The Law of God (Comments by a website visitor) With responses by RT 3/2/11
Understanding any of the laws of The Torah, even sacrifices, as being “done away” is contrary to Jesus statement in Matthew 5:17-18. This may be technically correct, but it doesnt fully address the general understanding religious people have. Most regard the ceremonial function, as well as the Levitical Order as being defunct, which it is, superseded by the Melchizedek Order. (e.g. Hebrews 7) Discerning The Law / The Torah involves understanding how to apply all of the laws of The Torah under the New Covenant. The Commandments are relatively obvious, and the ceremonial laws as formerly practiced are now educational, providing important spiritual lessons for those of us in the Christian Era. Applying all the laws of the Torah would involve considerable judgment, as these were written to a ceremonial practicing society and many are applicable only under that situation. Even sacrifices are not “done away” but are observed in a spiritual manner as explained in many passages in Hebrews. The sacrificial laws are not practiced in this era, even by the Jewish establishment. The world wants always to use the term “done away”, but perhaps “suspended” would be the better term. There will be some form of Ceremonial System in the Millennial Kingdom. I have 3 papers on that, by different authors. Also, a message given on day 7 of the FoT in 2010, is accessible on the Grand Junction Churchs website: www.ccofgod.org
Some churches mistakenly make a distinction between the “moral law”/The Ten Commandments and the other laws. Creating a dichotomy between the Ten Commandment laws and the other laws results in dissecting The Law and discarding laws deemed as no longer applicable. Its not hard to understand people doing that. Are there laws we today would not regard as applicable today? (e.g. Is Deut. 23:13 the way we would do things today? Not normally. Maybe on an outing.) There are also what we might call Civil laws, such as this, and building a parapet around ones rooftop for safety purposes, and the responsible replacement of a broken borrowed item. None of these were religious in that sense, and didnt involve a priesthood, just common decency! These practical laws are still good to do.
Other churches mistakenly make a distinction between the “moral law” and the “ceremonial law” or as they say, the “law of God” and the “law of Moses”. Again, this is understandable, but failure to do so may help support a false premise, especially among antinomian types. Those who make this distinction then say that “the ceremonial law” or the “law of Moses” was abolished, but that the “law of God” or “the moral law”, yet remains, yet is valid. The problem is, when such a distinction ISNT made, people then draw the conclusion that the whole law is abolished in its entirety. THE BIBLE DOES NOT MAKE SUCH A DISTINCTION. Ill comment on this below. In the following writings we show that THE LAW is mentioned as they were given by God and by Moses, what the one gave the other gave. None of these were invented by Moses.
The terms “law of God” and “law of Moses” are used interchangeably. God gave the Law to and through Moses, so that is appropriate.
Of Ezra it is said that “Ezra wrote diligently the law of Moses which Jehova God of Israel had given”. Ezra 7:6
Hilkiah “found the book of the law of Jehova given by Moses” 2 Chronicles 34:14.
NOTE: God gave the “law of Moses”, Moses gave the “law of God”
2 Chronicles 31:3 Mentions certain things “of the ceremony” which are written in the Law of Jehova God
Ezra read in the “book of the law of Moses”, the “book of the law” and the “book of the law of God” Neh. 8:1, 3, 8.
NOTE: The distinction made by man always is wrong. If by man, then we should be suspicious, but we should recognize that there is a certain distinction. The moral law was given from Mount Sinai. The ceremonial laws were given at a separate time, over time, to address developing needs. Their disobedience / unfaithfulness to the Covenant (which is different from, though based on, “the Law”), made some form or remedial action necessary. The Ten Commandment tablets were kept inside the Ark of the Covenant, (internally) but the ceremonial code was kept in a separate place (nearby) in a separate chest (externally). (Deut. 31:24-26.) We also see that these words, written by Moses in a book, were an ongoing process up to the end of his life. (a span of time of some 40 years). See JF&B Commentary on that chapter. The Moral Law (which was the basis of the Covenant (both Old and New)) experienced no such ongoing refinement, another distinction.
The Jews knew the Ten Commandments together with the whole of the sacrificial laws as well as the Temple and its priests and all the adjacent instructions to be one interwoven system. Under the Old Covenant, this is true. That is to say as one whole indivisible package. It is this integral system that Jesus knew as: The Law / The Torah. Lets consider Christs prophesies of important developments. First, the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the Temple. Second, the abolition of the Levitical Order. Third, the reversion over of the receipt of Tithes from the Levitical Order to the Melchizedek Order. The complete cessation of the Sacrificial System, which Daniel also wrote of. Christs ministry replaced the intercessory function of the Levitical Priesthood. (He being the new High Priest, a non-Levite we might add.) (I have a write-up on Hebrews 7 which deals with that change-over.) Christ had to have known that the whole Sacrificial System (even the full destruction of the Temple and its services) was imminent. It happened such that they couldnt continue with the sacrificial system even if they wanted to! The New Covenant would render those operations unnecessary. The real replacing the type. The New Covenant, however, retains all of the Moral Law, with love and Faith factoring in. Something not expressed to any adequate degree within the other Covenant.