Jesus Never Changed God’s Law Nor Got Rid of His Judgment

Jesus did not correct the Law of Moses like some erroneously teach.  He rather upheld the Law and taught its true application, vindicating it from the abuses which Israel’s corrupt leaders had done to it.  You can see this clearly prophesied in Malachi chapter 3.  

Those who teach that Jesus taught a standard than the Law of Moses, or teach that He in any way corrected it, are sometimes called Marcionites, since Marcion was a second century heretic who taught that the God of the Old Testament was the devil and the God of the New Testament is the true God.  Marcion of course had to blatantly write off the vast majority of the Bible to even attempt to say this, but modern Marcionites can seem more credible because they are not as consistent as Marcion.  They will try to contrast Jesus to the Law of Moses sometimes, while still trying to claim that Jesus is the God of Moses and of the faithful men of the Old Testament.  How they try such gymnastics is incredible, yet there are different ways this is attempted.  Those who don’t think logically and don’t look for consistency in those whom they hear teach Scripture can let such inconsistency slide.  It happens a lot not only with this heresy, but also with others.  Jesus is the one who gave the Law to Moses, Jesus is the Word made flesh, and anyone who believes He’d ever speak contrary to the Law of Moses is a Marcionite.  

Marcionism has crept into most churches today in several different ways.  How?  One key example is that if you believe that God stopped being wrathful after Jesus came, or if you believe that God became less wrathful after Jesus came, then you have been greatly influenced by Marcionism.  Such is a blatantly false concept, yet many sympathize with it and are influenced much by it.  

Jesus’ first coming was to fulfill the promises of redemption which were made in the Hebrew Scriptures (what we know now as the Old Testament).  It was those promises which the righteous people in the Old Testament looked forward to and believed in.  Those promises were made based upon the fact that there is coming a day of wrath and judgment on all who are not partakers of that redemption.  That day hasn’t been eliminated.  Jesus Christ’s second coming actually marks that day.  Through Jesus Christ’s first coming we not only have more light on God’s way of salvation and the substance of the unspeakably fearful way that was accomplished through Jesus’ death on the cross and His resurrection, but we also have more light about God’s Judgment and severe punishment which He will bring upon His unrepentant enemies.  In the Gospels Jesus talked frequently about Judgment Day and its horror.  He talked more about the eternal fire of hell for those who continue in sin and obey not His Gospel than all His servants whom He spoke through in the Old Testament combined spoke directly about the fire of hell.  

Many who are essentially Marcionites say things like “Jesus taught us to love our enemies; the Old Testament didn’t do that.”  That is proof (they say) that Jesus took away God’s judgment and all that remains is love.  Yet consider that the Old Testament taught love of enemies too.  And by the way, consider here that the coming judgments in the Book of Revelation are more terrifying than anything God ever did in Old Testament times!  Do you think the wicked being cast into the lake of fire after they are raised to stand before God (Revelation 20:15) will be easier for them to bear than the deaths by flood in Noah’s time; and the deaths by the fire which devoured Sodom and the cities around it?  

When Jesus taught us to love our enemies, He was speaking on a personal level.  He was clarifying what the Law of Moses already taught about that.

Exodus 23:4-5: “If thou meet thine enemy’s ox or his ass (donkey) going astray, thou shalt surely bring it back to him again.  If thou see the ass (donkey) of him that hateth thee lying under his burden, and wouldest forbear to help him, thou shalt surely help with him.”

Along the same lines, It was always  necessary to resist evil in accordance with one’s jurisdiction in order to be righteous.  It was also never right to go and search out your enemies to retaliate on a personal level.  It was never right to do anything to resist evil in terms of retaliation on a personal level (even a subtle insult or a passive aggressive act of cruelty).   

When Jesus was asked by a Mosaic lawyer how to love His neighbor as himself, Jesus pointed Him back to God’s Law (in Luke 10:25-37).  The point of the story He told there about the Good Samaritan is that we can’t righteously pick and choose whom we love and do good to.  This lawyer thought that Jews were worth his concern and potential assistance, but not gentiles, especially not Samaritans (and many Jewish teachers before, during, and after Jesus’ time have taught likewise).  But the passage from Exodus 23, and other many Scriptures right from the Hebrew Bible, prove that this is a wicked view.  To have partiality like this lawyer had is living in sin as much as a swindler or a fornicator is living in sin.  

We’re going to look here at a very well known passage of Scripture, which is also in my opinion one of the most misunderstood and most twisted passages of Scripture.  And that is John 8:1-11, where a woman caught in adultery is brought to Jesus.  Many use this to try to justify a belief that Jesus actually rebuked the Law of Moses, to try to justify the common belief that Jesus does not condemn sinners, and/or to try to justify the common belief that any and all confrontation of sin, or opposition to sin, is equivalent to casting stones at people.  We will see here how twisted and inaccurate such beliefs are.  And hopefully we will see well what this passage of Scripture really is dealing with and comprehend some important lessons which we should really get out of it.

In John chapter 7 Jesus is teaching at the Feast of Tabernacles.  It is a very heated, controversial occasion marked by intense debate among the people about whether Jesus is the Messiah spoken of in the Hebrew Scriptures.  There is much scorn and derision from most of the Jewish leaders against Jesus and those who claim that He is the Christ.  There is even an attempt by some of the Jewish leaders to arrest Jesus near the end of the feast which ends up failing.  The Feast of Tabernacles was, along with the Feasts of Passover and Pentecost, one of the three feasts which every Jewish man was required to attend each year- so many had come many miles from other places to Jerusalem for this feast.  But for many others, Jerusalem was home and the intensity of the debate regarding Jesus did not end with the close of the feast.  So Jesus sticks around Jerusalem and continues teaching in the Temple even after the feast is over.  And many who had been hearing Him continue to come and hear Him.  Some of the Jews who are His enemies are angry and jealous, but they are afraid to arrest Him because of their fear of the common people; and arresting Him is not an easy thing to do anyways since even the Temple’s own officers, whom some of the leaders had commanded to take Him in John chapter 7, didn’t have the courage to take Him.  So, they hatch a plot, not to put the Law of Moses on trial- that would be considered ridiculous- but rather, a plot to entrap Jesus and make Him look like a villain before either the Jews or the Romans (who ruled over the Jews at the time).  This plot would put Jesus into a tight place where (they thought and hoped) He would either have to deny the Law of Moses and directly get in trouble with the Jewish authorities or He would say something which the Jews could accuse Him to the Romans over, so He would be seen as a rebel against the Roman Empire.  This is what is actually going on with the woman caught in adultery in John 8:1-11.

So understand that this was an insincere trial.  These men are tempting Jesus and seeking to put Him on trial by how He handles this woman which they have brought to Him.  We already saw in the previous chapter, and we see all over the Gospels, that Jesus’ enemies are unjust men, who despite their professed zeal for the Law of Moses, were out of line with the Law of Moses.  That is what made them hypocrites.  They sought to abuse the Law to condemn Jesus, when the Law really testified against them and their unjust behavior.  This basic truth is seen various ways, and said in different ways, throughout the Gospels.  

The Judicial aspects of the Law of Moses were given to be executed under the oversight of Israel’s judges.  They were not things which people were to just independently carry out on their own.  They were given also with the obvious implication that Israel is a sovereign nation not subject to any foreign rule.  Israel was so when God gave the Law through Moses.  God had threatened Israel though that subjugation by foreign nations would be a judgment if Israel was disobedient to God.  Such subjugation had happened at various times throughout Israel’s history and was surely happening in Jesus’ time.  Israel was not an independent nation now, as it had been conquered by the Romans (it wasn’t really even known as Israel then, at least by the Romans- yet Judea, Galilee, and Samaria were Roman provinces that basically covered most of what had been considered to be the land of Israel- that entire region was under Roman rule).  We also know from the Gospels, and from history in general, the Romans recognized Judaism as a religion and basically allowed the Jews to practice their religion and follow their Law.  But one key exception, and we see it by how the Jewish leaders delivered Jesus to the Romans when they eventually did wind up arresting Him, is that the Jews did not have the legal power to execute the death penalty.  That was something which the Romans had to condemn someone to.  

The Law of Moses indeed commands that adulterers be stoned.  But it also commanded that there be multiple witnesses, impartial witnesses, who initiate the stoning after the accused is found guilty.  And it commands that all the parties involved in the adultery be stoned, not just one of them.

Leviticus 20:10: “And the man that committeth adultery with another man’s wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbor’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.” 

Deuteronomy 22:22: “If a man be found lying with a woman married to an husband, then they shall both of them die, both the man that lay with the woman, and the woman: so shalt thou put away evil from Israel.”

And by the way: Let’s look at a question in regard to all of the sexual sins which God called for the death penalty for in the Law of Moses: Is it proper to carry these out now?  We must understand that God’s Law has not changed, yet society’s circumstances have.  God called for the death penalty in the Law of Moses for various forms of sexual perversion because, if not dealt with severely, these things would spread and come to be considered normal and acceptable in society.  And that is what has indeed happened with many of these things due to societies forsaking the true God’s ways and enabling wickedness.  It seems logical to me that for man, in governing society, that it would not be proper to deal with those who have been propagandized and conditioned regarding sexual immorality like it would be fit to deal with someone who was initiating corruption and acting as an agent so that they were the source of a plague of sexual immorality upon their society- and that is what those who committed the acts of perversion which God commanded death for would have been by committing those acts in the context of ancient Israel under the rule of God’s Law.  I believe therefore, that Governmental authorities would be acting consistent with the Law of Moses to deal harshly with the propagandists of sexual perversion, especially those who are propaganda towards children; and to deal harshly with public exhibitionists of sexual perversion, especially those who do such before children and those who force such exhibition before unwilling eyes; and to especially deal severely with those who force themselves upon others sexually- and even more especially when that is done towards children.  That is all in alignment with the intentions of the death penalty for sexual deviance set forth for Israel’s Judges in the Law of Moses.  And, under the Law of Moses, the authorities in Israel did not have the authority to go raiding people’s homes without cause.  America’s 4th amendment is righteous rather than opposed to Biblical principle.  

So back to John chapter 8, obviously there was sin in this matter among each and every one of these accusers.  Otherwise, they would have brought the man to be stoned too.  And since this was a set-up, and since they obviously didn’t care to faithfully carry out the Law, it is quite possible that they had a married man offer this woman, possibly a very poor woman, a very large sum of money for her service so they could catch her in adultery and bring her to Jesus to say that she should be stoned.  There may very well have been enticement to sin here too, something which God’s Law rebukes and forbids too.  There was very likely at least some type of entrapment here and there was surely partiality here.  And partiality in the Law, and the respect of persons which is inherent in such partiality, is something which God also warned against and rebuked Israel severely for.  Partiality in the Law was so unfitting and hideous in Israel’s Judges and Priests because it is blatantly wrong for everyone.  And though we don’t know for sure what Jesus wrote on the ground as this woman was accused before Him, we know that the consciences of these men were convicted and they backed out of their scheme.  It is quite possible then, and the best theory that I know of about this, is that when Jesus wrote on the ground here, He wrote verses from the Law and the Prophets which rebuked things along the lines of partiality in the Law and respect of persons.  

No one can rightfully say that Jesus would have ever done or said anything contrary to the Law of Moses without being a hypocrite, and without Scripture’s commentary as a whole regarding His character, being false.

John 8:45-47: “And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not.   Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me?   He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.”

Psalm 119:142: “Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and thy law is the truth.”

We read in John 8:7-11(as the event with the woman caught in adultery unfolds): So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.   And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.   And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.  When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers?  hath no man condemned thee?   She said, No man, Lord.  And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.”

Those who hear this should understand well then, by what has been said in this message to this point if they didn’t understand already, that Jesus was not saying here that those who actually stoned people in accordance with the Law of Moses were hypocrites who should have never done such a thing.  He would have been speaking against the Law of Moses if He had meant that its verdict about stoning was wrong or at least impossible to carry out.  Saying such a thing would have actually provided an occasion for His enemies to accuse Him (like they were looking for) if that is what He meant.  But obviously He meant that those who were without sin in this matter should be the first to cast stones at her.  This was speaking in accordance with the Law of Moses and clearing Himself of any wrongdoing before both the Jews and the Romans.  If these witnesses were so zealous to carry out the Law of Moses’ verdict about stoning adulterers (which they were pretending to be, but weren’t) they should risk the wrath of the Romans in doing so.  And if they are partial (and hence false) witnesses (like they were indeed), then they would be violating the Law of Moses by carrying out the stoning.   

Were these men not telling the truth in their accusation against the woman?  They were not telling the truth.  Otherwise, they would have told the whole story- one that involved the man, the set-up, and their ultimate intent to destroy Jesus.  Thus they had sin, not just sin in the past nor sin in a vague, general sense.  They had sin in this matter here and now.  And by how Jesus handled this they were convicted of their sin in this matter and awakened to the potential danger that they were in if they were to proceed with this plot.  These men thus abandoned their plot and went away. 

Jesus, who had been stooped down and writing, is left alone with the woman.  He inquires where her accusers are and asks whether any man had condemned her, obviously knowing that no man had done so, yet for some reason wanting her to acknowledge this.  She tells Him that no man has condemned her- which obviously in its context means that no man had stoned her and no man was about to stone her.  He was not going to stone her now either.  He surely knew that this was a set-up.  He did not witness the adulterous act either.  He yet made sure to tell her to “go, and sin no more.”  

This passage has been so twisted that now someone who tells a sinner to go and sin no more might even be accused of casting stones at people.

This passage actually teaches that we should not be partial in God’s Law, not act contrary to it, not use it to falsely accuse Jesus, and that any attempt which man may make to twist the Law of God to make Jesus sound inconsistent, or to seem in any way at enmity with the Law, will be cast down and proven foolish.  Someone could actually do something similar today, such as approaching a Christian and saying “We’ve got an adulterer here (while pointing to himself or someone nearby).  The Bible says to stone someone like this!  Are you going to obey the Bible?  If you don’t stone this adulterer, you’re a hypocrite.” The principles laid out in this study shed light on such a scheme so that it is exposed as the foolishness that it really is.  

We know that God is eternal and that His character is unchanging.  Whether a moral principle is pure or corrupt, it is such because it is either consistent with God’s character or because it is inconsistent with God’s character.  The moral Law of God is unchanging and binding upon every moral agent because God is unchanging and human beings are created in His image, with an inherent obligation to walk in the ways of their Creator.  It is always wrong to steal, it is always wrong to commit idolatry, it is always wrong to covet that which is your neighbor’s, it is always wrong to act unjustly as a respecter of persons, etc.  To act righteously and benevolently would mean acting so as to shun such evil things in doing the good and right which such evil things are contrary to. 

Along with the eternal moral law which God sought to incorporate into Israel in giving the Law to them, He incorporated ceremonies into His worship there also.  These things were not moral issues.  They were only righteous and holy things because God had appointed them as such for the time being.  Many things in the Law which God gave by Moses obviously fit into this category.  The Jewish Sabbath is indeed in this category, though many claim otherwise.  A moral law is inherently right and holy; a ceremonial law is only right and holy by appointment.  It’s not inherently right and holy to keep a certain day or a feast, yet when the Living God, the Ultimate Authority, tells you to do it, then you’d better do it.  In Israel’s case, He obviously wanted to teach them spiritual lessons through the Mosaic ceremonies (and these lessons in themselves are still valid)- especially about man’s need for redemption, the then coming Messiah’s mission of redemption, and the principles by which that mission must be actualized in our lives for us to partake of that redemption. 

Christians were released in due time from keeping the Sabbath Day since the Sabbath is a part of the Old Covenant Jewish ceremonial law (as opposed to God’s eternal moral law which has always been in effect and will never cease to be in effect).  We are to observe everything which God has commanded in the New Covenant.  And that means following God’s eternal moral law (and thus still adhering to the moral principles set forth in the Law of Moses and throughout the Old Testament), plus observing God’s ceremonial ordinances for New Covenant Christians.  This is being under the Law to Christ (like Paul spoke of himself as being in 1 Corinthians 9:21).  

Christ’s Apostles, through the obvious implications of what God had already done among them (regarding the conversion of Cornelius in Acts chapter 10 and him being given the Holy Spirit without him coming under Judaism; and regarding the conversion to Christ of other gentiles in the following chapters without them coming under Judaism), and through the prophecy of Scripture itself foretelling God accepting gentiles without conversion to Judaism, (Christ’s Apostles) thus decreed that imposing the Jewish ceremonies upon gentiles was to cease.  At the same time, their understanding of God’s grace is that subjection to God’s law is necessary for one to be under God’s grace in Jesus Christ.  You can see this decree in Acts chapter 15.  Henceforth (and already at this point in Acts 15) gentiles could be Christians with subjection to moral law and Christian ordinances without also being subject to Jewish ordinances.  

Hear Jesus incarnate, in His public ministry in the Gospels, uphold the morality of the law given through Moses, along with its historicity.

Matthew 5:17-18: “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.  For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.”

Matthew 7:12: “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.”

Mark 7:5-13: “Then the Pharisees and scribes asked him, Why walk not thy disciples according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashed hands?  He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoreth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.  Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.  For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do.  And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.  For Moses said, Honor thy father and thy mother; and, Whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death: But ye say, If a man shall say to his father or mother, It is Corban, that is to say, a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; he shall be free (for clarification- they say that the things which they could give to help their needy elderly parents are devoted to God’s service, so therefore they retain them and they do not use them to aid their parents).  And ye suffer him no more to do ought for his father or his mother; Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.”

Mark 6:11-12: “And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them.  Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment, than for that city.  And they went out, and preached that men should repent.”

Don’t believe the lie, stemming from the influence of Marcionism, that Jesus isn’t the God of the Old Testament nor think that He has changed and has become softer on sin now.  You can be sure then that no one who continues in any deed contrary to the Law of God and the glorious Gospel of Christ (which are in perfect agreement), will have any part in Christ’s eternal kingdom.  The hammer of God’s wrath, which the just stonings in the Bible carried out in accordance with God’s Law previewed, will surely come down on the unrepentant- and they will be sent to the fire of hell with no remedy and no hope of escape.  No passage in the Bible, when rightly divided and understood, provides anyone with any discharge from siding with God in His great conflict with man and from following Jesus Christ faithfully according to the Word of God.  Continuing in sin and opposition to the truth of God’s Word still leads to God’s wrath and eternal damnation.

Isaiah 55:6-7: “Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.”

Aaron’s email is: [email protected]