Seventh-Day Adventists/Adam and the Sabbath


Dear Sal:

We know Adam kept the Sabbath. God gave Adam the Sabbath in Genesis 2. Adam was condemned for eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. He was never condemned for not keeping the Sabbath. All the Ten Commandments were in effect in Eden. We know Noah kept the Sabbath. He was a man of God (Genesis 6:8). He was righteous. Therefore, he kept the Sabbath and taught the new generation to keep God's special day. We know Abraham kept the Sabbath because he was a righteous man that the Bible says kept all of God's commandments (Genesis 26:5). And since God commanded Adam in Genesis 2 to keep the Sabbath we can infer that Sabbath keeping was one of God's commandments Abraham kept. So you see the idea of yours that the Sabbath was an Old Covenant law given first and only to Israel is flawed.


Dear Sister Lisa:

I believe that I have disproven your belief concerning the Sabbath numerous times in the past. For example please review:

Let's say that Adam, Noah, and Abraham did observe the Sabbath. Don't forget that was before the Cross. Therefore, the righteous men of old keeping the Sabbath does not mean that we Christians must do likewise. We might have to observe the Sabbath, but we need to check this with the new and better covenant that we live under. If we cannot find a command from Christ or his Apostles for Christians to observe the Sabbath then we are not required to observe it. In my review of the New Testament I find no such command. Therefore, I believe that Christians are not required to observe the Sabbath.

I see you produced no Bible verses saying that Adam, Noah, or Abraham observed the Sabbath. Of course you can't because the Bible never says anyone was given or observed the Sabbath until after the Israelites were freed from Egyptian bondage. Since you said that Adam was given and commanded to keep the Sabbath by God in Genesis 2 let's look at the passage.

"On the seventh day God completed the work he had been doing; he rested on the seventh day from all the work he had undertaken. God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work he had done in creation" (Genesis 2:2-3 NABRE).

There is no giving or commanding here. Now let's look at the first mention of the word "Sabbath" in the Bible. Note that it occurred after the Exodus from Egypt.

"On the sixth day they gathered twice as much food, two omers for each person. When all the leaders of the community came and reported this to Moses, he told them, 'That is what the Lord has prescribed. Tomorrow is a day of rest, a holy sabbath...'" (Exodus 16:22-23 NABRE).

So the Bible indicates that the Sabbath was first given to Israel just before arriving at Mount Sinai when they were in the desert of Sin (cf. Exodus 16:1). Also in Exodus 16 it clearly says that the sabbath was given not to Adam, but to Israel, "Take note! The  Lord has given you the sabbath..." (v. 29 NABRE). In context "you" can only refer to Israel. The Bible never says that the Sabbath was given to Adam. The Sabbath was then put in the Ten Commandments that were given only to Israel (cf. Exodus 20:2). The Sabbath was next made a sign of the Old Covenant between God and only Israel.

"So the sons of Israel shall observe the sabbath, to celebrate the sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between Me and the sons of Israel forever; for in six days the  Lord made heaven and earth, but on the seventh day He ceased from labor, and was refreshed" (Exodus 31:16-17 NASB).

The Ten Commandments represented or stood for the entire Old Covenant that God made with Israel.

"Then the Lord spoke to you from the midst of the fire; you heard the sound of words, but you saw no form—only a voice. So He declared to you His covenant which He commanded you to perform, that is, the Ten Commandments; and He wrote them on two tablets of stone" (Deuteronomy 4:12-13 NASB).

God made this Ten Commandment covenant with Israel and only Israel.  

"Moses summoned all Israel and said to them, Hear, O Israel, the statutes and ordinances which I proclaim in your hearing this day, that you may learn them and take care to observe them. The Lord, our God, made a covenant with us at Horeb; not with our ancestors did the Lord make this covenant, but with us, all of us who are alive here this day" (Deuteronomy 5:1-3 NABRE).

Therefore, according to the Bible the Sabbath was given only to Israel and not until after the Exodus. What I have briefly laid out is very biblical. So why don't SDAs see that? One explanation is that they have to deal with the baggage of Ellen G. White. Here is what I mean:

"Hallowed by the Creator’s rest and blessing, the Sabbath was kept by Adam in his innocence in holy Eden; by Adam, fallen yet repentant, when he was driven from his happy estate. It was kept by all the patriarchs, from Abel to righteous Noah, to Abraham, to Jacob. When the chosen people were in bondage in Egypt, many, in the midst of prevailing idolatry, lost their knowledge of God’s law; but when the Lord delivered Israel, He proclaimed His law in awful grandeur to the assembled multitude, that they might know His will and fear and obey Him forever" (The Great Controversy, p. 453 [1911 version]).

Ellen White's statement concerning Adam, Noah, Abraham, and Jacob is unbiblical. However, devoted followers of Ellen White are stuck with her statement and despite the biblical evidence to the contrary they must believe that Adam and all the patriarchs observed the Sabbath.

God Be With 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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