Abolish? Or fulfill?

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Matthew 5:17-18
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.

not one joy or tittle shall pass from the lawI have not come to abolish the Law, but to fulfil.

So then, what does it mean to “abolish” something? Now, what does it mean to “fulfill” something? Take note that Yeshua said he came to do one and NOT the other. They cannot, therefore, mean the same thing. However, we are informed by the church leaders that they basically mean the same thing and bring about the same result. Think about it. According to the American Heritage Dictionary, “abolish” means “To do away with; to put an end to.” And yet, what are we told that “fulfill” means? The definition given to us is the same – “To do away with; put an end to by way of completing.” The Greek word for fulfill here is ‘pleroo.’ (http://biblehub.com/strongs/greek/4137.htm) It’s the same word used in Matthew 3:15 when Yeshua is baptized by John. Yeshua replied,

Matthew 3:15
“Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill (pleroo) all righteousness.”

Then John consented. According to the interpretation that the Church gives Matthew 5:17-18 regarding ‘fulfill,’ we don’t have to worry about righteousness since Christ fulfilled it at His baptism. Sounds absurd right?

The next thing that Yeshua states in Matthew 5 is that not one thing will be removed from the Law ’til everything is accomplished. “Everything is accomplished” is a direct referral to all prophecy being completed. This is NOT a referral to the cross when Yeshua stated, “It is finished,” because there was and is prophecy yet to be fulfilled. Pentecost was just one thing that had to be fulfilled AFTER the cross. Verse 18 in Matthew 5 is a direct point to Revelation 21:5-6.

Revelation 21:5-6
He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life.

All prophecy is completed at this point, when Heaven and Earth are made new. It shouldn’t be any surprise, then, that Yeshua said, “Until Heaven and Earth pass away…” in the context of all of the Law and Prophets being fulfilled! According to Peter, we are still waiting for that to happen.

2 Peter 3:13
Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for a new heavens and new earth in which righteousness dwells.

If you ask most people today, I am sure that they will agree that this is still the same Heaven and Earth that Yeshua walked on during His statements in Matthew 5. It’s interesting how many, in all their fascination with prophecy, will cling to the news of the day as they watch for prophecy to unfold but conveniently cast aside the Law – that which Yeshua Himself said would NOT be done away with until ALL prophecy is completed.

Let’s look at some other places this word is used.

Romans 15:13
May the God of hope fill (pleroo) you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

So does this mean to do away with or put an end to all your joy and peace? I don’t think so.

Colossians 1:25
I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness (pleroo).

So, why do so many tell us that this word means “to do away with” or “to put an end to” in Matthew 5? It just doesn’t make sense. We also see ‘pleroo’ used in a past tense form in James 2:23.

James 2:23
And the Scripture was fulfilled (pleroo) that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend.

It doesn’t mean to do away with or put an end to. It simply means to bring to fruition in one’s life. To fully live it and preach it. So, the law is to be lived out in our life with Yeshua as our example. Remember, obedience to the law is NOT our salvation. It’s the fruit, the evidence, of our salvation.

We hope that you have enjoyed this teaching.

Additional Reading: Did Jesus do away with the Law Matt 5:17?
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