What Does It Mean To Be “Under The Law?”
When it comes to the law of Elohim (God), most believers really don’t have an understanding; they believe that the law of Elohim was done away with and that as believers we don’t need to keep the law any longer. Their favorite verse to quote is from Romans 6:14 “for ye are not under the law, but under grace.”
But do you ever hear them quote the next verse which says, “What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? Elohim forbid” (Romans 6:15).
If we are no longer required to keep the Torah (law) of Elohim as many believers would preach; then why would Apostle Shaul (Paul) ask the question in verse 15 of Romans 6 and say, “shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace?” It is obvious that Apostle Shaul understood the true meaning of sin according to the scriptures:
1 John 3:4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.
Apostle Yahuchanan (John) and Apostle Shaul are dealing with the same thing. They are saying it in their own words. Apostle Yahuchanan wrote that sin is the transgression of the law, and Apostle Shaul wrote that we should not sin, i.e. transgress the law, just because we are under grace. When you first look at this it seems like Apostle Shaul was contradicting himself and the rest of scripture, but he is not.
Yisrael was commanded to set themselves apart and come before Yahuah (the LORD) and He was to speak to them (Exodus 19). They appeared before Yahuah on the eighteenth day of the third month, Yahuah started out by giving the Ten Commandments orally (Exodus 20). The people feared Yahuah and ask Moshe (Moses) to go to Yahuah alone (Exodus 20:19). Moshe did what was asked. Moshe receives more instruction, i.e. the law (Exodus 20:22 – Exodus 23) and comes back to Yisrael and recites to them what he receives. The people of Yisrael agree to the terms of the law (Exodus 24:3). That night Moshe wrote down all that Yahuah had instructed him. In the morning after writing all night, Moshe recites everything Yahuah said the previous day, and once again Yisrael agrees to the instructions of the law (Exodus 24:4-7). The very first transgression of the law that Yisrael did after the law was given was with the Golden Calf at the foot of Mount Sinai (Exodus 32). This took place on the twenty ninth day of the fourth month, the day Moshe came down with the two stone tablets containing the Ten Commandments. That day was also a Feast of Yahuah, The Feast of Weeks, Aka Pentecost, and 3000 were slain that day for the transgression of the law.
Apostle Shaul in his writing to the Galatians would explain that there was one specific “law” that was “added because of transgression.” Which law was added because of transgression?
Galatians 3:19 Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.
The word “law” in Hebrew is Torah which means “instructions.” Long before Yisrael ever sinned at the foot of Mount Sinai with the golden calf, someone else committed a transgression when they were instructed not to do something and they disobeyed. Who was it? It was Adam and Chauah (Eve)!
Yahuah gave Adam and Chauah one simple commandment of what they were not to do:
16 And Yahuah Elohim commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:
17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
Adam and Chauah had one simple command of what they were not to do, but they both transgressed this one commandment. And what did Yahuah have to do because of their transgression? Yahuah himself came down as their High Priest (Melchizedek) and he made a sacrifice for them:
Genesis 3:21 Unto Adam also and to his wife did Yahuah Elohim make coats of skins, and clothed them.
It is very possible that this took place on the day that later would be called Yom Kippur, aka the Day of Atonement. The word kippur comes from another root word kaphar which means “to cover, to make atonement.” When Yahuah made “coverings” (skins, coats), for Adam and Chauah, he was illustrating Yom Kippur typology! This was the very law that was “added because of transgression.” The laws pertaining to blood atonement sacrifices were added because of the transgression of Adam and Chauah. However, scripture shows that not all animal sacrifices in the Bible were done because of sin. There are other animal sacrifices that are done for thanksgiving and for worship. But the only law that was added because of transgression was those that pertain to blood atonement on Yom Kippur. Yahusha (Jesus) was the “lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Revelation 13:8), and this means that he was always that sacrifice for all of eternity. When the Priest, who was a Levite, made blood atonement down here on earth, it was being done as a shadow picture of the true lamb slain in eternity until the Messiah would come in flesh and become that “lamb slain from the foundation of the world here on earth.”
The first Adam was given the role of the High Priest in the Garden of Eden, but he failed. It then became necessary for Yahuah himself to come as “the son of Adam” or “the son of man.” The Hebrew word for “man” is Adam. When our Messiah continually made reference to himself as “the son of man,” he was letting us know that he was the Creator himself who came in the role of “the last Adam.”
1 Corinthians 15:45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.
In order for mankind to be redeemed, our Messiah had to fulfill the role of the twin goats on Yom Kippur which would then redeem all of mankind back to their position in the Melchizedek Priesthood for which each of us were originally created:
1 Peter 2:9 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:
And so our Messiah began his ministry at the age of 30 years old on Yom Kippur when he went to be baptized by his second cousin Yahuchanan at the river Jordon. Yahuchanan was a descendant of the High Priest after the order of Aharon (Aaron). Two things took place that day. First Yahusha would fulfill the picture of the two goats on Yom Kippur and secondly a transfer of the High Priest would take place from the order of Aharon to the order of Melchizedek. To understand this we need more information what was to take place on this day.
When Yom Kippur was first instituted, Moshe received instruction in how to keep Yom Kippur – Day of Atonement. These instructions were written in Leviticus 16.
The High Priest was to take two goats and present them before Yahuah at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting. He was to cast lots for the goats, one for Yahuah and the other for “Azazel” which literally means: “the goat of removal” or “the scapegoat.” These two goats were to be brought before the High Priest. He would place his hands on their heads and confess the sins of the people. One was to be slaughtered as a sacrifice to Yahuah and the other was to be released into the wilderness.
When Yahuah came to Yahuchanan to be baptized, Yahuchanan was the true High Priest that was to offer the “sacrificial goat” that year while Caiaphas the High Priest was an impostor who was an Edomite appointed by Rome. Caiaphas was not a Levite and not of the lineage of Aharon and by this by this he was not appointed by Yahuah, but Yahuchanan was a Levite, a descendant of Aharon and he was the legitimate High Priest.
Yahuchanan immediately recognized that Elohim had selected the sacrificial goat that year for Yom Kippur:
John 1:29 The next day Yahuchanan seeth Yahusha coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of Elohim, which taketh away the sin of the world.
Yahuchanan knew that Yahusha was about to become the “sacrificial goat” and that he would be “sent” into the wilderness also as the “scapegoat” to “take away” the sins of the world into the wilderness!
Yahuchanan placed his hand on Yahusha’s head just as the High Priest did to the two goats. Baptism is a picture of death (Romans 6:3-4), so when Yahusha was baptized he pictured the first goat that was to die, He would literally fulfill this at Pesach (Passover). The scriptures tell us that the first goat was to be sacrificed to Yahuah and the second goat is to be offered to “Azazel,” which is a Hebrew word that literally means goat of departure; the scapegoat.
The idea behind the scapegoat is that he is to be sent out into the wilderness, separated from the people “as far as the east is from the west” (Psalms 103:12). The scapegoat escapes death, but he carries the sins of the people with him to his dying day. They people sinned, but the goat suffers. The people were guilty, but the scapegoat pays the price. That’s what the word “scapegoat” has come to mean: “an innocent person who takes the blame for the guilty party.”
In the account of Luke 3:21-22 Yahuah Elohim was giving His approval on what Yahusha was doing.
21 Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened,
22 And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.
Yahusha than fulfilled the word by being that scapegoat by being led into the wilderness.
Matthew 4:1 Then was Yahusha led up of the Ruach (Spirit) into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.
After Yahusha was in the wilderness for forty days we read an account where Yahusha went into the synagogue and He read the scroll from Isaiah 61. When we read this account in Luke, we must realize that He was speaking in “Yom Kippur” language:
14 And Yahusha returned in the power of the Ruach (Spirit) into Galilee: and there went out a fame of him through all the region round about.
15 And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified of all.
16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up for to read.
17 And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet YahshaYahu (Isaiah). And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written,
18 The Spirit of Yahuah is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
19 To preach the acceptable year of Yahuah.
20 And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him.
21 And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.
The function of the High Priest each year on Yom Kippur was to act as the “kinsman redeemer” for the nation of Yisrael. The High Priest represented the “husband” of the bride (Yisrael), and only he could “stand in the gap” for her and make atonement for her sins year-by-year. The temporary role of the High Priesthood was handed down to the sons of Aharon after Yisrael sinned with the golden calf in Exodus 32. After their “transgression,” the “law of the high priest” was added because of transgression (Galatians 3:19). Moshe made Aharon and sons and future decedents, the new High Priests to minister on behalf of the nation of Yisrael every year for Yom Kippur. But prior to that, the office of the High Priest Melchizedek belonged to the first born son from Adam on down. Genesis 14:18 shows us that Melchizedek met with Abraham after he rescued him and the book of Jasher 16:11-12 shows us that Shem the son of Noach (Noah) was this Melchizedek who was the living Patriarch of all mankind at that time. The High Priest of the Melchizedek order and the Patriarch of all mankind was passed down to Yahushua and that is where is will stay for eternity.
Why did Moshe hand over that role of the High Priest to the sons of Aharon instead of to the true Patriarch of Tribe of Yahuda (Judah) from where the Melchizedek Priesthood came? It was because Aharon was the originator of this transgression. He was the one who caused Yisrael to sin in the first place with the golden calf!
Therefore, the only way that Aharon and his sons could live, is if they were the ones who gave their lives as a ransom for the nation!
Each year when the High Priest performed the role of the kinsman redeemer on Yom Kippur, he had to first “sanctify himself” with the blood of a bullock, and then he had to make a sacrifice for the nation of Yisrael with the blood of a goat. The bullock was killed to symbolize that “golden calf worship” was being killed. And the goat was killed to symbolize Yisrael being killed for her own sins after this transgression in Exodus 32. This act was to remind every year about the “great transgression” in the wilderness (Psalm 19:13) which they would never again want to repeat.
So you see this “law” that made Aharon and his descendants (mortal men) into “High Priests” each year for Yom Kippur was now being changed when Messiah was immersed (baptized) by Yahuchanan!
Hebrews 7:12 For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law.
Hebrews 7:28 For the law maketh men high priests which have infirmity; but the word of the oath, which was since the law, maketh the Son, who is consecrated for evermore.
Believers in the Messiah Yahusha often take Hebrews 7:12 to mean that the ENTIRE MOSAIC LAW was now being done away with because our Messiah has become our eternal High Priest who fulfilled the law. Such logic would mean that all of the moral laws against murder, homosexuality, incest, rape, and bestiality have now “been done away with” and that there is no longer a restriction against these laws. But we learn by reading the entire book of Hebrews in context what did take place was that there was a “change also of the law” that made mortal men into High Priests.
Our Messiah came to restore the role of the true High Priest (the husband and kinsman redeemer) back from the order of Aharon to the order of Melchizedek. And so when Yahusha was baptized by Yahuchanan, who was a descendant of Aharon, Yahuchanan was the “High Priest” in the eyes of Yahuah that year. Caiaphas was selected by men (an impostor). Yahuchanan was the temporary “High Priest” until the “seed” (Messiah) would come (Galatians 3:19). When Yahuchanan baptized Yahusha, he was transferring the role of the High Priest back to the order of Melchizedek! This is why Yahuchanan had to die!
The Jews have a custom of fasting for forty days leading up to Yom Kippur to commemorate when Moshe was on Mount Sinai the second time for forty days to receive a new set of stone tablets that contained the Ten Commandments. At the end of those forty days, Moshe returned to them on the Day of Atonement. Moshe had to make atonement for them after he broke the first set of tablets and that is when he instituted the “law” of the High Priests after the sons of Aharon.
This is the reason why the Jews to this day calls for “forty days of teshua” or repentance. This is why Yahusha performed the role of the “twin goats” for Yom Kippur. He first fulfilled the role of the sacrificial goat at his baptism, since baptism is a symbol of death (Romans 6:4). Then He was lead into the wilderness as the scapegoat by the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit).
The term scapegoat literally means “the innocent party who takes the place of the guilty party.”
When Yahusha emerged from the wilderness after his forty days of fasting and being tested, He went to the Synagogue and He read from Isaiah 61. In this passage He is showing them that He is the “Mashiach” (the anointed one) who had fulfilled the picture of the two goats on Yom Kippur and He is now declaring to them “the acceptable year of Yahuah” which only the High Priest could announce each year on Yom Kippur!
Each year on Yom Kippur, if the red ribbon that was tied to the scapegoat turned white and the white stone came up, that meant that the nation was “accepted” by Yahuah that year. This meant that their High Priest had atoned not only for his own sins but he also atoned for the sins for the nation for another year.
This is why they would have been “accepted” by the Father in heaven. As you read earlier in the account of Luke 3:22, the Father was well pleased. But if the High Priest did not sanctify himself, he would not be in any position to atone for the nation either and then he would have died behind the veil and they (the nation of Yisrael) were “not accepted” that year!
When our Messiah Yahusha declared “the acceptable year of Yahuah” He was essentially saying to them:
“I am now your High Priest, your kinsman redeemer, your husband whom you have forsaken, after the order of Melchizedek, and you are accepted because I have made atonement for you in eternity as the lamb slain from the foundation of the world!”
Most believers have erroneously been taught to believe that Apostle Shaul’s message in Galatians 4 is about Yisrael entering into two different marriage covenants with Yahuah. Apostle Shaul’s letter to the Galatians shows that Yisrael had entered into a marriage covenant with Yahuah and then when Moshe went up to Mount Sinai, they entered into a false covenant with the golden calf. This is the covenant that “genders to bondage.” Apostle Shaul was not suggesting that the Renewed Covenant (also called the New Covenant) is a brand new and different marriage covenant with a whole new set of laws. But what is different about the New Covenant from the First Covenant is that in the New, Yahuah will put His laws into our mind, and write them in our hearts.
Hebrews 8:10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Yisrael 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 Elohim, and they shall be to me a people:
Apostle Shaul was not teaching us that in the New Covenant that the Torah (law) was now done away with and doing so it now allows for false pagan holidays such as Christmas and Easter and idolatry, by saying that we are doing this unto Yahuah. That is the transgression that took place at Mount Sinai when Yisrael made the golden calf and said that they were doing it onto Yahuah. The New Covenant is the very same covenant that Yisrael entered into with Yahuah on Mount Sinai, only this time, Messiah came to “renew, rebuild and repair” that broken covenant and this time He ratified it with His own blood and put His Torah (laws) into our minds and wrote it in our hearts! The same Torah commandments (laws) apply under the New Covenant as with the First Covenant. The only laws that were “added because of transgression” (Galatians 3:19) were the laws surrounding blood atonement on Yom Kippur and the laws surrounding the role of the High Priest being transferred temporarily to the sons of Aharon. The only law that “changed” in Hebrews 7:12 was the law that made mortal men into High Priests for Yom Kippur each year.
There was always the possibility that the High Priest could die behind the Holy of Holies each year if he did not properly atone for his own sins and the sins of the nation, and thus the nation would not be “accepted” that year. But now in Messiah Yahusha, we are always accepted and his blood atonement is forever and permanent. We are now well able to keep the Feasts of Yahuah and the Sabbaths as a “memorial” of him.
The prophetic feasts are not only a shadow picture (Colossians 2:16-17), but they are “The Testimony of Yahusha” (Revelation 19:10). Those who HAVE his testimony and DO his commandments will have the right to eat from the Tree of Life (Revelation 22:14). The Melchizedek Priesthood now administers the very same laws only with a permanent blood sacrifice that abides forever in eternity. The prophetic Feasts of Yahuah, the Sabbath days, and the dietary laws are not done away with. During the Millennium, Messiah will one hundred percent implement the Torah (Mosaic Law) as the prophecy states that he will rebuild the Tabernacle of David that is fallen down (Acts 15:16). All will worship Yahuah on the New Moon and Sabbath days (Isaiah 66:22-23) and celebrate the Feast during the Millennium, and all of the nations who refuse to come to the New Jerusalem for the pilgrimage feasts during the Millennium will experience drought and famine (Zechariah 14:16-17).
So Which Law Are We No Longer Under?
By now I hope you are able to figure out what Apostle Shaul was telling us when he said that we are no longer “under the law.” He was obviously telling us that if we are under the favor and grace of Yahuah, than we are no longer under the imperfect priesthood of the sons of Aharon. The laws surrounding this temporary and imperfect priesthood could not save us. These laws only served as shadow picture to point us to the one who could save us, which is the eternal, permanent, and perfect High Priest, Yahusha!
This means that we are still under the laws (instructions) of our Creator, but we are not under the laws surrounding blood atonement and the temporary High Priests who were mortals! We now have Yahusha as our High Priest who is after the order of Melchizedek, who lives forever!
Okay, so what does this term “under the law” really mean? Well, as I have already illustrated, it means to be under a temporary priesthood of mortal men which could not adequately atone for us!
You see, when the House of Yahudah (Judah) was taken into Babylonian Captivity in the days of Yirmeyah (Jeremiah) the prophet, many of these priests had become corrupt and they had begun to incorporate pagan sun-god worship customs in the Temple of Yahuah as seen in Ezekiel 8. They even brought in trees decorated with “silver and gold” to commemorate Nimrod into the Jewish Temple as seen in Jeremiah 10:1-3. These decorated trees were also called “the image of jealousy” in Ezekiel 8:3-5 and now we call it Christmas and say we are doing it onto Yahusha.
The prophet Yahezkel (Ezekiel) was shown that the House of Yahudah was bringing pagan sun-god worship into the Temple! In Ezekiel 8:14, the women were weeping for the reincarnated sun-god of Nimrod named Tammuz (Lent). In Ezekiel 8:16, they had turned their backs towards the Temple and they were worshiping the sun-god! In Ezekiel 8:17 they were “putting the branch to the nose” which is mistletoe! You see, this was done in honor of Nimrod who was “cut down like a tree and like an abominable branch” (Isaiah 14:12-19).
After these Jews came out of seventy years captivity in Babylon, they returned back to their land in Jerusalem, and at first they had deeply repented for all of their abominations which caused them to be taken captive in the first place. But soon, the Babylonian customs that they had learned while in exile began to be mixed in once again which would become known as Judaism. That is when the various factions of Pharisees, Sadducees and Essenes (the denominations) of Judaism first came into existence. These various Jewish denominations had become corrupted on many levels. Many of these rabbis added man-made doctrines (Midrash, Talmud and the Kabbalah) to their religion and thus made it more difficult for the people to want to obey the commandments of Yahuah. They replaced all 613 commandments in the Torah of Moshe with their own set of 613 commandments! For example, the Dietary Law vs. Kosher: In the dietary law you can eat dairy with meat, but the kosher law forbids you eating dairy with meat. Another example is the true Sabbath day being the on the eight, fifteenth, twenty second and twenty ninth day on the Creator’s Calendar as found in scripture vs. Saturday as the Sabbath day on the Gregorian Calendar which was adopted out of Babylon. And a final example would be that scripture shows that the day begins at dawn, but in Judaism, the day begins at sunset.
And this is why our Messiah rebuked these religious leaders of his day. Listen to what he said to them:
Mark 7:9 And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of Elohim, that ye may keep your own tradition.
Wow! Now can see how the Laws of our Creator were gradually exchanged for the DOCTRINES and COMMANDMENTS OF MEN! And today we see that much of Christianity have done the very same thing with our Heavenly Father’s Torah! We have adopted pagan ways and say we not under the law and then we have the audacity to say that we are doing it onto Yahuah.
Apostle Keefa makes a reference to Apostle Shaul’s writings and says, “As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.” (2 Peter 3:16) Apostle Shaul is often misunderstood by unlearned preachers in the Torah (law) and they are bringing destruction to the body of Messiah. They often wrestle with you why they don’t have to keep the Torah (Mosaic Law). They will twist the scripture to try to prove to you that they can now eat abominable things (unclean animals), but Yahuah said He would consume them (Isaiah 66:15-17). We must be able to distinguish in many of Apostle Shaul letters, when he was speaking about the Laws of Pharisaism (man-made laws) or the Torah (our Creator’s laws).
You see, in the days of Apostle Shaul, the term “under the law” meant that you were “under rabbinic law.” Who would know better than one who was raised up in it!
If you were “under the law,” it meant that you were being trained by Hillel, or Gamaliel, or some Rabbinic School (Judaism). Listen to the context in which Apostle Shaul is using this term “under the law:”
1 Corinthians 9:20 And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law.
Apostle Shaul was speaking about those who were under Pharisaic Law (Judaism) in the above verse. He was saying that he became as those under the Rabbinic authority of the Jewish Sanhedrin in order to win them to faith in Messiah. But the confusing part is when he says “I became as a Jew,” as if he was not already a Jew. You see, Apostle Shaul was from the Tribe of BinYahmiyn (Benjamin), and the Tribe of BinYahmiyn had assimilated into the House of Yahudah, as they are considered part of the Two Southern Tribes of Yisrael known as the House of Judah. And so what does he mean by saying that he “became as a Jew,” when he was already a Jew?
Apostle Shaul was stating that he became as those under Rabbinic Judaism in order to win those who were “under Rabbinic Law.” You see, there is a difference between being an ethnic Jew and a “religious Jew” who is abiding by the laws of Judaism. Apostle Shaul was no longer following the laws of Pharisaism, but he was still “under the Mosaic Law” (Torah) given by our Creator. Now, we are going to discover that Apostle Shaul had been trained all of his life in Pharisaism under Gamaliel:
Acts 22:3 I am verily a man which am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, yet brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, and taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers, and was zealous toward Elohim, as ye all are this day.
Apostle Shaul described himself as a Pharisee:
Acts 23:6 But when Paul perceived that the one part were Sadducees, and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee: of the hope and resurrection of the dead I am called in question.
Philippians 3:5 Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Yisrael, of the tribe of BinYahmiyn, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee.
With this background information, let’s take a look at what Apostle Shaul wrote to the Corinthians:
1 Corinthians 9:21 To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to Elohim, but under the law to Messiah,) that I might gain them that are without law.
Apostle Shaul was stating above, that those who are not under Rabbinic Law, are not “under the law” and so he became as those who are not under Rabbinic Law (Pharisaism), yet he was stating that he was still NOT FREE from the Torah (law) of our Creator, because he was still UNDER MESSIAH’S LAW! Wow, what a statement, did you catch it; Apostle Shaul was still under Messiah’s Law!!!
This is proof that the Torah or “law” that Yahusha Messiah kept was not different from the law of his Heavenly Father!
1 John 2:4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
John 15:10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.
The “Hanger Laws.”
People quite often try to make a distinction between “the law of Moshe” versus “the law of Messiah” as if they are somehow different. They will quote “the two greatest commandments” as if Messiah was giving us only “two new replacement laws” and doing away with the other 611 commandments in the Torah (the five books of Moshe).
But there are several flaws with this line of thinking. First of all, they forget to insert the word “hang” into these verses below:
Let’s take a look at the account in Matthew 22:
35 Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying,
36 Master, which is the great commandment in the Torah (law)?
37 Yahusha said unto him, Thou shalt love Yahuah thy Elohim with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
38 This is the first and great commandment.
39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
40 On these two commandments HANG all the law and the prophets.
Were these brand new commandments that Yahusha was giving us? Many have been taught to believe that these were brand new commandments that our Messiah was “adding” to the Torah, and that he was “subtracting” all of the other commandments. But beloved, if that is indeed what he was doing, then he was violating Torah:
Deuteronomy 4:2 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 Yahuah your Elohim which I command you.
Deuteronomy 12:32 What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.
If we are commanded not to add, nor subtract, from the commandments, then our Messiah could not have been adding new commandments nor subtracting ones that He had already given us through His Servant Moshe.
Now I know what some of you may be thinking right now. You are asking yourself “how could our Messiah Yahusha have been the one to write the Torah with his own finger for Moshe, if he had not even been born yet?”
Well, the answer is seen in this verse:
John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with Elohim, and the Word was Elohim.
Our Messiah, Yahusha is Elohim, the Almighty, the Creator of heaven and earth. All things were created by him (Colossians 1:16) and in him dwells all the fullness of Elohim (Colossians 2:9). So then whose finger was it that wrote the commandments under the Mosaic Covenant?
Exodus 31:18 And he gave unto Moshe, when he had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of Elohim.
I often hear believers in the Messiah Yahusha make the ridiculous claim that the “law of Messiah” was somehow a different set of laws than the laws of the “Old Testament.” But these verses above prove that it was our Messiah himself who is the giver of the Torah! Could it be that his very same finger which he used to write the commandments in stone is the finger he also uses to cast out devils?
Luke 11:20 But if I with the finger of Elohim cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of Elohim is come upon you.
If these same believers claim that the Torah (law) is now done away with, that would mean that our Messiah made a mistake with his finger and he is no longer able to cast out devils. But think about how foolish this reasoning sounds!
So how did Yahusha determine what were the two greatest of all commandments? He was quoting from the Torah:
Deuteronomy 6:5 And thou shalt love Yahuah thy Elohim with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.
Deuteronomy 10:12 And now, Yisrael, what doth Yahuah thy Elohim require of thee, but to fear Yahuah thy Elohim, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve Yahuah thy Elohim with all thy heart and with all thy soul.
Leviticus 19:18 Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am Yahuah.
As you can see, these were not brand new commandments that he was using to replace all of the others commandments! I call these “the hanger laws.” Something hangs on these hangers. What are they? Hangers serve a purpose. Something hangs on them. If they are there hanging in your closet with no clothes on them, they serve no purpose! What good is a hanger if it is not being used to hang something on?
Likewise, with the “two greatest commandments,” they serve to support the other commandments in the Torah. In this illustration, the hanger is on top and the other commandments are like the clothes that are “under” the two greatest commandments. By being “under the Torah (law) of Messiah” you are under these two greatest commandments and with them all of the other ones!
You will notice that the two hangers in the illustration above have something hanging from it, such as shirts. Now if you remove the shirts, what do you have? Empty hangers that serve no purpose!
A perfect example of this principle is what the Apostle Yahaqob (James), the brother of our Messiah wrote:
14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?
15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,
16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?
17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
Here is a classic example of someone who would say that they “Love Yahuah” or they “Love their neighbor” but nothing is hanging on their love. There has to be works of faith in action to show that they truly do love Elohim. You have to hang something on those commandments! Have you ever heard the expression “actions speak louder than words?” That is precisely what Apostle Yahaqob is teaching us:
18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.
19 Thou believest that there is one Elohim; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?
21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?
22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?
23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed Elohim, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of Elohim.
24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.
You see, this is precisely what it means to be “under the law of Messiah.” It means that you hang the other commandments (works of faith) on your love for Yahuah and your neighbor. Our Messiah’s laws did not contradict the laws of his Heavenly Father! And so if I can summarize what Romans 6:14 is all about, Apostle Shaul was merely stating that we are now under the law of Melchizedek our High Priest rather than the law of the temporary High Priests from the sons of Aharon. But does that mean that the other laws have been done away with? No! The only law that actually changed as a result of Messiah dying on the tree was the law that made mortal men into High Priests. We are still under the law of Messiah, which is the same Torah that he gave to us through Moshe!
Another Context of “Under the Law.”
We have read that the term “under the law” meant to be under Rabbinic or Levitical authority. The Apostle Shaul illustrated this when he said that “he became as one under the law,” so that he might win those who are “under the law.” In this context, it would appear that he is referring to coming under Rabbinic authority, because if he meant this in a different context (as I am about to explain), he would appear to be saying that he was placing himself “under the penalty of the law,” as if he was a sinner or a law-breaker. And we know that is not what he was saying. So let’s take a look at this phrase “under the law” in a different way.
Romans 3:19 Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before Elohim.
Apostle Shaul is saying that the Torah (law) is only reaching out and convicting those who are not keeping it. An example would be if you are honoring the Sabbath day, you don’t need to go back and read those commandments in the scriptures again telling you to obey the Sabbath, for you are already obeying it. Therefore it is already in your heart to do it. Hence, the Sabbath commandment is already “written in your heart.” This would explain the following verse:
Romans 6:14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.
Notice what Apostle Shaul says before he says “you are not under the law.” He says “for sin shall not have dominion over you...” But what exactly is sin? As I explained previously, sin is the “transgression of the Torah (law).” Apostle Shaul is essentially saying “if you are obeying Torah, then you are not under the penalty of the law.” The law that was added (blood atonement laws) is no longer needed if you are obeying Torah!
Now we understand what Apostle Shaul is getting at. When people sin, they are “under the penalty of the law,” but if they are not sinning or violating Torah, they are “not under the penalty of the law.”
Picture a man behind prison bars. We could say that this man is “under the law” because he is under the penalty of the law. Why? Because he broke the law!
Now this other person has been given grace, because Messiah has fulfilled the penalty for breaking the law. This man gets a “get out of jail free card” only because he has repented.
Now that he is out of jail, should he continue to sin (transgress the law)? Elohim (God) forbid! What happens if he uses his free gift of grace to go out and break the law again? Does he get another “free get out of jail card?” No!
The translation from Hebrew to Aramaic to Greek to English makes it appear that Apostle Shaul is saying that we are “not under obligation to obey the Torah” (Mosaic Law), but that is not what he is saying at all! The way that these other languages are conveying the message makes it appear that way, but what he is really saying is that if we are under “grace” (favor), we are under the supernatural ability to obey the Torah! If we are under the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit, then we are not under the penalty of the Torah (law), because that would mean that we are obeying it! When Yahuah sees that it is already in our hearts to obey Torah, he gives us extra grace (ability) because he sees that we are trying to obey it. You see, he only gives grace to those who are humble and obedient:
James 4:6 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, Elohim resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.
1 Peter 5:5 Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for Elohim resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.
If I get pulled over by a police officer because I am traveling 45 miles per hour in a 35 mph zone, I am “under the law” because I have violated it. Therefore, I am subject to it. But if I plead with the officer to give me grace because I did not realize that I was speeding, he may give me grace because he understands that I was not deliberately trying to break the law.
He may give me a warning and let me go. But if this continues to be a pattern where I get pulled over by that same officer later on in the same location, he will know that I am speeding on purpose and then he won’t give me grace again.
Apostle Shaul is saying that we are “under the penalty of the law” when we are deliberately being lawless and our heart is against the Torah. But if we are doing our best to be obedient, and Yahuah sees that we have an obedient heart, he will show mercy to us when we accidentally slip out of old habit patterns. As an example, you may accidentally utter profanity from your lips, but if you immediately catch yourself and repent right away, you are still under grace. But if you continue to sin willfully (Hebrews 10:26), then you will continue to grieve the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit), and that may lead you to fall from favor or grace (Galatians 5:4).
There is a difference between someone who is in the process of being set free from former bad habits, and they are learning to walk by the Spirit in consistent obedience, versus someone who is only using “grace” as a license to continue sinning. Such a person is only fooling themselves, for they are not under any kind of favor or grace what-so-ever.
An example of a person who abuses grace would be like the man who knows that it is a sin to look at pornography and yet he goes out and purchases videos or magazines at the store. This is different than a man, who is walking down the street, and he happens to see a woman who is scantily dressed and he has a moment of weakness. But if this man immediately casts down those lustful thoughts and imaginations and he repents, that is different than someone who is willfully going out and looking to commit sin. Grace is for this kind of person who is quick to correct himself. But grace is not available to the one who is looking for an opportunity to sin. Grace covers us in those moments of weakness. Grace is not for those who consistently and willfully sin!
That is exactly what the Apostle Shaul was illustrating in his letter to the Romans. He is saying that grace is available to those who are on the path of learning to obey Torah and they have a heart towards obedience. But for those who take advantage of grace, he says Yahuah forbid that we should sin on purpose!
Romans 6:15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? Elohim forbid.
If I get a speeding ticket, it is because I was breaking the law. If I have to pay the fine, it means that I am “under the law” and its requirements. I am under the penalty of the law. But when I am obeying the law I am no longer “under the law” because I am in harmony with the law. I am only “under the law” when I am in violation of it.
The writer of Hebrews illustrates this point very well:
26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,
27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.
28 He that despised Moshe’s law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:
29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of Elohim, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?
30 For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith Yahuah. And again, Yahuah shall judge his people.
31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living Elohim.
And so the bottom line is this: Grace is for those who love Yahuah and they are striving to obey his Torah. Grace is not available to those who abuse it and use it as excuse to keep on sinning. Those who despise Torah (Mosaic Law) and they think it is done away with, are not under grace at all. They are in fact “under the law” because they have rejected it. Therefore, they are still under the penalty of the law!
As a matter of fact, if you are one of those people who erroneously think that you no longer have to obey the Torah, even your prayers are considered an abomination, so there is no way that you are under the favor or grace of Yahuah:
Proverbs 28:9 He that turneth away his ear from hearing the Torah (law), even his prayer shall be abomination.