THIS STUDY IS INCOMPLETE
1. If the Sabbath is “against us and contrary to us” as they claim Colossians 2:14 states, why does the Lord himself (in Isaiah 58:13-14) say we should consider it “a delight, the holy of the Lord, honorable”?
The author of these questions means that we ‘dispensationalists’ consider Colossians 2:15 an example of Scripture of how the 613 Commandments were fulfilled and we Gentiles are not under them.
The general idea is that both Jew and Gentile are under the Law of Moses. Of course in their mentality they mean the Ten Commandments. To prove their point this author uses Isaiah 58.
Unfortunately this doesn’t really prove their claim as easily as they think.
At one time the Sabbath as God directed the future Jewish nation was indeed honorable. Yet we see in Isaiah 1:13 we see Israel’s sins caused God to be sickened by their hypocrisy. Later in Isaiah 58:1-14 God directs the surviving Jewish nation to Worship him alone. As the gentiles were grafted into his fold we read in Colossians 2:1-23 various philosophers attempted to steer the infant Church into various other religions.
(In the study notes of the Bible I use it says: Colossians it says Christ is better than philosophy 2:1-10. Christ better than legalism 2:11-17, and of course Christ better than mysticism 2:18-2)
In other words the Sabbath is a sign between God and the Jews. It is not a sign for we Gentiles.
Unfortunately, the answer provided by our opponent is no answer at all. The question by Alan begs readers to harmonize the two apparently conflicting verses. This issue has not been resolved.
Why our opponent pointed his readers to Isaiah 1:13 we don't understand, since God's issue in this text, according to the context, is not with their rituals per say, but with their mentality during the celebration of those rituals. In other words, they were being hypocritical, and were not observing them in love, but rather for selfish gain and in sins "How is the faithful city become an harlot. It was full of judgment; righteousness lodged in it; but now murderers." -verse 22.
This conclusion is established, not only by the context of the chapter, but by the context of the book itself. Would God hate the Sabbath in chapter one, but towards the end (Isaiah 58) speak of it as honorable? Since the bible teaches that God does not change, this theory is highly unlikely.
The Christian should seek to harmonize two seemingly conflicting verses. Paul does not contradict Isaiah. Instead, Paul is in his context speaking about the "hand-writing" of ordinances that was against us..." -Colossians 2:14. First, the Ten Commandments were not written by hand, but by the finger of God (Exodus 31:18). Yes Moses did afterwords write with his hand the law, all the law, in books, but finishing Paul's verse it reads "that was against us." The Ten Commandments were not against anyone (certainly the law to not kill is not against people), but the various laws foreshadowing Christ would be a burden and of no use if observed today; hence their "against us." among those various laws were included numerous feasts also called "sabbaths" and are listed in primarily in Leviticus 23. These sabbaths became against the people when the final lamb of God died on the cross, rendering them of no use. To observe them now, is to deny the final sacrifice as sufficient, leaving us without Christ. This, indeed, is against us. (see Deuteronomy 31:26 compared with Colossians 2:14).
Thus are those two verses harmonized. We answered our own question, but we had hoped our opponent would have done that first.
For further study, see The Sabbath a shadow? Which Sabbath?
2. The words of Jesus in Mark 12:29-31 (“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” and the second Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself “) have been so-called “the laws of Christ” and have supposedly usurped the Ten Commandments. However, these same words are found in Deuteronomy 6:4, 5 and Leviticus 19:18 so why did we need the Ten Commandments if we already had these so-called “laws of Christ” already spoken?
Jesus was answering a Jewish Scribe about which laws of the 613 were the most important. This story is found in the following places.
In regards to the following OT Scriptures we find the following Deuteronomy 6:1-25 we find that Moses is addressing Israel. In Leviticus 19:1-37 Moses was giving his people instructions on daily living. This of course has nothing to do with Christ or Christianity.
The point of the question was, Why would God through Christ introduce supposedly "new" laws in the NT to replace the Ten Commandments, when those new laws weren't so new after all, seeing they already existed before? This has not been answered. And when my opponent says something in the Old Testament has nothing to do with Christ, I disagree, and argue that everything in the Old Testament has something to with with Christ, for he, being God himself, is the author of it (2 Timothy 3:16).
The truth is, Christ was not introducing a "new law" since it already existed. That's the point the questions is trying to stress. This was, however, a new concept to them; something not fully understood by the people Jesus was dealing with at that time in history; hence his use of the word "new." To them, it really was "new" to love as Christ loves (he said to love "even as I have loved you" -John 13:34). No one ever showed love the way Jesus did, until Jesus did it. Jesus by referencing those two verses, probably familiar to the Jewish scribe, summarized the whole law. Paul shows how the Ten Commandments are summarized in "love" very clearly in Romans 13:9, when he says the Ten are "briefly comprehended" (greek: anakephalaiomai, meaning "sum up") as "love thy neighbor as thyself." Paul, as well as Christ's emphasis is on "love" which the Jewish scribe was at that moment in life operating without. Upon realizing it, however, he confessed to the truthfulness of Jesus' answer (Mark 12:32-33).
3. Sunday keepers always want hard facts from Sabbath keepers by asking us questions like “Why was the Sabbath not mentioned after Genesis 2:2-3 until Exodus 16?” and “Why was the Sabbath command not repeated in the New Testament?” but if you ask in return for a hard fact about where is the commandment for Sunday anywhere in the bible all you get is bewildered looks.
This is not written as a question but is written as a Statement. Therefore using the Holy Bible to answer it is not possible.
Sunday was never ‘commanded’ by God, Christ or the disciples. However we can also argue from the dispensationalist standpoint that the law of Moses was never directed towards Gentiles or Christians unless we lived under their rule.
Links to the Sunday Change and the Christian Church:
Sunday The First Centuries
By Robert Sanders
Sabbath Not A Law For Christians
By Robert K. Sanders
This link below gives the read a interesting history on the days of the week.
4. Exodus 20:2 reads “I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.” The dispensationalist often refers to the Ten Commandments as “bondage”. So are they going to have me believe God brought them out of bondage just to place them under more bondage? Huh?
In response to this question it is necessary to mention that the author doesn’t define ‘dispensationalist’. Nor does he give specific information of the individual or ministry that makes the comment he listed.
Lets start by defining ‘Dispensationalist’.
“Question: “What is dispensationalism and is it Biblical?”
“Answer: Dispensationalism is a system of theology that has two primary distinctives. 1) A consistently literal interpretation of Scripture, especially Bible prophecy. 2) A distinction between Israel and the church in God’s program.”
“Dispensationalists claim that their principle of hermeneutics is that of literal interpretation, which means giving each word the meaning it would commonly have in everyday usage. Symbols, figures of speech and types are all interpreted plainly in this method, and this is in no way contrary to literal interpretation. Even symbols and figurative sayings have literal meanings behind them.”
“There are at least three reasons why this is the best way to view Scripture. First, philosophically, the purpose of language itself seems to require that we interpret it literally. Language was given by God for the purpose of being able to communicate with man. The second reason is biblical. Every prophecy about Jesus Christ in the Old Testament was fulfilled literally. Jesus’ birth, Jesus’ ministry, Jesus’ death, and Jesus’ resurrection all occurred exactly and literally as the Old Testament predicted. There is no non-literal fulfillment of these prophecies in the New Testament. This argues strongly for the literal method. If literal interpretation is not used in studying the Scriptures, there is no objective standard by which to understand the Bible. Each and every person would be able to interpret the Bible as he saw fit. Biblical interpretation would devolve into “what this passage says to me…” instead of “the Bible says…” Sadly, this is already the case in much of what is called biblical interpretation today.”
“Dispensational theology teaches that there are two distinct peoples of God: Israel and the church. Dispensationalists believe that salvation has always been by faith—in God in the Old Testament and specifically in God the Son in the New Testament. Dispensationalists hold that the church has not replaced Israel in God’s program and the Old Testament promises to Israel have not been transferred to the church. They believe that the promises God made to Israel (for land, many descendants, and blessings) in the Old Testament will be ultimately fulfilled in the 1000-year period spoken of in Revelation chapter 20. Dispensationalists believe that just as God is in this age focusing His attention on the church, He will again in the future focus His attention on Israel (Romans 9-11).”
When God gave Moses the 613 Commandments it was to forge a new people from all the others in existence at that time. His Commandments for the infant Jewish system were not a burden nor a bondage.
5. The children of Israel were commanded some 613 laws between God and Moses Doesn’t the very fact that they’re called the TEN Commandments tell anyone that they are a separate code of laws from the rest? Why say ten if they are “the same as the others”? See Deuteronomy 4:13, 14; 2 Kings 21:8; 2 Chronicles 33:8?
The best response is to show that for our Jewish friends they donot separate the Ten Commandments from the rest of their laws.
The 613 Commandments in Jewish Thought
Parshas Yisro Ten Commandments: Ten of the Best!
Parshas Yisro – The Ten Commandments
by Rabbi Dovid Green
Aseret ha-Dibrot: The “Ten Commandments”
When we look at the Scriptures listed we find the following.
Deuteronomy 4:1-49 Gives us the story of Moses and his peoples journey into Israel. Interestingly Moses warns those who follow him. Ye shall not add unto the word which I commanded you neither shall ye diminish aught from it that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you. Deuteronomy 4:2. If those in the SDA continue in the path they have chosen it is possible to get cursed because they have placed the whole of the law upon themselves.
2 Kings 21:8
When we read 2 Kings 21:1-26 it is about King Manasseh and the evil acts he did not Gentile Christians.
2 Chronicles 33:8
Again 2 Chronicles 33:1-25 Is another story of the old King of Israel Manassah and his evils. This again has nothing to do with Christianity or Gentile Christians following the old Jewish Laws.
6. Dispensationalist will tell you that the Ten Commandments were the old covenant but in the book of Hebrews (9:7) we find that the old covenant needed replacing for being faulty (the fault spoken of was found with the people and not the law vs. 8). Are dispensationalist prepared to argue that God wrote and spoke something faulty? (HINT: Don’t go there.)
Exactly WHICH dispensationalist made these comments? The SDA author of these questions have not told us. In Hebrews 9:1-28 we can read that the author of that book Considered Christ far superior than the Old priest hood and the Old Covenant. See Hebrews 9:14-15.
What God gave Moses in Exodus 20:1-17 was meant not for all peoples. Those commandments were only for the Jewish or Israeli peoples. The Text is what a dispensationalist goes by when they read their Bibles. Hence the theory of two different covenants. One for the Jewish nation and the other for the gentile nations.
Examples of Dispensationalist teachings:
Old Testament Laws: Must We Observe the Law of Moses and the Sabbath Today?
The Sabbath the Law and the Gospel
by Rolaant L. McKenzie
7. “Christians” have ALWAYS worshipped on Sunday and NEVER on the Sabbath? Someone was taking a nap in religious history class! “
Any reply’s to this statement would not be found in the Holy Bible.
The above link is no longer functioning. The author of these questions and his allies who post these questions on their websites and blogs should have been more proactive in keeping their information updated.
Allow me to post the actual links:
Both are HEAVILY BIASED in regards to Church history and promote the SDA ideals on Sabbath. The author of the above links sells a DVD series that uses or misuses various ‘experts’ to insist early Christians kept the SDA version of Saturday Sabbath.
Lets counter with websites for the author of these questions to review.
Worship in the Early Church
RICHARD C. LEONARD
WORSHIP SERVICES IN THE EARLY CHURCH
8. John 17:4 says: “I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.” Could Jesus make this statement if he still had to “teach” Sunday observance by rising on that day? Is he a liar? (Again, don’t go there.)
As we can read in John 17:1-26 Jesus was praying for himself, and his future followers. No where does Jesus say anything on which day he is to resurrect on. Jesus did not teach Sunday observance nor did Jesus teach that gentiles were to keep Saturday Sabbath. This SDA author is making too many assumptions.
9. The gospel commission in Matthew contains this…”Teaching them all that I have commanded” and Jesus commanded the Ten Commandments (Matthew 5:19, 19:17-19. Did Jesus command Sunday?
As we can read in Matthew 5:1-48 Jesus was teaching his fellow Jews about the Ten Commandments AND various others from the 613. As this SDA well knows Jesus told his listeners that he was to fulfill ALL the law Matthew 5:17.
By Matthew 19:1-30 We find Jesus teaching on a variety of issues.
These included Matthew 19:1-12 Marriage
Matthew 19:13-15 Children
Matthew 19:16-22 Jesus teaching a wealthy Jewish man about how to enter Gods Kingdom.
Matthew 19:23-30 Examples of how Salvation would come.
Jesus as a Jew knew nothing of Sunday worship. And still Jesus did not teach about gentiles keeping Sabbath.
Jesus commanded his fellow Jews to keep ALL the commandments not just the Ten.
10. The gospel writers penned their books decades (most scholars say 70 AD or later) after the cross but none of them felt compelled to tell us about a new day of worship? Strange indeed.
This is another statement by this SDA author and cannot be answered solely from the Holy Bible.
As I pointed out in Question 7 in regards to a few Church history websites indicate that Saturday Sabbath was changed over time. The gospel writers knew no other day of worship nor did they command gentile believers to keep the Sabbath.
11. Again, Luke (23:56) writes about the”…Sabbath according to the commandment” but why say this decades later if the Sabbath is no longer a commandment?
In Luke 23:45-56 We read about the death and burial of Christ. Jesus followers were of course Jewish and still had to follow the Commandments of Moses. This includes Sabbath.
As anyone can read there is still no proof of a Commandment by the Lord to keep Sabbath for the gentiles.
12. If the Ten Commandments are the old covenant then how do they explain away Exodus 19:3-8 which is a covenant made and agreed to a full three days before they (the law) are even given by God?
In Exodus 18:19-27 Moses gave leadership positions to those whom he knew were capable after asking council from his Father in law.
As we read further in Exodus 19:1-25 Moses came to the leaders he appointed and gave them the Commandments. Later by verse 18:25 Moses gave them the whole law in Exodus 20:1-26, 21:-136, 22:1-31, 23:1-33 and finally 24:1-4
13. If there was no law before Mount Sinai, why does God say in Genesis 26:5 “Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws”? In the book ok Genesis both moral (6th 4:8-15; 1st 35:2-4; 7th 39:7-9; 10th 25:29-34…and more) and ceremonial (4:4; 22:8-10, 31:54; 46:1) laws are mentioned.
Answer: Lets start by going back a bit in Genesis.
What are the specific Commandments God gave Abaraham?
Lets list them:
In Genesis 15:12-18 Abram dreams and is told of the future of his children.
In Genesis 17:1-27 we find Abrahams covenant and Abraham following Gods instructions on circumcision.
These are what Moses was referring to.
14. If there is no law before Sinai, doesn’t God have a lot of apologizing to do to Adam & Eve, Cain, the whole world (flood), Sodom and Gomorrah, and even SATAN HIMSELF (cast out of heaven. Why?)? Weren’t they sinners? What is sin? (1 John 3:4, see also Romans 4:15)
That is more of philosophical question
Sin is defined as:
“Question: “What is the definition of sin?”
“Answer: Sin is described in the Bible as transgression of the law of God (1 John 3:4) and rebellion against God (Deuteronomy 9:7; Joshua 1:18). Sin had its beginning with Lucifer, probably the most beautiful and powerful of the angels. Not content with his position, he desired to be higher than God, and that was his downfall, the beginning of sin (Isaiah 14:12-15). Renamed Satan, he brought sin to the human race in the Garden of Eden, where he tempted Adam and Eve with the same enticement, “you shall be like God.” Genesis 3 describes Adam and Eve’s rebellion against God and against His command. Since that time, sin has been passed down through all the generations of mankind and we, Adam’s descendants, have inherited sin from him. Romans 5:12 tells us that through Adam sin entered the world, and so death was passed on to all men because “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23).”
“Through Adam, the inherent inclination to sin entered the human race, and human beings became sinners by nature. When Adam sinned, his inner nature was transformed by his sin of rebellion, bringing to him spiritual death and depravity which would be passed on to all who came after him. We are sinners not because we sin; rather, we sin because we are sinners. This passed-on depravity is known as inherited sin. Just as we inherit physical characteristics from our parents, we inherit our sinful natures from Adam. King David lamented this condition of fallen human nature in Psalm 51:5: “Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.””
“Another type of sin is known as imputed sin. Used in both financial and legal settings, the Greek word translated “imputed” means “to take something that belongs to someone and credit it to another’s account.” Before the Law of Moses was given, sin was not imputed to man, although men were still sinners because of inherited sin. After the Law was given, sins committed in violation of the Law were imputed (accounted) to them (Romans 5:13). Even before transgressions of the law were imputed to men, the ultimate penalty for sin (death) continued to reign (Romans 5:14). All humans, from Adam to Moses, were subject to death, not because of their sinful acts against the Mosaic Law (which they did not have), but because of their own inherited sinful nature. After Moses, humans were subject to death both because of inherited sin from Adam and imputed sin from violating the laws of God.”
“God used the principle of imputation to benefit mankind when He imputed the sin of believers to the account of Jesus Christ, who paid the penalty for that sin—death—on the cross. Imputing our sin to Jesus, God treated Him as if He were a sinner, though He was not, and had Him die for the sins of the entire world (1 John 2:2). It is important to understand that sin was imputed to Him, but He did not inherit it from Adam. He bore the penalty for sin, but He never became a sinner. His pure and perfect nature was untouched by sin. He was treated as though He were guilty of all the sins ever committed by the human race, even though He committed none. In exchange, God imputed the righteousness of Christ to believers and credited our accounts with His righteousness, just as He had credited our sins to Christ’s account (2 Corinthians 5:21).”
“A third type of sin is personal sin, that which is committed every day by every human being. Because we have inherited a sin nature from Adam, we commit individual, personal sins, everything from seemingly innocent untruths to murder. Those who have not placed their faith in Jesus Christ must pay the penalty for these personal sins, as well as inherited and imputed sin. However, believers have been freed from the eternal penalty of sin—hell and spiritual death—but now we also have the power to resist sinning. Now we can choose whether or not to commit personal sins because we have the power to resist sin through the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, sanctifying and convicting us of our sins when we do commit them (Romans 8:9-11). Once we confess our personal sins to God and ask forgiveness for them, we are restored to perfect fellowship and communion with Him. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).”
“We are all three times condemned due to inherited sin, imputed sin, and personal sin. The only just penalty for this sin is death (Romans 6:23), not just physical death but eternal death (Revelation 20:11-15). Thankfully, inherited sin, imputed sin, and personal sin have all been crucified on the cross of Jesus, and now by faith in Jesus Christ as the Savior “we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace” (Ephesians 1:7).”
“Recommended Resource: Basic Theology by Charles Ryrie.”
In quoting: 1 John 3:4 and Romans 4:15 they author of this question assumes that the Law of Moses still presides over we Christians. However in reading the text it is clear his philosophy is wrong. See 1 John 3:1-24, Romans 4:1-25…
15. Why do Sunday advocates insist Jesus broke the Sabbath to diminish it’s importance when Jesus himself states in John 15:10 “….even as I have kept my Father’s commandments.”? Is Jesus a bald-face liar? (once again, don’t go there)
As we can read in John 15:10-13 Jesus kept his fathers commandments but again doesn’t issue commandments for his future church to keep the Ten or Sabbath. In fact Jesus asks his Jewish followers to Love one another John 15:17.
Jesus ‘broke’ the tradition of those religious Jews of his time by healing on the Sabbath . But did not break the Commandment God gave about the Sabbath. Jesus is not a liar but a Savior for both Jew and Gentile.
16. In the gospels & Acts the Sabbath and the synagogue are synonymous with each other 11 times and yet the “2 proof texts” given in the new testament say nothing of a place of worship, why’s that?
The obvious problem with this question is that we don’t know which Scriptures the author is referring to. Because of the lack of evidence I cannot answer this question at this time.
17. With the practice of circumcision being very important to Jews, it is refuted over 40 times in the New Testament but not the Sabbath day meetings held all through the books of acts. We remember how rabidly the Pharisees attacked Jesus over the issue of the Sabbath. So why does Paul NOT ONCE chide them on the Sabbath issue and where is their anger over it in the New Testament writings?
Paul answers the various Jewish sects in the book of Romans.
Well known Scriptures dealing directly with Paul’s fellow Jews are:
We can presume that the Sabbath had lost importance since the book of Romans was composed for both Jewish and Gentile followers of Christ.
18. If early Christians were already worshipping on Sundays then why didn’t the Jews raise a commotion about that like circumcision? Again, Paul never rebukes anyone for keeping the “old Jewish Sabbath”.
As we can see in following Scriptures in Acts we see a variety of problems caused by the Jews.
Acts Chapters 11:1-30, 12:1-24, 13:1-52, 14:1-28,
By Acts 15:1-31 We find the following Disciples Peter, James make their suggestions to keep Gentile followers in the infant Christian church. Note these Disciples gave we Gentiles the following ‘burdens’…
Food sacrificed to idols
strangled animals for food
If the Ten Commandments or the rest of the 603 mattered for the Christian church then it should have been commanded by the Elders of the Church and these commandments carried into today…
19. Why don’t ANY New Testament writers denounce the Sabbath? Don’t they know there’s a “new day of worship”?
That is the authors opinion. The disciples of Christ were Jews and remained so till their deaths. They knew of no other day of worship. And yet because of Paul’s writings in Romans gave the early and later church the ability to change dates seemingly with Gods approval.
(Examples: Acts 15, Romans 14)
20. If the Sabbath is Jewish, why does God (through Isaiah in the 56th chapter) encourage “the sons of the stranger”, meaning gentiles, to keep it? (See also Exodus 20:8-11 for the same “stranger” reference)
See Isaiah 56:1-12
We find in Isaiah 56:1-3 the reference about the stranger living among Jews keeping the Sabbath. This is not a commandment for the gentile church to follow the philosophy of Christian Sabbath keepers.
In Exodus 20:8-11 We find the same remark. But notice…
“10But 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:”
The above scripture refers to those whom were living in Jewish households or as I interpret this verse those gentiles living under a Jewish Theocracy. Under those conditions are Gentiles to live under Jewish laws and keep the Jewish Sabbath.
21. If the Sabbath is Jewish only then why does Luke (the gentile doctor) refer to “nation of the Jews,” “the people of the Jews,” “the land of the Jews,” and the “synagogue of the Jews.” (Acts 10:22; 12:11; 10:39; 14:1) and never “sabbath of the Jews”?
When we look up Sabbath under Strong’s Exhaustive concordance of the Bible we find the following references to the Sabbath in Acts.
Acts: 1:12, 13:14-27-42-44, 15:21, 16:13, 17:2, 18:4…
We find that the Sabbath was used by Jesus early followers to spread his message. The day itself was used as any other day to spread Jesus message to both Jews and Gentiles during the start of the Christian church. We can assume it would have gotten too repetitive to list every Sabbath as ‘Sabbath of the Jews’.
22. Since God is all powerful (Job 42:2) and all knowing (1 John 3:20), why didn’t God change the law and prevent sin so Christ wouldn’t have to die?
That is a philosophical question.
Using the internet we find the following:
“Why was the cross necessary?”
“People often say, ‘Why couldn’t God just forgive us without Jesus having to die?’ To think in such a way is to fail to understand the holiness and justice of God. God never compromises on his holiness. His holiness must shun sin and his justice must punish it. However, the other side of God’s character is that he is a God of love and of mercy too. At the cross, we see all of these attributes of God being demonstrated to their full extent.”
“His holiness rejects sin - hence Jesus’ cry, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’ as he took upon himself the sins of the world.”
“His justice passes judgement on that sin, which requires shed blood as payment. For God couldn’t just ignore our sin as though it never happened.”
“In his immense love God sends his only Son to pay the penalty for our sin.”
“In mercy God offers a free pardon and a restored relationship with him for thos who accept Jesus as their Saviour. So at the cross we see God’s ‘wrath and mercy meet’ as one hymn-writer put it.”
“If Jesus had not died on the cross then we would all be lost in our sin eternally, without hope. For we cannot put ourselves right with God by our own means any more than a bankrupt criminal can pay his own fine. We are utterly helpless and the cross is our only means of rescue.”
23. If the Sabbath no longer exists because no one is stoned for breaking it, what about some of the other commandments that the Lord prescribed a death penalty for like the third (Leviticus 24:16), fifth (Exodus 21:17), sixth (Numbers 35:16), seventh (Leviticus 20:10)? Will we throw these out, too?
It is the opinion of the author of these questions that both Jew and Gentle are required to live under the Ten Commandments and the rest of the 603. This of course means the various punishments that would be used against breakers of the commandments.
These ideas do not come from Jesus teachings or instructions but the authors own warped ideology. This could imply that the author of these questions believes that the SDA church should also practice this type of punishments from the Jewish laws.
24. If the meaning of “fulfilled” in Matthew 5:17 means do away with the law, what about Matthew 3:15 that states Jesus must be baptized in order “for us to fulfil all righteousness”. The Greek word “plēroō” (play-ro’-o) is the same word in both texts translated “fulfill”. So are we “doing away with” righteousness and baptism?
When we looked up the Greek word pleroo online we find the following.
Outline of Biblical Usage 1) to make full, to fill up, i.e. to fill to the full
a) to cause to abound, to furnish or supply liberally
1) I abound, I am liberally supplied
2) to render full, i.e. to complete
a) to fill to the top: so that nothing shall be wanting to full measure, fill to the brim
b) to consummate: a number
1) to make complete in every particular, to render perfect
2) to carry through to the end, to accomplish, carry out, (some undertaking)
c) to carry into effect, bring to realization, realize
1) of matters of duty: to perform, execute
2) of sayings, promises, prophecies, to bring to pass, ratify, accomplish
3) to fulfil, i.e. to cause God’s will (as made known in the law) to be obeyed as it should be, and God’s promises (given through the prophets) to receive fulfillment
This means that the former prophecies were fulfilled but the traditions or ritual of Baptism are not since they were not part of the law of Moses.
When we list the Scriptures chronologically. We find in Matthew 3:13-17 that Jesus came to fulfill all righteousness. That of course doesn’t include the tradition and ritual of baptism from John. Later we find out what Jesus was to fulfill in Matthew 5:17. Baptism is a matter of tradition and ritual. Not a commandment in the sense of the Law of Moses.
Philosophically why would God do away with Righteousness? After all God is Holy and Righteous.
25. If Luke 16:16 tells us the “law and the prophets” were meant to be of no more value when John the Baptist came along, why is it read from in Acts 13:15, and declared as Paul’s rule of faith and practice in Acts 24:14?
Looking at these Scriptures chronologically again we find the following.
Luke 16:13-17 dealt with Jesus speech to covetous Pharisees. Those Jewish leaders who put their lusts above God stand condemned before him.
Acts 13:13-43 we find that Paul was preaching to the Jews of Antioch. The law of Moses would not have meant much to the Gentile except for those who actively sought after the God of Israel.
Lastly in Acts 24:1-23 we find that Paul was under trial for his preaching against the Jews of his time. As a Jew he gave a defense of his beliefs using Jewish laws and statutes.
Paul never gave up his Jewishness no matter whom he was preaching to Jew or Gentile. Nor did Paul suggest that his gentile followers were to give up their ways and follow Moses laws. He only asked they follow Jesus.
26. If Psalm 118:22-24 is supposed to be a messianic prophecy predicting Sunday sacredness because of the resurrection of Christ then why does the New Testament never mention Sunday as a sacred day in connection with Christ’s resurrection?
The author gives us no reference on who made such a statement.
What we do find in Psalm 118:1-29 it is directed to Israel. There is no reference to Sabbath nor Sunday as the day to be glad for.
27. It says in 1 Chronicles 17:27 that once the Lord blesses something it stays blessed “forever” so doesn’t that mean the Sabbath remains blessed today? Where’s the text showing God un-blessing the Sabbath.
As far as I know there is no specific Scripture God un-blessing Sabbath.
28. If the Ten Commandments were abolished by Christ then why does Isaiah 42:21 (a messianic prophecy) state “….he will magnify the law and make it honorable”? Shouldn’t it say he’ll take them out of the way?
When we read Isaiah 42:21 in the Hebrew Jewish Tanakh it reads as the following.
(Verse 21) “The Lord desires His servant vindication. That he might magnify and glorify his Teaching.”
In the KJV it read as: “The LORD is well pleased for his righteousness sake, he will magnify the law and make it honorable.”
As we can read Isaiah it is a series of prophecies for Israel. Since these written for Israel it makes sense that God would not remove the law from his people.
My first attempt at answering these questions was an abortion.
I will point out that any answers given by any critic of the SDA organization of these 28 questions will undoubtedly be looked upon with similar types of criticism and opinions by various SDA persons.
Each Christian who answers these questions will hold a specific doctrinal view. Glenn as a SDA member obviously has his SDA doctrine on his blog. As both Glen and Alan dislike dispensationalists they prefer to stick with SDA theology and doctrines.
I am at heart a dispensationalist due to 18 years worth of teaching in the Christian church. Using the dispensationalist system has helped me understand the Holy Bible better than other systems I have read about. Using a dispensationalist view of the Bible to decipher its text between Jew and Gentile and recognizing the Bibles various texts are meant for specific groups has helped me learn more about the ancient world and whether or not those previous Commandments and revelations matter in this ‘modern’ age.
As we have seen in these previous questions attempting to answer all of them solely from the Word is nearly impossible. Many of the questions / statements cannot be answered solely from a specific Scripture. I suppose there are some crafty individuals that can answer these 28 questions from the Bible but unfortunately for myself I am not one of them.
In regards to those questions that require specific answers I have used various Christian and Jewish website information and links in order to answer those questions. These answers like the questions asked are based off of individual interpretation of the Bible and the information provided from various denominations or theological standpoints.
In the process of answering these 28 questions I have undergone a series of re-writes, edits and reformulating my responses to suit the answers for each question. This has been very time consuming. And yet personally gratifying to learn more about the mentality of persons and organizations I obviously do not to agree with nor have any particular interest in emulating.
I would like to point out something in the end paragraphs of Alan’s first statement.
“Some critics are honest and truly don’t understand the message that we bring to the world but too many critics know exactly what they’re doing and twisting and contorting scripture to satisfy their own preconceived notions about what they want it to say. The ONLY way the bible can work is if we allow it to speak to us and not try to ram ideas into it. I simply ask these questions in response to everyone, sincere or not. Many of these are long standing and haven’t been addressed with biblically sound answers. I believe it’s because they cannot be refuted.”
Many critics of the SDA organization are critical because of the writings EG White wrote 100 years ago do not match with current Christian teachings such as dispensationalism. To my knowledge these critics whether former Adventists or others who doubt EG Whites claims donot ‘twist’ the Scriptures as Alan claims but uphold a similar doctrinal view as myself or others who donot share their interpretations and beliefs.
We Christians as I mentioned earlier all have our specific doctrinal views from our denominations. Baptists, Pentecostals, Lutherans, Presbyterians all will not agree with each other or the SDA church / organization.
A final thought:
Mr. Lisenba has written a complex and difficult series of questions. But they are not irrefutable. Questions can be answered but the answers may not be liked by the questioner.