by Ed Stevens
No one has scriptural authority to teach that Christians during the Acts period and during the time of Paul's epistles observed the first day of the week as the Sabbath of the Lord, or that the first day replaced the Jewish seventh day Sabbath. We can believe scripturally that Jesus Christ rose from the dead some time after sunset Saturday when the first day of the week began. To say that God's Word ordains this first day of the week to be "the Christian Sabbath", in memory of Christ's resurrection, or, indeed, that it is properly "the Lord's day" is false, unfounded supposition. Truly, the Sunday-keeping sabbatarians have been hard pressed for actual scriptural proof here when challenged by the seventh dayists, who are right in saying that God made only the seventh day the Sabbath (for Israel, however).
The fact that Paul, "the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles" (Rom. 15:16; 11:13; I Tim. 2:7), gave the gist of the nine commandments in epistles, in over 120 commands and admonitions, but left out altogether the fourth, about the Sabbath, is unanswerable for the sabbatarians. Another indisputable fact they cannot face is that in Acts 15 :1-29 it was made quite plain to the early church that no Mosaic law was to be imposed on Gentile believers. Acts 21:25 states: "As touching the Gentiles which believe, we have written and concluded that they observe no such thing". The things that the apostle Paul wrote "are the commandments of the Lord" for believers today (I Cor. 14:87). Thus God's laws for the present dispensation came through the apostle Paul. They do not, of course conflict with Christ's "new commandment . . . that ye love one another" (John 18:34; 15:17, 17).
Arguments By Seventh Dayists
(1) Christ said He came not "to destroy the law or the prophets but to fulfill"; therefore the Sabbath is still to be kept (Matt. 5:17). Yes, He fulfilled some prophecies and also the just demands of the law, vicariously, for all who believe and accept Him, as their Substitute in bearing the penalty for all their sins; and in performing such perfect law obedience as no man could possibly accomplish. For this reason Paul was inspired to write in II Cor.8:7-14 that the law "written and engraven in stone" was "done away", and in Rom.10:4, that "Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone that believeth". He kept the Sabbath merely as a Jew "born under the law" (Gal. 4;4), not as an example for believers today.
(2) It is argued that Adam must have had the ten commandments with its Sabbath because "sin is not imputed when there is no law" and sin is transgression thereof. Please read II Cor. 4:2 about "handling the Word of God deceitfully". It is plainly stated in Gen. 2:16, 17 that God gave Adam but one command: "thou shalt not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil".
(3) Saturday Sabbath keepers would emphasize the "superiority and permanence of the Sabbath" in that this command, with the decalogue was written "with the finger of God in tables of stone". We ask, Why then was it not so written before Moses' time? These tables, "the work of God" (Exod. 32:18), were placed in the ark, in the very heart of the tabernacle. They only prefigured there in type the work of "God manifest in the flesh" — Christ — who fulfilled all God's will in commandment keeping and dying for transgressors (I Tim. 3:18; Psa. 40:7, 8; Rom. 10:4).
(4) They argue that the coming "Beast" or world dictator "will think to change times and laws," according to Dan. 7:25, and therefore the keeping of Sunday is "the mark of the beast" referred to in Rev. 13:16, 17. This is truly far fetched and unscriptural for it is nowhere revealed just what the "mark" will be. Because of Mrs. White's visions Adventists teach that those who had not "the light" on keeping the Sabbath will not be judged for keeping Sunday. God's Word teaches that the "light of the gospel" of the grace of God only determines one's salvation—not light concerning works, as Sabbath keeping, etc. Beware of all who teach "another gospel" of grace plus law keeping for possibly acquiring salvation in the great judgment day. They stubbornly deny present possession of "everlasting life" as plainly taught in John 3:15, 18, 88; 5:24; 8:47.
"O foolish Galatians," said Paul, "Who hath bewitched you that ye should not obey the truth? Ye observe days and months and times and years. I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain. Christ is become of no effect unto you whosoever of you are ['would be', R.V.) justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace" (Ga1.3:1; 4:10,11; 5:4).
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