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Seventh-Day Adventists/Hebrews 8:13 refers to the ceremonial law


Frank wrote at 2014-05-29 05:10:46

5 27 2014 Hebrews 8:13 refers to the ceremonial law

<<< The expertís answer: >>>

Dear Brother Martin:

In this answer I will use the English Standard Version of the Holy Bible for all Bible quotations.

Hebrews 8:13 reads, "In speaking of a new covenant, he makes the first one obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away." Therefore, what is obsolete is "the first one" which in context is the first covenant. There is no such thing as a ceremonial covenant.

<<< In the Garden of Eden, from their creation on day six and until they sinned, Adam and Eve were in perfect harmony with the law of God. There were no ceremonial observances that related to sin for them to observe for the obvious reason that the new race of beings had not sinned and therefore there was no need for a savior or the law that was to teach them the plan of salvation

(Gal 3:24). >>>

There are ceremonial and moral laws all of which are part and parcel of the covenant that Scripture calls the first covenant (Hebrews 8:7; 9:1, 15, 18) or the Old Covenant (2 Corinthians 3:14; Hebrews 8:6). This is the same covenant made at Mt. Sinai (Exodus 24:7-8; Nehemiah 9:13-14). This now obsolete covenant had as its basis the Ten Commandments which included the Sabbath (Deuteronomy 4:13; Exodus 34:28).

<<< What the expert just wrote is that the law covenant made at Sinai, the Law of Moses, had as its basis the 10 Cís. The Law of Moses is now obsolete. The 10 Cís, however, are not. The principles of the 10 Cís were written in the heart and mind of Adam and Eve when they were created. They had no propensity to sin, quite unlike manís nature after the fall. The plan of salvation was instituted to bring fallen man into harmony once again with the 10 eternal precepts that define how we love for God and love one another (Mat 22:36-40). >>>

In Hebrews 9:1 and following it is true that Paul mentions ceremonial items associated with worship; however, don't fail to notice that he also mentions "the tablet of the covenant" (v. 4) as belonging to this covenant that he has just called "obsolete" in the last verse of chapter 8. I'm sure that you know that the Letter to the Hebrews is about the better things available in the New Covenant in Christ. In Hebrews 9 Paul emphasizes the fact that Jesus is a better priest than the Old Covenant priests and a better sacrifice than the Old Covenant sacrifices.

<<< The ceremonial law with its earthly sanctuary and system of worship was instituted when man broke Godís moral law (Gen 3:21). The ceremonial law was added because of sin (Gal 3:19). It was not always part of the law. The earthly sanctuary that Paul is talking about is but a copy of the heavenly (Exodus 25:9) and the tables of stone are but a copy of Godís moral law as given to man and is a transcript of His character. ďHe that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.Ē (1 John 4:8 KJV) The true tables are in the heavenly sanctuary (Rev 11:19). Many donít realize that Adam and Eve werenít the first sinners in Godís kingdom and that sin originated in heaven when Satan rebelled (Isaiah 14:12), not on earth when Adam and Eve disobeyed God. >>>  

"But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption. For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the sprinkling of defiled persons with the ashes of a heifer, sanctify for the purification of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God" (vs. 11-14).

Paul emphasizing the priesthood and the sacrifices doesn't mean that only these things are obsolete (recall 9:4 "the tablets of the covenant"). Paul's point is that Jesus is a better priest and a better sacrifice replacing the Old Covenant preisthood and sacrifices. Those things were essential to the Old Covenant. Since Jesus replaced them, the Old Covenant that depended on them became obsolete. "For when there is a change in the priesthood, there is necessarily a change in the law as well" (Hebrews 7:12). Of course, the Scripture that plainly says the first or Old Covenant is obsolete cannot be ignored.  "In speaking of a new covenant, he makes the first one obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away" (Hebrews 8:13).

<<< The Old Covenant is obsolete. However, ďDo we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.Ē (Romans 3:31 KJV) Paul is telling us that the New Covenant promise of faith in Christ for salvation does not end the moral law, it is established. That is, the power of sin has been broken and the principles of the law written on the heart have been restored as the rule of life for believers (2 Cor 3:3). >>>

Nor can we ignore what Scripture plainly says is the first or Old Covenant.

"Then the Lord spoke to you out of the midst of the fire. You heard the sound of words, but saw no form; there was only a voice. And 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).

<<< The Lordís covenant with all His intelligent created beings is His law which was given to fallen man in the form of 10 Cís. He did not just then invent it (at Sinai) and give it to the children of Israel. The Old Covenant ceremonial remedy for sin was a temporary law that was to last until Christ ratified the New Covenant promise of the cross. ďBehold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD: But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.Ē (Jeremiah 31:31-33 KJV) Isaiah tells us it is Godís law, His eternal moral law, the New Testament commandments which are the principles of the 10 C's written in the heart and mind. Adam and Eve and after were to live by these principles out of love for their creator. >>>

This includes the Sabbath commandment which makes it obsolete as well. In fact earlier in Hebrews Paul explained the obsolescence of the Old Covenant 7th day Sabbath (see chapters 3 & 4).  

<<< The children of Israel did not enter into their rest which was the Promised Land. Had they exercised faith in God they would have lived in peace in the Promised Land working six days and resting on the seventh according to the commandment. They would have entered into Godís rest.  Paul warns the Hebrew believers ďLet us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.Ē (Hebrews 4:1-2 KJV) Paul is warning the Hebrews, if they donít believe in Christ for salvation and rather continue in the law, they like their Old Covenant counterparts who missed out on the earthly Canaan because of unbelief would miss out on the heavenly Canaan. There is nothing in these two chapters about the 4th commandment becoming obsolete. >>>

"So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God" (Hebrews 4:9). Does Paul here mean the Old Covenant 7th day Sabbath? No. Hebrews is about the better things the New Covenant has to offer compared with the Old Covenant. The New Covenant has a better Sabbath rest.

<<< The Sabbath was blessed and sanctified by God at the close of the 7th day of creation (Gen 2:2, 3). It was not made because of sin. It was not a ceremonial remedy for sin. It did not pertain to the Old Covenant priesthood. It did not point to Christ as savior. It did not end when the sacrificial system ended. It was not an Old Covenant shadow. It was not dependent upon the Hebrew calendar or a New Moon. It did not end when the Law of Moses became obsolete. It is one of Godís 10 eternal moral precepts for man. ďThe works of his hands are verity and judgment; all his commandments are sure. They stand fast for ever and ever, and are done in truth and uprightness.

(Psalms 111:7-8 KJV) >>>

"Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light" (Matthew 11:28-30).

Jesus offers a better rest than the Old Covenant. Jesus offers a rest for the soul. A rest that is an eternal, heavenly rest. A rest that the 7th day Sabbath could only foreshadow.

<<< The expert never talks about the world before sin, as if it never existed. The Old Covenant pointed to Jesus who would give the human race rest from the bondage of sin. Before the written law, the principles of the 10 Cís written in the heart and mind of A&E would have guaranteed a perfect world for eternity if they had not succumbed to the Devilís temptation. Every seventh day they and their progeny would have ďrestedĒ from their weekly employment and spent the day in communion with their creator, but sin interrupted that plan. >>>  

Thank you for the comment.

God Bless You,

Brother Sal

<<< In Christís 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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