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June 6, 2023

Leaving the Old for the New Testament Economy

Acts 21:20 ...You observe, brother, how many thousands there are among the Jews who have believed; and all are zealous for the law. (21) And they have been informed concerning you that you are teaching all the Jews throughout the nations apostasy from Moses, telling them not to circumcise their children, nor to walk according to the customs.

To leave the law of Moses, not to circumcise, and not to walk according to the customs of dead letters are really according to God's New Testament economy. But these were considered by the unbelieving Jews and even by the Jewish believers in Christ to be apostasy from God's Old Testament dispensation. It certainly is not apostasy to put aside the Old Testament economy. Rather, that is part of the carrying out of the truth. Nevertheless, James and the other elders used the situation among the thousands of believing Jews in Jerusalem in order to persuade Paul. Those believing Jews who had been instructed concerning Paul were correct as to the facts, but they were mistaken in accusing Paul of apostasy. In the Epistle to the Galatians Paul clearly says that the law has been put aside, and that he is dead to the law: "I through law have died to law that I might live to God" (Gal. 2:19). This means that Paul no longer had anything to do with the law. For him to have died to the law means that the obligation under the law, the relationship to the law, was terminated. The Jews were right regarding the facts, but they twisted the facts by accusing Paul of teaching apostasy. Apostasy is a matter of heresy. Paul's departure from the law was neither apostasy nor heresy; it was the practice of the truth of God's New Testament economy. However, the opposers took the facts and twisted them.

Bible verses are taken from the Recovery Version of the Bible and Words of Ministry from Witness Lee, Life-study of Acts, pp. 489-490. Both are published by Living Stream Ministry, Anaheim, CA. Please visit us at www.emanna.com. Send comments to: comment@emanna.com.

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