From The Master's Table Web Site
Are we still under the Law of Moses?
Some say we are still under the Law of Moses and the only thing that was made void from the Old Covenant was the sacrifices and some have stated that Jesus backed this up by His statement that we should live by every word of God. Let’s look at this subject with understanding and find the truth as God wants us too so we can come to the place where we can answer those that are confused. This needs to be answered because if we get it wrong then there is the possibility that some may not receive salvation if they reject the Messiah's message. The fact is that God can make something a sin and then command that it no longer be a sin. Some may tell you this would never happen however let’s let the bible answer as we all should agree the words given should be our guide.
First we find in Lev 24:19-20 a Law given that states… 'If a man causes disfigurement of his neighbor, as he has done, so shall it be done to him 'fracture for fracture, eye for eye, tooth for tooth; as he has caused disfigurement of a man, so shall it be done to him.” Now we find Jesus stating in Matt 5:38-39 "You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.' "But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.”
So with this one scripture we can understand that God can change a command from a harsh sentence to a response of mercy and love. We also find that there were many commands to stone people to death for breaking the Law such as the Sabbath, and also anyone who has served other gods and worshiped them, either the sun or moon or any of the host of heaven. We also find that anyone who has cursed or blasphemes the name of the LORD shall be stoned.
Let's take the time to look at these commands directly from God recorded in Num. 15:32-36; It states…”Now while the children of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man gathering sticks on the Sabbath day. And those who found him gathering sticks brought him to Moses and Aaron, and to all the congregation. They put him under guard, because it had not been explained what should be done to him. Then the LORD said to Moses, "The man must surely be put to death; all the congregation shall stone him with stones outside the camp." So, as the LORD commanded Moses, all the congregation brought him outside the camp and stoned him with stones, and he died.”
And this one in Deut 17:2-5 "If there is found among you, within any of your gates which the LORD your God gives you, a man or a woman who has been wicked in the sight of the LORD your God, in transgressing His covenant, who has gone and served other gods and worshiped them, either the sun or moon or any of the host of heaven, which I have not commanded, and it is told you, and you hear of it, then you shall inquire diligently. And if it is indeed true and certain that such an abomination has been committed in Israel, "then you shall bring out to your gates that man or woman who has committed that wicked thing, and shall stone to death that man or woman with stones.”
And the one concerning whoever blasphemes the name of the LORD recorded in Lev 24:16 which states… “And whoever blasphemes the name of the LORD shall surely be put to death. All the congregation shall certainly stone him, the stranger as well as him who is born in the land. When he blasphemes the name of the LORD, he shall be put to death.”
So according to the old covenant and the "Law of Moses" we should stone to death all those that have been in our congregations and have left to worship other gods like those that went back to keeping Christ-mass, Easter, or worship of the cross after learning the truth and we should stone the stranger when he blasphemes the name of the LORD in our presents! What are we to do with all this? What is the answer to the quote that we are still under the Law of Moses because we are to live by every word of God? The answer to this is truly very simple as we find that God also has the right to CHANGE what He wants to change. God has the right to create what He wants and He has the right to destroy what He wants.
There is a message that Jesus the Messiah brought from the Holy Father and what we need to understand is that it is that message that all else MUST stand on. As I stated God has the right to make a law and He also has the right to abolish it. Such as the law to stone a person to death for braking the Sabbath and it is a fact that Jesus overturned it as He brought a sacrifice with mercy to abolish (Not the Sabbath.) but the many harsh and strict dealings with the person that failed the laws of Moses and the old priesthood that showed no mercy on many things. Notice I stated that it was not the Sabbath that was abolished just as there are many good laws such as the clean and un-clean laws that are still in effect.
We must not forget that The Messiah is the judge over all things and it’s His discretion that counts because my friend He is not bound by the law as He is all in all and is not subject to any bounds what-so-ever. As the New Testament notes in Rom. 9:2-24 He can take one lump of clay and split it to make one vessel of honor and the other of dishonor. He made the ruler of Egypt disbelieve and go against Moses and then punished him for his disbelief. That is the power and authority of the Messiah Jesus the Son of God and soon to be ruler over all this earth. Yes the Laws first set down in writing by the finger of God and brought to the people by Moses from the Mountain is the ultimate law and will be the Law that governs human conduct as long as there are humans living together. We must realize that the Ten Commandments were not the Law of Moses but the Laws of God almighty!
So what about the Law of Moses that came over the years after Moses brought the Ten Commandments he received from God down from the mountain? We find recorded in Acts 13:36-39 that salvation comes from Jesus and not the Law of Moses...It states; "For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell asleep, was buried with his fathers, and saw corruption; "but He whom God raised up saw no corruption. "Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through this Man is preached to you the forgiveness of sins; "and by Him everyone who believes is justified from all things from which you could not be justified by the Law of Moses."
We also find recorded in Acts 15:10 we find that the Law of Moses could not save and that no one could keep it therefore the old covenant had to be done away and Jesus had to bring in the new covenant by the shedding of His own blood because the blood of bulls could not save or change the heart. The fact is the Law of Moses is no longer in effect and we can also find this fact in the New Testament accounts recorded in Acts 15:1-10 which states…“And certain men came down from Judea and taught the brethren, "Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved." Therefore, when Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and dispute with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas and certain others of them should go up to Jerusalem, to the apostles and elders, about this question. So, being sent on their way by the church, they passed through Phoenicia and Samaria, describing the conversion of the Gentiles; and they caused great joy to all the brethren. And when they had come to Jerusalem, they were received by the church and the apostles and the elders; and they reported all things that God had done with them. But some of the sect of the Pharisees who believed rose up, saying, "It is necessary to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the Law of Moses."
You can see by this statement "It is necessary to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the Law of Moses." that the Pharisees knew that Circumcision and the Law of Moses were one in the same and you can't separate the two. Now let's continue reading... "Now the apostles and elders came together to consider this matter and when there had been much dispute, Peter rose up and said to them: "Men and brethren, you know that a good while ago God chose among us, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel and believe. So God, who knows the heart, acknowledged them by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He did to us, "and made no distinction between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith Now therefore, why do you test God by putting a yoke on the neck of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?”
In other words from what we see from the comments by the apostles recorded in Acts 15 there was a dispute concerning the keeping of the Law of Moses concerning Circumcision and also stating that “the Law of Moses could not save” and that neither there fathers nor they themselves were able to keep therefore the Old Covenant had to be done away and Jesus had to bring in the New Covenant by the sheading of His own blood, however this is only true of those laws and commands that God Himself have not done away with such as the Ten Commandments which truly covers many things such as the seventh day Sabbath as the day to worship God and that no graven images should be made for the purpose of worship such as the cross or figures on the cross. The other five commands deal with how humans should treat their fellows.
When one looks closely at the Law of Moses you will find that much of it was added down through the years because the people were disobedient and stiff necked so those laws are done away as the book of Hebrew notes. It acutely states in vs. 12 of Heb. 7: "For the priesthood being changed, of necessity there is also a change of the law.” And we also find in the book of Hebrews that there is an annulling of the former commandment because of its weakness. It states…”For on the one hand there is an annulling of the former commandment because of its weakness and unprofitableness, for the law made nothing perfect; on the other hand, there is the bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God.” Heb 7:18-19;
The term to annul here means to do away with in a complete manner just like when any contract is annulled or invalidated. What many have not understood concerning the Old and New Covenants is that they can’t co-exist. The establishment of the New Covenant voided the Old covenant as we find recorded in Hebrews 10:9 which states that Jesus takes away the first covenant so that He may establish the second. Also take into consideration that the children of Israel are the ones that made the covenant with God in all its conditions but we as well as the Gentiles have made a new agreement with God and that is what Satan wants to eradicate because this New Covenant is as noted in scripture a better and more permanent Covenant with Jesus as the eternal High Priest and cannot be corrupted.
Now what about this scripture many use to say we must keep the Law of Moses in Matt 5:17-19 where our Lord stated that He did not come to destroy the law but to fulfill the law? What did Jesus mean by that statement? He meant that He would fulfill or satisfy the requirements and obligations the law required when He dies as the eternal sacrifice. This means that the death penalty that was placed on mankind in the garden has been removed or that those that accept the blood sacrifice of the Son of God and depends on that blood sacrifice shall be "justified" and as the apostle Paul stated that if the law could save us from our sins than the Messiah Jesus is dead in vain. He stated... "I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. "I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain." Gal 2:20-21
There are many commands that we are no longer to keep or uphold and we find Jesus denoting this in Matt 19:16-19; which is a great example because the question asked of Jesus was; “What must I do to be saved?” It states… “Now behold, one came and said to Him, "Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?" So He said to him, "Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments." He said to Him, "Which ones?" Jesus said," 'You shall not murder,' 'You shall not commit adultery,' 'You shall not steal,' 'You shall not bear false witness,' 'Honor your father and your mother,' and, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
This statement by the Messiah denotes the Ten Commandments and He did not tell the man anything concerning the Laws of Moses and I submit that Jesus had a great opportunity to do so here. We also find the apostle Paul stating the same as Jesus stated here in Rom 13:8-10 and Paul does not make any statement here about the Law of Moses as well. It states… “Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, "You shall not commit adultery," "You shall not murder," "You shall not steal," "You shall not bear false witness," "You shall not covet," and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.”
Old Covenant Screptures that use the word "Forever"
Some say Forever means forever well check out some scripture recorded in II Ki 17:36-37 "but the LORD, who brought you up from the land of Egypt with great power and an outstretched arm, Him you shall fear, Him you shall worship, and to Him you shall offer sacrifice. "And the statutes, the ordinances, the law, and the commandment which He wrote for you, you shall be careful to observe forever; you shall not fear other gods.” Question is: Are you are not going to be like the Protestants and pick and choose what you want as truth?
And in Num 18:23 "But the Levites shall perform the work of the tabernacle of meeting, and they shall bear their iniquity; it shall be a statute forever, throughout your generations, that among the children of Israel they shall have no inheritance.”
And in Lev 23:14 'You shall eat neither bread nor parched grain nor fresh grain until the same day that you have brought an offering to your God; it shall be a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.”
And in Lev 10:15 "The thigh of the heave offering and the breast of the wave offering they shall bring with the offerings of fat made by fire, to offer as a wave offering before the LORD. And it shall be yours and your sons' with you, by a statute forever, as the LORD has commanded."
(Question is do you follow these commands that state you are to do them forever?)
The Sabbath was given at creation and IS FOREVER but as Jesus stated on the two great commandments HANG ALL the law and prophets and the book of Hebrew shows clearly that the old covenant is void in the blood sacrifice of the Lamb of God the Holy Father.
Let’s read what the apostle Paul taught concerning the law to those in his day in Gal 3:10-12; “For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, "Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them." But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for "the just shall live by faith." Yet the law is not of faith, but "the man who does them shall live by them."
This scripture denotes that if you want to be under the law you must keep the law in its entirety and we find in other letters of the apostle Paul that if one thinks they need to stay under the law they reject the grace of the Messiah as we find in Gal 5:4 which states…”You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.”
One of the best points Paul made concerning the Old Covenant vs. the New is here in a letter to the Galatians chapter 4 vs. 21-31; He wrote... “Tell me, you who desire to be under the law, do you not hear the law? For it is written that Abraham had two sons: the one by a bondwoman, the other by a freewoman. But he who was of the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and he of the freewoman through promise, which things are symbolic. For these are the two covenants: the one from Mount Sinai which gives birth to bondage, which is Hagar--for this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and corresponds to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children--but the Jerusalem above is free, which is the mother of us all.
For it is written: "Rejoice, O barren, you who do not bear! Break forth and shout, you who are not in labor! For the desolate has many more children than she who has a husband." Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are children of promise. But, as he who was born according to the flesh then persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, even so it is now. Nevertheless what does the Scripture say? "Cast out the bondwoman and her son, for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman." So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman but of the free.”
Brethren the things that are good are still good and a writing in a book does not make it good...”God does.” God is the Law maker and those that come to understand the intent of God does good to all (not because of a law) but because they have changed in their heart and have come to understand the lessons the Old Covenant could not give because the Holy Spirit could not be given to mankind in the way it can now till there was a way mankind could be justified as perfect in the site of the Holy Father and an advocate such as Jesus the Lamb of God was in place to plead for us which could not happen till the blood was shed by a sacrifice that was so great that Satan himself could not destroy it. Please understand this one thing…The Old Covenant was physical and the New Covenant is spiritual!
The Messiah's sacrifice was an everlasting sacrifice that could transcend the chosen Hebrews from Abraham to the Gentiles and this event was called for many years the great mystery till the time of the Holy One would come. Until this true message Jesus brought from the Holy Father is understood mankind remains in darkness and yes those that reject this message must continue under the Old Covenant and the written Torah because they will not know right from wrong without the written Torah till they accept the power of the Messiah’s sacrifice and receive the knowledge that can only come from the Holy Spirit. Remember Jesus told His disciples that He had many things to tell them but they could not understand them at that time. He stated that they would understand soon because He (The Messiah) would send His Holy Spirit to them and then their minds would be opened.
It should be noted that I refer to the Ten Commandments when I say "Law" as I have learned in the last several years the Law as some preach and push on others is done away with. I did a very extensive study on the book of Hebrews and it opened my eyes to a great deal concerning the Mosaic Law vs. the Ten Commandments. One question I asked God to show me was which laws did He leave for us to obey from the Old Covenant and which laws did He abolish? After much study and prayer His answer came with this scripture recorded in Matt 22:36-40; "Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?" Jesus said to him," 'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.' "This is the first and great commandment. "And the second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' "On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets." When one plugs in all the context of the book of Hebrews with this it become very clear.
If you want to read more about this subject check out the study paper titled "Messianic Jews ~ Should Christians follow their teachings?"
If you want to study more concerning this subject click on this link... http://www.masters-table.org/studies/covenant.html
And you might want to check out the study titled “Law vs. Grace at this link http://www.masters-table.org/studies/grace.html
Timothy M. Youngblood ~ Elder