Answer to Soriano’s “The Faulty Covenant” 1

"For he finds fault with THEM...". The fault is not in God's laws, but on the people for failing to fulfill their promises in their agreement (covenant) with God.

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Eli Soriano's Faulty Covenant part 1
This is the first part of a series which contains answers to Eli Soriano’s attacks on Seventh-day Adventist teachings.

ANG DATING DAAN WORLDWIDE BIBLE EXPLOITATION BY ELI SORIANO
Topic: “The Faulty Covenant 1”


Many are connecting Hebrews 8:7 to Deuteronomy 4:13 to prove that the “faulty covenant” is the Ten Commandments, thus, their conclusion is that “the Ten Commandments were made obsolete and were no longer binding in the Christian era”.

I watched and heard this teaching from Mr. Eliseo Soriano, a Filipino preacher and leader of the Members of the Church of God International commonly known as The Old Path (Ang Dating Daan), who boasts of being a sensible preacher and is also wanted by Interpol for a rape case filed against him by his former secretary. You can read his articles from this link.

Mr. Soriano’s questions are “Where is baptism in the Ten Commandments? Where is the forbidding of sniffing cocaine and watching x-rated films in the Ten Commandments?” Sure enough, this kind of reasoning appears to support his claim that the Ten Commandments lack so many things. And unsurprisingly he used exactly Hebrew 8:7 and Deuteronomy 4:13 to come up with his erroneous teaching.

Another group that adheres to this false teaching is from this website. If you read the first paragraphs of their article you will clearly see that they too used Hebrews 8:7 and connected it with the verses in the Old Testament that point to the Ten Commandments as the “covenant” (Exodus 34:27-28).

Let’s read the verses again:

Hebrew 8:7-13 “For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second…”

Deuteronomy 4:13 “And he declared unto you his covenant, which he commanded you to perform, even ten commandments; and he wrote them upon two tables of stone. “

Exodus 34:27-28 “And the LORD said unto Moses, Write thou these words: for after the tenor of these words I have made a covenant with thee and with Israel. And he was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights; he did neither eat bread, nor drink water. And he wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the ten commandments.”

Well, if somebody will stop here and will not deeply study the verses, the deceptive chaining of verses will appear as though our critics are correct.

“Covenant as a Thing” and “Covenant as an Agreement–an Event”

The main problem of our critics’ argument is that the “covenant” in Hebrew 8:7 is not the same “covenant” in Deuteronomy 4:13.

While we acknowledge that Deuteronomy 4:13 talks about the Ten Commandments as a “covenant”, but this covenant is a thing: a two-table-of-stones. On the other hand, the covenant stated in Hebrew 8:7 is an event— an agreement.

Here’s the translation provide by Bible in Basic English:

Hebrew 8:7  For if that first agreement had been as good as possible, there would have been no place for a second.
Hebrew 8:8 … I will make a new agreement with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah;
Hebrew 8:9  Not like the agreement which I made with their fathers… for they did not keep the agreement with me…
Hebrew 8:10  For this is the agreement which I will make with the people of Israel after those days…

Clearly, this covenant is not a thing but an agreement. Now we can ask Mr. Soriano: is the set of the Ten Commandments an agreement? Obviously not. The Ten Commandments were the basis of the agreement.

What was the ‘covenant’ that was made obsolete?

Let’s look at the context of Hebrew 8 and see which covenant was made obsolete.

Hebrew 8:10 ” For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel…I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts…”

Notice that the verse says “will put my laws..” and “I will make with…”, that is, ‘to do something with somebody’ means to act with the other party. And so this covenant in Hebrews 8:10 is an event–the act of agreement.

Also, notice that the verse never says “I will create a new set of laws”, nor it says “I will amend my laws.” In this new covenant, we cannot see any hint of the idea “that God will make His Moral Law obsolete and thus make a new one”, nor amend it as what our critics are trying to impart into our minds.

If God’s Moral Law was not made obsolete then there is no need to create another set of Moral Law since there is still an existing one made by a perfect God. And that is exactly what we can read from the next verses. Instead of making the Ten Commandments obsolete, the Bible says God will write His laws in our hearts and minds.

So from this point, we can logically conclude that the old covenant that was made obsolete is not the Ten Commandments. Rather, it was the event-covenant, the first act of agreement between God and Israel.

Was There A Covenant-Agreement-Event That Happened Between God and Israel After God Led Israel Out of Egypt?

Remember that a covenant is an agreement which should have at least two parties involved where each party stating their promises on how to fulfill the covenant. Let’s read Exodus 19 and see if we can find two parties stating their promises which then makes up a covenant–agreement.

Exodus 19:1-8 and onwards:

“On the third new moon after the people of Israel had gone out of the land of Egypt, on that day they came into the wilderness of Sinai. They set out from Rephidim and came into the wilderness of Sinai, and they encamped in the wilderness.”

“..while Moses went up to God. The LORD called to him out of the mountain, saying, “Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob, and tell the people of Israel: You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. Now therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples, for all the earth is mine; and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are the words that you shall speak to the people of Israel.”

So Moses came and called the elders of the people and set before them all these words that the LORD had commanded him. All the people answered together and said, “All that the LORD has spoken we will do.” And Moses reported the words of the people to the LORD.

We can clearly see the two parties here: God and the Israel, and both stated their words of promises which show their desire to fulfill the agreement. That event that happened as recorded in Exodus 19:1-8 is a covenant–an agreement. That covenant-agreement is exactly the “faulty covenant” that the author of Hebrews was pertaining to in Hebrew 8:7.

The agreement became faulty, not God’s Law. A perfect God will never make a faulty law.

“The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple; the precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes” Psalm 19:7-8 ESV

Why The Old Covenant (the Agreement-the Event) Became Faulty?

With Mr. Soriano’s teachings, the blame is in the Ten Commandments. No doubt you will see the same reasoning from his fanatics. They even reason out that God’s Moral Law – the Ten Commandments are not enough because “obviously it is only ten”. Now, the blame is in God’s law. Ultimately, that erroneous doctrine blames the Law-giver.

The next verse will clearly tells us which one was found to be at fault.

Heb 8:7 “For if that first covenant [agreement] had been faultless, there would have been no occasion to look for a second [another agreement]. For he finds fault with them ….because they continued not in my covenant..”

It is the Israel that fall short of their promises, and not the Ten Commandments. “All that the LORD has spoken we will do” was the promise that people failed to do. That is the reason why the old covenant, the old agreement, became faulty. And so a new covenant–new agreement is needed (not a new law).

So What Is The Real Message of Hebrew 8:7?

If we are not so sure of the message for a particular verse, we need to read the surrounding verses to get the context. If that is not enough, then we can use other books written by the same author first before jumping to other books of the Bible. Unfortunately, Mr. Soriano seems to ignore this laudable practice especially if the surrounding verses will prove opposite to what he wanted to get from the verse.

What our critics did is that they read Hebrew 8:7-onwards and immediately jumped to Deuteronomy 4:13 and Exodus 34:27-28! If only they adhere to the context of Hebrew 8:7 and its surrounding verses, it would not be necessary to look for and use other books from the Bible.

The chapters of Hebrew 7-10 are enough to get the real meaning of Hebrew 8:7, and we can summarize it this way:

“That God wants a new covenant with (an agreement with) the house of Israel since the old covenant (agreement) became flawed because of Israel’s laxity in fulfilling their promise (8:7). The new agreement is needed so that humanity can still have the hope of salvation (8:8, 10).

So now in the new covenant we have a High Priest in the heavenly sanctuary and that is no other than Jesus Christ. He is now the Lamb that was sacrificed once and for all (7:27; 9:12). His blood completed that covenant (9:14). In this new covenant it is the same law that God wants us to follow. He even wrote it in our minds and hearts instead of putting it away (8:10).”

Summary of Part 1

It is clear now that the Old Covenant that became faulty is the Covenant-Agreement-Event, and not the Covenant-Thing-Ten Commandments. And the agreement became faulty not because of God’s Laws but because of the people. They failed to do their part in their agreement with God. That is why God is making a better covenant with His people– you and me. In that new covenant, He will not make a new set of laws but rather write the same law in our hearts and minds.

Answer to Soriano’s “Faulty Covenant” part 2
Answer to Soriano’s “Faulty Covenant” part 3

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20 comments

  1. Juan Reply

    Hi,

    Very well explained but I have something to clarify. As per your statement, the covenant mentioned to be faulty in Hebrews 8:7 is actually an agreement made In Exodus 19:5 “Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine,” how sure are you that the covenant mentioned in Exodus 19:5 is just an agreement and not the 10 Commandments?

    Thanks

  2. j2rbkk Reply

    The covenant-agreement that I’m pertaining to is the whole event happened in Exo 19:1-8, where both parties (God and Israel) gave their promises to each other. That event-agreement-covenant is another covenant aside from Ten Commandments-covenant.

    A covenant is an agreement in its deepest and most valued sense.

    Thanks for the question. God bless!

  3. bryan Reply

    I red the first phrase of this article and found so many misinterpretations.The question here is,if the “covenant”in Heb.8:8-9 was not the 10 commandment,was there any other covenant given by God after the Israel exiled?This is the true issue here,unfortunately SDA has not answered this relevant question yet!

    1. ian Reply

      @bryan: hi, bro! your question is trying to imply that the Ten Commandments and the covenant mentioned in Hebrews 8 are of both the same nature by asking with the phrase “…was there any other…” though the Ten Commandments is involved in establishing the Old Convenant.

      I believe that the question was asked standing in the wrong premise. As what j2rbkk has said, what we are trying to compare here when we say covenants are the events. If you would assume that the Old Covenant is the Ten Commandments, you would end up with tons of inconsistencies.

      But for the sake of our discussion, let’s assume that the covenants were both laws. The Old Covenant is the Ten Commandments and the New Covenant was the laws that were put in the hearts. If there was any fault with the Ten Commandments, what was it as what was said in the Heb 8? And, what are the laws that were put in the hearts? I suggest that instead of reading part of the article, kindly read the entire article so you would understand the whole message of it.

      1. deyb Reply

        kulang ang 10 commandments pag iaapply mo ngaun.. helloooo.. brod, magisip k nmn ng konti.. 10 commandments nga lang eh.. eh ang dami ng naimbento ng tao na kalokohan eh, na nde masasakop ng batas sa 10 commandments… gaya ng shabu, marijuana, ecstacy, .. wala nmn sa 10 commandments na bawal mag drugs eh, sigarilyo, etc.. wala din nmn sa 10 commandments ang utos na bautismo, saka ang utos sa 10 commandments utos na pang laman.. ex.. igalang mo ang iyong ama at ina… un ang utos! meron bang utos na igalang mo ung ama ng kapitbahay mo?? wala nmn d b?? kaya binago un ni Kristo sa panahong kristyano, ang sabi ni Pedro sa II Pedro 2:17 – Igalang nyo lahat ng Tao… d b mas maganda utos ni Kristo?? wag kang bulag brod.. wag mo ipilit gusto mo, maging open minded ka at makikita mo ung pagkakaiba ng utos sa luma at utos sa bagong tipan..

        1. ian Reply

          @deyb: where in the Bible did Christ SPECIFICALLY forbid drug abuse such as cocaine and marijuana?

          1. deyb

            @ian..

            kung naghahanap ka ng verbatim, parang niloloko mo sarili mo, ang salitang “marijuana” at “cocaine” bagong mga salita, naimbento lang ito tapos ng isulat ang biblia, pero me nakasulat sa “I juan 3:3 – sabi,…. naglilinis ng kanyang sarili”, cguro naman nde ka tutol na nakadudumi yang mga bagay na yan, sinabi rin yan ni apostol san pablo sa gal 5:19-21 ” ….. at mga katulad nito” aling katulad? katulad ng paglalasing, kalayawan, etc.. ano mga iyon, d b iyon ay mga bisyo?… yan mga utos na yan ay wala sa matandang tipan, kaya pinatutunayan ko na nde na applicable ung mga utos sa matandang tipan ngaung panahon ng Kristianismo..

          2. j2rbkk

            Ang hina po ng basis nyo, deyb. Sigurado po ba kayo na ang “paglalasing” ay hindi pa kinamumuhian ng Biblia sa lumang tipan o “wala pa sa lumang tipan”? Pki-review na lang po muna ng later part ng buhay ni Noah.

            Iisa lang po ang napatunayan natin sa comment mo: na kelangan pa lang gamitin at i-apply ang “spirit” ng law sa pag-uunawa ng 10utos..na porke’t hindi naisulat ng letra-por-letra ay ii-interpret agad na “hindi pa daw utos sa matandang tipan”.

            Tulad nga po ng sinabi nyo na “kung maghahanap ng verbatim ay parang niloloko ang sarili”. Tama po yun.

            Kaya nga kung paiiralin ang “spirit” ng law at hindi ung “verbatim” ay mauunawaan natin na ang pagsa-shabu ay pwedeng pasok sa “Hwag kang papatay”.

          3. ian

            @deyb: then why are you looking for “forbidding of drug abuse” from the 10 Commandments?

          4. jun3_paras

            ang pagsashabu daw ay pwedeng ipasok sa “huwag kang papatay”, ah papaano naman po ang utos na bautismo? saan po siya under?

          5. j2rbkk

            [ah papaano naman po ang utos na bautismo? saan po siya under?]

            kung paiiralin ang diwa o spirit ng kautusan ay pwede yan sa una at ikapat na utos ng 10utos, dahil ang pagbautismo ay pagpapasakop sa iisang Dios..pagkilala sa nag-iisang tunay na Dios.

  4. ian Reply

    @deyb: You were the first to argue that the Decalougue did not specifically mentioned drug abuse so I just want to throw back to you your own premise. And now you are admitting that forbidding of drug abuse is based on the principle of Galatians 5. So it is with all the evil things a man can invent. All these are judged according to the principle of the Ten Commandments or should I say the Spirit of the Law. 50 years from now, there will be lots of evil things that will spring up from a human heart and today, no one is writing/adding books in the Bible. So how are you going to deal with the newly invented evil things? Would you agree that the Law Giver of the New Testament already foresaw those?

  5. bryan Reply

    @ian, thank you for admitting in between the lines that there’s no answer to my question about Heb.chapter 8. But I’d like to challenge you,I don’t have to read all of your explanation,this topic has been discussed countless time before.Let me challenge you,in Heb.8:7,just give me a hint in this verse that the one being mentioned here is not only the 10 commandments.

  6. j2rbkk Reply

    @bryan

    Like i mentioned in this article, the “covenant” in Heb8:7 WILL NEVER be the 10comm. The author of Hebrews never said that the covenant he is referring to is the 10comm. It is only the wrong chaining or linking of verses that others led to believe that the covenant in Heb8:7 is the 10comm.

    The reasons why it cant be the 10comm are already written in the 3 series of this article.
    ———————–

    since bryan’s challenge is expected to be lengthy, i encourage bryan to post his challenge in the Forum. We will be glad to answer all misunderstandings and issues regarding that. Thank you and God bless.

    http://angtinigsailang.org/forums/index.php

  7. roman Reply

    Para po sa akin, hindi lang naman ang sampung utos ang utos ng ating Diyos eh kasi ang itinuro sa amin, may health law pa at iba pa. May ceremmonial law din na hindi na dapat sundin…

  8. Melvin Reply

    Yung belief ng SDA ay kailangan pa rin sundin ang sampung utos. Pero hindi naman sinasabi na ang sampung utos lang ang dapat sundin.Pero yung mga mahilig sa straw man argument ay pinipilt na sinasabi na turo daw ng SDA ay sampung utos lang daw ang dapat sundin. Tapos biglang hahanapin ang bautismo sa sampung utos, hellooo..

  9. Bakit Itinigil Ko Na Ang Pagsubaybay At Pakikinig Kay Eli Soriano? • Ang Tinig Sa Ilang - Adventist apologetics Internet and radio ministry Reply

    […] Mangyari kasi ay inaaral ni Eli Soriano na ang kautusang moral daw ng Dios (Ten Commandments) ay inamiendahan na sa bagong tipan. Ang aral nyang ito ay sanhi ng maling unawa nya sa tipan na binabanggit sa Hebreo 8. […]

  10. Michael Reply

    I like to help your work against Eli Soriano and promote truth. When I have time I will point out things you might not have noticed. In order to create Lawlessness they had to do 3 things….They had to move the Sun_day from it’s second day position to the first day of the week…than they had to give the Jewish Messiah a roman name…..and to make it all work…they had to influence the translation of his resurrection so it looks as if he might have risen on SUN-day which was not even the first day of the week at the time anyway. I will keep it at that. But this is not all they did: In order to make this work and support this redirect of the resurrection to match up with their SUN-day they created the term NEW and Testament…….but it is not NEW like a NEW car , when you go into the hebrew it talks about “the renewed” and it is never a testament …it is the Renewed Covenant which no longer sits on the place holder of animal sacrifice which points to our Mashiach but it is now a better and renewed Covenant based on the blood of our Mashiach………i hope this will help you win people away from this Wolf in Sheep clothing.

  11. Michael Reply

    The problem with understanding and talking about the 10 commandments comes from the fact that
    We are not clearly defining why we call it a LAW.
    A Law describes a cause and effect event which is irreversible…for that reason we term it LAW.
    For example: If one kills a person, the effect can not be undone ..neither the effect on the victim nor the effect on the murderer.
    It is not the Law which got nailed to the cross, but the effects of the LAW which are irreversible, were nailed to the cross.
    If there is no Law, what do we need the atonement for at this very moment?
    If there is no Law, there is no transgression, if there is no transgression, how can someone willfully sin?
    If there is no Law, that your righteousness is based on your own definition!
    If there is no Law since 2000 year , there is no transgression, what do we stand judgement for?
    If there is no Law, how can one be condemned?
    If there is no Law, why do we need intercession?
    If there is no Law, there is no offense, if there is no offense, there is no wager of death…..why are we still dying than?
    If there is no Law, why do the disciples/taught ones talk so much about sinning?
    If there is no Law, why do the disciples point out not to let anyone judge a believer in the Mashiach, on how he keeps his Sabbath, but only let those judge him who is a member of the Body of our Mashiach, like his taught ones? (has been completely twisted by the