Seventh-Day Adventists/The Sabbath

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Frank wrote at 2015-07-02 04:35:49
The Sabbath - 6/30/2015



Question

Dear Sal:



Why are you so against Sabbath keeping? What is your problem with SDAs keeping it holy? Shouldn't all keep God's day holy?



Martin







The expert: If you wish to have your worship day on the same day that was given to the Old Covenant Israelites, I have no problem with this. If you feel you must keep this day and it brings you closer to God then I say great. Where we part company is if you say that I must keep the Sabbath also. Such a belief is not in accordance with what we find in the Bible. God instructs Christians not to judge one another concerning Sabbath-keeping.  "One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind" (Romans 14:5 ESV).



<<< The Sabbath commandment was kept by the Jews because it is commanded by the God who created the Sabbath (see Ex 20:11). Man’s estimation of a day adds nothing to or takes away nothing from the requirement to keep it holy. In context, Paul is writing about ‘doubtful disputations’ such as the days of the week that the Jews traditionally fasted upon and disputes over the propriety of eating animals offered to pagan idols which were considered unclean by the Jews. Sabbath keeping was never considered to be a ‘doubtful disputation’ by Paul. The doubtful disputations arose from certain believing Jews who said the Gentile converts must be circumcised and keep the Law of Moses (see Acts 15:24). >>>



God further instructs Christians not to let others judge us concerning Sabbath-keeping.   "Therefore no one is to act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day" (Colossians 2:16 NASB).  Therefore, we can conclude, in accordance with the Bible, that observance of the 7th day Sabbath is no longer of importance to God's people under the new Covenant. If it were important would God inspire Paul to write the two passages just quoted? If Sabbath-keeping was important wouldn't God have inspired one New Covenant writer to restate the Sabbath commandment for Christians?



<<< How many Jewish converts believed the Sabbath was no longer a requirement for God’s New Covenant Church? How many Jewish converts kept Sunday? The answer to both questions is none. How many Gentile converts kept holy Sunday and not the Sabbath? The answer? None!

  Jesus didn’t instruct the Apostles to give up the Sabbath and worship on another day even when He warned them of the persecution they would face. Jesus told His disciples, “They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service. And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me. But these things have I told you, that when the time shall come, ye may remember that I told you of them. And these things I said not unto you at the beginning, because I was with you.” (John 16:2-4 KJV) If Jesus knew the Sabbath was soon to end, why didn’t He tell His disciples to keep another day of the week rather than warn them about being ‘put out of’ the synagogues, which means they would be forbidden to attend Sabbath services. Why didn’t He say that it would be better for them to worship on another day than to be killed? The answer is simple. His death did not change or abrogate any of the 10 C’s. They stand fast forever and ever (see Psalms 111:7, 8). According to the New Covenant promise, He writes those Old Covenant commandments in the minds and hearts of believers. (see Hebrews 8:10) >>>

  

Note: God did inspire New Covenant writers to restate the other nine of the Ten Commandments for Christians. Remember that no one taught the Gentiles entering the early church how to properly observe the Sabbath or even that the Sabbath was necessary for them to observe. Keep in mind that Gentiles did not generally observe the 7th day Sabbath. To them it was "a Jewish thing".



<<< There were many Gentiles that worshipped God on the Sabbath that didn’t consider it only a “Jewish thing”. Most Gentiles were Pagans, however. They worshiped Pagan deities and their main God was the sun God whom they honored on the first day of the week. What better way for Satan to exalt himself than by deceiving God’s children into worshiping on a day of his devising, a day kept in honor of a god that never existed (see Isaiah 14:14) rather than the day that commemorates the God who created “the heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is.” (Ex 20:11) >>>  



I would like to point out that while you speak of the Sabbath as the day of worship that is not found in the commandment itself. The commandment emphasizes rest from work not worship.



<<< The six working days are for work. The seventh day is to be kept holy. No work is to be done during the sacred Sabbath hours. Now which day of the week does it seem likely that we would gather for worship upon? One of the six working days or on the day that God’s people are commanded to keep holy by doing no work? The Jews had annual Sabbaths that they were to do no servile work upon but those holy days were added as a result of sin and were associated with the Jewish feasts. They could occur on any day of the week and Paul says they are no longer requirements of the law

(see Romans 14:5). >>>



“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates.  For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy" (Exodus 20:8-11 ESV; cf. Deuteronomy 5:12-15).



<<< While the commandment says to do no work on the Sabbath it also says to keep it holy. It is also important to remember that the Sabbath was given as a day that man would cease from his own works as God did from His. It was to remind man forever that everything he had was a gift from his creator, including life itself. >>>  



When the Sabbath was first given to Israel in Exodus 16 the emphasis was, likewise, on rest from work not worship. Additionally, the Israelite was to remain in his own "place" or home which is not conducive to corporate worship. "See, the Lord has given you the sabbath; therefore He gives you bread for two days on the sixth day. Remain every man in his place; let no man go out of his place on the seventh day" (Exodus 16:29 NASB). I'm not saying that worship should not be or was not done on that day. The Israelites realized rather quickly that since work was prohibited on that day that it would be the perfect day for all Israelites to gather for corporate worship.



<<< The children of Israel were being led from Egypt to a place they did not know. The Sabbath was given to them as a test of obedience (see EX 16:4) as they had not kept it for hundreds of years. Their work was to follow the Lord who was in a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. They were to stay in their tents on the Sabbath as that would be the only safe place to be at that time. There were no synagogues in the wilderness for them to gather at for worship. >>>



"The Lord spoke again to Moses, saying,  Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, 'The Lord’s appointed times which you shall proclaim as holy convocations—My appointed times are these: For six days work may be done, but on the seventh day there is a sabbath of complete rest, a holy convocation. You shall not do any work; it is a sabbath to the Lord in all your dwellings'" (Leviticus 23:1-3 NASB).



Note: "Holy convocation" is a holy gathering of like-minded individuals for a religious purpose. The NIV makes this clear with the translation "sacred assembly". So we have biblical evidence that Israel did gather for worship, fellowship, and teaching on the Sabbath. In fact the Great Teacher used that day for teaching.



"And He began teaching in their synagogues and was praised by all.  And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up; and as was His custom, He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath, and stood up to read" (Luke 4:15-16 NASB; cf. Matthew 4:23; John 6:59; 18:20).



So why do I mention this discrepancy between what is actually stated in the 4th Commandment and Sabbath worship? I mention this only because if you are going to use the 4th Commandment as a basis for Sabbath-keeping then in accordance with the Commandment you are to cease from your work. Worshipping on the 7th day is not a requirement according to the 4th Commandment.



"Observe the sabbath day to keep it holy, as the Lord your God commanded you.  Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath of the Lord your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter or your male servant or your female servant or your ox or your donkey or any of your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you, so that your male servant and your female servant may rest as well as you.  You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God brought you out of there by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm; therefore the Lord your God commanded you to observe the sabbath day" (Deuteronomy 5:12-15 NASB; cf. Exodus 20:8-11).



Again, it's a good thing, even a godly thing, to gather for worship on the Sabbath day just as it is equally godly to do so on any other day of the week. I believe that just as the early Church met whenever and wherever they could so should we.  "And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts" (Acts 2:46 ESV; cf. Acts 5:12; 20:7-8; Colossians 4:15; Philemon 1:2).



<<< They liked to eat together, didn't they? One has to wonder where all the food came from and who paid for it. They also took great joy in gathering together at the temple. One has to wonder, however, why the expert believes this means the Sabbath day was no longer to be kept holy? None of his references say anything about the Sabbath of the 4th commandment being changed to another day or abrogated.   >>>



In conclusion, for Christians to observe the Sabbath or not to observe the Sabbath is a matter of choice. Christians have this freedom that the Israelites did not enjoy. As brothers and sisters in Christ we are called to respect the spiritual freedom of others and not to judge in matters that do not pertain to salvation.



<<< The expert couldn’t be farther from the truth. The Sabbath commandment is the one commandment of the ten that most Christians are deceived about. Satan has directed the bulk of his efforts toward convincing God’s people to worship on his holy day (the 1st day of the week) rather than God’s holy day (the seventh day of the week). When Christ’s intercessory ministry ends (see Dan 12:1), those who have refused to accept the true Sabbath will not be able to stand the brightness of His coming. >>>   



"Now accept the one who is weak in faith, but not for the purpose of passing judgment on his opinions... One person regards one day above another, another regards every day alike. Each person must be fully convinced in his own mind" (Romans 14:1, 5 NASB).



<<< The expert has ignored the context of these verses.

(Romans 14:1 KJV)  “Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations.”

(Romans 14:2 KJV)  “For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs.”

(Romans 14:3 KJV)  “Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him.”

(Romans 14:4 KJV)  “Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.”

(Romans 14:5 KJV)  “One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.”

(Romans 14:6 KJV)  “He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks.”

Having read verses 1 through 6, it is seen that the object of these verses is eating. Even the esteeming of a day is associated with fasting (verse 6). The Jews had traditional fasts and individuals had personal fasts. Paul is telling the Jewish believers that they shouldn’t judge their Gentile brethren over special days for fasting or foods they choose to eat or not to eat.



Paul concludes the first sixteen verses with “For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.” Again, there is no mention of days.



(Romans 14:17 KJV)  “For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.”

(Romans 14:18 KJV)  “For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men.”

(Romans 14:19 KJV)  “Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.”

(Romans 14:20 KJV)  “For meat destroy not the work of God. All things indeed are pure; but it is evil for that man who eateth with offence.”

(Romans 14:21 KJV)  “It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak.”

(Romans 14:22 KJV)  “Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth.”

(Romans 14:23 KJV)  “And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.”



Paul concludes His discourse on not judging over “doubtful disputations” and these doubtful disputations concern food and eating, not days. >>>



In Christ's love,

Frank  


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Sal

Expertise

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.

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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.

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

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