Do you completely agree with Psalm 119?
There is a need for a paradigm shift to occur in the people of God.
It was a year and a half ago. I was presented with some questions concerning my faith, questions that challenged my faith. Months and months went by as I attempted to divert from answering these questions. Instead of answering the difficult questions at hand I began defending my dispensational paradigm. Let me define these two words for you.
Dispesationalism is a theological system that teaches biblical history is best understood in light of a number of successive administrations of God’s dealings with mankind, which it calls “dispensations.” It maintains fundamental distinctions between God’s plans for national Israel and for the New Testament Church. For example, many dispensationalists maintain that there was a time, when God’s people were in a dispensation of law, but in the present time we are in a dispensation of grace. Also, there are many dispensationalists that believe God’s law was given to Israel, and the church, being distinct from Israel, was given a different set of laws. A paradigm is an Intellectual perception or view, accepted by an individual or a society as a clear example, model, or pattern of how things work in the world.
The paradigm that I attempted to justify believed that God can do whatever he wants to do, even abolish some of his law. I found however, that this this view contradicts the scriptures to include: (Hebrews 13:8) Jesus Christ (the Word) is the same yesterday and today and forever. (Malachi 3:6) “For I the LORD do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed. (1 Peter1:25) but the word of the Lord remains forever.” And this word is the good news that was preached to you.
To justify my dispensational beliefs I often quoted from the Apostle Paul. There are about a dozen or so scriptures written by the Apostle Paul that I attempted to use in order to defend my paradigm. However, after learning that Paul himself walked according to the law (Acts 21:20-22, Acts 24:14) and found it to be holy, righteous, good (Romans 7:12), and spiritual (Romans 7:14). I could no longer use his writings to justify my point of view. The reason being is that the law Paul believed in and kept, is the same law that taught that there is only one set of instructions for Gods people (Exodus 12:49, Leviticus 24:22). These instructions are God’s law. So how about using the words of Jesus? Jesus couldn’t have changed any of God’s laws while on earth because he would then be sinning according to Deuteronomy 4:2 which states that no one shall add or take away from God’s word . Also, Jesus himself taught that he didn’t come to do away with the law (Matthew 5:17) and that it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one dot of the Law to become void (Luke 16:17).
I had one last ditch effort. Within my paradigm I believed that when Jesus died on the cross and established a New Covenant, the Old Covenant that contained all of God’s law was fulfilled in such a way that the church was no longer required to obey some of God’s law, in particular the laws theologians have labeled “ceremonial”. However, there are a few problems with this idea. The first being that God’s law existed before what has been labeled the “Old Covenant” was given. This is obvious in that Cain and Able knew that they were to sacrifice to God (Genesis 4:3-4). Also, God’s law couldn’t have been fulfilled in such a way to render some of the law void, because the law is placed in the hearts and minds of those who have received the new covenant according to Jeremiah 31:33. And again, God’s law is never separated into categories, but is always referred to as a whole, even in the New Testament.If only I would have accepted the words of Paul found in 1st Corinthians beforehand. (1 Corinthians 4:6) I have applied all these things to myself and Apollos or your benefit, brothers, that you may learn by us not to go beyond what is written, that none of you may be puffed up in favor of one against another. When this was penned that which was considered written is the “Old Testament”.
If a given interpretation finds itself contradicting a truth found in the Old Testament, then it cannot be regarded as a faithful interpretation. Nowhere in all of Scripture does it say that God is going to separate his people into two groups. There is only one body (1Corinthians 12:12, Ephesians 3:6). Nowhere in Scripture does it say that he has fulfilled some of his laws in such a way to render some of them abolished and/or no longer apart of his word (Matt. 5:17-19). Therefore, I couldn’t answer the questions presented to me and I couldn’t justify my dispensational paradigm without finding myself contradicting the Scripture. I couldn’t use the law observing Paul. I couldn’t use the law observing Jesus. So, what did I do? I fought against answering the questions for months and months until I finally gave up. I decided to answer the questions from a different point of view, from a different paradigm, one in which viewed God’s entire word, including all of its laws as eternal. The questions went as followed:
Can perfect be made better? Can we be freed from freedom? Can Truth be made not Truth? Can the path of righteousness be changed into a new path? Can the Ways of God change into a different way? Can forever, perpetual, and lasting throughout the generations to come turn into intermittent and sporadic? Can what defines sin be nullified? Can what is light change into a different light? Can what is life no longer be life? If God is the Word can the Word (and thus God) change? Can something we are to delight in become something we teach against? Can walking as Jesus walked mean not walking as Jesus walked? If Jesus is the Word made flesh, did He get on the cross to abolish Himself? Can instructions for love one day be worthless instructions the next day? Can what is stated to be made for us and to bless us no longer bless us?
These questions all have to do with God’s law. For in Scripture the law is defined as freedom, truth, the path of righteousness, the way, forever, perpetual, lasting throughout the generations, that which defines sin, light, life, a delight, the word, instructions for love, and that which blesses us. These questions are indeed unanswerable in light of a dispensational paradigm. In fact, that is what 119 ministries, the ministry that presented these questions to me*, have labeled these questions. Once considering the answers to these questions without a dispensational paradigm, there really was only one of two options: the first: accept that God’s law is eternal and still to be obeyed in all of its parts. Or the second: conclude that the word of God is contradictory. The word of God is not contradictory. Upon testing the verses I once used to justify my dispensational beliefs in light of the truth that God’s law is eternal, I found that each and every verse is reconcilable with the rest of Scripture. I was merely interpreting them within a mindset that irreconcilable with Scripture as a whole.
There is no way to answer these questions in any other given paradigm. This is why the people of God need to experience a paradigm shift. Understanding why the Psalmist of Psalm 119 wrote what he wrote will help the people of God see that the entire law of God is in fact eternal and a blessing to those who follow it. Being that Psalm 119 is the longest chapter in all of the Psalms, as well as the longest chapter in the entire Bible, I will provide 10 of the critical verses help us see this truth. While going over these verses, it would be beneficial to keep in mind that the Bible never separates God’s law into categories such as ceremonial, even in the New Testament, but it include all of God’s law.
Psalm 119:1 Blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the LORD!
Psalm 119:47 for I find my delight in your commandments, which I love.
Psalm 119:66 Teach me good judgment and knowledge, for I believe in your commandments.
Psalm 119:89 Forever, O LORD, your word is firmly fixed in the heavens.
Psalm 119:151 But you are near, O LORD, and all your commandments are true.
Psalm 119:152 Long have I known from your testimonies (laws) that you have founded them forever.
Psalm 119:160 The sum (all) of your word is truth, and every one of your righteous rules (laws) endures forever.
Psalm 119:172 Let my tongue sing of Your word, For all Your commandments are righteousness.
So why did the Psalmist of Psalm 119 think so highly of God’s law? It is more than obvious that he understood how much of a blessing the entire law of God is. It was his delight, what he meditated on, what he loved. Why? Isn’t it because of his understanding of what God’s law is? God’s law is freedom. So how could we call it anything else? Why would God free us from freedom? Could we be truly free if we were free from God’s law? Of course these questions are rhetorical.
The majority in the church today believe that we are no longer under the law and therefore don’t have to concern ourselves with conversations or teachings in relation to the law. If they only knew what law we are no longer under. The apostle Paul spoke of several laws, one of them being the law of sin and death. This is the law that occurs because of our breaking of God’s law. This is the law that we are no longer under when we place our trust in the Messiah. When we turn from lawlessness (that which is Biblically defined as sin) unto God’s Son, Jesus Christ, we are then set free from the law of sin and death and receive God’s grace. The Apostle Paul said it himself in Romans 6:1-2, What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin (breaking God’s law) that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?
If the church only knew that the Jesus we present to the Jewish people has to be rejected if the Jesus we present adds to or takes away from the established word of God found in the law (Deuteronomy 13). If the church only knew that the law is a part of the good news according to Peter (Peter 1:24-25). If they only knew it was not a burden (Deuteronomy 30:11). If they only knew that it is our obedience to the law that shows our love for God (1 John 5:3). If the only knew that by advocating obedience to the law, one is not advocating obedience for salvation (Mathew 5:19). If they only knew that it has always been by grace through faith one is saved and so the obedience of the saints of the past was a result of their relationship to God and not in order to earn salvation. (Romans 4:3). If they only knew that Jesus taught his disciples to teach all of God’s law to the nations (Matthew 28:18-20, Matthew 23:2-3). If they only knew that it is a blessing to completely agree with the psalmist of Psalm 119.
I pray you that you ask the Most High to impress on your heart the truth found in Psalm 119 and you experience what might be missing in your faith. Truth. Shalom.
[Kingdom of Light Ministries / 2013]