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! 

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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)

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)

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)

The Decalogue Examined

The Decalogue Examined


With Seventh-Day Adventists the decalogue is the one supreme moral and spiritual law of God, than which there is none higher. It is the law which governs the angels in heaven. It governs all men in all ages, and in the world to come. These tencommandments cover the whole duty of man, so that there is no sin which can be committed that is not a violation of this law, while at the same time it enjoins every virtue. 

But these claims are extravagant and unfounded. A desire to sustain the seventh-day Sabbath has led to this false position on the decalogue. Twenty-five hundred years, nearly half the entire history of the world, passed away before the decalogue was given at all, as the Bible clearly says. This is strange if the decalogue is so all important.

Let us examine it. Moses says distinctly that all the words which the Lord spoke were written on the tables of stone:

“And the Lord delivered unto me two tables of stone, written with the finger of God: and on them was written according to all the words which the Lord spake with you in the Mount, out of the midst of the fire.” Deut. 9:10

This text is too decisive to be evaded. All that God spoke was written on the tables and was a part of the decalogue. Here are the first of those words: 

And God spake all these words, saying, I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me,” etc. Ex. 20:1-3. 

These words are as much a part of the decalogue as any of the rest of it. They were spoken by God from heaven, written by his finger, were engraven on the stone, and put in the ark. Now look at the law chart which Seventh-Day Adventists hang up as the “law of God.” Are these words on there? No, indeed. Why are they left off ? 

Because, if put on, they would spoil their whole theory of that law. They claim that this law is binding upon the angels. But how would this sound to the angels: “I am the Lord thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage”? Were the angels in bondage in Egypt? Would not that sound a little queer to Gabriel and the seraphs, to be told that they had been in bondage in Egypt? Read it to Adam. That would have been news to him to learn that he had been in bondage in Egypt! Read it to a free-born American; read it to all the redeemed hosts in heaven. To whom are the words applicable? Just to the Jewish nation and to no others. For them the decalogue was framed and to them it was given. For years I searched to find one text stating that THIS law was ever given to any people but the Jews. I never found it. These first words show plainly that it was addressed only to them.

Seventh-Day Adventists assert that the Sabbath precept is the only thing in the decalogue that tells who gave it. Thus: “Aside from this precept [the Sabbath] there is nothing in the decalogue to show by whose authority the law is given.” Mrs. White, in Great Controversy, page 284

This is not true. The introductory words tell plainly who gave it. It was the God who brought them out of Egypt. Here are the name, signature and seal of that law in the first words of it. Here God stands before them as their *Deliverer*, rather than as their *Creator*. Their obedience to these commands is based upon this fact. See how plain it is. I am the Lord thy God that brought thee out of Egypt, therefore thou shalt do thus and so. Egypt, not Eden, is pointed to. In the copy of the decalogue as given in Deut. 5:6-21, there is no reference whatever to creation, while deliverance from Egypt is made prominent. “To extend it further than its own preface is to violate the rules of criticism.”

What an unnatural and unheard of thing it would be, in giving an important document, to sign the, name of the author in the middle of it, as Sabbatarians say the Lord did in giving the decalogue! In our time the name is signed at the close of a document; but anciently, specially among the Jews, the name of the author was, always given first, in the first sentence of the document. 

Thus:

  • “Artaxerxes, king of kings, unto Ezra,” etc. Ezra 7:12.
  • The vision of Isaiah,” etc. Isa. 1:1.
  • “The words of Jeremiah,” etc. Jer. 1:1.
  • “Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ,” etc. Rom. 1:1.
  • “James, a servant of God,” etc. Jas. 1:1.
  • “Peter, an apostle,” etc. 1 Pet. 1:1. 

So it is all through the Bible, the name and authority are given first, then follows the body of the document. Just so the Lord, according to this ancient custom then in use and familiar to all, in giving the decalogue first announces his name, “the Lord thy God,” and his power, “that brought thee out of Egypt.”

This he does in the opening words of that law. Here, then, in the very first words of the decalogue, and not in the Sabbath precept in the middle of the law, is the name of the law-giver. Jehovah, who brought them out of Egypt. This settles it that this law was not given till then, was given only to the Jews and was designed for no others.

To illustrate: Opening to a law passed by the legislature of Michigan, February 16, 1882, I read: “Be it enacted by the senate and house of representatives of the state of Michigan,” etc. Now suppose that some one should claim that this law was passed one thousand years ago and was designed for the whole world. Would not these opening words show that this law was not enacted till Michigan became a state and that it was designed only for the people of Michigan? Assuredly. 

Just so the opening words of the decalogue show that this law was not given till God brought Israel out of Egypt, that it was given to them and to no others. If any one will find a copy of the decalogue before this time, we will give up the case. All the way through it there are evidences that it was worded to fit only the Jewish nation in their peculiar circumstances.

Take the Sabbath commandment: “Thy son, nor thy daughter, thy man servant, nor thy maid servant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates.” Ex. 20:10

Think of that commandment being given to angels in Heaven! “Sons,” “daughters,” and “thy neighbor’s wife,” verse 17, when they neither marry nor are given in marriage! 

Again: “Cattle,” “ox,” “ass,” etc. Do the angels own cattle and work oxen and asses in heaven? So “man servants and maid servants.” This means bond servants or slaves, such as the Hebrews owned in those days. This is shown also by the tenth commandment, verse 17. “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s man servant, nor his maid servant, nor his ox, nor his ass.”

 These were his property, servants or slaves, oxen, asses, etc. But do the angels own slaves? Did Adam have servants in Eden? Will the redeemed own them hereafter? What nonsense to apply this law to the angels and to Eden and to heaven! This wording was specially adapted to the social condition of the Jews as a nation in the land of Canaan, and to no others.

Once more: “Thy stranger that is within thy gates.” Verse 10. As everybody knows, “the stranger” was the Gentile. “Within thy gates” was a common expression meaning within your cities or dwelling in your land. It has no reference to living on your farm or inside the gates that enclose your farm, as Adventists always explain it. The towns were walled in and entered by gates. Here is where the judges sat and all business was done. Thus: “All that went in at the gate of his city.” Gen. 23:10. “Judges and officers shalt thou make thee in all thy gates.” Deut. 16:18. To this custom of the Jews the Sabbath commandment refers. All the Gentiles dwelling in their cities among them must be made to keep the Sabbath. This shows it to be a national law, worded in all its parts to fit the circumstances of the Jews at the time.

This command, then, could not apply to any but the Jews there.

Again, the fifthcommandment: “The land which the Lord giveth them,” verse 12, plainly refers to Canaan, which God gave them.

The ninth precept: “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbors” This does not relate to lying in general, but only to a false oath against a neighbor in court. See Deut. 19:15-19. A man could tell a hundred lies which would not be false witness against a neighbor. The command against lying is found in Lev. 19:11: “Neither lie one to another.” This is a moral precept much broader than the ninth commandment.

Every principle contained in the decalogue is also found time and again laid down in the law of Moses, either in the same or similar words. Thus, for example: Lev. 19 reiterates every principle found in the ten commandments, with many more besides. How erroneous, then, to call one (ten commandments) the moral law and the other the ceremonial law, when both are of the same nature, the decalogue simply being representative precepts from the law of Moses.

But the chief argument used to prove the superior nature of the ten commandments is that they were spoken by God’s voice, written by His finger on stone, and placed in the ark, while all the rest of the law was written by the hand of Moses in a book.

Why were these commandments thus selected out and given in such a manner if not to exalt them above all others?

The answer is easy: According to the custom of those times, any solemn contract or covenant was commemorated by selecting some object as witness or testimony of it. Thus:

  • Jacob erected a pillar as a witness of his vow to God. Gen. 28:18.
  • Jacob and Laban made a heap of stones as witness of their covenant. Gen. 31:48.
  • Abraham set apart seven lambs as “a witness” of his covenant with Abimelech. Gen. 21:27-30.

Just so when the solemn covenant was made between God and Israel at Sinai, the Lord gave them the tables of stone to be always kept as a witness or “testimony” of that agreement. Hence they are called the tables of testimony,” that is, witness. Ex. 31:18. 

So the tabernacle was “the tabernacle of testimony,” Num. 1:53; or, “the tabernacle of witness,” Num. 17:7. These tables of stone, then, containing some of the chief items of the law, were always to be kept as “witness” of the covenant which Israel had made to keep that law. Evidently this is the reason why the decalogue was given as it was, and not because it was a perfect and eternal law in and of itself.

Manifestly it would have been impossible to carry around the whole law if written on stones; hence only a few samples out of that law could have been selected and put on stones to be kept as a witness of that covenant. So the reason why God spoke these words was not because it was a perfect law, but to impress their minds so that they never would forget it. This is just what God says himself: “I will make them hear my words, that they may learn to fear me all the days that they shall live.” Deut. 4:10. How much more simple and manifest these reasons are than the imaginary ones invented by Sabbatarians.

That the decalogue was merely the national law for the Jews and temporal in its obligation, is proved by the fact that stoning to death was the penalty for its violation.When death was thus inflicted upon a man, he had paid the penalty of that law, and all the penalty there was. But is stoning to death the penalty for God’s moral law? No, that is eternal death at the judgment. A man who is hung for murder has paid the penalty of the law of our land, the same as the Jew who was stoned paid the penalty of the law of his land. Will God judge a man the second time at the judgment by the law of our land after he has once paid its penalty by hanging? No, but he will be judged by another and a higher law, the great spiritual law of God. And so it will be with the Jews. They will never be judged the second time by the decalogue, for that was only national, but by the higher law, the one that requires supreme love to God, and love to man as to himself. A law without a penalty is a nullity; but stoning, the penalty attached to the decalogue, was abolished at the cross; hence the law also ceased there too.

Seventh-Day Adventists claim that the ten commandments are a perfect law, condemning every possible sin and requiring every possible virtue. But this is all assumption and contrary to the manifest truth. Which one of the ten commandments condemns pride, boasting, drunkenness, unthankfulness, love of pleasure, anger, filthy talk, impatience, variance, selfishness, and the like? 

Which one of the ten commandments requires us to feed the poor, to visit the fatherless and the widow, to suffer long and be kind, to be gentle, meek, temperate, to pray, to repent, to go to meeting, to forgive, and the like?

No, the, decalogue does no such thing, because it was made for no such purpose. It was merely prohibitory in its nature. The man who merely did nothing, who simply avoided crime, kept that law. But the law of God, by which a Christian must live, requires him to do, and to do much. He must love God, love his neighbor, love his enemies, visit the widow and the needy, suffer wrong, be patient, entertain strangers, and be active in every good work.

It requires unceasing activity and the consecration of all our energies to good works; but the decalogue requires nothing but to avoid open crime. The decalogue alone is never called the law of God, nor the law of the Lord, nor a perfect law, nor is it said that any one will be judged by it, or that it is binding on Christians.

 

Eminent Authors On The Decalogue

Many of the most eminent, devout and learned men of the church have held that the decalogue was abolished, though they were far from being Antinomians.

Among these were the apostolical fathers, Luther, Calvin, Milton, Baxter, Bunyan, Doddridge, Whately, Grotius, Locke, Sherlock, Watts, Hessey, Judson, George Dana Boardman, and a host of such men. 

Justin Martyr, A. D. 140, says: “The law promulgated on Horeb is now old and belongs to yourselves (Jews) alone: but this is for all universally. Now law placed against law has abrogated that which is before it.” Dialogue with Trypho, Chap. 11. On this Elder Andrew says: “That Justin held to the abrogation of the ten commandments is also manifested.” Testimony of the Fathers, page 43.

Tertullian, A. D. 200, says: “The abolition of the ancient law we fully admit.” Against Marcian, Book 5. Chap. 2. On the law he quotes Col. 2:16, and says: “The apostle here teaches clearly how it has been abolished.” Ibid. Chap. 19.

Luther says: “The ten commandments do not apply to us Gentiles and Christians, but only to the Jews. If a preacher wishes to force you back to Moses, ask him whether you were brought by Moses out of Egypt. If he says no, then say: ‘How, then, does Moses concern me, since he speaks (in the ten words) to the people that have been brought out of Egypt.’ In the New Testament Moses comes to an end and his laws lose their force.”

Smith’s Dictionary of the Bible, says: “In its individual, or what is usually called its ‘moral’ aspect, the Law bore equally the stamp of transitoriness. It seems clear enough that its formal, coercive authority as a whole, ended with the close of the Jewish dispensation.” 

Says Dr. Dobbs, Baptist says this was the teaching of the protestant reformers : “Nor is this ‘new and dangerous teaching.’ It was the doctrine of the Protestant reformers of the sixteenth century’.

Rev. George Dana Boardman, D. D., the eminent Baptist divine, in his recent book on “TheTen Commandments,” says: “Although the decalogue, in its spirit, is for all lands and ages, yet, in its letter, it was evidently for the Jews. The very preamble proves the assertion: ‘God spake all these words, saying: I am Jehovah, thy God, who brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.’ Then follow the ten commandments, based on the unique fact that Jehovah was the covenant God of Israel.” Pages 127-130.

John Milton says: “With regard to the doctrine of those who consider the decalogue as a code of universal morality, I am at a loss to understand how such an opinion should ever have prevailed; these commandments being evidently nothing more than a summary of the whole Mosaic law as the fourth is of the whole ceremonial law; which therefore can contain nothing applicable to the gospel worship.” Treatise on Christian Doctrine, Vol. 1, Book 2, Chap. 7.

Adapted: Decalogue Examined by Dudley Marvin (Retrieved from: https://www.nonegw.org/canright/sdar18.htm)

Is your view on sin narrow?

RepentCross

If your understanding of sin is narrow, then your understanding of God’s law, His grace, and your love for others will also be narrow.

Here’s the truth about the gravity our sin condition, the high standard of His law, the unfathomable depth of His grace and Christ’s sacrifice.

God’s definition of sin is broad

  • Everything that is not from faith is sin’ (Romans 14:23)
  • Turning away from God through unbelief is sin (Hebrews 3:12)
  • Not doing what you know is right is sin (James 4:17)
  • Doing wrong without knowing is sin (Leviticus 5:17)

Breaking God’s commandments is sin (1 John 3:4)

  • God’s commandments are not just the ten commandments, but all the moral commands stated in the Bible
  • The Rich Young Ruler thought he kept all the commandments of God, but Jesus said it wasn’t ‘complete’ because he did not care for the poor according to his financial ability (Matt. 19). Taking care of the poor is a moral command
  • The story of the rich young ruler shows the impossibility of earning one’s salvation by following a list of commandments (Mark 10:26)
  • James 2:9 states if you show favoritism or discriminate anyone, you have broken all the commandments

Even our human nature is sinful from birth

‘See, I was born in sin and was in sin from my very beginning’ (Psalms 51:5). Our sinful human nature can produce only one thing naturally. Sin! That’s why we need to be born again. More on this later

We cannot view sin as merely a list of dos and don’ts

  • Since, everything that is not from faith is sin, every action and attitude that we do without faith in God’s promises is sin
  • Therefore, we cannot view sin as merely a list of dos and don’ts
  • One of Satan’s most successful lies is that sin can be limited to a manageable list of dos and don’ts
  • This is so satanic and dangerous because it causes thousands of christians to think that things are OK between them and God because they avoid one list of don’ts and practice another (much shorter) list of do’s (ex: church going, returning offerings, not committing murder literally etc); but in fact may be sinning all day long

God’s standard of law is so high; no fallen man can measure up to it always

  • His standard of law is so high that it is humanely impossible for any fallen man to measure up. Perhaps occasionally, but not all the time. In Greek, Romans 3:23 is actually saying ‘all have sinned and continue to fall short of God’s standard’
  • It this standard of law that we have broken, are guilty of, condemned for, and deserving death (Romans 6:23)

His standard of love towards others is also high

  • A lawyer asked Jesus, what must I do to inherit life (Luke 10:25). Then Jesus recited the story of the good Samaritan. The lesson from the story was you must show perfect love to your neighbour, wherever, or whoever they may be all the time. This is humanly impossible to do all the time.
  • This parable teaches once again the impossibility of earning one’s salvation. The standard, which is perfect love, is too high; you can’t manufacture such God kind of love.

Narrow view of sin leads some to believe they can ‘do’ the law and inherit life

  • Because some have a narrow view of sin, and law, they like the rich young ruler, pharisees and that lawyer still think that they can DO the law to inherit eternal life
  • Only way to be saved by the law is to keep the law perfectly—every moment of every day for your entire life
  • “But those who depend on the law to make them right with God are under his curse, for the Scriptures say, “Cursed is everyone who does not observe and obey all the commands that are written in God’s Book of the Law” (Galatians 3:10)
  • People have a tendency to just cherry-pick a handful of things out of the law like the Sabbath (if you are a Sabbath keeper), offering giving, not stealing literally etc. But what Paul is saying, you can’t cherry-pick the law. If you’re going to earn righteousness under the law, it’s all the commandments (love others unconditionally, help the poor, don’t discriminate, every single one of them etc), and if you fail in one slightest detail ever in your life, then you are under a curse, and you are condemned.
  • If you think you can be saved by ticking a few commandments, you are in for a surprise. ‘Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ (Matthew 7:23)
  • If we don’t understand the seriousness of sin, the standard of his law, and how we don’t measure up to God’s standard, we will never understand our dangerous-sinful-hopeless-condition, why Jesus came, why He died, why we need a savior, what he accomplished by His death, and how we can walk righteously.

Because we cannot pay for our sins, God turned over our sins to Jesus

  • Sin separated us from God, and created a bridge between us and Him (Isaiah 59:2), but Jesus took away our sins on the cross (1 Peter 2:24). God punished Jesus for our sins (Isaiah 53:5), and ‘brought us back to himself through Christ’ (2 Corinthians 5:18)
  • Apart from Christ we are separated from God, condemned, lost. But ‘Christ united us with God‘ (Eph 2:6). We were united with God the moment we repented for our sins, trusted Jesus that He was punished for our sins, our death, our law breaking, and believed that His sacrifice is sufficient to save us.
  • When we repented, our sins were completely forgiven. ‘There is now no condemnation for them that belong to Jesus’ (Rom 8:1). The law no more condemns us because it already condemned someone else: Jesus. ‘You are complete in Him’ (Col. 2:10)
  • Since we have broken God’s law, there is no way our good deeds could offset our bad deeds. ‘For if keeping the law could make us right with God, then there was no need for Christ to die’ (Gal 2:21). Only Jesus can save us and He did save us from the punishment by taking the punishment for our sins.

In God’s plan, we receive righteousness on the basis of faith

  • I am “found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith” (Philippians 3:9).
  • We receive the righteousness of God apart from the law, meaning it doesn’t come from obeying the law. It comes from another place; it comes from Jesus Himself. It’s His righteousness.
  • God’s credits his Son’s righteous life on this earth as our righteousness by exchanging it for our sins the moment we repent, tell him we have messed up,  and confess we can’t measure up to His standard, and put our trust in Him! In that very moment, we are declared righteous in God’s presence as a gift of God’s grace (Romans 4:3). This is the good news! This is radical. This is grace. This is something only God thought up in his heart. Not man. Please don’t lower grace to your standard.

When you repented and believed in Jesus, you were born again

  • When we repented for our sins and our inability to save ourselves, and accepted Jesus as our perfect sacrifice, sin bearer, savior, Lord, He came into our life and we were born again. Jesus gave us a new birth, a new start in life. Our past is just that. Past. We can now look forward to living changed, righteous, and joy filled lives as we have Jesus living in us now.
  • ‘When we believed, we were sealed with the Holy Spirit‘ (Ephesians 1:13). This seal is the guratanee that tell us we are now God’s children, we are empowered, we have eternal life, we will inherit what God has promised us (2 Corinthians 1:22).

Without the new birth, you can’t enter the kingdom of God nor walk righteously

  • Unless one is born again, he cannot enter God’s kingdom (John 3:3).
  • We need to be born again, because when we were born into this world, we were born spiritually dead; this was the result of Adam’s fall. When they died that day eating the fruit (Genesis 2:17), they died in a real sense. Their spirit or spiritual nature died. Therefore, all Adam’s children are born into this world ‘dead’ (Eph 2:5) or with a dead ‘spirit’. They are dead to the things of God, dead to the voice of the Holy Spirit. They can’t hear God speak to them.
  • Nicodemus was a Sabbath keeper. Pharisees were Sabbath keepers. They kept a narrow list of commandments, and were satisfied that they met God’s standard. However, they were not born again. Their spirit or spiritual nature was still dead. That’s why they failed to meet the weightier matters of the law like justice, mercy, faith (Matthew 23:23), taking care of the poor, and helpless according to their financial ability. They didn’t even know they were sinning.
  • People who are not born again may keep a narrow set of laws and judge other people on external things like church going, offering giving, etc. but their hearts are far from God. They have an outward form of religion, but they have not changed from the inside out, because they were never born again.

There is more than forgiveness in God’s plan

  • When Jesus lives in us, He comes out in our actions, attitudes and affections. He empowers us to bear fruits of righteousness. He fulfills the righteousness requirement of the law in us (Romans 8:4) as His Spirit guides us.
  • The law tells us this. How messed up we are every time we look at it because it’s standard is so high (Romans 3:20). We have never kept its demand constantly, every moment, every day.
  • Those who have a narrow view of law will never see their true state from the law. The Pharisees never saw this. Therefore, they never really saw the need for a savior to take away their sins.
  • However, the Holy Spirit is our guide now, and not the law (Gal 3:25). We are ‘led by the Spirit’ (Romans 8:14). When the Spirit guides, He puts us in tune with all the moral principles of God. We become sensitive to others. We become gentle, kind, patient. We become more and more like Jesus.
  • The law may change people from the outside. But only the Spirit changes us from the inside out.
  • While the Spirit guides us, we will read and study God’s word to see if we are following all his teachings and not cherry picking a few things.
  • When you have Jesus, you have the fruit (singular) of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). Notice, its not fruits, its fruit. When you have the Spirit, you have the entire basket of fruits: ‘love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law’.
  • Against such things there is no law means there is no law that can produce this fruit. There’s no legalism or external religious observances that can produce this. It’s a fruit of the Spirit.
  • If you only have one or two of the fruits, that means you were not born again! Probably you never understood how sinful you are before a Holy God, and his law! You didn’t truly repent. Therefore, you were not born again.

Conclusion:

  • If you are not trusting Christ for forgiveness and are not resting in his daily work on your behalf, then none of your actions comes from faith, but every one of them (even the most noble) is sinful and an insult to the infinitely trustworthy God.
  • Here’s the good news: Jesus took away your sins, and gave you new life. He died your death. His death wasn’t just a demonstration of love or death of a martyr. He died in your place so that he can take you home.
  • Following Jesus is not following a set of narrow laws. It is having a relationship with Him, trusting what he did on the cross, believing that His sacrifice is sufficient payment for your sins, trusting him daily to do what is right in your life, and making His word your authority for living. As you trust him, you are empowered to obey him, honour him, and live a holy life. No matter what life may throw at you, you can face it, because your future is secure in Him, and His finished work.

When you understand how high God’s standard of law is, and how sinful you are, only then can you really appreciate grace and the sacrifice of Christ.

When you receive His grace, only then can you really demonstrate the same kind of grace, love, kindness, and gentleness to others.

If you have not received Him as your Savior and the Lord of your life. Then:

  • Confess your great sin, how you haven’t measured up to his high standard and know you deserve to be condemned for insulting Him by your lack of faith, and thinking you could measure up.
  • Repent, turn to Him and believe now in Jesus, that as your Savior who died to bear you sin and punishment, so you could live forever and walk in newness of life.
  • Take him as your only hope of salvation and acknowledge him as your only Lord.
  • Thank him for his forgiveness and His promise to be with you, and in you, and to empower you to do his will.
  • Trust him to do what is right in your life.

Jesus’ sacrifice is sufficient

Cross

If we want to know whether Jesus’ sacrifice is enough to save us, we need to know some things about our condition before a Holy God.

Firstly, we need to know the bad news.

The bad news is all have sinned, and continue to fall short of God’s standard (Romans 3:23).

This means a few things:

  • We are not good enough to be with God.
  • We cannot offset our bad deeds by good deeds: No matter how many good deeds we do, we cannot offset our bad deeds. No amount of truth telling can offset that one tiny lie. No amount of kindness can offset that one small outburst of anger.
  • We cannot pay for our sins in any way.
  • We must be punished. We are guilty. The wages for one sin is death (Rom 6:23).

Are you feeling lost and hopeless? That’s ok. Actually that is healthy. Only then can you really understand and appreciate the gospel, and the need for a Savior.

Here’s the good news. Anyone can be saved by trusting Jesus’ sacrifice (John 3:16). This is what God did:

Because we cannot pay for our sin, God turned over our sins to Jesus (Isaiah 53:5)

Paul stated the gospel this way:

The Gospel really is…this Good News that saves you if you still firmly believe it…that Christ died for our sins…and that three days afterwards he arose from the grave” (1 Corinthians 15:1-4).

Jesus’ death wasn’t a martyr’s death. It wasn’t just a demonstration of love. It is much more. He died in our place. He died our death. When Jesus said ‘It is finished’ and died on the cross (John 19:30), He paid the price for our sins completely.

Is this sacrifice a sufficient payment for our sins?

Yes, in Greek, it is finished means tetelestai. It is a banking term to mean debt is paid. Jesus paid our sin debt we owed God. He satisfied God’s wrath fully.  He met broken law’s demands completely. And when He rose, He earned the right to give life eternal to anyone who will receive Him and believe that His sacrifice is sufficient to save them (John 3:16).

“Therefore, there is now no condemnation (adjudging of guilty) for those who belong to Jesus” (Romans 8:1).

Some believe it is still not enough

During Paul’s day, some Jewish Christians were teaching that Jesus’ sacrifice wasn’t really enough. The same issue exists today. The idea is Jesus’ sacrifice alone cannot save us, we also need to add others things. During Paul’s day it was circumcision, and other Jewish laws.  Today, some try to add kind acts, church going, Sabbath, offering giving, and other good works to His finished work to gain forgiveness and acceptance from God.

Paul’s says don’t even think about it

Paul warns that if you teach Jesus’ sacrifice is not enough, you are teaching another gospel, which is not a gospel at all (Galatians 1:6, 7). And he goes on to say the following things among other things about people who teach and believe in such a gospel:

  • They are cursed; literally should be destroyed (Galatians 1:9)
  • Trying to be right with God through obeying the law, which is impossible (Galatians 2:16)
  • Trying to receive God’s inheritance through keeping the law, and not by trusting Jesus (Galatians 3:18).
  • Trying to receive the Holy Spirit by their works, which doesn’t work (Galatians 3:2)
  • Do not and cannot even obey all the commandments all the time, and hence are under a curse, and prisoned (Galatians 3:10)

Don’t add, but show gratitude

Paul said, we are made right with God when we “believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood” (Romans 3:25). If you repent for your sins, and inability to save yourself, and trust Jesus’ finished work is enough to save you, and receive Jesus, not only Jesus came into your life, He also forgave your sins, gave you a new start and empowered you to live a new life pleasing to Him.

Now you can show God your gratitude through your good works, not to gain or earn favor from Him, because you really can’t. Besides, you already have His favor. But in response to Jesus’s finished work and as the Holy Spirit who is in you leads you to do His will, obey and honor Him.