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Why Did God Use Law?
A theologian recently posed the following question to me:
What was the purpose of the "ceremonial law"? Why is it "changeable" (or "fulfill-able; what was "fulfilled)?
When White says "The Holy Spirit saw good not to impose the ceremonial law on the Gentile converts, and the mind of the apostles regarding this matter was as the mind of the Spirit of God," (AA194), that implies there was a time when it WAS imposed, with serious consequences for disobedience. How would your approach handle such situations? (I use this example as your EGW quote above specifically excludes the ceremonial). Sincere question, if you've the time.
Thank you for your sincere question, and one that is very reasonable, given how God HAS used imposed laws in human history, as you mention.
Keeping in mind all the previous Bible and EGW quotes about God’s law being the law of love, the simple answer is – because sin damaged the mind of mankind such that we could no longer properly comprehend God and His law, thus He stepped in and communicated in a way they could comprehend, in order to protect and lead them back to Him and His design.
As Paul states:
“We know that the law is good if one uses it properly. We also know that law is made NOT for the righteous, but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious; for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, for adulterers and perverts, for slave traders and liars and perjurers—and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine that conforms to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me” (1 Tim. 1:8-11, NIV).
Why? Because we needed a diagnostic instrument to inform us of the sick condition of our being, as Paul says elsewhere, we would not know what sin is if it wasn’t for the law.
EGW puts it this way:
“If man had kept the law of God, as given to Adam after his fall, preserved by Noah, and observed by Abraham, there would have been no necessity for the ordinance of circumcision. And if the descendants of Abraham had kept the covenant, of which circumcision was a sign, they would never have been seduced into idolatry, nor would it have been necessary for them to suffer a life of bondage in Egypt; they would have kept God's law in mind, and there would have been no necessity for it to be proclaimed from Sinai or engraved upon the tables of stone. And had the people practiced the principles of the Ten Commandments, there would have been no need of the additional directions given to Moses. -- Patriarchs and Prophets, pg. 364
And EGW states explicitly that the law that God ADDED after sin included the 10 Commandments, which is the distilled written version of the Law of Love that was always in existence:
“I am asked concerning the law in Galatians. What law is the schoolmaster to bring us to Christ? I answer: BOTH the ceremonial and the moral code of ten commandments… "The law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith" (Gal. 3:24). In this scripture, the Holy Spirit through the apostle is speaking ESPECIALLY of the moral law. -- 1st Selected Messages, pp. 233, 234
The Moral law of the 10 Commandments didn’t exist in that form before humanity sinned – angels didn’t have a law of sin passing down the generations, or honoring mother and father. And Sabbath didn’t exist until this earth and sun were made. But the law of love, as described earlier, being an expression of God’s character and the protocols upon which life is built, has always been in existence. The 10 Commandments were a codification of the law of love especially written for humanity in its fallen state.
Paul tells us in Hebrews 5-6 that the immature infants still on milk “are not acquainted with righteousness” and then he tells us what the elementary or infant formula is, which is not yet righteous:
“Therefore let us move beyond the elementary teachings about Christ and be taken forward to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death…” Heb 6:1
Note, the focus on acts that lead to death (breaking the rules, law keeping) is not mature, it is childish and not righteous. We must grow up to the full statures of sons and daughters of God.
There are seven levels of understanding right and wrong. Because God is love, God speaks to each person at their level of development, just as a parent speaks to their children in different ways at various stages of development. A parent explains things differently to a 3 year old than to a 30 year old. So does God.
The seven levels are:
FREE Seminar DVDs!
All three of our seminars are now FREE, including shipping to the US, Canada, and Australia/New Zealand (via our Australian distrubution center). However, we regret that due to extraordinary over-seas shipping costs, delivery to all other countries from the US has been discontinued. Instead we have set up two distribution hubs, one in Australia and one in South Africa for those in those countries to order from (see below).
Despite the above challenge to our resources, we've been very encouraged by the overwhelming response to our seminars! In fact, many who order just one copy discover just how beneficial the material is and end up ordering another set to share, then ordering multiple amounts again to pass out. So, to help reduce these multiple mailings (and postage), we encourage you to watch the seminars on-line before ordering. This way you can better determine if you will want to order more than just one or two copies each and instead order as many as you think you can share. Click the titles of each seminar below to watch.
Provide name, complete shipping address, which seminars, and quantity each.
God And Your Brain: A three-part, 2-disc seminar recorded live, November, 2013, in which Christian psychiatrist Dr. Tim Jennings explores how our brains are in a constant state of flux and how our view of God changes us, physically and spiritually. As you watch these professionally produced presentations you will discover how your beliefs change your brain wiring, your physical health, and how even certain genes are turned on and off.
- The God-Shaped Brain - How Changing Your View of God Transforms Your Life
- Designer or Dictator? An Exploration of God's Law and Justice
- Buddha, Jesus, and The Brain
Healing The Mind: A six-part, 3-disc seminar recorded live in 2008, in which Christian psychiatrist Dr. Tim Jennings equips you with tools necessary to successfully cooperate with God for the healing of your mind. You will learn how the mind was designed to work, how sin damaged the mind, how God's methods heal the mind, how God's law of Love and Liberty impact mental and relational health, and how our thoughts and choices affect brain wiring and neural development.
- The Mind - God's Design, What Went Wrong?
- God's Principle - The Law of Love and Liberty
- The Fix for Failing Families
- Demolishing Satan's Strongholds
- Depression - The Brain and Body Connection
Modern Medicine, Biblical Technology, and the Brain: A six-part, 2-disc seminar recorded live, September, 2012, in which Dr. James Marcum, speaker/director of Heartwise Ministries and a board-certified cardiologist practicing with the Chattanooga Heart Institute, TN and Christian pyschiatrist Dr. Tim Jennings teach you how the mind was designed to work, how sin damaged the mind, how God’s methods heal the mind, and how God’s law of love and liberty impacts mental and relational health. They also explore the connection between the mind and brain and how your thoughts and choices affects your brain.
- Balance in Health Care
- The Developing Brain
- The Science of Belief
- Prolonged Exposure
- Drug-free Treatments for Depression
- The Aging Brain
Are you watching our LIVE webcast every Saturday at 10:20am Eastern? If not, you're missing an opportunity to participate in our bible study class! Not in the same time zone? No problem! You can watch the recorded webcasts below (click the full-screen icon on the lower right corner while playing).
"The God-Shaped Brain"
In this book Dr. Tim Jennings introduces you to the Integrative, Evidence-Based approach of understanding scripture. This method harmonizes scripture, science, and experience. He presents the Great Controversy over God's character and contrasts the two views of His Law, documenting the impact each view has upon neuro-development, mental health, and physical and relationship health. He presents a complete atonement model explaining why Christ had to die and answers questions, contrasting the various views about our origins, judgment, punishment, and God's wrath, identifying which one can heal any kind of person.
The last chapter entitled, "Buddha, Jesus and The Brain," explores the difference in how Buddha and Jesus dealt with their confrontation with death and the significant impact on brain function and structure that eastern meditation has compared to Biblical meditation.
This book makes a compelling, evidenced-based case for a God of love and His methods of love. It is easy to understand and brings to a practical level why it is so important to live in harmony with God and his design for life.
The publisher, InterVarsity Press, has not translated this book into any other languages at this time.
Click Here to read the PDF companion STUDY GUIDE. It's FREE to download and print by right-clicking.
Find The Materials You Need
Over the years Come and Reason Ministries has amassed a library of articles on many topics you have questions about. From justification to punishment to the sanctuary to God's wrath and so much more, your questions can usually be answered simply by doing a SEARCH of this site using the search box above!
Biblical Keywords: Comparing Definitions
Many times on issues like justice, judgment, atonement, satisfaction, etc. we encounter conflicts with others who seem to not appreciate or oppose what we are saying. In our Bible study class we have for some months now explored truth by contrasting the two ways God’s law is viewed – natural or imposed. It struck me that comparing how these key words are defined under these two opposing law constructs would help clarify much of the terminology used in Scripture and expose why there is so much confusion. To that end I’ve created a chart of these biblical keywords and concepts and compare how they are defined under each of these views of God's Law. Click Here to get it!
Love, Truth, and Freedom Study Guides
Our second Love, True, & Freedom Bible Study Guide is now available for download and on-line reading as a print-ready PDF!
The topic of this 13 week study is: The Cosmic Conflict Over God's Character, by Drs. Brad and Dorothee Cole, both practicing neurologists. Brad is also a professor of neurology at Loma Linda University School of Medicine, Loma Linda, CA.
The Coles have an enormous amount of additional media material authored by them and many others available on thier God's Character website.
Get your FREE copy of "Love, Truth, & Freedom Bible Study Guide: The Cosmic Conflict" here!
HeartWise Ministries, Chattanooga, TN, is dedicated to helping God’s children find the Biblical truth in this over-marketed society. They are a unique ministry in today’s world for those seeking this truth that leads to love, which is the ultimate path to healing, both physically and spiritually.
Visit the Heartwise website at HeartwiseMinistires.org to watch recently televised episodes of "The Heart of Health - Live!"
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