Author Topic: Binding Aspects of the Mosaic Law  (Read 63071 times)

0 Members and 2 Guests are viewing this topic.

Mimi

  • Assistant Administrator
  • Posts: 27796
  • www.remnant-online.org
    • The Remnant Online
Binding Aspects of the Mosaic Law
« Reply #60 on: May 29, 2007, 04:13:00 PM »
One law, one custom shall be for you and for the dwelling stranger. Num 15:16

Doesn't this statute (paraphrased) nullify the arguments for cultural applications regarding some Paulien statements in the NT?

  For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. Psalm 119:89 

asygo

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 2022
Binding Aspects of the Mosaic Law
« Reply #61 on: May 29, 2007, 05:11:00 PM »
 
quote:
Originally posted by Sybil:
One law, one custom shall be for you and for the dwelling stranger. Num 15:16

Doesn't this statute (paraphrased) nullify the arguments for cultural applications regarding some Paulien statements in the NT?


I don't think so. Lev 25:39-46 specifies different statutes for the Israelite and the stranger regarding slavery. Whether we like it or not, they were not treated equally.

But when it comes to offerings, sacrifices, and atonement (which Num 15 is addressing) the requirements are the same for the Israelite and the stranger. Maybe there's a lesson there.

------------------
By God's grace,
Arnold M. Sy Go
-end-

By God's grace,
Arnold M. Sy Go
-end-

Mimi

  • Assistant Administrator
  • Posts: 27796
  • www.remnant-online.org
    • The Remnant Online
Binding Aspects of the Mosaic Law
« Reply #62 on: May 29, 2007, 06:01:00 PM »
You are right - there are differences. Thanks for keeping me straight!
  For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. Psalm 119:89 

Richard Myers

  • Servant
  • Posts: 38887
  • A glorious sunset teaches of trust and faith.....
    • The Remnant Online
Binding Aspects of the Mosaic Law
« Reply #63 on: May 30, 2007, 11:32:00 AM »
It is interesting that so many ignore the statutes that contain so many blessings for humanity. We are making progress in our study.

When we see that there are both ceremonial and moral statutes we have made an important distinction. We throw out the ceremonial and now look at the moral statutes. But, is it not true that a distinction needs to be made in regards to the laws that would apply to a theocracy and those that would not be limited in such a manner? If we can discern the basis for this distinction then it appears that we would be able to rule out those that would only apply in a theocracy and be left with those that are still binding today. Is there any other reason to nullify the moral statutes that God gave to Moses? I can think of nothing else to restrict the application of these judgments and statutes.

How can we know which statutes would apply only to a theocracy?

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

asygo

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 2022
Binding Aspects of the Mosaic Law
« Reply #64 on: May 30, 2007, 12:00:00 PM »
 
quote:
Originally posted by Richard Myers:
How can we know which statutes would apply only to a theocracy?

Plus, isn't the church a theocracy? If so, those statutes should still apply today, sans the death penalty.

------------------
By God's grace,
Arnold M. Sy Go
-end-

By God's grace,
Arnold M. Sy Go
-end-

JimB

  • Servant
  • Moderator
  • Posts: 7123
  • Pro 12:28 in the pathway thereof there is no death
Binding Aspects of the Mosaic Law
« Reply #65 on: May 30, 2007, 01:05:00 PM »
 
quote:
Originally posted by asygo:
Plus, isn't the church a theocracy? If so, those statutes should still apply today, sans the death penalty.


Brother Arnold, I'm also looking for an answer to brother Richard's question. However, if we used your logic that the church is still a theocracy therefore the death penalty is still binding. You'd also have to enforce the death penalty for adulterers.


By communion with God in nature, the mind is uplifted, and the heart finds rest.  {DA 291.1}

asygo

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 2022
Binding Aspects of the Mosaic Law
« Reply #66 on: May 30, 2007, 02:31:00 PM »
 
quote:
Originally posted by Jim B:
However, if we used your logic that the church is still a theocracy therefore the death penalty is still binding. You'd also have to enforce the death penalty for adulterers.

The church, in its sphere, is a theocracy. But, the sphere of the church today is much smaller than the church of Moses' day. The church no longer has the authority to impose physical death; that's the state's sphere. Therefore, in whatever way it chooses to "cut off" the sinner, it cannot be physical death.

But the church has full authority to enforce its laws within its boundaries. Moreover, its laws are theocratic, rather than democratic. In that sense, it is as much a theocracy today as in Moses' day.

However, there are those who insist that the laws and penalties prescribed through Moses are just as binding today, and must be enforced in the same way today. That puts such people in direct conflict with the state. But they don't care.

Has God authorized the separation of church and state, as we often hear today? Or is the church supposed to function as it did under Moses?

------------------
By God's grace,
Arnold M. Sy Go
-end-

By God's grace,
Arnold M. Sy Go
-end-

Richard Myers

  • Servant
  • Posts: 38887
  • A glorious sunset teaches of trust and faith.....
    • The Remnant Online
Binding Aspects of the Mosaic Law
« Reply #67 on: May 30, 2007, 02:59:00 PM »
While I think  this course of discussion can be profitable, it seems that we need to answer the question as to the principles involved in setting aside those moral statutes that do not apply today.

The idea that the state has separate responsibilities from the church is important. We do not want the state to legislate in regards to the first four commandments. But, do we wish them to use the death penalty for adultery? If not, why not?

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

asygo

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 2022
Binding Aspects of the Mosaic Law
« Reply #68 on: May 30, 2007, 04:44:00 PM »
 
quote:
Originally posted by Richard Myers:
we need to answer the question as to the principles involved in setting aside those moral statutes that do not apply today.

I think all moral statutes apply today. Moreover, I think all the statutes are moral in nature. And therefore, we are not at liberty to set any aside.

My questions are: 1) What are the underlying principles for each statute, and 2) how do we implement it today?

quote:
Originally posted by Richard Myers:
The idea that the state has separate responsibilities from the church is important. We do not want the state to legislate in regards to the first four commandments. But, do we wish them to use the death penalty for adultery? If not, why not?

I believe all of God's commands are moral in nature. Therefore, I don't think the state has any business in enforcing them.

If the state feels it necessary to control and regulate actions, then it is within its authority to do that. But only God reads the heart.

------------------
By God's grace,
Arnold M. Sy Go
-end-

By God's grace,
Arnold M. Sy Go
-end-

Richard Myers

  • Servant
  • Posts: 38887
  • A glorious sunset teaches of trust and faith.....
    • The Remnant Online
Binding Aspects of the Mosaic Law
« Reply #69 on: May 31, 2007, 08:14:00 AM »
 
quote:
Originally posted by asygo:
I believe all of God's commands are moral in nature. Therefore, I don't think the state has any business in enforcing them.

Are not we to distinguish between the ceremonial and the moral laws?

And, God has told us that the rulers in the land are to enforce morality. Think of what the world would be like if killers were not killed and thieves were not arrested.

You have lost me on this one, Brother Arnold.

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

asygo

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 2022
Binding Aspects of the Mosaic Law
« Reply #70 on: May 31, 2007, 10:40:00 AM »
 
quote:
Originally posted by Richard Myers:
Are not we to distinguish between the ceremonial and the moral laws?

I understand the distinctions made between them, but I don't personally make those distinctions. To me, every law God gives is moral in nature. The only question is how to apply them in my life today.

 

quote:
Originally posted by Richard Myers:
And, God has told us that the rulers in the land are to enforce morality. Think of what the world would be like if killers were not killed and thieves were not arrested.

God's laws are primarily concerned with character - thoughts and feelings. Different actions may be called for in different circumstances, but the crux of the matter is the character underlying the action.

When God is at the head of the state - a theocracy - then the state can make judgments about our thoughts and feelings. God reads hearts accurately.

But when man is at the head of the state, the state has no ability to read the heart. In such cases, the state is limited to judging actions. That's where we are today.

If one ends the life of another, then the state can punish for killing. But it is in no position to punish one for hating his brother.

If one has intimate relations with another's spouse, then the state can punish for adultery. But it is in no position to punish one for looking at a woman lustfully.

If one takes what belongs to another, then the state can punish for stealing. But it is in no position to punish one for coveting.

The state can judge actions and punish or reward accordingly, but its jurisdiction ends there. But as Christians, we answer to a higher standard. Our Judge reads the heart, judges motives. The state has no business in that sphere.

 

quote:
Originally posted by Richard Myers:
You have lost me on this one, Brother Arnold.

I hope I'm clearer today than yesterday.

------------------
By God's grace,
Arnold M. Sy Go
-end-

[This message has been edited by asygo (edited 05-31-2007).]

By God's grace,
Arnold M. Sy Go
-end-

Richard Myers

  • Servant
  • Posts: 38887
  • A glorious sunset teaches of trust and faith.....
    • The Remnant Online
Binding Aspects of the Mosaic Law
« Reply #71 on: May 31, 2007, 08:07:00 PM »
Thank you, I agree.

Our minds have been running in different channels.

We are trying to see which laws are still binding. The types and shadows are not. That seems to be a good place to begin. The ceremonial laws called forth actions that are no longer to be done. They were binding before the death of Christ, but no longer.

The rest of the statutes and judgments were moral not ceremonial. They were not types and shadows that passed away with the death of Christ.

Some of the moral laws require action today, some do not. We do not stone the glutton. We are looking for the principles that are involved that we might understand which laws we are to obey.

I like your thought, Brother Arnold that none can judge the motive, so when a motive is needed in carrying out the law, those are no longer binding. How many statutes called for a punishment for a violation that only involved motive?  Did the command to kill those who willfully killed another involve motive? If it was an accident, then the motive was not to kill. If the motive was to kill, then the penalty for murder was to be death. What if the motive was to kill in war? Then if the war was a just war, the motive was good. If the war was one of conquest, then the motive to kill was evil. Seems have have run into a small problem with this basis of thinking?

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Cop

  • Guest
Binding Aspects of the Mosaic Law
« Reply #72 on: May 31, 2007, 08:35:00 PM »
 
quote:
If the war was one of conquest, then the motive to kill was evil.

I disagree, my Brother. Not all wars of conquest are wrong. When Joshua led Israel into the promised land, was this not a war of conquest? Did they not, in obediance to God, kill and destroy the prior inhabitants and take their land? Was this war of conquest evil?


Mimi

  • Assistant Administrator
  • Posts: 27796
  • www.remnant-online.org
    • The Remnant Online
Binding Aspects of the Mosaic Law
« Reply #73 on: June 01, 2007, 11:12:00 AM »
In the statutes, you will see a section that pertains to war in Deut 20. The motive was to approach in peace - but if peace was not accepted, then the motive changed to conquest - utter conquest.

Principles governing warfare - first, set your houses in order   Deut 20:1-9

Going near a city, proclaim an offer of peace   Deut 20:10

If accepted, the people will serve you   Deut 20:11

If not accepted and they war against them, besiege them   Deut 20:12

As it is delivered to you, slay all the males but keep the women and children along with livestock and plunder. Do such to all cities that are far from you, not the nations here   
Deut 20:13-15

But the cities of your inheritance, let nothing that breathes live   Deut 20:16,17

Otherwise they could teach you according to their gods   Deut 20:18

Do not cut down trees for food during warfare, only those that are not for food   Deut 20:19,20

If a man is found dead in a field, an offering and prayer for the guilt not to be charged to the COI   Deut 21:1-9

  For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. Psalm 119:89 

Richard Myers

  • Servant
  • Posts: 38887
  • A glorious sunset teaches of trust and faith.....
    • The Remnant Online
Binding Aspects of the Mosaic Law
« Reply #74 on: June 01, 2007, 03:38:00 PM »
 
quote:
Originally posted by Cop:
I disagree, my Brother. Not all wars of conquest are wrong. When Joshua led Israel into the promised land, was this not a war of conquest? Did they not, in obediance to God, kill and destroy the prior inhabitants and take their land? Was this war of conquest evil?

Very good, Brother Cop!   :)  

But, I would suggest that this was not a war of conquest, but one of liberation. When the King returns to His land and finds barbarians occupying it, is He not entitled to drive out those who are in rebellion?  

Some would try and make the analogy for today, but it does not work. God is not as man. I guess we need to better define a war of conquest so that the nations of the world will understand when they may go to war and when they may not, in God's eyes.

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

asygo

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 2022
Binding Aspects of the Mosaic Law
« Reply #75 on: June 01, 2007, 05:05:00 PM »
 
quote:
Originally posted by Richard Myers:
We are trying to see which laws are still binding. The types and shadows are not. ... They were binding before the death of Christ, but no longer.

I use a simple definition: If the law prefigured something that Christ has already done, then it is no longer binding. Otherwise, it is still binding.

For example, killing lambs is abolished because Jesus, the Lamb of the world, has already been killed in the antitype.

quote:
Originally posted by Richard Myers:
I like your thought, Brother Arnold that none can judge the motive, so when a motive is needed in carrying out the law, those are no longer binding. ... Seems have have run into a small problem with this basis of thinking?

God's laws are still binding even when motives are in question. But how we enforce them will be different because the church and state are separated.

Consider the guy caught picking up sticks on the Sabbath. He was obviously doing that which was forbidden. But Moses did not immediately execute him. Instead, they arrested him, then asked God what to do about it. Only after God told them to stone him did they enforce the prescribed punishment.

Here are a couple of points I get from that story:

  • Even then, the motive was the major factor to consider.
  • Moses, one who talked face-to-face with God, was not authorized to execute him based on his own judgment.
  • They had to ask specifically God what to do in the case.
  • Even then, capital punishment was not left in the hands of erring men.

Today, God's government on earth - the church - still judges motives. But it no longer has the power to execute sinners. Therefore, the enforcement will be different. God will have to bring about radical changes to fully enforce His laws, i.e. returning in glory.

------------------
By God's grace,
Arnold M. Sy Go
-end-

By God's grace,
Arnold M. Sy Go
-end-

Mimi

  • Assistant Administrator
  • Posts: 27796
  • www.remnant-online.org
    • The Remnant Online
Binding Aspects of the Mosaic Law
« Reply #76 on: June 02, 2007, 03:50:00 PM »
     
quote:
Originally posted by asygo:

Consider the guy caught picking up sticks on the Sabbath. He was obviously doing that which was forbidden. But Moses did not immediately execute him. Instead, they arrested him, then asked God what to do about it. Only after God told them to stone him did they enforce the prescribed punishment.



As I am understanding this - you made the point - which was a beginning point of the command to execute the man who broke the Sabbath in this manner.

God set about creating laws that required death of the sinner. Not that is matters in this particular discussion but what kind of sin was that? Was this man sinning in ignorance or was he in full rebellion? Various penalties for various sins against God and fellow men.

A murderer is obviously in full rebellion - and it appears as if the man who picked up sticks, against the command not to do it, was also in full rebellion and the result was death by stoning.

So after Moses got the command as to what to do regarding this sin, he carried it out and we have no record of his going before the Lord a second time on this offense - or others, for that matter that I can find. There was no doubt about this man's guilt. The command set a precedence, so to speak, giving the remedy of such a person in rebellion.

In our discussion of the death penalty in another forum (Mod 2 - ask for entrance), it has been stated that God wanted purity among His people. Penalties, in their various forms, were meant to either correct bad behavior or to absolutely put to death, cleansing the camp of one in full rebellion. If gone unchecked, it would spread from one individual to another.

It is not my understanding that Moses consulted the Lord every time sin was committed in the camp AFTER he had the statutes and judgments in hand. However, when situations came up and the Lord needed to be consulted, the High Priest did have the Urim and Thummim.

We have a command related to the Sabbath upon which Ellen White further elaborates - and that is cooking on the Sabbath. We have a Preparation Day to ready ourselves, our homes and our food for the Sabbath. It is SO HOLY that cooking as done on other days of the week is not permitted. Manna did not fall on the Sabbath - double portions were given on Friday - no one cooked on the Sabbath while in the wilderness. How much worse is picking up sticks and making a fire on the Sabbath in the eyes of God?

Well, I see I'm getting carried away - and to finish this post, it is evident that it was a serious offense that God gave an order to remedy and Moses and the COI took it from there. It was a law on the books, so to speak.

[This message has been edited by Sybil (edited 06-04-2007).]

  For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. Psalm 119:89 

Richard Myers

  • Servant
  • Posts: 38887
  • A glorious sunset teaches of trust and faith.....
    • The Remnant Online
Binding Aspects of the Mosaic Law
« Reply #77 on: June 02, 2007, 05:54:00 PM »
   
quote:
Originally posted by asygo:
God's laws are still binding even when motives are in question. But how we enforce them will be different because the church and state are separated.

Three considerations on this point:

First, the state is not to enter into legislation that involves the first four commands that deal with our responsibilities to God. So, where there is a punishment for violating a statute that has to do with the first four commandments, the state is not to be involved.

Second, how about the church? The church does not "punish" for sin. It may restrict participation, but there is no punishment as in Israel when a theocracy. And, the church is not to disfellowship except in the area where there are violations of the tests of fellowship, and there is open sin unrepented of.

Third, legislation and punishment regarding the last six commandments is in the hands of the state. While we agree the statutes are binding, we now need to understand how far the state is to go in legislation and punishment.

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

  • Servant
  • Posts: 38887
  • A glorious sunset teaches of trust and faith.....
    • The Remnant Online
Binding Aspects of the Mosaic Law
« Reply #78 on: June 02, 2007, 05:58:00 PM »
Continuing on with these thoughts, we want to know more than just about punishment. We want to know our duty to God, the church, our family, society, and ourselves. These statutes may not carry a penalty from the church or state, but this does not mean that God will wink at these sins. I think this is the most important part of this discussion. The other points are important, but these statutes that are moral are the laws of our being and to violate them is to sacrifice blessings.

[This message has been edited by Richard Myers (edited 06-04-2007).]

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Mimi

  • Assistant Administrator
  • Posts: 27796
  • www.remnant-online.org
    • The Remnant Online
Binding Aspects of the Mosaic Law
« Reply #79 on: June 04, 2007, 11:42:00 AM »
Okay ... in deciding the binding aspects of the Mosaic Law, we can put aside all the ceremonial laws as they pointed to Christ.

What's left? Everything that supports the Ten Commandments - which is all of them. Our duty to God: the first four; our duty to each other: the last six. The SOP says this:  Become Familiar With Levitical Law.--We are to become familiar with the Levitical law in all its bearings; for it contains rules that must be obeyed; it contains the instruction that if studied will enable us to understand better the rule of faith and practice that we are to follow in our dealings with one another. No soul has any excuse for being in darkness. Those who receive Christ by faith will receive also power to become the sons of God (Letter 3, 1905).  {1BC 1110.4}

The church upholds and considers all ten in church life. As a very smart friend so recently reminded me, there are tests of fellowship recorded in the book of Acts as well as other things that have been shown to us since the writing of that book (SOP for instance) - we use them as far as church discipline - and we can certainly discuss these; however, the state is to legislate the moral laws that have to do how people treat other people in society - so they specifically handle the last six commandments.

The statutes and judgments give practical application to the Ten Commandments, so as far as I can tell, all the statutes outside the ceremonial laws are binding.

[This message has been edited by Sybil (edited 06-05-2007).]

  For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. Psalm 119:89