Francis D. Nichol was editor of the Adventist Review. This article was taken from his book Answers to Objections, pp. 352-353.

Elder's Digest explains passages of the Bible

Hebrews 10:8, 9

"Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law; Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O Cod. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second."

Dispensationalists believe that the ten-commandment law was a part of the law of Moses, which disappeared with the old covenant. These verses are used to support that false premise. The "law" of verse 8 is undoubtedly associated with the "first" covenant which is "taken away" in verse 9. But did that law include the ten commandments? Those same sacrifices and sin offerings are described in 2 Chronicles 8:12, 13: "Then Solomon offered burnt offerings unto the Lord . . . even after a certain rate every day, offering according to the commandment of Moses . . ."

This makes it very plain that the law concerning those burnt offerings—the one mentioned in Hebrews 10:8—was called the commandment or law of Moses. It was a part of the old covenant system that was taken away by "the offering of the body of Jesus Christ" (v. 10).

But please note this important fact: the ten-commandment law was not a part of that which was done away. Christ is quoted in verse 9: "Lo, I come to do thy will, O Cod. He taketh away the first that he may establish the second." But let's get the full text of what Christ said from Psalm 40:7, 8: "Lo I come ... I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart."

Don't miss this point: the law within the heart of Christ is tied to the second or new covenant that was to be established. This is why in verse 16 the new covenant is described in these words: "This is the covenant that I will make . . . I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them." The law that was in the heart of Jesus and which did not end with the old covenant is the ten-commandment law.

Magnified by Christ (Isaiah 42:21) it was transferred from the tables of stone to the fleshly tables of the heart.

Hebrews 12: 22-24

"But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to Cod the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel."

According to verse 24 Paul is here talking about the glories of the new covenant relationship as compared to the old covenant idea of human effort alone. Sinai (v. 18-21) is used to represent the old covenant, and in the New Jerusalem.

In Galatians 4:24-26 the very same parallel is made symbolizing the two covenants by Sinai and Jerusalem. Some have interpreted these verses to mean that souls go immediately into the heavens at death to appear at the judgment bar. But please notice that these people come "to Jesus the mediator of a better covenant." Those who are saved in heaven will no longer need a mediator such as is described here. Sin will have ceased for them. Paul is actually describing the life of a Christian here in this world, as he begins to experience the joys of the new covenant relationship. Such a Christian comes to:

1. Mount Sion . . . the city of the living God." Peter speaks of the church in similar language, "lively stones ... a spiritual house". . . (1 Peter 2:4-6).

2. "An innumerable company of angels"— descriptive of the angel ministry for the saints mentioned in Hebrews 1:7.

3. "The general assembly and church of the firstborn which are written in heaven"— another description of the body of Christ on this earth. Paul spoke of his fellow laborers as those "whose names are in the book of life" (Philippians 4:3).

4. "God the Judge of all." This is parallel language to Hebrews 4:16, "Come boldly unto the throne of grace," and Hebrews 7:25, "them . . . that come unto God by Him."

5. "The spirits of just men made perfect"—not disembodied spirits as some imagine, but the kindred spirit of Christian with Christian. Paul contrasts those who walk "after the flesh" and those who walk "after the spirit." But these are real people who have spiritual natures which are sanctified through the blood of the new covenant. Compare Hebrews 10:14: "For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified."-The Editor

Francis D. Nichol was editor of the Adventist Review. This article was taken from his book Answers to Objections, pp. 352-353.

2003 First Quarter

Download PDF
Ministry Cover