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"If You Follow The Israelite Law, Christ Has Become Useless To You" (Gal.5:3,4)

The independent thinker is asked to lay aside whatever traditional thought has found its way to them down through the millennia, and to take a step back to view the following with the unbiased common spiritual sense that is everybody’s birthright.

With respect to the Israelite Law of the Old Testament, this article shows that Jesus the Christ brought the greatest change to doctrine and creed that any religious system has ever known, and that with Christ, Israelite Law was superseded by a new Law. There should be no doubt of this to an unbiased mind.

A large number of people who might call themselves Biblical Christians, sometimes quote from the Israelite law of the Old Testament (the Law of Moses) saying that this is "God's law", presumably expecting others to accept that the six hundred and thirteen pre-Christ Israelite laws and regulations are applicable to the present day society we find ourselves in. Sometimes a person may quote from the Pentateuch (the first five books of the Old Testament), perhaps from Deuteronomy or Leviticus saying: "God says you must do this!" or "God says you must not do that!"

This is particularly pertinent for people who have chosen a non-Fundamentalist Christian spiritual path and who may be told by sometimes well-meaning Fundamentalists, that any spiritual path other than their own is "an abomination" to God and apparently "backing it up" by quoting from Leviticus or Deuteronomy. It has even been the case for some non-Fundamentalist Christians that they have been shunned by some so-named mainstream Christian authorities to the extent of being denied entry to Bible study courses.

However, such Fundamentalists are acting with an astigmatised view. People naming themselves Christians who claim allegiance to the law of Moses have been led astray because they have misinterpreted the meaning of Jesus Christ's accomplishments and His purpose.

Quite simply, the Bible shows that Mosaic Law ended with the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. Followers of Christ are not under the Law of Moses: "He did away with the law of the commandments in regulations" (Eph.2:15), and to this can also be added the fact that Gentiles do not have to follow the Law of Moses: "I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?" (Gal.2:14). It is manifestly bizarre that people calling themselves Biblical Christians make a point of preaching the absolute opposite of strong and clear Biblical statements.

If we are being asked to live by such a moral code, then we are also being asked to accept some highly undesirable practices (ignoring for now the possibilities that: a) Mosaic laws have not been altered during the course of time by unscrupulous Levites with their own power-agenda, and b) Mosaic Law was influenced and fashioned very much by a human mind which was culturally indoctrinated).

For instance, one such law states that people could own other people as property (being their "money"), and, moreover, the owners could legally beat those poor slaves with "a rod", and not have to face any legal consequences whatsoever if the "servant" or "maid" did not die within "a day or two". The only punishment for the owner would occur if the life is literally beaten out of the physical body of the so-called maid or servant "under his hand" producing instant death (Exo.21:20,21). One wonders how battered partners regard this notion.

A Fundamentalist who claims that others must adhere to even one regulation stated in Mosaic Law is bound by the whole of Mosaic Law: "For I testify again to every man that is circumcised (a stipulation of one of the Mosaic laws) that he is a debtor to do the whole law" (Gal.5:3). Someone cannot just choose to adhere to one (or some) law and not adhere strictly to all the others, or this would literally demonstrate Pharisaical hypocrisy.

Mosaic Law was there for those not yet in a position to follow the Christ Way - the Way laid down by Christ, the way of the Spirit. Prior to Christ's birth, life, death and resurrection, a chosen people singled out for example would have to submit to a written Law - a Law of the Old Covenant. But now there was a new Law, a New Covenant. This new Law was instead of a Law written in a literal manner, it was a Law written into the hearts and minds of those that could now follow the Christ Way and the Law of the Spirit because of the accomplishments of Jesus the Christ: "For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts" (Heb.8:10; Jer.31:33).

Indeed, it is impossible to keep the whole Law of Moses anyway, for should one of the most insignificant laws be breached then the whole of the Law of Moses was breached: "For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them" (Gal.3:10). Something else was needed and that was Christ Himself and a New Covenant establishing the Law of the Spirit: "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law" (Gal.3:13).

Christ came to fulfil the written Law of Moses and the prophets, and in so doing, ended the written Law of Moses: "Christ is the end of the law" (Rom.10:4). The Christ Law of the Spirit is: "written not with ink but with the spirit of the living God; not in the tablets of stone, but in the fleshly tablets of the heart" (2 Cor.3:3). That Law is based on love for God instead of fear of God (contrition instead of attrition). Love for God not least because of the love that God has for His children which was demonstrated so wonderfully and perfectly through God's own Christ when He subjected Himself to the laws of His own creation, living as mankind lives yet overcoming each and every trial and temptation, teaching and healing, and finally achieving all He set out to do with the Cross and the Resurrection. Please note that this is a spiritual process, it is one of contrition and conscience, soul, heart and mind - effected by the spiritual power, instruction and teaching of the Spirit as a direct consequence of the birth, life and death of Christ Jesus (Jer.31:33, Heb.10:16). This spiritual redemption is not dependent upon possessing a spiritual gift such as those mentioned in the Bible.

With the New Covenant a new spiritual Law was introduced: The Law of the Spirit - Christian Spiritual Law. Old Testament Law was abrogated by Christ 2,000 years ago through a New Covenant. There should be little doubt about this fact as there are numerous references to it in the Bible: Rom.13:8,9 & 3:21 & 7:6 & 13:8 & 13:10 - 2Cor.3:5,6 & 3:13,16 - Gal.2:12 & 3:2,3 & 3:5 & 3:10 & 3:11 & 3:19 & 3:23 & 3:24,25 & 4:31 & 5:2 & 5:3,4 & 5:18 - Eph.2:15 & 3:4,5 - Phil.3:8,9 - Col.2:14 & 2:16 & 2:20 - Heb.8:7,8 & 10:20.

Whatever may be said about the Law of Moses, it cannot be denied that Jesus Himself prepared the way by traversing the boundaries of (Old Testament) traditional religious thought e.g. talking with women in public (John 4); justifying of disciples not observing purification laws (Matt.15:1); commanding the carrying of a bed on the Sabbath (John 5:8 & 10); picking and grinding grain by hand and by example encouraging others to do so (Mark 2:23) and perhaps more tellingly He quoted an instance of transgression of Mosaic Law as justification for His own actions: "(David) did eat the shewbread, which is not lawful to eat but for the priests, and gave also to them which were with him" (Mark 2:26).

Just as tellingly, Christ gives a practical demonstration of the substitution of an old Mosaic law (commanding the stoning of adulteresses: "Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned") with a new compassionate law of forgiveness with contrition when He saved an adulteress from certain death and instead told her to mend her ways, and that He, in God's Name, did not condemn her (John 8:1-11).

Jesus broke Mosaic Law (Lev. 5:3) by consciously touching what was forbidden to be touched (Matt. 8:3), when He could have healed by a word alone if He had so wished (Matt.8:16). Furthermore, Jesus did other things that made Him ceremonially unclean according to the Law (Luke 7:39, Luke 11:38).

As if further explanation was needed, Christ Jesus tells us in plain words that no longer is anyone to follow the vengeful Mosaic law of "an eye for an eye" (Levit.24:19,20) stating that it is replaced with a new Christian Spiritual law of compassion and forgiveness instead of retaliating to the evil deed: "Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also (Matt.5:38)".

Jesus also ensured that Spirit Communion was shown to be God-ordained by example when He communicated with the "dead" regarding highly important spiritual matters, which certainly violated the Mosaic injunction, Jesus Himself being the catalyst for Spirit Return (Matt.17:1-13; Mark 9:2-13; Luke 9:28-36). The fact that it was Moses (law-maker) and Elias (prophet) with whom Jesus communicated (Spirit Communion), is significant because it symbolises the fulfilling of the old Mosaic Law and Biblical prophecies with the new Law of the Spirit (Christian Spiritual Law) which was to be accomplished with the Crucifixion and Resurrection.

Thus, we clearly see the introduction of moral compassion for these people who had been shaped and disciplined over the centuries by a Law which was to vanish and be replaced by a new Law: "In that he saith, a new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away" (Heb.8:13). The preparation for a massive change in attitude toward the Law of Moses which would soon come about was being laid so skilfully by Christ Jesus. Words can say many things to man, but actions do indeed speak louder than words, and Christ knew that although many of the words that He spoke would not be written down and some would not be recorded in the manner that He spoke them, His actions would be a living testimony and example.

Christian Spiritual Law (Rom.8:2)
law of the Spirit in Christ Jesus
"...the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus..."

The New Christ Law, the Law of the Spirit, abrogated the Old Law of Moses. Indeed, "whoever is justified by the (Israelite) law, Christ has become of no effect to you, and ye are fallen from grace" (Gal.5:3,4); "For all the (Israelite) law is fulfilled in one word, thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself" (Gal.5:14); "If righteousness comes by the (Israelite) law, then Christ is dead in vain" (Gal.2:21); "But if you be led by the Spirit, you are not under the (Israelite) law" (Gal.5:18).

Yet in spite of the overwhelming amount of Biblical statements to the contrary, many Fundamentalists are still able to quote Mosaic Law as if we must adhere to it and are bound by it.

The very question of whether Christians were to follow Mosaic Law or not, came up in the first century of Christianity amongst those with a deeply ingrained cultural tendency towards the written decrees of Moses. The so-named Jerusalem Council decided, after discussion, that because non-Jews were following the Lord Jesus Christ, they should be free from following Mosaic Law, and moreover, so should Jews:

"Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of Gentiles (i.e. non-Jewish nations) a yoke that neither we nor our ancestors have been able to bear? No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are (Acts 15:10,11)."

One of the greatest mistakes of such followers of Fundamental Literalism, comes from something Jesus Christ is reported as saying: "Do not think that I came to destroy the law or the prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfil" (Matt.5:17,43). The Literalist might say: "There, you see, straight from the mouth of Jesus, we are to obey the injunctions of Mosaic Law! We must obey it even to the smallest full stop!"

Putting aside the fact that Jesus has already altered the old law Himself by laying down a specific example (Matt.5:38) and associated inferences as well as by other means (i.e. Acts 10:10-16, etc.), leaving no doubt that the old Mosaic Law simply cannot be followed as it is written, the Literalist in this instance is taking something completely out of context and ignoring the intended meaning and reason for this saying of Christ (Jeshua).

In short, God's Plan included taking a people and making them an example for all time. These very wayward and spiritually backward people were inviting to themselves, as well as being unprotected from, the influence of low and debased spirits, due to their lack of moral and spiritual standards. To these people God gave a set of strict laws for their own benefit and disciplining, i.e. Mosaic Law, which He gave to spiritual beings to pass on to a mediating human (Gal.3:19). Also to these people He sent messages and instructions through dedicated and disciplined mediums or prophets (instruments of Spirit-Power). These messages were for various reasons, the most vital reason being the foretelling of the birth of Christ, His life, His death, His resurrection, and what He would achieve by all of this: demonstration of God's love for His children and their ultimate salvation.

God's Christ, as the Man Jesus, knew only too well what His Mission was. He had left His Godhead and proceeded forth from the Father and in doing so He had relinquished His power (John 8:42) (which He would connect with again once in the flesh through the effort and endurance His perfect spirituality would bring as a consequence), and subjected Himself to everything a human being is subject to; in short, to incarnate (become flesh) as a human being in order to fulfil His Mission. And His Mission included fulfilling the prophecies about Himself - He had been born, had lived a perfect life, now He must face His "departure" at Jerusalem (Luke 9:31) and His Return from the state called "death" - His accomplishments. Thus the Cross had to be, there was no other course, it had been preordained from the Godhead. The Cross was an essential part of the Mission because of the unimaginable power and essential influence it would bring to a world which was in a state of unsalvageable spiritual degradation because evil had a firm grip.

Thus, the Law of Moses was in force for the descendants of the first Israelites until the prophecies were fulfilled by the death and resurrection of Jesus the Christ. Jesus made absolutely certain that He fulfilled every word, every full stop of the Law and prophecies, to complete the preordained Plan in its entirety and to perfection: "Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled" (Matt.5:18). A stumbling block for the Literalist with his or her limited concept of salvation has been the wording used by Jesus. Jesus was able to make a statement and it be true in more than one way. Christ was emphasising how the Israelites could not escape the effects of the law of Moses unless they had the love of Christ written into their hearts, the type of law which would have to last for all time, for even an age, without the Spirit of Christ in the heart and mind which would only be possible when He had fulfilled the prophecies about Himself and the coming of the Christian era. The love of Christ would be in their hearts because of His accomplishments which were spoken of by the prophets, but "till" then they would have to follow the law.

Yet, when the Great Teacher spoke these words, it was true both metaphorically and literally. Christ was not merely emphasising how the Law of Moses could not bring the wayward Israelites into that spiritual condition only He could provide - Christ was also fulfilling the prophesies in the Old Testament, especially the passing of the old nation of the Israelites. This is grasped when understanding the language employed by Christ and the use of the term "heaven and earth".

Often He spoke of things which were referenced in the Israelite Scriptures and when He said: "Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled", He was referring to the term "heaven and earth" used for the nation of Israel (Deut.32:1), (Isa.51:16), (Isa.1:2). It is a figurative term, in the same manner that "Abraham's Bosom" was used for Paradise. Israel was "heaven and earth", and - as Jesus had foretold - with the historical destruction of the nation of Israel, especially Jerusalem in A.D. 70 by the Romans, there came the destruction of the church of Israel with its ordinances and paraphernalia ("heaven") and the State ("earth"). Hence, the Mosaic order was ended and a new heaven and earth had begun with the new "Jerusalem", a new "holy nation" in Christ - not based on religion or nationality but spiritual salvation: "The Redeemed of the Lord" (Isa.62:12).

It perhaps needs to be pointed out for the benefit of the Fundamentalist who claims allegiance to any law of Moses, that Jesus used the word: "until", meaning that Mosaic Law and its binding status for the Israelite descendants would change when "all is fulfilled". Every sincere seeker of truth should know that Jesus did in fact make sure that "all is fulfilled" and said so Himself after His resurrection: "These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me" (Luke 24:44). Indeed, "He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures...Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day" (Luke 24:45,46). Christ Jesus was on earth during the Mosaic epoch, and with the fulfilment of His accomplishments - the Cross and Resurrection - and finally with the destruction of the old disobedient Israel, a new Christian spiritual Era would start.

There must also be a further consideration with regard to the end of the Mosaic era and the coming of the Kingdom of Christ, and that is concerning a word which has been mistranslated for centuries in order to bolster and preserve dogmatic tenets. The subject is too involved to deal with in its entirety here but it concerns the word "aion" which is often misconstrued. Regarding the speech of Christ and the disciples, the noun "aion" is often mistranslated as the word "world" when in fact "world" should really be the word "kosmos" if that was what Christ and His disciples had meant when they spoke of the Kingdom which should replace the Mosaic epoch, because "kosmos" was the commonly employed word for "world" - but they did not use "kosmos", so they did not mean the end of the "world".

This was the Christ of God, the Messiah; He was there in front of the disciples, talking to them and they to Him. The disciples wanted to know when this Mosaic era was to be over, when the "end of the age" (Mosaic age) was to be and His new Kingdom set up - they did not ask when the end of the world was to come as Christendom has erroneously assumed (ever since the Greek to Latin Bible translations, starting with Tertullian).

This was the Messiah of their Scriptures Who was to "set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed" (Dan. 2:44) - and the disciples wanted to know when. And He told them - He said that even some of those standing there that day would see the end of the Mosaic era and the coming of the Kingdom (Luke 9:27). This is as clear as day - Jesus told His hearers that some of them would still be alive when these things happened: "Truly I tell you, there are some standing here who will not taste of death* before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom" (Matt.16:28).

* "of death" ⇔ "thanatos" ⇔ "the death of the physical body".

Of course, in a spiritual sense, we could also genuinely assume this saying to mean that the coming of Christ is at a person's individual earthly death and transition, where those who have truly lived by His Principles of Love are to enter His Kingdom of Love and "not see death all through the Aeon - through the aion - (John 8:51)".

But here, we can see that the Great Teacher is able to state something which is true in more than one sense, and we see that He has stated that the end of the Mosaic dispensation and economy was to be at that time period that He was speaking.

The Mosaic era ended within the first century A.D. and judicious analysis of Matthew 24 and 25 shows that Christ spoke the truth when He said that all of the described events would occur before the present generation had passed - this whole discourse is a parabolic account of the end of the Mosaic era, and is marked by the ruin of Jerusalem, and the introduction of the Christian age.

The reason that translators misinterpret or mistranslate the intended meaning of the word "aión" and its derivatives is so that it does not disturb one or more of the following dogmatic teachings:
i) A belief that the end of the world shall come (second coming) when Christ appears with His legion of angels to destroy all those who do not follow their particular "Christian teaching".
ii) A tenet of being "saved" (receiving salvation) on the basis of the acceptance of a mere mental concept instead of basing Christian teaching on the existence of a Spiritual World which enables the Divine hope and joy of Universal Salvation through the spiritual evolution or involution of the actual character (degree of purity) of the soul.
iii) A monstrous doctrine of everlasting and infinite punishment for a finite failure to make a one-time acceptance of a mental concept of salvation based upon a practice of blood sacrifices of animals, which grotesquely misrepresents the Love of God.

In reality, where this word appears it should be "age" or "era" as this is the common usage of the word at the time, hence when the disciples asked Jesus when the "aion" would end, they did not mean "world" at all, they were actually talking about the present "epoch", the Mosaic era - no less, no more. And Jesus told them that it would end before their own generation had passed - meaning with His death and resurrection i.e. when He had fulfilled His accomplishments. So, from the mouth of Jesus Himself, He has said that Mosaic dispensation was to be over in that very generation: "Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled (Matt.24:34)".

Literalistic Fundamentalists have, ironically, been very liberal with this well documented declaration of Christ. Somehow, they have to misconstrue the truth spoken from the lips of Christ that some of those people actually standing there and listening to Him would literally be physically alive when these events were unfolding (Matt.16:28), thus ending the Mosaic dispensation and confirming the end of the era and not the end of the "world" (which many Fundamentalists seem to delight in preaching).

Thus, the literalistic Fundamentalist suddenly becomes wildly liberal and attempts to change Christ's meaning by asking us to believe that He, Christ, was referring to a family group because of His reference to a "generation"; meaning, one assumes, an unlimited line of future descendants. This is stretching the issue beyond acceptability even for the most flexible of thinkers.

As it appears in three of the four gospels, an unprejudiced and inherently honest questioner might ask: then why did our Lord bother at all to declare that some of those standing there at that time in person would be alive at the time that these events unfolded in order for the Son of Man to come into His Kingdom? "Truly, I tell you, there are some standing here who will not taste of death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom (Mark 9:1), (Matt.16:28), (Luke 9:27)".

Surely Christ would have never made such a statement in the first instance if He had been referring to a time which was, at a bare minimum, two thousand years in the future!

The Rev. John Wesley Hanson D.D. explains in his book: "aion - aionios, Translated Everlasting - Eternal In The Holy Bible, Shown To Denote Limited Duration".

"The events here described took place in this world within thirty years of the time when Jesus spoke. They are now past. In Matt. xxiv:4, the disciples asked our Lord when the then existing age would end. The word (aion) is unfortunately translated world. Had he meant world he would have employed kosmos, which means world, as aion does not. After describing the particulars he announced that they would all be fulfilled, and the aion end in that generation, before some of his auditors should die. If he was correct the end came then. And this is demonstrated by a careful study of the entire discourse, running through Matthew xxiv and xxv. The disciples asked Jesus how they should know his coming and the end of the age. They did not inquire concerning the end of the actual world, as it is incorrectly translated, but age. This question Jesus answered by describing the signs so that they, his questioners, the disciples themselves, might perceive the approach of the end of the Jewish dispensation (aion). He speaks fifteen times in the discourse of his speedy coming, (Matt. xxiv:3, 27, 30, 37, 39, 42, 46, 48, 50, and xxv:6, 10, 13, 19, 27, 31). He addresses those who shall be alive at his coming. Matt. xxiv:6. "Ye shall hear of wars, etc." 20. "Pray that your flight be not in the winter." 33, 34. "So likewise when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled."
"Campbell, Clarke, Wakefield, and Newton (Com. in loc.) translate the phrase, end of the world (sunteleia tou aionos) "conclusion of the age," "end of this dispensation." The question was, then, what shall indicate thy second coming and the end of the Mosaic economy (aion)? "When shall all these things be fulfilled?" Mark xiii:1, 34. He spoke of the temple (Luke xxi:5, 7,) saying one stone should not be left on another, and the question of his disciples was, how shall we know when this is to take place? The answer is, "Ye shall hear of wars." xxiv:6. "Ye shall see the abomination of desolation." 15. "Pray that your flight be not in winter." 20. The adverbs "Then" and "When" connect all the events related in the two chapters in one unbroken series. And what infallible token did he give that these events would occur "then?" Matt. xxiv:34. "Verily I say unto you this generation shall not pass till all these things be fulfilled." What things? The "son of man coming in his glory in the clouds," and the end of the existing aion, or age. Mark phrases it: "This generation shall not pass till all these things be done." See Luke xxi:25, 32. This whole account is a parable describing the end of the Jewish aion, age, or economy, signalized by the destruction of Jerusalem, and the establishment if the new aion, world, or age to come, that is the Christian dispensation. Now on the authority of Jesus himself the aion then existing ended within a generation, namely, about A.D. 70. Hence those who were sent away into aionion punishment, or the punishment of that aion, were sent into a condition corresponding in duration to the meaning of the word aion, i.e., age-lasting. A punishment cannot be endless, when defined by an adjective derived from a noun describing an event, the end of which is distinctly stated to have come".

People naming themselves Christians who preach the return of a wrathful avenger full of hatred not only anthropomorphise Divinity, but they seriously misrepresent the Love of Christ as well as misunderstand His words. Historical records show that the events of which He spoke have already happened: The destruction of Jerusalem.

If a person wishes to follow some aspects of Mosaic Law and call it Christianity, then he or she is welcome; and if they are sincere, God recognises what is in the heart. But many other people from other systems of thought are also sincere and God recognises what is in their hearts equally. It is when the Literalist says that his or her concept of salvation is the "only" correct method, that the follower of Mosaic Law becomes elitist, and ignores the many strong statements in the Bible instructing that Mosaic Law cannot save the Israelites (Rom.8:3) and that indeed it has been repealed (Eph.2:15, Gal.3:13, Rom.10:4, Heb.8:13, Gal.5:3,4, Gal.2:21).

This clearly and plainly explains why the Fundamentalist's claim that all are subject to the Law of Moses (or even one of the laws (Gal. 5:3)) is erroneous and greatly misleading. When a person quotes from Deuteronomy or Leviticus saying: "God says you must do this" or "God says you must not do that", then that person is demonstrating that he or she has misunderstood the true meaning of Christ's accomplishments. Christ's instructive statement: "I did not come to destroy but to fulfil" (Matt.5:17) is so full of beautiful meaning now that all things are indeed: "fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms" concerning Himself (Luke 24:44); namely, His birth, His life, His trial, His nailing to a tree, His reappearance three days after death, and the scattering of the power that should come from all of these things (Dan.12:7). Thus, with those accomplishments, the fulfilment of Mosaic Law was achieved, and "the old (law) was ready to vanish away" (Heb.8:13) and be replaced by a New Covenant, the Christ Law, the Law of the Spirit.

But on the most simple level regarding Christ's declaration of fulfilling the law (and all things of Christ are simple), it can be seen on even a cursory inspection that Jesus resurrected the Spirit of Religion and put a nail in the coffin of ritual; materialistic dicta of the body were transformed into a living faith of the spirit; the dead tomb of Phariseeism and stifling legalism was regenerated with the Spirit of Life by Christ Himself. It is such a simple thing - focus removed from the physical and instead placed upon the spirit. These sentiments appear shallow and meaningless to those who have pinned themselves to the letter of the Law; whereas such sentiments are full of life and progression for those seeking Truth honestly and fearlessly - essential prerequisites to find the God obscured by the colossal mass of human fiction to which myriads have attached themselves. Jesus the Christ declared in His teaching the ultimate goal of the Mosaic Law (Matt. 22:36-40); and then He fulfilled that goal by presenting the perfect Example for man, now set free from the Law by Truth, to follow.

The new Law of the Spirit is truly spiritual because it now encompassed the law of the heart and mind as law-keepers with compassion and forgiveness, contrition and conscience, and most importantly, love. This occurred as a result of when He cut that deep, deep step. The true Christ Spirit produces fruits "against which there is no law" (Gal.5:22,23). Moreover, "he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law. The commandments, 'Do not commit adultery', 'Do not murder', 'Do not steal', 'Do not covet', and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: 'Love your neighbour as yourself. Love does no harm to its neighbour. Therefore love is the fulfilment of the law (Rom.13:8-10)". "The entire law is summed up in a single command: 'Love your neighbour as yourself'" (Gal.5:13).

He gave us a New Commandment in contradistinction to the old Mosaic Law: "A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another" (John 13:34). Putting aside the Law of Moses and adopting Christ's Commandments to love God and one another (Matt.22:37), we are doing the Will of Christ: "let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God (1 John 4:7)". It is not the Will of Christ to follow the law of Moses; a final reiteration for clarity: "Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace." (Gal.5:3,4).


Addendum I.

The Great Fulfiller

Mosaic Law From Its Fulfilment By Christ Perspective

When something which is un-fulfilled becomes something which is fulfilled, then it has undergone a transformation, i.e. it is no longer in an un-fulfilled state, it is in a different state - it is fulfilled.

For example: The purpose of a caterpillar is un-fulfilled until it becomes transformed into a butterfly, i.e. the treasure within the caterpillar has emerged from within the outer shell; there is a new condition of life brought forth, something beautiful and able to soar in a different dimension of existence. The purpose of the caterpillar has been fulfilled.

The caterpillar was not destroyed; if it had been destroyed, then its purpose could not have been fulfilled - there would have been no butterfly.

Rather, the caterpillar has gone through its lifecycle according to design, it has served its purpose and it is ready to pass away, vanish.

The external shell of the caterpillar is the letter of the law of Moses. It cannot bring fulfilment; it passes away, vanishes.

The butterfly is the Spirit of the law of Moses. It brings fulfilment as the heart and mind are now filled with the Law of Love because of the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus the Christ.

Something new has been revealed: "...a new covenant, not of the letter, but of the spirit, for the letter is killing, yet the spirit is vivifying..." (2 Cor.3:6).

The law sprang from a treasure at the heart of the law.

Christ exposed this treasure when He fulfilled the law.

He fulfilled the Law of Love.

Through Christ's compassionate intervention (e.g. "no longer is it an eye for an eye" etc.), the culture created in the process leading up to the fulfilment of the law by Christ, did not have to be abandoned by those in the Spirit who belonged to that culture, it simply needed adapting accordingly, because Christ had made it possible to "be in the world but not of it".

One must consider the common-folk, such as Mary the mother, simple and sincere, wanting with all her heart to obey her God, the Lord Jehovah; and the little Jesus growing up with her, knowing her whole way of life, knowing her way of thinking, knowing it all to be inextricably connected to generations of customs. The Christ was the Grand Fulfiller, yet He fulfilled with the deepest compassion.


Addendum II.

Mosaic Law And Its Literary Historicity

Generally, "inspiration" is implanted in the medium (the receiver and transmitter of Spirit-Communication) and the spirit of the medium delivers the expression given to man, an expression formed and shaped by the existing content of mind of the medium (its store of words, its understanding, its knowledge and its concepts) and his or her physical surroundings.

For example, the laws of Moses would be Moses' own expression of the original imprint by Spirit. It should not be too surprising that Moses, having been brought up in the Egyptian royal court, would be fully acquainted with precise civil laws, the earliest laws dating back to 3000 years BC. Nor should it be a surprise that some Mosaic laws should be similar in content and structure to that which prevailed hundreds years beforehand in Babylon, i.e. Hammurabi's Code (probably around 1760 BC).

Joel S. Baden of Yale Divinity School, New Haven, Connecticut, wrote a refreshingly independent in-depth commentary on the book by David P. Wright: "Inventing God's Law: How the Covenant Code of the Bible Used and Revised the Laws of Hammurabi", an academic book written on the question of literary dependence of the Covenant Code (Mosaic Law) on the Law of Hammurabi (Hammurabi's Code).

In response to Wright's proposal that the Covenant Code was a polemic response by Israel to the earlier Law of Hammurabi, Baden writes: "...It is perfectly reasonable, to my mind, that the author of the Covenant Code should have used the Law of Hammurabi because of its high standing as a major legal text, as a template and guide when creating his own Israelite law code, without writing as a direct response to the Law of Hammurabi per se."

Baden concludes: "...Wright has made a major contribution to our understanding of the composition of the Covenant Code even if one accepts only the barest bones version of his thesis, that the Covenant Code has some dependent relationship to Law of Hammurabi. Read alongside the conceptually similar works of Bernard Levinson and of Jeffrey Stackert, Wright’s book takes us one step closer to a full picture of the development of Israelite law. He has further done scholarship a significant service by again showing that literary dependence can be seen not only in word-for-word correspondence but also in the intelligent revision of an earlier text..."

The following is an example of certain similarities between the Covenant Code and the Hammurabi Code (whilst acknowledging obvious differences, the same basic content, formulation and sequence is apparent to both scholar and layman alike):

Exodus 21:28-30
(Law of Moses)

28. lf an ox gores a man or woman and he dies, the ox shall be stoned, its flesh shall not be eaten; the owner of the ox is not liable.
29. lf an ox is a habitual gorer, from previous experience, and its owner has been warned, but he did not restrain it, and it kills a man or woman, the ox shall be stoned and its owner shall be put to death.
30. If ransom is laid upon him, he shall pay the redemption price for his life, according to whatever is laid upon him.

Law of Hammurabi 250-251 (Pre-existing Law of Moses)

250. If an ox gores a man while passing through the street and kills (him), that case has no claim.
251. If a man's ox is a habitual gorer, and his district has informed him that it is a habitual gorer, but he did not file its horns and did not control his ox, and that ox gores a man (lit. son of a man) and kills (him), he shall pay one-half mina (= thirty shekels) of silver.

In short, from a scholarly perspective, the author of Mosaic Law was, in certain laws, strongly influenced by the author of a pre-existing non-Israelite code.


Addendum III.

Mosaic Law Was Delivered By Spirit Messengers
(Acts 7: 53; Gal. 3:19)

From the perspective of the mechanics of spiritual revelation, it is evident that Moses was inspired to produce a Law (Note: "Inspiration" is here defined as a human being receiving spiritual instruction from an external spiritual source, from which mental ideas and physical words are formulated by the mind of the human mediator or medium).

This is a Law in which Moses, having been inspired, draws much of its framework based upon pre-existing legal laws and concepts. This is in contrast to other forms of mediumship such as direct trance, automatic writing (on paper), etc., where human words are clearly defined; if such had been the case then Spirit would not need to use a revision of pre-existing non-Israelite laws devised by Hammurabi, the sixth Amorite king of Babylon. But this line of inspiration was clearly required in order that humanity played a major part in this chapter of its spiritual history - the Supreme Being chooses men and women - His children - to accomplish His great plan, guiding them with His Spirit.

To further understand the reception and fine-tuning of Mosaic Law, a little insight into the mediator Moses is helpful.

Moses was taught the secrets and wisdom of the elite Egyptian priesthood and its philosophers: "...Moses was learned in all the wisdom of Egyptians...(Acts 7:22)".

Prior to the time of Moses, and therefore during the centuries that the Israelites were in slavery to Egypt, Egyptian belief was very much polytheistic, the influence of which very much affected the Israelites' culture. However, between the 16th to 11th centuries BC ("the New Kingdom of Egypt"), the Egyptian priesthood taught that Amun-Ra held the position of transcendental, self-created creator-deity [1].

Amun-Ra's placement as "King of the Gods" was progressed to the extent that he was regarded as monotheistic (other gods became his manifestations). He is described in an Egyptian sacred hymn as: "Lord of truth, father of the gods, maker of men, creator of all animals, Lord of things that are, creator of the staff of life".

Moses, then, was brought up with, and taught by the powerful priests of Egypt concerning a self-perpetuating, all-powerful, ever-existent deity who could indeed claim the name of: "I Am That Which I Am" (Ex. 3:14 YLT).

It should be no surprise that Moses was easily impressed by spirit-agency with the concept of a Supreme God for the Israelite nation - he would have certainly felt that God had spoken to him in this matter.

Furthermore, it should be no surprise that Moses included Egyptian laws in his expression of Law to the Israelites. Sixth Dynasty (2345–2181 BC) tomb artwork in Egypt, is thought to be the oldest documentary evidence of circumcision, the most ancient depiction being a bas-relief from the necropolis at Saqqara (c. 2400 BC) [2].

Hence, male circumcision was considered to be a sacred undertaking by the Egyptian priesthood; thus Moses would clearly consider circumcision to be a part of the sacred Law of the Israelites; or rather, Moses would know that God had spoken to him about creating a Law and thus included the law of circumcision; a strong instrument for spirit communion such as Moses, who was culturally indoctrinated with the sacred teaching of circumcision, would be convinced that this law should be a part of the Law he was impressed to lay down.

Again, it should not be surprising that Moses borrowed the ritualism of the Egyptian system of religion, which incorporated everyday acts into worship of its concept of Deity. Egyptian priests saw their idea of the Supreme in the manifested physical world - they devoted themselves to ritualistic physical acts which were considered sacred, seeing the unknowable God in animated manifestations. Moses did not borrow the Egyptian belief in immortality; similarly, Egyptian belief in spirit agency is not taught by Moses, and the appearances of spirits are considered as incidental rather than a coded fact. But Moses did borrow Egyptian ritual.

Moses adapted the highly ceremonial purifications performed by Egyptian priests and incorporated them into the temple of the Jews. In Egypt the priests wore linen dresses; there was a "mercy seat" in all but name, which was guarded by mysterious cherubim; the Egyptian temple was built around the most sacred area - a Holy of Holies, as it were - and from this background coupled with the powerful inspiration of spirit communion, came the Holy Place and Holy of Holies of the Jews.

Thus, by considering the upbringing of Moses in the Egyptian court and temple, we come to a little more understanding as to the reception, administration and refining of Israelite code by Moses.

As the Exemplar Jesus had become transfigured during spirit communion with the bright spirits of Moses and Elijah, so fourteen centuries or so previously, Moses had retreated to Sinai (or later had entered the seclusion of the Lord's presence [Ex.34:29-35]) and had become transfigured in spirit communion, where he learnt of the Law that he was to lay down to the tribes of ancient Israel who wandered about in darkness and ignorance.

Moses was inspired to create a Law in the name of God. From Moses' personality, and from the content and makeup of the knowledge and concepts existing in his mind, was formulated and expressed the physical manifestation of the concepts which had been implanted in his mind in purer form, which culminated in Mosaic Law in the name of the God Jehovah (YHWH) who, according to ancient records, was first revealed by the patriarch Abraham as the God of Israel.

In the Name of the Supreme Being, a powerful band of Spirit-messengers operated on the wayward Jewish nation through the strong mediatorship (mediumship) of Moses by inspiration: The Law of Moses was "received from the commission of angels" (Acts 7: 53). Indeed, the Law of Moses was "ordained through angels in a mediator's hand" (Gal. 3:19), i.e. God commissioned angels to impress Moses with laws.

This powerful band of spirits operated through the Jewish nation on the world. A code of religious observance was introduced and advanced; a system of government was developed in detail; laws and regulations were laid down which were adapted and adjusted for the specific necessities of a great people at a time of great crisis of their history.

The Law of Moses was specifically for the Jewish nation at a specific time in a changing past age. Due to the Jewish nation having been heavily under the Egyptian influence for hundreds of years, it had absorbed into its consciousness a polytheism which provided it none of the deep mysteries of truth of the One True Supreme God.

The laws inspired and developed through the mediumship of Moses were designed to bring to the Jewish nation a consciousness of the One Being who was its Ruler and who cared for it, and also a consciousness of the nation's duty and obedience to Him; the laws also ensured that a loving duty to ones fellow being was recognised as a Divine commandment.

Hence, the exposure of the revelation by Jesus Christ of the treasure within the Law of Moses, that the pure foundation upon which all the law and the prophets hinged was:

"You shall be loving the Lord your God out of your whole heart, and with your whole soul, and with your whole strength, and with your whole comprehension, and your neighbour as yourself" (Luke 10:27, Matt.22:37 [CLV]).

Spirit revelation is in accordance with the spiritual capacity and needs of humanity at the time. The Law of Moses was impressed upon him in the seclusion of the heights of Sinai where Spirit Communion is at its purest (note the essential similarity to the Spirit Communion on the Mount of Transfiguration when Jesus communed with the spirits of Moses and Elijah).

In conclusion, the Spirit of Mosaic Law has been revealed by Jesus Christ; and the letter of Mosaic Law is no longer applicable to those who have outgrown that which was designed for a people capable of sacrificing their own children in fire to strange gods (Deut. 12:31; 18:10-13) - indeed, a people steeped in the Divine ignorance of an ancient and distant age. The purpose of the Law of Moses was to reveal a duty to love God and to be in loving-kindness and charity with ones neighbour. Now those grandest of commandments can be lived by the Spirit and in the Spirit through the Grace of Jesus the Christ.

[1] Amun Ra

[2] Egyptian Circumcision

Tony Bisson
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