Must We Observe the Law of Moses and the Sabbath Today?

Should Christians today keep Old Testament laws, such as the seventh-day Sabbath, circumcision, animal sacrifices, and holy days, or did Jesus remove or abolish that law so that we should only obey New Testament commands? What is the difference between moral and ceremonial laws, the Law of Moses and the Law of God? What day is the "Christian Sabbath" according to the gospel of Christ? Are the Law of Moses and the Ten Commands abrogated or still in effect? What law should we observe today? Should we today "remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy?"

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Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace. (Galatians 5:4) KJV

 

 

Christ is become of no effect unto you. Literally, ye were brought to nought from Christ. Your relation to Christ is finished, rendered null and void. Without an effective relation to Christ, one deprives himself of spiritual blessing. Whosoever of you are justified by the law. Justified as you think, but not really. You who are trying to be justified in the law, trying to seek a right standing with God on the basis of works or merit. One either attains salvation by his own works or he attains it as a free gift of God (Rom 11:6). Ye are fallen from grace. The only time this phrase is used in the Bible. Having been saved by grace, the Galatians, who were reverting to the law for Christian living, were actually falling short of the standard of grace by which they were saved. The frustrating result would have been similar to the believer in Romans 7 who was struggling to live under the law. This does not teach that children of God can lose their salvation by falling out of grace. Paul is contrasting grace and law. Depending on circumcision, or any other work, means renouncing justification by grace through faith and takes one out of the spirit of grace and puts him under the dominion of the law. There cannot be two grounds of salvation, two means of justification, two ways of life. To accept the one means to reject the other. It is either law or grace, either works or faith, either self-righteousness, or the righteousness of God, either circumcision or Christ. The Galatians were in danger of substituting law for Christ as a means of salvation.[1]

 

 



[1]KJV Bible commentary. 1997, c1994 (2396). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

 

EXCURSUS ON THE BELIEVER’S RELATION TO THE LAW

 

 

The law is that system of legislation given by God through Moses to the nation of Israel. The entire body of the law is found in Exodus 20-31, Leviticus, and Deuteronomy, though its essence is embodied in the Ten Commandments.

The law was not given as a means of salvation (Acts 13:39; Rom. 3:20a; Gal. 2:16, 21; 3:11; it was designed to show people their sinfulness (Rom. 3:20b; 5:20; 7:7; 1 Cor. 15:56; Gal. 3:19) and then drive them to God for His gracious salvation. It was given to the nation of Israel, even though it contains moral principles which are valid for people in every age (Rom. 2:14, 15). God tested Israel under the law as a sample of the human race, and Israel’s guilt proved the world’s guilt (Rom. 3:19).

The law had attached to it the penalty of death (Gal. 3:10); and to break one command was to be guilty of all (Jas. 2:10). Since people had broken the law, they were under the curse of death. God’s righteousness and holiness demanded that the penalty be paid. It was for this reason that Jesus came into the world: to pay the penalty by His death. He died as a Substitute for guilty lawbreakers, even though He Himself was sinless. He did not wave the law aside; rather He met the full demands of the law by fulfilling its strict requirements in His life and in His death. Thus, the gospel does not overthrow the law; it upholds the law and shows how the law’s demands have been fully satisfied by Christ’s redemptive work.

Therefore, the person who trusts in Jesus is no longer under the law; he is under grace (Rom. 6:14). He is dead to the law through the work of Christ. The penalty of the law must be paid only once; since Christ paid the penalty, the believer does not have to. It is in this sense that the law has faded away for the Christian (2 Cor. 3:7–11). The law was a tutor until Christ came, but after salvation, this tutor is no longer needed (Gal. 3:24, 25).

Yet, while the Christian is not under the law, that doesn’t mean he is lawless. He is bound by a stronger chain than law because he is under the law of Christ (1 Cor. 9:21). His behavior is molded, not by fear of punishment, but by a loving desire to please his Savior. Christ has become his rule of life (John 13:15; 15:12; Eph. 5:1, 2; 1 Jn. 2:6; 3:16).

A common question in a discussion of the believer’s relation to the law is, “Should I obey the Ten Commandments?” The answer is that certain principles contained in the law are of lasting relevance. It is always wrong to steal, to covet, or to murder. Nine of the Ten Commandments are repeated in the New Testament, with an important distinction—they are not given as law (with penalty attached), but as training in righteousness for the people of God (2 Tim. 3:16b). The one commandment not repeated is the Sabbath law: Christians are never taught to keep the Sabbath (i.e., the seventh day of the week, Saturday).

The ministry of the law to unsaved people has not ended: “But we know that the law is good if one uses it lawfully” (1 Tim. 1:8). Its lawful use is to produce the knowledge of sin and thus lead to repentance. But the law is not for those who are already saved: “The law is not made for a righteous person” (1 Tim. 1:9).

The righteousness demanded by the law is fulfilled in those “who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit” (Rom. 8:4). In fact, the teachings of our Lord in the Sermon on the Mount set a higher standard than that set by the law. For instance, the law said, “Do not murder”; Jesus said, “Do not even hate.” So the Sermon on the Mount not only upholds the Law and the Prophets but it amplifies them and develops their deeper implications.[1]



[1] MacDonald, W., & Farstad, A. (1997, c1995). Believer's Bible Commentary : Old and New Testaments (Jas 2:12). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

Is There a "Sabbath Principle" for Christians to Keep?

 

We teach that the old covenant Sabbath rest regulation does not apply to Christians. It was part of Israel’s Mosaic Law that had governed the old covenant relationship with God. With the completion of Jesus’ redemptive work and the beginning of the church, the new covenant came into force. The old covenant religious regulations found in the Law of Moses became obsolete and Christians now follow the "law of Christ" (Galatians 6:2; 1 Corinthians 9:21). The standard of godly conduct and the principles that should guide a person’s life so that it is pleasing to God are expounded in the New Testament.

This new covenant teaching for Christians superseded the old covenant teaching for Israel. Nowhere in the New Testament Scriptures to the church was it commanded that Christians must keep the religious regulations given to Israel such as circumcision, temple worship, offering sacrifices, keeping weekly or annual holy days, tithing on farming and husbandry increases, engaging in purification rites, following special food laws, and other similar practices.

Of course, the old covenant institutions have symbolic value for us. Here are a few examples. The book of Hebrews tells us that Moses was a type of Christ. The Law points to Jesus and the indwelling Holy Spirit. Its essential principles, that we are to love God above all and our neighbor as ourselves (Matthew 22:34-40), is now embodied in the "law of Christ," as it is expressed through the Spirit. The physical sacrifices point to the one sacrifice of Jesus, both for sin and as a sweet aroma to God of our own total sacrifice of ourselves to him. The temple is now the people of God in whom he dwells through the Holy Spirit. This reality was foreshadowed by the presence of Yahweh in the physical temple in Jerusalem. Jesus is our High Priest, our Passover and our Tabernacle. And so on.

Jesus himself is our Sabbath, in whom we can rest in freedom from sin and in the assurance of eternal life as guaranteed by his own resurrection. We have entered by faith into the ultimate rest, which will blossom into its fullness at Jesus’ return. This was prefigured by the weekly Sabbath under the old covenant. All the various "rests" of the Mosaic Law—the weekly Sabbath, the annual festival rests, the land year rests and the Jubilee Year freedom rest — all prefigure the ultimate rest we now have in Christ.

But is there a different kind of "Sabbath principle" still in force, one that teaches us that it is good and pleasing in God’s eyes for us to physically rest on the seventh day of the week? Some have come to this conclusion. The reason and reasoning for such an idea is the following.

Some, while still believing that the Sabbath rest should be kept, have come to realize that the New Testament, indeed, does not teach that Christians must keep this weekly day. It has also become clear to them that to insist that Christians must keep the Sabbath simply because it is mentioned in the Law of Moses for Israel is to arrive at a wrong conclusion. (See the following passages in the Mosaic Law where Sabbath-keeping is commanded for Israel: Exodus 20:8-12; 31:12-17; 35:1-3; Leviticus 23:3; Numbers 15:32-36; Deuteronomy 5:12-15.)

However, these people still believe that there must be something special about the Sabbath rest. It is sometimes expressed in the phrase "the Sabbath principle for Christians." Some of the arguments for such a principle take the following forms. As people of God we need to have time to commune with God, free from the distractions of everyday life, especially that of earning a living. According to this view, it is generally recognized that humans benefit from a time of rest from work, and this is evidenced in such human institutions as the five-day work week. While we should not keep the physical Sabbath in a legalistic manner or base our arguments on Mosaic realities, they say, the principle of a physical Sabbath continues.

Let’s look at these arguments. Almost no one would deny the physical and spiritual benefits of having a weekly day or days off from work. No doubt many in the generation of Israelites who came out of slavery and endless toil would have been elated to have a day off each week.

Whether this exuberance for such "time off" continued or was universally accepted by the Israelites is doubtful. The fact that Israel had to be commandedon pain of death to not engage in labor on the Sabbath implies that such supposed "benefit of rest" was not appreciated, or even wanted in some cases. The history of Sabbath-breaking by Israel underscores this point. The idea of physically resting on a special day of the week is not a self-evident principle intrinsic to or indelibly stamped on the human psyche.

Nowhere in the old covenant Sabbath commands is the supposed benefit of rest as such, either for physical or spiritual reasons, extolled as a reason for making the seventh day of the week (and several days during the year) a day of rest.

The reasons given to Israel for the Sabbath were so that the nation would remember that Yahweh was the one true Creator God (Exodus 20:11) and that he had rescued the people from Egyptian slavery because of his covenant-keeping fidelity (Deuteronomy 5:15). Thus, the Sabbath was a "sign" of the covenant between God and Israel (Exodus 31:12-13). It is not a sign between God and Christians. Jesus himself has become Our Sign through the indwelling Holy Spirit (Isaiah 7:14; Luke 2:12).

Of course, the argument about a "Sabbath principle" is not advanced solely on the idea that physical rest is good. It is also said that such rest from our normal work and daily activities allows us to commune with God and develop a relationship with him. Thus, the argument is advanced, a Sabbath rest is pleasing to God, and something that Christians should joyfully want to keep. On this basis, it is argued, the "Sabbath principle" is intrinsically good and pleasing to God.

No one would deny that we should take time to commune with God. It is good to leave the distractions of daily life to deepen our relationship with God through spiritual disciplines such as prayer, Bible study, fasting and meditation. If a person uses Saturday for such communion with God, is fine, of course.

However, there is no New Testament teaching that Friday sunset to Saturday sunset is a special time to do such communing with God. It is one thing to take "time out" for special communing with God—whenever this is possible, convenient or necessary to do so. It can be done for a portion of every day or any day. It can be done all day on any day of the week, during a weekend retreat or during some other period of time.

In the early centuries of Christianity, and into the Middle Ages, individuals sometimes left society so they could commune with God in what they felt was a more complete way. Some went into the wilderness and established monasteries far from human civilization. Others walled themselves up in rooms for weeks, months, years or even a lifetime, receiving only food and water so that they could fulfill their desire to live in communion with God without the distractions of human life. Such practices stemmed from the individuals’ perceived needs for spiritual contemplation. But it certainly could not be demonstrated that Scripture directly stated or through principle implied that such communing activities were expressions of a principle that applied to all human beings.

In like manner, Scripture does not teach that Christians must specifically use the seventh day of the week (or that this day is the best one to use) to commune with God or to gather for worship.

If a person rests on each Sabbath because this day is thought to be special and God-ordained, then one is essentially keeping the letter of the Mosaic Law, which commanded Israel to rest on this day. One can give a different reason for such a rest or claim to base it on higher spiritual considerations. But to claim that a certain 24-hour period has special significance for Christians is to claim that such a time is "holy time." This is nothing more than a restatement of the Mosaic command to keep the Sabbath holy.

 

People who want to keep the Sabbath rest can do so as strictly as they desire. However, they should not cause division by teaching, contrary to church doctrine, that others should do so. Sabbath-keepers are as welcome in our fellowship as non-Sabbath-keepers, but they are not to advocate Sabbatarian doctrine.

 

 

 

http://www.gci.org/law/sabbath/principle

 

 

 

 

Question: "How were people saved before Jesus died for our sins?"


Answer: Since the fall of man, the basis of salvation has always been the death of Christ. No one, either prior to the cross or since the cross, would ever be saved without that one pivotal event in the history of the world. Christ's death paid the penalty for past sins of Old Testament saints and future sins of New Testament saints.

The requirement for salvation has always been faith. The object of one's faith for salvation has always been God. The psalmist wrote, “Blessed are all who take refuge in him” (Psalm 2:12). Genesis 15:6 tells us that Abraham believed God and that was enough for God to credit it to him for righteousness (see also Romans 4:3-8). The Old Testament sacrificial system did not take away sin, as Hebrews 10:1-10 clearly teaches. It did, however, point to the day when the Son of God would shed His blood for the sinful human race.

What has changed through the ages is the content of a believer's faith. God's requirement of what must be believed is based on the amount of revelation He has given mankind up to that time. This is called progressive revelation. Adam believed the promise God gave in Genesis 3:15 that the Seed of the woman would conquer Satan. Adam believed Him, demonstrated by the name he gave Eve (v. 20) and the Lord indicated His acceptance immediately by covering them with coats of skin (v. 21). At that point that is all Adam knew, but he believed it.

Abraham believed God according to the promises and new revelation God gave him in Genesis 12 and 15. Prior to Moses, no Scripture was written, but mankind was responsible for what God had revealed. Throughout the Old Testament, believers came to salvation because they believed that God would someday take care of their sin problem. Today, we look back, believing that He has already taken care of our sins on the cross (John 3:16; Hebrews 9:28).

What about believers in Christ's day, prior to the cross and resurrection? What did they believe? Did they understand the full picture of Christ dying on a cross for their sins? Late in His ministry, “Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life” (Matthew 16:21-22). What was the reaction of His disciples to this message? “Then Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. ‘Never, Lord!’ he said. ‘This shall never happen to you!’” Peter and the other disciples did not know the full truth, yet they were saved because they believed that God would take care of their sin problem. They didn't exactly know how He would accomplish that, any more than Adam, Abraham, Moses, or David knew how, but they believed God.

Today, we have more revelation than the people living before the resurrection of Christ; we know the full picture. “In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe” (Hebrews 1:1-2). Our salvation is still based on the death of Christ, our faith is still the requirement for salvation, and the object of our faith is still God. Today, for us, the content of our faith is that Jesus Christ died for our sins, He was buried, and He rose the third day (1 Corinthians 15:3-4).

http://www.gotquestions.org/before-Jesus.html

Matthew 5:17–19 — How Did Jesus Fulfill the Law?

 

In Matthew’s account of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said:

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. I tell you the truth, 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. Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:17–19)

People have frequently appealed to these scriptures as proof that "the law" continues to be binding on Christians today. This is usually in response to the claim that Jesus did away with the law by his death on the cross. For them, the meaning is that Jesus came to show what the law really means; or that Jesus fulfilled the law by obeying it perfectly, thus setting the perfect example for Christians to follow as they, too, fulfill the law.

There are problems with interpreting Matthew 5:17–19 in these ways. Note, first, that in verse 17 Jesus was speaking of the Law and the Prophets, not of the law only. Jesus did not restrict what he had come to fulfill to the Mosaic Law code. He said he also came to fulfill the prophetic writings.

Second, Jesus said that "not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished" (verse 18). If Jesus meant by "the Law" the Mosaic Law code, then even the most minor law of the old covenant has ongoing validity. This would mean that every ceremonial and sacrificial law continues to be binding on Christians. Few, if any, Christians believe that they must obey all the laws of the old covenant that God gave to the nation of Israel 3,500 years ago.

Therefore, what did Jesus mean when he said that he did not come to abolish the Law or the Prophets but to fulfill them, and that nothing would disappear from the Law until all is accomplished?

Jesus fulfills the Law and the Prophets by bringing them to their intended eschatological climax in himself. He fulfilled and continues to fulfill in himself all the types and prophecies of the Old Testament that pointed to him. Jesus made this clear after his resurrection. On the road to Emmaus with two of the disciples, Jesus revealed that everything that had recently happened in Jerusalem was spoken of by the prophets. "And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself" (Luke 24:27).

Shortly afterwards Jesus appeared to the assembled group of apostles and disciples in Jerusalem. 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. (verse 44)

Luke here records Jesus as saying he fulfilled all three parts of the Old Testament — the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms. (Psalms are representative of the Writings, as they are the first book of the third section of the Old Testament.) Thus, it appears that "the Law and the Prophets" (Matthew 5:17), "Moses and all the Prophets" (Luke 24:27), and "the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms" (Luke 24:44) are synonymous terms for "all the Scriptures" (Luke 24:27).

In verse 18 of Matthew 5, Jesus makes the point that nothing will disappear from the Law until all is accomplished. What did he mean by "the Law" here? It is unlikely Jesus meant the Mosaic Law code. That is because verse 18 builds on what Jesus said in verse 17. To repeat the full phrase "the Law and the Prophets" was unnecessary. "The Law" here represents all the Old Testament writings. (In John 10:34 John quotes Jesus as using the term Law in this way. Jesus asked the Jews, "Is it not written in your Law?" and then quoted Psalm 82:6. In this instance Jesus clearly referred to the Hebrew Scriptures as a whole, not just the Pentateuch. See also John 12:34 and 15:25.)

The fulfillment ("until everything is accomplished") takes place in the ministry, passion, resurrection and exaltation of Jesus, as well as his subsequent reign culminating in the age to come. We can then take Jesus’ words literally, rather than having to make artificial distinctions about what laws Jesus may have had in mind that would not disappear. In Matthew 5:18 Jesus was emphasizing that nothing in the Old Testament that pointed to him could fail to occur.

Then Jesus proceeded to say that:

Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. (verse 19)

What specific commandments was Jesus referring to here? Did he mean all the commands of the Old Testament, from the least to the greatest? If so, then the early church was wrong in concluding that physical circumcision was unnecessary to become a Christian. The answer is found in the context of the preceding verses, and in those that follow — the Sermon on the Mount. The commandments of the Old Testament are fulfilled in Christ (Romans 10:4), and as such are redefined and magnified according to his teaching.

Some laws of the old covenant, through their fulfillment in Christ, are not binding on Christians today. They include the ceremonial and sacrificial laws that foreshadowed Christ (Hebrews 10:1). However, other laws clearly do have application in the life of the Christian. In Matthew 5:21–48, Jesus illustrated how certain old covenant commandments now applied through their fulfillment in him. He did not make Old Testament laws more binding so that Christians now obey according to both the letter and the Spirit, thereby enabling them to surpass the righteousness of the Pharisees (verse 20). Rather, he redefined the law of God and showed its full spiritual intent. He established the spirit of the law as the norm for Christian behavior instead of the letter of the law (Romans 7:6).

Sometimes the letter of the law and the spirit of the law complement one another, as in Jesus’ teaching about murder and adultery (Matthew 5:21–30). With other laws, Jesus’ spiritual teaching overrides the letter of the law, as in divorce (verses 31–33). Elsewhere in the Gospels we read of Jesus’ application and defining of the law of God as fulfilled in him.

Thus, we should not see in Matthew 5:17–19 Jesus’ confirmation of the law of the old covenant as the law of God for Christians. Rather, Jesus explained that he fulfills in himself everything to which the Old Testament Scriptures point. He illustrated how the law of God given to Israel is transformed through its fulfillment in him. Scot McKnight captures the essence of Jesus’ teaching in the Sermon on the Mount:

In using his own teachings as the basis for righteousness, Jesus revealed that the OT Law and Prophets (Mt 5:17) were being fulfilled in his own teachings and that he is the Messiah. Jesus fulfilled the Law and so revealed a new standard of conduct (Mt 5:20). From the cross onward, the righteousness of God’s people is determined by conformity to the teachings of Jesus, which in turn fulfill the OT revelation of God’s will. Jesus expects his followers to be righteous in their conduct (Mt 5:6, 10), to do God’s will (Mt 7:12, 13–27) and to pursue justice (Mt 23:23 [krisis]; 25:37; Jn 7:24). According to Jesus, only those who are righteous are finally acceptable to God (Mt 10:41; 12:37; 13:43, 49; 25:46; Lk 14:14; Jn 5:30). Again, this righteousness is not an outward conformity to the Law or an appeal to ritual observances, but the necessary fruit of commitment to Jesus as Messiah and Lord. Jesus illustrated the link between commitment and obedience at the end of his Sermon on the Mount: "Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them... (Mt 7:21–27). ("Justice, Righteousness," Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels [InterVarsity Press, 1992], 413)

 

http://www.gci.org/law/curryapp

A Few Examples of Obsolete Laws

 

1. Were the sacrifices and rituals a "shadow" of better things? Heb. 10:1. Were these symbolic rituals spiritually effective? Verses 1, 4. When Christ came, what did he say about sacrifices? Verses 5-7. In saying this, did he set aside the rules required by the first covenant? Verses 8-9. What sacrifice is spiritually effective for us? Verses 10, 14. Are sacrifices for sin still necessary? Verse 18.

Comment: Animal sacrifices served as reminders of sin, but they could not forgive sin or cleanse hearts. Spiritual cleansing comes only through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. No one needs to offer animals as sacrifices for sin.

However, the old covenant system had not just sin offerings but also many other sacrifices, such as fellowship offerings, grain offerings and thank offerings. Did Christ also fulfill the symbolism of these offerings? These sacrifices are no longer necessary. The food and drink offerings and ceremonial washings were "external regulations applying until the time of the new order" (Heb. 9:10). Jesus Christ brought that "new order" — the new covenant, the new agreement we have with God.

The first Christians continued to participate in temple rituals for several decades, as long as the temple existed, but the point made in Hebrews is that these rituals were not necessary even when the temple stood and the Levitical priests were offering sacrifices. By his death on the cross, Jesus Christ had abolished those ritual commands.

 

2. What did God command the Israelites to wear on their garments? Num. 15:38. What was the purpose of this law? Verse 39.

Comment: In this law, God required the Israelites to wear distinctive clothing, garments that (at least in this detail) were not like the garments worn by gentiles. Every time the Israelites put on their clothes, they would be reminded of their relationship to God. They were saying, in effect, "We do this because God has commanded us to, and we obey God's commands."

All the people were required to observe this custom showing their devotion to God. This command was not directly related to the priests, Levites, tabernacle or sacrifices. It was a helpful worship custom.

However, this custom is no longer required, even though the New Testament says nothing about this particular command. It does not declare it unnecessary. So why do Christians consider it obsolete today? The only biblical reason we have for ignoring this command is that the New Testament declares the old covenant obsolete.

Of course, the principle is still good: we should remember to obey God. The purpose of the tassels is still valid, but the tassels themselves are not required. Christians obey God not according to the old covenant law, but according to the new covenant. The old package of laws is obsolete. Some of its laws are still valid, but others are not. Therefore, when Christians use the Old Testament for instruction about godly living, they must understand all laws in the light of the New Testament.

Christian conduct should be based on the new covenant. Although the new covenant gives us many commands concerning our behavior, the focus throughout the new covenant is on the spirit of the law, the purpose of the law, and obedience from the heart. It gives us the general rule to love God with all our heart, but it gives fewer rules as to exactly how that love should be expressed.

Some people try to interpret biblical laws with this rule: "Old Testament laws are valid unless the New Testament specifically says they are not." But this rule is not true, as we can see with the example of tassels, and it is proven false by Hebrews 8:13. 

The old covenant is obsolete. This does not mean the covenant is mostly valid, except for those laws specifically rescinded. No, it means the covenant itself is obsolete. It is like a law code that the government has declared invalid. It is not a valid source for rules about Christian behavior. Of course, some individual laws, such as the prohibition of adultery, are valid, but their validity is based on something more permanent than the old covenant — the more basic law that existed before the old covenant was given and still exists after the old covenant became obsolete.

 

3. Did God command the Israelites to kill Passover lambs? Ex. 12:1-8. Was this ritual to be repeated every year? Verses 24-27. Could gentiles participate in this worship festival? Verse 48.

Comment: Jesus told his disciples to break bread and drink wine in commemoration of his death, but he apparently did not tell his disciples that the bread and wine were substitutes for the Passover lambs. The early Christians in Jerusalem, being zealous for the law, would have continued to sacrifice Passover lambs in addition to partaking of the bread and wine. The New Testament does not directly say that lambs are unnecessary.

So how do we know that Passover lambs are not required? Because the old covenant is obsolete. The Passover was instituted two months before the covenant was made at Mt. Sinai, but it was part of the old covenant system. This was one of the laws added 430 years after Abraham.

The law of Moses clearly required gentiles to be circumcised in order to participate in the Passover lamb festival. However, the early church did not require gentiles to be circumcised. This means that they did not require gentiles to participate in the old covenant Passover. Although gentiles could participate in the old covenant Passover if they wished to (if they became circumcised), they were not required to. God did not require that they keep this festival in order to be among the people of God, and he did not require that they be circumcised. Those commands were given to the Israelites, but they were not commanded for the gentiles. The gentiles did not have to celebrate the escape of the Israelites from Egypt. This applies to many other old covenant laws, too — the laws that separated Jews from gentiles, the laws that Christ abolished by his death on the cross (Eph. 2:14-15). The gentiles did not have to keep laws that applied only to Israelites.

 

4. Did God claim ownership of every firstborn male, both human and animal? Ex. 13:1-2. Were the firstborn animals to be given to the Lord, and every firstborn son redeemed? Verses 11-15.

Comment: Does God require that firstborn animals be given to him today? No. Farmers do not have to donate cows, sheep, chickens or other animals. Nor do firstborn sons have to be redeemed or bought back from the Lord. These old covenant laws are obsolete, because the covenant itself is obsolete.

 

5. As God was speaking the old covenant from Mt. Sinai, what did he command regarding agricultural years? Ex. 23:10-11. Later, did he also set aside every 50th year? Lev. 25:1-12. Was the entire year holy to the Lord? Verse 12.

Comment: The New Testament does not comment on the validity of these laws. It simply declares the covenant obsolete, and there is nothing in the new covenant that would cause us to conclude that the sabbatical and jubilee years are still required. These laws were given only to Israelites, only for the land of Canaan, only for the time period of the old covenant.

Although we might expect that the law had agricultural benefits, the Bible does not make that claim. Some farmland needs to be left fallow more often, and some less often. The Bible does not give us authority to command these same customs for other people in other lands.

Similarly, the Jubilee year had valuable economic results, but it was a civil law that Christians cannot require today. The economic situation (such as slavery) has changed considerably, and the covenant containing this law has been declared no longer authoritative.

 

6. Did God command three annual festivals? Ex. 23:14. Did he command all Israelite men to appear before him at a designated site? Deut. 16:16. For the Feast of Tabernacles, to whom was the command given? Lev. 23:33-34, 42. Were offerings a commanded part of the festival? Verse 36. Was this festival designed to coordinate with the harvest season in the land of Canaan? Verse 39. What were the Israelites commanded to gather for this festival? Verse 40. What were they commanded to live in? Verse 42. What did the festival commemorate? Verse 43.

Comment: The old covenant required annual worship festivals. It specified the date and the place, the manner and the people to whom the commands applied. God did not command gentiles to keep this festival. It was one of the ordinances that separated Jews from gentiles, and the early church did not require gentile believers to travel to Jerusalem, to make offerings, to gather palm branches or to live in booths. Those things were part of the old covenant, which God made with ancient Israel. They are not part of the new covenant.

 

7. Did God command Abraham to circumcise himself? Gen. 17:11. Did this command apply to anyone else? Verses 9, 12. Was this command included in the old covenant? Lev. 12:2-3. To what ethnic group did the command apply? Verse 2.

Comment: God did not command gentiles to be circumcised or to circumcise their children. Nor has he ever authorized his church to make such a command. The early church decided that gentiles did not have to be circumcised (Acts 15). Although they were later concerned about whether Jewish believers were being taught to circumcise their children, they had no such concerns regarding the gentile believers (Acts 21). The command did not apply to gentiles.

Paul explained that physical circumcision was not necessary (Rom. 2:28-29). Uncircumcised people can be declared righteous in God's sight (Rom. 3:30). He warned gentiles that they should not feel compelled to be circumcised (1 Cor. 7:18; Gal. 5:2). However, some people were apparently teaching a false doctrine that gentiles had to come under the old covenant in order to be saved, and in their thinking, circumcision was the key step in submitting to the Torah (Acts 15:5; Gal. 5:3). Paul had to argue against circumcision advocates in several of his letters.

But God never commanded gentiles to be circumcised. It would be a mistake to make this a requirement or even to imply that it is spiritually better. Gentile believers inherit the promises of Abraham, which were given to him before he was circumcised (Rom. 4:9-11). Laws that were added later cannot take away the blessing that God had already sworn to give. In the next section, we will continue to examine some laws that were instituted as part of the old covenant.

 

 

http://www.gci.org/law/otl07

 

 

Are Old Testament Laws Still Binding on Christians?

 

Christians often wonder, Are Old Testament laws still in force?

The New Testament gives two basic answers to this question: Yes, and no. Some verses indicate continuity, and others indicate change. Some verses maintain the validity of the law; others describe it as having been superseded by Christ.

If we look at one group of verses, we might conclude that we have to keep all OT (Old Testament) laws. If we look at another group of verses, we might conclude that they are all done away. Both answers have scriptural support and validity, so we need to look at both sides of the question.

Let's start with an emphasis on continuity. A passage like Matthew 5:17-19 can be used to argue that all OT laws are still in force. Jesus didn't do away with any of God's laws. Rather, he emphasized that we ought to obey God not only in our actions, but also in our hearts. We have to keep every OT law in the spirit, in its attitude and purpose. God's laws are written in our hearts and minds (Heb. 8:10). They are internalized, so we should want to keep them. Hebrews 8:10 is a quote of Jeremiah 31:31-33, one could argue, and the laws that Jeremiah had in mind were the laws that were valid in his day: the old covenant laws. They were all given by God.

 

If this line of reasoning is correct, our love for God will motivate us to be circumcised, to keep the Jubilee year and sabbatical years. We will be diligent to avoid all forms of uncleanness, and we will wear phylacteries and only pure fabrics. We will offer sacrifices, not only for sin but also for fellowship offerings and thank offerings. When Jeremiah described the kingdom of God, old covenant customs were included. This is what Jeremiah meant.

Spiritual application

These laws are still valid – but, as we know, they are applied in a spiritual way. The application of the law has been transformed by the coming of Jesus Christ. If our hearts are circumcised, it does not matter whether we have been circumcised in the flesh. If we are offering spiritual sacrifices, we do not need to offer animals.

 

If we are always forgiving debts and liberating people from bondage, we do not have to do anything different on sabbatical years. If we are treating our livestock and farmland properly, we do not have to do anything different on sabbatical years. If we live by the spirit, the letter of these laws is not required.

If we examine our hearts for corruption and are being cleansed by Jesus Christ, then we do not have to be fanatical about destroying houses that have mildew. If our thoughts are pure, we don't have to worry about our fabrics. If we are always thinking of God and his laws, we don't have to wear phylacteries. The laws are valid, but the way in which we obey them has been transformed by the coming of Jesus Christ.

Spiritual dimension

The point is that some OT laws are, in Christian application, spiritualized. They are removed from the dimensions of space and time and transferred into the spiritual dimension of attitude and interpersonal relationships.

Some people fight against spiritualizations. I've heard of one minister who says Christians should offer animal sacrifices if the temple were still standing! And yet, as far as I know, he does not wear phylacteries or blue threads in tassels on his garments, nor does he advocate the destruction of a home when mildew is discovered. Moreover, I don't know why the absence of a temple should stop an obligation (if it really is an obligation) to sacrifice animals. Sacrifices were part of correct worship long before Moses, so the end of the old covenant simply means that sacrificing is no longer the exclusive duty of Levites. We ought to worship God like Abel, Noah and Abraham did – and that includes animal sacrifices.

According to this logic, ministers ought to make animal sacrifices, preaching all the while that these animals remind us of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. We ought to kill Passover lambs in addition to partaking of bread and wine, because Jesus only added to the law; he did not take anything away. The sacrifices may be shadows, but even when the reality has come, the shadow still exists! Animal sacrifices are very educational, full of spiritual meaning, and it would be wrong to ignore any of God's commands.

I have been arguing facetiously in the above two paragraphs, of course, but elements of the above argument have been used to promote various old covenant customs. My main point is that some OT laws are spiritualized. Almost everyone can agree on that.

However, there are all sorts of opinions concerning which laws may be spiritualized and which cannot. Some fringe groups want physical circumcision. Some want land sabbaths. Some may even want tree-branch booths. Some want first tithe but not second and third. Some want weekly Sabbaths but not annual. Some want new moons. Many different doctrinal packages exist; each person thinks his own is the biblical one and that the others are inconsistent.

Some people are willing to say that the old covenant is obsolete; others are not comfortable with this statement. Some are willing to say that gentiles do not need to keep the law of Moses; some are not. Some are willing to say that the "law" of Galatians 3:19 is the old covenant; some are not.

With so many opinions floating around, it's difficult to know where to start in a rational discussion. What biblical criteria can we use when discussing which laws are spiritualized and which must be kept in the letter as well as the spirit?

Critical questions

In discussions, we need to start by defining the issues – can the person agree that the new covenant has been established (Hebrews 8:6)? Can the person agree that Christians should live by the terms of the new covenant? Can the person agree that some OT laws, such as tassels and phylacteries, are obsolete even if the New Testament says nothing about such laws? Can the person give a rational reason why some old laws are valid in the letter and others are not, or is the position irrational?

The OT clearly commanded the Israelites to wear blue threads in tassels on their garments (Numbers 15:38-39). Was this law inspired by God, or not? Answer: It was. Is this law obsolete? Answer: It is. Who has the authority to declare a God-given law obsolete? Answer: Only God.

Does the New Testament specifically rescind this law? Answer: No. It says nothing about this specific law. Then how can we prove, with divine authority, that it is obsolete? Answer: Because the New Testament declares the entire old covenant obsolete (Hebrews 8:13). As a law code, as a source of laws, it is not valid.

That brings us to our second approach to OT law: None of it is valid. Christians do not have to keep the law of Moses because those laws were a temporary package, designed to be in force only until the Messiah came. Now that he has come and given a better covenant, the first is obsolete.

A covenant is something like a contract. In business, people make contracts. A farmer agrees to deliver tomatoes to the store every Tuesday, and the store agrees to pay a certain price per pound. If he comes on Monday, the store is not necessarily obligated to buy. If he brings broccoli, the store is not obligated to buy. Now, what happens if the farmer is simply unable to bring tomatoes on Tuesday because his entire crop is rotten? Perhaps there will be penalties; it depends on how the contract is written.

Suppose now that the store makes a new contract with the farmer: Bring every vegetable that you have, as often as you pick it. This new contract even specifies that the old contract is null and void. The old restrictions (only tomatoes, only on Tuesday) are irrelevant, because the new contract supersedes the old.

A farmer and a store can have several contracts simultaneously, concerning different vegetables, different prices and terms and expiration dates, but God has only one covenant with his people. We do not simply add the new on top of the old and try to keep both the letter and the spirit of every law. We do not have to wear tassels on the outside and keep the law in our hearts as well. Instead, the new has replaced the old (Hebrews 10:9), and we focus on the spirit rather than the letter. Of course, it is true that in some cases the proper spirit will cause us to keep the letter, but in other cases it is not true.

Consider the spirit of adultery, for example. If we avoid lust, then we will also (without any need for a written law) avoid physical acts of adultery. The letter of this law is still valid. If we do not covet, then we will (without any need for a written law) not steal. This law is also valid in the letter. If we are not angry at our brother, we will (without any need for a written law) not murder. Again, the letter is valid. Keeping the spirit of the law has thwarted these sins at their very source.

However, consider how different the Feast of Unleavened Bread is. The spirit of the law is (in moral terms) that we repent of sin and (in Christological terms) that we partake of the sinless Bread of life.

If we are abiding by the spirit of the law, do we automatically (without any need for a written law) look to a calculated Jewish calendar, based on the agricultural seasons of Palestine, and observe a specific seven days of the year, specifically by avoiding bread made with yeast and avoiding work on the first and seventh days? This is not automatic at all. Rather, it is based exclusively on the written old covenant. In this case, there is a dramatic difference between the spirit and the letter of the law.

Or consider whether we must live in booths during the Feast of Tabernacles. The argument is missing the point, for the simple reason that the new covenant says that the old contract is obsolete. The new contract does not require booths, nor does it forbid them. It says nothing about tomatoes, Tuesdays, or palm-branch sukkahs.

Instead, the new covenant requires us to remember always that we are strangers and pilgrims on this earth, journeying on our way to God's promised new earth (1 Peter 2:11; Philippians 3:20). Just as with phylacteries and tassels, if we keep this law in our hearts, we do not need to worry about the letter. The purpose has been fulfilled.

Fulfillment in Jesus Christ

We know that sin offerings were shadows of the real sacrifice for sin, Jesus Christ (Hebrews 10:1-3). Now that the real sacrifice for sin has been made, the physical symbolism does not need to be reenacted. But what about peace offerings and fellowship sacrifices? The New Testament doesn't specifically say that they are done away, but Jesus Christ fulfilled them, too. We keep these laws in the spirit, not in the letter.

Jesus has made atonement for us once for all, making us at one with the Father. We do not need to commemorate Christ's atonement with the goat rituals of Leviticus 16. Their purpose has been fulfilled, and the purpose for fasting on the 10th of Tishri (Leviticus 16:29-31) has also been fulfilled. Fasting is still a beneficial spiritual discipline—but it is neither commanded for nor restricted to the Day of Atonement.

Christ, by bringing a new covenant, has transformed the law. The same underlying law still exists—the law of love. Jesus did not change that law at all. Rather, he fulfilled it. The old covenant, including the sacrifices, tassels and Jubilee years, had specific, physical applications of the underlying law of love. But those specifics are, in many cases, now obsolete. The spirit of the law remains, but the letter does not. The old covenant way is not the only permissible application of the purpose of the law. There are other ways to achieve the same goal, to express our devotion to God and our love for our neighbors.

The Sabbath commandment, as our last example, had several purposes. It was a reminder of creation; it was a reminder of the Israelites' exodus from Egypt; it was a reminder of their special relationship with the Creator. It provided physical rest for animals, servants and families.

Morally, the Sabbath symbolized our duty to cease from evil works. Christologically, it symbolized our need to find spiritual rest in Christ, to trust in him rather than our own works for salvation. It symbolized the completion of our creation at the end of the age.

Now, if we have the spirit of the law written in our hearts, will we automatically, without need for written instructions, refuse to work on a particular day of the week? Will we, from our hearts, know that holy time extends from evening to evening? Will we automatically perceive that this specific time is so important that we should be willing to lose our jobs because of it? The answer is obvious: No. These things are dependent on the written old covenant. They are not automatic even if our hearts are right with God. The spirit of the Sabbath law does not automatically produce the letter – but Christians are to focus on the spirit.

Perpetual remembrance

The real purpose is that we enter the rest of God through faith in Christ. Our salvation is in him, not in a specific day of the week. If we are in Christ and he is in us, we will always remember our special relationship with him. We will be in perpetual remembrance of the new creation being done in us.

We will cease from evil work every day of the week. We will do good works on every day of the week. We will worship on every day of the week. And we will also recognize that new covenant love should motivate us to meet with one another regularly to encourage one another (Heb. 10:24-25).

Resting on the Sabbath may picture a changed life, but then again, many Sabbath-keepers do not have changed lives. Moreover, Sabbath-keeping cannot change our hearts. Spiritual Sabbath-keeping, however, does change our hearts – because spiritual Sabbath-keeping means the life of faith in Christ, which changes us from the inside out. Jesus Christ has magnified the Sabbath law far beyond the temporal restrictions of the letter. If we are keeping the spirit of this law, the physical restrictions are not required. Of course, it is not wrong to rest on the Sabbath day. The physical benefits are still there. But it is wrong to see the physical as required for all Christians.

But, some will say, we should keep both the letter and the spirit of this law. It is easy to make that claim, but there is no proof for it – and there is certainly no reason to condemn people on the basis of a different interpretation of how we should obey God. It is just as easy to make the claim that people truly abiding by the spirit of the tassels will also be wearing tassels. The flaw of such logic is exposed by the realization that the new covenant declares the old contract obsolete. We must focus on the spirit and purpose of the laws.

A Sabbatarian approach to the Sabbath emphasizes Matthew 5:17-19, and that usually leads to a distorted meaning for such verses as Colossians 2:16 and Romans 14:5.

However, after we recognize that the letter of some OT laws is obsolete, then we realize that Matthew 5:17-19 has to be qualified or restricted in some way. So do Romans 3:20, 31; 7:12, 14 and other verses of continuity. These verses do not tell us which specific laws are still in force, and they do not prove the continued validity of any specific law. They are general, not specific.

Once we recognize that some OT laws, although still valid in purpose, are obsolete in the letter, then we are free to accept the implications of what Paul wrote in Colossians 2:16. We should not let anyone judge us regarding Sabbath days, just as we shouldn't let them judge us regarding new moons. Each person should be convinced in his own mind, but he should not judge other Christians regarding such matters.

 

http://www.gci.org/law/otlaws

 

 

Ni Bula ....via wasea ga yani na 3 Nifai 9:15-22...Raica ko i au ko Jisu Karisito na Luve ni Kalou.Au sa bulia na lomalagi kei na vuravura kei na veika kece ga sa tu kina.Au a tiko vata kei Tamaqu mai na ivakatekivu.Au sa tu vei Tamaqu ;ia sa vakacaucautaki na yaca i Tamaqu e na vukuqu...Au sa lako mai vei ira na kai noqu,ia era sa sega ni vakabauti au;a sa vakayacori kina na ka sa parofisaitaki e na vukuqu..Ia ko ira kecega sa vakabauti au,au sa solia vei ira me ra yaco rawa me ra luve ni Kalou;ia au na kitaka tale ga vakakina vei ira kece ga sa vakabauta na yacaqu;raica sa yaco na bula e na vukuqu;ia sa i au ga sa vakayacori kina na vunau i Mosese.Ko i au na rarama kei na vu ni bula kei vuravura.Ko i au ga na Alifa kei na Omeka,ai vakatekivu kei na i vakataotioti.Ia mo dou kakua tale ni vakadavea na dra ka vakacabora me i soro  vei au;io sa cava eke na nomudou i madrali kei na i soro kama;raica au na sega tale ni vakadonuya na nomudou i madrali kei na nomudou i soro kama.Ia mo dou cabora ga mei soro vei au na yalo sa bibivoro.Ia ko koya yadua sa lako mai vei au ena yalo raramusumusu kei na yalo bibivoro,au na papitaisotaki koya e na buka waqa kei na Yalo Tabu me vakataki ira na Leimani era a vakabauti au ka saumaki mai;raica era a papitaisotaki e na bukawaqa kei na Yalo Tabu,ia era a sega ni kila.Raica au sa lako mai me rawa na bula vei ira na kai vuravura ;io meu vakabulai ira mai na nodra i valavala ca.Ia ko koya yadua sa veivutuni ka lako mai vei au me vaka e dua na gone lailai,au na vakabulai koya ni sa vakaoqo ko ira na lewe ni matanitu ni Kalou.Raica sa i ira oqo ka'u sa solia kina na noqu bula ka taura lesu tale;io mo dou veivutuni oi kemudou kece ga na kai vuravura ka lako mai vei au,mo dou bula kina.3 Nifai 15:1-24...Ia ni sa tinia na nona vosa ko Jisu,sa vakaraici ira na lewe vuqa ka kaya:Raica dou sa rogoca na noqu i vakavuvuli ni bera ni'u lesu tale vei Tamaqu;ia ko koya yadua sa nanuma ka muria na noqu i vakavuvuli,au na vakabulai koya e na siga mai muri.Ia ni sa cavuta oti na vosa oqo ko Jisu,sa kila sa tu e na kedra maliwa e so era sa kurobuitaka na ka sa tukuna me baleta na vunau i Mosese;era sa sega ni kila na i balebale ni nona kaya ni sa takali yani na veika makawa,ka sa yaco me vou na ka kece ga.A sa kaya vei ira;Dou kakua ni kurobui ni'u sa kaya vei kemudou;Sa vakayacori na vunau i Mosese.Raica sai au ga sa solia na vunau,ka sa i au sa veiyalayalati kei ira na noqu tamata na Isireli;ia e na vukuqu ga sa soli kina na vunau,ka'u sa lako mai me'u vakayacora me'u vakaotia kina.Au sa sega ni lako mai meu vakaotia na nodra i vakavuvuli na parofita,ni vuqa na nodra i vakavuvuli e sa bera ni vakayacori;ia au sa kaya vakaidina vei kemudou,e na yaco mada kece ga.Ia niu sa kaya vei kemudou ni sa takali yani na veika makawa ,e sega ni sa oti kina na veika sa tukuni tu ni na yaco mai.Raica e sa bera ni vakayacori taucoko na veiyalayalati kau a cakava vei ira na noqu tamata;ia sa mai tini ga vei au na vunau a soli vei Mosese.Raica ko i au na vu i vunau kei na rarama.Dou muri au ka vosota me yacova na i vakataotioti,dou na bula kina;ia ko koya sa vosota me yacova na i vakataotioti,au na solia vua na bula tawamudu.Raica au sa solia vei kemudou na noqu vunau;ia mo dou talairawarawa kina.Raica sa tukuni au vakaidina na vunau kei na nodra i vakavuvuli na parofita!.... Nuitaka nina vukei keta a jikina iei .....SA MALO     

If you live by the law you will be judged against the law.....Christ came and gave us another option, live by the faith, he said I am the way,the truth and the life,hence if you believe in me(Christ) you will be shown the way,discover the truth and have everlasting life! Sabbath...hmmm....keeping the 7th day holy....work 6 days...thats a way...work 7 days but dedicate 12 hours from that 7days to worshipping God..thats another way...so there are various ways of keeping that commandement..thats why God gave us brains and choices to think for ourselves! That hour is Sabbath..thats where the concept of golden hour came from....God Bless u all!

 

 

                                                            

10 False distinctions between   the 10 Commandments and the ceremonial law exposed!

I. The ten commandments are abolished, Illustrations:

  1. Someone      asked me, "Is      it true you are a minister for a church and don't keep the ten      commandments?" "That is right, I don't keep any of the 10      commandments." I replied. The person continued, "You mean you      lie, murder and commit adultery?" "Of course not." I      replied, "Although every one of the ten commandments are abolished,      the law of Christ carried them forward into the New Testament". The      Sabbath commandment was stated to be abolished in Col 2:14-16. This means      that under the New Covenant law, 9 of the 10 commandments have been      carried forward and one is abolished.
  2. The old and New Constitutions of      Canada:      1867 AD constitution vs. 1982 AD Constitution. On 17 April 1982, Canada      abolished its founding 1867 AD constitution and replaced it with a new      code of law. Story: The was a man got fired from his job because      his skin was black. He took his employer to court and quoted the 1867      constitution in the trial. The judge said, "The laws you are quoting      are abolished. You will win your case, but you are using a an old      constitutional law that has been abolished. Go home and base your      arguments on the new 1981 constitution otherwise you will lose the case,      because the old law is no longer in force. In fact the wording and meaning      of the law is virtually identical from the Old and New Constitution. But      you must argue your case under the law that is currently in force, not the      law that that is abolished.

 

II. The Sabbatarian false distinction they see in Col 1:14 and Eph 2:15:

  1. All Sabbatarians create a false and      non-existent distinction within the law of Moses. They usually refer to      this man-made distinction as: 1. "the 10 commandments", and 2.      "the Ceremonial law".
  2. This man made distinction is most visibly      present in passages like Col 1:14 and Eph 2:15. In these passages, they      say that only the "Ceremonial law" was abolished leaving the      "10 commandment" law still in force for Christians today. If      this is true, then we most certainly would need to keep the 7th day      Sabbath.
  3. But we will prove that the ten commandment law      is clearly abolished and Christians do not keep that code of law any more.      They keep a new and better law called the Law of Christ: Gal 6:2.

 

III. How Seventh-day Adventists teach this false distinction:

The Old Testament is a single unit of laws. Some are moral and others are ceremonial. But there is no way to establish any distinction of two laws! "The Moral Law" and "The Ceremonial Law" do not exist as separate codes of law, as Adventists were forced to invent! Reproduced below is a chart every Sabbath keeper is familiar with. Problem is that it is completely unprovable with scripture. The only place this distinction exists is in the minds of Sabbatarians.

 

 

How   Sabbatarians try to establish the false distinction:

 

The Ten Commandments

 

The Ceremonial Law

Written   on Stone
  (Ex 31:18)

Written   in a book, Book of the law
  (Deut 31:24,7; Deut 31:24)

Placed   in the Ark
  (Deut 10:5)

Placed   on side of Ark
  (Deut 31:25)

Written   by God's finger
  (Ex 31:18, 32:16)

Written   by Moses' finger
  (Deut 31:9; Ex 24:4)

Spoken   by God
  (Ex 20:1,22)

Spoken   by Moses
  (Ex 24:3)

God   gave

Moses   gave

The Law   of God, God's law, The law
  (eternal)

The Law   of Moses, Moses Law
  (Done away)

The   Moral Law

The   Ceremonial Law

Breaking   is sin
  1 Jn 3:4

Merely   prescribes offerings for sin.
  Homosexuality, Drunkenness,   pride, pre-marital sex are not sin? Death penalty for homosexuals: Lev 20:13!

Commandments

Statutes,   Ordinances and Decrees

Still   in force today?
  (Ps 111:7-8)

Nailed   to the cross!
  (Eph 2:14)

 

 

TBC .....

 

Continue ....

IV. The Seventh-day Adventists false distinction refuted:

                                                                     

False Distinction #1:
  Breaking is sin
vs. Merely prescribes offerings for sin.

  1. Homosexuality, Drunkenness, pride, pre-marital      sex are not sin?
  2. Death penalty for homosexuals: Lev 20:13!

 

    

False Distinction #2:
  God gave
vs. Moses gave

  1. Sabbatarians will try to establish a      distinction in the Old Testament law by focusing on what was      "written/given" by God vs. what was "written/given" by      Moses. But God is said to have given the Law of Moses and Moses is said to      have given the Law of God.
  2. God gave the "Law of Moses" Ezra 7:6      "Ezra... a scribe skilled in the law of Moses, which the Lord God of      Israel had given"
  3. Moses gave the "Law of God" Nehemiah      10:29 "walk in God's law, which was given through Moses"
  4. John 7:19 "Did not Moses give you the Law, and yet none of you      carries out the Law? Why do you seek to kill Me?"
  5. God gave the Book of law of Moses: Nehemiah      8:1 "bring the book of the law of Moses which the Lord had given to      Israel"
  6. God gave book of law of the Lord: 2 Chron      34:14 "the priest found the book of the law of the Lord given by      Moses"
  7. Moses gave the 10 commandments: "For      Moses said, 'Honor your father and your mother'" Mk 7:9-10
  8. When you read the 10 commandments, you      "read Moses": 2 Corinthians 3:3,15
  9. Paul's writings about the prophets wives being      silent in the churches are called the "Lords commandments": 1      Cor 14:35-37 (According to Sabbatarians logic, women keeping silent in the      churches must be one of the 10 commandments since every time they see      "Lord's Commandments" they automatically call it the ten      commandments!)
  10. Interchangeability of terms in Nehemiah      9:13-14 proves there is no distinction found in the Old Testament laws of      God and Moses!

 

Nehemiah   9:13-14

Tablets of the   covenant

Book of the covenant

God   gave

Thy holy Sabbath

ordinances; true   laws, good statutes and commandments

Moses   Gave

Commandments

statutes, and law

 

 

    

 

False Distinction #3:
  The Moral Law
vs. The Ceremonial Law

  1. Sabbatarians attempt to create a false      distinction between the "10 commandments" and the "book of      the law" by claiming one contains moral law and the other ceremonial      laws:
  2. The "ceremonial law" contains the      "10 commandment moral law" twice!
  3. The truth is, it is impossible to create any      distinction based upon Moral vs. Ceremonial laws. Sabbatarians create the      false impression that there is nothing moral in the "book of the      law" and nothing ceremonial in the 10 commandments when in fact      nothing could be further from the truth.
  4. The 4th commandment, the Sabbath, is by every      definition a ceremonial law. Keeping a day is ceremony.
  5. Jesus said the two greatest moral laws were      not part of the 10 commandments! Mt 22:36-40 (Too bad for Sabbatarians:      Great place for Jesus to quote the Sabbath law!) The "Ceremonial      law" contained the two greatest "moral commandments": love      God and love they neighbor
  6. The expression "Ceremonial law" is      not found in scripture: the words "ceremonial, ceremony, ceremonies      and all roots etc" are never found in the same verse as the word      "law or laws"
  7. The expression "Moral law" is not      found in scripture: the words "Moral, Morals, morality and all      roots" are never found in the same verse as the word "law or      laws"
  8. The 5 books of Moses are filled with moral      laws not contained in the 10 commandments! Ex 22:21-22,31; Ex 23:2; Lev      19:2,14-18; Deut 16:18
  9. Interesting that according to Sabbatarians,      the whole of the Moral law (Sabbatarians believe is the 10 commandments/      Law of God) hangs upon 2 laws found in the book of the law. "Love God      with all heart" & "Love your neighbor as self"      (Sabbatarians believe the book of law is the law of Moses and was the      ceremonial law) In other words, the two most important moral laws are not      found in the Ten Commandments, but in the Book of the Law, which      Adventists say is abolished!

 

    

False Distinction #4:
  The Law of God, God's law, The law
vs. The Law of Moses,   Moses Law

  1. The Law of God contained animal sacrifices and      ceremonial laws:

"Law of God" commands animal sacrifices: Lk 2:23 written in the Law of the Lord, "Every first-born male that opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord", and to offer a sacrifice according to what was said in the Law of the Lord, "A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons."

"Law of the Lord" commands burnt offerings: 2 Chron 31:3: "He also appointed the king's portion of his goods for the burnt offerings, namely, for the morning and evening burnt offerings, and the burnt offerings for the Sabbaths and for the new moons and for the fixed festivals, as it is written in the law of the Lord."

The law told Israel to dwell in tents: "They found written in the law how the Lord had commanded through Moses that the sons of Israel should live in booths during the feast of the seventh month. " (Nehemiah 8:14)

1 Chron 16:40 "burnt offering...written in the law of the lord"

2 Chronicles 35:26 "Now the rest of the acts of Josiah and his deeds of devotion as written in the law of the Lord"

Nehemiah 8:14 And they found written in the law how the Lord had commanded through Moses that the sons of Israel should live in booths during the feast of the seventh month.

"and bring to the house of our God the firstborn of our sons and of our cattle, and the firstborn of our herds and our flocks as it is written in the law, for the priests who are ministering in the house of our God. " (Nehemiah 10:36)

John 1:17 For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ.

John 7:19 "Did not Moses give you the Law, and yet none of you carries out the Law? Why do you seek to kill Me?"

Matthew 12:5 "Or have you not read in the Law, that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple break the Sabbath, and are innocent? (Cf Num 28:9-10)

The 10 commandments are NEVER called "the law of the Lord" or "law of God" in distinction from the "law of Moses" within a single passage.

 

  1. The 10 commandments are called the Law of      Moses:

Mk 7:9-10 For Moses said, "Honor your father and your mother"

 

When you read the 10 commandments, you read Moses: 2 Corinthians 3:3,15

 

Law of Moses is the law given at Horeb (10 commandments): Malachi 4:4 Remember the law of Moses My servant, even the statutes and ordinances which I commanded him in Horeb for all Israel.

 

Law of Moses included everything God commanded: 1 Kings 2:3

 

 

    

False Distinction #5:
  Commandments
vs. Statutes, Ordinances and Decrees

  1. Every time a Sabbatarian sees the expression      "the commandments" or "My commandments", they      automatically think exclusively of the 10 commandments! Yet here are many      passages where these common expressions refer to what Sabbatarians would      call "the Ceremonial Law of Moses" and NOT the 10 commandments!

The phrases "commandments", "The commandments" "my commandments", "the Lord commanded", "what Moses commanded" are uses so many times in the Old Testament in reference to what Adventists call the Ceremonial law to the exclusion of the 10 commandments, it would take 10 pages to list all the verses!

Lev 27:34 These are the commandments which the Lord commanded Moses for the sons of Israel at Mount Sinai.

Num 36:13 These are the commandments and the ordinances which the Lord commanded

Deut 30:10 obey the Lord your God to keep His commandments and His statutes which are written in this book of the law

Jesus defined the commandants to include the Law of Moses: Mt 19:17-19 Jesus said: "keep the commandments." The man replied "Which ones?" And Jesus said, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself"

  1. Every time a Sabbatarian sees the expression      "Statutes, Ordinances and Decrees",      they automatically exclude the 10 commandments and apply it only to what      they falsely call, "the ceremonial law" Yet here are many      passages where these common expressions refer to the 10 commandments      exclusively: (or at least in part include)

Deut 5:1 The Ten commandments are called "My statures and all My ordinances"

 

Ezekiel 20:19-21 The weekly Sabbath is called "My statures and all My ordinances"

 

Mal 4:4 Book closes with a call to keep "statutes and ordinances" which obviously include the 10 commandments because it would be unthinkable for such a doxology to leave them out completely!

 

Neh 9:13-14 the weekly Sabbath is included without distinction: "right judgments, true laws, good statutes, commandments"

 

Lev 19:1-37 The Ten commandments and the ceremonial law are mixed together without distinction and called "My statures and all My ordinances"

 

Deut 5:1-6:25: Two whole chapters that deal exclusively with the 10 commandments and the following 5 terms are used interchangeably without distinction: "statutes", "ordinances", "commandments", "judgments", "testimonies".

 

Lev 23 The Weekly Sabbath is lumped in with all the yearly Sabbaths without distinction and they are all called "The Lord's appointed times" and "holy convocations".

 

Ezek 20 calls the first and fourth commandment, My statutes and My ordinances:

 

      Neh 8 uses interchangeably without distinction, the following terms: "the book of the law of Moses", "the law", "the book of the law", "the law of God", "book of the law of God" and includes

 

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