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"While we must hold fast to the truths which we have already received, we must not look with suspicion upon any new light that God may send." (GW p.310)

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The Law of God

by Dave Clark

Scripture: "My covenant will I not break, nor alter the
thing that is gone out of my lips." (Psalm 89:34)

INTRODUCTION

My subject, today (which is, the "Law of God"), is one which is near and dear to my heart. It is near and dear to my heart because God has taken a lot of undeserved grief over His Law for more than six thousand years — ever since Lucifer first became infatuated with his own image. This subject is also one of those topics which we need to understand correctly in order to have a righteous relationship with God. Why? Because God said,

"For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified." (Romans 2:13)

He also said,

"But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves." (James 1:22)

So, if we are hearers, only, of His Word, then we are deceiving ourselves. Further, it is not the hearers of the law which are justified in God's Sight, but the doers of the law. I think you'll agree, then, that we need to have a correct understanding of God's Law that we may be doers of that Law.

Now, just to be clear, we all know that we are not saved by keeping God's Law. A very familiar passage is Ephesians 2:8,9:

"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast."

So, we are only saved by grace, through faith, and not by works. But, if we are truly in a saved relationship with Jesus, then we will be demonstrating our love for Him by doing as He has commanded us. Another familiar passage:

"(15)If ye love me, keep my commandments… (23) If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. (24) He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me." (John 14:15,23,24)

You've also heard nominal Christians whom have a bad habit of asking, "Is that a salvational issue?" or, worse, stating that something "is not a salvational issue."

Also note that I called them "nominal Christians" and that some Seventh-Day Adventists are the worst offenders in this area. I called them "nominal Christians" because, if you're asking that question, or if you're classifying things from the standpoint of whether or not, to you, it is a salvational issue, then you're not really a follower of Christ or you wouldn't be looking for the least thing you can do to please Yehsh' haMshyach, Jesus Christ, The Messiah, and your Saviour.

So, for the record, I'll state that there is only one salvational issue and it is neither the Ten Commandments nor the Seventh-day Sabbath — as important as those things are. Salvation is not about what you know or what you do. Salvation is about Who knows you and what He did for you. Notice this series of passages:

Jesus answered them, "I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father's name, they bear witness of me. But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand." (John 10:25-29)

Notice Jesus said, "… I know them … and I give unto them eternal life..." Also:

"Not every one that saith unto me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?' And then will I profess unto them, 'I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.'" (Matthew 7:21-23)

Again, notice Jesus said, "… I never knew you …" One more:

"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you." (John 15:13,14)

So, who did Jesus die for? …for His friends — but, lest anyone think I'm being exclusive, I'll point out that Jesus offers His Friendship to whosoever will (see John 3:16). Now, just so we're clear… Who are His friends? …those who choose to do whatever He has commanded.

OK, to repeat… There is only one salvational issue and it is all about a true relationship between the Saviour and the Saved. Does Jesus know you and do you truly know Him?

He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked. Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which ye have heard from the beginning. (1John 2:4-7)

PROBLEM

But here is where arises the confusion and the traditions of Babylon. Are we only to keep the commandments, words, and sayings of Jesus Christ as given in the New Testament? Or, is it actually just the Old Testament Ten Commandments we are to keep, but in the spirit in which Jesus Christ represented them in the New Testament? Or, is it all of God's Law we are to keep, as given in the Torah (the first five books of the Bible), but in the spirit in which Jesus Christ represented God's complete Law in the New Testament?

ANALYSIS

If you look back at that passage in John 14, again, I believe Jesus gives us part of the answer right there:

"… and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me." (John 14:24)

So, it seems Jesus is telling us to keep all of God's Law as given in the Torah, but in the spirit in which He represented them in the New Testament.

Now, what do I mean by the spirit in which He represented them? I'm referring to the interpretations He gave in the Sermon on the Mount which lets us know that there is a spiritual aspect to the Law which goes deeper than just the words printed in the Bible. Further, I'm referring to the answers He gave regarding whether it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath. This tells me that if we take a stickler attitude towards God's Law, then we have become as guilty as the Pharisees — and what did Jesus say about them?

"For I say unto you, that except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 5:20)

Whoa! Makes you want to correctly understand God's Law, yes? That should also tell you, for sure, that salvational issues are not about what is in God's Law — for the Pharisee's were sticklers about keeping the letter of God's full Law.

But, is there further evidence that Jesus is talking about keeping all of God's Law as given in the Torah? There is yet another familiar passage in the three verses just before the one I just read:

"Think not that I am come to destroy the law3551, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law3551, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 5:17-19)

Now, the Bible represents Jesus as using the English word, "law," twice in this passage. If we refer to the Strong's Concordance, number G3551, to get the Greek word and meaning behind that English word, we find that this word is used to generally refer to any set of laws or regulations; but, specifically, to the Law of Moses "including the volume." This "volume" is the five books of the Torah.

Also notice that, though Jesus said He came to fulfill the Law, He also said that the Law would not be entirely fulfilled until all of heaven and earth were to pass away. Furthermore, He said that, until that time, not one jot (we would say, the dot of an "i") nor one tittle (we would say, the cross of a "t") would in any wise, or in any way, pass from, or be removed from, the Law! So, as I said, this says, to me, that Jesus is telling us to keep all of God's Law, as given in the Torah, but in the spirit in which He represented them in the New Testament.

Now, if Jesus is saying that all of God's Law, the Torah, will remain in place until heaven and earth passes away, do we have proof that such an idea is in keeping with rest of God's Word, the Bible? I'd say that the most conclusive proof is this familiar verse:

"My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips." (Psalm 89:34)

But God only spoke the Ten Commandments from Mt. Sinai, yes? …and He only wrote the Ten Commandments in stone, yes? Actually, no, on both counts!

Note, in the Bible, 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 God to continue:

And they said unto Moses, "Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die." (Exodus 20:19)

How often do we do the same thing? We will listen to our pastor, or our friends, but we won't go to the Word of God to hear Him. But at least they told Moses to go hear the rest of what God had to say:

"Go thou near, and hear all that the LORD our God shall say: and speak thou unto us all that the LORD our God shall speak unto thee; and we will hear it, and do it." (Deuteronomy 5:27)

And what did God say? This is Moses talking… But see if you can hear the hurt in God's voice because the people would not hear Him – as Moses expresses it:

"And the LORD heard the voice of your words, when ye spoke unto me; and the LORD said unto me, 'I have heard the voice of the words of this people, which they have spoken unto thee: they have well said all that they have spoken. O that there were such a heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children forever! Go say to them, Get you into your tents again. But as for thee, [speaking to Moses] stand thou here by me, and I will speak unto thee all the commandments, and the statutes, and the judgments, which thou shalt teach them, that they may do them in the land which I give them to possess it.'" (Deuteronomy 5:28-31)

Then, regarding what was written on the tables of stone… You might want to open your Bibles to Exodus 34 so you can read it for yourself. There you find the incident surrounding the making of the second set of tablets. Let's read verse 1:

And the LORD said unto Moses, "Hew thee two tables of stone like unto the first: and I will write upon these tables the words that were in the first tables, which thou didst break." (Exodus 34:1)

The chapter goes on to record how Moses comes up the mountain. In verses five to seven, God declares Himself. Then, starting in verse ten, God declares a covenant and, starting in verse twelve, proceeds to reiterate a mixture of many of the statutes — including the statutes concerning God's Feasts — and the ten commandments themselves. Then, starting in verse 27, God says this:

And the LORD said unto Moses, "Write thou these words: for after the tenor of these words I have made a covenant with thee and with Israel." And he was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights; he did neither eat bread, nor drink water. And he [speaking of God] wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant [and] the ten commandments. (Exodus 34:27,28)

Now, I inserted that word "and" between "covenant" and "the ten commandments" where the comma is. You already know that punctuation was not in the original manuscripts. Other people, Jewish people, have told me that this word "and" is supposed to be in this verse based upon the manuscripts which are available. Jewish culture also records that the tables of stone contained all of God's Law – written front and back – and not just the Ten Commandments. Not being able to read Hebrew, Aramaic, or Greek; I cannot verify this for myself. But God also said, here, that the basis for the covenant were the words He had just finished speaking. Those words were not just the Ten Commandments — but included some statutes and the Feast Days.

So, anyway, keep in mind that, based on Deuteronomy 5:31, God spoke all of the commandments, statutes, and judgments which make up God's Law and the Book of the Law, the Torah. This would agree with other familiar passages which speak about God's Law. In fact, God, Himself, says there is more to His Law than just the Commandments:

"Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.8451" (Genesis 26:5)

Another:

And the LORD said unto Moses, "How long refuse ye to keep my commandments and my laws?8451" (Exodus 16:28)

Notice, in those verses, that He iterates both His Commandments and His Laws separately. Also, if you compare it with your Strong's Concordance, it is the "Torah" (the entire first five books of the Bible), for the word "laws." By the same token, God states that the New Covenant, like the Old, is not about just the Ten Commandments, but the entire law of the Torah (Strong's number H8451 in the Hebrew and G3551 in the Greek). Reading in Jeremiah 31:31-33:

"... (33) 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 law8451 in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people."

And in the New Testament, Hebrews 8:8-10:

"... (10) For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws3551 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:"

And, again, in Hebrews 10:15-17:

"Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before, 'This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws3551 into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.'"

Now, the Torah is also called the book of the covenant (see Exodus 24:7; 2Kings 23:2; and 2Chronicles 34:30), but why did I previously mention the Book of the Law? Note this:

"And the LORD thy God will make thee plenteous in every work of thine hand, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy land, for good: for the LORD will again rejoice over thee for good: for the LORD will again rejoice over thee for good, as he rejoiced over thy fathers: if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which are written in this book of the law8451, and if thou turn unto the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul." (Deuteronomy 30:9,10)

Did you notice Moses said that both the commandments and the statutes are written in the Book of the Law? That makes sense, right? Now note this:

And it came to pass, when Moses had made an end of writing the words of this law8451 in a book, until they were finished, That Moses commanded the Levites, which bore the ark of the covenant of the LORD, saying, "Take this book of the law, and put it in the side of the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, that it may be there for a witness5707 against thee." (Deuteronomy 31:24-26)

First of all, did you note that phrase, "…for a witness against thee," in verse 26? Those two words, "against thee," shouldn't be in the text. They were added by the translators based on their own prejudices against God's Law. There is only one Hebrew word (H5707) behind that English phrase and that Hebrew word simply means "witness" — implying neither for nor against anyone. God's Law is simply a witness of God's Character.

Otherwise, did you notice where the Book of the Law was placed? "… in the side of the Ark of the Covenant," right? So, the Book of the Covenant, containing both the commandments and the statutes, was placed in the side of the Ark of the Covenant. Hold on a second, though! I recently found out that Jewish culture says there was no pocket or compartment on the outside of the Ark of the Covenant and we certainly don't read about one when God describes the making of the Ark. No, Jewish culture says that the Book of the Law was inside the Ark, standing, or leaning, to one side of the inside of the Ark!

Have you heard Seventh-day Adventist preachers and evangelists try to make a distinction between what was placed inside the Ark versus what was placed outside the Ark? They try to say that what was inside the Ark was permanent but what was on the outside of the Ark was temporary – meaning, until the Death of Jesus Christ on the Cross. What authority do they have for making such a statement? None!

Didn't we read, in Psalm 89:34, that God will not break His Covenant nor alter the thing that has gone out of His Lips! … and He spoke all the Commandments and the Statutes with His own Lips. We also just read, in Deuteronomy 30:10, that the Book of the Covenant, which is the Book of the Law, also contained the Ten Commandments! So, perhaps in ignorance, but what are our SDA preachers and evangelists trying to do? I thought it was only the devil that was trying to get rid of God's Law!

Well, I know what they're trying to do, but I'm not getting into that part of the subject, today. Today, I just want you to come to a full realization of Who God is and just what He thinks of His Law. It'll be a paradigm shift for most of you, a new way of thinking, but it will also bring peace when you see just how unchanging (and, therefore, reliable and trustworthy) God, and His Law, really is.

Speaking of unchanging, we also have this passage:

"For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed. Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the LORD of hosts. But ye said, 'Wherein shall we return?' Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, 'Wherein have we robbed thee?' In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation." (Malachi 3:6-9)

Why does God say that, because He does not change, therefore the Children of Israel are not destroyed for turning away from His Law? That is something to think about for those whom claim that the God of the Old Testament was an angry, vengeful God just looking for any excuse to murder humans.

But notice, when the Children of Israel ask in what way they need to return to Him, He doesn't mention any of the Ten Commandments but, instead, He points out one of the statutes (see Leviticus 27:30-33; Numbers 18:26; and Deuteronomy 14:22 for that). Also notice the next verse after the Leviticus 27:30-33 passage concerning the tithe — the last verse in Leviticus (Leviticus 27:34):

"These are the commandments, which the LORD commanded Moses for the children of Israel in mount Sinai."

So, the Statutes are also considered, by God, to be commandments of God. Interesting! Now, let me repeat this earlier passage…

"My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked." (1John 2:1-6)

OK, so we just read that God considers His Statutes to also be His Commandments. Then, here we read that the only way we know that we know God, and are in Christ, is if we know and keep all of His Law! This passage also says that anyone claiming to be a Christian, but denying any part of His Law, the same is a liar. Strong words!

PROBLEM

On the subject of denying any part of God's Law, in no way do I present this next part as any sort of condemnation. Instead, I say this in love:

And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, "Speak unto the children of Israel, and bid them that they make them fringes in the borders of their garments throughout their generations, and that they put upon the fringe of the borders a ribband of blue: and it shall be unto you for a fringe, that ye may look upon it, and remember all the commandments of the LORD, and do them; and that ye seek not after your own heart and your own eyes, after which ye use to go a whoring: that ye may remember, and do all my commandments, and be holy unto your God. I am the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: I am the LORD your God." (Numbers 15:37-41)

Now, I have a couple of questions for you, but let's read the common answer to this passage from the Pen of Inspiration:

"The people of God are not now required to have a special mark placed upon their garments." (Our High Calling, 271.2)

Question: Did God say that the fringe with a ribband of blue was a mark for others to see? I see God saying that it was to help us remember the Law of God. This is a good thing, yes? Also, Ellen White said, "The people of God are not now required…" May I suggest this implies that such a requirement was yet in the future? In fact, she points this out, herself, in the very next sentence:

"But in the New Testament we are often referred to ancient Israel for examples." (Ibid)

Now, Ellen White did connect this to dress reform, in God's People, and went on to say that this was for the purpose of making them distinct from the ways of the world. But, she also said that there was much more light to shine forth from the Law of God which was not, yet, shinning in her day. If we desire to be among the 144,000 then I'm pretty sure we want to do anything and everything which will help us to remember the Law of God. Yes? It works for me.

PREMISE

But, getting back to the changelessness of God and the perpetuity of His full Law, if He never changes, and His Law never ends, what about the so-called "Sacrificial Law" and the so-called "Ceremonial Law?" Am I saying that we are supposed to be doing these things today? Well, no! ;-) So, what am I saying? Here comes the paradigm shift – a new way of thinking…

ANALYSIS

We've pretty well established, from the Bible, that God's Law is not just about the Ten Commandments. We've also pretty well established, from the Bible, that God and God's Law never changes or ends. Yet, if you'd like to turn to Daniel 9:27, we also have this other well known verse which we must consider. It states:

"And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate."

Now, didn't that say the sacrifice and the oblation would cease? Doesn't that mean that the so-called "Sacrificial Law" would end, or be abolished, at the Cross? Well, no! ;-) Let us not add to God's Word. So, what does it actually say?

I'll first comment that the circumcision of the outward flesh and the animal sacrifices were the only sacrifices being practiced at the time. Thus, what it says, is that the circumcision of the outward flesh, the animal sacrifices, and the oblations of grain and oil would cease in the midst of the week — which we know of as the Death of Jesus Christ on the Cross in 31AD.

So, what I'm saying, is that we have to stop taking the traditional mental leap which automatically equates the animal sacrifices to God's Sacrificial Law. Instead, we have to ask ourselves, "If the animal sacrifices are not actually God's Sacrificial Law, then just what is God's Sacrificial Law?"

PROOF

We have a familiar passage which can help us. Hebrews 9:22:

"And almost all things are by the law3551 purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission."

Notice Paul said, "… by the law3551 …" I think we can recognize that the New Testament writers demonstrated a knowledge of God's Law which we generally lack, today.

Now, you might say, "That's all well and good; but, that's the New Testament. How about something from God's Own Lips in the Old Testament?" OK, let's consider Leviticus 17:11. Here is God speaking:

" For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul."

Thus, God's Sacrificial Law is a requirement for the shed blood of the sinner. The animal sacrifices were merely an imperfect substitute for the required atonement, by blood, which Mankind couldn't pay and still live. Those animal sacrifices pointed to that Perfect Substitute, to come, and faith made up the difference.

Then, continuing in the same vein… Did Daniel 9:27 say anything, at all, about the so-called Ceremonial Law? No, it did not. Is there any other Bible passage which definitively states that the so-called Ceremonial Law ended or was abolished at the Cross? I'm not aware of one — and, believe me, I've asked and searched. Furthermore, is there anywhere in the Bible, at all, which has a "Thus saith the LORD" outlining just what constitutes the so-called Ceremonial Law? Again, I'm not aware of any.

However, let's turn to Hebrews 10. We touched briefly on the New Covenant, but I think your eyes will be opened a bit if we continue reading after that passage in Hebrews 10. Start in verse 15:

"Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before, This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws3551 into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more." (Hebrews 10:15-17)

Now, that is about where most people stop. But let's read on and see if you hear the sacrificial, and ceremonial, language tied up in the New Covenant. Verse 18:

"Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin. Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; And having a high priest over the house of God; Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water." (Hebrews 10:18-22)

Did you catch all those sacrificial references: offering for sin, the blood of Jesus, our hearts sprinkled, and our bodies washed in baptism? And did you catch all those ceremonial references: enter into the holiest, through the veil, and having a high priest? Continuing with verse 23:

"Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; for he is faithful that promised; And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching." (Hebrews 10:23-25)

That's good advice for any time. Now, the meat of the matter in verse 26 and onwards:

"For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God." (Hebrews 10:26-31)

Yes, when you're on the wrong side of God's Law, it surely is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of Judgment from the Living God. You see, the Saints are not judged by the Law, they are judged according to their relationship with Christ, and His shed Blood, which they have accepted. But, what did the verse 26 say?

For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins… (Hebrews 10:26)

Don't miss that! If Christ's Sacrifice no longer covers your willful, unrepented sins; and without the shedding of blood there is no remission for sin; then whose shed blood is going to pay for your sins? Why your own, of course, and thus, you become the burnt offering, in the Lake of Fire, for your own sins. This is the proof that the Sacrificial Law is still in effect. Christ's Sacrifice continues to stand because there is a Sacrificial Law which continues to be in force. If we think to do away with the Sacrificial Law, then Christ's Sacrifice becomes of none effect and we think we can, promiscuously, continue to sin.

Likewise, the Ceremonial Law did not end at the Cross. Jesus Christ continues to minister, in the Heavenly Sanctuary, as our High Priest. Was Jesus Christ not anointed our High Priest, in Heaven, on the typical Day of Pentecost in 31AD? Did He not perform the ceremonial duties in the Holy Place from that time until October 22, 1844? Since that typical Day of Atonement, did His ministry not take Him into the Most Holy Place and is He not now performing the ceremonial duties of the anti-typical Day of Atonement ever since that time? This is proof that the Ceremonial Law is still in effect. If we think to do away with the Ceremonial Law, then Christ's ministry, as our High Priest, becomes of none effect and we can think that there is no Day of Judgment to come.

EXPLANATION

So, in light of Daniel 9:27 and other references to the transference of the significance of the earthly sanctuary to the Heavenly Sanctuary; what changed at the Cross? All that changed is what kind of response Man is expected to have to the requirements of God's Holy Law.

Though there is mention of the sacrifice of the heart in the Old Testament (see Leviticus 26:41; Deuteronomy 10:16; and Deuteronomy 30:6), I think Man lost sight of that in the overwhelming blood-sacrifice of animals. So, basically, before the Cross, Man was giving only a fleshly, carnal sacrifice — one which included outward circumcision and the sacrifice of beasts and which promised of a more Perfect Sacrifice to come. After the Cross, it was re-emphasized to Man to give a spiritual sacrifice — one which includes the death, burial, and resurrection with Christ, in baptism, and one which includes the sacrifice of our hearts and minds that God the Holy Spirit might give us a new heart and the mind of Christ.

Again, for the Ceremonial Law, before the Cross, Man was asked to have an order of priests whom would intercede for the people and, in an earthly temple, perform ceremonies typical of the Great Plan of Redemption and which promised to redeem Man from the bondage of Sin. After the Cross, all Men were asked to become a royal priesthood (see 1Peter 2:9,10) whose bodies are living temples of God the Holy Spirit (see Romans 12:1; 1Corinthians 6:19,20) and to surrender the earthly ceremonies to our Heavenly High Priest whom will insure the completion of our sanctification and the eradication of Sin, itself, before restoring us to the Earth Made New and the Garden of Eden from which we came.

ARGUMENT

But what about those passages, in the Bible (e.g., Galatians 4, Ephesians 2, and Colossians 2), which we've been told teach that the Law was nailed to the Cross? Well, we've already learned that this is not so. Thus, instead, we must merely accept that we've been told incorrectly — that we are missing something in those passages. Let's look at those three major ones. Turn to Galatians 4, first.

Galatians 4

Now, we've been taught to start reading with verse 9. But, we've been taught wrong and verse 9 starts in the middle of a thought. Let's start reading with verse 1 to get the complete picture.

"Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all; But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father. Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world: But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ." (Galatians 4:1-7)

Here, Paul is relating the experience of every Christian. Though potential heirs of the promise (that we will rule with Christ), we are His servants while we are here on this sinful, old earth. But Christ was sent to seal the Promise, the Covenant, through His Death, so that all who choose Him might receive the adoption of sons and daughters. Therefore, at the moment of that choosing, upon making that commitment, we are no more servant, but a son or daughter; one which does His Father's Will because he loves Him — not as a servant does (out of duty). So, let's read on…

"Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods." (Galatians 4:8)

Question: Which part of the Christian Experience is Paul talking about now? He's talking about how we were before our conversion. So he is talking to his converts and how they were before their conversion. They were worshipping idols. It is in this context that we must understand the next two verses. Continuing with verse 9…

"But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage? Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years." (Galatians 4:9,10)

So, here we see that, when talking about the "weak and beggarly elements," he is referring to the observance of the "days, months, times, and years" associated with the idol worship his converts were doing before they knew about the One, True God of Heaven. Any suggestion that Paul is talking about the days, months, times, and years of God, is a gross misconstruction of God's Word and a high insult to God's Law — as it is contained in Commandments, Statutes, and Judgments.

Ephesians 2

Now, the next passage is in Ephesians 2. Again, we've been taught to start reading with verse 14 or 15. But, as I said, we've been taught wrong. Let's start reading with verse 11 to get a better grasp of the context.

"Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;" (Ephesians 2:11-14)

So the "middle wall of partition" is not referring to the temple veil between the holy and most holy places or between Man and God. It is, instead, referring to the wall or partition which was between Jew and Gentile. That separation was not put there by God's Law. It was man-made, Pharisaical, ordinances which erected that wall of bigotry and racism. You can read in Exodus 12:49, for example, where God said that the same Law with applied to the Jew, also applied to the stranger which dwelt among them. It is in this context that we must understand the next three verses. Continuing with verse 15…

"Having abolished in his flesh the enmity [between Jew and Gentile], even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity [between Jew and Gentile] thereby: And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh." (Ephesians 2:15-17)

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 (see Romans 11:17). But, more to the point, what "law of commandments in ordinances" did Christ abolish? It is only the man-made ordinances which were keeping the Gentiles away from a knowledge of God and the Salvation He offers.

I re-emphasize 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 on any other common day of the year) nor does it abolish the statutes of the feast days (which are: Leviticus 23:14,21,31,41). All of these memorial days are not about the sacrifices which were performed on them, for these days point both backward and forward as "...a shadow of things to come." (We'll see that in Colossians 2:16-17, in a minute.)

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" (see Acts 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. Thus, if there is a passage which seems to conflict with what the rest of the Bible is saying, then there is a misunderstanding in our own minds and we mustn't start forming new doctrines based on such misunderstandings.

Colossians 2

OK, the last passage is in Colossians 2. Now, we've been taught to start reading with verse 14. But, as I said, we've been taught wrong and verse 14 starts in the middle of a sentence. Let's start reading with verse 13 to get a better grasp of the context.

"And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; and having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it." (Colossians 2:13-15)

Now, verse 13 is talking about the forgiveness of sin. So, regarding verse 14, the first question that must be answered is, "Is any of God's Law, or even part of God's Law, against us?" The answer to that is, "No," for if you say it is, implicitly or explicitly, then you say that God, Himself, is against us (see John 3:16-17 and 2Tim. 1:7-9) — as His Laws are a transcript of His Character and He is Love (see 1John 4:8 and 1John 5:3). But, God's Law is a witness for us (we read that in Deuteronomy 31:26); for the Law was given to show us our sins (see Romans 3:20). If we have nothing to show us we are sinful, then we will not recognize our need of a Savior (see Acts 4:10-12).

So, what is against us is the written record of our sins (we read that in Deuteronomy 31:28-29) — for that record is a result of the witness of the Law. The first part of verse 13 brings that out clearly. Thus, verse 14 and 15 is telling us that, through His sacrifice, Jesus Christ made it possible for the written record of the charges against us to be blotted out — i.e., no longer held against us and placing us under penalty of the second death (see 2Tim. 1:8-10).

But what about verses 16 and 17 which are also used to supposedly justify a change in God's Law? Let's read them:

"Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of a holy day, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ." (Colossians 2:16-17)

Heh, Peter said it was sometimes difficult to understand Paul. In 2Peter 3:15,16 we can read how Peter says that because Paul's scriptural writings are sometimes difficult to understand, those whom are unlearned or unstable will wrest them, to suit themselves, even as they do other scriptures. Peter goes on to say that they do so to their own destruction. We don't want to do that! Right?

Do any of you remember your grade school English classes where you had to diagram the parts of a sentence? This, two-verse, sentence has a main theme, a referenced list of items, a sub-parenthetical phrase (describing that list), and even a couple of words which were supplied (added in), by the translators, in what they supposedly thought would make the passage easier to understand and clearer in meaning. I disagree.

Now, the referenced list of items is:

"… in meat, or in drink, or in respect of a holy day, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath …"

Note that the supplied word "days" is gone. Then, the sub-parenthetical phrase, describing that list of items, is:

"… which are a shadow of things to come …"

Lastly, by leaving out another supplied word, "is" (near the end of verse 17), that leaves us with the main theme — which is:

"Let no man therefore judge you … but the body of Christ."

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 (i.e., regarding one's ultimate destiny) on no man — except in righteousness (i.e., judging right from wrong). If you think about it, though, there is another definition for "the body of Christ." I heard this in a sermon by Pastor Ivor Meyers at an ASI Convention a few years ago.

Reading in John 6:53-58:

Then Jesus said unto them, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up, at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live forever."

Well, Jesus Christ is the WORD (see John 1:1-3,14) and just as John was to eat the little book (see 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. Also, 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, applying that back to Colossians 2:16-17, the main theme is that we will ultimately be judged only by the just precepts taught us in the Word of God. That only makes sense.

OK, back to our diagramming… Now that we have the main theme figured out; then, except for the supplied words, let's address what we previously left out:

Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of a holy day, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath: which are a shadow of things to come…" (Colossians 2:16-17)

The first thing that one absolutely must not ignore is those last four words, "...of things to come..." What does that tell you? It should tell you that the things listed in verse 16 are shadows of something which has not yet come! What did Jesus say in Matthew 5:17-18?

"Think not that I am come to destroy the law [of Moses], or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law [of Moses], till all be fulfilled."

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 (in Colossians 2) 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, as pointed out by verses 13 to 15, only the written record of the charges against us which were nailed to His cross.

ILLUSTRATION

But, let me digress just a bit to speak directly of God's Feasts. There are so many Scriptures which state that God's Feasts have the same beginning (e.g., Genesis 1:14, Genesis 19:1-3, Psalm 81:3-5) and the same ending (e.g., Matthew 5:17-19) as all of His Other Laws. We saw that even His Ceremonial Laws were not abolished — merely substituted — from the type to the anti-type and from the symbol to the reality. God's 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 — just as the Godhead, itself, is tri-fold. This tri-fold prophecy spans the entire Plan of Salvation and will not be entirely fulfilled until satan and his angels are no more and Heaven and Earth are made New.

The reason I digress is because I get the distinct impression that the whole reason for wanting to "throw out" the "Law 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 his destruction. But I don't understand this from the point of view of the SDA Church. So, proof they are not yet entirely fulfilled?

  1. The Feast of Passover teaches us that, via the Blood of the Lamb, God desires to save us from the requirement of death. It was first fulfilled during the Exodus Experience. The final Plague of Egypt "passed over" those whom had the blood of the lamb on the doorposts of their homes. It was fulfilled the second time when Christ became the anti-typical Passover Lamb of God and placed His Blood upon the posts of the Cross for us. This feast will be fulfilled the third time, during end-time events, when the Seven Last Plagues "pass over" those whom have the Blood of the Lamb upon the doorposts of their hearts.
      

  2. The Feast of Unleavened Bread prophesies concerning the insidious nature of sin and about getting it out of our lives. It was first fulfilled, at the Exodus, when God removed His People from their bondage of death in slavery to the Egyptians. Notice there is a work for us to do; but that we cannot accomplish this work, on our own, without God's Help. It was fulfilled the second time when Christ paid the Price to purchase His People back from the bondage of Death in Sin. Again, we could not accomplish this work, on our own, without God's Help. But Christ's Crucifixion was only the promise of a future, more literal, fulfillment when He physically removes His People from the bondage of this world and Sin is finally destroyed forever. Thus, this feast will be fulfilled the third time, at the end of the world – both when Christ takes His Redeemed to Heaven and when Death and the Grave are cast into the Lake of Fire.
      

  3. The Feast of the Wave Sheaf is a feast of firstfruits and was fulfilled when at least 21 graves were opened (or, marked) on the Friday of the Crucifixion and they were resurrected (or, harvested) with Him on the third day (Matthew 27:50-53). Christ took these firstfruits with Him on that Sunday morning when He Ascended to His Father. That Sunday morning happened to also be the day of the Feast of the Wave Sheaf, that year, and Christ presented His Wave Sheaf (the group of resurrected saints) to His Father at the 3rd hour, just as typified by the symbolic service (1SM 304-307; SR 235-236). Of course, He was also Sacrificed at the 9th hour, on the Day of the Passover, just as typified by the symbolic service.

    Why did I say at least 21 graves were marked when Christ died? The Spirit of Prophecy, in one place, said "a multitude of captives" were freed (DA 786); but, in another place, only "a few graves were opened." So, I'm just saying that it is at least 21 because we know Enoch, Moses, and Elijah preceded them to Heaven and Revelation speaks of the 24 elders – that's Two Witnesses from each of the Twelve Tribes of Israel.

    Also, these resurrected saints were definitely Christ's Wave Sheaf because Jewish culture teaches that the typical Wave Sheaf was marked at the 9th hour on Passover and then cut early on the morning of the Feast of the Wave Sheaf in time to get it to the temple for the morning sacrifice at the 3rd hour.
      

  4. The Feast of Weeks, also known as The Day of Pentecost, prophesies concerning the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon God's People. It was fulfilled the first time when God poured out His Spirit upon His People, at the giving of the Law, during the Sinai Experience on the Day of Pentecost. It was fulfilled the second time, as the Early Rain, in the book of Acts on the Day of Pentecost, again. However, Joel 2:28-31 prophesies in support of this feast that it is yet to happen again. Malachi 4:5-6 also prophesies of an Elijah message which will turn the hearts of the children back to the practices of their fathers – which includes God's Feasts. This feast is also a feast of first fruits. The 144,000 will become this group of first fruits when the Latter Rain is poured out upon God's End-time Witnesses.
      

  5. The Feast of Trumpets prophesies concerning a warning of impending judgment. You can read in Psalm 81:3-5 how Joseph was keeping this feast, in rehearsal, 400 years before its first fulfillment — during the Sinai Experience, when the Children of Israel kept that first typical Feast of Trumpets. Only by faith can I testify to the second fulfillment of the Feast of Trumpets; but, I'm convinced there was something on October 13, 1844 in fulfillment of this Feast. This was most likely an event for which there was no visible sign on the Earth — just as there was no visible sign on the Earth for the Anti-typical Day of Atonement which occurred on October 22, 1844. Nevertheless, the Seventh-day Adventist Church has this date, one of its founding pillars, as marking the literal end of Daniel's 2300-day prophecy. Ellen G. White was even told, by Jesus, that this date was correct. Lastly, is there not another Judgment Day to come? Does not Ellen White tell of how an announcement will come from Heaven itself for all the saints to hear of the day and the hour of His Coming? She also tells us (see the 1888 Great Controversy, page 399.2-.3) that the final, end-time events must be fulfilled according to the timings of the symbolic service (which was given as an example for our instruction). Thus, it seems to me, that this announcement will come on a literal Feast of Trumpets in that selfsame day — just as I now believe that the final outpouring of the Holy Spirit, upon the 144,000, will also commence on a Feast of Pentecost, once again.
      

  6. The Day of Atonement prophesies concerning both a time for afflicting our souls before the Lord and a time in which He desires to be One with us and seeks to make us One with Him. It was fulfilled the first time during the Sinai Experience, when the Children of Israel kept that first typical Day of Atonement. Then, though I feel there is evidence to suggest that Jesus Christ was most likely baptized on or within just days of the Day of Atonement, I must admit that the most obvious second fulfillment of the Day of Atonement was on October 22, 1844. Finally, it seems to me, His 2nd Coming will also be on the Day of Atonement. Does Ellen White not also tell us that we will be afflicting our souls during the Time of Jacob's Trouble to see if there be any sin in us? But, this fulfillment would be to satisfy His desire to be One with us and to make us One with Him. As part of the 3rd Coming, that fulfillment would be to satisfy the requirements of the Day of Judgment.
      

  7. The Feast of Tabernacles prophesies of three things — a completed harvest, a temporary home, and "God With Us." It is also called The Feast of Ingathering and it is important and significant to note that the other two Feasts, which are associated with the spring and summer harvests, were feasts of the firstfruits, or the first cuttings, of those harvests. This feast, in the fall, is the only one which is to take place after the harvest has been completely gathered in and is more of a "vacation" or "rest" from the work of the harvest. Thus, in its first fulfillment, during the Wilderness Experience, the Children of Israel were first harvested from Egypt, then dwelt in tents for 40 years, and Jesus Christ tabernacled with them until they reached the Promised Land. In its second fulfillment, during the Incarnation, all of Mankind were bought back, harvested, from the clutches of satan. Yet, this earth is still not our final home; and Jesus Christ physically tabernacled with us by permanently becoming one of us. But He is still, yet, to do it again, during the Final Millennium, after all of the Saints are harvested from this earth. Yet, even Heaven will not be our final home; but we will physically tabernacle there with Jesus Christ, and reign with Him, for one thousand years before we finally reach the Promised Land of the New Earth.
      

  8. The Last Great Day, of the Lord, is the eighth day of the Feast of Tabernacles. In Early Writings, p.16.2, Ellen White told us that we will spend seven days journeying back to Heaven, after His 2nd Coming, and sit down to that miles-long table for a feast upon our arrival in Heaven. It has been suggested that this journey takes this long both because Jesus will be showing us off to the Universe, as we go; and, because some need to keep their first Sabbath before actually reaching Heaven. I don't know about that last part, but do you not see this suggests that the Marriage Supper of the Lamb will take place on the Last Great Day of the Lord — as prophesied to us by His Feasts?

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." (Luke 24:27) How much more His Feasts testify of Him and of the Great Plan of Salvation!

CONCLUSION

In conclusion, the reason I have such a burden for the Law of God is because we set ourselves up for deception when we lightly refer to God's Law as "The Law of Moses." Yes, I'm aware that both the God of the Old Testament and Jesus Christ, Himself, call them the "Law of Moses" (see Malachi 4:4 and Luke 24:44). However, let us not be deceived as to God's meaning. Ellen G. White also recognized the danger of misconstruing this misnomer of "The Law of Moses." She said:

"Moses of himself framed no law. Christ ... gave to Moses statutes and requirements necessary to a living religion and to govern the people of God. Christians commit a terrible mistake in calling this law severe and arbitrary, and then contrasting it with the gospel and mission of Christ in his ministry on earth, as though he were in opposition to the just precepts which they call the law of Moses." Review and Herald, 05/06/1875, par.12

Did you catch the significance of that? Then, later, she makes three points after quoting a statute in Deuteronomy 24:14-15 and another one in Leviticus 19:13 both of which having to do with not oppressing or defrauding a hired hand or his wages — whether that hired hand is a Christian or not. I feel these three points are regarding all of God's Statutes in that (#1) they 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:

"The Lord Jesus gave these commandments from the pillar of cloud, and Moses repeated them to the children of Israel and wrote them in a book, that they might not depart from righteousness. We are under obligation to fulfill these specifications; for in so doing we fulfill the specifications of the law of God." Review and Herald, 12/18/1894, par.7

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 (see Matthew 5:17-19). The Apostle Paul, also, denies this (see Romans 3:31; Romans 7:12-13; and Galatians 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 proverbial baby with the proverbial bath-water when they do so!

The End