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The Moment of Truth - Lesson 30

The Two Laws

Picture 1 The Moment of Truth Lesson 30
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We invite you to pray with us, before beginning this lesson:
O Lord, our God,

We ask You once again to grant us Your help, as we deepen our study of Your law.

We thank You in advance for guiding us in Your Word, as You did since the beginning of these lessons until now, for we know that without Your presence, it would be impossible to discover the treasures hidden in Your Holy Book.

In Jesus Christ we pray.

Amen.
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Picture 2 The Moment of Truth Lesson 30
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Ephesians 2:14,15 Comments
[Christ] is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of partition between us; having abolished in His flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances. Basing themselves on these verses, many sincere people believe that the Bible teaches the abolition of God’s law following Jesus Christ’s death on the cross.

The aim of this lesson is to demonstrate that the Bible speaks of two distinct laws:
  • one that was indeed abolished at the cross;
     
  • and the other which will never be abolished, but will endure forever.
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Acts 15:5 Comments
But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed, saying that it was needful to circumcise [the Gentiles], and to command them to keep the law of Moses. First, there is a law which the Bible calls the «law of Moses».

This law was a ceremonial law, explaining very precisely how to perform the sacrificial system, and describing the services that had to take place in the earthly sanctuary.

For more details, we invite you to review the lesson «The Two Sanctuaries».
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Isaiah 5:24 Comments
They have cast away the law of the Lord of hosts. The «law of the Lord» is the second law mentioned in the Bible.

It is the moral law, the Ten Commandments, reflecting the character of God (for more details, please review the previous lesson «The Law Reflects Its Author»).

So, let us remember that there are two laws, distinct one from the other:
  • the law of Moses, or ceremonial law;
     
  • the law of God, or moral law.
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Deuteronomy 31:24 Comments
When Moses had made an end of writing the words of this law in a book (...). Many points distinguish the ceremonial law from the moral law.

First, the ceremonial law was written by Moses in a book.

The moral law, for its part, was written by God Himself on tablets of stone.
Exodus 31:18
And [the Lord] gave to Moses, when He had made an end of communing with him on Mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God.
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Picture 6 The Moment of Truth Lesson 30
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Deuteronomy 31:26 Comments
Take this book of the law, and put it in the side of the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God. While the law of Moses was put beside the ark of the covenant, the two tablets of the Ten Commandments were placed inside the ark.
Exodus 25:16
And you shall put into the ark the Testimony which I shall give you.
1 Kings 8:9
There was nothing in the ark save the two tables of stone.
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Hebrews 8:4 Comments
For if [Jesus] were on earth, He should not be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the law. As we said earlier, the law of Moses was explaining how to present offerings, how to celebrate feasts, etc. This is why it is called «ceremonial law».

The moral law, for its part, does not speak about ceremonies and offerings. Its complete text, the Ten Commandments, is found in Exodus 20:2-17 and in Deuteronomy 5:6-21.

We have studied the content of the Ten Commandments in the lesson «When God’s Finger Writes».
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Ephesians 2:14,15 Comments
[Christ] is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of partition between us; having abolished in His flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances. We now better understand these verses: indeed, Christ, by His death on the cross, became the Lamb of God sacrificed for the sins of the world.

Thus, the whole sacrificial system of the earthly sanctuary became useless.

This is why the veil of the sanctuary was torn in two at the death of Jesus, as we learned in the lesson «The Two Sanctuaries».
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Matthew 5:17,18 Comments
[Jesus said,]

«Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.

For truly I say to you, till heaven and earth pass, one stroke or one pronunciation mark shall in no wise pass from the law.»
Therefore, let’s be careful when we say that Jesus has abolished the law.

Jesus’ death on the cross has indeed abolished the ceremonial law.

However Jesus clearly stated that He did not come to destroy the moral law, the Ten Commandments, which reflects the character of God Himself.
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Matthew 19:16-19 Comments
«Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?»

And [Jesus] said to him, «Why call you Me good? There is none good but One, that is, God. But if you will enter into life, keep the commandments.»

He said to Him, «Which?»

Jesus said, «“You shall do no murder,” “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not bear false witness,” “Honor your father and your mother.”»
Jesus always showed the greatest respect toward the Ten Commandments.

Far from abolishing the Ten Commandments, He taught people to keep them.
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Hebrews 7:15,16 Comments
After the similitude of Melchisedec there rises another Priest, who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment (...). While the law of Moses is described as a «law of a carnal commandment», the moral law is described as being «spiritual».

The context of the last passage clearly indicates that the spiritual law designates the Ten Commandments.
Romans 7:7,14
I had not known lust, except the law had said, «You shall not covet.» (...)

For we know that the law is spiritual.
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Galatians 3:19 Comments
Why then serves the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the Seed should come to whom the promise was made. What a puzzle for those who do not understand the distinction between the ceremonial law and the moral law!

How could they explain that «sin is the transgression of the law,» and, at the same time, that «the law was added because of transgressions»?

Which came first, the chicken or the egg?
1 John 3:4
Sin is the transgression of the law.
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Romans 3:20 Comments
By the law is the knowledge of sin. The solution to this enigma is simple: sin is the transgression of the moral law, that is, the Ten Commandments.

Because of this transgression, the ceremonial law was given, explaining the sacrificial system that had to be performed until the coming of the Sacrifice par excellence, the Lamb of God, who gave His life for the sin of the world.

Thus, by knowing the moral law, we can know when we have committed a sin, and then ask for God’s forgiveness.
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Colossians 2:14 Comments
[Christ] blotted out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to His cross. The ceremonial law was against men, until its destruction by the death of Jesus on the cross.

But the moral law is for us a «law of liberty».
James 2:11,12
For He that said, «Do not commit adultery,» said also, «Do not kill». Now if you commit no adultery, yet if you kill, you are become a transgressor of the law.

So speak you, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty.
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Acts 15:5,10 Comments
But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed, saying that it was needful to circumcise [the Gentiles], and to command them to keep the law of Moses. (...)

[Peter said,] «Why tempt you God, to put a yoke on the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?»
The law of Moses was a heavy yoke.

The law of God, on the contrary, is not grievous.
1 John 5:3
For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments.

And His commandments are not grievous.
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Hebrews 7:18,19 Comments
There is truly a cancellation of the commandment going before for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof.

For the law made nothing perfect.
What a contrast between the imperfect ceremonial law and the perfect moral law guiding our steps through the work of the Holy Spirit within our hearts!
James 1:25
But whoever looks into the perfect law of liberty, and continues therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.
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Daniel 9:4,11 Comments
I prayed to the Lord my God, and made my confession, and said, (...)

«Yes, all Israel have transgressed Your law, even by departing, that they might not obey Your voice.

Therefore the curse is poured on us, and the oath that is written in the law of Moses the servant of God.»
In this verse alone, we note the presence of the two laws:
  • first, the law of God, that has been transgressed;
     
  • then the law of Moses, describing the curses which would fall on Israel if they disobeyed the commandments of God.
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Picture 18 The Moment of Truth Lesson 30
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2 Kings 21:8 Comments
[The Lord said,]

«Neither will I make the feet of Israel move any more out of the land which I gave their fathers; only if they will observe to do according to all that I have commanded them, and according to all the law that My servant Moses commanded them.»
God Himself made a distinction between His moral law, the Ten Commandments, and the law of Moses, that Israel had to keep until the coming of Jesus, the perfect Lamb of God.
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Picture 19 The Moment of Truth Lesson 30
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Summary of the distinctions between the law of God and the law of Moses
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1 Corinthians 7:19 Comments
Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God. To conclude this lesson, here is a short verse which gives us an excellent summary of what we have studied:
  • we, as Christians, no longer have to keep the ceremonial law, which was abolished by the death of Jesus on the cross;
     
  • however, we must keep God’s commandments, which describe the duty of every man toward God and toward his neighbor.
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Picture 21 The Moment of Truth Lesson 30
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Let’s pray together:
God Almighty,

Having transgressed Your law, the moral law, we were all deserving death.

But You have had mercy on us, and have given men a ceremonial law whose content foreshadowed the coming of the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world, Your Son Jesus Christ.

Having accepted Him as our Savior and Lord, we no longer need this ceremonial law which is now abolished.

Please send us Your Holy Spirit so that we may, day after day, better keep Your commandments which reflect Your character. In Jesus Christ our Savior we pray.

Amen.
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Lesson 30 - Test The test of Lesson 30 is waiting for you!

Source of the Pictures of this Lesson
Screen 1: «Bryce Canyon National Park.» In: «Deluxe Compton’s Interactive Encyclopedia CD - 2000 Edition», Compton’s Home Library, 1999. Screen 2: In: «Prophecy Seminars», Seminars Unlimited, 1989, Daniel lesson #10 («Can the Little Horn Change God’s Law?»), p.8. Screen 3: In: «Revelation Seminars», Seminars Unlimited, 1986, lesson #14 («Dieu a Fixé une Date pour le Jugement»), p.1. Screen 4: ANDERSON, Harry. In: «The Bible Story, volume 2» (MAXWELL, Arthur S.), p.166. Used by permission. Copyright ©1954, 1982 by Review and Herald® Publishing Association, USA. All Rights Reserved. Screen 5: First picture: In: «Egermeier’s Bible Story Book» (EGERMEIER, Elsie E.), The Warner Press, 1963, p.127. Second picture: In: «The Watchtower» magazine (June 15, 1987), New York, Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, p.5. Composite picture by Cyberspace Ministry. Screen 6: BISHOP, Tom. «The Earthly Sanctuary - Interior (detail)». In: «New Pictoral Aid For Bible Study» (BREADEN, Frank), Australian Division of Seventh-Day Adventists, 1970, chart #30. Picture edited by Cyberspace Ministry. Screen 7: In: «The Bible for Children - Retold by Bridget Hadaway & Jean Atcheson», London, Octopus Books Limited, 1973, p.78. Screen 8: First picture: unknown source. Second picture: STEEL, John. In: «La Sentinelle» (May 1993), Pacific Press Publishing Association, p.9. Composite picture by Cyberspace Ministry. Screen 9: LEE, Elfred. In: «Revelation Seminars», Seminars Unlimited, 1986, lesson #11 («L’Observation du Dimanche et l’Apocalypse»), p.3. Screen 10: VERLEYE, J. In: «The Catholic Children’s Bible» (THEOLA, Sister Mary), The Regina Press, 1983, p.252. Screen 11: First picture: SCHLAIKJER, Jes. In: «Votre Bible et Vous» (MAXWELL, Arthur S.), p.146. Used by permission. Copyright ©1959, 1987 by Review and Herald® Publishing Association, USA. All Rights Reserved. Second picture: ANDERSON, Harry. In: «The Bible Story, volume 2» (MAXWELL, Arthur S.), p.166. Used by permission. Copyright ©1954, 1982 by Review and Herald® Publishing Association, USA. All Rights Reserved. Composite picture by Cyberspace Ministry. Screen 12: RUSNO. Picture from the Web site: http://nafsasp.wizards.com/Unglued/SelectImage.asp Screen 13: TERRY, Will. In: «Signs of the Times» magazine (January 1999), Pacific Press Publishing Association, p.10. Screen 14: STEWART, Perry. In: «Signs of the Times» magazine (September 1998), Pacific Press Publishing Association, front cover. Screen 15: In: «Premiers pas» (PADDOCK, Charles L.), Pacific Press Publishing Association, 1964, p.109. Screen 16: COLLINS, Fred. In: «Votre Bible et Vous» (MAXWELL, Arthur S.), p.171. Used by permission. Copyright ©1959, 1987 by Review and Herald® Publishing Association, USA. All Rights Reserved. Screen 17: STEEL, John. In: «God Cares, volume 1» (MAXWELL, C.Mervyn), Pacific Press Publishing Association, 1981, p.201. Screen 18: REMMEY, Paul. In: «The Bible Story, volume 6» (MAXWELL, Arthur S.), p.122. Used by permission. Copyright ©1955, 1983 by Review and Herald® Publishing Association, USA. All Rights Reserved. Screen 19: In: «Prophecy Seminars», Seminars Unlimited, 1989, Daniel lesson #10 («Can the Little Horn Change God’s Law?»), p.8. Screen 20: RENI, Guido. «Moses with the Tablets of Law» (1630). In: «Charlton Heston Presents the Bible», GT Publishing, New York, 1997, p.122. Screen 21: «Cumbria County in England’s Lake District.» In: «Deluxe Compton’s Interactive Encyclopedia CD - 2000 Edition», Compton’s Home Library, 1999.
Any copyrighted images not bearing a statement of permission, are used for the purpose of non-commercial scholarly commentary or criticism in accordance with section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law, and with article 29 of Canada Copyright Act (Chapter C-42), which by law can be without the consent or endorsement of the copyright holder. Images lacking attribution are either known or assumed to be in the public domain, or have an as yet undetermined status. Anyone having knowledge of proper attribution for an image is requested to contact us via email below so that it can be correctly noted. It is our intent to comply fully with applicable laws regarding intellectual property rights.

Lesson 30 - Test The test of Lesson 30 is waiting for you!