My Response to Russell Earl Kelly

Russell Earl Kelly wrote:

Kelly: Can you picture a lawyer in the USA arguing a case using even the good points of English law? Why is that obviously wrong, yet it is OK to argue using Old Covenant law? Well, God does not and cannot bless a New Covenant Christian because of obedience to annulled Old Covenant commandments per Heb 7:5, 12, 18?

Actually, for your information, the US has recently began to use EU law as precedents for certain types of cases.

However, even ignoring that, the analogy is still flawed. The US broke away from England. They had a revolution. The government of God still has the same King in place, the same government in place. The revolution was led by the Adversary (or Accuser), and it was a failed rebellion at that.

OK, so you are saying that a Christian cannot be blessed by keeping the commandments? Does that mean that there is no blessing for not committing murder? No blessing for being faithful to one’s wife? That’s all part of the Old Covenant, you see. It’s interesting that a lot of Protestants want to keep the portions of the Law that do not mean giving up time (the Sabbath) or money (tithing). When those subjects come up, they yell, “The Law was done away!”

It is a flawed argument. Why would God go to the trouble of sending His Son to die for our sins, transgressions against God’s Law, only to free us so we can commit more sins? That would be like the person hauled into court and forgiven of his crime running out to commit the same crime again, would it not?

Have you not read the article "Have Christians As a Whole Left Behind the Teachings of Christ?"? Or, how about "The Ten Commandments"?

You reference a Scripture that says a law was anulled, but you don’t quote it. Let’s look at it, shall we?

For there is verily a disannulling of the commandment going before for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof.

~ Heb 7:18

Now, you yourself state "The first rule of understanding the Bible is the context of the text being quoted." So, what is the context of Heb 7:18? What law was "disanulled" or "set aside" (NIV)? The "former law" he was talking about was:

For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law.

For he of whom these things are spoken pertaineth to another tribe, of which no man gave attendance at the altar.

~ vv 12-13

It was the law that the priesthood came from the line of Aaron. It was weak and profitless because it was a priesthood of men. God setup a more perfect priesthood throught the High Priest Jesus Christ, Who is immortal.

You further wrote:

Matthew 23:23 is a discussion of "matters of the law" and is addressed to the first century interpreters of the law who turned tithing into a burden by adding household garden herbs.

From Leviticus to Luke (16 texts) the true biblical tithe only meant food from inside Israel. God defined it that way!

I suggest you go back and reread part one. Not only did God make provisions to turn it into money, but Abraham and Jacob tithed on all.

Pagan tithing was in place in all Abraham’s known world alongside idolatry, child sacrifices and temple prostitution. Being very old and very common does not make something an eternal moral principle.

Read Numbers 31 which is a discussion of the statute of the law concerning tithes from spoils of war. It is only one per cent. Abraham and Jacob’s tithes from pagan Haran of Syria were not considered to be holy tithes in the law. Nothing Abraham did concerning tithes is followed by any church today.

Wait a minute! So, now tithing is pagan? Explain this one, please. In what manner are the examples of Abraham and Jacob not followed today and why?

I notice that Numbers 31 calls it a "tribute" and not a "tithe". It appears to be a special case, and it does not say that it was an ordinance to be carried out every time. Notice how the NASB calls it a "tax". It seems similar to the "ransom" (NASB) in Numbers 3 in that it appears to be a one-time deal. However, the tithe commands all say "when", which show they were laws and not one-time commands. Your citing of Numbers 31 is a weak argument, in my estimation.

Kelly: 1 Cor 9:12-19 shows that Paul refused to exercise his right to be paid (even partially) and preferred to work for free.

Yet, by your own admission, it was his "right". That money would have come from the Church, and it would be paid from members’ tithing.

Kelly: Most assume that everybody in the OT was required to begin his/her level of giving at ten per cent. That is a false assumption because only food producers who lived inside Israel qualified as tithe-payers. Jesus, Peter and Paul did not qualify.

I covered this in part 1.

Please stop teaching Old Covenant tithing to New Covenant believers. That which God wanted His Church to obey he repeated and restated to it after Calvary in terms of grace and faith. And tithes were not repeated. Neither do we have Levites and superior priests who must forfeit inheritance rights.

You utilize an argument similar to the atheist who asks why God won’t appear to him or her. They seem to have the expectation that God must appear in each and every generation to revalidate Himself. Why should God have to repeat the entire Law in order for you to follow it? Furthermore, why should I stop teaching what is still shown to be valid in the NT?

Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.

~ Ro 7:12

Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord.

For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:

~ Heb 8:9-10

In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.

~ v 13

What was the New Covenant based on? What was different other than writing the laws on the hearts and minds? Why would the Old Covenant vanish away? Again, Hebrews tells us the answer.

But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.

~ Heb 8:6

The New Covenant has better, longer lasting promises. We are given God’s Holy Spirit, something not generally available to ancient Israel. We have the promise of eternal life, while ancient Israel had promises of national greatness.

For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.

…For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:

~ Ro 7:14, 22

Yes, the Old Covenant was done away with because it had physical promises. It could not forgive sins, and it could not grant eternal life. Yet, the Law, the core of the Covenant, was basically unchanged, except for the portions fulfilled through Christ’s sacrifice and the granting of the Holy Spirit. We have explicit Bible verses that spell those changes out, most of which have to do with the sacrificial system.

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.

~ Mt 5:18

Last time I checked, heaven and earth are still standing. Last time I checked, all had not been fulfilled, as Christ’s Kingdom has not been established on earth.

Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.

~ Ro 3:31

What then? shall we sin [transgress the law, 1Jn 3:4], because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.

~ 6:15


  1. Russell Earl Kelly

    Error. See my blog post at

  2. the essence of the new covenant are the three comamndments of love. by living them we do much more than follow the law , for which we receive no righteousness, instead we do as christ did we fulfill the law. because the fulfillment of the law is love.

    the old covenant with its unchallengable regulations, was to create a seperate people, which because of the nature of man at that time needed a regulated life. that period is past. by and thru the grace of jesus christ, we now live by a direction of love.

    now all the law of the new covenant is to make us "conscious of not loving our neighbors as oursselves", the 2nd commandment, which is a summation of all new covenant law.

    we no longer have a relationship to god thru regulation as in deut 28, but rather directly to him(torn curtain) thru christ whose spirit lives in each believer.

    bottom line: the new covenant is without regulation.

    instead it is about:
    " test everything, keep the good"

    "all things are permissible but not everything is beneficial"

    "you will recognize them by their fruit " ………fruit of the spirit

    "anything that is without love, is nothinmg and gains nothing"