The Great Christian Revolution 2A – The Necessity For Biblical Law 1

Introduction:
The fact is that all law is ‘religious.’ All law is based on some ultimate standard of morality and ethics. Every law system is founded on the ultimate value of that system, and that ultimate value is the god of that system. The source of law for a society is the god of that society. This means that a theocracy is inescapable. All societies are theocracies. The difference is that a society that is not explicitly Christian is a theocracy of a false god.1

All law is religious. Men want laws, which are in harmony with their religious views. Humanist men want humanist law, Moslems (most commonly) want Sharia law, and Christians should want Christian, or Biblical law. Unfortunately, due to the fact that Christians have been indifferent towards the application of Biblical law in their community, we have witnessed the steady abandonment of Biblical law, in favour of humanistic law.

This has led to the tacit acceptance of humanistic socialism as a legitimate political ideology, the waging of aggressive war with casualties on a scale never seen before in human history, 2 the centralisation of power, government control of economies through reserve banking systems, 3 the widespread introduction of graduated income tax, the abandonment of capital punishment, along with the legalisation of many perversions such as pornography, homosexuality etc.

But all this must change. Brin claimed that the Hebrew social order differed from all others, in that it was believed to be grounded on and governed by the law of God, who gave it specifically for man’s government. 4 Wycliffe wrote that “this Bible is for the government of the people, by the people, and for the people.” The only novel thing about this in his day, was that “the people themselves should not only read and know that law but also should in some sense govern as well as be governed by it.” 5

Three things must be noted about the law of God:

Firstly, the law is the revelation of God and His righteousness. Secondly, the law was a treaty or covenant given by God, such as in the case of the Ten Commandments. Thirdly, the law is a plan of dominion under God, which He expects His people to abide by, and to obediently implement in the world. 6 To choose or accept anything else, is tantamount to apostacy.

A. The Law and Jesus Christ:

With Adam’s fall, man fell, and God’s law-order was broken. With Christ’s victory, man in Christ triumphed, and God’s law-order was restored, with its mandate to exercise dominion under God and to subdue the earth. Can any man of God proclaim less? 7

Our Lord readily submitted to the whole of God’s law.At the time of the temptations, Jesus quoted from the law three times to resist and refute the devil (Mat.4:1-11). In dealing with the Pharisees, who had accused the disciples of being in breach of the elders’traditions, Jesus quoted from the law, highlighting their hypocrisy (Mat.15:1-14). In teaching the disciples, Jesus taught from the law (Luke 24:25-27).

Jesus came and spoke as a king. He spoke “with authority” (Mat.7:29). All kings have laws and rules. Any kingdom without law presupposes anarchy. Jesus submitted to and taught from the law, because it was His law: “the warfare of Jesus was not against Moses. It was against the scribes and Pharisees who perverted Moses. It is a perversion of Scripture to separate the law and the prophets from Jesus. The mount of transfiguration witnessed to their unity.” 8

Jesus made His attitude towards the law abundantly clear, in Mat.5:17-18: “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished.” This means that Christians of any era ought to be very cautious, before accepting careless and foolish assumptions about the law, which are not found in scripture. “Either God’s revealed law is sovereign in society or else autonomous man’s declared law is sovereign.” 9

It is important to understand that there was a significant difference between the faith delivered to the Old Testament saints, and the religious beliefs of the Pharisees in Jesus’ day. The Pharisees purported to be faithful to the Old Testament revelation, but this was a sham. They held to Judaism, which was a humanistic corruption of Old Testament faith. “The Pharisees, professing to be champions of God’s word, were in fact its enemies and perverters.” 10

The Pharisees’commitment was merely to a hypocritical outward observance, rather than inward obedience. This is shown clearly in Jesus’commentary on the Jews in Jn.5:45-47: “Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father; the one who accuses you is Moses, in whom you have set your hope. For if you believed Moses, you would have believed Me, for He wrote of Me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?” Jesus later said, “Did not Moses give you the Law, and yet none of you carries out the Law?” (Jn.7:19)

The true attitudes of the scribes and Pharisees were illustrated, when they brought a woman before Him, caught in adultery. (Jn.8:1-11) Clearly, they were not interested in justice; if they were, there would have been a man alongside her, to be tried. “The Mosaic Covenant mandated that God's law must apply to all men equally, thereby upholding the principle that the rule of law is to be upheld (Ex. 12:49).” 11 The text clearly shows that they were “testing Him, so that they might have grounds for accusing Him” (v.6). “This was a staged episode in order to destroy His credibility.” 12 Jesus cuts to the heart of the issue, with His challenge to the men present: “He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her” (v.7).

It is a serious mistake to contend that Jesus in this, is thus saying that because of sin, noone can legitimately condemn another in a court of law. If that were the case, there would be no legitimate court convictions. The point He was making, was that these men had brought her to Jesus for a judgment, when in fact they were just as guilty of adultery as she was.

“Judges, witnesses, and executioners had to have clean hands in dealing with an offender and an offense, in this case adultery. All of them were guilty men, adulterers, and their consciences convicted them.” 13 This was why they all filed out of the room.

Jesus in His statements on the day had not denied Old Testament law. He merely refused to be a party to its application through the Pharisees’moral hypocrisy. They it seems, were no less guilty than the woman, yet they were ready to see her condemned. “Their use of the law was evil and obscene.” 14 Furthermore, “nothing is more hateful to God than a perversion of His truth which claims to be a defence of it.” Jesus was a champion of God’s law, 15 but that law (being God’s eternal purpose of justice) would never be served through hypocrisy, misogyny, or its selective application. “Jesus always respected and kept the Old Covenant law. His purpose in coming into the world was to take the Old Covenant to Himself and, in His own death and resurrection, to transform it into the life-giving New Covenant.” 16

Let’s consider this in a question and answer format:

1. Question: “How have we been disobedient to God?”
Answer: By ignoring God’s law.

2. Question: “But doesn’t the Bible say that we’re not under the law, but under grace?”
Answer: We’re not under the law, as a means of salvation; no one ever has been. Noone can hope to be saved by keeping the law. That was what the Pharisees claimed to do, and their hypocrisy was severely rebuked by Jesus (Mat.23), and later by Paul (Gal.2:16-17). God’s law and His grace are not in opposition; they have always been aspects of His eternal character and purpose. “I, the Lord, do not change.” (Mal.3:6) Jesus’answers to the devil’s temptations in the wilderness, (Mat.4:1-11) were all taken from God’s law.

3. Question: “But this is the New Covenant now. We’re ‘New Testament Christians.’ No one talks about the law these days.”
Answer: I agree. Few people do talk about the law. But the Bible (including the New Testament) says much about God’s law: The inauguration of the New Testament, does not mean the rejection of all of the Old Testament law. Jesus said, “Do not think that I came to abolish the law or the prophets; I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill.” Mat.5:17. “I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man.” Ro.7:22. “[God] condemned sin in the flesh, so that the requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us.” Ro.8:3-4. “By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments.” I Jn.2:3. “You are my friends, if you do what I command you.” Jn.15:14.

4. Question: “But aren’t there changes with the New Testament?”
Answer: Yes, there are. A quick summary is that the sacrifice of bulls and goats, the ceremonial laws, the boundaries for tribes, the cities of refuge, the necessity for circumcision, the temple and the food laws have been abolished in the New Testament, whilst the Gentiles (in accordance with Old Testament prophecy) have access to the kingdom of God.

5. Question: “Now I’m really confused. You’re saying that the Old Testament sacrificial system has been abolished because of Jesus, but the laws of the Old Testament remain the same?”
Answer: Yes. If a law is laid down in the Old Testament, but not changed in the New, it remains the same today. For instance, bestiality is forbidden in the Old Testament (Lev.20:15,16), but it is not referred to in the New. Therefore, the prohibition on bestiality remains.

6. Question: “But isn’t God a God of grace? After all, the Bible says that ‘the law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realised through Jesus Christ.’ ” (Jn. 1:17)
Answer: Yes, but grace is not only a New Testament phenomenon. God has always dealt with people on the basis of His grace, because we’re sinners. He chooses to deal with us, despite our sin. Furthermore, there are no kingdoms without laws and rules; you would have anarchy. “There is no grace without law or law without grace.” 17 Jesus repeatedly spoke of the legitimacy of the Ten Commandments (Luke 18:18-20).“Grace precedes law. But law always follows grace.” 18 God gave us grace through Jesus Christ, when we were sinful, rebellious people, that we might be changed, and obey Him.

7. Question: “So, what happens to a nation that doesn’t want God’s law/”
Answer: The general scriptural principle, is that disobedience leads to dispossession.

Example A: II Chron.12: 1-9:
As soon as Rehoboam and all Israel “forsook the law of the Lord,” (v.1) God sent judgment in the form of Shishak, (v.2) who plundered them (v.4,9). God made it clear that their forsaking of His Law, was tantamount to forsaking Him (v.5b).

Example B: Jer.9:12-16: God made it clear, that the children of Israel’s forsaking of His law, and that they had “walked after the stubbornness of their heart and after the Baals,” (v.14) was a form of idolatry. He said He would judge them, and would “send the sword after them until I have annihilated them” (v.16).

Example C: Amos 2:4,5: Because Judah had “rejected the law of the Lord and not kept His statutes,” (v.4) God said He “will send fire upon Judah and it will consume the citadels of Jerusalem” (v.5).

8. Question: “So you’re saying the world is being judged by God?”
Answer: Yes, but we in the Church are especially being judged (I Pet.4:17). We have to realise that antinomianism in the Church has many political, economic, social and educational implications. It is a heresy. As a result, God makes life painful for His people through judgment, so that they turn back to Him.

1. Chilton, D., “Paradise Restored,” 1985, p.219.
2. See for example, Eliot, G., “Twentieth Century Book of the Dead,” 1972. Up till 1969, Eliot estimated that man-caused deaths in the twentieth century, could have ranged between 80-150 million.
3. “The supposed benefits of central banking are all illusory and impossible.” Rozeff, M., “The Meaning of Quantitative Easing,” Lew Rockwell website, 11/5/09.
4. Brin, J., “The Social Order Under Hebrew Law,” The Law Society Journal, vol.VII, no.3 (August 1936.)
5. Rushdoony, R..J., “The Institutes of Biblical Law,” 1973, p.1.
6. ibid., p.6-8.
7. Rushdoony, p.6-8.
8. Rushdoony, p.714.
9. North, G., “Inheritance and Dominion,” 1999, ch.18.
10. Rushdoony, p.706.
11. North, “Inheritance and Dominion,” ch.72.
12. Rushdoony, R. J., “The Gospel of John,” 2000, p.92.
13. ibid., p.92.
14. ibid., p.92.
15. Rushdoony, R. J., “Thy Kingdom Come,” 2001, p.224.
16. Jordan, J., “The Law and the Covenant,” 1984, p.234.
17. Kevan, E., “The Grace of Law,” 1983, p. 208-209.
18. North, G., Priorities and Dominion, 1999, Ch.1.

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