The following article is a reproduction of the work done by Kirk Carmichael.
The purpose and goal of this article is to zoom in upon the events which transpired some 3500 years ago at Mt Sinai to properly define the most important (there is no close second) scriptural phrase: “THE LAW OF MOSES”.
There are two general camps of believers who read New Testament passages through their doctrinal belief of “Law” and side with others of the same belief system as to what the verses mean to them. The two groups of “Law” camps:
Modern day Christianity
Acts 13:39“Therefore, my friends, I want you to know that through Yahushua (in the renewed covenant) the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. Through him everyone who believes is set free from every sin, a justification you were not able to obtain under the law of Moses.
The problem, they do not see there was the original plan which was supposed to have concluded on trip 3 with the speaking of the terms of the covenant – the Ten Words (Commandments).
This article is not addressing that subject matter. Please see this article for this important panoramic view of all seven trips Moses made:
The Hebrew roots or “Torah observant” camp.
The one obstacle this group cannot see is that “the Law” could NOT possibly have changed because somehow they assign the phrase “The Law of Moses” to mean “the first five books of Moses” of which I must emphatically state that there is not one time in all of scripture where the phrases: “Law of Moses”, “Law”, “Law and Prophets”, or “Book of the Law” mean this.
Who would dare argue that the “Law” did not change?
Can we all agree of these changes?
- The Priesthood absolutely changing from Levitical to Melchizedek
- Blood sacrifices absolutely changing from animals to the blood of the Lamb.
- The high priest position absolutely changing from Aaron to Yahushua.
- The servant priests absolutely changing from the Levites to you and I in Messiah
- The firstborn inheritance rights absolutely changing from Levites to Ephraim whom are the Nations (Gentiles) in Messiah Yahushua.
- The mediator of the covenant absolutely changing from Moses to Yahushua.
- The tabernacle absolutely changing from a physical structure to the body of Yahusha.
- The lawgiver (this is why it is called The Law of —->> Moses) of the covenant (the one with authority to speak Yahuwah’s laws to the people) absolutely changing from Moses to Yahushua.
- A divorced bride scattered into the Nations absolutely changing to the Nations being brought back into covenant relationship (back into “Israel”) through the blood of the Lamb.
- The writing of the covenant laws from stone tablets absolutely changing to being written on our hearts and minds
- Hearts of stone absolutely changing to being given hearts of flesh
- Not having His presence among us to absolutely changing with “a new Spirit” being the Ruach haKodesh (Holy Spirit)
- The god of this world (the serpent/Satan) having authority of man/Adam to absolutely changing to authority given to the Son of Man/the Seed of the Woman.
- The grave taking every person born in Adam a prisoner to absolutely changing to the possibility of eternal life by Yahushua conquering death and the grave.
Hebrews 7:11-12“If perfection could have been attained through the Levitical priesthood – and indeed the law (law of moses) given to the people established that priesthood – why was there still need for another priest to come, one in the order of Melchizedek, not in the order of Aaron? For when the priesthood is changed, the law must be changed also.”
The first ten of fourteen issues listed above changed after the original spoken covenantal offer to make the group a kingdom of priests, a holy nation, and a special treasure possession upon Moses’ 3rd trip which immediately went haywire by the people fearing His voice and sending Moses on their behalf. The “The Law of Moses” established the Levitical Priesthood on issues 1 thru 10 (above) as they repented by killing 3000 of their brothers for their worship of the golden calf.
The golden calf transition to Exodus 34
We will look at how Exodus 34 is the transition chapter of scripture, which altered the course of fulfilling the covenant promises to Abraham by putting the original plan on hold for another 3500 years (1500 years to Yahushua’s first coming and another 2000 years to the Millennial reign).
What you are about to read are the events occurring on Moses’ seventh and final trip up Mt Sinai which Yahuwah had attempted, to enter covenant with Abraham’s descendants.
There should have only been three trips made but two things occurred:
- The people shrank back in fear upon hearing Yahuwah’s voice and did not go up the mountain on trip three but sent Moses on their behalf agreeing to hear Moses’ voice but not Yahuwah’s voice anymore.
- The people were found worshipping the golden calf while Moses was on top of the mountain with Yahuwah on trip five.
In assembling all the pieces of the covenant puzzle, we have discovered that finding the “why” Moses made seven trips up Mt Sinai is by far the most important piece of scriptural interpretation.
Please stay open and allow yourself to enter the story of the events which transpired on Mt Sinai because it is very difficult to change one’s perspective in how they have viewed the scriptures.
The details surrounding these trips are all there for us to read, but the relevance of these trips which he met with the Creator on behalf of Abraham’s descendants remains veiled from so many. I have heard “I don’t care if Moses went up 100 times” as if I was only presenting the fact that Moses went up 7 times rather than why Moses went up each time to meet with he Creator.
In demonstrating how it is in our nature to meet information with opposition and not by faith. I have seen people try to show Moses went up Mt Sinai 10 times, again, as if the amount of times he went up was what we are presenting.
We are going to look at Exodus chapter 34 which was the seventh trip Moses made. Why do I tell you this background that this was the seventh trip you are about to read? I share this emphatically because I have discovered that nobody puts any weight whatsoever in placing scriptural events on a timeline and cannot see how important it is to examine the detail of scripture chronologically.
Imagine you are looking at a pretty girl from a distance and when you approached close she wasn’t pretty at all. Maybe she wasn’t even a girl! This is exactly the approach of zooming in close to see detail will do for you. It may cause you to lose doctrines and maybe that is the fear of looking closer. Maybe you want that girl to look pretty from a distance but if she is really ugly why be afraid of looking closer?
The same goes with a false doctrine of “The Law/Torah or Moses” believing it is scripturally defined as “the first five books of Moses”. If this is an ugly doctrine causing all kinds of doctrinal error, then why would you be afraid to look closer and zoom in to the details?
Comment from this web site :
It is much like this image. It depends upon where one looks from. If you view it from the wrong perspective you will only see a circle or a rectangle.
Detail can only be examined closely by placing what you are reading in a sequence of events and having a timeline understanding. This is why we stress to you that knowing why Moses went up Mt Sinai each of his seven times is so crucial.
Yahuwah to destroy the Israelites – He called it “Blot out their names from under heaven”
And Yahuwah said to Moses, “Go, get down! For your people whom you brought out of the land of Egypt have corrupted themselves. They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them. They have made themselves a molded calf, and worshiped it and sacrificed to it, and said, ‘This is your god, O Israel, that brought you out of the land of Egypt!’”
And Yahuwah said to Moses, “I have seen this people, and indeed it is a stiff-necked people! Now therefore, let Me alone, that My wrath may burn hot against them and I may consume them. And I will make of you a great nation.”
“Then Yahuwah said to me, ‘Arise, go down quickly from here, for your people whom you brought out of Egypt (CALLING THEM MOSES’ PEOPLE) have acted corruptly; they have quickly turned aside from the way which I commanded them; they have made themselves a molded image.’
“Furthermore Yahuwah spoke to me, saying, ‘I have seen this people, and indeed they are a stiff-necked people. Let Me alone, that I may destroy them and BLOT OUT THEIR NAME from under heaven; and I will make of you a nation mightier and greater than they.’
Moses interceded but they did lose the priesthood calling it “being blotted out of His Book”
Exodus 32:33And Yahuwah said to Moses, “Whoever has sinned against Me, I will blot him out of My book.
So I turned and went down from the mountain while it was ablaze with fire. And the two tablets of the covenant were in my hands. When I looked, I saw that you had sinned against Yahuwah your Elohim; you had made for yourselves an idol cast in the shape of a calf.
You had turned aside quickly from the way that Yahuwah had commanded you. So I took the two tablets and threw them out of my hands, breaking them to pieces before your eyes.
Then once again I fell prostrate before Yahuwah for forty days and forty nights; I ate no bread and drank no water, because of all the sin you had committed, doing what was evil in Yahuwah’s sight and so arousing his anger.
I feared the anger and wrath of Yahuwah, for he was angry enough with you to destroy you. But again Yahuwah listened to me.
And Yahuwah was angry enough with Aaron to destroy him, but at that time I prayed for Aaron too. Also I took that sinful thing of yours, the calf you had made, and burned it in the fire. Then I crushed it and ground it to powder as fine as dust and threw the dust into a stream that flowed down the mountain.
Now I had stayed on the mountain forty days and forty nights, as I did the first time, and Yahuwah listened to me at this time also. It was not his will to destroy you.
“Go,” Yahuwah said to me, “and lead the people on their way, so that they may enter and possess the land I swore to their ancestors to give them.”
The 1500 year transition period to the prophet who came after Moses -> Yahushua the Mashiach.
“Yahuwah your Elohim will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your midst, from your brethren. Him you shall hear, according to all you desired of Yahuwah your Elohim in Horeb in the day of the assembly (SPEAKING OF MT SINAI), saying, ‘Let me not hear again the voice of Yahuwah my Elohim (THEY REJECTED HEARING HIS VOICE DIRECTLY), nor let me see this great fire anymore, lest I die.
“And Yahuwah said to me: ‘What they have spoken is good. I will raise up for them a Prophet like you from among their brethren, and will put My words in His mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I command Him. (THIS WILL BE “THE LAW/MINISTRY OF YAHUSHUA MESSIAH”) And it shall be that whoever will not hear My words, which He speaks in My name, I will require it of him.’
Moses became the Lawgiver who speaks Yahuwah’s words to the people.
“The Law of Moses”
Exodus 34 (the seventh trip moses made as a direct result of the people worshipping the Golden Calf. The first set of stone tablets)
Moses chisels his own set of stone tablets “like the first ones”
And Yahuwah said to Moses, “Cut two tablets of stone like the first ones, and I will write on these tablets the words that were on the first tablets which you broke.
So be ready in the morning, and come up in the morning to Mount Sinai, and present yourself to Me there on the top of the mountain.
Yahuwah stands with and passes before Moses on the mountain.
Exodus 34:5-8Now Yahuwah descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of Yahuwah.
And Yahuwah passed before him and proclaimed, “Yahuwah, Yahuwah Elohim, merciful and gracious, long suffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children to the third and the fourth generation.”
So Moses made haste and bowed his head toward the earth, and worshiped. Then he said, “If now I have found grace in Your sight, O Yahuwah, let my Lord, I pray, go among us, even though we are a stiff-necked people; and pardon our iniquity and our sin, and take us as Your inheritance.”
Moses was shown Yahuwah’s glory as Moses was aggressive in taking responsibility to lead the people. Moses is the only Human to ever see Yahuwah (not his face).
Exodus 33:12Then Moses said to Yahuwah, “See, You say to me, ‘Bring up this people.’ But You have not let me know whom You will send with me. Yet You have said, ‘I know you by name, and you have also found grace in My sight.’
So Yahuwah said to Moses, “I will also do this thing that you have spoken; for you have found grace in My sight, and I know you by name.”
And he said, “Please, show me Your glory.”
Then He said, “I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the name of Yahuwah before you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.”
But He said, “You cannot see My face; for no man shall see Me, and live.”
And Yahuwah said, “Here is a place by Me, and you shall stand on the rock. So it shall be, while My glory passes by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock, and will cover you with My hand while I pass by. Then I will take away My hand, and you shall see My back; but My face shall not be seen.”
Exodus 34:27-28Then Yahuwah said to Moses, “Write these words, for according to the tenor of these words I have made a covenant with you (with Moses) and with Israel.” So he was there with Yahuwah forty days and forty nights; he neither ate bread nor drank water. And He wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant, the Ten Commandments.
Now it was so, when Moses came down from Mount Sinai (and the two tablets of the Testimony were in Moses’ hand when he came down from the mountain), that Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone while he talked with Him. So when Aaron and all the children of Israel saw Moses, behold, the skin of his face shone, and they were afraid to come near him.
Then Moses called to them, and Aaron and all the rulers of the congregation returned to him; and Moses talked with them. Afterward all the children of Israel came near, and he gave them as commandments all that YHWH had spoken with him on Mount Sinai.
And when Moses had finished speaking with them, he put a veil on his face. But whenever Moses went in before Yahuwah to speak with Him, he would take the veil off until he came out;
Exodus 34:34-35And he would come out and speak to the children of Israel whatever he had been commanded. And whenever the children of Israel saw the face of Moses, that the skin of Moses’ face shone, then Moses would put the veil on his face again, until he went in to speak with Him.
Moses took his tent and pitched it outside the camp, far from the camp, and called it the tabernacle of meeting. And it came to pass that everyone who sought Yahuwah went out to the tabernacle of meeting which was outside the camp.
So it was, whenever Moses went out to the tabernacle, that all the people rose, and each man stood at his tent door and watched Moses until he had gone into the tabernacle. And it came to pass, when Moses entered the tabernacle, that the pillar of cloud descended and stood at the door of the tabernacle, and Yahuwah talked with Moses.
All the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the tabernacle door, and all the people rose and worshiped, each man in his tent door.
So Yahuwah spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. And he would return to the camp, but his servant Joshua the son of Nun, a young man, did not depart from the tabernacle.
Paul calls this transition the “Ministry of Death”
Before we look at 2 Corinthians chapter 3 in the next section, please realise that there was an original spoken plan given at Mt Sinai which “The Prophet to come after Moses” was told will come in the future.
Upon Moses’ 3rd trip after the people shrank back in fear and did not come up the mountain with Moses. This Prophet to come (being Yahushua haMashiach) wrote the Ten Words, the spoken words of the covenant, on our hearts and minds in the New Covenant (Jeremiah 31:31-33/Hebrews 8:8-10) and renewed the spoken offer of making the people:
- A kingdom of Priests
- A set apart (holy) nation, and
- His special treasured possession (Exodus 19:4-6, 1 Peter 2:9)
31 “Behold, the days are coming,” says Yahuwah, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel (the Northern Kingdom) and with the house of Judah (the Southern Kingdom),
32 not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them,” says Yahuwah.
33 “But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” says Yahuwah, “I will put My law within them, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their Elohim, and they will be My people.
8 However, Yahuwah finds fault with them [showing its inadequacy] when He says,
“Behold, the days will come, says Yahuwah,
When I will make and ratify a new covenant
With the house of Israel and with the house of Judah;
9 Not like the covenant that I made with their fathers
On the day when I took them by the hand
To lead them out of the land of Egypt;
For they did not abide in My covenant,
And so I withdrew My favour and disregarded them, says Yahuwah.
10 “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel
After those days, says Yahuwah:
I will imprint My laws upon their minds [even upon their innermost thoughts and understanding],
And engrave them upon their hearts [effecting their regeneration].
And I will be their Elohim,
And they shall be My people.
Comparing “THE MINISTRY OF DEATH” (The Law of Moses) to “THE MINISTRY OF THE SPIRIT”
2 Corinthians 3
- We are an epistle of Messiah written on tablets of hearts by the Spirit of Elohim
- VERSES written on tablets of stone.
2 Corinthians 3:2-4
2 You are our letter [of recommendation], written in our hearts, recognised and read by everyone.
3 You show that you are a letter from Yahushua, delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living Elohim, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.
4 Such is the confidence and steadfast reliance and absolute trust that we have through Yahushua toward Yahuwah.
- We are made ministers of the new covenant by the Spirit (INSTRUCTIONS GIVEN US DIRECTLY BY THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH) VERSES by the letter (TOLD TO THEM BY A MEDIATOR, MOSES)
2 Corinthians 3:5-6
5 Not that we are sufficiently qualified in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency and qualifications come from Yahuwah.
6 He has qualified us [making us sufficient] as ministers of a new covenant [of salvation through Yahushua], not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter [of the Law] kills [by revealing sin and demanding obedience], but the Spirit gives life.
- We have been given the ministry of righteousness VERSES the ministry of condemnation, the ministry of death, which The Law of Moses (second set of stone tablets, covenant) came with a penalty of immediate death for breaking the law. We receive grace by giving us time to become righteous and quite sinning.
2 Corinthians 3:7-11
7 Now if the ministry of death, engraved in letters on stones [the covenant of the Law which led to death because of sin], came with such glory and splendour that the Israelites were not able to look steadily at the face of Moses because of its glory, [a brilliance] that was fading,
8 how will the ministry of the Spirit [the new covenant which allows us to be Spirit-filled] fail to be even more glorious and splendid?
9 For if the ministry that brings condemnation [the old covenant, the Law] has glory, how much more does glory overflow in the ministry that brings righteousness [the new covenant which declares believers free of guilt and sets them apart for Yahuwah’s special purpose]!
10 Indeed, what had glory [the Law], in this case no longer has glory because of the glory that surpasses it [the gospel].
11 For if that [Law] which fades away came with glory, how much more must that [gospel] which remains and is permanent abide in glory and splendour!
- We have boldness of speech VERSES not being able to look at Moses
2 Corinthians 2:12-14a12 Since we have such a [glorious] hope and confident expectation, we speak with great courage,
13 and we are not like Moses, who used to put a veil over his face so that the Israelites would not gaze at the end of the glory which was fading away.
14a But [in fact] their minds were hardened [for they had lost the ability to understand];
- The veil remains for those under the first covenant VERSES the veil is taken away in Messiah. We have unveiled faces and have His glory being transformed to same image from glory to glory by the Spirit of Yahuwah.
2 Corinthians 2:14b – 1814b For until this very day at the reading of the old covenant the same veil remains unlifted, because it is removed [only] in Yahushua.
15 But to this day whenever Moses is read, a veil [of blindness] lies over their heart;
16 but whenever a person turns [in repentance and faith] to Yahuwah, the veil is taken away.
17 Now Yahuwah is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of Yahuwah is, there is liberty [emancipation from bondage, true freedom].
18 And we all, with unveiled face, continually seeing as in a mirror the glory of Yahuwah, are progressively being transformed into His image from [one degree of] glory to [even more] glory, which comes from Yahuwah, [who is] the Spirit.
Summary of the transitions upon Moses’s Seventh trip up Mount Sinai
- The covenant was made with Moses, the second set of stone tablets.
- This covenant was not blood ratified as opposed to the first plan which was.
7 Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read it aloud to the people; and they said, “Everything that Yahuwah has said we will do, and we will be obedient.”
8 So Moses took the blood [which had been placed in the large basins] and sprinkled it on the people, and said, “Behold the blood of the covenant, which Yahuwah has made with you in accordance with all these words.”
- The was no acceptance on the people’s part because it was a “take it or leave it agreement” being mediated on their behalf by Moses.
- There was no covenant meal as opposed to the first agreement they broke.
- Yahuwah called the people Moses’ people.
- The original spoken offer came with conditions that “If they obey My voice” and “keep My covenant” they would become a kingdom of priests and holy nation. They both rejected his voice by shrinking back in fear by sending Moses on their behalf and they then broke his covenant with the sin of the golden calf.
- The Levites killed 3000 as punishment for breaking of the covenant by worshipping the golden calf. They in turn transitioned and received the priesthood.This verse clearly states this transition that they received the priesthood through the law of moses (given on the seventh trip).
Therefore, if perfection were through the Levitical priesthood (for under it the people received the law/THE LAW OF MOSES), what further need was there that another priest should rise according to the order of Melchizedek, and not be called according to the order of Aaron? For the priesthood being changed, of necessity there is also a change of the law (THE LAW OF MOSES to THE LAW OF MESSIAH).
- The other 11 tribes were EXCHANGED their firstborn inheritance rights with the Levites. This is an extremely important issue to know, because without firstborn inheritance rights you WILL NOT RECEIVE YOUR INHERITANCE. By us not being found sinning as they did at Mt Sinai we will not be disqualified with our inheritance rights as being made FIRSTBORN in Messiah.
- Moses moved his tent outside the camp.
- Moses received Yahuwah’s glory.
- Moses met with Him face to face, above the mercy seat and in between the cherubim of the ark of the Covenant, inside his tent.
- Moses wore a veil to cover his face.
- Moses now, from this point on, is the only one who will give “instructions/laws” to the people. He becomes “THE LAWGIVER” and that is the reason the straightforward definition of this covenant is called THE LAW [of who?] MOSES!!!
- The instructions for the Book of Leviticus was simultaneously given on this SEVENTH TRIP Moses made for 40 days. The first seven chapters are the SACRIFICIAL SYSTEM. The sacrificial system is directly attached to this covenant as the Book of Leviticus is the statutes and decrees of administering this covenant.
Scriptural interpretation comes to Life by defining the “Law of Moses” as a temporary covenant that ended with the renewed covenant.
Here are just a few verses which describe the “Law of Moses” as a temporary covenant.
- “ENDED” (Romans 10:4)
- “WAS FULFILLED” (Matthew 5:17)
- “WAS FULFILLED CONCERNING YAHUSHA” (Luke 24:44)
- “NOT OF FAITH” (Galatians 3:12)
- “MADE NOTHING PERFECT” (Hebrews 7:19)
- “ADDED FOR TRANSGRESSIONS” (Galatians 3:19)
- “KEPT UNDER GUARD BY” (Galatians 3:23)
- “THE GUARDIAN/TUTOR” (Galatians 3:24)
- “AFTER FAITH CAME (SPEAKING OF YAHUSHUA WE WERE NO LONGER IN NEED OF A GUARDIAN/TUTOR” (GALATIANS 3:25)
- “CHANGED THE LEVITICAL PRIESTHOOD” (Hebrews 7:11-12)
- “WAS ‘UNTIL’ JOHN” (Luke 16:16)
- “WAS ‘UNTIL’ THE SEED TO WHOM THE PROMISE REFERRED HAD COME” (Galatians 3:19)
- “WAS ‘UNTIL’ SHILOH COMES” (Genesis 49:10)
- “WHAT YAHUSHUA WAS BORN ‘UNDER THE LAW’ TO REDEEM THOSE ‘UNDER THE LAW’” (Galatians 4:4-5)
- “APART FROM ‘THE LAW’ A RIGHTEOUSNESS IS MADE KNOWN” (Romans 3:21)
- “PUT THEM ‘UNDER LAW’” (Romans 6:14-15)
- “LED BY THE SPIRIT, YOU ARE NOT ‘UNDER THE LAW’” (Galatians 5:18)
- “FREED FROM THE LAW” (Romans 7:4)
- “DELIVERED FROM THE LAW” (Romans 7:6)
- “COULD NOT JUSTIFY YOU” (Acts 13:39)
- “A PERSON IS NOT JUSTIFIED BY THE WORKS OF THE LAW, BUT BY FAITH IN YAHUSHUA MESSIAH”. (Galatians 2:16)
- “NOBODY IS JUSTIFIED BY” (Galatians 3:11)
- “CAME THROUGH MOSES” (John 1:17)
- “FALLEN FROM GRACE BY LEAVING MESSIAH” (Galatians 5:4)
- “MINISTRY OF DEATH” (2 Corinthians 3:7)
- “MINISTRY OF CONDEMNATION” (2 Corinthians 3:9)
- “THE LETTER KILLS ENGRAVED ON STONE TABLETS” (2 Corinthians 3:6)