Seventh-Day Adventists/The law of God

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QUESTION: Dear Mr. Clark

Holy and sincere greetings to you. How unchangeable are God's law? I ask this, for on one hand, it appears in the scriptures, that the law of God is unchangeable, and yet in other areas of scripture God's law changes. Which laws of God change and which ones remain in force? Thanks in anticipation of your response.

Yours sincerely
David

ANSWER: David,

My direct and honest answer to you is that, for me, there is no part of the actual Law of God that has ever, can ever, or will ever change or come to an end.  The main reason is that the Law of God is a transcript of His Character.  To believe that God's Law can change is to believe that God can change.  If God can change, then God lied (see both references below) and we do not have a Sure Foundation upon which to anchor our faith.  I do not believe that last sentence to be true; therefore, the previous sentence is not true, either.

Malachi 3:6  For I  am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.

Think about that...  Because God has not changed, we have not been destroyed and continue to have an opportunity to accept God's offer of eternal salvation.

Matthew 5:17,18  "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, 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, till all be fulfilled."

Now, people stop after reading verse seventeen and then claim that because Jesus Christ "fulfilled" the law then it means that law came to an end.  But, this is jumping to an erroneous conclusion.  In this case, "fulfill" means to "keep" the entire law which Man failed to keep.  Keeping the law does not bring an end to that law -- but an end to its condemnation.  Verse eighteen proves this by plainly stating that not even the smallest part of God's Law can come to an end unless both heaven and earth pass completely away, first.  That has not happened.  So, clearly, Jesus Christ, Himself, is plainly stating that the entire Law of God is still in force for all of Mankind.

From there, people will then ask an accusatory question.  They will ask, "Does that mean Sabbath-breakers are supposed to be stoned to death?"  The first problem is that the stoning of Sabbath-breakers is not one of God's Laws.  Rather, it is one of God's Judgments.  You see, the law is to keep the Seventh-day Sabbath holy.  Breaking that law places one under the condemnation of the law.  That condemnation carries a judgment of death.  But no guilty man can carry out that judgment -- and we all are guilty.  Judgment must first be pronounced by God and God claims vengeance (the carrying out of judgment) for Himself (Romans 12:19).  That is how it was in the Old Testament when the Children of Israel were under a Theocracy.  That changed when Man demanded a human king rather than to be directly ruled by God.

Now, there are other actual laws of God which it can be difficult to see how those laws can apply, today.  But, rest assured, if through the guidance of the Holy Spirit of Truth you come to an understanding of the spirit behind each of God's Laws, then you will also have an understanding of how that law applies, today.  All you have to do is to desire a complete obedience to God which is born out of love and God will take care of the rest.

Philippians 1:6  Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

Philippians 2:13  For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

May God richly bless you in direct proportion to your desire to know, and to do, the full truth even as it is in Yehsh' haMshyach, Jesus Christ, The Messiah, our Lord, and our Saviour.  Awmane!

Sincerely,
Dave

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Dear Mr. Clark

Holy and sincere greetings to you. Thanks for such a profound exposition. Now I am following-up with other questions/points. Now, you wrote:

Matthew 5:17,18  "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, 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, till all be fulfilled."

Now, people stop after reading verse seventeen and then claim that because Jesus Christ "fulfilled" the law then it means that law came to an end.  But, this is jumping to an erroneous conclusion.  In this case, "fulfill" means to "keep" the entire law which Man failed to keep.  Keeping the law does not bring an end to that law -- but an end to its condemnation.

COMMENT: I do agree with your position re the above, but my addition to that is, to serve the purpose for which it was given. Now, what exactly does it mean to pass. Not one jot or tittle shall pass until all be fulfilled. On reading this verse I am of the impression here, that for it to pass is for it to end. What is your understanding of that word pass in that context?

You wrote:From there, people will then ask an accusatory question.  They will ask, "Does that mean Sabbath-breakers are supposed to be stoned to death?"  The first problem is that the stoning of Sabbath-breakers is not one of God's Laws.

COMMENT: I do not see where this is not a law of God, for God, in issuing judgements to be pronounced on law-breakers, is of itself a law, that if one does contrary to what God says, then these are the penalties. Stoning to death was a command of God, and whatever God commands is a law. How do you explain all this?
Thanks again for your response, and I await your next reply. Be blessed in Jesus' name?

Yours sincerely
David

ANSWER: David,

I agree that "to pass" means "to end."  Thus, Yehsh' (Jesus) said that for any part of God's Law to end, then all of heaven and earth must end (be destroyed), first.

Otherwise, it is necessary to draw a distinction between behavioral laws vs. judgments.  Yes, both are commanded by God; but, obedience is to the behavioral laws.  We are not to be obedient to the judgments on our own cognizance; because, we do not know the heart of the condemned person -- meaning, whether they are irredeemable or not.  God must pronounce judgment, first, and then it is up to Him to decide whether He will carry out that judgment Himself or whether He will designate someone to carry it out for Him.

...and lest someone try to claim that God has designated them to carry out His Judgments...  God will not make that a matter of private interpretation.  We have to be living under a Theocracy before God will designate one of His creatures to carry out His Judgments.

May God richly bless you in direct proportion to your desire to know, and to do, the full truth even as it is in Yehsh' haMshyach, Jesus Christ, The Messiah, our Lord, and our Saviour.  Awmane!

Sincerely,
Dave

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thanks again for your explanations of the scripture. Now you wrote:

I agree that "to pass" means "to end."  Thus, Yehsh' (Jesus) said that for any part of God's Law to end, then all of heaven and earth must end (be destroyed), first.
RESPONSE: I am wondering here, if the passing of the law is hinged to the passing away of heaven and earth, or is it hinged on its' fulfillment at Calvary. From what I read, I am of the impression that though heaven and earth will not pass away the 'till all be fulfilled' is where the ending comes, and if this fulfillment should never have happened, then it would remain for time and eternity. How do you see that?

THE ENDING OF THE LAW: I see the law as an inseparable whole, that which comprises the ten commandments with the judicial laws of Moses, as well as the ceremonial law. Some are of the concept, that when one says the law passes, it means one is free to do as one will, whether pleasing to God or not. How do you see this?
Thanks again. Be blessed.

David

Answer
David,

>> I am wondering here, if the passing of the law is hinged to the passing away
>> of heaven and earth, or is it hinged on its' fulfillment at Calvary.

It is both.  However, you make a common mistake that the law was fulfilled at Calvary.  Jesus' death on the Cross only fulfilled one part of what is required to fulfill all of the requirements of the law.  That was the Day of the Lord's Passover and the Feast of the Wave Sheaf.  The Feast of Unleavened Bread, Feast of Weeks, Feast of Trumpets, Day of Atonement, Feast of Tabernacles, and the Last Great Day of the Lord represent the rest of what the Plan of Salvation is to accomplish before *all* of the requirements of the law will be fulfilled.

Further, Jesus Christ's actual death on the cross, His burial, and His resurrection are equivalent only to the courtyard symbols associated with the Wilderness Tabernacle.  His Baptism was represented by the laver.  His Crucifixion was represented by the sacrifice at the gate to the courtyard.  His Tomb was represented by the altar.  His resurrection and ascension to Heaven are represented by the High Priest carrying the blood of the sacrifice from the courtyard into the first compartment of the Tabernacle -- the Holy Place.

But, that is where His First Coming fulfillment ends.  There is still the work in the Holy Place, the transfer of forgiven sin from the Holy Place to the Most Holy Place, the transfer of forgiven sin from the Most Holy Place to the scapegoat, that scapegoat being led out into the wilderness to die, then the complete destruction of forgiven sin by the permanent death of the scapegoat, and finally the destruction of all sin and even death itself.

>> Some are of the concept, that when one says the law passes, it means
>> one is free to do as one will, whether pleasing to God or not.

Such is lawlessness and is what Lucifer proposed from the very beginning.  Thus, those who are of that mind are of the mind of Satan.  But, on the flip side, you are correct that we are all always free to do as we will -- whether pleasing to God or not -- because it is God that gives all His Creatures the free will to disobey Him.  This is how Adam and Eve were able to sin and is How Lucifer and a third of God's angels were able to sin.  All God's Creatures have the God-given right to disobey God and set themselves up as gods to their own selves (Genesis 3:5).

But, make no mistake...  Although we can do as we please, God is not mocked and will not take into His Kingdom those who are not willing to come under His Commandments and His Statutes in this life.

"Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven."  (Matthew 7:21)

And what is His Kingdom?  All the Universe is His Kingdom.  There is not a place where the rebellious will be able to live out their lives separate from God -- there is found no place for them.  God is everywhere.

"And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them."  (Revelation 20:11)

Thus, there has to come a time where Perfect Mercy must meet Perfect Justice and those who have chosen to reject God and His Law will be given what they want -- complete removal from God's Kingdom by permanent destruction in the Lake of Fire as the Second Death.

"And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.  And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.  And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.  And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.  And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire."  (Revelation 20:12-15)

May God richly bless you in direct proportion to your desire to know, and to do, the full truth even as it is in Yehsh' haMshyach, Jesus Christ, The Messiah, our Lord, and our Saviour.  Awmane!

Sincerely,
Dave

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Dave L Clark

Expertise

I can answer most any question which is truly Bible-centric. I make this distinction because there is much which is considered biblical; but, which, is actually based only upon the traditions of men. However, I will also state this caveat: not all traditions are necessarily "bad" by definition. Otherwise, the subject about which I am passionate is The Law of God. There is much misconception in this area. In point of fact, I, myself, only woke up a bit over 10 years ago (2002) to what is truly meant by the Law of God and how that relates to Salvation. This, of course, is a touchy subject when you start mixing the Law of God with the subject of Salvation -- which, everyone should know, is a gift of God, by grace, through faith and not of works; lest any man should boast (Eph. 2:8,9). I am thankful that God the Holy Spirit has opened, and is opening, my eyes to these Truths.

Experience

I have taken Bible classes every year since the first grade through 4-year college level and study the Bible every week with others in Sabbath School. I have also continued studying the Bible, on my own, throughout my life -- particularly these last 10+ years. Therefore, I consider myself to have about 48+ years of both formal and informal Bible experience upon which to draw.

Organizations
I am a current member in good and full standing with the Seventh-Day Adventist Church. I am also a level-7 member of Yahoo!Answers in the Religion & Spirituality group. Lastly, though not a related discipline, I am also a member at LinkedIn.com because of my professional standing as a computer programmer of more than 35 years.

Publications
"The Truth About the Law of God" by Dave L Clark I is a 298-page book available at Amazon.com. Some of my writings may also be found on the following websites: << http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=439894129445 >>; << http://answers.yahoo.com/dir/index?sid=396545163 >>; and, << http://www.BibleExplorations.info/articles >>.

Education/Credentials
I have 3 years of formal college and a 4-year college equivalence degree in Information Technology. Otherwise, I am not formally credentialed in Bible doctrine or theology. However, when did God ever say that He only speaks to or through theologian-type or highly-placed sources?

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