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Which Mountain?

Zion or Sinai?

The question I would like to deal with today is,

“Are we under the laws and ordinances of the Old Testament?”

I hope to answer questions that are posed to us from those who teach that we are to keep the Sabbath and other teachings of the Old Testament.


There was a problem in the first century church

We read in the fifteenth chapter of Acts, verse one;

“And certain men which came down from Judea taught the brethren, and said, ‘Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved.’”

The Apostles came together to consider this matter. After much discussion, they came to a decision that circumcision and the keeping of The Law was not applicable.

Verse 19 says; 
“Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God:”

Don’t let those that teach such things today trouble you either. These teachings put you under bondage.


The Apostles Conclusion

 “That ye abstain from MEATS OFFERED TO IDOLS, and from BLOOD, and from THINGS STRANGLED, and from FORNICATION: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well." (Acts15:29)

The apostles didn't require the new believers to keep any other parts of the Law.


Let’s look at some other scriptures.

Colossians 2:10-22 “And ye are complete in Him, which is the head of all principality and power:

11 “In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: (It's the circumcision of Christ's Salvation that is required, not the one done with hands and a knife.)

12 “Buried with Him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with Him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised Him from the dead.

13 “And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath He quickened together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses;

14 “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances [The Law] that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to His cross;

15 “And having spoiled principalities and powers, He made a show of them [The Laws] openly, triumphing over them in it [His crucifixion].”

16 “Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath days:

17 “Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body [substance, true message] is of Christ.

18 “Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshiping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,

19 “And not holding the Head [Jesus], from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God.

20 “Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances,

21 “(Touch not; taste not; handle not; THE ORDINANCES [These ordinances are the mosaic law.]

22 “Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men?”


Some more scriptures on this subject.

Galatians 4:21-26 “Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.
[Righteousness comes from faith in Jesus Christ, not The Law].

22 “But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.

23 “But before faith came, we were kept under The Law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.

24 “Wherefore The Law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.

25 “But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. [We are no longer under the Law]

26 “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.”

Galatians 5:4 “Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by The Law; ye are fallen from grace.”

Romans 13:8 “Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled The Law.”

Galatians 5:14 “For all The Law is fulfilled in one word, [even] in this; ‘Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.’”

Matt. 5:17 “Think not that I am come to destroy The Law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.”

Luke 16:16 “The Law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it.”

We need to look at what it means to “fulfill the law.” To understand this passage of scripture, we need to know what the word FULFILL means.

In Greek it was written in the word is PLEROO. The meaning of this word is;
1) To make full, to fill up, i.e. to fill to the full
  • To cause to abound, to furnish or supply liberally
I abound, I am liberally supplied

2) To render full, i.e. to complete
  • To fill to the top: so that nothing shall be wanting to full measure, fill to the brim
  • To consummate: a number
3) To make complete in every particular, to render perfect

4) To carry through to the end, to accomplish, carry out, (some undertaking)
  • To carry into effect, bring to realization, realize
5) Of matters of duty: to perform, execute

6) Of sayings, promises, prophecies, to bring to pass, ratify, accomplish

7) To fulfill, i.e. to cause God's will (as made known in the law) to be obeyed as it should be, and God's promises (given through the prophets) to receive fulfillment.

Jesus said that the temple in Jerusalem would be completely destroyed. In the year 70 A.D. this prophecy was FULFILLED.

When Jesus died on the cross, He fulfilled the purpose of The Law. We are no longer under the schoolmaster.

Hebrews 10:9 “Then said He, ‘Lo, I come to do thy will, O God.’ He taketh away the first that He may establish the second.”


How about the Ten Commandments?

Do we live by them today?

The answer to that question is NO.

The Ten Commandments are a part of the old law.

Does the scripture separate the Ten Commandments from the rest of the Mosaic Law?

I don’t know of ANY scripture that make that separation. God gave it all.

The Ten Commandments were given to Israel for the purpose of bringing righteousness. 

They serve the purpose today of identifying what righteousness is.

Do we need this righteousness today?



The New Testament Application

The Ten Commandments are from Exodus 20:3-17:

1) verse 3.Thou shalt have no other gods before Me. In the following scripture, the apostle Paul corrects the men of Lystra for honoring him and Barnabas as Gods.

Acts 14:11-15 "And when the people saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voices, saying in the speech of Lycaonia, The gods are come down to us in the likeness of men.

12 And they called Barnabas, Jupiter; and Paul, Mercurius, because he was the chief speaker.

13 Then the priest of Jupiter, which was before their city, brought oxen and garlands unto the gates, and would have done sacrifice with the people.

14 Which when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, heard of, they rent their clothes, and ran in among the people, crying out,

15 And saying, “Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein:”

2) verse 4. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.

5.Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
6. And showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.

1John 5:21 says.“Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen."
  • John made sure the new converts understood that this Law was still in affect.
3) verse 7. Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.

James 5:12 12 “But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation.”
  • Again James made sure everyone understood that this law was still valid.
4) verse 8. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.

9 Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work:

10. But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:

11. For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it.
  • Commandment #4 is for the benefit of man. It is a day of REST.
  • This day was never designated as a day of worship except where Festivals were concerned. There were weekly Sabbaths and Festival days that were called Sabbaths or High Days (John19:31).
  • This commandment is the same as the rest of The Law. It was our schoolmaster that was to bring us to Christ. There isn’t any place in scripture after The Cross that instructs us to keep the Sabbath.
Hebrews4:4 “For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, ‘And God did rest the seventh day from all His works.’

5 And in this place again, ‘If they shall enter into My rest.’

6 Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief:

7 Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, “To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear His voice, harden not your hearts.”

8 For if Jesus had given them rest, then would He not afterward have spoken of another day.

9 There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.

10 For he that is entered into His rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from His.

11 Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.”
  • Our rest is in Jesus, not in our own works. We walk by faith, not by works.
Isaiah28:11-12 11 “For with stammering lips and another tongue will He speak to this people.

12 To whom He said, ‘This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing:’ yet they would not hear.”
  • The rest we have in Christ includes the Gift of Tongues.
5) verse 12 Honor thy father and thy mother that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.

Ephesians 6:11 “Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.”

6) verse 13 Thou shalt not kill (murder).

1 John 3:15 15 “Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.”
  • In the New Testament, we are not only commanded to abstain from murder, but from hate! God raised the standard for the New Covenant!
7) verse 14 Thou shalt not commit adultery.
Matthew 5:28 “But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.”
  • Jesus again raised the bar. Not only can we not commit adultery, we cant even lust!
8) verse 15 Thou shalt not steal.

Ephesians 4:28 “Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labor, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.”
  • Even without the Ten Commandments, we still aren't allowed to steal.
9) verse 16 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor. 
Colossians 3:9-10 9 “Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;

10 “And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:”
  • The 9th commandment is really just talking about giving court testimonies. Paul extends it to lying in general; again, a stricter standard than The Ten Commandments.
10) verse 17 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbor’s.

Ephesians 5:3 “But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints.”


The Greatest Commandment

Matthew 22:36-40 “Master, which is the great commandment in The Law?”

37 Jesus said unto him, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

38 “This is the first and great commandment.

39 “And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.

40 “On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”

Those who lived before The Cross lived under the shadow of DEATH.
There was no remission of sins available until Jesus shed his blood on that old cross.
Those that lived back then were under sin until Jesus shed his blood.
The blood covered their sins retroactively. They looked forward to that time and we look back to it.
The Law and the prophets were for the purpose of bringing them to The Cross. The Law and the prophets have served their purpose.

We are now under grace.

Galatians 3:23 “But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.”

Luke 1:76-79 “And thou, child [John the Baptist], shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways;

77 To give knowledge of salvation unto His people by the remission of their sins,

78 Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us,

79 To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the SHADOW of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.”

Matthew 7:12 “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.”

Colossians 2:17 “Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.”

Hebrews 8:5 “Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, ‘See,’ saith He, ‘[that] thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount.’”

Hebrews 10:1 ”For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.”

The Law cannot make us perfect. If any laws, could, the Mosaic Law would do it, but it can’t.

The Law was to teach us what righteousness is; to show us that we CAN’T please God in our own strength. Christ fulfilled the Law. He completed it. He paid the sacrifice for our sins, our failure to keep The Law.

Today, if we insist on keeping The Law, we are saying that Christ’s sacrifice was not enough. It was not sufficient. He needs our help to get us into heaven.

Galatians 5:4 “Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by The Law; ye are fallen from grace.”

We are, however, commanded to live a righteous life as stated by Jesus:
“Love God with everything you’ve got and Love you neighbor as yourself.”

If we do this, (not if we follow a bunch of rules from ANY source,) we please God.
Choose which mountain you will put your faith in: Mount Sinai’s mountain of ordinances or Mount Calvary’s mountain of Love.