One of the false arguments that the Seventh Day Adventists would use is that
#1: The Lord Jesus and His disciples observed the Sabbath
Luke 4:16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.
“he” refers to Jesus and it was Jesus’ custom to go to the synagogue on Sabbath day.
Luke 23:56 And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the sabbath day according to the commandment.
Here, the disciples after Jesus’ death continued to observe the Sabbath because the salvation gospel was not preached yet.
To debunk this, what we need to know is that Jesus has not died on the cross yet and so, the New Testament has not yet begun. Only when Jesus dies, his death can nullify the Old Testament and the observance of the Sabbath.
Acts 17:2-3 And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures, Opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ.
It seems like Paul occasionally observes the Sabbath as well. The salvation gospel has already been preached at this time. So, what’s going on?
It’s quite simple. If Paul wants to witness to the Jews, he has got to attend a synagogue on Sabbath.
Acts 13:42-43 And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them the next sabbath. Now when the congregation was broken up, many of the Jews and religious proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas: who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God.
Seventh-Day Adventists would claim that Sabbath observance for Jews only is wrong, because here in the verse, it says that the Gentiles were waiting for the words to be preached to them on Sabbath.
It’s quite simple to answer this one. These were Gentiles that were observing Jewish law. We have to see why. Before the New Testament, the only way to get saved was to observe the Jewish law or Judaism. These Gentiles were not saved until they heard more of Paul’s preaching.
Acts 13: 46-48 Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles. For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth. And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.
Paul was preaching to the Jews but when they didn’t listen, they turned to the Gentiles. So the Gentiles were saved later on.
#2: The first church started on Sabbath (Saturday)
Acts 2:1-4 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
“Because the church started on Pentecost, it is obvious that the church started on Saturday,” would be what the SDA would claim. But this is not the case.
Leviticus 23:15-16 And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the sabbath, from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven sabbaths shall be complete:
It specifically says Pentecost starts after the Sabbath, not on Sabbath.
Matthew 28:1 In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.
Jesus’ resurrection occurred on a Sunday (at the end of the sabbath).
We hold church service on Sundays because that is the day Jesus Christ got resurrected, not because the Roman Catholic worships the sun on that day. Satan likes to imitate God (Jesus Christ is called the Sun in Malachi 4), so let’s not forget that.
There are many sources before the Catholic churches that showed that early churches gathered on a Sunday:
- 100 AD (15:8f, The Epistle of Barnabas, Ante-Nicene Fathers vol 1, page 147)
- 150 AD (Justin Martyr, First Apology on Justin)
- 200 AD (Bardesanes, source work on Fate)
- 225 AD (Didascalia 2)
- 250 AD (Ignatius, work on Fragments)
#3: Christians are commanded to keep the law
Matthew 5:17-18 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
SDA insist that Christians have to fulfill the law because in this verse, Jesus says that he did not come to destroy but to fulfill.
However, if we read the next verse we can debunk this easily. Jesus says that the law shall not pass away until all be fulfilled (his death). No man can fulfill the Old Testament law fully, Jesus is the one who took away our need to observe the law in the following verse:
Romans 10:4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.
Here are two more verses the SDA would use to show that Christians need to observe the law:
1 John 2: 3-4 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
Romans 7:12 Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.
However, if we use dispensationalism and rightly divide the word of truth, we will see that there is a difference between the spirit and the flesh. The following verse explains it.
Romans 7:6 But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.
Romans 8:2-3 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
There are a lot of negative words in the law, “condemned”, “weak”, “flesh”, “sin” etc. The reason is because the law condemns us, but the law of the spirit saves us.
Galatians 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
God made us free. But we do not have a license to sin.
Galatians 5:13 For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.