A new commandment by C.J. Koster

"A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another." Yohanan 13:34.

Since the Reformation began, Luther had to deal with Johannes Agricola, and other pious leaders also had to contend with anti-nomianism (anti-lawkeeping). Up to the year 1844 the traditional Protestant churches were reasonably successful in keeping anti-nomianism in check. But since the Light about the Sabbath broke through in 1844 people have been trying to argue away this truth, even by misquoting Scripture texts or quoting texts in part. The traditional churches attempted to justify their disobedience to the Fourth Commandment by trying to prove a change from Sabbath to Sunday. This so-called change cannot be substantiated in the Scriptures. Thus, we find them nowadays resorting to the defence of the evangelical churches, namely that the Law of Ten Commandments has been done away with. As a result we find this anti-nomianism teaching prevailing in the churches today, especially in the evangelical and pentecostal circles. By rejecting this Moral code of the Ten Commandments they have allowed sin to beset them. Gross moral decay is the hallmark of the western world today and this has infiltrated into the churches. This no-law teaching is of course in direct opposition to the clear-cut teaching of the New Covenant: that we are to keep the Commandments of Yahueh our heavenly Father. This is explicitly commanded in Matt 19:17; 1 Cor 7:19; 1 Yohanan 5:3; 11 Yohanan v 6; Rev 12:17; Rev 14:12 and many other N.C. texts.

Because of unwillingness to obey these clear N.C. Scriptures plus the overwhelming evidence found in the O.C. Scriptures, these people try to find texts in the Scriptures to "hang their doubts on", just as you would find a hook to hang your clothes on. One of these hooks is Yohanan 13:34. They misconstrue this text in an attempt to lull them in their disobedience. They imply that the Messiah gave a new commandment in place of His Father's Ten Commandments. Let us study this text carefully. The word NEW before commandment is the Greek word "kainos" which simply means: re-newed or fresh. In Dake's Annotated Bible, page 9 in the N.C., column 1, the author says, "kainos" means renewed in contrast to "neos" which means new in existence. Both "kainos" and "neos" have been translated as "new" in most English Bibles. However, we find Matt 9:17 in the RSV, NEB and NASB where "kainos" is more correctly translated as "fresh". The Companion Bible makes a clear distinction between "kainos" and "neos". It describes "kainos" as fresh or new as to quality and character, and in Mark 1:27 reads, "new in character, not in time". On the other hand it explains "neos" as new as to time. New International Dictionary of N.C. Theology says "kainos" is derived from "qen" = to turn out fresh. It lists its theological use as: unused or unfamiliar, and it's secular use as: that which is qualitatively new as compared with what has existed until now. Strong's Concordance, #2537, describes it as new especially in freshness contrasting it with "neos" which is new with respect to age. Vine's Expository Dictionary of N.C. Words also makes a clear distinction. It describes "kainos" as new of that which is unaccustomed or unused, not new in time, recent, but new as to form and quality. It explains "neos" as new in respect of time.

With these authorities agreeing, we are compelled to accept the simple fact that the Greek text speaks about two different words in spite of the fact that they were both translated in the KJV as "new". "Kainos" is also found in Matt 9:17c, Matt 13:52, Matt 26:28,29, 1 Cor 11;25, 2 Cor 3:6, Heb 8:8, Heb 9:15, 1 Yohanan 2:7, Rev 2:17, Rev 3:12, Rev 5:9, Rev 21:1,2 and 5. These texts in Revelation speak thus of a renewed name or a fresh Name. Has the Name of our heavenly Father and the Name of His Son not been made fresh or renewed in the lives of the True Worshippers? Similarly, in Revelation the new song, the new Heaven and a new Earth as well as the new Jerusalem should all be understood in the sense of renewed or fresh, having been unaccustomed or unused in the past! "Kainos" is also used to describe the New Covenant in Heb 8:8 and Heb 9:15. Thus we realize that in the New Covenant the Covenant is made fresh or renewed through the Love of Yahushua our Messiah. The contents of the Renewed Covenant is still the same: the Law of Yahueh. We obey Yahueh because we love Him. It is no longer a burden but a joy. "For I delight in the Law of Yahueh", Sha’ul writes in Rom 7:22 and the Psalmist too in Psalm 1:2. Is this not what Yahushua the Messiah has wrought in your lives and in mine? Through His Love He has brought us into a renewed or fresh relationship with our heavenly Father - HalleluYAH!

But, let us return to the new Commandment. In 1 Yohanan 2:7-11 the apostle relates the new (fresh or renewed) commandment to the old commandment. He stresses the importance of us loving one another. He emphasizes the fact that this commandment of love is what the old commandment was all about! "The old commandment is the Word which ye have heard from the beginning." v 7 : "Let therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the son, and in the Father." 1 Yohanan 2:24. What was heard from the beginning? The old commandment, v 7 or called the Word of Life, 1 Yohanan 1:1. The Word of Yahueh became flesh and has been manifested to us in the New Covenant, 1 Yohanan 1:1-3 and Yohanan 1:14. Yahushua has made the Word of Yahueh become alive in our hearts! This is what the New Covenant is all about!

The Greek text of Yohanan 13:34 therefore speaks very clearly: "A renewed (or fresh) commandment I give unto you. That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another." This is why the Messiah came: to pour His Love in our heart, mind and soul and secondly that we may love our neighbour as ourselves. This is the summary of the Ten Commandments. But the Messiah came to MAGNIFY the Law and made it ESTEEMED, Yesh 42:21 RSV. He came to fill the Commandments with a deeper and fresher meaning by His re-enactment, magnifying it and making it esteemed. We should earnestly strive to love one another to the same high standard set by Him. This is what He commands us in Yohanan 13:34. Can we love one another too much? He loved us so much that He gave His life for us! "Greater love hath no man than this ...", Yohanan 15:13.

NOWHERE in the N.C. do we find ANY text to show that this "new" commandment has taken the place of the Ten Commandments. Yahushua did not come to destroy the Law. He denies this twice in Matt 5:17. He says very clearly in Luke 16:17, "And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass than one tittle of the Law to fail." How is it possible that people can be taught by the anti-nomianists to believe the contrary? Would you believe the anti-law teachers and imply that the Messiah was not speaking the truth? is our Saviour a rebel to do his own thing? Never! Never! Never!

"Yahushua answered them, and said, My doctrine is not Mine, but His that sent Me." Yohanan 7;16.

"My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of My lips", Yahueh says in Psalm 89:34.

"For I am Yahueh, I change not.", He says in Mal 3:6.

"I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father hath taught Me, I speak these things.", Yahushua says in Yohanan 8:28.

"He that is of Yahueh heareath Yahueh's Words,", the Messiah says in Yohanan 8:47.

"For I have not spoken of Myself; but the Father Who sent Me, He gave Me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. And I know that His commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto Me, so I speak.", He says in Yohanan 12:49, 50.

"He that loveth Me not keepeth not My sayings: and the word which ye hear is not Mine, but the Father's Who sent Me.", He says in Yohanan 14:24.

"For I have given unto them the words which Thou gavest Me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from Thee, and they have believed that Thou didst send Me.", He prays to His Father about His true disciples in Yohanan 17:8.

Yahueh spoke to Mosheh in Deut 18:18-20 prophesying about His son who would be our Great Prophet: "And I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put My words in His mouth; and He shall speak unto them all that I shall command Him (v 18). And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto My words which He shall speak in My Name, I will require it of him (v 19). But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in My Name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other mighty ones, even that prophet shall die." (v 20).

Have you been taught to believe in the True Messiah who is depicted in verse 18? Or has the anti-law doctrine led you to believe in another prophet who is described in verse 20? Every church is preaching a different Saviour. In fact, every believer has a different image of the Messiah in his mind. Everyone of us has been taught differently. Some people teach that He was a Sabbath-breaker. This is not true. He only rejected the Pharisees' man-made laws on Sabbath keeping. He never transgressed the Sabbath commandment for in Him was no sin, 1 Kepha 2:22. If you have been led to believe in a Messiah who came to do away with the Law of His Father, the True Messiah's own words refutes this, Matt 5:17-19 and Luke 16:17. Accept Yahushua's forgiveness for your disobedience and follow the True Messiah who said in Matt 5:17, "Do not suppose that I have come to abolish the Law and the prophets,; I did not come to abolish, but to complete." NEB. The True Messiah is He who came to MAGNIFY the Law, to make it esteemed and to COMPLETE it.

He is coming back soon to judge the world in righteousness. Repent from all transgression of the Law, for the Messiah will say to the anti-nomianists in the churches, "DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS..." Matt 7:23 and Matt 13:41,42. (NASB, Nestle Interlinear, Berry Interlinear and Rotherham Version).

back to articles