The Law (testament) of Moses a Dead Letter

By Wendell Tenison

Generally speaking, the world and especially the denominations, does not understand that the law of Moses is a dead letter taken out of the way by Jesus Christ and nailed to his cross. Plowing this stump out of denominational belief is vital to converting those in the denominations into new testament Christianity. The testament of Moses was given for a specific time and reason as explained by the apostle Paul.

Gal 3:18-19 "For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise......Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator."

A brief summary of events from the creation, to the giving of the law, to the coming of Christ is mandatory in order to understand what was in the mind of God. From the creation to the flood was 1656 years. After that the world had gone right back into wickedness and God chose one man, Abraham, that through his seed, Christ would come to save the world. Abraham was born 297 years after the flood and after his son Isaac had born Jacob and Jacob had born twelve sons, Jacob and his sons and their families totaling 76 souls, went down into Egypt. They remained there for 430 years. While in Egypt, the children of God learned to worship idols from the Egyptians and never gave them up. God makes this very clear in the next reading.

Ezek 20:5-9 "And say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; In the day when I chose Israel, and lifted up mine hand unto the seed of the house of Jacob, and made myself known unto them in the land of Egypt, when I lifted up mine hand unto them, saying, I am the LORD your God;.....In the day that I lifted up mine hand unto them, to bring them forth of the land of Egypt into a land that I had espied for them, flowing with milk and honey, which is the glory of all lands:.....Then said I unto them, Cast ye away every man the abominations of his eyes, and defile not yourselves with the idols of Egypt: I am the LORD your God......But they rebelled against me, and would not hearken unto me: they did not every man cast away the abominations of their eyes, neither did they forsake the idols of Egypt: then I said, I will pour out my fury upon them, to accomplish my anger against them in the midst of the land of Egypt......But I wrought for my name's sake, that it should not be polluted before the heathen, among whom they were, in whose sight I made myself known unto them, in bringing them forth out of the land of Egypt."

Had it not been for his name sake and the promise he made to Abraham that through his seed all nations of the earth would be blessed, that is Christ, God would have destroyed them all in the land of Egypt.

Num 14:12 "I will smite them with the pestilence, and disinherit them, and will make of thee a greater nation and mightier than they."

Deu 9:12-14 "And the LORD said unto me, Arise, get thee down quickly from hence; for thy people which thou hast brought forth out of Egypt have corrupted themselves; they are quickly turned aside out of the way which I commanded them; they have made them a molten image......Furthermore the LORD spake unto me, saying, I have seen this people, and, behold, it is a stiffnecked people:.....Let me alone, that I may destroy them, and blot out their name from under heaven: and I will make of thee a nation mightier and greater than they."

After the golden calf incidence, God would have destroyed them a second time and started over with Moses, but he talked him out of it.

Psa 106:23 "Therefore he said that he would destroy them, had not Moses his chosen stood before him in the breach, to turn away his wrath, lest he should destroy them."

Ezek 20:23-25 "I lifted up mine hand unto them also in the wilderness, that I would scatter them among the heathen, and disperse them through the countries;.....Because they had not executed my judgments, but had despised my statutes, and had polluted my sabbaths, and their eyes were after their fathers' idols......Wherefore I gave them also statutes that were not good, and judgments whereby they should not live;"


Because of their rebellion and idol worship, God gave then a law which they could not live by.

The balance of this study will give us perfect understanding through the new testament why the law of Moses is a dead letter and woe to them who use it for authority for instrumental music in worship or any other creed or doctrine. Nearly all who use the instrument say it is used in heaven; why can we not use it here on earth? That question is answered by this one: We marry and are given in marriage on earth; why can we not marry in heaven? The answer by our Savior..

Mark 12:24-25 "And Jesus answering said unto them, Do ye not therefore err, because ye know not the scriptures, neither the power of God?.....For when they shall rise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage; but are as the angels which are in heaven."

The answer is simple, the instrument is not authorized in worship on earth, nor is marriage authorized in heaven.

Gal 3:23-28 "But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed......Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith......But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster......For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus......For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ."There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus."

Paul is saying, faith was shut up under the law, but when faith came by Jesus Christ, this faith is being baptized into him.

Rom 7:7 "What shall we say then? is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet."

There are those who affirm the law of Moses is of non effect, but still cling to the ten commandments. Thou shalt not covet is one of the ten commandments and Paul is saying, this commandment is part of the law. In fact, all of the ten commandments are in the law of Christ except keeping the sabbath.

Rom 8:2-3 "For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death......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:"

Here Paul is saying, the law was a law of sin and death.

Gal 3:10-13 "For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them......But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith......And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them......Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:"

Make no mistake about it, those who use the law of Moses for authority are under the curse. No man is, nor can be justified by the law of Moses. Otherwise, he is the same as one hanged on a tree.

Col 2:14 "Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;"

When was the law of Moses taken out of the way? When Christ nailed it to his cross. This is also a second curse of the law, seeing it was hanged on a tree.

2 Cor 3:6 "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."

The new testament of Christ is spirit, John 6:63. Not written with pen and ink, but into the hearts and minds of us. Paul says, the law of Moses was a law of letter and it kills any who seek to be justified by it.

2 Cor 3:7 "But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away:"

Here again, the written law of the letter is described as the ministration of death.

Heb 10:1-4 "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 thereunto perfect......For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins......But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year......For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins."

Paul is being much more specific in that the law could never take away sin. Under the law of Moses, every sin that a man committed hung over his head until he died, but the blood of Christ reached back and forgave him if he had submitted himself unto the will of God, Heb.9:15.

Gal 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."

Rom 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."

Rom 3:28 "Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law."


How many times do we have to read that no flesh can be justified by the works of the law?

Gal 1:6-8 "I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:.....Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ......But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed."

There is no other gospel other than what Paul and the other apostles preached. To incorporate the law of Moses into the law of Christ is mixing the law of sin and death into the law of spirit and life. Paul said, let him be accursed. Even if an angel from heaven were to do so, let him be accursed. Some even claim that angels speak to them and give them new law; God forbid!

Heb 8:6 "But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises."

Which covenant is the better? To ask it is to answer it.

Heb 8:13 "In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away."

That is why the law of Moses is called the old testament; it is old and has vanished away. Otherwise, Paul has been lying to us all the way through this study.

There is absolutely no person on this earth who can say they love Jesus and hate his new testament. The words of Jesus are spirit and life and those who reject them are as dead as a doornail, because they have no life in them. Jesus said, he that is not with me is against me, Luke 11:23. Satan is the master of deception and he has deceived the masses into believing the word of God is of non effect. God told the prophet Samuel the people had not rejected Samuel, but himself as their king, 1Sam.8:7. Those of us today who preach the truth are trodden and spit upon by those who despise the word of God, but God is their real enemy and they do not have the courage to confront him.

Gal 5:4 "Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace."

No matter who it is who seeks to be justified by the law, they are fallen from grace. You can take it to the bank.


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© 2008 by Wendell Tenison