If you would enter into life, keep the commandments.
PP 52 “The law of God is as sacred as God Himself. It is a revelation of His will, a transcript of His character, the expression of divine love and wisdom. The harmony of creation depends upon the perfect conformity of all beings, of everything, animate and inanimate, to the law of the Creator. God has ordained laws for the government, not only of living beings, but of all the operations of nature. Everything is under fixed laws, which cannot be disregarded. But while everything in nature is governed by natural laws, man alone, of all that inhabits the earth, is amenable to moral law.”
PK 293 “God’s favor toward Israel had always been conditional on their obedience. At the foot of Sinai they had entered into covenant relationship with Him as His “peculiar treasure … above all people.’ ….. And when, a few days afterward, God’s law was spoken from Sinai, and additional instruction in the form of statutes and judgments was communicated through Moses, the Israelites with one voice had again promised, “All the words which the Lord hath said will we do.” ….”
Deu 4:9 “Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons’ sons;”
“The awe inspiring scenes connected with the giving of the law at Sinai were never to be forgotten.” PK 294
Eternal life did not consist in knowing the importance of the ten commandments, but in doing them. They are a revelation of the Character of God, revealed in the life of Christ.
Two Laws – 1) Moral, 2) Symbolical.
The Moral Law (Ten Commandments, God’s Law, Decalogue) was written on stone and placed inside the Ark – signifying its permanence (SL 75; GC 434).
Ex 20:1-17; 24:12
PP 364 “The ceremonial law was thus given to Moses, and by him written in a book. But the law of Ten Commandments spoken from Sinai had been written by God Himself on the tables of stone, and was sacredly preserved in the ark.”
The Moral Law of Ten Commandments is eternal, Matt 5:18, Luke 16:17.
The Ceremonial Law (Levitical Law, Mosaic Law) (a system of types and symbols) was written in a book and placed in the side of the Ark – signifying that it is transitory.
Ex. 25:8-9; Deut. 31:24-26
The Ceremonial Law and its system was abolished, Col 2:14, Eph 2:15.
The Ceremonial System with its Symbols of the Anti-Type were for a time appointed.
PP 370 “As the Bible presents two laws, one changeless and eternal, the other provisional and temporary, …”
6BC 1094 (RH May 6, 1875) “God’s people, … were privileged with a two-fold system of law; the moral and the ceremonial. The one, pointing back to creation to keep in remembrance the living God … The other, given because of man’s transgression of the moral law, the obedience to which consisted in sacrifices and offerings pointing to the future redemption. Each is clear and distinct from the other.”
Consistency with both the Moral Law and the Ceremonial Law
Here we have an all or nothing situation. Of the moral law:
James 2:10 “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.” All are to be kept
and of the ceremonial law:
Col 2:14 “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;” “Let no man therefore judge you …. Which are a shadow ….” All are to be dispensed with
But Where Do the “Statutes and Judgments” Fit?
It appears that the “statutes and judgments” were an enlargement of laws and principles which became our Bible.
EW 52:2 “…. The book of life contains the good deeds of the saints; and the book of death contains the evil deeds of the wicked. These books are compared with the statute book, the Bible, and according to that men are judged.”
8T 40 “The attention of statesmen is being called to the Bible, – the statute book of the nations, – and they are comparing their national laws with its statutes.”
The statute book is also called the truth:
1SM 316:2 “The law of God has been given for the regulation of our conduct, and it is far reaching in its principles. There is no sin, no work of unrighteousness, that escapes the condemnation of the law. The great statute book is truth, and truth only; for it delineates with unerring accuracy the history of Satan’s deception, and the ruin of his followers. Satan claimed to be able to present laws which were better than God’s statutes and judgments, and he was expelled from heaven.”
Statutes and Judgments (laws of a civil nature)
The term “Statutes and Judgments” is not related to the Ceremonial, Levitical, Mosaic laws of types and symbols, not at all. The Statutes were civil laws, adapted from the law of Ten Commandments.
Statutes and Judgments were of a civil nature:
PP 311 “These laws were to be recorded by Moses, and carefully treasured as the foundation of the national law, and, with the ten precepts which they were given to illustrate, ….”
(Refer to p5 also – ‘Some Laws were not Good’)
Statutes and Judgments given to us help keep the Ten Commandments
Deu 4:1-2 “Now therefore hearken, O Israel, unto the statutes and unto the judgments, which I teach you, for to do them, that ye may live, and go in and possess the land which the LORD God of your fathers giveth you. Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.”
1SP 264-265 “… if the descendants of Abraham had kept the covenant, …. there would have been no necessity of God’s proclaiming His law from Sinai, and engraving it upon tables of stone, and guarding it by definite directions in the judgments and statutes given to Moses.”
Statutes and Judgments were based upon the Principles of the Moral Law:
RH May 6, 1875 “The law of types reached forward to Christ. All hope and faith centered in Christ until type reached its antitype in his death. The statutes and judgments specifying the duty of man to his fellow‑men, were full of important instruction, defining and simplifying the principles of the moral law, for the purpose of increasing religious knowledge, and of preserving God’s chosen people distinct and separate from idolatrous nations.”
SR 148-149 “To leave them without excuse, the Lord Himself …. made known His law of Ten Commandments. ….
“He then came still closer to His people, who were so readily led astray, and would not leave them with merely the ten precepts of the Decalogue. He commanded Moses to write, as He should bid him, judgments and laws, giving minute directions in regard to what He required them to perform, and thereby guarded the ten precepts which He had engraved upon the tables of stone. These specific directions and requirements were given to draw erring man to the obedience of the moral law, which he is so prone to transgress. …”
“Moses wrote these judgments and statutes from the mouth of God while he was with Him in the mount. If the people of God had obeyed the principles of the Ten Commandments, there would have been no need of the specific directions given to Moses, which he wrote in a book, relative to their duty to God and to one another. The definite directions which the Lord gave to Moses in regard to the duty of His people to one another, and to the stranger, are the principles of the Ten Commandments simplified and given in a definite manner, that they need not err.” (also 3SG 299-301, 1SP 264-265)
Some Main Points in the Statutes and Judgments:
PP 310-311 “The minds of the people, blinded and debased by slavery and heathenism, were not prepared to appreciate fully the far-reaching principles of God’s ten precepts. That the obligations of the Decalogue might be more fully understood and enforced, additional precepts were given, illustrating and applying the principles of the Ten Commandments. These laws were called judgments, both because they were framed in infinite wisdom and equity and because the magistrates were to give judgment according to them. Unlike the Ten Commandments, they were delivered privately to Moses, who was to communicate them to the people.
“The first of these laws related to servants. ….
“The rights of widows and orphans were specially guarded, ….
“The taking of usury from the poor was forbidden. ….
“.. obligation of the Sabbath.
“These laws were to be recorded by Moses, and carefully treasured as the foundation of the national law, and, with the ten precepts which they were given to illustrate, the condition of the fulfillment of God’s promises to Israel.”
Some statutes were not good
Ezek 20:23-25 “I lifted up mine hand unto them also in the wilderness, that I would scatter them among the heathen, and disperse them through the countries; Because they had not executed my judgments, but had despised my statutes, and had polluted my sabbaths, and their eyes were after their fathers’ idols. Wherefore I gave them also statutes that were not good, and judgments whereby they should not live;”
Many “statutes and judgments” were very severe and without mercy. They did not harmonise with the principle of forgiveness in the new covenant, but were permitted, apparently because of Israel’s persistent apostasy. Injustice brought retributive justice, with little or no mercy. ie:
MB 70 “It is true that the rule, “Eye for eye, tooth for tooth” (Leviticus 24:20), was a provision in the laws given through Moses; but it was a civil statute.”
3SG 301 “The statutes and judgments given of God were good for the obedient. “They should live in them.” But they were not good for the transgressor, for in the civil law given to Moses punishment was to be inflicted on the transgressor, that others should be restrained by fear.”
Israel was a theocracy, Religious plus Civil rule under God. The civil laws were for the good of the people under a Theocracy. Many of the statutes may still be adopted in varying forms by civil government today, and we obey them as good citizens.
We recognize that Church and State were separated at the time of Jesus earthly ministry.
The basic principles of statutes and judgments are not understood by most national governments, but God’s church will continue to maintain the underlying principles of the decalogue. The principle of God’s law will be the principle of church statutes and judgments, but now under the new covenant.
The statutes and judgments are principly the laws of God applied in Christian character and conduct. The law is a standard to guide, instruct and counsel in Christian virtue and Christian living.
What is said about Statutes and Judgments for our time?
Mal 4:4 “Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments.”
1T 332-333 “God is now testing and proving His people. Character is being developed. Angels are weighing moral worth, …. That God who reads the hearts of everyone, will bring to light hidden things of darkness where they are often least suspected, that stumbling blocks which have hindered the progress of truth may be removed, and God have a clean and holy people to declare His statutes and judgments.”
God wants a consecrated people who will demonstrate and teach the principles of His law as adapted to daily life. Those who reject the Statutes and Judgments will be left behind?
1T 333:1 “The Captain of our salvation leads His people on step by step, purifying and fitting them for translation, and leaving in the rear those who are disposed to draw off from the body, who are not willing to be led, and are satisfied with their own righteousness.”
Statutes included with the Moral Law for the Last Days
Besides the moral law, there was also placed “within” the ark to signify their permanence
Aaron’s Rod – symbol of Authority / Order
Pot of Manna – symbol of Health Reform
Both the additional items were included, because their significance were NOT ceremonial, neither were they to pass away with the Levitical laws. These were clearly specific statutes, which aided in the keeping of the moral law.
Heb 9:3-4 “And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of all; Which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant;”
1…. The Pot of Manna – Laws of Health
Exo 15:25-26 “And he cried unto the LORD; and the LORD showed him a tree, which when he had cast into the waters, the waters were made sweet: there he made for them a statute and an ordinance, and there he proved them, And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee.”
Commandments + statutes = no diseases.
An example of this statute:
Lev 3:17 “It shall be a perpetual statute for your generations throughout all your dwellings, that ye eat neither fat nor blood.”
Therefore, part of the statutes = the laws of health.
2…. Aaron’s Rod – Symbol of Authority
Num 17:10 “And the LORD said unto Moses, Bring Aaron’s rod again before the testimony, to be kept for a token against the rebels; and thou shalt quite take away their murmurings from me, that they die not.”
PP 396 “The humble shepherd’s life of Moses had been far more peaceful and happy than his present position as leader of that vast assembly of turbulent spirits. Yet Moses dared not choose. In place of a shepherd’s crook a rod of power had been given him, which he could not lay down until God should release him.”
These Statutes did not pass away at the death of Christ.
These two Statutes, embodied in the Symbols of God’s presence, and retained within the Ark of the Covenant, were to stand forever.
1BC 1104:6 “In consequence of continual transgression, the moral law was repeated in awful grandeur from Sinai. Christ gave to Moses religious precepts which were to govern everyday life. These statutes were explicitly given to guard the ten commandments. They were not shadowy types to pass away with the death of Christ. They were to be binding upon men in every age as long as time should last. These commands were enforced by the power of the moral law, and they clearly and definitely explained that law.”
2T 447:0 “Many are not obeying the commandments of God, yet they profess so to do. If they would be faithful to obey all the statutes of God, they would have a power which would carry conviction to the hearts of the unbelieving.”
7BC 984:3 “As men, women, and children proclaim the gospel, the Lord will open the eyes of the blind to see His statutes, and will write upon the hearts of the truly penitent His law. The animating Spirit of God, working through human agencies, leads the believers to be of one mind, one soul, unitedly loving God and keeping His commandment ‑‑ preparing here below for translation.”