Seventh-Day Adventists/the whole law


John wrote at 2013-12-05 18:47:51

But what if Sal is mistaken?

Dave Clark, who is also an Expert on this site has researched this topic considerably and presents an entirely different view on this very controversial and frequently contested subject.  

Here are links for two articles he has written on this subject…

And if you don’t have time to look them up, here is an excerpt from his article on “The Law of God” where he also discusses the “handwriting of ordinances that was against us”…

“Colossians 2

OK, the last passage is in Colossians 2. Now, we've been taught to start reading with verse 14. But, as I said, we've been taught wrong and verse 14 starts in the middle of a sentence. Let's start reading with verse 13 to get a better grasp of the context.

"And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; and having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it." (Colossians 2:13-15)

Now, verse 13 is talking about the forgiveness of sin. So, regarding verse 14, the first question that must be answered is, "Is any of God's Law, or even part of God's Law, against us?" The answer to that is, "No," for if you say it is, implicitly or explicitly, then you say that God, Himself, is against us (see John 3:16-17 and 2Tim. 1:7-9) — as His Laws are a transcript of His Character and He is Love (see 1John 4:8 and 1John 5:3). But, God's Law is a witness for us (we read that in Deuteronomy 31:26); for the Law was given to show us our sins (see Romans 3:20). If we have nothing to show us we are sinful, then we will not recognize our need of a Savior (see Acts 4:10-12).

So, what is against us is the written record of our sins (we read that in Deuteronomy 31:28-29) — for that record is a result of the witness of the Law. The first part of verse 13 brings that out clearly. Thus, verse 14 and 15 is telling us that, through His sacrifice, Jesus Christ made it possible for the written record of the charges against us to be blotted out — i.e., no longer held against us and placing us under penalty of the second death (see 2Tim. 1:8-10).

But what about verses 16 and 17 which are also used to supposedly justify a change in God's Law? Let's read them:

"Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of a holy day, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ." (Colossians 2:16-17)

Heh, Peter said it was sometimes difficult to understand Paul. In 2Peter 3:15,16 we can read how Peter says that because Paul's scriptural writings are sometimes difficult to understand, those whom are unlearned or unstable will wrest them, to suit themselves, even as they do other scriptures. Peter goes on to say that they do so to their own destruction. We don't want to do that! Right?

Do any of you remember your grade school English classes where you had to diagram the parts of a sentence? This, two-verse, sentence has a main theme, a referenced list of items, a sub-parenthetical phrase (describing that list), and even a couple of words which were supplied (added in), by the translators, in what they supposedly thought would make the passage easier to understand and clearer in meaning. I disagree.

Now, the referenced list of items is:

"… in meat, or in drink, or in respect of a holy day, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath …"

Note that the supplied word "days" is gone. Then, the sub-parenthetical phrase, describing that list of items, is:

"… which are a shadow of things to come …"

Lastly, by leaving out another supplied word, "is" (near the end of verse 17), that leaves us with the main theme — which is:

"Let no man therefore judge you … but the body of Christ."

Well! I think that certainly sheds the light of truth on this issue. The Christian's only rightful judge is the "body of Christ." But, hold on a second... The common understanding for the definition of "the body of Christ" is "the church." Yet, in this life, we are to pass judgment (i.e., regarding one's ultimate destiny) on no man — except in righteousness (i.e., judging right from wrong). If you think about it, though, there is another definition for "the body of Christ." I heard this in a sermon by Pastor Ivor Meyers at an ASI Convention a few years ago.

Reading in John 6:53-58:

Then Jesus said unto them, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up, at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live forever."

Well, Jesus Christ is the WORD (see John 1:1-3,14) and just as John was to eat the little book (see Rev. 10:1-2,8-9), so eating Jesus' flesh is symbolic language for making the Word of God an integral part of our daily life. Also, just as the blood sustains the flesh, so Jesus was sustained by the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit inspired the Word of God — thus, drinking Jesus' blood is symbolic language for asking for the filling of the Holy Spirit. So, applying that back to Colossians 2:16-17, the main theme is that we will ultimately be judged only by the just precepts taught us in the Word of God. That only makes sense.

OK, back to our diagramming… Now that we have the main theme figured out; then, except for the supplied words, let's address what we previously left out:

Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of a holy day, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath: which are a shadow of things to come…" (Colossians 2:16-17)

The first thing that one absolutely must not ignore is those last four words, "...of things to come..." What does that tell you? It should tell you that the things listed in verse 16 are shadows of something which has not yet come! What did Jesus say in Matthew 5:17-18?

"Think not that I am come to destroy the law [of Moses], or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law [of Moses], till all be fulfilled."

Thus, since they are shadows of things yet to come, then that also means they are not, yet, all fulfilled and are thus, also, all still binding! So, instead of these verses (in Colossians 2) telling us that the Law of Moses was nailed to the cross, they are instead telling us that the entire Law of Moses is still binding and it was, as pointed out by verses 13 to 15, only the written record of the charges against us which were nailed to His cross.”



Frank wrote at 2013-12-06 00:15:03
12 3 2013 – The Whole Law

<<<The expert’s answer: >>>

Thank you for the comments and questions. Don’t be perplexed by SDA adherence to Old Covenant Law.

It’s based on the teachings of Ellen White and a false piety. Paul was likewise perplexed with Christians who promoted Old Covenant Law. “Tell me, you who want to be under the law, are you not aware of what the law says?” (Galatians 4:21 NIV).

Paul’s conclusion that those Christians must not understand what the Law actually says is, unfortunately, still true today with SDAs and others who promote Old Covenant laws.

<<< SDA’s do not promote Old Covenant laws. The moral law did not change as a result of Christ’s atoning sacrifice and this belief is not based on Ellen White. >>>

The Ten Commandments were the Old Covenant the Bible is clear on this.

“Then the Lord spoke to you from the midst of the fire; you heard the sound of words, but you saw no form—only a voice. So He declared to you His covenant which He commanded you to perform, that is, the Ten Commandments; and He wrote them on two tablets of stone” (Deuteronomy 4:12-13 NASB).

<<< When Christ ratified the New (everlasting) Covenant on the cross, ending the Old Covenant, there was no change in the moral law (which was given to fallen man as Ten Commandments). When the law was given to the children of Israel it was because it had not yet been written in their hearts and minds. Because they were unfaithful, God took the covenant promise from them and gave it to the Gentiles and all who would believe (see Mat 21:43) and promised to write His laws in the mind and heart and he would be their God and they would be His people (see Heb 8:10). >>>

“And there I have made a place for the ark, in which is the covenant of the Lord which He made with our fathers, when He brought them out of the land of Egypt” (1 Kings 8:21 NKJV).

“And there I have put the ark, in which is the covenant of the Lord which He made with the children of Israel” (2 Chronicles 6:11 NKJV).

<<< The Ark of the Covenant on earth is but a similitude of the true Ark of the Covenant in the heavenly sanctuary (see Rev 11:19). >>>

The Bible is also clear that this covenant has ended with the coming of the New Covenant. “In that He says, ‘A new covenant,’ He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away” (Hebrews 8:13 NKJV).

The Ten Commandments contain nine moral laws that are still binding on Christians today (in an expanded Christ-centered way) and one ceremonial law which has been eliminated as a rule for Christians. “One person considers one day more sacred than another; another considers every day alike. Each of them should be fully convinced in their own mind” (Romans 14:5 NIV).

<<< The original manuscripts of the Bible say nothing about the relative sacredness or holiness of days. The Greek word translated as “more sacred” by the NIV is “par” from the Greek “para” and according to the KJV New Testament Greek Lexicon its definition is: from, of at, by, besides, near. Modern translations of the Bible are often used (knowingly or unknowingly) to deceive. There are no ceremonial laws written on the tables of stone. The Sabbath commandment wasn’t given as a result of sin. It was given to define the days for work and the day for worship and fellowship. >>>

You are correct in your assessment of the Ten Commandments. It is an incomplete revelation. As we Christians look back on the Ten Commandments we can discern many deficiencies in it as a complete revelation. However, let’s not forget that the Ten Commandments were never meant to be a complete revelation. God had to make many other revelations to condemn sins not condemned in the tablets of stone. (You noted some of these.)

<<< There is no sin that is not defined by the principles of the Ten Commandments. The two great commandments in the law are love God (1-4) and love one another (6-10). If we truly love God we will be in harmony with the principles of the first four commandments and if we truly love our neighbor we will be in harmony with the principles of the last six commandments. If we sin, we are not acting from love and are in violation of the righteous requirements of the law and those requirements are defined by the Ten Commandments whose principles Christ writes in the mind and in the heart of believers. (see Hebrews 8:10) >>>

It is not only the Ten Commandments that are a guide that points us to Christ it is the whole Old Covenant Law.

<<< The purpose of the law that was added because of sin (also known as the tutor or schoolmaster), the ceremonial law, was to reveal Christ through its rituals, offerings, sacrifices and priesthood till he should accomplish His atoning sacrifice. The law that Adam and Eve transgressed is the Ten Commandments. Its principles were written in their mind and heart because they were created in the image of God (see Gen 1:7). >>>

“But before faith came, we were kept in custody under the law, being shut up to the faith which was later to be revealed. Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:23-26 NASB).

<<< The law that was dismissed is the ceremonial law. Salvation under the ratified New Covenant is through faith in Christ apart from the deeds of the ceremonial law. >>>

Yes, it is true that the New Covenant is the superior covenant. “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” (Hebrews 8:6 NKJV).

I don’t think it is a contradiction to say that the Old Covenant Law was good and perfect, but that we needed a better covenant to save us. In fact that was the whole point of the Old Covenant Law. God gave Israel the Old Covenant Law in order to make them conscious of their sin.  “Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin” (Romans 3:20 NIV).  

<<< The law was not given as a means of salvation. It was given to reveal both sin and its remedy. Sin by the Ten Commandments and the remedy for sin (Christ) through the ceremonial law. Romans 3:20 tells us that no one is declared righteous by performing the ceremonial remedies for sin. It is the law that reveals our sin and need for the grace and justification of the risen savior. “But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;” (Romans 3:21 KJV). Righteousness is not attained through the ceremonial remedies for sin but through faith in Christ. Paul ends his thoughts on the law by saying “Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.” (Romans 3:31 KJV)  The principles of the Ten Commandments are established as the rule of life through love for God and love for one another. This is how it was to have been from the beginning. >>>    

Or as the NLT has it, “The law simply shows us how sinful we are.” In a nutshell the Old Covenant’s job was to show Israel how sinful they were and their inability to save themselves, thus their need of a savior. The very Law they were to live by gave sin its power over them. “The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law” (1 Corinthians 15:56 NASB). In the new and better covenant the mighty Law loses its power over God’s people. “For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace” (Romans 6:14 NASB). So the Old Covenant Law was perfect for the purpose for which God designed it i.e., to lead to Christ (see Galatians 3:23-26 above).

<<< Before it was transgressed, the principles of the law written in the mind and heart would have guaranteed the peace, joy and happiness of the new race throughout the ceaseless ages of eternity. It wasn’t until it was transgressed that it became a curse. “And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death.” (Romans 7:10 KJV) There is no salvation in keeping the broken law. The weakness of the flesh is more powerful than our desire for righteousness. We long after the peace that obedience to the law brings but are helpless in our own strength to attain it. >>>  

I believe Colossians 2:14 refers to the entire Old Covenant Law which was recorded in the Book of the Law. This was the “handwriting of ordinances” which was against God’s people. “Take this Book of the Law, and put it beside the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, that it may be there as a witness against you” (Deuteronomy 31:26 NKJV).

<<< (Colossians 2:13 KJV)  “And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;”

(Colossians 2:14 KJV)  “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;”

The Gentiles (the uncircumcision of vs. 13) had no access to the forgiveness of sins available through the ceremonial system of the Jews. Christ took that system away that was “against them” (the Gentiles) when He died on the cross, making available to all forgiveness through faith in Christ alone. >>>

Taking away the Law took away the power of evil, “the power of sin is the law.”


<< “(Romans 7:12 KJV) Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.

(Romans 7:13 KJV)  Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful.”

The law doesn’t cause death. It is sin that the law defines that causes death and the law was given to fallen man to make sin appear exceedingly sinful. >>>

Exodus 31:18 speaks of the writing on the tablets of stone. 2 Corinthians 3:3 speaks of the superiority of the Holy Spirit over the writing on the tablets of stone. If by this you mean to show that the Ten Commandments were what was nailed to the cross in Colossians 2:14 I would say not by themselves. The Ten Commandments were only part of what was nailed to the cross i.e., the whole Old Covenant Law.

<<< The Holy Spirit does not do away with the law. It is through obedience to the Holy Spirit that the principles of the law are established in the heart and mind. >>>

I pray that my brief answers were helpful to you.

God Bless You,

Brother Sal

<<< In Christ’s love,

    Frank   >>>

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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.


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.

M.S. degree in Food, Nutrition, and Dietetics

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