Foundations for Life in the Spirit
basic teaching about the spirit realm
for mature disciples in Yeshua
When teaching about the Law of Moses, Yeshua said, "I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished." This is a remarkable statement, for it means that no letter of the Law can change until everything in the Law has been accomplished. Has this happened yet?
The Law says, "Even if you have been banished to the most distant land under the heavens, from there the L-RD your God will gather you and bring you back. He will bring you to the land that belonged to your fathers, and you will take possession of it. He will make you more prosperous and numerous than your fathers. The L-RD your God will circumcise your hearts and the hearts of your descendants, so that you may love him with all your heart and with all your soul, and live." As Paul also wrote, "And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: 'The Deliverer will come from Zion; He will turn godlessness away from Jacob.'"
This national salvation of Israel has not yet happened. Therefore not everything in the Law of Moses has been fulfilled; and therefore, no letter of that Law has changed.
But don't believers teach that Yeshua's sacrifice on the Cross "fulfilled the Law" and caused it to pass away? If that is true, then why - many years after Yeshua's resurrection from the dead and ascension to the Father - did the Law of Moses still prevent Him from being a priest in this world? The author of Hebrews wrote, "If He were on earth, He would not be a priest, for there are already men who offer the gifts prescribed by the law." This is proof that every letter of the Law would be in effect until all of it would be fulfilled.
What was Yeshua's conclusion? "Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the Kingdom of Heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven."
This means that the preaching of the Kingdom of Heaven should still include the full teaching of the Law of Moses. This is not a matter on which our salvation depends, for Yeshua said that you can both disobey and teach against a commandment of the Law of Moses, and still be in the Kingdom of Heaven. But you will have the lowest reputation among those who are there.
Do I mean that we all should perform all the commandments in the Law? Be careful: Yeshua said that breaking a commandment and teaching others to do the same would reduce our standing in the Kingdom. But there is a difference between "breaking" and "not keeping".
As an example, the Law commands that the High Priest go into the Holy of Holies once a year on the Day of Atonement. Since I am not a High Priest, if I never go into the Holy of Holies, I am not breaking that commandment of the Law, even though I am not keeping it. For me to break a commandment in the Law, it must be a commandment that was intended for me to keep.
If I am not Jewish, or not living in Israel, or not a priest nor a Levite, there are many commands in the Law which are not required of me, and which I therefore cannot break. However, I might still teach others to break them, if they were meant to keep them. Let us not reduce our standing in the Kingdom of Heaven by teaching anyone to break the Law of Moses.
But how can it be important to both practice and teach the Law of Moses, when we can have salvation as Gentiles without entering the covenant of the Law at all? To answer that, we need to understand why the Law was given at all.
What does Hebrews tell us was the purpose of the priestly service in the temple? "They serve at a sanctuary that is a copy and shadow of what is in heaven." Have you seen the Sanctuary in heaven? Do you know what happens there? Moses saw it, as Hebrews explains (and as Moses himself wrote), "See to it that you make everything according to the pattern shown you on the mountain." John saw it, for he wrote: "And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God and from his power, and no one could enter the temple until the seven plagues of the seven angels were completed. "
The Law describes for us the physical copy, so that we can understand the spiritual reality better, even if we have not seen it: "Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Yeshua, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, His body, and since we have a great Priest over the house of G-d, let us draw near to G-d with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water."
How do we know what Paul means when he writes: "Do not be yoked together with unbelievers"? And how did Paul come to that conclusion? It came from his spiritual understanding of a command in the Law of Moses. How did Paul decide that those in spiritual service should benefit from financial support for the service they are performing? "For it is written in the Law of Moses: 'Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain.' Is it about oxen that G-d is concerned? Surely He says this for us, doesn't He? Yes, this was written for us, because when the plowman plows and the thresher threshes, they ought to do so in the hope of sharing in the harvest."
Let us all be learning the spiritual lessons that the Law of Moses has to teach us.
The scripture quotes in this article, in order of their appearance:
Romans 11:26, quoting Isaiah 59:20
Hebrews 8:5, quoting Exodus 25:40
2 Corinthians 6:14
1 Corinthians 9:9, quoting Deuteronomy 25:4
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