Friday, January 21, 2011

18 New Testament Misconceptions No. 10

#10: A New Commandment

A variant of the above idea is the new commandment as a kind of sudden New Testament enlightenment that was not possible in Torah.  Once again though, Scripture begs to differ.  As with the previous topic, let’s take a look the passage that gets twisted:

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another” (Yochanan 13:34).

Now let us stop and think for a moment.  Is anyone really so foolish as to believe that Torah, in all its writings, has no commandments for people to love one another?  This was a brand new idea just 2,000 years ago?  Really?  Let’s look at just a few Scriptures:

“You shall not take vengeance, nor bear nay grudge against the sons of your people, but you shall love your neighbour as yourself; I am YHWH” (Leviticus 19:18).

“The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt;  I am the YHWH your Elohim” (Leviticus 19:34).

“So show your love for the alien, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt
(Deuteronomy 10:18).

Obviously this is not a new commandment in the sense of it never having been given before. Rather, it is clear that this new commandment means this is the first time that Y’shua is giving this particular teaching to his apostles!  Let’s investigate more places where this radical new idea occurs:

“Now I ask you, lady, not as though I were writing to you a new commandment, but the one which we have had from the beginning, that we love one another.  And this is love, that we walk according to His commandments.  This is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, that you should walk in it” (2 Yochanan 1:5-6).

What else can His commands from the beginning be other than Torah?  Finally, the apostle Yochanan makes and even clearer statement on how new commandments are really about as ancient as it gets:

“Beloved, I am not writing a new commandment to you, but and old commandment that you have had from the beginning; the old commandment is the word that you have heard.  On the other hand, I am writing a new commandment to you, which is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true Light is already shining” (1 Yochanan 2:7-8).

What we are seeing here is that these commandments have been with us from the beginning, but their highest and truest understanding has come through Mashiyach, the light of the world:

“In him (Y’shua) was life, and that life was the light of men.  The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it….For the Torah was given through Moshe, and grace and truth came through Y’shua the Mashiyach”  (Yochanan 1:5,17).

“This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that Elohim is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all” (1Yochanan 1:5).

“For Elohim, who said, Light shall shine out of darkness, is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the esteem of Elohim in the face of Mashiyach” (2 Corinthians 4:6).

“To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Mashiyach, and to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in Elohim who created all thins;  so that the manifold wisdom of Elohim might now be made known through the assembly to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places.  This was in accordance with the eternal purpose which He carried out in Mashiyach Y’shua our Master, in whom we have boldness and confident access through faith in Him.  Therefore I ask you not to lose heart at my tribulations on your behalf, for they are your esteem”
(Ephesians 3:8-14).

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