“Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.”
(Matthew 5:17 – 18)
“Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.”
I read an article in which the author, one Dr. Rose Nkechi Uchem, claimed the Bible tend to correct itself. I will just focus on her claim concerning whether or not the Bible tends to correct itself here. I will write on other claims she made in some other articles.
To prove her point she says, and I quote, “The bible tends to correct itself. For example, Jesus would often say: “You have heard it said; but I say to you …”” She said this to make the point that if the Bible tends to correct itself according to the need of the time when those corrective statements were uttered, then we should be free to correct the Bible in a time such as this to align with the MDGs of today.
But did Jesus seek to correct the Old Testament? He did not correct the previous commands of scriptures in any way. He was only correcting popular opinions. Therefore he says, “You have heard it said…” not “You have heard as it is written…” Concerning what was written he didn’t change it but stuck to it throughout his moment of temptation in the wilderness consistently responding to the Devil, “it is written.”
People should never take a man to mean something other than he claims to mean, except it were completely obvious that he is merely being dubious. Someone who puts forward such an argument must have ignored what Jesus says of himself. And his testimony about himself is far more important than her own opinion of him. In fact her opinion is completely nullified when it contradicts his own testimony. He says, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” (Matthew 5:17 – 18). How then is it that it is claimed that he is correcting the law when he is only fulfilling it? In a case where we interpret a man’s actions to mean one thing, we must pay close attention to his own confession while we seek to interpret them. It is foolishness to ignore a man’s confession of himself and conclude that he means something other than what he confesses to mean. And where our interpretation is contrary to his confession we must examine our method of drawing conclusions even more closely to see if there is something wrong with our approach or if there is something key we are missing out. In this case she mistook the statement “you have heard it said” with “it is written.” Therefore her wrong conclusion that the Bible seeks to correct itself.
In matters of religion, one must tread very carefully and mustn’t be forward to make such bold statements. A casual study of the Bible would reveal to us that it is all too easy to misinterpret both the words and actions that makes a religious belief. Now it is Christ that is being misquoted to mean he sought to correct the Old Testament, but almost all the apostles too were misinterpreted and are still consistently misinterpreted. Paul wrote:
“For if the truth of God hath more abounded through my lie unto his glory; why yet am I also judged as a sinner? And not rather, (as we be slanderously reported, and as some affirm that we say,) Let us do evil, that good may come? whose damnation is just.” (Romans 3:7 – 8).
The apostles preached holiness, but when they preached grace alongside, some claimed that they preached that we ought to do evil that good may come by it. Others claimed they wish to annul the Old Testament. And today as we see before us someone says the Bible tends to correct itself. To such who make such misinterpretations, apostle Paul says their damnation is just.
Much later in the same chapter, apostle Paul wrote, “Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.” (Romans 3:31). So seeing evidently that neither Christ nor his apostles sought to change or annul the Old Testament, it must be an error to come to the conclusion that they did. What they did was to establish the Old Testament.
As Paul teaches he realises that some of the things he preaches, being truth and verity, and sound knowledge according to the pure revelation of God, could be misinterpreted. So for clarification’s sake, you’d find him ask something like, “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?” (Romans 6:1). Then he’d respond, “God forbid…” (Romans 6:2). This tells us that what is truth and verity and according to pure knowledge of God could be easily misinterpreted to mean what is an abomination to God. If such outrageously wrong interpretations can be made in religious matters, then we must be very careful as we search the field of learning in religious matters, not to make such grave mistakes and incur to ourselves a just damnation.
Those things which the Lord seemed to change were not corrective but to put the essence of the old in a clearer light, such as committing adultery by mere lusting and not just by the actual act alone. He didn’t correct what is written saying, “it is now okay to commit adultery unlike what is written in the Law of Moses.” Rather it is just to put that law concerning adultery in a purer light. People should not think themselves holy just because they don’t commit actual adultery. The mere lusting after someone is already adultery in the heart and must be repented of. That was the essence of his message.
Other things we see in the New Testament that seemed to be a change were only things that were not convenient for Gentiles to hold. But the apostles and other Jews still practiced those Jewish rites to its fullest. When apostle Paul visited Jerusalem and had testified of the great things God had done through him, it is written:
“And when they heard it, they glorified the Lord, and said unto him, Thou seest, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are which believe; and they are all zealous of the law: And they are informed of thee, that thou teachest all the Jews which are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, saying that they ought not to circumcise their children, neither to walk after the customs. What is it therefore? the multitude must needs come together: for they will hear that thou art come. Do therefore this that we say to thee: We have four men which have a vow on them; Them take, and purify thyself with them, and be at charges with them, that they may shave their heads: and all may know that those things, whereof they were informed concerning thee, are nothing; but that thou thyself also walkest orderly, and keepest the law. As touching the Gentiles which believe, we have written and concluded that they observe no such thing, save only that they keep themselves from things offered to idols, and from blood, and from strangled, and from fornication. Then Paul took the men, and the next day purifying himself with them entered into the temple, to signify the accomplishment of the days of purification, until that an offering should be offered for every one of them.” (Acts 21:20 – 26).
We see in these verses that there is a clear difference between Jew and Gentile. The news about Paul that offended people was not that he taught the Gentiles not to circumcise their children and observe the Laws of Moses, it was that they heard that he was teaching the Jews amongst the Gentiles to do so, which things were false. And to prove them wrong apostle Paul was advised to observe the things written in Moses’ law to prove them wrong, meaning he didn’t teach the Jews to disregard the Laws of Moses, and he observed the particular ceremony they asked him to observe. For them as Jews they still observed these things, but to the Gentile they clearly said, “As touching the Gentiles which believe, we have written and concluded that they observe no such thing…” They were only to observe moral laws. And when they wrote to the Gentiles they stated, “For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things…” (Acts 15:28). The Holy Ghost was in support of burdening the Gentiles with Jewish traditions. They said it seemed good to the Holy Ghost by the deductions they could make from the experiences of Peter as he narrated in earlier chapters.
Seeing these things therefore, we know that the things in the New Testament are directed to the Gentiles and does not in anyway mean that the Law was dissolved or corrected. A host of things in the Old Testament are there for our information as Gentiles and not for our practice including the controversial tithe doctrine. We should not because we Gentiles have no obligation to obey some of the things written in the Old Testament conclude that they have been nullified or that the New Testament seeks to correct them. So the statement that the Bible tends to correct itself is a grave error.
Let us even assume that Jesus changed the law (which he didn’t as we have seen) he is Lord. As the Lord and owner he’s free to change things as he wishes (though he didn’t correct anything for there was no error to correct). As Lord our whole desire and being should be to please him. His wish is our command and desire and wish, no matter how often he changes his wish. He is Lord. And whether this our lady likes it or not, a day is coming when all the earth shall bow the knee and say he’s the Lord.
Who then is this thief trying to impose upon us and our most holy religion things contrary to the desires of our Lord? For verily Jesus did call such thieves when he said, “… Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” (John 10:7 – 10). These people are coming to steal the allegiance of the sheep of Christ the Lord. But it won’t work.
When did they attain the position of Lord that we should then subject our faith to their whims? This article by this lady is thoroughly hellish. It comes under the pretext of a good motive of seeking reform, but in truth are seeking to bend our neck to foolish whims of the conjurers of the MDGs. We must therefore rise up and resist this evil scheme smelling of sulphur and brimstone. It is highly important to do so.
May the good Lord, whose we are and who we obey, grant us strength to resist this sinister agenda aimed at subverting our religion and our method of teaching it.
Prayer: Dear God and Father, you who sent your Son not to undo what you’ve done but to confirm it, we pray that you help us to understand the true essence of the New Testament. Your word, says the psalmist, is forever settled. Let us not to pay heed to foolish allegations against your word that makes it seem like it is unsettled. May be strong and firm in this eternal word. This we ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.