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No Part of the Mosaic Covenant Has Ended
– Introduction

by Gerald R. Thompson*

Part 1: Common Views; Divine Covenant Pattern; What It’s All About Part 2: Expressly Eternal; Nothing Has Ended It; Decoupling Covenants Part 3: Destruction of Jerusalem; Future of the Covenant; Conclusion



INTRODUCTION

I here intend to demonstrate from scripture that the Mosaic covenant and all of its numerous laws, in their entirety, have never been revoked, expired, or altered in any way. Not by the death and resurrection of Christ, nor from anything that has otherwise happened in history. Nor has the Mosaic covenant, or any of its laws, been merged into or subsumed by the Church covenant. Nor have they been transmuted into any so-called Law of Christ.

I don’t claim that all of the Mosaic laws are presently in full force and effect. Many of them are temporarily suspended until the Jewish temple is rebuilt, and Christ returns to sit on the throne of David to establish His earthly kingdom. However, this suspension does not in any way work to terminate or modify the Mosaic laws as they were first delivered 3,500 years ago. This suspension is not decreed by God, but arises merely from an impossibility of performance under present circumstances. God has promised to correct these circumstances, once again enabling a full performance of the covenant.

Before I detail all the proofs and arguments, rest assured there is nothing to be afraid of in terms of Christian orthodoxy. The Mosaic covenant and the gospel are not, properly understood, incompatible. Nothing I will say weakens, undercuts, or hinders the gospel, because my arguments come straight from scripture. Further, nothing I say will indicate that either Christians or Gentiles are subject to the provisions of the Mosaic covenant and its underlying laws.

I will ask you to suspend the inclination to explain away any of the biblical texts we will look at as having a primarily spiritual or allegorical interpretation. I want you to read all of the scriptures we will examine as though the words mean exactly what they say. Think of it as a thought experiment. What if there was a way to understand all the scriptures about the Mosaic covenant and the nation of Israel literally, which did not conflict with the ministry of Christ, the Gospel, or the Church covenant? For the sake of curiosity, would you at least want to see what that would look like?

I often get the feeling, when I read allegorical interpretations of some of these scriptures, that the commentator is trying to avoid a literal interpretation that leaves them in a logical box they can’t get out of. However, the problems many people have believing the Mosaic covenant hasn’t ended don’t arise from scripture. Instead, they arise from incorrect assumptions about who the covenant applied to, what it was intended to accomplish, and the effect (if any) of changed circumstances. What I want to show you is that there is a way to read the scriptures concerning the Mosaic covenant literally which is completely logical, and completely harmonious with the rest of the Bible.

The key to this whole matter is to realize that the Mosaic covenant was only ever given to the Jews as a national covenant. It never was, and never will be, a covenant of faith. The purpose of the Mosaic covenant wass not to get anyone saved (past, present or future), nor was it designed to point the world to a Savior. (I can see the hackles raising – don’t worry, we’re going to deal with the Apostle Paul’s view on the subject). It was designed merely to establish Israel as a national entity (not a spiritual entity), set up a civil government, and lay out rules of conduct for a holy nation treasured by God. That’s it. And it’s pretty plain, if you look at the terms of the covenant itself.

Sure, those rules of conduct included religious ceremonies and a system of worship. I did say the Mosaic laws were for a holy nation, after all. But God, and scripture, never said the purpose of the Mosaic covenant was to provide for personal salvation. Why do I say this? Because a person did not have to be saved in order to be subject to the covenant. Personal salvation, and participation in the Mosaic covenant, were (and are) two completely separate things. If you can keep that one thought in your mind as you read this essay, then everything else will make sense. If you can’t accept that idea – well, the overwhelming biblical evidence is against you.

I will not, in this essay, consider the understanding and application of any individual laws given to ancient Israel. I will treat that subject in a separate essay. Here, I want to consider the applicability of the Mosaic covenant as a whole to the Jewish people, and how it relates to and coexists with the Church covenant of the New Testament. So without diving into the particulars of any specific laws, let’s find out what the overall covenant is about. And whether anything has happened since its inception that may have caused it to expire, terminate, or become significantly modified.

I assume you know what I mean by the Mosaic covenant: the Ten Commandments delivered to Moses on Mt. Sinai in Exodus 20, and the statutes, rules and regulations God gave to Israel through Moses which implemented them. These laws are generally found in the rest of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. I also consider the Davidic covenant of 2 Sam. 7 to be an extension of the Mosaic covenant because it relates exclusively to the throne of the nation of Israel. But for the nation and civil government established under the Mosaic covenant, the Davidic covenant would be meaningless.

Part 1: Common Views; Divine Covenant Pattern; What It’s All About Part 2: Expressly Eternal; Nothing Has Ended It; Decoupling Covenants Part 3: Destruction of Jerusalem; Future of the Covenant; Conclusion


ENDNOTES
*     Copyright 2019 Gerald R. Thompson. All rights reserved. Used by permission.