Did The Law of Moses Prophesy Till 70 AD?
If you want to see an Amillennialist preacher walk on pins and needles with tender feet,ask him this question. Did the Law of Moses prophesy till 70AD?
He doesn’t want to answer it. Rather, he will attempt to rephrase the question then attempt to answer part of it, and do a rather poor job at that.
For example, search for this question in the archives of the Christian Courier by Wayne Jackson, and you will find it askedin this manner:
“Did the Law of Moses Continue Until A.D. 70?” The blog post begins with a
reference to the present tense participle in 2 Cor. 3:11, (a thorny problem for “law-done-away-at-the-cross-advocates.)
It acknowledges that an inspired apostle wrote this verse some 26 years after Jesus died on the cross, stating that the law was “passing away” and not as they would contort the text to make it read that it had already passed away 26 years earlier.
What this amounts to is desperation to get as far away from the implications of the continuation of the law as possible for fear of the textual complications.
What is most disturbing to these men are the implications that the the Law of Moses is yet binding if the following events have not come to pass:
- the second coming of Christ
- the resurrection of the dead
- the day of judgment
- and the end of the world
It is claimed that these terms have been redefined to conform to “realized eschatologists” theological agenda.
Two Laws Running Side By Side for 1500 Years!
The term “transition” is an exegetical anathema it seems and thus God, could not operate two laws at the same time for two different people, if even for a generation.
Gentiles, who were not under the Law of Moses, were under the Law of God for the entire duration of the Law. That means God had two laws in force.
“To those who are without law, as without law (not being without law toward God, but under law toward Christ), that I might win those who are without law.” (1 Cor. 9:20). To have two concurrent law systems in place was not contrary to God’s will.
How else Paul writes, could God convict the Gentiles of sin “who do not have the Law of Moses?” (Rom. 2:14, 3:23).
Response to Courier’s Sophistry
- Romans 7:1–4 shows that the brethren became dead to the law (discharged from it) by virtue of their death, not the death of the law. Thus, because death severs the bond as in marriage, the brethren were free to marry another i.e. to him who rose from the dead, a result of their death with Christ through the body of his flesh (Col. 1:22).The point is Christ died to the law. They died with him by being joined with him in death through baptism, thus, through him they died to the law. As he no longer lived in it, they too could have a new relationship with God in the Spirit by dying soteriologically versus biologically.Both J.W. McGarvey, and Moses Lard’s commentaries so understood the text to be saying the brethren died, rather than the law. Courier’s article carefully avoided citing the law died, but left the implication nevertheless.
- The law was a tutor to bring Jews to Christ. However Christ was absent from the church at the time Paul wrote Gal. 3:24–25. See 2 Cor. 5:6–8. As we demonstrate below, the purpose of the law was to bring them not merely to the time of Christ’s absence, but to his Presence, i.e. his Parousia.In Hebrews Paul taught that the Holy Spirit “is indicating” [another troublesome present passive] that as long as the Levitical priests offered sacrifices, the way into the Holiest of All is [present passive] not yet made manifest while the first tabernacle is still standing, i.e. still had a covenantal standing. (Heb. 9:8).He then states It “is” [see original Greek] symbolic for the present time [at that time of writing]…concerned only with foods and drink, various washing, and fleshly ordinances imposed until the time of reformation, (v. 9).“The time of reformation” is synonymous with the times of restitution of all things spoken by the mouth of the prophets, per Acts 3:21–22 and and consummates at the second coming of Christ. Thus, the law doesn’t end until that time.
- A straw man argument is thrown in for good measure to cloud the issue and prejudice others as though “realized eschatologists” believe and teach one who accepted Christ was justified by the law, contrary to Gal. 5:4.We deny this as patently false. It is a misrepresentation and should have no place in the debate of this issue.
- In Colossians 2:14, the bond or agreement to keep the law was removed by the cross, but for whom and when?How and when is that removed for an individual who was under the law? Only when that person accepted Christ. See Romans 7:4 above.Only those who died with Christ were free to remarry.Therefore, to use Col. 2:14, to blatantly contradict Rom. 7:4, by ascribing it as though it were a blanket to all without distinction is poor exegesis.Further, the context shows that Paul wrote to “believers in Christ” not to everyone. The saints at Colosse were believers weren’t they?Hence, the text applies to “baptized believers,” who are addressed in verses 11–12, “In Him you were also circumcised, …buried with him in baptism, in which you were raised with him.Thus, the subject of the blotting out of the bond of obligation of indebtedness to the law goes back to the subject you who were circumcised with Christ, showing when and how they received release from it.That is precisely the meaning and application of Romans 7:4, above as the texts are parallel. Paul taught that only those who were baptized into Christ were free from that bond. No other interpretation satisfies the language and context.
- Hebrews 7:12, Again, Courier timidly refuses to quote the text and acknowledge the present tense. As clear as day, the text reads, “For the priesthood being changed, of necessity there is also a change of the law.” That is another present passive participle. Perhaps, one should pack a big lunch when trying to explain away all the present passive participles when seeking to evade the force of the law’s continuation beyond the cross.Now what is the point of addressing the issue of the Christian priesthood, while the Levitical priesthood was being changed? Paul writes that the reason Christ could not be a priest on earth, is because there are [present tense] Levitical priests who offer [present tense] gifts and sacrifices according to the law. (Heb. 8:3,4).Thus, if there were no legitimate Levitical priesthood, there would be no problem with Christ’s priesthood being on earth at that time. He could only legally administer in the heavens.Further, to make the argument that animals blood was still redemptive is catastrophic. When was animals blood ever redemptive? Paul’s says animals blood was symbolic of redemption, (Heb. 9:7–9).Further, if it was redemptive, would not the sacrifices have ceased to be offered? But there was a remembrance of sins every year. “For it is [another present tense] not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins, (Heb. 10:1–4).
- Hebrews 8:13: Here is another verse that slipped the Courier’s pen. It too contains present tense verbs. “In that He says, A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming [present passive] obsolete and [is] growing [another present passive] is ready to vanish away. Now the Courier writer would have the unsuspecting audience believe that Paul is speaking of a civil institution. So he writes that Christ came to destroy their “city” i.e. civil institution. All I can say is, how uncivil?Paul had just finished speaking about God finding fault with Israel and Judah for breaking the covenant through sin. That is a redemptive issue, not a civil one, except in extended consequence.God’s remedy was a new covenant written in the hearts and minds, not on street posts and signs in the tavern or on their storefronts and skyscrapers. It was their sins, not their civil institution he would remember no more. It is elsewhere that he speaks of the city being destroyed.Next he offers that since the gospel invaded the hearts of Christians the “glory” of the former administration was fading. These are cute words, but what do they mean?If the law passed at the cross as a religious/redemptive/legally binding institution leaving only a civil shell, then that glory had already faded. So the only glory that could be fading was the “civil” glory.However, this betrays the use of the argument on the present passive for it shows that the present passive means that what “was passing” had not passed. How else can he argue otherwise, since he committed to the civil institution’s demise in A.D. 70?
Did The Law of Moses Prophesy Till 70 A.D.?
We saved the real issue of this discussion until last. Above, our aim was to pick apart the sophistry of the Courier’s author. “Realized eschatologists” have been down that road many times before. It’s hard to pull that wool over our eyes.
Here is what alarms those who have to deal with the Law of Moses question and its impact on the second coming of Christ, the judgment, resurrection of the dead and the end of the world [Jewish age].
The Law Prophesied. The law was prophecy. It was not merely a civil and religious institution. It was also God’s prophetic word. Peter alludes directly to O.T. prophecy, related to Christ’s Parousia, 2 Peter.1: 16–21.
The law prophesied Christ’s first and second coming. “For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.” (Matt. 11:13)
- Paul calls Genesis the law, 1 Cor. 14:34.
- Christ calls Psalms the law, John 10:34 (Psa. 82:6)
- Paul calls Isaiah the law, 1 Cor. 14:21, (Isa. 28:11, 12)
These are just a few of the examples. Note that Isa. 28:11, 12 was a prophecy being fulfilled in Paul’s day, some 25 years after the cross, as he applied it to the Corinthians, the same church alluded to in the Courier’s post.
Christ stated that all things written (prophesied) in the Law of Moses, the prophets and the Psalms concerning him had to be fulfilled.
“Then he said to them, “These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which were written in the law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning me.
And he opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures. [Are there any civil Scriptures?]
“Then he said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer [the cross] and to rise from the dead the third day [resurrection after the cross], and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name to all nations [decades after the cross, Matt. 24:14, Rom. 10:18; Col. 1:5–6, 23] beginning at Jerusalem [about 50 days after the cross]. (Luke 24:44–47
For the latter part of the text, Christ quotes Isaiah 2:3c–4, showing it begins at Pentecost and ends with judgment. Compare Matt. 24:14 and Lk. 21:20–22.
“For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. He shall judge between the nations, and rebuke many people…”
Further, Peter starts with Moses, then sums up with prophecies from Samuel and all the prophets who “foretold” of those last days. The prophets did not write new laws or new prophecies. They expounded and expanded upon the laws and prophecies written in the law of Moses.
Christ was prophesied in every book of the law, Genesis – Deuteronomy. His second coming, and therefore, all the constituent elements were prophesied.
Now, the Courier comes along carrying a message in a bucket with a hole in it saying that God incrementally did away with the law. Not for a moment.
Christ’s Teaching Concerning the Law and the Prophets.
Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.
For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass way, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.” (Matt. 5:17, 18).
God says not one jot or tittle, (the smallest marks in the Hebrew characters), as in the dotting of an “i” and crossing of a “t.” Not even these smallest things would pass till all is fulfilled, and till the Jewish heaven and earth passed, (Deut. 31:22; Matt. 24:35; 1 Cor. 10:11).
To get around this verse, Courier says the present tense means some not all as in “incrementally.” Jesus said not any, till all, thus all means “all.” And that is all folks. What more need be said? On the resurrection they split Adam. On the law, they split Moses!
The Lord taught the second coming of Christ, the judgment, resurrection of the dead and end of the world all had to be fulfilled, before the law could pass. The novel interpretations reside within the futurists’ camp if one has to make Jesus a liar to hold on to a law-passed-at-the-cross paradigm.