Watchman Willie Martin Archive

             The Truth About God's Law

Just What IS The truth About Law?

A Challenge for us all...We must REALLY PROVE all things... To really to dig into the truth of God, as we have been exhorted to do by the few TRUE scattered shepherds and see if we really have proved it like we should have. I wonder how many of us REALLY HAVE done this. So, lets use this as a challenge TO REALLY PROVE JUST WHAT WE HAVE LEARNED TO BE THE TRUTHABOUT THE LAW.

Have you ever read a verse in the bible that seemed to not make sense in light of which we have been taught? You things just did not seem to add up? Well, brethren, lets open up our minds and PROVE ALL THINGS.

Lets begin this story about 2,000 years ago. At that time there was an exceptional man who claimed He brought a message related to all of mankind, it specifically was given to the Jews of his Israelite society.

Unfortunately,  the vast majority of these Jews rejected the man's message.  Some thought the messenger was trying to subvert the civil government.  Others felt he was challenging the veracity of their religion,  which they viewed as a special covenant made directly with God. Jewish outrage toward this man's message eventually led to his death through crucifixion.

Yet even though angry Jews killed this teacher whom they believed threatened their society, culture and religion,  the man's disciples worked hard to show the world that His message did not concern civil governments, and that it  DID NOT DISSOLVE THE COVENANT WHICH ANCIENT ISRAEL made with their God. The man's message of salvation was TRULY SOMETHING NEW, involving spiritual issues between mankind and a great God-being the man revealed as The Father.

But even as the Messenger's disciples spread their message of hope,  counterfeit disciples began

instructing their followers that the main point of the teacher's message was that mankind was to obey the laws of the old Israelite covenant with God. These false disciples claimed that the Messenger's "new" covenant with mankind was nothing more than a restatement of the Old Covenant with Israel -- except that now Christians had access to spiritual powers to enable them to better keep that Old Covenant.

The Messenger's true disciples fought back against this false "gospel" with New Testament writings such as Romans, Galatians and Hebrews.  But the doctrinal battle raged on without a decisive winner.  by the end of the first century,  the subject of the Old Covenant,  its laws, and its relationship to the New Covenant of Christ was a mass of confusion.

Unfortunately this confusion has continued to evolve until today,  where we see Christianity caught between two radical extremes of belief.  One extreme believes that Old Covenant law was "nailed to the cross."   Christians need no longer worry about sin,  since Christ lived a life FOR us,  because we are unable to overcome sin on our own.

The other extreme states that virtually EVERY Old  Covenant law is still in effect.  Part-and-parcel with this belief is that the Ten Commandments not only identify sin,  but they describe the complete love and holiness of God.  Adherents to this belief say that they must obey virtually every written command of God,  which they say,  CAUSES THEM to be holy like God is.

So what is the truth?  Did Christ simply do away with the law?  Are Christians free to sin because Christ overcame "for us"?  Or did the Messenger from God come merely to re-emphasize and strengthen Old Covenant laws that Christians are still required to obey?

Finding The Truth About Law

Can we say that the main central theme of the message brought by our Messiah is "law"?  But IS IT POSSIBLE THAT neither of the above-mentioned views represent God's truth? Can it be possible that the truth lies somewhere in between?  For almost 2,000 years, false "teachers and leaders" have been hard at work disguising and confusing the Messiah's message about law. And they have DONE A VERY GOOD JOB!!! These so called teachers/leaders have so filled human minds with conflicting concepts about biblical law,  that it is almost impossible to sort out what the bible really says.

Some organizations, (for lack of a better word, lets call them "legalists") teach that much of the Old

Covenant is binding upon Christians. The Church that I was a member of in the past, taught that the Ten Commandments were God's great "Spiritual Law of Love." But looking deeper at this whole issue,  one might say that this adoption of the Old Covenant was far from consistent.  For example, we were taught that Christians are bound to obey the Lev. 23 commands, but then exempted the wave sheaf, wave loaves,  blowing of trumpets,  and palm branches that were all integral parts of those same commands. And although we were taught that the Old Covenant sacrifices and offerings were done away,  we were taught nevertheless that Christians were to give monetary offerings on the annual festivals!

Could it be that attempts at bringing in parts of the Old Covenant into the New simply does not work???  (Can we keep an open mind as we Prove what we have always been taught?)  Can it be that such attempts only create confused teachings that hide the glory and grace of the New Covenant.  Didn't God create two covenants? Are they not different covenants? And maybe,   just maybe,... they were never meant to be mixed together according to the "pet" ideas of men.

Is it possible that God never intended that Christians should make a point of following Old Covenant law?. But on the other hand, we do know that Christ did not simply "do away"  with law.  Christ's sacrifice DOES NOT give Christians license to sin. Throughout the New Testament scriptures, there are dozens of admonitions to stop sinning and observe the laws that define sin.

This again,  is the other extreme.  And it is just as scripturally untenable as the legalist position.

How did all this confusion over the two covenants come about? THROUGH WRONG TEACHING ABOUT BIBLICAL LAW.

The Covenants:  Confused By Law

Most legalist organizations teach that the Ten Commandments are in a completely different class

than other Old Covenant laws,  and were in existence before the Old Covenant was created at Mount Sinai.  But does Gen. 26: 5 really state that?

Indeed,  Genesis says that Abraham obeyed God.  BUT GENESIS DOES NOT SAY EXACTLY WHAT LAWS, STATUTES, AND JUDGEMENTS ABRAHAM OBEYED.  Legalists assume the book refers to the Ten Commandments, because that is what they want the bible to say.  They seemingly are ignorant of the fact that God has other laws which Abraham obeyed -- laws

that are entirely outside of the scope of the Ten Commandments.

Legalists also combine the facts that Adam sinned (Romans 5: 14) with the bible statement that there is no transgression without law (Romans 4: 15). They say that simple logic demonstrates that the Ten Commandments were in existence in Adam's day.  And on the surface this argument indeed appears reasonable.

But their  logic ignores the fact that Adam broke A SPECIFIC COMMAND God gave to not eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Indeed Adam sinned, but not breaking the Ten Commandments; he sinned by eating of the wrong tree, a separate command given by God to Adam and Eve!

The simple truth is that one can search the bible from Genesis 1 to Exodus 20, but you will not find a single reference to laws of the Ten Commandments -- until they were given as part-and-parcel to the Old Covenant.

Note that we are referring SPECIFICALLY  to the LAWS of the Ten Commandments.  Of course,  most of the issues of the commandments were spiritual principles long before Mount Sinai. For example,  the Sabbath was made holy  at creation,  and we know from the story of Cain and Abel that God disapproved of murder.  But there is not a single biblical proof that either murder or not resting on the Sabbath were VIOLATIONS of spiritual law UNTIL the Ten Commandments were given.  Now, coming from a background of legalistic Christianity, one might find that statement

almost blasphemous,  but nevertheless it is true.  Just hang in there, bear this out and just maybe you will begin to see, or come to a fuller understanding of the truth about the law. We can't PROVE all things, with out reading. This takes effort. It takes work. Intensive study and prayer.

In Luke 24: 44, Christ plainly divided the Old Testament writings into three parts: The Law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms.  Christ didn't say there were SEVERAL DIFFERENT KINDS of Old Covenant law;  He mentioned only ONE Law of Moses.  And clearly,  the Ten Command-

ments were given as an integral part of that Old Covenant Law of Moses.

THERE IS ONLY ONE SET OF OLD COVENANT LAWS,  AND IT IS ALL OLD COVENANT .  But Christians have been called into the new Covenant,  and God surely would not have given the church this calling if He wanted it to stay under the old!!!

What we are talking about is a different "WAY" of ( but its NOT new!) looking at biblical law.  This is a WAY that PRESERVES the importance of BOTH THE OLD AND NEW COVENANTS!!! And its a WAY that GREATLY magnifies the Christian responsibilities to love God, to love fellow-man and to not sin.

Why has this "WAY" not been generally understood?  Simply because false teachers have confused the subject of biblical law by teaching that certain parts of the Old Covenant should be practiced by the New Testament church.

But why would they do this?  For one simple reason:  The Old Covenant had mediators of MEN who COMMANDED AUTHORITY OVER THE BELIEVERS, (see the paper on the antichrist doctrine) while the New Covenant has no mediators of MEN;  it has only One Mediator,  our Savior the Christ (I Tim. 2:5). (Although the overwhelming vast majority of all people in this "free" country are still slaves to other men, and this can be proved beyond a shadow of a doubt!) So,  when men desire to set themselves up as leaders and authorities over God's people,  they often find it very useful to incorporate Old Covenant concepts into their teachings.

Understanding The Old Covenant 

Before one can sort out the differences between the Old and New Covenant, he or she must first understand what the Old Covenant was designed to do. But this is extremely difficult, because there has been much doctrinal confusion in this area.

For example, some say the Ten Commandments  were one covenant,  while the Old Covenant statutes and judgments were another.  Others say that the Sabbath is part of the Old Covenant, while some claim it is not.  Still others point to Jer.7: 22-23 and state that Old Covenant sacrifices and offerings were added outside of the Old Covenant -- and that it is they that were done away with;  while the Ten Commandments, statutes and judgments still remain in effect.  And finally,

at the other EXTREME, are the anti-legalists who claim that Old Testament books of the bible should not even be read by Christians!

Yet though men seem quite confused over the true purpose of the Old Covenant,  the bible makes this purpose clear FOR THOSE WHO ARE WILLING TO SIMPLY BELIEVE WHAT IT SAYS.  Scripture tells us that though the Old Covenant included sacrifices and offerings, the covenant itself was simply an agreement to keep certain laws.  Notice how this is stated in Hebrews 9:  19-20:

    For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law,  he took the

    blood of calves and of goats , with water,  and scarlet wool, and hyssop,  and sprinkled both the

    book,  and all the people,  Saying, This is the blood of the testament which God hath enjoined

    unto you.

Here is a reference to the actual covenant agreement. The writer of Hebrews wrote that it was an AGREEMENT ABOUT PRECEPTS AND LAWS.  The key here is the Greek word translated "enjoined", which means "TO COMMAND TO OBEY."(Strong's # 1781).  In essence, the Old Covenant was a promise from Israel that they would obey God's precepts and laws.

Of course,  Hebrews 9: 1 tells us that sacrifices and offerings were also part of the Old Covenant. But the PURPOSE  of the Covenant was not to make sacrifices and offerings -- the purpose was for Israel to obey God's laws.  Jer.7: 22-23 affirms that the essence of the covenant was not sacrifices and offerings,  but obedience to God's commands:

    For I spake not unto your Fathers, nor commanded them in the day that I brought them out of

    the land of Egypt,  concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices:  But this thing commanded I them,

    saying,  Obey my voice, and I will be your God,  and ye shall be my people:  and walk ye in all

    the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you.


But the bible doesn't stop here in making this point.  It then goes on to provide us with plain statements that the Ten Commandments were the very essence of the Old Covenant:

    And 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 was there with the LORD forty days

    and forty nights;  he did neither eat bread, nor drink water.  And he wrote upon the tables THE


    And he declared unto you HIS COVENANT, which he commanded you to perform, EVEN

    TEN COMMANDMENTS;  and he wrote them upon two tables of stone. (Deut.4: 13)

Did you get that?  The bible says the Old Covenant consisted of the Ten Commandments!  But perhaps the author of these books (Moses) was confused about this subject?  Well if so, then so were the authors of Kings, Chronicles and Hebrews!  Notice what they had to say:

    And I have set there a place for the ark, WHEREIN IS THE COVENANT OF THE LORD,

    which he made with our fathers, when he brought them out of the land of Egypt. (I Kings 8: 21)

    And in it I have put the ark, WHEREIN IS THE COVENANT OF THE LORD, that he made

    with the children of Israel (II Chron.6:11)

    Then verily the first covenant had also ordinances of divine service,  and a worldly sanctuary.

    For there was a tabernacle made; the first,  wherein was the candlestick,  and the table,  and the

    shewbread;  which is called the sanctuary.  And after the second veil,  the tabernacle which is

    called the Holiest of all;  Which had the golden censer,  and the ARK OF THE COVENANT

    overlaid round about with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna,  and Aaron's rod

    that budded,  and THE TABLES OF THE COVENANT (Heb.9: 1-4)

Three additional bible writers tell us the Covenant itself was stored inside the ark. And what was that Covenant?  THE TEN COMMANDMENTS WRITTEN ON TWO TABLETS OF STONE!  Can anyone honestly argue that the Ten Commandments were not part of the Old Covenant?

In plain language,  the bible tells us the Ten Commandments WERE the Old Covenant!!!

So, why did the old Covenant include sacrifices and offerings?  Heb.9:22-23 explains:

    And almost all things are by law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no

    remission.  It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be

    purified with these;  but  the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.

Since Christ had not yet died for forgiveness of man's sins, the Old Covenant required sacrifices and offerings as an atonement (covering) for the people's sins.

Immediately after God gave Israel the law, Moses went up into the mountain to receive instructions for constructing the tabernacle, where the sacrifices and offerings would occur. God did NOT ADD  sacrifices and offerings as an after thought;  they were an integral part of the original covenant. The Old Covenant simple could not operate without sacrifices and offerings.  This was because "the law"  demanded a continual atonement for man's sins:

    For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things,  can

    never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers

    thereunto perfect.  For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the

    worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins.  But in those sacrifices

    there is a remembrance again made of sins every year.  For it is not possible  that the blood of

    bulls and of goats should take away sins (Heb.10:1-4)

So, here is an IMPORTANT TRUTH: The law, sacrifices and offerings were all part of ONE COMPLETE PACKAGE  designed to be a "shadow of good things to come." Read that verse again FOR THERE ARE FEW BIBLE TRUTHS THAT ARE MORE IMPORTANT TO UNDER-


Remember that we just read in Hebrews: " For the law HAVING A SHADOW of good things to come,  and NOT the very image of the things..."  here is PLAIN BIBLE TRUTH PROOF THAT THE LAW IS NOT THE HEAVENLY REALITY WHICH CHRISTIANS NOW HAVE IN CHRIST!!! Clearly, OLD COVENANT LAW IS NOT THE END GOAL OF CHRISTIANITY!!!

A Great Enigma

But a legalistic Christian might ask "But, how can that be? Doesn't the law DEFINE God's love? Doesn't Romans 3: 8-10 say that love FULFILLS the law?  Doesn't II John 1:6 say that love IS the keeping of the commandments? And doesn't Hebrews 10:16 say that the New Covenant writes God's laws in our hearts and minds?"

Yes, here is what would seem to be a great enigma! The scriptures plainly say that obedience to God's law is equivalent to love.  But they just as plainly call the law a SHADOW of the heavenly things that come through Christ.

This apparent inconsistency is the very reason law-keepers try to divide the Old Covenant into separate parts. For example, some say that the statutes, judgments, and sacrifices were shadows, while only the Ten Commandments represent God's love. But we just saw that ALL the Old Covenant laws, rituals, and sacrifices were part of one complete package. God made only ONE COVENANT with Israel; the covenant cannot be divided into separate parts to suit the pet ideas

of men.

There is only one possible answer to this enigma: THE LAWS GIVEN WITH THE OLD COVENANT (WHICH INCLUDED THE TEN COMMANDMENTS) CANNOT BE THE SAME LAW WHICH GOD USES TO DEFINE HIS LOVE.  There must be TWO sets of law: One which serves as a shadow and defines sin and another which defines God's love.


If in reading this, you find that you are one of those that have been taught from a "Legalist" point of view, please keep an open mind and continue to follow through to the end. God will not open one's mind if one refuses to see, or REFUSES to prove.  We must remember that there are none so blind, as those who REFUSE TO SEE.

Look at what the apostle James had to say about God's Royal Law:

    "If ye fulfill the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself, ye

    do well (James 2:8)

James called the command to "love your neighbor as yourself"  God's ROYAL LAW.  The Greek for "royal" is "bas-il-ee-koos" (Strong's #937), which literally means BELONGING TO THE SOVEREIGN. Now consider that the sovereign is God. By using this particular Greek word, James is literally wrote "the law that BELONGS to the Sovereign (GOD)."  Now think: Isn't the law that "belongs to God"  simply GOD'S LAW?????

But, we have been taught that the Ten Commandments are "God's Law." Yet James wrote that another law--A LAW THAT WAS NOT PART OF THE TEN COMMANDMENTS-- is God's ROYAL Law.  How can this be? Simply because we have IGNORED the plain bible definition of God's  Royal Law of love!!!  Notice what Christ said in Matthew 22: 35-40:

    Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, master,

    which is the great commandment in the law?  Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy

    God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.  This is the first and great

    commandment. And the second is like unto it,  Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.  ON


First notice something EXTREMELY IMPORTANT: Neither of these two "great" commandments are contained in the Ten Commandments -- we might want to stop and think about that!!!  Then notice something else: Christ said THAT EVERY OTHER COMMAND that God has given

HANGS UPON these two great commandments.

Visualize in your mind: A command that "hangs upon" something else is BELOW that from which it hangs.  And Christ plainly said that EVERY other command -- WHICH INCLUDES THE TEN

COMMANDMENTS!!!!! -- hangs upon these two great commands!

Realize the significance of what Christ is saying:  GOD'S LAW OF LOVE HAS ONLY TWO COMMANDMENTS. These two commandments DEFINE God's love. This great law does not deal with sin,  as do the Ten Commandments,  simply because God does not sin!!!  THE ROYAL


But the Ten Commandments relate to sin.  Romans 7:7 plainly says that they DEFINE sin. Also look at what Gal. 3:19 says:

    Wherefore serveth the law?  It was added because of transgressions, TILL the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.

The Ten Commandments were "hung" under The Royal Law of love, so that man could come to understand sin. Hebrews 7:16 calls the law a "carnal commandment," for it dealt with the sins of carnal human nature. BUT once the New Covenant made God's love AVAILABLE THROUGH THE HOLY SPIRIT,  man's New Covenant responsibilities INCREASED FAR BEYOND THAT OF JUST BEING COMMANDED NOT TO SIN.

Under the new Covenant, Christians are commanded TO LOVE God and neighbor. Unfortunately, the meaning of the English word "love" has been diluted and cheapened in today's world. But the bible definition for love includes a far more INTENSE OBLIGATION than most of us have

realized.  In Christ's case, living God's way of love demanded that he give His life for mankind. Old Covenant law -- including the Ten Commandments -- SIMPLY DOES NOT DEMAND THIS KIND OF BEHAVIOR!!!

But does this mean that the Old Covenant and it's laws were bad?  of COURSE NOT!  Paul said "Do we then make void the law through faith?  God forbid:  yea, we establish the law" (Rom.3: 31).  Remember, the bible says the written law was ADDED because of transgressions.

Its purpose was to help man see his sinful nature and to train him for a relationship with Christ. Galatians 3: 24-25 explains how this works:

    Wherefore the law was our SCHOOLMASTER TO BRING US TO CHRIST,  that we might be

    justified by faith. But after that faith is come, WE ARE NO LONGER UNDER A

    SCHOOLMASTER!!!  How much plainer can God get?

The Old Covenant, with its commandments, sacrifices, and rituals was designed to prepare mankind for Christ and the heavenly realities.  And clearly, we just read how Paul said


But, why, we might ask?  What is wrong with staying under the schoolmaster?  Why are we commanded to come out from under the schoolmaster after we come into the truth and begin to have our minds opened by the power of God's Holy Spirit?  Matthew 19: 16-21 gives an example that explains:

    And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may

    have eternal life?  And he said unto him,  Why callest me good? there is none good but one, that

    is, God:  but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.  He saith unto him,  Which?

    Jesus said,  Thou shalt do no murder, thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou

    shalt not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy

    neighbor as thyself.  the young man saith unto him,  All these things have kept from my youth

    up: what lack I yet?  Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and

    give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.

Here was a man who expressed a desire to have eternal life.  Christ told him that he first must learn from the "schoolmaster" and repent of sin.  But did you notice how the man replied "What lack I yet?"  Of course, what he lacked was the love of God that would have motivated him to give to the poor!


Why? Because the Ten Commandments ARE NOT GOD'S ROYAL LAW OF LOVE!!!  Their purpose is not to reveal God's love,  but to define sin.  Remember what Heb.10: 1 said:

    For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things,  can

    never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers

    thereunto perfect.


A Change In The Law

Under the Old Covenant, mediators of men administered laws that defined sin and specified proper behavior.  These laws were written on stone and  given through HUMAN teachers.  But under the new Covenant, God's law of love is administered by one Great Teacher (Matt. 23: 8-10),  and written in our hearts and minds by the holy spirit.

The Old Covenant dealt with laws written on stone.  The new Covenant deals with laws written in the mind and heart. THE CHANGE BETWEEN THEOLD AND NEW COVENANTS INCLUDED A CHANGE IN THE LAW.  Notice Heb.7:11-12:

    If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the

    law), what further need was there that another priest should arise after the order of Melchisedec,

    and not be called after the order of Aaron? for the priesthood being changed, THERE IS


Under the New Covenant, there is no priesthood of men MEDIATING LAW. The new Covenant has One Priest, Who has prescribed a NEW LAW!!! Christ administers God's Royal Law of love,  placing it in our minds and hearts through the holy spirit (Rom.5:5).  This is what Jeremiah wrote about when he referred to the New Covenant:

    Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will (future tense)make a new covenant with the

    house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:  Not according to the covenant that I made with

    their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt;

    which my covenant they brake, although I was a husband unto them, saith the LORD:  But this

    shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the

    LORD, I will (Future tense) put my law in their inward parts,  and write it in their hearts; and

    will be their God, and they shall be my people (Jer.31: 31-33)

Isaiah also wrote concerning a future law that God would place into the hearts of those who would become part of His spiritual nation (the church): Isaiah 51: 4-7:

    Hearken unto me, ye that know righteousness, the people in whose heart is my law; fear ye not

    the reproach of men, ....

Both Jeremiah and Isaiah wrote long after the giving of the Ten Commandments. Yet both wrote that IN THE FUTURE, a law would be placed within the hearts of God's people.  This future law can be none other than God's law of love placed within our minds and hearts by the Holy Spirit.

Yet, although there are two great commandments to love God and man, the actual "manner" in which one keeps this Royal Law cannot be written on stone or paper. There is  SIMPLY NO HUMAN LANGUAGE that can express the fullness of God's love.  INSTEAD, GOD'S "LAW OF LOVE" IS WRITTEN IN A PERSON'S MIND AND HEART THROUGH THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.

Attempting To Enter the New Covenant With Old Laws

When a person enters into the New Covenant, the Ten Commandments must be literally "set aside."  This is not my opinion, as it is plainly stated in the scriptures:

    For there is verily a dis-annulling of the of the commandment going before for the weakness

    and unprofitableness thereof.  For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better

    hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God (Heb.7:18-19)

(So, in other words, by just obeying the old law, we WERE NOT able to draw close to God!) (dis-annulling -- Strongs #115 : {From #114} cancellation, put away. [#114: to set aside , i.e. to disesteem, neutralize or violate, cast off, despise, dis-annull, frustrate, bring to nought, reject])

We must come to terms with what we just read:  OLD COVENANT LAW IS WEAK AND UNPROFITABLE ROE THOSE CALLED OUT ONES UNDER THE NEW COVENANT.  When a Christian uses the Old Covenant as a standard for conduct, he or she cannot possibly attain to the love and holiness of God's Royal Law.

Remember, the Ten Commandments only define sin. When a person observes them, he or she accomplishes only one thing:  That of no longer being a law-breaker; i.e., a criminal.  But clearly,  not being a criminal is quite a different thing from the holy and totally-sacrificing love of God!!

During the early New Testament Church,  the Galatians had succumbed to antichrists, or false leaders, who were teaching that Christians should observe Old Covenant laws. (See the paper on the Doctrine of the Antichrist) Notice what Paul said about this:

    For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor TO DO THE WHOLE

    LAW. Christ is become OF NO EFFECT UNTO YOU, whosoever of you are justified by the

    law;  ye are fallen from grace. (Gal. 5:4)

Paul said two important things here.  First, he said a person who tries to keep ONE PART of the Old Covenant becomes "a debtor to do the WHOLE LAW."  Obviously,  Paul did not believe that we can just pick and choose which parts of the Old Covenant we wish to obey!!

But, secondly,  Paul made a sweeping statement about the usefullness of the law: "...whosoever of you are justified by the law;  ye are fallen from grace."  Now that's a pretty serious statement!!!  Paul said that a person who decides to be justified through observing Old Covenant laws, FALLS FROM THE GRACE OF GOD!!!  What could be plainer?

Of course when you think about Paul's statement,  it makes a great deal of sense,  Just as in the case of the young man who wanted to follow Christ,  one who believes in "keeping the law" sees no reason to ADVANCE BEYOND the law.  Such a person NEVER comes to know the Royal Law of God's love,  since they feel justified before God through keeping the written commandments.

But such a person has been greatly deceived, because in Galatians 3:11, Paul said: "BUT THAT NO MAN IS JUSTIFIED BY THE LAW IN THE SIGHT OF GOD,  IT IS EVIDENT:  for, The just shall live by faith."  Now combine that with Gal. 3:10:

   For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse:  for it is written,  Cursed is every

    one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.

But Christians have been redeemed from the curse of the Old Covenant law:

    Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written,

    Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree (Gal. 3:13)

But for what are we redeemed:  Freedom to sin?  That is what ministers in the past would have us believe is the outcome of not being under the law! On the contrary, Christians are free to experience the glorious liberty of God's Royal Law of love,  shed abroad in our hearts by the holy spirit! To experience true freedom from all forms of slavery to other men!

The Liberty Of Love

God's Royal Law of love gives one the liberty to make holy and righteous decisions about each and every situation in life,  without necessarily having to refer to a written law.  This SPIRITUAL LAW is not bound by a written code, because written codes cannot possibly define the

boundless spiritual love of God!  It is bound and defined BY THE HOLY SPIRIT,  the power and love of which COULD NEVER BE WRITTEN UPON TABLETS OF STONE! Notice how Gal. 5:1 states it:

    Stand fast therefore in the liberty (Freedom from ALL types of BONDAGE) wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not ENTANGLED AGAIN with the YOKE OF BONDAGE. Once free, never return back to being a slave!

Christians are to move from the Old Covenant "yoke of bondage,"  on to the freedom of God's Royal Law.  In Matt. 11:29-30, the Messiah said:

    Take MY YOKE upon you,  and learn of me;  for I am meek and lowly in heart:  and ye shall

    find rest unto your souls.  For MY YOKE is EASY, and my burden is light.

Would it not be absolutely incredible for Paul to call Christ's yoke a "Yoke of Bondage?Indeed, it is quite obvious Christ and Paul spoke of two entirely different yokes!!!  Christ said His yoke is easy because it operates through genuine motivations of sincere Godly love.  Notice how the apostle James expressed it:

    But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty,  and continueth therein,  he being not a

    forgetful hearer,  but a doer of the work (and keep in mind what the "work of God" is ¼Read

    the paper on The Work Myth for more understanding on this subject),  this man shall be

    blessed in his deed (James 1:25)

Does the phrase "perfect law of liberty"  sound like Paul's "Yoke of Bondage,"  or does it sound like Christ's "easy" yoke? James was talking about an entirely different law hereGod's great SPIRITUAL law of love gives us the liberty to define ALL our actions based upon God's loveas we are led by the Holy Spirit. Look at Rom.8:14:

    For as many as are LED by the Spirit of God,  they are the sons of God.

The Greek word translated "led" literally means TO LEAD, TO CARRY, TO GUIDE, TO DIRECT.  Now ask yourself a question:  What or who leads YOU?  Is it the quiding provided by God's Holy Spirit?  Or is it the written codes of the Old Covenant, or other men or earthly governments?  In Matt. 6:24,  Christ said we cannot serve two masters. Either

a person is being led by the written codes of the law, (And one was only a school master until the other came)  or by the power of  God's Spirit!!! Either we are serving Satan through other men and man made laws, or we are serving the one true God! Christ said it's either one or the other, that it is impossible to serve both.

Now this leading of the Spirit cannot be "spiritualized"  into something that has little power or that we cannot understand.  In Luke 4:1, we find that Christ was "led by the spirit" to travel into the wilderness. In Acts 8:29,  the Spirit directed Phillip to join himself to a chariot. In Acts 10:19,  the Spirit spoke to Peter and told him that three men sought him. In Acts 13:2,  the Spirit told the apostles to separate Barnabas and Saul for a special work which God had for them.  And in Acts 16:6,  the Spirit even prohibited the apostles from preaching in Asia.

Think about the kind of "leading" the Holy Spirit was doing in the first century -- in most cases,  it was VERY direct!  Now ask yourself this question:  Is that kind of spiritual leading and guidance by the Holy Spirit going on in your life?  Or are you being led by written codes of law?  Remember,  Paul said that it is only those who are LED BY THE SPIRIT are the sons of God!

Not Under Law

In Gal. 5:18, Paul said that one who is truly led by the Holy Spirit is no longer under the restraint of law:

    But if ye be led of the spirit, ye are not under the law

Let's look at an example of how this process works.  In John 8:3-11, the Pharisees brought Christ a woman caught in the act of adultery. Beyond any doubt,  this woman was worthy of the law-defined penalty of death. But Christ was NOT motivated by the written law!  Instead, He was motivated by the Royal Law of love and mercy.  He didn't want the woman to pay the death penalty for her sin.  Instead,  HE EXERCISED HIS FREEDOM IN THE ROYAL LAW OF LOVE TO MAKE A JUDGEMENT BASED UPON WHAT WAS BEST FOR THAT SITUATION.

What was best was not punishment,  BUT MERCY -- a judgment that was not even possible under the Old Covenant.  CHRIST VIOLATED OLD COVENANT LAW TO ENFORCE THE HIGHER STANDARDS OF GOD'S LAW OF LOVE !!!  This is what the Royal Law is all about -- evaluating every situation on its own merits, so as to accomplish what is best for all parties, according to the principles of love.  This is what we will be doing in the Millennium and on beyond. It's what we are in training for at this very moment. This way of life is simply not possible using written codes of law!

Rahab is another example of making decisions according to the law of love. Rahab was a harlot, a person severely condemned under the Old Covenant.  Rahab also lied to the king of Jerico regarding her hiding of the Israelite spies.  Under the written law, lying and harlotry

clearly defined her as a law-breaker )Ps. 101:7, Prov.6:16-17).

Yet in Heb.11, Rahab is called one of the "faithful," having had faith similar to spiritual giants as Noah, Abrahab, Sarah, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, and David!  The apostle James (2:25) even said that Rahab was JUSTIFIED when she told LIES to hide the Israelite spies!!!

How can this be?  BECAUSE RAHAB PRESERVED THE LIVES OF THE SPIES!  She obeyed God's HIGHER law of love,  which naturally demands that it is more important to save innocent lives than to tell the truth.  Rahab could have obeyed the "letter of the law' and told the king the truth, but in doing so,  she would have guaranteed the spies' deaths.

Rahab was called one of the faithful,  because she understood the TRUE NATURE of the love of God.  When Rahab lied and did what she surely knew was wrong,  she DISPLAYED FAITH in God's ability to justify her transgression. God not only did so, but he also justified her sin of harlotry,  placing her name among the most faithful who have ever lived!

It is a wonderful truth that God has given Christian the LIBERTY to base all moral decisions on principles of Godly love.  Godly character is simply TOO HOLY,  TOO RIGHTEOUS, and TOO MERCIFUL to be bound by written law.  Indeed, such character comes only by the inspiration of the Holy spirit,  which empowers a person to evaluate each situation in the context of God's love.

Rahab somehow knew that exercising God's Royal Law requires faith in God's holiness and willingness to justify our decisions,  even when they are in conflict with written law.  God's main concerns are MERCY, JUSTICE, and SINCERE LOVE -- not a blind obedience to written law -- but obedience to His HIGHER LAW OF LOVE. And God has given us the FREEDOM to exercise

personal judgment as to what is best,  as we are led by His Holy Spirit.

But again,  does this freedom allow us to live a life of sin? (as defined by the Old Law)  Of course not!  Notice Gal. 5:13:

    For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh,

    but by love serve one another.

Remember,  God's Royal Law of love is what the Ten Commandments HANG UPON.  The Royal Law is a FAR HIGHER STANDARD OF CONDUCT than the Ten Commandments!!!  SIN HAS NO PLACE IN GOD'S ROYAL LAW OF LOVE.

Walking In The Light

Of course,  Christians have no desire to be sinners.  Yet being human, we DO sin.  And when we do,  the precious blood of the New Covenant cleanses us of those sins.  Notice I John 1: 6-9:

    If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:

    But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light,  we have fellowship one with another,  and the

    blood of Jesus Christ, His Son cleanseth us from all sin.  If  we say that  we have no sin, we

    deceive ourselves,  and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins,  he is faithful  and just to

    forgive us our sins,  and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

John wrote that when we walk in the light of Christ's guiding spirit,  there is a literal guarantee that our sins will be cleansed.  As long as we are honest and confess our transgressions,  God is faithful to forgive them.

But if a Christian were to again PURPOSELY live a life of sin,  he or she would fall back under the Old Covenant law, which would again condemn that person to death.  This would be a very serious situation, as we are warned in Heb. 10:26:

    For if we sin willfully after that we have received the KNOWLEDGE OF THE TRUTH,  there

    remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful  looking for of judgment and fiery

    indignation,  which shall devour the adversaries.

Don't be confused about Christian liberty from Old Covenant law:  IT MOST  DEFINITELY IS NOT LISCENSE TO SIN !!!   But that said,  the New Covenant includes an absolute promise of forgiveness for human weaknesses. Under the New Covenant,  those sins that we cannot seem to

overcome are covered by the sacrifice of Christ.  The only requirement is that we walk in the light,  doing our best as humans to follow the guidance of God's Holy Spirit.

We have already seen that Christians are not "under law."  And the bible tells us that where there is no law, there is no transgression (Rom.4:15).  In a very real since,  those who are walking in the light are not held guilty for their sins.  This is because sin  is not imputed (See the Paper on Imputation) to those who are led by the Spirit:

    Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man,  unto whom God imputeth

    righteousness without works, Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven,  and

    whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin. (Rom.4: 6-8)

Christians can have absolute confidence that as they do their best at following the Holy Spirit, God will overlook and forgive the many mistakes that naturally result from the weakness of the flesh.

The "Sign" Of The New Covenant

Those legalists who insist  that the basis of Christianity is obedience to the Ten Commandments,  often say  that observance of the Sabbath is the true sign that identifies Christians or of Christian obedience to God. They get this from Ex. 31:13-17 and Ez.20:12 & 20. And, indeed,  these verses show that observance of the Sabbath is a sign,  and it was to be a perpetual sign, one throughout eternity, but , as all three verses show, it was a sign between both parties, the ancient nation of Israel and God, so that God's people would know that He, God, is God, and that He, God was the One that set them apart from all the others nations around them.  And so it is today.

Today, we see many religious sects observing the Sabbath,  although most of them admit to serious doctrinal disagreements. Can they ALL be God's people,  with so many different views of God's truth?  And what about the Jewish religion, which also prescribes observance of the Sabbath?

Was it to be a sign for physical Israel or for us, as Spiritual Israel? One of the basic tenants of the Jewish Religion is that Christ was NOT the Messiah! Can  the Sabbath be THE sign of New Covenant Christianity, when those who observe it reject the very Savior who makes that covenant possible?  The answer should be obvious!

So, what then,  is the "sign" of the New Covenant?  Our Savior plainly told  us in Jn. 13:35:  "By THIS shall all men know that ye are my disciples,  IF YE HAVE LOVE ONE TO ANOTHER."      OBEDIENCE TO OLD COVENANT LAW IS NOT A SIGN OF PARTICIPATION IN THE NEW COVENANT.  Why? Simply because obedience to law does not require God's Holy Spirit!

Again remember:  The Ten Commandments are not God's law of love,  they only  DEFINE SIN (Rom.3:20).  Israel was not asked to love as God does; they were simply asked not to be sinners; i.e., criminals.

But those under the new Covenant are asked to obey another law -- A NEW LAW. Christ plainly said so in John 13: 34:

    A new commandment I give unto you,  that ye love one another;  as I have loved you,  that ye

    also love one another.

This "new" commandment was not part of the Old Covenant agreed to in Ex. 20-24, for obedience to it is not even possible without the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

Dangers of Mixing The Old With The New

Christ made some interesting statements about mixing old things with those that are new.  His subject was that of fasting,  and the disciples of John the Baptist were asking why Christ's disciples were not fasting as were they and the Pharisees.  Notice how Christ responded:

    No man  putteth a piece of new cloth unto an old garment, for that for that which is put in to fill

    it up taketh from the garment, and the rent is made worse. Neither do men put new wine into

    old bottles: else the bottles break, and the wine runneth out, and  the bottles perish:  but they

    put new wine into new bottles, and both are preserved (Matt. 9:16-17)

Of course fasting came out of the Law of Moses,  and it was something the Pharisees did regularly.  John's disciples wondered why those who were following Christ were not obeying that Old Covenant practice.  Christ responded that fasting FOR HIS DISCIPLES was inappropriate at that time --they would fast later.

But then Christ added something else to the discussion.  He said not to "put new wine into old bottles." He was strongly implying that "mixing" Old Covenant practices with the New Covenant might cause the Old Covenant bottle to break !!!

Instead,  He said that the old and the new should be kept separate,  so that BOTH will BE PRESERVED.  There is nothing wrong with the Old Covenant,  and there is nothing wrong with the New;  both covenants perform exactly what God designed them to. BUT DO WE CREATE PROBLEMS WHEN WE MIX THE TWO TOOGETHER,  AND IS THAT SOMETHING GOD NEVER INTENDED THAT WE DO?

"The Works Of The Law"

The scriptures often use the Greek phrase "ergoon nomou,"  which is usually translated "works of the law"  or "deeds of the law."  It refers to practices associated with the Old Covenant that are INAPPROPRIATE  for New Covenant Christians.  here is biblical proof:

    Knowing  that a man is not justified by the works of the law,  but by the faith of Jesus Christ,

    even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ,  and not

    by the works of the law:  for  by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. (Gal. 2:16)

    This only would I learn of you, Receive ye the Spirit by the works of the law,  or by the hearing

    of faith?  Are ye so foolish?  having begun in the Spirit,  are ye now made perfect by the flesh?

    Have ye suffered so many things in vain? if it be yet in vain.  He therefore that ministereth to

    you the Spirit,  and worketh miracles among you,  doeth he it by the works of the law,  or by the

    hearing of faith? (Gal. 3:2-5)

These scriptures make it clear that the "works of the law"  will not justify us before God.. But some would have us believe that the "works of the law"  were something separate from the Ten Commandments,  and  that they refer only to "ritual laws" that dealt with sacrifices and offerings.  Yet, Romans 3:20 shows that such a belief is quite false:

    Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight:  for by the law is

    the knowledge of sin.

Clearly, these "deeds" are of the same law THAT BRINGS THE KNOWLEDGE OF SIN.  Don't believe what is printed on this paper, but read it in your bible.  Paul made it clear that the law which brings the knowledge of sin is part of the "deeds of the law."  Also remember that Christ said there

IS ONLY ONE law of Moses.

Paul then said that practicing these "works of the law" brings a Christian under a curse:

    For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse:  for it is written,  Cursed is every

    one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.


Remember,  we have already established that Christians should not sin --that is not what Paul is talking about.  Paul is saying that we cannot be justified before God BY KEEPING THE LAW and he is also saying that attempting to do so brings one under a curse. Isaiah 64:6 tells us why:

    But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousness are as filthy rags;  and we all do

    fade as a leaf;  and our iniquities,  like the wind,  have taken us away.

What Isaiah wrote was really quite simple: There is NO amount of law keeping that can make one righteous before God.  All human righteousness is as filthy rags (and you might look up the Hebrew for those words) when compared to God's righteousness.

Why? Because God's righteousness is based upon a law of divine love, not a law of transgressions!  God's righteousness is defined by TWO GREAT COMMANMENTS  that are not part of Exodus 20-24.   WHEN ONE TRIES TO ATTAIN TO THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD USING OLD COVENANT LAW, HE OR SHE WILL ALWAYS FALL SHORT, SIMPLY BECAUSE OLD COVENANT LAW DOES NOT DEFINE THE RIGHTEOUSNESS AND HOILNESS OF GOD !!!

This is exactly what Israel (primarily the Jews) did when they rejected Christ and decide to stay with the Old Covenant,  while the Gentiles (those that became Spiritual Jews) attained unto God's righteousness, WITHOUT the law.  Paul wrote of this in Rom.9:30-32:

    What shall we say then?  That the Gentiles,  which followed not after righteousness,  have

    attained to righteousness,  even the righteousness which is of faith.  But Israel, which followed

    after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness.  Therefore? Because

    they SOUGHT IT NOT BY FAITHbut as it were by the works of the law...

The Gentiles (again, those that became Spiritual Jews) made use of the ROYAL LAW OF LOVE, which God wrote in their hearts through the Holy Spirit.  But the Israelites DIDN'T HAVE THE FAITH to trust in GOD'S LAW OF LOVE;  so they fell under the curse of the Old Covenant,  by rejecting the "leading power" of God's Holy Spirit (Acts 7:51).

Reference Materials