These points (after my introduction) come from David Cloud. Originally, he wrote this about Seventh Day Adventism – however, the same theological issues apply to Messianics except for how they became convinced of the Seventh Day Sabbath.
With the SDA (who I’ll be dealing with sooner or later, I promise), the seventh day sabbath was due to a vision allegedly recieved by a girl with brain damage, in which she saw the ten commandments, and the 4th commandment glowing, and rising above the others. The image seems a little contrived, and sounds to me like a lie based upon a hidden desire to make the entire cult adhere to a personally held conviction about sabbath observance.
With the Messianics, it has to do with alleged purposeful Bible mistranslation on the basis of anti-semitism.
Let me deal briefly wtih the illogic of their contention:
You mean to tell me, that each and every Bible translating committee (in some cases the Bible was translated by a single man) and EVERY ONE OF THEM was anti-semitic, and anti-nomianistic?
Surely, out of 200 committees and individuals who translated the Bible, one of them would have paused and said, “I’m sorry, God’s word says we must keep the laws of Moses.”
But no, they didn’t. Not one. They all basically translated the Bible (every one of them) to show we are saved by grace through faith, and not of works, it is a gift of God, lest any man should boast. That we are saved by faith, and not by our own deeds. Every one of them.
Until of course, David Stern.
I’m sorry, it seems a little foul to me that everyone independently translates the passages that Messianics claim are mistranslated to show salvation by grace through faith, and that we should not keep the law – except for the people with a bias towards Sabbath and Torah observance.
It’s al ittle like Jehovah’s Witnesses who are pre-disposed against the deity of Christ, and against the saved going to heaven… nobody but they translate the bible their way. Funny how, if the Messianics are so fired up about accurate Bible translations, they don’t translate the verses the same as the Jehovah’s witnesses. Well, that tells me the Jehovah’s Witnesses are translating their Bibles to suit their pre-concieved doctrines.
Well, same thing applies – if the Jehovah’s witnesses aren’t translating their Bibles to show you must keep the law – which incidentally is one of their doctrines! – then the Messianics are deliberately mistranslating their Bibles to suit their preconcieved doctrines.
WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS
1. The sabbath, though mentioned in Genesis 2:2-3, was not delivered to man until it was given to Israel in the wilderness (Nehemiah 9:13-14). Ellen White added to Scripture when she taught that Adam and the patriarchs kept the sabbath.
2. The sabbath was not given to mankind in general, but to Israel alone as a special sign between her and God (Ex. 31:13, 17). If the sabbath had been kept by mankind from the creation, it could not have been given as a special sign to Israel.
3. The New Testament teaches that the believer is not bound by the sabbath law. See Colossians 2:16-17.
4. The sabbath was a type of salvation. “There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his” (Heb. 4:9-10). As God rested on the seventh day from His work of creation, the believer today rests in the completed work of Christ. In order to enter into God’s rest, a person must accept God’s work and must cease from his own work (Jn. 6:28-29). Salvation must be accepted as God’s gift.
5. Jesus kept the sabbath because He was born under the law to fulfill the demands of the law. See Galatians 4:4-5. The Lord Jesus made Himself a servant and was born under the law of Moses that He might redeem sinners from the curse of the law and bring them into the eternal liberty of sonship.
6. It cannot be proven that the apostle Paul and the early churches observed the sabbath. It is true that Paul met in the synagogues on the sabbath in order to preach to the Jews assembled there, but this does not mean that he observed the sabbath. According to the Bible, the reason Paul visited synagogues on the sabbath was to preach the gospel. Paul’s desire was to preach Christ. He was burdened for his own people, the Jews. So he went where the Jews were to preach Christ to them. Consider Acts 13:14-44; 16:13-14; 17:2-4; 18:4.
7. There is much evidence in the Bible and elsewhere that the early Christians met and worshiped on the first day rather than on the sabbath.
- On the first day Jesus rose from the dead (Mk. 16:9).
- On the first day Jesus first appeared to his disciples (Mk. 16:9).
- On the first day Jesus met with the disciples at different places (Mk. 16:9-11; Mt. 28:8-10; Lk. 24:34; Mk. 16:12-13; Jn. 20:19-23).
- On the first day Jesus blessed the disciples (Jn. 20:19).
- On the first day Jesus imparted to the disciples the gift of the Holy Spirit (Jn. 20:22).
- On the first day Jesus commissioned the disciples to preach the gospel (Jn. 20:21; with Mk. 16:9-15).
- On the first day Jesus ascended to Heaven, was seated at the right hand of the Father, and was made Head of all (Jn. 20:17; Eph. 1:20).
- On the first day the gospel of the risen Christ was first preached (Lk. 24:34).
- On the first day Jesus explained the Scriptures to the disciples (Lk. 24:27, 45).
- On the first day the Holy Spirit descended (Acts 2:1). Pentecost was on the 50th day after the sabbath following the wave offering (Le. 23:15-16). Thus, Pentecost was always on a Sunday.
- The Christians met to worship on the first day (Acts 20:6-7; 1 Cor. 16:2).
Since those days, the vast majority of Christians have met to worship on the first day of the week. They do this in honor of the resurrection of their Savior. Christ was in the tomb on the sabbath and rose as the firstborn from the dead on the first day. The sabbath signifies the last day of the old creation (Gen. 2:2). Sunday is the first day of the new creation.
8. Sunday is not the sabbath. Bible-believing Christians do not observe the sabbath by assembling on Sunday. The New Testament believer is redeemed from the obligations of the Law of Moses. Romans 14:1-13 and Colossians 2:16 clearly state that believers are not to be judged in respect to holy days. The Galatians’ respect of holy days caused the apostle Paul to fear that they were not even saved! See Galatians 4:10-11, 20. 9. The idea that Sunday observance will be the mark of the beast is not found in Scripture. This idea came from Ellen White. It is true that the Antichrist will “think to change times and laws” (Daniel 7:25), yet nowhere does the Bible say that this will involve the sabbath or Sunday. The Bible does not reveal exactly what laws the Antichrist will change.
This report is excerpted from AVOIDING THE SNARE OF SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTISM. This book has been called the best on the subject by the editor of The Baptist Challenge. Now it has been throughly updated and enlarged. It is diligently researched from official publications of the Seventh-day Adventist organization and proves conclusively that the Seventh-day Adventist gospel is false. The book begins with a chapter entitled “Adventists Wanted Me to Revise This Book,” describing a deceptive attempt by Seventh-day Adventists to have me change the book. The major divisions of the book are: “Adventist History Proves It is Heretical” and “Adventist Doctrine Proves It Is Heretical.” The book analyzes Adventist doctrines such as Sabbath-keeping, Soul-sleep, Annihilation of the wicked, Ellen White as a Prophetess, Investigative Judgment, Misuse of the Mosaic Law, and Vegetarianism. The chapter “Why Some Have Considered Seventh-day Adventism Evangelical” analyzes Walter Martin’s (author of Kingdom of the Cults) faulty view of Adventism. The book includes selections from D.M. Canright’s 1898 book Seventh-day Adventism Renounced. Canright was an early leader in Adventism who left and became a Baptist pastor. Third edition updated and enlarged September 2008. 206 pages, 5 X 8”, perfect bound, $8.95.
Order by phone or via the recently redesigned online catalog at the Way of Life web site: 866-295-4143, http://wayoflife.org