Seventh-Day Adventists/Revelation 12:17
Frank wrote at 2010-05-15 08:08:50
The experts response:
Dear Brother Dan:
Thank you for your kind words of encouragement. I appreciate hearing from people that I have helped.
I’ve noticed that whenever SDAs try to find support for mandatory Sabbath keeping for Christians they ignore other texts that bear on the subject and alter the text beyond its original contextual meaning.
///Whenever the expert (a Catholic) tries to convince others that the 4th commandment of the Decalogue is ceremonial in nature and ended at the cross, he ignores or misinterprets many texts that provide convincing evidence that the 4th commandment, as well as the other nine, are as binding today as they were when they were written in the heart and mind of Adam and Eve.\\\
Their interpretation of Rev. 12:17 is no exception to this. In order to come away with their interpretation they must ignore the clear evidence that the Sabbath was given only to Israel as a special sign between them and God.
///The Sabbath was instituted at creation. It has always been, and will always be, a part of the moral law. Genesis 2:2 “And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.” Genesis 2:3 “And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.” \\\
“So shall the Israelites observe the Sabbath, keeping it throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant. Between Me and the Israelites it is to be an everlasting sign” (Exodus 31:16-17). They ignore that it was the sign of a covenant that was to be in force from Moses to the coming of Christ (see Galatians 3:17-19 and 23-25).
///Exodus 31:14-17 is not the 4th commandment as spoken by God and written in stone by His finger. This is an application of the fourth commandment for the Nation of Israel and includes a judgment for its violation. It is part of the ceremonial law being told to Moses by God which he wrote in a book (the Law of Moses). The Ten Commandments are the standard of righteousness in both the Old and New Testaments and did not end at the cross.\\\
They ignore that the covenant to which the Sabbath was attached is now obsolete. “When He said, ‘A new covenant,’ He has made the first obsolete. But whatever is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to disappear” (Hebrews 8:13). We must keep these facts firmly in mind when discussing the Sabbath.
///What covenant did Christ ratify by His death on the cross? It was not the Mosaic Covenant.
Psalms 105:8-10 “He hath remembered his covenant for ever, the word which he commanded to a thousand generations. Which covenant he made with Abraham, and his oath unto Isaac; And confirmed the same unto Jacob for a law, and to Israel for an everlasting covenant:”
Galatians 3:7 “Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.”
Galatians 3:29 “And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.”\\\
SDAs alter the meaning of Rev. 12:17 by adding the word “Ten” before commandments in the verse. They are taught to do this, but is that a proper way to interpret God’s word? They assume that commandments means Ten Commandments when it suits their purposes. In order to be honest with God’s word we must deal with what it says not what our theology demands that it should say. We must not be like the man that hides Easter eggs on Saturday night and then finds them on Easter Sunday saying, “Hey, look what I found!” SDAs find Sabbath keeping in Rev. 12:17 because they first put it there by adding the word “Ten” to commandments. Then they proclaim to all, “Hey, look what I found!” They presume what they are unable to prove from the Bible i.e., that commandments means Ten Commandments.
The actual verse in question doesn’t support the SDA assumption. “So the dragon was enraged with the woman, and went off to make war with the rest of her children, who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus.” The natural interpretation of “commandments of God” is for them to refer to the commandments of the New Covenant. For that is what John, an Apostle, would be concerned with: teaching people to keep all the New Covenant commandments of his Lord not just ten written in stone.
/// Psalms 111:7, 8 “The works of his hands are verity and judgment; all his commandments are sure. They stand fast for ever and ever, and are done in truth and uprightness.” The commandments “stand fast forever and ever”. This plain statement negates any supposition that the New Testament has new laws. When John writes “which keep the commandments of God” we can be certain of which commandments he speaks. \\\
18Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age" (Matthew 28:18-20).
So what does the verse mean? Its’ plain meaning is that true Christians are those who keep all the New Covenant commandments and witness to others about Jesus. In other words, true Christians are Christians in word and deed.
Further evidence that the SDA interpretation of 12:17 is wrong comes from an understanding of the Greek. John is the only New Testament writer to make a clear distinction between Old Covenant and New Covenant commandments.
/// Nowhere in the Bible does it say that the moral law in the Old Covenant is different from the moral law in the New Covenant. The difference is where that law is written. “But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it upon their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people” (Jeremiah 31:33). \\\
Whenever John wanted to refer to some Old Covenant commandment he always used the Greek word nomos translated as “law”. Whenever he wanted to refer to some New Covenant commandment he always used the Greek word entole translated as “commandment”. Some examples of John’s use of nomos are: “For the law (nomos) was given through Moses…”(John 1:17). “Did not Moses give you the law (nomos)…”(John 7:19). “The Jews answered him, ‘We have a law (nomos), and by that law (nomos) he ought to die…’” (John 19:7).
///These examples of the word ‘law’ are not a reference to some ‘Old Covenant commandment’. They are a reference to the Law of Moses (gr. nomos) which contains many ‘commandments’ (gr. entolas) . Every instance of the word law (nomos) in John’s gospel refers to the Law of Moses.\\\
Some examples of John’s use of entole are: “A new commandment (entole) I give you, that you love one another, even as I loved you, that you also love one another” (John 13:34). “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments [entole]” (John 14:15). “Whoever has my commands (entole) and obeys them, he is the one who loves me…” (John 14:21). "This is My commandment (entole), that you love one another, just as I have loved you” (John 15:12). As you can see it’s not very difficult to determine which commandments John means in his writings. Now with this knowledge let’s look at Rev. 12:17 again.
/// The reason John uses the Greek word ‘entole’ for commandment is because ‘entole’ is the Greek word for commandment. The Hebrew equivalent for ‘entole’ is ‘mitsvah’. Comparing the word ‘entole’ to ‘nomos’ is like comparing the word ‘house’ to the word ‘subdivision’. The ‘law’ contains many commandments as a ‘subdivision’ contains many houses. Conversely, the ‘law’ is not a commandment as a ‘subdivision’ is not a house.\\\
“So the dragon was enraged with the woman, and went off to make war with the rest of her children, who keep the commandments (entole) of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus.” As you can readily see John was speaking of the New Covenant commandments not the Old Covenant Ten Commandments. If John meant the Old Covenant Ten Commandments he would have used nomos as he does in every other case when he refers to any commandments given in the Old Covenant.
///The expert refers to ‘New Covenant commandments as the ‘Law of liberty’ referred to by James in chapter 1, verse 25 and chapter 2, verse 12. The word used by James for law is ‘nomon’ which is a variation of ‘nomos’. Galatians 6:2 states, “Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” Paul uses the same word (nomon) that James used. This dispels the myth that nomos only refers to laws found in the Old Testament.\\\
I hope that this was helpful to you. If I can help any further just let me know.
God Be With You,
///In Christ’s love,
Kerry wrote at 2010-11-04 13:41:18
Sorry sal but I did not have to read very far into your answer to Dan to understand you and other christians just dont either believe what God has said or you do not trust him. I have a very simple rule that I apply to all of these quandaries. 1. IF, you are correct, then we are all in the same boat ie. Sabbathing keeping makes no difference in our relationship to God and the 4th Commandment can be thrown out! However, IF Sabbath keepers are right, then you and others are at a loss. P.S. look at Isaiah-66:22. There MUST be something very special about this Sabbath thing for it to continue through eternity.
sharmila Sampath wrote at 2010-12-07 13:34:37
We read in Hebrews that He (God)is the same for yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Will God tell something and change it the other time. Especially when it comes to commandments (the glory of God, which is His characteristics).
We see the ten commandments what moses wrote in the most holy place. This is the earthly sanctuary. Whereas, in the heavenly sanctuary the God (Father) himself is present in the most holy place and Jesus is there as the high priest pleading for our sins.
If God wouldn't want us to follow the Sabbath day, what is that the "beast" in Daniel and Revelation mentioned that it would change the "times and commandments"?
what does it refers to?
cyrus ellorin wrote at 2013-11-05 23:43:42
The answer of Sal on how SDA mentally add the word "10" before "commandments", while sensibly correct to describe the SDA mindset, is deflecting from the question on what is meant by
"remnant of her seed" in Rev. 12:17.
Sal's discussion seem to admit that indeed, "remnant of her seed" (of the woman) is a spiritual body of Christians, or the church.
However, a faithful assessment of the whole chapter of Rev. 12, clearly identifies the woman as Israel, the Jews in particular, who gave birth to "a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron" (referring to Jesus).
The Bible nowhere reveals that Israel or the Jews in particular will give birth to a spiritual body of Christians which is the church as wrongly assumed by the SDAs and even by those in Christianity who have embraced the Replacement Theology which started with Augustine's "City of God".
The law of God which states that "a kind can only produce its own kind" (Gen 1:24 And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind. . .); but this SDA wrong concept is the Devil's ploy to mess up with the spiritual fact that those who have faith in Jesus are become the spiritual children of Abraham, the father of the faithful, but never as the seed of Israel or the Jews who as a nation will only believe on Jesus when he comes to "rule all nations with a rod of iron ...".
Thus, this "remnant of her seed" in Rev. 12:17, cannot be the church, who will have been already raptured to safety at that point of time, but can only refer to the Jews who the dragon is prophesied to "make war with".