Sunday, September 14, 2014

Dialog with an SDA Scholar on the Law (3)

Dialog with an SDA Scholar on the Law (3)


Andreas: What is the New Covenant?


Russ: The New Covenant is described in Jeremiah 31: 31-34 and repeated in Hebrews 8:8-13. Jeremiah 31 also includes 31:35-37.

(1) It is “a better covenant established upon better promises” (Heb 8:6). It is not the Old Covenant reworded.

(2) Again, it is “the second” covenant and not the first reworded” (Heb 8:7).

(3) Like the first covenant, it is primarily made with the “house of Israel” and the “house of Judah” (Heb 8:8). It was not made primarily with the Gentiles but they were later included when Israel rejected its Messiah and the Gentile dogs ate the crumbs which fell from their table. How do you explain this text?

(4) The new covenant is “not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt” (Heb 8:9). Again we are told that even the new covenant was primarily for Israel but it was DIFFERENT from the first as we discover that Gentiles have much more access to it.

(5) For the third time, it is “with the house of Israel” (Heb 8:10a).

(6)  God will place His new covenant “laws into their mind and write them in their hearts” (Heb 8:10b). In essence this is a full manifestation or revelation of God’s will as opposed to the law written on stones (2 Cor 3:1-18).

(7) Like God’s original plan for Israel in Exodus 19:5-6, there will be a priesthood of every believer – no hierarchy of priests and no need for laws to support priests (Heb 8:11).  “And they shall not teach every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.”

(8) The moment one accepts Christ as his/her personal Savior, he/she is eternally saved and adopted into the household of God. The guilt of every sin which separated from a relationship with God is gone  -- God cannot remember them (Heb 8:12). SDAs have a serious problem with 8:12.

(9) The Old Covenant ended (8:13).

(10) The New Covenant and Israel will both survive as a nation as long as there are stars in the sky (Jer 31:35-37). This must not be in your Bible because you totally ignore it.


Andreas: And till when was it in effect?


Russ: Earth and time as we know it will survive until Revelation 21 after the 1000 year reign of Messiah on Earth.


Andreas: What does it mean to be under the New Covenant?


Russ: Its principles will guide the lives of believers as they are indwelt, guided and taught by the Holy Spirit. They will know God’s will.


Andreas: No rules, no commands?


Russ: Plenty of rules and commands – all written in the heart by the indwelling Holy Spirit.


Andreas: Sermon on the Mount "rules" - which were also said BEFORE Calvary, hence not for Gentiles?


Russ: Only those which were repeated to the Church after Calvary in terms of the New Covenant apply. What is your hermeneutic? What principle do you apply to bring material over from the Old to the New Covenant?


Andreas: You also see that the law will be written in our hearts. My question, what law did the writer refer to?


Russ: How do you answer your question? You discard most of the judgments and ordinances and then throw Mt 5:18-19 at me which you ignore.

Which parts of WWII Nazi law have been repeated in Austria’s present constitution? Does that mean Nazi Law still exists? Of course not.

My point of view is the following: Everything that was a shadow of Christ, e.g., the feasts, sacrifices, is not valid anymore (Colossians 2,16). It's that simple. Therefore food laws still exist.


Russ: What about killing your children and killing Sabbath breakers? Were these shadows of Christ? Do you destroy houses with mild? Do yo make your wife eat dirt from the sanctuary to prove she is pure? Do you pay tithes to deacons, choir and musicians as they did in the Bible? Do you give a third tithe to the poor? Do you cause others to work on the Sabbath? // How does your principle explain Mt 5:18-19? Colossians 2:16 is not the only text in the Bible! Read Exodus 21 through Deuteronomy and you will discover how very weak your answer is: literally hundreds would still exist that was not a shadow of Christ!

Andreas: Mt 28:9+35 does not contain "fulfilled". It is found in chapter 27.

Russ: O.K. So I made a typo, but you missed the point – Jesus totally fulfilled the righteousness of the Old Covenant Law with Israel. Where do you get the idea that God included the Gentiles in that Law?

Andreas: Mt 24,20  If the Sabbath is not valid anymore, why does Jesus ask them to pray this way?


Russ: Matthew 24 takes place in the future Great Tribulation when the Antichrist will break his 7 year covenant with Israel. It is Daniel 9’s 70 week in which returning Jews who are not Christians will place themselves once again under Law contrary to the will of God.

Russ: At no time did God command Israel to proselytize Gentiles.

Andreas: What purpose then did the Jews have? Are you saying that Gentiles were never really meant to be saved?

Russ: If Israel had obeyed God and accepted its Messiah, it would have been so blessed that Gentiles would flow into Jerusalem and be saved. It will still happen as the last literal unconditional chapters of Zechariah are yet unfulfilled.


Andreas: In Acts we read several times that Paul went to the synagogues/temples to teach the people on a Sabbath. Why?


Russ: As a Jewish man, and, especially as a Jewish rabbi, Paul had an open pulpit in the synagogues until they cast him out. It would have been foolish not to take advantage of an open pulpit.

       However after being cast out of the synagogues Pau eventually taught the Gentiles on days other than Saturday. This is covered in detail in my book.

Andreas: (Concerning your BEFORE / AFTER Calvary hermeneutic) For example, the words Jesus said at the sermon on the Mount in Mt 5 are not applied to Gentiles, but to Jews. But, AFTER Calvary, they are also not applied to Jews anymore in case they are not mentioned AFTER Calvary.


Russ: Blessing are generic and is not a command. Much of what Jesus taught was generic and not covenant-related. How do you explain all the events in which Jesus commanded Temple worship. He even commanded Samaritan lepers to show themselves to the (Samaritan) priests. Jesus would have sinned if he had taught contrary to any part of the whole Law. Jesus could not possibly have taught his Jewish or Gentile disciples to tithe either to himself or to his apostles.

Enough said about the law.

Now, let’s get to the real difference between SDAs and the remainder of the Christian world – the Investigative Judgment


How does Daniel 8:14 answer the question asked in 8:13 in the context of 8:8-12?


What “defiled” the Most Holy Place in the heavenly sanctuary:

the deeds of the little horn?


the confessed and forgiven sins of God’s saints?


What gives you the right to change to question from “How long before the sanctuary will stop being defiled?


When will its cleansing begin?


The temple in 8:8-13 and chapter 9 is the one on earth. What gives you the right to change it


The one in heaven?

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