Friday, June 15, 2012


This my post on Face Book today in a group of present and former WCG/COG members I though might be beneficial to my readers.

When we debate the issues of the Law here it seems to me that some hold different understandings of terms and definitions. Many use the terms; law, covenant, statutes, ordinances, commandments, and judgements correctly but also more often incorrectly. Sometimes terms that are synonymous are used against others to support a particular position. I feel this is partly why there is so much circular action leading to stalemate. The other part may be emotional attachment to our personal belief system that clouds reason.

The way I like to explain these various terms is by using a comparison, an analogy if you will, comparing the Old Covenant to a Promissory Note and the Mortgage that secures the payment of the underlying note. If anyone has had a
mortgage they know they had to sign a promissory note and the mortgage. The mortgage is obviously a contract and I want to focus on that document to make my point.

A Mortgage is a contract as stated. The definition of the word contract is synonymous with covenant. A mortgage may have any number of terms and conditions that are also referred to as covenants or promises contained within the mortgage. The covenant that God offered to Israel on Mt. Sinai was actually a covenant in relation to property rights or ownership. Here is a definition from; "...Covenants can be concurrent (mutual promises to be performed at the same time), dependent (one promise need be performed if the other party performs his/hers), or independent (a promise to be honored without reference to any other promise)."

From the definition above the covenant that God made with Israel in 1400 B.C. was a "dependent" covenant. If God performed His promises then Israel would perform theirs. God kept his promise to Abraham and gave Israel the land inheritance, then Israel had to obey their promises to stay there. The promise given to Abraham was that the land would be a perpetual covenant, IF they obeyed. The terms contract and covenant are the same. There are different kinds of contracts just like there are different kinds of covenants. The contract that contained the law was a: bilateral contract; "n. an agreement in which the parties exchange promises for each to do something in the future. "Susette Seller promises to sell her house to Bobby Buyer and Buyer promises to pay Seller $100,000 for it." This is distinct from a "unilateral contract," in which there is a promise to pay if the other party chooses to do something. "I'll pay you $1,000 if you'll stop smoking." (Law.Com) Jacob made a unilateral contract with God, Jacob asked for safety and then he would give ten percent to God if God choose to perform first. The contract that God offered Israel was a bilateral contract in that if one party (God) performed their promise then the other party (Israel) would perform theirs. The differences are only academic in nature.

Statutes, Ordinances, and Law are each synonyms. Each of these terms can be used individually, as Moses did often, or interchangeably. All contained within the Covenant or mortgage. The violation of any one breaches the entire covenant.

The term Statue is generally referring to a national law while ordinances are more local.
"n. a federal or state written law enacted by the Congress or state legislature, respectively. Local statutes or laws are usually called "ordinances." Regulations, rulings, opinions, executive orders and proclamations are not statutes."

A Commandment is not the particular law, statute or ordinance in question but the act or power to mandate a law.
1.a command or mandate.
2.( sometimes initial capital letter ) any of the ten commandments.
3.the act or power of commanding

Judgements are the part of administrating the terms and conditions (or laws) to determine if an action or failure to act has violated a law and caused a breach.
1. an act or instance of judging.
2. the ability to judge, make a decision, or form an opinion objectively, authoritatively, and wisely, especially in matters affecting action; good sense; discretion: a man of sound judgment.
3. the demonstration or exercise of such ability or capacity: The major was decorated for the judgment he showed under fire.
4.the forming of an opinion, estimate, notion, or conclusion, as from circumstances presented to the mind: Our judgment as to the cause of his failure must rest on the evidence.
5. the opinion formed: He regretted his hasty judgment.

Contracts/Covenants have a set of terms and conditions. Getting back to the mortgage, the terms and conditions are covenants or promises to perform certain acts. For example The first is to make a payment of an exact amount on a designated date. If the payment is not made then the entire covenant is considered breached and the mortgagee can foreclose and take the property. All of the terms and conditions do not need to be violated to cause a breach, just one. Other failures individually that can cause a breach of the contract may be a promise to keep hazard insurance in force or pay all property taxes or maintain the property. Analogous to the Old Covenant either side could breach the covenant. We know that God fulfilled everything He promised in the covenant he made by the words of Joshua in Joshua 23: 14, And behold, this day I am going the way of all the earth. Know in all your hearts and in all your souls that not one thing has failed of all the good things which the Lord your God promised concerning you. All have come to pass for you; not one thing of them has failed.

15 But just as all good things which the Lord promised you have come to you, so will the Lord carry out [His] every [warning of] evil upon you, until He has destroyed you from off this good land which the Lord your God has given you.

16 If you transgress the covenant of the Lord your God, which He commanded you, if you serve other gods and bow down to them, then the anger of the Lord will be kindled against you, and you shall perish quickly from off the good land He has given you. 

At this juncture in around 1440 BC all the covenants that God had made with Israel He had fully kept. Now the rest was up to them, and verse 15 and 16 refers to the blessings and cursings that would accrue to them if they failed to keep their covenants. It would be righteousness for them if they were careful to observe all these commandments. Some here like to use the argument that the Law is still in force today just as it was in the time of Israel in the Promised land. That is a specious or fallacious argument for the following reasons.

1)The Laws comprised the numerous terms and conditions of the Covenant God offered to Israel only. They ratified it on Mt. Ebal and Mt. Gerizim in Shechem in the land after they arrived at the spot that would be the center of religious worship for several hundred years.

2) The breaking of just one of the terms was enough to breach the whole covenant. God went to great length to make this clear in Deut. 27 known as the blessings and cursings chapter.

3) The individual laws that included the Decalogue were NOT severable or separable, meaning no individual law or group of laws could be excluded by either party without express permission of the other. God stated, "If you do not carefully observe ALL of the words of this law...or you shall be plucked off the land you go to possess...Then the Lord will scatter you among all peoples...and you shall never see it again." Deut. 28:58-68.

4) From 770 BC until around 600 BC God gave Israel, who were divided into the North and South Kingdoms, final warnings against breaking the covenant. Their continual weakness of turning to foreign gods and idolatry finally got them ejected once and for all from the land. The Egyptian, Persian, Assyrian and Babylonian nations served to fulfill God's warning to eject and scatter the Israelites. He did this while Jeremiah, Isaiah, Daniel, Ezekiel, and many minor prophets were sent over and over to warn them of the coming judgement but many of the Kings of Israel failed to heed the dire warning. Some prophets were sent during the captivity. At this time God is told Israel that he would make a new covenant not like the old one. Jeremiah chapter 31 reveals God's plan of reconciliation. But it is NOT by a breached covenant that no longer exists. Paul, was a legal expert in Torah and details of the Old Covenant which he lived under and practiced. Pharisees were lawyers of the day and would have known the terms I discuss above in great detail. They prosecuted violations of these terms and conditions, the numerous laws contained in the covenant. He uses the same terminology "..the law of commandments contained in ordinances." ( Eph. 2:14) Also Paul says, "And I testify (as in a court room) again to every man who becomes circumcised that he is a debtor to KEEP THE WHOLE LAW." One single term violated means a breach of the covenant and foreclosure on the property. (Gal. 5:3)

To conclude: The laws are terms and conditions of the covenant (old covenant) made with Israel. When one single law (term or condition) is breached the entire covenant or contract is thus breached. If someone tells you that the laws are to be obeyed today, ask "which ones can be excluded" and still keep the old covenant? If God says that ALL must be kept then that is what must be taught and performed if you claim that covenant is to be kept. By definition it is impossible to keep or fulfill a contract without keeping ALL of the laws within it as I have proven. The Apostle Paul  verifies the same. Hebrews chapters 8-10 likewise verifies this identical concept. The problem arising when anyone attempts to lead people back to the Old Covenant is it, in theory,  places those who follow this specious and fallacious reasoning back under the curse of the law. Jesus specifically died for us becoming the curse of the law. To teach otherwise is to reject that free gift - which is shear folly. Even if we wanted to the Covenant has been foreclosed and is there by nullified and no longer exists.

What is worse is this preference of an obsolete covenant rejects the New Covenant and the Mediator of the New and better covenant offering Jesus as the truth and the life.

Jesus said, "They prefer the old wine because they say it is just fine." They therefore reject the new wine that God offers, the new covenant is not the same as the other.

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