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Bible teacher Mathew Kuruvilla teaching to not give a Bible with the Old Testament to a new believer

Many among Christians are promoting false teachings which question the application of the Old Testament to a New Testament believer. There was a recent controversy among Malayalee Pentecostal churches regarding the teachings of Mathew Kuruvilla (aka Brother Thanku). This clip [Mathew Kuruvilla negating the Old Testament] reveals how he was teaching the following regarding the Old Testament:

(1). Don’t give new converts the Old Testament, but instead give only the New Testament.
(2). Just because the Bible is bound together with the Old Testament and New Testament, this doesn’t mean that it is the full Bible.
(3). There is no clear revelation about God in the Old Testament.
(4). Maybe things were written by Moses to lead a generation that were not born again and thus many of the things written by Moses in the Old Testament were not from God.

Wow! I was just baffled hearing his message. Where do I start to refute this kind of nonsense? First off, I’d like to point such Christians to the New Testament verses which teach us how to view both the Old Testament and New Testament as inspired by the power of God.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NLT):
All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. 17 God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.

Matthew 22:29 (NLT):
Jesus replied, “Your mistake is that you don’t know the Scriptures, and you don’t know the power of God.

Matthew 5:17-19 (NLT):
“Don’t misunderstand why I have come. I did not come to abolish the law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I came to accomplish their purpose. 18 I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not even the smallest detail of God’s law will disappear until its purpose is achieved. 19 So if you ignore the least commandment and teach others to do the same, you will be called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But anyone who obeys God’s laws and teaches them will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven.

I believe that negating the importance of the Old Testament as well as claiming that some parts of it are not divinely inspired are one of the ways that Satan promotes licentiousness/lawlessness. The Old Testament shows a sinner his sinful state [refer to Romans 7:7] and it is the New Testament which shows us how we are supposed to obey God and live holy lives in a new manner by no longer obeying the letter of the Old Testament law, but rather living under the guidance and power of the Holy Spirit to bear the fruit of the Spirit [refer to Romans 7:6; Romans 8:1-14 and Galatians 5:16-26).

Pastor Shibu Peediakal quoted from 2 Corinthians 3:12-16 to defend Mathew Kuruvilla in another clip (refer to Pastor Shibu's thoughts on the Mathew Kuruvilla controversy). Why were people's hearts hardened when they listened to the Old Covenant? Why couldn't they truly understand the purpose of God giving them the Old Covenant? Is it because the Old Covenant itself had problems? No. Is it because it was too difficult to understand? No. Their sinful nature spiritually blinded them.  Look at what Paul wrote in Romans 7.

Romans 7:7-12 (NLT):
Well then, am I suggesting that the law of God is sinful? Of course not! In fact, it was the law that showed me my sin. I would never have known that coveting is wrong if the law had not said, “You must not covet.” 8 But sin used this command to arouse all kinds of covetous desires within me! If there were no law, sin would not have that power. 9 At one time I lived without understanding the law. But when I learned the command not to covet, for instance, the power of sin came to life, 10 and I died. So I discovered that the law’s commands, which were supposed to bring life, brought spiritual death instead. 11 Sin took advantage of those commands and deceived me; it used the commands to kill me. 12 But still, the law itself is holy, and its commands are holy and right and good.

The purpose of the Old Covenant laws were to help people realize God's standard of holiness and how they were failing to meet that standard. It was to help them realize that they have a sinful nature in them which was preventing them from carrying out their good intentions in obeying God [refer to Romans 7:14-25]. By coming to Jesus Christ, this veil [i.e. the blinding effect caused by the sinful nature], is removed. By putting faith in Jesus Christ, this allows for the Holy Spirit to come and dwell in a believer in order to guide and empower them to live holy lives by bearing the fruit of the Spirit. This is the New Covenant in which now God's laws are written in the hearts of believers [refer to Romans 2:14-15 and Hebrews 10:15-16]. The sinful nature is no longer able to be empowered by the Old Covenant law to control our minds, blind us and harden our hearts against God, when we allow the Holy Spirit to guide and empower us to bear the fruit of the Spirit [refer to Romans 8:1-14 and Galatians 5:16-26]. There is no law against the fruit of the Spirit which the sinful nature can use to arouse sinful desires in us.

2 Corinthians 3:16 (NLT):
All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.

Pastor Shibu and Brother Ashish defended Kuruvilla by saying that there was no point of giving the Old Testament to a new believer as they wouldn't be able to understand it as it is mainly genealogies and creation facts. What nonsense! I think they failed to understand the Old Testament themselves. Any literate person would not have a hard time understanding the Old Testament as they would understand that the Old Testament gives:
(1). crucial prophecies regarding the Messiah, which links it to Jesus Christ in the New Testament
(2) it accounts for the fall of mankind and how sin entered the world (thus it becomes the link to the New Testament)
(3). it accounts for Biblical faith (i.e. the heroes of faith in the Bible- refer to Hebrews chapter 11). Thus, it teaches a new believer how we should imitate such Biblical faith from Bible patriarchs.

Thus, to teach that the Old Testament shouldn't be given to new believers is a grave error. One should instead teach to not read only the Old Testament [like the Jews do today], but supplement it with the New Testament so that you will properly understand God's plan of salvation for mankind [from their sinful nature and death]. It's interesting how Satan creates confusion among Jews and Christians. The Jews only have the Old Testament and reject the New Testament, while now many among Christians teach to only read the New Testament and reject the Old Testament. The truth is that we need to read both to gain a complete understanding of the Holy Bible.

Pastor Shibu was saying that an Islamization/Islamic invasion of Christianity is occurring through the questioning of the Holy Trinity and the deity of Christ. However, when Pentecostal pastors teach that the Old Testament shouldn't be given to a new believer, they are no better than the Islamists among them.

Refer also to Pastor Shameer Kollam's refutation of Mathew Kuruvilla's teachings [refer to Pastor Shameer Kollam refutes Mathew Kuruvilla].

One person commented on the video saying that Jesus changed the Old Covenant. Is there any truth to this? This is a good question. Let's look at Matthew chapter 5.

Matthew 5:17-20 (NLT):
“Don’t misunderstand why I have come. I did not come to abolish the law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I came to accomplish their purpose. 18 I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not even the smallest detail of God’s law will disappear until its purpose is achieved. 19 So if you ignore the least commandment and teach others to do the same, you will be called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But anyone who obeys God’s laws and teaches them will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven.

20 “But I warn you—unless your righteousness is better than the righteousness of the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven!

Refer also to verses 21-48 of the above chapter. Jesus magnified God's law and showed how we should really be obeying the OT laws (in the spirit it was intended, not just by the letter of the law).

I believe Jesus changed couple of things:
(1) Circumcision. He paved the way to abolish physical type of circumcision and replace it with spiritual circumcision (consecrating one's heart to God/metanoia/regeneration). Spiritual circumcision is what is required for both Jews and Gentiles. Refer to Romans 2:28-29 and Galatians 5:1-6. Without spiritual circumcision and allowing the Holy Spirit to empower and guide us, we can't obey God's commands in the spirit it was intended by Him [i.e. living in the new way of the Holy Spirit to bear the fruit of the Spirit]. The Old Testament laws were prohibitions and our sinful nature used that to arouse evil desires in us to bring death to us. In other words, our sinful nature was empowered by the OT laws [refer to Romans 7:7-10]. So God abolished that old way of trying to obey Him by obeying the letter of the law, and instead paved the way through Jesus Christ for us to receive the Holy Spirit in order for His laws to be written on our hearts and bear the fruit of the Spirit. The Old Testament laws were ultimately pointing to the fruit of the Spirit which the Jews were blinded to such truths because their eyes were veiled by their sinful nature. It was Jesus' redemptive work which removed that veil so that both Jew and Gentile would be able to see the glory of the New Covenant [i.e. living in the new way of the Holy Spirit to bear the fruit of the Spirit]. When we bear the fruit of the Spirit, we are reflecting His glory. This is how we are able to have a better righteousness than the superficial/fake righteousness of the Pharisees.

Refer to 2 Corinthians 3:3-18; Romans 7:1-25; Romans 8:1-17 and Galatians 5:16-26.

(2). He became the High Priest forever [refer to Hebrews chapters 7-10] in the order of Melchizedek instead of the order of Levi.

(3). Animal sacrifices are no longer required [refer to Hebrews 10:18].

(4). Abolishing rules regarding unclean food [refer to Mark 7:19].

(5). Perfecting the commandment regarding murder to abstain from anger [refer to Matthew 5:21-25].

(6). Perfecting the commandment regarding adultery to include lust in one's heart and mind [fantasizing]. Refer to Matthew 5:27-30.

(7). Perfecting the commandment regarding divorce to restrict it on the basis of unfaithfulness [not just because someone was unsatisfied with their wife]. Refer to Matthew 5:31-32].

(8). Changing the commandment regarding vows by abolishing it altogether [refer to Matthew 5:33-37].

(9). Changing the commandment regarding personal vengeance by abolishing it [refer to Matthew 5:38-42].

(10). Changing the commandment regarding loving your neighbor and hating your enemy to include loving your enemies instead of hating them [refer to Matthew 5:43-48].

(11). Jesus became the Lord of the Sabbath. We find our rest in Him. He alone also determines what is permissible and what is not permissible on the Sabbath [refer to Matthew 12:1-14].

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