No Part of the Mosaic Covenant Has Ended
– Part 3
by Gerald R. Thompson
The Destruction of Jerusalem In 70 A.D.
Some Christians point to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. as the final nail in the coffin that rendered the Mosaic covenant terminated or obsolete. They view the death and resurrection of Christ as spiritually declaring (or predicting) the demise of Judaism. Jerusalem’s destruction is seen as implementing a physical completion or realization of the spiritual reality. Heb. 8:13, which speaks of the Mosaic covenant as becoming obsolete in the future, is taken as being fulfilled in 70 A.D. As the argument goes, the book of Hebrews was written about 68 A.D., so Heb. 8:13 was a prediction which was fulfilled two years later. Thus, there was a 40 year overlap between the beginning of the Church covenant and the end of the Mosaic covenant.
Still others, among them preterists, post-millennialists, and some supersessionists, believe that Jerusalem’s destruction fulfilled most biblical prophecies concerning the Tribulation, and the Millennium actually began at that time. In other words, we are now in the period of the earthly kingdom of Christ, the Kingdom Age.
Granted, the destruction of Jerusalem had a tremendous impact on the practice of Judaism and the ability of Jews to carry out the requirements of the Mosaic covenant. This is due to the destruction of the temple and the concurrent dispossession of the Jews from the Promised Land. We Gentiles don’t often realize it, but many of the laws of Israel were directly tied to living in the land of promise:
“Therefore you shall do my statutes and keep my rules and perform them, and then you will dwell in the land securely.” (Lev. 25:18.)
“See, I have taught you statutes and rules, as the Lord my God commanded me, that you should do them in the land that you are entering to take possession of it.” (Dt. 4:5.)
The practical effect of dispossession from the land is that many of the Mosaic laws are impossible to perform in a full or literal sense anywhere else. Thus, before the statehood of Israel in 1948, it was impossible for Jews anywhere to keep many of the Mosaic laws as written. Even now, many laws (such as the land laws of Lev. 25) are not observed in spite of the fact it might be physically possible to do so. I know of no particular reason why the Jews could not set up a monarchy (i.e., a throne) in their nation at this time – except they have chosen not to do so. Yet, many laws are still physically impossible to perform at this time.
I’m talking about the bulk of ceremonial laws – particularly the laws of sacrifices – which can only be performed on a regulation altar constructed on the Temple Mount. There is no such altar, even today. Although Israel claims ownership of the Temple Mount, they do not have possession – possession is controlled by the Muslims, with their Dome of the Rock. That is why there is constant tension concerning access of the Temple Mount by Jews. They simply cannot erect an official altar anywhere else but in the very spot where the former holy of holies stood. So the sacrifices called for by the Mosaic laws remain un-offered by the Jews to this day.
For the Jews’ part, they are desperate to resume possession and control of the Temple Mount so sacrifices may resume. Even though the temple was destroyed, the priests and Levites designated under the Mosaic covenant still exist. And the Jews are ready, at this very moment, to resume full temple services as soon as they get back functional control of the Temple Mount. The temple implements, priestly clothing, Levites and descendants of Aaron, are all standing ready to resume full operation. Have you never heard of the Temple Institute and the Temple Mount Faithful (officially, the Temple Mount and Eretz Yisrael Faithful Movement)?
So, what are we to make – in terms of scriptural interpretation – of the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D.? One thing we have to be careful to avoid is being held captive ideologically to interpretations of scripture that were based on past perspectives. I am speaking here of the view of many Christians before 1948 (the statehood of modern Israel). For 1,878 years, all Christians could see was that Jerusalem had been destroyed and the Jews were scattered around the globe. The longer time went on, the more it seemed certain that Israel would never be revived, and the Jews would
never return to the Promised Land. Sure, the words of the various biblical prophecies concerning Israel’s restoration were there for all to read, but there was (as yet) no evidence that they would be fulfilled literally.
The writings of biblical commentators and prophecy “experts” who lived before 1948 still exist, and influence some scholars yet today. But we are not in the same position today as those people. We have actual and significant evidence that the Jews will be regathered and the nation fully restored. The statehood of Israel is not a complete fulfillment of biblical prophecies regarding Israel’s restoration by any means. This is mainly because the prophecies require a spiritual awakening among the Jews at the same time. But the statehood of Israel lends credence to the belief that fulfillment is imminent. The Jewish temple will be rebuilt and sacrifices will resume – not because overzealous Christians want to see their own views of end times prophecies fulfilled – but because the Jews are driven to make them so.
The desire of the Jews and their confrontations with the Muslims and Arabs are not lessening or going away – they are increasing and coming to a head. The Jews are not simply going to allow the Muslims to control the Temple Mount in perpetuity, while Israel controls all the land around it. At some point, the Jews will regain control, and there will likely be a war about it.
But prophecy aside, from a covenantal perspective, I see the destruction of Jerusalem as merely a change in conditions, or circumstances only – just like others we have seen. Just because those conditions have persisted for a long time, does not mean they are permanent. The fullness of the Gentiles will come to a close. Or as Luke put it, “Jerusalem will be trampled underfoot by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.” (Lk. 21:24.) See also, Rev. 11:2. What happens when the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled (completed)? The Jews will take over.
Regardless of the circumstances, the terms and legal effect of the Mosaic covenant have not changed. Which means that the Mosaic covenant is not dead, or ended. When the Third Temple is built, it will be a temple that conforms to the Mosaic laws. It will be administered by Aaronic priests and Levites according to the instructions given to Moses. The sacrifices, when they resume, will conform to the Mosaic laws. (What else would they conform to?) I suppose, in a sense, you can say the Mosaic covenant is in large part suspended due to the destruction of the Second Temple. But that is not the same as being obsoleted, or terminated. Observation of the Mosaic covenant will come back. And in order for it to come back, it must remain alive, even now.
THE FUTURE OF THE MOSAIC COVENANT
The Mosaic Covenant Will Resume For Who?
Further proofs that the Mosaic covenant has not ended are the scriptures indicating that the Mosaic system of worship will resume and thrive throughout the Millennial kingdom of Christ. As I have just observed, how can the Mosaic covenant not be alive now, if it was alive before now and will be alive after now? How can it have ended, if it will resume? And yes, I’m not just talking about the theocracy and the throne of David (which Jesus will sit on), but I’m also talking about the ceremonial law, and in particular, animal sacrifices.
Ah, but you may object that animal sacrifices are completely antithetical to the high priesthood and sacrifice of Christ once for all, and therefore animal sacrifices can never be re-instituted for the Church. Well, if that’s your position, then you are half right. Yes, animal sacrifices are antithetical to the Church covenant – that much is true. The problem is with the phrase re-instituted for the Church. You see, I never once said, suggested, or even hinted that the Mosaic covenant will resume for Christians. That’s because the Mosaic covenant can’t resume for people it never applied to in the first place (namely, Christians – or to be more precise, Gentiles).
The Mosaic covenant will resume for national Israel, that is, biological Jews only. And for such people, it won’t matter if they are individual believers (followers of Christ) or not. In fact, during the Millennium all Jews will be presumed to be followers of Christ (“Christians,” if you will). Because the Millennium is the time period when all Israel will be saved. (Rom. 11:26; Heb. 8:8-12).
Right now, your head may be spinning. Why on earth would God require the Jews – when they are saved and following Christ – to observe animal sacrifices which are antithetical to the Church covenant? And why would God (in the Millennial worldwide kingdom of Christ) keep the Jews and the Church separate and treat them differently? Let’s put the first question on hold momentarily – we’ll come back to it shortly. But the answer to the second question, you should already know.
Recall our discussion a few pages back about apples and oranges – the ways in which Israel and the Church are completely different. Remember what I said back there:
They will never merge, subsume, or be the same. One is a physical nation defined by biology. The other is a spiritual body defined by faith. How can Israel and the Church, or the Mosaic covenant and the Church covenant, ever be mashed together? They are completely different kinds of entities – two skewed lines that never intersect.
Nothing about this will change during the Millennium. Just because all Israel will be saved, does not mean God will redefine the nation of Israel. Israel will still be a nation defined by biology, not faith. And that nation – biological Israel – will still be God’s treasured possession among all the peoples of the world. A worldwide government of Christ does not mean that national distinctions will go away. Even in eternity, the nations will come and go into the New Jerusalem. (Rev. 21:24-26). Remember, God created the nations, not people. National distinctions serve God’s purposes. And He’s going to keep them around forever.
Now, let’s look at the biblical evidence indicating that observance of the Mosaic covenant by the Jews will resume in full during the Millennium. This will get us to the point of answering the question as to why God will require the Jews to observe animal sacrifices, even after they start to follow Christ.
Biblical Evidence Re: Future Resumption of the Mosaic Covenant
In 572 B.C., Ezekiel was shown a vision by God that takes up the last nine chapters of his prophetic book (ch. 40-48). This extended vision was given 25 years after Ezekiel is taken captive by Babylon, and 14 years after the destruction of Jerusalem and the Jewish temple in 586 B.C. In other words, the vision takes place during the 70 year Babylonian captivity.
The vision begins with a description of a future temple complex, beginning with the outer court and the main exterior gates (ch. 40). Then the vision moves to a description of the inner temple (ch. 41), and the surrounding temple chambers (ch. 42). The glory of the Lord filling the temple, along with measurements of the altar area, are described next (ch. 43). Chapter 44 concerns the Gate of the Prince, and rules for the Levitical priests (primarily the sons of Zadok). Next, measurements for the Holy District are given in ch. 45, where the temple complex, the priests, Levites, and the Prince of Israel all have portions.
The feasts and offerings to be observed by the people are described in ch. 46. Chapter 47 begins with a description of a river flowing from the temple eastward to the Dead Sea, and ends with a description of the overall dimensions of the land of Israel. Chapter 48 provides for a division of the land of Israel by tribe, giving the dimensions and position of each tribe’s allotment. The chapter ends with a measurement of the external boundary of the city of Jerusalem, and gives names to its twelve gates, one for each tribe of Israel.
Now we know the vision given to Ezekiel concerned the future as to him, because at the time the Jewish temple had been destroyed and Israel’s people were dispossessed from their land. There was no present reality corresponding to the vision. The question is whether the vision was fulfilled in the building of the Second Temple (which was itself destroyed by the Romans in 70 A.D.), or whether its fulfillment is still future even as to us (suggesting a fulfillment in the Millennium).
There are a number of reasons which strongly indicate Ezekiel’s vision still remains to be fulfilled even now. For one thing, ch. 40-48 are not the only chapters of Ezekiel which relate to visions or prophecies of the end times. For instance, ch. 36 pertains to the restoration of the land of Israel, and its repossession and repopulation by the Jews. Obviously, that process has begun – but has it been completely fulfilled? No. The restoration of Israel will not be merely physical, but also spiritual.
I will take you from the nations and gather you from all the countries and bring you into your own land. I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules. You shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers, and you shall be my people, and I will be your God. And I will deliver you from all your uncleannesses. (Eze. 36:24-29).
Clearly, this text speaks of the time when all Israel will be saved. And that certainly hasn’t happened yet. So, in spite of the recent statehood of Israel, Eze. 36 has not been substantially fulfilled. To remove all doubt, consider this verse: “Thus says the Lord God: On the day that I cleanse you from all your iniquities, I will cause the cities to be inhabited, and the waste places shall be rebuilt.” (Eze 36:33). This suggests the restoration of Israel that we have witnessed in recent decades is nothing compared to the extent of restoration yet to come.
Similarly, ch. 37 contains the vision of the Valley of Dry Bones. Like ch. 36, this vision concerns the restoration of the nation of Israel. And again, there are verses in ch. 37 describing the spiritual cleanness of the nation when the vision is fulfilled. But the vision goes even further, describing how “My servant David shall be king over them, and they shall all have one shepherd.” (Eze. 37:24). Clearly, this is a reference to Christ assuming the throne of David, since we know Israel has not, in fact, had anyone in the line of David as king from the beginning of the Babylonian deportation until now. So it would be hard to argue this vision has already been fulfilled.
And then there are chapters 38-39, what most commentators agree is a description of the battle of Armageddon, an event which closes out the Tribulation period. Which means that the four chapters preceding Ezekiel’s vision of the future temple are all set in the end times. This is the context for Ezekiel’s vision.
But even apart from this context, there are several key indicators in the vision itself that lead us to the same conclusion. First, the measurements given in Ezekiel’s vision have never corresponded to any version of the Jewish temple so far. I’m amazed at how detailed the measurements are in the vision. Exact measurements of walls, gates, circumferences, wall thicknesses, the altar, chambers and buildings, etc. I won’t list all of the measurements – but they are detailed to be merely allegorical.
I don’t believe God deals in hypotheticals – He never needs to make a conjecture. God had no reason to provide detailed physical measurements of a temple that would be anything other than a literal, actual, physical structure in human history. He doesn’t need to imagine what things might be, He already knows what really will be. So if He describes a physical structure, you can bet it will exist (at some point in time) exactly as described. Especially when He’s talking about a future temple that Christ Himself will build. (Zech. 6:12-13). I think it’s likely Jesus will know God’s blueprints of the temple – don’t you?
Second, the river flowing from the (Third) Temple to the Dead Sea is definitely something that has not happened yet. Eze. 47:1-5 describes water flowing from underneath the threshold of the temple to the east. The river is described as ankle deep 1,000 cubits from the temple, knee deep at 2,000 cubits, waist deep at 3,000 cubits, and too deep to pass at 4,000 cubits downstream. From there the river goes down to the Arabah and eventually enters the Dead Sea, at which point the water of the Dead Sea will become fresh. (Currently, the Dead Sea is one of the saltiest bodies of water on earth.)
The river itself will give life: “every living creature that swarms will live, and there will be very many fish … so everything will live where the river goes.” (Eze. 47:9). Additionally, “on both sides of the river, there will grow all kinds of trees for food. Their leaves will not wither, nor their fruit fail, but they will bear fresh fruit every month, because the water for them flows from the sanctuary. Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for healing.” (Eze 47:12). Not only that, but Zechariah tells us that, “On that day living waters shall flow out from Jerusalem, half of them to the eastern sea and half of them to the western sea.” (Zech. 14:8). So this must all still be future, if literal.
Third, Ezekiel’s description of the division of the land, with its Holy District and tribal divisions, has never even remotely been fulfilled yet. All of which reasons lead me to irrevocably conclude that Ezekiel’s vision of the temple will be fulfilled in our future, most likely during the Millennium. Therefore, the ceremonial rituals of the Mosaic covenant described by Ezekiel will resume in the future, including animal sacrifices. Will God have the Jews build an altar just for show? I don’t think so.
Ezekiel is not the only prophet who foresaw the resumption of active observance of the Mosaic covenant in the future.
Then I heard a holy one speaking, and another holy one said to the one who spoke, “For how long is the vision concerning the regular burnt offering, the transgression that makes desolate, and the giving over of the sanctuary and host to be trampled underfoot?” And he said to me, “For 2,300 evenings and mornings. Then the sanctuary shall be restored to its rightful state.” (Dan. 8:13-14).
“And from the time that the regular burnt offering is taken away and the abomination that makes desolate is set up, there shall be 1,290 days.” (Dan. 12:11).
Whether you believe the time periods in Daniel are to be taken as literal days, or figuratively as years, I have yet to come across anyone who can convincingly mark out when Daniel’s time periods either began or ended in the past. Even preterists, who believe most or all of the prophecies of Daniel were fulfilled in the past, are unable to mark out these time periods with any certainty. And quite frankly, if they have been fulfilled in the past, the time periods should be easily confirmed without a doubt. Which means, to my mind, that these prophecies are yet to be fulfilled. Consequently, the resumption of regular burnt offerings is yet future.
But also consider this: what regular burnt offerings can Daniel possibly be talking about, except offerings under the Mosaic covenant? Can he possibly be referring to anything else? Not really.
Then we have this promise given by God to Jeremiah:
“The Levitical priests shall never lack a man in my presence to offer burnt offerings, to burn grain offerings, to make sacrifices forever.” (Jer. 33:18).
When scripture says that followers of Christ will obtain eternal life, do you take that literally, or allegorically? Why would you read Jer. 33:18 any differently?
Why Will God Require the Jews to Resume the Mosaic Covenant?
Now let’s consider the reasons why God will require the Jews to resume the Mosaic covenant. Isn’t the Church covenant good enough for them? Actually, on an individual basis, it is. But this isn’t about the Church, or salvation, or redemption. More to the point, it’s not about any individual Jews at all. It’s about the nation of Israel as a corporate entity. And as a nation, Israel has both a unique privilege, and a unique burden.
The privilege, we have already partially identified. Israel, among all the nations of the world, is the only one identified by God as His treasured possession, a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation. Israel is also singled out as the only nation whom God calls my people, the people whom God will dwell among, and who are identified with His holy name. To the Jews alone were committed the oracles of God, that is, the scriptures, (Rom. 3:2). Salvation itself is from the Jews (Jn. 4:22), and only of Israel does God ever say that he will forgive their sins as a nation (Jer. 31:34). Further, even the territories of the nations were determined around Israel (Deu. 32:8), and Jerusalem is the center of the world (Eze. 5:5; 38:12). All of that is pretty special, and unique.
Now, for the burden. Consider this scripture carefully:
And the Lord said to me, “Son of man, mark well, see with your eyes, and hear with your ears all that I shall tell you concerning all the statutes of the temple of the Lord and all its laws. And mark well the entrance to the temple and all the exits from the sanctuary. And say to the rebellious house, to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord God: O house of Israel, enough of all your abominations, in admitting foreigners, uncircumcised in heart and flesh, to be in my sanctuary, profaning my temple, when you offer to me my food, the fat and the blood. You have broken my covenant, in addition to all your abominations. And you have not kept charge of my holy things, but you have set others to keep my charge for you in my sanctuary.
“Thus says the Lord God: No foreigner, uncircumcised in heart and flesh, of all the foreigners who are among the people of Israel, shall enter my sanctuary. But the Levites who went far from me, going astray from me after their idols when Israel went astray, shall bear their punishment. They shall be ministers in my sanctuary, having oversight at the gates of the temple and ministering in the temple. They shall slaughter the burnt offering and the sacrifice for the people, and they shall stand before the people, to minister to them. Because they ministered to them before their idols and became a stumbling block of iniquity to the house of Israel, therefore I have sworn concerning them, declares the Lord God, and they shall bear their punishment. They shall not come near to me, to serve me as priest, nor come near any of my holy things and the things that are most holy, but they shall bear their shame and the abominations that they have committed. Yet I will appoint them to keep charge of the temple, to do all its service and all that is to be done in it.” (Eze. 44:5-14).
I read this as an illustration of the principle of Lk. 12:48 – “Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more.” In other words, because Israel was given the unique privilege of being God’s own possession among the peoples of the world, a people on whom God bestowed both His laws and His very presence, they were held to a higher standard. And instead of making the most of their special status in God’s sight, they squandered it, chasing after false gods and breaking His covenant.
For these many abominations God can, and will, forgive any individual Jew. And in fact, as I have said, the assumption is that during the Kingdom Age, all individual Jews will be saved. This is not a salvation issue. This is an issue of national (corporate, and ancestral) shame and iniquity. It is, as the scripture clearly indicates, a matter of national punishment. It doesn’t mean that any Jews will be denied entry into heaven, or even that they will be denied the many physical blessings God has promised to bestow on Israel during Christ’s earthly kingdom. It simply means, in terms of religious duties, that they will have certain ritualistic obligations the Gentiles will not also have. And this punishment will be imposed not because of anything the Jews at the time will have done, but because of what their ancestors did long ago in the past.
How unfair! you may say. How un-Christian. What about Eze. 18:20, you may say.
The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not suffer for the iniquity of the father, nor the father suffer for the iniquity of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.
All I can say is, God has always dealt with Israel covenantally as a nation, or corporately. Even when it comes to their eventual salvation, it will be measured out to the Jews as a nation. So when God finally demands the debt to be paid for their past transgressions, the punishment will be meted out to them as a nation. And also this:
Then the word of the Lord came to me: “O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter has done? declares the Lord. Behold, like the clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel. … Now, therefore, say to the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem: Thus says the Lord, behold, I am shaping disaster against you and devising a plan against you. Return, every one from his evil way, and amend your ways and your deeds.'” (Jer. 18:5-6,11).
But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?” Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honored use and another for dishonorable use? (Rom. 9:20-21).
It’s tough love, people. God can do whatever He wants with His own possession among the peoples of the world. Ours is not to question why, but merely to understand. God has made His intentions known, and they are unmistakable. They shall bear their punishment.
There are no necessary conflicts between the fundamental doctrines of Christianity and the eternal viability of the Mosaic covenant – if you allow that God has chosen to deal with Israel as a nation corporately and the Church as a body of individuals separately and distinctly. The problem, for most Christians, is they do not allow that God has chosen to do this. They believe that once Christ died and rose from the dead, some or all of the unique attributes of Israel were obsoleted.
Even those Christians who don’t necessarily hold that national Israel was merged into or subsumed by the Church usually still believe that there was (and is) no need for Israel to maintain a separate system of worship and religious ceremonial practice. “Christ died once for all” is the mantra – even for Jews – and that is all true for individuals. “There is neither Jew nor Greek in the Church” – also true, but irrelevant. This essay isn’t about a separate process of salvation or redemption for the Jews. Observing the rituals of the Mosaic covenant in the present or future is not about how to obtain forgiveness for sins or being reconciled to God. That’s because, quite simply, the Mosaic covenant never did those things, even in the past.
The Mosaic covenant never was, is not now, and never will be, a covenant of faith. The Mosaic covenant only ever was (or will be) a national covenant (that is, a civil constitution) for biological Jews. There is no way for you to join this covenant if you are a Gentile. No one can convert to become a biological Jew. You are either born as a physical descendant of Jacob/Israel, or you are not. Which also means that biological Jews may not opt out of the Mosaic covenant, either. Like it or not, every biological Jew is stuck with the privilege, and the burden, of being a member of the ethnic nation of Israel. It is nobody’s choice, except God’s. He chose, and we – Jew and Gentile alike – are stuck with that choice. There is nothing any of us can do about it.
God has chosen the nation of Israel as a special group of people for His own purposes. These purposes do not have to make sense to you. God does not need anyone’s permission to deal with national Israel separately and distinctly from the Body of Christ if He wants to. Just because you would do things differently (i.e., treat everyone the same) if you were God, is irrelevant. The only question is, what has God said about the matter?
You may be asking yourself what difference all of this makes. Actually, a great deal. What is at stake is the integrity of the laws of nature and nature’s God.
You see, the laws of nature and nature’s God consists of two main parts, the first of which is the law of nature (the will of God impressed upon the creation). It’s bad enough the way the concept of natural law is trampled on or given short shrift by Christians worldwide. Oh sure, many people recognize that the law of nature is the eternal moral law of God. But instead of viewing that body of law comprehensively, people tend to limit it to verbalized expressions of the law of nature – such as the Ten Commandments – when by definition the law of nature is the non-verbal expression of God’s will in the universe.
So, while acknowledging there is an eternal moral law, they deny the greater part of it (the non-verbal part). They refuse to devote any energy to discovering what God may have told us by way of non-verbal revelation, often with the mistaken belief that the laws of nature, if discovered, can never be on par with the authority of scripture. Then, if someone does bother to investigate the laws of nature, such efforts are dismissed as merely someone’s opinion. Consider this quote: “The Scriptures are the only organs through which God conveys to us a knowledge of his will about what we are to believe concerning himself, and what duties he requires of us.” A. A. Hodge. See how that view totally guts the law of nature of any force or vitality? For shame!
All you have to do is look at Rom. 10:17-20 to see that the law of nature (specifically quoting Ps. 19:4) contains a revelation of the plan of salvation itself. That’s because creation itself IS the word of Christ. (Did Christ speak creation into existence, or not?) See, Col. 1:16; Jn. 1:1-3; Gen. 1.
As I said, it’s bad enough that advocates of the laws of nature and nature’s God have to consistently deal with this ignorant prejudice. But we also get the same resistance on the flip side. After all, the second part of the laws of nature and nature’s God is the laws of nature’s God. What are those laws? They are the verbalized laws of God found in the holy scriptures which, when you boil it down, chiefly consist of the terms of the divine covenants between God and men.
And just look at the ways in which the divine covenants are denigrated. The Adamic covenant is often viewed as terminated, lost or forfeited because of the Fall. Wrong! – merely a change in circumstances, not a modification of the terms of the covenant or its legal effect. The Noahic covenant is treated as a covenant of redemption (it’s not), thereby minimizing it’s legal effect. Eating meat is seen as an option rather than a duty, and capital punishment is viewed as “that was then, this is now.”
Similarly, the Abrahamic covenant is turned into a covenant of faith (it’s not), with the promise of a great nation and the Promised Land spiritualized as applying to the Church instead of to biological Jews. The Davidic covenant is reduced to Jesus ruling in heaven, instead of on the earth. And the Mosaic covenant is largely viewed as either terminated, or spiritualized as being subsumed by the Church. Ouch!
It’s no wonder most Christians have no concept of the laws of nature and nature’s God, and are completely ignorant of its provisions. No one in the churches is teaching people what God’s laws really are. Instead, people are everywhere being told that God’s laws are just someone’s opinion (uncorroborated at best, misguided or anti-scriptural at worst), and/or that such things are past and are now irrelevant. Then, to fill the obvious void created by this lack of regard for God’s laws, people invent a so-called Law of Christ, the so-called Regulative Principle of Worship, and other
similar false laws. For shame!
So you better believe how we regard the Mosaic covenant specifically, and all of God’s covenants with men in general, is tremendously important. My encouragement to you is this: don’t get taken in by false teachers.
The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. Certain persons, by swerving from these, have wandered away into vain discussion, desiring to be teachers of the law, without understanding either what they are saying or the things about which they make confident assertions. (1 Tim. 1:5-7).