Seventh-Day Adventists/Commandments of God
You have answered a few questions for me before so I thought maybe a clear answer on this topic may help me.
In Revelation two separate scriptures tell us to keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus or testimony of Jesus. Now I am wondering about exactly what commandments of God we are talking about. See revelation 12:17 and Revelation 14:12.
I am puzzled at this because of course the Sabbath commandment.
It is good hearing from you again and I trust all is well with you.
Regarding what "commandments" John is referencing in Revelation 12:17 and 14:12:
Revelation 12:17 (KJV)
17 And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God
, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.
Revelation 14:12 (KJV)
12 Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God
, and the faith of Jesus.
Please note that each of the aforementioned texts say 'commandments of God" not the law or Mosaic Law.
The Greek word for commandments in the above texts is entole
(G1785) - meaning an order,command, charge, etc. The Greek word for the Mosaic Law is nomos
Anytime we see commandments of God, His commandments, etc., it is referring to entole
and not the Law of Moses. John explains to us what His commandments are:
John 3:21-24 (NIV)
21 Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God
22 and receive from him anything we ask, because we obey his commands and do what pleases him.
23 And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another
as he commanded us.
24 Those who obey his commands live in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us.
Loving one another covers any and all eternal moral commands that God placed in each of us even before the Law of Moses was given from Mt. Sinai. Please note that the Sabbath is not a moral command. It is ceremonial in nature. It has to be observed on a certain day, during a certain time period and the commands are to remember it and rest on it. Moral commands are effective 24/7/365. They are never off duty and no one has to tell you about them.
We were all born with a moral compass with God being the fixed reference point for the standard.
Romans 2:14-15 (NIV)
14 (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law
, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law,
15 since they show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them.)
As we see from Romans 2:14-14, Gentiles or non-Jews were never under the Mosaic Law so the Sabbath really isn't an issue for us Gentiles. SDAs incorrectly teach that the Ten Commandments have been from the beginning and that Adam and Eve were subject to the Ten. The Bible tells a different story.
According to the Bible, sin was in the world BEFORE the law nomos
was given. This law, the Mosaic Law, included the Ten Commandments, which included the Sabbath commandment to Israel ONLY. Also Adam and Eve only knew good before sin
so why would God tell them "Thou shalt not" in Eden when they didn't have a knowledge of evil, they had no man or maidservants, etc. Before sin, they would have had to ask God what killing meant. It just doesn't make sense.
Romans 5:13 (NIV)
13 for before the law was given, sin was in the world
. But sin is not taken into account when there is no law.
Under the Old Covenant between God and Israel, righteousness depended on keeping the 613 commandments outlined in the Law of Moses.
Deuteronomy 6:25 (NIV)
25 And if we are careful to obey all this law
before the LORD our God, as he has commanded us, that will be our righteousness
Please read Deuteronomy 4:1-6:25, and you will notice that the Ten are included in the list.
Under the New Covenant made between God and Himself, our righteousness depends on faith in His completed work for us. He knew we couldn't perfectly obey so He didn't even make us a party to the New Covenant. We are thankful beneficiaries!
Philippians 3:9 (NIV)
9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law
, but that which is through faith in Christ--the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith.
Notice that "the Law" (nomos G3551) in the above text is referring to the Mosaic Law which would include the Sabbath commandment.
When Jesus hung on the cross and said, "It is finished" He was saying that He had fulfilled the law
and the prophets (Old Testament).
Under the Old Covenant, the High Priest came from the Tribe of Levi and the Mosaic Law was their guide to obey. Under the New Covenant, a new High Priest (Jesus) was appointed and because there has been a change in the priesthood, there also must be a change in the law.
Hebrews 7:12 (NIV)
12 For when there is a change of the priesthood, there must also be a change of the law.
We are under the Law of Christ (aka Royal Law of Love, aka Law of God). According to James, the Royal Law is the law all believers will be judged by - NOT FOR SALVATION but for rewards because believers are not under condemnation.
James 2:12 (NIV)
12 Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom,
The Mosaic Law and the tablets of stone do not give freedom. According to the Bible, the Ten Commandments, of which the Sabbath is included, brought death.
2 Corinthians 3:7 (NIV)
7 Now if the ministry that brought death, which was engraved in letters on stone
, came with glory, so that the Israelites could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of its glory, fading though it was,
When we love one another, we will not seek to do our brethren harm in any capacity. According to the Bible, when we love and care for one another we are fulfilling the law of Christ.
Galatians 6:2 (ASV)
2 Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ
Romans 10:4 (KJV)
4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth
Those who try to live by the law are under a curse because the ENTIRE LAW MUST BE KEPT. If one commandment is broken they are guilty of breaking them all.
Galatians 3:10 (NIV)
10 All who rely on observing the law are under a curse, for it is written: "Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything
written in the Book of the Law."
God speaks to believers though His indwelling Spirit so whatever the Spirit tells us to do are God's commandments.
I do hope this has been helpful. May God continue to bless you!