STUDY 9: THE LAW COVENANT
Scriptures are cited from the King James (Authorized) Version, unless stated otherwise.
“Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord.”
Hebrews 8: 9
THE Law Covenant was made by God with Fleshly Israel. Its giving began when He gave them the Passover Lamb in Egypt and ended with the ministry of Moses when he died on Mount Pisgah. It therefore includes everything in the books of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy.
The words “I regarded them not” in the text means that God disregarded Fleshly Israel, He cast them off. He cast them off in a minor way for violating the Law Covenant in the various captivities that they experienced from time to time. But upon repentance, as shown in the book of Judges, He reinstated them into His favor and tried them further. Thus God continued to deal with His people until the end of the Jewish Age.
Babylonian Captivity a Severe Punishment
The Babylonian Captivity was a marked instance where God punished Israel severely and disfavored them because of their disobedience; and when He restored them, only the believing portion of them returned to the land, and these were the ones that God dealt with. That Captivity began at the beginning of the second part of the 2520 years’ parallel and ended in 1914, when Israel was no longer punished for their Law Covenant sins. Since then, they have been punished for their sins as human beings, along with the rest of the human race, because they have violated the vestiges of God’s law which remained in their hearts. This is the explanation for the terrible sufferings that have come to Israel since October, 1914.
In giving the Law Covenant, God made the following conditional promise: He would give Israel everlasting life if they would obey His Law. The summary of that law is given in the Ten Commandments, and by our Lord when He said, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength. . . . Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself” (Mark 12: 30, 31). This required Israel to do what only the strength of a perfect man can do; and Israel thoughtlessly made the promise, not realizing the depth of its meaning. Being fallen and having only vestiges of God’s image in them, they could not keep the Covenant, but were continually violating it and continually being punished.
Law Covenant in Process of Ending
The Law Covenant has ended for those Jews who have come into Christ, as may be seen from the following references: (Colossians 2: 14) (Ephesians 2: 15, 16) (Romans 10: 4) (2 Corinthians 3: 14, Diaglott) (Romans 7: 1-4) and (Luke 16: 16). The Law Covenant never extended over the Gentiles, therefore, it cannot be spoken of as having either a beginning or an ending for them. During the Gospel Age the Law Covenant has been in process of ending for those Jews who have not come into Christ, but it is not yet entirely ended. An institutional type, which the Law Covenant is, is still obligatory upon such Jews. Thus some features of the Law Covenant have passed away for the Jews who have not come into Christ: its priests, sacrifices, temple, jubilee cycles, jubilees, Atonement Day, Passover lamb, etc., because the antitypes of these have come. But there are features of the Law that have not yet been antityped, hence they are obligatory upon such Jews as have not come into Christ. Some of these include circumcision (Galatians 5: 3), the ten commandments, including the Sabbath, clean and unclean foods, etc. The Law Covenant will not pass away until its antitype, the New Covenant, has been inaugurated. More helpful remarks will be given on the Law Covenant when we take up our next study on the New Covenant.
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