Question for goitalone or any other Adventist


#1

Adventists believe that one must keep a saturday sabbath by refraining from unnecessary work and commerce or face God’s judgment for being disobedient and be lost.

Even though new members are sometimes told differently, it is in their fundamental beliefs:

adventist.org/beliefs/fundamental/index.html

To keep this thread very focused, I’m only asking the following related questions:

How do Adventists know that Saturday must be kept to fulfill the commandment?

And secondly, how do Adventists know for sure the day they are keeping is the Saturday they believe the commandment requires?

MarysRoses


#2

That is what the commandment says.

And secondly, how do Adventists know for sure the day they are keeping is the Saturday they believe the commandment requires?

MarysRoses

It is much less likely that people would lose track of the days of the week than that they might mis-place or re-arrange holidays or make other changes. Except for an abortive attempt by the French Revolution to create a ten-day week, weeks in Western calendars have always been seven days long.

Also, the commandment does NOT command that people observe the exact, seven-day anniversary of the day God created the world. It specifies the seventh day of a seven day week as the Sabbath. Technically, if Sunday were recognised as the seventh day of the week, Adventists might have fewer problems observing Sunday. But instead, Sunday is recognized as the first day of the week–or sometimes as the 'eighth day" of creation. This violates the Scriptural pattern which demands that the 7nth day be the day observed.


#3

The commandment says the seventh day, not ‘saturday’. This is not a specific, named day of the week. It means a day following six others. Sunday comes around every seven days, so it is unclear to me why it does not fill the intent of the commandment to regularly set aside a day for rest and worship. There is no commandment anywhere in the Bible that specifies a particular, identified day.

I’m not disputing that the Jewish people observe Saturday as their sabbath. I’m questioning if the commandment specifies Saturday and Saturday alone. Interestingly, some Jewish rabbi’s have come to the conclusion that the commandment does not refer to Saturday only, partly due to difficulties with the international dateline and keeping sabbath where there is no sunset to mark time.

You seem to be agreeing with me that the designation of Saturday as sabbath is arbitrary and culturally dependent.

The scriptural pattern is every seventh day. The Seventh Day used as a proper noun is an english construction that seems to give a certain day a label and title that is not in the original language.

If I put seven identical apples in a circle, there would be nothing inherently different about the seventh apple. The seventh apple would change, depending on where in the circle I began counting.

The Church keeps the scriptural pattern of one day in seven, while honoring the first day, as the day of resurrection, and the eighth day, the new memorial of the New Creation.

I have no problem with Christians keeping a saturday sabbath if they want to do so. To me the problem with Adventist doctrine is insisting that Christians must observe Saturday as the sabbath or be lost. They teach that once someone is taught about the ‘biblical’ sabbath, to continue to worship on Sunday instead will cost a person their salvation.

Making a day a test of salvation is contrary to the teachings of St. Paul.

Colossians 2:16-17

16
Let no one, then, pass judgment on you in matters of food and drink or with regard to a festival or new moon or sabbath. 8
17
These are shadows of things to come; the reality belongs to Christ.

Romans 14:

4
Who are you to pass judgment on someone else’s servant? Before his own master he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand.
5
(For) one person considers one day more important than another, while another person considers all days alike. Let everyone be fully persuaded in his own mind. 2
6
Whoever observes the day, observes it for the Lord. Also whoever eats, eats for the Lord, since he gives thanks to God; while whoever abstains, abstains for the Lord and gives thanks to God.

MarysRoses


#4

Applied blatantly, this would necessitate not only a lack of concern for the Sabbath, but for Lenten dietary restrictions, meaning that the Church, when it set up its restrictions, erred in reaching past its authority.

Bur rather, it is best to accept both Scripture and Tradition, to note the seventh day, Shabbat, has been always celebrated by the Jews since before 600 BC on what we now know to be Saturday, that this was recognized as the Sabbath by Church Fathers, and that this is still called “Sabbath” by both the Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Churches.

It is just that, since Jesus returned on a Sunday, we have a Resurrection day which we celebrate as preeminent.

Orthodox (as I understand it) do see Saturday as a very special day of rest, and also of commemorating Christ’s descent into Hades to collect the Prophets.

Saturday is still a day of rest in some Orthodox communities. But Sunday, because of Christ’s resurrection (and the traditions surrounding this) is the day of Eucharistic Celebration in that resurrection.


#5

[quote=MarysRoses]The commandment says the seventh day, not ‘Saturday’. This is not a specific, named day of the week. It means a day following six others. Sunday comes around every seven days, so it is unclear to me why it does not fill the intent of the commandment to regularly set aside a day for rest and worship. There is no commandment anywhere in the Bible that specifies a particular, identified day.
[/quote]

You are guilty here of wooden literalism. “seventh day” within the context of the Tanach of the Jewish people clearly meant the last day of a seven-day week. The commandment calls the day “Sabbath” or “Shabbat”, which ever and always referred to the seventh day, and which was notably observed in ways quite distinct from how Christians have ever observed Sunday. No one seriously argues that Shabbat was ever observed on any day of the week except the seventh. It is a commemoration of God’s creation of the world, and Genesis records that He did this work in six days and rested on the seventh.

You seem to be agreeing with me that the designation of Saturday as sabbath is arbitrary and culturally dependent.

I’m allowing for the possibility that someone, somewhere MIGHT have lost track of the exact, seven-day anniversary of the creation. Traditional, conservative, Orthodox Jews don’t usually allow for that possibility nor do conservative Adventists. But even those who are more relaxed about the issue, the expectation that the Sabbath is to represent the last day of the week, and not the first day of a new week, remains an issue.

If I put seven identical apples in a circle, there would be nothing inherently different about the seventh apple. The seventh apple would change, depending on where in the circle I began counting.

Your illustration is imprecise. Why then do you differentiate between the first apple (first ‘day’’) and the seventh apple (‘seventh day’) in your celebration of the Resurrection of Christ, in the advent of the “Eighth Day”, in the commemoration of the “new Creation”. You are making the same point as the Adventists, you simply argue for a different day. Adventists also have reason from the Scripture to believe that Sabbaths will be observed in the Millennial Kingdom, (which for them is NOT the Church Age but a time following the Advent of Christ).

To me the problem with Adventist doctrine is insisting that Christians must observe Saturday as the sabbath or be lost. They teach that once someone is taught about the ‘biblical’ sabbath, to continue to worship on Sunday instead will cost a person their salvation.

My problem as well which is why I was only briefly involved with Adventists. They were essentially a ‘way-station’ for me as I departed the Latter-Day Saints. (Adventists and Mormons have some ecclesial similarities, though of course Adventists don’t believe in a restored priesthood).

Probably, an active, believing Adventist will come along eventually and give a more-articulate answer. However, my view was arrived at by reflection on the implications of Scripture:

Colossians 2:16:

Let no one, then, pass judgment on you in matters of food and drink or with regard to a festival or new moon or sabbath.

Romans 14: 5 & 6:

(For) one person considers one day more important than another, while another person considers all days alike. Let everyone be fully persuaded in his own mind. Whoever observes the day, observes it for the Lord. Also whoever eats, eats for the Lord, since he gives thanks to God; while whoever abstains, abstains for the Lord and gives thanks to God.

So you see that we don’t actually disagree on the issue.


#6

Matthew 28
The Resurrection

1After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.

What day do you think Jesus rose on?


#7

I’m assuming you are addressing me. My apologies if you were not.

At one point I gave serious credence to the idea that He rose at dusk on the Sabbath (having been crucified on a Wednesday and buried before dusk, Wednesday, because of an annual Sabbath which began at dusk). This would have put Jesus ‘in the ground’ for precisely three days. (Remember that the Jewish day began at sunset. So, sunset Wednesday evening/Thursday, to sunset Saturday night/Sunday was three literal days and nights).

This would have meant that Christ arose approximately 12 hours before the women came to His tomb to anoint Him. The text explicitly says that they came to the tomb “on the first day of the week”, so they did not come after the conclusion of the annual Sabbath on Thursday but rather after the weekly Sabbath on Saturday. Since

Please note that although many Sabbatarians entertain this idea, it is NOT something usually embraced by the Seventh-day Adventists–officially, the SDA Church says Christ rose just before dawn on Sunday just as all other Christians believe. In any case, I eventually abandoned this aberrant idea as I became convinced that the whole issue of which day we are to worship as Christians is a non-issue within the context of the New Testament.


#8

I do not dispute that Jews keep sabbath on Saturday as they always have, and that Jesus rose on Sunday, the first day of the week.

I’m pointing out the difficulties in making Saturday sabbath observance obligatory for salvation.

The sabbath commandment only designates the day following six others, not necessarily Saturday, regardless that Saturday is the historical and customary day.

Sunday for Christians is the First Day, and also the Eighth, its a matter of how you count them.

Even if a person accepts that sabbath can only be Saturday (I don’t, but for sake of discussion lets say I do) there are still practical difficulties.

The dateline thing again. I know I’ve posted this several times. I have never gotten a single response from a sabbatarian that resolves the issue.

If keeping a Saturday sabbath were necessary for salvation one should be able to reliably locate Saturday. Becuase of the international dateline, thats impossible. When a local government changes the dateline for commercial or convenience reasons, do Adventists change their day of worship or go along with the local civil government?

Identifying the precise Saturday sabbath will only get more difficult as technology advances and people live and work where there are no sunsets to measure the time.

Again, I have no problem with persons wanting to observe a sabbath on Saturday if they want to do so. Catholics of course have a Sunday obligation that keeping a Saturday sabbath will not satisfy, but that doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with keeping a sabbath if they want to do so. There are a few catholic groups reviving Saturday as a day of rest and contemplation.

The problem is making the Saturday sabbath a matter of salvation. This is contrary to the New Testament and it seems to me, contrary to common sense.

MarysRoses


#9

You used an indefinite article yourself. The last of ‘a’ seven day week. I stand by the position the commandment itself does not designate a specific day, only a day following six others.

I am not making a particular day of the week a matter of salvation as they are. I am only pointing out that ‘first’ ‘seventh’ or ‘eighth’ depends on where you start counting.

I agree we are not far apart on these issues, I am just clarifying my comments.

MarysRoses


#10

The actual text of the commandment, from both places where it is derived:

Exodus 20: 8-11

Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou 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, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:* 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.***

Deuteronomy 5: 12-15:

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 {donkey}, 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.

You can see in the text the literal structure of the commandment: six days shalt thou labor, but the seventh is holy; for in six days God made the Heavens and the earth, but in the seventh He rested. This pattern repeats in a number of places throughout Exodus, Leviticus, and Deuteronomy, especially in God’s giving of the manna in the wilderness. I don’t think there’s any mistaking the intention: Sabbath is to come at the conclusion of the week, on the last day thereof, just as God created from the first day to the sixth and rested upon the seventh.

I really do think you will find conservative Adventists who will argue that our Saturday is the exact seven-day anniversary of the day upon which the Lord rested: that, if you could count backwards by weeks far enough, you would find God resting on the exact day corresponding to our Saturday. You don’t have to agree with that but it is what many Adventists believe.

And Adventists, by the way, generally would not say that keeping Sabbath is a matter of salvation for Christians currently living. The ones I knew, while believing that other Christians were lax in their study of the Scriptures, ignorant of the commandments and how they represent God’s perfect Moral Law–right down to the 4th Commandment specifying the Sabbath–but they feel that God winks at the ‘times of ignorance’. In the actual ‘time of Jacob’s Troubles’ (their parallel to the tribulation of other Christians), it will become increasingly clear that the Roman Catholic Church is Babylon and that keeping Her commandments instead of God’s Law represents the ‘mark’ of Antichrist. At that point, Sabbath-keeping will become an absolute issue of salvation. Before then, it rarely would be so. I might be an exception in Adventist eyes, and perhaps even you, since we have studied the issue of the Law and have accepted man’s traditions instead of God’s Law. But for most Christians, what the RCC dubs ‘invincible ignorance’ applies (not that Adventists would actually use that precise theological phrase).


#11

You are assuming a literal 7 day creation week and a young earth.

They do make sabbath a test of salvation, yes, they do allow for the ‘ignorance’ of some, but insist that it will be the central test at some future point, and that those who know (even now) are held responsible to keep it.

Sunday is not ‘man’s traditions’, it is an apostolic tradition recorded in the earliest accounts of Christian worship. There is no commandment in the New Testament for Christians to keep the Jewish sabbath. On the contrary, in the book of Acts, when the apostles met to decide what of Jewish law Christians would need to observe, the sabbath was not mentioned. As Christians, we are not obligated to Jewish dietary laws, mandatory circumcision or the observance of the Jewish sabbath.

MarysRoses


#12

Sorry, I have messed up my PC (both hard drives) by installed Windows Vista (don’t get windows vista) lol…so I am trying to sort it out is why I haven’t been able to reply. I still have to format, back up etc.

I wanted to say for now tho, that besides the Sabbath issue, there are many other historical proofs and prophecies come 100% completely true. People can fight over which day of they week they feel is ok to worship all they want and never get anywhere. I see worshipping on and keeping the seventh day Sabbath holy as a no doubt situation knowing all I know about the prophecies of the Bible which have come true 100% in accuracy…

I am wondering how well any of you actually know of or have studied any of these prophecies. or have you greatly ignored anything to do with such?

Because when you add them all up…you can see what they are all pointing to, and that it cannot be any other way. This is the Bible I am taking about, not just man interpreting them.

(more to come)


#13

It seems to me you are verifying the point I have been trying to make. By itself, you cannot prove that Christians must keep a Saturday sabbath from the bible alone. If I understand your post, you are saying you believe the Adventist views of the sabbath becuase you believe the Adventist interpretation of prophecy points to sabbath keeping.

I have studied these prophecies. Presentation of them has changed over time but essentially the presentations are impressive with their datelines and claims to accurately fortell historical events. When I was considering leaving the Adventist church, I set out to prove Adventism to myself and find a reason to stay, by researching these prophecies and verifying their accuracy. What I found had the opposite result. The ‘history’ they are based on is deeply flawed. Have you ever actually looked these dates and events up in secular history books?

As you are moving the discussion from the sabbath to prophecy, I will post more in a new thread.

MarysRoses


#14

No, not at all, I am just seeing that you don’t see it as a truth and never will no matter if the Lord Himself came to you and told you it was, which makes me wonder why you even want to discuss it. It says in th Bible Jesus kept the Sabbath as well as His disciples as it was their custom or in their manner to keep THE seventh day Sabbath.

[quote=I have studied these prophecies. Presentation of them has changed over time but essentially **the presentations are impressive with their datelines and claims to accurately fortell historical events
[/quote]

. When I was considering leaving the Adventist church, I set out to prove Adventism to myself and find a reason to stay, by researching these prophecies and verifying their accuracy. What I found had the opposite result. The ‘history’ they are based on is deeply flawed. Have you ever actually looked these dates and events up in secular history books?

Why do you think they were impressive, and where did you find flaw?

What you are clearly saying is, that the Bible is flawed, because these prophecies are foretold and fulfilled IN the Bible as well as after, all the way until our time.

I don’t know what you studied, but it obviously was not correct, or you wouldn’t be calling the Bible flawed, which shows me you obviously know NOTHING about the prophecies of the Bible or just choose NOT to believe them.

It makes sense I suppose…if you don’t believe the Bible, then you will not believe or be able to see the truth.

10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

11 And for this cause** God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: **

2 Thessalonians 2:10, 11

Who is believing this lie and accepts not the love of truth?

MarysRoses


#15

Jesus and his diciples were practicing Jews and lived as such.
They also worshiped at synagogues, prayed and made sacrifices at the temple, kept Jewish dietary law and observed the feasts of the old covenant, such as passover and the day of atonement. Should Christians be doing all of these becuase Jesus and the apostles did them?

They are presented in an impressive manner. The questionable elements are glossed over. There are many places I find flaws. One of them, the use of the year 538 a.d. for the ‘establishment’ of the papacy. Research it, and you will find the only groups seriously using that as a date for the establishment of the papacy are groups supporting Adventist views of prophecy interpretation. Among the many problems with the date:

It was not the year Code of Justinian was given.
It was not the first such proclamation or edict.
It changed nothing about the papacy not already established by earlier laws.

It is actually the year one of many battles between the Roman empire and the northern invaders happened. The battle turned the tide against one out of many of the northern tribes. Again, the only persons who find it an unusually significant battle are those supporting adventist prophecy interpretations. Search it, and you find dozens of ‘bible prophecy’ sites, but few if any historical sites referencing it. TRY IT!
google.com/search?client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla%3Aen-US%3Aofficial&channel=s&hl=en&q=538+a.d.&btnG=Google+Search

See what you find. Wikipedia picks it up, - in reference to biblical prophecies. That is the pattern

I never said the Bible is flawed, only Adventist INTERPRETATION of the bible, and their version/view of history, is flawed. Deeply flawed

This is setting up a false premise, you are saying that I do not believe the Bible. My actual position is that I do not believe Adventist interpretations of the bible, that is a very different thing.

MarysRoses


#16

Adventists assume a young earth and a seven-day creation. At least the ones I knew always did. (I do too, btw, but this thread is about Seventh-day Adventists).

They do make sabbath a test of salvation, yes, they do allow for the ‘ignorance’ of some, but insist that it will be the central test at some future point, and that those who know (even now) are held responsible to keep it.

I think we made the same point. I don’t think we are disagreeing on this.

Sunday is not ‘man’s traditions’, it is an apostolic tradition recorded in the earliest accounts of Christian worship.

Umm . . .I don’t think the New Testament anywhere speaks of Sunday as being kept as a ‘holy day’ distinct from the Sabbath. I don’t think the Apostles kept Sunday instead of the Sabbath. Under Jewish law one could not handle money or goods on Sabbath, which is why advice is given to set aside one’s tithing on the first day of the week. Paul apparently gave a Sabbath Vespers service which continued well into the night (remember that for Jews, the Sabbath ended at sundown), leading to the unfortunate fall of Onesimus.

Paul’s usual practice however was to meet on the Jewish Sabbath and to use that day as an opportunity to proclaim the Gospel: this seems to have remained his practice even after his evangelistic efforts shifted towards focusing upon the Gentiles. In many places the disciples of Christ seem to have met daily or nearly every day, probably the source of the custom of daily Mass. In general, Sabbatarians (not just the Adventists but others) make a reasonable case based on careful exegesis of the scriptural evidence, that Sunday observance did not actually displace Sabbath observance in the Apostolic era of the Church.

I believe that shift was a very early one–it probably started happening at least in the lifetime of John the Revelator–and I don’t think Sunday observance violates the New Testament in principle–but I don’t believe that the Apostles saw Sunday as the “Eighth Day of Creation” or celebrated it in place of the Jewish Sabbath they had grown up with. That tradition grew up in the second generation of Christians, as Gentile Christians began to outnumber Jewish ones, and as the customs of Jewish culture began to fall away and hold less sway.

There is no commandment in the New Testament for Christians to keep the Jewish sabbath.

There is no clear command to alter the original practice either, and no clear evidence that the Apostles themselves actually modified the observance of Sabbath. Without one or the other, the original commandment (a part of the moral law, remember, and not part of the ceremonial, theocratic, or dietary laws of the Old Covenant) would take precedence. The best evidence we have that a change would not be contrary to Scripture are the two admonitions by the Apostle Paul cited previously, each of these probably directed more at the issue of observing Jewish High Holy Days, and not the Sabbath specifically. However, Paul’s comments do logically extend to Sabbath-keeping as well and provide justification for allowing a new generation of Christians to abstain from Sabbath-keeping altogether or to displace the Saturday-Sabbath with one honoring the Resurrection of Christ. Which is what ultimately happened-but NOT, I stress, in the lifetime of Paul or most of the other Apostles, IMHO.

On the contrary, in the book of Acts, when the apostles met to decide what of Jewish law Christians would need to observe, the sabbath was not mentioned. As Christians, we are not obligated to Jewish dietary laws, mandatory circumcision or the observance of the Jewish sabbath.

You have inserted the Sabbath without specific scriptural warrant. Circumcision and dietary laws were explicitly abrogated in the text of the New Testament. No clear parallel exists for the Sabbath being abrogated, making your point an argument from silence. You also miss the point that the Sabbath was included in the “moral law” and not in the ceremonial, theocratic, or dietary laws of the Old Covenant. It is part of the Decalogue, the Ten Commandments. This gives it a higher standing that rules regarding abstention from pork or rules about ceremonial uncleanness.

Again, you and I agree that the principles expounded by Paul give us liberty to worship on Sunday. Where we disagree is on whether Sunday worship is directly traceable back to a specific command of or practice of the Apostles of Christ. I think the evidence is that it is not. I am OK however with that. You seem uncomfortable with it.


#17

I’m probably more comfortable than you think Like you said, this thread is directed towards Adventists. I do find extensive support for Sunday being kept as the day of worship very early. The writings of men who learned from the Apostles themselves are full of references to Sunday as the day of Christian assembly. I do not find a command to keep Sunday in the Bible either.

I keep Sunday becuase it has been the teaching of the Church from early times, and I do believe in the role and authority of the Church in transmitting apostolic teaching to us. The idea that Sunday is wrong and that Christians should observe the Jewish sabbath (excepting some early judaizers who would also have put many other jewish observances on Christians) is a novelty of the last couple of hundred years.

MarysRoses


#18

I am in the middle of my next post, but for now I wanted to say…

…almost the whole Christian world reverences Sunday, did God know that this attempt to change His holy Sabbath would occur? .

"And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time. " Daniel 7:25

"Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them." Acts 20:28-30


#19

Adventists must think God is the grand puzzle master making salvation difficult and available only to those able to figure out obscure clues.

God certainly knows the future, and if he wanted Christians to keep a saturday sabbath, why didn’t he just say so? St. Paul, who wrote under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, could have just told his followers to assemble on the jewish sabbath day, instead, he says not to judge each other over a day.

Those verses you quoted, again, you have your interpretation of them, which is a recent novelty, not the interpretation the Church has held through the centuries.

MarysRoses


#20

He did say so in His 4th commandment.

Sad that so many have forgotten and cannot see how plain as day that is.


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