The Sabbath Controversy (2)


The quotes here are from Ellen White’s book, The Desire of Ages:

The Sabbath was hallowed at creation … He [God] gave it to Adam as a day of rest. It was a memorial of the work of creation, and thus a sign of God’s power and love” (p. 281).

This is false. God created Adam on the 6th day and he worked for one day naming the animals (Gen. 1:24-31, 2:7), therefore, God’s 7th day of rest could not be the same as man’s day of rest.

Adam only worked for one day, whereas 6 days of work are required before the sabbath (Exo. 20:8-11).

Nowhere did God command Adam to observe the 7th day which He rested on and sanctified. God didn’t continue observing such a “rest day” because man sinned almost immediately and He began the work of redemption (Gen. 3:8-21).

Ellen: “The Sabbath was not for Israel merely, but for the world. It had been made known to man in Eden, and, like the other precepts of the Decalogue, it is of imperishable obligation.”

First, there is no record of any sabbath kept by man for at least 2,513 years before the Law was given. That is why the word “sabbath” does not occur once in the book of Genesis.

Patriarchs like Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob or Joseph who were friends of God never observed the sabbath. That would have been very strange if the 7th day sabbath was “made known to man in Eden” or was an “imperishable obligation.”

Second, there were no 10 commandments before Sinai. The word “sabbath” occurs first in Exodus 16:25 where God commanded Israel to not gather manna on the 7th day.

In Deut. 5:15, God commanded the sabbath as a memorial of Israel deliverance from the land of Egypt. It was not a commemoration of God’s rest upon completing His creation work. Verses 2-3 make it clear that this observance was not given to their fathers before them:

“The LORD our God made a covenant with us in Horeb. The LORD made not this covenant with our fathers, but with us…”

The old covenant was between God and the nation of Israel not with the church (1 Kings 8:21, 2Chr. 6:11). The sabbath being part of it, had a special significance to them, not to the world. God was specific about the recipients of His laws:

“See that the LORD has given you the sabbath, therefore He giveth you on the sixth day the bread of two days…” (Exodus 16:29)

“Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations that ye may know that I am the LORD that doth sanctify you. (Exo. 31:13)

“Moreover also I gave them my sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the LORD that sanctify them.” (Ezekiel 20:12)

The sabbath was not made mandatory on Gentiles. If they wished to be a part of Israel, they could only do so by meeting certain requirements like circumcision (Ex. 12:48) and an offering (Num 15:14) before all the Jewish sabbath laws could apply to them.

Ellen: “Of that law of which the fourth commandment forms a part, Christ declares, ‘Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law … So long as the heavens and the earth endure, the Sabbath will continue as a sign of the Creator’s power … it’s is the Lord’s day.” (p 289)

There’s a batch of leaven mixed into the yeast here. Jesus omitted the 4th commandment when He summed up the 10 commandments (Matt. 22:37-40).

Ellen White glibly left out “till all be fulfilled” out of her quotation of Matthew 5:18. Jesus came to fulfil the law. The term “fulfil” has been explained here. The sabbath was part of the law and it ended when the law was abolished at Calvary (Eph. 2:15, Rom. 7:4-6). Mrs White craftily mixed her own ideas into Scripture to condition her readers into her interpretation.

SDAs quote Jesus’ words in Mark 2:27-28 “The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath. Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.”

This actually means the sabbath should not be lorded over man. Man is free to do that which is good and best for man on rest days. Jesus Himself broke the sabbath by healing on it. The requirements Ellen White bound SDAs under for the sabbath are unbiblical.

Why Christians Consider Sunday?

1. The word sabbath occurs 60 times in the N.T. It was used 50 times in reference to before the new covenant was made. Of the remaining 10 times, 6 refers to Paul preaching to the Jews at non-Christian gatherings on Jewish sabbath days (Acts 13:14, 42, 44; 17:1, 18:4).

Two refers to Jews in their synagogues (Acts 13:27, 15:21). The last 2 references are to the Jewish travel on a sabbath day (Acts 1:12) and its abolishment at Calvary (Col. 2:14-17). At no point is it used in connection with Christians observing it.

2. The resurrection of Christ was on “the first day of the week” (Jn. 20:1, 19, 26-29) and the early Christians met on the “first day of the week” (Acts 20:6-12, 1Cor. 16:1-2).

There’s no justification for toe-dancing these passages away unless one is committed to Ellen White’s belief system.

3. Christ’s special manifestations to His disciples after the resurrection were on the first day of the week (Mt. 28, Mk. 16, Lk. 23-24). Nowhere did He or His apostles recognize the old Jewish sabbath after the resurrection.

4. The outpouring of the Holy Spirit was on the first day of the week, the day after 7 Jewish sabbaths (Acts 2:1). Even in the OT, God honoured the eighth day (Lev. 9:1-2, 14:23, 22:27, Neh. 8:18)

5. The New covenant does not command any particular day to be observed by Christians. We are free to choose our day of rest:

“One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind” (Rom. 14:5).

Paul counters the SDA sabbath keeping as a “turning back to those weak and miserable principles … You are observing special days and months and seasons and years!” (Gal. 4:9-10).

6. We are commanded to not permit any man judge us regarding sabbaths (Col. 2:14-17). It’s only a token or figure – like circumcision – which has nothing to do with the church.

Even in the OT, God proclaimed the discontinuation of all the sabbaths. (Isa. 1:13, Jer. 31:31-34)

7. Sabbaths are not included among the necessary requirements of the gospel in the N.T. Therefore, its rank heresy to teach that those who don’t keep the sabbath will be eternally lost (Acts 15:1-29)

8. Rest and eternal rest is in Christ, not in a day (Heb. 4). For SDAs to pick the sabbath out of the OT laws to observe means they are under an obligation to keep the whole law. In that case, their trust is not in Christ but the law. True Christians are disciples of Christ, not of Moses (Gal. 3:10-14, James 2:10)

9. Nowhere did Christ warn against the “sin” or “mark of the beast” of observing the first day of the week as SDA’s prophetess taught. Had there been any explicit commands to worship on any day, (even the first day) it would have brought about the same bondage as the law of Moses.

The New Covenant frees from the bondage and death penalties of breaking the OT laws. If SDAs are going to be consistent with the sabbath laws, they will have to start killing people who break the sabbath.

Mutant Bible Alert!

In 1994, David Blancho, an Adventist scholar produced a Bible translation, The Clear Word (TCW) which paraphrases the King James Version, but it alters the texts and lace them with Ellen White’s extra biblical teachings. Though SDAs don’t consider it official, this mutant bible is often used to indoctrinate SDA converts. Here are some examples, with the altered texts appearing in bold:

I. Exodus 5:5 “You’ve created enough problems by making them rest every week on your Sabbath

In the KJV, Pharaoh’s words were “and ye make them rest from their burdens.” There was no weekly sabbath at the time. Moses was only requesting 3 days for the Israelites to worship God. It is anachronistic to use the word “sabbath” at that time.

II. Exodus 16:5 “On the sixth day they should gather twice as much as on the other days so as to have enough for the seventh day, which is the Sabbath, the day I set aside for worship and rest.

Those added words are not found in any Bible manuscript. They were smuggled there to reinforce SDA belief.

III. Exodus 31:13-14 “Say to the people, ‘Most importantly, remember to keep the Sabbath holy because it is a very special day for me, and its a day of rest for you … The Sabbath is holy and anyone who desecrates it by working on that day will be put to death, since that would be an act of treason against God’s government. My people are to keep the Sabbath, celebrating it as a sign that they belong to me…”

Compare this to your Bible and you will see that the words “children of Israel” has been replaced here with “My people” and the text has been changed to universalize the sabbath as if those who don’t observe it are acting in treason against God’s rule.

IV. Acts 20:7 “After sundown on Saturday night , the believers got together for a fellowship meal and to say goodbye to Paul. That evening he spoke to them until midnight, after which he hoped to get a few hours sleep before leaving early Sunday morning.”

Notice how the “first day of the week” in the Bible was replaced with “on Saturday.” They also altered the term “break bread” used by the early church for communion to “a fellowship meal and to say goodbye to Paul.” Such shameless revision of the Bible was intended to convince people that early Christians never worshiped on Sundays.

V. Col. 2:16 “Don’t let anyone control your life by giving you a set of ceremonial rules about what to eat, what to drink and what monthly festivals or special Sabbaths to keep.”

Compare this with the KJV: “Let no man judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of a holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days.” This verse poses a problem to SDA doctrine, so they expunged the “holy day” and altered the verse to imply that only the “special sabbaths” are no more binding. That verse refers to all sabbaths, including the 7th day sabbath.

VI. Heb. 4:4 “That’s why at creation He gave man the seventh-day sabbath, not only as a reminder of creation week, but also as a symbol of spiritual rest. According to the Scriptures, God Himself rested on the seventh day and enjoyed this special time with man.

Compare this to the KJV: “For he spake of a certain place of the seventh day on this wise. And God did rest the seventh day from all his works.” The TCW laces the verse with Adventist flavours like “creation week”, “symbol of spiritual rest” “[God] enjoyed this special time with man.”

VII. Rev. 1:10 “On Sabbath morning when I had gone to the rocky island shore to meditate and worship.”

Compare this with the KJV: “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice as of a trumpet.” The TCW has mutilated the text that it’s barely recognizable. They pushed the word “in the Spirit” into the closet, switch “the Lord’s day” into “Sabbath morning” and import SDA liturgy (“meditate and worship”) into it and apostle John comes out as a first century Seventh Day Adventist!

These tell us they too are aware that their doctrines are unbiblical. A “church” that tampers with God’s Word is not of God. God has exalted His Word above all His name, so those who alter His word are in trouble with Him.

Adventists teach that Catholicism is the Great Harlot because she changed God’s laws, sadly the SDA church is guilty of the same: changing the Word of God to suit her beliefs. They have not “renounced the hidden things of dishonesty” but rather walk in craftiness by “handling the word of God deceitfully” (2Cor. 4:2). True Believers must also flee from Ellen White’s system.

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