by Dave Clark
Yes, though they are actually God's Laws, God, Himself, does call them the "Law of Moses" (Mal 4:4); and Jesus Christ, too (Luk 24:44). Let us not be deceived, however, as to God's meaning. Ellen G. White also recognized the danger of misconstruing this misnomer of the "Law of Moses." She said:
After quoting a statute found in Deuteronomy 24:14-15 and another one in Leviticus 19:13, she makes three points, I feel, regarding all of God's Statutes, that (#1) these are commandments, (#2) they are part of the law of God written by Moses in a book, and (#3) they are still binding in our day:
Thus, our modern churches have made the "Law of Moses" into a terrible misnomer — in particular, when they claim the "Law of Moses" has been nailed to the cross. Note that Jesus Christ, Himself, denies this (Mat 5:17-19). The Apostle Paul, also, denies this (Rom 3:31; Rom 7:12-13; Gal 3:21). In point of fact, you'll never find, either in the Bible or in Ellen White's writings, that any statute was ever abolished. What, then, are the churches trying to accomplish with such a claim? You can be sure satan is behind it but, whatever it is, they end up throwing out the baby with the bath-water when they do so!
First off... Do they realize that the entire first five books of our modern-day Bible constitute the "Law of Moses" as defined by both the Old and New Testaments of that Bible? The "Torah" (Hebrew) and the "Pentateuch" (Greek) are the first five books of the Bible! The Bible uses the "Law of Moses," the "Torah," and the "Pentateuch" all as synonyms of each other. It is these first five "books" of the Bible, including the Commandments, which were entirely "written in a book" and placed in the side of the Ark of the Covenant. The following is the proof text for this and please note the Hebrew word for "law" (Strong's H8451) in the following verse is the Torah:
We cannot pick and choose amongst God's Law (categorized as the Commandments, the Statutes, and the Judgments: see Gen 26:5; Lev 18:4-5; Lev 18:26; Lev 19:19; Lev 19:37; Lev 20:8; Lev 20:22; Lev 25:18; Lev 26:3; Lev 26:15; Lev 26:43; 1Ki 2:3; 1Ki 3:14; 1Ki 6:12; 1Ki 9:4-6; 1Ki 11:11; 1Ki 11:33-34; 1Ki 11:38; 2Ki 17:13; 1Ch 28:7; 1Ch 29:19; 2Ch 7:17; 2Ch 7:19; 2Ch 19:10; Ezr 7:10; Neh 10:29; Psa 50:16; Psa 89:31-32; Psa 119:48; Jer 1:16; Jer 44:10; Eze 5:6-7; Eze 11:12; Eze 11:20; Eze 18:9; Eze 18:17-21; Eze 20:11-16; Eze 20:19-24; Eze 36:27; Eze 37:24; Eze 44:24; Zec 1:6; Mal 4:4). Note that the previous bolded reference is a prophecy of an end-time Jesus Christ with all of the statutes and judgments as inviolate. Otherwise, God, Himself, says there is more to His Law than just the Commandments:
Notice, in those verses, that He iterates both His Commandments and His Laws separately. Notice, also, that it is the same Strong's number (H8451, the "Torah", the entire first five books of the Bible) for the word "laws." By the same token, God states that the new covenant is not just the Ten Commandments, but the entire law of the Torah (H8451 in the Hebrew and G3551 in the Greek):
So... What is being thrown out if one throws out the first five books of the Bible by "nailing them to His cross," as they propose? They are still indirectly throwing out the Ten Commandments, of course, which are the most prominent feature of those five books (in both Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5). Then, breaking the following statutes would also no longer constitute "sin" — though this is not an exhaustive list:
Then... Note that God intended to speak, for Himself, not only the words of the Ten Commandments to the people; but, also, all of the words of the Statutes and the Judgments. The people, however, would not allow the Lord to continue (Exo 20:19) and begged Moses to go up into the mountain (Deu 5:23-27) to hear the rest of the Lord's Words (Deu 5:28-33). Verse 31 is of particular note.
I'm sure one can agree that doing away with the Laws of God would be nothing more than a deception of the devil. So... From where do the churches claim to draw this deception of the devil that the Law of Moses was nailed to the cross? Let's read:
The first question that must be answered is, "Are any of God's Laws, or part of God's Laws, against us?" No, for if you say that, implicitly or explicitly, then you say that God, Himself, is against us (Joh 3:16-17; 2Ti 1:7-9) — as His Laws are a transcript of His Character and He is Love (1Jn 4:8; 1Jn 5:3). But, God's Laws are a witness against us (Deu 31:26) for the Law was given to show us our sins (Rom 3:20). If we have nothing to show us we are sinful, then we will not recognize our need of a Savior (Act 4:10-12). What is against us is the written record of our sins (Deu 31:28-29) — for that record is in opposition to the witness of the Law. The first part of Col 2:13 brings that out clearly. So verse 14 and 15 tells us that, through His sacrifice, Jesus Christ made it possible for the written record of our sins to be blotted out — i.e., no longer held against us and placing us under penalty of the second death (2Ti 1:8-10).
The second question is, "What are verses 16 and 17 trying to tell us?" To start with, let's (#1) leave out any italicized words (which were included by the translators and are not in the original text), and grammatically omit (#2) the list of items being talked about, and (#3) the sub-parenthetical phrase describing the list, so that we can see just the basic premise:
Well! I think that certainly sheds the light of truth on this issue. The Christian's only rightful judge is the "body of Christ." But, hold on a second... The common understanding for the definition of the "body of Christ" is the "church." Yet, in this life, we are to pass judgment on no man. If you think about it, though, there is another definition for the "body of Christ" (which I heard in a sermon by Pastor Ivor Meyers at an ASI Convention recently).
Well, Jesus Christ is the WORD (Joh 1:1-3,14) and just as John was to eat the little book (Rev 10:1-2,8-9), so eating Jesus' flesh is symbolic language for making the Word of God an integral part of our daily life. (As an aside, just as the blood sustains the flesh, so Jesus was sustained by the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit inspired the Word of God — thus, drinking Jesus' blood is symbolic language for asking for the filling of the Holy Spirit.) So, getting back to Colossians 2:16-17, we will be judged by the precepts taught us in the Word of God.
Now that we have the basic premise figured out, let's address what we previously left out:
The first thing that one absolutely must not ignore is those last four words shown above, "...of things to come..." What does that tell you? The things listed in verse 16 are shadows of something which has not yet come! What did Jesus say?
Thus, since they are shadows of things yet to come, then that also means they are not yet all fulfilled and are thus, also, all still binding! So, instead of these verses telling us that the Law of Moses was nailed to the cross, they are instead telling us that the entire Law of Moses is still binding and it was only the record of our sins which was nailed to His cross. Note that I included two bracketed phrases to make it clear, from the meaning of Strong's G3551, just what law is being talked about.
Where else might the churches claim to draw this deception of the devil that the Law of Moses was abolished by Christ's Sacrifice? Let's read:
I included the same three bracketed phrases to make it clear, from the context, just what is being talked about. The perceived problem, though, comes in the middle part of verse 15:
So... What was abolished by Christ's fleshly sacrifice? For one, the division between Jew and Gentile — which makes it possible for the Gentile to be grafted into the Branch and to become a spiritual Jew (Rom 11:17). But, more to the point, what "law of commandments in ordinances" did Christ abolish? It can't be all ordinances (because Strong's G1378 is "a law") because, then, we are back to "without the law there can be no sin" and, therefore, no need of a Savior. Besides that, the Apostle Paul enjoins us to keep ordinances and taught their requirement himself:
Well, since He was(is) the Supreme Sacrifice, it seems obvious (to me, at least) that His Sacrifice should take the place of the sacrificial system of ordinances surrounding the Ceremonial Law — for those sacrifices and oblations (Dan 9:27) served no more purpose than to point to Him. This is also why the Lord's Supper (as observed on the eve which begins the Passover Day) should replace the Passover Supper (as observed on the eve which ends the Passover Day).
Note, though, that this does not abolish any other of God's Laws. If it did, then Jesus would be made a liar by His words of Matthew 5:17-18. Thus, His Sacrifice does not abolish the Ten Commandments, the Statutes, or the Judgments. The Statutes include, as outlined in Leviticus 23:2-3, the Seventh-day Sabbath (on which twice as many animal sacrifices were performed than another other day of the year) nor does it abolish the statutes of the feast days (Lev 23:14,21,31,41). All of these memorial days are not about the sacrifices which were performed on them, but these days also point both backward and forward as "...a shadow of things to come." (Col 2:16-17)
Sometimes we must let go of man's traditions where we have been taught that certain passages of Scripture mean certain things. Like the "noble Bereans" (Act 17:10-13) we must study, not wrest, the Scriptures to find what truths lie there. We must not forget that the Bible, as a whole, agrees with itself. There are so many Scriptures which state that God's Feasts have the same beginning (e.g., Gen 1:14, Gen 19:1-3, Psa 81:3-5) and the same ending (e.g., Mat 5:17-19) as all of His Other Laws. Even His Ceremonial Laws were not abolished — merely substituted — from type to anti-type and from symbol to reality. His Feasts, on the other hand, cannot be merely substituted because they do much more than merely point to Christ's Sacrifice. They are a tri-fold prophecy spanning the entire Plan of Salvation and will not be entirely fulfilled until satan and his angels are no more and the Earth is made New.
I digress to speak directly of the Feasts. The reason for this is I get the distinct impression that the whole reason for wanting to "throw out" the "Laws of Moses" is for the sole purpose of trying to get rid of God's Feast Days. Classifying the Feasts in with the Ceremonial Laws also seems like an excuse to get rid of the Feasts. I understand this from satan's point of view — as the Feasts testify (yeah, prophesy) concerning the Plan of Salvation. But I don't understand this from the point of view of the Church. So, proof they are not yet entirely fulfilled?
It is a terrible thing that we Seventh-Day Adventists have been missing out on all this very important information which, I believe, is also very pertinent to our salvation. Not "salvational" mind you, though if one rejects these truths it would certainly indicate a problem in that person's relationship with Jesus. After all... Remember how Jesus Christ "...beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself." (Luk 24:27) How much more His Feasts testify and prophesy of Him and of the Great Plan of Salvation!
To take this even a step further, here's my Sep. 14, 2007 prophecy... We Seventh-Day Adventists have been too at ease; basking in the light of the straight talk from the Catholic Church which holds up the Seventh-Day Adventist Church as the one which follows the Bible. Well, one day the Catholic Church is going to stand up and shake the Seventh-Day Adventist Church to its core in embarrassment in front of the whole world. The Catholic Church is going to correctly point out, to the world, that even the Seventh-Day Adventist Church is one more of the Daughters of the Mother Church because we, too, are an image to the Beast. The Catholic Church is going to correctly show the world that mother church is responsible for doing away with the Feasts of the Bible, where there is no Biblical basis, and setting up its own "Beast Days" in their place. After all, how many Seventh-Day Adventists continue to observe St. Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, Easter, Halloween, Christmas, etc., which were established by the Catholic Church? So, for what is the Catholic Church waiting? They are probably waiting for the Seventh-Day Adventist Church to make it an official part of their doctrine (because it's not official, currently; it is only tradition) that the Feasts were done away with at the Cross. At that time, the Catholic Church will pounce.