Most believers have been told that Scriptural Law of the Old Testament was annulled and is no longer necessary for today’s Truth Seeker. Yet, in light of the overwhelming significance that the law had for Old Testament believers, it is crucial that we be able to prove one way or another the importance of that Law for today.
Surprising as it may be to today’s churchgoer, the New Testament is full of examples showing the need for Old Testament Law. Dake’s Annotated Reference Bible reveals 1,050 places where law is referred to in the New Testament.
Examples from the Book of Revelation
Some of the best examples promoting law in the New Testament are found in the last book of the Bible. In this book Yahshua, the author of Revelation, inspires three powerful passages advocating Old Testament Law. While reading these passages it is essential to remember that the Old Testament constituted the only Scripture available to the early assembly. So when the commandments are mentioned, it is the commandments of the Old Testament that are meant. The New Testament was not yet compiled when Yahshua spoke these words to John.
• "And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of Elohim, and have the testimony of Yahshua the Messiah" (Revelation 12:17).
• "Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of Elohim, and the faith of Yahshua" (Revelation 14:12).
• "Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city" (Revelation 22:14).
These three passages, more than any other, reveal that True Worshipers at the end of the age will be commandment keepers —even as they maintain their faith and trust in Yahshua the Messiah. Revelation 12:17 reveals that the assembly, which is typified there by the woman, will be keeping the Laws of Yahweh. Revelation 14:12 states that the saints are those who obey Yahweh’s commandments and have the testimony of Yahshua. Revelation 22:14, the last chapter of the Bible, testifies that only those who faithfully observe Yahweh’s commandments will enter into Yahweh’s Holy City.
These three passages should be quite adequate to establish that the Law is yet to be observed by today’s Truth Seekers. Still, there are many other examples throughout the New Testament showing the very same.
Examples from Paul
The Apostle Paul is often seen as the champion of Christianity. His writings are used most often to establish Christianity’s beliefs, including the disannulling of Old Testament Law. Like much of the Bible, the Apostle has been misunderstood and misconstrued. There are perhaps more examples from the Apostle Paul’s writings establishing the need for Old Testament Law than from any other New Testament writer. Most who read Paul’s letters overlook the fact that Paul was from the tribe of Benjamin and was a Pharisee. It was a heritage he identified with even after his conversion (Acts 22).
"But this I confess unto you, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the Elohim of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets" (Acts 24:14). Paul had been accused of betraying the Hebrew faith, yet he insisted in this passage that he was not of a different faith from his kinsmen. This passage provides substantial evidence confirming Paul’s continuing adherence to the Law of the Old Testament, even after his conversion to Yahshua.
• "For not the hearers of the law are just before Elohim, but the doers of the law shall be justified" (Romans 2:13). Paul’s statement is vastly different from the way in which his writings are interpreted today.
• "Do we then make void the law through faith? Elohim forbid: yea, we establish the law" (Romans 3:31).
In his concern that his statements might have been misconstrued, Paul reaffirmed that faith does not nullify the requirements of the Old Testament Law. Even during Paul’s life there were those who taught that the keeping of Old Testament Law was unnecessary. For this reason he felt pressed to show that he was not opposed to Old Testament Law.
• "… for where no law is, there is no transgression" (Romans 4:15).
According to Paul, you cannot have sin without law. There are many passages showing that sin continues to exist today (Rom. 5:12; James 4:17; 1John 5:16-17), providing evidence that the obligation to observe the Law also continues to exist.
"Know ye not, brethren (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he lives? …Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good" (Romans 7:1, 12).
Paul states that the Law is in effect for every living person. Paul also says that the law is holy, just and good. Paul’s words in this passage certainly do not promote a disannulling of the Law.
"…but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law" (Romans 13:8).
When we observe the Law we demonstrate our devotion to and love for Yahweh. In other words, if we love Yahweh we will honor him by obeying his laws and commandments. The same is true when we love our fellow man,
"Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of Elohim" (1Corinthian 7:19).
Paul concludes by saying that physical circumcision and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of Yahweh’s command-ments. Again, the commandments that Paul is referring to are those found in the Old Testament.
Examples from Yahshua
By far the chief advocate for Yahweh’s Law in the New Testament was Yahshua the Messiah. From the start of His ministry Yahshua clarified that He did not come to destroy or annul the law, but to fulfill or complete the Law by His example.
"Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 5:17-19).
The tittle was a decorative swirl added to Hebrew letters by the scribes. The jot refers to the yod, the smallest letter in the Hebrew alphabet. By confirming the constancy of the smallest letter composing the law and even the decoration on a letter, Yahshua affirmed that His coming did not nullify any part of the law.
He was asked, "Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Yahshua said unto him, Thou shalt love Yahweh thy Elohim with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets" (Matthew 22:36-40).
This commandment is taken from Deuteronomy 6:4-9, commonly called the Shema. The second greatest commandment is to love one’s neighbor as oneself. Innocently, this commandment is not listed in the Ten Commandments, but in the Law of Moses (Leviticus 19:18). This point is significant because it confirms that the Law of Moses is required for the New Testament assembly. Yahshua in verse 40 verified that on these two commandments hang all the laws and prophets.
"If ye love me, keep my command-ments… He that hath my commandments, and keeps them, he it is that loves me: and he that loves me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him" (John 14:15, 21).
"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" (John 15:10).
In both of the above passages Yahshua explains that to love Him is to obey His commands, which he received from the Father. The commandments spoken of in these passages refer to the commandments that Yahweh delivered to Moses in the Old Testament.
Examples from John
John, whom Yahshua loved, was also a champion of Old Testament Law. Those who believe that the Old Testament Law was annulled in the New Testament will often avoid the epistles of John. John is clear and concise regarding the active status of Yahweh’s commandments.
"For this is the love of Elohim, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous" (1John 5:3).
According to John, observing Yahweh’s commandments with the right attitude is central to our salvation. Those who keep Yahweh’s statutes without reservation demonstrate their true understanding of the Father.
"And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments" (1 John 2:3).
To know Yahweh is to obey Him. Those who ask the shallow question, "Do you know the L-rd," do not understand that there is more to knowing the Father than to simply say that you have faith. To know the Father is to know His Name and do His will.
"And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, you should walk in it" (2 John 6).
John said that we are to walk in the commandments that we have known from the beginning. Obviously John is not referring to the New Testament but to the commandments that are found at the beginning, the commandments listed in the Old Testament.
The commandments are part and parcel of our belief in Yahweh. If we say that we know Yahweh, but keep not His commandments we lie (1 John 2:4). Only those who obey Yahweh’s commandments will attain salvation (Heb. 5:9). It is essential that we who call ourselves Yahweh’s people be able to prove our beliefs, including our obligation to follow Yahweh’s commandments.
With most of the world largely accepting only the New Testament, the most effective method of proving our beliefs is by the New Testament. However, we are not to forget or place any less emphasis on the Old Testament, for that is the foundation of Yahweh’s Word.