Christian Churches of God
Distinction in the Law
(Edition 2.0 19950318-19990614)
This paper examines the distinction between the moral and sacrificial law and deals with the broader aspects of the laws of God. The distinction forms part of the basis for the activities in Genesis.
Christian Churches of God
PO Box 369, WODEN ACT 2606, AUSTRALIA
(Copyright ã 1995, 1999 Wade Cox)
(Summary by Patti Gambier, Ed. Wade Cox)
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Distinction in the Law
A misunderstanding of Colossians 2:14 has resulted in some sects of modern Christianity incorrectly asserting the Law has been done away. Christ’s sacrifice cancelled the ‘cheirographon’, a document of indebtedness-the debt, which our accumulated sins incurred.
The law proceeds from God’s nature and is righteous, perfect, holy, good and truth, as He is. He is unchanging and thus His law is unchanging. The law is written on the hearts of His elect by the Holy Spirit, and thus we put on His nature (2Pet.1:4). God requires everyone to keep His laws, or suffer punishment (Ps. 55:19).
Blessed are those who walk in the law (Ps. 119:1-2; Ezek.11:20, 18:17). Obedience is required for righteousness (Rom. 2:13). Matthew 5:19 clearly states that anyone breaking the least of the commandments or teaching the abolition of the law will lose their position in the kingdom of God and be counted least.
There are two bodies of law, the moral and the ceremonial. By his sacrifice Christ fulfilled the ceremonial or sacrificial law, which pointed to him as the ultimate sacrifice. He paid once and for all the penalty for the sins of all mankind and the rebellious angelic host. The sacrifices which were offered continually year by year never made anyone perfect, but were a reminder of sins every year (Heb.10:1-3).
Thus we are looking at a system of expiation for failure to comply with the moral law. Christ was the ultimate sacrifice for that expiation, but the moral law still stands and everyone is required to obey it. This ceremonial law was removed so that our relationship with God becomes one of the spirit. The moral law is spiritual and Christ magnified the law, expanding it from the physical to the broader spiritual intent (Matt. 5:21-22, 27-28).
The Decalogue is explanatory of the two great commandments, to love God with all your heart, soul and mind and the second is to love your neighbour as yourself, from these hang all the law and the prophets teaching (Matt. 22:40). The law was written by the finger of God (Ex. 31:18) and is called the Royal Law (Jas. 2:8). We are all judged by the law, both the physical and the spiritual intent.
The keeping of the commandments of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ is essential to inherit the tree of life (Rev.14:12; 22:14). The moral law existed from creation, proceeding from the nature of God. Romans 5:14 says death reigned from Adam to Moses. As death is the wages of sin (Rom. 6:23) and sin is the transgression of the law (1Jn. 3:4) it follows that the law existed before Moses was given it at Mount Sinai. All sin is against God (Ps. 51:4).
Satan rebelled against God and by lying to Eve. He actually broke six of the ten commandments, and by setting up idols for worship and profaning God’s name he broke two more! At the time of Christ it was understood that Satan and his demons committed fornication with the daughters of men (Gen. 6:4; Jude 6-7), thus breaking the seventh commandment. Through false religious systems that he set up he attacked the fourth commandment. Thus the law applies to non-physical beings as well as humans and Christ’s sacrifice is enough to make amends the sins of each and all. Satan, as god of this world, has set up systems whereby all mankind on a continuing basis sin against God, thus worshipping Satan and his system, however unwittingly.
Hebrews 9 shows the new covenant was concerned with the sacrificial law, which could not be abolished until the temple was destroyed in 70 CE. So the new covenant was the abolition of the sacrificial ordinances and not the elimination of the laws of God (Heb.9:10).
There are broader aspects of the Law of God showing that the moral law was only part of the body of laws that had been in place since creation. The Decalogue expands the first two great commandments. The food laws were extant before the flood and the distinction between clean and unclean animals was known by Noah (Gen.7:2). The tithing laws were not tied to the sacrificial law, as Abraham tithed to Melchizedek of Salem four hundred years before Moses at Sinai (Gen.14:18-20).
The whole body of the laws of God extends to every aspect of life and worship. On his return the Messiah will establish the implementation worldwide as the structure of law for rulership of the planet (Zec. 14:16-19; Isa. 66:20; Ezek. 45 and 46). The nexus between the law and consequences will be restored and people will understand the relationship between law- keeping and blessings and law-breaking, rebellion and curses (Deut. 28; Lev. 26).
There is thus a clear distinction between God’s law and the sacrificial law abolished by Christ’s sacrifice. The ceremonial law did not regulate the Sabbaths, which were integral to the Decalogue. They simply dictated the ritual obligations of the Temple, which served as a schoolmaster to bring us to Christ (Gal. 3:24).
Christ fulfilled all aspects of the sacrifices. The understanding of the distinction is asserted from The Irish Articles Of Religion 1615 and many other writings (see paper Distinction in the Law (No. 96) for quotes). However, the false doctrine of the trinity set up from the councils of Constantinople 381 CE and Chalcedon 451 CE was not addressed. Even the demons know God is one and tremble (Jas. 2:19). So Satan deceives the whole world (Rev. 12:9) with a great lie and he and his demons know it is so.
The Feasts of God (Lev. 23) are not kept by mainstream Christianity and so the plan of God is lost. The sequence of the Feasts shows the restoration of the planet, the kingdom of God and the destiny of the elect. By denial of the physical restoration of the Millennium and the second resurrection, people cannot understand the real meaning of the Feasts. If they acknowledge these events it will condemn the false system of worship they follow.
The elect are judged by their knowledge of The One True God (Jn. 17:3; 1Jn. 5:20) and that He alone is immortal (1Tim.6:16). The misunderstanding of what Christ nailed to the stake stems from a profound ignorance of what Christ and the apostles taught. The seed of the woman which is the true Church are those who keep the commandments of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ (Rev.12:17, 14:12).