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Does The NEW COVENANT Abolished the OLD TESTAMENT LAW?

Does The NEW COVENANT Abolished the OLD TESTAMENT LAW?

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Published by MustardSeedNews
With the fourth commandment having recently been declared a mere suggestion, it's worthwhile to review much of Pasadena's present doctrinal agenda. Are the Sabbath, Holy Days, and tithing all voluntary? According to Mr. Tkach, they are: "But the Sabbath and Holy Days, along with the other ceremonial observances of the old covenant, are fulfilled in Christ and are not binding in their physical observance in the new covenant." "Under the new covenant the tithe is voluntary, done out of love and allegiance to Jesus Christ." On the contrary, below it shall be argued that the Sabbath, tithing, and the Holy Days are all still binding on new covenant Christians, drawing heavily upon Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) and other sources concerning the law and the Sabbath...
With the fourth commandment having recently been declared a mere suggestion, it's worthwhile to review much of Pasadena's present doctrinal agenda. Are the Sabbath, Holy Days, and tithing all voluntary? According to Mr. Tkach, they are: "But the Sabbath and Holy Days, along with the other ceremonial observances of the old covenant, are fulfilled in Christ and are not binding in their physical observance in the new covenant." "Under the new covenant the tithe is voluntary, done out of love and allegiance to Jesus Christ." On the contrary, below it shall be argued that the Sabbath, tithing, and the Holy Days are all still binding on new covenant Christians, drawing heavily upon Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) and other sources concerning the law and the Sabbath...

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Published by: MustardSeedNews on Dec 15, 2009
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01/13/2013

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[Fourth revised version, with subtitles]
By Eric V. Snow
 
 2
WW
ith the fourth commandment having recently been declared a mere suggestion, it's worthwhile toreview much of Pasadena's present doctrinal agenda. Are the Sabbath, Holy Days, and tithing all voluntary?
1[1]
 According to Mr. Tkach, they are: "But the Sabbath and Holy Days, along with the other ceremonial observances of the old covenant, are fulfilled in Christ and are not binding in their physical observance in the new covenant."
2[2]
 "Under the new covenant the tithe is voluntary, done out of love and allegiance to Jesus Christ."
3[3]
On the contrary, below it shall be argued that the Sabbath, tithing, and the Holy Days are all still binding on new covenant Christians,drawing heavily upon Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) and other sources concerning the law and the Sabbath.
KEY ASSUMPTIONS OF PASADENA’S IN INTERPRETING THE BIBLE
Certain key assumptions buttress Pasadena's reasoning abolishing the Sabbath, the Holy Days, and tithing. As powerful and disturbing as its reasoning may seem initially, once its principles of Bible interpretation are exposed for closer examination, they become highly questionable. Often little time has been spent really proving theseassumptions, as opposed to applying them in abolishing various Old Testament laws as applying to Christians. Herewe'll list some of Pasadena's key assumptions and/or assertions:1. Dispensationalism, the view that God works with His people in [very] different ways during different stages of his master plan for humanity, is the most important foundational belief of these new teachings: "Prophecies [such asZech. 14's about the Feast of Tabernacles being celebrated in the millennium] (whether New Testament or OldTestament, whether about Sabbaths or sacrifices or circumcision) are not a reliable source of proof regarding Christian practice. Our doctrines must be based on scriptures that are applicable to the age we live in. . . . We should use the lawin a lawful way?and the new covenant, the law that Christians are now under, does not permit us to dictate when andhow much time other Christians should give to the Lord. . . . We want to uphold the law in the way that is appropriateto the age after the coming of Christ and the Holy Spirit."
4[4]
 2. Accordingly, a radical discontinuity is asserted to exist between Christianity and Judaism, in which basicallyeverything about the latter was abolished or transformed by the death and resurrection of Christ, instead of beingmerely reformed, modified, or fulfilled in the sense of completion, not abolition: "Just as the sacrifices were shadowsthat pointed to Christ and were superseded by him, the old covenant worship days were also shadows that pointed toChrist. Now that he has come, the days are no longer standards by which we are judged. The proper standard is JesusChrist. At the last judgment, the definitive questions will not be about days, but about faith in Jesus Christ. Hiscoming has made an enormous differences in the way God's people should worship in spirit and truth. We have onlyrecently begun to realize how significant his death and resurrection have been to both faith and practice."
5[5]
 3. Correspondingly, since in this new covenant dispensation Christ's sacrifice has changed everything, an OldTestament law can only be assumed to be in force if repeated in the New Testament [especially in Paul's letters]: "A New Testament authority is needed before any old practices are continued. That's because the law of Moses, the oldcovenant, the Torah, is obsolete."
6[6]
"We must look elsewhere in the Bible to see which laws have continuing validity
1[1]
If these observances are voluntary, i.e. not binding, they have been abolished. Special note: This essay may be freely copied and published byothers, by electronic and photocopier means. Its dissemination is strongly encouraged by those who wish to defend the past truths of theWorldwide Church of God. However, the author reserves the right to publish it under his own name.
2[2]
Joseph W. Tkach, "Personal from Joseph W. Tkach New light on the Sabbath, Holy Days, unclean meats," Worldwide News (WWN),January 24, 1995, p. 5. This article shall be called WWN2 below. All emphases found in WWN articles and other sources (besides Scripture)are original to them unless otherwise noted.
3[3]
Joseph W. Tkach, "Personal from Joseph W. Tkach Understanding the covenants," WWN, January 10, 1995, p. 5. This article is namedWWN1 below.
4[4]
"What do the Scriptures say about the Sabbath?," WWN, May 23, 1995, pp. 7, 12. This issue of the WWN is labeled WWN4 below.
 
5[5]
Ibid., p. 10.
6[6]
Joseph W. Tkach, "Personal from Joseph W. Tkach New covenant: agreement with God," WWN4, p. 4.
 
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and which do not. We cannot assume that 'old covenant laws are still valid unless specifically rescinded in thenew'?the new covenant has made the old covenant obsolete and the old laws have been set aside."
7[7]
 4. The old covenant is asserted to be the same thing as the Old Testament law, and the former has clearly ended, thusabolishing the latter?s commands as binding on Christians: "The Ten Commandments were not separate from the oldcovenant?they were the old covenant (Exodus 34:28). They were the preamble and the core of the covenant. . . . Thelaw?the entire old covenant?was in force until Christ came (Galatians 3:25; Hebrews 9:10)."
8[8]
 5. The law of Moses, the Torah, the old covenant and the Old Testament law are essentially all one and the samething, and it all got obliterated in one huge chunk: "When the book of Hebrews says that the old covenant is obsolete,it is discounting the whole package of Old Testament law. Some individual laws, of course, are still valid, but the package as a whole is not an authoritative package. . . . The law of Moses included civil laws, religious ceremonies and prophecies. It referred to everything that Moses wrote, the books of Moses, the Torah or the Law. The law of Mosesincludes everything in those books, and that's what the Jerusalem council [of Acts 15] was about. . . . The writings of Moses do not have authority over Christians. Some of the laws, of course, are still valid, but they are not valid merely because God gave them to Moses. Rather, if they are valid, they are valid for other reasons."
9[9]
 6. Finally, the argument from silence is employed, using implicit dispensationalist premises: If a law isn't mentionedin the New Testament, it must be abolished. For everything must be changed, unless the New Testament (and Paul in particular) says otherwise: "If the Sabbath were a requirement, it would be astonishing that the New Testament never mentions such an important command. It has space for all sorts of other commands, including holy kisses, but nooccasion to command the Sabbath. Sweeping statements are made regarding the old covenant law, but never doesanyone say, 'except the Sabbath.' . . . Paul dealt with numerous problems of Christian living, and he lists numeroussins that can keep people out of the kingdom of God, but he never mentions the Sabbath."
10[10]
 Such reasoning may initially sound very persuasive. No doubt, because the world's Christianity, especially evangelicalProtestantism, believes these tenets, they come to have an emotional resonance because rejecting them puts us in asmall, despised, "cultic" minority. However, surprisingly, some of these positions summarized above are assertionsthat often got little or no proof in the WCG writings announcing these changes, such as those favoringdispensationalism and the radical discontinuity theses. (Indeed, Pasadena rarely uses the "D" word in anything I'veread, which may imply they are taken this belief 's
11[11]
truthfulness for granted). Others, such as the view that the oldcovenant and the Ten Commandments (or the Old Testament law) are one and the same thing, are simply flatly wrong.The assertion that all Old Testament laws are abolished unless repeated in the New Testament, instead of them being inforce unless specifically abolished is just that: an assertion, based heavily upon dubious claims about Acts 15abolishing the entire law of Moses, not just circumcision. The argument from silence is a logical fallacy, which isfurthermore assuming at its base that the dispensationalism and the radical discontinuity theses are true: Sayingnothing obliterates the laws of the Old Testament, as opposed to assuming silence means nothing has changed. Let's begin to examine these assumptions below.
THE FOUNDATIONAL ASSUMPTION OF DISPENSATIONALISM
First, we need examine carefully the foundational doctrine being pushed by Pasadena nowadays:dispensationalism, laced with some antinomian tendencies. Dispensationalism can be defined as the view that Godworks with humans in (often) very different ways at different times. Basically, it says the Old Testament was a regimeof law, while the New Testament revealed an era of grace. Normally, it adds the view that the Jews are still God'schosen people, and He will continue to deal with them spiritually differently,
12[12]
including even during the
7[7]
?Sabbath," WWN4, pp. 6-7.
8[8]
Ibid., p. 6, 10.
 
9[9]
Tkach, "Personal," WWN4, pp. 2-3. Radical rhetoric like this may justifiably cause you to wonder if Pasadena REALLY thinks the first five books of the Bible are still in the canon!
 
10[10]
"Sabbath," WWN4, p. 10.
 
11[11]
That is, up to about June l995, when I got cut off from the WWN's mailing list.
 
12[12]
This statement is found in the SDA summary of the futurist view of prophecy: "That the Jews will be, even during the millennium,

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