Is Saturday the Correct Sabbath? Looking at the SDA Teaching

   One of the mis-teachings in 7th Day Adventism is that the Sabbath must be kept on Saturday only. As a side note, there is another article on my site where I address the false view of Jesus and Michael the Archangel being the same. You can find that at http://www.mikeschristiancorner.com/sda.html on my web page. When should we worship the Lord? Are we given any new command? What could be the danger in keeping the Sabbath Law Moses delivered? Here is the problem. You canít just pick one law and live by it. you have to take the other 200+ Levitical laws and live by them to. To try and add a work like this is to say Christís atonement was not enough. Jesus told us He is now our Sabbath.

James 2:10
For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.

WHAT THE BIBLE TEACHES:
1. The Sabbath, though mentioned in Genesis. 2:2-3, was not delivered to man until it was given to Israel in the wilderness (Ne. 9:13-14).
2. The Sabbath was given, not to mankind in general, but to Israel alone as a special covenant sign between her and God (Ex. 31:13,17).
3. Ellen White added to Scripture in teaching that Adam and the patriarchs kept the Sabbath. The Bible says absolutely nothing about this. In fact, it cannot be true. If the Sabbath had been kept by mankind in general from the creation, it could not have been given as a special sign to Israel.

4. The New Testament is the only infallible guide of what part of the Mosaic law continues to be binding in any sense upon the church age believer. The New Testament plainly teaches that the believer today is not bound to the Sabbath law! "Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holy day, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath days: which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ" (Col. 2:16-17).

5. According to the New Testament epistles, the Sabbath question has no relevance to the church. In all the instruction God gave the churches in the epistles, there is only one mention of the SabbathóColossians 2:16óand that one mention was only to show that it is not binding upon New Testament believers. Is it not strange, in light of the fact that the New Testament epistles mention the Sabbath only once and that only to show it is not now binding, that Seventh-day Adventism makes such a big deal over Sabbath observance? Surely, the SDA denomination has a very different understanding of the Sabbath than did the Apostles! The Apostles, in their writings, placed absolutely no importance on the Sabbath. The SDA, in their writings, place great importance upon it. With one of their correspondence courses, the SDA sent me a lovely printing of the tablets containing the Ten Commandments. This was printed on expensive gold foil, and the Sabbath was highlighted, allegedly as it was highlighted in Ellen Whiteís visions. I assume I was supposed to treasure this. No, my friends, I do not glory in the Sabbath. The Apostle Paul said the Sabbath is not for me.

6. The Sabbath was a type of salvation. "There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his" (He. 4:9,10). Adventists admit that the Old Testament types and shadows, such as the Levitical offerings, were fulfilled in the life and death of the Lord Jesus Christ, yet, they maintain that the weekly Sabbath was not a type that was fulfilled by Christ. In Hebrews 4, though, the Sabbath is presented as a type of salvation. As God rested on the seventh day from His work of creation, the true believer today rests in the completed work of the Lord Jesus Christ. In order to enter Godís rest, a person must quietly accept Godís work and cease from his own work. Salvation is Godís gift.

7. The Sabbath law was severe and rigid. (1) No work, Ex. 20:10; 31:14-15; (2) bear no burden, Je. 17:21; (3) light no fire, Ex. 35:3. Only in relatively warm climates such as that in Israel could this be reasonably observed. The law of the Sabbath was so severe that God had an Israelite stoned merely for gathering sticks to build a fire because by this he broke the Sabbath law (Nu. 15:32-36). The law was not given to be a blessing. The Apostle Peter had lived under the law all his life until he was converted in his adult years, and he called it a yoke of bondage "which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear" (Acts 15:10).
James 2:10 informs us that the law cannot be broken. Thus, anyone desiring to observe the Sabbath of the Mosaic law must observe it exactly as God demanded in the Old Testament. And such a one must observe every other detail of the law. The Old Testament law is not the Christianís standard; Christ is! By reducing the requirements of the Sabbath law, the SDA church destroys the power of the Mosaic law to reveal the need for the Savior. The Mosaic law was never intended as a way of life for the justified manó"knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man..." (1 Ti. 1:9). The law was intended solely as a schoolmaster to bring the sinner to the Savior and to His salvation.

8. There is no Bible authority for a change in the Sabbath law. The Lord Jesus did not change the law. He simply condemned the traditions of the Pharisees which had been added to the law. "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. 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" (Mt. 5:17-18).

9. This is another instance of Ellen White adding to the inspired revelation. Mrs. White saw the Sabbath law as more important than all others; it "shone above them all." The inspired Apostles saw no importance in it at all for the New Testament believer.

10. Jesus kept the Sabbath because He was born under the law to fulfill the demands of the law. "But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons" (Ga. 4:4-5). The Lord Jesus willingly made Himself a servant, born under the Mosaic law, that He might redeem sinners from the curse and bondage of the law into the eternal liberty of sonship. In Matthew 5:17-20 Jesus expounded the demands of the law, which is perfection. Christ came not to destroy the law, but to fulfill it, which He did. Jesus was under the law that believers might not be.

11. It cannot be proved that the Apostle Paul and the early churches observed the Sabbath. Adventists teach this as fact, but it is mere conjecture. It is true that Paul met in the synagogues on the Sabbath in order to preach to the Jews assembled there, but this does not mean that he observed the Sabbath law of the Mosaic system. Rather, Paul testified concerning the Sabbath question, "Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holy day, or of the new moon, or the Sabbath days" (Col. 2:16). The Apostle Paul plainly taught that Sabbath keeping is not binding upon New Testament believers. To observe or not to observe holy days is a matter of individual Christian liberty. "One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind" (Ro. 14:5). According to the Bible, the reason Paul visited synagogues on the Sabbath was to preach the gospel. Paulís burden after conversion was to preach Christ. He was burdened for his own people, the Jews. So, he went where the Jews were to preach Christ to them. Consider Acts 13:14-44; 16:13-14; 17:2-4; and 18:4. "And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three Sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures. The fact that Paul went to synagogues on Sabbaths does not prove he kept the Sabbath law any more than his going to the feasts in Jerusalem proves he believed himself bound to the laws of the feasts. He felt bound to none of these things. He was free in Christ. He went as a soul winner to witness to his kinsmen of the freedom in Christ that he himself enjoyed.

A quick read of all of Romans 1,2,3 as well as 14 will show the Law can no longer save you. Live by the law, judged by the law, and no man but Jesus can stand up to it!

Galatians 2:21
I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.

 

In His Grace,

       Mike Harris Jr.

 

 

 

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