All posts by Peter Ditzel

Q. If Jesus’ fulfilling of the law was His completing and ending the Law of the Old Testament (see “In what way did Jesus fulfill the law?”), why did He say, “Whoever, therefore, shall break one of these least commandments, and teach others to do so, shall be called least in the Kingdom of Heaven” (Matthew 5:19)?

A. Let’s look at what Jesus said in context:

Don’t think that I came to destroy the law or the prophets. I didn’t come to destroy, but to fulfill. For most certainly, I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not even one smallest letter or one tiny pen stroke shall in any way pass away from the law, until all things are accomplished. Whoever, therefore, shall break one of these least commandments, and teach others to do so, shall be called least in the Kingdom of Heaven; but whoever shall do and teach them shall be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven. For I tell you that unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, there is no way you will enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.
Matthew 5:17-20

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Q. If, as you say, the law was given only to Israel, why does Romans 3:19 imply that all the world is under the law and judged guilty by it?

A. The first Christians in Rome appear to have been Jewish. It is quite possible that they were among the Jews from various parts of the empire who heard Peter speak on the day of Pentecost as recorded in Acts 2. When they returned to Rome, they brought Christianity with them and spread it to other Jews there. Thus, the Christian community in Rome had a distinctly Jewish character. Apparently some Gentiles also became Christians in Rome, but they were a minority. As we know from Acts and Paul’s epistles, some Jewish Christians not only kept many Jewish traditions but they also had a difficult time understanding the fulfilling and ending of the law. Sometime around A.D. 49, the Roman emperor, Claudius, issued an edict expelling Jews from the city of Rome. The edict would have included even those Jews who had converted to Christianity. But it did not include the Gentile Christians, who stayed behind in Rome. This expulsion of the Jews is mentioned in Acts 18:2. Some years later, the edict was either withdrawn or allowed to lapse with the death of Claudius in A.D. 54.

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Q. Exodus 12:49 says that there is one law for Israel and the stranger. Exodus 20:10 also says that the stranger is to keep the Sabbath. Doesn’t this prove you wrong when you say that the law, including the Sabbath, was given only to Israel?

A. In Exodus 12:49, we read, “One law shall be to him that is homeborn, and unto the stranger that sojourneth among you.” As with any Scripture, to understand this verse, we must look at the context and know how its terms are defined. The terms that we should pay particular attention to here are “homeborn” and “stranger.” Now, let’s look at the context by reading Exodus 12:43 through 48:

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Q. If we are no longer under the law, why did Jesus, in the Sermon on the Mount, raise the standard of the law?

A. It’s pretty common for preachers to say that Jesus raised the standard of the law or amplified or magnified it. This question is based on this belief that Jesus came to magnify the law. Those who teach that Jesus magnified the law usually cite Isaiah 42:21 and tie it to Matthew 5.

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Clean and Unclean Meats–The Real Poison of Biblical Dietary Laws and “Health Secrets”

by Peter Ditzel

Is the Bible a health manual? Are the dietary laws found in the Bible God’s ways of telling us what is healthy and unhealthy to eat? Or did God have an entirely different reason for putting these laws in the Bible? What’s more, do these laws given to ancient Israel have anything at all to do with Christians today?

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Are You Following the Weak and Beggarly Elements, Rudiments, and Principles of this World?

by Peter Ditzel

Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world…. But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?
Galatians 4:3, 9

Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ…. Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, (Touch not; taste not; handle not; Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men?
Colossians 2:8, 20-22

For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.
Hebrews 5:12

Going to Scripture, we see that the word translated “elements” in Galatians 4, “rudiments” in Colossians 2, and “principles” in Hebrews 12 is stoicheion. The word stoicheion comes from stoicheō, which means to march in orderly ranks. Stoicheion means first, elementary things. It was used for the letters of the alphabet. Thus, translating stoicheion as “ABCs” works pretty well in the Galatians, Colossians, and Hebrews verses quoted above.aaa

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Are You Following the Doctrines of Antichrists?

by Peter Ditzel

“Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world” (1 John 4:2-3).

“For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist” (2 John 1:7).

Many people speculate about antichrist. Some speak of the Antichrist, referring to a particular person, such as the Pope or all of the Popes. Often, the Antichrist is seen as an end-time figure equated with the man of sin in 2 Thessalonians 2:3. While there may be some validity in calling the Pope and the man of sin Antichrists, John’s concept of antichrist is much broader. He is not speaking of a particular person, but says that many deceivers have entered the world and that each of these deceivers is an antichrist. Notice 1 John 2, verses 18 and 22: “Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time…. Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.”

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