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The Purpose of God Concerning Sin

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God’s Eternal Plan—From Pre-creation to Christ

Before proceeding, let us provide a brief summary of the things we have already examined. We have come to the conclusion that God has always been conscious of the concept of what we call sin, even though He Himself cannot sin, but is perfectly holy, just, and good. That sin, in its most basic form, is against God because it transgresses the law of God; is against the very nature of God; and is the very antithesis of God. Sin is selfishness, it is the opposite of love; it gratifies the sinner at the expense of someone else. Sin is rebellion against God and His rule of authority; it is an attempt to dethrone God and His sovereign government over all of creation; it is the effort of the sinner to deify himself and be his own god; it is the desire to be worshipped and served, rather than to worship and serve God. The Holy God hates sin, and neither sin nor the sinner can dwell in His presence. God’s law condemns sin, and God will execute His wrath in judgment against all who commit sin.

However, prohibitions against sin create many questions in the minds of those subjects who are ruled by them, and who have the ability to reason. For example, what makes sin so bad? Did God arbitrarily decide what is sin and what is not? Why does God have to be the sovereign ruler over all? Why must His creatures worship and serve only Him? Why can’t His creatures be their own gods, deciding for themselves what is right; be the captains of their own fate, the rulers over their own kingdoms? What right does God have to punish those who rebel against Him; is He some kind of tyrant or dictator who must have everything His way? Why must sin be punished; why is the punishment so harsh; why are sinners sent to hell for all eternity? These and other questions might be lumped together and called, ‘The Great Sin Controversy.’ Now, while these questions reveal in themselves a rebellious nature or attitude, they are, nevertheless, questions that do exist in the minds of many people. Although the Scriptures can answer such questions with “who art thou that repliest against God,” God chose to allow them to be asked, and indeed, purposed that they would be.

Isa 1:18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

Rom 9:20 Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?

Eph 3:10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,
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According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:

God, therefore, determined to bring into existence a creation that would be populated by beings that are capable of reasoning, choosing, feeling, and expressing emotions. He intended such creatures for these purposes—that He might express His love to them, to have fellowship with them, and for them to love and enjoy Him forever. However, for such a state of harmony to exist between God and His creatures, the concept of sin must be dealt with—either by suppressing its existence, or by allowing it to be manifested to its fullest extent. The former solution would preclude that these creatures be kept from certain knowledge that would alter their ability to freely, and with all omniscience, express their true emotions and decisions; the later would preclude that God purpose to allow the free reign of sin and rebellion, until the true nature and consequences of sin be displayed for all to see; and that all of creation might see and know for themselves, the awfulness of sin and why it should be forever banished.

Having determined to allow the later course, God fashioned, first of all, angelic beings—spirits which were created perfect, and yet possessed the capability of rising in rebellion against God. The arch-angels were the highest order of these spirit beings, and one of them, called Lucifer, was made very beautiful, wise, and powerful. It would be this angel, who drew with him fully one-third of all the angelic hosts, which would lead the dark forces of sin and rebellion against God.

In designing the natural world, God created an environment which, although was initially good, could lend itself to all the evils of sin and Satan—the fallen angel Lucifer. Here could be found all the resources that might be used to establish his empire of greed, lust, and power: gold and silver to allure men through the love of money; land, trees, stones, iron, and other minerals with which to fashion things to satisfy man’s materialistic desires; resources to make fortresses and weapons of war—both to defend themselves and to establish empires and domination over other men. Besides all of the natural resources of this earth, there is all the energy forces of nature that were inherent in creation: fire, electricity, nuclear power, solar power, and other forms of energy; that, although meant for man’s benefit, could also be used for evil purposes. All that God made for man’s good, could, and would be used to fuel man’s sinful lusts. This world that God made for His glory, of which man was made the caretaker and lord, would become Satan’s stronghold and the throne of his kingdom.

Then, into this, heretofore, perfect world, God made man, and placed him into a garden containing all the knowledge and resources he would ever need to “subdue”, create, and develop his earthly paradise. In this garden God and man had fellowship, even though Adam fell far short of the glory of God. This was possible because of man’s innocence—the holy God could walk among His creatures, and they were not afraid to walk and fellowship with Him. God withheld nothing from man, even the knowledge of what was good and evil was made available, although man was warned about the consequences of partaking of its fruit. This was the one and only prohibition that was placed upon man, in order for this Edenic paradise to continue forever. However, as we have seen, Satan had other plans of his own, for man, and for this world. Man himself was seduced into reaching for something better than this paradise; and God, through the instrumentality of Satan and man, purposed to settle the sin question forever.

The actual manifestation of sin into the world began when Eve was deceived by Satan. She partook of the forbidden fruit and then gave it to her husband, who also joined in her disobedience. We have studied the effects of that fruit upon the life of man, how it revealed him to be a sinner, condemned his disobedience to its demands, revealed to man the depths of sin, and drove man into greater sin; how sin brought death upon man—first by the spiritual separation of man from God, then by the decaying effects of sin upon the body and soul of man, and finally, the second death—the eternal separation of man from all goodness, mercy, light, and life. We saw how Adam’s sin was inherited by his whole posterity; how that by his disobedience we all were made sinners; and how death came upon us all.

Next, we examined what God’s response was to Adam’s disobedience. How in mercy God sought him out, even though Adam was now a guilty sinner and had hid himself from God. We saw the symbolic meaning of the fallen couple being clothed with the skin of an innocent animal; and how it pictured for us what Christ would eventually come and do for sinners, by His life and sacrificial death. We looked at the purpose of the curse, which caused man to labor for his sustenance, to keep him from falling even deeper into the abyss of sin; and why man was sent from the Garden—to keep him from the Tree of Life.

Going on from our brief summary, probably the most important event in the Bible concerning God’s plan in dealing with the sin problem, outside of the crucifixion of Christ, was the founding of God’s covenant relationship with Abraham. Through this Covenant we see the precept of righteousness by faith and the establishment of the promises God made to Abraham. God had already promised Eve that the seed of the woman would crush the serpent’s head, and thus the ultimate victory of Christ over Satan was foretold. Now, some two-thousand years later, God establishes and enlarges upon that promise to Abraham. It would be through this man’s progeny that the “seed” by which the promises would be fulfilled would come—who is Christ. It would be to this man and his “seed, which is Christ,”that the covenant” would be “confirmed.” It would be through Abraham’s “seed” that Satan, sin, and death would receive their fatal blow.

Gen 15:1 After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.
2 And Abram said, Lord GOD, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus?
3 And Abram said, Behold, to me thou hast given no seed: and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir.
4 And, behold, the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir.
5 And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be.
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And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.

Gen 17:1 And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.
2 And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly.
3 And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying,
4 As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations.
5 Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee.
6 And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee.

Gal 3:16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.
17a And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ,

1 Cor 15:55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.
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But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

The important things to consider about this covenant were:

1. That it was “an everlasting covenant”—meaning that for Abraham and his “seed” it was the promise of eternal life; for what good is “an everlasting covenant” if a man is dead? Thus it would be through this man’s “seed, which is Christ,” that the resurrection of the dead and eternal life would become a reality.

Gen 17:7 And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee.

John 5:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

1 John 2:25 And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life.

2. It was the promise of a new earthly paradise, because the land was given “for an everlasting possession.” It meant that all those who are a part of the “seed” would one day see a “new heaven and a new earth” that would never pass away.

Gen 17:8 And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.

2 Pet 3:13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

3. This covenant was unilateral—meaning that it was God who would fulfill all the demands necessary to guarantee its establishment and perpetuity. Man would have nothing to do to fulfill any part of it—to make it effectual or to keep it in continuance. Man’s only part would be to have faith, or trust in God and His promises. Even as Abraham “believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness,” so those who place their trust in the God of Abraham and the Gospel of his “seed, which is Christ,” are accounted righteous and receive the blessings of Abraham.

Gen 15:7 And he said unto him, I am the LORD that brought thee out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give thee this land to inherit it.
8 And he said, Lord GOD, whereby shall I know that I shall inherit it?
9 And he said unto him, Take me an heifer of three years old, and a she goat of three years old, and a ram of three years old, and a turtledove, and a young pigeon.
10 And he took unto him all these, and divided them in the midst, and laid each piece one against another: but the birds divided he not.
11 And when the fowls came down upon the carcases, Abram drove them away.
12 And when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and, lo, an horror of great darkness fell upon him.
13 And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years;
14 And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance.
15 And thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace; thou shalt be buried in a good old age.
16 But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full.
17 And it came to pass, that, when the sun went down, and it was dark, behold a smoking furnace, and a burning lamp that passed between those pieces.
18 In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram
, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates:

Rom 4:1 What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found?
2 For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.
3 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.
4 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.
5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.
6 Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,
7 Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.
8 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.
9 Cometh this blessedness then upon the circumcision only, or upon the uncircumcision also? for we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness.
10 How was it then reckoned? when he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision.
11 And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also:
12 And the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised.
13 For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.
14 For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect:

Gal 3:6 Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.
7 Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.
8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.
9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.
10 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.
11 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.
12 And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.
13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:
14 That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
15 Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man's covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto.
16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.
17 And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect.
18 For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise:
but God gave it to Abraham by promise.

Rom 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

1 Cor 15:1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
2 By which also ye are saved
, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received,
how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

4. The greatest blessing of this Covenant to consider is—that the Holy God established a relationship with a man who was a sinner; and also promised to his posterity that “I will be their God.” We see in God’s fellowship with Abraham the reinstitution of that which was lost in the Garden of Paradise—which was God’s presence among men. In the Paradise of the New Heaven and Earth to come, God’s presence among all the children of Abraham will be the everlasting joy of all of God’s people.

Gen 17:8 And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.

Rev 21:3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.

5. Lastly, it would be through this “seed” of Abraham that “all the nations of the earth” would be blessed. The promises were not just made to Abraham and Israel, but to all believers, of whatsoever race or nationality they are. Abraham was not just the father of the circumcision, Israel, but of all those who have put their faith in Christ; who are now also “Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.”

Gen 12:1 Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee:
2 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:
3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee:
and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.

Gal 3:8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.
9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.

Gal 3:26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
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And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.

We also find, in the Biblical account of Abraham, one of the clearest presentations of the Gospel of Christ—which would secure all of the promises and blessings God made to Abraham and his “seed.” Apart from what Christ would do as our sacrificial lamb, these promises could not be fulfilled. Therefore, in the testing of Abraham’s faith, we see all of the elements of Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection. In the following account, if we view Abraham as a type of God the Father, Isaac as God’s Son, the wood as the cross, the knife as the crown of thorns, the nails, and the spear, and the fire as the sufferings of Christ—we see the crucifixion of Christ. In that Abraham fully intended to sacrifice his son, “Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead”, we see the burial and resurrection of Christ. When Isaac questioned his father, “Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?”, Abraham prophetically said,  “My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering”—meaning that God would not only provide the lamb, which would be His Son, but that God Himself, in Christ, would be the lamb. In that Abraham would not withhold his son, his only son, even so God “gave his only begotten Son,” that all of the promises might be fulfilled.

Gen 22:1 And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am.
2 And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.
3 And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him.
4 Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off.
5 And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you,
6 And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together.
7 And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?
8 And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.
9 And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood.
10 And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son.
11 And the angel of the LORD called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I.
12 And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.
13 And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son.
14 And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah-jireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen.
15 And the angel of the LORD called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time,
16 And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son:
17 That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies;
18 And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.

Heb 11:17 By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son,
18 Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called:
19 Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.

2 Cor 5:19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

The next important event concerning God’s purposes in allowing sin to be manifested, is the giving of the Mosaic Law upon Mt. Sinai. This Law, also known as the Ten Commandments, along with the accompanying statutes, judgments, regulations, and sacrifices, compromise much of the books of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. Now, some may question the intention of this law, because man has already partaken of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil; and is already under the condemnation of the much more expansive Law of God. Therefore, it might be asked, what purpose does this Mosaic Law serve?

Although these laws have formed the basis of many of the modern legal systems found in our world, initially they were given to form a special covenant with the people of Israel—the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; the nation through whom the Messiah would come. They were not given as an extra set of rules for all of mankind to obey, but provided a means by which the Israelite society would bond itself together, become a testimony to the world of God’s special blessings, and preserve this chosen people so that God’s promises to the Fathers might be fulfilled. Furthermore, although many nations have come to enjoy the benefits of structuring their societies upon the precepts of these laws, Israel, the chosen people of God, had a special relationship with God based upon the laws of this covenant. For them, obedience to these laws was the requirement to remain in the Promised Land and to enjoy the special blessings of God. This new covenant had nothing to do with the covenant that God made with Abraham. As we have seen, the Abrahamic Covenant was unilateral—meaning God alone would fulfill all that was necessary in order to secure the promises. The Mosaic Covenant however, was bilateral—meaning the people of Israel would have to fulfill certain conditions before God would grant them the blessings. We can see, in looking at the history of Israel, that no nation has ever been as highly exalted and blessed because of their obedience to this Covenant; nor has any nation suffered such indignation and cursing because they forsook this covenant.

Exo 19:1 In the third month, when the children of Israel were gone forth out of the land of Egypt, the same day came they into the wilderness of Sinai.
2 For they were departed from Rephidim, and were come to the desert of Sinai, and had pitched in the wilderness; and there Israel camped before the mount.
3 And Moses went up unto God, and the LORD called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel;
4 Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles' wings, and brought you unto myself.
5 Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine:
6 And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.
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And Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before their faces all these words which the LORD commanded him.
8 And all the people answered together, and said, All that the LORD hath spoken we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the LORD.

Deut 4:1 Now therefore hearken, O Israel, unto the statutes and unto the judgments, which I teach you, for to do them, that ye may live, and go in and possess the land which the LORD God of your fathers giveth you.
2 Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.
3 Your eyes have seen what the LORD did because of Baal-peor: for all the men that followed Baal-peor, the LORD thy God hath destroyed them from among you.
4 But ye that did cleave unto the LORD your God are alive every one of you this day.
5 Behold, I have taught you statutes and judgments, even as the LORD my God commanded me, that ye should do so in the land whither ye go to possess it.
6 Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.
7 For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them, as the LORD our God is in all things that we call upon him for?
8 And what nation is there so great, that hath statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day?
9 Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons' sons;
10 Specially the day that thou stoodest before the LORD thy God in Horeb, when the LORD said unto me, Gather me the people together, and I will make them hear my words, that they may learn to fear me all the days that they shall live upon the earth, and that they may teach their children.

Deut 4:23 Take heed unto yourselves, lest ye forget the covenant of the LORD your God, which he made with you, and make you a graven image, or the likeness of any thing, which the LORD thy God hath forbidden thee.
24 For the LORD thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God.
25 When thou shalt beget children, and children's children, and ye shall have remained long in the land, and shall corrupt yourselves, and make a graven image, or the likeness of any thing, and shall do evil in the sight of the LORD thy God, to provoke him to anger:
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I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that ye shall soon utterly perish from off the land whereunto ye go over Jordan to possess it; ye shall not prolong your days upon it, but shall utterly be destroyed.

Gal 3:19 Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.

What may we see were the chief differences between the eternal law of God and the Mosaic Law? When Adam became aware of the vast difference between himself and the Holy God, it was through the internal revelation received in eating of the forbidden tree. This fruit emblazoned upon the heart of mankind the awareness of good and evil; it gave mankind a consciousness of doing right or wrong. However, because of the inability and weakness of man’s flesh to obey this standard of righteousness, this internal awareness has been corrupted by man’s sinful desires, and has led to all kinds of perversions about what is acceptable behavior. Also, this consciousness of good and evil has been “seared” in the minds of many who refuse to hear its voice, whose desires are to partake of sin’s pleasures.

Rom 2:14 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, (the Mosaic Law) do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:
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Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)

1 Tim 4:2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;

However, the law that was given to Moses on Mt. Sinai was of a different nature, it was written externally on two tablets of stone. From the Biblical account in Exodus, we find that there were actually two sets of these tablets. The first tablets were carved from stone by the hand of God and written with the finger of God. However, this set was broken by Moses upon returning down from the mountain and seeing the Israelites already given over to idolatry. The breaking of these first tablets symbolized mankind breaking God’s Law even before these commandments were given, and prophetically symbolized the impossibility of Israel ever keeping to perfection God’s Law. The second set were carved by Moses and written by God. On these tablets contained the actual Ten Commandments that almost everyone is familiar with; however, God also gave to Moses the instructions for building the Tabernacle, the statutes regarding sacrifices, and other laws that would regulate the life of Israel. On these tablets and parchments were forever recorded the written and unchangeable laws, judgments, and sacrificial duties of the Mosaic Law. There might be human error in the interpreting of these writings, and indeed there was, but there would be no denying what God had said to Moses. 

Exo 24:12 And the LORD said unto Moses, Come up to me into the mount, and be there: and I will give thee tables of stone, and a law, and commandments which I have written; that thou mayest teach them.

Exo 31:18 And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God.

Exo 32:15 And Moses turned, and went down from the mount, and the two tables of the testimony were in his hand: the tables were written on both their sides; on the one side and on the other were they written.
16 And the tables were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God, graven upon the tables.
17 And when Joshua heard the noise of the people as they shouted, he said unto Moses, There is a noise of war in the camp.
18 And he said, It is not the voice of them that shout for mastery, neither is it the voice of them that cry for being overcome: but the noise of them that sing do I hear.
19 And it came to pass, as soon as he came nigh unto the camp, that he saw the calf, and the dancing: and Moses' anger waxed hot,
and he cast the tables out of his hands, and brake them beneath the mount.

Exo 34:27 And the LORD said unto Moses, Write thou these words: for after the tenor of these words I have made a covenant with thee and with Israel.
28 And he was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights; he did neither eat bread, nor drink water.
And he wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the ten commandments

Matt 15:1 Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, saying,
2 Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread.
3 But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?
4 For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death.
5 But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me;
6 And honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free.
Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition.

The Mosaic Law, though much like a mini-version of God’s eternal law, provided the means whereby God would have a relationship with this chosen people of Israel. It could by no means make them righteous before God, but, through the accompanying sacrifices their sins were temporarily covered; and through obedience to these laws, blessings were given. There were many Israelites like Saul, who later became Paul the Apostle, that professed to be blameless according to this law; and who erroneously made it their own personal righteousness before God. As a whole however, the nation of Israel failed miserably in their commitment to keep this law, showing the inability of even a favored people to obey any standard of acceptable behavior before God.

Matt 5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
18 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.
19 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.
20 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.
21 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:
22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment
: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.

Matt 5:27 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery:
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.

Phil 3:6 Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.

Rom 10:2 For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.
3
For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.

Jer 44:1 The word that came to Jeremiah concerning all the Jews which dwell in the land of Egypt, which dwell at Migdol, and at Tahpanhes, and at Noph, and in the country of Pathros, saying,
2 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Ye have seen all the evil that I have brought upon Jerusalem, and upon all the cities of Judah; and, behold, this day they are a desolation, and no man dwelleth therein,
3 Because of their wickedness which they have committed to provoke me to anger, in that they went to burn incense, and to serve other gods, whom they knew not, neither they, ye, nor your fathers.
4 Howbeit I sent unto you all my servants the prophets, rising early and sending them, saying, Oh, do not this abominable thing that I hate.
5 But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear to turn from their wickedness, to burn no incense unto other gods.
6 Wherefore my fury and mine anger was poured forth, and was kindled in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem; and they are wasted and desolate, as at this day.
7 Therefore now this saith the LORD, the God of hosts, the God of Israel; Wherefore commit ye this great evil against your souls, to cut off from you man and woman, child and suckling, out of Judah, to leave you none to remain;
8 In that ye provoke me unto wrath with the works of your hands, burning incense unto other gods in the land of Egypt, whither ye be gone to dwell, that ye might cut yourselves off, and that ye might be a curse and a reproach among all the nations of the earth?
9 Have ye forgotten the wickedness of your fathers, and the wickedness of the kings of Judah, and the wickedness of their wives, and your own wickedness, and the wickedness of your wives, which they have committed in the land of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem?
10 They are not humbled even unto this day, neither have they feared, nor walked in my law, nor in my statutes, that I set before you and before your fathers.
11 Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel;
Behold, I will set my face against you for evil, and to cut off all Judah.

The Mosaic Law also provided an undeniable evidence of man’s condition. It was an indictment given by God Himself against every member of the human race—that we are sinners before Him. While some may debate the inner voice of man’s conscience, or the law written upon man’s heart, there can be no such contention when presented with the evidence revealed by the written law found in God’s Holy Word; and although the Mosaic Law was given specifically to the nation of Israel, that does not excuse the Gentiles from God’s judgment; for they were already condemned before the written law was ever given.

Rom 3:19 Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.

Rom 2:12 For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law;
13 (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.
14 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:
15
Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)

Rom 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:
13 (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.
14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.

The Mosaic Law was never meant to be a system of works whereby man could be counted righteous before God. Israel failed to keep this covenant with God because they did not see the end, or purpose behind it. The Law of Moses was meant to be a schoolmaster, to show Israel their need of a Saviour, as was pictured in all of the accompanying sacrifices of the Law. Howbeit, they viewed these sacrifices as another part of their personal righteousness, a means whereby they covered up their “little mistakes.” They did not mix this revelation from God with faith, so that they might receive the promise God made to Abraham their father. Therefore, when their promised Messiah did come, they could not see their need for a suffering Saviour. What they looked for was a conquering king that would restore their former glory to them as the chosen people of God.

Gal 3:21 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.
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.

Heb 4:1 Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.
2 For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them:
but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.

Rom 10:1 Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.
2 For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.
3 For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.
4
For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.

The Law of Moses, given hundreds of years after God’s promise to Abraham, was only a temporary measure until the purpose of God in sending the Messiah would be fulfilled. However, even to this day, many Jewish people still hold on to keeping this system of laws as a means of righteousness before God. Indeed, many Gentiles have also adopted various parts of this law as their own means of obtaining salvation. Many there are who erroneously believe that by keeping the Ten Commandments they will be justified before God.

Gal 3:1 O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?
2 This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?
3 Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?
4 Have ye suffered so many things in vain? if it be yet in vain.
5 He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?
6 Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.
7 Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.
8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.
9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.
10 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.

 

 

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