The Ceremonial Law and the Old Covenant

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Skyler

Puritan Board Graduate
...so, after looking a few pages back through the forum and not finding anything, I decided to actually make a new thread. :eek:

I know the moral law applied in full force to those under the old covenant, the new covenant, and those who were not included in either. My question is, did the ceremonial law apply only to those in the old covenant, or was the rest of the world at that time required to follow it as well? And is there a parallel in the new covenant?

I'm not looking for a book this time, just an answer and some scripture references to back it up. ;)
 

Herald

Administrator
Staff member
The ceremonial law was given only to Israel. Scripture? Read the entire book of Leviticus. The ceremonial law was fulfilled in Christ. That's the parallel. Scripture? Hebrews 10.
 

DonP

Puritan Board Junior
All who came in the land were required to follow them. Strangers too
Num 15:27-31
27'And if a person sins unintentionally, then he shall bring a female goat in its first year as a sin offering. 28 So the priest shall make atonement for the person who sins unintentionally, when he sins unintentionally before the LORD, to make atonement for him; and it shall be forgiven him. 29 You shall have one law for him who sins unintentionally, for him who is native-born among the children of Israel and for the stranger who sojourns among them.

30'But the person who does anything presumptuously, whether he is native-born or a stranger, that one brings reproach on the LORD, and he shall be cut off from among his people. 31 Because he has despised the word of the LORD, and has broken His commandment, that person shall be completely cut off; his guilt shall be upon him.' "
NKJV
 

TsonMariytho

Puritan Board Freshman
1. Other nations didn't even know the ceremonial laws, because the Law as a whole wasn't revealed/given to them:

Psa 147:19 He declares his word to Jacob, his statutes and rules to Israel.
Psa 147:20 He has not dealt thus with any other nation; they do not know his rules. Praise the LORD!​

However, the moral law was and is written on all men's hearts, including ignorant Gentiles:

Rom 2:14 For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law.
Rom 2:15 They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them​

2. Persons from certain other ethnicities were not even permitted to join themselves to Israel. Some ethnicities were permitted to convert and be recognized as at least "semi-Israelites" themselves, and then their grandchildren could be full-fledged members of Israel, and participate in the full ceremonial worship infrastructure.

Deu 23:3 "No Ammonite or Moabite may enter the assembly of the LORD. Even to the tenth generation, none of them may enter the assembly of the LORD forever,
Deu 23:4 because they did not meet you with bread and with water on the way, when you came out of Egypt, and because they hired against you Balaam the son of Beor from Pethor of Mesopotamia, to curse you.
Deu 23:5 But the LORD your God would not listen to Balaam; instead the LORD your God turned the curse into a blessing for you, because the LORD your God loved you.
Deu 23:6 You shall not seek their peace or their prosperity all your days forever.
Deu 23:7 "You shall not abhor an Edomite, for he is your brother. You shall not abhor an Egyptian, because you were a sojourner in his land.
Deu 23:8 Children born to them in the third generation may enter the assembly of the LORD.​

(And yes, I know about Ruth. The exception doesn't define the rule.)

3. Certain roles related to the ceremonial law had to do with physical descent, period, with no exceptions. If you weren't of Aaron's family, you had no business in the priesthood. If you weren't a Levite, you had no business doing that tribe's assigned jobs, etc.

4. I would have to agree with Herald above. When God laid out the ceremonial Law, centering on the temple and the work of the Priests and Levites, their job was specifically to minister to Israel:

Num 6:22 The LORD spoke to Moses, saying,
Num 6:23 "Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, Thus you shall bless the people of Israel: you shall say to them,
Num 6:24 The LORD bless you and keep you;
Num 6:25 the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;
Num 6:26 the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.
Num 6:27 "So shall they put my name upon the people of Israel, and I will bless them."​

5. As far as we know: Melchizedek didn't have to be circumcised. Lot didn't have to be circumcised. God-fearing Cornelius didn't have to be circumcised. It's impossible to ignore that God's covenant with Abraham+Israel was strongly ethnic, and the border of Israel cannot be seen as the exclusive boundary of the operations of God's Covenant of Grace.

I'm not contradicting Jesus' statement that salvation was from the Jews, just pointing out that people didn't have to become Jews to be saved. Some took the knowledge of God acquired from the Jews, and went back home and had a different perspective of e.g. supporting their kneeling king in the idol's temple (Naaman), or issued edicts that people should worship the God who humbles even great kings (Nebuchadnezzar). These may well have been justified believers, but they didn't seem to become Jews, and it's not clear that they were commanded to. When some could and did become Jews, that's fine and that's great. But the situation was not exactly like in the Christian Church, where God does unambiguously now command all people, Jew and Gentile, to become Christians.
 
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DonP

Puritan Board Junior
2. Persons from certain other ethnicities were not even permitted to join themselves to Israel. Some ethnicities were permitted to convert and be recognized as at least "semi-Israelites" themselves, and then their grandchildren could be full-fledged members of Israel, and participate in the full ceremonial worship infrastructure.

Deu 23:3 "No Ammonite or Moabite may enter the assembly of the LORD. Even to the tenth generation, none of them may enter the assembly of the LORD forever,
Deu 23:4 because they did not meet you with bread and with water on the way, when you came out of Egypt, and because they hired against you Balaam the son of Beor from Pethor of Mesopotamia, to curse you.
Deu 23:5 But the LORD your God would not listen to Balaam; instead the LORD your God turned the curse into a blessing for you, because the LORD your God loved you.
Deu 23:6 You shall not seek their peace or their prosperity all your days forever.
Deu 23:7 "You shall not abhor an Edomite, for he is your brother. You shall not abhor an Egyptian, because you were a sojourner in his land.
Deu 23:8 Children born to them in the third generation may enter the assembly of the LORD.​

(And yes, I know about Ruth. The exception doesn't define the rule.)

Was this because God wanted some killed off in the land, cleanse the land, whereas the Chinese or Roman or even an African could join Israel or believe in God?

I'm not contradicting Jesus' statement that salvation was from the Jews, just pointing out that people didn't have to become Jews to be saved. Some took the knowledge of God acquired from the Jews, and went back home and had a different perspective of e.g. supporting their kneeling king in the idol's temple (Naaman), or issued edicts that people should worship the God who humbles even great kings (Nebuchadnezzar). These may well have been justified believers, but they didn't seem to become Jews, and it's not clear that they were commanded to. When some could and did become Jews, that's fine and that's great. But the situation was not exactly like in the Christian Church, where God does unambiguously now command all people, Jew and Gentile, to become Christians.

Could this have been the case with the Eunuch? Acts 8:27-28
And behold, a man of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under Candace the queen of the Ethiopians, who had charge of all her treasury, and had come to Jerusalem to worship, 28 was returning. And sitting in his chariot, he was reading Isaiah the prophet.
NKJV
 

TsonMariytho

Puritan Board Freshman
PeaceMaker said:
Was this because God wanted some killed off in the land, cleanse the land, whereas the Chinese or Roman or even an African could join Israel or believe in God?

I don't understand the question here... probably just me being slow. Could you re-phrase it?


Could this have been the case with the Eunuch? Acts 8:27-28
And behold, a man of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under Candace the queen of the Ethiopians, who had charge of all her treasury, and had come to Jerusalem to worship, 28 was returning. And sitting in his chariot, he was reading Isaiah the prophet.
NKJV

Yes, absolutely. Good example.
 
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Skyler

Puritan Board Graduate
The ceremonial law was given only to Israel. Scripture? Read the entire book of Leviticus. The ceremonial law was fulfilled in Christ. That's the parallel. Scripture? Hebrews 10.

Thanks for the replies. What I meant by a "parallel" was, are there some commandments that are only for believers under the New Covenant? Or do they all now apply universally to all men?
 

TsonMariytho

Puritan Board Freshman
Thanks for the replies. What I meant by a "parallel" was, are there some commandments that are only for believers under the New Covenant? Or do they all now apply universally to all men?

How about: "Do this in remembrance of me"?
 

Herald

Administrator
Staff member
The ceremonial law was given only to Israel. Scripture? Read the entire book of Leviticus. The ceremonial law was fulfilled in Christ. That's the parallel. Scripture? Hebrews 10.

Thanks for the replies. What I meant by a "parallel" was, are there some commandments that are only for believers under the New Covenant? Or do they all now apply universally to all men?

Jonathan, with all deference to my paedobaptist brethren, the promises and commandments of the New Covenant are only for believers. Unbelievers are called to repent and believe (Acts 17:30). If a person repents and believes they are part of the New Covenant. If they do not, they are cursed and under the abiding wrath of God (Romans 1:18; Revelation 21:8).
 

DonP

Puritan Board Junior
Jonathan, with all deference to my paedobaptist brethren, the promises and commandments of the New Covenant are only for believers. Unbelievers are called to repent and believe (Acts 17:30). If a person repents and believes they are part of the New Covenant. If they do not, they are cursed and under the abiding wrath of God (Romans 1:18; Revelation 21:8).

Being a paedo-baptist, no need for deference, I agree with you.

And as always they are given through the visible covenant though, ie. to confessing believers and their seed, since in deference to baptists, we have no idea who is a true believer and so we do not give the sacraments only to believers. We give them to those in the visible covenant, who are professing believers and their seed.
As has always been the visible covenant people of God. Called the Children of God, My people, etc.
No mothers ever complained how can this be a better covenant if now my children are no longer members of the covenant. Nor was any answer to this given in scripture which surely would have to have been had there been a change.
The sign of being in this visible covenant people even being clearly changed to make it suitable equally to female and male.

Yet I assume you mean the moral law to be still binding on all people to obey, that being what they repent of not obeying and what they need a savior for.
 

Herald

Administrator
Staff member
Let's not segway too much into the view of the covenant. I caution myself on that as well. If the subject is of interest then start a thread in the baptism forum.
 
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