How Healthy is Adventist Eschatology? A Missiological Imbalance (Part 6)

(Frankmer7) #161

Yes…that was the covenant sign for Israel. We live in the new covenant. This is part of what Hebrews is arguing. Don’t run back to the old. Same with Galatians over different issues. The person and work of Christ eclipses all the shadows of the OT. They and he are the reality in which we live…today.


(James Peterson) #162

So you do agree that “the Sabbath of the 4th was a SYMBOL of the REST” that God had given to them. What shall we say then about Christians? Should they work seven days a week non-stop?


(Frankmer7) #163

I believe that weekly rest is a good practice. I don’t believe that it is a benchmark any longer that determines covenant belonging to God, in Christ. It is not the sign of Christian identity. What is the identifying mark of God’s people is what Jesus said, " They will know you’re my disciples by your love for one another." Or what Paul repeatedly said in different ways, that what matters is a faith that expresses itself in love…a mutual and unifying love of neighbor and one another that is the fulfillment of the Law.



(James Peterson) #164

So where, do you think, the idea of a weekly REST came from? And why do you think we have both Saturdays and Sundays off (and not Wednesdays)?


(Frankmer7) #165

James, cultures certainly derived this from the Jewish sabbath. Christian cultures have attempted to transfer such to Sunday, which is mistaken. However, culturally derived practices and traditions aside, the NT speaks of all such observances as shadows, not binding for membership in the people of God, all pointing to the Messiah and faith in him. This is the lifeblood and sign of the new creation in the NT…a newly united humanity, Jews as Jews and Gentiles as Gentiles, through faith in the Messiah Jesus.


(Steve Mga) #166

In a sense, through Christ, we have ALL been Liberated from our own Egypt, our own
Slavery experience.
Perhaps the Sabbath is NOT ONLY a sign of Redemption, a Freeing, from Slavery, but
a sign of a totally NEW Beginning of a NEW life in God.
And EVERY beginning of the 7th day we CAN Re-Experience that Liberating experience.
Every 7th Day we Celebrate being on our Journey. On our Journey WITH God. On our
Journey TO God.

One of the HUGE DEFICIENCIES that we as SDAs have is that we have NO TRADITIONS
of Sabbath. No Traditions of Welcoming the Sabbath. No Sabbath Prayers to recite at Sundown.
No SABBATH celebration blessings at mealtimes.
Our Jewish friends have many traditions that we could appropriate [steal] to remind us of who we are.
Blessing of our Sons,Blessing of our Daughters, Blessing of each other at the table with hand
on each others’ heads in blessing. Thanksgiving readings at mealtimes.
YES! We have no Sabbath Liturgy.

(Cfowler) #167

_"12 Then the Lord said to Moses, 13 “Say to the Israelites, ‘You must observe my Sabbaths. This will be a sign between me and you for the generations to come, so you may know that I am the Lord, who makes you holy._

14 “‘Observe the Sabbath, because it is holy to you. Anyone who desecrates it is to be put to death; those who do any work on that day must be cut off from their people. 15 For six days work is to be done, but the seventh day is a day of sabbath rest, holy to the Lord. Whoever does any work on the Sabbath day is to be put to death. 16 The Israelites are to observe the Sabbath, celebrating it for the generations to come as a lasting covenant. 17 It will be a sign between me and the Israelites forever, for in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day he rested and was refreshed.’”

18 When the Lord finished speaking to Moses on Mount Sinai, he gave him the two tablets of the covenant law, the tablets of stone inscribed by the finger of God.

This is where God tells the Israelites that the Sabbath is a sign between Him and Israel. Then God proceeds to give Moses the two tablets with the covenant law inscribed by God.

This isn’t part of the ceremonial law. How am I confused?

(Tim Teichman) #168

The best information I have is that they added a month, at one point named Adar II, which preceded Adar. It was added on the 3rd, 8th, 11th, 14th, 17th and 19th years of the 19 year calendar cycle that made up the Jewish calendar. It still is(!)

(Tim Teichman) #169

That we are not under that law, under the covenant of Moses. We can choose.

We know scientifically that a day of rest is good for us. People who rest live longer. But we were not delivered from Egypt. We are not the recipients of the commandments.

We can work 7 days and then rest the 8th, if we want to be particularly difficult. Or work 5 and then rest for two days. Or work 3 on and 3 off like a nurse, never syncing with the weekly modern calendar.

Even Adventists who think they keep the Sabbath commandment don’t. Not unless we give everyone in the land the day off, which is part of the command. We don’t. We can’t.

Even if everyone in the land wanted to, someone would still need to work to keep the lights on, to keep the hospitals functioning, and so on and so forth. My brother in law is a Battalion Commander for Cal Fire. Do you think he got a day off recently? Nope. He is serving in a role where, as a society, we have determined that it is more important for him to work nonstop for a time in order to save lives and property than for him to have a prescribed and regular rest - along with many other firefighters.

In our modern society, the best we can do is recommend (for scientifically supported reasons) that everyone take a periodic day off, whenever possible. Their own day, not a particular prescribed day.

(Frankmer7) #170

Yes, Steve. It could certainly be invested with such meaning. That’s still different than insisting that it is a binding requirement for covenant belonging on all Christians. If anything, the repeated ritual that points to our redemption, our liberation from slavery, and the new life of freedom, is the Lord’s Supper. All that you say is contained in this celebration. And, our unity as the body of Christ is also reaffirmed, as we partake of the one bread and one cup as one body, sharing the same Lord, the same redemption, and a common life in him.

Why do we only do this once per quarter…if that?


(Cfowler) #171

I’m not sure what you are saying. Are you saying that the Sabbath is something the SDA church should be really proud of and showing off like a jewel?

The Sabbath is not restful in the SDA church.

(reliquum) #172

When the work (of creation/salvation/redemption) is done, do you have faith enough to REST?


FWIW, I think Hanz is absolutely right about that. That’s why we need a much broader hermeneutics, as Phil Brantley suggests, it seems to me.

We can never hope to be complete in either of these challenges, but I do think at some point the system will “go critical” in the nuclear sense, or become “self-kindling”—whatever you want to call it.

Call it the Fourth Angel.

I don’t strive to “keep” a Sabbath of any kind, lunar or Gregorian, and haven’t for many years.

If I could release enough baggage to make it consistently enjoyable, I’d probably observe the moon phases as happy festivals.

(I have enjoyed such festivities with pagans and Unitarians in Boulder.)

The whole International Dateline thing devolves into absurdity on a round world, and how can I respect or love a God that is a control freak?

Makes no sense to me, and I’m too old and too tired to be scared back into my former beliefs.

So my Sabbath is resting from all that tedious rigmarole for the time being.

My Sabbath is Jesus.

But I still think there is deep meaning in the Sabbath archetype, and that it figures prominently in eschatology and soteriology.

I trust that God understands how worn out all this has left me.

(As I’ve sometimes said, I feel like a waterlogged nondescript creature that washed up on a beach after a violent storm.)

Yeah. I trust that too.

(James Peterson) #174

That’s a lame argument.

When you lie down to sleep, the brain and heart and lungs, etc still must keep working while the muscles of the body rest and recuperate. Do you think the body of society would be any different? On the Sabbath, the priests worked the hardest.

The point of the Sabbath REST is not lying down and keeping all muscles in check. Rather it is finding REST in God, rejoicing in His care. It is a rest from the week’s labour and troubles. It finds its true expression in the gathering together of the saints in worship and fellowship.

Take the day off. God will take care of everything. He cares for us. Be still my soul.



(James Peterson) #175

This is not heaven.

But the foretaste, the symbol, of it is found in the gathering together of the saints on the Sabbath day for worship and fellowship. They are many who see it as obligatory, a ritual to please someone; but those who love the LORD.

… speak to one another,
And the Lord listens and hears them;
A book of remembrance is written before Him …

They shall be Mine, says the Lord of hosts,
On the day that I make them My jewels
And I will spare them
As a man spares his own son who serves him.

Then you shall again discern
Between the righteous and the wicked,
Between one who serves God
And one who does not serve Him.

Mal. 3:16-18


(Cfowler) #176

Whenever believers gather together, there is a common Spirit that links us in a way that is hard to express. It doesn’t have to be Saturday. It happens on Sunday with other believers as well. Also whenever we gather together, whatever the time or place.

(James Peterson) #177

The purpose of the Sabbath is NOT to gather together but to REST from the week’s customary labour. However, when the people of God have nothing to do, what do you think they think of doing?

  1. Partying at the beach?
  2. Drinking until they pass out?
  3. Planning a bank heist?

The choice is yours.


(George Davidovich) #178

The Ten commandments had already been given in Ex 16-20 - this text from Ex. 30 and 31 are part of the ceremonial law, where the 4th commandment is reinserted due to its central nature upon the whole law - you can read some of Henry’s commentary below:

Exodus 31:12-18
Here is, I. A strict command for the sanctification of the sabbath day, Exo_31:13-17. The law of the sabbath had been given them before any other law, by was of preparation (Exo_16:23); it had been inserted in the body of the moral law, in the fourth commandment; it had been annexed to the judicial law (Exo_23:12); and here it is added to the first part of the ceremonial law, because the observance of the sabbath is indeed the hem and hedge of the whole law;

(Cfowler) #179

I replied that “the Sabbath wasn’t restful in the SDA church”. Then you said…

You just said that a few minutes ago…remember? Now you say…

You are changing back and forth, so which is it?

Seriously? This is a bizarre question with bizarre answers to choose from.

(Steve Mga) #180

Frank –
Some Religious groups like SDAs have decided to do so ONLY 4 times a year.
Other Religious groups have decided to do so ONLY 12 times a year – once each month.
Other Religious groups have decided it is important to have Communion/Eucharist service
each time there is an official meeting on Sundays and meetings during the week. Even at
Funeral Services, Healing Services.
Communion/Eucharist is commemorating the Lord’s Death till He comes. “Christ has died,
Christ is Risen, Christ Will Come Again.”

The Sabbath is Rest. Not the same Rest and Deliverance that the Eucharist provides. And
we CELEBRATE that on the Sabbath.