Divine Pattern Principles of the Law

Posted Jul 17, 2013 by Adrian Ebens in Commandments of God

In my last article I wrote about the divine pattern principle of life that is based upon the persons that have given us life. One God of whom [Source] and One Lord by whom [channel]. We observed that the Sun and moon provide an illustration of this divine pattern as the moon receives its light from the Sun meaning it is a channel for the source of light called the Sun.

We also observed that while the Sun does not change its appearance, the moon goes through phases and grows in size. The question is how does this relate to the divine pattern? Consider the following

Gal 4:1-7  Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all;  (2)  But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father.  (3)  Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world:  (4)  But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,  (5)  To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.  (6)  And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.  (7)  Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

A person’s relationship to the law goes through phases and grows simply because the child goes through phases and grows. What is the critical element in the change of phase?

…that we might receive the adoption of sons.  (6)  And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.

As a small child our knowledge of our parents is very limited. We don’t really know them and we certainly cannot speak to them as friend speaks to friend. Also as a small child we have very limited understanding of the potential dangers about us and the wisdom to care for our bodies. Therefore as a child we are under governors and tutors until we come of age and become aware of the dangers about us and the disciplines of life that protect and bless us.

Take for instance the source law that relates to keeping out of harms way. We have a duty to protect ourselves and others from harm. The law that speaks to this is “Thou shalt not kill.” If you tell a child  “thou shalt not kill,” how does he process that this relates to not walking across the road without looking both ways or not putting a hand on the stove top or leading a younger sibling into the forest without his parents being present? A system of rules is established to teach the child the sacredness of life and the need to protect it as expressed in the sixth commandment.

We erect barriers around pools, we put barriers in doorways, we have some measure of discipline when our child disobeys our instructions that are designed to protect them. When a child comes of age, it obviously would be very strange to have barriers in the door way and telling your child to hold your hand when crossing the road or giving them some discipline if they fail to do this.

Our point is that the application of the life principles found in the law goes through phases even as a child goes through phases. We see this divine pattern of law occurring in the Law of God and the Law of Moses. Simply speaking the Ten Commandments to Israel would have done very little to help them understand what it meant. Barriers, rules and a system of disciplines needed to be introduced to express the spiritual principles of the Ten Commandments.

Yet even the Ten Commandments will be completely misunderstood until a person discovers the true heart of God in the giving of His Son. When we behold this gift the spiritual nature of the law awakens and we then can begin to say “O how I love your law!” So too, a child when they become an adult, if they still fail to truly know their parents, all the instruction they were given as children will remain as a system of do’s and don’ts without the true relational reasons for these things being given.

If we never come to that point of understanding the true desire of our Heavenly Father in giving the Ten Commandments does this make the law sin?

Rom 7:7  What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law:

So there are two levels of what it means to come of age. It not only means that you see the reason to look both ways before crossing the road, it means you also discern the love that is manifested by your parents in giving this command.

The question remains does this mean that you stop looking both ways before you cross the road once you understand the motive for this command? Certainly not! But this then raises the question of what practices are carried through into the new phase and what practices become obsolete? Let us look at some examples.


As a child

Coming of age

Crossing the Road

Holding hands

Look both ways

Access to Pool

Fence around pool, only accessed with parents present.

Learn to swim

Washing yourself

No touching hot water tap, parents need to clean child.

Understand Hygiene principles and learn temperature of water that affects the body.

Use of medicines

Keep out of reach of children!

Read labels, research topic and follow professional advice.

These are just a few examples but I think we can see that day to day activities change with growing knowledge and understanding and yet some things do indeed remain. Again consider crossing the road. As a small child you simply hold your parents hand. But at a certain age, a parent teaches their child to look both ways. Does an adult child cease to look both ways simply because he comes of age? Of course not. He understands that staying alive means looking both ways. And then at the higher level, a person understands that as they have been given life by God, that it is their duty to safeguard that life and this is done to honour our Father in heaven.

So in the divine pattern, we see the Ten Commandments are the source of life principles that remain universal through all time, but we see another set of laws that have been given to apply these principles of the Ten Commandments and they act as a channel to bring us to the heart of God’s love for us in safeguarding and blessing us.

In the system of sacrifices and ceremonies given to the Jewish people they were given tutors and governors to teach them the principles of the plan of salvation. When the fullness of time was come and Jesus came to this world, He revealed the principles of His Father’s commandments in ways we had never seen before. In the person of Jesus Christ we can begin to discern the true nature of the Father’s love for us and in this knowledge our whole relationship to the law changes. Some practices are no longer required because we are governed by a higher spiritual law and we have no need for childish laws to safeguard us. Other practices remain yet with a new understanding and some things are introduced that have not been practised before because we have a deeper understanding of the heart of God.

If we take the position that when Christ died that we are freed from the principles of the law, we completely miss the whole reason for why Christ died for us and reveal that we do not understand the heart of the Father and worse that He speaks principles that are simply temporary and become out of date. God forbid! Yet if we take the position that we must fulfil the requirements of the law of Moses without taking into account the gift of Christ on the cross and the gift of the Holy Spirit then we still reveal that we do not understand the heart of the Father.

When we come of age, the application of the law changes but the principles of the law never change. Our motivation for keeping the law is completely changed and yet the source law itself does not change.

We must ever keep in mind the distinction between the Words that God spoke on Mt Sinai and the words that Moses wrote in a book. What Moses wrote was to teach little children the foundational principles of life. Some of the practices written are no longer required when we come to a knowledge of the cross, others are transformed into a deeper understanding yet they are still kept and other practices are introduced like the footwashing and communion.

So how do these things affect living in a community? If one group develop a certain application of practices to fulfil the principles of the Ten Commandments shall another group condemn them because their practices differ? Shall one group think to themselves “we are better than you because our practices are more faithful to the Word of God?” God forbid. Let every man be persuaded in his own mind and let us love one another in the bond of peace.

What if one group wish to practise service to God by the women wearing a hat as a mark of honour to God? Is this sin? God forbid. Yet if those who practise this look upon other brethren who do not as sinning or failing to do “all that is in the law,” then it is revealed that the purpose for such a practise is self-righteous and against the gospel. Now let me press my case a little further. What if a person wishes to worship God in nature by diving onto a reef on Sabbath and looking at all the coral and praising God in his heart? Shall such a man be condemned? To his own Master he stands or falls. Who are we to judge another? Let every man be persuaded in his own mind. We cannot judge the motive. What makes walking on the sand of the beach holy and wading in the water at the beach on Sabbath unholy? Men can walk on the sand of the beach and look upon a woman and be unholy and a man can walk in the water with a heart full of praise to God for he has made and be holy. Let us not judge one another but commit all to prayer that we all would live with a clear conscience before God.

Whenever we take applications of the law that are part of the channel and not the source and we make them part of the source we destroy both the channel and the source. Let me explain this another way. If we take the Son of God and we make Him identical to the Father we destroy the personality of both Son and Father. The distinction between them is vital and so also is the distinction between the source and channel aspects of the law. And as I stated earlier even then, if we do not look upon the source of the law in the light of the cross we are still of all men most miserable.

Let us serve the Lord with gladness and rejoice in the Law of liberty, trusting that our Father will write the principles of His source law in our hearts and that the application of these principles cannot be universally applied because not all of God’s children are in the same phase at the same time and not every man practises life in the same manner.