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Caleb Posted - 14 Mar 2015 : 08:11:59
This is a question that I have never heard a satisfactory answer to. And so before I answer it, I want to see if anyone else has a good answer. And if not, why not? Is this not a central theme of Scripture?

A related question is a bit easier: What is the Old Covenant?

I have heard many answers to that one, and there is also a good deal of confusion about it. Especially when it comes to explaining whether it applies today or not, and if so, to what extent. So I am interested in any thoughts on these issues as well.


Honi soit qui mal y pense
20   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
Bondservant Posted - 14 Oct 2015 : 08:57:04
quote:
Originally posted by Caleb

It was in that moment that I realized that the modern paper-based monetary system is built on the blueprint found in the Sermon on the Mount. I would later learn that this is NOT a coincidence.

Caleb, it would be a big help if you could outline this New Covenant blueprint for others to comprehend.

He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living... - Mark 12:27
Caleb Posted - 12 Oct 2015 : 12:53:28
One of my most mind-blowing revelatory moments came as I was pondering the modern system of commerce. I realized that 3 things change hands, whereas a normal contract requires only two.

The Buyer hands over a promissory note, which is an acknowledgment of debt, as you say.
The Seller then hands over both a receipt and the item of value being purchased, such as a cup of coffee.

Contract law requires like for like and value for value. But the promissory note has no value! So what is going on?

I then saw that the receipt was also paper, just like the promissory note. It contained digits for the same amount, and it was an acknowledgement of debt. There was the contract!

Paper for paper. Digits for digits. Debt for debt. Here then was the actual contract that any modern commercial court could enforce. The cup of coffee is handed over for free!

This sets us up perfectly to dispense with the redundant paperwork. But how to do that? Each side is acknowledging a debt to the other. The only way to do away with this is, "Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors"!!!

It was in that moment that I realized that the modern paper-based monetary system is built on the blueprint found in the Sermon on the Mount. I would later learn that this is NOT a coincidence.

Honi soit qui mal y pense
Bondservant Posted - 12 Oct 2015 : 12:23:14
Yes, the use of worldly currency or money is a contract. All paper currency in the world today is a promissory note of debt. Few understand this truth! The latter part of Acts 4 is the way to free us from Law Merchant bondage and is the New Covenant of His agape/benevolence. It should be obvious to all why the Christ overturned the banker's tables in the temple courtyard that had become a den of money-changing (for profit) thieves while under the Old Covenant.

He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living... - Mark 12:27
Caleb Posted - 12 Oct 2015 : 11:58:42
When I started this journey, the goal was to free myself from the Law Merchant. But I still wanted to use money. I did not understand that this meant I would continue to contract, and therefore to continue to impose debts on my fellow man, as well as accept such debts myself.

Needless to say, this plan failed. Because I continued to contract, I continued to be regulated by the Law Merchant, no matter how many different legal theories I tried. It was not until I discovered the full understanding of the New Covenant that I could see that the only way out from under bondage to the Law Merchant (= bondage to debt), was to give up my loyalty to the very concept of money altogether.

Today, the process found in Acts chapter 4, is accessible to us in a surprising place. One hint is the prominent use of the term "Common-wealth" by numerous governments across the globe.

Honi soit qui mal y pense
Bondservant Posted - 12 Oct 2015 : 11:29:04
There were two men who owed money to the same banker (a money-lending usurer who charges interest). One man owed him 500 silver coins (equivalent to 500 days of wages). The other man owed him 50 silver coins (equivalent to 50 days of wages). The men had no money, so they could not pay their debt. But the banker told the men that they did not have to pay him. [Luke 7:41-42 annotated]

Under the Law Merchant, the worldly law of commerce, a debt can only be paid off with commercial money.

Even though the men could have traded their labor in exchange for their debts, the banker wanted only commercial money in return. He wasn't interested in any barter or exchange. He wanted money... period. It was more advantageous for the banker to forgive the money-debts of the commercially bankrupt borrowers so that he could recover his losses by loaning money to those who would pay daily interest (profit) to him.

When we are freed from our worldly debts AND AT THE SAME TIME we free our worldly debtors, this removes us from the Roman Law Merchant.

He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living... - Mark 12:27
Caleb Posted - 12 Oct 2015 : 03:59:53
Yes. Where to begin? Got it: Contract Law.

My particular journey involved the study of Law, and it was the connection between modern law and the Bible that originally brought me to these forums some 14 years ago. At that time I knew as much about Law as the average man on the street, which is less than Zero, since I got all my legal training from Perry Mason.

While it would be the connection with the scriptures that would motivate me, I would not be able to understand modern laws until I came to terms with the fact that they were ALL commercial in nature, and therefore founded upon contract law. While people engage in contracts every day, few are consciously aware that they invoke contract law just to buy a cup of coffee. Thus, people invoke the law of contract every day without actually understanding the details.

A Covenant is a form of contract, and so we cannot understand what the Old and New Covenants are without delving into contract law. And here is the real surprise: EVERY contract creates a debt, without fail. That is the very nature of the beast. You CANNOT contract without accepting a debt AND placing someone else under bondage to debt at the very same time.

I will explain this in more detail, if necessary. But for now the key point is that "Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors" is a DIRECT ATTACK on contract law.

A contract is enforceable. We have courts and bailiffs and police and prisons to enforce them. When you are in debt to another, they have the right to bring all this force to bear against you.

Forgiving the debts (on BOTH sides) involves a giving up of this right of enforcement. It sets aside the contract and contract law, leaving neither party with a right enforceable against the other. Contract law simply has no role to play in such a scenario.

So you can obey Jesus OR you can contract. Take your choice. You CANNOT do both!

But what is the alternative? How can we exchange things with others without without contracts, and thus without money? Jesus did not leave us without an answer. In fact, the very structure of scripture highlights the centrality of this one issue.

The Old Covenant enforces contract law. "Thou shalt not steal". Provision for just weights and measures. The list goes on and on.

This was not God's original plan. It was not his promise to Abraham. It cannot be found in the book of Job. Contract had no place in the Garden of Eden, where all of man's needs were freely provided for.

Jesus came to show us how to get back to God's original plan. That plan is indeed older than the "Old" Covenant. It was indeed the promise to Abraham. And our Bible today wastes no time in taking us straight to that plan.

When you are ready to dispose of the Old Covenant, and try something New, open up your New Testament to page 1. You will find yourself at the book of Matthew. Just start reading.

You will read two chapters about the birth of Jesus, two chapters about the start of Jesus' ministry, and then Matthew launches straight into the Sermon on Mount, which contains all the core teachings of Jesus in one place.

If I had one book of the Bible to take with me to a desert island, it would be Matthew. If I could only have 3 chapters, they would be the Sermon on the Mount. In these three chapters, Jesus lays out the entire New Covenant.

In roughly the center of the Sermon on the Mount we find, "the Lord's Prayer", which turns out to be a summary of the entire Sermon, and thus a summary of the New Covenant. If you understand the Lord's Prayer, there actually is nothing else that you need to know.

But at exactly the center of the seven clauses of the Lord's prayer, you will find:
"Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors"
And this one phrase tells us the single, critical requirement for undoing the Original Sin and getting back to God's perfect order as found in Eden.

This is also the ONLY clause that requires action on our part. It is also the very clause that Jesus refers back to in verses 14 and 15, which immediately follow the end of the prayer. He makes clear that if you fail to act on this one instruction, that you WILL NOT receive God's forgiveness. So much for salvation by "faith alone", unless you can be saved without being forgiven.

And the translators got this right, in the prayer at least. Jesus is speaking of debts or obligations specifically, rather than sins (or trespasses) more generally. For it is this concept of being able to enforce obligations (both monetary and non-monetary) on your fellow man, that caused everything to go wrong in the first place.

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus gives us the solution as well. Under contract law we Buy and Sell. Each party must give something of value to the other. They must agree on an equal exchange. And yet the monetary side is actually unnecessary, if you just think about it. The use of money is an attempt to keep track of the value created and exchanged. But no one eats the money, or wears it, or does anything useful with it beyond facilitating the next contract.

So Jesus tells us to do things God's way, which is to "give freely". Jesus lays this out in separate provisions, lest we link them together the way that contract law does.

Instead of Selling, we are to, "Give to him that ask of you". Matthew 5:42
Instead of Buying, we are to, "Ask, and it shall be given you". Matthew 7:7

Later, in Matthew 10:8, we will have the entire Gospel, and thus the entire New Covenant summed up this way:
"Freely ye have received, freely give."
But if you want the full details on how to make this work, study the Sermon on the Mount.

What can be seen from these instructions is that they remove all obligation, and thus the need for the use of force to make contractual arrangements work.

When Israel made a contract with God, they were unable to stick to the terms. The entire balance of the Old Testament bears witness to this fact, together with Jesus' condemnation of the Pharisees.

So the New Covenant (contract), is that there IS NO CONTRACT! Not once in the entire New Testament will you find a representative group of believers binding themselves to obey the teachings of Jesus in a manner similar to that found in Exodus 19.

The debt to God, the obligation to obey the Ten Commandments and the rest of the Law of Moses, has been forgiven.

Finally, one must ask, what is it that would motivate people to give freely? If there is no monetary necessity, no reward, and no punishment, then why would they give anything? The answer is:
Love

Today we have only one debt/obligation, which Paul perfectly summarizes as:
"Owe no man anything, but to Love (agape)." Romans 13:8

Agape is translated "love", but this is imprecise. The King James used "charity", but this does not have the right implications for us today. Fortunately, the Greek dictionary shows us another English word that faithfully conveys the precise meaning of what Jesus (and Paul) taught. Agape is "Benevolence".

Benevolence is simply, "the will to do good". That is it. No conditions. No warm, fuzzy feelings. A simply decision that you will do good to others simply because you can.

This then is the only rule. "Act benevolently towards one another." This is a better translation of "Love one another."

With everything given freely, you cannot steal. A bit of pondering on this and it will soon be evident why all of the Ten Commandments simply become irrelevant.

This works only once we give up the concept of debt entirely, and the formula for doing so, the only mechanism that is GUARANTEED to eliminate debt from our world is:
"Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors."

Jesus had only one message. He just tried to convey it in multiple ways. Today, we get confused and think that he had multiple messages. No, they are all pointing us to the exact same thing.

Honi soit qui mal y pense
Bondservant Posted - 11 Oct 2015 : 13:19:32
quote:
Originally posted by Bondservant

(from Page 1) Just a thought since usury came up... 'forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors' seems to tie in as well.


Caleb, I think it's time to discuss this now in light of your last post

He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living... - Mark 12:27
Caleb Posted - 11 Oct 2015 : 00:36:48
Hi James,

This really is the whole point.

If you knew WHAT the Old Covenant is, you would know WHY it is ready to vanish away, and you would know precisely which conditions must be fulfilled in order for it to no longer be necessary and/or useful.

I have actually given the answers here, but as you have argued with me at every turn you cannot see the sheer simplicity of the fact that once we stop using money, all Law that regulates commerce (the Ten Commandments) becomes superfluous and can be replaced with a single command to Love (agape) one another.

You will find this on every page of your New Testament, as well as throughout the Old Testament. And yet we are so married to the concept of money that we deny the very meaning in the words of Jesus, and it all goes downhill from there.

And thus, we remain firmly under the Old Covenant, under bondage to the Law, and in need of further forgiveness of sin, which is the breaking of that Law. Consequently, we continue to require an Old Covenant priesthood, offering regular sacrifices for sin. You will find exactly that in the catholic church.

No one wants to admit that they have lived their entire life in disobedience to the teaching of Christ. I know it's tough.

"Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it."

Go ahead and tell us once again that the hundreds of millions who earnestly struggle to obey the Ten Commandments while they continue to use money qualify as the "few there be" that Jesus was speaking of.

Honi soit qui mal y pense
jsnyder3395 Posted - 10 Oct 2015 : 20:35:05
"In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away." (Heb 8:13 KJV)

This was authored by the Holy Spirit through the author of Hebrews 2000 years ago. Perhaps this is not in the Douay-Rheims version? How about the Vulgate? Or perhaps vanish away does not mean what the English would indicate, since you read plain English. Therefore Vatican administers the Old Covenant against the statement of the Holy Scripture, is that correct? Let others know.

James Snyder
Manuel Posted - 28 Sep 2015 : 14:02:05
Greetings Caleb, James, and all,
Jesus said "Every man to his family and
his belongings." I think that means exactly what
it says. Now, as far as giving up all belongings was
to the Apostles/Ministers, so they can distribute free will offerings
to the needy and, make them stronger, not weaker.

When one thinks of the one purse, then that is another entirely
different animal, like that golden calf mentioned from history.

Blessings,
Manuel

Caleb Posted - 28 Sep 2015 : 11:13:52
The reason I won't argue with the teaching on the Ten Commandments is because it is all correct, for what it is.

The Old Covenant continue to apply today, to all who choose to live under the law. There is never a point when stealing, for example, becomes permissible.

But to give just a glimpse, what is the purpose of a command of "Thou shalt not steal" when you own nothing and people hold everything in common? It becomes irrelevant. You are provided for as you have need, so there is no motivation for you to steal. And you own nothing, so how is possible for others to steal from you? As it relates to you, the commandment simply no longer applies.

For those who choose to continue to play the game of "private property ownership", Thou shalt not steal remains critical for them and others to obey and to enforce. We live in a world where people must choose, and so the Vatican knows full well that it must administer BOTH covenants.

The problem should be obvious: NO ONE is living under the New Covenant. No Christian you know has sold all that they have, given the money to the poor, and followed Jesus. There is not one group of believers who do not consider anything that they have to be their own, but hold all things in common.

James, in looking for a new church, you are NOT looking a church that follows the example set in Acts chapter 4, and if you did look, you COULD NOT FIND ONE!

In short, NO Christian that you know is living under the New Covenant. So yes, the Old Covenant still applies, and is important for you to obey.

But the problem is, NO Christian that you know, including yourself, even knows what the New Covenant is! And like yourself, most are horribly confused and believe what you believe, that it is NO DIFFERENT to the Old Covenant!

The confusion is obvious when you take a position that claims:
1) Abraham had the Ten Commandments
2) The Ten Commandments are the New Covenant
3) Israel at Mount Sinai affirmed the New Covenant
4) We are living under the New Covenant today

What you are really saying is that NOTHING HAS EVER CHANGED. Jesus brought in nothing "New". He just dusted of the "old" New Covenant and gave it a fresh coat of paint.

In fact, not one of the four of your positions I have listed above is true. You are discussing the Old Covenant in every case except Abraham, and trying to make a case from Scripture for the confusion that most Christians struggle under today.

Frankly James, I am miffed. I thought that maybe a few people would have the integrity to admit the answer that I would have given to the original question only a few years ago.
Q: "What is the New Covenant?"
A: "I haven't got a clue!"

This is what started me on the search for an answer. I knew that no explanation I had ever heard even came close to being a satisfactory answer. You see, I speak English. I actually know what the word "New" means, as amazing as that may seem.

The last thing I expected was for someone to show up and say:
A: "The New Covenant is the Old Covenant. Now let me give you a few dozen proof-texts to convince you of what every church already teaches."

Keeping the Ten Commandments is a burden. Israel couldn't do it. We cannot do it today. But you want us to give it "One more try", just in case we missed something the first 7 Billion times around. This is the very definition of insanity. You would have us try a completely failed system, "just one more time."

It is completely mystifying to me why I should have to explain the English language to people. I read my Bible, and looked at what my church was doing, and I saw the disconnect. Even when I bought their lies that explained away the story of the Rich Young Ruler and Acts chapter 4, I STILL saw the disconnect. There are just TOO MANY inconsistencies between the PLAIN WORDS of scripture, as translated into English, and what the churches actually practice today.

So I can only conclude that you are living in denial, as is every Christian who cannot admit that the Apostles practiced a form of Socialism. This thread is for those who wish to stop living in denial, and finally come to grips with what Jesus taught, which is the New Covenant. It was not intended to be a place for the failed experiment of modern Christianity to place its whitewashed sepulcher on open display as a form of self-justification.

Honi soit qui mal y pense
jsnyder3395 Posted - 27 Sep 2015 : 20:38:44
Caleb, et. al.

I have been associated with the Baptist Church, Calvary Gospel Temple, Word of Life Fellowship, Church of God (Not Armstrong or a splinter of his work) and having moved to Texas I am seeking a permanent local church home.

I give up! Nothing is addressed, over and over again.

Here again, a sweep of the hand and all the documentation is gone.
Caleb wrote: And it [The Catechism] doesn't contradict anything I have said.

But Caleb does not address specifics. He ignores the document's words, and they again are not addressed.

Your assertion of “No Contradiction” is highly questionable!

It is true that the Decalogue is not called the New Covenant in the Catechism. But the principles that I have asserted are also asserted in the Catholic Catechism. You denied the truth of the assertions when I made the statements, how about the Catechism’s statements which are asserting exactly the same thing? One is sufficient, but I will give two.

Statement by James: Loving God and loving your neighbor is the essence of the LAW of the Ten Commandments. The first four give boundaries of loving God, and the last six deal with our neighbor. It is stated so several times in the “New Testament” books. The Bible plainly states this! Loving your neighbor is clarified in the Ten Commandments!

Caleb said: You, by contrast, take every mention of Love, including these, and point us back to the Ten Commandments. Jesus pointed back to a command out of the Law of Moses, but NOT to the Ten Commandments. You have not followed his example!
Caleb queried: On what basis do you equate the Ten Commandments with the "Love" that Jesus spoke of?

Vatican Catechism: THE TEN COMMANDMENTS STATE WHAT IS REQUIRED IN THE LOVE OF GOD AND LOVE OF NEIGHBOR. The first three concern love of God, and the other seven love of neighbor. (the Catechism also mentions that the numbering of the commands in the Ten are varied in time and translations in case the four-six numbering vs the three-seven numbering becomes a focal point)

James stated: What about ANY of the Ten Commandments? Show how it is permissible by God to violate any of these Ten. These are the epitome of love. Love God (first four) and Love you neighbor (next six). Jesus said so, James said so. (Mark 2:28, Luke 6:5, Matthew 12:8)

Caleb Penned: These [love] are indeed the ONLY commandments of the New Covenant, and John agrees completely with Paul in DISPOSING OF THE TEN COMMANDMENTS by way of the simpler commandment.

Vatican Catechism: By his life and by his preaching JESUS ATTESTED TO THE PERMANENT VALIDITY OF THE DECALOGUE.
(Decalogue is the Ten Commandments, in case one would like to weasel out)

These statements are contradictory. There is no search for giving truth or receiving truth. There is no desire to examine the word with all readiness of mind then search the scriptures to see if these things are so.

Thank you for the effort. The Word and the Catechism are simply brushed aside with that perfected "sweep of the hand."

Again Caleb puts words into my mouth with regard to "works." His analysis is his, not mine.

May the Spirit of God work in you all. The Spirit of Love and the Spirit of Truth. Perhaps we will meet in the Kingdom of God because of His love and grace.

James Snyder
Caleb Posted - 27 Sep 2015 : 15:23:38
Yes James,

And it doesn't contradict anything I have said. Nor does it say anywhere that the the Ten Commandments are the New Covenant.

Funny enough, if this were a different discussion, you would condemn this very same "sermon" as "Salvation by works!" When misunderstood by Protestants, that is all they can see in the catholic teaching.

And you still have not disclosed your own affiliation. Not that I would expect to find them teaching anything different to what you have already shared. Merely in the interest of honesty and full disclosure.

I note that your very first thought was to use my openness against me. I find Protestantism replete with this lack of integrity. You just go fishing for anything that tickles your ears. Rather than the whole counsel of scripture, you just want what "proves" your immediate point, and you don't really care who says it, so long as you think it agrees with you.

Honi soit qui mal y pense
jsnyder3395 Posted - 27 Sep 2015 : 12:29:30

Caleb, et. al.

I am sorry for your experience in the Protestant churches. There are hypocrites everywhere. Look to the scandals in the Catholic Church. Does this condemn the whole church?

Caleb wrote: If I state my view, and you can show me where the catholic church says I am wrong, I will correct the error of my ways. I will agree with the church unless I am able to give an extremely well considered reason why I see a problem.

Following is a "sermon" on the Ten Commandments that should hold at least some sway in your mind.

The following stated positions copied verbatim, in a large part mimic what I have presented. I have capitalized areas I would like to point out.

IN BRIEF

"What good deed must I do, to have eternal life?" - "If you would enter into life, keep the commandments" (Mt 19:16-17).

By his life and by his preaching JESUS ATTESTED TO THE PERMANENT VALIDITY OF THE DECALOGUE.

The gift of the Decalogue is bestowed from within the covenant concluded by God with his people. God's commandments take on their true meaning in and through this covenant.

In fidelity to Scripture and in conformity with Jesus' example, the tradition of the CHURCH HAS ALWAYS ACKNOWLEDGED THE PRIMORDIAL IMPORTANCE AND SIGNIFICANCE OF THE DECALOGUE.

The Decalogue forms an organic unity in which each "word" or "commandment" refers to all the others taken together. To TRANSGRESS ONE COMMANDMENT IS TO INFRINGE THE WHOLE LAW (cf. Jas 2:10-11).

The Decalogue contains a privileged expression of the natural law. It is made known to us by divine revelation and by human reason.

THE TEN COMMANDMENTS, IN THEIR FUNDAMENTAL CONTENT, STATE GRAVE OBLIGATIONS. However, obedience to these precepts also implies obligations in matter which is, in itself, light.

What God commands he makes possible by his grace.

In fidelity to Scripture and in conformity with the example of Jesus, the tradition of the CHURCH HAS ACKNOWLEDGED THE PRIMORDIAL IMPORTANCE AND SIGNIFICANCE OF THE DECALOGUE.

Ever since St. Augustine, the Ten Commandments have occupied a predominant place in the catechesis of baptismal candidates and the faithful. In the fifteenth century, the custom arose of expressing the commandments of the Decalogue in rhymed formulae, easy to memorize and in positive form. They are still in use today. The catechisms of the Church have often expounded Christian morality by following the order of the Ten Commandments.

The division and numbering of the Commandments have varied in the course of history. The present catechism follows the division of the Commandments established by St. Augustine, which has become traditional in the Catholic Church. It is also that of the Lutheran confessions. The Greek Fathers worked out a slightly different division, which is found in the Orthodox Churches and Reformed communities.

THE TEN COMMANDMENTS STATE WHAT IS REQUIRED IN THE LOVE OF GOD AND LOVE OF NEIGHBOR. The first three concern love of God, and the other seven love of neighbor.

As charity comprises the two commandments to which the Lord related the whole Law and the prophets . . . so the Ten Commandments were themselves given on two tablets. Three were written on one tablet and seven on the other.27

The Council of Trent teaches that the Ten COMMANDMENTS ARE OBLIGATORY FOR CHRISTIANS and that THE JUSTIFIED MAN IS STILL BOUND TO KEEP THEM;28 the Second Vatican Council confirms: "The bishops, successors of the apostles, receive from the Lord . . . the mission of teaching all peoples, and of preaching the Gospel to every creature, so that all men may attain salvation through faith, Baptism and the observance of the Commandments."29

The unity of the Decalogue

The Decalogue forms a coherent whole. Each "word" refers to each of the others and to all of them; they reciprocally condition one another. The two tables shed light on one another; they form an organic unity. To transgress one commandment is to infringe all the others.30 One cannot honor another person without blessing God his Creator. One cannot adore God without loving all men, his creatures. The Decalogue brings man's religious and social life into unity.

The Decalogue and the natural law

The Ten Commandments belong to God's revelation. At the same time they teach us the true humanity of man. They bring to light the essential duties, and therefore, indirectly, the fundamental rights inherent in the nature of the human person. The Decalogue contains a privileged expression of the natural law:

From the beginning, God had implanted in the heart of man the precepts of the natural law. Then he was content to remind him of them. This was the Decalogue.31

The commandments of the Decalogue, although accessible to reason alone, have been revealed. To attain a complete and certain understanding of the requirements of the natural law, sinful humanity needed this revelation:

A full explanation of the commandments of the Decalogue became necessary in the state of sin because the light of reason was obscured and the will had gone astray.32

We know God's commandments through the divine revelation proposed to us in the Church, and through the voice of moral conscience.

The obligation of the Decalogue

Since they express man's fundamental duties towards God and towards his neighbor, the Ten Commandments reveal, in their primordial content, GRAVE OBLIGATIONS. They are FUNDAMENTALLY IMMUTABLE, and they OBLIGE ALWAYS AND EVERYWHERE. NO ONE CAN DISPENSE FROM THEM. The Ten Commandments are engraved by God in the human heart.

Obedience to the Commandments also implies obligations in matter which is, in itself, light. Thus abusive language is forbidden by the fifth commandment, but would be a grave offense only as a result of circumstances or the offender's intention.

"Apart from me you can do nothing"

Jesus says: "I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing."33 The fruit referred to in this saying is the holiness of a life made fruitful by union with Christ. When we believe in Jesus Christ, partake of his mysteries, and keep his commandments, the Savior himself comes to love, in us, his Father and his brethren, our Father and our brethren. His person becomes, through the Spirit, the living and interior rule of our activity. "This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you."34

This is from the Vatican Catechism Archives!




James Snyder
Caleb Posted - 27 Sep 2015 : 00:47:08
Hi James,

Still here. Still won't tell us your denomination.

I am a catholic. I was an Evangelical Protestant for 30 years, with early influence from the Baptist tradition and later influence from the Reformed tradition. I have shared some of my testimony of conversion on another thread on these forums. I am happy to share more, if requested.

If I state my view, and you can show me where the catholic church says I am wrong, I will correct the error of my ways. I will agree with the church unless I am able to give an extremely well considered reason why I see a problem. Thus far I have not come across a conflict between the truth I learned by the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and what the Church teaches.

Thank you for playing the Protestant power game IN ALL CAPS. A rather funny thing on these forums, for reasons you wouldn't understand. Just because you claim "the POWER OF THE SPIRIT OF GOD" does not and cannot change the fundamental facts of your position:

1) You have answered the question of "What is the New Covenant?" with an unequivocal: It is the Old Covenant. Yes, you follow this with the nonsense about it being now written on our hearts and so we have some magic power to finally obey it.

And yet you admit that we are still tempted. You love to keep citing Romans 3:31. You are making faith void through the law.

2) You advocate that we remain in bondage under the Law, and therefore in bondage to Sin.

What you propose has been tried and found wanting. I can be told the same thing, just absent your thoroughness, in almost any Protestant church I care to set foot in. And I was. I tried it. I lived it. It is a lie. And most other Christians live this lie, trying to measure up to the standard set by the Law, because they don't know any other way.

This yoke is heavy. It led me into deep depression. I am free from that now, but not by descending into lawlessness as you contend. I found the high road described by Jesus, which fulfills the Law, and does indeed write it on the heart in a way that removes the burden. Until this has happened to you, it can be hard to even understand why it works. But it does work, and far better than most would dare to imagine.

You cite Jesus' interaction with the Rich Young Ruler from Matthew 19, and that is very instructive. It fits perfectly with all that I have said. The young man asked Jesus what he must do to inherit eternal life, and Jesus cited the Ten Commandments, naming half of them explicitly.

The young man answered that he had kept these since his youth. His answer reveals his own sense of the inadequacy of obedience to the Law. He sensed that there must be more. So Jesus gave him the more. Having just recited the Old Covenant requirements, Jesus then gives him the New Covenant requirement:
"If you would be PERFECT, go sell all that you have, give the money to the poor, and come follow me."

Here then is the answer to how we can achieve that perfection spoken of in Matthew 5. But note that churches endlessly hand out the same advice as you have: the Old Covenant answer which "made NOTHING perfect" (as we saw in Hebrews 7). They then turn around and devote the balance of the sermon to explaining away Jesus' New Covenant answer and assuring their faithful that there is no need to rush out and do this second part. The explanations of this story are some of the most strained interpretations of scripture you will ever hear.

NO ONE takes the words of Jesus literally here. Except of course, the catholic church, which requires its priests, monks and nuns to take a Vow of Poverty, which directly corresponds to these words. It just does not demand that all members to so, and this is why Protestants don't realize just how seriously the catholic church takes these instructions. Never will you hear the catholic church explain away this story so as to render it void.

You, James, cited the first half and then simply stopped, after you Old Covenant position was stated. You did not finish the story, because then there would be a lot more explaining away to do. But Matthew told it as a complete story for a reason. As with any story, the punch line is at the end. The young man thought he was keeping the Old Covenant standard, even though he could not (as I'm sure you will agree). But he would not consider the New Covenant standard. It demanded something of him that was unthinkable.

And we see this exact same thing today. People will listen to sermons about obeying the Ten Commandments, and they will try their darnedest to measure up to that standard. But preach about giving up all their possessions and you will empty the church. You will be branded a Socialist or worse. You may even be burned at the stake. NO CHRISTIANS that you know practice these instructions of Jesus. They are unanimous in rejecting the demand of the New Covenant that would lead them to perfection.

I may find Jesus' words in Matthew 5 humorous, but the Protestant churches OPENLY MOCK Jesus' instructions to the Rich Young Rule.

You James, are here to defy and to deny the very core teaching of Christ, and to mock the messenger who tries to bring it to the fore. And to reassure the faithful that they can continue their present sinful ways if they just return to bondage under the Law.

Why the need to hard-sell a lie that everyone has already bought? Is the truth THAT dangerous?

Honi soit qui mal y pense
jsnyder3395 Posted - 26 Sep 2015 : 23:21:27
I came to this blog believing that there was an honest inquiry into “What is the New Covenant.”

Caleb wrote: James S. obviously had his mind made up from his very first post here.

It is true. I have an understanding. Caleb asked for an answer to the question above. How is this dishonest? I have been searching and inquiring for years, yet Caleb says it is dishonest (it is so in Caleb’s mind) to assert what I understand from the scriptures. I never said I did not have an opinion. I do. I have said so from the beginning.

Character assassination is the answer when you have no answer.

Caleb wrote: I started this thread to provide a view…But James S. has hijacked this thread for the purpose of putting forth his own view.

If Caleb did not want another view, my own view, why ask the question? Just express that the Pope has all the answers, and speaks with the authority of God on earth, and is never wrong. (Unless you read history.)

Caleb wrote: …as he just keeps repeating the same few proof-texts in his last posts.

It is true. Caleb, however, ignores all the scripture. He refuses, or cannot respond with a scriptural understanding that is different than mine, so he ignores the scripture.

Caleb has “secret knowledge” that he will share, eventually. He is just getting warmed up, you know. Secret Knowledge is what Gnosticism is all about.

Caleb states: All you have to do is tell me that since Jesus came into your heart, and wrote his law there, that you have never again looked at a woman with lustful thoughts.

Is temptation sin? Temptation is NOT sin.

Jesus "was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." (Heb 4:15-16 KJV)

It is true that I have an understanding that I have attempted to provide.

The question was: What is the New Covenant?
Caleb wrote: This is a question that I have never heard a satisfactory answer to. And so before I answer it, I want to see if anyone else has a good answer. And if not, why not? Is this not a central theme of Scripture?

So the truth is that Caleb, to this point still has not answered it. He really did not want a satisfactory answer from the scripture but an answer that is satisfactory to HIS understanding.

What denomination does Caleb represent? Has he made that clear in this blog? I should quote him, “…Such is the dishonesty that this forces upon its adherents that they must hide in the shadows…”

He is quite forthcoming about that! He is also forthcoming about his definition of the New Covenant. It is still a secret.

"Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: 28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart." (Mat 5:27-28 KJV)

Caleb penned: ALL men should read these words of Jesus and laugh. Instead, we get told by others to take seriously a standard that they themselves CANNOT live up to.

According to Caleb, here we should discard the words of Jesus with laughter. Jesus really did not mean what He said. We should make fun of, laugh at, and discard the Words of our Lord. Jesus was just illustrating, according to Caleb, that you cannot do what he asks.

Listen to the Word of Caleb, however!

Think about this: Is not committing adultery a burden? Is having no Gods before Him a burden? Is not coveting your neighbor’s stuff or wife a burden? Is not murdering a burden? Is not making an idol a burden? Is not taking the Lord’s name in vain a burden? Is working six days and resting the seventh a burden? Is not stealing a burden?

Do I, OUT OF LOVE and the POWER OF THE SPIRIT OF GOD follow the New Covenant in being obedient to the Word of God in the things listed above? Of course I do. So should you. Jesus said so when he said, “…! "but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, 19 Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." (Mat 19:17-19 KJV) JESUS SAID SO.

Caleb says NO, it is a burden.

Out of love for God and my fellow man, by His spirit I do. It is written on my heart. Has my mind been fully renewed? No. But it is much more renewed than last year. "Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; LOOKING FOR THAT BLESSED HOPE…" (Tit 2:12-13 KJV)

I am looking for that blessed hope! I see God performing that in me and others. Do others, have others kept the commandments of the Lord? “…"And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments." (Exo 20:6 KJV) Perhaps we should laugh at this also as Caleb has instructed.

If I fail, I have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ, the righteous. He has paid for my sin and if I confess my sin, He is faithful and just to forgive my sin, and to cleanse me from all unrighteousness.

DO NOT LISTEN TO AND OBEY --- BUT LAUGH AT --- JESUS' WORDS IN THE SCRIPTURE!

INSTEAD LISTEN TO CALEB.


James Snyder
Caleb Posted - 26 Sep 2015 : 10:42:44
And thus we witness the total and abject failure of the Protestant doctrine of Sola Scriptura.

James S. obviously had his mind made up from his very first post here. He just showed up out of the blue to give "the facts". His facts.

Such is the dishonesty that this forces upon its adherents that they must hide in the shadows and not disclose whose particular twist on the Bible they are an adherent of. This is what we have seen with James S. He will not disclose his denominational affiliation, or whose theology has provided him the foundation for his views, for they are not unique and they are definitely not his own. And he takes a peculiarly strong stance on the importance of the Ten Commandments, reminiscent of the SDAs or Herbert W Armstrong. For while most denominations keep their followers firmly under bondage to the Law, few spell it out in such stark terms, going so far as to claim that Abraham already had the Ten Commandments, for example.

Rather, what happens is that each Protestant claims that they have simply opened the Bible and started reading, and the Holy Spirit made it immediately obvious to them what it meant. So what's wrong with the rest of you? The implication is that only they can correctly read scripture, and they may well be the first true Christian in the past 2000 whom the Holy Spirit has found worthy to guide into all truth.

And where does one turn in the face of such competing claims? Inward. You are left rudderless, and with nothing to guide you but your own ability or lack thereof to make sense of what is being said. For no one else's opinion counts. Otherwise the Bible is no longer "alone".

And so we end up with theology on the basis of who is the best salesman. The SDAs are far from that, thankfully. But any attempt to discern deeper truths quickly descends into this bickering match of competing interpretations, with each side claiming the high ground, quite often on the basis of who quotes the most Bible verses. This is clearly the game that James S. is playing.

I started this thread to provide a view that you will never hear in your Protestant churches. You won't hear it on Sunday morning in the catholic church either. I am only trying to show the coherence of the whole picture, and indeed, to allow each one of you to make up your own mind. Honest questions are Ok. Even spirited discussion is welcome.

But James S. has hijacked this thread for the purpose of putting forth his own view, which has the very obvious aim of keeping people in bondage to the Law. His purpose is further to obscure my points, and to cast as much doubt as possible. He is not here to contribute meaningfully to the discussion in any way. And he also will not go away, even though he keeps saying he will. But he has also run out of ammunition, as he just keeps repeating the same few proof-texts in his last posts.

By contrast, I am just getting warmed up.

This entire disagreement can be summarized by what Peter said in Acts 15:10 regarding the gentiles keeping the Law of Moses:

"Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?"

Of course James S. will say that this ONLY applies to all that "other stuff" that Moses wrote, and not to the Ten Commandments, because they were written by God and existed before the Law of Moses, etc.

However, what James S. cannot show us is ANY church that has any appreciable success with getting its people to obey the Ten Commandments in a way that does NOT make them a burden. Rather, what we hear are a lot of excuses, and an ultimate concession of defeat where one and all proclaim the "good news" that it is impossible to be perfect (and obey God) until you die. Now let's sing a clappy song and get excited about this deep scriptural truth.

Having the law written on your heart works in practice, once you understand the "change of the law". Until that happens, the yoke is NOT easy, nor the burden light that James S. proposes you bear. But every Christian is simply too ashamed to admit this. They think it is magically easy for others and that they are the only failures here, because they hear the same lies that James S. has been peddling from their own church pulpits on a regular basis.

For you die-hard Protestants, this is salvation by works, pure and simple. The works of the law are what Paul spoke against time and again, and no one will be justified or attain the New Covenant reality by obeying a set of rules. I am very sure that James S. is a Sabbatarian, and considers this commandment absolutely essential in the life of every believer. But I am also sure that he will not admit this to us either.

I welcome any of you to prove me wrong and James S. right by using the standard set by Jesus. All you have to do is tell me that since Jesus came into your heart, and wrote his law there, that you have never again looked at a woman with lustful thoughts. And that this is easy because the temptation is simply gone. Then tell us how many of your male friends testify to this same "New Covenant reality". I will definitely be joining your church so I can learn your secret!

Honi soit qui mal y pense
jsnyder3395 Posted - 26 Sep 2015 : 08:21:14
"Don't confuse the issue with facts, my mind is already made up."

It is easiest to simply ignore the scripture presented.

Last emphasis.

the one who received the LIVING ORACLES TO GIVE TO US, whom our fathers would not obey, but rejected. And in their hearts they turned back to Egypt, (Act 7:37-39 NKJ)
DO WE THEN MAKE VOID THE LAW THROUGH FAITH? CERTAINLY NOT! ON THE CONTRARY, WE ESTABLISH THE LAW.(Rom 3:28-4:3 NKJ)

Who is blind, but my servant? or deaf, as my messenger that I sent? who is blind as he that is perfect, and blind as the LORD'S servant? Seeing many things, but thou observe not; opening the ears, but he hears not. The LORD is well pleased for his righteousness' sake; HE will MAGNIFY THE LAW AND MAKE IT HONORABLE. (Isa 42:19-21 KJV)

Exposing error is required to reveal truth.
I send thee, To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me. (Act 26:17-18 KJV)





James Snyder
Caleb Posted - 26 Sep 2015 : 03:57:04
"The other guy is wrong"

Put your spin on some proof-texts.

Rinse and repeat

Honi soit qui mal y pense
jsnyder3395 Posted - 25 Sep 2015 : 15:46:53
Hello all,

I could not let some mis-information stand. Perhaps this really is the end of my part of the discussion.

Caleb wrote:
[ Sin is indeed the transgression of the Law. And I did indeed make both "contradictory" statements.
Under the OLD Covenant, "It is IMPOSSIBLE to keep the Law!"
Under the NEW Covenant, it is "possible to NO LONGER sin."
This cuts to the very core of WHY a NEW Covenant was necessary.

Hebrews 7:
11 If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron? 12 For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law.

Does Hebrews not say here all that I have been saying? Perfection is impossible to attain under the Law, therefore a NEW law is needed. How about a law under which it is possible NOT to sin? ]

Conflation of ideas causes confusion. Caleb has conflated the Law administered by Melchizedek (New Covenant) and that by Aaron (Old Covenant). The point is that they are different both in content and in spiritual implementation. Abraham, who gave tithes to Melchizedek, priest of the Most High God, had also been given “my commandments, my statutes, and my laws” directly by God and as part of the Covenant. (Gen 26:5 KJV) Circumcision was (is) part of the Covenant of Abraham, or the New Covenant. The New Covenant was prior to Aaronic priesthood and remains after it. It is easy to point to Moses’ law and say see! What about ANY of the Ten Commandments? Show how it is permissible by God to violate any of these Ten. These are the epitome of love. Love God (first four) and Love you neighbor (next six). Jesus said so, James said so. (Mark 2:28, Luke 6:5, Matthew 12:8)

The difference is in the administration of the principles of love. These principles are now (and originally intended to be) written on the heart, and are motivate by and define love. If you have no definition of love, how can you sin? Sin is transgression of the law. Where no law is, there is no transgression. The idea that love is the only command is in some semblance correct, but by definition it is two, Love God, Love you neighbor, then by four of the ten and six of the ten. Love fulfills the law BECAUSE Love works no ill to his neighbor: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. (Rom 13:10 KJV) This statement means that you are able to fulfill the obligations of love.

Fulfill does not mean disappear! "If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself," you do well;" (Jam 2:8 NKJ) Fulfill does not mean disappear. If so, Love your neighbor as yourself is gone!

Caleb wrote: [ So grasp the key difference here. I did NOT say it was possible to keep the Law. First, there must be a "change ... of the law", and THEN it is possible to no longer sin. ]
What is sin, by God’s definition? Symantec changes are not proper teaching. To no longer sin is to observe the law, because sin is transgression of the law. You cannot sin without law. If you do not sin, you observe the law. Even if you take Caleb’s definition, that there is only one command, and if one sins, he violates the law.

Caleb wrote: [ James, by contrast, has contended all along that under the New Covenant we are somehow magically able to perfectly keep the Law. Or at least that we get credit for trying. This is the religion of the Pharisees, and it is alive and well today. ]

I, James, have NEVER made the statement Caleb attributes to me above. Caleb has written this in previous posts and here attributes it to me.

Caleb wrote [ 16 Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, … For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God.

Hebrews doesn't think very highly of your commandments, does it? They are "unprofitable" and they make nothing perfect. But the New Covenant does make things perfect! ]

It is true that the Law of Moses was a tutor to bring us to Christ. NO LAW makes things perfect. The New Covenant law (whether the ten or the one) does NOT make things perfect. The bringing in of a better hope, provided by the blood of Jesus is what makes things perfect. This is Christ in you, the hope of Glory. You cannot “love” your way, you cannot “work” your way to righteousness. Only the grace of God implemented by faith and obedience brings one to right relationship to God. “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, 12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; 13 Looking for that blessed hope…” (Tit 2:11-13 KJV)

Caleb wrote: [ 22 By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament.
The New Covenant is a better deal, specifically because it solves the problem caused by the Law.]
It would be wise to understand here what a surety of the Covenant is.

Caleb wrote: [ And just to touch on your confusion about the Garden of Eden:
I asked how many commandments there were in the Garden, because the answer is: Only ONE, and this parallels the New Covenant. ]
To clarify Caleb’s position, his “one command in Eden” reiteration does not disclose what he has penned.
Caleb wrote : [ Let's take a great example from Scripture: Was there a law in Eden?
The first "command" from God to man was, "Be fruitful, multiple, fill the earth, and subdue it."
Did God have to enforce this command? Did Adam and Eve have be persuaded to have sex? ]

Caleb’s point was that there was no force, no penalty enFORCED by God. That this is just a natural consequence of your own free choice, he says.

The following scripture shows two things. 1. That Caleb’s “one command” was not true, that we know that there are two listed in the scripture (with the ramifications). The one Caleb quotes above and 2. That God drove out the man. This is not a “consequence that naturally follows.” The angel with the flaming sword is not a “consequence that naturally follows” either.

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. (Gen 2:17 KJV) This command was broken and the penalty was the sentence of death, AND expulsion from the Garden of Eden. “Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. 24 So he DROVE OUT THE MAN; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life. (Gen 3:23-24 KJV)

Caleb wrote: [ Unlike your contention that this is a state of lawlessness, there is still a law, and it is very important. If you fail to keep that law, the whole deal falls over. Nothing works.

The "punishment" for failing to follow that one law is simply the consequence that naturally follows. While it may seem harsh, it is the result of your own free choice, and not imposed externally by the use of force.

Adultery may have many negative consequences that naturally follow, but being stoned to death is not one of them. That is an externally enforced punishment imposed by Law. ]

First, the idea that if you fail to love, “the whole deal falls over,” is total reliance on what you do. The New Covenant is implemented by grace without works, even works of love. Second, It is true that the Law of Moses has been abrogated by the death and resurrection of Christ, yet, “Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge.” (Heb 13:4 NKJ) As in the Garden of Eden, God will JUDGE. This is not the “naturally following consequences.”

Caleb wrote: [ Finally, let me repeat that we are still wrestling with the Old Covenant, and why it needed to be replaced. This should be clear by now, but if not, more can be shown from Scripture. ]

For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. (Rom 13:9 KJV) The idea of "briefly comprehended" demonstrates that this is a SUMMARY of the law and not the whole of it.

None of the following scriptures can be construed to refer to only ONE Command.
Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life (Rev 22:14 KJV)
Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. (Rev 14:12 KJV)
For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. (1Jo 5:3 KJV)
He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. (1Jo 2:4 KJV)
"This is that Moses who said to the children of Israel,`The LORD your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your brethren. Him you shall hear.' 38 "This is he who was in the congregation in the wilderness with the Angel who spoke to him on Mount Sinai, and with our fathers, the one who received the LIVING ORACLES TO GIVE TO US, 39 "whom our fathers would not obey, but rejected. And in their hearts they turned back to Egypt, (Act 7:37-39 NKJ)

This is the New Covenant, rejected by the people of Israel at Sinai, “the fathers who would not obey,” and is being rejected, and has been rejected by the protestant churches, along with those who would remove the truth of the Living Oracles, the Ten Words, written on our heart.

“…who received the LIVING ORACLES to give to us…” Was this “to give to us” so we can just pretend that they are not for us? Or were these actually not supposed to be “Given to us at all?”

"Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law. 29 Or is He the God of the Jews only? Is He not also the God of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also, 30 since there is one God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith. 31 DO WE THEN MAKE VOID THE LAW THROUGH FAITH? CERTAINLY NOT! ON THE CONTRARY, WE ESTABLISH THE LAW. What then shall we say that Abraham our father has found according to the flesh? 2 For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. 3 For what does the Scripture say? "Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness."" (Rom 3:28-3 NKJ)

Again I ask, what does "we establish the law" mean?



James Snyder

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