Thursday, May 18, 2017

Beware those who claim that the law of Moses is still in effect

(Note: This is not a book chapter, just a post that needs to be published now.)

Surprisingly, in LDS-background groups, there are those who teach that the law of Moses is still in effect (what I call Mormon-Jews).

What is the cultural tendency of the Jews? 

But behold, the Jews were a stiffnecked people; and they despised the words of plainness, and killed the prophets, and sought for things that they could not understand. Wherefore, because of their blindness, which blindness came by looking beyond the mark, they must needs fall; for God hath taken away his plainness from them, and delivered unto them many things which they cannot understand, because they desired it. And because they desired it God hath done it, that they may stumble. (Jacob 4:14)

Jewish scriptural interpretations tend to ignore the plain, literal interpretation of scripture, preferring arcane, cryptic, and non-obvious meanings. When you see these sorts of approaches to scripture, you should turn away.

The arguments of the Mormon-Jews regarding the law of Moses are arcane, cryptic, and non-obvious. They rely on words not meaning what they are understood to mean and impotent Rabbinical tradition.

Jesus made it abundantly clear that the law of Moses was terminated upon his resurrection.
16 I came unto my own, and my own received me not. And the scriptures concerning my coming are fulfilled.
17 And as many as have received me, to them have I given to become the sons of God; and even so will I to as many as shall believe on my name, for behold, by me redemption cometh, and in me is the law of Moses fulfilled.
18 I am the light and the life of the world. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end.
19 And ye shall offer up unto me no more the shedding of blood; yea, your sacrifices and your burnt offerings shall be done away, for I will accept none of your sacrifices and your burnt offerings. (3 Nephi 9)
I have heard Mormon-Jews claim that "fulfilled" doesn't actually mean "fulfilled." They fail to cite and cannot explain the phrase in context, as verse 19 clearly indicates that sacrifices and burnt offerings are to be terminated as a part of the fulfillment. You cannot live the law of Moses without sacrifices and burnt offerings. It is a central component.

It is clear that it was as difficult then for Jews to give up the law of Moses as it is now, because the Lord had to come back and explain--again--that the law of Moses was terminated upon his resurrection.

2 And it came to pass that when Jesus had said these words he perceived that there were some among them who marveled, and wondered what he would concerning the law of Moses; for they understood not the saying that old things had passed away, and that all things had become new.
3 And he said unto them: Marvel not that I said unto you that old things had passed away, and that all things had become new.
4 Behold, I say unto you that the law is fulfilled that was given unto Moses.
5 Behold, I am he that gave the law, and I am he who covenanted with my people Israel; therefore, the law in me is fulfilled, for I have come to fulfil the law; therefore it hath an end.
6 Behold, I do not destroy the prophets, for as many as have not been fulfilled in me, verily I say unto you, shall all be fulfilled.
7 And because I said unto you that old things have passed away, I do not destroy that which hath been spoken concerning things which are to come.
8 For behold, the covenant which I have made with my people is not all fulfilled; but the law which was given unto Moses hath an end in me.
9 Behold, I am the law, and the light. Look unto me, and endure to the end, and ye shall live; for unto him that endureth to the end will I give eternal life. (3 Nephi 15)

Not only is sacrifice done away with, but circumcision is as well:
Listen to the words of Christ, your Redeemer, your Lord and your God. Behold, I came into the world not to call the righteous but sinners to repentance; the whole need no physician, but they that are sick; wherefore, little children are whole, for they are not capable of committing sin; wherefore the curse of Adam is taken from them in me, that it hath no power over them; and the law of circumcision is done away in me. (Moroni 8:8)
"Torah" does not mean the word of God. It means the law given to Moses. Mormon-Jews don't like saying "law of Moses" because it makes clear that "Torah" was never meant to be an eternal law. It had a beginning with Moses, and it had an end with Christ. Because many were saved before it came, it is not required for salvation.

The law given to Moses--written on the second set of stone tablets--was not a blessing. Instead, it was a curse given from God as a result of the wickedness of Israel in sinning while Moses was on the mount receiving the first set of tablets.

1 And the Lord said unto Moses, Hew thee two other tables of stone, like unto the first, and I will write upon them also, the words of the law, according as they were written at the first on the tables which thou brakest; but it shall not be according to the first, for I will take away the priesthood out of their midst; therefore my holy order, and the ordinances thereof, shall not go before them; for my presence shall not go up in their midst, lest I destroy them.
2 But I will give unto them the law as at the first, but it shall be after the law of a carnal commandment; for I have sworn in my wrath, that they shall not enter into my presence, into my rest, in the days of their pilgrimage. Therefore do as I have commanded thee, and be ready in the morning, and come up in the morning unto mount Sinai, and present thyself there to me, in the top of the mount. (JST Exodus 34)

Why anyone from an LDS tradition would glamorize the law of Moses given the Lord's own words about it is beyond me.

We are called, not to venerate the mistakes of the Jews, but to stand on their shoulders and obtain something better than the law of Moses:

18 For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest,
19 And the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which voice they that heard intreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more:
20 (For they could not endure that which was commanded, And if so much as a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned, or thrust through with a dart:
21 And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake:)
22 But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,
23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,
24 And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.
25 See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven: (Hebrews 12)