Examining The Scriptures To Understand The Purpose Of The Mosaic Law

(All Bible quotations, except otherwise stated, are from the New King James Version).

When God made the covenant of law with Israel on Mount Sinai, he didn’t intend for it to be everlasting. This is because the covenant of grace which God made with Abraham some four centuries before was an everlasting covenant that could not be annulled. The Mosaic covenant, which temporarily suspended the covenant of grace God made previously with Abraham, was intended to be only a stopgap measure. The law was to be a regulator of God’s people until such a time when the Seed of Abraham (Jesus Christ) would come to effect the Abrahamic covenant. But the law had its purpose, which it fulfilled during the time that it was in force. What was the purpose of the law? Why was the law given in the first place? Understanding the purpose of the law is extremely important for God’s people, so that we don’t go back to keeping a law that has served its purpose and is no longer relevant! This article intends to deal with the purpose of the Mosaic law and why it had to be abolished after serving its purpose.

The Mosaic covenant of law that God made with Israel on Mount Sinai temporarily suspended the covenant of faith and grace God had earlier made with Abraham, the father of many nations. The covenant of law did not abolish or annul the covenant of grace, but was to serve certain purposes, until the coming of Christ, who was the promised Seed of Abraham that was to fulfil the Abrahamic covenant. One of the purposes of the law was to make sin exceedingly sinful. Sin was already in the world before the law, but sin is not counted when there is no law, as sin is transgression of the law. If there is no law to transgress, then there is no sin. Although God was not pleased with the practices of mankind before the law, he couldn’t input sin upon humanity in the absence of the law. The law thus served to bring out the sinfulness of mankind’s practices, and to make the wrath of God justified and manifest to all, with respect to sin. It was through the law that we had knowledge of sin and became aware of our sinful nature, though humanity had been living in sin before the law came. The law thus came to convict us of sin and shut all mouths before God, as it proved that all have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory.

Galatians 3:15 Brethren, I speak in the manner of men: Though it is only a man’s covenant, yet if it is confirmed, no one annuls or adds to it.

Galatians 3:16 Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as of many, but as of one, “And to your Seed,” who is Christ.

Galatians 3:17 And this I say, that the law, which was four hundred and thirty years later, cannot annul the covenant that was confirmed before by God in Christ, that it should make the promise of no effect.

Galatians 3:18 For if the inheritance is of the law, it is no longer of promise; but God gave it to Abraham by promise.

Romans 5:12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned—

Romans 5:13 (For until the law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law.

Romans 5:14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come.

Romans 5:20 Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more,

Romans 5:21 so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Romans 7:7 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! On the contrary, I would not have known sin except through the law. For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said, “You shall not covet.”

Romans 7:8 But sin, taking opportunity by the commandment, produced in me all manner of evil desire. For apart from the law sin was dead.

Romans 7:9 I was alive once without the law, but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died.

Romans 7:10 And the commandment, which was to bring life, I found to bring death.

Romans 7:11 For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it killed me.

Romans 7:12 Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good.

Romans 7:13 Has then what is good become death to me? Certainly not! But sin, that it might appear sin, was producing death in me through what is good, so that sin through the commandment might become exceedingly sinful.

Romans 7:14 For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin.

Romans 7:15 For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do.

Romans 7:16 If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good.

Romans 7:17 But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.

Romans 7:18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find.

Romans 7:19 For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice.

Romans 7:20 Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.

Romans 7:21 I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good.

Romans 7:22 For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man.

Romans 7:23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.

Romans 3:19 Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.

Romans 3:20 Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

1 John 3:4 Whoever commits sin transgresses also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law (AKJV).

Romans 4:14 For if those who are of the law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise made of no effect,

Romans 4:15 because the law brings about wrath; for where there is no law there is no transgression.

Secondly, the law was to act as our tutor to bring us to Christ. It was to perform this function the same way guardians and stewards train underage children to bring them to maturity. Guardians and stewards are only appointed for underage children, to help train them to become responsible adults and worthy sons and daughters. During this period of tutelage, the children are subject to servants, who instruct and discipline them. The guardians and stewards, who would themselves be subject to the children when they come to maturity and begin to rule over the house, have the power to chastise and discipline erring underage children, according to the authority given to them by the parents. This power to train, teach and discipline children continues until the children come of age. Then the guardians and stewards cease to have authority over the children, and become subject to them, having served their purpose. The same way, when God’s people were still spiritually immature, the law was appointed to train them in righteousness, and to prepare them for sonship and dominion. Having attained spiritual maturity with the coming of Christ, God’s people are no longer under the tutelage of the law. We’re no longer subject to the law. To continue to subject ourselves to the law even after the grace of God has appeared in Christ Jesus is to refuse to accept our dominion and sonship. It’s tantamount to choosing to remain servants rather than becoming sons and heirs. That’s choosing slavery over liberty and beggarliness over dominion and authority. It simply means we choose to be servants in the house of our Father! How pathetic!

Galatians 3:19 What purpose then does the law serve? It was added because of transgressions, till the Seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was appointed through angels by the hand of a mediator.

Galatians 3:20 Now a mediator does not mediate for one only, but God is one.

Galatians 3:21 Is the law then against the promises of God? Certainly not! For if there had been a law given which could have given life, truly righteousness would have been by the law.

Galatians 3:22 But the Scripture has confined all under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.

Galatians 3:23 But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed.

Galatians 3:24 Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith.

Galatians 3:25 But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.

Galatians 4:1 Now I say that the heir, as long as he is a child, does not differ at all from a slave, though he is master of all,

Galatians 4:2 but is under guardians and stewards until the time appointed by the father.

Galatians 4:3 Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world.

Galatians 4:4 But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law,

Galatians 4:5 to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.

Galatians 4:6 And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!”

Galatians 4:7 Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

Thirdly, the law was to foreshadow the covenant of grace that was to be made manifest later by Christ. It was meant to be a type and shadow of the heavenly blessings, and to give mankind some glimpses of the good things God has in store for his people. Being a shadow and a type, the law could only partially and dimly reflect the anticipated glory of the grace which it foreshadowed. Because it was only a shadow and not an exact image nor the very substance of the heavenly things themselves, the law could not perfect God’s people, nor could it sanctify them completely and make them righteous. Only the substance and the antetype of what the law foreshadowed (Christ) could bring about perfection and complete sanctification of God’s people, because he offered his sinless blood to completely redeem his people, unlike the law that relied only on the blood of sacrificial animals that could only sanctify to the purifying of the flesh. Now that the substance has come, we should not subject ourselves any longer to the beggarly elements of the law! The law has served its typological purpose and is no longer needed, now that the antetype and substance has appeared.

Hebrews 10:1 For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect.

Hebrews 10:2 For then would they not have ceased to be offered? For the worshipers, once purified, would have had no more consciousness of sins.

Hebrews 10:3 But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year.

Hebrews 10:4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins.

Hebrews 10:5 Therefore, when He came into the world, He said:
“Sacrifice and offering You did not desire,
But a body You have prepared for Me.

Hebrews 10:6 In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin
You had no pleasure.

Hebrews 10:7 Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come—
In the volume of the book it is written of Me—
To do Your will, O God.’”

Hebrews 10:8 Previously saying, “Sacrifice and offering, burnt offerings, and offerings for sin You did not desire, nor had pleasure in them” (which are offered according to the law),

Hebrews 10:9 then He said, “Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God.” He takes away the first that He may establish the second.

Hebrews 10:10 By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Hebrews 10:11 And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins.

Hebrews 10:12 But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God,

Hebrews 10:13 from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool.

Hebrews 10:14 For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.

Hebrews 10:15 But the Holy Spirit also witnesses to us; for after He had said before,

Hebrews 10:16 “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them,”

Hebrews 10:17 then He adds, “Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”

Hebrews 10:18 Now where there is remission of these, there is no longer an offering for sin.

Colossians 2:6 As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him,

Colossians 2:7 rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.

Colossians 2:8 Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.

Colossians 2:9 For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily;

Colossians 2:10 and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.

Colossians 2:11 In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ,

Colossians 2:12 buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.

Colossians 2:13 And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses,

Colossians 2:14 having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.

Colossians 2:15 Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.

Colossians 2:16 So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths,

Colossians 2:17 which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ.

Colossians 2:18 Let no one cheat you of your reward, taking delight in false humility and worship of angels, intruding into those things which he has not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,

Colossians 2:19 and not holding fast to the Head, from whom all the body, nourished and knit together by joints and ligaments, grows with the increase that is from God.

Colossians 2:20 Therefore, if you died with Christ from the basic principles of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations—

Colossians 2:21 “Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle,”

Colossians 2:22 which all concern things which perish with the using—according to the commandments and doctrines of men?

Colossians 2:23 These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh.

Galatians 4:8 But then, indeed, when you did not know God, you served those which by nature are not gods.

Galatians 4:9 But now after you have known God, or rather are known by God, how is it that you turn again to the weak and beggarly elements, to which you desire again to be in bondage?

Galatians 4:10 You observe days and months and seasons and years.

Galatians 4:11 I am afraid for you, lest I have labored for you in vain.

Finally, the law is for the lawless and sinners, to convict them of sins. The purpose of the law is to bring men’s sins to light, and show us how God abhors and detests sin. The law is used to convict sinners, and show them their guilt before God. When sinners come to the knowledge of their sins through the knowledge of the law, their guilt is made manifest to them, and all mouths are therefore shut before God. With the law as a reminder of our sinfulness, no man can boast of righteousness before God, for all have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory. By making us feel our guilt and see our unworthiness, the law makes us appreciate the grace of God that came through Jesus Christ. Though we deserve to die by our guilty plea under the judgement of the law, the grace of God in Christ Jesus has provided us with a way of escape. Christ took our guilty position on the cross at Calvary, so that we could live instead of dying the death we deserve for our sins. Christ died for our sins, so that we would escape the second death in the lake of fire! What love! What grace! And what a great exchange that took place at Calvary, that condemned sinners and enemies of God would be spared of the death that they deserve, because a sinless substitute accepted to die in their place! We escaped the wrath of the law only because its full weight fell upon the only begotten son of God instead! Hallelujah to the Lamb of God, who took upon himself the sins of sinful mankind and redeemed them thereby!

1 Timothy 1:3 As I urged you when I went into Macedonia—remain in Ephesus that you may charge some that they teach no other doctrine,

1 Timothy 1:4 nor give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which cause disputes rather than godly edification which is in faith.

1 Timothy 1:5 Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith,

1 Timothy 1:6 from which some, having strayed, have turned aside to idle talk,

1 Timothy 1:7 desiring to be teachers of the law, understanding neither what they say nor the things which they affirm.

1 Timothy 1:8 But we know that the law is good if one uses it lawfully,

1 Timothy 1:9 knowing this: that the law is not made for a righteous person, but for the lawless and insubordinate, for the ungodly and for sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers,

1 Timothy 1:10 for fornicators, for sodomites, for kidnappers, for liars, for perjurers, and if there is any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine,

1 Timothy 1:11 according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God which was committed to my trust.

Romans 3:9 What then? Are we better than they? Not at all. For we have previously charged both Jews and Greeks that they are all under sin.

Romans 3:10 As it is written:
“There is none righteous, no, not one;

Romans 3:11 There is none who understands;
There is none who seeks after God.

Romans 3:12 They have all turned aside;
They have together become unprofitable;
There is none who does good, no, not one.”

Romans 3:13 “Their throat is an open tomb;
With their tongues they have practiced deceit”;
“The poison of asps is under their lips”;

Romans 3:14 “Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness.”

Romans 3:15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood;

Romans 3:16 Destruction and misery are in their ways;

Romans 3:17 And the way of peace they have not known.”

Romans 3:18 “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

Romans 3:19 Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.

Romans 3:20 Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

Romans 3:21 But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets,

Romans 3:22 even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference;

Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

Romans 3:24 being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,

Romans 3:25 whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed,

Romans 3:26 to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

In conclusion, the law was introduced about 430 years after God had made a covenant of faith with Abraham, by which all mankind was to be blessed through the Seed of Abraham (Jesus Christ). The introduction of the law was not to annul God’s covenant with Abraham, but was to serve as a regulator of God’s people until the appearance of Abraham’s promised Seed. During this interim period, the law was to fulfil certain purposes, which included making men aware of sin, convicting men of sin, acting as guardian to God’s people until the coming of the promised Seed of Abraham, and foreshadowing and typing God’s blessings and heavenly realities. Now that the promised Seed of Abraham (Jesus Christ) has come, the law is no longer needed, having fulfilled its purpose. The substance of God’s blessings having appeared to mankind, we don’t need the shadow of the law anymore. Having come to spiritual maturity through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, we do not need the guardianship of the law anymore. The promised seed of Abraham has appeared to fulfil the Abrahamic covenant of grace and extend God’s blessings to all mankind. He has delivered us from the bondage of the law and has translated us into the glorious liberty of the sons of God. May we then stand fast in the liberty by which Christ has set us free and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage of the law. To go back to observing any part of the law is to fall from grace, as that makes us a debtor to the whole law.

Galatians 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.

Galatians 5:2 Indeed I, Paul, say to you that if you become circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing.

Galatians 5:3 And I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised that he is a debtor to keep the whole law.

Galatians 5:4 You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.

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The Letter Kills, But The Spirit Gives Life: The Contrast Between The Old And The New Covenant

(All Bible quotations, except otherwise stated, are from the New King James Version).

2 Corinthians 3:5 Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God,

2 Corinthians 3:6 who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

Oftentimes, we hear Christians quoting the phrase “the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life” (as recorded in Paul’s letter to the Corinthians) to prove the point that the written word, without the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, kills spiritually, instead of edifying. In as much as the inspiration of the Holy Spirit quickens and refreshes, that phrase does not refer to the fact that the written word devoid of revelation brings death! Far from it, Paul, in his second letter to the Corinthians, was not comparing the written word with the revealed word. What Paul was highlighting here instead was the difference between the law and grace. Paul used the word ‘letter‘ as an Hebriasm for the Law of Moses, while he used the ‘Spirit‘ to refer to the ministry of grace in Christ Jesus. Thus, Paul was contrasting the law with grace, and the ministry of Moses with the ministry of Jesus Christ! The Apostle to the Gentiles was drawing a contrast between the old covenant and the new covenant here. This point is too easily missed by a lot of Christians, and we will do well to read the entirety of the third chapter of 2 Corinthians to understand the true meaning of the phrase: “the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life”.

2 Corinthians 3:1 Do we begin again to commend ourselves? Or do we need, as some others, epistles of commendation to you or letters of commendation from you?

2 Corinthians 3:2 You are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read by all men;

2 Corinthians 3:3 clearly you are an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart.

2 Corinthians 3:4 And we have such trust through Christ toward God.

2 Corinthians 3:5 Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God,

2 Corinthians 3:6 who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

Romans 7:5 For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions which were aroused by the law were at work in our members to bear fruit to death.

Romans 7:6 But now we have been delivered from the law, having died to what we were held by, so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter.

In his comparison of the ministry of the law with the ministry of grace, Paul described the Mosaic law as letters written upon tablets of stone, while the believer in Christ is a living epistle, with God’s word written in his heart by the Holy Spirit. That’s a direct contrast between the old and the new covenant. The reason the old covenant wasn’t effective was that the law was written on tablets of stone and not in the hearts of the people. In contrast, in the new covenant, the Holy Spirit engraves his words in the hearts of believers, making it unnecessary for each to teach his neighbour to know God, for all with his Spirit in their hearts (sons and daughters of God) know him, from the least to the greatest. No one needs to teach his neighbour to fear God in the new covenant, for the Spirit within each teaches us the fear of God from within.

Hebrews 8:7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second.

Hebrews 8:8 Because finding fault with them, He says: “Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah—

Hebrews 8:9 not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they did not continue in My covenant, and I disregarded them, says the Lord.

Hebrews 8:10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.

Hebrews 8:11 None of them shall teach his neighbor, and none his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them.

Hebrews 8:12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”

Hebrews 8:13 In that He says, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.

The ‘letter kills’ simply means the law of Moses kills! The law was not designed to provide eternal life for people because the law doesn’t contain life in itself! The law only brings wrath, not life. By the knowledge of the law is sin and death, not life. The law does not make righteous, but only makes us realise how unrighteous we are. It makes us aware of sin and makes sin exceedingly sinful. The law is for the unrighteous and sinners, to convict and imprison them for their sins. The law came through Moses to condemn all mankind and shut all mouths before God, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ, to set men free from the bondage and wrath of the law. Death came through the law, for the law revives sinfulness in people and kills them with their knowledge of sin. The law makes us wretched with our knowledge of sin. Truly, the letter (the law) kills!

Romans 4:13 For the promise that he would be the heir of the world was not to Abraham or to his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.

Romans 4:14 For if those who are of the law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise made of no effect,

Romans 4:15 because the law brings about wrath; for where there is no law there is no transgression.

Romans 3:19 Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.

Romans 3:20 Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

Romans 7:7 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! On the contrary, I would not have known sin except through the law. For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said, “You shall not covet.”

Romans 7:8 But sin, taking opportunity by the commandment, produced in me all manner of evil desire. For apart from the law sin was dead.

Romans 7:9 I was alive once without the law, but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died.

Romans 7:10 And the commandment, which was to bring life, I found to bring death.

Romans 7:11 For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it killed me.

Romans 7:12 Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good.

Romans 7:13 Has then what is good become death to me? Certainly not! But sin, that it might appear sin, was producing death in me through what is good, so that sin through the commandment might become exceedingly sinful.

Romans 7:14 For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin.

Romans 7:15 For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do.

Romans 7:16 If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good.

Romans 7:17 But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.

Romans 7:18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find.

Romans 7:19 For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice.

Romans 7:20 Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.

Romans 7:21 I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good.

Romans 7:22 For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man.

Romans 7:23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.

Romans 7:24 O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?

Romans 7:25 I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!
So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.

Galatians 2:21 I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain.”

1 Timothy 1:8 But we know that the law is good if one uses it lawfully,

1 Timothy 1:9 knowing this: that the law is not made for a righteous person, but for the lawless and insubordinate, for the ungodly and for sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers,

1 Timothy 1:10 for fornicators, for sodomites, for kidnappers, for liars, for perjurers, and if there is any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine,

1 Timothy 1:11 according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God which was committed to my trust.

Galatians 3:19 What purpose then does the law serve? It was added because of transgressions, till the Seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was appointed through angels by the hand of a mediator.

Galatians 3:20 Now a mediator does not mediate for one only, but God is one.

Galatians 3:21 Is the law then against the promises of God? Certainly not! For if there had been a law given which could have given life, truly righteousness would have been by the law.

Galatians 3:22 But the Scripture has confined all under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.

Galatians 3:23 But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed.

Galatians 3:24 Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith.

Galatians 3:25 But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.

John 1:17 For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

But even the law (the letter) that kills had some glory in it, as reflected by the shining glow on Moses’s face, who represents the law. However, the glory of the law had to be veiled, because it was a fading glory, one that was passing away and wasn’t meant to be permanent. Moses covered his face when he came down from the mountain with the shining glory on his face because he didn’t want the people to behold the blinding glory of the law that could not transform the people, but only kill them. That transient, fading glory represents the transient nature of the law. The law was only intended to be a stopgap measure in the first place. It was to be operational only until the coming of the grace of God in Christ Jesus. Now that grace has come, the law is to be done away with. Now that the Spirit has come, the letter (the law) is to be discarded. As long as people remain under the law, the veil on Moses’s face remains in their hearts, to prevent them from accessing life. The veil of the law (the letter) is taken away when people turn to Christ for salvation. In Christ Jesus, there is liberty which was lacking in the law. In Christ Jesus, with an unveiled face, we behold the true and unfading glory of God, and are transformed from glory unto glory, by the Spirit of the Lord! Hallelujah!

2 Corinthians 3:7 But if the ministry of death, written and engraved on stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of the glory of his countenance, which glory was passing away,

2 Corinthians 3:8 how will the ministry of the Spirit not be more glorious?

2 Corinthians 3:9 For if the ministry of condemnation had glory, the ministry of righteousness exceeds much more in glory.

2 Corinthians 3:10 For even what was made glorious had no glory in this respect, because of the glory that excels.

2 Corinthians 3:11 For if what is passing away was glorious, what remains is much more glorious.

2 Corinthians 3:12 Therefore, since we have such hope, we use great boldness of speech—

2 Corinthians 3:13 unlike Moses, who put a veil over his face so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the end of what was passing away.

2 Corinthians 3:14 But their minds were blinded. For until this day the same veil remains unlifted in the reading of the Old Testament, because the veil is taken away in Christ.

2 Corinthians 3:15 But even to this day, when Moses is read, a veil lies on their heart.

2 Corinthians 3:16 Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.

2 Corinthians 3:17 Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

2 Corinthians 3:18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.

In conclusion, “the letter kills” refers to the deadly nature of the Mosaic law, while “the Spirit gives life” refers to the life-giving nature of the gospel of grace. Paul used the above expression to highlight the contrast between the law and grace, showing why we must not go back to the bondage of the law, now that the grace of God has appeared in Christ Jesus. To seek to be justified or made righteous by the keeping of the law is to seek death over life and bondage over liberty. The law blinds and covers men’s hearts with a veil, preventing them from beholding the glory of God. That blinding veil over the heart is removed when one comes to Christ Jesus, where the believer receives grace to grow from glory to glory, even as we behold the glory of the Lord. Let us then flee from the death of the law (the letter), and embrace the life of the Spirit!

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How Do We Determine The Parts Of The Old Testament That Are Still Relevant And To Be Observed? Rightly Dividing The Word Of Truth!

(All Bible quotations, except otherwise stated, are from the New King James Version).

The Bible contains two divisions basically- the old and the new testaments. The old testament contains the history of creation, the fall of mankind, the destruction of the antediluvian world, mankind’s second beginning with Noah, the call of Abraham and God’s covenant and dealings with Israel, Jehovah’s chosen nation. The old testament ends with the first advent of Christ, with his death and resurrection establishing a new covenant with mankind that was sealed with his blood which was shed at Calvary. Some portion of the old covenant with Israel made their way into the new covenant, while the rest of the Mosaic covenant was repudiated by Christ’s death. How do we determine the portions of the old covenant that are contained in the new, and that are still relevant for observance? How do we know the portions of the Mosaic covenant that are still in force? This article seeks to answer these questions through a careful examination of the scriptures.

A covenant is an agreement sworn on oath between two parties for mutual benefits, and is usually ratified by the shedding of blood. A biblical covenant is a relational agreement between God and men, whereby God agrees to be the God, defender and benefactor of a group of people who willingly submit to his government and rule, and agree to worship and serve him only. The terms of a covenant are usually well spelt out by God, with penalties for violations made very clear, as well as the conditions for blessings. God has made several covenants with mankind, either as a group or individually. In the old testament, God made covenants with mankind through Adam and Noah, then another covenant with Abraham and his descendants, and finally, the Mosaic covenant with the nation of Israel (Abraham’s descendants) on Mount Sinai. It’s that covenant with Israel on Mount Sinai that’s called the old covenant or old testament. It’s that covenant with Israel that was abolished by the death of Christ on Calvary, with a new covenant instituted in its place. In the new covenant that God made with mankind on Calvary (the terms and conditions of which are to be found in the Acts of the Apostles and the Apostolic epistles), certain aspects of the old covenant were absorbed into the new one. It’s like a man revising his will or testament, or a country amending its constitution or adopting a new one. Some portions of the old will or the old constitution will of necessity find their way into the new document. How do we know which parts of the old will/testament or old constitution that made it into the new one? The answer is simple- we must look at the new document to know which parts of the old document were adopted into the new. Even if we discover similarities between the two documents, in law, we must quote the new document, not the old one, for the old document has no validity in law.

Hebrews 8:6 But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises.

Hebrews 8:7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second.

Hebrews 8:8 Because finding fault with them, He says: “Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah—

Hebrews 8:9 not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they did not continue in My covenant, and I disregarded them, says the Lord.

Hebrews 8:10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.

Hebrews 8:11 None of them shall teach his neighbor, and none his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them.

Hebrews 8:12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”

Hebrews 8:13 In that He says, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.

Galatians 4:21 Tell me, you who desire to be under the law, do you not hear the law?

Galatians 4:22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons: the one by a bondwoman, the other by a freewoman.

Galatians 4:23 But he who was of the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and he of the freewoman through promise,

Galatians 4:24 which things are symbolic. For these are the two covenants: the one from Mount Sinai which gives birth to bondage, which is Hagar—

Galatians 4:25 for this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and corresponds to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children—

Galatians 4:26 but the Jerusalem above is free, which is the mother of us all.

Galatians 4:27 For it is written:
“Rejoice, O barren,
You who do not bear!
Break forth and shout,
You who are not in labor!
For the desolate has many more children
Than she who has a husband.”

Galatians 4:28 Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are children of promise.

Galatians 4:29 But, as he who was born according to the flesh then persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, even so it is now.

Galatians 4:30 Nevertheless what does the Scripture say? “Cast out the bondwoman and her son, for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.”

Galatians 4:31 So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman but of the free.

Despite these glaring facts about the obsolete nature of the old testament, some Christians still run to it to make doctrines for God’s people, or to judge other Christians’ conduct and lifestyle, using it as a yardstick for righteousness. We see Christians hastily flipping to the old testament to prove why we must still pay tithes and first-fruits offerings, or why women should not wear garments that pertain to men (or vice versa). Such people willingly place themselves back under the bondage of the expired and now abolished old testament, in their misguided zeal for God and righteousness. Let it be stated here clearly and unambiguously: the old testament is old, obsolete, expired and has been abolished! Christians are no longer under its jurisdiction. The old testament is no longer binding on Christians! We have been delivered from the curse and bondage of the old covenant! Therefore, no Christian should be judged by the terms and conditions of the old testament. Just as no judge will refer to an old version of a country’s constitution to pass judgement in a case, and no lawyer will refer to an older version of a will to administer a dead man’s estate, no one under the new testament should refer to the terms and conditions of the old testament for conduct, order and doctrine! The old testament is no longer legally binding on God’s people, simply because it’s been abolished! Christians are dead to the Mosaic Law and are not under it or subject to it!

Romans 7:1 Or do you not know, brethren (for I speak to those who know the law), that the law has dominion over a man as long as he lives?

Romans 7:2 For the woman who has a husband is bound by the law to her husband as long as he lives. But if the husband dies, she is released from the law of her husband.

Romans 7:3 So then if, while her husband lives, she marries another man, she will be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from that law, so that she is no adulteress, though she has married another man.

Romans 7:4 Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another—to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God.

Romans 7:5 For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions which were aroused by the law were at work in our members to bear fruit to death.

Romans 7:6 But now we have been delivered from the law, having died to what we were held by, so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter.

Galatians 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.

Galatians 5:2 Indeed I, Paul, say to you that if you become circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing.

Galatians 5:3 And I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised that he is a debtor to keep the whole law.

Galatians 5:4 You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.

Galatians 5:5 For we through the Spirit eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.

Galatians 5:6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love.

Galatians 5:7 You ran well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth?

Galatians 5:8 This persuasion does not come from Him who calls you.

Galatians 5:9 A little leaven leavens the whole lump.

Galatians 5:10 I have confidence in you, in the Lord, that you will have no other mind; but he who troubles you shall bear his judgment, whoever he is.

Galatians 5:11 And I, brethren, if I still preach circumcision, why do I still suffer persecution? Then the offense of the cross has ceased.

Galatians 5:12 I could wish that those who trouble you would even cut themselves off!

Galatians 5:13 For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.

Galatians 5:14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

Galatians 5:15 But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another!

Galatians 5:16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.

Galatians 5:17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.

Galatians 5:18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

Galatians 3:10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them.”

Galatians 3:11 But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for “the just shall live by faith.”

Galatians 3:12 Yet the law is not of faith, but “the man who does them shall live by them.”

Galatians 3:13 Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”),

Galatians 3:14 that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

Galatians 3:24 Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith.

Galatians 3:25 But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.

Galatians 3:26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.

Thus, to judge a Christian, or to make rules to guide Christian conduct, or to find out God’s mind concerning anything now, we must go to the new testament, not the old one. We must look at the writings of the original Apostles of the Lord, who are the foundation of the Christian faith. Judaism and Christianity share some things in common (including a common God and a common Saviour/Messiah), but the foundation of Christianity is not Moses and his laws, but Christ’s Apostles and their teachings, with Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone. The original Apostles received direct revelations from the Lord to write the new testament. The Lord specially taught them the terms and conditions of the new testament which they wrote down for all to take heed and observe strictly, without additions or subtractions. Some things were carried over into the new testament from the old. There’s no doubt about that. However, whatever was carried over must be demonstrated in the new. Anything in the old testament we do not find in the new testament simply did not make it into the new testament. It means such a thing is no longer relevant or binding on God’s people! Whatever is not included in the new testament is something not to be worried about! It’s not important anymore! Thus, we’re not at liberty to pick and choose portions of the old testament we want to keep or not keep. We’re not at liberty to adopt and observe some portions of the old testament and jettison other parts as we wish. It’s only the parts of the old testament the original Apostles of the Lord included in their writings that are the portions of the old testament still to be observed. Those portions of the old testament not included in the Apostolic epistles are to be disregarded, as they no longer constitute law for God’s people. Doing anything that’s not expressly forbidden in the new testament is not a sin, for sin is a transgression of an extant biblical law. Once no new testament injunction is violated, no sin has been committed, even if such an injunction was contained in the old testament. That’s the point we must be clear about as Christians: violating any portion of the old covenant not contained in the new covenant is not a sin for a Christian, for sin now is a transgression of the terms of the new covenant, not those of the old and expired one.

Matthew 28:16 Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had appointed for them.

Matthew 28:17 When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted.

Matthew 28:18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.

Matthew 28:19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

Matthew 28:20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.

The Acts 1:1 The former account I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach,

The Acts 1:2 until the day in which He was taken up, after He through the Holy Spirit had given commandments to the apostles whom He had chosen,

The Acts 1:3 to whom He also presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.

Ephesians 2:19 Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,

Ephesians 2:20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone,

Ephesians 2:21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord,

Ephesians 2:22 in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.

Ephesians 3:1 For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for you Gentiles—

Ephesians 3:2 if indeed you have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which was given to me for you,

Ephesians 3:3 how that by revelation He made known to me the mystery (as I have briefly written already,

Ephesians 3:4 by which, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ),

Ephesians 3:5 which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets:

Ephesians 3:6 that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ through the gospel,

Ephesians 3:7 of which I became a minister according to the gift of the grace of God given to me by the effective working of His power.

Ephesians 3:8 To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ,

Ephesians 3:9 and to make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ;

Ephesians 3:10 to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places,

Ephesians 3:11 according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord,

Ephesians 3:12 in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him.

Galatians 1:6 I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel,

Galatians 1:7 which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ.

Galatians 1:8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed.

Galatians 1:9 As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.

Galatians 1:10 For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.

Galatians 1:11 But I make known to you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man.

Galatians 1:12 For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 3:10 According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it.

1 Corinthians 3:11 For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

1 John 3:4 Whoever commits sin transgresses also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law (AKJV).

Romans 4:15 because the law brings about wrath; for where there is no law there is no transgression.

Romans 5:13 (For until the law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law.

In conclusion, the old covenant God made with the nation of Israel on Mount Sinai was abolished after the death of Christ. God thereafter made a new covenant with mankind at Calvary, to correct the deficiencies of the old covenant. Believers in Christ are thus no longer under the old covenant which is now obsolete and has been abolished. Though the old covenant has been abolished, some parts of it made their way into the new covenant. To know those parts of the old covenant that were absorbed into the new covenant and are thus still to be observed, we must rely on the Apostolic writings, wherein are contained the terms and conditions of the new covenant. It’s only those portions of the old testament that the original Apostles of the Lord adopted into the new testament that Christians are to observe and uphold. Any portion of the old testament not found in the new is to be considered obsolete and no longer law for God’s people. We are thus not at liberty to pick and choose which portions of the old testament to keep and which portions to discard. We’re not to go to the old testament to make rules for God’s people, or judge people’s conduct and lifestyle by injunctions of the old testament, as Christians are no longer under the Mosaic Law. Violation of any portions of the old testament not contained in the new no longer constitutes sin, for sin is the transgression of an extant law. You cannot violate a law that’s no longer in existence. To go back to the old testament that the Lord Jesus Christ has delivered us from is to return to the bondage and curse of the Law! It’s tantamount to falling from grace! May God deliver us from this widespread corruption of the gospel of grace which the original Apostles of the Lord contended against so earnestly! Amen!

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Did The New Testament Begin During The Lifetime Of The Lord Jesus Christ Or After His Death And Resurrection?

(Except otherwise stated, all Bible quotations are from the New King James Version).

We know the old covenant God made with Israel became obsolete with the first advent of Jesus Christ, when God decided to make a new covenant with Israel and the rest of mankind. What most believers don’t understand clearly is when the new covenant actually came into effect. Was it during the lifetime and earthly ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ or was it after his death and resurrection? Did Jesus live under the old or new testament? Are the entire teachings of Christ in the gospels part of the new testament? It’s important to establish when exactly the new testament became effective and operational, and the portions of Christ’s teachings that made it into the new covenant, so as not to mix up the contents and terms and conditions of both covenants. We shall revert to the Scriptures to clarify these issues.

Let’s start by examining what a biblical covenant is, and how it is ratified and made operational. A covenant is an agreement between two parties for mutual benefits. A biblical covenant is usually ratified and sealed by the shedding of blood, after both parties have sworn an oath to uphold the terms and conditions of the covenant. The old covenant or old testament was established between God and the nation of Israel at Mount Sinai. In that covenant, Jehovah promised to be Israel’s God, and to protect and bless the nation, if Israel would worship and serve him only. The covenant was ratified with the shedding of the blood of sacrificial animals, after both parties had agreed to the terms and conditions of the covenant. The old testament then came into force and became effective after it was sealed with blood.

Exodus 19:1 In the third month after the children of Israel had gone out of the land of Egypt, on the same day, they came to the Wilderness of Sinai.

Exodus 19:2 For they had departed from Rephidim, had come to the Wilderness of Sinai, and camped in the wilderness. So Israel camped there before the mountain.

Exodus 19:3 And Moses went up to God, and the Lord called to him from the mountain, saying, “Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel:

Exodus 19:4 ‘You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to Myself.

Exodus 19:5 Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine.

Exodus 19:6 And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel.”

Exodus 19:7 So Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before them all these words which the Lord commanded him.

Exodus 19:8 Then all the people answered together and said, “All that the Lord has spoken we will do.” So Moses brought back the words of the people to the Lord.

Exodus 19:9 And the Lord said to Moses, “Behold, I come to you in the thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with you, and believe you forever.”
So Moses told the words of the people to the Lord.

Exodus 19:10 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their clothes.

Exodus 19:11 And let them be ready for the third day. For on the third day the Lord will come down upon Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people.

Exodus 19:12 You shall set bounds for the people all around, saying, ‘Take heed to yourselves that you do not go up to the mountain or touch its base. Whoever touches the mountain shall surely be put to death.

Exodus 19:13 Not a hand shall touch him, but he shall surely be stoned or shot with an arrow; whether man or beast, he shall not live.’ When the trumpet sounds long, they shall come near the mountain.”

Exodus 19:14 So Moses went down from the mountain to the people and sanctified the people, and they washed their clothes.

Exodus 19:15 And he said to the people, “Be ready for the third day; do not come near your wives.”

Exodus 19:16 Then it came to pass on the third day, in the morning, that there were thunderings and lightnings, and a thick cloud on the mountain; and the sound of the trumpet was very loud, so that all the people who were in the camp trembled.

Exodus 19:17 And Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet with God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain.

Exodus 19:18 Now Mount Sinai was completely in smoke, because the Lord descended upon it in fire. Its smoke ascended like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked greatly.

Exodus 19:19 And when the blast of the trumpet sounded long and became louder and louder, Moses spoke, and God answered him by voice.

Exodus 19:20 Then the Lord came down upon Mount Sinai, on the top of the mountain. And the Lord called Moses to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up.

Exodus 19:21 And the Lord said to Moses, “Go down and warn the people, lest they break through to gaze at the Lord, and many of them perish.

Exodus 19:22 Also let the priests who come near the Lord consecrate themselves, lest the Lord break out against them.”

Exodus 19:23 But Moses said to the Lord, “The people cannot come up to Mount Sinai; for You warned us, saying, ‘Set bounds around the mountain and consecrate it.’”

Exodus 19:24 Then the Lord said to him, “Away! Get down and then come up, you and Aaron with you. But do not let the priests and the people break through to come up to the Lord, lest He break out against them.”

Exodus 19:25 So Moses went down to the people and spoke to them.

Exodus 24:1 And he said to Moses, Come up to the LORD, you, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel; and worship you afar off.

Exodus 24:2 And Moses alone shall come near the LORD: but they shall not come near; neither shall the people go up with him.

Exodus 24:3 And Moses came and told the people all the words of the LORD, and all the judgments: and all the people answered with one voice, and said, All the words which the LORD has said will we do.

Exodus 24:4 And Moses wrote all the words of the LORD, and rose up early in the morning, and built an altar under the hill, and twelve pillars, according to the twelve tribes of Israel.

Exodus 24:5 And he sent young men of the children of Israel, which offered burnt offerings, and sacrificed peace offerings of oxen to the LORD.

Exodus 24:6 And Moses took half of the blood, and put it in basins; and half of the blood he sprinkled on the altar.

Exodus 24:7 And he took the book of the covenant, and read in the audience of the people: and they said, All that the LORD has said will we do, and be obedient.

Exodus 24:8 And Moses took the blood, and sprinkled it on the people, and said, Behold the blood of the covenant, which the LORD has made with you concerning all these words.

Exodus 24:9 Then went up Moses, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel:

Exodus 24:10 And they saw the God of Israel: and there was under his feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the body of heaven in his clearness.

Exodus 24:11 And on the nobles of the children of Israel he laid not his hand: also they saw God, and did eat and drink.

Hebrews 9:16 For where there is a testament, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator.

Hebrews 9:17 For a testament is in force after men are dead, since it has no power at all while the testator lives.

Hebrews 9:18 Therefore not even the first covenant was dedicated without blood.

Hebrews 9:19 For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water, scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people,

Hebrews 9:20 saying, “This is the blood of the covenant which God has commanded you.”

Hebrews 9:21 Then likewise he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle and all the vessels of the ministry.

Hebrews 9:22 And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission.

However, because Israel repeatedly failed to keep her part of the covenant and provoked God to jealousy several times with her idolatrous worship of other gods, Jehovah promised to bring an end to the covenant he made with them on Mount Sinai, since they couldn’t keep the covenant. God promised instead to make a new covenant with the nation. In the old covenant, they couldn’t keep God’s words because the terms of the covenant were written on tablets of stone which had to be memorised, but were easy to forget. In the new covenant God proposed to the nation of Israel, he promised to write his words in their hearts and in their minds. Nobody would need to teach his neighbour to know and fear the Lord, for all would have his words engraved in their hearts and all would know and fear him on their own, from the least to the greatest.

Jeremiah 31:31 “Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah—

Jeremiah 31:32 not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the Lord.

Jeremiah 31:33 But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.

Jeremiah 31:34 No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”

Finally, God sent forth his son Jesus Christ to earth, to make a new covenant with the whole of mankind. Whereas the old covenant was with Israel only, this new covenant is to include the whole of mankind (both Jews and Gentiles). Whoever believes in God’s only begotten son as Lord and Saviour and confesses him as such will be saved from the wrath of God awaiting all sinners in hell, and will become a child of God. God will be a father and God to such a person who will escape the second death in the lake of fire and enjoy eternal life with God at the end of life on earth. Whosoever rejects God’s only begotten son will face the full wrath of God in the lake of fire. These are the terms and conditions of the new covenant of grace God made with mankind through his son Jesus Christ. The death of God’s son on Calvary ratified that covenant and brought it into force.

John 3:14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up,

John 3:15 that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

John 3:17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

John 3:18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

John 3:19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

John 3:20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.

John 3:21 But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.”

John 5:19 Then Jesus answered and said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner.

John 5:20 For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself does; and He will show Him greater works than these, that you may marvel.

John 5:21 For as the Father raises the dead and gives life to them, even so the Son gives life to whom He will.

John 5:22 For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son,

John 5:23 that all should honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.

John 5:24 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.

John 5:25 Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live.

John 5:26 For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself,

John 5:27 and has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man.

John 5:28 Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice

John 5:29 and come forth—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.

John 5:30 I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me.

1 John 5:11 And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.

1 John 5:12 He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.

Romans 10:6 But the righteousness of faith speaks in this way, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’” (that is, to bring Christ down from above)

Romans 10:7 or, “‘Who will descend into the abyss?’” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead).

Romans 10:8 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach):

Romans 10:9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.

Romans 10:10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

Romans 10:11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.”

Romans 10:12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him.

Romans 10:13 For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

So, when did the new covenant that God made with mankind become effective? When did the new testament come into force? Some people believe that the new testament started during the life and ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ. Such people believe all that Jesus did and taught in the gospels are part of the new testament. Well, nothing can be farther from the truth. It’s worth reminding ourselves that Jesus Christ lived and operated under the old covenant. He lived and fulfilled the Mosaic covenant. In his lifetime, Jesus never broke the law (the terms and conditions of the old covenant), as he lived a blameless and perfect life, with respect to the law of Moses. He upheld and taught his disciples the law and the prophets (the old testament) until his death. Jesus magnified the law and made it more honourable (by focusing on its spirit and not the letter), but it was still the precepts of the old covenant he taught and expounded. Although Christ brought grace and truth to the law, he still preached the law. Thus, the new testament and its blessings did not start during the life and ministry of Jesus Christ! Like we mentioned earlier, a covenant is only ratified by the shedding of blood. That’s when a covenant becomes effective and operational. It’s like a will or a testament. It only comes into effect after the death of the testator. A will only becomes effective after the person who wrote it dies. As long as the owner of the will is still alive, the benefits of a will can never be enjoyed by the beneficiaries. Thus, the new testament was only ratified AFTER the death of Christ, and not before then! Jesus was a Jew who lived and practised the tenets of Judaism. He lived and operated under the old testament. However, by his death, he abolished the old testament which he upheld and fulfilled in his lifetime. By his death, Christ nailed the old enslaving and discriminatory ordinances of the old covenant to his cross, and birthed the new covenant thereby. The new testament in the blood of Christ was ratified by his death on Calvary, not during his life. The terms and conditions of the new testament are therefore not to be found in the gospels (which contain magnifications of the old testament by our Lord, some of which found their way into the new covenant), but are to be found in the post-ascension teachings of the original Apostles of Christ. They are to be found in the Acts of the Apostles and the Apostolic epistles. Christians are therefore not to follow Christ’s footsteps in his teachings in the gospels where he upheld tenets of the old testament, for Christ has abolished the old testament by his death, even though he upheld it in his lifetime. We’re not subject any longer to the old covenant and its precepts. Christians are not under the law of Moses! We are rather under the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus. We do not therefore look back to the old testament (including some of the teachings and actions of Christ in his lifetime) for conduct, order and doctrine. Even though some things in the law (and which Christ threw more light on) made their way into the new covenant, we look to the teachings of the foundational Apostles of the Lord to find out the terms and conditions of the new testament, including the portions of the old testament and the teachings of our Lord which were incorporated into the new testament. That’s what Jesus authorised us to do, in his last commandment to the Apostles.

Matthew 5:17 “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.

Matthew 5:18 For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.

Matthew 5:19 Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 26:26 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.”

Matthew 26:27 Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you.

Matthew 26:28 For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

Matthew 26:29 But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.”

Hebrews 9:16 For where there is a testament, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator.

Hebrews 9:17 For a testament is in force after men are dead, since it has no power at all while the testator lives.

Hebrews 9:18 Therefore not even the first covenant was dedicated without blood.

Hebrews 9:19 For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water, scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people,

Hebrews 9:20 saying, “This is the blood of the covenant which God has commanded you.”

Hebrews 9:21 Then likewise he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle and all the vessels of the ministry.

Hebrews 9:22 And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission.

Hebrews 9:23 Therefore it was necessary that the copies of the things in the heavens should be purified with these, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.

Hebrews 9:24 For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us;

Hebrews 9:25 not that He should offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood of another—

Hebrews 9:26 He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.

Hebrews 9:27 And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment,

Hebrews 9:28 so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.

Ephesians 2:14 For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation,

Ephesians 2:15 having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace,

Ephesians 2:16 and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity.

Ephesians 2:17 And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near.

Ephesians 2:18 For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.

Colossians 2:11 In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ,

Colossians 2:12 buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.

Colossians 2:13 And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses,

Colossians 2:14 having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.

Colossians 2:15 Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.

Colossians 2:16 So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths,

Colossians 2:17 which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ.

Colossians 2:18 Let no one cheat you of your reward, taking delight in false humility and worship of angels, intruding into those things which he has not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,

Colossians 2:19 and not holding fast to the Head, from whom all the body, nourished and knit together by joints and ligaments, grows with the increase that is from God.

Colossians 2:20 Therefore, if you died with Christ from the basic principles of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations—

Colossians 2:21 “Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle,”

Colossians 2:22 which all concern things which perish with the using—according to the commandments and doctrines of men?

Colossians 2:23 These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh.

Hebrews 8:7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second.

Hebrews 8:8 Because finding fault with them, He says: “Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah

Hebrews 8:9 not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they did not continue in My covenant, and I disregarded them, says the Lord.

Hebrews 8:10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.

Hebrews 8:11 None of them shall teach his neighbor, and none his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them.

Hebrews 8:12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”

Hebrews 8:13 In that He says, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.

Romans 7:1 Or do you not know, brethren (for I speak to those who know the law), that the law has dominion over a man as long as he lives?

Romans 7:2 For the woman who has a husband is bound by the law to her husband as long as he lives. But if the husband dies, she is released from the law of her husband.

Romans 7:3 So then if, while her husband lives, she marries another man, she will be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from that law, so that she is no adulteress, though she has married another man.

Romans 7:4 Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another—to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God.

Romans 7:5 For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions which were aroused by the law were at work in our members to bear fruit to death.

Romans 7:6 But now we have been delivered from the law, having died to what we were held by, so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter.

Romans 6:14 For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.

Galatians 3:10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them.”

Galatians 3:11 But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for “the just shall live by faith.”

Galatians 3:12 Yet the law is not of faith, but “the man who does them shall live by them.”

Galatians 3:13 Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”),

Galatians 3:14 that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

Galatians 4:1 Now I say that the heir, as long as he is a child, does not differ at all from a slave, though he is master of all,

Galatians 4:2 but is under guardians and stewards until the time appointed by the father.

Galatians 4:3 Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world.

Galatians 4:4 But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law,

Galatians 4:5 to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.

Galatians 4:6 And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!”

Galatians 4:7 Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

Galatians 4:8 Fears for the Church
But then, indeed, when you did not know God, you served those which by nature are not gods.

Galatians 4:9 But now after you have known God, or rather are known by God, how is it that you turn again to the weak and beggarly elements, to which you desire again to be in bondage?

Galatians 4:10 You observe days and months and seasons and years.

Galatians 4:11 I am afraid for you, lest I have labored for you in vain.

Galatians 4:21Tell me, you who desire to be under the law, do you not hear the law?

Galatians 4:22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons: the one by a bondwoman, the other by a freewoman.

Galatians 4:23 But he who was of the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and he of the freewoman through promise,

Galatians 4:24 which things are symbolic. For these are the two covenants: the one from Mount Sinai which gives birth to bondage, which is Hagar—

Galatians 4:25 for this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and corresponds to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children—

Galatians 4:26 but the Jerusalem above is free, which is the mother of us all.

Galatians 4:27 For it is written:
“Rejoice, O barren,
You who do not bear!
Break forth and shout,
You who are not in labor!
For the desolate has many more children
Than she who has a husband.”

Galatians 4:28 Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are children of promise.

Galatians 4:29 But, as he who was born according to the flesh then persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, even so it is now.

Galatians 4:30 Nevertheless what does the Scripture say? “Cast out the bondwoman and her son, for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.”

Galatians 4:31 So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman but of the free.

Galatians 5:18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

Matthew 28:16 Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had appointed for them.

Matthew 28:17 When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted.

Matthew 28:18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.

Matthew 28:19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

Matthew 28:20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.

In conclusion, Jesus Christ was born a Jew and lived and operated under the Mosaic covenant. He lived under the old testament and fulfilled the law like no man else had done or could do. In his lifetime, Jesus operated under the old testament. Thus, the new testament did not begin until after the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, for a testament only comes into force after the death of the testator. The new covenant was ratified by the blood of Jesus Christ and became operational only after that blood was shed at Calvary. So, it was the death of Jesus Christ that abolished the old testament, by nailing the law to his cross, and thus freeing his followers from subservience and bondage to the Mosaic law. The contents of the new covenant are to be found in the post-ascension writings of the original Apostles of the Lord. It’s true that some contents of the old testament, including some teachings of our Lord, found their way into the new testament. However, to know what items in the old testament were incorporated into the new, we must examine the Apostolic epistles for guidance. We cannot just pick and choose what we like in the old testament. Only the portions of the old testament and those of our Lord’s teachings we find incorporated into the apostolic writings are approved for Christians to emulate and practise. Any other portions of the old testament not sanctioned by the Apostles are considered obsolete and abolished, and should be jettisoned, even if our Lord observed and practised them, for he lived and operated under the old testament.

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There Are No Longer Laws Regulating When A Newborn Child Is To Be Named Or Dedicated, As Well As When A Parturient Woman Is To Resume Corporate Worship: The Benefits Of The Liberty In Christ Over The Bondage Of The Mosaic Law

(All Bible quotations, except otherwise stated, are from the New International Version).

The Mosaic covenant had strict laws regulating the naming of newborns, circumcision of male infants and dedication of babies to the Lord. In the law, a woman was considered unclean after childbirth, and would remain so for variable lengths of time, depending on whether she gave birth to a male or a female infant. A woman who gave birth to a boy would be unclean for seven days. On the eighth day, the boy was to be circumcised and named. The new mother would then remain ceremonially impure for another 33 days, before she could undergo purification rites, accompanied by the offering of sacrificial animals, after which she would be declared pure and would then be fit to touch sacred things and appear before the Lord. Those who gave birth to female infants would initially be unclean for fourteen days (after which the child would be named), and would require an additional 66 days to undergo purification before they could appear before the Lord to dedicate their children. Thus, for male infants, child dedication was done 40 days after birth, while female infants required twice that length of time (80 days) before they could be dedicated to the Lord. This was a strict ordinance of the Mosaic Law which was religiously observed by the Jews in the Old Testament. Even Jesus Christ, who was born under the law, was subjected to this regulation of the Mosaic law, as he was circumcised on the eighth day, and was dedicated to the Lord 40 days after his birth.

Leviticus 12:1 The LORD said to Moses,

Leviticus 12:2 “Say to the Israelites: ’A woman who becomes pregnant and gives birth to a son will be ceremonially unclean for seven days, just as she is unclean during her monthly period.

Leviticus 12:3 On the eighth day the boy is to be circumcised.

Leviticus 12:4 Then the woman must wait thirty-three days to be purified from her bleeding. She must not touch anything sacred or go to the sanctuary until the days of her purification are over.

Leviticus 12:5 If she gives birth to a daughter, for two weeks the woman will be unclean, as during her period. Then she must wait sixty-six days to be purified from her bleeding.

Leviticus 12:6 “’When the days of her purification for a son or daughter are over, she is to bring to the priest at the entrance to the tent of meeting a year-old lamb for a burnt offering and a young pigeon or a dove for a sin offering.

Leviticus 12:7 He shall offer them before the LORD to make atonement for her, and then she will be ceremonially clean from her flow of blood. “’These are the regulations for the woman who gives birth to a boy or a girl.

Leviticus 12:8 But if she cannot afford a lamb, she is to bring two doves or two young pigeons, one for a burnt offering and the other for a sin offering. In this way the priest will make atonement for her, and she will be clean.’”

St. Luke 2:4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David.

St. Luke 2:5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.

St. Luke 2:6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born,

St. Luke 2:7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

St. Luke 2:21 On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise the child, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived.

St. Luke 2:22 When the time came for the purification rites required by the Law of Moses, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord

St. Luke 2:23 (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord” ),

St. Luke 2:24 and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: “a pair of doves or two young pigeons.”

Galatians 4:4 But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law,

Galatians 4:5 to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship.

As we can see from the Scriptures above, the Jews in the Old Testament had strict laws regulating child-naming and child-dedication. These ceremonies concerning newborns were not left to parents and families to decide when to perform them, but were fixed by laws which had to be observed strictly. Thus, believers under the Old Testament had clear-cut instructions concerning naming ceremonies and dedication of newborns. Under the New Testament, confusion still lingers among some believers as to when to perform these ceremonies for their newborns. Are New Testament believers to follow the regulations of the Mosaic law concerning naming ceremonies, circumcision and child-dedication, or are parents at liberty to decide when to perform these duties for their babies? The key to answering this question lies in understanding the fact that New Testament believers are not under the Mosaic covenant and its injunctions. The old covenant under which the Jews in the Old Testament operated has expired and has been abolished. Therefore, the regulations of the Mosaic Covenant are no longer binding on believers in the New Testament. We’re now under a new covenant, the terms and conditions of which are to be found in the Acts of the Apostles and the Apostolic epistles. The Christian does not therefore look back to the expired and abolished Mosaic Covenant for conduct, order and doctrine. Rather, we look to the writings of the original Apostles of the Lord (who are the foundation of the church) for guidance and spiritual direction.

Hebrews 8:7 For if there had been nothing wrong with that first covenant, no place would have been sought for another.

Hebrews 8:8 But God found fault with the people and said : “The days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah.

Hebrews 8:9 It will not be like the covenant I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they did not remain faithful to my covenant, and I turned away from them, declares the Lord.

Hebrews 8:10 This is the covenant I will establish with the people of Israel after that time, declares the Lord. I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.

Hebrews 8:11 No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ’Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest.

Hebrews 8:12 For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”

Hebrews 8:13 By calling this covenant “new,” he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and outdated will soon disappear.

Romans 7:1 Do you not know, brothers and sisters —for I am speaking to those who know the law —that the law has authority over someone only as long as that person lives?

Romans 7:2 For example, by law a married woman is bound to her husband as long as he is alive, but if her husband dies, she is released from the law that binds her to him.

Romans 7:3 So then, if she has sexual relations with another man while her husband is still alive, she is called an adulteress. But if her husband dies, she is released from that law and is not an adulteress if she marries another man.

Romans 7:4 So, my brothers and sisters, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God.

Galatians 3:10 For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse, as it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.”

Galatians 3:11 Clearly no one who relies on the law is justified before God, because “the righteous will live by faith.”

Galatians 3:12 The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, it says, “The person who does these things will live by them.”

Galatians 3:13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole.”

Galatians 3:14 He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.

Galatians 5:1 It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

Galatians 5:2 Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all.

Galatians 5:3 Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law.

Galatians 5:4 You who are trying to be justified by the law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.

Galatians 5:5 For through the Spirit we eagerly await by faith the righteousness for which we hope.

Galatians 5:6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.

Colossians 2:9 For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form,

Colossians 2:10 and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority.

Colossians 2:11 In him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not performed by human hands. Your whole self ruled by the flesh was put off when you were circumcised by Christ,

Colossians 2:12 having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.

Colossians 2:13 When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins,

Colossians 2:14 having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross.

Colossians 2:15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.

Colossians 2:16 Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day.

Colossians 2:17 These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.

Colossians 2:18 Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you. Such a person also goes into great detail about what they have seen; they are puffed up with idle notions by their unspiritual mind.

Colossians 2:19 They have lost connection with the head, from whom the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow.

Colossians 2:20 Since you died with Christ to the elemental spiritual forces of this world, why, as though you still belonged to the world, do you submit to its rules:

Colossians 2:21 “Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!”?

Colossians 2:22 These rules, which have to do with things that are all destined to perish with use, are based on merely human commands and teachings.

Colossians 2:23 Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.

Romans 3:19 Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God.

Romans 6:14 For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.

Ephesians 2:18 For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.

Ephesians 2:19 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household,

Ephesians 2:20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.

St. Matthew 28:16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go.

St. Matthew 28:17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted.

St. Matthew 28:18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.

St. Matthew 28:19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

St. Matthew 28:20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

In the New Testament, there are no injunctions on when to name babies or when to dedicate them to the Lord. Circumcision of male infants is no longer a religious requirement to be strictly observed on the eighth day. Thus, believers are now free to decide when to name their babies and when to present them before the Lord for dedication. Women are no longer considered ceremonially unclean after childbirth, and so can appear before the Lord whenever they’re strong enough to do so. No purifying sacrifices are required to make parturients fit to appear before the Lord, as the blood of Jesus Christ has sanctified them once and for all when they became born again. Whatever parents offer in thanksgiving during child dedication is to be a freewill offering now, and not a mandatory offering as required by the Mosaic law. Thus, parents can name their newborn children anytime they like (and they may choose not to have any special ceremony for that). In the same vein, parents can dedicate their children anytime they wish. Similarly, a new mother can resume fellowship with the saints anytime she wants, guided by her strength and speed of recovery from the effects of childbirth. These are the liberties that the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ have procured for believers under the dispensation of grace. Let us then stand fast in these liberties and be not entangled again with any yoke of bondage, by attempting to go back to observance of the Mosaic law!

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Jesus Christ Was Born A Jew, Lived Under The Mosaic Covenant And Fulfilled The Law, So That His Followers Would Be Liberated From The Bondage And Curse Of The Law!

(All Bible quotations, except otherwise stated, are from the New King James Version).

Too often we hear Christians using the Lord Jesus Christ’s obedience to the Law of Moses to justify his followers’ obedience and subservience to the Mosaic covenant and its ordinances. Such people readily quote the Lord’s statements in the gospels where he upheld and taught obedience to the Law (and warned against its violation) to justify continued adherence to the Mosaic Law. These followers of Christ argue that since we’re to follow in Christ’s footsteps, we should imitate whatever he did, including his obedience to the Mosaic Law. Are Christians to follow the footsteps of the Lord Jesus in keeping the Mosaic Law? Are we to live under the same covenant that our Lord Jesus Christ subjected himself to? We shall examine the Scriptures to answer these questions.

The Scriptures make it clear that Jesus Christ was born a Jew, to the royal family of David, as the promised seed of Abraham and the Jewish Messiah, who was to be Israel’s Saviour and King. He was thus born under the Law and lived under the Law. As a Jew, Jesus had no option but to fulfill the Law, which he did. He taught and expounded the Law like no other man before him had done, focusing not just on the letter, but more importantly, on the spirit of the Law. He brought grace and truth to the Law. In that regard, Jesus’ teachings stood out from those of the hypocritical religious leaders of his day, who had succeeded in putting the people into bondage by their addition of human doctrine to the Law, thereby making it non-effective. Jesus observed all the injunctions of the Mosaic Law, followed all its regulations and did not violate any of its precepts. No wonder he could boldly state that no one could convict him of sin, for sin is a transgression of the Law. He didn’t violate a single law in the Mosaic covenant all his life! Not only that, he also taught his original disciples (who were all Jews) to be obedient to the Law, warning them that anyone who broke the least precepts of the Law and taught men to do so would be considered the least in the kingdom of God. Our Lord was categorical in making people know that he did not come to abolish the Law, but to fulfill it. That was the purpose of his life, to fulfill the Law, which no other man before him had done. And the Lord fulfilled his purpose perfectly!

Matthew 1:1 The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham:

Luke 1:26 Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth,

Luke 1:27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary.

Luke 1:28 And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!”

Luke 1:29 But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was.

Luke 1:30 Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.

Luke 1:31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus.

Luke 1:32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David.

Luke 1:33 And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.”

Galatians 4:4 But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law,

Galatians 4:5 to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.

John 1:10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him.

John 1:11 He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him.

Matthew 5:17 “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.

Matthew 5:18 For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.

Matthew 5:19 Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

John 8:46 Which of you convicts Me of sin? And if I tell the truth, why do you not believe Me?

1 John 3:4 Whoever commits sin transgresses also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law (AKJV).

Matthew 7:28 And so it was, when Jesus had ended these sayings, that the people were astonished at His teaching,

Matthew 7:29 for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.

Now, it must be remembered that Jesus Christ came to the Jews and ministered to them exclusively during his earthly ministry. He was a minister of the circumcision (the Jews) who came to fulfill the promises God made to their ancestors. He was only sent to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, and he equally sent his disciples out during his ministry to evangelise only among Israelites. When a Gentile woman approached the Lord for help, he ignored her, and when his disciples begged him to attend to the woman, he told them emphatically that he was sent only to the Jews, and not to Gentiles, and that he couldn’t take bread meant for the children (Jews) and give to dogs (Gentiles). Although the Lord eventually attended to the woman because of her great faith, the point had been clearly made that he was a Jew sent to Jews primarily! Thus, he upheld the Jewish traditions and taught and expounded on the Mosaic Covenant to his Jewish followers.

Romans 15:8 Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made to the fathers (AKJV).

Matthew 10:1 And when He had called His twelve disciples to Him, He gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease.

Matthew 10:2 Now the names of the twelve apostles are these: first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother;

Matthew 10:3 Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus;

Matthew 10:4 Simon the Cananite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed Him.

Matthew 10:5 These twelve Jesus sent out and commanded them, saying: “Do not go into the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter a city of the Samaritans.

Matthew 10:6 But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

Matthew 10:7 And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’

Matthew 10:8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.

Matthew 15:21 Then Jesus went out from there and departed to the region of Tyre and Sidon.

Matthew 15:22 And behold, a woman of Canaan came from that region and cried out to Him, saying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! My daughter is severely demon-possessed.”

Matthew 15:23 But He answered her not a word. And His disciples came and urged Him, saying, “Send her away, for she cries out after us.”

Matthew 15:24 But He answered and said, “I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”

Matthew 15:25 Then she came and worshiped Him, saying, “Lord, help me!”

Matthew 15:26 But He answered and said, “It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs.”

Matthew 15:27 And she said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.”

Matthew 15:28 Then Jesus answered and said to her, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour.

So Jesus, according to his humanity, was a Jew who lived under the Mosaic Covenant and fulfilled all its precepts during his lifetime. Now, are his Gentile disciples to follow him in keeping the Law after his death and resurrection? Are Christians to follow Christ in keeping the Law of Moses as Christ did during his lifetime? Although Jesus lived as a Jew and obeyed the Law until his death, the purpose of his death was to abolish the Law! Though Christ fulfilled the Law in his lifetime and upheld every precept of it, his death delivered his followers from the jurisdiction of the Law, making them no longer subject to the Law. By his death on the cross, Christ nailed the Law and its precepts to the cross, delivering his people from the bondage of the Law. The Law was a schoolmaster and a prisoner to keep God’s people in check until the coming of Christ. The Law was like the governors and tutors appointed to train underaged princes until they come of age. Now that Christ has come, we are no longer under the tutelage of the Law, nor its custody. We do not require the guardianship of the Law anymore, having come to spiritual maturity. The Law also created enemity between Jews and Gentiles (whom the law considered as unclean outcasts). Christ’s death abolished that racial division and enemity occasioned by the Law, by nailing the instrument of that division (the Law) to his cross. By his death, Christ abolished the Mosaic Covenant and instituted a new covenant of interracial peace in its place. Thus, there is now a new covenant for believers in Christ to live by, and not the old Mosaic Covenant that has expired and has been abolished. We therefore do not live by the Law of Moses anymore, like Jesus and the Jews did. We are no longer bound by the ordinances of the old covenant and its regulations. The Apostles of the Lord made it clear that going back to keep the Law, which Jesus kept in his lifetime, was going back to the bondage his death was meant to deliver us from. It is tantamount to falling from grace. The Law has served its purpose and has been abolished. To attempt to go back to it is to attempt to place oneself under a curse! Rather than looking backward to the Law for spiritual guidance and direction in matters of the faith, we’re to look to the Apostolic teachings and writings for spiritual guidance, for the original apostles of the Lord are the foundation of the Christian faith, not Moses and his Law!

Colossians 2:6 As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him,

Colossians 2:7 rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.

Colossians 2:8 Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.

Colossians 2:9 For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily;

Colossians 2:10 and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.

Colossians 2:11 In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ,

Colossians 2:12 buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.

Colossians 2:13 And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses,

Colossians 2:14 having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.

Colossians 2:15 Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.

Colossians 2:16 So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths,

Colossians 2:17 which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ.

Colossians 2:18 Let no one cheat you of your reward, taking delight in false humility and worship of angels, intruding into those things which he has not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,

Colossians 2:19 and not holding fast to the Head, from whom all the body, nourished and knit together by joints and ligaments, grows with the increase that is from God.

Colossians 2:20 Therefore, if you died with Christ from the basic principles of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations—

Colossians 2:21 “Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle,”

Colossians 2:22 which all concern things which perish with the using—according to the commandments and doctrines of men?

Colossians 2:23 These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh.

Romans 7:1 Or do you not know, brethren (for I speak to those who know the law), that the law has dominion over a man as long as he lives?

Romans 7:2 For the woman who has a husband is bound by the law to her husband as long as he lives. But if the husband dies, she is released from the law of her husband.

Romans 7:3 So then if, while her husband lives, she marries another man, she will be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from that law, so that she is no adulteress, though she has married another man.

Romans 7:4 Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another—to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God.

Romans 7:5 For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions which were aroused by the law were at work in our members to bear fruit to death.

Romans 7:6 But now we have been delivered from the law, having died to what we were held by, so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter.

Romans 6:14 For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.

Ephesians 2:10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

Ephesians 2:11 Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh—who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands—

Ephesians 2:12 that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.

Ephesians 2:13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

Ephesians 2:14 For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation,

Ephesians 2:15 having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace,

Ephesians 2:16 and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity.

Ephesians 2:17 And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near.

Ephesians 2:18 For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.

Galatians 3:23 But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed.

Galatians 3:24 Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith.

Galatians 3:25 But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.

Galatians 3:26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.

Galatians 4:1 Now I say that the heir, as long as he is a child, does not differ at all from a slave, though he is master of all,

Galatians 4:2 but is under guardians and stewards until the time appointed by the father.

Galatians 4:3 Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world.

Galatians 4:4 But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law,

Galatians 4:5 to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.

Galatians 4:6 And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!”

Galatians 4:7 Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

Galatians 4:8 But then, indeed, when you did not know God, you served those which by nature are not gods.

Galatians 4:9 But now after you have known God, or rather are known by God, how is it that you turn again to the weak and beggarly elements, to which you desire again to be in bondage?

Galatians 4:10 You observe days and months and seasons and years.

Galatians 4:11 I am afraid for you, lest I have labored for you in vain.

Galatians 4:21 Tell me, you who desire to be under the law, do you not hear the law?

Galatians 4:22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons: the one by a bondwoman, the other by a freewoman.

Galatians 4:23 But he who was of the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and he of the freewoman through promise,

Galatians 4:24 which things are symbolic. For these are the two covenants: the one from Mount Sinai which gives birth to bondage, which is Hagar—

Galatians 4:25 for this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and corresponds to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children—

Galatians 4:26 but the Jerusalem above is free, which is the mother of us all.

Galatians 4:27 For it is written:
“Rejoice, O barren,
You who do not bear!
Break forth and shout,
You who are not in labor!
For the desolate has many more children
Than she who has a husband.”

Galatians 4:28 Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are children of promise.

Galatians 4:29 But, as he who was born according to the flesh then persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, even so it is now.

Galatians 4:30 Nevertheless what does the Scripture say? “Cast out the bondwoman and her son, for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.”

Galatians 4:31 So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman but of the free.

Galatians 3:10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them.”

Galatians 3:11 But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for “the just shall live by faith.”

Galatians 3:12 Yet the law is not of faith, but “the man who does them shall live by them.”

Galatians 3:13 Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”),

Galatians 3:14 that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

Galatians 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.

Galatians 5:2 Indeed I, Paul, say to you that if you become circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing.

Galatians 5:3 And I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised that he is a debtor to keep the whole law.

Galatians 5:4 You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.

Galatians 5:5 For we through the Spirit eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.

Galatians 5:6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love.

Galatians 5:7 You ran well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth?

Galatians 5:8 This persuasion does not come from Him who calls you.

Galatians 5:9 A little leaven leavens the whole lump.

Galatians 5:10 I have confidence in you, in the Lord, that you will have no other mind; but he who troubles you shall bear his judgment, whoever he is.

Galatians 5:11 And I, brethren, if I still preach circumcision, why do I still suffer persecution? Then the offense of the cross has ceased.

Galatians 5:12 I could wish that those who trouble you would even cut themselves off!

Galatians 5:13 For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.

Galatians 5:14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

Galatians 5:15 But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another!

Galatians 5:16 Walking in the Spirit
I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.

Galatians 5:17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.

Galatians 5:18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

Hebrews 8:1 Now this is the main point of the things we are saying: We have such a High Priest, who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens,

Hebrews 8:2 a Minister of the sanctuary and of the true tabernacle which the Lord erected, and not man.

Hebrews 8:3 For every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices. Therefore it is necessary that this One also have something to offer.

Hebrews 8:4 For if He were on earth, He would not be a priest, since there are priests who offer the gifts according to the law;

Hebrews 8:5 who serve the copy and shadow of the heavenly things, as Moses was divinely instructed when he was about to make the tabernacle. For He said, “See that you make all things according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.”

Hebrews 8:6 But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises.

Hebrews 8:7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second.

Hebrews 8:8 Because finding fault with them, He says: “Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah—

Hebrews 8:9 not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they did not continue in My covenant, and I disregarded them, says the Lord.

Hebrews 8:10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.

Hebrews 8:11 None of them shall teach his neighbor, and none his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them.

Hebrews 8:12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”

Hebrews 8:13 In that He says, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.

Hebrews 9:13 For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh,

Hebrews 9:14 how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

Hebrews 9:15 And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.

Hebrews 9:16 For where there is a testament, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator.

Matthew 26:26 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.”

Matthew 26:27 Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you.

Matthew 26:28 For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

Matthew 26:29 But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.”

In conclusion, in his incarnation, the Lord Jesus Christ was born a Jew, and lived in strict obedience to the Mosaic Law all his life. He upheld, lived and fulfilled the Law like no man had ever done (or could ever do), being perfect and sinless. As a minister to the Jews, Jesus taught and expounded the Law of Moses to his Jewish followers, magnifying the Law and making it more honourable, by focusing on its spirit rather than its letter only. He also taught his Jewish disciples to uphold the Law and teach others to do same. So, Jesus was born a Jew, lived as a Jew, ministered to Jews and died as a Jew. Although Jesus lived under the Law in his lifetime, by his death he abolished the Law and the old covenant, establishing a new covenant that was ratified by his blood that was shed at Calvary. His death thus delivered and liberated his people from the bondage of the Law, and translated them into the glorious liberty of the children of God. Thus, believers in Christ are no longer subject to the Law and its ordinances. They are no longer required to keep the precepts and ordinances of the Mosaic Covenant, though Christ himself observed and kept them, as a faithful Jew. Thus, Christians are to operate under the new covenant of grace, and not under the principles of Judaism which regulated Christ’s life during his earthly ministry. We are therefore not to follow Christ’s footsteps in keeping the Law of Moses which has been abolished and replaced by the Law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus. The terms and conditions of the new covenant (which forms the basis of conduct, order and doctrine for Christians) are to be found in the Apostolic writings. Christians do not therefore follow the Lord Jesus to go back to the Old Testament for spiritual guidance and light, but look to the New Testament which Christ has established, for superior light and revelation of God. Jesus was a Jew but Christians are not Jews, and we are not to live under the Jewish code!

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Is Circumcision Of Male Infants Still A Mandatory Religious Obligation For Christians?

(All Bible quotations, except otherwise stated, are from the New International Version).

Circumcision was the seal of the covenant God made with Abraham and his descendants. Under this covenant, all male descendants of Abraham (including slaves born in his house and those bought with his money) were to be circumcised on the eighth day of life. Any descendant of Abraham who was not circumcised was to be cut off from his people. In fact, Abraham himself had to be circumcised when he was 99 years old, to seal this covenant between him and God. Consequently, circumcision was made a cardinal part of the Mosaic covenant, and no uncircumcised person was to appear in God’s house, or partake of the sacred feasts of the Lord in the Old Testament. Gentiles who wanted to be admitted into the Jewish faith had to be circumcised as a prerequisite. In fact, circumcision was such a fundamental part of Jewish theology that no true Jew would enter the house of an uncircumcised person or eat with them. To associate closely with uncircumcised people was a taboo for the Jews. Thus, an uncircumcised person was considered an outcast by God and his people in the Old Testament.

Genesis 17:1 When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to him and said, “I am God Almighty ; walk before me faithfully and be blameless.

Genesis 17:2 Then I will make my covenant between me and you and will greatly increase your numbers.”

Genesis 17:3 Abram fell facedown, and God said to him,

Genesis 17:4 “As for me, this is my covenant with you: You will be the father of many nations.

Genesis 17:5 No longer will you be called Abram ; your name will be Abraham, for I have made you a father of many nations.

Genesis 17:6 I will make you very fruitful; I will make nations of you, and kings will come from you.

Genesis 17:7 I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you.

Genesis 17:8 The whole land of Canaan, where you now reside as a foreigner, I will give as an everlasting possession to you and your descendants after you; and I will be their God.”

Genesis 17:9 Then God said to Abraham, “As for you, you must keep my covenant, you and your descendants after you for the generations to come.

Genesis 17:10 This is my covenant with you and your descendants after you, the covenant you are to keep: Every male among you shall be circumcised.

Genesis 17:11 You are to undergo circumcision, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and you.

Genesis 17:12 For the generations to come every male among you who is eight days old must be circumcised, including those born in your household or bought with money from a foreigner —those who are not your offspring.

Genesis 17:13 Whether born in your household or bought with your money, they must be circumcised. My covenant in your flesh is to be an everlasting covenant.

Genesis 17:14 Any uncircumcised male, who has not been circumcised in the flesh, will be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant.”

Genesis 17:22 When he had finished speaking with Abraham, God went up from him.

Genesis 17:23 On that very day Abraham took his son Ishmael and all those born in his household or bought with his money, every male in his household, and circumcised them, as God told him.

Genesis 17:24 Abraham was ninety-nine years old when he was circumcised,

Genesis 17:25 and his son Ishmael was thirteen;

Genesis 17:26 Abraham and his son Ishmael were both circumcised on that very day.

Genesis 17:27 And every male in Abraham’s household, including those born in his household or bought from a foreigner, was circumcised with him.

Leviticus 12:1 The LORD said to Moses,

Leviticus 12:2 “Say to the Israelites: ’A woman who becomes pregnant and gives birth to a son will be ceremonially unclean for seven days, just as she is unclean during her monthly period.

Leviticus 12:3 On the eighth day the boy is to be circumcised.

Exodus 12:43 The LORD said to Moses and Aaron, “These are the regulations for the Passover meal: “No foreigner may eat it.

Exodus 12:44 Any slave you have bought may eat it after you have circumcised him,

Exodus 12:45 but a temporary resident or a hired worker may not eat it.

Exodus 12:46 “It must be eaten inside the house; take none of the meat outside the house. Do not break any of the bones.

Exodus 12:47 The whole community of Israel must celebrate it.

Exodus 12:48 “A foreigner residing among you who wants to celebrate the LORD’s Passover must have all the males in his household circumcised; then he may take part like one born in the land. No uncircumcised male may eat it.

Exodus 12:49 The same law applies both to the native-born and to the foreigner residing among you.”

Exodus 12:50 All the Israelites did just what the LORD had commanded Moses and Aaron.

Exodus 12:51 And on that very day the LORD brought the Israelites out of Egypt by their divisions.

The Acts 10:25 As Peter entered the house, Cornelius met him and fell at his feet in reverence.

The Acts 10:26 But Peter made him get up. “Stand up,” he said, “I am only a man myself.”

The Acts 10:27 While talking with him, Peter went inside and found a large gathering of people.

The Acts 10:28 He said to them: “You are well aware that it is against our law for a Jew to associate with or visit a Gentile. But God has shown me that I should not call anyone impure or unclean.

The Acts 11:1 The apostles and the believers throughout Judea heard that the Gentiles also had received the word of God.

The Acts 11:2 So when Peter went up to Jerusalem, the circumcised believers criticized him

The Acts 11:3 and said, “You went into the house of uncircumcised men and ate with them.”

Galatians 2:11 When Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned.

Galatians 2:12 For before certain men came from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles. But when they arrived, he began to draw back and separate himself from the Gentiles because he was afraid of those who belonged to the circumcision group.

Galatians 2:13 The other Jews joined him in his hypocrisy, so that by their hypocrisy even Barnabas was led astray.

The Jews continued to have such disdain for the uncircumcised until after the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. With the birth of the church on the day of Pentecost, the gospel was carried by Jewish believers to non-Jews. With the acceptance of the gospel by the Gentiles, the divisive issue of circumcision had to be dealt with, as it threatened to tear apart the early church. After Paul and Barnabas had preached the gospel to some Gentiles and witnessed a large conversion among them, some Jewish believers insisted the new Gentile believers must be circumcised and made to keep the Mosaic Law before they could be saved. This generated a huge controversy which had to be settled by the Apostles in the first church council in Jerusalem. In that historic church council, the Apostles unanimously agreed that circumcision was not necessary for Gentiles who were turning to Christ. Not only that, it was also agreed in that council that with the exception of a few provisions, observance of the Mosaic law was not necessary for Gentile Christians. This council thus abolished circumcision as a mandatory religious requirement for acceptance before God. The Apostles made it clear that being uncircumcised was no longer an abomination before God. It was no longer a ground for rejection by God and God’s people.

The Acts 15:1 Certain people came down from Judea to Antioch and were teaching the believers: “Unless you are circumcised, according to the custom taught by Moses, you cannot be saved.”

The Acts 15:2 This brought Paul and Barnabas into sharp dispute and debate with them. So Paul and Barnabas were appointed, along with some other believers, to go up to Jerusalem to see the apostles and elders about this question.

The Acts 15:3 The church sent them on their way, and as they traveled through Phoenicia and Samaria, they told how the Gentiles had been converted. This news made all the believers very glad.

The Acts 15:4 When they came to Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the church and the apostles and elders, to whom they reported everything God had done through them.

The Acts 15:5 Then some of the believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees stood up and said, “The Gentiles must be circumcised and required to keep the law of Moses.”

The Acts 15:6 The apostles and elders met to consider this question.

The Acts 15:7 After much discussion, Peter got up and addressed them: “Brothers, you know that some time ago God made a choice among you that the Gentiles might hear from my lips the message of the gospel and believe.

The Acts 15:8 God, who knows the heart, showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as he did to us.

The Acts 15:9 He did not discriminate between us and them, for he purified their hearts by faith.

The Acts 15:10 Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of Gentiles a yoke that neither we nor our ancestors have been able to bear?

The Acts 15:11 No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are.”

The Acts 15:12 The whole assembly became silent as they listened to Barnabas and Paul telling about the signs and wonders God had done among the Gentiles through them.

The Acts 15:13 When they finished, James spoke up. “Brothers,” he said, “listen to me.

The Acts 15:14 Simon has described to us how God first intervened to choose a people for his name from the Gentiles.

The Acts 15:15 The words of the prophets are in agreement with this, as it is written:

The Acts 15:16 “’After this I will return and rebuild David’s fallen tent. Its ruins I will rebuild, and I will restore it,

The Acts 15:17 that the rest of mankind may seek the Lord, even all the Gentiles who bear my name, says the Lord, who does these things’ —

The Acts 15:18 things known from long ago.

The Acts 15:19 “It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God.

The Acts 15:20 Instead we should write to them, telling them to abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood.

The Acts 15:21 For the law of Moses has been preached in every city from the earliest times and is read in the synagogues on every Sabbath.”

The Acts 15:22 Then the apostles and elders, with the whole church, decided to choose some of their own men and send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. They chose Judas (called Barsabbas) and Silas, men who were leaders among the believers.

The Acts 15:23 With them they sent the following letter: The apostles and elders, your brothers, To the Gentile believers in Antioch, Syria and Cilicia: Greetings.

The Acts 15:24 We have heard that some went out from us without our authorization and disturbed you, troubling your minds by what they said.

The Acts 15:25 So we all agreed to choose some men and send them to you with our dear friends Barnabas and Paul —

The Acts 15:26 men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The Acts 15:27 Therefore we are sending Judas and Silas to confirm by word of mouth what we are writing.

The Acts 15:28 It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements:

The Acts 15:29 You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality. You will do well to avoid these things. Farewell.

Paul took the issue of circumcision a notch higher, by teaching that those who insisted on being circumcised on religious grounds in order to gain acceptance with God had actually fallen from grace. The Apostle to the Gentiles maintained that the observance of that cardinal part of the Mosaic law was tantamount to denying the grace of God in salvation, through faith in Christ Jesus. It was attempting to mix law with grace. People who do that are actually deemed to be denying the Lord and seeking to go back to the curse and bondage of the law. Paul was emphatic in warning Gentile believers to resist the pressure to be circumcised as a seal or sign of approval with God, as required by the law of Moses. Paul’s greatest fight was with Judaizers who wanted to bring Gentile believers under the yoke of slavery as represented by the Mosaic law. The law plus grace theology was the first corruption of the gospel, which Paul called “another gospel”. It was considered a perversion of the gospel of grace, and all those propagating it are placed under a curse! Paul was relentless in calling on Gentile believers to reject such a perverted gospel, and to hold unto the grace of God in Christ Jesus, as the law of Moses (including the requirement of circumcision) was a curse and a bondage which should be avoided at all costs!

Galatians 5:1 It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

Galatians 5:2 Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all.

Galatians 5:3 Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law.

Galatians 5:4 You who are trying to be justified by the law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.

Galatians 5:5 For through the Spirit we eagerly await by faith the righteousness for which we hope.

Galatians 5:6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.

Galatians 5:7 You were running a good race. Who cut in on you to keep you from obeying the truth?

Galatians 5:8 That kind of persuasion does not come from the one who calls you.

Galatians 5:9 “A little yeast works through the whole batch of dough.”

Galatians 5:10 I am confident in the Lord that you will take no other view. The one who is throwing you into confusion, whoever that may be, will have to pay the penalty.

Galatians 5:11 Brothers and sisters, if I am still preaching circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been abolished.

Galatians 5:12 As for those agitators, I wish they would go the whole way and emasculate themselves!

Galatians 6:12 Those who want to impress people by means of the flesh are trying to compel you to be circumcised. The only reason they do this is to avoid being persecuted for the cross of Christ.

Galatians 6:13 Not even those who are circumcised keep the law, yet they want you to be circumcised that they may boast about your circumcision in the flesh.

Galatians 6:14 May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

Galatians 6:15 Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is the new creation.

Galatians 2:3 Yet not even Titus, who was with me, was compelled to be circumcised, even though he was a Greek.

Galatians 2:4 This matter arose because some false believers had infiltrated our ranks to spy on the freedom we have in Christ Jesus and to make us slaves.

Galatians 2:5 We did not give in to them for a moment, so that the truth of the gospel might be preserved for you.

Galatians 1:6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel —

Galatians 1:7 which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ.

Galatians 1:8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse!

Galatians 1:9 As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse!

Galatians 1:10 Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.

Galatians 3:10 For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse, as it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.”

Galatians 3:11 Clearly no one who relies on the law is justified before God, because “the righteous will live by faith.”

Galatians 3:12 The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, it says, “The person who does these things will live by them.”

Galatians 3:13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole.”

Galatians 3:14 He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.

Thus, Gentile believers are no longer under any obligation to circumcise their male infants as a religious duty, as circumcision of the flesh (the foreskin) is no longer a seal of God’s approval. The circumcision that matters now is that of the heart, by the Holy Spirit, who is now the seal of God for believers in Christ Jesus. The true sons of God are now identified, not by the circumcision of their foreskins, but by the fruits of the spiritual circumcision, for as many as are led by the Spirit of God are the sons of God. To glory in circumcision of the foreskin is to glory in the flesh. We’re not to know any man any longer after the flesh. He that glories now should glory in the Lord. In Christ Jesus, circumcision does not avail anything. What matters now is the keeping of the word of God. It is faith which works through love that’s important, not the mutilation of the flesh. Anyone who so lives is approved of God, irrespective of the status of his foreskin. What is an abomination to God now is the uncircumcision of the heart. It is those with uncircumcised hearts and ears that God opposes and resists now, because they oppose and resist his will, and can never please him, being carnal and unspiritual.

Romans 2:28 A person is not a Jew who is one only outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical.

Romans 2:29 No, a person is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a person’s praise is not from other people, but from God.

Colossians 2:8 See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.

Colossians 2:9 For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form,

Colossians 2:10 and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority.

Colossians 2:11 In him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not performed by human hands. Your whole self ruled by the flesh was put off when you were circumcised by Christ,

Colossians 2:12 having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.

Colossians 2:13 When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins,

Colossians 2:14 having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross.

Colossians 2:15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.

1 Corinthians 7:17 Nevertheless, each person should live as a believer in whatever situation the Lord has assigned to them, just as God has called them. This is the rule I lay down in all the churches.

1 Corinthians 7:18 Was a man already circumcised when he was called? He should not become uncircumcised. Was a man uncircumcised when he was called? He should not be circumcised.

1 Corinthians 7:19 Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing. Keeping God’s commands is what counts.

1 Corinthians 7:20 Each person should remain in the situation they were in when God called them.

Galatians 5:6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.

Philippians 3:1 Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you, to me indeed is not grievous, but for you it is safe.

Philippians 3:2 Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision.

Philippians 3:3 For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh (AKJV).

Ephesians 4:30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption (AKJV).

2 Corinthians 5:14 For the love of Christ constrains us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead:

2 Corinthians 5:15 And that he died for all, that they which live should not from now on live to themselves, but to him which died for them, and rose again.

2 Corinthians 5:16 Why from now on know we no man after the flesh: yes, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now from now on know we him no more.

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

2 Corinthians 5:18 And all things are of God, who has reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and has given to us the ministry of reconciliation;

Romans 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God (AKJV).

1 Corinthians 1:27 But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God has chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;

1 Corinthians 1:28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, has God chosen, yes, and things which are not, to bring to nothing things that are:

1 Corinthians 1:29 That no flesh should glory in his presence.

1 Corinthians 1:30 But of him are you in Christ Jesus, who of God is made to us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:

1 Corinthians 1:31 That, according as it is written, He that glories, let him glory in the Lord (AKJV).

The Acts 7:51 “You stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always resist the Holy Spirit; as your fathers did, so do you (NKJV).

Romans 8:5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.

Romans 8:6 For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

Romans 8:7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be.

Romans 8:8 So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God (NKJV).

In conclusion, circumcision started with Abraham, as a seal of the covenant between him and God, and was mandated for every male descendant of Abraham, including slaves born in his house and those bought with his money. Any uncircumcised male descendant of Abraham was to be cut off from his people. The Jews continued to detest and avoid close interaction with all uncircumcised people, until the birth of the church, after the ascension of Christ. With the coming into the church of Gentiles who were never under the Mosaic law, it was agreed by the original Apostles of the Lord that Gentile believers did not need to be circumcised before they could be saved. Paul made it very clear that circumcision of the foreskin does not matter anymore, and has been supplanted by the circumcision of the heart by the Holy Spirit, which is achieved by the new birth experience. Thus, the seal of God’s approval is no longer the circumcision of the flesh but the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, Christians are no longer required to circumcise their male infants on religious grounds, as circumcision is no longer a religious obligation nor a seal of the new covenant in Christ Jesus. Embracing circumcision on religious grounds now is considered placing oneself back under the bondage of the law of Moses, and a falling away from the grace of God in Christ Jesus.

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Confession Of Sins Should Be Directly To God, As Only He Can Forgive Sins: A Rebuttal Of The Doctrine Of Auricular Confession Of Sins To Priests

Sin entered into the world from the fall of man, and has affected every man’s relationship with God ever since. Part of God’s requirements for admitting fallen mankind back into his presence is for sinful humanity to acknowledge and confess their sins in order to obtain mercy and forgiveness from God. The Bible tells us that whoever covers his sins shall not prosper, but he that confesses and forsakes them shall obtain mercy. The Scripture also reminds us that if we claim to have no sin, we make God a liar and the truth is not us; but if we acknowledge and confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Thus, confession of sins is a necessary prerequisite for God’s forgiveness. Without sinful man acknowledging and confessing his sins, there can be no mercy and no forgiveness from God. That’s what the Bible teaches.

Proverbs 28:13 Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy (NIV).

1 John 1:8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.

1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

1 John 1:10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us (NIV).

From the very beginning, the prerequisite for sinful man to approach a holy God has been the offering of an acceptable atoning sacrifice (to appease God), followed by confession of sins to God. Confessions of sins from the beginning were always made directly to God. Only God can forgive sins, and thus only he has the right to listen to confessions of man’s guilt and sin. In the Old Testament, we see God’s people approaching his presence and confessing their sins directly to him, without passing through an intermediary. Yes, prophets and high priests could intercede for the entire nation and confess the people’s sins to God for forgiveness and mercy; however, the people never confessed their sins to God through prophets or priests. Personal confessions of sins were made directly to God, after presenting the right atoning sacrifice.

Joshua 7:19 Now Joshua said to Achan, “My son, I beg you, give glory to the Lord God of Israel, and make confession to Him, and tell me now what you have done; do not hide it from me.” (NKJV).

Ezra 10:9 So all the men of Judah and Benjamin gathered at Jerusalem within three days. It was the ninth month, on the twentieth of the month; and all the people sat in the open square of the house of God, trembling because of this matter and because of heavy rain.

Ezra 10:10 Then Ezra the priest stood up and said to them, “You have transgressed and have taken pagan wives, adding to the guilt of Israel.

Ezra 10:11 Now therefore, make confession to the Lord God of your fathers, and do His will; separate yourselves from the peoples of the land, and from the pagan wives.”

Ezra 10:12 Then all the assembly answered and said with a loud voice, “Yes! As you have said, so we must do (NKJV).

Daniel 9:4 And I prayed to the Lord my God, and made confession, and said, “O Lord, great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant and mercy with those who love Him, and with those who keep His commandments,

Daniel 9:5 we have sinned and committed iniquity, we have done wickedly and rebelled, even by departing from Your precepts and Your judgments.

Daniel 9:6 Neither have we heeded Your servants the prophets, who spoke in Your name to our kings and our princes, to our fathers and all the people of the land.

Daniel 9:7 O Lord, righteousness belongs to You, but to us shame of face, as it is this day—to the men of Judah, to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and all Israel, those near and those far off in all the countries to which You have driven them, because of the unfaithfulness which they have committed against You.

Daniel 9:8 “O Lord, to us belongs shame of face, to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, because we have sinned against You.

Daniel 9:9 To the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness, though we have rebelled against Him.

Daniel 9:10 We have not obeyed the voice of the Lord our God, to walk in His laws, which He set before us by His servants the prophets.

Daniel 9:11 Yes, all Israel has transgressed Your law, and has departed so as not to obey Your voice; therefore the curse and the oath written in the Law of Moses the servant of God have been poured out on us, because we have sinned against Him (NKJV).

Psalms 32:1 Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.

Psalms 32:2 Blessed is the one whose sin the LORD does not count against them and in whose spirit is no deceit.

Psalms 32:3 When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long.

Psalms 32:4 For day and night your hand was heavy on me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer.

Psalms 32:5 Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD.” And you forgave the guilt of my sin.

Psalms 32:6 Therefore let all the faithful pray to you while you may be found; surely the rising of the mighty waters will not reach them.

Psalms 32:7 You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance (NIV).

St. Mark 2:7 “Why does this fellow talk like that? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” (NIV).

In the New Testament, believers are still required to approach God personally, with the required sacrifice to present now being the blood of Jesus Christ. We are to call upon the name of the Lord in salvation, believing in him with our heart and making confessions unto him, with our mouth, following repentance. Every knee is to bow before God, and every tongue is to confess to him. In the model prayer the Lord Jesus taught his disciples, he enjoined us to pray directly to God, our heavenly father. In that prayer guide, the Lord instructed us to ask God directly for forgiveness of sins, as we confess our sins directly to him. The only person we’re to pass through to approach God, both in prayer and in confession of sins, is the Lord Jesus Christ, the only mediator between God and mankind. We approach God and present our petitions (including our confessions) to him through Jesus Christ only.

Romans 10:9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.

Romans 10:10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

Romans 10:11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” (NKJV).

Romans 14:10 But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.

Romans 14:11 For it is written:
“As I live, says the Lord,
Every knee shall bow to Me,
And every tongue shall confess to God.”

Romans 14:12 So then each of us shall give account of himself to God (NKJV).

St. Matthew 6:9 “This, then, is how you should pray: “’Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,

St. Matthew 6:10 your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

St. Matthew 6:11 Give us today our daily bread.

St. Matthew 6:12 And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.

St. Matthew 6:13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. ’

St. Matthew 6:14 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.

St. Matthew 6:15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins (NIV).

1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus,

1 Timothy 2:6 who gave himself as a ransom for all people. This has now been witnessed to at the proper time (NIV).

John 14:12 Truly, truly, I say to you, He that believes on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go to my Father.

John 14:13 And whatever you shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

John 14:14 If you shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it (AKJV).

For offences committed against our fellow men, Scripture requires us to confess such to them and seek forgiveness from them. If you sin against your brother or sister, you’re to confess such sins to the person you offended, as you ask for their forgiveness. Jesus taught his disciples to always seek reconciliation with people they’re not in good terms with. Part of that reconciliatory process involves confessing sins and faults to people we’ve offended. The Apostle James encouraged us in his epistle to confess our faults to one another (whenever we offend one another) and to pray for one another for healing. Thus, the only occasion we’re required to confess sins or faults to a fellow human being is when we directly sin against them or offend them. In such cases, as soon as we realise our faults or are confronted with them, we should apologise and acknowledge our wrong doing. For sins against God, we’re to confess them to God, and for sins against man, we’re to confess them to man.

St. Luke 17:3 So watch yourselves. “If your brother or sister sins against you, rebuke them; and if they repent, forgive them.

St. Luke 17:4 Even if they sin against you seven times in a day and seven times come back to you saying ’I repent,’ you must forgive them.” (NIV).

St. Matthew 5:23 “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you,

St. Matthew 5:24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift (NIV).

James 5:14 Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord.

James 5:15 And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven.

James 5:16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective (NIV).

After his resurrection, Jesus appeared to his disciples and empowered them to both remit and retain certain sins, as leaders of his church. This mandate given to the original Apostles of the Lord has generated unnecessary confusion as to the powers men of God wield in forgiving or retaining sins. Let’s look at this portion of Scripture in John’s gospel carefully, and try to analyse it in context, to understand the Lord’s intention and how the Apostles understood it.

St. John 20:19 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”

St. John 20:20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.

St. John 20:21 Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”

St. John 20:22 And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.

St. John 20:23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” (NIV).

Some denominations have latched onto this portion of Scripture quoted above to empower priests to listen to people’s confessions of sins and to offer forgiveness on God’s behalf, claiming the Apostolic authority derived from the mandate given to the original Apostles on that occasion after Christ’s resurrection. Thus, such denominations have foreclosed direct confessions of sins to God, making priests intermediaries between God and the people. The laity in such churches must confess their sins to the clergy before they can receive pardon for such sins. Such pardons are usually pronounced by the clergy on behalf of God! Even the Levitical priesthood under the Law wasn’t this restrictive in granting the people access to God! Under the law, the people could still confess their sins directly to God and obtain pardon directly from him. Why then should God’s children who are supposed to enjoy the extravagant liberty of sonship under grace be so muzzled and restrained? Why should any New Testament church deny people direct access to God?

Let it be stated categorically here that the original Apostles of the Lord to whom that instruction was given did not interpret it to mean they were now to become mediators between God and men. They didn’t interpret that mandate to mean they now had the authority to admit auricular confessions of sins and to forgive sins (or refuse to do so) on God’s behalf. Those Apostles of the Lord still taught that there was only one mediator between God and mankind, and that confessions of sins should be made to God and not to man, as we find in their epistles written years after that post-resurrection mandate was given to them.

1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus,

1 Timothy 2:6 who gave himself as a ransom for all people. This has now been witnessed to at the proper time (NIV).

Hebrews 7:24 but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood.

Hebrews 7:25 Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.

Hebrews 7:26 Such a high priest truly meets our need —one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens (NIV).

If the Apostles understood that mandate not to mean their authorisation to stand in God’s place to both admit confession of sins and offer forgiveness of sins, what then was the mandate they were given by the Lord? To answer this question, let’s examine a similar instance where the Lord had given the disciples such powers to forgive or retain sins before. We find that example in the power of the church to either forgive an erring believer or to cast out an unrepentant one who had sinned and refused to repent, even when confronted by the church government. When church leaders sit in judgement to adjudicate disputes between believers, they have the power and authority to pardon repentant offenders or excommunicate unrepentant ones. In such situations, the government of the church can forgive or retain sins. The church government has such authority only in judging those within their jurisdiction who stand in judgement before them for gross sins that are capable of tarnishing the image of the church, or for rebellion/heresy. It’s not a universal power to forgive or retain the sins of all men.

St. Matthew 18:15 “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over.

St. Matthew 18:16 But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ’every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’

St. Matthew 18:17 If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.

St. Matthew 18:18 “Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.

St. Matthew 18:19 “Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.

St. Matthew 18:20 For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” (NIV).

1 Corinthians 5:1 It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that even pagans do not tolerate: A man is sleeping with his father’s wife.

1 Corinthians 5:2 And you are proud! Shouldn’t you rather have gone into mourning and have put out of your fellowship the man who has been doing this?

1 Corinthians 5:3 For my part, even though I am not physically present, I am with you in spirit. As one who is present with you in this way, I have already passed judgment in the name of our Lord Jesus on the one who has been doing this.

1 Corinthians 5:4 So when you are assembled and I am with you in spirit, and the power of our Lord Jesus is present,

1 Corinthians 5:5 hand this man over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved on the day of the Lord.

1 Corinthians 5:6 Your boasting is not good. Don’t you know that a little yeast leavens the whole batch of dough?

1 Corinthians 5:7 Get rid of the old yeast, so that you may be a new unleavened batch—as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.

1 Corinthians 5:8 Therefore let us keep the Festival, not with the old bread leavened with malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

1 Corinthians 5:9 I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people —

1 Corinthians 5:10 not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world.

1 Corinthians 5:11 But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people.

1 Corinthians 5:12 What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside?

1 Corinthians 5:13 God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked person from among you.” (NIV).

1 Corinthians 6:1 If any of you has a dispute with another, do you dare to take it before the ungodly for judgment instead of before the Lord’s people?

1 Corinthians 6:2 Or do you not know that the Lord’s people will judge the world? And if you are to judge the world, are you not competent to judge trivial cases?

1 Corinthians 6:3 Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more the things of this life!

1 Corinthians 6:4 Therefore, if you have disputes about such matters, do you ask for a ruling from those whose way of life is scorned in the church?

1 Corinthians 6:5 I say this to shame you. Is it possible that there is nobody among you wise enough to judge a dispute between believers?

1 Corinthians 6:6 But instead, one brother takes another to court —and this in front of unbelievers! (NIV).

Titus 3:10 Reject a divisive man after the first and second admonition,

Titus 3:11 knowing that such a person is warped and sinning, being self-condemned (NKJV).

If the original Apostles of the Lord did not stand in the place of Christ to hear confessions of sins and claim to forgive same, where did this doctrine come from? If Christ’s original apostles taught of the priesthood of all believers and the birthright of every child of God to approach God directly (for both confession of sins and supplications), without the need of human intermediaries, how come some churches insist on dividing the body of Christ into a holy clergy (alone qualified to approach God) and an unholy laity that are forbidden to approach God on their own? This reversion to the Old Testament Levitical priesthood (or even worse) is recorded in the book of Revelation as one of the damnable heresies sneaked into the church by demon-inspired teachers. It’s called the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes. The word “Nicolaitanes” is derived from two Greek roots, “Nicos” (meaning to conquer), and “laos”, (meaning the people or laity). It’s a doctrine designed to create a priviledged class of believers (holy priests) who alone are deemed worthy to approach God, through conquering or subduing the rest of the believers (laity). This doctrine thus divides the body of Christ into two- a holy clergy consisting of priests who have priviledged access to God, and an unholy laity who are subdued and prevented from accessing God on their own. The doctrine of the Nicolaitanes is hated by the Lord and is satanic in origin. For the avoidance of doubt, there is no special class of believers who alone have the priestly right to approach God on behalf of others. All believers in Christ are priests unto God, and all have the right to approach God on their own, through our common high priest Jesus Christ. To teach and practise otherwise is to teach and practise a demon-inspired lie. The doctrine of the Nicolaitanes is indeed a damnable heresy. Believing in it is a sure sign of departing from the true faith and giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils!

Revelation 1:4 John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be to you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne;

Revelation 1:5 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. To him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,

Revelation 1:6 And has made us kings and priests to God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen (AKJV).

Revelation 5:5 But one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep. Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the scroll and to loose its seven seals.”

Revelation 5:6 And I looked, and behold, in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as though it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent out into all the earth.

Revelation 5:7 Then He came and took the scroll out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne.

Revelation 5:8 Worthy Is the Lamb
Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.

Revelation 5:9 And they sang a new song, saying:
“You are worthy to take the scroll,
And to open its seals;
For You were slain,
And have redeemed us to God by Your blood
Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation,

Revelation 5:10 And have made us kings and priests to our God;
And we shall reign on the earth.” (NKJV).

1 Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that you should show forth the praises of him who has called you out of darkness into his marvelous light;

1 Peter 2:10 Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.

Revelation 2:6 But this you have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitanes, which I also hate.

Revelation 2:14 But I have a few things against you, because you have there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit fornication.

Revelation 2:15 So have you also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes, which thing I hate.

Revelation 2:16 Repent; or else I will come to you quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.

1 Timothy 4:1 The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.

1 Timothy 4:2 Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron (NIV).

In conclusion, after the fall of man, God designed that sinful mankind could only be reconciled back to him through the offering of an acceptable atoning sacrifice, coupled with the acknowledgement and confession of personal sins. From the very beginning, confessions of sins were made directly to God, as only he can forgive sins. Even under the Law where the Levitical priesthood acted as an intermediary between God and the people, the people were still required to confess their sins directly to God. Under the new covenant of grace, every believer is a priest unto God, and all can approach him directly by virtue of the blood of Jesus Christ that has opened the way into God’s presence for all believers. We do not need to go through the clergy to approach God, nor do we need to confess sins to the clergy, or obtain God’s forgiveness through them. The doctrine of the necessity of a priviledged, holy clergy, who alone can approach God and are authorised to listen to confessions of sins, is a fallout of the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes, which divided the body of Christ into a holy clergy and an unholy laity. That doctrine is hated by our Lord Jesus Christ, as it is satanic in origin, seeking to take believers back to the yoke of the Law and the Levitical priesthood that the Lord Jesus Christ has delivered us from. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ makes every believer a child of God and a joint heir of God with Christ. We all have unhindered access to God’s presence by the blood of Jesus Christ. We all can pray directly to God and obtain mercy and grace directly from him, without the need of passing through any Nicolaitane priest!

How The Sabbath Has Evolved From A Mandatory Day Of Physical Rest In The Old Testament To An Eternity Of Spiritual Rest In Christ Jesus

(All Bible quotations, except otherwise stated, are from the New International Version.)

According to the Scriptures, God finished creating the heavens and the earth in six days, and rested afterwards on the seventh day. He thereafter blessed the seventh day, sanctified it and declared it a day of rest. When God adopted Israel as his own nation and made a covenant with them on Mount Sinai/Horeb, he included the observance of the rest on the seventh day as part of that covenant, and thus made the seventh day a mandatory day of rest from all servile/secular work for the Jews. The seventh day was declared a Sabbath (which means rest) for God’s people under the Law, and was to be a day dedicated to the worship of God. Any work unrelated to the worship of God was forbidden on the Sabbath day. For the avoidance of doubt, the Sabbath day in the Mosaic Law (the seventh day) is Saturday (the Jewish Sabbath actually started from 6pm on Friday and ended by 6pm on Saturday), as Sunday is the first day of the week. Thus, for the Jews under the Law, the Sabbath as a day of rest dedicated to the worship of God was a divine commandment to be observed strictly. The violation of this fourth commandment in the Mosaic Law was to be punished with death! That’s how serious the issue of the Sabbath was under the Mosaic Covenant!

Genesis 1:31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning —the sixth day.

Genesis 2:1 Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array.

Genesis 2:2 By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work.

Genesis 2:3 Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.

Exodus 20:8 “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.

Exodus 20:9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work,

Exodus 20:10 but the seventh day is a sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns.

Exodus 20:11 For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

Exodus 35:1 Moses assembled the whole Israelite community and said to them, “These are the things the LORD has commanded you to do:

Exodus 35:2 For six days, work is to be done, but the seventh day shall be your holy day, a day of sabbath rest to the LORD. Whoever does any work on it is to be put to death.

Exodus 35:3 Do not light a fire in any of your dwellings on the Sabbath day.”

Numbers 15:32 And while the children of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man gathering sticks upon the sabbath day.

Numbers 15:33 And they that found him gathering sticks brought him unto Moses and Aaron, and unto all the congregation.

Numbers 15:34 And they put him in ward, because it had not been declared what should be done to him.

Numbers 15:35 And Jehovah said unto Moses, The man shall surely be put to death: all the congregation shall stone him with stones without the camp.

Numbers 15:36 And all the congregation brought him without the camp, and stoned him to death with stones; as Jehovah commanded Moses.

By the time the Lord Jesus Christ came on the scene, the Jewish religious leaders had taken the observance of the Sabbath day to ridiculous heights. They hypocritically forbade the doing of even life-saving deeds on the Sabbath day, focusing on the letter rather than the spirit of this law. What God had in mind when he instituted the Sabbath was for man’s good, for man to have a mandatory day of rest each week. It was to give all (but especially slaves and beasts of burden) an opportunity to rest and be refreshed from the labours of the previous six days. Thus, the Sabbath was made for man’s good and welfare, and not the other way round. As Jesus taught, it was in the spirit of the Law to do good on the Sabbath, to heal the sick, save lives and help those in need or in trouble. Thus, according to Jesus, essential and life-saving works were permitted to be done on the Sabbath day. Man was not made to be a slave to the Sabbath, but the Sabbath was made for man’s good!

Deuteronomy 5:12 “Observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy, as the LORD your God has commanded you.

Deuteronomy 5:13 Six days you shall labor and do all your work,

Deuteronomy 5:14 but the seventh day is a sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your ox, your donkey or any of your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns, so that your male and female servants may rest, as you do.

Deuteronomy 5:15 Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that the LORD your God brought you out of there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore the LORD your God has commanded you to observe the Sabbath day.

St. Mark 2:23 One Sabbath Jesus was going through the grainfields, and as his disciples walked along, they began to pick some heads of grain.

St. Mark 2:24 The Pharisees said to him, “Look, why are they doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath?”

St. Mark 2:25 He answered, “Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry and in need?

St. Mark 2:26 In the days of Abiathar the high priest, he entered the house of God and ate the consecrated bread, which is lawful only for priests to eat. And he also gave some to his companions.”

St. Mark 2:27 Then he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.

St. Mark 2:28 So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.”

St. Matthew 12:9 Going on from that place, he went into their synagogue,

St. Matthew 12:10 and a man with a shriveled hand was there. Looking for a reason to bring charges against Jesus, they asked him, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?”

St. Matthew 12:11 He said to them, “If any of you has a sheep and it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will you not take hold of it and lift it out?

St. Matthew 12:12 How much more valuable is a person than a sheep! Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.”

St. Matthew 12:13 Then he said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” So he stretched it out and it was completely restored, just as sound as the other.

St. Matthew 12:14 But the Pharisees went out and plotted how they might kill Jesus.

St. Luke 13:10 On a Sabbath Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues,

St. Luke 13:11 and a woman was there who had been crippled by a spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not straighten up at all.

St. Luke 13:12 When Jesus saw her, he called her forward and said to her, “Woman, you are set free from your infirmity.”

St. Luke 13:13 Then he put his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God.

St. Luke 13:14 Indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, the synagogue leader said to the people, “There are six days for work. So come and be healed on those days, not on the Sabbath.”

St. Luke 13:15 The Lord answered him, “You hypocrites! Doesn’t each of you on the Sabbath untie your ox or donkey from the stall and lead it out to give it water?

St. Luke 13:16 Then should not this woman, a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has kept bound for eighteen long years, be set free on the Sabbath day from what bound her?”

St. Luke 13:17 When he said this, all his opponents were humiliated, but the people were delighted with all the wonderful things he was doing.

After the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Mosaic Covenant was abolished, and God made a new covenant with Israel and the rest of mankind. Under this new covenant of grace that was ratified by the blood of Jesus Christ, the entirety of the Mosaic Law was abolished. The terms and conditions of this new covenant (which is now the guiding principle of conduct, order and doctrine for New Testament believers) are to be found in the Acts of the Apostles and the apostolic epistles. Under this new covenant, the mandatory observance of Saturday as the Sabbath day of rest has been abolished. The original Apostles of the Lord made it clear in their epistles that for New Testament believers in Christ, no day is to be esteemed above another. No day is more holy than another. The worship of God is not restricted to any particular day anymore. The mandatory rest of God’s people on a particular day is no longer a commandment to be strictly observed. We can now rest on any day of the week we choose to. Just as the Lord Jesus taught that the worship of God is no longer to be localised to any place (Jerusalem) or any structure (the temple), true believers are no longer to worship God only on a particular day. God is a Spirit, and those who worship him must do so in Spirit and in truth. Whatever place or day we choose to worship God doesn’t matter anymore, as long as we worship him in Spirit and in truth. God accepts worship now on all days and in all places, as long as they are done in Spirit and in truth.

Romans 14:5 One person considers one day more sacred than another; another considers every day alike. Each of them should be fully convinced in their own mind.

Galatians 4:8 Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods.

Galatians 4:9 But now that you know God —or rather are known by God —how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable forces ? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again?

Galatians 4:10 You are observing special days and months and seasons and years!

Galatians 4:11 I fear for you, that somehow I have wasted my efforts on you.

St. John 4:19 “Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet.

St. John 4:20 Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”

St. John 4:21 “Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem.

St. John 4:22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews.

St. John 4:23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.

St. John 4:24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”

Some Christians, in rejecting Saturday as a mandatory Sabbath of rest, have gone ahead to replace it with Sunday as the new Sabbath. They call Sunday the Lord’s day and the Christian Sabbath, and try to refrain from all secular works on that day. Those who believe in Sunday as the new Sabbath do so because it was the day the Lord Jesus rose from the dead, and because it is alleged early Christians gathered mostly on that day for worship. The idea of elevating Sunday above other days, and in making it the day of the Lord and the new Sabbath goes contrary to the principle of spiritual worship as expounded by the Lord. True spiritual worship of the omnipresent God is not limited to any time, place or day. God is a Spirit and can be contacted on any day and at anytime! Wherever two or three are gathered in Christ’s name, he’s there in their midst, irrespective of which day the gathering takes place! The Apostle Paul made it clear that regarding any day as more holy or sacred than another is a personal thing and not a mandatory requirement for new testament believers. The brutal truth here is that, there is no day that is to be viewed as the Christian Sabbath! No particular day is the day of the Lord for Christians, as all days belong to God and he can be approached on any day! Whatever day we choose to gather to worship God is irrelevant. What matters in worship now is that we approach God in Spirit and in truth. As long as our hearts are right with God, our worship and prayers will be accepted by him, whatever day, place or time we approach him!

Matthew 18:20 For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.” (NKJV).

Galatians 4:8 Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods.

Galatians 4:9 But now that you know God —or rather are known by God —how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable forces ? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again?

Galatians 4:10 You are observing special days and months and seasons and years!

Galatians 4:11 I fear for you, that somehow I have wasted my efforts on you.

Romans 14:5 One person considers one day more sacred than another; another considers every day alike. Each of them should be fully convinced in their own mind.

Colossians 2:16 Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day.

Colossians 2:17 These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.

If neither Saturday nor Sunday is sacred and to be revered as the Sabbath, then which day is the Lord’s day? The Apostle John talked about being in the Spirit on the Lord’s day (Revelations 1:10). What day was John referring to here, if the Sabbath is no longer any particular day of the week? The Lord’s day, or the day of the Lord, is always portrayed in the Scriptures as the day of God’s vengeance, when his wrath will be poured out, unmitigated, upon the world of sinful men. That will happen during the great tribulation, between the rapture of the church and the second coming of Christ, after which the Lord will come back in power and glory, to dismantle the kingdoms of this world and establish his millennial reign on earth. So, we see from the Scriptures that the day of the Lord (or the Lord’s day) has nothing to do with any of the days of the week. Rather, the day of the Lord will come at the end of man’s days, and will bring an end to man’s system and rulership of the world. Thus, John being in the Spirit on the Lord’s day simply means that John was transported in the Spirit of revelation to witness the day of the Lord (which is still in the future), and to have a preview of the catastrophic judgements that would be released upon sinful humanity by God’s wrath on that day. John wasn’t describing Sunday or any day of the week, but he was talking of the day of God’s judgement in the future, which he was privileged to foresee by divine revelation. He dutifully recorded and transmitted the judgements of that great and terrible day of the Lord for us to read and beware!

2 Peter 3:8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is long-suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

2 Peter 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

2 Peter 3:11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in all holy conversation and godliness,

2 Peter 3:12 Looking for and hastening to the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?

2 Peter 3:13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwells righteousness.

Joel 1:14 Sanctify you a fast, call a solemn assembly, gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land into the house of the LORD your God, and cry to the LORD,

Joel 1:15 Alas for the day! for the day of the LORD is at hand, and as a destruction from the Almighty shall it come.

Joel 2:1 Blow you the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the LORD comes, for it is near at hand;

Joel 2:2 A day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread on the mountains: a great people and a strong; there has not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations.

Revelation 6:9 When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained.

Revelation 6:10 They called out in a loud voice, “How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?”

Revelation 6:11 Then each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to wait a little longer, until the full number of their fellow servants, their brothers and sisters, were killed just as they had been.

Revelation 6:12 I watched as he opened the sixth seal. There was a great earthquake. The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned blood red,

Revelation 6:13 and the stars in the sky fell to earth, as figs drop from a fig tree when shaken by a strong wind.

Revelation 6:14 The heavens receded like a scroll being rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place.

Revelation 6:15 Then the kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and everyone else, both slave and free, hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains.

Revelation 6:16 They called to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb!

Revelation 6:17 For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can withstand it?”

The New Testament teaches that the Sabbath is no longer the mandatory observance of physical rest on a particular day. It is no longer rest from physical toil. The Sabbath, under the New Testament, offers spiritual rest from sin and the works of the flesh. Jesus Christ, the true Sabbath, of which the Old Testament Sabbath was only a shadow and a type, offers eternal rest for the soul from sin and its works. Thus, the New Testament believer’s Sabbath is observed in Christ and not on any day! The Lord Jesus invites all who labour spiritually and are heavy ladden under the yoke of sin to come to him for the true Sabbath (rest). Learning from Christ and taking his yoke upon us will enable us find the true Sabbath (rest) for our souls. The writer of Hebrew makes us understand that the Old Testament saints did not experience the true sabbath. They did not enter into the true rest of God that would have made them cease forever from all their works, as God did from his. That promise of eternal Sabbath-rest for the soul is for believers under the New Covenant. That promise is fulfilled in Christ. The prophet Isaiah prophesied of that true Sabbath-rest which would be experienced by God’s people outside the observance of a day, and that prophecy has been fulfilled in Christ Jesus. Yet, many will not come to the Saviour, that they may experience the refreshing peace and rest which only he can give. Truly, there’s a refreshing spiritual and eternal Sabbath (rest) for God’s people in Christ! It’s only in Christ that we can truly rest from all our vain labours and worship God acceptably in Spirit and in truth.

Colossians 2:6 So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him,

Colossians 2:7 rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.

Colossians 2:8 See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.

Colossians 2:9 For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form,

Colossians 2:10 and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority.

Colossians 2:11 In him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not performed by human hands. Your whole self ruled by the flesh was put off when you were circumcised by Christ,

Colossians 2:12 having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.

Colossians 2:13 When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins,

Colossians 2:14 having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross.

Colossians 2:15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.

Colossians 2:16 Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day.

Colossians 2:17 These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.

Colossians 2:18 Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you. Such a person also goes into great detail about what they have seen; they are puffed up with idle notions by their unspiritual mind.

Colossians 2:19 They have lost connection with the head, from whom the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow.

Colossians 2:20 Since you died with Christ to the elemental spiritual forces of this world, why, as though you still belonged to the world, do you submit to its rules:

Colossians 2:21 “Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!”?

Colossians 2:22 These rules, which have to do with things that are all destined to perish with use, are based on merely human commands and teachings.

Colossians 2:23 Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.

Hebrews 3:7 So, as the Holy Spirit says: “Today, if you hear his voice,

Hebrews 3:8 do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion, during the time of testing in the wilderness,

Hebrews 3:9 where your ancestors tested and tried me, though for forty years they saw what I did.

Hebrews 3:10 That is why I was angry with that generation; I said, ’Their hearts are always going astray, and they have not known my ways.’

Hebrews 3:11 So I declared on oath in my anger, ’They shall never enter my rest.’ “

Hebrews 3:12 See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God.

Hebrews 3:13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.

Hebrews 3:14 We have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original conviction firmly to the very end.

Hebrews 3:15 As has just been said: “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion.”

Hebrews 3:16 Who were they who heard and rebelled? Were they not all those Moses led out of Egypt?

Hebrews 3:17 And with whom was he angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies perished in the wilderness?

Hebrews 3:18 And to whom did God swear that they would never enter his rest if not to those who disobeyed?

Hebrews 3:19 So we see that they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief.

Hebrews 4:1 Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it.

Hebrews 4:2 For we also have had the good news proclaimed to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because they did not share the faith of those who obeyed.

Hebrews 4:3 Now we who have believed enter that rest, just as God has said, “So I declared on oath in my anger, ’They shall never enter my rest.’” And yet his works have been finished since the creation of the world.

Hebrews 4:4 For somewhere he has spoken about the seventh day in these words: “On the seventh day God rested from all his works.”

Hebrews 4:5 And again in the passage above he says, “They shall never enter my rest.”

Hebrews 4:6 Therefore since it still remains for some to enter that rest, and since those who formerly had the good news proclaimed to them did not go in because of their disobedience,

Hebrews 4:7 God again set a certain day, calling it “Today.” This he did when a long time later he spoke through David, as in the passage already quoted: “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.”

Hebrews 4:8 For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken later about another day.

Hebrews 4:9 There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God;

Hebrews 4:10 for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his.

Hebrews 4:11 Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience.

St. Matthew 11:28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

St. Matthew 11:29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

St. Matthew 11:30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Isaiah 28:9 Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts.

Isaiah 28:10 For precept must be on precept, precept on precept; line on line, line on line; here a little, and there a little:

Isaiah 28:11 For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people.

Isaiah 28:12 To whom he said, This is the rest with which you may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear.

Isaiah 28:13 But the word of the LORD was to them precept on precept, precept on precept; line on line, line on line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken (AKJV).

In conclusion, the Sabbath-rest started with God who rested on the seventh day, after working in six days to create the world. When God adopted Israel as his nation and made a covenant with them on Mount Sinai, he included the strict observance of the Sabbath-rest as the fourth commandment in the Mosaic Law. Under the Law, no servile/secular work was to be done on the Sabbath day, with the people mandated to rest from their physical labours and worship God only on the seventh day. The penalty for violating the Sabbath under the Law was death. Jesus Christ threw further light on the purpose of the Sabbath, by reminding the hypocritical religious leaders of his day that the Sabbath was made for man’s good and welfare, so life-saving and other good deeds to help those in need and in trouble could be done on the Sabbath day. After the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Old Testament and the Mosaic Law were abolished, along with the mandatory requirement of the Sabbath rest on Saturday. In the New Testament, no day is to be elevated above another as a holy/sacred day for mandatory rest and worship of God. We can rest and worship God acceptably on any day of the week. The Sabbath for the New Testament believer is not a physical day of rest, but an eternity of spiritual rest and worship of God in Christ Jesus. Jesus Christ is the true Sabbath, of which the Old Testament Sabbath was only a shadow and a type. The true Sabbath-rest for the soul is found in Christ. In Christ Jesus, those who labour under the burden of sin and become weary thereby find perfect rest for their souls. That’s the true, eternal Sabbath-rest!

Thanks for visiting and for reading. We’d love to hear your comments and feedback. God bless you!

Are There Foods Christians Are Forbidden To Eat On Religious Grounds? A Systematic Theology of The Approved Diets Of God’s People From Creation Till Date.

(All Bible quotations, except otherwise stated, are from the New International Version).

At the beginning when God created mankind, he gave to man an entirely vegetarian diet. The original man was to eat only fruits, nuts, herbs and roots, all plant products. Man was not permitted to eat meat of any kind. The strict vegan diet at the beginning was not only for man, but for all other animals as well. This herbivorous diet for man continued until after the flood, when God made a new covenant with mankind through Noah. In the Noahic Covenant, man was permitted to eat certain animals considered ceremonially clean, but was forbidden to eat their blood. The animals permitted to be eaten under this covenant were to be killed and their blood poured out before they were to be eaten. Man was forbidden to eat blood because the life of any being is in the blood. To eat an animal with the blood, or to eat blood, means to eat the very life of an animal! The Noahic Covenant thus moved man from being a strict vegetarian to an omnivore. Man could now eat meat, in addition to plants, under this covenant.

Genesis 1:26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

Genesis 1:27 So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.

Genesis 1:28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

Genesis 1:29 Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.

Genesis 1:30 And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground —everything that has the breath of life in it —I give every green plant for food.” And it was so.

Genesis 2:15 The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.

Genesis 2:16 And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden;

Genesis 2:17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”

Genesis 9:1 God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, “Be fertile, multiply, and fill the earth.

Genesis 9:2 All of the animals on the earth will fear you and dread you—all the birds in the skies, everything crawling on the ground, and all of the sea’s fish. They are in your power.

Genesis 9:3 Everything that lives and moves will be your food. Just as I gave you the green grasses, I now give you everything.

Genesis 9:4 However, you must not eat meat with its life, its blood, in it (CEB).

Under the Mosaic Covenant God made with Israel, the portion of the Noahic covenant with respect to man’s diet was upheld. An elaborate list of clean and unclean animals was provided for God’s people, to make clear what animal could or could not be eaten. In the Mosaic Covenant, man was still forbidden to eat the blood of any animal. Whatever clean animal that was permitted to be eaten must be properly killed and the blood poured out, before the animal could be considered fit for human consumption. Of course, no animal could be eaten raw, and killed animals had to be prepared either by boiling, roasting or frying, before they could be eaten. Animals that died on their own, even if among the clean ones, were not to be eaten, just as the eating of strangled animals was forbidden. In addition, the Law forbade the eating of the fat of animals. The fat of each slain animal was to be burnt as part of the offering to God, and could not be lawfully eaten by God’s people. To eat the fat and blood of even clean animals was a taboo and an abomination under the Law!

Leviticus 11:1 The LORD said to Moses and Aaron,

Leviticus 11:2 “Say to the Israelites: ’Of all the animals that live on land, these are the ones you may eat:

Leviticus 11:3 You may eat any animal that has a divided hoof and that chews the cud.

Leviticus 11:4 “’There are some that only chew the cud or only have a divided hoof, but you must not eat them. The camel, though it chews the cud, does not have a divided hoof; it is ceremonially unclean for you.

Leviticus 11:5 The hyrax, though it chews the cud, does not have a divided hoof; it is unclean for you.

Leviticus 11:6 The rabbit, though it chews the cud, does not have a divided hoof; it is unclean for you.

Leviticus 11:7 And the pig, though it has a divided hoof, does not chew the cud; it is unclean for you.

Leviticus 11:8 You must not eat their meat or touch their carcasses; they are unclean for you.

Leviticus 11:9 “’Of all the creatures living in the water of the seas and the streams you may eat any that have fins and scales.

Leviticus 11:10 But all creatures in the seas or streams that do not have fins and scales —whether among all the swarming things or among all the other living creatures in the water —you are to regard as unclean.

Leviticus 11:11 And since you are to regard them as unclean, you must not eat their meat; you must regard their carcasses as unclean.

Leviticus 11:12 Anything living in the water that does not have fins and scales is to be regarded as unclean by you.

Leviticus 11:13 “’These are the birds you are to regard as unclean and not eat because they are unclean: the eagle, the vulture, the black vulture,

Leviticus 11:14 the red kite, any kind of black kite,

Leviticus 11:15 any kind of raven,

Leviticus 11:16 the horned owl, the screech owl, the gull, any kind of hawk,

Leviticus 11:17 the little owl, the cormorant, the great owl,

Leviticus 11:18 the white owl, the desert owl, the osprey,

Leviticus 11:19 the stork, any kind of heron, the hoopoe and the bat.

Leviticus 11:20 “’All flying insects that walk on all fours are to be regarded as unclean by you.

Leviticus 11:21 There are, however, some flying insects that walk on all fours that you may eat: those that have jointed legs for hopping on the ground.

Leviticus 11:22 Of these you may eat any kind of locust, katydid, cricket or grasshopper.

Leviticus 11:23 But all other flying insects that have four legs you are to regard as unclean.

Leviticus 11:24 “’You will make yourselves unclean by these; whoever touches their carcasses will be unclean till evening.

Leviticus 11:25 Whoever picks up one of their carcasses must wash their clothes, and they will be unclean till evening.

Leviticus 11:26 “’Every animal that does not have a divided hoof or that does not chew the cud is unclean for you; whoever touches the carcass of any of them will be unclean.

Leviticus 11:27 Of all the animals that walk on all fours, those that walk on their paws are unclean for you; whoever touches their carcasses will be unclean till evening.

Leviticus 11:28 Anyone who picks up their carcasses must wash their clothes, and they will be unclean till evening. These animals are unclean for you.

Leviticus 11:29 “’Of the animals that move along the ground, these are unclean for you: the weasel, the rat, any kind of great lizard,

Leviticus 11:30 the gecko, the monitor lizard, the wall lizard, the skink and the chameleon.

Leviticus 11:31 Of all those that move along the ground, these are unclean for you. Whoever touches them when they are dead will be unclean till evening.

Leviticus 11:39 “’If an animal that you are allowed to eat dies, anyone who touches its carcass will be unclean till evening.

Leviticus 11:40 Anyone who eats some of its carcass must wash their clothes, and they will be unclean till evening. Anyone who picks up the carcass must wash their clothes, and they will be unclean till evening.

Leviticus 11:41 “’Every creature that moves along the ground is to be regarded as unclean; it is not to be eaten.

Leviticus 11:42 You are not to eat any creature that moves along the ground, whether it moves on its belly or walks on all fours or on many feet; it is unclean.

Leviticus 11:43 Do not defile yourselves by any of these creatures. Do not make yourselves unclean by means of them or be made unclean by them.

Leviticus 11:44 I am the LORD your God; consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am holy. Do not make yourselves unclean by any creature that moves along the ground.

Leviticus 11:45 I am the LORD, who brought you up out of Egypt to be your God; therefore be holy, because I am holy.

Leviticus 11:46 “’These are the regulations concerning animals, birds, every living thing that moves about in the water and every creature that moves along the ground.

Leviticus 11:47 You must distinguish between the unclean and the clean, between living creatures that may be eaten and those that may not be eaten.’”

Leviticus 3:17 “’This is a lasting ordinance for the generations to come, wherever you live: You must not eat any fat or any blood.’”

With the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ and the abolishing of the Mosaic Covenant, some significant changes were made to man’s diet under the new Covenant of Grace. The division of animals into clean and unclean was abolished, with all animals now considered clean and fit for human consumption! Jesus Christ declared all foods clean, by teaching that nothing that a person eats can defile him spiritually, since all foods eaten pass through the digestive tract to be processed, with waste products eliminated from the body through faeces. No food eaten gets to the spiritual part of man (his heart) to defile him. What defiles a man instead is what comes out from his heart, not what enters into his mouth! It’s out of a man’s heart that evil thoughts and sin proceed, and these are the things that defile him! This message was brought home to Peter in a very personal way, when in a series of visions, God made him realise that all foods have now been sanctified by him, and no food should be called unclean anymore, or rejected on spiritual grounds. Thus, while sending out the disciples on evangelism, the Lord Jesus instructed them to eat anything they were offered, wherever they went, because all foods were now clean and lawful for human consumption!

St. Mark 7:1 The Pharisees and some of the teachers of the law who had come from Jerusalem gathered around Jesus

St. Mark 7:2 and saw some of his disciples eating food with hands that were defiled, that is, unwashed.

St. Mark 7:3 (The Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they give their hands a ceremonial washing, holding to the tradition of the elders.

St. Mark 7:4 When they come from the marketplace they do not eat unless they wash. And they observe many other traditions, such as the washing of cups, pitchers and kettles. )

St. Mark 7:5 So the Pharisees and teachers of the law asked Jesus, “Why don’t your disciples live according to the tradition of the elders instead of eating their food with defiled hands?”

St. Mark 7:6 He replied, “Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written: “’These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.

St. Mark 7:7 They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.’

St. Mark 7:8 You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to human traditions.”

St. Mark 7:9 And he continued, “You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions!

St. Mark 7:10 For Moses said, ’Honor your father and mother,’ and, ’Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.’

St. Mark 7:11 But you say that if anyone declares that what might have been used to help their father or mother is Corban (that is, devoted to God) —

St. Mark 7:12 then you no longer let them do anything for their father or mother.

St. Mark 7:13 Thus you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And you do many things like that.”

St. Mark 7:14 Again Jesus called the crowd to him and said, “Listen to me, everyone, and understand this.

St. Mark 7:15 Nothing outside a person can defile them by going into them. Rather, it is what comes out of a person that defiles them.”

St. Mark 7:17 After he had left the crowd and entered the house, his disciples asked him about this parable.

St. Mark 7:18 “Are you so dull?” he asked. “Don’t you see that nothing that enters a person from the outside can defile them?

St. Mark 7:19 For it doesn’t go into their heart but into their stomach, and then out of the body.” (In saying this, Jesus declared all foods clean.)

St. Mark 7:20 He went on: “What comes out of a person is what defiles them.

St. Mark 7:21 For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come —sexual immorality, theft, murder,

St. Mark 7:22 adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly.

St. Mark 7:23 All these evils come from inside and defile a person.”

St. Luke 10:1 After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go.

St. Luke 10:2 He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.

St. Luke 10:3 Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves.

St. Luke 10:4 Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road.

St. Luke 10:5 “When you enter a house, first say, ’Peace to this house.’

St. Luke 10:6 If someone who promotes peace is there, your peace will rest on them; if not, it will return to you.

St. Luke 10:7 Stay there, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to house.

St. Luke 10:8 “When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is offered to you.

St. Luke 10:9 Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ’The kingdom of God has come near to you.’

The Acts 10:9 About noon the following day as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the roof to pray.

The Acts 10:10 He became hungry and wanted something to eat, and while the meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance.

The Acts 10:11 He saw heaven opened and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners.

The Acts 10:12 It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles and birds.

The Acts 10:13 Then a voice told him, “Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.”

The Acts 10:14 “Surely not, Lord!” Peter replied. “I have never eaten anything impure or unclean.”

The Acts 10:15 The voice spoke to him a second time, “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.”

The Acts 10:16 This happened three times, and immediately the sheet was taken back to heaven.

In the first Church Council convened at Jerusalem to consider whether or not born-again Gentiles should observe the Mosaic Law before they could be saved, it was unanimously agreed by the Apostles that Gentile believers were not under the Law of Moses, including its dietary restrictions. The only foods Gentiles were mandated to abstain from were those offered in sacrifice to idols, as well as the eating of blood and of strangled animals, for the same reason given to Noah- that life is in the blood, and thus animals should not be eaten with their blood in them. A strangled animal still has its blood in it, and should not be eaten, otherwise one would eat blood thereby! An animal must be killed and its blood poured out before it’s considered safe to be cooked and eaten. Note that the eating of fat, hitherto forbidden under the Mosaic Covenant, is now permitted. Paul further taught that no animal was now unclean, but those who still consider them unclean and eat them with that knowledge have defiled their conscience, by going contrary to their weak conscience. Thus, though all foods are clean and all can be lawfully eaten now, to eat what one’s unenlightened conscience still considers as unclean and sinful is to eat without faith, and whatever is done without faith is sin!

The Acts 15:1 Certain people came down from Judea to Antioch and were teaching the believers: “Unless you are circumcised, according to the custom taught by Moses, you cannot be saved.”

The Acts 15:2 This brought Paul and Barnabas into sharp dispute and debate with them. So Paul and Barnabas were appointed, along with some other believers, to go up to Jerusalem to see the apostles and elders about this question.

The Acts 15:4 When they came to Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the church and the apostles and elders, to whom they reported everything God had done through them.

The Acts 15:5 Then some of the believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees stood up and said, “The Gentiles must be circumcised and required to keep the law of Moses.”

The Acts 15:6 The apostles and elders met to consider this question.

The Acts 15:22 Then the apostles and elders, with the whole church, decided to choose some of their own men and send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. They chose Judas (called Barsabbas) and Silas, men who were leaders among the believers.

The Acts 15:23 With them they sent the following letter: The apostles and elders, your brothers, To the Gentile believers in Antioch, Syria and Cilicia: Greetings.

The Acts 15:24 We have heard that some went out from us without our authorization and disturbed you, troubling your minds by what they said.

The Acts 15:25 So we all agreed to choose some men and send them to you with our dear friends Barnabas and Paul —

The Acts 15:26 men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The Acts 15:27 Therefore we are sending Judas and Silas to confirm by word of mouth what we are writing.

The Acts 15:28 It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements:

The Acts 15:29 You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality. You will do well to avoid these things. Farewell.

Romans 14:1 Accept the one whose faith is weak, without quarreling over disputable matters.

Romans 14:2 One person’s faith allows them to eat anything, but another, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables.

Romans 14:3 The one who eats everything must not treat with contempt the one who does not, and the one who does not eat everything must not judge the one who does, for God has accepted them.

Romans 14:4 Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To their own master, servants stand or fall. And they will stand, for the Lord is able to make them stand.

Romans 14:5 One person considers one day more sacred than another; another considers every day alike. Each of them should be fully convinced in their own mind.

Romans 14:6 Whoever regards one day as special does so to the Lord. Whoever eats meat does so to the Lord, for they give thanks to God; and whoever abstains does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God.

Romans 14:7 For none of us lives for ourselves alone, and none of us dies for ourselves alone.

Romans 14:8 If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.

Romans 14:9 For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living.

Romans 14:10 You, then, why do you judge your brother or sister ? Or why do you treat them with contempt? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat.

Romans 14:11 It is written: “’As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ’every knee will bow before me; every tongue will acknowledge God.’”

Romans 14:12 So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God.

Romans 14:13 Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister.

Romans 14:14 I am convinced, being fully persuaded in the Lord Jesus, that nothing is unclean in itself. But if anyone regards something as unclean, then for that person it is unclean.

Romans 14:15 If your brother or sister is distressed because of what you eat, you are no longer acting in love. Do not by your eating destroy someone for whom Christ died.

Romans 14:16 Therefore do not let what you know is good be spoken of as evil.

Romans 14:17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit,

Romans 14:18 because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and receives human approval.

Romans 14:19 Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.

Romans 14:20 Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All food is clean, but it is wrong for a person to eat anything that causes someone else to stumble.

Romans 14:21 It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother or sister to fall.

Romans 14:22 So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who does not condemn himself by what he approves.

Romans 14:23 But whoever has doubts is condemned if they eat, because their eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin.

Despite these clear-cut scriptural injunctions concerning the spiritual cleanness and fitness of all animals for food, some Christians still follow the Mosaic Covenant in refusing to eat certain animals, on religious grounds. By choosing to uphold the expired and abolished Mosaic Covenant, such people are trying to mix Law with Grace, and end up falling from Grace, by putting themselves totally under the yoke of the Law of Moses! Once you choose to observe any part of the Mosaic Law as a means of justification or pleasing God, you must go back to keeping the entire Mosaic Law! Such a person loses his place and liberty in Christ, and retrogresses to being a slave again under the Law! To insist on keeping any part of the expired Mosaic Law that Christ has delivered us from is to frustrate the grace of God! It’s the same as treading underfoot the blood of Christ that has delivered us from the curse of the Law! That is tantamount to putting oneself back under the curse of the Law!

Galatians 3:10 For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse, as it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.”

Galatians 3:11 Clearly no one who relies on the law is justified before God, because “the righteous will live by faith.”

Galatians 3:12 The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, it says, “The person who does these things will live by them.”

Galatians 3:13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole.”

Galatians 3:14 He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.

Galatians 5:1 It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

Galatians 5:2 Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all.

Galatians 5:3 Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law.

Galatians 5:4 You who are trying to be justified by the law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.

Galatians 2:21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain (AKJV).

Some Christians who accept and eat all meats as lawful, insist on not eating certain meats during certain ‘holy days’, such as during the Lenten season and Good Friday. These denomination-imposed dietary restrictions are not found in the Bible, but are meticulously observed by certain churches. Such human doctrines that add to the Word of God, however righteous and holy they may appear, are null and void and actually sinful! We’re not to add to the Word of God or subtract from it. The Scripture actually condemns such abstinence from meats on religious grounds, and traces its origin to demon-inspired teachings! It’s actually listed in the Scriptures as one of the signs of the falling away from the original Apostolic faith, which is predicted to happen in the endtime. We’re not to commemorate the sufferings and death of Christ by abstaining from the eating of meat on certain days. The only way the Scripture enjoins us to remember or commemorate the Lord’s death is through the observance of the Lord’s Supper! That’s how we are to remember the Lord’s death till he comes, not by abstaining from the eating of certain meats during Lent or Good Friday! Forbidding people to eat meat on the day Jesus was supposed to have died is a doctrine of devils!

Revelation 22:18 For I testify to every man that hears the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add to these things, God shall add to him the plagues that are written in this book:

Revelation 22:19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book (AKJV).

Galatians 1:6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel —

Galatians 1:7 which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ.

Galatians 1:8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse!

Galatians 1:9 As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse!

1 Timothy 4:1 The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.

1 Timothy 4:2 Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron.

1 Timothy 4:3 They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth.

1 Timothy 4:4 For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving,

1 Timothy 4:5 because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.

1 Timothy 4:6 If you point these things out to the brothers and sisters, you will be a good minister of Christ Jesus, nourished on the truths of the faith and of the good teaching that you have followed.

1 Corinthians 11:23 For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread,

1 Corinthians 11:24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.”

1 Corinthians 11:25 In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.”

1 Corinthians 11:26 For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

In conclusion, God’s permitted diet for man has evolved significantly from man’s creation till date. At creation, the original man was permitted to eat only food of plant origin (a strict vegetarian diet). However, after the flood, God made a new covenant with mankind through Noah, and permitted man to eat certain animals, as well as plants, in that new covenant. Man was forbidden from the eating of the blood of animals for whatever reasons, as the life of any animal is in its blood. In the Mosaic Covenant that God made later with Israel, the omnivorous diet prescribed in the Noahic Covenant was upheld, with a comprehensive list of clean and unclean animals provided for God’s people, to guide them concerning what they could or could not eat. The eating of blood (and of strangled animals) was still forbidden in the Mosaic Covenant, as well as the eating of fat. The Mosaic Covenant was abolished following the establishment of the New Covenant of Grace ratified by the blood of Jesus Christ at Calvary. Under the New Covenant, all animals are now considered fit for human consumption. However, the eating of blood and of strangled animals are still forbidden. In contrast, the eating of fat, which was forbidden under the Mosaic Covenant, is now allowed under the New Covenant. Under all Covenants, the eating of foods sacrificed to idols is forbidden. Abstaining from the eating of certain meats on certain days (like during the Lenten season and Good Friday), for religious reasons, is condemned in the Scriptures as a doctrine of devils! We’re not to commemorate Christ’s death by abstaining from certain meats. The way the Bible enjoins us to commemorate the death of the Lord is through the observance of the Lord’s Supper. Any practice outside of this is unbilical, satanic and a heretical deviation from the original Apostolic faith.

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