Seventh-Day Adventists/10 commandments


Frank wrote at 2016-01-29 03:09:59
1 24 2016 - 10 commandments

<<< The expert’s response: >>>

Dear Brother Ray:

The Ten Commandments are not "explained away" so as to teach that we do not have to keep moral law. The Old Covenant was taken away and replaced with the New Covenant. The Ten Commandments were the heart of the Old Covenant.

"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).

If you accept that the Old Covenant has been taken away then so has the Ten Commandments which were that covenant.

<<< Where is it stated that the law is taken away? There is no Biblical support for the belief that the ten C’s have ever been taken away. Jesus told the chief priests and the elders, “Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. (Mat 21:43 KJV) Since the nation of Israel that had the law, had it taken from them and given to someone else (the Christian Church actually), there is no justification for saying the moral law is ended. >>>

So does that mean that we are free to break all the moral commandments contained on the tablets of stone? Of course not. In fact all the moral commandments that were on the tablets of stone can be found restated in the New Testament as commands for Christians to obey. Now here is the sticky point for SDAs. The only one of the Ten Commandments that is not restated for Christians is the Sabbath commandment. The Sabbath was the ceremonial sign of the Old Covenant.

<<< There is nothing ceremonial about the Sabbath of the 4th commandment. It was made before sin,(Gen 2:2, 3) before the ceremonial law was instituted.(Gen 4:4) It is not a shadow of Christ or any aspect of the plan of salvation.

    Concerning the restating of commandments in the New Testament, none of the commandments had to be restated for them to continue as righteous requirements of the law.

The terms of a covenant aren’t written after the death of the one that made it (Gal 3:15). If the law that condemned man to die could have been changed to accommodate sin, Jesus needn’t have gone to the cross. The cross itself is irrefutable proof that the moral law stands unchanged from the Old Covenant to the New. >>>

"And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, ‘Speak also to the children of Israel, saying: Surely My Sabbaths you shall keep, for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the Lord who sanctifies you... It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel forever; for in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day He rested and was refreshed'" (Exodus 31:12-13, 17 NKJV).

<<< God’s people have always been under the obligation to “remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy”. We know that Adam and Eve kept it because the first sin was disobedience to a direct command from God to not eat the fruit of a certain tree. It was not profaning the Sabbath.

  We know that it is still a New Covenant commandment because scripture tells us, “And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.” (Galatians 3:29 KJV)

Also, the New Covenant is made with the House of Israel (Hebrews 8:10) >>>

As the sign of the Old Covenant it was placed on the tablets of stone which was the covenant document between God & Israel. Like other covenant documents of the time and place the king would place the ceremonial sign in the covenant document usually in the center of the document. So it is that we have the Sabbath in the Ten Commandments and yet it is not a moral commandment.

<<< The King’s “seal” is not a ceremonial sign. Without it, the document has no force. It could have been written by anyone. It is only when the King affixes His seal does the document have the authority that can only be granted by the King. When we keep the Sabbath day that God blessed and sanctified at creation, we acknowledge the authority that comes from the creator of “heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is” (Ex 20:11). Keeping any other day is acknowledging the authority of another (idolatry). Eve did that very thing when she believed the serpent’s words that she could disobey God’s commandment, become like God and not die (Gen 3:4, 5). That is exactly what Satan did in heaven when he became dissatisfied with his position as an angelic being. He believed he could exalt himself and be like the most High (Isaiah 14:14). >>>     

I see no evidence that the Ten Commandments are the laws written on our hearts. The Bible verses you mention do not say that. Jeremiah 31:31-33 says that God will make a new covenant with the people and that this covenant will not be like the old covenant with written laws, but the people will know and desire to keep God's law.

<<< “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.” (Jeremiah 31:33 KJV)

As has already been stated, God’s law that was written in the heart and mind of Adam and Eve when they were created is the same law represented by the Ten Commandments written by God in stone at Sinai. When the verses from Jeremiah were written there was no New Testament. When the law is written in the mind, it is not some imaginary New Covenant laws or commandments that never existed before but the principles of the eternal ten C’s. God made no mistakes when he wrote the law in the mind of Adam and Eve when He created them. He made no mistakes when he wrote that same law in stone at Sinai. >>>

“Behold, days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them,” declares the Lord. “But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares the Lord, “I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people" (Jeremiah 31:31-33 NASB).

In John 14:15 Jesus does not say "keep my Ten Commandments". Jesus' commandments are recorded in the New Testament. We are to keep them all not merely ten.

<<< If we are keeping the Ten, we are keeping them all. “I have seen an end of all perfection: but thy commandment is exceeding broad.” (Psalms 119:96 KJV) >>>

"This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.  You are My friends if you do whatever I command you" (John 15:12-14 NKJV).

<<< This is not a new commandment. Jesus never commands any one not to do something that the ten C’s tell us to do and He never tells us to do something that the Ten C’s tell us not to do. They are the standard of righteousness. They reveal to us when we are “walking after the Spirit” and when we are indulging the carnal nature, “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” (Romans 8:7 KJV)

Now, what does the law concerning love for one another tell us?

“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. Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. (Rom 13:8-10 KJV) Love is the fulfilling of the law concerning love for one another and that law is from the Ten C’s. The law concerning love for God is from the Ten C’s as well and one of those commandments begins with, “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.” (Exodus 20:8 KJV) >>>

In Matthew 5:17-18 Jesus is not speaking about the Ten Commandments.

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished" (NIV).

Here Jesus is clearly speaking of something much larger than the Ten Commandments which does, however,  include the Ten Commandments. Jesus is speaking of the law and the prophets or the Old Covenant. There is no biblical evidence that "Law" here refers to solely the Ten Commandments. In fact Matthew never uses "Law" to refer solely to the Ten Commandments. He uses "Law" to refer to the Torah or the books of Moses. "For example, For all the prophets and the Law (Ten Commandments?) prophesied until John" (11:13 NASB). Again, "Or have you not read in the Law (Ten Commandments?), that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple break the Sabbath and are innocent?" (12:5 NASB; see also 7:12; 22:36-40; 23:23). Yes, "the Law" includes the Ten Commandments, but is not limited to them as these examples show.

<<< The Ten C’s represent the law that Adam and Eve transgressed in the garden when they sinned. God wrote the law on tables of stone at Sinai and spoke the commandments with His own voice to the people. The law the expert says is not the Ten C’ is the law of Moses which is the law for the new nation which included the ceremonial law of the Hebrew sanctuary.

  The Greek word translated law in the New Testament is “nomos”. Matthew speaks of the law and the prophets three times in His Gospel. The “law” (nomos) refers to the Law of Moses when used in the context that Matthew uses it. It is used four more times in the other three Gospels and always refers to the Law of Moses. We should not be surprised at this as the temporary ceremonial law given in the Law of Moses had yet to be fulfilled and rendered obsolete (leaving only the moral commandments which are summarized by the Ten C's). Since the expert teaches that the moral law changed at the cross (or rather that the 4th commandment is a ceremonial ordinance) we can never agree with him concerning the nature of the Ten C’s. >>>    

So if you are right and the Law continues into the New Covenant then Christians are obligated to keep all the Old Covenant.

<<< Jesus atoning sacrifice on the cross brought to an end the law of sacrifices that illustrated the plan of salvation in types and symbols. The author of Hebrews wrote, “Then verily the first covenant had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary.” (Hebrews 9:1 KJV) This is the law was rendered obsolete in performance by His atoning sacrifice. >>>

Thankfully, Jesus came to fulfill all that was written about him in the Law and the prophets. He fulfilled all prophecies that concerned the coming of the Messiah for our salvation. Nothing further needs to be accomplished. He did it all.

"After this, Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, 'I thirst!' Now a vessel full of sour wine was sitting there; and they filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on hyssop, and put it to His mouth. So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, 'It is finished!”'And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit" (John 19:28-30 NKJV).

<<< The book of Hebrews tells us Jesus is our High Priest in the heavenly temple, ministering in behalf of the fallen race (Heb 9:12). The book of Revelation reveals Jesus in the Holy Place during the Church age (Rev 1:12, 13). >>>

To sum up, I believe that the Biblical evidence is clear that Matthew 5:17-18 is Jesus assuring the people that he has not come to destroy their religion. He is the fulfillment of that which the Hebrew Scriptures pointed to. He is the goal of the Old Covenant Law that the Jews so revered.  He is the fulfillment of what the great prophets spoke so magnificently of. Jesus reveals to the people that not the smallest part of the smallest letter will be taken away until it all comes true. Jesus further confirms the Law by saying that if one breaks the least of the 613 Old Covenant laws they will find themselves in God’s disfavor.

If one keeps all the laws of the Old Covenant one will be in God’s favor because all the 613 laws are still in effect until he fulfills them all. Then, and only then, the entire Old Covenant will become obsolete giving way to the New Covenant. “In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, 'This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me'"  (1 Corinthians 11:25 NIV).

<<< There are not 613 “Old Covenant Laws”. Christ’s atoning sacrifice ended the requirements of the ceremonial (sacrificial) law (Hebrews 9:1). Justification under the New Covenant is now through faith in Christ alone. The Old Covenant ceremonial remedy for sin is ended. This was signified by the rent veil in the Temple when Jesus cried our “it is finished” (Mat 27:51). In this manner the law is established through Christ's atoning sacrifice, not replaced with New Covenant commandments. “Do we then make void the law (nomos) through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law (nomos).” (Romans 3:31 KJV) >>>

"And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself... He said to them, 'This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.' Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures" (Luke 24:27, 44-45 NIV).

<<< Christ’s mission was to keep the law that man had transgressed in the garden and to establish its principles in the heart and mind of man as He ministers in man’s behalf in the heavenly Temple. The Ten C’s are the written representation of that law and are the foundational principles of the Law of Moses which is the law for the new nation God was about to establish at Sinai. This is the law all the other nations had long since rejected. The Law of Moses also contained the law concerning the Hebrew sanctuary which was a temporary law that lasted until Christ died on the cross and began His ministry as our High Priest in the holy place in heaven. We are no longer under the law that required stoning for certain offenses. We are now under grace but those who persist in sin and are found guilty of blaspheming the Holy Spirit will die the second (eternal) death in the lake of fire.

(Mat 25:41) >>>

May God open our minds to understand the Scriptures.

<<< The law of God is the only true standard of moral perfection. That law was practically exemplified in the life of Christ. He says of Himself, "I have kept my Father's commandments" (John 15:10). Nothing short of this obedience will meet the requirements of God's Word. "He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked" (1 John 2:6). We cannot plead that we are unable to do this, for we have the assurance, "My grace is sufficient for thee" (2 Corinthians 12:9). As we look into the divine mirror, the law of God, we see the exceeding sinfulness of sin, and our own lost condition as transgressors. But by repentance and faith we are justified before God, and through divine grace enabled to render obedience to His commandments.” (Ellen G. White) >>>  

Thanks for the question.

Brother Sal

<<< In Christ’s love,

        Frank >>>

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