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Jesus and God's love, is it embodied in the Law, Precepts and Testimonies.

Discussion in 'Traditional Adventists' started by reddogs, Feb 12, 2007.

  1. reddogs

    reddogs Contributor Supporter

    The Law declares how we should love God and love Man as ones self, his precepts teach man about it and his testimonies make clear how to do it and point to the Law.

    Many peolple say they love Jesus yet they dont want to come close and have intimate relationship and accept the love he has if God's Law is part of it, yet it is His also as he was there at creation. Is the Law a extesion of God and His Son Jesus Christs' love.

    Does God's and His Son's Law show the clearest concept of unchanging love upon which all understanding of Him is founded or does God change his Law and rule by whatever happens to strike Him on any given day or time?

    In the Old Testament, God set forth his law and precepts for the people to follow, and these along with his testimonies were passed from Adam, to Noah, to Abraham, from father to son. As time went on and sin had its affects, many did not know the about God so he wrote in his own hand the part of that law is what is referred to as the Ten Commandments, but the precepts,and testimonies were still there and taught.

    Moses proclaimed to the people of Isreal: The Lord our God is one Lord; and, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God. He exhorted Israel to keep the commandments and testimonies and statutes of the Lord, that they may prosper.

    Deuteronomy 6:1-2 King James Version (KJV)
    1 Now these are the commandments, the statutes, and the judgments, which the Lord your God commanded to teach you, that ye might do them in the land whither ye go to possess it:

    2 That thou mightest fear the Lord thy God, to keep all his statutes and his commandments, which I command thee, thou, and thy son, and thy son's son, all the days of thy life; and that thy days may be prolonged.

    In Ecclesiastes we read, "The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no newthing under the sun" (Eccl.1:9). This means that history repeats, as verse 10 confirms (Also cp. Eccl. 3:15). Some think Jesus meant the same thing when he said, "all things Isaiah spoke about have been and shall be"(3 Nephi 23:3, BOM). meaning they "shall be" again. This would mean that Isaiah's words are not just history, that much of what he said is typological. In other words they typify future events. Jacob confirms this view when he said, "All things which have been given of God from the beginning of the world, unto man [the scriptures] are the typifying of him [Jesus Christ]" (2 Nephi 11:4, clarification added; cp. Mk. 24:27).

    These tell us that all the stories of the Old Testament are types or patterns that point the future Messiah, Jesus Christ, who in turn says to keep His commands and His testimony. This essay looks how the laws, precepts and testimonies were a embodiment of God, and point to Jesus Christ, and he points back to them as they were His from creation and continue to the end. They are what He is, and if we read his scripture and pray, the Holy Spirit gives us this understanding as ancient man did.

    The ancient pattern occurred in the days of King Josiah when a book that had been lost was discovered in the temple. This long lost book made King Josiah realize that Israel had drifted away from the commandments of the Lord. When he had read the book, "the king commanded, Go, enquire of the LORD for me, and for them that are left in Israel and in Judah, concerning the words of the book that is found: for great is the wrath of the LORD that is poured out upon us, because our fathers have not kept the word of the LORD, to do after all that is written in this book" (2 Chron. 34:14-21). "And the king went up into the house of the LORD, and all the men of Judah, . . . and he read in their ears all the words of the book of the covenant that was found in the house of the LORD. And the king stood in his place, and made a covenant before the LORD, to walk after the LORD, and to keep his commandments, and his testimonies, and his statutes, with all his heart, and with all his soul, to perform the words of the covenant which are written in this book.

    They discovered they were no longer keeping the "word of the Lord" as it was given to their fathers. Because of the knowledge they found in this book, they changed their ways and made new covenants with Jehovah, to keep His true "commandments and testimonies."

    The law pointed to salvation of man through Jesus Christ as God knew man could not keep the law even at creation, and so God sent His Son to come to earth, live as a man, and yet without sin, die on the cross and be resurrected to life to fulfill the laws requirement for sin. During this time on the earth Jesus gave us a number of guiding principles that show that these were His law, His precepts, His testimonies that were not to be forgotten.

    One of the fundamental reasons that Christians do not live the Christian life successfully is that they do not know God, his law, his precepts,or his testimonies very well and you cannot know God and what he gave us well without knowing His revelation of Himself.

    Can these aspects of God be known from through Creation? Yes, Romans 1:20 tells us "For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse." So his law, his precepts,his testimonies were seen in everything he did and made. What can we see in what he did during creation, he created man in his own image with freewill, he created the Sabbath for man, he made know the consequences of sin when he put the tree of knowledge.

    From this point forward it was clear in that within God's law, His precepts, His testimonies they contained the guiding principle that should be in our life, we should love the Lord our God with all are heart, mind, soul and strength and to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. Jesus repeated these In Mark 12:30-31 Christ was asked about the commandments and He summed up all God’s law into two simple statements: “Thou shalt Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul and with all thy strength...and...Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself - there is none other commandment greater than these.
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2019
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  2. reddogs

    reddogs Contributor Supporter

    David understood this as we see in many of his psalms:
    166 Lord, I have looked for your salvation
    and I have fulfilled your commandments.
    167 My soul has kept your testimonies
    and greatly have I loved them.
    168 I have kept your commandments and testimonies,
    for all my ways are before you. Psalm: 119: 166-168

    David understood the importance of the Scriptures in his daily life and he expressed that in many of the Psalms. In Psalm 19 David speaks of the Scriptures character, effects and value.
    Psalm 19:7-11 form a brief but instructive Hexapla containing 6 descriptive titles of the word, 6 characteristics of the word, and 6 divine effects or qualities of the word which is followed by a recognition of the supreme value of the Scriptures.
    The law of the LORD is perfect converting the soul
    The testimony of the LORD is sure making wise the simple
    The statutes of the LORD are right rejoicing the heart
    The commandments of the LORD are pure enlightening the eyes
    The fear of the LORD is clean enduring forever
    The judgments of the LORD are true they are righteous altogether
    They are to be desired more than Gold, yea, than much fine Gold; They are sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb. Moreover by them is Thy servant warned, and in keeping of them there is great reward.

    There are six titles or functions of the Word given. It is law, testimony, statutes, commandments, fear, and judgments. There are six characteristic qualities of the Word given. It is perfect, sure, right, pure, clean, and true. And there are six summary statements given which tell of a divine effect or quality of the Word. It converts or restores the soul, makes wise the simple, rejoices the heart, enlightens the eye, endures forever, and they are righteous. To this is added that Scripture is a warning to God's servants which brings about great reward when it is heeded.
    But notice that the key characteristic of this section is the repetition of the phrase "of the LORD." This is Yahweh, the covenant keeping God who has revealed Himself to men through the special revelation of His word. The emphasis is not upon Scripture itself, but on the LORD who has given Scripture to man.

    The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul.
    Scripture is the law, or "torah," of God. It is a set of regulations made of statutes, ordinances, precepts, commandments and testimonies. It is the general word for Scripture under which the specifics in the rest of the Psalm fall. It is the revelation of His will.
    This law is perfect, complete, whole, literally "all sided." Nothing needs to be added, and nothing should be taken away. If you add to the Law, you add the foolishness of men. If you take away from the Law, you remove part of God's direction. This Law is perfect. You cannot improve it, only follow it.
    The effect of the law is to convert or restore the soul. This word is used to signify repentance in the sense a beneficial reviving effect that permeates the very life and soul of a child of God. It speaks as much or more to those already saved as to those still lost.

    The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.
    The root meaning of testimony is "to bear witness." The law of God is His testimony because it is His own affirmation relative to His very person and purpose. The testimony of the Lord is God's authentication or confirmation of the Law.
    This testimony is sure, absolutely certain. There is no variation. When God wanted to show the sureness of His covenant with Abraham he swore by Himself (Heb. 6:13). This is the firm foundation upon which you can build your life.
    This testimony makes the simple wise. Simple does not mean foolish, but "open." The simple are ignorant, but want to know. They give attention to wisdom and incline their ears to understanding. They are the opposite of Proverbs 17:28 which says, "A fool does not delight in understanding, but only in revealing his own mind." The testimony of the LORD will give Godly wisdom to the one who is open to receiving it. The foolish will receive no such instruction.

    The Statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart.
    Statutes or precepts is a general term for the responsibility that God places on His people by the authority of His uttered word. These are the general principles by which the LORD wants us to live.
    These statutes are right, moral, fitting, proper. They are founded upon the righteousness of God and not on the vain philosophies and wisdom of men. They map out a straight course for a man to be guided by. Is it any wonder then that they cause the heart to rejoice?

    The commandments of the LORD are pure, enlightening the eyes.
    Commandments are the specifics of the general principles contained in the statutes/precepts of the Lord. These commandments are pure, without defilement, no mixture of error, no sin stain pollutes it. The NIV translates it as "radiant" in trying to express this purity. So pure it shines.
    The effect of it is an enlightenment of the eyes. Spiritual perception is diminished or non existent when it is surrounded by the darkness of sin. But the commandments of the LORD brings light to the subject so that you can see clearly.

    The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever.
    The fear of the LORD is wholesome reverence for the will of the LORD. It is a response of submission to God's authority and majesty. Proverbs says that the fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom and understanding, and it is a fountain of life (Prov. 1:7, 14:27).
    This is a proper fear, and it is clean. The Hebrew word for clean here refers to purified metals. The fear of the LORD purifies us from the dross (impurities) of life. When a person is confronted by the Lord, there is a proper fear that will purify.
    The fear of the LORD is clean, and it endures forever because its value never diminishes, and it imparts life. For believers, there will always be a proper fear or reverence of the Lord. For unbelievers, the fear of the Lord will come from the punishment they endure for eternity in Hell. In either case, the fear of the Lord endures forever.

    The Judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.
    There is no corruption in God's court, for His judgments are true. To judge in this sense is to decide between right and wrong and pronounce guilt or innocence. No evidence is overlooked. Everything is examined.
    There is a strong emphasis in this passage upon this word "true." It is the only noun among the corresponding adjectives and it implies utter dependability. God is judge over the lives of men and the verdicts He gives are true. Rev.20:12 says that God will judge from the things written in the books, according to their deeds. God's pronouncements are always accurate. Man will receive what he deserves. Gal. 6:7 "do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh shall from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit shall from the Spirit reap eternal life."
    All of these together are summarized as righteous. They are correct, holy. There can be no claim of injustice laid against God. He has given the Scriptures so that we might know Him and the path He wants us to walk. He has given us general principles and specific commandments. These are to change our lives; to cause us to repent; to make us wise; to bring joy to our hearts; to enlighten our eyes and bring us into a personal relationship with Him forever. God is righteous. His Word is righteous. David understood the Word of God to be something uniquely valuable.
    Vs. 10 They are more to be desired than gold, yea, than much fine gold. Sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honey comb. Moreover by them is Thy servant warned, in keeping them there is great reward.

    Christians should value and live by the words which the Lord spoke here on earth. What did Jesus say about the Law of God and did He in fact, substantiate that God has a divine Law?

    At the conclusion of His ministry Jesus declared to His very disciples, “I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.” (John 15:10). Jesus prefaced this statement of truth by instructing the disciples, “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.”

    Number one, Jesus declared that God does have a divine Law by which He governs all things. Number two, Jesus declared that God’s commandments are established on a “love” principle. Law-keeping may degenerate to legalism and a salvation-by-works kind of religion but this was not and is not God’s intention.

    After Moses had rehearsed the Ten Commandments in the hearing of Israel (Deuteronomy 5) he then instructed them in the succeeding chapter, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children.” (Deut. 6:4-7).

    God’s government has a divine Law and that Law governs His creation. His divine Law is founded on a love-principle. (Matthew 22:37-40). Legalism and mere formality in religion mean nothing to God anymore than merely mouthing the words “I love you” to your spouse in a mechanical way.

    Number three, Jesus spoke of God’s commandments as “His” commandments because He took ownership of them. He practiced and showed us how to obey God’s commandments. Jesus did not come to establish His own set of rules and commandments but rather gave the example of honoring and obeying God’s already established divine commandments. He clearly stated, “Do not think that I have come to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.” (Matthew 5:17). Does the word “fulfill” mean “take away” or “abolish” or “set aside” or “nail to the cross?” Or does “fulfill” mean what our Lord had already stated, “I have kept My Father’s commandments?”

    Jesus, Himself, answers this by saying in that same breath, “Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:19).
    It would have been ludicrous of Jesus to first of all, leave for us the example of “keeping My Father’s commandments” and then turning right around and saying, “Oh, but you don’t need to keep those commandments, just keep Mine.” Will heaven be a divided government with some people honoring the “Father’s Commandments” and others honoring “Jesus’ Commandments?”

    It was Lucifer who first rebelled against God’s government and was cast out of heaven for it. (Revelation 12:7-9; Isaiah 14:12-14). Would Jesus have come to likewise teach men to rebel against the Father’s commandments and instead keep His? When a questioner once approached Jesus and asked about eternal life, Jesus responded, “If you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.” The questioner asked which ones Jesus was referring to and Jesus without hesitation began to quote some of the Ten Commandments.

    Was Jesus promulgating legalism and a salvation-by-works kind of religion? The context tells us that Jesus wanted to get at the “heart” of the matter with this questioner. The questioner stated that he had been obeying the commandments of God all his life. Jesus then challenges this young man to give up all his possessions in order to test whether this man’s commandment-keeping was from the heart or mere legalism. (Matthew 19:16-22).
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2019
  3. reddogs

    reddogs Contributor Supporter

    This passage brings us to the question at hand. Why are we to honor the Law as written in the Ten Commandments above all the other laws, precepts, or statutes given in Scripture? The reason is they are the clearest understanding of God and his love, and the greatest reason of all is that Jesus left for us such an example. The next reason is stated right there in the chapter where Moses rehearsed the Law of God to God’s people, “These words the Lord spoke to all your assembly, in the mountain from the midst of the fire, the cloud, and the thick darkness, with a loud voice, and He added no more.” (Deuteronomy 5:22).

    Then Moses went on to say, “He wrote them on two tablets of stone and gave them to me.” God, Himself, differentiated His divine Law of Ten Commandments from all other commandments, statutes, ordinances and laws. The reason for this is that His government is founded upon these Ten Commandments. They are eternal while all other ones were for a specific purpose and design. The law of ceremonies and sacrifices, for example, were given to foreshadow the coming “Lamb of God,” the Messiah. (Heb. 10:1).

    Exodus 31:18 tells us that the Ten Commandments were “written with the finger of God” on “tablets of stone.” This is further emphasized with the words, “Now the tablets were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God.” (Exodus 32:16). When we read that Moses threw down the tablets of Ten Commandments, demonstrating that the people of God had rebelled against God’s government (Exodus 32:1-4, 19) we also read that God thought so much of the Ten Commandments that He replaced them Himself, “The Lord said to Moses, Cut two tablets of stone like the first ones, and I will write on these tablets the words that were on the first tablets which you broke.” (Exodus 34:1).

    These are the only set of laws that God wrote with His very own finger. To sum up, the Ten Commandments hold a particular place for each Christian believer because: 1) God, Himself, wrote them 2) Jesus, Himself, honored them 3) they are God’s direct revelation of truth (Psalm 119:142) 4) Jesus taught, “whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:19).

    So Gods love is revealed in his Law which Jesus reiterates and is what man needs to come to a understanding and accept if he wants a relationship with Him. His precepts are revealed in what he does with man, forgiving and preparing a plan of salvation through His Son. His testimonies are given to man directly from God, throught His prophets and through Jesus words, and the Holy Spirit as they come from the same source. You cannot know someone if you ignore the love they give you and show in everything they tell you and do for you..

    So how then do we accept a relationship that includes His expression of protection against sin.
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2019
  4. reddogs

    reddogs Contributor Supporter

    As for me, I accept in faith His Law of love as I cannot follow them on my own. So if I accept, I have to be clear in what it is that I am accepting... It is the Law as written, the Law as spoken by God and Jesus directly, the Law as inspired and His writers put into cannon, and the Law as given to the Prophets, and Law as shown to us by the Holy Spirit in the Spirit of Prophecy as you see where they all come from. They are all one and the same, just as God, His Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit....

    What does this mean then in my life?
  5. reddogs

    reddogs Contributor Supporter

    Let us begin with the Spirit of Prophecy, does it reflect the same understanding of Gods love, His Law, precepts and testimonies. This is where I look at Ellen G. White to see what she testifies with her message, does she uplift Gods love, His Law, precepts and testimonies all the way from creation to the second coming of Christ and into His Kingdom?
  6. Jimlarmore

    Jimlarmore Senior Veteran

    Thanks Reddogs, you have given a faithful witness here.

    I haven't read very many of EG White's books but the ones I have read have impacted my life like no other writings other than the Bible. I can feel the annointing of the Holy Spirit on them. She has been denigrated a lot in the last few years. I understand she predicted that would happen the closer we got to the second coming of Christ.

    The law??????? I have spent hours studying this in the last few months. I have to admit there has been times when this new covenant of grace teaching has confused my old belief on whether we should worry about keeping God's law or not. At one point I was ready to abandon it but I prayed a lot as I studied the Lord impressed on me to take the whole Bible as to what God wants on this. If you take the entire Bible you will not find one place where it says we are to abandon the ten commandments. You will not find one place where it says the law is no longer in effect. These are all ideas and beliefs that come from a misinterpretation of the Bible and what some of it's authors say.

    I think this present movement is one of satan's best deceptions ever and it's potentially going to kill a lot of folks in the end. I pray that the Holy Spirit will work on all who are sincerely seeking the truth.

    God Bless
    Jim Larmore
  7. reddogs

    reddogs Contributor Supporter

    Thanks Jim,

    But I must give all glory, and honor to God as I not be writing here and now unless he had led me back for a purpose. I feel badly that I do not have the spiritual gift of communication, either verbally or written, so it makes it hard to decipher my poor choice of words and like Moses I must rely on others words who speak the truth.
    Here is what tall73 wrote on Ellen G. White's theology in her writings...

    "....was Ellen White theologically correct?

    I split this off from the survey because I thought it would be interesting to talk about, but didn't want to violate the original intent of the author who said no debating in that thread.

    Originally Posted by woobadooba

    It all depends on what you mean by inspired. If you mean inspired in the same way the Bible writers were inspired I would have to disagree. For, she wasn't theologically correct about everything she said in her writings.


    Neither were the new testament writers.

    Let's look at an example.

    MT 2:14 So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, 15 where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: "Out of Egypt I called my son."
    Now it seems like he is saying it is a prophecy about Jesus. But is that theologically true to the earlier text?

    HOS 11:1 "When Israel was a child, I loved him,
    and out of Egypt I called my son.

    HOS 11:2 But the more I called Israel,
    the further they went from me.
    They sacrificed to the Baals
    and they burned incense to images.
    Here we see the original, and it is clear it is talking about the nation of Israel. Now Matthew might have been, as some claim, using a common proof text method of the time, which...in some strange way, would appeal to certain people, but from our viewpoint we think he was way off.

    The point is, God can inspire writers to use texts even in different ways than they were originally meant. EGW for instance I think was off as far as biblical exegesis in the story of the wheat and tares. She said the field was the church, when Jesus plainly said it was the world. But she went on to make points from it that might have still been inspired, but were not in line with the original intent.

    Does that mean that she was not inspired? No more than Matthew was not...."

    and this has been my understanding, when the Holy Spirit guides you it goes through your mind and heart just like when it convicts a sinner of his need of repentance, so the writer still has to put it down in their words as clearly as he/she grasps it. (Only what God writes directly, such as the 10 commandments get around this) The Spirit of Prophecy was part of the testimonies to man since creation, and this is what Jesus made clear again when he told the disciples he left the Holy Spirit comfort and guide us right before he ascended, so the Spirit of God comminicates and guides man just as the words of Jesus did as they are from the same source. The Spirit of God gives inpiration to the writers of the scriptures, to the prophets, and those it chooses like Ellen G. White. This is why I say we must be careful when we ignore the testimonies as they are given us by the Spirit of God as well as directly by Jesus' spoken words.