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We will continue to look at the challenges made against God's Ten Commandment Law being the standard for modern Christians. The words of the challenger of Adventist understanding of the law are written in yellow. My responses are written in pink.

Challenge #9
The term "commandments" in the writings of John

Quotes from John, where Jesus says "keep my commandments" are cited as referring to the ten commandments. However I have often pointed out that "the law" and "commandments" in John mean two totally different things. Law always refers to the Jewish TORAH, "commandments" to Jesus new commandments. No one has replied to this fact.

The law refers to the old covenant, it is the law of Moses: "the law was given through Moses" (1:17),(The meaning of the words " law OF Moses" is not the same as the "law given THROUGH Moses" God revealed His will to the people, through Moses) "Moses wrote about in the law" (1:45), "it is the Sabbath; the law forbids you to carry your mat" (5:10),(a rule on Sabbath observance is not the same as the commandment to keep the Sabbath Holy) "has not Moses given you the law, yet not one of you keeps the law" (7:19),(In context we see Jesus telling the Jews they are to do God's will and seek God's glory. Moses gave them the law, but they don't keep it, they seek to kill Him, if they were of Abraham they would do the works of Abraham, instead they do the works of their father the devil, who is a liar and murderer. He that is of God hears God's Words. (also 9:43-47)
But "command" is the new commandment of Christ: "a new commandment I give you: love one another" (13:34), "if you love me you will obey what I command" (14:15), "whoever has my commands and obeys me, he is the one who loves me" (14:21), "I do exactly what my Father has commanded me" (14:31), "if you obey my commands you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love" (15:10), "my command is this: love each other as I have loved you" (15:12),
Indeed, John shows that "the law" belongs to the Jews and has nothing to do with the new age, "the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ" So although "commandment" ("entole" in the Greek) is generally synonymous with "law" ("nomos" in the Greek) in the New Testament, this is not the case in the writings of John. As we have seen above, in John the term "law" and "commandments" are used to have specifically different meanings. It is misleading to simply quote "commandments" from John and imply it is used in the same sense as the rest of the New Testament. In particular, it most certainly is *not* the same as the Jewish law!

My response:
I wrote a whole page on my website on the "Antole" and law of John's writings ---
See Antole and Commandments

This new commandments issue, is an old argument that basically says:
We now have the freedom to define what is right and wrong in are own eyes— we make up our own commandments, where we determine what is right. As long as we can justify our actions to ourselves, that it is the "loving" thing to do, it is right. But that is not Biblical, that is humanism! That is liberation theology, straight from the Jesuit organization. And the critic says we are following Catholic ideas?! I think it is he, that is leading us into Catholic Liberation theology.

All this talk about new commandments is deceptive.
John, himself, says they are not new:
"This is the message you have heard from the beginning," he says, "we should love one another." " I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which you had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which you have heard from the beginning." 1 John 3:11
Indeed, it was not new, even though it sounded new to them, and was presented as new, for Jewish tradition had lost sight of the concept of a heart response to God's commandments-- they had lost sight of the role of love in obedience. But look what we read in the books of Moses:
Duet 6.5-6
And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:
Duet. 10.12-13
And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, to keep the commandments of the LORD,
Lev. 19.17-18
You are not to hate your brother in your heart:..
You are not to avenge, nor bear any grudge, but you shall love your neighbour as yourself: I am the LORD."

Mark 12:29-34 tells us what the "New" commandments are. The New Commandments are none other than to Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind and soul— this is the summation and outgrowth of the first four commandments. When we love God with all our hearts, we do not have any other gods before Him, nor do we make images to worship, but worship only Him. If we love God we do not dishonor His name and we do not rob Him of the time He has set aside to spend with us and we with Him.

The command to love your neighbor as yourself is but the summation and magnification, of the last six commandments. In fact both Jesus and Paul use this command to love our neighbors, with a recitation from the last six commandments. (Matt. 19:18-19, Romans 13:9)

Psalms 119
This Psalm with its praise for the law is often cited as being in praise of the ten commandments. However I have shown that "the law" refers to the TORAH, the Psalmist is praising the covenant between God and Israel ("he remembers his covenant for ever" (Ps 111:5). This has not been responded to.

Sorry, you can't have it both ways.
First declaring that the covenant is the ten commandments and then saying the Psalmist is not speaking of the commandments, but praising the covenant between God and Israel.
David is praising the righteous ways and laws of the Lord, which is certainly not what we see the critic doing, especially when we get to challenge # 18.
Seems you are going in circles here. David is praising the righteous ways of the Lord— God's covenant— yes! Which offers salvation. But he also delights in the moral guidelines for the full life. Psalms 40.8 "I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart."
Just like Paul, who wrote in Romans 7.22, "For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:"

Revelation 14:12
"This calls for patient endurance on the part of the saints who obey God's commandments and remain faithful to Jesus" (also And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. Rev. 12:17)

I have pointed out that the writings of John always refer to "commandments" to mean Christ's new commandment to love one another. They use the term "law" to refer to the law of the Old Testament. The term "law" is never used in Revelation. I have not had a response to this.

The verse says "The commandments of God". It is doing violation to the verse to say it means some new commandment which Christ introduced. Christ Himself referred to the commandments of God in Matt. 15, and quoted the 5th commandment. He then said it was useless to worship Him when one sets aside God's commandments and replaces it with a commandment or tradition of man. And that is exactly what modern Christianity has done. They have set aside the direct commandment of God to keep holy the Seventh-day and have placed the day of the sun in it's place.

It would seem people would be a little more alert to the statement— IN VAIN THEY WORSHIP ME— that is a strong statement! When a person willfully sets aside a plain "Thus says the Lord" and follows man made commandments that replace it — they are walking on dangerous ground indeed.

Somehow our critic forgot that Christ also said the GREATEST COMMANDMENT is to love the Lord your God with all your heart mind and soul ---
This is the summation of the first four commandments — No other gods before Him, no graven images, not bringing dishonor to the name of God, and not robbing God of our time which He wants to spend with us. The fourth commandment is the greatest expression of love a people can give to their God — to give Him their time, putting aside all their work and resting in Him.

Those texts in Revelation are key texts in discovering what the mark of the beast and the false worship warned against in the last days is all about. The Bible's most fearful warnings are uttered against those who receive the mark of the beast, while those who keep God's commandments and have the faith of Jesus are declared to be the SAINTS. "Worship Him who made heaven and earth" the angel of warning shouts with a loud voice. "Remember the Sabbath day to keep it Holy for in six days God made heaven and earth" the commandment echoes.

Did Paul use the term "the law" to refer to the ten commandments?
Rom. 3:20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
Romans 4:15 Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression.
It is claimed in examples such as the above that Paul used the term "the law" to refer to the Ten Commandments. However studying Paul's writings reveals that by "the law" he means the whole TORAH. He associates the law with the covenant made with Israel ("Gentiles, who do not have the law" Rom 2:14; Jews "have been entrusted with the very words of God" (Rom 3:1); "the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship" (Rom 9:4); "the law, introduced 430 years later" (Gal 3:17), "one covenant is from Mount Sinai and bears children who are to be slaves" (Gal 4:24) etc).
No one has substantiated the claim that Paul uses the term "the law" to only refer to the Ten Commandments.

I respond:

First of all, why did our critic cut that sentence "Gentiles, who do not have the law....?
Here's the whole sentence: "For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: Which show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness."
So what do the Gentiles have written upon their hearts?
They DO THE THINGS CONTAINED IN THE do they do the whole TORAH? According to the critics definitions we must assume that. But what is it that they really do?
We know what they do, they honor God, don't take His name in vain, beg Paul to preach to them the next Sabbath, (Acts 13:42) they don't hate and kill, they live moral lives, they don't steal from their neighbors, they are honest in all their dealings, not covetous. In other words, God's moral law is written in their hearts and they DO THE THINGS CONTAINED IN THE LAW — the ten commandment law which is summed up as loving God with all their hearts in loving obedience to the first four commands and loving their neighbor as themselves as in the last six commands,

As to the sentence: "Paul's writings reveals that by "the law" he means the whole TORAH."
Surely any serious scholar would throw that sentence out --
Paul uses the word law in a wide variety of ways. The same term Paul uses to refer to the Mosaic Law, he, in other places uses to refer to the entire old testament (1 Cor. 14:21; Rom 3:19,21) In other passages the term "law" is the will of God written in the heart of Gentiles (Rom 2:14-15) evil inclinations (Rom 7:21) guidance of the Spirit (Romans 8:2), and yes, in places it does refer to the ten commandments. (Romans7:7)

The importance of the commandments is shown in Romans 13:8-10
Here Paul admonishes the Christian to love his fellow man and then tells us exactly what the criteria of that love is: THE TEN COMMANDMENTS. We fulfil that law, by not stealing, not murdering, not committing adultery, not coveting and not violating any of the other commandments.

Paul's understanding of the law is Christ centered. While he strongly drives home the truth that the law cannot justify anyone, he upholds the law as the standard for Christian living.

He does not do away with obedience to the commandments but stresses mankind's inability to keep it apart from the Holy Spirit in their lives. He makes it plain that God demands more than outward conformity. God wants the heart— Outward obedience is not where its at, obedience must come from a willing and changed heart. Therefore, only those who walk "according to the Spirit" can fulfill "the just requirements of the Law." (Rom 8:4)

Translations of "the law"
Jose claimed: "Your selective use of the Word Torah to encompass both is not doing just to the translation."
I have demonstrated that "TORAH" is by far the most common Hebrew word for law, for example, here are the various Hebrew words translated as "law" in the Old Testament:
(means "law", "royal edict", or statue, commission, command. It is actually translated as law only 9 times and as decree, 9 times. The Aramaic version of "Dath" is translated as law 11 times and decree 3 times and includes Daniel's statement "he shall think to change times and laws" Does this mean man will make a decree to change God's commandment)
This word is usually translated as "statute" in the Bible, (87 times), "ordinance" 9 times, "decree" 7 times, and "law" 4 times.
This word is almost always translated "commandments" Abraham kept my "mistvah". (Gen 26:5) It is used in the second commandment "Them that love me and keep my "mistvah".(Ex. 20:6) It is used repeatedly in Psalms 119 as David sings praises about God's commandments. Mistvah is translated 173 times as commandments in the old testament.

Torah simply means "law" and is used as such in the Bible.
By far the most common term is TORAH. The only possible contender to TORAH meaning Law is DATH, which is used to refer to the general principle of 'law', as in laws of other nations, for example, these texts are all translations of DATH into "law":
"let it be written in the laws of Persia and Media" (Es 1:19)
"laws of the Medes and Persians" (Dan 6:8)
"laws of Medes and Persians" (Dan 6:12)
TORAH is always the word used in the books of the Law to translate "law".
I respond:

This is very misleading information which the critic has here. As we can see by the additions I have added to his list, there are many words and many meanings to connote "laws" and "commands."

The ten commandments themselves are described as God's ten "WORDS" or "DABAR". Exodus 34:28 "Wrote upon the tables the ten commandments --"DABAR" or WORDS. Duet. 4:13, 10:4 "ten commandments" — ten "DABAR" or "words".

I like the translation in my German Bible on these texts. It reads "He proclaimed to you the ten commands which are your duty in the covenant which God made with you, and wrote them upon two tablets of stone."
The distinction between the ten commandments and the rest of the laws is plain. There is a distinction! It was those tablets of stone, with the 10 WORDS of God that were placed under the mercy seat in the ark of the covenant, and that ark of the covenant is seen again in Revelation 11:19 after the 24 elders which sit before God declare that the "hour of judgment has come."

The book of the law, which Moses wrote, was put by the side of the ark of the covenant, NOT INSIDE, like the two tablets of stone with God's 10 Words. Those "ten words" GOD wrote on those stones with His own finger. God spoke those "ten words", and only those "ten words,"with His own voice, to the people, from the mountain. (Duet. 31:26)
(See Ex. 31:18, Duet. 4:13, Duet. 5:7-22, Duet. 10:4-5)

Interestingly the word "DABAR" can also be translated as "promises" which happens 26 times in the Old Testament.
This is a most wonderful revelation. The ten commandments are God's ten WORDS of promise. Promises of healing and deliverance from sin.

The word TORAH is both the name given to the books of Moses AND a general term meaning law. In Judaism, Torah, in it's broad sense meant "the substance of Divine revelation." "God's revealed teaching or guidance for man." In a more restricted sense it became synonymous with the Pentateuch--the first five books of Moses.

For the Greek translations for law:
1 agoraios
183 nomos
1 nomikos
1 paranomeo
1 krima
3 krino
1 nomotheteo (receive the law)
1 anomia (lawlessness)
1 ennomos (under the)
4 anomos (without law)

"nomos" is the equivalent to TORAH. So there is no "translation" problem here either.

I respond:
"nomos" simply means "law", and "entole" means "commandments".
This does not in the least prove that God's ten "Word's" are the whole Torah, or that they are abolished. When the New Testament says, "keep the commandments" it means keep the commandments of God, not some vague, undefined idea about love.
This is so important to understand, for the whole false worship system will be based on setting aside the commandments of God and enforcing, with economic sanctions and death threats, the commandments of men. Jesus said, "In vain, uselessly, they worship me" "Why do you transgress and violate the commandment of God for the sake of the rules handed down to you by your forefathers." (Amplified Bible, Matt. 15:9,3)

Psalm 119.10-12 "With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments. Thy words have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee."

When Hebrews says, God will write His law upon the hearts of His New Covenant believers, He is not talking about the whole Torah, as in ceremonial laws, etc. He is talking about His eternal principles found in those 10 Words or commandments — the moral law of God. God will write His revealed will in our hearts.

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