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November - December 2000 The Sabbath Sentinel

An Introduction to Divine Law

by Max Mader

Few people will doubt but that we live in a lawless and violent age where moral standards, once held sacred, are being abandoned with impunity. Drug abuse, sex abuse, violence, murder and rape plague our cities. Most will agree that lawlessness is a growing problem. People are becoming ungovernable. The rising cost of crime (for which it is the taxpayer ultimately footing the bill) is causing concern throughout society, and there seems little that the civil authorities can do to curb it.

An even more sinister trend is developing in the churches of Christianity. Here too we see lawlessness being preached and practiced. Millions of ministers and their congregations are now turning their backs on the law of God, and condoning behavior which, only a few decades ago, would have been openly condemned from the pulpit. This is a serious trend-for the church is supposed to teach true law and order. Yet, today we see prominent church leaders openly attacking the commandments of the Almighty God.

On TV, in the press, on radio, and now on the Internet, self appointed prophets, prelates, and priests openly admit to breaking divine commandments-held sacred since time began. Shocking sexual misbehavior is now openly flaunted as so-called "new light," "new wine," and "liberating faith" mock the sacred commandments of the Almighty God! Millions of Christians believe that they are ABOVE THE LAW! misunderstanding the Apostle Paul's words when he wrote,"Ye are not under the law, but under grace" (Romans 6:14).

Strange as it may seem, this upsurge in immorality and lawlessness is not new; it has all happened before. What is new is the worldwide publicity lawless churchmen receive. Never a week passes but another "spiritual outlaw" is seen in the pulpit or on TV decrying the commandments of God. "The church" is in the grip of a "lawless depression" where blatant sin is rampant.

Speaking many centuries ago, the Almighty said this about the disregard for His law by professed spiritual leaders: (Isaiah 24:5-6) "The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant. Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate..." Zephaniah 3:4, "Her prophets are light and treacherous persons: her priests have polluted the sanctuary, they have done violence to the law."

Does it really matter how people behave in private or public? Do God's laws still exist and are we expected to obey them-or, are Yahweh's commandments obsolete, fulfilled and done away with by the death of His Son Jesus Christ?

Millions of Christians would answer:"Yes, we are no longer under the law. We're under grace! The law has been done away with and we are no longer expected to keep it." Is this the case? Does being "under grace" cancel the need to obey the Ten Commandments? This is a vital question, the answers to which will determine how we behave and how we will stand on the fast approaching Day of Judgement. For, make no mistake, according to Jesus Christ we will have to answer for all our actions-yes, for every idle word-on that awesome day. Ignorance will be no excuse.

Matthew 12:36, "But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment."

Revelation 20:12, "And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works."

Are Moral Laws Necessary?

Yes, moral laws are necessary. No society can function properly without rules and regulations. Without laws people soon revert to the level of brute beasts and the "law of the jungle." Human society needs rules and regulations. Where there is no law there is anarchy. This fact applies on the road, in the air, the home, the classroom, the office and the factory. To avoid chaos, law and order is absolutely essential.

Yes, moral laws are absolutely necessary! Every Christian, indeed every believer of all the major religions on earth, will agree that society must have moral standards if we are to avoid anarchy. But who defines moral standards? Certainly we humans cannot. The answer is that God alone has the authority to define moral standards-because He created us.

Where does God define moral standards? The answer is that He defines moral standards in His law. In other words, Yahweh's law, as recorded in the Bible, identifies the moral standards He wants humanity to live by. If Yahweh's law didn't exist no one would know right from wrong. The Bible says, in 1 John 3:4, "Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law."

Romans 7:7 "What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet."

Our Schoolmaster

The law of the Most High also points the sinner to the Savior. It is a schoolmaster guiding the guilty one to the Savior: His blood alone can cleanse the sinner. In other words the law not only identifies sin-that is its initial purpose-but it also points to the remedy: Yeshua the Messiah. He alone can cleanse and empower a sinner not to sin again.

To use another analogy, we might say that Yahweh's law is like a signpost on the highway of life, pointing the way to the Kingdom of Heaven. Once you know what sin is, repent of it, and receive God's power to keep from sinning, you no longer need to constantly look at the signpost to tell you the way-because you now know the way.

Knowledge of the way, however, does not do away with the signpost. It is still there should you or others begin to sin again and get lost . Removing signposts and attacking schoolmasters are serious crimes against society. The Bible says, in Galatians 3:24, "Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith."

Are Yahweh's Laws Imperfect?

The simple answer is No. Every one of the Eternal's Commandments is perfect. All are Spiritual, pure, good and complete. They are all faultless. It is unthinkable that the Most High even wrote one imperfect instruction. To harbor such an idea is unworthy of a true believer.

Here are a few texts about Yahweh's perfect Commandments which we would do well to study and remember-because blindly rejecting or attacking the law of the Almighty is courting disaster-to say the least.

Romans 7:12, "Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good ..." verse 14, "For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin."

Psalm 19:7-8, "The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes."

Yahweh's Laws are Multilevel

This means that the high Spiritual realities (to which God's laws point) are prefigured by low-level shadows, illustrations, models, and dramas. At their high-level, every single Commandment of God is eternal. (More about this point later.)

At their low level, some Divine laws are limited to periods of time called "dispensations." When a dispensation expires, then, in some cases, the physical low-level illustration, the blueprint or model of the high level principle, which the law is teaching, is no longer needed: Just as a signpost is no longer needed when you have arrived at your destination. In a similar way, a schoolmaster is no longer needed when you have learned the lessons he was teaching. But the "spiritual requirement," the "high-level principle" to which the shadow points, continues to be in force throughout eternity. ... Allow me to explain this twin-level concept with the help of an example....

Animal Sacrifices

The book of Leviticus contains scores of passages about various sacrifices and offerings made in the worship of the Most High, such as the following: sin offerings, meat offerings, peace and thank offerings, trespass offerings, meal offerings and wave offerings. Every transgression, however small, called for some kind of offering to gain forgiveness. All those rituals-and they were obviously expensive and time consuming-pointed to the enormous price the Almighty paid for the redemption of mankind. Those sacrifices of lambs, rams, he-goats, bulls, pigeons, etc., all pointed to our Savior's death.

Since His death, we believers do not need to sacrifice animals to gain forgiveness from sin. The death of Jesus Christ cleanses the repentant believer from sin. This means that the low-level requirement of the law (the blueprint, the model, the illustration-the part which involved the slaughter of farm animals) is no longer necessary: it has passed and is over. It has fulfilled its instructional purpose in pointing the sinner to the Lamb of God and in teaching him/her how costly (to Yahweh and His Son) the ongoing process of redemption really was.

The high-level requirements of the sacrificial laws, however, are eternal. They still apply. When a person sins in this day and age he/she must still come to the Almighty with the blood of a sacrifice, for "without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sin" (Hebrews 9:22). This mandatory parameter (that without blood there can be no forgiveness) is the very reason why those commandments concerning animal sacrifices were given: They were given to teach mankind that the penalty for sin is death; and that forgiveness is only possible if the sinner comes to God with the blood of a substitute. Prior to the Savior's death, literal lambs, goats and bulls were slaughtered to prefigure our real substitute-Jesus Christ. Those practical lessons mean that if a repentant sinner wants forgiveness from sin, he/she must approach the Almighty with the blood of a sacrifice.

In this dispensation (since the Savior's death) all that we need to obtain forgiveness-by faith-is the blood of the Lamb of God. In other words, before you can find forgiveness from sin, you need faith in the cleansing power of the blood of Jesus Christ. You cannot receive remission (forgiveness, pardon, acquittal, absolution) for your sins in any other way! This is what the Bible teaches.

In short, the high-level reality of the law on sacrifices (that we need faith in the blood of the Messiah before forgiveness is possible) still exists. It hasn't been done away with. Hebrews 9:22, "And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission." Colossians 1:14, "In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins."

Psalm 111:7-8, "The works of his hands are verity and judgment; all his commandments are sure. They stand fast for ever and ever, and are done in truth and uprightness."

New covenant believers do not need to sacrifice a lamb, a goat or a bull to gain forgiveness. All that they are required to do is to repent, confess their sins to God, and ask forgiveness in His Son's name. The blood of Yeshua the Messiah (the only born-again Son of God) cleanses us from all sin. Therefore, the law, which states that forgiveness is not possible without blood, still stands: it is still in force; it is eternal, and it applies today. If you want forgiveness now, you must still go to God the Father with faith in the blood of the substitute-Jesus Christ the Son.

Yahweh's Laws Are Eternal?

At their high-level, every one of Yahweh's laws is eternal: they will all last for all time. Unlike the animal sacrifice laws, of Yahweh's Commandments still apply on both levels. For example, the law forbidding adultery still applies on the physical as well as the spiritual level. Physically sleeping with another man's wife is as wrong today as it was before the Savior died. On a still higher plane that same law forbids "mental adultery," and higher still, "adulterating truth with error." These acts are high-level adultery.

Other examples of laws that still apply on both levels are these:

"Thou shalt not bow down to graven images."

  • Low-level: Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image....
  • High-level: Do not worship man-made systems, pagan gods, or alien ideologies-because they are as lifeless as stone or metal images and cannot help in times of real trouble.

Honor thy father and thy mother.

  • Low-level: Honor your earthly father and mother....
  • High-level: Honor your Spiritual, Heavenly Father Yahweh, and His Church, the mother of all believers.

Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.

  • Low-level: Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. In it thou shalt not do any work....
  • High-level: Remember Yahweh's Sabbath is His everlasting covenant sign of sanctification, rest and true prosperity. It prefigures the Rest of God in the ages to come.

Psalm 111:7-8, "The works of his hands are verity and judgment; all his commandments are sure. They stand fast for ever and ever, and are done in truth and uprightness." Matthew 5:17-19, "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. 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."

When the Almighty writes His perfect law on the minds of His followers, it will be for all time, never to be forgotten.

Hebrews 8:10, "For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people ..."


Lawlessness is a growing problem throughout the world: That is so in the streets, in the classrooms, in the workrooms, and alas, even in the churches! Many Christians incorrectly suppose that Paul taught that Yahweh's law is obsolete and that the Ten Commandments are a thing of the past. This monumental misconception is currently resulting in lawlessness throughout society. The church is no longer leading the fight against lawlessness; thus, it has become lawless itself-and violence is sweeping society.

The truth is clear: Yahweh's laws are necessary; they identify sin; they convert the soul! They act like signposts or schoolmasters pointing the way to the Savior Jesus Christ (Yeshua the Messiah). Without God's law no one would know right from wrong.

Yahweh's laws are all perfect-every one of them. Moreover, His laws are eternal. The high-level principles they embody will be inscribed on the true believers mind and will be instinctively obeyed throughout eternity.

This is what the Scriptures teach. That is what every true Prophet, Priest, and Apostle of God taught in days gone by. So, let no one foolishly attack the law of the Almighty-the Commandments He wrote with His own hand.

The thought of the fast approaching Day of Judgement is not something to be lightly dismissed. I end here by quoting two of the wisest men who ever lived: Solomon said, (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14) "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil."

Jesus said, (Matthew 19:17) "... if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments."


November - December 2000 The Sabbath Sentinel