By Johnie Edwards
When it is pointed out that certain things are not binding today, someone says, “But, it’s perpetual,” which means, it has not ceased, they say. Let’s take a look at such reasoning:
A Perpetual Sabbath
The Seventh Day Adventists tell us that the sabbath day is still binding because it is a perpetual sabbath. They will quote, “Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant” (Exod. 31:16). It is reasoned that since the sabbath is perpetual, it is like perpetual motion, never ceasing. To be consistent with this reasoning, they would have to burn incense as well, for the Scriptures say, “And when Aaron lighteth the lamps at even, he shall burn incense upon it, a perpetual incense before the Lord throughout your generations” (Exod. 30:8). These folks do not burn incense. Why not, since it is perpetual? According to Leviticus 6:20, “. . . the tenth part of an ephah of fine flour for a meat offering perpetual.” If perpetual means without end, why don’t folks offer meat offerings and burnt offerings today?
God Often Limits Perpetual Things
A reading of Exodus 30:8 will show that these perpetual incense and burnt offerings were to be observed “throughout your generations.” This places a time limit on these Old Testament affairs. When the nation of Israel ended, so did their law, ordinances, sabbath and all! Paul told the Romans, “For Christ is the end of the law” (Rom. 10:4). We live today under the law of Christ (Gal. 6:2; John 1:17).
The rainbow covenant was said to be perpetual. In this promise God said, “And I will establish my covenant with you; neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of the flood; neither shall there anymore be a flood to destroy the earth. And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations” (Gen. 9:11-12). This promise will continue uninterrupted as long as this earth stands. It’s perpetual until time shall be no more. Then, it will end. It’s that simple.