Seventh-Day Adventists/Adam and the Sabbath
Frank wrote at 2016-04-04 04:41:57
<<< The expert's response: >>>
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.
<<< The law of the “new and better” covenant is the ten commandments written in the heart and mind and is promised to Israel and Judah in the Old Testament.
“Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD: But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.” (Jeremiah 31:31-33 KJV) This is God’s law, not Moses’ law. >>>
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.
<<< The Apostles were not given the authority to abrogate or change any of the commandments. Any “new” commandments are of necessity already encompassed by the Ten Commandments. Therefore the Sabbath could not have disappeared from the law.
Another problem with looking to the New Testament for the law is this. The covenant was ratified by Jesus when He made the atoning sacrifice of Himself on the cross. No covenant is changed after the death of the one who makes it. Jesus contested with the teachers of the law concerning what was lawful on the Sabbath, not its continued validity. There is no command to keep holy another day before the cross. There can be no command to keep holy another day after the cross (see Mat 5:18).
When Paul wrote about the New Covenant, he said nothing about a change of God's law, only that God will establish it in the heart and mind of His people.
“For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:” (Hebrews 8:10 KJV)
The new covenant is made with the house of Israel and the house of Judah even though they did not continue in the first (Old) covenant. The fault was with the people, however, not with the law. “Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.”
(Romans 7:12 KJV) >>>
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.
<<< "Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws".(Gen 26:5 KJV)
Compare this with,
"Thou camest down also upon mount Sinai, and spakest with them from heaven, and gavest them right judgments, and true laws, good statutes and commandments: And madest known unto them thy holy sabbath, and commandedst them precepts, statutes, and laws, by the hand of Moses thy servant:" (Nehemiah 9:13-14 KJV)
Here we see that there are two laws. There is God's law that Abraham kept and the law of Moses that wasn't until Sinai, the law that the Patriarchs (including Abraham) didn't have. >>>
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.
<<< There is no passage that says the Sabbath was ‘first’ given to Israel just before arriving at Mount Sinai. At that time the children of Israel were commanded to do no work on the seventh day to see whether or not they would keep God’s law. The Sabbath commandment is but one of ten precepts that define God’s holy law.
“Then said the LORD unto Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law, or no.” (Exodus 16:4 KJV) God said it is “His law”, a law that already existed that they were being tested on, His unchangeable, eternal Ten Commandments. We can know His law already existed because the Sabbath commandment is one of the ten. (see Psa 111:7. 8)
It was then given to Israel at Sinai as the law for the new nation God was about to establish in the promised land.
There is no reason to suggest it is not the law that was given to Adam and Eve before sin. There is no passage that says Adam and Eve were not given the Sabbath. Did God bless and sanctify the seventh day and forget to tell Adam and Eve not to profane it? Apparently not for the first sin was eating from the forbidden tree, not profaning the Sabbath. Please don’t ever forget that everything God made at creation was for the new race. >>>
The Sabbath was then put in the Ten Commandments that were given only to Israel (cf. Exodus 20:2).
<<< Not quite. God gave all ten of the commandments to Israel at Sinai, the same law that was written in the heart and mind of Adam and Eve when they were created. If it were not so, Adam and Eve could not have sinned for sin is transgression of the law (1 John 3:4).
When Moses told the people the story of the giving of the law at Sinai just before his death, he said this about the Ten Commandments,
“These words the LORD spake unto all your assembly in the mount out of the midst of the fire, of the cloud, and of the thick darkness, with a great voice: and he added no more. And he wrote them in two tables of stone, and delivered them unto me.” (Deuteronomy 5:22 KJV)
There are no scriptures to suggest that the 4th commandment was “added” to the law at a later date. It was made (given) when the first seventh day ended and is just as binding as the other nine. (see Exodus 20:11) >>>
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).
<<< We have already shown that the New Covenant is with the House of Israel and the House of Judah as well in which the law is “established”. It IS perpetual. It isn’t done away with.
“Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith. Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.” (Romans 3:30-31 KJV) >>>
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).
<<< The Ten Commandments written in the heart and mind is the law whose principals were to have been manifest throughout eternity by the new race (Psalms 111:7, 8). They are the commandments that define the expression of love for God and love for neighbor. Jesus taught this while on earth before His crucifixion.
“Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” (Matthew 22:37-40 KJV) >>>
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).
<<< The statutes and the ordinances are not the Ten Commandments. Known as the Law of Moses when first given, this law contained all the laws for the new nation, both moral and ceremonial. The basis for the statutes and judgments is the Ten C’s. The children of Israel were given detailed instructions in the law of Moses on how the Ten Commandments were to be administered as a protection against the idolatrous pagan nations they would encounter.
They were also given the ceremonial law. “Then verily the first covenant had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary.” (Hebrews 9:1 KJV). This law was added because of sin and was to last until Christ accomplished the atoning sacrifice. It was to teach the children of Israel about the promised Messiah until He should come. It is called a "tutor" or "schoolmaster" by Paul. None of its precepts were written in stone as it was to be nailed to the cross.
"Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. (Galatians 3:24-25 KJV") The law of Moses that the Judaizers wanted to impose upon the Gentile converts was nailed to the cross. >>>
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?
<<< Those who are searching for the truth and not excuses to keep holy a day for which there is no Biblical command have been given enough evidence in the Bible to see the truth concerning the Sabbath of the 4th commandment. >>>
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.
<<< Love for God and love for neighbor is defined by the Ten Commandments. We believe that it is the ten holy precepts that are the standard by which this love is measured. If we are walking in the New Covenant teachings of Christ we will not be transgressing any of these precepts.
“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” (1 John 1:7 KJV)
They are given to fallen man to show us our need for a savior who alone can deliver us from the bondage of sin and bring us into compliance of the law by the power of His indwelling holy Spirit. As we walk in this love day by day we are being transformed into the image and likeness of our creator and redeemer and of our heavenly Father. >>>
God Be With You,
<<< In Christ’s love,