Discussion on Aashik Rao’s Facebook Page with Kerry Culligan and others concerning Theonomy.  My summary of the discussion, as I promised.

I am sorry that I have been so long in getting back to this.  I admit that it was not high priority with me, for all of this stuff has been answered before in the works of the Reformers against the theonomy of the Anabaptists.  Paul did a good job in Galatians :-).  A caveat:  I did not copy all the remarks completely, I have discovered.  Sometime I only got up to the “more” but I think I have represented Kerry fairly. 

I would suggest Calvin’s treatment of Civil Government in the Fourth Book of the Institutes where he lays theonomy in the dust.  In fact, Rushdoony took Calvin to task for his “wrong view” of the law.  I accepted Rushdoony’s view at the time and only later came to see that Calvin, indeed, is right and Rushdoony was wrong.

The conversation with Kerry Culligan began with Aashik Rao posting a video clip from Al Hartman who said “The church of the living God must decide between the Kingdom of God and earthly nationalism. This 1 min. video clip illustrates the challenge: Islam builds mosques on the "sacred" sites of the nations it conquers. "Ground Zero," in NYC is a sacred site for American nationalists, but NOT for followers of Christ!

Why? Because Christ has no sacred sites. Israel and Palestine are not "holy" land. Jesus said, "My kingdom is not of this world." Islam equates America with Christianity, but we who are Jesus' disciples MUST recognize and testify to the difference. America will pass away, but Christ's kingdom will never pass away!

The video ad is OK for American patriots, but it has nothing to do with the soldiers of Christ, who war not for dominance against/over flesh and blood enemies, but against principalities and powers for an imperishable eternal King and His kingdom."

Gianna Rio in her illimitable style rejoiced saying “hallelujah...finally the truth is proclaimed...ohhhhhhhhhh i waited to hear it on FB.... :)”    She went on to say that the dead should bury the dead and that  God doesn’t dwell in temples made with hands and other words to that effect.

For her pains Kerry Culligan said, “Gianna you are a Gnostic.”    Because I think I know theonomy backwards and forwards I decided to take issue with Kerry, because  I recognized the language.  Neo-Galatian error, which theonomy is, calls all their opponents “Gnostic” if they imply that Christ’s kingdom cannot be realized on the present earth, that all this will be destroyed; and that our city is in Heaven.  In fact, many of them do not really believe that we are going to “heaven” even though Christ said He is coming back to “take us where He is.” 

I asked Kerry for a definition of “Gnostic.”

Kerry Culligan

He replied:  "A spiritual element that could be rescued from its evil material environment. Gnosis came from the Divine Being through the medium of Christ bringing redemption.
Religious thought and practice distinguished by the conviction that matter is evil and that emancipation comes through gnosis—esoteric knowledge of spiritual truth held to be essential to salvation."

More specifically a Monistic Gnostic is: (in metaphysics) any of various theories holding that there is only one basic substance or principle as the ground of reality, or that reality consists of a single element. Compare dualism ( def. 2 ) , pluralism ( def. …

Bud Powell

I replied that this might be unfair to Gianna:  “This is Gianna? I suppose that Peter was a gnostic? 2Pet. 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. 11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, 12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? 13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

Holiness and godliness that recognizes that nothing of this present creation will continue to exist are just rosy pipe dreams, I suppose. Is that why theonomy has to have an earthly material kingdom? Then why did Jesus go back to heaven?

[I considered the name “Gnostic” unfair and perhaps slanderous of Gianna. I have some differences with Gianna, but calling someone “Gnostic” in a case like this is like bringing a hydrogen bomb to a fistfight.  Bringing the bomb means that discussion is over.]

Kerry Culligan

Kerry replied:  Bud you're making my point! That God expresses Himself in things that are seen as well as unseen. And building a Mosque in the vicinity of the Twin Towers represents Islamic Non-Christian dominion. And it is effectual in men’s minds.

Kerry changed the subject, of course.  Opposing a mosque in New York may have nothing to do with gnosticism, but I think he realized he was over his head.  I fail to see how a Mosque in New York could in any way be an expression of the revelation of God in the seen and unseen.  We have a nation full of porn shops, abortion clinics, churches teaching abominable errors, Mormon “temples”, and other man-made ideas that I am sure are abominable to God, but I do not call them a revelation of the majesty and glory of God.  I think Psalm 19 takes care of that nonsense.  A Muslim mosque will not efface the testimony of the heavens and the firmament.  This is a Roman Catholic objective mystical idea that we can capture God in our architectural attempts.  Hence, a little wood unpainted church could never be a temple of the Lord.  Rome used to make this argument against the Reformers: we have to build great marble sanctuaries or the Turks will never believe the Gospel.

Bud Powell

So I replied to Kerry:  “I agree with you about the Mosque, Kerry. I would not allow it; not because of material, but because of the message. The message is not in the material. The same stones could make an orphanage. All the stuff passes away. This is not gnostic to say that all the stuff will pass away, but the word of God abides forever.  There is no message in the things. If there are no words the things are dumb and silent. The word abides though all the things pass away.”  I, perhaps, should have said “present things” for those who like to quibble and ignore context.

‎2Co 4:18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

1 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things w...hich are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.

But what good is that kingdom if we don't see in materially on earth, eh?See More

Kerry Culligan

Kerry replied:  ‎"God doesnt reside in temples built by human hands...and every place that God delivers His ppl outta becomes a den of jackals...a wilderness...a barren place...
as Jesus said, let the dead bury the dead... let the redeemed of the Lord say so......and let us be moved, not by worldly things that are perishing even as they are being built up, but let us be moved by the Holy Spirit and worship our Lord, our God and our King..."

Has God delivered His people out of New York City? Are we supposed to leave it to the den of Jackals? Are we supposed to let it become a barren place? Do we declare it dead and ready to be buried? Are'nt we moved by two exploding buildings resulting in the death of over 3000 people?   Aren't people moved by an aborted baby in a garbage can? Doesn't that move us to want to do something about it?

[Of course, if your argument is specious, sometimes emotion will work for you.  Aborted babies in garbage cans might, indeed, be a message from God to us, but not to go out and fix the Islamists.  Aborted babies might be a message to fix ourselves.  I fail to see how aborted babies in garbage cans speak to the issue of whether Gianna is a Gnostic.  I suspect she would be moved at the sight of aborted babies and might have a few words to say about it.]

Bud Powell

I replied:  ‎"God doesn't reside in temples made by hands" Wasn't that said by that gnostic King Solomon, and by that other Gnostic Paul.  [I was being sarcastic, for you who are humor challenged.].

You have changed the subject in your paragraph, Kerry. I would want to know what she meant by those words. But let's see, it is the material that counts: the ink and the paper, or in this case the light and the shadow. Meaning would be gnostic. That gnostic Jesus said "Let the dead bury the dead," and I am not sure of the other reference, but I suspect it was God's judgment upon Israel.

Let's see now, God does judge His people, right? Might the possibility of His judgment require some additional response to the 9-11 attack than simply hating Muslims? I know we have to deal with Muslims, but Job saw his afflictions coming from God and wanted to talk to God about it. Is this maybe what she is saying? I don't know, but is our only concern the things that will pass away? or are their some other concerns that cannot be seen and materialized?

[I suspect that God speaks to people in strange languages, in unknown tongues.  He did Israel.  They wouldn’t listen to His prophets so He sent the Babyonians, whose tongue they couldn’t understand.  What if there is another message of 9-11 that has nothing to do with Islam?  The following remarks have been edited and amplified in some small ways from what appeared on the FB discussion]

Job's first reaction was not to organize a posse to go hunt down the Sabeans and the others who committed such great crimes against him. I am not sure what an aborted baby has to do with the Mosque, but I suppose that was just said for its emotion content. Yes, most of us would be shocked at that, and moved. Why don't Americans show more rage at the abortion industry that has slain far more than the 3000 on 9-11. Maybe I am missing something here? Is there a bigger problem than stones and mortar? Is that what Gianna is saying? If so, I agree with her. Stones are stones. Babies are Babies. Faith is faith, but you cannot see that, only the works of the flesh that come from faith, and every one of those can be faked, so only God knows for sure. Some gnostic said, " for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart."    [end of edit]

Sounds way too upper story for men of good sense, doesn't it?

I am not sure what John [a FB comment] meant by "A christian( a disciple) cannot serve God and at the same time engage in the things of the world" but that gnostic Jesus said something similar, "You cannot serve God and mammon," and "Lay not up for yourselves treasures on earth," and "My kingdom is not of this world," so I would want to know what John meant. If he meant that the body is not to be holy and used in the service of the Lord and that moral acts and immoral acts are equally irrelevant as the classical gnostics believed and denied the resurrection of the body and the true death of Jesus, then yes, the statement might be gnostic. But he might have meant something like what Jesus said, and if so, he is in good company. John and others may not have been trained in the use of precise theological verbiage, as the elite are, and speaking down to them will not cure them of whatever illness you think they have.

Kerry Culligan

To all of this Kerry replied:  Bud remember the context of the entire post including Al's comment which included this: Jesus said, "My kingdom is not of this world." Surely the Kingdom of God is expressed in a material way as well throughout the world. Even in Blessings and Cursings. If you read the comments from the very top the line of reason takes the scriptures out of context and uses them to show the Kingdom of God as completely Non- Corporeal.

Imagine an Islamic president in the white house. Should our reaction be the Kingdom of God is not of this world?

 

[Kerry realizes that the form of the discussion is unfortunate for him so he tries a feint, pretending it is in a new direction.  Emotion again: a Muslim president?  Horrors.  It might be better than an apostate clueless Christian?  God is in charge of such things.  I don’t suppose it would be worse than Nero, and the kingdom of God didn’t seem to suffer a great bit in Nero’s time.]  I wouldn’t vote for a Nero, but I am told to be in subjection if God gives us one.  I think a greater danger to the church, perhaps, would be a ignorant “Christian” in the White House, for then the church would go to sleep, than a Muslim.  Neither would change the rule of Christ over the world in any sense.  Poor theonomists, they think that Christ sleeps if His enemies are given kingdoms.

Yes, and as Calvin taught, the kingdom is expressed in the offices that Christ ordained when He ascended up on high: the elders and deacons and ministry of the word. These are the officers of the king in heaven and have no power of the sword. The theonomists seek a worldly kingdom. Caesar has his things; and Christ has his, but a theonomist cannot understand this.

The most serious blessings and curses have nothing to do with the material. Many have been greatly blessed who hungered and thirsted and wandered in the desert, and sawn asunder; others who have been as fat as pigs had leanness sent into their souls. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him, that other gnostic John said. (Irony again).

Creation is not the revelation itself, "it is the stage upon which the great drama of redemption unfolds itself." [I think, yes it was, Van Til himself, who said this.]

I continued “During what presidency was the White House the kingdom of God? But you still didn't answer: Why was it necessary for Christ to go back to heaven?”

But blessings and cursings have nothing to do with the kingdom of God, which is only blessings, Christ have taken our curse from us.  As Calvin says on Heb. 12:18:

“He fights now with a new argument, for he proclaims the greatness of the grace made known by the Gospel, that we may reverently receive it; and secondly, he commends to us its benign characters that he might allure us to love and desire it. He adds weight to

these two things by a comparison between the Law and the Gospel; for the higher the excellency of Christ’s kingdom than the dispensation of Moses, and the more glorious our calling than that of the ancient people, the more disgraceful and the less excusable is our ingratitude, unless we embrace in a becoming manner the great favor offered to us, and humbly adore the majesty of Christ which is here made evident; and then, as God

does not present himself to us clothed in terrors as he did formerly to the Jews, but lovingly and kindly invites us to himself, so the sin of ingratitude will be thus doubled, except we willingly and in earnest respond to his gracious invitation.

“Then let us first remember that the Gospel is here compared with the Law; and secondly, that there are two parts in this comparison, — that God’s glory displays itself more illustriously in the Gospel than in the Law, — and that his invitation is now full of love, but that formerly there was nothing but the greatest terrors.”  [End of Calvin quotation]

Kerry Culligan

Kerry replied:  Daniel:13-I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.  14And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.
See More

Bud Powell

To this I replied:  Jesus said His Kingdom was not of this world, and Caesar was in Rome and Herod was his stooge. What is the essential difference? Does not God decide who will rule the kingdoms of men and give them to whomever He pleases? Would a Muslim in the White House mean that Jesus is no longer at the right hand of the Father and has recalled the Holy Spirit and all is lost? If so, if His kingdom is of the world, then we should fight, fight, fight, and bring in His kingdom by a copious shedding of blood. Worked very well in the past, right? Rome was there and did that; so did the Monarchs of England and France and Germany.

 The Byzantines spend a thousand years trying to establish Christ’s kingdom on the earth.  The emperor expected to go to Jerusalem when Jesus returned and deliver up to the Lord Jesus the insignias of the Empire and bow the knee to His Majesty.   Christ didn’t return, the Muslims did and turn St. Sophia into an holy Muslim mosque.  Didn’t hurt the kingdom of God at all.  In fact it helped the real kingdom as the exposure of error always does.  BTW, I wouldn’t shed a drop of blood to recover Istanbul, except to preach the gospel and win men to Christ, the way the early church did it.  Constantine did it the theonomic way and plunged the earth into darkness for a thousand years.  The throne of the Lord Jesus was not effect by either of these men, for all of His elect continued to be delivered from the kingdoms of sin and darkness.  He DID use the Muslims to occupy the mind of His Most Holy Christian Prince Charles V until the reformation could be established in Europe, bless His name.  His Christian Holiness would have had as much fun burning Luther as any Muslim would have had.

Kerry Culligan

Kerry replied:  Well there is God's decree and there is His command all the while as Christ is always ruling of course. You fight if you have to as a last resort unless you are delivered over for persecution, but obedience in all things is the key. We cannot ordain the body of Christ for persecution only God can do that!

Bud Powell

I replied to Kerry:  Dan. 13. I don't see it; guess it hasn't happened. If it has, then it is something different than what theonomy wishes for. What did Jesus mean, "All power is given me in heaven and earth...." and in Ephesians 1:18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,   [If the kingdom is material and visible to the senses, then why would they need to have their understanding enlightened?  Say, Why DID Jesus have to go back to Heaven.  This whole kingdom thing would have been settled even for the devil to see if He were still in Jerusalem with that rod of iron.  Sweet, eh.  Unbelievers would know what’s what, wouldn’t they?]
19 And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us–ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,
20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,
21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:
22 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,
23 Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

Why would He ever want to leave this throne of glory and sit in the White House, seeing He already is Lord of all and already rules the nations?

[I would add:  Jesus said if His kingdom were of the world, then his servants would fight.  I am not a pacifist.  I would fight for my country in terms of the Covenant with Noah, for those who shed blood, will have their blood shed.  No one, however, should be under the illusion that the kingdom of God is brought by carnal means.  War is only for earthly goals and that to restrain evil as God has ordained.]

Kerry Culligan

Kerry catches at words without regard to meaning:  Daniel 7 hasn't happened? Christ ascending to the Ancient of Days?  Also, He doesn't have to leave His throne. Psalm 110 covers that! He is seated as His people are willing and ready to do His will.

Bud Powell

I replied:  by "I don't see it" I mean that "I don't see all the nations being under the authority of Christ in any visible and material sense." If you mean that we tell every man, woman, and child to submit to Christ, then you are no different than what the church has always preached. If you mean that submitting to Christ means erecting a Mosaic theocracy then you are as mad as hatters. Calvin disposed of this nonsense, but your guys set Calvin aside and would replace Christ with Aaron. Amazing.

[Kerry misquoted and misused Ps. 110.  The scripture does not say “He is seated as His people are willing and ready to do His will.”  This is pure humanism, that Christ’s power and authority depend upon the willingness and readiness of His people.  The Scripture says, “Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power.”  It is God that works in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.  I am not willing to shed one drop of blood to put some tinpot religious dictator or political ruler anywhere on this earth, who thinks he is the vicar of Christ and is administering the kingdom of God.  That is anti-Christ. ]

Kerry Culligan

Knowing that he has lost the debate, Kerry again resorts to subterfuge:  Would you rather see another 50 million babies aborted? Or is that a part of the out of sight, out of mind, out of reality thinking that you are espousing? Calvin disposed, how so?

He gets worse, contradicting himself: ‎"I don't see all the nations being under the authority of Christ in any visible and material sense."  SO WHAT? What difference does that make?  He has been saying that God’s revelation must be concrete, visible, and seen, or we are Gnostics!

Bud Powell

I returned to his misuse of Psalm 110 as if Christ is going to establish an earthly theocracy:  Yes, and Ps. 110 says that He is a priest after the order of Melchisidek to whom Levi paid tithes, showing that Melchisidek is greater than Levi, which means there is a change in the priesthood and all the law pertaining to Aaron [Hebrews 7:11,12]. His kingdom is from heaven and He is already ruling so no one gets in the White House that He does not choose. So I don't get my shorts in a twist, for all this stuff is passing away, as Heb. 12 says:

27 And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. 28 Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: 29 For our God is a consuming fire.

All this will pass away and the elements will melt with fervent heat. But His kingdom cannot be shaken. I suspect that is what Gianna meant, and if it is, calling her a gnostic either shows that you did not understand her or you do not have the slightest idea what a gnostic is.

Kerry Culligan

Kerry Culligan Possibly and if that's true I apologize! But anyway, those scriptures are 70 a.d. scriptures which again shows why eschatology matters. This is why when we screw up in one area it affects another and one's whole theology crumbles or isn't fit for usefulness beyond salvation.

[My comment:  This is standard fare for theonomists.  We are smarter and more learned than you.  You poor people who think that Hebrews was written for you, but God’s program changed after the destruction of Jerusalem.  It also shows that Kerry and his gang have gone “beyond salvation” and if you don’t believe that your theology is useless.]

He graciously added:  “I still like you Bud even though you deleted me! I gotta go to bed though! I'll let you have the last word! I know it's gonna be a doozy! Sleep well tonight I mean it, sincerely!”

[Note:  I replied to his previous post concerning “70 ad Scriptures”  So by definition theonomy just boots out of the canon the most devastating treatment of theonomy and its error: the book of Hebrews, which was written to show the Jews that they had a Jerusalem above, a real Jerusalem and it was all right for the Jerusalem below to perish, for it was in bondage with her children, as Paul put it in Galatians.]

Kerry Culligan

Careful, Kerry, you are closing in on apostasy. Peter and the writer of Hebrews are not reliable for us who live after 70 AD? Wow, that is really neat? Why on earth would it matter when they were written? Certainly after the temple was destroyed it might possible matter why a visible and material temple was not longer necessary. But I guess the writer of Hebrews was a Gnostic, especially in that part about going outside the camp with Jesus. Which doesn't mean not going to church, but means get out of Israel, her worship, her laws, her traditions, her covenant of death, and living in the liberty of Christ, in whom all the fullness dwells.

Theonomy is the den from which one aberration after another appears. Denying the difference between flesh and spirit, law and grace, material and spiritual opens the door to all kinds of evils. You think you are going to get a greater and more pure form of Christianity,, but you keep getting a more debased one. And Paul's words are fulfilled, those that sow to the flesh reap corruption. I want you to denounce kinism and the Federal Vision, and Male covenant headship, for these are all horrible appendages to Theonomy. Male authority and covenant headship are two very different things. There were only two covenant heads, and their actions descended to all their children. Even Abraham's faith did not save his children. Nor Noah's.

"Isn't fit for usefulness beyond salvation." Whew. Did you hear what you said? God doesn't need to save me to make me useful. He does as He pleases with everyone. Even Judas was useful. Balaam's Ass was useful.

You betray your own arrogance, but probably don't even know it. You are more useful than Christians who are "merely" saved. You have a higher form of Christianity and your arrogance is palpable. When we get our eschatology and the date of Hebrews straightened out, then we will be useful in the hands of the Potter, more so than those who are "merely" saved. It is not enough to have the "fullness" of Christ, we must add Moses. I suppose Colossians was written after 70 AD also.

Jesus was not offered up on a Jewish altar, by a Levitical priest. He suffered outside the campl. And I will live outside of Moses with Him.

Kerry Culligan

Kerry had one more word:  Well, I definitely denounce the Federal Vision. [Note that he did not renounce Kinism or Male Covenant Headship]  Bud are you saying that a persons view and understanding of the scriptures doesn't effect their usefulness and effectuality for the Kingdom of God? We're not talking about election only:  2 Tim 2:15-Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, RIGHTLY DIVIDING the word of truth.  16-But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness. 17-And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus;  18-Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.
19-Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.
20-But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour.  21-If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work.
See More

He went on:

‎"To be Christians under the law of grace does not mean to wander unbridled outside the law, but to be engrafted in Christ, by whose grace we are free from the curse of the law, and by whose Spirit we have the law engraved upon our hearts." ~ John Calvin

[Again, pretending that this is all that Calvin said concerning the law. Dishonest at worst, ignorant at best.  This quotation is like Baptists quoting Calvin’s error concerning immersion and trying to prove that he was against baptizing babies.  Whew!  Besides, Rushdoony realized that Calvin was against him; that is why he had to attack both Calvin and the Westminster Confession on this matter.  I was there on one occasion and had to settle down some people about it.  To give Rushdoony credit, he was too honest to pretend by careful quotation that Calvin agreed with him.

We are to rightly divide the word of truth, not relegate Hebrews to a post 70 ad dispensation that we can ignore.  What else do we ignore, Kerry?  Tell us poor ignorant people who have always believed that every word of God is pure.  Are there more buzzards in this den?  I guess the eschatology is very important if it teaches us which scriptures to divide from relevance.  Shades of Darby and Schofield!

Besides, Calvin wrote a commentary on Hebrews—a very good one.  But he was screwed up on 70 ad scripture and also messed up in eschatology.  His work is therefore not useful.  (irony again for the figuratively challenged).  I have some caveats of my own about Calvin here and there, but I don’t quote him, pretending that he agrees with me on those points.]

Calvin also wrote this concerning Heb. 12:18: Unto the mount that might be touched, etc. This sentence is variously expounded; but it seems to me that an earthly mountain is set in opposition to the spiritual; and the words which follow show the same thing, that burned with fire, blackness, darkness, tempest, etc.; for these were signs which God manifested, that he might secure authority and reverence to his Law. When considered in themselves they were magnificent and truly celestial; but when we come to the kingdom of Christ, the things which God exhibits to us are far above all the heavens. It hence follows, that all the dignity of the Law appears now earthly: thus mount Sinai might have been touched by hands; but mount Sion cannot be known but by the spirit. All the things recorded in the nineteenth chapter of Exodus were visible things; but those which we have in the kingdom of Christ are hid from the senses of the flesh.

I guess we will have to consider Calvin among the Gnostics and send him back to school so that he will rightly divide Hebrews from the Gospel.  [Irony again, for the figuratively challenged.]

Again, Calvin on in the Institutes: Book IV, 20:14 states, “the thing next in importance to the magistrates is laws, the strongest sinews of government, or, as Cicero calls them after Plato, the soul, without which, the office of the magistrate cannot exist; just as, on the other hand, laws have no vigor without the magistrate. Hence nothing could be said more truly than that the law is a dumb magistrate, the magistrate a living law. As I have undertaken to describe the laws by which Christian polity is to be governed, there is no reason to expect from me a long discussion on the best kind of laws. The subject is of vast extent, and belongs not to this place. I will only briefly observe, in passing, what the laws are which may be piously used with reference to God, and duly administered among men. This I would rather have passed in silence, were I not aware that many dangerous errors are here committed. For there are some who deny that any commonwealth is rightly framed which neglects the law of Moses, and is ruled by the common law of nations. How perilous and seditious these views are, let others see: for me it is enough to demonstrate that they are stupid and false”.

Bud Powell

In summary.  There is nothing in the Ten Commandments that was not known in the book of Genesis and in Exodus before the giving of the Law at Sinai.  Enoch condemned godlessness; Jacob took an oath; Cain refused to worship God after the due order.  The Sabbath was from creation.  Abraham and Isaac were both condemned for lying about their wives and putting pagan kings in jeopardy of committing adultery.  Joseph went to prison by false accusation of Potipher’s wife.  Jacob said that Simeon and Levi made his family “stink” because of the murder of the Shechemites.  Judah begged that the brothers not shed the blood of their brother.  The Egyptians knew it was wrong to steal and the brothers of Joseph were horrified at the “theft” of Joseph’s cup.  Abraham purchased a grave site for his family, evidencing the use of contracts.  Canaan was cursed because Ham disrespected his father.  The whole book of Genesis is a sordid account, in spite of the wonders of the promise of Grace, of transgressions of the Ten Commandments by people who knew they were doing wrong.  This law is written on the hearts of every man, embedded in his very nature, as Paul says in Romans 2, so that all men are without excuse.  The law didn’t cure sin before Moses and it didn’t cure sin after.  Neither will it cure sin today.  The law is diagnostic, not curative, just like a thermometer: it can read the temperature, but cannot effect a cure.  The cure is in Christ alone, not mixed with the works of the law.  It was not given to Israel to teach them right from wrong, but to make sin exceeding sinful.  It was not given for obedience, but because of transgressions, as Paul says.  [Gal. 3:19]  For you who value Calvin, look up his commentary at this place.

I will admit this much:  the law is the civil expression of the holy and righteous nature of God Himself, and as such, can never be abrogated, for to do so would be for God to deny Himself.  It was known before Moses, was given to Moses on Tables of Stone, and continues as a moral guide to the child of God, so it continues today with its principles written and understood by all men everywhere who are not utterly blasted with seared consciences, abandoned of God.

As a civil law Moses is abolished.  As a ceremonial law, Moses is abolished.  Jesus does not reign from Jerusalem and He is a priest after the order of Melchisedec, necessitating a change in the law—everything from Aaron and Moses is abolished.  [Heb. 7:11-14 There’s that cursed 70ad Scripture again!  Of course, if it was abolished in 70 ad then it remained abolished until theonomy arose!]  Aaron and Moses were not crucified for us, but they pointed to Him who was.  Jesus reigns from his eternal Mt. Sion, the mount that cannot be touched; and He, Himself, will be our temple throughout eternity, and his sacrifice and mediation have already been accepted in that temple.  [Rev. 21:22]

When Christ appeared in our flesh we see the law of God written on the fleshly tables of His heart so that He might be a perfect sacrifice for sins.  When His flesh was torn, the veil of the temple was torn so that Moses and Aaron pass away and the veil is taken from our hearts to behold as in a glass, when reading the Scriptures, the beautiful face—not of Moses, but of our Lord Jesus.  The Tables of Stone were a ministry of death [2Cor. 3:7] because of they represented the hard, stony hearts of Israel, who still read the Scriptures with the veil on their faces.

But faith is the gift of the Holy Spirit, who by the preaching of Christ crucified, takes away the veil and the stony heart and gives a heart of flesh, like the heart of Christ in whose image we are predestined to be conformed. 

Finally, Kerry never answered the question, “Why did Jesus go back to Heaven?”  If physical manifestation is so all-fired important, why did He go back to Heaven? The answer is a simple one: Because His kingdom is not of this world.   The church would be a much different institution if Jesus were still on this earth.

He Himself answered the question:  Joh 16:7 “ Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.”

Because of the gift of the Spirit to those who believe the Gospel, it is not necessary for Christ to be on earth to direct the action.  His people have eyes to see, ears to hear, hearts to understand.  They do not need to see it with their eyes, taste and touch, or hear with their ears.  As many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the Sons of God.  He takes the things of Christ and ministers them to us: taking away the veil, giving us fleshly hearts upon which the nature of Christ is imprinted, for the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Spirit that is given to us.  Rom 5:5 in context.

The very absence of the resurrected Christ is a physical [?] refutation of all the claims of theonomy.  He went back to heaven, sat down at the right hand of God, and sin is put away forever by His one sacrifice, for He has perfected His people forever. [Heb. 10—that blasted 70 ad book!].  If you begin with the Spirit, you will not be perfected by the flesh.

The refutation of Gnosticism is not materialistic theonomy: it is the man Christ Jesus in heaven at the right hand of God, who will come again to judge the living and the dead, not to be demoted to a throne in the desert of Judea, bless His Holy Name forever.

“10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. 11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, 12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? 13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. 14 Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.” (2Pe 3:10-14)