A WRITTEN DISCUSSION
"The Bible clearly teaches
that the fourth commandment
DAVID F. SMITH
Copyrighted 1952 by Gene Frost.
Firm Foundation Publishing House
LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL
LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL
The Bible clearly teaches that the fourth commandment of the Decalogue -- viz., "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy" -- is binding on Christians under the new covenant.
[ * See correspondence below. ]
What law was binding on Christians in the time when James wrote his epistle? If the ten commandments recorded in Exodus 20 are binding, then the fourth one, which is the Sabbath commandment, is binding. If the ten commandments have been abolished prior to A.D. 60; then we must seek out the new law for Christians to see whether the Sabbath is included.
The New Testament plainly indicates that there are some Old Testament requirements that are binding on Christians since the cross. "And that from a child thou hast learned the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Jesus Christ." 2 Tim. 3:15. Paul is writing to Timothy, the young minister at the church of Ephesus. (1 Tim. 1:2 and 4:6) This second letter was written from Rome when Paul was about to be brought before Nero the second time, about A.D. 66. All authorities agree that the earliest of the New Testament Books were not written before about 54 A.D.
This means that the Scriptures Timothy was taught out of as a child, could be none other than the Old Testament. Christ called the Old Testament "Scripture" when He said to the Jewish leaders, "Search the Scriptures, for in them ye think ye have eternal life, and they are they which testify of me." John 5:39. Under the word "Scripture" in Cruden's concordance we read:
The word as used in the Bible refers almost invariably to the sacred writings, which at that time consisted of the Old Testament. It is also used of a part of it, especially when that part is to be quoted in a later passage.
The Old Testament, which Timothy was taught as a child is able to make him wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus, says Paul. Now let us read the verse which follows, "ALL SCRIPTURE is given by inspiration of God, and is PROFITABLE for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness." 2 Tim. 3:16.
What could the apostle mean here when he tells us that ALL scripture is profitable? Could we by any twist of the imagination think that he means only part of it? Some would say, yes the Old Testament is all right for the stories it has, and for the inspiration of Psalms. We can learn things by reading it, but we do not have to follow it in New Testament times. But is this what the BIBLE SAYS here in 2 Tim. 3:16? It says ALL scripture is profitable for DOCTRINE.
What is doctrine? Webster's dictionary says, "That which is taught, the principles, belief, or dogma, of any church, sect or party." According to this text written by Paul ALL scripture is profitable then to give us the principles of belief of the Christian church. It is not only profitable for doctrine, but also for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, as mentioned in this text.
How could Paul tell us any plainer than in these words that the Old Testament is the guide book of the Christian as well as the new? He states that it is profitable for all these phases of Christian teaching. He says it can make one wise unto salvation.
Peter warns us that Paul has written some things hard to be understood, and that some who are unstable, wrest these and other scriptures to their own destruction. (2 Pet. 3:15,16) What should we do with the parts of scripture that we cannot understand? "The secret things belong unto the Lord our God, but those things which are REVEALED belong unto us and to our children for ever . . ." Deut. 29:29
There is no statement of Paul's which is plainer nor easier to understand than verses 15 and 16 of 2 Timothy, chapter 3. So we KNOW that there are things in the Old Testament that are profitable for doctrine, etc., under the new covenant. Paul has specifically and plainly told us the forms of worship which are no longer to he observed, also. So why not put the two together? Is not this the wise plan to take exactly what the Bible tells us, rather than to read into it something that is not there?
Now what are these old Testament forms of worship which are not required in the new? Paul specifically points them out so that there need be no question. CIRCUMCISION is one. (Gal. 6:15) In fact the arguments about the law in Galatians were given because someone was urging circumcision upon the Galatian church. ''They constrain you to be circumcised.'' Gal. 6:12
THE AARONIC PRIESTHOOD was also not to be continued. (Heb. 7:11, 12) And of course the change in the priesthood indicated a change in the law which regulated the priesthood. However the ten commandments say nothing about the priesthood, so there is no indication here of a change in the ten commandments.
THE HANDWRITING OF ORDINANCES, which were a shadow of things to come, were also abolished. Col. 2:14-16. In this list all forms of worship involving meat, drink, holyday, new moon, and Sabbath days WHICH ARE A SHADOW OF THINGS TO COME are abolished. (Vs. 17).
The Levitical law tells of many ceremonial MEAT and DRINK offerings. These pointed forward to Christ, and therefore come under the list mentioned in Col. 2 which are "Shadows of things to come." See Heb. 9:9-12. An illustration in point is THE PASSOVER LAMB which was to be eaten with bitter herbs. This pointed forward to Christ, as indicated in 1 Cor. 5:7, "Christ, our Passover, is sacrificed for us."
But does the, "Let no man therefore judge you in meat or in drink" statement of Col. 2 abolish ALL regulations regarding eating and drinking? No. We find that there are OTHER OLD TESTAMENT REGULATIONS that are still in force in the New. The Bible mentions some specifically in Acts 21 :25. Abstain from THINGS STRANGLED, from things OFFERED TO IDOLS and from BLOOD. These are Old Testament regulations which Acts definitely mentions as being in force in the New!
Because of the law against the use of blood, the Jews were careful to kill animals in such a manner as to permit free bleeding. We find this idea in the warning given by the church council against things strangled. The law against eating blood is found in Deut. 12 :23, 24, as well as in a number of other places in the Old Testament.
Why do I mention this about meats in seeking to prove that the Sabbath of the fourth commandment is still binding? The above mentioned text (Col. 2:14-l7) is used repeatedly as an evidence by those who think the Sabbath is abolished, and so we must consider the text as a whole to see what it teaches. The above scriptures prove conclusively that the reference to meat and drink does not abolish all Old Testament regulations regarding eating and drinking. AND DOES IT NOT FOLLOW as the night the day that NEITHER does the reference to a holyday and Sabbath days in the same verse abolish ALL SABBATH REGULATIONS of the Old Testament!
It merely abolishes those that it SAYS it abolishes: Those which are a shadow of things to come! (verse 17)
Now let us candidly compare these ceremonial Sabbaths, which were shadows of things to come with the Sabbath of the 4th commandment. Three typical ones are the Passover Sabbath (treated above), The Feast of Tabernacles, and the Day of Atonement. At the feast of tabernacles the people offered the first-fruits of their crops to the Lord. It pointed forward to Christ in that He became the "First-fruits of them that slept." (1 Cor. 15 :20, 23) On the day of atonement, the high priest entered the most holy place of the sanctuary, and sprinkled the blood of a lamb before the ark of God to make an atonement for the sins of the people. That this pointed forward to the sacrifice of Christ, the Lamb of God, is indicated in Rom. 5:11. ". . . Our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement."
By way of contrast let us now consider the weekly Sabbath -- the Sabbath of the fourth commandment. "And God blessed the Sabbath day and sanctified it BECAUSE in it he HAD RESTED from all his work which he had created and made." At the Sabbath’s first mention it points BACKWARD to a completed task. In the fourth commandment again a pointing backward is indicated: "But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy GOD . . . FOR in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day."
The Sabbath is a memorial. When we erect a memorial of some great statesman it POINTS BACKWARD reminding us of the life he lived for his country. The inscription gives dates of the past, his birth and death, and perhaps a mention of some of his most famous deeds. The Sabbath is not a memorial of the dead but of the living, it is to turn our thoughts to him every time we REMEMBER that in six days he created the heavens and the earth. The fourth is the only commandment that begins with the word REMEMBER. The Sabbath command is the only one that gives a reason for keeping it, the fact that God created the heavens and the earth.
It has been shown conclusively that there are Old Testament teachings which are PROFITABLE FOR DOCTRINE under the new covenant. (2 Tim. 3:15,16) It has been proven that Col. 2:14-17 does not abolish all Old Testament commands even regarding eating and drinking for New Testament Christians. (Acts 21 :25) It not only does not abolish all commands in the respects listed in the text but SPECIFICALLY LIMITS ITSELF to those things pointing forward to Christ.
Thus the Sabbath of the fourth commandment escapes the abolishment of Col. 2:14-17 on THREE COUNTS.
(1) That this text does not abolish all Old Testament commands.
(2) That this text does not even abolish all Old Testament commands regarding the activities which it specifically mentions (as in meat and drink).
(3) It specifically limits its abolishment to those things which were shadows of things to come, while the Sabbath of the fourth commandment is to be remembered because of THE CREATION OF THIS EARTH which is in the past. (Ex. 20:8-11)
It has been argued that in the phrase "Sabbath days" in Col. 2 :16, that the word "days" is in italics, and that the text should read, "Or of the Sabbath." Such an argument is merely a play on words and an insult to the intelligence of any scholarly audience. The original Greek here is . The form is the genitive plural, and is translated literally, "or of Sabbaths." See any diaglott or analytical Greek lexicon. THEREFORE, in no sense does the weekly Sabbath find itself included under the items named abolished in Col. 2:14-17.
Now let us continue with our list of Old Testament forms of worship which are abolished in the New Testament. CEREMONIAL WASHINGS AND ANIMAL SACRIFICES are mentioned specifically as no longer necessary. (Heb. 9:10-14) Also the SANCTUARY built on the plan given to Moses is called a figure of the true one in heaven, where Jesus now ministers as our high priest in this dispensation. (Heb. 9:24, 8:1,2)
The teachings of the Bible are specific. God does not leave his will for us to be learned by guesswork. All Old Testament rules no longer binding under the old covenant are SPECIFICALLY POINTED OUT in the New Testament. Even such a minor ordinance as circumcision, we find discussed repeatedly, so that there will be no mistake. The end of the priesthood, (Levitical) the end of ceremonial washings, the end of those things having to do with meats, drinks, holydays and Sabbaths which were a shadow of things to come, the end of the sanctuary service, the end of animal sacrifices.
BUT WHERE in all this do we find the end of the SABBATH of the fourth commandment? It is conspicuous by its absence. ALL these minor details of worship are SPECIFICALLY ENUMERATED. Does it not follow that if the SABBATH was to have been abolished, it would have been MENTIONED?
God is not the author of confusion. Can we accuse him now of being so inconsistent as to abolish the Sabbath and not even REFER to it, with its honored place among the ten great rules graven in stone by the finger of God; and at the same time to take great space to enumerate all these OTHER things which did not even merit being included with the ten commandments?
WHERE IS IT??? I sincerely want to know. I will still give $200 for a text stating when, where, and by whom the weekly Sabbath was abolished.
What has been said of the Sabbath is true of the OTHER COMMANDMENTS of the ten. Nowhere in the New Testament do we find that the rule against idolatry, or graven images, or blasphemy, or dishonor to parents, or murder, or adultery, or theft, or false witness, or coveting is no longer to be observed. While WHOLE CHAPTERS and BOOKS of the New Testament are given to discussing the items of the ceremonial law which are no longer in effect: WHY -- if the ten commandments were abolished -- is there not a single mention of the least item of these great principles being done away?
The absence of any New Testament evidence that the Sabbath has been done away is a powerful argument for its continued existence. Those who would put forward a new day for the veneration of Christians, must first show where the old came to an end. This they are unable to do.
But how about its importance? This is the next question that comes to our minds. Suppose that it does exist as a forgotten law -- still in force on the statute books of God, but forgotten by man. Is it important enough that he should turn against present day customs and usage, and order his life by the pure faith once delivered to the saints?
If this rule had been forgotten by all New Testament characters, we might well question its importance. But the fact that we have INSTRUCTION in the NEW TESTAMENT on HOW TO KEEP IT indicates that the Lord did consider it important for the New Testament Christians. In fact the Sabbath comes in for more than its share of comment on how to keep it, compared with the amount of space given to the keeping of the other 9 commandments.
(1) "It is lawful to do well on the Sabbath days." Jesus heals a man with a withered hand on the Sabbath, and justifies his deed with these words. He also indicates that it is proper to act in cases of emergency to relieve suffering, by giving the example of the ox in the ditch. (See Matt. 12:10-12)
(2) It is proper to attend religious services. "And Jesus . . . 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 for to read." (Luke 4:14-16) "And he (Paul) reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks." (Acts 18:4).
(3) "In it thou shalt not do any work." (Ex. 20:8-11) "And they returned and prepared spices and ointments, and rested the Sabbath day ACCORDING TO THE COMMANDMENT." (Luke 23:56)
(4) In emergency it is proper to take measures to relieve our own hunger or discomfort on the Sabbath. "And at that time Jesus went on the Sabbath day through a field of corn; and his disciples were an hungered, and began to pluck the ears of corn, and to eat." Matt. 12:1. That Jesus considered this to be an emergency is indicated by the fact that he justified this deed to the Pharisees by quoting another emergency, when David, fleeing for his life ate of the shewbread, which was for the priests only. (Matt. 12:3, 4)
(5) The day of preparation is for all work that can be taken care of before the Sabbath. (Luke 23:54)
(6) It is proper to go out among the beauties of nature. "And on the Sabbath we went out of the city by a riverside, where prayer was wont to be made; and we sat down, and spake unto the women which resorted thither." (Acts 16:13)
It has been conclusively shown that there is no evidence that the weekly Sabbath is abolished. It has also become evident that the New Testament contains teaching on how to keep the Sabbath. It will now further indicate that the Bible "clearly teaches" that the Sabbath is binding if we find that the ten commandments in whose very heart the Sabbath rule is found, are binding on Christians under the new covenant.
A favorite text of those who would seek to show the ten commandments abolished is 2 Cor. 3:7, "But if the ministration of death, written and graven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away: shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious? For if the ministration of condemnation be glory much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory. For even that which was made glorious had no glory IN THIS RESPECT, by reason of the glory that excelleth. For if that which was done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious. Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech: and not as Moses, which put a vail over his face, that the children of Israel could not stedfastly look to the end of that which is abolished." (2 Cor. 3:7-13)
All that this long scripture plainly claims abolished is the glory of Moses' face. This was to be done away. He covered it with a vail so that the people could not steadfastly look to the end of that which is abolished. Some who are anxious to read into this that the law is done away, apparently would have us believe that because the passage ends with the word "abolished" therefore everything mentioned in the texts foregoing is abolished. But the scripture DOES NOT SAY SO. If we took this extreme view then the ministration of condemnation is abolished, in which case no one will be lost, everyone will be saved, John 3:16 is meaningless. Paul's missionary journeys were not necessary, and the people who take the trouble to be religious today are going through a lot of useless motions.
The scripture DOES plainly state that the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones is not as glorious as the ministration of the spirit. It further amplifies this truth by stating that if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory.
What is the purpose of this ministration of death and condemnation by the Law? "Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them that are under the law: that EVERY MOUTH may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God." (Rom. 3:19) The purpose of the law is to let us know that "All have sinned and come short of the glory of God." (Rom. 3:23) We must come to this place before we realize our need of a Savior. This is how the law is our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ. (Gal. 3:24)
"Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea we establish the law." Rom. 3 :31
The third chapter of 2 Corinthians, far from proving that we do not need to order our lives in harmony with the ten commandments, merely indicates the three steps in the Christian life, sometimes referred to as the three "R's" of Christianity. They are: (1) Ruin by the fall. (2) Redemption through the blood. (3) Regeneration by the spirit. The ministration of death has to do with the first "R." After the sinner knows that he is under condemnation, THEN he comes to Christ for redemption (the 2nd "R"). And if the ministration of death was glorious is not the ministration of the spirit rather glorious? After receiving forgiveness of sin he receives cleansing from sin the new birth, the regeneration of the spirit, (3rd "R") and if the ministration of condemnation was glorious is not the ministration of righteousness exceeding in glory?
Are we justified by the deeds of the law? According to Rom. 3:19, 20 the law was given that every mouth may be stopped and ALL THE WORLD become guilty before God. THEREFORE by the deeds of the law shall no flesh be justified in his sight." Why? Because everyone has broken it. Paul is not making a rule, he is just stating a fact. Simple, isn't it? Everyone broke it, so naturally no one can be justified by keeping it. NO ONE EVER HAS kept it except Jesus.
The purpose of the law is to show us our sins. James compares the law to a mirror. (Jas. 1 :23-25) We look at it and it shows up the blemishes in our lives. But will my face be clean if I smash the mirror to bits? Not at all. The mirror is to help me. Neither will the enemies of the law clean up their sinful hearts by trying to show it abolished. WE NEED IT. The law is our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ.
"For by the law is the knowledge of sin." Rom. 3:20
"What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin (lawbreaking, 1 John 3:4) that grace may abound? GOD FORBID. How shall we that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?" (Rom. 6:1, 2)
Some law is binding on Christians since the death of Christ. There is not one scrap of evidence in the New Testament proving that the ten commandments were abolished. The Bible makes plain the forms of worship which were done away, but THE WHOLE TENOR of New Testament teaching is to uphold the ten commandments. The Holy Spirit seems to exhaust human vocabulary, using comparison, and admonition, and precept and example and illustration to make these things plain.
Some law is binding on Christians in the new covenant. Whatever law this is James says that every PART of it is binding. We have found many parts of the ceremonial law not binding, so this could not be it. THE ONLY LAW -- containing the commands against murder and adultery, of which NO PART is said to be abolished in the New Testament, is the TEN COMMANDMENTS. "For whosoever shall keep the whole law, yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. FOR HE that said DO NOT COMMIT ADULTERY said also DO NOT KILL." Jas. 2:10-12
What law was binding on Christians in the time when James wrote his epistle? There can be no doubt. There is no question about it. That law, which is Christ said He came not to destroy; that law, which Paul tells us is holy, just and good ; that law, which James tells us we will be judged by is none other than the ten commandments, graven in stone by the finger of God.
If the ten commandments are binding on Christians today, then the Sabbath command of the fourth commandment is binding also. If we break the Sabbath we commit sin. We are sinners and stand condemned, and the wages of sin is death. (Rom. 6:23)
"TURN away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day, and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honorable . . ." Isa. 58:13.
FROST'S FIRST NEGATIVE *
[ * See Correspondence below. ]
While my friend failed to define the proposition I believe that it is clear enough in wording that there should be no question to its import.
My opponent, knowing that the Sabbath is nowhere commanded under the new covenant, must resort to the old. But this does him no good, affirming it is binding on Christians under the new covenant, unless he can prove that the old law is the new law or part thereof. This he makes a feeble attempt to do. However, all that is necessary to refute his assumption is to prove that the old law is done away. If the old law is done away it is impossible for the affirmative to make it the authority in the new. This I intend to do at this time, and at the same time showing its location historically in the scheme of redemption.
In contending for the observance of the Sabbath day of Exodus 20, Adventists overlook the significance of history which is summarized by the apostle Paul in Galatians three. This became apparent in our newspaper discussion which yet remains to be answered by David Smith. Since this discussion is to include, according to our "agreement," the newspaper discussion, I shall not redevelop the points already made but will merely summarize and await Mr. Smith's reply.
Four hundred and thirty years before the law was given at Mount Sinai, God made the promise to Abraham, "In thee shall all nations be blessed . . . He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ." (Gal. 3:8, 16) At Sinai God made a covenant with the children of Israel, even the law. It was in this law that the Sabbath was given or made known: "Thou camest down also upon Mount Sinai, and spakest with them from heaven, and gavest them right judgments, and true laws, good statutes and commandments: and madest known unto them thy holy Sabbath . . . by the hand of Moses thy servant." (Deut. 9:13-14) But this law "cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect. For if inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise. Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; . . . But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster." (Gal. 3:17-25)
This history is too plain to be misunderstood even with expert help of Adventist teachers. The law was "added . . . till" Christ should come. Before he came, they "were kept under the law," but now that he "is come," we are no longer under the law! This law, written and engraven in stones is abolished according to Paul in 2 Corinthians 3, the text satisfying the $200 offer. In Col. 2:14 he says that Christ took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross." Rom. 6: 14 and Gal. 5:18, we "are not under the law." Rom. 7:4, "ye also are become dead to the law." Rom. 7:6, "we are delivered from the law." Rom. 10:4, "Christ is the end of the law." (Eph. 2:15)
The old law is done away; therefore, it could not be the new or in the new in whole or in part. Smith is prone to think that if any principles of Old Testament law are contained in the New Testament they are there by virtue of Old Testament authority. But not so! When a new law is given, it may or may not contain some of the principles of the former law. Just because some of the first's principles are adopted into the second, it does not obligate the legislature to place all of the first into the second, nor does it obligate those under the new law to keep the first law.
Let me illustrate. This country at one time was under the law of England. When we broke relationship with that country we severed responsibility to her law. When our lawmakers drafted a new law, they placed some of the good principles of the English law in it. But this did not obligate them to adopt the entire English law, nor did it obligate the freed people to continue observance of the old law. When a law is abolished, it is abolished! If any principle of the old law is to be in the new, it must be adopted therein. This, of course, must be so stated in the new law. Mr. Smith thinks that if any principles of the law of England are in the laws of the U.S., all of the English law must be kept unless they are "SPECIFICALLY POINTED OUT" in the law of the U.S. This is his argument with reference to the new covenant and the old. Absurd.
My opponent needs to understand what a testament is. Testament means "will" and "covenant." (Thayer's Greek-English Lexicon, on diathaka, "testament".) "For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is of force after men are dead otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth." (Heb. 9:16-17) Hence, the testament of Christ, or the New Testament, is the law that went forth after his death. For a law to be binding on Christians under the new covenant, the law must be found in the new will. Nothing is in a will unless so stated. So with a covenant. One may not add to the things mentioned and only the things mentioned are binding. "Brethren, I speak after the manner of men though it be but a man's covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto." (Gal. 3:15) Hence, if my Adventist friends would have Christians under the new covenant keep the Sabbath they must find the new testament command. Where in the will of Christ is a Christian commanded to keep the Sabbath? "And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him." (1 John 2:3-4) "Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip. For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense of reward; how shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation: which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him." (Heb. 2:1-3) The will of Christ which was at the first began to be spoken by the Lord was confirmed by them that heard him. Therefore, under the new covenant we live according to His word as confirmed by the apostles. (John 14: 26, 16:13) If the Sabbath is to be observed today we must find it commanded in the New Testament, not before it first began to be given. If the Sabbath is taught without such commandment the teacher transgresses the New Testament! Such a teacher has not God nor Christ, and is a liar (John 9, 1 John 3:4) Further, the apostle Paul wrote, "But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed." (Gal. 1:8-9) My disputant must show us in the gospel that Paul preached the command to keep the Sabbath or, in the language of Paul, "let him be accursed."
We are not under the law but under the new covenant! (Heb. 8:6-13) It is not enough to find the Sabbath given in the law which has been done away. Let us have the Adventists give the text commanding a Christian to keep the Sabbath.
Now let us further investigate some of the claims made by Mr. Smith. In trying to bring the Old Law into the New, as I have already pointed out, Mr. Smith assumes a rule that all the Old Testament is included in the New unless "SPECIFICALLY POINTED OUT" not in it. This is contrary to law, logic, and the scriptures as already shown. I ask my opponent for the scripture teaching his rule. It, like many other doctrines of the Adventists, is not to be found outside of Adventist theories and assumptions. However, if Mr. Smith's rule were true it would not help him for in Col. 2:14-16 it is SPECIFICALLY POINTED OUT to "let no man pass judgment on you in questions of a Sabbath." I'll have more to say of this presently.
The affirmative next makes a quibble on 2 Tim. 3:15-16. Certainly the Old Testament is true and ought to be taught, for "all these things happened to them for ensamples; and they are for our admonition," "for whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope." (1 Cor. 10:11, Rom. 15:4) This is far from saying that the Old Testament is written for our authority as Mr. Smith would like to imply. Rather, Jesus is our "authority," "and hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments." (Matt. 28:18, 1 John 2:3).
Col. 2 :14-16 seems to bother my Adventist friends. No wonder. Here we have a command that SPECIFICALLY POINTS OUT that the Sabbath along with the holyday and feasts be not observed. "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; and having spoiled principalities and powers, he made shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it. Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath days: which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ." The law having been abolished, "nailed to his cross," let no man judge you of the Sabbath (which, after all, is a part of that law which has been abolished: therefore). In 1 Chronicles 23:30-31, 2 Chronicles 2:4, 18:13, 31:3, Neh. 10:33, we have set forth the feasts as kept by the Jews. In these references we have the services specified as morning and evening (being the daily service), in the Sabbath (being the weekly service), the new moon (being the monthly service), the solemn or set feast (being the annual service as outlined in Leviticus 23). The Jews observed feasts daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly. Now notice Col. 2 :16: "Let no man judge you in meat or drink (daily), or in respect of an holyday (yearly), or of the new moon (monthly), or of the Sabbath days (weekly)." Hence, the weekly Sabbath is SPECIFICALLY POINTED OUT!
These are a shadow of things to come, therefore my friend reasons that the weekly Sabbath could not be included as it was a memorial pointing back to creation. My opponent then leads us to believe that the Sabbath is a memorial for us, but he misses the boat. I have shown him before, but he refuses to look, that the Sabbath with all the law was given to the Jews: "Verily my Sabbaths ye shall keep: it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations ... It is a sign between me and the children of Israel." (Ex. 31:13, 17) Remember that the law (Sabbath included) was "added . . . till" Christ came. All these things were a shadow and must continue in force till the body, Christ should come. Paul therefore says, "the body is of Christ." Evidently there was some effort being made to bind the disciples at Colosse under the law, forcing them to be circumcised and submit to the law. Paul corrects this false teaching, saying that the law was ''nailed to the cross.'' The Christ had come and the law had served its purpose. Therefore let no man judge you in the law which are a shadow of things to come, even Christ. "Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of man, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ: for in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him," et cetera. (Read verses 6-17) Also consider Hebrews 4:3-11.
I noticed with particular interest Mr. Smith's comments: "It has been argued that in the phrase 'Sabbath days' in Col. 2:16, that the word 'days' is in italics, and that the text should read, 'Or of the Sabbath.' Such an argument is merely a play on words and an insult to the intelligence of any scholarly audience." Maybe my opponent will compliment the intelligence of this audience by telling us just what is the significance of the italicized word. I shall eagerly await his answer. Too, he might explain why some translations omit the word "days." Again, since he has made reference to the Greek, maybe he will tell us the Greek word for "days" in Col. 2:16.
I was surprised to see David Smith bring up the $200 text again. I was under the impression that he had had enough of "texts" and especially 2 Corinthians 3. I attended his service at which time he advertised to "answer all doctrinal charges" made in the paper, but I failed to hear any mention of the text. In fact, my opponent seems to have overlooked all of the scriptures discussed in the paper except two! (We agreed on one all along.) Now since he is bringing in 2 Corinthians 3, maybe he will answer the arguments made in the paper.
My friends would have us to believe that only the glory of the law was abolished but not the law itself. And so he wants to bring an unglorious law into the new law! But notice the eleventh verse (2 Corinthians 3): "For if that which is done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious." To what does "that" refer? If it refers to "glory" then we accuse Paul of unintelligent tautology and the glory of the law is not done away as stated; hence, a contradiction. But notice verses 7-8 "But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones was glorious . . . how shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious?" What was glorious? "The ministration of death, written and engraven in stones was glorious." What happened to it? "Is done away." Notice that my friend has already admitted in the paper that this refers to the ten commandments! The $200 that Mr. Smith and the Seventh-day Adventist Church have again offered ought to be forthcoming. His honesty and the integrity of the SDA church are at stake.
Next our attention is called to Rom. 3 :31, ''Do we then made void the law through faith?" The article is not found before ''law," but is found before "faith" hence, "Do we then make void law through THE faith?" (See translation notes, Revised Version) Do you mean to affirm, Mr. Smith, that every time law is mentioned that it refers to the law of Moses or the ten commandments? And answer this: Does God have any law besides the ten commandments?
We are next given James 2:10-12 to prove (?) that the ten commandments are binding. Has Mr. Smith ever noticed that in the eighth verse there is quoted a commandment not found in the ten? Does this mean that we are to keep all the law in which it is found? But James does not mention the Sabbath commandment at all. He did not say keep it. He referred to the "law of liberty." (v. 12)
All of the scriptures used to show the "importance" of the Sabbath save one, refer to its observance before the New Covenant was established. (Heb. 9:16-17) The one quoted under the New Testament is Acts 16:13, "And on the Sabbath we went out of the city by a riverside, where prayer was wont to be made." This says nothing of keeping the Sabbath. What my friend must find to sustain his contention is a command for Christians to keep the Sabbath, or an example of a Christian who kept it under the new covenant. To date my opponent has done neither. His best has been to assume and flit through the archives of the Old Testament. Our discussion is not whether or not the Sabbath has ever been commanded or its importance to those to whom it was given. Our proposition reads that Christians under the new covenant must keep the Sabbath. My opponent says, "Yes.'' Let's have the scripture!!!
I believe that this answers all arguments he has made in support of his proposition. If anything has been overlooked, I ask that he call it to my attention. I don't want to overlook anything.
I shall present some things more for Mr. Smith to consider now. The Sabbath was a sign between God and the children of Israel. (Ex. 31:13, 17) It then could not be binding on any other people than the Jews and those proselyted to the Jewish religion. It could not continue in force longer than the Jews were the peculiar people of God. Notice now : (1) None during the Jewish age could acceptably come to God except by identifying himself with God's sanctified. (2) The Sabbath was not in force previous to the giving of the Sinaitic law. (3) It was never given to others than the Israelite people. (4) It could not continue in force longer than the law of which it is a part is in force. Paul said in Romans 3:19, "Now we know that what things soever the law says, it says to them that are under the law." Therefore, if the Sabbath was in force today without change, no Gentile as such would be bound to observe it. Even the Seventh-day Adventist Churches that are made up of Gentiles would not be obligated to keep it. It was not given to the Gentiles as such.
Furthermore, the law (including the Sabbath commandment) was never intended to be permanent, nothing more than "added ... till" Christ should come fulfilling the promise. This change from the covenant given at Sinai was frequently foretold by the prophets during the existence of the Sinaitic covenant. Jeremiah foretold the change: "Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the Lord: but this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts and I will be their God, and they shall be my people." (Jer. 31:31-33) This scripture is quoted in Hebrews 8:7-10 by the apostle Paul showing that the covenant containing the Sabbath law was abolished in Christ. Again, the abolishment is foretold by Jeremiah in 32:40 and 33:14. Isaiah foretells the change in 55:3 and Ezekiel in 37:26. Even the expressions regarding the Sabbath show that it was limited to the Jewish age. Exodus 31:16, "Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations." This shows that it was not permanent. You never read, "Thou shalt not kill throughout your generations." Or, "The children of Israel shall not commit adultery throughout their generations." Of course not! But, "the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath . . . throughout their generations." The expression shows that the Sabbath was not to be permanent. It was limited to the generation of Jews. When they ceased to be the sanctified people of God, the law having been abolished, the Sabbath was no longer binding. It was done away with all the law.
Even after the death of Christ, after the law had been "nailed to the cross," men contended that the law should be kept (which included the Sabbath). From the very infancy of the church it was a subject of hot controversy, "Shall we keep the law?" Some teachers of Judaic tendency insisted that Christians keep the law. You remember that Paul and Barnabas were sent to Jerusalem that with the apostles and elders there they might reach a decision on the issue. The apostle Peter on the occasion stood forth and related his experience in the conversion of the Gentiles of the house of Cornelius. He concluded, "Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we are able to bear?" (Acts 15:10) This yoke was the Sinaitic law. Even David violated the Sabbath and ate bread in the temple which was unlawful to do. Have you not read that the priests profane the Sabbath and are blameless? They could not bear it. Hence, the apostles, elders and brethren wrote letters to the churches saying, "Forasmuch as we have heard, that certain went out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls, saying, Ye must be circumcised, and keep the law, to whom we gave no such commandment."
In practically every letter the apostle Paul wrote to the churches he spent much time and effort in the discussion of keeping the law. To the church at Rome: 3:20, 7:4-7. To the Corinthians: 2 Cor. 3:3-11. To Galatia: 3:10-25. To Ephesus: 2:14-15. To the Colossians: 2:14-16. To the Hebrews: 8:6-13, 10:28-29, 12:18-25. Et cetera. Of all topics discussed in the New Testament, none is so fully treated as the matter of keeping the law and none so repudiated by the weight of evidence as the modern doctrine commanding men to keep the Sabbath.
I emphasize: Sabbath keeping is without New Testament authority. I challenge any man to produce the text commanding a Christian to keep the Sabbath!
In the newspaper, my opponent attempted to establish two laws at Sinai. One he designated the ''Law of God'' and the other "Handwriting of Ordinances.'' This line of argument he has since dropped, as well as other arguments made in the paper, unless he intends to develop it in his contention in James 2, but we will wait for that. Before he has more to say along that line, I recall to him my newspaper reply, and ask, Where are the scriptures that say that the "ten commandments'' and the "rest of the law" are "two separate laws"? If the Adventists be right in this contention (and they are not), then there are three laws: two at Sinai and one by promise in Christ make three. But of course this is just not so. There was only one covenant made at Sinai. "Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law? For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondwoman, the other by a free woman. But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise. Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all." (Gal, 4:21-26) Get it! Paul says there are two Covenants -- Adventists affirm three. Paul said there is "one from mount Sinai" -- Adventists say "two." So Adventists hopelessly contradicts the Bible. (And itself as I shall point out as the discussion progresses.) But further: Agar, the bondwoman, is mount Sinai. (v. 22, 25) Now notice verses 30-5:1 -- Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman. So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman but of the free. Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
One law was given at Sinai and we are free from it. Notice, too, that Paul said the son of the bondwoman (law at mount Sinai) shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman (the law of liberty). Yet, my opponent has endeavored to make ALL the law heir with the will of Christ except the parts "specifically pointed out" -- the very thing that Paul said should not be!
Rewording the proposition to affirm the truth, we have: "The Bible clearly teaches that the fourth commandment of the Decalogue -- viz., 'Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy' -- is NOT binding on Christians under the new covenant."
SMITH'S SECOND AFFIRMATIVE *
[ * See Correspondence below. ]
We read in the book of Hebrews about the new covenant, "For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been found for the second. For finding fault with them he saith, "Behold the days come saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah ... For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will PUT MY LAWS INTO THEIR MINDS, AND WRITE THEM IN THEIR HEARTS: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people." Heb. 8:7-10.
Far from failing to find the Sabbath under the new covenant, I find that man's relation to the law of God is more intimate and personal under the new than it was under the old, "Not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart." (See 2 Cor. 3:3)
Also in paragraph 3 Mr. Frost states that it will be necessary for me to, "Prove that the old law is the new or part thereof." This reference to the new law fills me with the greatest of curiosity. What is it? When was it given? I read on in Mr. Frost's First Negative searching for clues as to its identity.
In paragraph 8 these words appear, "Hence the testament of Christ, or the New Testament, is the law that went forth after his death." Here Mr. Frost indicates that a law went forth after Christ's death. Perhaps this is the "new law" which means so much to him. But if so, where, when, and by whom was it given? There is no question as to the essence and authorship of the ten commandments, proclaimed by God to the Israelites from Mt. Sinai amid heaven's thunder and smoke, and engraven by the finger of God in tables of stone for Moses to carry down from the mount. There is no question as to the essence and authorship of the Sermon on the Mount, enunciated in beautiful simplicity by Jesus before the multitudes on the grassy hillside, and recorded by his disciple Matthew. Nor is it difficult to find the disciple John's "new" commandment which is really just a restating of the old. See 1 John 2 :7, "Brethren I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning . . ." See also Lev. 19:18 . . ." Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself."
So now WHERE is the "new law" given, which according to Mr. Frost's arguments was given after the death of Christ, and which contains all of the ten commandments but the Sabbath command? "Surely if the ministration of death was glorious, shall not the ministration of the Spirit be rather glorious?" If the old law was given from a mountain top by the voice of God, with thunder and lightning, should not at least an equally noticeable manifestation be given at the presentation of the new? Jesus said, "These things were not done in a corner."
A few random quotes from the Old Testament scattered here and there in the New, certainly will not suffice. In fact these only serve to indicate that the Old Testament law was considered binding by New Testament writers or they would not have quoted from it.
We shall wait respectfully now for the chapter and verses containing the presentation of the "new law" en total. We would also like to know when and by whom it was presented, with chapter and verse. In paragraph 8 of his first negative Frost says, "Nothing is in a will unless so stated." SO WILL HE FIND THE NEW LAW FOR US IN THE WILL OF CHRIST?
I will accept Mr. Frost's definition that a testament is a will. "For a testament is of force after men are dead." True. If a wealthy uncle leaves you $5000 you do not get it until after his death. It is of no strength at all while the testator liveth." Even if the relatives sit around the dying man's bed like hungry vultures, the will, giving them the money, does not go into effect until the man dies.
But when was the will MADE? It had to be made BEFORE the rich man died, or else no court in the land would hear it. "Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; though it be but a man's covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto." Gal. 3:15. Christ's will was confirmed and went into effect at the time of his death. To add anything to it later would be forgery of the basest sort.
Even if the Apostle Paul had added anything later -- which he didn't -- it would have been forgery. "For other foundation can no man lay than that which IS LAID which is Jesus Christ.'' Therefore on the basis of whether it is a part of the last will and testament of Jesus Christ: Sunday observance was THREE DAYS TOO LATE ever to become a part of the Christian religion. Even if the disciples had observed that first Sunday -- which they didn't -- Sunday observance would still have been three days too late to ever become a part of the will of Christ, because it was not written into the will of Christ before He died.
To fulfill the specifications necessary for a will -- the testament of Christ should have been given in the presence of witnesses BEFORE his death, and its provisions followed AFTER his death. However as far as a new law, or revoking of the weekly Sabbath, or the introduction of this Sunday business -- WHERE is it? We do not find it given before Christ's death, neither do we find it observed by apostles after his death. Neither Sunday-keeping nor Sabbath-breaking have a leg to stand on if they seek for it in the will of Christ. There is not one scrap of Bible evidence to support such a contention.
In paragraph 3 again quoting Mr. Frost, ''However all that is necessary to refute his assumption is to prove that the old law is done away. If the old law is done away it is impossible to make it the authority in the new." Shall we not pause here for sober reflection? A house of argument built upon these "if's" is worse than on a sandy foundation. And about it being authority for the new. Suppose there isn't any new? Will not my most able opponent be embarrassed if he seeks to outline my task of proving that the old law is in the new law when there isn't any new? Well, at any rate I shall be waiting word as to when, where, and by whom it was proclaimed. Also for the context of this new law.
It has been requested that I present something as to the historical significance of the law. Evidently the proofs presented in the newspaper article in which I answered the first challenge, were not deemed sufficient by my opponent. I would like to request that the reader go over the points in that article, so that I will not have to repeat them here. This will allow me space to provide the following additional proofs.
"Thou camest down also upon Mount Sinai, and spakest with them from heaven, and gave them right judgments, and true laws, good statutes and commandments: and madest known unto them thy holy Sabbath . . . by the hand of Moses thy servant." Neh. 9 :13-I4.
Those of the Campbellite persuasion seek here to place great emphasis on the two words "Madest Known." They feel that this indicates that no Sabbath law was in existence prior to Sinai. And they conclude that it was a temporary provision for the benefit of Jews only, rather than for the whole human race for all time.
In Ezekiel 20:5 we find these words: "And made myself known unto them in the land of Egypt." Does that mean that before he made Himself known to the Hebrews in the land of Egypt God had no existence? It is just as reasonable as to conclude from the other "madest known" phrase above, that before Sinai the Sabbath had no existence.
The argument is also advanced that Sabbath observance is not specifically mentioned until Exodus 16. Therefore it was not kept before that time. Exodus 16 is 1 month before the Law given on Mt. Sinai as recorded in Exodus 20. In the book of Acts there is no record of meeting to break bread after Pentecost until the one mentioned in Acts 20. Therefore according to this kind of reasoning there was no meeting to celebrate the communion for a space of about 27 years.
Jesus himself overthrows the argument that the Sabbath did not exist before Sinai, with the statement, "The Sabbath was made for man." Mark 2 :27. We read in Genesis 2:7 that Adam was a man. We read in Genesis 2:1-3 the record of the creation of the Sabbath.
The law of the ten commandments existed before sin came into the world. If there had been no law there could have been no sin. "For where no law is there is no transgression." Rom. 4:15. "Sin is not imputed when there is no law." Rom. 5:13. "Sin is the transgression of the law." John 3:4. The law is the agency which points out sin, "For by the law is the knowledge of sin." Rom. 3:20. What law gives this knowledge of sin? Paul answers, "Nay I had not known sin but by the law; for I had not known lust, except the law had said, "Thou shalt not covet." Rom. 7:7. What law contains the commandment against coveting? It is the ten commandments. James tells us that if we break one of those commandments we break all. James 2:10-12.
It has also been alleged by my opponent in a previous statement that no Gentile was ever commanded to keep the Sabbath. In Isaiah 56:2, 6, 7 we read, "Blessed is the man that doeth this and the son of man that layeth hold on it; that keepeth the Sabbath from polluting it, and keepeth his hand from doing evil . . . also the son of the stranger [foreigners, A.R.V.] that join themselves to the Lord, to serve him, and to love the name of the Lord, to be his servants, everyone that keepeth the Sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of my covenant; even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer."
This is speaking of strangers -- gentiles -- not those that join themselves to the Jews, but those that join themselves to the Lord. Well here is the text. Also in Acts 13:42, 44 and 17:1-4, and 18:4, 11 we have specific instances of Gentiles observing the Sabbath in New Testament times. The next question is, "If we are honest what shall we do about it?''
Which law was added because of transgression, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made? There was obviously more than one law given in the Old Testament, because God said, "How long refuse ye to keep my commandments, my statutes, and my laws." That there was a law in existence before sin entered, and that that law was the ten commandments, I have already shown with proof texts.
Now what law is it that came later, which was added because of transgression? This is the ceremonial law. That this is a separate law is indicated in Lev, 7:1, "Likewise THIS IS THE LAW of the trespass offering: it is most holy." See also verse 11, "AND THIS IS THE LAW of the sacrifice of peace offerings, which he shall offer unto the Lord." See also verse 37, "THIS IS THE LAW of the burnt offering, of the meat offering, and of the sin offering, and of the trespass offering, and of the consecrations, and of the sacrifice of the peace offerings." Compare this with the law of Col. 2:14-17 for a striking identification of the handwriting of ordinances! Part of this law said that a lamb or other animal must be sacrificed when man confessed his sins. We find this law in effect very soon after sin entered. God commanded Cain and Abel to offer a lamb as a sacrifice.
The sacrifice system, added because of transgression, continued until the promised seed should come. When John the Baptist saw Jesus coming down to the water where he was preaching, he announced the fulfillment of all these ceremonies which pointed forward to Christ. He said, "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sins of the world." When Christ died on Calvary He cried, "It is finished" and an unseen hand tore the veil in the temple from top to bottom. Matt. 27:50,51.
This veil separated the holy from the "most holy" place in the temple. Only the high priest could go into this most holy place, and then only once a year on the day of atonement. The rending of the veil indicated that these things all pointed forward to the true sacrifice of Christ on the cross, and that at the time of his death the most holy place came to an end of its usefulness.
We read in Daniel 9:26, 27, "And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself . . . And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and oblation to cease."
However much of Daniel's book might be difficult for the average reader to understand, this much is beyond cavil, that Messiah was to be cut off, but not for himself, and that he was to cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease.
The apostle Paul enunciates the same truth in Col. 2:11, 16, 17.
Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances, which 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 (offerings) or in drink (offerings) or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath days WHICH ARE A SHADOW OF THINGS TO COME, but the body is of Christ.
Notice carefully the following:
These are the feasts of the Lord which ye shall claim to be holy convocations, to offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord, a burnt offering, and a meat offering, a sacrifice, and drink offerings, everything upon his day: BESIDE THE SABBATHS OF THE LORD, and beside your gifts, and beside all your vows, and beside all your freewill offerings, which ye give unto the Lord. Lev. 23:37, 38.
Compare this verse 37 with Col. 2:16, and we find it quoted almost word for word. Here the book of Leviticus mentions these things BESIDE the Sabbaths of the Lord and offerings as if they are two separate commands! We find the type of Sabbath which will be feasts illustrated in the next verse, Lev. 23:39 -- Also in the 15th day of the seventh month when ye have gathered in the fruit of the land, ye shall keep a feast unto the Lord seven days: on the first day shall be A SABBATH, and on the eighth day shall be a SABBATH.
Mr. Frost's contention that holyday represents yearly, new moon represents monthly, and Sabbath days represents the weekly Sabbath, is partially true but not all true. Note Leviticus 25 :8. "And thou shalt number seven Sabbaths of YEARS unto thee, seven times seven years, and the space of the seven Sabbaths of years shall be unto thee forty and nine years." Far, far from the word "Sabbaths" referring only to the weekly rest day, we find it here referring to SEVEN YEAR PERIODS! Which means that Mr. Frost's contention that the weekly Sabbath is pointed out in Col. 2:14-17 is based on a faulty premise and cannot be true. Also, I would like to ask my opponent what future event the weekly Sabbath is a shadow of, if it is a shadow of thing to come.
This ceremonial system was filled with many Sabbaths and holy days which came on monthly dates, and commemorated feasts and ceremonies which pointed forward to Christ. Many types of food and drink offerings were included in the ceremonial system. That "Let no man therefore judge you in meat or in drink" applies only to these things which were shadows of things to come, is proven by the fact that the Apostolic council warned us against Blood and things strangled, and that Paul states that a drunkard shall not enter the kingdom of heaven.
The ten commandment law cannot be confused with this handwriting of ordinances. They are two separate and distinct laws. Note the following comparison:
Mr. Frost has tempted me to use valuable space to repeat a comparison of the moral and ceremonial laws, by accusing me of abandoning this line of argument. I have fallen for this seduction in the hope that a second look at the truth might help to clear the cobwebs of confusion from his mind. He makes a cavil as to the number of laws in existence. There are certainly more than two. The civil law of Israel would make a third. The purpose of this comparison is to indicate that Paul MUST be talking about at least two different laws or else he clearly contradicts himself. If he is then we cannot take what he says about one law and apply it to the other one.
Seeking to add confusion to the plain truth about the covenants, Mr. Frost raises a question as to how many covenants there are in the Bible. He states with great assurance that Adventists maintain that there are three. Well there are three, but there are also more than three. Even a most superficial reading of the Bible indicates many covenants.
A few are God's covenant with Noah, that he would not destroy the earth with a flood. His covenant with Abraham, that in his seed would all nations of the earth be blessed. His covenant with Israel at Mount Sinai, his covenant with David that the rulers on the throne would be of his seed until Messiah should come.
Friend Frost also wastes space on "Smith's" rule that things in the Bible which we are to follow should be specifically pointed out. He wants chapter and verse for this which any child should know without being told. But if it will help any, how about Deut. 29:29? "The secret things belong unto the Lord our God, but the THINGS WHICH ARE REVEALED belong to us and to our children forever."
The comparison presented by my opponent as regards the laws of England, and the United States is irrelevant, and makes no point at all. Mr. Frost states that, "When we broke relationship with that country, we severed responsibility to her law."
There is no indication in Scripture of this type of break with the true Jews, or with the ten commandments. Paul tells us, "If ye are Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise."
Rev. 3 :9 states that those who say they are Jews but are not, will have to kneel before the feet of the members of the Christian Philadelphian church. Paul tells us that the new covenant will be made with the "House of Israel." Heb. 8:8-10 Is not cutting ourselves off from the house of Israel and from God's ten commandment law, cutting us off also from the benefits of the new covenant promises? Paul in Rom. 11 presents the Gentiles as being grafted into the Israelite tree. And in verse 21, we have this warning, "For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee."
And they also if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be gaffed in, for God is able to graff them in again. For if THOU wert out of the olive tree which is WILD BY NATURE, and wert GRAFFED contrary to nature into a GOOD OLIVE TREE: How much more shall these WHICH BE THE NATURAL BRANCHES be graffed into their own olive tree? For I would not brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness IN PART is happened to Israel. UNTIL the fullness of the GENTILES be COME IN. And so all ISRAEL shall be saved, as it is written, There shall come out of ZION the deliverer and shall turn away ungodliness from JACOB. For THIS IS MY COVENANT unto them WHEN I shall TAKE AWAY THEIR SINS. Rom. 11:23-27.
God's covenant is an everlasting covenant. Heb. 13:20. He tells us in Ps. 89:34, "My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips." It is impossible for God to lie. Heb. 6:18. God confirmed his covenant by an oath. Heb. 6:13, 17.
In verse 13 we are told that God sware unto Abraham. In making his covenant with Abraham, we read that the Lord and Abraham each passed between the cut carcasses of animals in confirming the oath. This was a custom of those times to indicate that the person making it would die before he should change or break the covenant.
Surely in all these texts there is sufficient evidence for anyone, that God did not and will not change or abolish HIS covenant. Now WHOSE COVENANT is it that has been abolished?
"But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon BETTER PROMISES." Heb. 8:6. Whose promises were at fault? The covenant was a contract or agreement between God and Israel. Surely God's promises were not at fault. It is impossible for God to lie.
Then whose promises WERE at fault? Israel's of course. And we read this in verse 8 of the same chapter. "For finding fault with THEM he saith, behold the days come saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the HOUSE OF ISRAEL and with the HOUSE OF JUDAH."
What was this promise which the Jews failed to keep which necessitated the drawing up of a new contract or covenant?
And he (Moses) took the book of the covenant, and read in the audience of the people: and THEY SAID, ALL THAT THE LORD HATH SAID WILL WE DO AND BE OBEDIENT. And Moses took the blood, and sprinkled it upon the people, and said, "Behold the BLOOD OF THE COVENANT, which the LORD hath made with YOU concerning all these words. Exodus 24:7, 8.
Now, which are the BETTER PROMISES upon which the new covenant is based?
For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord: I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people.
The fault of the old covenant is that it was based upon the people's promises. The contract became of no effect, when they broke them. "Because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not saith the Lord." Heb. 8 :9. Last Part.
God has never changed His part of the agreement. He merely wishes the people to enter into covenant relationship with him again. And this time, instead of being based upon the people's promises to keep his law, it will be based upon his promise to write it in our hearts. He will enter into this covenant with us as soon as he forgives our sins. Rom. 11 :27. Herein we will find perfection in Christ.
Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the EVERLASTING COVENANT, make you perfect in every good work to do his will . . . Heb. 13 :20, 21.
Every one that has ever been saved, Old Testament or New, has been saved under the NEW COVENANT provisions. We read about the old in Heb. 8:7 and 7:19 indicating that it had faults, and that it made nothing perfect. The new covenant was also recorded in the Old Testament. See Jeremiah 31 :31-33.
Those saved in Old Testament times were saved by FAITH. Read the 11th chapter of Hebrews. David the Psalmist was saved by GRACE. Read Rom. 4:6 also 4:13,
For the promise that he should be the heir of the world, was NOT to Abraham or to his seed THROUGH THE LAW, but through the righteousness of FAITH!
Jesus said, "Search the Scriptures (What Scriptures? New Testament was not yet written) and they which testify of me." John 5:39. Also in Luke 24:44-48 Jesus mentions things in the Old Testament which were written concerning him. Acts 8 :34-37: Philip preached from Old Testament scriptures (Isa. 53) to the eunuch, and then baptized him.
Let me ask, where do our anti-Sabbatarian friends go for doctrine? 2 Tim. 2:15-17 says that ALL Scripture is profitable for DOCTRINE. While referring specifically to Old Testament Scriptures (See verse 15) Paul in verse 16 dogmatically includes all. He doesn't say for ensamples only he says for DOCTRINE.
It is that spirit of antichrist which will, "Seek to change times and the law." Dan. 7:25. Shall we not return to the pure faith once given to the saints, and have the Bible and the Bible only as our rule of faith and practice?
Argument often does not help us as we seek to learn new truths because of the spirit of strife that is so easily engendered. But I would plead with my brethren of all anti-Sabbath persuasions to examine this and all other evidence on the topic prayerfully. Be willing to do His will no matter what it might be, or what inconvenience it might cause, and in the end you will understand it the way Christ would have you, for "If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine . . ." John 7:17.
FROST'S SECOND NEGATIVE *
[ * See Correspondence below. ]
With all the time at his command, I regret that he should overlook much of my reply and continue his affirmative in many instances as if I had never spoken.
Nevertheless, I shall take up his arguments and examine them.
David Smith endeavored in his first affirmative to prove that all of the Old Testament is binding as part of the New unless "specifically pointed out." In his second affirmative article he tries again to establish this rule, for he says that Old Testament quotes "serve to indicate that the Old Testament law was considered binding by New Testament writers." I just wonder if he'll accept his own statement. If all of the Old Testament quoted in the new establishes the authority of the same in the New Testament, then he will have what he calls the "ceremonial law" as New Testament authority. My friend is in hopeless contradiction with himself. Anyway, I answered this argument, saying, My opponent, knowing that the Sabbath is nowhere commanded under the new covenant, must resort to the old. But this does him no good, affirming it is binding on Christians under the new covenant, unless he can prove that the old law is the new law or part thereof. This he makes a feeble attempt to do. However, all that is necessary to refute his assumption is to prove that the old law is done away.
I then presented conclusive arguments that the Old Testament has been done away, to which Mr. Smith has made no reply. These arguments remain untouched and stand as a barrier against Adventism.
My friend assumes that all of the Old Testament is the New Testament "unless specifically pointed out" as not being in the New. He is evidently confused by the adjectives "old" and "new." Ask him for a New Testament command and he runs to the Old and cries, ''That's new !'' Assumptions will not do. So I asked David Smith for his "rule" that everything is IN except what is pointed OUT. He gives us Deuteronomy 29:29: "The secret things belong unto the Lord our God, but the things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever.'' Since his ''rule'' is not a REVEALED thing (that is, not in God's Word) it must be one of the SECRET things of God. Well, it is no longer a secret -- Smith has told it. I am wondering, "How did you discover this secret rule of God, Mr. Smith?" This sort of thing has every indication that the Adventists have a new prophet! First, Ellen White, the celebrated prophet of Adventism, "entered" heaven and received her Sabbath message. Now, David Smith has learned a SECRET thing of God. "Did you 'enter' heaven to learn this 'rule,' Mr. Smith?" This is most interesting. Tell us more.
With reference to Hebrews 8, my opponent begs that it is the same Old Testament law, the same ten commandments and all, given at Sinai, but given differently is all. His point is that the covenant is the same, just given differently. Throughout, he denies that anything is "new" about the covenant. Well, let's see about that. Mr. Smith in his quotation jumped from verse 8 to verse 10. Let us supply the missing ninth verse that completely upsets his argument: "I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: 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." God said that this new covenant is NOT according to the Sinaitic covenant. David Smith says that it is the same one! Who is right about the matter, God or Smith? (Rom. 3:4) Toward the last of his article, he argues that God's covenant is not new, only their agreement is new. But we notice in verse 9 which Mr. Smith overlooked that God did not refer to their agreement which they made with him, but to the covenant which He made with them. It was the covenant that God made that was done away. In Exodus 19 :5. God said: "If ye will ... keep my covenant." He did not say, "If you will keep your agreement." God said that they broke his covenant, not just their agreement. (Heb. 8:9) So it is a "new covenant" that God has given, not merely a new agreement. Now what was this covenant God made? Deuteronomy 4:13 says that the Lord "declared unto you his covenant, which he commanded you to perform, even ten commandments: and he wrote them upon tables of stone." This covenant, even the ten commandments written upon tables of stone, Israel broke and God took away. (Heb. 8, 2 Cor. 3:7-11) Hebrews 8 stands in spite of my opponent's attempt to remove it. It stands an impassable barrier to Adventism!
My friend Smith gets all excited when I speak of a ''new'' law. Adventists have been under the impression that without the old Mosaic law there can be no "law and order." But they are wrong about that, too.
As I have pointed out, some disciples were of Judaistic tendency, as my friend Smith is, and desired to be "under the law." This matter came to the attention of the apostles and brethren and was discussed. Peter said, "Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?" The brethren concluded, "Forasmuch as we have heard, that certain which went out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls, saying, Ye must be circumcised, and keep the law: to whom we gave no such commandment." (Acts 15:10, 24) The law was a law of bondage. (Gal. 4:24) The law was nailed to the cross: therefore, we are freed from bondage. Col. 2:14) Now notice: "Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage." (Gal. 5:1) Those that were under the law were judged by the law of bondage. (Rom. 2:12) But we are not judged by the law of bondage, it having been nailed to the cross, but by the words of Christ, the law of liberty. (John 12:48, James 2:12)
Adventists ask the question: "Are we free to commit crime since the cross?" Of course not.
Now get it:
For if the words spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense of reward; how shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him. (Heb. 2:1-3)
The law has served its purpose. (Gal. 3:17-25) Christ has come, given us the words of life, died upon the cross, and fulfilled the law. Now we are directed in all our worship by the New Testament. (Heb. 8:6-13)
My arguments still stand untouched.
David Smith cannot understand how that a law given amid heaven's thunder and smoke" could be done away or how a better law with better promises could be given. The Bible was given to instruct men just like my friend Smith. Hear the Word of God:
For we are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest, and the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which voice they that heard intreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more: (For they could not endure that which was commanded, and if so much as a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned, or thrust through with a dart: and so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake:) but ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, and to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel. See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven. (Heb. 12:18-25. Compare Isa. 2:3)
Let me answer Mr. Smith's question in particular. "So WHERE is the 'new law' given . . .?" In the new covenant: that was revealed to and reported by the apostles as written and practiced in the New Testament. (1 Pet. 1 :12, John 16:13, Eph. 3:3, Jude 3)
David Smith says that the will "had to be made BEFORE" death. How much before? Can a man 's will be made before he is born? Yet, Adventists would have the old Testament, given 1500 years before, the "will" of Christ. Please, Mr. Smith, notice Hebrews 2 which thus far you have ignored: "which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord." The will of Christ was at the first spoken, and after his death went into effect being "confirmed unto us by them that heard him." (1 Pet. 1:12, Luke 24:48) Again I will ask Mr. Smith Where is the New Testament command for a Christian to keep the Sabbath?" Find it anywhere in the will of Christ. It is not there -- "Oh, but it is in the Old Testament." We are not under the OLD. Where is the command in the NEW? It is not there -- the Adventist church is not there -- Adventist doctrine is not there!
Noticing the statement, "Christ's will was confirmed and went into effect at the time of his death. To add anything to it later would be forgery of the basest sort." I ask, Are the writings of the apostles a part of the New Testament? Are they guilty of forgery? Do they speak the truth? Take hold of these questions and answer them in the light of your argument.
I do not know what David Smith could mean by "Sunday-keeping." If he means worshipping, such as taking of the Lord's Supper, on Sunday, then he is far from correct in his statement concerning it. He, himself, gives the reference and affirms the fact of Acts 20:7. Throughout this discussion we have had Smith versus the Bible, and now we have Smith versus Smith ! His terminology ''Sabbath-breaking'' is improper for how can one "break" an observance no where commanded ? While on the subject, let me ask, how is one supposed to ''keep'' the Sabbath, today ?
Smith refers to Genesis 2. I have already answered his assumption. As if I had never spoken, he continues, "If there had been no law there could have been no sin." So, he assumes that there must have been ten in the beginning. Every time law is mentioned, except where it says it is "done away," Smith assumes it means the ten commandments. Tell us, Mr. Smith, the stated command that Adam broke whereby he should die. (Gen. 2:16-17) And answer this, If man breaks any stated command of God other than the Decalogue, is he guilty, or only if he breaks the ten?
Now we pass to the Sabbath and the Gentiles. I made the argument that whatever the law says, it says to them that are under the law. The law was given to the children of Israel and not to the Gentiles. (1 Kings 8:21, Rom. 2:14) Therefore, the Gentiles as such are not bound to the law or to observe the Sabbath. Without noticing my argument, Smith advances Isa. 56 :2-7 in the affirmative. Let him tell us why the Gentiles are called "strangers" and he'll answer his own argument. "Strangers" to what? Those that embraced the Mosaic covenant, that is, became proselytes, of course were obligated to keep the law they were under. Where is the command for a Gentile as such to keep the Sabbath? As for Acts 13, 17, and 18 being examples of Gentiles observing the Sabbath in the New Testament, "Mr. Smith, have you ever preached on Sunday ? Did this make you and your audience 'Sunday-keepers'?''
On Col. 2:14-16 my arguments stand untouched. I am waiting for Mr. Smith to answer the questions I asked in my first article. He will have enough of Col. 2 before this discussion is concluded.
Next my opponent tries to establish three laws at Sinai : moral, ceremonial, and civil. He presents a chart that he supposes does just that. Nevertheless, charts cannot replace scripture. I answered his chart in the newspaper and it remains untouched. But we'll look at it again. In the newspaper he tried to establish "two laws" at Sinai: a "moral law" which he also calls the "law of God," and a "ceremonial law" which he also calls "handwriting of ordinances." He makes a distinction that God does not make. Smith speaks of the "Law of God" in contrast to the "Ceremonial Law" which they (Adventists) sometimes call the "Law of Moses." But notice. The Bible teaches that they are one and the same law, and uses the expressions interchangeably.
This Ezra went up from Babylon. And he was a ready scribe in the LAW OF MOSES . . . Ezra the priest, a scribe of the LAW OF GOD. (Ezra 7:6, 12)
The Bible teaches that God gave the law of Moses, and that Moses gave the law of God, that is, the whole law given by Moses was by God's authority.
This Ezra went up from Babylon. And he was a ready scribe in the LAW OF MOSES which the LORD GOD OF ISRAEL HAD GIVEN. (Ezra 7:6)
Hilkiah the priest found a book of the LAW OF THE LORD GIVEN BY MOSES. (2 Chron. 34:14)
Of course, this was in the newspaper. Why hasn't David Smith tried to remove this barrier to his theory? He is afraid to take hold of it. His assumption that "two" or "three" laws given at Sinai is in vain. I have asked for the scripture and have received nothing but silence. The apostle Paul states in Gal. 4 that there was only "ONE covenant" from Sinai, the law. Mr. Smith says there were "three." He accuses me of adding ''confusion to the plain truth." Now look who is adding confusion -- let the Adventists clear it up for us. I said that Adventists teach that "two" laws were given at Sinai. Mr. Smith clears this up and says, not two, but THREE! Now I see. It is not a bit confusing to see that when Paul said ONE at Sinai, he meant THREE! See how Adventists clear away the ''confusion'' ?
I want my opponent to clear this up for us. Where does he read of "two, or THREE" laws at Sinai? We read nothing of a ''moral law,'' and nothing of a ''ceremonial law"; yet, these expressions are a large part of the Adventist vocabulary. Moses spoke only of "the law"; the prophets spoke only of "the law"; the Lord spoke only of "the law"; Paul spoke only of "the law"; "the law" is found fifty-one times in the book of Romans, twenty-nine times in the book of Galatians, but "the laws" not once in all the Bible!
We have noticed that our champion of Adventism assumes the major premise in almost every point he undertakes. I am ready to ask, do the Adventists know that their assumptions are infallibly correct? Did not their leaders think themselves correct when predicting the coming of Christ in 1843 and again in 1844? Yes, but they failed both times. Is there any assurance that their assumptions now are any more correct than they were then? For this reason, I will not accept assumptions, but demand of Mr. Smith scripture for all that he advances. He talks of a "ceremonial law,'' of a ''moral law,'' of "laws'' at Sinai, et cetera. Just to assume will not be sufficient in this discussion, but ''if any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God." (1 Pet. 4:11) In the New Testament we have ''preach the gospel'' fifty times, "preach Christ" twenty-three times, "preach the word" seventeen times, "preach the kingdom" eight times, but "preach the law" or "preach the Sabbath" not once! Adventists are constantly preaching the Sabbath, while Paul in all his epistles mentions it but once, Col. 2:16, and then condemns it!
To focus this discussion early, I am asking Mr. Smith, how much did "the law" contain ?
Law. . . . When the word is used with the article, and without any words of limitation, it refers . . . nine cases out of ten to the Mosaic law, or the Pentateuch. ( Smith's Bible Dictionary )
Take a few examples: 1 Cor. 14:34 : Women ''are commanded to be under obedience, as also sayeth the law." Where does it say it? Genesis 3:16. So Genesis is in the law. Again, Rom. 7:7: ''The law had said, Thou shalt not covet." This refers to Exodus 20:17. So Exodus is in the law. Again, Matt. 12:5: ''Have ye not read in the law, how that on the Sabbath days the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath, and are blameless?" Where is this found? In Numbers 28:9. So Numbers is in the law. Again, Matt. 22:36: "Master, which is the great commandment in the law?" Jesus quotes from Deuteronomy 6:5 and Leviticus 19:18. So Deuteronomy and Leviticus are in the law. Hence, the law equals the five books of Moses, or the Pentateuch.
We are not under the law. (Rom. 6:14 and Gal. 5:18) "Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace." One cannot keep a part of the law without becoming "a debtor to do the whole law." (Gal. 5:1-4)
With reference to Smith's argument on Gal. 3 :29, I refer him to my argument on the entire chapter.
Will he accept all the chapter (including verse 27)? If only he would give some attention to my arguments. Silence has proved to be the way in which David Smith "answers all doctrinal charges."
To what covenant does Psalms 89:34 refer? (See verse 35 and compare with Acts 2:29-36) How well 2 Tim. 2:15 applies just here: "Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." Smith refers to the covenant made with Abraham. This covenant is not the Mosaic covenant. The Mosaic covenant ''was added'' until the promise to Abraham should be fulfilled. (If Mr. Smith had just read my first article, he would have known this.)
Next, my opponent refers to the conversion of the eunuch. He thinks that any time one preaches from the Old Testament that he accepts and is under the Old Law. He made this argument in his first article I have replied. Let him consider it.
The conversion of the eunuch poses some interesting observations. Throughout the Word reference is made to the prophets for they testified of Jesus, being evidence that He was the Messiah. Smith goes to the Old Testament for authority; the disciples went in order to preach Jesus. The Old is not for "eternal life" but for testimony. The Jews were like my Adventist friends. "Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me." Now let's see how Phillip used the Old Testament scriptures. Did he begin in Isaiah 53 and conclude pointing out the merits of the Old Law, proclaiming the Sabbath, as an Adventist would have done? No. He "began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus." He did not preach the merits of the Old, but about the author of the New! David Smith would have us believe that the eunuch was converted by the law. I ask my friend, Was the eunuch justified by the law? Did Philip preach the law that "brought us to'' Jesus, or did he preach ''Jesus''? Why did the eunuch desire to be baptized?
David Smith, in his attempt to establish the Sabbath in the beginning, runs headlong into Nehemiah 9 :l3-l4. "Thou camest down also upon mount Sinai . . . and madest known unto them thy holy Sabbath." In his desperation, Smith presents Ezek. 20:5 to offset Neh. 9: "and made myself known unto them in the land of Egypt." So, Smith asks, "Does that mean that before he made Himself known to the Hebrews in the land of Egypt God had no existence?" No, for we read that "In the beginning God . . ." (Gen. 1:1) Now for a parallel, my friend must find the scripture that the ''Sabbath was in the beginning,'' but he can't because Jesus said that man was made and later the Sabbath. (Mark 2:27) I have shown conclusively when. So, he has no parallel. My friend is guilty of "begging'' the question he attempts to ''prove.'' Now, will Mr. Smith tell us whether or not the Sabbath was ''known'' to the ''children of Israel'' before Sinai, before it was "made known" in the covenant written on tables of stone which covenant was not made before? (Neh. 9 :13-14, Deut. 5: 2-22) The truth remains that the Sabbath was given for a sign between God and Israel. (Ex. 31:13, 17) It was not made known before Sinai. If so, to whom? Book, chapter and verse?
I have followed Mr. Smith's article throughout. If anything has been overlooked, I shall be happy to take it up if he will bring it to my attention. Now to consider some things more.
The Spirit guided the apostles into "all truth." (John 15:13) It has been delivered once for all. (Jude 3) Paul says that if anyone preaches any other gospel than this truth which is already delivered "let him be accursed." (Gal. 1:8-9) If the proposition that Christians are to keep the Sabbath is truth, then we ought to find it in the gospel that the apostles preached. If not, a perverted gospel is preached and the preacher stands under condemnation. Now, wherein the gospel that Paul preached is the command for a Christian to keep the Sabbath? Nowhere. Then, what about those that teach it? They teach not the truth and are condemned, per Galatians 1. Where do the Adventists get this doctrine that is nowhere preached in the "gospel"? From their "prophet," Ellen G. White. When? After "the faith" was delivered once for all. (Rom. 14:23) Notice my opponent's statement concerning Christ's will: "To add anything to it later would be forgery of the basest sort." Adventist doctrine, therefore, is not of the faith, truth, or gospel, but is a doctrine that was delivered too late, and, therefore, by a false prophet, David Smith in agreement. "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world." (1 John 4:l)
I have shown that we "are not under the law," "become dead to the law," "delivered from the law," and that "Christ is the end of the law." (Rom. 6:14, Gal. 5:18, Rom. 7:4, 6, 10:4, Eph. 2:15) Mr. Smith has not replied to it. Notice that this says "the law." Adventists attempt to make the ''agreement'' and ''the law" two distinct things. They claim that we are delivered from the "agreement" but not from "the law." So notice now that we are delivered from "the law." Which shall we believe, Adventism or the Bible?
In the New Testament there is neither teaching nor example for Christians to keep the Sabbath. Rather we find that the disciples worshipped (not as a Sabbath) on the first day of the week as my good opponent has conceded on Acts 20:7. (Acts 2:42)
What is the greatest commandment in the law ? Jesus said, ''Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.'' This commandment of the law is found in Deuteronomy 6:5. "And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.'' This reference is to Leviticus 19:18. The greatest commandments of the law are not even in the Decalogue. ''On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.'' (Matthew 22:37-40) All the law hangs on the greatest commandments which are found, according to the Adventists, in what they call the "ceremonial law" that was done away. Therefore Col. 2:14, "nailed to the cross" -- "all the law" as of Matthew 22:40! "Therefore let no man pass judgment on you in questions of . . . a Sabbath." (Col. 2:16)
To the "$200 Text," 2 Cor. 3, David Smith has made no reply. That 2 Cor. 3 refers to the ten commandments given at Sinai, Mr. Smith has already admitted. Verse 11 proves that it "is done away." Mr. Smith was unable to face the force of this text against his Sabbath theory, so he has remained silent. Since this is the text claiming the $200, I think he should deal with it. His honesty and the integrity of the SDA church are at stake on this text -- and David Smith has surrendered it.
I asked my disputant a number of questions in my first article. Is he afraid of them? I have asked a number in this reply. When he answers these questions he will have the answer to his own assumptions. I am asking that he go back and answer these questions in the light of the arguments he made. When he chooses to take hold of the issue, this debate will get under way.
With the old law, the old covenant, done away, where is my opponent's command for Christians to keep the Sabbath under the new covenant? I will continue to ask for the text throughout this discussion. On this question pivots the entire discussion. Adventism stands or falls by its ability to produce the text!
SMITH'S THIRD AFFIRMATIVE *
[ * See Correspondence below. ]
A good example of this is Mr. Frost's play on words regarding, "Things specifically pointed out." Every Bible student follows this rule in the general intent including Frost himself. If the good Book doesn't say it, we don't believe it. But friend Frost a la the old straw man trick has wasted two pages of his manuscript space trying to prove that Smith would establish a new rule for Bible study.
Another favorite of debaters who can't answer an argument, is to sneer at it as if it is unworthy of notice, and then to say in a loud voice. "I DEMAND an answer to the following questions!" This of course is an attempt to lead the minds of his readers away from the argument he is afraid of, and transfer their attention to his questions. I invite the reader to candidly examine Frost's first and second negatives to see how many times he has employed this trick. He even repeats questions already answered hoping they will be answered two or three times while his opponent wastes valuable space. The affirmative has asked very few questions, seeking not to take advantage in any way, but evidently the opposition doesn't think questions important, as even these few have not all been answered.
While this debate is stated in the proposition to be on the Sabbath issue, friend Frost digresses to introduce new topics. He seeks also to debate on whether Mrs. E. G. White is a true prophet, and to poke fun at Wm. Miller's prophecies of the end of the world. Evidently he cannot find sufficient material to support his contentions by staying with the subject of the proposition, and in his desperation must go far afield.
Frost's statement that Seventh-day Adventists received the Sabbath doctrine from Mrs. E. G. White is false. I hope this false statement stems from ignorance rather than a desire to deceive. The facts happen to be that the group who later were called Seventh-day Adventists, learned the Sabbath truth from the Seventh-day Baptists, who in turn, trace their origin to some of the Moravian and Waldensian groups who had kept the Sabbath since apostolic times.
Rachel Preston, a Seventh-day Baptist, first introduced the Sabbath idea among the Adventists. Among the first of these to believe the Sabbath binding on Christians under the new covenant, was Joseph Bates, a retired sea captain. He and many others believed and taught it before it was accepted by Mrs. White. The Bible prophets did not have everything revealed to them at once, but learned God's will a step at a time. You will recall that Peter and Paul were in sharp disagreement at one time, and Peter was wrong -- and this after Pentecost, too. And so it was with Mrs. White and the Sabbath. She did not see it until after others had been teaching it for many months.
The statement that the end of the world was predicted by Seventh-day Adventists is another false statement. They were organized in 1860 and have never set a date for the end of the world. They trace their ancestry through the ancient Christians of Europe to the times of the apostles, and are calling the world to return to the original faith once given to the saints. The organization in 1860 as a holy society dedicated to the carrying of the gospel to all the world is in harmony with the instruction of Matt. 28:18-20.
At the time of the first expected end of the world in 1843 Mrs. White was still a young girl, who would reach the age of 16 in November of that year. At the second disappointment in November of '44 she had barely turned 17. Mrs. White (then Ellen Harmon) made no claims as to receiving visions from heaven until after this time. The Harmon family had been members of the METHODIST church until 1843. They were influenced by Wm. Miller's teaching, and were disappointed when Christ did not come as expected. LATER when Mrs. White began to have visions and to write and teach she taught and wrote extensively against date setting, saying that no man knows the day or hour of Christ's return. (Matt. 24:36)
Wm. Miller, who predicted the end of the world in 1843 and 1844 was in no sense a Seventh-day Adventist. He rejected the teaching of Joseph Bates and others about the Sabbath. Wm. Miller died believing Sunday to be the only day of religions significance. In this sense we might say he was a bit akin to Mr. Frost and his fellow believers, BUT -- can we blame them -- or any other religious group -- for HIS predictions about the end of the world?
It is disappointing that friend Frost ignores and sneers at the plainest Bible texts, and resorts to personal attacks and malignments and scurrilous statements instead. It has made me feel that the debate wasn't worth continuing on that sort of a basis. However he has cried so loud that the integrity of Adventism is at stake, that I have decided to write this one more article.
Really it is difficult to see that anything is at stake. No one is excited except Frost. And why he should be is a matter of wonder unless it is because he is uncertain of his own position. Grandly he wrote that before the last article I had opportunity to consult the ablest leaders of Adventism, and 7 months for most labored preparation. What makes him think his attacks are worthy of such notice or concern, I do not know.
The writer of the affirmative happens to be a busy person with many more things to do than preach once or twice a week and argue with other ministers. In order to carry on this debate in even as tardy a manner as I have done, I have had to hold back work which I am far more interested in. I have articles waiting which were started before this debate, and the editor of the religious magazine who requested them is still waiting, while I spend time on this business. I pray to God that it may be of some service somewhere, and that some honest person may read all three of my articles supporting the Sabbath prayerfully, not taking what Frost tries to make me say in his attacks, but what is actually stated in the context of the articles themselves.
In my second affirmative I gave the New Testament regulations as to how a Christian should keep the Sabbath now. In Frost's second negative he again asks this question. Evidently here was at least two pages of my argument that he skipped reading.
Frost cries that his "conclusive" arguments that the Old Testament has been done away have not been replied to. He forgets among other things 2 Tim. 3:15-17. He acknowledged it in his first negative with, "Smith makes a feeble attempt with 2 Tim. 3:16.'' Well Smith may make a feeble attempt but 2 Tim. 3:16 is a MIGHTY text. It stands as an impassable barrier against the teachings of Alexander Campbell and his followers.
Shall we not notice again what it says? ALL SCRIPTURE is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for DOCTRINE . . . (Mr. Frost gets his doctrines from the New Testament only) FOR REPROOF, for CORRECTION, for INSTRUCTION IN RIGHTEOUSNESS." Do you, Mr. Frost, get any instruction in righteousness from the Old Testament?
No, you don't. You use it for "ensamples" for inspiration and information only. But this isn't what the BIBLE SAYS you should do. WHEN WILL YOU START FOLLOWING THE BIBLE?
Friend Frost feels that Hebrews 8 is a barrier to Seventh-day Adventists. Let me enlighten him. Not only is it not a barrier -- it is part of our doctrine. We teach it and preach it. We find no barriers in the Bible: it is our creed book. We are not like other churches who have trouble with this text or that one. We teach what the good Book SAYS even if it is inconvenient. This is the reason why we are willing to be different from the rest of the world and go to the inconvenience of observing the seventh day of the week, or Saturday as the Sabbath.
And the reason other ministers malign us and misrepresent us I sometimes think is because they are afraid we might be right, and IT BOTHERS THEM.
I eliminated verse 9 of Hebrews 8 in my former argument to save space, and not because I found anything damaging in it. If we included every verse in the chapters we are discussing this argument would take many volumes. But simply because I skipped it Frost feels there must be something in it that I am afraid of, and has seized upon it gleefully, boastfully hoping that somewhere in it is a barrier to Adventism.
But where is it? Certainly not in the phrase, "Not according to the covenant which I made with their fathers, etc." This is simply a continuation of the explanation in the foregoing verses, which state that a better covenant would be made upon better promises and that God found fault with them, the Children of Israel. This in no way effects my original contention that a covenant is an agreement, and that the Lord sought to make a new covenant or agreement with the children of Israel.
Frost continues to play on words saying, God said, "If ye will keep my covenant." He did not say, "If you will keep your agreement."
This argument is absolutely laughable. Has friend Frost never looked up the word "covenant" in the dictionary? Mine says, "An agreement entered into by two or more persons or parties: a compact."
God said, "My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips." God keeps his agreements with people. But the people broke theirs with God. "Finding fault with THEM he saith I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel," etc. Verse 6 says Jesus is the mediator of a better covenant established upon better PROMISES.
This word "promises" is the clue to the difference in the covenants according to the Bible itself. The new one was to be established upon better promises. Whose promises had to do with the old covenant? Ex. 24:7, "AND he took the book of the COVENANT and read in the audience of the people: and they said ALL THAT THE LORD HATH SAID WILL WE DO AND BE OBEDIENT. And Moses took the blood and sprinkled it on the people, and said behold the blood of the COVENANT WHICH THE LORD HATH MADE WITH YOU concerning THESE WORDS."
Here is the people's promise and you know that they broke it. Now the Lord said the new Covenant would be established upon BETTER PROMISES.
Who makes the promises of the new covenant? Heb. 8:10 "For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days SAITH THE LORD: I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts, and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people."
The first covenant was on the PEOPLE's promise. The second covenant is GOD'S promise. So it is a better covenant based upon better promises as Heb. 8:6 says.
Friend Frost tells us that the law was given for the Jews only, and that Gentiles were not bound to keep the Sabbath. Has he noticed Romans, chapters 3 and 4? Rom. 4 :15 tells us that where no law is there is no transgression. And yet Rom. 3:9 tells us that both Jews and Gentiles are under sin, and verse 19 says, "Now we know that what things soever the law sayeth it sayeth to them that are under the law: that EVERY mouth may become stopped, and ALL THE WORLD MAY BECOME GUILTY BEFORE GOD."
''Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said thou shalt not covet." Rom. 7 :7
''For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.'' Rom. 6:23
Do we see now how the law is our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ? Without it there would be no sin, no death penalty, no need of a Savior. Everyone who admits that he needs Jesus for salvation admits that the law is still binding. Everyone who thinks sinners are lost admits that the law is still binding. The law shows us that we are sinners under the death penalty, then we turn to Jesus for the Salvation he offers.
Mr. Frost uses the terms ''old law'' and ''new law.'' Where does he find these in Scripture? Is he not speaking where the Bible is silent?
Now for the question on the greatest commandment in the law. Can it be that Mr. Frost does not know that to love God with all our hearts is the summing up of the first four commandments -- for these have to do with our duty to God -- and loving our neighbor with all our hearts is the summing up of the last six? On the last six we find this pointed out specifically in Rom. 13:8-10.
It has been asked which commandment Adam broke. How about number eight, ''Thou shalt not steal?'' Gen. 2: 16, 17 God told Adam he could eat of all the other trees, but this one was forbidden. He wasn't even to touch it.
How about also the sixth commandment, ''Thou shalt not kill?'' God had said that they would die if they should eat of this tree. By disobeying they brought death upon themselves and the human race. Is not suicide -- even slow suicide -- a breaking of the sixth commandment ?
How about the first commandment which says, "Thou shalt have no other gods before me?" Satan had told them to eat the fruit. God had said not to eat of it. They obeyed Satan in preference to God. Was this not having other gods BEFORE Him?
So here we see 3 of the commandments plainly transgressed by Adam and Eve. This is in harmony with what Paul tells us in Rom. 5:13 "For until the law sin was in the world, BUT SIN IS NOT IMPUTED WHEN THERE IS NO LAW." Verse 14 refers to "Adam's transgression." Adam could not have had a transgression if there were no law for, "Sin is the transgression of the law." 1 John 3:4.
Another question asked by Frost is, "If man breaks any stated command of God other than the Decalogue, is he guilty, or only if he breaks the ten?"
One cannot break any other stated command of God without breaking one of the ten. These ten rules stated in the briefest form, cover the whole field of human conduct. It is not just the bare latter (sic) of the law that we are to keep, but the spirit of it. Jesus indicated this in his sermon on the mount. As in the seventh commandment, he said even one who should look upon a woman lustfully commits adultery in his heart. As to the 6th against murder, he said even he that hateth his brother is a murderer. The prohibitions against swearing did not just include use of God's name as such. "Swear not by the heaven for it is God's throne, neither by the earth for it is his footstool." Matt. 5:34, 35.
Eating too much or otherwise abusing one's stomach might be the breaking of the first commandment according to Paul in Phil. 3:19, "Whose god is their belly." Sometimes we break more than one commandment at a time as Prov. 30 :9 states. "Lest I be poor and steal, and take the name of my God in vain." Surely a person who calls himself a Christian and then steals, is taking God's name in vain. Jas. 2 :10 tells us that if we break one commandment we break all.
And how could one hold back in tithes and offerings without being guilty of breaking commandment number 8? Mal. 3 :8 "Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings."
How could we disobey any command of God without breaking commandment number 1? Would we not be having other gods before him, even if that god was our own self-will? Could that not be a god as easily as our stomach as Paul mentions in Phil. 3:19?
Mr. Frost asks for the command for the Gentiles to keep the Sabbath. He got it. Isa. 56:2-7. He makes a quibble about the word "strangers" but admits it is used of Gentiles. Enough said. He got his text.
Mr. Frost complains that his argument on Col. 2:14-17 remains untouched. I didn't know he had an argument. The things I said about this text still stand, too. Go back and read them in affirmatives one and two. Perhaps friend Frost thinks he had something where he wrote in, "Holydays (yearly) or of the new moon (monthly) or of the Sabbath days (weekly)." But this is interpolation. Would he add to the sacred words of Scripture and risk the plagues of Rev. 22:18? Actually as all Bible students know the yearly, monthly, and weekly feasts were all called "Sabbaths.'' The day of atonement (yearly) was a Sabbath. Lev. 23:23-32.
Friend Frost is aghast because I refer to the civil, ceremonial, and moral laws. It is too bad that he hasn't an analytical enough mind to notice this. He informs me that the Pentateuch is referred to as the law. Correct! Sometimes even more than the Five books of Moses is referred to as the law. Note where Jesus says, "Is it not written in your law, I said ye are gods?'' Here he quotes from Psalm 82:6, which would also include Psalms in the law. The whole Old Testament is referred to as the law and the prophets.
But there are also many laws in the law which is the five books of Moses. Note this statement, "And the Lord said unto Moses, How long refuse ye to keep my commandments and my LAWS?" (plural) Well, do I have Bible for it, or don't I? (Ex. 16:28)
Oh yes, another question on Col. 2:16. Mr. Frost wishes to know the significance of the word "days" in italics. The text should read literally according to Robertson, the great Greek scholar, "Or of Sabbaths."
That these things mentioned in Col. 2:14-17 are limited, I have already proven in former arguments. It does not finish the sentence at the end of verse 16 but goes on, "or of the Sabbath days which are a shadow of things to come." The handwriting of ordinances having to do with all those things which were a shadow of things to come were abolished.
They are still useful to us to study as they are some of the proofs of the divinity of Christ. But since they were no longer pointing forward at the time of his death, they came to an end, and the vail in the temple was rent from top to bottom.
The ten commandments were not shadows of things to come. They are simply a summing up of the law of God's government. They indicate a situation which will always exist. We will even keep the Sabbath in heaven according to Isa. 66:22, 23.
1 John 5:2, 3 tells us, By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. For this is the love of God that we keep his commandments, and his commandments are not grievous."
The same text next shows that this can only be done through faith in Christ. See verses 4 and 5.
Rev. 14:12 tells us, "Here is the patience of the saints, here are they that keep the commandments of God, and have the faith of Jesus."
2 Cor. 3 is mentioned again, and this is the text with which friend Frost claims he has a right to the $200. (However I wonder if he really thinks he has a claim to this money, since he did not show his face at the meeting at which I advertised I would give it away.)
He states in his first negative, "The ministration of death, written and graven in stones was glorious." What happened to it? Is done away. The ministration of death is done away WHENEVER the ministration of the spirit, which is more glorious takes over. Here is the experience of every Christian, his life before the new birth is compared to Old Testament glory; the converted life to the glory of the gospel dispensation.
That Paul is using this to refer to personal experience is indicated in verse 4, "And such trust have WE through Christ to God-ward" and in verse 12, "Seeing then that we have such hope we use great plainness of speech," and verse 18, "But we all with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory.
Do you see it? We are changed from the lesser glory of condemnation to the greater glory of the ministration of the spirit. It is not something back in history, it is something that happens to us now. We ARE CHANGED (present tense) from glory to glory.
Let me ask Mr. Frost where in 2 Cor. 3 does it say that the ten commandments are abolished or done away? Read it 100 times and see if you can find it. If it said that I not only would hand over the $200, I would quit being a Seventh-day Adventist today.
It only indicates that the ministration of death was to be done away. Let me ask has the ministration of death been done away? People are still dying. It is done away by promise when the ministration of the spirit takes over in our hearts.
WHEN is the ministration of death done away once and for all?
"SO when this corruptible shall have put on INCORRUPTION and this mortal shall have put on IMMORTALITY, THEN shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory." 1 Cor. 15:54.
Jesus said, "Think not that I am come to destroy the law or the prophets, I am not come to destroy but to fulfill.'' In this text the words destroy and fulfill are used in contrast to one another as if they have opposite meanings. But some would have us believe they mean the same thing, that when Christ fulfilled the law he destroyed it, but He says, I am NOT come to destroy.
How is the law fulfilled? By keeping it. But someone asks, can you prove that Jesus kept the law? Yes I can. Note this, "If ye keep my commandments ye shall abide in my love, even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in His love." John 15:10.
Is fulfilling the law keeping the law? Note Rom. 13:8-10. Here Paul is listing some commandments that have to do with our duty to our neighbor. Those against killing, stealing, false witness, and coveting are mentioned in verse 9. In verse 10 he says, love worketh no ill to his neighbor THEREFORE love is the fulfilling of the law.
In other words if we love our neighbor, we won't kill him, we won't run off with his wife, we won't steal his money. If we love him we will fulfill the law. And Jesus said he was not come to destroy the law but to fulfill it. That puts it in a new light, doesn't it? (Matt. 5:17)
"And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail.'' Luke 16:17.
Jesus expected that the Sabbath would still be a Christian institution, to be enjoyed by his followers 40 years after his death. It was to be a blessing and not a burden. "The Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath." And that the happiness of this day should not be marred by the terrors of war, he advised his disciples in his prophecy of the destruction of Jerusalem, "Pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath day.'' Matt. 24:20.
The city of Jerusalem was not destroyed until 70 A.D. Some years ago a minister of another faith argued that the gates would be locked on the Sabbath, and that this was the reason for Christ's words. He quoted from Nehemiah, at whose insistence the gates were locked for a time to hinder commercial traffic on the Sabbath.
There is nothing to indicate that the gates were locked in Christ's time. We find He and the disciples entering and leaving the city at will, but just to make certain, I asked Rabbi David Cohen of Las Vegas if the Jews were imprisoned in the city, and could not escape if an attack came on the Sabbath. He stated that this was not the case, and that even if trade were forbidden, individuals would be permitted to enter and leave the city.
So in Matt. 24:20 we have evidence that the Sabbath should continue to be a day of meaning to Christians 40 years after his death.
In Luke 23:54-56 we have an example of the Sabbath being observed by his followers after his death. "And they returned and prepared spices and ointments, and rested the Sabbath day according to the commandment."
In Heb. 4 we find a direct command for Sabbath observance. It is not in verses 7 and 8 as some believe. I have known people to start keeping the Sabbath because they understood it to read, "for if Jesus had given them rest, then would he NOT afterward have spoken of another day."
But of course this is evidently not the intent of the text unless it has a double meaning. In the Greek language, Jesus and Joshua are the same name, Joshua merely being the Hebrew form. Most Bible scholars believe that it should read "Joshua" here instead of "Jesus."
The children of Israel entered the land of Canaan in Joshua's time, and they thought that they would here find rest from their wanderings. But Paul says they did not find the spiritual soul rest which they should have found. "Again he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, Today, after so long a time; as it is said, Today if ye will hear his voice harden not your hearts.
For if Joshua had given them rest, then would he (David) not afterward have spoken of another day." When did he do this? By saying "Today, if ye will hear his voice, etc."
Now for the text which DOES command Christians to observe the Sabbath: Heb. 4:10, 11. For he that is entered into His rest, he also hath ceased from his own works AS GOD DID FROM HIS!" How did God cease from his? Verse 4 ''For he spake in a certain place of the 7th day on this wise, AND GOD DID REST THE SEVENTH DAY FROM ALL HIS WORKS."
Where is our definite command? Heb. 4:11 "LET US LABOR THEREFORE TO ENTER INTO THAT REST!"
What rest? "For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works as God did from his." Verse 10.
"If they believe not Moses and the Prophets they WOULD not believe even though one rose from the dead." Luke 16:31.
In view of the foregoing texts, as well as the whole tenor of Scripture teaching, I must continue to affirm that the seventh day of the week, or Saturday, is the Sabbath which is binding upon Christians under the new covenant.
FROST'S THIRD NEGATIVE
[ * See Correspondence below. ]
I am happy to note that my opponent's services are in such demand by his brethren indicating that he is certainly qualified to represent the Seventh-day Adventist Church in this discussion. When this discussion is completed it cannot be said that the weakness of my opponent's contention and that of the Seventh-day Adventist Church is because of the man: the weakness is in the entire system. As I say these things, I want Mr. Smith and all of my Adventist friends to know that this investigation is prompted not by any hate but by love for souls. Falsehoods will damn the soul: only truth can make one free. Because of the false teachings propagated by this false institution which was established by a false prophet, I have met the challenge of David Smith with the prayer that the truth will lead him and all from the error of what is generally called Adventism.
Mr. Smith made three charges relative to this discussion in the opening paragraphs of his reply. First, he accuses me of building a "straw man" in reference to his rule. He begs that the "rule" in question is one that I follow. I deny it. The rule in question is whether we are to follow all the Old Testament except specific portions mentioned in the New as no longer binding. The truth of the matter is that the Old Law was nailed to the cross, and under the new covenant we are directed by what the Lord says do. We are not at liberty to go beyond and add any of the old to the new. Mr. Smith's rule, and I do not follow it, is that we are under all the old testament except for parts specifically mentioned not to follow: "All Old Testament rules no longer binding under the old covenant are specifically pointed out in the New Testament." It is not enough that God said we are not under the law -- David Smith demands that God mention every part and specifically say that we are not under this "part," nor this "part," nor this . . . et cetera. This is David Smith's rule and it is not found in God's revealed word. God doesn't have to name every part of the law abolished. When He said the law is done away, that included all of its parts. Mr. Smith, you ought to be ashamed of falsely accusing me of misrepresenting your position, and then trying to ''saddle'' me with it! This is your position and if it is a "straw man" set on fire, remember that you built it!
Second, I am accused of asking questions to waste my friend's space. Such is not true. The questions I have asked have been for the purpose of clarifying the position taken by my opponent and to bring it into full view. The reason he objects to these questions is because if he attempts to answer them the reader will see the falsity of his arguments (as I will point out through this article). My friend is afraid of these questions. If this is not the case, let him try to answer them.
Thirdly, Mr. Smith thinks I lack sufficient material to meet the Adventist theory of sabbatarianism and accuses me of leaving the subject to debate whether Mrs. White was a true prophet, et cetera. My friend, you are mistaken. I have a Bible that's full of material to meet the attack of Adventism. It is true that I would like to debate my friend on the propositions involving the "calling" of Mrs. White and the "origin" of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, but in another discussion. He may accept this notice as an invitation to do just that. But I predict that he will have had enough of defending Adventism before this present debate is finished. I have not gone afield when I point out that the Adventists adopted the Sabbath because of Mrs. White. But it is Mr. Smith who takes up five paragraphs in defense of the Seventh-day Adventists. I am prepared to point out that the Seventh-day Adventist Church is of man and not of God if Mr. Smith will agree to a discussion on this subject. In answer to Mr. Smith's present defense of its origin, I will quote a Seventh-day Adventist in reply. Not only am I misinformed according to David Smith but also "Elder A. T. Jones, Battle Creek, Mich., U.S.A. (Seventh-day Adventist)" in the Popular and Critical Bible Encyclopedia, Vol. 1, p. 62. Mr. Jones affirms that Seventh-day Adventists are the same Adventists connected with the prophetic failure of 1840-44.
Strictly speaking, the denomination of Seventh-day Adventists originated in 1845. A large number who at that time, or shortly afterward, became Seventh-day Adventists were formerly Adventists. They had been actively connected with the great Advent movement of 1840-44.
Mr. Smith is wrong on his facts about the Baptists, too. But all of these things we can straighten out in the discussion that I propose.
The first text that Mr. Smith brings to our attention is 2 Tim. 3:15-17. He says that I acknowledged the text in my first negative with, "Smith makes a feeble attempt with 2 Tim. 3:16." Is that what I had to say about 2 Tim. 3:15-17 in my first negative? I suggest that we go back and read the first negative. I did more than acknowledge -- and he hasn't replied to what I did say except to "sneer" at what the Bible said! Where does my friend get the Old Testament for New Testament authority? Not from 2 Tim. 3:15-17. It doesn't say one thing about "authority." The word "doctrine" is from the Greek didaskalia and means, "teaching, instruction ; teaching i.e., that which is taught, doctrine." (Thayer's Greek-English Lexicon). Mr. Smith says, "Mr. Frost gets his doctrine from the New Testament only." That is not so! Why, I have taught my friend a lot from the Old Testament in this discussion. If he had read my first negative a bit more carefully he would have noticed that I said (about 2 Tim. 3:15-16), "Certainly, the Old Testament is true and ought to be taught . . ." I teach the Old Testament in just the way that Paul has instructed.
Next, my friend asks, "Do you, Mr. Frost get any instruction in righteousness from the Old Testament?" Yes, I do. Now, let me ask Mr. Smith a question (and I'll let him answer it). Do you accept "ALL Scripture" for the dogma and principles of the Seventh-day Adventist Church? Don't dodge the question and make excuses, but tell us whether or not the Adventist church accepts all scriptures -- including of course that which you call the "ceremonial law" -- as the principles, belief, or dogma of the Adventist church?
Mr. Smith claims that 2 Tim. 3:16 "stands as an impassable barrier against the teachings of Alexander Campbell and his followers.'' Maybe so, I can be no judge of that since I have not read Mr. Campbell's teachings. He'll have to confront the followers of the man to find out. Since he has mentioned this before, I had better inform him that he is not debating a follower of Alexander Campbell, but a follower of Jesus the Christ. And no doubt about this for I wear His name in the name Christian as a member of the church of Christ. I do not follow any man, nor a day, nor a theory about the Lord's advent. Hence, I am not a ''Millerite, '' a ''Seventh-Day'' this or that, or an "Adventist." I believe in doing as Peter instructs, "If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God.'' (1 Pet. 4:11).
Next, my good friend takes up Hebrews 8. Feeling the force of the ninth verse he tries to smooth it over, but it still stands against his teaching. God said:
I will make a new covenant . . . 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.
What was this covenant? Mr. Smith thinks it only the agreement made by the people. But their agreement to keep the contract is of necessity something different from the contract itself. Now notice:
And he wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the ten commandments. (Exodus 34:28)
God's covenant, the ten commandments, and their keeping (agreement) are two things. What was God's covenant? The agreement of the people as Mr. Smith teaches? No, "even ten commandments." (Deut. 4:13) "There was nothing in the ark save the two tables of stone, which Moses put there at Horeb, when the Lord made a covenant with the children of Israel, when they came out of the land of Egypt." (1 Kings 8:9) This is not so "laughable" after all. (Who talks about others "sneering" at the Bible?)
Mr. Smith doesn't believe there is anything new about the new covenant. In fact, he states that "The new covenant was recorded in the Old Testament. See Jeremiah 31:31-33." But Jeremiah says (as quoted in Heb. 8), "Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant . . ." Jeremiah said in the old testament that the new covenant was not yet made, but the days come. I can't accept both David Smith and Jeremiah. And Jeremiah was inspired . . .
Again our disputant says, "Everyone that has ever been saved, Old Testament or New, has been saved under the New Covenant provisions." I challenge Mr. Smith to prove this assumption. He shows that under the old that men were saved by grace and faith (and this, incidentally, is not the law). But where in all the Old is the command given for man to "repent" and "be baptized" in the "name of Christ for the remission of sins?" Luke 24:47 says that this should be preached beginning at Jerusalem! This was not done until Pentecost, AD 33, per Acts 2!
Now we notice in verse 7 of Hebrews 8, "For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second." "Then verily the first covenant had ordinances of divine service . . . and the tables of the covenant." (9:1,4) "Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second." (10:9) Christ "took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross." (Col. 2:14) We are not under the law." (Rom. 6:14, Gal. 5:18) "We are delivered from the law." (Rom. 7:6) "Christ is the end of the law.'' (Eph. 2: 15) "There is made of necessity a change also of the law.'' (Heb. 7:12).
Next, Mr. Smith passes on to the origin of the law. He argues that since sin is transgression of law (Rom. 4:15), and all have sinned, the ten commandments must have been given in the beginning and, hence, to Jew and Gentiles. Such logic! Of course there was law in the beginning: God's Word is law. But the law in the beginning was not the ten commandments! Moses said, "The Lord our God made a covenant with us in Horeb. The Lord made not this covenant with our fathers." (Deut. 5:2-3) In chapter four of the same book, "the Lord thy God in Horeb declared unto you his covenant, which he commanded you to perform, even ten commandments; and he wrote them upon two tables of stone." Now, David Smith needn't tell us that the ten commandments were given from the beginning. God's Word says not so! Adventists assume that law in Rom. 4:15 means the ten commandments. Remember, I asked Mr. Smith if every time law is mentioned, it refers to the ten commandments?
I also asked if God has any law besides the ten commandments. Here is why David Smith objects to questions: they expose him. If he admits that Law means other than the ten commandments, he must give up his assumption on Rom. 3 and 4. But if he says law always means the ten commandments, he must admit that the Decalogue and not the ''ceremonial law" (the imaginary law of Adventism) has been done away. Either horn of the dilemma he takes exposes him. So what does he do? Complain about being asked questions. But it doesn't make any difference how he answers, God's Word says that the ten commandments were not given before Horeb! And Smith himself in grappling with Gal. 3 lets this truth get by: "There was obviously more than one law given in the Old Testament." Well now, how can you know that the law that Adam and Eve broke was the ten commandment law and not some other law, Mr. Smith, since there was obviously more than this one law in the Old Testament? I know that it was not the ten commandment law. First, because Moses said the Decalogue was not established before Horeb, or Mount Sinai. Second, because God tells what command Adam broke whereby he should die. I asked Mr. Smith to tell us this stated command that Adam broke. Our Adventist champion went around the command God mentioned to "prove" that Adam broke a command that God hadn't given. I gave Mr. Smith the answer to my question when I asked the question. Too bad he didn't notice it. It would have saved him a lot of "fixing." The stated command that Adam broke is found in Genesis 2:16-17, "And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: but of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." I would ask Mr. Smith if this is commandment one-two-three-four-five-six-seven-eight-nine-ten of the Decalogue, but he'd probably complain.
My disputant refers to Rom. 7:7 in his "fixing" of the Decalogue in the beginning: "I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet." "What law," Mr. Smith asks. "Is it that contains the rule against coveting? . . . the ten commandments -- the law that at Sinai was graven in tables of stone by the finger of God." Has Mr. Smith noticed that Paul says of this law in the preceding verse: ''But now we are delivered from the law?" Delivered from the ten commandments according to David Smith.
Mr. Smith thinks that Isaiah 56 :2-7 fulfills my request for the command for Gentiles as such to keep the Sabbath. But I showed him in my second negative that the text does not teach what he assumes. Now he says I made a "quibble." But did he attempt to show us wherein it was a "quibble?" No wonder he passes hurriedly on. I'm still waiting for the text that commands a Gentile as such to keep the Sabbath as Mr. Smith assumes they were given.
In his second affirmative, Mr. Smith reasoned that the new covenant brings the Gentiles into Israel and subjects them to this law of ten commandments. Yet, he reasons that the ten commandments were given to all (Jew and Gentiles) from the beginning. My opponent is confused.
Rom. 2:14 ought to settle the point as to the law being given to the Gentiles, unless he "sneers at the plainest Bible texts." "For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves."
My opponent next mentions the law which is our schoolmaster (Galatians 3). Smith tells us in his second article that the law "added" was the "ceremonial law." But then he says that this law was "in effect" in the time of Cain and Abel. But this could not possibly be, because Gal. 3:17 states that the law was not given until 430 years after the promise was given to Abraham. How could this so called "ceremonial law" have been given to Cain and Abel if it was the law added, given 430 years after Abraham? (I suppose Mr. Smith will complain about this question, also.) My good friend is confused. The truth of the matter is that Paul did not say the ''ceremonial law" was added (and Mr. Smith hasn't given any scripture that mentions this imaginary law). Paul said that "the covenant . . . the law . . . was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come." (Gal. 3:17-19) This covenant given 430 years after was the covenant given at Sinai, even the ten commandments. (Deut. 4:13)
In his first article Mr. Smith calls the ten commandments the "law added." In his second article he calls the "ceremonial law" the law added. Which time did he tell the truth? (He needn't answer this question.) In the newspaper he says that the ten commandments are done away in the experience of those who accept Jesus. But in his second article he says that the ten commandment covenant is not made until our sins are forgiven. Which time did he tell the truth? Again: In article one, Mr. Smith said,
Neither will the enemies of the law clean up their sinful hearts by trying to show it abolished. WE NEED IT. The law is our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ.
In his second article, referring to the law as our schoolmaster, he asks, Now what is the law that came later, which was added because of transgressions? This is the ceremonial law. According to David Smith's unguarded arguments, Adventists are involved in a hopeless contradiction. He says that this ''ceremonial law'' was added, it our schoolmaster. Then he says, "WE NEED IT." We need the "ceremonial law" to bring us to Christ according to Smith. But then he contradicts himself saying that this is the law which was nailed to the cross. We need it, but Jesus took it away! Such logic. But such is the predicament in which one finds himself when he tries to defend the ''doctrines of men."
I want to give some time now to a comparison of the "Moral Law'' and "Ceremonial Law" as Adventists try to make the distinction in the law. Mr. Smith has ignored all of my arguments relative to this ''fixing'' of THE law. If he wants to ignore them, that's up to him, but the reader will know that they remain unanswered.
The following is a compilation of the two charts presented by Mr. Smith with the investigation. This is supposed to be the ''Moral Law'' in existence, in force, now.
(1) It was spoken by God, Deut. 4:12-13.
And the Lord spake unto you out of the midst of the fire . . . 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.
This is the law, the covenant, that God has changed. It is not in force today. God said, "I will make a new covenant . . . not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers," even ten commandments. Instead of proving that the ten commandments are in force today, this reference proves that they are not in force but are done away in the covenant that God changed! God's Word doesn't say what Mr. Smith's chart would have it say. In fact, God contradicts the chart!
(2) Written with the finger of God, Ex. 31:18, 32:16.
This is the ten commandments written on tables of stone. Instead of showing the ten commandments in force today, 2 Cor. 3 :7 says, "the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious,'' and verse 11, "for if that which is done away was glorious . . ." This proves that Mr. Smith's chart is incorrect and shows how the Adventists wrest the scriptures to fit their theory.
(3) Placed in ark, Deut. 10:1-5, 1 Kings 8:9. 1 Kings 8:9 says,
There was nothing in the ark save the two tables of stone, which Moses put there at Horeb, when the Lord made a covenant with the children of Israel, when they came out of the land of Egypt.
Again, we refer to Heb. 8:9 to show that this is the covenant that God changed. (See also Heb. 10:9)
(4) Perfect, Psalms 19:7.
The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul.
"Law" means here "direction, teaching." The "teaching" of the Lord is perfect. I wonder if Mr. Smith believes this. Is the "law of Moses" (as the Adventists call part of "the law") perfect? God gave it. Though God's teaching is plain and complete to the end for which it is given, it was not designed in the old covenant to bring to the end (goal) proposed. (Heb. 7:19) Rather, "by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified." (Heb. 10:14)
(5) Stand fast forever, Psalms 111:7-8.
The works of his hands are verity and judgment; all his commandments are sure. They stand fast forever and ever, and are done in truth and righteousness.
If this proves that the ten commandments are in force today, it also includes what the Adventists call the "ceremonial law'' because David said "all" his commandments. Compare with Heb. 2:2-3.
(6) Not destroyed by Christ, Matt. 5:17.
(7) Easier for heaven and earth to pass away. Luke 16:17.
Think not that I am come to destroy the law or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. (Matt. 5:17)
I pointed out in my last article that the law refers to the five books of the Pentateuch. With this David Smith has agreed. Now Jesus said I am not come to destroy "the law, or the prophets," that is, the whole Old Testament according to the admission of Mr. Smith. This means that if the ten commandments were not nailed to the cross when fulfilled, then none of the Old Testament was. This would make the Bible contradictory, for the Bible says that there is ''a change also of the law.'' (Heb. 7:12)
Jesus came not to destroy any of the Old Testament, that is, render it useless without meeting its demands necessary to qualify himself as Christ according to the law and the prophets, or ''deprive of success." Jesus reminded his apostle's after his death, ''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 in the psalms, concerning me.'' ( Luke 24:44) When Jesus fulfilled all that was written concerning him, the law had served its purpose in bringing us to Christ. Christ did not destroy the law when he came, but he fulfilled it. Now after faith is come we are no longer under the law, the schoolmaster. (Gal. 3:25) Let me illustrate. Should I have an appointment with the dentist, and announce to the receptionist, "I have come, not to destroy my appointment, but to fulfill it," I would complete all that the appointment called for. I would have fulfilled the appointment and not destroyed it. But, let me ask, would the appointment still be in force? No, it was fulfilled. So it was with Christ. When he fulfilled the law we were delivered from it. It has been fulfilled!
And so we continue with Mr. Smith's chart, showing that rather than proving what he has intended, it indicates just the opposite, that there is no division under the law or two laws known as "moral" and "ceremonial." It further shows that THE law has been done away. Mr. Smith and our Adventist friends in order to be consistent ought to keep all of the old testament for Paul said that he who keeps a part of the law, that is, is circumcised, "is a debtor to do the whole law." But should they be consistent with themselves, they would have to deny Christ. "Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace." (Gal. 5:3-4)
These charts are very beautiful and impressive until examined. Then we see how false teachings must wrest the word of God in order to "fit" the charts of man's doctrine.
Colossians 2 is the next text brought up for discussion by my honorable opponent. I asked him a few questions in my first negative relative to an argument he had presented in his first affirmative. O but how he detests questions! His argument was: It has been argued that in the phrase "Sabbath days" in Col. 2:16, the word "days" is in italics, and that the text should read, "Or of the Sabbath." Such an argument is merely a play on words and an insult to the intelligence of any scholarly audience.
He tried to ward off an investigation of this text by reflecting on the intelligence of anyone who would question his position. He thought he could thus hide the truth. But finally, under pressure, he admits that the text reads literally, "Or of Sabbaths." Now, who has insulted the audience? Mr. Smith has overthrown his own argument. See why I ask questions. If he answers them he answers his own contentions. By asking questions, I let Smith debate Smith.
Commenting on Colossians 2, David Smith said in his first article, "The original Greek here is - - - (Note: he failed to write in the original which is sabbaton.) The form is the genitive plural." In commenting on the "importance" of the Sabbath my opponent lists Luke 4:16 and Acts 16:13. These he claims, and correctly so, refer to the weekly Sabbath. Now what my friend may not know is that in Luke 4:16 is the same Greek word as found in Col. 2:16. Tell us, Mr. Smith, how sabbaton in Col. 2:16 means "rest days" other than the weekly Sabbath but the weekly Sabbath in Luke 4:16? We can see that if sabbaton means "rest days" other than the Sabbath in Col. 2:16, it means the same in Luke 4:16. Take either horn of the dilemma. If you say that sabbaton refers to special feasts under the so-called "ceremonial law" of Adventism, then you claim that "it is proper to attend religious services" on these days. It places you under the abrogated "ceremonial system." But if sabbaton does refer to the weekly Sabbath as you affirm in Luke 4:16, then it is the same sabbaton (weekly Sabbath) that is abolished in Col. 2:16! In either case, Mr. Smith and Seventh-day Adventism is in hopeless contradiction. This is but another of many instances where Adventism meets itself coming back!
Again, my opponent referred to Acts 16:13, listing it with Exodus 20:8-11 to show the importance of the Sabbath. Exodus 20 is the giving of the Decalogue mentioned in our proposition. Now notice: "Sabbath" (the fourth commandment of the Decalogue) of Acts 16 in the original is sabbaton, genitive plural form. Now notice what Paul says about sabbaton:
Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbaton. (Col. 2:16)
My task is completed in this discussion. Colossians 2:16 proves according to the references given by David Smith that the "fourth commandment of the Decalogue -- viz., "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy' . . ." has been abolished!
Leviticus 25:8 does not bear on the argument supported by 1 Chron. 23:30, 2 Chron. 2:4, 18:13, 31:3,
Nehemiah 10:33, as Mr. Smith himself admits that this refers to "seven year periods'' and not rest years. Further, Hosea 2:11 foretold that the Sabbath would be done away or cease: "I will also cause all her mirth to cease; her feast days, her new moons, and her Sabbaths, and all her solemn feasts." There is no doubt that all holy days given to the Jews have ceased. There is a change in the law -- the first, containing these ordinances, was nailed to the cross.
The law was a shadow of things to come. The law was our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ. When Christ came the schoolmaster had served its purpose, hence, we are no longer under the law. Now we walk in Christ (Heb. 2:2-3), the body, and not in the shadow. David Smith wants us to walk in the "shadow" instead of in the fulness, the body, which is Christ. Adventists glory in the shadow rather than in the body of Christ!
2 Cor. 3:7, 11: "The ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious . . . For if that which is done away was glorious . . .'' In his first article, my able opponent states that "ALL that this long scripture plainly claims abolished is the glory of Moses face." But in the newspaper he wrote, "The ministration of death, graven in stones, is abolished every time a sinner comes to Christ." In his last article he states, "The ministration of death is done away whenever the ministration of the spirit, which is more glorious takes over." But again he says, "We are changed (present tense) from glory to glory." It seems to me that the man is confused. One time it is the "glory" abolished, next the "ten commandments," and then "we" are changed.
I hope that Mr. Smith will tell us in his final article just exactly what is done away. To clarify his position I will appreciate the answer to the following questions. Do you mean that "under the law" means under its condemnation, and "abolished" means free from its condemnation? What is meant by the expression, "under the law?"
His arguments concerning the Sabbath observed in the New Testament dispensation, or under the new covenant, were answered in the first negative.
Hebrews 4:10-11 is not a "command" for Christians to keep the Sabbath. It is a "promise" (verse 1) of rest that one enters when he "hath ceased from his own works, as God did from His. Let us therefore labor to enter into that rest."
I have followed Mr. Smith's article from argument to argument. If he is not satisfied with this expose of Adventism, I suggest that he meet the arguments rather than complain about "hurting." I now submit this article to him and all with the prayer that truth will lead from error.
SMITH'S FOURTH AFFIRMATIVE
FROST'S FOURTH NEGATIVE
Under investigation, false doctrine is exposed. David Smith complains because the cherished theory of Adventism is exposed by the light of God's word. The claims supporting the system of Seventh-Dayism is shown to be nothing more than arrogant assumptions! And so the system crumbles and its support proves too great a task for even the best champions of sabbatarianism. This is the great value of debates.
Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. (1 John 4:1)
For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds; casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; and having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled. (2 Cor. 10:4-6)
The law (containing the Sabbath) given at Sinai was added to the promise given to Abraham to bring us to Christ. The things found in the law, psalms, and prophets concerning him had to be fulfilled. To this end Christ came, not to do away with the law without meeting its demands which would signify his divinity, but to fulfill the Law. (Matthew 5:17) When Christ fulfilled the law, and faith came by him, the law had served its purpose and Christ took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross. (Galatians 3:23-25, Luke 24:44, John 17:4, 19:30, Colossians 2:14) When the first covenant was taken out of the way and replaced by a new covenant, the Sabbath which it contained also ceased. (Colossians 2:14-16, Hebrews 10:9, 7:12)
The old law having been nailed to the cross does not imply that we are without law and sin is without condemnation. It simply means that instead of being judged by the old law we are judged by a new covenant, even the words that Jesus spake. (John 12:48, Hebrews 2:2-3) It is wrong to murder, steal, worship idols, and so on, not by virtue of the old covenant, the law, but because these things are condemned in the new. (Galatians 5:19-21) An illustration will serve to impress the point. When this nation of people was under the rule of England we were subject to her laws. When we were freed from her control we established a new law. Now murderers, robbers, and all lawbreakers are judged by the new law -- not by the old. A lawless man is now punished, not because the law of England demands it, but because the principle of the new does.
There is a change of the law. (Hebrews 7:12) Galatians 3:19 states that the covenant given at Sinai, the law of ten commandments, "was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator." Thus taught Stephen in Acts 7 :53, "Who have received the law by the disposition of angels." Hebrews 2:2-3. "For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast" -- this would be the old covenant or law at Sinai -- "and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense of reward; how shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him.'' The old law at Sinai ordained by angels was stedfast so that all transgressions were punished. This being true of the old, how can we escape if we neglect the new which was confirmed by them that heard the Lord. This new was first begun to be spoken by the Lord. If they under the old were punished, how shall we under the new escape if we neglect the "great salvation" which, incidentally, is by Christ and not by the law. (Galatians 3:18, 5:4)
In Romans 7 Paul illustrates the severing of relationship to the law to be under Christ with his reference to marriage. A woman cannot be married to two men at the same time without being an adulteress. But if the first be dead, she is free to marry another. The lesson is, neither can we be married to the old law and to Christ.
Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.
In Galatians 4, the apostle Paul illustrates this severing of relationship to the law to be a Christian with reference to the sons of Abraham. One son of Abraham was born of a bondwoman and represents the covenant at Sinai, the other son was of a free-woman and answers to Jerusalem which now is, the new covenant. "Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman." The lesson is, the old covenant is cast out: for we shall not be under the old with the new covenant. "Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace." (Galatians 5:4)
Many are the passages treating this subject. Time has not permitted in this discussion to present all that could be said concerning the law that is done away. It has had to suffice in mentioning the weightier texts. There is no subject so fully treated in the new testament as the matter of keeping the Sabbath and the law, and none so repudiated by the weight of evidence.
But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away: how shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious? For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory. For even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth, For if that which is done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious . . . But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same veil untaken away in the reading of the old testament: which veil is done away in Christ.
This "ministration of death, written and engraven in stones" is the Decalogue containing the Sabbath commandment mentioned in the proposition of this debate. That this is correct has been admitted by my disputant. This law, the ten commandments, "was glorious." Paul emphatically states that "that . . . which was glorious," the Decalogue, "is done away." The phrase "is done away" is from the Greek katargeo meaning "to cause to cease, put an end to, do away with, annul, abolish." (Thayer's Greek-English Lexicon) The Decalogue -- containing the Sabbath -- is abolished.
In verse fourteen and following, Their minds were hardened: for until this very day at the reading of the old covenant the same veil remaineth, it not being revealed to them that it is done away in Christ. But unto this day, whensoever Moses is read, a veil lieth upon their heart. But whensoever it (marg. -- Or, a man shall turn) shall turn to the Lord, the veil is taken away. (RV)
The Jews even to this day are so blinded, or hardened in their hearts, that they cannot see that the old covenant has been annulled or abolished in Christ. Meyer, and Conybeare and Howson, according to Johnson, translate the verse: "It not being disclosed that the Old Covenant is taken away in Christ." The Jews failed to recognize Christ and His authority because the "veil lieth upon their heart." The trouble is in the heart that is blinded by prejudice. Such is true of sabbatarians today. With them "the same veil remains in the reading of the Old Institution: it not being discovered that it is abolished in Christ. Moreover, till this day, when Moses is read, the veil lies upon their heart." (Living Oracles translation) Paul gives us the assurance that when man turns to the Lord the veil is taken away and he will discover that the old covenant, even the law of ten commandments, is abolished in Christ. "But whensoever a man shall turn to the Lord, the veil is taken away.'' When I find people desiring to be under the law I realize that they have not yet fully accepted the Lord, for if they had, they would recognize that the law is abolished and we are under a new covenant. It is like the apostle wrote to the Galatians:
Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law?
The veil is upon their heart so that they do not even understand why the law was given (Galatians 3:17-19), that it pointed to Christ (John 5:39), was fulfilled by him (Luke 24:44), hence having served its purpose is done away so that we are no longer under the law but under faith. (Galatians 3:25, Romans 1:16-17) The trouble with the advocates of sabbatarianism is that they have never turned to the Lord and the "great salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord," but they continue to turn to an abolished law for authority.
2 Corinthians 3, as pointed out in the newspaper, satisfies the demands of the $200 offer, David Smith being witness. I noticed in his last article, Mr. Smith resorts to his old dodge and states, "I wonder if he really thinks he has a claim to this money, since he did not show his face at the meeting at which I advertised I would give it away." In other words, Mr. Smith reasons that even though I have produced the text I wasn't at a certain meeting. This objection I have already answered. (Read my second newspaper article.) Even so, I anticipated such a move by my friend, so on the day the proposition was signed I had him to sign his offer as follows which I have on file:
This signed offer is not limited (and neither was the other) in any way as to time or place. If he doesn't fulfill his offer by virtue of the newspaper advertisement he can come across on this one.
The reason I have pressed this point has been to test the honesty of David Smith and the integrity of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. If they are not trustworthy here, how can one know whether anything they say is so? My motive, as stated before, is not mercenary. In fact, I think it is a cheap method of advertising carried on by the SDA church to make merchandise of the Truth! But since they have employed this method and have offered the money -- do they mean what they say? Can you trust them, even when it is in writing? The honesty and integrity of the man and the sect have been at stake by virtue of this challenge and its fulfillment. By reason of David Smith's own admittance and poor faith in fulfilling the promise, Mr. Smith has set fire to the "stake." The Adventist system was founded on a lie and is carried on through deception. My soul aches for the otherwise honest and sincere people who are mislead by this false system.
The Seventh-day Adventist Church was established too late, at the wrong place, and by the wrong person to be the church of Christ. Its foundation is essentially a lie that was espoused by a false prophet. Before the Sabbath doctrine was accepted into the advent theory, the embryo body was known as Adventist, which name the Seventh-day branch still carries. William Miller espoused a theory relative to the advent of Christ predicting his coming in the spring of 1844 and again in the fall of the same year. Both predictions ended in failure. Deuteronomy 18:22, God said, "When a prophet speaketh in the name of the Lord, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord hath not spoken." Thus Miller is proved to be a false prophet and the movement arising from his prophecies is of necessity based on a lie. Immediately after the failure of 1844 Adventists split up into numerous parties, each contradicting and denouncing the other. Instead of renouncing the whole theory, as sane men, each set about trying to explain the failure. The particular Adventists now known as the Seventh-day Adventists explain that God was the author of the failure, the reason being to "prove" the people. Ellen G. White, in The Great Controversy, states,
They had done the will of God . . . Yet they could not understand his purpose in their past experience.
She reasons, and bear in mind that this is the celebrated prophetess of Adventism for whom they claim inspiration, that 1844 was the correct date, but for a "cleansing" in heaven and not a return to earth, but God hid this fact from them and lead them to believe a lie! We notice that she has moved the speculation into heaven -- on earth man can witness the falsity of their prophecies.
Seventh-Dayism is connected with the movement of 1844. In fact, Ellen G. White endorses William Miller and his prophetic failure.
Of all the great religious movements since the days of the apostles, none have been more free from human imperfection and the wiles of Satan than was that of the autumn of 1844. Even now, after the lapse of nearly half a century, all who shared in that movement and who have stood firm upon the platform of truth, still feel the holy influence of that blessed work, and bear witness that it was of God.
The preaching of a definite time for the Judgment, in the giving of the first message, was ordered of God.
God said that if the prophecy does not come to pass, "this is the thing which the Lord hath not spoken." Adventism teaches that God lied!
Let God be true, but every man a liar. (Romans 3:4)
Ellen G. White stamps herself FRAUD along with the entire Adventist movement.
In 1864 Joseph Bates was influenced by some Seventh-day Baptist relatives. He communicated his new found Sabbath theory to Mrs. White and after her famous "vision," Sabbath keeping in fashion became part of Adventist doctrine and gave birth to the Seventh-day Adventist Church proper. This is the origin of their Sabbath doctrine and it is not from the Bible!
In support of their practice of keeping the Sabbath as they do, they resort to an abolished law, wrest the scriptures to fit the theory, and assume the proof in nearly every argument they make. I say they keep the Sabbath in a "fashion" because they do not "keep" it as God commanded the Jews, but as it pleases them. (See the last newspaper article.)
The Bible teaches that the law containing the Sabbath was given at Sinai, and there the Sabbath was made known. "The Lord our God made a covenant with us in Horeb. The Lord made not this covenant with our fathers, but with us, even us, who are all of us here alive this day." (Deuteronomy 5:2-3)
The Bible teaches that the law, the covenant, was added to the promise given to Abraham four hundred and thirty years after the promise. And here "it was added because of transgressions," not before. (Galatians 3:17-19)
The Bible teaches no such distinction in the law. Rather Paul says that Christ "abolished . . . the law of commandments contained in ordinances." (Ephesians 2:15) The handwriting of ordinances and the law of commandments contained in them was nailed to the cross! All the old testament was admittedly done away. David Smith being witness himself that "the whole Old Testament is referred to as the law and the prophets." (Third Affirmative)
The Bible teaches that the Old Testament is taken out of the way, New Testament writers being witness. (Ephesians 2, Romans 7, Galatians 3 and 4, 2 Corinthians 3, Colossians 2, Hebrews 2 and 12, for a few.) What writer in all the New Testament ever stated that the Old Testament is binding on Christians?
The Bible teaches that "under the law" is under its authority. The evil consequence of affirming that "under the law" means under penalty for sin is realized from Galatians 4:4, "God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law." According to Adventist reasoning, Christ was born a sinner! But, of course, such is not true. (Hebrews 4:15) To be "under the law" is to be subject to or set under the authority of the law. Therefore when Paul said that we "are not under the law" he said that we are not subject to it. (Romans 6:14, Galatians 5:18)
2. The Sabbath was given to the children of Israel only, as a sign between them and God that they should know that He was the Lord that sanctified them. The seventh day was their Sabbath to correspond with God's rest day at creation. Exodus 31:13, 17.
3. God spoke of it in such a way to show it was limited to the Jewish age: "the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations." Exodus 31:16. Principles enacted in the new covenant are not so spoken of in the old as to signify their relationship would be to the Jews and them only. For instance, one never reads, "Ye shall not murder throughout your generations." Yet, we read of offerings, incense, atonement of animals, Levitical priesthood, and the Sabbath as observed in their generation. All of these things, save the Sabbath, Adventists will admit -- why not the Sabbath? Because out would go Mrs. White, William Miller, all of their speculations and theories -- the very foundation of the SDA church. These things they will not let go! I cannot see why a man would deny the Lord and the Bible in order to hold to some organization even though it is profitable. What is it worth and what will it profit if you lose your own soul?
4. God said, "I will cause all her mirth to cease, her feast days, her new moons, and her Sabbaths, and all her solemn feasts." (Hosea 2:11)
5. In Amos 8:5 some of the Jews asked, "When will the new moon be gone, that we may sell corn? And the Sabbath, that we may set forth wheat?" They wanted to know when the new moon and Sabbath would be gone. Sabbatarians say that the new moon is gone, but the Sabbath never will be gone. But God said it would in answering their question:
And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord God, that I will cause the sun to go down at noon, and I will darken the earth in a clear day.
This was fulfilled when Christ died on the cross. (Mark 15:33) This was when the new moon and the Sabbath were taken out of the way. (Colossians 2:16)
6. Now let no man, even Seventh-day Adventists, judge you in respect of the Sabbath. (Colossians 2:16.) It was abolished in the law nailed to the cross. (v. 14)
7. Christians are nowhere commanded to keep the Sabbath. Throughout this discussion, I have asked our Adventist champion for such a text. If there was such a command he would have given it. It doesn't exist! The reference of Matthew 24 :20 does not imply the keeping of the Sabbath. The Lord warned against the hardships of flight. Jesus had just mentioned conditions that would create hardships in flight. Winter created such conditions, and so would keeping of the Sabbath by the Jews create hardships on Christians desiring to leave the city. If this passage proves the Sabbath to be a holy day, it also proves the winter to be a holy season. There is nothing here or elsewhere in the new covenant to indicate a keeping of the Sabbath. In the new testament, the disciples are said to have worshipped on the first day of the week. (Acts 20:7, 1 Corinthians 16:2)
Mail received December 11, 1950:
THIRD NEGATIVE ARTICLE DELIVERED AUGUST 31 AND RECEIVED SEPTEMBER 6.