–Direct Link: bible.ca/7-sabbath-questions
–Version: King James Version used only
–Notes: Many of these questions are simply repeated in different forms elsewhere, and actually he wrote 85 questions. When we came across questions that were repeated, we simply put “Refer to question… so and so.” When we came across a question we did not understand, we said so, and gave it our best shot. Many of these question were very poorly written, some of which come across as sentences or comments. If you have any questions, concerns or suggestions, please send us an email. His questions will remain in normal type, and we will respond in BLUE. These answers were sent by email to Steve Rudd on June 16, 2009.
UPDATE: We recieved a response from Bible.ca. Click HERE.
For those who have asked us to do this, for those who have been lead to doubt or confusion because of these questions, and for those who really thought Adventists were afraid to take them on, we provide for you in the name of Jesus Christ the following…
Amazing Facts about the Sabbath and other questions!
1. If every man from Adam to Moses kept the Sabbath, why is the Hebrew word for the weekly Sabbath found in the ten commandments, never found in the book of Genesis? Why is no one before Moses ever being told to keep the Sabbath. Why are there no examples of anyone keeping the Sabbath?
This is a three-fold question, so we will answer them one by one:
“If every man from Adam to Moses kept the Sabbath, why is the Hebrew word for the weekly Sabbath found in the Ten Commandments, never found in the book of Genesis?”
Well, the Hebrew word ratsach translated kill for the sixth commandment and the Hebrew word na’aph translated adultery for the seventh commandment are also… “never found in the book of Genesis.” You think this means God did not have a law established against such acts despite punishing Cain for killing (Genesis 4:9-12) and blessing Joseph for not committing adultery (Genesis 39:9)? How can God punish someone without there being a law in place telling them the reason why their being punished? In fact:
(15) Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression.
Although the Hebrew word shabbath as used in the fourth commandments is not found in the book of Genesis, the Hebrew word shabath is, and this word means to:
The Strongest Strong’s #7673
“repose, desist, observe… cause to, let or make to keep Sabbath.”
This word is translated “rested” in Genesis 2:2, and is used in the context of sabbath resting in verses such as Exodus 16:30 and Exodus 31:16-17. In fact, in Exodus 16:30 this word is connected to God’s “commandments” as seen in verse 28 before the giving of the Ten Commandments in Exodus 20!
While this provides evidence of the existence of sabbath resting in Genesis, one must understand that the focal point of the book of Genesis is history, not so much law, even though laws are mentioned therein. Just like the literal words for adultery and kill are absent from the Hebrew text of Genesis, and yet the concept for each of these was certiantly known, so the idea of the seventh day Sabbath was also present.
However, we don’t resort to the Hebrew word shabath as proof of the existence of the Sabbath in Genesis because its use can sometimes be a bit broad. For this we turn to Jesus:
And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath.
In context, the issue here is over the Sabbath of the fourth commandment. The word “made” took Jesus’ listeners back to creation week, where everything was “made,” and the word “man” reminded them of Adam and Eve, the only “man” existing at the time of creation. Here Jesus connects the fourth commandment with the seventh day of Genesis 2:1-2. Therefore, the seventh day, upon which God shaw-bath, is the Sabbath Day of the fourth commandment.
“Why is no one before Moses ever being told to keep the Sabbath?”
Let’s consider a couple of verses. Romans 4:14 says that “where no law is, there is no transgression.” And that by definition, sin is the breaking or “transgression of the law” -1 John 3:4. So, in order for there to be sin, there must have been law established that would define sin. Our critic must agree that sin existed before Moses. As an example we provide just two verses:
(13) But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the Lord exceedingly.
(9) There is none greater in this house then I; neither hath he kept back anything from me but thee, because thou art his wife: how then can I do this great wickedness and sin against God?
Now James 2:10, in speaking about the 10 Commandments, tells us that one cant exist without the other, for if you break one, “you broke the other.” Therefore, as much as it was a sin to break the seventh commandment, adultery, it was also a sin to break the fourth one, the Sabbath. Just because we don’t have it written particularly in the book of Genesis that someone was “told” not to break the Sabbath, or to keep it, does not mean it did not exist.
“Why are there no examples of anyone keeping the Sabbath?”
Once again, Jesus said that the Sabbath was made for “man.” The word “man” is a Greek word which holds a more general, plural meaning. It could mean either male, female, or “all human individuals.” –See Strong’s. Since Jesus in this text is alluding back to creation week, and at the same time speaking in the context of the sabbath of the fourth commandment, he is basically saying that the Sabbath was made for all of mankind, beginning with Adam and Eve. In other words, our first parents were the first sabbath keepers, and they were not Jews. This is the argument Jesus is using to defend his “well doing” (Matthew 12:12) on the Sabbath day, for it was made to be for us, and not against us.
Confining our research to just one part of the bible is not wise. We are instructed when trying to understand doctrine to study the whole bible “line upon line, here a little and there a little” –Isaiah 28:9-13.If you would have done this; you would have also learn that Noah, a character of the book of Genesis, kept the Sabbath:
2 Peter 2:5
(5) And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eight person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly.
Noah was a preacher of righteousness. The bible declares the definition of righteousness:
(172) My tongue shall speak of thy words, for all thy commandments are righteousness.
Noah preached righteousness, or, obedience to all of the commandments of God. We know that we can’t have one of these commandments without the other (James 2:10), therefore the Sabbath was one of them. If he preached it, you better believe he lived it!
2. Why were the Patriarchs never instructed about he Sabbath, but were instructed regarding: offerings: Gen 4:3-4, Altars Gen 8:20, Priests: Gen 14:18, Tithes: Gen 14:20, Circumcision: Gen 17:10, Marriage: Gen 2:24 & Gen 34:9. Why would God leave out the “all important” Sabbath command?
Actually, it’s not really written in Genesis 4:3-4 that Cain and Abel were told, or instructed to bring an offering and what kind of offering to bring. The text simply says that each one of these “brought” their offering. We know that God would not punish someone who did not have prior knowledge of what their being punished for, for the bible says that God is just. Therefore God must have, at some point in history, instructed them on the kind of sacrifices to offer unto him. Yet this is not specifically written in the book of Genesis. Following your line of reasoning therefore, God acted unjustly in punishing Cain, because since a command on what to bring was not specifically written in Genesis, Cain did not know what to bring.
Of course this problem is resolved when we look at the broader context of scripture. Once this is done, we will learn from other texts that it was the sacrifice of a lamb, not of fruits, that would symbolize the death of the Son of God (John 1:36, 3:16). It’s the same with the Sabbath. We learn from other scriptures, especially from the very lips of Jesus, that although there is no specific command in the book of Genesis to observe the Sabbath, nevertheless the Sabbath was made “for” man, which at that time were Adam and Eve. Remember, all scripture is given by inspiration of God, and all of it, not just Genesis, is profitable for doctrine, for reproof and for correction (2 Timothy 3:16).
Continuing in your line of reasoning, I can assume God cared not for people taking his name in vain, for in Genesis the Patriarchs were neither instructed in regards to the command “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.” Perhaps you feel in Genesis it was okay to dishonor your parents as well.
3. If the fact that God wrote the 10 commandments on stone proves they are forever, then whatever happened to the two stone tablets that God gave Adam at the beginning of time? Why is Moses the first one to see a stone tablet written by the finger of God?
Just because God wrote the law on stone in the time of Moses does not mean it should have been written on stone before in order for it to really symbolize perpetuity. God could have done it at this time simply to show the Israelites, who weren’t around in the time of Adam and Eve, that his law is meant to last forever.
4. Why is the weekly Sabbath commandment never quoted in the New Testament?
The only commandment that is not really quoted in the New Testament is the third commandment (more on the third commandment in the 7th question). While the fourth is not quoted verbatim, like some of the others, it is found in Hebrews chapter 4. I’ll briefly summarize this point here, but will provide a link to an article at our site which delves deeper into this chapter. I suggest you consider what’s written there as well.
In all of chapters 3 and 4 the author is indeed making the point that we ought to, as true children of God, accept Jesus into our lives and “today” enter into his rest, one which provides cleansing from sin and freedom from guilt. Christ makes his abode with the believer, and on a daily basis provides for him rest for his soul, as God provided rest for the Israelites when they finally believed on the words of Joshua, Christ’s representative, and entered into the rest of Canaan. Yet, to further illustrate, the author brings in the fourth commandment:
(4) For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, and God did rest the seventh day from all his works.
In comparing the seventh day with the rest of “today,” the author leaves the reader with the hope that one day he will experience the heavenly rest which Canaan represented, only if he continues to abide daily in Christ. He won’t end up left behind like some of those of which “to whom it was first preached entered not because of unbelief” –verse 6. In verse 9 we are told that the rest still “remains” for every believer. Here, the word “rest” is translated from the Hebrew word sabbatismos, a derivative of sabbaton meaning the weekly Sabbath repose. The greek word sabbaton is of Hebrew origin, the same Hebrew word used in the Ten Commandments for Seventh Day Sabbath (Exodus 20:11). Despite this most obvious fact, some have suggested that this word is not pointing to the seventh day Sabbath. However, in the context of this text it must be as sabbatismos indicates, for the very next verse says that every true believer ceases from his labors “as God did from his.” When did God cease from his works? On the seventh day Sabbath, in Genesis 2:1-3.
Note also that verse 10 says that he who is entered into this rest, he ALSO ceases from his works as God did from his. Emphasis here is on the word “also.” In other words, the author did not get off topic; he simply tells us that whoever enters into the daily rest of Jesus Christ, that person will also keep the same weekly rest which God kept in Genesis 2:1-3.
In Hebrews 4:9-10, therefore, we have a command to obey the fourth commandment. See our study: Hebrews 3 and 4: Is today the sabbath day?
5. Why is the Sabbath the only one of the Ten Commandments that are said to be “throughout your generations”, the usual phrase that indicates it was a temporary ceremonial law only for the Jews?
Well, God also said that the ordinance of drinking blood and eating fat is a “perpetual statute for your generations throughout all your dwellings…” -Leviticus 3:17, 17:14. Does this mean that this was simply a phrase indicating “it was a temporary ceremonial law only for the Jews?” Is it now okay to drink blood? Where in the New Testament does it say that Christians are allowed to drink blood? No where.
Instead, we were told by Jesus that the Sabbath was made for man, in which time there was no such thing as a Jew. Just because it was given to the Israelites as part of his covenant with them does not mean it did not exist before. We should expect God to share the blessings he gave to our first parents with the people he was trying to establish as his nation here on earth.
Regardless of this fact, God was never greedy with the Sabbath, even though the Jews were. In Isaiah 56 we find God inviting even the Gentiles to join in on his everlasting covenant and observe the Sabbath. How strange for God to share with others something that supposedly belonged only to the Jews.
6. Why is there no example of exclusively Christians coming together on the Sabbath day as a church or prayer meeting after the resurrection of Christ?
Actually there is. Look closely at the following order of verses:
(26) The disciples were called Christians first in Antioch
(29) Then the disciples, every man according to his ability, determined to send relief unto the brethren in Judea.”
(30) Which also they did, and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul
(9) Then Saul, (who also is called Paul,) filled with the Holy Ghost, set his eyes on him
(13) Now when Paul and his company loosed from Paphos, they came to Perga in Pamphylia: and John departing from them returned to Jerusalem.
(14) But when they departed from Perga, they came to Antioch in Pisidia, and went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and sat down.”
Here we see that all the disciples, including Paul and Barnabas, were called “Christians.” Then Paul and Barbabas, now called Christians, went to church on the Sabbath day, and “sat down.” It’s clear that they did not go to preach or do any type of evangelical work; they went to observe the Sabbath. Paul only spoke when the congregation was asked if they had anything to say to what was being said (Acts 13:15-16), only speaking when asked to do so.
But there’s more. These same Christians were in Philippi for “a few days” (Acts 16:12), then…
(13) On the sabbath we went out of the city by a river side, where prayer was wont to be made; and we sat down, and spake unto the women which resorted thither.
(14) And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul.
(15) And when she was baptized, and her household, she besought us, saying, If ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide there. And she constrained us.”
The question was:
“Why is there no example of exclusively Christians coming together on the Sabbath day as a church or prayer meeting after the resurrection of Christ?”
This question has been answered in full. These Christians met together on the Sabbath day by a river side for prayer meeting and as a church, for Christ’s church is found wherever two or three are gathered in his name. Here we not only read of prayer, but also of a sermon by Paul and even a baptism. If you think this should have taken place in a church building like those we have today, then your mistaken, for Christians were being persecuted, and weren’t allowed this pleasure at this time in history.
As another example we have the women who went to anoint the body of Jesus. They forsook this duty, knowing that they risked rigormordis, and rested the Sabbath day “according to the commandment.” –Luke 23:56. Arguably these were Christians, because they followed Christ, which is what the word “christian” means.
7. Why is there no command in the New Testament for Christians to keep the Sabbath holy?
Likewise others argue that even though there are commands against foul language, the third commandment is not specifically quoted in the New Testament. Are we therefore not to worry if whether we should take the name of the Lord our God in vain? Of course not. This question was already answered in question number 4.
For further evidence, we quote Jesus Christ:
(17) If thou wilt enter into life keep the commandments.
From verses verse 18 through 19 we learn he had the 10 Commandments in mind when he gave this command. The fourth commandment, we know, is one of them.
It’s argued that the ones he is referring to here are only the ones he mentioned, but the opponent should note that he also did not mention the 1st, 2nd, 3rd or 10th commandments. We should consider that Jesus simply gave a few in order to inform the young rich man of which he was talking to.
8. While Paul taught in the synagogues up to 84 times, why does the Bible never say he kept the sabbath?
Your argument is that teaching on a certain day does not mean the teacher keeps that day holy. In that you are right. Paul did teach on many Sabbaths and I’m sure he taught also on other days. But he didn’t always go to church on the Sabbath simply to teach. Notice the following text once again:
(14) But when they departed from Perga, they came to Antioch in Pisidia, and went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and sat down.”
We can’t read into this text that Paul went to the synagogue on the Sabbath merely to teach. Although we believe he was always apt to teach, this verse simply reads that he came in, and sat down. Paul just came back from traveling from Paphos, and when he and his company entered in they “sat down.” He only stood up to speak when he was asked to do so (verse 15).
See our article: Did Paul keep the Sabbath?
9. If Paul’s action of preaching to non-believers 84 times in the book of Acts on the Sabbath make him a Sabbath keeper, is a Seventh-day Adventist pastor a Sunday keeper if we invite him for 84 Sundays in a row to teach us about God’s word?
We believe Paul was a Sabbath keeper, not because he preached on the Sabbath day, but because he taught full obedience to God’s commandments. For example, with the seventh commandment in mind (verse 2), Paul tells the Corinthians that:
1 Corinthians 7:19
(19) Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God.
He also tells the children of the Ephesians to:
(1) Honor thy father and thy mother; which is the first commandment with promise.
Would Paul have agreed with James that every one of the Ten Commandments are equal (James 2:10)? We believe he would. Consequently his teachings on obedience to the commandments must have been because he practised what he preached.
Please see also question number 8.
10. How could Adam, Noah and Abraham keep the Sabbath, when Deuteronomy 5:2-4 says that the 10 commandment covenant (see was “not made with any of the fathers of Israel who lived before Moses.”
Here are the verses:
(2) The LORD our God made a covenant with us in Horeb.
(3) The LORD made not this covenant with our fathers, but with us, even us, who are all of us here alive this day. The LORD talked with you face to face in the mount out of the midst of the fire.
A good bible student will notice both what a verse says and what it does not say. These verses do not say:
-That Adam, Noah and Abraham did not obey the Sabbath
-That the Ten Commandments were only given to the Jews
-That the Ten Commandments did not exist before the Jews
-That because of these anyone before was allowed to violate God’s law
Since, as we have seen, the Sabbath existed before there was ever a Jew, this can not mean that the Sabbath was given for the first time with and only for the Jews. The confusion lies in the word “fathers.” With fathers it’s here meant that their ancestors who labored under the oppressive arm of the Pharaoh of Egypt did not receive neither the covenant nor the Sabbath commandment. Much was lost while they were in Egypt for 430 years, and many Hebrews died during this time. It was only after those who remained alive after the 430 years were taken out of Egypt that this covenant was made with them. This is why Moses said that this covenant is made with those who were “alive” with him that day, because those who were “dead,” their fathers in Egypt, did not experience the covenant of Horeb.
For a deeper understanding of this point, see our study: The Sabbath in Genesis
11. If we must follow the example of Jesus in all things like keeping the Sabbath, then why do Sabbatarians not follow the example of Jesus in circumcision, animal sacrifices and keeping Passover?
Your question is built on the false premise that we should follow his example in “all things.” We don’t advocate we must follow him in all things, for that would mean we should all be carpenters. We do believe him however when he says that if we want to enter into life we must keep the commandments, which we’ve seen in questions 4 and 7 includes the Sabbath.
12. If the Sabbath was for Gentiles and Adam, Noah and Abraham, then why is the Sabbath a sign to remind their exodus from Egypt? Exodus 16:23,29; 31:13-18. Were either Abraham or Seventh-day Adventists ever slaves in Egypt?
I think you made a mistake. These verses do not say that the Sabbath is a sign to remind them of their exodus from Egypt. Rather, one of these verses, Exodus 31:17, says that the Sabbath is a sign between him and them because, “in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested and was refreshed.”
True, the Sabbath is taken to represent their exodus (Deut. 5:15) but this does not mean that it’s a sign of the exodus. Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath, therefore he can do whatever he pleases with it. If he chooses to make the Sabbath also represent their rest away from Egypt, we should not with this conclude it did not exist before, nor that it was only for them. Would we argue with him if he chooses in the future to make the Sabbath remind us of our exodus from this wicked planet in the new earth? Apparently this might just happen (see Isaiah 66:23 in question 68).
13. If the Sabbath law is still in force, then why do they not stone their own members when they break the Sabbath as the law said?
I’ll here rewrite your question with my changes in italic; this time using another one of the commandments:
If the fifth commandment is still in force, then why do they not stone their own members when they break the fifth commandment as the law said?
Refer to Exodus 21:15. I’m sure you’d agree that smiting your mother or father is dishonorable.
Notice that the death penalty followed for people who also violated the third, sixth and seventh commandments:
(16) And he that blasphemeth the name of the LORD, he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him: as well the stranger, as he that is born in the land, when he blasphemeth the name of the LORD, shall be put to death.
(17) And he that killeth any man shall surely be put to death.
(10) And the man that committeth adultery with another man’s wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.
Has any member in your congregation ever said, “O my G_d!” or has any member in your congregation ever hated someone without a cause (killing –Matthew 5:21-22), or has any member in your congregation ever looked at a women lustfully? If so, why don’t you stone them to death “as the law said?”
Let’s remember that the nation of Israel was a theocracy; a civil entity. The laws to stone the law breaker were civil laws which belonged to them as an established nation. When anciently the nation fell, its civil laws fell with it. The universal moral laws, however, “stand fast for ever and ever…” -Psalm 111:7-8.
14. Ellen G. White, who is considered inspired by Seventh-day Adventists, said that the Pope changed the Sabbath in about 321 AD. Why do all Adventists today reject their inspired prophet and say the change of the Sabbath occurred in about 140 AD? If White was wrong about this, was she wrong when she traveled to heaven and saw the 4th commandment glowing brighter than all the rest?
We could not find where Ellen G. White said that the change took place in 321 ad. We did however find this:
“Royal edicts, general councils, and church ordinances sustained by secular power, were the steps by which the pagan festival attained its position of honor in the Christian world. The first public measure enforcing Sunday observance was the law enacted by Constantine. [A. D. 321.] This edict required townspeople to rest on “the venerable day of the sun,” but permitted countrymen to continue their agricultural pursuits. Though virtually a heathen statute, it was enforced by the emperor after his nominal acceptance of Christianity… For a time the people engaged in agricultural labor when not attending church, and the seventh day was still regarded as the Sabbath. But steadily a change was effected.” –Great Controversy, page 574, paragraph 1.
As you can see, she is not here saying that the change took place in 321 ad, but rather that a Sunday law was enforced in 321 ad. The change could have taken place before it was enforced.
15. If the current position of the Seventh-day Adventist church is that the change from Saturday to Sunday took place in 140 AD, doesn’t that mean that they have come a long way from Whites 325 AD and have only 40 more years to travel to reach the truth of the Apostolic age?
First you said 321 ad, now you say 325 ad. Someone is confused.
Refer to question 14.
16. If the change from Saturday to Sunday happened, why is there absolutely no discussion of this change of actual day for the first 600 years of church history? Merely calling Sunday the Sabbath doesn’t count!
It seems that many scholars and historians would disagree with you. Many realize that this change did in fact take place, beginning very early in the Christian world:
“Almost all the churches throughout the world celebrate the sacred mysteries on the Sabbath of every week, yet the Christians of Alexandria and at Rome on account of some ancient tradition, have ceased to do this.” The church historian Socrates, who wrote this in the fifth century in Ecclesiastical History, book 5, chap. 22, in A Select Library of Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, 2d. series, vol. 2, p. 32.
“Down even to the fifth century the observance of the Jewish Sabbath was continued in the Christian church, but with a rigor and a solemnity gradually diminishing until it was wholly discontinued.” –Ancient Christianity Exemplified chap. 26, sec. 2.
Another historian of the fifth century called Sozomen writes:
“The people of Constantinople, and almost everywhere, assemble together on the Sabbath, as well as on the first day of the week, which custom is never observed at Rome, or at Alexandria.” Ecclesiastical History, book 7, chap. 19, vol.2
Christians early both kept the Sabbath and witnessed its gradual change:
“The Christian Church made no formal change, but a gradual and almost unconscious, transference of the one day to the other.” F. W. Farrar, The Voice From Sinai, p. 167.
“The Primitive Christians had a great veneration for the Sabbath, and spent the day in Devotion and sermons. And ‘tis not to be doubted but they derived this Practice from the Apostles themselves.” Mr. Morer, A Discourse in Six Dialogues on the Name, Notion, and Observance of the Lord’s Day, p. 189.
“A history of the problem shows that in some places, it was really only after some centuries that the Sabbath rest really was entirely abolished, and by that time the practice of observing a bodily rest on the Sunday had taken its place.” Vincent J. Kelly, Forbidden Sunday and Feast-Day Occupations, p. 15.
17. If Sabbatarians reject White’s inspiration, that Constantine change the Sabbath day to Sunday, why do they keep bringing Constantine up as proof? If Constantine changed the Sabbath to Sunday, why does here merely legislate that work must stop on Sunday with no actual mention of the day being moved?
Good job, you’re in agreement with Ellen G. White. She simply said he legislated a Sunday law, not that he changed the Sabbath. Refer to question 14.
18. If the first/old covenant was abolished according to Heb 8:13 and the Ten commandment law was that first covenant (Ex 34:27-28; 1 Kings 8:9,21; Heb 9:1-4), then why do Sabbatarians want to keep the first/old covenant?
Perhaps you’re not aware as to what a “covenant” actually is. A covenant by definition is an agreement between two parties. Both parties agree to do something. According to Exodus 19:5, God tells his people to obey his voice, and keep his covenant, and that if they did this, they would be to him a peculiar people. They agreed (verse 8), and then God proceeding with this same voice to declare the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20, Deut. 4:13). In other words, their side of the agreement was that they would do his commandments, not that God would do it for them. But they failed. They could not keep it, so instead, in the New Covenant God says that he would put it in their own hearts and in their own minds. He would make sure it becomes a part of them. In fact, this is the very context of Hebrews 8:
(10) 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.
Since this time it is God who will put the law in them, and not they themselves, the Old Covenant, the agreement that they would obey the Ten Commandments, is therefore truly done away with. They no longer have to do it themselves. God, through Jesus Christ, would implant the law into their minds, and cause them to walk in his ways. Rather then the law itself being removed, it was transferred from tables of stone to “fleshly tables of the heart” -2 Corinthians 3:3-9.
If we stay in context of Hebrews 8, we’ll learn that the law itself wasn’t the problem, the problem was with the people:
(8) For finding fault with them, he saith, behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah.
Paul speaks of this in Romans 8:3, telling us that the law was weak “though the flesh.” Israel could not keep their side of the deal; they broke the covenant, so God made a new one whereby he will finally have that “peculiar people” promised when the first covenant was made (Exodus 19:5). This time, however, HE will do for them what they could not do for themselves.
We should also keep in mind, that “the first covenant had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary” Hebrews 9:1. So the author speaks not only about the 10 commandments, but also about the ceremonial laws of the earthly sanctuary.
In context of Hebrews 8, therefore, the old covenant wherein the Israelites had to obey their side of the contract on their own has indeed “vanished away,” because this time “it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” –Philippians 2:13.
19. Why is the universal record of history (75-500AD) 100% in unanimous agreement that Christians never kept the Sabbath (7th day) and have always worshipped on Sunday?
Apparently you’re in disagreement with hundreds of historians and scholars, many of who agree that the “primitive Christians” observed the Sabbath even up to the fifth century. Notice this quote:
“The people of Constantinople, and almost everywhere, assemble together on the Sabbath, as well as on the first day of the week, which custom is never observed at Rome or at Alexandria.” ~Socrates, “Ecclesiastical History,” Book 7, chap.19.
And here are some quotes about Sabbath keeping from the 3rd and 4th centuries:
Egypt (Oxyrhynchus Papyrus) (200-250 A.D.)
“Except ye make the sabbath a real sabbath (sabbatize the Sabbath,” Greek), ye shall not see the Father.” “The oxyrhynchus Papyri,” pt,1, p.3, Logion 2, verso 4-11 (London Offices of the Egypt Exploration Fund, 1898).
Early Christians-C 3rd
“Thou shalt observe the Sabbath, on account of Him who ceased from His work of creation, but ceased not from His work of providence: it is a rest for meditation of the law, not for idleness of the hands.” “The Anti-Nicene Fathers,” Vol 7,p. 413. From “Constitutions of the Holy Apostles,” a document of the 3rd and 4th Centuries.
India (Buddhist Controversy, 220 A.D.)
“The Kushan Dynasty of North India called a famous council of Buddhist priests at Vaisalia to bring uniformity among the Buddhist monks on the observance of their weekly Sabbath. Some had been so impressed by the writings of the Old Testament that they had begun to keep holy the Sabbath.” ~Lloyd, “The Creed of Half Japan,” p. 23
Add to this the bible accounts of Christians observing the Sabbath. Refer to questions 6 and 16.
20. Why is the universal record of history (75-500AD) 100% in unanimous agreement that Christians ate the Lord’s Supper every Sunday in the tradition of Acts 20:7?
Acts 20:7 is merely a meeting which took place because Paul was getting ready to depart the next day. Because the records tells us there were “many lights in the upper chamber” (verse 8) we know this meeting took place on Saturday night, which would biblically be the first day of the week. We prepared a full response to this argument at another article on this website. Please refer there by clicking HERE.
21. Why is the universal record of history (75-500AD) 100% in unanimous agreement that Christians always called Sunday the Lord’s Day because, they said, this was the day Jesus rose from the dead?
Christians also called Sunday Dies Domini, the Day of the Sun. So what? We Adventists like to allow the bible to be its own interpreter. Elsewhere in the bible we find that it is the Sabbath which is always referred to as the Lord’s Day (see Exodus 20:10, Isaiah 58:13, Mark 2:28). The Sabbath day, therefore, is what John had in mind in Revelation 1:10, this providing further that the Sabbath day was still in effect years after the resurrection and ascension of Christ. Please see our article: Revelation 1:10: Is Sunday the Lord’s Day?
22. Why has no Sabbatarian every produced even one historical quote (75-500AD) that says Christians kept the Sabbath?
I’m privileged to being the first to provide for you these historical quotes. See questions 6, 16 and 21.
For more historical quotes, visit this COOL WEBSITE. There you will find loads of quotes from the 1st century until now.
23. If the Sabbath is not a ceremonial law, then why is it lumped into the same identical class of “holy convocations” as the rest of the Jewish feast days? Lev 23:2; Ex 20:9; 31:17
It’s placed there because it was indeed a holy convocation, but this does not mean it was “ceremonial.” In fact, in this same chapter God takes it upon himself to set a difference between those sabbath feasts and his seventh day Sabbath when he uses the word besides. Take a look:
(37) These are the feasts of the Lord which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, to offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord, a burnt offering and a meat offering, a sacrifice, and drink offerings, everything upon his day;
(38) Besides (hebrew: separation) the sabbath of the Lord, and besides your gifts, and beside all your vows, and beside all your freewill offerings, which ye give unto the Lord.
It’s as if God know you say such a thing.
24. If the 10 commandments remain but the book of law was abolished, then why did God put two copies of the 10 commandments in the book of the law? Ex 20; Deut 5
The reason why the story of the giving of the Ten Commandments was written in the book of the law was simply because no one was allowed to look into the ark of the covenant, which was where the Ten Commandments were. How could God expect his people to obey a law they could never read about nor study? Thus it was necessary to write the law somewhere outside the ark that all generation might be able to read it for themselves. If we remove the book of the law, therefore, the Ten Commandments remain, for they were written in a separate location. You might ask, how then can Christians today obey a law hidden away in a ark? This is what the New Covenant is all about. We no longer look to the book of the law to try to reach heaven; we look to Jesus, who is the law in living form. Having the law written in our hearts and minds is the same as having Jesus in our hearts and mind, for he is the perfect representation of the righteousness of God. When we look upward, to the heavenly ark (Revelation 11:19) we see Jesus there mediating on our behalf, and he not only forgives us of transgressing it, but enables, by working through us, to live in obedience to it. Paul breaks this down for us, letting us know that is Jesus is truly in the heart, his life of righteousness will be manifested through us, hence making us “lights” unto the world:
2 Corinthians 4:10
(10) Always bearing about in the body the dieing of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.
25. How can there possibly be a difference between “the law of God” and the “Law of Moses” when God gave the Law of Moses (Ezra 7:6; Neh 8:1) and Moses gave the Law of God (Neh 10:29; 2 Chron 34:14)?
The reason why these are interchangeable is because Moses was the tool used by God to give the law to the people, thus in a sense it was both of them who gave the law, God through Moses. This does not mean both are the same. The fact remains that when the 10 Commandments were given for the first time, God literally spoke it in their hearing. The rest of the laws were given to the people through Moses, thus revealing a difference in the manner in which they were given:
(13) And he declared unto you his covenant, which he commanded you to perform, even Ten Commandments; and he wrote them upon two tables of stone.
The pronoun “he” in this text tells the reader that the he, which is God, communicates directly with the you which is the children of Israel, the second party in the theme. In the following verse we have something different:
(14) And the Lord commanded me at that time to teach you statutes and judgments, that ye may do them in the land wither ye go over to possess it.
A third person is introduced, indicated by the word “me.” God this time directs his commands to Moses, which would in turn pass on these commands to the “you,” the children of Israel. In these two verses we have an undeniable fact, that one set of laws were treated differently while being given then the other.
Not only is a separation seen in the manner in which they were given, but also in the manner in which they were treated. In the Most Holy Place abode the Ark of the Covenant. The Mercy Seat lay right on top, covered by the winks of two cherubims. Once a year the very presence of God would descend from heaven and land right upon the ark. It was inside this ark where God commanded his law of Ten Commandments to be placed. In here also was placed the Sabbath commandment, which was part of the law of God. Yet it was outside this ark where God commanded to have the book of the law placed. In other words, one was placed in the inner most presence of Jehovah, the other was placed outside. If they were to be treated the same, and there was absolutely no separation at all between the two, why treat them thus? Add to this that when John the Revelator looks up towards the temple in heaven, of which the earthly was a type, he sees the ark of the covenant, but says nothing of the book of the law which, being on the side would have been visible to his eyes:
(19) And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament (or covenant): and there was lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake.
Furthermore, if both the book of the law and the Ten Commandments were both equal, then they should thus have both been abolished. But if this was so, is Jesus then mediating for us in front of this ark, as the priests did in the type, for the breaking of an obsolete law? He is, after all, our high priest:
(11) But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building.
See also Hebrews 5:6, 8:1.
Finally, we read in Deuteronomy 5:22 that when God gave the 10 Commandments he “added no more.” This means that when the ceremonial law came into the picture, it was not part of the 10 Commandments, but rather it was a seperate set of laws. This verse crumbles to dust the notion that the 10 Commandments and the ceremonial law are the same and is an embarresment to our opponants theological position on the law of God.
26. If there is a distinction between the moral and ceremonial laws, why are the Jewish feast days called part of the Law of the Lord? (2 Chron 331:3)
All of the laws of the bible come from God, therefore he is the one who has the right to chose which laws are eternal and which ones were only for temporary use. It was he himself who, when giving Moses the ceremonial sabbath feasts, set a separation between these feasts and the Sabbath day (Leviticus 23:38). It was God himself, the author of all laws, who sets difference between them when giving them to the people. Just because the laws as written in the book of the law are addressed at laws of the Lord does not necessitate that they both be equal.
See questions 23, 25 and 27.
27. If there is a distinction between the moral and ceremonial laws, why in a single chapter of Nehemiah 8are the following phrases all used interchangeably: “book of the law of Moses” v1, “the law” v2, “book of the law” v3, “the law of god” v8, “book of the law of god” v18?
It was already shown in questions 25 and 26 why these phrases are used interchangeably, and why this does not have to mean that they are both equal.
To further illustrate the separation between the ceremonial laws and the Decalogue, we need not look farther then the cross of Christ. Before the cross, that is, before Jesus took his very last breath, was it wrong to not bring in your sacrifice or trespass offering? Yes. How about just after he died, was it wrong to not bring in your trespass offering? No! Because the Lamb of God died, thus fulfilling this ceremonial law.
On the other hand, was it wrong to steal prior to the cross? Yes. Was it still wrong to steal only a few second after Jesus took his last breath? The answer is still yes! And the Sabbath is part of the law against stealing, for James told us that all Ten are equal because once you break one you broke the other (James 2:10). In other words, the ceremonial laws were temporary. They lasted only until Jesus fulfilled them upon that cross. The Decalogue, however, continues on as binding upon all humanity centuries after.
We must understand that the ceremonial laws, the earthly sanctuary services, the feast days, and so on, were “added” unto the first covenant, the Ten Commandments. That’s why the author of Hebrews says that the first covenant “had also ordinances of divine service (feasts, sacrifices) and a worldly sanctuary.” –Hebrews 9:1. There are two, the moral law, and the ceremonial law. One was used when the other was violated, as illustrated in this next verse:
(27) If any soul sin through ignorance, then he shall bring a she goat of the first year for a sin offering.
Once someone sinned, which means to break God’s law (see 1 John 3:4), then that person had to perform a ritual, he had to obey another law which was to offer an animal for a sin offering. When they broke God’s law, the ceremonial law, which typified Christ, stepped in to save the day.
First: The moral law, the Ten Commandments (if any soul sin…)
Second: The ceremonial law (… shall bring a… sin offering.)
If this is not clear enough, perhaps this might do. Paul, in speaking in specifically about the Ten Commandments in Romans 7:7, tells us directly, by reading down the context, that the Ten Commandments are “spiritual” –verse 14. However, when in another occasion, in speaking about the ceremonial laws, he says that these are carnal:
(1) The verily the first covenant had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary…
(10) Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation.
In context, he begins by detailing the services of the ceremonial law, the temple and its services, the sacrifices (verse 7) and the meats, drinks and the ritual of washings which the priests had to perform on the brazen laver in the courtyard (verse 10). None of these are classified as spiritual as were the Ten Commandments. These are merely “carnal ordinances.”
In comparing the priesthood of Aaron with that of Melchisedec, Paul tells us that Christ was not to come in the order of Aaron, for Jesus “was made, not after the order of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life.” –Hebrews 7:16. In other words, the priesthood, which we know was ceremonial, was carnal, and Jesus did not come from this line, for therein the priest died. Jesus on the other hand continues to live, therefore his priesthood is spiritual. Once more, we have here the ceremonial law being called a “carnal” commandment.
Once more we see two separate laws, one is spiritual, the other is carnal. This simple fact is extremely difficult for our critics to avoid.
28. Why are the two most important commandments contained within the “ceremonial law of Moses that was Sabbatarians say was nailed to the cross? (Matthew 22:36-40)
Unfortunately, the children of Israel were in the eyes of God as a “stiff necked” people. They were very rebellious; disobeying God right after God had told them not to disobey. So the Lord would, in essence spoon-feed his people. To God, Israel was as a child, which he needed to wean from the milk… “say unto Pharaoh, Thus saith the Lord, Israel is my son, even my firstborn” –Exodus 4:22. As he lead his child out of Egypt and through the wilderness, he taught them everything he wanted them to know, revealing to them what the whole essence of the law was about… loving God with all you heart and loving your neighbor as yourself. So he included these as laws.
However, these two are in the Ten Commandments as well. Paul, in speaking about the Ten Commandments (specifically speaking of the last six which deal with your neighbor), tells us that they are all “briefly comprehended (summed up) in this saying, namely, “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” –Romans 13:9-10. He says that Love is the fulfill-ing (continues act) of the law. In other words, when you truly love your neighbor, you’re not going to steal from him, nor kill him, etc. Love is the doing of these laws. The same works for the first four, which deal with God. True love is the fulfilling, or doing, of the first four, no to have any other gods besides him, not making images to bow down to, respecting his name, and keeping the Sabbath in honor of his creative work.
The Ten Commandments, therefore, are the two greatest commandments in detail, while the two greatest commandments are the Ten Commandments summed up. If we remove the book of the law, with these two written therein, they still remain in the form of the Ten Commandments.
You may ask why the Ten Commandments do not contain what seems like other separate moral laws, like drunkenness, homosexuality and fornication. We’ll get to this in question 43.
29. Why did Jesus say Moses gave the 10 commandment law: “Thou shalt not kill” in Jn 7:19?
Refer to questions 23, 24, 25, 26 and 27.
30. If the Sabbath cannot change, because God cannot change (Mal 3:6) then what about all the other feast days and laws that changed? Heb 7:12. And why did Jesus give a “a new commandment” in John 13:34?
As for the first question, the reason is because, unlike the ceremonial laws, the Ten Commandments are the very character of God in written form. This is why it is called the tables of the testimony, because they testify of God. Hence to change the law, one must first change God, which is impossible. The ceremonial laws do not reflect the character of God; therefore they can be both changed and/or abolished.
The reason why Jesus said that this commandment, to love one another, is new, is because now the disciples had a bigger perception of what it really means to love because of the self-less life of Jesus Christ. He was their example of what it truly meant to love. The command itself existed even in the Old Testament (Leviticus 19:18). This is why the verse in John 13:34 continues by saying to love “as I have loved you.” Back then the law said to love one another “as yourself,” in the New Covenant we ought to love one another “as I have loved you.” This concept was completely new, because no human before Jesus had ever expressed what love truly was… “that a man lay down his own life for his friends.” –John 15:13.
31. If the ten commandments are going to be in heaven, what is the use of “thou shalt not commit adultery”, if there is no marriage in heaven? Lk 20:34-35
By the time we make it to heaven the law would have already been implanted into our hearts under the New Covenant (Hebrews 8:10) and therefore will not need the law to say “thou shalt not” for it will be part of our very nature not to sin, in any way, against God or our neighbors.
Please see the last portion of our answer to question number 41.
32. If the Sabbath was given to all men, why were Gentiles called “strangers”? Why were Gentiles outside the gates not required to keep the Sabbath? Ex 20:10.
Please refer to question number 36.
33. How could the Sabbath be a sign between God and Israel, if all nations were expected to keep it? Ex 31:17
The Sabbath was made into a sign with the children of Israel after they were taken out of Egypt because at that time they were the church of God. Paul declares that they held the oracles of God (Romans 3:2). It was with them that God had established a nation; therefore it would make sense to give them the Sabbath, along with the laws against stealing, killing, etc. This does not mean that God did not desire other nations to obey his laws, for in Isaiah 56 we have God himself making an invitation to other nations outside the camp of Israel to come in and enjoy in the covenant that they also may experience the blessings of the Sabbath.
34. Why did God send the Jews into Babylonian Captivity for breaking the Sabbath, but never ever criticized any Gentiles for never keeping the Sabbath?
Because they were the ones who knew full well that it was a sin to break the Sabbath. The gentile nations who were not taking hold of the covenant of Israel knew not about their laws. God would not punish them for something which they had no prior knowledge of. God bore long with Israel’s willful rebellion of his Sabbath commandment, and instead of evangelizing the other nations with the truth for that time, they kept back the oracles of God and joined them in their wicked ways.
35. Why did God often criticize the Gentiles via the prophets for moral violations, but never for not keeping the Sabbath?
The Sabbath was the fourth of the Ten Commandments. Before expecting his people to obey his laws, God desires that people realize that he is God and to accept him into their lives. First we are to believe in and worship one God, and abstain from making idols of him or any other god to bow down to. The other nations never got passed the first two, for they had their own gods, which would lead them into more wickedness. How could God punish them for keeping the Sabbath when first of all they didn’t even believe in the creator of the Sabbath!?
It’s the same with Christ. The Lord does not expect any person to first obey laws and then accept him as the Saviour of their souls. No, first we ought to confess our sins and repent of them, and “be baptized …for the remission of sins…” –Acts 2:38. Then we must “walk even as he walked” and out of love for him “keep the commandments” –John 14:15, 1 John 2:6.
36. If the Gentiles were supposed to keep the Sabbath, why are they called “strangers of the Covenant” in Eph 2:12?
They were called “strangers” of the covenant because the covenant was not made with them but with Israel. Nevertheless, these same “strangers” were always invited to take hold of the covenant and keep the Sabbath:
(2) Blessed is the man that doeth this, and the son of man that layeth hold on it; that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and keepeth his hand from doing any evil.
(3) Neither let the son of the stranger, that hath joined himself unto the Lord, speak, saying, The Lord hath utterly separated me from his people: neither let the eunuch say, Behold, I am a dry tree.
(3) For thus saith the Lord unto the eunuchs that keep my sabbaths, and choose the things that please me, and take hold of my covenant;
(4) Even unto them will I give in mine house and within my walls a place and a name better then of sons and of daughters: I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off.
(5) Also the sons of the stranger, that join themselves to the Lord, to serve him, and to love the name of the Lord, to be his servants, everyone that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of my covenant.
37. If the term, “the law” always means the 10 commandments, then why is Leviticus called “The Law” in Mt 22:35ff, Numbers called “The Law” in Mt 12:5, Deuteronomy called “The Law” in Mt 22:35f, Psalms called “The Law” in Jn 10:34,45, Rom 3:10-12; 3:13-14,19, the Prophets called “The Law” in 1 Cor 14:21 and the Ten commandments are called “The Law” that is abolished in Rom 7:4-7?
We don’t teach that “the law” always refers to the Ten Commandments, so your question is voided out.
38. If the term “commandments” always means the 10 commandments, then why are the laws that are not part of the ten commandments but called commandments in Mt 19:16-19 not also included?
I’m not exactly sure what you’re asking here. Jesus in those verses quoted briefly from the Ten Commandments, not from ceremonial laws. Apparently the young rich man had no problem with the one’s he quoted, which were ones which dealt with our relationship with our neighbors. His inner problem was covetousness, a violation of the 10th Commandment. This is why Jesus tackled his problem head on, telling him to conquer his sin by first getting rid of everything his eyes coveted and owned (verse 21). We know from the story, however, that he could become “perfect” as Jesus said, because he loved his possessions more then others, and thereby violated the command to love your neighbor. Once the disciples expressed doubt, however, Jesus assured them that with God we can conquer our lusts and live victorious:
(26) But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With man this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.
Please refer to question 28 for more information on “thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.”
39. If the term “commandments” always means the 10 commandments, then what did Paul call the injunction for prophet’s wives to keep silent in the assemblies, a “commandment of the Lord” in 1 Cor 14:37?
We don’t teach that the word “commandments” always means the Ten Commandments, so your question is voided out.
40. If the term “keep my commandments” always means the 10 commandments, then why is this a new commandment? Jn 15:10-12 + Jn 13:34.
Please see question 30.
41. If only the ten commandments are going to endure until heaven and earth pass away, why did Jesus say the law AND THE PROPHETS? Mt 5:17-18
In verse 17 Jesus says he did not come to destroy neither the law nor the prophets. The law represents the commandments (verse 19) and the prophets represents the rest of the scriptures which pointed to Jesus as the coming messiah. Note that in verse 18, however, he did not again mention the prophets, but just the law:
(18) For verily I saw unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
Therefore that which will endure “till heaven and earth pass” will be the law. Obviously, the prophesies which pointed to the first coming of Christ along with the shadowy ceremonial laws as written by the prophets were no longer in effect once Jesus died upon the cross. The law is however stand binding until “all be fulfilled.” After all is fulfilled, there will no longer be a need for the law to tell humans “thou shalt not,” for by this time there will be a new earth wherein all humans will already have the law so implanted in their hearts and mind as promised in the New Covenant, that it will be natural for them to obey their creator. Just like Adam and Eve, all sin (breaking the law -1 John 3:4) will be removed, and a perfect relationship with God will be restored.
42. When Jesus was asked, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” why did Jesus NOT QUOTE from the 10 commandments, but from the abolished ceremonial law of Moses? Matthew 22:36-40
Jesus quoted the Ten Commandments in its summed up form, which is why he said that “on these two hang all the law and the prophets.” –verse 40.
Please see question 28.
43. If the 10 commandments are the highest and most complete expression of God’s will, then why did it lack the two most important commandments? Matthew 22:36-40 where is the prohibition against drunkenness, homosexuality and fornication?
As already explained, the Two Greatest Commandments are the Ten Commandments summed up. Please refer to questions number 28 and 42.
As for the second part of this question, we direct your attention to the book of Psalms:
(96) I have seen an end of all perfection: but thy commandment is exceedingly broad.
The word “broad” literally means “very roomy.” In other words, God’s law is very open and broad. Each one of the commandments extends to every corner of our being, For example, the command not to commit adultery is a sexual sin, and includes every sexual act that is against that which God ordained, like fornication and homosexuality. The body is the temple of the Holy Ghost, and he who defiles it God will literally destroy. When we practice unhealthful practices, like drunkenness, we slowly kill our bodies, thereby violating the sixth commandment “thou shalt not kill.” Every act of sin will, in one way or the other, violate one of the Ten Commandments. In fact, sinning in one of the commandments is the same as breaking the other. As an example of this, check out Ephesians 5:5:
(5) For this ye know, that no whoremonger, not unclean person, nor covetous man, which is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
Breaking the 10th Commandments, therefore, is as if you were an idolater, which is a violation of the first and second commandments. Note how deep one can dig into the law, that even being rebellious makes you violate the 1st and 2nd commandments:
1 Samuel 15:23
(23) For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry, because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, he hath also rejected thee from being king.
No wonder James 2:10 says that if we break one of the commandments we broke them all!
God tried breaking the law down like this for the Israelites, which is why we have so many moral laws against sexual sins, etc, in Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. Of course, they still failed at their covenant promise, so God instead writes the law “in” our hearts, making it by divine power a part of our very being, and manifests through us, in Christ, perfect obedience to every inch of the law.
44. If the 10 commandments are the highest and most complete expression of God’s will, then why did Jesus give a new commandment to “love one another, even as I have loved you” John 13:34. Where were the Jews told to love their neighbor as Yahweh loved them?
Refer to question number 30.
45. If Christians worshipping on Sunday is equal to Sun Worship, then is Adventists worshipping on Saturday equal to Saturn worship?
Adventists worshiping on the Sabbath day is Jesus worship, for it was Jesus Christ himself who created everything (Colossians 1:16) and therefore was the one who instituted the Sabbath in creation week (Genesis 2:1-3). Although the pagan took the true Lord’s Day, the Sabbath, and dedicated it to worship their pagan God, it was originally Jesus’ day, and it always will be.
In keeping the Sabbath in obedience to his commandment, the believer accepts its claims, that it was God himself, Jesus Christ, who created all things:
(11) For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea and all that in them is, and rested the Sabbath. Wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hollowed it.
It’s easy to see, therefore, that is replacing the day God chose with any other day, we risk accepting the claims of another deity who might want to thereby claim that it was rather he who made us. Be it Sunday, Wednesday, or even Friday, any tradition placed above the commandments of God is sin, and can, if you will, be classified as paganism.
46. If Sabbatarians will boldly quote “scholars” who are really Bible trashers and skeptics who claim “the origin of Sunday worship is entirely pagan”, like Arthur Weigall in his ridiculous little book, “the paganism in our Christianity”, will these same Sabbatarians turn a few pages later where these same authors say the origin of the Sabbath is also pagan? “I have, already mentioned that Sunday, too, was a pagan holy-day; and in this chapter I propose to discuss the origin of this custom of keeping one day in the week as a Sabbath, or “day of rest,’ and’ to show that the practice was forcefully opposed by Jesus Christ. The origin of the seven-day week which was used by the Jews and certain other peoples, but not till, later by the Greeks or Romans, is to be sought in some primitive worship of the moon (The Paganism in Our Christianity, Arthur Weigall, 1928, p209,210-211).
Okay. Regardless, the origin of the keeping of the seventh day began with God himself, and was given then on to our first parents (see question number 1). Any keeping of any other day in place of the one God set up as holy is far more then paganism, its rebellion against the authority of God.
47. If the Sabbath is a moral law, why did Jesus say that David, the priests, a man with his donkey could all break the Sabbath without sin? Mt 12:1-14; Mk 2:23f, Lk 13:10-17; 14:1-6 Jn 5:8-18; 7:19-24; 9:14-16.
Jesus did not say that these can “break the Sabbath without sin.” The argument Jesus is bringing forth is seen right after he explains himself, where he says “it is lawful to do well (or good) on the sabbath days.” –Matthew 12:12. David was doing “well.” The priests were in the service of God and were therefore also doing “well.” The healing of the man’s hand was a good deed; it was also “well” to do this. The disciples were doing “missionary work” with Jesus in Mark 2:23, how could they continue doing this good or “well” deed, if they did not reenergize themselves with some food? They weren’t doing this to get paid; therefore they did not violate the fourth commandments. And the list goes on.
The problem was not that Jesus was breaking the Sabbath of God, but that he broke the Sabbath of the Jews. They transformed the Sabbath into something that it was never supposed to be. They added hundreds of strict rules to the Sabbath in an effort to keep it holy, that instead of it being a “delight” as Isaiah 58:13 tells us, it was a burden. Instead of telling the Jews that the Sabbath was done away with and therefore this is why he is healing on the Sabbath, he tells them that the reason for doing these good deeds on the Sabbath is because it was “lawful to do well on the sabbath day.” Rather then abolishing it, he teaches us here proper Sabbath keeping. This is what the Sabbath is all about, informing the world, through good deeds, that there is a creator who created them, and loves them.
48. If the Sabbath is a moral law, why did God grow tired of the Jews keeping it and told them to stop keeping the Sabbath? Isa 1:13-14 Did God ever grow weary of anyone not committing adultery or murder, and tell them to be immoral and kill?
You added to these verses, when you said “and told them to stop keeping the Sabbath.” anyone can read these verses for themselves, and know that God is simply telling them that he hates their assemblies, which took place also on the Sabbath day, because their hearts were “laden with iniquity” –verse 4.
(13) Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I can not away [endure] with them; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting.
(14) Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them.
In context, he is not growing weary of the Sabbath “commandment,” but of their hypocrisy:
(16) Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil.
(17) Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.
(18) Come now, let us reason together saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
In fact, in this same book, God through Isaiah commands them to obey the Sabbath properly:
(13) If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thine own pleasure on my holy day, and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable; and shall honor him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words,
(14) Then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord, and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father, for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.
So he wasn’t growing weary of his own law, but of their keeping his law with a wicked heart. To believe your interpretation would mean that God contradicts himself in the rest of the book of Isaiah.
49. If the Sabbath is a moral law, how could Jesus break it without sinning? Jn 5:18
To understand what is meant by verse 18, we should read also verse 17:
(17) But Jesus answered them, my father worketh hitherto, and I work.
To what type of “work” is Jesus referring to here? It is the work of missionary work, which included healing the sick. This is not the type of work that the fourth commandment forbids. According to the context, Jesus had just finished healing an impotent man (verse 8). The fact that Jesus defends himself by saying he must continue to work as his father does, shows that they were really upset more with Jesus, who had done this deed. What they were angry about was that Jesus had once again done a healing on the Sabbath… a good, or “well” (Matthew 12:12) deed. As explained in question 47, the Jews made the sabbath a burden. It was this burden, which they believed was how the sabbath should be kept, that Jesus broke. In other words, he broke the Sabbath according to the Jews, and not according to God, for God’s word actually says it is lawful to do well on the sabbath. If Jesus was really leading an example of sabbath breaking, why did his followers continue to obey the sabbath “according to the commandment” in Luke 23:56? Why did he afterwards tell the rich young ruler to “keep the commandments” while speaking specifically about the Ten Commandments in (Matthew 19:17-18)? Why was it literally his “custom” to keep the Sabbath (Luke 4:16)?
Furthermore, the bible declares in 1 John 3:4 that the very definition of sin is breaking God’s law. This text is speaking specifically about the Ten Commandments, as proven in our article called: 1 John 3:4: Sin is the transgression of which law? If Jesus broke the fourth commandments, and not rather the sabbath according to how the Jews kept it, then Jesus was a transgressor of the law. And if he was a sinner, then his death was in vain, and we’re both wasting our time.
In John 5:18 you notice the text says that THE JEWS sought to kill him. They, the Jews, were the ones always accusing Jesus of breaking the Sabbath, as seen also in the following verse:
(16) Therefore said some of the Pharisees, this man is not of God, because he keepeth not the sabbath day…
In saying that Jesus broke the Sabbath, you actually partner up with the accusers, despite the fact that Jesus already defended himself by saying its ok to do good deeds on the Sabbath day. However you have every right to do this if you so desire, me, I’ll side with Jesus.
50. If one of the distinctions between the ten commandments was proven by the fact they were written by the finger of God, why did Moses copy them out twice with his own hand? How can there be any distinction between the 10 commandments in the ark and the book of the law beside the ark, if the book contained two copies of exactly what was in the ark?
In order for this type of reasoning to prove that there was no distinction, everything written in the book of the law should also be written on the tablets in the ark. Then, they would both be exactly the same, and there wouldn’t be any distinctions. However, we both know this was not the case.
The reason why it was written in the book of the law is both because the children of Israel were not allowed to look inside the ark and because in Deuteronomy Moses was rehearsing to the children of the children of Israel all the history of their deceased fathers which died in the wilderness, from the exodus out of Egypt till then. One would expect the Ten Commandments to be written there since it was definitely part of that history.
This question was further answered in question number 24.
51. Why are the terms “ceremonial law” and “moral law” never found in the Bible. Why is the word ceremonial or any of its roots never found in the same verse as the word LAW and why is the word moral or any of its roots never found in the same verse as the word LAW?
Just because these words are not found, does not mean that the ceremonies of the old testament were not “ceremonial.” As explained further in question 60, the word “ceremony” simply means “an event with rituals.” Do you really believe that the feast days, for example, were not events with rituals? In fact, some translations of the bible use the word “ceremonial” in the New Testament, along with many Christian scholars who agree that that is what these laws actually were.
A moral law is a law protecting our relationship with God and with man. Obviously, killing is a moral issue, because it effects our relationship with our fellow neighbor who we are supposed to rather “love even as we love ourselves.” I can’t believe you need the actual word “moral” to be in the bible for you to believe that there actually moral laws written therein. The word “Trinity” is missing from the bible texts… but you believe in a trinity, right? How about the word “millennium,” wheres that word in the bible? Yet we believe there will be a millennium because Revelation mentions a period of 1000 years!
52. If there is a distinction between moral and ceremonial laws, why do “God’s laws” and “the law of God” contain ceremonial laws? Why do “Moses law” and the “law of Moses” contain moral laws?
Please refer to questions number 25 and 26.
53. If there is a distinction between moral and ceremonial laws, why does the “law of God” command animal sacrifices Lk 2:23-24 and the “law of the Lord” contains burnt offerings 2 Chron 31:3; 1 Chron 16:40?
Please refer to questions number 25, 26 and 27.
54. If there is a distinction between moral and ceremonial laws, then why is the book of the law filled with moral laws not contained in the 10 commandments?
Please refer to question number 53.
55. If there is a distinction between the Law of the Lord and the Law of Moses, why in 2 Chron 35:26 are “the acts of Josiah and his deeds of devotion as written in the law of the Lord”?
That which was “written in the law of the Lord” was his “acts of deeds of devotion” or as the KJV puts it, his “goodness.” The verse is simply saying that the good deeds that Josiah did were deeds that were also written in the law. That’s why your verse reads “as written in the law of the Lord…” The KJV says… “according to that which was written in the law of the Lord.” What were some of those good deeds? Well the law of the Lord said that when they entered into the land of Canaan they were to destroy and remove all the abominations of the heathens. This Josiah did (2 Chronicles 34:33). He also began keeping the Passover “according to that which was written in the law of the Lord.” See 2 Chronicles 35:1. These good deeds were as “written in the law of the Lord.”
56. If there is a distinction between moral and ceremonial laws, then why does the Law of God include new moons, solemn feast days: Ps 81:3-4?
Please refer to question number 25, 26 and 27.
57. If there is a distinction between the Law of the Lord and the Law of Moses, why did the law tell Israel to dwell in tents: Neh 8:14?
I don’t understand this question. This particular law was not written in the Ten Commandments. The Lord told Israel to dwell in tenths because this was a feast day he had established with this.
58. If Jesus came to fulfill the law and the prophets, then didn’t Mt 5:17 say that only then would they be abolished before heaven and earth pass away? If the law and the prophets are still in force, doesn’t that prove Jesus didn’t fulfill the law completely?
I’ll rewrite your question and underline where you’re making the mistake:
“If Jesus came to fulfill the law and the prophets, then didn’t Mt 5:17 say that only then would they be abolished before heaven and earth pass away?”
Verse 17 does not say that the law would abolished “before” heaven and earth pass away. In fact, it does not even say that the law would be “abolished.” If Jesus were teaching this, first of all, he would fail the bible test of a true messenger from God:
(20) To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word it is because there is no light in them.
Furthermore he would contradict scripture when it says that God’s commandments would never be abolished:
(6) …but my salvation shall be for ever, and my righteousness shall not be abolished.
God’s righteousness, remember, is his commandments (Psalm 119:172).
“If the law and the prophets are still in force, doesn’t that prove Jesus didn’t fulfill the law completely?”
Jesus did completely fulfill all the laws which pointed to his first coming, but there are still laws which point to other events pertaining to Jesus which are yet to be fulfilled, therefore we cant say he fulfilled the entire law completely. For example, the ceremonial law of the feast of tabernacles points to the future fulfillment in which God’s people will finally, after sin is removed (Passover, etc) and the judgment has completed (Day of Atonement), God’s people will “tabernacle” with Jesus Christ in the New Jerusalem on the New Earth:
(3) And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
We don’t keep this feast today because its also fulfilled in the sense that Christ dwells or “tabernacles” with the believer in his heart, but there is also a future secondary fulfillment of this that is yet to be realized.
The prophesies of the PROPHETS and the ceremonial laws that pointed to his first coming, however, were fulfilled in Jesus’ lifetime, so no this does not prove he didn’t fulfill the law, because these laws are no longer in force.
Refer to question 41 for more on these verses.
59. When you ask me, “if the 10 commandments are abolished, does that mean we can steal”, can I ask you, “when you travel from Canada to the USA, does that mean you can steal? Is it possible that two completely different “codes of law” (law of Moses vs. law of Christ) have the same laws just like Canada and the USA?
Your reasoning is flawed because it’s built on the false premise that the “law of Christ” was something “new.” We explained already what Christ meant when he spoke of a “new commandment” in question 30. Please refer there.
60. If the Jewish law against eating pork was abolished by Christ, why do Sabbatarians continue to enforce what they call, “the ceremonial law of Moses”: Mk 7:18-19; 1 Tim 4:1-4; Rom 14:2; Acts 10:9-16.
The word “ceremonial” means “ceremony” which is “an event with rituals.” It can also mean “any words or actions done many times before.” –See Dictionary of American Dictionary. This includes the sanctuary services, the feast days and the sacrifices and offerings, all of which were “rituals.” The eating or clean and unclean animals, to which you refer to here, are not ceremonial laws, but dietary laws. Apparently your confusing the four categories of laws found in scripture:
(1) Moral laws (example: Exodus 20:13)
(2) Ceremonial laws (example: Leviticus 2:1)
(3) Dietary laws (example: Leviticus 11:7-8)
(4) Civil laws (example: Exodus 21:17)
Second, if Jesus meant to teach his disciples and hearers that it was okay to eat unclean animals, why did Peter, years later, still have a problem eating that which was unclean? This vision, by the way, was really about gentiles rather then the removing of the dietary laws (see Acts 10: 14, 28.)
In context, the protest in Mark chapter 7 was not about eating unclean animals, but rather on eating with unclean hands (verse 2). Jesus was rebuking them, not merely because they liked to wash their hands before eating, but because they put this tradition, along with many others, above the commandments of God (verses 7-9). Sort of how today Christians put their traditions, like Sunday keeping, above the commandments of God, like Sabbath keeping.
To obey God’s commandments is far better, because obedience to God comes from the heart. That’s why verse 19 says that whatever a man eats goes not to the heart. If, however, you disobey God’s law, like the one which forbids eating pork, you there sinned from your heart. You have at that moment defiled yourself, because this is a command from above.
Romans 14:2 is speaking about eating herbs verses eating flesh on fast days (click here for a study on this chapter), and 1 Timothy 4 is understood when taken apart verse by verse. The word translated meats in verse 3 is the greek word “broma” which simply means “foods.” The greek word translated “creatures” in verse 4 simply means “a product, formation.” Hence these verses literally read:
1 Timothy 4:3-4
(3) Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.
(4) For every product, thing formed of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving.
The “foods” which God “produced, formed” were fruits and grains (Genesis 1:29). Animals were not created to be eating, but to inhabit the earth (Genesis 1:21-25). Animals were only allowed as food after the sin.
The next verse shuts any argument for the eating of unclean animals:
(5) For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.
Note it is not only sanctified by prayer, but must also be sanctified by the word of God. Unfortunately for you, the word of God forbids the eating of Pork (Leviticus 11:7-8, Isaiah 66:15 and 17).
61. If the Jewish law of Tithing is forbidden in 2 Cor 9, why do Sabbatarians practice from “ceremonial law of Moses”?
2 Corinthians 9 is speaking about giving, and does not at the same time forbid tithing. Rather, Jesus said we should not “leave the other [tithing] undone.” –Matthew 23:23. Surely you won’t suggest Paul went against the words of Christ!
62. If the Jewish Sabbath was abolished in Col 2:14-16, yet Sabbatarians keep the Sabbath, which itself is the only ceremonial law of the 10 commandments?
I don’t understand, is this a question or a sentence?
For a detailed response to the argument that Colossians 2:16 is saying the weekly Sabbath is abolished, please visit our article: Colossians 2:16: The Sabbath a shadow? Which Sabbath?
63. Why do you practice Tithing which is Prohibited: 2 Cor 9:7 forbid Eating Pork, which is Permitted: Mk 7:18-19 and keep the Sabbath which is Abolished: Col 2:14-16? Aren’t all three of these ceremonial laws?
Please refer to questions 60, 61 and 62.
64. When Sabbatarians attempt to prove there is a distinction between the moral vs. ceremonial laws, the law of God vs. the Law of Moses, the 10 commandments vs. and the book of the law, and they shown countless bible passages that destroy any distinction Sabbatarians might dream up, will they at least be honest and admit they need to find some definitive way to create this false distinction that does not exist in the Bible and will try again tomorrow?
Neither you nor any of our most diligent critics has ever produced one text to prove that the ceremonial laws are the same as the Ten Commandments. You have not done a good job at this in this paper either. Until then, we have nothing to admit, except victory.
65. Why do you refuse to accept that Col 2:16 contains the Old Testament pattern of referring to the Jewish holy days in a yearly, monthly, weekly sequence as in 1 Chronicles 23:31, 2 Chronicles 31:3, 2 Chronicles 8:13, 2 Chronicles 2:4, Nehemiah 10:33, Ezekiel 45:17, Hosea 2:11, Galatians 4:10?
Actually, this is not always the sequence we read in scripture. Take for example one of the verses you provided:
(10) Ye observe days, months, times, and years.
In this text we have a different sequence and pattern:
(1) Daily (days)
(2) Monthly (months)
(3) Times (means appointed time, could be either)
Some of these, however, could be very general in meaning. Days could refer to daily, or just one day in the year, or a few days in the month, etc. Times can mean the same thing. Even if you suggest that “days” here should refer to weekly, the sequence is still not the same as in Colossians 2:16.
In yet another text you provided, we have another different sequence then that of Colossians 2:16:
(33) For the shewbread and for the continual meat offering, and for the continual burnt offering, of the sabbaths, of the new moons, for the set feasts, and for the holy things, and for the sin offerings to make an atonement for Israel, and for all the work of the house of God.
The sequence here is as follows:
(1) Weekly (sabbaths)
(2) Monthly (new moons)
(3) Yearly (set feasts)
This is the exact same sequence in both 1 Chronicles 23:31 and 2 Chronicles 31:3, which you also provided! Did you think we weren’t going to look these up?
66. If the plural “sabbaton” in Col 2:16 cannot refer to weekly Sabbath day, then why does plural “sabbaton” refer to the weekly Sabbath day in Matthew 28:1, Luke 4:16, Acts 16:13, Exodus 20:8 (in Septuagint) Leviticus 23:37-38 (in Septuagint)?
The fact that the word “sabbaton” is plural is evident, and can not be denied. Let the questioner understand that although there is the seventh day Sabbath, there are four Sabbaths in one month, fifty-two Sabbaths in one year, etc. Hence the plurality of the Sabbath.
In Colossians 2:16, however, the context tells us this can not be the seventh day Sabbath, for first of all verse 14 says that that which was blotted out was the “handwriting of ordinance” which was “against us.” The Sabbath commandment was not written by hand, but by the finger of God (Exodus 31:18). We can allow this text to refer to the ceremonial laws wherein God included also his moral laws like the Sabbath, and still have the tables of stone remaining inside the ark. Furthermore, the Sabbath commandment itself is not “against us.” Instead it was instituted “for” us (Mark 2:27), that it may be for us a “delight” (Isaiah 58:13).
Continuing down in context, right after he lists the ceremonial laws, verse 17 tells us these were a “shadow of things to come.” What things “to come?” The rejection and killing of Messiah. The Sabbath was instituted before sin entered into our world, therefore it could not point forward to the killing of Jesus, else Adam and Eve would not have really enjoyed their sinless condition knowing that, through the Sabbath as a witness, they would soon sin and cause the death of their own creator. Why would God on the one hand tell Adam and Eve not to sin or else they would die, yet on the other hand tell them through the Sabbath as a sign that they were going to sin and die anyway? Thus in every case the Sabbath remains plural, while in Colossians its plurality must refer to the sabbath feasts.
As for Matthew 28:1, don’t forget that when Jesus died the upcoming event was to be a “high day” (John 19:31) which meant that on that year a sabbath feast would land on the seventh day Sabbath. Hence the plurality here, the seventh day sabbath plus the feast sabbath.
For a deeper look at Colossians 2:16, see our article: Colossians 2:16: The Sabbath a shadow? Which Sabbath?
67. If in Col 2:16, the lack of the definite article before the word “Sabbath” in the Greek proves it cannot refer to the weekly Sabbath, then why does the weekly Sabbath lack the definite article in Matthew 28:1, John 5:9, 10, 16?
We do not advocate, at least at this website, that the lack of the definite article “the” proves this is not the weekly Sabbath. We aim more towards context to prove that point. Please refer to question number 66.
68. If Isa 66:23 proves the Sabbath will be in heaven, will the new moon festival also be there? “from new moon to new moon And from sabbath to sabbath”.
Yes it will be there, only the gathering will be for a different reason:
(22) In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bear twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves were for the healing of the nations.
The Hebrew word chodesh translated “new moon” in Isaiah 66:23 simply means “month.” Our parallel passage in Revelation 22:2 also tells us we will be having a gathering every month, only this time it’s to eat of the fruit of the Tree of Life. The reason for celebration the Sabbath will also be different. We will no longer celebrate the creation of the old heaven and earth, which by this time would have long been vanished away, but will rather celebrate the creation of the NEW heavens and earth, which is why in context the text in Isaiah reads:
(22) For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the Lord, so shall your seed and your name remain.
Take a look at our article called: Isaiah 66:23: New Moon observance? You will find more answers there, including an explanation of verse 24.
69. If Hebrews 4 teaches we are to keep the weekly Sabbath, then why does the text say we are to enter a rest that none of the Jews at the time of Joshua in the promised land ever experienced in v 8?
In context, it does not say that “none of the Jews” experienced this rest, it says only the unbelieving Jews did not experience this rest:
(6) Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief.
The “them” of verse 8 is speaking about those “to whom it was first preached” yet did not enter into that rest. Who was the preacher? It was Joshua. He told the Israelites to “at once” or “today” believe on Jehovah that he would help them conquer the land and to enter therein (see Numbers 13:30). If they would have believed him, they would have immediately entered spiritually into the rest of the Lord, and physically into the land of Canaan. But “Joshua did not give them rest” because they rejected his word and they died in the wilderness (Numbers 13:23, 29).
Hence the spiritual rest of Jesus Christ, which Hebrews 3 and 4 is speaking of, was not experienced by the unbelieving Jews. This is the message of these two chapters, to believe in Christ “today” as in the time of Joshua the Israelites were to believe in the Spirit which was speaking through him “today” –Numbers 13:24, 27:18.
To illustrate the rest we will one day experience when we one day enter into the true land of Canaan, which is heaven itself, the author tells the reader that if he truly enters into this spiritual rest, he will “also” cease from his works on the seventh day Sabbath “as God did from his” works (see verse 10). It would make sense for him to teach us not to neglect the Sabbath but to also keep it, for the breaking of the Sabbath was one of those things which constituted their unbelief and caused them to die in the wilderness:
(21) Notwithstanding the children rebelled against me: they walked not in my statutes, neither kept my judgments to do them, which if a man do, he shall even live in them; they polluted my sabbaths: then I said, I would pour out my fury upon them, to accomplish my anger against them in the wilderness.
If he was teaching to forsake the Sabbath in order to enter into the spiritual rest of Christ then his who reasoning throughout both these chapters would be null and void. For the Israelites were not only to believe in God, but also to obey his word. The reason why in Ezekiel God brings up they’re breaking of the Sabbath was because this was one of the “ten times,” meaning Ten Commandments, against which the Israelites tempted God (Numbers 14:22).
For further response see question 4.
70. If the Sabbath will endure forever because it is called “eternal” then won’t all the Jewish feasts and circumcision also endure because it is also called eternal in Gen 17:10-14 (same Hebrew word used)
We don’t believe the Sabbath will endure forever merely because its called “eternal,” but because, while it is called eternal, it is also shown to be in existence far after this old world has been destroyed, in the “new heavens and the new earth” –Isaiah 66:23.
Please refer to question number 68.
71. If the Sabbath will endure forever because it is called “holy” then won’t all the Jewish feasts also endure forever because they are also called holy?
We don’t advocate, at least at this website, that the Sabbath will endure forever because it is called “holy.” Rather we go to verses like Isaiah 66:23 and many others to prove this. See question 68 with regards to this verse.
72. If the Sabbath will endure forever because God hallowed it, then won’t Solomon’s temple Ps 65:4; 1 Ki 9:3 and the vessels in the tabernacle Ex 40:9; Num 31:6; 1 Ki 8:4 also endure forever because God hallowed them too?
We don’t believe that the Sabbath endures forever merely because God hallowed it, but because in addition to hollowing it he also tells us it will be present in the new earth. Please see question 68.
73. If the Sabbath will endure forever because it was an eternal sign between God and his people, then shouldn’t we also still practice circumcision Gen 17:11 and Passover Ex 12:13 because it too is called an eternal sign between God and his people?
Please refer to question number 68 and 70.
74. If it is only through the Sabbath that we can know that it is God who sanctifies us Ex 31:13, then what ever happened to faith in Christ sanctifying us? Any if we should therefore keep the Sabbath, then we must also build the tabernacle, for the Bible says through it we may know it is God who sanctifies us Ezel 37:28?
The Sabbath remains a sign that it is God who sanctifies us, because one of the fruits of the Spirit, which are signs of sanctification, is righteousness:
(9) For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, and righteousness and truth.
By faith in Christ abiding in us, his life of righteousness is manifested through us (2 Corinthians 4:10-11) and we will be found as ones who walk in righteousness, which means obedience to his commandments, for the definition of righteousness is his “commandments” –Psalm 119:172.
Therefore, it is Christ sanctifying us, just like it was Christ sanctifying the Israelites, and as the Sabbath was a sign to them that Christ was sanctifying them, so the Sabbath, along with the rest of the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22) are signs to us that he is sanctifying us.
75. If the fact that the Sabbath is mentioned in the New Testament after Pentecost proves it is still in force, then does the mention of The Day of Pentecost Acts 2:1, The days of unleavened bread Acts 12:3; 20:6, Days of Purification: Acts 21:26, Animal Sacrifices: Acts 21:26, Circumcision: Acts 16:3, Temple worship: Acts 24:12 prove we must keep these too because they are also mentioned and must therefore also still be in force like the Sabbath?
The fact that it is “mentioned” does not prove it is in force. However, the fact that we’re commanded to keep it in Hebrews 4:9-10, that Jesus said it was made for man in Mark 2:27, that his followers kept keeping it as seen in Luke 23:56 and acts 16:13 and that John describes it in Revelation 1:10… does prove it is in force. Of course there’s more to this, as seen in the previous questions.
Please refer to questions 21 and 69.
76. If Seventh-day Adventists want to deny that their official position is that worshipping on Sunday is the Mark of the Beast, do they realize that the “inspired” Ellen G. White, Uriah Smith, the Advent review and Leo Schreven (who conducts “Revelation seminars” today) all call it the mark of the beast?
Since Rome is that Beast power foretold in Daniel and Revelation, and it is Rome herself who says that Sunday is her Mark of authority, then logically Sunday is the Mark of Rome, the Beast. Hence the claim “Sunday is the Mark of the Beast.”
“Sunday is our mark of authority… the church is above the bible, and this transference of Sabbath observance is proof of that fact.” -Catholic Record of
London, Ontario September 1, 1923.
“Of course the Catholic Church claims that the change was her act. And the act is a mark of her ecclesiastical power and authority in religious matters.” -Thomas,
H.F., Chancellor of Cardinal Gibbons, in an answer to a letter regarding the change of the Sabbath.
“Is not yet too late for Protestants to redeem themselves. Will they do it… will they
indeed take the written word only, the Scripture alone, as their sole authority and their sole standard? Or will they still hold the indefensible, self contradictory and suicidal doctrine and practice of following the authority of the Catholic Church and wear the sign of her authority? Will they keep the Sabbath of the Lord, the seventh day, according to Scripture? Or will they keep the Sunday according to the tradition of the Catholic Church.” -Rome’s Challenge, p.31
For proof that Rome is the Beast, see our three part booklet: Who is the antichrist?
77. Christians can find 21 reasons why the first day of the week is significant to their faith as Christians in the New Testament. Can Sabbatarians find even one reason in the New Testament why the Sabbath has any meaning distinct to Christians?
There are many reasons why the Sabbath is important to the New Testament Christian, for it was Jesus Christ himself, the creator of the Sabbath (Colossians 1:16), that both died and resurrected for the salvation of our souls. It is important for us, therefore, because the one who CREATED us was the one who DIED for us.
Another look at Hebrews 4 reveals yet another reason why it is important for the New Testament Christian. In the context of chapter 3 and 4, the author speaks specifically of the events which transpired in the wilderness just before they were to enter the land of Canaan in Numbers 14. In describing how they were prevented from entering into both the spiritual rest and the physical rest of the land of Canaan, he brings in the Sabbath (Hebrews 4:4) to illustrate is point further. In verse 5 he speaks of the rest of Canaan which they were prevented to enter (compare with Psalm 95:10-11). Notice that he is comparing the two:
(4) For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, and God did rest the seventh day from all his works.
(5) And in this place again, If they shall enter into my rest.
What was the “place” where these are written? The scriptures. In verse 4 he quotes from Genesis 2:1-2 and in verse 5 he quotes from Psalm 95:10-11). In other words, in comparing the two he shows that the seventh day represents the rest of Canaan, but to us, the heavenly Canaan, New Jerusalem. It also remains as a representative of the spiritual rest from sin and guilt which we receive from Jesus when we lay our burdens upon him (as shown in Matthew 11:28-30), for as it represented the Israelites deliverance from Egypt, today it represents our deliverance from sin. Hence the Sabbath has distinct meaning for the Christian in that it represents:
1: The sacrifice of our creator
2: The rest we will one day experience when we get to heaven.
3: The daily spiritual rest we find in Christ, whereby he delivers us from sin through his sacrificed life.
Of course there’s more, but you only asked for one.
For a further response, see our article: Hebrews 3 and 4: Is today the seventh day Sabbath?
78. Did you know that the Jewish Sabbath was significant to the Jews because it was a memorial of this present physical creation and their deliverance from the bondage of Egypt and that the first day of the week is a memorial of our new creation in Christ (2 Cor 5:7) and our deliverance from the bondage of sin. (Gal 4:4-5; Eph 1:7)
Actually in the New Testament it is the Sabbath which remains as a representative of God’s deliverance from the bondage of Sin (see question number 77). Absolutely NONE of the verses you provided so much as even hint to the idea that Sunday represents either the new creation in Christ or deliverance from sin. My readers can look these up and not even find the words first day, week, or sunday in them.
Although God took the Sabbath to represent their deliverance from Egypt, and takes it to represent our deliverance from sin, it is still a creation ordinance (Genesis 2:1-3) and therefore still represents the creations of God.
Where in the entire bible is the phrase “Jewish Sabbath” found? This question is yet to be answered by any of our critics.
79. Did you know that regardless of whether the Sadducee’s or Pharisee’s method of calculating Pentecost was used the year Christ died, both would calculate Pentecost in Acts 2:1 as the first day of the week. Did you also know that the official position of the Seventh-day Adventist church was that Pentecost in Acts 2:1 fell on a Sunday that year?
If there was significance in this, it should have always fallen on a Sunday as the Sabbath is always on the seventh day of the week. The fact that it could have landed on a Wednesday, Thursday or even Friday shows that it simply landed on Sunday because of the calculations of the new moon, which determined then the times and seasons. I’m positive you wouldn’t make a big deal out of this if Pentecost would have landed on the seventh day.
80. Do you realize that the phrase, “that no collections be made when I come” in 1 Cor 16:2 proves the Christians were forbidden from saving up their offerings each week at home and demanded they put it into a common treasury every Sunday?
Wrong, there is no reference to a “common treasury” at all in this text. A common treasury means a familiar, frequent or universal location somewhere, but the verse says that this must be layed “by him in store.” How can their collections be both by them and at the same time somewhere else in a common treasury? Obviously you didn’t read the verse properly.
The word “in store” is translated “en su casa” in the Spanish translation. Casa means “house.” This makes sense, because the text says these collections must be “by him,” or, close to each member who sets their own part aside.
For a further response, see our article: 1 Corinthians 16:1: Sunday School collection?
81. Did you know that 1 Cor 16:2 actually says, “EVERY 1st day” because the same Greek phrase is also found in Acts 13:14 “appointed elders in EVERY church”. Did you know that you must give every 1st day of the week in to the church’s common treasury?
Sure, but finish the verse…
1 Corinthians 16:2
(2) … that there be NO gatherings when I come.
The “laying up by him in store” was to be done every first day until… “I come.” It shouldn’t read this way if he meant it to be an eternal ordinance.
82. If Jesus died on Wednesday and rose on the Sabbath rather than a Friday – Sunday duration because you demand a full 72 hours in the grave, then why did Jesus count the Friday – Sunday duration as three days in Lk 13:32?
We do not believe Jesus died on Wednesday.
83. If Jesus died on Wednesday and rose on the Sabbath rather than a Friday – Sunday duration because you demand a full 72 hours in the grave, why is exactly a 72 hour period called 4 days by Peter in Acts 10:3+9+23+24+30?
We do not believe Jesus died on Wednesday.
84. If the fact that the 10 commandments were written in stone, that proves they will never be abolished, then where was Adam’s stone copy of the 10 commandments? Why did God not give Adam a stone copy once for all time? Why is it that Moses was first person in history to not only see the 10 commandments, but the first person to hold the stone tablets upon which the 10 commandments were written? Why do Seventh-day Adventists argue that the ten commandment law is no longer written in stone, but in the flesh of the human heart in 2 Corinthians 3:3? (Of course 2 Cor 3:3 says the 10 commandments were abolished and the new Covenant, the law of Christ is written on human hearts)
Most of this question is a repeat of question number 3. This isn’t the first time you’ve repeated yourself.
As for 2 Corinthians 3:3, Paul is not here saying that the Ten Commandments are abolished, but that the glory of Moses was abolished and replaced with that of Christ’s (verse 18). Notice first verse 7:
2 Corinthians 3:7
(7) But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away:
There are two glories revealed here, the Ten Commandments and the glory of the face of Moses. This was the glory that shown on him when he covered himself with a veil (Exodus 34:33-35). The verse ends speaking of “the glory of HIS countenance; WHICH glory was done away with.” The glory done away with was the glory of Moses.
Verse 13 reestablishes this fact:
2 Corinthians 3:13
(13) And not as Moses, which put a vail over his face, that the children of Israel could not stedfastly look to the end of that which is abolished:
What was it that they could not “stedfastly look at?” It wasn’t the stone tablets, for these were in his hands when he came down. What they couldn’t look at was his face, because he covered it with a veil!
If Paul were teaching that the law of God was abolished, then he would greatly contradict many scriptures of the Old Testament, making him a false prophet. He would especially contradict Isaiah 51:6, which says that God’s righteousness (his commandments –Psalm 119:172) shall “not be abolished.”
For a deeper response, see our article: 2 Corinthians 3: The glory of the law abolished?
85. If only [by] the 10 commandments we can “live”, then why does Ezek 20:11 say this of the “ceremonial law”, “I gave them My statutes and informed them of My ordinances, by which, if a man observes them, he will live.” (Ezek 20:11)?
By Steve Rudd
Mr. Rudd, no one claims that it is only by the Ten Commandments that we can live. The verse you provided is speaking about the time when the Israelites were in the wilderness, when they were given these statutes and ordinances. In the New Testament every statute and ordinance which pointed to Jesus’ death finished at the cross. As seen in the answers provided for your questions here, the Ten Commandments remain. For THEM they must live through both the Ten Commandments and the statutes and ordinances… for US we must live through Jesus Christ, who lived the law perfectly, and promises to manifest his perfect life of obedience through us (2 Corinthians 4:10-11).
By Edwin M. Cotto
Adventist Defense League
For further study, see:
–UPDATE: We recieved a response from Bible.ca
–LISTEN to this Audio response to these questions (warning: These speakers speak in very strong language. We are not the authors, but we appreciate their work)
–Uncomfortable questions posed to the critics
–Sabbath in Genesis
–Who kept the Sabbath?
–Critic #2: Steve Rudd