Seventh-Day Adventists/does God's law change
Frank wrote at 2014-01-14 02:10:42
1 7 2014 – does God’s law change
<<< The expert’s answer >>>
You ask, does God's law change? If by "God's law" you mean God's moral law then I say, no. If by "God's law" you mean everything God has ever required then I say, yes.
<<< Good answer so far. Except that when the expert says God’s moral law, he doesn’t include the 4th commandment. >>>
Once God required His children to never wear clothes made of more than one material (see Leviticus 19:19). Have you ever heard a Christian preacher require this of God's people today? Once God required all males to be circumcised (see Genesis 17:10-12). This law of God does not apply to God's people in the New Covenant. In fact if one accepts circumcision he gives up Christ! "Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all" (Galatians 5:2 NIV; cf. 1 Corinthians 7:19). So with these two examples we can see that God's law does indeed change in the sense that something once required is no longer necessary.
<<< Righteousness has always been a requirement to live in and be a part of God’s kingdom. The righteousness of the law was “built in” to Adam and Eve because they were made in the image of God (See Gen 1:27). Before (as well as after) sin, the law was holy, just and good. (Rom 7:12) The problem with the law is that once it is transgressed there is no forgiveness in keeping it and the sinner has no inherent power to overcome his fallen nature (See Romans 7:19). He is in bondage to sin. The remedy for that dilemma is Christ. A ritual law was added after sin that revealed Christ, His atoning sacrifice, and ministry as High Priest. When “the law” was given to the new nation at Sinai, there were both moral and ceremonial components. Christ’s death marked the end of the ceremonial component which was an integral part of the Law of Moses. Since Christ, the righteous requirements of “the Law” which are the principles of the 10 C’s, the same principles that motivated Adam and Eve before sin and are a demonstration of love, are once again written in the heart and mind of believers. >>>
Concerning Hebrews 7:12 Paul clearly taught that the Old Covenant priesthood and the Old Covenant law were inseparable. “For when the priesthood is changed, of necessity there takes place a change of law also” (Hebrews 7:12 NASB). The Old Covenant priesthood was foundational to the Old Covenant law. The priests taught the people the law of God. The law could not function without the Levitical priesthood. The priesthood and the law were inseparable. Neither the Old Covenant law nor the Levitical priesthood could exist apart from one another.
<<< The Old Covenant law included ritual observances as a result of man's having transgressed the Ten Commandments. The Law of Moses ended while the 10 C’s remain. “Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” (Romans 13:8-9 KJV) >>>
“Now if perfection was through the Levitical priesthood (for on the basis of it the people received the Law), what further need was there for another priest to arise according to the order of Melchizedek, and not be designated according to the order of Aaron? For when the priesthood is changed, of necessity there takes place a change of law also” (Hebrews 7:11-12 NASB).
Note in v. 12 it says a change “of” law not “in” law. This is significant because a change “in” law would mean that some changes were made to the body of law. A change “of” law means the entire body of law is done away with and replaced with a completely new law. This is why Paul can say, “By calling this covenant ‘new,’ he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and outdated will soon disappear” (Hebrews 8:13 NIV).
<<< The priesthood changed when Christ became our High Priest at His ascension. “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:” (Hebrews 8:10 KJV) When the principles of the 10 C’s are written in the heart and mind they govern the thoughts and the actions. Consider the following verses.
(Romans 3:28 KJV) “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.”
Gone are the ceremonial remedies for sin. Justification is now through faith in Christ alone.
(Romans 3:29 KJV) “Is he the God of the Jews only? is he not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also:”
No longer are the Gentiles 2nd class citizens. “That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.” (Ephesians 2:12-13 KJV)
(Romans 3:30 KJV) “Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith.”
Jew and Gentile alike are justified through faith in Christ apart from the deeds of the law.
(Romans 3:31 KJV) “Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.”
The grace of God doesn’t do away with the righteous requirements of the law. It establishes them as the rule of life. No one keeps the law to be saved. We keep the law because we have been saved. If we say we’re saved and don’t keep the commandments, we are liars and there is no truth in us.
“He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.”
(1 John 2:4-5 KJV) >>>
Some claim that this verse means a change occurred in the law by the removal of the ceremonial law. That would be a change "in" law not "of" law. The ceremonial law was part of the whole Old Covenant law. Therefore, its removal would be a change "in" the Old Covenant law. A change "of" law occurred when the Old Covenant law, the Ten Commandments and the Sabbath included, was replaced by the New Covenant law. The tablets of stone which brought death were replaced with the Holy Spirit which brings life (see 2 Corinthians 3:7-11).
<<< The ministration of the law (all of it) was to reveal that all have sinned and to reveal the remedy for sin, the promised savior. This ministration was glorious until it was superseded by the ministration of the Holy Spirit which convicts of sin and establishes Christ’s righteousness in the heart and mind. That is something the Old Covenant law could only represent in type.
(2 Corinthians 3:7 KJV) “But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away:”
The question that needs to be answered is how is the ministration of death going to be “done away”? Before sin the ministration of the law was to guarantee the peace and joy of God’s creation on the earth forever. The problem wasn’t caused by the law, it was caused by sin. If the law could have been done away with to remove its condemnation, Christ needn’t have gone to the cross to pay the penalty for its having been transgressed.
(2 Corinthians 3:8 KJV) “How shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious?”
The ministration of the law was to show the children of Israel both their sin and the promised savior. The Ten Commandments represent the entire broken moral law and the ritual remedy for sin revealed the promised savior in types and shadows.
(2 Corinthians 3:9 KJV) “For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory.”
It is the ministration of the Holy Spirit to lead men into all righteousness. As believers walk after the Holy Spirit they are no longer transgressing the law and therefore no longer “under the law”.
(2 Corinthians 3:10 KJV) “For even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth.”
(2 Corinthians 3:11 KJV) “For if that which is done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious.”
The Jews were quite proud of the fact that they had been chosen of God to be His covenant keeping people. They saw their ritual and traditional law as that which brought them God’s favor. They lost sight of the Savior their law was given to reveal. Because it was so important to them, many Jewish converts wanted to impose their law upon the Gentiles. Paul is saying that even though their law was glorious, the ministration of the Holy Spirit supersedes it and is more glorious. It is through the ministration of the Holy Spirit that that moral law is “established” in the heart and mind as it was to have been with Adam and Eve and subsequently the entire human race. The condemnation of the law is “done away” as the principles of the 10 C’s are written in the heart and mind. The change of law is the Law of Moses, that was a witness against God’s people, was replaced with faith in Christ for righteousness. “Take this book of the law, and put it in the side of the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, that it may be there for a witness against thee.” (Deuteronomy 31:26 KJV)
Under the ratified New Covenant, Jesus writes the principles of the 10 C’s in the mind and heart as believers are obedient to the Holy Spirit. “But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.” (Galatians 5:18 KJV) “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” (Galatians 5:25 KJV) “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” (Romans 8:14 KJV) “That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” (Romans 8:4 KJV) >>>
The transitory rest of the 7th day Sabbath was replaced with the eternal rest of Christ. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30 NIV).
<<< There is nothing transitory about any of the Ten Commandments. The rest Jesus offers is the rest from the bondage of sin. Before the curse of sin, work was pleasant and something to be enjoyed. Had Adam and Eve not sinned they, and their progeny, would have worked six days and rested the seventh throughout eternity according to the principles of the 10 C’s written in the mind and heart. God would not have suffered them to profane the Sabbath day through ignorance. He would have walked and talked with them every Sabbath and told them everything they needed to know. >>>
When God began the new creation with Noah and his family God told them to eat all animals (see Genesis 9:3).
<<< “Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and his female: and of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female.”
(Genesis 7:2 KJV) They must not have eaten the unclean as there were only two of each kind. >>>
While Jesus was setting the foundation of the New Covenant he declared all foods clean (see Mark 7:15-23). Paul was convinced that Jesus rendered all foods clean, but that fellow believer’s consciences should be respected. "I know and am convinced by the Lord Jesus that there is nothing unclean of itself; but to him who considers anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean" (Romans 14:14 NKJV; cf. 14:1-6).
<<< “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,”
(2 Corinthians 6:17 KJV)
Peter was shown common and unclean creatures and three times told to kill and eat. He replied three times, “not so Lord” (Acts 10: 14) but was never rebuked by the Lord. How could this be if the unclean animals weren’t really unclean? How could that be if Paul said all foods were clean? SDA’s believe that the unclean animals weren’t considered to be food by Paul and therefore not included in his statements about food.
Another source of confusion is the use of the word meats. It simply means food and not necessarily animal flesh.
“And he saith unto them, Are ye so without understanding also? Do ye not perceive, that whatsoever thing from without entereth into the man, it cannot defile him; Because it entereth not into his heart, but into the belly, and goeth out into the draught, purging all meats?” (Mark 7:18-19 KJV) SDA’s believe that Jesus didn’t consider the unclean animals to be food either, so His use of the word meats wouldn’t include the flesh of unclean animals.
The final point to consider is that Jesus was responding to the Pharisees who accused the Disciples of eating with unwashed hands which they believed made that person unclean. Jesus wasn’t responding to a question about what foods were considered unclean but with the practice of washing the hands before eating that they believed, if not done, made one unclean. >>>
Thank you for the questions. If I can be of further help just let me know.
God Bless You,
<<< In Christ’s love,