Did God Lie? Does He Change?
This article is difficult to write, and it may be equally difficult to follow but I hope to give a simple, yet effective explanation of these things. I thought I would begin with some questions that pertain to at least one, if not multiple mysteries of scripture.
I believe that the content of this article will be somewhat surprising because I will be addressing these questions in a much different manner or direction than many people may be accustomed to hearing.
This article is very important for understanding one of the major errors of the Hebrew Roots Movement. Although there have been similar groups that predate the HRM, the HRM, or the errors of the HRM, would most likely not exist without the advent of the rebirth of Israel. This advent has caused many people to try and reassume or re-assimilate with the physical kingdom or nation of Israel, but in doing so, I believe that these people are the ones who fail to understand what God means when He says that He doesn’t change. We will be looking at some dual prophecy in order to understand the error of the HRM in relation to the basic fundamentals of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Please take the time to reflect on what I am presenting because it’s not necessarily something that can be easily explained in a mere article. Everything I have written so far can be summarized in these following topics, and I believe that these scriptures will be the key to understanding what the HRM has completely missed all along. I believe that this article will be another example of how many people “can’t see the forest through the trees”.
WHO’S TELLING THE TRUTH?-
Did God lie in this scripture?:
“…but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”
Does God change?
In Malachi 3:6, God says He doesn’t change, but does Malachi chapter 4 also reveal another lie that is perpetrated this time by Jesus?
In Malachi 4:5 it says:
“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet
Before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.”
Now we know that this Day of the Lord is spoken of in Joel, and the description of this day in Joel, matches the sixth seal of Revelation and also the description that Jesus gives in Matthew 24…….but,
Jesus said that John the Baptist was Elijah and yet the day of the Lord has not come with all the signs that are supposed to accompany this event. Even Paul says in 2 Thessalonians chapter 2, that the Day of the Lord has not come yet, so how do we reconcile all of this?
Here are the problems:
1)God said Adam would die the day he ate the fruit but Adam didn’t die that day.
2) Jesus said that John was Elijah two separate times. Once in Matthew 11:14, and the other time in Matthew 17:12.
3) However, in John 1:21, John the Baptist denies that he is Elijah:
“And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?”
He said, “I am not.”
4)In Malachi 4, it says that Elijah would precede the Day of the Lord as spoken of in Joel and we should remember Moses because God changes not.
What we will do is narrow this down to individual topics and then bring it all together. We can divide this up into 2 topics:
1)The Death of Adam
2)The Day of the Lord
As we look at these topics, we are going to add some references from the books of Amos, Joel as well as Malachi and maybe Isaiah. In doing so, we are going to leave them open to the possibility that everything prophetic has a dual application. You will need your Bible for this because I won’t be able to put it all in print.
THE DEATH OF ADAM-
The mystery of why Adam didn’t die is usually answered by saying that he died a spiritual death, but this response is usually a type of guess, or speculation.
There is alot of truth to this idea because Adam did die a spiritual death. Adam’s consciousness towards God died and he was reborn to a self-consciousness through the knowledge of good and evil. However, this does not answer the entire mystery. It makes us sound pious and spiritual when we claim that Adam died a spiritual death, but there really wasn’t any concept of a spiritual death in the OT; people either lived or they died and although there are many references to the afterlife in the OT, the majority of laws and consequences were related to physical, earthly life.
The fact is that when anyone picks up the Bible and reads that Adam was supposed to die the day he ate of the tree, but yet he didn’t, they would have just cause for pointing out a contradiction.
Had Adam died physically, his self-conscious disposition would not have been passed on to all men or his lineage, but at the same time, there wouldn’t be any more humans either. In reality though, the whole human race did become extinct in the garden and that’s how we should look at the whole issue of the fall. Adam’s offspring was not a second chance at life; the whole world became the walking dead until Christ.
If we are going to talk about a spiritual death, then we have to start out by recognizing that Adam did not die spiritually simply by eating fruit. He died spiritually by partaking of the knowledge of good and evil.
Genesis 3:22 tells us this. Adam became a god-like entity which makes him a separate god-like entity through this new nature that he possessed. Adam became exactly the same as the devil and the fallen angels except he had a body. He was removed from the garden so he would not live forever in the body, as a separate god-like entity.
The nature of sin is not simply defined as immorality. It is based in a morally self-conscious and self-sustaining condition that seeks the right to itself, apart from God. The temptation in the garden, and the temptation that Jesus underwent proves this. Both temptations were about succumbing to a pseudo god-hood which exalted the self.
With all that in mind, let’s look at Romans 5:12-21 which tells us more about the lineage of Adam and especially this verse:
“For until the law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law.”
This verse is very important.
Adam continued to live in the body but condemnation never left him, nor his lineage. Many people wrongly misjudge or dismiss the concept of inherited sin because they assume that God cannot hold people accountable for what Adam did but Romans 5 does not make the claim that his lineage was equally responsible for his action. We have to look at this verse carefully:
“Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, EVEN over those who HAD NOT SINNED according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam.”(vs14)
What we have to realize is that Adam sinned in perfection, but everyone else sinned according to the corruption of their lineage. Condemnation was on everyone because of Adam, but all men still sinned on their own. Adam was justifiably condemned under the command to not eat the fruit, but Paul tells us that everyone else did not sin in the likeness of Adam’s transgression. They were more inclined to sin because of Adam, but they were nonetheless, guilty of their own. The best way to phrase it, is to say that their sin was an exhibition of their corrupted lineage according to Adam’s disposition. Paul acknowledges this in Galatians 5:16-26.
So, in order for God to be just in condemning Adam’s lineage even though they sinned differently, there had to be a law so as to impute that sin. This is why Paul says in verse 20:
“Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound”
Sin was sourced or rooted in Adam, but the exhibition of it had to come under the Law. The Law came to prove the source of this exhibition by putting man’s sinful actions up against it.
For people who want to deny the whole corrupted lineage issue, we have to look at another verse:
“…even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is A TYPE of Him who was to come…For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.”
What Paul does here is put Adam and Jesus in similitude, and he skips over everyone else. What this does, is create two different lineages. One disposition/nature or lineage exhibits what is contrary to God while the other disposition is in tune with God, but we still have to deal with Adam’s death.
To put it plainly, Adam died spiritually in the garden of Eden, but he died physically around 30-33A.D. by crucifixion.
This ended the corrupted lineage of Adam and created a new lineage whereby men would become sons of God through the resurrected Christ. Understanding this helps these following verses make more sense, especially when it comes to the resurrection.
“Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!”
(1 John 3:1)
“Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God.”
“Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another—to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God.”
“and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead…”
The whole idea of a single sacrifice should tell us that Christ’s sacrifice goes back to one individual, which is Adam and his transgression. Jesus died for all mankind by dying for the source of sin to all mankind which was found in, or began with Adam.
We have to look at it this way:
When Jesus died, he died for Adam and because Adam is the initiating factor of sin for all mankind, Jesus died for all of mankind.
The law could not stop or crucify sin and Paul lets us know how this was taken care of:
“For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh.”
Notice the last part of that verse: “…He condemned sin in the flesh…”
We can come to the conclusion that Adam did die a spiritual death, and physical death EVENTUALLY came to all, but the problem is that those in Adam or the world do not know what this means. You have to pay very careful attention to what Paul says in verse 14:
“Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses…”
What does Paul mean by saying that death only reigned until Moses? That is very strange.
Even though Abraham was the father of Israel, the reign of death or sin through death, met its match with the introduction of the Law. What reigned through the lineage of Adam had no official opponents until the Law came into play, hence: “…the law entered that the offense might abound.”
The Law came to expose what was going on in order for mankind to know and understand.
This whole concept of Adam, and our Adam, dying on the cross is something I believe the HRM does not understand whatsoever. The HRM is still trying to live according to Adam’s lineage under the Law, but our lineage is according to the Seed of Abraham.
It is a new lineage that Israel waited for while under the Law. The HRM seems to be waiting for a renaissance of all that was in Adam, because they refuse to see the basis of the Law in relation to the fall. The Law was for all that was condemned in Adam until the Seed should appear to whom the promise was made(Gal 3:19).
What a tragedy to miss this!
What people don’t realize is that ancient Israel was only given a promise, but no one ever partook of that promise until Christ. All the world was a definite inheritor and partaker of Adam, but no one was a partaker of the promised Seed of Abraham until that Seed appeared as Jesus Christ. The HRM cannot claim that we should assimilate as ancient Hebrews when even Israel had not yet partaken of their promised Seed. Ancient Israel was in waiting but we are no longer in waiting.
What the HRM espouses about the Law is almost a night and day difference from what the whole Bible really teaches. They cannot take their eyes off the righteousness of their Adam through the Law and it becomes one huge blindfold to what the Bible says about the fall, Abraham, the Law, and the death of Christ.
BUT WAIT JUST A MINUTE!-
This article is far from being over.
The HRM, or at least some fringes of the HRM continue to insinuate that Christians can only make a New Testament argument. They insinuate that we only follow the Apostle Paul and not Christ. Some extremes even claim that the epistles are not scripture, or even antithetical to scripture.
In response to these claims which I see continually; let’s go back to see if the HRM even believes what the Old Testament has to say, let alone the NT.
THE DAY OF THE LORD-
Jesus Christ did not come to pronounce judgment, He Himself is the judgment; whenever we come across Him we are judged instantly.
Now that we have looked at the death of Adam, we are going to look at some specific prophecies that will help us understand the transfer of our lineage from Adam to Christ. The best way to start is by simply looking at some Old Testament texts. These are a bit lengthy, but I ask that you at least glance over them in order to get a general idea and then we will break down some of the major points.
“Behold, I send My messenger,
And he will prepare the way before Me.
And the Lord, whom you seek,
Will suddenly come to His temple,
Even the Messenger of the covenant,
In whom you delight.
Behold, He is coming,
Says the Lord of hosts.
But who can endure the day of His coming?
And who can stand when He appears?
For He is like a refiner’s fire
And like launderers’ soap.
He will sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver;
He will purify the sons of Levi,
And purge them as gold and silver,
That they may offer to the Lord
An offering in righteousness.
Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem
Will be pleasant to the Lord,
As in the days of old,
As in former years.
And I will come near you for judgment;
I will be a swift witness
Against those who exploit wage earners and widows and orphans,
And against those who turn away an alien—
Because they do not fear Me,
Says the Lord of hosts.
For I am the Lord, I do not change;
Therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob.
Yet from the days of your fathers
You have gone away from My ordinances
And have not kept them.
Return to Me, and I will return to you,
Says the Lord of hosts…”
“For behold, the day is coming,
Burning like an oven,
And all the proud, yes, all who do wickedly will be stubble.
And the day which is coming shall burn them up,
Says the Lord of hosts,
That will leave them neither root nor branch.
But to you who fear My name
The Sun of Righteousness shall arise
With healing in His wings;
And you shall go out
And grow fat like stall-fed calves.
You shall trample the wicked,
For they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet
On the day that I do this,
Says the Lord of hosts.
Remember the Law of Moses, My servant,
Which I commanded him in Horeb for all Israel,
With the statutes and judgments.
Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet
Before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.
And he will turn
The hearts of the fathers to the children,
And the hearts of the children to their fathers,
Lest I come and strike the earth with a curse.”
“Then the Lord said to me:
The end has come upon My people Israel;
I will not pass by them anymore.
And the songs of the temple
Shall be wailing in that day,
Says the Lord God—
Many dead bodies everywhere,
They shall be thrown out in silence…
The Lord has sworn by the pride of Jacob:
Surely I will never forget any of their works.
Shall the land not tremble for this,
And everyone mourn who dwells in it?
All of it shall swell like the River,
Heave and subside
Like the River of Egypt.
And it shall come to pass in that day, says the Lord God,
That I will make the sun go down at noon,
And I will darken the earth in broad daylight;
I will turn your feasts into mourning,
And all your songs into lamentation;
I will bring sackcloth on every waist,
And baldness on every head;
I will make it like mourning for an only son,
And its end like a bitter day.”
(Amos 8:1-3, and 7-10)
“Blow the trumpet in Zion,
And sound an alarm in My holy mountain!
Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble;
For the day of the Lord is coming,
For it is at hand:
A day of darkness and gloominess,
A day of clouds and thick darkness,
Like the morning clouds spread over the mountains…
And it shall come to pass afterward
That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh;
Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
Your old men shall dream dreams,
Your young men shall see visions.
And also on My menservants and on My maidservants
I will pour out My Spirit in those days.
And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth:
Blood and fire and pillars of smoke.
The sun shall be turned into darkness,
And the moon into blood,
Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord.
And it shall come to pass
That whoever calls on the name of the Lord
Shall be saved.
For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be deliverance,
As the Lord has said,
Among the remnant whom the Lord calls.”
(Joel 2:1-2a and 28-32)
There is a whole bunch to deal with in these passages, but I will keep it simple.
What we are looking at in these passages is
All of these passages have a dual nature or dual application that WERE fulfilled and WILL be fulfilled. In almost all of the minor prophets, you can find something that is synonymous with the book of Revelation, but in the same breath, they were also fulfilled at the time of Christ. Don’t think for a minute that this can be denied.
One of the major examples is determining whether John the Baptist was Elijah according to Malachi 3 and 4.
In Malachi and Joel, the Day of the Lord is intertwined with past and future prophecies, and in Amos we see the prophecy of what would happen at mid-day when Christ was crucified, but even this fulfilled prophecy is fixed within future prophecies.
The book of Isaiah also has too much to put into an article but Isaiah 9-35 is basically the Old Testament equivalent to Revelation, but it also contains dual prophecy that was fulfilled at the time of Christ and will be fulfilled at His second coming.
Isaiah 9-11 contains many examples that attribute to Christ what was fulfilled when He came but they are fixed within prophecies yet to come as well. Isaiah 9-11 contains much about Christ’s birth, kingdom, judgment, reign, rest and yokes.
The point of all of this is to show that the Day of the Lord is in relation to Christ and judgment through Him, but not necessarily future tense. How this all applies to the Hebrew Roots Movement is in what I believe is their misunderstanding of the gospel and prophecy. I do not believe they understand that Jesus came to judge. Almost all that I hear from the HRM, is the idea that Jesus came to re-enforce law keeping and their version of fulfillment is really nothing more than what you can call “perpetuation”.
The HRM seems to believe that Jesus came to “continue” rather than fulfill, or fulfill through judgment.
We have to remember that Jesus said:
“all the prophets and the law prophesied UNTIL JOHN.”
This means that what the law and the prophets pointed to was now realized and therefore, “the kingdom is at hand” because of it.
I cover this a little bit more in my article “Fruits of the Kingdom”, but what we see through John the Baptist is that he points to Christ as the judge that is prophesied in Malachi, and Isaiah in conjunction with the Day of the Lord. Let’s look at what John and Jesus say about judgment:
“And even NOW the ax is laid to the roots of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”
“I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather His wheat into the barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”
“For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son…and has given Him authority to execute judgment also because He is the Son of Man…I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and my judgment is righteous, because I do not seek my own will, but the will of the Father who sent Me.”
What Jesus says here can be related to Isaiah 11:3-4.
Even Simeon associates Christ with Malachi 3:
“Then Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary His mother, ‘Behold, this Child is destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which will be spoken against (yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed’.”
“And Jesus said, ‘For judgment I have come into this world, that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may be made blind.’
THE YEAR OF THE LORD or THE DAY OF THE LORD?-
You may have been familiar with “The Day of Lord”, but do you know what is “The Year of the Lord”?
In Luke 4:17-19, Jesus begins His ministry by quoting from Isaiah 61 but in verse 19, Jesus stops short in quoting Isaiah and He leaves out the phrase:
“…and the day of vengeance of our God…”
It’s important to notice that Jesus says Isaiah 61:1-2 is fulfilled in Him, but not the part about vengeance.
This is very important but does it contradict my article?
I am trying to show that John the Baptist, the Day of the Lord, and the death of Adam are all tied to the first coming of Jesus Christ.
What we can learn from this relationship between Luke and Isaiah is that Jesus did not come to exact vengeance, but He will when He comes again.
The crucifixion of Christ is a shadow of that vengeance
which was exacted on Christ. The question we should ask, and the question the Jewish people should have asked is, “Why did Jesus leave that part out?”.
Jesus, John and Simeon all seem to agree that the kingdom had come and Amos, Joel, Isaiah and Malachi all seem to tie Christ’s coming with the Day of the Lord, so how do we work this all out?
What you must understand about the Hebrew Roots Movement, Seventh-Day Adventists, and Moral Government proponents is that none of them believe that mankind was judged, sentenced and condemned on the Cross.
They all believe that God has changed or adapted what HE said because of either new-covenant privileges, or extenuating circumstances such as the lack of a Jerusalem temple, yet all of these groups will affirm that we must keep the Law.
None of these people will realize that the Law put mankind on trial, and that trial was held 2000 years ago on a hill called Golgotha. One man named Jesus Christ represented all mankind and He was not granted immunity or leniency. He was condemned on a Cross unto death.
The worst error of modern Bible-based religion is to think that forgiveness/salvation through Jesus Christ is somehow a reinstatement or re-perpetuation of mankind unto the Law. This is a horrible error.
When we come to Christ for salvation, we are agreeing with God and His just condemnation of us according to the Law. Those who have come to Christ are the ones who have submitted to this judgment and condemnation, and the ones who haven’t come to Him are those who think they can either escape trial or somehow make restitution through good behavior.
We have to live as if we have already been condemned under the Law. We CANNOT live as if we think that judgment is mysteriously yet to come. That is the way sinners live. We have to live in the present reality of knowing what judgment and condemnation is for us. That is what understanding our salvation is all about.
Salvation begins with trial, sentencing and then the death penalty. Our forgiveness does not come in the form of a reinstatement of Adam, but in the likeness of Christ’s resurrection. Read what Paul says about the construct of the Gospel:
“For I through the law died to the law that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ…”
“knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
The blessing of the Gospel is that we die, yet live and Jesus says this:
“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life. Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live. For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself, and has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man.”
This verse has no place for those who don’t understand the idea that judgment has already come through the person of Christ and the Gospel. In this passage, Jesus seems to present the concept where transition from death to life comes in the context of judgment through Him.
To understand the Gospel is to understand that the Day of the Lord has come and yet, is still to come.
To understand the Gospel is to also understand that the death of Adam and the Day of the Lord both happened around 30-33A.D, and it will happen again.
This is what dual prophecy is all about and this is why salvation and the life of a believer is not a perpetuation of law-keeping but a perpetuation of crucifixion with Christ in order that we may walk in the newness of life and in the newness of the Spirit and in the likeness of His resurrection.
For those who have submitted to the Day of the Lord already, Christ has purified unto himself a people who offer an offering of righteousness and the NT testament speaks of this on many occasions.
However, I do believe that this will also take place in the future to physical Israel but be very careful. The rebirth of Israel has convinced many people that our hope should be in what God might do with Israel in the end times rather than what He did on the Cross.
The problem is that much of the Hebrew Roots Movement is the same as Judaism in that they believe judgment never came through Christ according to the Law. They believe that we are in a type of Mosaic perpetuation through Christ that is awaiting fulfillment in the millenium.
A great deal of the HRM is dependent on a certain viewpoint concerning end times events. The HRM, like Judaism now, and Judaism in the Bible, are awaiting some sort of restoration but I do not believe they really understand what all the prophecies in the Bible have to say about restoration. While ancient Israel was awaiting restoration, they ended up getting judgment through Jesus Christ. The same thing goes for now because a large portion of the HRM seems to be under the idea that there is going to be some sort of proliferation of the Law and “all things Hebrew” with the restoration of modern Israel.
Not everyone believes this but many who hold to the belief that we are still under the Law, seem to have this idea that when Christ returns, He will be looking to reward “all things Hebrew” as if He never came in the first place to judge mankind according to the Law.
Of course we know that God is still going to judge and I am fully aware of what it still to come, but the point of this article is to explain what happened with Jesus Christ when it comes to the concept of judgment.
The HRM would like us to believe that we need to be under the Law because God doesn’t change and He is coming soon, but the reality is that Jesus Christ already came in judgment because of this fact of God not changing.
This the problem with many people who believe we are still under the Law. When you dig down to it, they really don’t seem to think that there will be any judgment. That may sound like a wild, unfounded claim but why should I believe anything different when they don’t seem to understand the whole concept of judgment at Christ’s first coming? When the HRM tries to tell us that Jesus came to proliferate the law, then it is obvious they don’t have any concept of judgment nor the prophecies concerning judgment…not to mention the whole aspect of the death of Adam.
This is just another reason why the HRM and Christianity have little compatibility. The HRM doesn’t seem to take the prophecies of judgment very seriously and that is why their view of Christ’s first coming is rather benign. It has to be understood what Christ’s first coming had to do with the Law, judgment, and the death of Adam in order to know what the context of the Law is for us in Jesus Christ.
I don’t think that the HRM, SDA or Moral Government theology can explain the proper context of sanctification because rarely can they ever explain the proper context of salvation that includes the Adam and the fall, Abraham, the Law, the Prophecies and the Cross.
So with all this said, lets go back to my original questions:
Did God lie? Does God change?
God does not change so He pointed to Moses, and Moses points us to the Law and the Law points to our sin and our sin points to our Adam and God condemned Adam on the Cross.
-Do you now understand when Adam died?
-Do you now understand what the Day of the Lord?
-Do you now understand what salvation means?
“For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved. He that believeth on Him is not condemned; but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed on the name of the only begotten Son of God.”