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The Old Testament law is never quoted or enforced for the believers in the New Testament after Christ ascends. What we find is the Scriptures saying is that the law is put aside. This can only mean the Law of the Old Testament Col. 2:14-16. The commandments are only mentioned twice in New Testament; both times it states they are abolished! Heb. 8:13 In that He says, A new covenant, He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.

Law keepers claim that the 10 commandments are not the old covenant? That the old covenant that was abolished was not the Ten Commandments but are the Law of Moses; meaning the civil/ceremonial only. The support for this position is not there. The Bible clearly teaches that the Sabbath was part of the OLD covenant.

God said that I will make a new Covenant. Heb.8:7-8: For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second. V.8 Because finding fault with them, He says: Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. He’s saying the first covenant was not perfect and needed to be changed, replaced with another.

The Bible says the 10 commandments ARE THE OLD COVENANT!

Are the 10 different from the rest of the Law of Moses or were they inclusive? This is the critical issue that needs to be seen so that one can know which is the old covenant and how to practice the new covenant. If confused one will not understand what is to be put aside or carried over in practice in the New Testament covenant.

This is not something that takes hours of studying in the Scriptures, all one needs to do is read it!  

Exodus 31:16-18 “Therefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant.It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel forever; for in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day He rested and was refreshed.”’ And when He had made an end of speaking with him on Mount Sinai, He gave Moses two tablets of the Testimony, tablets of stone, written with the finger of God.”

Exodus 34:27-28: “Then the Lord said to Moses, “Write down these words, for in accordance with these words I have made a covenant with you and with Israel.” So he was there with the Lord forty days and forty nights; he did not eat bread or drink water. And he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant, the Ten Commandments.” The 10 commandments are the Old Testament covenant.

Deuteronomy 4:13: “So He declared to you His covenant which He commanded you to perform, that is, the Ten Commandments; and He wrote them on two tablets of stone.” The tablets of stone are the covenant.

Deuteronomy 9:9: “When I went up to the mountain to receive the tablets of stone, the tablets of the covenant which the Lord had made with you, then I remained on the mountain forty days and nights; I neither ate bread nor drank water. V.11 “And it came to pass, at the end of forty days and forty nights, that the LORD gave me the two tablets of stone, the tablets of the covenant.”

1 Kings 8:9,21: vs.9 There was nothing in the ark except the two tablets of stone which Moses put there at Horeb, where the Lord made a covenant with the sons of Israel, when they came out of the land of Egypt.” ... V21 “And there I have set a place for the ark, in which is the covenant of the Lord, which He made with our fathers when He brought them from the land of Egypt.”

2 Chronicles 6:11: “And there I have set the ark, in which is the covenant of the Lord, which He made with the sons of Israel.”  

Crystal Clear isn’t it, the tablets are the old covenant. How do we know? God said so! They are not Moses covenant but the Old Covenant. So there should be no argument from a reading of the Word of God interpreting itself on this crucial matter. 

Now that we have established what is the old covenant we can go on developing our understanding what is the Book of the law.

God's concern was that Israel should keep His covenant by not breaking the laws and incur punishment. He wanted to bless them. Ex.31:16: God commanded Moses to write down the words of the law and he delivered it to the Levites. (In Deut.29:1 it states, “These are the words of the Covenant…besides the covenant made in Horeb.” (There were additions made in Moab for the land)

Deut.31:26: “Take this Book of the Law, and put it beside the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, that it may be there as a witness against you;” Moses would refer to the book of the law (covenant) for the simple reason it included the 10. Exod.24:7 Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read in the hearing of the people. And they said, “All that the LORD has said we will do, and be obedient.” Here we have the first mention of this book of the Covenant which certainly would include the 10 Commandments which are the Covenant. The peoples response shows us it had to be included for them to obey all that the Lord had said. Deut.28:15 we will obey all his commandments not just the 10. For them to do this it had to be in what Moses wrote.

Everything God spoke is a commandment not just what he wrote. What Moses required is called “God's commandments.” (Deut. 28:1, 15) Num. 15:40: “and that you may remember and do all My commandments, and be holy for your God.” Deut. 6:25 'Then it will be righteousness for us, if we are careful to observe all these commandments before the LORD our God, as He has commanded us. Deut 11:22,13:18 ; Josh 22:5: “But take careful heed to do the commandment and the law which Moses the servant of the LORD commanded you, to love the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways, to keep His commandments.”

2 Chron.7:9 the 10 commandments do not have numbers, that is a tradition of man, none is greater or lesser, they are a unit. Did God speak the other 603 laws to Moses besides writing the 10? Yes. Are not these not also commandments? Yes! Does God say obey all my commandments? Yes! This is why we are either under the old or new covenant. One cannot abolish parts of it, either it is all put aside or none of it is. It's not  a question of which old covenant laws to keep, but which covenant we are to observe.

God told Moses that all of His words (moral, civil, ceremonial, etc.) were to be given as commandments to Israel, as a covenant between God and Israel, it was all a unit and it was all the law of Moses.  Lev. 27:34: “These are the commandments which the LORD commanded Moses for the children of Israel on Mount Sinai.” II King 23:3: “Then the king stood by a pillar and made a covenant before the LORD, to follow the LORD and to keep His commandments and His testimonies and His statutes, with all his heart and all his soul, to perform the words of this covenant that were written in this book. “ Here we see that the covenant was written in the book which is the 10 commandments.

Does anyone in the Old Testament refer to the 10 commandments specifically separate from the rest of the law and ordinances after they were given? Are the 10 given any priority above the others? I challenge anyone to find such a teaching, because they were all a unit as the law of Moses, just as they are referred to in the New Testament by Jesus.

Ex. 31:23: “The Lord  said unto Moses, Write thou these words: for after the tenor of these words I have made a covenant with thee and with Israel. And he wrote upon the tablets the words of the covenant,  the TEN COMMANDMENTS.”

Once we identify the “10 commandments “ with the Mosaic/old covenant which is “done away” with being in Christ the deathblow is dealt to the teaching of the 7th Day Adventists and other Sabbatarian groups.  This proves they have no scriptural justification to continue the practice of the old covenant today (by obligation). Yet they go to great lengths to deny that this is being taught in Scripture. They find all the Scriptures that describe certain parts of the law but will not bring attention to the others that define it. Their only choice is to divide the law into two sections. The ceremonial is then attributed Moses and the moral which is from God. The former, they name the Law of Moses, which was abolished; the latter part was the Law of God which is still to be observed. But the Scriptures never support this division or practice, it actually states the opposite. The terms “ law of Moses” and “law of God” are used interchangeably for both the ceremonial and moral parts of the law (2 Chron.31; Num. 31: 21). A careful study and one finds this taught in both the Old and New Testament.

S.D.A. teach that the Law of Moses was written in a book put outside the ark, and the Ten Commandments which were inscribed on stone by God were put inside the ark. The10 have greater significance because of its positioning . “What God wrote is eternal what Moses wrote is not.” The Ten Commandments were only the first installment of what is known as the Book of the Law, or the Book of the Covenant . These were spoken by God from Mount Sinai to the Israelites below. However in Ex. 24:12 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Come up to Me on the mountain and be there; and I will give you tablets of stone, and the law and commandments which I have written, that you may teach them.” Here God distinguishes all the facets of the law yet he is credited for giving it all to Moses. Nehemiah the prophet states  “You came down also on Mount Sinai, and spoke with them from heaven, and gave them just ordinances and true laws, good statutes and commandments.”  (Neh. 9:13) “So God gave all of the facets of the law which made up the covenant. It is all inclusive, the law what to and to do as well as how to deal with it when it is broken.

When we look at the purpose of the tabernacle the priest was only allowed to enter in once a year. The priests function was related to the ark as he sprinkled the blood of the animal over the mercy seat for the sins of the people who broke the law. The blood was sprinkled over the ark to cover the sins the people committed. it is not insignificant that the law was under the blood, since it was the law the people broke. All of these are shadows and typology of Christ who would be the eternal high priest and sprinkle his blood over the mercy seat so that we could be forgiven permanently.

The law that was performed with the priesthood and all that was inside was taken away when the temple was destroyed after Christ came. Without the place where sacrifices could be made their could be no atonement. Christ came fulfilling the Old Testament types of sacrifice. The very reason God had the temple destroyed is showing the priesthood, the law would be replaced and the sacrifices removed with a single permanent one. This is the very reason only the high priest could enter the temple, the law was in the ark and the book of the law testified against them. He acted as the mediator for the nation.

In the old covenant, there was no hope of eternal life for anybody who broke any of the laws set down. Can we find any example of Israel keeping the law? No, we see the exact opposite, they struggled and consistently failed. The law was never intended to bring salvation or justify someone. Its purpose was not to save, but show how futile it was to do good works without God's mercy. It was to teach people the need for salvation in the savior by His grace. Likewise in the New Testament the law could never justify or sanctify since this is attributed to the work of Christ through the Holy Spirit.

Paul describes the Mosaic covenant in 2 Cor.3: 7. He then identifies the Ten Commandments with the covenant “done away” in Christ.” God mentions the law is temporary, who knows better the 7th day keepers or God? Only the new covenant is an everlasting Covenant for all people (Heb.13:20).

Gal.5:2: “If you receive circumcision you are obligated to keep the entire law.” Why, because its a unit. Paul is saying here that if one insists on keeping the letter of the law (the Old Covenant), Christ's sacrifice is of no use. All 613 laws (which include the Ten Commandments) are inclusive, not just what one wishes to pick and choose to keep. As Paul uses a requirement that was not of the 10 but included in the law, circumcision. In verse 3 he says we become a debtor to keep the whole law and  v.4 states we have fallen from grace.

We are left with two choices: Jesus fulfilled the law for us and  freed us from the dominion of the Old Covenant, or we must keep every part of the Old Covenant. These are our only choices.

Rom.3:20: “For through the Law {comes} the knowledge of sin.” This is the same law Paul speaks about that condemns and makes one guilty, it is the 10 commandments and anything else contrary to God.

Paul’s teaches that the Mosaic covenant was “done away in Christ” including the ten commandments; this is strengthened by the statement of the Law itself. We read we are not under the law but grace. Paul writes in Romans 7  an illustration of one under the law who is married and when the husband  dies she is released to marry another, but if her spouse has not died she is then committing adultery.V.5 For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions which were aroused by the law were at work in our members to bear fruit to death. V.6 But now we have been delivered from the law, having died to what we were held by, so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter. V.7 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! On the contrary, I would not have known sin except through the law. For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said, “You shall not covet.” V.8 But sin, taking opportunity by the commandment, produced in me all manner of evil desire. For apart from the law sin was dead. V.9 I was alive once without the law, but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died. V.10-13 And the commandment, which was to bring life, I found to bring death. For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it killed me.  Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good. Has then what is good become death to me? Certainly not! But sin, that it might appear sin, was producing death in me through what is good, so that sin through the commandment might become exceedingly sinful. Paul defines the commandments as the 10 which are the law. Their purpose was to produce sin to activate it. What Commandment keepers want us to do is put ourselves under the keeping of these, which stir up the sin nature. When the very purpose of the Holy Spirit was given to control and change it. Paul declared, “We serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written letter” (Rom. 7:6)

The writer of Heb.8:7-8 states “ For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second.  Because finding fault with them, He says: “Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah.” He’s saying the first covenant is not perfect, not in itself but because of mankind.

Heb 7:11-12: “ Therefore, if perfection were through the Levitical priesthood (for under it the people received the law), what further need was there that another priest should rise according to the order of Melchizedek, and not be called according to the order of Aaron? For the priesthood being changed, of necessity there is also a change of the law.” The priests were in charge of the sacrifices, they made sure the peoples sins would be forgiven. Once the Levitical priesthood was passé, there was so was the need for continual sacrifices. The whole law  revolved around this system for forgiveness. Therefore the law and mans relationship to it also changed. 

Heb. 8:13 “In that He says, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.” Here he says the believer is not to be ruled by its dictates, it is obsolete, put aside, it no longer is our instructor. But it is for those who are lawless as 1 Tim.1:9 states. Those who live a life ignoring God and his standards.

Death or Life

Rom.7:10-11: “And the commandment, which was to bring life, I found to bring death.  For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it killed me. The commandment never brought life just the opposite.

The Ten Commandments are described as “the ministry of death”! This is because of the relationship in which they are placed in the Mosaic covenant. They were set before Israel with the words: “Cursed is every man that continues not to do all the words of this law” (Deut. 27: 26; Gal. 3: 10). In Deut.27:11 Moses had all of Israel's curses that related to the 10 commandments. In this re-ratifying of the covenant, it broadened the scope of their application. There was no hope of eternal life for anybody who broke any of the laws set down. They did not, nor could not receive salvation by obedience. But in Christ there is hope of forgiveness. The “Law of Christ” (1 Cor. 9: 21). Paul reaffirms nine of these commands giving them amplification, and presents a new meaning to the fourth (the Sabbath law). The new covenant is called the “perfect law of liberty” in contrast to the covenant of death the ten commandments, because it can release us from sin and death ( James 2: 8-12), something the Mosaic Covenant never could do.

The10 Commandments, of which the law of the Sabbath is the fourth, were written by the finger of God on tablets of stone. These commandments are called the “ministry of death” and the “ministry of condemnation,” “written and engraved in stone” (2 Corinthians 3:7,9), which ministry, the HOLY SPIRIT tells us, is “passing away” and is “abolished” (verses 11,13), in its place we have the “ministry of the Spirit” and “the ministry of righteousness” (verses 8,9).

The 10 commandments are referred to collectively only twice in the NewTestament, in Heb. 9:1-4 and 2 Cor. 3  as the TABLETS OF THE COVENANT.” In Heb. 8:13 God says, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete this he refers to the 10 commandments. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.” In Heb. 9:1-4 The author continues by describing what would fade, saying “… Now even the first covenant had ordinance of divine service and the earthly sanctuary” he then goes and describes the tabernacle showing its relationship to the old covenant,  vs.4 the tables of the covenant.” II King 23:3: “Then the king stood by a pillar and made a covenant before the LORD, to follow the LORD and to keep His commandments and His testimonies and His statutes, with all his heart and all his soul, to perform the words of this covenant that were written in this book.” You cannot find in the Old Testament any reference to the 10 commandments specifically separate from the rest of the law and ordinances after they were first given. Because they were all a unit as the law of Moses, just as they are referred to in the New Testament. The covenant was written in the book. Remember the book of the law (Deuteronomy) contained the 10 commandments also (Deut.5).

Where is the Ark now? Gone like the Old Testament priesthood and sacrifices. Its removal is proof of what the Scripture says, that the whole old covenant has faded away. If the covenant and the ark are gone, doesn’t it make sense that the sign which is the Sabbath would be too. The whole tabernacle was destroyed in 70 A.D. not just the holy place but everything in it, the book of the law, the ark and the 10 commandments are all gone too, God made a point.

Zechariah 11:10 says “And I took my staff, beauty and cut it in two, that I might break the covenant which I had made with all the peoples. So it was broken on that day.” When did this occur? “thus the poor of the flock, who were watching me, knew that it was the word of the Lord.12 Then I said to them, if it is agreeable to you, give me my wages and if not refrain.” So they weighed out for my wages 30 pieces of silver.” God is clear He changed the covenant.

Both The ten commandments (tablets) and the ordinances are part of the first covenant which was replaced by the greater new covenant. Heb.9:4 which had the golden censer and the ark of the covenant overlaid on all sides with gold, in which were the golden pot that had the manna, Aaron's rod that budded, and the tablets of the covenant; vs.8 explains why the first tabernacle was taken away so we can enter into the holy of holies, he then explains the priestly duties and in vs.11 tells us Christ is the greater tabernacle vs.15 he becomes the mediator of the new covenant Instead of the law, the tabernacle and Old Testament sacrifices. Heb. 9:8-11: “the Holy Spirit indicating this, that the way into the Holiest of All was not yet made manifest while the first tabernacle was still standing.  It was symbolic for the present time in which both gifts and sacrifices are offered which cannot make him who performed the service perfect in regard to the conscience…V.11 But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation.” The whole tabernacle was removed, it was symbolic and unless it was taken out of the way we could not enter in through the veil which was the true tabernacle his flesh. He ripped the veil. Heb.10 so we can enter in to his presence directly without any of the functions of the Old Testament covenant. The glory of the law was temporary it was to be replaced by something greater, Christ replaced it all.

2 Corinthians 3:2-11 also proves The Old covenant were the 10 commandments which were called Moses' law. Vs.1-3 Old Covenant Written with ink on tablets of stone; the New Covenant Written by the Spirit of the living God, written on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart. This is exactly what law Paul is referring to in Rom.7:6-12: “But now we have been delivered from the law, having died to what we were held by, so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter.”( compare this with Ex.34:27,1 Kings 8:9,21: 9,Deut.4:13, 9:9, 2 Chron.6:11)

Vs.6-7 Old Covenant of the letter that kills, ministry of death condemning us to die, Written on tablets of stone, it was glorious but passing away, Moses face shined only. Exactly what Rom.7: 10 states, “And the commandment, which was to bring life, I found to bring death”. The New is of the Spirit, God himself replacing the old, that gives life, it is a Ministry of righteousness. 2 Cor.3:8: if you have the spirit you don’t need the letter because it becomes a relationship. Only certain people had the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament kings, high priests, and prophets. In the New Covenant its for all who believe. The priesthood of Melchizedek is superior to the Levitical priesthood, as it is for all people.

Now Paul's statement in Rom. 7:6 becomes crystal clear, “But now we have been released from the Law, having died to that by which we were bound, so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter.”

In Ex.34:29-35 when Moses came down from the Mt. with the tablets of testimony he had a veil over his face but when he went before the Lord he took the veil off. In 2 Cor.3:7-11 Paul describes this; but if the ministry of death, written and engraved on stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of the glory of his countenance, which glory was passing away, how will the ministry of the Spirit not be more glorious?  For if the ministry of condemnation had glory, the ministry of righteousness exceeds much more in glory. For even what was made glorious had no glory in this respect, because of the glory that excels. For if what is passing away was glorious, what remains is much more glorious. V.13 unlike Moses, who put a veil over his face so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the end of what was passing away. V.14 But their minds were blinded. For until this day the same veil remains unlifted in the reading of the Old Testament, because the veil is taken away in Christ. Paul is stating that if one looks toward the old they cannot see Christ fully but if they look toward Christ the old fades away. V.15 But even to this day, when Moses is read, a veil lies on their heart. V.16 Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. V.17 Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. V.18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.

Paul goes on in the next chapter continuing to use the concept of the veil for the gospel. 2 Cor. 4:3-4: “But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them. “For those who gaze at the law instead of Christ alone they have a veil instead of a seal, only the gospel takes this away. This means they must trust in Christ alone to be in the new covenant. they can’t bring the law over and incorporate it into their relationship. vs.13-14. But in 2 Cor.3:17 where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty, we now look with unveiled faces as in a mirror the glory of the Lord” V.13 The veil passes away when Christ is accepted.

To summarize the Old Covenant a Ministry of death, written and engraved on stones was glorious and yet was passing away, only temporary.

The New Covenant is the Ministry of the Spirit, More glorious, exceeds much more in glory, Remains everlasting. (Heb.13:20) Hebrews 8:7-13 the author is quoting Jer.31:31 that even from his day “Now even the first covenant was the tablet and is vanishing away.” Just as Moses veil was, this comparison is made to show the old glory of the law would eventually fade to be replaced with a greater glory God himself. The substance would be the permanent replacement for the law that was only temporary.

Heb 10:1: “For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect.

Heb. 10:9: “then He said, “Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God.” He takes away the first that He may establish the second.” The Fathers will was to put aside the first covenant so that mankind could receive the 2nd and have power to live the life He intended for us empowered by His Spirit.

Rom. 8:1-4: “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.”For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God {did:} sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and {as an offering} for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit”. Notice what the law could not do! The law had a purpose and their are some things it cannot do. It cannot justify, it cannot change a heart of a sinner, it can only make one guilty, it can’t pardon or redeem or save. It was the weakness of the flesh that prevented it, so it can only bring conviction, guilt and curse. What it could not accomplish the Son of God did by condemning sin in the flesh and fulfilled it himself, because he alone could live the law perfectly.

If we are not under law, our sin cannot be held against us. Rom.10:4-5 Truly “ Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.” Our new life begins and ends in Christ not in the Old Covenant of law.

for more on the New Covenant >click here

 

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