We, too, have been set free from the bondage of Egypt, and have been brought into liberty by the Blood of Yahushua, by Messiah himself. It is by the Blood of Yahushua alone that man is justified, made righteous in Yahuweh's sight, and is set free.
Just what is this liberty, this freedom, that Messiah came to bring? Are there any boundaries — any limitations — to the freedom Yahushua has provided for us? Has Satan used false teachers to bring us deception regarding that liberty? We shall look for answers to these, as well as other questions as we look intently into Yahuweh's Word.
Perhaps the most important, but sublime, message of the entire Bible is that message of the freedom — the liberty — that Messiah Yahushua has procured for his people. Before a man is set at liberty he has no freedom to choose whom he will serve. He is in bondage to, and is the slave of, sin; he has no choice but to serve sin. However, once he is set free, he is free indeed.
The Apostle Paul gives us insight into this freedom. Paul had just exhorted the Corinthian Believing ones no longer to continue in sin, but to consider themselves dead to sin, and alive unto Yahuweh through Yahushua. Paul was telling them that now that they have been set free, they have a choice of whom they will serve. Then Paul gives the reason that they now have a choice:
For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. (Romans 6:14)We may see the primary message of the New Testament as revealed in the above passage in Romans 6:14. This message is the fact that Yahuweh, in His mercy, has set men free from the bondage of sin, in order that men may then have the freedom to choose whom they will serve. Paul was saying, in effect, "I exhort you to serve Righteousness, and not serve sin, because sin no longer has dominion over you. You are now free to choose whom you will serve."
The remainder of the New Testament message is Yahuweh's revelation to man concerning Yahuweh's purposes for setting men free, and the ultimate destination of our journey as freed men. Along with this is revealed some of the features of this freedom we have under the New Covenant, as well as the boundaries of the redeemed man's new freedom.
Beware!This subject of liberty is, however, one of the most active areas of attack by Satan against the lives of countless saints of Yahuweh. These attacks are Satan's attempts to deceive Yahuweh's people regarding Yahuweh's purposes for, and the boundaries of, the liberty Yahushua has bought for us.
Many false teachers have wrested, or twisted and perverted, the words of Paul, so much that what is being taught today as "truth" does not even resemble what was taught by the disciples of Paul's day. For this reason we shall look at several aspects of the purposes of Yahuweh, to hear what the Word of Yahuweh says about this matter of liberty.
Set Free at Last!We see within all of Scripture that the liberty of his children is very important to the heart of the Father. Indeed, one of the purposes of Yahuweh can be seen in Yahushua's commission from the Father:
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to... set at liberty them that are bruised... (Luke 4:18b)It is near to Yahuweh's heart to set his people free, but free for what purpose?
What does a freed prisoner do after he is set free? Is he free to do as he pleases, since he is now free? Is he now able to go out and break the Law as he sees fit?
The Bible is remarkable, in that it has many examples of what freed servants or bondslaves should do, and should not do, after they are set free.
The entire New Testament is written from the perspective of one who has been set free from slavery, and who is now free to choose whom he will serve. We are encouraged in many ways to choose those things that serve and please Yahuweh. We are, however, warned not to return to the bondage we were in before we were free:
Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Messiah hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. (Galatians 5:1)The Father does not want His people to be subjected to bondage again, after having set them free. Indeed, Yahuweh watches over His children closely in order that their freedom be maintained.
Bondage Again?There is an incident that occurred when the people of Jerusalem, under King Zedekiah, released all the Hebrew bondslaves in the city. When the king, and all the princes and the people had heard that every one should set the servants free every seventh year, in accordance with the Word of Yahuweh, they did so. But afterwards, they had a change of heart, and required that the servants be put back under bondage again:
But afterward they turned, and caused the servants and the handmaids, whom they had let go free, to return, and brought them into subjection for servants and for handmaids. (Jeremiah 34:11)This brought a swift pronouncement of judgment from Yahuweh, from which we can glean what Yahuweh's thoughts are about His people going back under bondage. Notice the following verse:
But ye turned and polluted my name, and caused every man his servant, and every man his handmaid, whom ye had set at liberty at their pleasure, to return, and brought them into subjection, to be unto you for servants and for handmaids. Therefore thus saith the LORD; Ye have not hearkened unto me... I will make you to be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth. (Jeremiah 34:16-17)According to this Scripture Yahuweh pronounced a severe penalty against His people, revealing that Yahuweh hates for His people to go back under the bondage of slavery, after they have been set free.
Two BondagesBut, has not Yahuweh provided a means for slaves that have been set free, to go back voluntarily under bondage of slavery to the master? Let's look at one passage:
If thou buy an Hebrew servant, six years he shall serve: and in the seventh he shall go out free for nothing. And if the servant shall plainly say, I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free: Then his master shall bring him unto the judges; he shall also bring him to the door, or unto the door post; and his master shall bore his ear through with an aul; and he shall serve him for ever. (Exodus 21:2,5,6)We see here that the Father does allow freed servants, or slaves, to go back under bondage. But isn't that a contradiction? How can Yahuweh show favor for the practice in one case, and bring harsh judgment on a whole city in another case? The difference lies in the fact that, in the one case, Yahuweh's disfavor and judgment comes when the freed bond servants are caused or compelled to return to bondage; in the other case, Yahuweh's favor comes when the freed bond servant goes back into voluntary bondage, or servanthood, returning out of the motive of love! This difference is the very ground — the very foundation — of New Testament Truth.
Paul made a statement, regarding servants in the natural, in which a hidden spiritual truth is revealed. In the following passage, we may observe one who has been set free from the yoke of bondage, and then, being free, has voluntarily gone back under the yoke of Messiah:
For he that is called in the Lord, being a servant, is the Lord's freeman: likewise also he that is called, being free, is Messiah's servant. (1Corinthians 7:22)The Apostle Paul is speaking here not only of the obvious meaning in the natural sense. We may also see shining through this verse the two-step process of one man who is first set free, and then returns to become the voluntary bond servant of Messiah.
The New Covenant: An Exchange of YokesWhen Yahushua came to earth, He came into a world in which all people were yoked to the bondage of sin and death. Yahushua came to proclaim liberty, or freedom from the power of sin, and from the penalty of sin. He also provided for the purging of the conscience from the memory of sin, by the forgiveness of sin. One of Yahushua's main purposes was to remove the yoke from off His people. Note the following verse:
I drew them with cords of a man, with bands of love: and I was to them as they that TAKE OFF THE YOKE on their jaws, and I laid meat unto them. (Hosea 11:4)So, we see that the yoke is to be taken off, or removed. Let us notice, however, the contrast in the following passage:
TAKE MY YOKE UPON YOU, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For MY YOKE is easy, and my burden is light. (Matthew 11:29-30)In all of scripture, the word yoke speaks of bondage. In the above passage it sounds as if Yahushua is advocating a yoke of bondage for the Believing ones, after having first removed the yoke from them! Is Yahushua compelling His disciples to become bondservants again? Let us look at the following Scripture verse:
And if thy brother that dwelleth by thee be waxen poor, and be sold unto thee; thou shalt not compel him to serve as a bondservant: (Leviticus 25:39)The key phrase here is "... thou shalt not compel him... ." We now can see the contrast of two different motivations of servanthood: the one of compulsion, seen in Leviticus 25:39; the other of love, seen in Exodus 21:2,5,6.
No CompulsionThere are many features of the New Covenant that can not even be compared to the Old Covenant, because the two Covenants are so vastly different in nature. The Old Covenant was a set of rules to live by, and whose end was death. The New Covenant is a seed of Life, whose end is a Tree of Life, and whose ability to keep the Covenant is inherent in that Life. It is the Master Yahushua Himself that keeps man's half of the New Covenant, by His Grace, on behalf of those that have truly entered into covenant with Him!
Perhaps the most surprising feature of the New Covenant is that it is one in which there is no compulsion. We observe that Yahushua does not compel anyone to become a bond servant. He does, however, compel people to come to Him to be set free, and to repent, and then compels them to come in to dine with Him. He then desires that those that come to Him, of their own free will, would enter into the New Covenant with Him; and that because of their love for their Master, they would choose to become bondservants to Him.
Love, by its very nature, can not be made compulsory; it must be of the free will, and of the heart. Yahushua sets us free, so that we are then truly free to choose whom we will serve. We may then choose to serve Him, and to please Him, and delight to do His will, or we may choose not to do so. Whatever choice we make, reveals whether we love Him, or do not love Him. However, let us also remember that He has told us:
No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. (Luke 16:13)This is a warning that Yahushua has issued to all that would make that choice to know Him, and to serve Him, and to delight to do His will. After He has set us free from all forms of bondage, we must take heed not to allow ourselves back under any form of bondage. To do so would threaten our relationship with Him, and even jeopardise the very grace that enables us to walk with Him, and to serve Him as our only Master. In order to truly serve Him, however, we must move from the realm of death, to the realm of Life; That is, we must move from the realm of living by the externals of the letter of the Law, to the realm of living by the internals of the Law on the heart.
The Law: External vs. InternalOne of the most subtle forms of bondage, that of bondage to the Law of Moses, is described in a number of passages in the New Testament. The early Believers had to deal with this form of bondage:
Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? (Acts 15:10)In this passage, Peter is describing how that some of the Believing ones of the Jews were requiring new converts to undergo circumcision, and were commanding them, or compelling them, saying that they must keep the Law of Moses. The decision was made by the Apostles and Elders at Jerusalem not to require the circumcision, but to require certain heathen practices to be avoided, and that they not command them to keep the Law of Moses. This appeared to many to be a complete repudiation, by Paul, of the Law of Moses. Paul was even falsely accused of trying to change the customs of Moses, and of "forsaking" the Law of Moses. But what was Paul really teaching?
Let us first observe that circumcision is the outward sign, or seal, of the Covenant between Yahuweh and Abraham, and with Abraham's Seed (See Rom 4:1-25, Gal 3:16). The Jews of Paul's day knew this, yet they were not able to grasp the idea of a new thing — of having an internal circumcision. They were requiring new converts to be circumcised externally, in accordance with their understanding and tradition!
The Jews also knew that obedience to the Law of Moses was not optional. It was their understanding in the natural sense that led them to compel new converts to "obey the Law." But by doing so, Peter explains, they are putting a "yoke" on the neck of the disciples! To both the Jews and the Apostles, this controversy was no small matter!
In both instances, of the matter of Circumcision, and of "compelling" ones obedience to the Law of Moses, it took a revelation from Yahuweh to Paul, to reveal the new thing that Yahuweh was doing. The new thing was that Yahuweh was moving from the external Law of Yahuweh, to one that is internal — as foretold by the Prophet in Jer 31:33. The Law of Yahuweh was no longer to be written on stone — but with the Finger of Yahuweh upon the heart — a heart circumcised by the Master Himself!
Yahuweh has made it all very simple for us to understand. The Old Covenant was a covenant of externals, written on external tables of stone, and having an external circumcision. The New Covenant, however, is a covenant of internals, written on internal tables of the heart, and having an internal circumcision!
Paul also had the revelation that the requirement, or compelling, of any of these particular external features of the Old Covenant are not a part of man's justification. These features of the Old Covenant, if compelled, would be a yoke of bondage upon the individual, nullifying the grace of Yahuweh to serve only one Master. Paul comments on the effect that wrong use of the Law has on Grace:
Messiah is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace. (Galatians 5:4)We thus see from the words of Paul that the "Law" can have a disastrous effect on grace, if certain elements of the Law are not understood, and are not used properly. Paul explains elsewhere that we must use the Law "Lawfully."
Delight is a MysteryLet us now look further, and let us observe carefully what else Paul states about the Law:
For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: (Romans 7:22)Here Paul is saying that he delights in the Law! He is actually speaking the same words spoken by the psalmist:
I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart. (Psalms 40:8)Did Paul become entangled again with the yoke of bondage? Did Paul fall from grace, to go back under the Law? No, not at all! Paul is stating one of the greatest mysteries, one of the greatest truths of all the New Covenant! Here Paul is making a distinction between the external letter of the Law, and the internal Law written on the tables of the heart. This distinction is perhaps the greatest, certainly among the most profound, mysteries of the New Covenant. This profound truth is a glimpse into a beautiful, hidden New Testament Mystery — The Mystery of His Will (See Eph 1:9), of which we can not now speak particularly.
Paul mentions in a number of places the reality of the Law of Yahuweh in the inward man — the Law of Yahuweh internally in his mind and heart:
"... So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin." (Romans 7:25b)What do we see in the above passage? We see that Paul serves the Law of Yahuweh! Is this idea contradictory to what Paul warned the Galatian Believers, in being entangled again with the yoke of bondage? Let us look further.
The Writer to the Hebrews speaks of the New Covenant as being one in which Yahuweh's Law is written on the hearts of the Believing ones, and was spoken of long ago by the prophets:
"This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;" (Hebrews 10:16)
"And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live." (Deuteronomy 30:6)
"But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people." (Jeremiah 31:33)It is clear from the above Scripture verses that the New Covenant is one in which Yahuweh's Law is to be written on the hearts and minds of Yahuweh's people, and in which Yahuweh's people delight in the Law of Yahuweh.
Let us summarise what we have seen thus far. Yahuweh intends to set His people free from all yokes of bondage, including the bondage of the Law. He sets us free from sin, so that we may be free to choose whom we will serve. He then enters into a New Covenant with each of those choosing to serve Him, of their own free will, because of their love for the Master.
Yahuweh also begins to write His Law upon the inward man — the heart and mind — of each person that chooses to serve Him, obey Him, and please Him by doing His will. We will now look to see exactly why Yahuweh writes His Law upon our hearts, and what are His purposes for doing so.
The Law on the Heart: Yahuweh's PurposeWhat is Yahuweh's ultimate purpose or intention, that He would write His Law on our hearts? What is that Law that He writes? Does Yahuweh want us to be entangled again with the yoke of bondage? Let us look further.
We must sometimes use a little common sense in trying to figure out what Yahuweh has in mind. If Yahuweh says He will write His Law on our hearts, then His purpose must be for us to obey that Law, after having been justified by His grace. Why else would Yahuweh write His Law on our hearts — so that we would not obey it?
We may conclude from the Scripture passages presented thus far this simple truth of the New Covenant — that the Law of Yahuweh would be written on the hearts and minds of Yahuweh's people, in order that His people would then voluntarily obey those laws!
The Galatians' Problem"Well, that sounds like the Galatians' problem — trying to obey the Law!" as some would say. Many have believed the notion that would say, "We must therefore avoid walking according to the Law, lest we become bewitched as they were, and come under bondage!" Is this notion true according to Scripture? Let's look at what Paul was saying to the Galatian Believers.
In Paul's letter to the Galatians, Paul reveals that those of the Galatian Believers were attempting to teach that circumcision was part of Yahuweh's requirement for being "justified." They were teaching, and practicing, a mixture of justification by faith and by works, and had even progressed to the point that they were celebrating heathen religious holidays that we see commonly practiced in the congregations today. This mixture of errors by the Galatians resulted in Paul's letter of correction. Paul spoke of the Galatians' teaching as being another Gospel, a false Gospel, and its teachers as false brethren. What was that teaching? Let us look.
Note carefully that in the letter to the Galatian Believers, Paul says that it is those that attempt to be justified by the Law that have "fallen from Grace." If we think that we are justified in the sight of Yahuweh by our keeping of the Law, or by doing any other good thing, then we are attempting to be justified by that good thing; thus we have fallen from the position of justification by grace, to the position of justification by works. We have "fallen from Grace."
However, if our justification is the shed Blood of Yahushua alone, then Yahushua Himself is our justification, and we are receivers of His Grace. We then have the freedom to choose whether or not to obey Him, and freedom to choose whether to obey His Law that He writes on our hearts. The end result is that some will choose to obey Yahuweh's law — not in order to become justified, but because they are justified, and because they love Yahuweh, and desire to please Him!
So we see that the Galatians were doing several things that called for correction. They were confusing external features of the Old Covenant with internal features of the New. They were also trying to compel people to keep certain features of the Old Covenant, and were trying to impose the keeping of such, as a requirement for justification.
The Galatians Opposed Yahuweh's PurposesThe problem among the Galatians was a common one. There was also in that day, however, another problem, of just the opposite nature — perhaps born out of fear of the legalism of the Galatian Believers. This problem was one of "antinomianism," which simply means a state of being "without any Law at all," a sort of no-man's-land in between Grace and Works. Antinomian teaching suggested that once a person is set free, he does not need to serve anyone at all! He is free, and will not have anyone telling him what to do; he will not obey any Laws at all. "After all, we are saved by Grace, and not by works." Could this be where Bible-based congregations are today?
Crept in UnawaresThere is a concept of Grace being taught today that rejects the concept of walking in Grace — and according to the Law — at the same time, as Paul did and taught. The idea of obedience to the "Old Testament Law" by New Testament Believing ones is rejected by the majority of evangelical teachers today. Obedience to the Law of Yahuweh is considered today to be the teaching of the "legalistic" denominations, and the realm of cults — the "camp of the enemy." Thus the teachings of Paul have been twisted and distorted beyond recognition by false teachers, prophets, and apostles. It is these false teachers, and their teachings, of which Yahushua, Peter, and Paul said, "Beware!"
We must ask, "Why is there such an outcry today among popular evangelical pastors and teachers, and in other Bible-based groups, against obedience to the Law of Yahuweh?" The Scriptures reveal the answer:
Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. (Romans 8:7)It is the "carnal" mind that is not subject to — not submissive to — the Law of Yahuweh. Thus the carnal mind is against Yahuweh's purposes; the carnal mind is the enemy of Yahuweh. Most of the congregations of today are not walking in freedom, in New Covenant Liberty. The vast majority of the congregations in this generation are filled with commercial pastors and teachers, who promise their people "liberty" (See 2 Pet 2:1-22), but in reality are tickling the ears of their carnal congregations. These pastors and teachers, and their congregations, are not able to be subject to the Law of Yahuweh. Now, we may ask, "If they have been set free from the Law, but are not yet obeying Yahuweh's Law — who are they now obeying?" There are only two choices.
A Walk of LoveAfter a man is set at liberty from the Bondage of Sin, and from sin's strength (the Law), there are only two choices of further action for him to take; there are only two masters. He will either choose to serve the one, in obedience unto Life, or else he will end up choosing to serve the other, in obedience to sin unto death. One choice results in going back into bondage of sin and the world; the other choice is that of choosing to return to the Master, out of love, to take on His yoke of Bondage, and results in liberty and life.
How does one serve the Master in obedience unto Life, and continue to remain in freedom, without going back under bondage? There is only one way to remain free, and the psalmist tells us the way:
And I will walk at liberty: for I seek thy precepts. (Psalms 119:45)We see two things here. First, we see that remaining free is a walk — a walk of obedience to Yahushua, and to the Father. Secondly, we must seek Yahuweh, and His precepts. After He has set us free, we who have chosen to become bondservants, and who desire to love Him, must continually seek His precepts, and must obey, must walk in His Law, as He reveals it to us. In doing so, we are to remember that we are not justified by our works — by what we do. We do, however, seek to please the Father, and so we must walk in obedience because of our love of the Father. Our goal, our destination in this walk, is our love of Yahushua, and of the Father, and of the Brethren. Notice our goal, seen in the following passage:
"Now the end (the aim, purpose, or goal) of the commandment is charity (love) out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned..." (1Timothy 1:5)Here we see that our goal, our destination in this walking in the Commandments, is our love of Yahushua, and love of the Father, and love of the Brethren.
Which Commandments?We must next ask, "What Law do we obey? "We have been told for years that the Old Testament has been nullified, done away with, and does not apply to New Testament Saints." "We have been taught that Yahushua fulfilled all the Law and the Prophets, so we would not be obliged to do so ourselves." "Hasn't the Old Testament Law been nailed to the cross, so that we need not obey it anymore?" "And, didn't Paul state that the words he wrote were the Commandments of Yahuweh?" "So, how can the Old Testament — the Law and the Prophets — be a part of the commandments that Yahuweh wants to write on our hearts?"
Precious Saints of the Most High Yahuweh, much of the teachings we have been given are a muddled mixture of half-truths based on vague understanding, along with the traditions of men, and even a few outright lies. Let us hear the Word of Yahuweh in the matter! First, let us note what Yahushua said:
If ye love me, keep my commandments. (John 14:15)Here we see that Yahushua equates loving Him with keeping of His commandments. Just a few verses later, however, we see that Yahushua equates loving Him with keeping His words:
... If a man love me, he will keep my words:... the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me. (John 14:23,24)Yahushua's words, He goes on to explain, are not His words, but are the words of the Father who sent Him: Thus we see that Yahushua Himself explained that love for Him is the keeping of Yahushua's commandments, which are the SAME as Yahushua's words, which are in reality the words of the Father!
John goes on to further state the relationship between love — and the keeping of Yahuweh's Commandments:
For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. (1John 5:3)Now, let us observe what makes up the "Commandments of Yahuweh." First, we shall notice what Yahushua said:
Think not that I am come to DESTROY THE LAW, or the prophets... Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law... Whosoever therefore shall BREAK ONE OF THESE LEAST COMMANDMENTS, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:17-19)Notice that when Yahushua used the word 'therefore,' he made the connection between the Commandments [the least of which are not to be broken], with the Law [that is not to be destroyed]. These are one and the same! Beloved, let us read that verse again. [Have we also noticed who it is that shall be called great, and who shall be called least, in the Kingdom of Heaven?]
The "Law and the Prophets" is one name for the Old Testament, and the Old Covenant. So, Yahushua is telling us that the words of the Law and the Prophets, the Old Testament, are the Commandments of Yahuweh.
But, let us notice what Paul said:
... the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord. (1Corinthians 14:37)Some have wrongly concluded from this verse that the writings of the Apostles are the only commandments of Yahuweh we must obey. This view, however, would seem to contradict what Yahushua said in the above verses in Matthew 5:17-19. However, from the above verse the only thing we may conclude is exactly what it says — that what Paul writes are the commandments of Yahuweh! This would imply that all the writings of the New Testament are simply a Holy-Spirit inspired, revealing explanation of the Commandments of Yahuweh!
We have thus far seen that Yahuweh is writing the Law of Yahuweh, by the finger of Yahuweh, on the tables of our heart. This Law is made up of the very words of the Father, the Commandments of Yahuweh, and includes both the Law and the Prophets — The Old Testament — and the New Testament writings.
We shall now look further into the idea of the Old Testament writings as being a part of the Law that Yahuweh wants to write on the hearts of New Testament saints.
Many CluesFirst, let us understand that Yahuweh has concealed — has hidden much of His Word, especially His Commandments, from men. It is His glory to conceal His Word, but the honor of kings to search it out. He does not allow the casual observer to find Him, but guards His presence and His heart fiercely, for His presence is only for those who search Him out diligently, showing their faith and love for Him.
For those that seek, Yahuweh has given us an abundance of clues in the New Testament that lead us to search out His Word. He has placed many clues throughout the Old and New Testaments, so that the seeking one can easily find Him, and His Law that is to be written on the heart.
The Book of Hebrews mentions many "Better things" of the New Covenant. Some of these are a better Promises, better Sacrifice, better Blood, and a better priesthood, after the eternal order of Melchizedek. However, the Priesthood remains, as does the Sacrifice of Yahushua, and the Remission of Sin by His Blood. These facts alone prove the presence of the "Law" as part of the New Covenant; if the Law had disappeared, there would be no forgiveness by Blood, and we would be still in the Bondage of Sin.
Other than what is mentioned in Hebrews, the Law and the Prophets remain as the Testimony of which commandments are to be written on the heart. Even the Prophets speak of a future time, when Messiah will be ruling in Jerusalem. Notice what will be happening:
"And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles." (Zechariah 14:16)Notice in the context, in verse 20, that this is after the reign of messiah is set up in Jerusalem. The practice of the Feasts of Yahuweh was, and is, and is to come. These are His activities, and even today, His Disciples keep these Feasts unto Him. Because the Feasts of Yahuweh are "shadows" of things to come, the keeping of these feasts allow us to gain a good understanding of Yahuweh's timetable, and His purposes.
Shadows of the New CovenantOur Father has given us abundant evidence showing us which Law Yahuweh writes upon our hearts. Let us first note that after Moses had broken the first set of tablets containing the Ten Commandments, he went back up upon the mount, where Yahuweh wrote a second set with words identical to the first set:
"And the LORD said unto Moses, Hew thee two tables of stone like unto the first: and I will write upon these tables the words that were in the first tables, which thou brakest... And he wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the ten commandments." (Exodus 34:1,28)
"And he wrote on the tables, according to the first writing, the ten commandments..." (Deuteronomy 10:4)This second set of tablets written by the finger of Yahuweh is a beautiful foreshadowing of the New Covenant. The first set of stone tablets was thrown down and broken by Moses, and speaks figuratively of the Old Covenant which Yahuweh knew could only be broken. The second set of stone tablets written by Yahuweh speaks of the New Covenant, which foreshadowed what was to be written on the tables of the heart, and not be broken. But notice that the words of the second set were the identical words as written on the first set of Ten Commandments!
One LawgiverBeloved, when we come to the realization that it is Yahushua that wrote the Ten Commandments with His finger upon the external tables of stone, His words in the following verses take on new significance:
"If ye love me, keep my commandments." (John 14:15)
"If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love." (John 15:10)
"By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous." (1John 5:2-3)For those of us that would press on to know our Father, let us remember that the only way to know the Father is from Genesis — from The Beginning. Let us note also that it is specifically the Fourth Commandment that has been given to Yahuweh's people in order for them to know Him:
"Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; THAT YE MAY KNOW that I am the LORD that doth sanctify you." (Exodus 31:13)
"Moreover also I gave them my sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, THAT THEY MIGHT KNOW that I am the LORD that sanctify them." (Ezekiel 20:12)
"... And hallow my sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between me and you, THAT YE MAY KNOW that I am the LORD your God." (Ezekiel 20:20)Thus we see from the beginning a connection between the keeping of Yahuweh's Commandments and knowing Yahuweh.
The Final TestIn Yahushua's discourses to His disciples, He spoke of the Kingdom of Heaven. He said that in that day, many would call Him 'Lord' but would not be able to enter the Kingdom. He goes on to explain that only the ones doing the will of the Father will be admitted. Let us look closely:
"Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity." (Matthew 7:21-23)We can see from this that there are three elements to this reply of Yahushua. First, that working iniquity is the opposite of knowing Yahushua. Second, that working iniquity is the opposite of doing the will of the Father. Third, that entrance to the Kingdom of Heaven is not on the basis of what one professes, or says, but is based only upon doing the Father's will. What we have been taught, or what we say we believe, or what our leaders say, will not count in that day. All that will count in that day, according to the words of Yahushua in the above verse, is what we are doing, or not doing.
Now, if we know that the working of iniquity would prevent us from knowing Yahushua, and would prevent us from doing the will of the Father, we might then ask, "What is iniquity?" Let us look. The word iniquity used here is the Greek word 'anomia,' Strong's number <458> and <459>, which means "a condition of disobedience to, or being without, Law." Iniquity is "Lawlessness," the hallmark of the present generation.
In this generation, the Law of Yahuweh has been tossed aside. Both the Second and Fourth Commandments have been "spiritualised" out of the lives and teachings of countless multitudes of Believing ones. The Law of Yahuweh has been tossed away in our thinking to the ash-heap of a lesser Covenant, the victim of teaching of a lawless form of grace.
It is this issue of iniquity — specifically, obedience or disobedience to the Ten Commandments, [including the Second and Fourth Commandments], that will be the determining factor of whether Yahushua knows us, or whether He says, "I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity." (Matthew 7:23)
Let us be reminded that the foundation of our love for the Master, and the beginning of the walk of liberty, is our voluntary action of going before the Master, and of bending our ear to the door post, where:
"... his master shall bore his ear through with an aul; and he shall serve him for ever." (Exodus 21:6)For it is upon the door post where the Law was commanded to be written:
"Ye shall lay up these my words in your heart... And ye shall teach them your children... And thou shalt write them upon the door posts of thine house..." (Deuteronomy 11:18-20)
"Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors." (Proverbs 8:34)We have been set free, and justified freely by His Grace, through the Redemption that is in Messiah Yahushua. Therefore let us re-discover the Law of Yahuweh, as did Hilkiah the High Priest in the eighteenth year of the reign of King Josiah, as our example for us today.
Let us begin to obey the Commandments of Yahuweh, not of compulsion, not for justification or righteousness — but out of our love for Him. Love, as the motive for obedience under the New Covenant, is stronger than the threat of the penalty of death, which was the motive for obedience under the Old Covenant. Thus we see that Love is stronger than death (See Song 8:6).
What Must We Do?Let us choose to do, and to teach, even the least of Yahushua's Commandments — not for righteousness or justification; not of compulsion, but only for the motive of love. Let us press in to know Father, loving Him with all our heart, soul, and mind. Let us allow Father to lay the foundation course of costly stones, even great stones, stones of Ten cubits and of Eight cubits, in our hearts. For it is only upon the established, sure foundation that the Seal of Yahuweh appears.
Then, if Yahuweh permit, let us go on unto perfection. Let us allow Yahushua to write the Commandments of Yahuweh — the full counsel of Yahuweh — to write Himself upon the tables of our heart, and to set Himself as a seal upon our heart; for it is only among Yahushua's disciples that His Law is sealed.
Let us pray for those that would tell us that obeying the Commandments of Yahuweh is "bondage." Love truly is a bondage, but many Believers today do not yet understand this Biblical truth (See Col 3:14, 1John 2:4-5). Let us also remember, that our prayers are answered because we keep His commandments, and because we do what is pleasing in His sight (See 1John 3:22).
There are many who have been set free from the bondage of sin, by the Blood of Yahushua, and have come down off Mount Sinai into the valley. They have been set free, but they have not yet chosen this day whom they will serve. They are yet in the Valley of Decision.
When one of these standing on the valley floor looks up to the heights of the heavenly Mount Zion, he sees certain features of Mount Zion far off in the distance that appear unfamiliar, except that some of those features bear faint resemblance to those things he left on Mount Sinai. He has been thoroughly warned by his Leaders against anything that looks like bondage, so when he sees the perfecting of agape love in the heights of Zion, he does not recognise what he sees. The things of Zion are spiritually discerned.
Today there are multitudes of Believers in this Valley of Decision, who do not know this agape love. The love of many has grown cold, due to their iniquity — their disobedience to the Law of Yahuweh — their disobedience to the Ten Commandments that Father desires to grant to us graciously, to write upon the tables of our hearts!
Saints of the Most High Yahuweh, the time has begun that Yahuweh is dealing with those that do not love Him, by sending them a strong delusion concerning His Word, so that they should believe a lie. Yahuweh is using the Flaming Sword of His Word as His weapon, to guard the Way to the Tree of Life. Yahuweh will not allow His enemies to draw near to Him.
Likewise, the gathering of the tares into bundles is almost complete. Each bundle is easily identified, each according to its particular delusion sent by Yahuweh, each according to the lie it has believed concerning Yahuweh's Word. But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany Salvation, though we thus speak.
Let us therefore, choose to love Yahushua, bend our ear to the door post, to the place where His Word is written, listening diligently, that we might walk in obedience to Him. In doing so, we shall be fulfilling the Word of Yahuweh to us through Paul, wherein it is said,
Stand fast therefore in the Liberty, wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.