The Old Testament declares many times in very explicit language that
certain commandments shall be observed forever. (To name a few: Exodus
12:14, Leviticus 3:17, Leviticus 23:21, Deut 12:1) If so, how does it
make any sense that the Creator would change His mind/contradict Himself
and do away with these commandments!? If a religion would propose that the
commandments of the Old Testament have been forsaken and are in fact not
an “eternal covenant for generations”, it seems they would be saying the
Creator was lying! If the Creator was going to nullify these commandments,
He certainly would not have been misleading and say at the outset “these
commandments are FOREVER”!? I am shocked that as of yet in my research I
have not found an answer to this seemingly obvious question. I would
greatly appreciate any answer,reference or comments you could provide me

In trying to prove that we need to observe the Sabbath, Seventh Day
Adventists point out that God told Abraham that the Sabbath law applies
forever. This is true, but you must understand the language. The entire
Law of Moses was “forever,” yet Jesus specifically declared all foods
clean (Mark 7:19) SDA’s do not accept the teaching of Jesus in Mark
7:19. The Hebrew word forever does not have the same meaning as our
English word forever. It means for all time until that particular period
or age is ended. This is how we understand the Jewish laws of blood
sacrifice. They were for “forever,” which means they were in force until
something greater came in. That greater thing has arrived. It is the law
of Christ. Hebrews chapters 7-10 makes it very clear that the OT laws
have been superceded by the work of Christ. This includes the laws about
animal sacrifice, foods, New Moons, the Sabbath and all the other parts of
the covenant at Sinai.

Let me add that we need to be careful to understand the words used in the
Greek NT and the Hebrew OT in the original language and in the original
cultural content. If you do a word study on the word “forever” in the Old
Testament you will find that very often it refers to a time until the
completion of something. You may even want to do a study using an
exhaustive concordance to see what Hebrew words are translated forever to
see the distinction in the implied meaning of the words. For example, in
Genesis 13:15 God promises Abraham’s descendants the Promised Land
“forever.” yet God essentially kicked the Jews out of Palestine in AD 70
and later after the Bar Kochba rebellion. The Jews were given the
Promised Land until the time of the fulfillment of the work of Jesus. The
Hebrew word olam can be translated as forever or ancient or for a
duration, depending on the context.

The creator did not lie to Abraham. In fact, he promised him, essentially
two covenants. His descendants would receive the Promised Land, but
through him “all nations will be blessed.” This is a prophecy, not of the
Mosaic, but of the New Covenant. All along, God intended to bring in the
Messiah. Jesus “fulfilled” the Law so that we no longer must live by the
Law of Moses. Instead there is a New Covenant, a better one (this is the
theme of the book of Hebrews). It is not the the OT and the Law of Moses
was bad, but that all along God had a plan to make a better covenant. I
suggest you read Hebrews and look at the outline of Hebrews at my web
site. God did not make a mistake, but he was preparing a better
covenant. The Old became obsolete (Hebrews 8:13) and it was set aside
(Heb 10:9). The types and foreshadows in the OT showed all along that
this was God’s plan. Paul said that the Law of Moses was a teacher which
prepared the Jews (Romans 7). Romans 9:1-15 tells us that the Law of
Moses was no mistake! It was glorious, but God had something better in

I can say more on this topic if need be. Let me know if this is
sufficient to get you started on your own study.

John Oakes, PhD

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