou mayest then. But although the power of deceiving them is given unto thee, nevertheless it will not be lawful for thee to sit among the righteous; for whosoever shall speak falsely cannot have a mansion among the righteous. Therefore go forth from me, and do as thou hast said."

To those who would not believe the truth, God sent a strong delusion, that they would believe lies:

2 Thessalonians 2:11, "And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:"

20.Jesus said, "…whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire" (Matthew 5:22). Since Jesus called people "fools" (Matthew 23:17,19) does that mean Jesus is in danger of hell fire?

Answer: No. This verse is taken out of context. One key to understanding Matthew 5:22-24 is to recognize that it deals with a disciple's relationship to his "brother." "Brother" does not refer to males having the same parent, but to those of the same spiritual family -- in this case, to Jesus' disciples (Matthew 12:48-50). A brother is a member of the Christ's assembly (Matthew 18:15-17; 28:10). The term is a general reference to the members of the household of faith. Never to enemies.

In Mathew 23, Jesus was calling his enemies, the scribes and Pharisees, "fools". Matthew 5 is in reference to calling a "brother" a fool. To properly apply Matthew 5:22 to enemies, Jesus must, at times, use "brother" to refer to an enemy. Yet, nowhere in Jesus' teaching, nowhere in the New Testament, does brother ever refer to an enemy. Moreover, 2 Thessalonians 3:15 tells us that if we find it necessary to disfellowship a brother for moral reasons, we are not to regard him as an enemy. An enemy is not a brother.

So when Jesus teaches against anger directed toward a brother, Jesus is teaching his disciples to love one another. He is not commenting on their relationships with those outside the faith, or with those who have departed from the faith, or with enemies. What he would not stand for was for one of his disciples calling another disciple a fool.

21.The Old Testament says "an eye for an eye" (Exodus 21:24), but the New Testament has the opposite! (Matthew 5:38-39) Why?

Answer: This "An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, foot for foot" statement is no more to be taken literally than when Jesus said we should pluck out our eyes (Matthew 5:29) or cut off our hands (Matthew 5:30) to avoid sinning. We know that Jesus did not mean for us to take Him in a literal fashion, for to dismember one's body would violate the Law of God. If one were to maliciously cut off another's hand, it would not help the victim if the evil doer simply had his hand removed. A criminal minus one hand could not very well repay his victim for he would not be so readily employable.

The Old Testament standard of justice of an "eye for eye, tooth for tooth" was not intended as a justification for revenge, as is popularly believed. When originally framed and set forth by Moses, this code was intended to attain equal and consistent justice and to limit vengeful retaliation. Under most ancient legal systems, noblemen and higher classes received less punishment than did servants or slaves who committed similar offenses. It was also common for a lower class person to be killed or seriously injured in retaliation for a very minor injury caused to someone of a privileged class. As part of the law of retaliation, this ordinance was meant to check passionate vengeance for a slight injury, and was meant to limit retaliation only to the extent of the first wrongful act and to provide equal justice for everyone.

When Jesus spoke in Matthew 5:38-39, He was attacking the common misconceptions and misapplications of God's Law in His day. The Pharisees and their followers misused this law as a principle of personal revenge, so that they could give "tit for tat" to those who harmed them. A law which was meant to be a guide to judges rendering judicial decisions and handing down sentences was never meant to be a rule of our personal relationships. The function of civil government is to administer the vengeance of God upon evil doers (Romans 13:4), but not so with individuals. Our duty is to love our neighbor as the Lord Jesus has instructed us.

22.Luke tells the story of the taxation ordered by Caesar that forces Mary and Joseph to go to Bethlehem where Jesus is born in a manger (Luke 2). Matthew assumes that Mary and Joseph are residents of Bethlehem, living in a house (Matthew 2). Both cannot be correct.

Answer: Notice that while Matthew simply says that Joseph, Mary and Jesus were "in the house" when the wise men came, they were not "residents in Bethlehem!" Jesus was born in Bethlehem and placed in a manger because there was no room at the inn (Luke 2:7). The shepherds visited Him there that night and left. Later, Joseph and Mary found more suitable lodging "in a house." (Is it so unreasonable that although the inn had no vacancies on the "spur of the moment," lodging could not be found later)? This is complementary, not contradiction!

23.Luke has Jesus circumcised in a rather leisurely fashion on the eighth day of his life and presented in the Temple on the 40th day—all in Jerusalem (Luke 2:21–40). Matthew says, however, that at the same time this baby boy and his family were fleeing into Egypt to avoid Herod (Matthew 2:13ff). Both cannot be right."

Answer: Luke's time-frame is correct. But Matthew's own account, when Herod figured out he had been tricked by the wise men, he ordered the slaying of all the male children two years old and younger "according to the time he had diligently enquired of the wise men." (Matthew 2:16). According to Matthew's account, nearly two years could have elapsed from the time of Jesus' birth until his escape into Egypt! Again, complementary, not contradiction!

24.Did God literally talk face to face with Moses or not? Exodus 33:9,11,20.

Answer: God didn't literally talk face to face with Moses, for no man can see God's face and live (Exodus 33:20). This is a figurative expression intended to convey the intimacy of their relationship that is captured in the phrase, "as a man speaketh unto his friend" (verse 11).

Exodus 33:11 intimates not only that God revealed himself to Moses with greater clearness than to any other of the prophets, but also with greater expressions of particular kindness than to any other. He spake not as a prince to a subject, but as a man to his friend, whom he loves, and with whom he takes sweet counsel. The communications made by God to Moses were not by visions, ecstacies, dreams, inward inspirations, or the mediation of angels, but with familiarity and confidence with which the Divine Being treated his servant.

25.If God cannot tempt any man (James 1:13), how could God tempt Abraham (Genesis 22:1)?

Answer: The words "tempt" and "try" are used interchangeably in the Scripture. It's meaning usually depends on who is doing it and for what reason. The difference between temptation and trial is that temptation says, "Do this pleasant thing and do not let yourself be hindered by the fact that it is wrong," whereas trial says, "Do this good and noble thing, and do not let yourself be hindered by the fact that it is painful". Temptation leads us down the path of sin and death, but trial leads us upward to a higher and nobler life. Simply defined: the Devil tempts us to get us to fall; God tries us to strengthen us. God tries, the Devil tempts. For this reason, the Devil is called "the tempter" (Matthew 4:3).

26.Did Jesus die at the 3rd hour (Mark 15:25), 6th hour (Luke 23:44-46; John 19:14-30) or at the 9th hour (Matthew 27:45-50; Mark 15:26-37)?

Answer: 9th hour. These verses are complimentary, not contradictory. Luke is explained by Matthew (the sun was darkened at the 6th hour, and Jesus cried the 9th hour). John has the trial being held at the 6th hour, and it was 3 hours after the trial (Mark 15:25) when Jesus was crucified.

27.The Gospel of John states that Jesus was crucified on the day before Passover (John 13; 18:28), the other three Gospels state that he was crucified on the Passover (Mark 14: 12-17 for example).

Answer: The word translated passover means properly the paschal lamb which was slain and eaten on the observance of this feast. This rite Jesus had observed with his disciples the day before this. It has been supposed by many that he anticipated the usual time of observing it one day, and was crucified on the day on which the Jews observed it; but this opinion is improbable. The very day of keeping the ordinance was specified in the law of Moses, and it is not probable that the Saviour departed from the commandment. All the circumstances, also, lead us to suppose that he observed it at the usual time and manner (Matthew 26:17,19). The only passage which has led to a contrary opinion is this in John; but here the word passover does not, of necessity, mean the paschal lamb. It probably refers to the feast which followed the sacrifice of the lamb, and which continued seven days (Numbers 28:16-17). The whole feast was called the Passover, and they were unwilling to defile themselves, even though the paschal lamb had been killed, because it would disqualify them for participating in the remainder of the ceremonies.

In 2 Chronicles 30:22 we read: "And they did eat the festival seven days" when the paschal festival is meant, not the paschal lamb or the paschal supper. There are eight other examples of pascha in John's Gospel and in all of them the feast is meant, not the supper. If we follow John's use of the word, it is the feast here, not the meal of John 13:2 which was the regular passover meal. This interpretation keeps John in harmony with the Synoptics.

That Jesus ate a passover supper this last year of his life is sufficiently evident from Matthew 26:17-19; Mark 14:12-18; Luke 22:8-15.

28.Did Abraham have 2 sons (Galatians 4:22), 1 son. (Genesis 22:2, Hebrews 11:17), or at least 8 children (Genesis 25:2,6)?

Answer: Abraham indeed had two sons (one by his wife and the other by his maidservant). However, Isaac was his (only begotten) son of the promise (Genesis 21:12). Later, when Abraham was about 140 years old, he married another wife, Keturah, who bore him 6 children. Abraham also had sons from his other wives of secondary rank (concubines).

29.Jesus said that he would not always be with his disciples, and then said, "Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world." Matthew 26:11; 28:20.

Answer: The body of Christ left the earth at the ascension. But "the Spirit of Christ," or His Word, is always with us.

30.There is a commandment "honor thy father and thy mother." Jesus later said "If you do not hate your father and mother you cannot be my disciple." Exodus 20:12, Luke 14:26.

Answer: God speaks in absolute terms and sometimes he speaks in comparative terms. Compared to our love for God, love and honor for our parents cannot interfere. Similarly, because Jacob had less regard for Leah than he did for Rachel, that is called "hating her" (Genesis 29:30-31). But the hate was only by way of comparison to his love for Rachel.

31.Who was the High Priest? Caiaphas (Matthew 26:3), Annas (Acts 4:6), or both (Luke 3:2)?

Answer: Caiaphas was the officially appointed high priest from about 18 AD to 36 AD (during Christ's ministry and the early years of His assembly). John 18:3 records that Jesus, after his arrest, was led "to Annas first; for he was the father-in-law to Caiaphas, which was the high priest that same year." Yet the verses that follow immediately refer to Annas also as high priest (verses 15, 19, 22). Later, Jesus is led to Caiaphas, the official high priest. Annas had served as high priest until he was deposed by Rome in 15 AD. Yet his power and influence continued over the high priestly office, with five of his sons occupying that position. Hence, Annas could also be properly identified as high priest in that he was the patriarchal head of this line of high priests. Caiaphas was the high priest responsible for Christ's death and the severe persecution of His servants (Acts 5:17; 9:1).

32.Did Michal have 0 or 5 children? 2 Samuel 6:23; 21:8.

Answer: They where adopted children, from Merab, Saul's daughter (1 Samuel 18:19), the wife of Adriel, the son of Barzillai the Meholathite.

33.700 or 7000 horsemen? 2 Samuel 8:4, 1 Chronicles 18:4.

Answer: These are two different men. "Hadarezer" is the son from who David took 7000 horsemen. Hadarezer Rehob was the father of Haderezer from who David took 700 horsemen.

34.23,000 killed or 24,000 killed? 1 Corinthians 10:8, Numbers 25:9.

Answer: Paul, in 1 Corinthians 10:8, refers to the number of slain in one day. Numbers refer to the total number that died. These numbers are given in approximate terms.

35.Did Ahaziah start his reign at 22 years of age or 42 years of age? 2 Kings 8:26, 2 Chronicles 22:2.

Answer: In the Septuagint, both verses read 22. However, there is a possible alternative.

This is a classic supposed "contradiction" in the King James Scripture. There are some interesting things to consider if you compare scripture with scripture. In 2 Chronicles 22:9 Ahaziah is said to be "the son of Jehoshaphat" and Jehoshaphat is said to be "the king of Israel" (2 Chronicles 21:2). But Jehoshaphat was king of Judah, was he not (1 Kings 22)? Now, hold that thought for a moment. In addition to this, Ahaziah was also "son in law" to the house of Ahab (2 Kings 8:27). Question: How does Ahaziah become a "son in law" to the house of Ahab when he married Zibiah of Beersheba (2 Chronicles 24:1)? He didn't marry any of Ahab's daughters or Omri's daughters. But now look over at 1 Kings 22:26 and notice that there's a man named "Joash" who is waiting in Israel to take over the dual kingdom if Ahab or Jehoshaphat gets killed (1 Kings 22:26,28,29, 34, 37). But he's only one year old and won't ascend the throne until he's eight years old (2 Chronicles 24:1). Ahaziah had a son named Joash before Ahaziah ever sat on the throne of Judah. When Ahab was killed, a different Ahaziah took over the throne of Israel (2 Kings 1), not the Ahaziah whose mother was the daughter of Omri and who was said to be the son of Jehoshaphat--not the son of Ahab (2 Chronicles 22:9). Even his other name appears in the list of Jehoshaphat's sons (2 Chronicles 21:2).

The Azariah in our problem, then, was not Jehoram's literal son, and obviously he was intended for the southern throne (Judah) many years before he actually took the throne. His mother was Athaliah, who was Omri's daughter; that is, she was Ahab's sister (1 Kings 16:29). If Ahaziah was her son and Jehoshaphat was his father, then when Jehoshaphat "joined affinity with Ahab" (2 Chronicles 18:1), this was more than just a military move. Jehoshaphat's title was "king of Israel" (2 Chronicles 21:2), and this signifies the ominous alliance, for Jehoram killed "divers of the princes of Israel." So if Ahab got killed, one of Jehoshaphat's kin could take over Israel; on the other hand, if Jehoshaphat died in battle, then one of Ahab's kin could take over Judah when Jehoram was finished. And that's what happened. Ahaziah, after the death of Jehoshaphat, is Ahab's nephew and a son in law to his household. He had to have married one of Ahab's daughters or granddaughters. Ahaziah is the step son or son in law to Jehoram. He was a favorite to Omri because his mother was Omri's daughter. He was anointed, like David, years before he actually began to reign, even though he was the king by anointing. He was undoubtedly anointed at age 22 and upon the death of his predecessor, assumed the throne and actual rulership at age 42.

36.Is lying evil or not? Proverbs 12:22, 1 Kings 22:23.

Answer: It is evil. In 1 Kings, Micaiah boasted of the Spirit (as those commonly do that know least of the Holy Spirit's operations), and said the "Lord" made him lie, which is a mistake on Micaiah's part. Micaiah later confesses, in 1 Kings 22:28, that the Lord did not speak through him. God does not tempt man with evil (James 1:13).

37.Is Jesus equal to God (John 5:18) or is the Father greater than him (John 14:28)?

Answer: The term "better" refers to nature, not position. Here is a good example in illustrating this passage. The President is greater than you or I, correct? Yes, as Chief Executive Officer of the United States he is greater than you or I. But, is the President better than you or I? What I mean is, is there anything about the President that makes him a superior being to you or me? No. If Jesus wanted to say He was inferior to God in nature, He would have said, "The Father is better than I."

Here is a biblical example of the use of the term "better" in Hebrews 1:4, "Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they." Here we see that Jesus is a being superior to the angels, so the term "better" is used.

Therefore, the Father is greater than Jesus, His son, in power, but Jesus is equal to him in spirit and in nature.

38.Of the 42 numbers given by Ezra, 18 differ from the corresponding numbers in Nehemiah. Ezra 2:3-60, Nehemiah 7.

Answer: Your answer can be found in the following verses:

Ezra 2:1, "And these are the people of the land that went up, of the number of prisoners who were removed, whom Nabuchodonosor king of Babylon carried away to Babylon, and they returned to Juda and Jerusalem, every man to his city;"

As we can see, this is written as a FACT. It is written as inspired by the Holy Spirit. However, the numbers found in Nehemiah are NOT inspired by the Holy Spirit, the numbers in Nehemiah are based upon hearsay and are read from a piece of paper which was written by man.

Nehemiah, 7:5, "And God put it into my heart, and I gathered the nobles, and the rulers, and the people, into companies: and I found a register of the company that came up first, and I found written in it as follows:"

Notice that Nehemiah is simply reading from a register. This register is not inspired by God. It is a man made document, of which man is fallible.

Therefore, the numbers in Ezra, since they are not read from a man made document, but are spoken as fact, and inspired by the Holy Spirit, are the correct and true numbers. Whereas, since the numbers in Nehemiah are not stated as FACT, but are based upon hearsay, and read from a piece of paper that was written by man, which is fallible, these numbers are not accurate.

39.8 days or 6 days? Matthew 17:1, Mark 9:2, Luke 9:28.

Answer: Both. Eight days after "But I tell you" and six days after "Verily verily" when he reminded them of His sayings.

40.Centurion alone or with Jewish Elders? Matthew 8:5, Luke 7:2-4.

Answer: The Jewish elders were his ambassadors.

41.7 years of famine (2 Samuel 24:13) or 3 years of famine (1 Chronicles 21:12)?

Answer: The Septuagint accurately states three years for both verses.

42.Jesus says John is Elijah, John says he is not. Matthew 11:14, John 1:21.

Answer: He was, in fact, not actually Elijah in the sense they may have been asking. John had the spirit of Elijah, but did not physically look like him.

43.Did, or did not, the people hear at the conversion of the Apostle Paul? Acts 9:7; 22:9.

Answer: The Greek word for "hear" (#191 akouo) is used in two Greek cases in these two verses. The genitive case is the sense of "being aware but not understanding", whereas the other is in the sense of "you heard it."

44.Is Lot Abraham's nephew or brother? Genesis 14:12,14,16.

Answer: Nephew. Lot was of the seed of Abraham's brother.

45.Children to be punished for the iniquity of the fathers or not? Deuteronomy 1:39; 24:16, Ezekiel 18:2-4,17,19,20, Exodus 20:5, Isaiah 14:21.

Answer: We know that it is contrary to the character of God to visit the iniquity of the fathers upon those who are innocent (Ezekiel 18:19). Exodus 20:5, on the surface, does seem to teach that God visits the iniquity of the Father on the children. However, by really reading it in more depth, it actually says the opposite. Only the children who "hate God", and sin themselves, are the ones who are punished, only the wicked and ungodly children who are following the wicked example of their fathers are punished. The very next verse (Exodus 20:6) confirms that God shows mercy on the children who love Him and keep his Law. This is in harmony with the teaching, "Each man shall die for his own sins" (2 Chronicles 25:4, Ezekiel 18:4,20).

46.Then why did David's son die for the punishment of David? 2 Samuel 12:14,18-19.

Answer: King David saw a woman bathing and decided that he wanted her, but she was Bathsheba, wife of Uriah the Hittite. David had no intention of being deprived of anything he wanted. He sent for the woman and lay with her. For David, it was all over after that one night of self-indulgence. Bathsheba conceived and eventually sent word to David that she was pregnant. When David's efforts to deceive Uriah (and the people) into thinking Uriah had fathered this child, he had Uriah killed in battle with the help of Joab. After she had mourned for her husband, David brought Bathsheba into his home, taking her as his wife.

This thing which David had done displeased God, however, and God would give David no rest or peace until he had come to see his sin for what it was and repented of it. After some period of distress (Psalm 32:3-4), David confessed “I have sinned against the Lord” (2 Samuel 12:13). Based upon divine grace by God, David was forgiven for his sins and assured that he would not die.

2 Samuel 12:13-14., "And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the LORD. And Nathan said unto David, The LORD also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die. However, because by this deed you have given occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also that is born to you shall surely die.”

The tragic death of David's son is a painful consequence of David's sin, but it is not the punishment for his sin. The penalty for adultery and murder is death, on each count. David deserves to die, on two counts: adultery and murder. But scripture has made it very clear that the punishment for David's sin has been taken away. But God cannot allow His name to be blasphemed by allowing it to appear that He does not care about sin. For God to allow David's sins to have no painful consequences would enable the wicked to conclude that God does not really hate sin, nor does He do anything about it when we do sin.

The Law of Moses was given to set Israel apart from the nations. It was given so that Israel could reflect God's character to the world. When David sinned, he violated God's law, and he also dishonored God. This hypocrisy was observed by the nations, and it resulted in their dishonoring God. Paul would make this same charge against the Jews centuries later:

Romans 2:21-24, "Thou therefore which teachest another, teachest thou not thyself? thou that preachest a man should not steal, dost thou steal? Thou that sayest a man should not commit adultery, dost thou commit adultery? thou that abhorrest idols, dost thou commit sacrilege? Thou that makest thy boast of the law, through breaking the law dishonourest thou God? For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you, as it is written."

Elsewhere, the apostle Paul instructs Timothy that elders -- those spiritual leaders whose lives are publicly under scrutiny -- who persist in their sin are to be corrected publicly, so that all will learn (1 Timothy 5:19-20). God is very concerned about his reputation. He works in such a way as to instruct not only men who look on, but also angels who do likewise (Exodus 32:9-14; 34:10; Ephesians 3:8-10).

God could not look the other way when David sinned, for his disobedience to God's commands was a matter of public knowledge. As his victories and triumphs were known among the Gentiles, so his sins would be widely known as well. By taking the life of this child, conceived in sin, God makes a statement to those looking on. If God does not deal with the sin of His saints, they might reason, then He will not be concerned with mine, either. Thus, they will mock God with the confidence that they can get away with their sin.

God could not allow David to come through this monumental sin without doing something about it, something visible to all. This was for David's discipline, and to silence those who would use David's sin as an occasion to blaspheme the name of God; it was to proclaim and promote the glory of God.

2 Samuel 12:14 gives the reason for the death of this child. The purpose for the death of this child was not to punish David. The appropriate punishment for David's sins under the law would have been the death penalty. Nathan has not given David news of a reduced sentence, but of complete forgiveness, because the guilt and punishment for his sins had been taken away (2 Samuel 12:13). The purpose for this child's death was instructive. It was meant to silence any blasphemy on the part of the “enemies of the Lord” (2 Samuel 12:14). Lest any might wrongly conclude that Israel's God was oblivious to David's sin in the breaking of God's law, God made it apparent that He would not wink at sin, even the sin of a man after His own heart. The death of David's son was an object lesson to the enemies of God.

David's sin is to be understood as the exception, rather than the rule in his life:

1 Kings 15:5, “Because David did what was right in the sight of the LORD, and had not turned aside from anything that He commanded him all the days of his life, except in the case of Uriah the Hittite.”

47.Did Adam die that day or 930 years later? Genesis 2:17; 5:5.

Answer: That day spiritually, the second physically.

48.75 or 70 persons? Acts 7:14, Genesis 46:27, Exodus 1:5.

Answer: 75. The New Testament is quoted from the Septuagint mostly. Genesis 46:27 and Exodus 1:5 in the Septuagint correctly read 75, which agrees with Acts 7:14. The Old Testament books, in most bibles, is translated from a corrupted Masoretic Text, which is why "70" is mistranslated at Genesis 46:27 and Exodus 1:5 in most bibles.

49.Who killed Saul; Saul, Philistines, or Amalekites? 1 Samuel 31:4, 2 Samuel 1:8; 21:12.

Answer: Saul failed at suicide and died by the Amalekite, unless the Amalekite lied. After he was dead his dead body was hung by the Philistines.

50.2000 or 3000 baths? 1 Kings 7:26, 2 Chronicles 4:5.

Answer: It was not full in Kings. It had more capacity then 2000, that of 3000 and then it was drained down to 2000 so it would not spill over or birds would not drink out of it and defile it.

51.40,000 or 4000 stalls? 1 Kings 4:26, 2 Chronicles 9:25.

Answer: 4,000 for [extra] and 40,000 filled.

52.3300 or 3600 overseers? 1 Kings 5:16, 2 Chronicles 2:18.

Answer: There were two classes of workers.

53.800,000 or 1,100,000 men of Israel that drew the sword? 2 Samuel 24:9, 1 Chronicles 21:5.

Answer: The first list has restrictions on younger men for military campaigns. The second list includes every able bodied individual, in the case of a defense or war against Jerusalem. Or perhaps it's due to the unofficial and incomplete nature of the census (1 Chronicles 27:23-24).

54.500,000 or 470,000 men of Judah drew the sword? 2 Samuel 24:9, 1 Chronicles 21:5.

Answer: See the above answer.

55.Did Nebuzaradan come on the 7th or 10th day? 2 Kings 25:8, Jeremiah 52:12.

Answer: He came twice. Once to persuade Jerusalem to surrender (the 7th day) and the second time to wage war (the 10th day).

56.550 or 250 that bear rule? 1 Kings 9:23, 2 Chronicles 8:10.

Answer: These two numbers represent two different groups

57.Was Jehoiachin 18 or 8 years old when he began to reign? 2 Kings 24:8, 2 Chronicles 36:9.

Answer: Jehoachin's father, Madehim, became an unofficial co-ruler at the age of eight to train him! This was followed with Jehoachin becoming officially the king at his father's death at 18 years of age!

58.Did Jehoiachin reign 3 months or 3 months and 10 days? 2 Kings 24:8, 2 Chronicles 36:9.

Answer: Two different times

59.Order of events {A} and {B} is opposite in these 2 passages. Matthew 21:12, Mark 11:13-15.

Answer: Could be either. Does it matter?

60.Order of events {A} and {B} is opposite in the 2 passages. Matthew 4:5-8, Luke 4:5.

Answer: Does it matter?

61.All judgment is done by Jesus or Jesus judges no man? John 5:22; 8:15; 12:47.

Answer: Man's already guilty, doesn't need to be personally judged in the flesh by Jesus, the Father has already judged man.

62.Christ first to arise from the dead or not? Acts 26:23, 1 Kings 17:17, 2 Kings 13:21.

Answer: Christ was the first to rise to life eternal from death. These others died again physically. The life of Christ also represents more then merely physical life.

63.Do all people sin or not? 1 John 1:8; 3:6.

Answer: A saved man does not abide in sin and make it his end, or his goal. If you are in Jesus you will not want to sin.

64.Did Judas hang himself or fall headlong? Matthew 27:5, Acts 1:18.

Answer: Both, in that order, the rope broke first.

65.Take staff and sandals or neither? Mark 6:8-9, Matthew 10:9 ff.

Answer: Two groups. One group had sandals and staff's.

66.Is Moses' father in law called Jethro, Reuel, or Hobab? Exodus 2:18; 3:1, Numbers 10:29.

Answer: The man was simply known by more than one name. Gibeah was also known as Kirjath-Jearim and Baalah. All three place names refer to the same town. The same person or same place may have more than one name.

67.If there were seven of each clean beast, how could they go in two by two? Seven is not an even number. Genesis 7:1-8.

Answer: Put two groups of seven together and it is divisible by two. Seven plus seven equals fourteen. Therefore, six deer could enter the ark in pairs with one deer left over. Six elk could enter the ark in pairs with one elk left over. The leftover elk and the leftover deer could go together to make a pair. Or their could be seven females and seven males of the deer, elk, etc. This would equal fourteen of each clean animal which is divisible by two. This theory is based on the verse where it says "the male and his female." This would also allow for the re-population of the earth as each pair went their own separate ways to establish their own territory apart from the other deer.

68.Does God see everything (Proverbs 15:3; Job 34:21-22) or doesn't he (Genesis 18:20,21)?

Answer: The eyes of the Lord sees everything. However, the eyes of the Lord are through his angels (1 Corinthians 4:9, Hebrews 12:22; 13:2). Genesis 18:21 says that reports came to God about the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah. It was not enough for him to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah on hearsay. He said, "I am going to go down and I'm going to see for myself in the flesh," so that his judgment would be right. Because he is a God of justice, and a great leader will always face up to his problems and the things he has to deal with, and will deal with them personally; he will not deal with them from a distance.

In reference to sinners, 2 Peter 2:11 says angels "bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord." It does not say angels do not make accusations against sinners, but "railing" accusations. The tern "railing" means blasphemous, slanderous, abusive, reproachful, and to speak bitterly. However, angels do make true accusations with sorrow, love, and a caring attitude (Ezekiel 9:4,11). These verses show how angels make reports to God, and act as His eyes in the world.

69.Does this mean that God does not know everything?

Answer: When God left Abraham to go on to Sodom, God said, "I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will know" (Genesis 18:21). How come he didn't already know? Why did God go down there himself, in the flesh, to find out?

Another example is when God tested Abraham in Genesis 22. He told Abraham to sacrifice his son because God wanted to find out something. After God tested Abraham and stopped him from slaying his son at the last moment, God said, "Now I know that thou fearest God" (verse 12). The implication is that before that period of time, there was some degree of uncertainty as to what Abraham would do. Would God have tried Abraham if he already knew what Abraham would do?

Another example is Genesis 6:5-6, "And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart." How would you say it if you don't want to say, "I wish I hadn't done it"?

Genesis 6:7, "And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them." God was sorry he even made them! No wise person would make a machine, if he knew before he made it, that it would be a failure . If God had eternally foreseen all the wickedness of man, before he made man; why did he make him, if he knew before his creation that he would repentafterwards ?

The Lord said to Jeremiah: Jeremiah 32:35, “And they built the high places of Baal, which are in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire unto Molech; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my mind , that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin.”

2 Chronicles 32:31, "Howbeit in the business of the ambassadors of the princes of Babylon, who sent unto him to enquire of the wonder that was done in the land, God left him, to try him, that he might know all that was in his heart." Is it possible to harmonize such Scriptures as these with the doctrine that God's foresight is "eternal and universal"?

The Lord said to Samuel in 1 Samuel 15:11,23 "It repenteth me that I have set up Saul to be king: for he is turned back from following me, and hath not performed my commandments...Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king." Did God eternally foresee just what Saul would do? If so, why did he have him made king? Why did he not repent before he made him king? Would any sensible person employ a man to do a piece of work, if he knew before he hired him that he would be a complete failure?

Revelation 3:5, "He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life," Our name is written in the book of life. If God knew ahead of time whose name would be written in this book and whose name would not be written, why did God bother to write their name in the book in the first place? Just to have the LORD "blot out his name from under heaven" (Deuteronomy 29:20) after He already wrote it in the book?

70.When Paul addressed the qualifications for deacons and elders, he stated that they must be the husband of one wife (1 Timothy 3:2,12; Titus 1:6). However, Paul himself was an elder and was unmarried and he even encouraged it (1 Corinthians 7:7,8)!

Answer: A glance at Liddell and Scott's Greek-English Lexicon will reveal that 'unmarried' is used to denote both 'bachelors' and 'widowers'. The parallelism thus suggests that in 1 Corinthians 7:8 'unmarried' refers only to 'widowers', and not to any bachelor or single person. Paul himself could have been a widower. Paul's purpose in 1 Corinthians 7 was not to give requirements and advice for the eldership, anyway! Due to the "present distress" (verse 26) Paul advised "that it is good for a man so to be." This "present distress" was a situation unique to the earlier church due to the persecution that was prophesied by Daniel and Jesus.

71.It is recorded that there were two distinct purchases by Abraham and Jacob for the purpose of burying their dead: one a field with a cave (Machpelah) at the end of it, which was bought by Abraham of Ephron the Hittite for 400 shekels of silver (Genesis 23:16-18); the other, "a parcel of a field" which was bought by Jacob of the sons of Hamor, the father of Shechem, for 100 pieces of money (Genesis 33:18,19).

Answer: In the former were buried Sarah (Genesis 23:19), Abraham (Genesis 25:9), Isaac (Genesis 49:31), Rebekah and Leah (Genesis 49:31), and Jacob (Genesis 50:12,13).

In the latter were buried Joseph (Joshua 24:32), and the other sons of Jacob who died in Egypt (Acts 7:16).

In Acts 7:15-16 Stephen referred to these events, well known to his hearers who were seeking his life. These found nothing to stumble at in his statement that Abraham bought the sepulcher of the sons of Emmor (the father) of Sychem, whereas Genesis 33:18,19 states that Jacob was the buyer of "a parcel of a field" from the sons of Hamor in Shechem.

The explanation is simple, -- Abraham was a rich man : rich men often buy, if they can, "parcels" of land for some reason or other : why should not Abraham have had a second place of sepulture assured, if he so desired?

As the Hittites were eager to oblige the rich and powerful sojourner among them, in the matter of Machpelah, as we know; so he would have little difficulty in buying the parcel at Sychem from the original holders in his time. Between Abraham's death and the appearance of Jacob at Sychem, eighty-five years had passed. Jacob was a keen man of business, but during his long absence "abroad" the title may have lapsed, or become obscure. Hence, when he desired to resume possession of a piece of family property, so to speak, he had to pay something by way of forfeit to make good his claim. The comparatively small sum recorded strengthens this suggestion. Modern instances are familiar to us. There is no reason why it should not be so in this case. And have we never heard of two family burying -places? So here, Jacob was buried in the one, Machpelah; Joseph and his brethren in the other at Sychem.

72.Acts 1:12 tells us that when the disciples came back from the place where our Lord had ascended, they returned from mount Olivet, distant from Jerusalem a Sabbath day's journey. A Sabbath days journey was seven and a half furlongs, but the town of Bethany was about fifteen furlongs from Jerusalem (John 11:18), and that is double a Sabbath day's journey.

Answer: These things are all true:

o   That the mount of Olives lay but five furlongs distant from Jerusalem.

o   That the town of Bethany was fifteen furlongs.

o   That the disciples were brought by Christ as far as Bethany.

o   That, when they returned from the mount of Olives, they traveled more than five furlongs. And,

o   Returning from Bethany, they traveled but a Sabbath day's journey.

Part of mount of Olives was known by that name to the length of about a Sabbath day's journey, till it came to that part which is called Bethany. For there was a Bethany, a tract of the mount, and the town of Bethany. The town was distant from the city about fifteen furlongs, i.e. about two miles, or a double Sabbath day's journey: but the first border of this tract (which also bore the name of Bethany) was distant but one mile, or a single Sabbath day's journey. Luke 24:50 Lu 24:50

Verse 50. He led them out as far as to Bethany] The difficulties in this verse, when collated with the accounts given by the other evangelists, are thus reconciled by Dr. Lightfoot.

"I. This very evangelist (Ac 1:12) tells us, that when the disciples came back from the place where our Lord had ascended, they returned from mount Olivet, distant from Jerusalem a Sabbath day's journey. But now the town of Bethany was about fifteen furlongs from Jerusalem, Joh 11:18, and that is double a Sabbath day's journey.

"II. Josephus tells us that mount Olivet was but five furlongs from the city, and a Sabbath day's journey was seven furlongs and a half. Antiq. lib. 20, cap. 6. About that time there came to Jerusalem a certain Egyptian, pretending himself a prophet, and persuading the people that they should go out with him to the mount of Olives, 'o kai thn polewv antikruv keimenon, apecei stadia pente; which, being situated on the front of the city, is distant five furlongs. These things are all true: 1. That the mount of Olives lay but five furlongs distant from Jerusalem. 2. That the town of Bethany was fifteen furlongs. 3. That the disciples were brought by Christ as far as Bethany. 4. That, when they returned from the mount of Olives, they traveled more than five furlongs. And, 5. Returning from Bethany, they traveled but a Sabbath day's journey. All which may be easily reconciled, if we would observe:-That the first space from the city was called Bethphage, which I have cleared elsewhere from Talmudic authors, the evangelists themselves also confirming it. That part of that mount was known by that name to the length of about a Sabbath day's journey, till it came to that part which is called Bethany. For there was a Bethany, a tract of the mount, and the town of Bethany. The town was distant from the city about fifteen furlongs, i.e. about two miles, or a double Sabbath day's journey: but the first border of this tract (which also bore the name of Bethany) was distant but one mile, or a single Sabbath day's journey.

Jesus led out his disciples, when he was about to ascend, to the very first region or tract of mount Olivet, which was called Bethany, and was distant from the city a Sabbath day's journey. And so far from the city itself did that tract extend itself which was called Bethphage; and when he was come to that place where the bounds of Bethphage and Bethany met and touched one another, he then ascended; in that very place where he got upon the ass when he rode into Jerusalem (Mark 11:1).

73.If a man sleeps with a menstrous woman, is the penalty death (Leviticus 18:19; 20:18) or is the penalty that he will be unclean for seven days (Leviticus 15:24)?

Answer: If both the man and woman were acquainted with the situation, the penalty was death. If it was a case where the circumstance was not known till afterwards, then he would be unclean for seven days.

74.James says we are saved by works (James 2:14,17,26), and Paul says that we are saved by faith (Romans 3:21,28; 4:4,5; 5:1, Ephesians 2:8,9, Titus 3:5). Which one is correct?

Answer: James is not saying that works alone save us. Paul is not saying that faith alone saves us. They are both saying that one without the other is dead. James shows us that faith without works is dead. Paul shows us that works without faith is dead. We need both.

75.In Genesis 1:26, God said he created man to be like "us," meaning to be like God. Yet, in Genesis 3:22, God rebuked man for being like "us," like God.

Answer: In Genesis 1:26, the "image" of God is his Spirit. God created Adam and Eve with a Spirit, because one is only in the image of God when one has His Spirit. When they sinned, they "died" that day, and it was not their body or soul that died, it was their "Spirit" that died that day. As far as Genesis 3:22, the sin Adam and Eve did was re-defining what good and evil was. God said it was evil to eat the tree, but Adam and Eve justified themselves in that evil and convinced themselves it was actually good. When man redefines what is good and evil, they are becoming as gods, because only God defines good and evil

76.Ezekiel 20:25 says God gave His children statutes that were not good, and judgments whereby they should not live. I thought God only gave good laws?

Answer: What a foolish noise has been made about this verse by critics, believers and infidels! How is it that God can be said "to give a people statutes that were not good, and judgments whereby they could not live?" God never gave any such, at any time, to any people. Let any man produce an example of this kind if he can; or show even the fragment of such a law, sanctioned by the Most High! The simple meaning of this place and all such places is, that when they had rebelled against the Lord, despised his statutes, and polluted his Sabbaths-in effect cast him off, and given themselves wholly to their idols, then he abandoned them, and they abandoned themselves to the customs and ordinances of the heathen.

Psalms 81:12, "So I gave them up unto their own hearts' lust: and they walked in their own counsels."

Romans 1:24, "Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:"

Ezekiel 20:39 and Isaiah 63:17 proves this view to be correct.

Ezekiel 20:39, "As for you, O house of Israel, thus saith the Lord GOD; Go ye, serve ye every one his idols, and hereafter also, if ye will not hearken unto me: but pollute ye my holy name no more with your gifts, and with your idols."

Isaiah 63:17, "O LORD, why hast thou made us to err from thy ways, and hardened our heart from thy fear? Return for thy servants' sake, the tribes of thine inheritance."

77.In Matthew 2:6, a statement identified as a prophecy of the birthplace of Jesus is quoted from Micah 5:2, but Micah says Bethlehem is "little among nations" whereas Matthew quotes him as saying that Bethlehem is "not the least among the princes of Judah." In other words, a negative has been substituted for a positive.

Answer: Some manuscripts of very good note, among which is the Codex Bezae, have "Art thou not the least?" This reconciles the prophet and evangelist without farther trouble.

78.According to Matthew, the Capernaum centurion spoke man-to-man with Jesus (8:5-10). Luke, however, says the centurion sent some Jewish elders and friends to speak on his behalf (7: 1-9).

Answer: As it is not unusual in all languages, so in the Hebrew it is peculiarly frequent, to ascribe to a person himself the thing which is done, and the words which are spoken by his messenger. And accordingly, Matthew relates as said by the centurion himself, what others said by messenger from him. We learn from Luke 7:3, he came to Jesus, not in person, but by Jewish elders, whom he supposed would have more influence with the Lord. An instance of the same kind we have in the case of Zebedee's children. From Matthew 20:20, we learn it was their mother that spoke those words, which, Mark 10:35,37, themselves are said to speak; because she was only their mouth. This is very frequent in scripture, where what a messenger says, is spoken as if the speaker himself has said it.

79.Scripture says God does not visit the sins of the fathers on the children (Ezekiel 8:14,17; 18:2,3,14,17,19,20, Deuteronomy 1:39; 24:16, II Kings 14:6, II Chronicles 25:4). But what about the children of Israel who had to wander forty years in the wilderness because of the sins of the fathers?

Answer: There is a difference between God visiting the sins of the fathers on their children, and the consequences of the father's actions being felt by the children.

God punished the fathers in the wilderness, not the children. The fathers were prohibited from entering into the promised land. The children are the ones who entered the promised land. The Fathers were punished, the children were blessed.

Think about this. How could God allow only the babies and children, at the time, to enter the promised land, while taking all the fathers and mothers away from the children? How would you feel if God ripped your mother and father from you when you were a child? Who would take care of these children if no adult was allowed to enter the promised land?

God did the most merciful thing for these children. He allowed them to be with their mothers and fathers, until they all died. When the children were all old enough to take care of themselves, and when all the fathers and mothers died of natural causes, the children were ready to go to the promised land. No family members were left stranded in the desert alone. What a wonderful, loving Heavenly Father we have!

The wanderings in the desert were not a punishment on the children. On the contrary, they were a true blessing. They learned obedience through the things they suffered. They were humbled. They learned many great spiritual truths while in the desert.

God did not punish these children, and visit the punishment of the fathers upon the children. The punishment of the fathers were that they were not to enter the promised land. The children entered the promised land. The reason the children wandered the wilderness for 40 years was a consequence of their father's actions, it was man's fault. God blessed these children, but punished the fathers.

Common Objections for not obeying the Ten Commandments?

Richard Anthony

1.    "Jesus fulfilled the law, thereby doing away with it, so we don't need to worry about it any more."

Answer: Jesus knew there would be those who think this way, which is why Jesus said,

Matthew 5:17, "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil."

When you fulfill a prediction, such as Jesus did by dying on the cross (Matthew 26:56, Luke 24:44), the prediction is no longer needed. Jesus fulfilled the sacrifice predictions which pointed forward to His death. When He died they were no longer needed. These predictions were a part of the ceremonial law of the old-covenant sanctuary (Hebrews 9:9-14). But when you fulfill a moral law, such as "Thou shalt not kill," that has nothing to do with abolishing the law (Luke 16:17).

When you fulfil the marriage vow, does it do away with marriage? When you give your spouse total fulfillment, does it do away with your spouse? Instead of doing away with the law, Jesus magnified it (Isaiah 42:21) as the perfect guide for godly living. We are commanded to fulfil the law as well (Romans 8:2-4, Colossians 1:25, Galatians 6:2, James 2:8) ). If Jesus abolished the Law, why are we called on to repent and obey the law ourselves?

2.    "Doesn't the scripture say the Law was faulty (Hebrews 8:7), and the first covenant vanished away (Hebrews 8:13)?"

Answer: No (Romans 7:12). Has anyone found a fault or flaw in the handwriting of God? The scripture says the people were faulty, and God found "fault with them" (Hebrews 8:8). The scripture says that the law "was weak through the flesh" (Romans 8:3). The law is perfect (Psalm 19:7), but the people are faulty, or weak. So God would have His Son live within His people "that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us" (Romans 8:4,10) through the indwelling Christ. Can something "vanish away" (Hebrews 8:13) and be "established" (Romans 3:31) at the same time?

3.    "All you need to keep is Jesus' law, not God's law."

Answer: The scripture says there is only "One lawgiver" (James 4:12), not two. The Lord is our lawgiver (Isaiah 33:22). Jesus said His Law and God’s Law were the same Law (John 7:16; 10:30; 14:10; 15:10). It is our duty to obey both the "commandments of God" and "the testimony of Jesus Christ" (Revelation 12:17; 14:12; 22:14).

4.    "Wasn’t the Ten Commandments altered?"

Answer: God said "My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips." (Psalm 89:34). Was the Ten Commandments spoken from God’s lips? Yes! (Exodus 19:19; 20:1, Deuteronomy 4:10,12; 5:22-26; 18:16, Nehemiah 9:13). And this same covenant, "…shall be established for ever" and be "a faithful witness in heaven." (Psalm 89:37). Psalm 111:7-8 confirms God’s Commandments will "stand fast for ever and ever", and Revelation 11:19 verifies that this same covenant is in heaven. Jesus said, "...Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." (Matthew 4:4). The Ten Commandments were out of the mouth of God, and we are to live by them.

5.    "Romans 13:10 says "Love is the fulfilling of the law." Matthew 22:37-40 commands us to love God and to love our neighbors, and ends with the words, "On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets." Do these commands replace the Ten Commandments?"

Answer: No, the Ten Commandments hang from these two commands like our 10 fingers hang from our two hands. They are inseparable. Love to God makes keeping the first four commandments (which concern God) a pleasure, and love toward our neighbor makes keeping the last six (which concern our neighbor) a joy. Love fulfills the law by taking away the drudgery and by making law keeping a delight (Psalm 40:8). When we truly love a person, honoring his or her requests becomes a joy.

Jesus said, "If ye love me, keep my commandments" (John 14:15). It is impossible to love the Lord and not keep His commandments, because the scripture says, "By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. This is the love of God, that we keep His commandments: and his commandments are not grievous" (1 John 5:2-3). "He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him." (1 John 2:3-4). Jesus himself said, "He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me" (John 14:21,). "If a man love me, he will keep my words" and "He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings" (John 14:23:24).

Deuteronomy 13:3-4 is how God tests you to see if you love God with all your heart and all your soul: The same test was used in the Old Testament as it is in the New Testament:

Deuteronomy 13:3-4, "...for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Ye shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him."

6.    "The Ten Commandments were given to Israel only, so they are not binding on Christians."

Answer: Actually, they were given to the stranger as well. The scripture is clear that there were not two laws, but the same law applied to both Israel and strangers (Exodus 12:49, Isaiah 56:6, Numbers 9:14; 15:15-16,29-30, Psalm 18:44).

Leviticus 24:22, "Ye shall have one manner of law, as well for the stranger, as for one of your own country: for I am the LORD your God."

God ruled over all the kingdoms of the heathens, not just the kingdom of Israel (2 Chronicles 20:6). The Lord is, "the governor among the nations" (Psalms 22:28), and not just the governor among Israel.

Ecclesiastes 12:13, "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man." (notice it does not say "jews" here, but man...all men).

This is also proven by the fact that there can be no "sin" without the "law":

Romans 3:20, "...by the law is the knowledge of sin."

Romans 4:15, "...where no law is, there is no transgression."

1 John 3:4, "Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law."

Scripture says both Jews and Gentiles are under sin (Romans 3:9), and the "world" is guilty of breaking God's Law. Galatians 3:22, "But the scripture hath concluded all under sin..." God cannot convict the whole world of sin unless the Laws of God are binding upon everyone, because if there's no law, there's no sin. If God's law was only for Israel, how could God bring judgment upon Gentiles and heathen nations for not keeping His law? The fact that God has punished Heathen nations throughout the Old Testament is proof that God's Law was binding upon the stranger as well. This fact alone proves that all nations were to keep God's Law.

Does anyone really believe that God would withhold His knowledge of evil from people, and then punish and destroy people for doing evil, when God never told them it was evil in the first place? Consider what scripture says. Scripture says God overlooks those who ignorantly break His Law (Genesis 20:3-6, Luke 12:47-48, Acts 17:30, Romans 2:12-15, Hebrews 5:2, James 4:17). In also says sin will only be counted against those who have heard the truth and rejected it (John 9:41; 15:22).

In other words, God would not punish people for breaking His Law, if they did not know it was against His law. How cruel it would be for God to know that a people are doing evil, yet not tell them about it, just watch and do nothing, withhold that knowledge from them, then destroy them for doing that which God has withheld from them! Is this the character of God? No, it is not.

Remember Nineveh and Jonah (in the book of Jonah)? Nineveh, a heathen city, was doing evil, and God sent a prophet to that city so these people would be informed that they were sinning. God would not destroy Nineveh until after he informed these people of their evil ways. God told Johnah to tell Nineveh they had 40 days to repent before He destroyed them. Jonah tried to run away from God because he did not want to do that. God did not begin counting down the 40 days until these people were told of their evil ways, and how it was going against God. Eventually, Jonah finally went to Nineveh and told them they were going against God's Law, and they repented of their sins, and by God's grace, He spared that city from destruction.

This verifies that God's definition of evil is the same for the heathen as it is with his children. His definition of evil is revealed in His Law. That is why scripture says there is one law for both his children and heathens. Evil is evil no matter who commits it. His evil is expressed through his laws. Therefore, God's Laws, which give a knowledge of sin, are for everyone in this world.

Many believe that the laws contained in the Ten Commandments applied only to Jews, and not to the heathens. This goes contrary to all the evidence in scripture. For example, God told The Philistine king of Gerar, king Abimelech (i.e., a heathen, foreigner, and stranger), the following, "...Behold, thou art but a dead man, for the woman which thou hast taken; for she is a man's wife. But Abimelech...said, Lord, wilt thou slay also a righteous nation?" (Genesis 20:3-4). If the laws contained in the Ten Commandments, such as adultery, did not apply to the heathen, how did this heathen king not only know it was a sin against God, but why did God threaten this man with death if he did not let this married woman return to her husband (Genesis 20:7)? The answer is, because there is one law for both the heathen and believers, the same law, God's Law.

As a matter of fact, for those who believe the Old Testament was given to the house of Israel only, scripture says the New Covenant was given to the "house of Israel" only as well (Jeremiah 31:33, Hebrews 8:10; 10:16)!!! Does that mean the New Testament does not apply to believers in Christ just because it was given to the house of Israel? Of course not. And why not? Why does the New Testament apply to all people; Jews, gentiles, and believers alike? For the same reason the Old Testament applied to all people as well. Because it is Truth! Because the same law is for both Israel and strangers! Besides, "Israel" is not a specific nation or race, it is all those who believe in God. All Christians are "Israel" and "Jews" today (Romans 1:16; 2:28-29; 9:4-8; 10:12, 1 Corinthians 10:2-4, Galatians 3:16,26-29, Colossians 3:11).

Many people believe that the following laws were given to Jews only, but scripture says otherwise. In Old Testament times, non-Jews were also partakers of, not only God's Law, but the Mosaic laws as well. God wanted the "stranger" within their gates to do the following:

o   to be circumcised (Exodus 12:48);

o   to keep the 7th day sabbath (Exodus 20:10; 23:12, Deuteronomy 5:14);

o   to keep the yearly solemn fast (Leviticus 16:29);

o   to keep the 7th year sabbath (Leviticus 25:6);

o   to observe the feast of weeks (Deuteronomy 16:11);

o   to observe the feast of tabernacles (Deuteronomy 16:13-14);

o   to not eat blood (Leviticus 17:10,12);

o   to not eat animals that die of itself or is torn (Leviticus 17:15);

o   to keep God's statutes and judgments (Leviticus 18:26);

o   to not eat of the holy thing (Leviticus 22:10);

o   to be stoned to death if he blasphemeth the name of the LORD (Leviticus 24:16);

o   to be put to death if he comes near the tabernacle (Numbers 1:51; 3:10,38; 18:4,7);

o   to not eat leavened bread during the feast of unleavened bread; (Exodus 12:18-20);

o   to keep the passover (Exodus 12:48, Numbers 9:14);

o   to make burnt offerings to the LORD (Numbers 15:14);

o   to not commit any sexual sins (Leviticus 18:26)

o   to be forgiven as the children of Israel were forgiven (Numbers 15:26);

o   to be cut off from among his people if he does something presumptuously (Numbers 15:30);

o   to use the ashes of the heifer as a purification for sin, and it was to be a statute for ever (Numbers 19:9-10);

o   to go to the cities of refuge when one kills by accident (Numbers 35:15; Joshua 20:9);

o   to eat and be satisfied (Deuteronomy 14:29);

o   to rejoice before the Lord (Deuteronomy 26:11);

o   to hear, learn, and fear the LORD your God, and do all the words of God's law (Deuteronomy 31:12);

o   to have no idols (Ezekiel 14:7);

Jews were commanded to treat strangers:

o   as one born among them (Leviticus 19:34);

o   to judge strangers righteously (Deuteronomy 1:16);

o   to love strangers (Deuteronomy 10:18-19);

o   to share tithes with the stranger (Deuteronomy 14:28-29; 26:12-13);

o   to do no violence to the stranger (Jeremiah 22:3);

o   to give strangers their inheritance depending in what tribe they were sojourning with (Ezekiel 47:23);

o   Strangers also stood on the side of the ark and heard all the words of the law (Joshua 8:32-35).

Isaiah 56:6-7, "Also the sons of the stranger, that join themselves to the LORD, to serve him, and to love the name of the LORD, to be his servants, every one that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of my covenant; Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people."

The fact that God has punished Heathen nations throughout the Old Testament is proof that God's Law was binding upon the stranger without the gates of Israel as well. If God's Law was not binding upon them, why would God punish them for breaking His Laws?

The stranger within thy gates

God's fourth commandment (Exodus 20:10) tells us briefly "who" must observe this law, but there are certain people not mentioned. For example, it says, "Thou, and thy son, and thy daughter...", but "wife" is not mentioned in this commandment! Does that mean the "wife" did not have to keep the sabbath day holy? No, of course not. The wife had to keep it just as much as the husband did. This fact shows that just because certain people are not specifically mentioned in this commandment, it does not mean they are excluded from keeping the Sabbath.

Likewise, just as God's fourth commandment mentions the man but not his wife, the fourth commandment mentions strangers within their gates, but not outside their gates. And just as in the case with the man and wife, in which the Sabbath pertains to both of them (even though the wife is not mentioned), the same is true with the stranger within the gates as well as without the gates (even though the stranger without the gates is not mentioned).

Some may believe that the phrase "the stranger within thy gates," (God's fourth commandment) or "the stranger that sojourneth among you" is limited to only those strangers within the gates (i.e. strangers who soujorneth among them), and excludes all strangers without the gates. But, when we compare scripture with scripture, these phrases pertain to all strangers, whether inside or outside the gates.

For example:

Adultery:

Does adultery (and all the other sexual sins in scripture), only apply to Jews, or to all strangers as well? If that phrase is limited to only strangers that sojourneth among them within their gates, then we must say adultery (God's seventh commandment) and every sexual sin in scripture, is not a sin for the stranger if he is not sojourning with them and is outside the gates of Jerusalem. Leviticus 18 lists every sexual sin that God considers an abomination. After all these sins are revealed, look what God says:

Leviticus 18:26, "Ye shall therefore keep my statutes and my judgments, and shall not commit any of these abominations; neither any of your own nation, nor any stranger that sojourneth among you:"

Scripture shows us that this phrase does not exclude strangers who are not sojourning among them, because God shows us, in His Word, that His law forbidding adultery applies to the heathen as well. God plagued Pharoaoh and his house because they were treating Abraham's wife as an unmarried woman (Genesis 12:11-20). God told King Abimelech (the Philistine king of Gerar, a heathen) that adultery was wrong, and that the penalty for committing adultery was death (Genesis 20:1-7; 26:7-11). Therefore, the phrase "any stranger that sojourneth among you" does not exclude the strangers not sojourning among them.

Idol Worship:

How about God's second commandment, forbidding idols? Is this limited to only Jews and those strangers sojourning in Israel, or does it apply to everyone?

Ezekiel 14:7-8, "For every one of the house of Israel, or of the stranger that sojourneth in Israel, which separateth himself from me, and setteth up his idols in his heart, and putteth the stumblingblock of his iniquity before his face, and cometh to a prophet to enquire of him concerning me; I the LORD will answer him by myself: And I will set my face against that man, and will make him a sign and a proverb, and I will cut him off from the midst of my people; and ye shall know that I am the LORD."

Scripture shows us that this phrase does not exclude strangers who are not sojourning in Israel, because God shows us, in His Word, that His law forbidding idol worship applies to the heathen living outside of Israel. The fact that God has punished Heathen nations throughout the Old Testament is proof that God's Law was binding upon the heathens without the gates of Israel as well. If God's Law was not binding upon them, why would God punish them for breaking His Laws?

Deuteronomy 29:16-17, "(For ye know how we have dwelt in the land of Egypt; and how we came through the nations which ye passed by; And ye have seen their abominations, and their idols, wood and stone, silver and gold, which were among them:)"

Notice in the above passage that scripture says Egypt and other heathen nations were committing abominations with their idols. If the law prohibiting idols did not apply to heathen nations, but only to those in Israel, why would God say these Heathen nations were sinning by having idols? The reason is because they were sinning and committing abominations by having idols, because God's Law applied to the heathen nations as well as to the nation of Israel.

Learning God's Word:

Was it God's will that the stranger outside the gates not learn about and fear God, and observe the words of the law?

Deuteronomy 31:12, "Gather the people together, men, and women, and children, and thy stranger that is within thy gates, that they may hear, and that they may learn, and fear the LORD your God, and observe to do all the words of this law:"

Scripture shows us that this phrase does not exclude strangers who are not within thy gates because God shows us, in His Word, that it is God's Will that strangers outside the gates hear and learn and fear the Lord God, and observe His Law. For example, remember Nineveh and Jonah (in the book of Jonah)? Nineveh, a heathen city, was doing evil, and God sent a prophet, Jonah, to that city so these people would be informed that they were sinning. God told Jonah to tell Nineveh they had 40 days to repent of their sins, or God would destroy them. Jonah went to Nineveh and told them they were going against God's Law. Then the people in that heathen city repented of their sins, and started to obey God's Law from that moment on, and God graciously spared that city from destruction.

Vexing:

Vex means "to suppress, treat violently, maltreat, do wrong." Does Leviticus 19:33 apply only to strangers that sojourn with them; meaning that it was okay for God's children to suppress, treat violently, maltreat, and do wrong to every man, woman, and child throughout the rest of the earth? Or was it God's Will that His Children treat all men, women, and children with love, regardless of where they live?

Leviticus 19:33, " And if a stranger sojourn with thee in your land, ye shall not vex him."

Deuteronomy 24:14, "Thou shalt not oppress...thy strangers that are in thy land within thy gates:"

Obviously, all the above passages refer to all strangers, regardless of where they sojourn. Proof of this is found in:

Exodus 22:21, "Thou shalt neither vex a stranger, nor oppress him: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt." (See also Exodus 23:9).

Sexual Sins:

Leviticus 18 and 20 lists all the sexual sins in scripture. After Leviticus 18 lists all these sexual sins, it states:

Leviticus 18:26, "Ye shall therefore keep my statutes and my judgments, and shall not commit any of these abominations; neither any of your own nation, nor any stranger that sojourneth among you:"

Does this mean that these sexual sins are an abomination only for the strangers that sojourn among them, and not to the strangers in other nations? No, it does not have that meaning. This is proven by reading the context:

Leviticus 18:24-30, "Defile not ye yourselves in any of these things: for in all these the nations are defiled which I cast out before you: And the land is defiled: therefore I do visit the iniquity thereof upon it, and the land itself vomiteth out her inhabitants. Ye shall therefore keep my statutes and my judgments, and shall not commit any of these abominations; neither any of your own nation, nor any stranger that sojourneth among you: (For all these abominations have the men of the land done, which were before you, and the land is defiled;) That the land spue not you out also, when ye defile it, as it spued out the nations that were before you. For whosoever shall commit any of these abominations, even the souls that commit them shall be cut off from among their people. Therefore shall ye keep mine ordinance, that ye commit not any one of these abominable customs, which were committed before you, and that ye defile not yourselves therein: I am the LORD your God."

As we can see, it was an abomination for the heathen nations as well to commit these sexual sins. Now let's look at Leviticus 20.

Leviticus 20:2, "Again, thou shalt say to the children of Israel, Whosoever he be of the children of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn in Israel, that giveth any of his seed unto Molech; he shall surely be put to death: the people of the land shall stone him with stones."

Does this mean that it is not a sin for strangers who are not sojourning in Israel? No, this phrase does not have that meaning.

Leviticus 20:23, "And ye shall not walk in the manners of the nation, which I cast out before you: for they committed all these things, and therefore I abhorred them."

God abhorred these heathen nations, and cast them out, because they committed these same acts that "the strangers that sojourn in Israel" were forbidden to do. This shows that this phrase is not a term of limitation.

This command applies to all strangers, no matter where they are sojourning, or what country they are from.

Therefore, when the 4th commandment says it was for the stranger within thy gates, that means it was a law for the stranger without the gates also. That is the scriptural meaning of this phrase.

In addition, when God's Ten Commandments were first given, what "gates" was God referring to? The children of Israel, at that time, were in Egypt, in the wilderness. They were not in the country of Israel, with gates around them. This would not happen for at least another 40 years. So, obviously, the "gates" did not refer to any physical gates or borders.

Why this phrase?

Why does the fourth commandment, and many other passages, say "the stranger that is within thy gates" or "the stranger that sojourneth among you", instead of just saying "stranger?", so as to make it clearer that it applies to all strangers as well?

The main reason has to do with letting the children of Israel know that when a stranger in their country sins, they are not to turn a blind eye to their sin just because they are from another country. God wanted them to know that the stranger will be held accountable for their sin just as much as the children of Israel are. There is one law for all men. What applies to the children of Israel, also applies if they see a heathen down the road committing the same sin. Do not let the fact that he is from another country excuse his sin.

Another reason has to do with jurisdiction and judging. When the children of God judge others as to whether they are sinning or not, they are only allowed to judge those within their own jurisdiction, and not those without their jurisdiction. For example, the law concerning adultery applies to everyone, believer and unbeliever alike, no matter where they sojourn. If a stranger committed adultery within the gates of Israel, he was to be stoned to death. But if a stranger committed adultery outside the gates of Israel (in another country), the children of Israel had no authority to leave their own country, enter into that pagan country, break down the adulterer's door to his house, drag that stranger out of bed and back to Israel, then stone him to death.

In short, judgment of the strangers outside the gates of Israel is left only to God, whereas judgment of all men and women, both believers and strangers, within the gates of Israel, were given to God's people.

Deuteronomy 17:2-7, "If there be found among you, within any of thy gates which the LORD thy God giveth thee, man or woman, that hath wrought wickedness in the sight of the LORD thy God, in transgressing his covenant, And hath gone and served other gods, and worshipped them, either the sun, or moon, or any of the host of heaven, which I have not commanded; And it be told thee, and thou hast heard of it, and enquired diligently, and, behold, it be true, and the thing certain, that such abomination is wrought in Israel: Then shalt thou bring forth that man or that woman, which have committed that wicked thing, unto thy gates, even that man or that woman, and shalt stone them with stones, till they die. At the mouth of two witnesses, or three witnesses, shall he that is worthy of death be put to death; but at the mouth of one witness he shall not be put to death. The hands of the witnesses shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterward the hands of all the people. So thou shalt put the evil away from among you."

This same truth is expressed in the New Testament as well, by brother Paul:

1 Corinthians 5:9-13, "I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators: Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world. But now I have written unto you not to keep company,if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat. For what have I to do to judge them also that are without?do not ye judge them that are within? But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person."

As we see, Paul did not command us wholly to abstain from intercourse with worldly men, for that would require us to retire from the world. It is not the will of God that good men should retire from the world to avoid its evils; nor is that the way to become more holy, useful, or happy. Our duty is to communicate with the wicked, for the purpose of doing them good. It is important to notice that Paul did not give directions concerning our conduct towards the heathen, but towards our brothers. This is very important.

Paul is saying here that we may transact our worldly concerns with someone that knows not God, and makes no profession of Christ, whatever his character may be; but we must not even acknowledge a man professing Christ, who is evil in his conduct. Let him have this extra mark of your abhorrence of all sin; and let the world see that the assembly of God does not tolerate iniquity.

Paul says, "For what have I to do to judge them also that are without?" The term without signified those who were not members of the Christ's assembly, and in this sense it is "those that are without." In other words, "Does it belong to me to pass sentence on those which are without - which are not members of the Christ's assembly? By no means. Pass ye sentence on them which are within - which are members of the Christ's assembly: those which are without - which are not members of the Christ's assembly, God will pass sentence on, in that way in which he generally deals with the heathen world."

Paul also says, "But put ye away the evil from among yourselves." Those who are false brethren ought to be cast out of the congregation. As for those who are outside of it, they must be left to the judgment of God. If members of the Christ's assembly continue in evil, sin, and unrighteousness, their good, the good of the Christ's assembly, and the honor of Christ require that they should be excluded from it.

When Paul said, "For what have I to do to judge them also that are without", it was not Paul's business, nor ours, to judge those without; hence the rule just given is not one to regulate our intercourse with them.

When Paul said, "Do not ye judge them that are within?", He was saying the authority of the Christ's assembly is over those who have been united with it. It can judge them. Is not your jurisdiction as bondservant of Christ confined to those who are within the Christ's assembly, and professed members of it? Ought you not to exercise discipline there, and inflict punishment on its unworthy members? Do you not in fact thus exercise discipline, and separate from your assembly unworthy men; and ought it not to be done in this instance, and in reference to the offender in your assembly?

Paul also stated, "Them that are without, God will judge." The passing sentence on the heathen God hath reserved to Himself. The unconverted are left in the hands of God. He will judge them according to their deeds. We are not to seek to inflict punishment on them by shunning them, but rather to go to them in the love of Christ to try to lead them to repentance.

When Paul said, "Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person", this sentence of excommunication in language is taken from the Old Testament, where the like directions are given to the congregation of Israel, relative to a man found guilty of evil:

Deuteronomy 13:5, "…So shalt thou put the evil away from the midst of thee."
Deuteronomy 17:7, "So thou shalt put the evil away from among you."
Deuteronomy 24:7, "…and thou shalt put evil away from among you."

Discipline must be exercised in the Christ's assembly; without this it will soon differ but little from the wilderness of this world. If evil be tolerated, the work of God cannot prosper there. The passing sentence on brothers properly belongs to us. This is a summary order to execute discipline upon the incestuous offender. But those without the assembly properly belong to God to judge.

Just as in the Old Testament, God's children were to judge one another (those who were within their gates). But as far as a stranger (gentile), they were to judge only those strangers within their gates, even though God's Law applied to all people, whether strangers or Jews (just as today, God's Law applies to all people, but our judgment is limited to those within our jurisdiction). If a Jew saw a gentile committing adultery outside the gates, they were not to stone him with stones, because God judges the gentiles outside the jurisdiction of His People. Likewise, bondservants of Christ are not to judge and take action against unbelievers who are outside their jurisdiction. But those who are within the gates of Jerusalem, including the gentiles who were sojourning among them, and God's children, they are to be judged by those within that community. That is still our duty today, to judge our brother, and take appropriate action against that brother.

But are not strangers under a different law?

Even though scripture says God's Law applies to all men, and that there were not two laws, but the same law applied to both Israel and strangers, believers and non-believers (Exodus 12:49, Leviticus 24:22, Isaiah 56:6, Numbers 9:14; 15:15-16,29-30, Psalm 18:44), some claim that sometimes, a stranger would not be under God's law, and only the children of Israel would be under God's Law, while the stranger was not.

To evidence this, they use the following scripture. It is against God's Law for a believer to eat an animal that dies by itself (Leviticus 17:15; 22:8), but at the same time, believers are commanded to give it or sell it to an unbeliever (Deuteronomy 14:21). Another example is usury. Believers are forbidden to charge usury to another believer (Exodus 22:25, Leviticus 25:36-37, Deuteronomy 23:19), but at the same time, God commands believers to charge usury to unbelievers! A final example is that of being a bondmen (meaning a lifelong slave). Believers were forbidden from buying, selling or having bondservants that were also believers (Leviticus 25:42). However, believers were commanded to buy, sell, and have bondservants who were unbelievers (Leviticus 25:44).

But, the confusion is cleared up when we understand that this was the Law of God. When God said, "An Israelite cannot eat something that dies of itself, but the stranger can", this is the law of God, and both the stranger and Israelite was under this law.

Let me demonstrate with a hypothetical example.

In the State of Maine, we can say all people must obey the traffic laws of that State. The Law of Maine says "Those 14 years of age and older can drive a car, those under 14 years of age cannot drive a car."

Let us take 2 people. One is 23 years old, the other 13. Does this mean the 13 year old is not under this specific law of Maine, just because the 13 year old is told something different than those 14 and older? No, it does not. This is Maine's Law, and both the 13 year old and 23 year old are bound to obey it. The 23 year old is allowed to drive, the 13 year old is not. Both these regulations are part of the Law of Maine. And all people in Maine are bound by this traffic law. Maine's law is for both those over 14 as well as those under 14.

Likewise, God's Law says the Israelite cannot eat an animal that dies of itself, and the stranger can.

Let us take 2 people. An Israelite and a stranger. Does this mean the stranger is not under this specific law of God? No, it does not. This is God's Law, and both Israelites and strangers are bound to obey it. The Israelite is not allowed to eat, the stranger is. Both these regulations are part of the law of God. And all people in Israel are bound to obey it. God's Law is for both Israelites and strangers.

You see, different people might be regulated differently by God, but all people were under the same law; God's Law. No exceptions.

Another example to illustrate this is that God's Law required a sacrifice for sins. However, depending upon who the man was who sinned, the sacrifices would differ for each man. The sacrificial system incorporated into law a basic principle: the greater the responsibility, the greater the culpability, the greater the sin. This is very clearly set forth in Leviticus, according to which there are four levels or grades of sin:

o   of the high priest (Leviticus 4:3-12), whose sin offering required a bullock, the largest and most expensive sacrifice. Religious leaders, because they have a central responsibility with respect to the law of God, are all the more guilty, and all the more severely judged by God.

o   of the sin of the whole congregation is next in consequence (Leviticus 4:13-21). The sin of a people collectively is a real one: it can be a sin of ignorance, or of falling short in obeying the law, but it is still a sin. The required sacrifice was again a bullock.

o   of the sin of a ruler is next in order of consequence. The sin offering here was "a kid of the goats, a male without blemish" (Leviticus 4:22-26). The "ruler" clearly includes all civil magistrates (Proverbs 24:12).

o   of the sins of individuals, of any of the people of the land, are last in the order of sins (Leviticus 4:27-35). For the well-to-do, the prosperous, a female kid was required; if they were unable to bring the kid, a lamb could be offered. For sins of inadvertency, the poor could bring two turtle-doves or two young pigeons (Leviticus 5:11); for other sacrifices also, this poor man's offering was possible.

All these people were under God's Law. Just because the high priest was commanded to do something different than the poor man, both the high priest and poor man were under the same law...God's Law. Likewise, just because the stranger was commanded to do something different than an Israelite, both the stranger and the children of Israel were under the same law...God's Law.

7.    Romans 3:28, "Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law."

Answer: Does this mean God's Law is abolished? Does this mean we can make God's Law void? Paul answers this question a few verses later:

Romans 3:31, "Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law."

Paul certainly did not understand being justified by faith as synonymous with doing away with God's law. On the contrary, we are to "establish" the law, which means to keep it. Paul taught that what matters is keeping the commandments of God (1 Corinthians 7:19).

8.    "We’re under grace, not under the law (Romans 6:14), therefore we can sin and break the law all we want to. We’re free from the law."

Answer: Paul answers this question in the very next verse:

Romans 6:15, "What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid."

He also answers it in the first 2 verses in this chapter:

Romans 6:1-2, "What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?"

Paul certainly did not understand God's grace to do away with the law or to free us from keeping the law. God puts us under grace when we accept Jesus as our Saviour. Does that mean the law has been done away with now? Does that mean we can sin all we want to now? Does that mean we can now kill and steal and commit adultery?

Please cross reference Romans 6:14 with Galatians 3:13, "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law," not from obedience to the law. The curse of the law is death (Romans 6:23), and there’s a curse upon those who transgress the law (Galatians 3:10). Christ tasted "death for every man" (Hebrews 2:9). Thus He redeemed us from the curse of the law (death), and in its place provided eternal life! You see, Jesus did not make us free from the Law, but made us "free from the law of sin and death" (Romans 8:2). "Is the Law sin? God forbid!" (Romans 7:7). The law itself is not the curse, because of John 7:49, "But this people who knoweth not the law are cursed."

Let us look at Romans 6:14 more closely:

Romans 6:14, "...for ye are not under the law, but under grace."

About the structure of Paul's language here, this is an excellent example of an ellipsis, a figure of speech where certain words not directly expressed are understood. Other scriptural examples illustrate how we are to interpret these words.

For example, in John 6:27, Jesus used this construction when He said, "Labournot for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life..." Plainly, Jesus didn't prohibit working for physical food (2 Thessalonians 3:10, "...if any would not work, neither should he eat.") but He showed where we should place the emphasis, i.e., spiritual food should take precedence over physical food.

Similarly, in 1 Peter 3:3-4, Peter said, "Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart..." In this passage, Peter didn't forbid putting on apparel - surely women were to adorn themselves with clothing, but he placed the emphasis upon women's inward adorning, the adorning of their spirit!

And in 1 Timothy 5:23, "Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach's sake and thine often infirmities." Instead of saying, "give up water totally and use a bit of wine," Paul really said, "put a small quantity of stomach wine into your water." This was typically 20 parts of water and one part wine.

And in 1 Corinthians 1:17, "For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel." Paul was not saying that baptism was no longer binding, because Paul himself baptized many people (Acts 16:13-14, 30-34; 18:8; 19:1-6, 1 Corinthians 1:14,16). The scripture makes it clear that baptism is absolutely necessary in order for the sinner to be forgiven of his past sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; I Peter 3:21, Galatians 3:27). This passage merely shows where Paul should place the emphasis, i.e., upon preaching the word of God. When the apostles delivered the gospel, it was more important that they preach. At that time, not just anybody could teach the word of God, but anybody could baptize! Thus, the apostles rightly emphasized their preaching over baptizing believers themselves, yet they still baptized.

Likewise, In Romans 6:14, the emphasis is on grace, but it does not mean God's Law is not subject to us. It does not mean God prohibits us from obeying his law. He doesn't forbid us from obeying His Law. By the neglect of common sense we can have Paul saying, "I want you to sin a lot so that you can get a lot of grace." Or we can have Timothy saying, "Paul sent me not to drink water." Or women saying, "I cannot adorn myself with clothing." Or others saying, "I cannot eat any more food." Or preachers saying, "Baptism is no part of the gospel."

9.    "The people of the Old Testament were saved by the law, Christians are saved by grace."

Answer: Not true. No one has ever been saved by the law. All who have been saved, in all ages, have been saved by grace alone (Isaiah 45:22). This "grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began" (2 Timothy 1:9). The law only points out sin. Christ alone can save. Noah "found grace" (Genesis 6:8); Lot found grace (Genesis 19:18-19); Moses found grace (Exodus 33:17); the Israelites in the wilderness found grace (Jeremiah 31:2); and according to Hebrews 11, Abel, Enoch, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sarah, Joseph, and many other Old Testament worthies were saved "by faith." They were saved by looking forward to the cross; we are saved by looking back to the cross. The law is necessary because, like a mirror, it reveals the "dirt" in our lives. However, the law has no saving power. It can only point out sin. Jesus, and He alone, can save a person from sin.

10."The letter of the law kills, but the spirit gives life (2 Corinthians 3:6), therefore the law is not applicable to us who have the Spirit."

Answer: The reason the law kills is that "all have sinned" (Romans 3:23; 5:12). All have broken the law. And the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). The reason the Spirit gives life is that it enables us to keep the law and not sin (Romans 8:4, Galatians 5:16). Jesus’ obedience gave us the power to be righteous and keep the Law (Romans 5:19). As Paul said, "I was alive once without the law, but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died [that is, the law condemned him as a sinner]." "For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is ... not subject to the law of God" (Romans 7:9; 8:7, 8).

11."Doesn't 2 Corinthians 3:7 teach that the law written and engraved in stone was to be done away?"

Answer: No. The passage says that the "glory" of Moses' ministration of the law was to be done away, but not the law itself. Read the whole passage of 2 Corinthians 3:3-9 again, carefully. The subject is not the doing away with the law or its establishment, but rather, the change of location of the law from "tables of stone" to the "tables of the heart." Under Moses' ministration the law was on stones. Under the Holy Spirit's ministration, through Christ, the law is written upon the heart (Hebrews 8:10). Christ's ministration of the law is effective because He transfers the law to the heart of the believer (Ezekiel 11:19; 36:26). Then keeping the law becomes a delight and a joyful way of living because the Christian has true love for both God and man.

12."Romans 10:4 says that "Christ is the end of the law." So it has ended, hasn't it?"

Answer: "End" in this verse means purpose or object, as it does in James 5:11. The meaning is clear. To lead men to Christ - where they find righteousness - is the goal, purpose, or end of the law.

In the 7th chapter of Romans, Paul gives us the result in his own case. It drove him to confess that the law was holy and good, and he ought to obey it; and there it left him in distress, and crying, "The good that I would, I do not, but the evil that I would not, that I do." The law was not able to convert him, and he cries out, "O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" Just here, the love of God in sending his Son, Jesus Christ, is presented to his mind, and that did the work. In the next chapter he explains it; "What the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit." The whole scripture testifies that it is only the influence of the gospel which can bring sinners to obey the law. The law will never do it.

13."Why worry about the law? Isn't conscience a safe guide?"

Answer: No! The scripture speaks of an evil conscience (Hebrews 10:22), a defiled conscience (1 Corinthians 8:7, Titus 1:15), and a seared conscience (1 Tim.4:2) - none of which is safe. "There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death" (Proverbs 14:12). God says, "He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool" (Proverbs 28:26). See also Genesis 6:5; 8:21, Numbers 15:39, Deuteronomy 11:16, 1 Kings 8:61, Psalms 58:2; 66:18, Proverbs 3:1,5; 16:5, Ecclesiastes 8:11, Jeremiah 17:5,9, and Matthew 15:19.

14."Didn’t the scripture predict that the Ten Commandments would end?"

Answer: No. It only predicted that the priesthood, feasts, yearly sabbaths, offerings, and the ritual sacrificing would end, not the Ten Commandments themselves (Daniel 9:27, Hosea 2:11, Hebrews 7:12; 9:9-14; 10:8-9).

15."Doesn't Colossians 2:14 teach that God's law ended at the cross?"

Answer: Many people assume that these "ordinances" that were "against us" and "contrary to us" were God's Ten Commandments. But how is God’s Moral Law "against us" and "contrary to us"? And why would Jesus spend his life preaching the Ten Commandments if they were "against us" and "contrary to us"? Besides, Paul spoke of God’s Law as holy, just, and good many years after the cross (Romans 7:7,12).

In reference to the "handwriting of ordinances...nailed...to the cross" (Colossians 2:14), the Greek word translated "handwriting" is cheirographon, and this is the only place the term is used in the scripture. It meant a handwritten record of debt, or what we would today call an IOU. In contemporary apocalyptic literature, this word was used to designate a "record book of sin," meaning a written account of our sins.

Paul was not saying that God's law was nailed to the cross. What was nailed there, he said, was all record of our sins. Because God's law required the death penalty for sin (Romans 6:23), this record is what "was against us, which was contrary to us", not the law itself. He has forgiven us all our sins (Ephesians 1:7), and redeemed us from the curse of the law (Galatians 3:13). Christ has utterly wiped out the damning evidence of broken laws and commandments which always hung over our heads, and has completely annulled it by nailing it over His own head on the cross. It is the evidence against us, not the law itself, that wasnailed to the cross, enabling us to be forgiven.

This becomes clear when we read the rest of Colossians 2. It is apparent that other issues were involved that had nothing to do with God's laws given in the Old Testament. Among these were "principalities and powers" (verse 15), "false humility and worship of angels" (verse 18), forbidding to "touch, taste and handle" (verse 21) and "neglect of the body" (verse 23).

Further, Paul referred to the false teachings in Colosse as rooted in "enticing words" (verse 4), "philosophy and vain deceit" and "the tradition of men" (verse 8). He also referred to submitting to "ordinances" of this world (verse 20) and "the commandments and doctrines of men" (verse 22). Could Paul, who in Romans 7:12 said the law is "holy and just and good," possibly be referring to the same law here, or is he addressing an entirely different issue? Paul answers this in 1 Corinthians 9:21, when he said, "I am not free from God's law."

16."Doesn’t Ephesians 2:15 say the law of commandments were abolished?"

Answer: This verse says only the law of commandments "contained in ordinances" were abolished, not the Ten Commandments themselves. The Ten Commandments were referred to as the "ten commandments" (Exodus 34:28, Deuteronomy 4:13; 10:4).

In order to accurately understand this verse, Let's read this in its context, and go back a few verses:

Ephesians 2:11, "Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;"

First it should be noted that Gentiles, not Jews, are being addressed. Here, Paul uses a touch a irony, and his choice of words is interesting. He says you have been “called” uncircumcision by those who are “called” the circumcision. His point is that these Jews are “called” circumcised, but they are not. They're circumcised in the flesh, yes, but they're not circumcised in heart. He then proceeds to say:

Ephesians 2:12, "That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:"

The word “covenants” is plural! The gentiles were strangers from any covenant of God! People sometimes forget that the New Covenant is made with the house of Israel (Jeremiah 31:33, Hebrews 8:10; 10:16)! This is very specific. If you say “I'm going to do this with Israel,” it might be construed in a spiritual or symbolic sense to be talking about the church as symbolic Israel. But when you use the term “the house of Israel,” you have suddenly become very specific. This verse says that the gentiles, in the flesh, are strangers from the New Covenant as well!

Ephesians 2:13, "But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ."

Far off from whom? From God, naturally. The gentiles were separated from God, and they were also far off and separated from Israel. Now, how can they be made closer to Israel unless it involved being closer to God?

Ephesians 2:14, "For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;"

By the term “both”, it refers to Jews and Gentiles. The apostle describes, 1) The conjunction of the Gentiles with Israel, (Ephesians 2:14,15) and, 2) The conjunction of both with God (Ephesians 2:15-18).

As far as “the middle wall of partition,” in Jesus' day, in the temple, there was a wall that existed in the temple. When one walked into the temple, one entered an area that was called “the court of the gentiles.” The Jewish writing of that time did not call it “the court of the gentiles.” It became called that because, after they came into this area, there was an inner area into which gentiles were not allowed to come. And so the outer part was called “the court of the gentiles,” but both Jews and gentiles mingled freely in that outer court.

Now as they went in, they came to a marble wall that actually warned gentiles against coming passed that particular point, and that the death penalty would have immediately ensued if they passed that point. But what is interesting is that Ephesians 2:14 says Christ has broken down this middle wall of partition, but at the time of the writing of this letter, the wall of partition still stood! The temple had not been destroyed, it was still there and functioning, gentiles were still confined to the outer court, and gentiles were still not allowed passed that marble wall.

Now, Paul draws this analogy out of the temple showing that we all now have access to the Father, and that middle wall of partition between Jew and Gentile was now broken down, but ask yourself this question: “Who erected the wall between Jew and Gentile?” The answer: “The Jews themselves.”

If you search the scriptures, you will not find anywhere in the Old Testament which says, “Thou shalt erect a marble wall, and it shall say on there no gentile may go beyond here or you will be responsible for his death that will immediately ensue.”

Now, there was a barrier between Jew and Gentile, as well as between God and man, and God did not erect any of those barriers. Now, the next verse has no end of misunderstanding:

Ephesians 2:15, "Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances..."

The enmity that was abolished here is the enmity between Jew and Gentile. Is Paul trying to say that the law, or some portion of it, has been done away with by this statement? Well, we must also bear the following in mind. The Jews were gradually constructing ordinances and decrees (Greek - dogma) of commandments as a part of their law, which was Jewish manufactured law and tradition. And this was the source of the largest division between gentiles and jews.

Another interesting thing in this verse that must be considered is the word "abolished." This Greek word for abolished is Greek word # 2673 katargeo. If one looks at all the other verses this word appears in, something interesting appears. For example, the first time this word appears is Luke 13:7. Now, the word katargeo, the same word translated "abolished" is found in verse 7. See if you can find it.

Luke 13:6-7, "He spake also this parable; A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none. Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground?"

No, it's not "cut it down", it's "cumbereth." Why is it "abolishing" the ground? Why is it doing away with the ground? Now, if you interpret the word katargeo as "abolish" when you get to this verse, it does not work! You cannot translate it that way. Well, as you study through all the passages this word katargeo appears, what it means is to render powerless, to take away the strength of something. It does not always mean annuling, such as in this verse, "Why are you leaving this tree here and annuling the ground?" That doesn't work.

So, what Paul is saying here is that Christ rendered powerless the enmity involved in the law of commandments contained in ordinances. What's under discussion here is not whether or not the law of God is abolished. Paul really does not make any distinction as to which law he's talking about.

The key part here is the word "ordinances" (Greek: dogma). The Greek word dogma occurs only five times in the New Testament: and in each case, it refers to the commandments of men! The other four occurrences are: Luke 2:1 and Acts 17:7, where it means the decrees of Caesar; Acts 16:4, where it means the decrees of the Council of Jerusalem concerning decisions about dietary and social relationships between Jews and Gentiles; and Colossians 2:14, where Paul speaks of the written bond with its decrees which has been canceled by the death of Christ. This last reference is in the context of regulations concerning eating, drinking, and festivals (Colossians 2:14-17). Similar regulations appear again in Colossians 2:20-22, where those who obey them are described as "subject to ordinances" (verse 20), or subject to dogmatizo. Paul’s rationale for this is that these regulations are but "commandments and doctrines of men" (verse 22). [See answer #14 above for more details.]

This also appears to be the best meaning for Ephesians 2:15. Thus the "law of commandments contained in ordinances" would be the precepts of the law as they were created by man, and not God. These ordinances refer to those jewish laws which stood as a barrier and a wall between Jew and Gentile, Christ, in His flesh, rendered powerless and meaningless.

Now, what is interesting about this is that this verse says "in his flesh" and not "through his blood." If this passage was talking about the reconciliation of man to God, scripture normally talks about this being done through the blood of Jesus Christ. But where do Jew and Gentile find themselves reconciled? They find themselves reconciled in the flesh or body of Christ; flesh being the body of the church (the "church" is said to be members of His body in Romans 12:4-5, 1 Corinthians 12:12-27, and Ephesians 5:30, "For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones").There is where we find the reconciliation of Jew and Gentile.

Therefore, this passage means that Christ, in his flesh, in his body, has rendered meaningless the differences between Jew and Gentile, which the Jews have created over many years by human ordinances and decrees and dogmas and traditions, which they had created. This verse, and the entire chapter of Ephesians 2, says absolutely nothing about any part of the Law of God.

17."Jesus does not say we must obey the Ten Commandments in order to receive eternal life."

Answer: Yes, he most certainly does! (Matthew 19:17-19, Mark.10:17,19, Luke 10:25-28; 18:18,20). Only those who obey Him will have eternal salvation (Hebrews 5:9, 1 John 2:17).

18."The Ten Commandments are not reaffirmed in the New Testament."

Answer: Actually, they are. All ten of them.

Commandment

Old Testament

New Testament

First

Exodus 20:3

Matthew 4:10, Acts 17:29, 1 Corinthian 8:6

Second

Exodus 20:4-6

1 John 5:21, 1 Corinthians 10:7

Third

Exodus 20:7

1 Timothy 6:1, James 5:12

Fourth

Exodus 20:8-11

Hebrews 4:3-11, Matthew 12:12, Mark 2:27

Fifth

Exodus 20:12

Matthew 19:19, Ephesians 6:2

Sixth

Exodus 20:13

Romans 13:9, 1 John 3:15

Seventh

Exodus 20:14

Matthew 19:18, Galatians 5:19

Eighth

Exodus 20:15

Romans 13:9, Ephesians 4:28

Ninth

Exodus 20:16

Romans 13:9, Colossians 3:9

Tenth

Exodus 20:17

Romans 7:7, Ephesians 5:3, Colossians 3:5

19."No one can keep the law of God anyway, so don't worry about it. We sin every day."

Answer: "Sin is lawlessness", and Jesus was "manifested to take away our sins", our lawlessness (1 John 3:5-6). Jesus came down to give us the power to keep the law. Satan, in order to make God’s request seem unreasonable, invented the falsehood that obedience is impossible (Phil.4:13). "He that committeth sin is of the devil" (1 John 3:8). ). All sin consists in voluntarily consenting to the desires.

An Important Note: It is true that we "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23), but the very fact that we have sinned proves that the law of God is still in existence, "for sin is the transgression of the law" (1 John 3:4), and "sin is not imputed when there is no law" (Romans 5:13), "for where no law is, there is no transgression" (Romans 4:15). The very fact that we are all sinners - all still guilty of breaking the law - proves that the law is still in effect. But God does not want us to continue sinning - He came down not only to die for our past sins, but also to give us power to quit sinning, to stop serving sin (Romans 6:6), because "Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin" (John 8:34).

Do you know who the Holy Spirit is given to? It is given only to those who obey God’s Law (Acts 5:32). Whoever transgresses the law, and doesn’t abide in Christ’s doctrine, does not have God in him (2 John 1:9). Righteousness is obedience to God’s Law (Deuteronomy 6:25, 1 Corinthians 15:34). The unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 6:9-10). This is how we know who is of God and who is of the devil; "Whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God" (1 John 3:10). Whoever disobeys God, is not of God! So simple.

Do true Christians really sin every day? The scripture says the Lord delivers us from temptation (2 Peter 2:9), so Christians cannot commit sin (1 John 3:6-9) because the wicked one cannot touch him (1 John 5:18). God gives us the power to overcome the world (1 John 5:4). John wrote these things so that we would not sin (1 John 2:1). If we hide God’s word in our heart, we should not sin against Him (Psalm 119:11). Christians are to have a divine nature and be purged from our old sins (2 Peter 1:4-9).

20."Did God really say he expected us to keep His Commandments?"

Answer: Yes (Deuteronomy 4:2,40; 6:17; 7:11; 8:6; 10:13; 11:27; 28:1,9, Leviticus 26:15). Even after Jesus came into this world (Deuteronomy 18:18-19). He’s not foolish or cruel, but wise and loving. He wouldn’t give us commands and principles to live by if they were impossible to follow.

Would God command people to keep his commandments if it was impossiblt to do? Would God command people to sin not, if it was impossiblt to do? Does the Law require that which is impossible to do? Would God punish people for doing that which is impossible to perform? Was God joking when he commanded people to keep all His commandments?

1 Kings 9:4-5, "And if thou wilt walk before me, as David thy father walked, in integrity of heart, and in uprightness, to do according to all that I have commanded thee, and wilt keep my statutes and my judgments: Then I will establish the throne of thy kingdom upon Israel for ever,"

If it is impossible to walk in all the commandments of the Lord blameless, how does one explain this:

Luke 1:5-6, "There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth. And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless."

Jesus Christ did not obey the law so that sinners would not have to obey. Jesus was obedient unto death, and this is set down as our example. We are to follow in Jesus’ steps and commit no sin (John 13:15, Philippians 2:5, 1 Peter 2:21-22; 4:1, 1 John 2:6), and keep the commandments like Jesus did (John 15:9-10, Romans 7:25). Will we walk in sin if we walk as Jesus walked (Colossians 2:6)? Will we sin if we purify ourselves like Jesus was pure (1 John 3:3)? Will we sin if we are morally perfect like our Father in Heaven is perfect (Matthew 5:48)? Jesus instructed us to teach people to observe all his commandments (Matthew 28:20). "Doers of the law shall be justified" (Romans 2:13, James 1:22-25). Just like Abraham was justified by works, our faith is made perfect by our works (James 2:20-22). When Jesus healed, he would instruct them to be obedient to the Law, and "sin no more" (John 5:14; 8:11). Would Jesus tell them to sin no more if it was impossible to do? Sin is the breaking of the law, and Jesus told them to not break God's Law anymore. Jesus does not tell people to do that which is impossible to do.

21."The Law did not exist before Moses received it at Sinai."

Answer: Wrong! Dead wrong! The scripture tells us "Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law." (I John 3:4). When Adam disobeyed God in Eden he "sinned" (Romans 5:12). How could Adam be called a sinner clear back in Eden if God had no law back then to define sin? When Cain was thinking about murdering his brother Able, God warned him: "sin lieth at the door." (Genesis 4:7). How could God warn Cain he was about to sin, and then place him under a curse for murdering his brother, if God had no law back then prohibiting murder? And how did Cain, and "every one" else on "earth," know that the penalty for a murderer was death (Genesis 4:14-15) if God had no law revealing this? How could God tell Noah that mankind had become exceedingly corrupt and evil if there was no Divine Law that they had broken (Genesis 6:11-13)? What justification did God have for destroying the world by the Flood if the people were unaware of His law?

How did King Abimelech (the Philistine king of Gerar, a heathen) know adultery was wrong, and that the penalty was death (Genesis 20:1-7; 26:7-11)? As did Joseph (Genesis 39:9)? How did Jacob know stealing was wrong (Genesis 30:33; 31)? The answer is obvious, because God's Law DID exist before Moses, before Jews existed in the world. God Himself said of Abraham that he, "...obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws" (Genesis 26.5). Did you read that? How could Abraham have obeyed God's commandments and laws unless God had already given it to him? God's Law, His Ten Commandments, did exist before Moses repeated them.

As a matter of fact, there were blood sacrifices in the Garden of Eden! After Adam and Eve sinned, God clothed them in skins that were taken off animals whose blood had been poured out as a sin-offering to God (Genesis 3:21); for as we find Cain and Abel offering sacrifices to God. How did Abel know to sacrifice the firstlings of his flock and the fat thereof to the Lord (Genesis 4:4) if there was no law of sacrificing and offerings? How did Noah know to take clean animals and offer them as burnt offerings on the altar to the Lord (Genesis 8:20) if there were no burnt offering laws? The law that says an animal must be put to death if it kills a man (Exodus 21:29) is also in Genesis 9:5-6.

How did Judah know that Tamar, being a widow, was to marry her husband's brother (Genesis 38:8,11) if this law was not revealed to them? The fact is, Deuteronomy 25:7-10 existed before God gave this law to Moses.

How did God teach the Israelites about the Sabbath? God sent manna six days a week for them to eat (Exodus 16). But He told them to gather twice as much on Friday because there would be none on the Sabbath. The scripture tells us God gave the Israelites manna to determine if they would walk in God's Law (Exodus 16:4). But Exodus 16:27 tells us the very next Saturday they flunked the test, they disobeyed God by going out to gather manna on Saturday, they didn't even obey God for one week!

So God asked them in verse 28, "How long refuse ye to keep my commandments and my laws?" The Lord didn't institute the Sabbath and then one week later cry out "How long will you refuse to keep My commands" the very first time they failed! No, God's commandments had been around for more than two thousand years by then. People had been continually breaking God's Law from Eden onwards. Even the Israelites whom He rescued from Egypt were breaking His Sabbath Day! No wonder God said, "How long will you refuse to keep My commands?"! The scripture evidence is that God's Law had been around for thousands of years before they were reaffirmed to the Israelites at Mount Sinai.

22."But Romans 5:13 says before the law was given, sin was in the world. Doesn't this mean sin can exist without any law?"

Answer: Let us read this verse in context.

Romans 5:13, "For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law."

Many quote just the first half of this verse, without the second half. In order to understand the first half of this passage, we must understand the last half. Therefore, let us first establish what is meant by "sin is not imputed when there is no law."

What does this passage mean? It means that sin cannot be imputed unless there is a law! Here are a couple of verses which confirm this:

Romans 3:20, "...by the law is the knowledge of sin."

1 John 3:4, "Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law."

Therefore, if somebody commits sin, then it automatically means one transgressed the law. Why? Because the definition of sin is "the transgression of the law." That is why Romans 5:13 says, "sin is not imputed when there is no law." Why is sin not imputed when there is no law? Because it is impossible that Sin could exist if there is no law!

Therefore, "sin is not imputed..."; in other words, it is not charged to men, or laid to their account; they are not held responsible and punished for it; "...when there is no law", because sin is a transgression of a wise and good law. It follows that there was such a law binding on men before the time of Moses, and before any written revelation of the will of God was made to men.

Now, knowing that sin cannot exist without law, and that sin is the transgression of the law, how do we interpret, "Romans 5:13, "For until the law sin was in the world?" Quite easily. Before God's Law was actually written down in the book of Moses, on stone, or on whatever other material, sin existed. Scripture says there cannot be sin unless there is a law that gives a knowledge of that sin. Therefore, since sin cannot exist unless there is a law, that means there must have been a law at that time! But the Law of God was not written down on books, or paper, or stone. So how could God communicate to man His Law if it was not written down? Well, God talked to man directly, He also used his prophets to communicate God's Law, and dreams, and other ways as well. But the point of Romans 5:13 is this:

Before the Law was actually written down, and given to Moses, there was sin. And Sin cannot exist unless there is a Law. Therefore, since sin cannot exist unless there is a law, God's Law must have existed before it was written down physically. Is there another verse which confirms God's Law existed before it was written down and given to Moses? Yes:

Genesis 26:5, "Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws."

Obviously, God's Law did exist before it was written down and given to Moses, as the above passage verifies.

23."Doesn't 2 Corinthians 3:13-16 say the Old Testament was done away?

Answer: No. This verse is the only verse in the entire scripture which uses the term "Old Testament." Interestingly, what Paul says here is not that Christ takes the Law or "Old Covenant" away, but that He removes the vail which conceals the fullness of its true meaning! The veil is removed when we turn to God through Christ so that we can see that part of the Law which is written on the hearts of men through faith and a willingness to obey. Here is a verse by verse break down with my comments in brackets:

2 Corinthians 3:13, "And not as Moses, which put a vail over his face, that the children of Israel could not stedfastly look to the end of that which is abolished:" [Notice the context of this passage is about the vail].

2 Corinthians 3:14, "But their minds were blinded: [the vail was preventing them from understanding the true meaning of the Law] for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail is done away in Christ." [The true message is hidden and the vail is still untaken away in the reading of the law, but the true meaning was revealed by Christ. Also notice this verse specifically says the "vail" was taken away, not the old testament].

2 Corinthians 3:15, "But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart." [The true meaning of the law is hid].

2 Corinthians 3:16, "Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away." [When the heart shall turn to Christ, the vail, the hidden meaning of the law, shall be taken away, and the true meaning understood].

24.How do you explain this verse? Galatians 2:16, "Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified."

Answer: First, let us review a little background as to the reason why Paul wrote this epistle to the Galatians. Paul led the Galatians to Christ (Galatians 3:1). They made a good start in the godly life (Galatians 3:3) and were doing well spiritually (Galatians 5:7). Later, some Jewish teachers (called Judaizers) taught the Galatians that to be saved, one must not only believe in Christ, but must also obey the Jewish law, the sign of which is circumcision.

Now, concerning the verse in question, Galatians 2:16, we must ask ourselves, "Which law is Paul referring to here?" Now, let's read this verse in context. Start at the beginning of Galatians 2, and you will see the context is about the Jewish law, like circumcision. The whole topic of Galatians 2, up until verse 16, is about circumcisionand the Jewish law. This is the context of Galatians 2:16. This is the law that this verse is referring to, these carnal commandments of the Jewish law (Hebrews 7:16). The point Paul was making was that the Gentiles do not have to be converted to Judaism in order to follow Christ (Galatians 2:14, Acts 15:5-11; 21:21).

Paul was saying that gentiles can cast aside the law of physical circumcision and be justified by faith. But, did Paul also include the ten commandments? Did Paul also mean that we can cast aside the physical meaning of the ten commandments and be justified by faith? The answer is definitely no. Further proof that Paul did not include the ten commandments (in verse 16) is to look at verse 17!

Galatians 2:17, "But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid."

These words are an objection, which the adversaries of the doctrine of justification by faith have been always ready to make against it, namely, "That if persons be not justified by their obedience to the law, then they may live as they want in the breach and violation of the law, and freely indulge themselves in sin, and consequently make Christ the minister of sin, as if he had relaxed the duty." The apostle rejects this inference and deduction with the greatest abhorrence and detestation, saying, God forbid.

If sinners should be justified through Christ by faith without the Law, Christ would approve sinners, and should exhort them to sin by his ministry; and that it it is not necessary to observe the law in order to be accepted with God; that it pronounces a man justified and accepted who is a violator of the law; that his acceptance does not depend on his keeping the commandments; that it releases him from the obligation of God's Law; and that it teaches that a man may be saved though he does not conform to God's Law.

The idea is, "You seek to be justified by faith without obeying the law, You professedly reject that, and do not hold that it is necessary to yield obedience to it. If now it shall turn out that you are sinners; that your lives are not holy; that you are free from the wholesome restraint of the law, and are given up to lives of sin, will it not follow that Christ is the cause of it, that he taught it, and that the system which he introduced is responsible for it? And is not the gospel therefore responsible for introducing a system that frees from the restraint of the law, and introduces universal licentiousness?"

Paul answers that this conclusion is false, because Christ destroys sin in the believer; that being acquitted from the curse of the Law and justified they may be saved by Him. And Christ gives them that strength and power, through the Holy Spirit, which destroys sinful tendencies: so that this old man being abolished by the power of Christ crucified, Christ may live in them, and they may consecrate themselves to God. Therefore if any man give himself to sin after he has received the Gospel, let him not accuse Christ nor the Gospel, but himself, for he destroys the work of God in himself. Christ is not the minister of sin; but in turning away from Him, one makes himself a sinner.

If it turns out that we are sinners, or if others discover by undoubted demonstration that we lead lives of sin; if they see us given up to a lawless life, and find us practicing all kinds of evil; if it shall be seen not only that we are not pardoned and made better by the gospel, but are actually made worse, and are freed from all restraint. Is it to be traced to Christ? Is it a fair and legitimate conclusion that this is the tendency of the gospel? Is it to be charged on Him, and on the plan of justification through Him, that unrightousness prevails, and that men are freed from the wholesome restraints of God's Law? God forbid. It is not so. This is not the proper effect of the gospel of Christ, and of the doctrine of justification by faith. The system is not fitted to produce such a freedom from restraint; and if such a freedom exists, it is to be traced to something else than the gospel.

Learn hence, that the doctrine of justification by faith alone, cannot be rightly preached, except the duty of mortification of sin be urged and enforced with it; for the same faith that depends upon Christ for pardon of sin, does look up unto him for power and strength to vanquish and subdue sin; If we do not the latter, Christ will never do the former.

25.How do you explain this verse? Galatians 3:10-11, "For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith."

Answer: Notice it says only those who continue not in the "book of the law" are cursed. It does not say those who continue in "the law" are cursed. The "works of the law" refer not to God's Ten Commandments itself, but to the book of the Law. The "book of the law" refers to the Old Covenant laws. Only the book of the Old Covenant had curses (Deuteronomy 29:20,21,27, 2 Chronicles 34:24).

Scripture is clear that Moses wrote the Old Covenant in a book (Deuteronomy 31:9) but the Ten Commandments were written by the Finger of God (Exodus 31:18). The book of statutes and judgments which Moses wrote in a book was placed in a pocket on the side of the ark (Deuteronomy 31:24-26). In contrast, the Law written by God on tables of stone was placed inside the ark of the covenant (Exodus 25:16).

Galatians 2 clearly talks of the Old Covenant law of circumcision. And chapter 3 verifies this by referring to the book of the Old Covenant that Moses wrote. How can we be sure which law is referred to?

Galatians 3:19, "Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come..."

The law Paul is referring to was added because of transgression (such as animal sacrifices and other such laws that were to be in force until the time of the Messiah), he is not referring to the law which defines transgressions (such as sin, which remain in force even after the time of the Messiah). This verse continues by saying this law was...

Galatians 3:19, "...ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator."

This law was not given to Israel immediately from God himself (as the Ten Commandments were); but was conveyed by the ministry of angels to Moses, and delivered into his hand as a mediator between God and them, to remind them of the great Mediator. When the ten commandments were given, there was no mediator between God and the people, God communicated with the people directly (Deuteronomy 5:4,22-26). It was not until after the Ten Commandments were given that Moses became a mediator (verse 27).

Please look at Galatians 3:13. It says "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law." It does not say Christ redeemed us from obedience to the law, but only from the curse of the law. Again, only the book of the Old Covenant has curses, and Jesus brought in a New Covenant.

John 7:49, "But this people who knoweth not the law are cursed."

Those who know not the law are cursed. This would not make any sense if those who know the law are cursed also. Would it?

26.But what about this verse? Galatians 5:4, "Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace."

Answer: Again, this "law," in verse four, is referring to the sacrificial laws. This is proven by the previous two verses where Paul addresses only Jews:

Galatians 5:2-3, "Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law."

You see, this is referring to the same laws as Galatians 2 and 3, the laws of the Old Covenant, which included circumcision.

27.The Bible says, "There is none righteous, no, not one" (Romans 3:10), so nobody can obtain righteousness, right? Nobody can walk in all the commandments of God".

Answer: This verse is taken out of context, and does not apply to the servants of God. When read in context from verses 10-18, it can only apply to unbelievers. Psalms 14:1-3 is very similar to this verse, but this Psalm only applies to "fools" (verse 1) as Romans 3:9-18 only applies to unbelievers. Many have attained righteousness: Abel was righteous (1 John 3:12), as well as Noah (Genesis 6:9-7:1), Job (Job 9:15), Zacharias and Elizabeth "were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless" (Luke 1:5-6), Jesus (1 John 2:1), and lots of people from Abel through Zacharias (Matthew 23:35). As a matter of fact, scripture specifically says that Noah, Daniel, and Job "shall deliver their own souls by their righteousness" (Ezekiel 14:14,18,20).

Yes, believers in God can obtain righteousness, as many passages in scripture confirm, but unbelievers cannot, as Romans 3:10-18 describes.

28.The Bible says "...all our righteousness are as filthy rags" (Isaiah 64:6), so why bother to be righteous?

Answer: This verse is also taken out of context, and doesn't apply to the servants of God. Verse 7 says "and there is none that calleth upon thy name." Obviously, servants of God do call upon the name of the Lord, so these verses pertain to unbelievers.

29."Why do so many people deny the binding claims of God's law?"

Answer: "Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be" (Romans 8:7). Paul warned Timothy that the day would come when, because of their pleasure in unrighteousness (2 Thessalonians 2:12), men would no longer choose to hear the Truth, but would seek after teachers who would speak to them the things that suited the tenor of their carnal nature (2 Timothy 4:3-4). For this reason, commandment keeping has never been popular. To those who desire a way of forgetting God which will pass for remembering him, a gospel of love that requires no obedience is readily accepted (1 Peter 2:7-8).

Only eight people survived the flood, because only those eight did "all that the LORD commanded" (Genesis 7:1,5). Only Lot and his two daughters survived Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 19:16) because only they were righteous (2 Peter 2:7-8). Out of the 603,500 Hebrews who left Egypt during the Exodus, 603,498 died before they could cross the river into their promised land 40 years later. Caleb and Joshua were the only two survivors of the wilderness trek from Egypt to Cannan (Numbers 26:65). Why? Because only Caleb and Joshua "followed the Lord fully" ( Numbers 32:11-12), while the others continued worshipping the gods and idols of Egypt.

This is the reason why there were few left in Egypt, because they didn't obey God (Deuteronomy 28:62). Because the earth transgressed the laws, the curse devoured the earth, and there were few men left. Jesus said the same about us also. "For many be called, but few chosen" (Matthew 20:16; 22:14), and there will be few that are saved (Luke 13:23-24), and there will be few that find eternal life (Matthew 7:14). Many people will do many wonderful works in Jesus' name, but only a few will do the Will of the Father, and only those few will be saved (Matthew 7:21-23). As a matter of fact, Jesus had many disciples walking with him while he was here on earth, but at one point, many disciples walked with Jesus no more, and only a few were left who followed him (John 6:66).

Physical growth is a function of time. Intellectual growth is a function of learning. Spiritual growth is neither a function of time or learning, but it is a function of obedience (Hebrews 5:8-9). Transgression of the law is always a result of a lack of faith. People do not reject the scripture because it contradicts itself, but because it contradicts them!

Every man's destiny is to be determined by deeds done in the body (2 Corinthians 5:10, Revelation 2:23; 20:12-13; 22:12). If we reject God's Law, God will reject us (Hosea 4:6). Remember, we don't break God's Law…it breaks us if we disobey it!