#5 The Dispensation of Law

The Dispensations
The Dispensations
#5 The Dispensation of Law

References: Exodus 19:1-6

I want you to turn in your Bibles to Exodus chapter 19. As you’re turning there, let me remind you that we’re going to talk tonight about the fifth dispensation, and that is the dispensation of law, the mosaic dispensation. And it’s such a large portion of the Bible, it’s hard to find just a particular passage that says everything we wanted to say about this large dispensation, but I think Exodus 19 in the first six verses does as good as any. When we talk about the law, the Old Testament, the mosaic law, to some people it is too applicable.
That is, they live in it too much. If we have seventh day Adventist friends, you might realize that they believe we must keep all the dietary laws and the Sabbath and all of that in the Old Testament, and they’re a little overboard with it. Those who practice today Dominion theology think that we need to reestablish mosaic law in America and other countries of the world.
Some people, it isn’t applicable enough, and some people just say, well, Old Testament, you know, the law, that’s all done away with, and maybe they never read it and don’t think any of it applies to us today. We call it a dispensation, a dispensation of the law, and as we have been noticing in our study as we go through these, that these are periods of time in which God gave his people different instruction, new instruction each time, and held them responsible for what he had told them. And unfortunately, at the end of every one, there was a failure and a judgment from God because of it. Remember then that the dispensation of law goes from Moses, which, who lived in 1400s BC, all the way up to Christ, or to be specific, from the Mount Sinai, giving of the law to the cross of Calvary. Once God gave that law on Mount Sinai, the dispensation of law had begun, and they were responsible for it. And that went all the way until Jesus died fulfilling the law and released us from the curse of the law, as the New Testament says. Do you know that the dispensation of the law takes up most of our Bible? There are 39 books in the Old Testament and 38 of them exist under the dispensation of law.
That is from the beginning of Exodus all the way through Malachi. And then if we understand Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, those, the things that happen in those gospels happen under the law because Christ doesn’t die until the end of his life, of course. So Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, you might say, are also under that dispensation of law.
So most of the Bible, a huge portion of it, happens under the law. Most of the prophecies we have, when we study prophecy, we go back to Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, and the minor prophets and many different prophets. So those prophecies were given to us from the law.
And we have huge portions because especially those major prophets are very large books. And then the Bible reminds us that Christ came under the law, right? He was born under the law. Remember Romans 95 that says, who are the fathers and of whom concerning the flesh, Christ came, who is overall God bless forever. And Galatians 44, when the fullness of time was come, God sent forth his son, made of a woman and made under the law to redeem them that are under the law.
So Jesus was a Jew and he lived a Jewish life and he practiced the Old Testament law and did not violate that law all of his life either. So we have this dispensation of law. A lot of times we talk about law and grace, and that’s a common expression. We talk about law being what happened in that dispensation versus grace which we live in today and have been in for 2,000 years now. Law and grace ought to be the clearest distinction between two different periods of time that we have in the Bible. We see very distinctly the difference between living as an Israelite under the law and living as a member of the church under grace.
And we’ll speak about those things a little more in a little bit. But that difference between law and grace creates to some people huge controversies. I mean for 2,000 years there have been churches with priesthoods still. The Roman church, the Anglican church still have priests. We don’t have priests in our church. As a matter of fact, we believe that we are all what we call believer priests. We don’t have a priesthood with different levels of hierarchy like that. Then there are the cults who use law and grace in various different ways. I mean after all, Islam is trying to establish a theocracy in the world today.
Mormons believe that they are some of the lost tribes of Israel that are going to be reestablished in this age of grace, by the way in Independence, Missouri, and they will be the kingdom of God. Add Venice again with the Sabbath. And so a lot of people don’t make that distinction between law and grace like they should. Then there are the societies like the masons, the Knights Templar who are still guarding the temples and still guarding the and building the things that they claim that they built way back then. Well with Christianity we have our differences too. We as dispensationalists as we’re talking in these lessons believe that law ended and grace begun and the church is not Israel and we’re separate from those things and we don’t live out those things. But covenant theology sees all of it as part of the church.
All of it is the same covenant of grace. Amillennialism and premillennialism, legalism and license find their problems here. And there are a lot of issues Sabbath keeping itself. And by the way there have been Seventh Day Baptist. So there are Seventh Day Adventists but there are others who have believed even Baptist in history. Not very many but some who believe that you should keep Saturday and worship on Saturday. Church administration sometimes goes back into in my opinion the Old Testament to find the rule of elders and bring them forward into the church and have elder rule in the church.
A lot of controversy about that. Tithing, divorce and remarriage. What we believe about homosexuality, dress codes and what we should do with our body, how we should treat it. Justification and sanctification, the difference between those.
What should we do about witchcraft and demonism, what we do in the law and what we do under grace are far two different things. Well here if you found your way to Exodus chapter 19 we have here in these first verses if you remember your Old Testament, know where you are in these things. You know that Exodus 19 brings us out of Egypt through the Red Sea, out into the desert and to the foot of Mount Sinai. And it’s in chapter 20 that we have the listing of the Ten Commandments where God writes with his finger on the stone and gives Moses these Ten Commandments and the dispensation of law begins. And they are responsible for keeping these things. So in these verses we have this expressed. Let me, well I won’t read all the way through, we’ll read them one at a time as we get to them. Okay so first of all you notice here that I, these are I think six characteristics of the law given to us in this one passage.
First of all there is a national nature to the law. Verse one says in the third month when the children of Israel were gone forth out of the land of Egypt the same day they came into the wilderness of Sinai. In other words what I mean is the dispensation of law was given to a nation and that nation is Israel and you will see that over and over again in this passage. The children of Israel look at verse three again.
Moses went up into God at the end of that. He says thus shout thou safe to the house of Jacob and tell the children of Israel. Of course Jacob is Israel. His name was changed from Jacob to Israel. So whether you say the house of Jacob or say the children of Israel you’re talking about the same people. Verse six and they are a kingdom of priests, a holy nation and so forth.
So it’s made with a nation. Listen to these verses for example in Psalm 147 verses 19 and 20. God says he showeth his word unto Jacob. His statutes and his judgments unto Israel.
He hath not dealt so with any nation and as for his judgments they have not known them. Leviticus 2646. These are the statutes and the judgments and the laws which the Lord made between him and the children of Israel in Mount Sinai at the hand of Moses.
So this is a national, there’s a national nature to the law. It belonged to Israel and Israel was God’s people and so what we have here, remember last week when we were talking about the dispensation of promise that began with Abraham and went through Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph and all the way to Moses. that we said God was narrowing his focus from dealing with all people in the world as his people to one family and now one part of that family and that is the children of Jacob, the children of Israel. So God is narrowing his focus and now he’s using a nation among all the nations of the world in which he will work, he will give his revelation, he will reveal himself and he will use them eventually to even bring in the very Messiah himself.
So he’s narrowing it down to this nation. This couldn’t be repeated with anyone else. The things that happened with Israel never has been repeated in any other nation. Just listen to Romans 9 3 through 5. Paul says, I could wish that myself were cursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh, who are Israelites to whom pertaineth the adoption and the glory and the covenants and the giving of the law and the service of God and the promises, whose are the fathers and again of whom Christ came concerning the flesh, Christ came who is over all God blessed forever. America doesn’t have that blessing. No other nation has that blessing like Israel had it in those days. And remember the covenants that were made. We talked about the Abrahamic covenant last week. Well, that was made before the law with Abraham.
But then it was fleshed out, you might say, under the law. He was given a land, a seed and a blessing. Well, the land is reiterated in the Palestinian covenant given under the law. The seed is reiterated in David in the Davidic covenant given under the law and even the new covenant, the blessing given under the law. And so even the covenants, as Paul says here in Romans 9, belong to Israel and God will fulfill them to that nation. By the way, that’s one of the reasons why you and I believe in the second coming of Christ to establish a kingdom on the earth. Because unless God does that, then God will have never fulfilled his covenants to those people. So there’s going to be a kingdom where he brings the Israelites back to their land, gives them their land, gives them the seed, Christ ruling over them and all of the blessings that he ever promised. Those things haven’t been fulfilled yet. They’ll be fulfilled in that nation in a kingdom in Israel. So there’s a national nature to it.
Secondly, there’s a theocratic nature to this law. Notice in verses two and three, they for they were departed from Refidem and they came to the desert of Sinai and had pitched in the wilderness and there Israel camped before the Mount, Mount Sinai. And Moses went up unto God and the Lord called unto him out of the mountain saying, Thus shout thou say to the house of Jacob and tell the children of Israel.
And he goes on with the things he’s going to tell them. This is the rule of God over this nation. He becomes their king and that’s why we call it a theocracy. You know, we have a democracy because a damos means the people, a rule of the people.
A theocracy is a rule of God himself over people. There’s a psalm in Psalm 444 and 5 where David says, Thou art my king, O God, command deliverances for Jacob. Through thee we will push down our enemies. Through thy name we will tread them under our feet. And so God becomes their king.
He becomes the one that rules over them. And here they are at the Mount of Sinai and you have the greatest theophany of the Old Testament. That is, God comes down upon this mountain and the mountain is full of smoke and there’s lightning and there’s even voices and thunderings and they hear all of that and God speaks with them personally.
That is through Moses, speaks with him, gives him the law, dictates it to him and says, Now here’s your law, here’s your constitution, here’s the way you’re going to live and for 1500 years they live like that. As a matter of fact, look at verse 16 of this same chapter. It came to pass on the third day in the morning that there were thunders and lightnings and a thick cloud upon the mount, the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud so that all the people that was in the camp trembled. You see these same verses over and over. As a matter of fact, skip over to chapter 20 verse 21 and the people stood far off.
Moses drew near under the thick darkness where God was and the Lord said unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, You have seen that I have talked with you from heaven. Now folks, God hasn’t done that with any other nation. God hasn’t done that at any other time. God doesn’t talk from heaven personally with a nation like he spoke with this nation, so there’s a theocratic element to this. Now, as they go through their history, God will then use other people besides Moses, who himself was a prophet, a king, and at times acted like a priest.
And so God brings three offices into them, prophet, priest, and king, and he speaks with these people and rules this nation through prophets, priests, and kings as he does no other nation. Let me put this footnote in here and remind us America is not a theocracy. As a matter of fact, there is no theocracy in the world today, and there hasn’t been since the Israelite nation was dispersed.
We are not a theocracy. We believe in the Old Testament. We believe it’s inspired of God.
We believe that all scripture is profitable for doctrine and reproof and correction and instruction and righteousness. But that doesn’t mean that we keep the law as Moses and the Israelites had to keep it or that God himself is our president. It would be nice, you know, and I’m not sure even if he ran on a ticket these days, he could get elected in America anymore. But he was their president, so to speak.
He was their king. But we, that doesn’t mean we as people living in whatever country we live in can’t live by biblical principles and some of those, many of those come from the Old Testament law. We live by moral principles, and it’s not wrong of us as a country to say, okay, here are the 10 commandments and we’ll put them in our courthouses because the same basis for those 10 commandments is the same basis that we have for our government. And that is there’s a God in heaven and we’ve got to live under him and be answerable to him.
So there’s nothing wrong with that and we do that. But we are not a theocracy as such. We’re a democracy.
We’re a nation. And most of our leaders are not even believers. And I don’t know if they pray to God or not.
Maybe some do and some don’t. Now, there are nations that believe that we should have a theocracy. As a matter of fact, Islam is in the business of creating a theocracy over the whole world. They of course call it a caliphate. They’re looking for a place to have a nation where God is, they believe, Allah is their king and their God. And through Jihad and through Sharia law, then they will enforce their religion on all of the subjects in this caliphate, which they hope will be the whole world.
And that’s their goal. So they do believe that God leads them and God tells them and they are trying to establish it. It’s kind of funny, isn’t it, that in America, every time Christians begin to talk about morality and we talk about what God would want for people, we get the accusation, well, you’re trying to establish a theocracy in America. And of course, we’re trying to do no such thing. But here’s a religion truly trying to establish a theocracy in America and we tolerate it to pieces.
So it’s kind of a strange thing that that is going on. But if they have their way, that’s exactly what they’ll try to do. By the way, throughout church history, persecution has come to the church in any country where they have a religion and they believe the civil government should enforce the religion in people’s lives. And so if you believe that you should worship God and the state church tells you how to worship God and you’re not doing it that way, the state government has the right to step in and jail you or persecute you and make sure you do it right.
And that’s when our forefathers have had to flee. That’s why we as Baptists have liked the separation of church and state, which means, of course, the government cannot tell us how to worship. It can enforce laws that should be enforced, but it can’t enforce a religion upon us. And so we’re not a theocracy, but Israel was a theocracy.
That’s my point there. Number three, yes, the miraculous nature of the law. So we go on down to verse four. You have seen what I did under the Egyptians, how I bear you on eagles wings and brought you unto myself. We don’t have to think long to remember how God did that with the miracles of Moses before Pharaoh and then the Red Sea event and all of the things that he did in the miracles to bring them out of Israel. So they were born and bred on miracles. Miracles were not a common thing, but belonged to this dispensator. especially through the prophets.
We find many of these kinds of miracles. In Deuteronomy 3211 to 14, Moses writes again, as an eagle stireth up her nest, fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them and beareth them on her wings, so the Lord alone did lead him. And there was no strange God with him. He made him ride on the high places of the earth that he might eat the increase of the fields.
And on and on he goes describing how God was like a mother eagle taking her young on her wings up high and teaching them how to fly. God did that with Israel. So these miracles were there. The Red Sea, the cloud by day, the pillar of fire by night, Jericho and the crossing the Jordan into the promised land, all of these kinds of things he did for them. Remember when Paul, Stephen preaching in Acts chapter 7 verse 36, he says, he brought them out after he had showed wonders and signs in the land of Egypt and in the Red Sea and in the wilderness for 40 years. And Paul in Acts 13, the God of this people of Israel chose our fathers and exalted the people when they dwelled the strangers in the land of Egypt with a mighty arm he brought them out. So there are miraculous people. You know that the Jews require a sign, right?
We’ve seen that in our Sunday morning messages. They require a sign because they were born and bred on signs. They were born and bred on the miracles. And if God is speaking to us, show us the miracle.
We want to see it. And here you have God in the flesh, the greatest miracle of all, and they could not see it. And so the Lord said, there’s only one sign now that’s going to be given. It’s the sign of the prophet Jonah, which he likened of course to the death, the burial, the resurrection of Jesus Christ. So you and I folks as the Church of Jesus Christ, we don’t require a sign. We have a sign. And our sign is the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
It’s called the Gospel. And we look back on a historical fact that happened. That is our miracle. That is our sign.
But Israel needed signs all along and God gave it to them too. So there’s a national nature, a theocratic nature, a miraculous nature. Fourthly, there’s a conditional nature to the law. The law of Moses was a the the covenant of law was a conditional covenant. You know, there are unconditional covenants and then there are conditional covenants. The covenant of Abraham, the Abrahamic covenant was unconditional.
God said, I will do this with you. No, but regardless of what you do, I will do this. I will make of you a great nation.
I will bless you through you. The Messiah will come regardless of what you do, Abraham. But to Israel, it was a conditional covenant where God says, if you do this and if you do this, then I will do this.
Of course, if you do not do this and you do not do that, then I will not do this. And that’s the way the law reads all the way through it. So a little example in verse 5, now therefore, if you will obey my voice indeed and keep my covenant, this Mosaic law covenant, then you shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people for all the earth is mine. And on and on this conditional type of covenant goes, so Deuteronomy 29, verse 1, these are the words of the covenant which the Lord commanded Moses to make with the children of Israel in the land of Moab beside the covenant that he made at Horab and on and on they go. As a matter of fact, let me go to two well-known passages. One is 2 Chronicles 714, if my people which are called by my name. Let me remind you of this conditional covenant here because we quote this verse a lot. If I shut up heaven, I’m reading from verse 13, here’s God speaking to Israel.
If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people, well, you know what? God in being the king over his people often did this kind of thing. If they obeyed God, he gave them rain on their crops and if they disobeyed God, he withheld that rain from their crops. If they followed him, he protected them from their enemies, but as soon as they aired and went another way, he brought in the enemies and then had to raise up a judge or a king to destroy the enemies.
It was a constant thing like this. So he says, if I do these things, then verse 14 says, if my people which are called by my name, and who is that? Israel, the people of God. Israel, if my people which are called by my name shall humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then here’s the if, if, if, and then then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and will heal their land. In other words, I’ll give them rain. and I’ll take away the locusts and I’ll heal their land.
Or here’s one in Malachi 310 which is pretty obvious. Bring you all the tithes into the storehouse that there may be meat in my house. Of course that’s the temple and the storehouse and the tithing. There were many tithes that they gave under the law and prove me now here with say at the Lord of Hosts that I will not open unto you the windows of heaven and pour you out a blessing that there should not be room enough to receive it. It’ll rain and I’ll allow your crops to grow and I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes. He shall not destroy the fruits of your ground neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field. Sayeth the Lord of Hosts and so you see the conditional nature of Israel.
They had to live this way. Now I’m not saying that God doesn’t answer such prayers today and many a farmer has prayed for rain, right? Well God hears our prayers and God can condition the circumstances to do that but we’re not a theocracy where God is the king and He’s directing everything in our lives and when we disobey there’s an immediate consequence to that disobedience.
And when we obey there are blessings immediately that come because of that. That’s the way they had to live. They were under that all the time. To them God was kind of like an employer, you know, who stood over his employees and watched them work and when they did something good he says okay that’s good here I’ll reward you.
When they did something bad he immediately corrected them and said I’m going to deduct that from your wages. To us God is more like a father who always loves us and always owns us and we are always his children and he teaches and trains and guides and throughout our life. Okay? So there’s this conditional nature then fifthly a religious nature to the law. So verse 6, notice says you shall be unto me a kingdom first of all and a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.
Kind of sounds like Peter in 2 Peter or 1 Peter chapter 2 I mean doesn’t it? Where in a way we don’t have a holy nation today. We don’t have a kingdom of priests today but the church we are believer priests. We are the spiritual nation you might say but back then they were the nation and the word kingdom here should be taken literally.
They were a kingdom, a kingdom led by a king and it was called Israel and God was going to give them a land and they would have borders and that would be their kingdom and that kingdom existed for 1500 years until God broke it and scattered it among the nations but he’s coming back to do it again and give them a kingdom that we call a millennial kingdom for a thousand years and so they are a holy nation. Leviticus 20 and verse 24 says I am the Lord your God which has separated you from other people. You shall therefore put difference between clean beasts and unclean between unclean fowls and clean.
You shall not make your souls abominable by beast or by fowl or by any manner of living thing that creepeth on the ground which I have separated from you as unclean. You shall be holy unto me for I the Lord am holy and on and on he goes and so they were religious people. Now keep in mind as I said before they had prophet, priest and king because this law had three parts to it.
There was the civil part over which the king presided, a civil government. Then there was a ceremonial part over which the priest presided at the temple and then there was a moral part that the prophet preached. The prophet came and preached morality and so you have these parts of the law we might say civil, ceremonial and moral and those were all together in one. It was a union of church and state. The only true union of church and state that God ever dictated on this earth. And so if you disobeyed the religious part of the law the civil part of the law could punish you and if you tried to have any other kind of worship in Israel you could not have it and the priest would see to it that that was not taught the king would enforce the law and the prophet would preach to you. If you tried to do anything else, as a matter of fact if you tried to break any of it just as Elijah came to Ahab who should have been a good king but he was a bad king over Israel and preached to him just like John the Baptist stood up and preached to Herod and said it’s not lawful for you to have your brother.
their life. These were prophets who who preached morality and they those things would be enforced by the civil government under this law. So there’s a religious nature to the law but I want to add a sixth one that doesn’t come from Exodus here but comes more from our New Testament and that’s the last one and that is there’s a temporary nature to this law and that is it was made for a period of time and it had to end after that period of time and that would be of course when Christ comes.
As a matter of fact the book of Hebrews does it like this. It’s talking you know you have this ironic priesthood that starts with Aaron and the Levites and the priesthood goes all the way down to the time of Christ and so the book of Hebrews says but Psalm 110 says that one day there will be a Melchizedekian priesthood. Not a priest after Aaron but a priest after Melchizedek and Melchizedek has no history in the nations of Israel. Melchizedek didn’t come from any of the 12 tribes and so how will there be a king who’s after the order of Melchizedek if we still have the law and of course is point is we’re not going to have the law. The law is going to end so that we can have a priest after the order of Melchizedek and so even to have Jesus Christ as our high priest the law has to end. The book of Hebrews uses that argument from Psalm 110 so interestingly in the middle of the law in Psalm 110 the law is telling us there’s going to be an end to this someday. Aaron is not going to be the priest anymore and none of the Levites are going to be priests anymore.
It’s going to be a Melchizedekian priest. In the middle of the law it tells us that. Well the New Testament tells us this a lot. For example Galatians 319 wherefore then service the law it was added because of transgressions that would be at Sinai until the seed should come to whom the promise was made and that’s Jesus Christ. It started at Sinai it ends at Jesus Christ very plainly Paul says that in Galatians 319 or 324 wherefore the law was our school master to bring us to Christ that we might be justified by faith and not by the works of the law. So it will last until that time Romans 10 for Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone that believe.
And so the fact is folks the law is gone. Now isn’t it interesting we say we’re not under the law anymore but we still have all those books of the Old Testament. Well we’re not under the dispensation of innocence anymore but we still have Genesis 1 and 2. We’re not under the dispensation of conscience anymore but we still have Genesis 567 and 8. So sure we have all that was written and it’s all inspired and it’s all profitable for doctrine but we don’t live under the law anymore. Let me put it this way with four thoughts number one there was some things that stopped because they were only under the law the theocracy for example there was not a theocracy before the law there’s not a theocracy after the law. Saveth keeping started with the law not before and it ended with the law it was only for that period of time. Temple worship the very temple and the Tabernacle first and then the temple the sacrifices the priests and all of that started under the law and they ended under the law and many of the dietary laws you know the clean and unclean animals started before and doesn’t continue afterwards which we’re thankful for. Now secondly some things though are ongoing because they were before the law and they will be after the law human government. We saw already that human government began when Noah got off the ark and so it’s been going on and it is God’s emissary on the earth and we know that capital punishment started before the law it continues after the law. Conscience monotheism the belief in one God started before the law continues after the law and marriage itself right?
Marriage is between one man and one woman where did that start? All the way back to the dispensation of innocence continued under the law continues after the law so there are some things like that. Thirdly there are some things that began under the law that are reinstated in grace. Nine of the ten commandments that may sound odd right? Well that’s because Saveth keeping is one of the ten commandments and we are definitely told that we’re not Saveth keepers in the New Testament and so we don’t that one is not reinstated but every other one lying honoring your parents coveted covetousness idolatry all of those things are reinstated in the New Testament and we keep them.
them. So those things and many other moral principles, as a matter of fact in the whole talking about sexual impurity, homosexuality, lesbianism and so forth, we can often go back to the law and see what God’s attitude toward those things was. Now what’s changed is what you do about them because in a union of church and state, in a theocracy, those people would die under that. But in a separation of church and state, we don’t want the government stepping in and enforcing those. So yeah, we preach that it’s wrong and we know what God feels about them, but what God does about it in the age of grace is different. Now he leaves it up to the governments to do it and if the government decides it’s best to deal with it in a certain way, that’s up to the government. But the church doesn’t step in and say, this is the way it must be.
You understand that difference. And then fourthly, some things are new in the gospel dispensation in grace. And first of all, the gospel itself, the death, burial and resurrection started in this dispensation and didn’t exist before of course, because Jesus died and rose again at the beginning of this dispensation. Water, baptism that follows the gospel is for this dispensation.
And then the church itself did not exist in the Old Testament. It began at Pentecost and spirit baptism when the Holy Spirit places us into the body of Christ began at Pentecost. These things began at this age and then the first and second comings of Christ, the fact that rather than it being one coming, now it’s divided into two. We’ve had a first coming of Christ, there will be a second coming of Christ and even the second coming will be divided into a rapture and a revelation and so forth. All of that comes under the dispensation of grace.
And we’re glad that we have it that way. So that the law is part of our scripture, it’s inspired, we learn from it, it’s profitable for doctrine to prove for correction, instruction and righteousness, but we don’t have to keep the law, we don’t have to have the priesthoods, we don’t make the sacrifices, we don’t have the holy days, we have all of that in Jesus Christ who is our Savior. At the end, and let me say this, what was the test then under the dispensation of law? Well, a conditional covenant. If you keep these things, then I’ll bless you.
And if you don’t keep these things, I won’t bless you. And that was the test for 1400 years under the law. And what was the failure? Well, they did not keep the whole law and no one could. And not keeping the whole law, even if they offended one point, they’re guilty of all, so God has proved that we are sinners and not saints, not righteous. And the biggest failure of course under the law is that when Messiah came, when the seed appeared, who is Jesus Christ, they rejected him and didn’t even accept their own Messiah.
And that of course is the huge failure at the end. And what was the judgment? Well, the captivity is in Assyria, the Babylonian captivity, and then 70 AD, God destroyed the city and scattered the Jewish people all over the world until the end times. And so those judgments came upon them at the end of that. So what did the law prove to you and me? Why do we have the law? I’ll tell you why, because as Paul says in Romans 319, we know that what things so ever the law sayeth, it sayeth to them that are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped and all the world may become guilty before God, therefore by the deeds of the law shall no flesh be justified in his sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
You know what advantage it is for you to read the law? You realize what a sinner you are. You read it and say, I couldn’t keep that.
I don’t keep those things in my life. Suppose you had to please God by living like that. You couldn’t do it, and that’s the purpose of the law, to bring you to Christ so that you can place your faith in Jesus Christ, who himself fulfilled every jot and tittle of the law so that not being a sinner himself, he can save you as a sinner. And you’re saved by his grace and by his righteous life.
And that’s the wonderful thing about the Gospel era. And we’ll talk about that next Sunday night as we get to the sixth dispensation. Okay, stand with me if you will as we think about these things and sing a song in just a moment. Let’s go to the Lord in prayer.
Father, thank you again for our study of the Old Testament things now and as we’ve come up to the end of the Old Testament through the dispensation of law. Help us, Father, to understand these because we meet these conflicts in our own time and we need to be able to answer these things. We need to be the people of God in the age of grace that we should. So help us to understand these other ages and what your requirements were and when the beginning and the ending of these things were. Help us tonight in what we have heard, to take these things to heart and to use them to serve you more faithfully. We’ll thank you in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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