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DEFINING SIN: The Lord Jesus Endorsed the Old Testament Definition of Sin (2)

        Many Christians erroneously believe the Old Testament has been eliminated by the New Testament but the Lord Jesus NEVER said this. In fact, He said the following:

         “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” [Matthew 5:17-19] [1]

         In this passage, the Lord Jesus grants full approval of the entire Torah, accepts it in every respect without question, and allows for no elimination of any single law. He is saying that the Law of Moses is perfect and complete, just as the apostle Paul later taught in his writings, and He endorses the Law wholeheartedly. The Lord Jesus put His entire ministry and mission on the line by doing this, tying Himself entirely and absolutely to the Torah and its existence at least until heaven and earth passes away.

         Therefore, the notion that the Old Testament or the Law of Moses is no longer viable or in play could not be more wrong: Every definition of sin regarding personal human behavior is still 100% in effect. So if people say, “Well, since Jesus never said anything about this sin or that sin, it must be okay to practice such,” the correct response is that He actually did since He endorsed the Law and the Prophets. If the Law of Moses said something was a sin, it is still a sin to this day and the Lord Jesus agrees.

         Also, if the Torah said a particular action or behavior was a gross sin, or a complete violation of God’s intent, or an abomination, then it was and remains an abomination. You can tell which sins were the worst by the penalties attached to them. The worst sins had the sentence of death as the penalty, signifying the outright heinousness of the behavior and ultimately the total contempt for the Lord and His Law.

         Therefore, even though the Gospels do not address every single specific sin or the worst sins that required the death penalty, the Lord endorsed the written Torah, which does.

THE ORAL LAW

         Of course, the original written Torah was added to in a sense and amended with the addition of the unwritten oral law, which began about the time of the Babylonian Captivity and grew in content until the first century A.D. This oral law did not change the written Law (the Torah—the Law of Moses) which remained intact, but it had changed and corrupted the original intent of the written Law. The Lord Jesus addressed this corrupting influence on many occasions, rebuking those Torah-teachers who advocated for its use in altering the original.

         (Many Christians are guilty of the same practice, having altered the original teachings of the Lord Jesus to suit their own taste and limited understanding, and in some cases changing His intent and meaning entirely.)

         Since the New Testament thus defines sin by the Lord’s support of the Law and the Prophets, there is actually no distinction between the two in defining sin. Sin is still what it has always been and it still incurs a penalty. Many people do not understand they are paying a penalty for sin in some form or another at present based on some past or present sin, which they do not recognize as sin. They do not consciously make the cause and effect connection between the two.

         But God is not mocked. What we plant is what we will harvest. The ultimate penalty for unconfessed sin comes after physical death. It is not the Lord’s fault if people choose to die in their sins having rejected the only cure and the only cleansing agent—the Blood of Jesus.

         The worst sins require the death penalty. The Lord Jesus paid that death penalty in full on our behalf. He fulfilled the requirements of the Law regarding sin and whoever applies the penalty He paid toward their own sins will have their long list of violations against God and man expunged, and their official record of sin will be erased as if it never existed.

         This is the Lord’s grace. This is His mercy. This is His love.

         © 2016 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued…]

         Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

PLEASE SUPPORT THIS POWERFUL SERIES:

DEFINING SIN: The New “Evil is Good-Good is Evil” Paradigm (1)

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Rejecting The Lord’s Sacrificial Death: Why Are Christians Supporting a Third Temple?

         And when they came to a place called Golgotha, which means Place of a Skull, they gave Him wine to drink mixed with gall; and after tasting it, He was unwilling to drink.

         And when they had crucified Him, they divided up His garments among themselves by casting lots. And sitting down, they began to keep watch over Him there. And above His head they put up the charge against Him which read, “THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS.”

         At that time two robbers were crucified with Him, one on the right and one on the left.

         And those passing by were hurling abuse at Him, wagging their heads and saying, “You who are going to destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save Yourself! If You are the Son of God, come down from the cross.”

         In the same way the chief priests also, along with the scribes and elders, were mocking Him and saying, He saved others; He cannot save Himself. He is the King of Israel; let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe in Him. HE TRUSTS IN GOD; LET GOD RESCUE Him now, IF HE DELIGHTS IN HIM; for He said, ‘I am the Son of God.’”

         The robbers who had been crucified with Him were also insulting Him with the same words. [Matthew 27:33-43]

         This abuse has continued unabated for almost 2000 years. The Lord Jesus made a perfect sacrifice for the sins of mankind but a particular camp has rejected His salvation from day one. It had always been their desire to continue with business as usual, which involved an endless succession of sacrificial animals.

         Many do not take the time to consider what serious blood-letting this animal sacrifice system entailed. Over the course of 1500 years during the sacrificial system, perhaps millions of animals were killed to seemingly pay for the sins of the Hebrew people. Of course, it is taught that these sacrifices were not the actual payment for sins, yet the sacrifices had become legal necessities. It ceased being a moral question and became a legal requirement.

         It is generally taught in Christian circles that the sins of the world were actually “rolled forward” by these sacrifices. It is taught that these sacrifices were “types and shadows” of the real sacrifice.

         Regardless, all of these sacrificial victims were living, breathing creatures that were routinely slaughtered for religious purposes. After a while, there was no more feeling for these victims. The killings had become so routine and quotidian, it provoked no further feeling of remorse or meaning. Rather than understanding that these animals were somehow paying the price for human sins, which should have provoked great remorse in the benefactors, hearts grew very cold instead, and as the dead animals piled up toward heaven, the nation of Israel was not in the least bit affected.

         Christians also seem totally unaffected. Not only are Christians just as cold-hearted regarding this blood-letting practice, they are also quite confused, and there is good reason for it.

         On the one hand the Levites were continually pushing the sacrificial system as mandatory and binding. They had no reservations whatsoever regarding the ongoing process and considered it vital and absolutely indispensible.

         On the other hand we have this:

         “What are your multiplied sacrifices to Me?” Says the LORD. “I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams and the fat of fed cattle; and I take no pleasure in the blood of bulls, lambs or goats. When you come to appear before Me, who requires of you this trampling of My courts? Bring your worthless offerings no longer, incense is an abomination to Me. New moon and sabbath, the calling of assemblies—I cannot endure iniquity and the solemn assembly. I hate your new moon festivals and your appointed feasts, they have become a burden to Me; I am weary of bearing them.” [Isaiah 1:11-14]

         There seems to be a difference of opinion between the priestly and prophetic voices.

         The prophets were telling the priests and the nation that God has no pleasure in the routine religious sacrificing of animals, in that it no longer had any meaning. Of course, no one listened but no one ever listens to prophets, at least not for long. It appears that the prophetic voice does not necessarily exist to bring about the proper change of heart but to merely provide a witness.

         The Lord Jesus was telling this story often. In fact, His life was this story.

         He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. [John 1:11]

         So many of His parables were on this theme. He came to shed light and right the course of His people and all He got from them as a national entity was shame and rejection. He warned them what would happen as a result, and in 70AD the nation, the city of Jerusalem, and the great glorious temple of which they could never do without were all utterly destroyed. The destruction that Israel had often wished upon all its neighbors had suddenly come upon them. It is estimated that over a million Jews were killed in the battle against Rome which they provoked.

         It did not have to be that way.

         “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling.

         “Behold, your house is being left to you desolate!

         “For I say to you, from now on you will not see Me until you say, ‘BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD!’” [Matthew 23:37-39]

         To the end, He taught and practiced a message of love for all, as did all His real disciples. Those who opposed Him, however, practiced a pure doctrine of hatred toward all but their own tiny group.

         What kind of people do this? How far from God can a people be who would continually kill the voice of God, even unto killing the Word of God Himself? The answer is apparently pretty far, as far as distance can be, and the spiritual equivalent of from one end of a continuously expanding universe to the other. There was absolutely no agreement whatsoever with anything the Lord Jesus did by the religious rulers of the nation at that time. Nor was there any acknowledgement or love for Him.

         Who were these people? Why did they possess so much hatred? Why did the nation of millions allow themselves to be led by these despicable, cruel, and ruthless leaders?

         We know that a great many of those who followed the teachings of Moses and the prophets later believed in the Lord Jesus and saw Him as their Messiah. They gave their lives to Him and obeyed His teachings. Some authorities even believe that more Jews believed than disbelieved. All through the Book of Acts we see this playing out—those who refused to believe in the Lord but sticking with their religion, and those who accepted Him wholeheartedly.

         By accepting the Lord they never surrendered their status as Jews or Hebrews. The Lord Jesus was a Jew and claimed to the Samaritan woman at the well that salvation is of the Jews. All the original apostles were Jews or Hebrews, be they Galilean or Judean, as was the entire community of the Lord for the first seven to ten years of its existence.

         Therefore this is not a Jewish question. The Jewish people did not kill the Lord, but those who DID claimed to be Jews. Peter said the Jews killed the Lord but he himself was a Jew.

         After the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple, why did these Jews/Hebrews who joined up with the Lord Jesus have no problem with the fact that there was no longer any temple?

         For Christ did not enter a holy place made with hands, a mere copy of the true one, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; nor was it that He would offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the holy place year by year with blood that is not his own. Otherwise, He would have needed to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now once at the consummation of the ages He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. [Hebrews 9:24-26]

         Can it be more clear? How about the following?

         For the Law, since it has only a shadow of the good things to come and not the very form of things, can never, by the same sacrifices which they offer continually year by year, make perfect those who draw near. Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, because the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have had consciousness of sins? But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins year by year.

         For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.

         Therefore, when He comes into the world, He says, “SACRIFICE AND OFFERING YOU HAVE NOT DESIRED, BUT A BODY YOU HAVE PREPARED FOR ME; IN WHOLE BURNT OFFERINGS AND sacrifices FOR SIN YOU HAVE TAKEN NO PLEASURE. THEN I SAID, ‘BEHOLD, I HAVE COME (IN THE SCROLL OF THE BOOK IT IS WRITTEN OF ME) TO DO YOUR WILL, O GOD.’”

         After saying above, “SACRIFICES AND OFFERINGS AND WHOLE BURNT OFFERINGS AND sacrifices FOR SIN YOU HAVE NOT DESIRED, NOR HAVE YOU TAKEN PLEASURE in them” (which are offered according to the Law), then He said, “BEHOLD, I HAVE COME TO DO YOUR WILL.” He takes away the first in order to establish the second.

         By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. [Hebrews 10:1-10]

         This obviously means there was no longer any need for the temple and the temple sacrifices.

         But guess what? A seeming majority of Christians have somehow come to believe in the necessity of a new temple! Christians are out there preaching that we need to have a new temple and restart the temple sacrifices!

         Many Christians have the same mindset as those in the first century who wanted to hasten the Messiah’s arrival by making things happen. Thus, they are in full agreement with non-believing Jews that a new temple must be constructed on the site of the former ones.

         They also believe that this must happen because prophecy says it must happen! They even believe that the Lord cannot possibly return until the Third Temple is built!

         Now, let me make this as perfectly clear as possible: The Lord Jesus is not in agreement with this as is clearly shown in the previous Scriptural passages. Isaiah and Jeremiah had also prophesied against the entire sacrificial system over 2500 years ago! The author of Hebrews spelled it out perfectly. One must reject a good portion of the New Testament to accept the need for another temple.

         Yet, the purveyors of this contrary religious belief will do it anyway. They are doing it anyway. A seeming majority of Christians are fully on board to support the non-believing Jews in building a new temple, and they don’t care a whit if it means starting WWIII in the process!

         The New Covenant teaches that the real temple is composed of people, not stone. Christians read these passages all the time but their meaning must continually fly right over their heads. Some other element has entered in which renders ineffective the pure Word of God. This in turn has allowed for a complete contradiction which many Christians have fully accepted with no understanding of why or having the ability to explain it.

         Could this be the strong deception the Lord Jesus warned us about?

         It is no wonder then that such Christians are often completely confused, and doing things and believing in things that make no sense. They are supporting those who oppose the Lord. They have lost all sense of reference to the events of the first century, or never had any reference to begin with, or have rejected it outright though it has been presented.

         For the Lord and His people, there is no need for another temple, because they are the temple.

         For you, brethren, became imitators of the churches of God in Christ Jesus that are in Judea, for you also endured the same sufferings at the hands of your own countrymen, even as they did from the Jews, who both killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and drove us out. They are not pleasing to God, but hostile to all men, hindering us from speaking to the Gentiles so that they may be saved; with the result that they always fill up the measure of their sins. But wrath has come upon them to the utmost. [1 Thessalonians 2:14-16] [1]

         © 2014 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

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         PLEASE NOTE NEW ARTICLE AT ABOVE HEADER TAB: “BLOOD MOON DECEPTION”

The Hebrew Month of Nisan 2012: Atonement and Resurrection (Part 3)

Nisan 14 / April 6, 2012 (Began at sunset on April 5):

         Four days after crossing the Jordan River, and exactly forty years after the first Passover in Egypt, the nation of Israel celebrated its first Passover in their new land:

         While the sons of Israel camped at Gilgal they observed the Passover on the evening of the fourteenth day of the month on the desert plains of Jericho. [Joshua 5:10]

         They had received this teaching from Moses:

         “Your lamb shall be an unblemished male a year old; you may take it from the sheep or from the goats. You shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month, then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel is to kill it at twilight.” [Exodus 12:5-6]

         Also on this date, the Lord Jesus became our Sacrifice Lamb:

         So he then handed Him over to them to be crucified. They took Jesus, therefore, and He went out, bearing His own cross, to the place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha. There they crucified Him, and with Him two other men, one on either side, and Jesus in between. Pilate also wrote an inscription and put it on the cross. It was written, “JESUS THE NAZARENE, THE KING OF THE JEWS.” [John 19:16-19]

         We know that the Lord Jesus died on the cross at some point after the ninth hour[1]—about 3:30PM. The time was according to the Hebrew manner of reckoning the hours in the day, which began at sunrise. On that particular day, there were actually about 12.5 hours between sunrise and sunset, and sunrise took place sometime between 6:00 and 6:30AM. However, the gospel accounts do not say the Lord died at exactly the ninth hour, because other events took place after the ninth hour and before His death. It is safe to say He died somewhere between just after the ninth hour and with enough time remaining to bury His body before sunset.

         Also, this particular Nisan 14 was a Thursday, not a Friday. It was the fifth day of the week. Five is the Biblical number of Grace. The Lord did not die on a Friday. He died on a Thursday.  

         On the equivalent of Wednesday evening, the Lord and His disciples ate the Passover meal. He then suffered the trauma of Gethsemane. After being up all night, shuttled around to various false trials, and beaten severely, our Lord Jesus had been stripped of His clothes and nailed to the cross at the exact time of the Temple morning sacrifice, which was at the third hour of the day. This was somewhere between 9:00 and 9:30AM.

         Over six hours of excruciating pain and suffering later, the Lord died. His body continued hanging on the cross until it was taken down at the request of Joseph of Arimathea.[2]

         If the Last Supper was a Passover Seder, it meant the sacrificial lambs were slaughtered a day before the Sacrifice Lamb. The Lord must have partaken of the Passover since it was commanded in the Torah, and it was during which that He instituted the New Covenant by introducing His broken body and shed blood as a memorial.

         Could it be that the Lord’s death was progressive? It certainly appears that the “death angel” passed over the Garden of Gethsemane the night the Lord made His final surrender. At some point the sins of the world were placed upon Him. This was a legitimate form of death. There was no protection for the Sacrifice Lamb. It would have cancelled out His purpose. Once sin was placed upon Him, the spotless Lamb became sin on our behalf.[3] He continued “dying” until the next late afternoon when He breathed His last, when full payment was made, and when all was finished.

         Theoriginal Passover in Egypt took place in the middle of the night, when the death angel “Passed Over” each house while looking for the shed blood of lambs upon the door posts and lintels of the dwellings. Whichever family’s house did not display the blood of a perfect lamb suffered the loss of its firstborn son.

         Those families whose houses displayed the blood were representative of having the blood of Jesus displayed on their hearts as a substitute sacrificial firstborn Son, who died in place of their actual firstborns, and thus suffered no loss.

Nisan 15 / April 7, 2012 (Begins at sunset on April 6):

         After crossing the Jordan, the nation of Israel ate the produce of the Promised Land for the very first time:

         On the day after the Passover, on that very day, they ate some of the produce of the land, unleavened cakes and parched grain. [Joshua 5:11]

         This was the first day of the seven-day Feast of Unleavened Bread, Pesach 1, a day of holy assembly, which concluded with Pesach 7, another high holy day on Nisan 21.[4] It was the day after the Lord was slain, the sixth day of the week, and equivalent to our Friday.

Nisan 16 / April 8, 2012 (Begins at sunset on April 7):

         It was on this day that the manna which God provided for forty years during the wilderness wanderings ceased. From that point forward, Israel would only eat the food of their new land.

         The manna ceased on the day after they had eaten some of the produce of the land, so that the sons of Israel no longer had manna, but they ate some of the yield of the land of Canaan during that year. [Joshua 5:12]

         This was a Sabbath day. Manna never fell on a Sabbath, but a double portion always fell on the day before—the sixth day of the week (Friday morning). Therefore, there was still manna left over from Friday to eat on this day, but it never fell again. In the week of the Lord’s passion and death, this day was also the seventh day Sabbath, which always fell on a Saturday.

Nisan 17 / April 9, 2012 (Begins at sunset on April 8):

         The Captain of the Lord’s host appeared to Joshua:

         Now it came about when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, a man was standing opposite him with his sword drawn in his hand, and Joshua went to him and said to him, “Are you for us or for our adversaries?” He said, “No; rather I indeed come now as captain of the host of the LORD.” And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and bowed down, and said to him, “What has my lord to say to his servant?” The captain of the LORD’S host said to Joshua, “Remove your sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did so. [Joshua 5:13-15]

         It was also on Nisan 17 that the events of the week culminated in the glorious resurrection of our Lord Jesus.

         Scripture says that the Lord was resurrected on the first day of the week, which would have been equivalent to our Sunday. This means He was actually crucified, as stated previously, on Thursday, Nisan 14. That evening at sunset, after Joseph and the others had taken the Lord’s body off the cross, prepared His body for burial, and encased Him in the tomb, it become Nisan 15. This was not only the high holy day of Pesach 1, the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, it was also the day before the Sabbath.

         Then, after the Sabbath was over and the night had passed, Sunday morning dawned. This was Nisan 17, or the day of First Fruits, which took place after the Passover Sabbath each year.[5] On the agricultural calendar, it was the beginning of the barley harvest, and our Lord Jesus was the first fruits, the choicest portion. Imagine the scene, then, as all these days and prophetic events played out perfectly, and imagine the shock and delight of Mary Magdalene at the tomb that morning: 

         But Mary was standing outside the tomb weeping; and so, as she wept, she stooped and looked into the tomb; and she saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head and one at the feet, where the body of Jesus had been lying. And they said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.”

         When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, and did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing Him to be the gardener, she said to Him, “Sir, if you have carried Him away, tell me where you have laid Him, and I will take Him away.”

         Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to Him in Hebrew, “Rabboni!” [John 20:11-16]

         He had been physically dead, just as He said He would be, for three days and three nights:

         “For just as JONAH WAS THREE DAYS AND THREE NIGHTS IN THE BELLY OF THE SEA MONSTER, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” [Matthew 12:40]

         But on that resurrection morning of Nisan 17, also in keeping with another prophecy, a new Temple was raised by the Lord Jesus Himself that will never be destroyed again:

         “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” [John 2:19][6]

         This is the hope that every real Christian has, that one day he or she will also be resurrected bodily just as the Lord was, to spend eternity with Him and one another forever!

         © 2012 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [Part 3 of 3]


[1] Matthew 27:45-50, Mark 15:33-37, Luke 23:44-46

[2] Mark 15:42-47

[3] 2 Corinthians 5:21

[4] Exodus 12:18

[5] Leviticus 23:11, 1 Corinthians 15:20-23

[6] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.