Hope of Israel Ministries (Ecclesia of YEHOVAH):

What -- Then -- is the Law?”

It is essential to clearly recognize the distinct subdivisions of the law and the purpose of each. Unfortunately, the Church has assumed and taught that, because the Messiah fulfilled the requirements of the ordinances, the laws set forth in the Commandments, Statutes and Judgments are now inoperative. A study of the entire scope and application of the Law of YEHOVAH God proves such a view to be definitely erroneous.

by Arnold Kennedy

“What then is the Law? It was added because of transgressions” (Galatians 3:19).

The Law is possibly the most confusing subject for Christians. They say, “We are not under the Law” and at the same time they know they cannot go out and steal, rape, or do anything else that is commonly thought of as “The Law”. They also know that if sin is the transgression of the law, then to repent from sin they must determine to keep the law. So they ask, “How can we have to keep the law and at the same time be "not under the law."

In the quotation above we have the word, “added”; so before we go any further we have to ask, “what was added to what”? If we add something to nothing then we have not added anything to anything, in reality. So the reference is about something that was added to something that already existed. And we have to ask how could the word “transgressions” in the phrase, “because of transgressions” have any meaning if some form of law that could be transgressed had not existed before what was added. It does not take much reading to establish that YEHOVAH God’s law was in force long before Moses, and what it was that was added because of transgression of that existing law. Abraham obeyed the Law of YEHOVAH God. Believing YEHOVAH’s promise about obedience was Abraham’s faith.

Genesis 26:5: "Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws."

For this reason we have to ask exactly what was “added” to what. Thus the phrase “The Law” in the book of Galatians and in other places does not mean every bit of law of every kind as it is commonly taken, but rather that which was “added” to what already existed. What “The Law” means is governed by each context where it is found. Obviously what was added to the law, and what this was added to, cannot be the same thing. In Scripture, “The Law” is one of several things, as determined by context.

(1). The Commandments, the Statutes and the Judgments (which were in force at the time of Abraham -- we have to take notice that the translators did some word-swapping).

(2). Law as a principle.

(3). The Ordinances, which were “added”, having to do with sacrifices, and holy days.

(4). The “Traditions” or the interpretations which make the Word of God “of none effect”. Together with the Ordinances, this is what the Judaizers advocate Christians should keep.

Failure to divide things that are different in regard to “Law” is what leads to endless confusion in doctrine and thus in practice.

What Was “Added”?

When Moses broke the first tables of stone after finding the Children of Israel dancing around the golden calf, he returned up the mountain of YEHOVAH God to see if atonement could be made for the people. It is important to note that before this there were no burnt offerings and sacrifices and feast days, but the people still were required to obey the Commandments, Statutes and the Judgments.

Jeremiah 7:22-24: "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 I commanded them, saying, Hearken unto my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people; and walk ye in all the way that I command you, that it may be well with you. But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear, but walked in their own counsels and in the stubbornness of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward."

What was added to the law of YEHOVAH God were the “ordinances” of the Law which concerned burnt offerings and sacrifices. When we read the New Testament we have to understand about what was “added” remembering that YEHOVAH’s Law was in force before that addition. Let us consider the passage in Galatians:

Galatians 3:17-25: "And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect. 18 For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise. 19 WHEREFORE THEN 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. 20 Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one. 21 Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law. 22 But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe. 23 But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. 24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster."

In the phrase, “Is the law against the promises of God”, the "law" referred to here concerns only the added part. The “Schoolmaster” is what was "added"; it was “done away with” by the sacrifice of Yeshua the Messiah, BUT THE COMMANDMENTS, STATUTES AND JUDGMENTS REMAINED. If this was not so, “iniquity” = lawlessness would have no meaning, either now or in the time of Abraham, or before then. Even in the case of Cain and Abel where one did right and the other did wrong, there was law.

Law in the Book of Galatians

We have seen that in this book of Galatians, “Law” relates to what was added, not what existed before the addition. When Paul admonishes the Galatians about falling from grace he does not admonish them for not stealing and keeping other parts of the moral law, it is rather for keeping observances, namely those things that were “added”. The bondage is about keeping the days and months as laid down in that which was “added”.

Galatians 4:9-11: "But now that ye have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how turn ye back again to the weak and beggarly rudiments, whereunto ye desire to be in bondage over again? Ye observe days, and months, and seasons, and years. I am afraid of you, lest by any means I have bestowed labor upon you in vain."

Keeping the “added” ordinances of the law is going backwards by trying to be righteous by keeping any part of what was “added”. It is these “added” ordinances only which were nailed to the Tree.

Colossians 2:14-17: "Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it. Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but THE BODY is of Christ."

We can see again that this is about food, drink, feast days and other observances which were “blotted out”, but this does not include what existed before the addition of the ordinances.

What is Paul talking about here? What are these special "an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days"? Contrary to Catholic and Protestant assumptions, these cannot refer to the weekly Sabbath or the annual holy days of YEHOVAH God! The weekly Sabbath was established at Creation, not at Mount Sinai (Genesis 2:1-2). At Sinai YEHOVAH God did not give a NEW commandment to observe the Sabbath, but rather said, "Remember the Sabbath . . ." This commandment had been in effect from the time of Creation. Yeshua said the Sabbath was created for ALL mankind (Mark 2:27-28). The prophet Isaiah foretold, "From one New Moon to another and from one Sabbath to another, ALL MANKIND will come and bow down before me" (Isaiah 66:23).

These observances which Paul condemned could not refer to the annual holy days of YEHOVAH God, which He established to be observed forever! YEHOVAH gave Israel His Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread holy days BEFORE ISRAEL EVEN LEFT EGYPT! They became part of the Old Covenant, as did all the previous laws of YEHOVAH God. But they did not end with it, any more than the laws against murder, adultery, stealing, idolatry, or Sabbath-breaking, did!

Notice! YEHOVAH commanded His people to observe the Passover forever (Exodus 12:14). The Feast of Unleavened Bread was also ordained forever (Exodus 12:17-20). Both alien and native-born were commanded to observe it by putting leaven out of their homes (verse 20) -- anyone who refused was to be "cut off" from the community. These laws were given long before Israel ever appeared before YEHOVAH at Mount Sinai!

In Leviticus 23 all the holy days of YEHOVAH God are enumerated. Each one of them is clearly commanded to be observed "for ever" (Leviticus 23:4-14; 15-21; 23-32; 33-36, 39-42). These were not "Israel's" feasts; they are "the LORD's appointed feasts" (verse 4). They belong to YEHOVAH, not to men. And YEHOVAH commands that His people observe them faithfully -- including Israelite Christians under the New Covenant! Yeshua himself observed them, setting us an example (see Luke 2:41-42; 22:15; John 7:2-10; I Peter 2:21). The early Church at Jerusalem observed them (Acts 12:3). Even Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles (the ten tribes in exile), observed them (Acts 18:21; 20:6, 16), and commanded these Gentiles to do so (I Corinthians 5:7-8). In the Millennial reign of YEHOVAH God and the Messiah, the whole world will observe the Festival of Tabernacles (Zechariah 14:16-19).

Rather, these added burdens which the Galatians were allowing Judaizers to impose on them were numerous fast days and commemorations of Judaism -- various strict "legalistic" halakkah (religious "decisions" made by Pharisees and later Rabbinical courts) which diverged from the Laws of the written Torah. The Jews over time came to celebrate a number of special holidays and fast days and anniversaries in addition to the holy days of YEHOVAH God. In addition, they "fenced" the Laws of YEHOVAH God with strict halachic interpretations of what was permissible on the Sabbath day, washings, separate dishes for meat and dairy products, and a host of rituals.

Some of the Temple rituals were later incorporated into each Family's home worship, after the Temple was destroyed, to bring the Jewish families in mind of the laws of YEHOVAH God. Some were added by the Pharisees even during Temple times, as a further inducement to "holiness" -- and became a terrible BURDEN on the people. The Pharisees even fasted two days every week in their quest for righteousness (Luke 18:10-12). In Zechariah, we read about some of these other days which the Jews had begun celebrating, in addition to YEHOVAH's plain commandments. "This is what the LORD Almighty says: 'The fasts of the fourth, fifth, seventh and tenth months will become joyful and glad occasions and happy festivals for Judah'" (Zechariah 8:19).

YEHOVAH God never intended His spiritual Church to come under a yoke of bondage by converting to Pharisaic Judaism, and celebrating all these additional laws, halakkah, rules and restrictions, days, months, seasons and anniversaries. Such multiple fastings and observances and strict halakkich Judaism only leads to self-righteousness and have no benefit or power in making one truly righteous before YEHOVAH God (see Isaiah 58).

The “shadow of things to come” was what was added until the crucifixion of the Messiah who was to come. The meaning of “the body is of Christ” in the verse above is confirmed in the verse below:

Hebrews 10:5-8: "Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but A BODY hast thou prepared me: In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure. Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God. Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law;"

It was not the design of his coming to revoke any part of the Commandments, Statutes and Judgments which stand fast; “Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth FOR EVER” (Psalm 119:160). “He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second. By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once FOR EVER”.

"False brethren" are those who seek to reinstate any part of the ceremonial law, or the tradition of the elders:

“And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage” (Galatians 2:4).

It is popular today to infer that the Commandments, Statutes and the Judgments are "bondage" and not that the “addition” is bondage. With this teaching no understanding is given of how the Commandments, Statutes and Judgments apply to national life and social activity The national responsibility factor has been taken away and Christians are ultimately responsible for degeneration of the nation in which they are found. We will not discuss the important national aspect here.

The Law Was Given by Moses

When churchgoers read in John 1:17, John 1:17 “For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ”, they are taught to think of the “law” here in terms of the whole Law rather than that which was "added" and given by Moses to Israel. Otherwise Grace and Truth would prohibit the doing of YEHOVAH’s commandments and Revelation 22:14, “Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city”, and 1 John 5:2, “By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments”, would have no meaning. One cannot now obtain righteous status by keeping what was “added”.

Galatians 2:19-21: "For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God. I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain."

So when we read in 1 John 3:7 “Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous”, this is not in conflict when we see how much in this book of Galatians has the context of Law relating to those things which were “added” until the time of reformation. The “added” observances for temple worship and offerings had a time limit.

Hebrews 9:9-12: "Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience; Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation. But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us."

After being justified by faith, we have to come to a clear understanding that we cannot be made righteous by the Law in the form of rituals and observances, those things which of which we read in Hebrews as being “imposed” until the Messiah came. And, of course, this includes things like keeping sacraments in the Roman Catholic form.

The Conflict Between Doing and Not Doing

Christians have a major conflict about "doing” (he that doeth righteousness is righteous) and “not doing” (“not of works”), not being taught the difference between “works” and “good works” as they relate to Law. The “not of works” refers to that which was added -- the sacrifices of the law look forward to being replaced by the gift of YEHOVAH God.

Ephesians 2:8-10: "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them."

“Should walk in them” and “Walking in the light” are not passive, they are active "doing" things; namely they are about a way to walk. There is no such thing as passive belief. There is no suggestion that the Blood of the Messiah will ever cover or cleanse us from all sin unless we are walking (present tense) in the light of the Word of YEHOVAH God. If we are not walking this way we are liars, and “all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death”. The "light" is “what makes manifest”.

1 John 1:6-7: "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."

The Promulgation of the Law to Israel

Having accepted the House of Jacob as His Kingdom, YEHOVAH God prepared to confer the necessary authority upon them so that they might carry out in full the requirements of their national responsibility. All Israel as a holy nation and as citizens of His Kingdom, were assembled at the foot of Mount Sinai to receive the Ten Commandments as a covenant. Moses ascended the Mount to meet with YEHOVAH God, for the time had come for the promulgation of the law which Israel had already agreed to faithfully keep and administer. “And all the people answered together, and said, All that the LORD hath spoken we will do”.

Antiquity of the Moral Law

It is necessary to remember that these laws which were about to be given to Israel were well known to men from the very beginning of YEHOVAH's dealings with humanity. YEHOVAH God had already judged people for disobedience (e.g., the flood). Abraham kept the law; he believed YEHOVAH God in this, and the promise associated with it. This was his faith and it is our same faith too if we are those “who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham” (Romans 4:12). ABRAHAM HAD THE FAITH TO OBEY THE LAW OF YEHOVAH GOD; THIS IS WHAT HAVING HIS FAITH IS ABOUT. Abraham believed what YEHOVAH said. Obedience and faith cannot be divorced.

Genesis 26:5: "Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws."

The National Constitution

However, the time had arrived when these laws were to be made a part of the constitution of the Kingdom being organized at Mount Sinai. YEHOVAH God was preparing to invest the nation Israel with full authority to carry out the provisions of His laws and administer them in justice and equity. In this respect only was the law being received by Israel for the first time, for no people or nation prior to that day was thus privileged to function as YEHOVAH's Kingdom. A Kingdom must have a King, the King’s laws, a territory and an administration. The laws which Israel was instructed to administer were:

(1) The Commandments,

(2) The Statutes and

(3) The Judgments.

To these laws YEHOVAH added (because of transgressions),

(4) The Ordinances, having to do with sacrifice and worship, which were given after the first three were established but disobeyed.

• The Commandments deal with the relationship of the individual to YEHOVAH God and to his fellow men.

The Statutes embrace the laws covering the requirements of national administration (national civil and criminal law).

The Judgments are the decisions rendered for the purpose of clarifying the application of laws contained in both commandments and statutes.

The Ordinances

The Ordinances were “added” after Israel had been organized into a Kingdom and they had received the Commandments, Statutes and Judgments of YEHOVAH God. The Ordinances became the schoolmaster to lead the people of Israel to the Messiah. The laws contained in the Ordinances regulated and governed the rituals and sacrifices of national worship. “AND MOSES WROTE THIS LAW, and delivered it unto the priests the sons of Levi, which bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and unto all the elders of Israel” (Deuteronomy 31:9). Thus we have what was written by the “finger of God” and that which was written by Moses' hand, the latter being what is referred to in “the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross”.

We can see that there is a difference between the moral and the ceremonial law in the separation made by the word “and” in verses like the one below:

2 Kings 21:8: "Neither will I make the feet of Israel move any more out of the land which I gave their fathers; only if they will observe to do according to all that I have commanded them, AND according to all the law [ordinances] that my servant Moses commanded them."

It is essential to clearly recognize the distinct subdivisions of the law and the purpose of each. Because Christian people have confused the laws set forth in ordinances with those contained in the commandments, statutes and judgments, there is little real understanding in the minds of multitudes when “The Law” as a subject is being considered. Unfortunately, the Church has assumed and taught that, because the Messiah fulfilled the requirements of the ordinances, the laws set forth in the Commandments, Statutes and Judgments are now inoperative. A study of the entire scope and application of the Law of YEHOVAH God proves such a view to be definitely erroneous.

Obedience is Not “Legalism”

Moral law observance is essential. It is following the compass rather than feelings. Nowhere in the Bible, in either the Old or New Testaments, is there a single instance indicating that a Christian is freed from the yoke or bondage of all law. The Messiah says, “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." This is not the heavy burden referred to in Acts 15:10 : “Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear” is about the heavy yoke which was "added", not the light one.

Paul, who had “yoke-fellows” (suzugos) in Philippians 4:3 tells us, “Being not without law to God, but UNDER THE LAW to Christ”. HERE PAUL SAYS CHRISTIANS ARE “UNDER THE LAW”!

• How many churches will teach this rightly, dividing things that are different?

• Are Christians given a license to violate that Law of YEHOVAH God?

• May a Christian have other gods instead of YEHOVAH?

May they bow down to graven images, take the name of the LORD God in vain, or refuse to honor father and mother?

Is a Christian permitted to murder, commit adultery, steal, bear false witness, or covet his neighbor's wife? May we violate any one of the Ten Commandments and not be guilty of sin?

Did not John say, "Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law" (I John 3:4).

Did not Paul have in mind the fact that as Christians we are not to violate the law when he said, "What then? Shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? GOD FORBID" (Romans 6:15).

• Did Paul or anyone else suggest that they did not establish the law: “Do we then make the law of none effect through faith? God forbid: nay, WE ESTABLISH THE LAW” (Romans 3:31).

• Did not grace, rather than do away with the laws contained in commandments, give us the power through YEHOVAH's spirit to live in accordance with the requirements of the law? (Are people who deny this denying the power of YEHOVAH God, those about whom we are told, “Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away”).

The Christian who is led by the holy spirit, does not conduct himself in a manner that is in violation of the law; the Word of YEHOVAH God is Truth, and the holy spirit leads us into all Truth. “But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night” (Psalm 1:2). This is NOT meditation of the law in the form of the Ordinances or the interpretations of the Judaizers.

Romans 13:8-9: "Owe no man anything, save to love one another: for he that loveth his neighbor hath fulfilled the law. For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not covet, and if there be any other commandment, it is summed up in this word, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself."

The spirit of the Messiah compels the Christian to keep the requirements of the Law because he loves YEHOVAH God and his neighbor as well. The Messiah himself had something to say about the law. In his instructions to his disciples he declared that he had not come to destroy the law but to fulfill (Matthew 5:17), that is to fulfill the requirements of the laws set forth in the “added” ordinances, for he was the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. The Messiah said:

Matthew 5:18: "For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled."

As long as the earth remains there will always be prophecies unfulfilled; and likewise, the Law of YEHOVAH God is still in operation. The Messiah informed his disciples that they must keep the law better than the scribes and Pharisees who followed their added interpretations and rituals. The Messiah said:

Matthew 5:20: "Except your righteousness [i.e., your keeping of the law] shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven."

The Messiah then proceeded to give examples of how his disciples must keep the law in their hearts -- an observance which far exceeded the outward appearance of the keeping of the law of the Pharisees “who passed over judgment and the love of God and left the other important things undone” (Luke 11:42).

Following the promulgation of the Ten Commandments, the account states:

Exodus 20: 18-23: "And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it. they removed, and stood afar off. And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die. And Moses said unto the people, FEAR NOT: FOR GOD IS COME TO PROVE YOU, AND THAT HIS FEAR MAY BE BEFORE YOUR FACES, THAT YE SIN NOT. And the people stood afar off, and Moses drew near unto the thick darkness where God was. And the LORD said unto Moses, Thus thou shalt say unto the children of Israel, Ye have seen that I have talked with you from heaven. Ye shall not make with me gods of silver, neither shall ye make unto you gods of gold."

Likewise YEHOVAH God proves us, that we “sin not” by transgression of the Law.

Hebrews 10:28-31: "He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the LORD. And again, The LORD shall judge His people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God”.

The fear of the LORD is not taught today. Isaiah put it this way,

Isaiah 29:13: "Wherefore the LORD said, Forasmuch as this people draw near Me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour Me, but have removed their heart far from Me, and their fear toward Me is taught by the precept of men:"

The Law and the Prophets

In the Ten Commandments YEHOVAH God presented to His Kingdom people; the "Thou shalt nots" by which their relationship to Him and to their neighbors is defined. When the lawyer asked the Messiah, "Master, which is the great commandment in the law?", the Messiah replied: "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" (Matthew 22:37-38).

Then he added: And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets" (Matthew 22:39-40).

These statements are, in effect, a summary. The Commandments, Precepts and Judgments tell us in detail how to do this YEHOVAH’s way. For example, if I was to say, I have some concrete, stacks of timber, glass, some corrugated iron, bags of nails and so on, it might be summarized by saying, “I have a house”. But if I was to throw away any part of the house it would not be fit to live in. “Christians” who throw out any of the Commandments, Statutes and Judgments, substituting the "commandments of men", together with those who want to reinstate any of what was “added”, are not of YEHOVAH God’s building.

Ephesians 2:20: "And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone."

Moses too was a prophet! So is the Messiah! (Acts 3:22 and 7:37). “Him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you. And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people”.

John 14:21: "HE THAT HATH MY COMMANDMENTS, AND KEEPETH THEM, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him."

Constantly seeking for YEHOVAH God to manifest Himself through praise sessions without the “turn from their wicked ways….”, is trying to continue in transgression that sin may abound, and is a mechanism for realizing “shall be destroyed from among the people”.

2 Peter 2:21-22: "For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, TO TURN FROM THE HOLY COMMANDMENT DELIVERED UNTO THEM. But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire."

Law and Love CANNOT Be Separated

At the beginning of the article we said, “The Law is possibly the most confusing subject for Christians”, and the forced separation of “Law” and “Love” is another contributing factor. That YEHOVAH God has consistently joined these two things together does not seem to matter to the average Church Leader, because the very statement as it is presented, “We are not under the Law” encourages the forced un-scriptural separation and antithesis which suggests love and law are in conflict. This is the idea that undermines morality and true Christianity. But in Scripture Law and Love have an permanent connection that ties Love to the Eternal Law of YEHOVAH God, apart from that which was “added”. We can see this eternal relationship in the verses below:

1 John 5:3: "For this is the love of God, THAT WE KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS: and his commandments are not grievous."

John 15:10, 12, 14: "If YE KEEP MY COMMANDMENTS, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Fathers commandments, and abide in his love. This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you."

Romans 13:8-10: "Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another HATH FULFILLED THE LAW. For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law."

The word for “commandments” in Greek is no different from that used of the Ten Commandments in the New Testament. When we come to James 1:25 “But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed”, the word “Law” is the same as we find in “Moses Law” in Hebrews 10:38.

Christians who look for their blessings through praise and worship and “Love” outside of Love’s link with obedience to the Eternal Law of YEHOVAH God, are searching for YEHOVAH to manifest Himself to them in vain. As the Messiah says:

John 14:21-24: "HE THAT HATH MY COMMANDMENTS, AND KEEPETH THEM, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? Jesus answered and said unto him, IF A MAN LOVE ME, HE WILL KEEP MY WORDS: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Fathers which sent me."

Because of this we should renounce any teaching and clever presentations that would separate Law and Love. Lawlessness in the nation follows lawlessness in the Church. The “love only” doctrine must be rejected because it is devoid of the faith of Abraham, which was to obey YEHOVAH God. Lawless "love" is not Christ-like. “God is Love” but “'love' is not God” when the “This is love that they keep my commandments” is missing.

In the Old Testament, love is linked to Law all the way through. We see this in the second Commandment, “And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments”. Here we see YEHOVAH God's first-born Son speaking exactly the same language as YEHOVAH God the Father, saying, “If you love me, keep my commandments”. It is the Love of YEHOVAH God that puts the Law of YEHOVAH God into effect. Genuine Love for YEHOVAH God is preoccupied with the Supreme Object of Love and in doing His Will.

Many sermons are preached about knowing the will of YEHOVAH God, but they seldom teach in any practical way how to arrive at this knowledge because Christians are taught that Love and Law are separated. The right teaching is about dispensing what was “added because of transgressions”, refuting the Judaizers, separating things that are different, and keeping that which remains -- (meno) -- eternally.

Joshua and Yeshua

In their respective languages, Joshua and Yeshua both have the same meaning. It is commonly accepted that Joshua was a type of the Messiah leading YEHOVAH’s people to the promised land. If this is so, then YEHOVAH’s requirements for both have something in common -- Joshua was told to observe the Law of YEHOVAH God in its entirety. This was the condition for success and safety.

Joshua 1:8: "This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success."

Nothing has changed today. The churches can "worship" and make a noise as much as they like. It is good in its place, but one thing without the other is useless and in vain.

John 14:23-24: "Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me."

-- Edited by John D. Keyser.


Hope of Israel Ministries -- Preparing the Way for the Return of YEHOVAH God and His Messiah!

Hope of Israel Ministries
P.O. Box 853
Azusa, CA 91702, U.S.A.

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