F A L L • 2 0 1 6
VOLUME 17, ISSUE 3
Dale Ratzlaff is the founder of Life Assurance Ministries, Inc., and owns LAM Publications, LLC. He served as an Adventist pastor for 13 years, seven at Monterey Bay Academy where he taught Bible. He and his wife Carolyn left the Adventist church in 1981 when he realized he could no longer teach the investigative judgment in clear conscience. He has authored several books on Adventism that are available through his website, LifeAssuranceMinistries.com. The Ratzlaffs reside in Camp Verde, Arizona.
Studying the covenants is like pouring one’s theological water jug out on the Continental Divide. In fact, this mountain of the covenants divides between the ocean of old covenant types and the sea of new covenant fulfillment. Theological differences that may seem minor at first glance will, after running their courses down the streams of application, terminate thousands of miles apart depending upon which side of the Continental Divide of the Covenants they flow. Therefore, how important it is that we make sure which side of this great divide we choose.
I believe the Bible teaches that there have been high moral principles (call them moral laws if you wish) from the beginning of time, and these principles will continue into eternity. In fact, these eternal moral principles, as exemplified in the life of Christ, provide a much better guide than the Decalogue. I believe the Ten Commandments reflect the existence of these moral principles, but not as clearly as do the new covenant principles of righteousness. I would not lower the righteousness of Christ to that of “living the Ten Commandments.” I believe His life exemplifies a much higher level. Therefore, when we look at Biblical facts that indicate the Ten Commandments did not exist before Moses and are not to continue after the cross, we are not opening up the floodgates to anarchy or wickedness. Neither do we have any hidden agenda. Rather, we are only seeking to be true to Scripture and nothing more. Wherever Scripture leads us, we are willing to follow. I pray that you, the reader, will be willing to make this same commitment.
Now, put on your hiking boots, take your water bottle, and breathe deeply. The air up here at the Continental Divide is thin; we have a long way to hike before dark, and the trail is rough. By following the trail marked “Scripture”, however, we will be assured of the correct destination.
The Ten Commands are the very words of the old covenant
The Bible says:
And when He had finished speaking with him upon Mount Sinai, He gave Moses the two tablets of the testimony, the tablets of stone, written by the finger of God (Ex. 31:18).
So he [Moses] was there with the Lord forty days and forty nights; he did not eat bread or drink water. And he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant, the Ten Commandments (Ex. 34:28).
So He declared to you His covenant which He commanded you to perform, that is, the Ten Commandments; and He wrote them on two tablets of stone (Deut. 4:13).
When I went up to the mountain to receive the tablets of stone, the tablets of the covenant which the Lord had made with you (Deut. 9:9).
And it came about at the end of forty days and nights that the Lord gave me the two tablets of stone, the tablets of the covenant (Deut. 9:11).
So I turned and came down from the mountain while the mountain was burning with fire, and the two tablets of the covenant were in my two hands (Deut. 9:15).
There was nothing in the ark except the two tablets of stone which Moses put there at Horeb, where the Lord made a covenant with the sons of Israel, when they came out of the land of Egypt. And there I have set the place for the ark in which is the covenant of the Lord, which He made with our fathers when He brought them out of Egypt (1 Ki. 8:9,21).
These verses state unequivocally that the covenant between God and Israel which was made at Sinai was the Ten Commandments. This truth is underlined by the fact that the Ten Commandments were kept in the “ark of the covenant.”1
The old covenant, or Sinaitic Covenant, is based upon one law, not two. It comprises the whole Mosaic law: moral, civil and ceremonial.
There is no clear-cut division between moral and ceremonial laws in the books of Moses. The terms, “the moral law” and “the ceremonial law” are artificial, unbiblical definitions. While there are moral aspects and ceremonial aspects to the law, they are often intermingled. Adventists are quick to call the Sabbath a moral law because it is in the heart of the Ten Commandments. However, it is listed with the feast days and other ceremonial aspects of the law about a dozen times.2 It finds itself in the center of the Ten Commandments3 because it is the sign of the Sinaitic Covenant4 and ancient Near East treaty documents had the covenant sign in the center.5 If one were to assign “moral” or “ceremonial” to the Sabbath, by virtue of association with other laws it would, by a 12:2 ratio, be a “ceremonial law.” When Jesus was asked which was the greatest commandment in the “law” (note one law), His answer was from Deut. 6:5 and Lev. 19:18,6 not the Sabbath as Ellen White taught,7 or even the Decalogue. Often those from Adventist backgrounds will immediately associate “law” with the Ten Commandments. Usually Matt. 5:17–19 is quoted to prove the perpetuity of the Ten Commandments when the Ten Commandments are not even in view in this passage.8 I was amazed to find that by themselves, the Ten Commandments are never called “the law of the Lord,” or “the law of God” in Scripture.9
I quote from Riggle, The Sabbath and the Lord’s Day.
Again, sacrifices, offerings, sabbaths, new moons, and feasts are all required “in the law of the Lord” (see 2 Cor. 31:3). Scores of texts like this could be cited, where “the law of the Lord” includes sacrifices, circumcision, feast-days, and all the Jewish law. So the law of God is not simply the Decalog, but the whole law of Moses. In Neh. 8:1, 2, 3, 7, 8, 14, 18, they read “in the book of the law of Moses,” “the law,” “the book of the law,” “in the book of the law of God,” “the law which the Lord commanded by Moses,” “the law of God.” The law of God, then, included the whole law of Moses.10
One could break the Sinaitic (or old) Covenant by a violation of any of the Ten Commandments11 and many of its “ceremonial-type” laws.12
We have now shown that the words of the covenant God made with Israel were the Ten Commandments, and this covenant was expanded13 to include all the laws given by God to Moses and was collectively called the law, the law of the Lord, the law of God, the covenant, etc.
The New Testament defines the “old” or “first” covenant as the Sinaitic Covenant and unmistakably includes both the Ten Commandments and “other laws” in this covenant.
The author of Hebrews describes the “first covenant” and specifically mentions “the tables of the covenant”—an unmistakable reference to the Ten Commandments as being included in this “first covenant”.
Now even the first covenant had regulations of divine worship [the Sabbath was one of these regulations] and the earthly sanctuary. For there was a tabernacle prepared, the outer one, in which were the lampstand and the table and the sacred bread; this is called the holy place. Behind the second veil there was a tabernacle which is called the Holy of Holies, having a golden altar of incense and the ark of the covenant covered on all sides with gold, in which was a golden jar holding the manna, and Aaron’s rod which budded, and the tables of the covenant (Heb. 9:1–4).
This is unmistakable evidence that the Ten Commandments were included in the old, or first, covenant. Notice also, that both the Ten Commandments and the other laws are included in this one covenant. There is no separation between “moral” and “ceremonial”.
This same truth is clear in Paul’s descriptions of the covenants.
You are our letter, written in our hearts, known and read by all men; being manifested that you are a letter of Christ, cared for by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts. Such confidence we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God, who also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. But if the ministry of death, in letters engraved on stones, came with glory, so that the sons of Israel could not look intently at the face of Moses because of the glory of his face, fading as it was (2 Cor. 3:2–7).
Paul uses the term, “not written with ink” to refer to the “other laws” which were given by God to Moses that were an expansion, interpretation and application of the Ten Commandments to the life of Israel. It is also clear that Paul refers to the Ten Commandments in this passage by using “letters engraved on stones.” The new covenant is said to be “not of the letter” “but of the Spirit”. This statement excludes the Ten Commandments from the new covenant, or the least that can be said, is that it excludes them in their codified form. It dubs the Ten Commandments specifically as “the ministry of death” in contrast to the new covenant which Paul says “gives life.”
In the book of Galatians, Paul specifically mentions that the old covenant comes from Sinai.
This is allegorically speaking, for these women are two covenants: one proceeding from Mount Sinai bearing children who are to be slaves; she is Hagar (Gal. 4:24).
We see, then, that the New Testament defines the “old” or “first” covenant as the Sinaitic Covenant which included all the laws given to the children of Israel, including the Ten Commandments—the very “words of the covenant”.14 This agrees perfectly with our findings in the Old Testament.
The old covenant law was given only to the children of Israel
I quote from Riggle,
This is so manifest in every item of the law that it needs no argument to prove it. Moses says (Deut. 4:8) that no nation has a law so good “as the law which I set before you this day.” Then he names the Ten Commandments as a part of it (vss. 10-13). “This is the law which Moses set before the children of Israel” (vs. 44). Then no other nation had the law. This is stated a hundred times over. It was addressed to the Israelites, and to them only.
The very wording of the law proves that it was designed only for them. The Decalog is introduced thus: “I am the Lord thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage” (Ex. 20:2). To whom is that applicable? Only to the Israelite nation. Neither angels, Adam, nor Gentile Christians were ever in Egyptian bondage. Then, the law was not addressed to them. Paul plainly states to whom the law was given. “Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law” (Rom. 9:4). It was given to Israel. In Mal. 4:4 it is clearly stated that the law given in Horeb was “for all Israel.”
All these things show that this was a national law worded to fit the condition of the children of Israel at the time.
The laws of Sinai, including the Ten Commandments, were not given until the time of Moses.
Many people have shown that most, if not all, the moral principles upon which the Ten Commandments were founded were in operation before the time of Moses. The one exception, however, is the Sabbath, which is first mentioned in the time of Moses. For good reasons, we do not believe the Sabbath to be a moral law.15
Take another drink and a five-minute break to catch your breath in this high altitude, then let’s continue our hike on this trail of Scripture.
I quote from Riggle,
“The law was given by Moses” (Jn. 1:17). “Did not Moses give you the law?” (Jn. 7:19). “For until the law sin was in the world; but sin is not imputed where there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses” (Rom. 5:13, 14). The entrance of the law is here located at Moses. Every attempt to place it before that time contradicts the plain testimony of these texts. The Bible locates the law under the Levitical priesthood. “If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, for under it the people received the law” (Heb. 7:11). This drops the bottom out of Sabbatarianism. So the giving of the law is located “430 years after the covenant with Abraham.” “And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul” (Gal. 3:17). This brings us to the very year the children of Israel came out of Egypt and arrived at Sinai. “And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years, even the self-same day it came to pass, that all the hosts of the Lord went out from the land of Egypt” (Ex. 12:41). Beyond dispute, then, what the Bible calls “the law” was not given till Moses, 2,500 years after Adam, or nearly half the history of the world.16 “The Lord our God made a covenant with us at Horeb [Sinai]. “The Lord did not make this covenant with our fathers, but with us, with all those of us alive here today.” Deut. 5:2-3
The old or first covenant which included the Ten Commandments was in force only until the death of Christ.
After reading the above statement you will want to sit down by the trail and look at the scenery here in the beautiful Rocky Mountains. We have now come to a major theological watershed. You must decide which way you will go. Are you going to continue to follow the trail marked “Scripture”? Or, are you going to opt for the trail marked, “Ellen White”? You cannot go both ways. Take your time here in prayer and contemplation because the outcome of this decision will have major consequences to your future life no matter which way you go. Why not get out the maps—all three of them—and let’s do some careful study? Let’s determine now which is the right way!
The map of Scripture says that “Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”17
The map of Adventist doctrine before 198018 stated that the Scriptures were the “all–sufficient revelation of His will to men, and the only unerring rule of faith and practice.”19 Even after 1980 it still read, “…The Holy Scriptures are the infallible revelation of His will. They are the standard of character, the test of experience, the authoritative revelation of doctrines, and the trustworthy record of God’s acts in history.”20
The map of Ellen White states “God will have a people upon the earth who will maintain the Bible, and the Bible only, as the standard of all doctrines and the basis of all reforms.…Before accepting any doctrine or precept, we should demand a plain ‘Thus saith the Lord’ in its support.”21
What do you say, let’s go down the trail marked “Scripture”! This will be rough and narrow at times. There will be large rocks to get around and over, but we can rest assured that it is this trail that ends up at “the sea of glass.”
Accepting the proposition that the Ten Commandments came to a functional end at the cross completely shatters the whole paradigm of Adventist theology. I fought and fought against it. Then—I still remember the day—I decided there was plenty of Scriptural evidence to warrant accepting this proposition on a trial basis. I wanted to see if I could answer all of the questions that it raised and harmonize all the biblical statements that I thought contradicted it. Then it happened. All of a sudden I saw a new paradigm! One that had the gospel of Christ at the center and, yes, the pieces of the puzzle came together without forcing them! While we may not be able to answer all the questions that immediately come to your mind in this issue of Proclamation!, there are answers. We will, nevertheless, now look at the biblical evidence that supports the proposition that the whole old covenant, including the Ten Commandments, came to a functional end at the cross.
I quote again from Riggle,
Adventists are continually crying, “God’s law [meaning the Sinaitic code] is unchangeable.” But Paul contradicts them, boldly stating “that there is made of necessity a change also of the law” (Heb. 7:12). “The law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ” (Jn. 1:17). “He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second” (Heb. 10:9). Two laws could not stand in the same dispensation. Therefore to establish the gospel—grace and truth, which came by Christ—the law was “taken away.” The manner in which it was taken away is thus explained in Christ’s own words: “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: [note that the “law” here refers to the whole law of Moses22] I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled” (Mt. 5:17, 18). This text clearly states that when the law reaches its fulfillment it will pass away. It will not pass till fulfilled. So it is not eternal, but when fulfilled it was to reach an end. Then, the Lord points to himself as the fulfillment of the law and prophets— “For Christ is the end of the law” (Rom. 10:4). “The law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ” (Gal. 3:24). Since Christ is come “we are no longer under a schoolmaster” (vs. 25) “not under the law, but under grace” (Rom. 6:14). This nails the matter fast, and utterly refutes the Adventist plea for the perpetuity of the law.23
Note how John records the end of Christ’s life: “After this, Jesus, knowing that all things had already been accomplished, to fulfill the Scripture, said, ‘I am thirsty’” (Jn. 19:28).
The epistles are in agreement here:
When He said, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. But whatever is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to disappear. Heb. 8:13. Then He said, “Behold, I have come to do Your will.” He takes away the first [covenant] in order to establish the second [covenant]. By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. Heb. 10:9-10
Remember that the writer lists “the tables of the covenant” in this same context (Heb. 9:4) as part of the “first covenant.”
What I am saying is this: the Law, which came four hundred and thirty years later, does not invalidate a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to nullify the promise. For if the inheritance is based on law, it is no longer based on a promise; but God has granted it to Abraham by means of a promise…But the Scripture has shut up everyone under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. But before faith came, we were kept in custody under the law, being shut up to the faith which was later to be revealed. Therefore the Law has become our tutor [law = tutor] to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor [the law]. For you are all sons of God [This includes the Gentiles who did not have the law] through faith in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, [The Greeks were separated by the old covenant law] there is neither slave [slaves or servants are mentioned in the Ten Commandments] nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to promise [not according to the law] (Gal. 3:17-29).
We are accepted into the family of God, not on the basis of the law or law keeping, but upon the gracious promise made to Abraham which was fulfilled in Christ. The Gentiles “who do not have the law”24 are included in this new covenant family based upon their faith in Christ. The Holy Spirit even writes the requirements [moral principles] of the law on their hearts.25
Here, in contextual teaching, Paul calls the law our tutor, then says we are no longer under a tutor. In other words he is saying that the old covenant law no longer has authority over the life of a Christian. But can we be sure this is what Paul really means? Yes. Note carefully his powerful allegory.
Tell me, you who want to be under law, do you not listen to the law? For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the bondwoman and one by the free woman. But the son of the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and the son by the free woman through the promise. This contains an allegory: for these women are two covenants, one proceeding from Mount Sinai bearing children who are to be slaves; she is Hagar. Now this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. But the Jerusalem above is free; she is our mother...And you brethren, like Isaac, are children of promise. But as at that time he who was born according to the flesh persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, so it is now also. But what does the Scripture say? Cast out the bondwoman and her son, for the son of the bondwoman shall not be an heir with the son of the free woman. So then, brethren, we are not children of a bondwoman, but of the free woman (Gal. 4:21–31).
The following chart will help us understand this passage:
We can safely draw five conclusions (Gal. 4:30,31):
1. “Cast out the bondwoman” means that we are to cast out the old covenant.
2. “Cast out her son” means that we are to cast out [not accept the teaching of] those who promote the old covenant.
3. “For the son of the bondwoman shall not be an heir with the son of the free woman” means that the terms of the covenants are mutually exclusive.
4. “We are not children of a bondwoman” means that we are not under the old covenant.
5. We are [present tense] children “of the free woman” means that Christians are now under the new covenant.
Here, in clear contextual teaching over several chapters in Galatians, Paul states in three specific ways that Christians are not under the authority of the old covenant. (1) The law was given 430 years after Abraham and was in effect until the coming of Christ. (2) With the coming of Christ we are no longer under the Law. (3) Christians are to “cast out” the old covenant and those who promote its being kept.
In Romans 7 Paul states the same things in other words.
Therefore, my brethren, you also were made to die to the Law through the body of Christ, so that you might be joined to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God. For while we were in the flesh, the sinful passions, which were aroused by the Law, were at work in the members of our body to bear fruit for death. But now we have been released from the Law, having died to that by which we were bound, so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter (Rom. 7:4-6).
It is important to note that Paul is not speaking about the condemnation of the law, from which the Christian is also free,26 but rather he is speaking about Christian service. In other words, Paul is telling the Christians in Rome that the law no longer serves as a guideline for Christian living.27 Notice also how Christians serve in the newness of the Spirit, a clear reference to the new covenant, in contrast to the oldness of the letter, a clear reference to the Sinaitic Covenant28 which resulted in bearing “fruit for death.” Those who want to be joined both to Christ and to the law are committing spiritual adultery.29
Remember, I told you this was not an easy trail! Nevertheless, it is well-marked; see, the sign “Scripture” is still there! In fact, it is a well-worn trail as millions of Christians have walked this way before!
The new covenant is much better than the old covenant law of commandments
As mentioned earlier, one of the first reactions by Adventists—and I used to do the same thing—to a statement that the old covenant law, including the Ten Commandments, is no longer binding upon Christians is, “Well, then, you must be saying it is alright to kill, steal, cheat and commit adultery?” Nothing could be further from the truth. I believe that the morality taught in the new covenant is on a much higher plain than that taught in the old. While there are good moral laws in the Ten Commandments and other places within the old covenant, the moral principles found in the new covenant are much better for a number of reasons.30 First, they are in general principles rather than specific laws. Principles can be applied in a Christ-centered way to a much broader set of circumstances, while the old covenant laws were given to meet the specific life situations of Israel. The new covenant is to go to all nations and is designed to penetrate all cultures without necessarily changing every cultural pattern.
Second, and more importantly, within the new covenant, the Holy Spirit plays a role in the life of every Christian in a way that He did not in the old. In the following reference, note how the Spirit in the new covenant replaces the function of the law in the old.
Who also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter, but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. But if the ministry of death, in letters engraved on stones, came with glory, so that the sons of Israel could not look intently at the face of Moses because of the glory of his face, fading as it was, how shall the ministry of the Spirit fail to be even more with glory? For if the ministry of condemnation has glory, much more does the ministry of righteousness abound in glory. For indeed what had glory, in this case has no glory on account of the glory that surpasses it. For if that which fades away was with glory, much more that which remains is in glory (2 Cor. 3:6-11).
In the next few verses, Paul comes to more practical matters. What about reading the old covenant?
But their minds were hardened; for until this very day at the reading of the old covenant the same veil remains unlifted, because it is removed in Christ. But to this day whenever Moses [the five books of the Law] is read, a veil lies over their heart. But whenever a man turns to the Lord, that veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit (2 Cor. 3:12-18).
What is Paul saying here? First, the people with the veil over their faces are those who accept the old covenant as it reads, or read it through old covenant eyes. Paul is saying that to understand the old covenant correctly we must see it from the new covenant perspective. This is a very important principle of interpretation. The new covenant, which is a better and more nearly complete revelation of truth,31 must be allowed to interpret, modify or transform all old covenant statements in a Christ-centered way.
Second, if we continue to read the old covenant from any other perspective it will be as though we are looking through a veil and we will be confused and could come to the wrong conclusions. This means that we should not accept any old covenant laws or practices on the basis of the old covenant statements themselves. Rather, we must examine every old covenant law and statement from the new covenant perspective: Jesus Christ.32
I now quote again from Riggle,
“For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ” (Jn. 1:17). “Jesus the mediator of the new covenant” (Heb. 12:24). “Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Gal. 6:2). Here are contrasted the two systems. The first was “the law” given by Moses, its mediator; the second is “grace and truth,” the New Testament, which came by Christ, its mediator. The New Testament is “the law of Christ.” This is the law Christians are now under.
In Isaiah 42:1-7 we have a clear prediction of the coming of Christ and his redemptive work. “And the isles shall wait for his law” (vs. 4). The law of Moses was given to one nation—Israel. But of the law of Christ—the New Testament—it was foretold that “the isles” should wait for it. “The isles” here mean the different nations of earth. The gospel is for all people and nations. The command is, “Preach the gospel to every creature” (Mk. 16:15), “Teach all nations” (Mt. 28:19). The gospel is “his [Christ’s] law.” The isles and the ends of the earth waited for this law; it is the standard of judgment in the earth.
Christ is the “one lawgiver” of this dispensation (Jas. 4:12). For God at “sundry times and in divers various manners” spake unto the fathers in time past, but “hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son” (Heb. 1:1, 2). In the presence of Moses on the mount, God said of Christ, “This is my beloved Son; hear ye him” (Mt. 17:1-5). Moses and his law are ruled out of this dispensation, and Christ and his superior law now rule in its stead. To go back to Moses is to reject Christ.33 To go under the law is to ignore the gospel.
Christ taught the people “as one having authority” (Matt. 7:29). The precepts he taught are his law. We are under the “law of Christ” (1 Cor. 9:21)… His law is the truth (Jn. 1:17). The law of Moses gendered to bondage (Gal. 4:24), while the truth makes men free (Jn. 8:32). We obey and walk in the truth (3 Jn. 3). The law of Christ is the standard of conviction to sinners. When guilty souls fall at the mercy-seat for pardon, the law of Sinai never enters their minds. They consider only how they have grieved the Spirit of Christ, and broken his law—the New Testament.
The New Testament is a much higher law than the old. It not only condemns all manner of sin, but lifts up a standard of holy living far above the stone-table law. The grandest lessons of moral and religious truth ever spoken to men were given in Christ’s Sermon on the Mount. The New Testament condemns sin in every form, lifts up the standard of righteousness and holiness in life and experience, and offers life and salvation to all. It is “the perfect law of liberty” (Jas. 1:25), “the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 8:2). To break Moses’ law— the Sabbath, etc.—was to be stoned to death. The penalty was temporal. But to break Christ’s law is to be worthy of eternal damnation. In the day of judgment the Decalog will not be our standard of judgment, but “the word that I Christ have spoken, the same shall judge him at the last day” (Jn. 12:48). “When the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God,” punishment will not be meted out to those who disregard the letter of the law as written in the tables of stone, but punishment will then be given to those “that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thess. 1:7-9). The law of Christ—the gospel—will be the standard by which we shall be judged in that day. To disobey the precepts of Christ is to sin. And to sin against his law is to make ourselves liable to eternal judgment and punishment. Obedience to Christ is what the New Testament enjoins (2 Cor. 10:5; Heb. 5:9). But not once in all the New Testament—the law of Christ, that law by which we shall be judged in the last day—are we commanded to keep the seventh-day Sabbath. We can observe every precept of the law of liberty, stand clear in his sight, and yet never observe the seventh day, which was one of the shadows of the law dispensation.34
Many of the principles of the new covenant are now operating in the life of the Christian
Many Adventists state that the law has not yet been written on their hearts; they say the promises of the new covenant are only to be received now by faith and are not realized until the Second Coming of Christ. While there are some aspects of the new covenant that are not yet realized, there are other aspects that the Christian can now claim. To substantiate this claim, some quote Hebrews 8, showing that the verbs are future. Note, however, the writer of Hebrews is quoting from Jeremiah when the new covenant promise was future. In the epistles we find an oft-repeated phrase, “but now…”35 Often this phrase serves to contrast conditions under the former old covenant with the present conditions under the new covenant. To say that the law cannot be written on the heart now goes against the Scriptures we studied above.36 What genuine Christian walking by the Holy Spirit would want to kill, steal, lie, or commit adultery, etc. simply because they are no longer under the old covenant?
What happens to the Christian who is wedded to Christ and the law?37 If one is seeking transformation of soul and is enamored by the Ten Commandments and focuses his attention on this law and the scenes of judgment, as Ellen White recommended,38 what will be the result? Scripture is clear: “…for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage…”(KJV) or who “are to be slaves” (NASB). The Ten Commandments are described variously as a “ministry of death” and “a ministry of condemnation”.39 If one focuses on them it will not result in righteous living. It did not for the Jews, and it will not for the Christian. Rather, focusing on the old covenant is going back under the veil.
New covenant righteousness comes “apart from the law.”40 The new covenant promise was made to Abraham, and Abraham’s righteousness did not come by law.41 The moral requirement of the law42 is fulfilled in those who walk in the Spirit.43 The Holy Spirit does not come through the works of the law.44 The person who seeks righteousness by observing the law will be held accountable for all the requirements of the law.45 Christ is the end of the law for righteousness.46 If righteousness came through the law, Christ died needlessly.47 Paul kept the law “blamelessly”, yet he compared this righteousness to rubbish (dung, KJV).48 The law is not made for a righteous person, but for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane…49
Having been a fourth generation conservative Adventist, and having served as a pastor and/or Bible teacher for some 13 years in that denomination, it has been my experience, and it has been confirmed in conversations with dozens of others, that there are three main reactions to Historic Adventism.50 First, there are those who, looking at the multitude of the requirements of the law and Ellen White,51 just give up. Many of these later leave Adventism. Often they are afraid to attend a Sunday church for fear of receiving the mark of the beast. Their spiritual life withers and dies as they neglect Christian fellowship. Many of these “Formers” become agnostic, even cynical of all religion. I have talked with many dozens of them.
Second, there are those who see the numerous law standards and set out to keep them all and find themselves continually falling short. Day after day they confess their sin, determine never to fall short again, but it is not long until they do. These folks, in time, become discouraged with their way of life and their own sanctification. Their life is often filled with guilt for not achieving what they set out to achieve. These are the people who are drawn to Paul’s message of justification by faith. Yet, Adventist theology often muddies the waters if one tries to harmonize Paul and Ellen White. Some have compared it to trying to mix water and oil.
Third, there are some who believe they are perfectly keeping the necessary requirements of Adventism and cannot understand why others do not measure up—usually to the standard they have set for themselves. Often these people will look down on others who are not following their strict rule keeping, and they become perfectionistic and judgmental.
The Ten Commandments are not now God’s tools to promote righteousness—there is a better way!
Now it is time to take another rest here by the lake. Notice the beaver home reflected in the still, clear waters. In the background are tall Colorado Blue Spruce trees next to the grove of Aspen trees close to the lake. In the distance are majestic 14,000-foot peaks rising into the clean air.
What follows is only one frame in the art gallery of new covenant understanding. Yet, when this one frame is comprehended and put into practice, you can expect to experience peace of spirit and see major results in your life-transformation process.
I believe the Spirit-led Christian does have the law of Christ—the law of love—perfectly written in his spirit (table of his heart).52 In his spirit the Christian is a new creation.53 This all happens the moment we are saved—yes, the Bible teaches we can be saved and know it now!54 However, our soul (psuche)55 is being saved by a transformation process. Now here is where we see the “betterness” of the new covenant over the old covenant of Ten Commandments.
Rather than focusing on the Ten Commandment law, one goes to the New Testament and focuses on Christ, and what the New Testament says is now true for the believer! Wow! What a difference! We now have eternal life!56 We now have peace with God!57 We now have been reconciled to God!58 Our old self (man) was crucified with Christ!59 We are now to consider ourselves to be dead to sin!60 We are now freed from sin!61 We are now dead to the law.62 We now have been released from the law!63 We now serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter!64 There is now no condemnation [NONE] to those who are in Christ Jesus!65 We have now received the spirit of adoption!66 We now overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us!67 We are now sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise!68 We are now saved through faith!69 We are now the dwelling of the Holy Spirit!70 We are now chosen in Christ.71 We now have redemption through his blood.72 God is now at work in us to will and to do His good pleasure.73 We are now qualified to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light.74 We have now been transferred to the kingdom of His beloved Son.75 We have now entered His rest.76 We now have each received a spiritual gift.77 The Spirit now helps our weaknesses.78 We have now been predestined to be like Christ.79 And this is just the beginning! Do you see why the gospel is “good news”? One cannot work righteousness from the outside in—that was the old covenant way, and it never worked. Rather, in the new covenant God creates or regenerates our spirits. We are born of God.80 We have the divine DNA, God’s life living in us, and that life is perfect.81
Some will answer, “I don’t believe all these things are true in my experience.” This is because the mind, emotions and will have been programmed to sin and are accustomed to accepting the lies the devil has been feeding them. Now that we are “in Christ”, we are to go to the word of God for truth. The path of transformation is not trying to become what we are not—as in the old covenant. Now transformation is becoming who we now are—a new creature in Christ Jesus! We are not to work in righteousness from the outside, but allow the Holy Spirit in union with our spirit and the Word of God to work out the righteousness that our spirits already possess! The life of God is alive in our regenerated spirits!82
In connection with Paul’s contrast of the covenants he gives us this powerful insight.
But their minds were hardened; for until this very day at the reading of the old covenant the same veil remains unlifted, because it is removed in Christ. But to this day whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over their heart; but whenever a person turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit (2 Cor. 3:14-18).
Note that the transformation happens only as the “veil” of the old covenant is taken away. It takes place in an atmosphere of “liberty”, not law. We look into a mirror—what God’s word says is true about us. There we see the glory of the Lord and we are transformed in a process from glory to glory. The Word (Logos) of God working with the Holy Spirit is the active agent in this transformation process.83
Real transformation cannot take place in an atmosphere of “probation”84 as Ellen White teaches, but in a milieu of full acceptance. Here the “central pillar”85 of Adventism stands in the way of spiritual progress. Adventists teach that only those who have accepted God come into the scrutiny of the investigative judgment where even forgotten, unconfessed sins stand against the Christian.86 This means that they must have a law/judgment focus. However, the Bible is clear that if we have accepted Christ we do not even come into judgment.87,88 The judgment passages Adventists apply to Christians, the Bible applies either to the forces of evil89 or to the judgment of rewards, not salvation.90 Could it be that the Adventist doctrine of the investigative judgment requires the (false) teaching that postpones the blessings of the new covenant to the Second Coming? According to Adventist theology, the fulfillment of “I will remember their sins no more”, cannot take place until the investigative judgment is finished shortly before the Second Coming of Christ91 when Satan becomes the sin-bearer.92 However, the Bible makes it clear that the “blotting out of sins” takes place at conversion/repentance/forgiveness.93 The new covenant picture of God is vastly better than the old covenant concept because it is a more accurate revelation of God’s grace and love in Christ.94
To buttress his argument that nothing in the new covenant is realized now, some Adventists appeal to the statement in the new covenant promise that no teachers will be needed. However, the apostle John seems to indicate that this new covenant promise is in effect now.
“As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit—just as it has taught you, remain in him.95
This promise may not be fully realized now. However, some commentators believe the statement regarding not needing teachers relates to the fullness of the new covenant revelation and the infilling of the Holy Spirit in every true Christian—conditions which were not present under the old covenant that necessitated the need for more intensive teaching.96 Reading the book of Acts it is clear that the Holy Spirit did teach and/or give direction to the believers on many, many occasions.97 Many Christians have experienced this to some degree.
Nevertheless, we can now apprehend many of the present realities of the new covenant blessings. God is our God, and we are His people! He has given us His Spirit who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us.98
The book of Galatians is written to bring people back to the new covenant after Judaizers had put them under old covenant law. After Paul’s convincing arguments showing that the Christian is not under the law, he goes on to answer an assumed question. “Paul, if we are not under law, then how do we live?” His answer is insightful in showing how the Spirit takes the place of law.
For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.… But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.…But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law.…But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.99
The new covenant is about relationship with Christ
Jesus is the new covenant center. The new covenant partners are God, the Father, and Jesus, His Son. “I will appoint you [the Messiah] as a covenant to the people, as a light to the nations.” “I will keep you and give you for a covenant of the people.” “For on Him [Jesus] the Father, even God has set His seal.100 “But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, by as much as He is also the mediator of a better covenant which has been enacted on better promises.101
The old covenant partners were God and the “sons of Israel.” The new covenant partners are the Father and the Son. Christ is the one who rendered perfect obedience to His father. We enter into the blessings of that covenant when we place our faith in Christ! Over and over again we hear Jesus saying, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.… I do not seek my own will, but the will of Him who sent Me…I have kept My Father’s commandments.”102 On that Friday afternoon when our Covenant Keeper was dying on the cross for our sins, His last words were, “It is finished.” Just before these triumphant words we read these insightful remarks by the Gospel writer, “Jesus, knowing that all things had already been accomplished…103 Then with keen, Holy-Spirit insight the Gospel writer records, “And Jesus uttered a loud cry, and breathed His last. And the veil of the temple was torn in two from the top to the bottom.”104 This divine intervention was to show that the old covenant had come to its end.
What is our work? “Jesus answered and said to them, ‘This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.’”105 “Come unto Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.106 We have this promise. “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.107
We must be careful not to read into Scripture the unbiblical concepts of Ellen White
Some Adventists equate the “everlasting covenant” with the new covenant. In this everlasting covenant they include both the Abrahamic covenant and the Sinaitic covenant. The “newness” part of the new covenant, they say, is that Christ writes the Ten Commandment law on the hearts. To me, a better and more biblical way of expressing the plan of salvation would be “the new covenant in promise”108—before the cross, and “the new covenant in reality”—after the cross.109 The term “everlasting (or eternal) covenant” is used in Scripture in various ways. It is used for the covenant of circumcision110 which the New Testament clearly says is abolished.111 The term “everlasting covenant” is used with meat offerings the Israelites offered to the Lord112 in connection with the Sinaitic Covenant which is abolished. It is used for the Davidic Covenant.113 It is used in future, Israel-centered prophecies.114 Jeremiah uses this term in a similar context to the way he uses “new covenant.”115 The term “eternal [or everlasting] covenant as used in Hebrews 13:20 seems to be identical, or at least similar, to its usage in 12:24 when referring to the new covenant. The writer of Hebrews is reinforcing what has been taught throughout the book by showing the “betterness” of the new covenant over the old by stressing its eternal nature.116 Could it be that the Adventist use of “eternal covenant” is simply a reflection of Ellen White and her extra-biblical theology?
I also do not see any Scriptural evidence for the Ten-Commandment law in the time of Adam, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, or Jacob, to say nothing of the institution of a covenant based upon the Ten Commandments before Sinai. The Bible references listed do not mention the Ten Commandments. Let’s look at them. Unless the cited reference supports the stated conclusion, it is nothing but a ploy that may result in deception. Genesis 3:15 is a shadowy statement of a coming Savior at best. Nothing is mentioned about law. Genesis 9:9–17 Speaks about God’s covenant with Noah in promising not to send another flood. I see nothing here that could be construed to be the Ten Commandments. Genesis 12:2,3, speaks about God making a covenant with Abraham regarding the land of Canaan and his future posterity. Again, there is nothing about law here. It is true that God said that “Abraham obeyed Me and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes and My laws”117 Yet he lied118 and committed adultery;119 therefore we must, it seems to me, interpret these commandments and laws that Abraham “kept” to be the specific instructions God gave to Abraham which he did keep.120 If we read into Scripture that these laws are the Ten Commandments, then we make Scripture untrue. Abraham did not keep the Ten Commandments. To break one is to break them all.121 Ellen White, however, supports all the unbiblical concepts of the Ten Commandment law preceding Sinai and applying to Abraham.
Another Adventist argument places much emphasis on whether the covenant is “commanded” or “agreement” in type. This argument states that the Ten Commandments are a “Commanded Covenant”, and the old covenant is an “agreement covenant”. However, we have shown conclusively that the Ten Commandments are part and parcel of the old covenant. Therefore, these distinctions seem to be of no value here. There are also a number of references that disprove this assertion.
In Exodus 35:1, Moses says, “These are things that the Lord commanded you to do:” then follows instruction regarding the Sabbath, offerings, tabernacle workmen, instructions on building the sanctuary, and so forth, with no clear distinction between the Ten Commandments and the “other laws”.
Note also that in Deut. 29:1, Moses says,
These are the words of the covenant which the Lord commanded Moses to make with the sons of Israel in the land of Moab, besides the covenant which He had made with them at Horeb.
Here Moses says, “these are the words which the Lord commanded…” To what words is he referring? The careful reader will note that “these words” refers to everything between Deuteronomy 5:1–28:68—nearly the whole book of Deuteronomy! This section contains the Ten Commandments (6:11-21) and the laws relating to the following topics: sanctuary, clean and unclean, sabbatical years, feasts, administration of justice, Levites, spiritism, cities of refuge, warfare, crime, domestic relations, morality, whom to exclude from the assembly, divorce, first fruits, blessings and cursings, and many, many others. Therefore, all these law topics are included in the “commanded covenant”. When the Israelites agreed to keep the covenant, they were agreeing to keep the commanded covenant.
In 2 Kings 21:8 we read,
I will not again make the feet of the Israelites wander from the land I gave their forefathers, if only they will be careful to do everything I commanded them and will keep the whole Law that my servant Moses gave them.
Notice here the whole law is what God commanded, not just the Ten Commandments. Therefore, I see no valid application of the distinction between “commanded” and “agreed upon”. Rather, these Scriptures reinforce our conclusion that the old covenant is the whole law of Moses.
We have come a long way down the trail of Scripture. If you have come with me thus far, you are to be commended. It has not been an easy hike. I warned you of the difficulties of the trail! As we look out over the glassy emerald lake, let’s review the highlights of this hike—the facts of Scripture.
1. The Ten Commandments are the very words of the old covenant.
2. The old covenant, or Sinaitic Covenant, is based upon one law, not two. It comprises the whole Mosaic Law: moral, civil and ceremonial.
3. The New Testament defines the “old” or “first” covenant as the Sinaitic Covenant and unmistakably includes both the Ten Commandments and the “other laws” in this covenant.
4. The old covenant law was given only to the children of Israel.
5. The laws of Sinai, including the Ten Commandments, were not given until the time of Moses.
6. The old, or first, covenant which included the Ten Commandments was in force only until the death of Christ.
7. The new covenant law of Christ is much better than the old covenant law of commandments.
8. Many of the principles of the new covenant are now operating in the life of the Christian.
9. The Ten Commandments are not now God’s tools to promote righteousness—there is a better way!
10. The new covenant is about relationship with Christ.
11. We must be careful not to read into Scripture the unbiblical concepts of Ellen White.
In this hike we have not explored many of the side trails that give needed perspective to this subject. However, I believe we have given our readers enough to study for the next two months! It is my prayer that every reader will prayerfully study God’s Word on this important subject.
Yes, truth can stand the test of investigation! Yes, the truth will set you free!†
1 Ex. 40:20; Deut. 10:5,8.
2 See Lev. 23:2,3 noting the rest of the chapter; 1 Chron. 23:31; 2 Chron. 2:4; 8:12,13; 31:3; Ez. 45:17; 46:1–7; 2 Ki. 4:23; Neh. 10:33; Isa. 1:13,14; 66:23; Col. 2:16.
3 In Hebrew if one counts words from the beginning and end of the Ten Commandments, one will find that the central phrase is “remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy”.
4 Ex. 31:13–18. See also Sabbath in Christ, pp. 50-51 for a detailed comparison between the Sabbath sign in Ex. 31 and the circumcision sign in Gen. 17.
5 Meredith G. Kline, Treaty of the Great King, pp. 13,14,18,19,59
6 Matt. 22:37–40.
7 Ellen G. White, Early Writings, p. 33.
8 See Sabbath in Christ, pp. 235-246, where a whole chapter is dedicated to this verse.
9 See The Sabbath and the Lord’s Day, pp. 59,60 for more biblical support.
10 Ibid., p. 61.
11 See Ibid., p. 30ff. for biblical examples of each of the Ten Commandments.
12 Gen. 17:14; Ex. 31:14; Ex. 12:15; Ex. 30:33; Ex. 30:38; Lev. 7:20,21,25,27; 17:1–4; 18:6–18,19,22,23; 19:1–8; 20:3,6; 23:29; Num. 9:13.
13 See Sabbath in Christ, pp. 45,46 where abundant evidence is given to show that the “other laws” interpret and apply the Ten Commandments to the life situation of the Israelites.
14 See Ibid. p. 87-88. for additional material on this point.
15 See Ibid., chapters 16-17 for a discussion of this statement with supporting material.
16 Riggle, p. 61.
17 2 Tim. 3:16-17
18 When the 27 Fundamental Beliefs of Seventh-day Adventists were formulated. There are now 28 Fundamental Beliefs, and at the 2015 General Conference session, the wordings of several belief statements were revised.
19 Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual, 1976, p. 32.
20 Fundamental Beliefs of Seventh-day Adventists, No. 1.
21 Ellen G. White, The Great Controversy, p. 595
22 See Sabbath in Christ, chapter 18.
23 Riggle, p. 72.
24 Rom. 2:14.
25 Rom. 2:15; 2 Cor. 3:2–6.
26 Rom. 8:1.
27 This does not mean that the Christian will steal, kill, lie and commit adultery, etc. Rather, it means that there is a better guideline for service which is the Holy Spirit in the life focusing on the present realities of who we are in Christ helping us to live out what the Holy Spirit has put in. We are a new creation in Christ Jesus. 2 Cor. 5:17; Gal. 6:15.
28 Sabbath in Christ, p. 217.
29 Rom. 7:1–4; Sabbath in Christ, p. 217-220.
30 See Sabbath in Christ, see chapter 17 for many more insights regarding the two covenants.
31 Heb. 1:1–3.
32 Sabbath in Christ p. 92-94.
33 See John 9:28 and Sabbath in Christ, see chapter 12.
34 Riggle, p. 104–106.
35 See, for example, Rom. 3:21; 6:22; Eph. 5:8; Gal. 3:25; Heb. 8:6; 9:26; 12:26; 1 Pet. 2:10, 25.
36 Rom. 2:15; Gal. 3:2.
37 Paul in Romans 7 likens this to spiritual adultery.
38 See Cultic Doctrine, p. 228-235 for a number of EGW references.
39 2 Cor. 3:7,9.
40 Rom. 3:21.
41 Rom. 4:13.
42 This does not mean that the Christian is under the old law of Ten Commandments, rather it means that the morality of the new covenant fully meets the moral principles upon which the Ten Commandments were based.
43 Rom. 8:4.
44 Gal. 3:2,3.
45 Gal. 5:3,4.
46 Rom. 10:4
47 Gal. 2:21.
48 Phil. 3:7–9.
49 1 Tim. 1:9.
50 I define “Historic Adventists” as those who accept all 28 “Fundamentals” and believe the writings of Ellen White to be inspired of God.
51 Anyone who has read deeply into Ellen White will know the enormity of the weight of instruction and guilt she lays on her readers. Just read the nine volumes of the Testimonies and you will see! See also, Cultic Doctrine, p. 210–214.
52 2 Cor. 3:2–18.
53 2 Cor. 5:17; Gal. 6:15.
54 See Cultic Doctrine, p. 228ff.
55 This refers to the “self”—the mind, emotions and will. While our spirits are regenerated (saved) when we believe in the Lord Jesus and are given eternal life (zoe), the psuche (soul) is being transformed as we learn to submit to the word of God and His indwelling Spirit. Jesus came to undo what Adam had done. That is why we find that He did nothing without his Father’s approval. We, too, are to put our psuche under the control of the Holy Spirit. This submission is the process of sanctification which is worked out by the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
56 Jn. 6:47.
57 Rom. 5:1.
58 Rom. 5:10.
59 Rom. 6:6.
60 Rom. 6:11.
61 Rom. 6:18, 22, 1 Jn. 3:8,9.
62 Rom. 7:4.
63 Rom. 7:6.
64 Rom. 7:6.
65 Rom. 8:1.
66 Rom. 8:15.
67 Rom. 8:37.
68 Eph. 1:13.
69 Eph. 2:8.
70 Eph. 2:22.
71 Eph. 1:4.
72 Eph. 1:7.
73 Phil. 2:13.
74 Col. 1:12.
75 Col. 1:13.
76 Heb. 4:3.
77 Rom. 12; 1 Cor. 12; Eph. 4.
78 Rom. 8:26.
79 Rom. 8:29.
80 Jn. 3:3–5.
81 1 Cor. 6:19; Rom. 8:9–12, 1 Cor. 2:12; 1 Cor. 3:16;
82 Rom. 8:9–11.
83 Heb. 4:12.
84 Probation is not a biblical term but is one used frequently by both Adventists and Mormons.
85 Ellen G. White, The Great Controversy, p. 409, See also, Sprit of Prophecy, Vol. 4, p. 258.
86 Ellen G. White, The Spirit of Prophecy, p. 331.
87 Jn. 3:18; 5:24.
88 See the chapter “I’ve Been Acquitted” in Cultic Doctrine for a thorough study of the good news of Judgment.
89 See Cultic Doctrine, p. 216–219.
90 Matt. 25:31–46.
91 Cultic Doctrine, pp. 152–165.
92 Ellen G. White, The Great Controversy, p. 422, See also The Spirit of Prophecy, Vol. 4, p. 267.
93 See Ellen G. White, The Spirit of Prophecy, Vol. 4, p. 308, where she says that sins will not be blotted out after the close of the investigative judgment. The Bible says otherwise, Ps. 51:1–2, 9; Isa. 44:22 KJV; Isa. 43:25. Heb. 8:12; Jer. 31:34. 1 Jn. 1:9. See also Cultic Doctrine, pp. 208-210.
94 Heb. 1:1–3.
95 1 John 2:27.
96 See R.C.H. Lenski, Commentary on the New Testament, Hebrews, p. 268, 269.
97 Acts 4:31; 6:3,8; 8:29,39; 9:17,31; 11:28; 13:4,52.
98 Eph. 3:20.
99 Gal. 5:13,14,16,18,22,23.
100 Isa. 42:6; 49:8; Jn. 6:47.
101 Heb. 8:6.
102 Jn. 4:34; 5:30; 15:10.
103 Jn. 19:28–30.
104 Mk. 15:37,38.
105 Jn. 6:29.
106 Mt. 11:28–30.
107 Jn. 5:24.
108 Rom. 4:13,14,16,20,21; 9:8; Gal. 3:29; 4:23,28.
109 Recognizing that some aspects of the new covenant promise are not fully experienced until the Second Coming of Christ.
110 Gen. 17:13.
111 Gal. 5:1–4.
112 Num. 18:17–19.
113 2 Sam. 23:5.
114 Isa. 61:8; Ez. 37:26.
115 Jer. 31:27–34; 32:40.
116 “It [the everlasting or new covenant] is the covenant or testament that was received by Abraham. It was first promised, but this promise was duly fulfilled by Jesus, namely ‘in connection with this blood,’ the expiatory power of which is permanent, eternal. The testament that was brought to Israel by Moses was only a temporary addition…The eternal seal upon the expiation of Jesus is his resurrection, when God brought him again ‘from the dead’” R.C.H. Lenski, Hebrews, p. 494.
117 Gen. 26:5.
118 Gen. 20.
119 Gen. 16.
120 Gen. 12, 17, 22.
121 Jam. 2:10.
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