Passages Most Commonly Used
Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished. 2 And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. 3 Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.
We agree that the seventh day of the week was sanctified – set apart to a sacred use – and in that sense it was not like the other days. But the questions we need to answer is: When was it sanctified? Was it sanctified, set apart, at the creation? Was it sanctified at the time God rested or did the sanctification take place some time after he rested?
The KJV says, "And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested." "Had rested" (shaabat) is past perfect tense of the verb and refers to an action completed sometime in the past. Even if we read it as simple past tense, the fact still remains that the day was sanctified some time following the rest.
There is nothing to indicate that it was set apart at the creation. Moses wrote the record of it about 2500 years after God rested, and at the time he wrote the day was sanctified. But there is no proof that it was sanctified 2500 years before Moses was born.
And I will make your descendants multiply as the stars of heaven; I will give to your descendants all these lands; and in your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed; 5 because Abraham obeyed My voice and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws."
Abraham kept the charge, commandments, statutes and laws that the Lord gave TO HIM. But there is no indication whatsoever that Abraham was given the Sabbath law. In fact Moses said JUST THE OPPOSITE.
Deut 5:1-4 – And Moses called all Israel, and said to them: "Hear, O Israel, the statutes and judgments which I speak in your hearing today, that you may learn them and be careful to observe them. 2 The LORD our God made a covenant with us in Horeb. 3 The LORD did not make this covenant with our fathers, but with us, those who are here today, all of us who are alive."
Abraham was one of the fathers with whom God DID NOT make that covenant; PLUS Abraham wasn’t THERE the day Moses spoke.
But suppose Abraham DID keep the Sabbath. Would that prove that it is binding on Christians now? Abraham kept the law of circumcision (Gen. 17:10-14) and offered animal sacrifice (Gen. 22:13). Does this mean we could take this as authority to bind these practices on Christians today – simply because Abraham kept them?
And Pharaoh said, "Look, the people of the land are many now, and you make them rest from their labor!"
The word "rest" means "to cause to cease." [OT:7673 shabath (shaw-bath'); a primitive root; to repose, i.e. desist from exertion; used in many implied relations (causative, figurative or specific): KJV - (cause to, let, make to) cease, celebrate, cause (make) to fail, keep (sabbath), suffer to be lacking, leave, put away (down), (make to) rest, rid, still, take away.]
As it is used in this passage it does NOT indicate that they were KEEPING the Sabbath. The work of Moses and Aaron had filled the Israelites with a desire to leave Egypt, and as a result they quit their work, or ceased from their burdens. This is clearly shown in verse 4. Ex 5:4-5 – Then the king of Egypt said to them, "Moses and Aaron, why do you take the people from their work? Get back to your labor." 5 And Pharaoh said, "Look, the people of the land are many now, and you make them rest from their labor!"
God did not make the Sabbath known to the people of Israel while in Egypt until AFTER he brought them out of Egypt and into the wilderness. That’s when he gave them the Sabbath law. See Ezekiel 20:10-12 – "Therefore I made them go out of the land of Egypt and brought them into the wilderness. 11 And I gave them My statutes and showed them My judgments, 'which, if a man does, he shall live by them.' 12 Moreover I also gave them My Sabbaths, to be a sign between them and Me, that they might know that I am the LORD who sanctifies them."
Ex 16:4-5 – Then the LORD said to Moses, "Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you. And the people shall go out and gather a certain quota every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in My law or not. 5 And it shall be on the sixth day that they shall prepare what they bring in, and it shall be twice as much as they gather daily."
Ex 16:27-30 – Now it happened that some of the people went out on the seventh day to gather, but they found none. 28 And the LORD said to Moses, "How long do you refuse to keep My commandments and My laws? 29 See! For the LORD has given you the Sabbath; therefore He gives you on the sixth day bread for two days. Let every man remain in his place; let no man go out of his place on the seventh day." 30 So the people rested on the seventh day.
These verses clearly show that the Israelites had NOT been keeping the Sabbath previously; for if they had, they would have ALREADY BEEN PROVEN. Also when the LORD introduced the Sabbath he said: See! For the LORD has given you the Sabbath; therefore He gives you on the sixth day bread for two days. Let every man remain in his place; let no man go out of his place on the seventh day." (Ex. 16:29). This proves the children of Israel were NOT acquainted with keeping the Sabbath because the LORD, through Moses, had to instruct them in how they were to keep it.
Ex 16:25-26 – Then Moses said, "Eat that today, for today is a Sabbath to the LORD; today you will not find it in the field. 26 Six days you shall gather it, but on the seventh day, the Sabbath, there will be none." This shows the Sabbath was being introduced for the FIRST TIME – here in the wilderness in the region of Sinai. Also see Neh 9:13-14 – "You came down also on Mount Sinai, and spoke with them from heaven, and gave them just ordinances and true laws, good statutes and commandments. 14 You made known to them Your holy Sabbath, and commanded them precepts, statutes and laws, by the hand of Moses Your servant." The children of Israel did NOT KNOW the "holy Sabbath" before the Lord "came down on Mount Sinai."
The Adventist will quote Exodus 16:28 ("How long do you refuse to keep My commandments and My laws?") as an indication that the Ten Commandments had been in force for a long time. However, the text says the Lord had already told them NOT to gather on the Sabbath day and some did it any way. When the Lord asked, "How long do you refuse to keep My commandments and My laws?" he wanted to know HOW MUCH LONGER the children of Israel were going to break his commandments and laws before they got the message. Once was too much.
"Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates."
The Adventists quotes Ex 20:8-10 with emphasis on the word "remember." This is somehow supposed to indicate that they had been keeping the Sabbath, or they could not have remembered it.
However, through Moses, God said to Israel in Egypt: "Remember this day in which you went out of Egypt" (Ex. 13:3). And yet, they had never observed that day before that time. How could they remember this day? By not forgetting it! The seventh day was the Sabbath of the Lord, but it was for the Jews in the Jewish age and not for Christians in this age.
And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 13 "Speak also to the children of Israel, saying: 'Surely My Sabbaths you shall keep, for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the LORD who sanctifies you. 14 You shall keep the Sabbath, therefore, for it is holy to you. Everyone who profanes it shall surely be put to death; for whoever does any work on it, that person shall be cut off from among his people. 15 Work shall be done for six days, but the seventh is the Sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD. Whoever does any work on the Sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death. 16 Therefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant."
We are told the Sabbath was a "perpetual covenant." But notice that Ex. 31:13-16 says God told the children of Israel to keep the Sabbath "throughout their generations." This very expression proves the commandment to be temporary – that it would pass away.
Do we ever read of the other nine commandments spoken of in this manner? Where did God say, "You shall not murder throughout your generations"? Or, "You shall not commit adultery throughout your generations"? Where did God say, "You shall not covet, steal, bear false witness, and so on, throughout your generations"? The ONLY law that would be limited to THEIR GENERATIONS was the Sabbath – "keep the Sabbath… observe the Sabbath throughout your generations."
Throughout Your Generations – Everlasting Ordinance
In addition to the SABBATH, notice what God told the children of Israel must be kept "throughout your generations" as an "everlasting ordinance."
1. The Passover / Feast of Unleavened Bread (Exodus 12:14-20, 17)
2. Burnt Offerings (Exodus 29:42)
3. Burning Incense (Exodus 30:8-10)
4. Pentecost (Leviticus 23:15-21)
Does the Adventist keep THESE?
Then Joshua built an altar unto the LORD God of Israel in mount Ebal, 31 As Moses the servant of the LORD commanded the children of Israel, as it is written in the book of the law of Moses, an altar of whole stones, over which no man hath lift up any iron: and they offered thereon burnt offerings unto the LORD, and sacrificed peace offerings. 32 And he wrote there upon the stones a copy of the law of Moses, which he wrote in the presence of the children of Israel. 33 And all Israel, and their elders, and officers, and their judges, stood on this side the ark and on that side before the priests the Levites, which bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD, as well the stranger, as he that was born among them; half of them over against mount Gerizim, and half of them over against mount Ebal; as Moses the servant of the LORD had commanded before, that they should bless the people of Israel. 34 And afterward he read all the words of the law, the blessings and cursings, according to all that is written in the book of the law. 35 There was not a word of all that Moses commanded, which Joshua read not before all the congregation of Israel, with the women, and the little ones, and the strangers that were conversant among them.
The Adventist says what was being done away (2 Cor 3:7-14) was the law that Moses wrote in a book (Deut. 31:24-26) and claims this is the law that was written on the stones of the altar. They claim this is the law Paul referred to in 2 Cor. 3:7-11 that was being done away and NOT the Ten Commandments.
We understand that Joshua wrote a copy of the law of Moses on the stones of the altar. But those are not the stones Paul is speaking about in 2 Cor. 3:7-11. Paul was talking about that which was written and engraved on stones, "so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of the glory of his countenance, which glory was passing away," (verse 7), and that which required to "put a veil over his face so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the end of what was passing away" (verse 13).
The events of Josh 8:30-35 took place AFTER the children of Israel had crossed the Jordan into Canaan (Josh. 4:1). However, Moses died BEFORE they entered Canaan (Deut. 32:5, 6). Therefore, his face did not shine so glorious that Israel could not behold it when Joshua wrote the law on the stones of the altar. When did Moses’ face shine so glorious that the children of Israel could not behold it? Exodus 34:29-35 – Now it was so, when Moses came down from Mount Sinai (and the two tablets of the Testimony were in Moses' hand when he came down from the mountain), that Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone while he talked with Him. 30 So when Aaron and all the children of Israel saw Moses, behold, the skin of his face shone, and they were afraid to come near him. 31 Then Moses called to them, and Aaron and all the rulers of the congregation returned to him; and Moses talked with them. 32 Afterward all the children of Israel came near, and he gave them as commandments all that the LORD had spoken with him on Mount Sinai. 33 And when Moses had finished speaking with them, he put a veil on his face. 34 But whenever Moses went in before the LORD to speak with Him, he would take the veil off until he came out; and he would come out and speak to the children of Israel whatever he had been commanded. 35 And whenever the children of Israel saw the face of Moses, that the skin of Moses' face shone, then Moses would put the veil on his face again, until he went in to speak with Him.
Those are the stones on which the "ministration of death [was] written and engraved on…"
The earth is also defiled under its inhabitants, because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant. 6 Therefore the curse has devoured the earth, and those who dwell in it are desolate. Therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men are left.
The statement of Isaiah 24:5-6, is used by the Adventist to prove the universal application of the Sabbath is NOT referring to the Gentiles. "The earth," in this passage, is used interchangeably with "the land" in verse 3. Isa 24:3 – The land shall be entirely emptied and utterly plundered, for the LORD has spoken this word. Reading the entire chapter shows that this is in reference to "the land of Judea," "the land of Canaan," and to punishment upon Israel.
"Also the sons of the foreigner who join themselves to the LORD, to serve Him, and to love the name of the LORD, to be His servants — everyone who keeps from defiling the Sabbath, and holds fast My covenant…"
effort to prove that the Sabbath commandment is binding on Gentile
Christians today, the Adventist claims that the "sons of the foreigner
(stranger – KJV)" (Gentiles) in Isaiah 56:6 were mentioned as
keeping the Sabbath. They claim God's people of all nationalities, whether
Jew or Gentile, were duty bound to observe the Sabbath in order to enjoy the
blessings of heaven.
What did the "sons of the foreigner (stranger)" mentioned in Isa. 56:6 have to do to be eligible for Sabbath keeping and entrance into God's house of prayer? They had to "join themselves to the Lord;" and "love the name of the Lord;" and "be his servants;" and "take hold of God's covenant."
But to do this they had to be circumcised, for God said: "No stranger, uncircumcised in heart, nor uncircumcised in flesh, shall enter into my sanctuary, of any stranger that is among the children of Israel" (Ezek. 44:9). When Gentiles thus "joined themselves to the Lord" they CEASED BEING GENTILES and became proselytes to the Jewish religion. They kept the Sabbath AS JEWS, NOT as Gentiles.
But WHERE IS ANY GENTILE as a Gentile ever commanded to keep the Sabbath? Furthermore, if the Sabbath WAS of universal application, why were the Gentiles called "strangers?" The apostle Paul, speaking of the Gentiles during the Jewish age, says they were "strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world?" (Eph. 2:12). And when God gave the Sabbath commandment at Sinai, why did he make it binding ONLY on "the stranger that is within your gates?" (Ex. 20:10). Where is the passage that proves the Sabbath was binding on the Gentile OUTSIDE the gates? All this shows the Sabbath was NOT universally applied. If it had been, there would have been no "strangers from the covenants of promise."
"If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath, from doing your pleasure on My holy day, and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy day of the LORD honorable, and shall honor Him, not doing your own ways, nor finding your own pleasure, nor speaking your own words…"
We agree that God in Isa. 58:13, referred to the Sabbath as "My holy day" during the Jewish age, but where is a reference that says it’s God's holy day in the Christian age?
Thus says the LORD: "Take heed to yourselves, and bear no burden on the Sabbath day, nor bring it in by the gates of Jerusalem; 22 nor carry a burden out of your houses on the Sabbath day, nor do any work, but hallow the Sabbath day, as I commanded your fathers. 23 But they did not obey nor incline their ear, but made their neck stiff, that they might not hear nor receive instruction. 24 "And it shall be, if you heed Me carefully," says the LORD, "to bring no burden through the gates of this city on the Sabbath day, but hallow the Sabbath day, to do no work in it, 25 then shall enter the gates of this city kings and princes sitting on the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, they and their princes, accompanied by the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and this city shall remain forever."
The Adventist says Jer. 17:21-25 shows God was testing Israel and bringing rebuke upon that nation because of their attitude toward the Sabbath. But where is the passage where God "tests Christians," not Israel, by the same means?
Furthermore, as the Adventist tells us, Israel and Judah were "scattered
among the nations" because they failed to keep the Sabbath. So, why didn’t
God scatter the NATIONS among ISRAEL for the same reason of the NATIONS are
just as bound to keep the SABBATH as was Israel?
"Therefore I made them go out of the land of Egypt and brought them into the wilderness. 11 And I gave them My statutes and showed them My judgments, 'which, if a man does, he shall live by them.' 12 Moreover I also gave them My Sabbaths, to be a sign between them and Me, that they might know that I am the LORD who sanctifies them. 13 Yet the house of Israel rebelled against Me in the wilderness; they did not walk in My statutes; they despised My judgments, 'which, if a man does, he shall live by them'; and they greatly defiled My Sabbaths."
God GAVE the children of Israel his Sabbaths AFTER he brought them out of the land of Egypt and brought them INTO the wilderness. They did not HAVE the Sabbaths BEFORE God GAVE it to them, and he did not GIVE it to them until AFTER they were in the wilderness.
There is absolutely NO passage of Scripture that says God GAVE the Sabbath to ANYONE before he gave it to the children of Israel.
"Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. 18 For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. 19 Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven."
We agree with the Adventist that Christ "did not come to destroy the law, but to fulfill" it (Matt. 5:17-19). This is true regarding the WHOLE MOSIAC SYSTEM. He did not dishonor any of it.
But his statement made in Matt. 5:18 shows the law was to cease. He said: " one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled." This shows it would pass when it was fulfilled. Did the Lord fulfill the law? If he did, then it has passed away.
When the record tells us that Joseph knew not Mary "till she had brought forth her firstborn son" (Matt. 1:25), it does not mean that he never knew her. And when Paul's enemies bound themselves under an oath "that they would neither eat nor drink till they had killed Paul" (Acts 23:12), does that mean they would never eat or drink any more. Joseph knew Mary AFTER her firstborn son (they had other children). Paul’s enemies would gladly eat and drink AFTER they killed Paul.
So when Jesus said the law will not pass "till all is fulfilled," he did not mean that it would NEVER pass. One passage shows that Joseph knew Mary after she brought forth her firstborn son; another shows Paul's enemies planned to eat after they had killed Paul; and THIS PASSAGE other shows that the law passed after it was fulfilled.
Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying, 36 "Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?" 37 Jesus said to him, "'You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.' 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets."
While it’s true that the principle of love is embraced in the Ten Commandments (it is embraced in all divine commandments), these are two definite, specific commandments that are NOT found stated in the Ten Commandments. They are found in Deut. 6:5 and Lev. 19:18, in what the Adventist calls "the law of Moses." Furthermore, in Matthew 19, after naming five of the second group of the Ten Commandments, Jesus said: "And, you shall love thy neighbor as yourself." By doing this Jesus shows that this is NOT in the second group of the Ten Commandments but it addition to it. In Romans 13:9, Paul mentioned five of that second group of Ten Commandments, and then said "if there is any other commandment" it would be, summed up in this saying, namely, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." Here are what Jesus called two of the greatest commandments that were NOT specifically mentioned in the Ten Commandments. God obviously had OTHER commandments than just the Ten.
And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath.
The Adventist believes the Sabbath was a holy day in A.D. 70 when Jerusalem was destroyed – long after the crucifixion of Jesus – because Jesus told his disciples to "pray that your flight may not be in the winter or on the Sabbath day" (Matt. 24:20). But if this passage proves the Sabbath was a holy day in A. D. 70, it also proves "the winter" was a "holy season," for he told them pray that their flight be not in the winter. It was not the sacredness of the day or the season that Jesus had in mind, but the SAFETY of his disciples. Flight in the winter time would be difficult. Also the Jews, who had not accepted Christianity, would still be keeping the Sabbath would have the gates of Jerusalem closed on that day (Neh 13:15-22, esp. 19). Therefore, escape on that day would also be difficult; so they were to pray that they not have to flee on the Sabbath or in the winter.
Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb.
The Adventist uses Matt. 28:1, to prove that Sunday is NOT the Sabbath but that the Sabbath was the day BEFORE the first day of the week. We agree. We don’t claim Sunday to be the Sabbath. We oppose calling Sunday “the Christian Sabbath.” Denominational preachers are wrong when they refer to Sunday as the Sabbath; the Sabbath was the seventh day of the week (Ex. 20:10), the day which we call Saturday.
Then Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and news of Him went out through all the surrounding region. 15 And He taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all. 16 So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read. (Also see: Matt 13:54-58; Mark 6:1-6)
This passage is given to show that Jesus kept the Sabbath. Of course, he kept the Sabbath – he was born, lived and died as a Jew. There are many passages that could be given to prove this. But Jesus also was circumcised (Luke 2:21) and kept the Passover (Matt. 26:17-25). So why doesn’t the Adventist observe these things? Jesus did!
Jesus observed the law of circumcision, the Sabbath and the Passover because "God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law" (Gal. 4:4). And since he lived "under the law" he kept these requirements of the law. But Paul tells us that Christians "are NOT under the law" (Rom. 6:14). So there is the difference.
Are There 84 Instances Of
The Adventist says there are 84 Sabbath days where the apostle Paul PREACHED. However, a closer examination of these passages shows that there is NOT ONE instance of where the Scriptures say Paul KEPT the Sabbath day as a holy day unto the Lord.
(Note: Paul left the Jews and turned to the Gentiles in Acts 18:6 before the "year and six months" are mentioned. The Adventist skips this point. They connect verse 4 with verse 11, ignoring this point altogether. Plus, even though Paul preached in the Jewish synagogue on the Sabbath (Acts 18:4), after he turned from the Jews to the Gentiles in verse 6, there is NOT ONE WORD SAID about ANY Sabbath meeting in Corinth. Why? For one thing, the disciples didn’t keep the Sabbath and neither did Paul. If Paul KEPT the Sabbath while among the Jews, why didn’t the disciples KEEP the Sabbath while he was among the Gentiles? Furthermore, where does it say Paul KEPT the Sabbath while among the Gentiles? Where does it say Paul commanded the Gentiles to keep the Sabbath? Obviously, they didn’t KEEP the Sabbath because he didn’t keep the Sabbath.)
The Holy Spirit Called Saturday the Sabbath Day in Acts
Saturday was the Sabbath to the JEWS. The Holy Spirit also called a certain day "the day of Pentecost" (Acts 2:1) and called the Passover week "the days of unleavened bread" (Acts 12:3). Why doesn’t the Adventist regard this proof that he should keep Pentecost and Passover? If THIS proves the Sabbath is binding then it ALSO proves the Passover and Pentecost binding.
Acts 16:13-14 and Acts 18:1-11
Acts 16:13-14 – And on the Sabbath day we went out of the city to the riverside, where prayer was customarily made; and we sat down and spoke to the women who met there. 14 Now a certain woman named Lydia heard us. She was a seller of purple from the city of Thyatira, who worshiped God. The Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul.
Acts 18:1-11 – After these things Paul departed from Athens and went to Corinth. 2 And he found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla (because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to depart from Rome); and he came to them. 3 So, because he was of the same trade, he stayed with them and worked; for by occupation they were tentmakers. 4 And he reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and persuaded both Jews and Greeks. 5 When Silas and Timothy had come from Macedonia, Paul was compelled by the Spirit, and testified to the Jews that Jesus is the Christ. 6 But when they opposed him and blasphemed, he shook his garments and said to them, "Your blood be upon your own heads; I am clean. From now on I will go to the Gentiles." 7 And he departed from there and entered the house of a certain man named Justus, one who worshiped God, whose house was next door to the synagogue. 8 Then Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his household. And many of the Corinthians, hearing, believed and were baptized. 9 Now the Lord spoke to Paul in the night by a vision, "Do not be afraid, but speak, and do not keep silent; 10 for I am with you, and no one will attack you to hurt you; for I have many people in this city." 11 And he continued there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.
There is no indication in these passages that Paul KEPT the Sabbath. In both of these instances he PREACHED – he "spoke unto the women" and "reasoned in the synagogues." But not a word about "keeping the Sabbath."
The Adventist says Paul not only KEPT the Ten Commandments, but told the Corinthians to keep them also. Question: Where in 1st or 2nd Corinthians does Paul command or even infer that the Corinthians were to keep the Ten Commandments, and in particular, the Sabbath? Does the Lord have OTHER commandments beside the TEN? If so, could Paul have been writing about THOSE commandments?
2 Corinthians 3:7-14
But if the ministry of death, written and engraved on stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of the glory of his countenance, which glory was passing away, 8 how will the ministry of the Spirit not be more glorious? 9 For if the ministry of condemnation had glory, the ministry of righteousness exceeds much more in glory. 10 For even what was made glorious had no glory in this respect, because of the glory that excels. 11 For if what is passing away was glorious, what remains is much more glorious. 12 Therefore, since we have such hope, we use great boldness of speech — 13 unlike Moses, who put a veil over his face so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the end of what was passing away. 14 But their minds were blinded. For until this day the same veil remains unlifted in the reading of the Old Testament, because the veil is taken away in Christ.
This passage says the "ministration of death written and engraved on stones" was passing away. What was "written and engraved on stones?" It was the Ten Commandments. (Ex. 31:18; 32:16).
What purpose then does the law serve? It was added because of transgressions, till the Seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was appointed through angels by the hand of a mediator.
The Adventist claims the only law that was added TILL the Seed should come was the old system of pardon, with its ceremonies, bloody sacrifices, feasts, etc., and not the law containing the Sabbath.
Gal. 3:19 does not merely refer to the sacrificial system, but it was the law which was given "four hundred and thirty years after" God made the promise to Abraham concerning his seed (Gal. 3:17). The promise to Abraham is recorded in Gen. 12:1-3. According to biblical chronology, 430 years brings us to Sinai and the giving of the Ten Commandments. It was THIS law that was to last "till the seed should come."
Tell me, you who desire to be under the law, do you not hear the law? 22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons: the one by a bondwoman, the other by a freewoman. 23 But he who was of the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and he of the freewoman through promise, 24 which things are symbolic. For these are the two covenants: the one from Mount Sinai which gives birth to bondage, which is Hagar — 25 for this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and corresponds to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children — 26 but the Jerusalem above is free, which is the mother of us all. 27 For it is written: "Rejoice, O barren, you who do not bear! Break forth and shout, you who are not in labor! For the desolate has many more children than she who has a husband." 28 Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are children of promise. 29 But, as he who was born according to the flesh then persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, even so it is now. 30 Nevertheless what does the Scripture say? "Cast out the bondwoman and her son, for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman." 31 So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman but of the free.
Abraham's son by bondwoman represents covenant from Sinai. Isaac represents new covenant. Bondwoman and her son were cast out (verse 30). That ends covenant from Sinai. Children of that covenant are not heirs with son of free-woman. But Christians are NOT children of the covenant from Sinai (verse 31) and are therefore NOT under dominion of the Sabbath law.
In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, 12 buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. 13 And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, 14 having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. 15 Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it. 16 So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, 17 which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ.
The Adventist says this can not refer to the Sabbath law but to a law that was against the apostles and contrary to them – to the old law of pardon by the blood of animals which Moses wrote in a book. They say it was against us because it could never take away sins once and for all time (Heb 10:1-4). Therefore, they say when Jesus died on Calvary and shed his blood, this old system of sacrifices – the ceremonial law – ended.
However, the "US" Paul is referring to is not the apostles OR Christians because it had already been done away with. It was AGAINST and CONTRARY to the JEWS. Paul was not an apostle while that law was in force, but he was a Jew, and he refers to the past when he says "the handwriting of ordinances was against us." This referred to the whole law system of the Jewish age.
Does Colossians 2:14-16 include the Sabbath law? Yes. Paul was speaking about "the handwriting of ordinances" concerning meat and drink, holy days, new moons and Sabbath days. Yes, the handwriting concerning Sabbath days was blotted out, according to Paul.
However, the Adventist says "the Sabbaths" in this passage refers to the yearly Sabbaths. Read 1 Chron. 23:30-31 — "…to stand every morning to thank and praise the LORD, and likewise at evening; 31 and at every presentation of a burnt offering to the LORD on the Sabbaths and on the New Moons and on the set feasts, by number according to the ordinance governing them, regularly before the LORD…"
Note the things here specified. There was the service for morning and evening (daily), in the Sabbaths (weekly), in the new moons (monthly), and on the set feasts (yearly). This same set order of services is mentioned in 2 Chron.2:4; 8:13; 31:3; Neh. 10:33 and other passages. And that is exactly the same order given by Paul in Col. 2:16 – "So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or Sabbaths…" Notice the order given by Paul: "in food or in drink" (daily), "regarding a festival" (yearly), "or a new moon" (monthly), "or Sabbaths" (weekly). What the KJV calls a "holy day" the RV calls a "feast day," and the NKJV calls "a festival." These are all referring to YEARLY SERVICES as mentioned in Lev. 23. But the "Sabbaths" mentioned by Paul in Col 2:16 are WEEKLY SERVICES – WEEKLY SABBATHS – and are shown to be abolished. No man has a right to judge Christians concerning Sabbath keeping, for the handwriting concerning such has been blotted out and nailed to the cross of Christ.
There remains therefore a rest for the people of God.
The Adventist says this means the Sabbath – the seventh day of the week. But notice that it is "a rest," not "the Sabbath." However, the Adventist argues the word in verse 9 is the Greek "sabbatismos" referring to the Sabbath (seventh day), and says the word "rest" in other verses is from the Greek "katapausis" and refers to the heavenly rest. But the word "rested" in verse 4, which is referring to God's rest on the seventh day, is from "katopausin."
Heb 4:4 – For He has spoken in a certain place of the seventh day in this way: "And God rested on the seventh day from all His works…" [NT: 2664 – katapauo (kat-ap-ow'-o); from NT:2596 and NT:3973; to settle down, i.e. (literally) to colonize, or (figuratively) to (cause to) desist: KJV - cease, (give) rest (-rain).]
So, according to the Adventist, verse 9 cannot be the seventh day rest because it’s the Greek word "sabbatismos," whereas verse 4 speaks of the seventh day rest by using the word "katopausin." Furthermore, the word Sabbath in our New Testament comes from sabbaton, not sabbatiamoe.
Heb. 4:10 says, "there remains a rest (sabbatismos) to the people of God." Sabbatismos is a singular noun, third person, nominative case, and is used as subject of the sentence. In Mark 2:27, where it says, "the Sabbath (sabbaton) was made for man," sabbaton is a singular noun, third person, nominative case, used as subject of the sentence. Their grammatical use is the same. What is the difference? Sabbaton is of neuter gender; sabbatimos is of masculine gender. The word "Sabbath" in the New Testament always comes from "sabbaton" (neuter gender). The word "sabbatismos" (masculine gender) is used only one time in the New Testament and does not refer to the seventh day. They are two different words. The rest of Heb. 4:10 is the eternal rest that we must labor to enter (Heb. 4:11). And to cease from work "as God did from his" does not say "on the day God did."
The Jews had entered the seventh day rest and the Canaan rest, but there was still one more rest that remained. It is the heavenly rest, for Paul said: "Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience." (Heb. 4:11). This rest occurred a long time after the other rests, and it was not the same rest Joshua brought them into. See Heb 4:7-8 – …again He designates a certain day, saying in David, "Today," after such a long time, as it has been said: "Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts." 8 For if Joshua had given them rest, then He would not afterward have spoken of another day.
For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 11 None of them shall teach his neighbor, and none his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,' for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them. 12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more." 13 In that He says, "A new covenant," He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.
The Adventist argues that it was the COVENANT that was changed, not the LAWS. While it’s true that the NEW COVENANT would contain God’s laws, that does NOT mean they were the SAME LAWS found in the OLD COVENANT. Heb. 8:9 says the new covenant was "not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt…"
The Adventist says the same laws found in the OLD COVENANT will be written on the heart under the NEW COVENANT. But where does it say the SAME LAWS will be written on the heart. It says God’s laws will be written on the heart, but it does not say those laws will include Sabbath keeping.
Furthermore, the covenant was more than THEIR agreement in Ex. 19:1-8. God does not refer to their agreement which they made with him, but to the covenant which he made with them. And that covenant which God made was the old covenant that was done away (Heb. 8:13; Jer 31:31-34). God said in Ex. 19:5: "if .... you will keep my covenant." He did NOT say: "If you will keep your agreement." He also said they broke his covenant (Jer. 31:32; Heb. 8:9), NOT merely their agreement. So their agreement was not his covenant, but his covenant which they broke was taken away (Heb. 8:7, 11).
What was the covenant that God made? Deut. 4:13 says the Lord "declared unto you his covenant, which he commanded you to perform, even Ten Commandments." The tables on which they were written were called "the tables of the covenant" (Deut. 9:9). The ark in which they were placed was called "the ark of the covenant" (Deut. 31:28). The Ten Commandments are called "the words of the covenant" (Ex. 34:27, 28). And this covenant Israel broke and the covenant God took away.
For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all. 11 For He who said, "Do not commit adultery," also said, "Do not murder." Now if you do not commit adultery, but you do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law.
The Adventist says James was referring to the Ten Commandments here because he quoted from two of the ten. If James was referring to the need for Christians to keep the Ten Commandments why didn’t he mention the Sabbath? James did not quote the Sabbath commandment because he wasn’t referring to the Ten Commandment Law. He was referring to "the law of liberty" (verse 12).
1 John 2:3-4
Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. 4 He who says, "I know Him," and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
The Adventist argues that John was speaking of the Ten Commandments. However, John doesn’t say TEN COMMANDMENTS – just commandments. Does God have commandments OTHER than the TEN? Of course he does. Would a violation of any of the commandments of God OTHER than the TEN be sin? Of course it would.
In the very next verse John calls these commandments God’s "word." 1 John 2:5 – But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. Did God give "words" OTHER than those found in the Ten Commandments? Certainly he did! Would the violation of God’s "word" OTHER THAT the Ten Commandments be sin? Of course it would. Therefore it’s an assumption without foundation to say John is specifically speaking about the Ten Commandments here.
Their claim that the phrase "the commandments of God" are always speaking of the Ten Commandments is not true. To set fire to Ai was a "commandment of the Lord." (Josh. 8:8). To destroy Amalek, their flocks and herds, were "commandments of God" (1 Sam. 15:11). Preaching the gospel was a "commandment of the everlasting God" (Rom. 16:26). Not one of these are making reference to the Ten Commandments. And you can find many others by checking your concordance.
Revelation 12:17; 14:12; 22:14
Rev 12:17 – And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.
Rev 14:12 – Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.
Rev 22:14 – Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city.
The Adventist claims these verses are referring to the Ten Commandments. Who said so? Does God have any commandments besides the Ten? Paul said: "If anyone thinks himself to be a prophet or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things which I write to you are the commandments of the Lord." (1 Cor. 14:37).
Furthermore, the Adventist makes a distinction between "the commandments of God" and "the testimony of Jesus Christ" in Rev. 12:17. "The commandments of God," according to the Adventist, are the Ten Commandments, and "testimony of Christ" means the law of pardon through the sacrifice of Christ.
Their claim that the phrase "the commandments of God" are always speaking of the Ten Commandments is not true. To set fire to Ai was a "commandment of the Lord." (Josh. 8:8). To destroy Amalek, their flocks and herds, were "commandments of God" (1 Sam. 15:11). Preaching the gospel was a "commandment of the everlasting God" (Rom. 16:26). Not one of these are making reference to the Ten Commandments. And you can find many others by checking your concordance.
They also say there is a distinction between "the word of God" and "the testimony of Jesus Christ" in Rev. 1:9. If that were true, then "the testimony of Christ" would NOT be a part of "the word of God." However, "the things concerning the name of Jesus Christ" and "the word of God" are used interchangeably by Luke in Acts 8:12-14 – But when they believed Philip as he preached the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were baptized. 13 Then Simon himself also believed; and when he was baptized he continued with Philip, and was amazed, seeing the miracles and signs which were done. 14 Now when the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them…
Questions About Sabbath-Keeping
Did The Apostle Paul KEEP The Sabbath?
The Adventist claims Paul went into the Jewish synagogues on the Sabbath day to KEEP the Sabbath (Acts 19:14-44). But consider the fact that the people who were in the synagogue on the Sabbath conducting their services were Jews and NOT Christians. Furthermore, even those Gentiles who requested "the word to be preached to them the next Sabbath" were not Christians. There were no Christians in these places when Paul went there.
Did Paul KEEP the Sabbath with them? There is not a SINGLE VERSE that says he did. Paul went there to preach Jesus to them on the Sabbath because that’s THE PLACE where he would find non-believing Jews (in the synagogue) and that’s THE TIME he would find non-believing Jews (on the Sabbath). I have gone to places to preach on Saturday, but I did not observe the Sabbath.
Where was Paul ever asked to keep the Sabbath, and not to preach the gospel of Christ? And where did he comply?
Are The Law of God and Law of Moses the Same Thing?
The Adventist makes these arguments:
1. The law of God was written on stones with God’s own finger (Ex. 31:18); and the law of Moses was written by Moses and was written in a book (Deut. 31:9, 24).
2. The law of God was placed in the ark (Deut. 10:5); and the law of Moses was placed in the side of the ark (Deut. 31:25, 28).
3. And then they conclude the law of God is to continue forever (Ps. 111:7, 8) [Psalm 111:7 does not specify the Ten Commandments but ALL HIS COMMANDMENTS]; but the law of Moses was done away according to Eph. 2:15 – having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace…
Two Questions: Is there a difference between "the law of Moses" and "the law of God?" Was "the law of God" ever written in the book?
Consider the following:
1. God gave "the law of Moses" (Ezra 7:6). And Moses gave "God's law" (Neh. 10:29). Adventists claim Moses gave the law of Moses, and God gave the law of God, and they are two separate things.
2. God gave "the book of the law of Moses" (Neh. 8:1). Moses gave the "book of the law of the Lord" (2 Chron. 34:14). This shows they are the same thing.
3. Some things written in "the law of Moses" are also in the Ten Commandments. Adventists maintain the law of Moses refers to all the law of the Old Testament dispensation EXCEPT the Ten Commandments. However, Jesus declared: "Moses said, Honor your father and thy mother." This is one of the Ten Commandments. Again, "Did not Moses give you the law, and yet none of you keep the law? Why go about to kill me?" (John 7:19). So Jesus refers to the law against murder and says Moses gave it.
4. The things contained in the law of God (supposedly the Ten Commandments) are also in the "Law of Moses." The Adventist claims the law of God contains only the Ten Commandments. But what does the Bible say? Burnt offerings are contained in "the law of the Lord" (2 Chron. 31:3). The acts of Josiah are written in the same law (2 Chron. 35:26). And Luke makes the following statement: "…(as it is written in the law of the Lord, "Every male who opens the womb shall be called holy to the LORD"), and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the law of the Lord, "A pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons." (Luke 2:23-24). None of these things are in the Ten Commandments; yet they are all in "the law of the Lord."
5. The expressions are used interchangeably in Nehemiah 8:1-3, 8. The book from which Ezra read is called "the book of the law of Moses" in verse 1. Verse 2 calls it "the law." Verse 3 calls it "the book of the law." And verse 8 says "they read in the book of the law of God." So "the law," "the book of the law," "the book of the law of Moses," and "the law of God" are all the same thing.
Are the Ten Commandments the Universal Standard of Right and Wrong?
The Adventist makes this claim because they find the death penalty attached to the violation of those commandments. But the sons of Kohath, who did service for the sanctuary, were told that they should not "touch any holy thing, lest they die" (Num. 4:15). Was this a standard of right and wrong found in the Ten Commandments? Wizards were to be put to death (Lev. 20:27). Was this a standard of right and wrong found in the Ten Commandments? If a man should lie with a beset, he suffered the penalty of death (Lev. 20:15). Was this a standard of right and wrong found in the Ten Commandments? Other commandments carried the death penalty too. The Ten Commandments were PART of the standard, but not THE ONLY standard. Many things were wrong that were not forbidden in the Ten Commandments. Paul said: "If anyone thinks himself to be a prophet or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things which I write to you are the commandments of the Lord." (1 Cor. 14:37).
Did God have the SAME Commandment for Mankind in Every Age?
The Adventist argues that since God is no respecter of persons (Rom. 2:11; Eph. 6:9), and that he never changes (Mal. 3:6; Jas 1:17), he has had the same Ten Commandments for men in every age. However, this is not true. God HAS changed his law (Heb. 7:12) and has given commandments in this age that he never gave in any other. Did God command Abraham to be baptized? He has commanded men in this age to be. Does he command men today to sacrifice animals or burn incense?
1. The Sabbath was given to Israel only. In Deut. 5:1-5 Moses addressed Israel and said: "The Lord our God made a covenant with us in Horeb." And in Ex. 31:13 God said: "Speak also unto the children of Israel saying, Surely you shall keep my Sabbaths." In the same verse God said: "It is a sign between me and you throughout your generations." How could it be a sign between God and Israel if other nations were included too? Therefore, the Sabbath was never given to Gentiles.
2. Ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was done away. In 2 Cor. 3:7-11 Paul refers to that which was written and engraven in stones at the time the face of Moses shone. This refers to Sinai and the giving of the Ten Commandments. These commandments were placed upon "tables of stone, written with the finger of God" (Ex. 31:18). "The writing was the writing of God, graven upon the tables" (Ex. 32:16). This, Paul says, was done away. We hear him say: "For if that which was done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious" (2 Cor. 3:11). This ends the Sabbath, written and engraven in stones.
3. Christians are not under the law. Sabbatarians constantly refer to "the law" as meaning the Ten Commandments, including the Sabbath. The Adventist makes this same argument regarding Jas. 2:10, 11. But if "the law" means the Sabbath, we are no longer under the Sabbath, for we are not under the law. In fact, "the law" refers to the Old Testament system, sometimes called "the law," sometimes, "the law of God," and sometimes, "the law of Moses." Since the Sabbath belonged to that, we are not required to keep it any longer.
Note the following facts about "the law:"
a. "We are not under the law" (Rom. 6:14; Gal. 5:18).
b. We are dead to the law (Rom. 7:4).
c. We are delivered from the law (Rom. 7:6).
d. Christ is the end of the law (Rom. 10:4).
e. "Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ .... we are no longer under a schoolmaster" (Gal. 3:24, 25).
f. "The law" has been abolished (Eph. 2:15).
4. The Sabbath is Gone. Amos 8:5 – "When will the New Moon be past, that we may sell grain? And the Sabbath, that we may trade wheat? Making the ephah small and the shekel large, falsifying the scales by deceit…"
Two questions are asked here: (1) When will the new moon be gone? And (2) when will the Sabbath be gone?
The answer is in verse 9. "And it shall come to pass in that day," says the Lord GOD, "That I will make the sun go down at noon, and I will darken the earth in broad daylight…" (Amos 8:9) When did this occur? It was fulfilled when Jesus died on the cross (Mark 15:33). The sun went down at noon – at noon darkness covered the earth and remained for three hours. At that time the feast of new moons ended. The Adventist agrees with this. But the Sabbath also ended, and since that time, no inspired men ever commanded any one to keep the Sabbath holy.
5. The Sabbath blotted out at the cross. Col. 2:14, 16, Paul makes this statement: "Blotting 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 in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holy day, or of the new moon, or of the, Sabbath days." We are not to be judged, therefore, concerning Sabbath days, for the handwriting concerning them has been blotted out, just as it has with respect to most, drink, holy days or new moons. All of these were blotted out when Jesus died. Not one has been re-instituted since his death.