Adventist teaching: No
Biblical teaching: Yes
The Adventist Church understands the Law of God (10 Commandments) to be a distinct and separate thing from the Law of Moses. Two Laws—one given by God and the other Moses. The claim is that the 10 Commandments were written by God’s literal finger on stone, whereas the Law of Moses was written in a book on parchment (not stone) by Moses, thus you have two different Laws—God’s being moral, Moses’s being ceremonial.
They’ll then say that further evidence of this can be found in Deuteronomy 31:26 where God told Moses to take the “Book of the Law” and put it in a pocket on the side of the Ark of the Covenant. The “Book of the Law” supposedly referring to Moses’s Law on the outside on parchment, God’s Law being on stone inside the Ark.
But this is erroneous for a number of reasons.
In Deuteronomy 31:9-13, before getting to verse 26, we read that Moses is giving clear instruction to Joshua (Deuteronomy 31:7), he writes down all of the Pentateuch, and gives it to the Levitical Priests and the elders (Deuteronomy 31:9). He then gives instructions that it is to be read, obeyed, and taught to their children (Deuteronomy 31:12-3). If the “Book of the Law” in verse 26 doesn’t contain the 10 Commandments, that would mean the people weren’t commanded to teach them to their children, which is obviously not the case. They weren’t simply instructing their children in ceremonial activities, but moral behavior.
This same “Book of the Law” that is mentioned in verses 24-26 is this same “Book of the Law” referenced only a few verses back in 9-13.
Now notice how Deuteronomy 31:24-6 says Moses finished writing the words of this Law in a book “to the very end.” That means all of it. The entirety of the Law. The Hebrew word used is where we get our English transliteration “Torah” from—the first five books of the Bible. This includes both Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5, which both contain the 10 Commandments.
In 2 Chronicles 34:14-33 we find this same Book of the Law mentioned. Verse 14 uses this same phrase—”the Book of the Law of the LORD given through Moses” (2 Chronicles 34:14). So when the SDA Church says that what Moses gave was different and separate from what God gave, they’re wrong. It says the Book of the Law of the Lord was given through Moses. The entirety of the Law is God’s, He simply used Moses as a conduit messenger/mediator to deliver it because the Israelites were fearful of God’s majesty (Deuteronomy 5:27). The Israelites were afraid of God’s voice so they requested that God speak directly to Moses who would relay the message back to them.
Throughout this entire chapter the same Hebrew word is used when speaking of the “Book of the Law of the Lord” and the “Book of the Covenant”. These are simply various nomenclatures that the Bible uses to refer to the same thing. It is the entirety of the Pentateuch—the first five books of the Bible. The King was not cut to the heart over the rebellion of the nation upon someone finding a book that only contained ritual or ceremonial laws in it (2 Chronicles 34:19). The King made a stand before God to seek to walk in uprightness, obeying “all of his commandments, testimonies, and statutes” (2 Chronicles 34:31). This is all encompassing phraseology for the entirety of the Law. And 2 Chronicles 34:33 clearly shows part of what He read included information regarding the removal of idols which is a part of the 10 Commandments.
This same thing is seen in Joshua 8:30-34 where the phrase “Book of the Law” and “Book of the Law of Moses” are used interchangeably. This Book of the Law was the Torah—the entire first five books of the Bible. It wasn’t void of the 10 Commandments which supposedly only lived etched in stone inside the Ark.
In Exodus 24:3-8, we are very plainly told that what Moses wrote down was “all the words of the LORD”. This is what was contained in the Book of the Law—God’s own words, Ten Commandments and all.
Reading from the Book of the Covenant—this same Book that was put on the side of the Ark—the Israelites said they would be obedient to “all that God commanded them.” According to the SDA Church’s claim that this book didn’t contain the 10 Commandments, this would mean the Israelites didn’t agree to the 10 Commandments because it wasn’t included in the Book that Moses wrote down.
This is obviously not the case because in Exodus 24:8, Moses ratified the entire Old Covenant by the sprinkling of blood onto this Book of the Law. The 10 Commandments were the words of the Old Covenant as Deuteronomy 4:13 explicitly says. This is what was ratified in the sprinkled blood—the entirety of the Law including the 10 Commandments.
Galatians 3:10, without a shadow of a doubt, says the Book of the Law contained moral precepts, not just ceremonial aspects uniquely given by Moses and not God. In this verse Paul quotes Deuteronomy 27:26 which refers to curses against idols, disobedience to parents, adultery, murder, bribery, capped off with verse 26 referring to all of this as “the Book of the Law.” This book clearly contained moral precepts, including the 10 Commandments, not just ceremonial ordinances separate from the 10 Commandments.
Early Seventh-Day Adventist pioneer and former General Conference president, G. I. Butler, even recognized this in his book The Law in the Book of Galatians where he wrote:
The ‘book of the law’ which was placed ‘in the side of the ark,’ or at the side of it, contained both the moral and ceremonial laws. The language is not, ‘Cursed be he that continueth not in all things written in the ten commandments to do them’, as it doubtless would have been, had Paul had only the moral law in view. But the curse applied to any and all violations of the ceremonial law as well; for that was written in the book.G. I. Butler, The Law in Galatians, pg. 39
It is erroneous to insert an artificial distinction between what Moses wrote down and what God wrote down when what Moses wrote down also contained what God wrote down—the entire Book of the Law—which is said to be “the words of the LORD” (Exodus 24:4).
The Adventist Church needs this artificial divide to be true for their Great Controversy worldview to work. They have to drive a wedge between the 10 Commandments and the rest of the Mosaic Law saying one is from God and the other from Moses because it’s the 10 Commandments that were supposedly governing heaven and the angels in a long, unknown length of existence before earth was created. Prior to the creation of earth, the 10 Commandments are what Lucifer supposedly rebelled against and started spreading rumors about in heaven which they claim is what led to “war in Heaven” (Revelation 12:7). Without this artificial divide their pre-earth origin story collapses.
Moses penned down the entirety of the Law in the Book and the entirety of that Law stood against Israel. It wasn’t just ceremonial laws that stood against them, it was moral aspects also—such as idolatry. The Book that was attached to the side of the Ark not only had the 10 commandments included, but it contained them twice.