The Seventh-day Adventist Sabbath – Notes on ‘Sabbath Arguments and Answer’ given by Colleen Tinker - a Former Adventist
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Last Updated: 05.06.2018
The Seventh-day Adventist - Sabbath – Notes on ‘Sabbath Arguments and Answer’ given by Colleen Tinker
- a Former Adventist
Download PDF - Jesus ascended to the Holy of Holies - Journey of a Sabbath Keeping Couple 20.03.18
Download PDF - SDA - Investigative Judgment Unmasked – a Catholic Response 20.03.18
I have put this document together as a tool of reference to help assist discussions with Seventh-day Adventists about the Sabbath. At creation Adam and Eve were created into God’s Rest, fell away from God’s Rest through sin but are restored to the Eternal Rest of God, in Christ Jesus, by Christ’s death and resurrection, and that we have access to salvation, and the eternal Rest of Christ, through becoming a member of Christ’s Body by our own yes to Jesus, which is Baptism. In the text below, (I provide pointers in italics, in brackets) and provide further reading references.
Colleen Tinker, a former Adventist, in the YouTube video with the link provided below, speaks to fellow Former Adventists at one of their Conferences in California in 2013. This is one of the greatest and most significant presentations from the Former Adventist Fellowship - FAF. Colleen Tinker skilfully and comprehensively shows that God Himself tells us, through the scriptures, that the Mosaic Covenant is temporary and that the Abrahamic and New Covenants are eternal; and that this is confirmed by the writings of the Apostles in the Gospels, the Epistles and in Revelation.
2. How do we know the Mosaic Covenant was temporary?
3. How do we know the Law is not eternal?
4. Sabbath began at creation!
5. God said to remember the Sabbath, now how can you remember something he had not already said?
6. Jesus kept the Sabbath!
7. We will keep the Sabbath in Heaven!
8. Those who are saved keep the commandments of God!
9. God never changes!
11. Comments, Notes & References
1. Introduction (Video 02:07)
1.1 I am realizing the whole subject of Sabbath makes sense in a New Covenant way only when we understand what John (in a previous session) just talked to us about, that we are really different people when we have been born again. (1) And Jesus said to the people, when they said, “Your mother and your brothers want to see you”, and He said, “Who are my mother and my brothers?”, and I thought what a rude thing, how can the Son of God say that, but then He said something that as an Adventist I did not understand, but I am beginning to, He said, “My mother and My brothers and My sisters are those who do the will of My Father.” And that is what makes us His Family.
1.2 Before we look at specific questions and answers, we have to set the stage with the idea that we are now in a different Covenant than the Covenant when the Sabbath was given.
1.3 In a nutshell – (this will demonstrate) the major primary Covenants that are discussed in scripture, and here is the key, as an Adventist, I did not understand the difference between an unconditional and a conditional Covenant. (2) (3) I’m not sure I realized there was a difference or there were even different kinds. An Unconditional Covenant is a Covenant that God makes by Himself with no agreement from a human. Creation and the beginning of God’s Promises to man – and if you think back, when was the very first Covenant or Promise that God made to man – that Promised something better then what they had come to experienced? (4) - when was that first Promise made? – Genesis. Genesis 3 'after they eat the fruit, and God said, “The woman’s seed - (think that through) - is going to crush the serpent’s head.” So, that is the first proto-typical Promise and the rest of the Bible is spent explaining how God brings that Promise to fruition.
1.4 Well, we fast forward through Genesis and if you think through the first elven books, the story of the nations – how God filled the earth and judged the earth and filled it again, and in Genesis 12 , something new happens, God calls Abraham, and we all know the story. Let me ask you a little detail, why did God call Abraham, does anyone know? What did you learn about Abraham? (as an Adventist). Did you ever hear that God kept Abraham from worshiping those pagan gods that his family worshiped? I want to see hands – how many of you heard that God protected Abraham from worshiping those pagan gods? Well, that is what Ellen White said. (Ellen White - Founder of SDAs) What does scripture say? It says nothing of the sort. It says Abraham, Terah and Lott, left Ur, and it says in Judges 24: 4, (actually it is Joshua 24: 2 - 4 ) that they had worshiped other gods. Abraham was a pagan. (5) He was chosen because God chose him, not because he was worthy. So, in Genesis 12 God calls Abraham and God makes Promises to him. He makes a threefold Promise which he reiterated in Genesis 15 when he makes his actual Covenant with Abraham and the Promises are for three primary things, seed, land and blessing, but Abraham does not have any idea how this is eventually going to look. In Genesis 15 , God makes a Covenant with Abraham, He Promises him his inheritance, his descendants will inherit the land, He Promises that he will have descendants that will be greater in number than the stars of the heavens and He Promises him that he will be a blessing to the world, that God will bless him, and that a blessing will come through him. And then God asks Abraham to go and prepare sacrificial animals in the same way that Hittite kings of that era would make covenants with each other.
1.5 Now, in the ancient Near East if a conquering king made a covenant with a conquered king, they would have to set up terms of their agreement. And one of the things they did was to kill these animals and walk among them making self maledictory oaths like, “I’m walking through here, through these slain animals so that if I break the covenant so be it to me.” That was the meaning of those slain animals. But God did something amazing. He did not let Abraham make that covenant with Him. He put him to sleep and God Himself walked through those broken animals in the form of a smoking pot and fiery furnace. And He Himself made the Covenant. That makes it Unconditional. What does that mean? Abraham did not have to do anything to make sure that God would keep His Promises. God will keep His Promises with no help from Abraham, whether or not Abraham manages to be good, sinless or not. So that was our first ‘expanded’ picture of the Promise made to Adam and Eve, the Unconditional Abrahamic Covenant.
1.6 Now, there are smaller Covenants that occur, God reiterates His Promise of the land in Deuteronomy, but then in 2 Samuel 7 , and I am going to come back to the Mosaic Covenant, there is another Unconditional Covenant which we need to notice. I did not understand this; I mean I understood that God Promised a king and a throne to David, I did not understand the Unconditional part, as an Adventist. This was another Unconditional Covenant that God made where David said near the end of his life, not at the end but he was aging; he said I want to build a house for God. I am living in a cedar mansion, and God is living in a tent. And God said, “No”. You are not going to do it. You are a man of blood. Your son will build me a house, but, I am going to do something for you. You will not build me a house; I will build you a house. And He said you will not lack a king on the throne of Israel, and He Promised him a dynasty, He Promised him progeny who would always sit on the throne and it would be an eternal kingdom. This was an Unconditional Covenant and we know that David was a man after God’s own heart but we also know that David was a man who sinned. And this did not depend of David accomplishing perfection. This did not depend on David’s stopping sinning, it depended on God’s Promise.
1.7 Now let’s go back and look at Exodus. This was for us as Adventists I believe, the Covenant that defined all the others. At least that is how I saw it. I remember being told many times, ‘Oh no, the Bible talks about an Old Covenant and a New Covenant and the Abrahamic Covenant, and it will mention these Covenants but in reality there is only one Covenant.’ How many of you heard that? Yes. ‘Only one Covenant.’ So we, from our perspective, (from the Adventist perspective) took that Mosaic Covenant that happened at Sinai and used that to interpret Abraham, David, the whole works. Well, what made the Covenant at Sinai different from the Covenant with Abraham? It was Conditional. Moses came down that mountain with those tablets and said this is what God wants and the people said, “We will do it.” “Everything He said we will do.” Well, that’s a good promise. We all know what happened. So the core of that Mosaic Covenant was: God Promised blessings for obedience, curses, death, for disobedience. And the Covenant spelled out the fact that if Israel sinned they would have to die. Well, did Israel have any chance of not sinning? There was really no chance. So, in a sense, you could say this was a Covenant they could not even keep, right? I mean this was really how it was set up, but why? Because God knew, and we have discovered much more fully in Romans, that He was going to send His Son, and as a propitiation for sin, so that God would be both just and the justifier, of those who believe in Him. God Himself was going to fulfil that Covenant. God Himself was going to pay the price of sin; He was going to die that death that the Covenants mandated if there was disobedience. He was going to die in the person of His Son.
1.8 Before we leave this I will just summarise then, that the Abrahamic Covenant extends passed the cross into the future, into the future kingdom of God, for God fulfils all His Promises. The land Promises extend, the Davidic Covenant extends, but the Mosaic Covenant ends at the cross. Galatians 3 tells us that the Law came 430 years after Abraham and it came until the Seed would come; the seed that God Promised to Adam. So it had a beginning; 430 years after Abraham, and an end, the Seed. It was a Conditional Covenant that had a beginning and an end. The Unconditional Covenants are eternal. (2) (3)
1.9 There is one other Covenant that’s eternal that God gave, well, He gave it actually to Jeremiah and to Ezekiel about the time that Israel, the Judah, were in exile to Babylon. That is about the time when both Jeremiah and Ezekiel wrote their prophesies. And God Promised at that point, that when Israel was in the northern kingdom and had already been taken captive by Assyria and essentially disappeared, (we have never heard from those 10 tribes as specific tribes since then; they have been assimilated), and Judah, the southern kingdom was now in exile. And they were saying, “Where are the Promises of God.” And God said to Jeremiah and to Ezekiel,“I am going to make a New Covenant. And I am going to make it completely different. I am going to write My Law in their hearts, I am going to give them a new spirit, which John (in another session) talked about earlier, and they will be My People, and I will be their God.” But they did not fully understand what that was going to look like, but they knew that God had not forgotten them and it was Unconditional. God did not say, “And if they repent, I will make a New Covenant”, no, He said, “I will do this”, and He brought them back into the land and we know that eventually when Jesus came He inaugurated this New Covenant.
1.10 Let’s go into the questions that we have. Now these are the questions that I have written down that I hear from Adventists, that I had myself as an Adventist, but as the years have gone by some of the Sabbath arguments that Adventist use have morphed a little bit, so I am going to try to address some of the ones I hear most commonly now.
2. How do we know the Mosaic Covenant was temporary? (Video 15:19)
2.1 How do we know the Mosaic Covenant was temporary? We have already covered some of that to a great extent but there are some really interesting text that we really have to know are there. In Deuteronomy 5 , now, what are the 5 Books of Moses? Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy. Deuteronomy is the Book where Moses renews the Covenant with the second generation in the wilderness. Now, remember when they left Egypt, God made their Covenant with them at Sinai, and then they rebelled, they rebelled against God, Moses struck the rock, they did not trust God, and He said they are not going into the land, this generation has to die. There is going to be another generation that is going to come up before you can go into the land. So, the first generation died, the second generation was growing up, and when it was just about time for them to go into the land of Canaan, Moses, was an old man. Do you know how old he was when He led Israel out of Egypt? 80. He led them and shepherded them in the desert for about 40 years and then He died. So, this is just before his death when he delivered Deuteronomy. And he was turning the management of the kingdom over to Joshua, his prodigy. Before Joshua took over, before Moses went up and died, he renewed the Covenant and he reminded them of everything God had told them back in Exodus. He even reiterated the Ten Commandments, and you should read them, Deuteronomy 5, a little different, it does not talk about creation, he talks about being lead out of Egypt, not that the first one is null and void, it’s interesting. This is what Moses said to the second generation, “The Lord our God, made a Covenant with us in Horeb.”
2.2 Now Horeb is another name for Sinai, the same mountain, and by the way Horeb is the same mountain Elijah ran when he was running away from King Ahab and Queen Jezebel after that rain storm came and he killed the priests of Baal, and he ran to the maintain and heard the still small voice, that was Mount Horeb, isn’t that interesting. We have Moses the Law Giver and then we have Elijah the Prophet, and they both end up at Mount Horeb.
2.3 Anyway, “The Lord our God made a Covenant with us in Horeb, not with our Fathers did the Lord make this Covenant but with us, who are all of us here alive today. Who are the Fathers? In Biblical terms, when Israel is talking, in both Testaments – who are the Fathers? This is Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and Joseph is often included; those are the Fathers, the Patriarchs. Israel referred to them prior to the nation, the Fathers were the Patriarchs, each of whom God blessed and gave the Covenant, before He actually formed the nation. God did not make this Sinai Covenant with the Fathers. Now, how many of you heard (from the Adventists), that Abraham kept God’s Commandants? The Law was from the beginning of the world and Abraham had the Law, and Abraham kept the Law? (as Adventists teach). Well Abraham did not have the Law. And Moses himself said that. “The Lord our God made a Covenant with us, Israel, the nation, in Horeb. Not with our Fathers, did the Lord make this Covenant, but with us, with all of us here alive today. This is the nation he is talking about. So we know right there that the Sinai Covenant is not eternal.
2.4 Jeremiah 31: 31 – 33 . This is the most beautiful exposition of the New Covenant. “Behold, the days are coming declares the Lord, when I will make a New Covenant with the House of Israel”, (and remember, they are in exile in Babylon, wondering whether they will ever see their homeland, and where is God?) “...And the house of Judah. Not like the Covenant that I made with their Fathers on that day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of Egypt. My Covenant that they broke, thought I was their husband, declares the Lord. For this is the Covenant that I will make with the House of Israel after those days, declares the Lord, I will put my Law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. I will be their God and they shall be my people.”
2.5 Now there is another place where God express the New Covenant as well, and that was Ezekiel 36: 26 - 27 . Ezekiel and Jeremiah actually overlapped in their prophesising in their lives. They were in different places but they were writing to Judah. And this is what God said to Ezekiel, “And I will give you a new heart and a new spirit I will put within you and I will move the heart of stone from your flesh.” Isn’t that an interesting way to put it? “I will remove that heart of stone.” And you know, they always told us, (Seventh-day Adventists always told us), ‘Stone is eternal – the law of God.’ “And I will remove stone from you flesh and give you a heart of flesh, and I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules. We are born again through no effort of our own, but when we realise who Jesus is we say I repent, please forgive my sin, He is faithful, He forgives us and He seals us with His Spirit. And He puts a new desire in us. We really have a new heart, there is no looking back. We still have bodies that sin and have fleshly desires but the real 'us', the soul, which John was describing (in a previous session), it’s new. And we have new desires.
2.6 Now we go to the New Testament. Those were examples of Old Testament text that explain that the Old Covenant was not eternal. Hebrews 8 - I look back and realise what a travesty it was that Hebrews was used to support the Adventist Sanctuary doctrine. That is not what Hebrews says. The author of Hebrews quotes Jeremiah, in Hebrews 8 , ‘But as it is, Christ has obtained a ministry that is much more excellent than the Old as the Covenant He mediates is better. Do you get that? ‘Christ is better than the ministry of the Old Covenant’ and ‘the Covenant itself is better, since it is enacted on better Promises,’ well, what are those better Promises? What were the Promises of the Old Covenant? "All you said we will do!" I will kill you if you disobey, all you say we will do. The Promises could not succeed. They were human. So the better Promises of the New Covenant are what Promises? It is Jesus saying, “I have come to do Your Will”, a body you have given Me; I come to do Your Will. It’s Jesus’s Promises, and Jesus is who? He is God the Son. He is the Eternal Almighty God, unlike what our prophetess said (Ellen G White – SDA Founder) ‘Jesus is Not Almighty God.’
(6) (7) And her husband said that. (8) (9) (10) He is Almighty God and He said I have come to do Your will. For if that first Covenant had been faultless there would be no occasion to look for a second. Well that is very clear isn’t it? There had to be a New one. It is not the same as the Old.
2.7 And now, 2 Corinthians 3: 4-11 . I love this passage. It is something we should never forget. ‘Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God, not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us but our sufficiency is from God who has made us sufficient to be ministers of a New Covenant, not of the letter but of the spirit, for the letter kills but the spirit gives life. Now, if the ministry of death carved in letters on stone came with such glory that the Israelites could not gaze at Moses’s face because of its glory, which was being brought to an end, will not the ministry of the spirit have even more glory for if there was glory in the ministry of condemnation, the ministry of righteousness must far exceed it in glory. Indeed, in this case, what once had glory has come to have no glory at all because of the glory that surpasses it. For, if what was being brought to an end came with glory, much more will what is permanent, have glory. (11)
2.8 Look at that part about Moses. Now in Exodus it said Moses would put the veil over his head when he would come out of the Tent of Meeting because his face was glowing, and it actually said that he would talk to Israel while his face was glowing and then put the veil over his head. Now Ellen (Ellen White – Founder of the SDAs) taught us that Moses put the veil over his face because it was so bright that the people would be blinded by it and he did not want to hurt their eyes. But look what Paul says. Actually Exodus says that Moses spoke to them with his face shining but would then cover it. This tells us the rest of the story. He covered his face so they would not see the glory fade. He knew it was fading. It would come back when he went into the Tent of Meeting. Why do you think that was? Probably for authority. For them to know that this was God’s word to them through His prophet. But the fact is this it was fading glory. And Paul is telling us that the ministry of the spirit is un-fading. So when we are indwelt by the Holy Spirit, He does not come and go, we move in and out of letting Him have access to all of our thoughts and hearts and feelings. He gets more of us; we do not get more of Him. He gives us all of Himself and it is an ever increasing glory; that he has brought us into. Do you realize what a miracle this is? We are a living people walking in a world filled with people who are still dead. It’s amazing.
3. How do we know the Law is not eternal? (Video 27:55)
3.1 How do we know the Law is not eternal? Because that is the primary argument for Adventism. Law existed pre-creation (according to Adventism). Do you remember learning that? (According to Adventism) Lucifer broke God’s Law, and that was the beginning of the whole Great Controversy. (12) He had pride, he wanted to be like God, he said God’s Law is too hard, people cannot keep it, it’s unfair, and Lucifer broke God’s Law which is eternal. Well, that is not what Scripture says.
3.2 The Law was something God wrote for Israel. God Himself is, as John was saying earlier (in a previous session) God Himself is righteousness, He is Holiness, He is perfection, He is morality, He is everything good, and more than we can imagine. He does not answer to a Law. He IS the Law.
3.3 Let’s look at Exodus 34: 28 - 30 . This is one of the places where Adventist hermeneutics (13) really breaks down and we really have to be clear on this. Because you can argue these points with people who still have an Adventist perspective, as most of us know, endlessly without any resolution because they have a view of the Law which separates it from the Person of God. They will say the Law is eternal, the Law is a transcript of God’s character, but it is not. Jesus is the Transcript of God’s Character. (14) The Law was simply a set of instructions for the governance of Israel that laid down the consequences of sin and the results of belief. And it worked out a whole living metaphor that would explain in the life of Israel what Jesus was going to do as the God Man.
3.4 Exodus 34: 28 - 30 . The words of the Covenant are the Ten Commandments. You cannot separate them. The Ten Commandments did not pre-date Moses. They did not pre-date Abraham. They were not up there with Lucifer. The Ten Commandments were given to Israel. Galatians 3: 17-19. This is a look back from the perspective of the New Covenant. Paul, the one to whom God gave the job of explaining the New Covenant as it says in Ephesians 3, that He gave him the grace of explaining the administration of this mystery. This is what I mean, the Law, which came 430 years afterward, after Abraham, does not annul a Covenant previous ratified by God so as to make the promise void. Now let us just walk through that really quickly. What is the previous Covenant? The law which is Sinai dose not annul a Covenant previously ratified by God. What is the Covenant we learned about as previously ratified by God? Abraham - the Promise of seed, land and blessing, Unconditional Covenant. The Law does not annul the Unconditional Covenant so as to make the Promise void. For if the inheritance comes by a Law it no longer comes by a Promise. But God gave it to Abraham and by a Promise. Why then the Law? It was added because of transgressions until the Offspring should come to whom the Promise had been made. And it was put in place through Angles by an intermediary. So Paul is telling us that the Law was added, it was added because of transgressions, it was added to show Israel, to show humanity, that they could not please God. They had to have intervention apart from their own efforts. They could not please God and they were worthy of death.
4. Sabbath began at creation! (Video 32:01)
4.1 Now, this argument that Sabbath began at creation! You have all heard that one right? Let’s look at Genesis 2: 1-3 . ‘Thus the heavens and the earth were finished and all the hosts of them, and on the seventh day God finished His work that He had done.’ And as Dale Raztlaff often says when he talks about this, the Hebrew word underlying that word ‘finished’ is simply the word that means ‘ceased’. God ‘ceased’ – He was done. He ceased on the seventh day from all the work He had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy because on it God ‘ceased’ from all His work that He had done in creation. Well if you think back to what John said (in a previous session), that God is a spirit, does not have a body. The concept we have of rest, particularly as Adventists, is what? It’s physical; it’s like ‘not working’. It’s like knapping; well even Ellen (White – SDA Founder) said knapping was not allowed, but you knew, it’s was that idea. But this is God, Who is Spirit, ceasing from His work. Now this is not like, “phew’ OK I’m done”. He’s just done.
4.2 And there is a difference in the formulation of the seventh day. How did Genesis put it for the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th days? And the .. morning …and the .. were the .. 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th days. Seventh day does not have an evening and a morning – there is ‘no beginning – no ending.’ And there is no hint that God’s ‘ceasing’ ended. His was done. He did not get up on Monday and go back to work. Not only that, Adam and Eve were created on the, which day? The sixth day. And it was their first day and that seventh day was their first day or second, it was not their seventh. They were created into God’s finished work. They were at Rest. They were created into Rest. The command to keep Sabbath was not given in Genesis. It says God ceased, it does not say God asked Adam and Eve to rest. He did not give a seventh day command.
5. God said to remember the Sabbath, now how can you remember something he had not already said? (Video 34:37)
5.1 Next argument - I think this one has been popularised by Doug Batchelor. God said to remember the Sabbath, now how can you remember something he had not already said? Well I find that a bit disingenuous. But let’s look first at Exodus 20: 8-11 . Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labour and do all your work but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you or your son, or your daughter, your male servant or your female servant, or your livestock, the sojourner within your gates, for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea and all that is in them and rested on the seventh day therefore the Lord will bless the Sabbath day and made it holy.
5.2 Now there are some things we have to look at. One of the basic hermeneutical principles that I have learned from Elizabeth Inrig is: ‘context is everything and words matter.’ As Adventists we prided ourselves at looking at scripture and reading into it what we think it might mean. Remember the Sabbath day – well that must mean it existed before, if we remember. It’s the passing of the words. But if you just look at the worlds you have to ask yourself, wait a minute, what does that actually mean – remember? If I say to you – your leaving, and you are just about to go out the door and there is a stack of mail on the table and I say, “Remember to take that mail to the post office”, does that mean I have told you that previously? Remember does not mean it’s been a previous command. It’s like, “Remember you jacket!” So it does not have to mean it was said before.
5.3 However, in Exodus 16 we did have a previous Sabbath command. But this is the first one in all of scripture. Exodus 16 is where God gave the manna. And it is so interesting. This manna experience came about a month before Sinai. They had been wondering in the desert, they’d been grumbling, they wanted the quale, they were griping that they didn’t have food. God sent them the quale. They got sick on it. And then He said, “I’m going to give them the manna.” He told Moses that the Manna was going to fall six days of the week and on the sixth day they had to collect double and if they didn’t there would be none on the seventh day. Any other day of the week, if they collected extra it would rot overnight, but, on Friday night it would not rot. There would be enough for Sabbath. And He said this is a Sabbath to you and you are to have manna for six, Sabbath rest on the seventh, and I will provide your food. Now, what is the manna in typology? What does the manna represent in scripture? In a big picture it represents sustenance. Where else do we see bread used in symbolism in Egypt that represents God’s provision? Passover. We see it in the table of show bread, a loaf for each trib. The bread, the symbolism of the Manna, is representing the Bread of Life. Who is the Bread of Life? Jesus.
5.4 Now it is interesting to notice that in John 5 , when Jesus fed the five thousand. Israel expected that when the Messiah would come that He would do something that would be reminiscent of Moses, because Moses had told them in Deuteronomy that God is going to send a prophet like me. Well, what did they remember him for? They remembered him for water in the desert, manna, the Law, they remembered him for all the things that defined them as a nation, caretaking them in the wilderness. So they had in their mind that the Messiah was going to come and do something that was going to remind them of Moses. And when Jesus fed the five thousand they thought oh ‘manna’ – food for five thousand. And they tried to crown Him king. But Jesus disappeared because He said it’s not time. But He talked to them about this. And He said Moses did not give you the Bread of Life. The real Bread of Life comes from the Father in Heaven. And the fact is that the Manna was set up as a representation of the Lord Jesus Himself. He said to them in John, “I am the Bread of Life.” He said you have been looking for someone to feed you. Look at Me. I personally am going to feed you. And He goes on to say that you have to eat My Flesh and drink My Blood. Yes, I Am the One that is like Moses. But it is not like you thought. The manna was a representation of the Lord Jesus. And God gave Israel the symbol of the Bread of Life and the symbol of Sabbath rest at the same time. Rest in Christ and food, True Life, were given at the same time. So when the Law was given and fourth Commandment says remember the Sabbath, to keep it holy, well they already had the Sabbath from about a month out in the desert along with the manna. And interestingly, they had manna throughout their whole 40 years of desert wondering. Isn’t that amazing? By the second generation they probably almost forgot how it had begun.
5.5 Now, let’s look at 1 Corinthians 11: 23-25 . The Israelites were asked to remember the Sabbath, the time when God finished His work and ushered them into His perfect completed work - rest in His work. (Genesis Creation). (15) In 1 Corinthians 11 Paul is talking about the Lord’s Supper. And he says this: For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you. That the Lord Jesus on the night when He was betrayed took bread and when He had given thanks He broke it and said, “This is My Body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of Me. In the same way He also took the cup after supper saying this Cup is the New Covenant in My Blood. Do this as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”
5.6 God gave the Church a ‘New Remember’. Sabbath was ‘the remember’ for Israel, which pointed forward to the Lord Jesus, and now ‘we remember His Death and Burial and Resurrection.‘
6. Jesus kept the Sabbath! (Video 42:38)
6.1 Jesus kept the Sabbath! Well, let’s look at Galatians 4: 4-5 . There is a reason Jesus kept the Sabbath. Jesus was born under the Law. Paul is explicit about this. Jesus was born under the Law and lived as a Jew. But when the fullness of time had come God sent for His Son, born of a women, born under the Law to Redeem those who were under the Law so that we might receive adoption as sons.
6.2 Well He was a Jew. He had to keep the Sabbath but let’s see what He did with that through His life. We go back to John 5. John says Jesus broke the Sabbath. Now, I have always heard this explained (by Adventist) - no, no, no, no, He did not ‘really’ break the Sabbath, He just broke all the Pharisaical rules attached to the Sabbath. But John himself said Jesus broke the Sabbath. Let’s look at this. He had healed the man at the Pool of Bethesda, had been lame for 38 years, had not been able to walk, and He did it on the Sabbath. And as I have heard Dale say, (at previous sessions), this man had been lying on a pallet for a good 38 years and this was a heavy load. And what did Jesus ask him to do? Pick it up and carry it and walk. He not only healed him, He asked the man to break the rules against carrying a load and lest you think there were no rules about carrying a load, that those were Phaeisaical rules, it does have in Nehemiah, I believe it’s Nehemiah not in the Pentateuch, about being stoned if you break the Sabbath by carry a load. (No - it’s Numbers 15: 33-35 – a man carrying wood on the Sabbath, they brought the man to Moses and Aaron and the Lord said to Moses, “The man shall surely be put to death; all the congregation shall stone him outside the camp…”). (16)
6.3 So it was something they all knew. And Jesus broke the Sabbath and John expressly says He broke the Sabbath, and not only that, but think about it. What ceremonial, ritual law, did Jesus NOT break? He touched lepers and made them well and He did not have to go and do a ritual cleansing. He touched dead people like Jairus’ son (daughter) and the widow in Nain son, and brought them to life and He did not have to go through a ritual cleaning. Israel had to. He broke all the ceremonial laws because it was a way of saying to Israel, “I am the One you are looking for.” I am the One that the prophet said would give sight to the blind, make the lame walk, make the dead live. I am the Messiah. I have Life.
6.4 John 7: 21-24 . Jesus taught that there were always shadows that trumped the Sabbath. This is an amazing thing to me. After He healed the man at the Pool of Bethesda, and the Jews are starting to saying to Him, you have a demon, and He says to them, I did one work and you all marvel at it. Now the one work He was referring to, in context, is the healing of this man on the Sabbath. For this reason, now the context is, my healing this man on the Sabbath and your saying I have a demon, for this reason Moses gave you circumcision, not because it is from Moses, but from the Fathers, and on the Sabbath you circumcise the man. If a man receives circumcision on the Sabbath so that the Law of Moses will not broken, are you angry with me because I made an entire man well? Don’t judge according to appearances, but judge with righteous judgment. Now here’s the deal. Circumcision pre-dated Sinai right? Circumcision came with Abraham. Circumcision was the way a Jew entered the Covenant. A Gentile was not even allowed to keep that Law, unless he was first circumcised. He had no access to the Law. Paul tells us that in Ephesians that the Gentiles were without God, and without the Covenants of Promise, until Jesus. So circumcision is the mark of being brought into the Covenant. But even in the Old Testament, and very explicitly in the New, we learn that circumcision of the body was a shadow for what? Circumcision of the heart - (Baptism). (17) The New Covenant miracle of God putting a new heart in us.
6.5 So in the Old Testament, the symbol of becoming part of the Covenant body took supersedence over, it took precedence over the Law. On the Sabbath, if it was the eight day of the boy’s birth, on the Sabbath that boy would be circumcised, so as to be brought into the Covenant people. The sign of belonging to God took precedence over the Law, even in Israel. And Jesus is reminding them of that. There have always been things that were more important than the Law. Belonging to Me is more important. And here is circumcision, the sign of belonging to Israel, and the circumcision of the heart, that is us being ushered into the New Covenant.
6.6 Jesus is the reality of the 'wholeness and rest' the Sabbath foreshadowed. He Himself, when we receive Him, is how we are circumcised in the heart. And it is interesting, just by-the-by, that in the Old Covenant, that it was the men who received the sign and in the New, men and women are equally circumcised of the heart. Circumcision made scares to mark a person as God’s, but Jesus in His life of healing and in His ushering in the New Covenant, Jesus removes scars and makes an entire person well. Forgiveness of sin and healing the body were inseparable for Him. When He was accused of Sabbath breaking in John 5: 17, following the healing of this man, Jesus said, “I and My Father are always working.” “My Father is always working and I am always working too.”
6.7 Ephesians 2: 11- 13 , and Acts 15 , the Council of Jerusalem and the book of Galatians eliminate circumcision because that was the entrance rite into the Law. If you had no circumcision you had no access to the Law and Gentiles were strangers – that’s the text, strangers to the Covenants of Promise.
7. We will keep the Sabbath in Heaven! (Video 49:17)
7.1 We hear (from Adventists) “We’ll keep the Sabbath in Heaven”, and they always quote Isaiah 66: 22 – 23, - ‘For as the new heavens and the new earth that I make shall remain before me says the Lord, so shall your offering remain. From New Moon to New Moon, from Sabbath to Sabbath, all flesh shall come to worship before me.’
7.2 Well, notice here, one very important thing, the Sabbath in this text is connected to the New Moon. And by the way, Israel had a Lunar calendar. The Lunar calendar is how a month is determined. It’s not like the sola calendar we have today. So with the New Moon would come a new month. And with a new month would come a new reckoning of the 7 days. So from month to month the seventh day was a different day of the week. You could have on a new moon a holy day a Sabbath, you could keep the New Moon and it might just happen to be that the New Moon would one day after the seventh day of the previous month so you might even have two Sabbaths close together, or two in the same week. Every month the New Moon would determine the weeks so the Sabbath was connected to the New Moon. It is interesting to me that God has ensured that we have a Gentile world. We do not live with Lunar Calendars. In general, the world functions on a sola calendar. We live in a Gentile world. We do not even know how to figure the Sabbath, the way Israel figured the Sabbath. So we cannot separate the Sabbath from the New Moon.
7.3 We also know from Revelation 21 and 22 that in the New Jerusalem, the Heaven and Earth made New, there is not going to be any night, because there is not going to be any day or night because the Lamb is the Light and there won’t be any moon or stars or sun because the Lamb is the Light. So, without a passing of time, how can you have a Seventh-day Sabbath? What we will have there is an eternal unbroken Sabbath in the present of the Lamb. Jesus Himself will be our Sabbath. (18) Time is created, the Sabbath is a creation. Created things are not eternal and God is not subject to them. What I hear so often in the past and still hear from Adventists that God will keep the Sabbath, that we will keep the Sabbath with Him, is silly. God made that Law He gave to Israel. He is not subject to it. It is a created thing. Time is created.
8. Those who are saved keep the commandments of God! (Video 51:53)
8.1 Those who are saved keep the commandments of God! Well what does that mean? John 15: 12 . Jesus gave us a New Commandment. This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. That is the New Commandment. John 6: 29 . This is the work of God. After He fed the five thousand, they are like, who are you, what is this? "Tell us, what shall we do to do the works of God?" And Jesus said, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom He has sent.” That is it, the work of God.
8.2 In all of John’s writings, this is very important, the word ‘commandments’ comes from the Greek word, ‘entole’, (19) and Dale Ratzlaff expands on this in his book: ‘Sabbath in Christ’. (20) He has a very excellent study on this. But the Greek word, ‘entole’, is a word that means, ‘sayings’ or ‘teachings’, and when John uses the word, ‘commandments’, and this is true in all five of John’s books, the Epistles, the Gospel and Revelation, the underlying word is, ‘entole.’ And he is referring to the teachings of Jesus, not the Ten Commandments. When John refers to the Law he uses the word, ‘Nomos’, or ‘Torah’ if he is referring to the whole Pentateuch.
9. God never changes! (Video 53:16)
9.1 Then there is this God never changes argument. ‘He gave the Law - He never changes’ (SDA argument for the Sabbath). Well, no, God does not change. He is Sovereign over all things. His purposes never change, but God’s methods do change. And let’s look at some examples from scripture. I love this text. I remember when we were just figuring out the New Covenant, our older son Roy was about 12 and came down the hallway and said, “Look at Hebrews 7: 11 -12 . Well, here it is. ‘Now, if perfection had been obtainable through the Levitical Priesthood (upon which the people received the Law), what further need would there have been a priest to arise out of the order of Melchizedek rather than the one named after the order of Aaron. For, when there is a change of the priesthood from Aaron to Melchizedek there is necessarily a change in the Law.’ New Law – Law of Christ. So don’t tell me God never changes, God doesn’t change; but that is a straw man argument (21) because God’s methods change.
9.2 Hebrews 4: 6-7 . I love this one. ‘For somewhere’, and it is funny that this author who obviously knew the Law, ‘somewhere it was spoken of the seventh day, and God rested on the seventh day from all His works.’ But again in this passage he says, they, Israel, shall not enter my rest. Since therefore it remains for some to enter it and those who formerly received the good news in Israel failed to enter. Why? Because of disobedience, unbelief. Again, he points to a certain day,‘Today’. Saying through David so long afterwards, and the words already quoted, "Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts." Well, this author is very clearly saying God changed another thing. To Israel He gave the Command of a seventh day but He has given us a 'New Day.' And we now have 'Today.' In the New Covenant we have a 'New Day.' 'Today.' God has told us there is a New Heaven and a New earth, don’t say there is no change there. God gave the Law after destroying the world with a flood and after calling Abraham, there were defiantly changes of administration. God’s ways are not always the same. His purposes are.
9.3 ’Righteousness is not right doing!’ And this is one of the little pet arguments (of the Seventh-day Adventists) ‘Righteousness is right doing.’ No. And this is the culminating argument for why, if righteousness is right doing, then we have to say keeping the Law is the manifestation of righteous, but Jesus was very clear and Paul was very clear that was not true. In Matthew 5 , “Do not think I have come to abolish the Law and the Prophets, I have not come to abolish them but to fulfil. That does not mean to say – here is the example, if a person leaves a will, leaving his estate his only son, that estate is not in the possession of that only son until the man dies. When he dies the will is fulfilled and the heir takes the inheritance. So that is what Jesus is doing with the Law, He is fulfilling it. It’s pointing towards Him, it saying He’s going to come, it’s testifying of Him, and when He comes He fills all those shadows, full of meaning, and He Himself inaugurates the New Administration. “For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away not an iota, not a dot will pass from the Law until it is accomplished. Therefore, whoever relaxes one of least of these commandments and teaches other to do so they will be called least in the kingdom but who ever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom. For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the Scribes and Pharisees you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.’ But their righteousness - Paul even talked about his own righteousness – he was flawless he says in In Philippians , as to the Law I was flawless, but that is not righteousness.
9.4 Romans 3 . For by works of the Law no human being will be justified in His sights and through the Law, comes not life but the knowledge of sin. But now the Righteousness of God has been manifested, get this, ‘apart from the Law.’ I mean, like, Laws here, (and over there) here is Jesus, apart from the Law. Although, and here is what the Law did, the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it. The Law, not just the Prophets; the Law bore witness to the coming Righteousness, the Righteousness of God. That does not mean He says I’m going to help you be good. The Righteousness of God is God Himself. He puts Himself in us. It is Jesus’s personal Righteousness - God incarnates to our account.
9.5 Philippians 3: 8-11 . Indeed, this is near the end of Paul’s life, I count everything as lost because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus, my Lord. For His sake I have suffered the loss all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in Him. Not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the Law, but that which comes through faith in Christ. The righteousness from God that depends on faith, that I my know Him and the power of His resurrection and may share His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.
10. Conclusion (Video 59:13)
10.1 So, in conclusion, the Sabbath was the sign of Israel’s commitment to keep the terms of the Mosaic Covenant. The Sabbath foreshadowed the True Rest of Christ in His finished work. He is that perfect Rest - that perfect righteousness to those who believe. And this is what Jesus says to each of us, "Come unto me all you that labour and are heavy laden and I will give you Rest."
11. Comments, Notes & References