Seventh-Day Adventists/The sabbath?


Dear Matt,

Currently i am dealing with the issue of the sabbath, are new-covenant christians supposed to keep it?

I have different thoughts. On the one hand:

The 10 commandments were the old covenant, the new covenant replaced the old covenant. The new covenant consists of the commandments of God written on our hearts and mind as taught by Jesus. However Jesus did not stress to keep the sabbath day. So according to this reasoning the sabbath is not a part of the christian walk. Jesus in many ways became a sabbath, so everyday in Christ is like a sabbath. Wasn't the sabbath an anti-type?

On the other hand:
God told the israelites not only to keep the sabbath holy because he brought them out of the land of Egypt, he also said it was because he made the heavens and the earth and rested on the seventh day, so it s basically the birthday of the earth. Now this statement might also be said by God to tell the Isrealites who he was. I know Jesus said that sabbath was made for man and not man for the sabbath, however this does not prove that the sabbath should be kept by all humans, Jesus simply used general wording i believe.

All in all, i think the SDA view of the sabbath is wrong in many ways. However i DO think that the sabbath will be the final test to seperate the wheat from the tares in the final days. Could it be that the church has taught a wrong view about the sabbath?

Dear Rogier,

Thank you for your question.

First we need to recognize that there were two very separate laws given/repeated to the Israelites. One law governed the sanctuary and the sacrificial services, and the other was the 10 commandment moral law.

Deut 31:24 – Moses wrote a “book of law”

Deut 31:26 – This book was to be kept on the side of the Ark and was a “witness against” the people

Ex 24:12 – God wrote the 10 commandments, and it was written on tables of stone.

Deut 10:2 – 10 commandments were placed inside the Ark.

Col 2:14 – Specifically states that the law that is “against” us is the one that was “nailed to the cross”. We see directly in Deut 31:26 that it was the book of law written by Moses that was “against” the people. So by this we know that Christ’s life and death and what He is doing now fulfills the law written in the book of Moses. If you were as well to study the sanctuary services, you would see most plainly how Christ can and does disannul this law.

Hebrews 8:10 – We read that He will put is law into our minds and hearts. The only law that He has claimed, is the 10 commandments. These very same commandments as given to the Israelites from Sinai are indeed the laws that were imprinted upon our hearts. If this law that is written upon our hearts is not the 10 commandments what law is He talking about?

Romans 13:9 – Tells us what set of laws we are still to follow under the new covenant. Each of these laws are part of the 10 commandments, which points us directly to the fact that the 10 commandments are still with us today, as a law that we need to follow.
Many use Matthew 11:28-30 as Biblical proof that Christ is now our “Sabbath”. The Greek word used  for “rest” here does not have anything to do with the literal seventh day of the week Sabbath. It is the word “anapau” which has to do with a literal rest from labor. So this verse is more correctly interpreted as basically that Christ wants us to enter a relationship with Him so that he can take away our daily stresses. A Christian does not need to toil and worry about our daily bread, bills, etc. (So by this we can see that Christs life was not the anti-type for this law)

Heb 4:1-11 speaks of the new covenant. Yet Vs. 9 is the one that really stands out…if you look up the Greek word used for “rest” here you will find that it is the word Sabatimos. Now this word specifically points us back to the Sabbath as given to us from Sinai. Verse 9 specifically states that, “There remaineth therefore a rest (Sabbath) to the people of God.” To me this is pretty straightforward…a Sabbath (directly relating to the seventh-day) remains for the people of God.

Many people also link the Sabbath wholly with the 10 commandments…like it didn’t exist before Sinai. Yet if you read Ex 16:23 you will see that the Israelites were actually to follow the seventh day Sabbath BEFORE it was even given from Sinai. Why? Well because it was instituted at creation by God Himself! God had to repeat His laws to them, as they forgot them during their captivity by a pagan nation for such a long period of time.  

One more thing to consider is Isaiah 66:23 which tells us that we will have a Sabbath after the judgment. This tells us that we will have a Sabbath even when we are in Heaven, and when we live back here on earth after Christ has re-created it for us. So if we (Gods people) have had to follow the Sabbath in the past, and also follow it in the future… isn't it logical that we need to follow it in the present?  

You are very correct in that the Sabbath issue will be a very important one. There will be a time when the people will beg to have a Sunday law passed…and so it shall be done. It is at this point that we will have to choose to either follow the law of God (the true Sabbath on Saturday) or follow the “sabbath” created by man which falls on Sunday. Right now could not be a more important time to find out the truth about God’s day that He set aside for us.

God be with you in your continued studies.


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