Feb 04

Ten CommandmentsAdventists 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” (John 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: 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” (Matt. 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” [73] (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.

Sabbatarians argue that as long as heaven and earth last the law will continue. Their own argument proves that the law is not eternal; for Jesus said, “Heaven and earth shall pass away” (Luke 21:33). But Jesus did not say that the law would continue till heaven and earth had passed away.

The idea is that heaven and earth would sooner pass away than one letter of the law fail in being fulfilled. “It is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail” (Luke 16:17). That is the idea. Not the length of time the law was to continue, but the certainty that it would not fail to be fulfilled.

Christ said it would continue till fulfilled. This proves that it would be fulfilled and pass away some time. But when is the time? Christ plainly says, ‘I am come to fulfill it.’ Hence Paul rightly concludes that “Christ is the end of the law.” “Fulfill: To complete; to fill up.”—Webster. “To bring to a close, end, finish, complete.”—Greenfield.

Then, the law ended with Christ. “Heaven and earth shall sooner perish than one iota or one tittle of the law shall perish without attaining to its end.”—Macknight, Campbell, Doddridge. Exactly. Christ says he came to fulfill the law. Did he? Hear him after his resurrection: “These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the Psalms, concerning me” ( Luke 24:44) . “And when they had fulfilled all that was written of him, they took him down from the tree” (Acts 13:29). The law was fulfilled and ended at the cross Was “nailed to the cross” (Col. 2: 14 16).

Adventists make a tremendous blunder when they confine “the law” in Matt. 5:17, 18 to the Decalog. “The law” includes all the law of Moses. The “law and the prophets” is a term that applies to the entire Old Testament. All commentaries agree on this.

But the Scriptural proof is abundant. “Witnessed by the law and the prophets” (Rom. 3:21). “The reading of the law and the prophets” (Acts 13:15). “This is the law and the prophets” (Matt 7:12). “All the prophets and the law” (Matt. 11:13). “All the law and the prophets” (Matt. 22:40). “They have Moses and the prophets… If they hear not Moses and the prophets” (Luke 16:29,31). “Written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets… concerning me” (Luke 24:44).

“Written in the law and in the prophets” (Acts 24:14). “Him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write” (John 1:45). “Moses and the prophets” and “the law and the prophets” are the same thing. “The law” is defined as “Moses,” “the law of Moses.” And “the law and the prophets” reach their fulfillment in Christ. This is the whole Old Testament. The Adventist argument on Matt. 5: 17, 18 will make circumcision and all Moses’ law binding to all time and eternity.

This law was a “shadow” of Christ’s atonement and redemptive blessings (Heb. 10:1 3). Its sacrifices, blood, Passover, sin offerings, altars, etc., all pointed to him. Its sanctuary pointed forward to his greater house; the church; its Sabbath to the sweet soul rest he gives. When Christ the substance came to earth, the shadow—law—vanished away.

“The law and the prophets were until John” (Luke 16:16). His ministry was “the beginning of the gospel” (Mark 1 :1-3). When the law reached its fulfillment in Christ, it was not necessary to destroy it. Therefore he says, “I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.”

To illustrate this point. Suppose that the legislature of Pennsylvania had passed a law forbidding the killing of any game in the State for a period of ten years, and that this law had come into force January 1, 1919. On January 1, 1929, that law would die of itself, and sportsmen would not wait for the legislature to pass an act to abolish or destroy that law. Its very construction and wording would teach all intelligent men that it could not continue in force longer than January 1, 1929.

Just so it was with the law. “It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come” (Gal. 3:19). “To thy seed, which is Christ” (vs. 16). This so clearly teaches that the law was but a temporary institution, to continue in force only until the promised seed—Christ—should come, that there is no appeal from it. The coming of Christ—his death—is the date, then, when the law expired.

There was no necessity to destroy it in order to make it null and void; for its limit ended when it was fulfilled in Christ, and of necessity it became dead. This shows the utter fallacy of the Seventh day Adventists’ position. Christ fulfilled the law, and it passed away after having served its purpose.

“Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances” (Eph. 2 :15). The law was a partition wall between the Jews and the Gentiles. Christ broke down this wall, by abolishing “the law of commandments,” around which clustered all the ordinances and ceremonies of the Old Testament.

This was done “that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby” (vs. 16). The date of the abolition of the law is placed at the cross. “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; and having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it. Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days” (Col. 2:14 16).

That which was nailed to the cross included the Sabbath. The whole system ended at the cross. Since that, “if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law” (Gal. 5:18). “Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace” (vs. 4). This applies forcibly to all Saturday keepers.

“Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth? For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband.

So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.

Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should brine forth fruit unto God. But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter” (Rom. 7:1 4, 6).

Here is a plain lesson. Who can misunderstand it? Paul uses the law of matrimony to teach the abolition of the Mosaic system. That first husband was “the law”; the wife was the church—Israel. But the first husband died; viz., the law was abolished. It was “nailed to the cross,” then buried.

In recent years the Sabbatarians hunted its grave, and dug it up. All they found was the skeleton. This they stood up, but it fell down. So they have invented many props by which they expect to keep it standing. But by the eternal truth their props must fall and their idolized, decayed system of abolished “shadows”—the law—be buried in the same grave in which Jesus laid it nineteen hundred years ago.

Ye are become “dead to the law,” and are now married to Christ. He is the second husband. Sabbatarians are married to the law, while ours is alive forevermore. They cling to a ghostly shadow, while we enjoy the substance. They are under the “ministration of death,” while we cling to the “law of life.”

They wear the “yoke of bondage,” while we rejoice in the “law of liberty.” Their glory is “done away,” while ours “remains.” While Moses is read “the vail is on their hearts,” but with us this vail is “done away in Christ.” They cling to the law, while we cleave to the gospel.

They grope in the smoke of Sinai, while we stand in the light of Zion. O Adventist friend, forsake your system, and accept the truth, which will make you free.

The Sabbath And The Lord’s Day by H.M. Riggle

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