A Response to the Video:
Seventh-day Adventism, the Spirit Behind the Church
by Bob Pickle
Answers to Questions Raised by:
Mark Martin, Sydney Cleveland
Dale Ratzlaff, The White Lie
. . . and Others
Discern Fact from Fiction
Salvation, Grace, and Obedience
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|#150 & #151: "Yet the Bible teaches that we are under a New Covenant and the
Old Covenant is obsolete.
Christ is the end of the law."—Mark Martin.|
#150: We're under the New Covenant
now. Though this is a popular antinomian argument, it doesn't make sense in
the light of the
only New Testament passage that describes the New Covenant:
For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for
the second. For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold,
the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and
with the house of Judah: . . . For this is the covenant
that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws
into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will
be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people. (Heb. 8:7-10)
First of all, this passage clearly says that the problem with the Old Covenant was the
people, not [p. 99] the law. This harmonizes with how Romans
7:12 says that "the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good." There is
nothing wrong with the law.
Secondly, the passage clearly says that the New Covenant is God's writing His laws in
our hearts and minds. If we don't have to obey the
law under the New Covenant, how then can the New Covenant be God's writing His law in
In looking for what the difference between the Old Covenant and New Covenant is, the
following verses can be helpful:
And all the people answered together, and said, All that the LORD hath spoken
we will do. (Ex. 19:8)
And Moses came and told the people all the words of the LORD, and all the
judgments: and all the people answered with one voice, and said,
All the words which the LORD hath said will we do. (Ex. 24:3)
And he took the book of the covenant, and read in the audience of the people: and they
said, All that the LORD hath said will we do, and be
obedient. (Ex. 24:7)
They said they would obey, but since their promise didn't last forty days, they must
have been trying to do it on their own. It is utterly
impossible for us to write God's laws in our own hearts and minds. Only God can do that,
for only He can convert the heart and bring us into
repentance and obedience.
Therefore, a major difference between the Old and New Covenants must be who does
the writing upon the heart. Under the Old, the people
try to do it themselves, all in vain. Under the new, we let God do it.
Is the law of the New Covenant that's written in our hearts the Ten Commandments,
or is it some other law? That's a fair question, and it
deserves a fair answer.
"And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the
ark of his testament" (Rev. 11:19). Since "testament"
is translated from the Greek word for "covenant," what we are seeing in this verse is the ark
of God's covenant. But is it the ark of the Old
Covenant or the New? Two points may be considered.
First, this verse is speaking of events that happen at the end of time. Since the Old
Covenant is long since gone by the end of time, this ark
must be the ark of the New Covenant.
Second, the sanctuary and its furniture that Moses made were but copies of the
heavenly originals, and these originals belong to the New
Covenant (Heb. 8:2, 5; 9:1). Since Revelation's ark is in a temple in heaven, not a temple
on earth, it must therefore be the original ark, the ark
of God's New Covenant.
But what was the purpose of the ark? Primarily, it served as a box to hold the Ten
Commandments, the "tables of the covenant" (Deut. 9:9-11;
10:4). This is how it got its name. Thus Revelation's ark of God's New Covenant must
likewise have "tables of the covenant" inside. Otherwise,
the phrase "ark of his testament" is meaningless.
There is but one question left. Do the tables inside the ark of the Old Covenant and the
tables inside the ark of the New Covenant read the
same? Well, if the sanctuary that Moses made was but a copy of the heavenly, and if the ark
he made was but a copy of the original in heaven,
would not the earthly tables also be a copy of the originals in heaven? Of course!
#151: Christ is the end of the law. This too is a popular
antinomian argument, taken from Romans 10:4. Yet it contradicts what Christ
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. (Mat.
It also makes Paul contradict himself in the very same book: "Do we then make void
the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish
the law" (Rom. 3:31).
So what does "Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that
believeth" mean? "Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and
have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy" (James
5:11). Apparently, "end" has more than one meaning,
unless we want to say that the "Lord" has ended.
"End" in Romans 10:4 means "that which the law leads to." This makes the text
parallel the thought of another passage of Paul: "Wherefore
the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But
after that faith is come, we are no longer under
a schoolmaster" (Gal. 3:24, 25).
The law tells us what God requires and what sin is (Rom. 3:20; 7:7). When we realize
our helplessness to atone for the past and to live in
the present, we are drawn to Christ as our only hope. Christ is thus the "end" of the law
because the law leads us to Christ.
Back to the ark of the covenant for a moment. "And after that I looked, and, behold,
the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven
was opened" (Rev. 15:5). Notice how the heavenly temple is described as the "tabernacle of
testimony." Often in the Old Testament the
tabernacle was called the tabernacle of testimony or witness. Why? Because the ark was
inside, and it was called the ark of testimony or witness.
And why was it called that? Because it [p. 100] contained the
"tables of testimony" (Ex. 38:21; 25:16; 31:18; 32:15; 34:29). And why are the Ten
Commandments called tables of testimony? Because they testify and tell us exactly what sin
is, and how we are in dire need of a Savior.
The prophet Micah foretold the second coming (Mic. 1:3, 4). In that context, he had
this to say to everyone in the end of time, whether Jew
or Gentile: "Hear, all ye people; hearken, O earth, and all that therein is: and let the Lord
GOD be witness against you, the Lord from his holy
temple" (Mic. 1:2).
Will we let God testify to us about our sins through the Ten Commandments of His
heavenly temple? Or shall we shut our ears to what God
says through His Word, go on in our disobedience and sin, and be lost in the end? Dear
reader, won't you choose to follow Christ wherever He
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