Saturday, May 12, 2018

Adventists Do Not Keep All Ten Commandments


While this video is old, it is important for Adventists to see. You cannot say you are a church that keeps all Ten Commandments when you are a pro-choice church whose hospitals do abortions on demand.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P_lGDBMml28&feature=youtu.be

Friday, April 27, 2018

Sabbath Debate Review: Part VI

SABBATH IN THE FUTURE

Isaiah 66

Adventists bring up the passage that the prophet Isaiah tells us that in heaven we will be keeping the Sabbath. Yet, did Isaiah mean in chapter 66 that the sabbath will continue? Is that really a literal description of heaven? 
And I, because of what they have planned and done, am about to come and gather the people of all nations and languages, and they will come and see my glory…. And they will bring all your people, from all the nations, to my holy mountain in Jerusalem as an offering to the LORD—on horses, in chariots and wagons, and on mules and camels,” says the LORD. "They will bring them, as the Israelites bring their grain offerings, to the temple of the LORD in ceremonially clean vessels. And I will select some of them also to be priests and Levites,” says the LORD. “As the new heavens and the new earth that I make will endure before me,” declares the LORD, “so will your name and descendants endure. From one New Moon to another and from one Sabbath to another, all mankind will come and bow down before me,” says the LORD. “And they will go out and look on the dead bodies of those who rebelled against me; the worms that eat them will not die, the fire that burns them will not be quenched, and they will be loathsome to all mankind. Isaiah 66:18-24

Please read the context of this passage. Is this really saying that literally, post-apocalypse in heaven there will be Sabbath keeping? Because if we take this passage as written, we have some real problems. First, does God re-establish the Temple and the sacrificial service? Because the prophecy says that Israel will bring offering to Jerusalem's Temple. Two, the New Covenant says that the Levitical priests have been replaced by the line of Melchizedek, so will God's system go back to the Levitical priesthood? And let's look at the end of the passage. Is this what heaven is going to look like? God says that we will be able to see the rotten, decaying bodies outside the city. I think rather that God is not giving a literal view of heaven but a symbolic one of warning to Israel.

Finally, Adventists will have to admit that if God is keeping the weekly Sabbaths around post-Second Coming that He is also keeping the New Moon Sabbaths too. So if this is to tell us because the Sabbath is required forever, then surely the New Moons will be still required. And yet Adventists do not teach that we must keep the New Moons. 

Matthew 24: 20

Matthew records that Jesus tells His Apostles about the destruction of Jerusalem and warns them, "Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath." Does the fact that the Jews will still be keeping the Sabbath laws up until the destruction of the Temple surprise anyone? Of course not. The Temple system continued even after Christ died. And Jesus was not speaking of a continuation of a Sabbath Christians were to observe. He was telling them that His followers will continue go to the Temple to preach the gospel, pray that they will not have to flee on a Sabbath because they Temple was shut up on Sabbaths to prevent buying and selling. Also it is well known among most Christians scholars that the early Jewish Christians still were abiding by Sabbath rules that included limited traveling on the seventh day—a "Sabbath day's journey." This would keep them from fleeing to the mountains. 

THERE REMAINS A SABBATH REST


Steve Gregg brought up Hebrews 4 where the Apostles taught that there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God! Indeed! But it is not a day of physical rest.

The beauty and peace of the Sabbath day transformed at the Cross. The Sabbath day foreshadowed and pointed to the Great Sabbath rest day that Jesus had for us when He rested in the grave. Now the world can enter that rest by faith when they believe in Christ.

If we look at verse 4:7 of Hebrews we will see exactly what day this rest for Christians is: "Today!" Today Christians enter His rest! Each today, we can rest in Christ. It is a soul and spirit rest. A rest from the terrors of death, a rest from the enslavement of sin and rest from fear of our enemy the Devil. For the Lion of Judah has cast down this roaring lion seeking whom he will devour. Our Father, the Prince of Peace and Truth has conquered the Father of lies! This rest is far, far greater than any day, for this rest is moment by moment eternally.

IF IT WERE JUST THE SABBATH….

Most Christians who know who Adventist are, may understand that they keep Sabbath, but they have no idea how all-encompassing this Sabbath is to the SDA church and its last-day prophecies. In the Apocalypse lies the basis of the SDAs' insistence that everyone keep the Sabbath. The importance of the Sabbath goes way beyond the Ten Commandments. They believe that the Sabbath commandment will one day become the most important commandment of all and everyone who attends worship services on Sunday will lose their salvation and receive the Mark of the Beast.

The great enemy of God will be those who worship on Sunday, and the remnant church that makes it through the last day is the Adventist people who remain faithful to keeping the Sabbath. According to Adventist last-day prophecy, it is imperative, the very reason Adventists exist, to get as many people to stop attending worship services on Sunday and worship and rest exclusively on the seventh day of the week. You cannot worship on both days, that isn't exclusive enough. Only the seventh day is holy to an Adventist.

CHANGING TIMES AND LAWS

The fourth beast is a fourth kingdom that will appear on earth. It will be different from all the other kingdoms and will devour the whole earth, trampling it down and crushing it. The ten horns are ten kings who will come from this kingdom. After them another king will arise, different from the earlier ones; he will subdue three kings. He will speak against the Most High and oppress his holy people and try to change the set times and the laws. The holy people will be delivered into his hands for a time, times and half a time. Daniel 7: 23-25
(40 min.) Pastor Batchelor refers to the above passage and then makes an astonishing leap and conflates Daniel 7: 25 with the Sabbath Commandment. He claims that the "changing of times and laws" by the man of sin in Daniel's prophecy points to the Sabbath because, "There is only one time and law in the Ten Commandments and that is the Sabbath." Why on earth would Pastor Batchelor just assume Daniel was referring to the Ten Commandments or the Sabbath when saying "times and laws?" The Hebrew word of "times" means annual holy seasons. So it is likely, if Daniel is speaking of anything remotely like a sabbath, he would be talking about the annual sabbaths that come with the seasons. And if Daniel were referring to the Ten Commandments, it sounds as if all of them would be changed, not simply the Sabbath.

REMNANT KEEP THE COMMANDMENTS


Adventists believe themselves to be the exclusive, sole remnant of Revelation 14: 12 because they claim they are the only Christian group keeping all ten of the Ten Commandments because they keep the Sabbath. All other churches just keep nine of the ten—they teach. But when you really know the Adventist Church, you will see that they emphasize the Sabbath commandment to the exclusion of the others. So while at worst, other churches are keeping nine of the ten, Adventists really only keep (or at least teach) one of the ten.

YOU CANNOT SERVE TWO MASTERS


At minute (1:39:05) a question from the audience was read, "Can we celebrate both days?" (meaning Saturday and Sunday.)

"You cannot serve to masters," Pastor Batchelor replied. 

Doug finally puts his cards on the table—Sabbath is about salvation and the final test. Doug's response to that question sets up a dangerously false premise: As if worshipping on Sunday would be evil—serving another master. The Christian Church worshipped daily (as did the Israel). They had no such concept of a "day" of worship. Mankind is to worship God every day of their lives! Here we can see the length and breadth of fear they have for Sunday. It is not enough that they insist we all keep Sabbath as a day of rest, but they add that going to church on Sabbath  must be exclusive. But they don't stop there—they teach that is it so wrong to worship on Sunday that if you do you are worshipping another Lord. 

CONCLUSION:


Doug has a few empty catchphrases he uses as a clever diversion tactic: such as, "God isn't going to give us a ten percent discount" (on the Ten Commandments.) And "we forget the only commandment that God says to remember." These quips are based on straw man arguments. It seems to me that Doug truly does not understand non-Sabbatarians. He went from an agnostic-leaning youth to an Adventist without ever really understanding other Protestant and Catholic perspectives. He makes false assumptions at every turn. 

This assessment isn't personal against Doug Batchelor. I love him dearly. This is about truth. Some people think I am too hard on pastor Batchelor, but I promise that I give him the greatest possible benefit of the doubt. Because I can assure you that other Christians cannot understand why, when he has available to him the doctrines and beliefs of other Christians, that he persistently mischaracterizes what they believe. Many Christians believe Doug to be purposefully and deliberately lying and deceiving people. Because I grew up Seventh-day Adventist and have lived in the depths of their misunderstanding and fear, I am convinced that Doug sincerely believes what he is saying. Like scriptures tell us, when the New Covenant is revealed to Israel, there is a cloud over their minds.
But their [Israel's] minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away.  Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 2 Corinthians 3:14-16

While I believe that Pastor Batchelor is indeed a true Christian, for some reason the Holy Spirit has yet to remove the veil from his eyes about the Old Covenant.

It is heartbreaking because Adventists wound themselves when they set up this us-against-the-world ideology. They make other Christians their spiritual enemies which builds impervious walls of distrust and suspicion. They are unable to listen to those who they perceive have been deceived by the devil—because they fear they will be pulled into the deception.

When SDAs are confronted with the overwhelming ocean of Biblical and historical evidence that proves their beliefs wrong, they respond (or think), "We just feel it is simple," and default to repeating the commandment as if that was the only thing Jesus ever taught. They either willfully turn from the truth or fear makes them blinded to anything but what they have been taught. They must believe us to be liars, they must, for their entire faith system is fully based on this idea that Sunday is the wrong —in fact evil—day for worshipping God. If they let go of this, their church is destroyed. Their identity will survive only if they continue to see worshipping on Sunday as evil or they will have to admit that their deepest values, that which they have given their entire loyalty and lives for, is untrue.

And this is why I continue to spend so much of my time and energy on Adventists. I know the vast majority of Christianity have never even heard of Seventh-day Adventists and the small percentage that has dismiss them as an inconsequential cult that has rejected truth. But they are not. These are beautiful souls who deserve to know the truth, who we should search out as Christ did the little lost lamb, and seek to bring them into the safety of the fold. They are worth it, for Jesus said we are to all be one!

When we see them cling to their misinformed beliefs about us—mainstream Protestants and Catholics—we must keep this post in mind. We must pray for special grace that the Holy Spirit will give them such security, they will feel God's love so deeply that they can extricate from their death-grip on Ellen White's false statements. We need to show them the safety and lovely peace outside Adventism, the love of brothers and sisters in Christ.

I will leave you with a quote from one of their top theologians and evangelists, Pastor Randy Roberts, about the controversy within Adventism on women's ordination. This quote could easily be used by the rest of Christianity to remind Adventists the same allowances should be made about Sabbatarianism:

"When you have an issue, like this one, where you have scholarly, thoughtful, Bible-believing, Christ-following people who fall on both sides of the issue, that in itself should be enough to tell us, this is a matter where there had to be difference allowed."


Here is the link to the quote;




Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Sabbath Debate: Review Part V

SABBATHS POST-CHRIST



(This is posted to show the Catholic view of the Sabbath by EWTN's foremost apologist, Jimmy Akin.)

In this review I am going to focus on the arguments Pastor Batchelor presented for Christians being obligated to keep Sabbath from the time of the Apostles till today. The last post review will deal with Sabbaths and the future.

One thing I want to begin with is that many people have gotten the impression that I dislike Pastor Batchelor. On the contrary, I really appreciate him. I was a big fan when I was a Seventh-day Adventist. My post isn't personal. Pastor Batchelor is simply defending the orthodox SDA position and since he is an orthodox SDA pastor I would expect that of him. There is no emotions in my commentary at all. I hope you will take that into consideration as you read the rest of the post.


SABBATH IN LANGUAGES

Pastor Batchelor pointed out that in 105 languages, the seventh day of the week is called Sabbath. He supposes that this should awaken Christians to the fact that the seventh day of the week is the Sabbath and not the first. What Doug Batchelor should know is that in most of those languages the first day of the week is named, "the Lord's Day." So while these nations understood that Sabbath was the seventh day of the week, they also accepted that the first day of the week was a day of Christians commemorating Christ's resurrection.

Mr. Batchelor does not understand the vast majority of Christians do not see the first day of the week as the sabbath. The ubiquitous idea of Sunday being a Christian Sabbath was made popular by the Calvinist Puritans who came to the shore of the New World in the 17th century. This is not a Catholic or Orthodox position. The reason why we have a weekend today is because the Eastern half of the early church in the often rested on the Sabbath (seventh day) and celebrated the Lord's Day, first day of the week. This posed no problem for the church for St. Paul told Christians that it was a matter of conscience as to whether they keep a day holy or not.
Some judge one day to be better than another, while others judge all days to be alike. Let all be fully convinced in their own minds. Romans 14: 5 

SABBATH BEFORE SIN

Adventists teach that the Sabbath day mandatory rest was instituted before sin and Pastor Batchelor brought up this point. While we at this blog have written numerous times proving this is simply not the case, I would like to bring up one point. The Sabbath Commandment says:
Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns.
Sabbath means ceasing labor. The Sabbath commandment is all about physically resting from six days of work. If a rest from labor was required each seventh day at creation before sin what was man needing to rest from? Adam's punishment for sin was to labor! Before sin, man did not need to labor and would not need a rest from labor. So Pastor Batchelor is in error. Ceasing from labor could only happen only after labor was instituted. Therefore Adam and Eve would not need a weekly Sabbath until after sin.

BETTER-PROMISE SABBATH

Please go to minutes 28: Pastor Batchelor claims the Ten Commandments are the law of both the Old and New Covenant. He said that the issue with the New Covenant is that it is made on better promises and it is written on a different substance. "The Old Covenant is written on stone; the New Covenant is written on the heart. They're both the law of God. The fault with the Old Covenant—God said finding fault with them—in Hebrews chapter eight—the them is Israel." So the difference for the believer is all about sincerity—not an actual change of laws. And he also said that God is basing this New Covenant on "better promises." "It's a promise of God." 

What? Is the pastor saying that the Old Covenant was not based God's promise? I think the pastor could be buried in scriptural texts where God talks about His promises to Israel in the Old Covenant. However the greater point the pastor was trying to make is that the problem was with Israel not the Old Covenant. However, scripture disagrees with Pastor Batchelor. Look at Jeremiah. 31: 31-33 which states that the New Covenant is NOT LIKE the on given at Mt. Sinai. Also St. Paul explicitly tells us that, yes, Israel was unfaithful but  the Old Covenant with the Ten Commandments itself was faulty:
But Jesus has now obtained a more excellent ministry, and to that degree he is the mediator of a better covenant, which has been enacted through better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no need to look for a second one. God finds fault with them when he says: "The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will establish a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah; not like the covenant that I made with their ancestors, on the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt…In speaking of "a new covenant," He has made the first one obsolete. And what is obsolete and growing old will soon disappear. Hebrews 8:6-13
The Old Covenant with the Sabbath regulations was replaced by a better covenant and the Old Covenant (Ten Commandments) is obsolete.

Steve Gregg pointed out that in the early church (as it is for most Christians today) did not keep one day. In fact they worshipped daily. He showed the viewers Romans 14: 5, "One person considers one day more sacred than another; another considers every day alike. Each of them should be fully convinced in their own mind." He pointed out that Doug Batchelor was wrong, that St. Paul was indeed speaking about the weekly Sabbaths here. All days would mean all days—each day of the week—was alike. If all days had equal holiness that would be the very antithesis of a requirement to keep Sabbaths.

JUST-IN-CASE SABBATH

(Minute: 104) Pastor Batchelor must have realized the scantiness of the scriptural evidence for his position so he defaulted to the argument of: what if you stand in front of God and He did want you to keep the Sabbath—so you better keep it just-in-case you are wrong in your assumptions that Christians don't have to keep the seventh day holy. "Where is the danger in keeping the sabbath day, where is the harm?" He asked.

There is danger in adding requirements to God's law.  The early church condemned Judaizing! St. Paul would condemn this just-in-case fallacy.
So don't let anyone judge you because of what you eat or drink. Don't let anyone judge you about holy days. I'm talking about special feasts and New Moons and Sabbath days. Colossians 2: 16
[N]ow that you know God—or rather are known by God—how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable forces? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again? You are observing special days and months and seasons and years! I fear for you, that somehow I have wasted my efforts on you. Galatians 4: 9-10

St. Paul would have a few harsh words for Pastor Batchelor I am afraid. The last part of this review will be published soon.