The Law

As a Seventh Day Adventist, I get asked about “the law” from time to time…people want to know why I keep some parts of the law (such the Sabbath, obviously), but not other parts (most mosaic law).  Most of the time it’s the Sabbath specifically they want to know about (or the dietary laws).

I can easily show that the Sabbath is blessed and Holy, which has nothing to do with the law.  I did, however, write a brief summary on “the law” for another discussion forum, so I’ll share that here.

Before I even start, I’ll point out, intuitively, that it makes sense that the Ten Commandments would be ten timeless principles, not nine timeless principles and one temporary standard. Each of the Ten Commandments are principles that we should live by, and would certainly be principles to live by even if the Ten Commandments were never given. They all existed even before they were given.

While the book of the law does contain moral principles, the letter of the law was done away with. The book of the law was given after the Ten Commandments wer given, because of transgression. The book of the law contains instructions for atoning sacrifices and stuff like that. This wouldn’t have been necessary if not for the stubbornness of Israel (and Man).

A brief summary of the history of the law:
God speaks the Ten Commandments to all Israel, for all to hear (Ex 20:1-17). The People ask Moses to be their go-between guy with God (Ex 20:18-19). God speaks to Moses the words of the covenant with Israel (Ex 20:22-23:33). Moses recites the covenant and its judgments to the people (Ex 24:3). Moses writes the book of the covenant, builds an altar, and confirms the covenant with sacrificial blood (Ex 24:4-8). Moses goes up the mountain for forty days and nights (Ex 24:12-18). God writes the Ten Commandments in stone, with His own finger, and gives them to Moses(Ex 31:18). Moses breaks the two tablets (Ex 32:19). God writes the second set of tablets with His own finger and gives them to Moses (Ex 34:1). The second set was the same as the first (Deut 10:1-4). –The Ten Commandments: Twice removedwas used as a quick reference for this timeline.

As we can see, the Commandments were treated differently from the start.  Obviously the Ten Commandments were special, spoken to all Israel by God, written on stone by His own hand, placed in the most holy place of the most Holy room in Israel (where as the book was placed beside, Ex 40:20). 

– > For those interested, the book “Ten Commandments: Twice Removed” discusses this in depth, going over tons of scripture showing the differences, how the Commandments are spoken of as glorious, while it’s known from the start that the book of the law is a witness against Israel(Deut 29:20-21 and much other scripture I might include later). The way I see it, the book contains the Holy Justice system, which Jesus fulfilled.

Let’s take a closer look at the book of the Law, shall we?
The book of the law contains several different types of Law, which I’m sure should be obvious. Firstly, there are moral laws, or moral principles. Laws such as….not sleeping with men, and other stuff like that. These things should be obvious. There are also ceremonial laws, which were added because of transgression, to atone for laws which have been broken, for sins which had been committed. Finally, since Israel was a very real nation (a theocracy, I believe), they obviously had civil laws….laws for governing the people of the government, determining government structure, punishment….just like the laws of the governments that exist today.

So yeah….There’s my view on “the Law,” some of why I believe that the Ten Commandments are special and timeless, as well as why I believe other parts of mosaic law should be kept(dietary laws, for example, are for our health, and taking care of our bodies is definitely a Biblical principle).  A good book for more info is The Ten Commandments:  Twice Removed, as well as the Holy Bible (obviously).

I hope to write a little more on the Sabbath in the future, giving further scriptural support, as well as write about a few other things.  I’ll try to blog at least once a week, if not more.

God Bless you all, and happy Wednesday 🙂

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2 Responses to “The Law”

  1. Aaron Says:

    For the record, I would respectfully suggest that your categorization of the laws as moral, civil and ceremonial is arbitrary and not at all indicated in the text. You are correct in stating that that if such a distinction exists, it should be obvious, but in reality it is far from obvious.

    I would challenge you, for example, to look at the laws listed in Leviticus 19 and categorize each one of them. You will find that they are not at all arranged in the neat categories that you present. You will also find that the reason that they are given is “You are to be holy, for I, the LORD your God, am holy,” an injunction that clearly still remains for followers of Jesus.

    In fact, I would assert that if Jesus instructed anyone to disobey any type of commandment in the Law it would prove that he was not the Messiah, according to Deuteronomy 13. However, he clearly instructed everyone to teach and obey every commandment in the Law without exception, according to his words in Matthew 5:17-19.

    Peace
    Aaron

  2. bryanwithay Says:

    I was mostly explaining why I do keep some of the Mosaic law, despite the fact that I do believe that the written code(the book of the law) was nailed to the cross.

    I do believe that we can see that distinction in scripture, and the Jews understood that, I believe.

    On civil laws, if there were Jews traveling through a foreign land, were they expected to stone people to death or carry out other civil laws? No, of course not.

    On ceremonial laws, should we still be expected to carry those out? I don’t believe so. Paul speaks clearly of things such as circumsism being done away with, as well as sacrifice. Some believe that we should still sacrifice and are simply waiting for the temple to be rebuilt or whatever. I believe that we no longer need to sacrifice, because of Jesus.

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