Seventh-Day Adventists/God's laws doesn't change
Happy New Year! I Hope all is well with you. I wanted to know your understanding of Heb. 7:12. Does God's laws change especially in the case of the Sabbath and the dietary restrictions? This question comes about after having a discussion about clean and unclean meats with my sda friend who believes that if God's laws change then He would be a liar and therefore contradicting. She states that God is not pleased with those who eat meat especially unclean meat. She continues on to say that God made us vegan and that Noah and the Israelites were only permitted to eat clean meat for a certain time only, but it was not for all mankind. I wondered to myself how could she see that the food laws were only for certain people during a certain time but could not see the Sabbath the same. What is your take on SDA's justify being vegetarian/vegan or not eatting unclean foods ie: pork, crab, or shrimp when scripture clearly teaches that all food is good? Thanks in advance as always.
Long time no hear from! My best wishes for you in 2014 also.
Regarding Hebrews 7:12
For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law.
My understanding of this text is that instructions were in the law given to Moses at Sinai, that the priest and ministers, etc. would come from the Tribe of Levi. This tribe was not even counted among the other tribes. Moses and Aaron were also from the Tribe of Levi.
Numbers 1:47-50 (NIV)
The families of the tribe of Levi, however, were not counted along with the others. 48 The LORD had said to Moses: 49 "You must not count the tribe of Levi or include them in the census of the other Israelites. 50 Instead, appoint the Levites to be in charge of the tabernacle of the Testimony
--over all its furnishings and everything belonging to it. They are to carry the tabernacle and all its furnishings; they are to take care of it and encamp around it.
According to the Bible, the entire law, which included the Ten Commandments, which also included the Sabbath, had a definite beginning and a definite ending. As mentioned above, included in the law was instructions for the Tribe of Levi. When Jesus fulfilled the law, the Israelites, to whom it was given, were no longer bound to it. God didn't change the law, it simply came to an end because its requirements had been met (fulfilled).
It’s like any other covenant or legal contract. I purchase a car. There’s a beginning date to begin payments and a date set when my last payment will be made. The content of my auto loan details all of the specifics pertaining to that particular loan (description of the car, VIN #, terms, interest rate, etc.). When the last payment is made, it is stamped PAID IN FULL , the title is signed over to me and given to me to do with it whatever I choose. Whether I keep my purchased car or sell it has no bearing on the contract because it no longer exists – the requirements were met entirely. This is what happened to the law given to Israel through Moses. It was in full force UNTIL Christ, the seed, came. He was to perfectly obey it and fulfill its requirements because Israel could not keep the law perfectly. The law was stamped PAID IN FULL.
Jesus did not change the law, He fulfilled it and there is a big difference. Take for instance marriage vows. They are made and in full force until one of the partner’s die. Their vows to each other did not change but when one of them died, there was nothing to enforce. The living partner can remain alone or choose another partner.
When Jesus died and rose again, what had been was no longer necessary. The curtain which no one but the High Priest went behind was torn and the contents of the temple were exposed. Jesus in His perfect timing died at the same time the evening sacrifice was to be offered because He was the perfect unblemished Lamb of God. There were no more sacrifices, etc. A change? Yes, but not in the law. The change came about because the requirements of the law were fulfilled. Things happened as they had been prophesied. If the prophecy about Christ’s birth and His purpose for coming had not happened, then He could be accused of changing. God doesn’t change, He fulfills and as a result of fulfillment change takes place.
Now that the unchanged law has been fulfilled and is no more in effect, another priest from a different tribe is now in charge. This Priest comes from the Tribe of Judah, which was also prophesied. The new Priest comes with His own laws (the Law of Christ, the Law of Love, The Law of Liberty, etc.). His commands are whatever He tells us to do and are not called the Ten Commandments.
Yes, some of the commandments that we are to adhere to were included in the Ten Commandments, but here again another example:
Say I purchase a house and sign the contract. Say again I decide after a few years to refinance the same house because of lower interest rates, etc. SOME of the same descriptions and stipulations of the old contract or covenant in addition to new details will be written in the new contract or covenant. The important question is, “What contract am I operating under? Which contract can be enforced? Of course the only answer is the last contract. The loan officer did not change any of the details in the old contract, it was discarded and a new contract was written. The old was out, the new was in and no need to even refer to the old contract or covenant.
Did God change or was He fulfilling that which He predicted before He sent His Son into the world? My position is that when each prophecy given by God was fulfilled, change automatically took place. Change did not result in a change of His law but the fulfillment of it.
Jesus is now our Priest and that will never change. God has sworn this with an oath and it was predicted before Christ came as a Babe in Bethlehem.
Hebrews 7:21 (NIV)
21 but he became a priest with an oath when God said to him: "The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind: 'You are a priest forever.'"
Without the fulfillment of the law, there would be no Gospel because the Gospel is about the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. It had to be fulfilled so that change could come. Once this change came, Gentile believers could receive this Good News.
Regarding vegetarianism: I just answered that question a few days ago, if you care to read it.
I would challenge your friend to prove her statements from the Bible regarding meat eating and vegetarianism. Her position can only be found in the writings of Ellen G. White. If she holds to this position, she would have to conclude that God can’t make up His mind because He is the One who instructed the eating of meat.
The priests were commanded to eat some portions of the meat offered as sacrifices, the people ate meat offerings and Jesus not only ate fish but He ate lamb, goat,
etc. because as a Jew He partook of the sacrifices. If your friend's position holds, God would not only be displeased with His chosen nation Israel but He would also be displeased with His Son who came to do His bidding. Do Adventists know better than God? Are some Adventists holier than God because He ate meat and they don’t? Scripture is plain but some want to hold on to the teachings of their church. The choice is theirs and not should be mandated by the church.
Leviticus 7:1-8 (NIV)
(Priests eating meat)
These are the regulations for the guilt offering, which is most holy: 2 The guilt offering is to be slaughtered in the place where the burnt offering is slaughtered, and its blood is to be sprinkled against the altar on all sides. 3 All its fat shall be offered: the fat tail and the fat that covers the inner parts, 4 both kidneys with the fat on them near the loins, and the covering of the liver, which is to be removed with the kidneys
. 5 The priest shall burn them on the altar as an offering made to the LORD by fire. It is a guilt offering. 6 Any male in a priest's family may eat it
, but it must be eaten in a holy place; it is most holy. 7 "'The same law applies to both the sin offering and the guilt offering: They belong to the priest who makes atonement with them. 8 The priest who offers a burnt offering for anyone may keep its hide for himself
7th day Adventists speak against unclean foods among their 28 Fundamental Beliefs, #22 (the latter part). This belief is agreed to prior to baptism:
“Along with adequate exercise and rest, we are to adopt the most healthful diet possible and abstain from the unclean foods identified in the Scriptures</b>. Since alcoholic beverages, tobacco, and the irresponsible use of drugs and narcotics are harmful to our bodies, we are to abstain from them as well. Instead, we are to engage in whatever brings our thoughts and bodies into the discipline of Christ, who desires our wholesomeness, joy, and goodness.” (Rom. 12:1, 2; 1 John 2:6; Eph. 5:1-21; Phil. 4:8; 2 Cor. 10:5; 6:14-7:1; 1 Peter 3:1-4; 1 Cor. 6:19, 20; 10:31; Lev. 11:1-47; 3 John 2.)
Following are some quotes from the SDA prophetess Ellen G. White:
From the Pen of Ellen White: Taken from http://www.sabbatismos.com/pillars-of-prophetic-validity-1/2nd-pillar-faithfulne
“Among those who are waiting for the coming of the Lord, meat-eating will eventually be done away; flesh will cease to form a part of their diet” (CD 380-381).
“I was instructed that the use of flesh meat has a tendency to animalize the nature, and to rob men and women of the love and sympathy which they should feel for every one” (CD 390).
“Our habits of eating and drinking show whether we are of the world or among the number whom the Lord by His mighty cleaver of truth has separated from the world. These are His peculiar people, zealous of good works. . . . God has spoken in the history of the children of Israel, from whom for their good He sought to withhold a flesh diet” (CD 379; 6T 372).
“Vegetables, fruits, and grains should compose our diet. Not an ounce of flesh meat should enter our stomachs” (CD 380).
“Those who have received instruction regarding the evils of the use of flesh foods . . . and who are determined to make a covenant with God by sacrifice, will not continue to indulge their appetite for food that they know to be unhealthful. God demands that the appetite be cleansed, and that self-denial be practiced in regard to those things which are not good. This is a work that will have to be done before His people can stand before Him a perfected people” (CD 381).
“Those who indulge in meat eating, tea drinking, and gluttony are sowing seeds for a harvest of pain and death. The unhealthful food placed in the stomach strengthens the appetites that war against the soul, developing the lower propensities. A diet of flesh meat tends to develop animalism. A development of animalism lessens spirituality, rendering the mind incapable of understanding truth” (CD 382).
"A religious life can be more successfully gained and maintained if meat is discarded, for this diet stimulates into intense activity lustful propensities, and enfeebles the moral and spiritual nature" (CD 389).
The Bible is clear that all food is edible (good) but the SDA church has made a doctrine out of what should be freedom of choice. Ellen White also contradicted Scripture in reference to the covenant given to Noah regarding his new diet.
<u>God allowed Noah to eat "everything that lives and moves" after the flood
as he was not under the Mosaic Law.
Gen 9:3-5 (NIV)
Everything that lives and moves will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything
. “But you must not eat meat that has its lifeblood still in it. And for your lifeblood I will surely demand an accounting. I will demand an accounting from every animal. And from each man, too, I will demand an accounting for the life of his fellow man.
Ellen White quotes the Bible text, then she blatantly contradicts God
. Perhaps she felt God made a huge mistake and needed correcting.
“ As Noah looked upon the powerful beasts of prey that came forth with him from the ark, he feared that his family, numbering only eight persons, would be destroyed by them. But the Lord sent an angel to His servant with the assuring message: "The fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon all that moveth upon the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea; into your hand are they delivered. Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things
." Before this time God had given man no permission to eat animal food; He intended that the race should subsist wholly upon the productions of the earth; but now that every green thing had been destroyed. He allowed them to eat the flesh of the clean beasts
that had been preserved in the ark. “Patriarchs and Prophets p. 107
Did you notice what she did? She said God gave Noah permission to eat of the clean animals
. That’s a lie and cannot be supported by Scripture. God gave Noah permission to eat EVERYTHING that lives and moves which would include clean and unclean meats
. The only restriction was not to eat the lifeblood. The Bible is altered Mrs. White and they her alterations and contradictions as truth.
In closing, the Bible is clear that the law given at Mt. Sinai was given to a particular group of people (Israel) and everything contained in the law (Sabbath, eating of clean meats, etc.) was effective until the Seed came.
Exodus 20:1-3 (NIV)
And God spoke all these words: 2 "I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery
. 3 "You shall have no other gods before me. ………..
Galatians 3:16-19 (KJV)
Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. 17 And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after
, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect. 18 For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise. 19 Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made
; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.
The law was given at Mt. Sinai 430 years after Abraham’s death and it was given UNTIL the Seed came to fulfill it.
I do hope this response has been helpful.