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Jots, Tittles, and the Kingdom of Heaven

By Bill Grimes
2001

All That Are in the Graves Shall Hear the Sound of His Voice, and Shall Come Forth" | A Letter to a Full Preterist | Matthew 16:28 - Time Statement for What?

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 5:18 AV)
 
Recently, a visitor to this web site sent me an email in which he raised a good point.  He put it in the form of three questions.
1.     Are we in the new heavens and the new earth?
2.     If not, is it true that not one jot or tittle has passed from the law?
3.     Is the Old Covenant Law still binding then in every jot and tittle? If not, why not.

My reply is as follows:

The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever. (Isaiah 40:8 AV)

  Isaiahís sentence here is self-explanatory.  Godís Word lasts forever.  Now consider what Jesus said in Matthew 5:18.

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 5:18 AV)

  Also, consider Matthew 5:18 in light of a similar passage in Luke.

And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail. (Luke 16:17 AV)

  Jesus said it is easier for heaven and earth to pass from the scene than for one stroke of the Law to fail.  Consider yet another sentence from Luke.

Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away. (Luke 21:33 AV)

My conclusion is that Godís word will not pass away, nor will it fail.  Now, letís look back at Matthew 5:18 in its context.

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.   Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.   For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.   (Matthew 5:17-20 AV)

This paragraph serves the literary purpose of introducing what follows in the Sermon on the Mount.  Letís analyze this paragraph sentence by sentence.  Jesus opened His teaching with this statement.

  Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets:

Jesusí teaching astonished the people:

And they were astonished at his doctrine: for he taught them as one that had authority, and not as the scribes. (Mark 1:22 AV, Cf. Matthew 7:29; Luke 4:36)

Because Jesusí teaching was different, perhaps the question arose as to whether He came to destroy the Law and the Prophets, which is what the Jews accused Stephen of doing. (See Acts 6:11)  Jesus answered this unspoken question in the next phrase of the sentence:

  I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.

I pay special attention to verses that tell me what Jesus came to do.  He did not come to destroy the Law.  He came to fulfill the Law.  Jesusí next sentence proceeds from this one.

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.

Heaven and earth will not pass away until Jesus accomplishes His stated purpose.  Did Jesus accomplish His stated purpose? Yes He did.

I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. (John 17:4 AV)  

For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth. (Romans 10:4 AV)

He then drew a conclusion.

Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

Because His stated purpose was to fulfill the Law, Jesus said that whoever teaches men to break the commandments, and teach others to do so is least in Godís kingdom and whoever keeps the commandments and teaches others to keep them is great in the kingdom.  If one of His purposes in coming to this planet was to fulfill the Law, then certainly it follows that we should obey it.  From this statement, the next sentence follows.

For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

The Pharisees were guilty of breaking the commandments and of teaching others to break them as well:

Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.   For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do.   And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.   For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and, Whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death:   But ye say, If a man shall say to his father or mother, It is Corban, that is to say, a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; he shall be free.   And ye suffer him no more to do ought for his father or his mother;   Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye. (Mark 7:7-13 AV)

In the passage that follows, Jesus stripped away the Jewish tradition that had grown around the Law and then told us what it really means.  There is a series of teachings that begin with:

Ye have heard that it was said by them Ö. But I say unto you, (Matthew 5:21-22 AV)

This same literary formula is used six times in the passage that follows.  The Law became the Law of the kingdom.

Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:19 AV)

Portions of the Law are renewed in the New Covenant, and we are bound to obey them.  For example, as New Testament believers, we still do not to kill.  We still do not steal, lie, commit adultery, covet, etc.

So, are we in the new heavens and the new earth?  No, for the reasons I have stated in my most recent article, A Letter to a Full Preterist .

If not, is it true that not one jot or tittle has passed from the law?  Yes, Godís word stands forever.  None of Godís Word will fail or pass away.

Is the Old Covenant Law still binding then in every jot and tittle? If not, why not?  No, because Jesus finished the work which He came to do.

„ Bill Grimes, January, 2001.  Permission to copy and distribute is granted under the following conditions:  the contents of the article are not to be altered in any way, and any distribution of copies must be for free.

What do YOU think ?

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Date:
26 Oct 2002
Time:
06:49:32

Comments

Right On, Mike!! The problem with the futurists is that they don't see that salvation was still a process between 30 & 70a.d.(secure at the cross and fulfilled with the passing of the Old Heavens and Earth in ad70). "....til all be fulfilled" establishes and verifies the fact that the only time "jots and tittles" could pass from the law would be at the passing of heaven and earth. Since we see that heaven and earth would pass at the second coming of Christ,(Matt.24:34-35/Context being the destruction of the temple-Matt.24:1-3), then there's no problem seeing that the law would be fulfilled at that time too.


Date:
26 Oct 2002
Time:
08:18:16

Comments

The salvation of individuals was NOT still a process during the 40 years AD 30-70. The believers were seated in heaven with Christ during those 40 years (Eph. 2:5,6). If preterists would study the themes and concepts of the seven feasts of Lev. 23 they'd learn that Christ's fulfillment of the first three feasts in AD 30 resulted in the salvation (spiritual regeneration) of the PEOPLE of God (creation of the church, the new and spiritual and eternal Israel) and the fulfillment of the last three feasts later in the first century (after AD 70) resulted in the salvation (spiritual regeneration) of the promised LAND (the world) of spiritual Israel (creation of the new and spiritual and eternal world of Rev. 21,22). It's the Nicodemus vision problem that prevents preterists, and others, from understanding these spiritual facts.


Date:
27 Oct 2002
Time:
10:12:11

Comments

Re: Redemption -- The OT types explain it if preterists would drop their proud, private interpretations of the scriptures and study the types. The natural liberation of the natural Israelites from Pharaoh (type of Satan) occurred as a result of the slaying of the natural lambs, the hasty departure from Egypt, and the Israelites' safe emergence from the Red Sea. The natural Israelites were liberated at that time (saved from Pharaoh) but their complete natural redemption and rest did not occur until their promised land (Canaan) was liberated from the usurping natural dominion of the pagans in that land (Josh. 21:43-45) AFTER the typifying 40 years in the wilderness. Therefore, the spiritual liberation of the spiritual Israelites (the church) from Satan occurred as a result of the slaying of Christ (the true Israel), his hasty burial, and his safe emergence from the tomb. The spiritual Israelites were spiritually liberated at that time (saved from Satan) but their complete spiritual redemption and rest (Heb. 4:9) did not occur until their promised land (the world) was liberated (Heb. 9:28) from the usurping SPIRITUAL dominion of the pagans in the world (the blasphemous worldwide enforcement of emperor worship by Rome, spiritual Babylon, the city on seven hills) AFTER the 40 years AD 30-70. Preterists' erroneous view of Lk. 21:22 should be adjusted to fit the OT types, rather than vice versa.


Date:
27 Oct 2002
Time:
11:54:40

Comments

I see all sorts of talk about "types". Has the writer of the article (or the person writing the comments about "types", if they are not one and the same) Has he addressed the below scripture? If you have a new High Priest, the law had to change, if the law changed the Heaven and Earth past away.

Hebrews 7 12For when there is a change of the priesthood, there must also be a change of the law.


Date:
27 Oct 2002
Time:
16:41:06

Comments

You believe that salvation was completed process by 30A.D.?! Well try reading 1 Pet.1:5 which say, "until the coming of salvation that is READY to be revealed" not has been revealed! In Rom.13:11 Paul says, "the hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed." It may be time for you to wake up from your slumber!!! Also Jude says, "Keep yourselves in God's love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life." It sure sound like they were still waiting on the completion of something, doesn't it? In Hebrews 9:28 the writer states: "and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him." Notice it says "to bring salvation", not as if they have already completely attained it! These are but a few of the passages in which the first century believers were told to wait, look for, be patient, and eagerly wait. The consumation of that salvation was soon. It would be complete upon the removal of the old system, a system that was obsolete and aging and would be set aside when the new covenant was established(Heb.8:13;10:9). This new covenant was finally established in the events of 70A.D.


Date:
28 Oct 2002
Time:
06:27:26

Comments

Interpretations of NT passages must be adjusted to make them fit the OT types, and not vice versa. The types rule. And the types make it clear (article posted above at 10:12 a.m. on 10/27/02) that God's NT PEOPLE were saved from Satan through Christ's death, burial and resurrection (fulfillment of the first three 3 feasts of Lev. 23) and the LAND of God's NT people (the fallen Gen.1:1 creation, Ro. 8:21) was saved from Satan at Christ's parousia in AD 96 (spiritual fulfillment of the last three feasts). The natural Israelites were WITH Moses during the 40 years in the wilderness and therefore the spiritual Israelites had to be WITH Christ in heaven (Eph. 2:5,6) during the fulfillment 40 years of AD 30-70. AFTER the 40 years in the wilderness the natural Israelites had to triumph over the natural usurpers in Canaan before entering their natural rest and therefore AFTER the 40 years AD 30-70 the spiritual Israelites had to triumph spiritually over the spiritual usurpers in the world (the imperial cult's enforcement of emperor worship under which the whole world groaned, Ro. 8:22) before entering their spiritual rest. Both the PEOPLE and the LAND had to be liberated before they could be married to Christ, in fulfillment of Is. 62:4. Why fight the OT types that God provided for the church's spiritual guidance?


Date:
30 Oct 2002
Time:
07:58:49

Comments

If he believes this then he needs to read his own proof verse one more time. 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 5:18 AV) If all hasnt been fulfilled then we are still under the law. Let me go get my fatted calf ready for the saboth. What a joke


Date:
15 Apr 2004
Time:
17:09:21

Comments

God's laws are eternal. (Ps 119:160) All 6 of YHWH's covenants He made with Hebrews are everlasting and still in affect. The law was never given for salvation. Moses taught that salvation came by faith. Yahshua taught salvation came by faith, and the commandments (laws) were given to convict us of sin and to guide us in righteousness. They are the rules by which we shall live by if we wish to prosper and live a long life. They never were given to save us. Yahshua's sacrifice atoned for the law of sin and death. His blood has done what animals blood could not. Atone for willful sin. The animal sacrifices could onmly atone for accidental sin. That was the problem and why so many could not go to heaven but had to wait in Abrahams bussom. Everyone had willful sin. The (new) renewed covenat is placing the eternal laws of YHWH and writing them on our hearts, and giving us a heart of flesh, and removing the one of stone. Same eternal laws. Are they still binding? Absolutely. That is why bad things are happening to good people. They think they can brake them and live like they want. God will punish all those who break His laws. His laws are perfect, holy, and righteous, and ggod, and to say they are not binding on us is to not know Him, for He is the same, yesterday, today and for ever, and He changes not. If we are born again, we all reap what we sow, in this life time.


Date:
25 Sep 2004
Time:
20:36:15

Comments

God just IS. He is spirit. Spirit is raw, original, all-encompassing power. If God just IS, He does not Judge. According to the only precise book of scientific law on earth, we are told not to judge either, for everything including humans just IS. Only, we attach the meaning of 'good', or 'evil' to everything. ===> To 'BE' is to 'HAVE'. What does the 'Dove' descending on Jesus mean? He became Jesus The Christ, the first individual endowed with 'Christ-Power', the individuation, or personification of God-Power. When He declared 'I and the Father ARE ONE' He manifested congruence with God-Power, a vibration of 10 to the power of 1,000+. We are given the same potential: The ultimate creative state of mind. When God created, He thought, He spoke, checked the QUALITY. Finish. No 'doing', only BEING. Salvation is the application of the law (lord). What is the law? Adam was equipped with eternal life - choice of life, missing out because of 'evil' (error, or impurity in thinking, or supposition of 'imperfection'). The salvation of the last (42nd generation - count the generations in Matthew 1 and find that Jesus was #41) will be that we recognize we have the choice to live on earth as long as we want. We, with the help of Quantum Physics, have found that EVERYTHING already exists NOW. We also know that God only produces perfection. If everything IS PERFECTION, all we have to do is become aware of it. If we picture our body, which is really made of ENERGY, or spiritual power, being 'eaten by worms' when 'DEAD', so it is. However, when we realize that we just have to choose to live eternally, here, we will. How so? Only God knows the day and the hour of our 'death' - and He has already granted us everything, even before we ask. Ina Bliss

 

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