Thankyou!
This Page is Part of the
Scriptureman.com Website
For More Good Stuff
See
God's Word: The Answer Book
SCRIPTUREMAN.COM

Obtaining answers and directions
for life from the Lord through
His Revealed Word

Table of Contents



©2001 Rev Paul R. Schmidtbleicher, ThM


Download Document Version
(Microsoft Word 6.0) 122K
Balancing the Use of the Old Testament







The Scriptures say that,
"...the Lord ordained that they which
preach the gospel should live of
the gospel" (1 Cor 9:14)
If you have been blessed or edified
by this page, please consider
sending $1 in an envelope to Scriptureman.com
PO Box 12044
Mill Creek WA 98082--2044



Balancing the Use of the Old Testament

by Paul R. Schmidtbleicher, Th.B., Th.M.

2001 National Teaching Pastors Conference

Omaha, Nebraska


One criticism that has been a constant thorn in the side of Dispensational Grace Believers has been their relationship to the Old Testament and particularly the handling of the Old Testament Law. With the resurgence of Reformed and Covenant Theology these criticisms have become all the more pointed. Books challenging Dispensationalism by Curtis Crenshaw, Keith Mathison, and others 1 have offered harsh criticisms on many aspects of Dispensationalism including how the Old Testament is handled. Charles A. Clough concludes in his article, A Meta-Hermeneutical Comparison of Covenant and Dispensational Theologies that,


The conflict between the two theologies could only be lessened if Covenant Theology would attend to the integrity of the biblical covenants and if Dispensational Theology could convince its critics that it sees only one way of salvation and that it listens to all Scripture whether directly addressed to the Church or not. Meeting either requirement in the near future is unlikely.2


Personally, the issue of salvation is clear in that there is only one way of salvation which is "faith in Christ." Whether we look back on His historical Person and Work as New Testament saints or looked forward to the Savior that was promised and foreshadowed as the Old Testament saint, it was faith in Christ that enters one into eternal salvation. As " . . . he [Abram] believed in the Lord . . ." (Gen 15:6), so we have obeyed, " . . . believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved . . ." (Acts 16:31) and gained eternal salvation.

The important comment for this study involves how we "listen to all Scripture." Often times believers in the Dispensational camp are pictured as having a Bible divided to such an extent that they pick and choose what may or may not apply ending with a "buffet" selection of principles. At other times solid guidance and principles are discounted because they are found in the Old Testament that (it is often taught) has been done away with by the New Testament.

For example, Christians are divided on the issue of capital punishment primarily because of the division of the Testaments. The New Testament alludes to it in passages like Romans 1:32 where certain are "worthy of death" while the Old Testament clearly upholds it beginning in Genesis 9:6 "Whoever sheds man's blood, by man his blood shall be shed; for in the image of God he made man." (NKJ) Those persons strictly dividing between Old and New Testaments would generally hold that the Old Testament is done away and thus have a very weak view, if any, on capital punishment.

Personally, I became aware of these practical problems in "listening to all Scripture" during the era of the Vietnam War as the pastor I was under held to a solid dispensational theology yet developed an excellent "Doctrine of War"3 that was tied primarily to the Old Testament. My question was, "What determines our use of the Old Testament?" Certainly it has to be more solid than a "pick and choose" as we wish principle.

A second example would be in the area of teaching on finances. Many believers find themselves in deep trouble when it comes to finances. The primary verse of the New Testament that is used for financial counsel is Romans 13:8, "Owe no one anything" In a New Testament only understanding of finances, one cannot be in debt. Yet, in the purchasing of a house and car most believers end up in blatant violation of this verse as commonly interpreted. Knowingly violating one verse, because almost everybody "has to do it," certainly lends itself to the view that believers can "fudge" a bit on God's commands. One can foresee the gradual slide in the wrong direction. On the other hand the Old Testament Law has a set of highly developed economic principles to offer if we "listen to all Scripture." The question again arises, "On what basis do we make use of the Old Testament?" This paper is an attempt to answer these questions.


The Mosaic Law and God's Moral Law

The Law of Moses appears in Scripture to have three divisions. The Westminster Confession of Faith established these three divisions as follows:


WCF 19.3 Besides this law, commonly called moral, God was pleased to give to the people of Israel, as a church under age, ceremonial laws, containing several typical ordinances; partly of worship, prefiguring Christ, His graces, actions, sufferings, and benefits; and partly of divers instructions of moral duties. All which ceremonial laws are now abrogated under the new testament.WCF 19.4 To them also, as a body politic, He gave sundry judicial laws, which expired together with the state of that people, not obliging any other now, further than the general equity thereof may require. [Italics Mine]4


I believe the division is helpful to classifying various parts of God's Law to Moses. Still, in dividing up the Law of Moses, the Westminster Confession did, as others who followed, divide what was believed to be fulfilled from what is still believed to be in effect. The "ceremonial laws" also the "judicial laws" are believed to be either abrogated by the New Testament or ended with the Old Testament state of Israel. The "moral laws" of the Mosaic Law are believed have continued and are still binding in the New Testament.

It is against this dividing of the Mosaic Law and the continuing authority of a portion of it that many Dispensationalists argue. Alva J. McClain put the controversy into perspective several years ago when he said,


Various motives, some good and some bad, have led men to raise the issue. In recent years it has been raised by some good men with the best of intentions. They have been deeply grieved and disturbed by the failure of Christian people to live as those saved by grace should live. As a remedy for this distressing situation they have proposed that we should turn back to the law. We have failed, they argue, because the obligations of the "moral law" of God have not been laid upon consciences of the saved. The path of success in the Christian life, they say, will be found in getting the people to recognize that they are still under the moral law.5.


In a series of points, McClain argues in his second point that the Law of Moses is a unified whole and cannot be divided up to say that some of it is still relevant and some has been abrogated by the New Testament. McClain says,


2. This law is one law an indivisible unity. While it is unquestionably true that at least three elements appear within this one law - moral, ceremonial, and civil - it is wrong to divide it into three laws, or as is popularly done, divide it into two laws, the one moral and the other ceremonial.

This is clear from the New Testament references. James declares that "whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all" (2:10 ). . . . .

The same viewpoint is expressed by the Apostle Paul in Galatians 5:3, "For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law." And Christ declares that "whosoever therefore shall break one of the commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven" (Matt 5:19), thus upholding the essential unity of the law. That the "least commandments" referred to by our Lord are those set forth in the Pentateuch, and not merely those of the "moral law" or the few contained in the Sermon on the Mount, is perfectly clear from the context in verses 17 and 18, where the identification is unmistakable. He is speaking about the law of Moses. 6


While some divide the Mosaic Law into what has been abrogated and a "moral law" that still applies, Sumner Osborne goes a step further to try to discount the existence of any "moral law" outside the Law of Moses.


From Adam to Moses we are told there was no law (Rom 5:13), and therefore the sins of men did not have the distinct character of transgression in God's dealings with them. After the law was given, only the nation Israel was under it. The Gentiles were still without law and perish without it, in contrast to the Jews who were under it and will be judged by it (Rom 2:12). Conscience is a sort of law to the Gentiles, for it accuses when they do wrong somewhat as the law does those who are under it; but it is clearly stated that they did not have any actual law. Some have thought that Romans 2:15 proves that Gentiles were under what they call "the moral law" after all, for it speaks of "the work of the law written in their hearts." But we must carefully note that it is not the law that they have written in their hearts, which would be the same as our blessing under the new covenant (Heb 10:16), but the work of the law written there. If a Gentile gathered somehow that he ought to honor his parents, even though he had never heard of the law, this particular work enjoined by the law would be a law to him and accuse him if he did not. This in no way proves, however, that Gentiles were under the law.

To repeat, when Scripture speaks of "the law" it is referring to this administered code given through Moses at Sinai, and not to some other law above and beyond it which has always been in effect and always will be, called "the moral law." It is claimed that this supposed moral law is a transcript or reflection of the character of God and is therefore eternal. As to this the Scriptures are silent, for they neither mention such a law nor describe it.7


To summarize, those on the Westminster Confession side of the question on the use of the Old Testament and its law believe that Jesus Christ and the New Testament abrogated only a portion of the Law of Moses, namely the ceremonial laws and the judicial or civil laws. They hold that the Ten Commandments are God's "Moral Law" that has never been abrogated and therefore the New Testament Christian is still under this portion of the Mosaic Law.


On the other hand the Dispensationalist sees the Law of Moses as a unified law system even though it can be subdivided into three separate law categories. The whole unified Law of Moses is said to have been set aside by the Work of Christ in the New Testament - all the Law of Moses has been abrogated. For some, like Sumner Osborne, a separate "moral law" is not seen, even for the Gentiles.

I would have to disagree with this last observation on the existence of a separate eternal law of God. I believe that it can be shown from Scripture that there is such a thing as an eternal law of God from which the patriarchs functioned, the written Mosaic Law Covenant was drawn, the New Testament Laws are based, and from which the millennial kingdom laws shall be derived. If one is arguing for taking a division of the Mosaic Law called the "moral law" and seeking to impose it on the Gentiles or continue it as a part of the Mosaic Law on the New Testament saint then I believe them to be in error. Yet, if one considers all Scripture, God's Eternal Law surpasses the Law of Moses and has been in effect since the beginning. To differentiate from the arguments over the "moral code" of the Law of Moses, I will not call this "The Law" nor "Law" nor even "Eternal Law," but will call this God's Eternal Law.



The Existence of God's Eternal Law

Prior to the giving of the law to Moses, there is clear evidence that God had established laws by which mankind was to live. Although some aspects of God's Laws changed, they show in Scripture. I shall attempt to provide a partial list of indications of God having established law prior to the Law of Moses.

In the Garden - In the garden, man had legal instruction on the acceptable sacrifices to be offered (Gen 4:4; Heb 11:4).


Gen 4:4 Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the LORD respected Abel and his offering, (NKJ)

Heb 11:4 By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and through it he being dead still speaks. (NKJ)


On the Boarding of the Ark - Noah would board the animals on the Ark two by two for all the "unclean" animals and would board three pair plus one (7) of the clean animals long before the written law on clean and unclean had been given in Leviticus 11 (Gen 6:19; 7:2).


Gen 6:19 And of every living thing of all flesh you shall bring two of every sort into the ark, to keep them alive with you; they shall be male and female.(NKJ)


Gen 7:2 You shall take with you seven each of every clean animal, a male and his female; two each of animals that are unclean, a male and his female; (NKJ)


On the Law of the Tithe - Abraham knew the minimum requirements of the Lord in his paying the tithe to Melchisedek, King of Salem (Gen 14:20).


Gen 14:20 And blessed be God Most High, who has delivered your enemies into your hand. And he gave him a tithe of all. (NKJ)


With Abraham - Isaac was told at the time of the renewal of the Abrahamic Covenant with him that his father Abraham had obeyed the Lord and kept the Lord's commandments, statutes, and laws long before the Mosaic Law was given (Gen 26:5)


Gen 26:5 because Abraham obeyed My voice and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws. (NKJ)


Out of Egypt - Prior to the nation of Israel's coming to Mount Sinai to receive the written Law of Moses, God had them under a system of Law that is referenced in Exodus 16 (Ex 16:4, 28).


Exod 16:4 Then the LORD said to Moses, "Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you. And the people shall go out and gather a certain quota every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in My law or not." (NKJ)


Exod 16:28 And the LORD said to Moses, "How long do you refuse to keep My commandments and My laws?" (NKJ)


Thus, from the cited passages there emerges the Biblical principle of the laws of God being in existence prior to the giving of The Law of Moses. Alva J. McClain not only speaks of such indications of God's Law, but also sets forth in his sixth point on "What is The Law" that God's Laws were revealed directly by the Lord and carried on by word of mouth.


6. This written Mosaic law points back to a prior divine law of which the Mosaic law in part is an amplification recorded by divine inspiration. That there was divine law prior to Sinai there can be no serious question. The proof is twofold: First, the written Mosaic law itself testifies to the existence of an earlier law. See the law of Eden (Gen 2:15-17); the law of sacrifice (Gen 4:4 with Heb 11:4); the law of tithes (Gen 14:20); the law of circumcision (Gen 17:10-14); etc. Second, we have the testimony of archaeological records which contain clear evidence of law before Moses. For example, the Hammurabi Code probably existed as early as 2100 B.C. and contains some striking resemblances to the Mosaic Code.

The Bible mentions two possible sources for such law before Moses: First, the Book of Genesis records many instances of God speaking to men in direct and original revelation of his will (cf. Adam, Noah, Abraham, etc.). Second, the Apostle Paul in Romans 2:14-15 refers very clearly to a law divinely implanted in the very constitution of man by creation.8


Law is seen to have existed in the era before Moses. It certainly existed in the Mosaic era of the nation of Israel. In the age of the Church all the ten commandments are repeated in one form or another in the New Testament. To this truth, Roy L. Aldrich, founder and first president of Detroit Bible College attests when He says,


". . . none of the ten commandments reappear in the New Testament for this age of grace as Mosaic legislation. All the moral principles of the ten laws do reappear in the New Testament in a framework of grace. The Christian is not under 'the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones,' but he is under all the moral principles on those stones restated for this economy of grace. He is under the eternal moral law of God which demands far more than the ten commandments. It calls for nothing less than conformity to the character of God. This is as far from antinominianism as heaven is far above the earth.9


A brief chart of all ten commands and their New Testament counterparts is presented to show the connection of New Testament commands with the Eternal Law of God. Even the Sabbath command generally left out by some is established not to set aside just one day in seven as a reminder of the grace of God, but to celebrate His graces daily.


Command 1 - Only One God New Testament - 1 Tim 2:5; Acts 14:15; 1 Cor 8:6; Jas 2:19

Command 2 - No Other Gods New Testament - 1 Jn 5:20; 2 Cor 6:16-17; Acts 15:29; 1 Cor 8:1-10

Command 3 - No Name in Vain New Testament - Matt 5:33-37; Jas 5:12

Command 4 - One Day in Seven New Testament - Rom 14:5-6; Col 2:16-17

Command 5 - Respect Authority New Testament - Matt 15:3-4; Eph 6:1-3

Command 6 - No Murder New Testament - 1 Jn 3:15

Command 7 - No Adultery New Testament - Mat 5:27-28; 1 Cor 6:18-20

Command 8 - No Stealing New Testament - Eph 4:28

Command 9 - No False Witness New Testament - Col 3:9-10

Command 10 - No Coveting New Testament - Eph 5:3


The similarity of these New Testament commands with their Old Testament counterparts does not in any way mean that the External Mosaic system of Law is imposed in the New Testament but that there exists such a thing as an Eternal Law of God from which the Patriarchs were commanded, from which the Mosaic Law Covenant was drawn, and from which the New Testament Commands are based.


The Millennial Age upon the earth shall also be governed by laws that are drawn from the Eternal Laws of God. The Messianic prophecies of Revelation 12:5 and 19:15 speak of the Lord Jesus Christ "ruling with a rod of iron." Generally, Godly rule, as seen in the Scriptures, is established by law. With this example, we can project that there will be law in the millennium and it will be probably based in the Eternal Law of God.


To summarize, the existence of law prior to the Law of Moses that is similar in many ways to the Law of Moses; the actual Covenant of Law given to Moses, and the similarity of New Testament commands to the Old Testament Law of Moses all point to an Eternal Law of God from which the laws of each era have been drawn.




The Agreement Between Different Eras of Law and Current Thought

In some specific laws given prior to Moses there is full agreement with the written law as it would be revealed to Moses. Such examples of animal sacrifices, clean and unclean animals, circumcision, and the practice of the tithe were not changed, but put in written form in the Law of Moses. This shows a general agreement between the laws in effect before Moses and the Law of Moses.

In a similar fashion, the restatement of the Ten Commands in the New Testament shows a general agreement between the New Testament commands and the Ten Commandments classified as the "moral code" of the Law of Moses.

One result of this for those upholding the Westminster Confession has been to make the choice for a portion of the Law of Moses to be still in effect and binding. They see the "moral law" (The Ten Commandments) as continuing in its external fashion to be imposed on the New Testament believer.

The clear teaching of the New Testament is rather an abrogating of the whole Mosaic system and an establishing of a new system based in the same Eternal Law of God. Here is where the Westminster - Dispensational theological battles have been fought. The Westminster followers overemphasize the New Testament saint being under a portion of the external law system of Moses and the Dispensationalist often overemphasizes a disregard for any of the laws found in the Old Testament Law of Moses.

As far as taking sides, the author stands in the Dispensationalist camp of belief that the Law of Moses as an external system was superseded by the New Testament and the ramifications of the Cross of Christ. Dr. Robert P. Lightner sums up the dispensational view on the Law of Moses when he says, "Dispensationalists believe the Law of Moses in its entirety has been done away as a rule of life. This strikes at the very heart of theonomy in particular and of covenant Reformed theology in general."10 Dr. Lightner uses six passages of Scripture to show that the external system of the Mosaic Law has been done away as a rule of life. I shall briefly summarize Dr. Lightner's points on each passage.

Acts 15:1-29 - The Law of Moses is presented as an external "yoke" on the neck of the Old Testament saint and would not be imposed on the New Testament Church age believers.

Galatians 3:17-25 - The argument here is that the external written Law of Moses was a temporary "schoolmaster" to protect and lead unto the coming of Christ. Since His coming, it's purpose has been removed.

Galatians 5:18 - "But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law." The position of the New Testament believer being under the leading of God's Holy Spirit separates the believer out from being under the Law of Moses.

Romans 6:14 - " . . . for you are not under the law but under grace." Because of our being identified with Christ in His death and resurrection, a new position gives the believer daily deliverance from the bondage of sin that is based in grace where God works rather than the Law where the flesh worked.

2 Corinthians 3:6-13 - The Law of Moses, engraven in stones, was a ministration of death and glorious in its day. Three times it is said to be fading (vs.7, 11, 13), and being replaced by the far more glorious ministry of the Spirit.

Hebrews 7:11-12 - The superiority of Christ's priesthood is presented over against the Levitical priesthood. Since the Law and the Levitical priesthood are inseparable, Christ has done away with the external Law of Moses as He has done away with the Levitical priesthood.11

Therefore, it seems that most New Testament teaching on the Law sets forth the unmistakable conclusion that the Law System under Moses was external and had a definite purpose for its era, but has been superseded by the system of law put in place under the Holy Spirit.


Balancing the Use of the Old Testament and Its Law

If the premise outlined so far is accepted - namely that there is an Eternal Law of God (not limited to the "moral law" of Moses) from which has come law for the Patriarchs, the most complete system of law under Moses, the commands stated in the New Testament, and probably the laws to be instituted in the millennium, then the next step is understanding how they fit together. Herein the issues of continuity and discontinuity between the testaments becomes involved.12

The thought that has developed historically how the Old Testament and New Testament might fit together when it comes to "law" runs from absolutely no use of the law to a use that is completely binding. A perspective on this was set forth by David Dorsey, associate professor of Old Testament at the Evangelical School of Theology in Myerstown, Pennsylvania. His listing is summarized below from the least continuity and use of law to the most:

1. Marcion - Marcion, the gnostic heretic of the second century, completely threw out the Old Testament with its law seeing it as inferior to Christ and Christianity.

2. Dispensationalism - The hermeneutic that holds that God developed different programs for different ages relegates the Old Testament and its law to Israel and in no way applies to the New Testament Christian.

3. Covenant Theology - Reformed theologians see a greater continuity between the testaments. The Church is seen as spiritual Israel and the "moral laws" (Ten Commands minus the fourth) given to Israel are also laws for the Church.

4. Seventh Day Adventism - Adventists stand with Covenant Theology, but also see the fourth commandment or Sabbath as binding together with the dietary regulations.

5. Christian Reconstruction - A spinoff from Reformed Theology, Reconstructionism argues for the continuity of all the commands as well as the "judicial laws." Only the ceremonial laws were fulfilled in Christ and abrogated.

6. World-Wide Church of God (Former cult) - This line of thought argues for even more continuity and disregards only a few laws as no longer valid like sacrificial regulations.13


As shown, the issue of balancing the use of the Old Testament runs from one extreme to the other. It has also been an "age-old" area of controversy. Dispensationalism has been criticized for being among those who would make the least use of the Scriptures beyond the New Testament.



Modifying Our View of the Old Testament and Its Use

In surveying the Bible believing churches of several years, many who would fall into the camp of dispensational theology also rigorously proclaim "the tithe" when it comes to giving. Congregation members regularly speak of giving their tithe. Theologically, the dispensational theology of these churches, to be consistent, would dictate that the tithe as part of the Law of Moses is no longer in effect. Of course few will do this, nor should they if a more balanced view of using the Old Testament is adopted. The same could be said for what should be done by way of national defense. The New Testament by itself gives little if any directives on national defense. Can the Dispensationalist make a case from the Old Testament and still be dispensational? The answer lies in defining the New Covenant as it applies to the Church and the specifics of how teaching "all Scripture" writes the Eternal Law of God upon the hearts of the saints.


The New Covenant

The New Covenant was given specifically to Israel and originally spawned three premillennial views. Dr. Dwight Pentecost outlined these three views in his book, Things to Come. The views are listed by their Premillennial proponents:

Darby View - The New Covenant is strictly for Judah and Israel with no Church-age involvement at all.

Chafer, Walvoord, Ryrie View - There are two new covenants. One new covenant is strictly for Israel with its provisions and the other new covenant (mentioned, but practically undefined in the New Testament) is for the Church.

Scofield View - One New Covenant to be fulfilled in detail for Israel in the future and now being applied to the Church during our current dispensation.14


The most popular and widely accepted view of the New Covenant has been the Scofield view. In recent days, some of those holding to the two covenant view have come to adopt the Scofield one covenant view. Walter Kaiser speaks of this change:


A new setting for the stalemate over law and grace is now possible because of the dramatic change effected around 1965. It was about that time that Dispensationalists decided that no longer would they hold to two new covenants, one for the Church and one for Israel. Even though Jer 31:31 clearly affirmed that God had directed the "new covenant" to "the house of Israel and . . . the house of Judah," it was now seen that the Church was also involved.15


Furthermore, it has been suggested that the teachings of law under the New Covenant are drawn from the Law of Moses. Walter Kaiser and Bruce Waltke seem together on this point:


The identical point has also been raised recently by Bruce Waltke. While commenting on the phenomenon of conditionality within the unconditional covenants, he affirms that 'Jeremiah unmistakably shows [the new covenant's] continuity with the provisions of the old law.' With respect to the promise of God in the new covenant that he would 'put [his] law in their minds' (Jer 31:33), Waltke correctly asserts that 'the law in view here is unquestionably the Mosaic treaty. It is summarized by the expression "Know YHWH." In short, the new covenant assumes the content of the old Mosaic treaty.'16


Under the Scofield or one covenant view, the New Covenant contains both physical and spiritual blessings. It was specifically given to Israel and will ultimately be fulfilled by Israel as they receive both the physical and spiritual blessings. The Church participates spiritually by enjoying the spiritual blessings of the covenant. To this point Messianic Jewish scholar Arnold Fructenbaum says:


Like the Abrahamic, the one New Covenant is made with Israel. Like the Abrahamic, the one New Covenant contains both physical and spiritual blessings. As with the Abrahamic, the physical promises are limited to Jews only but the spiritual blessings where to extend to the Gentiles. What the Church is now enjoying are the spiritual blessings of the Abrahamic and New Covenants.17


The Scriptures certainly do affirm that the Church age believer is intricately involved in the New Covenant. This in no way limits its ultimate and complete fulfillment with Israel. The Lord Jesus Christ in the institution of the Lord's Table introduced the New Covenant (Matt 26:28; Mark 14:24; Luke 22:20). The Apostle Paul calls himself a "minister of the New Covenant" in 2 Corinthians 3:6. And the author of Hebrews pictures the Church as being under a "new" and "better" covenant (Heb 7:22; 8:6; 9:15, etc.)

Under the New Covenant, the spiritual blessings enjoyed by the Church include (1) Sins forgiven; (2) Personal relationship with God; (3) The indwelling of God's Holy Spirit; and (4) The internalization of the Word and Laws of God.

It is the internalization of the Word of God and the Laws of God that becomes the focus of modifying our view of the Old Testament and its use. The Law of Moses was an EXTERNAL SYSTEM that could not accomplish life because of its reliance upon the flesh (Rom 8:3).


Rom 8:3 For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, (NKJ)


There was nothing wrong with the Law (Moses) except that it was dependent upon the flesh which was weak (Gal 3:21).


Gal 3:21 Is the law then against the promises of God? Certainly not! For if there had been a law given which could have given life, truly righteousness would have been by the law. (NKJ)


Therefore the Lord took the participation of the flesh away and replaced the EXTERNAL Law of Moses with a system dependent upon the Holy Spirit and a growing INTERNALIZATION of His Word, including Law, that would mold the responsive hearts (Rom 7:22) given to us as another spiritual blessing of the New Covenant.


Rom 7:22 For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. (NKJ)


Is the Law of Moses included in this internalization? I believe that it is. After all, the New Testament has only good to say about the standards and principles of the Law of Moses with the exception that it was weak because of man's participation and could not give life. The following passages show the attitude of the New Testament toward the Law of Moses.


Rom 3:31 Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law. (NKJ)


Rom 7:12 Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good. (NKJ)


Rom 7:16 If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. (NKJ)


1 Tim 1:8 But we know that the law is good if one uses it lawfully, (NKJ)


Furthermore, the New Testament Scriptures themselves proclaim that the whole of them, Old and New Testament, are to be used for preaching and teaching. Consider the following Scripture passages that uphold the value of the Old Testament and its Law to the New Testament saint beginning with a most important passage: 2 Timothy 3:16-17.


2 Tim 3:16-17 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. (NKJ)


Rom 15:4 For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope. (NKJ)


1 Cor 10:6 Now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted. (NKJ)


1 Cor 10:11 Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, on whom the ends of the ages have come. (NKJ)


Of course one of the most important passages that upholds the value of ALL SCRIPTURE to be taught and preached is 2 Timothy 3:16-17. This includes the history, poetry, and laws of the Old Testament. When the Law of Moses is taught to a New Testament saint it is not taught to be an external system that is being imposed as the "yoke" of Moses, but as an example of the very "mind of Christ" (1 Cor 2:16) as God and as part of the Eternal Law of God. In the New Testament (Covenant) era it is the ministry of the Holy Spirit to INTERNALIZE what is taught of the whole of God's Word writing it upon our hearts.

The function of the Christian way of life then is not obedience to an external system (Mosaic Law) of law but to be (1) Walking in the Spirit (2) Having put on the New Man renewed in knowledge (Col 3:10) from the whole of Scripture. Under such a scenario, the Spirit and the Word of God in the heart (from ALL Scripture), not the letter of the law becomes the standard in keeping with Romans 7:6 and 2 Corinthians 3:6.


Rom 7:6 But now we have been delivered from the law, having died to what we were held by, so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter. (NKJ)

2 Cor 3:6 who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. (NKJ)


On the other hand, if the whole of Scripture is not taught, the New Testament Believer is limited in his "inner man" as to the Eternal Standards and Law of God. Under this scenario, it is easy to see where division over subjects such as war, capital punishment, debt, etc. arise. In these areas the "mind of Christ" (1 Cor 2:16) is found primarily in the Old Testament and incorporated into parts of the Law of Moses. By practically "throwing out," these portions of Scripture, the Believer is without Divine guidance in these areas.



Does all the Old Testament Apply?

There are marked similarities in each era or dispensation that seeming shows a continuity in the Eternal Law of God. Yet, there are also changes that have been made. One change that certainly must have been made between the Patriarch period and the Law of Moses period would be the laws on marriages of near kin. It is obvious that under the Patriarch Law that Seth and Cain married sisters as they had families and progeny. With the Law of Moses, Leviticus 18 spelled out the change on prohibitions on marrying near kin.

Changes are most clearly seen between Old Testament period and the New Testament period. Two examples would be:

(1) The Sacrificial System - The Law of Moses had a complete system of ordinances for the sacrifices and offerings. The book of Hebrews explains that the sacrificial system was a foreshadowing of the real sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Since He has come and once for all offered Himself as the Perfect Sacrifice for sin, the shadow system has been done away. Hebrews 8-10. (2) The Regulations on Diet - The Law of Moses sets forth in Leviticus 11 a complete set of dietary regulations that govern what those under the Law of Moses could and could not eat. In the New Testament Peter is approached by the Lord in a vision of many unclean animals and commanded to eat what God has now cleansed (Acts 10:11-16). Furthermore, Paul writes under divine revelation this change into Colossians 2:16.


Col 2:16 So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, (NKJ)


The obvious conclusion seems to be a continuity in God's Eternal Law that succeeding periods would draw upon. The law would continue, possibly in a different approach, unless the later law revealed at a later time superseded and modified the earlier law.




Therefore, if one were to preach on the Old Testament Tabernacle and sacrificial system, the superseding revelation in Hebrews also would be preached showing the end of that system. On the other hand, preaching about criminal law from the Old Testament stands as the New Testament has not modified (to my knowledge) how a nation entrusted with human government is to deal with its criminals.


The Extent of Teaching the Old Testament

In studying the Law of Moses, there does seem to be a true threefold division as spelled out in the Westminster Confession: Moral Law (Ten Commandments), Ordinances (Sacrificial System), and Judgments (Judicial Laws). Though the Reconstructionists headed by R.J. Rushdoony wrongly see the Law of Moses as continuing as a system and as the way of sanctification,18 they have done a much work in relating the Ten Commandments (Moral Law) to their respective case laws (Judicial Laws). Rushdoony says,


". . . First, certain broad premises or principles are declared. These are declarations of basic law. The Ten Commandments give us such declarations. The Ten Commandments are not therefore laws among laws, but are the basic laws of which the various laws are specific examples. . . . With this in mind, that the law, first, lays down broad and basic principles, let us examine a second characteristic of Biblical law, namely, that the major portion of the law is case law, i.e., the illustration of the basic principle in terms of specific cases. These specific cases are often illustrations of the extent of the application of the law; that is, by citing a minimal type of case, the necessary jurisdictions of the law are revealed.19


Rushdoony continues to illustrate this concept by citing:

(1) Basic law declaration: Thou shalt not steal (Ex 20:15)

(2) Illustrative case law: Don't muzzle the ox treading the corn (Deut 25:4)

(3) Paul's application: 1 Tim 5:17-18 on proper payment for elders.


Under this principle of understanding many lessor laws of the Old Testament, the New Testament saint has been given Divine Revelation that when taught as "all Scripture being profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness" can come to an internal knowledge of the "mind of Christ" (1 Cor 2:16) on the limits of stealing even down to the level of the animal. Since the essence of the Ten Commandments are repeated in the New Testament (see chart above), the cases or case laws are equally instructive as to the limits of the commands of the Lord.


Summary

Thus, on what parts of the Old Testament and to what extent it can be taught? The answer is ALL OF IT (2 Tim 3:16) together with any Old or New Testament modifications that need to be included to show changes in God's Eternal Law over the various dispensations.20 The Old Testament is not taught as a binding system of external law like the Law of Moses, but as the greatest revelation of God's Eternal Law which in the Church Age under the New Covenant is not as a "yoke" about the neck (Acts 15:10), but is part of the "all Scripture" (2 Tim 3:16) which the Holy Spirit will internalize to give the believer direction and the "mind of Christ" in practical areas of Christian living. Wisdom21 as to the "mind of Christ" or the popular "What Would Jesus Do" in such a situation can be imparted by believers making use of the Old Testament - "all Scripture" - in their edification process.



How the New Testament Authors Made Use of The Law Now Abrogated

The real test of whether we should modify what I see as an extreme in Dispensationalism in the handling of the Old Testament and its law involves a brief look at how the authors of the New Testament dealt with the Law after it had been set aside as we Dispensationalists believe. Paul's Use of the Law

The greatest of the New Testament authors to uphold the New Covenant age of the Spirit is the Apostle Paul. He certainly argued for salvation by faith alone in Christ alone and then for we who "began in the Spirit" not to seek to be made perfect by the flesh (Gal 3:3). Yet the Apostle Paul did not throw out the Old Testament including the Law. He used it. He used it to add detail and definition to the principles being set forth in living the Christian Way of Life. A few examples should make this clear.


1 Timothy 5:17-18


1 Tim 5:17-18 Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the word and doctrine. 18 For the Scripture says, "You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain," and, "The laborer is worthy of his wages." (NKJ)


Paul is proclaiming the principle of payment for elders or pastors, especially those that teach. For the foundation and authority of this command the Apostle Paul quotes from a "judgment" or portion of the judicial law of Moses. He quotes from Deuteronomy 25:4 and makes reference to the "judgment" from Leviticus 19:13 and Deuteronomy 24:14-15.


Deut 25:4 You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain. (NKJ)


Lev 19:13 You shall not cheat your neighbor, nor rob him. The wages of him who is hired shall not remain with you all night until morning. (NKJ)


Deut 24:14-15 You shall not oppress a hired servant who is poor and needy, whether one of your brethren or one of the aliens who is in your land within your gates. 15 Each day you shall give him his wages, and not let the sun go down on it, for he is poor and has set his heart on it; lest he cry out against you to the LORD, and it be sin to you. (NKJ)


It can be argued that Paul had an understanding of the eighth commandment as repeated in the New Testament as Ephesians 4:28. It was internalized - written upon his heart. The limits were Biblically defined by the case laws (judgments) to be carried all the way down to stealing from animals and laborers. So, if one should not steal from animals, one certainly should not steal from a spiritual leader laboring in the Word. The Old Testament Law was his example (1 Cor 10:6, 11). It was his "instruction in righteousness" on how to love PRACTICALLY the believers ministering in the Word.

It also might be added that Jesus used the same passages in instructing his disciples as they would be sent out in Matthew 10:9-10 and Luke 10:7.22 However, many would attribute this to the Jesus living under the Law and thus discount its importance. It is a principle of God's Eternal Law not practiced as the way of sanctification, but as one aspect of the practical definition of love. 1 Corinthians 5:13


1 Cor 5:13 But those who are outside God judges. Therefore "put away from yourselves the evil person." (NKJ)


The subject of the context surrounding this verse is keeping company with believers involved in outright sin. The solution is derived from the application of an Old Testament Law found in several places. Deuteronomy 17:7 will provide one such example;

Deut 17:7 The hands of the witnesses shall be the first against him to put him to death, and afterward the hands of all the people. So you shall put away the evil person from among you. (NKJ)


Again Paul is seen as having an internalization of laws of the Lord that are certainly part of God's eternal Law crossing over all dispensations (Probably including the millennium too) and written as a part of the system of the Law of Moses.


1 Corinthians 9:10


1 Cor 9:8-10 Do I say these things as a mere man? Or does not the law say the same also? 9 For it is written in the law of Moses, "You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain." Is it oxen God is concerned about? 10 Or does He say it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written, that he who plows should plow in hope, and he who threshes in hope should be partaker of his hope. (NKJ)


The subject here is Paul defending his apostleship and the rights that he has to enjoy something of the fruits of his labors. For his foundation and authority, Paul appeals to the Law of Moses. Again, it is not the binding external law that has been superseded by the New Covenant, but that which through use and study has become internalized to define how the saints at Corinth should practically exhibit love toward Paul in allowing him to enjoy the fruits of his labors23 The Old Testament quotes come from Deuteronomy 24:5 and the teaching of the context of passages like Numbers 18:31.


Deut 25:4 You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain. (NKJ)

Num 18:31 You may eat it in any place, you and your households, for it is your reward for your work in the tabernacle of meeting. (NKJ)


2 Corinthians 13:1


2 Cor 13:1 This will be the third time I am coming to you. "By the mouth of two or three witnesses every word shall be established." (NKJ)


The context here is the Apostle Paul warning the Corinthians that he is coming to straighten out the problems in their Church. He will "hold court" when he gets to Corinth. What is the basis of his judicial system? What is the basis for the Christian for any judicial system we may set up? Here again, the Law of Moses becomes in internalized standard for how justice is to be established at Corinth. This is drawn from many portions of the Old Testament Law of Moses. One passage, Deuteronomy 19:15 will again show the source of Paul's system of judicial justice.


Deut 19:15 One witness shall not rise against a man concerning any iniquity or any sin that he commits; by the mouth of two or three witnesses the matter shall be established. (NKJ)


Romans 12:19


Rom 12:19 Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay," says the Lord. (NKJ)


Here the subject is how the believer should handle battles with personal enemies or enemies against which there is no Biblical recourse. Paul again appeals to the Old Testament foundation and law that through study and familiarity has become internalized. It is part of him. He thinks the "mind of Christ" (1 Cor 2:16). His answer to how to deal with such enemies is founded on passages like Deuteronomy 32:35.


Deut 32:35 Vengeance is Mine, and recompense; their foot shall slip in due time; for the day of their calamity is at hand, and the things to come hasten upon them. (NKJ)


Ephesians 6:2-3


Eph 6:2-3 Honor your father and mother, which is the first commandment with promise: 3 that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth. (NKJ)


The subject is the command for children to obey their parents. Paul very clearly makes an outright and blatant appeal to the fifth commandment (Exodus 20:12) as his foundation and authority. The Law of Moses becomes authoritative not as an external system, but internalized and really a part of the Eternal Law of God.


Summary

Paul, champion of Grace and champion of revealing the abrogation of the Law system of Moses certainly does not discard the law, but makes use of it as a part of the "all Scripture that is profitable."



James' Use of the Old Testament

James' contribution is limited to just one general epistle. Yet in the midst of his epistle there are two instances in which James makes use of the Old Testament as did Jesus during His ministry on earth.


James 2:8


James 2:8 If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself," you do well; (NKJ)


Even the great commandment that was set forth by the Lord Jesus Christ has it's origin in the Law of Moses. James teaches, as did Christ, that we are to love our neighbor as ourselves. This command (the second great commandment) is derived from the Old Testament in Leviticus 19:18.


Lev 19:18 You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD. (NKJ)


James 2:9


James 2:9 but if you show partiality, you commit sin, and are convicted by the law as transgressors. (NKJ)


In the same context, James teaches on partiality. The believer is commanded in context not to show partiality to one with fine clothes and gold over and against the man that is poor. James says that this is sin and gets his foundation and authority from the Old Testament Law of Moses in passages like Leviticus 19:15.


Lev 19:15 You shall do no injustice in judgment. You shall not be partial to the poor, nor honor the person of the mighty. In righteousness you shall judge your neighbor. (NKJ)


Again, without the Old Testament and its Law being internalized a practical answer to how to treat persons of differing economic levels could be lacking.



Peter's Use of the Old Testament

Peter was also comfortable with making use of the Old Testament Law as a basis and foundation in at least two instances in his writings. The command of Peter for believers to "be holy" in 1 Peter 1:16 is based squarely on the command given to Moses in the Law quoted from Leviticus 19:2.


1 Pet 1:16 because it is written, "Be holy, for I am holy." (NKJ)


Lev 19:2 Speak to all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say to them: 'You shall be holy, for I the LORD your God am holy. (NKJ)


Likewise, Peter's classification of New Testament saints as a special people found in 1 Peter 2:9 is clearly an application of the Old Testament as the same classification was applied to Israel in the Law of Moses in Deuteronomy 7:6.


1 Pet 2:9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; (NKJ)


Deut 7:6 For you are a holy people to the LORD your God; the LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples on the face of the earth. (NKJ)


Summary Of New Testament Authors Use of Old Testament Law

In the three examples given of Paul Peter and James, all their writings were written under the "inspiration" of Scripture as related in 2 Peter 1:21.


2 Pet 1:21 for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. (NKJ)


Clearly the Holy Spirit used these authors to convey commands and principles that have their basis and foundation in the Eternal Law of God of which the Old Testament and its law gives the clearest revelation. They continue not as an external law system that was weak in that it depended on the flesh (Rom 8:3), but as a part of the "all Scripture" (2 Tim 3:16) that can and will instruct believers in the "mind of Christ" (1 Cor 2:16).

Originally, as the letters of Paul, James, and Peter were read and studied, the Holy Spirit was busy under the spiritual provisions of the New Covenant applied to the church, in edifying as well as writing the principles upon the heart. Once there, under the filling and leading of the Spirit they were truly able to serve "in newness of Spirit" (Rom 7:6; 2 Cor 3:6).


The Practical Use and Application of The Old Testament

How then is the Old Testament and it Law to be used under the principle that "all Scripture is profitable?" It is to be taught! It is not to be ignored nor relegated to a different dispensation and by that relieved of any of its value. When the Old Testament including its laws are not taught there is no consistent answer to many of the practical questions by which the believer's day by day life is lived. The "fad" question of "WWJD" (What Would Jesus Do?) is left without nearly two-thirds of the Biblical Revelation. Let me illustrate with some examples all dealing with the responsibility of the believer to "love his neighbor."


On Borrowing

One attitude that exists among believers is that since all property belongs to the Lord and particularly for believers what is mine is yours and what is yours is mine. Therefore, if I need to borrow something, you need to lend it. If I break it, Oh well . . . . The direction given to us in the Word of God is classified as a judgment (a judicial law) under the 8th Commandment (Thou shalt not steal). It is found in Exodus 22:14-15.


Exod 22:14-15 And if a man borrows anything from his neighbor, and it becomes injured or dies, the owner of it not being with it, he shall surely make it good. 15 If its owner was with it, he shall not make it good; if it was hired, it came for its hire. (NKJ)


The Law is clear: If you borrow and break, you restore the item. When this is taught, it is no longer a legal requirement external to the believer, but as a principle of "all Scripture" (2 Tim 3:16) that shows us the "mind of Christ" (1 Cor 2:16). The believer seeking to "love his neighbor" has Divine direction "written on the heart" as this principle is believed and he knows what should be done.


On Having Something Dangerous

All of us potentially have dangerous things that could injure others from the automobile we drive to an over-protective dog in the yard. Where does the responsibility lie in "loving our neighbor?" The practical Biblical example that comes from the Old Testament and its Law is found in Exodus 21:33-34.


Exod 21:33-34 And if a man opens a pit, or if a man digs a pit and does not cover it, and an ox or a donkey falls in it, 34 the owner of the pit shall make it good; he shall give money to their owner, but the dead animal shall be his. (NKJ)


The Law speaks to a "pit" specifically. However as a "judgment" or a "case law" it addresses the limits of liability in any potentially dangerous situation where protection is not offered (Here, the covering of the pit). So, if you have an overly protective dog, the "mind of Christ" on practically loving your neighbor is to fence him in and post warnings. The Lord makes us responsible in a very practical way.



On Loans or Debt

In our society it is practically impossible to purchase a home or a car without going into debt. Many believers come to the New Testament passage, "Owe to no man anything" (Rom 13:8) and either judicially try to keep it or knowing violate what is commonly taught (be debt free) when the Old Testament revelation is ignored.

The Old Testament and the Law it contains provides an intricate system of finance and solid information on borrowing when it was needed. The basic principle was to be a debt free as possible, but when in need a loan could be secured for six years until the seventh year of release. This limited debt to short term. Having these Laws taught, not as an external system to be obeyed in letter, but with a goal toward knowing the mind of the Lord, many more possibilities are opened up. One passage emphasizing the "mind of Christ" on the matter is Deuteronomy 15:1-2.


Deut 15:1-2 At the end of every seven years you shall grant a release of debts. 2 And this is the form of the release: Every creditor who has lent anything to his neighbor shall release it; he shall not require it of his neighbor or his brother, because it is called the LORD'S release. (NKJ)


This shows that debts were a part of ancient Israel, but they by law had to be short term. As shown from the examples above, balancing the use of the Old Testament provides a source of revelation that many in Dispensational camps have tended to ignore because of relegating this portion of Scripture as non-applicable to the Church. If a wholesale discounting of the Old Testament and its law continues to be pushed then there is no applicable Biblical basis for criminal law, military policy, financial planning, etc.


Doesn't the Great Commandment on "Love" Cover all this?

Finally, the Lord's Great Commandment "To Love" has often been used to cover these things. It is certainly true, that as the Lord Jesus Christ taught the Great Commandment that He was, in fact, summing up all that the intricate details of the law and prophets sought to produce within the body of believers. He said,


Matt 22:37-40 Jesus said to him, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets." (NKJ)


Thus the summation of the Old Testament Law and Prophets who expounded a return to those principles is the Great Commandments of the Love of God and the Love of Neighbor. What is often missed is one of the Biblical definitions of the very love that Jesus was speaking about. This basic definition is taken up by John, known as the Apostle of Love, in several places in his writings. He succinctly defines basic love as "keeping God's commandments."


John 14:15 If you love Me, keep My commandments. (NKJ)


John 14:21 "He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him." (NKJ)


John 15:10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love. (NKJ)


I Jn 5:2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. (NKJ)


I Jn 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. (NKJ)


II Jn 1:6 This is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, that as you have heard from the beginning, you should walk in it. (NKJ)


As Jesus summed up all the Law and the Prophets going from the many to the two commandments, John, the apostle of love, reverses the summation to go from the two great "love" commandments to define them practically by the many commands of God's Eternal Law. The basic way in which the believer loves God and his neighbors is under the high standards of the "Spirit" also incorporating the Eternal Laws of God.




Conclusion

This paper is an appeal for balance in the use and treatment of the Old Testament and the Law it contains. It was born out of seeing a great inconsistency in the Dispensational world in what is used and what is rejected from the Old Testament in the "handling" of the Word of God. The perspective is Dispensational in the belief that the external system of the Law of Moses was for Israel directly as a conditional covenant, but that many laws drafted into writing are part of what I called the Eternal Laws of God. They are different from the Westminster Confession's understanding of a portion of the Mosaic Law called the "Moral Law." These laws transcend all dispensations and the commands found in any dispensation have been derived from the Eternal Laws of God. In the age of the Church, the external system of Law of Moses in its external capacity has been fully abrogated. However, under the New Covenant, specifically given to Israel, the Church has been called to participate in its spiritual blessings. One of its spiritual blessings involves God's Laws to be written upon the heart. It is the thrust of this paper that based upon the facts that the Old Testament is for our example (1 Cor 10:6, 11) and that "all Scripture is profitable" (2 Tim 3:16) that the Old Testament and its laws that have not been modified by New Testament additions continued to provide spiritual guidance and wisdom about the "mind of Christ" (1 Cor 2:16) on any number of matters. They should be preached and referenced not as external law (As Moses Law) to please God, but as foundation and definition for the practical implementation of our "loving the Lord God with all our hearts, mind, and soul and our neighbors as ourselves" (Matt 22:37-39). When preached the Holy Spirit will faithfully communicate the "mind of Christ" on a variety of subjects and write the Eternal Truths of these portions of God's Word upon the heart where the Holy Spirit can draw upon them as the New Testament saint seeks to "walk in the Spirit," and in so doing, fulfill the righteousness of God's Law (Rom 8:4).


I trust this exercise had induced some thinking and needed balance for the use of the Old Testament and its Law.

Paul R. Schmidtbleicher, 2001





Bibliography



Aldrich, Roy L. Holding Fast to Grace. Findley, Ohio: Dunham Publishing Company, 1967.


Clough, Charles A. "A Meta-Hermeneutical Comparison of Covenant and dispensational Theologies." Chafer Theological Seminary Journal, Vol. 7, Num. 2, April-June, 2001, pp. 59-80.


Continuity and Discontinuity. Edited by John S. Feinberg. Wheaton: Crossway Books, 1988.


Crenshaw, Curtis I. Lordship Salvation: The Only Kind There Is. Memphis: Footstool Publications. 1994.


Crenshaw, Curtis I. and Gunn, Grover E., III Dispensationalism Today, Yesterday and Tomorrow. Memphis: Footstool Publications. 1985.


Dorsey, David A. "The Law of Moses and the Christian: A Compromise." Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, Num. 34/3, Sept. 1991, pp. 321-334.


Fruchtenbaum, Arnold G. Israelology: The Missing Link in Systematic Theology. Tustin: Ariel Ministries, 1989.


Hodges, Zane C. The Gospel Under Siege. Dallas: Redencion Viva, 1981.


Hodges, Zane C. Absolutely Free. Dallas: Redencion Viva and GrandRapids: Zondervan, 1989.


Kaiser, Walter C. "God's Promise Plan and His Gracious Law." Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, Num. 33/3, Sept. 1990, pp. 289-302.


Lightner, Robert P. "Theological Perspectives on Theonomy, Part 3, A Dispensational Response to Theonomy." Bibliotheca Sacra, Vol. 143, Num. 571, July, 1986, pp. 228-245.


Mathison, Keith A. Dispensationalism: Rightly Dividing the People of God. Phillipsburg: Presbyterian and Reformed, 1985.


McClain, Alva J. "What is the Law." Bibliotheca Sacra, Vol. 110, Num. 440, Oct. 1953, pp. 333-341.


Osborne, Sumner. "The Christian and the Law." Bibliotheca Sacra, Vol. 109, Num. 435, July, 1952, pp. 239-247.


Pentecost, J. Dwight. Things to Come. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1958.


Rushdoony, Rousas John. The Institutes of Biblical Law. Nutley: Craig Press, 1973.

Thieme, Robert B. The Doctrine of War. Houston: R.B. Thieme, Jr. Bible Ministries, 1971.


Williamson, G.I. The Westminster Confession of Faith. Phillipsburg: Presbyterian and Reformed, 1964.


1 Books: Examples of such books are Dispensationalism Today, Yesterday, and Tomorrow by Curtis I. Crenshaw and Grover E. Gunn, III. Memphis: Footstool Publications, 1985. Lordship Salvation The Only Kind There Is! by Curtis I. Crenshaw. Memphis: Footstool Publications, 1994. Dispensationalism - Rightly Dividing the People of God by Keith A. Mathison. Nutley: Presbyterian and Reformed, 1995.


2 Charles Clough, "A Meta-Hermeneutical Comparison of Covenant and Dispensational Theologies," (Chafer Theological Seminary Journal, Vol. 7, Num. 2, April-June 2001) p. 80.


3 Col. Robert B. Thieme, Jr. pastor of Berachah Church in Houston, Texas served as one of my pastors during the time of the Vietnam War. His theological framework is solidly Dispensational. However, when it came to teaching principles of capital punishment and principles to equip believers who were in the military and going to the battlefield, he developed his "Doctrine of War" primarily from Old Testament references. Other believers, confronted with these principles would simply dismiss them as having little validity because they were based on the teaching of the Old Testament.


4 G.I. Williamson, The Westminster Confession of Faith (Philadelphia: Presbyterian and Reformed, 1964), p. 141.

5 Alva J. McClain, "What is 'The Law'?", Bibliotheca Sacra, Vol. 110, Num. 440, Oct 1953 (Dallas, Texas: Dallas Theological Seminary (Electronic edition by Galaxie Software, 1999), 1953), p. 333.


6 Ibid., pp. 334-335.

7 Sumner Osborne, "The Christian and the Law," Bibliotheca Sacra, Vol. 109, Num. 435, Jul 1952 (Dallas, Texas: Dallas Theological Seminary (Electronic edition by Galaxie Software, 1999), 1952), p. 241.

8 McClain, op. cit., pp 340-341.

9 Roy L. Aldrich, Holding Fast to Grace, (Findlay, Ohio: Dunham, 1967), p. 75.


10 Robert P. Lightner, "Theological Perspectives on Theonomy, Part 3, A Dispensational Response to Theonomy," Bibliotheca Sacra, Vol. 143, Num. 435, Jul 1986 (Dallas, Texas: Dallas Theological Seminary (Electronic edition by Galaxie Software, 1999), 1986), p. 235.


11 Ibid., pp. 241-245.

12 An excellent volume of essays that presents the issue of continuity and discontinuity between the testaments from a variety of perspectives is Continuity and Discontinuity - Perspectives on the Relationship Between the Old and New Testaments, Edited by John S. Feinberg, (Crossway Books, Wheaton, Ill., 1988).

13 David A. Dorsey, "The Law of Moses and the Christian: A Compromise" Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, Num. 34/3, Sept 1991, (Lynchburg, VA:JETS (Electronic edition by Galaxie Software), 1998) 1991.


14 J. Dwight Pentecost, Things to Come, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1958), pp. 121-125.


15 Walter C. Kaiser, Jr., "God's Promise Plan and His Gracious Law" (Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, Num. 33/3, Sept. 1990, Lynchburg, VA: JETS (Electronic edition by Galaxie Software, 1998), 1990), p. 298.


16 Ibid., p. 298. Bruce K. Waltke is quoted by Kaiser from the following: B.K. Waltke, "The Phenomenon of Conditionality Within the Unconditional Covenants," Israel's Apostasy and Restoration: Essays in Honor of Roland K. Harrison, ed. A. Gileadi (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1988), pp. 136-137.


17 Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum, Israelogy; The Missing Link in Systematic Theology, (Tustin, CA: Ariel Ministries, 1989), p. 355.


18 An excellent treatment on the why the Law of Moses is not to be seen as the Christian's way of sanctification is presented by Robert P. Lightner, "Theological Perspectives on Theonomy, Part 3, A Dispensational Response to Theonomy," Bibliotheca Sacra, Vol. 143, Num. 435, 1986 (Dallas, Texas: Dallas Theological Seminary) and is highly recomended.


19 Rousas John Rushdoony, The Institutes of Biblical Law, (Nutley, New Jersey: Craig Press, 1973), pp. 10-11.


20 Changes like marriages to near kin in Adam's day before the law of Moses and the modified prohibitions outlined in Leviticus 18. Also changes in the sacrificial system of Moses Day and their fulfillment and cessation in Christ as taught in Hebrews.

21 Thomas Ice, notable dispensationalist, pastor, author, and prophetic teacher once answered at a National Teaching-Pastors Conference in the 1980's the question as to the current use of the Law (of Moses). He replied that it could be considered as "Wisdom Literature" designed to give the believer wisdom. I take this a step farther by proclaiming that as a part of the "all Scripture" being profitable and under the spiritual blessings of the New Covenant (for the Church) it is absolutely necessary for the believer to fully understand the "mind of Christ." These laws are not imposed as was the Law of Moses, but in studing those things and the background principles which are obviously a part of God's Eternal Law, the believer has truths internalized as "laws written upon the heart" from which to function spiritually under the "walk in the Spirit" with an even higher spiritual standard than the original "letter of the Law". Thus, to ignor approximately two thirds of the Bible in favor of the last one third is to do ourselves a great disservice.

22 Matt 10:9-10 Provide neither gold nor silver nor copper in your money belts, 10 nor bag for your journey, nor two tunics, nor sandals, nor staffs; for a worker is worthy of his food. (NKJ)

Luke 10:7 And remain in the same house, eating and drinking such things as they give, for the laborer is worthy of his wages. Do not go from house to house. (NKJ)


23 Many a congregation member who complains about a pastor or missionary having some enjoyment and material blessing when they "should be sacrificing" are symptoms of a New Testament Church cut loose from the Old Testament foundation that emphasized among other things "life and good" (Deut 30:15).