Seventh-Day Adventists/The People of God and the Sabbath
Frank wrote at 2016-06-24 02:15:52
<<< The expert’s response: >>>
The Sabbath was part of the Old Covenant Law given to physical Israel. As you note the Sabbath was the special sign for physical Israel.
<<< This completely ignores the fact that the Sabbath of the 4th commandment was blessed and sanctified by God when the first seventh day of this world ended. “For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.” (Exodus 20:11 KJV) The new race was to keep holy the Sabbath day in perpetuity as they were to keep all ten of the commandments. The same commandments that God wrote in stone at Sinai. >>>
"The Israelites are to observe the Sabbath, celebrating it for the generations to come as a lasting covenant. It will be a sign between me and the Israelites forever..." (Exodus 31:16-17 NIV).
<<< The Bible tells us that the nation of Israel (God’s “commandment keeping people” after the Exodus) had their most favored nation status removed (Mat 23:38). It was because they didn’t keep the law. “Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord.” (Hebrews 8:9 KJV) >>>
It was also a shadow or type of salvation by faith alone apart from any works of man. The Sabbath required Israel to trust Israel in God for 24 hours once per week. They had to rest in faith that God would provide all that they needed. The heart of the Sabbath command is to rest from all work. The heart of the gospel is to rest from the work of trying to save oneself. The classic text for salvation by faith alone is Ephesians 2:8-9.
<<< The Sabbath of the 4th commandment is not a shadow of anything. The commandment that gives us the Sabbath defines the other six days as days for work. “Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:” (Ex 20:9-10 KJV) >>>
"For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast" (ESV).
It is by God's Divine plan that the Old Covenant Sabbath so clearly depicts this primary gospel concept of salvation by faith alone.
<<< Keeping God’s commandments is not works. Jesus suffered a cruel death on the cross to save us because His law is immutable and eternal. "The works of his hands are verity and judgment; all his commandments are sure. They stand fast for ever and ever, and are done in truth and uprightness."
(Psalms 111:7-8 KJV)
Scripture tells us that the Sabbath will still be observed in the earth made new (Isaiah 66:22, 23). That is after sin and sinners have been consumed in the fires of hell and sin is no more (Nahum 1:9). >>>
In Deuteronomy 5:15 we read of one reason to observe the Sabbath.
"Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that the Lord your God brought you out of there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore the Lord your God has commanded you to observe the Sabbath day" (NIV).
<<< The Sabbath was originally a memorial of creation made for man (Mark 2:27) by the God of creation (Mark 2:28).
The story of Israel’s deliverance from bondage (sin) includes a test of obedience to see whether or not the children of Israel would “. . . go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law (torah), or no.” (Exodus 16:4). This confirms God’s law is not from Sinai but from the foundation of the world. >>>
God brought Israel out of bondage to Egypt and God brought Christians out of bondage to sin. The Old Covenant people of God rested in the type or shadow. The New Covenant people of God rest in the fulfillment or substance.
<<< The expert mistakenly assumes the Sabbath of the 4th commandment wasn’t from creation. Perhaps he doesn’t know that Abraham kept God’s torah long before Sinai. (Gen 26:5) >>>
"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— things which are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ" (Colossians 2:16-17 NASB).
<<< There is a law of types and shadows that Christ rendered obsolete by His atoning sacrifice. It was the law of the sanctuary and it concerned food and drink offerings, festivals that were for the purpose of sacrifice (Lev 23:37) and annual Sabbaths. “Then verily the first covenant had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary.” (Hebrews 9:1 KJV) This law was instituted because of sin and pointed to Christ and His ministry as High Priest in the heavenly sanctuary. He is now fulfilling all that was written of Him in the law and the prophets. The moral law written in stone is not a shadow of anything. If the Law of Moses was meant to be permanent it would not have been written on paper. The NIV is a poor translation of the Bible and these verses are evidence of that fact. The word translated a Sabbath day in the NIV is in fact in the original text, plural. This is in reference to the Sabbaths that were added because of sin, not the Sabbath of the 4th commandment. >>>
Paul's teaching on the Sabbath was derived from Jesus' bold claim that he gave the true rest for our souls a rest that the 7th day Sabbath could only point towards.
<<< Jesus did not rest from creation because of fatigue and He did not bless and sanctify the seventh day to point to a “true rest” from sin. Man was made in God’s image and that includes being endowed with a pure and holy character. The laws of God were written on their hearts. God did not make man expecting He would sin. He did give man a test of obedience in the garden as He gave the children of Israel a test of obedience in the wilderness of sin. God’s true rest results from obedience to God’s commandments. >>>
'Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light' (Matthew 11:28-30 ESV).
Jesus' and Paul's point is that we must cease from putting confidence in the flesh (cf. Philippians 3:3). Old Covenant Sabbath keepers and many Sabbath keepers of today put confidence in their Sabbath keeping even to the point of boasting in it.
God ceased from His labors of creating (cf. Genesis 2:2-3). If we are to enter into His rest we must cease from our labors to save ourselves. The 7th day Sabbath was only a shadow of this rest. We Christians do not live in the shadows.
<<< If we (believers) are truly resting in Christ then we will be keeping the law. Christians are not laboring to save themselves, they are already saved. For Christians, obeying the 4th commandment is no more laboring to save oneself than not murdering or not stealing or not coveting or not taking the Lord’s name in vain is laboring to save oneself. Someone who is truly abiding in Christ is not tempted to transgress the commandments. It is only when we take our eyes from Christ as Peter did when walking on water are we in danger of being overcome. >>>
Thank you for sharing your comment.
Have a safe and happy Summer,
<<< In Christ’s love,