Church of God, New World Ministries

Bible Q & A

Q. Some who have left the Church claim Christ did away with God’s law. One scripture they site is Luke 16:16: “The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached.” Would you explain the meaning of this verse?
A. Jesus Himself explains in the very next verse: “And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail” (v. 17). Have the starry heavens or the planet earth passed away? Jesus said it would be easier for them to perish or be destroyed than for God’s law to pass away or perish!

On another occasion Christ told a young man seeking the way to eternal life, “If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments” (Matt. 19:17).How clear that God’s holy law is still in existence.

But what, then, did Jesus mean by the statement: “The law and the prophets were until John”? When Jesus spoke of the “law and the prophets,” He was referring to the Old Testament. The first five books of the Bible, written by Moses, are known as the law; the books of Joshua through Kings, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and the 12 Minor Prophets comprise the “prophets.” The third major section of the Old Testament was known as the “writings” or “psalms.” Notice Luke 24:27-45).

Jesus, therefore, meant that the Old Testament scriptures alone were preached until the coming of John the Baptist. That was all they had. The New Testament had not yet been written!

When John came on the scene in Palestine, he was the forerunner of Jesus Christ, preparing the way before Him, the “voice of one crying in the wilderness” (Mark 1:2-8). John thundered to the Pharisees, the Sadducees and all the people of his day, “Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matt. 3:2).

John began to proclaim the Gospel, preparing the way for Christ Himself. But what Gospel good news did Christ preach? “Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, the time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel” (Mark 1:14-15).

Christ preached the same Gospel as John! This is why He said that from the time of John the Baptist, the Gospel or good news of God’s coming Kingdom was proclaimed.
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