Critic #6: T.D. Jakes


Notice: This is only a section of a study called “Why you need to do your own research.” Please read the introduction first. Mr. Jakes was added to our list because he mentioned us by name.

Point by Point Response to T.D. Jakes

image found here – courtesy of NNPA


There is no error more convincing then that of error mixed with truth. Our newest critic, Bishop TD Jakes, has launched an attack upon God’s commandments, and indirectly insults those who decide to follow in the steps of Christ in observing it by basically saying that Sabbath keepers have a “stinking-thinking attitude,” and should be “fought off.”

We noticed a great deal of errors in his presentation, but it became more evident what his intentions were when we slowly examined every minute of these clips in order that we may respond to every incorrect point. We will leave this for the reader to conclude, but will point out some things we’ve noticed, and then proceed with the responses.

1: CHANGING THE MEANING OF SCRIPTURE: At least twice we have seen our critic misinterprete scripture. For example, at Time in Video 00:57-00:58 in the second clip, the word “walking” in Genesis 3:8 was quickly and almost unnoticeably changed to “working.” This, of course, is not how the verse reads, but this misinterpretation sets the foundation for the error of an “eternal sabbath” which he emphasis throughout the rest of his sermon. For some odd reason, he touched his face when he did this. The same was done in Time in Video 04:09-04:11 of part 1 when he quickly changed the word “things” (actually Jeremiah 17:22 says “burdens” not “things”) into the word “issues.” And yes, he also touched his face here. Coincidence? Maybe.

Now some might argue that Mr. Jakes simply mispoke. This might be true. But consider why we had to bring this point up. Just before he said “working, walking,” at Time in Video 00:47-00:53 of part 2, he said:

“… and there is no mention of days or works or labors anymore until Adam sinned…”

Then after the “working, walking,” in Time in Video 01:08-01:18, he says these words:

“Sin caused God to get up from his rest and move out and find an innocent lamb and slay the lamb and cover Adam from his nakedness…”

So he says there is no mention of works before Adam sinned, but then after Adam sinned there is mention of work, for God had to work by getting up, searching for a lamb, slaying that lamb, then covering Adam’s nakedness. In the midst of all this, the word “walking” was changed to “working.” And that change would fit quite well, for according to him God had to do just that after sin… work. In other words, the context surrounding his “mis-speaking” seems to indicate that he mispoke on purpose, for that (the working) was the very point he was trying to lead his audience to believe.

But… maybe not. You decide.

2: NOT READING IN CONTEXT: In Time in Video 01:24-01:31, in part 2, TD Jakes says that “remember” in the fourth commandment somehow means to remember that “sin breaks rest.” In order to remember that “sin breaks rest” one must remember also the “sin,” for it was “sin” that broke the rest… of course. But in context, what God is saying to “remember” is that he is the creator and that because of this all praise and worship belongs solely to him. Take a look for yourself:

Exodus 20:8-11
(8) Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
(9) Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:
(10) But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:
(11) For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

Simple. Its just a matter of reading things in context.

3: AN APPARENT CONTRADICT: Towards the beginning of the second clip, at Time in Video 00:18-00:21, he says very clearly that when God had finished everything, he announced “to all the created things that the creation was completed, that he had set in motion a cycle that was sufficient…” We do agree here, God did set up a cycle… a weekly cycle, for the word “cycle” implies “rotation,” or, “series, sequence, etc.” But then throughout the rest of his sermon he leads the hearer to believe that the seventh day was somehow “unending.” If the seventh day was an eternal day of rest, how then did God set up a cycle? What cycle could TD Jakes have been referring to except that of the weekly cycle?

One might argue that he is talking about a cycle of “creating” so that creation can continue on its own, but God did not create everything so that it could create itself… otherwise man could also bear the supreme title of “creator” and “life-giver” as God does. What God did was “command” not “program” his created beings to, not create, but “multiply” which in the Hebrew means to “increase, become great.” (see Genesis 1:27). Yet it is God who “creates” us even while we multiply:

Jeremiah 1:5
(5) Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.

Isaiah 49:5
(5) And now, saith the LORD that formed me from the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob again to him, Though Israel be not gathered, yet shall I be glorious in the eyes of the LORD, and my God shall be my strength.

Then there is the heavy merging of truth with error. There is a special rest the believer has when he comes to Christ. The Lord took upon himself my sin and my punishment when he hung on that cross, and though this act he set me free from my guilt, my sin, and helped me avoid punishment. In this way I rest my soul in his hands. This is why, just before Jesus invited all to come unto him for rest (Matthew 11:28) he warned of the coming punishments upon the rejecters of his truth (verses 21-23). This punishment for sin will be avoided, if we chose to find rest in him. All who rest in Jesus are resting from the punishment they deserve because of their sins!

Now TD Jakes mixes the rest of the weekly Sabbath, which is a commandment by God, with this spiritual rest. We agree the Sabbath has its spiritual application, and does teach the believer about this rest. But this does not mean that the seventh day Sabbath is now abolished. Much like Marriage. It too was instituted before sin, and it also has its spiritual applications. However, the honest bible student will agree that the New Testament does not teach that marriage is abolished every time a person unites with Christ. (More on this point in our responses below).

Things to keep in mind while you read

We took this video sermon from off a user on YouTube (see part 1 and part 2). It originally has three parts to it, but the main sections of this sermon dealing more directly with the Sabbath are found in part 1 and part 2. The phrase “Time in Video” signifies the exact point in either one of these two clips that the point being addressed is located. When we did not respond to something in the video, it is because we either agreed with it, or because it was a mute point which did not need a response. Please don’t think we have something to hide… we just couldn’t bear the thought of having to respond to every single line in the video when some of it didn’t need it. Here are his two clips for you to watch:

RSVP – part 1

RSVP – part 2

Our Response

Point #1: “You must understand that one of the signs of the covenant that God had with Israel in the Old Testament was the Sabbath day.”
Time on video: part 1, 4:27-4:35.

It is true that the Sabbath was to be a sign between God and his people the Israelites. But one must understand why this sign was made with them.

God promised Abraham that it was to be through him that he would make a “great nation” (Genesis 12:1-3). This nation would be the one holding the “oracles of God,” whose duty was to evangelize the world and lead many to the true God. (Romans 3:1-2). However, God knew that soon they were to enter into the Promised Land, which was inhabited by pagan nations. Yet before they were commissioned to enter, God prepared them by giving them his law (Exodus 20) and establishing the sign of that law, the Sabbath, so that if the Canaanites inquired of their religious services, their laws and their Sabbath, the children of Israel could teach them that their God is the true God, which made “the heavens and the earth,” and that “doth sanctify” them (Exodus 20:8-11, 31:13). This is the reason why the Sabbath was given to them “as a sign.” It was not given to them “for the first time,” but rather as a sign, that they may remember always that it was the “creator” that rescued them from Egyptian bondage, and that others may learn the truth about the creator and thereby be converted. As one author so beautifully said it:

“No other institution which was committed to the Jews tended so fully to distinguish them from surrounding nations as did the Sabbath. God designed that its observance should designate them as His worshipers. It was to be a token of their separation from idolatry, and their connection with the true God. But in order to keep the Sabbath holy, men must themselves be holy. Through faith they must become partakers of the righteousness of Christ. When the command was given to Israel, “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy,” the Lord said also to them, “Ye shall be holy men unto Me.” Ex. 20:8; 22:31. Only thus could the Sabbath distinguish Israel as the worshipers of God.” -The Desire of Ages, page 283, paragraph 3.

This does not, however, do away with the fact that the Sabbath was in existence before there was ever a Jew (see Genesis 2:1-3, more on this at Point #3).

Point #2: I don’t have absolutely no problem with anybody who chooses to go to church on Saturday… probably because I also worship on Saturday. I do… ever since I’ve been saved I worship on Saturday, and Friday, and Thursday, and generally on Wednesday too, and Tuesday, and Monday as well, and Sunday, Sunday also I worship. I don’t have to come to a building to be in worship.”
Time in video: part 1, 05:28-06:30.

In the next point it will be shown how the Jews who kept the Sabbath also worshiped on “Friday, and Thursday, and generally on Wednesday too, and Tuesday, and Monday as well, and Sunday.” Although our critic might imply that we Sabbath-keepers only worship one day a week, this couldn’t be farther from the truth. See next point.

Point #3: “And there was a great debate going on at that time as to what day is the real day to worship God. That debate continues to this day and has existed all the way back to the Old Testament, Old Testament theology as to what day is the right day to worship God.”
Time in video: part 1, 4:47-5:04.

This is incorrect. There was never a time in Old Testament theology when there was a debate on what day is the right day to worship God. Notice these texts from the Old Testament:

Psalms 55:17
(17) Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice.

Psalms 145:1-3
(1) David’s Psalm of praise. I will extol thee, my God, O king; and I will bless thy name for ever and ever.
(2) Every day will I bless thee; and I will praise thy name for ever and ever.
(3) Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable.

Every day was, for the Jew, a day to worship God. In fact, the seventh day Sabbath pointed the people to worship God on a “daily” basis, because it reminded them that God is the “maker of heaven and the earth.” Notice:

Psalms 92:1-4
(1) A Psalm or Song for the sabbath day. It is a good thing to give thanks unto the LORD, and to sing praises unto thy name, O most High:
(2) To shew forth thy lovingkindness in the morning, and thy faithfulness every night,
(3) Upon an instrument of ten strings, and upon the psaltery; upon the harp with a solemn sound.
(4) For thou, LORD, hast made me glad through thy work: I will triumph in the works of thy hands.
Note carefully that the Sabbath Day moved King David to dedicate a Psalm to his creator praising him for the “works of thy hand,” which in turn moved him to show God’s “lovingkindness in the morning, and thy faithfulness every night.”

The Israelite people were a people of much praise and worship. When Solomon had finished building the temple, he appointed “the priests to their service, and the Levites to their charges, to praise and minister before the priests, as the duty of every day required.” -2 Chronicles 8:14.

The time of worship was not an issue of debate in the Old Testament. The Sabbath was, and is, simply the only day of the seven that was dedicated by God to be a reminder of his authority over all things as “creator,” for, “in six days the Lord made heaven and earth and the sea… and rested the seventh day.” –Exodus 20:11.

Point #4: “There is no mention of the Sabbath day from the book of Genesis to the book of Exodus when God gives the 10 Commandments.”
Time in video: part 1, 7:38-7:45.

Actually there are at least two mentions of the Sabbath day between Genesis and the giving of the 10 Commandments. The first is:

Genesis 2:1-3
(1) Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.
(2) And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.
(3) And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.

Scripture explains scripture. Exodus 20:10 says that “the seventh day is the Sabbath day.” Which seventh day? The only seventh day that exists in scripture, the one instituted in Genesis 2:1-3. And we know that God is specifically talking about Genesis 2:1-3, for he summarizes all of Genesis 1 and Genesis 2:1-3 in verse 11 of Exodus 20. Even Jakes establishes this connection between “the Sabbath day” and the Seventh day of Genesis 2:2-3 when he says in time 7:50 of the video that the word “remember” looks backwards to creation week.

There are other connections as well. For example, the word translated “rested” in Genesis 2:2 is the Hebrew word “shabath” which, according to Brown-Driver-Briggs’ Hebrew Definitions, and Strong’s, can also mean: “to keep or observe the sabbath.”

The second mention of the Sabbath day is in Exodus 16. Note the following text:

Exodus 16:26
(26) Six days ye shall gather it; but on the seventh day, which is the sabbath, in it there shall be none.

The seventh day is here called “sabbath day” at least a month before the Mount Sinai event of chapter 20! Not only that, but God also speaks of it here as a “commandment” as well:

Exodus 16:28
(28) And the LORD said unto Moses, How long refuse ye to keep my commandments and my laws?

Mr. Jakes says that the Sabbath was not mentioned anytime before the giving of the 10 Commandments, but we have seen that this is simply not true.

For more proof of the existence of the Sabbath in Genesis, see our articles:

Sabbath in Genesis
Who kept the Sabbath?

Point #5: “When God was finished with creation we were to enter into the rest with him, and man entered into the rest with the Lord on the seventh day, and stayed in that state of rest and there is not mention of days or works or labors anymore until Adam sinned…”
Time of video: part 2, 00:35-00:53

Our critics contends that there is no mention of days or works until Adam sinned, but of course, this is incorrect. Notice the following few verses:

Genesis 1:27, 31
(27) So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them…
(31) And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

God made both man and women on day “six.” Now compare the above with the following few verses:

Genesis 2:15, 21-22
(15) And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it
(21) And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;
(22) And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.

Note carefully that in between the time that God made the man and the time that he made the women, God gave man work to perform (verse 15)!

The Hebrew word translated “dress” in Genesis 2:15 is the same Hebrew word translated “labor” in Exodus 20:9, where God says to work for six days, but rest on the seventh day Sabbath. This Hebrew word is abad, and literally means “to work, till, serve, enslave.” This is the type of work the Lord commanded Adam to perform even while in the Garden. These verses testify against Mr. Jakes contention that there is no mention of works “anytime until Adam sinned,” because this command to “work” was given “before” he sinned.

He then argues that “days” is not mentioned anymore until Adam sinned. But how would he deal with the following verse:

Genesis 1:14
(14) And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years.

The “lights of the firmament,” the sun, moon and stars, were created so that man can be able to read “days.” This was done on the “fourth” day. After man sinned, these time-telling elements did not cease to exist. If therefore they were established to tell “time” and “days,” and their existence continued on through the creation of man until today, then obviously the bible does not really have to mention “days” after man sinned, for the existence of “days” is already implied through the testimony of these elements. This also shows that the seventh day could not possibly have been created to be an unending day of rest (see point #7), and therefore must have always been a 24-hour day, for these heavenly elements, which were created to read “days,” existed even while Adam was in perfect harmony with his creator.

The following important texts prove that “days” existed after the seventh day was established:

Genesis 2:17
But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

Genesis 3:5

For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.

If there were no “days” after the seventh day, these verses would make absolutely no sense.

Point #6: “And when Adam sinned in the Garden we see God working, walking again the voice of the Lord walking through the cool of the garden saying Adam where art thou.”
Time in video: part 2, 00:54-01:03.

The verse Mr. Jakes is here referring to is Genesis 3:8:

Genesis 3:8
(8) And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.

The verse does not say that God “worked in the Garden” as our critic would have us believe. It simply says “walking.” When has walking ever meant working in the scriptures? Interesting twist, and it is upon this misinterpretation of this verse that he will build his next two points.

Point #7: “In essence my brothers and sisters, sin broke the rest on the Sabbath day. Sin caused God to get up from his rest…”
Time in video: part 2, 01:05-01-11.

There is an element of truth here, but mingled with error. The truth is that the rest that was broken was not the Sabbath rest, which reminds us of “creation” (Exodus 20:11), but rather the rest of peace and harmony between God and man. The implication in Mr. Jakes words is that the Sabbath instituted in creation week was not a 24 hour period, but rather an eternal Sabbath rest which was cut short by man. But a little study of the word “day” will show that this is impossible.
The seventh day of Genesis 2:1-3 is indeed a 24 hour period because the same word “day” being the Hebrew word “yom” is used for the previous six days as well. Although the phrase “evening and morning” is missing from the seventh day, the result of this phrase is the word “day,” which is also connected to the seventh day. Notice:

Genesis 1:5-31
(5) And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day
(8) And the evening and the morning were the second day
(13) And the evening and the morning were the third day
(2:2) And on the seventh day God ended his work…

Since the previous six days have the same resulting word “day” ending each one consecutively, making them 24 hour periods, it follows then that the same word “day” ends the seventh day, and also makes it a 24 hour period, for both the previous six days and the seventh day use the same word. If however “day” is eternal for the seventh day, then “day” is eternal for the previous six days. This is a problem for Mr. Jakes however, for if the first day of creation was eternal, then we wouldn’t be having this conversation, for the creation of man would have never taken place.

Point # 8: “And God says in Exodus as he gives the 10 Commandments to remember the Sabbath day. Remember that sin breaks rest… Remember that sin breaks down communion and fellowship; remember that sin causes you to fall into obscurity…”
Time of video: part 2, 01:23-01-43.

Once more we find the mingling of truth with error, which makes this sound more convincing. It is absolutely true that sin breaks communion with God, for the prophet Isaiah says:

Isaiah 59:2
(2) But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.

But it is absolutely wrong to suggest that the Sabbath commandment was a reminder “sin breaks rest” simply because thats just not how it reads. One need only read the forth commandment himself to see that this is simply not what the seventh day was to remind us of:

Exodus 20:8-11
(8) Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
(9) Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:
(10) But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:
(11) For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

The causal word “for” in verse 11 is translated “because” 460 times in the hebrew Old Testament. The reason for remembering the Sabbath is simple… remember it because “in six days the Lord MADE…” The seventh day did not need to be created, for all things were done by day six. The only reason why God set it apart as an extra day was to commemorate the handy work of God, not to be a reminder of the sin that broke the rest!

Point #9: “Remember that sin robbed you from the Sabbath of staying in the Garden of Eden where you didn’t have to toil in the field, nor work for your food. Where everything was brought to you.”
Time of video: part 2, 01:53-02:03.

At this point Mr. Jakes suggests that the supposed eternal sabbath rest was one that included having your food brought to you! But, is that how God created man to be? Was man created to be served, or to serve? Consider Genesis 2:15 once more:

Genesis 2:15
(15) And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.

From the above verse we can clearly see that God created man to be a worker just like his Father was a worker. He was not created to be lazy, but to be busy. He was to dress and keep the Garden, which in the Hebrew literally means to “work” and to “hedge, attend to.” Now match verse 15 with the very next verse:

Genesis 2:16
(16) And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat.
Note that it reads “thou may freely eat,” not “it will be brought to you!” Adam was to “attend to” his own Garden, work in it, and eat of his own labors! The only difference between this and the tedious work given to man after sin (Genesis 3:18-19) was that the latter included “thorns and thistles” and sweat from his brow, while the former did not. There was no laziness. Man was not created to be served, man was created to serve, and what better example of this do we have then Jesus Christ himself, who would have rather serve then be served, of whom also John commanded we follow in his steps (1 John 2:6)!

Point #10: “Don’t start worshiping the Sabbath day, for Jesus says to us that man was not made for the Sabbath, but Sabbath for the man. That the man is the more important issue not the day but the man, are you following what I am saying to you.”
Time of video: part 2, 02:15-02:32

There is no worshiping of the Sabbath here. In fact, the Sabbath guides us to the worship of the true God, the creator of “heaven and earth” –Exodus 20:11. His misinterpretation of what the Sabbath was to “remind” us of (see point #8) gives way for such silly comments as this one. But if Exodus 20:8-11 were “rightly divided” and understood, no confusion would have followed.

The verse he quotes is in Mark 2:27. In the immediate context of chapter 12 we find the disciples gathering the ears of the corn for food upon the Sabbath day. This angered the teachers of the law, for instead of making the Sabbath a “delight” (see Isaiah 58:13) they made it a burden. One must understand the situation the disciples were in. Jesus reminds them of a story:

Mark 2:25-26
(25) And he said unto them, Have ye never read what David did, when he had need, and was an hungred, he, and they that were with him?
(26) How he went into the house of God in the days of Abiathar the high priest, and did eat the shewbread, which is not lawful to eat but for the priests, and gave also to them which were with him?

David was to one day become king over the nation of Israel, and God maneuvered situations through David’s friend Jonathon to save his life, that David could survive his ordeal and soon reign in Israel, thereby fulfilling the plan of God (see 1 Samuel 20-21). But of course David would not have become king in Israel if he would have died of hunger while fleeing from the wrath of the king! God needed to protect him throughout all this, for “this is he” who was to be king after Saul (1 Samuel 16:1, 12). David was to be used by God in a special way.

The disciples found themselves in a similar situation. They needed to eat to be able to continue in their mission with Christ, for they too were to be used in a special way by God. If circumstances left you with no choice, and this occurred while doing the service of God, one must strive to eat upon the Sabbath. The object of the Sabbath was never to bring misery to man, but joy and peace. This same event is also recorded by Matthew, wherein we read:

Matthew 12:12
(12) How much then is a man better than a sheep? Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the sabbath days.
The holy things of God (the shewbread, the Sabbath) are to be used for holy service. All that will continue his perfect work, and relates only to that missionary work of God, is allowed. It is secular work, and things not related to God, that is forbidden (Exodus 20:10, Isaiah 58:13). Therefore when Jesus said, “The Sabbath was made for man…” it means that it was made for mans benefit; to bring him closer to his creator.

Point #11: “Most of the artifacts that we are taught about in the Old Testament are shadows and types.”
Time of video: part 2, 02:47-02:52.

Mr. Jakes is absolutely correct in saying, “Most of the artifacts…” and not all. The Sabbath can not be included in this group of “shadows,” and the reasons are simple.

That something is a shadow implies that (as is true with types in the Old Testament) points forward to Christ. The Sabbath has its symbolism of course, as does Marriage (also instituted along with the Sabbath before sin); but that it was instituted for the purpose of being a “shadow of good things to come” (Col. 2:17) goes against the testimony of the rest of scripture. Genesis 2:3 and Exodus 20:8-11 explain why it was instituted:

Genesis 2:3
(3) And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.

Exodus 20:8-11
(8) Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy…
(11) For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it.

It was instituted before sin, to commemorate creation and his rest, not to be a shadow for Adam and Eve. If it was indeed instituted as a “shadow” which pointed to the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, this means that Adam and Eve in their holy state were shown before hand that they were one day going to sin, die, and cause the death of their creator! Why then did God take the time to tell Adam not to disobey his law or suffer the consequences (Genesis 2:16-17) if Adam knew already, through the Sabbath, that he was going to disobey and die anyway? And how could a shadow be set up “before” sin in the reality of a perfect and sinless world?

Furthermore, Col. 2:17 speaks of shadows of “good things to come” The words “to come” implies future events. The Sabbath however, as we have seen above, was not a shadow of things “to come” but a reminder of “things past,” creation week.

The fact is that the Old Testament “types and shadows” were given to man “after” he sinned, and not before. See more on this at point #19.

Point #12: In the Old Testament God starts teaching us rest by showing us a day, a day, an eon, which is an age, which is a period. God wants us to understand that there is a period and a time where man is to enter into rest.”
Time of video: part 2, 03:12-03:27.

As has already been shown in points number 5 and 7, the day of the seventh day must logically be a 24 hour period, just like the previous six days.

In his endeavor to stretch the seventh day Sabbath to mean an eternal rest, Mr. Jakes at the same time confuses the two Sabbaths of the bible and lumps them both into the same category. There is the seventh day Sabbath, and there are the ceremonial feast sabbaths of the typical Old Testament service. These sabbath feasts are:

As listed in Leviticus 23:

1) Erev Pesah (Passover).
2) Shavuot (Feast of Weeks or Firstfruits).
3) Feast of Unleavened bread.
4) Rosh Ha-shanah (Feast of Trumpets).
5) Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement).
6) Sukkoth (Feast of Tabernacles).

Each one of these national feast can rightly be called “sabbath” for sabbath means “rest from works,” which is what they were commanded to do upon each feast. Some are even specifically addressed as “sabbath,” like Rosh Ha-shanah (verse 24) and Yom Kippur (verses 28-32).

When one studies the services of each feast, the idea of a crucified Saviour is vividly portrayed in the mind. Why? Because these were sabbath types, or shadows. These were instituted “after” sin and can logically point forward to the killing of the redeemer.

These sabbaths are the shadows spoken of in Colossians 2:16-17. These are the sabbaths which can rightly be understood as a shadow which pointed forward to the spiritual rest Jesus offers us from guilt and sin. Not only is the seventh day Sabbath not included with these ceremonial sabbaths because of the reasons shown in point #11, but also because it is God himself who sets a difference between these two sabbaths in this same chapter! Notice:

Leviticus 23:37-38
(37) These are the feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, to offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD, a burnt offering, and a meat offering, a sacrifice, and drink offerings, every thing upon his day:
(38) Beside the sabbaths of the LORD, and beside your gifts, and beside all your vows, and beside all your freewill offerings, which ye give unto the LORD.

The Hebrew word translated “beside” in verse 38 is “bad” which literally means “separation.” As a tree which bore two branches can have one branch removed from off the tree, and caused to be separated from the other branch, so God gets the seventh day Sabbath which he also created, and separates it from these ceremonial sabbaths. This is the intended meaning of this Hebrew word. It is God himself who sets a separation between the two sabbaths.

By not handling these two sabbaths the way God handles them, TD Jakes commits the error of mixing them both into one category, and thereby makes the seventh day Sabbath have the same temporary meaning as that of the ceremonial sabbath feasts.

Point #13: You will minimize the plan of God if you diminish this period down to a 24 hour period.”
Time of video: part 2, 03:26-03:34.

It is God himself who set up the Sabbath into a 24 hour period (as shown in points 5 and 7), and in this way continues to be part of the plan of God. Without the Sabbath as his sign of creatorship, the 10 Commandments can be read as a list of rules compiled by Allah, or Buddha. The Sabbath points to him as the creator, and will forever stand as a sign that he is worthy of all adoration and worship:

Isaiah 66:22-23
(22) For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the LORD, so shall your seed and your name remain.
(23) And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the LORD.

Once again the “creation” of heaven and earth is connected with the Sabbath as in Genesis 1 and 2:1-3, only this time it is with a “new heavens and the new earth.” As it was originally created to be a sign of creatorship, so it will continue as just that far after the “restitution of all things” –Acts 3:21. The seventh “day” Sabbath truly is a part of the plan of God for mankind!

Point #14: “In the shadow it may be a 24 hour period, but in the reality it is the day of grace in which we live right now, are you following me.”
Time of video: 03:35-03-45.

The above is built on the following two premises:

First: That the Sabbath is a shadow.
Second: That the Sabbath in the Garden of Eden before sin was not a 24 hour period.

Both of these have so far been found to be incorrect, therefore the above comment is groundless.

Point #15: “What God the Father did in the Old Testament at the end of the creation by entering into the rest, God the Son did in redemption when he had ceased from his labor of redemption… When Jesus said “It is finished” it echoed all the way back to the Old Testament when the Father had finished his creation.”
Time of Video: 04:00-04:37.

Just because God finished creation in the Old Testament, and Jesus said “It is finished” in the New Testament, does not mean that one was somehow a shadow of the other. Consider the major differences between these two events: First, in the Old Testament it was “creation” that was finished (i.e. the earth, sea, animals, man, etc). At the cross there is no finishing of creation. Second, when God said that everything was “very good” (Genesis 1:31) it is because he had finished creating “everything.” At the cross, not everything for redemption took place, for as in the type after the lamb was killed its blood was administered by the Priests in the Holy and Most Holy Place of the earthly Sanctuary, so Christ as both Priest and High Priest had to minister his own blood in the Sanctuary above (compare Leviticus 4:1-7, 16:15 with Hebrews 9:21-24). This did not take place at the cross, and if this next part of the redemption process did not take place, the sinner would remain unclean (Leviticus 16:16).

The two can not be compared, because the actual events which took place in each one were far too different.

Point #16: “This is the rest that the Lord wants the church to come into. Not a 24 hour period, not the memory of a day.”
Time of Video: 04:50-04-58.

Mr. Jakes has done a good job at confusing the spiritual rest as it is found in the Lord with the physical rest of the seventh day Sabbath. Of course there is a spiritual rest the Lord wants us to enter into. Notice Jesus’ own words:

Matthew 11:28
(28) Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

When we come to Jesus, we find spiritual rest in him… rest from sin, for he cleanses us of our sins (1 John 1:7), and rest from guilt, for he took upon himself the burden of sin, and set me free. Yet while free from sin, the bible commands me not to continue in sin by abiding in him:

1 John 3:6
(6) Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.

Now what it the definition of sin? The same author explains this in simple terms:

1 John 3:4
(4) Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.

Sin is breaking the law of God, and this law includes the 4th commandment, the Sabbath! In other words, once Christ sets me free from my sins and the punishment I deserve for committing those sins, he then causes me to abide in him, and he in me, in order that I might not continue in sin, or breaking the law!

Yes, dear reader, there is a spiritual rest that we must enter into when he come to Christ, but this same rest will cause us to live the life of Christ, which will be manifested “through” us (2 Corinthians 4:10-11), whose life was a life of obedience (2 Corinthians 10:5) to every one of God’s law. He will cause us to walk in the Spirit (Galatians 5:25) for it is thus how we will be able to live according to the spiritual law of 10 Commandments (Romans 7:14):

Ezekiel 36:27
(27) And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.

Point #17: “You will find that the keeping of a day of rest is a covenant between God and the Nation of Israel…”
Time in Video: 04:58-05:04.

The keeping of a day of rest, although taken many years afterwards and placed within the covenant with the Jews, was established before there was ever an Israelite (Genesis 2:1-3). Jesus says:

Mark 2:27
(27) The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath

If the Sabbath was made for the Jews, the above verse would read:

Mark 2:27
(27) The sabbath was made for Jews, and not Jews for the sabbath

See what God did was set up a theocracy of a people which came from the lineage of Abraham. To this people were entrusted the oracles of God that existed before man sinned, the Sabbath and Marriage (Genesis 2:24). This covenant was not only for the Nation of Israel:

Isaiah 56:6-7
(6) Also the sons of the stranger, that join themselves to the LORD, to serve him, and to love the name of the LORD, to be his servants, every one that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of my covenant;
(7) Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people.

The above verses show that God was never a respecter of persons (Acts 10:34), for all were invited to take hold of the covenant and share in the joy of keeping this memorial of creation.

This invitation continues into the New Covenant. Hebrews 4:9-10 says that the Sabbath rest remains, and that all who are in Christ are to rest from their labors… “as God did from his” –verse 10. Did God rest from sin, or from guilt of sin as we humans rest from in the spiritual rest of Christ? Of course not. The rest that remains here for the New Covenant Christian is that same rest wherein God ceased from his labors in Genesis 2:1-3. More on Hebrews 4 at Point #21.

For more on Hebrews chapter 4, see:

Hebrews 3 and 4: Does “today” replace the seventh day?

Point #18: “…but the book of Hebrews says that God has provided some better thing for us.”
Time in Video: 05:04-05:10.

There are only two places in the book of Hebrews where the phrase “better things” are found, none of which are speaking about the Sabbath. These are:

Hebrews 6:9
(9) But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak.

Hebrews 12:24
(24) And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.

The context of the first is shown by the previous verse:

Hebrews 6:8
(8) But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned.

Paul does not want his people to be as those who once tasted of the truth yet fell astray, because it is “impossible for those who were once enlightened… if they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance…” (verses 4-6). These fall under the class of people mentioned in verse 8, who bear “thorns and briers” and “is rejected.” Paul does not want this for them; he would rather have “better things” for them… “things which accompany salvation.”

The second verse is also answered in the previous verses:

Hebrews 12:18-23
(18) For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest,
(19) And the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which voice they that heard intreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more:
(20) (For they could not endure that which was commanded, And if so much as a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned, or thrust through with a dart:
(21) And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake:)
(22) But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,
(23) To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,

From verses 18-21 Paul is simply saying that believers are not to look toward the earthly mount wherein Moses meet with God, where God “descended in the cloud, and stood with him there” –Exodus 34:5. But rather that they should keep their eyes steadfast towards the heavenly mount Sion, “the city of the living God.” Up there we find “Jesus… the mediator of the new covenant.” In heaven is found the anti-type of the earthly types, including the “ark of the covenant of the Lord” –Revelation 11:19, ALT. What was the New Covenant? The same author explains only a few chapters before:

Hebrews 8:10
(10) For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:

The New Covenant is not a change in the Law, for the covenant which was spoken by the lips of God will never be “altered” (hebrew: change, do again). Rather, the New Covenant is a change in two things:

1) It is God who will write the law in our hearts, not us. In other words, God will do the work of obedience for us and through us (compare with Ezekiel 36:27).

2) It goes from stony tables of stone to “fleshly tables of the heart.” This is why it reads, “I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts.”

See what happens when we keep things in context? There is no mention of a removing of the Sabbath, or of a change in the Sabbath commandment in all of Hebrews chapter 12. Let’s proceed to the next point.

Point #19: “It is appropriate that the Jews to keep the Sabbath day, because the Jews are still waiting on the Messiah to come. But it is ridiculous for the church to walk away with the shadow, when we have the bridegroom.”
Time in Video: 05:10-05:24

The above is built on the premise that the Sabbath was a shadow pointing forward to the work that Christ would do for his church upon the cross. We’ve covered in point #11 how it is rather unreasonable to view the Sabbath as a shadow, for if this were so, it would mean that Adam and Eve knew full well that they were going to sin and die. There was no sin on the earth wherewith God needed to establish a “type” or “shadow” pointing forward to how he would deal with the problem. What sin problem was there to point forward to? Nothing but “reality” existed in the Garden of Eden. Although the “plan of salvation” was thought of by God since before “the foundation of the world” (Revelation 13:8), all types and shadows that would teach mankind of the coming Messiah would come after sin. They would serve no other purpose otherwise but to cause misery and confusion for unfallen man.

Consider this thought. If the Sabbath was instituted for the purpose of being a type/shadow… could we say the same thing about Marriage? For, Marriage has its symbolism also, as does the Sabbath:

2 Corinthians 11:2
(2) For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.

Revelation 19:7
(7) Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.

Like the Sabbath (which can represent the spiritual rest from sin and guilt found in Jesus Christ) Marriage can represent the result of this rest from sin, the possible unity of Christ the husband with his church the bride. Since this unity takes place every time a Christian forsakes his sins and unites with Christ, does this mean that Marriage has found its fulfillment as (supposedly) a type and is therefore abolished? Or how about when the ultimate unity of Christ and all his believers at the end of the world takes place (Revelation 19:7)? Will those married when Christ comes have to then be separated forever? (note: the Lord hates separation –see Matthew 5:31-32, 19:6). If this sounds silly to you, well, that’s because it is, for this same logic is being used by TD Jakes when he says we must separate ourselves from observing the Sabbath now that Jesus “the bridegroom” has come.

Point #20: “Twenty-two years ago at six-o-clock in the evening on May 29th… my wife and I got married. And I stood there in front of the preacher… and like any good light the light cast a shadow, and there was a shadow on me as the groom. But when Bishop Wilson pronounced us man and wife, my wife didn’t walk away with the shadow when she walked away with the man.”
Time in Video: 05:29-06:06

His analogy won’t work here, for when he steps outside with his wife, the sun will shine upon them, and cause them both to have a shadow. In other words, the shadow in his story has not been abolished.

Furthermore, if his wife one day asks him to remember the day of their wedding, and he responds by saying “I forgot, May 29th was a shadow and I dont need to remember it anymore. Everyday is an anniversary because I’ve got the reality,” how would his wife respond? How would she feel?

But what’s even more interesting about this analogy is in his usage of “marriage” to make his point. As shown in point #19, the logic used against the Sabbath can also be used against marriage, for marriage also has its symbolism.

Since then the Sabbath can not logically be a shadow, what then served as a temporary type/shadow in the Old Testament that taught of rest from sin and guilt, and pointed to Jesus Christ? None other then the sabbath feasts, upon which the Israelites were commanded to rest from their labors. Take the feast of Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) for example. Upon this sabbath feast the Israelites were commanded to examine their souls and slay an innocent animal:

Leviticus 23:27
(27) Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement: it shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall afflict your souls (hebrew: to humble oneself), and offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD.

This would in turn cleanse the sinner of his sins and clear him of all guilt, for all this would be placed upon the lamb:

Leviticus 16:15, 30-31
(15) Then shall he kill the goat of the sin offering, that is for the people, and bring his blood within the vail, and do with that blood as he did with the blood of the bullock, and sprinkle it upon the mercy seat, and before the mercy seat…
(30) For on that day shall the priest make an atonement for you, to cleanse you, that ye may be clean from all your sins before the LORD.
(31) It shall be a sabbath of rest unto you, and ye shall afflict your souls, by a statute for ever.

Here we see the plan of salvation in plain view:

1)afflict your souls.” We must humble ourselves in confession towards God, for “with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” –Romans 10:10.
2)kill the goat of the sin offering, offer an offering.” Next we believe on the “lamb which taketh away the sins of the world” and are sanctified by the “sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ.” –John 1:29, 1 Peter 1:2.
3)to cleanse you, that ye may be clean from all your sins.” The apostle wrote that the “blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” -1 John 1:7.
4)It shall be a sabbath rest unto you.” Finally we can find rest in Christ, for he cleanses us of all our sins and bids us come unto him and… “that I may give you rest.” – Matthew 11:28.

The seventh day Sabbath is part of the eternal moral law of God, which “stand fast for ever and ever” (Psalm 111:7-8), and will forever be enjoyed by God’s people upon the newly created earth… “from one sabbath to another.” –Isaiah 66:22-23. The sabbath feasts, however, find their fulfillment in Christ (Colossians 2:16-17).

Point #21: “And Hebrews 4 says ‘let us labor to enter into that rest.’”
Time in Video: 06:28-06:32.

We touched on this chapter a bit in Point #17. But let us get a little deeper here.

The verse he is here referring to is verse 11. Let’s read it together, along with the previous two verses:

Hebrews 4:9-11
(9) There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.
(10) For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.
(11) Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.

The word translated “rest” in verse 9 is the Greek word “sabbatismos.” This is but one word, “sabbat” except with the suffix “ismos.” Some translations translate this as “Sabbath keeping.” There remains, therefore, a “Sabbath keeping” for God’s people. But is this the spiritual Sabbath of “today” from sin and guilt that we find in Christ? Or is this speaking about the keeping of the seventh day Sabbath? The next verse has the answer:

(10) For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.

Note carefully that we are to enter into the same rest in which God entered into, and rest from our works… “as God did from his.” When did God rest from his works? That’s right… in creation week, when he established the first Sabbath! It’s right there in the same chapter:

Hebrews 4:4
(4) For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works. (see also Genesis 2:1-3, Exodus 31:17).

It can not be saying to rest from sin, for God never rested from sin, and we are to rest from our labors just as “God did from his.” Now, we agree that Hebrews chapters 3 and 4 are teaching us about the spiritual rest of “today” as it is found in Christ, but although the Sabbath has this symbolism, Paul is careful to tell us in verses 9 and 10 that the rest of the seventh day still remains.

For more on Hebrews 4, see:

Hebrews 3 and 4: Does “today” replace the seventh day?

Point #22: “There is a rest that Christ offers to the church that is so powerful and so important that if you ever enter into that rest you literally will not worry about anything.”
Time in Video: 06:32-06:45.

Once again he causes the spiritual rest of Jesus Christ to move people to violate the law of God by breaking the fourth commandment. Yet being that the law is spiritual (Romans 7:14), once we “walk in the Spirit” as Paul commands us to (Galatians 5:16), we will find ourselves obeying the law of God, which is spirit-ual for… “they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.” –Romans 8:5. It is Jesus living his life of righteousness “through us” (2 Corinthians 4:10-11), causing us to both rest from sin, and live an obedient and victorious life.

We touched more on this at point #16.

Point #23: “All though the Old Testament God is teaching us to fight your ways into that rest, to push yourself into that rest, to do whatever you have to do to get into that rest. In the shadow he teaches us a place of rest. That’s why the Levitical priesthood were forbidden from working as the other tribes did, because they had entered into the temple, and entered into the rest of the Lord…”
Time in Video: 06:47-06:58.

Mr. Jakes is correct here, the ceremonies of the Old Testament pointed forward to the rest we find in Jesus where we don’t have to work for our own salvation. This is exactly what the ceremonial law was set up for, including the ceremonial sabbath feasts… to point forward to Christ. The seventh day Sabbath, however, was never set up to be a ceremonial law pointing forward, but rather as part of the moral law of 10 Commandments pointing backwards to creation (Exodus 20:8-11). One who has found Jesus Christ and has entered into his rest will so fall in love with him that he will obey every one of God commandments, for as Jesus said, “If you love me, keep my commandments.” –John 14:15, 1 John 5:3. The Sabbath is part of those commandments, therefore he who has entered into the rest of Christ will also keep the fourth commandment, as the New Testament commands us to (Hebrews 4:9-10).

For more information, see:

A Former Adventist responds to this article
The Sabbath in GenesisWho kept the Sabbath?



It doesn’t end here with our list of critics. We took the time to examine some of the claims of yet another critic. This one is very popular amoung the Adventist church, especially because he still claims to be a Seventh Day Adventist:

Critic #7: Desmond Ford


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About The Author

Edwin Cotto

With over 13 years of experience in apologetics, evangelism and youth directing, Edwin has worked with various ministries both in English and Spanish. Having had the opportunity to travel to various states in the USA, and also to Venezuela and Mexico, he has enjoyed the privilege of conducting evangelistic meetings and apologetics seminars. His education includes training in the Medical Field, Adult Education at Valencia College, Biblical Hebrew with the Israel Institute of Biblical Studies, and Evangelism with Amazing Facts Center of Evangelism. He is furthering his academic studies in theology while also working as a bible worker for the Florida Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. Ordained as an elder, Edwin's passion for ministry begins first at home with his wife and kids.

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