Missing the principle points of Moses’ Law

Snickering, snide opinions and downright ridicule is how large swaths of people view “pointless” statutes of Moses’ Law. Rules for clothing, haircuts, diets, sacrifice and cleanliness fall on deaf ears because they hear the principal but not the principle.

For example, while discussing his right to companionship, rest and financial support, Paul asks, “Do I say these things as a mere man? Or does not the law say the same also? For it is written in the law of Moses, ‘You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain.’ Is it oxen God is concerned about? Or does he say it altogether for our sakes. For our sakes, no doubt, this is written…” (1 Corinthians 9:8-10)

Our generation does not live under the old covenant and we will not be judged by it (in and of itself), but if we fail to learn from its principles we will fall prey to the same old sins.

“Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.” (1 Corinthians 10:11)


Old Testament encourages hope of eternal life?

Rom 15.4 says, “For everything that was written in former times was written for our instruction, so that through endurance and through encouragement of the scriptures we may have hope” (NET)

Our hope is centered in eternal life, Tt 1.3; 3.7. It is the hope of justification before God (being accepted by him), Gal 5.5. The NT does not carry over the promises of physical blessings (aside from necessities, Mt 6.33), contrary to proponents of the theology of prosperity.

Eternal life was not prominent in the OT. So how can it help us maintain our hope? Your comments will be most appreciated.

#hope #eternal-life #Old-Testament

Tip to better understand the Old Testament

The number of books that make up the collection we often refer to as the Old Testament is considerable; thirty-nine to be exact. And the majority of these books are considerable in length! Not a lot of Philemon’s or 1 or 2 John’s are found in the line-up, if you know what I mean.

Almost as diverse as the number of books in the Old Testament is the number of topics and situations and people to study. Because of this wide array many people end up intimidated, hesitant or even uninterested in studying the treasure trove of wisdom that God has made available through so many authors.

If you find yourself in the above categories, I have a little tip to help you better understand the Law, the Psalms and the prophets – get your G.E.D. in the Old Testament … Genesis. Exodus. Deuteronomy.

Study these books and you can get a firm foundation of understanding why so much of what happens in the Old Testament actually happens.

Yes, there will be other things to learn and other books to study (even in a book like Leviticus and especially Kings and Chronicles), but the amount of information and instruction and clarity and promises and warnings that are found Genesis, Exodus and Deuteronomy will create a framework that makes the picture of the Old Testament a lot easier to see.

#bible-study, #old-testament, #tips

For all Israel to obey: Malachi 4.4

“Remember the law of my servant Moses, to whom at Horeb I gave rules and regulations for all Israel to obey.”

Malachi 4.4

The Old Testament prophets always hearkened back to the law of Moses. It served as the basis for God’s covenant with Israel. Their message of repentance called for restoration of the law.

We must be careful when using the Old Testament not to impose practices meant for Israel, such as the tithe, Malachi 3.10. The truths and principles found therein, however, are permanent.

#votd #Malachi #Old-Testament

Do not think: Matthew 5.17 VOTD

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have not come to abolish these things but to fulfill them.”

Matthew 5.17

Jesus fulfilled the law by drawing out its fuller meaning in the remaining part of the chapter. He goes to the heart’s motivations. Also, the Lord brought mankind the forgiveness and reconciliation toward which the law moved God’s plan.

What meaning do the law and the prophets give Christians today? How can we use the Old Testament for spiritual benefit?

#law #Old-Testament #VOTD

March 2017 Issue of Christian Worker (Why Should We Study the Old Testament?)

Here’s a link to the latest PDF issue of the Christian Worker.

Here are the topics you will find:

  • Does the Old Testament Still Have Value (Kevin W. Rhodes)
  • The Old Testament & Inspiration (Cody Westbrook)
  • The Purpose of the Old Testament (Tom Wacaster)
  • Kingdom Prophecy in the Old Testament (Andy Baker)
  • Messianic Prophecy in the Old Testament (Kris Grodaurk)

Christian Worker is an edification effort of the Southwest church of Christ in Austin, Texas.

You can subscribe to the email version of the Christian Worker paper by clicking on the publications link on their website and then following the given instructions.

Copyright © 2017 Southwest church of Christ, All rights reserved.

#bible-study, #jesus-relationship-with-the-old-testament, #messianic-prophecy, #old-testament, #the-church-in-the-old-testament

Hugh’s News & Views (Old Testament Lessons . . .)


For at least ten years (perhaps longer), I have been going to the Green Hill Church of Christ in Mount Juliet, Tennessee to speak for “a month of Wednesday evenings.” August Ruff has served as their faithful and able preacher for well over fifteen years. August and his wife Linda were schoolmates with Jan and me at Freed-Hardeman College back in the 1950s. They are fine folks and have been dedicated workers in the kingdom for many years. It is always a joy to be with them. August has been kind enough to invite me to come again this year. I will begin there tomorrow night, April 6, D. V.

Through these years of going to Green Hill I have used various themes for my presentations: Remembering Our Roots, Lessons to Inspire and Encourage, Spiritual Things, and various others. Last year all of my lessons centered on Christ. I have not always followed a particular theme, but I have always endeavored to address topics that I thought were relevant. This year I have decided to talk about some “Old Testament Lessons for Today.”

Christians are governed by the New Testament. We learn how to be saved from sin and become a Christian, how to worship, how the church is to function, and how to live a faithful Christian life from the New Testament. The books of Romans, Galatians, and Hebrews make this abundantly clear.

Yet, the Old Testament is also the inspired word of God (II Timothy 3:14-17), and in many of the events that occurred in the lives of God’s Old Testament people (the Israelites/Hebrews/Jews) are great lessons for God’s people today (Christians). Paul affirmed: “For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope” (Romans 15:4). With reference to Old Testament history the apostle said, “Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, on whom the ends of the ages have come” (I Corinthians 10:11).

With the above in mind, I plan to present the following lessons at Green Hill during the four Wednesday evenings of April. (Note: Five lessons are here highlighted, so one will have to be omitted from the series, but at this point I have not decided which one to eliminate).

Noah and His Ark (Genesis 6): “Some Advice On Preparing An Ark” “Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord” (Genesis 6:8), and he and his family were saved from the flood by grace! But Noah still had to build the ark in exact accord with the pattern God gave him, and he did so! “Thus Noah did; according to all that God commanded him, so he did” (Genesis 6:22). What advice might Noah have for us today with reference to building an “ark” that will survive the storms of life and take us to God in eternal glory?

Moses and the Burning Bush (Exodus 3): “Have You Seen A Burning Bush?” From time to time, we all receive important phone calls. What is the most important “call” we shall ever receive? How shall we respond to that “call”? How does God “call” people today (cf. II Thessalonians 2:14)? What responsibilities grow out of that “call”?

Solomon and the Queen of Sheba (I Kings 10:1-9): “The Half Has Not Been Told.” This was the queen of Sheba’s appraisal of Solomon and his kingdom. Of what spiritual realities may it be said that “the half has not been told”? What about the love of God, the words and works of Christ, the glory of the church, and the beauty of heaven?

The Cleansing of Naaman (II Kings 5:1-15): “Coming Clean With God.” Who was Naaman? What was his problem? What mistakes did he make early on in attempting to address his problem? What did Naaman have to do to be cleansed of the dreaded disease of leprosy? What has God commanded of us in order to be cleansed of sin? When does that cleansing actually occur?

Belshazzar and the Handwriting on the Wall (Daniel 5): “Weighed In The Balances And Found Wanting.” The Babylonian Empire had come under the judgment of God and was about to fall to the Medes and the Persians. Belshazzar saw God’s warning of such in the handwriting on the wall. He was told that he had been “weighed in the balances and found wanting.” God has appointed a day in which He will judge the entire world by His Son and the standard of His word (Acts 17:30-31; John 12:48; II Corinthians 5:10). What are some of the things by which we shall be “weighed”? Is there any danger that when that judgment takes place we might be “weighed and found wanting”?

If you live anywhere in the Mount Juliet, Tennessee, area, come join us on Wednesday evenings at the Green Hill Church of Christ, 11076 Lebanon Road, as we learn from these great Old Testament events.

Hugh Fulford
April 5, 2016

Speaking Schedule:
April 6, 13, 20, 27: Green Hill Church of Christ, Mount Juliet, TN

#hughfulford, #old-testament

A one-volume commentary on the Old Testament?

A question appeared on a closed social media site about commentaries, or a single commentary, on the Old Testament. No information was given about price range nor what type of commentary was desired, only that the person did not have a lot of money. A one-volume commentary on the OT alone is a challenge.

If the commentary needed is one that expounds the meaning of the text, one might consider something like Paul House’s OT Theology, or even Thomas Olbricht’s He Loves Forever, even though the latter is quite brief. Continue reading

#bible-commentaries, #old-testament


12-2-2015 Salvation Finally Revealed

“For whatever things were written before were written for our learning” (Romans 15:4 NKJV). “Our learning” must come from studying the events written in the Bible. God’s plan to save both Jew and Gentile through Jesus Christ, and add the saved to the church of Christ, is in the New Testament, not the Old Testament. Paul wrote that God’s Plan, “in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets” (Ephesians 3:5 NKJV). Peter commanded Jews, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38 NKJV); and Gentiles “to be baptized in the name of the Lord” (Acts 10:48 NKJV). Jesus saves “from all things from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses” (Acts 13:39 NKJV).

This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#church-of-christ, #new-testament, #old-testament, #saved

Hugh’s News & Views (Great Lessons . . .)


While the Old Testament no longer governs the people of God (we are governed by the new covenant which Christ sealed with His blood, Matthew 26:28), the Old Testament remains a part of the divinely inspired revelation of God to mankind and contains within it many great lessons for people living in the Christian age. Paul wrote: “For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope” (Romans 15:4). Following are some important lessons from the Old Testament. Continue reading

#example, #hughfulford, #old-testament

Israel’s land survey

I purchased a house last year, and the seller split his larger property into two lots, selling me the smaller of the two. To make this happen, the property had to be surveyed, and a description had to be drawn up specifying the exact locations of the borders. I could describe the borders in one sentence, but the surveyors have to be much more precise. The document they created describes in very technical language the latitude, longitude, angles, curves, etc. from corner to corner of the property, and is quite lengthy. The precision is a result not only of the desire to establish a clear understanding between buyer and seller, but to prevent future disagreements about the exact locations of the border.

When the children of Israel conquered the land of Canaan, there were twelve tribes. The conquered land had to be divvied up between them. I used to read Joshua 13-21 with dread, trudging through the city names and border descriptions with only the purpose of getting through it. Not so anymore. As I struggle to pronounce dozens and dozens (if not hundreds) of city and village names, I think of the towns, cities, suburbs, metropolises, counties, and states in my own country and the different climates, accents, histories, cultures, landscapes, laws, traditions, products, arts, disciplines, stereotypes, etc. peculiar to each one. I imagine what conversations may have sounded like in ancient Israel. Did the young Issacharians in Tabor ever complain about how there was nothing to do in their town? Did they long for the day when their parents considered them big enough to go with big brother and his friends to Shahazumah where they could fish or swim in the Jordan River (I may be misrepresenting the geography here). Which one of the cities on the Great Sea did people vacation to the most (think of Myrtle Beach or Gulf Shores)? Were Manassehites arrogant like Texans because of the size of their inheritance? Was there trash talk among the tribes about whose land was, as we sometimes say, “God’s country”?

These 9 chapters are a testimony of the Israelites’ desire for accuracy, understanding, and peace between the tribes. We are given the bare details, but they open up speculation about what life was like as they settled into their new territories. God’s current people have not yet crossed their Jordan. We, too, will settle a new territory one day, but I don’t think we’ll be as concerned about borderlines as they were.

#book-of-joshua, #borderlines, #children-of-israel, #christianity, #heaven, #jordan-river, #land-of-canaan, #land-survey, #old-testament, #promised-land, #tribes-of-israel

the whole counsel of God

Joshua 8 records the battle the children of Israel fought against the people of Ai. It is an interesting study in military strategy, but more importantly, the end of the chapter provides a lesson for us regarding our spiritual lives. After the victory, Joshua built an altar, wrote a new copy of the law of Moses, and the nation held a ceremony in which the law was read to the people. According to the last verse of the chapter, “There was not a word of all that Moses had commanded which Joshua did not read before all the assembly of Israel with the women and the little ones and the strangers who were living among them.” It was not enough to know some of the law. The people needed to know ALL of the law. As the Lord told Moses, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by EVERY word that proceeds out of the mouth of God” (Deuteronomy 8:3).

Lord, make us hungry to glean everything we can from the pages of Scripture, for we do not live by some of Your words, but by all of them.

#battle-of-ai, #bible-study, #book-of-joshua, #children-of-israel, #christianity, #joshua, #land-of-canaan, #old-testament

then you shall know

A phrase that occurs over and over again through the Scriptures is “then you will know that I am the Lord.” There are variations on it, but it can be found throughout the Old Testament, and the concept is present in the New. Sometimes the telltale event is a good thing; sometimes it is bad. What is constant is that God is repeatedly trying to show His people that He is in control, and He will be glorified. The next time you read through Ezekiel, count the times this phrase is used. I am fairly certain it occurs more than fifty times in that one book. It occurred in two of the chapters of my Bible reading today:

Let them be ashamed and dismayed forever, and let them be humiliated and perish, that they may know that You alone, whose name is the Lord, are the most high over all the earth. (Psalm 83:17-18)

I will be among the sons of Israel and will be their God. They shall know that I am the Lord their God who brought them out of the land of Egypt, that I might dwell among them; I am the Lord their God. (Exodus 29:46)

Lord, cause us to open our eyes and see all the things You’ve made and all the things You’ve done; and may the way we live reveal this to others: You are the Lord our God.

#bible-phrases, #book-of-ezekiel, #christianity, #exodus, #old-testament, #psalm-83

O’Reilly and the Bible

                In the mail the other day I received a bulletin from the church in Winter Park, Florida. In this March 17, 2013 bulletin is a discussion regarding Bill O’Reilly and his view with regard to the Bible. (I hardly watch the “O’Reilly Factor” program so I did not see what transpired. I did not have to watch it, however, for Gary summers (bulletin editor) had a part of the dialogue in the bulletin; a dialogue that can be downloaded from the FoxNews website, I understand).

Bill O’Reilly said to a First Baptist Church preacher (Robert Jeffress of Dallas), “…my belief system is that there is a higher power and that evolution was the way He created the world. Now I was taught in my Catholic school that a lot of stories in the Bible are allegorical. There are stories that, just like Jesus spoke in parables, lessons were put forth…and that a lot of believers (such as myself) don’t take them literally.”

O’Reilly’s understanding of the Old Testament is less than adequate; if Jesus attested to the credibility of what the Old Testament said and O’Reilly dismisses it as being merely “parabolic,” then he has brought the Lord’s credibility into question (something he rejected quickly). For instance, the Lord said that man was made at the time of the beginning (Matthew 19:4). The beginning of what? When the earth begin to exist. This is either true or not. Many in the science community dismiss this as being out of touch with reality. If it comes down to the Lord or science I will be and stay with the Lord. From one vantage point we can take “reality” as interpreted many thousands of years removed from the events associated with creation, or we can take reality from the One who was there and created it all out of nothing (Hebrews 1:2; 11:3).

O’Reilly might be (or not) good with political discourse that is of the current day, but his teaching ability with regard to the Bible will lead people astray. RT

#astray, #bible, #oreilly, #old-testament

A Wonderful Old Testament Passage About God’s Kingdom

In the book of Isaiah, God’s prophet gladly told of a time to come when he said:

Now it shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow to it. Many people shall come and say, “Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths.” For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. He shall judge between the nations, and rebuke many people; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.” (Isaiah 2:2-4)

This was a time that looked forward through Isaiah’s eyes, but today this is a time that looks back through Luke’s. For this reason the apostles were told that they would preach the remission of sins to all nations, but they had to first tarry in Jerusalem until they were endued with power from on high (Luke 24:45-49). In Acts 2 we see the fulfillment of this time when Jews from all around the world were gathered in Jerusalem on Pentecost day, and through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit the apostle Peter preached God’s Law and taught about the resurrected Jesus for the first time to the world. At that time, feet prepared with the gospel of peace went forth to gather the nations into God’s kingdom, into the body of Jesus Christ, the church, by grace through faith. At that time a way of life was being introduced that would bring people, Jew and Gentile, to the Prince of Peace to learn His ways (Isaiah 9:6, Ephesians 2:13-17). That was a wonderful time, and it still is since we now have the opportunity to be joined with God through His Son! And for this reason, Isaiah 2:2-4 is a wonderful Old Testament passage about God’s Kingdom.

#a-wonderful-old-testament-passage, #gods-kingdom, #old-testament, #the-church-in-the-old-testament