Creflo Dollar - The Commandments of Moses vs. The Commandments of Jesus
If you have your Bibles, go with me to the book of 2 Timothy chapter 2 and verse 15, first in the King James and then in the Amplified. 2 Timothy chapter 2 and verse 15, we're going to look at it in the King James and the Amplified. Now, we've been talking about, you know, relationship with God and knowing God, and I think one of the things I wanted to make clear on Sunday is that out of the relationship, everything else becomes a byproduct. It doesn't mean that it's not important for us to learn principles into, you know, faith still cometh by hearing and hearing the Word of God, but I want to make sure that faith still comes by knowing God, you know, and knowing God is knowing his Word, amen?
And at the same time, there've been a lot of things that they were not incorrect, but, where our hearing is concerned, they were incomplete and things that we needed to know and things that we needed to understand. And so tonight I'm going to talk about the commandments of Moses versus the commandments of Jesus. 'Cause what happens sometimes, you'll be reading a Scripture and it'll say something like, "Keep my commandments". Immediately you think about the Ten Commandments. Well, that needs to be rightly divided, and I'm going to show you some things tonight. So I want to... I don't think I've ever taught on this before, but everything that's wrong in religion is wrong because people need to take the time to rightly divide the Word of truth.
Let's read 2 Timothy chapter 2:15, and then we'll read it in the Amplified and I'll show you what I'm talking about as we get into this study. We're going to evaluate and rightly divide the commandments that came by Moses and the commandments that came by Jesus. Let's read verse 15 out loud together. Ready? Read. "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of truth". And that's a powerful Scripture because it tells us that the Word has to be rightly divided.
So how many of you know if it can be rightly divided, it can be what? Wrongly divided; and what are the consequences of the Word of God being wrongly divided? You're wrong believing. If you divide it wrong, you'll believe it wrong and then wrong believing is going to equal wrong living. If you divide it right, you're going to believe it right and right believing is going to equal right living. So I don't know about you, but wherever you're getting your feeding from is now pretty very important for you to say, "Who I'm listening to, is this rightly divided"? Okay?
Now look at the Amplified. "Study and be eager to do your utmost to present yourself to God, approved, tested by trial, a workman who has no cause to be ashamed, correctly analyzing and accurately dividing, rightly handling and skillfully teaching, the Word of truth". I mean, look at the way it's described: correctly analyzing. Oh my God, my prayer is, "God help us," and I say us, all of our pastors, "help us to not incorrectly analyze something. And if we do, get in our way, get in our way. Don't let us, get in our way".
I remember when I first started writing a book on how to trouble your trouble. I was so off on that, I was stuck, and I thought I was stuck because of, you know, somebody say writer's block or whatever. It wasn't. God didn't want me to release that 'cause it was wrong, and I'm like, "God, help me not to hurt myself. Help me not to hurt myself". And I'm like, "We have to correctly analyze and accurately divide, rightly handling, skillfully teaching". All of a sudden, that tells me it's not just opening the Bible up just saying stuff. It's not just opening the Bible up and just becoming religious in what you say, and so this becomes very important.
Now, reason why I wanted to show you this is because truth in one dispensation may not be the truth in another dispensation. What may be true under the covenant of law may not be true under the covenant of grace. What may be true in the Old Testament may not be true under the New Testament. Praying to God to bring fire down from heaven and killed 102 people in the Old Testament, yet when they tried to, in Luke chapter 9, use the same Scripture in the Old Testament to justify praying that God would bring fire down on the Samaritans because they wouldn't let them stay there because they were on their way to Jerusalem, Jesus rebuked them for trying to use that truth in this dispensation.
Let me give you the definition of dispensation again. We need to kind of, you know, a dispensation is a divinely-appointed order or age. In other words, it's a God-appointed order for that particular time, a God-appointed order for that particular time. It's a divine ordering of the affairs of the world for that particular time. And so, you know, if you read the Bible, you got to know the order for that time, the dispensation, okay, of the law, the dispensation of grace. And if you don't, then you will find truth under the law and if you didn't rightly divide it, you'll try to take that truth under the law over into another dispensation, and then that's where you get in trouble, that's where you miss it, that's where the Bible... you know, people say the Bible contradicts itself and all those things 'cause it has to be rightly divided. If you understand all that, say "Amen".
Now, let's begin tonight, let me show you one more thing for one illustration. St. John chapter 1:17, St. John chapter 1 and 17. I promise you if I would have heard this when I first got born again, I could have probably avoided a lot of stuff, you know? Well, I didn't, and I'm not going to throw away that experience because, like the law, it makes me appreciate that all of that brought me to a point where I could see Jesus the way I see him today. Let's look at it in the King James first, then the Amplified. Let's read verse 17 in the King James first. He says, "For the law came by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ". The law came by who? Grace and truth came by who?
St. John 1:17, "For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ". I mean, help me. Didn't that automatically say to you, there is something about the law that came by Moses, watch this, versus the grace and truth that came by Jesus Christ, right? And how many of you know that the cross is the dividing line? The cross is the dividing line where we have to rightly divide and correctly analyze truth.
Now, think with me for a moment. You may even want to think back, before you understood this and before God gave you a revelation of the gospel of grace, the gospel of Jesus, because all we've been doing over the last 9 1/2 years is we've been just trying to unveil Jesus so you can see him. This is all about him, amen? Jesus is the fulfillment of the old covenant prophecy. Jesus is everything they ever talked about. You can get deep as you want to, but it all heads towards Jesus. The Sabbath was all about Jesus. Most everything you read back there, it all headed to Jesus.
So now once Jesus is born, you can't go back and try to unlock keys in the Jewish law when the manifestation of all of it is in Jesus. The manifestation of the whole thing is in Jesus. Your focus now is on Jesus. But when I saw this, to me, it was an immediate thing in my mind that I need to spend some time looking at the law that came by Moses, and I need to look at grace and truth that came by Jesus and I need to, listen to this, compare and contrast. I need to compare and contrast. In other words, how do these two contrast or different from one another and begin to see things, and it changes your whole life.
Now, that's what we're getting ready to do as we compare and contrast the commandments of Moses and the commandments of Jesus, and this is so, so, so very important. Now, I'm not going to spend my time tonight trying to prove to you that commandments came by Moses. You know that. You know that. You know, you done seen Cecil B. DeMille's "The Ten Commandments," you know the commandments came by Moses. All right. But my deal is tonight, what if you're reading a New Testament Scripture and it refers to commandments, and then in your mind, you go back to the Ten Commandments? So I'm going to start off, I want to read a big bulk of this chapter just to show you all the different dynamics that happens in this thing as we read it.
Let's go to 1 John chapter 3, and we'll begin here tonight. 1 John chapter 3. Now, I want you to think in line with rightly dividing the Word, rightly dividing the Word. The part that a lot of Christians have to get is, in their mind, they have been taught that the New Testament starts in Matthew, and that is not true. In all honesty, while Jesus was on the earth, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John could have all been a part of the old covenant because Jesus was a prophet operating under the old covenant. The old covenant was valid as long as Jesus was walking on the planet, okay? And the new covenant, according to Hebrews, did not come alive until he died, Hebrews chapter 9. They had to have the death of the testator, and when he died, shed his blood and gave the offering, then men could be born again, okay?
So, you know, Romans is this place where the New Testament begins, you know. You can start in the book of Acts to see some of that, but, Fred Price just did a wonderfully redesigned Bible where he put all of this in the right place. He put the Gospels as a part of the old covenant and started the new covenant in its proper place, and that's how it's supposed to be.
Now, I mentioned that because Jesus is doing two ministries in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. He is, first of all, fulfilling all 613. He is fulfilling the law. You remember what he said Matthew 5? He says, "I have not come to destroy the law, but to fulfill it," why? 'Cause he was the only one that could fulfill it. When God gave the Ten Commandments, he gave it knowing that only one man could fulfill it, all 613. When he gave the law, he knew only one man could fulfill it. And so, when you read the red in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, you still have to rightly divide whether or not Jesus is saying this as a prophet operating under the old covenant or is Jesus saying this giving a preview of what's going to happen after his death, burial, and resurrection and establishing the new covenant of grace.
Now, I want to show you these little twists and turns as we go here and head towards this commandment. It is exciting. Got me stirred up today. All right, let's start at verse 1. 1 John 3, verse 1. So remember that as we read this, and I'll try to bring it to your attention. He says, "Behold, what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us that we should be called," what? "The sons of God". All right, now notice, this is so interesting because, you know, you have to now rightly divide sons of God from servants of God.
Now, in the old covenant, go to Hebrews chapter 3. Hold your place there, go to Hebrews chapter 3, verses 5 through 6. When I see reference being made to sons of God in the New Testament versus sons of God in the old covenant sons of God were actually referring to angels most of the time, and you have to rightly divide that. We were servants. Look what he says in verse 5. "Moses verily was faithful in his house as a," what? "As a servant". Moses wasn't referred to as a son of God. He was referred to as a servant. "For a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after". Look at verse 6. "But Christ as a," what? "A son over his house, whose house are we," okay?
So we have sonship, amen. "If we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the earnest expectation of hope firm unto the end". All right, now watch this carefully. He says, "Behold", go back to 1 John 3. "So behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us". So now he's referring to New Testament, new covenant under grace us, all right? "That we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God. It doth not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that when he shall appear, we shall be like him". Now, why shall we be like him? Because once we behold him and see him, we're going to become him. "For we shall see him as he is". I like to read it like this: "We shall see him as he is, and we'll be like him". We'll see him as he is and we will be like him.
Now, is there any doubt that, so far, this is making reference to new covenant of grace people, right? Now, he says, "And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure". See, we work on doing something to be pure, and he is saying, "You get this hope that by beholding him, by beholding him, you'll be turned to the". He's talking to the New Testament people here. Now, look at verse 4. Now, watch this carefully. "Whosoever committed sin transgresseth also the law for sin is the transgression of the law," for sin is the transgression of the law.
How many of you know that you have to have a law in order to transgress something? Going 90 miles an hour on I-85 is not a transgression if there is no speed limit. But if there is a speed limit and you get caught violating or transgressing that speed limit, then of course there's going to be consequences. "For sin is the transgression of the law". So if I were to ask you, according to what we just read, define sin. Define sin. So it would involve the law, right? And it would involve you going against the law or transgressing or breaking the law.
All right, we all agree on that, right? Tell me what sin is one more time. Transgression of the law. All right, look at the next verse. "And you know that he was manifested to take away our". He was manifested to take away our. All right, now how many of you believe he took away our sin? All right, let me ask you a question. If sin is the transgression of the law, there is no way he can take away our sin and not take away the law if sin is the transgression of the law. Now, notice what he says, "And you know that he was manifested to take away our sins".
So now what do we do that our sins have been taken away and the law has been taken away? Notice what he says, "And in him". So now we're moving out of being governed by the law, and now, in him is no sin because in him there's no law. You'll see in a moment where the Bible says, "If you walk by the Spirit, you are not subject to the law".
Let me show you something here. My question was, of course I believe he took away our sins. You see the connection between law, transgression, and sin. So I went a little deeper and I says, "All right, how did you take away our sins? Show me how you did that". Colossians chapter 2, let's start at verse 13. Colossians chapter 2, verse 13. Yes, he dealt with our sins, but he dealt with that issue of the law. He dealt with the issue of the law. Now, the law was good, the law was perfect. It was flawless, but it was given for the purpose of giving sin, what's the word I want to say? It gave sin power or authority over you instead of giving you the authority over the sin. That's what the law did.
Now, watch this. Well, how did you do it? "And you being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh hath he quickened," or made alive, "together with him, having forgiven you all," what? Trespasses. Verse 14, "Blotting out the handwriting of the ordinances that was against us". Is that blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, he took it out of the way and he nailed it to the cross. Verse 15, "And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it". What in the world happened?
Look at this in the Amplified, now. So here's what he did. This is so awesome. Jesus is working on a cross, and look at what he did here, Colossians 2:13 in the Amplified. Look at what he did. He literally takes the law and nails it to the cross, stripping the very thing demons needed to operate against you. Look at the Amplified. "And you who were dead in trespasses and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, (your sensuality, your sinful carnal nature), God brought to live together with Christ, having freely forgiven us of all transgressions". He forgave us of all transgression.
Now, if you're going to deal with our transgressions, you got to deal with the law that is the reason why we transgress. Does that make sense? There's no way you can say you forgave me in my transgression and you didn't change my relationship with the law that caused the transgression. So for you to keep saying that we still live under the law is almost you're saying that he hadn't taken care of our sin 'cause you can't take care of sin unless you take care of our relationship with the law 'cause as long as we're obligated to that same Old Testament relationship with the law, we are going to be transgressors. Everybody understand that say, "Amen". All right, 14 Amplified. "Having cancelled and blotted out".
So now he says he took care of our transgressions, how? By cancelling and blotted out and he cancelled, blotted out, wiped away the handwriting of the note, the bond with its legal decrees and demands. What's he talking about there? He's talking about law, which was in force and it stood against us. It was hostile to us. This note with its regulation and decrees and its demands, what did he do? "He set aside and cleared completely out of our way by nailing it to his cross".
Oh, man. All right, now what happened after he nailed the law to the cross? Look at the next verse. "God disarmed the principalities". Woo, woo. He disarmed the principalities and powers that were ranged against us and made a bold display and public example of them. So what did he do? In nailing the law to the cross, he also disarmed every demonic force.