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Are Adventists Old-Covenant Christians? (part 4) — 9 Comments

  1. Marcos

    I agree with most of what is presented. It seems to be a fair presentation on our Adventist view, although I have heard variations from several Adventists pastors and literature that do not agree with some of your points.

    However, there is one area where I need clarification. You gave a chart on Eternal Law of love, showing the contrasts in Eden earth; Sinful earth; and Renewed Earth. Under “Eden earth” you list 5 commands given to Adam and Eve.

    What is the scriptural support for the Rest on Sabbath specifically given to Adam and Eve?

    Similarly, what is the scriptural support for the Rest on Sabbath as part of the Renewed Earth?

    Thanks in advance for your response.

    • Thanks Jennifer!

      Yes, there are variations. In the original article series (on my blog) I posted a note that mentioned that there exist differing view points in Adventism and I am only presenting the mainstream/ centrist camp. Other camps such as conservatives, Last Generation Theology proponents, 1888 MSC, the Sequerians etc. will have variations.

      On to your question. First, its important to understand what the chart is communicating. The chart is not saying that the law in Eden functioned like it does post-eden. The law in Eden was not "commandments". It was "design". Suppose I give my wife 2000 dollars on mothers day and tell her to go have a good time, enjoy a good massage and buy whatever she wants. Have I "commanded" her to do this? Or have I simply given her a gift and set her free to enjoy it? I would say the later. If my wife goes and does just what I said she is not doing it out of obedience to a command. She is doing it out of joy. Her desires are in harmony with my desires. So she goes and has fun.

      I believe before the fall the law functioned just like that. Mans desires were in harmony with God's desires. So there is no commandment in Eden to "remember the Sabbath day". It was simply the rhythm of life. God created it that way and set Adam and Eve free to enjoy the blessing. No command necessary. We know this because Genesis tells us he blessed the Sabbath day and Jesus tells us it was made for man. So it was a gift from the beginning for mankind. Not a command. After the fall, the law was adapted to meet man in his fallen condition and took on a more prescriptive angle. But under the new covenant God seeks to restore the function of the law back to its design paradigm so that our hearts are in harmony with his and we live out love naturally, not because we are following commands.

      As far as scriptural support for rest on Sabbath as part of the renewed earth there are a few verses here and there that hint at it but no one verse that explicitly says "in the new earth we will keep the Sabbath". Isaiah 66 is often used but poses some issues because it also speaks of other Jewish festivals being kept which we know were part of the old covenant. However, we can derive an eternal Sabbath from several factors.

      1. It was part of the original design for humanity that was lost and the gospel restores.
      2. It was made for man meaning there is a special connection between mankind and the Sabbath.
      3. It is part of God's law which is based on his character. It never changes.
      4. The bible never explicitly discusses the Sabbath in the new Earth. For someone to say it will not be there you first have to have embraced other presuppositions.
      5. It celebrates Gods identity as creator and redeemer which we will continue to celebrate throughout eternity.

      hopefully that helps a bit Jennifer. let me know if you have any more questions.

  2. Greetings.
    Mine is not a comment but a question since I realise that this is part 4 of your presentation.
    My question rises due to the misunderstanding we had last sabbath on the old and new covenat.
    Some opened scriptures which refer to old and new covenant some opened a book written by Carl P. Cosaert (I dont have it my self) which teaches that there is no such a thing as old and new covenant.

    Can someone help me understand the issue of covenants and what is the correct teaching of the SDA Church.
    God Bless

  3. Great explanation and the Lord led me to this article this morning to explain a little on why all the restrictions on the Sabbath in the OC is not applicable for the NC. Also I would say to the Isaiah 66:22-23 the new moon there is referring to the time to eat of the tree of life, not to celebrate an OC ceremony. Rev 22:2 show that it produces it’s varying kinds of fruit every month or new moon 🙂

  4. Marcos wrote: "This Eternal Covenant basically means that it has ever been God’s delight to interact with His creation via grace. ..Grace does not exist as a reaction to sin. Grace has always existed. Grace is the heart of God. Grace is the way by which we understand why God created and how He interacts with His creation. Sin did not provide a platform for grace to emerge. Grace was prior to sin. The beauty of the narrative of Scripture is not that man sinned and God responded with grace, but that man sinned and grace remained [End Quote]

    How do we balance this claim with the following from the pen of inspiration?

    "We should never have learned the meaning of this word “grace,” had we not fallen. God loves the sinless angels, who do His service, and are obedient to all His commands; but He does not give them grace. These heavenly beings know naught of grace; they have never needed it, for they have never sinned. Grace is an attribute of God shown to undeserving human beings. We ourselves did not seek after it, but it was sent out in search of us. {RH October 15, 1908, par. 3}


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