A In-depth Study on the Sabbath Issue by Clarence A. Settle
A Response to “IS THE SABBATH BINDING TODAY?” Booklet
The author starts out by stating: “Our SDA friends
as well as a few other religious bodies insist that the weekly Sabbath should
be observed today. They admit that something was done away when Christ was
crucified, but insist that it was only animal sacrifices, incense, and etc. They
teach that there were two laws given on
Adventists ASSUME them. Their first premise, which is assumed, is false; therefore their conclusion is false. They assume the thing they must prove. We can prove anything if we are granted the privilege of assuming one premise. With no ill-will toward the Adventists, but with love for their souls and the truth, let us weigh their claims in the light of God’s word.
1. ADVENTISTS TEACH: That “the law of God” and the “law of Moses” were two different laws.
THE BIBLE TEACHES: That they are one and the same
law and uses the expressions interchangeably: ‘This Ezra went up from
ADVENTISTS TEACH: That Moses gave the law of Moses.
THE BIBLE TEACHES: That God gave the law of Moses. ‘This Ezra went up from
ADVENTISTS TEACH: That God gave the law of God.
THE BIBLE TEACHES: That Moses gave the law of God. “And when the brought out the money that was brought into the house of the Lord, Hillkiah the priest found a book of the law of the Lord given by Moses.” 2 Chron. 34:14. This proves that the Adventists are wrong when they teach that God gave “the law of God” and that Moses gave “the law of Moses” and that they are two separate laws. There was only one law given. What Moses gave was by God’s authority, God made known the Sabbath and other precepts, statutes, and laws by the hand of Moses (Neh. 9:14).”
Let us look at the claims of this writer and see if his charge that “These distinctions are not taught in the Bible” is indeed valid and whether, as he also charges, that this belief by Adventists is based on false premises.
Let us go to Deuteronomy 5:22 which reads, after the Ten Commandments are quoted (verses 6-21): “These words (the Ten Commandments) the Lord spake unto all your assembly in the mount out of the midst of the fire, of the cloud, and of the thick darkness, with a great voice: and He added no more. And He wrote them in two tables of stone, and delivered them unto me.”
Let us note the distinct features of the law given
by God here. 1. He SPOKE Ten Commandments,
and ONLY Ten Commandments for “He added no more.” 2. He WROTE them ON STONE.
Now let us look at another feature regarding this law as we go to Deuteronomy
10: 5, after God had written the 2nd set on stone for Moses. We read, 3: “And
I turned myself and came down from the mount, and put the tables in the ark,
which I had made; and there they be,
as the Lord commanded.” Here we are told that this Ten Commandment law, made
of stone, written by the finger of God and spoken audibly by Him to all of
Let us now see what God’s Holy Word tells us about the law of Moses as we go to Deuteronomy 4:13 which states: “And He declared unto you His covenant, which He commanded you to perform, even ten commandments; and He wrote them upon two tables of stone.” Now verse 14:“And the Lord commanded me (Moses) at that time to teach you statutes and judgments, the ye might do them in the land...” Going on, 2 Kings 21:8, 2nd part, states: “only if they will observe to do according to all that I have commanded them, and according to all the law that my servant Moses commanded them.” But let us go on as we read in Nehemiah 9:13,14: “Thou camest down also upon Mount Sinai, and speakest with them from heaven, and gavest them right judgments, and true laws, good statutes and commandments: and madest known unto them Thy holy Sabbath, and commandest them precepts, statutes, and laws by the hand of Moses Thy servant.” Again in Deuteronomy 31:9 it states: “And Moses wrote this law, and delivered it unto the priests the sons of Levi...”
Now we will see what happened to this law that MOSES WROTE as we go to Deuteronomy 31: 24-26 as we read: “And it came to pass, when Moses had made an end of writing the words of this law in a book until they were finished, That Moses commanded the Levites, which bare the ark of the covenant of the Lord saying, Take this book of the law and put it in the side of the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, that it may be there for a witness against thee.”
Let us stand back now and summarize these laws, the law of God and the law of Moses and see if, as Adventists believe, they are indeed two separate and distinct laws, or whether they are one and the same and interchangeable as the writer states. We have read that:
The 10-commandment law of God was SPOKEN by Him “and He added no more.”
God wrote the 10-commandment law ON STONE.
God’s 10-commandment law was put INSIDE THE ARK.
Can anyone, to this point, honestly state that these two laws are one and the same, that there is no distinction between the two, that they are interchangeable, and that “These distinctions are not taught in the Bible”? But let us go on.
God’s law deals with MORAL precepts.
God’s law reveals sin. [Romans 7: 7; James 1:23-25].
Breaking of God’s law is sin [1 John 3:4].
God’s people should “keep the whole law.” James 2:10
8. a) “We shall be judged” by the law of
God’s law is called “The perfect law of liberty.” James
Christ was to “magnify the law and make it honourable.” Isaiah 42:21.
God’s law is spiritual [Romans 7: 14]
Furthermore, we are told in Galatians 3:19 that the law of Moses was to serve only “till the seed should come” [Jesus Christ]. Was it a sin to offer a lamb in sacrifice before Jesus died? No, it was required for the forgiveness of sin. Was it a sin to offer a lamb after Jesus died? Yes, because it made a mockery of, and was a total denial of His eternal sacrifice. We read that sin is the transgression of the law, which law, the one requiring offerings and sacrifices or the moral law? ONLY the moral law! Can anyone go to heaven that breaks the law? No, for Revelation 22:14 states that only those who keep His 10-commandment law will have a right to the tree of life which is in heaven, and all lawbreakers will be consigned to the flames.
Repeatedly we have shown where the Word of God makes a distinct difference between the 10-commandment law of God and the law of Moses. I ask the writer and any reader, “which is the false premise or assumption being promoted here that leads one to come to the conclusion that these are two separate, different and individual laws as the writer states?
Also, in number 1 of the writers statement, he refers to Luke 2:22, 23 as an example to show that the two laws are interchangeable. No one can dispute that God did give both laws––one audibly and written on stone, the other through Moses to give to Israel, so in that sense they BOTH are the law of God for He alone is the great law-giver (for “There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy:” James 4:12), but they are definitely NOT interchangeable as the Word of God has clearly shown! And looking at Luke 2:22, 23, and 24, the question is: “Which one of the 10-commandments speaks of turtledoves or pigeons? In fact in verse 22 it states “according to the Law of Moses”! As stated before, God’s 10-commandment law deals with MORAL issues––defines sin; the law of Moses deals with ceremonial, ritualistic, and health matters––and mentions pigeons. Let us now go back to the writer’s objections.
Going on the author states:
“ADVENTISTS TEACH: That animal sacrifices, incense, etc., were in the law of Moses. These they admit were abolished when Jesus was crucified. But:
THE BIBLE TEACHES: That animal sacrifice was in the law of God. “He appointed also the king’s portion of his substance for the burnt offerings, to wit, for the morning and evening burnt offerings, and the burnt offerings for the Sabbaths, and for the new moons, and for the set feasts, as it is written in the law of the Lord.” 2 Chron. 31:3 “And to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.” Luke 2:24.”
A response to these verses used here. We have already established in James 4:12 that there is only one lawgiver––one Supreme Authority, but I ask the writer, which one of the 10 commandments mention anything about burnt offerings, new moons, and feasts? And as previously stated, Luke 2:22 clearly states that this was from the law of Moses! Was Moses a lawgiver? Only in the sense that God chose him to give the laws as we read in Nehemiah 9:14 “And madest known unto them the holy Sabbath, and commandest them precepts, statutes, and laws, by the hand of Moses thy servant.”
But some may say “Aha! What about the Sabbath? Doesn’t it say in these verses mention that the Sabbath is written in the law of Moses? Yes it does, but let us note one important distinction that God makes as we read in Leviticus, chapter 23. Here it mentions the 7 annual Sabbaths or feasts that the Israelites observed “Besides the Sabbaths of the Lord..” Verse 38. This tells us that though God’s 7th day Sabbath was also taught in the law of Moses, as it is in the Ten Commandment law, it was set apart from all the other Sabbaths or feast days found in the law of Moses. But let us continue reading what this writer states.
“Can the law of God be changed or done away? If not, the animal sacrifice is still binding. Yes, God abolished the Sabbath with the same authority he did animal sacrifice. The law had to be changed. (Heb. 7:12) [“For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law.” ] Christ took away the first that He might establish the second” (Heb. 10:9,10).”
As we have previously established on page 2, in numbers 4-11, the law that was changed, done away with, blotted out, are given “no such commandment to keep,” is the Mosaic law (for the Sabbath was established 1200 years before the priesthood came into existence). In fact this was made unmistakably evident when the temple veil was rent supernaturally from the top down at the time of Christ’s death signifying an end to the Mosaic system of sacrifices and offerings––see Matt. 27:51; Mark 15:38; Luke 23:45. But let us go on as the writer continues:
“ADVENTISTS TEACH: That God gave the Ten Commandments, and that Moses gave incense, etc.
THE BIBLE TEACHES: That Moses gave the Ten Commandments: Jesus said, “For Moses said, Honor thy father and thy mother (Mark 7:10). This was the fifth of the Ten Commandments. Jesus said Moses gave it; Adventists say God gave it. Which will you believe? “Did not Moses give you the law, and yet none of you keepeth the law? Why go ye about to kill me?” John 7:17 Here again Jesus said that Moses gave the law. “Thou shalt not kill” was one of the Ten Commandments. So Moses gave the Ten Commandments!”
Let us once again let the Word of God respond to this person’s erroneous conclusions. We have already clearly made the distinctions (pages 2 and 3) between the law given by God, and the law given by Moses, so what is the answer to those verses above quoted by the writer? Let us go to Luke 24 verse 27, which states: “And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, He expounded unto them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.” We also read in verse 44: “And He said unto them, ‘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 in the psalms, concerning me.”
Any true Bible student knows that in the days of Christ, the Scriptures, which they had, were not referred to as the Old Testament, as we call it today. They were referred to as “Moses” or “the law of Moses,” “the prophets” and “the psalms.” In fact, these verses in Luke are the only place in the Scriptures where specific mention is made of the common three-fold division of the Old Testament recognized by the Hebrew people themselves.
1. “The law of Moses,” that is the portion of the Old Testament written by Moses, commonly called the Pentateuch, and consisting of the first five books of the Bible (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy). Elsewhere the Pentateuch is referred to as “the law,” (Matt. 7:12; Luke 16:16; etc, “the law of Moses” (Acts 28:23), and sometimes simply “Moses” (Luke 16:29, 31).
2. “The prophets” for example, were divided by the Hebrews into what they called “the former prophets”––Joshua, Judges, and the books of Samuel and Kings––and “the latter prophets” Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and the twelve Minor prophets.
3. “The psalms” which included not only what we call the book of Psalms, but probably also all the other books not belonging to “Moses” or to “the prophets.” These books of the third section are commonly called the Hagiographa, or simply the Writings.
So, Christ was NOT indicating that Moses was the literal originator of any law, but that the law came through the books written by Moses under direct inspiration of God. The writer asks, “Which will you believe?” Our answer is that we believe the Word of God, not any individual’s erroneous and contradictory reasoning. But let us continue reading.
“The Adventists make a distinction where there is no
difference. God gave the law of Moses. Moses gave
the Law of God––the one given on
In view of the texts quoted on page 1, it is hard to
imagine how anyone can even begin to agree, as this author states, that it
was Moses that gave the law given on
“ADVENTISTS TEACH: That the Sabbath is a moral obligation.
THE BIBLE TEACHES: That the Sabbath ‘WAS MADE’ (Mark 2:27). Moral obligations are right within themselves. Religious duties are right only because God commands them. The Sabbath was made right and binding on the Jews only because God commanded it (Ex.20:8). Moral obligations relate to our fellowmen. Religious duties relate to God. When Adam and Eve ate of the forbidden fruit, they sinned because they violated a command of God; but they did not thereby commit an act of immorality. They sinned against God not against their fellowman.
It has always been wrong to murder, steal, lie and commit adultery. These things are wrong within themselves. God forbids them because they are wrong. Failure to keep the Sabbath violates no moral law. Men would never have known to keep the Sabbath if God had not commanded it. Furthermore, worship is a religious duty and not a moral obligation.
Even the morals of the Ten Commandments are below the standards of Christianity. ‘Thou shalt not kill.’ This command does not condemn hate (1 Jn. 3:15). ‘Thou shalt not commit adultery. This command does not condemn lust. The new law under Jesus does (Matthew 5:28). ‘Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.’ This command does not forbid false witness for a neighbor, nor to a neighbor. The new law says, ‘AND ALL LIARS, shall have their part in the lake that burneth with fire and brimstone (Rev. 21:80). Many ask if they can live up to the Ten Commandments and be saved. The answer is emphatically ‘NO!”
He states: “Many ask if they can live up to the Ten Commandments and be saved. The answer is emphatically ‘NO’!” We agree with the writer that no one can be saved by keeping the law, and that man is morally unable to keep it. However, we would ask: If sinful man is unable to keep the law, and when he becomes a Christian he need not keep it, pray tell why was the law of God given? Shall we make a farce of God’s law and charge Heaven with proclaiming a code that was for thousands of years impossible of being kept, and that for the last two thousand years need not be kept? The Scriptures tell us: “And hereby we do know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He that saith I know Him, and keepeth not His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in Him.” 1 John 2:3,4. Also, “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments: and His commandments are not grievous.” 1 John 5:3.
Two things must be made clear here. First, no one can obtain salvation by “keeping the law.” That is salvation by works, which will save no one. However, a true Christian does have the power and ability to keep the law only through Christ dwelling in him. When humanity grasps the hand of divinity then we can truly claim the promise “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” Philippians 4:13. This is a study in itself which time does not permit us to go into here, but there are many verses which tell of the changes and power which come when the carnal mind is transformed to the spiritual by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. In conclusion, how fair would God be if He commanded us to do something that was impossible for us to do? But let us continue.
The writer states that the Sabbath is not a moral obligation, and that though “it has always been wrong to murder, steal, lie and commit adultery...men would have never known to keep the Sabbath if God had not commanded it.” In other words, God did not have to tell humankind that it is wrong to murder, steal, lie, etc., but He did have to tell man about the Sabbath. Let us look at that.
Do all men naturally know, as the writer implies, that it is wrong to steal, commit adultery, worship idols, or violate any other of the nine commands that he admits are moral? This question obviously challenges the very foundation on which the whole objection before us rests. Fortunately a clear and decisive answer can be given. Let us start with the first commandment. This command not only forbids polytheism but also requires that we worship not just one singular god, but ONE CERTAIN GOD, the TRUE God! Do all men naturally know who the true God is? The answer to both questions is no. Though most men of all races and ages have felt that they should worship some god or gods, there never has been agreement as to which god or gods should be worshiped––that knowledge has only come through revelation from God.
Let us take the second commandment. Do men know by
reason or nature that it is wrong to make a likeness of God, or of any creature and use it as an object of
religious worship? No. One only needs to turn to
Take the third commandment. The reason why we see force and meaning in the prohibition against taking God’s name in vain is that revelation presents to us a picture of a most pure and holy God, at whose very mention of His name the angels bow their heads, but the heathen, even the most enlightened Greeks, who possessed no such revelation, viewed their gods as lustful, depraved, vindictive, and even murderous, for they created gods in their own image and therefore, would it have seemed reasonable to a Greek to believe that there was anything wrong in taking lightly the name of any of his gods? No, history records that they did it habitually!
What about the seventh commandment? Does man by nature know that adultery is wrong? It is a well-known fact that adultery is not only condoned but encouraged in some cultures. In fact, among the primitive Eskimos it was the duty of the husband to offer his wife to the guest for the night, and the guest could offer no greater insult than to refuse to accept. And even at this very time the homosexual element is desperately trying to force legalization of same-sex marriage, convinced that they have every right to do so––that it is the “natural” thing to do, but it is revelation that reveals to us how odious it truly is.
We believe that reason and nature play some part in giving us a knowledge of right and wrong, of God and the judgment, so that men are without excuse. But how clear it is that a divine revelation is needed, not only for every one of the other nine commandments, but for the fourth as well. But why was the fourth commandment––the Sabbath given?
The writer has failed to discern that God has clearly told us that He created the Sabbath as a sign and reminder of His creative ability as we read in the 4th Commandment which states “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy...but the seventh day is the (not just A Sabbath, but THE Sabbath) Sabbath of the Lord thy God...For (or because) in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day; wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it.” Exodus 20:8-11. Isn’t it strange that most of the Christian world seeks to keep Sunday as a remembrance of Christ’s resurrection, when there is not the least mandate to do so, and yet they want to cast aside His Holy Sabbath day which He specifically commanded us to REMEMBER!
Going on the writer states:
“ADVENTISTS TEACH: That the Sabbath is a universal day of worship for all mankind.
THE BIBLE TEACHES: That the Sabbath was given to the
Israelites and to them only––unless a Gentile was proselytized to their
faith. “And Moses called all
THE SABBATH A SIGN: The Sabbath was a sign between
God and the children of
THE SABBATH A MEMORIAL: The Sabbath was a memorial
of the deliverance of the children of
God has never in any age commanded a Gentile, as
such, to keep the Sabbath. There is no more reason for a Gentile to keep the
Sabbath than for
It is true that these covenants were originally
given to the Israelites, but the reason that Sabbath observance was confined
to the Jews in the last part of the four-thousand-year period before Christ
was that NO OTHER PEOPLE ON THE FACE OF THE EARTH WERE TRUE FOLLOWERS OF GOD!
All others were pagans and heathens. Of course the Sabbath was closely
associated with the Jews during the time of their national history, and so
was EVERYTHING ELSE of the revealed will of God. The whole Bible was written
by Jews, much of it directly addressed to Jews. Both the old and the new
covenants were made with the “house of
The writer states that the Sabbath was binding only on the Jews, is that accurate? We read in Genesis 2: 1-3: Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had made; and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had made. And God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it: because that in it He had rested from all His work which God created and made.” This clearly tells us that at the end of creation God rested on, blessed, and sanctified or specifically set apart the seventh day of the week––Saturday, as HIS Sabbath––1200 hundred years before a Jew even existed! So how could it be binding only on the Jews? Furthermore, the Bible states in Mark 2:27: “And He said unto them, The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.” Christ did not say that the Sabbath was made for Jew, but for man––all mankind, and nowhere in the Bible will you see the seventh-day Sabbath referred to as a Jewish Sabbath––that is an invention of man. Did not God also establish the ordinance of marriage? And in 1 Corinthians 11:9 we read: “Neither was man created for the woman; but woman for the man.” Now if the word “man” in Mark 2:27 pertains only to the Jew, then according to this verse woman was made only for the Jew also, but how ridiculous a conclusion that is, is it not? But let us now continue to look at the writers reasoning. He states:
“ADVENTIST TEACH: That the Sabbath was given at creation and has been observed by man ever since.
THE BIBLE TEACHES: That the Sabbath was made known
This was just a few days before the Sabbath was made
one of the Ten Commandments. When they were told to “Remember the Sabbath
day, to keep it holy,” it does not mean they had been observing it from
creation; but as they reach the foot of the mount, at the giving of the
manna, the Sabbath had been made known. Nehemiah says that God came down upon
There is neither command, example, nor penalty concerning Sabbath observance during the patriarchal dispensation, which embraced the first 2500 years of the history of man. During the next 1500 years, from Sinai till the new law went into force (Acts 2) we find no command, example and penalty concerning Sabbath observance.”
Even so with the Sabbath law. It, along with the
other great precepts of the Decalogue, and many other statutes, was formally
made known to
God declares, “...I made myself known unto them, in
bringing them forth out of the
Another thought: Those who promote the importance of Sunday generally argue that man needs a recurring day of worship each week, nor do they set any bounds of time or place on that claim. Hence those who lived before Exodus were in need of such a recurring day. Seeing they were, would God fail to provide for that need? Indeed, did He not do that very thing when, at creation, He set apart for a holy use the seventh day? In fact what other conclusion would be reasonable?
If you turn to such references as Acts 13:42-44; 16:13; 17:2; 18:4, 7,8 etc. you will find numerous references that show Paul keeping the Sabbath, not only with the Jews and the Gentiles, but in synagogues, houses, riverbanks “as his manner (or custom) was,” as was Christ’s. (Luke 4:16). We also read in Rev. 1:10 that John was in the spirit “On the Lord’s day.” Which day is that? Sunday-keepers insist that that is Sunday, but there is absolutely no Biblical support for that. In fact the Bible states in Mark 2:28 “Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the Sabbath.” That’s the Lord’s day! Which brings us to the writer’s next objection. He states:
Some argue that the passage does not include the weekly Sabbath, but “Sabbath days” would include all Sabbath days. However, the word “days” is in italics, which means that it was supplied by the translators. Leaving off “days” the passage would read, “or the Sabbath.” When God said, “Remember the Sabbath day,” Adventists say it refers to the seventh day Sabbaths. Then when God gives us a better law, and tells us not to observe “the Sabbath,” why should it not likewise refer to the weekly Sabbath? The Sabbath was a type or shadow. Those who keep it are clinging to a shadow.””
Again, this objection was previously covered on pages 2 and 3 showing that this verse can only apply to the “handwriting of ordinances” of the ceremonial law given by Moses. And wouldn’t it be contradictory for Paul to give this strong counsel against the Sabbath and then continue to observe that very same Sabbath he condemns week after week, month after month, year after year, and that after Christ’s ascension, for he never saw Him while He still walked this earth? In fact, in the book of Hebrews, 4th chapter, he upholds the keeping of the Sabbath, both literally and spiritually (Hebrews 4:1-11). It is apparent that the translators well knew Paul’s practices in this matter and supplied the word for clarity and consistency.
In reference to the seventh-day Sabbath being a type
of shadow, the writer goes directly against Scripture for it is the things
concerning which no man is to judge us which “are a shadow of things to
come.” The weekly Sabbath was given to man in
Again, the Bible clearly defines what law this is as we read: “For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.” Hebrews 10:1. It is clear that this is the ceremonial law for as stated before; the moral, 10-commandment law makes not one mention whatsoever of sacrifices. We also read in Matthew 27:51 of the veil of the temple being supernaturally rent from the top to the bottom signifying by God’s hand that the law of Moses in sacrifices and ceremonies and shadowy Sabbaths was at that time done away with. This is clearly stated for us as we read: “He said, sacrifice and offering and burnt offering, and offerings for sin Thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law; then said He, Lo, I come to do Thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that He may establish the second.” Hebrews 10:8,9. Again, would it not be totally confusing and contradictory for Paul to make this strong statement condemning the 7th day Sabbath and then continue by voice and example insisting that that Sabbath should be kept? What folly indeed!
“1. The covenant God made with
2. God took away the covenant He made with
3. Therefore, God took away the Ten Commandments.
1-God took away the Ten Commandments – just proved.
1. When the covenant, the Ten Commandments, including the Sabbath, was given, Moses’ face shone when he came from the mount. (Ex. 34:27-35)
2. The covenant that God gave when Moses’ face shown “is abolished.” (2 Cor. 3:13)
3. Therefore the Sabbath is abolished.”
The writer bases all his objections on that fact
that the ten-commandment law itself is the actual covenant that God made with
In reference to the writer’s reference to Hebrews
8:6-13, the children of
Now, if that covenant was the ten-commandment law and it was abolished, as the writer states, then what defines sin? And if there is only one law, then the new covenant, under which all of us declare we may live today, calls for the writing upon our hearts, not only of God’s moral precepts, but of all the ceremonial statutes also! The logic that requires this conclusion is unanswerable––if there is only one law. Could better proof be offered that there must be more than one law?
Not a change in the terms of the covenant, the Ten
Commandments, but a change in the location of those commandments, this is the
essence of the difference between the two covenants. In other words, to live
under the new covenant is to live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved
us and gave Himself for us. The Israelites boasted that they of their own
volition could keep the covenant and it degenerated into a system of
salvation by works––as many are promoting in our day, but faith and obedience
to God’s commandments go hand in hand. How significant in this connection is
the description of those who will finally be awaiting the return of Christ:
“Here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.”
Rev. 14:12. And how significant is Paul’s statement that the “carnal mind”
which distinguished rebellious
The writer next states: “ARGUMENTS FOR SABBATH KEEPING ANSWERED:
(a) The Sabbath is spoken of as being perpetual (Ex. 31:16) How could a ‘perpetual’ Sabbath cease? It is asked. The same way that the perpetual temple service (1 Kings 9:3), and perpetual incense (Ex. 30:8) ceased.”
The Sabbath, as stated before, is a “perpetual” reminder of God’s creative ability, that He created this earth in seven days, and furthermore, we are told in Isaiah 66: 22,23 that it will be kept in the new earth for ALL eternity. How much more perpetual than that can you get?
“(b) ‘Jesus kept the Sabbath,’ we are told. He also kept the Passover, and the rest of the law. Jesus was born under the law (Gal. 4:40 and lived under the law. When He died He nailed it to the cross (Col. 2:14-17)”
Yes, Jesus did keep the Sabbath, for that was His custom (Luke 4:16). He also kept the Passover and the rest of the law for He Himself stated that He did not come to destroy the law but to fulfill it “till all be fulfilled.” (Matt.5:17-18) We’re also told in Galatians 3:19 that the law was added because of transgression “till the seed should come.” This tells us that the ceremonial law was only to be in effect UNTIL the seed, or Christ, should come and fulfill the types and shadows of that ceremonial law. That is what Christ nailed to the cross, not the moral law, for what a travesty of divine purpose would it have been for Him to suffer and die such a cruel death to pay the penalty for a law that was just going to be discarded.
“(c) Paul kept the Sabbath, some say. Why then did the Jews persecute him? Paul preached on the Sabbath in the synagogue because it was an opportunity. Of him it was said, ‘This fellow persuadeth men to worship contrary to the law.’ Acts 18:13.”
The writer states that Paul preached on the Sabbath because he had the opportunity to do so, not because he actually kept the Sabbath. What does the Bible say? We read: “And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them the next Sabbath.” “And the next Sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God.” Acts 13:42,44. It is obvious from the setting here that the Gentiles and the whole city could not enter the synagogue to hear Paul preach, because the Jews would have seen this as utter defilement of their synagogue. So why then did Paul choose to speak to them on the Sabbath rather than on the first day of the week? Would this not have been an excellent opportunity for him to impress upon them the importance of meeting on Sunday because the Sabbath had been abolished? But let us go on.
We read: “And on the Sabbath we went out of the city by a riverside, where prayer was wont to be made; and we sat down, and spake unto the women which resorted thither.” Acts 16:13. Again, why did Paul CHOOSE to worship on the Sabbath instead of Sunday? What excuse can the writer give for Paul meeting by the river on the Sabbath day? Wouldn’t it have been more of an opportunity for him to meet with these women on Sunday instead? But let us continue.
We read: “And he reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks.” Acts 18:4. As stated before, to allow a Gentile entry into a synagogue would, in the eyes of the Jew, defile it, so Paul must have ministered to the Greeks before or after he ministered in the synagogue. What a wonderful opportunity he missed to tell those Gentiles that the Sabbath was done away with and now they should be keeping Sunday!
As far as the Jews accusation that ‘This fellow persuadeth men to worship contrary to the law.’ In Galatians, chapters 4 and 5 Paul rebukes those “Christian” Jews who were insisting on returning again to the bondage of observing the “weak and beggarly elements” of “days, and months, and times, and years.” This is a direct reference to the ceremonial feast days and rituals that were part of the “handwriting of ordinances” that were nailed to the cross. That is why the Jews accused him of persuading men to worship contrary to the law, not because he was in any way honoring the observance of Sunday, as the writer alludes, but because he was turning them away from the “handwriting of ordinances” of the Mosaic law. But let us continue.
“(d) ‘If the Ten Commandments are abolished, then men can steal, lie, etc.’ It is said. Certainly not! All sin is condemned in the New Testament, see?”
I would ask the writer, “What is the definition on sin?” Webster’s 1828 dictionary defines sin thusly: “The voluntary departure of a moral agent from a known rule of rectitude or duty, prescribed by God; any voluntary transgression of the divine law, or violation of a divine command; a wicked act; iniquity. Sin is either a positive act in which a known divine law is violated, or it is the voluntary neglect to obey a positive divine command, or a rule of duty clearly implied in such a command. Sin comprehends not action only, but neglect of known duty, all evil thoughts and purposes, words and desires, whatever is contrary to God’s commands or law.”
But since it is not up to mortal man to define what sin is, even though that definition clearly spells it out, the only authority for this is the word of God. Since sin involves a moral act, unlike a crime, which falls under civil jurisdiction and a fault, which indicates a shortcoming of character, sin can only be defined and forgiven by God. What does the Bible say sin is? Let us go to 1 John 3:4 which states: “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.” We also read: “Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression.” Romans 4:15. So here we are told that sin is the act of breaking God’s law––His moral ten-commandment law, even just one of them, not the Mosaic one that was nailed to the cross (for Paul stated regarding that law, “Ye must be circumcised, and keep the law: to whom we gave no such commandment.” Acts 15:24.), and we also read that where there is no law there is no transgression––no sin. So what standard of morality is the writer referring to when he says that sin is condemned in the New Testament, when we have just read in the New Testament that “sin is the transgression of the law”––the very law which the writer states has been abolished! As stated before, on page 7, knowledge of our religious duty to God comes only through the revelation of the word of God, not through some innate instinct in man. Let us go on.
“(e) ‘The Catholics changed the Sabbath,’ it is argued. This just is not true. The law was changed (Heb. 7:12) before the Catholic Church ever existed. During the days of the apostles, the early Christians were taught to worship on the first day of the week (Acts 20:7; 1 Cor. 16:2), and they were taught not to keep the Sabbath (Col. 2:16). Christ changed the day of worship (Heb. 10:9,10), not the Catholics. The Bible is right regardless of what Catholics or Adventists say.”
As far as the Catholics changing the day of worship from Saturday to Sunday, that fact can easily be verified by history despite what the writer states. However he is correct when he states that the Bible IS right regardless of what the Catholics or the Adventists or YOU or I say! So let us look at the Bible and at those verses the writer uses to support his contention that the early Christians were taught to worship on the first day of the week and taught not to keep the Sabbath. Let us go to Acts 20: 7 which states: “And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow: and continued his speech until midnight.” For the sake of clearly understanding this verse I must also include a couple of other verses. We continue reading: “And there were many lights in the upper chamber, where they were gathered together” Verse 8. Then through verses 10 there follows the account of the young man who fell asleep and fell down and was mortally injured but Paul resuscitated him when we take up the narrative again: “When he therefore was come up again, and had broken bread, and eaten, and talked a long while, even till break of day, so he departed.” Verse 11.
In looking closely at the events surrounding this meeting “upon the first day of the week,” some crucial facts become evident. Let us look at them.
Today we reckon time from midnight to midnight, a system that has come to us from the secular world not from the Scriptures, for it is a well-known fact that the Bible reckons time from sunset to sunset, not from midnight to midnight, as we read in Genesis 1:5,8,13,19,23,31. And Leviticus 23:32 tells us that “...from even unto even, shall ye celebrate your Sabbath.” And what is “even”? We read: “And at even, when the sun did set...” Mark 1:32.
So keeping this in mind, going back to Acts 20, verse 8, we can safely deduce that since there were “many lights in the upper chamber,” that this service was held at night, also the fact that Paul spoke “even till break of day,” (verse 11) confirms this as a nighttime meeting. That being the case, the first day of the week would start on Saturday night, after sundown, just as the Sabbath starts on Friday night after sundown. So this meeting was actually held on Saturday night, not on the daytime part of Sunday, leading to the conclusion that for a Sunday advocate to look to this event as proof of Sunday sacredness is only to reveal how weak is the case for Sunday worship in the Scriptures.
But let us now look at 1 Cor. 16:2 which states: “Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.” According to Sunday advocates and apparently the writer, we are supposed to find here a picture of a religious service when a company is gathered together and the offering is being taken up. The reasoning, of course, is that if a service was held on Sunday, that proves Sunday is sacred, and by inference, that the Sabbath of the Decalogue has been abolished.
Admittedly, this is a very great deal to attempt to find in one text; especially when one cannot honestly draw such deductions from it. Instead of describing a church offering, where the faithful pass over their gifts to a deacon, the record plainly says that each one was to “lay by him in store.” The R.S.V. translates this verse as such: “On the first day of every week, each of you is to put something aside and save, as he may prosper, so that contributions need not be made when I come.” In other words, when the first day of the week had come, each one was to decide from the prior week’s earnings how much to set aside for the special collection that Paul was going to take to the poor at Jerusalem, and lay it by in a special place apart from the other money of the house. THIS WAS AN ACT OF BOOKKEEPING, NOT AN ACT OF WORSHIP! Again, how can any student of the Bible honestly and sincerely use this verse as a support for Sunday worship?
But let us go the extra mile and look at some other verses that are frequently used by Sunday advocates. Let us go to Luke 20:19 which many use to support their belief that the disciples were gathered to honor Christ’s resurrection. We read:“Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.”
The disciples were not gathered to celebrate Christ’s resurrection. They were huddled there behind locked doors “FOR FEAR OF THE JEWS!” In fact, not only were they NOT celebrating the resurrection of Christ, they did not even believe that He had risen even after they were told! Just go to Luke 24:10,11,36,37, and Mark 16:13,14! So once again, this “first day of the week verse offers absolutely no support for Sunday observance.
But let us go to one more that is used. Let us go back to Acts 20:7 which states that “the disciples came together to break bread.” We’ve already established that this was definitely a Saturday night gathering. But again, for the sake of argument concede that it actually was on a Sunday, does that help their case any? Sorry, for reading in Acts 2:46 we see: “And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart.” So here we see that the act of breaking bread in and of itself, had little or nothing to do with the sanctity of the day on which it was done. Let us continue.
“(f) Jesus came not to destroy the law. He came to fulfill. He said: ‘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.’ When it was fulfilled THEN IT DID PASS AWAY. Did Jesus fulfill it? On the cross He said ‘It is finished.’ After His resurrection, Jesus said He had fulfilled the law, the prophets, and the psalms. (Luke 24:44). Therefore the law HAD passed away.”
Is the abolishment of the moral law what Jesus meant when He said in Luke 24:44 “...that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms concerning me”? In verse 27 it states: “And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, He expounded unto them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.” What were the things concerning Himself? Since He began “at Moses” we know that He began with the book of Genesis, and under this revelation John could fearlessly proclaim “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God...He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not.” John 1:1,10. Paul could confidently state: “For by Him were all things created...all things were created by Him and for Him.” Col. 1:16, etc,. Etc,. Etc.
What was fulfilled were all the prophecies regarding His birth, His mission, His Messiaship and incarnation etc., that were written hundreds and even thousands of years before His appearance here on this earth in all the books of the Old Testament, and illustrated through the ordinances and ceremonies of the Sanctuary services––which, as stated before, came to a sudden and dramatic end at His death on the cross. Again, at the risk of much redundancy, it was THIS LAW that was abolished––nailed to the cross!
“(g) ‘We are to live by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.’ Another argues. The command to build the ark, offer animal sacrifice, burn incense, and practice circumcision all proceeded from the mouth of God. Are we to live by these commands? The commandments of God in the Patriarchal and Mosaic ages are not binding on Christians (Heb. 1:1,2). We must now hear Christ (Matt. 17:2; 28:18).
In view of the above writers assertion that “The commandments of God in the Patriarchal and Mosaic ages are not binding on Christians” isn’t it puzzling and strange then that under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the apostle James tells us in chapter 2 that ALL are going to be judged by that ten commandment law that the writer says is now abolished, and he even lists some of those laws in verse 11 so that there will be no mistaking what law he is referring to? Furthermore, he tells us in verse ten that if you break just one of them, you’re guilty of breaking them all! Was James then laboring under some false assumption?
And what about the apostle John? Was he also under some delusional influence when he defined sin as the transgression of the law––the law that according to the writer is no longer binding on Christians? And what of his words in 1 John 2:3,4 which state: “And hereby we do know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He that saith, I know Him, and keepeth not His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” Were James and John Christians or not? And three times the very last book of the Bible, the book of Revelation signals God’s approval and favor upon those that keep His commandments––in fact it is ONLY those who do so who will be in His kingdom, which strongly confirms the words of Christ Himself when He told the rich young ruler “...but if thou wilt enter into life, (eternal life––in heaven) keep the commandments” in Matt. 19:17. And then, again so that there would be no mistaking what commandments He was referring to; He lists some of them in verses 18 and 19. But the writer above tells us that those commandments are “not binding on Christians––we must now hear Christ.” I ask, according to these Bible texts, who is hearing Christ? Those that keep His commandments, or those that say that those commandments are “not binding on Christians?” But let us go on.
“CONCLUSION: After the resurrection, Jesus gave the term of pardon for the new will and testament (Matt. 28:18; Mk. 16:15,16, Luke. 24:46,47). Men must hear the gospel, believe it, repent of their sins, confess faith in Christ, and be baptized into Christ for the remission of sins. The apostles, guided by His Spirit, went to work and executed His the will of Christ on the terms laid down by him. This plan of redemption is new. It is different to that of the old law.’
In this, I am in total agreement with the writer although not in a way in which he intends. First of all he states that men must repent of their sins and be baptized into Christ for the remission of sins. My question is just how can they do this when the writer insists that the very standard defining the sin they must repent of is now abolished? And yes, this plan of redemption IS new, it IS different to that of the old law as we read: “The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all (in Heaven) was not yet made manifest, while as yet the first tabernacle was standing: which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience; which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation. But Christ being come an High Priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by His own blood He entered in once into the Holy Place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.” Hebrews 9: 8-12. And again: “Then said He, Lo, I come to do Thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that He may establish the second.” Heb. 10:9. So these verses plainly and unmistakably tell us that it is the law of sacrifices and drinks and offerings and washings and ordinances etc., the Mosaic law, that Jesus came to do away with. What other conclusion can a reasonable person reach? Let us continue.
Keeping the Sabbath required the following:
1. Do no work. (Ex. 20:9,10)
Let us look at those requirements listed by the writer. No. 1 is observed by faithful Sabbath-keepers today. Only those tasks vital to health and safety are performed on the Sabbath. Of course the preacher, as the priest of old, must minister or work on that day, and also animals and livestock must be cared for. Jesus was accused of breaking the Sabbath because he ministered to the sick and suffering and even dared to pluck some grain on the Sabbath.
When considering No. 2 it must be considered that kindling a fire required considerable labor, but when the Israelites were in the desert the comparatively warm climate of the Sinai region made artificial heating unnecessary, and a fire would have been kindled only for cooking purposes. Not being essential to health in such a climate, warm food was not to be prepared on Sabbath. In fact as one reads the account of the manna, in Exodus 16:23 the Israelites were given instruction to bake and seethe what they were to eat on the day before the Sabbath––the preparation day––Friday. To believe that the God of mercy and love who stated that it was a man’s rightful duty to pull the ox out of the ditch on Sabbath would condemn someone for kindling a fire when it was a matter of safety or health, is to believe in a god other than that of the Scriptures, but this admonition referred to the laborious duties involved in cooking a meal on the Sabbath.
In references to No.3, today faithful Sabbath-keepers bake, boil, cook etc., their food on Friday before the Sabbath so that it only requires a few moments on the stove to warm it up to an appetizing degree.
No. 4 was carried to a legalistic, harsh, fanatic degree by the Pharisees of Christ’s day who condemned the cripple for rolling up and carrying his bed (John 5:10). This verse in Jeremiah and a similar injunction in Nehemiah 13:18-21 refers to those who eager for profit, were transporting merchandise on the Sabbath day. It does not apply to legitimate and necessary tasks.
No. 5 refers of course to the Mosaic system, now nailed to the cross. Continuing––––
“It is argued that the other things were abolished because not in the Ten Commandments, then why do Adventists refuse to eat pork in the Ten Commandments. The doctrine of abstaining from meat today is of the devil (1 Tim. 4:1-4)”
Yes, the writer is correct in stating that the admonition against eating pork is not found in the ten commandments, but it is found in the Mosaic law which was abolished, so on what basis do Adventists refuse to eat it. Again let us look to Holy Scripture. Going back to Genesis, the first book of the Bible, we see in chapter 7 as Noah was given divine instruction prior to boarding the ark, God directed him to take 7 of the clean and 2 of the unclean beasts into the ark. This was over a thousand years before there was a Jew, so the distinction was already clear back then that some beasts were clean and some were unclean. But now let us go to the last book of the Bible, Revelation where in chapter 18, verse 2 it speaks of unclean and hateful birds, and that is not all, but before we go to the next verse in mind, let us look at 1 Timothy 4:1-4 which states: “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and the doctrines of devils. Speaking lies in hypocrisy: having their conscience seared with a hot iron; Forbidding to marry and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving.”
I have highlighted the portions of the verse, which I believe are especially relevant to the writer’s objection, the fact that Adventists prohibit the eating of pork as unclean flesh. The question is, was Paul condemning those who forbid the eating of swine here? The answer is found in the very next verse, which is not usually read by those who want to believe that eating swine’s flesh is condoned or approved of God. We read in reference to this, “For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving.” “For it is sanctified by the word of God AND prayer.” (Verse 5)
The one vital fact that those who advocate the eating of swine and other unclean flesh overlook is that it MUST be sanctified by the word of God and not just prayer, for there are many conditions under which prayer is an abomination to God, one of them is the prayer of those who––in fact, let us read one specific verse in its entirety: “He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination.” Prov. 28:9.
Now, getting back to the subject of flesh food, it MUST be sanctified by the word of God. Has swine or any other unclean food ever been sanctified by the word of God? Some may say that the account of Peter in Acts 10 supports this, however a close reading of the entire account will show that the issue was not the literal eating of unclean flesh, but addressed the matter of ecclesiastical, racial and social pride and intolerance.
But there is one final verse that I have in mind that should settle this question once and for all. Let us go to Isaiah 66: 15-17 which reads, in reference to His soon-coming return: “For behold, the Lord will come with fire, and with His chariots like a whirlwind, to render His anger with fury, and His rebuke with flames of fire. For by fire and by His sword will the Lord plead with all flesh: and the slain of the Lord shall be many. They that sanctify themselves, and purify themselves in the gardens behind one tree in the midst, eating swine’s flesh and the abomination, and the mouse, shall be consumed together, saith the Lord.” Is there any question remaining now as to whether the prohibition of eating pork, shrimp, lobster, rabbit, crab, or any other unclean and abominable creature is of the devil, or of God? And since it is of God, then whose doctrine are those promoting who insist that there is no such prohibition? But let us continue with these final objections.
“(1) That the name Seventh-day Adventist is not in the Bible.”
No, the name Seventh-day Adventist is NOT in the Bible, but it simply describes those who keep the seventh-day Sabbath, and are awaiting the advent, or coming of Jesus Christ. The name is not there but can anyone deny that the apostles, the early Christians, and all faithful people of God since Christ ascended were, and are Seventh-day Adventists in faith and practice?
“(2) That they have a church manual, or creed, to which all members must subscribe; and this manual contradicts the Bible.”
Unfortunately, and sadly so, the writer is absolutely accurate in this assessment. However, this ONLY applies to the official, corporate, denominational organization of Seventh-day Adventists. Thankfully, just as in the days of Jesus where there also was an official, corporate, denominational organization, there was also a small but faithful group of believers who followed an itinerant, unauthorized, unofficial ex-carpenter who was the true Shepherd, the Light of the world, the Bread of life. So today there is a small and relatively unknown and unrecognized and scattered group of faithful believers who have separated from that official denomination and are determined to follow the true Lamb, not a fallen and apostate, world-approval-seeking religious entity. In closing, the writer presents these challenges:
As far as finding the name SDA church in the Bible, that is explained a couple of paragraphs above. But this is truly inconsequential for the Bible tells us that “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” Acts 4:12. It is not membership in ANY denomination that will assure salvation, for Jesus said “And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one Shepherd.” John 10:16.
There are in reality only two churches in this world. Most “Christians” belong to the one described in Isaiah 4: 1 where we read: “And in that day (the end of time––now) seven (signifying “every or all”) women (meaning “churches” – see Rev. 17:1-5 and Rev. 12:1,2; Jer. 6:2) shall take hold of one man (meaning the Man Jesus Christ) saying, We will eat our own bread (They do not want to eat of the bread of life––to do what Jesus says––“If you love me keep my commandments”) and wear our own apparel: (They do not want Christ’s pure white robe of righteousness wrought through obedience) only let us be called by Thy name (Nevertheless they want to be recognized and acknowledged as Christians and followers of Him––why?) to take away our reproach.” (They don’t want to be known as the Babylonian harlots that they truly are!)
And the one TRUE church, the one true fold which is left in these final days of earth’s history, and follows the Lamb is described for us thusly: “And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God (they don’t argue that they are abolished, they observe them), and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” Revelation 12:17.
God left specific directions regarding His Sabbath––when to begin it, when to close it, how to observe it (Lev. 23:32; Ex. 20:8-11; Isa. 58:13,14 etc.) I challenge the writer, since he insists that Sunday is now the day for Christians to keep, to show FROM THE BIBLE when to begin it, when to close it, and how to observe it, since there is vast disagreement and practice and confusion among Christianity regarding these specific matters. Some go to church in the morning and devote the rest of the day to secular matters and pleasure. Some spend much of the day in church activities etc., etc., but as yet I have been unsuccessful in finding anyone who can give me FROM THE BIBLE the answers to these requests. Can the writer? Surely, since God gave such specifics for His Sabbath, if He did change it, is it not reasonable to expect Him to likewise give directions for His NEW day of worship? I submit that his only defense is man’s tradition, condemned by Christ in Mark 7:6-9, 13.
In closing, I would like to say that I believe I have submitted ample Scriptural evidence to show that it is the Christian’s duty to keep the Sabbath––if he truly loves the Lord. Over and over we are admonished to “keep the commandments,” at the heart of which is the Sabbath command. Paul, in Hebrews 4:11 states: “Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.” It is clear, not only from the context of the chapter, but from Paul’s own example that he is unquestionably referring to the seventh-day Sabbath here––both in a spiritual and a literal sense. And throughout the entire New Testament the Sabbath is inferred, implied, and illustrated by example and behavior, so why would a specific command to observe something that was the custom, the norm, the accepted, not only during the New Testament era, but for thousands of years before that, be necessary?
My prayer is that the writer of these objections will open his heart to the truth of the Scriptures rather than continue the example as given us in 2 Peter 3:16 which states: “As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.”
The Lord has plainly given us instruction as to how to interpret the Scriptures, not in our own judgment and opinion, but by letting the Bible be its own interpreter. We read: “Whom shall He teach knowledge? And to whom shall He make to understand doctrine? Them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line, here a little there a little.” Isaiah 28:9, 10
The writer of these objections has failed to follow these instructions and instead has based his arguments on one solitary verse here and there which, as demonstrated, can only lead to confusion and contradiction and erroneous conclusions. But there is still another rule by which all of our findings, conclusions, beliefs and opinions must be tested. We read: “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” Isaiah 8:20. “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments. For this is the whole duty of man.” Ecclesiastes 12:13 IT ALWAYS HAS BEEN, AND ALWAYS WILL BE!
May the light of God’s truth and the peace of His word richly bless all who read this study, is my prayer.
Clarence A. Settle