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- God's Law In The New Covenant

Lunar Sabbath Revealed - The old covenant Sabbath day was according to the lunar cycle. It was never Saturday.

God's Annual Sabbath Feasts - Are these feasts for Christian's today? Or have these feasts passed with the ceremonial laws?

Typology Of Clean And Unclean Meats - The laws of separation are fulfilled IN Christ.

3 Divisions Of The Law

The law, known as either God's law, the law of Moses, or the Torah, is comprised of 3 parts which is the ceremonial law, the civil law, and the moral law. We will see that the ceremonial and civil laws have passed away, but the moral law is eternal. The Bible does not explicitly state that the laws break down into these categories, but it has been clearly seen by theologians throughout history and by casual readers that the law does have these categories. It is important to decipher between them so that we can properly interpret the intended message in various passages of the scripture. For some, the primary point of contention is in WHICH category certain doctrines fit because this determines whether the topic in view has passed away or not.

The Ceremonial Law

The ceremonial law dealt with the levitical priesthood, the temple, and the sacrificial system. When people talk about the law being done away with or fulfilled by Jesus, this is what they SHOULD be talking about. Although we should be careful with our distinctions of "being done away with" or "fulfilled." It's not as if the office of the high priest is "done away with," as Jesus is now our high priest in Heaven. It's not as if the concept of a temple in which God dwells was "done away with," as our bodies are now the new covenant temple in which God's spirit dwells. It's not as if the death penalty by shedding of innocent blood to atone for sin is "done away with," as Jesus' death is the perfect sacrifice once and for all for our sins as Christians. So it was done away with in the sense that we as God's people no longer fulfill that role, the physical temple no longer fulfills it's role, and the innocent animals sacrificed no longer fulfill their roles. But those ideals and roles are not done away with in the law, it's just that now Jesus takes on those roles now as he is the reality that those types pointed to.

So the ceremonial laws concerning the sacrifices and priesthood duties were done at the cross when Jesus died and said "It is finished." At that moment the curtain to the Holy of Holies was torn open. Jesus fulfills all those things as the ceremonial laws were types that pointed to the reality of Jesus's role in Heaven as our eternal high priest. This is spoken of at length in the book of Hebrews. The temple was destroyed in 70ad adding finality to those that wanted to continue the ceremonial laws in the physical Jerusalem temple.

For there is verily a disannulling of the commandment going before for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof. Heb. 7:18 (....)

Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law; Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second. By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. Heb. 10:8-10 (....)

Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God. For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death. But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter. Rom. 7:4-6 (....)

But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. Gal. 3:23-25 (....)

And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; Col. 2:13-14 (.....)

The Moral Law

The moral law is the perfect eternal law. It is the law that existed before Moses, it was included in the Mosaic law, and the law that exists today and forever. The ceremonial law also preceded Moses as sacrifices and priests were existing during Abraham's time and before. Even Cain and Abel made sacrifices to God. An animal was sacrificed by God when Adam and Eve sinned. So these things were being reestablished by God to Moses as the Israelites had forgotten all these things while being slaves in Egypt. The civil laws were the only laws that were new being presented to Moses on Mount Sinai. Everything else was being reestablished to a lost people enslaved in Egypt for the last 400 years.

The moral law reflects God's character and are his instructions for living in the world. It should not be seen as something in which we are in bondage to. It is a blessing that God has revealed to us instructions for how to live just as an earthly father sets rules and boundaries for his children out of love, safety, and hopes of prosperity for them. God wants us to have prosperity, safety, joy, and peace. This is why he revealed to us his moral law found in the law of Moses. Also remember that it isn't Moses's law, it is God's law. God just chose Moses to put his law in written form for future generations to benefit from. 

Most of the laws in the moral law are not under debate, such as not to murder, steal, lie, adultery, fornication, idolatry, covet, and many others. As these laws are written on our hearts to know them without being told. So a lot of people do obey these laws on their own without associating the fact that they are obeying the Torah, or the law of Moses. But there are some laws that are up for debate, that we will get to shortly, that many would like to put under the category of the civil law or the ceremonial law so as to dismiss those laws from doing them. 

But some people's moral compass is off. Some will not agree, based on their feelings, that some things be wrong such as homosexuality for example. Some on the extreme end of the spectrum may argue that some things be okay such as incest, rape, pedophilia, or murder. By what standard, by what grounds, does one stand to refute such a person if the law of Moses is void? Some will say that the entire testament of the old testament scripture is unauthoritative on such matters. Those people do not have a leg to stand on to refute such a person. The words of Jesus and the apostles do not address all such matters. But they didn't need to, as the law of Moses from which they taught already addresses such matters. The moral law found in the law given to Moses on Mount Sinai refutes such a person. The inspired new testament writers time and time again reference and directly quote from the law of Moses as authoritative scripture to refute false doctrine and to teach sound doctrine. 

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God  may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Tim. 3:16-17 (The scripture being talked about is the Old Testament as the new testament writings was not yet formulated at that time.)

Only The 10 Commandments?
The moral law is not just simply the 10 commandments. We will see that the moral law is found not only in the 10 commandments, but throughout and within the law of Moses. Some people get hung up on terms such as the law of Moses or the law of God. But the moral law is any law that came from God that is for all people, all the time. So the ceremonial laws and the civil laws are not in themselves moral, but moral laws can be found in them. If the law is for all people, all the time, then it is a moral law. Do not murder is a moral law. It has never been ok for anyone to ever murder someone. And that will never change. That is what qualifies as a moral law.

It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father's wife. 1 Cor. 5:1 (Paul is condemning incest here. Where does the authority come from to condemn incest? It comes from the moral law found in the Old Testament scriptures.)

Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error. Rom. 1:26-27 
(Here we have homosexuality being condemned. 
Where does the authority come from to condemn homosexuality? It comes from the moral law found within the law of Moses. So while the law of Moses was done away or fulfilled, the moral law within it is eternal and remains.)

Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says. 1 Cor. 14:34 (Paul is speaking with inspired authority from the law of Moses. This is referencing Genesis 3:16 where it says in the law of Moses that the husband "shall rule over thee." Paul is teaching out of the law of Moses showing its continued usage and authority. Or else why would it say "as the law says?")

The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord. 1 Cor. 7:39 (Hold on a second Paul. What law are you talking about that the wife is bound by? He's teaching authoritatively from the law of Moses.)

Who serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat its grapes? Who tends a flock and does not drink the milk? Do I say this merely on human authority? Doesn’t the Law say the same thing? 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 God is concerned? Surely he says this for us, doesn’t he? Yes, this was written for us, because whoever plows and threshes should be able to do so in the hope of sharing in the harvest. If we have sown spiritual seed among you, is it too much if we reap a material harvest from you? If others have this right of support from you, shouldn’t we have it all the more? 1 Cor. 9:7-12 (Paul is teaching from the moral law out of the law of Moses. It is not human authority that he teaches but from the law as it continues to be in effect. Deuteronomy 25:4 is the verse in which Paul is quoting from. And notice who this law is written for. It's written for us in the new covenant.)

These are just a few examples of many in which a new testament inspired writer quotes from the law of Moses to teach doctrine. The old Testament is the scripture from which they taught as they didn't have the new testament text yet. The new testament further explains the law of Moses and how it relates to the new covenant with Jesus having come as the promised Messiah. But nothing new was taught, just explained.

The Moral Law Not Abolished
Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law. Rom. 3:31 (Paul is referencing the moral law.)

The LORD is well pleased for his righteousness' sake; he will magnify the law, and make it honourable. Isaiah 42:21 (Christ never came to abolish the moral law. His purpose was to magnify and honor it.)

Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroybut to fulfil. Matt. 5:17 (The word fulfil means to fill to the brim; to make full; to fill up, to fill to the full; to cause to abound; carry into effect; bring to realisation; to cause God's will to be obeyed as it should be.)

For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. Matt. 5:18-19 (....)

Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good. Romans 7:12 (....)

And when they had appointed him a day, there came many to him into his lodging; to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses, and out of the prophets, from morning till evening. Acts 28:23 (....)

The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul. Psalm 19:7 (.....)

Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. Romans 13:10 (....)

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: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people. Heb. 8:10 (This is referencing the moral laws of God.)

For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words? John 5:46-47 (....)

They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham's children, ye would do the works of Abraham. John 8:39 (.....)

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 (Context is king. If you take this verse on it’s own it will appear to say the opposite of what it actually says in context. Only Jesus did “all things” written in the law. And so it is only through faith in Jesus in which we are not under a curse. You just gotta get your Bible out to read the surrounding verses.)

In the last days the mountain of the Lord’s temple will be established as the highest of the mountains; it will be exalted above the hills, and peoples will stream to it. Many nations will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the temple of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths.” The law will go out from Zion, the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. Micah 4:1-2

“Remember the law of my servant Moses, the decrees and laws I gave him at Horeb for all Israel. Mal. 4:4 (....)

For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified. Rom. 2:13 (Many will take this as a proof text and out of context. Paul tells us in Romans 1:17 that righteousness is by faith. The only faithful doer of the law was Christ. So only in Christ can we be a faithful doer of the law and be declared righteous. There would be no one declared righteous apart from Christ.)

Behold, thou art called a Jew, and restest in the law, and makest thy boast of God, And knowest his will, and approvest the things that are more excellent, being instructed out of the law; And art confident that thou thyself art a guide of the blind, a light of them which are in darkness, An instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, which hast the form of knowledge and of the truth in the law. Thou therefore which teachest another, teachest thou not thyself? thou that preachest a man should not steal, dost thou steal? Thou that sayest a man should not commit adultery, dost thou commit adultery? thou that abhorrest idols, dost thou commit sacrilege? Thou that makest thy boast of the law, through breaking the law dishonourest thou God? For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you, as it is written. For circumcision verily profiteth, if thou keep the law: but if thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision is made uncircumcision. Therefore if the uncircumcision keep the righteousness of the law, shall not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision? And shall not uncircumcision which is by nature, if it fulfil the law, judge thee, who by the letter and circumcision dost transgress the law? For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God. Rom. 2:17-29 (Some will use text apart from its overall context. Only Christ obeyed the law perfectly. The text is revealing our inability to do what Christ did and this our need for faith in Christ to obtain his imputed righteousness by faith.))

The Commandments Of God
Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. Eccl. 12:13

For this is the love of Godthat we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. I John 5:3 (....)

For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law. James 2:10-11 (The point of this text is to say that we can’t uphold the standard of perfect law keeping as Christ did. We all sin, so we all fall short and are guilty of the whole law and condemned. Our only solution to this is faith in Christ )

This is love, that we walk according to His commandments. II John 6 (.....)

O that there were such an heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children for ever! Deut. 5:29 (.....)

And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Matt. 19:16-19 (.....)

Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. Rev. 14:12 (.....)

And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. Rev. 12:17 (....)

Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing, but keeping the commandments of God is what matters. I Cor. 7:19 (.....)

Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, 'I know Him,' and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. I John 2:3-4 (....)

The Civil Law

The civil law is the laws God gave the Israelites as a theocratic nation and as his people under him when he lead them out of Egypt through Moses to the promised land. God had to provide them with these civil laws to guide them as they just left Egypt as their governing authority for guidance. Today we live by the civil laws of the nations in which we live whether that be from the United States, England, or North Korea. When the Israelites were exiled due to their disobedience they no longer were a nation under the civil government of God himself. They disobeyed God in selecting a king to rule over them which God told them that a king would lead them astray from God. They were exiled and went under the civil government of the Babylonians, then under the Medes and Persians, then under the empire of Greece, and finally under the empire of Rome before the disporia in 70ad. We will also see that much of the civil laws will also reveal the moral law of God. America was a great nation because the moral laws of God was a primary influence in the civil laws of the nation in the Constitution and Declaration of Independence. Let's take a look at some of these civil laws that are also simultaneously moral laws.

-Murder (Exodus 21:12-14; Leviticus 24:17,21)
-Striking or cursing a parent (Exodus 21:15,17)
-Kidnapping (Exodus 21:16)
-Failure to lock up a dangerous animal that results in someone’s death (Exodus 21:28-29)
-Sorcery and Witchcraft (Exodus 22:18, Leviticus 20:27, Deuteronomy 13:5, 1 Samuel 28:9)
-Bestiality (Exodus 22:19, Leviticus 20:16)
-Working on the Sabbath (Exodus 31:14, 35:2, Numbers 15:32-36)
-Incest (Leviticus 18:6-18, 20:11-12,14,17,19-21)
-Human sacrifice (Leviticus 20:2-5)
-Adultery (Leviticus 20:10; Deuteronomy 22:22)
-Homosexual acts (Leviticus 20:13)
-Blasphemy (Leviticus 24:14,16, 23)
-False prophecy (Deuteronomy 18:20)
-Refusal to obey a decision of a judge or priest (Deuteronomy 17:12)
-Perjury in capital cases (Deuteronomy 19:16-19)
-A woman falsely claiming to be a virgin before marriage (Deuteronomy 22:13-21)
-Sexual relations between a woman pledged to be married and a man other than her husband to be (Deuteronomy 22:23-24)
-Rebellion against parents (Deuteronomy 21:18-21)

We can see that God's moral law can be found in many of the civil laws that God gave Israel. So even though the civil law was only for Israel, most of the civil laws reveal the moral law that is eternally in effect. So in that sense it is very important that we take note of these laws and learn from them. Yes we must of course take into the whole council of scripture when we do this. But to dismiss the old testament as unprofitable in understanding God's law and will for right living would be foolish. 

But what about the punishments in the civil law in which some require death by stoning? The penalty for sin is always death. Many times the death of an innocent animal was enough to atone for sin, but in other more serious offences the death of the person that committed the crime was required. However we have learned that the death penalty for sin has been paid for by Christ with his death on the cross. Also, even if that weren't the case, it isn't the responsibility of individual Christians to enforce punishments as we are no longer under the theocracy of Israel. The tribes of Israel are exiled out into the kingdoms of this world and are under the civil laws of those governing powers. But what we can do is do our best to uphold the moral law of God found in these civil laws of Israel.

Letter Of The Law=Old Covenant=Ceremonial Law
Spirit Of The Law=New Covenant=Christ Fulfilled

But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in 
newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter. Rom. 7:6 (Paul is talking about the ceremonial law of the old covenant and the transition to the new covenant. The newness of spirit is the new covenant. Jesus fulfilled everything in the ceremonial law.)

Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life. 2 Cor. 3:6 ("Ministers of the new testament" or new covenant, is contrasted with "the letter." The letter of the law is the old covenant. The spirit of the law is the new covenant through Christ. The letter killeth because it is the physical type that foreshadows the reality in Christ. It can not accomplish true atonement for sin. The spirit giveth life because the new covenant in Christ does truly atone for our sins.)

For circumcision verily profiteth, if thou keep the law: but if thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision is made uncircumcision. Therefore if the uncircumcision keep the righteousness of the law, shall not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision? And shall not uncircumcision which is by nature, if it fulfil the law, judge thee, who by the letter and circumcision dost transgress the law? For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God. Rom. 2:25-29 (Circumcision is an example Paul gives to reveal what is meant by the letter and spirit of the law. Circumcision is the type, or the letter of the law that foreshadows the antitype, the reality or spirit of the law which is repentance from sin. To simply be physically circumcised is obeying the letter of the law of the old covenant, but if the heart is not circumcised by putting away your sinful nature, then you transgress the true meaning of the law. That leads to death, and not life.)

So the letter of the law equates to the old covenant and the spirit of the law equates to the new covenant. The prevalent false teaching on this subject is that the letter of the law represents the entire law itself, therefore the entire law itself is done away, including the moral law. And the spirit of the law is the new law of our conscience, which is claimed to be the Holy Spirit. They would never admit to being lead by their conscience, but that is the reality. But the spirit of the law has NOTHING to do with the Holy Spirit. And the irony, is that the Holy Spirit never contradicts the law of God, as the Holy Spirit is the author of it. So the teaching ultimately claims that the Holy Spirit leads people individually apart from what the Holy Spirit authored in the moral law. So what is ultimately right or wrong? Well each individual can have a different answer.

The Council at Jerusalem

Certain people came down from Judea to Antioch and were teaching the believers: “Unless you are circumcised, according to the custom taught by Moses, you cannot be saved.” Acts 15:1
(The debate that went to the Jerusalem council was regarding salvation. Verse 5 clarifies that keeping the law of Moses was also a part of the question as well, not just circumcision. It wasn't whether or not gentiles should obey the law of Moses and be circumcised. That is a false narrative. Did they need to be circumcised and obey the law of Moses in order to be saved? Now that is a much different question.)

Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of Gentiles 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 (Peter addresses the group. He affirms that salvation is a gift of grace from God. It is not by our works by obeying the law. The yoke is not the law, but is the penalty of death that the law requires without perfect observance. Peter confirms that the council at Jerusalem was about salvation by grace versus works. It wasn't about whether Gentiles should or shouldn't obey the law of Moses.)

“It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God. Instead we should write to them, telling them to abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood. Acts 15:19-20 (James then tells how Gentiles should have a starting point to their conversion as opposed to just dumping everything on them all at once. James says they should abstain from idolatry, fornication, and maintain holiness in eating meats properly. All 3 of these things are commandments from the law of Moses. So the law is still valid in James' view, who is the brother of Jesus. James is NOT saying that this is all gentiles must do and that the law of Moses is unnecessary. The next verse affirms this is just a starting point.)

For the law of Moses has been preached in every city from the earliest times and is read in the synagogues on every Sabbath.” Acts 15:21 (James says that the Gentiles will learn the rest of the law of Moses when it will be preached to them every Sabbath day. So the council at Jerusalem actually affirms the law of Moses that it is still in affect in the new covenant. This text says just the opposite once again of what many people teach.)

Did Jesus Teach Anything New?

Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Matt. 5:17-18
(Before diving into the "ye have heard" vs "but I tell you" speech that Jesus gives on the sermon on the mount. This verse immediately precedes it and makes very clear that Jesus is NOT teaching destruction of the law and that not one single jot or tittle will pass from the law. Jesus makes this clear so as nobody will misinterpret his words that he is about to give. This is the context. So it is ironic that many use the following verses to show that Jesus taught something radically different from the law and new.)

For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven. Matt. 5:20 (Many teach that Jesus is upping the standard here from extremely difficult to impossible. We really need God's grace now. Yes we must have God's grace to obtain eternal life, but that's not what is happening here. The scribes and Pharisees are deplorable in the eyes of Jesus because he sees right through their facade. They are not the spiritually righteous people they claim to be and they do great damage to the word of God in their interpretations and additions to it.)

Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: Matt. 5:21-22 (Jesus was teaching from the law of Moses when he said not to be angry with your brother, or neighbor. Lev. 19:17 says verbatim "thou shall not hate thy brother." This was not a new teaching. But the Pharisees had a habit of twisting the law of Moses in ways that perverted the true teaching and Jesus was correcting their false interpretations. Thou shalt not kill is one of the 10 commandments, but the Pharisees were likely perverting this teaching. It's not as clear in this verse what that false teaching was, perhaps they were teaching that it was okay to be angry with your brother, or maybe they were omitting the teaching to not be angry with your brother and not teaching the fullness of what the law of Moses actually teaches. The other verses below it is more clear their false interpretations. But either way Jesus didn't teach anything new here.)

Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. Matt. 5:27-28 (Jesus is again teaching the fullness of the law of Moses as the 10th commandment says thou shall not covet. Covet is the same as lust and the 10th commandment gives coveting thy neighbors wife as an example. Perhaps the Pharisees were omitting the part of the law that Jesus brought to light. Perhaps they were getting off on technicalities such as teaching that no sin was committed until the full act of adultery was committed. Jesus is setting the record straight here and is teaching nothing new. Remember the context of verses 17 and 18.)

It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery. Matt. 5:31-32 (Matthew 19:3 reveals that the Pharisees taught that a man could divorce his wife for any cause and Jesus refutes that in Matthew 19:8 saying that wasn't so from the beginning. So the Pharisees teaching on the subject of divorce is faulty and that is what is being discussed here. Verse 31 is not a teaching from the law of Moses, but from the false teaching of the Pharisees. Jesus counters it with a teaching from the law of Moses, so it is NOT a new teaching. Deuteronomy 24:1 states that if a man find "uncleanness" in his wife then he may divorce her. Jesus clarifies this teaching to mean fornication, and that being the only grounds for divorce. That's not a new teaching but straight out of the law of Moses in Deuteronomy 24:1.)

Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths: But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God's throne: Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King. Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black. But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil. Matt. 5:33-37 (The Pharisees were teaching falsely about oaths. They were teaching that in order for an oath to be binding it had to have the Lord's name within it. They were using this as a technicality to swear falsely and deceptively. Jesus is simply saying that with this being the case, then don't swear at all. That is not a command from Jesus, but a solution for those that don't swear with sincerity, because that would be lying. The law of Moses forbids lying. But the law of Moses is not apart of this narrative. Swearing on oath to God is seen on many occasions in scripture, so swearing an oath is not the problem. But any oath sworn inherently calls on the witness of God whether or not his name is included in it or not.)

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. And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away. Matt. 5:38-42 ("An eye for an eye" is a biblical law that basically says that the punishment should fit the crime. But this is a civil law of a judge that is put in authority of power by God. This law is not meant for personal revenge, and that is what the Pharisees were teaching. They were abusing and misapplying the law of Moses. Jesus actually teaches from the law of Moses to refute them. Proverbs 24:29 says "Say not, I will do so to him as he hath done to me. I will render to the man according to his work." So once again Jesus was not teaching anything new, but was refuting the false teachings of the Pharisees.)

Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; Matt. 5:43-44 (Nowhere in the law of Moses does it say to hate your enemies. This is a false teaching of the Pharisees. Loving your enemies as Jesus taught was not some radically new idea. Jesus got this teaching from the law of Moses...
“If you come across your enemy’s ox or donkey wandering off, be sure to return it. If you see the donkey of someone who hates you fallen down under its load, do not leave it there; be sure you help them with it. Ex. 23:4-5
Do not despise an Edomite, for the Edomites are related to you. Do not despise an Egyptian, because you resided as foreigners in their country. Deut. 23:7
Do not gloat when your enemy falls; when they stumble, do not let your heart rejoice, Prov. 24:17
If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; if he is thirsty, give him water to drink. Prov. 25:21

A New Command?
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you,
so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35 (Did Jesus really give a new command? Is "love one another" new?)

Love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord. Lev. 19:18 (We see here this same commandment in the law of Moses, so how is Jesus saying it is new?)

Dear friends, I am not writing you a new command but an old one, which you have had since the beginning. This old command is the message you have heard. Yet I am writing you a new command; its truth is seen in him and in you, because the darkness is passing and the true light is already shining. 
Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister is still in the darkness. Anyone who loves their brother and sister lives in the light. 1 John 2:7-10 (John describes how this is not a new command, yet in what sense it is new. Jesus brings the full meaning of the command by his example. In John 13:34 the key phrase is "as I have loved you.")

And now, dear lady, I am not writing you a new command but one we have had from the beginning. I ask that we love one another. And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love. 2 John 1:5-6 (John again clearly states that to love one another is not new and it has been known since the beginning.)

No Law = No Need For A Savior

Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. I John 3:4 (This verse plainly tells us the definition of sin. Forget about what you think sin is and hear what God says it is. Without the law, there is no sin.)

For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Romans 5:13 (Sin entered the world with Adam and Eve, thus the law must have been in effect. God must have taught Adam and Eve his law or else they could not have sinned.)

What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet. Romans 7:7 (Sin and God's law go hand in hand. You can not have one without the other. A couple of the 10 commandments are directly linked to being apart of God's law.)

Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression. Romans 4:15 (And without transgression of the law, there is no sin, and thus no need for a savior. So if you do away with the law, you deny the need for Christ's sacrifice. That's a dangerous direction to go.)

The Distortion Of Paul's Letters

Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction. Therefore, dear friends, since you already know this, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of lawless men and fall from your secure position. 2 Pet. 3:15-17 (The description of those that distort Paul's writing are that they are lawless. These people deny God's law. Paul was not lawless.)

For certain individuals whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord. Jude 1:4 (Those that reject the law of God pervert the grace of God and are granting a license to sin. This is not what God intended.)

And it came to pass, that after three days Paul called the chief of the Jews together: and when they were come together, he said unto them, Men and brethren, though I have committed nothing against the people, or customs of our fathers, yet was I delivered prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans. Acts 28:17 (....)

The Spiritual Application (Meaning) Of The Law

"Thou shalt not muzzle the ox when he treadeth out the corn." Deut. 25:4 (This law is a perfect example of the law being spiritual. Below, Paul uses this verse to explain its proper application by the spirit of the law. We must ask ourselves what the meaning is, or the principle being taught.)

This is my defense to those who sit in judgment on me. Don’t we have the right to food and drink? Don’t we have the right to take a believing wife along with us, as do the other apostles and the Lord’s brothers and Cephas? Or is it only I and Barnabas who lack the right to not work for a living? Who serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat its grapes? Who tends a flock and does not drink the milk? Do I say this merely on human authority? Doesn’t the Law say the same thing? 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 God is concerned? Surely he says this for us, doesn’t he? Yes, this was written for us, because whoever plows and threshes should be able to do so in the hope of sharing in the harvest. If we have sown spiritual seed among you, is it too much if we reap a material harvest from you? If others have this right of support from you, shouldn’t we have it all the more? But we did not use this right. On the contrary, we put up with anything rather than hinder the gospel of Christ. Don’t you know that those who serve in the temple get their food from the temple, and that those who serve at the altar share in what is offered on the altar? In the same way, the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel. 1 Cor. 9:3-14 (Paul is speaking about the right of servants of the church to earn an income for their service. This law is not simply about treating your ox a certain way. If that was the case it would have application for not many people. Paul shows that that is not the proper meaning of the law. There is a deeper principal being taught here that transcends time and cultures. Reaping what you sow is not just a law for farmers. It's about fair compensation for services rendered, and that applies to everyone of all walks of life.)

If you see your fellow Israelite’s ox or sheep straying, do not ignore it but be sure to take it back to its owner. If they do not live near you or if you do not know who owns it, take it home with you and keep it until they come looking for it. Then give it back. Do the same if you find their donkey or cloak or anything else they have lost. Do not ignore it. Deut. 22:1-3 (We are responsible for helping to protect our neighbor's belongings if we are in a position to do so. We should not look the other way.)

If you see your fellow Israelite’s donkey or ox fallen on the road, do not ignore it. Help the owner get it to its feet. Deut. 22:4 (We are to help our neighbors when in a position to do so. We should not look the other way.)

A woman must not wear men’s clothing, nor a man wear women’s clothing, for the Lord your God detests anyone who does this. Deut. 22:5 (Men should act and behave like men. And women should act and behave like women. It's not about whether women can wear jeans or not.)

If you come across a bird’s nest beside the road, either in a tree or on the ground, and the mother is sitting on the young or on the eggs, do not take the mother with the young. You may take the young, but be sure to let the mother go, so that it may go well with you and you may have a long life. Deut. 22:6-7 (Treat animals with mercy and kindness. Preserve life of others. Preserve resources and don't be wasteful.)

When you build a new house, make a parapet around your roof so that you may not bring the guilt of bloodshed on your house if someone falls from the roof. Deut. 22:8 (Be responsible with your property and provide protection for those that come upon on your property.)

Do not plant two kinds of seed in your vineyard; if you do, not only the crops you plant but also the fruit of the vineyard will be defiled. Do not plow with an ox and a donkey yoked together. Do not wear clothes of wool and linen woven together. Deut. 22:9-11 (Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers.)

Make tassels on the four corners of the cloak you wear. Deut. 22:12 (Let your light shine before others. Don't be ashamed of who you are as a Christian. Publicly proclaim your faith.)

Salvation Plan Before Christ

Many people think that there was no gospel for the people of the old testament. This is just simply not true. The gospel of the old testament is the same gospel as that of the new testament. We are saved by GRACE, through faith of what Christ Jesus did. The people of the old testament were also saved by grace, through faith in what Christ Jesus was going to do in the future. The old testament scriptures point to Jesus and what his atoning work on the cross would do for them. The ceremonial law given to Moses was the old covenant.

1. We are separated from God by our sin.
Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear. Isaiah 59:1-2
“The Redeemer will come to Zion, to those in Jacob who repent of their sins,” Isaiah 59:20

2. God is holy and we must be holy too.
Speak to the entire assembly of Israel and say to them: ‘Be holy because I, the Lord your God, am holy. Lev. 19:2

3. The wages of sin is death, and we must repent.
The one who sins is the one who will die. The child will not share the guilt of the parent, nor will the parent share the guilt of the child. The righteousness of the righteous will be credited to them, and the wickedness of the wicked will be charged against them. Ezek. 18:20
“Therefore, you Israelites, I will judge each of you according to your own ways, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent! Turn away from all your offenses; then sin will not be your downfall. Rid yourselves of all the offenses you have committed, and get a new heart and a new spirit. Why will you die, people of Israel? For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent and live! Ezek. 18:30-32

4. Our righteousness does nothing to earn salvation. Only Grace alone, through faith, saved people in the old testament. Salvation was the same then as it is today in the new covenant.
All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away. Isaiah 64:6

5. Faith in God's word is credited as righteousness.
Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness. Gen. 15:6

6. The only atonement for sin is a blood sacrifice. 
I will set my face against any Israelite or any foreigner residing among them who eats blood, and I will cut them off from the people. For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one’s life. Leviticus 17:10-11

7. Atonement solution given that points to a future reality.
Leviticus 16

8. The resurrection and eternal life.
Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt. Dan. 12:2

9. The future reality fortold.
See, my servant will act wisely; he will be raised and lifted up and highly exalted. Just as there were many who were appalled at him—his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any human being and his form marred beyond human likeness—so he will sprinkle many nations, and kings will shut their mouths because of him. For what they were not told, they will see, and what they have not heard, they will understand. Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem. Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. By oppression and judgment he was taken away. Yet who of his generation protested? For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was punished. He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth. Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the Lord makes his life an offering for sin, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand. After he has suffered, he will see the light of life and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities. Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors. Isaiah 52:13 - 53:12