Which Laws Were Done Away? by Dr. Hoeh


Some time ago, while doing other research, I came across a 1957 article in the old Plain Truth magazine written by Dr. Herman Hoeh. I converted the file to an html document and added it as an addendum to my article Which Laws were Superceded? Which Remain?

Anyway, here are some quotes from Dr. Hoeh’s article:

Letters from new members often ask us, “How can I know the difference between the added ceremonial laws and the spiritual laws which we are to observe today?”

This question is absolutely BASIC.

Everyone of you needs to understand in detail the answer to this question. Your Christian growth-your very character- depends on your knowledge of this question.

The entire Bible was written to illustrate the lives of individuals who have kept the spiritual laws God set in motion. We need to study their example.

New Testament Teaching

Notice, first of all, the New Testament teaching.

Jesus-the living Head of our Church —told the disciples: “Whoso therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoso shall Do and TEACH them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 5 : 19).

How important it is that we-the disciples of Jesus today-become familiar with the least commandments-that we live by every word of God.

Bible Is Final AUTHORITY God’s Church differs from all others in that it takes the Bible as ABSOLUTE and FINAL AUTHORITY.

No one can gain entrance into God’s Kingdom unless that individual first recognizes the authority and rule of God.

We are not to argue with God or use human reason to evade the plain commands of Scripture. God is Supreme Lawgiver. He knows what is best for us. He has perfect wisdom and understanding. We can place our confidence in Him and rely on His judgment which He committed to writing for us-in the Bible.

The tendency is to use human reason to side-step what seems of lesser importance to us. It is so very easy for us to say: “I don’t see why God would want us to keep this. It seems so impractical in this modern age. Now here is the way I see it.”

This attitude is exactly what makes other churches carnal and worldly-of the devil. They use their human reason instead of accepting the Bible as final AUTHORITY.

Some of you brethren have been negligent in your study of God’s laws. You have forgotten the admonition: “Lay up these My words in your heart and in your soul. . . . And ye shall teach them [to] your children, talking of them, when you sittest in thy house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up” (Deut. 11: 18-19).

This is for us today!

It does us good, however, when so many of you ask us questions about the Way that God reveals you should live. We know that when you write us you are in earnest to understand the laws of God. So let us all open our minds and come to a new understanding of pure, true Christianity.

Ten Commandments Binding at Creation

God’s Church recognizes the eternal binding authority of the Ten Commandments. David was inspired to say: “All His commandments are sure. They stand fast for ever and ever, and are done in truth and uprightness” (Ps. 110:7-8). Jesus didn’t abolish the Ten Commandments. “Think not,” He said, “that I came to destroy the law or the prophets: I came not to destroy, but to fulfill.”

We must follow His example today and fulfill the law. We must believe the prophets, too-and obey God as they commanded us.

The Ten Commandments constitute the basic spiritual law which regulates human life. It is “holy, just and good,” said Paul in Romans 7: 12 and 14.

First, remember that God’s basic spiritual laws existed from the beginning. When speaking of divorce, Jesus said that “from the beginning it was not so” (Matt. 19: 8). It was a sin at the beginning of this present creation to commit adultery!

The world strayed so far from the truth that, by the days of Moses, God had to reveal His law anew to the Israelites. Israel had lost a knowledge of God’s ways while in Egyptian bondage. Let us notice, however, that God was merely revealing the laws which were already in force. The old covenant did not establish the spiritual laws.

In Exodus 16:28 we read that the Eternal, when speaking about Israel to Moses, said: “How long do you refuse to keep my commandments and my laws?”

Israel could not refuse what did not exist! Now turn to Exodus 18:16. Moses told his father-in-law that when the people have a dispute, “I make them know the statutes of God and his laws.”

Other Laws Based on Ten Commandments

Notice! Here are the statutes and laws of God existing BEFORE the old covenant. As they existed before the old covenant, they could not be abolished when it ceased to exist. The old covenant could not destroy what it did not bring into force. The old covenant was merely an AGREEMENT to keep these laws which were already in force!

Notice how the statutes and laws of God magnify the Ten Commandments: God forbids us to eat unclean meats. To lust after what He forbids is to covet. One of the Ten Commandments says: “Thou shalt NOT covet.”

Notice also that God’s law made provision for judgments to be established over the centuries. (See Numbers 27: 11 for example.) The judgments are binding decisions based on God’s previously revealed law, The Church of God today from time to time may issue judgments- as in the case of “make-up.”

But when did the carnal ceremonies and sacrifices of the Levitical priesthood begin? And how can we distinguish them from the statutes and laws that existed prior to the old covenant?

When Did Sacrificial Laws Begin?

When God brought Israel to the foot of Mt. Sinai, He gave the Ten Commandments to them. He allowed Moses to declare all the statutes and judgments to Israel (Exodus, chapters 20-24). These statutes and judgments MAGNIFY the Ten Commandments.

Now notice carefully. There is only one sacrifice mentioned in the book of the law-the passover sacrifice (Exodus 23 : 18). God called it “MY sacrifice.” Next, turn to Jeremiah 7:22-23. Listen to what the Eternal inspired Jeremiah to write: “For in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, I DID NOT SPEAK . . . OR COMMAND them concerning burnt offerings and sacrifices. But this COMMAND I GAVE THEM: ‘Obey my voice . . . and walk in ALL THAT WAY THAT I COMMAND YOU, that it may be well with you.’ ”

God did not command these sacrifices to be offered originally. This explains why none of those temporary sacrifices were perpetuated by different symbols in the New Testament Church. ONLY THE SYMBOLS TODAY-because it began before the old covenant was made. (See its institution in Exodus 12 before the Israelites left Egypt.)

The very fact that Jesus substituted unleavened bread and wine for the passover lamb only, and not for the temporary offerings, is absolute proof that the ceremonial old testament offerings are not binding today!-but that the passover is binding! Paul says (Gal. 3: 19) these temporary rituals and sacrifices were “added because of transgression”-because God’s spiritual law was being broken-until Christ should come. They foreshadowed the sacrifices of Christ and were a “reminder of sin” to teach thc people the need of the Messiah who would pay the penalty of human transgression (Hebrews 10:3).

Notice that these temporary laws did not define sin. They were reminders of sin. God’s spiritual laws define sin. The laws which define sin-which explain what sin is-these laws we are to keep today.

Many people do not realize that the original Christian Church kept and endorsed all of the Ten Commandments and kept various statutes that many outside the true Church of God do any longer. Studying Church history, in the light of scripture, can add insight to how Christians should live today.

Several items of possibly related interest may include:

Which Laws were Superceded? Which Remain? What about the Ten Commandments? What about the 613 regulations (called 613 Mitzvot) in the Old Testament? Which were ‘done away’?
Messianic Judaism Beliefs Differ from the Continuing Church of God Both groups keep the seventh-day Sabbath, but have important differences in doctrines and practices. Here is a link to a related sermon: Messianic Jewish Beliefs.
Were the Ten Commandments in Effect Before Mount Sinai? Some have said not. This article provides biblical quotes to answer this important question.
Job and the Ten Commandments Was Job written prior to Mount Sinai? Did Job know about the ten commandments? This article provides biblical answers to those questions.
What Did Jesus Teach About the Ten Commandments? This article quotes what Jesus actually said about them (His words are in red).
Were the Ten Commandments Nailed to the Cross? Some have said so. This article provides some biblical quotes to answer this important question.
Read the Bible Christians should read the Bible. This article gives some rationale for regular bible reading.
What is the Appropriate Form of Biblical Interpretation? Should the Bible be literally understood? What do the writings of the Bible, Origen, Herbert W. Armstrong, and Augustine show?
Bible and Historical Resources on the Internet Electronic bibles, Two Babylons, early Christian literature, photos, and even links to old Herbert W. Armstrong materials.
The History of Early Christianity Are you aware that what most people believe is not what truly happened to the true Christian church? Do you know where the early church was based? Do you know what doctrines the early Christians actually had? Is your faith really based upon the truth or compromise?
The Ten Commandments Reflect Love, Breaking them is Evil Some feel that the ten commandments are a burden. Is that what Jesus, Paul, Peter, James, and John taught? For a more detailed discussion of the first four commandments, please see the video The Ten Commandments: Loving God. For a more detailed discussion of the last six commandments, please see: The Ten Commandments: Loving Your Neighbor. Here is a link to a related article in Mandarin Chinese 十条诫命显示爱,违反诫命的就是邪恶的
Nazarene Christianity: Were the Original Christians Nazarenes? Who were the Nazarene Christians? What did they believe? Should 21st century Christians be modern Nazarenes? Is there a group that exists now that traces its history through the Nazarenes and holds the same beliefs today? Here is a link to a related video sermon Nazarene Christians: Were the early Christians “Nazarenes”?
Location of the Early Church: Another Look at Ephesus, Smyrna, and Rome What actually happened to the primitive Church? And did the Bible tell about this in advance?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from c. 31 A.D. to 2014. A related sermon link would be Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. Marque aquí para ver el pdf folleto: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios.

Get news like the above sent to you on a daily basis

Your email will not be shared. You may unsubscribe at anytime.