Jesus and the Law of Moses
Peter D. Goodgame
The Sanctity of Marriage
Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out, "Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready; it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure"-- for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints. (Revelation 19:6-8, ESV)
In Part One of this series the evidence was put forth that the Apostle Paul clearly taught that the Old Covenant Law of Moses was abolished by the death of Christ, and that believers are now under the New Covenant Law of Christ. Then in Part Two we examined statements that Jesus made about the Law of Moses in relation to His new message of the Kingdom of God. On one hand Jesus appears to uphold the Law of Moses until the end of the age, yet on the other hand Jesus declares that He had come to fulfill the Law. This was accomplished through His death and resurrection, which resulted in the fact that numerous "jots and tittles" within the Mosaic Law that dealt with sacrifice, the priesthood, and the temple, were all permanently abolished. This fact points inexorably to the conclusion held by Paul that if some parts have been abolished then the entire Old Covenant must be viewed as having been abolished as well. As Jesus said, there is no point in pouring new wine into old wineskins. The Old Covenant has served its purpose and has been replaced by the eternal New Covenant of Jesus Christ that is the basis of citizenship in the Kingdom of God.
Here in Part Three of this series we will continue to examine the Sermon on the Mount and continue to show how the New Covenant teachings of Jesus reveal that the Mosaic Law was in fact conditional, temporary, and deficient when compared to the new standard of righteousness put forth by Jesus for the Kingdom of God. In addition, we will also examine the theme of marriage and see how it reveals the profound and dramatic relationship that has existed between God and His chosen people, both in the Old Covenant and in the New.
Straight to the Heart
The Sermon on the Mount is the first time that Jesus gives a comprehensive teaching on the Kingdom of God, which He had previously been both announcing and demonstrating through miracles, causing word of Him to spread throughout the region. The people that followed Jesus were continuously astonished at the same time as they were intrigued by what it all might mean. Jesus was saying that the kingdom of heaven was at hand, and surely this meant that a major change was directly on the horizon! When Jesus preached His first sermon you can be sure that those who heard it, whether at that time or later by word of mouth, paid serious attention to what He was saying!
The Sermon begins with the eight-fold Beatitudes, followed by the charge given to His audience to be the "Light of the World" by responding to His message. Then Jesus gave His perplexing and subversive commentary on the Law and His mission to fulfill it, followed by a statement to His audience that they must be more righteous than the Pharisees to enter into the kingdom of heaven (Matt. 5:20). Jesus was not introducing the Kingdom of God by giving some modern-day grace message that says, "Oh just believe in your heart for a moment, and then one day when you die you can be assured you'll go to heaven." For Jesus the Kingdom of God was much more than simply "going to heaven when you die." It was the re-establishment of the reign and rule of God upon the earth in righteousness and truth!This would demand actual righteousness being exhibited by the people of God, not some theologically dubious "imputed righteousness" that is invisible to the world. Jesus was challenging His listeners to be the Light of the World by actually doing good works, which would bring glory to God the Father and expand His reign over the earth by pushing back the forces of darkness.
Isaiah had predicted that God's "Great Light" would first appear in the up-country rural darkness of Galilee. Think of the backwoods hillbilly or redneck areas of the deep South, or if you live in Hawaii perhaps the Puna district of the Big Island. The towns of Galilee were rural, low-income, and probably high crime, and were notorious in Israel as shown by the cynical comment of Nathaniel who said in John 1:46, "Can any good come out of Nazareth?" I mention this because I think we need to understand the audience to whom Jesus preached. It was not the cream of the crop of Israel's society. He was preaching to people who were living life as a struggle, and they were drawn to Him because Jesus was deliberately provoking their hopes. These people knew that the times were dark and they wanted to grab hold of an authentic solution! They were, for the most part, the poor, the mourners, the meek, the hungry, and the persecuted. For the most part they were not rich, or proud, or powerful, and because of this Jesus knew that they had potential!
As Jesus spoke you can be sure that the words of Jesus pierced right to the hearts of many of His listeners. And it was precisely their hearts that He was after. There were many problems in Israel, and viewed from the top of Jewish society these problems would probably include the fact that Israel was dominated by idolatrous Rome, and ruled by an apostate Herodian leadership in tandem with a corrupt group of powerful Sadducee families. It is easy to point the finger elsewhere when you live under an illusion created by your own prestige, power, and self-righteousness, but the fact was that Jesus did not agree that this was the biggest problem in Israel at the time. For Jesus the biggest problem was the state of their own hearts. Jews at the top of the social hierarchy misdiagnosed the problem and so they completely missed the solution. Jesus knew this and so He kept Galilee as His base of operations. And when He preached to these simple folk His message resonated with them, and inspired them, and they did not roll their eyes thinking that Jesus was somehow missing the "big picture."
The Kingdom of God would be founded upon authentic righteousness, and when Jesus announced that the time had been fulfilled it was also the time for a New Covenant with Israel that would deal with the state of the people's hearts. The coming of this "New Covenant" was predicted by the prophet Jeremiah:
Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD: But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. (Jer. 31:31-33)
At this time in Israel the religious leadership had reduced the Mosaic Law to a mere system of animal sacrifices, money collection, and control over outward behavior. In contrast, as Jesus began to introduce the principles of the Kingdom of God, laying the foundation for the New Covenant that would be sealed in His very own blood, He introduced new commandments that would deal specifically with the heart, just as Jeremiah had prophesied that the New Covenant would be a law on the inside of the people, inscribed on their hearts.
You have heard that it was said... but I say to you...!
Following the statement of Jesus in Matthew 5:20 about the Kingdom's high standard of righteousness Jesus then launches into six commentaries on the Old Covenant law. He begins in each case with the words, "You have heard it said," followed by, "But I say to you," thereby introducing His new teaching for the Kingdom of God. In each of these cases Jesus shows how the Mosaic Law is deficient and a new standard is necessary for those desiring to live as citizens of the coming Kingdom. Here we will look at the first three of these teachings, ending with Jesus' new commandment concerning divorce and remarriage, which will carry us into a deeper study of the Old and New Covenants.
One last note before we begin: Because of the fact that Jesus says, "You have heard that it was said.." some try to argue that Jesus is responding to the Oral Law of the Pharisees, and not the written Law of Moses itself. But the fact is that all of the Law of Moses, including the Ten Commandments were delivered first to Israel orally. They were all "spoken" and "heard" when they were first given. In fact, Israel first hears the Ten Commandments in Exodus 20, but it is not until Exodus 34 when the two tablets are received by the people. No, Jesus speaks directly regarding six Old Covenant commandments and contrasts the old commandment with the new standard that will be the foundation of God's Kingdom.
The first commandment that Jesus addresses is the Sixth Commandment of "Thou shalt not kill." Jesus says that in the past the murderer was in danger of judgment, but now merely unjustified anger or verbal cursing is unacceptable. Even saying "you fool!" will cause one to be "in danger of hell fire"! Anger is a sin of the heart, and in Luke's version of this sermon Jesus says, "Out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks," (Luke 6:45). Right from the beginning — just as Jesus had said, "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God" — we see here that Jesus is directly dealing with heart issues.
The second case that Jesus addresses is the Seventh Commandment of "Thou shalt not commit adultery." In the past the physical act was considered the sin, whereas now Jesus says that whoever even looks at a woman with lust is already guilty of adultery in his heart. Again, Jesus is teaching how the New Covenant of the Kingdom of God operates on a level of righteousness that pierces right down to the heart. The time of the schoolmaster is over. The Old Covenant dealt with physical acts, but the Kingdom of God goes to the heart! There is no longer any room for hypocrisy, false fronts, secret fantasies, or hidden agendas. Jesus is crystal clear that above all else our Father in heaven is seeking a pure heart!
The third case that Jesus deals with is the Mosaic Law on divorce. This is a very complicated issue and many Bible scholars (including myself) have often come to wrong conclusions when dealing with this issue. It would seem that Jesus here forbids divorce for any reason other than adultery on the part of the wife. But what about when the man commits adultery? Or what about marriage vows broken by neglect or abuse? What seems to be the case, as Bible scholar David Instone-Brewer points out, is that Jesus was commenting here on the recent widespread adoption of the "Any Cause" divorce clause within Isreal. The traditional interpretation of Deuteronomy 24:1-2 was that divorces could only take place after the wife was found guilty of "sexual sin." However, sometime around the birth of Jesus the famous Jewish rabbi Hillel began to teach that a man could divorce his wife for "any cause." These frivolous divorces (and subsequent adulterous remarriages) became so widespread by the time that Jesus began preaching that He condemned Israel as an "adulterous generation" in Matthew 12:39, 16:4, and Mark 8:38. Here on the Sermon on the Mount Jesus speaks out against this liberal interpretation of the Law of Moses and upholds the traditional ruling of Deuteronomy 24:1-2 that a man can only serve his wife with divorce papers if she has committed a sexual sin of unfaithfulness against him, thus breaking the marriage vows.
In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus does not appear to contradict the Mosaic Law regarding divorce, but rather contradicts a recent liberal interpretation of the Law. Yet this was enough to cause Jesus to be interrogated by the Pharisees as we read in Matthew 19:3 when they ask Him, "Is it lawful to divorce one's wife for 'any cause'?" The response from Jesus here demonstrates that the New Covenant brings with it a higher standard for the institution of marriage. Jesus at first does not answer the question directly, but instead explains that God's original intention was for one man, and one woman, to come together as one flesh in the marriage covenant. By saying this Jesus was declaring that polygamy, which had been allowed under Moses, would no longer be an option. Jesus then emphasizes the enduring and divine nature of the marriage covenant by saying, "What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate." In response to this the Pharisees then asked Jesus why the Law commanded that a husband must divorce his wife for adultery. Once again Jesus corrects the Pharisees by saying that Moses allowed (not "commanded") divorce in such a case, but this was an option given to Israel only "because of your hardness of heart." Jesus then repeats His instruction saying that whoever divorces his wife for any reason other than sexual unfaithfulness, and marries another, commits adultery.
Both Jesus and John the Baptist preached the message of, "Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!" Repentance is a key to entering into the Kingdom, and forgiveness goes with repentance. Jesus was clear that just as God forgives us, we must also forgive our brother. Ideally, as Jesus alludes to in His teaching on divorce, forgiveness should also be extended to an unfaithful spouse. In certain cases divorce becomes an option because of broken marriage vows, but it is never a command. Truthfully, hardheartedness on the part of one or both spouses is the root cause of all divorce. Either hardheartedness in a refusal to repent from and stop the activities that are violating the marriage vows, or hardheartedness displayed by an unwillingness to forgive a truly repentant spouse. Divorce should never happen to marriages based upon the New Covenant because the New Covenant was given to change our hearts and replace our stony hearts with hearts of flesh (Ez. 36:26). Pure hearts never break marriage vows. Pure hearts always seek first to forgive. This is the New Covenant standard established by Jesus which we must strive for in our marriages and teach in our families and churches, even as we extend forgiveness to those who fail to meet this standard.
You have heard that it was said... Old Covenant reference But I say unto you... Mat 5:21-26
(21) You have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment:
The Sixth Commandment:
(Exo 20:13) Thou shalt not kill.
(Deu 5:17) Thou shalt not kill.
(22) But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.
(27) You have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery:
The Seventh Commandment:
(Exo 20:14) Thou shalt not commit adultery.
(Deu 5:18) Neither shalt thou commit adultery.
(28) But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. Mat 5:31-32
(31) It was also said, Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.
(1) When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favour in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her: then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house.
(2) And when she is departed out of his house, she may go and be another man's wife.
(32) But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.
The Bride of Christ
The Bible is full of sub-plots and metaphors that all revolve and connect with the great story of God's love for humanity and His desire to redeem His family. One of the metaphors that God uses for great effect throughout the Bible is the metaphor of marriage. The Apostle Paul tells us that marriage is important to God because the Christian marriage is supposed to be a representation of the relationship between Christ and His Church. I remember I was once going through some drama in my own marriage and I was praying and seeking guidance. At one point I thought to myself that it would have been good if Jesus had been married because then He could have given me a good example in the Bible of how to walk out my own marriage. Then I was reminded by the Holy Spirit that Jesus is "engaged" to us, and we are His Bride. He assured me that my own personal drama with my wife at the time was nothing compared to the drama that Jesus deals with every day with His Church! I stopped complaining.
The New Covenant that is the foundation of the "already but not yet" Kingdom of God is likened in the Scriptures, as Jesus and the Apostles confirm, to a marriage covenant. But just as the Kingdom is "not yet" in its fullness, so has this marriage covenant "not yet" been completely consummated. The Church is the Bride and Jesus is the Bridegroom, but we are not fully married just yet. Jesus often refers to Himself as the Bridegroom, and Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 11:2 of how we look forward to one day being presented to our husband: "For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ."
Messianic Bible scholar Arnold Fruchtenbaum explains that the Church as the Bride of Christ goes through four stages that are typical of the traditional Jewish wedding system: In the first stage the father of the groom pays the bride-price. This corresponds to how we have been purchased by the precious blood of Christ and right now the Church exists in this preliminary phase before the actual wedding. The second stage is the fetching of the Bride, which corresponds to the "catching up" of the Church into heaven before the Day of the Lord. The third stage is the private marriage ceremony, whereas the fourth is the public marriage feast mentioned in Revelation 19:9 and Isaiah 25:6 that occurs on earth at the beginning of the Millennium. The final state of the Church living eternally with her husband as the fully married "wife of the Lamb" is shown within the descriptions of the New Jerusalem in Revelation 21:9.
Jehovah's Wayward Wife
As strange as it may sound, the fact is that the Church is not God's first commitment to a marriage! Yes, the Old Covenant was described using the marriage metaphor as well, and Israel was actually referred to as the wife of Jehovah. But then things went wrong, as we read in Jeremiah 31:31-34. From this passage we see that the reason a New Covenant was needed is because the Old Covenant was broken as a result of Israel's adultery: "Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD."
Fruchtenbaum identifies six stages throughout Scripture that document the Lord's tumultuous relationship with Israel, His rebellious and ungrateful wife: The first stage was the marriage contract, as described in Deuteronomy and in Ezekiel 16:8. The second was the great adultery of Israel as she turned to other gods, as described throughout Jeremiah, Hosea and Ezekiel 16:15-34. The third was the hundred years or so of separation that took place during the time of Isaiah. The fourth stage in this relationship was the giving of the certificate of divorce to Israel by God, as described in Jeremiah 3:6-10. (My view is that this corresponds with the Shekinah Glory of God leaving the Temple as described in Ezekiel 8-10. It did not return until it appeared to Israel several hundred years later in the person of Jesus of Nazareth, as predicted in the "Great Light" prophecy of Isaiah 9). The fifth stage was the period of punishment that was a consequence of Israel's disobedience as described by numerous prophets including Ezekiel 16, Hosea 2, and Jeremiah 3. The sixth and final stage is the remarriage of Israel to the Lord, when restoration and forgiveness comes and the couple is reunited in faithfulness, righteousness, and love.
Fruchtenbaum's scholarship in describing these stages of both Israel and the Church is excellent (also see The Footsteps of the Messiah, pp. 569-590), but I have come to disagree with his dispensationalist perspective. You see, he claims that there is a strict distinction between the Bride of Christ (the Church) and the future redeemed and forgiven wife of Jehovah (Israel). Yet the prophecies that describe Israel's redemption are also the very prophecies that are quoted in the New Testament as applying to the Church! These include passages such as Jeremiah 31:33 (of the "New Covenant," quoted in Hebrews 10:16-17) and Hosea 2:23 (quoted in Romans 9:26 and 1 Peter 2:10). Because these passages apply to the Church, yet were originally applied to Israel in the Old Testament, it is clear to me that the Bride of Christ is the very same figure as the wife of Jehovah who is promised to have her marriage with the Lord restored at the end of the age.
The Lord is not courting two separate women! The wife of Jehovah is indeed described as a harlot, but through Christ she receives forgiveness and God says that her sins will be remembered no more! That is why she can then be described by Paul as a pure virgin bride, awaiting the moment when she will be presented as spotless to the Lord Jesus. The end of the story as described in Revelation mentions only one "wife of the Lamb," and there is no "other woman" hanging around on the side! There never was, and this strange idea of the Lord having two separate "love interests" is simply another fiction resulting from an overly literalistic dispensational theology. As Paul would say, we are all one in Christ Jesus, and there is now no distinction between Jew and Gentile within His Church.
Is Israel's Redemption Even Possible?
This question is posed by Jeremiah when he points out that according to the Law of Moses (Deut. 24:1-4) if a woman leaves a man and then gives herself to another she cannot then return to her first husband because she has become defiled:
"If a man divorces his wife and she goes from him and becomes another man's wife, will he return to her? Would not that land be greatly polluted? You have played the whore with many lovers; and would you return to me?" declares the LORD. (Jeremiah 3:1, ESV)
Jeremiah's point is that Israel has given herself to not just one, but a multitude of other men and has violated her marriage with the Lord so badly that she is past the point of being able to return to the Lord. As the Law states, once divorced, if a woman then attaches herself to another man, she cannot then later return to her first husband. This problem has perplexed many Jews down through the ages and appears as the following question posed to a Rabbi on a Jewish website:
"How do we as Jews get back to God under the Law which prohibits us from coming back?
... Would God have to bring a "new covenant" in bringing us back to Him?"
This is a good question, and the Rabbi does his best to give an answer while carefully avoiding the obvious solution of the New Covenant mediated through Jesus Christ. Yes, the Old Covenant, as a marriage covenant, was broken by Israel (see Jeremiah 31:31-34), and then she covenanted herself to the gods of the other nations, making it legally impossible for Israel to return to the Lord, at least by the means of the Old Covenant. The only way that she could ever re-marry after repenting for her sins would be for her first husband to die, which would then release her from her first marriage covenant!
One of the many sub-plots going on within the redemption story is that the death of Jesus represented both the death of Israel's husband, the Lord, that released Israel from her marriage vows of the Old Covenant based on the Law of Moses, while at the same time the shed blood of Jesus purchased Israel and brought her into the New Covenant as an engaged Bride looking forward to a future wedding with her Redeemer. This is exactly what Paul teaches in his letter to the Romans,
Or do you not know, brothers--for I am speaking to those who know the law--that the law is binding on a person only as long as he lives? For a married woman is bound by law to her husband while he lives, but if her husband dies she is released from the law of marriage. Accordingly, she will be called an adulteress if she lives with another man while her husband is alive. But if her husband dies, she is free from that law, and if she marries another man she is not an adulteress. Likewise, my brothers, you also have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead, in order that we may bear fruit for God. (Romans 7:1-4, ESV)
It is important to note that both the Old and the New Covenants were made with Israel and with the physical descendents of Abraham. But while the scope of the Old Covenant included only one nation and one small section of "Promised Land," the scope of the New Covenant, while initially made with one nation, is designed to include all nations as well as the entire earth. This truth is confirmed, for instance, in the Messianic prophecy of Psalm 2:7-8, "I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession."
As the book of Acts shows and the Apostle Paul teaches, the Gentile nations are brought into the New Covenant alongside Israel by faith, and the "seed of Abraham" becomes expanded to include all those who profess faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (Gal. 3:29). In this way the bloodline that defined the people of God in the Old Covenant becomes replaced by a Spiritline of all believers born again by the indwelling presence of the Holy Ghost!
We can turn, once again, to the great prophecy of the Anointed Messenger of Isaiah 61 to see how these themes of a new and eternal covenant involving all the nations, along with a beautiful picture of a wedding, all converge:
For I the LORD love judgment, I hate robbery for burnt offering; and I will direct their work in truth, and I will make an everlasting covenant with them. And their seed shall be known among the Gentiles, and their offspring among the people: all that see them shall acknowledge them, that they are the seed which the LORD hath blessed. I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels. For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations. (Isaiah 61:8-11)
The New Covenant is truly the very thing that God was planning from the moment that Adam and Eve sinned and fell from their position of personal intimacy with God. The Old Covenant was a stepping stone, or as Paul would say, a schoolmaster, to lead us to Christ. Humanity was far too lost to go directly from paganism to the high standards of the Kingdom of God, and so God used Abraham and the Torah as a temporary step to reach that final goal of grabbing hold of our very hearts, even going so far as to use pagan-like rituals (such as animal sacrifices) and pagan forms of justice (the law of retaliation, instead of forgiveness) to initially connect with and guide the children of Abraham. But more on this as we continue to examine the Sermon on the Mount later.
The New Covenant relationship between God and Man is described in terms of a Groom and His Bride: King Jesus, and His (soon to be) Queen, who are the members of His Body, the Church. In contrast to this heavenly relationship the Kingdom of Darkness is pictured as the Antichrist and his female partner (wife? bride? consort?), also known as the King and Queen of Babylon. The King is the Antichrist and his Queen is a picture of all of unsaved humanity, just as the Bride of Christ is a picture of all of saved humanity. These two figures are mentioned in two different texts, Isaiah 14 and Revelation 18, that are in fact written in a closely parallel poetic form. They are meant to be read together, which is what I show on my page here. The point that I want to make in closing is to note that in these passages of end-times judgment we find that the Lord reveals the hearts of both the King and the Queen of Babylon, even if only briefly:
Regarding the King of Babylon we read, "You said in your heart, 'I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High'" (Is. 14:13-14). This reveals the Antichrist's proud and blasphemous heart.
Regarding the Queen of Babylon we read, "In her heart she boasts, 'I sit as Queen; I am not a widow, and I will never mourn'" (Rev. 18:7). This too reveals her prideful heart as well as her own delusion and self-deception.
The point I want to make is this: God knows our hearts! Let's stop the charade already! Why do we continue to lie to ourselves, creating our own illusions, pretending that we are something that we are not! Our hearts are in need of healing and only Jesus our Savior has what we need. That's why Jesus didn't come to save Israel from the Romans. He came to save Israel from Israel! And then He started a Kingdom movement that advanced with the purpose of saving the Roman Empire from the Romans. And today he wants to save America from the Americans! If Jesus were to appear today He wouldn't point out Obama as our biggest problem, for goodness sake! He would say the same thing He did to the people of Galilee: "You need a renewed heart!"
Let's make that our resolution for 2014 as we seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. In the name of King Jesus I pray, amen.
Notes and Sources
The Gospel According to Jesus, Marc Carrier (deals with the subject of theologically dubious "imputed righteousness" on pages 13-14)
Dear Pastor: A Plea for Honesty About Divorce and Remarriage, Roger Hertzler (a view on divorce and remarriage that borders on legalistic and unforgiving, even though it seems to be theologically solid)
Divorce and Remarriage in the Church, David Instone-Brewer (promotes a view that gives biblical grounds for divorce based on reasons other than adultery, and allows for subsequent remarriage - also see his website at www.divorce-remarriage.com)
The Wife of Jehovah and the Bride of Messiah, Arnold Fruchtenbaum (I value the scholarship found here, but I disagree with the conclusions)
Did God Divorce Israel?, Rabbi Toviah Singer (A Jewish Rabbi attempts to explain the problem of Jeremiah 3)
The King and Queen of Babylon: Final Judgments on the Last Day, Peter Goodgame (The Bible's take on "The End of History")
Is the Law of Moses Eternal?, HaDavar Messianic Ministries (The answer is "no")
The Second Coming of the Antichrist, Peter Goodgame (Contrasts Jesus Christ with the Antichrist who is the King of Babylon of Isaiah 14, and leads into the parallel that exists between the Bride of Christ and the Queen of Babylon of Revelation 18)
Jesus and the Law of Moses
Part One: Does Paul teach that followers of Christ remain under the authority of the Law of Moses?
Part Two: The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!
Part Three: The Sanctity of Marriage
Part Four: Yeshua the Lawgiver
Part Five: The Eternal Order of Melchizedek
December 31, 2013 --- (last updated January 11, 2014)