The True Church not an Institution

one-true-church
• The New Testament teaches that the attributes of the true church are soteriological (determined by faith in Jesus) and not institutional.

• The church is one because the atonement that Christ made on the cross has “brought peace to us. He united Jews and Gentiles into one people when, in his own body on the cross, he broke down the wall of hostility that separated us.” (Eph. 2:14, 15).

• So, the barrier which separates fellow believers according to class, race and sex has been removed by Christ’s death on the cross. The risen Lord is therefore the exalted Head of “a new creation” (2 Cor. 5:17) which is His “one body” (Eph. 1:16, 19-23; 2:14).

• The community of believers in Christ is the fellowship of “who have been called by God to be his own holy people. He made you holy by means of Christ Jesus, just as he did for all people everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord” (1 Cor. 1:2). So, the “saints” are those who have put their trust in Christ as Saviour, who have been born again by the Spirit, who have been reconciled to God and to each other and whom God has separated from the world to be His people (2 Thess. 2:13, 14; 2 Tim. 1:9, 10).

• The church is catholic (i.e. universal) because Christ has made atonement (payment) on the cross for the sins of the whole world and because this good news is now being proclaimed “to every nation, tribe, language and people” (Rev. 14:6).

• So, the universal church of God consists of all believers in Christ throughout the world. These are they who have received forgiveness of sins through faith in Christ’s name (Acts 10:43) and who have been born again into the family and kingdom of God (John 1:12, 13; 3:1-8). Local congregations are but the local manifestations of the one universal church of Christ.

• The church is apostolic because its faith and life are grounded solely on the testimony of the apostles whom Christ sovereignly appointed to witness and proclaim His saving work (Luke 6:13; Acts 1:2, 21, 22; John 14:26; 15:26f; 17:20).

• The New Testament has preserved for the church the content of the apostles’ teaching concerning Christ, His redemptive work on the cross, His triumphant resurrection from the dead, and His ascension to heaven where He was exalted by the Father to sit at His right hand.

• Just as the church was founded upon the apostles’ witness, so it is nourished and grows by continuing in the apostles’ teaching (Acts 2:42). The strongest condemnation rests upon anyone who would corrupt the purity of the apostolic Gospel (Gal. 1:6-9).The apostles’ interpretation of the Gospel is the final norm of sound teaching (2 Ti. 1:13-14; Tit. 1:3, 9).This is “the faith that was once (for all) entrusted to the saints” (Jude 3), and insofar as the Christian Church upholds the true Gospel as proclaimed by the apostles, it is “the pillar and foundation of the truth” (1 Tim. 3:15).This commitment to the apostolic witness alone will safeguard the unity, holiness of the church.

Roman Catholicism

• Rome interprets the attributes of the church in institutional terms. Unity means lockstep conformity and submission to the demands and teachings of the hierarchical Roman structure.

The Reformers

• The Reformers denied Rome’s claim that its organization constituted the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church because they had discovered a vital truth in the New Testament—that the attributes of the church are not institutional but soteriological.

• Therefore, according to the New Testament and the Reformers, Christ’s true church is the community of all who have put their trust in Him. The marks by which we may know the true church are: it believes and faithfully proclaims the pure and unadulterated Gospel as recorded in the Scriptures by the Lord’s chosen apostles, and it faithfully administers baptism and the Lord’s Supper (by which the gospel is portrayed).

Sectarian Claims

• Certain religious institutions claim to be Christ’s only true church to the exclusion of other Christian groups, which are regarded as apostate Babylon. In attempts to find scriptural support for such self-commending claims, appeal is made to certain isolated proof-texts upon which dubious interpretations are imposed. For example, Roman Catholicism appeals to Matthew 16:18 (“And I tell you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church”) in an effort to establish its supremacy.

• Some religious groups make the name of their denomination the mark of the true church (e.g.“The Church of Christ”).

• Sectarianism is contrary to the principles of the Bible by denying the unity, holiness, catholicity and apostolicity of the Christian Church as depicted in the New Testament Scriptures. It denies the unity of all who believe in Christ for the forgiveness of sins and that all believers have a common Father in heaven and share a common new life in the Spirit constituting them members of one family. Thus does sectarianism bring division into the Body of Christ (1 Cor. 3:16, 17).

• It denies the holiness of the church because it ignores the fact that the imperfections in belief and practice seen in the different segments of the Christian community are covered by the blood of Christ. It usually claims perfection for the doctrines it promulgates referring to them as “the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.” According to them all other denominations are steeped in darkness and error.

• It denies the apostolicity of the church by its claims to have light and knowledge in advance of the rest of Christendom and sometimes even of the chosen apostles of Christ to whom were revealed all the truth the church needs to know this side of eternity. This advance light and knowledge is usually based on an extra-biblical authority.

Seventh-day Adventism

• In many respects the Adventist understanding of the church is very much like that of Roman Catholicism.

The True Church and Remnant

• Adventism regards itself not merely as “a church” but as “the church.” It claims that its denomination is the only true church on earth today. All other denominations it denounces as Babylon.Therefore, according to Adventism, it is the only legitimate visible church in the entire world. As stated above, such claims are only made by sectarian cults of which the Roman Catholic denomination is the greatest.

• Adventism not only claims to be the only true church on earth today, it also claims to be God’s remnant—His end-time church. The two main proof texts for this claim are Revelation 12:17 and 19:10. Based on these two texts it states that the true end-time church—the remnant—must observe all ten commandments and have a prophet. Accordingly, Adventism claims that it alone qualifies as “the remnant church.”

Adventism’s 1844 Theology

• The above claims by Adventism are also based on its unique interpretation of its cardinal text of Scripture—Daniel 8:14. Mrs. E. G.White, Adventism’s end-time prophetess, states: “The scripture which above all others had been both the foundation and the central pillar of the advent faith was the decla ration:‘Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.’ Daniel 8:14” (GC 409).

What can be said of Adventism’s 1844 theology? Just as Christianity stands or falls on the resurrection event (1 Cor. 15:1-4), so Adventism stands or falls on the “1844 event.” If there were no resurrection, there would be nothing salvage- able in Christianity. If no event of redemptive significance occurred in heaven on October 22, 1844, there is nothing salvageable in Adventism.

• Adventism is adamant that God had revealed the true meaning of Daniel 8:14 to its pioneers and Mrs. White and that He has entrusted it to the Adventist denomination as His end- time message to Christendom and the world. This is the basis of Adventism’s triumphant self-image:“a special people with a special message for a special time” (to quote a popular Adventist slogan).

• Not only, however, is there no biblical data—a clear ‘Thus saith the Lord’—to support the 1844 date and Adventism’s explanation for the Great Disappointment debacle, the 1844 theology is contrary to the New Testament Gospel.

• Christ’s finished work of atonement (redemption) on the cross and His once-and-for-all entrance into the heaven itself—Heb. 9:24 to sit down at the Father’s right hand exclude a redemptive event beginning on October 22, 1844 (such as the ‘final’ atonement, the blotting out of sins started from 1844, the transfer of sin onto Satan, justification ‘full and complete’, the latter rain, the final seal of God, etc).

• In proclaiming such an event and exhorting people to place their faith in it, Adventists are preaching “another gospel” (Gal. 1:6-8)—a gospel with features not found in the writings of the New Testament apostles.

• At best, Adventism’s 1844 theology can only rest on an extra-biblical authority—that of its prophetess, Mrs. White. Raymond F. Cottrell, one of Adventism’s leading scholars, frankly admitted this. (See his paper submitted to the Glacier View Sanctuary Review Committee, August 10-15, 1980, entitled, A Hermeneutic for Predictive Prophecy, esp. pp. 28-30).

• So, in promulgating their 1844 theology, Adventists go beyond the apostolic witness as recorded in the New Testament. It cannot therefore claim to be a church based on the apostolic teaching of the Gospel.

• The remnant motif first appears in the Old Testament in reference to the minority in Israel who had not bowed the knee to Baal (1 Kings 19:18).

• But the New Testament apostles employed the remnant motif to describe the New Testament community. (Acts 15:14- 18; Rom. 9:27-29; 11:1-5). Therefore, in the light of the New Testament, the Christian Church or Body of Christ IS the remnant since its inception on the day of Pentecost and will remain so until the last day when Christ will come again.

• The pioneers of Adventism developed their 1844 and end- time-remnant doctrines on the assumption that the last days did not arrive until 1798 (1844 era).

• But the apostles declared that they were already living in the time of the end and that the Gospel they were preaching was God’s end-time message for the world (Acts 2:17; Heb. 1:1, 2; 9:26; 1 Pet. 1:20; Rev. 1:1

• Therefore, Adventism’s claim that the last days arrived when it arrived on the scene in 1844 is way off the mark by about 1800 years! No, the last days arrived when Jesus arrived on the public scene 2000 years ago. This is the witness of His apostles.

• To now go beyond what the apostles preached and wrote is cultic. Adventism has officially denied what the New Testament says in this regard in order to maintain its unique 1844 theology and all that goes with it.

Conclusion

• In view of the above, what arrogance is manifested in Adventism’s claim to be the remnant church while not possessing that which alone makes a person part of God’s remnant—the true Gospel of Christ as promulgated by the New Testament apostles. Faith alone in this Gospel made the Gentiles part of the end-time remnant.

• The Jews had the Ten Commandments, observed the Sabbath and boasted the possession of more than one prophet (outdoing Adventism on this point).Yet they were excluded as a nation from the remnant because they rejected the Gospel concerning Christ and His saving work.

• Therefore, when weighed in the balances of the apostolic witness of the Gospel as recorded in the New Testament, Adventism is found wanting. Not only does it not have the true Gospel, the three or more divergent theological strands within Adventism (conservative, progressives, liberal, Sequeiran SDA gospels preached in the church) constitute nothing less than Babylonian confusion.

• And then it has the audacity to label all other Christian denominations Babylon!

• Adventism does not therefore qualify as the “one, holy, catholic and apostolic church” as per the attributes stated in the Bible.

(Adapted: The True Church not an institution by Christ Badenhorst (appeared on Proclamation Sept/Oct 2006)

The gospel & 1844: are they compatible?

1844

Why the gospel and 1844 are not compatible?

  • Seventh-day Adventist’s teach that in 1844, Christ began a work of judgment. This doctrine is their special gospel message to the world, and the reason for their existence. Ellen White said this teaching is the ‘foundation’ and ‘central pillar’ of the Advent faith (The Great Controversy, p. 409). Is this message compatible with the Biblical gospel?

Let’s see what the Bible teaches about the gospel

  • The gospel is called ‘the gospel of Christ’: It is about Jesus Christ’ (Romans 1:3).

  • The gospel is about Jesus Christ fulfilling the Old Testament: He fulfils its law and prophecy (Matt. 5:17).

He fulfils the law because He is the reality of all Jewish sacrifices and ceremonies.

His fulfils the law because His perfect obedience to God is the righteousness which the law demands of the human race.

  • The gospel is about a finished thing: His last words on the cross were ‘’It is finished’’. It is the good news of Christ’s finished work.

He ‘made atonement for sin’ (Rom 3:25), ‘destroyed death’ (2 Tim. 1:10), and ‘defeated the devil’ (Hebrews 2:14).  Man’s lost dominion has been restored in this one man, Jesus, ‘who reigns over all principalities and powers’ (1 Cor. 15:25).

  • The Bible presents the gospel as a historical thing that is done and finished.

‘Let me now remind you, dear brothers and sisters, of the Good News I preached [past tense] to you before. It is this Good News that saves you. Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said’’ (1 Cor. 15:1-4).

‘He cancelled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross. In this way, he disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross’ (Col. 2:14,15)

‘When he had cleansed us from our sins, he sat down in the place of honour at the right hand of the majestic God in heaven’ (Hebrews 1:3)

The New Testament gospel is not presented as if it were an Old Testament promise of what God will do. It is message of what He has done. If anyone preaches about a gospel not already finished, it is not the gospel (Gal. 1:8).

  • The Gospel is a final thing: ‘Long ago God spoke many times and in many ways to our ancestors through the prophets. And now in these final days, he has spoken to us through his Son’ (Heb. 1:1-2).

God did everything for our salvation when He acted in Christ. Christ is God’s final word to man. For there is no hint that the New Testament Christians are waiting for the Spirit (latter rain), the sealing, the verdict of the final judgment. They only wait for the Son of God to come from heaven (1 Thess. 1:10).

Hence, until Jesus comes, there is no way to go on from hearing the gospel to some higher knowledge of the gospel message or some more profound experience of God (latter rain).

  • The gospel is a complete thing: ‘For I have not hesitated to proclaim to you the whole counsel or teachings of God’’ (Acts 20:27).

We need to guard against the idea that since we are in the last days, we need to preach aspects of Christ’s redemptive work which were not proclaimed by the apostles.

  • The proclamation of the gospel of Jesus is a last day event:’But now, once for all time, he has appeared at the end of the age to remove sin by his own death as a sacrifice’’ (Hebrew 9:26).

Calvary therefore was a last day event. The outpouring of the Spirit to proclaim the gospel took place at Pentecost, which was a fulfilment of what Joel preached would take place in the last days (Acts 2:16, 17).

  • The gospel is an all-sufficient thing: It gives us eternal life (John 5:24; 3:16); it gives us the seal of God which is the Holy Spirit (Eph 1:13); No new testament believer waits for the Spirit, but by the Spirit he waits for the Lord (Rom. 5:5). In Christ, believer is now perfect, without fault, blameless in God’s sight (Col. 1:20).

It is denial of the gospel to talk about a future character perfection, sealing, as if there is something above and beyond hearing the gospel that has already been given to the New Testament church.

  • The gospel is a clear and certain thing: It is not a mystery or hidden thing. ‘’If the Good News we preach is hidden behind a veil, it is hidden only from people who are perishing. Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ..’’ (2 Cor. 4:3-4).

The clear message of the gospel is Christ is the promised one who died to take away our sins so that all who believe find forgiveness and life everlasting (John 3:16).

  • The gospel is a decisive thing: Those who obey the gospel are sealed and given life eternal. Those who disobey the gospel are judged already (John 5:24). This means that the final judgement is mysteriously present in preaching of the gospel (John 3:18). God doesn’t require any further judgement to decide who are his children.

1844 : does it match up with the Biblical gospel?

  • The date 1844 and the teaching on the two-phased ministry of Christ in the heavenly sanctuary are the nerve center of Adventism. From this teaching comes a plethora of teachings like the investigative judgment, the remnant church, the special sealing, the latter rain, and Spirit of prophecy (Ellen White).

Because the gospel given to the apostles was a finished, complete thing, and no future addition to that gospel was implied, SDA teaching on 1844 actually denies the gospel. The SDA pioneers, and members do not appear to understand the gospel.

  • Consequently, even today, the SDA gospel is being preached as a promise of what God will do for us if we fulfil certain conditions, and not as something finished! For example, He will blot out our sins if we pass the investigative judgment that began in 1844. If we keep the Sabbath, we will receive the seal of God. He will help us overcome every character defect so that we can receive the latter rain.

It’s no exaggeration to say that SDA community has lived and continue to live as an Old Testament community with a gospel of promise than a New Testament community with a gospel of something already finished.

  • The Old Testament revelation God gave through Moses, Daniel was veiled. But this was revealed or unveiled in the New Testament because ‘God has spoken’ (Hebrews 1:2) the final word about the essential meaning of the Old Testament. This means we must interpret the Old Testament in the light of the New Testament. SDA’s generally do the reverse.

When the New Testament declares Dan 7:14, ‘He was given all authority’ was fulfilled in Christ (Matt. 28:18), we must not go beyond God’s final word.

  • Since Aaron went into holy of holies in the earthly sanctuary, SDA’s reasoned that Christ must have gone into heaven to do the same. SDA’s do not get that the book of Hebrews contrasts between type (symbol) and antitype (real) more than the parallels. Unlike Aaron, Christ made atonement ‘once and for all’ and then went into the presence of God (Heb. 1:3). That’s why Hebrews says nothing about a two-phased ministration in heaven.

The book of Hebrews know nothing about a further ministration to prepare His children for his coming, because, ‘For by that one offering he forever made perfect those who are being made holy’’ (Hebrews 10:14).

  • Christ’s intercession in heaven is not that of an Aaronic priest standing before God to offer the blood. His intercession is that of a king seated on His throne, exercising the rights and titles gained by His finished work.

The 1844 teaching implies that the apostolic gospel was not complete, that it did not contain all the light necessary to prepare the church for translation. All this is opposed to the gospel ‘once for all entrusted to the saints’’ (Jude 3), which was a gospel containing all necessary things to prepare people for the Christ’s coming (Rom. 5:1).

  • What can we say about 1844? It rests on one solitary text – Daniel 8:14. There is no New Testament confirmation of either the date 1844, or the new phase of Christ’s work in heaven.

The truth is SDA’s have not been able to convince a single recognised Biblical scholar that their interpretation of Daniel 8:14 is worthy of a second thought. There is not an adventist in ten who would feel comfortable ‘proving’ the 1844 doctrine from the Bible. Yet SDA’s have to hold on to it, because it alone justifies the existence of Adventism as a movement with a special message.

  • Instead of a pre-advent judgment beginning in 1844, the New Testament knows only one pre-advent judgment. It is the apostolic gospel (John 3:17-19). By this gospel, all men are tested and are thereby declared righteous or guilty.

It’s time for SDA’s to wake up, and embrace the true gospel. For the gospel is about Jesus, something He finished, therefore it is final, complete, an end time event, all sufficient, clear, and decisive!

Adapted from: Are the gospel and 1844 theology compatible? By R. Brinsmead

Does Isaiah 66 support Sabbath?

Isaiah 66:21-24 “And I will select some of them also to be priests and Levites,” says the LORD. As the new heavens and the new earth that I make will endure before me,” declares the LORD, “so will your name and descendants endure. From one New Moon to another and from one Sabbath to another, all mankind will come and bow down before me,” says the LORD. “And they will go out and look upon the dead bodies of those who rebelled against me; their worm will not die, nor will their fire be quenched, and they will be loathsome to all mankind.

  1. New Moon observance in heaven?

Sabbatarian says Isaiah 66 is proof that Christians will observe Sabbath now, and in the new heaven. Does Isaiah 66 teach that Christians should observe the Sabbath?

If Isa 66:23 teaches that we will keep the Jewish Sabbath in heaven, then it also teaches we will keep the Jewish New Moon festival in heaven! “And it shall be from new moon to new moon, and from Sabbath to Sabbath, all mankind will come to bow down before Me, says the Lord” Isa 66:23.

Sabbatarians have the Jewish new moon festival observances in heaven based on the above text! If they insist on Sabbath observances based on Isaiah 66, they also need to observe new moons NOW. But most Sabbatarian’s don’t observe new moons. That’s inconsistent! Are New moons and Sabbath keeping a requirement for Christians based on the New Covenant terms? No.

Col. 2:16 ‘Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day’’

 

2) Levital Priests in the new heaven?

If Isa 66:23 teaches that we will keep the Jewish Sabbath in heaven, then it also teaches in Isa 66:21 that the Levitical priests will be in heaven, because it is also mentioned. Sabbatarians have Levitical priests in heaven (Isa 66:21)? What happened to the Levitical Priesthood under the new covenant terms? It was abolished. Priesthood changed so did the law of Moses and Sabbaths:

Heb 7:12 ‘For when the priesthood is changed, the law must be changed also

 

3) Night and Day in heaven?

New moons require night, hence Sabbatarians have night in heaven Isa 66:23. Is there night and day in heaven? Revelation says there is no night in heaven (Rev. 21: 23; 22:5). You cannot have “new moon to new moon” or Sabbath days (even to even) without day and night!

Revelation 21: 25, ‘In the daytime (for there will be no night there) its gates will never be closed’

 

4) Children dies in new heaven?

Is. 65:20 say child dies: What kind of heaven would it be where the child dies at 100?

Is. 65:17, 20 “”See, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind…Never again will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not live out his years; the one who dies at a hundred will be thought a mere child; the one who fails to reach a hundred will be considered accursed.

In fact in the new heaven and earth that God speaks in Revelation, He says:

‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death‘ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed (Rev. 21:4; 27; 22:14,15).

 

Isa 66:23 and Isa 65:17 actually speaking in metaphoric terms. The new heavens and earth of Isa 65 & 66 are different from the New heavens and New earth spoken of in the New Testament. Sabbatarians see the expression “New heavens and new earth” Isa 65:17; 66:22 and assume it is post resurrection heaven. This is their primary error!

As you can see from the above, Isah 65, 66 has nothing to do with the Christian belief of the New Heaven and the New Earth. If Israel had been faithful/obedient to God those blessings of Isaiah 65-66 would have come to them. Isaiah’s prophecy applies only to Israel and not to new covenant Christians.

Weekly Sabbath was abolished, in Col 2:14-16, so no one can use Isa 66 to prove that the sabbath is for today! Even if Isa 66 was speaking of heaven (which it is not) there are some things in the church that will not be in heaven:

  • Water baptism in church, but not in heaven.
  • Marriage in church, but not in heaven (Heb. 13:4)
  • Lord’s Supper in church, but not in heaven. Lord’s supper is only until Jesus comes: 1 Corinthians 11:26 ‘For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes

Prophecies describe a worship of God that includes the Sabbath, Circumcision, Sacrifices (Isaiah 66:23Ezekiel 44:24). Does this show that the Sabbath is a permanent aspect of God’s law?

The prophets described an ideal time in which all peoples worshipped God. To effectively convey this concept to an old covenant nation, the prophets described old covenant forms of worship, including new moon observances (Isaiah 66:23Ezekiel 46:3) and sacrifices in the temple (Zechariah 14:20-21Ezekiel 20:4045:1746:4). They also describe discrimination against uncircumcised peoples (Ezekiel 44:9Isaiah 52:1-2) and avoidance of ritual uncleanness (Ezekiel 44:25-27). But neither circumcision nor sacrifices, or Sabbaths are religious requirements in this age or in heaven. Besides, another prophecy indicates that the day-night cycle will cease (Revelation 21:25), implying that there will be no more Sabbaths.

Prophecies, based on symbolic passages (whether New Testament or Old Testament, whether about Sabbaths or sacrifices or circumcision) are not a reliable source of proof regarding Christian practice. Our doctrines must be based on scriptures that are applicable to the age we live in, and the teachings of Jesus and the apostles, who explained the shadows and rituals of the old testament, whether they apply to us or not! 

What Law Are Christians Under?

When God speaks, is it not sin to disobey? Surely it is.

Paul says: “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son.” Heb. 1:1,2. 

This says that God hath spoken to men in various ways at different times. No matter in what way God’s will was expressed, it would have been sin to disobey.

“If the law of Sinai is gone, then there is no law, no sin,” say Adventists. Indeed, then it is impossible for God to reveal his will to men, except in those exact words, letter for letter! Who believes such an absurdity?

The whole controversy is reduced to simply this:

Has God in the New Testament, plainly and fully revealed his will to men and told them what is right and what is wrong?

Is the will of God revealed through his Son in the New Testament higher authority than the Old Testament, or is it not? Are the teachings of the New Testament to be modified to harmonize with the letter of the law in the Old Testament, or are the precepts of the Old Testament to be modified to harmonize with the gospel? The latter, certainly.

But the gospel nowhere enjoins the seventh day.

Then is not the word of the Lord Jesus Christ law? Could there be any higher law? Said Jesus, “I and my Father are one,” John 10:30, and “All men should honor the Son even as they honor the Father.” John 5:23. Then the words of Christ are to be honored as highly as the words of God. They are law the same as God’s words are.

God promised to raise up Christ and put his words in his mouth, and he should speak as God commanded him, Deut. 18:18. Jesus said his Father sent him and commanded him what to say, John 12:49,50. “The word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him at the last day,” verse 48.

Then we shall be judged by the teachings of Christ, not by the old law.

Christians will be judged by the gospel. “In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.” Rom. 2:16. 

God said, “Hear ye him,” Matt. 17:5. All authority in heaven and in earth is given to him, Matt. 28:18. “He taught them as one having authority,” Matt. 7:29.

He has a law, Gal. 6:2. “Fulfill the law of Christ.” “The isles shall wait for his law.” Isa. 42:4.

We are under his law, 1 Cor. 9:21. “Under law of Christ,” 

The grandest summary of moral and religious truth the world ever heard was the sermon on the Mount, Matt. 5-7. It is as much superior to the decalogue as gospel is superior to Judaism. Here Christ forbids murder, verses 21, 22; adultery, verses 27, 28; swearing, verse 34; hypocrisy, 6:1-5; covetousness, 6:19-34; and every wrong act, 7:12. Would it not be sin to disobey the precepts of Christ?

Jesus gave commandments to his disciples, Acts, 1:2, and commanded them to teach them to all nations. Matt. 28:18-20.

We are to keep his commandments. John 14:15,21; 15:10. Then would it not be sin to break them? Who dare deny it?

“Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God,” Eph. 1:1, said, “Put away lying,” “sin not,” and “steal no more,” Eph. 4:25-28, and, “The things I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.” 1 Cor. 14:37.

And yet Adventists will say, that if the old law is gone, there are no commandments against lying, stealing, etc. We know better, as the above teaches.

Indeed Paul says, “I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you,” “for I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.” Acts 20:20, 27.

Every sin of which the human heart is guilty, is plainly forbidden in the New Testament over and over by the authority of Christ and his apostles, as all know. Yet nothing condemns sin but the decalogue!

The spirit of the Mosaic law, every moral principle in it, is reiterated over and over in the gospel, with all the authority of the Son of God. Not a Christian duty can be named which is not taught in the New Testament. Not a single thing is forbidden by the Old Testament which it would be wrong for a Christian to do, which is not also forbidden in the New, in some form. Excepting the Sabbath, the other nine commandments PLUS many more moral commands are in the New Testament, either in the same words or in substance.

Then is the Old Testament to be thrown away? God forbid. It should be received as the inspired word of God, a mine of precious truth; but it must be studied in the light of the New Testament, and modified by it. Nothing should be required of Christians simply because it is found in the law of the Old Testament. To bind our consciences, it must be required by the New Testament.

Here the seventh day fails entirely, for there is no requirement in all the New Testament to keep it; but its abrogation is plainly taught. 

“The Commandments Of God” In The New Testament

Seventh-Day Adventists have much to say about “the commandments of God,” Rev. 14:12, and claim that these are the ten commandments. With them “the commandments” always means just the decalogue, nothing more. Wherever they find this term they thus apply it. But such a position is wholly erroneous. There are over 800 texts where the phrase, “the commandments,” in its various forms is used. If one carefully examines every one of themm they will find that it is a general term for all the requirements of the Bible. Let the reader examine the following texts:

Lev. 22 refers wholly to the duties of the priests and the offering of sacrifices. What the Lord commanded about these he calls his “commandments.” Verse 31. 

In Deut. 11:27,28, what Moses commanded is called “the commandments of God.” In Deut. 26:12,13, the term is used of the law of tithing. In Deut. 28:1, it is applied to all that Moses commanded them. With a concordance, any person can readily find hundreds of cases where this term means something more than the decalogue.

When Jesus was questioned about the law he named as the greatest “commandments,” two entirely outside of the ten. See Matt. 22:35-40.

So the precepts of Christ and His apostles are often called commandments. Jesus says: “The Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment what I should say.” John 12:49. If God gave Christ commandments, and He gave them to His church, would they not be the commandments of God? Certainly.

The old dispensation was passing away, and the Lord was proclaiming the commandments of God for the new dispensation, the gospel. So in the great commission He said, “Teach them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.” Matt. 28:20.

Again Jesus said, John 14:15,21, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me; and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.” How can we, in the face of these plain texts, say that Jesus gave no commandments? Who is it that loves Christ? He that keeps his commandments. This is what it is in the New Testament to be a commandment keeper.

If, then, we do what Jesus commands us, is not that enough? And shall we not be safe and sure of his love and the love of his Father?

But where did Jesus ever command to keep the seventh day? Nowhere.

So Luke says he was taken up,

“after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen.” Acts 1:2.

If Jesus gave commandments through the Holy Ghost, would they not be the commandments of God? Are not these equal to those given through Moses? Now hear Paul as to what are the commandments in the gospel:

“If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.” I Cor. 14:37.

Then all Paul’s writings are “the commandments of God.”

And the Apostle says, Let those who are spiritual acknowledge it. 

Will our Seventh-day brethren acknowledge it? They may see a new meaning in “the commandments of God,” Rev. 14:12, if they will. Again Paul says, “For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus,” 1 Thess. 4:2. Then the Apostles did give commandments by the authority of the Lord Jesus. Peter bears a similar testimony.

2 Peter 3:2. “That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets and of the commandments of us the apostles of the Lord and Savior.” 

*Entole*, the Greek word for commandment, occurs in the New Testament, in its singular and plural forms, sixty-eight times. In not a single case is it certain that it means all the ten and nothing more.

There is not a hint that it means the decalogue in any one of the three passages where it occurs in Revelation.

To claim that it does is to assume without evidence the very point to be proved. John, who wrote the book of Revelation, also wrote the gospel of John and the three epistles of John. He uses the word “commandments,” plural and singular, twenty-eight times, and in not a single case does it refer to the ten commandments; but in nearly every case, if not in all, it refers to the commandments of Jesus. See John 14:15,21; 15:10; 1 John 2:1-5; 3:22-24; 4:21; 5:1-3. And naturally we would suppose that he means the same thing by commandments in Rev. 14:12.

As Christ is our “Lord and Master,” John 13:13, the “Head” of the church, Eph. 1:22; “All and in all,” Col. 3:11; having “all power in heaven and in earth,” Matt. 28:18; and is to judge the world, John 5:22; at his judgment seat, Rom. 14:10; how reasonable that he should give the laws to that church through the apostles. This is just what he did do, Matt. 28:18-20; Acts 1:1,2.

If any one will obey the teachings of Christ he need not fear about his obedience.

 

Adapted: What law Christians are under by Dudley Marvin.

Christ did not come to abolish the law?

Matt. 5:17-19 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

Adventists and others confidently boasts: This law is the Decalogue (Ten Commandments). Jesus says that every jot and tittle of it will stand till heaven and earth pass away. This shows that this law is unchangeable and still binding. The Sabbath is a part of it and therefore the seventh day must still be kept.

Seventh-Day Adventists, and others consider this the strongest text in the New Testament for the law. They are constantly quoting it. If this fails, they have no stronger fort. It teaches no such thing as they claim. 

 

The Law (Torah) and prophets in Matt 5:17-19 is not the ten commandments but the entire Law (in the books of Moses) and prophets (prophetic books like Isaiah, Jeremiah etc).

The Law on books of Moses has 613 laws including the ten commandments  if one were to count. So, if what SDA’s are saying is right, we have to keep all the 613 laws (that included circumcision, feast days, cleansing laws, sacrifices) because Jesus apparently is saying all the law (Torah) is binding, and have authority over us

Seventh-Day Adventists themselves admit that Jesus fulfilled and ended what they called the ceremonial law. He abolished it at the cross. Well, did he come to destroy that law? Certainly not, and yet he did it away. So, then, it is one thing to destroy a law, and quite another to bring it to a close by fulfilling it. Jesus says he came to fulfill the law and the prophets. 

The text does not say that every jot and tittle of the law will stand till heaven and earth pass away (if that is so, then SDA’s are wrong to teach the ceremonial law passed away); but it does say that it will not pass away until it is all fulfilled. This teaches that it would all be fulfilled and pass away sometime. The idea is that sooner would heaven and earth pass away than one letter of the law would fail of being fulfilled. Luke’s words make this matter very clear.

“It is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail,” Luke 16:17

Here we cannot mistake the meaning; the idea is not the length of time the law is to last, but the certainty that it will not fail to be fulfilled. 

For ‘fulfilled’, the Greek word is PLAROSAI and is defined by Greenfield, among other things, “To fulfill, to complete; to bring to a close, end, finish, complete.”

So Jesus did not come to destroy the law, but to finish it: “Heaven and earth shall sooner perish than one iota or one tittle of the law shall perish without attaining its end.” That is the idea exactly. 

After his resurrection Jesus said:

“These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the LAW OF MOSES, and in the PROPHETS, and the psalms, concerning me. Luke 24:44.

Did you notice? The Law and the Prophets that Matt. 5:17-19 and Jesus said He came not to abolish is the Law of Moses.  So are Adventist telling us that we must keep the law of Moses when they themselves teach that it is abolished? 

And then Paul says: “And when they had fulfilled all that was written of him, they took him down from the tree.” Acts 13:29.

So it was all fulfilled at the cross. NOW IT CAN PASS AWAY! Hence Paul says “Christ is the end of the law.” Rom. 10:4.

“TILL ALL BE FULFILLED,” ended when Jesus said, “IT IS FINISHED!” (John 19:30). Until that time, if someone broke what they considered to be the least important requirement in all the law of Moses and the Prophets and taught others to break them they would be WRONG for doing so. Up until Christ fulfilled the Law and the Prophets at the cross, it was RIGHT to obey all 613 commands in the Law and the Prophets.

When Jesus said, “I have not come to abolish the Law (first five books of Moses) or the Prophets (writings of Isaiah, Daniel etc),” he did not mean that each specific law IN THE OLD TESTAMENT would stay exactly the same. Matthew 5:17 is not a “proof” of any particular law is valid, because the verse does not tell us which specific laws are still valid or which have been changed or set aside.
So Mathew 5:17-17 does say that the LAW will not pass away until it is all fulfilled. Hence, it teaches that it would all be fulfilled and pass away sometime. 

Did the law of Moses pass away?
Ephesians 2:15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even THE LAW of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace
Ordinances or statutes in the law of Moses included both moral commands that forbidded worshiping idols, and ceremonial Sabbath command in the old testament:
Ezekiel 20:18-19 Then I said to their children in the wilderness: Don’t follow the statutes of your fathers, defile yourselves with their idols, or keep their ordinances. 19 I am Yahweh your God. Follow My statutes, keep My ordinances, and practice them. 20 Keep My Sabbaths holy, and they will be a sign between Me and you, so you may know that I am Yahweh your God.
Christians now don’t go to this abolished law of Moses or to Ten Commandments to know if it is wrong to worship idols and whether one should observe the Sabbath, instead they go to the law of Christ, and the teachings of the apostles, as Jesus has ushered in a new covenant, which restates the moral obligation of not worshipping idols (1 Cor. 10:7), but abolishes the requirement to observe the ritual Sabbath day (Col. 2: 16, 17), among many other rituals.

Christians are not under authority of the law of Moses, but they are also not without the law of God. Instead, they are now under the law and teachings of Christ and the apostles, where God commands and restates 1000’s of morals laws and a few rituals (like Baptism, Lord’s supper), but never the Sabbath, and other ritual laws (like circumcision, dietary laws, sacrifices etc. They all ceased!)

1 Corinthians 9:19-23 To the Jews I became as a Jew, so that I might win Jews; to those who are under the Law [of Moses], as under the Law [of Moses] though not being myself under the Law [of Moses], so that I might win those who are under the Law [of Moses]; to those who are without law [of Moses – that would be Gentiles], as without law, though not being without the law of God but under the law of Christ, so that I might win those who are without law [of Moses – that is the Gentiles].
 Adapted: From an article by Dudley Marvin (Retrieved from: Forty-Seven Prominent Texts used by Sabbatarians Examined)

Does Sabbath require Worship Attendance?

Most Sabbatarians fail to comprehend the implications of the belief system they embrace. Much of what they ‘know’ about their beliefs is a highly sanitized version that is promoted by their church and pastors, and errors they learned from other churches. Few bother to read and understand what is written in the Bible or think critically about what the doctrine implies, or even understand history, writings of early Christians, church fathers, and Jewish culture and practice. 

Communal worship in Israel 

If we are to understand attending worship services for a Jew in its context, we have to know something about the manner of communal worship in Israel under the old covenant. The national corporate worship had to occur in the place that God designated as a central worship site. Originally, this was at the Tabernacle, and after Solomon’s time, at the Temple in Jerusalem. We can see an explicit instruction about the place to worship in Deuteronomy: 
“You are to seek the place the Lord your God will choose from among all your tribes to put his Name there for his dwelling. To that place you must go…” (Deuteronomy 12:4).
 
This command to worship only at a designated location is also seen in Deuteronomy 16, which lists the annual festivals. See verses 5, 7, 11, and 16, among others.
 
The reasons for this were numerous. One consideration was that Israel should not alter the worship format and purpose that God had given the nation; otherwise they would easily lapse into worship that was directed to pagan deities. We can see how this happened in the wilderness when Moses left the people to receive the stone tablets (Exodus 32), and when Israel broke politically from Judah and set up its own religious system, including new worship formats, places and times (1 Kings 12:25-33).
 
 
What made Sabbath “holy”? 
 
The essence of Sabbath-keeping was physical REST. 
Ex 20:8-10 ”Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it HOLYSix days you shall LABOR, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall NOT DO ANY WORK
 
In Exodus 20:8-11 and Deuteronomy 5:12-15, the Sabbath command specifies rest from labor as the way to keep the day “holy.” There is no COMMAND or mention of going to a worship service each Sabbath for worship. 
Other passages in the Old Testament also define the Sabbath by rest (ceasing from labor), not by attendance at worship services. See Exodus 31:12-17, Numbers 15:32, Nehemiah 13:15-22 and Jeremiah 17:19-27. The latter two passages, though they refer to Jerusalem, do not mention anything about failure to attend worship services, but only work on the Sabbath as a desecration of this day.
 
An interesting study is to look up the word “Sabbath” in a concordance, find all the Old Testament references and then read those passages to see how this day was kept “holy.”
The conclusion will be that rest from labor is what made the Sabbath sacred time, not attendance at a worship service.
Most Israelites lived too far from the tabernacle to attend a worship service every Sabbath – and there is no evidence in the Old Testament that they did. And the law did not allow them to assemble anywhere else for worship. Nor do we find commands even for people near the Tabernacle that they had to gather for worship. The Sabbath was kept at home, by resting or ceasing from all activity.
 
Leviticus 23:3 ”Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the sabbath of rest, it is the sabbath of the LORD in all your DWELLINGS‘. 
 
Hence, there is no indication in Scripture of Israelite’s going to worship services of one kind or another in their local towns and villages. 
 
Ex. 16:29, ”Understand that the LORD has given you [Israel] the Sabbath. Each of you stay where you are; no one is to leave his place on the seventh day.”
 
They could travel to worship services at the Tabernacle only for the annual festivals. But they were COMMANDED by God to cease from labour in their living places, and EVERYONE was to not leave their place on the ritual Sabbath day. 
 
 
 
When did the Synagogue system come?
 
One might point to the New Testament and say, “But Jesus and Paul attended the synagogue on the Sabbath. Doesn’t this indicate that worship services were an essential part of God’s command to keep the Sabbath holy?”
 
Based on Scripture or Jewish history, there was no national system of Sabbath-day worship sites or places of communal instruction throughout Israel’s history in the Promised Land up to the captivity of Judah in the 530s B.C. and the return of a remnant to Judea a few decades years later.
There were no synagogues before the exile; there were no local meeting places in Israel before the exile, because there was no command for weekly meetings.
According to Jewish Encyclopedia,The synagogue as a permanent institution originated in the period of the Babylonian captivity, when a place for common worship and instruction had become necessary‘. 
The synagogue system allowed Jews to meet together in local towns and villages for prayer, the reading of the Holy Scriptures and for fellowship. The synagogue became a miniature sanctuary to replace the loss of the Jerusalem Temple.
 
Hence, Jews added the synagogue worship system, not based on biblical command, but on a sociological need, due to the loss of the Temple and the scattering of the people far away from the Promised Land. Nowhere in the Old Testament will you find a command to have local worship sites.
 
Now, there wasn’t anything necessarily wrong with the Jews setting up synagogues. They became an important center of fellowship and instruction in the Jewish faith. The New Testament does not condemn the practice; it is taken for granted. However, it is nowhere commanded, and no Sabbatarian group should command attendance at worship services as a way to keep Sabbath holy. 
For instance, even Christ did not consider it was important to have weekly meetings on the Sabbath while he was in the wilderness for 40 days (Matthew 4:2). 
So, when Jesus, Paul went to synagogues, it was actually out of a tradition of man (a custom that came about), and not a command of God.  
 
Hence, the Old Testament does not indicate that the Sabbath is kept holy through a meeting. Rather, it was kept as holy through rest (ceasing from labor and activity) by remaining in their dwellings.
 
Are modern day Sabbath keepers really Sabbath keepers? 
 
 
God is very specific about His Sabbath commandments and how to keep it holy. If anyone claims to observe the Sabbath ritual, they must comply with His specific commandments. If they don’t, they are Sabbath breakers. The following Sabbath commandments must be observed from ‘Friday sunset to Saturday sunset‘ (Leviticus 23:32) in order to claim holy Sabbath observance.
 
1. No work done at all (Ex. 20: 10; Lev. 23: 3; Jer. 17:21-22): By law if a person did not stop all types of activity in honor of the Sabbath, he was breaking the law. In Numbers 15:32-36 a man was caught collecting sticks on the Sabbath, and He was condemned as one who broke the Sabbath law.
 
2. Work shall be done for six days (Exod. 35:2): Do you or your congregation work for 6 days? Or 5?  The actual whole command is to work 6 days with only the 7th observed as a rest day. Many Sabbatarian’s observe Sunday just like Saturday except for the gathering in Church (which there is no command to do). So if you not doing this you’re still breaking the Sabbath, even if you take Sunday off.
 
3. Your servants, and friends must rest with you: “In it you shall not do any work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your manservant, nor your maidservant, nor your ox, nor your donkey, nor any of your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates (Ex. 20:10; Deut. 5:12-14). If you have any friends over that are not Christian they must observe the rest day also. You can’t ask your servants to cook or sweep the floor on the Sabbath. 
 
4. No cooking or baking: SDA ‘prophet’ Ellen White wrote: “The command is, “Bake that ye will bake today, and seethe that ye will seethe; for tomorrow is the rest day of the holy Sabbath (Ex. 16:23)” That day is not to be given to the cooking of food…to keep the Sabbath according to the commandment — Bible Echo, February 13, 1899). 
 
 
5. No kindling of a fire (Ex. 35:3). No fellowship cookouts or barbecues. Adventists for instance annually meet up for camp meetings and cook food every Saturday for the entire congregation. They break the Sabbath law as a congregation at least once annually. 
 
6. No traveling (Ex. 16:29). Later the Jews added to this law, allowing only a half mile of travel on the Sabbath but the Jehovah given pure law says “stay at home.” Actually, If you kept this part of the law, you could not travel to your church gathering away from home. 
 
7. No buying and selling (Neh. 10:31; 13:15,19; Amos 8:5). Which means no eating out from restaurants or shops. Make sure you do no shopping whatsoever. If you run out of food or drink at home you failed to prepare for Sabbath (ceasing from buying activities). 

8. No carrying any sort of loads from your houses:  ”This is what the Lord says: not bring a load out of your houses or do any work on the Sabbath, but keep the Sabbath day holy (Jeremiah 17:21,22)

9. No ironing of clothes: This goes out to Adventists specifically. These are the inspired words of their prophet, Ellen White. She was apparently ‘inspired by God’ to include ironing clothes as part of DO NO WORK even TODAY: ‘See that all the clothing is in readiness, and that all the cooking is done. Let the boots be blacked, and the baths be taken (EGW, the inspired prophet of God of the remnant Adventist church says you can’t bathe on the Sabbath). It is possible to do this. If you make it a rule, you can do it. The Sabbath is not to be given to the repairing of garments (no stitching or ironing clothes on Sabbath), to the cooking of food, to pleasure seeking (TV? playing in the park with children?), or to any other worldly employment. Before the setting of the sun, let all secular work be laid aside, and all secular papers be put out of sight. Parents, explain your work and its purpose to your children, and let them share in your preparation to keep the Sabbath according to the commandment — Testimonies, vol. 6, p. 355, 356 (1901).
 
If you insist on the Jewish ceremonial Sabbath law as binding on new covenant Christians, do you understand what the law says? Are you who claim to observe the Sabbath, really a Sabbath keeper or a Sabbath breaker according to the Jehovah’s commandments? You decide.
Remember to break one commandment, is to break all (James 2:10). 
 
In the Adventist human definition of Sabbath keeping, Sabbath keeping is primarily going to church on Saturday, refraining from paid employment, and doing some good works, but that is not what the Lord commanded from the Jewish Sabbath, unfortunately.
By their Sabbath keeping definition, even my Catholics friends who attend church on Saturday evening must be Sabbath keepers as most catholic churches are now open for church services on Saturday. My catholic friends do not work on Saturday or Sunday, instead they go visiting their grand parents, and do acts of kindness. Even other Christians who attend worship services on Saturday or Friday evening would qualify for observing the ritual. Yet that is not Sabbath keeping as per the 4th commandment.
 
 
Sabbath law or ceasing from labor in the new covenant
 
 
The concept of “rest” is important in Scripture, and it has a deep spiritual meaning for Christians.
As Christians, we understand that our rest is in Christ, who is our Sabbath; He is the reality (Col 2:17). We enter this Sabbathismos today, daily, not on any particular day any longer. God’s ‘seventh-day rest’ (Hebrews 4:4), was ‘ready since He made the world’ (Hebrews 4:3), and the ‘time for entering his rest is today’ (Hebrews 4:7), not Saturday or Sunday.
When we rest spiritually in Christ, we present ourselves as the people of God before his presence in continuous sacred assembly. We are always the church, in his presence every day of the week, not just one.
 
 
For Israelites, the Sabbath was a day to rest at home, not a day to travel long distances and attend a worship service. The annual harvest festivals were the time for Israelites to enjoy communal worship and fellowship. Here is what the Expositor’s Bible Commentary (volume 2, page 623) says about Leviticus 23:3:
 
There is an emphasis here that the Israelite rested at home. There were special offerings given in the tabernacle (e.g., a double burnt offering), but the ordinary Israelite and his whole family rested. Presumably here was an opportunity for family worship and instruction in the law of God, but this is not specifically enjoined. What a boon a weekly rest must have been to the ancient laborer and farmer in his weary round of toil!
 
As did the Jews in their synagogue system, Christians find that regular fellowship and communal instruction is an important foundation of their religious life.
As Christians, we are free to meet together at any time of the day, any day of the week, and any season of the year (Romans 14:5).
We are also free to rest on any day, and one in seven days is a good principle. However, the Jewish Sabbath ritual was fulfilled in Christ, and is not longer a requirement or a command for new covenant Christians (Col. 2: 16,17), 
 
We are not limited to meeting on just one day, since no day has been specifically set aside by God for Christian fellowship and worship. This was the case in the old testament. This is the case in the new testament. We are always in the presence of God and worship him continually because he and Christ reside in us through the indwelling Holy Spirit. At the same time, we can gather weekly (Saturday, Sunday, Monday etc) and seasonally in small groups or in larger communal situations to praise God, to recall Christ’s work of salvation and to fellowship in the Spirit.

A brief outline of Sunday meetings from the Bible and History: 

Lord’s day – Neither from Pagan or Catholics but from the Bible!


1 Century evidence:

Jewish Sabbath no longer a Christian obligation:

Col. 2:16, 17 ”Therefore no one is to act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day

Christians can treat every day alike or consider some days sacred:

Rom. 14:5 One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind.

A.D. 53 – Weekly giving commanded on Sundays for all the churches of Galatia:

1 Corinthians 16:1-2 ‘Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given orders to the churches of Galatia, so you must do also: On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collections when I come.

A.D. 60 – Christian met every day for worship, also gathered for communion on Sunday, the first day:

Acts 20:7 “And on the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread”

Early Christians, church fathers met on Sunday for worship, communion, fellowship. Never on the Jewish Sabbath (No Christian Sabbath keeping in Acts) for it was abolished (see also: Sabbath is ceremonial!

Sunday is not a Christian Sabbath or a day of rest, or a holy day to be kept. No more holy days, but Christians met for assembly on the first day since the time of the apostles before there was Constantine or Roman Catholic church. Sunday is not a pagan day for pagans didn’t have a weekly worship day:

2nd  to 3rd century evidence

AD 140 – Justin Martyr(Rome) wrote:

Sunday is the day on which we all hold our common assembly … Jesus Christ on the same day rose from the dead” (Apology, I.67).

AD 110 – Ignatius (Antioch) wrote:

”Let every friend of Christ keep the Lord’s Day as a festival, the resurrection-day, the queen and chief of all the days of the week. (Ignatius, Epistle to the Magnesians, chp 9. Ante-Nicene Fathers , vol. 1, pg. 62-63.)

Early Christians understood Sunday as the Lord’ day. John wrote:

Revelation 1:10 ‘I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day

AD 180 – Bardesanes, Edessa (Asia) wrote:

“On one day the first of the week, we assemble ourselves together.” Book of the Laws of Countries.

AD 194 – Clement of Alexandria (Egypt) wrote:

He does the commandment according to the Gospel and keeps the Lord’s day, whenever he puts away an evil mind . . . glorifying the Lord’s resurrection in himself. (Vii.xii.76.4)

AD 200 – Tertullian in Africa:

“We solemnize the day after Saturday in contradiction to those who call this day their Sabbath.” Apology, Chapter XVI. “We however, just as we have received, only on the day of the Lord’s resurrection, ought to guard not only against kneeling, but even posture and office of solicitude, deferring even our business.” On Prayer, Chapter XXIII.

The New Testament does not give a single example of Christians conducting their religious services on the Sabbath after the resurrection of Christ because Sabbath is abolished (See: No Sabbath in Acts).

For the first several centuries of the church’s existence, the written testimony is uniform that Christians met for worship on Sunday. Dr. Schaff says: “The universal and uncontradicted Sunday observance in the second century can only be explained by the fact that it had its root in apostolic practice.” History of the Christian church, Vol. I, page 478.

There have always been a few sabbatarians, but never the mainstream. They have always been fringe groups and considered heretical or cultic by the main church. Most of them were rooted in Judaism (Jewish converts to Christianity) and not gentile churches. The Ebiionites are an example. Then, Sabbatarians began to be resurrected in England in the time of the Reformation, over five hundred years ago. Yet, they (likes of the SDA’s, church of God) remain outside of mainstream today.

However, they have grown their numbers through the spread of false information (such as sunday is pagan, catholic church changed the Sabbath day in the 3rd century, Sabbath law is universal), conspiracy theories (sunday law etc), and a false understanding of the doctrine of law (see: Decalogue examined, Covenants).

Jesus, the apostles, the early church fathers, Luther, Calvin, all understood that Sabbath was ceremonial. None of these believed that the Pope or Roman Catholic church changed the Sabbath. Instead they saw that it was abrogated as clearly stated in the new testament and by the apostles (see: Did they teach Sabbath is ceremonial?)
 Part of the above articles have been adapted from GCI.

God’s great moral law is unchangeable 

The foundation of the Sabbatarian error, is a false theory of the law taught by some other churches that led them into this sad error. For many years I was held in that “bondage.” Now that I have found my way out, if I can help others, I shall rejoice.

The following simple facts with regard to the law helped me out of Adventism and I have never known anyone to get out of it any other way. I believe it to be the correct answer to the Saturday Sabbath error. I write for candid readers. They will examine our arguments fairly and allow others to do the same, even if they should not agree fully with every position. Many years of investigation and discussion of the question have firmly settled me on the following propositions. They are in harmony with the best men and theologians of this and past ages; hence nothing original on our part.

Antinomianism

Antinomians, from ANTI, against and NOMOS, law, against law, is a term applied to those who maintain that Christians are under no obligation to keep the law of God or to do any good works. This is an abominable doctrine, subversive of the gospel; yet Seventh-Day Adventists brand all as Antinomians who do not agree with them as to what is the law of God. I am as much opposed to Antinomianism as they. We believe in strict obedience to law, in keeping the commandments of God (see there are over 1000 commands for Christians), and in the necessity of good works, as strongly as they do.

Luther vehemently opposed Antinomianism and yet taught the abolition of the Mosaic law & Sabbath. It is ignorance for Adventists to call people Antinomians who abhor that doctrine. We plead for a pure life, good works and obedience to God, as fruit of our salvation. Bunyan, Judson, and a host of such men have repudiated the Sabbatarian idea of the law, and yet have been holy men. We are not afraid to stand with them.

Even Elder Waggoner says: “As to whether the Saviour abolished the ten commandments and with them the Sabbath, is a theological question; it is only a matter of Scripture interpretation.” Replies to Elder Canright, page 164. Very well; then men may differ on this question and still be honest Christians. I will now lay down a few propositions concerning the law, which seem to me so plain and well supported by the Bible, that all must agree with them.

PROPOSITION 1. “THE LAW” EMBRACES THE WHOLE MOSAIC LAW, MORAL, CIVIL AND CEREMONIAL. The term, “the law,” when used with the definite article and without qualifying words, refers “in nine cases out of ten, to the Mosaic law, or to the Pentateuch.” Largely the Adventists use the term, “the law,” for the ten commandments only. This is their fundamental error on the law. We affirm that “the law” included the whole system of law given to the Jews at Sinai, embracing all those requirements, whether moral, civil or ceremonial, decalogue and all. Even Elder Butler is compelled to make this confession: “The term, “the law,’ among the Jews generally included the five books of Moses, thus including the whole system, moral, ritual, typical and civil.” Law in Galatians, page 70.

Now bear in mind this one simple fact, wherever you find the term “the law,” and you will have no trouble with Sabbatarian arguments on “the law.”

Take a few examples of the use of the term “the law.”

  • 1 Cor. 14:34: Women “are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law.” Where does the law say this? Gen. 3:16. So Genesis is in the law.
  • Again: “The law had said, Thou shalt not covet.” Rom. 7:7. Where? Ex. 20:17. So Exodus is in the law.
  • Once more: “Master, which is the great commandment in the law?” Matt. 22:36. Jesus then makes two quotations from the law; first, “Thou shalt love the Lord with all thy heart.” This is taken from Deut. 6:5. So Deuteronomy is in the law.
  • Second, “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” This is from Lev, 19:18. So Leviticus is a part of the law.
  • And this: have ye not read in the law, how that on the Sabbath days the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath, and are blameless?” Matt. 12:5. It is from Num. 28:9.

These then, embrace all the five books of Moses as “the law.” Observe a little where the law is spoken of and you will soon see that it refers indiscriminately to each and all of the books of Moses as “the law.” Of course any verse in any of these books is quoted as “the law,” because it is a part of the law. So then the ten commandments are quoted as the law because they are a part of the law.

Again, “the law” embraces all parts of the law, moral, civil or ceremonial.

  • Thus the ceremonial precepts: “The parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him after the custom of the law.” Luke 2:27. That is, to offer a sacrifice.
  • Moral precepts: The law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers.” 1 Tim. 1:9.
  • Civil precepts: “Commandest me to be smitten contrary to the law?” Acts 23:3.

Notice that every time it is simply the law. “Gamaliel, a doctor of the law.” Acts 5:34. Of what law? Was he simply a doctor of some part of the law, as the moral, or civil, or ceremonial precepts? Every intelligent man knows that “the law,” of which he was doctor or teacher, was the whole Pentateuch, decalogue included. The law, then, is the whole Jewish law, in all its part.

This one point, clearly settled, destroys nine-tenths of all the Seventh-Day Adventist argument for the Jewish Sabbath.

The Two Laws

PROPOSITION 2. THERE WAS NO SUCH THING AS TWO SEPARATE LAWS GIVEN TO THE JEWS. To sustain their doctrine Sabbatarians have invented a theory of two laws given at Sinai; one the moral law, the other the ceremonial.

Adventists attach the utmost importance to their theory of two laws as well they may; for if this is wrong their cause is lost.

1. “Moral law,” “ceremonial law.” Adventists use these two terms as freely as though the Bible was full of them; yet, strange to say, the scriptures make no such distinctions, never speak of one law as “moral” and of another as “ceremonial.” Adventists severely criticise those who happen to use an unscriptural word or phrase; yet they themselves do the very thing commonly, as in this case. It would be amusing to hear one of them try to preach on the “two laws” and confine himself to Bible language! He could not possibly do it. If there were two distinct laws given to Israel, so opposite in their nature, it is strange that there is no record of it, no reference to it in the Bible. If one was abolished and the other was not, strange that Paul should not make the distinction when he has so much to say about the law. Why did he not say, “we establish the moral law”? or, “the ceremonial law was our schoolmaster”? No, he just says “the law” and leaves it there. He seems not to have been quite as clear on that point as Adventists are!

On this point Kitto’s Cyclopedia of Biblical Literature, Article Law, says: “Neither Christ nor the apostles ever distinguished between the moral, the ceremonial, and the civil law, when they speak of its establishment or its abolition.”

2. The two laws contrasted. Adventists have drawn up a long list of things which they claim are true of the “moral” law and an opposite list which can apply only to the “ceremonial” law. These two they contrast and make out two laws.

Thus Adventists say: “Moral law:

  • “Was spoken from Sinai by the voice of God and twice written upon tables of stone by his own finger.”
  • “Was deposited in the golden ark.” “Related only to moral duties.”

Of course this was just the ten commandments, nothing more, nothing less, according to SDA’s. So here we have their “moral law.” Now here is the other one:

Thus Adventists day: “The ceremonial law:

  • “Was communicated to Moses privately and was by Moses written with a pen in a book. Deut. 31:9.”
  • “Was put into a receptacle by the side of the ark. Deut. 31:26.” “Was wholly ceremonial.” 

Hence everything not found in the decalogue belongs to the ceremonial law and everything Moses himself wrote in the book of the law placed in the side of the ark is “wholly ceremonial.” Deut. 31:26, reads: “Take this book of the law and put it in the side of the ark.” The decalogue was in the ark, the book of the law was by the side of the ark.

We enquire from Adventists, then, how much “the book of the law” contained? The answer is easy:

  • It contained all the five books of Moses, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.
  • Thus 2 Kings 14:6, says it “is written in the book of the law of Moses,” and then quotes Deut. 24:16, as that book of the law.

Dr. Scott on Deut. 31:26, says “This book appears to have been a correct and authentic copy of the five books of Moses.”

So what Adventist call the ceremonial law contains scores of precepts as purely moral as any in the decalogue.

Read these:

  • “Thou shalt not vex a stranger.” “Ye shall not afflict any widow or fatherless child.” Ex. 22:21, 22.
  • “Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil.” Ex. 23:2.
  • “Ye shall be holy.” “Thou shalt not go up and down as a tale bearer among thy people.” “Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” Lev. 19:2, 16, 18.
  • Thou shalt not discriminate people.” “Thou shalt be perfect.” Deut. 16:19, 18, 13.

Are these precepts, and scores like them, to be classed as ceremonial because God did not write them on a stone but gave them to Moses to write in a book? Surely not.

Then the nature of a precept was not determined by the way it was given. God gave them all at different times as it pleased Him.

As we have seen, “the law” embraces the “whole law.” Gal. 5:3.

Of course, in that law, some precepts refer to moral duties, other to civil, and others to ceremonial but all are only different parts of the same law, called, as a whole, “the law.”

Thus Jesus quotes from Lev. 19, as “the law.” See Matt. 22:36-40. Now read the whole chapter, Lev. 19, and you find moral, civil and ceremonial precepts all mingled together, and often in the same verse. Adventists, to sustain their theory, have to go through this chapter, as they do through the whole Bible, and cut and carve, and split hairs, and label one sentence “the moral law,” another “the ceremonial law,” etc. This is what is properly termed “the scrapping system or proof text method.” It does great violence to the Scriptures, wresting them out of their evident meaning.

In no place can they find their ceremonial law given by itself.

They have to pick it out here and there in scraps. The “book of the law,” which was placed in the side of the ark, Deut. 31:24-26, is pointed to as the ceremonial law. But this “book of the law,” as we see, embraced the whole five books of Moses, which had the ten commandments.

It contains all of the ten commandments word for word twice repeated.Ex. 20 and Deut. 5.

Adventist Elder G.I. Butler himself makes this confession: “The “book of the law,’ which was placed in the side of the ark, or at the side of it, contained both the moral and ceremonial laws.” Law in Galatians, p. 39.

That drops the bottom out of the theory that the moral law was “in the ark, and the ceremonial law in the side of the ark,” as they usually claim.

So, on close examination, every text on which they rely for two laws will fail them. That the “book of the law” did contain moral precepts is settled by Gal. 3:10: “It is written, cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.” Where in the book of the law is this written?

In Deut. 27:26. Turning there we have a curse against images, verse 15, disobedience to parents, verse 16, adultery, verse 20; murder, verse 24; bribery, verse 25; then comes the verse quoted as “the book of the law.” So if the decalogue contains moral law, then the book did too. This shows the utter fallacy of their theory of two laws.

The following passage alone overturns the two law theory of Adventists: “Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it: Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law [Torah = 5 books of Moses] and the prophets.” Matt. 22:36-40.

Note that:

1. These two great commandments were “in the law.”

2. But neither of them is found in the decalogue.

3. Both of them are in what Adventists call the ceremonial law.

4. Neither of them was spoken by God, nor written by him, nor engraved on stones, nor put into the ark. Both were given by God to Moses privately and he wrote them with a pen in the book of the law which was placed in the side of the ark. And yet these two precepts are the greatest of all. Jesus said of the first one that it is “the first of all the commandments.” Of the two he said, “There is none other commandments greater than these.” Mark 12:29, 41. And on these two hang all the law.

So, then, the greatest commandments are in the book of the law, not on the tables of stone. How utterly this demolishes their two law argument. It shows that the mere fact that the ten commandments were spoken by God, written on stone, and placed in the ark, is no proof that they were superior to those given through Moses in the book of the law.

We will examine a few more of their contrasts of the two laws as they arrange them. Thus:

“1. Moral: Existed in Eden before the fall. Ceremonial: Was given after the fall.

2. Moral: Was perfect. Ps. 19:7. Ceremonial: Made nothing perfect. Heb. 7:19.

3. Moral: Contains the whole duty of Man. Eccl. 12:13. Ceremonial: “Stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances.’ Heb. 9:10.”

1. Where do they read that the decalogue was given in Eden? Nowhere. This they assume not only without proof, but against the plain record of Ex. 19 and 20 that it was given at Sinai. So their very first comparison is a failure.

2. The law is perfect, Ps. 19:7, and again, the law made nothing perfect. Heb. 7:19. This they regard as one of their clearest proofs of the two laws. But where is the proof? Does it follow that if the law is perfect it will or can make sinners perfect? If it could, then, as Paul says, righteousness should be by the law,” Gal. 3:21, and “then Christ is dead in vain.” Gal. 2:21. The law could be perfect and yet fail to make anybody perfect. So there is no proof of two laws here after all.

3. Eccl. 12:13 is quoted as referring to the ten commandments alone and then it is asserted that these contain every duty of man. Both statements are fallacious. There are scores of duties we owe to God and men not even hinted at in the decalogue. Then there is not a particle of evidence that Eccl. 12:13 refers alone to the decalogue. It manifestly embraces all God’s commandments on all subjects. Look at the second quotation, Heb. 9:10. It does not refer to any law whatever but is speaking of the services of the priests in the temple, which service “stood only in meats, drinks,” etc. Read it.

Thus their “two laws” are made out:

1. By pure assumptions.

2. By misapplications of scripture.

3. By detached phrases here and there taken out of their proper connection. So I could go through their whole list and show that it proves no such contrast as they claim.

But they assert that such opposite things are said of “the law,” that it cannot be the same law all the time. This method of proving two laws by contrasting particular expressions about the law when spoken of from different standpoints would make bad work with the Bible if urged on other subjects.

Paul said he was “a Jew,” Acts 21:39, and again that he was “a Roman,” Acts 22:25; two Pauls?

So Christ is “a Lion” and “a Lamb,” Rev. 5:5, 6. “The everlasting Father,” Isa. 9:6. And born of a woman, Luke 2:7; Prince of Life, Acts 3:15, yet died through weakness, 2 Cor. 13:4; a child, Isa. 9:6; and yet God, Heb. 1:1-8; two Christs?

It would be much harder to reconcile the apparently opposite things said of Christ, than it would be the different things said about the law. There were different sides to Christ’s nature, yet he was but one person. So there were different sides to the law, but it was only one law for all that.

  • Viewed in the light of its ultimate design, viz.: to prepare the way for Christ, Rom. 10:4; Gal. 3:23-25, in its spirit, Rom. 7:6; in its righteousness, Rom. 8:3, 4; it was “holy and just and good,” Rom. 7:12.
  • But viewed from the side of its mere letter, Rom. 2:29; 7:6; 2 Cor. 3:6, 7; its numerous rites, ceremonies, penalties and rigorous exactions, it was “the ministration of death,” 2 Cor. 3:7; and a “yoke of bondage,” Gal. 5:1-3; Acts 15:1-10.

This is the true explanation of their “two laws.”

Further, it is not true that there was nothing ceremonial in the decalogue. The weekly Sabbath was the chief ceremonial of all the Jewish worship. The Bible is so clear on this. Jesus, Paul categorized Sabbath a ceremonial. Mainstream Jews believe it. Early Christians taught it. Early father’s who learned from apostles wrote about it. Luther, Bunyan and scores of other godly men preached it. In fact no moral law is called a SIGN in the Bible; but only the rituals and ceremonies such as Passover, Circumcision, & the Sabbaths.

PROPOSITION 3. THE TEN COMMANDMENTS ALONE ARE NEVER CALLED “THE LAW OF THE LORD” NOR THE “LAW OF GOD.” Sabbatarians constantly use these two terms, applying them to the decalogue alone. With them “the law of God” and “the law of the Lord” is just the decalogue and nothing more. They are the only ones who keep God’s law, as all others break the Sabbath, the seventh day.

But now notice this fact which is simply the truth. The word law occurs in the Bible over 400 times, yet in not one single instance is the decalogue as a whole and alone called “the law.” It is never in a single instance called “the law of the Lord,” or “the law of God.” Of course the ten commandments are a part of the law of God, but only a part, not the whole. Examine a few texts:

Luke 2:22. “The days of her purification according to the law of Moses;” verse 23, “It is written in the law of the Lord, every male that openeth the womb;” verse 24, It is “said in the law of the Lord, a pair of turtle doves;” verse 27, “To do for him after the custom of the law.”

Here “the law,” “the law of the Lord,” and “the law of Moses,” all mean the same thing, viz: the law touching the birth of a son.

Again, sacrifices, offerings, Sabbaths, new moons and feasts are all required “in the law of Moses.” “He appointed also the king’s portion of his substance for the burnt offerings, to-wit, for the morning and evening burnt offerings, and the burnt offerings for the Sabbaths, and for the new moons and for the set feasts, as it is written in the law of the Lord.” 2 Chron. 31:3.

Scores of texts like these could be quoted, showing that “the law of the Lord” includes sacrifices, circumcision, feast days and all the Jewish law. So “the law of God” is not simply the decalogue, but the whole law of Moses. Read Neh. 8:1, 2, 3, 7, 8, 14, 18. “The book of the law of Moses,” “the law,” “the book of the law,” “they read in the book of the law of God,” “the law which the Lord commanded by Moses,” “the book of the law of God.”

The law of God, then, includes the whole law of Moses.

No Sabbatarian, therefore, keeps “the law,” “the law of God,” or “the law of the Lord,” for if he did he would offer sacrifices, be circumcised, and live exactly as the Jews did.

So all their talk about “keeping the law” amounts to nothing, for none of them do it.

Moreover in their attempt to keep a part of that law they thereby bring themselves under obligation to “keep the whole law,” as Paul argues in Gal. 5:3. But as none of them keep the whole law, they bring upon themselves the curse of the law, by constantly violating one part while attempting to keep another. This is the very point which Paul made against Judaizing legalists of his day. “For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: For it is written, cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to them.” Gal. 3:10.

That is, the person who keeps one precept of the law just because the law says so, thereby acknowledges that the law is binding on him. Then if he neglects some other part of the law, he thereby becomes a transgressor of the very law he professes to keep. This is exactly what Sabbatarians do. They keep the Sabbath because the law says so and thereby become “debtors to do the whole law.” Gal. 5:3. Then they neglect many things in the same law and so are under the condemnation of the law. Gal. 3:10. But Christians do this or that, not because the law of Moses says so, but because so says law of Christ as commanded through the commandments of Jesus and apostles in the New Covenant, that was established after His resurection.

PROPOSITION 4. “THE LAW” WAS GIVEN BY MOSES AND THE “LAW OF MOSES” INCLUDES THE DECALOGUE. Not that Moses was the author of it, but it was through him God gave it to Israel. This is stated so distinctly and so many times that it is useless to deny it. Thus:

“For the law was given by Moses,” John 1:17.

“Did not Moses give you the law?” John 7:19.

“The law which the Lord had commanded by Moses,” Neh. 8:14.

“God’s law which was given by Moses,” Neh. 10:29.

Law of Moses includes the decalogue.

Moses said, Honor thy father and thy mother,” Mark 7:10. This is the fifth commandment. Again: “Did not Moses give you the law and yet none of you keepeth the law? Why go ye about to kill me?” John 7:17. The law against killing is here called the law of Moses.

In Heb. 10:28, it is said that “he that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses.” Persons were put to death for violating the decalogue. See Deut. 17:6. They were put to death for breaking the Sabbath, Ex. 31:14, blasphemy, theft, and the like. Hence the decalogue is included in the “law of Moses.” But in verse 24 they said ye must “keep the law.” So in one verse it is “the law of Moses” and in another verse it is simply “the law”: Hence there is no difference between “the law” and “the law of Moses.”

PROPOSITION 5. “THE LAW” WAS NOT GIVEN TILL THE TIME OF MOSES AND SINAI. The texts above quoted prove this. Thus: “The law was given by Moses.” John 1:17. “Did not Moses give you the law?” John 7:19. “For until the law sin was in the world; but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses.” Rom. 5:13-14.

The entrance of this law is here located at Moses. Again it is located under the Levitical priesthood. “If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, for under it the people received the law.” Heb. 7:11.

So the giving of the law is located “430 years after the covenant with Abraham.” “And this I say, that the covenant that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul.” Gal. 3:17.

This brings us to the very year the Jews came out of Egypt and arrived at Sinai. “And it came to pass at the end of 430 years, even the self-same day it came to pass, that all of the hosts of the Lord went out from the land of Egypt.” Ex. 12:41. Beyond dispute, then, what the Bible calls “the law” was not given till Moses, 2,500 years after Adam, or nearly half the history of the world.

PROPOSITION 6. THE LAW IS NO WHERE FOUND TILL MOSES. No copy of this law nor any reference to it can be found till Moses. Of course God’s great moral and spiritual law, condemning every sin and requiring every righteous act – existed from Adam, nay, from eternity. That’s how Adam and Eve sinned, Jospeh knew adultery was sin.

But what in all the Jewish Scriptures is known as “the law,” as drawn out in a code on Sinai, whether in a book or on the tables of stone, this certainly did not exist till Moses.

The whole dispute between Paul and the Judaizers of his day was over this law. See Romans, Galatians and Acts 15 and 21. The question was whether “the law,” that which was written in “the book of the law,” Gal. 3:10, and “engraved in stones,” 2 Cor. 3:7, was to be kept under the gospel. Paul said, No; they said, Yes.

Sabbatarians now stick for the national law of Sinai as did the Judaizers of old.

To say that the principles of the law existed before Sinai, does not prove that the law existed. These principles could have been taught to Adam and his descendants in a different form from the law as afterwards given at Sinai. But where do you find the law or even one of the ten commandments, as worded on Sinai, before that time? Nowhere.

The various principles and precepts, moral, ceremonial, and typical, which had previously been taught in different ways, were now gathered into one code and worded so as to adapt them, for the time being, to the circumstances of the Jewish nation. As thus worded, certainly this law had never been given before (see also Decalogue Examined).

PROPOSITION 7. THEIR FATHERS DID NOT HAVE THE DECALOGUE AS WORDED ON THE TABLES. This Moses directly states. Deut. 4:12, 13, says God spoke to them from heaven, and declared to them “his covenant,” “even ten commandments,” Chap. 5:2, 3, says: “The Lord our God made a covenant with us in Horeb. The Lord made not this covenant with our fathers, but with us.” Then he repeats the ten commandments as spoken from heaven. Verses 4-22;

That the main principles and requirements of this code were taught to the fathers (Abraham, Isaac, Jacon) in some way no one can doubt; but that the fathers had the law as worded and arranged at Sinai is directly denied by Moses, as above.

PROPOSITION 8. THE LAW WAS GIVEN ONLY TO THE JEWS. This is so manifest in every item of the law, that it needs no argument to prove it. Moses says, Deut. 4:8, that no nation has a law so good “as all this law which I set before you this day.” Then he names the ten commandments as a part of it. Verses 10-13. “This is the law which Moses set before the children of Israel.” Verse 44. Before whom? Israel, not the Gentiles.

So again, Chap. 5:1. “Hear, O Israel, the statutes and judgments which I speak in your ears.” Then follows the decalogue. So it is a hundred times over all through the law. It is addressed to the Jews and to them only. The very wording of the law shows it was designed for them only.

THIS IS A NATIONAL LAW FOR ISRAEL, NOT UNIVERSAL.

The decalogue is introduced thus: “I am the Lord thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods” Ex. 20:2,3. To whom is that applicable? Only to the Jewish nation. Neither angels, Adam, nor Gentile Christians were ever in Egyptian bondage. Then this law is not addressed to them. To whom was the law given. Let Paul answer.

“Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law.” Rom. 9:4.

It was given to Israel. “Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments.” Malachi 4:4. The law was “for all Israel,” and them only.

All these things show that this was a national law worded to fit the condition of the Jews at the time.

PROPOSITION 9. THE GENTILES DID NOT HAVE THE LAW. This has been proved already; but Paul directly says so.

Rom. 2:14. “For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these having not the law, are a law unto themselves.

This is too plain to need arguing. The Gentiles did not have the law. Paul says so directly and that ought to settle it, and does. To understand and obey the great moral principles of that law is one thing, to be under the letter, the exact wording of the law as given in detail on Sinai, is quite another, as we will see further on.

PROPOSITION 10. THE REWARDS AND PENALTIES OF THE LAW WERE ALL TEMPORAL. There are no promises of future rewards, nor threatenings of future punishments in all the Mosaic law. Every careful student of that law must be aware of this feature of it. The reason is evident: it was a national, temporal law, given for a national, temporal purpose. As a sample of all, see Deut. 28:1-19.

If they keep the law, they shall be blessed in children, in goods, in cattle, in health, etc. If they disobey, they shall be cursed in all these. Stoning to death was the penalty for theft, murder, etc. Hence that was the “ministration of death written and engraved in stones,” 2 Cor. 3:7, and “is done away,” verse 11.

Paul states that the promise of Christ and the future inheritance was made to Abraham four hundred and thirty years before the law was given. From this he argues, and forcibly, too, that the keeping of that law was not necessary in order to obtain Christ and the inheritance. Verses 16-18. “Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, and to seeds, as of many; but as of one, and to thy seed, which is Christ. And this I say, that the covenant that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect. For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise.”

So to the Romans he wrote: “For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect.” Rom. 4:13,14.

This plainly teaches that the law was not given with reference to the future inheritance.

Certainly Abraham did not keep a law which was not given till hundreds of years after he died. But Abraham is the father of all the faithful, and not simply of those who were “of the law.” Rom. 4:13-16. This point alone ought to open the eyes of those who contend so earnestly for the keeping of that law as necessary to salvation. We are the children of Abraham, Gal. 3:29, and “walk in the steps of our father Abraham,” who was never under that law of Moses. Rom. 4:12-16. We are under the covenant of promise made to Abraham 430 years before the law, Gal. 2:15-19, and not under the covenant of law from Sinai, which is bondage. Gal. 4:21-26.

PROPOSITION 11. GOD’S ETERNAL LAW OF RIGHTEOUSNESS EXISTED BEFORE THE LAW OF SINAI WAS GIVEN. This proposition is self-evident. God has a law by which to govern his creatures, both angels and men, long before Sinai. Long before he ‘made’ national laws for Israel. Long before he ‘made’ the ritual sabbath day under the national law. But “the law,” as worded in the decalogue and in “the book of the law,” was not given till Moses, 2,500 years after creation.

Hence universal moral obligation did not begin with that law, nor would it cease if that law was abolished. 

“All unrighteousness is sin.” 1 John 5:17. And “sin is the transgression of the law.” Chap. 3:4. This text is used by Sabbatarians to prove that every possible sin is always a violation of the ten commandments. But,

1. “The law” is the whole Mosaic law, not merely the decalogue.

2. A correct translation entirely spoils this text for them. The word law is not in the text in the original 1 John 5:17. The revised version gives it correctly. “Sin is lawlessness.” This is the true meaning of the text. Sin is lawlessness, a disregard for some law, but not necessarily always the same law. Thus: “The angels sinned.” 2 Pet. 2:4. But they did not violate the law of Sinai, for it was not given till thousands of years after they fell, and they were not under that law any way.

Adam “sinned” long before that law was given. So Paul says, Rom. 5:12-14. Cain sinned, Gen. 4:7. The Sodomites were “sinners,” Gen. 13:13, and vexed Lot with their “unlawful deeds,” 2 Pet. 2:8.

Surely none of these violated “the law,” which was not given till Moses, hundreds of years afterwards. To say that they must have violated the principles of that law is not to the point. When the Jews killed Stephen, Acts 7:59, they violated the principles of the law of Michigan, which forbids murder; but did they violate the “law of Michigan, USA”? No; for it was not given for 1800 years after. And they were not under it any way. So neither the angels, nor Adam, nor the Sodomites could have transgressed the law of Sinai, for it was not yet given. So Abraham kept God’s laws, Gen. 26:5, but surely not “the law which was four hundred and thirty years after,” Gal. 3:17.

All this clearly shows that God had a higher universal law before the code of Sinai was given.

Jesus, under the gospel 1500 years later, in naming the commandments, gives them neither in the same words nor in the same order as found in the decalogue. Further, he mingles with them some precepts from the book of the law as of equal importance with the ten commandments.

Thus: Do not commit adultery, do not kill, do not steal, do not bear false witness, defraud not, honor thy father and mother. Mark 10:19. This shows that the mere form and order of the commandments is of no consequence as long as the idea is given. So the two editions of the decalogue in Ex. 20 and Deut. 5 vary much in the wording; yet one is as good as the other. This shows that the exact wording is not essential.

In whatever form or manner God chose to communicate his will to men, this would be “his commandments, his statutes, and his laws.” Gen. 26:5. Paul says: “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son.” Heb. 1:1, 2. A disregard for his revealed will would be lawlessness – sin. But to claim that God gave the patriarchs his law in the exact form and words of the ten commandments is a proofless assumption, contrary to reason and all the facts in the case.

PROPOSITION 12. THIS ORIGINAL LAW IS SUPERIOR TO THE LAW OF SINAI. When asked “Which is the great commandment in the law?” Jesus said:

“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” Matt. 22:37-40.

Neither of these is in the decalogue; but that law hangs on this higher law.

These principles, clad in the panoply of eternal immutability, lay back of the Mosaic law and existed with it throughout that dispensation as they had existed before and exist now.

In its very nature this great law of supreme love to God, and equal love to fellow creatures, must be as eternal and everlasting as God himself. This law governs angels, governed Adam, the patriarchs, the pious Jews, while under “the law,” and gentiles without ‘the law’, and Gentile Christians now.

It is applicable to all God’s creatures, in all ages and all worlds.

Idolatry, murder, theft, selfishness and “all unrighteousness,” 1 John 5:17, are and always were violations of this supreme law of God. This great law might be worded in different ways at different times and yet the same essential idea be preserved. Thus Jesus stated the second great commandment in another form.

“Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them; for this is the law and the prophets.” Matt. 7:12.

The idea is the same as “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” The exact words or form in which this law is stated is not material so long as the idea is made plain. Evidently this supreme law must have been made known to Adam and to the patriarchs but in just what form we are not told. To say that it was in the exact words of the decalogue is to affirm what can in no wise be proved.

PROPOSITION 13. THE MOSAIC LAW WAS FOUNDED UPON THE HIGHER AND ORIGINAL LAW. Jesus directly affirms this, Matt. 22:40. “On these two commandments hangs all the law.” The principles of this great law were interwoven all through the law of Sinai, being the life, “the spirit,” or “the righteousness” of “the law.” Rom. 2:26-29; 8:4. As an example, examine Lev. 19. Here you have the second great commandment, verse 18, and the principles of every one of the ten commandments.

Thus: 1st commandment, verse 32; 2nd, verse 4; 3rd, verse 12; 4th, verse 30; 5th, verse 3; 6th, verse 17; 7th, verse 29; 8th, verse 13; 9th, verse 11; 10th verse 35. Mingled among these are commandments about sacrifices, verse 5; harvest, verse 9; clothing, verse 19; priests, verse 22; first fruits, verse 23; wizards, verse 31. Gentiles, verse 34, etc. All these (moral, ceremonial, civil) are founded upon this higher law of love and can be changed to fit circumstances without affecting the supreme law, which is ever the same.

The particular wording of the law as adapted to the Jewish age was “the letter” or “form” of the law for the time being. While the spirit of the law can never change, the letter of it must change to fit the changing circumstances of God’s people.

If a Jew loved God with all his heart, he would have circumcised his sons, offered burnt sacrifices, paid tithes, kept the passover, the new moons, the Sabbath, and attended the temple worship, for this was “the law of the Lord.” 2 Chron. 31:3; Luke 2:22-27.

But if a Christian loves God he will be baptized, Acts 2:38, take the Lord’s supper, 1 Cor. 11:24,  will not neglect meeting together for worship and fellowship (Heb. 10:25), will not judge anyone on the Sabbath whether they observe it or not (Col 2:16, 17), Consider all seven days alike, or some days sacred (Rom 14:5), and do much more.

Hence “there is made of necessity a change also of the law.” Heb. 7:12. This is both Bible and common sense.

Those who make the mere letter of the Jewish law an iron rule, and contend for the exact wording under all circumstances, and in all ages, miss the spirit of the gospel, and are in bondage to a system out of date. Gal. 3:19-25; 4:21-25; 5:1-3, 13, 14; 2 Cor. 3:3-15.

PROPOSITION 14. “THE LAW” OF SINAI WAS GIVEN TO RESTRAIN CRIMINALS WHO WOULD ONLY OBEY GOD THROUGH FEAR. Consider this proposition well. A failure to understand this simple fact is the cause of all the blunders of Sabbatarians and legalists in their extravagant and unscriptural praises of “the ministration of death written and engraven in stones.” 2 Cor. 3:7.

On this point hear Paul state why that law was made and notice that it is of the moral precepts of the law that he speaks. “Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, for whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine.” 1 Tim. 1:9, 10.

There can be no doubt that he refers to the code of Sinai, that which prohibited murder, thefts, etc. This law he says was not made for a righteous man but for the lawless. Of this law in another place Paul says: “Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions.” Gal. 3:19. Again, “The law entered that the offense might abound.” Rom. 5:20, and, “until the law sin was in the world,” verse 13.

Hence it is manifest that sin, offense and transgression existed before “the law” was given, and that it was given to prohibit already existing crimes. Evidently God put the race on trial from Adam to Moses under the same eternal law of right and love which governed the angels and holy men. But mankind failed shamefully. They did not live by that rule. They became lawless. Disregard of God and open violence towards men were increasing, till life and property were insecure. Then God selected one nation, the Hebrews, and gave up the rest to their own ways. Rom. 1:20-28.

Up to this time God’s people had not been a nation by themselves but had dwelt among other nations and had been subject to their civil laws which prohibited open violence and protected life and property. But as soon as they became a nation by themselves, it became absolutely necessary to have a national law of their own which would prohibit and punish open crime, such as murder, theft, adultery, etc. Life and property would not have been secure without this, because many among them were wicked, lawless men, “stiff-necked and rebellious.”

If all had been righteous, if all had loved God and their neighbors, there would have been no need of a prohibitory law with a death penalty. We can readily see the reason why Paul says “the law was not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless,” These lawless ones would have robbed and murdered the righteous ones had there been no national, temporal law to protect them, for these, wicked men would have cared little about God’s higher law, which pertains to the future judgment. But as the Jewish government was a theocracy, one in which God himself was ruler, the law required and regulated service to him as well as duties among themselves.

Hence to this nation God gave the law of Sinai. Ex. 20:2. Would it have been given if men had obeyed God without? Paul has settled that point. “The law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient.” l Tim. 1:9.

Then the law was not made till man had sinned, Rom. 5:13, offended, verse 20, transgressed, Gal. 3:19, and became lawless.

This then is not God’s original law by which he prefers to govern men. It was a law largely of prohibitions, threats, pains and penalties.

Its object was to restrain open crime, protect men in their natural rights and preserve the knowledge of God in the earth till Christ should come. Gal. 3:19-25. In order to keep that nation separate from all others, many burdensome rites were incorporated into the law which made it a yoke of bondage. Acts 15:10; Gal. 5:1, 3.

When Christ came, and the Jewish nation was rejected and dispersed, and their national law overthrown, and the gospel went to all nations, that law had served its purpose, and so passed away as a system. Matt. 5:17-18; Rom. 10:4; Gal. 3:24; Heb. 7:12-19.

Now Christians are not under the Aaronic priesthood, nor the Jewish law. Heb. 7:11, 12; but are under the priesthood of Melchisedec, verses 14-19, as was Abraham our father, Gen. 14:18-20, who never had “the law” of Sinai, Gal. 3:17, but walked by the higher law which governs angels and holy men, Gen. 26:5.

The Jewish law being removed, we now come under the same law by which Enoch and Abraham “walked with God.” The sermon on the mount is a beautiful elucidation of that law, the rule by which all Christians should live, and by which all sinners will be judged at the judgment.

Now, as in the days before Moses, God’s people are not a nation by themselves, but are scattered among all nations where they are governed and protected by the civil law of those nations.

Hence the New Testament provides no civil law for the government of Christians, no temporal penalties for criminals. It would be directly contrary to the nature of the gospel to do either.

All this is left to the rulers of nations wherever Christians happen to be. Open criminals, who will not obey from principle, the higher law, are now turned over to the civil magistrate. Paul makes this matter very plain and puts the question beyond dispute.

Thus: “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God; and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou, then, not be afraid of the power? Do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain; for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience’ sake. For, for this cause pay ye tribute also; for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing.” Rom. 13:1-6.

There is where you find prohibitory law for “the lawless;” that is, in the civil law of the land where they live. This punishes their crime against society. Their offenses against God’s great law will be recompensed at the judgment, but the saints of God must be governed by the higher law, the law of supreme love to God and equal love to fellows. Such obedience can come only from a heart renewed by the Spirit of God, 2 Cor. 3:3, and “if ye be led of the Spirit ye are not under the law.” Gal. 5:18.

Is any man a Christian who refrains from murder, theft, and adultery, simply because the law says, “Thou shalt not”? No, indeed, he must refrain from these from a higher motive than that.

Then surely he must be governed by a higher law than the decalogue. “Love is the fulfilling of the law.” Rom. 13:10. The dispute between Paul and the Judaizers then was over the nature and obligation of the Jewish law. The dispute now concerning the Jewish Sabbath involves the same point, the obligation of the letter of the Jewish law.

PROPOSITION 15. THE LETTER OF THE LAW IS NOT BINDING UPON CHRISTIANS AS A COERCIVE CODE. Little argument ought to be needed to prove this; for if the letter of that law is binding, then we must be circumcised; offer sacrifices, keep the seventh day and all the Jewish ritual, for “the law” included the whole law, Gal. 3:10; 5:3.

Notice in the following text that “the righteousness of the law” and the spirit of the law is one thing, while “the letter” and outward service is quite another. Notice further that a man may “fulfill the law” without keeping the letter of it, and thus condemn the formalist who keeps the letter of the law but not the spirit of it. Paul says:

“If the uncircumcision keep the righteousness of the law, shall not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision? And shall not uncircumcision which is by nature, if it fulfill the law, judge thee, who by the letter and circumcision dost transgress the law? For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly, neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh. But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.” Rom. 2:26-29.

Paul argues that Christians must be circumcised, but not “outwardly in the flesh,” as formerly, but “inwardly in the spirit, not in the letter.” By this he illustrates the difference between keeping the law now and formerly. So, further on: “Ye are not under the law but under grace.” Rom. 6:14. So in the next chapter he says:

“But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.” Rom. 7:6.

How can one misunderstand language so plain? Now, under Christ, we are delivered from the law of Moses; that law is dead, and we serve Christ in the spirit, “not in the old letter.” So again he says, urging this point: “That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit.” Chap. 8:4. Paul uses the word “flesh” for the outward “works of the law.” See Gal. 3:2, 3. We do not walk according to the outward form of the law, but we do obey the intent and spirit of it or its “righteousness,” as he here calls it.

The higher law of God, supreme love to God and equal love to our neighbors, upon which the Jewish law hung, was the “spirit,” “righteousness,” or real intent of “the law.” This “first and great” law Christians do keep, while free from the mere letter of the law, which was bondage. Hence to the Galatians who were being troubled with Judaizing legalists, Paul wrote: “For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.” Gal. 5:13, 14, 18.

How he reiterates the truth in all his letters, that Christians are not under the law; that they are called to a liberty which Jews never enjoyed. Notice how he states it over and over that all the law is fulfilled in this, Love your neighbor as yourself. “Love is the fulfilling of the law.” “He that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.” Rom. 13:8, 10.

This is not a liberty to licentiousness and self-indulgence; but it is a liberty from the forms and ceremonies of the law which bound the Jews.

In Jer. 31:3l-34, it was foretold that the Lord would make a “new covenant” with Israel, “not according” to the one he made at Sinai; for he would put his laws in their hearts and minds. This clearly indicated a change from the previous formal way of governing God’s people. Paul thus refers to that prophecy: “not in tables of stone, but in fleshly tables of the heart.” “Who also hath made us able ministers of the New Testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.” 2 Cor. 3:3, 6.

Now the law for the Christian is not that written in the book or on the tables of stone. It was not the letter but the spirit of that law which the apostles taught. So Paul says. Then he says that “the ministration of death written and engraven in stones, was” “done way.” Verses 7, 11.

Surely, then, Christians are free from the letter of that law; but it is still to be studied with reverence and its spirit carried out in Christian duties though in form these must differ from Jewish duties. The voluntary gathering on the Lord’s resurrection day meets the spirit of the fourth commandment. We are circumcised in heart, not in the flesh. Rom. 2:26-29.

Hence, the coming of Christ did not repeal any moral law, and the ceremonial law was not repealed, but fulfilled. All that was permanent, useful, or spiritual in the Mosaic economy remains, NOT IN THE LETTER OF STATUTES, but in the fulfilled and completed dispensation of grace.

The following, from Peter, is a fair illustration of the spiritual application of the old law which the apostles make all through the gospel: “Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 2:5. The old temple, priesthood, and sacrifices of the law, now have a spiritual meaning as found in the church and its service.

PROPOSITION 16. THE LAW WAS CHANGED. Jeremiah predicted that under the new covenant, God’s law would be written in the heart and not as it was before. “I will put my law in their inward parts and write it in their hearts.” Jer. 31:33. Paul refers to this when he says, Ye are our epistle “written not with ink, but with the spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshly tables of the heart.” 2 Cor. 3:3. So then God’s law is not now written on tables of stone as at Sinai. This is a square contradiction to what Adventists teach. They claim that God’s law is still on stones in heaven the same as of old. Paul says no, it is written by the spirit upon the heart.

This implied a radical change in the form of the law and the way it was to be taught. In Heb. 7:12, it is expressly declared that “there is made of necessity a change also of the law.” The letter of the Jewish law is wholly unfitted to the condition of the Christian church. It can only be a guide to us as modified and interpreted by the gospel. But in the gospel there is no injunction to keep the seventh day or circumcision law. Hence the letter of that command does not concern us.

PROPOSITION 17. THE WHOLE MOSAIC SYSTEM ENDED AT THE CROSS. Surely this is so plainly taught all through the New Testament that no one should deny it. But we have clearly proved that “the law” included the whole code of laws given to Israel at Sinai, moral, civil, and ceremonial precepts, decalogue and all.

That entire system of law was framed to fit the Jewish age and could not possibly be applied to Gentile Christians in all parts of the world. Hence a “new way,” Heb. 10:20, a “new covenant,” Heb. 8:13, a new “ministration,” 2 Cor. 3:8, was introduced, so there was “made of necessity a change also of the law,” Heb. 7:12.

Examine carefully a few texts to which I will refer. “The law was given by Moses but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.” John 1:17. This teaches a change. “Ye are not under the law, but under grace.” Rom. 6:14. “The law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster,” Gal. 3:24, 25. “Ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ,” Rom. 7:4. “Now we are delivered from the law,” verse 6. “Christ is the end of the law,” Rom. 10:4. “The ministration of death written and engraven in stones was glorious.” “That which is done away was glorious,” 2 Cor. 3:7, 10. That ends the decalogue.

“Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances,” Eph. 2:15. “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to the cross.” “Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of a holy day, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath days,” Col. 2:14, 16, “For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law.” “For there is verily a disannulling of the commandment going before for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof.” “For the law made nothing perfect but the bringing in of a better hope.” Heb. 7:12, 18, 19.

Read Acts 15:1-29 and see this whole matter of “the law” discussed by the apostles and settled in these words:

“Forasmuch as we have heard that certain which went out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls, saying, YE MUST be circumcised, and keep the law; to whom we gave no such commandment.” Verse 24.

The, decision is positive and clear: the apostles gave no commandment to “keep the law.” It does not say “ceremonial law,” or a part of the law, but simply “the law.” Adventists say we must keep the law or “ye can not be saved,” exactly what those Judaizers said, verse 1, and just what the council condemned.

Circumcision was specially mentioned because it was the initiatory rite, the sign which represented the whole law. Thus when a Gentile would partake of the privileges of the nation, he had first to be circumcised. Ex. 12:48. To be uncircumcised was to be a heathen, unclean, and lost; to be circumcised was to be an Israelite, a member of the holy nation.

Hence circumcision represented the whole law of Moses in all its parts.

Elder Butler, Adventist leader, has to confess this. He says: “The term ‘the law,’ among the Jews generally included the five books of Moses, thus including the whole system, moral, ritual, typical, and civil. This as a system these Judaizing teachers desired to maintain. Circumcision was a sign of the whole.” Law in Galatians, page 70.

Never was a truer statement.

Circumcision was the sign of the whole Mosaic system, moral, typical, civil, all that was written in the five books of Moses, of which the decalogue was a chief part. The apostles decided that Gentile believers were free from this whole system of law. Put with Butler’s statement this from Elder Smith, another leading Adventist, and you have the whole truth:

That which was abolished at the cross was an entire system. God did not single out and abolish portions and pieces of some arrangement or system, and leave other parts remaining.” Synopsis of Present Truth, page 259.

Correct; the whole system ended at the cross.

PROPOSITION 18. NO PART OF GOD’S GREAT SPIRITUAL LAW WAS ABOLISHED, RE-ENACTED, OR CHANGED AT THE CROSS. Adventists make a great ado over the absurdity of the idea that God should abolish his law at the cross and then immediately re-enact nine-tenths of it. They say, as well cut off your ten fingers to get rid of one bad one and then stick nine on again. So they go on with a whole jumble of absurdities involved in the position that God’s moral law was abolished at the cross and a new one given. But this is only a man of straw of their own making and hence easily demolished.

We hold no such absurd position. God’s great moral law is unchangeable.

 But the Mosaic law was only a national one founded upon the principles of God’s moral law. Even while it existed it did not supersede God’s higher law, and when it ended it in no way affected God’s law, which continued right on unchanged and unchangeable.

To illustrate:

The state law of Michigan forbids murder, theft and adultery. In these items it is founded upon God’s moral law. Now abolish the law of Michigan. Does that abolish God’s law? No.

So with the state law of Israel. Neither its enactment on Sinai nor its abolition at the cross in any way changed God’s great moral law by which he will judge the world. The Advent absurdities grew out of their own false theory, that is all.

Adventists agree with us that the law of Moses, Acts 15:5, was abolished. Well, that law contained many precepts as purely moral as anything in the decalogue.

Here are some: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart.” Deut. 6:5. “Love thy neighbor as thyself.” “Ye shall not steal, neither deal falsely, neither lie one to another.” Lev. 19:11, 18.

Scores of such precepts are all through this law which they admit was abolished. They are just as moral, spiritual, and necessary as anything in the ten commandments, and yet all this law was abolished as they admit. But did that abolish the duty enjoined in these precepts? No, because they were inherent in a higher law.

Just so every moral principle involved in the decalogue existed in a higher law before that document was given, and so did not cease when that law expired.

Elder White himself makes this admission: “The ten commandments are adapted to fallen beings. As worded in the sacred Scripture, they are not adapted to the condition of holy angels, nor to man in his holy estate in Eden. * * * But the two grand principles of God’s moral government did exist before the fall, in the form of law. * * * These two great commandments embrace all that is required by the ten precepts of the decalogue.” Law and Gospel, pages 4, 5. Good and true.

Then the ten commandments are not God’s primary law. They are only temporary, while that containing all that is moral in them, and much more, continues always.

“The teachings of Christianity are facts and principles, not propositions and restrictions; its institutions are simple outlines, not precise ceremonies; and its laws are moral sentiments, not minute mechanical directions.” Pulpit Commentary on 2 Cor. 3:6.

This is the truth well put.

So the wicked who do not live by these principles, who do not love God nor their fellows, but who live selfish, corrupt lives, will be judged and condemned by these principles of God’s eternal law.

Do you only keep 9 commandments?

Adventists often asks us if we only keep 9 commandments. This is a shocking question to come from the mouth of a Christian.  Imagine if your child is taught that there are only ten letters in the English alphabet when there are more? The law of God, by which a Christian must live, requires him to do, and to do much. There are over 1000’s of moral commands stated in the Bible, and Christian’s are under the authority of these moral principles. Similarly, there are also commandments that a Christian is not under, but a Jew was under.

In the Adventist mind, the Ten Commandments are the perfect law. Anywhere they find the word law, they are programmed to believe it is only the ten commandments, and nothing more. But this utterly false, and childish (see: Ten Commandments Examined). An Israelite who loved God, not only kept ten laws, they kept all of the 613 laws in the Torah (see the list of 613 commandments here), and that included laws such as do not kill, do not steal, take care of the widows, be circumcised, observe Sabbaths, feast days, cleansing laws, give tithes to the poor, do not indulge in evil thoughts and sights, among many others.

Now the Bible makes it clear that all these 613 laws that He gave Israel was part of the national covenant He made with the nation Israel. Hence, He says:
  • ”The LORD our God made a covenant with us at Horeb” (Deut. 5:2)
  • The stones on which the decalogue was written are called “the tables of the covenant,” (Deut. 9:9)
  • The book in which it was written was called “the book of the covenant,” (Ex. 24:7)
  • The ark in which it was deposited was called “the ark of the covenant,” (Deut. 31:26)

 

The law of this covenant He made with Israel is the law of Moses which had 613 laws, and the ten were “the tables of testimony,” (Ex. 31:18); that is they acted as a witness of that covenant.
”Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments” (Mal. 4:4).
”For the law was given by Moses” (John 1:17) to the nation of Israel, and it included:
”For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother” (Mark 7:10)
”And madest known unto them thy holy sabbath, and commandedst them precepts, statutes, and laws, by the hand of Moses thy servant (Nehmiah 9:14).

The National Law of Israel, which had the 613 commandments, was a temporary national law. It had a beginning, purpose, and an end:

Galatians 3:17, 19 ”The law, which was four hundred and thirty years later [BEGINNING], cannot annul the covenant that was confirmed before by God in Christ. ..Why the Law then? [PURPOSE] It was added because of transgressions, having been ordained through angels by the agency of a mediator, until the seed [JESUS] would come [END] to whom the promise had been made.

The first covenant [law of Moses or ten commandments] has no more authority over a Christian as it has been declared obsolete when God made a new covenant.
Look at the context of the end of Hebrews chapter 8 and the beginning of chapter 9. Remember that there were no chapter separations in the original. It is part of the same line of thought. The author of Hebrews says the old covenant was obsolete, and then defines what that included in the very next verses.
Hebrews 8:13  By calling this covenant “new,” he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and aging will soon disappear. 9:1 Now the first covenant had regulations for worship and also an earthly sanctuary. 2 A tabernacle was set up. In its first room were the lamp stand, the table and the consecrated bread; this was called the Holy Place. 3 Behind the second curtain was a room called the Most Holy Place, 4 which had the golden altar of incense and the gold-covered ark of the covenant. This ark contained the gold jar of manna, Aaron’s staff that had budded, and the stone tablets of the covenant.

Notice that the Old Covenant (now obsolete) included ceremonial aspects, and also the “stone tables of the covenant.” It cannot be any clearer. The Old Covenant included the tables of stone — the ten commandments — the tables of the covenant. The tables of the covenant cannot be anything but the ten commandments. It just stated in the previous chapter, that this was obsolete. and then chapter 9 goes on to define what was included in the obsolete covenant.

The Ten Commandment covenant has now passed away.

“But if the ministry of death, written and engraved on stones (ten commandments), was glorious, ….how will the ministry of the Spirit not be more glorious? For if what is passing away [Ten Commandments] was glorious, what remains is much more glorious” (2 Corinthians 3:7-11, NKJV).


A Christian doesn’t go to the law of Moses or to ten commandments to know whether it is wrong to kill, steal etc.
Instead they now go to the commandments of Jesus and the apostles who ushered in the new covenant. There has always been a higher law of God, that people have come under and will be judged by. Adventists think that the national law of Israel is the same as the eternal law of God.

Paul explained that the national law of Moses is not the same as the law of God, and that Christians nor he was any more under Moses’ law, but the law of Christ:
1 Corinthians 9:19-23 For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a slave to all, so that I may win more. To the Jews I became as a Jew, so that I might win Jews; to those who are under the Law [of Moses], as under the Law [of Moses] though not being myself under the Law [of Moses], so that I might win those who are under the Law [of Moses]; to those who are without law [of Moses – that would be Gentiles], as without law, though not being without the law of God but under the law of Christ, so that I might win those who are without law [of Moses – that is the Gentiles].

To briefly summarize Paul’s points:

  • When Paul was with Jews who were under the Mosaic Law (613 commandments), he acted as if he were under the Mosaic Law (v.20).
  • Paul, as a New Covenant Christian, was not under the Mosaic Law (v.20).
  • When Paul was with Gentiles, who were never under the Mosaic Law, he did not observe the Mosaic Law either (v.21).
  • New Covenant Christians are not without “the Law of God” (v.21).
  • New Covenant Christians are under “the Law of Christ” (v.21).
There are over 1,000’s of commands in the New Testament for Christians to obey. Some of these laws were in the national law of Israel, while some of them have been abolished or have not been commanded for Christians. Some of the laws that are not commanded for Christians in the teachings of Jesus and apostles or laws that have been abolished are Sabbaths, feast days, dietary laws, tithes, circumcision laws, and many others.
Here’s a list of moral and ritual commands restated for Christians in the new covenant era (source: 1050 commandments ). Due to repetitions we can classify them under 69 headings. They cover every phase of man’s life in his relationship to God and his fellowmen, now and hereafter. Here are some of them:

Seven “Abstains” – Abstain from :
  • Idols (ACTS 15:20)
  • Fornication (ACTS 15:20,29; 1 THESSALONIANS 4:2-3)
  • Strangled meats (ACTS 15:20)
  • Eating blood (ACTS 15:20)
  • All appearance of evil (1 THESSALONIANS 5:22)
  • Fleshly lusts (1 PETER 2:11)
 

Seven Things to Avoid:

  • Troublemakers (ROMANS 16:17)
  • Profane and vain babblings (1 TIMOTHY 6:20)
  • False science (1 TIMOTHY 6:20)
  • Unlearned questions (2 TIMOTHY 2:23)
  • Foolish questions (TITUS 3:9)
  • Genealogies (TITUS 3:9)
 

Three “Asks”:

  • Ask and ye shall receive (MATTHEW 7:7)
  • Ask no return of goods (LUKE 6:30)
  • Ask life for backsliders (1 JOHN 5:16)
 

Two Things to Awake to:  

  • Awake to righteousness (1 CORINTHIANS 15:34)
  • Awake to life (EPHESIANS 5:14)
 

Seventy-four “Be’s”: 

  • Be exceeding glad (MATTHEW 5:12)
  • Be reconciled to a brother (MATTHEW 5:24)
  • Be perfect (MATTHEW 5:48; 2 CORINTHIANS 13:11)
  • Be wise as serpents (MATTHEW 10:16)
  • Be harmless as doves (MATTHEW 10:16)
  • Be ready for Christ’s coming (MATTHEW 24:44; LUKE 12:40)
  • Be content with your wages (LUKE 3:14)
  • Be merciful as God (LUKE 6:36)
  • Be like faithful servants (LUKE 12:36)
  • Be thankful (COLOSSIANS 3:15)
  • Be at peace among selves (1 THESSALONIANS 5:13)
  • Be patient toward all people (1 THESSALONIANS 5:14; 2 TIMOTHY 2:24)
  • Be no partaker of sin (1 TIMOTHY 5:22)
  • Be sober and hope (1 PETER 1:13)
  • Be sober and pray (1 PETER 4:7)
  • Be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, charity, and patience (aged men, TITUS 2:2)
  • Be sober, love husbands and children (young women, TITUS 2:4)
  • Be sober minded (young men, TITUS 2:6)
  • Be in behaviour as becoming to saints (aged women, TITUS 2:3)
  • Be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient (young women, TITUS 2:5)
  • Be ready to give an answer of the hope that is in you (1 PETER 3:15)
  • Be of good cheer (JOHN 16:33)
  • Be baptized (ACTS 2:38)
  • Be converted (ACTS 3:19)
  • Be transformed (ROMANS 12:2)
  • Be kind of brotherly love one to another (ROMANS 12:10; EPHESIANS 4:32)
  • Be fervent in spirit (ROMANS 12:11)
  • Be patient in tribulation (ROMANS 12:12)
  • Be given to hospitality (ROMANS 12:13)
  • Be afraid, if lawless (ROMANS 13:4)
  • Be no idolater (1 CORINTHIANS 10:7)
  • Be followers of Paul as he followed Christ (1 CORINTHIANS 11:1; PHILIPPIANS 3:17)
  • Be followers of God (EPHESIANS 5:1)
  • Be followers of the faithful and patient (HEBREWS 6:12)
  • Be children in malice (1 CORINTHIANS 14:20)
  • Be men in understanding (1 CORINTHIANS 14:20)
  • Be steadfast (1 CORINTHIANS 15:58)
  • Be unmoveable (1 CORINTHIANS 15:58)
  • Be always abounding in God’s work (1 CORINTHIANS 15:58)
  • Be strong in the Lord (1 CORINTHIANS 16:13; EPHESIANS 6:10; 2 TIMOTHY 2:1)
  • Be of good comfort (2 CORINTHIANS 13:11)
  • Be of one mind (ROMANS 12:16; 2 CORINTHIANS 13:11; PHILIPPIANS 2:2; 1 PETER 3:8)
  • Be separate from the unclean (2 CORINTHIANS 6:17)
  • Be renewed in spirit (EPHESIANS 4:23)
  • Be angry and sin not (EPHESIANS 4:26)
  • Be tender-hearted one to another (EPHESIANS 4:32)
  • Be filled with the Spirit (EPHESIANS 5:18)
  • Be likeminded (PHILIPPIANS 2:2)
  • Be one of accord (PHILIPPIANS 2:2)
  • Be anxious for nothing (PHILIPPIANS 4:6)
  • Be an example to believers in word, conversation, charity, spirit, faith, and purity (1 TIMOTHY 4:12)
  • Be a partaker of Christian sufferings (2 TIMOTHY 1:8; cp. 1 PETER 4:1)
  • 53. Be gentle to all people (2 TIMOTHY 2:24)
  • 54. Be apt to teach (2 TIMOTHY 2:24)
  • 55. Be instant in season, out of season (2 TIMOTHY 4:2)
  • Be careful to maintain good works (TITUS 3:8,14; cp. MATTHEW 5:16)
  • Be content with what you have (HEBREWS 13:5)
  • Be doers of the Word (JAMES 1:22)
  • Be afflicted and mourn (JAMES 4:9)
  • Be patient till Christ comes (JAMES 5:7-8)
  • Be holy in conversation (behaviour) (1 PETER 1:15-16)
  • Be pitiful (1 PETER 3:8)
  • Be courteous (1 PETER 3:8)
  • Be examples of the flock of God, not lord over it (1 PETER 5:3)
  • Be subject one to another (1 PETER 5:5)
  • Be clothed with humility (1 PETER 5:5)
  • Be sober (1 PETER 5:8)
  • Be vigilant (1 PETER 5:8)
  • Be mindful of prophecies and command­ments (2 PETER 3:2)
  • Be diligent to be found in peace (2 PETER 3:14)
  • Be diligent to be without spot, and blameless (2 PETER 3:14)
  • Be faithful to death (REVELATION 2:10)
  • Be watchful, strengthen self (REVELATION 3:2)
  • Be zealous and repent (REVELATION 3:19)

 

Thirty “Be Not’s”:

  • Be not like the hypocrites in prayer (MATTHEW 6:5)
  • Be not like the heathen in prayer (MATTHEW 6:8)
  • Be not as hypocrites in fasting (MATTHEW 6:16)
  • Be not afraid of man (LUKE 12:4)
  • Be not of doubtful mind (LUKE 12:29)
  • Be not many teachers (JAMES 3:1)
  • Be not afraid of terror (1 PETER 3:14)
  • Be not troubled (1 PETER 3:14)
  • Be not ignorant of time with God (2 PETER 3:8; cp. ISAIAH 57:15)
  • Be not deceived: 10 classes not to inherit the kingdom (1 CORINTHIANS 6:9-10)
  • Be not conformed to world (ROMANS 12:2)
  • Be not slothful in business (ROMANS 12:11)
  • Be not conceited (ROMANS 12:16)
  • Be not overcome of evil (ROMANS 12:21)
  • Be not mere servants of men (1 CORINTHIANS 7:23)
  • Be not children in understanding (1 CORINTHIANS 14:20)
  • Be not deceived by evil companions (1 CORINTHIANS 15:33)
  • Be not unequally yoked together with unbelievers (2 CORINTHIANS 6:14-15)
  • Be not entangled again with keeping the law (Moses’) (GALATIANS 5:1. )
  • Be not deceived: man will reap what he sows (GALATIANS 6:7-8)
  • Be not partakers with sinners (EPHESIANS 5:7)
  • Be not unwise about God’s will (EPHESIANS 5:17)
  • Be not drunk with wine (EPHESIANS 5:18)
  • Be not weary in well doing (2 THESSALONIANS 3:13)
  • Be not ashamed of God (2 TIMOTHY 1:8)
  • Be not slothful (HEBREWS 6:12)
  • Be not forgetful of strangers (HEBREWS 13:2)
  • Be not carried about with different strange doctrines (HEBREWS 13:9)
 

Fourteen “Beware’s”:

  • Beware of false prophets (MATTHEW 7:15)
  • Beware of people (MATTHEW 10:17)
  • Beware of leaven (doctrine) of Pharisees (MATTHEW 16:6-12)
  • Beware of leaven (doctrine) of Herod (MARK 8:15)
  • Beware of hypocrisy (LUKE 12:1)
  • Beware of covetousness (LUKE 12:15)
  • Beware of scribes (MARK 12:38; LUKE 20:46)
  • Beware of lest you despise God and perish (ACTS 13:40-41)
  • Beware of dogs (false teachers, PHILIPPIANS 3:2; ISAIAH 56:10)
  • Beware of evil workers (PHILIPPIANS 3:2)
  • Beware of the concision (Jews, PHILIPPIANS 3:2)
  • Beware of being spoiled through philosophy (COLOSSIANS 2:8)
  • Beware of being spoiled through vain deceit (COLOSSIANS 2:8)
  • Beware of backsliding (2 PETER 3:17)
 

Four Things to Believe: 

  • The gospel (MARK 1:15)
  • God’s existence (HEBREWS 11:6)
  • On Jesus Christ (1 JOHN 3:23)
  • God rewards diligent seeking (HEBREWS 11:6)
 

One Thing Not to Believe:

  • Believe not every spirit (1 JOHN 4:1)
 

Two Classes to Bless: 

  • Those who curse you (MATTHEW 5:44; LUKE 6:28)
  • Persecutors (ROMANS 12:14)
 

Three Things to Cast Out or Away: 

  • The beam out of own eyes (MATTHEW 7:5; LUKE 6:42)
  • Devils (MATTHEW 10:8)
  • All your cares upon God (1 PETER 5:7)
 

Two Classes to Comfort:

  • One another-fellow Christians (1 THESSALONIANS 4:18; 1 THESSALONIANS 5:11)
  • The feeble-minded (1 THESSALONIANS 5:14)
 

Six Classes to Honour:

  • Fathers (MATTHEW 19:19; MARK 10:19; LUKE 18:20; EPHESIANS 6:2)
  • Mothers (MATTHEW 19:19; MARK 10:19; LUKE 18:20; EPHESIANS 6:2)
  • Others (ROMANS 12:10)
  • Widows indeed (1 TIMOTHY 5:3)
  • All people (1 PETER 2:17)
  • Kings – rulers (1 PETER 2:17)
 

Five Things to Charge:

  • Men to be blameless (1 TIMOTHY 5:7)
  • The rich to be humble (1 TIMOTHY 6:17)
  • The rich to trust in God (1 TIMOTHY 6:17)
  • The rich to do good works (1 TIMOTHY 6:18)
  • The rich to lay hold on eternal life (1 TIMOTHY 6:19)
 

Five Things to Consider:

  • The ravens (LUKE 12:24)
  • The lilies (LUKE 12:27-28)
  • Truth (2 TIMOTHY 2:7)
  • That you are capable of falling (GALATIANS 6:1)
  • Christ (HEBREWS 3:1; HEBREWS 12:3)
 

Three Things to Continue in:

  • Love (JOHN 15:9)
  • Prayer (ROMANS 12:12; COLOSSIANS 4:2)
  • Truth (2 TIMOTHY 3:14)
 

Two Things to Covet:

  • The best gifts (1 CORINTHIANS 12:31)
  • To prophesy (1 CORINTHIANS 14:39); cp. things not to covet (EXODUS 20:17; DEUTERONOMY 5:21)
 

One Thing Not to Cast Away:

  • Your confidence in God (HEBREWS 10:35)
 

Two Things to Endure:

  • Hardness (2 TIMOTHY 2:3)
  • Sufferings (2 TIMOTHY 4:5)
 

Whom to Fear:

  • God (MATTHEW 10:28; LUKE 12:5; 1 PETER 2:17; REVELATION 14:7)
 

Three Things Not to Fear:

  • Man (MATTHEW 10:28; LUKE 12:5)
  • Persecutors (MATTHEW 10:26)
  • No lack of provision (MATTHEW 10:31; MARK 6:8-9; LUKE 12:7)
 

Five Things to Feed:

  • Enemies (ROMANS 12:20)
  • Lambs (JOHN 21:15)
  • Sheep (JOHN 21:16,17)
  • Flock of God (1 PETER 5:2)
  • The church (ACTS 20:28)
 

Four Things to Flee From:

  • Fornication (1 CORINTHIANS 6:18)
  • Idolatry (1 CORINTHIANS 10:14)
  • Hurtful lusts (1 TIMOTHY 6:9-11)
  • Youthful lusts (2 TIMOTHY 2:22)
 

Ten “Do’s”:

  • Do good to them that hate you (MATTHEW 5:44; LUKE 6:27)
  • Do to others what you expect of them (MATTHEW 7:12; LUKE 6:31)
  • Do violence to no man (LUKE 3:14)
  • Do good (LUKE 6:35; ROMANS 13:3)
  • Do this (put God first) and live (LUKE 10:28)
  • Do all to God’s glory (1 CORINTHIANS 10:31; COLOSSIANS 3:17,23)
  • Do all things without murmuring and disputing (PHILIPPIANS 2:14)
  • Do those things, which were seen and heard in me (Paul, PHILIPPIANS 4:9)
  • Do your own business (1 THESSALONIANS 4:11)
  • Do the work of an evangelist (2 TIMOTHY 4:5)
 

Ten “Do Not’s”:

  • Do not judge any on the Sabbath (Col. 2)
  • Do not alms before people (MATTHEW 6:1)
  • Do not sound trumpet before you when giving alms (MATTHEW 6:2)
  • Do not do works of Pharisees (MATTHEW 23:3-33)
  • Do not love in word only (1 JOHN 3:18)
  • Do not give heed to fables (1 TIMOTHY 1:4)
  • Do not give heed to genealogies (1 TIMOTHY 1:4)
  • Do not err (JAMES 1:16)
  • Do not commit adultery (JAMES 2:11)
  • Do not kill (JAMES 2:11)
  • Do not fashion self according to former lusts (1 PETER 1:14)
 

Ten Things to Follow:

  • Christ (MATTHEW 4:19; MATTHEW 8:22; MATTHEW 16:24; MARK 8:34; MARK 10:21; LUKE 9:23; JOHN 21:19)
  • Love (1 CORINTHIANS 14:1; 1 TIMOTHY 6:11; 2 TIMOTHY 2:22)
  • Good (1 THESSALONIANS 5:15; 3 JOHN 11)
  • Righteousness (1 TIMOTHY 6:11; 2 TIMOTHY 2:22)
  • Godliness (1 TIMOTHY 6:11)
  • Faith (1 TIMOTHY 6:11; 2 TIMOTHY 2:22)
  • Patience (1 TIMOTHY 6:11)
  • Meekness (1 TIMOTHY 6:11)
  • Peace (2 TIMOTHY 2:22; HEBREWS 12:14)
  • Holiness (HEBREWS 12:14)
 

Whom to give to:

  • Him that asks (MATTHEW 5:42; LUKE 6:30)
  • Needy saints (ROMANS 12:13)
  • God (COLOSSIANS 3:17; REVELATION 14:7)
 

Whom not to give to:

  • Give not holy things to rebels (MATTHEW 7:6)
  • Give no place to Satan (EPHESIANS 4:27)
 

What to give:

  • Holy things (MATTHEW 7:6; MATTHEW 10:8)
  • Give thanks (EPHESIANS 5:20; PHILIPPIANS 4:6; COLOSSIANS 3:17; 1 THESSALONIANS 5:18)
  • Give time to reading, exhortation, doctrine (1 TIMOTHY 4:13)
  • Give self wholly (1 TIMOTHY 4:15)
  • Give glory to God (REVELATION 14:7)
 

What not to give:

  • Give no offence (1 CORINTHIANS 10:32)
  • Give no heed of fables and command­ments of human beings (TITUS 1:14)
 

How to give:

  • Freely (MATTHEW 10:8; 2 CORINTHIANS 9:6)
  • Good measure (LUKE 6:38)
  • As God has prospered (1 CORINTHIANS 16:2)
  • Willingly (2 CORINTHIANS 8:12)
  • With purpose (2 CORINTHIANS 9:7)
  • Cheerfully (2 CORINTHIANS 9:7)
  • Blessings promised for giving:
  • Returns on the basis of giving (LUKE 6:38; 2 CORINTHIANS 9:6)
  • Reward (MATTHEW 10:42)
  • All grace abounding (2 CORINTHIANS 9:8)
  • All sufficiency (2 CORINTHIANS 9:8)
  • Eternal righteousness (2 CORINTHIANS 9:9)
  • Increased fruits (2 CORINTHIANS 9:10)
  • Enrichment in all things (2 CORINTHIANS 9:11)
 

Six Things to Lay Aside:

  • Wickedness (JAMES 1:21)
  • All malice (1 PETER 2:1)
  • All guile (1 PETER 2:1)
  • All hypocrisies (1 PETER 2:1)
  • All envies (1 PETER 2:1)
  • All evil speakings (1 PETER 2:1)
 

Seven Things to Keep:

  • Keep commandments (MATTHEW 19:17; JOHN 14:15)
  • Keep no company with the 6 classes of professed Christians of 1 CORINTHIANS 5:11
  • Keep yourself pure (1 TIMOTHY 5:22)
  • Keep the gospel commandments until Christ comes (1 TIMOTHY 6:14)
  • Keep the good entrusted you (2 TIMOTHY 1:14)
  • Keep yourself from idols (1 JOHN 5:21)
  • Keep yourself in God’s love (JUDE 21)

 

Two “Go’s”:

  • Go teach (MATTHEW 28:19-20)
  • Go preach (MARK 16:15)
 

Seven “Have’s”:

  • Have faith (MARK 11:22; ROMANS 14:22-23)
  • Have no fellowship with darkness (EPHESIANS 5:11)
  • Have no respect of persons (1 TIMOTHY 5:21; JAMES 2:1-10)
  • Have honest conversation (1 PETER 2:12)
  • Have compassion (1 PETER 3:8; JUDE 22)
  • Have a good conscience (1 PETER 3:16)
  • Have fervent love (1 PETER 4:8)
 

Fourteen “Hold’s”:

  • Hold forth Word of life (PHILIPPIANS 2:16)
  • Hold fast to the good (1 THESSALONIANS 5:21)
  • Hold Christian traditions (2 THESSALONIANS 2:15; 2 THESSALONIANS 3:6)
  • Hold faith (1 TIMOTHY 1:19; 1 TIMOTHY 3:9)
  • Hold a good conscience (1 TIMOTHY 1:19)
  • Hold fast sound doctrine (2 TIMOTHY 1:13)
  • Hold fast till Christ comes (REVELATION 2:25)
  • Hold fast what you have (REVELATION 3:11)
  • Hold your crown (REVELATION 3:11)
  • Hold reputation of ministers (PHILIPPIANS 2:29)
  • Hold eternal life (1 TIMOTHY 6:12,19)
  • Hold hope (HEBREWS 6:18)
  • Hold confidence (HEBREWS 3:6,14)
  • Hold what is heard and received (REVELATION 3:3)
 

One Hundred “Let’s”:

  • Let your light shine (MATTHEW 5:16; LUKE 12:35)
  • Let your conversation be yea, nay (MATTHEW 5:37; JAMES 5:12)
  • Let your enemy have your cloak (MATTHEW 5:40; LUKE 6:29)
  • Let blind leaders alone (MATTHEW 15:14)
  • Let everyone deny themselves (MATTHEW 16:24; MARK 8:34; LUKE 9:23)
  • Let him take up cross (MATTHEW 16:24; MARK 8:34; MARK 10:21; LUKE 9:23)
  • Let him hear (MARK 4:23; LUKE 14:35)
  • Let him share with the needy (LUKE 3:11)
  • Let your loins be girded (LUKE 12:35)
  • Let everyone take your purse and script (LUKE 22:36)
  • Let him sell his garment, buy sword (LUKE 22:36)
  • Let your love be genuine (ROMANS 12:9)
  • Let everyone obey the civil laws (ROMANS 13:1)
  • Let everyone choose his own sabbath day (ROMANS 14:5-7; COLOSSIANS 2:14-17)
  • Let everyone take heed how he builds upon Christ (1 CORINTHIANS 3:10)
  • Let no man deceive himself (1 CORINTHIANS 3:18)
  • Let every man have his own wife (1 CORINTHIANS 7:2)
  • Let every woman her own husband (1 CORINTHIANS 7:2)
  • Let spouses satisfy each other in sexual relations (1 CORINTHIANS 7:4-5)
  • Let them who cannot restrain marry (1 CORINTHIANS 7:9)
  • Let husbands and wives remain unmarried if they separate or, be reconciled (1 CORINTHIANS 7:11)
  • Let the unbelieving ones depart who refuse to remain (1 CORINTHIANS 7:15)
  • Let every man abide in his calling (1 CORINTHIANS 7:17-24)
  • Let no one seek to erase circumcision (1 CORINTHIANS 7:18)
  • Let no one be circumcised (as a religious rite, 1 CORINTHIANS 7:18)
  • Let a father give his daughter in marriage if she desires it (1 CORINTHIANS 7:36-38)
  • Let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall (1 CORINTHIANS 10:12)
  • Let no man seek wealth selfishly (1 CORINTHIANS 10:24)
  • Let everyone examine self when taking the Lord’s Supper (1 CORINTHIANS 11:28)
  • Let the hungry eat at home, not at the Lord’s Supper (1 CORINTHIANS 11:34)
  • Let the speaker in tongues pray for the inter­pretation (1 CORINTHIANS 14:13)
  • Let all things be done to edifying (1 CORINTHIANS 14:26)
  • Let no more than 3 messages in tongues be given in one service (1 CORINTHIANS 14:27)
  • Let one interpret (1 CORINTHIANS 14:27)
  • Let the mind of Christ be in you (PHILIPPIANS 2:5)
  • Let your moderation be known (PHILIPPIANS 4:5)
  • Let your requests be known to God (PHILIPPIANS 4:6)
  • Let no one judge you with regard to meats, drinks, holy days, new moons, and sabbath days (COLOSSIANS 2:14-17; ROMANS 14:5-7)
  • Let no one rob you of your reward by some vain religion (COLOSSIANS 2:18)
  • Let peace rule the heart (COLOSSIANS 3:15)
  • Let the Word dwell in you (COLOSSIANS 3:16)
  • Let speech be with grace (COLOSSIANS 4:6)
  • Let no one deceive you about the day of Christ being at hand (2 THESSALONIANS 2:3)
  • Let no man despise youth (1 TIMOTHY 4:12)
  • Let the speaker in tongues keep silent in church speaking to himself and God if no interpreter present (1 CORINTHIANS 14:28)
  • Let the prophets speak two or three mes­sages and let others judge (1 CORINTHIANS 14:29)
  • Let times be shared in revelation (1 CORINTHIANS 14:30)
  • Let women learn quietly in church or at home (1 CORINTHIANS 14:34-35; 1 TIMOTHY 2:11)
  • Let everyone acknowledge regulation of spiri­tual gifts to be commandments of God (1 CORINTHIANS 14:37)
  • Let rebels to truth remain ignorant (1 CORINTHIANS 14:38)
  • Let all things be done in decent order (1 CORINTHIANS 16:2)
  • Let everyone give as God prospers (1 CORINTHIANS 16:2)
  • Let all things be done in love (1 CORINTHIANS 16:14)
  • Let everyone give cheerfully (2 CORINTHIANS 9:7)
  • Let rebels to truth be accursed (1 CORINTHIANS 16:22; GALATIANS 1:8-9)
  • Let everyone prove their own work (GALATIANS 6:4)
  • Let those taught support the teacher (GALATIANS 6:6)
  • Let the thief steal no more (EPHESIANS 4:28)
  • Let the thief labour instead of stealing to have to give to others (EPHESIANS 4:28)
  • Let no corrupt conversation come from your mouth (EPHESIANS 4:29)
  • Let bitterness, wrath, anger, clamour, evil speaking, and malice be put away (EPHESIANS 4:31)
  • Let no man deceive you with vain words (EPHESIANS 5:6)
  • Let the wives be subject to their husbands (EPHESIANS 5:22,24; COLOSSIANS 3:18; 1 PETER 3:1-6)
  • Let the husbands love their wives (EPHESIANS 5:25,28,33; COLOSSIANS 3:19; 1 PETER 3:7)
  • Let the wives reverence their husbands (EPHESIANS 5:33)
  • Let your conversation (behaviour) be becom­ing of the gospel (PHILIPPIANS 1:27)
  • Let nothing be done through strife or vain glory (PHILIPPIANS 2:3)
  • Let each esteem other better than himself (PHILIPPIANS 2:3)
  • Let worthy elders be doubly honoured (paid) (1 TIMOTHY 5:17)
  • Let servants honour masters (1 TIMOTHY 6:1)
  • Let masters respect servants (1 TIMOTHY 6:2)
  • Let every Christian depart from iniquity (2 TIMOTHY 2:19)
  • Let no man despise you (TITUS 2:15)
  • Let brotherly love continue (HEBREWS 13:1)
  • Let conversation be without covetousness (HEBREWS 13:5)
  • Let patience work perfectly (JAMES 1:4)
  • Let one who lacks, ask for wisdom (JAMES 1:5)
  • Let him ask in faith (JAMES 1:6)
  • Let the exalted rejoice (JAMES 1:9)
  • Let the humble rejoice (JAMES 1:10)
  • Let no man lay temptation to God (JAMES 1:13)
  • Let everyone be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath (JAMES 1:19)
  • Let the wise demonstrate wisdom and knowledge (JAMES 3:13)
  • Let the light-hearted sinners become remorse­ful (JAMES 4:9)
  • Let the afflicted pray (JAMES 5:13)
  • Let the merry sing psalms (JAMES 5:13)
  • Let the sick call elders (JAMES 5:14)
  • Let elders pray for sick, anointing with oil (JAMES 5:14-15; cp. MARK 6:13)
  • Let adorning be more inward than outward (1 PETER 3:3-4; 1 TIMOTHY 2:9-10)
  • Let everyone refrain tongue from evil, and lips from guile (1 PETER 3:10)
  • Let everyone shun evil, do good, seek peace and pursue it (1 PETER 3:11)
  • Let ministers speak for God (1 PETER 4:11)
  • Let no one suffer as a murderer, thief, evildoer, or busybody (1 PETER 4:15)
  • Let no one be ashamed to suffer as a Chris­tian, but be thankful (1 PETER 4:16)
  • Let Christian sufferers commit their souls to God (1 PETER 4:19)
  • Let eternal life abide in you (1 JOHN 2:24-25)
  • Let no man deceive you about being right­eous (1 JOHN 3:7)
  • Let him that hath an ear, hear (REVELATION 2:7,11,17,29; REVELATION 3:6,13,22)
  • Twelve “Let Not’s”:
  • Let not your left hand know what the right hand does (MATTHEW 6:3)
  • Let not man sever those who are married (MATTHEW 19:6)
  • Let not good be evil spoken of (ROMANS 14:16)
  • Let not sin reign in the body (ROMANS 6:12)
  • Let not him that eateth despise him that does not (ROMANS 14:3)
  • Let not him that eateth not judge him that does (ROMANS 14:3)
  • Let not the wife depart from her husband (1 CORINTHIANS 7:10)
  • Let not the husband put away his wife (1 CORINTHIANS 7:11)
  • Let not the Christian put away the unsaved companion who wishes to remain (1 CORINTHIANS 7:12,13)
  • Let not the sun go down on wrath (EPHESIANS 4:26)
  • Let not fornication, uncleanness, covetousness, filthiness, foolish talking, and jesting be mentioned among you as becometh saints (EPHESIANS 5:3-4)
  • Let not unworthy widows be supported by the church (1 TIMOTHY 5:9-16)
 

Forty-two “Let us’s”:

  • Let us walk honestly (ROMANS 13:13)
  • Let us cast off works of darkness (ROMANS 13:12)
  • Let us put on armour of light (ROMANS 13:12)
  • Let us follow things of peace (ROMANS 14:19)
  • Let us follow things that edify (ROMANS 14:19)
  • Let us please neighbour for good (ROMANS 15:2-3)
  • Let us be sincere (1 CORINTHIANS 5:8)
  • Let us not commit fornication (1 CORINTHIANS 10:8)
  • Let us not tempt Christ (1 CORINTHIANS 10:9)
  • Let us not murmur (1 CORINTHIANS 10:10)
  • Let us cleanse ourselves from the filthiness of body and spirit (2 CORINTHIANS 7:1)
  • Let us perfect holiness (2 CORINTHIANS 7:1)
  • Let us walk in the Spirit (GALATIANS 5:25)
  • Let us not desire vain glory (GALATIANS 5:26)
  • Let us not provoke one another (GALATIANS 5:26)
  • Let us not envy one another (GALATIANS 5:26)
  • Let us not be weary in well doing (GALATIANS 6:9)
  • Let us do good to all people (GALATIANS 6:10)
  • Let us do good especially to fellow Christians (GALATIANS 6:10)
  • Let us who are mature press forward toward the mark (PHILIPPIANS 3:14-15)
  • Let us walk by the same rule (PHILIPPIANS 3:16)
  • Let us mind the same thing (PHILIPPIANS 3:16)
  • Let us not sleep spiritually (1 THESSALONIANS 5:6)
  • Let us watch and be sober (1 THESSALONIANS 5:6,8)
  • Let us be content with food and raiment (1 TIMOTHY 6:8)
  • Let us fear losing the soul (HEBREWS 4:1-2)
  • Let us labour to be saved (HEBREWS 4:11)
  • Let us hold fast our profession (HEBREWS 10:23)
  • Let us come boldly to the throne of grace (HEBREWS 4:16; HEBREWS 10:19-23)
  • Let us go on to perfection (HEBREWS 6:1)
  • Let us draw near to God (HEBREWS 10:22)
  • Let us provoke to love and good works (HEBREWS 10:24)
  • Let us not forsake assembling together in worship (HEBREWS 10:25)
  • Let us exhort one another (HEBREWS 10:25)
  • Let us lay aside every weight (HEBREWS 12:1)
  • Let us lay aside besetting sin (HEBREWS 12:1)
  • Let us run race with patience (HEBREWS 12:1)
  • Let us look to Jesus (HEBREWS 12:2)
  • Let us have grace to serve God (HEBREWS 12:28)
  • Let us bear Christ’s reproach (HEBREWS 13:13)
  • Let us offer our sacrifice of praise to God continually (HEBREWS 13:15)
  • Let us love one another (1 JOHN 4:7,11)
 

Eight “Let Us Not’s”:

  • Let us not walk in rioting (ROMANS 13:13)
  • Let us not walk in drunkenness (ROMANS 13:13)
  • Let us not walk in chambering (ROMANS 13:13)
  • Let us not walk in wantonness (ROMANS 13:13)
  • Let us not walk in strife (ROMANS 13:13)
  • Let us not walk in envying (ROMANS 13:13)
  • Let us not judge one another in doubtful things (ROMANS 14:13)
  • Let us not cause others to stumble (ROMANS 14:13)

 

Three Ways to Live:

  • Live peacefully (ROMANS 12:18; 2 CORINTHIANS 13:11)
  • Live free from anxiety and undue care (1 CORINTHIANS 7:28-35)
  • Live no longer in lusts of sin (1 PETER 4:2)

 

Four Commands to “Love”:

  • Love your enemies (MATTHEW 5:44; LUKE 6:27,35)
  • Love your fellow Christians (JOHN 13:34; JOHN 15:12,17; GALATIANS 5:14; 1 PETER 2:17; 1 JOHN 3:23; 2 JOHN 1:5)
  • Love the brotherhood (1 PETER 2:17)
  • Love your brother (1 JOHN 4:21)
  • Two Things Not to Love:
  • The world (1 JOHN 2:15)
  • Things in the world (1 JOHN 2:15)
  • Three Ways to Love:
  • Fervently (1 PETER 2:22)
  • With a pure heart (1 PETER 2:22)
  • As brethren (1 PETER 3:8)
 

One Person to Pray to:

  • Pray to thy Father (MATTHEW 6:6; MATTHEW 6:9; JOHN 16:23-26)
 

Three Things to Pray for:

  • Your persecutors (MATTHEW 5:44; LUKE 6:28)
  • For labourers (MATTHEW 9:38; LUKE 10:2)
  • For one another (JAMES 5:16)

 

Two Ways Not to Pray:

  • Use not vain repetitions like the heathen (MATTHEW 6:7)
  • Do not pray as hypocrites (MATTHEW 6:5)

 

Three Ways to Pray:

  • After this manner pray (MATTHEW 6:9-13)
  • Ask, seek, knock (MATTHEW 7:7-11)
  • Pray in the Spirit (JUDE 20)

 

Four Things to Prove:

  • Prove yourself (2 CORINTHIANS 13:5)
  • Prove what is acceptable to God (EPHESIANS 5:10)
  • Prove all things (1 THESSALONIANS 5:21)
  • Prove accusations against elders (1 TIMOTHY 5:19)

 

Two Commands to Rejoice:

  • Rejoice (MATTHEW 5:12; ROMANS 15:10)
  • Rejoice evermore (1 THESSALONIANS 5:16)
 

Eight “Put Away’s”:

  • Put away wicked people from the congregation (1 CORINTHIANS 5:13)
  • Put away lying (EPHESIANS 4:25)
  • Put away all bitterness (EPHESIANS 4:31)
  • Put away wrath (EPHESIANS 4:31)
  • Put away anger (EPHESIANS 4:31)
  • Put away clamour (EPHESIANS 4:31)
  • Put away evil speaking (EPHESIANS 4:31)
  • Put away all malice (EPHESIANS 4:31)

 

Six “Put Off’s”:

  • Put off the old man (EPHESIANS 4:22; COLOSSIANS 3:9)
  • Put off anger (COLOSSIANS 3:8)
  • Put off wrath (COLOSSIANS 3:8)
  • Put off malice (COLOSSIANS 3:8)
  • Put off blasphemy (COLOSSIANS 3:8)
  • Put off filthy conversation (COLOSSIANS 3:8)

 

Twelve “Put On’s”:

  • Put on Christ (ROMANS 13:14)
  • Put on the armour of light (ROMANS 13:12)
  • Put on the new man (EPHESIANS 4:24; COLOSSIANS 3:10)
  • Put on the whole armour of God (EPHESIANS 6:11,13)
  • Put on the bowels of mercy (COLOSSIANS 3:12)
  • Put on kindness (COLOSSIANS 3:12)
  • Put on humility (COLOSSIANS 3:12)
  • Put on meekness (COLOSSIANS 3:12)
  • Put on longsuffering (COLOSSIANS 3:13)
  • Put on love (COLOSSIANS 3:14)
  • Put on the breastplate of faith and love (1 THESSALONIANS 5:8)
  • Put on the hope of salvation (1 THESSALONIANS 5:8)

 

One Class Not to Rebuke:

  • Elders (1 TIMOTHY 5:1)

Three Things to Rebuke: 

  • Certain sinners (1 TIMOTHY 5:20)
  • Rebels (TITUS 1:13)
  • Works of darkness (EPHESIANS 5:11)

 

Two Ways to Rebuke:

  • With all authority (TITUS 2:15)
  • With all longsuffering (2 TIMOTHY 4:2)

 

Four Things to Rejoice in:

  • Hope (ROMANS 12:12)
  • Blessings of others (ROMANS 12:15)
  • The Lord (PHILIPPIANS 3:1; PHILIPPIANS 4:4)
  • Suffering for Christ (1 PETER 4:13)
 

Six Things to Remember:

  • What you are saved from (EPHESIANS 2:11-12)
  • Those who suffer (HEBREWS 13:3)
  • Those who lead you (HEBREWS 13:7)
  • Truth (JUDE 17,18; REVELATION 3:3)
  • Backsliding, and repent (REVELATION 2:5)
  • Lord’s supper (Luke 22:19)

 

Four Things to Seek:

  • God’s kingdom first (MATTHEW 6:33; LUKE 12:31)
  • God in prayer (MATTHEW 7:7)
  • To edify the church (1 CORINTHIANS 14:12)
  • Things above (COLOSSIANS 3:1)

 

One Command to Stand Fast:

  • Stand fast, and hold Christian traditions (2 THESSALONIANS 2:15)

 

Three Things to Stand Fast With:

  • Loins girt about with truth
  • Breastplate of righteousness
  • Feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace (EPHESIANS 6:14-15)

 

Five Things to Stand in:

  • Faith (1 CORINTHIANS 16:13)
  • Liberty (GALATIANS 5:1)
  • One spirit (PHILIPPIANS 1:27)
  • One mind (PHILIPPIANS 1:27)
  • The Lord (PHILIPPIANS 4:1)

 

Eight Things to Think on:

  • Things about your true self (ROMANS 12:3; 1 CORINTHIANS 3:18)
  • Things true
  • Things honest
  • Things just
  • Things pure
  • Things lovely
  • Things of good report
  • Things of virtue (PHILIPPIANS 4:8)
 

One Way to Think:

  • Think soberly (ROMANS 12:3)
 

Four Commands to “Submit”:

  • Submit one to another (EPHESIANS 5:21)
  • Submit to God (JAMES 4:7)
  • ounger ones are to submit to their elders (1 PETER 5:5)
  • Wives must submit to their husbands (EPHESIANS 5:22; COLOSSIANS 3:18; 1 PETER 3:1-6)
 

Twelve “Take’s”:

  • Take no anxious thought for necessities of life (MATTHEW 6:25,31; LUKE 12:22-30)
  • Take no anxious thought of tomorrow (MATTHEW 6:34)
  • Take no anxious thought of defence (MATTHEW 10:19; MARK 13:9-11; LUKE 12:11-12; LUKE 21:14)
  • Take my yoke upon you (MATTHEW 11:29)
  • Take advantage of freedom (1 CORINTHIANS 7:21)
  • Take the Lord’s Supper in remembrance of Christ (1 CORINTHIANS 11:24-26)
  • Take the shield of faith (EPHESIANS 6:16)
  • Take the helmet of salvation (EPHESIANS 6:17)
  • Take the sword of the Spirit (EPHESIANS 6:17)
  • Take oversight of the flock willingly (1 PETER 5:2)
  • Take oversight of the flock without thought of personal gain (1 PETER 5:2)
  • Take a humble seat (LUKE 14:8)
 

Eighteen “Take Heed’s”:

  • Take heed that you do not alms to be seen by people (MATTHEW 6:1)
  • Take heed not to despise little ones (MATTHEW 18:10)
  • Take heed not to be deceived (MATTHEW 24:4; MARK 13:5; LUKE 21:8)
  • Take heed what you hear (MARK 4:24)
  • Take heed how you hear (LUKE 8:18)
  • Take heed to walk in the light (LUKE 11:35)
  • Take heed to rebuke and forgive (LUKE 17:3)
  • Take heed not to get drunk (LUKE 21:34)
  • Take heed not to surfeit (LUKE 21:34)
  • Take heed not to be overcome with cares (LUKE 21:34)
  • Take heed to yourselves (MARK 13:9; LUKE 17:3; LUKE 21:34; ACTS 20:28)
  • Take heed to the flock of God (ACTS 20:28)
  • Take heed lest you misuse your liberty (1 CORINTHIANS 8:9)
  • Take heed lest you fall (1 CORINTHIANS 10:12; ROMANS 11:21)
  • Take heed to your ministry (COLOSSIANS 4:17)
  • Take heed that you destroy not one another (GALATIANS 5:15)
  • Take heed to yourself and your doctrine (1 TIMOTHY 4:16)
  • Take heed not to backslide (HEBREWS 3:12)

 

Two Ways Not to Walk on:

  • As Sinners (EPHESIANS 4:17)
  • As fools (EPHESIANS 5:15)
 

Four “Thou Shalt’s”:

  • Thou shalt worship God only (MATTHEW 4:10; LUKE 4:8)
  • Thou shalt serve God only (MATTHEW 4:10; LUKE 4:8)
  • Thou shalt love neighbours as yourself (MATTHEW 5:43; MATTHEW 19:19; MATTHEW 22:39; MARK 12:31; LUKE 10:27; ROMANS 13:9; GALATIANS 5:14)
  • Thou shalt love God wholeheartedly (MATTHEW 22:37; MARK 12:30; LUKE 10:27)

 

Seven Things to Walk in:

  • The Spirit (GALATIANS 5:16)
  • Love (EPHESIANS 5:2)
  • The light (EPHESIANS 5:8-9; 1 JOHN 1:7)
  • Watchfulness (EPHESIANS 6:18)
  • Christ (COLOSSIANS 2:6-7; 2 CORINTHIANS 5:17)
  • Wisdom (COLOSSIANS 4:5)
  • Honesty (1 THESSALONIANS 4:12)
 

Eight “Thou Shalt Not’s”:

  • Thou shalt not tempt the Lord (MATTHEW 4:7; LUKE 4:12)
  • Thou shalt not kill (MATTHEW 5:21; MATTHEW 19:18; MARK 10:19; LUKE 18:20; ROMANS 13:9)
  • Thou shalt not commit adultery (MATTHEW 5:27-28; MATTHEW 19:18; LUKE 18:20; ROMANS 13:9)
  • Thou shalt not pray to be seen by people (MATTHEW 6:5)
  • Thou shalt not steal (MATTHEW 19:18; MARK 10:19; LUKE 18:20; ROMANS 13:9)
  • Thou shalt not bear false witness (MATTHEW 19:18; MARK 10:19; LUKE 18:20; ROMANS 13:9)
  • Thou shalt not covet (ROMANS 13:9)
  • Thou shalt not muzzle the ox treading corn (1 CORINTHIANS 9:9; 1 TIMOTHY 5:18)

 

200 Miscellaneous Commands:

  • Abhor what is evil (ROMANS 12:9)
  • A bishop must be (see characteristics of, 1 TIMOTHY 3:2-7; TITUS 1:6-9)
  • Abide in Christ (JOHN 15:4)
  • Abide with worthy ones (MATTHEW 10:11-13; MARK 6:10; LUKE 9:4; LUKE 10:5-8)
  • Accuse none falsely (LUKE 3:14)
  • Add to Christian graces (2 PETER 1:5-7)
  • Admit your own unprofitableness (LUKE 17:10)
  • Admonish one another (COLOSSIANS 3:16)
  • Admonish the unruly (2 THESSALONIANS 3:15)
  • Agree with your adversary (MATTHEW 5:25)
  • Allow no liberty to ensnare you to commit sin (1 CORINTHIANS 10:25-30)
  • Allow no lust of evil in the your body (1 THESSALONIANS 4:5)
  • Allow no cursing and blessing from the same mouth (JAMES 3:10)
  • Anoint your head and wash face when fast­ing (MATTHEW 6:17)
  • Arm your self with a mind to suffer for Christ (1 PETER 4:1)
  • Avenge not yourself (ROMANS 12:19)
  • Awake from death to light (EPHESIANS 5:14)
  • Bear one another’s burdens (GALATIANS 6:2)
  • Behave like men (1 CORINTHIANS 16:13)
  • Bid no false teacher “Godspeed” (2 JOHN 10-11)
  • Bring proof of your repentance (MATTHEW 3:8; LUKE 3:8)
  • Bring your children up in the Lord (EPHESIANS 6:4)
  • Build up your faith (JUDE 20)
  • Call the poor to your feast (LUKE 14:13)
  • Children, obey your parents (EPHESIANS 6:1; COLOSSIANS 3:20)
  • Cleanse the lepers (MATTHEW 10:8)
  • Cleanse your hands you sinners (JAMES 4:8)
  • Cleave to good (ROMANS 12:9)
  • Collect just dues only (LUKE 3:13)
  • Come out from among them (2 CORINTHIANS 6:17)
  • Command and teach these things (1 TIMOTHY 4:11; 1 TIMOTHY 6:2)
  • Commit the truth to faithful teachers (2 TIMOTHY 2:2)
  • Confess your faults one to another (JAMES 5:16)
  • Count it joy when you are tempted (JAMES 1:2)
  • Cut off offending members (MATTHEW 5:29-30; MATTHEW 18:8,9)
  • Deacons must be (see 1 TIMOTHY 3:8-12)
  • Defraud not (MARK 10:19)
  • Desire spiritual gifts (1 CORINTHIANS 14:1)
  • Desire the milk of the Word (1 PETER 2:2)
  • Despise not prophesyings (1 THESSALONIANS 5:20)
  • Destroy none with non-essentials (ROMANS 14:15; 1 CORINTHIANS 8:13)
  • Draw near to God (JAMES 4:8)
  • Eat your own bread in quietness (2 THESSALONIANS 3:12)
  • Earnestly contend for faith (JUDE 3)
  • Edify yourselves with singing (EPHESIANS 5:19)
  • Edify one another (1 THESSALONIANS 5:11)
  • Enter the straight (narrow) gate (MATTHEW 7:13; LUKE 13:24)
  • Examine yourself as to faith (2 CORINTHIANS 13:5)
  • Exercise in godliness (1 TIMOTHY 4:7-8)
  • Exhort servants to obey (TITUS 2:9-10)
  • Exhort one another daily (HEBREWS 3:13)
  • Fear not (LUKE 12:32)!
  • Fight the good fight of faith (1 TIMOTHY 6:12)
  • Follow peace and holiness (HEBREWS 12:14)
  • Forbear one another (COLOSSIANS 3:13)
  • Forbid not children (MATTHEW 19:14; MARK 10:14; LUKE 18:16)
  • Forbid not tongues (1 CORINTHIANS 14:39)
  • Forget not to share (HEBREWS 13:16)
  • Forgive 490 times (MATTHEW 18:22)
  • Forgive (MARK 11:25-26; LUKE 6:37; EPHESIANS 4:32; COLOSSIANS 3:13)
  • Fret not in servitude (2 CORINTHIANS 7:21)
  • Gird up loins of mind (1 PETER 1:13)
  • Give place to wrath (ROMANS 12:19)
  • Give your enemy a drink of water (ROMANS 12:20)
  • Give no occasion to the adversary (1 TIMOTHY 5:14)
  • Glorify God in your body and spirit (1 CORINTHIANS 6:20; cp. ROMANS 12:1-2)
  • Grieve not the Holy Spirit (EPHESIANS 4:30)
  • Grow in grace and knowledge (2 PETER 3:18)
  • Grudge not against another (JAMES 5:9)
  • Harden not your hearts (HEBREWS 3:8-15)
  • Hate flesh-spotted garments (JUDE 23)
  • Have no respect of persons (partiality, preju­dice) (1 TIMOTHY 5:21)
  • Have the same love (PHILIPPIANS 2:2)
  • Have no fellowship with works of darkness (EPHESIANS 5:11)
  • Heal the sick (MATTHEW 10:8; LUKE 10:9)
  • Help propagate truth (3 JOHN 8)
  • Humble yourselves (JAMES 4:10; 1 PETER 5:6)
  • Husbands, love your wives (EPHESIANS 5:25,28; COLOSSIANS 3:19; 1 PETER 3:7)
  • Husbands, be not bitter against your wives (COLOSSIANS 3:19)
  • Instruct rebels in meekness (2 TIMOTHY 2:25)
  • Intreat others according to 1 TIMOTHY 5:1-2.
  • Judge not (MATTHEW 7:1; LUKE 6:37)
  • Have faith before God for things not con­demned in Scripture (ROMANS 14:22-23)
  • Know how to control your body (1 THESSALONIANS 4:4)
  • Lay not up your treasures on earth (MATTHEW 6:19)
  • Lay up your treasures in heaven (MATTHEW 6:20; LUKE 12:33-34)
  • Lay hold on eternal life (1 TIMOTHY 6:12)
  • Leave your parents and cleave to your wife (MATTHEW 19:5; MARK 10:7; EPHESIANS 5:31)
  • Lend, hoping for nothing back (LUKE 6:35)
  • Lie not (COLOSSIANS 3:9)
  • Lift up hands that hang down (HEBREWS 12:12)
  • Look not everyone on your own things only (PHILIPPIANS 2:4)
  • Look diligently not to fail of grace (HEBREWS 12:15)
  • Look diligently lest any root of bitterness defile (HEBREWS 12:15)
  • Look diligently lest any be a fornicator (HEBREWS 12:16-17)
  • Look to yourselves not to lose reward (2 JOHN 8)
  • Look for mercy unto eternal life (JUDE 21)
  • Lust not after evil things (1 CORINTHIANS 10:6)
  • Make a tree good or corrupt (MATTHEW 12:33)
  • Make no provision for lusts (ROMANS 13:14)
  • Make full proof of ministry (2 TIMOTHY 4:5)
  • Make straight paths (HEBREWS 12:13)
  • Mark troublemakers (ROMANS 16:17; PHILIPPIANS 3:17)
  • Mark the unruly (2 THESSALONIANS 3:14)
  • Marvel not if you are hated by the world (1 JOHN 3:13)
  • Masters, be good to servants (EPHESIANS 6:9; COLOSSIANS 4:1)
  • Meditate upon things of 1 TIMOTHY 4:15.
  • Mind not the high things (ROMANS 12:16)
  • Minister as good stewards (1 PETER 4:10)
  • Mortify offending physical members (COLOSSIANS 3:5; ROMANS 8:12-13)
  • Neither be of doubtful mind (LUKE 12:29)
  • No man is to defraud his brother (1 THESSALONIANS 4:6)
  • Neglect not spiritual gifts (1 TIMOTHY 4:14; cp. 2 TIMOTHY 1:6)
  • Obey your leaders (HEBREWS 13:17)
  • Offer the other cheek (MATTHEW 5:39; LUKE 6:29)
  • Ordain no one in a hurry (1 TIMOTHY 5:22)
  • Owe nothing but love (ROMANS 13:8)
  • Overcome evil with good (ROMANS 12:21)
  • Pass the time in fear (1 PETER 1:17)
  • Pay your taxes (ROMANS 13:6)
  • Pay just dues (ROMANS 13:7)
  • Praise the Lord (ROMANS 15:11)
  • Preach (MATTHEW 10:7,27; MARK 16:15; 2 TIMOTHY 4:2)
  • Present your body to God (ROMANS 12:1)
  • Provide things honestly (ROMANS 12:17)
  • Provoke not your children to wrath (EPHESIANS 6:4; COLOSSIANS 3:21)
  • Purge out the old leaven (evil influence) (1 CORINTHIANS 5:7)
  • Purify your hearts of doubt (JAMES 4:8)
  • Put others in remembrance of the essentials (2 TIMOTHY 2:14)
  • Quench not the Spirit (1 THESSALONIANS 5:19)
  • Raise the dead (MATTHEW 10:8)
  • Receive (accept) weak brethren (ROMANS 14:1)
  • Receive one another (ROMANS 15:7)
  • Receive the Word with meekness (JAMES 1:21)
  • Reckon yourself as dead to sin (ROMANS 6:11)
  • Reckon yourself as alive to God (ROMANS 6:11)
  • Recognize the truth (1 CORINTHIANS 10:15)
  • Redeem the time (EPHESIANS 5:16; COLOSSIANS 4:5)
  • Reject heretics (TITUS 3:10)
  • Refuse to support young widows from church funds (1 TIMOTHY 5:11)
  • Remind people of the seven things of TITUS 3:1-2.
  • Render no evil for evil (1 PETER 3:9; ROMANS 12:17)
  • Repent (MATTHEW 3:2; MATTHEW 4:17; MARK 1:15; ACTS 2:38; ACTS 3:19; REVELATION 2:16; REVELATION 3:19)
  • Resist not evil (MATTHEW 5:38-39)
  • Resist the devil (JAMES 4:7; 1 PETER 5:9)
  • Restore backslider in meekness, considering your own life (GALATIANS 6:1)
  • Run to obtain (1 CORINTHIANS 9:24)
  • Salute none by the way (LUKE 10:4)
  • Salute your leaders (HEBREWS 13:24)
  • Sanctify God in your heart (1 PETER 3:15)
  • Save some with fear (JUDE 23)
  • Search the Scriptures (JOHN 5:39)
  • Seek not eats and drinks (LUKE 12:29)
  • Sell to help the needy (LUKE 12:33)
  • Serve the Lord (ROMANS 12:1)
  • Servants, obey masters (EPHESIANS 6:5-8; COLOSSIANS 3:22-25; 1 PETER 2:18)
  • Set the least to judge (1 CORINTHIANS 6:4)
  • Set your affections above (COLOSSIANS 3:2)
  • Shake off the dust of your feet (MATTHEW 10:14; MARK 6:11; LUKE 9:5; LUKE 10:10-11)
  • Show charity to other ministers (LUKE 9:49-50)
  • Show yourself as a pattern (TITUS 2:7)
  • Show four things of TITUS 2:7-8.
  • Sin not (1 CORINTHIANS 15:34)
  • Sing with grace in heart (COLOSSIANS 3:16)
  • Shun vain babblings (2 TIMOTHY 2:16)
  • Speak and do things in view of the judgment day (JAMES 2:12)
  • Speak truth (EPHESIANS 4:25)
  • Speak sound doctrine (TITUS 2:1)
  • Speak no evil of your brethren (JAMES 4:11)
  • Stablish your hearts (JAMES 5:8)
  • Strengthen your feeble knees (HEBREWS 12:12)
  • Strive together for the gospel faith (PHILEMON 27)
  • Study to be quiet (1 THESSALONIANS 4:11)
  • Study (be diligent) to show yourself approved (2 TIMOTHY 2:15)
  • Support the weak (1 THESSALONIANS 5:14)
  • See that no one renders evil for evil (1 THESSALONIANS 5:15)
  • Swear not (JAMES 5:12; MATTHEW 5:33-36)
  • Tarry one for another (1 CORINTHIANS 11:33)
  • Tarry for power (LUKE 24:49; ACTS 1:4-8)
  • Teach one another (COLOSSIANS 3:16)
  • Teach no other doctrine that the truth (1 TIMOTHY 1:3)
  • Tell your brother his fault alone first (MATTHEW 18:15-17)
  • Trust God for your needs as you work (MATTHEW 10:9; LUKE 9:3; LUKE 10:4)
  • Understand the will of God (EPHESIANS 5:17)
  • Use not your liberty as an occasion to sin (GALATIANS 5:13; 1 PETER 1:16)
  • Use hospitality without grudging (1 PETER 4:9)
  • Warn the unruly (1 THESSALONIANS 5:14)
  • Watch and pray (MATTHEW 24:42; MATTHEW 25:13; MARK 13:33,35; MARK 14:38; LUKE 21:36; EPHESIANS 6:18; COLOSSIANS 4:2)
  • Watch in all things (2 TIMOTHY 4:5; 1 CORINTHIANS 16:13)
  • Weep with others (ROMANS 12:15)
  • Withdraw from disorderly brethren (2 THESSALONIANS 3:6,14)
  • Withdraw from evil people (1 TIMOTHY 6:3-6)
  • Wives of deacons must be (see 1 TIMOTHY 3:11)
  • Wives, submit to your husbands (EPHESIANS 5:22; COLOSSIANS 3:18; 1 PETER 3:1-6)
  • Work with your own hands (1 THESSALONIANS 4:11)
  • Work, or do not eat (2 THESSALONIANS 3:10-11)
  • Work out own salvation (PHILIPPIANS 2:12)
  • Yield not your members to sin (ROMANS 6:13)
  • Yield yourself to God (ROMANS 6:13)
  • Yield your members to righteousness (ROMANS 6:13)

Catholic Church Changed the Sabbath?

Adventists and certain Sabbatarians claim that the Sabbath was changed to Sunday by the Catholic Church, and Constantine during the 3rd century. This is utterly false both Biblically and historically, as the practice of meeting on the first day started with the apostles, and continued with the early church in the 1st, 2nd centuries, and it continues till today given the commands, and example of the apostles, and early Christians.
Adventist misquote certain recent century Catholic and Protestant quotes : Catholic & Protestant Confessions as proof that the Catholic Church changed it. But in this Adventist ignore, fail to state, another claim which all these same Catholic authorities always make just as strongly, namely, that their Holy Catholic Church extends back to, and began with, the apostles, who started this practice of meeting on Sunday.
What about these Catholic and Protestant ‘Sabbath was changed’ quotes? 
Firstly, none of those quotes, whether from first or 20th century has any bearing on the Sabbath issue, because the New Testament has settled that the weekly ritual ceremonial Sabbath is a shadow, and is not binding on Christians. Christians can treat every day alike, or consider some days sacred (like the seventh day if you may). However, there is no command or obligation for Christians to observe the seventh day, or Sunday or any day  as a holy day or day of rest for that matter in the new testament (neither in Genesis).
Neither is there an example of Gentile Christians observing the Sabbath anywhere in the New Testament. Of course Jewish converts to Christianity observed not only the Sabbath days, feast days, circumcision laws, purification laws and other laws of the law of Moses, as the Jerusalem church shows in Acts (obviously for valid reasons as they took time to transition out of that old system), until God revealed through the apostles that they are shadows and are no longer binding.
Sabbath was purely a Jewish ritual law, and  none of the Sabbtarians today observe the God commanded Sabbath laws which require not worship or church attendance, but ceasing from labor on the seventh day (Ex. 20:9-10), no travelling (Ex 16:29-30) , no cooking (Ex. 16:23) , no buying (Neh 13:15-17), not working others (Ex. 20:9-10) in any way, among other things. Based on these specific Sabbaths commands, most Sabbatarians are Sabbath breakers.

Secondly, no where in Scripture is it stated that the Sabbath was changed from the 7th day to the 1st day.

If someone (CATHOLIC OR PROTESTANT) say that Sabbath was changed to 1st day from 7th, it is utterly false! Sunday is not a Christian Sabbath or a day of rest, or a holy day to be kept. It was a day Christians gathered to celebrate the resurrection of Christ, for communion (Acts 20:7), and give offerings (1 Corinthians 16:1-2), and they did not view it as the Jewish Sabbath, for they believed that it was abolished (Col. 2:16).
Justin Martyr, an early christian apologist, who was born 70 years after Christ wrote: “Sunday is the day on which we all hold our common assembly … Jesus Christ on the same day rose from the dead” (Apology, I.67).

The belief that the Sabbath was transferred to Sunday is an old error (puritans believed this Sunday Sabbath error, and some protestants still do; but we we disagree with).

The reformers, Calvin and Luther, were careful to state that the Sabbath was not binding on Christians as expressed in the new covenant, but they saw merit in taking a day for rest and worship. It was not until the English Reformation that the Decalogue Sabbath began being promoted. The chief proponents of this were the Puritans. They began to teach that the Sabbath (although they called Sunday the Sabbath) was not abolished, and they instituted strict rules according to the Old Testament regulations. This, of course, affected the other religious English groups, such as the Methodists and the Baptists. Many of these groups came to America, and New England became known for strict Sabbath (Sunday) observance.

WE BELIEVE THIS PURITAN INSPIRED CLAIMS ARE INACCURATE.

We believe what Jesus and the apostles taught was that the ritual Sabbath was a shadow that was fulfilled in Christ (not transferred to another day). These quotes by protestants do nothing to disprove or negate the teaching of the apostles that the ritual Sabbath was abolished!

In fact, this is exactly what some of these protestants that SDA’s fondly quote were also saying, ‘Sunday is not another Sabbath nor a day of rest nor a holy day‘, and neither were they promoting that the Jewish Sabbath should be observed and yet Adventists misquote these statements by ripping them out of their context, propagating that these authors supported the Jewish Sabbath day.

Take for example the quote SDA quote by the following protestant:

Alexander Campbell, The Christian Baptist, Feb. 2, 1824,vol. 1. no. 7, p. 164. “‘But,’ say some, ‘it was changed from the seventh to the first day.’ Where? when? and by whom? No man can tell”
Absolutely true! The Sabbath was abolished, not changed to Sunday! Campbell taught that the Sabbath was abolished like most other protestant writers!
The first day of the week is commonly called the Sabbath. This is a mistake. The Sabbath of the Bible was the day just preceding the first day of the week. The first day of the week is never called the Sabbath anywhere in the entire Scriptures. It is also an error to talk about the change of the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday. There is not in any place in the Bible any intimation of such a change.” (Alexander Campbell, First Day Observance, pp. 17, 19)

”Under the new constitution all disciples live if they knew it; and if you go back to Moses for a Sabbath, you may go back to him for a new moon, a holy day or what you please. And indeed we are, and must be confessed to be, either under the old constitution or the new. We cannot be under both. We cannot live under the English and American constitution at the same time. If I were to go to Moses for a “Seventh Day Sabbath,” I should not blush to take from him an eighth day circumcision or an annual passover. The Christian Baptist, Vol. 3 No. 1, August 1, 1825, pp. 177-178:

”He that keeps the Sabbath of the Jews is a debtor, to do the whole law (torah). The Sabbath could not be changed from the seventh day to the first day, for the reasons given for its observance; nor can the first day of the week be changed into a Jewish or Patriarchal Sabbath, for the reasons which consecrated it to the Lord. (Millennial Harbinger of 1837, p. 279)

So, the protestant quotes that SDA’s quote means nothing. They are misquoted!  Most of these protestants understood that the Bible teaches that Sabbath is a ritual law fulfilled at the cross, no more binding, and Sunday is not the Sabbath, but Sunday is a day for Christian common assembly.
What about the Catholic quotes?
Adventists assume and argue on the assumption that the “Catholic Church” began to be formed about three hundred years after Christ.  However, if the popes or Catholic Church, or Constantine did change the Sabbath (ex: 3rd century), the change could not have been made before that late date (ex:1st & 2nd century).  
Adventists find, and gladly quote, a large number of Catholic catechisms, Catholic priests, and Catholic challenges to Protestants, all boasting that the Holy Catholic Church changed the Sabbath.  Adventists say that this settles the question. 
 

But in this Adventist ignore, fail to state, another claim which all these same Catholic authorities always make just as strongly, namely, that their Holy Catholic Church extends back to, and began with, the apostles, and that the change was made by them.  If Adventists accept one claim of the Catholics, then, to be fair, they should accept both.  But this would overthrow their argument.

We wish Adventists might see error and stupidity in presenting all these statements trying to prove their case and tell the whole truth! 

We will begin with the very highest authority, in the Catholic Church – the Council of Trent. “The Catechism of the Council of Trent,” published by order of Pius IV, contains the creed of the Church.  Every member has to swear to this creed when he joins the Church, hence it is authoritative.  It devotes eight pages to the Sabbath question.  It says:

The Sabbath was kept holy from the time of the liberation of the people of Israel from the bondage of Pharaoh; the obligation was to cease with the abrogation of the Jewish worship, of which it formed a part; and it therefore was no longer obligatory after the death of Christ. The apostles therefore resolved to consecrate the first day of the week to the divine worship, and called it ‘the Lord’s Day’; St.  John, in the Apocalypse, makes mention of ‘the Lord’s Day’; and the apostle commands collection to be made ‘on the first day of the week,’ that is, according to the interpretation of St.  Chrysostom, on the Lord’s Day;” (pages 264, 265).

Notice that this creed says the apostles consecrated the day; it was was called the Lord’s Day.  The Scriptures are quoted to prove all this.  This is the creed of the Roman Church.

Any Catholic priest or writer teaching differently contradicts the sacred creed of his own Church and violates his oath to believe and teach it. Only a misinformed, uneducated group of men, could misquote such statements!

The following is a decisive witness to the position of the Catholic Church as to when they say the day was changed and who changed it.  It is a comment on Acts 20:7, in the Catholic Bible itself.  Observe how they place the change:

”And on the first day of the week.’ Here St.  Chrysostom, with many other interpreters of the Scripture, explain that the Christians, even at this time, must have changed the Sabbath into the first day of the week (the Lord’s Day), as all Christians now keep it: This change was undoubtedly made by the authority of the Church: hence the exercise of the power which Christ had given to her; for He is Lord of the Sabbath.”

In 1913 Monsignor John Bunyan was the special representative of the Pope in America.  Next to the Pope, he was then the highest official authority of that Church in the United States, and what he says is authoritative.  “Why Sunday is the First Day” was the title of an article he furnished the Washington Times, October 11, 1913.  He says:

“In the New Law the time for the fulfillment of this [Sabbath] obligation was changed by the apostles from the Sabbath, or the seventh day of the week, to Sunday, or the first day of the week, primarily to commemorate the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who, early in the morning on the first day of the week, arose, glorious and triumphant, from the dead.  Hence it is that in Scripture, the first, day of the week is called the ‘Lord’s Day’ (Rev 1:10).  It was also on this same day of the week that the Holy Ghost came down upon the apostles, and that the faith and law of Christ was for the first time solemnly published to the world by them.”

On this the Advent Review and Herald, October 23, 1913, says:

“As we read this article we should not forget that we are reading the deliberate declaration of the highest official in America of that Church which claims to reach back to Apostolic days.”

Here, then, by the highest authority deliberately stated, is the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church as to who changed the Sabbath and the time when it was done.  It was done by the apostles, in the time of the apostles.  All Seventh-Day Adventists certainly know this, for it was published by the editor in their official organ, The Advent Review.  Now will they cease teaching that the Catholic Church claims to have changed the Sabbath several hundred years after Christ without Apostolic authority?  PLEASE NOTE the question here is not whether the apostles really did make the change, and all their claims about the sanctity of sunday or if Sunday is the Sabbath, but what does the Catholic Church claim about it, and when they say they did it?  The papal delegate has settled that.

Cardinal Gibbons comes next in authority. Here is the answer:

Baltimore, Md.,July 1896

Dear Sir: In reply to your favor of the 20th inst., to his Eminence the Cardinal, I beg to say:

First.  The Catholic Church dates back to the day when our Lord made St.  Peter the visible head of the Church, and when St.  Peter established, first at Antioch, then at Rome, the seat of his residence and jurisdiction.

In these days and those immediately following, we find traces of the beginning of the custom of the Sunday observance.  You may refer to the Christian writers of that period.  (Confer Ignatius ad Magnes, 9; Justin Martyr, 1, Apol.  59; Tertul., Apol.  16.) All these writers speak of the Sunday as the Lord’s Day; no other more distinct trace has been preserved, and the mention which occurs in the following centuries rests on the fact of a previous custom more or less general.

After the Cardinal, the next highest dignitary in America is Archbishop Ireland.  In answer to our question as to when the Catholic Church changed the Sabbath, this high prelate answered as follows:

St.  Paul, March 1914

My dear Sir:

In answer to your question I would state that the Jewish Sabbath was simply a positive precept in the Mosaic law and lapsed with that law.  The apostles and early Christians instituted the Sunday as a day of special prayer in honor of the great mysteries of the Christian religion, the resurrection and the coming of the Holy Spirit, both occurring on the first day of the week.

Very sincerely, JOHN IRELAND.

That is clear, positive, and directly to the point.  Here is another high Catholic authority, “The Catholic Encyclopedia on Doctrine,” Article, “Sunday”:

“Sunday was the first day of the week according to the Jewish method of reckoning time, but for the Christians it began to take the place of the Jewish Sabbath in apostolic times as the day set apart for the public solemn worship of God” (Acts 20:7; 1 Cor.  16:2; Rev.  1:10).

The same Encyclopedia, Article, “Sabbath,” says:

St.  Paul enumerates the Sabbath among the Jewish observances which are not obligatory on Christians (Col.  2:16; Gal.  4:9-10; Rom.  14:5).  The Gentile converts held their religious meetings on Sunday (Acts 20:7; 1 Cor.  16:2), and with the disappearance of the Jewish Church, with the Christian Churches the day was exclusively observed as the” Lord’s Day.”

Notice that Catholics quote the same texts as Protestants do to indicate the change.  They trace its origin to the New Testament and thus claim Scripture authority for it.  It will be seen that all these high Catholic authorities agree in locating the change in the days of the apostles and by the apostles.

The following is from “The Catholic Dictionary, the Universal Christian Educator, Containing Doctrine of the Church,” by Rev.  Wm.  A.  Addis and Thomas Arnold, A.M., both of the Royal University of Ireland.  Endorsed by Cardinal Manning and Cardinal McClosky.  There could be no better Catholic authority.  Now read, Article, “Sunday”:

The precept of observing the Sabbath was completely abrogated in the Christian Church.  In commemoration of Christ’s resurrection, the Church observes Sunday.  The observance does not rest on any positive law, of which there is no trace.  Sunday is of merely ecclesiastical institution, dating however from the time of the apostles.  Such is the opinion of St.  Thomas.  The Scripture given above (Acts 20:7; 1 Cor.  16:2; Rev.  1:10) shows that the observance of Sunday had begun in the apostolic age; but even were Scripture silent, tradition would put the point beyond doubt.”

I quote all these to show only one point; viz., the time when Catholics claim the change was made by the Church.  They all say it was made by the apostles.  No other date is given or suggested.

Now read the written testimony of two Catholic priests:

TESTIMONY OF A CATHOLIC PRIEST

“Having lived for years among the Seventh-Day Adventists, I am familiar with their claims that the Pope of Rome changed the Sabbath from the seventh to the first day of the week.  Such assertions are wholly unfounded.  Catholics claim no such thing; but maintain that the apostles themselves established the observance of Sunday and that we received it by tradition from them. The councils and Popes afterwards simply confirmed the keeping of the day as received from the apostles.” JOHN MEILER, Rector of St.  John’s Church, Healdsburg, Cal.

A leading Catholic priest of Grand Rapids, Mich., who readily signed it, as will be seen below:

“The Catholic doctrine of the change of the Sabbath is this:

The apostles, by instruction from Jesus Christ, changed the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday to commemorate the resurrection of Christ and the descent of the Holy Ghost, both of which occurred on Sunday.  The change was made by the apostles themselves, and hence by divine authority, at the very beginning of the Church.  There are references to this change in Acts 20:7; 1 Cor.  16:1, 2; Rev.  1:10, etc.  Yet these texts do not state positively such a change; hence Catholics go to the statements of the early Christian Fathers, where this change by the apostles is confirmed and put beyond doubt.

Catholics also rely upon the tradition of the Church which says that the change was made by the apostles.  Catholics never teach that the change of the day was made by the Church two or three hundred years after Christ.  Such a statement would be contrary to all the facts of history and the traditions of the Church.

Even SDA top scholar Samuel Bachiochi proved that Ellen White is a false prophet and her denominations claim that Pope changed the Sabbath was false: I differ from Ellen White, for example, on the origin of Sunday. She teaches that in the first centuries all Christians observed the Sabbath and it was largely through the efforts of Constantine that Sundaykeeping was adopted by many Christians in the fourth century. My research shows otherwise. ( “Free Catholic Mailing List” on 8 Feb 1997)

Not just history, and the new testament, and even SDA scholars admit that all SDA claims about WHEN AND WHO DID THE CHANGE are wrong, and not to be trusted!

Here’s more:

“The Holy Catholic Church began with the apostles.  St.  Peter was the first Pope.  Hence, when they say that the Church changed the Sabbath, they mean that it was done by the Church in the days of the apostles.  Neither the Church nor the Pope, two or three hundred years after the apostles, had anything whatever to do with changing the Sabbath, for the change had been made ages before.  Catholics do not call the first day of the week the Sabbath, for that was Saturday; but they call it Sunday, or the Lord’s Day.  This above statement by Rev.  D.  M.  Canright is true and pure Catholic doctrine.” Rev.  James C.  Pulcher, Pastor of St.  James’ Church, Grand Rapids, Mich.

See how all these Catholic authorities agree.  Now come to the catechisms which Adventists are so fond of quoting.  This is from a ” Systematic Study of the Catholic Religion.” It is the one used by all students in the Catholic High School in Grand Rapids, Mich.  On page 294 I read, “The Church from the time of the apostles has changed the Sabbath into the Lord’s Day.” In the Advent book, “Who Changed the Sabbath?” page 9, the following is quoted from the “Catholic Christian Instructed.”

“Quest.  What are the days which the Church commands to be kept holy?

“Ans.  The Sunday, or our Lord’s Day, which we observe by apostolic tradition instead of the Sabbath.”

You see this catechism refers the change of the Sabbath back to the apostles the same as all other Catholic writers do.  The Church did this in the time of the apostles, Here follows another from the same catechism:

“Quest.  What warrant have you for keeping the Sunday, preferable to the ancient Sabbath, which was the Saturday?

” Ans.  We have for it the authority of the Catholic Church, and apostolic tradition.”

Here we are again referred right back to the apostles as before.

“A Full Course of Instruction in Explanation of the Catechism,” by Rev.  J.  Perry, edited and adapted to the present wants of Colleges, Academies, and Private Families, by a priest of the Mission.  It is endorsed by the Archbishop of St.  Louis, Mo.  Notice that this is the authority studied in families, high schools, colleges, and academies.  Is there any better witness?  Now read: “Third [Sabbath] commandment.  Its obligation transferred from Saturday to Sunday.”

“What day of the week is the seventh day or Sabbath Day?” “It is Saturday.” “Then why do we not keep Saturday holy?” ” Because the Church in the apostles’ time transferred the obligation from the seventh to the first day of the week.” “Why was this done?” “In honor of Jesus Christ, and therefore the first day of the week is called the Lord’s Day (Rev.  1:10).  It was on the first day of the week (or Sunday) that Christ rose from the dead; that He commissioned His apostles to teach all nations; that He empowered them to forgive sins; that He sent down upon them the Holy Ghost; it was on this day that the apostles began to preach the doctrines of Christ and to establish the Christian religion “(pages 168-169).

But do not the catechism and Catholic writers, when controverting Protestants, assert that the “Holy Catholic Church” changed the day?  Certainly, but they also claim that the Catholic Church began with the apostles who changed the day.  Do not Adventists know this?  Yes.  Why, then, do they not tell the whole facts in the case? Let them answer.

Consider the high Catholic authorities quoted on this subject – the Council of Trent; the papal delegate, Cardinal Gibbons; Archbishop Ireland; the Catholic Encyclopedia; the Catholic Dictionary; written statements of priests; and the teachings of the catechism.  All agree that the change in the day was made by the apostles.  Beyond dispute, this establishes the doctrine of the Catholic Church on the origin of the Lord’s Day.  Not a single Catholic authority can be quoted teaching that the change of the Sabbath was made by the Popes or by the Papacy centuries later. 

That is purely an invention of Seventh-Day Adventists.  Here, then, is the testimony of the millions of Roman Catholics, all agreeing that the observance of Sunday as the Lord’s Day originated with the apostles.  Now if Adventists quote the Catholics, then let them abide by their testimony.

Now read “Rome’s Challenge,” “Father Enright’s Challenge,” and a lot of other Catholic “challenges,” which Adventists gleefully gather up and endorse and peddle the world over as unanswerable. 

Read them very carefully and notice particularly that not one of these Catholic “challenges” ever locates the time when the “Catholic Church” made the change.  In all these “Challenges” they adroitly leave this point out, and presume on the ignorance of the general public, which supposes that the Catholic Church began centuries after Christ.  Then Adventists take advantage of this popular idea of the Catholic Church and locate the change about 300 years after Christ.  Such deception is unworthy of Christian teachers.

The position of Protestants on the abolition of the Sabbath is so well known that no proof need be given.  All hold that apostles came together on first day.   Catholics claim just the same as Protestants do that the change of the day was made in the time of the apostles and by the apostles and quote Acts 20:7; 1 Cor.  16:2; Rev.  1:10 to prove it just as Protestants do.  The only difference is that Roman Catholics claim that their Church goes back to the apostles, begins with them and includes them.  Hence, when the apostles changed the day it was done by the “Holy Catholic Church.”

That is the whole of it.  This is exactly what all Protestants teach, except that they deny that the apostles were Roman Catholics.  Adventists deny it too.  So as to when, why, where, and by whom the day was changed Catholics agree exactly with Protestants, and contradict what Adventists quote them to prove.  Reader, remember this, and that Adventist bugbear will frighten you no more.

Hastings’ “Dictionary of the Bible,” Article “Lord’s Day,” says, “When Jesus uttered the cry, ‘It is finished,’ the Mosaic dispensation virtually passed away.  His Resurrection, Ascension, and Outpouring of the Holy Spirit were successive affirmations of the great fact, and the destruction of the temple made it plain to all but the blindest.  But in the meantime nothing is more striking than the tender way in which the apostles and Christians of Jewish birth were weaned from the old religion.  The dead leaves of Judaism fell off gradually.  They were not rudely torn off by man.  The new facts, the new dogmas, the new ordinances first established themselves, and then, little by little, the incompatibility of the old and the new was realized which necessarily issued in the casting off of the old as apostles instructed these through divine inspiration.

“The old things of Judaism were made new in Christianity.  This, however, was not accomplished by a deliberate substitution of one ordinance for another; but first the old ordinances were simply antiquated, and their experience matured under the influence of the Holy Spirit, proved that the positive institutions of the new religion more than fulfilled those of the old.” “Jesus enunciated the great truths of the Gospel, and left them to germinate and bear fruit through their own inherent power”.

Adventists are very good at accumulating out of context quotes to uphold their view that the Sabbath was always the day Christians observed until the Catholic Church changed the day. 

Scripture shows that there is no Sabbath in Genesis, the Jewish Sabbath is a ritual done away, and Christians can treat every day alike. The only recorded times Paul went to the synagogue was when he was preaching to the Jews upon his arrival in any town. He preached on Sabbath until they threw him out; he did not go to the synagogue to worship because He was keeping the day holy. Rather, he was doing it to fulfill the Lord’s commission and his own commitment to preach to the Jews first and also to the Greeks.  

The Biblical record show that apostles met on the first day, and also the writings of the early Christians, church fathers, historians show that the first and second century Christians came together on the first (or sometimes called the eighth) day. So what nonsense it is to claim that a change happened in 3rd century when the change had happened already!

There have always been a few sabbatarians, but never the mainstream.  They have always been fringe groups and considered heretical or cultic by the main church. Most of them were rooted in Judaism and not gentile churches. Then, Sabbatarians began to be resurrected England in the time of the Reformation, over five hundred years ago. Yet, they remain outside mainstream till today. 

Adapted: Catholics and the Change of the Sabbath by Dudley Marvin. Retrieved from: loudcry.org

Sunday worship is not pagan

THE PAGAN ROMANS AND GREEKS HAD NO WEEKLY DAY OF REST, OR FESTIVAL, OR WORSHIP. 

One of the chief arguments which Seventh-Day Adventists make against Sunday worship is this: They say that the pagan nations, especially the Romans, regarded Sunday as a holiday, or festival day: a day of worship of their heathen gods, particularly the sun, on every Sunday, hence Sun-day. 

When these pagans professed Christianity they gradually brought into the Church this pagan custom of a Sunday festival day. Then the apostate Roman Church adopted it from these heathens. So now we are keeping a pagan day, hateful to God. Their literature against Sunday-keeping is largely based on this theory as fundamental. Their “History of the Sabbath ” is saturated with this argument.

Their children and members believe it as firmly as they believe the Bible. Hence, they abominate Sunday worship and delight in showing contempt for it in every possible way. If they are wrong here the very bottom drops out of their anti-Sunday arguments.

Adventist Elder J. H. Waggoner says: “I only take it upon me to fully and clearly show that the Sunday has its origin as a day of regard and observance in paganism and the Papacy.” Scores of such statements are found in their works. By these assertions they frighten the common people into giving up Sunday, because they are not able to answer them. All such statements are absolutely untrue as the following evidence will abundantly prove.

I do not accuse the adventist brethren of any intent to deceive in this matter. Till nearly the last years I was with them, I myself taught the same thing. I did not mean to be untruthful, but, without personal investigation for myself, simply followed our older authors. I know that the other ministers did the same, and their ministers and writers do the same now. Their quotations on this subject in their recent publications easily prove that. It is not intentional dishonesty, but a lack of a candid investigation of historical facts as they really are.

“One of the outstanding features of modern life is the fact that specialized knowledge is always on tap for inquiring minds.

Knowing that our great state and national institutions of learning maintain specialists in every line of knowledge, I decided to apply to them for information on this subject. These learned scholars would have no inducement to be one-sided or unfair. 

These specialists have every possible means of information at hand and devote a lifetime of study to their particular branch of knowledge. It is their business to furnish to inquirers the results of their research. Hence I drew up a list of questions fully covering every possible phase of this subject, as will be seen. I carefully avoided giving any intimation of my views, or of the use I wished to make of their replies, so as not in any way to influence their answers.

The world-renowned British Museum is the highest authority to which I could refer, so I will give this first. I quote my letter to them with their answer to each question one after the other. 

Grand Rapids, Mich., Dec. 8, 1911
British Museum, Department of History, London, England.
Sir: I am commanded by the Assistant Keeper of Greek and Roman Antiquities to reply as follows to your questions on the ancient week:
Q. 1. Did the pagan Romans and Greeks ever have any regular weekly day of rest from secular work?
Ans. No.
 
Q. 2. Did they have any regular weekly festival day?
Ans. No.
Q. 3. Did they have any regular weekly day when they assembled for pagan worship?
Ans. No.
 
Q. 4. Did they have any special day of the week when individuals went to the temples to pray or make offerings?
 
Ans. No; both for Greeks and Romans the month was the unit and not the week. The Greek calendar varied in different states but the month was generally divided into three periods of ten days. The Romans reckoned from three fixed points in the month, the Kalend or first, the Nones fifth or seventh, the Ides thirteenth or fifteenth. These subdivisions in themselves had no religious significance. Also in the Roman calendars were nundinal, or market days, at periods of eight days, or, as the Romans reckoned time. On these days farm work, etc., stopped and citizens flocked into the town markets. To some extent this may be a regular stoppage of secular work.; but it had no religious significance, except that it was considered an evil omen when the nundinal coincided with other festival days, e. g., the: Nones. The nundinal period seems derived from a blundering reminiscence of a quarter of a lunar period, and there seems no connection with the later seven days’ week (see below).
 
Q. 5. As Sunday was sacred to the Sun, Monday to the Moon, Saturday to Saturn, etc., were those supposed deities worshipped on their own particular days more than on any other days?
 
Ans. No; the old worship of the gods was disappearing when the seven-day week came about. The significance of the deities’ names was astrological, not religious, e.g., if a person were born on Monday, the moon would influence his horoscope, but the moon was never an object of common worship.
 
Q. 6. When was our week of seven days first introduced into the Roman calendar?
 
Ans. There are traces in the literature of the late republic (first cent. B.C.) that the Romans used the week of seven days for astrological purposes, in connection with the many Eastern superstitions of the period. It was probably the third century, A.D. before the seven day week came into common use.
 
Q.7. From whom did the Romans learn the week of seven days?
 
Ans. From the Jews, alternately the Assyrians and Babylonians; the names were probably fixed by the Hellenistic Greeks.
 
Q. 8. Did the pagan Greeks ever adopt in common life, or in their calendar, the week of seven days?
 
Ans. No.
 
Q. 9. Did Apollo, the Sun god, either among the Romans or Greeks, have any special day on which he was worshipped with prayers or offerings more than on any other day?
 
Ans. There were certain set festivals at various temples; these were annual, not weekly.
 
Q. 10. Did the pagan reverence for Sunday have anything to do in influencing Christians to select that day as their rest day?
 
Ans. No; it can hardly be said that there was any special reverence forSunday in pagan times (see answer to No. 5).
 
I am, sir,
Your obedient servant,
F. N. PRYCE.

 

You see this historian gives an unqualified NO to all the questions. Notice particularly that the names of the days of the week were all only astrological, not religious. 

There was no religious sacredness attached to a day because it was named after some planet as Sun-day – Sun’s day – or Mon-day, Moon’s day, etc. The sun was not worshipped on Sunday, nor the moon on Monday, nor Saturn on Saturday, etc. 

Also notice carefully that Apollo was not worshipped on Sunday or on any weekday. His festival days were annual, not weekly, as Adventists have taught. Then note that there was no special reverence for Sunday in pagan times. Here again Adventists are proved to be entirely wrong. This again destroys all their contention that Sunday sacredness originated with pagans. The proof is abundant that no such thing was ever known among the pagan Romans or Greeks. Hence, Sunday-keeping could not have originated with them.

Our next witness is from the Smithsonian Institute, Washington, D.C. This great institution of learning is supported by the United States Government. Here the highest qualified specialists in every line of knowledge are employed. Here they have access to every possible means of up-to-date information in the Library of Congress, etc. It will be seen that I addressed nearly the same questions to this learned body and that the answers are the same as from the British Museum: 

Smithsonian Institute, Washington, D.C. September 23, 1914
REV. D. M. CANRIGHT, Grand Rapids, Mich.
 
Dear Sir:
 
I have referred your letter of September 14th to Dr. I. M. Casonawicz, Assistant Curator of Old World Archeology, who furnishes the following replies to your several inquiries:
 
1. Did the pagan Romans and Greeks ever have any regular weekly day of rest from secular work?
Ans. No.
 
2. Did they ever have any weekly festival day?
Ans. No.
 
3. Did they have any regular weekly day when they assembled for paganworship?
Ans. No.
 
4. When was our calendar of the week first introduced among the Romans and Greeks?
Ans. The division of the month into weeks was introduced into Rome from Egypt. The date is uncertain, but it was not earlier than the second century, A.D.
 
5. When was our calendar of the week first recognized in Roman law?
Ans. The earliest Sunday legislation was enacted under Constantine I, 321 A.D. No legislation of earlier date on the division of the month is known.
 
6. As each day of the week was dedicated to some god, as Sunday to the Sun, Monday to the Moon, Saturday to Saturn, etc., was each of these supposed deities worshipped on one particular day more than any other day?
Ans. No.
 
7. Did the pagan Romans have anyone special day in the week when individuals, if they chose, went to make prayers or offerings to their gods?
Ans. No.
8. Did Apollo have any special day in the week or month more than any other day when he was worshipped with prayers or offerings?
Ans. No.
 
Very truly yours,
R. RATHBORN, Assistant Sec. in charge of National Museum.

 

Here we have two of the most reliable witnesses in the world perfectly agreeing. If their testimony is worth anything, then Adventists must revise their theory that Sunday worship originated with pagans.

But here is another witness confirming the other two but giving the answer more in detail. Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass., is the oldest and best known university in America. I addressed the same questions there. George F. Moore, professor of Ancient Roman and Greek History, furnished me the following complete account of all the Roman and Greek festivals. It completely destroys all claim for any pagan sacredness ofSunday.

Professor Moore wrote me as follows:

Divinity Ave., Cambridge, Mass., May 24, 1913
 
Dear Sir:
 
There are two seven-day weeks: the Jewish week, with a Sabbath on the seventh day; and the Astrological week, with days named after the sun, moon, and five planets, in our order determined by the theories of astrology, but without any day of rest. The combination of the two is Christian. 
 
The Astrological week first appears in Greek and Latin writings about the beginning of the Christian era. Its antecedents are unknown. It had no use in ordinary life. Abstinence from labor on the seventh day, or on one day in seven, is a distinctively Jewish institution. The edict of Constantine (321 A.D.) closing the courts on Sunday and prohibiting some kinds of labor on that day, is the first recognition of a seven-day week in Roman law. The ancient Romans had a market day every eight days, when the peasants came to town to market, but it was in no sense a day of rest. In the old Roman calendar there were many days when the courts were closed and other public and private business was not done. They had also many festivals on which the people left their ordinary occupation to take part in the celebrations, but these have no periodicity like that of the week.
 
Very truly yours,
GEORGE F. MOORE

 

In a second letter he says:

Dear Sir: In reply to your inquiries in your letter of November 23d, I would say:

 
1. The planetary week in which the days were named from their regents, Saturday, Sunday, etc., was an invention of the astrologers, probably in the second century, B.C., and has no relation to religion or influence upon it. Saturn, for example, was not worshipped on Saturday, nor Jupiter on Thursday. The festivals of the several gods were never weekly festivals, nor did they occur on days fixed by other divisions of the month, say the tenth day.
 
Yours very truly,
GEORGE F. MOORE

 

It will readily be seen that this is a valuable historical document covering in detail every phase of Roman and Greek festivals. A weekly Sunday festival was utterly unknown to either pagan nation.

No weekly worship or sacredness whatever attached to SundayOur Advent brethren, if candid, must abandon that theory.

The Romans, centuries after Christ, learned the week of seven days, partly from Egyptian astrology and partly from Christians and Jews. The “Standard Dictionary,” Article “Week,” says: “It was not, introduced into the Roman calendar till after the reign of Theodosius in the fourth century.”

The “Universal Dictionary of the English Language,” Article “Week,” says: “During the early centuries of their history the Greeks and Romans had not the institution of the week.”

Webster’s Dictionary, Article “Week,” says: “The week did not enter into the calendar of the Greeks, and was not introduced at Rome till after the reign of Theodosius.

Constantine had been dead over forty years before Theodosius began to reign. So at the time when Constantine issued his Sunday law, A.D. 321, his pagan subjects did not use the week of seven days, hence, could not have, kept the first day of our week till taught it by Christians and required by Constantine’s law.

Prof. A. Rauschenbusch, of Rochester Theological Seminary, quotes Lotz thus: “It is a vain thing to attempt to prove that the Greeks and Romans had anything resembling the Sabbath. Such opinion is refuted even by this, that the Roman writers ridicule the Sabbath as something peculiar to the Jews. In proof he cites many passages from the Roman poets, and one from Tacitus. Seneca also condemned the Sabbath observance of the Jews as a waste of time by which a seventh part of life was lost.” (“Saturday or Sunday,” p. 83)

Herzog says: “No special religious celebration of anyone day of the week can be pointed out in anyone of the pagan religions” (Article “Sabbath”).

The early Christian Father, Tertullian, A.D. 200, bears a decisive testimony that the pagans had no weekly festival, did not keep the Lord’s Day with Christians. Reproving Christians for attending heathen feasts, he says: “Oh, truer fealty of the heathen to their own religion which taketh to itself no rite of the Christians. We are not afraid lest we be openly declared to be heathen! If thou must needs have some indulgence for the flesh too, thou hast it and thou hast not only as many days as they, but even more. For the heathen festival is on but one day in every year, thine upon every eighth day. Gather out the several solemn feasts of the heathen and set them out in order; they will not be able to make up a Pentecost.” (Ante-Nicene Lib.,” Vol. XI, pp. 162-163)

Notice that he says the heathen did not have a festival on the Lord’s Day, nor on Pentecost, and that the heathen festivals came only “once a year” not every week, like the Christian Day. He says that all their feast days, if gathered together, would not be as much as Pentecost. This is decisive, that the heathen did not have a weekly festival day, nor did they have a festival on the same day the Christians did; viz., on the Lord’s Day.

Johnson’s “New Universal Encyclopedia,” Article “Week,” says: “The Greeks divided the month into periods of ten days, and the Romans gathered the days into periods of eight days; with both, the first day of a period was market day, on which country people came to town and stirred up both business and public life. The period of seven days, the week proper, was introduced to the Romans and Greeks, partly by Christianity, partly by Egyptian astronomy.”

This demolishes the theory that keeping the first day of our Christian week came to Christians from the pagan Romans. Exactly the opposite is true. The Jew and Christians taught it to the pagan Romans.

Schaff, in his “Church History,” says: “The pagan Romans paid no more regard to the Christian Sunday than to the Jewish Sabbath.”

The “Encyclopedia Americana,” Article “Week,” says: “The Romans and Greeks each divided the months into periods, and were not acquainted with the week till a late period. The Romans had, however, for civil uses, as the arrangement of market days, a cycle of eight days, the ninth being the recurring one, instead of the eighth as with us.”

It is claimed by (now some) Adventists that Sunday, as a day of worship, came into the Church from pagan Rome. Hence, that is the only question to settle. The simple fact that Sunday was named from the sun, dedicated to the sun, or was sacred to the sun, does not furnish the slightest evidence that people ceased work on that day.

Every day in the week was named from some supposed deity and was sacred to that god. “The World’s Standard Dictionary” says: “Monday, the day sacred to the moon.” Did pagans worship the moon that day? Did they cease work that day? Saturday was Saturn’s day, sacred to Saturn. Did they rest that day? So of all the days of the week. If they rested every day named after some god, when would they work? Sunday was no more sacred than any other day and pagans reverenced none.

So plain is the evidence on this subject that some of the best read Adventists have admitted that pagans did not rest from work on Sunday. Thus Elder J. H. Waggoner says of Constantine’s Sunday law, A.D. 321: “Though the venerable day of the sun had long – very long – been venerated by them and their heathen ancestors, the idea of rest from worldly labor in his worship was entirely new.” (Replies to Elder Canright, p. 130) 

Mark this confession, for it gives up the main pillar of their argument in their effort to prove that Sunday-keeping was taken from the pagans. The pagans never kept Sunday. It was a new idea to them when they were required to cease work that day! Where did they get that new idea? From the emperor who had just recently professed Christianity. He got it from his Christian brethren who had always kept it!

See the folly of arguing that the pagans taught Christians to keep Sunday, when the pagans themselves had never kept it.

Here we have witnesses from Seventh-Day Adventist Sabbath keepers themselves, confessing that the pagans had no weekly day of rest from common work. Of course, they could say nothing else, for all history says the same. So then this point is settled beyond denial.

But Adventists believe and teach it as a fact while all reliable evidence shows that it is all absolutely untrue.

The strong, clear, united historical quotations prove, beyond denial, that the pagan Romans never had any religious regard for Sunday, never had the week of seven days in common life, or in their calendar, or in their civil or religious laws. The very first deference they ever paid to Sunday was in obedience to the law of Constantine the first Christian emperor.

Because one day was named Sunday, sun’s day, and because the ancient Babylonians and others worshipped the sun, therefore Adventists always assume and assert that Sunday was specially devoted to the worship of the sun. 

This ready assumption is entirely groundless. Each day of the week was named from some planet. So also the answers from the above quoted historians all agree that names of the days are purely astrological, not religious. Sun worship had no connection with Sunday whatever, no more than any other day. 

Lord’s day originated from the Bible!

1 Century evidence

Jewish Sabbath no longer a Christian obligation:

Col. 2:16, 17 ”Therefore no one is to act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day

Christians can treat every day alike or consider some days sacred:

Rom. 14:5 One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind.

A.D. 53 – Weekly giving commanded on Sundays for all the churches of Galatia:

1 Corinthians 16:1-2 ‘Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given orders to the churches of Galatia, so you must do also: 2 On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collections when I come.

A.D. 60 – Christian met every day for worship, also gathered for communion on Sunday :

Acts 20:7 “And on the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread”

Early Christians met on Sunday for worship, communion. Never on the Jewish Sabbath for it was abolished (see: Sabbath is ceremonial! Sunday is not a Christian Sabbath or a day of rest, or a holy day to be kept. No more holy days, but Christians met for assembly on the first day since the time of the apostles:

2nd  to 3rd century evidence

AD 140 – Justin Martyr (Rome) wrote:

“Sunday is the day on which we all hold our common assembly … Jesus Christ on the same day rose from the dead” (Apology, I.67).

Ignatius (Antioch) wrote:

”Let every friend of Christ keep the Lord’s Day as a festival, the resurrection-day, the queen and chief of all the days of the week. (Ignatius, Epistle to the Magnesians, chp 9. Ante-Nicene Fathers , vol. 1, pg. 62-63.)

Early Christians understood Sunday as the Lord’ day. John wrote:

Revelation 1:10 ‘I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day’

AD 180 – Bardesanes, Edessa (Asia) wrote:

“On one day the first of the week, we assemble ourselves together.” Book of the Laws of Countries.

AD 194 – Clement of Alexandria (Egypt) wrote:

He does the commandment according to the Gospel and keeps the Lord’s day, whenever he puts away an evil mind . . . glorifying the Lord’s resurrection in himself. (Vii.xii.76.4)

AD 200 – Tertullian in Africa:

“We solemnize the day after Saturday in contradiction to those who call this day their Sabbath.” Apology, Chapter XVI. “We however, just as we have received, only on the day of the Lord’s resurrection, ought to guard not only against kneeling, but even posture and office of solicitude, deferring even our business.” On Prayer, Chapter XXIII.

The New Testament does not give a single example of Christians conducting their religious services on the Sabbath after the resurrection of Christ because Sabbath is abolished (See: No Sabbath in Acts).

For the first several centuries of the church’s existence, the written testimony is uniform that Christians met for worship on Sunday. Dr. Schaff says: “The universal and uncontradicted Sunday observance in the second century can only be explained by the fact that it had its root in apostolic practice.” History of the Christian church, Vol. I, page 478.

There have always been a few sabbatarians, but never the mainstream. They have always been fringe groups and considered heretical or cultic by the main church. Most of them were rooted in Judaism (Jewish converts to Christianity) and not gentile churches. The Ebiionites are an example. Then, Sabbatarians began to be resurrected in England in the time of the Reformation, over five hundred years ago. Yet, they (likes of the SDA’s, church of God) remain outside of mainstream today.

However, they have grown their numbers through the spread of false information (such as sunday is pagan, catholic church changed the Sabbath day in the 3rd century, Sabbath law is universal), conspiracy theories (sunday law etc), and a false understanding of the doctrine of law (see: Decalogue examined, Covenants).

Adapted: The Lord’s Day From Neither Catholics Nor Pagans by Dudley Marvin. Retrieved from: truthorfables.com 

No Sabbath keeping in Acts

The New Testament does not give a single example of Christians conducting their religious services on the Sabbath.

Sabbatarians who read Sabbath verses in ACTS often imagine a church service, where Christians assemble to sing hymns, and the offering plate is passed around and a lovely sermon about the Lord Jesus Christ being preached, by a Christian minister. However, none of these examples were Christian gatherings. Rather they were functions held by the Jews in their places of worship, either in synagogues or open places.

The synagogue services that took place were in accordance with the Torah. Those who gathered to the synagogues in each of the stories were not gathered to glorify Jesus Christ, neither were they worshiping within the parameters outlined for Christians. There were no pastors, elders, deacons etc. The worshipers in the synagogue never partook of the Lord’s supper or baptism. In fact the worshipers were not Christians at all. Rather their religion was Judaism! In each of these instances, Paul disrupts the normal ceremonies practiced by the Jews on the Sabbath and introduces the gospel of Jesus Christ to them for the first time.

A favorite example of Seventh-day Adventist found in the book of Acts is located in chapter Acts 13. So we will begin here. Seventh-day Adventists jump directly to verses 42 through 44 and by doing so fail to see the context of the events.

Acts 13:15-17

And after the reading of the law and the prophets the rulers of the synagogue sent unto them, saying, Ye men and brethren, if ye have any word of exhortation for the people, say on. Then Paul stood up, and beckoning with his hand said, Men of Israel, and ye that fear God, give audience. The God of this people of Israel chose our fathers, and exalted the people when they dwelt as strangers in the land of Egypt, and with an high arm brought he them out of it.

Paul continues to tell the story of the Old Testament from the 40 years of wandering in the wilderness to the first king of Israel, and then on to King David.

Acts 13:23

Of this man’s seed hath God according to his promise raised unto Israel a Saviour, Jesus:

The next Paul speaks about the ministry and John the Baptist, and then continues…

Acts 13:26-27

Men and brethren, children of the stock of Abraham, and whosoever among you feareth God, to you is the word of this salvation sent. For they that dwell at Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they knew him not, nor yet the voices of the prophets which are read every sabbath day, they have fulfilled them in condemning him.

If anything Paul had just insulted the leaders of the synagogue, who had just moments before finished reading from the law and the prophets. This religious gathering was anything but a Christian worship service. Rather it was a gathering of Jews, and religious proselytes from among the Gentiles who gathered for the customary reading from the Torah on the Sabbath, who would experience something quite unexpectedly, a very bold sermon by the apostle Paul.

Acts 13:39

And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.

Acts 13:43

Now when the congregation was broken up, many of the Jews and religious proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas: who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God.

On this particular Sabbath, Paul preached the same Gospel which he wrote to the Romans and the Galatians. Salvation, by grace alone. The religious proselytes i.e. the Gentiles felt less loyalty towards the Law of Moses since their national identity was not attached to it, therefore they were better prepared to receive the Gospel which Paul preached faithfully and without apology.

Acts 13:42

And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them the next sabbath.

We must reiterate two facts which the scripture plainly teaches us when we compare this verse to the next.

These Gentiles were not non-religious bystanders, rather they were religious proselytes to Judaism, converts to Judaism, who customarily listened to the reading of the Torah in the synagogues every Sabbath. No heathen non circumcised unclean gentiles were allowed in the synagogues.

Not all the Jews had left. Look at it carefully…

Acts 13:42-43

And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them the next sabbath. Now when the congregation was broken up, many of the Jews and religious proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas: who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God.

The complex religious practices within Judaism cannot be unlearned within one sermon. For that reason they needed to hear more, much more about the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Acts 13:44

And the next sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God. However these efforts would not go on with out opposition by the religious leaders to whom this synagogue belonged.

Acts 13:46

Then Paul and Barnabas became bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing you put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles.

Up until this verse, Paul had been hoping for success with the Jews and God-fearing Gentiles (converts to Judaism) who had been attending the synagogue. He would later write to the Romans, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believes; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek” (Rom. 1:16). However, after this verse Paul evidently left the synagogue and focused primarily on the Gentiles in Antioch in Pisidia. The Sabbath is never mentioned when only Gentiles (non Jews, not Proselytes) were involved.

Act 13:49-50

And the word of the Lord was published throughout all the region. But the Jews stirred up the devout and honorable women, and the chief men of the city, and raised persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them out of their coasts.

Essentially, Paul hijacked the worship services within the Jewish synagogue in this narrative, and the gospel spread quickly, before Paul and Barnabas were forced to leave. This was not a Christian gathering, rather it was a congregation of Jews and religious proselytes assembled to read the Torah, before the burnt offerings of two lambs were sacrificed, on the festal Sabbath day.

Numbers 28:9-10 And on the sabbath day two lambs of the first year without spot, and two tenth deals of flour for a meat offering, mingled with oil, and the drink offering thereof: This is the burnt offering of EVERY sabbath, beside the continual burnt offering, and his drink offering.

Acts 14:1-23

Acts 14:1 And it came to pass in Iconium, that they went both together into the synagogue of the Jews, and so spoke, that a great multitude both of the Jews and also of the Greeks believed.

After this verse Jews from Iconium and Antioch of Pisidia began following Paul to prevent him from using the synagogues on the Sabbath. Let’s turn to Acts 15.

FIRST JERUSALEM CHURCH COUNCIL: ACTS 15

Acts 15:1 And certain men which came down from Judaea [TO ANTIOCH IN SYRIA] taught the brethren, and said, Except you become circumcised after the manner of Moses, you cannot be saved.

Acts 15:2 [The problem is brought to the apostles and elders in Jerusalem.]

Acts 15:5 But there arose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed, saying that it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses.

This is an extremely important passage concerning both the Law and the Sabbath. Jewish Pharisee Christians, not Paul, insisted that Gentile Christians observe all of the Law of Moses. Note that their definition of the “Law” is not limited to the Ten Commandments. This statement includes a request that the Gentile converts also observe the Sabbath!

In case in doubt what the law of Moses is, here it is once again:

”Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments” (Malachi 4:4)

Deuteronomy 5:2 ”The LORD our God made a covenant with us in Horeb”; ”He declared unto you his covenant, which he commanded you to perform, even Ten Commandments; and he wrote them upon two tables of stone” (Deut. 4:13).

”And madest known unto them thy holy sabbath, and commandedst them precepts, statutes, and laws, by the hand of Moses thy servant (Numbers 9:14)

Now we continue with Acts 15

Acts 15:6‑7 And the apostles and elders came together to consider this matter. And when there had been much disputing….

This conference occurred approximately twenty (20) years after Calvary and the question of Gentile observance of the Law of Moses was still being hotly discussed. Clearly from the nature of the conference, Gentile Christians had not previously been compelled to observe the Sabbath.

Acts 15:10 [Peter said] “Now therefore why do you tempt God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?”

The entire Law is being discussed, including the Pharisees’ favorites circumcision and Sabbath observance.

Acts 15:19 [James the leader said] Wherefore my sentence is, that we do not trouble them which from among the Gentiles are turned to God:

Acts 15:20 But that we write to them that they abstain from pollutions of idols and from fornication and from things strangled and from blood.

Notice that Sabbath observance is NOT placed on the Gentile Christians in verse 20!!!Jerusalem Council under the direction of the Holy Spirit decided that only four items from the law (three ‘ceremonial’ and one ‘moral’) would be imposed upon the Gentiles (who were never under the law given to Israel) in the interest of a peaceful co-existence between them and Jewish Christians who wanted to retain their culture and continue under the law as a way of life (Acts 15:20). Here the transition into a new covenant is introduced to the church.

SECOND MISSIONARY JOURNEY

Acts 16:1-10

Acts 16:4 And as they went through the cities, they delivered the decrees to keep that were ordained of the apostles and elders which were at Jerusalem.

Acts 16:5 And so were the churches established in the faith and increased in number DAILY. 

Paul delivered copies of the letter written by James and the Jerusalem church stating that Gentile Christians were not obligated to observe any of the Law of Moses. The church increased in number “daily” because the gospel was being preached “daily.” However, since the letters (decrees) from the Jerusalem church did not release Jewish Christians from keeping all of the Mosaic Law, we must assume that, at this point in history, many Jewish Christians also kept observing the Sabbath, and other rituals. For Jewish Christians at least, the giving up of the ritual Sabbath day took many years at least until Paul’s explanation of the status of the Law in Romans and Galatians had circulated.

Acts 16:12-13

And from thence to Philippi, which is the chief city of that part of Macedonia, and a colony: and we were in that city abiding certain days. And 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.

Another problem with Adventist’s and other sabbatarian movements is that they do not know the culture or history of Jewish worship. Meeting outside was the custom of the smaller Jewish colonies who dwelt in foreign lands during the first century.

According to historians and scholars, Philippi being a Roman colony, the Jews were not suffered to have a synagogue in it; wherefore Paul and his company, whether on the Jewish sabbath, or on any other day of the week, took a walk out of the city; either for the sake of a walk, or rather to converse together, and consider what was to be done, or to look out for an opportunity to preach the Gospel; and they came to a place.

“Where prayer was wont to be made; or as the words may be rendered, “where was thought to be a place of prayer”; a “proseucha”. This greek word was used to describe a place in the open air where the Jews were wont to pray, outside of those cities where they had no synagogue.

Albert Barnes Bible Commentary

Places for prayer were erected by the Jews in the vicinity of cities and towns, and particularly where there were not Jewish families enough, or where they were forbidden by the magistrate to erect a synagogue. These proseuchoe, or places of prayer, were simple enclosures made of stones, in a grove or under a tree, where there would be a retired and convenient place for worship.”

Adam Clarke’s Bible Commentary

By a river side, where prayer was wont to be made – Οὑ ενομιζετο προσευχη ειναι, where it was said there was a proseucha. The proseucha was a place of prayer, or a place used for worship, where there was no synagogue. See this subject considered at large in the note on Luke 6:12 (note). It appears that the apostles had heard from some of the Gentiles, or from some of the Jews themselves, that there was a place of prayer by the river side; and they went out in quest of it, knowing that, as it was the Sabbath, they should find some Jews there.

These women gathered to the proseucha or “place for worship and prayer” to worship the God of Abraham. They were not Christians. The women had their first contact with Christians that morning by the river. Paul understood that people who have had previous exposure and faith in the Law and the Prophets were ideal candidates for the Gospel. It was Paul’s custom to reason from the scriptures, and demonstrate how Christ fulfilled the Messianic prophecies. Jews, and their proselytes already believed in the inspiration of Scripture. Paul thoroughly enjoyed meeting people who put his teachings to the test.

Acts 16:17‑18

The same [possessed woman] followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which show to us the way of salvation. And she did this many days……

Note the “many days.” Paul was preaching and worshiping every day.

Acts 17:11

These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures DAILY, whether those things were so.

Paul’s pattern continued. Upon arriving at Berea, he went first to the Jewish synagogue where he had an open pulpit. However, Paul’s preaching and teaching continued “daily” because the Bereans “searched the scriptures daily” as Paul presented his arguments daily.

This brings us to our next two examples of the Sabbath in the book of Acts, which further proves, that…

The New Testament does not give a single example of Christians conducting their religious services on the Sabbath.

Acts 17:1-2

Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where was a synagogue of the Jews: And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures,

Acts 17:17 Therefore he disputed in the synagogue with the Jews and with the devout persons and in the market DAILY with them that met with him.

 

Being consistent with his convictions as stated in First Corinthians 9:20-22, Paul preached to the Jews in the synagogue on the Sabbath and worshiped with the Gentiles in the marketplace every other day of the week. There is no Sabbath ever involved with gentiles when Paul met them, for they were never asked to observe the Sabbath nor were they observing it. They worshiped God daily.

Acts 18:4

And he reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks.

Once again, these examples are not Christian gatherings, rather they are taking place in “a synagogue of the Jews.” The purpose of Paul’s visit was to reason with the Jews out of the scriptures concerning Jesus Christ.

persuaded them to continue in the grace of God.” Acts 13:43

“…reasoned with them out of the scriptures,” Acts 17:1-2

“And he reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews.” Acts 18:4

Adventists sweep aside Paul’s one and only purpose for visiting the synagogue, and bring the Sabbath to center stage because it serves their purposes. Adventists quote Acts 17:2, apart from its preceding verse in all their seminars because verse 1 reveals that this was a synagogue filled with Jews and their proselytes who were not keeping the Sabbath in the way that Seventh-day Adventists do, but where rather conducting their ceremonies according to the Torah.

Acts 18:26 And he [Apollos] began to speak boldly in the synagogue. 

Apollos wisely used the same pattern as Paul when he took advantage of an open pulpit on the Sabbath in the synagogue.

Acts 19:8 And he [Paul] went into the synagogue, and spoke boldly for three months disputing and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of God.

Acts 19:9 But when some were hardened and did not believe, but spoke evil of that way before the multitude, he departed from them, and separated the disciples, disputing DAILY in the school of one Tyrannus.

When Paul arrived in Ephesus the second time, he found Apollos’ disciples who were unaware of Christ and Pentecost. They were allowed to preach for three months in the synagogue on the Sabbath before being ejected. Afterwards Paul preached “daily” outside of the synagogue.

Seventh-day Adventists admonish us to follow the example of Paul. If I were to literally do that, it would be the same as if I visited the Adventist church to demonstrate to them from the scriptures how the Ten Commandments were the Old Covenant, and that it was replaced by the Law of Christ, which doesn’t have the Sabbath and many other ritual laws. Hey come to think of that, I think that would be interesting! Imagine if I went from city to city and went into the various Adventist churches on the Sabbath just as Paul did, to reason with them from the scriptures, that I would receive the same kind of mixed reaction, with perhaps the exception of being literally stoned.

In any case, Seventh-day Adventists admonish us to follow the example of Paul. But only practice this where it fits their purposes. Following Paul’s example in a strict sense would place us back under law of Moses, which the Adventists themselves recognize were abolished at the Cross. Not only did Paul meet in the synagogue on Sabbath, while in Jerusalem he also performed the ceremonial law of purification which involved animal sacrifices!

The destruction of Jerusalem, in 70 A. D. was a blessing to the local Church, because it forced them to flee, and allowed them to live free from the pressures of the Jewish culture. The Jewish Christians living in Jerusalem prior to its destruction in 70 A. D. had the greatest difficulty breaking free from the Old Covenant requirements.

Acts 21:20

And when they [the Jerusalem church leaders] heard it, they glorified the Lord and said to him [Paul], You see, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are which believe and they are all zealous of the law:

Acts 21:21

And they are informed about you that you teach all the Jews which are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses saying that they ought not to circumcise their children, neither to walk after the customs.

These verses tell a sad story. The date is approximately 25 years after Calvary and the status of the Mosaic Law was still hotly contested among Jewish Christians. Notice that “many thousands” of Jewish Christians around Jerusalem were still observing ALL of the Mosaic Law, including circumcision and Sabbath-keeping. Those Jewish Christians again accused Paul of not requiring Jewish (not Gentile) converts to do the same. They understood that Paul was instructing Christians not to observe law of Moses, including the custom of Sabbath.

Acts 21:24 THEM TAKE, AND PURIFY THYSELF WITH THEM, AND BE AT CHARGES WITH THEM, THAT THEY MAY SHAVE THEIR HEADS: AND ALL MAY KNOW THAT THOSE THINGS, WHEREOF THEY WERE INFORMED CONCERNING THEE, ARE NOTHING; BUT THAT THOU THYSELF ALSO WALKEST ORDERLY, AND KEEPEST THE LAW.

26 THEN PAUL TOOK THE MEN, AND THE NEXT DAY PURIFYING HIMSELF WITH THEM ENTERED INTO THE TEMPLE, TO SIGNIFY THE ACCOMPLISHMENT OF THE DAYS OF PURIFICATION, UNTIL THAT AN OFFERING SHOULD BE OFFERED FOR EVERY ONE OF THEM.

This verse makes it absolutely clear that Jewish Christians — not Gentile Christians– were still being circumcised, still worshiping at the Temple and still observing the Sabbath [and ALL] of the Mosaic Law.

PAUL EXPLAINS HIS ACTIONS

1 Corinthians 9:19-23

19 For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more.

20 And UNTO THE JEWS I BECAME AS A JEW, THAT I MIGHT GAIN THE JEWS; TO THEM THAT ARE UNDER THE LAW, AS UNDER THE LAW, THAT I MIGHT GAIN THEM THAT ARE UNDER THE LAW;

21 To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law.

22 To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.

23 And this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you.

Gentiles were not required to follow the customs of the Jews:

Acts 21:25 As touching the Gentiles which believe, we have written and concluded that they observe no such thing, except that they keep themselves from things offered to idols, and from blood and from strangled and from fornication.

 

The compromising decisions of the Jerusalem councils in Acts 15 and 21 should be enough proof that Gentile Christians were NOT required to, or expected to, observe the Sabbath. Peter had previously told the first conference, “Now therefore why do you tempt God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?” (15:10) and James, the leader, had earlier declared, “Wherefore my sentence is, that we do not trouble them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God” (15:19) and “Forasmuch as we have heard, that certain which went out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls, saying, You must be circumcised, and keep the [whole] law [including its Sabbaths]: to whom we gave no such commandment” (15:24).

Hence, the Bible no where says that Paul or ANY Christian kept the Sabbath according to the commandment after the resurrection.

  • What we do have are frequent examples of Paul preaching to non-Christian Jews in THEIR synagogue on THEIR Sabbath day, that they are lost without Jesus, and meeting with the Gentiles DAILY! Should this surprise us? Do Sabbatarians Pastors “keep Sunday” if they preach in a Christian church on the first day of the week? Do Sabbatarians Pastors “keep Friday” if they preach to Muslims on a Friday? Paul’s preaching on Saturday is not an example for Christians to observe the ritual Sabbath as clearly shown in the Bible.

If Paul preaching to Jews on the Sabbath day proves he kept the Sabbath, then it also proves Paul kept synagogue worship as well!

If Paul “kept the Sabbath” because he preached Christ to non-Christian Jews on THEIR Sabbath day in THEIR synagogue:

  1. then Paul also kept all the other ceremonial laws that the non-Christian Jews practiced while he was there as well. Sabbatarians should too!

The fact that the Bible mentions Paul preaching on the Sabbath proves we must keep it?

  1. Just because the very first preaching of the Gospel occurred on the day of Pentecost, does not mean Christian must keep Pentecost! Acts 2:1-38
  2. Paul also rushed to get back to Jerusalem on Pentecost: Acts 20:16
  3. Pentecost always fell on a Sunday
  4. Does this mean he was keeping Pentecost feast?
  5. No! It provided him a great opportunity to teach.
  6. No where after the resurrection is there an example for “keeping the Sabbath according to a commandment”, neither is a command for Christians to observe it because sabbath ritual has been fulfilled in Christ, and no longer is a command for Christians.

Paul explicitly states in Col 2:16, 17 that Sabbath was a shadow that pointed to Jesus, and that as such it is not the basis for judgment of a Christian. He explicitly states in Romans 14 that Christians are free to observe special days, and Christians are free to treat very single day the same. Paul says explicitly in Gal. 4 that saying a person is required by God to keep special days and times and so forth, puts the Christian back into the slavery he was set free from.

Adapted: Loudcry.org

 

Sabbath is a ritual law, not moral

The evidence for the Sabbath being a ritual ceremonial law is overwhelming.

The Bible is clear that the weekly ritual Jewish Sabbath is not the same rest as God’s seventh day rest in Genesis (Hebrews 4; see Sabbathismos).

The Decalogue had the ritual Sabbath (the only ritual law in the ten commandments), as a sign of the covenant only for Israel.

The uniform testimony of the prophets, Jesus, apostles, mainstream Jews, early church fathers, and the protestant reformers is this: Sabbath is a ritual ceremonial law. Let’s examine these things to see if they are so.

 

1) The Scriptures clearly state that the weekly Sabbath is a feast day.

Leviticus 23 is the one chapter in the Bible that lists all of God’s feasts – the weekly Sabbath as well as the other Holy Days. Weekly Sabbath is one of Gods’ appointed FEASTS!

Lev 23:1-24 “The LORD said to Moses, “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘These are MY APPOINTED FEASTS, the appointed feasts of the LORD, which you are to proclaim as SACRED assemblies. “There are six days when you may work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of rest, a day of sacred assembly. You are not to do any work; wherever you live, it is a Sabbath to the LORD. “The LORD’s Passover begins at twilight on the fourteenth day of the first month. On the fifteenth day of that month the LORD’s Feast of Unleavened Bread begins; “From the day after the Sabbath, the day you brought the sheaf of the wave offering..On that same day you are to proclaim a sacred assembly and do no regular work.’On the first day of the seventh month you are to have a day of rest, a sacred assembly commemorated with trumpet blasts. Do no regular work, but present an offering made to the LORD by fire.'” The LORD said to Moses, “Do no work on that day, because it is the Day of Atonement, when atonement is made for you before the LORD your God. ”  ‘On the fifteenth day of the seventh month the LORD’s Feast of Tabernacles begins, and it lasts for seven days. The first day is a sacred assembly; do no regular work. It is the closing assembly; do no regular work. (“These are the LORD’s appointed feasts, which you are to proclaim as sacred assemblies for bringing offerings made to the LORD by fire–the burnt offerings and grain offerings, sacrifices and drink offerings required for each day. These offerings are in addition to those for the LORD’s Sabbaths and in addition to your gifts and whatever you have vowed and all the freewill offerings you give to the LORD.)  So Moses announced to the Israelites the appointed feasts of the LORD.

How clear can it be? It is claimed by Seventh-Day Adventists that the Lord here separates out the Sabbath from all other holy days, showing that it is of a different nature, in these words, verses 37, 38: “These are the feasts of the Lord: beside the Sabbaths of the Lord.” Yes, but read the whole verse, “Beside the Sabbaths of the Lord, and beside your gifts, and beside all your vows, and beside all your free-will offerings, which ye give unto the Lord.”

Not only the Sabbath, but gifts, vows and offerings are also excepted with the Sabbath in the same verse. The idea is this: the Sabbath, the gifts, vows and offerings are of regular weekly or daily occurrence, whereas the other holy days and special offerings were to come only once a year at stated seasons. When these yearly offerings and holy days came at the same time of the regular daily or weekly service they were not to take the place of the regular daily and weekly services, but must be observed besides all these. Any one can see that this is the simple meaning of the words “beside the Sabbaths of the Lord, and beside your gifts,” etc. The idea is not to distinguish the Sabbath above the other feasts, but to say that these must be kept in addition to the regular service of the Sabbath and the daily offerings. 

It’s very plain to see what the Sabbath of the decalogue belongs to. It’s a feast day, a ceremonial law, a ritual law.

Simply because Sabbath is placed within the Ten Commandments (location) doesn’t make it a moral law. The reason why Sabbath is categorized with feast days, and ritual law is because it is a feast day, a ritual law. The reason why it is in the ten commandment is because the ten commandments followed a similar pattern to covenant agreements made by people those days. Covenants contained three parts: Promise, Condition, Sign. For instance, a KING would make a covenant with his conquered NATION, not to kill (Promise), if they provide grain and food (Condition). The (Sign) was often arbitrary and could be an earring in the left ear, an ankle bracelet, or any other external sign. Similarly, the Sabbath was the ‘sign [of the covenant] between me [God] and you (Israel)” (Exodus 31:13).

Almost all Sabbatarian groups like the United Church of God, and many others accept that Sabbath is a feast day, and hence they keep all feasts including the weekly Sabbath, unlike SDA’s .

2) The expression “to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day” is used throughout the Old Testament and it is used in ascending or descending order repeatedly and always refers to the weekly, monthly and yearly festivities. 

1 Chron 23:31 “And whenever burnt offerings were presented to the LORD on Sabbaths and at New Moon festivals and at appointed feasts. They were to serve before the LORD regularly in the proper number and in the way prescribed for them.” (here weekly, monthly and yearly is stated).

a) God categorizes Sabbath with new moons and other festivals. Clearly, Sabbath is a ceremonial feast day, a ritual law!

Isaih 66:23 From one New Moon to another and from one Sabbath to another, all mankind will come and bow down before me,” says the LORD.

b) In Colossians 2:16-17, Paul explicitly refers to the weekly Sabbath, one of God’s feast days as a shadow of Christ, which is no longer binding since the substance (Christ) has come.

Colossians 2:16-17 So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ 

In fact, “Sabbaton” is translated as “weekly Sabbath” 61 times in the New Testament.  Only here in Colossians 2:17 would sabbatarians want to desperately argue that “sabbaton” no longer means the weekly Sabbath day, but even prominent Sabbatarian scholars (including SDA scholars) have eventually concurred that the weekly Sabbath is referred here.

3) The Sabbath is not a moral law because the priests were allowed to profane it 

Matthew 12:5-8 Or have ye not read in the law, how that ON THE SABBATH DAYS THE PRIESTS IN THE TEMPLE PROFANE THE SABBATH, AND ARE BLAMELESS?

Sabbath was a law that could be broken, set aside, and profaned for various reasons without sin (blameless). Which moral law can be profaned? No moral law could be profaned or set aside under any circumstances . Christian are not above it, but are subject to those moral laws (see: Matt 12:5; Num 28:9-10; Josh 6:15; 1 Ki 20:29; Jn 5:10).

4) The Sabbath is not a moral law because Jesus broke the ritual Sabbath without sin (John 5:10)  just like priests could break it and be blameless. He also defended breaking it and gave examples.

John 5:10. The Jews therefore said unto him that was cured, It is the sabbath day: IT IS NOT LAWFUL FOR THEE TO CARRY THY BED.

Jews were pointing to a law that the Lord Yahweh gave Israel. Note it is not a law that Pharisees or rabbis added to the Sabbath; it is a law God commanded Israel.

Jeremiah 17:21 Thus saith the LORD; Take heed to yourselves, and BEAR NO BURDEN ON THE SABBATH DAY, NOR BRING IT IN BY THE GATES OF JERUSALEM

John 5:10 so the Jewish leaders said to the man who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath; the law forbids you to carry your mat.

Whatever your interpretation or the interpretation of the Jews on NO BURDEN, the letter of the law said NO burden! While Jews had their rabbinic laws added to the Sabbath, however their accusation against Jesus for breaking the Sabbath law is not based on their added laws, but based on the Torah, THUS SAITH THE LORD (Jeremiah 17:21). This will be proven when Jesus defends Sabbath breaking from the Law of God itself (see point 5).

This is not the only incident. Similarly, Pharisees saw disciples going out and picking grain on the Sabbath as Sabbath law breaking because GOD (not their traditions) commanded Israel to stay in one place on the Sabbath, and prepare food on Friday (Ex 16:29-30). That was how they were instructed to observe Sabbath holy. Jesus once again doesn’t conform to the letter of these Sabbath laws. Moreover, Jesus broke ritual laws on uncleanliness without sin. He touched people with skin diseases, leprosy, blood flows (Leviticus 15:7–8; Matthew 8:3) when the law prohibited touching unclean people. Of course He did it for a purpose and to heal people. There is also a greater message here.

In these circumstances, Pharisees understood Jesus was claiming to be God, and breaking the letter of the Sabbath commandment of the Lord. Both accusations have weight:

John 5:18 Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.

What pharisees failed to see was that not only was Jesus claiming to be the divine Messiah, but the shadows (ritual Sabbath, Cleansing laws) loses their significance when they had the reality (Jesus). Jesus went on to say, ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest’ (Matt. 11:28). True rest is not found in a day but a person. That’s why Paul says Sabbath was a shadow, and the reality is Christ (Col 2:16, 17). 

5) When Jesus’ disciples were hungry on a Sabbath day, and they were picking some heads of grain in a field to eat them. They were accused of breaking the Sabbath: Matt 12:1-6 “At that time Jesus went through the grain fields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry and began to pick some heads of grain and eat them. When the Pharisees saw this, they said to him, ‘Look! Your disciples are doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath.'”

Jesus defends His disciples and His Sabbath actions with 2 arguments:

  1. Matt. 12:3 He answered, “Haven’t you read what David did when he and his companions were hungry? He entered the house of God, and he and his companions ate the consecrated bread-which was not lawful for them to do, but only for the priests.

Please ask yourselves: What type of law was David breaking? Moral or ceremonial? It is obvious, it was ceremonial. David was never above the moral law. He had to pay dearly for his sin with Bathseba!

2. Matt. 12:5 “Or haven’t you read in the Law that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple desecrate the day and yet are innocent?”

Again, giving precedence to the ceremonial priestly law over the Sabbath.

In both of these scenarios given by Jesus Himself, what category is the Sabbath placed under? Moral or ceremonial? 

If David could break the ceremonial law, if priests could break the Sabbath, and if circumcision could be carried out on Sabbath, then Jesus is over and above the ceremonial Sabbath law. Jesus is: Matt 12:8 “Lord of the Sabbath.” This was Jesus’ response and this further shows that he not only broke the letter of the Sabbath law without sin, but he defended breaking it citing Scripture and taught that the ritual Sabbath can be set aside, or broken without sin.

Now let me ask you another question. Could an Israelite kill someone in order to circumcise his child? Could a Jew steal in order to circumcise his child? Could a priest covet in order to do his calling? No, never. These ceremonial laws were never seen as being above the moral law! Why, then, could they break the Sabbath law in favour of their ceremonial law? Why is it that they could not break 9 moral commands in the ten commandments or thousands of morals laws in the Bible for any reason, but the law about the Sabbath could be broken in favour of the ceremonial law? Think about it!

5) Sabbath is not a moral law because the Israelites could honour their ceremonial laws above the Sabbath law.

Jesus Himself declared:

John 7:21-23 “Jesus said to them, “I did one miracle, and you are all astonished. Yet, because Moses gave you circumcision (though actually it did not come from Moses, but from the patriarchs), you circumcise a child on the Sabbath. Now if a child can be circumcised on the Sabbath so that the law of Moses may not be broken, why are you angry with me for healing the whole man on the Sabbath?”

Circumcision took precedence over Sabbath. The law of Moses stated that every male child was to be circumcised on the eighth day. If this day happened to fall on the Sabbath day, the child would be circumcised, despite the fact that this was working on the Sabbath day of rest and breaking it! Clearly showing Sabbath is ceremonial, and circumcision had higher value as a ritual more than Sabbath. The message was no one was expected to observe the rituals  like the Sabbath unless they became Jews first through circumcision, the entrance sign of the old covenant.

6) The Prophets treated Sabbath as a Ceremonial Law.

Isaiah 1:13: “Bring no more futile sacrificeincense is an abomination to Me. The New Moons, the SABBATHS, and the calling of assemblies – I cannot endure iniquity and the sacred meeting. Your New Moons and your appointed feasts, My soul hates; they are a trouble to Me, I am weary of bearing them.”

Here God counts all the SABBATHS along with the rest of the Ceremonial Law, when He tells Israel not to bother keeping it (even though He had ordained it), because it has no value to Him with Israel in sin. However God would never command Israel to stop keeping any of the Moral Law! The Sabbath is Ceremonial!

Hosea 2:11: “I will also cause all her mirth to cease, Her feast days, Her New Moons, Her Sabbaths – all her appointed feasts.” 


Again God classifies the Sabbaths among the Ceremonial Laws, and who are we to do otherwise? According to this prophecy, it is God Who will cause Israel’s Sabbaths to cease for a period of time. That is, He will cancel His Sabbath Command to Israel. He fulfilled this prophecy by annulling the Old Covenant and bringing in the New Covenant for this Dispensation, which has no Sabbath Law or feast days.

Hebrews 7:12 For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law.

Now it is not possible for God to cause His Moral Law to cease or pass away, as it is eternal and unchanging. Therefore all the things mentioned in this verse (including the Sabbaths) are Ceremonial.

8) The Law treats the Sabbath as ceremonial in nature by its requirements. 

Numbers 28:9-10 And on the sabbath day two lambs of the first year without spot, and two tenth deals of flour for a meat offering, mingled with oil, and the drink offering thereof: This is the burnt offering of EVERY sabbath, beside the continual burnt offering, and his drink offering.

Sabbath was part of the ritual worship system of Israel, and when the priesthood change (Jesus is our high priest now), so did this ritual system of Sabbath law changed. It is not longer binding, not commanded in the new covenant, neither is there an example of Christians observing this ritual, but Christians have the liberty to observe it, but not to judge anyone if they don’t (Col. 2;16,17).

9) Whereas the MORAL Law of God is based on His nature and is eternal, transcending time and all covenants, circumstances and local conditions; the Sabbath Law, by nature and definition, is temporal and created, not eternal. It was given for the first time in Exodus 16 only to the Jews. There is no time in eternity, but Sabbath is based on earth-time, marking one day in seven, so it is clearly temporal and creational.

10)  A moral law, unlike a ceremonial or ritual law,  is in effect 24/7 (every nanosecond of time) and not merely once a year, season, month, or week. Also, moral laws are never trumped by any ceremonial laws (i.e., ritual circumcision on the eighth day, priestly sacrifices, weekly showbread placement, etc.), and they never allow any exceptions due to works of charity, mercy, or necessity for proper compliance. Surely, there is never a valid excuse to worship another god, to murder someone, to steal something, to commit adultery, etc.

11) Mark 2:27,28: “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath, therefore the Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath”

Here Jesus was clearly correcting the error of the Jewish Rabbis who elevated the Sabbath above man. He points out that the Sabbath Law is not eternal, but that it it was made (created) for man. However, moral Law is before man and above man, but the Sabbath Law came after man, exists for man and so is under man, therefore the Son of Man who is Lord of the Sabbath, meaning have authority over the Sabbath, and is above it!

Jesus makes the statement that He is Lord over the Sabbath, after defending that He can break it and still be blameless  just like David could break the ritual law be blameless:

Mark 2:24-27 Now it happened that He went through the grainfields on the Sabbath; and as they went His disciples began to pluck the heads of grain. 24 And the Pharisees said to Him, “Look, why do they do what is not lawful on the Sabbath?

25 But He said to them, “Have you never read what David did when he was in need and hungry, he and those with him: 26 how he went into the house of God in the days of Abiathar the high priest, and ate the showbread, which is not lawful to eat except for the priests, and also gave some to those who were with him?”

27 And He said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. Therefore the Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath.”

11) Moreover the Sabbath started at Moses (Ex. 16) – if it was a Moral Commandment it would have applied from the beginning. If the Sabbath is part of the eternal moral character of God, it would have been observed in heaven in eternity past before creation. Instead, the Sabbath was created for man under the Mosaic law, and it is related to the rotation cycle of earth. Unless heaven and other planets have the same rotation cycle it is irrelevant. Revelation indicates that the day-night cycle will cease in the new earth (Revelation 21:25), implying that there will be no Sabbaths.

13) Natural law and the conscience do not reveal that a man should observe a day or seventh day unless it is commanded.

Rom. 2:14‑15 “For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: Which show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the meanwhile accusing or else excusing one another.”

Think about this for a moment. Regardless of what country, what culture or language you were raised with we ALL have morality stamped within our conscience. Adolescent children all around the world naturally know it is wrong to lie, to steal, and to murder and commit adultery – this is how gentiles knew about the moral law of God even without the LAW. However no one naturally feels guilty about not resting 1 day in 7. That is the difference between a rule that is based on moral right and wrong, and a rule that is practiced because of a ceremonial nature.

Man’s conscience does not naturally tell him that he is being immoral, if he does some work on a Saturday, whereas it would convict him of sin, if he broke any of the moral commands. Therefore our God-given conscience tells us that by its very nature, the Sabbath is not absolute Moral Law.

14) If the Sabbath Law was Moral Law, it would have also been included in the New Testament, but it is not, in contrast to all the other 9 Commandments, and thousands of moral commands which are all clearly moral.

Although Jesus kept the Sabbath as a Jew who lived under the Law before the Cross, that is no basis for us to keep the Sabbath today. He also observed circumcision which is superior to Sabbath law and many other laws in the Mosaic law. Should we too?

Although He gave us many Commandments for the new dispensation, He never gave the Sabbath Law. Not only is it absent from the teaching of Jesus, but also from the teaching of His Apostles, and from example of gentile Christians (see no Christian Sabbath keeping in Acts). This would be a glaring omission if it were a vital moral Commandment that we had to keep. This is especially true, with all the Gentiles coming into the Church, who were not used to keeping the SabbathIf it was an eternal Moral Law, then it would be a major New Testament teaching, and one of the main things that would have had to be taught to new converts. If the Sabbath was Law for us now, it would surely be in the New Testament. The absence of the Sabbath Law in the New Testament is further proof that it is Ceremonial just like the Bible states it.

In fact, when the issue arose concerning what parts of the Law of Moses the Gentile converts should keep, there was a Church Council to decide the issue (Acts 15:1-29) and the Sabbath was not even mentioned. When the leaders gave the list of requirements for believing Gentiles to keep, the Sabbath was not included, in fact there was nothing specifically from the Law of Moses that was given for the believing Gentiles to keep. If God wants New Testament Gentile believers to obey the Sabbath then surely it would have been brought up in Acts 15.

Paul explicitly states in Col 2:16, 17 that the weekly Sabbath was a shadow that pointed to Jesus, and that as such it is not the basis for judgment of a Christian.

Further, God condemned heathen gentile nations for murder, idol worship, child sacrifices but never for not observing the Sabbath in the old testament. There is no command or even an example of anyone observe the seventh day in Genesis. If Sabbath is so vital, we would have had plenty of instructions for violating. Instead, the WEEKLY Sabbath was GIVEN only to the Jewish nation, and its SIGN, RITUAL distinguished them from the rest of the nations. Moral laws are for all people and they are never a SIGN such as circumcision, passover, sabbath!

15) Jesus, the apostles, the early church fathers, Luther, Calvin, all understood that Sabbath was ceremonial. None of these believed that the Pope or Roman Catholic church changed the Sabbath. Instead they saw that it was abrogated as clearly stated in the new testament and by the apostles.

Jesus taught that the Sabbath law is a ritual law unlike moral laws where people are not above it.

“The Sabbath was made to meet the needs of people, and not people to meet the requirements of the Sabbath (Mark 2:27)

Mainstream Jews taught that Sabbath was not a universal moral law given to everyone but just the Jews:

The Jewish Talmud says: “The children of Noah…were given seven Laws only, the observance of the Sabbath not being among them.” (Soncino edition, p. 131),Sanhedrin 56 a, b; and Midrash Song of Songs Rabbah 1:2(5) (Soncino edition, pp. 26-27).

Jews believe that Sabbath is a ritual law, not a moral law; the only ritual law in the Ten (See: Jewfacts.org)

Apostles inspired by the Holy Spirit taught that in the new covenant, no one should judge anyone on the Sabbath, Christian can treat every day (all seven days) alike, those who insist on observing days for any reason connected to meriting favor from God do not understand the gospel:

Col. 2:16 ”Therefore do not let anyone judge you..with regard to a Sabbath day”

Rom. 14:5 ”One man regards a certain day above the others, while someone else considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind”

Gal 4: 10, 11 ”You observe days and months and seasons and years! I am afraid I may have labored over you in vain

Testimony of the early church fathers, some of whom who learned from the mouth of the apostles was that Sabbath was not kept before Moses, nor is it binding in the new covenant:

Ignatius of Antioch (AD 110): ”If, therefore, those who were brought up in the ancient order of things have come to the possession of a new hope, no longer observing the Sabbath, but living in the observance of the Lord’s Day, on which also our life has sprung up again by Him and by His death (Letter to the Magnesians(shorter) Chapter IX.—Let us live with Christ [A.D. 110]).

Justin Martyr (AD 155): For if there was no need of circumcision before Abraham, or of the observance of Sabbaths, of feasts and sacrifices, before Moses; no more need is there of them now, after that, according to the will of God, Jesus Christ the Son of God has been born without sin, of a virgin sprung from the stock of Abraham (The Second Apology of Justin for the Christians Addressed to the Roman Senate. Chapter XXIII.—The opinion of the Jews regarding the law does an injury to God).

Tertullian (AD 203): “Let him who contends that the Sabbath is still to be observed as a balm of salvation, and circumcision on the eighth day . . . teach us that, for the time past, righteous men kept the Sabbath or practiced circumcision, and were thus rendered ‘friends of God.’ Therefore, since God originated Adam uncircumcised and unobservant of the Sabbath..(An Answer to the Jews Chapter II.—The Law Anterior to Moses. [A.D. 203]).

Augustine of Hippo (AD 400): When you ask why a Christian does not keep the Sabbath, if Christ came not to destroy the law, but to fulfill it, my reply is, that a Christian does not keep the Sabbath precisely because what was prefigured in the Sabbath is fulfilled in Christ. For we have our Sabbath in Him who said, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” (Reply to Faustus the Manichæan. Book XIX.-9)

Even SDA J.N Andrews admitted about early church fathers: “We must, therefore, pronounce Justin a man who held to the abrogation of the ten commandments, and that the Sabbath was a Jewish institution which was unknown before Moses, and of no authority since Christ. He held Sunday to be the most suitable day for public worship.” Page 44. This is the doctrine that the early church and fathers held. 

Martin Luther taught the validity of the moral law of the old covenant but saw Sabbath as ceremonial.

Scripture has abrogated the Sabbath day; for it teaches that since the gospel has been revealed, all the ceremonies of the old law can be omitted” (Article 28, The Augsburg Confession(1530)).

John Calvin wrote:

First, with the seventh day of rest the Lord wished to give to the people of Israel an image of spiritual rest…there is no doubt that it ceased in Christ (Col. 2:17),  Hence, though the sabbath is abrogated, it so happens among us that we still convene on certain days in order to hear the word of God” ([From Instruction in Faith, Calvin’s own 1537 digest of the Institutes, sec. 8, “The Law of the Lord”].


Sabbatarians falsely argue that the Sabbath law is a moral law merely because it is in the ten commandments.

What does the argument: “because it is in the 10 commandments” prove? NOTHING! The Sabbath law is not “moral” just because it was numbered with the other nine commandments. They are assuming the point to be proved and this is circular reasoning! What’s engraved on stone (ten) and with ink (ten including law of Moses) is done away (2 Cor. 3:7). In other words we don’t go to stones tables or law of Moses to know if killing is wrong. We go to the teaching of Jesus and the apostles who reiterates all moral principles of God, but who clearly states that many laws have changed now in the new covenant like circumcision, Sabbaths, dietary laws etc.

Another false Adventist argument is that the Sabbath law is moral BECAUSE violation was punishable by death: Ex 31:15;35:2. Yet the truth is that all the following non-moral or ceremonial laws were punishable by death:

  • For touching the Ark: 2 Sam 6:7
  • Aaron’s sons, (Nadab and Abihu) priests were killed for violating ceremonial law when offering incense to Jehovah: Lev 10:1-5
  • for touching the mount Horeb: Ex 19:12-13
  • Unauthorized entrance into the holy place of the tabernacle: Lev 16:2
  • For looking into the Ark: 1 Sam 6:19
  • For disobeying ceremonial commands of any Priest: Deuteronomy 17:12-13; Exodus 31:14 “Everyone who profanes it shall surely be put to death; for whoever does any work on it, that person shall be cut off from among his people.”

Sabbatarians are falsely taught that the Sabbath is moral because spoken by God verbally and personally written on stone. Yet God verbally and personally spoke many “ceremonial laws”, and what’s engraved on stone is done away:

  • God verbally and personally spoke many altar, sacrifice and offering laws at exactly the same time he have the 10 commandments: Ex 20:21-26
  • Sabbatarians would admit that the “foremost” moral law, to love God and your neighbour as yourself, was not even spoken verbally and personally by God. Mt 22:36-40. This alone proves that the “verbal/personal” argument is invalid!
  • God verbally and personally spoke to many from Adam to Moses regarding burnt offerings: Cain and Abel’s offerings
  • God verbally and personally spoke the land promise: Gen 17:8
  • God verbally and personally spoke the law of circumcision: Gen 17:10
  • God verbally and personally spoke to all these: Job 38:1; 42:7; 1 Ki 19:9,12; 1 Sam 23:12; 30:8,10; Ex 33:11; Num 12:8; Deut 5:3
  • The Bible nowhere teaches that things verbally, personally or handwritten by God are eternal! What’s one stone is out!

The Sabbath is moral and sacred inherently in itself?

  • Other than merely stating this, what proof do Sabbatarians offer??? None! But we can prove otherwise!
  • The First seventh day was sanctified not because it was inherently moral, but because God rested on that day! The seventh day was not holy because it was the seventh day, but because God declared it to be and MADE it holy above the other six days of the week after he rested on it!
  • [God made this specific day Holy, not every seventh day, and He did not command Adam and Eve to observe it! This day had a REST that was much bigger than a weekly rest as Hebrews 4 shows, and we can enter it every day, TODAY, as Hebrews 4 clearly states.
  • God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, but that does not mean that he required people to rest on it. As the Jubilee year shows (Lev. 25:8-12), time can be holy without requiring a rest.]
  • The day itself did not make it holy, resting on it did not make it holy, but God blessing and hallowing it did. Thus its holiness did not come from its own nature but from an act of God in blessing and hallowing it.
  • In this regard, the first seventh day is no more inherently “holy” than any of the other Jewish weekly Sabbath or other holy days that God blessed and set apart in the Law of Moses.
  • The Jewish weekly Sabbath was MADE in Exodus 16 for the first time, and was a shadow of God’s rest in Genesis.

Paul explicitly states in Col 2:16, 17 that this weekly Jewish Sabbath was a shadow that pointed to Jesus, and that as such it is not the basis for judgment of a Christian. He explicitly states in Romans 14 that Christians are free to observe special days, and Christians are free to treat very single day the same. Paul says explicitely in Gal. 4 that saying a person is required by God to keep special days and times and so forth, puts the Christian back into the slavery he was set free from.

(The above has been adapted from LoudCry.org, and various Sabbath articles)