Question # 1 Do you deny that the 10 Commandments ARE the Covenant made at Sinai?

Bible Evidence that they are.

Ex 34:28
Moses, after forty days in the mount, comes down And he was there with the Lord forty days and forty nights; he did neither eat bread, nor drink water. And HE WROTE UPON THE TABLES THE WORDS OF THE COVENANT, THE TEN COMMANDMENTS.

Deut 4:13
And He declared unto you His COVENANT, which he commanded you to perform, EVEN TEN COMMANDMENTS; and He wrote them upon two tables of stone.


The question ignores some very important concepts.

It is a “trick” question. To say a simple “yes” or “no” either way lands one into a false conclusion.

Questions can be set up in such a way that they lead to wrong conclusions – let me illustrate. (And remember all illustrations fall short in explaining God’s covenant, and only serve to bring out certain points.)

Would you deny that a map is the way to a certain city?

Since the map is given to indicate the road does that mean
Therefore the map is the way to the city?

But no, the map has absolutely NO power to take you to city.
Whether or not you get there is totally dependent upon
1. Whether the road engineers have made and maintain the road.
2. Whether you have a car and gas that will get you there.
3. Whether you are willing to follow and obey the map.

The Ten Commandments, like a map, have no power in and of themselves to get you to the promised city. That doesn’t mean the Ten Commandments (or the map) do not play an important role in the understanding of the covenant.

But we must understand that a covenant relationship is NOT one sided!
To limit the covenant to the Ten Commandments is to take the focus OFF God’s gracious arrangement with men and women, signed in blood, to restore them into favor with Himself!

The idea of the covenant expresses deep communion, intimate relationship and close fellowship between God and man.

It is He Who provides the “road” or way to heaven. No sinful human being can construct that road. It is only God Who provides the power and means to reach the city. The map, or ten commandments, is given as a guide.

And what does that guide tell us?
Ex. 20 tells God’s people to, Keep their focus first and foremost on the Author of the Covenant, He is the One Who delivered them out of bondage, He is all powerful! They are to have no other gods but Him. This is so important that two of the commandments deal with it, and another two deal with the special relationship with God.

The map tells us which roads NOT TO follow (roads that go in the wrong direction). Don’t go down roads of hate leading to murder, or the road of licentiousness leading to adultery, or dishonesty, selfishness and envy, but love your neighbor as yourself. And yes, these are all expansions of the ten commandments found in the writings of Moses.

Yes, in the Old Covenant God does command His people to keep the Ten Commandments., but that doesn’t change in the New Testament! If we love Christ we will keep His Commandments. (John 14:15). The saints of God in the last days are identified as those who keep Gods commandments and have the faith of Jesus. (Rev. 14:12) The commandments are like a beautiful framework upholding all the principles of love to God and love to man. It outlines the standard for the people’s side of the commitment in the covenant.

Where the flaw is, is in reducing the whole concept of “covenant” to the ten commandments, and then reducing that even further to the two tablets of stone. It is in basically taking the pre-cross Covenant Gospel out of the pre cross Covenant and turning it into a work for your salvation covenant.
But God’s covenants are NOT one sided. So what is God’s side and how is that defined?


Question # 2 Moses was commanded to build a box to hold the covenant in, called the Ark of the Covenant. This box contained the covenant made at Sinai. Hence its name. What was the ONLY written words contained inside the ark?


Yes, there is the ARK OF THE COVENANT in which were placed the ten commandments of the covenant! Here we start to see God’s side. What does that ark signify. Was it only a fancy storage box, or was it a very important piece of furniture teaching the people about God’s covenant?

Now we see that not only are the ten commandments part of the covenant, but the ark is also part of the covenant.

Yes, the commandments are placed in the ark, and what is ABOVE those commandments? There’s a special covering called THE MERCY SEAT. That mercy seat was BETWEEN the commandments and the glorious Shekinah. And on the mercy seat was sprinkled the cleansing blood.

Now the Mercy Seat covers the law inside the Ark of the Covenant which was written on two tables of stone (Exodus 25:21-22). And yet, at the same time, it also bridges the gap as it connects the law inside the Ark with the Shekinah Glory above the Mercy Seat.

It bridges the gap caused by sin and the transgression of the law, and brings mankind back into relationship with God!

The Ark of the Covenant held the very presence of God revealed by the Shekinah Glory, dwelling with men, to guide them, to protect them and to defend them. Now the Ark of the Covenant by itself was not Holy, it was made Holy by the very presence of God.

You see -- The covenants are based on God’s eternal law, His standard of righteousness. All through scripture we see what God wants His people to be – He wants them to live in perfect compliance to His law, which, if rightly understood is the law of love. Love supreme for God, and love for the people around us.

God’s covenants were made to restore mankind back into a relationship with Him. And the commandments (with all their magnifications) are the standard.


Question # 3 Since the Ten Commandments are the Covenant made at Sinai, doesn’t this qualify for what Paul wrote in Galatians?

Galatians 4:24-31

24 Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the ONE FROM THE MOUNT SINAI, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar.

25 For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children.

30 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.

31 So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.


Actually there were two covenants made at Sinai.

Those two covenants run parallel to each other to this day.

What? You exclaim – two covenants at Sinai? Yes!

Let’s look at the story closely.

Ex. 19:4 (God says) You have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles' wings, and brought you unto myself. 19:5 Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: 19:6 And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation.

Notice, how God was referring to their deliverance FROM slavery. Was God now going to offer them a covenant that would make them slaves, bondmen and bondwomen like Hagar? No, that was not the covenant He was offering to them.

But instead of reflecting on how incapable they HAD been in gaining their freedom from Egyptian bondage on their own; instead of saying, yes Lord, You carried us out of Egypt and freed us slavery, now Lord, we trust You will continue to carry us and help us follow Your will; they rashly announced: “Everything you say, we will do”.

They had no sense of the awesome, burning holiness of God, nor of their unholiness and inability to keep God’s commandments. They figured they could do it – no problem.

God then gives them a awesome demonstration of His holiness and majesty as He speaks to them His perfect law. He again reminds them how HE HAD delivered them from bondage in Egypt. The Israelites were sorely frightened, but they still did not sense their need for Divine strength and mercy.

God again tries to get through to the Israelites when telling them how to build an altar for their worship,

Ex. 20:24 An altar of earth thou shalt make unto me, and shalt sacrifice thereon..
20:25 And if thou wilt make me an altar of stone, thou shalt not build it of hewn stone: for if thou lift up thy tool upon it, thou hast polluted it.

In other words – immediately after giving the ten commandments God tells them – they would need an altar as part of their worship, but they were NOT to add any of their own handiwork or they would pollute it!

What a striking object lesson! No human works were to be offered! God was trying to teach the truth of the gospel! But still that truth did not sink in; they didn't recognize their need for grace, faith and strength from God. When Moses shares more of what the Lord says, they repeat:
Ex. 24:7 All that the LORD hath said will we do, and be obedient.

Moses again climbs Mt. Sinai to be with God (and notice, WHY isn’t the awesome presence of God death to Him? Why? because Moses understood and was in the true covenant relationship with God) Moses is on the mountain for 40 days. Meanwhile what do the Israelites do?

They basically break every one of the ten commandments which just days before they had promised they would obey.

Ex. 32:19 And it came to pass, as soon as he (Moses) came near unto the camp, that he saw the calf, and the dancing: and Moses' anger waxed hot, and he cast the tables out of his hands, and brake them beneath the mount.

By their disobedience the Israelites had nullified the covenant. At this point they had not accept the provisions of grace – there was no mercy seat. The terrors of a broken law before Jehovah was their only future.

If the children of Israel who came out of Egypt had but walked "in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham" (Romans 4:12, KJV), they would never have boasted that they could keep the law spoken from Sinai, "for the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith." (Romans 4:13, KJV)

But now there was only one future for them – death. Even Aaron was under the sentence. But we see Moses as a type of Christ – mediating for the people. Pleading for the people. The people finally recognize their dependence upon God’s Grace, strength and guiding in their lives.

They could not hope for the favor of God through a covenant which they had broken; and now, seeing their sinfulness and their need of pardon, they were brought to feel their need of the Saviour revealed in the Abrahamic covenant and shadowed forth in the sacrificial offerings. Now by faith and love they were bound to God as their deliverer from the bondage of sin. Now they were prepared to appreciate the blessings of the covenant first made with Abraham. The everlasting covenant.

Now they build the tabernacle – the law is placed under the mercy seat of the ark of the covenant. The sacrificial system is established which is the gospel in types and symbols.

The difference is just the difference between a free woman and a slave, not in the law itself. Hagar's children, would have been slaves while those of Sarah would be free. So the covenant experienced at Sinai holds all who adhere to it in bondage "under the condemnation of the law." But the everlasting covenant from above gives freedom, not freedom from obedience to the law, but deliverance from sin, and freedom FROM disobedience to God's law. The freedom is not found away from the law, but that law becomes internalized in hearts and minds. Christ redeems from the curse, which is the transgression of the law, so that the blessing may come on us. And the blessing is obedience to the law. "Blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the Lord." Psalm 119:1. This blessedness is freedom. "I shall walk at liberty; for I have sought Thy precepts." Psalm 119:45


Question # 4 Do you deny that the Old Covenant made at Sinai was abolished?

Hebrews 8:6-13

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. FOR IF THAT FIRST COVENANT HAD BEEN FAULTLESS, THEN SHOULD NO PLACE HAVE BEEN SOUGHT FOR THE SECOND. For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I WILL MAKE A NEW COVENANT WITH THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL AND WITH THE HOUSE OF JUDAH: NOT ACCORDING TO THE COVENANT THAT I MADE WITH THEIR FATHERS IN THE DAY WHEN I TOOK THEM BY THE HAND TO LEAD THEM OUT OF THE LAND OF EGYPT; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more. 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.


The conterfeit covenant based on man working his way into acceptance with God must be abolished for true change of heart and mind to take place. Yet we need to remember the works covenant is not God's true covenant that He offers to every person both before and after the cross.

The two covenants still run parallel to each other – one however is a counterfeit.

1. The covenant of works where people are trying to earn their own way to salvation. It is legalism or licentiousness – a false covenant not of God’s design, yet it was how Israel first responded to God's attempts to make a covenant with them there at Sinai.

2. The everlasting covenant, first announced in Eden, made to Abraham and offered to Israel after their disasterous attempt to "do it on their own.
The everlasting covenant has two parts:

1. The gospel in types and symbols, pointing forward to Christ, His death and priestly ministry
2. The gospel in the reality of Christ.

Yes, the ceremonial laws and rituals were done away with, their purpose in for-shadowing Christ's ministry was complete. The reality of Christ's sacrifice and ministry is exceedingly better than the symbolic ceremonies. But the bases of God's moral government has not changed. The standard, His commandments have not been replaced.

The problem in Paul’s day was that the conterfeit covenant of works had again eclipsed the covenant of grace revealed through types and symbols. In the minds of most of the Jewish people, the types and symbols had become an end and means in themselves. While scripture says there end point is Christ. (Romans 10:4) To a large extent they had lost their sense of need for a Savior to grant them grace and deliverance from sin. They looked upon the symbols themselves as a means for acceptance with God.

But notice what is all new in the above texts:

---a better ministry
---a better mediator
---a better covenant, not built on human promises
---the writing of God’s law on hearts and minds
---people will KNOW the Lord personally
---God is merciful and forgiving and will FORGIVE their sins and iniquities

Notice – the new covenant does NOT abolish God’s ten commandment law. It writes the law in our hearts and minds, through the workings of the better ministry and mediator, Jesus Christ.


Question # 5 Since the Old Covenant i.e. the Ten Commandments were abolished would not this explain why Paul said the glory found in the Tables of Stone was now vanishing?


No, for the Ten Commandments were never abolished. The glory that was fading in 2 Cor. 3, concerns the ministry of the former covenant.

Moses, whose life was in proper covenant relationship with God, spoke to God face to face as he received instructions from the Lord. God again writes the commandments because the first set had been broken. When Moses came down from the mountain, his face revealed the glory of God.

Ex. 34:30 And when Aaron and all the children of Israel saw Moses, behold, the skin of his face shone; and they were afraid to come near him. 34:35 And the children of Israel saw the face of Moses, that the skin of Moses' face shone: and Moses put the veil upon his face again, until he went in to speak with him.

If the children of Israel were so in awe over the glory beaming from Moses face, how much greater is the glory of Christ, the BETTER minister of the covenant?

Now I have a question for those who insist the commandments were abolished—

#6 If the ten commandments were abolished why does Paul re-enact them all again?

If obedience to the ten commandments is placing ourselves “under the curse of the law” why does Paul tell us we need to obey them again?

There is something obviously and seriously wrong with the theory that reduces the covenant to the ten commandments, saying it is absolutely necessary for us to see them as abolished. Some will even say that and to obey God's moral law spoken at Sinai, is placing ourselves under the curse of the law. Some go even further saying it is spiritual adultery to render obedience to the ten commandment law (quoting Romans 7:1-5). But then they agree Paul is re-act them all again. (Well, there is only ONE of the ten that they actuallywant abolished)

In the following verses Paul tells us to obey the ten commandments, he also links the ten commandments with the so called new commandment to love ones neighbour.

Romans 13:9 For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, (7th )
Thou shalt not kill, (6th)
Thou shalt not steal, (8th)
Thou shalt not bear false witness, (9th)
Thou shalt not covet; (10th)
and if there be any other commandment, (entole) it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

Ephesians 6.2 Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment (5th) (entole) with promise;

Corinthians 10:14-15 Therefore my dear friends, flee from idolatry. (1st)
I John 5:21 Dear children, keep yourselves from idols (2nd)

Romans 2.23 "Even though you boast of the law, it is your breaking of the law that dishonours God. For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you." (3rd)

So that’s nine of the abolished commandments still in force.

What about the Sabbath?

Acts 13.42,44,45
And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles requested that these words might be preached to them the next Sabbath. And the next Sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God. But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy

Acts 16.13
And on the Sabbath we went out of the city by a river side, where it was reported that people gathered for prayer; and we sat down,

Acts 17.2-4
And Paul, as his manner was, went to the synogogue, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures, Opening and alleging, that Christ must needs of suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ. And some of them believed, and consorted with Paul and Silas; and of the devout Greeks a great multitude, and of the chief women not a few.

Acts 18.3,4
And because he was of the same craft, he stayed with (Aquilla and Priscilla) and worked: for their occupation they were tentmakers. And every Sabbath he went to the synagogue, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks.

Paul’s example gives the evidence. Acts 13 he meets with Gentiles on the Sabbath. Acts 18 we clearly see Paul working-- making tents during the week but on Sabbath he goes to worship—Acts 16, even when there IS NO SYNOGOGUE, and he has to find a small group worshipping by the river Paul still worships on the Sabbath..

Paul kept the Sabbath. And remember the sabbath command says, Remember the Sabbath day to keep it HOLY?
No one can keep anything holy without Christ. It's impossible. To keep the Sabbath holy it MUST be spent with Christ.

The internalization of God’s law in the heart was always God’s plan for mankind, it's part of the everlasting covenant. In the New Covenant the law is not changed or replaced, but internalized by the Spirit.

Many understood this prior to the cross! However, the counterfeit covenant based on man’s promises eclipsed the everlasting covenant in the minds of the people, and the nation was stifled under legalism during the time of Christ and Paul. Thus the battle is against legalism and referring back to the disastrous failure at Sinai before Israel started to grasp their need to depend upon God. Even the ceremonies that were the gospel in types and symbols had degenerated into mere forms and works.

Yes, there were things that needed to “fade away” and be abolished, in order to get into a vital covenant relationship with the Lord, but the ten commandments were not one of them. They are still the bases of the everlasting covenant.

Job 22:22 Receive, I pray thee, the law from his mouth, and lay up his words in thine heart .
Ps. 37:31 The law of his God [is] in his heart ; none of his steps shall slide.
Ps. 40:8 I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law [is] within my heart .
Pr. 3:1 My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments :
Is. 51:7 Hearken unto me, ye that know righteousness, the people in whose heart [is] my law ; fear ye not the reproach of men, neither be ye afraid of their revilings.
Jer. 31:33 But this [shall be] the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts ; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.
Hebs. 8:10 For this [is] the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts : and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:
10:16 This [is] the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;


Gen. 17:7 And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant , to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee.

Isaiah 24:5 The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant.

Hebrews 13:20 Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, 13:21 Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom [be] glory for ever and ever. Amen.

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