Which Law


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Which Law, God's or Moses?

   In the Old Testament the word Torah or law is always used in the singular sense (this consists of the first 5 books of Moses as the giving of the law). In the NT. the word for law in Greek  is nómos it is also used in the singular , as in Johns Gospel, 1:17 the law (singular) came through Moses... How does this relate to the new Covenant, what are the “commandments” mentioned in the NT ? Are they the Ten Commandments? NO! The Greek word used for the Commandments or law is “ nómos. . That word is not used for when Jesus says to obey all (Mt.28). The word used here is “Entole” which means precept” teaching” this is used for what Jesus said in Mt. 28 teaching them to observe all I have taught you. (precept, commandment.” It is the most frequent term, and is used of moral and religious precepts, e. g., <Matt. 5:19>; it is frequent in the Gospels, especially that of John, and in his Epistles. See also, e. g., <Acts 17:15; Rom. 7:8- 13; 13:9; 1Cor.7:19; Eph. 2:15; Col. 4:10>. (from Vine's Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words)

Who did  Jesus refer to when he made reference to the 10 commandments. What law was he talking about?

John 8:5: “Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do You say?” The law which was the 10 Commandments.

Jesus speaking in Mark 7:10 states “For Moses said, `Honor your father and your mother'; and, `He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.' Lev.19 :1 The Lord spoke to Moses saying…v.3 Every one of you shall revere his mother and his father and keep my Sabbaths, I am the Lord your God. This is part of the 10 Commandments, yet Jesus attributes it to Moses,  making no distinction.  So we see it was God who said this and Jesus attributes it to Moses. Why because it is all called the law of Moses just as John 1 says the law came through Moses.

There is no phrase for different laws such as the law of God, Gods laws. Moses commandments , Gods commandments There are no distinctions, they are all Moses law.

John 7:19: “Did not Moses give you the law, yet none of you keeps the law? Why do you seek to kill Me?” (did not Moses come down from the mount with the 10 C. the law of God.) Vs:23 “If a man receives circumcision on the Sabbath, so that the law of Moses should not be broken, are you angry with Me because I made a man completely well on the Sabbath? The issue is the Sabbath day and his healing on it. Here Jesus relates the law of Moses is related to the Sabbath which is part of the 10 Commandments, they are one unit.

Luke 10:25-28: “And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested Him, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”26 He said to him, “What is written in the law? What is your reading of it?” 27 So he answered and said,” 'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,' and 'your neighbor as yourself.'“28And He said to him, “You have answered rightly; do this and you will live.” Would Jesus be pointing to that which is only ceremonial for one to inherit eternal life? He pointed to the greatest Commandment, of which all the law hung on.

2 Chron. 8:13: “According to the daily rate, offering according to the commandment of Moses, on the Sabbaths, on the New Moons, and the solemn   feasts three times in the year--even in the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Feast of Weeks, and the Feast of Tabernacles.” (Masoretic text) All these are attributed to Moses equally.

Exod. 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 is giving his 10 commandments as well as others to Moses to teach.

Nehemiah 9:13-14: “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. You made known to them Your holy Sabbath, and commanded them precepts, statutes and laws, by the hand of Moses Your servant.” The Shabbat is attributed to Moses just as the rest of the law is.

Everything God spoke is a commandment. 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 Deut. 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,”

In the NT we have commandments but notice what it says in Acts 1:2-5 until the day in which He was taken up, after He through the Holy Spirit had given commandments to the Apostles whom He had chosen, Mt.28:3 to whom He also presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.4 And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, which He said, “you have heard from Me; As we can see some commands are temporary only for a certain time. This is also true for the OT laws , many of the OT laws are given new meaning in the NT.

1 Thess. 4:2: “for you know what commandments we gave you through the Lord Jesus.” Notice it was not by the law of Moses (the 10 commandments).

Christ gave new laws under a new operation, this undeniable in the N T.. Paul Says, “What I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.” 1 Cor. 14:37 says: “If anyone thinks he is a prophet or spiritual, let him recognize that the things which I write to you are the Lord's commandment.”  Paul was not writing about the 10 commandments this was something totally new.

The N.T makes a clear distinction of the commandments in the law and those issued from Christ. Those who promote keeping the law use such scriptures as 1 Jn.2:3-4 “Now by this we know him if we keep his commandments. He who says he knows him and does not keep his commandments is a liar and the truth is not in him.” Jn.15:10 “If you keep my commandments you will abide in my love just as I have kept the fathers commandments and abide in his love.

There is a lot of confusion on what does the NT. mean when it refers to the law. To be under grace does not make one an antinomian (without law) we are under the law of Christ. What does this mean? As Paul says…” we have been called into liberty, don’t use it for an occasion to the flesh” (Gal.5:13) there is a danger Paul warns us about. Before we were believers we depended on our works to be right with God. Once we realize we are not saved by works we should not despise them and live like we do not need a life of holiness. But we receive it by having the Holy Spirit filling our lives.

Galatians is written to Christians who were saved by grace and put themselves under the law by the outside influence of men called false brethren. Some people like to be punished for doing wrong or have strict rules to keep them from being disobedient. There are two extremes, a Nomiast says we must obey the laws to have salvation or to show we are saved. Anti Nomiasts are just the opposite and believe since we are saved it doesn’t matter what we do in the flesh. The truth is Just because a law is obsolete and put aside does not mean we are without law! Likewise all the moral code that was incorporated in the Ten are re-instated under the new Covenant Law of Christ and expanded. Not because they are the 10 , because many existed before the tablets. Because they are Gods law. It is a new set of instructions just as the Old covenant was new to the Israelites.

Jesus said in Mt.22:40: “To love the lord your God with all your heart your soul and your mind and love your neighbor as yourself. On these two hang all the law and the prophets. So Jesus sums up the Spirit of the law in this simple saying love God, love your neighbor as you would yourself. Many of the commandments from the OT are found in the N.T. become intensified.

Jn.15:12: “this is my commandment that you love one another as I have loved you.” The commandments are fulfilled first by love. The only way this can be realized is to have the love of Christ in us by the Holy Spirit so we can obey from a sincere heart.

Moses covenant-Lev. 19:8: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”        

New Covenant- John l5:13: “Love your neighbor even as I have loved you.” (its amplified with Jesus as the instructor) This commandment is not part of the 10 but expanded from the law of Moses.

Eph. 6:1-3: “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise: “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.” Here Peter quotes one of the 10 and then gives new application, instead of long life in the land it now is expanded to on the earth. The reason is because it is no longer exclusive to Israel.

Notice he does not say because the 10 say so, but because it is the right thing to do.

Today if one obeys “you shall not steal” It's not because of the Mosaic but because Christ said it. We operate from a new law under the instruction of Christ by the Holy Spirit. While there are many similar commands this does not validate that the law has been retained. Since there are many additions also. As N T. believers we are free to keep any part of the O T. law if we choose to do so, but it is not from obligation to a command. Paul chose to keep the law in certain instances, he desired to be in Jerusalem for the feast of Pentecost Acts 18:21, 20:16 and in Acts 21:17-26 he desired to keep the law but not from obligation but of choice.

It was Christ who changed the law and the prophets: Heb 7:12: “For when the priesthood is changed, of necessity there takes place a change of law also.” All the tabernacle the ark the laws and priesthood were a unit working together, and all of it changed in some respect. Some practices were completely dropped others were reinforced and expanded. 

If we look more carefully we find the Sabbath is not a moral law but a ceremonial one. This is why it is not incorporated in the NT.

Things that are forbidden on that day are allowed all through the week proving its not moral. The logical equivalent would be to say, you can’t kill anyone on the Sabbath but any other day is OK.

Let me give another example. Under the law we needed to forgive to be forgiven, under grace we forgive because we have been forgiven. It is a whole new incentive and motivation. One was to receive, the other is because we have received. This is the concept of grace he died for us while we were sinners not when we stopped sinning.

Sabbatarian's claim Moses law was strictly called the book of the law, this was the law against the people. But nowhere does it say obey only the 10.

We hear often from those who promote the Judaizer's doctrine today “Jesus kept the law , he didn’t come to destroy it” he's our example. That’s true, however we need to look at his statements carefully such as in Mt. 5;17 “Do not think I came to destroy the law or the prophets, I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly I say to you til heaven and earth pass away not one jot or tittle will by no means pass from the law until all is fulfilled (completed). Thayers law #3551 nomos-anything established, anything received by usage, a custom, a law, a command:  a) used of any law whatsoever b) used of the Mosaic law, and referring (according to the context) either to the volume of the law or to its contents c) the Christian religion: the law demanding faith, the moral instruction given by Christ, especially the precept concerning love d) the name of the more important part (the Pentateuch), is put for the entire collection of the sacred books of the Old Testament.

A jot and tittle were the smallest strokes of the scribes pen in writing the Scripture. For those who end up dividing the law into its categories such as ceremonial, moral and civil. Their view that the Sabbath is in the moral law category and the other civil and ceremonial ones were done away with becomes an apparent contradiction.   Jesus said not the smallest stroke of the pen would pass away which would include the ceremonial laws also. So either he fulfilled it all and they all passed away for believers or none of were fulfilled. This apparent dispute is solved in the meaning of to fulfill, which means to bring to completion, to put aside. Christ did not say: “I come to lengthen the law,” to continue it. He said “to fulfill,” meaning to bring it to its completion or goal.

But Jesus also said in Mt.5;19 “whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments or teaches men so.” To break the least commandment meant also the ceremonial not the 10 only. Showing that they were A UNIFIED SYSTEM NOT TO BE SPLIT APART. So there is no justification to say the ceremonial is done away with making them proportionate to ones own predilection. Either one keeps it all or they come under a new law, the law of Christ.

As Paul addresses the Jews in Rom. 2:20-24... an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, having the form of knowledge and truth in the law. You, therefore, who teach another, do you not teach yourself? You who preach that a man should not steal, do you steal?   You who say, “Do not commit adultery,” do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? You who make your boast in the law, do you dishonor God through breaking the law?  For “The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you,” as it is written. For circumcision is indeed profitable if you keep the law; but if you are a breaker of the law, your circumcision has become uncircumcision.” Here Paul states both the 10 which is stealing and adultery and combines it with the command of circumcision outside the tablets as the law.

I King 2:3: “And keep the charge of the LORD your God: to walk in His ways, to keep His statutes, His commandments, His judgments, and His testimonies, as it is written in the Law of Moses, that you may prosper in all that you do and wherever you turn.”

Exod. 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.” Was this the whole of the law, or part of this? Of course it was all, that was 613 Commandments, not only 10. Here Moses is commissioned to teach them , this is why they are called Moses' law.

 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;”  The 10 commandments are included in chapter 5 of Deuteronomy.

Luke 24:27: “And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.   If the law explains all that he is this certainly would include the 10 commandments.

Luke 24:44: “Then He said to them, “These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.” Did Jesus fulfill only the ceremonial and civil laws and not the 10 Commandments. Of course he fulfilled everything because the 10 commandments were incorporated in the law of Moses.(Deut.5)  (for more on this subject Go to Old or New Covenant)  

Heb 7:19: “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.”

What Sabbatarian's do is discard the punishments of the law which are fastened to it and put it under grace. But then the practice of the law is kept with no penalties. Laws without consequences are just good advice. God gave them with penalties! Since man doesn't like the punishments  he finds a way around them -so they change the law of God. If the law is still in effect then so are the penalties for breaking the law. If one separates the penalties then the commands have no authority and justice is not carried out. Imagine God telling Israel not to murder and when they do he has nothing for the consequences. This is how Law keepers practice their laws.

Sabbatarian's emphasize a day instead of Pentecost which is the giving of the Spirit which released the Jews from the law and gave them a new base of operation. To keep a law is a physical /spiritual work. Why did God send the Holy Spirit on Sunday? According to Sabbatarian's it should have been Saturday to accomplish their day of rest. The answer is simple, it was new beginnings for the church just as it was 1,400 years before as new beginnings for Israel. Israel was given the Sabbath, the Church was given the Spirit. He leads us and empowers us to obey well beyond what the law can ever dictate. Because the bible in the NT says the law condemns and does not give life. 



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