Most people think that God’s law
was not in existence prior to the time of Moses at Mount Sinai. The fact is, however, that God’s law was in existence (and in effect) long before that time!
this article will prove, it has been in effect since the time of Adam---and even
prior to Adam. The truth is that God’s law always has---and always will---be
the law being discussed in this article is God’s spiritual law, as summarized by the Ten Commandments. It’s the law which tells us how to
live. It's the law which defines sin. No, we are not speaking of the Old Testament laws
of rituals and animal sacrifice. Nor are we speaking of the hundreds
of detailed and burdensome laws made by humans (under the name of
Judaism) which were wrongly added to God’s
laws. Instead, we are discussing today God’s spiritual law, summarized
by the Ten Commandments.
we look at the Biblical proof that God’s law was in effect prior to Moses (prior to Mount Sinai), let’s first
consider the nature of God’s law. Once
we understand the nature of God’s spiritual law, then it makes perfect sense
that this law has always been in effect.
Bible states that “God is
love” (I John 4:8). “Love” is the way which God lives…and
it’s the way He commands us to live.
Yet, “love” is not left to the interpretation of each human
being. Only God, in His supreme wisdom,
knows the way of life which leads to
peace, happiness, and prosperity (Isa.55: 8-9; Prov. 3:5; 14:12).
Bible is God’s revelation of the way of life which He lives---and which He commands us to live. And,
in telling us how to live, God gives us laws which He commands us to live by.
Scripture says that love fulfills God’s law (Rom.13:10). Why does love fulfill the law? Because God’s spiritual law is
a law OF love. It’s a
law which reveals how to express true, Godly love.
Christ said that “All
the law” hangs on the two great commandments to love God and to love fellowman (Matt.22:36-40). The first four of the Ten Commandments
show the basics of how to love God, and the last six show the basics of how to love fellowman.
The Ten Commandments are further magnified throughout the Bible, especially in the New Testament.
love runs down the channel or riverbed of His Ten Commandments. “For this is the love
of God, that we keep His commandments” (I John 5:3). Likewise,
in II John 6, John explained that “This is love, that we walk according to His commandments.” God’s law is the very reflection of God’s character!
So it only makes sense that
God’s spiritual law---His law of love, summarized by the Ten Commandments---would have always been in effect!
now look at the Biblical evidence that God’s law was in existence prior to Mt. Sinai.
of years prior to the Ten Commandments
being given at Mt. Sinai, God said this about His servant Abraham: “Abraham obeyed My voice and
kept My charge, My commandments,
My statutes, and My laws”!
the Ten Commandments were given in Exodus 20. So let’s look
prior to that time, in Exodus 16. Here,
weeks before the Ten Commandments were given at Mt. Sinai, we read where God said
this in verse 28: “How long do you refuse to keep My
commandments and My laws?”
in Exodus 18, Moses said that when the people came to him with a problem, he made known to them “the statutes of God
and His laws” (verse
16). That was prior to the giving
of the Ten Commandments at Sinai!
since God’s spiritual law was already in effect, why did He give it at Sinai? (1) The Israelites had been enslaved in Egypt for 400 years and had gotten far
away from God, and had even forgotten
God’s law---especially under the heavy hand of the Egyptians, who enforced worship of pagan gods; (2) Ancient Israel was entering
a covenant or agreement with God, whereby they agreed to obey God’s law, and God would, in turn, bless them with physical
will now see that God’s spiritual law was in effect all the way back to the time of the first man, Adam. But, first, let’s answer the question “what exactly is sin?” In I John 3:4 we are clearly told the definition of sin: “…sin is the transgression of the law” (KJV). That is, “sin” is the transgression of God’s spiritual law.
So, whenever the Bible says that someone “sinned,” it is saying that the person transgressed God’s
did Adam sin? Rom.5: 12 says
that “through one man sin
entered the world.” So, Adam did sin, which means he transgressed God’s law. Therefore,
God’s law was in effect at the time of Adam!
Gen.4:6-9, we see that Cain likewise sinned (transgressed God’s law), and that two of his “sins” were murder
and lying--- which are two of the Ten Commandments.
another of the Ten Commandments, is shown to have been a “sin” long before
the time of Mt. Sinai. When tempted to commit adultery, Joseph said, “How
then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” (Gen.39:7-9).
other such examples can be found in the Bible where various points of the Ten Commandments were considered “sin”
prior to the time of Sinai.
God’s word tells us that “where there is no law, there is no transgression” (Rom.4:15). Yet, the Bible tells
of many transgressions prior to the
time of Sinai. We’ve just examined several such instances. In fact, God sent the flood in Noah’s time, due to the earthy being full of transgressions! (Gen.
6:5-7). Likewise, notice I Tim.2:14—“And, Adam was not
deceived, but the woman [Eve] being deceived, fell into transgression [the same Greek word as in Rom.4:15].”
“where there is no law, there is no
transgression.” So, since there were transgressions
prior to Sinai, then there was a law in effect prior to Sinai! “Sin”
the transgression of the law!
consider these two scriptures. God told Satan, “You became filled with violence within, and you sinned; Therefore I cast you as a profane thing out of the mountain of God” (Ezek.28:16).
“For if God did not spare the angels who sinned…” (II Peter 2:4).
two scriptures speak of “sin” [transgression of the law] by Satan and his angels prior to the time of Adam. So, here we see
that God’s spiritual law existed even prior to the time of Adam!
David, who was a man after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22), said this: “all his [God’s]
commandments are sure. They stand fast for ever and ever…” (Ps.111: 7-8, KJV). Yes, God’s law always has, and always will, be in effect! It is the very reflection of God’s
what about after Christ returns? “Now
it shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the LORD’s house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; And all nations shall flow to it. Many people shall come and say, ‘ Come, and
let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in
His paths.’ For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem” (Isa.2:
2-3). This scripture plainly shows that God’s spiritual law
is not just for the Jews!
speaking of tomorrow’s world, notice Ezekiel chapter 11: “Then
I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within them, and take the stony heart out of their flesh, and give
them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in My statutes and keep My judgments and
do them; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God ” (verses 19-20).
God’s spiritual law will still be in effect after Christ’s return,
when God’s Kingdom is set up over all the earth. At that time, the
glorified saints will rule---by God’s
spiritual law---with and under Christ (Rev.2:26-27; 3:21; 5:9-10; 20:4, 6).
God’s Sabbath and annual holy days are a part of God’s spiritual law. For proof that these days are to be kept both now and after Christ’s return, see the section of articles on this website regarding the Sabbath and
annual holy days.