This is the 3rd post in a series, for the previous post please click HERE.
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matt 5:17-20 ESV
This is a very popular proof text for SDA, Specifically:
- “not an iota, not a dot” ESV
- “ one jot or one tittle” KJV
- “Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven”
It is important to note here that commandments does not mean the Ten Commandments like the SDA teach. They want you to read that into the text. It does beg the question as to which commandments though, fortunately this is made clear with other scripture. Do however notice that this is said right after the Beatitudes and right before Jesus Christ starts issuing Commandments all throughout Matt 5, 6, and 7.
Here are a few things to point out:
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets”
- The Greek word here for Law is “Nomon”
- This is most consistently used throughout the Bible in reference to the Old Covenant Torah.
“And when the time came for their purification according to the Law [Nomon] of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord” Luk 2:22 ESV
“Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven”
- The Greek word here for Commandments is “Entolon”
- This is most consistently used throughout the Bible in reference to the teachings of Jesus. In Matt 5 this would logically be referring to the Beatitudes.
“For neither circumcision counts for anything nor uncircumcision, but keeping the commandments [Entolon] of God.” 1 Cor 7:19 ESV
I think that it is illogical to assert as SDA do that when Jesus Christ used two different words in the same breath here, he was referring to the same exact thing both times. Based on the greater context of scripture is its much more logical to assert that he used two different words to refer to two different things.
So to say this plainly, I believe that Jesus Christ was speaking to the Old Covenant when he said “Nomon” or “Law” and that he was speaking to the New Covenant when he said “Commandments” or “Entolon”.
What does it mean then to fulfill the Law and the Prophets (Torah)?
- “I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them” ESV
- “I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.” KJV
- “Law until all is accomplished” ESV
- “pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” KJV
A plain reading reveals that Jesus is referring to a point in which the Law will be fulfilled/Accomplished.
Common definitions of Fulfilled per Dictionary.com:
- “to carry out, or bring to realization, as a prophecy or promise.”
- to satisfy (requirements, obligations, etc.): a book that fulfills a long-felt need.
- to bring to an end; finish or complete, as a period of time: He felt that life was over when one had fulfilled his threescore years and ten.
Samuel Fisk Analyzes Matt 5:17-20 ESV in Dialogue with a Seventh-Day Adventist Pages 7&8 as follows:
“Jesus did not come to destroy any law, not even the ceremonials, but he fulfilled them. “Fulfill” means to complete, accomplish the purpose of; as we find in Luke 24:44, He said “all things must be fulfilled which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the Psalms, concerning me.” Now we know that refers to things to be completed. The word in this Luke text is the same word in the original as “fulfilled” in Matthew 5. And in Acts 19:21 the same word is translated “ended;” while in Acts 7:30 it is translated “expired” (“when the forty years were expired’)! All that shows the word surely means brought to the place where it fully served its purpose. In Matthew this word occurs 17 times, and 13 times it has to do with prophecy being fulfilled, which could not mean being continued.”
How did Jesus Fulfill the Law and the Prophets?
“by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.” Col 2:14 ESV
“by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace,” Eph 2:15 ESV
“He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.” 1 Pet 2:24 ESV
“When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.” Jhn 19:30 ESV
When I read all the related text, I see that to claim we are still under the Old Covenant would be to diminish the finished work of Christ on the cross.
If you want more material on Matt 5 I recommend these two sources
Click HERE for an audio sermon on the 10 Commandments by Pastor Mark Martin, a former SDA Pastor.
Further reading on this can be done in Sabbath in Christ by Dale Ratzlaff, please click HERE for more information. I highly recommend this book if you want to dig your teeth into the sabbath from an ex-adventist theological perspective.
A copy of Dialogue with a Seventh-Day Adventist by Samuel Fisk can be downloaded HERE.
Not easy brotheren.
I don’t follow your meaning. But thanks for visiting my blog.
Kindly stop this nonsense of interpreting the word of God as you wish with your egocentric desires. Your discussions contradict each other and contradict the basic principles of the word of God. What is the difference between you and satan for your works are asserting his mission. What you are doing is exactly what Satan does yet you call yourself an angel of light. Remove your deceptive theology from the word of God. I even wonder how the commandments you are talking of only relate to the sabbath and not the other 9. What makes you think in the new covenant you are talking off has no sabbath? On what account do you condemn the adulterers,coveters,thieves and idol worshipers if not by the same law you say is obsolete. If the son of God is subjected to the law by God Himself, who is man,you think the disobedient man is so special to God than His own son?
Thank you for reading and commenting. I am going to address your accusations one by one.
1) I do not interpret the Word of God as a wish, I interpret it as I do not wish to. That is one of the guidelines that I follow, if the Word is making you believe what you don’t want to believe that means you’re doing it right. I interpret scripture with scripture and govern clear texts over unclear. I have a series on Biblical Interpretation I recommend that you read that too.
2) Please demonstrate the claim that I am governed by Egocentric desires in my exposition of the Biblical text. I strive to be governed by the text not by myself, so if you see instances where I have failed please provide a specific example and carefully draw the nexus between ego and output. I would honestly like to know so I can rectify and repent. Baseless accusations though don’t do me or you any good.
3) I would like to know where I am contradicting myself, again, I need a specific example.
4) Do please detail the basic principles of the Word of God I am violating. As I understand the SDA hermeneutical methodology is to bend the word based on the unclear texts to whatever it is Ellen White taught. She is essentially the SDA hermeneutic. It was in finding clear passages that contradict these teachings that led me out.
5) If you believe the work of Satan is to proclaim the Gospel of Christ to the world then I believe we are not talking about Satan. As far as I understand, Satan would want me to not share the Truth of scripture with people. Again, I think we are using the wrong names. I endeavor to follow what Jesus told me to do, not Satan. I believe that Jesus completed the atonement, unlike SDA who say Satan does. So I think you are calling Jesus by the name of Satan to be honest. You can find more on this HERE.
6) I honestly don’t see where I have “deceptive theology”. I am reading the Bible and believing what it says, how is that deceptive? Is it deceptive because I’m not eisegeting the teachings of ellen white into the text? If that is how you are defining deceptive theology then I am guilty as charged.
7) I explain why murder and stealing (etc) is still wrong and the Sabbath is obsolete HERE. Please take a look.
8) The New Covenant Sabbath is rest in Christ. The day was type and shadow pointing to antitype fulfillment in the finished work of Christ on the cross. I demonstrate this Biblically HERE.
9) This is the same question you asked in #7 and I will give the same answer. I am not antinomian, I simply have biblical means of discerning the moral law rather than making it up as I go along to stay in line with Ellen White as SDA do. The moral law is defined as that which is prescriptively taught by the apostles after the cross. This is the only objective Biblical way of doing so. For a demonstration see my work HERE.
Thanks again for reading, and I do appreciate your comments as well as the chance to respond. God Bless.
Your brain is like a brick that can’t absorb the reality(scriptural facts) your heart is hardened like Pharoah’s heart.😩
With respect, I think it’s quite the opposite. Failing to imagine SDA theology into the text isn’t a product of a hardened heart. Simply taking it at face value and only recognizing what’s actually in the text is a product of submitting to it and believing what it says.
Simply am not convinced. You have diverted from the truth to destroy God’s people.
You expect me to steal or rob a bank and walk free, if the ten commendments are absolete?
Well thanks for reading friend. First I expect you to take the word obsolete seriously. Then I expect you to keep reading! You’re almost done keep going. I wrap up the law later. You can skip ahead here if you like.
“You expect me to steal or rob a bank and walk free, if the ten commendments are absolete?”
I expect you to to turn yourself in to the local police department, and let them know about your uncontrollable sociopathic urges. You are a menace to the rest of society. You have a duty to inform the authorities, so that innocents will not be harmed by your unconverted pagan desires.
Adventists demonstrated that the Ten Commandments do not work. When 4,000 Adventists were hacked to death with machetes by other Adventists during the Rwanda massacre; they justified this by claiming they kept Saturday by committing no murders that day. Very clearly, the Ten Commandments cannot contain the antisocial behavior of Adventists.
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This is one of the most valuable blogs you have done.
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