Matt. 5:17-19 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
Adventists and others confidently boasts: This law is the Decalogue (Ten Commandments). Jesus says that every jot and tittle of it will stand till heaven and earth pass away. This shows that this law is unchangeable and still binding. The Sabbath is a part of it and therefore the seventh day must still be kept.
Seventh-Day Adventists, and others consider this the strongest text in the New Testament for the law. They are constantly quoting it. If this fails, they have no stronger fort. It teaches no such thing as they claim.
The Law (Torah) and prophets in Matt 5:17-19 is not the ten commandments but the entire Law (in the books of Moses) and prophets (prophetic books like Isaiah, Jeremiah etc).
The Law on books of Moses has 613 laws including the ten commandments if one were to count. So, if what SDA’s are saying is right, we have to keep all the 613 laws (that included circumcision, feast days, cleansing laws, sacrifices) because Jesus apparently is saying all the law (Torah) is binding, and have authority over us.
Seventh-Day Adventists themselves admit that Jesus fulfilled and ended what they called the ceremonial law. He abolished it at the cross. Well, did he come to destroy that law? Certainly not, and yet he did it away. So, then, it is one thing to destroy a law, and quite another to bring it to a close by fulfilling it. Jesus says he came to fulfill the law and the prophets.
The text does not say that every jot and tittle of the law will stand till heaven and earth pass away (if that is so, then SDA’s are wrong to teach the ceremonial law passed away); but it does say that it will not pass away until it is all fulfilled. This teaches that it would all be fulfilled and pass away sometime. The idea is that sooner would heaven and earth pass away than one letter of the law would fail of being fulfilled. Luke’s words make this matter very clear.
“It is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail,” Luke 16:17.
Here we cannot mistake the meaning; the idea is not the length of time the law is to last, but the certainty that it will not fail to be fulfilled.
For ‘fulfilled’, the Greek word is PLAROSAI and is defined by Greenfield, among other things, “To fulfill, to complete; to bring to a close, end, finish, complete.”
So Jesus did not come to destroy the law, but to finish it: “Heaven and earth shall sooner perish than one iota or one tittle of the law shall perish without attaining its end.” That is the idea exactly.
After his resurrection Jesus said:
“These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the LAW OF MOSES, and in the PROPHETS, and the psalms, concerning me. Luke 24:44.
Did you notice? The Law and the Prophets that Matt. 5:17-19 and Jesus said He came not to abolish is the Law of Moses. So are Adventist telling us that we must keep the law of Moses when they themselves teach that it is abolished?
And then Paul says: “And when they had fulfilled all that was written of him, they took him down from the tree.” Acts 13:29.
So it was all fulfilled at the cross. NOW IT CAN PASS AWAY! Hence Paul says “Christ is the end of the law.” Rom. 10:4.
“TILL ALL BE FULFILLED,” ended when Jesus said, “IT IS FINISHED!” (John 19:30). Until that time, if someone broke what they considered to be the least important requirement in all the law of Moses and the Prophets and taught others to break them they would be WRONG for doing so. Up until Christ fulfilled the Law and the Prophets at the cross, it was RIGHT to obey all 613 commands in the Law and the Prophets.
So Mathew 5:17-17 does say that the LAW will not pass away until it is all fulfilled. Hence, it teaches that it would all be fulfilled and pass away sometime.
Ezekiel 20:18-20 Then I said to their children in the wilderness: Don’t follow the statutes of your fathers, defile yourselves with their idols, or keep their ordinances. 19 I am Yahweh your God. Follow My statutes, keep My ordinances, and practice them. 20 Keep My Sabbaths holy, and they will be a sign between Me and you, so you may know that I am Yahweh your God.
“But if the ministry of death, written and engraved on stones (ten commandments), was glorious, ….how will the ministry of the Spirit not be more glorious? For if what is passing away [Ten Commandments] was glorious, what remains is much more glorious” (2 Corinthians 3:7-11, NKJV).
Christians are not under authority of the law of Moses, but they are also not without the law of God. Instead, they are now under the law and teachings of Christ and the apostles, where God commands and restates 1000’s of morals laws and a few rituals (like Baptism, Lord’s supper), but never the Sabbath, and other ritual laws like circumcision, dietary laws, sacrifices etc. They all ceased! They have been declared obsolete!)
1 Corinthians 9:19-23 To the Jews I became as a Jew, so that I might win Jews; to those who are under the Law [of Moses], as under the Law [of Moses] though not being myself under the Law [of Moses], so that I might win those who are under the Law [of Moses]; to those who are without law [of Moses – that would be Gentiles], as without law, though not being without the law of God but under the law of Christ, so that I might win those who are without law [of Moses – that is the Gentiles].