Aspects of the Covenant with Israel

Fred R. Coulter11/5/1988

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It is a complete fallacy that there were different methods of salvation that were granted to different people in different ages. I want to repeat that again: It is a fallacy—as some teach—that there were different methods of salvation, different kinds of ways to come to salvation in past ages. That is not true! In the New Testament we are told by Jesus that He is the Way, He is the Truth, and He is the Life. The Covenant with Israel, commonly called the Old Covenant. The Covenant with Israel was not a covenant for eternal salvation!

Let's examine it a little bit more and then we will begin with the difference in the Covenant with Israel and the Covenant with the Church, which is the New Covenant. All covenants involved (Gen. 26:5):

  • obey My voice
  • keep My charge
  • keep My commandments
  • keep My statutes
  • keep My laws

Those are the ingredients with every covenant that God makes. We saw that with the Covenant with Israel that's what it was.

Let's review just a little bit more with the Covenant with Israel. The Covenant with Israel was part of the covenant that was given to Abraham. We already covered the Covenant given to Abraham, but let's refresh our memories on that. The Covenant given to Abraham was threefold:

  • promises of nation—race or descendants
  • promise of grace—salvation
  • promises that it would have to come through Christ

All of these things begin with Abraham and then the Covenant with Israel was added to that promise (Gal. 3:19).

Exodus 3:5—this is when Moses went up to see the burning bush. "And He said, 'Do not come near here. Put off your sandals from your feet, for the place on which you stand is Holy ground.' And He said, 'I am the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.' And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look upon God" (vs 5-6). This is where the Covenant with Israel began. It always goes back to the covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

Verse 13[transcriber's correction]: "And Moses said to God, 'Behold, when I come to the children of Israel, and shall say to them, "The God of your fathers has sent me to you," and they shall say to me, "What is His name?" What shall I say to them?' And God said to Moses, 'I AM THAT I AM.'…. [There's quite a bit of meaning to this: I AM Whom I am, whom I will be, shall be and have been—all of the forms of the verb I am are used here.] It's just summarized in): …'I AM THAT I AM.' And He said, 'Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, "I AM has sent me to you."' And God said to Moses again, 'You shall say this to the children of Israel, "The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you. This is My name forever, and this is My title from generation to generation."…. [then He reiterated it]: …Go, and gather the elders of Israel and say to them, "The LORD God of your fathers has appeared to me, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob…"'" (vs 13-16).

Verse 18: "And they shall hearken to your voice. And you shall come, you and the elders of Israel, to the king of Egypt. And you shall say to him, 'The LORD God of the Hebrews has met with us. And now let us go, we beseech you, three days' journey into the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to the LORD our God.'" Again, this gives us a review and reiteration that God intended for their sacrifices to be with the Covenant with Israel as He had with every covenant: there is always a sacrifice!

I just want to remind you again that we found when God first talked to the people after He brought them to Mt. Sinai. He said, 'If you will obey My voice.' I want to survey of the book of Deuteronomy so that we can see all of the aspects of the covenant.

  • obey My voice
  • keep My charge
  • keep My commandments
  • keep My statutes
  • keep My laws

All of those are there in every case. Also, as we go through here I want to reiterate and show that the Covenant with Israel was a national covenant based upon the commandments of God for a blessing in this physical life and for obedience to the commandments of God, and was never given to offer salvation to them. It was never given to be a means of eternal salvation.

This is where the confusion comes as we come down to the Covenant with the Church and the Covenant of the promise given to Abraham. We need to understand this very thoroughly so when we go through and understand things like works of law will not justify you, and you'll never get into the Kingdom of God by keeping the commandments of God alone. Why is that so, if it is so?

We need to clearly understand what is here, and the two biggest problems that people have in understanding the Covenant with the Church (commonly called The New Covenant) and the Covenant with Israel and commandment-keeping is that:

  • they don't understand the function of law
  • they don't understand the reason that the laws were given

If they understood the function of law, then they could understand the function of salvation. One does not go against the other. There are two different functions that run side-by-side.

Deuteronomy 4:1: "And now, O Israel, hearken to the statutes and to the judgments which I teach you, in order to do them so that you may live… [this was to give extended physical life] …and go in and possess the land which the LORD God of your fathers gives to you." It has to do with

  • the national laws
  • the inheritance of land
  • physical longevity

Verse 2—it's very important when we come to Judaism, because Judaism becomes the really big 'fly in the ointment' when we come to the Church covenant, when we're dealing with the spirit of the law, when we're dealing with the receiving of the Holy Spirit. Judaism becomes another big problem and difficulty.

Verse 2: "You shall not add to the word which I command you; neither shall you take away from it, so that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you."

What does this tell us very clearly? No human being is going to add or take away from the laws of God! Who is going to do the adding to or the taking away from? God will do the adding to or the taking away from, because He's the One Who has given the laws!

Does this mean that they can't make judgments later on? No, they can make judgments, but they are not to change the laws or the commandments or the statutes! They are to make a judgment based upon those laws.

Verse 5: "Behold, I have taught you statutes and judgments, even as the LORD my God commanded me, so that you should do so in the land where you go to possess it." Again, reiterating land; please notice that it is land; inheritance.

Verse 6: "And you shall keep 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.' For what nation is so great whose God is so near to them…" (vs 6-7). Again, I want to emphasize that God was near to them. In the Covenant with the Church God is in you! A vast difference!

"…as the LORD our God is, whenever we call upon Him? And what great nation has statutes and judgments (that are such a terrible burden)… [I deliberately misread that, that's the way the Protestants what to read it.] (it says): …that are so righteous… [these were righteous judgments of God; that means from the very righteousness of God Himself! They are right! They are just! But they weren't designed to bring eternal life. Please keep that in mind. They are righteous!] …as all this law…" (vs 7-8).

The term the law—I want to emphasize this here—all the law, the Old Covenant or the Covenant with Israel is commonly called The Law or the Law of Moses. Later, Judaism made many of their traditions equal with the Law of Moses and they themselves called it the Law of Moses when, in fact, it wasn't! That's where a lot of the confusion comes later.

It is righteous, "…which I set before you today? Only take heed to yourself and diligently keep yourself, lest you forget the things, which your eyes have seen…" (vs 8-9). This is a personal testimony and witness that Moses is giving to the children who wandered in the wilderness there for 38-1/2 years before they went into the 'promised land.' He says to remember it.

"…and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. But teach them to your children, and your children's children, remember the day that you stood before the LORD your God in Horeb, when the LORD said to me, 'Gather the people to Me, and I will make them hear My words so that they may learn to fear Me all the days that they shall live upon the earth, and they may teach their children'" (vs 9-10). So, he's summarizing here.

Let's go to the book of Ezekiel so we can answer a very important difficult Scripture, wrongly used in an attempt to prove that the laws given by God under the Covenant to Israel were a curse and were a bondage.

Ezekiel 20:18: "But I said to their children in the wilderness, 'Do not walk in the statutes of your fathers, nor observe their judgments, nor defile yourselves with their idols…. [we're talking about theirs, not God's. There is a distinct difference] …I am the LORD your God. Walk in My statutes, and keep My ordinances, and do them, and keep My Sabbaths Holy; and they shall be a sign between Me and you, that you may know that I am the LORD your God.' But the children rebelled against Me. They did not walk in My statutes, nor keep My ordinances to do them…" (vs 18-21). 'My'—God's—becomes very important in the context.

A very important lesson: never take a verse out of context! If you read a verse that crosses your eyes with improper understanding, then read what's ahead, read what's behind it, follow along in the context. We're talking about their statutes, their judgments—referring to the people vsGod saying, 'My statutes, My judgments, My Sabbaths.'

"…—the ordinances which, if a man do, he shall even live in them. And they polluted My Sabbaths, and I said, I would pour out My fury on them, to fulfill My anger against them in the wilderness. Nevertheless I withdrew My hand and worked for My name's sake, that it should not be polluted in the eyes of the heathen, in whose eyes I brought them out. I also lifted up My hand to them in the wilderness, swearing that I would scatter them among the heathen and scatter them throughout the lands, because they had not done My ordinances, but had despised My statutes and had polluted My Sabbaths, and their eyes were after their fathers' idols. Wherefore, I also gave them over to their own statutes that were not good…" (vs 21-25).

This is the one that people read and say that the statutes that God gave them were not good, whereas God say, 'I am giving you all of these righteous statutes.'

Verse 25: "Wherefore, I also gave them over to… [gave them up to, abandoned them] …their own statutes that were not good and their own ordinances which they could not live." Obviously, these were not the statutes and judgments of God, because He said 'if you do these you would live'—isn't that correct? Yes! So, He abandoned them and gave them over to the statutes and judgments that were not good, that they could not live by.

Verse 26: "And I defiled them in their own gifts…" In other words, God gave them over to their own devices, that's what He did.

  • Do we have statutes and judgments today in this country that are not good? Many, many, many!
  • Why do we have them that are not good? Because we rejected God and we kept our own!

Verse 18—to reiterate: "But I said to their children in the wilderness, 'Do not walk in the statutes of your fathers… [which were the statutes that were not good] …nor observe their judgments… [which were the judgments that were not good] …nor defile yourselves with their idols.'"

Verse 25—because they rejected all of God's: "Wherefore, I also gave them over to their own statutes that were not good, and their own ordinances which they could not live. And I defiled them in their own gifts in that they caused all that opened the womb to pass through the fire, that I might make them desolate, to the end that they might know that I am the LORD" (vs 25-26).

What is He saying very clearly here? That when people reject God's ways, He's going to turn them over to their own devices, so that in the final analysis they're going to know that God is God. That's the same thing He's doing today.

There is an article lauding Thailand, how wonderful and mysterious and blessed it was that all the gods of ancient 'whatever it is' there. It was just a playland and playground of sumptuousness and food, sex, gods. What is happening in Thailand? They're butchering each other! That's part of the penalty that comes along.

This is what's happening here; God says very clearly, 'All right, if My presence right there being with you is not going to convince you, and if destroying this whole generation is not going to convince you, then I'm just going to turn you over to your own devices to convince you that God's way is the right way, because of all the wrong things you're doing.'

We even do that with our children today. Sometimes we have to say, 'Okay, just do what you're doing and when it's all expended and not right, you're going to learn that what I told you was true.' That's what God did to the children of Israel!

Verse 27[transcriber's correction]: "Therefore, son of man, speak to the house of Israel and say to them, 'Thus says the Lord GOD, "Yet in this your fathers have blasphemed Me, in that they have acted treacherously against Me. When I had brought them into the land which I lifted up My hand to give to them, then they saw every high hill, and all the thick trees, and they offered their sacrifices there. And there they provoked Me with their offerings. There also they made their sweet savor, and poured out their drink offerings."'" (vs 27-28). Wrong incense; wrong savor; wrong offerings—all to the pagan things. That should answer the question if anyone comes along and says, 'All of those laws that God gave were a curse.' No, they were not a curse! They didn't bring eternal life, but they weren't a curse.

Galatians 3:13—here is the Scripture that is used errantly with Ezek. 20: "Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the Law…" This is read with the meaning with that the Law is a curse, therefore, Christ has redeemed us from the obligation to keep the Law, which is a curse. NO! The Law is righteous—the laws that God gave—they are righteous, good, Holy, true, spiritual. The curse of the law is death, a penalty. In other words the curse of the law is really the result of breaking the Law, not keeping the Law.

Christ did not redeem us from a law that was a curse; He redeemed us from the curse of breaking the Law. Keep that in mind, because they automatically go from Gal. 3:13 to Ezek. 20, and the verses we read that God gave them statutes that were not good. NO! God gave them over to statutes that were not good—their own! Their own laws constituted the breaking of the laws of God, so therefore, they brought the curse of law-breaking upon their heads.

That is a little complicated, but I hope you understand it. It is written in a very difficult manner so that we would pursue it. Even Peter said that Paul wrote in them 'some things difficult to understand.' That's why I'm trying to take each one of these difficulties a step at a time so that we understand it.

I'm going to show the problems with Protestant interpretation of it, problems with other Churches of God interpretations of it, so that we can understand the Scriptures clearly. If you want to know—and I will bring this during this series sometime—having to do with Psa. 119 if you want to know a totally converted attitude toward the laws, statutes, judgments, commandments and the precepts of God. Psa. 119 has it all.

Deuteronomy 5—I want to emphasize: hear, obey and keep—those three words. Another version of 'hear' is hearken, which is to listen. We're going to see that these are very important in the Covenant with Israel; the same was emphasized with the Covenant with Abraham.

Deuteronomy 5:1: "And Moses called all Israel and said to them, 'Hear, O Israel, the statutes and judgments which I speak in your ears this day so that you may learn them and keep and do them. The LORD our God made a covenant with us in Horeb. The LORD did not make this covenant with our fathers, but with us, even us, all of us here, alive today'" (vs 1-3). This is the second giving of the covenant. That's why it is called Deuteronomy.

  • 'deutro'—means second
  • 'nomos'—means law
  • second giving of the Law—deuter-onomy, or 'deuteronomos'

Verse 4: "The LORD talked with you face to face in the mountain out of the midst of the fire; (I stood between the v and you at that time to show you the word of the LORD, for you were afraid because of the fire, and did not go up into the mountain,) saying, 'I am the LORD your God Who brought you out of the land of Egypt from the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before Me'" (vs 4-7). A reiteration of what we call the Ten Commandments.

Some people try and denigrate these by saying that it's the ten sayings. Or they get carried away and even one minister in a Church of God said 'These are the ten words of God.' People do all they can to denigrate the commandments of God.

We won't go through all the commandments, but at least the second one, v 8: "You shall not make a graven image for yourself of any likeness of anything that is in the heavens above, or on the earth beneath, or in the waters beneath the earth. You shall not bow yourself down to them, nor serve them. For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generation of those who hate Me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love Me and keep My commandments" (vs 8-10). I want to reiterate keep.

I want to show you that the commandments are still there, they are still binding, they still serve the same purpose. They do not bring salvation, but they are a part of salvation.

1-John 5:2: "By this standard we know that we love the children of God: when we love God and keep His commandments." That is the exact same wording that is used in the second commandment—isn't it? When you get into the Bible and really put it together properly… If God is 'the same yesterday, today and forever'—which He is—then it's not surprising to find the unity in the Bible from cover to cover that is really there when you set yourself to see it. It is there! Now let's read it all together:

Verse 2: "By this standard we know that we love the children of God: when we love God and keep His commandments. For this is the love of God: that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome" (vs 2-3). That's just to opposite of what the Protestants say. They say that the commandments are a burden. Listen, they're only a burden when you don't want to do them. We'll also answer the difficult Scriptures:

  • Christ is the end of the Law, therefore, we don't have to keep it
  • Now the commandment is you just love everyone and you sort of have a big squisher in your heart and every is fine.

When the Protestants refer to the Law of Moses, they are referring to the Ten Commandments. They throw one of them away and retain nine or change them around as the Catholics did. The Catholics eliminate the second one and split the tenth one. Get a Douay version of the Bible, turn to Exo. 20 and read the commandments and the commandment against idolatry is retained in the Scriptures, but you read the front print on the cover of the introductory section and they have their own version of the Ten Commandments, taking out the second one.

Deuteronomy 5:22: "The LORD spoke these words to all your assembly in the mountain out of the midst of the fire of the cloud and of the thick darkness with a great voice. And He added no more…."—meaning God ceased speaking. Does it mean that God never talked from that point on? No! It's just like when we get together and we have a conversation and we end the conversation. Or if we talk on the phone and we end the conversation and hang up. Does that mean that we cease talking to each other forever? Of course not! I might forget something and pick up the phone and call you right back and we'll talk again. But I did cease speaking. I said, 'Goodbye' hung up the phone and that was it.

Same way with God here. It doesn't mean that God didn't intend to give anymore. It just means that the instant that He gave the Ten Commandments He ceased speaking at that point. He added nothing at that point until He spoke again, then added everything else.

"…And He wrote them on two tablets of stone and delivered them to me. And it came to pass when you heard the voice out of the midst of the darkness, for the mountain burned with fire, you came near me, all the heads of your tribes and your elders" (vs 22-23). We won't go through all of it there, but saying again to Moses, 'You speak to God and you tell us and we'll do what God says (v 27).

Verse 29: "Oh, that there were such a heart in them that they would fear Me and keep all My commandments always, so that it might be well with them and with their children forever!" Again, God's laws, statutes and judgments were given that they might live in the flesh. They do not bring eternal life, but they are necessary for receiving eternal life.

Deuteronomy 6:1: "Now these are the commandments, the statutes, and the judgments which the LORD our God commanded to teach you so that you might do them in the land where you go to possess it." Here's what God gave later. One does not take away from the other.

We might do this in a separate Bible study, we might go ahead and take each commandment and put them on separate pieces of paper and then end up with two other categories: the royal law and agricultural law.

  • Having no other gods before you—all the priest laws fit under that
  • Having no idols—all the things against idolatry, all of those laws fit under that; and it's books, pictures, statues, obelisks, trees—whatever
  • Don't take the name of the Lord God in vain—not using any of the names of the other gods
  • Remember the Sabbath to keep it Holy—there are a 'jillion' things you can put under there, including all of the Holy Days

As we started out this series: loving God with all your heart, mind, soul and being, and your neighbor as yourself—on that hangs all the Law and the Prophets

Then He says, v 2: "That you might fear the LORD your God, to keep all His statutes and His commandments which I command you, you, and your son, and your son's son, all the days of your life, and so that your days may be prolonged." Again, no eternal salvation; physical longevity. Another thing that you can probably find as an observation—and I always stick this in the back of my mind—whenever you see someone who has lived a good long life—70+—you're generally going to find that they honored their father and mother; almost inevitably.

If they had a good inheritance and had good genes, even in honoring their father and mother, they may have smoked, they may nearly drunk themselves to death, but they live a long time because of that one commandment.

But where they don't honor their father and mother, and they commit all these other sins, then they end up in an untimely death sometimes. Now, you have to also equate time and chance there, so it's not a judgment against anybody, but just an observation when you meet someone who is really old and you talk to them about how their family life was and their father and mother. You're going to find that they honored their father and mother and God is fulfilling His Word.

Verse 3: "Hear therefore, O Israel, and be diligent to observe it, so that it may be well with you… [The point is the Law was never a curse. Breaking the Law is a curse for any people.] …and that you may greatly multiply, as the LORD God of our fathers has promised you, in the land that flows with milk and honey." That's a desire for us even today—isn't it? What is one of the things that every human being wants? They want a nice place where they can have enough to eat, have enough to get along with, where it's peaceful and quiet and prosperous and they don't have to be hassled! That's still a desire for every human being today. It's in me; it's in you; it's in every human being.

Verse 4: "Hear, O Israel. Our one God is the LORD, the LORD. And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words which I command you this day shall be in your heart. And you shall diligently teach them to your children…" (vs 4-7), etc.!

Now let's skip ahead to Deut. 11. If you want a really inspiring study sometime, just go through the whole book of Deuteronomy. That's very laborious. This is repetition. Go ahead and study and read through the book of Deuteronomy and see how many times God says to love Him that it may be will with you, 'to keep My laws, keep My commandments' and all of this.

Deuteronomy 11:13: "And it will be, if you will hearken diligently to My commandments which I command you today, to love the LORD your God and to serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul." I want to emphasize something here that is important, which is a demarcation in Judaism. That is unless you love God your commandment-keeping will not prosper you. Keep that in mind. Every place it is love God and keep His commandments. That's what we have right here.

Verse 14: "Then I will give the rain of your land in its due season… [That's something we need—isn't it?] …the first rain and the latter rain, that you may gather in your grain and your wine and your oil. And I will send grass in your fields for your livestock so that you may eat and be full" (vs 14-15). That's what's missing.

Drive up and see all these hills. They are dry, barren, there is nothing there. Some of them are beginning to turn into sand dunes, because of the lack of water. What does this tell you that we've been doing as a nation? There it is, right there!

Verse 16: "Take heed to yourselves that your heart may not be deceived, and you turn aside and serve other gods, and worship them, and the LORD'S wrath be kindled against you, and He shut up the heavens so that there will be no rain, and so that the land will not yield her fruit, and you perish quickly from off the good land which the LORD gives you. Therefore, you shall lay up these My words in your hearts and in your souls, and bind them for a sign upon your hands so that they may be as frontlets between your eyes" (vs 16-18).

So, the Orthodox Jews today have a little scroll of God's Word that they put in a little box and they put that on their hand and wrap it around their fingers and arm. They had a little box that they put God's Word in and they strap it on their heads and they say that's so it's going to be on your hand and as frontlets between your eyes.

Unless you live by it, you can strap yourself all over. You can paper yourself with the commandments of God, unless you love God and keep them it won't do any good. I really feel sorry for those poor Jews. I saw a really dedicated Orthodox Jew who gave a documentary of his life, and he went down to the Wailing Wall and put on his shawl, hat and phylacteries and the little box. They had it here and there and he got his book and was rocking back and forth at the Wailing Wall. The Jews must really be frustrated. They go through all of this and God doesn't hear them. Why? Because you have to love God first! That's why!

He goes on saying about the blessings and cursings. Again, I want to reiterate and I'm just covering some of the highlights, because it says this over and over and over again in the book of Deuteronomy.

Deuteronomy 12:28: "Be careful to observe and obey all these words… [My voice, My charge, My commandments, My statutes, My laws, My words] …which I command you, so that it may go well with you… [not be a curse or bondage] …and with your children after you forever when you do that which is good and right in the sight of the LORD your God."

(go to the next track)

Verse 29: "When the LORD your God shall cut off the nations before you, where you go to possess them, and you take their place and dwell in their land, take heed to yourself that you do not become ensnared by following them, after they are destroyed from before you, and that you do not ask about their gods, saying, 'How did these nations serve their gods that I may also do likewise?'" {note Ezek. 20} That's exactly what they did in the wilderness.

They went after other gods. They had their own idols and statues. In other words there were two camps in the wilderness: Moses and those who followed God, and the other children of Israel who followed their own devices that were awaiting the death sentence because they refused to obey God. Two camps!
Verse 31: "You shall not do so to the LORD your God, for every abomination to the LORD, which He hates, they have done to their gods; even their sons and their daughters they have burned in the fire to their gods." Again, that ties right in with Ezek. 20 where God says, 'I gave them over to statutes and judgments which were not good, and they even burned their own sons and daughters in the fire.' God says, 'Don't do that, but if you want to do it, I'm going to turn you over to it.'

That's just like today, this whole society is sex, we have to have sex, more and more sex, so God has turned them over to sex, and they're going to die and destroy themselves on sex—period!

I was surprised, I heard a report that there are 13-million people who have sexually transmitted diseases in America and there are 28 known venereal diseases besides AIDS. And within that there are various forms of it. Whatever a person really wants and lusts after God is not going to stop a person from doing it. He's going to let them destroy themselves on it; maybe along the way they'll repent, like the prodigal son. Maybe he'll repent and come back.

Verse 32: "Whatsoever thing that I command you, be careful to do it. You shall not add to it, nor take away from it." Again, I want to reiterate that God is the One adding to and taking away. God is the One Who does the changing, but in each case it always involves obey:

  • My voice
  • My charge
  • My commandments
  • My statutes
  • My laws
  • My words

—whch we will also see in the New Testament.

Deuteronomy 16, lest a person say that they are unable to do some of these things here; we have concerning judges—judgments are to be made because, obviously, you cannot print enough books to contain every life situation that may come about, so here we have judgments that are to be given:

Deuteronomy 16:18: "You shall appoint judges and officers for yourself in all your gates which the LORD your God gives you, tribe by tribe. And they shall judge the people with righteous judgment. You shall not pervert [twist] judgment…" (vs 18-19). Speaking of twisted judgments, a judgment just came down that a doctor could not tell a wife whether her husband had AIDS or not because it would be violating his rights.
There is good reason to not have homosexuals in the school districts, or perverts in the school districts, witness the San Jose area, one teacher—a drama teacher (the occupation follows)—was a ring leader and a pimp for taking the teenaged boys in a high school and turning them into homosexuals and homosexual prostitutes. That's why God says you shouldn't have those people around. But if you want to have them around, you're going to choke on them; you're going to die on them; you're going to be diseased with them.

"…you shall not respect persons, nor take a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes… [U.S. Congress! PACs (Community Action Committees)] …of the wise and perverts the words of the righteous. You shall follow that which is altogether just so that you may live and inherit the land which the LORD your God gives you" (vs 19-20).

Deuteronomy 17:2: "If there is found among you, inside any of your gates which the LORD your God gives you, a man or woman who does what is evil in the sight of the LORD your God, in breaking His covenant, and has gone and served other gods and worshiped them, either the sun, or moon, or any of the forces of heaven, which I have forbidden, and if it is told you, and you have heard and inquired diligently, and, behold, it is true and the thing is certain, that such abomination is done in Israel" (vs 2-4)—and you shall bring them before the judge and so forth.

Verse 8: "If a matter is too hard for you in judgment, between blood and blood, between plea and plea, and between stroke and stroke, being matters of strife within your gates, then you shall arise and go up to the place which the LORD your God shall choose. And you shall come to the priests, the Levites, and to the judge that shall be in those days, and ask. And they shall declare to you the sentence of judgment. And you shall do according to the sentence, which they declare to you from that place which the LORD shall choose. And you shall be careful to do according to all that they tell you. According to the sentence of the law, which they shall teach you and according to the judgment which they shall tell you, you shall do. You shall not turn aside from the sentence, which they shall show you, to the right hand or the left. And the man that acts presumptuously and will not hearken to the priest who stands to minister there before the LORD your God, or to the judge, even that man shall die. And you shall put away the evil from Israel" (vs 8-12).

What are we talking about in every one of these cases? The laws of God! What also do we find in the covenant with Israel? The administration of death! So, we have religious laws; we have civil laws and the administration of death—and the two intertwined in that covenant.

Deuteronomy 26:16—you can read all the intervening verses in between, I'm just trying to highlight here. Moses is summarizing the day that he's standing there telling them what to do before they go across the River Jordan. This is Moses' farewell speech and when he was done he and Joshua [corrected] are going to go up on the mountain and then Moses is going to go up a little further and Moses is going to die, and God buried him.

I'm so glad that Satan didn't get his body. Can you imagine what kind of religion we would have on this earth if Satan got a hold of his body. Look what they do with just some ordinary person that they think is a saint. What would they have done with the body of Moses?

Deuteronomy 26:16: "Today the LORD your God has commanded you to observe these laws and judgments…. [He says, 'Do them!' It doesn't say not to do them.] …You therefore, shall keep and observe them with all your heart and with all your soul. You have declared today that the LORD is your God, and that you would walk in His ways, and keep His statutes and His commandments and His judgments, and obey His voice" (vs 26-27).

Again, at the second giving of the Law what do we have? The same thing! Obey the voice of God! Statutes! Judgments! Commandments!

Verse 18: "And the LORD has taken you today to be His specially treasured people, as He has promised you, and to keep all His commandments, and to make you high above all nations which he has made in praise and in name and in honor, and that you may be a Holy people to the LORD your God, even as He has spoken" (vs 18-19).

Deuteronomy 28:1 "Shall come to pass, if you shall hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD your God to observe and to do all His commandments which I command you today, the LORD your God will set you on high above all nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you…" (vs 1-2). I won't reiterate those blessings, we've gone over them many times.

If you don't do it—all if these curses will come upon you, v 15: "And it shall come to pass, if you will not hearken to the voice of the LORD your God to observe and to do all His commandments and His statutes which I command you today, all these curses shall come upon you and overtake you." so, curses come from breaking the Law! The curse of the Law is the breaking of the Law!

Furthermore, go back and read Deut. 27 about the curses that would be. Here's what they were to do when the went into the land.

Deuteronomy 27:14: "And the Levites shall solemnly pronounce and say to all the men of Israel with a loud voice, 'Cursed is the man that makes any graven or molten image, an abomination to the LORD, the work of the hands of the craftsman, and puts it in a secret place.' And all the people shall answer and say, 'Amen.'" (vs 14-15). The curse is from law breaking!

Verse 16: "'Cursed is he who dishonors his father or his mother.' And all the people shall say, 'Amen.' 'Cursed is he who removes his neighbor's landmark.' And all the people shall say, 'Amen'" (vs 16-17)—all the way through! What are the curses of the Law? Law breaking! The Law itself is no curse. The greater portion of the Law contain curses, which are sentences for law breaking.

I want to reiterate the importance of the voice! of hearing! of doing! Deuteronomy 28:58: "If you will not observe to do all the words of this law that are written in this book, that you may fear this glorious and awesome name, The LORD YOUR GOD, then the LORD will make your plagues extraordinary…" (vs 58-59). Awesome! That's what the plagues are going to be; they're building up, every one of them! The seeds have been planted for the locust plagues. What's that going to do when it crosses into America? It's going to be awesome! What is the AIDS plague going to be? Awesome!

"…and the plagues of your seed great and persistent plagues with evil and long-lasting sicknesses. Also, He will bring on you all the diseases of Egypt of which you were afraid. And they shall cling to you. Also, every sickness and every plague which is not written in the book of this Law…" (vs 60-61). The book of the Law contains all the commandments and all the writings that are here.

There are two new sicknesses that I've never heard about. Dr. Dean Edell read a report about this woman who contracted some kind of bacteria that got into her system and they traced it back to one of her rotten houseplants. They said it's very rare that you can get a disease from a houseplant. He said that he's even heard of people that had moss growing between their toes. That's weird! You walk around barefooted and someone says, 'My your feet a little green.' That's the moss growing between my toes!

That's very common in the humid jungle areas. This was in New Guinea and the fungus gets in the ears, under the fingernails and skin and everything. Next time a documentary comes out on those islands, you watch it, and God has placed them there because of their rebellion against God. They are in a cursed place! It is awful, but they just worship demons, etc.

Just to show you: When the boys are eight-years-old, they're taken from their mothers and they never see them again. They go over to the men's huts, and from the time they are 8-22 they practice homosexuality on the boys. That's why they are where they are and what they are doing.

We are aghast at some of the things that are done in the world. They are unthinkable to us because we have the Word of God. They don't! They rejected it long ago, and furthermore, Israel has failed to take the Word of God the way that it should have taken people to go in there and destroy their idols, destroy their gods, destroy that religion and teach them the right way of God. This world would be a far better place, but they have failed.

Deuteronomy 2:61: "Also, every sickness and every plague which is not written in the book of this law, the LORD will bring them upon you until you are destroyed. And you shall be left few in number, whereas you were as the stars of the heavens for multitude, because you would not obey the voice of the LORD your God" (vs 61-62). That's a very, very important key thing.

In review: In the covenant with Israel we saw that the promise was not eternal life, but physical life and physical blessings in the land that God would bless them with. No eternal salvation was offered. All of the ritual and sacrifice and everything justified them to the temple. There was not justification in heaven above. There was not forgiveness of sins in heaven above. Only to the temple!

Leviticus 16:30—this is where the priests went in once a year, into the Holy of Holies: "For on that day an atonement shall be made for you, to cleanse you, so that you may be clean from all your sins before the LORD." That is to the temple only. We're going to read that the blood of bulls and goats can never forgive sin. They were to only be justified physically.

Verse 31: "It shall be a Sabbath of rest to you, and you shall afflict your souls, by a statute forever. And the priest whom he shall anoint, and whom he shall consecrate to minister in the priest's office in his father's stead, shall make the atonement and shall put on the linen clothes, the Holy garments. And he shall make an atonement for the Holy sanctuary, and he shall make an atonement for the tabernacle of the congregation, and for the altar; and he shall make an atonement for the priests and for all the people of the congregation. And this shall be an everlasting statute to you, to make an atonement for the children of Israel for their sins once a year.' And he did as the LORD commanded Moses" (vs 31-34).

Let's understand a few of things:

  • All of the temple ceremony was to justify them to the temple, to the nation for the physical existence of that temple

The covenant based upon God's laws for the blessing of physical life and physical blessings, or the cursing upon your physical life or the physical land. That covenant still exists and is offerable in relationship to God's dealing with all the nations of Israel and all the nations of the earth are judged by God based upon His laws (Jer. 18).

  • The function and purpose of law—we need to understand the purpose and function of law—is to do several things:
    • By the law is the knowledge of sin (Rom. 3:20)

The law tells us what is sin. Any breaking of the laws of God results in sin. The law was not designed to bring eternal life! Neither was circumcision, because circumcision becomes part of this problem in Galatians. Circumcision was not designed to bring eternal life. It was to bring the knowledge of sin.

  • Where there is no law there is no sin (Rom 4:15).

By the law is the knowledge of sin. If there is no law there is no sin. Just like today, a policeman cannot come and arrest you. If you say, 'What are you arresting me for?' For thus and such! 'There is no law that prohibits me from doing this, therefore, you can't arrest me.' It's true they cannot arrest you if there is no law. With no law there is no sin!

Unfortunately, that's includes some of these 'designer' drugs. That since the law—the letter of the law—states that cocaine is illegal, amphetamines are illegal, speed is illegal, PCP is illegal, but some of the 'designer' drugs are not specifically mentioned, so therefore, it's like any other chemical that you can put into your body, there's no law. So, they can't arrest you and convict you and can't do anything to you.

  • Under the covenant with Israel the Law was administered up to the death penalty.

That is called the administration of death. That is only how the Law was administered. It doesn't say anything of the Law itself.

Let's go to 2-Corinthians 3. Here again is one of these very difficult Scriptures that people turn to, to make it appear that you don't have to keep the commandments of God, or the Holy Days of God, because they don't want to be bothered with it, so they find an excuse.

I want you to pay close attention to the use of the words, because that becomes very important, 2-Corinthians 3:1: "Do we again begin to commend ourselves? Or do we, as some, need epistles of commendation to you, or epistles of commendation from you?" Same routine in human nature, you've got to have letters of accommodation, plaques, banners and badges, and when you get an award you feel good with it. So, they know that human nature likes that. Paul is saying, 'Do we really need that from you? Do you need it from us? No!

Verse 2: "You are our epistle, and are inscribed in our hearts, being known and read by all men; for it is manifest that you are Christ's epistle, ministered by us; you were not inscribed with pen and ink, but with the Spirit of the living God…" (vs 2-3). He's comparing the different functions of the Covenant with Israel and the Covenant with the Church.

"…not on tablets of stone, but on fleshly tablets of the heart…." (v 3). You can see the difference; God said to Moses, 'Write all of this for them in the book of the Law. Put the Ten Commandments in the Ark of the Covenant, and you put the book of the Law on the side of the covenant and you're going to govern by these.

Verse 4: "Now we have this confidence through Christ toward God; not that we are competent of ourselves, or credit anything to our own abilities: rather, our competency is from God; Who also made us competent as ministers of the New Covenant; not of the letter, but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life" (vs 4-6). Now we are talking about something that is going to result in eternal life as compared to that which resulted in death.

Even though someone under the Old Covenant kept the laws of God, and it said, 'Even he shall live in them.' Did he die? Yes! Was there any hope of resurrection to eternal life? Not with the Covenant with Israel! The confusion comes because they are the same basic laws for both covenants, now applied in a different way.

If you don't keep the Sabbath a minister doesn't come running over and put slugs in you—you're not keeping the Sabbath—BAM! BAM! Or as it is in Israel if drive a car on the Sabbath through the Orthodox area, they stone the car to death. They don't think about the labor of the stoning and the burning, but that's what they do.

"…for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. Now, if the ministry of death, which wasengraved in stones, came into being with glory, so that the children of Israel were not able to gaze upon Moses' face because of the glory of his face, which glory is being set aside" (vs 6-7). Where it says the glory was to fade away (KJV) that doesn't mean that the laws of God were to be done away. Notice how they read it, but it doesn't say that the laws of God are going to be done away. What's going to be done away? The administration of death under the supervision of God was to be set aside—given to the civil governments.

Verse 8: "Shall not the ministry of the Spirit be far more glorious?…. [rather glorious in comparison to] …For if there was glory in the ministry of condemnation, to a much greater degree the ministry of righteousness overflows with glory" (vs 8-9).

  • Now we have a different hope!
  • Now we have a different blessing!
  • Now we have a different ministration from God!

Instead of being near to God as a nation, instead of just being blessed physically, now we have God in us, in our mind spiritually, and the hope of eternal life. Isn't that much more glorious than just a physical land with physical laws and physical administration? Where you administer the death penalty?

Verse 10: "And even the ministry of condemnation, which had glory, was not glorious in this respect… [In other words, it didn't give life. It was still glorious, but it had no glory in relationship to giving life.] …because of the surpassing glory of the ministry of life. For if that which is being set aside came into being through glory to a much greater degree that which remains is glorious" (vs 10-11).

  • What was done away (set aside)?
  • The Law? No!
  • The commandments? No!
  • The statutes? No!
  • The judgments? No!
  • What was done away (set aside)? The administration of death!

God took that away from the Church.

The term done away (KJV) has been misconstrued and misused. We talk about the laws of sacrifice and offering. They were done away. In a sense that is a true statement, but it's not realistically true when you're making the comparison, because the sacrifice of Christ superceded and replaced those animal sacrifices.

So, if that which is done away was glorious—which was the administration of death—the laws of God were there, the laws of God were not done away. The commandments were not done away. God still judges the world by it. He still judges us by it.

Rev. 22:14: "Blessed are those who keep His commandments, that they may have the right to eat of the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city." It was the administration of death that was done away. It was how the Law was applied that was changed.

2-Corinthians 3:12: "Now then, because we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech; for we are not like Moses, who put a veil over his face, so that the children of Israel could not gaze to the end upon the glory that is now being set aside" (vs 12-13). What is abolished (set aside)? The administration!

Verse 14: "But their minds were blinded; for to the present hour the same veil has not been removed, but remains at the reading of the Old Covenant; which veil is removed in Christ." That was the veil that was caused because of rebellion, human nature and disobedience, and it's still there today for people who do not want to keep the laws of God."…but remains at the reading of the Old Covenant; which veil is removed in Christ."

  • What is done away (removed)?
  • The veil!
  • What is the veil?
  • The hardness of the human heart, the carnal mind!
  • Is done away (removed) how?
  • In Christ!

Nowhere does it say that the laws of God are done away (or removed) in Christ. See how these are tricky Scriptures? That's why you may have thought I was getting real redundant when I was going through the book of Deuteronomy, but you have to understand that I was preparing for this chapter.

Isn't that true, that when you read the book of Moses or the Old Testament, what does that do? Because God has taken the veil from you through Christ, it opens up! What was done away was the veil, not the laws.

Verse 15: "For to this day, when Moses is read, the veil lies upon their hearts." Do you want to know why you can't get through to people who don't want to keep the laws of God? Because there is a veil there! The veil of human nature right across their brain! They go bananas when they hear the laws of God!

  • The laws of God are living!
  • The Word of God is quick!
  • It is living!
  • It is powerful!
  • Sharper than a two-edged sword dividing asunder the soul, spirit, joint, marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and the intents of the heart!

That's why the veil is there, because they are not willing to have that Word of God cleanse their mind.

Verse 16: "But when their hearts turn to the Lord, the veil is taken away…. [Not the laws! The veil!] …Now the Lord is the Spirit…" (vs 16-17). That takes away the veil. That's what it means to be converted. That's what it means to have your mind changed.

"…and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom" (v 17). Not to go sin, there is liberty from the veil. There is liberty from law-breaking—because you have forgiveness. The Protestants say 'there is liberty, you don't have to keep those harsh laws and the Old Testament.' The veil is still there! They misread it.

Verse 18: "But we all, with uncovered faces beholding the glory of the Lord as in a mirror, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord" In other words, we're going to be made in the very image of God. I know that this is very difficult chapter to understand. If you don't go back and understand what is written in the Covenant with Israel or Old Covenant, you're not going to understand what this is saying.

Galatians 3:13: "Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the Law…" The curse of the Law is sin! Doesn't it say we will be redeemed from our sins? That's what it means. Just take curse of the Law and put the word sin. Now when we are redeemed from our sins and receive the Spirit of God, the veil is taken away at the reading of the Old Testament. That carnal nature is changed.

2-Corinthians 3:15: "For to this day, when Moses is read, the veil lies upon their hearts. But when their hearts turn to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom" (vs 15-17)—from the veil; you're liberated from the veil over your mind. That's what it's talking about, not liberty to go do as you want to, you are liberated from that veil.

There is a connection between the rending of the veil and the tabernacle when Christ died and the veil upon our mind. There is a connection. Yes, a veil prevents you from seeing clearly; you're liberated from the blindness—the veil is blinding. If we close these drapes and we look out through the window, we're not going to see clearly what we're looking at.
What we've covered so far is this:

  • Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the Law, our sins—because we've broken the Law
  • When we are converted and receive God's Spirit it takes away the veil from our mind and we are liberated from the hardness of heart and the veil of human nature when reading the Word of God—that comes through the Spirit of Christ.

Then we must keep the Day of Atonement or the veil comes back again. I've seen that happen. People go out and sin and their understanding gradually goes. Not all at once, but gradually goes, even to a point where I heard someone say, 'We're not living in Bible times.' The veil is back on!

What do I mean by the administration of death? That has to do with the apostles' authority within the Church compared with the authority of Moses and the elders in Israel! The apostles, like Paul, did not have the authority to administer the death penalty for the breaking of the commandments of God.

The death penalty should be carried out by the civil governments. It goes back to the original Noahation Covenant given to all nations to execute the death penalty. When God established His covenant with Israel and had a civil nation, then He had to have His own means of administering His own laws, statutes and judgments for the carrying out of the penalties, up to and including the death penalty. The priests and the judges could administer that death penalty.

Now in the New Testament since the New Testament is one of life, we are not burdened with doing the administering of the laws of God through executing the death penalty on people when they break the law.

  • we are to call them to repentance
  • we are to show them there is forgiveness
  • we are to lead them to life

God will execute the death penalty upon them then if they don't follow that. Just the administration has been changed.

I'm going to cover every one of these difficult Scriptures, but we have to approach it step-by-step. I want you to review this and go over it, because we're progressively going to get into deeper water. The only way you're going to understand the difficult things is to make sure you firmly understand the foundation first.

It's just like building a house, unless you build that foundation right and you put everything on it correctly. When you get up to putting on that heavy tile roof, if it isn't built right it's going to collapse in on you. It's the same way here.

All Scriptures from The Holy Bible in Its Original Order, A Faithful Version by Fred R. Coulter

Scriptural References:

  • Exodus 3:5-6, 13-16, 18
  • Deuteronomy 4:1-2, 5-10
  • Ezekiel 20:18-26, 18, 25-28
  • Galatians 3:13
  • Deuteronomy 5:1-10
  • 1 John 5:2-3
  • Deuteronomy 5:22-23, 29
  • Deuteronomy 6:1-7
  • Deuteronomy 11:13-18
  • Deuteronomy 12:28-32
  • Deuteronomy 16:18-20
  • Deuteronomy 17:2-4, 8-12
  • Deuteronomy 26:16-19
  • Deuteronomy 28:1-2, 15
  • Deuteronomy 27:14-17
  • Deuteronomy 28:58-62
  • Leviticus 16:30-34
  • 2 Corinthians 3:1-11
  • Revelation 22:14
  • 2 Corinthians 3:12-18
  • Galatians 3:13
  • 2 Corinthians 3:15-17

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Genesis 26:5
  • Galatians 3:19
  • Psalm 119
  • Deuteronomy 5:27
  • Jeremiah 18
  • Romans 3:20; 4:15

Transcribed: 12/16/12