Seventh-Day Adventists/Sign of the Old Covenant


Dear Sal: You say that the sign of the Old Covenant was the Sabbath and so it became obsolete with the ending of the Old Covenant. The actual sign of the Old Covenant was circumcision not the Sabbath. That fact should put an end to your position on the Sabbath ending with the Old Covenant. The Sabbath was from Creation (Gen. 2:2-3) not from Sinai. Wake up!

Dear Brother

There was more than one sign related to the Old Covenant. Circumcision was the entrance sign into the Old Covenant. In other words, an Israelite male could not be a member of God's people under the Old Covenant unless he was first circumcised. Circumcision predated the Sinai covenant in that it was first introduced as the sign of the covenant that God made with Abraham.

10 This is My covenant which you shall keep, between Me and you and your descendants after you: Every male child among you shall be circumcised; 11 and you shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between Me and you. 12 He who is eight days old among you shall be circumcised, every male child in your generations, he who is born in your house or bought with money from any foreigner who is not your descendant. 13 He who is born in your house and he who is bought with your money must be circumcised, and My covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant. 14 And the uncircumcised male child, who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin, that person shall be cut off from his people; he has broken My covenant.” (Genesis 17:10-14).

Those under the Sinai or Old Covenant were also children of Abraham; therefore, it would be quite natural for circumcision to be the required entrance sign. Another sign of the Old Covenant was the 7th day Sabbath.

“Speak also to the children of Israel, saying: ‘Surely My Sabbaths you shall keep, for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the Lord who sanctifies you...Therefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel forever; for in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day He rested and was refreshed" (Exodus 31:13, 16-17).

The Sabbath was the remembrance sign of the Old Covenant. In other words, those keeping the Sabbath would be reminded of their special covenant with God as well as their covenantal obligations. Therefore, when the Old Covenant ended so did its remembrance sign. There was no longer any need to remember the Old Covenant and its obligations. It's that simple.

However, with circumcision it was a more complicated issue because circumcision was also the sign of the Abrahamic Covenant. Therefore, it could be seen as still necessary especially if one saw Jesus' death as the ratification of the Abrahamic Covenant. No doubt the Judaizers used this or a similar point in promoting circumcision to Gentile Christians. Paul even referred to Christians as sons of Abraham. "Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham" (Galatians 3:7).

The Sabbath was much easier for the Church to dispense with since it was never called a sign of another covenant. The Sabbath started and ended with the Sinai or Old Covenant.

“You came down also on Mount Sinai,
And spoke with them from heaven,
And gave them just ordinances and true laws,
Good statutes and commandments.
You made known to them Your holy Sabbath,
And commanded them precepts, statutes and laws,
By the hand of Moses Your servant" (Nehemiah 9:13-14).

The Sabbath was part of the law which was given until Christ. "What purpose then does the law serve? It was added because of transgressions, till the Seed should come to whom the promise was made..." (Galatians 3:19).

When a covenant ends the signs associated with that covenant lose their importance. Under the Old Covenant the violation of its two signs was a serious matter. Under the New Covenant this has changed dramatically.

Circumcision under the Old Covenant:

"...My covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant. And the uncircumcised male child, who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin, that person shall be cut off from his people; he has broken My covenant" (Genesis 17:13-14).

Circumcision under the New Covenant:

"Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. 2 Indeed I, Paul, say to you that if you become circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing. 3 And I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised that he is a debtor to keep the whole law. 4 You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace. 5 For we through the Spirit eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness by faith" (Galatians 5:1-5).

Circumcision under the Old Covenant:

"At a camping place on the way to Egypt, the Lord met Moses and tried to kill him. Then Zipporah, his wife, took a sharp stone, cut off the foreskin of her son, and touched Moses' feet with it. Because of the rite of circumcision she said to Moses, 'You are a husband of blood to me.' And so the Lord spared Moses' life" (Exodus 4:24-26 GNT).

Circumcision under the New Covenant:

"For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love" (Galatians 5:6).

Sabbath under the Old Covenant:

"You shall keep the Sabbath, therefore, for it is holy to you. Everyone who profanes it shall surely be put to death; for whoever does any work on it, that person shall be cut off from among his people" (Exodus 31:14).

Sabbath under the New Covenant:

"So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ" (Colossians 2:16-17).

Sabbath under the Old Covenant:

"Work shall be done for six days, but the seventh day shall be a holy day for you, a Sabbath of rest to the Lord. Whoever does any work on it shall be put to death" (Exodus 35:2).

Sabbath under the New Covenant:

"One person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind" (Romans 14:5).

(All Bible quotations in this answer were taken from the New King James Version of the Holy Bible except were noted otherwise).

God Bless You,
Brother Sal  

Seventh-Day Adventists

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I am privileged to be able to offer an alternative insight into the complicated world of Seventh-Day Adventists (SDA) theology. I will rely heavily on the Bible, but will also consider history and use logic in exposing deficiencies in SDA teachings. I would ask anyone who is considering becoming a SDA or if you are already in the SDA church, but are searching for the truth, to please allow me to offer a different explanation for the claims of the SDA. Remember : "The truth will set you free" (John 8:32). I can answer your questions pertaining to the beliefs and history of the SDA. I am not able to answer questions concerning spirituality or church discipline.


I have extensively studied the theology of the Seventh-Day Adventists (SDA) for a number of years. I have many books and tape sets produced by experts in this field of study. I have debated current members of the SDA church. I have a great desire to help these people see the truth.

M.S. degree in Food, Nutrition, and Dietetics

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