In YAH's instruction manual to mankind, the Bible, YAH has given us some wonderful laws that tell us what makes life work and what doesn't. They are truly amazing laws that are full of great wisdom and if practiced in our society today would bring great peace, happiness and prosperity. Now these laws are often described in the Bible by three divisions.

Let's have a look at a typical verse that describes these three divisions. In Deuteronomy 7:11 we read, "Therefore you shall keep the commandments, the statutes, and the judgments which I command you today, to observe them." This three-fold division of the laws of YAH is mentioned about 14 times in the Bible.

Now what's the difference between the commandments, the statutes and the judgments? First of all, what are the commandments? Well, that's an easy one for most of us. When The Messiah told the rich young man to keep the commandments and the young man asked Him which ones, The Messiah quoted some of the Ten Commandments that YAH gave in Exodus 20.

The Ten Commandments give the broad principles of how to obey YAH and show love to Him and to our neighbours. The statutes are laws that are to be keepthat go further and expand upon thecommandments. Life is complex and so YAH in His love gave Israel further detail and specifics as to how to show love for Him and others through the statutes.

Having said that, what's the difference between statutes and judgments? Now, statutes are secondary laws that made by lawmakers. Judgments, on the other hand, refer to judicial decisions made by a judge, like YAH for example, based upon the principles behind those laws to come up with a decision as to how best to apply those laws.

So how do we go about determining whether a law in the Old Testament is a statute or a judgment? Well, first of all, we need to understand why the particular law was made.

For our first example let's look at Deuteronomy 22:8 where we read, "When you build a new house, then you shall make a parapet [or balustrade] for your roof, that you may not bring guilt of bloodshed on your household if anyone falls from it." Why was this law given? Well, in ancient times people had flat roofs and people used to spend a fair bit of time on the top of their roofs for various reasons and so there was the danger of people falling off a roof. This was a basic safety law like so many of the safety laws that governments pass today.

The next question we have to ask is whether that law can be applied for all cultures at all time. Well, today few people have flat roofs and putting a balustrade on some of our steep roofs might pose more of a problem than not having one. The principle here is to preserve the health and safety of those who might venture onto the roof. As the principle cannot be applied to all roofs this is a judgment made by YAH based upon the principle of protecting the health and safety of those who might venture onto a roof.

Let's look at the laws that cover the sacrifices and offerings. In Jeremiah 7:22 YAH says "For I did not speak to your fathers, or command them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices." We see that YAH didn't originally give Israel these laws when they came out of Egypt. They're not found in the book of Exodus but in the latter books written after the time when they sinned by worshipping the golden calf.

The sacrifices and offerings were but types of the greater sacrifice of The Messiah to come. They taught Israel of the need for The Messiah's sacrifice to come later on and, are no longer required because of The Messiah's sacrifice. They were judgments made by YAH, because of their sins at Mt Sinai, to help impress on a carnal, rebellious people the need for a greater sacrifice to come.

We've looked at judgments. Let's look at a couple of statutes. A good example of a statute are the holy days. While many think that The Messiah's sacrifice does away with the need to keep these holy days they are ignorant of the fact that the holy days teach us a lot about the great plan of YAH to harvest all souls and save all mankind.

By keeping the holy days we learn so much about YAH's plan. This principle behind these holy day laws can be applied for all people, for all time and are thus statutes. We read of Egypt having to keep the Feast of Tabernacles in Zechariah 14. Leviticus 23:31 makes it clear that the holy days are statutes. About the Day of Atonement it says, "You shall do no manner of work; it shall be a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings."

The dietary laws can also be applied for all people, for all time. Most of the animals that are unclean in Leviticus 11 were designed by YAH to be scavengers and are not fit for human consumption. The Messiah's sacrifice does nothing to change that basic fact of YAH's creation. Thus, the dietary laws are statutes, as opposed to judgments.

The judges of Israel also made judgments on issues not specifically mentioned by YAH in the law. This is spoken of in Deuteronomy 17. In Deuteronomy 17:8-10 we read, "If a matter arises which is too hard for you to judge (dropping to verse 9)…you shall come to the priests, the Levites, and to the judge there in those days, and inquire of them; they shall pronounce upon you the sentence of judgment. You shall do according to the sentence which they pronounce upon you in that place which the LORD chooses. And you shall be careful to do according to all that they order you."

They didn't have to go to the judges if they felt that they could work out their problem. But if they felt the problem was too hard to work out they had the option to bring it to the judges and they would make a judgment based upon determining why the laws were made and applying those principles to the matter brought before them.

This law is the basis of binding and loosing power that The Messiah gave to it in Matthew 18. As long as the judgments don't violate the laws and the word of YAH, the body of YAH has the power of judgment in certain matters. In 1 Corinthians chapter 6 Paul chastised the Corinthians for going to unconverted judges of the world instead of the assembly to decide upon matters between brethren.

Let's look at Ezekiel 36:27. After YAH brings our Israelite nations back out of captivity, he says this to them, "I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them."

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