The Sabbath(s)... A Sign Between God and
- Seventh Day Adventists argue that the sabbath law is eternally binding
on all believers.
- The scriptures make it very plain to whom the
sabbath laws were given -- they were given specifically to the children
of Israel. Verse after verse confirms this to be the case.
Nowhere are the Gentiles commanded to keep any sabbath. Sabbaths were a sign between God and the children of Israel:
And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Speak
thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my
sabbaths ye shall keep: for it [is] a sign between me and
you throughout your generations; that [ye] may know that I [am]
the Lord that doth sanctify you. Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore;
for it [is] holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be
put to death: for whosoever doeth [any] work therein, that soul shall be
cut off from among his people. Six days may work be done; but in the
seventh [is] the sabbath of rest, holy to the Lord: whosoever doeth
[any] work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death.
Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath,
to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, [for] a perpetual
covenant. It [is] a sign between me and the children of Israel
for ever: for [in] six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the
seventh day he rested, and was refreshed. (Exodus 31)
Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and
[how] I bare you on eagles' wings, and brought you unto myself. Now
therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then
ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the
earth [is] mine: And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an
holy nation. These [are] the words which thou shalt speak unto the
children of Israel. (Exodus 19:4-6) And God spake
all these words, saying, I [am] the Lord thy God, which have brought
thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt
have no other gods before me....Remember the sabbath day, to keep it
holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work... (Exodus
20:1-2, 8-9) ...And the Lord said unto Moses, Thus thou
shalt say unto the children of Israel, Ye have seen that I
have talked with you from heaven. (Exodus 20:22) ...Now these
[are] the judgments which thou shalt set before them.
The covenant made with whom, and ratified by
And Moses came and told the people all the words
of the Lord, and all the judgments: and all the people answered with one
voice, and said, All the words which the Lord hath said will we do.
(Exodus 24:3) ...And he [Moses] took the book of the covenant, and
read in the audience of the people: and they said, All that the
Lord hath said will we do, and be obedient. 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. (Exodus 24:7-8)
Keeping the sabbath was just one part of the
covenant that God made with the children of Israel. But nowhere is
this covenant between God and Israel binding upon a Gentile.
Leviticus (the book pertaining to the Levites)
closes with these words, regarding all of the commandments found
These [are] the commandments, which
the Lord commanded Moses for the children of Israel in
mount Sinai. (Leviticus 27:34)
Among these commandments was the observance of
sabbath days. Note how Leviticus concludes, stating that these
commandments were for the children of
Israel. They were not commandments for the Gentiles, or
for any group other than the children of Israel.
The fifth book of the Penteteuch includes many
repetitions of the laws contained in Exodus, Leviticus and Numbers.
Among these are the 10 commandments, among which is the commandment to
keep the Sabbath...
And Moses called all Israel, and said unto them, Hear,
O Israel, the statutes and judgments which I speak in your ears
this day, that ye may learn them, and keep, and do them. The Lord our God
made a covenant with us in Horeb. The Lord made not this
covenant with our fathers, but with us, [even] us, who [are] all
of us here alive this day. The Lord talked with you face to face in the
mount out of the midst of the fire, (I stood between the Lord and you at
that time, to shew you the word of the Lord: for ye were afraid by
reason of the fire, and went not up into the mount;) saying, I [am] the
Lord thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, from the
house of bondage. Thou shalt have none other gods before me...
(Deuteronomy 5:1-7) ...Keep the sabbath day to
sanctify it, as the Lord thy God hath commanded thee. Six days thou
shalt labour, and do all thy work: 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, nor thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor
thine ox, nor thine ass, nor any of thy cattle, nor thy stranger that
[is] within thy gates; that thy manservant and thy maidservant may rest
as well as thou. And remember that thou wast a servant in the land
of Egypt, and [that] the Lord thy God brought thee out thence
through a mighty hand and by a stretched out arm: therefore the
Lord thy God commanded THEE to keep the sabbath day.
The Sabbath was just one of many commandments that
were given by God at Mount Sinai to Moses and that were to govern the to
children of Israel. God was their King, and His kingdom had
laws and commandments which the subjects were to obey. It
should be clear that those subjects were the children of Israel.
These laws and commandments served many purposes:
1) Prior to fleeing from Egypt, the Israelites
were slaves. After passing through the Red Sea, the Israelites
were unorganized. Moses found himself in the role of leader.
It was impossible for one man to govern such a large group of people.
The Israelites were full of Egyptian pagan ways and ideas. The
Israelites needed to be educated and organized if they were to succeed
as a nation in Canaan. The laws given to the children of Israel
were to serve this purpose, and of course to draw them closer to the God
who brought them out from the land of bondage.
2) Wherefore then [serveth] the law? It was added
because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise
was made; [and it was] ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.
3) Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster [to
bring us] unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after
that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.