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The Law Done Away
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1 Cor. 4:20
THE LAW DONE AWAY

By James Kirby

Some thoughts on the Ten Commandments, the Sabbath, Covenants, and the current theological teachings in many local institutional churches.
Deuteronomy 4:8  “And what great nation is there, that hath statutes and ordinances so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day?” ASV

This verse blows to smithereens any notion that the law was given to all men for all ages! The answer to the rhetorical question in the verse is... None!

No other nation upon the face of the earth was given the laws & statutes that were given to Israel. Otherwise this and a vast number of other Scriptures make no sense at all. This means that the Ten Commandments were NOT GIVEN to Adam, Abraham, Melchizedek, Isaac, Jacob, Esau, Joseph, Pharaoh, or anybody else. They were given to the Nation of Israel and them only. Then they were “Taken Away” by the Lord Jesus on His cross.

So anybody who wants to say that the Ten Commandments are still in force and binding on all men, are saying that which does not exist is "still in force and binding on all men," which is absurd. Those who build their doctrine on the Ten Commandments are building on a vapor folks. Those who "keep the Sabbath" are keeping that which does not exist... except in their minds.

Deuteronomy 4:32 “For ask now of the days that are past, which were before thee, since the day that God created man upon the earth, and ask from the one side of heaven unto the other, whether there hath been any such thing as this great thing is, or hath been heard like it?”  KJV

Read the verse carefully in context with the rest of the chapter. It's a rhetorical question.  Has there ever been any nation or any people to whom God revealed Himself in the same way He showed Himself to Israel? No. Has He ever taken any other nation or people for His own to be a special, chosen nation above all the nations of the earth? No. Has there ever been any other nation or people to whom God has revealed Himself by way of a Ten Commandment Covenant? No! That means folks... what?

That before Israel, there WAS NO Ten Commandments! That means God did NOT give the Ten Commandments to anybody else…including Adam in Eden!

That means there was no Ten Commandment covenant in Eden. And if there was no Ten Commandment covenant then there was no “Sign” of the covenant, which was... what? The Sabbath!

True, God did "sanctify the 7th day and blessed it." And on that day... He, God, rested, not man. Man did not observe a 7th day rest until God gave him the Sabbath and that did not happen until Exodus.

Deuteronomy 5:1 “And Moses called unto all Israel, and said unto them, Hear, O Israel, the statutes and the ordinances which I speak in your ears this day, that ye may learn them, and observe to do them.
  2  The Lord our God made a covenant with us in Horeb.
  3  The Lord made not this covenant with our fathers, but with us, even us, who are all of us here alive this day.” ASV

This passage is DEATH to the notion that God "gave the covenant" to Adam, Noah, Abraham, the Canaanites or anybody else before Israel or that the Ten Commandments are the "eternal unchanging law of God binding on all men of all ages."

People who say that either never read this passage or else they are deliberately contradicting God's words in this passage in which case they are no Christians! This one passage is sufficient to sound the Death Knell to Covenant Theology and/or anybody else that claims any of the above false propositions! God made His Ten Commandment Covenant with no one else but the children of Israel who were present when Moses spoke these words. The Covenant of Ten Commandments DID NOT EXIST until Sinai and anybody who says otherwise is contradicting Scripture.

1Kings 8:9 “There was nothing in the ark except the two tablets of stone which Moses put there at Horeb, when the Lord made a covenant with the sons of Israel when they came out of the land of Egypt.” MKJV

There are just too many passages like this one in the Scriptures for a doctrine like Covenant Theology to survive. I mean folks, you can twist the Scriptures only so far before it becomes patently obvious that you are well into false doctrine.

Here once again... like how many times must the Living God repeat Himself and yet people insist on saying the exact opposite of what He said in the Bible? Once again we are plainly informed that the Lord made a covenant with the sons of Israel, not "all men in all ages"…when they came out of the land of Egypt, and that Covenant was the Ten Commandments!

And how was that Covenant conveyed to Israel? By way of the Two Tables of Stone upon which it was written by the Finger of God Himself. And where were those Tables of Stone, upon which was written the words of the Covenant, the Ten Commandments, deposited? In a special box called... the Ark of the... Covenant!   How in the name of truth can people possibly read these passages and conclude that “the Ten Commandments are the eternal unchanging law binding on all men in all ages?”

Is anybody hearing all this?

1Kings 8:21  “and set there a place for the ark, in which is the covenant of the Lord which He made with our fathers when He brought them out from the land of Egypt.” LITV

What was the Ark called folks? The Ark of the “administration of the covenant of grace which is for all men?”

That's how a Covenant Theologian would read this verse. What was inside the Ark of the Covenant? A copy of the “administration of the covenant of grace which is for all men?” That's how a Covenant Theologian would read this verse.

Who did the LORD make this Covenant with? Correct answer - with “our fathers” which were those who came out of Egypt and received the Covenant from Mt Sinai.

Deuteronomy 29:1 “These are the words of the covenant which the Lord commanded Moses to make with the children of Israel in the land of Moab, besides the covenant which he made with them in Horeb.” ASV

1 These [are] the words of the covenant which the LORD commanded Moses to make with the sons of Israel in the land of Moab, besides the covenant which He made with them in Horeb. MKJV

1 These are the words of the covenant which the Lord commanded Moses to make with the children of Israel in the land of Moab, besides the covenant which He made with them in Horeb. NKJ

The verse clearly testifies to the fact that God made these covenants with ... everybody in the whole human race, beginning with Adam in the Garden... right? I mean... it says that... doesn't it? Doesn't it??

NO…it doesn't!

Oh.... yeah... it says God made His covenants with the children of Israel; In the land of Moab; In Horeb; ... not Gentiles; Not in the land of Eden; Not in Messypotamia; Not in the land of Egypt; Not in Brooklyn; Not in Florida; Not with Adam [& Eve]; Not “all men in all ages.” God's OT covenants were exclusive to Israel only.  Covenant Theology says... “Oh-h  No-o... God doesn't know what He's talking about..... He got amnesia and forgot that He made the Covenant with Adam in the garden of... the Presbyterian Synod!!”

Exodus 31:16  Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. ASV

Exo 31:16  Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. KJV

Exo 31:16  And the sons of Israel shall observe the Sabbath, to do the Sabbath for their generations; it is a never ending covenant. LITV

Exo 31:16  Therefore the sons of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations, for an everlasting covenant. MKJV

Who did God command to keep the Sabbath?  Can I ask the audience?

Why did God have to command the…children of Israel…not “all men in all ages”...  to keep the Sabbath if the Sabbath was in force from creation and people were supposedly already keeping it? 

Although no one can find any place in the entire Bible where anybody kept the Sabbath before Exodus 16 and even that passage is debatable as to whether or not that was the regular weekly Sabbath which was not given until Exodus 20. It seems clear that no Israelite ever kept any Sabbath before Exodus 16 yet there is not one shred of evidence that any of them were put to death for not keeping it. If they say that there WAS a Sabbath all along but the sanction of Death was not added until Exodus, then guess what... that means that the law Changed-! What now becomes of their “UNchanging moral law of God" paradigm?”

Here it says that Israel was to keep it as a perpetual Covenant.

Why was it called a Covenant? Because, it was the SIGN of the Covenant. Which Covenant? The Covenant of the Ten Commandments which God made with the Children of Israel. Ex 34:28. Next verse.

As the SIGN of the Covenant of the Ten Commandments, it represented the whole covenant. That's why it was a very part of that Covenant…the 4th Commandment. That means that people who place themselves under the requirement of Sabbath-keeping are of necessity placing themselves under the Old Covenant of the Ten Commandments.

For one thing, unless such people are…Ethnic Jews…such a practice is entirely unbiblical. That is to say that they have no Biblical basis upon which to engage in such a practice. God commanded the…Children of Israel…to keep it as a perpetual covenant and no one else.

Second, it is evident that a person cannot be under more than one Covenant at a time and if they are under Moses by their own choice then they are…OUTSIDE…of Jesus Christ and His New Covenant in which case they are demonstrating that they are unsaved!

That is to say... to require the observance of a “Sabbath” [modern-day professing evangelicals 'view of 'Sabbath' is far removed from the description of a true Biblical Sabbath] is to place one-self under Moses and to do that is to…Reject…Jesus Christ and His New Covenant. This is what ALL Sabbatarians do. This is further enforced by the Biblical truth that the Covenant of the Ten Commandments, which was encapsulated in the Sign of that Covenant, the Sabbath,…REQUIRED…the Levitical Priesthood.

That means that as long as the Sabbath was in force, the Covenant of the Ten Commandments was of necessity in force and as long as the Covenant of the Ten Commandments was in force, the Levitical Priesthood was of necessity in force and as long as the Levitical Priesthood was in force, any priest who was not of the line of Levi and the Aaronic Priesthood was an Illegal priest.

And since the Lord Jesus Christ was not of the line of Levi & Aaron but was of the tribe of Judah, that makes Him an Illegal priest. And if that's so then His atonement is null & void and there is no salvation. Therefore, to require the Sabbath is to reject the Lord Jesus Christ and rob saints of their salvation. This is exactly what ALL Sabbatarians do.

Third, the Sabbath was a…Perpetual…or Everlasting Covenant throughout all Israel's generations. That means that it was to last until the “generations” of Israel came to an end, which event took place with the 1st Advent of the Messiah and His Atonement. The NT tells us that when the Lord Jesus gave up His Spirit, the veil of the Temple was torn apart from top to bottom. That was a demonstration of God that the Old Covenant was fulfilled in His Son and abolished. The entrance into the Holy of Holies, which was the very presence of God was now open to All men everywhere, not just Jews through the Levitical Priesthood. This is exactly what all Sabbatatrians…REJECT…That means Sabbatarians…Reject…Scripture!

Can you Reject Scripture and call yourself “Christian” at the same time?

Now “the covenant” of the Old Testament is, fundamentally, the Ten Commandments (Ex. 34:28; Deut. 9:9-11, 15). This is the first or old covenant that Paul subjects to the stinging contrast with Christianity.

Not only is the Ten Commandments covenant obsolete, but being a ministration of death, it is a "condemnation” system (2 Corinthians 3:6-10) that the mercy of the New Covenant had to remove that men might be saved. No unbiased mind can read the contrast drawn by Paul in this passage and fail to see the necessity of abrogating [i.e. ending] the Ten Commandment system, the Old Covenant, in order to bring life and salvation to men through Christ. Had the Old Covenant stood, no human being could ever have been saved.

He is saying that if the Ten Commandments are still in force then there can be no salvation. And why not?  Because... and this is a Biblical point that most people are completely unaware of...wherever the Ten Commandments are in force, there is of NECESSITY the requirement of the Levitical priesthood.

It was by way of the Levitical priesthood that the Law was given and carried out and NO one was allowed to be a priest who was not of the tribe of Levi and the line of Aaron. But ladies and gentlemen herein is the Death Knell to covenant theology so read it carefully:
Jesus Christ was not of the tribe of Levi, but of the tribe of Judah!

Therefore...if Moses is still in force then so is the Levitical priesthood.
And if the Levitical priesthood is still in force then....Jesus Christ was NOT a legal priest and there is NO SALVATION!

The ONLY way that Christ could be a legal priest was if the priesthood was changed... and it was.

And the ONLY way for the priesthood to be changed was to change the law as well... AND IT WAS!

Hebrews 7:12  For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law.
If the law was not changed then neither was the priesthood...for they stand or fall together. And if the priesthood was not changed then Jesus Christ was not the Savior of the world! Therefore...Covenant theologyrejects…Jesus Christ as the Messiah and in so doing denies His salvation. It denies the Gospel!

Yes... this all covenant theologians do. Every time they say, “The Ten Commandments are the eternal, UNchanging law of God,” they are denying the Priesthood of Jesus Christ. Every time a covenant theologian applies water to an unregenerate infant... or adult, he is rejecting Jesus Christ as Messiah and denying the Gospel.
Every time a covenant theologian says “keep the Sabbath," he is rejecting Jesus Christ as Messiah and denying the Gospel.

John 1:17 For the Law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
Grace came by Jesus Christ... not Moses! Therefore, Moses was in no way “a different administration of [the covenant of] grace.” Moses was a ministration of Death!

Genesis 9:15  And I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh. ASV                                                           

Genesis 6:18 has the first use of the word “covenant” in Scripture and along with it, this passage presents to us nothing less than a clarion, bold faced announcement by God of the fact that He is Establishing a Covenant with someone. Now here's the question. How important is this Covenant God established with Noah and…every living creature of all flesh…?

Is this Covenant more important than the other Covenants that are related to soteriology, salvation and the Gospel…? Namely, the Mosaic, or Old Covenant and the New Covenant?

Is this Covenant God made with Noah and…every living creature of all flesh…More important?  Not only NOT but it is not even on an equal plane with them. And yet God saw fit to state plainly that He was establishing a covenant with Noah and…every living creature of all flesh…while at the same time there is…NOTHING AT ALL…stated ANYWHERE in the first three chapters of Genesis of God making Any Covenant with Anybody!

Nothing; Zilch; Nada. In fact you will find that all through the Bible whenever God makes a Covenant with anybody it is…plainly stated…, as for example here in this passage. Yet nowhere in the first 3 chapters of Genesis is it stated that God established the 10 commandment Covenant with Adam in the garden, or anybody else...contrary to Covenant Theologians' claim that it was. 

Genesis 1 to 3 contains a lot of major doctrines of Christianity which are plainly stated. Why would God not plainly state that He was cutting a covenant with somebody here in Genesis 1 to 3 while He does so in all the other places in the Bible?

Genesis 9:16  And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth. ASV

Like...folks...How many times must God emphasize the fact that when he makes a Covenant He states it plainly? Yet Covenant Theologians want to tell us that…somewhere…in Genesis 1 - 3 there is a “covenant” that God was making…With All Mankind…even!

To such a notion I have a one word question…Where?

There is absolutely NOTHING stated by God or anybody else in Genesis 1 - 3 about anyone making any covenant with anybody...anywhere; Nowhere. Like... folks...it's just not there. In every other place in Scripture where there is a covenant, it is plainly stated. There is even a “covenant of salt” in Scripture and it is specifically stated…as a Covenant [Numbers 18:19; 2 Chronicles 13:5].  Yet nothing is stated anywhere in Genesis 1 to 3 of a covenant.
CTer’s “explanation” is that the so-called “conditions” of the covenant are found in Genesis 2 / 3 but such is nothing but a reading of one's subjective opinion into the Bible. 

The Advent of Christ along with the conquest of Satan is prophesied in Genesis 3:15 but neither does that prove any covenant was given to Adam or anybody else, especially the 10 commandment covenant. Such is an illogical leap of nonsense. There simply is no covenant of “grace; works; redemption” or any other anywhere in the first 3 chapters of Genesis. People who “see” a covenant there are hallucinating.

Exodus 34:27  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.
Exodus 34:28  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 words of the covenant, the ten commandments. ASV

What do the words, “Write these words” mean? What “words” was God referring to?

Covenant theology's answer, “An administration of the covenant of grace?”

Where are such words found in this passage, or anywhere else in the entire Bible? Answer…In the CTV!

Commentators…I repeat…Commentators are the ones who say such things as, “it was the ceremonial and judicial injunctions comprehended above” referring to the above passage. What?

Well... according to verse 28 the “ceremonial and judicial injunctions” includes the Ten Commandments!

According to this passage the “words” were the Ten Commandments. The phrase “Ten Commandments” is found in only three places in the entire Bible folks! And they are all in the Pentateuch. Once here; once in Deut. 4:13 and once more in Deut. 10:4. That's it. And in all 3 places the Holy Spirit clearly defines exactly what the words of the Ten Commandments were. Here and in Deut. 4:13 God the Holy Spirit makes direct statements as to what the Ten Commandments were. And Deut. 10:4, being flanked by 9:15 & 10:8 clearly identifies them as the exact same thing found here and in Deut. 4:13. So now for the grand question:

What…exactly…were the words of the Ten Commandments...according to the testimony of the Holy Spirit in the Scriptures?

The Ten Commandments were the words that God wrote and here He says that these were the very words of the Covenant. What covenant? The Covenant that He, God made with...the whole human race...? No!

With Moses and Israel…And Them Only…

So the Ten Commandments were not the “eternal unchangeable law of God!” Neither were they meant for “all men in all ages” but were the words of the covenant God made between Himself and Israel…exclusively…

This one passage alone is sufficient to destroy Covenant Theology.

The Ten Commandments were the words of the covenant that established Israel as a special nation before God. They were the “document” that identified Israel as a Theocracy! As far as we know Israel was the only Theocratic nation in the entire history of humanity. Unless you were/are a Jew, the Ten Commandments...as a covenant document…mean absolutely nothing to you. This is not to say that you are free to violate the laws of God…you are not.

The laws of God, which apply to all men universally, are very different from God’s Covenant made with Israel which was identified by a Covenant document called “The Ten Commandments” comprised of…Some…of those laws with 1 or 2 others that  did not apply to all men universally!

Such as the laws pertaining to the Passover. Unless you clearly understand this vital distinction between the laws of God which apply to all men universally and the laws that comprised the Special Covenant God made with Israel Only, you will be hopelessly lost in confusion with regard to the doctrine of the covenants. The result will be a false doctrine of the covenants.

So again, to the question…“What are the Ten Commandments?”…

Answer: The Ten Commandments are the words of the Covenant that God made between Himself and the Nation of Israel.


JAMES KIRBY

See Also: 

1) "Cattle and Sheep"