Gail

Now the fallout

74 posts in this topic

People on both sides believe that the issue is fundamental to end-time faith and critically important.

Deaconess, Kevin H, hch and 1 other like this

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Gail  There is a silver lining to this vote on womans ordination

Look at the facts

1990 vote

1173   NO   76%

377 Yes      24%

 

1995 vote

1481 NO  69%

673   Yes 31%

2015 Vote

1381 No  59%

977 Yes  41%

Each time we vote on this issue it gets closer and closer. We have only less than 300 votes in North american and Europ so a large vote from the third world supported us on this issue. Many young people in africa and South America support this issue. It is only a matter of time. We will get womans ordination passed. At the rate the stats are going we will have it in 20 years. Just be patient. Victory will be ours on this issue.

 

 

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There are some serious underlying issues involved in this that I have never seen anyone else on any of the SDA forums willing to discuss.  The matter of women's ordination is simply a symptom of the more basic discussion of Old Covenant vs. New Covenant.  This denomination is very much an Old Covenant religion and nearly every major doctrinal vote since the beginning has come down on the side of the Old Covenant.  The first major vote was 1888 and the Old Covenant believers won.  We eventually did accept the doctrine of righteousness by faith (at least with lip service -- too many of us still believe and preach righteousness by our works only, even while claiming we are not doing so) so now God is using a separate issue that still indicates the greater underlying problem that none of us will discuss.

Until the pro-women's ordination people learn the differences between Old Covenant and New Covenant, and the expression of God's Law (the same law in both cases) in terms of Old Covenant types and shadows and New Covenant realities they will continue to lose these votes (yes you are losing even if it is now only by smaller margins) because the Old Covenant faction of the denomination has such clear biblical law on their side, and you, like the rest of Christianity have thrown away the law instead of following the example of Jesus and Paul who learned what these Old Covenant symbols meant and taught how the law was to be applied under the New Covenant. 

Long before 1888 God told Ellen White to be doing this as well, but his instructions to her were implicit, not explicit and she missed those instructions just as completely as the rest of the teachers and leaders of the denomination have.  As a result the diligent searcher can find statements in her writings stating that the Law of Moses is no longer valid in any way AND that the entire law is still valid but has taken different form, but one never really finds her explaining how those same laws apply under the New Covenant, in which we are still required to take the blood of the lamb into the New Covenant temple (well defined in scripture but not SDA teaching as the body of Christ, both as individuals -- we are each the temple of the holy spirit yet are each only living stones in the New Covenant temple -- and as a corporate body {those who over come are both the body of Christ and the New Covenant temple itself and new living stones are being constantly added to this temple}) and that blood is to be applied to the alter in that temple (our hearts) changing our hearts as God writes his laws on them (Jeremiah 31:31-34 and quoted by Paul in Hebrews 8:8-12) from hearts of stone to hearts of flesh (Ezekiel 11:19 and 36:26), and eventually into living, beating hearts in living bodies (Ezekiel 37:4-10). 

Ellen White made numerous statements in her writings that the entire Hebrew (Jewish) Economy and/or laws (they are really one in the same) is a prophecy of the plan of salvation.  The most direct and pointed statement I have ever read about this is the one in either Patriarchs and Prophets or Prophets and Kings.  I do not recall which, and have not been able to find it again, even in search engines that search her writings.  The similar statement in Desire of Ages is rather easily found in the Readers Guide to her writings as well as in the search engines, but it is not quite as direct a statement.  Many other similar statements are easily found in her writings, yet she never set out to systematically study the recorded law as a prophecy of the plan of salvation, and very pointedly limited such prophecy to the sacrificial system instead of the entire economy in the majority of her writing on the subject and I don't know of any other SDA theologian or teacher who has made any effort to correct this lapse.  I know of many who try to prove the law was thrown away and is of no value to us today, even as study of prophecy. This means our prophetic interpretation is also seriously flawed on nearly every issue. 

This is nothing new.  In John 5 Jesus addressed this very issue to the religious leaders, teachers and theologians of his day saying, 45 “But do not think I will accuse you before the Father. Your accuser is Moses, on whom your hopes are set. 46 If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me. 47 But since you do not believe what he wrote, how are you going to believe what I say?”  Every word of the law, every act of their economy, which is defined by that law, is prophecy of the plan of salvation and if we do not study that law AS PROPHECY we have no understanding at all of prophecy. 

There is an important point God made in Numbers 12 which no SDA other than myself that I am aware of ever includes in their prophecy teaching.  When Miriam and Aaron rebelled against Moses because they were also prophets and God had spoken through them God took exception to this and called all three of them to the door of the tent of meeting.  There he called Miriam and Aaron forward and chastised them, giving additional punishment to Miriam (indicating that apparently she led Aaron into this particular sin of rebellion.)  There God said,

“Listen to my words:

“When there is a prophet among you,
    I, the Lord, reveal myself to them in visions,
    I speak to them in dreams.
But this is not true of my servant Moses;
    he is faithful in all my house.
With him I speak face to face,
    clearly and not in riddles;
    he sees the form of the Lord.
Why then were you not afraid
    to speak against my servant Moses?”

A quick side issue here is that there are apostles in the Old Testament.  Moses was not the first but he is the first clearly identified as such (provided one is aware of the hierarchy of church offices located in 1 Corinthians 12:27 in which the first three offices are listed as apostle, prophet and teacher, or the five-fold ministry listed in Ephesians 4:11 where they are listed as apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers.  Together these comprise the priesthood; pastors are not the only legitimate priests as we tend to teach the equivalencies.  Furthermore, Jesus defines apostles in John 15:15 as friends, not servants, so when James tells us (James 2:23) that the scriptures called Abraham God's friend, he is telling us that Abraham was not merely a prophet as the Jews believed, but he was an apostle.

A difference defined here between a prophet and an apostle is that God speaks to a prophet through dreams and visions.  To an apostle God speaks directly while he is awake and aware.  Furthermore, God speaks to the prophet in riddles and symbolism.  If we correct the translation error in verse 8 in this quote from the NIV we find that God speaks to the apostle mouth to mouth, meaning both use the same language and both understand it fully.  There is no symbolism here, or if there is the prophet has a full understanding of what those symbols are simplifying for us (or hiding from us -- symbolism has both functions, and the hiding is the reason Jesus spoke in parables (Matthew 13:11-17, including a quote from Isaiah 6:9, 10).  Everything the prophet sees, and much of what the apostle writes is in this kind of symbolism.  Paul speaks of the purpose of us being able to begin to see and understand spiritual things through these symbols and "children's toys" (1 Corinthians 13:9-12) and Jesus speaks of the need to hide spiritual things from those who do not believe.  Both functions are necessary, but we see here that the prophet does not have and probably never has full spiritual understanding of the things God reveals through him/her, and thus CANNOT reveal that full understanding, while the apostle does have the full understanding, but will often follow the example of God and use the symbolism to hide the full spiritual meaning. 

Paul says, "9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears." (1 Corinthians 12)  Paul also says, 14 "We know that the law is spiritual; but I am carnal (of the flesh), sold as a slave to sin."  I have taken the liberty to add a correction to what we usually interpret carnal to mean.  It does not mean sinful, it simply means fleshly.  This is an important distinction that is critical to properly teaching the issue of women's ordination, but which I have never seen any of the supporters of this doctrine demonstrate any awareness.  The law is prophecy and it is spiritual.  Therefore, God gave the law to Moses in a symbolic form and that is how he presented it to us.  Both purposes apply.  Spiritual things can be supremely difficult to understand and to learn.  They must be simplified (and made safe) using children's toys (you give a child a plastic mallet, not a real hammer that can easily be used to kill if he is careless or intentionally dangerous.)  Once maturity and understanding come you give the young man the real thing to go out and learn to use it properly, and the Father has the responsibility to determine first when the child can go through the right of passage into youth and begin learning with the real things, and later when the youth can go through the final adoption ceremony and become a "father" with the full responsibility to teach his employees and children these things (using the terminology John uses in 1 John 2:12-14, and even continues later in the epistle. 

When one starts studying God's law (as given to Moses) as prophecy it does not take long to learn we are more Greek than Hebrew in our thinking and understanding and there is much to be corrected.  It also does not take long to learn that men represent spirits (both good and evil) and that women represent souls.  One of the first things that must go is our Greek belief that the soul and the spirit are the same thing.  Of course, since this has serious implications as to how SDA's teach the doctrine of the state of the dead among others, I expect considerable resistance to this correction.  In short, we have two consciousnesses, the soulish and the spiritual, and we are not living until both are combined in a fleshly body (by one of the several definitions of life used by God and certainly the one used in the creation story.  There "spirit" is the Hebrew word neshama, not ruach.  Ruach is defined as wind, breath and spirit; neshama is defined as intellect, breath and spirit so maturity is included in this definition of life and is why Jesus said he came that we might have life more abundantly.  The more spiritually mature we are the more alive we are by this definition. Few of you seem to be there.)  The level of our spirituality, then, is the determining factor as to whether we are male or female by this symbolism. 

When we go through our personal Passover we are not "born again".  We are applying the wrong definition to the Greek word genao, when when applied to the father means we are conceived and when applied to the mother means we are born or brought forth.  The terminology used by Jesus in John 3 is properly translated as begotten (conceived) from above (by our heavenly father.)  The man-child is implanted in us, but be remain soulish beings, not spiritual beings.  As one teacher I have heard of puts it, we are all Marys, and the spirit of God conceives this son in each of us.  Yet from a certain perspective this symbolism is supposed to also be interpreted as us being born at that personal Passover.  There is a dual interpretation here and both are valid.  A baby is fully dependent on its mother for everything and can do nothing for itself, It is not a fully mature spirit that is able to take control of its house (body), and it is to be ruled by its mother for many years to come. 

At our personal Pentecostal experience the Holy Spirit comes over us and indwells us, but as Paul tells us this is only an earnest (down payment) of the spirit, it is not the fullness yet to come.  Using the types and shadows given by Moses and looking at the conception to birth cycle we find conception on Passover, implantation in the womb 3 days later on the wave sheaf offering (which represents resurrection).  On this day the pregnancy officially begins because if it does not successfully implant the fertilized embryo will simply be washed away with the monthly flow.  The 50th day after the wave sheaf offering is Pentecost.  In the pregnancy the eyes and ears and many other body parts are formed and distinct.  In the growing child this is seen as the right of passage known as the Bar Mitzvah (Son of the Law) ceremony.  It represents the time when the Holy Spirit indwells us and we begin to learn our Father's business (starting with his laws.)  Hearing Father's voice and obeying it are key here.  Israel's first opportunity to enter Pentecost came at Mt. Sinai.  After hearing the first ten "words" from God they refused to hear anymore and sent Moses up the mountain to hear for them.  Because they refused to hear for themselves they could not obey.  Hearing is necessary for the faith that makes obedience possible.  They lacked the faith to hear, therefore they could not gain the additional faith necessary to obey the word they refused to hear.  Ever since the church has constantly argued that those words they refused to hear are no longer valid in any way.  Yet when a person becomes willing to hear God's voice the earnest of the spirit indwells them and at this point the begin the transition from a soulish being to a spiritual being, or spiritually from woman to man.

This transition period is rough.  For the most part Christians have always tried to make this transition without God's law, and in every case they fail.  At best they remain soulish, but at worst they become fully carnal (fleshly) with the desires of the flesh ruling the soul and aborting the manchild (spirit) within them.  If they do remain soulish the soul works to subdue the flesh and can achieve a measure of success, but can never achieve complete success.  Worse, like a mother who refuses to cut the apron strings, the soul keeps the spirit under her control and it never matures to a point where it can rule the body.  Only the spirit within us cannot sin.  When the soul keeps the spirit down it is assured that we will continue in our sins. 

The fullness of the spirit comes upon us at the third level of maturity.  It is only at this point that we can be considered truly spiritual, truly male.  This only comes with the fulfillment of the Feast of Tabernacles (by Moses types, in the 7th month).  The first day of the autumn feasts is the feast of trumpets on which the seventh trumpet (Revelation 10:7 and chapter 11) (singular -- see Numbers 10) is blown calling the leaders to assembly.  Jewish prophetic interpretation has always related this to the resurrection and Paul comments on it in 1 Thessalonians 4.  By our birth cycle analogy we see that the child born at this time is premature and study of other prophetic patterns shows this is the group variously called the elect or the overcomers.  It is also the 144,000 who rule and reign with Christ for the millennium.  By the other type or shadow we have been examining the Feast of Tabernacles is the adoption ceremony for the fully mature sons of God.  This only happens after the resurrection of those premature believers who have gone asleep.  Once all the premature are gathered together all go through the ceremony together.  There is a parallel ceremony that is also to be studied with this pattern and that is the consecration of the priests.  Both laws-prophecies speak of the same event. 

Here the feast day pattern would seem to end, but the birth cycle pattern would seem to continue until the end of the 9th month.  If by SDA doctrine you have not already heard enough heresy to stop reading here is a spoiler alert for very serious heresy.  Maybe you want to stop now.  A later revelation shows another feast in the 9th month, the Feast of Lights (Chanukah) which would relate to the normal birth in the 9th month.  Relating this to the prophecy of the trumpets in Numbers 10 and prophecy of the two resurrections (one for the rulers and one for the people) in Revelation 20, this indicates a fulfillment of the Feast of Lights at the great white throne judgment.  SDA doctrine says all here are lost.  Biblical doctrine calls the first resurrection the resurrection of the just (Luke 14:14) and the second resurrection is called the resurrection of the just and the unjust (Acts 24:15).  There will be just people raised in this resurrection (the 10 foolish virgins were believers) and these people, who committed some form of misdemeanor will fulfill the law found in Deuteronomy 25:1-3.  They will be chastised (whipped -- some form of correction less than restitution, but I have no idea how this will be applied under the New Covenant interpretation of the law) before the judge, then they will be set free and receive their inheritance.  These people have their names written in the Book of Life.  If SDA doctrine that their names had been removed was true it would be unnecessary to have this book at this judgment, yet Revelation 20 is very explicit that it will be present here.  By SDA doctrine all whose names are in it are raised in the first resurrection.  According to Revelation 20 those rulers will be sitting in judgment at the great white throne.  What need would they have of the Book of Life unless the names of the rest of the believers were still there, in which case the book would tell them whether they need to apply the law as to a believer or to a scoffer?  At this point these other believers are also now born again and are now spiritual, having an incorruptible body that cannot sin (Romans 5:12, 1 Corinthians 15:51-54, 2 Corinthians 5:1-5).

So, we are all still soulish.  If we are in a Passover state we are completely soulish and if we are Pentecostal (as God interprets the matter, not as we do) we are in a transitory state between soulish and spiritual.  Or perhaps some of us are only fleshly and claiming to be either soulish or spiritual.  The lie is not that hard to detect, but some of us are in such denial that we simply cannot see what is so terribly obvious to everyone else. Regardless, in spiritual terms we are none of us really men yet and we are all of us at least partially, if not completely woman.  Unless we can see the law as prophecy there is no way we can know this information.  Unless we can see the law as prophecy there is no way the women's ordination lobby can provide a legal justification for their stand. 

God's law, as given to Moses is very plain.  Only a man can serve as a priest and women are not to wear men's clothing or do those things that pertain to a main (Deuteronomy 22:5).  As Paul said in 1 Corinthians 13, when the completeness comes what is in part disappears.  The mosaic form of the law is only in part.  It is symbols to make simple the things that cannot be easily understood, or to hide those things that God does not want unbelievers to understand.  However, the law remains in its complete form.  If we are in the completeness all are the same in the spirit (Galatians 3:28) and there is no physical distinction that matters in any way shape or form.  However, later in Galatians 5 Paul has this to say regarding those who insist on putting themselves under the Old Covenant in any way, shape or form: 

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all. Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law. You who are trying to be justified by the law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace. For through the Spirit we eagerly await by faith the righteousness for which we hope. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.

You were running a good race. Who cut in on you to keep you from obeying the truth? That kind of persuasion does not come from the one who calls you. “A little yeast works through the whole batch of dough.” 10 I am confident in the Lord that you will take no other view. The one who is throwing you into confusion, whoever that may be, will have to pay the penalty. 11 Brothers and sisters, if I am still preaching circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been abolished. 12 As for those agitators, I wish they would go the whole way and emasculate themselves!

Paul used circumcision as his example because it was the problem of the day.  It was yet another form of justification by man's works instead of faith in Jesus sacrifice.  In 1888 it was coupled with the Arianism vs. Armenianism argument over the nature of God (both different symbols by which he portrayed himself, neither more accurate than the other), and today is still a matter of Old Covenant works vs New Covenant faith in the promise of God.  It takes different forms but it is always the same old problem. 

As I stated before, this denomination nearly always chooses the side of the Old Covenant when push comes to shove and God brings the issue to a head.  In Galatians 5 Paul is extremely explicit about what that means.  We must apply the entire Old Covenant law in this and all other matters.  In this case it means we cannot ordain women as priests (ignore the fact that we designate them as pastor.  That is an immaterial difference as far as the law is concerned.)  In this matter the anti faction has God's law on their side in every way, most especially the fact that they make reference to it, even if they only use a "partial" form of the law.  I'm sorry, pro faction, but I have only seen one of God's laws referred to in any of your remarks on the subject (Galatians 3:28) and few of you ever even refer to that.  Mostly your arguments are a matter of traditions of men and personal opinion.  Neither one holds any weight in God's courtroom.  They are simply useless babble.

Unfortunately for this denomination, Paul is also explicitly clear in many places that in order for you to be saved by the Old Covenant you must keep the entire law in every detail and you must never have broken a one of them at anytime in your life or you are already lost.  Male pastors, where are your beards?  Much less the beard that is not trimmed at the corners or under the neck.  I'm not talking of the Charleton Heston Moses beard or John Brown beard.  That was also a violation of the mosaic law, as the priest was keep his hair and beard short.  Short was not defined, but those beards don't meet any definition of short I have ever seen.  Too bad.  You male pastors are already lost by the same law you use to justify keeping women out.  Spiritually you are all women, you are all being lawless and you are all disqualified from speaking in the assembly, yet it is you and only you that you allow to speak and you are in full control of the ordination process and decisions.

Maybe it is time we start following the instruction implicit in Jesus words in John 5:46 and Ellen White's statement that the entire Hebrew law and economy is a prophecy of the plan of salvation, and Paul's statements that we now can only see in part (at best -- some of you don't see at all) and start praying and studying for understanding of these symbols and how God's law is to be applied under the New Covenant where we are one in the spirit and there is no difference between (physical) men or women.

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There are some serious underlying issues involved in this that I have never seen anyone else on any of the SDA forums willing to discuss.  The matter of women's ordination is simply a symptom of the more basic discussion of Old Covenant vs. New Covenant.  This denomination is very much an Old Covenant religion and nearly every major doctrinal vote since the beginning has come down on the side of the Old Covenant.  ...

[...]

Unfortunately for this denomination, Paul is also explicitly clear in many places that in order for you to be saved by the Old Covenant you must keep the entire law in every detail and you must never have broken a one of them at anytime in your life or you are already lost.  ...

There are some interesting ideas in your post Myron that I will ponder.  You are correct that a person is a sinner if they have sinned at any time.  It seems though that you haven't understood God's "old" covenant. God's Law of Moses doesn't say anything about requiring perfectionism in order to merit eternal salvation.  That was never the purpose of the Law.  The old covenant has gotten a bad rap in traditional Christianity, but not in Scripture.

The Old Covenant is based on grace.  Hebrews 4:2 tells us that the Israelites heard the same gospel that was being preached in the New Testament.  The Old Covenant was given to sinners to teach righteousness and to teach what it's like to live in the Kingdom of God.  That's why Jesus lives according to God's Law of Moses-- because he is the King of that kingdom.   The Old Covenant included provisions for dealing with sin and providing forgiveness, yet it does not speak at all of how to gain "eternal salvation".

The part that most Christians miss about the Old Covenant is God's part in the covenant.  God's part of the covenant was not conditional. When Christians quote the Ten Words of the covenant document, they usually skip God's part of the covenant which is found in the preceding verses:
        Then God spoke all these words, saying,"I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery." (Exodus 20:1-2) 
That is the essence of God's covenant with Israel.  And the same thing is repeated in the "new" covenant (which God also makes with the Israelites):
        "But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days," declares the LORD, "I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people." (Hebrews 8:10 quoting from Jeremiah 31:33)

God covenanted with Israel to be their God.  Along with that came the instructions of Torah. That relationship also includes discipline that results in restoration.

 

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There are some interesting ideas in your post Myron that I will ponder.  You are correct that a person is a sinner if they have sinned at any time.  It seems though that you haven't understood God's "old" covenant. God's Law of Moses doesn't say anything about requiring perfectionism in order to merit eternal salvation.  That was never the purpose of the Law.  The old covenant has gotten a bad rap in traditional Christianity, but not in Scripture.


Ron,

This is not really the place to have this discussion.  I felt justified in the long post above because this is the underlying issue in most of the crises faced by this denomination over the years.  Everyone else may be willing to examine symptoms and wasting thousands of words on them while ignoring underlying causes.  I am not.  At the same time I do not believe this thread to be the place to go into great detail concerning the underlying cause. 

That being said I will respond to the point quoted above and one other point you made.

I don't know where you get your ideas, but the leading New Testament authority on the two covenants is Paul.  He speaks at great length about these two covenants and he is the primary, but not only source of the Christian's information and understanding of these two covenants.  He speaks of the contrast in them at considerable length in Romans, Galatians and Hebrews, and he is supposedly the one who says that unless we have kept the entire law perfectly our entire lives we cannot be saved under this covenant.  I say supposedly because I do not recall an actual statement to that effect, and will not take the time to read his discourses on the covenants right now.  It could be that this is simply one of those things the church has been teaching for so long as Biblical truth that people have come to believe it is really in there when it is not.

The logic is sound, at least for after entering into a covenant relationship with God.  Paul does say some things that invalidate the assumption it applies to sins we committed before entering into the covenant relationship, things such asRomans 5:13, "To be sure, sin was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not charged against anyone’s account where there is no law."  Paul also said, "All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law," Romans 2:12 and, "The law was brought in so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more," Romans 5:20 and, "What shall we say, then? Is the law sinful? Certainly not! Nevertheless, I would not have known what sin was had it not been for the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, 'You shall not covet,'" Romans 7:7.

According to all of this the only reason for the law is to teach us what sin is because we will already be dying because of our sins and thus need saved from them.  Indeed, Paul also says, "Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin," Romans 3:20 and, "24 So the law was our guardian until Christ came that we might be justified by faith. 25 Now that this faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian," Galatians 3. 

The Old Covenant is based on grace.  Hebrews 4:2 tells us that the Israelites heard the same gospel that was being preached in the New Testament.  The Old Covenant was given to sinners to teach righteousness and to teach what it's like to live in the Kingdom of God.

You are not correct here.  The Old Covenant was never based on grace.  It was based on one thing and one thing only -- the vow of the Israelites to obey the terms of the covenant, which was the law.  Christians have a mistaken interpretation that the law is the covenant.  No, the law is present in both covenants as the terms of those covenants.  Grace is not the basis of either covenant, it is a demand of the law.  I will explain that in a moment, but it is not something that will go over well in this forum.  You, not being SDA will possibly be able to get this.  I can be 95% certain that nearly everyone else on this forum will refuse to even consider the possibility, because I know Adventist teaching on the matter of the Sabbath and I know how unbendable the are in their opinion on the matter.

The basis of the Old Covenant is found in Exodus 19:8 where we read, "And all the people answered together, and said, All that the Lord hath spoken we will do."  The basis of the New Covenant is God's promise found in the statement of that covenant in Jeremiah 31:33,  "But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people."  The basis of the Old Covenant is our promise to obey a set of terms (commandments) that is imposed on us from the outside.  Such obedience is against our natural tendencies, or as Paul worded it, "But I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me."  The law of God was working in him waging war against the natural law his body wished to follow and as a result he was a bondsman of the law that defined sin. 

The New Covenant is not based on grace, and is not based on our promise to obey, but is based on God's promise that he will rewrite the natural law at work within us and that new law will be his law.  We will be obedient to that law because it is or natural way of doing things, not because we are working against our natural way of doing things.  Therefore, because God has rewritten our nature we will obey.  It will take effort to disobey where now we must work hard to obey and fail many times in the attempts to obey. 

As I stated earlier, grace is a demand of the law; this is true whether we view the law from the Old Covenant perspective or the New Covenant perspective.  Paul stated in 1 Corinthians 13 that the law was in part.  As I showed in yesterday's post this was intended as conveying the idea that the symbolisms used give us only a partial conception of the meaning of things we could not understand fully.  There is another way of interpreting this as well, though a way that perhaps is a bit less valid.  The law given on Sinai was never intended to be a comprehensive statement of God's law.  Over the years we find the prophets giving further clarifications and even revealing whole new statutes that had not been revealed before.  In his studies of the law Stephen E. Jones makes reference to this.  In studying some of the laws that seem to be omitted from God's law but are present in the Code of Hammurabi he points out when Nimrod (Heb: rebel and the historical Hammurabi) rebelled against God and his appointed Kings of the earth, Noah and later Shem, it is possible that he did not rewrite all the laws when he built his city of bricks (artificial stones and stones are symbol for law) but may have left some of the laws of the Kingdom of Heaven intact.  Dr. Jones often compares and contrasts the laws of God with the Code of Hammurabi, and the effect of the changes made.  In this examination of one law which God seemed to omit from the code dictated to Moses on the mountain Dr. Jones opined that since the principles of this law appeared to follow those of God's law and was not mentioned in God's law perhaps Nimrod did not change this one and many others that also are not included in the Law of Moses.  Up to this time the Code of Hammurabi had been the law of the land in the Middle East.  Perhaps at Sinai God simply corrected the law of the land and did not mention the laws Nimrod had not changed.

Grace is a law that God discussed extensively in the Mosaic code and later in the prophets.  Christians do not define grace very well.  Mostly they use one of Paul's statements in reference to God's grace which really does not define grace, but in this case defines a specific quality of the grace God gives to us.  In short you are in a state of grace with the law when one of two conditions is present.  Either you have not sinned or the lawful restitution for sins you have committed has been paid in full.  In either case you are in a state of grace before the law and you are NOT a sinner.  This differs from where you said, "You are correct that a person is a sinner if they have sinned at any time."  That statement is false and proves that you, like most people, refuse to actually forgive sinners and return them to a state of grace.  Anyone that you call a sinner after he or his redeemer has paid his restitution in full, or once his victim has forgiven him, is someone against whom you are actively sinning.  I learned this from studying Old Covenant law, which does discuss grace at length.  Christians just miss this because God has used other terminology and symbols to hid the truth from those who do not really believe.

For someone who has never sinned grace is supposed to be a given, but we accuse God of various sins all the time, and we do not show him grace because we are too busy with those accusations.  For a sinner grace involves two subcatagories, forgiveness and mercy.  Mercy is most easily (probably most accurately) defined as a form of forgiveness.  It took me a very long time to learn just what mercy was when God set that task before me.  The church really has no clue and does not make any real effort to teach what it is.  It was of minimal help to me.  Forgiveness is of two types.  Of these two types one is required by law and the other is optional and completely the right of the victim and only the victim.  The first type is given by the law once the sinner has paid restitution in full.  There is no choice in the matter.  The victim can no longer hold the sin against the former sinner without sinning.  Furthermore, people who are not victims of this sin have no right to hold the sin against the sinner ever.  This is one of the ways we can tell we are Babylonian citizens instead of citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven.  We still continue to refuse grace to the sinner even after we have supposedly forgiven him, and even after God's law requires that we forgive the victim.

The second form of forgiveness is almost completely optional and is actually how mercy is defined.  In this form of forgiveness the victim (and only the victim) forgives all or part of the restitution required by God's law.  In our Babylonian society the DA's (Heb: Satan -- Accuser) and courts have removed the execution of sentences from the victim, and with it also removed the right of the victim to grant mercy.  (They have also largely removed from the victim the right to restitution, and from the sinner the ability to make restitution, but these are other issues for another discussion.)  A redeemer may purchase these rights from the victim by purchasing the debt note (bond) created by the court once restitution has been determined.  At that point the former victim must forgive the sinner, the redeemer is now the victim and is the only person with the right to both restitution and granting mercy.

In the law mercy and grace are taught through the Sabbath laws.  This is the entire point of the Sabbath laws where redemption is concerned and the highest level of Sabbath is the Jubilee, not the seventh-day Sabbath as SDAs teach.  I don't often go into this with Adventist because their minds are made up and they refuse to be confused with facts in this matter.  Ezekiel 14:1-11 warns the prophet to be aware of the heart idols of those consulting with him.  I am called as a teacher, not a prophet, but I do find this to be good advice and as a rule I won't discuss this matter with Adventists unless and until they demonstrate some willingness to learn the truth rather than defend dogma.  Since you are not SDA I will discuss it further with you if you wish and with anyone else who has an open mind.  I will ignore other comments on the matter.

The Sabbath day is the second lowest level of Sabbath, and God requires it for the well being of all those who have been sold into bondage.  If you are not self-employed you meet the biblical definition of a bond servant and your employer, who holds the debt-note you or the court created when you were sold into this bondage.  When you work for that employer you are servicing the debt that was created regardless of how it was created.  One day out of every seven your employer is required by God's law to give you a day of grace where you are not required to make repayment on the debt.  Furthermore, he is required by God's law to provide you paid days to celebrate the feasts if you live close enough to the place God placed his name (formerly Shiloah, later Jerusalem and now in the foreheads of his overcomers (Revelation 3:12). AND every seventh year he is to be given a full year of paid vacation (Dueteronomy 15) and at the end of the bond is to be paid a generous severance package that will allow the former servant to live comfortably set up his own business until that business starts paying off.  These laws of redemption are also the basic labor laws of the Kingdom of Heaven.  It is these things we are to come into when we come out of Babylon and her legal system.  If you claim to be calling people out of Babylon but do not call them into these labor laws you are lying to yourself about the call you are making.

The highest level of Sabbath/forgiveness/mercy is the Jubilee.  A Jubilee for an individual is given on the Day of Atonement after the laborer has paid his full restitution. At that time he enters grace before the law and he is no longer a sinner.  For the nation this is also theoretically possible, but only if all of its citizens have paid full restitution for all of their sins.  Because this never happens the priests are to declare a Day of Atonement, not a Jubilee for the nation except in the year of Jubilee when a Jubilee is declared regardless of whether the debt has been paid in full or not.  All outstanding balances are cancelled and all citizens return to their inheritance.  These levels of mercy and forgiveness (grace) are all requirements of God's law.

There is one legal condition presented in Matthew 18, in which mercy can be withheld, but even in those cases these minimum levels of mercy are required by God's law.  This is why James says, "12 Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, 13 because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment," James 2 and Ellen White says there is to be no judgment without mercy. 

Yes, grace is found in the Old Covenant as well as the New Covenant because God's law is found in both covenants.  Grace is not the foundation of either covenant but it is a foundation of a portion of God's law that the church nearly universally denies, the restitution of all things.  God fully intends to restore all victims in full for the sins against them and restore all sinners to Grace.  The Jubilee (grace) law demands this and the other Sabbath laws are the down payment on this.  This, and this alone is why the Sabbath laws are so important to God that Ellen White saw a special aura around this law on the tables of the law in the heavenly temple (the body of Christ).  This is why Jesus emphasized this as his major ministry in Luke 4 where he quoted from Isaiah 58 and focused on freeing the captives, not on fasting on the one Sabbath day that is mentioned in that chapter, the Day of Atonement (not the weekly Sabbath.)  It is too bad SDAs have not chosen to make this a major focus of their ministry as well.

As you should be able to see I have a much deeper knowledge and understanding of both covenants and of grace and mercy than you have given me credit for having. The Old Covenant cannot save you in any way shape or form, although its law does show us the means of salvation.  It can only condemn us for our sins against each other and against God, most especially our sin of refusal to provide what levels of redemption we are able for those around us.  A study of these laws shows redemption is a duty, not an option and once we have been redeemed and have the means we are to take up our cross and follow Jesus, providing what redemption we are able for others.

I have spent way more time and effort on this than I intended but I consider it worth it.  The issues here are as important as those raised in the previous post.  However, they are off topic, and if you wish to continue this discussion I encourage you to start a new thread and invite me to that discussion.

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Myron; just a little feedback -

Please shorten your posts.  Most people are not willing to sit and ponder a post as long as your previous post.  If you have a lot to say, more people will listen if you say it n several shorter posts rather than the previous two "books".

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Myron; just a little feedback -

Please shorten your posts.  Most people are not willing to sit and ponder a post as long as your previous post.

Don't forget, many of us are of the Sesame Street generation! (Well, my kids anyway!)

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Some of us are reading on a 3" x 4" screen. Long posts do seem like "books". That last post was 11 screens worth of material. 

Edited by Aubrey
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And don't forget, even in the so called "Old Covenant" we have things such as Moses commanding men and women to wear the tassels with a blue thread, which would have indicated to the caravans and anyone else who saw them that the whole nation, men and women were ordained priests and that they could come to any of them for a priestly ministry. And Jeremiah predicted that the sign of having been called out from Babylon and living in the messiah was the repulsion of male headship.

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And don't forget, even in the so called "Old Covenant" we have things such as Moses commanding men and women to wear the tassels with a blue thread, which would have indicated to the caravans and anyone else who saw them that the whole nation, men and women were ordained priests and that they could come to any of them for a priestly ministry. And Jeremiah predicted that the sign of having been called out from Babylon and living in the messiah was the repulsion of male headship.

Kevin, could you please supply a reference for what the tassels with a blue thread indicated to the other nations.  How did the other nations come to know this meaning of the blue thread?

And where in Jeremiah can I find the prophecy regarding the "repulsion of male headship"?

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Ron,

This is not really the place to have this discussion.  I felt justified in the long post above because this is the underlying issue in most of the crises faced by this denomination over the years.  Everyone else may be willing to examine symptoms and wasting thousands of words on them while ignoring underlying causes.  I am not.  At the same time I do not believe this thread to be the place to go into great detail concerning the underlying cause.

So that we don't side-track this thread.  I have started another thread Old Covenant vs New Covenant to discuss these issues.

http://clubadventist.com/forums/topic/62543-old-covenant-vs-new-covenant/

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People on both sides believe that the issue is fundamental to end-time faith and critically important.

My Sabbath School teacher likened it to the rebellion against Moses' authority in ancient times.

"Beware lest we rebel!" came through loud and clear.

Nobody should want to rebel against God's appointed leaders.

But this coin has two sides.

In Christ's day King Herod was the secular ruler: John rebuked him for refusing to obey God's word.

And the priests united to inspire the mob to crucify Christ.

Rebellion against Moses was sin.

Following King Herod and the priests leading in Christ's day was rebellion against God.

Better to rebel against man than to rebel against God.

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hch, another thing that you can compare it to is not rebellion but study and growth. You may want to share this with your Sabbath School Teacher. Joseph Bates wanted to have pork avoidance and eating healthy as a part of Seventh-day Adventism. The Adventists, including Mrs. White disagreed with it. Ask your Sabbath School Teacher if they ate their pork to not be in rebellion.

What we have here is that the structure of the church does not have guidelines on ordaining women. The conferences and unions have the authority to ordain whoever they want. In the early 1900s Elder Daniels asked them to wait a little bit before ordaining women until the membership could be educated that it was Biblical. That generation died out as well as the next and the conferences/unions stopped their waiting a little bit.

On the world church level all the votes have just pushed the issue into the future. One vote was to just defer a decision into the future. The second vote was to wait until the whole church was ready to ordain women, this third vote was should we move the authority to ordain from the Conference/Union level to the division level and let the division decide. There were people on both sides of the issue who were for and against this vote.

People who were against ordination liked how it was taken out of the conference/union level and gave it to the division where it would be easier to fill with a hand full of people against women's ordination to dictate that their division would not allow it. People who supported women's ordination opposed this vote for the same reason. The "No" vote just kept things the way they were before the vote.  And it won by a very slim margin, still showing that the church is divided on this issue and still studying. Conferences and Unions still have their right to ordain whoever they wish. They can either wait for our members to be educated or they can move on while educating.
 

The issue is that some members would recognize the ordination others would not.  Right now a male pastor can go on a mission trip to Africa and still be seen as Elder John Doe. The female pastor may be accepted as Elder Jane Doe, or may have people say "We don't recognize women as ordained" so disagreement. David Larson has suggested a solution that I would like to share here which I like. He said that we should give both an ordination and commissioning. This way if Jane Doe goes to preach in Africa, those who accept her as Elder Jane Doe can accept her. But those who are uncomfortable with Elder Jane Doe can attend her meetings as commissioned minister Jane Doe.

Edited by Kevin H

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Kevin, could you please supply a reference for what the tassels with a blue thread indicated to the other nations.  How did the other nations come to know this meaning of the blue thread?

And where in Jeremiah can I find the prophecy regarding the "repulsion of male headship"?

Here is a book by one of my professors who I got the information from.  You can study it in here and find further resources for further study in the Bibliography: http://www.biblicalresources.net/product.cfm?product=58

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It is those who oppose women's ordination who are unsound in their Bible scholarship.

I very much disagree with you on this statement. Before I say anything else, I am for WO. Are you telling me that Prs Batchelor, Wohlberg, Schussler, others that at the moment I don't recall there names, and also some others that have past away. Who are all originally from the Jewish/Hebrew faith have no Biblical scholarship?? You make a statement that says these guys have never study there Bibles!!!!! If I had to choose between them and you, guess who I'd go with?????  No (to the statement above) I think and believe that both sides have done a great deal of studying and have come up with there reasons for why they believe as they do. As Pr Batchelor has said at least on one occasion, he will live with whatever comes out of this WO vote. I have not heard one who is for WO say the same.

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I can't honestly imagine what difference it would make to God if someone received the message of salvation through a female voice vs a male voice...

I definitely agree Pam. I'd also say that many people have been brought to Jesus through women bible workers. I know that my parents were. First my Mom had a German lady that gave her bible studies and than when she found a Jewish/Adventist church in the Bronx, we had a Jewish bible worker who worked with my father. Than she tried teaching my brother and me Hebrew, but she pasted away, at a very early age unfortunately.

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What exactly is it that a man could do as a worship leader that a woman could not do?

Nothing! Its that the woman are not ordained.

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Nothing! Its that the woman are not ordained.

Yes! I know. Sorry, I was asking another person to explain because it seemed to me that if there was something a woman could not do that a man could do then it would make sense that women could not be ordained. 

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Aubury asked the following questions, below:

As a worship leader, a female can do just about everything that a male can do.  However, a female worship leader cannot organize a church and a male worship leader can do so. 
There also are situations where a female worship leader would need more permission than a male worship leader.  NOTE:  In my comments the issue is due to the requirement to e  ordained rather than commissioned.

There are also situations outside of that of a worship leader:  A Commissioned female cannot be elected as President.  So, we have a strange situation where a commissioned female  could not be elected as the President of a local Conference, but she could be elected as a General Conference Vice-President.

 

NOTE:  My response is conditioned upon the official teachings of the General Conference.  On a personal basis, I disagree with some of what I have said and I actually believe that there in now authority, in some cases, for females to be ordained. 

What exactly is it that a man could do as a worship leader that a woman could not do?

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Gregory we already have a conference president who is a woman in Southeastern Calfornia conference.

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Altough she has been deleted from the yearbook in 2014 and 2015 at Ted Wilsons orders. I confirmed from the Yearbook editor the order came from GC administration. We all know who pulled the strings there> Ted Wilson

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What a person can do is not the same as what they are allowed to do. 

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Cyber Guy:  I am aware that you have a female Conference President.  As I said, my comment was not what I thought but in accord with the official policy of the denomination.

 

 

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