The Ministry of Death and the Ministry of Life
Compare with Romans 8, the Law of sin and death and
the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus.
Ministry of Death
Ministry of Life
Hearts of Stone which are
represented by the Tables of Stone. The law cannot penetrate the hearts of
stone. [Jer. 31:33].
Fleshly Tables of the
Heart: Receptive to God because of Christ.
The Law of God working
The blood of Christ
working faith and repentance by the Holy Spirit.
Ink [why not the finger
of God? Because Israel read Moses, not the Tables of Stone.] This is referred to in No. 8 below.
Spirit of God
Old Testament of the
New Testament of the
Sin and Death
Righteousness of Life
Caused the face of Moses
Much more glory in the
face of Jesus Christ
Veiled and hidden
Great plainness of speech
because of hope
Heart is veiled in the
reading of Moses, The tables of stone
were hidden in the Ark of the Covenant behind the veil of the temple.
Veil removed when the
heart turns to Christ. The veil of the
temple was rent when the flesh of Christ was rent. His shed blood and broken
body is our entry in to life and joy.
Put upon the face of
Moses to protect the people, because their hearts were veiled and hardened
No veil on our face so we
see Christ clearly, and are changed to His likeness.
Hidden, because of the
veil on their hearts kept them from seeing Christ in the reading of the old
Because our hearts are not
veiled, we see Christ clearly as in a mirror [in the reading of the new
Done away in Christ with
respect to the people of God.
The above chart is
to be studied in connection with the chart on Romans 8: The Law of sin and
death and the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus.
Notes. Corresponding to the numbers above on the
- Written, “not
on tables of stone, but on the fleshly tables of the heart.” The figure is mixed. Instead of the hardness of stones,
which corresponds to the stony hearts of Israel, the Lord writes on the
new hearts, the fleshly hearts, that He had promised to give them in
regeneration—a heart that is of Christ and His Spirit, and not the
command. See Ez. 11:19;
Ez.36:26; Jer. 31:33; Jer. 32:40; Heb. 8:10.
- The Law
was written on the hardness of the stone, just as the law is written on
the stony heart of every man, so that no man has an excuse. Romans 2:3-5 and Romans 2:14,15. The fact that every man is created a
moral being, capable of judging and condemning his neighbor, means that is
responsible for his deeds. He can
no more, however, soften his own heart and love God, than could Israel
circumcise their own hearts and love Him.
This is proved by the crucifixion of Christ and His rejection by
stony hearted sinners everywhere:
“Ye would not come to me that you might have life.” John 5:40
- The agent
for the writing of the law was pen and ink. Why not the finger of God?
Because Israel did not read the tables of stone. They read the old
testament scriptures, but the veil on their hearts made the scriptures
incomprehensible to them. “Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do
always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.
Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have
slain them which shewed before of the coming of the Just One; of whom ye
have been now the betrayers and murderers: Who have received the law by
the disposition of angels, and have not kept it.” (Ac 7:51-53)
In the ministry of life, the preaching of the gospel is the
ministry of the new testament; not on tables of stone, but on the fleshly
tables of the heart [the new heart], by the Holy Spirit, who takes the elect by
the hand, leading through calling, regeneration, faith, justification,
adoption, sanctification, tribulation and trials, perseverance, death,
resurrection, and glorification. He
begins the good work and performs it until the day of Jesus Christ, so it is
fulfilled, “As many as are lead by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
- The law
of God written on the tables of stones is designated the ministry of
death. It includes everything
pertained to Moses, Aaron, sacrifices, temple worship, feasts, sabbaths,
etc., that Paul calls the rudiments of the world. Colossians 2:8-17 Christ spoiled all these things, took
them captive and displayed their impotence, dying on the cross and
declaring our death to sin and freedom from all the curse of the law and
all its trappings.
The Gospel is the Ministry of Life: The ministry of the Spirit, received by the
preaching of Christ crucified, is the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus
and brings liberty. We are not to be entangled again with the yoke of
bondage. Galatians 3:1-5
- The law was and is a ministry of sin and death. It is not of him that wills or him that
runs: neither inward nor outward works can save our souls; only our union
with Christ by faith in His blood gains us access into the grace in which
we stand. The strength of sin is
the law [1Cor. 15:56] and the sting of death is sin, for the law brings
The gospel is life and peace, because the elect are
in Christ in his death. Sin as a power
to destroy them is finished. “For what
the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his
own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the
flesh:” Ro 8:3
- The law
was from God and so glorious that Moses had to veil his face. This was because of the hardness of
heart of the people, a hardness and scab that hid the truth from
them. But glorious as the law was
and is, it pales besides the gospel.
The ministry of death is done away; the ministry of life of the
Gospel remains, far more glorious, a gloriousness that dazzles the law and
makes its glory as nothing. 2Cor. 3:10
- The truth
is hidden and veiled in the law, for the hearts of the people were not
prepared to receive. There is
progress from things hidden to things made plain. The spiritual reality is veiled in
promises and ceremonies, and figures, and types until the coming of
Christ. Even then, He spoke in
parables and in private to His disciples.
He told them that the time would come when what they had heart in
secret they would proclaim opening.
Christ, Himself, spoke more clearly shortly before his crucifixion
and resurrection, causing His disciples to marvel: [John 16:25ff]. The apostles in their epistles speak
plainly in clear statements of doctrine and moral duty. God honored His Beloved Son by giving
Him alone the clear and plain message of salvation. It is Christ who commissioned the
apostles to take this glorious message of reconciliation, plainly and clearly
spoken, to the whole world.
hearts of the Israelites were hard and blind, and without faith their
carcasses fell in the wilderness.
The law never gave them grace and truth. This was not given to Moses to reveal, but came by Jesus
- See 7 and
was hidden in the old testament and there are only small hints as to the
Trinity and the forgiveness of sins by faith. Even that which was revealed was not understood because of
the veil that was on their hearts.
That continued even in Paul’s day, for those sons of the law who
did not turn to Christ continued in their blindness and hardness of
heart. The sons of faith, because
they have participated in the rending of the flesh of Christ, have
identified with the removal of the curse, and have had the veil removed by
regeneration—they can see Christ and are and are being transformed by
Him. The sons of the law are
blinded even though they read the old testament which was given by God;
the sons of faith see Christ as in a mirror as they read the new
- As a
ministry of death, the law is abolished with respect to the
regenerate. It remains a ministry
of death to those who are only of the flesh and will rise in the day of
judgment to stop every mouth and make the whole world guilty before
God. The ministry of death remains
forever, and will be a song of rejoicing on the tongues of the saints
“And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are
these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? And I said unto
him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of
great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the
blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him
day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell
among them. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall
the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the
throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters:
and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.” (Re 7:13-17 AV)
Amen and Amen