Old Testament Clean & Unclean Laws Explicitly Cited & Applied as Exemplary Shadows for New Testament Realities
Section #1: Don’t Be Deceived: 1st Century Judaism & 21st Century Christianity Exist in Antithetical Trajectories of Apostasy
Matthew’s message of the Gospel gives us ample reason why we must, by necessity, reconsider justice and cleanness as it relates to the Person of Jesus Christ. I say this because the Clean and Unclean Laws have not been destroyed but fulfilled! Because the Clean and Unclean Laws have passed into a greater and more glorious fulfillment from shadow-to-reality, they have not become irrelevant to the Christian life! This fact is easily demonstrated by comparing two passages of New Testament scripture.
“touch not” à “Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, (Touch not; taste not; handle not; which all are to perish with the using) after the commandments and doctrines of men?” – Col. 2:20-22
“touch not” à “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you” – 2 Cor. 6:17
It is easy to understand that Colossians 2:20-22 is speaking of the Old Testament Clean and Unclean Laws which were but a shadow which has passed away, but let the reader take note: shadows existed to foretell coming realities! The apostle Paul is bold to affirm that Old Testament Law was “a shadow of things to come” (Col. 2:17)! Therefore, necessity is laid upon all Christians to abide by the Clean and Unclean Laws which have come, which are now – the New Testament reality defined by the inspired writers. Paul communicated the commandment, “touch not the unclean thing”, as a New Testament reality! How does one become unclean in New Testament reality, you wonder? By way of introduction, let us remember what has been heretofore established in the Gospel of Matthew. Matthew undertook 28 Chapters to declare to the Jews the central issue which changed everything…
“One greater than the Temple” – Matt. 12:6
“A greater than Solomon is here” – Matt. 12:42
“A greater than Jonas is here” – Matt. 12:41
“For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father.” – John 5:22-23
“All things are delivered unto Me of My Father” – Matthew 11:27
Thus, we must interpret the criminal act of uncleanness as it relates to the Person of Jesus Christ. This is because the magnitude of a crime committed is situational and circumstantial to the value and royalty of the place and people involved. This can be illustrated by the criminal act of thievery, for example; the penalty fluctuates with the value of the object or the royalty of the person stolen. Value and royalty changes criminality because it is a greater evil to steal or harm those things or persons which are the most precious and irreplaceable. In the specific case of 1st century Judaism considered within the scope of human history as a whole, the greatest of sins are those committed against the greatest manifestation of God. Therefore if, in 1st century Judaism, the greatest manifestation of God ever to exist was beheld and rejected – One greater than Jonas, Solomon, and the Temple – then the Jews were, consequentially, the greatest sinners ever to exist!
Because all cleanness is determined by humanity’s relationship to the Cleansing Man, when and if they reject Jesus Christ they are thereby reduced into a state of utter uncleanness beyond any woeful denouncement expressed to any Unclean Land or people throughout all of human history (“It shall be more tolerable for the Land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the Day of Judgment, than for that city.”-Matt.10:15, Lk.10:12).
Because Jesus Christ is the embodiment of the Moral and Ceremonial Law, when and if anyone rejects Him they are committing a crime which is equivalent to rejecting the counsel of every Law in the Old Testament (“Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of Me. And ye will not come to Me, that ye might have life.”-John5:38-39).
Because Jesus Christ is the embodiment of all prophecy and promise – the Prophet of prophets – when and if Israel rejects Him they are committing a crime of unlawful bloodshed which is equivalent to slaying all the prophets which have existed from the foundation of the world (“That the blood of all the prophets, which was shed from the foundation of the world, may be required of this generation; From the blood of Abel unto the blood of Zacharias, which perished between the altar and the Temple: verily I say unto you, It shall be required of this generation.”-Lk.11:50-51)!
This Jesus who was beheld and rejected by the 1st century Jews, who also the apostles did hear, see, look upon, and handle with their hands (1 Jn. 1:1) - He is still among those who believe! Like the apostle John said, “That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ” (1 Jn. 1:3). According to the apostle John, fellowship with Jesus Christ did not cease! The apostolic mission was and is that all men would join the apostles and 1st century Christians in their fellowship with God the Father and Jesus Christ His Son in real time! Through the experience of salvation in the Gospel, Christians have been “called unto the fellowship of His Son Jesus Christ our Lord” (1 Cor. 1:9), an experience made possible because, Jesus said, “Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world” (Matt. 28:20). Jesus Christ, the Clean Man, is still fellowshipping and keeping company with Christians right now! …and thereby the Christians are clean! Hallelujah! What a glory! Detailing to all of Christianity the grounds of fellowship with the Spirit of Jesus Christ, Paul said, “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you” (2 Cor. 6:17). Paul expounded, furthermore, “let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (2 Cor. 7:1). It is very clear that Paul believed in New Testament Clean and Unclean Laws as they relate to the abiding presence of the Person of Jesus Christ. Now this may come as a surprise to the multitudes of 21st century “Christianity” (that the Clean and Unclean Laws in their reality are still binding upon Christian faith and practice)… but, no wonder, this is because the Devil has accomplished in the 21st century “Christianity”, yet again, the same woeful design depicted in 1st century Judaism. Please, let me explain.
Don’t Be Deceived: 1st Century Judaism & 21st Century Christianity Exist in Antithetical Trajectories of Apostasy
“Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the Law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.” – Matthew 23:23-24
1st century Judaism was led into widespread apostasy because blind-eyed and wrongly emphasized religious convictions became their end-all rule of life above any greater fulfillment of the Law accomplished by God (greater fulfillments which would have been made discernable if “judgment”, “mercy”, and “faith” were steadfastly kept). By blind-eyed and wrongly emphasized religious conviction, I mean, scriptural commandments of separatism, holiness, and cleanness interpreted and applied in outward form instead of inward power, thus the Jews were utterly intolerant of Jesus Christ because He was cleansing men inwardly by a greater reality than what the Jews knew of by the letter in outward form. The Jews misinterpreted and misbalanced the Law, you see!? These Jews who did not know they must be born again, were blind-eyed and intolerant of the Kingdom of God manifest in a new government (John 3:1-12, Isa. 9:6-7). The Jews, who did not know The Spirit of the Law, misinterpreted the letter of the Law to accuse Jesus Christ of law-breaking. Such men were Jews outwardly but not inwardly (Rom. 2:25-29), falsely converted and erroneously confident Jews who misunderstood the embodiment of the Law which was manifest among them (“Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto Me.” – John 6:45; Lk. 16:31). True Jews and Israelites indeed knew the identity of the Man, Jesus of Nazareth, who walked among them (John 1:47-51). [For a more detailed explanation of the true meaning of the Law in spirit and in form, inwardly and outwardly, please see “The Ceremonial Law” and “The Moral Law”.] With all this being said the following conclusions can be drawn: 1st century apostate Judaism was obedient to scripture at the points of Law which were limited to the outward form of the Law, points which pertained to separatism, holiness, and cleanness in the Ceremonial Law with an utter blindness of and complete intolerance to the inward and spiritual manifestations of separatism, holiness, and cleanness.
Just as 1st century Judaism was led into widespread apostasy because of blind-eyed and wrongly emphasized convictions, 21st century Christianity has suffered the same fate; albeit in 21st century Christianity the blindness and wrongly emphasized conviction has taken a polar opposite position to the 1st century. The Christians today are not zealous for unbiblical and wrongly emphasized convictions of separatism, holiness, and cleanness, they are zealous for unbiblical and wrongly emphasized convictions of unity, equality, and tolerance. The height of apostate religious conviction in the 1st century manifested in separatism which was strictly outward, while inwardly they were proud, despiteful, prejudice, unmerciful, and self-righteous. The height of apostate religious conviction in the 21st century is manifest in a unity which is strictly outward, while inwardly they are proud, despiteful, prejudice, unmerciful, and self-righteous. Neither individuals from either century would admit it, but this is the reality. The same sins are manifest in polar opposite directions because of the different Testaments that each generation was reading (“the Jews” reading the Law and “the Christians” reading the New Testament). When reading the New Testament, the 21st century Christians misinterpret the sin of the “holiness-adhering” Pharisees. When reading the New Testament, 21st century Christians misinterpret the righteousness of the “separatism-defiant” Jesus Christ. Therefore, Christianity today exists without separatism, holiness, cleanness, and judgment… which means she exists without biblical love. I say again, the “love” which has abandoned the New Testament reality of separatism, holiness, cleanness, and judgment is hatred in disguise!
For the most part, even true Christians are spoiled by the aforementioned philosophy of counterfeit “love” in so much that they, in an attempt to be like Christ, live a life utterly unconscious of the Laws pertaining to the Clean and Unclean in New Testament reality. Consequentially, when and if Christians are abiding in a situation of uncleanness, men think they are following the conduct of Christ (the all-cleansing Clean Man) because they look like He did in the 1st century in outward form! They are unlike Christ because they are not cleansing the uncleanness of unclean men. Instead of these Christians cleansing the unclean men they are being defiled by the uncleanness of unclean men! “I am just doing what Jesus did”, they think, while they are mixing with and tolerating a damnable degree of sin and uncleanness all around them! Until, alas, the uncleanness which was tolerated all around them becomes a part of them! If and when someone in this situation is convicted about biblical separatism they hear, “You are just a religious Pharisee”. Howbeit, my reader, what does it really mean to be a Pharisee in 21st century Christianity?
Jewish Law Forbade Company with Sinners
NT Law Forbids Christian
Fellowship/Company with Sinners
“Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners?” – Matt. 9:10-11, Lk. 5:29-30 [“sinners to repentance”-Matt.9:13]
“The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners.” – Matthew 11:19, Lk. 7:34
“This man, if He were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth Him: for she is a sinner.” – Luke 7:39 [“Thy sins are forgiven”-Lk.7:48]
“Then drew near unto Him all the publicans and sinners for to hear Him. And the Pharisees and Scribes murmured, saying, This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them.” – Lk. 15:1-2
“And when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, “That He was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner.” – Lk. 19:7 [“This day is salvation come to this House”-Lk.19:9]
“Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but God hath shewed me that I should not call any man common or unclean.” – Acts 10:28
“Thou wentest in to men uncircumcised, and didst eat with them.” – Acts 11:3
“I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators: Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world. But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat. For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within? But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.” – 1 Cor. 5:9-13
“Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be My sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” – 2 Corinthians 6:17-18
“Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your House, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.” – 2 John 1:9-11
What is a 21st century Pharisee? The 1st century Pharisees were convicted about separatism, holiness, and cleanness so much so that, according to the aforementioned passages: they didn’t go to the Houses of, keep company, and eat with publicans, sinners, and unclean men (Matt. 9:10-11, 11:19, Acts 10:28, 11:3, Gal. 2:12-13), they feared being touched by uncleanness and thereby becoming unclean (Lk. 7:39), and thus they did not in this manner receive sinners because they feared that God would not receive them (Lk. 15:1-2). Does this mean that 21st century Pharisees are those who refuse to “keep company” and “eat” with what the New Testament characterizes as a “wicked person” (1 Cor. 5:9-13), those who “come out from among them” in separation for fear of being touched by “the unclean thing” (2 Cor. 6:17), and those who do not in this manner receive sinners for fear that they would then come short of the conditional promise of God that hinged upon the perfection of holiness, that promise being, “I will receive you” (2 Cor. 6:17-7:1, 2 John 1:9-11)? This question begs 21st century Christianity to reevaluate their conduct in the light of biblical and New Testament separatism!
When Jesus Christ entered the Houses of, kept company, and ate and drank with the unclean people (the sinners) the Pharisees murmured against Him, this is true… but in every case the company which He was eating with were being gloriously cleansed, forgiven, and saved by communion with Christ! For example, Matthew and company were being converted (Matt. 9:10-11), the publicans of Luke 7:24-35 “justified God”, the adulterous woman who touched Christ was forgiven (Lk. 7:34-50), the publicans and sinners of Luke 15:1-2 were savingly repentant (Lk. 15:3-10) and made alive (Lk. 15:11-32), and Zacchaeus experienced salvation (Lk. 19:1-10)! All these circumstances were in fulfillment of the word of the Lord Jesus, which was, “Many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the Kingdom of Heaven” (Matthew 8:11). In other words, all these people became Christians! By near proximity to and a faith-filled reception of the Person of Jesus Christ, the “publicans” and “harlots” were going into the Kingdom of God before the Scribes and Pharisees did (Matt. 21:31). The Pharisees were offended at Jesus’ conduct because it seemingly defied the Clean and Unclean Laws of the Old Testament, but because they were ignorant of inward cleanness and the shadow-to-reality cleansing power of the Lord Jesus, they were blind to the glorious salvation which was in operation before their very eyes! But now today, in this present hour, 21st century Christians think they can be like Christ if they go to the Houses of, keep company, and eat and drink with sinners whenever and however they want to… but what they do in outward form Christ did in spiritual power! To follow the tenets of true religion in outward form and without spiritual power, this is Pharisaical. In situations where men and women suppose they are being Christ-like, instead of the sinners getting Christian-ized the Christians are getting sinner-ized, and instead of unclean men getting clean the clean men are getting unclean… this is the tragic reality.