The Law of YHWH is Perfect
“The Law of YHWH is
perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of YHWH is sure, making wise the
simple. The statutes of YHWH are right,
rejoicing the heart: the commandment of YHWH is pure, enlightening the
The greater majority of the Christian world
today associates the Law of Elohim with the punitive harshness of a schoolmaster’s stick. It is viewed as rigid, unbending, unrelenting, judging, and ultimately
unattainable. Thus, through one rationale or another, most
Christians have found ways to keep from dealing with the Law entirely. But is this contemporary Christian view of Elohim’s Law
accurate? Is it really a burden to man? David didn’t think
The Psalmist found great beauty in the Law of
Elohim. He extolled it as “perfect.” Through it, David explained, we may become enlightened and made
wise. According to David, the Law of YHWH brings
happiness. In fact, in Psalm 19, we find a suggested connection
between the life-giving Gospel teachings and the Law. Here
David tells us that through YHWH’s “perfect” Law the human soul may find true
Obviously the Biblical perspective, portrayed
through David’s glowing picture of the Divine Law, is opposite to the contemporary legalistic depiction of
it. In Ephesians, Paul wrote about the false doctrines and
ideologies, which differed from Scripture and would come into the Christian church from every
direction. These teachings were likened to wind blowing, tossing
people about this way and that.
Till we all come in the unity of the
faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of Elohim, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the
fullness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children,
tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness,
whereby they lie in wait to deceive (Ephesians 4:13-14).
Having first warned about these windstorms of
deception, Paul taught that we might be safe amid this tumult of falsehood only if we followed the pattern of
Christ. This thought is continued in Colossians, chapter two.
And this I say, lest any man should beguile
you with enticing words… As ye have therefore received Christ Y’shua, so walk ye in Him: Rooted and built up in Him, and established in the faith, as ye have been
taught… (Colossians 2:4-7).
Comparing people to tender plants, Christ
Himself foretells that the winds of false teachings will be so great that everyone, who is not rooted in the
Word of Elohim, will lose their hold and follow after the false teachings, like a tumble weed at the
mercy of the howling and empty wind.
But He answered and said, Every plant, which
My heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up. Let them
alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch
In light of these texts, which strongly warn
against being led astray through the empty blowing of false teachings and blind leaders, we find great necessity
to be anchored and rooted firmly in the truth of the Word of Elohim. His Word, not the teachings of man, is the only sound basis for remaining
secure amid what would otherwise be overmastering deception. The
Word of Elohim is the test by which all doctrine will be measured. As it says in Isaiah 8:20, “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak
not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.”
According to the Scripture, the Law and
testimony are the standard to which we hold all new teachings.
Thus, on a fundamental level, the popular negative view of the Law fails this test recorded in Isaiah. Hence, it
cannot be truth. No matter how attractive a wind of doctrine may
appear, or how many alphabet letters follow the name of its proponents, if a teaching does not agree with the
holy standard of Elohim’s Law and Word, it is not truth.
Thus, just because it is popular to do so, we will not blindly join the “moral majority” in tossing the Law
aside. Rather, we must set aside all bias, and with an open mind,
re-examine the Law within the context of Scripture.
Already we have seen a great deal of hints in
Scripture that the Law of Elohim is a blessing, not a bane.
In Isaiah, the prophet states that the standard of the Law serves as part of our means to test winds of
doctrine. Thus, through knowing and understanding it, we are protected from the buffeting blasts of
The Law of YHWH is the standard by which
we can accurately measure truth. It is also the standard by which
we are measured in the judgment. In Romans 2:12-13, Paul
explains, “As many as have sinned in the Law shall be judged by the Law; For not the hearers of the
Law are just before Elohim, but the doers of the Law shall be justified.”
John, on the isle of Patmos, received a vision
portraying the Law as a measuring reed, by which Elohim’s people were to be
And there was given me a reed like unto a
rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of Elohim, and the altar, and them that worship
therein (Revelation 11:1).
As has already been shown in Romans 2:12-13,
Scripture teaches that the Law is the standard against which we will be measured in the judgment. Thus, we know that the identity of the measuring reed in John’s vision is the
Law of YHWH.
Comparing our characters by the Standard of
Elohim’s holy Law calls to mind the way a builder checks the structure he is working on. By carefully examining each floor joist and wall stud, measuring it with both
a level and a tape measure, the building contractor provides his client with a perfectly strong, and attractive
structure. When measured by the standard of perfect instruments,
should a portion of the construction fail to prove true, a conscientious contractor will immediately require it
to be corrected or entirely reconstructed.
No mistakes can be allowed in erecting a sound
building. Attempts to hide mistakes that did not pass the test of
measurement will result in a final building that simply is not up to par. Very quickly the dishonorable business practices of the sloppy contractor, in
allowing the structure to be less than accurate, will cause him to loose his credibility. Who wants to pay for and inhabit a building that simply doesn’t measure
To draw a spiritual parallel, YHWH is
looking for a dwelling place. He calls us His temple.
Know ye not that ye are the temple of
Elohim, and that the Spirit of Elohim dwelleth in you? (I Corinthians 3:16).
The Christian temple is to be fashioned,
constructed and formed into a home fit for the holy presence of Elohim! Through the standard of the holy Law, our character construction is
evaluated. YHWH is looking for a fit home. Just as a physical building cannot be constructed without a standard of
measurement, so the human temple will grow up, in the knowledge of Elohim and in conformity to His
Obviously, there is great value, even necessity
in understanding the holy standard: Elohim’s divine Law. But
there is a much deeper truth to be found. Yes, the Law has been
given to mankind so that we may know YHWH’s perfect Pattern.
But the Law is not just about head knowledge. In its lovely light, we are brought to see not only our own
imperfection, but also our great need.
In Ezekiel 43:10 it says, “Thou son of man, show… the house of Israel, that they may be ashamed of
their iniquities: and let them measure the Pattern.” This
agrees with David’s writing in Psalm 19:7 which states, “The Law of YHWH is perfect, converting the
Going even further, the Scripture teaches that,
if we didn’t have the holy Law, we wouldn’t know what sin was. Paul
states this clearly in Romans 3:20. “… For by the Law is the knowledge of sin.” The Law of Elohim truly is a vital catalyst in the process of
conversion, just as David said. For through looking at its perfection, our sins may be clearly
seen. We then comprehend our need for a Saviour, and our hearts
are brought to repentance.
But what if someone believes that the Law of
YHWH was nailed to the Tree of Calvary? Such a one is not
likely to spend much time learning the deep teachings of the Law.
Without a deep understanding of the Law, there can be no true knowledge of the depths of one’s own
sin. And if we cannot grasp the foul depths of our sinfulness, how
can we fathom the true value of what our Saviour has done on our behalf? Indeed, what value is a Saviour to
someone who doesn’t see a real need to be saved?
Ironically, by setting aside the Law of
YHWH, through the reasoning that Y’shua’s death has set us free from it, we minimize what He has
done, rather then extol His sacrifice. We have in effect reduced
Him to a mere savior. This is because our love for Elohim is
proportionate to our comprehension of our need for His sacrifice. Christ explained this concept when He
addressed the self-righteous Simon after Mary Magdalene had anointed her Saviour’s feet.
Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which
are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth
little (Luke 7:47).
Thus we find that by focusing on the Law, we
see Christ in a new light. His sacrifice on our behalf is
illuminated in a way that can only call forth a complete response in the heart of the believer. From this angle,
the Law displays the beautiful blessings, which David portrayed so eloquently in Psalm 19.
Knowledge of the Law and the continued presence
of the Holy Spirit are essential to us at every stage of Spiritual growth. As has already been discussed, the Law is the Standard. By viewing its perfections, we become aware of our sin. The more conscious we become regarding the true nature of our sins, the more
awakened we become to our need for salvation. Thus the Law plays a
vital part in the process of justification (being made clean – just as if we had never
But, the work of the Law does not end with
justification. Once we see our need of a Saviour and are brought to
repentance and conversion, we cannot now nail the Law to Christ’s the Tree of Calvary. Just as the builder does not only rely on his measuring instruments to
indicate where the building is flawed, so the Christian does not only need the Law to recognize his own
imperfections and need. The Law continues to play a vital role in the process of bringing about the changes
needed in the spiritual development of the growing Christian.
This second stage of spiritual growth is
sanctification. In this stage, the newly re-born Christian views
the divine Law as the Standard to which our Example (Christ) measured up. Not only the indicator of flaws, the
Law become the Pattern to which the true follower of Christ now desires to conform. But, one may protest, isn’t conformity to the Law legalism?
Interestingly, the difference between a
legalistic person and a true Christian may not be readily evident at the outset. Both believe in obeying the holy Law. Both believe that one’s life is to be in harmony with this divine
Standard. For this reason, many true Christians have been
mislabeled as legalists.
So what is the difference between a legalist
and a spirit-lead individual? The distinction is found in the
motivation as well as the end result. The legalist tries to keep
the Law in his own power. He is focused on the Law, but he is using
it as a means for salvation. In effect, he tries to become his own
On the other hand, the faith-filled Christian
is empowered by Elohim to walk in harmony with His Law. The Christian’s power is not his own, and his motivation for keeping the Law
is not to earn salvation, but rather to please the One who saved him (see John
14:15). Is it not natural to wish to please the One we
love? There is nothing legalistic about it. The heart is melted and overflowing with love for the Saviour. The highest joy in life is doing His expressed will and pleasure.
Yet, more often than not, anyone expressing a
desire to obey Elohim is quickly classed as legalistic rather than loving. In the Bible, there is a
wonderful story, which perfectly illustrates the differences between a legalistic response to Elohim and
a faith-filled one.
It is the story of Abraham and his two
sons. Elohim had promised that Abraham would bear a son and
that this son would be the first of a great multitude, which would spring up from the root of
Abraham. So great a number of children were prophesied to claim
Abraham’s lineage that their number was compared to the stars of the sky and the sands of the
…I (YHWH) will multiply thy (Abraham’s) seed
as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of
his enemies; And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed My
voice (Genesis 22:15-18).
But, from a human standpoint, there was a
problem with this promise. Abraham and Sarah had never conceived a
child. Sarah was “barren” and could not conceive. This was a sore point for Sarah, as she desperately longed to have a
child. Her desire was fueled by the knowledge that Abraham was
promised to be the father of a great nation. Yet Sarah physically could not bring the promise into
In this exact position, the Christian finds
himself. He knows that he is to experience a life of victory over
sin, and yet he also knows that he is unable to bring the promise to fruition. Returning to the story of Abraham and Sarah (then called Abram and Sarai), we
find that she, like the legalist, decided to fulfill the promise of Elohim in her own
power. Because she could bear a child, she told Abraham to
father a child with Hagar, Sarah’s handmaid.
…And Sarai said unto Abram, Behold now, YHWH
hath restrained me from bearing: I pray thee, go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her.
And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai (Genesis
Hagar conceived and bore Abraham a
son. But this was not the son of promise, anymore than the
legalist’s efforts produce fruit unto righteousness. When we take
Elohim’s promises into our own hands and try to fulfill them in our own strength, we deny the miracle,
which Elohim has planned to bestow all along, if we would only have faith in HIS power instead of
The son which Hagar bore to Abraham was named
Ishmael. But Elohim said, “In Isaac shall thy seed be called…” (Genesis 21:12). Isaac was
the son of promise. Born when his mother was past the age of
conceiving a child, Isaac’s very existence was nothing short of miraculous. Yet, he was not immaculately conceived. Like living without sin, the birth of
Isaac was a miracle brought about through human AND Divine effort.
When it was far too late for Abraham and Sarah
to even think of producing offspring through their own power alone, Elohim visited Abraham and informed
him that Sarah would soon give birth to the child of promise.
Seeing things only from a human standpoint, Sarah heard this news and laughed. But Elohim rebuked her laughter, reminding her of HIS
Now Abraham and Sarah were old and well
stricken in age; and it ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women (she was no longer of age to be
fertile). Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord
(Abraham) being old also? And YHWH said unto Abraham, Wherefore did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I of a surety
bear a child, which am old? Is any thing too hard for YHWH? At the
time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son (Genesis
Sarah did indeed bear the child of
promise. In these two sons of Abraham we find a deep spiritual
lesson. Ishmael was the fruit of trying to fulfill Elohim’s promise in one’s own power, but this human
effort fell far short of the promise. On the other hand, Isaac’s
every breath was a testimony to what humanity can accomplish when empowered by the Divine.
Paul referenced the story of Abraham’s two sons
as an illustration, or “allegory” as he called it, of the difference between the legalist and the faith-filled
For it is written, that Abraham had two
sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the
flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise. Which things are an
allegory: for these are the two covenants… Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. But
as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is
now. Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman
and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman. So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free
Just as Sarah bore a son when it was humanly
impossible to do so, the true Christian may bear the Godly fruit of obedience to the Law through the miraculous
power of Elohim. The true follower of Elohim is one
who loves Him and desires to please Him. Coupled with that desire,
is faith in YHWH’s great power. Such a spirit-filled one
trusts in Elohim’s abilities to fulfill His will.
Let us hold fast the profession of our faith
without wavering; for He is faithful that promised (Hebrews 10:23).
Thus we do not look to our own ability or power
for any stage of salvation. Being justified is not something we can
accomplish. We cannot be made justified (just as if we had never
sinned) through any good deeds of our own. Romans 3:20 states,
“…By the deeds of the Law there shall no flesh be justified.” No amount of good behavior is enough to earn salvation. Paul very aptly
defines the process of justification as:
Being justified freely by His grace through
the redemption that is in Christ Y’shua: Whom Elohim hath set forth
to be a propitiation through faith in His blood, to declare His righteousness for the remission of sins that are
past, through the forbearance of Elohim; To declare, I say, at this time His righteousness: that he might be
just, and the Justifier of him which believeth in Y’shua. Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law?
of works? Nay: but by the Law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds
of the Law (Romans 3:24-28).
It is through the life and death of Christ that
we are justified and given salvation. Just as it is through
Christ’s power that we are justified, so it is through His power that we are sanctified (made holy and obedient
to His Law). Are the Law and grace at odds with each other? Certainly not! They walk hand-in-hand. However, just
as having a baby with a maidservant was not the fulfillment of Elohim’s promise to Abraham, so the mere
works of the Law are not the means to lay hold upon the miracle of salvation.
As we have seen through the illustration of
Isaac, sanctification is not a miracle alone. It is the process of
what the human can accomplish when empowered by the Divine. In the
same chapter of Romans, where Paul explained that we are not justified through the works of the Law, Paul takes
us to the next level beyond justification. He writes, “Do we
then make void the Law through faith? Elohim forbid: yea, we establish the Law” (Romans
After we have been justified, we are to walk
free from sin (which the Bible defines as transgression of the Law – 1 John 3:4). Paul makes the statement clearly in Romans chapter
What shall we say then? Shall we continue in
sin, that grace may abound? Elohim forbid. How shall we, that are
dead to sin, live any longer therein? Know ye not, that so many of
us as were baptized into Y’shua Christ were baptized into His death? Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into death: that like as Christ
was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of
life (Romans 6:1-4).
· The Bible teaches that the Law is a blessing to
· The Law is the Standard by which our characters are
· The Law is also the test to which all winds of doctrine
will be compared. Through understanding it, we may be
safeguarded against deception.
· Through an understanding of the Law, we see our own true nature
and need of a Saviour.
· Only when we fully see our own sinfulness will we come to deeply
love our Saviour.
· The more we love our Saviour, the more we hate sin, for we see
what our sin did to Him.
· Our love for our Saviour and sorrow for our sin produces the
climate, in the heart, for re-birth.
· The process of justification is being made through Y’shua’s
blood, just as if we had never sinned.
· Sanctification is being made holy through obedience to
Elohim’s will and Law.
· Those who believe in keeping the Law are often labeled as
· A legalist is someone who tries to keep the Law in his own power
in order to earn his own salvation (as illustrated in the birth of Ishmael).
· A faith-filled Christian is someone who loves YHWH and
desires to please Him through an obedient life. He is enabled to be obedient through the power of Elohim
(as illustrated in the birth of Isaac).
(To get a complete copy of the book this study come from, contact Shauna Manfredine at Lighted Way
Ministries at http://www.lightedway.org/ and request the book -
Testimony of the Moon. It can be downloaded to read by clicking on the book below.)