Online Debate with a Former Adventist

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real concerns, real questions, real answers

This debate is posted online for the benefit of the readers of this website. The reason why I decided to share this debate which took place via e-mail is because the questions and concerns posed by my opponant are real questions asked by both Adventists and critics alike. I have received permision to post this response without making any changes to his words except changes in grammer. After my response, my opponant decided to take a second look at Adventism with a more critical yet open mind.

How it began

My opponant and I have been acquaintances for some time, and have exchanged thoughts on Adventism before. After viewing some of the articles on this site, and reading my recent response to T.D. Jakes attack on the Sabbath, he took it upon himself to refute in written form the responses contained therein. Although he is not an Adventist, I consider him a fellow brother in Christ, and will continue to pray that the Lord guide both he and I into all truth.

Information about my opponant

His name is Joel and is a former Seventh Day Adventist who is re-examining his current position. The reason why he at first left the church was because he truly believed he could not get answers to his questions like those he posed in his rebuttal below. Although brother Joel did not fully agree with every response given, he is satisfied with the answers he has received and will continue his research into Adventist teaching. If you would like to contact him with questions regarding his words in his rebuttal, send him an email to, or contact us at


My brother in Christ,

My response to your rebuttal will be found below. Please pardon my sometimes passionate response to your comments. If I sound harsh in any way, it is because I love you as my brother in Christ, and I want you to abide in the stainless truth as it is found in the word of God. You are welcomed to respond back. I would most anxiously look forward to that.

To distinguish between your words and mine, the words from my original article will be in bold/italic, your words will remain normal, and my response will be in BLUE:

TD Jakes article

“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).”

It is true that marriage was given in the garden, as even Jesus states this is true (Mtt 19:3-9). Unlike the sabbath being observed, we find Adam and Eve being made one and a command giving that man is to leave his parents and be joined to his wife (Gen 2:21-24). Where do we see such an observance by Adam and Eve in keeping Sabbath? Where do we find a command for them to keep a 24 hour period of rest continually each and every week?

Where do we find in the Garden a command not to take the name of the Lord God in vain? Where do we find a command for them to obey this commandment every day?

Your contention brings up a mute point. Just because something is not mentioned in the Garden before man sinned, doesn’t mean it did not exist. The fact that Eve and her husband “sinned” proves that there must have been a law established, for where no law is, there is no transgression (Romans 4:15). Now what sin did she commit? Take a look:

Genesis 3:6
(6) And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.

Examine closely. Her first mistake was to look too much, but this wasn’t her sin. She “desired” what was not hers. She “coveted.” This is the Tenth Commandment. This means that the 10th commandment was established; in existence. Then, she “took” the fruit. It was not hers to begin with. She stole, and broke the 8th commandment. Now James 2:10 says:

James 2:10-11
(10) For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.
(11) For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law.

The above verse shows clearly that it’s all or nothing. They all either stand together, or fall together. The Sabbath is part of the same group the 8th and 10th commandment are located. It follows, therefore, that as the 10th commandment was in existence before sin, so was the commandment of the sanctified seventh day Sabbath.

Your response to this might include (as I have been told by others):

1: James also mentions other laws.

If this will be your response, you must understand that the law is broad (Psalm 119:96). An example of the broadness of the law of 10 commandments is expressed in the form of “judgments” in Exodus 21. You mentioned this below. For example, the law forbidding adultery is a sexual sin, and can include all sins which are also sexual (i.e. homosexuality, bestiality, etc). Jesus demonstrated this when he spoke of the sixth commandment, and said that even when we hate for no reason we break it. Here’s another example:

Colossians 3:5
(5) Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:

Covetousness is as “idolatry.” Wow, this means Eve also violated the first two commandments!

Here’s one more:

1 Samuel 15:23
(23) For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.

When she rebelled against God’s counsel, it’s as if she committed witchcraft! Pretty bad what Eve did, eh?

“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:”

God did promise Abraham that his descendents would be a great nation, but not only would Israel be this nation as Paul states, those of faith are of the seed of promise and true descendents of Abraham (Rom 4:16; 9:7; Gal 3:6-9, 14-29; 4:21-31).


God did give Israel His law, the covenant before they entered the promise land, but you only give reference to Ex 20. The scriptures are clear that God gave not only the Decalogue at Sinai, but the entire law of Moses. Ex 20 you have the Ten Commandments, from Ex 21-24 you have judgments that were given to Moses, Ex 25-31 laws concerning the tabernacle of meeting.

Exodus 24:8 And Moses took the blood, and sprinkled it on the people, and said, Behold the blood of the covenant, which the LORD hath made with you concerning all these words.

I am aware of these. How does this affect what I said? I mentioned only the Sabbath because it’s the Sabbath that was placed under question by our critic.

Up until this point we have at least the 10 commandments and three chapters 21-24 on judgments. So the covenant was more then just the Decalogue.

No, the covenant was not “more” then just the Decalogue; it was “just” the Decalogue:

Deuteronomy 4:13-14
(13) And he declared unto you his covenant, which he commanded you to perform, even ten commandments; and he wrote them upon two tables of stone.
(14) And the LORD commanded me at that time to teach you statutes and judgments, that ye might do them in the land whither ye go over to possess it.

The actual covenant was when Israel “agreed” to do all that the Lord has spoken (Exodus 19:8). The Ten Commandments are… “the words OF the covenant, the ten commandments” –Exodus 34:28.

Note also a difference in the giving of these laws:

1: One named “TEN commandments, the other named “statutes and judgments” If no difference, why specifically name one of them “Ten Commandment?”

2: One (when given) heard by everyone (he declared unto you –verse 13), the other given in privet to Moses (the Lord commanded me at that time to teach you –verse 14).

3: Here’s the best one. In the next chapter, after reiterating the 10 Commandments, Moses specifically said:

Deuteronomy 5:22
(22) These words the LORD spake unto all your assembly in the mount out of the midst of the fire, of the cloud, and of the thick darkness, with a great voice: and he added no more. And he wrote them in two tables of stone, and delivered them unto me.

But you add more when you say there is no difference, when you say that the covenant was more then the Ten.

At the conclusion of the book of the law, Moses wrote:

Deuteronomy 29:1
(1) These are the words of the covenant, which the LORD commanded Moses to make with the children of Israel in the land of Moab, beside the covenant which he made with them in Horeb (another name for Sinai – see Deut. 4:10–13).

The Hebrew word translated “besides” means “separation.” We have two separate covenants in view here… one of these was written on stone. Can you guess which one that one was?

Also in Ex34 when speaking of the covenant besides the Ten Commandments you have mention of at least three of the feasts. Nehemiah sums it up nicely:

Your sentence contradicts the point I think you’re trying to make. If the covenant of Ten Commandments includes more then those ten, then it is not really “ten” commandments. There is no other reason why it would be addressed as “ten commandments” if it were not because there were only ten commandments contained therein.

Yes the feasts are mentioned in Exodus 34. Okay. We still have “ten” commandments, and then the covenant which was “besides the covenant which he made with them in Horeb.” –Deut. 29:1.

Nehemiah 9:13 Thou camest down also upon mount Sinai, and spakest with them from heaven, and gavest them right judgments, and true laws, good statutes and commandments:
Nehemiah 9:14 And madest known unto them thy holy sabbath, and commandedst them precepts, statutes, and laws, by the hand of Moses thy servant:

Yes Nehemiah is summing up everything which transpired at Mount Sinai. He didn’t really have to get detailed when the records were available for all to read.

The Sabbath as a sign to show the heathen nations around them that their God is Creator, is there a particular scripture that states this, or is this your interpretation of the Sabbath as a sign.

I thought the meaning of the commandment itself was sufficient:

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.

Now let’s quote me in full:

“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).”

In context, I am referring to the entire body of laws, including their “religious services” – feast days. If their future generations could inquire about these laws (see Deut. 6:20-24) why couldn’t others outside the camp do the same?

To me it would seem that circumcision would be a better sign to the heathen nations that Israel had a God that was not made with man’s hand’s as those nations idols.

I’ll here ask you your own question with this particular law:

“is there a particular scripture that states this, or is this your interpretation of circumcision as a sign.”

The Israelite male would think twice before taking wives from these surrounding nations as their flesh bared witness to their covenant relationship to Jehovah.

Since this is true, how then would circumcision testify as a sign? They would have to walk around naked. Instead, some outward show would have to testify. Like Sabbath observance, and those “religious services” you mention below.

One had to be circumcised before partaking of the Passover (Ex 13). It seems the sabbath as a sign was for them to remember their Creator, but also to remember God as their Redeemer. The sabbath looked back at the fellowship Adam had with his Creator before the fall. The sabbath pointed forward to the rest to be found in Christ (Mtt 11:28-30; Heb 4:1-11; Col 2:16,17), and ultimately, our future rest in eternity.

A simple reading of the 4th commandment shows that is points backwards, not forward. To say otherwise would be to read into it what it does not literally say. Although it has its spiritual meaning, as do all of the 10 commandments (for the law is spiritual – Romans 14:7 – more on this below), it does not point forward to the work Christ would do because of sin; its existence in the Garden (Genesis 2:1-3) bears witness against such a notion, for it would seem rather ridiculous for God to establish on one handthe Sabbath which would teach Adam of his future state (sin and death) but then on the other hand tell him not to eat of the fruit “lest ye die.” Plus, would Adam really have been an a perfect and happy state in the Garden while knowing, through the Sabbath sign, that he was going to die anyway?

In order for you to escape this embarrassing fact, you must attack Genesis 2:1-3 and try to prove that it has nothing to do with the 4th commandment. I will deal with this in a few.

“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.”

I believe Sabbatarians, or SDA’s do love God, want to please Him, and worship Him everyday of the week. I understand your frustration when people say, well, I worship everyday, not just one. I understand how you believe the sabbath to be a commandment on the same level as thou shall not murder. I don’t, and will comment more on this point below.

Thanks. James (chapter 2, verse 10) is the one who says that all the law contained in the Decalogue (for the Decalogue is his context – verse 11) is to be treated as the same level with each other. Your disagreement is with him.

“Actually there are at least two mentions of the Sabbath day between Genesis and the giving of the 10 Commandments.”

Before the ten commandments were given, Ex 16 is the only time the sabbath is mentioned from Genesis to that time. To argue that Gen 2:1-3 mentions the sabbath is to read that into the text.

Yes, the Sabbath is mentioned “before” the giving of the 10 commandments. Some suggest that the Sinai event was the first mention of the Sabbath, but you can see this is untrue. Answer me this, why is this same Sabbath mentioned as part of God’s “commandments” in Exodus 16 verse 28? Could it be that the Sabbath existed as a “commandment” before it was given in Exodus 20? It would seem so.

Now to point to Ex 20:10 and state that that somehow proves the Sabbath was given in Genesis is grasping at straws in my opinion.

Your opinion needs to stand the test of the word of God. Let’s grab the whole pack of straws:


Genesis 2:1-3

-Seventh Day
-God rested
-24 hour period
(by your own
admission below)

Exodus 20:8-11

-Seventh Day
-God rested
-24 hour period

Do we have a match? Be honest with yourself brother… God is telling us in Exodus 20:1-8 that the same seventh day found in creation week (Genesis 2:1-3) is the same one he is giving to them at Mt. Sinai! God didn’t take the seventh day and blessed and sanctified (set apart) it after sin, he did this before sin! God is letting the Israelites know of the same seventh day which never changed from the beginning.

Where in the Exodus command do we find mention of anyone resting on the seventh day in the garden besides God? There was no command in Genesis 2 for Adam to keep sabbath.

I will once again rewrite your question:

Where in the Exodus command do we find mention of anyone obeying the third commandment in the Garden before sin?

Revert to my question at your first response above. Your question assumes too much.

Ex 20, looks back to creation to make the point of why Israel should keep sabbath. It was to point back and remind them of the perfect rest in the undifiled world God had made.

Let’s try this again:

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 command is to specifically remind them of “creation.” To read anything else into this commandment would be what your dictionary would call “eisegesis.”

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 same word is used in Ex 5:5;

Exodus 5:5 And Pharaoh said, Behold, the people of the land now are many, and ye make them rest from their burdens.

It’s obvious that Moses didn’t give the people sabbath from their burdens while they were in Egypt.

Why not? Why couldn’t this verse actually be the precursor of Exodus 16, showing the beginning of the introduction of the Sabbath to the Israelites? Just because you imply it can’t be, doesn’t make it true.

So it doesn’t prove anything to say the word for rested in Genesis could mean sabbath. Again, there is no solid proof for sabbath keeping before Israel being commanded to keep it in Ex 16.

Exodus 16 is proof enough that the Sabbath predated the establishing of the covenant of Ten Commandments with the Israelites. It’s our proof of its existed “before” Mt. Sinai, and it was only mentioned because Mr. Jakes said that it’s not mentioned until the giving of the 10 Commandments in Exodus 20.

“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)!”

I agree that Adam had duties and general work to do in the garden as the passage you quote clearly states so. The question is, how labour intensive was the work before the fall? Was it so much so that Adam needed a break in his first full day in the garden with God?

Your reasoning now falls into what is called “straw man” because it implies that I believe the Sabbath was established to give man a break from some type of intensive labor. Neither do I, nor the bible, teach this. The reason for the setting apart (sanctified) of the seventh day as “blessed” is given right there in its first appearance:

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.

In order to get more information, we must research wherever the Sabbath is mentioned and see what that particular section says about it. Here is one of those places where it’s mentioned:

Mark 2:27
(27) And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath:

I know what you said below on this text, and will address it when it arrives. But let us here examine this text closely. Jesus says that the Sabbath…

A: … was made…

Okay. This begs the question, when was it made? In Exodus 20 it was not “made,” it was “given.” In Exodus 16 is was not “made” it was revealed as a “commandment.” So, when was it made? Genesis 2:1-3 is your only answer… if you’re honest. Already this shows us that the seventh day of Genesis 2:1-3 is the Sabbath (although you say its not, but rather it’s some eternal rest) Jesus is speaking about, which is the Sabbath of the 4th commandment. Now the Sabbath was made… but it was made for someone. Here is that someone:

B: … for man…

Good. Now we have two things. The Sabbath was made, and it was made for man. Since the verb “made” alludes back to Genesis 2:1-3, it follows that when it uses the word “for” it means literally for Adam and Eve, for they were the “man” which existed back then. Now if it was made for Adam and Eve, what do you suppose they did with it being that it was a 24-hour period (as you are inclined to believe, and as the word “day” implies)? I would say they followed in the steps of their creator, and rested on the seventh day as well. No, not because their work was laborious, but because it was “made for” them… they were not “made for” it.

This sheds more light on Genesis 2:1-3 then. Considering what both Genesis 2:1-3 and Mark 2:27 says, we can safely say that it was made for God to rest upon, and for man to also rest upon… on a weekly basis (for it’s a 24 hour period).

We see in the next chapter that part of the curse was that labour wasn’t anymore to be a hobby for man, but was intensified because of his transgression.

Genesis 3:17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;
Genesis 3:18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;
Genesis 3:19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.


“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 seventh day of Genesis 2 could have been a 24 hour period. I can accept that premise without accepting the conclusion, which is that Adam kept a 24 hour sabbath rest from that day onward. But for other reasons I tend to believe that it was not a literal day of rest, but an on going rest that man was to have with his creator in the perfect state of creation before the fall.

Okay. I will accept the two things you said:

1: The seventh day is a 24 hour period.
2: The seventh day is not a 24 hour period.

Did I misinterpret you here? If so, please clarify.

Let’s move on.

First, the book of Hebrews sheds light on the text in question.

Before the writer’s discussion on the rest believers are commanded to enter (Heb 3:7-4:1-11) the writer makes a comparison between Moses and Christ.

Hebrews 3:1 Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus;
Hebrews 3:2 Who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house.
Hebrews 3:3 For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house.
Hebrews 3:4 For every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God.
Hebrews 3:5 And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after;
Hebrews 3:6 But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.

Moses prophesied that one greater then he would rise up among the nation of Israel.

Deuteronomy 18:15 The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken;
Deuteronomy 18:18 I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.

This prophet is clearly Messiah, Jesus the Christ fulfilling this passage. Unlike Moses who gave the word of God in written form, Jesus came as the word (Jn 1:1,14), Moses gave the people bread from heaven but Jesus Himself is the true bread (Jn 6:35). Jesus states that Moses did speak of Him (Jn 5:45-47 cf. Jn 4:25).

John 1:17 For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

The law came by Moses from God to the people, but it cannot be compared to the gospel that came by Jesus Christ. No longer a system of rituals that point to the shadow as the reality has come. No longer a law with a priesthood as the true high priest has come. No longer a physical tabernacle made with man’s hands but a bigger and better tabernacle has been made by our high priest. No longer a theocracy, a fleshly kingdom, but the true king has come with His kingdom ushered in by His blood.

The book of Hebrews was written to Jewish Christians who were being strongly urged by their countrymen to abandon their new found faith in Christ. This pressure was strong enough for this epistle to be written. The aim of this epistle is for Christians to be settled in the faith and to understand the relationship of the covenants along with the atonement of Christ. Christ is superior to the angels (Heb 1:1-2:18) superior to Moses and his tabernacle (Heb 3:1-6; 8:2) Christ is a superior priest to that of Aaron (Heb 6-7) Christ’s covenant is superior (Heb 8-10), and finally, Christ and all He is superior then the law in general, as we find rest in Him (Heb 3:7-4:1-11).

Allow me to interject. Everything said thus far sounds about right. He is better then those various ceremonial laws. But you made a point at the end I have to call you on. You said:

“…and finally, Christ and all He is is superior then the law in general, as we find rest in Him.”

Your proof texts are Hebrews 3:7 and 4:1-11, but these verses do not say that Christ is “superior to the law in general.” This idea is absent from those texts. Permit me to share how I view the scriptures teaching on Christ’s relationship to the law.

Psalms 119:172
(172) My tongue shall speak of thy word: for all thy commandments are righteousness.

1 Corinthians 1:30
(30) But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:

This is quite simple, really. One text says that all of God’s commandments are righteousness; the other says that Jesus literally is righteousness. The same goes for Psalm 119:151 and John 14:6… the law is “truth,” Jesus is “truth.” In other words, Jesus is the law in “living form.” Consider this next text:

Isaiah 51:4
(4) Hearken unto me, my people; and give ear unto me, O my nation: for a law shall proceed from me, and I will make my judgment to rest for a light of the people.

In this messianic verse, Jesus is set forth as the coming “law” and “judgment.” Rather then being superior then the law, he “is” the law… only in living form. This means that his life of righteousness (the law in living form) will be manifested through us:

2 Corinthians 4:10-11
(10) Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.
(11) For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.

This is how we observe his law; because of ourselves we can do nothing. The first covenant consisted of their trying to keep the law own their own (Exodus 19:8). But in the New Covenant, the law is written in our hearts… Jesus is in our heart, manifesting his law through us, for he lived that perfect life for us. It is him living in us, manifesting his life of righteousness (and he observed the law perfectly) through all who accept him into their lives:

“… Christ in you the hope of glory.” –Col. 1:27.

Since he is that law, go back to Isaiah 51, and read verse 6:

Isaiah 51:6
(6) Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look upon the earth beneath: for the heavens shall vanish away like smoke, and the earth shall wax old like a garment, and they that dwell therein shall die in like manner: but my salvation shall be for ever, and my righteousness shall not be abolished.

God’s law, which is righteousness, will not be abolished! And this is strengthened in Jesus, who is the law in living form. To abolish the law, in other words, is to abolish the messiah himself.

Now your response to this might be that Jesus is the entire law in living form, even the statues, ordinances, judgments, etc, and that Isaiah 51:6 and Psalm 119:172 also refer to the entire law. I agree to the first assessment. But let’s put two and two together here. The above verse just told us that righteousness, which is the commandments (Psalm 119:172), will not be abolished. However you want to view that (you can get technical with the Hebrew words all you want), it remains the same. It will not be abolished. Period.

Now Paul speaks about a law that is abolished:

Ephesians 2:15
(15) Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace

You can argue that Isaiah 51:6 and Psalm 119:172 is speaking of “all” the law if you will, but obviously Paul speaks of some portion of that law as being abolished. How then should we view Isaiah 51:6? Because if we stick to the second assessment, we have a contradiction:

A: All the law will not be abolished.
B: Some of the law is abolished.

What a pickle. Consider this… all the law is righteousness, except the ceremonial law (I know you’re not fond of this word “ceremonial.” Just think of ceremonies, which is what the feast days and the various priestly services consisted of). If you read down Deuteronomy chapter 6, you will find that all the law is “for our righteousness” -verse 25. But the ceremonies of the feasts and Levites are nowhere to be found here. There is a reminder of the exodus from Egypt (verse 21) but this was brought to mind by the Sabbath (Deut. 5:15). You can argue that there is mention of “statutes” in verse 1, but verse 2 explains what these were, for it says that in doing them their “days will be prolonged.” We don’t have to keep feast days in order for our days to be prolonged, but try working seven days a week for the rest of your life and see how short your days will actually be. The same goes for the rest of the 10 commandments.

I think a little explanation of the words statutes and judgments is in order, and then I will continue on to your next point. Judgments:

Exodus 21:1
(1) Now these are the judgments which thou shalt set before them…

If you examine closely these “judgments” you will find that each one, one way or another, prevents those involved from somehow breaking either one of the 10 Commandments. This takes us back to our earlier explanation of the “broadness” of the law. Take the first few verses in this chapter for example:

Exodus 21:2-6
(2) If thou buy an Hebrew servant, six years he shall serve: and in the seventh he shall go out free for nothing.
(3) If he came in by himself, he shall go out by himself: if he were married, then his wife shall go out with him.
(4) If his master have given him a wife, and she have born him sons or daughters; the wife and her children shall be her master’s, and he shall go out by himself.
(5) And if the servant shall plainly say, I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free:
(6) Then his master shall bring him unto the judges; he shall also bring him to the door, or unto the door post; and his master shall bore his ear through with an aul; and he shall serve him for ever.

The physical health of this Hebrew servant is being considered here. How do you suppose he will live his life if he is forever bound to serving a master he does not want to serve? Put yourself in his position for a moment. Although the master was to show fairness to his servant, the servant was still bound to slavery, away from your birth family, must eat when and how the master desires… etc. Freedom is not really a reality for you unless you are under the bondage of no man. Quite humbling if you ask me. Now imagine yourself in this position forever. Poor you. The solution? Seven years of service tops! That way certain things can be prevented… like grudges, hatred, mistreatment, etc. But there is another thing, if the Hebrew wants to stay with his master, he could. The point of it all is to prevent contention between the two, which could result in a violation of one or more of God’s 10 Commandments law. If you think this is a stretch, well it is. The law is being stretched to reach every corner of mans life in order to make him perfect in every way:

Isaiah 42:21
(21) The LORD is well pleased for his righteousness’ sake; he will magnify (Hebrew: twist, enlarge) the law, and make it honourable.

Now Hebrew words translated “Judgments, statutes, etc” are used interchangeably throughout scripture. We can’t assume that every time one of these words (like choq, mitzvah, and torah) is used, that it always refers to the whole law. For example, choq and mitzvah is used in the introduction to Deuteronomy 6, but we learned above that the feast days and the various Levitical duties are not mentioned therein. Proverbs 1:8 mentions the word “torah,” but most would agree that in this case it is not talking about any of the laws God has given, for God is never referred to as a mother:

Proverbs 1:8
(8) My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law (torah) of thy mother.

These Hebrew words are to general in their meaning and usage. The only way to determine when a specific word is speaking about whichever law will be by the context wherein that word is found. Nothing else. And the same goes for those Greek words, like entole and nomos. I will touch on these below.

With the overall context of Hebrews in view, as Christ and Him being better then all the law had to offer, and with the immediate context of Heb 3:7-4:1-11 in view (Heb 3:1-6) are we to believe that the author intends to command these Jewish Christians who are questioning their faith to now suddenly keep the sabbath?

You’ve missed the reason why the seventh day Sabbath was introduced into his context in the first place. May I?

Hebrews 3:7-9
(7) Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice,
(8) Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness:
(9) When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years.

The mind of the reader will at this point be lead to the story of the “provocation… in the wilderness.” This story is found in Numbers 13. Would you agree my brother that to best understand Paul’s teaching here in Hebrews 3 and 4 that we must go back and learn the story he is talking about? I hope so. Notice what transpired:

Numbers 13:30
(30) And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it.

After investigating the land “flowing with milk and honey,” some doubted that they could overtake it. Righteous Caleb disagreed and said that they should enter the land “today” or “at once.” Now our Hebrews 3:7 text speaks of the Holy Spirit being the one saying “today.” But notice:

Numbers 14:23-24
(23) Surely they shall not see the land which I sware unto their fathers, neither shall any of them that provoked me see it:
(24) But my servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and hath followed me fully, him will I bring into the land whereinto he went; and his seed shall possess it.

It was the “spirit” moving Caleb to urge the people to enter into the land “today.” See, that land of Canaan represented rest…

Joshua 1:13
(13) Remember the word which Moses the servant of the LORD commanded you, saying, The LORD your God hath given you rest, and hath given you this land.

… which also typified Heaven, the final rest of every true believer, for Abrahams descendents received it because of his faith, suffered in the wilderness before they entered, then finally (those who remained faithful) entered in through the leadership of Joshua (a name translated “Jesus” in the N.T.). We Christians are also called to live by faith, knowing that we will suffer much tribulation here on earth, our land of wilderness, but these will strengthen us for the entering of the true Heaven where God abides. But we must respond to that call “today,” as they had to, otherwise, we won’t go to heaven, as most of them didn’t:

Hebrews 3:11
(11) So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.

As the spirit through Caleb spoke to them, telling them that “today” they should enter into that land of rest, so the spirit speaks to us “today” urging us to enter into the rest of the heavenly Canaan, which can only be done by accepting Jesus into our hearts, for… “unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.” –Hebrews 4:2. To illustrate this further, Paul now introduces the seventh day:

Hebrews 4:3-4
(3) For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.
(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.

Paul speaks of that “certain place” where it says that God rested. That place is in Genesis 2:1-3. But look at his next verse:

Hebrews 4:5
(5) And in this place again, If they shall enter into my rest.

Notice that he is comparing two things. The seventh day rest (spake of a certain place) with the rest of Canaan which he just brought forth in the previous chapter (… and in this place again…). In other words, Paul just grabbed the seventh day Sabbath, and used it to symbolize Heaven. Verse 6 says those in the wilderness did not enter in because of unbelief (compare with Numbers 14:35, 44-45). Get deeper with me brother, notice what there unbelief consisted of:

Ezekiel 20:21
(21) Notwithstanding the children rebelled against me: they walked not in my statutes, neither kept my judgments to do them, which if a man do, he shall even live in them; they polluted my sabbaths: then I said, I would pour out my fury upon them, to accomplish my anger against them in the wilderness.

God through Ezekiel is once again speaking about the event which transpired in Numbers 13-14. Note carefully that Sabbath breaking was one of the reasons why God was so angry with them. Will you now suggest that Paul back in Hebrews 3 and 4 is suggesting that we continue in Sabbath breaking by replacing it, or abolishing it, when that is exactly one of the errors that prevented the Israelites from entering into that rest? Absolutely not! In fact, that is why he then says in verse 9 that “sabbath-keeping” remains for the believer. He is trying to introduce the seventh day to illustrate further the spiritual rest of heaven, and is careful to tell us in verses 9 and 10 that the Sabbath still “remains” as a reminder that one day the believer, if he first responds to the call of “today” and abides in that calling (chapter 3 verse 14), will enter heaven, the true Canaan!

There is a reason why verse 10 reads:

Hebrews 4:10
(10) For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.

God is already in the Heavenly Canaan, so this ceasing from labor and entering the rest can not at this point be the heavenly rest. God ceased from his labors in creation week, in Genesis 2:1-3. This same rest, which he entered into, is that which true Christians should also enter into. That rest of Genesis 2:1-3, was a 24-hour period. This if more proof, therefore, that Christians are to rest on the 24-hour seventh day as God rested on the 24-hour seventh day. More on verse 10 below.

We find in Acts 15 when the council came together to discuss the issue of gentiles coming into the faith, whether they should be circumcised and keep the law of Moses, they state that they “give no such commandment” (Acts 15:24b).

Great. I’m glad for that. The typical interpretation of this verse is that when it reads “the law of Moses” it includes the seventh day Sabbath, because Evangelicals don’t believe that there is a difference between the various laws and the 10 Commandments. We showed that this is untrue above, for there of course is a separation. Since they mentioned “circumcision,” it follows that the laws they are referring to are those contained in the “book of the law.” You may argue that the 10 commandments are written there as well, but take this away, and we still have them written somewhere else… on stone, and here circumcision is nowhere to be found. Moses had no choice but to include them in the book of the law for two reasons. First, he was reiterating their history to them and the Mt. Sinai event was part of that history, and second, the tablets were concealed in the Ark of the Covenant. His audience was not the same Israelites of before, for they were consumed in the wilderness after 40 years. His audience were the next generation. For them to read the Decalogue they needed it written down, else they would be consumed if they tried to enter the Most Holy Place to see the originals.

Hebrews 4:3 For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.
Hebrews 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.

Heb 4:3 first states, “we which have believed do enter into rest.” Is this saying people of faith enter into a sabbath rest as under the law?

I will here deal with something you said which will take us off the topic of Hebrews 3 and 4, but will return right back in the next point.

You mentioned “under the law.” Most Christians have the understanding that “under the law” means “under its obligation.” Let me share with you a verse, with certain definitions included:

Romans 6:14-15
(14) For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law (meaning, as is supposed, obligated to keep the law), but under grace.
(15) What then? shall we sin (break the law -1 John 3:4), because we are not under the law (obligated to keep the law), but under grace? God forbid.

This makes no sense. We can break the law (sin) yet at the same time we are not obligated to keep the law. How is it that we don’t have to keep the law yet we can’t break the law at the same time? If you don’t keep the law, you’re breaking the law!

A better interpretation for the phrase “under the law” is “under the penalty of the law.” Now it makes sense. We are not under the penalty of the law anymore because Christ took that penalty for us on the cross… yet this is no excuse to continue in breaking the law (sinning).

Against this I have heard it argued that Jesus was not under the penalty of the law, for Paul in another place said:

Galatians 4:4
(4) But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,

But this still remains true, for Jesus did in fact come under the penalty of the law, for as soon as a man is born, he is born in sin (see Psalm 51:5) which results in the penalty of death. Man is born with a nature to sin which Jesus was also born with, although he had victory over the flesh and never sinned. Notice:

2 Corinthians 5:21
(21) For he hath made him (our Lord Jesus Christ) to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

Hardly, as the context clearly demonstrates the fact by “belief” we do enter that rest which was since “foundation of the world.”

But “unbelief” is what lead the Israelites to lead a life of rebellion against God’s law (Ezekiel 20:21). So what are we saying? It will take “belief” to enter into that heavenly rest, as it took “belief” for the Israelites to enter into the earthly rest of Canaan. But our belief must include obedience to his law, as was to be included in their belief back then. We can believe all we want, but “faith without works is dead” (James 2:26). Rest assured that as they persisted through their unbelief to break God’s law, including his sabbath, so believers will never enter heaven if they willfully transgress God’s law, for only those which “do his commandments” will have “a right to the tree of life, and enter in through the gates of the city.” –Revelation 22:14. This is why I believe it was so important for me to respond to your rebuttal.

Hebrews 4:6 Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief

Unbelief is how we neglect to enter this rest, so belief must be how we enter this rest, as v.3 a tests to as well as v.2 which states those that heard the gospel entered in.

Amen, we must believe in order to enter into that heavenly rest. But don’t forget that the life of Christ, a life of obedience (see 2 Cor. 10:5 – noting it reads “the obedience of Christ”) will be manifested through that believer (2 Cor. 4:10-11).

Hebrews 3:12 Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.
Hebrews 3:19 So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.

So at least three times we see that we enter this rest by belief. “Today” is mentioned four times in this discussion on the rest (Heb 3:7, 13, 15; 4:7). These Hebrew Christians were tempted to completely reject Jesus of Nazareth as the Christ and go back to the temple and the law. The writer uses Gen 2:2 in showing what rest the Hebrew Christians were to enter.

Correct, and the rest of Genesis 2:2 was a 24-period, for therein a weekly cycle was established, as is evidenced by the elements of the sky which help read “days” –Genesis 1:14-18.

They were to enter a rest which Israel in the wilderness disobeyed in entering (Heb 3:16-19) and that Joshua had not given them (Heb 4:8). That rest isn’t the weekly sabbath as Israel did keep the sabbath and Joshua had given them the law, and read it to them before they crossed the Jordan (Joshua 1). This rest was to be entered “today” not at the end of every week. This is not an exhaustive exegesis of Heb3:7-4:11 as I haven’t even gone into v.9 of Heb 4. I just wanted to make a few points of how the writer uses Gen 2:2 and the rest which was from the “foundation of the world.”

Joshua didn’t give them that rest, because they didn’t believe (verse 6) and disobeyed (Ezekiel 20:21)… they didn’t enter Canaan! The rest they disobeyed in entering was the call to “today” or “at once” enter into the land of rest. So also today, many don’t obey that invitation to one day enter into heaven because of their unbelief and disobedience. When the Israelites heard the call to “today” or “at once” enter into the rest of Canaan, they were to accept that calling at that moment without delay. At that moment, the same Spirit indwelling Caleb would have entered into them. If they would have accepted the calling they would have at that very moment began being lead towards the Promised Land.

Likewise, we are to accept the invitation of “today” and begin being lead by Jesus through our wilderness towards the ultimate rest of the heavenly Canaan. Only a few got to experience this rest of “today,” including Caleb. He was promised that he would one day enter (Numbers 14:24). He rested in that promise.

Yes, there is a spiritual rest, like that of Caleb’s, which we enter into “today.” Where we are assured that, if we continue abiding in him (Hebrews 3:14) we will also enter into Canaan as they did. But this spiritual rest is not one that will lead to the same disobedience like that of the Israelites, but rather one that will lead the believer through a life of sanctification and obedience to God’s law.

When verse 9 then says that a “rest “remains, it is speaking about the rest that spiritually they neglected to enter… heaven. This opportunity remains for all, and if excepted, the believer will live his life in both the spiritual rest of “today” marching towards heaven (like Caleb), and keeping the physical rest (as Caleb was obedient as well) as a reminder that one day he will enter in, for he is “obedient” to rest from his works… “as God did from his.” –verse 10.

Second, Noah was given the commands of dominion over all flesh and to be fruitful and multiply after the flood waters subsided (Gen 9:1-11). This goes back to the point I mentioned earlier from your article, that marriage and the sabbath were laws before the fall. Noah is told to be fruitful and multiply the earth at least two times in Gen 9, and yet no mention of a sabbath. We find the opposite to be true then that of a sabbath through the book of Genesis up to the sabbath law given to Israel in Ex 16. The curses given to man and the woman cause of their transgression imply strenuous labour (Gen 3:16-19), Cain was to be a vagabond the rest of the days of his life and the ground was not to yield its strength to him (Gen 4:12,13), Noah was given his name as he would comfort his people concerning the ground which was cursed (Gen 5:29), Jacob worked for fourteen years for Rachel and Leah, six for Laban’s flock he “labored with his hands”(Gen 31:42) and also the Hebrews in Egypt who were slaves.

The problem is that we are sticking only to one book in the bible and not allowing the rest of the books to help us in our quest for truth. Please, consider this text found in the epistle of Peter:

2 Peter 2:5
(5) And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly;

Noah was a preacher of “righteousness.” Now, what did we learn righteousness is?

Psalms 119:172
(172) My tongue shall speak of thy word: for all thy commandments are righteousness.

So, if Noah was a preacher of righteousness, and God’s law is righteousness, this means that Noah was preaching to the world that they return to obedience to God’s standard of righteousness, his law! Dare I say that his law included the Sabbath? I dare, see Exodus 20:8.

Again, just because something is not specifically mentioned, does not make it true. Other portions of scripture should also be considered.

Reminder: It was shown above that that the Sabbath is found before Noah, for Eve broke the 1st, 2nd and 10th commandment in the Garden (one law can’t exist without the other -James 2:10), and Mark 2:27 says the Sabbath was made for Adam and Eve. Refer to my comments on this above.

This brings us to our third and last point. Ex 16, it seems is a strong proof that Israel had not the Sabbath until this time after they fled Pharaoh. It was one month since they left Egypt (Ex 16:1). Up until this time Israel was in Egypt. Did the hebrew people have the sabbath while they were slaves in Egypt? Did they keep Sabbath as they fled Pharaoh?

I doubt they had the Sabbath while in Egypt. I imagine them losing a lot of what their father Abraham had taught. Did they keep it as they fled Egypt? I cant say much here either, except that there is a hint in the verse you yourself brought forth above that its likely they were beginning to have it introduced to them, possibly to teach them who it was that was going to set them free (as the Sabbath also serves this purpose –Deut 5:15). That verse is Exodus 5:5, where the word “rested” is the same word used in the context of the Sabbath in many instances, like Exodus 23:12 and 34:21, and whose definition includes:

shabath: verb. to keep or observe the Sabbath.

-Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew Definitions.

Beyond that would be to speculate. I do believe, however, that we can find its existence before their Egyptian bondage, as shown above, and as can be shown though many other scriptures.

It has been one whole month, and now God through Moses is giving them His law concerning the sabbath. I will not get into the text, as I think this point alone should suffice as strong proof of the Sabbath not being kept in Genesis.

How would this point prove the Sabbath was not kept in Genesis when everything you mention above is found in the book of Exodus? Let me share more on why I believe the Sabbath was kept in Genesis:

1: Genesis 2:1-3 mentions the seventh day which is connected to rest and is a 24-hour period as the same seventh day of the fourth commandment. Already mentioned above.
2: The Sabbath was made for mankind. The word “made” alludes back to the creation of man in Genesis 1 and 2. Already mentioned above.
3: Eve “sinned” which by definition means to “transgress the law.” This will include the Sabbath, the fourth law (James 2:10-11). Already mentioned above.
4: We continue to find “sin” in all of the book of Genesis. Lamech “sinned.” Noah “sinned.” Abraham “sinned. Jacob “sinned.” Joseph “sinned.” Now wherever there is sin, there is law, for “where no law is, there is no transgression” (Romans 4:15). The law, of course, includes the Sabbath. God did not just “add” the Sabbath to his law, for that would mean that his law was somehow incomplete rather then perfect. It was always part of his moral code.
5: Noah was a preacher of righteousness. Righteousness by definition is God’s commandments, which includes the Sabbath. If he preached it, you better believe he lived it!
6: Abraham was given the covenant which included the Sabbath. Note the following:

Genesis 26:5
(5) Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.

The above verse states that he obeyed God and kept his commandments. Now let’s read some more about the commandments that Abraham kept:

1 Chronicles 16:15-17
(15) Be ye mindful always of his covenant; the word which he commanded to a thousand generations;
(16) Even of the covenant which he made with Abraham, and of his oath unto Isaac;
(17) And hath confirmed the same to Jacob for a law, and to Israel for an everlasting covenant.

Some believe the covenant God made with Abraham was circumcision, but a closer look reveals this was not the covenant, but the “sign” of that covenant:

Genesis 17:7-11
(7) And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee.
(8) And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.
(9) And God said unto Abraham, Thou shalt keep my covenant therefore, thou, and thy seed after thee in their generations.
(10) This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised.
(11) And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you.

Notice above that circumcision was to be a token (or sign) “of the covenant.” In 1 Chronicles 16, verse 17, we read that the same covenant God made with Abraham was “the same” he made with “Israel for an everlasting covenant.” What was the covenant he made with Israel?

Deuteronomy 4:13
(13) And he declared unto you his covenant, which he commanded you to perform, even ten commandments; and he wrote them upon two tables of stone.

This is also confirmed by the context of 1 Chronicles 15 and 16, for the reason why their rejoicing here is because of the return of the “Ark of the Covenant” which contained the 10 Commandments. Therefore, since the covenant made with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob was the Ten Commandments, which included the Sabbath, this means they were all Sabbath keepers.

The proof just presented to proof enough of the existence of the Sabbath in the book of Genesis.

The Sabbath was part of the law which was given to Israel, and not to none Jews (Deut 5:3; Rom 9:4).

Just because something was given to Israel, does not mean it did not exist before, nor does it mean that God limited it to them. I can give you my car, but that does not mean it didn’t exist before you were given it, nor does it mean you can’t allow others to drive it.

The existence of the Sabbath before any Jew was just shown above.

Again, I can accept the premise that the seventh day in Gen2:1-3 is a twenty four hour period, but that still doesn’t prove that it was kept at that time or before Israel, but I am inclined to believe the opposite to be true.

“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.

A few points here. I would agree with TD Jakes take on Mk 2:27, as I believe the context, and the text itself bares this out.

Mark 2:25 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?
Mark 2:26 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?
Mark 2:27 And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath:
You seem to say that David was justified in eating the shewbread, which was an obvious transgression of the law as if not he wouldn’t have made it as King. I agree with this. The needs of David at the time of him fleeing the wrath of Saul was more important than the ritual laws of the temple. Remember, it is Christ that is making this point, how it was not lawful for David to do this, but he did it anyway. So when we get to v 27, Christ is saying that the Sabbath is to serve man, and not the other way around. Man isn’t to be a slave to the Sabbath Jesus was saying, but it was to be the other way around.

Correct, the Sabbath was made for our benefit, not to cause us harm. Matthew 12:12, which your about to get to below, says that it is lawful to do that which is “well on the Sabbath days.” David did that which was well; the priests were doing that which was well. They did things which were permitted. Nowhere in all of this do we get the idea that the Sabbath is now void or that it was broken. They were justified because they did that which was always in accord with what the Sabbath is all about, serving God and man’s need.

When we go to Matthew’s gospel Christ adds another example besides the example given by Mark.

Matthew 12:5 Or have ye not read in the law, how that on the sabbath days the priests in the temple profane the sabbath, and are blameless?

Christ is defending the charge of breaking the sabbath leveled against Him and His disciples. He first shows an example of David breaking the law when he fled from the presence of King Saul. Now Christ uses the example of the priest’s work which never stopped, even for the sabbath day. What does this tell us?

Of course, because the work of God is one that never stops. Jesus says “my father worketh hitherto, and I work” –John 5:17. The Sabbath commandment, if you read it closely, did not forbid this type of work. It forbade “secular” work.

Two things. First, the work of the priest which was ceremonial (which I think you would agree Edwin) was of more importance to God under the Old Covenant dispensation then the sabbath command.

Not so much that it was ceremonial, but that it was typical of the work of the true High Priest, Jesus Christ. The work they did, typified the work Jesus was to do when he would come in the form of a man. This is why it was important to allow this, for it was spiritual work, not secular. Do you do spiritual work as well on the Sabbath (like missionary work, visiting the sick, etc)? Then you’re not violating it, you’re fulfilling it the way it was meant to be fulfilled. Its not that this work is replacing the Sabbath, it’s that this work is in accord with what the Sabbath is all about.

Jesus says they “profane the sabbath, and are blameless.” Here are a few other translations so we can get the actual force of this verse.

(NIV) Or haven’t you read in the Law that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple desecrate the day and yet are innocent?
(BBE) Or is it not said in the law, how the Sabbath is broken by the priests in the Temple and they do no wrong?
(CEV) Haven’t you read in the Law of Moses that the priests are allowed to work in the temple on the Sabbath? But no one says that they are guilty of breaking the law of the Sabbath.
(GNB) Or have you not read in the Law of Moses that every Sabbath the priests in the Temple actually break the Sabbath law, yet they are not guilty?

I believe that the idea that the Pharisees had many man made traditions when it came to the sabbath and the entire law for that matter. They did in fact have an “oral law” which I believe came about during their exile in Babylon. But I believe Jesus here and also in Jn 5:9-18 might have actually broke the sabbath day. I am not one hundred percent on this. Not too dogmatic about it actually even if i was 100 %, but it seems from Mark and especially Matthew’s version of events that seems to be the case. Why else would Christ give two OT examples of people actually breaking the sabbath in particular and the law in general and say they were eh ok for doing so?

I understand why you’re cautious in saying something like this, for you do understand, that if you are wrong, you would be accusing Jesus is actually being a sinner. Let me remind you of what the definition of sin actually is:

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

I read your reasoning behind this text below, and I will get to that when it arrives.

Breaking the law is sin. Since the Sabbath is part of that law, then if Jesus broke the Sabbath, he sinned. Simple. Now if he sinned, we might as well end this conversation, eat, drink and be merry… for tomorrow we die.

Here’s a safer way. Jesus was teaching how they (the priests) did not actually break the Sabbath, but were doing which is in accord with what the Sabbath is all about. This fact is evidenced by his words in verse 12: “It is lawful to do WELL on the sabbath days.” This verse is the conclusion of his whole point. The Priest did “well” on the Sabbath… Jesus was doing “well” on the Sabbath. This same verse parallels Mark 2:27, which teaches, as you said, that the Sabbath was to serve man. Isn’t he amazing? Like you said, the Jews added to the law, and made the Sabbath as something to be served, instead of the other way around. So Jesus not only defends himself, but also teaches them what proper Sabbath keeping really is!

The last point I want to make on this section is this. Matt12:1-4 and especially v.5 is prima facia proof that the Sabbath isn’t a moral law but ceremonial in nature!

No no no! Your theory is based on a false premise… which is that they and our Lord broke the Sabbath! They did not break it, for is they did, then the priest sinned while in the holy temple, and Jesus sinned while in the flesh. Since this is not teaching that it was broken, the Sabbath here is therefore not being limited to below or less important then the work the Priests did, for the work they did was in accordance with proper Sabbath keeping.

Jesus states emphatically and in the most clearest terms possible that the priests of the Levitical system actually BREAK THE SABBATH EACH AND EVERY SABBATH AND THEY ARE COMMANDED TO DO SO. I believe this is a strong proof text in showing the true nature of the Sabbath command. The Sabbath is not and cannot be a natural law if it can be broken, especially in the purpose of satisfying the ceremonial part of the law.

Okay, you said the Sabbath can’t be a natural (I think you mean moral here) law because it can be broken. But the 6th commandment can also be broken, if you believe this next verse means breaking this particular law:

Leviticus 23:28-31
(28) And ye shall do no work in that same day: for it is a day of atonement, to make an atonement for you before the LORD your God.
(29) For whatsoever soul it be that shall not be afflicted in that same day, he shall be cut off (Hebrew: consumed, destroy) from among his people.
(30) And whatsoever soul it be that doeth any work in that same day, the same soul will I destroy from among his people.
(31) Ye shall do no manner of work: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.

I’m sure you would agree that the Day of Atonement was a ceremonial law. Here, if a man who was of the nation of Israel did not keep this law by not afflicting himself, or by working on that day… he would be destroyed by God. Now, did Jesus, who is God, also break his law here? For you say that Jesus, again who is God, broke the law in Matthew 12? Both these speak of ceremonial laws, and both involve lessons on the proper keeping of these laws.

Jesus did not break the law in Matthew 12, nor did he break the law in Leviticus 23. If Leviticus 23 is not enough for you… the point made above remains. Verse 12 throws away any notion that Jesus was teaching or justifying Sabbath breaking.

What this means is, that the work of the priest was more important in the eye’s of God, and each time the sabbath rolled around they were to keep plugging away at their work. Ceremonial law trumps a moral law? No! But a ceremonial law trumps another ceremonial law.

The Sabbath is moral in nature. If don’t rest, you weaken your body, and will eventually die. Now this causes you to at once commit the sin of stealing, for your body is not your own, you have been bought with a price (1 Corinthians 6:20). Then, if you die because of your negligence, you broke the 6th commandment, for you just killed yourself.

The only difference is that God specifically chose the day on which to rest. Yes we can rest on any day, but God chose the day. And that’s what makes it the more special. That goes to show that from the very beginning God wanted us to trust even our health to him.

Now does the Sabbath have some ceremonial aspects to it? Well, when we think of ceremonial, we always think of the various rituals that the Priests performed. But ceremonial comes from ceremony, which can also mean “service.” Jesus as an example on true Sabbath keeping did “service” to others. Adam and Eve were not made to be served, but to serve each other, and God. In this respect the Sabbath is a ceremony, a day to celebrate and rejoice in the handy work of God. It is not a ceremony as was, say, the Day of Atonement… for it existed even before the Day of Atonement and the various other priestly ceremonies… it existed even in the Garden of God! I’m glad that God has some form of celebration mingled within his beautiful law of 10 Commandments.

“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:”

I will respond to Col 2:14-17 below when dealing with your article on that particular passage.

“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:”

The sabbath as part of the plan of God. If this was so, surely Paul would have listed sabbath breaking in his many lists of sins when he wrote his epistles (Gal 5; Eph 5; 1Cor 6:9,10; Col 3) but the sabbath is absent from all lists.

Out of the many sins that can be extracted from the broadness of the Ten Commandments, are you saying that if just one of these sins is not specifically listed that it is no longer a sin, or part of the plan of God to eradicate sin from the sinner? On the contrary, Paul did not need to list the Sabbath, because it was not an issue in those days. Even those very same Gentiles are found listening to sermons, along side the Jews, on the Sabbath day (Acts 13:42). They could have done this on any other day, for Paul was a minister to the Gentiles. He preached the word any day. But the designated day was the Sabbath day, because there was no preaching against Sabbath observance. The next Sabbath, almost the whole city came to listen to Paul (verse 44). Why did they wait all week when Paul was willing to preach to them on any other day?

Surely the gentiles who were coming into the faith would need instruction on the Sabbath command. But we see no such command.

Instructions for Sabbath observance were taught by Jesus (Matthew 12:12). Paul was a follower of Jesus’ teachings. We can’t say that because we don’t see this that it was not mentioned, for there were many things which were not mentioned. Everything Jesus did could not fit in the bible (John 21:25) imagine everything the apostles did along side with that! It’s too ambiguous to say something like this. Your best bet on a command to observe the Sabbath is in Hebrews 4, which, as I mentioned above, teaches us to abide in his spiritual rest and live obedient to his physical rest which points forward towards the future rest of the heavenly Canaan.

If you think Hebrews 4 is not to clear on this, then find a command which is clear on obeying the third commandment in the New Testament. You’ll only find references to abstain from foul language, and things of the sort.

The opposite is found in Acts 15. Also, Paul makes it clear that the sabbaths under the law, yearly and weekly are not required for Christians under the new covenant (Gal 4:9-11; Col 2:16,17).

Let’s read Galatians in context:

Galatians 4:1-11
(1) Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all;
(2) But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father.
(3) Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world:
(4) But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,
(5) To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.
(6) And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.
(7) Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.
(8) Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods.
(9) But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?
(10) Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years.
(11) I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain.

First point. Verse 3 speaks of elements which bring “bondage.” In contrast, when the Israelites were taken out of Egypt they were take “out” of bondage, and then given the law. God did not take them out of bondage to then give them more bondage. The ceremonial laws only became bondage after their fulfillment came about through Jesus Christ, for after this they would become useless.

Second, it speaks of elements “of this world.” The law belongs to God who is not of the world (John 17:4). The ceremonial laws, however, came about “after sin” and are thereby things which are of the world.

With this in mind, note that verse 9 says that they nearly returned to these elements, which were “weak” and “beggarly.” When have you ever read of God’s law being described as weak and beggarly? On the contrary!

Psalms 119:98-103
(98) Thou through thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies: for they are ever with me.
(99) I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation.
(100) I understand more than the ancients, because I keep thy precepts.
(101) I have refrained my feet from every evil way, that I might keep thy word.
(102) I have not departed from thy judgments: for thou hast taught me.
(103) How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!

Psalms 19:7
(7) The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.

The ceremonial feasts days, were lacking. They lacked the reality, Jesus Christ. They were instituted for the purpose of pointing forward to him. The Sabbath didn’t point forward, but brought the mind backwards to creation. You contend below that verse 10 mentions “days.” Well, no problem, the Day of Atonement was on a day. Passover was on a day. The New Moon observance was on a day. Note also that it reads “days” in the plural (Thayer’s suggests it can hold a plural form as well). The feast of Purim was a feast compiled of “days.” Don’t forget the various other celebrations and traditions the Jews added which were performed on certain “days.” And so on.

Some argue that Paul is speaking of Pagan days, because of verse 8. They do this to defend feast keeping. While this seems plausible, the fact that Paul later in his context then begins speaking specifically about the laws of the Old Testament (verses 21-31) makes it more likely that he is speaking about these feasts.

I already have an article on this chapter on the site, in the “Sabbath” section. I won’t repeat all that information here.

We will deal with Col. 2 when it arrives.

As for the sabbath command needed in the Decalogue to show that Jehovah God is the true creator as apposed to Allah or Buddha, what about the introduction of the ten commandments?

It’s just that, an introducing. What was written on stone was nothing but those 10 Commandments. So without this introduction being written there, the Sabbath will be the only one pointing to him as the creator….

Exodus 20:2 I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
Deuteronomy 5:6 I am the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.

… besides, these words do not say that God is the “creator.” So your point is voided out. These words only speak about the Egyptian bondage.

“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!”

A few points here. First, I don’t think Isaiah’s portrayal of the new heavens and new earth is applicable to a Christian eschatology. I believe it could have been contingent upon Israel’s obedience, a conditional promise as it seems to contradicts John’s portrayal in Rev 21,22. For instance, Isaiah’s version states the child shall die a hundred years old (Isaiah 65:20) while John states there will be no more death in the new Jerusalem/new heavens and earth (Rev 21:4). Isaiah speaks of the “sinner” being accursed (Isa 65:20) and the “slain of the Lord shall be many” (Isa 66:16,17). But John states there will be no more death as I already mentioned (Rev 21:4) and sinners are outside the city (Rev 22:15).

There is never a contradiction in the word of God. The problem you are having is a common mistake many Christians make when reading the Old Testament, and that’s that they forget to read it with a concept known by scholars as “typology.” Let me give you an example, maybe this might help.

Isaiah 13:1-19
(1) The burden of Babylon, which Isaiah the son of Amoz did see…
(9) Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it.
(10) For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine.
(11) And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible…
(19) And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees’ excellency, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah.

Who will argue that Babylon was indeed destroyed? But notice this parallel:

Matthew 24:29-30
(29) Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:
(30) And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

The literal destruction of Babylon was typical of the literal destruction of the world when Jesus comes, and of Babylon the Great for that matter (Revelation 17). The same is seen in Isaiah 66. We must understand that Isaiah viewed and described future events with that which he could relate to and which was accuring in his own time. This is why you see mention of carcasses. When Jesus comes, after we leave, there will definitely be carcasses lying all over the place. How else could Isaiah describe what he saw in vision except by that which he knew and understood in his time? Prophets are often given visions from God, but then are left to describe those visions as best they can, however they can.

Also, Isaiah’s account seems to indicate that this new heavens and new earth/new Jerusalem will be in the city of Jerusalem (Isa 65:18,19,25; 66:13). This fact Zechariah also makes. That when Christ returns, it will be to Jerusalem. (I am aware of the SDA idea that Zech 14:4 is speaking about us coming back with Christ from heaven after the millennium, but Zech 14 indicates this happens at the Day of the Lord).

I’m not exactly sure what you meant towards the end, but it would make sense for Isaiah to mention Jerusalem, for that is exactly what Christ is bringing with him:

Revelation 21:1-2
(1) And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
(2) And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

So the parallel is seen even in this respect.

Second, why should we apply Isaiah’s new heaven and earth to a Christian eschatology and say reject a literal application of other OT prophetic passages (Zech 12-14; Ezek 37,38; 40-48).

Isaiah’s prophetic words in chapters 65-66 can’t all be taken literal. We must see it as a typology. No matter how you put it, you’re stuck, because he mentions “New Heavens and New Earth” as John does in Revelation. Unless you would suggest he is crazy, contradictory, or that somehow there was a New Heaven and Earth before the one we are expecting as prophesied by John, then you must accept his words as applying to the future. You can keep trying to escape this by going to other texts, but it’s a reality that the Sabbath is found right there next to the reference to the new heaven and earth.

Adventists eschatology leaves no room for a literal future fulfillment of the Jews regaining the Promised Land, a millennial temple where sacrifices are practised, along with the feasts etc, and the Lord fighting for and returning to Jerusalem at His parousia. Why should we accept a literal application of Isa 66:23 which states all flesh shall come before the Lord from one Sabbath to another and reject the literal application of say a restored sacrificial system of Ezekiel’s temple ch. 40-48 and the keeping of the feasts there?

Because its obvious that to allow the sacrifices to be restored as temple sacrifices would be to allow the work Jesus did to be blasphemed, for he is the fulfillment of those types. Many scholars, even non-SDAs, agree that Ezekiel is speaking about the restoration of the third temple which was still in building when Jesus came into the picture. This however is another subject. I’ll leave it there for now.

Third, the same text (Isa 66:23) mentions “from one new moon to another.” Why ignore this and accept the sabbath? Maybe because it doesn’t fit into our theology and is inconvenient? To argue like some, that is to say, well the sabbath is creational and the new moon’s weren’t part of creation, therefore, the sabbath we can apply to the future new heavens and earth and leave the new moons is nothing but to argue one’s preconceived ideas into the text. The same could be said about Col 2:16,17. That the “sabbath days” are easily rejected as being the weekly Sabbath because of our pre-understandings. This is not sound exegesis.

The reasoning you are rejecting is one held by many who understanding the typology of scripture. It makes perfect sense to suggest that, since the Sabbath existed before sin at creation and the New Moon did not, that the reference to “New Moon” was part of Isaiah’s trying to help us understand what he saw with what he had at the moment. The point of Isaiah 66 is the restoration of all things. He tried to show this by restoring Jerusalem. If all will be restored as was from the beginning, and the Sabbath is found at the beginning without the New Moon, it would follow that the Sabbath will continue on, while the reference to New Moon could typify, say, the monthly gathering at the Tree of Life, which will yield a new fruit once a month (see Revelation 22:2). New Moon, by the way, literally means “month” in the Hebrew text. Look it up.

If you cant agree with this. That’s fine. We can agree to disagree. But the fact remains that Sabbath is part of creation, part of the beginning. And it is back to the perfectness of the beginning that the Lord wants to take his creations.

It seems to me what Isaiah could be saying is that in the new heavens and the new earth we will always be in the presence of God, and His Son. Monthly, weekly, non-stop we will be worshiping in the presence of God. Paradise restored, what was lost in the first Adam, is found even more so in the second. To read anymore into this text is a stretch.

Agreed, we will always be in the presence of the Lord. And his reference to both the Sabbath and the New Moon can also typify this weekly and monthly state of being. Yet as mentioned above, all will be restored as was from the beginning. And in the beginning, we have the 24-hour period of the seventh day Sabbath (Genesis 2:1-3). Its also true that the New Moon typifies our being with him monthly, for we have reference to a special gathering for new fruit in the New Jerusalem, which takes place once a month (from new moon to another). So your thoughts are correct, but they lack these other verses which broaden our understanding of the events which will actually take place.

“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.”

We find rest in Christ because He has reconciled us back to God by his life, death and resurrection (Rom 4; 5:8-11; 2Cor 5:15-21). We have been credited with Christ’s righteousness by faith in the atonement (Rom 3:21-28; Rom 4-5; Gal 3:1-10; 2Cor 5:15-21) but also, as you stated Edward, we are “not to continue in sin by abiding in him.” The imputed righteousness of Christ will lead to the reality of righteousness in our lives (Rom 6:13-20; 1Cor 15:34; Eph 4:24; 5:9; 1Tim 6:11; 2Tim 2:22; 1Pet 2:24 1Jn 2:29; 3:7,10).

You said it best, “the imputed righteousness of Christ will lead to the reality of righteousness in our lives.” If this be the case, revert back to our verse in Psalm 119:172. It tells us clearly what his righteousness is. It’s his law. His righteousness will indeed show through us, as is seen in the verse I mentioned above, 2 Corinthians 4:10-11:

2 Corinthians 4:10
(10) Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.

If we have truly entered into his rest, where he has set us free from sin and death, we would allow his life of righteousness (one which kept the Sabbath –Luke 4:16) be manifested through “our flesh.” He is in control now. It his faith, his obedience. We can’t do it. If we try we fail. The standard is too high… we NEED him, for only those that “do his commandments” will eat of the Tree of Life (Revelation 14:12). His righteousness if counted for us, as it was for that thief on the cross. But if we continue living, unlike the thief, we must “walk even as he walked,” and thereby be purified “even as he is pure” -1 John 2:6, 3:3.

I see you mention the Greek words for law below. I was waiting for this one to arrive.

What law is being spoken of in 1Jn 3:4. Well, John mentions the word “law” sixteen times in his gospel (Jn 1:17, 45; 7:19, 23, 49, 51; 8:5, 17; 10:34; 12:34; 15:25; 18:13, 31; 19:7). Each and every usage of the word “law” by John in his gospel the meaning is “nomos” which is the entire law of Moses, which of course includes the ten commandments.

Let’s be a bit more honest with this word “nomos” now. It is a word which doesn’t have to always mean “the entire law of Moses including the Ten Commandments.” Look at how Thayer’s puts it:

Thayer Definition:
1) anything established, anything received by usage, a custom, a law, a command
1a) of any law whatsoever
1a1) a law or rule producing a state approved of God
1a1a) by the observance of which is approved of God
1a2) a precept or injunction
1a3) the rule of action prescribed by reason
1b) of the Mosaic Law, and referring, acc. to the context. either to the volume of the law or to its contents
1c) the Christian religion: the law demanding faith, the moral instruction given by Christ, especially the precept concerning love
1d) the name of the more important part (the Pentateuch), is put for the entire collection of the sacred books of the OT
Part of Speech: noun masculine

So, yes it can at some point mean “the entire” law, or at other points, just laws here and there, even those “prescribed by reason.” Please don’t limit this to only John’s usages of this word, for John was not really the author of his writings. The Holy Spirit was the author, which also wrote through Paul, Peter, etc. They too used this word “nomos.”

Only once in his three letters does he use the word “law” and it is here in this text under question. The word he uses for “law” in 1Jn 3:4 is “anomia” which means; “illegality, violation of law, wickedness, iniquity, transgression of law, unrighteousness.

I will here post a section of an article I have posted on the site which deals specifically with this word and text. The context of 1 John is the law of love, that we should “love one another (verse 3:11, 23). Notice:


John does not leave the reader with having to guess as to what love really means. In verse 12 he showed us that love is something that will not show evil towards his neighbor. If we kill or steal from our neighbor, is this not showing him evil? True love motivates us not to violate the laws that protect our relationship with our neighbors. Paul clarified this better when he explained true love:

Romans 13:8-10
(8) Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.
(9) For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended (literally: summed up) in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
(10) Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

Observe that Paul gives us an example of what set of laws he is here speaking about, namely, the 10 Commandments. He says that “love” is the 10 Commandments “summed up.” The summery of the 10 Commandments is “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” In other words, if you truly love your neighbour as yourself, your love will be “the fulfill-ing of the law” –verse 10. The suffix “ing” turns the word “fulfill” into a continual process. What is love? The fulfill-ing of the law.

The second way in which this verse is attacked is in saying that the Greek word translated law is never used by John to describe the 10 Commandments.

The only way to hold on to such an argument is if one believes that only John was inspired by the Holy Spirit. But, we don’t believe that John was the only one inspired by God. In fact, we believe that all the bible writers were inspired by the same author… God Almighty:

2 Timothy 3:16
(16) All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

The word translated “given by inspiration of God” is the Greek word “theopneustos” and it literally means “God breathed.” Ultimately it was God himself who spoke “through” the prophets of the Holy Bible. This is exactly why Christians are allowed to interpret scripture with scripture, as Isaiah advised us to do (Isaiah 28:10-13) because all of it was “God breathed.” So we wouldn’t suggest one interprets the bible in this manner. Rather, we should let the entire bible speak for itself.

We find in other equally inspired writings that the Greek word “entole” translated by John as “commandments” in his gospel and epistles can also refer to the 10 Commandments:

Matthew 19:17-19
(17) And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments (entole).
(18) He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness,
(19) Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

Notice that in the gospel of Luke it can also be used to refer to the Sabbath commandment:

Luke 23:56
(56) And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the sabbath day according to the commandment (entole).

It can also refer to the various laws of Moses called “ordinances” (see Eph. 2:15). It’s much like the Greek word “nomos” usually translated “law.” It too can refer to any law of the bible. So this is not really a valid argument to use against 1 John 3:4. Yet, you would be interested to know that neither one of these Greek words is used in 1 John 3:4. A different word is used:

From G459; illegality, that is, violation of law or (generally) wickedness: – iniquity, X transgress (-ion of) the law, unrighteousness.

This Greek word literally means “violation of law.” But which law? The context has the answer. We learned above in the first argument that the context of 1 John 3:4 is on the law of love, and that love is the summery of the 10 Commandments! Therefore the way to break the law of love is by breaking any one of the 10 Commandments that relate to your relationship with your neighbour.

End Quote.

In other words, the Greek word “anomia” is one which can also be too general as nomos and entole. The best way to find out the meaning of any one of these words is in studying the context in which it is surrounded. In this case, anomia is dealing specifically with the law of love “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself” which is the summery of the 10 Commandments, specifically those dealing with our relationship to man. To break this law truly is “violation of law.”

Even though one of the meanings of anomia is violation of law, this does not necessarily mean he is speaking of the Law of Moses in general, or the Decalogue in particular.

Sorry you won’t be allowed to escape this one. Report to what was just mentioned above. It’s specifically dealing with the law of 10 Commandments in this case which is summed up in “love one another” –verse 11. The context is the determiner.

It could be natural law which the heathen went by (Rom 2:14, 15) which would be the moral commands found in the Torah, law of Moses.

It could not in this case, per the context. See above.

The fact is John doesn’t really give us much to go by in this text.

Sure he does. Read above.

But, for John to use law-nomos 16 out of 17 times, that is, every other time accept in this instance in John’s gospel and this singular usage in his first letter should tell us that the law of Moses in general, and the Decalogue in particular is not what John had in mind. Even if John did say “sin is transgression of the law-nomos” does not necessitate that the law is binding on believers under this new covenant. Paul speaks of the law being the knowledge of sin (Rom 3:20) and is a schoolmaster to lead the unbeliever to faith in Christ (Gal 3:22-25 cf. 1Tim 1:8-10). That is to say, the law is a tool that is used to demonstrate the unrighteousness of mankind, as both Jews and Greeks are under sin (Rom 3:9,19; Gal 3:22).

There seems to be a contradiction here. Correct me if I am wrong. You say the law is no longer binding on Christians under the new covenant, and then say that it serves as an identifier of sin. What good is it for a Christian not to obey a law which will prevent him from violating it because it told him not to? If the law tells me not to kill while in the New Covenant, then obviously I am bound to keep this law that I might not kill.

Let’s get to the crux of the matter. Your fight is against the Sabbath. If I say everything I said above, but this time about the 4th commandment instead of the 6th commandment, you will disagree. But you will have to somehow get rid of verses like James 2:10-11 which say that they all must be treated in the same manner.

One by one:

But for Paul, believers are no longer under the law (Rom 6:14,15; Gal 5:18),

Under the law, biblically, means under its penalty, or condemnation. I mentioned this above.

that we have died to the law (Rom 7:4,6; Gal 2:19),

Paul said we are dead to the law in these texts (Romans 7:4-6) but then says…

“Was that which is good (the law –verse 12) made death unto me? God forbid!” –verse 13.

So he is dead to the law, but then not dead to the law. Contradiction? Never! The key is in verse 6:

Romans 7:6
(6) But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.

We are dead to the “letter” of the law, not the spirit of the law. That is why, right after verse 13, he says that the law is SPIRIT-ual. Because there are two aspects to the law, the letter and the spiritual. The letter kills, because we can’t keep it no matter how much we try. But the Spirit gives life, because only by the Spirit can we do that which is SPIRIT-ual. This is why he later says in chapter 8:

Romans 8:5
(5) 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.

If you are walking after the Spirit, you will mind the things of the Spirit… the law of God, which is SPIRIT (7:14)!

delivered from the law so we can serve God by the spirit (Rom 7:6; 2Cor 3:6)

Yes, delivered from the letter “of” the law, because only through Jesus Christ can we keep the Spiritual law, for through him all things are possible. It is HIS life and HIS obedience…

2 Corinthians 10:5
(5) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience OF Christ

… which will manifest THROUGH us (2 Corinthians 4:10-11).

as the law works wrath (Rom 4:15)

The very last verse in the previous chapter says:

Romans 3:31
(31) Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.

Establish in the Greek means “to make stand.” Are we making the law stand? Yes it works wrath in our sinful condition, when we try to keep it on our own. Why? Because we are sinful, but the law is “holy, just and good” –Romans 7:12. How do we solve this problem? Walk in the SPIRIT! For the law is SPIRIT-ual.

while bringing out bad fruit (Rom 7:5)

How so? Because according to the context of this chapter, it “reveals” sin (verses 7-9). Its not that the law is bad, for the Psalmist says it’s perfect (Psalm 19:7). It’s that it reveals our sins, and shows us, through our own efforts of trying to keep it, that we simply can’t do it, and ending up becoming worst then we started (like the Pharisees).

and all manner of sin in us (Rom 7:5-11).

It’s not the LAW that brings the sin “in” us. It is “sin” which “wrought IN ME all manner of concupiscence.” –verse 8. The law reveals sin, and shows us that we need Jesus in order to live a life of righteousness. Notice:

Romans 8:10
(10) And if Christ be IN you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness (righteousness is the law –Psalm 119:172).

It must be his efforts, sanctifying us, not the other way around. This is exactly what the New Covenant is. Not a change in the law. Not a removing of the law. But a writing of the law by God, (not by us) IN our hearts:

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:

In other words, God is doing the work. Not us. We’re just cooperating with him because we love him.

In other words, the law has no qualities of sanctification for the believer, it is the spirit that sanctifies and convicts us of sin (cf. Jn 16:8; Rom 7:1-12; 2Cor 3). Just as the law can’t justify (Rom 3-5) it cannot sanctify (Rom 6-8).

Right, so the Spirit does the work of Sanctification for us, doing for us what the law could never do. Thing is, the law was never meant to do that in the first place. The law is perfect… it is a reflection of what we were before the fall. It shows us how far we’ve gotten, and how much we need sanctification in order to return to what we lost. This is done by the Spirit, for only the Spirit can work that which is Spiritual (the law) in the man.

Does this mean we can go out and murder, steal, and commit adultery as many like to say? No, not at all. That is what is called a “straw man.” Some might honestly think that those believers that state the law isn’t for believers under this covenant, but I think most know better. Paul heard this same objection in his day.

Romans 6:14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.
Romans 6:15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.

Sin shall not reign in the life of the believer as he is not under the authority of the law of Moses.

Pardon me, but how is it that the believer is obliged to obey the law, then not be under the law which to you means obeying the law? Think about this for a moment. In the very next verse, Paul wrote:

Romans 6:16
(16) Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?

We learned that righteousness is his commandments. Next Paul wrote in this same chapter:

Romans 6:23
(23) For the wages of sin (breaking the law -1 John 3:4) is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

There is contradiction in your reasoning. You must understand that “under the law” means under penalty, or condemnation. This is why, after saying to walk in the Spirit, and saying that he “delights in the law of God” he said:

Romans 8:1
(1) There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

Why? Because they “walk after the Spirit,” they “mind the things of the Spirit,” for the law is “SPIRTual”

The very next chapter Paul states clearly that sin does reign in the believer’s life if he is trying to hold onto the law for purposes of sanctification. Does this mean we have a license to sin? God forbid, Paul cries, get this thinking out of your head. We have “died to sin” (Rom 6:2) as we have died to the law (Rom 7:4,6; Gal 2:19). The spirit will not lead the believer into sin, it will sanctify him and lead him into a life of serving God in righteousness and holiness.

Right, the Spirit will lead him to serving God in righteousness and holiness, her perfect law of righteousness which is Jesus in living form, manifesting his perfect life through him. We have died to sin (breaking the law -1 John 3:4) and yes we have died to the “letter” of the law in order that we may live a life of righteousness in the Spirit who will work the Spiritual law of 10 Commandments (per the context –verse 7) through him.

You quote Rom 7:14, as if Paul is speaking of the ten commandments.

Romans 7:14 For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.

To say Paul is speaking of the Ten Commandments and not the whole law is to, ignore the context and to miss the meaning of law-nomos.

The meaning of the word “nomos” as discussed above will depend on the context, for it’s to general in its meaning. He is ONLY speaking about the law of Ten Commandments in Romans 7, as is shown in verse 7. More below.

Romans 7:1 Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth?

Who would “know the law” other than the Jews? They are the ones who received not only the Ten Commandments but ALL of the law as I showed earlier.

Okay. Just because they know all the law does not necessitate that Paul must be speaking about all the Law. I can write to you, supposing you’re a lawyer who knows the entire law of this land, and tell you that I am writing to you because you know all the law of this land, yet address only the laws of New Jersey in my letter. I can hint this to you by telling you at one point about a specific law we Jersians have that every other state does not have. Does that mean I’m speaking to you about the laws of Arizona as well?

Romans 7:6 But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.
Romans 7:7 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.

“The law” in v.6 is the same as “the letter” of the same verse. The letter is the whole Mosaic corpus. The Torah, law of Moses, Mosaic Law, Pentateuch, whatever you want to call it, the letter is the whole deal.

What exactly does a person think of when they hear this word “letter?” Something written. In fact, that’s what the Greek word “gramma” translated “letter” here means. The Ten Commandments were also written (and in a different location I might add). This is not strong proof that he is talking about the entire law. He could just as well be speaking about a portion of it, which was also in the form of the “letter.”

The tenth commandment of the Decalogue is quoted in v.7 being of the same “law” as v.6. Are we to believe that two different laws are being spoken of within one verse of each other?

Your premise is incorrect. The Ten Commandments is in focus from the very beginning. He brings up the 10th Commandment to show what specific laws he is here speaking about. The 10 Commandments were also known as the letter, for they were also written.

Also, the meaning of law-nomos means the Law of Moses. This word is probably used nine out of ten times when we find the word law in the NT. So in Rom 7:14 there can be no doubt which law Paul is referring to, for he along with the entire bible writers knew of only one, the Mosaic law.

Just because “marriage” is mentioned in the beginning of this verse does not mean he is also talking the ceremonial laws, for marriage preceded the establishing of the ceremonial law. He gets specific about this law, and speaks about how the law has dominion over a man as long as he lives. He is simply with this trying to bring out the point he is trying to teach throughout the rest of that chapter, that when the man dies, the women is free to marry another. So when we die to the letter, we are free to marry another… Jesus Christ who is the law in living form. Then he will cause us to walk in the spirit, for the law is really spiritual. To be with Christ, and at the same time try to keep the law on your own, is to commit spiritual adultery. For either he makes you righteous (to walk in the Spirit) or you makes yourself righteous (walk in the letter), which will be of no effect.

“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.”

To whom was Jesus sent to? To whom is Jesus addressing in the context? Gentiles?

Matthew 10:5 These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not:
Matthew 10:6 But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

Matthew 15:24 But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

The verses you just brought forth are out of context, for we are discussing Mark 2:27. There is a reason why Jesus spoke those words in Matthew 10:6; because he was sending his twelve disciples, not himself. He always preached to Israel and the surrounding Gentiles which wanted to here him:

John 12:20-24
(20) And there were certain Greeks among them that came up to worship at the feast:
(21) The same came therefore to Philip, which was of Bethsaida of Galilee, and desired him, saying, Sir, we would see Jesus.
(22) Philip cometh and telleth Andrew: and again Andrew and Philip tell Jesus.
(23) And Jesus answered them, saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified.
(24) Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.

You can’t argue that there were no Gentiles present in Mark chapter 2, when it seems like Gentiles were always following him to see what he was about and to have the words of life preached unto them as well.

When Jesus says the “sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath” his audience and accusers are obviously Israelites, not gentiles.

The accusers were the Israelites, this is true. But again it’s not logical to say that Gentiles were not present just because they were not specifically mentioned.

There is no reason to read into the text anymore then what it actually states. I have already dealt with this above. As for Isa 56: 6-7. Notice the stranger was not only to keep the sabbath but “taketh hold of my covenant.”(v.6) They weren’t given the option of keeping just the sabbath or the ten commandments, but had to keep the whole law. Also, one had to be circumcised before entering into the covenant. Is that a requirement for Christians today?

You missed the point. I am aware of these. The point was 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.”

So, it doesn’t help just a little bit to “proof text” from the OT. This shows in my opinion the desperation for proving the sabbath command as binding on believers, as there isn’t one command at all in the NT for believers to keep the sabbath, so Sabbatarians have no choice but to resort to the OT.

We resort to the entire bible to help us understand the full message contained therein, not just the New Testament. I went to Isaiah 56 because our critic said that the keeping of the Sabbath was between God and Israel, implying that the Gentiles were never permitted to take part in it. This is proven false in these texts.

“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.”

I have demonstrated above what the rest is in Heb 4, although not touching upon v.9-10. I find it hard to believe that this rest of “belief” (Heb 3:19; 4:3) now suddenly changes to a weekly sabbath rest. Especially since the preceding verse states Joshua never gave them this rest (Heb 4:8) when we know that Joshua reiterated the law to Israel after the death of Moses, before they were to cross the Jordan into the land of Canaan (Josh 1).

Joshua didn’t give the unbelievers the rest of Canaan. You haven’t grasped the point that the seventh day was introduced to represent this rest, and that it remains for the believer until that rest is realized. I touched on this above already.

The “rest-sabbatismos” of v.9 is not used anywhere else in the bible. Why wouldn’t the Hebrew writer use “sabbath-sabbaton” which is used every time to denote the weekly Sabbath in the NT?

Now I am no Greek scholar, but I have learned that in the English language a “suffix” can be added to a word and thereby make this word “continual.” You know, like run can be turned into run-ing when we add the suffix “ing.” I have learned that the same can be done in the Greek language. Notice your own reference to this Greek word below. Here, I’ll post it for you again:

From a derivative of G4521; a “sabbatism”, that is, (figuratively) the repose of Christianity (as a type of heaven): – rest. (Strong’s).

Now please notice that this word “sabbatismos” is “derived” from G4521. That word, my brother, is the dreaded “sabbaton.” Notice:

Of Hebrew origin [H7676]; the Sabbath (that is, Shabbath), or day of weekly repose from secular avocations (also the observance or institution itself); by extension a se’nnight, that is, the interval between two Sabbaths; likewise the plural in all the above applications: – sabbath (day), week.

Yes, it’s the same one (and I’ll quote you), “which is used every time to denote the weekly Sabbath in the NT.”

So your question is void, because he did use this same word, only he said it with the suffix “ismos,” making it continual. That’s why some translations translate this word as Sabbath-Keeping, like this one:

Hebrews 4:9
(9) So that there is still a Sabbath-keeping for the people of God. -1965 Bible in English Basic (BBE).

You may try again.

Could it be because the writer here doesn’t have the weekly Sabbath in mind?

Please revert to my recent comments above.

The word for rest here means: From a derivative of G4521; a “sabbatism”, that is, (figuratively) the repose of Christianity (as a type of heaven): – rest. (Strong’s)

1) a keeping sabbath

2) the blessed rest from toils and troubles looked for in the age to come by the true worshippers of God and true Christians (Thayer’s)

Not a literal physical rest but a figurative rest as believer’s in Christ and the promises of heaven and the world to come contained in the scriptures. A heavenly rest. This rest has double application. First, it is a rest of faith, i.e. belief in Jesus as the Christ. Secondly, of the world to come. A rest which will never cease unlike the sabbath. To read a weekly Sabbath into this text is gross eisegesis as the context and the Greek meaning for “rest” in v.9 do not allow such a rendering.

The context and the actual Greek meaning for “rest” in verse 9 have already been dealt with. Read above.

You make the point that this rest is the same as God’s rest at creation so this can’t be speaking of a rest of Christian faith (Heb 4:10). First, as asserted by myself twice, the context as well as the meaning for rest destroys any type of weekly Sabbath rest being read into this passage. Secondly, this rest we enter by faith is the same as God’s. God spoke from heaven the words of creation and it was so. He fellowshipped with his creation in the garden before the fall. We enter this same “heavenly” rest today by faith in Christ awaiting our rewards either at death (Heb 9:27) or at the Parousia of Christ. Heaven is our final destination, we believe this by faith (Heb 11:1), this is the rest we enter as God did from heaven on the seventh day (Heb 4:4).

What? Before the fall… God fellowshipped with his creations face to face! We don’t do that today when we enter into the rest of “today.” There are only three rests, that of rest from sin and guilt, which we experience on a daily basis with Christ, resting in the assurance that we will enter heaven. The literal rest of heaven, our final destination. And the weekly celebration of the Sabbath rest, which reminds us, and gives us a small taste of what it will be like in heaven where we will never have to work for another man for our food again. The rest that causes us to cease from our labour “as God did from his” is none other then that rest of the seventh day Sabbath in Genesis 2:1-3, which you admit to being a 24-hour period. Since it is a 24 hour period, then this must be the same we must enter into today, which is a result of our “daily” rest of living “in” Christ. For, entering into the rest of Christ will not cause us to violate the weekly rest as they did in the wilderness (Ezekiel 20:21), for that same sin added to their being prevented from entering into the Canaan rest!

And so God has never entered into a spiritual rest like that which we enter into in Christ, God does not enter the heavenly rest because he was always in heaven. You’re left with only the weekly rest, which serves as a reminder of the heavenly rest we will one day have. You can’t say anything else, like an eternal state of rest, and at the same time admit that the seventh day was a 24-hour period. It self-contradictory.

This rest isn’t just for the Israelites who neglected the call to enter in under Moses and Joshua, nor is it for David alone, but for all of us who believe, this “rest remains for the people of God.” God’s rest in Gen 2:2, 3 did not stop and begin again. It has continued from then until now. Therefore, this isn’t a perpetual weekly repose but one that is to be non ending until we finally enter into eternity.

If it’s a 24-hour period, then yes it did end and begin again the following week. God had rested in his creation, including Adam and Eve, since day six, for it was on day six that God said:

Genesis 1:31
(31) And God saw everything which he had made and it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.

The rest you’re thinking of, a spiritual rest in satisfaction and the beginning of his relationship with man, began on day six. But it was the seventh day that he took to bless and sanctify. Why? Note carefully now… yes the spiritual rest continued on while man was in perfect harmony with his creator, but this rest began when he finished creating on day six. THEN the seventh day was “added” or “instituted” as a 24-hour period of rest from physical labor, that man may be as his father… one who worked for six days but rested the seventh. This spiritual rest did not continue until now as you say. It was BROKEN when man sinned. That’s why everything has been done with Jesus, to restore this rest, and restore ALL as was from the beginning.

(It should be noted that even the SDA bible commentary on Heb 3:7-4:1-11 states that the rest-sabbatismos of Heb 4:9 is not the weekly Sabbath)

Although I am a Seventh Day Adventist, and I respect the SDA Commentary, you will only convince me if you come at me with the word of God. The SDA people are known as “the people of the Book” because for us it’s always been “the bible and the bible only” despite what our critics might like to say about our appreciation of Ellen White’s writings. So the Commentary can say what it likes, but in the end it remains just that, a commentary. Let’s stick with the word of God, the Holy Bible.

“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.”

What laws is the writer of Hebrews referring to? The ten commandment law or the whole deal? Where is the command against homosexuality found in the Ten Commandments? What about lying?

Lying is the 9th one. Now you don’t understand the “broadness” of the law (Psalm 119:96). If you did, you’d see Homosexuality as a violation of the seventh commandment, which deal with sexual sins. The word “adultery” can be interpreted to mean any sexual sin against your wife, for no matter how you put it, whether it’s another man of the same sex, or an animal, you still committed adultery. I commented on this above.

There are many moral laws within the law of Moses. The laws written on our hearts and mind is the whole deal. It is the spirit applying the law to the believer. Two OT texts should suffice.

Deuteronomy 6:1 Now these are the commandments, the statutes, and the judgments, which the LORD your God commanded to teach you, that ye might do them in the land whither ye go to possess it:
Deuteronomy 6:2 That thou mightest fear the LORD thy God, to keep all his statutes and his commandments, which I command thee, thou, and thy son, and thy son’s son, all the days of thy life; and that thy days may be prolonged.
Deuteronomy 6:7 And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.
Deuteronomy 6:8 And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes.

This chapter was dealt with. See above.

Deuteronomy 11:18 Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes.
Deuteronomy 11:1 Therefore thou shalt love the LORD thy God, and keep his charge, and his statutes, and his judgments, and his commandments, always.

Both passages show us that in the OT it wasn’t part of the law, but the whole corpus that was to be a “sign” in their mind and heart. Commandments, statues, and judgments, the law of Moses.

Yes, for all those other laws that are not of the 10 Commandments somehow find their way back to one or more of the 10 Commandments, because the law is “exceedingly broad.”

To take out the stony hearts and replace them with fleshy ones suggests the working of the spirit in regeneration and sanctification. It does both, while the law does neither. (cf. Eph 2:1-5). The spirit gives life, not the letter (2cor 3:6) and that is which we are commanded to serve in (Rom 7:6).

I dealt with the “letter” and the working of the Spirit with the spiritual law above.

The spirit is the one that takes the whole law and applies it to our lives in a way which was not done under the old dispensation.

If this is so (and it is), then the obedience of the Spirit within you would, rather then fight against the law, show God’s character (which is his law – that’s why its called “tables of TESTIMONY” for they testify) through your actions:

2 Corinthians 4:10-11
(10) Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.
(11) For we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.

Jesus is the law alive, like I proved in the beginning of this rebuttal. We are saved by his life (Romans 5:10). His life or righteousness, of obedience (2 Cor. 10:5) will be “manifested through our mortal flesh.” And since he was a Sabbath keeper…. Well guess what?

If you’re going to argue that he attended the feasts, I’ll take you to those verses you use to trash the Sabbath, like Ephesians 2:15, which say these are abolished. His law of 10 Commandments, however, will never be abolished (Isaiah 51:6). It was already shown what laws Isaiah was speaking of above.

It is not as if now the new covenant is the 10 commandments internalized,

No?? Let me quote the verse to you again:

Hebrews 10:16
(16) This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them.

That covenant was:

Deuteronomy 4:13
(13) And he declared unto you his covenant, which he commanded you to perform, even ten commandments; and he wrote them upon two tables of stone.

We both speak English here. If the words “into” and “in” don’t impress the word “internalize” in our minds, then I don’t know what would.

or the whole law for that matter, that we now have power by the spirit to keep the 613 commandments contained within the law. Rather, it is the spirit of the believer that is united with Christ’s spirit which leads us in sanctification. Does one need to open up their kjv bible to Ex 20 to see what is right or wrong under the new covenant?

Yes, always, for our hearts are deceitful. If I go by your logic, I can throw out my KJV and not worry, for the spirit got my back. Sorry, but this fails the test:

Isaiah 20:8
To the law and to the testimony: If they speak not according to this word it is because there is no light in them.

No matter how much of the Spirit we have in our hearts, that same Spirit will always lead us back to the word of God, and show us there what laws we are to obey. If one has a Spirit telling them not to learn good behaviour by reading the word of God, then my brother that person has the wrong spirit.

Do they have to read the whole law, Genesis through Deuteronomy to see what sin is? Or how about the entire NT? Sounds silly doesn’t it. But people who think that’s how the Christian is to know what sin is seem to say.

The law identifies sin (1 John 3:4) and Jesus is the law in living form. We must look to HIM for lessons on moral living. Now his life was one of righteousness, or obedience to the Law of God. When we pattern our lives like his, we will live as he did, and it is the Holy Spirit doing this work for us, causing us to walk in the Spirit, minding those things which are SPIRIT-ual (Romans 7:14, 8:5).

What is the purpose of the given of the Holy Spirit and new nature to us for anyways?

For us to be more like Jesus. To walk perfectly and upright in God’s eyes by manifesting the life of Christ through sanctification in our mortal flesh. But when you remove the law, you remove Jesus, for he is the law alive. And if you remove Jesus, we are left with nothing. I recommend a study of the Sanctuary to open this picture up for you a bit more. I will here, very briefly, share some of it with you.

David said “thy way O God IS IN the Sanctuary” and Asaph learned of God’s dealing with people when he studied the sanctuary (see Psalms 63:2, 68:24, 73:17, 77:13). Let’s see some of this now.

Enter in through the biblical Sanctuary and the first thing we see is the Alter of Sacrifice. This represents who? Well animals were sacrificed here, so it represents Jesus. When we first become Christians, the first step we take it to see, or accept JESUS. Keep walking in, the bible tells us that a laver was set up between the Alter and the Holy Place. The Priests “washed” themselves BEFORE entering the Holy Place. Likewise the Christian is to wash himself soon after he believes in Jesus by water BAPTISM. Enter the Holy place, we have the Table of Shewbread (represents Jesus and the Word of God) the table of incense (represents PRAYER –see Revelation 5:8 and 8:3), and the 7-branched CANDLESTICKS (represents Jesus shining through his people, making them lights of the world –see Matthew 5:14). Then we enter the Most Holy Place where we have his law, the standard of righteousness (Psalm 119:172) which will be manifested through the believer in Christ as he lives his like in sanctification. The whole of the Sanctuary teaches us God’s plan of Salvation; how he desires the Christian to live and have his life transformed. Notice as we view the Sanctuary from beginning to end that:

The sinner believes in JESUS and…

… is BAPTISED. He then…

… becomes a LIGHT by…

… studying God’s WORD…

… which he understands through PRAYER.

All this because he broke God’s LAW.

Now, let’s do what you do, and remove the law. Let’s read the sentence again, without the law:

The sinner believes in JESUS, is BAPTISED. He then becomes a LIGHT by the studying of God’s WORD which he understands through PRAYER. All this because…. Why?

No law, no need of prayer, for if your perfect, and you never sinned (broke God’s law) why are you praying to understand his word, and for confession and forgiveness? Removing God’s law will remove our need for prayer, for by the law is the knowledge of sin. Let’s remove prayer:

The sinner believes in JESUS, is BAPTISED. He then becomes a LIGHT by the studying of God’s WORD which he understands… How?

If you don’t pray, you won’t understand his words. This is why we have so many false teachings. We think we can understand God’s divine words without his help. So we must take out the word, for there is now no understanding. Try again:

The sinner believes in JESUS, is BAPTISED. He then becomes a LIGHT… How?

How in the world will he shine as a light if he doesn’t study the word? Here we go:

The sinner believes in JESUS, is BAPTISED. He then becomes… What?

How can we progress in the Christian walk if we disobey the word of God which says specifically that (unless you die at that moment like the thief on the cross) you MUST be baptised after you believe (Acts 2:38). If you take out the light, then you’re getting baptised for no reason if you don’t expect to shine as he wants us to shine.

The sinner believes in JESUS… What else?

Take away the possibility of becoming a light, and take away his words, then you don’t really have JESUS:

John 8:31
(31) Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed

John 8:47
(47) He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.

So when we remove the word, we remove Jesus. Let’s try this again:

The sinner…

And that’s it; he remains a sinner, outside the Sanctuary in the wilderness, lost for ever.

The bible teaches through types. The Sanctuary is a type for all believers. When we fight against God and remove his law from the life of the believer, we remove Jesus, because Jesus is the law in living form. Simple as that. See why the enemy of souls attacks our understanding of the Sanctuary so much? See why it is so important that you cease from attacking God’s Law?

Gal 4:21-31 makes a clear contrast between the two covenants. Paul uses the story of Abraham and Sarah as an illustration to drive the point home. Sarah’s maidservant Hagar and the son Ishmael who Abraham had with her represent the old covenant which is of the flesh. While, Isaac represents the new covenant since he came by promise, and not by works of the flesh.

Galatians 4:24 Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar.
Galatians 4:25 For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children.

The old covenant which came from Sinai generates bondage says Paul (cf.Gal 2:4; 4:3, 9; 5:1). The old covenant from Sinai is the law in general but more specifically the Ten Commandments. Paul calls it bondage, and the children of the covenant who did not believe were in bondage to that law and covenant.

These texts are dealt with in detail in an article I have on the site. I’d hate to repeat myself. Here’s the link:

Galatians 4:21-31: The law from Sinai is bondage?

In brief, the law of Ten Commandments were indeed spoken at Sinai, but from “heaven,” see Deut. 4:36. They “heard” it. The other laws were spoken in privet to Moses from off the top of the Sinaic Mountain. They agreed to that as a covenant as well (book of the covenant in contrast to the tables of the covenant; see Exodus 24:3-7). This fits quite well, for Paul hear speaks of this covenant as “bondage.” There is mention of taking them OUT of bondage when he gave them the law, but no mention of being taking OUT of bondage when he gave them the book of the covenant. God would not just tell them he took them out of bondage (Exodus 20:2) to them give them more bondage. Think about that for a minute.

Also, the context is clear. Those “days, months, years” of verse 10 are said to be “weak” elements. God’s law was never weak. But the covenants “besides” the covenant of the Ten Commandments were. See my comments on this above.

Galatians 4:28 Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise.

As stated earlier, the children of promise are those who have faith in Christ. These are the true decedents of Abraham. This new and better covenant is a covenant of faith as “the just shall live by faith” (Rom 1:17). This covenant is lived out by faith which is given to us by the spirit in regeneration. We live by faith, and obey in faith.

Abraham was obedience to all of God’s commandments, including the Sabbath. This was shown above. Since we are to be descendants of him by having the faith he had, our faith will show through us as it showed through him.

Galatians 4:29 But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now.

The non believing Jews were persecuting believers as we see in the book of Acts and in 1Thess 2:14-17. But not only that, Paul is more concerned here but those who “bewitched” (Gal 3:1) the Galatians Christians in going back under the law.

Galatians 4:30 Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.
Galatians 4:31 So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.

Cast out the old covenant, which included the law from Sinai, as the immediate context makes clear. Get rid of it and never look back seems to be the jest of what Paul is saying here. The two covenants, one by promise, and the other by the flesh or, bondage are sharply contrasted here. So much so that Paul states the old covenant including the law, shall not heir with the new covenant. In other words, you cannot mix law and grace; you cannot have Sinai with Calvary. Paul says get rid of Sinai and the covenant as it has nothing to do with believers under the new better ministration.

Paul is not teaching that we can not mix law and grace. They go hand and hand. For we must have our sins revealed to us in order that we may acknowledge that we are in need of grace! Notice this text:

Proverbs 16:6
(6) By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil.

Mercy is GRACE, and truth is the LAW:

Psalms 119:142
(142) Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and thy law is the truth.

They have never existed apart. God’s law is his very character in written form. You’ve seen the SDA comparison (law is truth, God is truth, law is holy, God is holy). That’s why it’s called the “testimony of the covenant” because it’s a testimony to who God is. This means that his law has always existed in the form of himself, even before it was written in stone at Sinai.

What can’t co-exist, according to Paul, is the covenant made besides the Ten Commandments, the “book of the covenant.” Why? Because it describes OUR OWN EFFORTS to be holy, while in contrast the covenant from “above” describes God’s work for us. For its heavenly, and “every good gift, and every perfect gift” comes from the Father above –James 1:17.

Another passage which clearly demonstrates the uselessness of the law in the life of the believer and the differences of the covenants is 2Cor 3:7-11 (cf. Rom 7:1-12). We read,

2 Corinthians 3:7 But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away:
2 Corinthians 3:8 How shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious?
2 Corinthians 3:9 For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory.
2 Corinthians 3:10 For even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth.
2 Corinthians 3:11 For if that which is done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious.

We have two glories being contrasted here.

Actually we have THREE glories here. According to verse 7 there were two things that were glorious. Moses’ face (glory of HIS countenance) and the glory of the law. Then verse 8 describes the glory of the “ministration of the Spirit.”

If we follow the flow of the passage, it is easy to see that one glory is the old covenant, or in particular the tablets of stone, and another glory of the new covenant which is by the spirit. In v.7 Paul mentions two glories. Some try to soften the force of this passage by saying that the glory which is done away in v.11 isn’t the tablets of stone (the Ten Commandments) but the glory of the face of Moses. This is ridiculous as it destroys the natural flow of the passage.

No it’s in harmony with the rest of scripture which says the law of 10 Commandments won’t be done away with (Isaiah 51:6).

The first glory of v.7 is indeed the Ten Commandments, “But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious.” Paul here speaks of a past tense glory of the Ten Commandments. It had glory in some respect, but insignificant compared to the spirit. The second glory of v.7 is that of Moses face which shined as he came down the mount the second time (Ex 34:29-35). Now Paul is contrasting two covenants here. He is not contrasting Moses face with the new covenant, but that of the old with the new, as the immediate context clearly demonstrates.

2 Corinthians 3:6 Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.

So in v.8 when Paul says, “how shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious?” He is comparing the ministration of the spirit with that of v.7 “the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones.” Two ministrations. The ministration of the spirit is more glorious asserts Paul then that of the Ten Commandments.

Yes he is comparing these two, along side with he who brought down this glorious law from the mount, the glory of Moses.

2 Corinthians 3:9 For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory.

So up until now there can be no doubt as to what two glories Paul is comparing here. He is clearly comparing the covenant contained in the Ten Commandments with the new covenant. Paul here in v.9 calls the Ten Commandments “ministration of condemnation” and rightly so. The Ten Commandments condemned man as guilty and a law breaker. Again, he is comparing two ministrations. In v.7 he calls the Ten Commandments the “ministration of death” but in v.9 “ministration of condemnation” both are the same. This ministration in v.9 had glory, the same as did v.7.

2 Corinthians 3:10 For even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth.
2 Corinthians 3:11 For if that which is done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious.

The ministration of the spirit exceeds in glory to that of that old. And in the clearest terms possible Paul says the Ten Commandments which are here represented by the word “glory” is “done away.” The law has no biding on believers today. Not part of it as Adventist’s assert, nor the whole thing, it is simply done away.

It is the “ministration” of the law that Paul speaks of as glorious (verse 7). It is this ministration of the LETTER which was done away with, not the law itself. The law remains through the ministration of the SPIRIT, for the law is SPIRIT. Paul is showing us that the ministration of the spirit has now taken over our own efforts to obey the law in written form (letter) for when we do this, we see our sins and “die.” When we allow for the ministration of the SPIRIT, the glory of MOSES gets abolished, verse 13 (for he was the one that brought down the law to the people), and is replaced by the glory of Christ IN US (for now Christ brings the law into our hearts):

2 Corinthians 3:17-18
(17) Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
(18) But we all, with open face (unlike Moses who had it covered) beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

Notice these words taken from my study on this chapter in an article located at this site:

“Let’s take a look at that historical account of which Paul was speaking of:

Exodus 34:32-35
(32) And afterward all the children of Israel came nigh: and he gave them in commandment all that the LORD had spoken with him in mount Sinai.
(33) And till Moses had done speaking with them, he put a vail on his face.
(34) But when Moses went in before the LORD to speak with him, he took the vail off, until he came out. And he came out, and spake unto the children of Israel that which he was commanded.
(35) And the children of Israel saw the face of Moses, that the skin of Moses’ face shone: and Moses put the vail upon his face again, until he went in to speak with him.

Moses face was made glorious, and the children of Israel “could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses” because he “put a vail on his face.” It was the glory of Moses that was taken out of the way. Paul further proves this in the following verse:

2Corinthians 3:13-14
(13) And not as Moses, which put a vail over his face, that the children of Israel could not stedfastly look to the end of that which is abolished:

It says here that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold something, and that that something was “abolished.” Yet when we go back and read the account in Exodus 34, we see that they did behold the tablets of stone in Moses’ hands. What then was it that they could not “stedfastly behold?” It was the “face” of Moses:

Exodus 34:35
(35) And the children of Israel saw the face of Moses, that the skin of Moses’ face shone: and Moses put the vail upon his face again, until he went in to speak with him.

Because they could not behold his face, for it “shone” –verse 34, Moses had to cover his face with a veil until he went back in to speak with God.”

Take a look here:

However, if you continue reading down the context, there

2 Corinthians 3:12 Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech:

Paul states he is using “great plainness of speech” so anyone that wants to destroy the natural reading and flow of this passage obviously are reading into the passage their pre-understanding..

2 Corinthians 3:18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

We are being changed into the image of Christ by trying to keep the Ten Commandments? No! But by the “Spirit of the Lord.” This is the whole contrast of 2Cor 3:7-11. We as believers of the new covenant have nothing to do with the Ten Commandments. They do nothing but condemn and kill. The spirit guides us and convicts us of our sin, and even makes intercession for us in prayer. (cf. Rom 8:26)

This begs the question: What is the image of Christ? Christ is the very image, or Character, of the Father:

Hebrews 1:3
(3) Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;

The words “express image” is the Greek word “charakter” which is where we get our English word “character” from. Christ is the very character of the Father. Now we learned earlier that the 10 Commandments is the very character of God in written form. Jesus is the very character of God in living form. He IS the Ten Commandments! Since we are changed into his image, he is changing us into living a pure life, little by little, even as he is pure:

1 John 3:3
(3) And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.

The whole point of Paul’s writings are that the letter of the law has been put away in the believer, but the Spirit, which is JESUS in us (verse 17) is manifested through us little by little (from glory to glory –see also 2 Cor. 4:10). This means the believer will be found obedient through HIS obedience within him, not by looking at the law written on stone, but by looking at it in the form of Jesus Christ. Along side this; the glory of Moses has been abolished, because the glory of Christ has replaced this. To suggest that the law in its entirety has been abolished would be for Paul to contract Isaiah and Jesus Christ himself (Matthew 5:17).

Gal 3:1-10 is another passage which shows the difference between being under the law, and being under and led by the spirit under this new covenant.

Galatians 3:1 O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?
Galatians 3:2 This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?
Galatians 3:3 Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?
Galatians 3:4 Have ye suffered so many things in vain? if it be yet in vain.
Galatians 3:5 He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?

Some of these texts are so clear that little commentary is need. For Paul, the Galatians were being tricked into not obeying the truth, which is the gospel. V.2 He asks how did they receive the spirit. Do we receive the spirit by obeying law? Does righteousness come from law? Obviously we receive the Holy Spirit by faith or Paul’s statement here is meaningless.

Verse 3 is important. He is speaking about the works of the flesh. The Galatians forgot that it’s not about what they could do, but what Christ could do IN them. Christ is that Spirit, which worketh in them every good and perfect will of God. It’s all about Christ. His obedience. His faith. His work. He did it for us. This is the New Covenant experience. In the Old Covenant, they said “All that the Lord hath said WE will do.” In the New Covenant, it’s not what “WE will do” but what “HE will do:”

Hebrews 10:16
(16) This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them

It’s like you said earlier. We participate with the Spirit, with Christ, and allow him to work the righteousness of the law within us. The Galatians forgot to do this. They tried to work the law by themselves. They failed just like the Israelites of old did.

Paul is trying to get them to realize if they already have the spirit, and they received it by faith, what good is going back to the law going to do? Is the spirit worthless? They received the spirit which is to rule and be the authority of the Christian and now they are trying to be made perfect by the flesh, which the law clearly activates. They have been regenerated, made into new creatures, but now go back to the law which does what? Show them their in need of a Saviour? Haven’t they realized this yet?

You are correct, except that you still don’t understand what it means to walk in the Spirit. As shown earlier, all who walk in the Spirit “do mind the things of the Spirit” –Romans 8:5. Why did Paul say this? Because he demonstrated in the previous chapter that he could not keep the law even if he wanted to, for the law is SPIRIT… “but I am carnal, sold under sin.” He must therefore walk in the Spirit, and thereby not fulfill the lusts of the flesh, which are all things contrary to the law (murder, lust, selfishness, etc).

What good is it therefore to yourself do the works of the letter of the law when we clearly can’t? For… “what I want to do, that I not, but what I hate, that do I.” –Romans 7:15-20. The law is SPIRITUAL… the only way to fulfill the righteousness of the law, is by walking in the SPIRIT, which is allowing Jesus to do for us what we could never do for ourselves – keep God’s law!

Even miracles were wrought among them as believers without keeping the law.

Because at first it wasn’t them obeying God’s law, it was Jesus’ perfect life of obedience working within their mortal flesh, causing them to “walk in the Spirit” and transforming them little by little to bare his image. This is the whole point of walking in the Spirit. Notice this text:

John 3:7-8
(7) Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
(8) The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

The words “wind” and “Spirit” are translated from the same Greek word pneuma. It is the Spirit moving within a persons life when they are born again, although we dont see him moving. Only when he is moving in your life, transforming you, are you truly “born again” or “walking in the Spirit.” How will the Spirit make you born again? By manifesting his fruits (Galatians 5:22) through you. But notice this also:

Ephesians 5:9
(9) For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth.

We learned earlier that the law is goodness (Romans 7:12), the law is righteousness (Psalm 119:172) and that the law is truth (Psalm 119:142). Furthermore, all these are true of Jesus as well, for he is the law in living form! What does this mean? This means that the work of the Spirit is to manifest the obedient life of Christ through us that we may be found as obedient children without our own works of the law. We participate with the Spirit, because we love the Lord, to keep his commandments, and have our images conformed unto the image of God’s Son. The Galatians lost this, and tried to justify themselves by their own works of the law.

In other words, they had evidence of God’s approval of them believing the gospel, and walking in the spirit, by proof of miracles. All of this that is, without the keeping of the law of Moses. V. 5-9 Paul uses the example of Abraham in Gen 15:6 being declared righteous for believing the promise of God. This is similar to Rom 4:3. Righteousness by faith in Christ, without the law.

Right. But then his righteousness which was imputed unto him through faith alone was manifested THROUGH him in obedience to God’s law:

Genesis 26:5
(5) Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.

It’s the same message found in the New Testament. Righteousness by faith, that is, you will become righteous by believing in HIS righteousness, and allowing it to show through you.

We come to Christ with no merits of our own, but cling and accept the credit of His perfect righteousness given to our account. This in no way means there is no requirement to holiness in sanctification, as Paul clearly states the opposite in Gal 5-6. Holiness, the Christ life without the law.

The life of Christ is the law! He walked perfectly, for the law is perfect. He walked in Holiness. The law is Holy. He walked justly in the sight of the Father, the law is Just. Your sentence should rather read:

Holiness, the Christ life without the works of the letter of the law.

Why? Because the letter kills. It tells me I’m a sinner. The Spirit however tells me I’m a sinner, yet at the same time works the righteousness of the law within me, making me a person of obedience to God’s law. The latter was the only thing missing from the former.

Galatians 3:10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.

Paul is quoting this verse from Deut 27:26. Similar to this we find this passage two chapters later.

Galatians 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
Galatians 5:2 Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing.
Galatians 5:3 For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law.

Paul in this passage is dealing specially with circumcision and that if one was to decide to be circumcised Christ was worthless to that individual, while in Galatians 3 Paul is dealing with the law in a general sense in the life of the Christian. Some mistakenly assert that the book of Galatians is dealing with just circumcision and the ceremonial law, or what I would call the ceremonial side to the law which is unreasonable as the passage in question (Gal 3:10) and on the passage we dealt with earlier (Gal 4:21-31) deals with the law as a whole. So much so that Paul even mentions Sinai (Gal 4:24,25) where circumcision was not given, but the ten commandments as well as the rest of the law. Also in the first council of the church at Jerusalem we see that circumcision as well as keeping the law of Moses was the topic on hand (cf. Acts 15:5, 24).

I dealt with these above. But there is something in Galatians you are missing. Let me help you:

Galatians 2:16-17
(16) Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.
(17) But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid.

Let’s dissect verse 16 first. It says we are not justified by the works of the law, that is, by our own obedience to the law. But then it reads that we are justified by the “faith OF Jesus Christ.” What was that faith? A faith which showed through his obedience to God’s law! In other words, again, it’s not what we can do (works of the law) but what Christ did and will do through us (the faith of Christ). If we have the faith of Christ, his life of obedience will work through us, rather then our own works of obedience, and sanctify us, and cause us to walk humbly before our God. This is forced by the next verse:

(17) But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid.

Notice. If while we seek to be justified by Christ, we are found SINNERS (violators of God’s law -1John 3:4) then is Christ the minister of Sin? He answers… “God forbid!” See, sin is the transgression of God’s law (we found that John is speaking about God’s 10 Commandments above). Our being Justified by faith will not lead us to live a life of disobedience to God’s law, but quite the opposite. It will cause us to have Christ living in us, manifesting his life of obedience to God’s law through us and for us. That is why he next said:

Galatians 2:20
(20)I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

Christ, the law in living form, lives “IN” him. Therefore we are dead to the law; we don’t work the works of the law on our own, that we might live, through Christ, unto God. Righteousness must come through his life in us, not ours.

Paul’s point here in Galatians 5 is that if one is circumcised he is required to keep the entire law. In other words, once you decide to go down that road of law keeping, you cannot just stop at commandments you dislike, but must keep the entirety of the Mosaic Law. (cf. Jas 2:10)

True. That is why all has been given over to the Spirit. The law is SPIRIT-ual. We are circumcised SPIRIT-ually. If we get circumcised literally; we must physically on our own obey every one of the laws of God. But if spiritually, Christ will do it for us, and cause us to live a life of righteousness in him.

Gal 3:10, shows us what law is in view not only in this passage, but in the entire book of Galatians, “the book of the law.” The whole sha-bang. Under the old administration, Israel was not giving a choice if they wanted to just keep say, the ten commandments, dietary restrictions and tithing, and just leave the rest, no Deuteronomy paints a much different picture (cf. Duet 5:31-33; 26:16-18; 27:1-3, 10, 26; 28:1,9,13-15, 45; 30:8-10, 16; 31:5, 11-12; 32:46).

“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:”

I have already dealt with marriage and the rest of Genesis 2 earlier. I will deal with the sabbath was a shadow as per Col 2:16,17, which you allude to in the paragraph before this one below.

Your response on marriage was refuted above.

“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).”

Where in scripture do we find the phrase “moral law” applied to the Ten Commandments, or the phrase “moral law” for that matter? This is a man made tradition. The Law of Moses had moral commandments within the Decalogue (nine out of 10 are moral by nature with exception of the fourth commandment as shown above).

It’s obvious that’s its moral when we study into it. Is it not a moral issue to not kill? To not lie? To not rest? I think you’d agree it is.

The book of the covenant along with the covenant made at Moab (Deut. 29:1) contained moral laws because God was building a theocracy with them before they entered Canaan. God took his Decalogue, and broke it apart for them, applying it to every aspect of the life they were going to live therein. The Commandments are broad, so it makes perfect sense that we read of other sins like Homosexuality which is traced back to the broadness of the seventh commandment, which forbids Adultery.

Exodus 22:18 Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.
Exodus 22:19 Whosoever lieth with a beast shall surely be put to death.
Exodus 22:20 He that sacrificeth unto any god, save unto the LORD only, he shall be utterly destroyed.
Exodus 22:21 Thou shalt neither vex a stranger, nor oppress him: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.
Exodus 22:22 Ye shall not afflict any widow, or fatherless child.
Exodus 22:29 Thou shalt not delay to offer the first of thy ripe fruits, and of thy liquors: the firstborn of thy sons shalt thou give unto me.
Exodus 22:30 Likewise shalt thou do with thine oxen, and with thy sheep: seven days it shall be with his dam; on the eighth day thou shalt give it me.

Leviticus 19:3 Ye shall fear every man his mother, and his father, and keep my sabbaths: I am the LORD your God.
Leviticus 19:4 Turn ye not unto idols, nor make to yourselves molten gods: I am the LORD your God.
Leviticus 19:5 And if ye offer a sacrifice of peace offerings unto the LORD, ye shall offer it at your own will.
Leviticus 19:6 It shall be eaten the same day ye offer it, and on the morrow: and if ought remain until the third day, it shall be burnt in the fire.
Leviticus 19:9 And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not wholly reap the corners of thy field, neither shalt thou gather the gleanings of thy harvest.
Leviticus 19:10 And thou shalt not glean thy vineyard, neither shalt thou gather every grape of thy vineyard; thou shalt leave them for the poor and stranger: I am the LORD your God.
Leviticus 19:11 Ye shall not steal, neither deal falsely, neither lie one to another.

In both these passages we have what can be called moral and ceremonial commandments. In Ex 22 there is judgments tied into the moral commands along with the covenant of circumcision. Where do we find the command “thou shall not lie” or “thou shall not lie with a beast” in the Ten Commandments? Are not these just as moral as say thou shall not steal or thou shall not covet?

Again with the broadness of the law. Thou shalt not lie is found in the 9th commandment, and not lying with a Beast violates the seventh commandment, because it’s a sexual sin.

Matthew 22:36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
Matthew 22:37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
Matthew 22:38 This is the first and great commandment.
Matthew 22:39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
Matthew 22:40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

The two greatest commandments according to Jesus are found in the law of Moses (Lev 19:18; Deut 6:5) so they must be moral, and they are. Funny the two greatest moral commandments aren’t even found in the Ten Commandments.

They are not found “in” the Ten Commandments, they “are” the Ten Commandments summed up, including every moral aspect of the Ten Commandments found in the judgments and statutes, which return right back to the 10 Commandments. Notice:

Romans 13:8-10
(8) Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.
(9) For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
(10) Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

In the example above, Paul teaches that the laws pertaining to your relationship with man is summed up in “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” The same goes with the laws pertaining to God (the first four). The problem people were having in Paul’s time (which continues on till today) is that man got along fine with God, obeying the first four; the problem was man’s relationship with man. So Paul deals specifically with this.

God had to break everything down for the Israelites, because they were in stiff-necked people. God tried to break the law down when he came in the form of a man again. Notice:

Matthew 19:17-21
(17) And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.
(18) He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness,
(19) Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
(20) The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?
(21) Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.

The one thing that the young man lacked was the very thing causing him to not really keep the commandments pertaining to man, to not really “love thy neighbour as thyself.” He neglected the necessities of the poor. He secretly loved money more then anything else. Jesus got the law, and with it dug deep into this mans soul, and with it found that he was lacking. His neglect to give up that which he loved the most to help the poor showed that he didn’t really obey the law in its summery, to love his neighbour. Our Lord demonstrates the broadness of the law. How it reaches deep within the soul. How that it doesn’t only show the outward affects of the sinful nature, but also the inward. With his act he showed selfishness. He showed greed. He showed that he loved money above all, and thereby violated the law in it’s entirely, specifically the first two commandments, the 6th and the 10th. All these are moral aspects which lead right back to a violation to one or more of God’s perfect law of Ten Commandments (and I say Ten Commandments because this is the context, per verses 18 and 19).

Until we understand the depth of God’s character, his Law, and how it punctures to the inner most part of the soul, to reveal how much we need Christ and his ability to live righteous, we will forever be stuck on “where is bestiality in the Ten Commandments, where is homosexuality in the Ten Commandments.”

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.

I have dealt with Hebrews 3-4 a couple of times already, but a couple of quick points should suffice. We do rest from our works as God did. We don’t stop resting to begin to work again and wait for another seven days to come to enter this rest again. This is not entering the rest as God did. God never stopped resting from His work at creation. No stop and go here. We enter this rest by faith in the future heavenly experience when Christ comes in His Kingdom (2Tim 4:1). This rest-sabbatismos is a heavenly like rest, as was God’s in Gen 2:2.

This was dealt with above.

You state that you agree that Hebrews 3-4 is dealing with a spiritual rest of today that is found in Christ, but then want to slip the sabbath into v.9. Does this not destroy the structure and flow of the passage? If the rest is “today” in Heb 3:7,13,15; 4:7, why are we to believe all of a sudden the writer throws the Hebrews for a loop by tossing in the weekly sabbath? You quote Heb 4:4 for justification of this, but doesn’t the context of v.4 qualify what v.4 is speaking about?

Your questions have already been answered above.

Hebrews 4:3 For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.

We who believed do enter into this rest. Do you agree that this is the spirtual rest you mentioned? If not why not? Also the immediate context of v.9 clearly shows what rest v.9 is speaking of.

Hebrews 4:7 Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
Hebrews 4:8 For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day.

In v.7 we find the “today” which you agreed is a rest in Christ. The writer of Hebrews is quoting David in Ps 95:7,8. Is David speaking of the sabbath? If not, why not? In v.8 the writer speaks of Joshua not given them this rest. But as noted earlier, Joshua surely gave them the sabbath when he read them the law (Joshua 1).

This was also dealt with above.

“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).”

I touched on this point earlier, that the Sabbath is indeed ceremonial in nature. It is something that has to be taught, therefore, not a natural law.

This was dealt with above.

Romans 2:14 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:
Romans 2:15 Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another

For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law. Did the gentiles by nature keep Sabbath? Would this be something that could be done by “nature?” Would someone say in Africa in the first century, or even now, who has never heard the gospel, the name Jesus Christ truly “by nature” keep Sabbath? I think not.

I think so. We by nature know that we need rest. But nevertheless, you argue on which day is to be designated. If we allow our nature to do this for us, some of us would become couch-potatoes. Since when is going by nature ever been a safe thing to do? Our hearts are deceitful. We NEED God to designate all things for us. We always needed him. You act like Paul speaks of this as a Good thing. Keep reading. He then shows that even they needed Christ – our designator of all things!

These gentiles who do by nature the things contained in the law Paul adds that “work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness.” Would the pagan, who never heard the gospel or even the God of the OT, be grieved in their conscience for not resting from labour every sunset Friday to sunset Saturday? How do those in say the artic, who have no sun for months out of the year, keep Sabbath? Remember, the scripture is clear that the proper way to keep Sabbath is from sunset to sunset (Lev 23).


Romans 10:14-15
(14) How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
(15) And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

The truth must be sent their way that they may know. We by nature don’t know what is right and wrong. We go by our feelings, and what seems obvious. Cannibals think it okay to kill and eat people. Your contention is rather silly. Pardon me. But I thought it was obvious that we NEED God to tell us all things. We are to do all things how he sees best for us, not how we want to. We don’t choose the day, he chose the day. And he did it because he wants us to be like him, to rest on the same day he rested on. He chose what we can kill (for food). Not humans, not unclean animals, but clean animals (and this was temporary by the way, but that’s another topic).

We need him for every decision in our lives. He must guild us by his Spirit. We must walk in his directions. This is what it means to be a Son of God, like Adam was (Luke 3:38), to have the mind of God, walking in the Spirit, doing as he is, moving as he guilds.

The Sabbath was given to a specific people, at a specific location, for a specific period of time.

Incorrect. It was given (made for – Mark 2:27) to mankind. We hit this one earlier. The location was the Garden, and the time was at the beginning. Just because it was given to the Israelites does not mean it was limited to them, nor does it mean that it didn’t exist before them.

There is no commandment in the NT that states that gentiles were to keep Sabbath.

This was touched on using Hebrews 3 and 4 and many other verses.

This being so, Paul gives long lists of sins, which gentiles were to flee from, but never once is the sabbath hinted at.

You won’t find Paul listing the 3rd commandment, but you’ll find it hinted in his words. So with the 4th commandment, except that this one is more then hinted in Hebrews 4.

Surely these new believers had questions on how the Sabbath was to be kept etc.

They had Paul (who told them to be as he was) and Christ for an example, who taught proper Sabbath keeping in Matthew 12. This was touched on earlier. The record of Sabbath keeping was also available for all to read as it is for us today. This was not an issue, as the main problem was in their obedience to the six commandments which deal with our relationship with man. These were pagans, judging their actions according to what they felt was best. This is the area they most needed help in.

What about the slaves that are mentioned in the epistles. Paul writes a letter to a runaway slave (Philemon) and mentions in a couple other spots that the slave was to obey his owner. Did the slaves get the Sabbath off? Probably not, as a lot of owners were not even Christian. So much for calling the Sabbath “a delight” (Isa 58:13).

This is a mute point. There is no mention of many things in this small letter. How did you determine that his owner wasn’t a Christian? If this is true, why did Paul call him a “brother” in verse 7 and 20? Why mention him as Paul’s partner in verse 17? How is it that the owner owes Paul even his own life (verse 19)? Look closely at the relationship Paul had with this man, that he admonishes him to “prepare me lodging, for I trust that through your prayer I shall be given unto you” -verse 22. Who was he praying to that Paul trusted in? In fact, Philemon was quite popular among the Christians, as is seen in verses 23 and 24.

There is too much against the idea that he wasn’t a Christian. It would rather seem that he was. Christians were banned for owning slaves, they were just admonished to treat them fairly and in the fear of God (see Col. 4:1).

Instead of a commandment being found in the NT to keep the Jewish Sabbath what has to be done is texts from the OT that apply to national Israel are carried over and applied to believers in this dispensation. This is not a proper hermeneutic, this simply, will not do. I said enough about the nature of the Sabbath earlier in this response. Rom 2:14,15 should be compared to (Mtt 12:1-5; Col 2:16).

Most of the texts I have used here were from the New Testament in support of Sabbath keeping. The burden is on you to find a command NOT to keep the Sabbath in the New Testament. Colossians 2 won’t do, as this has already been dealt with here:

You tried to respond to this article (and we will discuss this soon) but conveniently ignored my reasoning on verse 14, where we read of the “hand-writing” of ordinance in contrast with the Ten Commandments, which were not written by hand but by finger (Exodus 30:18). Speak about Moses writing it in the book of the law all you want, this fact remains, its origin is found written by God’s finger, and placed apart (inside the Ark) from the hand written Law of Moses. We’ll deal with this more on our next round.

As for the commandments in Jn 14:15; 1Jn 5:3, and the Sabbath being one of them, I’d like to make a general observation. Following will be a point I made in response to another SDA writer.

We must not automatically assume when we find the word “commandments” when mentioned in the NT are that of that Decalogue. Here are some examples;

Matthew 8:18 Now when Jesus saw great multitudes about him, he gave commandment to depart unto the other side.

Matthew 22:36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?

Mark 12:30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.

Luke 15:29 And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends:

John 10:18 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.

John 11:57 Now both the chief priests and the Pharisees had given a commandment, that, if any man knew where he were, he should shew it, that they might take him.

John 12:49 For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.

John 13:34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.

Acts 1:2 Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen:

Acts 15:24 Forasmuch as we have heard, that certain which went out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls, saying, Ye must be circumcised, and keep the law: to whom we gave no such commandment:

Acts 17:15 And they that conducted Paul brought him unto Athens: and receiving a commandment unto Silas and Timotheus for to come to him with all speed, they departed.

Acts 23:30 And when it was told me how that the Jews laid wait for the man, I sent straightway to thee, and gave commandment to his accusers also to say before thee what they had against him. Farewell.

1 Corinthians 7:6 But I speak this by permission, and not of commandment.

1 Corinthians 7:25 Now concerning virgins I have no commandment of the Lord: yet I give my judgment, as one that hath obtained mercy of the Lord to be faithful.

1 Corinthians 14:37 If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.

2 Corinthians 8:8 I speak not by commandment, but by occasion of the forwardness of others, and to prove the sincerity of your love.

Colossians 2:22 Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men?

Colossians 4:10 Aristarchus my fellowprisoner saluteth you, and Marcus, sister’s son to Barnabas, (touching whom ye received commandments: if he come unto you, receive him;)

1 Thessalonians 4:2 For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus.

1 Timothy 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope;
1 Timothy 1:5 Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned:

1 Timothy 6:14 That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ:

Titus 1:3 But hath in due times manifested his word through preaching, which is committed unto me according to the commandment of God our Saviour;

Titus 1:14 Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth.

Hebrews 7:5 And verily they that are of the sons of Levi, who receive the office of the priesthood, have a commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law, that is, of their brethren, though they come out of the loins of Abraham:

Hebrews 11:22 By faith Joseph, when he died, made mention of the departing of the children of Israel; and gave commandment concerning his bones.
Hebrews 11:23 By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months of his parents, because they saw he was a proper child; and they were not afraid of the king’s commandment.

2 Peter 2:21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.

2 Peter 3:2 That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour:

1 John 3:23 And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.

1 John 4:21 And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.

2 John 1:4 I rejoiced greatly that I found of thy children walking in truth, as we have received a commandment from the Father.
2 John 1:5 And now I beseech thee, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment unto thee, but that which we had from the beginning, that we love one another.
2 John 1:6 And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it.

At least 34 times the words “commandment” and “commandments” do not mean the 10 in the NT. The Ten Commandments are referred to as “commandments” maybe half a dozen times at most in the NT. That is 34 times commandment(s) refers to either; doctrines and teachings of false teachers, the apostles, and of Christ. That is, 34-6 is the count, so when going to revelation (12:17; 14:12; 22:14) where the texts don’t say one way or the other if it is the Ten Commandments or just the commandments of God given through the ministry of the apostles we cannot automatically assume it is the Ten Commandments being spoken of. Again, don’t just claim it, prove it.

Not only that but in John’s gospel he refers the “law” 14 times, and commandment or commandments 10 times. So for John there is a difference between the two.

There can be a difference in some occasions, and in other they can be used to refer to the same things. These words, commandments and laws, or nomos and entole, are to general in their meanings. The context will bare the meanings for these words. Your right that we shouldn’t assume that “commandments” always refers to the Ten Commandments. But this is another mute point, because I never said that. I have been trying to communicate to you that it will always depend on the context surrounding the word. As per the context surrounding the word as it is used in 1 John, the Ten Commandments in its summed up form is in view. In Romans 7, it’s the Ten Commandments in view. And so on.

That is the end of the post from a previous response. I know you used Jn 14:15; 1Jn 5:3 as proof texts Edward and not Rev 12:17; 14:12; 22:14, but I didn’t want to break up the point that was being made.

John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.

Where is the proof that Christ is speaking of the Decalogue? It is fallacious to claim something without proving it. The context as well as the word for commandments-entole suggest the teachings of Christ are His commandments, as well as the overall context of the NT usage of the word: commandment(s) which I have shown above.

The word “entole” is used for the Sabbath as well:

Luke 23:56
(56) And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the Sabbath day according to the commandment (entole).

We already know his commandments, to love one another. This alludes right back to the Ten Commandments, for this and “Love God with all your Heart…” is the Ten Commandments summed up (Romans 13:8-10). Notice:

Matthew 22:37-40
(37) Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
(38) This is the first and great commandment.
(39) And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
(40) On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

Upon those two hang all the law like your ten finger hang from your two hands. And yes he mentioned the prophets as well, because through the prophets he demonstrated the “broadness” of the law. I can’t leave you room for doubt.

John 14:23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
John 14:24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.

From the following verses of v 15 we see the “commandments” of Christ are the same as His “words” and “sayings.” To exegete a text within its surrounding context is probably the most basic and important hermeneutic we can use.

This is not the only way to study God’s word. We must also compare all scripture with other portions of Scripture, “line upon line, here a little and there a little,” comparing “spiritual things with spiritual” –see Isaiah 28:9-10 and 1 Corinthians 2:13. Let’s not stick to the Greek form of logic like Aristotle’s, let’s allow the bible to explain itself, not only exegeting the context, but comparing everything else with it. It’s best to study how God tells us to, not how Greek scholars tell us to.

The Ten Commandments are also known as the Ten Words, as any Jewish scholar will tell you. Notice:

Exodus 34:28
(28) And he was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights; he did neither eat bread, nor drink water. And he wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the Ten Commandments.

Deuteronomy 4:12
(12) And the LORD spake unto you out of the midst of the fire: ye heard the voice of the words, but saw no similitude; only ye heard a voice.

Deuteronomy 5:22
(22) These words the LORD spake unto all your assembly in the mount out of the midst of the fire, of the cloud, and of the thick darkness, with a great voice: and he added no more. And he wrote them in two tables of stone, and delivered them unto me.

The word “commandments” literally means “words” in the Hebrew text. So no problem… yes, it is his “words” we are speaking about here, summed up in “love.”

1 John 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.

John doesn’t say one way or the other if he’s speaking of the Ten Commandments or not. But John’s custom when referring to the law, he uses the word. As stated above, law and commandments in John’s gospel are two different things. But to keep with our hermeneutic, we will interpret this text within the broader context of 1Jn.

1 John 3:22 And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.
1 John 3:23 And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.

This should be enough for this first article Edwin; I’ll next deal with your article on Col 2:14-17.

Johns 1st epistle was already dealt with. To “love one another” will lead the believer to not violate the Ten Commandments which protect against showing hate towards one another, such as killing and stealing.

I hope some rays of light were shed upon your understanding of this topic as I believe it has been for me. Most of these arguments, however, I have heard many times before, and they always fail when tested in light of Holy Scripture. I pray that as you continue searching for truth, the Lord guild you every step of the way. For Jesus is coming sooner then we expect, and we must be ready to meet him, bearing his perfect image by his work within us. God bless you and yours. Maranatha!

Proverbs 4:18
(18) But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.

In Jesus, the Solution,
Edwin M. Cotto


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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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