Tag Archives: law

Why the Book of Leviticus?

Establish A Nation God’s Way

It was God’s will to live with His people from the time of the Garden of Eden, Genesis 2:8, all the way to the Book of Revelation 21:

Leviticus 26:11-12: “And I will set my tabernacle among you; and my soul shall not abhor you. And I will walk among you, and will be your God, and ye shall be my people.”

Revelation 21:3: “And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people and God himself shall be with them and be their God.”

The Book of Leviticus is the account of God’s instructions to Moses on how to establish a nation under God.

But sadly, the original nation of Israel did not keep the order of the instructions given in the Book of Leviticus, but turned from their loving Creator to worship idols and commit all of the forbidden sins that brought destruction, disease, death, famine, pestilence, war, and all of the other consequences that were described in the Book of Leviticus. In their state of rebellion, God could not dwell with them. Their disobedience brought the promised consequences, as described by the Biblical books of their history and the prophets.

But still a Holy Nation Was Promised

But through it all, God was true to His promise that He, Himself, would send them a Savior, Who would save them from their sins and the consequences of their sins. This promise was fulfilled in the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. Although the fleshly, sinful nation refused Him and was finally destroyed in the destruction of 70 AD, God had raised up a new nation in Jesus, His Body, the Church, which, in Christ, fulfilled all of the requirements for a nation of people with which He could be pleased to dwell. In Christ, the law is written in our hearts and it gives us the intuitive, natural desire and motivation to fulfill the commandments of the law. The law is no longer grievous.

The Schoolmaster

The original specific laws and statutes and ordinances were necessary for law and order in the fleshly nation. These were designed to teach them:“Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith, but after that faith is come we are no longer under a schoolmaster.”

The lessons to be learned from the “schoolmaster” are spelled out and made clear in the New Testament. For example, all of the Levitical ordinances of sacrifice are to teach us Romans 12:1: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.,”

Galatians 2:19-20: “For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God. I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I but Christ liveth in me: and the life I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”


Law And Grace – Bonhoeffer

[From Dietrich Bonhoeffer – (The Psalms-) The Prayer Book of the Bible ‘Classification’]

“The Law”

“The three Psalms (1, 19, 119) that in a special way make the law of God the object of thanksgiving, praise, and petition, wish above all to make clear to us the blessing of the law. Under ‘law,’ then, is to be chiefly understood the entire redemptive act of God and direction for a new life in obedience. Joy in the law, in the commandments of God, fill us when God has given to our life the great transformation that comes through Jesus Christ. That God might sometimes hide God’s own command from me, (Ps. 119:19), that God might someday not let me recognise the divine will, is the deepest anxiety of the new life.


“It is grace to know God’s commands. They free us from self-made plans and conflicts. They make our steps certain and our way joyful. We are given God’s commands so that we may fulfill them, and ‘[God’s] commandments are not burdensome’ (I John 5:3) for those who have found all salvation in Jesus Christ. Jesus himself was under the law and fulfilled it in total obedience to the Father. God’s will became his joy, his food. So in us he gives thanks for the grace of the law and grants us joy in its fulfillment.* Now we confess our love for the law. We affirm that we hold it dear, and we ask that we continue to be preserved blameless in it. We do not do this in our own power, but we pray it in the name of Jesus Christ, who is for us and in us.”

*In the Lord’s Prayer: “… Thy will be done….”

New Covenant: Flesh vs. Spirit and Law vs. Grace

The Dichotomy

The major difference between the Old Covenant Law versus the New Covenant of Grace is only a portion of the basic dichotomy between the Flesh and the Spirit. The Flesh must be ruled by the Law, but the Spirit must be free and must rule over the Flesh.

The Law is not obsolete, but is only a means of restraining the Flesh and identifying sin and its purpose was to bring us to Christ. The Law is good if it is used lawfully.

However, the Law is bondage without the indwelling Spirit. Christianity is not anarchy, but rather the inward operation of the Law by the indwelling Spirit, as opposed to the doctrines of the Pharisees which created and taught an outward, ritual obedience without the right attitudes and motivations of the Holy Spirit. They saw the Law as putting one between the yoke and the ox-goad: The yoke to restrain you from doing what you wanted and the ox-goad to prod you to do what you did not want to do.

It is the Flesh that is opposed to the Spirit, and they war against each other.

Galatians 5:16-25:
“This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
“But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.”

Note the conditional phrase preceded by the word ‘IF’. The implication here is that ‘IF’ you are not led of the Spirit, ye are under the law. The Law is for governing the Flesh. The Flesh must be kept under the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus.  Just to remove all doubt as to what is meant by “the Flesh” we are given the details:

“Now the works of the Flesh are manifest, which are these: Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revelings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God,” Galatians 5:19-31.

And just to remove all doubts as to what is meant by “walking in the Spirit” he give us the following details:

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law,” Galatians 5:22-25.

“If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”

This makes it quite clear that the Grace offered by the Spirit/Faith does not give a license to sin. Quite the contrary. Walking in the Flesh produces the stated results and consequences, clearly spelled out in verses 19, 20, and 21. And the fruits of the Spirit are spelled out in verses 22-25.

The Flesh must be crucified, slain, deprived of life. It is the Spirit, [Breath], that gives Life, as in Genesis 2:7. This death and resurrection is portrayed in Baptism. Jesus did not come to make bad men good, but rather to make dead men live. There is a vast difference between the two ideas. Jesus came to restore the Breath/Spirit of Life.

Some Definitions

It might be helpful to spell out some definitions of some of the terms you will find in your Scripture references.

The Flesh: [As opposed to The Spirit] “Carnality, sensuality, the seat of appetites, specifically sexual.”

Fleshly: “(1) Bodily, (2) sensual, lascivious, carnal.”

Carnal: (synonyms): “fleshly, sensual, animal, of the body as flesh. As opposed to spiritual”

Carnality: “state of being carnal. Habitual indulgence in desires having a physical origin, commonly, bestiality, [brutal].”

Sensuous: (1) Addressing the senses, (sight, hearing, smelling, tasting, feeling); (2) Characterized by sense impressions or imagery addressing the senses – as sensuous descriptions; (3) Highly susceptible to influence through the senses.

[Note: This describes most advertisements, especially on TV. To catch a mouse you have to bait the trap with something he likes. Satan traps us through the lusts of the flesh. The advertisers have learned this from him.]

Sensual: “Pertaining to, or consisting in, the gratification of the senses, or the indulgence of appetite; fleshly.”

Lascivious: (1) “wanton, lewd, lustful; (2) tending to produce lewd emotions.”

Lewd: (1) wicked, worthless, base; (2) lustful, lascivious, unchaste.”

May you be blessed and warned by this lesson.

The Law – Do We Need It Now?

Let’s start from the beginning.

Genesis 1:26-28: “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
(27) So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him, male and female created he them.
(28) And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that creepeth upon the earth.”

God’s First Law: The Breath/Spirit Of Life

Since God is a Spirit, and created Man in His own image, Man was created as a Spirit. We have a soul; we live in a body of flesh; but we are a Spirit. Genesis 2:7: ‘And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” Note that the word ‘breath’ is the same word as ‘spirit’ in Hebrew. God breathed His Spirit into Adam. The Spirit is the “breath of Life.” This is the first law: The “Law of the Breath/Spirit of Life,” Romans 8:1-2.

“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the Law of the Spirit/Breath of Life hath made me free from the law of sin and death.

The Law of Sin and Death

Genesis 2:16-17: “And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” This is the law of sin and death, see Romans 8:2

Before the fall, Man’s whole volition, intention, and natural spontaneous impulses were to do God’s will in the Spirit. When Mankind fell into sin, however, his Spirit, the inner man, died and it became necessary for his flesh to be ruled by the force of law. This condition required an atoning death, and so the whole Old Testament sacrificial system was established in order to teach Mankind the necessity of sacrificing the Flesh to redeem the Spirit.

In the fullness of time, Christ came, died the atoning death for all Mankind, and offered the resurrected Life to whosoever will. In His resurrected Body, He restored God’s original intention for Mankind; that is, that they would be alive in the Spirit/Breath, ruling, taking dominion over every living thing, including his own fleshly body.

However, not all would be willing to accept this New Birth, this Life from the Dead. So, for those, the Law must still be enforced upon the outward man. And the Spirit Man, the inner man, the real person, must rule his own flesh by the Law. The Law is still necessary to bring the Flesh, the outward man, into obedience to God’s Law until and unless he is born again of the Spirit.

As born-again Christians, we naturally fulfill the law. Our righteousness will exceed that of the Pharisees who were so diligent to keep the letter of the law while twisting and perverting it. Our righteousness must not only keep the true letter of the law, but also keep the Spirit of the law: willing and intuitive obedience to the Spirit of God. For the Christians, keeping the Law is not grievous but the natural thing to do.

Revelation: Greek ‘Apocalypse’ – The Veils Removed


The Greek title of the Book of Revelation is referred to as “The Apocalypse.” The prefix apo- means “from, away from.” The root of the word Apocalypse is kalu, meaning “a veil or covering.” The suffix -psis denotes action or process. Apocalypse therefore means, “the action or process of taking away the veil.”

This Greek word may also be translated as “the unveiling, uncovering, manifestation, appearing, or coming.” So the “Revelation of Jesus Christ” refers to His unveiling, uncovering, manifestation, appearing, and/or coming.

The Veils of the Old Testament

For the Biblical context we should consider the significant veils described in the Old Testament:

  • (1) the veil of mortality,
  • (2) the veil of separation,
  • (3) the veil of the Law, and
  • (4) the veil of the Heavens.

(1) The veil of mortality is unredeemed Flesh. This veil became necessary when Adam and Eve sinned and became subject to death, separation from God. It was the veil of death. God clothed them; that is, He put a veil between Him and their sinful Flesh, Genesis 3.21.

Christ removed this veil of flesh, Hebrews 10:19-20: “Having therefore boldness, brethren, to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh.” See also I Corinthians 15:54.

Isaiah saw this veil as the veil of death, mortality, that kept the whole world from seeing the full Light of God, Isaiah 25.7-8: “And he will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering cast over all people, and the veil that is spread over all nations. He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the Lord hath spoken it.”

Isaiah’s prophecy of the removal of the veil of death is referred to in I Corinthians 15:53-57 and also Revelation 21:4.

(2) Another veil of separation was in the Holy of Holies in the Temple where God chose to dwell with His people. Even the Priesthood could only enter this sacred area with the absolute perfection of the requirements of the sacrificial blood, foreshadowing the blood of Christ. Christ accomplished the removal of this veil: Matthew 27.51. Christ provided access through Himself to this most Holy place: Hebrews 9.1-12.

(3) The veil of the Law. The Pharisees pretended a high reverence for the Law, but Christ taught that the Law was only necessary because of disobedience. God’s will was that the Law should be written in the hearts of Mankind by the very Breath/Spirit of God. The external ritual code of the Law often blinded people to the need for the inner obedience from the heart. The story of Moses’ face to face confrontation with God furnishes an example that beholding and partaking of the glory of God is the essence of the Law of God. The original law was for Mankind to be in God’s image, to know Him and to be in His likeness, Exodus 34:33; II Corinthians 3:13-18.

(4) The veil of the Heavens is described in Psalm 104:2 as a curtain that veils the full Light of God. It is God’s garment, Psalm 104:2. The starry heavens, or what we might call ‘the sky’, declares the glory of God and was created for the purpose of orientation in time and space for Mankind, Genesis 1.14-15. The sun, moon, stars and planets were not just randomly sprinkled but formed definite and readable patterns. Moses was instructed to make all things according to the “Pattern,” Exodus 25:40; Numbers 8:4; Hebrews 8:5.

The veil of the heavens was opened to the prophets as in Ezekiel 1.1. In the New Testament the Heavens were opened to John the Baptist, Mark 1:10; Stephen, Acts 7:56; Peter, Acts 10:11; and John the Revelator, Revelation 4:1. The Book of Revelation concerns the visions given to John in which the veil of the Heavens was opened again to prophetic view.

The Book of Revelation shows how all of these veils were removed by Jesus Christ.

For more discussion and referents on the Greek word Apocalypse see my book Revelation in Context, pages 63-70, available at www.Amazon.com or www.XulonPress.com or locally at Living Word Bookstore in Shawnee, Oklahoma. Free downloads are available at www.revelationincontext.sermon.net