H O U S E o f W I S D 0 M
P. O. B o x 2 5 43
C l e b u r n e, T e x a s 7 6 0 3 3
Email: woody@dtgministries.org; Website: http://www.dtgministries.org
03 December 2003 (Updated 23 January 04)

 

THE BOOK OF THE LAW OF GOD

Terminology


The Bible: The Bible as we know it today, consists of the writings of various individuals from over a 1000 years. How we arrived at today’s configuration is a fascinating history. It consists of 66 books, some of which are modern divisions, as are scripture numbers and chapters. The original text has no punctuation as the English. The modern Bible has several ways of describing sacred writings. Some are scripture, law, letter, epistle, and book. From Webster’s: Jews considered the law as: Law of Moses + Prophets (early & latter) + holy writings, which included Psalms, Chronicles, etc. This is the Old Testament. The English word for bible comes from the Greek word biblion, Strong’s number 975. Two other related words are 974 and 976. Examples in New Testament for books: Mark 12:26 - book of Moses; Luke 3:4 - book of Isaiah; Luke 20:42 - book of Psalms; Acts 7:42 - book of prophets; John 20:30 - John’s book; Revelation 1:11 - book of Revelation. These, as well as the rest make up the New Testament.
Examples in Old Testament for books (5612): Exodus 24:4, 7 - book of the covenant; Deuteronomy 29:21 - book of the law;
Josh 8:34-35: Joshua had the law of Moses. Josh 24:26 - book of law of God, Joshua added to it; 1 Samuel 10:25 - Samuel added to it; 1 Ki 14:19, 29 - So did Jeroboam and Rehoboam; 2 Chronicles 16:11 - Asa added to it, etc, etc; Jeremiah 25:13 - Jeremiah added to it; Daniel 12:4 - as did Daniel; Nahum 1:1 - Nahum added to it. The Law & Scriptures: Matthew 21:42 Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord's doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes? Jesus quoted Psalms 118:22-23, and called it scriptures (1124) (cp Mark 12:10). The word scripture is the Greek word graphe (1124), translated 51/51 times as scripture. The literal meaning is a writing. Luke 24:27: And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself. Jesus refers to Moses (law) and the prophets as the scriptures. He does the same
thing in verses 44-45 and adds the Psalms. John 10:34-35: 34. Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods? 35. If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken; Jesus quoted Psalms 82:6, referring to it as law and scripture. John 19:36-37: 36. For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken. 37. And again another scripture saith, They shall look on him whom they pierced. John quoted Exodus 12:46, Numbers 9:12, & Zechariah 12:10, calling it scripture.

Epistle & Letter: 2 Peter 3:15-16: 15. And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; 16. As also in all his epistles (1992), 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. Peter implies Paul’s epistles (letters) to be scripture. 2 Corinthians 3:3, 6: 3. Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle (1992) of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart. 6. Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life. Epistle (1992) = a letter, instructions or message; letter (1121) = any writing ,document or record. It is the spirit of the living
God that makes us able ministers of the new covenant, not according to the way the letter of the law as read by man, but according as the spirit reveals the spiritual meaning (cf Romans 7:14).

Law: The main Hebrew word for law is torah (8451). It is translated as law all 219 appearances. The root of the word is yarah (3384): Meaning: to teach, to sprinkle or water, shoot, lay foundations. For 49/84 appearances yarah is translated to teach, inform, instruct or show.

Figurative Use of Law: Psalms 64:1-4, 7-8: 1. Hear my voice, O God, in my prayer: preserve my life from fear of the enemy. 2. Hide me from the secret counsel of the wicked; from the insurrection of the workers of iniquity: 3. Who whet their tongue like a sword, and bend their bows to shoot their arrows, even bitter words: 4. That they may shoot in secret at the perfect: suddenly do they shoot at him, and fear not.... 7. But God shall shoot at them with an arrow; suddenly shall they be wounded.... 8. So they shall make their own tongue to fall upon themselves: all that see them shall flee away. To shoot (3384) arrows is figurative of speaking words. Arrow: Jeremiah 9:8: Their tongue is as an arrow shot out; it speaketh deceit:... God’s Arrow: Psalms 77:17: The clouds poured out water: the skies sent out a sound: thine arrows also went abroad.Other examples: Proverbs 11:25: The liberal soul shall be made fat: and he that watereth shall be watered also himself. Watered (3384) carries the meaning of taught. Hos 6:3: Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain (1653) , as the latter and former rain (3384) unto the earth. Hos 10:12: Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the Lord, till he come and rain (3384) righteousness upon you. God’s spoken words are like water: Deuteronomy 32:1-2: 1. Give ear, O ye heavens, and I will speak; and hear, O earth, the words of my mouth. 2. My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass: The spoken word of God is law, or instruction. It is the spoken word in which is revealed the meaning of the written word. As we read, study and seek the Lord’s understanding, God will speak instruction to our hearts (conscience).

Greek for law = nomos (3551): This word appears 76 (48%)/158 times in Romans and Galatians. Galatians 3:21-25: 21. Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law. 22. But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe. 23. But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. 24. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 25. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. Paul uses law and scripture as the same, including the Hebrew concept of the law as a teacher. The law is the governing authority until we come to Christ and learn to listen to his spirit. Then He becomes our authority.Summary of Terminology: The root of torah (8451) is yarah (3384), which means to teach. Therefore, torah would be a noun meaning teaching, or instruction. 2 Timothy 3:15-17: 15. And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17. That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. The written word (Bible) is not a list of rules, but the inspired instruction of God. Did you notice, that the scriptures make you wise through faith which is in Christ Jesus? It is not my faith IN Christ, but the faith OF Christ (his understanding) which gives me wisdom toward salvation. Romans 7:14: For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. The law is 100% spiritual, we are 100% carnal. Only the Spirit of God can teach us the spiritual concepts contained in the written word. Job 22:22: Receive, I pray thee, the law from his mouth, and lay up his words in thine heart. We are to HEAR the law
from God’s mouth. By hearing and doing, God writes the meaning of the law in our hearts (understanding).

Romans 8:1-6: 1. There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 2. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. 3. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: 4. That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 5. For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. 6. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Hearing the Spirit through the law (written word) is to abide by the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus. Where are you? Are you listening to man’s rendition? Or, are you discerning the Law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus?

The Spiritual Law

In the first part of this study, we used the Bible to show where we get our terminology used to describe the Book. The word Bible is a transliteration of the Greek word biblion (975). The various writings of the prophets, scribes, kings, etc are called letters, epistles and books. The Writings are also referred to as holy scripture and law. The Hebrew concept of law is teaching, or instruction. So we can view the Bible as a reference book through which God instructs us. Via the Spirit, the Bible will interpret itself. Some call this method proof text, or analogy of scripture. Various study tools are available to aid a person in their study.

There are two ways of looking at the law: 1) By the letter, i.e. literally the way it reads. 2) Spiritually, i.e. the way the Holy Spirit would have us understand. Generally, these two methods are mixed, resulting in differences of opinion. Example: Some believe Michael (Jude 9) is a created being, others believe he is the Son of God. Why is it important to get the method and interpretation correct? 2 Corinthians 3:5-6: 5. ...our sufficiency is from [the] God; 6 who also made us sufficient as ministers of a new covenant; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life. 7 But if the ministration of death, written, and engraven on stones... (American Standard). It is crystal clear that Paul is referring to the stone tablets, on which the law was inscribed by the finger of God and given to Moses. What Paul is saying is that if you keep the law as it is written, it is death. Why? Because you will keep it according to the way you interpret it, and not according to the way the Spirit interprets it. Life is only in hearing and doing as the Spirit of God leads.

Romans 7:14: For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. Colossians 1:9: For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; The Bible is spiritual, and of no private interpretation (2 Peter 1:20). When we know the Bible, we should have spiritual understanding. What does this mean? 1 Corinthians 2:9-16: 9. But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. 10. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searches all things, yea, the deep things of God. 11. For what man knows
the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knows no man, but the Spirit of God. 12. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. The deep things of God can only be revealed by the Holy Spirit. The carnal mind of man cannot grasp the spiritual understanding of the law without the Spirit’s help. 13. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teaches, but which the Holy Ghost teaches; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 14. But the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15. But he that is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. 16. For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.
So we see that we have primarily two spirits. The spirit of the world, or the carnal mind is man’s way of thinking. The spirit of God, or the way God thinks, comes through Jesus Christ. We are told God is spirit, and true worshipers will worship Him in spirit and truth (John 4:23-24). The Father is spiritual in the way he thinks. We are carnal in the way we think. To worship God in spirit, is to be subject to Him in spiritual things. That is, we are to hear His explanation of the written word (letter of the law) and do it. Can you see how personal this makes each individual’s relationship to God? Isaiah 55:6-9: 6. Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: 7. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. 8. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. 9. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. We are to put away our way of thinking and receive God’s. If man’s way of thinking is unrighteous, then righteousness is God’s way of thinking. Romans 8:6-7: 6. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. The carnal mind is not subject to spiritual instruction. However, God’s way of thinking is life and peace, while the way we think leads to death. Let me make this point a different way. Man’s interpretation of the Bible is the way of unrighteousness. Paul calls it mine own righteousness, which is of the law. How do we discern God’s way of thinking?

1 Corinthians 10:1-12: 1Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; 2 And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; 3And did all eat the same spiritual meat; 4And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. 5But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness. 6Now these things were our examples (5179), to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. 7 Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play. 8 Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand. 9 Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents. 10 Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer. 11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples (5179): and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. 12 Wherefore let him that thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. Verse 6: Example (5179) = figure (margin) or type. The same Greek word is used in verse 11. Figures: In verse 4, Christ is likened to a spiritual rock. The people were immersed in the cloud (Christ), sea (a type of worldly thought). They all ate and drank the same spiritual food. The wilderness experience of Israel is a type for spiritual lessons. If that is true, does it not make sense the church today is spiritual Israel, and we are spiritual Jews? (cf Romans 2:28-29)

Romans 5:14: Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure (5179) of him that was to come. Adam was a type of Christ, a shadow of who was to come; 1 Peter 3:20-21: 20. Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved [through] water. 21. The like figure (499) whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ: Peter is saying that baptism is a figure (499) like the ark. The ark is a figure of being in Christ by which eight souls were saved through the flood. Baptism in Peter’s day is a figure of being immersed in Jesus Christ. The Greek word for figure (499) is a compound of anti (473) and type (5179). The literal, or earthly, is the TYPE, and the spiritual, or heavenly, is the anti-type. Understanding the figures, types, etc. come through Bible study and checking the impressions of the conscience as we seek God’s understanding. The Spirit of God will lead sincere worshipers out of error.Exodus 25:40: And look that thou make them after their pattern (8403), which was shewed thee in the mount.
Tabniyth (8403) is the Hebrew equivalent of the Greek word tupos 5179. The sanctuary, as well as the whole Jewish economy, is a TYPE to teach spiritual lessons. Jesus only taught the people by parables (Matthew 13:34; Mark 4:34). Isn’t it reasonable to assume that even the historical events of the Bible can be used for spiritual lessons? We must have spiritual ears to hear the law. Jesus declared that it was a hard heart that does not understand the figurative language of the Bible (Mark 8:14-17). As mentioned above, God’s instructions come from His mouth, and His thoughts are higher than ours! Matthew 7:24: Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon [the] rock: Proverbs 28:9: He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination. This does not mean to hear someone read the Bible. We are to hear the law from God through Jesus Christ.
Galatians 4:21-24: 21Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law? 22 For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. 23 But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise. 24 Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. Paul uses a historical and literal event, the story of Ishmael and Isaac, as an allegory (238) which represents the two covenants. With God’s guidance, other events can also be used to illustrate spiritual things. God’s way of understanding is ministered by the Spirit of Christ. Not one jot or tittle passed from the law (Matthew 5:17-18). All of it is to be used for our learning.

Deuteronomy 4:36: Out of heaven he made thee to hear his voice, that he might instruct thee: and upon earth he shewed thee his great fire; and thou heardest his words out of the midst of the fire. The people saw the fire, and heard God’s voice out of it. When I look at a symbol, I am to hear God’s voice speaking spiritual concepts. Romans 1:20: For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Example: (Arrows in the first part of the study represent words). When I look at a tree, I should know that it is a figure of a character trait that bears fruit (Psalms 1:1-3).

What the Letter of the Law CAN do: Romans 3:21: But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; The letter is a witness of the righteousness of God. Romans 3:20: Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. It reveals our unrighteousness when we try to keep it without God’s instruction. Galatians 3:24: Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. It is a school master, an instructor to bring us to Christ.

What the Letter of the Law CANNOT do: Galatians 3:21: Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law. It cannot give eternal life. Galatians 3:11-12: 11. But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. 12. And the law is not of faith... It cannot justify or make one righteous; it is not of faith. Galatians 2:16: Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. We are to believe in Jesus, that we might be justified by the faith of Jesus, that is, His spiritual thoughts which come from the Father. Romans 14:23: ...whatsoever is not of faith is sin. What so ever is not of the faith of Christ is sin!

Hebrews 8:4-5; 10:1: 4For if he were on earth, he should not be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the law: 5 Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount. 10:1 For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers there unto perfect. The letter of the law, containing instructions for the earthly priesthood, is a type, or shadow of good things to come. Hebrews 9:11: But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; The more perfect tabernacle is the mind of Christ (cf Philippeans 2:5). Ultimately, the tabernacle not made with hands is the renewed mind. First, the mind of Christ was completed by his human experience. (Hebrews 5:8- 9). Then the mind of mankind will be completed by the circumcision of Christ (Colossians 2:11).

Romans 12:1-2: 1. I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. Ephesians 4:20-24: 20 But ye did not so learn Christ; 21 if so be that ye heard him, and were taught in him, even as truth is in Jesus: 22 that ye put away, as concerning your former manner of life, the old man, that waxeth corrupt after the lusts of deceit; 23 and that ye be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and put on the new man, that after God hath been created in righteousness and holiness of truth. (American Standard). Philippeans 2:5: Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Ultimately, it is the mind of the Father in the Son which we are to obtain. It is His thoughts (spiritual) that will transform us from carnal to spiritual beings by recreating the mind.

Summary: The concept of law from the Hebrew is that of instruction, teaching. There are basically two views of the law presented in the Bible - The letter of the law (law of sin and death), or the law of the Spirit (instruction of the Spirit), (Romans 8:2). In the New Testament, especially, the context must be considered to know of which is being spoken. Example: Romans 7:12: Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good. If the letter kills, then this verse has to be referring to the spiritual understanding of the law as holy, just and good. For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me. (Romans 7:11). Whatever is not of the faith of Christ is sin. (Romans 14:23). Therefore the sin that deceived Paul is that of interpreting the law by his own faith. Paul did this (Phil 3:6-8). This is one of the biggest reasons we have so many different denominations today. Each put their own slant on how they understand the Bible. However, God will have a people in the last days who carry His understanding. And this understanding will go against most of what they all teach. This is the change in the law is mentioned by the writer of Hebrews: Hebrews 7:12: For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law. The change was not to do away with the law, but to change the way we look at and use the letter of the law.

There are many and weighty concepts presented. Study them. Pray about them. 2 Timothy 2:7 Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things. AMEN!

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