Disputes About the LAW
AVOID Foolish Controversies!
The Apostle Titus said in 3:9, “But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and strife and disputes about the Law, for they are unprofitable and worthless.” However, I will post this hub, if it might help the inquirer and others that are indoctrinated as she. Understand, then, that I will not continue to dispute the truth with those who refuse it. The following is a comment left by a Gentile who believes a truly saved person would keep the Law of Moses. Her name is Heather Bennett. I will begin the hub with her comment left on my Judah’s Daughter hub called “The END of the OLD Covenant” (if you click on the title of the hub, you can read it for yourself). May Jesus Christ be praised.
Heather Bennett Wrote:
The ten commandments you talk about are not actually commandments. They are ten sayings, or ten words, or ten things, but they are not commandments. Command, in Hebrew, is mitzvah. The Hebrew word dabar means word, saying, or thing. It does not mean commandment, and is only translated as such 20 of the over 1400 times it is used in Scripture (in the KJV). Most of the time, dabar is translated as word, showing that the true meaning is known and acknowledged. The word used in Exodus 20:6 is mitzvah. This means that we are expected to keep God’s mitzvah, and since keeping His mitzvah is included in the “ten commandments” you advocate keeping, it would be logical for you to also advocate keeping God’s mitzvah. The ten “commandments” you advocate keeping are really “words” or “dabar”, but one of these words is to keep God’s “mitzvah.” So you rightly believe that we must keep these ten, but included in the ten “dabar” are a multitude of other “mitzvah.”
Torah is the Hebrew word for Law. The Hebrew word eduwth is translated as testimony in the verses you discuss.
Exodus 24:12 – While on the mount, Moses received the tables of stone, which included the law (torah) and commandments (mitzvah). The word “and” is not in the original, and should not be included. He was instructed to teach these things to the people. Torah is not from Moses, but from God. Like we call much of the “New Testament” the “books of Paul,” yet we know that what is written therein is actually from God. So the first five books of the Bible are called the “books of Moses,” but we should realize that what is written therein is from God.
Leviticus 4:2 – breaking a commandment (mitzvah) of God is a sin. This is not one of the ten, which are dabar, but it is included in the ten via Exodus 20:6.
We find in Numbers 15:15-16 that there shall be one law (torah) for Israel and for the Gentile who travels with them forever. Forever, not just until Messiah comes.
Please look at Leviticus 26:46 and 27:34. Here we read that these are the commandments (torah) which God commanded Moses for the children of Israel on Mount Sinai. The previous verses, about which this statement is made, are not from the ten “commandments.” So the ten that you uphold are not the entirety of what was given to Moses on the Mountain, and many things which are called the “Law of Moses” were actually given as commandments (mitzvah) by God to Moses on Sinai, and we are, as we have seen, expected to keep God’s mitzvah (Exodus 20:6).
Deuteronomy 1:3-5 also says that the law (torah) that Moses gave the people was from God.
Deuteronomy 26:16-17 – God commanded His people to keep all the commandments they had just received from Moses. This includes far more than just what is in the ten. This theme continues in chapter 27, verse 26.
Deuteronomy 28:1 – the commands (mitzvah) that Moses commanded to the people were God’s commands, not Moses’.
Even if the torah was from Moses (and we have seen that it was not), it was still meant to be obeyed by Israel. In Joshua 1:1, 7-8 says that God Himself told Joshua to do according to all the law (torah) that Moses had commanded.
Now this is really important – Joshua 8:31-32 describes the actions of Joshua. He wrote upon the stones of the altar a copy of the “law of Moses,” as it was commanded in the “book of the law of Moses.” But where do we find this command? And what, exactly, did Joshua write on the stones? We find the answer in Deuteronomy. Moses tells the people to build the altar and write on it the words of the Law (Deuteronomy 27:3 & 8). What Law were they to write? The decrees and Laws that God commanded (Deuteronomy 26:16-18). So, in Deuteronomy we find that the laws are God’s Laws, but in Joshua, we find that these same laws are called the “Law of Moses.”
We find in Joshua 22:4, that it is said that Moses gave land to the people. But, of course, we know that in reality, it was God who gave them the land. So God gave it to the people through Moses. Sometimes, perhaps simply as a short-cut, it is said that Moses gave it. The same is true, as we have seen, about the Law. In the next verse, the people are being told to do the law which Moses gave, even though the laws which follow obviously came from God.
In Joshua 23:6-7 we find the same situation as above – something is called the book of the law of Moses, but it is then made clear that the law (torah) given was from God, not from Moses.
1 Kings 2:3 – the people were commanded to guard what was from God, God’s commands (mitzvah) and His testimonies (eduwth), as it is written in the book of the Law of Moses.
2 Kings 14:6 – what is written in the book of the law of Moses as God commanded.
2 Kings 21:8 – God Himself does not make a distinction between His commands and the commands that Moses gave the people. The word “and” does not belong in this verse. It suggests a difference between God’s commands and the law Moses gave, but this distinction does not exist in the original language. The final words are these – shamar (to keep) asah (to do) tsavah (to command) torah (the law) ebed (servant) mosheh (Moses) tsavah (to command). Keep and do what I commanded in the law that Moses commanded.
Ecclesiastes 3:14 – I know that what God does is forever: nothing is added nor taken away. Again we find that it is forever, not just until Messiah comes.
In Jeremiah 44:23 we find both law and testimony. Sinning comes because one does not walk in God’s law (torah) nor His testimonies (eduwth). This shows a distinction between the two, and equal status for both.
There are others, but I trust that I have give enough examples to show that the distinction between the “Law of Moses” and the “Law of God” is not as clear cut as you believe. I suggest that when the phrase “the book of the Law of Moses” is used, it is not saying that the law is from Moses, but that the book is from Moses (as in he wrote it). He wrote only what God commanded Him to write.
I do not believe that keeping the Law can in any way bring salvation. Salvation is by faith alone (Ephesians 2:8-9). But the same was true in the time of the Patriarchs (Hebrews 11, specifically verse 13). Salvation has always been by faith. Never has keeping the Law earned someone salvation. Keeping the Law is not the way to salvation, but the response to salvation. After one receives salvation, one should seek to please God by walking in His commandments. The refusal to do so can lead to the loss of one’s salvation. My “religion” is the same as the majority of Christendom – I believe that salvation comes through faith, and after being saved one should refrain from sinning. The difference is in what we believe sinning is. You believe it is the breaking of the ten words (dabar) of God, I believe it is breaking any of the commandments (mitzvah) of God given in His Holy Word. I do not believe that the laws that the rabbis added are God’s commandments. They are not binding for anyone. Out of curiosity, since you affirm the eternalness of what you call the ten commandments, do I correctly assume that you keep God’s Sabbath, and not man’s Sunday?
If you still disagree with me, I would ask that you would answer this question – if the laws of my country allowed it, would it be a sin for me to marry my brother? If so, why?
The Hebrew word used for Commandments (as in the 10 Commandments) is had·de·va·rim or devarim, meaning “things or words”, whereby you rightly use the derived word, dabar. However, you clarify that Ex 20:6 uses the word “mitzvah”, which is “commandment”. What does Ex 20:1-17 give us? The 10 Commandments, not the mitzvah of Moses (613 commandments). This is the first Law, the Law of God.
The Devarim of the Covenant was not given at the same time as the mitzvah of Moses. From the word “devarim” comes the Greek word Deuteronomy, meaning “second law”. In Deuteronomy, Moses reminds Israel that the Ten Commandments were actually heard directly from God (see 5:4-5). He then reviews those Ten Commandments (see 5:6-19), the essence of that Covenant. Deuteronomy leaves out almost all of the mitzvah of Moses.
Heather said, “keeping His mitzvah is included in the “ten commandments”. Where???
Heather also said, “Exodus 24:12 – While on the mount, Moses received the tables of stone, which included the law (torah) and commandments (mitzvah).”
Carrie's response: Let’s review the truth here:
Israel became frightened at Mt.Sinai and begged Moses to act as their mediator:
"When you heard the voice out of the darkness, while the mountain was ablaze with fire, you came up to me... and said... Let us not die, for this fearsome fire will consume us... you go closer and hear all that God says, and then you tell us everything that God commands, and we will willingly do it..." (5:20-26).
God granted their request (see 5:25-26), and then He informed Moses of the new plan:
"Go, say to them, 'Return to your tents.' But you remain here with Me, and I will give you the mitzvah, chukim and mishpatim... for them to observe in the land that I am giving them to possess..." (5:27-30).
Therefore, you can see that the Law of God (eduwth) and the Law of Moses (Torah) are separate (though, as you've pointed out, both sets are also called mitzvah or commandments). The Law of Moses is not for spiritual Israel, those who are made righteous by the New Covenant, which is in the blood of Yeshua alone (Romans 11). The Covenant is eternal and does not change; the requirements of the Covenant changed from Old to New.
Heather said, “Ecclesiastes 3:14 – I know that what God does is forever: nothing is added nor taken away. Again we find that it is forever, not just until Messiah comes.”
Carrie's response: Jesus Himself said in Luke 16:16 “The Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until John [the Baptist]; since that time the gospel of the kingdom of God has been preached, and everyone is forcing his way into it.”
Paul said in Gal 3:19, “Why the Law then? It was added because of transgressions, having been ordained through angels by the agency of a mediator [Moses], until the seed [Messiah] would come to whom the promise had been made.”
Heather said, “I do not believe that keeping the Law can in any way bring salvation. Salvation is by faith alone (Ephesians 2:8-9). But the same was true in the time of the Patriarchs (Hebrews 11, specifically verse 13).”
Carrie's response: Those patriarchs listed in Hebrews 11 lived long before the mitzvah were given. We are restored to the requirement of the original Covenant ~ by faith alone. The Law is not of faith (Gal 3:12), and as Heb 11 tells you, without faith it is impossible to please God. Therefore, your statement, “Keeping the Law is not the way to salvation, but the response to salvation. After one receives salvation, one should seek to please God by walking in His commandments” is not truth.
Furthermore, Heather went on to state, “The refusal to do so can lead to the loss of one’s salvation.”
Carrie's response: What does Paul say in Gal 2:21? “I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly." If anything, you are nullifying the New Covenant of grace by turning to the Old.
Heather asked, “Out of curiosity, since you affirm the eternalness of what you call the ten commandments, do I correctly assume that you keep God’s Sabbath, and not man’s Sunday?”
Carrie's response: I answer you with the same statement Paul made to the saved Gentiles in Colossai in 2:16-17 “Therefore no one is to act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day--things which are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ.” Also in Rom 14:5 “One person regards one day above another, another regards every day alike. Each person must be fully convinced in his own mind.”
Heather then asked, “If you still disagree with me, I would ask that you would answer this question – if the laws of my country allowed it, would it be a sin for me to marry my brother? If so, why?”
Carrie's response: The Law of Moses was a tutor to lead us to Christ. If we must rely on the tutor, we would say that to marry one’s brother is a sin. Gal 3:24-25 “Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.”
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