After our previous article on Y’shua and the laws of clean and unclean, we received a comment from a friend. With this comment, was a link to an article she wanted us to read, prayerfully consider and give feedback on.
This is our response to this article. We will not go into every little detail of the article, but will show you how fundamentally wrong and unscriptural the author’s statements are. We will not be posting a link to this article as we don’t believe in perpetuating false doctrine. We do, however, want to respond to this, because it is very important to us that people are warned and equipped to deal with this kind of false doctrine.
The linked article states that the ten commandments are distinct from the other commandments and the only law written by YHVH, thus the only law valid for us to obey. He calls it a strange belief that the Ten Commandments are considered part of “the Law of Moses” and goes further to say that “the law of Moses” has been done away with by Y’shua.
Let’s see what we can learn from Scripture in this regard and then prayerfully consider it.
Ceremonial law vs moral law
The author of this article also states that Scripture refers to two laws, “the law of YHVH” which he calls the “moral law” and “the law of Moses,” which He calls “the ceremonial law.” To say there are two laws is not in line with Scripture (we will get to the detail later)and where does the classification of moral and ceremonial law come from? You can go and do a search in the Bible, and you will not find this classification; this is man-made.
This is not new either! I remember when we started asking questions about the validity of YHVH’s commandments, that this was one of the first explanations we got. That “the moral law” was still valid, but “the ceremonial law” has been done away with by Y’shua. This has been done in order to be able to pick and choose which laws are still valid. We were, at the time, not able to find a proper list of which laws fit into which category. The author of this article, however, makes a clear distinction, the ten commandments are moral and the rest, “the Law of Moses” is ceremonial.
Let’s take a look at what is taught in Scripture about “the Law of Moses”
The law of Moses
The phrase “the law of Moses” is used in Scripture quite a few times, but does this phrase mean that it carries with it only the authority of Moses, and can therefore easily be discarded? In order to answer this question, we need to determine who gave the commandments contained therein.
In the book of 1 Chronicles, we have an opportunity to listen in on a conversation David had with his son Solomon. In this conversation, David gave Solomon instruction. This is what he said:
1 Chronicles 22:12–13
12 “Only YHVH give you discretion and understanding, and give you charge over Israel, so that you may keep the law of YHVH your Elohim. 13 “Then you will prosper, if you are careful to observe the statutes and the ordinances which YHVH commanded Moses concerning Israel. Be strong and courageous, do not fear nor be dismayed.
King David is referring to one law, the law of YHVH. He admonishes Solomon to keep the law of YHVH and then expands on it by saying that he will prosper if he is careful to observe the statutes and ordinances which YHVH commanded Moses. Look at the use of the word “then.” From this, we learn that the law of YHVH, the statutes and ordinances, were commanded by YHVH.
The giving of the Law
Let’s go back to Exodus to see if this is indeed so. In Exodus 20, we read about how YHVH spoke to the people from the mountain. He gave them, what we know, as the ten commandments. After YHVH spoke the ten words, the people trembled and pleaded with Moses, this is what they said:
18 All the people perceived the thunder and the lightning flashes and the sound of the trumpet and the mountain smoking; and when the people saw it, they trembled and stood at a distance. 19 Then they said to Moses, “Speak to us yourself and we will listen; but let not Elohim speak to us, or we will die.” 20 Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid; for Elohim has come in order to test you, and in order that the fear of Him may remain with you, so that you may not sin.” 21 So the people stood at a distance, while Moses approached the thick cloud where Elohim was.
When we continue reading, we see what was written down after this was spoken by YHVH to Moses for him to tell the sons of Israel.
22 Then YHVH said to Moses, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘You yourselves have seen that I have spoken to you from heaven.
YHVH then continues, repeating the commandment not to make other gods and next gave instructions on how they were to build an altar for Him. In the modern Bibles, we then start a new chapter, it makes me wonder why the chapter starts in the middle of YHVH’s instructions. Anyway, the first verse of this new chapter, proves that it is a continuation of YHVH’s commandments to the people.
1 “Now these are the ordinances which you are to set before them:
If the people did not fear, this would have been spoken directly to them. However, they feared and asked YHVH not to speak directly to them again, but through Moses. YHVH granted them their request.
Another verse that proves to us that all the commandments are from YHVH, thus part of YHVH’s law is found in Exodus 24.
3 Then Moses came and recounted to the people all the words of YHVH and all the ordinances; and all the people answered with one voice and said, “All the words which YHVH has spoken we will do!” 4 Moses wrote down all the words of YHVH. Then he arose early in the morning, and built an altar at the foot of the mountain with twelve pillars for the twelve tribes of Israel.
From this verse, we see that all that was commanded by YHVH, all His words (including the ordinances) were written down by Moses, and became the book of the law of Moses.
So, do you now understand why YHVH’s commandments are often referred to as “the Law of Moses?” Firstly, because after the people said they didn’t want YHVH to speak to them directly, YHVH gave them instructions through Moses and secondly, because it was written down by Moses.
Here is a verse that proves it:
14 Then YHVH said to Moses, “Write this in a (literal the) book as a memorial and recite it to Joshua, that I will utterly blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven.”
From this quote and the previous one, “Moses wrote down all the words of YHVH,“we see that Moses wrote down YHVH’s instructions.
When YHVH gave the first set of stones with the law and commandments on it and it was written by the finger of YHVH. The people sinned by making a golden calf and Moses broke these stones. YHVH, thereafter commanded Moses to come up and bring two new stones with him and it seems that Moses was commanded to write it all down.
27 Then YHVH said to Moses, “Write down these words, for in accordance with these words I have made a covenant with you and with Israel.” 28 So he was there with YHVH forty days and forty nights; he did not eat bread or drink water. And he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant, the Ten Commandments.
However, when you read Exodus 34:1, YHVH said that He would write it. The “he” in Ex 34:28 should have been capitalized, it is misleading. I initially misunderstood it to read that Moses wrote on the tablets, but it was YHVH Who did.
Let us look at some more references to “the Law of Moses. The phrase “law of Moses” is used for the first time by Joshua, he uses it as a reference, he more specifically calls it “the book of the law of Moses.” He uses it like we would refer to a book by title and author. He is not referring to a separate law written by Moses.
What is contained in the law of Moses?
Let’s see if we can find out what was contained in the “book of the Law of Moses.”
In 1 Kings chapter 2, David gave charge to his son Solomon just before he died. He refers to the “Law of Moses” and tell us what is contained therein.
1 Kings 2:3
3 “Keep the charge of YHVH your Elohim, to walk in His ways, to keep His statutes, His commandments, His ordinances, and His testimonies, according to what is written in the Law of Moses, that you may succeed in all that you do and wherever you turn,
Read this verse again. “Keep the charge of YHVH your Elohim, to walk in HIS ways, to keep HIS statutes, HIS ordinances and HIS testimonies, according to what is written in the law of Moses.” We learn from this verse that it is YHVH’s statutes, YHVH’s commandments, YHVH’s ordinances and YHVH’s testimonies that are contained in the “Law of Moses.”
When we read this, can we still downplay the law of Moses as something separate that was written by Moses and can thus be done away with?
The law of Moses was commanded by YHVH
There is another reference in 2 Kings to “the Law of Moses,” here , we read that it was commanded by YHVH.
2 Kings 14:6
6 But the sons of the slayers he did not put to death, according to what is written in the book of the Law of Moses, as YHVH commanded, saying, “The fathers shall not be put to death for the sons, nor the sons be put to death for the fathers; but each shall be put to death for his own sin.”
In the book of Ezra, we find another reference to who gave “the Law of Moses.”
6 This Ezra went up from Babylon, and he was a scribe skilled in the law of Moses, which YHVH Elohim of Israel had given; and the king granted him all he requested because the hand of the Lord his God was upon him.
1 And all the people gathered as one man at the square which was in front of the Water Gate, and they asked Ezra the scribe to bring the book of the law of Moses which YHVH had given to Israel.
4 “Remember the law of Moses My servant, even the statutes and ordinances which I commanded him in Horeb for all Israel.
Now that we know what is contained in, and who commanded what is written in the Law of Moses, we need to determine if we are required to do this.
YHVH said we must do it all
37 ‘You shall thus observe all My statutes and all My ordinances and do them; I am YHVH.’ ”
You may say this is only for Israel to observe. Did you know that when we become believers of the Elohim of Israel, that we come to be a part of His people, Israel? We have written an article about who we are when we become believers “Who is Israel and why you would want to be a part of Israel.” Please read this if you are unsure about your identity.
So, if we become a part of Israel, YHVH’s instructions for Israel are valid for us too. So, when YHVH said
“You shall thus observe all My statutes and all My ordinances and do them; I am YHVH.” He was speaking to us too.
If you say you only have to obey the ten commandments, you may do the following:
Let’s assume, for argument’s sake, that this author is correct and we are only to obey the ten commandments, then you will be allowed to do quite a number of things that you won’t do if you believed that all the commandments were still valid.
- You could approach any blood relative to uncover their nakedness, that means to have sexual relations with them ( Leviticus 18:6)
- You could give of your offspring to Molech ( Lev 18:21)
- You could practice homosexuality (Lev 18:22)
- You could have intercourse with an animal (Lev 18:23)
These things are not mentioned in the ten commandments, only in the law of Moses. Even though YHVH said it, you reject it when you say that we only have to obey the ten commandments. This is what YHVH said about this, He called it abominations.
24 ‘Do not defile yourselves by any of these things; for by all these the nations which I am casting out before you have become defiled. 25 ‘For the land has become defiled, therefore I have brought its punishment upon it, so the land has spewed out its inhabitants. 26 ‘But as for you, you are to keep My statutes and My judgments and shall not do any of these abominations, neither the native, nor the alien who sojourns among you
There are numerous other things that would also be permitted. You can eat blood, practice divination and soothsaying, prostitute your daughter, you don’t have to have respect for elderly people and you may turn to mediums and spiritists (Lev 19:26-32.)
Were these also done away with? Even though YHVH said after this list:
37 ‘You shall thus observe all My statutes and all My ordinances and do them; I am YHVH.’ ”
Who’s instructions are these? Would you practice any of these as a believer?
YHVH’s commandments, ordinances and statutes are eternal
These are His eternal instructions. Do you know how many times YHVH said that His statutes are perpetual, or everlasting?
24 “And you shall observe this event as an ordinance for you and your children forever.
Here, YHVH commanded this event, the Passover, to be observed forever. Just how long is forever? Let’s look at the meaning of the word. The Hebrew word “olam” was used.
6409 עוֹלָם (ʿô·lām): adv. [oth n.masc.]; ≡ Str 5769; TWOT 1631a—1. LN 67.78–67.117 everlasting, forever, eternity, i.e., pertaining to an unlimited duration of time, usually with a focus on the future (Ge 3:22); 2. LN 67.78–67.117 ancient, old, i.e., existing for a long time in the relative past (1Sa 27:8; Ps 119:52); 3. LN 67.78–67.117 lasting, for a duration, i.e., an undetermined duration of time without reference to other points of time, with a focus of no anticipated end, but nevertheless may have limits (Nu 25:13; Jer 18:16), note: for MT text in 2Ch 33:7, see 64092
The command not to work on the Sabbath, is also perpetual, olam.
31 “You shall do no work at all. It is to be a perpetual statute throughout your generations in all your dwelling places.
These are just two examples, do your own study and see how many times YHVH said that an ordinance or statute is perpetual/ forever/everlasting. Whenever this word “olam” is used in the context of YHVH or His commandments, it means eternal. This same word was used in the next verse.
18 “YHVH shall reign forever and ever.”
If we say that the ordinances which YHVH said we are to keep forever, has stopped or have been done away with when Y’shua died, then we can make a logical conclusion that YHVH would also not reign forever. We know this not to be true as YHVH is the beginning and the end, His reign does not stop, and YHVH does not lie.
19 “Elohim is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent; Has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?
What did Y’shua say?
Y’shua said the same
17 “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. 18 “For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. 19 “Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
Fulfill does not mean to abolish, Y’shua did not say that He did not come to abolish but to abolish. He came to fill it up with meaning. Y’shua came as our perfect example, He kept YHVH’s commandments flawlessly. Whoever say that Y’shua did away with YHVH’s commandments, makes Y’shua a false prophet as per Deuteronomy 13:1-5.
1 “If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder, 2 and the sign or the wonder comes true, concerning which he spoke to you, saying, ‘Let us go after other gods (whom you have not known) and let us serve them,’ 3 you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams; for YHVH your Elohim is testing you to find out if you love YHVH your Elohim with all your heart and with all your soul. 4 “You shall follow YHVH your Elohim and fear Him; and you shall keep His commandments, listen to His voice, serve Him, and cling to Him. 5 “But that prophet or that dreamer of dreams shall be put to death, because he has counseled rebellion against YHVH your Elohim who brought you from the land of Egypt and redeemed you from the house of slavery, to seduce you from the way in which YHVH your Elohim commanded you to walk. So you shall purge the evil from among you.
In this passage, we learn that if somebody teaches against the keeping YHVH’s commandments, even if he does signs and wonders, he is a false prophet and should be stoned. Y’shua did not teach against or broke YHVH’s commandments. Breaking YHVH’s commandments would be a sin and Y’shua is sinless and He is not a false prophet.
Later in the book of Matthew, Y’shua tells the people in so many words that they are to obey the “Law of Moses”
2 saying: “The scribes and the Pharisees have seated themselves in the chair of Moses; 3 therefore all that they tell you, do and observe, but do not do according to their deeds; for they say things and do not do them. 4 “They tie up heavy burdens and lay them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are unwilling to move them with so much as a finger.
Y’shua said “all that they tell you, do and observe,” this refers to the Law of Moses, however He added that they are not to do according to what they do “their deeds” for they are hypocrits and have added to YHVH’s commandments (heavy burdens) their halacha.
Y’shua told the story of Lazarus and the rich man and the rich man asked Abraham to send Lazarus to his brothers to warn them. This was his answer.
29 “But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’ 30 “But he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent!’ 31 “But he said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead.’ ”
Y’shua would not have said this if the “Law of Moses” was done away with.
Let us next look at what the Apostles taught and did.
What did the Apostels do and teach?
In Acts 15, the apostles are facing the dilemma of what to do when gentiles become believers. They decided to give them four “rules” to adhere to at first, for when they do this, they will be accepted within the believing community. He added that they would then be able to go to the Synagogue on Shabbat and learn, for Moses has in every city those who preach him. They would, in other words, go to the Synagogue and learn “the Law of Moses.”
20 but that we write to them that they abstain from things contaminated by idols and from fornication and from what is strangled and from blood. 21 “For Moses from ancient generations has in every city those who preach him, since he is read in the synagogues every Sabbath.”
Furthermore, take note that of the things which are listed here, only one originates from the Decaloque (ten commandments), the other three originates from the Law of Moses. This, and them saying that they would go to the synagogue on the Sabbath to learn “Moses” proves that they were still keeping the law of Moses and were teaching others to do the same.
We can go on and on, finding more examples, but the best is to search the Scriptures for yourself, IN CONTEXT to see if this is indeed so. If we ask YHVH to reveal his truth to us, He will, but we would have to, diligently, search for it in His Word. It is easy to find articles online that support our thinking; however, the more difficult road to travel is the one where you read and study the Scriptures for yourself, ALL OF IT and ask YHVH for understanding. His Word is not fragmented, and He is not a liar. What He said in the beginning still stands, He does not change. I would not want to believe in a god who changes his mind every few thousand years, do you?
6 “For I, YHVH, do not change; therefore you, O sons of Jacob, are not consumed.
The author of this article, we mentioned above, gives some examples to support his false teaching. These have been taken out of context, and if you don’t know the context, it will make his theory seem true. We will not go into this, because his departing point is false, his foundation is flawed. He is a false teacher!
YHVH has one law, and He does not change and Y’shua is not a false prophet. End of the story!! He is our Savior, the prophesied Messiah. He came to show us how to live; He died for our sins, was resurrected and is now an advocate for us with the Father. It angers me when He is misrepresented like this. He did not come to bring lawlessness, on the contrary! He condemned lawlessness!
22 “Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Master, Master, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ 23 “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’
We need not say more! We hope this will inspire you to search out YHVH’s Word for yourself. You may read and listen to the teachings, but always go and read the quoted Scriptures in context, not only in its immediate and historical context but also in context of all of YHVH’S Word. Then ask YHVH to give you an understanding! This is the only way.
- All quoted passages are from the New American Standard Bible: 1995 Update. LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation, 1995. We have substituted YHVH for LORD, and Y’shua for Jesus.
- Swanson, J. (1997). Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains : Hebrew (Old Testament). Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
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