Seventh-Day Adventists/What Law Was Added?

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Frank wrote at 2015-04-27 22:06:13
4 25 2015 - What Law Was Added?



Dear Brother Mikkel:



Whatever was added in Galatians 3:19 was only a temporary addition to the revelation of God. "...until the offspring should come to whom the promise had been made..." The verse in question also tells us whatever this addition was "it was put in place through angels by an intermediary." In v. 17 we read, "This is what I mean: the law, which came 430 years afterward, does not annul a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to make the promise void" (ESV). Here we learn that the law added in v. 19 is the one which came 430 years after a covenant that was previously ratified by God. It should be obvious from the context of Galatians 3 that the "covenant" was the Abrahamic Covenant and that the "law" that came 430 years afterward was the Old Covenant that was ordained by angels.



<<< The problem we have with this scenario is that in order for Adam and Eve to have sinned the law must have already existed because the scriptures tell us that, “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.” (1 John 3:4 KJV) >>>



"Which one of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? They killed those who had previously announced the coming of the Righteous One, whose betrayers and murderers you have now become; you who received the law as ordained by angels, and yet did not keep it" (Acts 7:52-53 NASB; cf. Acts 7:37-38; Hebrews 2:2-3).



The law that was added was the Old Covenant, the Law Covenant, the Ten Commandment Covenant. All 613 commandments of the Old Covenant were one law. The Ten Commandments represented or summarized the covenant God made with Israel at Sinai.



<<< It is not difficult to show that the covenant which the expert has often pointed out is the Ten C’s and not the Law of Moses. The Ten C’s is the law that Adam and Eve transgressed when they disobeyed God’s command to not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. >>>



"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).



<<< Deuteronomy 4:12-14 KJV

(12)  “And the LORD spake unto you out of the midst of the fire: ye heard the voice of the words, but saw no similitude; only ye heard a voice.”

(13)  “And he declared unto you his covenant, which he commanded you to perform, even ten commandments; and he wrote them upon two tables of stone.”

(14)  “And the LORD commanded me at that time to teach you statutes and judgments, that ye might do them in the land whither ye go over to possess it.” The Ten Commandments represent God’s eternal moral law. The statutes and judgments are the application of that law for the new nation of Israel. The ceremonial ordinances were also given to Moses and written in the book of the law (or covenant). >>>



The original plan was for God to bless all nations through Abraham (cf. Genesis 12:3; 22:18; 26:4; 28:14). However, because of sin the Old Covenant was added to the revelation of God. This law dominated covenant did not change the plan of salvation. Salvation was still by faith  both before and after Sinai. The law was added not to change the terms of salvation, but to point out sinfulness. As Paul wrote, "...for through the law comes consciousness of sin" (Romans 3:20 NABRE)and "The law entered in so that transgression might increase..." (Romans 5:20 NABRE). This was necessary because the Israelites were delusional in that they thought that they didn't need a savior. The Law proved them to be liars. The Law makes one cry out for mercy, but the Law has no mercy. It says, "Keep me or die!" Or as Paul put it, "But the law does not depend on faith; rather, 'the one who does these things will live by them'" (Galatians 3:12 NABRE; cf. Romans 10:5). The addition or the Old Covenant was only meant to be in effect until Jesus came and died for sin.



<<< Exactly, but the covenant (the Ten C’s) didn’t end. It was taken from the children of Israel “Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.” (Matthew 23:38 KJV) Why? Because they did not keep it (Heb 8:9). It was taken from them and given to the Gentiles. “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.” (1 Peter 2:9-10 KJV) >>>



"Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed. So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian,  for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith" (Galatians 3:23-26 ESV).



Once it had served its purpose the Old Covenant became obsolete and was replaced by the New Covenant. "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).



<<< “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) These are the laws that the children of Israel did not keep. Not some nebulous “new covenant commandments”. >>>



Some have swallowed hook, line, and sinker the teaching that the Law that came 430 years after the Abrahamic Covenant was only the ceremonial law of the Old Covenant. This is nonsense because the commandments of the Old Covenant formed one Law. All 613 commandments were to be kept. The Bible does not limit the Old Covenant Law to only the ceremonial nor does it separate the laws into categories of moral, civil, and ceremonial. Therefore, James says of the Law, "For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it" (James 2:10 NIV).



<<< The law that came 430 years after the promise to Abraham was the Law of Moses. The myth that the law was 613 commandments with no categories was first proposed by a Jewish Rabbi over 100 years after the cross. Others have made their lists but there is no consensus as to the total number of commandments. 613 has become a popular traditional number.

The quote from James chapter 2 concerns the moral law as expressed by the Ten C’s. Not the mythical 613 commandment law that exists only in the minds of those Jews who still reject Christ and believe it is adherence to their law that affords them God’s favor. >>>



Many years into the New Covenant era the Old Covenant Law was separated into moral, civil, and ceremonial categories strictly for study, but this was not mandated by the Bible.



<<< The first and major distinction is the moral law that Adam and Eve transgressed. There must have been a law as was previously discussed and that law can only be the Ten C’s. It is the only law written by God’s own hand and spoken to His people with His own voice. He commanded Moses to place this law in the ark of His testimony in the most holy place of the earthly sanctuary which represented the true tables of the law in the true heavenly

sanctuary. >>>



Now let's take a look at the verses in question.



17 This is what I mean: the law, which came 430 years afterward, does not annul a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to make the promise void. 18 For if the inheritance comes by the law, it no longer comes by promise; but God gave it to Abraham by a promise.



19 Why then the law? It was added because of transgressions, until the offspring should come to whom the promise had been made, and it was put in place through angels by an intermediary. (ESV).



In v. 17 Paul sums up what he is writing about. "This is what I mean: the law..." What law? This is at the heart of your question. Therefore, let's look at the preceding verses and see if we can determine what law Paul had in mind. I believe it will be helpful to study the 4 Old Testament verses Paul quotes just before he sums up in v. 17.



"For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, 'Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them'" (3:10 ESV). Paul quotes Deuteronomy 27:26. Note that he quotes, "all things written in the Book of the Law." So we must ask, "What is this Book of the Law?" This book could be one of two possibilities. It may be the book that Moses used to ratify the Old Covenant at Sinai. This book contained all the commandments God gave at Sinai including the Ten Commandments. This book was referred to as the "Book of the Covenant" (see Exodus 24:3-4). The other possibility is that it may refer to the book of Deuteronomy itself. Either way the Book of the Law contains both moral and ceremonial commandments. In fact the Book of the Law contained a recitation of the Ten Commandments (see Exodus 20:1-17 & Deuteronomy 5:6-21).



<<< We read about the Ten Commandments and the statutes and judgments and the ceremonial law in the books of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. These books are called the Torah. There is no list of the Ten Commandments apart from the list spoken at Sinai and repeated by Moses at Moab. There is no statement that Moses wrote the Ten C’s in the book of the law. Commandments from the Ten C’s were included in the book of the law because it is the application of the Ten Commandments for the new nation God was about to established in the Promised Land. It is my understanding that the book of the law, the Law of Moses, and the book of the covenant all refer to the same law but there were additions made over the years. >>>



"Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for 'The righteous shall live by faith'" (3:11 ESV). Paul here quotes from Habakkuk 2:4. Of this verse it can be said that those who rely on their works are cursed for "no one is justified before God by the law". This verse relates back to v. 10 where the Book of the Law is mentioned. Paul's point is that only those who trust in God will live in His sight. As noted above the Book of the Law contained both moral and ceremonial commandments.



<<< Until Christ the law that was added specified the regulations for worship concerning the Hebrew sanctuary and the Levitical Priesthood. When the moral law was transgressed by Adam and Eve a ceremonial law was instituted that required a sacrificial remedy for sin that was a ‘shadow’ of Christ as savior and High Priest. This is first seen in the story of Cain and Abel. When the Law of Moses was given to Israel the ceremonial law was an integral part of that law. “Then verily the first covenant had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary.” (Hebrews 9:1 KJV) The Mosaic Covenant is called the ‘first’ covenant because it was ratified with the blood of a sacrificial offering before Christ ratified the ‘New Covenant” by the shedding of His own blood. >>>



"But the law is not of faith, rather 'The one who does them shall live by them'" (3:12 ESV). Paul now quotes from Leviticus 18:5. Paul gets to the heart of the matter: faith is necessary for salvation, law-keeping is not. Now that does not mean that we are free to sin. We still keep the law of God, but it is the New Covenant law. This means that the 7th day Sabbath once an essential obligation for the people of God is now an option. "One person regards one day above another, another regards every day alike. Each person must be fully convinced in his own mind" (Romans 14:5 NASB). Recall that the Judaizers were promoting faith plus Old Covenant law-keeping for salvation (cf. Acts 15:1, 5). Paul's point is that if one tries to keep the Old Covenant Law for salvation he will be under a curse (cf. 3:10). The verse in Leviticus occurs in a chapter primarily concerned with moral sins. So again we see that Paul had in mind moral sins not merely ceremonial sins as some claim.



<<< Man’s regard for a day has no power over God’s command to “remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy”. The subject of Romans 14 concerns food and judging one another over traditional days for fasting and avoiding eating the flesh of animals that had been sacrificed to idols in Pagan worship services.

    Paul says those who keep the Old Covenant law with its ceremonial remedy for sin are rejecting Christ because Christ is the fulfillment of those remedies and to continue to practice them constitutes a rejection of the sufficiency of faith in Him alone for justification. >>>



"Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, 'Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree'" (3:13 ESV). Next Paul quotes Deuteronomy 21:23. Paul tells us that Jesus took the curse for our sins upon himself. The context of this quote is a stubborn & rebellious Israel. Their sins were not only ceremonial, but moral.



<<< The concept of ceremonial sins is not Biblical. It is the Ten Commandments that define all sin and reveal righteousness. Transgression of any law or command of God is sin and is a violation of one or more of the ten eternal precepts. >>>   



"so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith" (3:14 ESV). This section concludes with Paul teaching that the promised Spirit is received through faith not Old Covenant Law-keeping. It is not even a combination of the two. It is faith alone. In the next chapter Paul uses an allegory to clearly teach that New Covenant faith & Old Covenant Law are mutually exclusive. Sarah represents faith & Hagar represents the Old Covenant Law. Paul says to cast out the Old Covenant Law. "Nevertheless what does the Scripture say? 'Cast out the bondwoman and her son, for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman'" (4:30 NKJV).



<<< There is no justification for sin in keeping the Decalogue once it is transgressed and all have transgressed it. That is not a valid excuse for discarding it. “Do we then make void the law (nomos) through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law (nomos).” (Rom 3:31 KJV) >>>



I believe we can conclude based on Paul's use of Old Testament quotations that the law of v. 19 is the entire Old Covenant law. The Old Covenant came in between the Abrahamic and the New Covenant due to the sinfulness of Israel. The covenant was only to last for a specific period of time:430 years after the Abrahamic Covenant until the offspring should come referring to Jesus.



<<< Before sin, the law given to fallen man as ten eternal precepts that were written by God in stone at Sinai were written in the heart and mind of Adam and Eve when they were created. If it were not so there would have been no point in giving them a test of obedience. It would have been meaningless. >>>



"Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed. So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith" (Galatians 3:23-26 ESV).



<<< The law is not of faith. As I have already written, there is no justification in keeping the moral law once it has been transgressed. Justification is through faith in Christ for righteousness. The ceremonial remedy for sin is the guardian until Christ came as it revealed the true justifier through the offering of the ceremonial one. >>>



To sum up: Paul uses 4 Old Testament verses none of which is exclusive to the ceremonial law. He uses verses that in context refer to the Old Covenant Law which contains both moral & ceremonial commandments. After which Paul states, "This is what I mean: the law..." (v. 17) It should be obvious the he is referring to the Old Covenant Law. Therefore, the law that was added because of transgression, the temporary addition, was the Old Covenant Law-all 613 commandments. So, yes, the 7th day Sabbath ended with the rest of the Old Covenant Law. Since the 7th day Sabbath is not restated in the New Covenant, the only one of the Ten Commandments that isn't, we can be sure that it is not necessary for Christians.



<<< Since the expert has incorrectly defined the Old Covenant law and incorrectly interpreted the verses pertaining to it, his conclusions are confusing (Babylon). Jesus is calling His people out of the Sunday keeping Churches (Babylon) in one final last “loud cry” before His return. Time is fast running out and many are yet deceived regarding the “Commandments of God”.

“And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” (Revelation 18:4 KJV) >>>



Thanks for the question.



God Bless You,

Brother Sal



<<< In Christ’s love,

         Frank >>>  


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Sal

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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.

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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.

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

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