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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.


The Jesus example as proof for the Ten Commandments
Jesus kept the Sabbath, showing he kept the Ten Commandments.
The texts cited show that Jesus used the Sabbath as a day of worship (he "went into the synagogue, as was his custom" (Luke 4:16), however the fourth commandment does not say to keep the Sabbath as a day of worship, but as a day of rest, so these texts do not actually support the claim.
In any case, Jesus, being a Jew, not only attended the synagogue but was circumcised (Luke 2:21-24) - are we to follow this example also? There has been no reply to this response.

My response:
The fourth commandment says to keep the 7th day holy. A person can't keep anything holy without the holy presence of Christ. A person must be resting in Christ upon that day in order to keep it holy and that entails worship.
Again there is the constant belittling of Christ in these debates. The words and life of Christ are all swept away as not meaningful to the Gentiles. Yet, He is the Word of life — He is the ONE we should listen to and see as our example.

The critics will do the same with all the references that Paul worshipped upon the Sabbath and even invited the Gentiles to come hear him next SABBATH and the whole city came into the city square to hear Paul preach to them the next SABBATH. (Acts 13:42- 44)

But you will often hear people who knock the 7th day, promote Sunday, because Paul preached Saturday night (eve of First day) as proof that Sunday is the New day!

As far as the circumcision law--
1 Corinthians 7.19
"Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God."
Please note again how the commandments are defined—
They are the commandments of GOD!

Also note that Luke, a Gentile Christian, who traveled often with Paul, wrote in his gospel account, about thirty years AFTER the cross: "And they rested the Sabbath day according to the COMMANDMENT." No hint here that he thought it was an obsolete commandment or an old commandment. He says, simply, "they rested on the Sabbath according to the Commandment."

Oh, some critics will say, but John says "Friday was the JEW'S PREPARATION DAY", so John makes that distinction. But wait. Look again. The word "day" is supplied. It isn't in the original. (John 19:42) It just says they had to bury Jesus quickly because of the preparations of the Jews. The Jews were worried about the bodies being on the cross upon the Sabbath, so they maneuvered things to get them down. (John 19:31) This simply shows the futility of trying to keep holy the Sabbath while rejecting the "Lord of the Sabbath", the One Who created the Sabbath for mankind in the beginning, (Mark 2:27) and without Him, mere ritual resting is useless.

Without the Lord of the Sabbath, it is impossible to keep the Sabbath day holy.

Jesus and the law of Moses

It is claimed Jesus used the term "law of Moses" to refer to the ceremonial law, see for example Matthew 19:7-9 on divorce, in which the law of Moses can be changed.

Jesus does not use the term "law of Moses" in this text. Jesus compares the law given through Moses with how it was in "the beginning", so he is not comparing the (eternal) Ten Commandments and the (temporal) Ceremonial Law, but one part of the books of the law (Genesis) with another (Exodus). Jesus immediately following this text quotes from the law "love your neighbour as yourself" (Matt 19:19; Lev 19:18) - not in the Ten Commandments and "honour your father and mother" (Matt 19:19; Ex 20:12), which is. So Jesus happily mixes the Ten Commandments and the rest of the law together. Jesus often refers to "the law and the prophets" (Matt 5:17; Matt 7:12; Matt 11:13; Matt 22:40) showing he treated "the law" in the traditional Jewish manner as the books of Moses.

I respond:
The principles of the ten commandments are upheld here by Jesus. Any careful reader will see this. The commandments says "Don't commit adultery" --stay true to your marriage partner for life. In the beginning this principle was set forth. "Therefore shall a man leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife and they shall be one. What God has joined let no man seperate" (Gen. 2:24)

Jesus is simply re-establishing the principle in the ten commandments. Which have been in effect since the beginning. It was only because of the hardness of their hearts that Moses permitted divorce. But Jesus adds, it results in breaking the 7th commandment. "Thou shalt not commit adultery.

Far from abolishing the commandment, Jesus makes it so strong here, the disciples recoiled in amazement.

The Sabbath (Gen. 2:1-3) and Marriage sanctity (Gen. 2:24) were established in Eden, not at Sinai. There is no way either has been abolished for the present age.

God's commandments were magnified in the NT, the ten commandments are still the foundational principles of the moral law.
We've also already discussed that the command to "Love your neighbor" is often placed at the end of a recitation of the last six commandments. The phrase is the sum up of the last six commandments. That's what the phrase is doing in Matt. 19:19. (Also Romans 13:10, James 2:8,11)

Yes, Jesus often redefined the "laws of Moses" BUT you will notice in this, and every instance — he did NOT abolish the ten commandments, but magnified them.
He attacked the petty rules, but always lifted up the principles of the ten commandments and explained them with a more internal relevance (don't kill — don't even hate)

Paul refers to the "God's law" and the "law of sin"

Jose claimed that in Romans 7 Paul refers to two laws, "God's law" and the "law at work in the members of my body". This supports the dual law theory.

I have argued that Paul uses the term "the law" the same as other writers in the Bible, to refer to the TORAH, the covenant with Israel. There has been no response.

My response:

Paul does not refer to the TORAH (whole book of Moses), nor does he refer to the ceremonial law in Romans 7. He uses the term "nomos" which means "a law". He quotes directly from the ten commandments, "Thou shalt not covet". This law is said to "point out what sin is". He uses the term "commandments" "entole" (the same word John uses for commandments) interchangable with "law" in this passage.. The words in Romans seven, are very plain — He delights in the law after the inward man, but...ANOTHER LAW IN MY MEMBERS IS AT WAR WITH THE LAW IN MY MIND — the law of sin in my members --

There are definitely two laws here and neither of them are the TORAH. The law is "Thou shalt not covet" and he finds himself lusting after and doing things he shouldn't.

That is his example. The ten commandments which identify sin, are resented by the law of the carnal nature that desires sin.

Paul asks, Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary we establish the law.
Do we continue in sin (the transgression of the law) so that grace may abound? Certainly not! When we are baptized we signify a dying to the old way of life and a rising to newness of life. Sin is to no longer have dominion over us.
Chapter 6 is strong that we must die to the carnal nature and rise to a new life with Christ-- no longer slaves to sin.

Chapter 7 says we must die to one law so we can serve another law.
It goes on to explain there is a law of sin in our members that wars against the righteous law of God. We need to be delivered from this law whereby we are held. For even though we want to serve the law of God, with the flesh we serve the law of sin. Therefore we must die to the law of sin so we are free to serve the law of God! In chapter 7 it repeats again and again that the problem is sin dwelling within, and then in chapter 8 -- we have the solution -- it is by the Spirit --when He dwells within, that the carnal nature is put to death and we live by the Spirit, as justified children of God, doing the will of God.

This passage is too plain— it shows the war that takes place between two laws. The law of sin in our members and the righteous, holy, law of God. The way to deal with this war is not to abolish God's law, but to surrender to the Holy Spirit. Paul does not in anyway abolish God's commandments, in these chapters, but shows how only with the Spirit filled life can one put to death that carnal law within and fulfil the righteous will of God. For the Spirit writes God's law upon the heart and internalizes it.

Is the debate just one of semantics?

A semantic difference means we agree on the basic issues but are arguing over terminology. This debate is not therefore semantic, as we disagree over whether the "words of the (Jewish) covenant" apply to Gentiles. I argue they do not, you argue they do. We are not therefore agreed on the basic issue.

My response:
No this debate is not one of semantics, though it is at times over the meaning and application of words. The two sides of the issue are totally at opposite sides of the Great Controversy of sin and salvation. Our critic would lead us straight into Babylon, where God's laws are replaced by man's laws, feelings and rationalizations. The prevailing misconception that Christ has released Christians from the observance of the commandments of God is the greatest insult to the government and Lordship of God! It is paramount to treason against the most High God. That is what the whole end time scene in Revelation revolves around. People in the end times will be engaged in vain worship . They have, just as Christ said, set aside the commandments of God for the traditions and rationalizations of men. The word "worship" reappears over and over again in Revelation 13 and 14. Most will be worshiping the beast and his image, only a few will stand patiently and preservingly by God's commandments.

The call goes forth, "come out of her my people that you do not partake of her sins and that you receive not her plagues." (Those sins are defined by God's Holy Commandments) It is by setting aside the commandments of God, that people like our critic are trying to shift the mind set of all who would still recognize God's moral law, into accepting the mark of the beast — the accepting of the "vain worship" in the last days, that is in reality rebellion, not worship at all, to God.

Does not following the Law lead to sin?

Jose writes "By attacking the law as a whole, you seek to destroy principles which are eternal in nature." Others have argued that if the law is not applicable to Gentiles it will lead to an increase in sin. I have repeatedly pointed out that the New Testament argues that the law causes sin, rather than suppressing it. No one has been able to challenge this interpretation.

My response:
This is blasphemy in my eyes. It is paramount to saying that God is the author of sin. This has always been the devil's lie: It is the serpent who tells us that if God wouldn't restrict His created beings with His law all would be happiness — we would be like gods! That is what he told Eve in the garden of Eden. "God isn't telling you the truth, Eve, you won't die if you eat of this tree, God placed that restriction upon you, because he knows you will become like him in knowledge, if you eat."

This is why the whole drama of sin and suffering is allowed to play out it's devastating results; to show the universe what it is like when created beings are "released from the obligation of keeping God's law."

Yet despite all the evidence of what a world, that has cast aside God's law is like, people, like this critic, stand up in God's name and say it is God's law that causes sin.

Paul clearly points out that law identifies sin, it does not lead to sin-- it reveals sin and declares it as exceedingly sinful. The law heightens the awareness of sin and causes people to do one of two things:
1) Turn to Christ for salvation, for all have sinned, the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life and it is only through the grace of God that we are transformed in new creatures that love to do the righteous ways and law of God.
2) Or they turn away in opposition to God's ways, just like Lucifer in the beginning, they break forth with greater determination to do their own will, which is foolishness and leads to ultimate destruction.

Yes, those who resist the Holy Spirit's promptings to keep God's law will go to great lengths to deny God's law, so they can obey the carnal law of sin in their members. The carnal law of sin IS in direct opposition to God's Holy Law.

Paul points out that the carnal nature resists restraint and cannot obey the law --
BUT the law, he says is NOT SIN. IT IS JUST AND HOLY AND RIGHTEOUS. The answer to the war our carnal nature wages against God's law is NOT to abolish the law, but to DIE to the LAW OF SIN that reigns IN OUR MEMBERS. The carnal nature must die! We must die to the law of sin which reigns in our members, for it is this carnality within, which wars against the righteous law of God, --it is by the Spirit that we die to this inner carnal law of sin and are given the heart to serve righteousness. For it is the Holy Spirit who changes our hearts and writes God's holy, just and righteous law upon the heart.

"So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin." (Romans 7:25) they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But you are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit," (Rom. 8:8,9) For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if you, through the Spirit do put to death the deeds of the body, you shall live. (Rom. 8:14)

Legalism is not part of the package, we do not earn salvation by keeping the commandments, we can't change our own natures. The issue is surrender of our self centered wills to the will of God and following the Holy Spirit, Who will write God's law upon our hearts and enable us to walk with Christ in the light, and stay out of the darkness of lawlessness.

Romans 6.16-18
"Know you not, that to whom you yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants you are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? But God be thanked, that you were the servants of sin, (in bondage to the law of sin in their members) but you have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness." God's " law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good." Romans 7:12

God's ten "words" are promises of deliverance from the bondage of sin. Through His Holy Spirit He will free us from the bondage of hate and bitter thoughts against others and we will not be lead to murder anyone, but to love even our enemies. (6th commandment in magnification) He will free us from the discontented thoughts of covetousness and desires for things we can't have, and we will not be lead to steal, but will find contentment and peace (10th and 8th commandment) He will free us from the bondage of deceptive dealings and make us honest individuals, with integrity. ((9th commandment). He will deliver us from the mad rat race of worldly pursuits and lead us into a sanctuary of time with our Lord and Savior, when we rest for a full day each week, in close fellowship with Christ (4th commandment), in a way a person cannot achieve in the work demanding weekly days.

Covenants and Obedience

I have frequently argued that we need to look at God's covenants in the Bible in order to understand the law. After all, the Ten Commandments are "the words of the covenant". However no one has suggested an alternative way to understand covenants which conforms to the Dual Law theory.

My response:
If the "ten words" or ten commandments are specifically "separated" and identified from the rest of the laws in the books of Moses — how can their be any question about their being separate and distinct from the other laws?

Yes, the TEN COMMANDMENTS are part of the covenant, the everlasting covenant! Their principles, in all their amplified form, are the very basis of God's government. Sin is the rebellion against God's government and God's law. Sin is rebellion against God's commandments. Paul makes it perfectly clear, that NO ONE, living in rebellion to the principles of God's law will enter the kingdom of heaven. (1 Cor. 6:9,10) To restore sinful mankind, there must be a change in him from being a rebellious creature, into one who delights in the law of God. The covenants are God's revelation of the plan of restoration. It is God's purpose, in his covenant promises, to offer a way that sinful human beings can be FORGIVEN and RESTORED, and to lovingly exhibit the principles contained in those "ten words".

The old covenant contained the whole ceremonial system (a model of the gospel-- mercy and forgiveness were found in the sanctuary services. But these services were based on promises of things that were yet future and only typified the future reality with their animal sacrifices and and earthly priests proforming services. In themselves they could not provide salvation, they only pointed forward and illustrated, the sacrifice of Christ and His work in the heavenly sanctuary. The new covenant is based on better things, for the precious blood that cleanses from all sin has been shed, and Christ, Himself is now the minister and priest in the heavenly sanctuary above.

The commandment law is to be written upon the heart! It is still there in full magnification of it's principles, which is to pervade the whole being of the Christian surrendered to Christ.

Bacchiocchi and the Sabbath

There have been a number of quotes from Bacchiocchi on keeping the Sabbath. However Bacchiocchi never addresses the question of the law, or looks at the principles involved in Gentiles keeping the Torah. My responses to Bacchiocchi's arguments have never been denied.

My response:
Prof. Bacchiocchi wrote an excellent chapter on this very subject in his book "The Sabbath Under Crossfire" pp. 183-235 He can well defend himself on these issues.
Exerpts from his book can be found at
Paul and the Law" and Paul and the Sabbath

Hebrews and the Sanctuary in Heaven

Hebrews has a detailed discussion on the law and Christianity, which I have argued confirms my views on the law. No one has responded to these claims.

My response:
Hebrews says the old covenant is gone, and the earthly sanctuary services are gone, it does not in any place say the commandments of God are gone. The whole purpose of Hebrews is to take peoples eyes away from the earthly sanctuary and fix them upon the heavenly high Priest in the heavenly sanctuary above. It speaks of the better blood, the better priesthood, the true removal of sins, the better sanctuary, the better promises, but no where will you read of better laws. The only verse that says the law was changed refers to a "cerimonial law" that says the priest has to come from Aaron's line— the laws pertaining to the earthly sanctuary are done away with or else Christ could not be priest. It definitely says the services of the earthly temple are now ended (they were only a figure of the work Christ would do and could not do the work in themselves) and now Christ has taken up the work in the heavenly sanctuary which the old sanctuary typified.

The old covenant is abolished -- but the old covenant is not the ten commandments -- it's the earthly priestly sanctuary system.

The new covenant is Christ's ministry -- (the better blood, better priest, better sanctuary, better promises) it's the real thing, the old was just to typify Christ's work in the heavenly. The law is not done away with in Hebrews— it is written upon the hearts of God's convent people.

The covenants are set up to deal with the root as well as the results of sin. (Sin is the breaking of God's laws) The covenants' promises involve forgiveness of sins and restoration from sin--a changed life. The moral law, which identifies sin, is very much the basis of both the new and old covenant.

Some people have also argued that we need the law to define sin. Again, Paul very frequently encourages believers to high standards of behaviour. Not once, in all these writings on Christian behaviour, does he say keep the Ten Commandments, or use the Ten Commandments to justify Christian behaviour.

My response:
Of course Paul does not say the commandments justify. For only Christ can justify and that is without the law.

But Paul's very frequent encouragement of believers to high standards IS backed with references to the ten commandments quite frequently.

We need to take Paul's words warning to heart when people, like this critic say we are not under obligation to follow the 10 commandments.
Ephesians 5.6
"Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience."
What are we to obey? Paul in the previous texts described some natural traits of people who have laid aside the commandments of God. Sin is defined by the commandments, if there are no commandments there is no sin — Paul makes that clear in Romans 7.

Romans 13:8-9 "He that loves another hath fulfilled the law.
"For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. " Seems to me Paul is basing the standard of love your neighbor as defined by the 10 commandments. The TEN WORDS spoken to mankind directly by God.


Finally, this discussion appears negative - it is attacking a Traditional Adventist doctrine. However its purpose is positive. Seventh-day Adventism is the completion of the Reformation. How can it be the completion when it still holds doctrines on the law inherited from the Catholic church and not from the Bible? Adventism has changed doctrines before and can do so again, truth is not something to be afraid of.

My response:
The Reformation freed people's conscience from the tyranny of the Roman political church. The reformers would, and often did, give their lives to free us from the heavy hand of persecution of the Roman Catholic Church. Now the whole emphasis is on reuniting all Christians, and the Roman Church has made it very clear in the last few months that she means to be the head of this union. What is there to be afraid of? What is there to be afraid of indeed?

This whole effort on the part of countless critics descending upon any that would stand by the commandments of God, is to knock the foundation out from under us which declares that true worship involves obedience to God's commandments, commandments which can't be replaced by man's commandments. For the last battle is to deceive the whole world into false, vain worship. The worship and enforcement of man's commands above the commandments of God.

"In vain they worship me," Jesus said, "Teaching for doctrines the commandments of men, setting aside the commandments of God to observe the traditions of men." (Matt. 15:3,6,9) Yes, our critic would complete the reformation — completely destroy it.

Let's see what one reformer has to say about God's commandments:

In answer to the claim that at the death of Christ the precepts of the Decalogue had been abolished with the ceremonial law, Wesley said: "The moral law, contained in the Ten Commandments and enforced by the prophets, He did not take away. It was not the design of His coming to revoke any part of this. This is a law which never can be broken, which 'stands fast as the faithful witness in heaven.' . . . This was from the beginning of the world, being 'written not on tables of stone,' but on the hearts of all the children of men, when they came out of the hands of the Creator. And however the letters once wrote by the finger of God are now in a great measure defaced by sin, yet can they not wholly be blotted out, while we have any consciousness of good and evil. Every part of this law must remain in force upon all mankind, and in all ages; as not depending either on time or place, or any other circumstances liable to change, but on the nature of God, and the nature of man, and their unchangeable relation to each other.

"'I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.' . . . Without question, His meaning in this place is (consistently with all that goes before and follows after),--I am come to establish it in its fullness, in spite of all the glosses of men: I am come to place in a full and clear view whatsoever was dark or obscure therein: I am come to declare the true and full import of every part of it; to show the length and breadth, the entire extent, of every commandment contained therein, and the height and depth, the inconceivable purity and spirituality of it in all its branches."--Wesley, sermon 25.

Wesley declared the perfect harmony of the law and the gospel. "There is, therefore, the closest connection that can be conceived, between the law and the gospel. On the one hand, the law continually makes way for, and points us to, the gospel; on the other, the gospel continually leads us to a more exact fulfilling of the law. The law, for instance, requires us to love God, to love our neighbor, to be meek, humble, or holy. We feel that we are not sufficient for these things; yea, that 'with man this is impossible;' but we see a promise of God to give us that love, and to make us humble, meek, and holy: we lay hold of this gospel, of these glad tidings; it is done unto us according to our faith; and 'the righteousness of the law is fulfilled in us,' through faith which is in Christ Jesus. . . .

"In the highest rank of the enemies of the gospel of Christ," said Wesley, "are they who openly and explicitly 'judge the law' itself, and 'speak evil of the law;' who teach men to break (to dissolve, to loose, to untie the obligation of) not one only, whether of the least or of the greatest, but all the commandments at a stroke. . . . The most surprising of all the circumstances that attend this strong delusion, is that they who are given up to it, really believe that they honor Christ by overthrowing His law, and that they are magnifying His office while they are destroying His doctrine! Yea, they honor Him just as Judas did when he said, 'Hail, Master, and kissed Him.' And He may as justly say to every one of them, 'Betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss? It is no other than betraying Him with a kiss, to talk of His blood, and take away His crown; to set light by any part of His law, under pretense of advancing His gospel. Nor indeed can anyone escape this charge, who preaches faith in any such a manner as either directly or indirectly tends to set aside any branch of obedience: who preaches Christ so as to disannul, or weaken in any wise, the least of the commandments of God."-- Ibid . 264

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