A Pointing Out

What is the Law?
A Pointing Out.

It is important for us, as we begin a survey of the law in the Old Testament, to examine once again in a little more detail, the meaning of the word “law.” Two and a half years when we began our study of the law, we looked at the word briefly. Let’s examine it more closely now.

The Hebrew word for law is Torah. As a matter of fact, the whole of the books of Moses; Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, is called by the Jews, and by many biblical scholars, simply the Torah, or the law. As a matter of fact, very often the whole of the Old testament is called the Torah. Sometimes the law and the prophets. Our Lord, throughout his ministry, spoke of the Old Testament as the law and the prophets. Sometimes it was shortened simply to the law. Thus, the whole of the Old Testament was known as the Torah. Sometimes, in the early church, this usage continued so the Old and the New Testament both, that is, the whole of the Bible as we have it, was known as the Torah. It is important for us to understand what they meant by Torah. What is the meaning of this Hebrew word?

Torah, or law, in Hebrew, means “a pointing out.” So that if you asked me directions and I say, “Go this way,” that’s a torah. It’s a direction. Even more than that, it refers to authoritative direction from the Lord. So when we talk about Torah, we are talking about authoritative direction from the Lord. This is why the word Torah was once used for the whole of the Bible, because the whole of the Bible, all of God’s word, is authoritative direction from the Lord.

As a result, in the biblical sense, no relationship with God is possible without law, without authority to give direction. Now, let’s examine the meaning of that a little further. Supposing I tell you, when you ask directions that this is the way to go and then you turn around and go that way? My directions are an indictment of you, are they not? Because you have asked for directions. You’ve been given the proper directions, and you choose perversely to disobey them. As a result, the authoritative direction of God is an indictment, is a death sentence to everyone who despises it, who says, “Oh, so God says that way? ‘Ye hath God said, Thou shalt not eat thereof?’ Well, we will eat.” What is the law then? A death sentence, and such it has been to all of us. We have died in Christ because the law, as a death sentence to us, has been fulfilled in his person, and we are alive in Christ and now, what is it that the law is, St. Paul says? Why is it given to us? That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us. Now, we’re on the right direction. So, the law is also, and we’re headed in the right direction, as well as when we’re headed in the wrong direction, a schoolmaster, because it teaches us, “This is the way, walk ye in it.” The law is pointing us the right way, and the law is also the righteousness of God. It’s the way of life for the believer.

So, you see, when you say “direction,” this is what law is. There is no Bible possible without law. God’s plan of salvation, his grace, all these are a part of the Torah, the direction, and this is literally the meaning of the word.

Law in the Old Testament
God the King
R.J Rushdoony

Without direction from Above, we would be dependent on direction by Powerful Men.

Following the directions of Powerful Men, forever shouting about how they love you as they enrich and empower themselves — at your expense, naturally — is a bad choice.

Better to follow God Above.
Yes, the very same one Powerful Men hate.

I am the Law

This is not all. Our Lord declared, very plainly, “I am the Torah.” That’s in the Bible. Where did he say it? Why, in John 14:6. He said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” Now, just look up the word “Way” in Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon, that’s an old standard one. It hasn’t been infected by any of the modernists’ scholarship of our day. Now, what does Thayer tell us that the word “podos,” the Greek word “podos” means. He says, Well, it means a literal direction, or when used metaphorically, as in John 14:6, it means “ordinance.” The purposed ordinance, or law of God. So what was our Lord saying when he said, “I am the Way.” I am the authoritative direction, I am the law, the purpose, the ordinance of God. Even more, as scholars of bygone generations pointed out, when he made that statement, it carried far more weight and shock, as it were, to the listeners than it does today. Why? Because he began, “I am.” Now, the name of God Jehovah, is “I am that I am.” So when Jesus said, “I am,” he equated himself to God, the Way, the ordinance, the law, of God. You can imagine the impact of that on his disciples. “I am,” that is, “I Jehovah, the sovereign God incarnate,” and the law, the ordinance{?}, the direction, and “no man cometh unto the Father but by me.” Unless there’s no Bible if you say there is no law, because the Bible is the authoritative {?} of direction. It is the ordinance, the law of God.

Law in the Old Testament
God the King
R.J Rushdoony

“I am the Way” is functionally the same as saying “I am the Law.”

In our culture, the phase in the real world is something that comes out of the mouths of presidents and senior justices of the supreme court.

In the movies, it’s more likely to come from the lips of violent policemen — a la Judge Dredd — or one of the more powerful Cartel leaders. Maybe a superhero vigilante or two.

They are lying; and, in time, the lies catch up with them. If they are fortunate, they meet their comeuppance while they are still alive, and able to repent.

In the same way that Christ IS Light, Christ IS Truth, Christ IS Love, He also IS The Law.

The right way forward.

Victory Now

As a result, Israel, having rejected its lawmaker, the sovereign God, the universal king and covenantal king, was unable to stand against its enemies. It had instead, anarchy. But, whenever they returned to their king, God, the immediate result was victory.

Law in the Old Testament
God the King
R.J Rushdoony

Interesting: the immediate result is victory.

When America returns to her King, she will most certainly win.

(Yes, even on the battlefield!)

But that is the America people that must return to God.

If there is only some kind of theocratic government imposed by church-going Betters without actual repentance from the general population, then we will only get some flash-in-the-pan tyranny that will leave the average American family – believer and non-believer – worse than before.1

As North said, Politics Fourth… at most. Actual repentance and obedience is taught by personal word and deed, and the corporate behaviour of Christians.

We should be known for our love and compassion for each other. Obey Christ in this point (and all others!), and victory comes swiftly. Cultural victory at the start, and political victory at the end of the process.

Walking on Godly Paths

When St. Paul in Romans speaks of the people who are without faith, he uses a word “anomos.” What does he say about them? The Greek brings it out very clearly. To be without faith is to be anti-law, without direction, to be anarchistic, to have no purpose, no ordinance, no direction, and this the believe never has, “anomia.” In the Epistle of John we are told that “He who says he is without sin is a liar,” that is, who has no hamartia. Hamartia is one of two words in the Bible for sin. It means “missing the mark.” Now, each of us as Christians, often misses the mark. It is impossible for us in this life to be without hamartia, sins that fall short of God’s purpose, but later on we are told that because we are now of the Lord, we no longer sin, anomia. We are no longer moving in the wrong direction. A Christian can commit hamartia. He’s going in the right direction, but he misses the mark, but he is never anomos, or anomia, going in the wrong direction, because by faith, by the saving grace of God, he is now in the right direction. This is what law means, direction. Walking in the paths to which God has called us.

Law in the Old Testament
God the King
R.J Rushdoony

We have a purpose, to expand Christ’s kingdom on this earth. His Law-word must shape the laws of every nation, and it will.

We must disciple the nations… even as we accept the discipling (and the discipline) of the Holy Spirit.

And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

Matthew 16:18, English Standard Version

Jesus will expand the church as He wills.

He will build His church. Our job is to build His Kingdom, and disciple the nations, the governments of this world, as the Holy Spirit directs.

We should do our job.

We must also remember that heaven is not limited to a church service, or only what happens in a local church (though this is an important aspect). It is a kingdom. A kingdom with a civilization. It is the place where God’s will is done. Where Christ’s dominion is observed and obeyed in every realm. Where all the nations obey him. Where the rulers of nations respect his law. Where all of civilization has been transformed having been filled with servants of God who have been redeemed to resume the project of dominion over the earth for which they were created.

This is why we are to pray “thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven”. The most *comprehensive* snapshot of heaven on earth is not a gathering of Christians singing in worship (as truly wonderful as that is) but a civilization devoted to Christ in every sphere of life, including the local church services. A town where the local restaurants, universities, civil courts, businesses, medical clinics and centers of art are filled with redeemed saints and are being run by those redeemed saints according to the principles of God’s law.

Minimizing Heaven, Absolutizing the Local Church
Jordan Wilson

1Note that a Christian government that focuses on obeying God (as opposed to gathering ever-more power to itself, like the Secularist State does) would, right at the start, legalize secession. So no tyranny, but there will be some level of anarchy and even poverty before things are settled out. Many Americans – including many Christians – simply will not tolerate a theonomic government, and the only Godly response is to let them set up their own state on their own land, under their own deity. Just as the Kingdom of David was divided up.

Maybe we would be graced with a low death toll like the disintegration of the Soviet Union. But American history argues otherwise. That’s regrettable.

What remains far more likely in my eyes is the bankruptcy of the Central Secular State, and everyone goes their own way. Some will follow Christ, and others idols of their own making: left or right-wing, black flags or red ones.

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