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THE DIVISION OF THE OLD TESTAMENT BOOKS

The theological leaders of Israel at the time of Christ had divided the Old Testament into three categories:

THE LAW
THE PROPHETS
THE WRITINGS

Jesus himself accepted this division into three categories and referred to this division when he said:

"Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled." Matthew 5:17-18

I: THE LAW - TORAH - THE FIVE BOOKS OF MOSES
(Also known as the PENTATEUCH)

II: THE PROPHETS
(This section includes all the major and minor prophets in the Old Testament)

III: THE WRITINGS
(This section includes all the historical documents like Joshua, Judges, First and Second Kings, First and Second Chronicles, Ruth, Esther, Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and the Song of Solomon). For further clarification, read Matthew 22:35-40.

Anytime that you read the word "LAW" in the New Testament, it always means THE FIVE BOOKS OF MOSES, THE TORAH.

THE TORAH was divided into three parts:

1. THE MORAL LAW (Did not offer any salvation from sin)
Example: The Ten Commandments as found in Exodus chapter 20

2. THE PRACTICAL LAW (Physical, which did not offer any salvation from sin)
Example: Food laws as given in Leviticus chapter 11

3. THE CEREMONIAL OR SACRIFICIAL LAW (Offered forgiveness for sins)
Example: The yearly sacrifice, when a goat was sacrificed for the sins of the people for a period of one year at a time as recorded in Leviticus, Chapter 16

JESUS FULFILLED THE SACRIFICIAL LAW ONLY
When Jesus walked on the earth, he was able to keep all the commandments that God had given to Moses and recorded in the Torah. But there was only one thing that could be fulfilled. JESUS BECAME THE PERFECT SACRIFICE ONCE AND FOR ALL WHEN HE DIED ON THE CROSS AND TOOK ALL OF OUR SINS UPON HIM SO THAT MEN CAN BE FORGIVEN! Thus, the believer in Christ must understand that THE MORAL LAW and the PRACTICAL LAW will be in effect until the day Jesus returns.

Ask any Christian which of the Ten Commandments can be broken just because a person is saved and is living under grace, and he will have to tell you that we cannot break any of them. If we have the intelligence to understand that, why then do we not have the intelligence to understand that the PRACTICAL LAW cannot be broken either.

Breaking the PRACTICAL LAW will allow sickness to enter into a nation and its people. The viruses and germs that existed at the time of Moses existed at the time of Jesus and they are still in existence today. The swine (pig) has the same physical makeup today as it had 2000 years ago or 4000 years ago. God did not create scavengers to be eaten by humans 4000 years ago. When people eat them today they will develop the same diseases that plagued the Egyptians at the time of Moses.

This has nothing to do with salvation, nor with God's grace; from the very beginning it was a matter of health and it is still a matter of health.

THE MORAL LAW
An example of this can be found in Exodus 20:1-17 and Deuteronomy 5:7-21. Here we find that God is telling us how we should act toward Him and how we should treat other people living in the world. This part of the law does not redeem man, but it governs his behavior. These laws are as valid today as when they were given and if we violate them we will suffer the consequences.

Note: Since man is sinful, he does not have the capacity to keep these commandments, and the result is seen in a chaotic world filled with crime, violence and death. A believer in Christ will not try to keep these commandments to be saved, but will strive to keep them because he has been saved and loves God.

THE PRACTICAL LAW
This is the component of God's law that is most neglected by Christians, yet these are the laws governing our health. God gave the practical laws in order for man to have abundant life and not be plagued by sickness and epidemics. These laws tell us what we should eat (dietary laws), how we should raise our children, how we should conduct our sexual lives in marriage; they teach hygiene, food preparation, food storage, how to make clothing, how to farm, how to slaughter animals, etc. It is the MANUFACTURER'S HANDBOOK, just as a manual is given when a piece of machinery or an appliance is purchased today. You will find these teachings in the book of Leviticus, Chapters 11 and 15, and in Deuteronomy 14:3-21. God went into great detail to teach man about sanitation, how to handle dead people as well as animals, and what to do in an epidemic. These laws have nothing to do with salvation, but to break them will result in poor health.

Sickness in the United States and in other Western nations is on a tremendous upswing. Americans are eating themselves sick and keeping the medical industry rolling. Heart attacks, strokes, ulcers, arthritis, cancer and all other diseases found in prosperous nations are on the rise. No one seems to understand the underlying cause. Produce more doctors and nurses, build more hospitals and care centers, increase the flow of drugs and medicine is society's answer. One quick reading of the Word of God reveals that the American people are eating what God said not to eat. The deadly meat of the pig was never meant to be eaten. People feast on lobster, shrimp and other shell fish, not knowing that they were created by God to be the garbage collectors in the oceans, lakes and streams. Foods are refined, then stuffed with white sugar, then eaten with colas and other poisonous drinks. Milk is treated with embalming fluid called formaldehyde. This is good for the supermarket as it makes it possible to keep the milk for 20 days or more, but it is bad for the person drinking it. Our cattle, chickens and turkeys are fed antibiotics and hormones. A short time before the cattle are slaughtered, their blood is filled with a strong chemical to tenderize the meat. It makes lean, good tasting, tender meat, but destroys the living cells in the human body. Few seem to be aware of this. The consumer wants tender, juicy meat and the producer is making money. Does anyone consider that both the producer and the consumer are doomed to poor health and an early grave? The word of God is true. MAN HAS BECOME FOOLISH.

"For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God has shown it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools." Romans 1:18-22

If the subject of God's dietary law is brought up in a Christian church, expect a RIOT. Your well behaved Christians will probably rise in indignation and defend "their pork chops" and all the other garbage foods. They will say we are saved by grace, living under grace and can do whatever we choose to do. All things God has created are clean, they will say. They are truly foolish, being led by their appetites rather than by the word of God and will have to suffer the consequences. Jesus Christ did not die to change the metabolism of the pig or the other garbage eating animals that God created to keep the earth clean. The pig is as dirty today as it was 2000 years ago, and still contains the worms and the poisons in its body.

Uneducated Christians (including pastors who might have a doctor of divinity degree) will defend their positions by bringing up the Book of Acts, chapters 10 and 11 that tells us about the vision Peter had and the great sheet filled with all kinds of animals, which he was told to rise, kill and eat. This vision had nothing to do with food, or what Peter should eat, but God used this vision to let Peter know that the Gentiles were not unclean and that Jesus had also died for them.

"Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that fears him, and works righteousness, is accepted with him." Acts 10:34-35

If the uneducated Christian loses this argument, he will turn to I Timothy chapter four and proclaim that God has given us permission to eat all kinds of meat, and that there are no more restrictions. But if they slow down and read verse 3, they will find out that this is not what the verse is telling us:

"Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God has created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving." (I Timothy 4:3-4)

The apostle Paul is rebuking people who are telling people not to eat food WHICH GOD HAS CREATED AS FOOD! What did God create as food for man? You will find that in Genesis, Chapter 1, verses 29-30 and in Leviticus, Chapter 11. Here God tells us what he created to be eaten. The whole earth and all that is in it was created by God, but ONLY CERTAIN THINGS WERE CREATED TO BE EATEN! I am personally living by the following rule: If an item is not found on God's food list, I will not eat it. This has nothing to do with my salvation, this has to do with health. Since God made my digestive system and is telling me what kind of fuel to burn in it, I am going to be smart enough to obey God and believe that he knows what he is talking about. After all, He created me.

THE CEREMONIAL LAW
This is the law that God gave that would bring redemption to mankind. Because of the sinfulness of man, it was only a shadow of what was to come. This portion of the law is found in Exodus, Chapters 25 through 40. The high priest and the Levites were told to offer the different sacrifices year after year until the final and ultimate sacrifice could be made, the LAMB OF GOD, JESUS CHRIST. This part of God's law has forever been fulfilled, and it is because of this that salvation now is available to you and me. No more do we need to keep this portion of the law. It has been fulfilled once and for all by Jesus Christ.

"Then verily the first covenant had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary. For there was a tabernacle made; the first, wherein was the candlestick, and the table, and the shewbread; which is called the sanctuary. And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of all; Which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron's rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant; And over it the cherubim of glory shadowing the mercy-seat; of which we cannot now speak particularly. 

Now when these things were thus ordained, the priests went always into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the service of God. But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people: The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing: Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience; Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation. 

But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. 

For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies to the purifying of the flesh: How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? 

And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance." Hebrews 9:1-15

The Apostle Paul summed it up beautifully:

"And that from a child you have known the holy scriptures, which are able to make you wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works." II Timothy 3:15-17

This is really good news for you and for me. It means that everything in the Bible applies to us and we can wholly trust and rely upon every verse in the Holy Book


Excerpted from Christian Dynamics, Course I, Chapter 6, Health: The Birthright of Every Christian, by Pastor John S. Torell, European-American Evangelistic Crusades, Inc., PO Box 41001, Sacramento, CA 95841-0001


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