Part 10: The Final Lawgiver
Has Messiah Sinned?
If Messiah has declared changes in the Law of Moses doesn’t that mean that Messiah has sinned? That was the question posed on a conference call with HRM believers. It revolved around the fact that there have been changes made to the Law of God as given to Moses and it was suggested that if those changes in any way negated what the Law stated, then would not Messiah be guilty of sin if He taught those changes? The precept would be that Messiah would be adding or taking away from what is “written” and violating the Word of God:
Deuteronomy 4:1-2 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.
And on the surface that would sound like a legitimate point. So, I would like to begin by reminding us that there have been changes made to the Law of Moses. When the Law is referenced in Matthew 5 by the words “ye have heard that it hath been said of them of old time” and Jesus says “but I say unto you”, it is evident that what Jesus is plainly stating is that the Law which was “said of them of old time” was now being changed in Christ declaring “but I say unto you”. We covered this point in previous papers titled “Changes”. Why is it possible for Jesus to state that He was changing the Law? To begin with, let us be reminded that He is God in the flesh:
John 1:1-4 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
And in John’s testimony of Jesus Christ being the Son of God, he makes a distinction between the Law and Christ in these words:
John 1:17 For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.
Clearly, John is stating that the Law is one thing but what Jesus Christ is bringing is different from what Moses gave. Otherwise why make the distinction? So, let’s continue to establish by the Word of God, how that God the Father has given Jesus Christ, the Son, the authority to change the Law. Here are certain scriptures to consider, starting with:
Genesis 49:10 The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.
I believe that this is a Messianic prophesy and here Shiloh is referring to Messiah; meaning that when Messiah comes, He will be “the final lawgiver’ (yes, it’s my opinion, but I will substantiate this as you finish the paper) who will bear the ultimate rule. Judah relinquishing his scepter should serve to convey the idea that the promise of a coming Messiah would be fulfilled through the tribe of Judah:
Micah 5:2 But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.
The phrase” whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting” shows the fact that the “final lawgiver” had been determined to come from the lineage of Judah from before the beginning of time (Matthew 13:34-35, 1 Corinthians 2:7-8, 1 Peter 1:19-20). And this fact was established in the prophetic record prior to the establishment of the Levitical priesthood. And the phrase in Genesis 49:10 “unto him shall the gathering of the people be”, is revealing in that the word “gathering” in Hebrew is:
3349 yiqqahah yik-kaw-haw'
from the same as 3348; obedience: -gathering, to obey.
Messiah is to be obeyed as the final lawgiver. And here are more scriptures that speak to this fact:
Psalms:60:7 Gilead is mine, and Manasseh is mine; Ephraim also is the strength of mine head; Judah is my lawgiver;
Psalms:108:8 Gilead is mine; Manasseh is mine; Ephraim also is the strength of mine head; Judah is my lawgiver;
We know that Judah never delivered the Law to the people. It was Moses and Aaron’s descendents of the tribe of Levi (Exodus19:9, 24:12, Malachi 2:7). But we now know that the final lawgiver is Messiah descended of the tribe of Judah. And we understand that there was a requirement to change the Law in order for Messiah to be the High Priest (Hebrews 7:11-28). . Who changed that law? It was Messiah. This change has made it possible for people from the other tribes besides Levi and not just of Judah to serve as priests. And beyond that even tribes that are not of the twelve are now entered into the priesthood. And who made that change? It was Messiah:
Revelation 1:4-6 4 John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne; 5 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, 6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
Revelation 5:8-10 8 And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints. 9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; 10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.
It is Messiah who has changed the law and made us priests where once according to the law of God given to Moses we could not be priests because we were not of the tribe of Levi. But now Christ has out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation taken of us to not only be priests but kings as well.
If some should argue that the reference to us being priests is not fulfilled until we reach heaven then they would be wrong:
1Peter 2:4-10 4 To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, 5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. 6 Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief cornerstone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. 7 Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, 8 And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed. 9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light; 10 Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.
We are “an holy priesthood”, “a royal priesthood” and how could that be possible under the Law of God given to Moses? It could not happen, therefore Messiah changed the Law. And not only has Messiah changed the Law in regard to the priesthood but He has changed many other points in the Law of God given to Moses.
And it has been brought out how Messiah did in fact "change" the Law of Yahweh when He said to the woman at the well:
John 4:21 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father.
Someone might think to say that the time or era that Jesus is speaking about is to be after the millennium when we are in heaven but the key is that Jesus said to her (the woman at the well) “ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father”. That means Jesus was speaking of a time in her life time when they would not have to go to Jerusalem to worship. Prior to this, men were required to worship at Jerusalem, from the time of Solomon on (2 Chronicles 6:5-6, 2 Chronicles 7:15-16 ).
This statement serves to prove the divinity of Jesus Christ by showing that Christ has the power to change the Law, not by an arbitrary ruling of His own, but by authority of Yahweh, Himself. And here are Messiah's words declaring that authority:
John 12:47-50 47 And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. 48 He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day. 49 For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. 50 And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.
Messiah only speaks what the Father has given Him to speak. Therefore, when someone says that they cannot see Messiah speaking something that contradicts the Law that Yahweh gave to Moses because that would mean that Messiah was sinning, then maybe they might want to reconsider making that false accusation, not realizing the implication of such an accusation.
Some time ago, when we had the “119 Ministries” on the call. We discussed the taking of oaths or vows. And they made the case that it was acceptable and good that as men took or made vows under the Old Covenant that it was equally acceptable and good for believers to do the same under the New Covenant. I tried to argue against that position on the call and to my dismay, most agreed with 119 Ministries. Therefore I would like to address this point again and bring out certain scriptures that should make it clear why I cannot agree with those of 119 Ministries and those on the call who agreed with them.
That God allowed men to take oaths and make vows by swearing under the Old Covenant, is clearly seen in these scriptures:
Deuteronomy 6:13 Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God, and serve him, and shalt swear by his name.
Deuteronomy 10:20 Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God; him shalt thou serve, and to him shalt thou cleave, and swear by his name.
If one foolishly made an oath or swore and then realized his mistake, he could offer a sin offering for his mistake:
Leviticus 5:4-6 4 Or if a soul swear, pronouncing with his lips to do evil, or to do good, whatsoever it be that a man shall pronounce with an oath, and it be hid from him; when he knoweth of it, then he shall be guilty in one of these. 5 And it shall be, when he shall be guilty in one of these things, that he shall confess that he hath sinned in that thing: 6 And he shall bring his trespass offering unto the Lord for his sin which he hath sinned, a female from the flock, a lamb or a kid of the goats, for a sin offering; and the priest shall make an atonement for him concerning his sin.
Some desire to make a distinction between swearing and oath taking, but here in Lev. 5:4 it is undoubtedly the same; it is from the same root word that both are taken:
Swear: Strong’s 7650 shaba` shaw-bah'
a primitive root; propr. to be complete, but used only as a denominative from 7651; to seven oneself, i.e. swear (as if by repeating a declaration seven times):--adjure, charge (by an oath, with an oath), feed to the full (by mistake for 7646), take an oath, X straitly, (cause to, make to) swear.
Oath: Strong’s 7621 shbuw`ah sheb-oo-aw'
feminine passive participle of 7650; properly, something sworn, i.e. an oath:-- curse, oath, X sworn.
And here in Ecclesiastes 9:2, we can see the same equivalency made; sweareth (Strong’s 7650 shaba) and oath (Strong’s 7621 shbuw`ah):
Ecclesiastes 9:2 All things come alike to all: there is one event to the righteous, and to the wicked; to the good and to the clean, and to the unclean; to him that sacrificeth, and to him that sacrificeth not: as is the good, so is the sinner; and he that sweareth, as he that feareth an oath.
Also, some have wanted to make a distinction between a "vow" and an "oath". If we look at these scriptures it would appear that both the vow and the binding oath are treated the same:
Numbers 30:2 If a man vow a vow unto the LORD, or swear an oath to bind his soul with a bond; he shall not break his word, he shall do according to all that proceedeth out of his mouth.
Numbers 30:13 Every vow, and every binding oath to afflict the soul, her husband may establish it, or her husband may make it void.
And although it appears that Yahweh permitted swearing or taking oaths under the Old Covenant, there can be no mistaking Christ's command:
Matthew 5:33-37 33 Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths: 34 But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God's throne: 35 Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King. 36 Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black. 37 But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.
And James reiterates this command:
James 5:12 But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation.
It is evident by this that “swearing” in “swear not” and taking “oaths” in “neither by any other oath” are both addressed here and we are told to enter into neither.
There can be no misunderstanding that this is a "change" in Yahweh's in instructions (Torah). If some want to justify taking "any oaths" or swearing by "any" thing, then know that they will be disobeying the clear instructions of the Messiah, God in the flesh, the final lawgiver.
I could go on but I trust you can see the point I have made. Messiah is God and Yahweh has entrusted Him with all authority:
John 5:26-27 26 For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; 27 And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man.
Matthew 28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
That word “power” in Greek (Strong’s 1849 exousia) means authority. And we should not diminish the word “all” from meaning “all”. And we should note that Christ’s “all” authority is not just in earth but in heaven as well. That pretty much covers “all”.
This is why Messiah is the one that qualifies as being that “Prophet” that Moses prophesied about because He being God is the one who has all authority. Messiah is the only one who can make changes to the Law of God because He alone has that authority from Yahweh:
Deuteronomy 18:15-19 15 The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken; 16 According to all that thou desiredst of the Lord thy God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, Let me not hear again the voice of the Lord my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, that I die not. 17 And the Lord said unto me, They have well spoken that which they have spoken. 18 I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. 19 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.
Has Messiah sinned because He has changed the Law of God given to Moses? The answer is no. Messiah, the Son of God, has been entrusted with this authority by Yahweh, the Father. And that the Law of God given by Moses (Torah) has undergone changes is undeniable. We cannot deny that the priesthood has been changed from the Levitical to the Melchisedec; that the need for the blood sacrifices of animals has been changed; that the requirement to go to Jerusalem to worship has been changed (here are some other scriptures to show how Jerusalem became the “place” to worship God: Ex. 20:4, Lev, 6:25-30, Num. 9:15-23, Deut. 12:5-7, Jud. 6:26, 2 Sam. 6:9-12, 1 Kings 3:2-4, 1 Kings 8:1-13, 1 Kings 8:29); that the temple has been changed from one made with hands to one not made with hands; that circumcision has changed from being done with hands to the circumcision made without hands. And that we have had a change in covenants.
How could all these changes have been made without authority from God? But that the changes have been made is indisputable. And the changes were made by God’s authority, which has been vested in the Son of God, Messiah. We are no longer looking for another “Prophet” (Deut. 18:18-19). We are not looking for another mediator between God and men (1 Timothy 2:5). And we are not looking for another who will legitimately change the Law of God.
Messiah, Jesus Christ of the tribe of Judah, is the Final Lawgiver.