There’s an interesting allegory within the books of Galatians and Hebrews, which speaks of two different “mountains”.

One mountain is Sinai, which represents the Old Covenant; the Law of Moses, with it’s many rules and regulations.

The other mountain is Zion, and represents the New Covenant; the Grace of Christ.

The question in the title of today’s study, is meant to be one of self-reflection and examination: which mountain have you come to? And as we look at these mountains today, we will see that only one of these two mountains is where God can be found today… and only one of these two mountains leads to life.

Join me today, as we examine this important topic.

Let’s begin today by reading the verses in question about these two mountains. This allegory can be seen throughout scripture in a lot of different ways and it’s a very vital distinction and ultimately a choice for us to make.

The first group of verses are in Galatians 4:21-28:

Tell me, you that desire to be under the law, do you not hear the law?

For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a female slave, the other by a free woman.

But he who was of the female slave was born after the flesh; but he of the free woman was by promise.

Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which engenders to bondage, which is Hagar.

For this Hagar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answers to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children.

But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.

For it is written, Rejoice, you barren that bore not; break forth and cry, you that travail not: for the desolate has many more children than she which has a husband.

Now we, brothers, as Isaac was, are the children of promise.”

Now Paul here was writing to the assemblies in Galatia (obviously), and he was concerned because many of them were entrenched in Old Covenant ideas and ways of thinking, and the traditions of men. They wanted to go back under the Law of Moses, they believed that was beneficial to them and pleasing to God – and there are many people who believe that same thing today. For the exact same reasons, because just as it was in Galatia (Galatians 1:6-10), there are those today who will pervert the Gospel of Christ and His New Covenant, by trying to mix it with the Old Covenant. And as we have studied many times before, the two covenants cannot be mixed, nor should they be.

So this is where the allegory comes into play here, as Paul is responding to these people with these verses. And the first thing we see here is: Tell me, you who desire to be under the Law [that is the Old Covenant Law of Moses], do you not hear the Law?

You see, the Old Covenant is vastly different than the New Covenant – and the New Covenant is not according to the Old Covenant.

These are not two counter-balances to each-other: they are entirely different Covenants. One before the cross of Christ, and one after the cross of Christ. And that, my friend, makes all of the difference!

The Old Covenant system was based on mankind’s performance in order to be blessed. And you would be cursed if you didn’t perform the entire Law absolutely perfectly (James 2:10).

In contrast, the New Covenant is not based on our ability to perform in order to be blessed, but rather it is based on Jesus’ perfect performance (Ephesians 1:3). And furthermore in Galatians 5:4, it is stated that whoever is trying to be justified by the Law, has made Christ of no effect; and all of the works of the Law are under the curse, according to Galatians 3:10.

This is the reason why Paul writes in our verses here You who desire to be under the Law, do you not hear the Law? Because such a desire, to be bound to the Old Covenant Law, has absolutely dire consequences!

He then continues in verse 22, by beginning his allegory: For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a female slave, the other by a free woman.

The two sons being spoken of here are Ishmael and Isaac, respectively.

The female slave is Hagar, and the free woman is Sarah, Abraham’s wife.

Next in verses 23 through 28, he says this:

But he who was of the female slave was born after the flesh; but he of the free woman was by promise.

Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which engenders to bondage, which is Hagar.

For this Hagar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answers to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children.

But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.

For it is written, Rejoice, you barren that bore not; break forth and cry, you that travail not: for the desolate has many more children than she which has a husband.

Now we, brothers, as Isaac was, are the children of promise.”

So we see what the allegory is, and we also see what the affect of each is as well. Those who are born of the female slave (Hagar) are in bondage with her. And we see that Hagar represents Mount Sinai; the mountain of the Old Covenant and the Law of Moses.

Whereas the Jerusalem above is free, which is the mother of us all.

To each of us who have received Christ, and have been born again, we have changed identities. We have a new covenant, and a new destiny. One not of bondage, but of promise, and freedom and life. In-fact the last verse makes it very clear that we… as Isaac was, are the children of promise!

Yet even so, there are many today who actually try to cling to the Old Covenant, and to the Law of Moses which cannot even save them. Like Israel in the Exodus, there are some of long to return to Egypt – even though it was a place of slavery for them.

They don’t understand that the Law of Moses is not the Law that saves them or perfects them; Jesus is the only one who can! And the Law of Moses is not the Law according to the New Covenant – but rather it is the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus which has set us free from the Law of sin and death, according to Romans 8:2.

You see, the verses which we just read spoke of the first mountain, mount Sinai, representing the Old Covenant. Now let’s switch to Hebrews 12:18-24, to see which mountain we have actually come to in the New Covenant:

For you are not come to the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor to blackness, and darkness, and tempest,

And the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which voice they that heard entreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more:

(For they could not endure that which was commanded, And if so much as a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned, or thrust through with a dart:

And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake:)

But you are come to mount Zion, and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,

To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,

And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaks better things that that of Abel.”

Verses 18 through 21 here reiterate the danger of the Old Covenant and how serious it really is to try and cling to the Law of Moses again. It’s serious and it’s deadly! Verse 20 says, even they couldn’t endure what was commanded! No one could! Except Jesus! But I will tell you today my friend: The Law of Moses is not the law that is according to the New Covenant of Christ – Isaiah prophesied in chapter 2 verse 3: that the Law would come from Mount Zion, not Sinai!

This is why verse 18 here says in no uncertain terms that you have not come to Mount Sinai! You have not come to the mountain that burned with fire. You have not come to the mountain of blackness and darkness and tempest.

You have not come to the mountain that was so terrible that even Moses hid his face and was exceedingly fearful. That’s not your mountain! And that’s not your covenant!

Now look at verse 22: But you have come to Mount Zion, and to the city of the Living God., to the Heavenly Jerusalem [remember our previous verses from Galatians 4? The Jerusalem above; the free woman]

And you have come to an innumerable company of angels!

Now notice my friend, that Mount Sinai is a mountain of great fear, blackness, tempests and death.

While Mount Zion is the mountain of the Living God, the Heavenly Jerusalem the assembly of the firstborn, and the spirits of just men who are made perfect (by Jesus Christ).

Only one of these mountains leads to life – and only one of these mountains actually has God’s presence!

The scripture makes it clear that you have come to Mount Zion.

Now I encourage you today, to embrace this truth. This is your covenant: The New Covenant in Christ Jesus, and His marvelous Grace!

Be blessed.

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