November 24, 2017

Abolished

By Mike Willis

The major belief of the Seventh Day loudest "Amen" comes from the Seventh

Adventists Church which distinguishes it from other denominations is, as its name suggests, its belief in the observance of the Sabbath. The reason for this belief, as shown in the following quotations, is the fact that Adventists think the Ten Commandments are still binding on Christians today. Their error lies in making a distinction in the Mosaical law into two groups  the MORAL laws (the Ten Commandments) and the CEREMONIAL laws (civil, food, and any other laws besides the Ten Commandments). Notice their statements to this effect:

"The will of God as it relates to moral conduct is comprehended in His law of ten commandments  These are great moral, unchangeable precepts, binding upon all men in every age (Ex. 20: 1-17)." The Truth About Seventh Day Adventism, p. 59, by Walter R. Martin.

"To illustrate: As noted above, Adventists claim that the Law of Moses and the Decalogue are separate, the one being ceremonial, the other 'the moral in law of God.' Therefore, although the ceremonial law was abolished at the cross, the moral law remains in effect . . ." The Truth About Seventh Day Adventism, p. 191, by Walter R. Martin.

"Beside this law, commonly called moral, God was pleased to give to people of Israel as a church under age, ceremonial laws, containing several typical ordinances, partly of worship, pre figuring Christ, His graces, actions, sufferings, and benefits; and partly holding burnt offerings are included in the law of forth divers instructions of moral duties. All which ceremonial laws are now abrogated under the New Testament." Bible Readings for the Home, page 351 (Published by Seventh Day Adventists).

Therefore, when any preacher concludes his sermon on the abolition of the Old Law, the loudest "Amen" comes from the Seventh Day Adventists until he includes the Ten Commandments in this law. So the question arises: "Does the Bible distinguish between the Ceremonial law and the Moral law?"

The Adventists claim that the moral law is always called the "law of God" and the ceremonial law is always called the "law of Moses." If we can just show where these terms are used interchangeably, this distinction will have to be retracted.

A. The Law of Moses Is the Law of God.

1. Ezra 7:6 states that the "law of Moses" was given by Jehovah while Neh. 10: 29 states that the "law of God" (literally "God's law") was given by Moses. Notice the terms are used interchangeably.

2. Again, Neh. 8:1 records that Jehovah gave the "book of the law of Moses" while 2 Chron. 34:14 reveals that Moses gave the "book of the law of Jehovah." Once again these terms are used interchangeably because there was only ONE "law."

3. In order to further prove this point, let us show that some things that are supposed to be in the "ceremonial law" are said to be in the "moral law" while some things that should be in the "moral law" are said to be in the "ceremonial law."

a. Mark 7:10 records that "Moses said, Honor thy father and thy mother . . ." and likewise in John 7:19 Jesus alludes to the commandment forbidding killing and attributes this to Moses.

b. In Luke 2:22-24 the law of Moses and the law of God are used interchangeably to describe ordinances that are found in the ceremonial law regarding purification and the first-born child. Again in 2 Chron. 31:3, burnt offerings are included in the law of Jehovah.

B. The Most Important Commands Are in the Ceremonial Law.

If this distinction between the moral and ceremonial laws exists, then of course the two most important laws should be found in the moral law, the law that is "eternal." But Jesus said the two most important laws or commands were found in the ceremonial law. A lawyer asked Jesus what was the most important law (Matt. 22:35-40). When Jesus answered, he told him that the most important law was love for God by quoting from Deut. 6:5, and the second most important law was love for our neighbors by quoting from Lev. 19:18. But Adventists class these in the ceremonial law, the law that is done away.

C. What Does the Term "Law" Include?

Let us include in the term "law" what the New Testament writers included when they used the term. They called Genesis (Gal. 4:21), Exodus (Rom. 7:7), Leviticus and Deuteronomy (Matt. 22:36-40), Numbers (Matt. 12:5), Psalms (John 10:34), and Isaiah, or the Prophets (1 Cor. 14:21) the "LAW". They made no distinction between any of these, but included any commandment found in the Old Testament in the term "law." (Let's Go Fishing For Men, p. 155, by Homer Hailey.)

The Life of Jesus

In spite of all of this, Adventists will appeal to the life of Jesus to say, "Jesus observed the Sabbath, therefore, we should observe the Sabbath." But:

1. Jesus was born under the law (Gal. 4:4). In order to live a life without sin, he had to keep the whole law or be charged with sin.

2. The New Law did not go into effect until his death (Heb. 9:15), thus anything he did must be considered in this light.

But notice the absurdity of the whole argument. Out of all the things Jesus did in keeping the Old Law, the Adventists want to hold on to this one practice and preach "Ye must observe this." But Jesus did all the following: (a) was circumcised in accordance with the law (Luke 2:21); (b) had sacrifices offered for him in accordance with the law- (Luke 2:22-24); (c) commanded people to offer sacrifices in accordance with the law (Mk. 1:44; Luke 5:14); (d) kept the Sabbath (Luke 4:16); (e) kept the Passover (Matt. 26:17-25); and (f) told his disciples to do all they were commanded by the law of Moses (Matt. 23:2-3). Why take just the Sabbath???

Inspired Writers

Why not just take the inspired words of the writers of the New Testament as evidence that the law (both Ceremonial and Moral) is done away? Mark well their words!

1. Jesus has abolished the "law of ordinances" (Eph. 2:14-16).

2. The law has "passed away" (2 Cor. 3:11).

3. The law was "cast out" (Gal. 4:21-30).

4. The law lasted "till the seed should come" (Gal. 3:19), which seed was Christ (Gal. 3:17).

5. "Ye are not under the law" (Rom. 6:14).

6. "Ye are dead to the law" (Rom. 7:1-7).

Col. 2:14-17

With all of this before him, one Adventist preacher resorted to the old "the Bible does not say not to" argument. But this will not work either, for Col. 2:14-17 answers this argument. Adventists know this verse must be gotten around, so they apply the word Sabbath to one of the yearly feasts of Lev. 21-23.

"The terms Sabbath, Sabbaths, and Sabbath days occur sixty times in the New Testament, and in every case but one refer to the seventh day. In Colossians 2:16, 17, reference is made to the annual sabbaths connected with three annual feasts observed by Israel before the first coming of Christ." Bible Readings for the Home, p. 395.

1. The order of things listed here, "new moon" (monthly), "holy" or "feast days" (yearly), and "sabbaths" (weekly), renders this impossible. First of all, if it did mean yearly Sabbaths, then "feast days" would have included that or if it means monthly Sabbaths, "new moon" would have included that. It is difficult to explain why Adventists think "sabbath" means yearly here, but in Ezek. 45:17; 1 Chron. 23:30, 31; 2 Chron. 2:4; 8:13; 31:3; Neh. 10:33; and Hos. 2:11 where this same order (new moon, feast day, and sabbath) appears repeatedly, they think it means weekly. Could it possibly be the plain statement of scripture - "Let no man therefore judge you in respect of . . . a sabbath day" that makes this so difficult to understand?

2. The words that are translated Sabbath (SABBATON OR SABBATA, W. E. Vine, p. 311) appear 60 times in the New Testament. In 59 cases, Adventists will admit that it means the seventh day (note above), but in this lonely instance, it means yearly! Could it possibly be the plain statement of scripture - "Let no man therefore judge you in respect of . . . a sabbath day" that makes this so difficult to understand?

3. But is the Sabbath mentioned here a "shadow of things to come" (v. 17)? Adventists say that a day cannot be a memorial of an event and a shadow of something to come also. But notice that the passover does just that. The passover points back to the messenger of death passing over the Israelites (Ex. 12:11-17) and forward to Christ (1 Cor. 5:7). In like manner, the sabbath points back to the day God rested in creation (Gen. 2:2, 3) and forward to that heavenly rest or Sabbath (Heb. 5:1-11). Could it possibly be the plain statement of scripture - "Let no man therefore judge you in respect of . . . a sabbath day" that makes this so difficult to understand?

Not only do Adventists make efforts such as the ones mentioned above to protect their beliefs from scriptural implication, but they also try to protect their beliefs from human evidence as well. Walter R. Martin, author of The Truth About Seventh Day Adventism, pp. 155-156 makes these observations:

"On page 13 of this same pamphlet, the Adventists make misleading use of the ellipsis. The following is a direct quotation as it appears:

"'Sunday (dies-solis, of the Roman calendar, day of the sun, because dedicated to the sun), was adopted by the early Christians as a day of worship. The sun of Latin adoration they interpreted as the 'sun of righteousness' . . . No regulations for its observance are laid down in the New Testament, nor, indeed, is its observance even enjoined.' Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religions Knowledge, 1891 ed., Volume 4, Article on Sunday."

Now here is the paragraph as it appears in the Encyclopedia:

"'Sunday (dies-solis, of the Roman Calendar, day of the sun because dedicated to the sun), was adopted by the early Christians as a day of worship. The sun of Latin adoration they interpreted as the 'sun of righteousness.' SUNDAY WAS EMPHATICALLY THE WEEKLY FEAST OF THE RESURRECTION OF CHRIST, AS THE JEWISH SABBATH WAS THE FEAST OF CREATION. IT WAS CALLED THE 'LORD'S DAY' AND UPON IT THE PRIMITIVE CHURCH ASSEMBLED TO BREAK BREAD (Acts 20:7; 1 Cor. 16:2). No regulations for its observance are laid down in the New Testament, nor indeed, is its observance even enjoined; YET CHRISTIAN FEELING LED TO THE UNIVERSAL ADOPTION OF THE DAY, IN IMITATION OF APOSTOLIC PRECEDENCE. IN THE SECOND CENTURY ITS OBSERVANCE WAS UNIVERSAL."

From what I have studied, I have come to the conclusion that the Seventh Day Adventists are advocating a theory for which is no protection from scriptural or historical evidence. So as Paul said, "Let no man therefore judge you in respect of ... a sabbath day." The old law is ABOLISHED.

TRUTH MAGAZINE, XII: 7, pp. 3-5
April 1968

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