Sunday, February 13, 2011

Are God's Law and Moses' Law Two Different Laws?

It has been my experience that whenever a Seventh- day Adventist (SDA) sees the words ‘law(s) or commandment(s)’ the automatic conclusion is that the author is referring to the Ten Commandments.  That is why we are admonished to “Study to show ourselves approved unto God.’ It involves a lot of cross-referencing and reading the Bible in context to get to the real meat of what is being said. It also most definitely involves an attentive ear to the voice of the Holy Spirit.

Even though it was in my future plans to post a blog on Moses Law and God’s Law, I find myself prematurely doing so as the result of a dialogue I am currently having with a member of the SDA church. His position is that there are two distinct laws: Moses Law and God’s Law. The Bible Says they are the same and they are, in fact, used interchangeably. The SDA’s position is that Moses’ Laws were the ceremonial laws, that only the ceremonial laws were nailed to the cross and God’s Law (the Ten Commandments) are permanent and were not nailed to the cross. My position is that the entire Torah referred to as God’s Law and Moses Law were nailed to the cross.

The question is asked, “Are God’s Law and Moses’ Law the same?  The following answer to this question is copied from my blog title, Seventh-day Adventists’ Amazing Facts Are Really Amazing, Question 13, for those you have read it and might want to skip down to ‘Are the Ten Commandments Eternal”? (IN RED)

According to Amazing Facts and what Seventh-day Adventists teach, the answer is NO! They teach that Moses' law contained the temporary, ceremonial law of the Old Testament. It regulated the priesthood, sacrifices, rituals, meat and drink offerings, etc. all of which foreshadowed the cross. This law was added 'till the seed should come.' and that seed was Christ (Galatians 3:16,19). The ritual and ceremony of Moses' law pointed forward to Christ's sacrifice. When He died on the cross, this law came to an end, but the Ten Commandments (God's law) stands forever. That there are two laws is made crystal clear in Daniel 9:10,11.

10 we have not obeyed the LORD our God or kept the laws he gave us through his servants the prophets. 11 All Israel has transgressed your law and turned away, refusing to obey you. "Therefore the curses and sworn judgments written in the Law of Moses, the servant of God, have been poured out on us, because we have sinned against you

My Rebuttal: Yes, they are the same. The Law of God and the Law of Moses can be used interchangeably. The Bible Says in Luke 2:22-24 and Luke 2:30....

22 When the time of their purification according to the Law of Moses had been completed, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23 (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, "Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord" ), 24 and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: "a pair of doves or two young pigeons (clearly what he is quoting from the Law of Moses did not come from the Ten Commandments and clearly what he is quoting from the Law of the Lord is not from the Ten Commandments. What he is quoting comes from the 'Book of the Law' which is God's Law AND Moses' Law).

39 When Joseph and Mary had done everything required by the Law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee to their own town of Nazareth.

Please note that the Law of the Lord in these verses is NOT referring to the Ten Commandments but the 'so-called' ceremonial laws. So Amazing Facts and SDA’s cannot correctly say that Moses' Law was strictly ceremonial.  Furthermore, God's law was a unit (613 commands) and could not be divided.

The text ( Daniel 9:10, 11) that Amazing Facts references does not prove otherwise. Daniel was praying to God and was rehearsing how the people had sinned against Him. You have to read the verses preceding the texts that Amazing Facts chose. Starting at Daniel 9, verse 7 sets the backdrop...

7 "Lord, you are righteous, but this day we are covered with shame--the men of Judah and people of Jerusalem and all Israel, both near and far, in all the countries where you have scattered us because of our unfaithfulness to you. 8 O LORD, we and our kings, our princes and our fathers are covered with shame because we have sinned against you. 9 The Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against him; 10 we have not obeyed the LORD our God or kept the laws he gave us through his servants the prophets11 All Israel has transgressed your law and turned away, refusing to obey you.  "Therefore the curses and sworn judgments written in the Law of Moses, the servant of God, have been poured out on us, because we have sinned against you.”

If Moses is the servant of God and God gave him a message or laws, then it is God's message or law for Moses, in turn, to give to the people. Example: Paul, in the New Testament, received direct communication from God as His servant and his words are as commandments or laws from God. The same with Moses. Paul and Moses both received from God to teach the people; they were willing servant vessels. They weren't Paul's or Moses' laws but God's. Paul remarks regarding his calling in Galatians 1:11-12

 11 'I want you to know, brothers, that the gospel I preached is not something that man made up. 12 I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ."

To conclude this portion, The Bible Says, Moses’ Law and God’s Law are the same; it’s the Torah, 613 commands.

ARE THE TEN COMMANDMENTS ETERNAL?

The Bible’s position is that when the law and the prophets were fulfilled, they were no longer effective; they were abolished because of their fulfillment. Seventh-day Adventists’ position is that they are permanent and still binding on us today. The Bible Says in Ephesians 2:15, ‘...by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments AND regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace.” The law (nomos) is referring to the Torah or Moses Law aka God’s Law. 

Following are some proof texts that SDA’s (my friend in particular) use to prove that the Ten Commandments are permanent. My SDA friend’s comments are in red and mine are in black to make it a little easier to follow along. He is proving that Paul, James and John say that God’s Law (written with His finger) is permanent and still binding.

BUT, THE HOLY TEN COMMANDMENTS OF GOD ARE PERMANENT...

Jesus said in Matthew 5:17-19 "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."

‘The law’ in Matthew 5:17-19 is referring to the Greek word nomos (3551).  According to The New Strong’s Expanded Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible (Red-Letter Edition), the SDA's proof texts are….. ‘of the Mosaic Law, 'the law' of Sinai, e.g., Matthew 5:18, John 1:17; Romans 2:15, 18, 20, 26, 27; 3:19; 4:15; 7:4, 7, 14, 16, 22; 8:3, 4, 7; Gal. 3:10, 12, 19, 21, 24; 5:3; Eph. 2:15; Phil. 3:6; 1 Ti 1:8; Heb. 7:19; Jas. 2:9.

PAUL SPEAKS OF THIS SAME LAW OF GOD, CONCERNING ITS IMPORTANCE...

Romans 2:12 "For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law;"

The word 'law' in this text does not have 'the' article preceding it;  Strong says without the article, it is stressing the Mosaic law in its quality as “law,” e.g., Rom. 2:14 (first part)…Romans 2:14 (NLT) “Even Gentiles, who do not have God’s written law…..Romans 5:20 (NLT) “God’s law was given so that all people could see how sinful they were…”

According to Strong’s. ‘The absence of the article before nomos indicates the assertion of a principle.”

Romans 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." (nomos – Mosaic Law or Law of God)

Romans 4:15 "Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression." (nomos – Mosaic Law or Law of God) 

Paul's references point to the Mosaic law or Torah.

JAMES SPEAKS OF THIS SAME LAW OF GOD, CONCERNING ITS IMPORTANCE...

James 2:10-12 "For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law. So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty." 

The Bible Says in James 2:9, “But if you favor some people over others, you are committing a sin.  You are guilty of breaking the law.” (Notice that it has the article ‘the’ preceding the word ‘law’ so it is referring to the Mosaic Law, the Law given at Sinai, God’s law)

If James is read in context, you will discover that James is scolding the Jews, who were authorities on the law, about showing favoritism. Showing favoritism is not one of the Ten Commandments, however, it is in the Torah or Book of the Law.  Verses 10 and 11 are reiterating to the Jews that if they showed favoritism they are as guilty as murdering and committing adultery because the same God who said’ thou shalt not commit adultery and thou shalt not murder also said do not show favoritism.  He was reminding them that if they showed favoritism they were breaking the law and if they broke one law they were guilty of breaking them all.

Since showing favoritism is not a Ten Commandment law, why would James compare apples with oranges? Why would James say they have broken God’s law by showing favoritism if showing favoritism wasn’t written by the finger of God? Be mindful that James is speaking to the Jews who did not accept Jesus as the Messiah, which is why he could speak to them about the law.  They knew the law very well.

In conversation, it was said that we shall be judged by the Ten Commandments, which is why my friend made bold ‘shall be judged’ in James 2:10-12.  In defense of the Ten Commandments (because of the two ‘thou shalt nots’) it was not noticed that James was saying we will be judged by the Law of Liberty, not the Ten Commandments. The Law of Liberty is God’s Law.

The NLT version reads, ‘you will be judged by the law that sets you free.’ The Law of Liberty is the law of love, God’s lawThe Bible Says in John 13:33-35, “Dear children, I will be with you only a little longer. And as I told the Jewish leaders, you will search for me but you can’t come where I am going. So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”

The Bible Says in 1 John 5:1-3 (NLT) reads, “Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has become  a child of God. And everyone who loves the Father loves his children too.  We know we love God’s children if we love God and obey His commandments.  Loving God means keeping his commandments and his commandments are not burdensome.”

1 John 3:23-24 explains to us what God’s commandments are.  The Bible Says, “And this is his commandment: We must believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he commanded us. Those who obey God’s commandments remain in fellowship with him, and he with them. And we know he lives in us because the Spirit he gave us lives in us.”

James texts are referring to the Mosiac law to bring the Jews in line, but his emphasis is on the New Testament law of love (God's Law), which we will be judged by.

JOHN SPEAKS OF THIS SAME LAW OF GOD, CONCERNING ITS IMPORTANCE...

1 John 3:4 "Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law." (Again, John is not referring to the Ten Commandments. When the entire chapter is read in context, you will discover that John is talking about living as God’s children, urging them to love one another and to live in right relationship with God.  Verse 10 reads, “So now we can tell who the children of God and who are the children of the devil. Anyone who does not live righteously and does not love other believers does not belong to God."

MY SDA friend said, My dear kind sister, you are leading people astray concerning the Law! for Revelation 22:14 says... "Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city."

Revelation 22:14 is not referring to the Ten Commandments. Again, according to Strong’s, the word ‘entole’ is the Greek word for commandments, which means an ‘injunction or authoritative prescription’. Our prescription for ‘righteous living’ is to obey God’s commandment of believing the Good News of the Gospel and loving others.

To conclude, the Law of Moses and the Law of God under the Old Covenant are the same and are used interchangeably. The Law of God in the New Covenant is the Law of Love aka the Law of Liberty. The Old Covenant in its entirety was nailed to the cross. The Old Covenant was for Israel only; the New Covenant is for ALL who believe. The Old Covenant was temporary; the New Covenant is eternal. We, today, are under the New Covenant. The Holy Spirit tells us what to do and the Holy Spirit empowers us – not the tablets of stone.

I John 2:27 (NLT) reads, “But you have received the Holy Spirit, and he lives within you, so you don’t need anyone to teach you what is true. For the Spirit teaches you everything you need to know, and what he teaches you is true – it is not a lie. So just as he taught you, remain in fellowship with Christ.”

John's texts are referring to the law of love, God's Royal Law, not the Ten Commandments. Paul, James and John are not promoting the keeping of the Ten Commandments. The Bible Says, that only three things will last FOREVER, faith, hope and love; the greatest of these is love.

I can only request that you give this information prayerful study to see whether these things are so.

"God cannot kiss His bride until the veil is lifted."  Patricia A. Allen

Be blessed.

11 comments:

  1. So we are lawless then? Except the law of love? Really?

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  2. Anonymous, how can you say we are lawless and at the same time say, "except the law of love"? Love is a law and if we allow the Holy Spirit to abide in us we won't do anything to harm others (steal, kill, lie, commit adultery, gossip, etc.). It's all about a relationship with God and others and the law of love with the guidance of the Spirit tells us how we should treat them. We are known as His disciples by how well we love.

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  3. A different Anonymous than the first -- call me Anon 2

    Hebrews 7

    11 If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron?

    12 For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law.
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    18 For there is verily a disannulling of the commandment going before for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof.

    19 For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God.

    He who brought in the "better hope" (Christ) is also He who brings us to God -- in spite of ourselves

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  4. Greetings,

    You said, "The Bible Says in Ephesians 2:15, ‘...by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments AND regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace."


    The Bible in King James reads that Yahushua abolished the enmity, echthra, a greek word meaning hostility; by implication, a reason for opposition:--enmity, hatred. He did not abolish the law.


    Ephesians 2:15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;


    The law created an emity between us and Yahwey. His law is holy, just and good. The law shows us our sin and that we are not holy, just and good. therefore we are at enmity against yahwey when we do not surrender ourselves to His law.


    Yahwey is the one who placed human kind at enmity with Him. Ge 3:15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.



    Paul said, Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. ~ Romans 8:7


    The carnel mind is flesh and it is at enmity with Yahwey because the carnel mind does not sybject itself to His law, therefore as long as the carnel mind holds on to its flesh, it will always be flesh, rather than spiritual and led by the Spirit of Elohim.


    If you read on in Ephesians (Next verse), we know that it was not the law that was abolished: And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: Ephesians 2:26


    The enmity was destroyed in the Messiah's body when He died for all sin, and sinner alike, Jew and Gentile.


    The enmity was slain, not the law.

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  5. ALSO:

    Ex 12:49 One law shall be to him that is homeborn, and unto the stranger that sojourneth among you.


    Le 7:7 As the sin offering is, so is the trespass offering: there is one law for them: the priest that maketh atonement therewith shall have it.


    Nu 15:16 One law and one manner shall be for you, and for the stranger that sojourneth with you.

    One law, not two.

    One law for the homeborn Israelite (homeborn) and unto the stranger (Gentile)that sojourneth (travel's , remains, gathers) among you. There were not just Hebrews that came out of Egypt.

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  6. Eudora,
    (I hope you don't mind that I am responding to your post)

    Romans 3:19 &22

    Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.

    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.

    But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;

    Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:

    Romans 6:14
    For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.

    Romans 10:4
    For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.

    The enmity to which you refer to above could not have been slain unless the law had been slain, for without the penalty, the law would not be the law.
    For the elect (those individuals who have been selected for salvation by God), Jesus Christ has completely satisfied the requirements of the law and suffered the associated penalties on their behalf. Consequently for them, the law does not exist. Unfortunately, for the others the same does not hold true.

    Regards,
    Anon2

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  7. The law has been fulfilled. JESUS said it is finished
    Teacher which is the greater command? Love God with all your heart and second love your neighbor as thyself on theses do all commandments rest. Satan is the author of all confusion. The Bible is simple enough for a child to understand. ....Fulfilled= complete in any language!

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    1. I do not want to hurt your feelings, but you do not know the Greek definition of fulfilled. Please visit GracePlusLawKeepingSave.Us to gain insight about why certain Old Testament laws are still in force.

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  8. You are all saying the same thing yet you are arguing. The ten commandment is the law of love as jnow has summarised 'love the lord your God with all your heart and second love your neighbour as thyself'. Remember this is nothing new. Jesus was quoting from the old testament (Deutronomy 6:5) (see if your bible has it in quotation marks) which some of you say is abolished. Its the same law Christ is telling them to obey. The ten commandment is not a list of dos and don't. its a law of love. It defines our relationship with God and man. I find it difficult that when Patricia Ellen says it was for the Israel. Let me ask you Patricia. What law did Adam and Eve transgress that was called sin (remember 1 John 3:4 says sin is the transgression of the law). Thous shall not kill, thou shall not commit adultery, thou shall not covert, Thou shall not worship any other God apart from Yahweh etc contained in the 10 commandments are all laws of love without which the world will be chaotic. The law convicts us of sin but do not have the power to save us from sin. The law tell you that you fall short so there is a need for a Saviour. Then you go to Christ who give you the power to obey or conform to the law because the law is his character. that is only when Paul says in Romans 6:14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. Christ give us Power (dunamis) to overcome sin (in other words to obey the law- call it law of love) which is the standard for judgement.

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    1. I apologize that I have not been actively participating on my blog. You asked me what law did Adam and Eve transgress. Adam and Eve disobeyed the command to not eat of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. To do so would be disobedience and death would be the penalty. The law God gave Moses for Israel had not been given.

      Romans 5:13 ESV
      [13] for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law.

      Law (G3551) nomos: the law given to Moses for Israel, which included the Ten Commandments.


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  9. Just to add tho it. unlike the Jews who obey to be saved Christians obey the law because they are saved. Christ actually did not come to abolish the law but to magnify it. The fact that the Jews made it a burden does not mean Gods law is bad. Jesus Chrsit came to teach us the right way to things. Read the sermon on the mount (the beatitudes). In Matthew 5 He told the gathering...in verse 5 and 6 "till heaven and earth shall pass away not one title from the law will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. Whosoever shall break one of the least of these commandments or teach others to so shall be called the least in the kingdom...". Has Heaven and earth passed? does fulfill mean it has been abolished? Read the whole chapter and you will be shocked. Jesus magnifies the law one by one...For instance on adultery (which is in the ten commandment) he says..(paraphrased) You were told thou shall not commit adultery but I say to you if you look at a woman lustfully you have already committed the sin. He says of Murder...the law said thou shall not commit murder but i say if you are angry with your brother without cause you are guilty of the sin (isn't it shocking). is he making things easier or harder? Brothers and Sisters, grace is real. It is the power of God in us to overcome sin. it is not (cheap liberty to do whatever we want because Christ has come to die). Faith in Christ give you the power of the Holy Spirit to live up to this high standard for God. God will not lower his standard but rather lift us up to meet it and that is what he is doing for us. If he could change his law or abolish it Jesus need not have come to die for us (without the shedding of blood, there is not remission for sin).

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