Israelology Part 3 of 6 -- By: Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum
CTSJ 5:4 (September 1999) p. 27
Part 3 of 6
[*Editor’s note: Arnold Fruchtenbaum earned a B.A. degree from Cedarville College, a Th.M. from Dallas Theological Seminary, and a Ph.D. from New York University. He is the founder of Ariel Ministries in Tustin, CA, a ministry to Jewish people around the world; he holds Bible conferences in most English speaking countries. Arnold is also an adjunct professor at Chafer Theological Seminary. CTS accepts Dr. Fruchtenbaum’s biannual five-week study tour of Israel for credit. His e-mail address is [email protected]]
This article continues the discussion of Israel’s present theological role. Part 1 of Israel Present dealt with the outworking of God’s Kingdom Program in this age and the relevance of the unconditional covenants and the Law of Moses in this dispensation.1 It concluded by discussing the Church’s relationship to the unconditional Jewish covenants and the purposes of Gentile salvation. This article considers “Israel Present” in relation to the Law and to the Church.
The Mosaic Covenant and the Law of Moses
The Unity of the Law of Moses
Two errors have developed in the minds and teachings of many Christians that have contributed to the confusion over the Law of Moses. One is the division of the law into ceremonial, legal, and moral commandments. Based on this separation many surmise that believers are free from the ceremonial and legal commandments, but are still under the moral commandments. The second error is the common belief that the Ten Commandments are still valid today while the other 603 commandments are not. When confronted by a Seventh Day Adventist, the individual taking this approach runs into problems concerning the fourth commandment on keeping the Sabbath. All attempts to
CTSJ 5:4 (September 1999) p. 28
rationalize a Sunday-Sabbath (the first day) result in either direct contradiction of Scripture or an inconsistent hermeneutic.
It must be understood that the Scriptures view the Mosaic Law as a unit. When the word Torah, “law,” refers to the Law of Moses, it is always singular, although it contains 613 commandments. The same is true of the Greek word nomos in the New Testament. The division of the Law of Moses into ceremonial, legal, and moral parts is convenient for studying the different types of commandments contained within it, but the Scriptures never divide it in this way. Neither is there any scriptural basis for separating the Ten Commandments from the whole 613 and making only the ten perpetual. All 613 commandments are a sing...
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