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QUESTION: I'm trying to find out if working on the Sabbath is a sin( like getting money for working), I want to know this because I have plans of joining the army where i may work on the Sabbath. I know that I'm not saved by works but by the grace of God, i just don't want to do something that will offend God. thanks

ANSWER: Soldiers and the Sabbath

Most all are confused about how the law and the Gospel function.  While many Christians acknowledge that they are “not saved by works,” their actions demonstrate that they do not fully understand what that means, especially when it comes to the doctrine of the Sabbath.

In addition, there is also confusion about whether one can be a good Christian and still be a soldier.  Some claim this is impossible, and that it is sinful to participate in war.  The 19th century SDA’s took this view.  Listen to their position during the Civil War.

"While we thus cheerfully render to Caesar the things which the Scriptures show to be his, we are compelled to decline all participation in acts of war and bloodshed as being inconsistent with the duties enjoined upon us by our divine Master toward our enemies and toward all mankind."

The Review and Herald, May 23, 1865.

Although the early SDA’s thought it wrong to be a soldier because it violated the 6th commandment and forced the breaking of the 4th, they changed their views during WWI.  This led a group of German SDA’s to start their own SDA church that held to the earlier non-combatant view.  

They are called the Seventh-day Adventist Reform Movement.  (Which is not to be confused with “Adventist Reform” as promoted by Dr. Ford and Tom Norris).

SDARM is very wrong about most everything, including their views about the war and the military and the Sabbath, as well as tithe and the IJ, etc.

http://www.sdarm.org/origin.htm

http://www.sdarm.org/index.php

The NT has much to say about the profession of being a soldier, and thus there is no excuse for anyone to be confused about this topic, or about the Sabbath, which Jesus explains over and over in the Gospels.

Due to a software problem that prevents a longer post, the rest of this answer can be found at:

http://www.atomorrow.net/fluxbb/viewtopic.php?pid=11570#p11570

Tom Norris for All Experts.Com & Adventist Reform



---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Galatians 3 says "Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law." This doesn't mean we shouldn't stop following the law right? Also "the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ" Galatians 3:24 so that means the law was given to us to show us that we are sinners and need God everyday.(my opinion) I'm I right to think this? Also, (sorry for all these questions) about the New Sabbath you are talking about, What I got out of it is that we are able to help people and do things like work, Did Jesus talk about the Sabbath because the Jews misunderstood it? I would also like some texts on the New Sabbath you mention. Sorry again for all these question and Thanks for taking your time, I really apperciate it. Thanks

Answer
QUESTION for Tom Norris:

Moses asked:  Galatians 3 says "Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law." This doesn't mean we shouldn't stop following the law right?

Tom Norris said:

Understanding the Gospel in the 21st century

The difficulty of understanding the Gospel should not be under-estimated. Jesus taught that only a few would be saved, with only 25% of those that hear the Gospel able to comprehend it.  

These are not very good odds, especially when you consider that we today are dealing with ancient concepts and teachings that date back thousands of years.  To make things even more difficult, there are numerous conflicting interpretations about the Gospel Story.

If the Jews could not understand the Gospel in the 1st century, with Jesus as its chief spokesman, how can we hope to comprehend things correctly today?  Only through the Word and by the Word can anyone hope to understand Christ.  Those who are not honest with the Gospels will never understand.

Consequently, we must be very careful not to allow our minds to be controlled by religious tradition, error, and prejudices that do not follow the Word.  Those who seek Eternal Life must be prepared to follow the genuine Christ of the NT, and not the legion of counterfeits’ that have overtaken the last church, (meaning all denominations).

The Two Covenants

The most difficult concept for people to grasp is the change from the Old Covenant to the New.  This is very difficult material to understand, so much so that the apostolic church fell into great debate about this very matter.  (This is why the book of Galatians was written.)  If the leading apostles could misunderstand the Two Covenants, how much more so, those who live in the 21st century?

All must pay careful attention if they want to grasp this critical transition from Law to Gospel.   As Luther correctly said, if this theological distinction is misunderstood, the Gospel cannot be comprehended.  

Law & Gospel
http://www.atomorrow.net/fluxbb/viewtopic.php?pid=11551#p11551

Most, including the SDA’s, have a very wrong and confused view of the Two Covenants, and this is reflected by their many doctrinal errors, --like the Sabbath doctrine, which no church today has correct.

So you were correct to reference Galatians, as this book features the great debate that broke out in the apostolic church about the transition from the OC to the NC.  It was also a featured book for the Reformation, even as it was the same book that caused the 1888 debates and destroyed the Battle Creek SDA’s.  To understand the Gospel, one must understand this apostolic debate, which is the context of the book of Galatians.

Paul’s term “faith has come,” means, “Faith in Christ’s Gospel has arrived.”  Now that Jesus came to earth, we are under his Gospel teaching, --not under the harsh, Old Covenant tutor, the law.  

Law Not Removed

But that does not mean there is no Moral Law, or that the law is against God.  Rather the Christian is now under Christ’s view of behavior and teaching about salvation.  Law is subordinated to Faith in Christ and his teachings.

Gal. 3:21 Is the Law then contrary to the promises of God? May it never be! For if a law had been given which was able to impart life, then righteousness would indeed have been based on law.

Gal. 3:22 But the Scripture has shut up everyone under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.

Gal. 3:23  But before faith came, we were kept in custody under the law, being shut up to the faith which was later to be revealed.

Gal. 3:24 Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith.

Gal. 3:25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.

Gal. 3:26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.

Law of Christ

Paul states he is not under the law of Moses, but yet he is not lawless because he believes in God’s Moral law.  He explains that he is now under the law or teaching of Christ.  Whatever Christ teaches about salvation, law, and behavior, including the Sabbath, is what his sheep must embrace.  Christ’s word is superior to law.

Listen to Paul elevate the “Law of Christ” over the Law of Moses:

1Cor. 9:19  For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a slave to all, so that I may win more.

1Cor. 9:20 To the Jews I became as a Jew, so that I might win Jews; to those who are under the Law, as under the Law though not being myself under the Law, so that I might win those who are under the Law;

1Cor. 9:21 to those who are without law, as without law, though not being without the law of God but under the law of Christ, so that I might win those who are without law.

Gal. 6:2 Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.

Christians are to fullfull the law of Christ, not the Law of Moses.


Jesus Teaches all 10 Commandments

Whenever the Sabbath is debated, the anti-Sabbatarian crowd claims that Jesus has restated only 9 of the 10 commandments, thus 90% of the Moral Law is contained in Christ’s teaching;  thus, only 9 out of 10 are still binding on all, except the 4th.   

But this position is wrong.  Jesus repeatedly teaches a doctrine of the NC Sabbath in all four Gospels.  Consequently, to be under the law of Christ is to also be under his Sabbath doctrine, which is very different from Moses.  What Jesus teaches about each of the 10 commandments is what we are obligated to believe, follow, and promote.

NCT Exposed As Error
http://www.atomorrow.net/fluxbb/viewtopic.php?id=953

Jesus Did Not Remove Moral Law

Jesus did not come to earth to remove the Moral law or give a pass to sinful behavior.  In fact, he made it clear that even wrong thoughts can be sinful, as they also break the law.  

Matt. 5:17  “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill.

Matt. 5:27  “You have heard that it was said, ‘YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY’;

Matt. 5:28 but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

Most people know what Jesus teaches about murder, theft, and adultery, but surprisingly few have any idea what he teaches about the Sabbath.  Except that it too is full of rules, regulations, and guilt.  

As with Jesus teaching about adultery, many also think that to if one looks at others working or playing on the Sabbath, they too are guilty of breaking the 4th commandment, even if they refrain from work.   This seems to make some sense.  But is it true?

Jesus had a lot to say about the 4th commandment.  So what does he teach teach about the 7th day?  Whatever it is, that is what the church must follow.  Why?  Because we are under the “law of Christ,” not the Law of Moses.   Christ is superior to the law; what he teaches is what his sheep must follow, regardless if it seems to conflict with either law or tradition.

What the SDA’s teach about the Sabbath is not what Christ teaches.  This is the problem.  In fact, no church or denomination has this point correct.  None are following the “law of Christ” or the words of Christ on this or other points.

John 12:47 “If anyone hears My sayings and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world.

John 12:48 “He who rejects Me and does not receive My sayings, has one who judges him; the word I spoke is what will judge him at the last day.

Question:  What are Jesus most important points?  

Answer:  Many think Jesus’ command to love one another is the greatest and most important of his teachings.

John 15:17 “This I command you, that you love one another.

However, such a teaching from Christ relates to our Sanctification, not our Justification, much less our reward for following the Gospel.  So there must be something even more important than our love and behavior.  But what could be superior to love?  

Eternal Life by Faith

The first and most important teaching of Christ is the FREE gift of Eternal Life, by faith in the Gospel.  This is the greatest doctrine of the Gospel, commanded by God the Father to be made known to man through Christ.  Fail to understand this point correctly, and the Gospel falls apart, leaving a truncated, false doctrine in its place.

1John 2:25 This is the promise which He Himself made to us: eternal life.

John 5:24  “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.

John 6:40 “For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.”

John 6:47 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life.

John 17:3 “This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.

This remarkable offer of Eternal Life is based on faith, not law keeping.  Eternal life is a gift, not a reward for good behavior or love.  It is part of the “Law of Christ” by which we are saved.

Rom. 5:16 The gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned; for on the one hand the judgment arose from one transgression resulting in condemnation, but on the other hand the free gift arose from many transgressions resulting in justification.

Rom. 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

1John 5:11 And the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.

1John 5:13  These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.

1John 5:20 And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.

Jude 21 keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life.

Jesus Speaks For God About Eternal Life

Many do not realize that Jesus came to earth speaking on behalf of God.  Jesus was not acting independently or even speaking for himself.  Rather, he came carrying a message from God to the human race.  

God was offering all the gift of Eternal Life.  Here is the #1 teaching of Christ.  Here is the first “law of Christ.”  Eternal Life.  The point of the Gospel, even our salvation from the grave.

John 12:46 “I have come as Light into the world, so that everyone who believes in Me will not remain in darkness.

John 12:47 “If anyone hears My sayings and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world.

John 12:48 “He who rejects Me and does not receive My sayings, has one who judges him; the word I spoke is what will judge him at the last day.

John 12:49 “For I did not speak on My own initiative, but the Father Himself who sent Me has given Me a commandment as to what to say and what to speak.

John 12:50 “I know that His commandment is eternal life; therefore the things I speak, I speak just as the Father has told Me.”

The Gospel Sabbath of Christ

As for the reformed, New Covenant Sabbath, Jesus speaks the same way.  He tells the Jews that his Gospel Sabbath came from the mind of God, and that he was doing God’s will by teachings this new doctrine.

John 5:15 The man went away, and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well.

John 5:16 For this reason the Jews were persecuting Jesus, because He was doing these things on the Sabbath.

John 5:17 But He answered them, “My Father is working until now, and I Myself am working.”

John 5:18 For this reason therefore the Jews were seeking all the more to kill Him, because He not only was breaking the Sabbath, but also was calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God.

John 5:19  Therefore Jesus answered and was saying to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner.

John 5:20 “For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself is doing; and the Father will show Him greater works than these, so that you will marvel.

Those who reject the NC Sabbath of Christ, also reject the Gospel of Christ, as well as God the Father.

Moses asked:  Also "the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ" Galatians 3:24 so that means the law was given to us to show us that we are sinners and need God everyday. (My opinion) I'm I right to think this?

Tom said:  The Law is for bad people, not the saints.  When the Jews were given the law they had just been released from slavery.  They were a wild and rough bunch that needed the stern hand of discipline and punishment.  The law shows guilt, points out sin, and its consequences.  This is what it still does today.  But it cannot save, and neither can we fully obey it.  So this is why we need the Gospel.

1Tim. 1:8  But we know that the Law is good, if one uses it lawfully,

1Tim. 1:9 realizing the fact that law is not made for a righteous person, but for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers

1Tim. 1:10  and  immoral men and homosexuals and kidnappers and liars and perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching,

1Tim. 1:11 according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, with which I have been entrusted.

Today, the SDA church must repudiate legalism and stop trying to elevate the Moral Law above the Gospel.  They must only “confess” Jesus as Lord and Savior, not the law.  

Those who confess Law, like the SDA’s, are Judaizers, not true Christians.  They have denied the Gospel and repudiated the genuine Christ, even as they have misunderstood the Sabbath of Christ and the mind of God.

Matt. 10:32  “Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven.

Matt. 10:33 “But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven.

To confess Christ is to follow his Gospel Sabbath.  Those who cannot do this for fear of guilt, or any other reason, are not following the genuine Christ.

Moses asked:  Also, (sorry for all these questions) about the New Sabbath you are talking about, What I got out of it is that we are able to help people and do things like work,

Tom Norris said:  Jesus Gospel Sabbath allows all to work, or play, on the 7th day.  Regardless what kind of work.  Regardless if you get paid or not.  Jesus teaches that for his followers, it is not sin to violate the 4th commandment.  Which is why one could be a Roman slave or a soldier, and work on the 7th day, and still be a good Christian.  

Those who think other wise, do not know the genuine Christ or his Gospel.

Moses asked:  Did Jesus talk about the Sabbath because the Jews misunderstood it?

Tom said:  Jesus was instructed by God to teach the NC Sabbath to his church.  In fact, Jesus was “commanded” by God to explain the Gospel Sabbath to the Jews, and so he did.  The Gospels are full of Jesus debating with the Jews about the Sabbath.  

However, the Jews misunderstood everything, especially the NC Sabbath, which they flat our rejected as an impossible, law breaking, doctrine.  They loved the Law, thinking they could control and obey it to please God.  They were delusional.

Moses asked:  I would also like some texts on the New Sabbath you mention.

Tom replied:  The Gospels are full of Jesus NC Sabbath teaching.  There are many long passages, like John 5, where Jesus defends and promotes his NC Sabbath.  All should study what Jesus teaches about the Gospel Sabbath in each of the four Gospels.

http://en.allexperts.com/q/Seventh-Day-Adventists-2318/2011/1/NC-Sabbath.htm

Moses said:  Sorry again for all these question and Thanks for taking your time, I really appreciate it. Thanks

Tom quoted: Luke 11:9  “So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.

I hope this helps,

Tom Norris for All Experts.Com & Adventist Reform
http://www.atomorrow.net/fluxbb/viewtopic.php?pid=11594#p11594

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Tom Norris

Expertise

I can answer most any question about church history and theology, starting from 1818 when William Miller articulated the 1st Angels Message that became the foundation of the Adventist Movement. While this first prophetic message terminated in the spring of 1844, it was followed by what Adventists refer to as the 2nd Angels Message, which dates from the spring of 1844 until the great disappointment of October 22, 1844. By 1847, the 3rd Angels Message had been developed and this Sabbatarian theology represents the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Moreover, I can explain the historical and theological development of the SDA denomination from its beginning and on through the great Battle Creek schism that forced the SDA's to retreat to Takoma Park. Here the 20th century church recovered from their internal battles that had erupted at the 1888 General Conference in Minneapolis over the definition of the law and the Gospel. Fearing another repeat of this disaster, President Daniels, determined to hide this debate. However, this policy led to more conflict, especially over the role and authority of Ellen White, a unique and accomplished religious writer that had remarkable spiritual gifts. However, by the decade of the 1970`s, the church once again erupted into debate. The hierarchy settled the turmoil in 1980 with the trial of Dr. Desmond Ford at Glacier View. Here Dr. Ford was exiled because he supposedly disagreed with Ellen White over the Fundamentals. But this controversial action resulted in another major schism that is still in progress today.

Experience

Tom Norris was raised as a Seventh-day Adventist in Takoma Park, Md. He attended SDA grade and High schools, moving on to study Adventist theology at Columbia Union College. He also spent significant time conducting independent research in the General Conference Archives and the Ellen G. White Estate. Over the years he has also interviewed a number of prominent Adventist scholars, theologians, and Pastors ranging from the late Arthur White to the exiled Dr. Desmond Ford. In addition, he has amassed a large private library, which includes numerous rare books and manuscripts about Adventist theology and history. He is presently the online editor of Adventist Reform, and can be found at Adventist for Tomorrow answering questions online about SDA theology and history as well as promoting Adventist Reform. http://www.atomorrow.net/fluxbb/

Education/Credentials
Tom Norris attended SDA grade and High schools, moving on to study Adventist theology at Columbia Union College. He also spent significant time conducting independent research in the General Conference Archives and the Ellen G. White Estate.

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