The Biblical Examiner
An Examination of Biblical Precepts Involved in Issues at Hand

September 1997

 

Contents

1) A Woman's Value
2)
Lawless Or Sin

 

A Woman's Value

     This pastor realizes that many Christians who follow CIS will consider the following heresy, for it applies an Old Testament law to a modern situation, something absolutely forbidden by Scofield. (See the mailing on "A Lawless Religion.") However, though I will be accused of being "legalistic," I will proceed anyway. (Legalism, actually, is adding works of any kind to freely given salvation by the Grace of God.)

     We see from recent "campaign" speeches by Mr. Al Gore that the next presidential campaign will have at its forefront the women's liberation movement's desire for "equal pay for equal work." The NOW crowd is demanding that women's pay be equal with men's in the work force. Is such a demand Biblical, worthy of Christian support? What does God's Word say about "equal pay" for women in the work force?

     We find the answer clearly given in the Old Testament law, and it is about as "Politically incorrect" as anything can possibly be. From God's Law-Word, we learn that a woman's value in the work force is only 60% of a man's. (Before the women get hostile, note the wording of the statements just made. We will develop the wording latter.) In Leviticus chapter 26, the Lord God Himself establishes the value of individuals, and the value He establishes is according to age and sex.

     Let us observe a few things concerning Leviticus chapter 27 before we look at the passage.

     First, this chapter follows chapter 26 where were promised some serious results of sin and blessings for right living. Chapter 26 ends on a very high note, promising God's people tremendous blessings. Those promised blessings looked forward to Christ, which gives us a very close tie with the following.

     Second, this chapter assumes that people to whom the blessings are promised in chapter 26 love God enough and are thankful enough for His goodness and benefits that they will give to Him well over and above what is required of them in His Word. And the requirement was quite high in the Old Testament — some reckon the required payment to God was as high as 30% of one's total income. But the promised blessings at the close of chapter 26 look forward to the Gospel Church — pity those professed Christians who do not "love" God enough to even give the 10% required in Malachi three. (The emotional response mentioned in Lev. 26 is dealt with in a different article.)

     Third, this chapter deals with things over and above the covenant responsibilities as presented previously. These things of this chapter were not commanded, but were freely given by the individual "worshiper" out of love for and reverence for the God of the covenant.

     Fourth, though a person, of his own free will, did things over and above what was required by God, he was not permitted to do the things as pleased the individual "worshiper." He was still bound by the Law, v. 1. In other words, a "free-will" offering did not have to be given, but if the individual freely gave to God, the gift had to conform to God's law.

     

     MAN IS NEVER FREE FROM GOD'S LAWS. MAN IS NEVER LEFT TO DETERMINE FOR HIS OWN SELF HOW TO SERVE GOD NOR HOW TO LIVE. Moreover, even man's highest and most holy emotions must be brought into conformity to God's Law-Word. (Therefore, how much must all of man's emotions be conformed to God's Law-Word at all times.) God's Word has an instruction for everything, and those who love God are expected to find and follow those instructions.

     Fifth, the law shows us that it is not a sin to refrain from vowing, but once a vow is made, it is sin not to follow it through. (Deut. 23:22-24; Pro. 20:25; Ecc. 5:3-5.) Neglect to keep a vow, though it was a free-will vow, had to be atoned for with a sin-offering. (Lev. 5:4ff.)

     This chapter deals with vows; it deals with "giving one's word," primarily to the Lord — promising to do something above and beyond the requirements of one's profession of love for God. It also applies to "giving one's word" to another person.

 

     No doubt Solomon had these laws of the free-will vows in mind when he said,

Keep thy foot when thou goest to the house of God, and be more ready to hear, than to give the sacrifice of fools: for they consider not that they do evil. Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter [any] thing before God: for God [is] in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few. For a dream cometh through the multitude of business; and a fool's voice [is known] by multitude of words. When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for [he hath] no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed. Better [is it] that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay. Suffer not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin; neither say thou before the angel, that it [was] an error: wherefore should God be angry at thy voice, and destroy the work of thine hands? For in the multitude of dreams and many words [there are] also [divers] vanities: but fear thou God. If thou seest the oppression of the poor, and violent perverting of judgment and justice in a province, marvel not at the matter: for [he that is] higher than the highest regardeth; and [there be] higher than they. (Ecc. 5:1-8.)

 

     Sixth, in Leviticus 27, we are told that not all people are "created" equal before God, for God Himself places different values on individuals. We are "equal" in the sense that we are all sinners before God, and as sinners, we can only come to Him through Christ, but "equality" ends there. Though the "worshiper" had to appear before the priest for the priest to "value" him or her, the individual's "value" was already established by God. It would have clearly been rebellion against the Lord God for the priest, the "worshiper" or for a bystander to question the "value" of any individual. (Rom. 9:20.)

     

     Keil introduces this chapter:

... The objects of a vow might be persons (vers. 2-8), cattle (vers. 9-13), houses (vers. 14, 15), and land (vers. 16-25), all of which might be redeemed with the exception of sacrificial animals; but not the first-born (ver. 26), nor persons and things dedicated to the Lord by the ban (vers. 28, 29), nor tithes (vers. 30-33), because all of these were to be handed over to the Lord according to the law, and therefore could not be redeemed. This followed from the very idea of the vow. For a vow was a promise made by any one to dedicate and give his own person, or a portion of his property, to the Lord for averting some danger and distress, or for bringing to his possession some desired earthly good.—Besides ordinary vowing or promising to give, there was also vowing away, or the vow of renunciation, as is evident from Num. xxx. The chapter before us treats only of ordinary vowing, and gives directions for redeeming the thing vowed, in which it is presupposed that everything vowed to the Lord would fall to His sanctuary as corban, an offering (Mark vii. 11); and therefore, that when it was redeemed, the money would also be paid to His sanctuary. (On the vow, see my Archoeologie, 96; Oehler in Herzog's Cycl.)[1]

 

     Keil also points out that this chapter assumes the person or property will be either redeemed or purchased, according to the value fixed by the law. If neither redemption nor purchasing were to take place, what would be the use of making the vow and establishing the value of the person and/or property?

     Those to whom this chapter speaks have experienced some great blessing from the Lord, or they would not be making the vow. Evidently, they were prospering financially, although the Lord did not exclude those who were not having financial prosperity, v. 8. Provision was made for the "poor" to express their love for the Lord through the vow.

     Though at one time in America, one's word was his bond, we no longer realize the importance and seriousness of vows. Vows and oaths in Bible times and in Eastern cultures were extremely serious.

 

     Individual, Personal Value

     V. 2, Children of Israel..., When a man... Unlike the preceding laws that applied to all who dwelt in the land, the following laws concerning vows could only apply to those who worshiped the God of Israel. The pagans could not worship the Lord God as the Israelites were commanded to do; however, a pagan could convert to Israel's God, e.g., Rahab and Ruth. Nevertheless, though the following laws concern fulfilling one's vow to the Lord God, the general application of keeping one's word applies to everyone regardless of his or her relationship to the Lord God. In dealing with the unsaved, we should be aware that they are not bound (they will be accountable to the Lord God) by the indwelling Spirit to keep their word as are His people.

     Gill, on the other hand, says that every male includes even Gentiles. Thus those who did not serve Israel's God could be grateful enough for Israel's God's blessings that, in their zeal, they could make a vow to give something special to the Lord God. (Maybe an example of Gill's thoughts is found in 2 Ki. 5.)

     singular (v. 2) means wondrous, marvelous, extraordinary, valuable or something above and beyond one's responsibilities, above one's abilities, beyond one's power to do. It can refer to something hard or difficult to do.

     

     The singular vow was something set apart for the Lord. The vow was an uncommon vow — the man, through uncommon zeal for God and His service, devotes himself, his children, his cattle, his house or his property, to the Lord, i.e., to the Lord's service in the Lord's house, e.g. chopping wood, cleaning, and other menial tasks. But it was not God's plan that His house be taken care of by people other than Levi, so rather than the thing vowed being actually given to the Lord, the like equivalent in money was given, and the funds used for the maintenance of the house, 2 Kings 12: 4, 5. (By the way, King Jehoash became upset and took corrective measures when the priests misused the funds, vv. 6ff. We also cover the fact that it costs to serve God in another article.)

 

     If a person is really dedicated to the Lord, let them externally and visibly declare it with a vow.

     Vv. 3-8, the Lord establishes the value of the individual who gave him or her self to the Lord. The valuing was not left up to individual, so one could not say to the priest, "What's the matter? Don't you think I am as valuable, or as good, as that other person?"

     Obviously, under the law, all are guilty of sin, and as such, are condemned to eternal death unless they have been converted by a work of the Spirit through faith in the Redeemer. But in this chapter, we are plainly told that all persons are not equal in value before the Lord here on this earth. The Lord established the values of those who made the vow. Neither the priest before whom the person appeared nor the individual could establish the value of the one who vowed — God Himself established the value.

     First, "The rate is the same for persons of all ranks. 'To the poor the gospel is preached.' The great and wealthy have no place here above the poor; all stand as sinners to be redeemed by the same blood, and bound by the same cords of love."[2]

     The opinion that the rich are to be "taxed" more than the poor and the "graduated income tax" are results of sin, i.e., "income redistribution" is clearly socialism at work. Such ideas are totally ungodly.

     

     Second, of the male from 20-60 — he was valued the highest, for he was the fittest for labor.

     [S]hekel of the sanctuary... Exodus 30:12, the Lord established the value of the money, and the priests — the religious leaders — were responsible to keep it at its proper value. (Lost value of money is fraud or theft.) The value of money, hence, is a Godly, religious function, which explains why the wicked are so determine to keep the value under their control. It was not and is not a function of the civil government, nor of individuals, nor of banks; rather, it is a function of God, and, basically, it should be established by a free market — the law of supply and demand with God controlling the supply. Not that the actual value was established in the sanctuary, but it was the duty of the priests to see that the money was not debased, and that it retained its full value. God requires a perfect balance and a just weight. (See Lev. 27:25.)

     Talk no more so exceeding proudly; let not arrogancy come out of your mouth: for the LORD is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed. (1 Sam. 2:3.)

     

     Notice that the Lord judges by real weight, not by what is apparent. (Rev. 20:12; 22:12. See Bonar.)

     Strongly implied is that a major responsibility of religious leaders is to see that the monetary system stays honest. Some good messages today from every pulpit against theft and covetousness would solve a lot of our debased currency problems. But the pulpits cannot preach such things because covetousness controls the people and the pulpit. Everyone, it seems, has their hands out for a government subsidy or for "Entitlements."

     Furthermore, a major role of the civil authority is to enforces honesty in society, resulting in honest money. (Cf. Rom. 13.) We see today that the modern state, world wide, is the primary cause of the debased, valueless monetary system. We must admit that the state is only providing what the people demand, yet they are unwilling to pay for.

     

     Twenty years old and upward was also the age a man could go to war, Numbers 1:3.

     Third, a female—the value given here was 60% of the male's, and was equal to the value of a servant, Exodus 21:31, which was the value of the Lord Jesus, Matthew 26:15. Remember, the Lord God, not man, establishes the values; therefore, no man can be accused of undervaluing the woman. Her value was not as high, for she could not be as productive with her labor as a man. (She is only 60% as physically strong as a man, and made so by the Lord God. Cf. 1 Pet. 3:7.)

     

     Fourth, ages 5-20 years—the female's value is only 50% of the male's.

     The one under 20 is not making the vow, but his/her authority is saying, "Let the value of such a one be upon me. I will pay it." That person, accordingly, pays as determined by the Lord.

     Incapable of as much work as those over 20, the younger person's value is less. Moreover, the value of females under 20 was a smaller percentage of the male's than it was over 20 because the younger female was capable of less work in proportion to the male.

     

     Entry Level Jobs

     The young males' value was only twenty shekels, and the males' over 20 was fifty shekels, which is less than half. Thus entry level jobs for young people pay less than of those who are more mature in the work force.

     Fifth, ages one month to 5 years—her value was again 60% of the male's.

     If a man devotes his child to the Lord within this age group, the value is established by the Lord for the age. Samuel was a good example, but rather than being redeemed with money, he was actually given into the Lord's temple-service.

     We will mention here that though neither the male nor female of this age group was capable of any service of value, the female was still valued at only 60% of the male's. The Lord clearly, by fixing the value of each, tells us that the male was/is worth more than the female, both before men and before God. God created man first, then the woman; God primarily revealed/reveals Himself to and through men; God chose men to be the priest to Himself. In the family, community, society and in the church, God chose and chooses men to work and speak through.

     Sixth, ages 60 and above—she is worth 66.6% of the male's value, the highest point of any age of her life. Though both the male's and female's value drops at age 60, she retains a greater proportion of her value.

     

     Observe

     

     The Work Force

     1) "Women are equal to men in the work-place; therefore, they should receive equal pay." Such an idea is a lie of the devil, which is why it is being promoted so heavily in our modern, post-Christian era. The Lord places the value of a woman at 60% of a man's at the height of the "work career." Though fallen man hates the idea, the fact remains that the Lord establishes the values, not man. Thus clearly the Lord establishes the woman's value in the work force as 60% of a man's. Of course, this law assumes the man is working and not just showing up on the job to collect his pay. (The union "pusher" used to tell us when I worked out of the Steam Fitters local, "Don't work yourselves out of a job." 60% of normal working capacity was more than enough for the Fitters' union that wanted the job to last as long as possible for its members. That was 30 years ago when wages were high and cost of living much lower than today, e.g., Fitters' union scale was over $14.00 per hr., and a new, loaded, top of the line Ford, Chevy or Dodge was only $5-6,000, and a very good house below $20,000.) Obviously, there are women who do the same evil thing — not much more than showing up to collect their pay.

     

     Valuable Woman

     The following should "redeem" this writer in the eyes of women.

     Did not Paul say that the proper place for the woman is, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed, Titus 2:5? The Wise Man said that in the home, the woman's value is far above rubies. In the home, the woman's value is so great it cannot be measured, but in the work place, she is only 60% of the man's value, e.g., the man gets $10.00 per hour while the woman gets $6.00 for the same job. If a woman wants to be paid what she is worth, let the Lord value her worth, and then let her go to the place where her worth cannot be measured because it is so great — in the home. Of course, such an idea of a woman in our modern, anti-Christian society is blasphemy, worthy of stoning.

     2) The woman who remains where she has the most value, in the home instead of the work-place, "retains" her value — 66.6% — more than does the man above the age of 60. She is more capable of managing the affairs of the family, and is of great use and service. She is not "wore out" by the work-place as is the man, nor did the Lord intend for her to be "wore out" by the work force. According to John Gill,

     ... so Jarchi observes, when persons come to old age, a woman is nearly to be reckoned as a man, and quotes a proverb of theirs, an old man in a house is a broken potsherd in the house (some interpret the word, a snare or stumbling block, that is in the way); an old woman in a house is a treasure in a house, a good sign in a house {p}, of great use in the management of the affairs of the family. [{p} T. Bab. Eracin, fol. 19. 1. vid. Yalkut, par. 1. fol. 198. 1.][3]

     

     We might note that when she stays home, she not only retains her value, but, many times, she also retains her family. We should point out that the home school movement is proving the validity of the above statements concerning the woman's value in the home vs her value in the work-place. Who can measure her value in the home?

     My, how much we must retrain our thinking according to the Word of God. We either accept the precepts established by God's Law-Word, or we are pagan, anti-Christ, humanists.

     Accordingly, the hype we will hear as the politicians seek the NOW vote is clearly contrary to the inspired Word of God.

     

     Extra

     

     Jepthah

     We cannot look at this chapter concerning the free-will vows without considering Jepthah. (Judges 11:30.) Let me offer two views:

     First, Jephthah's vow should have been redeemed according to the value given here by the Lord, Judges 11:30 . By Jephthah not keeping the vow as required by Leviticus 27, we are shown the level to which Israel had fallen away from God. He, like so many since him, knew the law concerning vows, but he forgot, overlooked, ignored, was ignorant of the fact, &c., that the spirit of the law that was/is to preserve life, not take it.

     There are those who are so concerned that every point is upheld that they forget that the Lord give law for man's benefit. They kill, as Jephthah did, rather than make alive. Sadly, the gnats they strain over are not from the Law-Word of God, but rather, fit more into the traditions of the elders.

     Second, at the risk of being accused of trying to explain away difficult passages, I present Bonar's quote of Bush concerning Jephthah's vow:

     Bush remarks, "The rules of mortality are the principles on which these rates are graduated." Hence, those in the prime of life are first noticed; and of these the males, being capable of most service, are rated highest. It appears to me clear that Jephthah's daughter (Jud . xi. 30) may come under this rule. Her father vowed to dedicate to the Lord (ver. 31) when he should return victorious—thinking, probably, of some of his domestic comforts and luxuries— "whatsoever cometh from the doors of my house." Jephthah's daughter, like young Samuel, was simply set apart personally to the Lord; and the clause, "I will offer it as a burnt-offering," should be understood, as many have rendered it, " I will offer also to Him* a burnt-offering," as if to say, I will load His altar with many gifts of thanksgiving. Hengstenberg (Egypt, and Books of Moses) supports the opinion that there was an institution of holy women in the tabernacle, who, like Anna the prophetess, spent their time in prayer and fasting. At all events, Exod. xxxviii. 8, and 1 Sam. ii. 22, ought to be rendered, "The women who ministered at the gate of the tabernacle," the word being ; just as in Num. iv. 23, 35, 43, when speaking of the Levites. The Midianites, Num. xxi. 40, were women (ver. 35), and were set apart for the Lord.

     There seems to me a mistake generally fallen into here by commentators. They suppose that these shekels of money were paid in order to free the offerers from the obligation of devoting the person. Now, surely, the whole chapter is speaking of things truly devoted to God, and cases of exchange and substitution are referred to in ver. 10, 13, 15. As for persons devoted, there was no substitution allowed. The mistake has arisen from supposing that this amount of money was ransom-money; whereas it was an addition to the offering of the person, not a substation. If a person is really to be dedicated to the Lord, then let him give this external, visible declaration of it. Let him bring these shekels of money, according to his age, in token of his having given up the world and devoted himself to God. Hence, Jephthah's daughter could not be redeemed; she is the Lord's, and there is no alienation of His property.

     * Several critics have pointed out similar instances of the suffix so used. Thus, Judg. I. 15, , "Thou hast given to me." Isa. xlii. 16. Jer. xx. 7; Ezek. xxix. 3; Micah v. 4. The principle laid down in ver; 11, would of itself be sufficient to prevent the sacrifice of Jephthah's daughter. In Romaine's works, there is a view given of the matter. substantially [sic] the same as above. Charles Wesley, in a hymn on Judg. xi, 31, sings:

     "His hands he washed not in her blood;

     But gave his child, his hope, to God—

     Hope of a long-continued line,

     Hope of the Promised Seed divine."[4]

 

     In other words, "Jephthah's daughter, like young Samuel, was simply set apart personally to the Lord." She was not killed. The above development by Hengstenberg tells us that fathers in the Old Testament had tremendous authority over their children, for they could "give" them permanently into the service of the Lord. (Remember Abraham's authority over his fifteen year old son, Isaac, when he "sacrificed" him to the Lord.) We do see Hengstenberg's idea confirmed in the situation with Samuel. Notwithstanding, the Lord latter called Samuel to Himself and His service. One wonders what would have been the situation with Samuel if the Lord had not called him? But we cannot develop nor dwell on "What ifs."

     _____

End Notes

     1 Keil, The Third Book of Moses, 479, 480.

     2 Bonar, Leviticus, 496.

     3 Online Bible.

     4 Bonar, 496, 497.

     

     Lawless or Sin

     Lawlessness or Sin

Leviticus 26:14-33

     This passage, like so many other passages in Scripture, tells us again that, more often than not, people bring upon themselves the calamities of life. Claiming to love God, they show their despite for Him by ignoring His Law-Word. Keil's title and opening comment for this section are excellent:

     Vers. 14-33. THE CURSE FOR CONTEMPT OF THE LAW.—

     The following judgments are threatened, not for single breaches of the law, but for contempt of all the laws, amounting to inward contempt of the divine commandments and a breach of the Covenant (vers. 14, 15),—for presumptuous and obstinate rebellion, therefore, against God and His commandments. For this, severe judgments are announced, which were to be carried to their uttermost in a fourfold series, if the hardening was obstinately continued...[1]

     Grace was offered; "millennial-like" blessings beyond all one could ask or think had been offered if they would walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them, v. 3. Vv. 4-13, was not offered to the pagans; rather, they were offered to those who professed to be God's people. However, with the abundant blessings promised for obedience comes abundant curses for despising the offered blessings. The following "curses" were not promised against the pagans — they were promised against those who professed to be God's people. If our God is a consuming fire against those who claim His name, think of what He is to those who reject His name! (Heb. 12:29.) The Lord God promises blessings beyond all other peoples for His peoples' obedience, so the other side of the coin must be "curses" above all other peoples for His peoples' disobedience — His word is a two-edged sword. (This section reads very much like Deut. 28-33. See also John 14:15, 23.)

     Thus the following "judgments" are against "presumptuous and obstinate rebellion," not against "single breaches of the law." This statement sounds very much like what is given in Hebrews 10:26ff.

     Leviticus 26:14, 15, "obstinate rebellion" vs. "single breaches:" These two types of Old Testament "sins" lead us to a very interesting study in the New Testament.

     

     Lawlessness vs Sin

     The New Testament refers to two basic types of sin. Those who do not identify the "two sins" and follow through the implication of each, can, and many times do, come to very corrupt conclusions concerning the

     Word of God. On the other hand, identifying and developing the "two sins" can clear up quite a bit of confusion regarding one's responsibility to the Lord and His Law-Word.

     Failure to examine closely the meanings of words from which we received our English (KJV) Bible can lead to serious misunderstandings of God's Word, Ephesians 4:14. (Pity those who have no firm word from God as they continually search for a "modern translation" they can agree with, as each "translation" presents a different opinion.) Serious Bible study must include serious research into the basic meanings of the words from which we received our English translation; exceptional study aids are readily available to anyone desiring to do the research, despite their training or lack thereof, into the original language.[2]

     

     The New Testament identifies two different "sins:"

     The first "sin" is from the Greek words, hamartano [264], hamartema [ 265] and hamartia [266]: these all mean, basically, missing the mark, wandering from the path of uprightness and honor, mistaken, evil deed, a violation of divine law, &c. In the AV, they are translated thusly:

     264 - sin 38, trespass 3, offend 1, for your faults 1; 43

     265 - sin 4; 4

     266 - sin 172, sinful 1, offense 1; 174

     The second "sin" is from the Greek words, anomia [458], anomos [459], anomos [460]: these all mean, basically, without law, contempt of law, lawless, wicked, &c. In the AV, they are translated thusly:

     458 - iniquity 12, unrighteousness 1, transgress the law + 4160 1, transgression of the law 1; 15

     459 - without law 4, transgressor 2, wicked 2, lawless 1, unlawful 1; 10

     460 - without law 2; 2

     The above distinctions strongly argue for the KJV text. The translators were very careful to remain as true to what was given by God to man as was humanly possible, even protecting the distinction between simply missing the mark and being against God's law.

     Accordingly, there are two types of "sinners" spoken of in Scripture: First, there are those who love the law of God and are sincerely trying to follow that law as revealed through Moses and developed throughout the Old and New Testaments. These people who are trying to live a righteous and holy life according to God's law, yet fail, are identified in the KJV by the word sin — missing the mark.

     The second type of "sinners" spoken of in Scripture are those who are against God's law as revealed through Moses. However, this "sinner" is not spoken of in the KJV as a sinner; he is referred to as lawless, without law, worker of iniquity, &c. This "sinner" has no mark to miss other than the mark he establishes for himself — he militates against God's law as given through Moses. His own conscience becomes his guide as he seeks to determine for himself what is good and evil. There are those claiming Christ, who, thinking the Spirit indwells them, will not admit to the authority of God's Law-Word unless they are "personally convicted" about something clearly spelled out in the Law — they are knowingly transgressors of the law as they withstand any authority of the Law over the Child of God. They are lawless though claiming to be Christians.

     Therefore, a primary work in redemption is converting one's attitude toward the law of God. The attitude is changed from one of contempt for the law of God to one of love for the law of God:

     Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities [458] are forgiven, and whose sins [266] are covered. (Rom. 4:6, 7.) To them that are without law [459], as without law [459], (being not without law [459] to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law [459]. (1 Cor. 9:21.) Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity [458], and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. (Titus 2:14.) For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities [458] will I remember no more. (Heb. 8:12.) And their sins and iniquities [458] will I remember no more. (Heb. 10:17. See also, 1 Tim. 1:9; 2 Pet. 2:8; )

     Thus we have the militancy of the fallen nature against God's law changed, converted, by a work of God's Spirit in the heart of the Believer. Additionally, conversion means forgiveness for former militancy against God's law. We also see that the forgiveness of sin, i.e., missing the mark established by God's Law-Word, belongs to the Believer. (Rom. 6:19.) The conversions recorded in Acts 2:23ff., were brought about by the conviction of the Holy Spirit against the peoples' wicked actions against the Word of God. We are told in 2 Corinthians 6:14, that the converted must not be unequally yoked together with the unconverted, for the unconverted holds the law of God in contempt — unrighteousness.

     Some of the more revealing and significant usages of the two types of "sin" are as follows:

     Matthew 7:23, the workers of iniquity are separated from the Lord of Glory: Iniquity [458], contempt and violation of the law, iniquity and wickedness. Robertson has an interesting comment for v. 22:

     Did we not prophesy in thy name? (ou ti si onomati eprophteusamen;). The use of ou in the question expects the affirmative answer. They claim to have prophesied (preached) in Christ's name and to have done many miracles. But Jesus will tear off the sheepskin and lay bare the ravening wolf. "I never knew you" (oudepote egnn hms). "I was never acquainted with you" (experimental knowledge). Success, as the world counts it, is not a criterion of one's knowledge of Christ and relation to him. "I will profess unto them" (homologs autois), the very word used of profession of Christ before men (Mt 10:32). This word Jesus will use for public and open announcement of their doom.[3]

     Thayer says the ones standing before the Lord in Matthew 7:23 (and in Mat. 13:41) do iniquity, or act wickedly, with no regard to the law — acting lawlessly.[4] However, the context of both 7:23 and 13:41 requires that the iniquity be an inward iniquity, for these people are identified with the true Children of God up to the point of the final judgment. At that point, their separation takes them by surprise. Matthew 7:23, their "sheepskin" is removed, and their true nature is reveled — though appearing to man and to themselves (vv. 21, 22) to be holy, inwardly they are "ravening" wolves. They had all the outward actions of being sheep, but in their hearts they were contemptuous against the law of God. They were never converted, retaining their contemptuous attitude toward God's Law-Word.

     Matthew 7:23, tells us that the ones holding the law in contempt have all the right actions. We find that reference again in Matthew 23:28 — Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity [458]. Christ called those scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites. They appeared righteous unto men, but inside they were contemptuous toward God's Law-Word.

     The next usage of the word is found in Matthew 13, the wheat and tares, vv. 24ff. In v. 36, the disciples ask Christ to explain the parable of the tares to them. Christ tells them that the devil has sown his seed among the good seed of the kingdom. The two look exactly the same to men, so they must be allowed to grow together until the harvest. At that time, the Lord will make the division. Matthew 7:23, the dividing line between the wheat and tares is their attitude toward the law of God. The tares hold God's law in contempt, while the wheat love it, though they miss the mark established by the law.

     Matthew 24:12, iniquity abounds — that is, the outward actions and words might reflect a "Christian walk and talk," but the inward attitude of contempt toward the law of God abounds.

     According to our Lord's words above, though men may have the outside as pure and white as humanly possible, if in their hearts they are contemptuous against God's Law-Word as given through Moses, they are as unconverted as were the scribes and Pharisees of Christ's day. (Mat. 23:27.) It is humanly impossible to distinguish between the wheat and tares — those who love God's law and those who hold it in contempt. The Lord of the harvest has reserved that job for Himself.

     

     Note:

     This pastor found in his extensive research for The Death of Victory that all the primary movers behind modern Dispensationalism were very vocal in their militancy against the Law of God as revealed through Moses. Though professing to be Christians and having extremely zealous, pure white works to prove their profession of Christ (as well as abundant financing), they were very consistent and dogmatic in their militancy against God's written Law. They tirelessly worked against overwhelming obstacles, despite public outcry, in every nation permitted by providence — many times in the most distressing circumstances — convincing Christians they had no responsibility to the Mosaic Law, e.g., "Under grace, not under law."

     

     Example

     Though he died over 100 years ago, John Nelson Darby (1800-1880) wrote a tremendous amount of material, including a translation of Scriptures, evidently hoping to replace the KJV. His translation and his writings apparently are again gaining popularity. Though he obviously militated against the final authority of God's Law-Word, his works are placed online by a "Christian" college.[5] Notice the following examples of his militancy against God's Law-Word:

     To a spiritually intelligent mind, the word of God carries an authority beyond all cavils; and a poor, unintelligent man would pass over what is contrary to the mind generated by it, as evidently false, or as unable to understand it, so that he escapes what is false inserted by men in it. They shall be all taught of God; and when the conscience is reached, and the will subject, and therefore the mind silent, we have the peace which certainty gives (and uncertainty as to what is all important is misery), and blessed growth in what God Himself has revealed for divine blessing and joy...

     I do not receive the Bible, that is, a revelation of God from the hands of men. I receive paper and ink. The revelation I receive from God directly—"They shall be all taught of God." The revelation is the divinely–wrought conviction, and, I repeat, in the conscience...[6]

     For I cannot but feel that the religion of which we profess membership, is not an imposition of observance, a law of carnal commandments contained in ordinances (as indeed it would contradict the whole purpose and counsel of God), but an admission to privileges, exceeding great and precious promises... Nor is this any licence to evil, because we are only so far become therein free, as in that we live we live unto God...[7]

     ...The absolutely perfect and living rule is the life of the Lord Jesus Christ. In Him all written rules are united in one solitary living example; but the written rule which ought to govern our whole life is the New Testament. The Old Testament gives the most precious light, and illuminates the path of Christians by the light of divine faith working in hearts; still, before the rending of the veil, it could be said, "The true light now shineth," save in the life of Jesus Christ: He was the light of the world. For this reason when the Holy Ghost gives as examples of walking in the path of faith, the faithful of the Old Testament, He adds, "Looking unto Jesus..." ... We must know the Lord in order to walk thou—"worthy of God who hath called you to his kingdom and glory." This absolutely clear and perfect light is found in the New Testament alone; but the Old, if we have learned to distinguish between the dispensation under which the saints lived in those times, furnishes very fine examples of faith, of obedience, of subjection to the will of God, of constancy in His paths...[8]

     But you have confounded, as is very common, law and gospel. The Gentiles have no law... You are all wrong as to making law the measure. It was the measure of human righteousness in a child of Adam... Nor is the blessing of Christianity... to be found in the Old Testament... Nor is the law the measure of human sin...[9]

     

     The people loved the message of no responsibility to God's Law-Word, and it spread like wild fire. Though not including all Dispensationalists, modern Dispensationalism was clearly built on the foundation of militancy against God's Law.

     

     God's Law

     According to the Apostle John,

     Whosoever committeth sin [266] transgresseth [458] also the law [458]: for sin is the transgression of the law [458]. (1 John 3:4.)

     God gave His law to man as man's rule of life. In this verse, the Apostle shows the nature of sin: Sin is transgression, or war against God and His law. The Spirit is not here telling Christians who sin that they are antinomia, lawless; rather, he points out that sin itself is antinomia, and, thus, though the Child of God will fall short of the mark established in God's law, the Child of God will not continue in that sin. Albert Barnes (1798-1870) explains it thusly:

     4. Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law. The law of God given to man as a rule of life. The object of the apostle here is to excite them to holiness, and to deter them from committing sin, perhaps in view of the fact stated in ver. 3, that every one who has the hope of heaven will aim to be holy like the Saviour. To confirm this, he shows them that, as a matter of fact, those who are born of God do lead lives of obedience, (vers. 5—10 ;) and this he introduces by showing what is the nature of sin, in the verse before us. The considerations by which he would deter them from indulging in sin are the following: (a) all sin is a violation of the law of God, ver. 4; (b) the very object of the coming of Christ was to deliver men from sin, ver. 5; (c) those who are true Christians do not habitually sin, ver. 6; (d ) those who sin cannot be true Christians, but are of the devil, ver. 8, and (e) he who is born of God has a germ or principle of true piety in him, and cannot sin, ver. 9. It seems evident that the apostle is here combating an opinion which then existed that men might sin, and yet be true Christians, (ver. 7 ;) and he apprehended that there was danger that this opinion would become prevalent. On what ground this opinion was held is unknown. Perhaps it was held that all that was necessary to constitute religion was to embrace the doctrines of Christianity, or to be orthodox in the faith; perhaps that it was not expected that men would become holy in this life, and therefore they might indulge in acts of sin, perhaps that Christ came to modify and relax the law, and that the freedom which he procured for them was freedom to indulge in whatever men chose; perhaps that, since Christians were heirs of all things, they had a right to enjoy all things; perhaps that the passions of men were so strong that they could not be restrained, and that therefore it was not wrong to give indulgences to the propensities with which our Creator has formed us...[10]

     

     The issue addressed by the Apostle is not whether or not a Christian sins, i.e., misses the mark established by God's Law; rather, the issue addressed is the individual's attitude toward the Law — is the attitude against God's Law, lawless? If so, the individual clearly is not a Christian. Habitual sin is a sure sign one has not been born of God, i.e., converted by God's Spirit, for God places His "germ or principle of true piety in" Christians, preventing them from continuing in sin. Or if they do insist on continuing in sin, serious chastisement, even death, is sure to follow. (See Rom. 6:1-3; 1 Cor. 5, and Heb. 12:5-10.)

     The probable reasons given by Barnes for John's instructions are worth mentioning. John may have been dealing with the attitude among Christians that: 1) holiness is beyond human attainment, so sin is overlooked by God; 2) Christ modified or relaxed the Old Testament law; 3) Christian freedom is freedom to indulge in one's desires; 4) since Christens are heir to all things, they have the right to enjoy all things, even their fallen passions; 5) the fallen passions are so strong they cannot be restrained, and 6) since the base passions are part of creation, it is not wrong to indulge them. However, John makes it clear that Christ's work destroyed the work of the devil, thus freeing God's people from both lawlessness, i.e., anomia, and from the overwhelming desire to follow the base passions common to all the sons of Adam, sin, i.e., hamartia. (1 John 3:8.)

     Probably the most common reason in our day for dismissing Moses' law is the false notion that 2) Christ modified or relaxed the Old Testament law, and/or that Christians are no longer bound by God's Law-Word. (See Ps. 2, and article on Scofield.) As mentioned above, the modern opinion that the Law-Word of God is, upon salvation, no longer binding is the result of a small group of extremely talented and zealous men of the last century. They did their work, and we are reaping the results in the form of a lawless society that militates against God's Law. What can we expect when many professed Christians themselves are antinomia — against God's Law? Can the pagan world be held to a higher standard than what professed Christians are willing to submit to?

     However, when confronted by the truth of God's Word, the many false opinions permitting genuine Christians to continue in sin with a "clear conscience" will be reexamined and changed by the indwelling Spirit. Though still hamartia, sinners missing the mark established by God's Law, Christians are NOT antinomia, contemptuous against God's Law.

     A Christian is one who has been converted in every area of life and thought by the grace of God through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

     ________________

End Notes:

1 Keil-Delitzsch, 1:471, 472.

2 This pastor has found the Online Bible CD (latest version is 7.0, $49.95/US: Larry Pierce, 11 Holmwood St., Winterbourne, Ont. N0B 2VO. No Postal MOs, please. Make payable to "L. Pierce in trust." 76614.1275@compuserve.com.) one of the best investments he has made in Bible study aids. What used to take many hours to research words now only takes a few moments. Thus one does not have to have a background in Greek to follow the Greek meanings of words translated into our English. The CD is also available from Jay Green for $29.00 [jgreenxx@iquest.net]. These new Bible study aids alone make a computer worth the investment for the serious Bible student.

3 A.T. Robertson, Word Pictures in the New Testament, 1: 62, 63.

4 Thayer, 48.

5 [http:ccel.wheaten.edu/d/darby/synopsis/] By placing his address here, we are in no way condoning what he wrote, for he had a very corrupt view of Gods' Law-Word. It is impossible to evaluate the damage JND, and others of like mind, did to Christianity. Although most Christians have never heard of him, his influence is very real today. Darbyites are in every denomination, especially the Baptist.

6 John Nelson Darby, Collected Letters, 2:297, 298.

7 Letters, 3:225.

8 Letters, 2:108, 109. Darby was very adamant that the Old Testament "judgements and destructions were on earth, and that they had nothing to say" about modern social matters. Letters, 1:402.

9 Letters, 3:21, 22.

10 Albert Barnes, Barnes' Notes, James-Jude, 313, 314. See also Myers Commentary on the New Testament, 10: 553-555.

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