Dwelling in the Past: Old Testament Law for New Testament Christians

Well, I was quoting Paul and I’ll bet he was asked that question a lot, because he left us his answer. :grinning:

16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.
19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. (Gal 5:16 -23)


Did God really say throw the bondwoman and her son out? (Gal 4) Paul must not have meant that either.
In my experience using Paul in context as you have triggers the “Paul Teflon” reaction where soon a revised version is returned showing you what Paul must have meant. Meanwhile I’m in line waiting for a reply to my last question


"When Adventists talk about “righteousness by faith”, they mean that when a person has faith in Christ to work in him, Jesus will give him His power. With that power from Christ, the person will then be able to obey God and keep His law. Thus Christ in him gives him the power to overcome sin and to become righteous. The result of this dance between faith and Christ’s power yields righteousness by faith. In other words, the sincere Adventist will become righteous in himself by accessing the power of Christ through faith that He will equip him.

The New Testament, however, speaks of believers becoming justified—not becoming righteous—by faith. For example, look at these texts…"

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Here is what I believe is a direct message to those that target “already Christians” as the SDA church admits to doing with the majority of it’s missions resources…

Galatians 4:17:

“Those people are zealous to win you over, but for no good. What they want to do is alienate you from us, so that you may be zealous for them.”

Galatians 5:8:

“That kind of persuasion does not come from the one who calls you.”

Galatians 5:10b:

“The one who is throwing you into confusion will pay the penalty, whoever he may be.”

II Corinthians 11:3-5, 12-15:

"But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough. But I do not think I am in the least inferior to those “super-apostles” “And I will keep on doing what I am doing in order to cut the ground from under those who want an opportunity to be considered equal with us in the things they boast about. For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.”

I Corinthians 15:1-5:

“Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve.”

Colossians 2:8-17, 20-23:

“See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ. For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority. In him you were also circumcised, in the putting off of the sinful nature, not with a circumcision done by the hands of men but with the circumcision done by Christ, having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead. When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ, He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross. Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ” “Since you died with Christ to the basic principles of this world, why, as though you still belonged to it, do you submit to its rules: ‘Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!’ These are all destined to perish with use, because they are based on human commands and teachings. Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.”

II Corinthians 3:17:

“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”

Ephesians 2:8-9:

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-not by works, so that no one can boast.”

II Corinthians 10:3-5:

“For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”

Ephesians 6:10-18:

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.”

Colossians 3:1-17:

“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all. Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”

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I sympathize.

There is a body of literature opposed to hermeneutics. One argument is that the Holy Spirit guides us into all truth, so we don’t need hermeneutics. Another argument is that faith, not hermeneutics, is how we know truth. Another argument is that God together with His Word is a force so irrepressible that we are bowled over with the truth and thus do not need hermeneutics. Another argument is that God is timeless (SDAs generally do not believe this), so the hermeneutical endeavor that invariably looks to historical context is no longer needed. All of these arguments have historically failed to persuade.

Another attempt to sidestep hermeneutics is to go the way of Heidegger and offer that understanding precedes interpretation. We already understand, so therefore, what hermeneutics does for us is explain to us what we already know. This is charming, of course, but what we end up with is a back and forth between what we know and how we know it. This is the hermeneutical circle that refines our understanding. So we are not able to escape hermeneutics.

Most hermeneutists, particularly the greatest one, Gadamer, believed that there is no way you can understand what an ancient text such as the Bible means. There are too many manifestations of distance that impede understanding. In response to your exasperation, he would reply, “Yes.” He offers that no matter how much we try to be objective in interpreting the text, invariably the meaning we discern is a fusion of horizons, the horizon of the author and the horizon of the reader. In a sense, Gadamer has given up just like you have.

The reader response theorists would suggest that the meaning of the text is not what the author intended but what the text does to you. Whenever we read the Bible, we are not scrutinizing an object, like a biologist dissects a frog. In reality, we are the passive object and the Bible acts upon us. Every reading of the Bible is a judgment scene in which we are vindicated but also rebuked. Accordingly, it does not matter what the biblical text means. What matters is what it does to you, how it makes you a better person. The limits of this approach can be clearly seen. Obviously, the biblical text cannot act upon us unless we know what it means.

Let me make one thing clear. Even though there are probably less than ten Seventh-day Adventist hermeneutists in the world, hermeneutics is not that difficult to understand. Exegesis is far more difficult. More Seventh-day Adventists would understand hermeneutics if they would turn the TV off and put the potato chips away and actually read the material. It’s easy to do. Just start Googling various search terms and read something on the Internet. Save it to a file. And read something else. It’s like putting together a jigsaw puzzle. You will gradually learn things and then finally at some point you will see the entire picture. Except for about four or five books I have purchased, everything I have studied on hermeneutics can be easily found on the Internet.

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Found this history interesting…


A few thoughts on the article and resulting comments:
Someone said that we are to view the OT laws through the eyes of Jesus. I think that idea has merit but we must be careful because Jesus’ life in the flesh on earth (except for a brief period after His resurrection) occurred during the time the Old Covenant was in effect. Hence, His statements about the law must always be considered with this in mind.
I think a more appropriate approach would be that we are to view Old Covenant law through New Covenant eyes. (In a statement somewhat akin to this, the article speaks of OT moral principles we are to retain.) Paul, chosen by God to explain much to us, is of help here. Concerning the two Adams Paul wrote, ‘However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural [physical, carnal]; then the spiritual.’ (1Cor 15:46).
I think Paul’s assessment applies to the law as well. In fact, one commentator says that every OC physical law has a NC spiritual application.
Here are a few examples:
-the OC food laws spoke of a split hoofed animal which chewed its cud as being clean. Spiritually this may represent that a truth must stand on a double witness (at least) and any spiritual teaching presented to us as ‘food’ should be meditated upon (ruminated) before we digest or assimilate it.
-the slavery laws of the OT were designed to protect the slave from a brutal master. A slave could be freed for mistreatment. Indentured service was given as a way for one who violated the property rights of another to repay the victim. A kinsman-redeemer (blood relative) had the right to step in at any time, pay the debt and thus free the slave. The spiritual application with Christ and us is obvious. If a slave wanted to stay with his master even after the debt was paid and he was set free, he had that option; hence, Paul, who wrote of our freedom in Christ could also say he was a ‘bond servant’ of Christ.
-concerning wearing contrasting fabrics, we are not to be double minded and unstable in our ways (James 1:8, 4:8; 1Tim 3:8; 1John 2:15).
-the test for adultery in a wife (Num 5) was given by the priest because the verdict was rendered directly by God. If we are spiritually adulterous (idolatrous) then we too will become ‘spiritually sterile’. Christ called believers His ‘brethren’ and since He died childless it is our honour and duty to be faithful to Him and be fruitful, helping to produce ‘spiritual children’ for the continuance of His, our brother’s, family.

The brutality and finality of capital punishment (including genocide) in the OT is rightly very disturbing to Christians.
Is the problem God? Is He being a hypocrite by telling us to love our enemies yet commanding genocide?
Or is the problem the Bible? Are we unable to trust a plain reading of it? Is it authentic? Was its entire content overseen by the Holy Spirit? If not, how do we decide what parts to dismiss as originating with an ancient, warlike nomadic tribe looking for divine sanction for their bloodthirsty exploits?
Or is the problem our interpretation? Is our hermeneutic or theology somehow lacking?
I suggest it is the last of the three.
I also believe that confusion over language plays an important part in this problem. Here’s an example. The Bible speaks of ‘this present evil age’ (Gal 1:4), and ages to come (Eph 2:7). Most Christian theology says at the time of one’s death (or the end of this age, whichever comes first), a deadline occurs and the opportunity for salvation permanently ends. I don’t think the Bible says this. (Because we live within the limits of mortality, space, and time it’s hard for us to realize they cannot constrain God.) Yes, we will be judged at the end of this age (Heb 9:27) but I believe God’s judgments are not primarily punitive in nature but restorative. What I am implying is that I believe we have yet to see the entire unfolding of God’s salvation plan for humanity. I believe this plan includes those whose lives were taken as commanded by God.
In the Bible we find terms such as eternal fire, eternal torment, eternal judgment and the smoke of their torment rising forever and ever. The Greek word poorly translated as ‘eternal’ or ‘forever’,aionios, actually literally means pertaining to a certain age, or an unknown period of time (to us now). This definition is a good start, but if you want to investigate further, I think the explanation in the article linked below is even better:
Jude 7 says Sodom is to suffer ‘eternal’ fire yet in Matt 11 Christ said Sodom will be better off in the judgment than the cities who rejected Jesus. The degree of our chastisement will be based on what we had the opportunity to know (Luke 12:47-48).
The point is that when God destroyed Sodom with fire and brimstone I don’t think it was the end of their chance at salvation. Why should it be different for the Amalekites, Midianites or the firstborn of Egypt? When the Israelites conquered Jericho and killed its inhabitants the NASB version of the Bible says, in the margin, that these people were ‘put under the ban’. What a strange phrase. It appears that God ordered this to physically remove them from contact with the Israelites, perhaps to protect the children of Israel. I believe it also meant that He was taking direct responsibility for them. Is that surprising? He created all of us and as Creator He is ultimately responsible for all of us. He said, ‘All souls are Mine’ (Ez 18:4). The prophet Isaiah tells of a time when two enemies of Israel, Egypt (whom God called ‘My people’) and Assyria (whom God called ‘the work of My hands’) will worship Him together with Israel (Is 19:19-25). I don’t want to minimize the evil and suffering through history that God has presided over but, looking through New Covenant eyes, Paul says ‘For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us’ (Rom 8:18).
Recognizing that now we have but limited knowledge and understanding, but believing that God is love (1John 4:16) perhaps it is our explanation of God, our theology, that is inadequate and is pushing us into an unwise and premature judgment of God and His plan.

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  1. They are the most receptive. You work a field that produces fruit.
  2. Just because they are Christians, does not mean that we don’t discuss the issues. You speak to me here, quite extensively. We are both Christians. Why not go somewhere else? Because you would convince me of a truth you think I am missing. We do the same.
  3. And just because we disagree, I would still be delighted to share communion with you. You are a Christian bother, er, ah, I mean brother, and we could have sweet communion at Jesus’ table.

i don’t object to celebrating the festivals. it seems Paul did that. But the commandment to rest in among the ones on the decalogue, that is a different group of laws. Paul says we are to look to that to discover sin. He does not say that about the festivals.

It is a date line issue. The date line is an arbitrary construct of men. They moved it, and have done so many times. It is a matter of convenience and necessity when living on a rotating planet and keeping time. Look it up on Wiki. And how many Samoans are there?

But you bring it up to cloud the issue. If one wanted to avoid the problem when the date line is set, fly all the SDA’s out of the area for a couple of weeks, and then back in, and they will keep the Sabbath by the new system.

No adultery and no lying and no idols were also part of the OLD COVENANT. They were part of the covenant law. Are they part of the new covenant as well?

I did not get this Paul.

The Pharisees accused the disciples just as you are here. Is that your position?:

Matt 12:1 "At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry and began to pick some heads of grain and eat them. 2 When the Pharisees saw this, they said to him, “Look! Your disciples are doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath.”

3 He answered, … 5" Or haven’t you read in the Law that the priests on Sabbath duty in the temple desecrate the Sabbath and yet are innocent? 6 I tell you that something greater than the temple is here. 7 If you had known what these words mean, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the innocent. 8 For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.”

Jesus does not claim lordship of any other day but the Sabbath. He could have told the Jews that now, or at least in a little time the Sabbath was to be abolished. He neve does.

It is interesting to note that in the gospel of John, written at the end of the first century AD, (AD 100). that John does NOT tell the believes the Sabbath is gone, part of the old covenant etc. But argues about its proper keeping. See John 5:16, 7:21-24.

Note, If we are under the spirit, we are not under the CONDEMNATION of the law. Then he lists what it looks like to be under the law. The first is to be an adulterer. Sounds like one of the commandments is being broken there. So, if you break a commandment, you are under the law.

When we keep them, we are not under their condemnation.

I don’t see he you can be consistent, and do it any other way.

Hmm? How can a sincere Adventist be righteous in himself if his righteousness comes from Christ?

I ask you, can the power of Christ keep me from sin? If not, we are all lost. If it can, then hallelujah, i am saved from sin.

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  1. Receptive to what? even Gary Krause calls them “Christians”? What are they to receive in addition Allen? Do tell. And who produces fruit? The fruit of the spirit is from those that are in Christ. Are you saying you are harvester of that fruit? The producer? That’s your place? Did the Lord tell us to spread the gospel to those that have already received it with something extra special beyond it and then harvest the fruit of it in His name? Chapter and verse please.

Simply for the fact that He is not telling you, as someone that believes in Christ as your savior that the simple gospel that a child can understand needs to have the old covenant yoke given the Jews is required as an attachment to that. That’s all.

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If you were headed in the wrong direction, I would be amiss to not direct you in the right way if I had the wherewithal to do so, and would not be acting in love if I didn’t. But you might not see it as I do, so would ignore my ministrations. So be it.

Paul, If the commandments are a yoke (adultery, killing, stealing etc.) then I must not be talking to a Christian gentleman as I thought. Just what part of that galling yoke do you object to? They all were part of the OC if you take that position. Use asking…

A major part of my faith is in the finished work of Christ for all who believe. I believe that is what communion represents. My issue is the continuing arguments by you and those that hold to the 1844 sanctuary doctrine which denies that finished work. So, if it is Christ’s blood (and water, fulfilling prophecy) at the cross by which we can commune as brothers in His saving grace I’m all in and serve the sacraments for His glory, with pure joy, believe me.

So you are questioning my being a “Christian gentleman” because I bring up “yoke”? Again, I am not bringing it up, the Word does, in very pertinent ways. Your approach to it and to me is very interesting. How about i pretend you didn’t just say that against me and we study “yoke” but only from the bible? Ready to share what the Lord had to say about a “yoke”? I am.

Define how to perfectly keep sabbath please.

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Paul, look at what you said about my comments:

Not exactly a friendly dissertation on my endeavors, and maybe I feel moved by God to do as I do… But then again, maybe they are straw.

But you say the Old Covenant is done away with with its law, its yoke. And you are against the law. So, my comments ensued. I have shown that it is the standard we are to look at to see if we are sinning as Paul and James and even Jesus (the rich young ruler), including love one another as I have loved you. But you bristle at that.

I have also said obedience is a gift. But that does not satisfy either, you state sincere Adventists are trying to earn their way to heaven. But, I being one of those sincere ones, sees it as a gift. So, what gives?

How about an attempt at answering my question of your harvesting the fruit as you put it. Can’t wait for that one since I thought that was the Lord’s role?

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What does this mean?

Galations 5:1
Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage

What gives is that you can’t back anything up with scripture for new covenant Christians. You have given no scripture giving you authority to try to convert those claimed by your rep as “already Christian”. You call it harvesting fruit. Are you aithorized to harvest fruit or just spread the gospel? It is sheep stealing. 91% of your church resources are used to try to steal those in Christ. That won’t get you any jewels in your crown in fact it is considered in Gal 3 what will happen. Deal with it. Yes, I’m disgusted with any that attempt that.

Ready for the “yoke” study or do you just like to throw out accusations that are not biblical? Again, it won’t be from me. Ready when you are.

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So is the commandment to appear before the Lord three times a year. It’s part of the 4th commandment. I quoted it. It’s not a different group of laws. Are you claiming you don’t know that?

The entire calendar is an arbitrary construct of men. Saturday is not the Sabbath except that it was picked by the Jews in the fourth century as a reasonable day to use on the new Roman calendar, since the Pagans and Christians were using Sunday. At the time it was the first day of the week, BTW, and Sunday was the 7th. The ordinal position of day as part of the secular week is not relevant. The sabbath commandment is about resting at least every 7 days since the last resting sabbath, not about the day of the secular week. The Jewish Calendar to this day does not even contain the concept of weeks. It has 1/4 lunar month designations, but no concept of weeks.

I think so. As you point out, all of the squabbles with Jesus over the Sabbath in the bible center on the topic work. Not on how he was worshiping, or if he was at all, since that was not an issue. The key was not working, as was commanded.

Before his death, according to Christian teachings, there was no sacrifice and no new covenant, so that makes sense. The Law was in force for Jews (and still is according even to the Christian bible.) But again, the Sabbath is never identified as Saturday, since no one in bible times in Palestine used a calendar with a week or a Saturday on it.

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Paul, in discussions like this, please always keep in mind this:


Well Paul, maybe you are just another one of those “fools at Spectrum,” remember? :roll_eyes::roll_eyes:
The “good thing” is that you, a “Christian bother,” … may end up being mentioned or quoted in some future sermon… Excited?..