I’ve wondered, the Lord said, “you will be a head and not a tail” Deuteronomy 28:13, how so that I am not? Have you wondered? Though we may be the head of a department, we are/were still not the head as there is an owner/board of directors/CEO above us. Boaz was a head. David, a farm boy, became a king and was a head. Deborah was a head. Esther, though she was a queen, she was a head because King Ahasuerus was always polite and did what Esther wanted. But how come we aren’t?
Did you know that you can be a Jew, a son/daughter of Jacob, or have the blood of Abraham running in your veins? I am not talking about spiritual connection, but I am saying you can literally be a Jew, a son/daughter of Jacob. There is a good chance that I am a blood relation and a descendant of Jacob.
I am from the southern region of India. Almost 2000 years ago, Thomas, one of the twelve disciples of Jesus and his companions, sailed. They ended up in the southern region of India in the state that bears the name Kerala today. Thomas and his companion moved around from region to region, and it is believed and said that the tomb that is on Saint Thomas mount is Thomas’ tomb, one of the twelve. If Thomas and his companions settled in the state of Tamil Nadu and Kerala, there is a very high chance that we are a descendant of Thomas and his Jewish companions. It is unlikely that they would’ve married within themselves alone, as Christ have bought both the Jews and the gentiles for God.
Revelation 5: 9 And they sang a new song, saying: You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation.
In the same manner, the Jews, when the Assyrians dispersed them and took captive of some, those that dispersed from the land of Israel, settled around the world. When Babylonians came, the same happened. People who escaped, they travelled far and wide and settled. When the Romans captured Jerusalem, the Holy City, in 70 AD, the same happened. Throughout the history, since 70 AD, there were many who persecuted the Jews, so they moved from place to place, running away from tyrants. This means that any human being who are living today has a good chance that they could be a Jew even if they don’t follow the Jewish customs.
Please do not skim through this when you see the first line of the next paragraph. If we are a Jew, this is important. If we are not a Jew, this is still important as Jesus did say if you love me, you will obey me.
So, then, should we obey the Old Testament commands? The short answer is, “Yes.” Let me explain why it is important.
1 John 1: 5 This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him, there is no darkness at all.
John is saying that they have heard from Lord Jesus that God is light and there is no darkness in him. What is light? Light is Holiness, Righteousness, Goodness, etc. Jesus is saying God is all that.
John 17: 11 – Holy Father.
John 17:25 – Righteous Father.
Luke 18:19 – Good God AKA Father – John 17:3.
As we now know that all sources of holiness, righteousness, goodness, love, compassion, etc. are only from the Father, and those who abide in Him will inherit all these, according to Jesus. When Jesus obeyed the Father to his death and voluntarily went and died (John 18:11), he inherited everything (John 16:15/Rev 5:5) and became the light (John 8:12) by receiving all authority in heavens and earth (Matthew 28:18). Those who obey Lord Jesus become the light as well (Matthew 5:14). The point that I am trying to make is that the Father is HOLY. Remember that the Father is Holy when you read through the texts below and see how each paragraph fits into it.
Going back to the time of Moses, God saw how evil the Canaanites were. They were following all detestable things, including throwing infants and children into the fire to Molech. God, detested their ways, so God remembered the promise he made to Abraham and as the sin of the Canaanites have reached heaven, like Sodom and Gomorrah, God sent Moses to bring the Israelites out of Egypt.
Let’s rewind all the way back to the Garden of Eden. Eden, in my understanding, was where Jerusalem is. Adam was put in the Garden to rule over it in righteousness, but he failed, so God sent him away. The people of old did detestable things there, so the flood of Noah occurred. Then came Methuselah, who ruled over Jerusalem, and he kept the land Holy. In the same way, God promised Abraham that his descendants would inherit the land to “keep” this holy land, HOLY. God saw the future of the Holy Land and made this promise to Abraham so his descendants would keep it holy. Hence, Jerusalem is called the Holy Land as God’s throne is there.
When Moses and the Israelites left Egypt, God gave all the commandments for them to follow. These commandments were given to live in the Holy Land. Why do I say this?
Leviticus 11:44 For I am the Lord your God. Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am holy. You shall not defile yourselves with any swarming thing that crawls on the ground.
Just like in Leviticus 11:44, God said in various places, “for I am Holy, be holy.” As they were called to serve a Holy God, they were given those Laws to keep themselves Holy or in other words, to stay Holy, to know what causes unholiness and to stay away from it.
Now, the Law has various sections to it, at least 4. See the table below.
|The Law of Sanctification
|To be set apart from the world. To be holy for God.
|Exodus 20, Leviticus 17, 18, 19
|The Law of Judgement
|Judgment on those who break the law. There are 2 types of sin, (1) leads to instant death, (2) pays a penalty, and an eye for an eye, meaning equal loss.
|Exodus 21,22, Leviticus 20
|The Law of Righteousness
|The forgiveness that comes through a sacrifice of an animal. Made right with God.
|Leviticus 1 to 7, 16
|The Law of Psalms
*This chapter list is not everything, but to lead (point) you to a few. A whole chapter may not fall under one category/section.
Why did I say “at least four” and why is “the Law of Psalm” made it to the list? It’s because Jesus said “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I said, you are gods’?” and quoted a Psalm in John 10:34.
As you can see that there are at least 4 sections to Law. Each has a specific purpose. As the table explains, the Law of Sanctification helps us to stay holy. God is the one who makes us holy by showing what is right or wrong. It is our responsibility to stay holy and not step back. The Law of Judgment, penalty, and eternal punishment has been pushed to the future, that is, it will happen on the last day, before the new creation begins, see, Rev 20. Lastly, the Law of Righteousness has been changed over from sacrifice of animals to the sacrifice God made, that is, our Lord Jesus. This is what Paul is talking about when he said, “the law was nailed on the cross.”
So, then, what is the use of the Law of Sanctification that still stands? Like Moses said, it gives life, both life now and eternal life. God is holy, He wants His people to be Holy. He wants His people to be set apart. If there is no law to guide us, how will we know how to set it apart? Would we not live like the Canaanites?
For example, eating sea food that doesn’t have scales causes unholiness. God doesn’t live in a building; he never did, though a temple existed. He always lived in and with humans. There is a certain ritual that needs to be followed to enter the temple, in the same way, if our body is the temple of God, then should we not keep it holy so He can live? Eating sea creatures that do not have scales causes our body to become unholy. This is just one of the many laws.
Now, you may point me to Jesus’ statement, “what goes in does not cause uncleanness but what comes out,” or the vision of Peter where he saw a blanket with all the animals and then the Lord said, “do not call anything unholy.”
Well, let's first look into what Jesus said about, “what goes in and what comes out of the mouth.” This is recorded in Matthew 15:1–20; Mark 7:1–23. The tradition (not a Law of God – you won’t find this in the OT books) of the Jewish people is to wash hands before eating. Just like most South Asian and Middle Eastern people who washes their hands to make it clean. So, when the Pharisees asked, why do your disciples break the traditions, Jesus is saying, the food that we eat, whether we wash our hands or not, will always be clean, maybe dirty, but clean as Jews (note this) always kept the Law of God by abstaining the food that is unclean. Jesus NEVER had to tell them that don’t eat crab or prawns or pork or rats, etc. Jesus finished his statement by saying,
Matthew 15:20, These are what defile a person. But to eat with unwashed hands does not defile anyone.
Now, to the vision of Peter. Acts 10 and 11. When you read both the chapters, Jesus symbolically said, “Do not call the gentiles unclean because I’ve made them clean as well, meaning I died for them as well. Jews have the habit of saying, “the gentiles are untouchables.” That’s why they would go around Samaria and also in the story of Jesus about the good Samaritan, the priest and pharisee, did not touch that man. Peter's vision is to say, “don’t call or ignore or discriminate Cornelius and his family." So, to God, what he classified as Holy and unholy will always stay the same.
Matthew 5:17, Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfil them. 18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. 19 Therefore, anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.
As mentioned in the verse above, Jesus did not come to abolish the Law God gave to Moses. Because, these Law, all categories, define God, God as holy. The above verse also says that those who say these Laws are not required will be called least in the kingdom of God, if they make it, as only those whose righteousness surpasses that of a Pharisee will enter the kingdom of God.
So, God gave Sabbath and said, “Keep it holy.” God rested on the 7th day, not on the first day of the week. The Bible proves that Jesus was raised on the 1st day of the week, but nowhere the bible says that the sabbath has been changed to the first day. Why would we need rest on the first day? Do we not need rest only after working?
Going back to what Moses said, the Law of God gives life, both today and tomorrow. Today, until death and tomorrow, eternal life.
Well, if you just said, “oh Rubert, Jesus gave only one commandment, Love”. Jesus also said that there are 2 commandments that are greater. One is “Love your God, with all your heart, soul and mind” and the other is “Love your neighbour as yourself.” He also said that all other commandments hang on these two. Did you know that those two greatest commandments hang on the new commandment “Love”? Only those who have “love” will keep the two greatest commandments. Only those who love God will keep themselves holy. Only those who keep the 2nd greatest commandment will not do any harm to their neighbour. So, Jesus summarised all the commandments of God into one word, “love.” I am not saying you are not holy; I am saying we still need to keep the Old Testament commandments.
If what I spoke is true, if you agree, read Leviticus 26 to understand how that chapter is part of our lives. If we do not understand how this causes abuse to the body and blood of Jesus, the wrath of God is still on us. Why? God is holy. There can be no unholiness in those who call him our Father. See what happened to Aaron’s son in Leviticus 10:1-20 when they offered unauthorised fire to God. He is that holy.
Whether we are a Jew or not, God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Those who live in his holy land must keep the Law. Those who believe that the body is the temple of the Holy Spirit or God must follow. Heaven and Earth will never disappear. Evil will never disappear. But the Law of God sets us apart from evil and keeps us holy.
If we have understood and accepted this, Exodus to Deuteronomy has the requirements of God the Father so the blood of Jesus is not abused. Because the Father loves His Son so much and does not like his Son’s blood to be abused. He will make us an actual head, not just a fake one. A life with health, prosperity, etc. also known as Shalom.
(Off some website) In the Bible, shalom means universal flourishing, wholeness and delight – a rich state of affairs in which natural needs are satisfied and natural gifts fruitfully employed, a state of affairs that inspires joyful wonder as its Creator and Savior opens doors and welcomes the creatures in whom he delights.