Wednesday: Rabbinic Law

In addition to the Mosaic laws, Jews at the time of Jesus were also familiar with the law of the rabbis. The rabbis were the scholastic arm of the Pharisees, and they took the responsibility of ensuring that the Mosaic law remained relevant to the people. The rabbis counted 613 laws in the five books of Moses (including 39 pertaining to the Sabbath), and they used these laws as the basis for their legislation. They supplemented these written laws with an oral law that consisted of the interpretations of leading rabbis.

Image © Providence Collection from

Image © Providence Collection from

Oral law is known as halakah, which means to walk. The rabbis felt that if the people adhered to their numerous halakoth (plural of halakah), they would walk in the way of the 613 major laws. Although originating as oral law, the rabbinic halakoth were collated and recorded in book form. Some of the interpretations from Jesus’ day survive in commentaries known as Midrash, while others are recorded in a legal collection called Mishnah. Many religious Jews through the ages, and even today, seek to adhere strictly to these laws.

Read Luke 14:1-6 and John 9. Although Jesus was accused of violating the Sabbath with His miraculous healings, where can you find in the Old Testament that it’s a sin to heal on the Sabbath day? How does the answer help us to understand some of the issues with which Jesus had to deal? More important, what lessons can we learn from these incidents that could help us to make sure that we don’t make similar mistakes in our attempts to seek to walk in the way faithfully?

Though it’s easy from our perspective today to deride many of these oral laws, especially when they were used as they were against Jesus, the fault exists more with the attitude of the leaders and not with these laws themselves. Though often kept very legalistically, halakoth were meant to be very spiritual, infusing a spiritual element into the most mundane of actions, giving them a religious significance.

How can we learn to give even the most mundane tasks a religious significance?



Wednesday: Rabbinic Law — 61 Comments

  1. I wonder, do we today, as Adventists have traditions similar to the Jewish halakoth? For instance, are there rules regarding Sabbath keeping that are not in the Bible but are nevertheless treated as though they were? What about rules for dress and adornment?

    Traditions are not necessarily bad, but when they get in the way of demonstrating the love of Jesus, they are bad. In the days of Christ, they got in the way of actually recognizing Christ as Savior. Is it possible that today we may place so much importance on what we regard as important "laws" that we miss Christ as Savior?

    • traditions as we all knew is system that people use to follow them on the time they leave for the benefit of confronting on the general norms, but fortunately this traditions would take a changes as the time going for this means that the application of such traditions is no longer applicable,however that some of the tradition is no longer applicable but it is also important in the aid of new traditionally system applied today which have a similarity of the old traditions, the most important we should learn today and do is to reflect of what Gods wants us to do for he owned our life.

      • I agree Inge. I feel many of the things we see as sinful on Sabbath are simply custom of the society our church was formed in. We used to sit around overheated on the Sabbath at Camp meeting because we didn't dare dip our toes in one of the lovely lakes on the grounds. Because people in the 1800's didn't swim very much. It was apparently considered "fast".

    • the bible mentioned about dress and adornment and how we as Christians should adorn ourselves. Also Isaiah 58:13, 14. talks about how we should treat the Sabbath, i.e not speaking our own words, nor finding our own pleasure and not to do our own ways. The Sabbath is not ours, it belong to God, we have 6 to deal with our things. The Sabbath is for God and emergencies.

      • Ms. Richmond, the Sabbath belongs to us. It was made for us and our benefit. Jesus is clear about this.

        • The bible says in Exodus 20:8-11. Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. Six days shall thou labor and do all thy work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God. In it thou shall not do any work ....etc. This day is a day in Gods' calander whereby mankind seizes from secular work and turns to their creator to recognise him for who He is. The day belongs to Him, but He allows us to share in that day preventing us from working, working and working until we kill ourselves.

    • Also I have wanted to know the answer to this question (or a slight modification) for a long time now:

      "Although Jesus was accused of violating the Sabbath with His miraculous healings, where can you find in the Old Testament that it’s a sin to heal on the Sabbath day?"

      I really would like to know what their reasoning was.
      We can see the reasoning behind opposing the making of clay/mud and the bed-carrying--but what about the other Sabbath healings? Why were they so mad?

      I'd really like to have some reference for myself to go and look it up. I think that if we can understand their reasoning behind opposing Sabbath healings, we might be able to avoid the same pitfalls today.

      • Hi Andrew,

        I think the answer to your question lies in the title of our lesson: Rabbinic Law. These were man-made laws to ensure the keeping of God's Law. So I'm pretty sure that there's nothing in the OT forbidding healing on the Sabbath. I suppose they regarding "healing" as a type of "work."

    • Inge, if such rules exist, they exist only to hedge up the sinner, much like chains and fetters, because the "righteousness of the law"(Rom 8:4) isn't written in the heart. Any actions that find their incentive in a "rule book" are self-generated and thus vain works. Such legalism is required to control the unrenewed heart.

      All this happens when any known sin is harbored in the life.

      Interesting that in Mark 5 we see a vivid demonstration of how weak these chains and fetter are when the mind is not renewed by Grace. When Jesus is allowed to "renew a right spirit", the chains and fetters are no longer needed.

  2. God gave us the authority to discern the bad from the good and vice versa. It follows therefore that as Christians, anything that does not lead us away from our Saviour, being tradition as it were, we should abide by it in order for us to be in harmony with the society we live in which is what God wants.
    BUT anything that contrasts God's laws is bad for it costs our lives in eternity and should not be observed at any cost. By so doing Christians are not inventing the wheel for matyrs before us stood firm and died for a good cause.

    • The problem is that many times people have such strong feelings about traditions and the "correctness" of the existing/prevailing societal order that they have a hard time separating them from God's commands (or God's desires). After all it "just feels right".

      In other words, strong traditions often blind people to what the word of God says. People feel so strongly in their gut about many traditions that they believe that they are God-ordained and are often unable to stand back and investigate them with scripture.

      Worse yet, breaking some traditions can induce feelings of guilt! This contributes to even more confusion for many believers, because guilt is associated with sin.
      A good example is negative feelings towards interracial marriage relationships or segregation (in times past). People felt so strongly about the latter in particular that they even found biblical justification for it!

  3. Sincerely! adornment, sabbath keeping and dress teachings do not fall under halakoth (oral law). The council from the Spirit of Prophesy is not different from the Bible. Real insight in Jesus would convince us to strictly love to obey these commandments. Let's seek the face of the Lord and put away our individual interest.

  4. Our intentions/laws may be good, but if God is not in it, they're bad. Our good plans must often fail so that the "NOT SO GOOD PLANS" of God may succeed. Consider His ways .....

    • Let us not force God in our desires and excuses. You will not walk naked on the streets and still expect it to be normal because you love Jesus - that is, in the strongest terms possible, justifying our ways of sinfulness.

  5. For too long many people have avoided joining the SDA Church because of some personal biases that some people have and promote as salviviv. For example; the wearing of hats, taking baths on the sabbath, or even the wearing of pants by women. Is it that we have become so legalistic that we are looked upon as stumbling blocks in the way of allowing people to meet Jesus?

    • Hi Kathleen,
      There's nothing wrong with women wearing hats and skirts or dresses to church. But when this tradition is treated as a law of God, it becomes legalistic and interferes with a relationship with God.

      Following traditions mindlessly can lead to some humorous but also hurtful situations. You mention baths on Sabbath: For those who take a shower/bath every day, neglecting to do so on Sabbath will just serve to make them feel less clean. For those who do not take a shower every day, it is reasonable to prepare for the Sabbath by taking a shower and not taking one during hte Sabbath hours.

      The bottom line is that we need to distinguish between the laws of God and the traditions of humanity. Mistaking one for the other will inevitably interfere with a relationship with God. And, yes, it can spoil our witness.

    • Kathleen, praise God.
      From which SDA Church document or writing do you get these laws.
      I have been an adventist for the last 40 yrs and reading all these about not bathing on the sabbath snd forbidding of pants for first from you.

      • The comments are very interesting and enlightening. In all we do or so, let us glorify God. I don't shower or take a bath on the Sabbath day because I was educated to prepare to prepare for the Sabbath on the preparation day. The Sabbath command in Exodus 20:8-11 Exodus 19:10, and Isaiah 58:13 and 14 should enlighten the way we prepare for the Sabbath and conduct ourselves on the Sabbath Day. It is a day of delight. The Sabbath is God's holy day to bring us into a closer relationship with Him and to acknowledge Him as our Creator. The sabbath was given to man to direct his attention to his Creator and to develop a closer fellowship with Him and his fellow human beings. In Isaiah, we are exhorted to delight in the Sabbath day and honour it. Whatever therefore we say or do must reflect that we love and honour the Lord.

  6. While it is good for us to keep the law, it is not good to add on the law of God.what do you think?

    • I once asked a lawyer why there are so many laws. He answered that laws need refining and precise definitions.

      I suspect the real reason for additional laws is because in our lawless world there is a constant desire to avoid anything restrictive. People like to do their own thing without interference so they find any loophole they can find in order to avoid what they know they should do. So, in come the lawyers that attempt to plug the holes with more laws.

      It has been said that one can understand a society by the number of its laws.

  7. The blind man declared, "once I was blind, but now I can see". What a great testimony to have and to declare always. Just to be in touch with Jesus the Light of the world, is all that counts.

  8. My question is did Yahshua/Jesus keep all of the 613 major laws from The Old Testament? If not which ones did he break? Also did he break any of the Halokoth or Oral laws? Which law (oral or major) did HE break when HE spat in the dirt and made mud to put on the blind mans eyes and then told him to go wash? Or when HE and his disciples didn't follow the traditional washing of hands that had become a ritual?

      • Andrew, thank you for posting this URL to the blog. You asked earlier where in the Old Testament the Pharisees found a law forbidding healing on the Sabbath, and now you post a list of rabbinic laws that doesn't seem to cover such a "sin" either .... H'mm ...

        But a link on that page leads to "The Shabat Laws," and it is very interesting, because the explanations are in the context of modern society. (I only read the first page so far, but I'm bookmarking this one!)

        I recommend this article to all who are in favor of modern "rabbinic" Seventh-day Adventist laws regarding what to wear and how to behave on the Sabbath. It demonstrates some of the foolishness that results from such an endeavor.

        [Later] Ah, I found the "law" that Jesus violated:

        In situations where during the week people do not react with a sense of immediate urgency, one may not desecrate Shabbat.

        Works of healing were permitted on the Sabbath, provided the situation was considered to be life-threatening or potentially life-threatening. But Christ healed people of chronic conditions - i.e. conditions that were not immediately life-threatening.

        Thanks again, Andrew, for the link to this site. It is a wonderful site for understanding contemporary and orthodox Judaism. I actually found some good understanding of the meaning of the Sabbath. 🙂

    • Presumably Jesus kept the (Torah) Law with all its' (613) commandments that are written in the five books of Moses the Rabbis cited a verse for each commandment they found in those books. The Oral law did not add anymore commandments to the Torah it added only a explanation of those commandments. So the Oral and Written Law contain 613 commandments no more no less.
      The Rabbis believed that healing violated one or more of the 39 laws taken from Exodus. However healing was not only allowed but considered a commandment when life was in danger. Some of the Rabbis believed it was allowed to break the Sabbath to save a soul as well. They also in other circumstances allowed healing for non-emergencies as well. A number of Rabbinic authorities throughout history did not believe Jesus broke any laws. That being said some others did. I personally believe Jesus did not sin, therefore all he did was in accordance with the law.
      Rabbinic law is understand by the Orthodox Jews to be laws instituted by the Rabbis and are not laws found in the Bible. Some laws were fences to safeguard people from breaking an actual Torah commandments. One example would be not picking up a tool used for work in case you forget it is the Sabbath and did some work with it. Secondly some laws were just customs they added such as the washing of hands before eating. A good idea but not command in the Torah(Bible). A violation of Rabbinic law was not considered a sin and they could not bring a sacrifice to the temple for a violation of Rabbinic law. Temple sacrifices were only for violations of Torah not Rabbinic law.

  9. To Dana: Jesus only kept the law of his father. they did ad extra laws to try to help themselves but in the end they put themselves in bondage. God is not a bondman. And i feel like people following these will in the end make God look like a bondman

  10. Oral law is known as halakah, which means “to walk.” The rabbis felt that if the people adhered to their numerous halakoth (plural of halakah), they would walk in the way of the 613 major laws. What about our days, some people made up their own laws for the church to work in their favor. E.g. some says the bible says, "render your heart and not your garment, another one is " come as you are" so to enter the sanctuary any how. We can take the laws far to the right or far to the left, so let us be careful.

  11. Lesr we get too carried away with ournew freedom, let us always rmember what is modest and tasteful in our clothing and outward adorning. Some of the bare shoulders, and short skirts I see in church now days are far from modest

    • Jean, God says He looks at the heart, and when we try to tell people what to wear, we misrepresent God and make it appear that he is more interested in our clothes!!

      I suggest a different attitude: If you feel that the clothing demonstrates a lack of spiritual maturity, thank the Lord that these (young?) women are at church! Then do your best to make them feel welcome and loved. (Telling them how to dress won't do it!) If they need to change the way they dress, the Holy Spirit is well able to convict them. It is presumptuous of us to try to take His place.

      • I think an argument about what is "modest" and "tasteful" would be useful if only to quickly demonstrate that we cannot impose our beliefs upon others by sheer force of the will.

        This is increasingly important as time winds down. Too many people--in these final hours of the great Controversy--(in my small opinion) still believe that God is coercive.

        • An understanding of modesty varies by culture. Bare breasts were not considered immodest in many indigenous cultures, and, yet, an exposed ankle might be considered immodest in the same culture.

          We need to learn to see other human beings through different eyes - that is, God's eyes. If we have the mind of Jesus in us, that's how we will see, and we will not attempt to coerce others to conform to our ideas of appropriate dress or behavior.

      • Inge I love what you say.I always wonder when I go to church why the women all of a sudden just change the way they come into the house of the Lord..but now I will thank God they are there and that he will allow the Holy Spirit to work in their lives so that they will not follow the traditions of the world

      • Pray earnestly for them. Instead of being critical, yes take it to the Lord in prayer. The Church belongs to God.

      • Sister Inge,
        On the narrow question of dress would you like to clarify if you are saying the Church and its leaders attitude should be in a sense, 'see no evil?' Should everyone be left to do as they please without counsel or correction? Does the Holy Spirit not speak through others at times or does all guidance have to be directly from Heaven (Holy Spirit)?

        Bear in mind that dress does not only affect the individual who is dressed in a particular manner, but also those others who observe. For example 'young' men can become distracted by certain female attire while others remain silent and wait for the Spirit to speak and pray that the 'offending' parties listen, who by the way might not be conscious of the effect their attire have. Corporate groups, secular and religious understand the effect of dress and often put in place measures to address the dress. Of course men have things to answer to as well.

        Is it really as simple as, "do what thou wilt?" Surely some clarification would help.

        • Dear Brother Hugh,

          I suggest that we ought to see each other as potential heirs of the Kingdom, rather than sex objects, and that should serve to eliminate becoming "distracted."

          You mention corporate groups who enforce dress standards. The difference between corporate groups and the church is this: Corporate groups are intent on presenting a certain image that serves their particular purpose, whether the image is correct or not.

          By contrast, the church is to be not only a center of support for members but also a haven for sinners to find the love of God.

          I personally know of too many young people turned away from the church by the judgmental spirit of their elders.

          We need to consider the purpose of the church: Did Christ institute it to be a fortress for the geriatric saints? Or did He institute it as a means of rescuing sinners from the hell of/in this present world? It can be only one or the other. The fortress mentality excludes the possibility of actually loving sinners who do not conform to our personal ideas of acceptability.

          But perhaps you have a better understanding of Scripture. If so, could you please share where it is mandated that the elders of the church should enforce a dress standard on those who choose to come? (And make no mistake about it: Even couched in terms of helpful "counsel," the young people thus approached will feel demeaned.)

          I say again that it is our job to love sinners to Christ. He will convict each soul of his/her duty. When we try to play Holy Spirit we are violating the very first commandment. When converted Christians model modesty, those who are being drawn to Christ won't have to be told how to dress!

        • Sister Inge,
          Given the clarification please permit the following comments:

          Both the immodestly dressed and the onlookers are weak. We need not pick winners by showing supposed ‘sympathy’ for the one and straightening out the other. In fact the straightening out might actually be the more loving act, and so the immodestly dressed actually get shortchanged with this approach. We have an obligation to each other to be our brother’s (including sister’s) keeper. We not only encourage and exhort the brethren to do right, we are mindful of areas in which we might be a stumbling block (1 Corinthians 8:9).

          There is a serious problem if we feel no one can tell us anything, because we are adults, and we will listen only to the direct impression of the Spirit. Except we become as little children we are in trouble (Matthew 18:3, 4). The Holy Spirit sometimes uses people we do not even like to correct us so as to teach us humility.

          “Don’t judge me” is a common refrain except when it comes to directly or indirectly accusing the messengers of the Lord of being judgmental. In such a case ‘judging’ appears to be excusable. Prophets and messengers have been killed literally and otherwise for daring to follow God’s instruction and pointing out error in the ways of God’s people (Revelation 6:9, 10)

          Any counsel that challenges our sinful nature or preferred conduct can be conveniently characterized as “demeaning.” And especially in a pervasive Western “thin-skinned” culture, informed by certain notions of self-esteem, it is not surprising that there should be such a reaction.

          Pleasing sentiments may populate and increase membership in the church for a season, but only the Truth populates Heaven.

        • I have to confess that even if I did notice that the dress of a young person was immodest, I would not make any judgement on it. There are two reasons:

          1) I am at an age where I would immediately be accused of being a dirty old man for noticing such things.

          2) Most young people are in the process of growing up. They need a little space to work things out for themselves. They generally do. I am not so old that I have forgotten my youth and I remember some well intentioned old biddies in the church who took exceptions to some of the things that I wore and did. I remember what I thought then, and it wasn't, "Hey these folk are right and I am sinning. I had better mend my ways!" (Incidentally Sis. Maggie Glossop, If you are reading this, I gave up wearing fluro underwear about 55 years ago! She was a pretty healthy soul, and is quite possibly still alive.)

          It there is one thing that I have learned, (and I admit that sometimes I am a bit thick and learn slowly at times) it is that telling people that they are wearing something inappropriate just does not work. Most times it is offensive and the words, no matter how kindly said, often turn people away from Christianity. A far better approach is to be a living example. Preaching by the way you live is by far the better way of getting the message across. Young people look for role models. That is a scary thought, but I know that I have quite a few people to thank for being role models to me. If you want to influence the way young people think become their friend.

        • Proverbs says that a word must be "fitly spoken".

          I think many people believe that a knowledge of the BIble gives them the right to say anything to anyone at any time about anything.
          But even Jesus knew when to hold His peace.

          While the Gospels are full of: "And He said unto them..." and "Verily, verily I say unto you..."

          Jesus also "answered them not" at other times. Furthermore, He also told His disciples that there were many things He wanted to tell them that they could not bear.

        • Ellen G. White, who is heavily quoted in the Sabbath School lessons made the following statement in Child Guidance p. 531:

          "Many need instruction as to how they should appear in the assembly for worship on the Sabbath. They are not to enter the presence of God in the common clothing worn during the week. All should have a special Sabbath suit, to be worn when attending service in God’s house. While we should not conform to worldly fashions, we are not to be indifferent in regard to our outward appearance. We are to be neat and trim, though without adornment. The children of God should be pure within and without."

          Was the prophet in error, or worse, judgmental? Was she playing God? Is the statement in need of correction?

          Or could it be that the Holy Spirit gave her insight in scripture which we fall short of, in part because we firmly believe everyone should do what is "right in their own eyes" (Deuteronomy 12:8, 9)?

          One test of our confidence in scripture and inspiration is our response when our private opinions are challenged.

        • Hugh,

          I do not have a problem with what Mrs White says. I am very much aware that society has changed a lot since her time though and for better or worse we are much more casual about dress now. Some of that is good. I no longer wear a tie (although I do own one - NZ All Blacks) and neither do most of the men who attend our church. We need to accept that some of the detail has changed from Mrs White's day.

          As far as applying the principles are concerned though, I am happy to wear my very best (sans tie) to church, but when it comes to saying what others wear to church, I leave the preaching to my example. I am all too aware of how bumble-footed I am when it comes to telling others what to do, so I simply keep my mouth shut. As far as young people are concerned I am happy to accept their rebelliousness in clothes because I know they will grow out of it. I have too many photographs of myself as a teenager to forget. A rough comment about a tatty pair of jeans is a poor substitute for seeing a young person enjoying Christian fellowship.

    • I will agree with you sister 100%, also with all the cut down openings infront of females tops. The church must not pattern themselves after the world, but must live different from the world. If you have Christ, then walk in holiness. For me, my personal testimony is; we had several discussions in church whereby people take one or the other side, for or against. So one day after church as I was going home I was talking to my Jesus and telling him about the condition of his people and their attitude towards dressing in his sanctuary. As I pulled into my driveway, I heard his voice speaking to me clearly saying. "I should be praying not for them to change their clothing but pray that their hearts be changed". Then I realized this is not a problem that is outside but a heart problem.

      • Thank you, Marva, for your testimony!!

        And is it not Jesus who changes heart problems? So it comes right back down to demonstrating the love of Christ, rather than the spirit of the "accuser of the brethren."

        • There is counsel in Testimonies 6 concerning Baptism. Interesting to read that dress is seen as an important subject to be carefully taught to those who present themselves for baptism. In most cases this is neglected, and we see the results. A chapter worth reading.

  12. When Christ died they took Him down from the cross and took Him right to the grave...Why do we have to take a dead person and do service in the sanctuary?

  13. hi! am happy that u guys are trying ur best to make us understand bettr.All i can say is that any work done on sabbath that promotes the well being of the gospel and supports life can nevr b termed as sin and to me such laws dont exist.

    • Be careful brother, pray about things and situation because if new light is brought to you, ask the Holy Spirit to guide you aright, He will show you right from wrong. It is okay for some people to work on the Sabbath to save life, but if all people should come to you and say every sabbath their sheep falls into a ditch, them their is a problem. Note: Satan is busy.

  14. Just reviewing the lesson for tomorrow. With regards to suitable dress for Sabbath church attendance - for those who know Sabbath itself is a HOLY day therefore our dress will be suited to a HOLY convocation and not secular. As the High Priest had specific garments so we can put aside the best we may have just for use on God's HOLY Sabbath day. This is not being hypocritical but an acknowledgement of where we are and with whom we have a HOLY meeting with, especially at the most sacred time of the Divine Service.

  15. Over the past two decades of listening to sermons and reading discussion boards, what I have come to realize is that we are so much more comfortable talking about 'outward' issues rather than issues of the heart. I think it is great to uphold standards in society and to avoid following the way of the world. However, it is so important to understand that the outward is in most cases just a reflection of the inward condition. Jesus always targeted heart issues. He befriended sinners. I don't know about you but to this day, I haven't befriended a prostitute. I haven't yet befriended a 'tax collector' (corrupt men in society). It seems like we don't even like to befriend the ladies/men in our church who dress inappropriately. I would like to ask, how many times you have invited a young lady over to your place whom you thought was dressed inappropriately. There is a reason that they dress like this - society tells them that if they would like to be accepted they need to dress in an appealing way. We need to both be an example to young women/men and teach them as we befriend them. Further just because a certain person dresses appropriately, it does not mean that they are more spiritual. Once you've grown up in the SDA church, it's easy to 'play church'. To know the right things to say and do. In my opinion, this is a more dangerous position to be in. We must test our hearts. We must pray that God puts a burden on our hearts for others. A burden to draw others' hearts to God!

    • It depends which part of the world you are writing from. I lived in three different countries and experienced three different cultures. Some cultures you cannot just invite over at your home to talk religion. You must and have to make sure you have withness to verify the reason for inviting someone over at your place. This world is a corrupt place.

  16. KEEPING THE SABBATH GODS WAY-Isaiah 58;13& 14. Read EG Whites commentry Partiche and Prophets PP 307,308 She quotes acts of necessity and mercy are permitted on the sabbath the sick and suffering are at all times to be cared for; but unnecessary labor is to be strictly avoided. this is Wed lesson.

    • I am of the opinion that if we really understand the meaning of the Sabbath, then no-one will have to tell us what to do and not to do on the Sabbath.
      But if the Sabbath is treated as an arbitrary command of God, then we'll populate it with arbitrary lists of dos and don'ts.

  17. Let us set aside the traditions, the problem is not the dress but the problem is not having Jesus Christ in your heart. If Jesus is the driver of your thinking, then you will do his will. Otherwise you are displaying who is your master.

  18. When God gave Moses the Civil Laws, it's interesting to note that the civil laws were an expansion or magnification of the commandments 5th to 10th (Love to Man). We can also notice that through these Civil Laws, God gave the civil government the authority to execute punishments, even death.

    God never included any of the first four commandments (Love to God) in the Civil Laws. He never even magnified these laws. The Rabbis attempted, but they were mistaken.

    What do you think is God telling us here? When it comes to loving our fellow men, men are given the authority to legislate laws, to judge and to execute judgment.

    But when it comes to loving God, we cannot legislate, we cannot judge and we cannot punish. Loving God is not governed by following a list of dos and donts. It needs a true conversion to truly love the Lord. It is a relationship that only you and God know. It is only God who can judge us and can reward or punish us at the end.

  19. With regards to appropriate dress in the sanctuary/church wherever it may be, Please explain : at the burning bush Moses was asked to change his dress ie: remove his shoes : Why? He was standing on HOLY ground & part of his clothing was unsuitable for HOLY ground.

    As for the question directed to me about inviting home women I thought were dressed inappropriately the answer is - too many times to count and that has been both men and women, to the extent that I have been asked how I could even associate with "people like that". Obviously you need to get to know people before you advise/reprimand or correct - 1Thessalonians 5:14 and 15 A Blessed Sabbath to you all.

  20. The commission says, tell people about Jesus and if they believe, baptize them. This is the time when a Christian is born as a baby. As a baby, don't expect him to perform everything according to God's will. So here comes the continuation of the commission, "and teach them what I commanded you". As part of growing, We should keep teaching the new converts.

    After knowing the truth, What if they don't follow. Are we going to shut them out of the church? Who will stand at the door and say, "You are not allowed to come in because you are not dressed properly".

    Like the disciples, they were with Jesus for three and a half years but most of the times they were not learning. They experienced total conversion only after the Spirit descended to them.

    We have to pray for the Holy Spirit to change us so that we can experience true conversion and when that happens we will see Adventists going to church in proper attire every Sabbath.

    Jesus himself criticized and corrected the Rabbinic Laws but did the Rabbis and the priests listened to him? They crucified him instead. Changing people is not our job. Our only job is to teach them and pray that they will listen to the Spirit. If they don't listen then, let the wheat and the tares grow together and let God judge his church when he comes.

    Take the case of Judas. It was not a secret to Jesus that he was pocketing the money of the church (more than a violation of the dress code but of a moral law) but how did Jesus deal with him. Why did he not kick him out from the leadership of the church.

    We behave on the church depending on our conviction. All of us are on the process of sanctification. Let us teach and help each other kindly and patiently so that no one will be hurt, offended and discouraged. Remember, The way we correct people also testifies to the kind of conversion we are experiencing.

    May I share the experience of my child. When he was three years old he was transferred in a room for 3 to 4 years old for the Sabbath School. At the door was a reminder that says, "No parents/guardians allowed. Leave your child to us and we will take care of them."The problem is many children including my child will not go in without guardian so many children went inside with their guardian one Sabbath. One teacher got angry, stood up and pulled all the guardians/helpers out followed by many children crying, one was my child. Since then, my child did not want to go in that room anymore and you know what happened? He stayed with his mom in the cradle roll room (for 0 to 2 years old)for all his Sabbath Schools until he entered grade 1 (6 years old). Because of strict implementation of "Rabbinic laws" we are driving out many people from our church.

    • Merwin, I would urge you to read the chapter on Baptism in Testimonies 6. These are not the ideas of a human, but of Christ Himself, given to this church. There is a standard given for baptism, which we must follow if we would have success in saving souls.

      We cannot look to the failings of men to lower the standard by ignoring the instructions given for us to follow, just to meet people where they are, but we are to lift them up to the standard set forth for all to follow. If you read that chapter you might understand all that could be said in reply to your comment. Baptism follows belief. Yes, there is continual growth, but our mandate is clearly pointed out. We follow it or continue to reap the results of laying it aside.

      • The only requirement for baptism I know is belief and acceptance of Jesus because it is the only name under heaven who can save. If you believe and accept Jesus, nobody can hinder you to receive baptism, like Philip did to the Ethopian. Peter baptized thousands of people everyday only on their acceptance of the Messiaship of Christ. After baptism. because Jesus is now the one reigning in your heart, it's expected that you will demonstrate Jesus and all the rest of the good things will automatically and gradually follow as we keep learning the will of God everyday. (this includes going to church in proper attire). Like Peter and Paul, they were truly converted people but they didn't have all the truths. Many times we see them on a debate with each other like on the issue of circumcision and the Gentiles salvation. And only after the debate that the one in the wrong side will accept the truth.

        It does not mean that we let a person dress first properly before we baptize him but we baptize him first and that conversion will result to him going to church properly dressed because of having Christ now in his life.

        Let us not make it a Rabbinic Rule to let the person swallow every truth before we baptize him. If you discuss the dress code to the candidate for baptism and he is in debate with you, will that small issue hinder us to baptize the person? Are we going to quote from Mrs. White? We purely use the Bible in doctrination. We do not use Mrs. White's writings. His knowledge of Mrs. White most of the times come after baptism. That will automatically result when we have Jesus in our hearts. Following laws religiously including dress codes is not a sign of a true conversion either. To man it might be because we look at the outside of the person, but God looks at the inside. I'm not against the standard of the church. What I'm saying is let us be patient and be careful teaching our brethren because we cannot do that in an instant. And if they don't follow, we cannot force them much more cast them.

        We cannot make our church pure by implementing Rabbinic laws. The prophecy says our church will continue to be composed of wheat and tares until He comes. My fear is, if we who go to church in proper attire will be the first to be blown by the wind when the shaking comes.

        • Merwin, explain what it means to "believe in and accept Jesus". What is the full meaning of John 1:12,13?


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