Seventh-Day Adventists/Ten Commandments are perfect

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Question
Dear Sal:

You complain about SDA emphasis on the Ten Commandments but the Bible says the Ten Commandments are perfect. “The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple” (Psalm 19:7 KJV). So you shouldn't complain about SDAs emphasizing the Ten Commandments but should join us.

Thank You,
Lisa

Answer
Dear Sister Lisa:

First let me say that I do not “complain” about the SDA emphasis on the Ten Commandments. Paul opposed the Judaizers misguided emphasis on circumcision likewise I oppose the misguided SDA emphasis on Sabbath observance for Christians. For the Sabbath was only a mere shadow of the substance which belongs to Christ (cf. Colossians 2:16-17).  

The Ten Commandments were the summary of the temporary Law covenant. The Ten Commandments were meant to bring death. It is the Holy Spirit that converts the soul bringing life not the Ten Commandments. “He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life” (2 Corinthians 3:6 NIV). The next verse identifies the killing letter. “Now if the ministry that brought death, which was engraved in letters on stone…”, i.e. the Ten Commandments.

In Psalm 19:7 David is writing of the Law which to him, and all Jews, meant the entire Old Covenant Law not just ten of the commandments. To us Christians the perfect law is the final and full revelation of Jesus Christ. It is the law that was delivered to the saints in the first century (cf. Jude 3). In other words, the New Covenant is perfect, converting the soul not the Ten Commandments.

The Ten Commandments were an incomplete law. For example, the Ten Commandments do not condemn:
1)   Drunkenness
2)   Obscene language
3)   Laziness
4)   Pride
5)   Fornication
6)   Homosexuality
7)   Bestiality
8)   Taking brethren to court
9)   Polygamy

The Ten Commandments do not tell us:
1)   How to get saved
2)   How to have sins forgiven
3)   That we must be charitable
4)   To help the poor
5)   To be forgiving

There are 21 references to “the law of the Lord” in the KJV. A review of these references reveals that “the law of the Lord” refers to the Old Covenant law not the Ten Commandments alone. For example,

“He appointed also the king's portion of his substance for the burnt offerings, to wit, for the morning and evening burnt offerings, and the burnt offerings for the sabbaths, and for the new moons, and for the set feasts, as it is written in the law of the Lord” (2 Chronicles 31:3 KJV).

“(As it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord;) And to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons” (Luke 2:23-24 KJV).

From these examples we can see that the term “the law of the Lord” does not automatically refer to the Ten Commandments. I believe that if you read the other references for “the law of the Lord” you will see that it never refers to the Ten Commandments unless it is as a part of the Old Covenant Law. Only 2 Kings 10:31 actually highlights a commandment found in the Ten Commandments that is the commandment concerning idolatry. In the other 20 references it obviously refers to more than the Ten Commandments. Therefore, we cannot interpret “the law of the Lord” to mean the Ten Commandments based on one reference in opposition to the rest of Scripture.

We know by virtue of the revelation of Jesus Christ that the Old Covenant was not faultless. “But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second” (Hebrews 8:6-7 NKJV).  So was the Old Covenant perfect or not? The Old Covenant was indeed perfect for the purpose for which God designed it. What was the purpose of the Old Covenant? Its purpose was to point out men’s sinfulness and drive them to Christ. “Now before faith came, we were imprisoned and guarded under the law until faith would be revealed. Therefore the law was our disciplinarian until Christ came, so that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer subject to a disciplinarian” (Galatians 3:23-25 NRSV). The Old Covenant was not perfect as a system of salvation or “no place would have been sought for a second.”

Today we read Psalm 19:7 and apply it to the perfection of the New Covenant and the salvation it offers. We see the perfection of the law when we recognize its proper place in God’s plan of salvation. David’s praise of the law of the Lord and the commandments is proper even by New Covenant standards. Paul noted the obsolescence of the Old Covenant and also said of it, “Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good” (Romans 7:12 NKJV). The ultimate meaning of the perfect law of the Lord is the New Covenant gospel which trumps the tablets of stone.
    

God Bless You,
Brother Sal  

Seventh-Day Adventists

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Sal

Expertise

I am privileged to be able to offer an alternative insight into the complicated world of Seventh-Day Adventists (SDA) theology. I will rely heavily on the Bible, but will also consider history and use logic in exposing deficiencies in SDA teachings. I would ask anyone who is considering becoming a SDA or if you are already in the SDA church, but are searching for the truth, to please allow me to offer a different explanation for the claims of the SDA. Remember : "The truth will set you free" (John 8:32). I can answer your questions pertaining to the beliefs and history of the SDA. I am not able to answer questions concerning spirituality or church discipline.

Experience

I have extensively studied the theology of the Seventh-Day Adventists (SDA) for a number of years. I have many books and tape sets produced by experts in this field of study. I have debated current members of the SDA church. I have a great desire to help these people see the truth.

Education/Credentials
M.S. degree in Food, Nutrition, and Dietetics

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