The Law of Moses is divided into three parts, or codes, as follows.
Code I, The Commandments, Exodus 20:1-17, contains the laws of divine institution and establishment, including the moral law. This is the Magna Carta or Bill of Rights of human freedom.
Code II, The Ordinances, or the spiritual code, included a complete Christology also called the doctrine of Christ, and was designed to present Christ as the only savior. Included in the ordinances is a shadow Christology and a shadow soteriology also called the doctrine of salvation. These ideas are presented in the descriptions of the tabernacle, the holy days, the Levitical offerings and the daily activity of the priesthood.
Code III, The Judgments, was the social code. The divine laws of establishment applied to social living. Questions of diet, sanitation, quarantine, soil conservation, taxation, military service, how to spend a honeymoon, what to do about divorce, slavery, inheritances, etc., were all covered. It was a complete set of laws.
The Law of Moses is called the book of the covenant: Ex. 24:7, 8; 34:27, 28; Deut. 4:13; 9:9, 11, 15. There is a written addendum to the Law in Deut. 29.
The prophecy regarding the breaking of the covenant is found in Deut. 31:16, 20; Jer. 22:9. The book of the covenant is the subject of Jeremiah 11; but it is not to be confused with the new covenant with Israel discussed in Jeremiah 31 to 33.
In the teaching of world history in universities, Hammurabi’s code is set forth as the shining example of law giving in human history. The Law of Moses is far more comprehensive and far reaching.
- Recipients of the Law of Moses
The Law was given to Israel: Ex. 19:3; Lev. 26:46; Rom. 3:19; 9:4.
The Law was specifically not given to Gentiles: Deut. 4:8; Rom. 2:12-14.
Born again believers of the church age are not under the Law. Therefore, the Mosaic Law was never given to the church: Acts 15:5, 24; Rom. 6:14; Gal. 2:19.
Jesus Christ fulfilled the Law: Matt. 5:17, “…I am not come to destroy the Law, but to fulfill…” He fulfilled the commandments by living perfectly under the Law. His perfect life fulfilled Code I. The Ordinances, Code II, were fulfilled by Christ’s death, burial, resurrection, ascension and session. The Judgments, Code III, were fulfilled by Christ as He observed the law of the land by living under divine institutions and establishment.
Jesus Christ is the end of the Law for believers: Rom. 10:4.
Believers in the church age are under a higher law of spirituality: Rom. 8:2-4; Gal. 5:18, 22, 23; I Cor. 13. The believer who functions under the filling of the Holy Spirit takes up where Christ left off and fulfills the Law.
- Limitations of the Mosaic Law
The Law cannot provide justification either for individuals or for groups: Gal. 2:16; Rom. 3:20, 28; Acts 13:39; Phil. 3:9.
The Law cannot give life: Gal. 3:21.
The Law cannot give God the Holy Spirit nor the divine power and energy from the Holy Spirit: Gal. 3:2.
The Law cannot solve the problem of the sin nature: Rom. 8:3. While there were laws of punishment in varying degrees, and fear of punishment helps keep people in line, the Law does nothing to provide victory over sin.
- Present Purpose of Mosaic Law
The commandments provide laws of human freedom and provide a divine standard to which the sinner can compare himself and his actions and recognize that he is a sinner and needs a savior: Rom. 3:20, 28; 1 Tim. 1:8, 9.
The ordinances are designed to communicate God’s grace in salvation and restoration to fellowship.
The social code is designed to provide a true concept of a national function and freedom under the laws of divine establishment.
- Salvation in the Old Testament
Salvation is the adjustment a person makes to the justice of God when he believes on the Lord Jesus Christ as savior. The justice of God was satisfied when Christ bore our sins in His body on the cross. This makes is possible for God to reconcile the believer to Himself and to impute righteousness to the believer. Gen. 15:6
The gospel is the information provided in the Bible to give us the facts about God’s provision for us.
The death of Christ on the cross was predetermined by the decisions of the divine decrees so that, from the standpoint of Old Testament times, Jesus Christ’s substitutionary atonement was certain to take place, even though the actual efficacious sacrifice had not yet occurred. The justice of God was satisfied.
Old Testament believers received Jesus Christ as savior as He was revealed in Old Testament times. Sometimes He was called Elohim, Jehovah-Elohim or Jehovah also called God our righteousness, etc.). Whenever there was positive volition at the point of God consciousness, God provided gospel information to the individual.
The first statement of the gospel is recorded in Genesis 3, at the time of original sin, man’s fall. When Adam and Eve fell, they only had one count against them which is negative volition to the command regarding good and evil. Good and evil is the plan of Satan; so knowledge of good and evil is knowledge of Satan’s plan. Adam and Eve, in their innocence in the garden of Eden did not need to be introduced to Satan’s plan or to be inculcated with it. Therefore, this one tree was forbidden.
Eve partook of the tree in innocence, Adam partook in cognizance. He had seen the first sinner, Eve, disobey God, but he took part anyway. Remember, there was no immorality involved here, because at the time they were neither moral or immoral. Their sin was merely rejection of what God had commanded. This brought instant spiritual death.
At this instant, man no longer ruled the world; Satan became the ruler of this kosmos. The coup d’état was complete; and man was now subject to Satan as far as this world is concerned. Mankind immediately became marked with the mark of Adam, the sin nature.
To the question ,Which came first, personal sin or the sin nature? The answer is that personal sin came first and caused the existence of the sin nature. The human spirit was cancelled out in the sense of spiritual death.
For the rest of the human race, the sin nature is inherited at birth, so the sin nature is present before there is any opportunity for personal sin. Adam’s sin is imputed to us, so that we are born with two strikes against us. “For as in Adam all die …” (I Cor. 15:22) Note: We are not called sinners because we sin; we are sinners because we are born, with a sin nature, by having Adam’s sin imputed to us.
This is the reason that God, with His character of absolute justice and righteousness, is not free to enter into a relationship with us unless it can be done without compromising His integrity. That is only possible if all the sins of the world are judged.
The Lord has found a way to save mankind.
Gen. 3:15.I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
The seed of the woman is the title for the Lord Jesus Christ in virgin birth. The sin nature and Adam’s imputed sin is passed down through the male; and Christ was not born of a male female relationship. He was able to avoid that result of the curse. The lamb of God had to be without spot or blemish.
At the second advent of Christ, the head of Satan will be crushed, and he will no longer rule the world. Christ will rule the world and Satan will be imprisoned for 1000 years.
The pattern of salvation in the Old Testament is exactly the same as the pattern of New Testament salvation. Gen. 15:6, “Abraham believed God, and God imputed it to him for righteousness.” Imputed righteousness means that God’s justice has been satisfied. This verse is found in the context of Rom. 4:1-4.
• There never was a time and there never will be a time when God is not saving mankind. Rom. 10:13; 2 Pet. 3:9
• The gospel was clearly declared in Old Testament times. Rom. 1:1-4; I Cor. 15:3-4; Acts 3:18. The passage in Isa. 53:5, 6 has exactly the same boundaries as are found in I Cor. 15:3. Dan. 12:2, 3 has the boundary of the resurrection.
• Regardless of age or dispensation, man is always saved in the same manner which is positive volition to the gospel expressed in a non-meritorious way which is faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Acts 4:12; Gal. 3:6-8
• Positive volition existed in Old Testament times, both at the point of God consciousness and the point of gospel hearing. Ex. 33:7; Gen. 15:6
• While revelation from God is progressive, reaching its peak with the New Testament scriptures, it has always been, nevertheless, sufficient for salvation of souls at all periods of time.
• The object of faith in salvation is the Lord Jesus Christ, Gal. 3:26. However, the revelation concerning Christ varies in different ages.
• Jesus Christ was first revealed as savior at the time of man’s fall, Gen. 3:15. He is represented as the seed of the woman.
• Jesus Christ is usually revealed in the Old Testament by shadows. The tabernacle feasts, are the modus operandi of the Levitical priests.
Another means of revealing Christ was through inanimate revelation, that is, through things in nature like the burning bush, the rock, the Shekinah glory, or through the typology of the furniture in the tabernacle (Num. 17:7). The mercy seat, the hilasterion, was the place of propitiation in the Holy of Holies.
The Levitical offerings were witnessing by ritual. The burnt offerings taught propitiation, with emphasis on the word of Christ, the lamb of God. The meal and fruit offerings revealed the person of Christ on the cross. The peace offering taught about the barrier between God and man being removed.
The gospel was presented in the Old Testament directly in theological teaching. Isa. 53 was straight doctrinal teaching which showed that Christ carried our guilt as well as our sins.
• Once the reality is come, we have the New Testament, which is historical Christology.
• According to Isa. 55:6, salvation in the person of Jesus Christ, is always available. Acts 4:12
• Many conversions are recorded in the Old Testament, including:
Noah was declared just in Gen. 6:8, 9, and was said to have righteousness in Heb. 11:7. Heb. 11 shows the spiritual life of Old Testament believers. The Old Testament imputation of righteousness is seen in Psalm 24:5 and Isa. 61:10.
For Abraham, compare Gen. 15:6 with Rom. 4:1-4
Job gave perfect testimony to salvation in gospel form described as –Christ’s death, burial and resurrection. Job 19:23-27.
Many Gentiles were saved in the Old Testament. The citizens of Nineveh responded to the gospel when Jonah preached to them. Jonah 3:5-10, Matt. 12:41; Luke 11:32. See also Rom. 9:24, 25; 30-33. See Daniel 4:34-37 regarding the salvation of Nebuchadnezzar.