Seventh-Day Adventists/CEREMONIAL AND MORAL LAWS
WHY DO SDA SEPARATE THESE LAWS, CEREMONIALS ANS MORAL LAWS, SCRIPTURE SAYS ANYONE WHO HAS THE HOLY SPIRIT IS NOT UNDER THE LAW?
Dear Sister Penny:
Even the SDAs realize that the vast majority of the Old Covenant laws are obsolete in the New Covenant. In the hope of salvaging their Sabbath keeping sabbatarians try to force distinctions on the Old Covenant Law. The usual distinctions invented are to call some moral laws (the Ten Commandments)and some ceremonial. The reason for these unbiblical categories is so that they can claim that Christians are not under the ceremonial laws, but are still under the Ten Commandments. In this way they hope to save their prophet, Ellen G. White, from being wrong when she taught that it is necessary for Christians to observe the 7th day Sabbath.
The fact is that the Old Covenant laws, all 613 commands, are viewed as one unit in the Bible. The Bible nowhere gives us permission to separate the laws of the Old Covenant. The word “law” (Torah in Hebrew & Nomos in the Greek) when applied to the Old Covenant Law is always singular even though it contains 613 separate commandments. For example, “This is the law which Moses set before the Israelites. These are the ordinances, statutes, and decrees which he proclaimed to them when they came out of Egypt” (Deuteronomy 4:44-45). Clearly “the law” here is all 613 laws not just the Ten Commandments. “Then were read aloud all the words of the law, the blessings and the curses, exactly as written in the book of the law. Every single word that Moses had commanded, Joshua read aloud…” (Joshua 8:34-35). Again all the law without separation is referred to. “Keep the mandate of the Lord, your God, following his ways and observing his statutes, commands, ordinances, and decrees as they are written in the Law of Moses…” (1 Kings 2:3). All the requirements are the Law. One final example of many, “Many nations will come and say, ‘Come let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths’. The Law will go out from Zion, the word of the Lord from Jerusalem” (Micah 4:2).
The obvious truth is that the Bible never even once makes any distinction in terms of the Law between one moral and one ceremonial. On the contrary the 613 laws of the Old Covenant are always viewed as one unit. This helps to explain why we read, “Cursed be he who fails to fulfill any of the provisions of this law!” (Deuteronomy 27:26). “It is written, ‘Cursed is he who does not abide by everything written in the book of the law and carry it out’” (Galatians 3:10). “Whoever falls into sin on one point of the Law, even though he keeps the entire remainder, he has become guilty on all counts” (James 2:10). These Scripture makes perfect sense if the Law is one inseparable unit. The New Testament is full of discussions on the Law. Yet in all of these discussions never is the observance of the Ten Commandments mentioned as necessary for Christians. It is never stated to be our standard. The reason is simply because the Ten Commandments were treated as 10 of the 613 commandments God gave the Israelites through Moses. The New Testament is very clear that the entire Old Covenant is no longer binding on Christians. We have a new covenant. “This cup is the new covenant in my blood” (1 Corinthians 11:25). “When he says, ‘a new covenant’, he declares the first one obsolete” (Hebrews 8:13). In the New Covenant we are obliged to follow a much higher moral standard (see Matthew 5:20-48). The New Testament appeals to Jesus when telling us to be moral (see 1 Corinthians 6:18-20).
In conclusion, the Bible knows nothing of the man-made divisions of the Old Covenant Law. It is all one unit and the Sabbath is obsolete today just as the rest of the Old Covenant is obsolete.
Thanks for the question.
If I can be of further help please let me know.